Category Archives: Vegan

Catskill Animal Sanctuary: Sample Itineraries

Catskill Animal Sanctuary: Sample Itineraries

Catskills Farm Animal Sanctuary

Catksill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) quickly became one of my favorite places. The people who run it are nothing but gracious and the animals are just beautiful. It’s such a wonderful place to take your family. My niece celebrated her birthday there last summer with all of her friends and we all had the most amazing time. If you want a wonderful place to teach your children about animals while they get hands on interaction with them, this is it.

CAS is located two hours north of New York City in New York’s Hudson Valley. It provides a safe haven for abused, abandoned and neglected horses and farm animals. CAS has provided refuge for thousands of animals and also serves as a center for raising awareness on their treatment and how it impacts humans, animals and our planet. They also provide innovative on-site programs for schools and youth organizations.

Below are 3 sample itineraries for a mini-vacation to CAS!!

Please note: These itineraries are just for inspiration, I have not tested out all of the activities, hotels, restaurants, etc. Enjoy! 

Catskills Farm Animal Sanctuary


Itinerary Summary

Day 1: Arrive at Saugerties, NY
Day 2: Farm Sanctuary / Guided Tour and Volunteer
Day 3: Farm Sanctuary / Compassionate Cuisine
Day 4: Saugerties Marina
Day 5: Golfing, Shopping and Enjoying the Town!
Day 6: Leave Saugerties

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Saugerties, NY

When you arrive in Saugerties, New York, head over to Smythe House, a quaint bed and breakfast (which caters to vegetarians and vegans). The Smythe House is a micro hotel with a Jacuzzi and a beautiful view of the mountains. Try tonight’s suggested restaurant, New World Home Cooking. A local restaurant with a special vegan menu!

Day 2: Farm Sanctuary / Guided Tour and Volunteer

Today head over to CAS for a guided tour! CAS animals are free roaming, so you’ll bump into hens, cows, sheep and horses from the moment you step out of your car and onto the grounds. On your tour, you’ll learn the importance of the sanctuary, its history and mission and some of the lessons they’ve learned from their extraordinary animal friends.

Following the tour, roll up your sleeves and help out on the farm! Volunteering at CAS can include feeding the animals, painting the farmhouse and/or performing administrative work in the sanctuary office. After working up an appetite playing with the animals and helping out around the farm, head over to Garden Cafe on the Green, Ulster County’s only vegan restaurant which also focuses on organic, local produce!

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Day 3: Farm Sanctuary / Compassionate Cuisine

Your second day at CAS can be spent either hanging out at the farm bonding with the amazing animals or learning about plant-based food options through their Compassionate Cuisine program. Compassionate Cuisine is a program at CAS that offers classes on plant-based cooking and organic gardening – see the CAS website for the current schedule.  If after all of your playing with animals or cooking lessons, you’re still looking for a bite to eat, head over to Savona’s Plaza Pizza where you can order veggie toppings on your cheese-less pizza!

Day 4: Saugerties Marina

After breakfast at the Smythe House, you can spend your day cruising around on a boat. Saugerties Marina has a ship store, boat rentals and a Hudson River tour. The Pontoon Boat is a great way to take a leisurely tour of the peaceful Esopus Creek. Pack a lunch, bring your suntan lotion and hang out on the boat all day long reflecting on the lessons you learned from the animals at CAS! When you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, Aria Grill in Kingston serves Afghani and Persian cuisine and is the perfect end to a day spent on the creek. Any vegetarian dish can be ordered vegan.

Day 5: Golfing, Shopping and touring the town!

Enjoy some morning golf followed by a day of shopping in town. After breakfast, make your way to The Lazy Swan Golf & Country Club Village on Old Kings Highway in Saugerties. This public golf course has incredible views of the Catskill Mountains. Then spend your afternoon antique shop hopping in Woodstock. On Saturdays you can check out the Mower’s Flea Market on Maple Lane. For dinner, head to Gabriel’s Cafe for some delicious Colombian-style cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Day 6: Leave Saugerties 

Stop at CAS to say goodbye to your new farm friends and make sure to come back soon! You will leave this mini-vacation super relaxed with your heart full of compassion.

 Catskills Farm Animal Sanctuary


Itinerary Summary

Day 1: Arrive at New Paltz, NY
Day 2: Farm Sanctuary / Guided Tour and Volunteer
Day 3: Farm Sanctuary / Compassionate Cuisine
Day 4: Historic Huguenot
Day 5: Wine and Pottery Trails
Day 6: Leave New Paltz

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at New Paltz, NY

Head up to the Catskills and make your way over to your bed and Breakfast, Hungry Ghost Guest House located in New Paltz. Hungry Ghost Guest House is a strictly vegan bed and breakfast, and raw and gluten-free diets can be accommodated.

