What’s the difference between a dog and a cow?

Last weekend was the first time in my life that I can honestly say I’m living my life in line with my values.  I’ve dabbled in veganism for  4 years.  I’ve struggled to become a full fledged vegan for various reasons. But  I can finally call myself 100% vegan.

My interest in veganism began when my health was declining and I was desperate.I originally went vegan for myself.

Now, I call myself an “ethical vegan”, meaning I’m vegan for the animals and the health benefits are a bonus.  

When you go vegan for the animals, it’s a lot harder to cheat and eat a piece of cheese or have fish for dinner because you are aware of the immense suffering that goes into creating these products.

Thank you to all of the people that posted graphic images of animal abuse on social media.  

Although it would have been much easier to ignore it, I looked at the horrific images and decided I didn’t want to contribute to it any longer.

So why was last weekend so eye-opening for me?  Well, I spent a Saturday afternoon at Pasados Safe Haven, an animal sanctuary in Sultan, Washington.  Pasados is not usually open to the public other than special occasions such as the farm tour I attended.  Pasados frequently rescues animals from abuse situations.  They need to be rehabilitated and are often scared of humans because of the abuse they experienced.

Pasados Safe Haven, vegan, animal sanctuary, animal abuse, factory farming
Entrance to Pasados Safe Haven, Sultan, Washington. “Sweet creatures who pass this sanctuary once scared and alone, now you are safe, now you are home”


The first stop on the tour of the farm was to feed Gary and Chloe, two lovable goats.  As a kid growing up in Southern California, we had two goats “Betty” and “Billy”.  Neither of them were very friendly and would try to ram us in the butts when got near them.  Gary and Chloe were very sociable and sweet as you can see in the picture below.

Vegan, factory farming, animal rescue
This was our first stop on our tour of Pasados Safe Haven. These two goats had the best personalities.



vegan, go vegan, animal rights, animal sanctuary
Munching on some yummy romaine.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent time with pigs.  The only pigs I have seen in person were at county fairs in Pennsylvania.  Again, these pigs were very social and have personalities much like dogs.  These guys were rescued from a backyard butcher.  Their mother was unable to produce milk to feed them.  The butcher decided he would just allow them to starve to death. Pasados stepped in and saved them.  They were extremely underweight and malnourished but with some love and proper nutrition, they’re now 7 months old and thriving.  Pigs are typically slaughtered at 6 months old, although their lifespan is 15 years.

pigs, vegan, animal rights, animal rescue, pig rescue
These guys were rescued from a backyard butcher as piglets.


vegan, pig, slaughter, rescue, animal rights, pasados safe haven
Pigs are so friendly and playful. My dream is that one day we live in a world where pigs can rest like this guy and not be abused and killed for their meat.

My childhood home was near a slaughterhouse.  Anyone that has ever driven in the vicinity of Chino, California can tell you how horrible it smells.

The cow on the right started life in a veal crate.  Cows raised for veal are kept in tiny enclosures so that they are unable to move or gain muscle.  This cruelty is for human pleasure and produces a very soft meat. This cow weights 2500 lbs. which is unusually large.  Usually baby calf are taken from their mothers immediately after birth so that the milk can be given to humans.  The baby cows are allowed to reach a certain weight and then are slaughtered for meat.

This cow is so large because he was allowed to drink the milk of his mother which was filled with hormones and antibiotics.  I’m guessing veal cows are allowed to drink their mother’s milk in order to gain weight rapidly in the veal crate.

The cow on the right started life as veal.  He weighs 2500 lbs. which is abnormally large.  The reason he is so large is because he drank his mother's milk and his mother was loaded up with antibiotics and hormones.
The cow on the right started life as veal. He weighs 2500 lbs. which is abnormally large. The reason he is so large is because he drank his mother’s milk and his mother was loaded up with antibiotics and hormones.

The final stop of the tour were the rescue dogs waiting for forever homes.  Most of the dogs were pit bulls.  Pit bulls are the most euthanized breed of dogs.  I have had a couple of scary run ins with pit bulls but I’m trying to get over my fear of them.

