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On Halloween night, ask not for whom the doorbell rings. It rings for thee. by Vicki F. Stevens, VLCE

I hope you’re not one of those people who pull the shades, turn off all the lights and hide from trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. In addition to being super-Scroogey (if you don’t mind me mixing my holiday metaphors), you’re missing out on a perfect opportunity to spread a message of kindness to animals along with a sweet, tasty, vegan treat. Think about it—unlike at a tabling event where you sit and hope people approach you so that you can engage them, on Halloween the kids come straight to your door!

Every All Hallow’s Eve for the past two decades, my husband Richard and I have prepared and distributed vegan Halloween treat bags to the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. We fill each bag with an assortment of vegan goodies, including the all-important message item. For example, this year each treat bag will contain a dark chocolate peanut butter cup, a packet of “bunnies & bats” fruit snacks, a mini-chocolate bar and a jumbo magnet that reads, “Be kind to the animals. Especially the small ones. They’re very delicate.”

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Note: I purchased the magnets from Upon request, they gave me a generous discount on a bulk order.

Since I’ve become a nutritionist I don’t like giving out candy that contains high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. In past years we’ve included non-candy items in the treat bags as well, such as Halloween-themed pencils, mini-comic books and monster-shaped rubber finger puppets. Message items we’ve distributed have included homemade stickers—some featuring our cat Serena—temporary tattoos and “be kind” buttons.

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La relacion entre la ingesta de alimentos fritos en el caribe y su influencia en las enfermedades, por Enrique Vélez, VLCE

Cuando viajas a Puerto Rico y aterrizas en el aeropuerto internacional Luis Muñoz Marín te encuentras a pocos minutos de uno de los parajes tropicales más hermosos de la isla, Piñones. Piñones es parte de la costa norte de la isla y es abrazada constantemente por un encantador ir y venir de las olas. Pero entre brisas, sal y agua de mar se encuentran también los famosos quioscos de piñones con su extenso menú de carne frita. Como un ritual a la falta de compasión por lo animales cada olla prepara alimentos con escasos nutrientes. Es un espectáculo que ningún vegano quisiera ver. En un mundo en el que luchamos para lograr la proliferación del veganismo por el bien de todos los seres vivos y del planeta este lugar parece extraído de un mal recuerdo y puesto en el medio de altas palmeras llenas de agua de coco.


Con mucha razón en Puerto Rico y en algunas islas del caribe las estadísticas nos muestran un rápido ascenso en los casos de cáncer, diabetes, alta presión, arterioesclerosis, colesterol alto, entre otros. Aun así estos lugares continúan operando y llevando un mensaje erróneo de que la alimentación es solo un placer inmediato que se repite hasta la enfermedad. [Read more…]

Tips for a Successful Fast, by Victoria Moran


On Sunday, October 2, birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and World Day for Farmed Animals, thousands of people around the world will be fasting. This Fast Against Slaughter 2016, and those of us participating will do it to stand in solidarity with the animals headed to slaughter — all the millions, and each individual being — who get no food or water during their final journey on earth, a process that takes, on average, twelve hours.


I hope that you will choose to do this or, if you’re hearing about it after the fact, that you’ll mark your calendar for October 2 next year when Farm Animal Rights Movement will once again sponsor this global event. It’s fitting for us as vegetarians and vegans to engage in this way, because the history of our movement is filled with people who used the powerful tool of fasting for political and social causes. Gandhi is well known for both his vegetarianism and his many lengthy fasts, in and out of prison; and comedian, activist, and vegan, Dick Gregory, did marathon fasts during the civil rights and VietNam War periods. I actually spent a week fasting with Mr. Gregory, the late Alevenia Fulton, ND, Gregory’s health mentor, and 120 other people back in the 1970s. The cause to which we hoped to draw attention was world hunger. We camped in the gymnasium of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and were kept motivated by nightly amplified phone calls with people we admired, including Muhammad Ali and Coretta Scott King.

