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Sexy Green

sustainable organic lingerie

FINALLY! Gone are the days of having to choose between style and substance.

We all know it’s cool to go green, but with sexy lingerie made from organic, recycled, sustainable materials, you can make it totally HOT!

I don’t know about you, but I was never a big fan of cotton Jockeys. And as much as I love the concept, the ads for American Apparel showing polaroids of teens in cotton undies are just a little too creepy for me.

You shouldn’t have to look like a 12-year old boy or a 98-year old granny just to be environmentally friendly. Fortunately, there are some wicked cool options for stylish, sexy, eco-friendly lingerie that comes in way more colors than green.

Check out the sensual lingerie collections with materials derived from recycled fibers from French designers g=9.8, eco-collections of beautiful clothing, lingerie and accessories from organic, sustainable and vintage fabrics from UK-based Enamore, and handmade, eco-friendly bras and undies from midwestern-based Urban Fox.

Of course, the “greenest” option is to wear nothing at all ;-)

Lemme know how that goes for ya…

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Avatar:Blue is the New Green

I often feel like an alien.

There are times when I feel totally out of place, oddly nostalgic for a time when things were simpler. And as much as I love my “modern” conveniences, living abroad has proven that one can still manage to have a damn good time without them. Even me.

In an alternate universe, I am a Na’vi.
Thank God I look good in blue…

After seeing the movie (twice – and I highly recommend 3D!), I remember thinking to myself how cool it would be to live in such an amazingly beautiful and magical place, and to be part of a society that honored and respected the earth, the energy and the lifeforce it shares, who would fight against all odds to defend it. Later, while I was looking through my holiday photos, I realized that I already do.

Our planet is a breathtakingly beautiful place. From the mountains, the forests and the oceans to small urban gardens, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to see some incredible places.  And of course, being a typical greedy American, the more I travel, the list of places I want to see gets longer instead of shorter. We live in a magnificent world. One that is absolutely worth fighting for.

And I am proud to be a member of a tribe who gets it: people who care about the world around us and the creatures we share it with. Some are more active in its defense, like the stars of the movie. They are our heroes, trying to save us from ourselves. The rest of us simply go about our daily lives. Perhaps not necessarily doing anything to make it better – but at least trying to make sure that our small, everyday actions don’t make it any worse.

But make no mistake: the power of being one of the many is enormous. You don’t have to be an environmental hero to make a difference. There were only a handful of leaders in the movie, but it would not have had a happy ending without the cooperation of thousands of “background players” – each being responsible only for themselves, but each making the choice to live in harmony with the energy that sustains all life. Living like the Na’vi isn’t about running around naked and flying through trees. But we make choices every day that determine whose side we’re on.

In a Filmcast Interview, James Cameron sums it up nicely:

”There’s a sense of entitlement – ‘We’re here, we’re big, we’ve got the guns, we’ve got the technology, we’ve got the brains, we therefore are entitled to every damn thing on this planet.’ That’s not how it works and we’re going to find out the hard way if we don’t wise up and start seeking a life that’s in balance with the natural cycles of life on earth.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, do. Even if you agree with the Vatican that it’s just a simplistic, sappy film that promotes neo-pagan nature-worship, it’s totally entertaining, visually stunning, and something that everyone is going to have an opinion on. And while you’re watching, think about which role YOU want to play…

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G’s Favorite Spiced Wine

mulled-wineYes, leave it to me to have my first post in months revolve around alcohol! Whatev.

I have a whole week more before I have to seriously consider any New Year’s resolutions…

Besides, it’s such a yummy festive holiday drink – and, forgive me, but this is soooooooo much easier than emailing the recipe to everyone who’s asked for it!

No need to spend a fortune on expensive tins of “mulling spices” or mess around with those annoying cheesecloths – just grab a pot, fill it with the stuff listed below and let it simmer on the stove. Or just throw everything in a crock pot and leave it on low all day (after putting it on high to heat up initially). The longer it sits, the better it tastes.  And it’s also a great way to keep your house smelling delish!!!

So folks, here ya go:

1 bottle of red wine – preferably something fruity and cheap (hey, I heard that!)

1 cup sugar

2-3 cinnamon sticks (NOT peppermint sticks  – and yes, apparently it was necessary to clarify that!)

10 whole cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns

1/2 tsp whole allspice

1/2 tsp vanilla bean

1 star anise

1 sliced orange

1 sliced lemon

1 cup brandy or cognac

Be sure NOT to let it boil. That will burn off all the alcohol and well, what fun would THAT be??

