Beauty Benefits of a Vegan Diet + A Shameless Plug

We all know being vegan has a bazillion (no, I didn’t fact that check that) health benefits, but how does it help you be more aesthetically pleasing? Keep reading, my friend for some vegan beauty tips!

1. It Helps Clear Acne

Milk contains an abundance of the hormone IGF-1 which is great if you’re a baby cow. However, in humans it leads to inflammation which can cause redness and swelling. It also makes us produce more oil, which leads to more clogged pores, more acne, and a breeding ground for P. acnes bacteria, which feed on your sebum and spew out inflammatory by-products. The milk and acne effect is well documented in the literature. In the last decade or so, a number of studies have found a strong link between the consumption of milk and increased occurrence of acne. For example, one such study found that teenage boys who drank milk broke out more often, and more severely, than those who didn’t drink milk. (source)

2. It Makes Your Skin Glow

“You look as good as you eat. Researchers at the University of Nottingham revealed in a recent study that eating vegetables makes you appear better looking to others. Despite the many advantages to eating fruits and vegetables, including living longer, being smarter, avoiding chemical exposure (with organic foods), and reducing the carbon footprintvegetarianism is not a food plan for everyone. Now there may be another compelling reason to give up animal protein. Results from the university’s study claim that eating carrots, tomatoes and mangoes improves your skin and makes your face glow naturally. Dr. Ian Stephen who examines the perception of skin color, conducted the research at the school’s Malaysian campus where participants ate five extra portions of fruits and vegetables daily for two months.

Students then examined photos of participants, comparing various pigmentation and chose which were more attractive. Those with increased vegetable and fruit intake won the beauty contest. The diet raised carotenoid levels which provides appealing gold tones to the skin. Packed with antioxidants, the anti-inflammatory properties are healthier.” (source)

3. It Can Help You Lose Weight

I’m not saying you have to be skinny to be beautiful, everyone’s body is different and comes in lots of gorgeous shapes and sizes. However, I think we can all agree that being fit is beautiful. That means eating healthy foods that makes our skin glow, easily toning our lovely bodies and feeling strong with extra energy. That sounds sexy!

“There has been an incredible amount of science coming out as of late in support of a plant-based diet, and how it helps you to lose weight and turn your health around. It is becoming all the more evident that a nutrient-dense, high-fiber diet can not only tame obesity, but it can prevent and reverse the killer diseases of our time: heart diseaseType 2 diabetes and even some kinds of cancer.” (source)

4. It Helps You Smell Pretty

When you walk into your favorite department store (*cough*Nordstrom*cough*) and you go into their extensive makeup/beauty section, what else is there? Fragrances, of course! It’s essential to beauty. Scent is tied into so many emotions and hormones on a deep subconscious and sometimes conscious level. So, smelling great is just part of the pretty girl package aka “Smelling pretty”.

“Meat and dairy consumption has been directly linked to a higher amount of acidity in the body and the amount of stinky breath and body odor. As someone who eats tons of plant foods, I can tell you I personally haven’t worn deodorant in almost 8 years and I do not suffer from body odor, even while sweating. On a normal basis, I don’t have bad breath, unless I eat garlic, which I avoid because it really makes me smell terrible! It’s all about that acidity factor in meats and dairy. They are the most acidic foods available to us, and when we eat them, our bodies literally process their acids directly as waste, which our bodies try to eliminate through sweating, odor and the breath. An alkaline body doesn’t produce nearly the amount of toxins and thus there are less to eliminate through the pores. Garlic and onions are simply odor-producing foods for the breath due to their healthy antioxidant sulfur, which is actually a detoxifying agent to the liver” (source)

5. Inner Beauty is Sexy

As a parent, I always instill values in my boys and one of those is that inner beauty is a better attribute than physical beauty. Physical beauty has it’s ebbs and flows from awkward teenage brace face years to aging and saggy boobs. I think we can all agree there is some beauty in each of those stages, but one thing everyone notices– one that is truly timeless is inner beauty. One of the best things about vegans is their compassion for all life, one life is not better than the other. For me, the ant has just as much as value in this world as I do. This beautiful compassion extends to all of nature and humans alike. I love helping others, encouraging others and respecting all people and animals. Now what is more beautiful than that? Vegans and their compassion has an inner beauty that benefits the entire eco system, and that my friends, is hot!