Cute little basset hound looking for his forever home.
Cute little basset hound looking for his forever home.

The most profound realization that spending a day at an animal sanctuary had on me is that all of these animals have a deep desire to live. They’re all intelligent, they have unique personalities and they don’t want to die. The problem is that they’re defenseless and voiceless.

People tell me all the time “I’m a huge animal lover” and the next thing you know they’re eating a steak for dinner.

I’ve come to realize that the animals we consider household pets are no different than farm animals that we treat as commodities.

Below are a couple of pictures I recently posted to my social media accounts to illustrate this point:

dog cow 2


Dog cow 1

I’m not trying to preach.  I’ll be the first to admit, it took me 35 years to come to this realization. I wish someone would have pointed this out to me sooner.

In many countries, dogs are considered food and cows are worshiped.  If you are not aware of this, please Google “Yulin Dog Meat Festival.” Our beliefs about how we see pets and how we see farm animals are shaped by our culture.

All it takes is a simple mind shift to see a pig, cow, chicken as equivalent to a dog.

Once you make this switch, you will have no choice but to become vegan because you’ll no longer be able to eat a “friend”.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please subscribe to my newsletter in the box below.

Ready to go vegan? Click here to get started.

For the animals.

Brooks Sig





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Road Trip to the Cascades Vegan Style

As much as I love living in Seattle, I also love getting out of the city and into nature.  Washington State is well known for it’s abundance of nature.  I usually decide the night before where I am going to go by searching Instagram.  Does anyone else do this?

This time around Diablo Lake in the North Cascades National Park was the winner. Here is one of my favorite pictures below.  The photograph does not to the lake justice.

Diablo Lake 029



Toby is my favorite road trip companion.  He recently went vegan.  Here he is munching on his V-Dog food, oatmeal and carrots. Now that we are both vegan, we can share snacks!

Diablo Lake 043

So why do I love spending time in nature so much?  I have a million reasons, but here are my top three:

  • Nature clears my mind- As I stated before, I believe on of the most profound benefits of being vegan is that my mind is crystal clear.  In the past, I was medicated with just about every psychological drug on the market.  Now I maintain my clear mind with fruits and veggies. I do notice that when I am in nature my mind has even more clarity and I am better able to stay in the present moment and not worry about the future or the past.
  • Nature allows me to be an introvert-I’m a very introverted person.  I’ve finally come to accept my introverted personality.  There is no better place than nature to be an introvert.  I love the peace and tranquility.
  • Nature reminds me why I left California and moved to Washington- People ask me all the time, “why would did you leave California to move to Washington”.  I try to explain to them that California is overpopulated and it’s nearly impossible to escape to nature without first sitting in 3 hours of bumper to bumper traffic.


Diablo Lake, Washington
Diablo Lake, Washington

As a vegan, I know I have to be prepared while traveling.  Unfortunately, there are not many vegan options on road trips.  Most of the places I came across were BBQ and I even saw a food truck specializing in wild game.  I saw a lot of cows grazing in beautiful fields of green grass. This is much better than the conditions at factory farm.  Unfortunately, these cows are probably going to be slaughtered and sold as “grass fed” beef.

I did come across the most adorable produce stand ever.  I could totally see myself owning a place like this one day.

Organic Food Stand, Cascade Mountains, Washington
Organic Food Stand, Cascade Mountains, Washington

The day was amazing.  I ended up driving for 7 hours straight.  Most of that time I was listening to the “Wilder Mind” album by Mumford & Sons with a little bit of Muse thrown in.  Yes, I am completely addicted to this album at the moment.

When I got home to Seattle, I was surprised by how much energy I had after all that driving.  I’ve never had so much energy my entire life and I have to give all the credit to my vegan lifestyle.

Where do you spend time in nature? Do you have a favorite place or do you like to try out new locations? Tell me in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to sign up for my newsletter below.

If you’re ready to go vegan and change your life and health, email me at info@theveganglow.com for details on how I can help you.


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Suffer from Health Food Store Overwhelm? Check this out.

Are you completely overwhelmed when you walk into a health food store?  Don’t panic, this is totally normal.

