Shopping Cruelty Free in Korea

Shopping Cruelty Free in Korea

I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for a comprehensive list of vegan bathroom products. Leaping Bunny publish a list of cruelty-free companies some of which operate in Korea, and although it’s great to support companies which do not test on animals, I can’t believe a product is cruelty-free if it contains animal parts or secretions. However, KARA has kindly allowed me to share their excellent list of vegan bathroom products and household cleaners.

 Apologies, but the above links must be entered into your browser manually.

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Tomato Season = Tomato Soup

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Tomato Season = Tomato Soup It’s July, tomato season. All along my street sit grandmothers and farmers with bright red baskets bursting with ripe tomatoes. Selling them by the pound, then quickly replenishing stocks with a never-ending supply from their … Continue reading

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Vegetarianism for Cancer Patients

Vegetarianism for Cancer Patients

Guest Post by  Jillian McKee

People may follow a vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons, including being concerned about animal welfare, the environment, desiring better health or simply disliking meat. Whatever the reason, beginning a vegetarian diet can be a smart health move, especially for patients with cancer.

Good nutrition is an essential component to battling cancer, succeeding in treatment and living a healthy life during remission. People with all types of cancer must take special care to ensure that their bodies receive the proper amounts of nutrients and calories each day. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can provide all the fat, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and nutrients one needs, but some cancer patients find it difficult to eat normally during treatment, including mesothelioma treatments, due to unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and changes in taste and smell. A vegetarian diet is often easier to tolerate because it is generally lower in fat and healthier than an animal-based diet.

The American Dietetic Association announced that a vegetarian diet may help prevent cancer and also can help patients succeed during treatment. The paper maintained that a well-planned vegetarian diet could give patients more energy during and after treatments, provide healthy vitamins and nutrients and help patients meet their nutritional needs without meat, fish or poultry.

Some cancer patients find it difficult to consume the proper nutrients each day due to symptoms and side effects like dry mouth, sore throat, nausea, mouth sores or fatigue. A vegetarian diet can help patients get the nutrients they need because plant-based foods are loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. The foods generally contain more nutrients per calorie than animal-based or processed foods, so patients can gain enormous benefits even if they have a small appetite or find it difficult eating large amounts of food. For instance, just one serving of strawberries contains nearly 150 percent of the daily recommend amount of vitamin C. One cup of spinach contains more than half the daily amount of vitamin A and one cup of blueberries contains nearly 40 percent of the daily amount of vitamin K.

Protein is a vital component to any diet, but cancer patients require more of the nutrient than others because it helps rebuild body tissue that may have been damaged by the disease or by treatment. Healthy sources of protein for vegetarians include soy products, beans, lentils, nuts and low-fat dairy products.

According to the American Cancer Society, studies show that a vegetarian diet can improve health for cancer patients. A study of Seventh-Day Adventists, a religious group that forbids the consumption of all types of animal flesh, showed that followers of a vegetarian diet were less likely to develop certain types of cancer than omnivores. The religious group’s death rate from cancer was also half the rate of the general meat-eating population. A vegetarian diet was found to be largely responsible for these differences.

Other studies confirm that a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and dying from the disease. A German study showed that the death rate for vegetarians with colon cancer was significantly lower than that of meat-eaters. A 17-year British study confirmed that consuming fresh fruit each day can lead to a significant reduction in the rate of cancer deaths. In addition, vegetarian men had a greatly reduced risk of developing prostate cancer.

The benefits of a vegetarian diet are plenty, but they can only be reaped if the diet is well balanced and healthy. It is possible to call oneself a vegetarian and only consume processed foods like potato chips, ice cream and pasta, but the benefits of the diet will not be the same. A healthy vegetarian diet is based around whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products. By following this prescription and avoiding processed foods that are high in sugar and fat, cancer patients can achieve a well-balanced diet with many benefits.

 Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

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EWG Study: What You Should Buy Organic

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently completed its analysis of pesticide residue levels in conventionally-grown (non-organic) produce. From the results of almost 43,000 tests, EWG estimates that consumers could reduce their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent if they avoid the most contaminated foods and ate only foods they identified as containing the least pesticide residue.

By eating the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables, nicknamed “The Dirty Dozen,”  the average person is exposed to 15 different pesticides each day, while someone eating the least contaminated will be exposed to fewer than two pesticides each day. (Get a pocket guide for the Dirty Dozen for free here.)

The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic

If you have budget constraints, your money is doing more for your health when you put it towards organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables (listed in descending order, starting with greatest levels pesticide contamination): For help identifying organic foods in South Korea, read my post about organic labeling here.