Now onto my shameless plug…

I was speaking with PETA about possible photo shoot campaigns to work with them on and they told me that in the meantime I should join their “Sexiest Vegan Next Door” contest. I was hesitant since I HATE voting campaigns but when I saw that Humane Trip was offering a free trip to Hawaii for the lucky winner, I quickly changed my mind. Please vote for me! You can vote one time per email address, so if you have multiple email addresses and some time, I would appreciate any and all votes. Also, share this PLEASE, the more votes the better! Thank you for your support, everyone. You all mean the world to me! 

VOTE FOR ME

10 Reasons Why Bob Barker is My Hero (And Why He Should Be Yours)

If you were a ’70’s, ’80’s or early ’90’s baby, I’m sure one of your favorite things about missing school or being on summer vacation was that you got to watch the Price is Right. It’s a fun game to play at home, the cars are always amazing and the people are priceless. Most people love how charismatic Bob Barker is, he’s so charming and how on earth does he look so amazing? Well a vegetarian diet of course! Bob Barker is a pop icon and a game show legend, but who exactly is this man? 

I remember being home schooled in Kindergarten and watching the Price is Right. I knew from the age of 4 that I wanted to move to Hollywood, CA and be a Barker’s Beauty. As I got older, I wondered who he was and I started reading up on him. That year I became vegan, the next year I moved to Hollywood (right off of Sunset Blvd) and I sent my photo in numerous times to be a Barker’s Beauty. I have a past pageant history and many things that connected me to Bob Barker, but my ultimate goal was to meet him. By the time an open casting call happened, it was for the new host of The Price is Right and I knew without Bob being on the show I wanted no part of it. Even now I forget it’s still an ongoing show because without Bob it’s not the same. When people ask me who my hero is I say “Bob Barker” and it always gets me the weirdest looks. When I explain why they’re blown away by the awesome person that he is, but few really know life details about him. Fun fact about me: I paid over $200 for a ticket to go to the Daytime Emmy’s simply because they were honoring Bob Barker’s career after he retired from the show. I still have the book and photos I took from the event. It was an honor to be there to see the legend that I love, honored for his work.

Top 10 Reasons Why Bob Barker is my hero, and why he should be yours:

10. He refused to emcee the Miss America & Miss USA Pageants if They Didn’t Stop Using Fur Coats

Bob Barker’s late wife, Dorothy Jo quit wearing the fur jackets that Bob had been giving her. She educated him on the abuse that goes into fur. He then told the Miss America pageants that if they didn’t stop using fur coats in the pageants, then he would quit hosting. They stopped for awhile, but in 1988 they started giving fur coats out as prizes and he quit hosting. He definitely stands up for what he believes in, that’s a true man! 

9. “Have Your Pets Spayed or Neutered” 

This iconic statement is known by most, this is how he ended each episode of the Price Is Right from the ’80’s and on. Bob Barker established the DJ&T Foundation, named after his late wife, Dorothy Jo and his mother Matilda “Tilly”, to financially support low cost spay and neuter clinics. 

8. He is Vegetarian

With his wife’s help he went vegetarian in 1979.  “I gave up red meat and fowl, and gradually fish and dairy products as well. I did it out of concern for animals, but I have certainly learned why so many people are becoming vegetarians out of concern for health reasons. I can control my weight better than before, I feel better, I have more energy, and I think that it is certainly a healthful way of life.” -Bob Barker. If you’ve seen how amazing he looks in his 90’s, you’ll believe in the power of a plant based diet!