When I first started eating a plant based diet I was completely confused and frustrated when it came time to shop.  I remember stepping into a Whole Foods for the first time and feeling like I didn’t belong.  I was actually nervous and had no idea what I was supposed to buy.  Everyone else there seemed to know what they were doing, but not me.

Back when I ate a S.A.D. (standard American diet) of processed foods, frozen foods, canned foods, bagged foods and dead meat, shopping seemed so much easier.

Now that I’ve got plant based grocery shopping down to a science, I want to help others feel more comfortable shopping for vegan foods.  Unfortunately,you can’t assume that all products in a health food store are healthy.  In fact, I see a lot of overweight vegetarians and vegans.  Instead of eating whole foods from nature, they are eating processed vegan foods. Not good.

It’s a great idea to really become an expert shopper because when you are on a plant based diet, you will be at the grocery store often.  

During a typical week, I am at the store at least 2 times.  When you eat a diet of fresh foods, you have to shop often. Unlike processed foods filled with chemicals and preservatives, whole foods go bad quickly and need to be constantly replenished.

I created a new program to help you become a food detective and save time and money while shopping.  This workshop will help you determine the most healthy foods for your body while avoiding becoming a junk food vegan.

Sign up now for my new vegan grocery shopping tour and food detective workshop.
Sign up now for my new vegan grocery shopping tour and food detective workshop.

The workshop is 2 hours.  We will meet at a local Whole Foods and make our way through all the departments of the store.  Together we will read labels and determine if a product is safe or not.

As we make our way through the store, I will point out vegan products that I use and offer recommendations.  You will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

The investment is $400 for 2 hours and includes the following:

What this service includes:

  • We will meet at Whole Foods, Seattle (South Lake Union or Interbay). or Central Co-op (Capitol Hill).
  • Explanation of GMO, Organic, Gluten free, and more.
  • Learn to read labels and be a food detective.
  • We will tour each department of the store and I will provide you with product recommendations.
  • Lots of handouts.
  • Q&A, you can ask me any of your health and wellness questions.
  • Opportunity to sign up for my 6 month health coaching program and/or kitchen detox service for a discounted price.

Who this service is for:

  • Anyone intimidated by shopping in a health food store (I know I was when I first started eating healthy).
  • Anyone confused about ingredients and labels.
  • Anyone wanting to know more about what they are eating and how to avoid toxic chemicals.

Benefits of this service:

  • Eliminate grocery store overwhelm.
  • Learn how to quick read a label and decide if a product is safe or not.
  • Save time by learning to quickly read labels.
  • Save money by learning about the clean 15 and dirty dozen.
  • Discover new plant based products and how to add them to your diet.
  • Avoid becoming a junk-food vegan by learning to read labels.

If you live in the Seattle area and are interested in this service, email me at brooksdawnhall@gmail.con to set up a tour.   Spaces are very limited.  If you know someone that suffers from health food store overwhelm, share this post with them.

For more plant based diet health tips delivered to your inbox, sign up below.


Brooks Sig





Vegan Health Coach

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But, Where Do You Get Your Protein?

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The number one question vegans are asked.
The number one question vegans are asked.

This is by far the most common question I get when I initially tell someone I am a vegan.  I have to admit, I wasn’t always sure how to answer this question.  I assumed that I probably wasn’t getting enough protein.  However, I’ve come to find that my body thrives on a plant based diet with absolutely no protein from animal sources.

I’ve mentioned in other posts all of the health ailments I’ve been able to overcome with a vegan diet.

I can still remember the last time I ate an animal.  

I was at a 30 Seconds to Mars concert in Mountain View, California.  It’s kind of ironic, because Jared Leto, the lead singer, is a vegan.  I was  hangry (hungry + angry= hangry, for those of you not familiar with this word) and desperate for food.  The hot dog line was the shortest, so that’s where I ended up.

The week following that hot dog was HELL.

What's in a hot dog?  Maybe this is why I got so sick? Yuck.
What’s in a hot dog? Maybe this is why I got so sick? Yuck.