Day 2: Farm Sanctuary / Guided Tour and Volunteer

Today head over to CAS for a guided tour! CAS animals are free roaming, so you’ll bump into hens, cows, sheep and horses from the moment you step out of your car and onto the grounds. On your tour, you’ll learn the importance of the sanctuary, its history and mission and some of the lessons they’ve learned from their extraordinary animal friends.

Following the tour, roll up your sleeves and help out on the farm! Volunteering at CAS can include feeding the animals, painting the farmhouse and/or performing administrative work in the sanctuary office.

For dinner, try some amazing Indian food at Agra Tandoor in Rhinebeck.  There are lots of veggies options and vegans can be easily accommodated; just be sure to tell your server.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Day 3: Farm Sanctuary / Compassionate Cuisine

Your second day at CAS can be spent either hanging out at the farm bonding with the amazing animals or learning about plant-based food options through their Compassionate Cuisine program. Compassionate Cuisine is a program at CAS that offers classes on plant-based cooking and organic gardening – see the CAS website for the current schedule.

If you’re still hungry after your class, grab a relaxed meal at New World Home Cooking. The produce is local and you can customize your own seasonings with your server.

Day 4: Huguenot Street

After breakfast at your B&B, head out to learn some history about New Paltz.  Close to your B&B, Huguenot Street is a National Historic Landmark District (not just one street!) and has events nearly every day of the year. Even if you don’t want to partake in the town’s events, you can still take a tour of the historic location, its burial grounds and the church founded in 1717.  While you’re exploring, stop at Karma Road, a vegetarian deli and bakery, for lunch. On Huguenot Street’s six-acre site, there are many exhibits such as Native American artifacts from a time before the Huguenot’s settled in the area. For dinner, head a little north to Kings Wok in Kingston. Kings Wok serves a variety of vegan Chinese plates.

Day 5: Wine and Pottery Trails

Not only is New Paltz rich in its history but it boasts some amazing wine and pottery as well. Take advantage of the wine trail and the pottery trail while in the area. The pottery trail is a driving tour of different art studios featuring some local artists’ pottery. You can spend your morning visiting artists and your afternoon wine tasting. New Paltz has some award winning vineyards, so the wine trails are a must for wine-lovers. Driving maps are available online for both the pottery and wine trails. For dinner, you’ll love Aria Grill if you like a little spice. Any vegetarian dish can be made vegan at this Afghani and Persian restaurant.

Day 6: Leave New Paltz

Make a stop at CAS to say goodbye to your new farm friends!

 Catskill Animal Sanctuary


Itinerary Summary

Day 1: Arrive at Rosendale, NY
Day 2: Farm Sanctuary / Guided Tour and Volunteer
Day 3: Farm Sanctuary / Compassionate Cuisine
Day 4: Whitewater Tubing
Day 5: Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
Day 6: Leave Rosendale

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Rosendale, NY

Small pets welcome! Hudson Valley Bed & Breakfast allows your best friend to come along with you on your trip to the Catskills as long as he or she is well behaved and on the smaller size. Just let them know when you make your reservation. Hudson Valley B&B also has vegetarian and vegan breakfast options.

Day 2: Farm Sanctuary / Guided Tour and Volunteer 

Today head over to CAS for a guided tour! CAS animals are free roaming, so you’ll bump into hens, cows, sheep and horses from the moment you step out of your car and onto the grounds. On your tour, you’ll learn the importance of the sanctuary, its history and mission and some of the lessons they’ve learned from their extraordinary animal friends.

Following the tour, roll up your sleeves and help out on the farm! Volunteering at CAS can include feeding the animals, painting the farmhouse and/or performing administrative work in the sanctuary office.

For dinner, you’ll love Aria Grill if you like a little spice. Any vegetarian dish can be made vegan at this Afghani and Persian restaurant.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Day 3: Farm Sanctuary / Compassionate Cuisine 

Your second day at CAS can be spent either hanging out at the farm bonding with the amazing animals or learning about plant-based food options through their Compassionate Cuisine program. Compassionate Cuisine is a program at CAS that offers classes on plant-based cooking and organic gardening – see the CAS website for the current schedule.

If you’re hungry later, get some seitan satay at Luna 61 in Tivoli.

Day 4: Whitewater Tubing 

Spend your fourth day whitewater tubing! Town Tinker Tube Rental and the Esopus River are waiting for you! Grab a life jacket and a friend and glide down the river in a tube. If you’d prefer, you can also rent a kayak. After working up an appetite, head to Garden Cafe on the Green for a hearty vegan meal.

