October is Vegetarian Awareness Month!

By Shannon Connor Winward

unnamed(PCM) World Vegetarian Day (October 1st) was started in the late 1970s by the North American Vegetarian Society. A generation of broadened horizons and opened minds later, October is now designated world-wide as a time to celebrate the benefits of living meat-free.

Vegetarian Awareness Month is for everyone! There are different kinds of vegetarian diets, of course. Some include animal products such as dairy and (or) eggs. Others are more intense – veganism, which allows food only from plant sources, has its own Awareness Month (Heads up! It’s in November.) All vegetarians eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds (or they should!), but these foods are uber-important to the omnivore, too. Even if you are not ready to give up meat completely, reducing your intake of it can be cheaper, better for you, better for the environment, and downright delicious.

Switching to meatless meals just a few times a week could shave serious dollars off your grocery spending. Many low-cost, non-perishable foods like rice, beans, pasta and canned goods are meat-free, or can be (check your labels). Anyone who has ever had to feed a household on a budget can tell you that bulking up on such staples is the best way to stretch your food dollar. You can beef out on fresh produce, too, for less than you’d spend on meat: buy fresh when it’s season, especially if you can freeze it for later. You might even consider canning your own – it’s easier than you might think, and nothing beats the taste of summer in a jar on a cool October evening.

Thanks to the health benefits of a diet high in fruit and vegetables, it can also be argued that going vegetarian even part of the time can save you money by limiting health care costs. When properly planned and balanced, vegetarian diets are lower in saturated fats and cholesterol and higher in fiber and nutrients – all the good things that lower your risk for health issues such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes. A vegetarian diet can even reduce your risk for some forms of cancer!

Reducing meat consumption could also have global benefits. It’s not a straightforward equation (you can’t easily compare apples to oranges, or oranges to cattle), but meat production is in general more expensive than growing plant-based foods. By emphasizing meat less in the world economy, it’s possible we could feed more people with less land, energy, resources, and environmental impact.

And though many people won’t give up meat because it tastes good (bacon), you can still go meat-free now and then without sacrificing satisfaction! Vegetarianism isn’t just alfalfa sprouts (which are actually awesome on salad) and tofu (also tasty, if done right. Supposedly). You can find amazing vegetarian options on bookstore shelves, internet sites and restaurant menus – meals so good you won’t even miss the meat.

Indeed, some of the world’s best cuisines go well with a vegetarian diet. Craving curry? Many Indians are vegetarian for religious reasons; their dishes are renowned for savory and spicy flavors blended with vegetables, fruits, rice and other grains. Or how about falafel? The food of the Mediterranean, considered among the healthiest in the world, revels in fresh produce, grains, and healthy oils along with seafood and sparring portions of meat (when it’s eaten at all). To create vegetarian versions of your favorite cuisines at home, focus on the herbs, spices, and produce that are unique to that region.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the benefits of enjoying meat-free alternatives now and then. If you aren’t already observing “Meatless Mondays” or some version in your household, maybe now is the time. When in Rome, do as the Romans do – when in October, give meat-free a try!

The post October is Vegetarian Awareness Month! also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

This Halloween Say No to Zombies, Yes to Zombie Killer!

Zombies. They’re soooo in right now. It’s a brave new corpsed-up world.  How zombified have things gotten, really? Google “zombie” paired with pretty much any other word, from A to, well, Zed, and you’ll get a legion of legitimate hits. “Zombie apple?” Ripe for the pickin’! “Zombie zeitgeist?” Well, duh! Just be prepared to unearth a little zombie kinkiness/nastiness as well. Because one Haitian voodoo daddy’s zombie cucumber is another person’s, um.

So what’s a thoughtful tricked-out treatster to do this Halloween to stand out from the inevitable ratty horde of would-be rotting meatbags? Simple: Go the opposite of zombie! Get your dress-up on as the world’s most kick-ass zombie killer instead.

