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"Crazy Sexy Kitchen" Produces Plant Based Excitement

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Several years ago, there were only a handful of vegan cookbooks. Today, there are dozens, and I recently learned there are 200 new vegan cookbooks on the way!

Great news, unless you are deciding which cookbook to add to your library. Fortunately for me, I did not have to choose, as I received a hardcopy version of Crazy Sexy Kitchen as a gift. With the subtitle “150 Plant-Empowered recipes to ignite a mouthwatering revolution”–and avoiding the word “vegan”–Crazy Sexy Kitchen educates us about the many benefits of plant-based diets (for animals, the environment, and health) and declares that any step toward a “plant-passionate diet” and away from the Standard American Diet is a positive one.

Though some may believe giving cookbooks titillating titles is a marketing gimmick, the approach of co-authors Kris Carr (of “Crazy Sexy Cancer”) and Chef Chad Sarno is sure to appeal to anyone seeking greater vitality and fitness.

What I like most about CSK is that it puts great emphasis on healing recipes using fresh local vegetables, and presents a variety of cuisines and cooking techniques, from basic to more advanced. CSK has a broad variety of raw recipes (16 pages dedicated to juices and smoothies, 23 pages to salad, and a few entrees) and techniques as well as cooked recipes, featuring prominent vegan chefs including Tal Ronnen, Sarma Melngailis, and Fran Costigan.

Before delving into recipes, the book gives you the basics of the Crazy Sexy Diet (Carr’s previous book), information on preparing your kitchen, and cooking tools and tips. Carr summarizes Crazy Sexy Diet (CSD) to be “a nutrient-dense plant-happy approach to eating and living that harmonizes your beautiful body at the cellular level.” She explains that inflammation leads to disease, mentioning the dangers of dairy, meats and sugar, and talks about the acid/alkaline balance (pH), too:

“As part of your inflammatory wellness plan, I encourage you to reduce or eliminate all icky foods that irritate your body. Most of the vittles commonly found in the Standard American Diet (SAD)–meat and dairy, refined carbohydrates, wheat, processed foods made with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and trans fats. and let’s not forget the chemicals, drugs and anything else you can’t sound out phonetically.”

Carr, diagnosed with cancer at 31, deals with the controversial topic of soy products saying that “many of the same doctors who tell patients to avoid soy never mention the abundant amounts of estrogen and other growth hormones found in dairy products. If you’re avoiding soy as a result of a cancer diagnosis, please strongly consider dumping the dairy as well.”

All recipes are marked with symbols labeling recipes according to dietary preferences (soy-free, gluten-free, raw, kid-friendly), as well as difficulty level (“eazy breezy” or “cheffy”), and “time saver”. There are also a few pages (p 274) of suggested menus with promising names such as “Zero Stress in 30 Minutes or Less,” “The Simple Life,” “For Your Valentine,” and “Office Lunch Party”.

I first heard Chad Sarno’s name when preparing his cashew cheese recipe in Tal Ronnen’s “The Conscious Cook” three years ago. It was my first exposure to raw foods, and I’m glad to see that Crazy Sexy Kitchen contains a good sampling of raw recipes. Besides juice and smoothies, there are old school raw entrees such as raw noodles and “rawvioli” (ravioli made with wrappers made from sliced beets). Carr says that she encourages people to “up their intake of raw foods” and that a combo of mostly raw and some cooked foods is ideal over the long term.

Though CSK has dozens of enticing recipes, some of my favorite are:

  • French Toast with Amaretto Creme (p 105)
  • Hearts of Palm Style Crab Cakes with Remoulade (151)
  • Chickpea with root veggie tagine (185)
  • Beetroot Ravioli with Cashew Creme Cheese (193)
  • Madeira Peppercorn Tempeh (203)
  • Rocking Rosemary Popcorn (245)
  • Raw Apple Spiced Rum Shortcake with Maple Vanilla Glaze (273)

Is Crazy Sexy Kitchen is a good choice for you?

A cookbook is a very personal choice–especially if it means a change in diet and lifestyle–but here are some features of CSK you may want to consider:

  • Recipes from a wide variety of chefs that will impress your friends and family and give you a broad perspective of the all the possibilities of a plant-based diet.
  • Some raw recipes require a high speed blender as well as a dehydrator, and this may be an obstacle for some. Don’t be discouraged that you don’t have or cannot afford some equipment. A Spirooli Slicer is an affordable way to start. You can always put the other items on your “Wish List”.
  • Supplies tips on how to save money that you can dedicate to buying local and organic ingredients.
  • Some recipes call for vegan butter or shortening or other vegan convenience foods (which I don’t care for), but they are useful for making a transition to a more plant-based diet.

In general, Crazy Sexy Kitchen is appropriate for aspiring chefs, vegan curious, or just those wanting to prepare healthier meals. For long-time vegans and experienced cooks, it may round out your collection and broaden your horizon. With dozens of beautiful photographs and appealing design, it makes a great coffee table book and gift idea, too.

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Should You Consider a Tankless Toilet System?

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The bathroom is one common part of the house that usually undergoes home renovations. In a bathroom, the focal point of the upgrade is normally the toilet. With the many bathroom toilet models these days, homeowners have a lot of options to choose from. One of the increasingly popular toilet options today is the tankless toilets.

As its name suggests, the tankless toilet does not have a tank that makes use of gravity in flushing out the waste. Instead, it utilizes a powerful flush action to eliminate waste. Home tankless toilets have a motorized pump mechanism that pumps in a certain amount of water to the bowl.

There are certain benefits of a tankless system that makes this type of toilet ideal for a basement bathroom toilet as well as bathrooms located in other parts of the house. First of all, the tankless toilet results to more space within the bathroom. The toilet can be placed in almost anywhere, with only the link to the plumbing as the consideration.

