Why Not to Give Farmed Animals as Gifts

This year, our family has chosen to donate to others for the holidays in place of the usual gift-giving to each other. We've had the opportunity to support items to both animals and people affected by the Camp Fire, local organizations for families touched by domestic violence, and various online requests from friends requesting donations for organizations. In the past, I thought that donations were only valuable if they were large. I'm taking a new approach this year, and it...
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Serving up kindness along with your gratitude...

Your outpouring of love, comfort, and words that you found meaning in the very personal Love Letter I sent a couple weeks ago soothes my soul. Thank you. I'm sad that many of you share a similar pain. 

It's been a rough week here in California. My attention is extra close to home as Paradise is just 90 miles away. We've heard from friends and their families who have lost everything, many of whom barely escaped. There's no way to really know what that's like from...

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Remembering

 

Two months ago, my brilliant, big-hearted minister, Reverend Kevin Tarsa invited me to perform a dance to this song, "Sanctuary," by Carrie Newcomer, with an umbrella. He told me it would be part of our Unitarian Universalist October theme of Sanctuary. I hesitated. I couldn't exactly imagine how I'd do a dance with an umbrella. Not to mention that even though I teach Nia, my dancing is for me and not a performance art anymore (the last time I did that was decades ago when I was 15)....

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Adding a pungent and tangy flavor dimension, these pickled onions are one of my favorite toppings for my DIY Salad Bar. So easy to make and even more amazing with vegan bacon bits!

Quick Pickled Red Onions
By Allison Rivers Samson 

Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced (try my easy DIY Salad Bar technique!)

Directions

  1. In a mason jar, combine vinegar, water,...
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When was the last time you had a peak experience?

I thought I'd be terrified and nervous.

Instead, as I donned the headset and stepped into the magic that pulled me like a wave, I surfed ecstatically in my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. 

With ~50 students, including 38 of my fellow trainees, I got to occupy the esteemed spot of my teachers, right up front and center, as I taught in the bright studio I've long held in deep reverence.

Immersed in my own self-care in one of my favorite cities, I spent 6.5 days...

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I can't keep quiet. For anyone. Not anymore.

I'm curious. When were you first silenced? Do you remember how old you were? Were you told to settle down, shut up, or act like a lady? Were you labeled as stubborn, difficult, rigid, or inflexible? Did anyone ever tell you to smile because you're so much prettier when you smile?

If you said no to all of that, my guess is that you may be one in ten million. More likely, you said yes to more than one.

Back in March of this year, I first heard a song that is now my anthem. Although my story...

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Vegan Recipe: Mango Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait

A 30-foot mango tree. 1977. Coral Gables, Florida.

One of my favorite things to do at my grandparent's house was gather mangoes from their 30-foot tree. At least that's how big it seemed in my kid mind. Funny how different our perspective can be when we're smaller. Maybe it was only 20 feet, but it was HUGE!

One day, I decided to collect the juicy treasures and sell them on the side of the road. Lemonade stand? Bah! I was 7 and my entrepreneurial genes had been activated....

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DIY Vegan Silver Polish

 

I love my silver jewelry, but I don't love having to use nasty chemical silver polishes when it tarnishes.

To keep my silver sparkly bright, I found a way to make chemistry work for me by using ingredients in my kitchen so I don't have to use toxic chemicals that are bad for me and have been tested on animals.

As a homeschooling mom, I love this trick as a way to teach kids (of all ages) about the brilliance of chemistry. Bonus!

Check out my video above to get the details...

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Ask Allison: How can I make sure I’m getting enough iron without eating meat?

Today, I’m introducing a new series, Ask Allison, where you can ask me anything about health, wellness, self-care, vegan recipes, vegan parenting, etc.

The first question comes from Alice, who asks:

"I’ve been vegetarian for a while now and was recently told that I’m borderline anemic. What are good vegan sources for iron?"

This is a question I hear often and have even experienced myself in my early days of being vegetarian.

As a holistic wellness coach, I help people make...

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Tropical Green Smoothie

 

If you've ever wanted an easy way to get more greens into your diet, this is the recipe for you!

With tangy sweet pineapple, the goodness of greens, antioxidants like vitamin C and bioflavonoids, superfood chlorella, and some surprise ingredients, this smoothie is every bit as delicious as it is healthy.

I've also got some great kitchen tips for you on keeping greens fresher longer, how to prevent your coconut milk from molding, and a way to make sure you're not throwing away a valuable...

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