[Getty Images]

[Getty Images]

I did other fasts, as well, many in an attempt to lose weight back in my binge-eating days. While I don’t recommend fasting for this purpose, I did learn at that time its long history as a healing modality. I also learned that after fasting — whether a true fast, water only, or a “juice fast” — for three days or so, the body enters fasting mode and shuts off the appetite. It can be rather pleasant to fast after this point, even for a long period. The roughest part is the beginning, and if you’re fasting for a cause, as many of us are doing October 2nd, you might appreciate some tips for making your fast more tolerable, especially if spending a day without eating is something you’ve never done before, at least not on purpose. Here’s what I’ve learned about the art of not eating:

  • If you’re going to fast for an extended period and you don’t plan to go to a fasting institute with supervision, consider juice fasting. You’ll still cleanse without the likelihood of a serious “healing crisis” that may well occur on a water fast of more than a few days. For a one-day fast, you’re probably fine with water only unless you’re diabetic (type 1 or 1), hypoglycemic, anorexic (or otherwise seriously underweight), pregnant, nursing, on prescription medication (in this case, check with your doctor), or if the thought of going without food puts you in a state of panic. In these cases, “fast in spirit” and do some physical act that reminds you of your commitment to this day — not eating between planned meals, for example, or not having second helpings, or eating only simple foods. This is also a perfect day to make a donation to FARM or some other organization that stands up for farmed animals.
  • Again, to get ready for a long fast, it’s suggested that you do a time of preparation, lightening the diet to lead up to the fast — for example, omnivore to vegetarian to vegan to raw to fruit to juice, over a period of two weeks or longer. For a one-day fast, no such preparation is necessary, although it may be wise to avoid stimulating foods — hot spices, rich desserts, cheeses (vegan included) — for dinner the night before. And it’s probably best not to have tantalizing leftovers in the fridge.
  • In the case of this one-day fast, decide for yourself what constitutes “one day.” While most people regard a one-day fast as a full day, i.e., three meals bypassed, it can be either 24 hours (dinner Saturday evening to dinner Sunday evening), or the standard 36 hours (dinner Saturday evening to breakfast Monday morning). If you’ve never done this before and you don’t have support (i.e., real-people friends who are doing this, too, that you can call on), opt for 24 hours. If you find yourself at dinnertime on Sunday with the willingness to go on through the night, you’re free to do that.
  • Drink plenty of water. If it’s hard for you to drink plain water, using a squeeze of lemon won’t make you a “bad faster.” (On that Dick Gregory fast so long ago, I remember that Dr. Fulton added a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to every gallon of water. It provided the merest hint of flavor, encouraging us to drink, something especially important on a longer fast.) For only one day without food, the “quality” of the water doesn’t need to be an issue — spring water, distilled water, alkaline water, or tap water put through a filter are all fine. (I realize that the animals are deprived of both food and water, but getting dehydrated doesn’t make us heroes.)
  • Take your time when you get up from a seated or lying position. Lack of food, even for a short period, can lower your blood pressure and cause dizziness upon standing.
  • Breathe deeply several times a day. Air is “food” in a very basic sense. It’s also very calming if you’re someone who gets edgy without regular meals. And get some sunlight if you can.
  • If you’re someone who measures your day by mealtimes and who looks forward to them with great relish, plan your day to be full so that a different rhythm, but a very workable one, is established. If there is a World Day for Farmed Animals event in your area, this is ideal since you’ll be with other fasters and other people who believe in the value of what you’re doing. Support and check-ins with others are available on the Fast for the Slaughter 2016 Facebook page, too. All in all, know yourself. You may be someone who would like to stay home all day, read, meditate, take walks and an afternoon nap, and maybe watch an inspiring movie during what would have otherwise been dinnertime. Or you may prefer to pack your day with activity. Your way is the right way.
  • Accept and appreciate the gift of extra time. When you’re not thinking about what you’ll have for meals, preparing them, eating them, and cleaning up after them, your day has more time in it, time to journal, ponder, act, create, plan, contemplate, pray, or any number of other wonderful pursuits  that fit your temperament and your life. Luxuriate in this time to become a more committed activist or a more peaceful person.
  • When your stomach grumbles, think of the animals. You are doing something by choice, and you’ll eat again tomorrow. They are bound for execution, without so much as a last meal.

img_4271Victoria Moran, shown here with FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) founder Alex Hershaft, is the author of Main Street Vegan, The Love-Powered Diet, and The Good Karma Diet, and is the newly selected “Peta’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50,” with male counterpart Joel Kahn, MD. Victoria directs Main Street Vegan Academy, an exciting 6-day intensive in NYC to train and certify Vegan Lifestyle Coaches & Educators. She hosts the Main Street Vegan Podcast; is producer of the upcoming documentary film, The Compassion Project, to introduce veganism to people of faith; and co-writer of Miss Liberty, a feature film in pre-production about a cow who escapes a slaughterhouse. Victoria is the mother of a vegan daughter, stunt performer and aerialist Adair Moran. Follow Victoria on Twitter at @Victoria_Moran; on Facebook at Main Street Vegan; and on YouTube at Victoria Moran NYC. Join the Fast Against Slaughter 2016 event here on Facebook.

