Pay It Forward Friday: Sea Shepherd

sea shepherd logoThis week for Pay It Forward Friday we’re featuring Sea Shepherd, an organization working to protect marine wildlife. In the Who We Are section of their website, they talk about their “innovative direct-action tactics,” and indeed, they are known for physically interfering with illegal hunting vessels, from ramming them to outright sinking them!

While some find their methods to be extreme, I am happy that there is an organization that is willing to go to such great lengths to protect animals from hunters who don’t believe marine wildlife deserve their respect. Just as Malcolm X was controversial in his time but is celebrated as a Civil Rights hero today (the avenue I live off of in Harlem is named after him!), I believe Sea Shepherd is right to do what it takes to defend the rights of others, and to enforce conservation law when no one else will.

Today I am donating 20% of all proceeds from the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint to Sea Shepherd.

IMG_0154

For a lot of vegans and vegetarians, seafood is the last frontier when it comes to completely giving up the eating of animal flesh. However, fish and other marine creatures deserve respect just as we land animals do, and the industries that exploit them can be just as cruel as the ones that so badly mistreat pigs, cows, and chickens (and so many others). Show respect to the earth and all its creatures by adopting a plant-based lifestyle for 21 days. I’ve got your back!

Join the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint today!

Click here to learn more about supporting Sea Shepherd in their continuing efforts to enforce conservation law around the world.

Corn + Peach Crostini with White Bean Basil Puree

Corn and Peach Crostini Basil White Bean Puree

This month we’re starting a new tradition on Sweet Potato Soul. We’re going celebrate seasonal ingredients with a monthly recipe series. How it will work is each month I’ll choose an ingredient, and each week I’ll share a recipe using that special ingredient. There will be savory recipes, and sweet, and whatever else the muse inspires. Speaking of muse, I got this idea from one of my best friends, Kristin Esposito of Mindful Muse. This girl is full of creativity. Thank you mamacita :)

For the first #ingredientofthemonth (if you can think of a better hashtag, please share) we’re celebrating corn! Corn is so amazing and versatile that I don’t think I’ll have any problems coming up with fun ways to use it. Actually I’ve already created a list of potential recipes using this ancient staple.

[Read more...]

Q&A with Jenné: How to Eat Healthy in a Food Desert

Is it impossible for you to find fresh affordable fruits and vegetables near your home? Sounds like you live in food desert. Unfortunately food deserts are a common problem all over the country, especially in low-income communities. Instead of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods, residents find bodegas selling processed junk. If you can find healthy foods in a food desert, they are most likely going to be very expensive, and the quality may be poor. Restricted access to nourishing food leads to a number of health and societal issues, not to mention frustration for those who desire a more just food system.

If you live in a food desert, here are my tips for overcoming your lack of options, and changing the community in everyone’s favor:

1. Find a store (if you can) that at least sells the basics. Cabbage, collards, carrots, broccoli, etc. These foods are very healthy, and used in a wide variety of cuisines. Also, don’t forget how nutritious beans and lentils are. You may be able to find them in your local bodega/corner store.

2. Make a trip to a good grocery store to stock up on essentials. Non-perishables like frozen fruits and vegetables, canned products, spices, nuts, and seeds will keep for months. Also, take a grocery shopping trip online. While you may not be able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables online (unless a service like Fresh Direct will come to your neighborhood), but you can find other healthful foods like legumes and grains on Amazon.com

3. Grow your own food. It’s not that difficult, and is rewarding in so many ways. Food deserts occur in rural, suburban, and urban places. If you live in a rural or suburban food desert, you may have access to a small plot of soil to grow your own vegetables. If you live in the big city, like I do, a window garden, or indoor growing of herbs, sprouts, and micro greens may have to do. In cities there are plenty of community gardens too.

4. Rally your neighbors. Seek people in your community who also want better access to fresh food. Together you can ask your local grocery stores to carry fresher and healthier options at affordable prices. You can reach out to your local representatives. You can put together a CSA (community supported agriculture/farm partnership), create a community Coop, or start a local farmer’s market. When the demand is clear, the supply will come.

Have you ever lived in a food desert? What are your tips for eating a healthy diet despite local access to great food?

Check out these links for more information about how communities are tackling food deserts

Food is Power: What are food deserts?

Whole Foods Market My Street Grocery Trolley 

People’s Community Market 

Green Worker Coop

Pay It Forward Friday: Humane League of Lancaster

Humane League of Lancaster County

Today 20% of proceeds from the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint will be donated to Humane League of Lancaster County!

Pennsylvania is home to an amazing animal welfare organization and shelter, The Humane League of Lancaster County (HLLC). This shelter is dedicated to their vision, “A humane community where all pets are protected and wanted”, and has a great track record of placing animals in permanent loving homes.

Humane League of Lancaster County

HLLC offers a Wellness Clinic to local residents to “ensure that families of all means have access to treatment options they can afford for their canine and feline companions.” If you’ve ever taken a dog or cat to the vet, you know how expensive care can be. HLLC makes it so that no animal has to be neglected because of their families financial situation.

Their “adoption guarantee” policy also sets this shelter apart from many. All pets accepted into the shelter will be cared for until they are adopted. Partnerships with other rescues and shelters, make it possible for HLLC to find permanent loving homes for animals. The organization has a visible presence in the community which helps them to spread their message of compassion.

[Read more...]

Q&A with Jenné: Building your foundation for health

HealthyJenne

You know the parable from the bible about the wise man and the foolish man? The wise man built his house on the rock and when the rain came, and the winds blew, the house did not fall because it was built on a solid foundation. The foolish man built his house on the sand… Foolish!

We all know how important it is to build a solid foundation in our lives, but are we really doing it? It can seem easier, and more efficient to jump ahead without taking the time to build a foundation. However, soon our efforts come crashing down.

When it comes to attaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, a solid foundation is the key to success. The way to build a solid foundation for health is by putting the right foods into your body. I’m talking about whole plant based foods. These foods will give you strength, help heal illness, balance your body, boost your energy, and give you more clarity and focus. From there physical fitness will be easier, creativity will flow, and confidence will blossom.

When I am taking good care of myself with healthy and delicious food I feel aligned with the universe. When I’m not nourishing myself I feel disconnected, unnatural, and tired.
A healthy body is the foundation for all forms of health.

In this episode of Q&A with Jenné I am joined by my very own life coach, Miss Jaclyn Costello to chat about what we all can do to build our foundation for a lifetime of health. In the video Jaclyn and I discuss the importance of having a solid foundation, and we discuss the two personality archetypes we all fall into, and how to use these traits to our advantage when pursuing optimal health.

What are you doing to build and nurture your foundation?