Day 5: Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

Today take a hike on Wallkill Valley Rail Trail! Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New Paltz offers visitors grounds for hiking, biking, jogging and skiing. The Rail Trail is known for some fascinating flora and fauna. A number of tree varieties line the trail and you may have the chance to spot some animals, such as rabbits or deer. Remember to plan ahead and get a vegetarian take-out from Mother Earth so you can have a dinner picnic on the trail!

Day 6: Leave Rosendale 

Don’t forget to enjoy one last delicious breakfast before hitting the road to head home. Make a stop at CAS to say goodbye to your new farm friends and make sure to come back soon!

Catskills Farm Animal Sanctuary


Catskill Farm Sanctuary is open for tours every Saturday and Sunday, from April through October.  Tours begin every half hour between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.  Admission is $10 per person, $5 for seniors and kids under 12, and free for CAS members.

To learn more about CAS, visit

Compassionate Cuisine Classes can be found at

CAS also has it’s own housing! Check out The Homestead, a beautiful 1700′s guest house.

For CAS’s list of recommended restaurants, click here.

For more information regarding the activities references above, please visit the following sites:

Historic Huguenot Street –
Wine Trail Information –
Pottery Trail Information –
Saugerties Marina –
Town Tinker Tube Rental –
Total Tennis –
Wallkill Valley Rail –

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

 Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

The Best Tea Spot in New York (& Ginger Tea Recipe)

The Best Tea Spot in New York (& Ginger Tea Recipe)

This is a guest post by Gina Kelly.

Francia TeaI love tea. I’m always on the search for new flavors. I scan the health store shelves and get excited when I read about the health benefits of each leaf. Admittedly I’m a tea fanatic but I wasn’t always such an advocate. I used to shrink away when someone would offer me a cup. I just couldn’t handle the tannins and bitter flavor and much preferred to get my morning jolt from a cup of coffee.

My obsession with tea stated when I visited Franchia, a Korean vegan cafe in midtown Manhattan.  I was in awe all of their exotic concoctions. Their teas are filled with nuts, fruit pastes, juices, herbs and fruits and are unlike any teas I’ve tried to date

After a long and apprehensive analysis of the extensive Franchia tea menu, my curiosity got the best of my taste buds and I decided to try their Ginger Tea. When it was placed in front of me, I was overcome by the aroma and excited by the fresh ginger and pine nuts floating in my mug. One sip and I was hooked. The Ginger Tea was refreshing, spicy and sweet. 

Franchia uses 100% all natural Wild Korean Green Tea as the base for all of their teas. Korean Francia teagreen tea is lighter and has a more subtle flavor than the Japanese version most of us are familiar with. The health benefits of tea are well-known. Green tea is a potent antioxidant, which is believed to fight certain cancers, aging, obesity and quite possibly even heart disease. 

Some of my other Franchia tea favorites are Date Paste Tea, Korean Plum Tea, and Citron Paste Tea but their entire selection is worth trying. Franchia also serves delicious Asian fusion vegan food.  Their dishes are fresh and flavorful and loaded with tons of veggies.

I have yet to find a tea spot in New York that even comes close to Franchia’s unique teas but if you’re not in New York here’s how you can make your own version of their Ginger Tea (which remains my favorite!).

Ginger TeaRecipe for Ginger Tea
1 teaspoon of high quality Korean green tea leaves (you can find these on Amazon, i.e.: Korean Organic Green Tea & Strainer Set)
1 tablespoon of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Combine tea leaves and ground ginger in a tea strainer and steep in water for 3 to 5 minutes. Add fresh ginger and pine nuts straight to the cup and enjoy! 

If you aren’t a fan of ginger or want to try something different, you can use different nuts, juices, pastes, and even fresh fruit to customize your cup.

Francia’s inventive concoctions have opened up a whole new world of tea for me!

Francia is located at 12 Park Avenue (between 34th and 35th Street), New York, NY

Images: One & Three  via Gentle LivingTwo via Francia

Picture of guest blogger Gina

Gina Kelly is a writer and is also studying holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Gina aspires to help others through her writing and nutrition counseling.  She was previously an editorial writer for where she wrote for their health and food blogs.
The Gentle Detox

The Gentle Detox

This is a guest post by health and nutrition coach Lisa Consiglio Ryan. Lisa is one of the most admirable and gentle souls I’ve ever met. This is a woman who’s following her passion and changing the world, one healthy green juice at a time. I can’t wait to start her post-holdiay detox program (details below). Enjoy this inspirational post. Change your cells, change your life, change the world…

As we heal ourselves, we can heal the world.