6 Shopping Tips to Make Your Life Easier, by Darlene Adamusik, VLCE

The trick to saving money and losing weight is to first learn how to fill your shopping cart the right way. Your kitchen also acts as your gym so it’s important to make sure you shop smart and have the right foods to get healthy and reach your goals. The food you eat has the biggest impact on your health, your body weight, and your wallet. Let’s learn how to correctly use the grocery store while saving money, calories, and improving your time management—all without breaking a sweat!

You’ll want to get familiar with your local grocery stores. Compare prices and what your best options are. You may be bouncing back and forth from different stores for certain items, so don’t be lazy if you want to save money. If you have Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, or Aldi’s, I would recommend trying those first because are usually the cheapest. Whole Foods is usually more expensive, but if you can’t find certain items at other stores, it may be your only option at times. Let’s start with some basic tips to help fill your cart the right way.

  1. Start Outside and Work Your Way In

Start on the outer edges of the grocery store first and save the middle aisles until last. This means you’ll be starting in the produce and the bulk sections. Make sure to go all around these sections. Your clean eating starts here, Look for what’s in season, sales, and think “rainbow”. This is where you’ll find the natural, non-processed foods. Stock up well with these items first. The foods that are contained in the center aisles are mostly processed, so as a general rule, the less of your food that comes from the center aisles, the better. A lot of bulk items are cheap too; so don’t forget to check them out to compare prices.

If you want to save money on your produce, find a local farmers’ market near you. Farmers’ markets are often cheaper on produce, so if can, take advantage and support the locals. The goal of this plan is to get all your fruits and vegetables for $20 or less per week.

  1. Scan the Top and Bottom Shelves

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Back to School Vegan Lunch Ideas, by Susan M. Landaira, VLCE

It’s September! Along with the chilly weather (here in NY), comes the start of school. We all know how hectic this time of year can be as we try to regain some sense of a schedule. We feel the excitement surrounding new supplies, books, clothing and, of course, the infamous new lunchbox. As we send our kids off to school, we often put a lot of thought into their breakfast (and we should)! We want our little learners to have as much energy as possible to get them through all of their classes and then some. Wait! Why is little Timmy so sleepy even though he’s eaten a great breakfast? Why is Molly falling asleep in afternoon Math class? The culprit could be what is in that fancy new lunch box! When we look at children’s lunches, they tend to be filled with “fun” food. “Fun” food doesn’t always equal healthy food. Unhealthy food can lead to all sorts of problems, but a big problem for a little learner is the grogginess that comes after eating a lunch that is not filled with the energy-boosting foods our brains and bodies need after a long morning of learning.

As a teacher and a parent, I have seen first-hand what a “bad for you” lunch can do to a child’s afternoon. Students’ energy levels drop and they find it very difficult to stay on task. Studies performed by the American Psychological Association show that students who eat poorly for breakfast and at lunchtime suffer from a lack of ability to concentrate and focus. These same students become tired after lunch. Why, then, are we feeding our children highly-processed lunches full of sugar and salt? Convenience? Perhaps. However, with a little planning and “night before chopping”, your little Einstein can be on his/her way to a high-energy afternoon filled with academic achievement.

What are some ways we can “re-vamp” our children’s lunchboxes? First, be sure you are packing the lunch in containers that are environmentally safe and free of toxins. Next, find foods that are energy boosting. Finally, make them fun to eat! Children LOVE dipping foods, they love “cute” foods (ie: wraps cut into pinwheels) and they love foods that taste yummy! Here are some ideas to turn your child’s lunchbox into a box full of energy! Remember to give yourself an A+ for packing a healthy, delicious and creative lunch!

Combine some of these nutritional powerhouses for a student who maintains his/her energy throughout the afternoon! Your student, from pre-school to high school, will thank you! [Read more…]

The V-Word, by Britt LoSacco, VLCE

“Why is it pronounced veeg-in?” We were sitting around a crowded table with a large gathering of friends and family when someone suddenly posed the question.


“Yeah,” another chimed in. “Why isn’t it vedj-in? Like vegetables?”

“I’m not really sure,” I replied. “That’s just how it’s pronounced.”