I have always suffered from digestive issues but this was the worst pain I’ve experienced.  After a couple of days of misery, I went to to the doctor.  I was prescribed an antacid, which made the problem even worse.

Looking back, I am thankful I ate that hot dog because it caused me to re-examine my diet and recommit to a plant based diet.  Now that I refuse to eat animal products, where do I get my protein?  Here is a list of some of the protein packed plant-based foods I eat regularly:

  • Almond butter
  • Lentils
  • Raw, sprouted almonds
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Tahini (made from sesame seeds)
  • Walnuts
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Avocados (I eat at least 5/week)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Tempeh (fermented soy product)
  • Almond Milk
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Brown Rice
  • Cashews
  • Flax
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Tofu (in limited quantities, I’m not completed sure soy is safe)
  • Kale (especially in smoothies)
  • Chickpeas (homemade hummus is the best and so easy)
  • Edamame
  • Cauliflowers
  • Pistachios
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Pecans
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Collard Greens
  • Coconut Meat
  • Coconut Milk
  • Swiss Chard

It’s pretty obvious that there are plenty of options for vegans to incorporate protein into their diets.  

When I was an animal eater, I rarely ate any of the foods in this list.  People often believe a vegan diet is restrictive, however, since becoming a vegan I actually eat a wider variety of foods.

Transitioning to a plant based diet can be tricky.  I should know, it took me years to get it right.  

These days I am thriving on a vegan diet and want to help others do the same.  I have a few spots left for my 6 month plant based coaching program.  This program is for anyone that wants to transition to a plant based diet.  Even if you just want to reduce the amount of animal products you’re consuming and increase the plants in your diet, I can help you.

I will be your guide and will help you meet your goals and overcome frustration and confusion.  Take some time to look at my website, there is a lot of information about what my program includes.  If you still have questions, you can always email me at brooksdawnhall@gmail.com.

If you’re ready to explore how a plant-based diet can transform your entire life, email me to set up a FREE 45 minute consultation.

During this consultation we will chat about the current state of your health as well as your health goals.  We will get a good sense of how it would feel to work together.

Hope to hear from you soon!


Brooks Sig





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I’m Launching my Vegan Health Coaching Program..here’s how to join

This week marks the 6 month and half way point of my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I’m very excited because this means I can finally start to see clients.  I am so ready to help women create a body and life they love.  I am extremely passionate about animal rights and decided to specialize in helping women transition to a plant based or vegan diet.  I believe that if I can help others become vegans, I can save thousands of animals from slaughter.

I am putting the finishing touches on my 6 month health coaching program but as you can see the program goes far beyond the food you eat.  Here are the highlights of my program:

Month 1:  Vegan Boot Camp

  • Avoiding the common pitfalls of transitioning to a vegan diet.
  • Avoiding the temptation to become a junk food vegan.
  • Benefits of a vegan diet.
  • What to do when your friends and family don’t support your new lifestyle.
  • My favorite books and blogs for amazing and quick vegan meals.
  • Exploring the concept of mindful eating and slowing down to enjoy your food.
  • Cooking tips and tricks for vegans.
  • Incorporating raw fermented foods into your diet.
  • Much more!

Month 2:  Spirituality and Manifesting an Inspired Life

  • Creating a high vibe life.
  • Bringing more magic into your life with tarot cards, crystals, chakras, prayer and more.
  • Manifesting a body and life you love using a vision board.
  • Gratitude is the attitude.
  • A list of my go to spiritual teachers.
  • Meditation changes everything.
  • Creating a zen den and an altar in your home.
  • Much more!

Month 3:  Relationships and Cultivating Love

  • Cleaning up your side of the street and creating healthy relationships with friends and family.
  • Using affirmations to create a healthy relationship with yourself and putting an end to negative self talk.
  • Making time for self-care.
  • A list of my favorite self-care practices that are cheap and fast.
  • Much more!

Month 4:  Finding Career Bliss

  • Learning to love the job you have right now.
  • Finding your calling and purpose.
  • Balancing home and work life.
  • How hating your job cause health problems and bad food choices.
  • Being the light at work.
  • A list of my favorite career books that helped me find my passion.
  • Much more!