Serve with in coffee mugs with cinnamon sticks.

Super yummy for holiday parties or just curling up in front of the fire with a good book.

Remember, this isn’t a chemistry project. All measurements are “-ish”. All (well, most) ingredients are substitutable. Be creative. Make it your own. But don’t forget, the most important ingredient is L-O-V-E =)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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In-Your-Face Organic

John Patrick Organics 2010

A new breed of eco-designers is emerging, bucking the trends and shucking the labels of “eco” and “green” in favor of simply being great designers whose clothing is, first and foremost, beautiful and creative.

For them, environmental responsibility isn’t a selling point, a mark of distinction, or a marketing spin. It’s simply a foregone conclusion…and one that requires no discussion.

John Patrick is one such designer who envisions a world in the near future where people won’t ask “Is it organic?” but say instead, “Of course it’s organic!”

Although his unconventional choice of a moody, smoky NY steakhouse was hardly the quintessential venue to showcase a 2010 spring collection, it was a brilliant exercise in irony. By choosing this trendy location that was borderline anti-organic, surprising and even offending some long-time fans, John Patrick transcended the “eco-designer” stereotype. With his new line of luxurious clothes coming to life in this unusual showcase where the audience could interact with the models and feel the sumptuous fabrics they were wearing, John Patrick proved himself to be a fabulous designer…whose clothing just happens to be organic.

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“Fashion-Forward” Redefined

Stella McCartney is by-passing the green bandwagon and taking the concept of being “fashion-forward” to a whole new level.

Going far beyond boycotting leather and fur, Stella brings both her fashion design and production into the 21st century by incorporating environmental responsibility into her business on all levels.

“Hopefully the next generation aren’t even gonna know about the words environmental or green, it’s just gonna be the way they think…really, we should all just be thinking about being responsible citizens of the planet Earth on a daily basis. We shouldn’t even have a word for it.”

~Stella McCartney

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Fasting Survival Tips

teaFor all those who’ve asked and/or decided to join me, here’s the We Care Spa fasting program for the next 7 days.

If you have the time and the means, I highly recommend going away to a lovely spa and turning this into a treat rather than torture. But if you’re up for a do-it-yourself detox at home, here are some survival tips to help get you through:

If you’ve never fasted before, you might want to get a thumbs-up from your doctor. The whole point is to get healthier.

Find a buddy to do it with and hold each other accountable. We used to charge each other a drink for every infraction…but that only encouraged cheating. Now we exchange 10 things we love and every cheat means something goes on EBAY. Cruel but effective.

Stock up on all the products you need before you start and set them up on your kitchen counter.  You can get everything at Whole Foods, health food stores or online. Check out some of the links on this page for resources.

Clear out all the temptation from your kitchen – it’s much easier to suck down veggie juice when you don’t have to reach past the champagne to get to it.

If your office has a kitchen, bring your stuff there too.  It doesn’t take any longer to make a cup of tea or a detox drink than to grab a cup of coffee. Caution: although this is great water-cooler conversation, I recommend sharing general information only – no one needs (or wants) to know about your personal cleansing results.

Put post-it reminders on your fridge, cabinets, mirrors, etc. Mine say “Go ahead – guys love a toxic fast ass!” You might choose to be kinder to yourself. Whatever works.

Schedule the program in your BlackBerry and set up reminder alarms. If you stick to the program and the schedule, you won’t even be hungry.

Block out the time on your calendar in advance and take a break from the social scene. It won’t kill you to drop out for a week or two. Be a little mysterious and let everyone speculate about all the fabulous things you must be doing. And while you’re at it,  go ahead and DO some of those fabulous things that you never have time for so you’ll have all kinds of interesting things to talk about when  you re-emerge.

Schedule appointments for massages, colonics, yoga classes and all the other lovely things that you’d do at a spa.

Be creative and make it FUN.

Good Luck – and let me know how it goes!

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How To Un-Funk Your Veggies

Water and Vinegar Produce WashOk, so just two days into my fasting prep I started to contemplate the irony in detoxing with fruits and veggies that were probably covered in more pesticides and other “funk” than I could hope to clear out in a couple of weeks.

I’m not a big fan of commercial produce washes because a) they are insultingly expensive ($4+ for the ones I found); and b) those plastic spray bottles aren’t very environmentally friendly. (See, I’m making progress!)