“Huh, I like vedj-in better.”

“Yeah,” a third person added. “Vegan just sounds so devilish.”

I felt stunned and, to be honest, a little insulted. I searched my brain for some counterpoint, but, in being caught so off guard, my mind had gone blank. So the sentence hung there for a brief moment, without response, until the conversation veered off onto another subject. As everyone else moved on unfazed, that last word clawed at the inside of my head. Devilish. Devilish. [Read more…]

My Vegan Summer, by Victoria Moran

I’m in book mode, working the A Coach in Your Kitchen: The Official Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook & Lifestyle Guide, with JL Fields, VLCE, and recipe contributions from MSVA graduates. All my writer energy is going there, so I thought I’d post this month in pictures. This is a panorama of my summer, immersed in vegan living and the vegan movement, and having an altogether wonderful time. I’m not happy about bidding this short and lovely season good-bye, but packing every day with wonders seems to be the best antidote to “not happy.”

IMG_4201A nighttime view of the Be Fair Be Vegan billboard in Times Square. There were two like this in Manhattan for the month of August. My husband and I stood across the street at 44th and Broadway, and he had tears. Listen here to my interview here with Be Fair Be Vegan spokesperson, Angel Flinn.

IMG_4170Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down at the Watkins Glen, NY, location — I’m flanked by Main Street Vegan Academy graduates Karrin Perez, Shana Starman, Andrew Boynton, and Mary Jo Salomon. Other grads at the Hoe Down were Danielle Legg and Kimberly Wilson.

IMG_4144I couldn’t very well go to Farm Sanctuary without taking some animal pictures!


IMG_4107I’m with Vaute founder and designer Leaane Mai-Li Hilgart at the opening of her flagship store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Leanne has been an animal advocate since childhood and now she’s dressing celebrities and regular folks in wonderful cruelty-free coats, dresses, and swimwear. (My necklace says “VEGAN” and is from Sundara Jewel. The designer is Main Street Vegan Academy graduate Sande Nosonowitz.)

IMG_4088I am a big believer in whole foods, but sometimes a little processed yum has a place, too. The good people at So Delicious sent me some Coco Whip to try and I have to say, it’s quite a treat. (Click on their link and download some pretty generous coupons.)

IMG_3997On a trip to The Cloisters, the Medieval branch of the Metropolitan Museum in Upper Manhattan, I was most interested in the garden. In addition to Medieval Vegetables and Salads, there were lots of medicinal herbs. ‘Seems ours isn’t the first generation to discover “plant-based.”

IMG_3915Forbes loves to go shopping. He seems to like to do anything with the word “go” in it. William and I try to give Forbes cultural enrichment on Saturdays — all the new experiences we can think of that it seems a dog would like. Winter kind of cramps our style on that, so summer Saturdays are precious indeed.

Ayurvedic Cafe altarThe Ayurveda Cafe on the Upper West Side has become a real favorite restaurant of mine this summer. It’s affordable, satisfying, and this incredible altar greets you when you walk in. They’re a lacto-vegetarian restaurant but very accommodating to vegans.

sandwich buffeA sandwich buffet for the July Main Street Vegan Academy class. The bread is Happy Campers Gluten-Free (really good and really whole-food, not always the case with gluten-free breads), and the raw chocolate cake is from Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People, one of my favorite cookbooks.

IMG_3963Vegetarian Summerfest is always a midsummer highlight. It’s always a pleasure to see Dr. Colin Campbell, shown here with his charming wife, Karen.

Nafsika episodeVegans have a talk show! Incredible. I’m here with Nafsika Antypas, host of Plant-Based by Nafsika, The show airs Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. on FYI, an A&E channel. Other guests this season include Main Street Vegan Academy grad Adrienne Borgersen of La Fashionista Compassionista Magazine, Demetrius Bagley of Vegucated, Humane Party Presidential candidate Clifton Roberts, and John Lewis of Bad Ass Vegan, makers of the best green cookies in all the world.

Victoria Moran is the author of Main Street Vegan, The Good Karma Diet, The Love-Powered Diet, and nine other books, host of the Main Street Vegan podcast, director of Main Street Vegan Academy, and producer of an in-the-works documentary film, The Compassion Project.

Vegan Ice Creams – Five Frosty Favorites, by Vicki Brett-Gach, VLCE

Hot summers and ice cream are made for each other, and with only four or five ingredients you can whip up a fresh batch of vegan ice cream in your own kitchen.