Month 5:  Creating a Home that Delights and Inspires

  • De-cluttering and minimalism.
  • Organizing your kitchen.
  • Going green.
  • Paying off debt.
  • The basics of Feng Shui.
  • Minimizing TV time.
  • Much more!

Month 6: Moving Your Body

  • Exploring the different types of yoga.
  • Exercising in nature.
  • Why vegans don’t need to do hardcore work outs to look great.
  • How different forms of exercise will give you different types of energy.
  • My secrets to staying in shape with minimal effort.
  • Moving your body by doing something that you enjoy and don’t dread.
  • Much more!

What’s included in the 6 month program?

  • Two 45 minute 1 on 1 coaching sessions per month, for 6 months.
  • Email support between sessions.
  • Handouts relating to the topics discussed in each session.
  • A gift basket of holistic vegan goodies that complement the 6 month program.
  • An opportunity to sign up for an additional 6 months at a reduced rate.
  • Sessions are held over the phone, so you don’t need to live in Seattle to join the program.
  • I understand most people have a 9-5 job.  I offer convenient time slots for working women.  Sessions are held M-F after 5:00 PM Pacific time and during flexible times on the weekends.

If you are interested in becoming a vegan and also creating a body and life you love, take the first step by email me at brooksdawnhall@gmail.com to set up a free consultations.  The consultation will give both of us an opportunity to experience what it would be like to work together.  It will also provide you with an opportunity to discuss your main health concerts and begin thinking about goals you want to achieve.

There are only a limited of time slots available for the 6 month program.  If you are ready to transform your life, don’t wait any longer.

Remember to sign up for my free newsletter.  In my newsletter I offer free coaching and discuss topics not covered on my blog.  If you have any questions you would like me to answer, email me at brooksdawnhall@gmail.com



Brooks Sig






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A Holistic Approach to Seasonal Allergies

Lately my seasonal allergies have been making me miserable. I’ve plagued with allergies for most of my life.  Allergies are the only  symptom that I have not been able to cure with a vegan diet.  I’ve decided to kick things up a notch a bit and incorporate more raw vegan foods into my diet.  I’ll let you know how that works out once I’ve been eating raw for a couple of weeks.

Before I went holistic, I use to beg and plead doctors to prescribe me RX allergy pills and especially loved Nasonex (the chemical spray you shoot up your nostrils).  Of course the RX drugs would cause side affects even worse than the allergy symptoms and I ended up feeling worse, not better.

These days I take the holistic route whenever possible and I can’t remember the last time I took an aspirin.  It’s not that I suffer through my symptoms, it’s that I seek out alternatives.  Unfortunately, when it comes allergies my go to holistic tricks have not been giving me adequate relief.

I did some searching on Google and discovered salt therapy. Salt rooms are very popular in Europe and are a clinically proven drug free treatment for asthma, allergy, bronchitis, sinusitis, skin irritations, congestion, cough, ear infection, wheezing and seasonal affective disorder.

I’m lucky that there is a salt room in Bellevue, WA which is a 15 minute drive from downtown Seattle.



Relaxing room at the Salt Mine Arium, Bellevue, WA
Relaxing room at the Salt Mine Arium, Bellevue, WA

So what’s salt therapy like? My salt therapy appointment was 45 minutes long  and was very relaxing.  The salt room serves not only to help your physical symptoms but also to clear your mind and is an excellent place to meditate.  As I reclined in a zero gravity chair,  the lights in the room periodically changed color.  Smoothing music played and a comforting salt waterfall added to my relaxation.  The owner of the salt room also let me know that they offer yoga classes and crystal bowl sound healing.  I plan on checking these options out in the future .


Salt waterfall
Salt waterfall

Salt therapy is not only for soothing allergies.  Below is an extensive list of benefits salt therapy offers.

Benefits of salt therapy:

  • reduces inflammation of the airways
  • improves lung function
  • strengthens immune systems
  • improves sleep
  • improves skin conditions
  • clears excess mucous, pollutants and toxins
  • cleanses airways, nasal cavities  and sinuses
  • relieves stress and naturally calms
  • reduces symptoms of allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues
  • decreases the likelihood of catching a cold, flu and other illnesses
Salt waterfall.
Salt waterfall.