7. He Rescues Zoo Animals 

Bob Barker spent approximately $1 million to get three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to an animal sanctuary in California. The Toronto City Council allowed for their removal in 2011 after activists such as Barker voiced their concerns about having large animals held within zoos. With the addition of Toka, Iringa and Thika, the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s ARK 2000 compound has a total of 11 elephants.

6. He Helps Stop Whaling in Japan

In 2010, Barker donated $5 million to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to fight whaling off of the Japan coast. In 2014, Japan didn’t kill 1 whale!! 

7. He Supports the Teaching of Animal Ethics and Law

Bob Barker has donated $2 million to his alma mater, Drury University, to establish the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship of Animal Rights to create and Animal Ethics course at Drury. Bob Barker has also made several million dollar donations to schools such as University of Virginia, Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School to establish animal law programs. 

6. He Helped Ban Circus Elephants from Circuses

Elephants have been shown to be as smart as humans and while I think keeping an animal in a circus is an act of abuse, it especially is for elephants. The bill, HR2929, calls for the banning of the use of elephants in circuses. “Elephants have suffered terribly ever since they have been used in circuses, and many, if not most of the people who go to circuses have no idea how miserably the elephants live and how terribly they are treated in order to make them perform,” Bob explains. “I am doing all I can to help expose this cruelty. I am also hopeful that as people become more aware of the terrible suffering of animals in circuses that they will refuse to attend them. And that animals in circuses will become a thing of the past.”

5. He’s An Advocate for Using Shelters, Not Breeders

Bob Barker has adopted all of his animals from shelters or in the case of his dog, Winston a friend couldn’t find a home for him and generously took him in. His animals are his family,  “I can’t exaggerate how important they are to my life. I don’t know what my life would have been without animals. When I come home, they’re there to greet me, and they’re the last things I see when I leave for the studio. I absolutely adore them and love them, and I think it would be a very lonely life without them. I recommend them for any old, gray-haired man living alone.”

4. He’s a Bad Ass

He has a black belt in Karate and trained under Chuck Norris. 

3. He Always Made Sure Prizes on The Price is Right Were Animal Friendly

Bob Barker was not asked to appear on the 40th Anniversary of the Price is Right show. He said, “Because I have been critical of them for giving away prizes that I consider inappropriate.” He complained to producers for awarding tickets to Sea World and the Calgary Stampede as prizes. Both organizations “are notorious for animal abuse,” Barker said. When he was host of the long running show, Bob had said, “We stopped giving away fur coats many years ago. In addition we don’t give away anything leather, no hunting safaris, and if it is a trip to Spain, the last thing you’ll see is a bullfight.” He adds that “Once a week we’ll have an animal on the show in some sort of setting that came from a shelter. I will mention that if you don’t live out here, just go to the shelter near your home and you’ll find a fine friend.” I, personally have quit watching the show since Bob left because I support his policies and I feel that they don’t honor his wishes anymore.

2. Barker Leads Animal Rights Protests Against Walmart

If you know anything about me, you know that I hate Walmart as much as I hate animal abusers. So, of course, my hero would lead a protest against Walmart. He’s my knight in shining armor after all. He warned people of the pork sold at Walmart stores. They were treated very inhumanely at Christiansen Family Farms for being in confinement crates before being sent to slaughter. 

1. He Puts His Money Behind Words

One of my favorite things about Bob, is he stands up for what he believes in. If you’re an animal rights activist you will know that it’s never easy to stand up for what you believe in. It’s very controversial and people think you’re talking crazy. But Bob does it in the face of adversity and stands up to huge companies for his personal beliefs. He’s a true gentleman and friend to all animals. He’s inspired me to create my blogs to spread my message about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and to show people how to do it so they understand it is pretty easy. He taught me to stand up for what’s right regardless what people think. He has also spent milions and miliions of dollars as you can see, to further animal rights and activism. He should be anyone’s hero because he makes this world a better place and raises awareness for animal injustice. 

Thank you Bob, you’re a legend!

