NYC, Factory Farming and Yoga

 Well, I'm officially living in New York City!  I've been dreaming about making this move for such a long time and it's finally a reality.  I left my job in PA and now I want to do life coaching, teach yoga and help people live happier, healthier lives.  I have a link to my health coach page on my vegan recipe website so check out for info on me, my health coaching business, this blog and other fun stuff.

My kitchen in NYC is SMALL!!  It's taking me a little while to get used to the size and the new layout but I plan on finishing the recipes for my next cookbook in this very kitchen.  Today, it's dreary in the city but I'm sitting in front of the window typing and thinking, so ready and excited for my new life.  After this, I need to be reading my books for yoga class and doing some more schoolwork (I think I mentioned I'm in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition health coaching program).

Last week's module for class was all about factory farming and this week it is about organic food; two topics I'm very much interested in and that motivate me to eat better and to be vegan.  My main reason for being vegan is animal welfare in factory farms, fur farms, puppy mills etc.  Any time you use animals for profit, their welfare is going to be compromised.  Animal testing, dairy farms and puppy mills are there to make a profit and anytime you have money involved, there is going to be less attention paid to quality versus quantity. Animals deserve better than that.  The lives of these animals are so short and when they are on this earth, they are greatly mistreated.  All that energy to keep a farm in business is costing us our planet.  There are so many different ways we could be doing things.

The dairy industry uses propaganda and advertising to convince us that we need cow's milk for healthy bones and teeth; if we needed cow's milk, we would be a cow.  A female cow is artifically inseminated, gives birth to her baby, the baby is ripped from her and put in a veal crate and then the mother is hooked up to milk pumps so that we can drink the milk.  The baby is denied its mother's milk and will be slaughtered for veal.  That is not the circle of life; that is a messed up money making way of exploiting animals.  The cows are abused and neglected in factory farms, they are not clean, they sit in their own filth and then we're eating that meat.  Chickens are crammed in cages, pigs are forced into gestation crates where they can't turn around or nurture their young. Cows are injected with antibiotics and hormones and then slaughtered for meat; we are ingesting those hormones and antibiotics.  Not to mention the fact that some cows will never see a pasture or roam with their babies in the sunlight.  The days of happy animals outside in fields on beautiful farms are long gone.

So, what can we do?  One person obviously can't stop this cycle but the choices all of us make when we buy and consume food is how we can make a difference.  If we stop buying meat, or we buy meat that is pasture-raised, we don't support factory farming and unethical practices. If meat needs to be a part of your diet, buy meat that is free from hormones and antibiotic free.

People are vegan for many different reasons but for me, I am vegan, first and foremost for the animals.  I believe that animals should be raised in their natural environment so that they can participate in normal social behavior with other animals and enjoy a life that is free from abuse and neglect.  Whatever inspires you to be vegan, remind yourself of this everyday and be motivated by it!

I used to eat meat so I cannot and will not judge others.  I hope to be a voice for the animals and introduce others to a plant based diet.  This helps me feel like I am improving the way animals are treated while also helping people become healthier.I think as Americans we are realizing that a diet rich in animal fat are killing us but we also have not fully embraced the plant based diet and the positive effects it can have on our bodies and health.  This is why one aspect of my health coaching programs focuses on plant based nutrition.

I start my yoga teacher training class tonight and I'm nervous and excited!  The books we are reading are so interesting and I'm so excited to learn how to teach and what the history of yoga is all about and most of all I'm excited to learn how to meditate!!  Whoo hoo!  I can't wait to share my experiences with you :)  Stay tuned :)  I'll get back to some more recipes posts now :)