**Source:  Salt Mine Arium, Bellevue, WA: www.saltminearium.com

Finally, salt therapy is a good deal and not expensive.  I printed a coupon online and my session was only $25.  I plan to go back again soon.  Of course the more you go, the better you feel.

Are there any “alternative” therapies you have used to treat your symptoms?  Let me know about them in the comments below.  Also, if you enjoyed this content, please make sure to sign up for my weekly wellness newsletter.

Are you ready to take better care of your health and learn more about holistic practices like salt therapy? If so, my 6 month health coaching program would be perfect for you.
For more information on my plant based health coaching programs, email me:  Brooks.Dawn@gmail.com.
Thank you!
Brooks Sig
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Why Factory Farming Inspired me to go Vegan

Everyone has a cause that affects them more than anything else.  For me that cause is animal cruelity and factory farming.  This is an extremely difficult topic for me to discuss but one that needs to be exposed to the public.  There is a famous quote by Paul McCartney, a long time vegetarian ““If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”

Like most Americans I grew up eating chicken, beef and pork.  Every meal had at least one serving of meat or poultry.  Back then, I believed I needed animal protein to be healthy.  After picking up Kimberly Snyder’s book, “The Beauty Detox”, I was inspired to limit the amount of animal products in my diet.  Since reading that book I have not eaten beef, chicken, pork or turkey.  However, I do eat seafood occasionally. Not only has my health improved drastically since switching to a 98% vegan diet, but I also feel like I am doing my part to end factory farming.

Not a day goes by that I do not see  heart breaking images of animals that are the victims of cruelty in the hands of humans.  Although the meat and dairy industry portray idyllic images with rolling hills, healthy, happy cows and red barns, factory farming dominates food production in the US.  Factory farm animals are exploited for profit with no compassion for their well being.

Here is a list of just some of the cruel treatment factory farm animals endure:

Egg Laying Chickens:

  • 260 million male chicks are killed each year.
  • Female chickens are de-beaked so that they are unable to peck at their bodies because of the stress of their environment.
  • Female chickens are starved up to 2 weeks to shock their bodies into an egg-laying cycle.
  • After 1-2 years of laying eggs, female chickens are gassed to death.

Meat Producing Chickens:

  • 9 billion chickens are killed in the US each year.
  • Chickens are confined to warehouses with up to 20,000 other chickens, with no access to fresh air or light.
  • Chickens are electrified in a water bath 42 days after they are born.


  • Female pigs are contained in gestation crates and are unable to move or turn around.
  • Babies are taken away from their mothers at 17 days old, they scream so much that their throats turn raw.  The babies are raised until they are market weight and then slaughtered.

Dairy Cows:

  • Dairy cows endure constant artificial impregnation to induce milk production.
  • Hours after dairy cows give birth, their calfs are taken away.  The calfs cry, are so stressed out that they are unable to eat and lose weight.
  • The male calfs are sometimes taken and put into tiny crates, unable to move and are used for veal.
  • Factory farm dairy cows are commonly treated with bovine growth hormone, which is a GMO (genetically modified organism).

Cows Used for Meat:

  • The cows are de-horned and castrated.  Castration results in a more tender meat that humans prefer.
  • The cows are fed at a feed lot until they weight about 1,200 lbs.  This weight is usually reached at 6 months old by feeding the cows an unnatural diet of corn to fatten them up.  Upon reaching market weight they are trucked off to the slaughter house where they are shackled and their throats are cut off.

