Archive for the ‘Beauty on the Outside’ Category

We know that foods derived from animal products (meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products) aren’t necessary to live a long and healthy life – in fact, quite the contrary. These protein sources aside, active people should take care to get enough protein in their diets. After all, when one is training, one is breaking down muscle tissue (you know this is happening when you feel the “burn” caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles) and protein is necessary for the recovery and rebuilding process. Vegan athletes have to pay more attention to dietary choices and food combinations in order ensure the absorption of enough high-quality protein.

What May Be Missing

In addition to protein, vegans may be missing the following nutrients in their diet:

  • iron
  • calcium
  • vitamins B-12 and D
  • zinc

Iron is quite important for building muscle and endurance. If you aren’t going to get this from beef, you should try to eat the following on a regular basis:

  • whole grain cereals fortified with iron
  • legumes (beans, peas and peanuts)
  • dried fruit (especially raisins)
  • cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage)

In addition, you can combine these with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and berries.  This will aid your body in absorbing and utilizing iron.

In lieu of dairy products, load up on fortified soy products as well as leafy greens to keep bones strong with sufficient calcium.  Mustard greens, kale and chard are powerhouse foods in this regard, as well as dried figs. Sesame seeds are also a decent source of calcium, and a unique form of nut butter made from sesame, called tahini, is available in many Middle Eastern specialty stores and combines well with sweet as well as savory foods.


Rice and beans together make a complete protein – or almost any combination of grain and legumes. However, peanuts (which are actually legumes, not nuts) and soybeans provide complete proteins that are of the same quality as that derived from fish, poultry, dairy or eggs. Most tree nuts are also good sources of protein, and provide the additional benefit of healthy oils, such as omega-3 (also found in olive oil).

The Tough Ones

Vitamin B-12 is essential for metabolism and making use of the energy stored in food. Unfortunately, the only reliable source of this nutrient is in animal-based foods. Whole grains cereals and soy milk are often vitamin B-12 fortified, but one would have to consume a great deal in order to get this nutrient in sufficient amounts from these vegetable-based sources alone. Therefore, vegan athletes may need to take B-12 supplements.

The same is true of zinc, which is vital for healthy respiratory and digestive functions. Fortunately, these supplements are not expensive – so make certain you have these on hand, especially when in training.

By Sasha Britton for Gym Source.com

~The Vegan Project

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Last week I had the pleasure of indulging in an Eminence Organic facial thanks to the wonderful people at Spa Solarice.  The experience was friendly and intimate, lacked any pretension and left me feeling rejuvenated and possibly even looking a few years younger!

My Spa Diary

I arrived early so I could partake in a lengthy eucalyptus steam before my treatment. I changed into the robe and slippers provided and shuffled over to the steam room.  Every day should start with a eucalyptus steam – it was so refreshing! I was told it would open my pores so they could receive all the nourishment from the facial coming up next.

After about 10 minutes, I left the steam room and had a quick shower.  I then headed down to the lounge which was warm with moody lighting and soothing music, and had wooden slats in the ground in front of each seat that lifted to reveal foot sinks for pedicures.  Neat feature! I decided I’d have to come back to try that.  I felt calm and relaxed as I kicked back with Metropolitan Cats, a book about cat-related art at the Met.  Major bonus!

I was then greeted by the beautiful Fatima who escorted me upstairs to a private room where I could undress then tuck in under the cozy comforter on the spa table.

After an assessment that determined that my skin was on the dryer side and prone to redness, Fatima began the facial with a stone crop gel wash.  Stone crop is a succulent that hydrates the skin and protects against pigmentation.  Then a stone crop toner was swept gently over my cleansed skin to balance its PH levels.


Fatima applying the paprika facial.


Next came a really neat treatment.  An almond mineral treatment* that has paprika in it.  After it’s been rubbed into the skin it begins to heat up and tingle all over creating a fiery sensation!  While the paprika rejuvenated  my tired, dehydrated skin, Fatima massaged each of my arms and hands with a yummy soft cream.  It was fantastic!  Who doesn’t love a good massage?


After...red hot!


Next, Fatima wiped away the hot mask with a warm cloth to reveal my freshly flushed skin. The mask promotes circulation and directs blood towards the surface to bring it back to life.

Then a hibiscus calendula mask was applied.  The scent was intoxicating and very calming.  She then proceeded to unwrap my hair and massage my head, neck and shoulders.  Man, was I glad I had washed my hair in the shower after the steam! (I still had cabin hair from the weekend).  It was intense and much needed. A lot of stress can be carried around in these parts of the body.

As if that wasn’t enough, she then massaged a Stone Crop serum into my face, neck and chest. Who knew a facial massage could feel so good?  She finished with Eminence’s Stone Crop moisturizer and Wild Plum eye cream and I was good to go.

Thank you to Spa Solarice for your kindness and generosity and a special thanks to Simone, Cadi and Fatima for making it all possible.

Spa Solarice

2200 4 Avenue West

Vancouver, BC V6K1N8

(604) 733-5007

There are two locations in Whistler as well! Check their website for details: www.solarice.com

*This product and a few others in the Eminence line contain honey.

~The Vegan Project

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The Product: Dr Mist Lavender Scented Deodorant

Being vegan for me started with food.  Then it slowly started to creep into other parts of my life.  For instance, I haven’t bought leather shoes since my plunge into veganism in the Fall of 2009, or a purse for that matter.  This was due to a combination of lack of funds AND a different opinion about leather products.  I’ve always liked using natural skincare and hair products whenever I can (except hairspray – I use extra hold, aerosol. Don’t judge me!), and have become extra conscious of where my products are coming from over the last few months.

After reading some articles about the dangers of using antiperspirants I decided to try the ‘au natural’ options. I was definitely skeptical.  After living in Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighbourhood and inhaling a constant stream of body odour masked under the scent of patchouli and other essential oils, I dreaded the thought of that being me.  I just can’t smell like that.  I’m not hating, I just can’t! While I appreciate the free spirit of those that embrace their natural human scent, I gag at the thought of my own, thus drawing the line here with a big fat sharpie. So…

I tried the crystal.  Nope.  I tried some hemp/tea tree stick.  Nope again.  And this time I was utterly horrified at the stench of a thousand open graves that was wafting up from my underarms.  So with my tail between my legs, I threw the hippy sticks in the trash, went to Shopper’s, picked up a stick of Dove unscented, and let out a sigh of relief.

Well that stick ran out recently and I was feeling optimistic, so I went to Choices and had a chat with a woman that works in the body care section.  I explained my armpit woes and she suggested a spray.  She had had a similar experience and found that when it comes to natural deodorants, sprays are the way to go.  She suggested I try Dr. Mist Lavender Scented Deodorant.  This spray has been featured on The Dragon’s Den and won the Geneva Award for Invention.

Active Ingredients: De-ionized Water.

Inactive Ingredients: Sodium Chloride, Calcium, Magnesium, Essential Oil.

The Verdict: I tested it out at the club, during a long shift slinging drinks on a summer night.  I forewarned my co-workers of this little experiment and begged them to inform me of it’s possible failure.  But, to my surprise, it worked!  Since then it has been serving me well.  Just spritz under the arms, rub it in for even distribution, flap your arms around like a maniac till it dries and you’ll be ready for anything!

~The Vegan Project

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