Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kombucha Klothes

Everybody knows money doesn’t grow on trees, but Suzanne Lee begs to differ. She has recently discovered how to make a profit that grows itself: clothes. As a fashion designer, she knew there were other ways to make garments than stripping cows, pumping oil, and picking cotton. Well after enough dreaming and befriending a biologist, Ms. Lee decided to turn her bathtub into a breeding ground for style. It may sound unbelievable, but she has found a way to make microbes sew themselves together. It all started with some green tea, sugar, and microorganisms, the basic recipe of Kombucha.

The bacterial clothes are formed from a leathery zoogeal mat (bacteria pancake) that grows, dries, shrinks, and seals its seams. How she applies different colors and patterns is shown in images throughout her blog. It is creativity like this that inspire people to go beyond the conventional way of living and into the future. Suzanne Lee and her Kombucha clothes are just the start to a whole new field of biological fashion. We may see models in dried seaweed strutting the runway this fall season, who knows. Something tells me that this way to make clothes will not only reside in Suzanne Lee’s bathtub, but branch out into a whole new competitive market. If I was a fashion designer, I would certainly make friends with the recipe and a few bathrooms.

We have lost something as an American culture. Being at work in an office, getting caught up in our lives, and not taking a second to reach deep into our imaginations has voided us of wonder. I love this new idea of BioCouture because it puts that admiration of unexpected beauty back in the limelight and shows people there are still ways to reinvent the wheel without it being difficult. Sometimes the most simplest things in life are the answer. Just imagine.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/orphanjones/5517805595/sizes/s/in/photostream/

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg Hunts for Dinner

Technology has allowed people the convenience to go out to a grocery store and pick up a roast for dinner. We never have to think twice about what the animal’s face looked like right before it was slaughtered. The way it was killed doesn’t matter because it has been cut, cleaned, and packaged for us. All we have to do is slam it down on a pan, grill it up, and eat our tasty meat. We don’t have to care about where it came from because nobody is making us. The pigs, chickens, and cows we are eating are not hanging next to the packaged meat, or being butchered anywhere near. Most Americans are used to having an animal as their protein source each night. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch, and a grilled chicken breast is the usual menu for most. Why would we ever stop and listen to the local hippie vegans or pasta loving vegetarians? Those are just stereotypes of course, because more people are eating less meat as we speak. A famous face is plastered all over the news today about his new diet.

Mark Zuckerberg is taking an old twist on how he forms his daily menu. He has decided to only eat what animals he has killed. At a pig roast he had last year, his participants did not want to consume the meat. They did not like seeing exactly where it came from, the body part they were cutting off, or the eyes roasting on the spit. This got Mark thinking, “What would it be like to eat like this everyday?” Mark’s diet has become healthier since he has been learning about organic farming and the raising of animals, while mostly eating vegetarian. The protein place on his plate might be replaced by quinoa or soy instead of the old chicken breast.

Mark Zuckerberg has been an idol for many teens and young folk around since he has debuted his famous website Facebook. His new diet is the center of attention right now and hopefully will have an impact on his fans. Economically and organically speaking, this diet could have big changes on the environment. Animals and factory farms have a very high pollution rate. Cows give off more CO2 than cars. If we ate less meat, our climate could cool down. Eating one vegetarian, sustainable meal, could save over 2.5 pounds of green house gas emissions! Imagine Americans eating a whole year of Mark’s diet, and how much of the environment could be saved. I’m sure not many would be out in the forest trying to hunt a deer, or out on the grass shooting at cows. If this was a law passed, many people would just give up meat altogether and have soy burgers the rest of their days. Who truly wants to see the teary eyes of a cow before it is shot down? Who wants to hear a pig squeal as it is chased before dying in front of you? Mark Zuckerberg may have the guts to do it, but I doubt many other people do.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/hthg1983/1519121063/sizes/l/in/photostream

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kids Take A Green Stance to Better the Future

The green movement has recently been invited into the minds of the youth. The Huffington Post Green Issue reports that many climate changing programs are entering our nation’s schools to teach children how to cool the earth. Some schools have been having fun at eco-carnivals while others are marching for a greener planet. The latest event was the Green Your School Challenge that asked kids to come up with creative initiatives focused on school food, climate change, energy conservation, and recycling. Ten schools were selected and rewarded as the “Top 10 Green Schools.”