Having an automatic ice cream machine makes the process a breeze. If you happen to be in the market, you’ll find these machines at every price point, starting under $50.

But even without one, you can have plenty of homemade frosty fun at home. It just takes a few extra steps. Start by combining ingredients well, and freezing the mixture in an airtight container until almost solid. Then remove from freezer, and break the mixture into semi-frozen chunks with a fork. Working quickly, add your mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor, whirl together for a few seconds, and serve immediately. Although the texture will be grainier, the flavor will still be great.

These are a few flavors worth making often. Each batch makes close to one quart in an automatic ice cream machine – a little less without one.


Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups nondairy milk

3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, pureed

1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined well. 

Carefully pour the mixture into the bowl of an automatic ice cream maker, and process according to manufacturer’s instructions until desired texture is achieved. Enjoy immediately, or harden further in freezer for an hour or more.

2Ginger Ice Cream

2 cups nondairy milk

3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

3/4 cup sucanat or organic whole cane sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined well. 

Carefully pour the mixture into the bowl of an automatic ice cream maker, and process according to manufacturer’s instructions until desired texture is achieved. Enjoy immediately, or harden further in freezer for an hour or more. [Read more…]

Food and Lifestyle, by Mitzy González, VLCE

Listen to your interior. What do you want to improve? What aspects of your life deserve better care? Is there pain or discomfort in some area of your body? Are there not-so-good habits you want to reduce or stop doing? “Listen to your inner self, your inner guide.” This is one of the phrases that we use most often with patients in the clinic where I work. There is wisdom within us, possibly the solution to the problem, or at least the knowledge of what the problem is.

UnknownToday, decide to make changes. It is not yesterday or tomorrow; we need to start today. Having a better relationship with food and having a better relationship with ourselves are not drastic or dramatic changes to be completed today, just started today. Many patients tell me in the first consultation: “I need to make changes and don’t know how to start. I’ve tried many times and failed.” I ask them, and I’m asking you here: What you need today to start? What have you learned from your past attempts?

There are small changes which can bring great results. Be persistent. Promise that you will not surrender. Allow yourself to feel that inner restlessness — e.g., I need to integrate meditation or relaxation into my hurried life….It’s important that I start to have a better relationship with food in order to have a better quality of life…I need to eliminate the cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs that are controlling my life and could be slowly killing me….I want to have a better relationship with myself and the world around me, because I am worth all this and more. [Read more…]

Taking Action, by Bonnie Goodman, VLCE

Recently while at work, the most horrifying screams suddenly pierced the air of my little town. I’d never heard anything like it. Was it a child? Was it human? It was terrifying – someone was clearly in trouble.

Racing outside, there were a dozen people frozen in place, staring in the direction of the drama. You know how time seems to stand still in moments of distress like this? Everything was in slow motion as I raced past the onlookers, thinking, “Why aren’t they running, too?”

The source of the screams was a small puppy, alone in the bed of a giant pickup truck.  Her leg was tightly caught in a strap that was holding a hunting carrier in place.   Imagine taking a rubber band, and wrapping it around your finger 5 or 6 times.  Somehow, this baby was caught in that manner – and it was clear her leg would break or be lost – unless someone acted fast. Calling for help spurred others to action.  The guy from the hardware store helped me to free the little dog, who gently kissed our hands while we worked. When she was released, several witnesses approached and thanked us for taking action, “Good job – you two saved that pup’s leg!”

A couple weeks later, I was the one in need of help.

It was a freak incident that happened as I took out the trash behind our gallery. The welding shop across the alley has a wild “mouser” who is always trying to get in our shop (and who had just been fixed and vaccinated two days earlier). The little cat rushed to our back gate, but I was in the way. I don’t know if he was afraid of the wastebasket or what, but he flipped out, attached himself to my leg, and proceeded to bite furiously.

Once again time stood still; but now I was the one shrieking in shock and pain – and in slow motion, as the cat was still in attack mode and blood was everywhere, I heard the unthinkable: the neighboring restaurant closed their back door.

I remember realizing:

Oh. I’m making noise. It must be bothering someone.

(Later, I thought, what if that had been a robbery, or worse??)

But, still in slow motion, I saw two well-meaning heroes rush to my aid:  the welder’s dog and Grayson, a cat we were fostering in the gallery. They actually weren’t any help at all, but it was very nice to know they were concerned.  They were the ones to take action this time.

WWYD [Read more…]