I’m sure you have heard this before in some shape or form.

All I know is that I agree with this statement with all my heart.

I believe that it all starts with you.  Once you treat your body as a temple, a sacred home, your thoughts and actions will shift. This shift will ultimately change the world.  I totally believe it.

Detox can be the first step towards your healing and ultimately healing the world around you. What can detox do to stop wars, end hardships, get rid of the global financial crisis?


As a health coach, I talk about detox a lot.  First you start with getting rid of things that don’t serve your body like fake processed foods, sugar, alcohol, coffee, dairy, and meat.  As you cleanse, your body is going through a transformation. Your cells are changing, breathing in the oxygen from all those leafy greens, feeding your blood.

While this is happening, over time, you will notice that your behavior and thoughts start to soften.

As you pump your body with whole foods, REAL foods, the more REAL you feel.  You start to feel more compassion for others.  You start to understand others.  You begin to lead a gentler life.

Imagine if we all did this.  What a beautiful, caring world this would be.

Many think that detox is all about the food. While the food is important, this is not so.  It’s a time to breathe, go within by meditation, connecting to your body, mind and soul.  It’s a time to take care of you and to listen to that gorgeous body of yours.

In the mist of busy life, running errands, work, family, etc…we can lose that sense of being with our bodies. During detox, you take time to connect and find simple pleasures. Gentle surprises.  You start to change.  Your family, friends, coworkers see this change and often times mirror you.  Others around you take on your gentle demeanor; your kindness and unconditional love. This ripple effect can happen. I’ve seen it firsthand in my own life.

The first step is healing yourself. Start with detox.  It changes your cells and your being which is a gentle way to connect with your body, soul, and others.  For the New Year, connect to a gentler, more compassionate you.  It’s contagious. Best of all it can heal the world.

If you want to begin the healing journey, read more about Winter Renewal 10 Day Detox. It’s a gentle detox for the New Year. 

Lisa Consiglio Ryan is a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach for busy, active women and their families. Areas of expertise include weight loss, stress management, detox programs, and special diets such as vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Services include private consulting and group seminars. Lisa is also developing her own line of raw juices. 

Get your FREE guide to healthy living:  5 Shockingly Simple Steps to Getting Your Hot Body Back for Good.

Contact Lisa at Whole Health Designs for more information on detox programs:

Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Twitter

Banana Kale Smoothie (shown above) Serves 1

  • 1 bunch of kale (about 3-4 pieces; you can rip off the leaves and throw stems away)
  • 1 banana, sliced (can be frozen)
  • 3 ice cubes and ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup almond milk

Blend together and drink up.

The Inconvenience of Compassion…

Convenient: Suited to personal comfort or easy performance.

Inconvenient: Not convenient especially in giving trouble or annoyance.

The word inconvenient has such a bad rap. It’s always being touted around as an excuse for not doing something or another.

We’ve become a lazy nation. How could we not, everything is at our finger tips at all times. Cell phones are no longer just phones, they’re mini computers that can do our banking, run our businesses, and entertain our children. Why go across town to visit a friend you haven’t seen in awhile when you can just do a quick scroll through their facebook posts to catch up. Why teach your child math when there’s a YouTube video that can do it for you? We want what we want when we want it and we usually get it. We are spoiled to pieces, inconveniencing ourselves is sooo yesteryear.

I had dinner with a friend of mine recently. We were discussing veganism and got into a heated discussion about how hard it is for meat eaters to find humanely raised meat. She explained how passionate she is about food politics, she’s read extensively on the subject, she’s watched the undercover investigations, and she wished there was more being done to regulate the horrors of factory farming. She said this as she gobbled down her beef negimaki.

When I pointed out the irony she explained that while she passionately wished factory farming would end, she didn’t have the power to change the system herself and was not willing to give anything up in the meantime. Her appetite still reigned supreme. She explained that there are no farmers’ markets where she lives and even if there were, she would not want to pay more for her meat. Giving up meat all together was not an option.

After I dived further into all the reasons why factory farmed meat is bad for her health, the animals, the world and the environment, she said “I complete agree, you’re preaching to the choir.” But, finding humanely raised locally farmed alternatives was still too inconvenient.

I often have heated food discussions with people but with her it seemed we were totally on the same side; same beliefs, same hopes. The only difference lied in the actions we were willing to take in response to those beliefs. The big ole “inconvenience” was the dividing line that separated us (well, that and the fact that I no longer have any desire to eat animals…).

