Continuing Our Wellness Journey

IMG_4950This week the peonies are blooming and Black Locust trees are in full bloom with the air fragrant with the smell of Jasmine as that is what the black locust tree blooms smell like. A friend sent me the featured image picture with the wonderful details of their smell. My hanging baskets are becoming lush with the plants and my tomatoes are blooming. I love that the companion planting is keeping the vegetables free from bugs. Your garden can be environmentally friendly and healthy for you and the earth. The chipmunks are sharing my strawberries but there were plenty for a small dish for supper with my salad from the garden and a small bowl for a friend and the raspberries are in full bloom.  Spring and summer renew us with the joy of rebirth and growing things.

Are you continuing your journals? What feelings did your journal reveal?   How is your journey of self-discovery coming along?  Are you hitting roadblocks? My bruises are healing and I am walking cautiously and starting some exercising again. I will start physical therapy again in two weeks and hope that this last time will be the finishing touches on my recovery. How are your exercises? Have you tried any of the exercises I suggested like chair yoga or water yoga or Ta’i Chi?

Why Should We Be Vegetarian: The Environment

We have been discussing being vegetarian. This week we will look at our environment in more depth. The Vegetarian Times again has some great reasons.  You’ll help reduce pollution. Some people become vegetarians after realizing the devastation that the meat industry is having on the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Runoff from farmlands is one of the greatest threats to water quality today.

You’ll help reduce famine. About 70 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the American population. “If all the grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” says David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University. If the grain were exported, it would boost the US trade balance by $80 billion a year.

Reduce global warming. In its 2006 report, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. According to, switching to a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs saves 50% more carbon emissions than driving a Prius.  Raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and growing feed crops) now uses a staggering 30% of the Earth’s land mass.  According to some studies, as much as one-third of all fossil fuels produced in the United States now go towards animal agriculture.

Global agribusiness has for 30 years turned to tropical rainforests – not for their timber but for the land that can be used to graze cattle or grow palm oil and soya. Millions of hectares of trees have been felled to provide burgers for the US and more recently animal feed for farms for Europe, China and Japan.  A 2003 paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after calculating effects on energy, land, and water use, concluded that meat-based diets require more resources and are less sustainable than lacto-ovo vegetarian diets.

You’ll spare animals. Many vegetarians give up meat because of their concern for animals. According to the The Vegetarian Times, ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year. And, unlike the farms of yesteryear where animals roamed freely, today most animals are factory farmed: —crammed into cages where they can barely move and fed a diet tainted with pesticides and antibiotics. These animals spend their entire lives in crates or stalls so small that they can’’t even turn around. Farmed animals are not protected from cruelty under the law——in fact, the majority of state anticruelty laws specifically exempt farm animals from basic humane protection.

So again I ask, rather than asking yourself why go vegetarian,  the real question is: Why haven’t you gone vegetarian?

Weekly Gardening Update & This Week’s Healthy Food Tip

Everything is growing nicely except the basil wilted and nothing seemed to help. I just planted more and will watch it more closely. The hanging cucumbers didn’t survive either but the tomatoes are doing exceptionally well and look very healthy with blossoms.

I went to the Vegetarian Cooking Blogs this week and The Kitchen has 5 of my favorite blogs for great vegetarian recipes.

The Road to Self-Discovery

What are your questions about Wellness? Are you dreaming of new things? Are you still making new plans?  Do you take the time to dream or meditate? Have you finished everything you wanted to do? If not, why not? Share with me! Do you have any favorite healthy recipes?  Do you like to garden? Since we have discussed the health reasons we should be vegetarian this week, in the next few weeks we will be looking more closely at other reasons for vegetarianism and also the vegan lifestyle. It should be fun comparing the two and going a little further in our exploration of a healthier dietary lifestyle. We will also look at healthy ways to garden. And I will continue with the next steps I am taking as I did this week. I am still decluttering my house, which has been an interesting journey in itself.  So we will talk about the positive effects of decluttering in the next few weeks too.

I also will be taking the  time to stop and smell the roses and the peonies (one of my favorite flowers), and enjoy today, as I hope you will.   I am enjoying all my newly potted flowers and the new signs of life popping up from the ground.

We can learn from yesterday, enjoy,  grow, and be mindful in today, and dream and plan the future. Safe journeys until next week :).  I really like the fact that I am becoming a mindful traveler and gardener. If you like my photography and art, you can see my paintings and photography on my art website.