These new programs are more than just teaching what the three R’s mean: reduce, reuse, and recycle. They are teaching children that they are the future and a vital part of the green movement to create a cleaner environment. Some schools are part of programs like the “Recycling Spies” who reward children who are seen recycling, while other schools hold assemblies to teach how to fight the climate change. There are now classes to point out how and why animals are going extinct, and the controversial issues that surround these reasons.

Several events have happened this month and will continue to occur. One student has been reported for suing the state of Colorado for ruining his environment and failing to protect the climate. A group called iMatter organized a youth march that included over 25 countries. Children marched through their towns with signs that said things like, “I hang” with a picture of clothes hanging out on a line. Another sign displayed the words, “I power” with a windmill attached. Children are uniting worldwide to create a cleaner, greener, environment. Kids are taking a stance and reducing the pounds of greenhouse gases by the millions. They are the future and are taking a hold of it into their tiny, but powerful, hands.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/wwworks/440672445/sizes/s/in/photostream/

Green Exercise

The season is summer and the weather is beautiful. We stare out our office windows waiting for the clock to hit 5pm so we can enjoy the few hours of sunshine left gifted to us. The fresh air couldn’t be fresher, unless we went more green. After sitting in a desk all day, people want to grab a meal, go to the gym, or relax on their couch. Well, before settling into your comfy clothes and lazy pants, remember to exercise. If going to the gym isn’t your thing, and playing FitTv just doesn’t cut it for you, I would suggest picking up running.

Last weekend I bought my first pair of running shoes and have been researching the sport ever since. I’ve found out the correct nutrition to indulge in, the right way to stretch, and ways to make it more easy or fun. But is running green? In almost every way, yes, running is eco-friendly. But in one way, which you should consider when entering your sports store, is the shoe.

Some shoe companies have no regard for the environment and crank out shoes from crude oil and toxins. They just came out with these shoes called the FiveFingers that are made for barefoot exercise, such as running and yoga. They are extremely environmentally friendly, and made out of much less material than a regular running shoe. The only drawback is they take a while to get used to, and cost a little bit more for less material. Their company does follow eco-friendly laws and has little impact on the environment. If you have flat feet though, you are out of luck. They are suggested for people with a natural arch to support the weight bearing exercise of running.

So why else is running green? You don’t use electricity, televisions, heavy equipment, special mats, or gym classes. One pair of shoes and sweats is a complete running outfit. Exercise equipment takes energy to design, create, assemble, and ship. And then it takes electricity to light your house or gym to use these machines. Most machines are not designed to move naturally in the way your body is supposed to move when exercising. Running has been in our genes since the dawn of time and therefore comes naturally. It may not be easy to start jogging but walking is a great start. Speed walking can burn many calories and have low impact on your knees, if that is an issue. It has also been shown that being out in nature improves mood. Another way to go green while running is to participate in green races. These races are funded by companies that support and clean the environment, so why not take part?
Here are a few tips to begin running this Summer:

Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a serious issue and can cause you to become sick for days. Add some electrolytes to your water to ensure absorption. Bring an eco-friendly water bottle with you when you go out to exercise. These are sold everywhere these days, so leave the plastic water bottles alone!

Eat carbohydrates. The best thing about running, or at least for me, is that you get to eat plenty of carbs. Grab a cookie, a bowl of cereal, and and some juice before heading out. You’ll need the instant-energy to burst into action.

Stretch. Don’t forget to stretch your legs and neck before and after exercising. Your neck muscles strain to hold up your head as you go from one foot to the next. Make sure you do neck rolls to prevent soreness. Your legs are your power and need complete stretching. I would suggest walking until you are warm and stopping to stretch out. Your  muscles will thank you for stretching them when warm instead of cold because they will be able to go farther and longer. I normally start walking about half a mile, stop and then stretch out. Check out some running stretches before starting your routine.

Don’t just run. Instead of just doing cardiovascular exercising of walking, jogging, and running, include a variety of exercises into your regimen. I like to weight lift for 20 minutes after I get back from a run. You can bring your weights outside and still enjoy the great weather. Every other day I will do a P90x DVD such as Yoga or Kenpo to incorporate strength into all of my muscles. The stronger your whole body is, especially your abs and back, the easier it will be to run.