If even people like my thoroughly educated and passionate friend aren’t willing to inconvenience themselves for their beliefs, then what hope is there for change?

This blog post isn’t about my friend as an individual, whose attitude is far more compassionate than most, it’s about a way of thinking. Someone saying they are passionate about food politics on the one hand but that they won’t make changes that are burdensome on the other was a reflection of just how high the majority of our world values their appetites of convenience. Even people who care about these issues aren’t willing to add an inconvenience to their lives to reflect their beliefs.

Inconvenience is starting to feel like an evil little monster that’s there to prevent us from being the best we can be. It’s like the PR rep for all factory farms. Sneaky little bugger.

So what if we changed the definitions of convenient and inconvenient. How do these defs work for you?

Convenient: Falling prey to greedy corporations that make their low quality junk so accessible your values fly out the window.

Inconvenient: Something that’s so darn essential you take extra steps to achieve it because doing what’s convenient is totally lame.

Works for me! So next time you’re about to do something that doesn’t feel like the right thing to do, but happens to be the most convenient thing to do, ask yourself which definitions of convenient and inconvenient you want to live by. Remember, the best things in life aren’t always easy.

So, how have you compassionately inconvenienced yourself lately?

Made Just Right “Spring to Life” Recipe Contest

Hey campers!

In addition to our Your Skills for Animals Contest, there’s another fabulous contest going on over at the Earth Balance site, You animal & veggie lovers are a lucky bunch, everyone wants to give you free stuff!

Made Just Right™ is an amazing website for natural food lovers to share their recipes, stories and lifestyle tips. If you’re as passionate about the quality and source of your food as you are about cooking it, head on over to their website and forum and join the fun! As you know, at YTT we love our veggies so we’ve been waiting for a site like this for awhile. Just check out their recipe pageand you’ll see one of the many reasons we love it so much!

Earth Balance and Made Just Right™ are celebrating your healthy lifestyle and the arrival of spring with their SPRING TO LIFE Recipe Contest. All you have to do is share your healthy recipes for a chance to win some exciting prizes!

The grand prize winner will receive a trip for 2 to New York City, which includes airfare, hotel, a day at the spa and dinner at the city’s hottest vegan restaurant, Candle 79! Candle 79 will also feature the winning recipe on its menu for one night – amazing! In addition, 8 winners will receive a year’s supply of Earth Balance® products and a Forks Over Knives DVD and t-shirt!

Your recipe(s) should be your own, contain one or more Earth Balance® products (buttery spreads, nut butters or soy milks) and feature one or more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts or seeds.

They will evaluate recipes based on appeal (50%), ease of preparation (25%), and creativity (25%). You can submit as many recipes as you like until May 8th, in the following remaining categories:

April 25 – May 1: Entrees
May 2 – 8: Desserts

WEEKLY PRIZES – Made Just Right™ will select 2 recipes from each category. Each winner will receive:
•    A 1 year supply of Earth Balance® products.
•    A t-shirt and DVD of the award-winning documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’.

One of the winners will be selected as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER!

GRAND PRIZE – Made Just Right™ will select one lucky winner to receive a trip for 2 to New York City. The grand prize includes:
•    Roundtrip airfare for 2 to New York City.
•    A 2-night stay at a boutique New York City hotel.
•    A day for 2 at the Secret Garden Organic Spa.
•    Dinner at Candle 79 and the winning recipe featured on the restaurant’s menu for one night.

Made Just Right will announce the weekly winners and the grand prize winner the week of May 9, 2011! For complete contest rules, visit RECIPE CONTEST RULES. For specific questions about how to upload your recipe, visit the Made Just Right FAQ.

So head on over to the Made Just Right Spring to Life Recipe Contest and enter your delicious recipes!

And don’t forget, you only have until this Friday to get your contest entries in for our Your Skills for Animals Contest!

Have fun everyone!


Language Guide to Eating as a Vegan in Thailand!

Our Thailand trips have officially launched!! Volunteer work at an elephant sanctuary, vegan cooking classes, cycling tours, exploring Bangkok and Northern Thailand, experiencing paradise on beautiful islands, etc.! We will customize your trip so you get everything you want out of it! See sample itineraries by clicking here. Now on to today’s post for anyone traveling to Thailand who’s vegan…

This is a guest post by Gina Guariglia-Kelly.

A Vegan in Thailand?