So I consulted a few of my eco-conscious friends – who were very happy to hear that I was doing something with celery other than sticking it in a Bloody Mary – and they all concurred that a mixture of water and white vinegar will do the trick. Yup. Seriously, that’s it. Put three parts water + one part vinegar in a spray bottle (yes, this is ok because you’ll REUSE it!), spray the fruits and veggies, rinse and voila!

There you have it: clean AND green!

Supposedly researchers say it’s even better than using a scrub brush – which is awesome because those things will totally jack up a good manicure!

PS – don’t forget to recycle the vinegar bottles ;-)

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Preparing For My Summer Fast

It’s THAT time of the year…

Actually, I’m about 6 weeks late. I usually try to do this quarterly (at the change of seasons) but alas, I was off gallivanting in France and Italy during that time and well, what can I say? I’ll work on detoxing my priorities some other time…

fruits-and-veggiesFor someone who loves food as much as I do, dietary restrictions or restrictions of ANY kind are just plain brutal. But I have to say, I’m looking forward to the next two weeks because I know how amazing I’m going to feel after I survive this little mini-cleanse. My friends think I’m crazy so for those of you who are going to yell at me about not needing to lose any weight, let me remind you that fasting is NOT a quick (or easy) weight-loss plan nor is that the goal - although after all the snacks I’ve been eating lately thanks to you-know-who, it will be a most welcome side benefit…

I don’t profess to be an expert on fasting, cleansing, detoxing, or any other health-related subject. I just know what works for me and believe me, if it didn’t there’s no WAY I’d voluntarily give up food! I check in with my doctor regularly and I highly recommend the same for anyone who wants to try a fast for themselves. Incidentally, she thinks I’m crazy too, but she always encourages me to stick with it because I’m the healthiest person she sees all year!

Want to join me? Ok, here’s the plan for the next 8 days:

Eat: Only raw or lightly-steamed fruits and veggies, preferably organic and locally-grown. This may sound like torture but you’d be surprised at how many yummy raw food recipes you can dig up when you have to. There are probably some great raw food restaurants in your area as well. Try not to think of this as cruel and unusual punishment – you are embarking on a new culinary adventure! (Fortunately, you have a valid round-trip ticket…)

Drink: In addition to tons of water (add fresh lemon juice when you can), try to squeeze in the following supplements to facilitate the cleansing process:

  • 3 oz. prune juice in the morning
  • 3 oz. aloe vera juice at lunch
  • 1 cup of laxative tea after dinner
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil at bedtime

Do: Here are a few more suggestions to help prepare for the full-on fast next week:

  • Walk at least 20 minutes a day - it’s important to keep your metabolism and circulation up but also to be mindful of overexertion. If you’re used to working out for several hours a day it’s hard to keep up that pace on nothing but fruit and veggies if you’re not used to this diet. Having said that, there is a whole subculture of vegan and vegetarian athletes who seem to do just fine. I’m not enlightened enough to go totally meatless yet, but I’m doing my best.
  • Take a detox bath daily - If you have the luxury of time and a tub, you can get some great detox bath powders online. We Care Spa carries a whole line of products that are perfect for a DIY-Detox at home.
  • Dry-skin brush daily - The skin is responsible for 1/4 of the body’s daily detox. In addition to facilitating detoxification, dry brushing also exfoliates dead skin and stimulates the growth of new soft skin. There are several other benefits including cellulite removal, tightening the skin, and muscle toning but I’ll have to save that for another post.
  • Avoid oils and lotions - Dry brushing expedites the removal of toxins through the skin, but all those wonderful oils, lotions and potions that lock-in moisture will lock the toxins in with it. So if detox is one of your goals, let your skin do what it’s supposed to do. Hey, no one said this was gonna be glamorous.

Once you’ve gotten through this week – especially the first day or two – you will be amazed at how NOT hungry you are! And all this will prepare your body for the main event: the 7-day fast.

If anyone plans on joining me let me know. It’s SO much easier with a buddy!!! But choose wisely – lest you find yourself partnered up with someone who believes with all her (or his) heart that an organic limoncello martini with orange garnish is a sanctioned libation.

Save those for your celebration toast – I do!!!

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I love my V-8!

Wish I could say I was talking about the vegetable juice, but alas…I mean my car.

Can a Porsche learn to be eco-friendly?I know, I know…it couldn’t possibly be more “un-green”.

It’s a totally wicked, triple black, super cute, cabriolet convertible 1997 Porsche C4.

It’s all mine.

And I absolutely LOVE it.