Sadly, this is just a short list of the cruelty farm animals experience at the hands of humans.  If you are interested in learning more about factory farming I recommend the following documentaries available on NetFlix:

  • Food, Inc.
  • Forks Over Knives
  • Vegucated
  • Super Size Me
  • Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
  • Hungry for Change
  • Food Matters

Quotes from famous vegetarians:

“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”- Albert Einstein

“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”- Thomas A. Edison

“Ethically they had arrived at the conclusion that man’s supremacy over lower animals meant not that the former should prey upon the latter, but that the higher should protect the lower, and that there should be mutual aid between the two as between man and man. They had also brought out the truth that man eats not for enjoyment but to live.”-Mahatma Ghandi

“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”- Leonardo da Vinci

“Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.”George Bernard Shaw
If you want to transition to a plant based or vegan diet, I can help you do that.  From my experience it can be difficult to be a successful vegetarian or vegan unless you transition your diet properly.  Going vegan is a learning process, like anything else.  Learning to try new foods, learning to cook new foods, learning how to survive in a world that is focused on meat eaters.
For more information on my plant based health coaching programs, email me:  Brooks.Dawn@gmail.com.
Thank you!
Brooks Sig
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5 Reasons You Should Eat Fermented Foods

Lately, I have been incorporating a lot of fermented foods in my diet.  I not only enjoy the health benefits of consuming fermented foods but I also love the taste of fermented foods.  On average, I go through a jar of fermented veggies a week. Each jar is approximately $10 at Whole Foods.  This can quickly add up and become very costly.

I tried to make my own fermented veggies several times and failed.  I was about to give up on making my own when I discovered “Britt’s Pickles” at the Ballard Farmer’s Market.  I had a very long conversation with the representative and told her about my numerous failed attempts at making fermented veggies at home.  She told me about an upcoming two part class at Pike Place Market about how to ferment at home.  Of course I immediately signed up, eager to master the art of fermentation.


During the workshop we learned about using lactic acid bacteria fermentation (LAB) to create delicious pickles, vegetables, kimchi and sauerkraut.  LAB fermentation does not require vinegar, cooking, freezing, or canning.  LAB fermentation uses vegetables soaked in a variety of spices and sea salt in an oxygen-free environment.  A Mason jar works great for this purpose.  The salt and oxygen-free environment prevents nasty microorganisms from growing but allows for salt tolerant lactic acid to thrive.



Pink Sauerkraut
Pink Sauerkraut (made my me)




What are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods that have been through the process of lactofermentation.  During the process of lactofermentation naturally occuring bacteria feed of the sugar and starch to create lactic acid.  This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes as well as a plethora of probiotics.

Benefits of fermented foods:

  • Fermented foods provide the body with probiotics.  Fermented foods are loaded with probiotics.  Probiotics are beneficial bacterial that improve the digestive system, reverse certain diseases, improve bowel function and boost immunity.
  • Fermented foods assist the body in absorption of nutrients. Probiotics assist in proper gut function.  When the gut is functioning properly digestive enzymes are able to absorb more efficiently.
  • Fermented foods are cheap. Probiotic capsules and digestive enzymes at health food stores can be pricey, however, fermented foods are cheap to make.  Also, fermented foods contain up to 100 times more probiotics than a probiotic supplement and also include a wider range of microflora.
  • Fermented foods are easy to make and preserve. Fermented foods can be stored in the refrigerater for up to a year because of the process of lacto-fermentaion.  Unlike canning, nutriets are not lost with fermentation.
  • Fermented foods help detox the body.  Fermented foods are highly potent detoxifiers and act chelators to remove a wide range of toxins and heavy metals from the body.
Fermented veggies
Fermented okra, garlic, carrots, sauerkraut, cauliflower, green beans and cucumbers.

Fermentation is a tradition in many cultures and dates back thousands of years.  Nearly all cultures include fermentation in their traditional food preparation and preservation. Here is a short list of fermented foods and their country our origin:

Germany: Sauerkraut

Korea: Kimichi

Japan:  Miso, Tempeh

Russia: Kvass

South Pacific:  Poi

China and the Middle East: Kombucha


Sadly, the Western diet, especially SAD (Standard American Diet) has virtually eliminated the presence of cultured food in the US.  Instead of eating food that is alive, Americans are eating processed and dead foods.


Do fermented foods play a roll in your diet or do you take a probiotic supplement?


If you are interested in my health coaching program, email me at Brooks.Dawn@gmail.com to set up your free health history consultation.  The health history consultation usually takes 45 minutes and we will discuss the current state of your health and your health goals.