Imagine this…you read about this fabulous, barely-known restaurant in the heart of Lop Buri, Thailand.  You’re so excited about the mouth-watering descriptors used in the obscure reviews – piquant, dulcet, savory – that you make a mad dash for the restaurant and arrive with your taste buds ready for the intriguing surprises that await.  The waiter casually gestures you to follow him, seats you in a comfy little corner and hands you a menu.  He is whisked away by another diner’s request and you open up the menu to find that it is neither vegetarian nor vegan-friendly, or at least you don’t think it is.
What do you do?  How do you know what to order or how to ask for the vegan option?

Here are some tips to guide you in the right direction:
In Thailand, the way you describe yourself depends upon your gender.  If you are man and want to tell your Thai waiter that you eat only vegetables, you’ll say, “Pom Kin Tae Pak”.  If you are a woman, you’ll want to say, “Dee Chan Kin Tae Pak”.Vegan food, or Ahaan Jay, in Thailand can be delicious.  A specific sect of Thai Buddhists don’t eat meat or meat products, thus many Thais are well-versed in the vegan lifestyle.  The only disclaimer is that these Buddhists also don’t consume “stinky” foods, such as garlic or onions, so your meals may not include these ingredients.  The Thai word Jay represents this religious sect.Fish and oyster sauces are huge components of Thai dishes.  Not exactly within vegan diet guidelines.  So, how do you ensure your waiter, who may not speak a lick of English, knows you aren’t interested? Mai Chai Nam Man Hoi means you do not want oyster sauce and Mai Chai Nam Pla means you don’t want fish sauce either.

Egg tends to be a pesky ingredient.  It creeps into so many food – noodles, baked goods and even some sauces.  Thai cooks certainly like those egg noodles so make sure you clarify by telling the wait staff Mai Chai Kai or no egg!

As you’ve probably noticed Mai Chai is a phrase indicating rejection.  So, make sure you use it when you want to say no fish (Pla), chicken (Gai), pork (Muu), shrimp (Kung) and beef (Neua).

This quick introduction to the Thai language will hopefully help you in your vegan travels through this fascinating and amiable country!

Gina Guariglia-Kelly is an aspiring writer and a fabulous intern for YTT!

Ele kisses from the sanctuary…

It’s Meatout Day! Be a Rebel

Hey there!

Today is international Meatout day organized by FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement). Meatout is the world’s largest grassroots diet education campaign. Today over 20,000 samples of delicious, wholesome, cruelty-free vegan foods are being distributed at educational events in a thousand communities in all 50 states and 30 other countries. People are asking their friends, families and communities to “kick the meat habit” for a healthier fruit, plant and whole grain diet. So if you’ve ever wanted to try going vegan, today is the day! To read more about Meatout click here.

If you’ve come to this site or any of the other 60 or so blogs posting a special meatout blog in honor of this event, you likely care for animals, your health and/or the environment enough to make you a bit veggie-curious!

When trying to break free of old customs and adapt a new way of living, the first place to start is always… your mind. So I wanna show you how passionately eating your veggies isn’t boring or extreme, it’s just a bit rebellious – the most fun, peaceful and enlightening form of rebellion you can find. Let’s define the exact type of rebel I’m talking about…

Rebel = a person who does not accept normal standards of behavior; a person of independent opinions

Darn straight. So you thought you were a rebel when you used to ignore your parents and stay out later than you were supposed to? Or maybe when you dated a “bad boy/bad girl”? Or because you smoked cigarettes… or other things?  Perhaps you even got into fist fights at your local bar? Yes, all rebellious actions.  But where’s the depth in being a rebel without a cause?

If you want to be a respectable rebel, a cause driven, screw the “norm”, progressive wave of the future rebel, being vegan is where it’s at.  Becoming vegan is like giving old outdated traditions - traditions that support the extremely inhumane treatment and confinement of animals, the degradation of our health, and the annihilation of our environment - the big ole rebellious middle finger!

In this type of rebellion you’re not hurting anyone, you’re doing good to the animals, your body, and the environment. This is the best form of rebellion you can find.

Yes, people will try and hold you back and make you conform to the ‘good ole boy’ rules. People may even mock you and try and put you down. But that’s okay, cause you’re not any run of the mill kinda rebel. You’re a smart and progressive rebel and you’re driven by a cause that’s WAY bigger than the need to fit in with the masses. You’re rebelling against a norm that’s full of chemicals, cruelty and ignorance. No mockery is gonna hold you back!

So what’s so good about being a rebel?

1. Your mind gets liberated. As a rebel you are no longer chained to outdated customs and traditions, you are researching and learning on your own and making your own decisions. You have an independent mind and you are using it!

2. You Take Action. A true rebel doesn’t just think about stuff and do nothing, a true rebel always puts his/her rebellious ways into action. How else are you gonna leave your mark on the world?! So instead of just reading about the horrors of factory farming and then changing nothing, you put your money where your mouth is and stop supporting the practices you don’t ethically abide by.