Rule Halloween night like a redneck king! Strut the zombie-choked streets as Tallahassee, the Twinkie-obsessed undead-dispatcher from the 2009 Hollywood smash hit Zombieland. See RDB’s simple costuming tips below!


rule #1: badass hat. The essential bit. For true Tallahassee attitude, only the right hatitude will cut it: Duding up in country-singer cowboy headwear is gonna miss the mark, podnah. The real thing, in this case, is the Real Deal Brazil (realdealbrazil.com), our genuine handmade-in-Brazil recycled-truck-tarp hat, chosen by Columbia Pictures’ costume department to give Tallahassee his crazy-ass sense of comic s***kicker cool. And once Halloween has melted back into the shadows, we’re confident your RDB hat will still be making mucho guest appearances atop your own crazy-ass cabeza.

rule #2: shades ’n’ scruff. Try the sunglasses-tree at just about any dollar store for suitable NASCAR-country-boy eyewear. And if you can’t muster up some fast whisker growth for a sloppy goatee, then dot your cheeks and chin with an eyeliner pencil for a quick patch of 5 o’clock hair-face.

rule #3: he-man neckwear. Wood beads, heavy chains, metal or fake-bone pendants. Kind of a Cracker Jacks-prize approach to men’s jewelry, really. Here again, any available dollar store should get you there.

rule #4: v-neck shirt. There’s something about a lowcut T-shirt that just says you’re badass. (Unless, of course, you’re a real lardass, and wearing sweatpants. Then it kinda says 3 a.m. Wal-Mart shopper instead.) Maroon is Tallahassee’s color, but any dark V-neck T should do the trick.

rule #5: leathers. You could probably pull off a jean jacket in a pinch, but Tallahassee is all about classic heavy leather, when he’s not seriously rednecking it up in snakeskin. Just not leather with too much sheen to it, and more motorcycle-style than bomber.

rule #6: the belt. Something with a big ol’ metal buckle.

rule #7: weapon holder, or (fake) weapon. The average leather gun holster is too small, but a leather sheaf for a long fish-filleting knife would do it, strapped to your belt, and then tied at the bottom around your left thigh with yet another belt. In the absence of that, just get yourself a toy rifle, or a toy AK-47, if such a thing is available at, y’know, Toy Guns ’R Us. The key word here is “toy.” Halloween surprise + packing real heat = bang, bang, someone’s bad-dead, not just funny-undead.

rule #8: classic denim. No designer “holes,” acid-washed streaks or black thread; the simple workin’ man’s denim-jeans standard, Levi’s, is best. To achieve that I’ve-just-endured-the-apocalypse feel, rub charcoal on your hands and then smear them on your thighs. You dirty little zombie-killer, you!

rule #9: boots. Cowboy, not biker. Suede or natural says serious boot-wearer, but snakeskin lends kick-ass redneck cred in a red-hot second.

other fun props. Jack Daniels bottle, Hostess Twinkies, banjo, long-handled pruning shears.*

* Note of caution: Hard liquor, mystery-cream-filled snack-cakes, poorly played bluegrass music and sharp garden implements can cause serious harm to the still-living.

The post This Halloween Say No to Zombies, Yes to Zombie Killer! also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Tattoos Get An Afterlife Even After Their Owner Is Deceased


(PCM) Tattoos, whether you love or hate them, have become a staple of popular culture and many individuals take great pride, spending thousands of dollars, to turn their bodies into living breathing art canvas.

For many their tattoos are an artistic extension of themselves and hold great significance in their hearts. People often times commemorate certain life events with a tattoo such as the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, marriage, and even sometimes divorce.

No matter what the case may be tattoos are a big part of the individual who had them done and now there is a way to have these special tattoos preserved and framed after the person is deceased.

A man by the name of Charlie Hamm has founded the National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) and he and his team have discovered a way fix inked skin against decomposition. After a person dies, their tattooed skin can be removed and the placed in a frame or display for loved ones to cherish.

It may sound a bit gruesome, but if you think about the fact that certain tattoos can truly represent an individuals heart and soul, it can actually make for a lovely way to honor their memory and keep a piece of your loved one near you at all times.