So as I embark down this green brick road, I feel compelled to question whether or not this love affair with my car makes me a raging hypocrite or if there is some way I can justify this vice of mine. After much reflection and the sincere consideration of trading it in for something more “environmentally responsible” (honest!), I elected to cut a deal with myself and trade this indulgence for some other, more palatable – and ultimately more eco-friendly – forms of penance.

Before anyone gets all up in my grill with the judgment, here’s some totally legit math:

My mom has a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. She drives about 12,000 miles a year, which is in line with the national average. According to the carbon footprint calculator, mom and her hybrid contribute the equivalent of 2.56 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is way less than the 7.24 tonnes kicked in by comparable mileage in a 4WD SUV. Now I don’t know exactly what these numbers translate into, but I’m pretty sure in this case, less is more. So what’s a speed freak like me to do?

Well, I try not to drive more than necessary so my bopping around the city is mostly done by walking or taking public transportation. I save my car for major errand days once a month (rather than once a week) and for road trips out to see my family in the burbs. I also keep up the maintenance and try not to drive it so hard – little things like accelerating slower and breaking earlier save both gas and wear-and-tear. And for what I pay for both gas and repairs, that’s a win-win-win! All in, I put less than 3000 miles on my car a year, making me responsible for only 1.54 tonnes.

In all fairness, if I were to drive mom’s car 3000 miles per year, I could reduce my footprint by another .9 tonnes…but I figure if walking and public transport put me at 40% less than what mom contributes and 80% less than the standard SUV brigades, I’m definitely doing more than my share.

Bottom line: if you have a gas guzzler that you just can’t part with, you don’t have to apologize for it. Embrace it, enjoy it and just try to drive it a little easier and a little less – especially if you live in the city where practically everywhere is walkable, parking is ridiculously expensive, and you always have to worry about having your baby dinged up or illegally parked by valets. Besides, it’s no fun to have a sports car in stop-and-go traffic anyway and cruising the Viagra Triangle just makes you look…well, ya just don’t wanna be that guy/girl. TRUST ME.

For all the die-hard eco-saints who are twitching as they read this, take heart: even my miniature footprint makes me feel guilty knowing that I could still be doing more – so I do. Read on for other ways I compensate for my additction…

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Power Trip

I’m turning into my mother.

Fortunately, my mom is super cool so that’s actually not a bad thing. But I didn’t think it was so great when I was younger – and smarter and cooler and, like, totally knew everything.

save energy!I remember her always harping on me and my friends to turn the lights off when we left a room. Unbeknownst to me, we didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, but I enjoyed my life and my parents always made us feel like we were rich – so I REALLY hated when mom would “act poor”. I mean, my friends’ parents didn’t seem to care whether we left the lights on in every room of their house or left the TV and radio on all day or stood in front of an open fridge for 10 minutes deciding what kind of juice box we wanted. And it was soooo embarrassing to have friends come round the house because mom kept the thermostat at 65 in the winter and 80 in the summer to save on heating and air-conditioning. Honestly, is this not some kind of child abuse??

I couldn’t wait to get out and live on my own. My first apartment was FABULOUS. I loved that I could do whatever I wanted – I could leave the lights on all day so I could come home from a hard day’s work to a bright, happy space. I could leave the radio on all night for soothing music to lullaby me to sleep. And the best part was that I could crank the heat and wear tank tops and booty shorts in the dead of winter, or turn it into an A/C igloo so I could cuddle up under my fluffy down comforter in the height of summer…well all that was great until I got my first utility bill for $387.52!!! More than twice what mom paid, and for an apartment that was 1/5 the size of our house. Suddenly when it was my money on the line, putting on a sweater and turning off the lights didn’t seem terribly inconvenient anymore.

Now I have an apartment that’s three times bigger and my electric bill is still less than $50/month. How?

  1. I turn the lights off when I leave a room and use dimmers or candles every chance I get – it’s a great way to set a mood for company or just to create a quiet space for some much needed downtime.
  2. I don’t leave the TV or radio on unless I’m consciously watching or listening. If I want company, I phone a friend.
  3. I plug TV’s, DVD players, computers, etc into power strips and turn the power strips on/off when I use them.
  4. I only wash full loads of dishes and laundry and air-dry dishes unless I’m doing a massive after-party clean-up.
  5. And alas, I now keep the thermostat at 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer.

Sure it takes a little extra thought, but not really much extra effort. And personally, I can think of a LOT of way better things to spend that extra $337.52 on every month. Thanks Mom! Barney’s anyone?

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