3. You Don’t Let Others Do Your Dirty Work. Most of us would never be able to shove animals into cages so small they can hardly move a muscle for their entire lives. Most of us would never be able to participate in creating any of the insufferable conditions kept at factory farms. Most of us would never want to personally pillage the environment with the insane amount of waste factory farms produce. A rebel is too strong of a person to just hire someone else to do the things they could never stomach themselves. A true rebel doesn’t support anything he or she wouldn’t be able to do with his or her own two rebellious hands.

4. You find inner peace. A rebel with inner peace is the most ground breaking type of rebel there is. You’re not battling any inner turmoil that can cause you to make irrational or selfish decisions. You’ve simply identified your values, educated yourself on how to adhere to them, and then done so. You sleep well at night. You feel good inside. You know that you’re challenging yourself to be the best person you can be and cause the least amount of harm to yourself and others, in the short life we’re all given.

5. You immediately become a leader. By taking a progressive stand you automatically create a dialogue. People will want to know why you’re making the decisions you’re making and taking the actions you’re taking. This is your chance to educate people and share your own stories. You’re not the type of rebel that leads people down a dark alley to do shady things. You’re the type of rebel that patiently helps bring awareness and education.

6. You are the wave of the future.  Whenever any movement begins based on moral, ethical and equality based values, the masses go up in arms and do whatever it takes to bring us back to the “norm”. But eventually society catches up and the “norm” gets replaced with “I can’t believe the world ever allowed those horrible things to happen!!” sentiments. Yes, one day that’s how the world, as a whole, will view factory farming. You don’t have to even like animals to know that they way they’re treated on factory farms is wrong (I encourage you to watch any of the undercover videos here). A true rebel doesn’t wait for the world to catch up with his or her genius, a true rebel starts blazing the way now.

So tell me, are you feeling a bit rebellious today?

Here’s a special Meatout video from FARM. Have a wonderful veggie filled day!

The youngest of heroes…

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” Bradley Millar

When I was a young child, I was so shy I’d hardly speak to anyone I didn’t know. I remember getting in trouble in kindergarden for not speaking or playing with any of other children in class. The teacher actually yelled at me for it (at least it sounded like yelling in my child’s mind!), which made me speak even less…

I’m not sure what I was so afraid of, I just know how I felt inside. I wanted to be invisible, I wanted to watch things from a distance but not involve myself. I wanted to hide. I had no voice. At times it really did feel like I was scared of my own shadow, cause someone might see my shadow and drag me out of my shy girl emotional hiding place.

Sure, no surprise why I felt so comforted by animals. With them I could be my present self, no need to hide or suppress my thoughts. No fear of being ridiculed or hurt, nothing but love. I’ve changed a lot since then and I’m a pretty social person now but those feelings will always be a part of me. Those feelings are what have given me my compassion for the weakest among us.

I was contacted recently by an amazing 10 year old girl named Teya from Ghana who told me a story about how she rescued a turkey. Her mom homeschools her and as part of her homeschooling she asked her mom if they could study animal rights. They wanted to practice Teya’s interviewing skills so they asked to interview me.

I was so blown away by this young girl’s maturity, intellect and bravery. She interviewed me like a seasoned pro. She’s the antithesis of the child I was. Her voice was steady and determined. I was in awe of her.

Here’s the brave story of how she voiced her compassion to save a turkey and didn’t let her age or fears hold her back.

A turkey was given to Teya’s grandparents, whom she lived with, to be killed for dinner. In Ghana, turkeys are often given as gifts. The turkey was tied to a tree in a space less than a square meter. Watching “dinner” in her backyard was too much for Teya to handle. She kept asking herself “how can I sit here and do nothing when I can do something to help?”

Teya immediately started researching turkeys and, with the support of her mother, they named him Bob. Teya first convinced her father, then her grandmother, and finally her grandfather that Bob’s lodgings should be upgraded.

Teya didn’t stop there, after Bob was placed in more comfortable surroundings she went on to argue and debate with her family over killing him. As her mom describes it, Teya launched an eleventh hour death row campaign” that she impressively argued along “emotional, economic and humanitarian lines”! She finally convinced them to spare his life on the condition that she take total responsibility for him.

After fighting for the life of one turkey, both Teya and her mom decided to become vegetarians. Teya’s words: I reasoned how could I own an animal and eat its kind at the same time? If you had a cat, would you eat other cats, or if you had a hamster, would you eat hamsters? And then if you’re not going to eat one animal, why not spare all?”