Good luck and have fun this summer!

Photo credit:flickr.com/photos/andrewmaciejewski/3627890636/sizes/s/

Monday, May 16, 2011

Green Tea Frapp

Are you looking for a delicious new drink recipe? This one is packed with antioxidants, has limited to no sugar (your choice!) and will give you hours of energy. Try it now before you get sleepy.
Soy Milk and Green Tea Matcha
Sprinkle in Matcha to avoid clumps!
Use "Stir" option to mix 2tbsp Matcha with 1/2 cup SoyMilk
Add two cups of ice (I used this size twice)
Add Sweetener to taste 
Add enough Soy milk to cover ice.
Blend until all the ice is crushed, and ingredients mixed.
It should look like a smoothie or frappuccino!

Mash fresh strawberries for their juice. (Optional)
Use strawberries and juice to garnish.
Drink a cup! 

Green Tea Matcha provides 137 times the amount of antioxidants and energy than regular green tea. Matcha powder is the fresh baby green tea leaf dried at a very low temperature in the shade(to save all of the enzymes and antioxidants) and then ground to a fine powder. It is great for all sorts of drink recipes. You can also place it in ice creams, muffins, or even cookies. Yum! Ever wonder how they made green tea ice cream? ;)

I drink this when I need to get things done. It will give you energy for up to 8 hours, with its antioxidant punch. Enjoy! No chemicals. No refined sugar. All good.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kill Monsanto, Not Yourself

I’ve got something to say, I need to get it out
It’s a little poem that I wish I could shout.
My passion is built and my brain won’t stop
thinking of this issue that we need to crop
from the picture of the states in the great US
Its killing us all, to our country’s heart’s content.

We’ve got soda cheaper than broccoli
Chips that are stopping arteries
Nobody cooks, and everybody feeds
Its a fast food nation who’d rather have surgery than beets.

I can’t take your laziness, but its not your fault.
The country supports all of your midnight snack calls.

With convenient things like Hot Pockets, Oreos, and Pop Tarts,
Diabetes for sale at all Wal-marts
You can’t help yourself, everyones doing it.
Just stop and realize before your screwing it
Like an incadescent lightbulb, your ruining your earth
Monsanto corn products since birth
Hormones in your milk and meat
Start growing breasts, 7 year old puberty

Its in the news and its on the streets
but nobody cares because its just one treat
one donut before school
a serving of soda doesn’t make me a fool
If only we believed in moderation is key
We wouldn’t be discriminating the obese.

There wouldn’t be such thing as the N Double A FA
if you haven’t heard, were accepting fat genes today.
You can’t blame the diet, its your family.
I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were speaking amicably.

Wake up people, and start to walk more.
Or you’ll be fatter than the recent debt from war.
Realize that gas is expensive for a reason,
Stop chugging that juice, and enjoy the season.

What happened to home cooked meals?
The microwave came and made you a good deal.
You don’t have to turn on the stove, you’ve got radiation.
Mm cancer tastes great when its saturated.
Now I’m not trying to get in your pants with these words
Get you off your ass and out of the herd
of the people that just are too dumb
to realize your sugar intake is making you numb
You’ll lose your feet, your legs, and then your life
Grasp it now, before your a single wife.

Heart disease is the number one killer.

The reason why is not much of a chiller.
You eat like shit and you exercise none.
Walking to your mailbox doesn’t count hon.
Just get up off your ass and eat some veggies,
( but the damn USA won’t let me!)

Make a difference and sign a petition
Screw fast food, create a mission
To stop these diseases before they stop you
From living the life that you wish you could choose
Where vegetables are cheap and fruit is free
Cooking is a fun opportunity.

I’m not some hippy preaching on a soapbox
Just a caring citizen that rocks
the boat from the weight of my words
They hit you harder than that fries and burg.

Processed foods are evil,
Recognize the truth.
I’m not lying, its the brands that hate you.
They only care about money, not your health.
The sicker you are, the more their wealth.