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (not USA)
  7. Grapes (not USA)
  8. Sweet bell peppers / capsicums
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (USA)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale / Collard green

The Clean 15: Save Your Money & Buy Conventional

If buying only organic fruit and veg is too pricey, you can play it safe and eat the following conventional produce to minimize your exposure. These 15 foods have the least amount of pesticide residue when eaten (listed in ascending order, starting with of lowest levels of pesticide contamination):

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Even though they are safer than the dirty dozen, when eating conventional foods peel away edible skins and outer leaves as pesticides are often concentrated there. Remember to wash all produce (conventional and organic) thoroughly with a natural fruit or vegetable cleanser. Peeling and washing will not only reduce pesticide exposure, but it may also result in the loss of valuable vitamins and nutrients (especially fiber).

To see EWG’s complete study results, and the rankings of 43 different produce items, visit their website, Article

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Vegg French Toast

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Vegg French Toast I like mine crispy I’m still super excited about the Vegg, a vegan egg replacer with the flavor of a hen’s egg., and following my success with scrambled veggs I tried out this simple french toast recipe. Ingredients … Continue reading

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David and Frankie’s Wedding Dinner

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As you can see, I was really excited about the {vegan} carrot cake with frosting care of VeganBeats. Everyone was raving about the cake and demanding the recipe so here it is. Part II – Billie Jeans Digg this post … Continue reading

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Eating {Vegan} at The Westin Chosun

Eating (Vegan) at the Westin Chosun

The Westin Chosun is not a hotel to be sneered at. Ranked the most prestigious hotel along Haeundae Beach, this 4.5 star hotel contains 7 restaurants/bars including an exquisite lunch buffet.


In the rare instances that I visit restaurants like these, I usually feel pretty uncomfortable. However this occasion was a special one. We were dining here in my honour and I felt obligated to get the most our of it. The most being three plates of divine international veggie cuisine. There was a chickpea and sundried tomato salad, a choice of ten different olives, roasted vegetables, braised vegetables, stir-fried vegetables, soups, pastas, asian inspired noodles, hummus and an assortment of bread and cheeses.

I loved the food, enjoyed the atmosphere and the view was stunning. But was it worth the 60,000won per person price tag? From a vegan perspective the answer is no. I loved the fruits and sauces but couldn’t indulge in most of the soups or desserts. The amount of vegan friendly food paled significantly when compared to animal meat. The Westin Chosun offered meat in droves therefore the price was raised accordingly. For a vegan there isn’t any financial value. The dishes were good, but you ended up eating several days worth of food to get you money’s worth. It was a special occasion for me, so I loved it for other reasons but would never spend so much on lunch ordinarily.

The Westin Chosun’s Camellia restaurant is on the first floor and to the right. For more details visit this site. 

Hours: 6:30 AM – 10:00 AM; 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM; 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Atmosphere: Beach side
Phone: (82)(51) 749 7434

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Getting Married in South Korea for 20 cents

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Consider this your warning: If you’d rather not see pictures of newly weds beaming with joy and kissing in public, head to the recipe section. I had never wanted to get married as a young girl. I neither dreamed of … Continue reading

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Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette Party

And so begins the bonanza of wedding related material. This past week (Tuesday June 12th to be precise) I tied the knot with my handsome, intelligent and supportive boyfriend  husband.

The festivities began with a bachelorette picnic party on the beach. I was completely unprepared, and under-dressed, for 20 of my girlfriend to take me by surprise with their company and cooking. I will be honest – I was nervous when told that all the food was vegan. My friends have kind hearts and many talents, but cooking without eggs or milk is not easy the first time you try it and I feared it would put them off if it wasn’t delicious. Of course, it was delicious. Stuffed mushrooms, pasta salad, homemade salsa and corn chips, raspberries, chocolate rum balls, beet dip, hummus and bread… amazing delectable food not to mention the gin, glorious gin.

We sat on the beach celebrating my nuptials whilst joined by an impressive orange moon and dozens of other partygoers celebrating the mid-week national holiday. If you crank the brightness on the screen and squint your eyes tightly you can just make out my engagement ring.

As if I weren’t spoilt enough, on the following weekend. I was lucky enough to have a more provocative Bachelorette Party with my sister from New Zealand in tow. [If you’re easily offended, do not look too closely at the this picture.]

In summary: My girlfriends can cook wicked food, are awesome company and know how to throw a damn good party.


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Things I Like Thursday – Cat & Dog Love

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Things I Like Thursday – Cat & Dog Love I have already doted plenty on my own pets, but I feel I still have room for some cat & dog love in the form of pictures. Enjoy this gallery I … Continue reading

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