Because of Teya, Bob lived out the rest of his life with love and comfort.

Teya’s mom must be an amazing homeschool teacher because this girl is wise beyond her years and the world could learn a lesson or two from this 10 year old who chooses to live such a compassionate, selfless and brave life.

Teya wrote her own blog about our interview on her mom’s blog which you can read by clicking here. Teya clearly doesn’t let her age stop her from anything. As she says in her blog, saving that turkey left her with a warm fuzzy feelingthat she had made a small contribution and that she triumphed over that nagging voice in her head telling her she couldn’t make a difference because she was only 10 years old.

“You can make a difference in your own little corner of the world.” ~ Teya

Wise words Teya. Today Teya is still finding new ways to help animals in her country and is always willing to challenge others to do what’s right for all living creatures.

Teya, you are amazing and inspiring. Keep living by your values. xoxo, Liz

If you want your kids to learn about animals on your next vacation, we’re working with an amazing rescue center in Costa Rica that is perfect for children and often works with a local orphanage to teach kids about animals. Read about it by clicking here and see a sample itinerary here (more sample itineraries to come in the next few weeks!).

My Comedian “Raw Foodie” Husband

My hubby & VP of Your Time Travels, Mr. Knish

I am a lucky girl… I am married to a sharp take no prisoners lawyer by day / total comedian supportive angel husband by night. While I was out to dinner last night my hubby decided to record his own personal video about his experience with our raw food month (I guess I interfered with his spotlight in yesterday’s video!).

Here’s his own personal roundup of the month. The “Knish S. Careathers” he keeps referring to, VP of Your Time Travels, is none other than our dog. I’m honestly not sure what the “S.” stands for…

Put your volume on full blast for this video because my hubby has technical issues without his super savy video recording wife home to guide him! Just kidding hunny, I HEART you big time

Enjoy 8-)


Raw Food Month: Final Day

Well, it’s the FINAL day of our raw food live-it month! I can’t believe it’s been a month already. On the other hand, this final stretch has probably been the toughest. We didn’t make it to Whole Foods last week so things got a little rough and we had to get really creative. I actually had our local Japanese restaurant invent a raw veggie roll just for me so I had that twice last week! I think knowing that the month was coming to a close made us a bit lazy…

All in all, I am SO proud of us. It hasn’t been without its challenges but overall I feel great, I’ve lost a few pounds and I am madly in love with our juicer. Starting everyday with a juice or green smoothie ROCKS MY CELLULAR ANATOMY!!

To celebrate the final night of our month I’ll be going out to big raw dinner with the 3 friends who joined us on our raw food journey. We’ll be heading to Quintessence because the food there is AMAZING (we also ordered take out from there last week!). I’m interested in hearing how the month went for them (the good and the bad…).

Below is a little interview with my hubby where we discuss how we veggie fared this month. We taped it late last night so excuse our exhaustion. Our pup makes a couple of cameos. I’m in the middle of reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet so below the video are some quotes that I found inspiring. Enjoy the video and I hope you are all having some healthy and humane adventures of your own!!

Quotes from Crazy Sexy Diet:

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we ate real food! Getting a good meal on the table wasn’t a multibillion-dollar industry driven by focus groups, slick advertisers, and government subsidies. Today chemical companies dominate the food business while their inbred cousins, the pharmaceuticals, are standing by ready to mop up the damage – and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.”

“… our genes are not our destiny…. Genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger… You are the seed and your diet and lifestyle are the fertilizer.”

“More than half of all Americans die of heart disease or cancer; two-thirds are overweight and stay that way for their whole lives.”

“In the United States we spend more on sickness than wellness. Young people are being diagnosed with catastrophic diseases common among their grandparents. Some medical researches say that the next generation will be the first generation to die younger than their parents.”

“For optimum health, we need to get additional enzymes from our food – especially as we age, because our bodies slow down enzyme production. Dang! Luckily, plant foods can supply the backup enzymes needed to keep us smart and sassy. Your body is a bank account, and food enzymes are the currency. Imagine making deposits instead of constant withdrawals. The more deposits you make, the more equity and interest you build. By eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, with an emphasis on raw and living foods – which are loaded with their own enzymes – you give your body a break from the wear and tear of dining on too much cooked and acidic foods.”

“… you don’t have to be perfect. Health is about keeping in an overall “right” direction…. Perfect is beige. I am red hot! So are you. Red and Wild.”

“Crazy = bold, out of the box, forward thinking, and status quo challenging.”

“Sexy = confident, in touch, whole, passionate, and conscious.”

Now go live Crazy & Sexy!! :)