Also, if you are interested in enrolling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, let me know and I will send you information and can answer any questions you may have about the program.

Thanks!Brooks Sig

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Update on my Studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

A lot has changed since I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) January 2015.  The biggest change is that I went from having ZERO friends in my new home state (Washington) to creating many new friendships.

I’m so lucky because one of my new friends lives in my neighborhood (Belltown, near downtown Seattle).  She likes to try new things, just like I do.  So far, we’ve been to an urban sweat lodge for infrared sauna and lymphatic drainage massage. In a couple of weeks, we are driving to Bellevue and going to a Himalayan salt room.

Although things are great now, my first few months in Seattle were pretty rough and I even plotted a return to California.  It’s now May and I feel like I’m in love with Seattle.  I’ve never been so happy in my entire life and a big reason for that are the new relationships I’m making.  I’m in love with the natural beauty of Seattle but also love the home that I created. I have a beautiful apartment with a water view. I barely drive my car and can walk just about everywhere I need to go.  This is a completely different lifestyle than I had in California, where I would typically spend 10+ hours/week sitting in traffic.

In addition to making new friends at IIN, I’ve also learned a lot of valuable information to help my health coaching clients. Recently, we learned about the blood type diet.  I even got my blood tested and discovered I’m A+ blood type.

I’ve been researching blood types ever since learning of this diet.  I’ve learned that my blood type is best suited for a vegetarian diet because A blood types are born with low levels of hydrochloric acid.  The blood type diet suggests the type of exercise that is best suited for your blood type. My blood type has higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.  Therefore, the diet suggests that I do yoga and walk for exercise.  Again, this surprised me because these are my two preferred methods of exercise.  I use to do Hiit (high intensity interval training) and would find myself feeling anxious and unable to sleep after class.

Do you know your blood type?  If you do, leave your blood type in the comments below.

If you are interested in my health coaching program, email me at Brooks.Dawn@gmail.com to set up your free health history consultation.  The health history consultation usually takes 45 minutes and we will discuss the current state of your health and your health goals.

Also, if you are interested in enrolling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, let me know and I will send you information and can answer any questions you may have about the program.


Brooks Sig

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How Meditation Saved Me When I Had a Breakdown

A couple of weeks ago,Toby (my dog) and I were driving down the freeway about 30 minutes from Seattle.  We were on our way to the Tulip Festival.  Suddenly, my engine light came on and my car made a freaky sound.  I knew immediately we were not going to make it to the Tulip Festival that day.

I pulled the car over, took out my phone and calmly Googled the nearest mechanic and called a tow truck.

Breaking down on the freeway has always been a fear of mine.  I was shocked at how calmly I handled the situation.  I believe the reason I was able to keep calm was because of my meditation practice.

I’ve been dabbling in meditation for years but never maintained a consistent practice.  However, the weeks leading up to my car break down, I had been meditating for 5 minutes twice a day. I made a commitment to myself to try out meditation to see if it benefited me.  Within a couple of days of meditating my negative mood had lifted and I was happier.  The best benefit was that I was sleeping much better.  Meditating before bed is a way for me to “take out the trash”, clear out the fear, stress, negativity that accumulate during the day.

It took over a week for my car to be repaired.  To save money I returned the rental car and decided to walk to work each day.  The round trip walk is about 4 miles, which means I am walking an additional 20 miles a week, 80 miles a month, I wouldn’t have other wise walked.

I use my walks as an opportunity to  appreciate all of the beauty that surrounds me.  I notice the birds chirping, the ducks swimming and beautiful flowers blooming.  I practice deep breathing during my walks and also work on staying in the present moment. Typically, my brain is always thinking of the future, however, my meditation practice has been helping to ground me in the present moment.

How do you cope with unexpected stresses in your life? Have you ever tried meditation before?  Leave a comment below.

Make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter for more tips for more health and wellness tips.

For more information about my 1-on-1 health coaching practice, emails me anytime at brooks.dawn@gmail.com or to schedule a free health history consultation.



Brooks Sig





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