Super French Toast for a Super Mom

It's the first week of May and time to wow the woman who gave birth to you. You've got to find out exactly what she needs, forget it, and then find out exactly what she wants and buy it. Some moms will receive jewelry this weekend, while others receive coupons to wash the dishes. Well if you're over the age of 12, you better think of something good to impress that hardworking woman who put up with you through your teen years. Luckily, no matter what gift you decide on, I've got an eco-friendly recipe to save your little tooshie. You don't need to be a chef for this one, just able to crack a few eggs. And if you like to make healthy recipes, you'll love this one. It's good anytime, and only takes about 20 minutes. Stay in this Mother's Day, save some natural resources, and go back to the basics of cooking your mom a delicious meal.

One morning I was craving french toast but didn't have any bread. My fridge only contained Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel English Muffins. Using what you have in your fridge to come up with delicious recipes is what I call being super green. I didn't drive anywhere, buy anything extra, or go out to waste money and resources. I cut up the muffins into strips and dipped them in a simple healthy mixture for french toast.  If you want to make your mom grin from ear to ear this Mother's Day, forget the Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card, and reach for the spatula. Trust me; it’s easy, green, and worth it. I used all organic ingredients and suggest the same to get the best flavor and health benefits for you and the Earth.

Super Cinnamon French Toast

Delights Two

Paper Towels
Small Bowl
Non-Stick Pan

2 Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins
1 cup Vanilla Unsweetened Soy Milk
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla
Earth Balance Margarine (For pan)
1 Handful Walnuts (optional)
Powdered Sugar
Agave Maple Syrup

Get Ready
-Get out a regular bowl you use to eat cereal, preferably one that has lower sides.
-Place paper towels on a plate for draining later.
-Place bowl near pan to reduce dripping mixture on counter.

Get Set
-Slice up the English muffins into bite sized strips.
-Crack eggs, placing the egg white only in the bowl. Throw away the yolk, or save it for another recipe.
-Add in soy milk, beating with fork to incorporate the egg whites. Throw in vanilla and mix.

-Heat the frying pan on medium heat with enough margarine to moisten the bottom.
-Place 2-3 strips of the muffins in the mixture, flipping them around with fork to soak it up.
-Use the fork to carry the strips onto the pan. Make sure the pan is moist with margarine the whole time you are cooking your strips!
-Flip strips with flat spatula after bottom starts to bubble. Try and cook the strips on all four sides to ensure top crispiness. As each strip finishes, place them on the paper towel lined plate to absorb the extra oil.

Super Special
If you want to get fancy, throw in the handful of walnuts as the strips are finishing up. Make sure they get coated and heated in the margarine. This will bring out their natural oils and flavors, as well as make a beautiful crunchy topping for the breakfast.

When all the strips are done, transfer them to a pretty plate and garnish with walnuts, powdered sugar, and agave. Place her favorite fruit on the side and a nice tall glass of soy milk or juice.

If there are any allergies or vegan moms out there, here are some tips:
Replace the eggs with 4 Tbsp Flax-seed and 1Tbsp flour
Hold off on the powdered sugar and/or agave
Use almond milk or hemp milk

This is a delicious meal for breakfast or dessert. It’s guilt free, with sprouted English muffins, soy milk, and egg whites, so make it all the time. (I do!) It's eco-friendly because the ingredients are organic and hardly processed. You don't have to go to more than one place to get these ingredients, slave for hours over a hot stove, or buy any special doo-dad to cook this up. Think green this Mom's Day and get her something even the Earth can thank you for: a healthy meal!
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/eraphernalia_vintage/3528920158/sizes/s/

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Super Buffalo Pizza


Choose your ingredients wisely.
Organic. Local. Healthy. 

Featured here are
Organic tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and black pepper
Jalapenos, Pineapple chunks, Daiya vegan cheese
Quorn Buffalo Chick'n, (See below for instructions)
Cut english muffins in half.
Dice red bell pepper.
Slice cheese, or use grater.
(I used Daiya vegan cheese for mine, and sliced swiss for my boyfriends.)
Top the english muffins in this order:
Place in toaster oven until cheese is melted and ingredients are heated. 
(About 5-10 minutes.) 


How to make the buffalo chicken: 
Use Quorn chick'n cutlets. 
Place in non-stick pan. 
Cover in Frank's Red Hot Sauce. 
Cook until all sauce has soaked into chick'n. (About 10 minutes)
Chop up, and place on side.