Dairy Alternatives

When anyone is looking to go vegan they wonder what to do about dairy. It’s pretty much in everything and how do you substitute it? I’ll give you some tips on my favorite dairy alternatives and how to use them. Looking for egg substitutes? Check out my past blog post here

Milk

This one is always tricky because it depends on what you’re looking for. I tend to use almond milk for almost every milk substitute. It’s great over cereal, in oatmeal, in baking recipes, etc. If you’re going to make a creamy pasta dish or use it in a sauce that you don’t want it to be sweet, then I wouldn’t use it. A good alternative for a cream sauce would be plain rice milk since almond milk tends to be pretty sweet even if it not sweetened with vanilla and can ruin the overall flavor of the dish. Other alternatives if you have any type of nut allergy would be hemp milk, coconut, or soy milk.

Cheese

This is another tough one. Really I think the only way to go here is Daiya cheese. It melts in sandwich makers, the oven, microwave, etc. Tofurky even makes frozen pizzas with Daiya that can you bake at home. I have made homemade pizzas with Daiya and they turn out pretty well. Follow Your Heart makes ok cheeses, not my favorite and it takes forever to melt. Looking for the perfect grilled cheese? Use Tofutti American cheese slices, they look like Kraft American cheese slices but are dairy free. Recently, Field Roast released gourmet cheeses that are a mind blowing experience on crackers or with their vegan sausages.

Ice Cream

I love So Delicious Purely Decadent! They have lots of great flavors and are in a bunch of grocery store. If you’re new to the whole dairy free ice cream trend then stay away from vanilla flavors as they taste a bit “off” when you’re getting used to dairy free. Also avoid ones made from rice milk as they are extremely bland.

Butter

I love Earth Balance, it is mostly made from olive oil so it doesn’t taste weird, melts really well and I love to use it in baking. It holds up just as well as butter and you can even buy it in a stick form or in a tub. It’s a relatively healthy version of butter alternatives and you’ll really think that you can’t believe it’s not butter.

Coffee Creamer

I never recommend almond milk as a creamer because it curdles and looks very unappetizing. So Delicious, Silk and a few other companies make non-dairy creamers. If you’re looking to avoid soy, Silk makes a coconut milk coffee creamer.

Cream Cheese

My favorite brand of non-dairy cream cheese is Tofutti brand, I’ve made cheesecakes with it and I love it! However, check Pinterest and other sites because it’s also really easy to make your own version of cream cheese.

Sour Cream

Again, I recommend Tofutti brand, but it’s also easy to make your own version at home. So check online for recipes. I always prefer to make what I can homemade so I avoid processed foods.

Is it Healthy to Use These Instead of Milk?

A lot of times I have people tell me that they’d rather use milk since it’s natural and they don’t know what these products are and don’t feel they’re healthy. To that I say, milk is high in fat and cholesterol. It contains animal growth hormones, GMOs, natural hormones to bond a baby cow to the mother creating an opiate effect on humans and can contribute to a slew of thyroid issues. On top of that milk extracts calcium from your bones, quite a bit more than it actually puts in. That’s why countries who don’t consume animal milk don’t have osteoporosis, it literally doesn’t exist there. It also is the leading cause of breast cancer. Thanks to inhumane machines that milk cows several times a day blood and pus is in milk, but don’t worry it’s pasteurized so it’s safe. However, through pasteurizing it strips the milk of all digestive enzymes so we can’t digest milk and 70% of people are actually allergic to milk. Those that are show it through either asthma (yes most cases of asthma can be cured from avoiding dairy altogether), hives, skin conditions, acne, breathing problems, gas, bloating, digestive issues and constipation. Milk alternatives aren’t sounding so bad! I still encourage you to check for “Non-GMO” on the labels, a lot of soy milks and dairy alternatives will put it on their packaging. Happy dairy free eating!

Are they any I missed? Feel free to comment and ask specific questions as to what you’re trying to substitute and I will try my best to help.