A homeowner can either choose to install the toilet against the wall, or facing the wall with the water pipes connected from underneath the floor and through the bowl. Such toilet is ideal for homeowners who want more freedom in designing their bathroom layout. Since there is no tank, there is more than enough space to accommodate other fixtures like shelves, cabinets, and tables. The addition of these functional bathroom items can greatly help to improve its functionality.

Since the tankless toilet system makes use of an electric pump mechanism, there is the risk that the toilet would not function when there is an electric outage. Thus, homeowners opting to use them in their basement bathroom toilet or in any other bathrooms need to have an emergency generator. This is perhaps the major drawback of using this type of toilet system.

But overall, the use of tankless toilet systems offer a new way of improving the overall look and functionality of a bathroom without requiring too much space.

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What Are the Advantages of Choosing a Wall Hung Basin for Your Bathroom?

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Picture the scenario – you have bought your new home, however, the bathroom needs a complete refurbishment. One of the first questions you are likely to think about is what type of bathroom sink, or basin, you would like for your bathroom. In this article we will learn more about the wall hung basin, or wall mounted basin, and consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a wall hung basin for your bathroom.

Firstly, what is a wall hung basin? It is fairly simply a bathroom sink which essentially hangs or is suspended, in the wall. It is important to realise that it is not supported by a pedestal unit, or fitted over a bathroom unit. So what are some of the advantages of choosing this type of bathroom sink?

One of the biggest drawing points to wall mounted basins is the flexibility in the height of the actual basin. This is especially beneficial in houses with children – as they will hopefully be able to easily access the sink and wash their hands. This is also extremely helpful if you have any disabled or wheelchair users within the house, as they will also benefit from the lowered height of the mounted basin.

The very design of a wall mounted basin is also a significant advantage. As it does not use any type of stand, the basin will take up less space, especially on the floor. This allows these types of basin to be installed in almost any sized bathroom or cloakroom, and will more than likely fit comfortably. The disadvantage of a pedestal basin is that it can sometimes be more clunky and take up some of that crucial space which is needed.

Wall mounted basins are also easier to clean. Again the aesthetics of the design mean that the only real cleaning point is the actual basin. As there is no stand or any other clunky parts to the basin, the process of cleaning a wall hung basin should be relatively quick and simple.

If you are designing, or even redesigning, your bathroom – especially if you are seeking a more minimalistic look, then this type of bathroom sink may be the ideal choice for you. You should, however, be aware that there are also some potential disadvantages to choosing a wall mounted basin.

We mentioned above about the minimalistic look that a mounted basin can provide. However, this is both positive and a negative. The very design of the basin means that there is a lack of storage space associated with the sink. A lot of bathroom sinks will usually come with some type of cupboard space below the sink, where people usually keep other bathroom accessories such as toilet roll, soap or anything else. With the mounted sink, it can mean that you have to find a different place to store your bathroom accessories.

There is also the added financial cost of the installation of a wall mounted sink. As the plumbing cannot be hidden within a bathroom unit, it will need be to properly fitted by a plumber. Although the costs of plumbers can be reasonable, it will still increase your overall costs.

It is clear that wall mounted bathroom sinks do provide a large number of advantages. In the right type of bathroom, this can be a perfect choice and really enhance the look and feel of the bathroom. Whatever decision you make – always consider all of your options and the individual characteristics of your bathroom – and choose the right option for yourself.

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Acrylic Bath Resurfacing – An Easier Solution For Any Apartment

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When most people move into a new apartment they have a mix of excitement and exhaustion, but looking in my new bathroom I only felt disgust. After a month of looking for the perfect home in a new town (New York City to be exact), I settled on a cozy rental in Brooklyn, with the promise from my landlord to have a clean apartment from top to bottom. After carrying furniture and all the boxes up the seemingly endless stairs, my first instinct was to get cleaned up in the shower.

So you can imagine my surprise starring at bathtub that looked filthy, with stains from water and mold covering the bottom. Glazing on the powder blue tub had worn through the tub’s surface, revealing an odd mix of gray patches of what I assumed to be grout. Even the drain and stopper had started to rust through, although those could be more easily replaced. Against my own better judgment I took a shower that night, only to feel less clean than before I had stepped inside.

While the landlord had promised to restore the tub to working condition when I signed the lease, the crew had yet to replace the old tub. The next day I called them to come replace the tub, but now the was a catch; they could come to re-glaze our bath surfaces, but we would not be able to use the bathroom for another 48 hours!

Later that day to crew arrived and took over the entire bathroom, spending the rest of the afternoon cleaning and spraying glaze over the tub. Every surface needed to be taped over or else the glazing would ruin the rest of our bathroom. I could barely stay inside my apartment with all the noxious fumes, even with all the windows open. Two days later I stepped in the shower for the first time, more worried about ruining the tub’s new finish than enjoying the bath.

Recently my friend told me about the same problems during his apartment hunt, so after hearing about our ordeal he wanted to find a better solution. Instead of asking their landlord to re-glaze the bathtub, he sent them about link to acrylic bath resurfacing, which can be custom fit for any bathtub. Because this took less time to install, their landlord had no trouble replacing the old fixtures with a new acrylic bath liner.

Replacing the bathtub through acrylic bath resurfacing would have been a much more affordable option and a better investment in the apartment for the landlord. Especially now the bathtub’s surface is beginning to wear off again, I’d want to ask my landlord to simply replace the tub with an acrylic shower surface this time. Maybe it will be much easier for the next tenant who moves in, and next time I’ll know much better what to ask for in my apartment hunt.

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