Hi, I’m Bettina. What I'm working on : Forget to slouch. Relaxing is freedom. Choose life.

Articles tagged “health”

Join me in a Try Vegan challenge!

Vegan Lisa Simpson Dreaming of Chicken

Why try vegan?

  1. Eating more vegetables and fruits is good for your health—less saturated fat, less food poisoning, more nutrition.
  2. Eating vegan saves animal lives and reduces their suffering, and more.
  3. Eating vegan is good for the environment—saving water, land, fossil fuels, topsoil erosion as well as less pollution, and more.

For me I want to eat vegan to save animal lives, following ahimsa. As Patanjali—the most quoted Sanskrit writer on yoga—described yoga, there are guidelines for personal conduct called yamas in Sanskrit. The first yama is ahimsa, a Sanskrit word that means non-harming or non-violence. What could be more violent than eating death? What could be more harming than eating the unborn children of chickens or stealing milk from cows and, as a by-product of the dairy industry, putting baby male cows in cages to become veal because they can’t produce milk?

Why now?

Summer is the best time to try eating vegan, because there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Especially in August, you’ll have the cheapest and freshest fruits and vegetables.

Why one month?

To get used to a new habit, we need at least 21 days or 3 weeks. Because in this challenge I ask for the smallest step possible of committing to a vegan lunch during your work week, I’m extending the time frame to a month, so we’ll have 20 workdays of vegan lunches.

Why just one meal?

Whenever I try something new, I start with baby steps, small commitments that I can keep. Changes in behavior are more sustainable if you can be consistent with one small thing rather than try to make a huge change on many different fronts at once. Small wins keep you motivated, whereas falling off track discourages you. So I suggest just eating one vegan meal a day, and you can be less mindful of your other meals.

Even one vegan meal per day means something for the animals, your health, and the environment if you consistently do that over time. A vegetarian saves one animal a day, conservatively calculated, so eating vegan for a third of your meal means that every 3 days you save an animal. That means, if you eat a vegan meal for 20 days, you’ll save about 7 animals. Not bad!

Why lunch?

One of my biggest excuses for not eating vegan has been the social aspect. I love breaking bread around a table with other people, especially strangers, but I hate it when the discussion turns towards why I eat the way I do. People always feel uncomfortable, either defensive or else offensive. Neither makes a happy meal.

So I ask you to commit to one meal where the social pressure is off, and you can choose what you eat without worrying about others’ reactions. For me, my least social meal is lunch, as I socialize most with others during dinner.

For the month of August, we will challenge ourselves to eat lunch Monday – Friday that is:

  • vegan
  • cheap, i.e., no overly processed fake dairy / meat ingredients
  • 30 minutes or less to prepare
  • tasty
  • easily packable to travel to the office

Let’s do this together!

Together we can make a difference. And habits are better built with support. Therefore, I invite you to join me to pack a vegan lunchbox for a month.

The challenge will be as much for you as it is for me, because I’ve tried eating vegan a few times and have always failed over time. My excuses are endless. I need your help to stay on course.

Starting August 1, 2012, I will start posting recipes and ideas about quick and cheap vegan lunches, and we will discuss and share our experiences in trying to implement them. Because it’s not just about the recipes, it’s about sticking to our commitments.

I am always open to your input, and I will be adding your suggestions to the posts, so that they can become a resource for anyone attempting to try vegan.

If you are interested in writing a guest post about trying vegan, I would love to have you! Contact me to discuss the details.

Try Vegan for a Month Challenge

How to take part in the Try Vegan challenge

  • Take the Try Vegan pledge by signing your name in the comment section below.
  • Spread the word; tell your friends.
  • Post the Try Vegan button above on your blog.
  • Participate in the discussions under each post in the challenge.
  • Write a guest post about your experiences in trying vegan.

Even if you join the challenge for a day, or just consider doing it, show support and sign the pledge!


Photo by the Simpsons from Ecorazzi ; Try Vegan design by my lovely graphic designer friend Nicolas Lecomte

I Quit Sugar Week 3 : Breaking Up with Sugar

Breaking Up with Sugar


Dear Sugar,

I’m terribly sorry I had to do this through a letter. Our relationship has run its course. Don’t let it get you all upset inside; we are just not a good match.

Thanks for the years of happiness you gave me. We had a great run together, didn’t we? The birthday cakes, the Halloween candy, the chocolates on Valentines from my childhood–all happy memories. When I grew older and moved to Paris, you beckoned from pastries made by masters of sugar and deliciousness. I had a sugary snack almost every afternoon in Paris since nothing else was open other than bakeries between lunch and dinner. In Paris, you were beautiful, lit up like a jewel behind glass windows.

But it’s not working anymore for me. I expect too much of you. I’m depending too much on you to cheer me up when I’m sad or blue or just down. In these past two weeks when I’ve tried living my life without you, it’s been hard. And those times when I invited you back into my life, you still have a way of touching me deeply in my sweet spot.

But I need to outgrow you: for all the highs we have together, you also give me the lows. I always have to run back into your arms again to feel back on top. I depend on you to make me happy, and I need to find out how to do that for myself. Before I tried taking a break with you, I wouldn’t be able to walk by the chocolate aisle in the grocery store without picking you up so that you–my secret weapons–will be waiting in my bag no matter what else happens for the day. (Yes, I love you most when you’re combined with dark chocolate.)

Frankly, even though emotionally you make me feel great, you don’t do much for me physically. You turn immediately into stored fat. You’re chemically addictive. I don’t want to go down the list again of why you’re no good for me, even though the last time I forgot one more evil thing about you: the history of your cultivation goes hand in hand with the story of the evils of colonialism.

Look, I’m not saying that I want to break up with you forever. It’s not like I’ve been cheating on you or want to replace you with anyone. I don’t want to have a chemical relationship with any other substance, even though caffeine could rival your importance in my life. After the next six weeks, I’m pretty sure I want you back in my life again though probably not as my bestie like you are now. I just need a complete break to break my dependence on you so that I can be in control of my life again.

After our six weeks’ separation, I’d like to be in control. I’d like to moderate the highs and lows you give me. I’d like to feel my down feelings rather than smother them with your sweetness. Before I used to think that you were a treat for myself, as a way of taking care of and treating myself. But I see you now for what you are: you make things better like a shiny bow wrapped around a trash pile, but you don’t address the underlying problems. When I’m tired I will just take a nap. When I’m blue I will talk to a friend about it rather than turning to you.

I know that it’s going to be hard not turning to you in the next six weeks, but I’m doing this for myself—so that I can be free and autonomous, fully in control of my own body and mind. It would be great if you understood, sugar, that it’s not you; it’s me. Really.



PS: Sugar honey, give me back my keys. I’m sure we’ll see each other again, if you’re ok with it, but I have to be the one who decides when and where and how.

PPS: In case you’re new around here, I quit sugar two weeks ago.

I am following Sarah Wilson‘s 8-week sugar quitting program, as outlined in her $15 handbook.

If you buy the handbook by clicking on this link, THANK YOU! I get a commission, but the price is the same no matter where you buy it. Once you make your purchase through my link, please contact me with your order receipt, and I’ll send you my bonus PDF detailing where to get some of the supplies in Germany and in the US that Sarah Wilson recommends on her Australian-based shopping list.


Photo from buzzfeed

Yoga Solutions to Your Health Problems

Yoga is literally union of mind and body, but before that can blissfully happen, you should be in good health without any health problems to distract you. Here are some common health problems people have, and how yoga can help with them.

I personally have struggles with all three of the above, which is why I’ll be addressing them here. If you have other health issues, please email me directly so that I can research some good yoga solutions for your health problems.