NAPSA charges an initiation fee of $115 dollars and then $60 dollars per year to be sure that they can have at least one chest-sized tattoo preserved after their death. Additional tattoos cost $100 a piece. The finished art piece will last just as long as any other piece of art, so long as it is properly taken care of, meaning no exposure to heat or direct sunlight.

The post Tattoos Get An Afterlife Even After Their Owner Is Deceased also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Burger King Halloween Black Burger To Blame For Green Poop


(PCM) When Burger King revealed their all new black Halloween Whopper just in time to celebrate the Halloween season, consumers flocked to the fast-food restaurant to give it a try, however they just as quickly flocked to social media to reveal that after consuming the burger their bowel movements were turning a lovely shade of green.

Talk about a little trick or treat in your stomach!  Apparently, the green poop is caused by the black food dye that is used to color the Halloween Whopper’s buns. The all-black Whopper has been available in Japan for quite sometime and there have been no reports of green poop, however they are using squid ink to color the buns rather than black food dye.

Needless to say the hashtag #GreenPoop is currently trending on both Twitter and Facebook and many people are now heading out to try the sandwich just to see if it actually makes them poop a different color. Many have reported that it is not even a sickly colored green, but more like a bright cartoon green which makes this all the more odd!

Have you tried the new Halloween Whopper? Did it make have #GreenPoop?

The post Burger King Halloween Black Burger To Blame For Green Poop also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

What Does It Mean If You See A Teal Pumpkin This Halloween


(PCM) Each year thousands of children across the country will go out trick-or-treating picking up candy of all varieties to enjoy. However, there are some children that suffer from dietary restrictions, food allergies, diabetes and a host of other illnesses that do not allow them to enjoy most of the candy that is picked up door to door on Halloween.

This can prove to be quite an issue for mom and dad, as well as, incredibly frustrating for the child who can’t understand why he or she can not enjoy the same trick-or-treating experience as their peers. While it is completely impossible to be able to anticipate every child’s specific needs when giving out candy and treats this Halloween, there is one small thing you can do to be sure that all visiting children can be accommodated properly.

If you paint a pumpkin teal in color and leave it on your front steps or porch parents and children will know that it is safe for them to go trick-or-treating at your home, as you will offer alternatives other than candy such as toys or small games that will not make them sick.

Such a wonderful idea and we will certainly be on the lookout for teal pumpkins during the Halloween season. We urge everyone to take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project!

The post What Does It Mean If You See A Teal Pumpkin This Halloween also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Halloween Costumes for Procrastinators

For procrastinators, Halloween sneaks up behind us like Norman Bates in Psycho, but have no fear! We have 5 quick and easy, last-minute costume ideas for those of you who forgot that Halloween is coming up this Monday.

1. A Domino

What you need: A black shirt and pants or a black dress, white felt, scissors, a hot glue gun, or tape.

How to make it: Cut out as many circles of white felt as you would like and arrange them on your black outfit in the design of a domino. Cut out a white strip that will serve as the line dividing the domino or even better find a white belt to wear. Tape or glue the felt onto your outfit and you’re all set!

2. A Twister Board

What you need: A white shirt and pants or a white dress, red, green, yellow, and blue felt, scissors, and glue or tape.

How to make it: Cut out circles of colored felt and tape or hot glue them to your white outfit in the shape of a Twister board. If you have the time to run to the halloween store, pick up a hat with a spinner on top to finish off the costume.

3. Risky Business

What you need: An oversized button-up shirt, boxer shorts, high white socks, and sunglasses.

How to make it: Throw on the outfit then slide across hardwood floors and dance around like Tom Cruise.

4. A Smurf

What you need: White shorts/pants, a blue t-shirt, a white hat, blue tights, blue long-sleeved shirt or blue body paint.

How to make it: Put on your blue tights on underneath your white pants and put on your blue shirt. For dedciated trick-o-treaters, forget the shirt and paint your body and face blue.

5. Grapes

What you need: Green or purple balloons, a green hat, and tape.

How to make it: Blow up several balloons and tape a bunch onto your outfit. Plop on your green hat as the leaves but be careful if you decide to sit down, your costume might pop!

The post Halloween Costumes for Procrastinators also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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