Vanilla was discovered in regions of (present-day) Mexico back in the 14th century, when Spanish conquistadors came across vanilla-flavored foods and drinks consumed by Meso-American individuals.
After having been brought back to Spain, vanilla began being used to flavor a drink consisting of honey, water, corn, vanilla, and cacao beans.
The drink eventually spread to England and France, and then the rest of Europe by the early 1600s. In 1602, the apothecary of Queen Elizabeth I, Hugh Morgan, suggested that vanilla should be used separately from cocoa.
Later, the French began using vanilla in ice cream, which was a rather popular dessert in 18th century France. It was Thomas Jefferson who discovered vanilla ice cream in France and brought the recipe to the USA.
Vanilla Ice Cream Day is an unofficial holiday observed every year on the 23rd of July. While having a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream might no do any significant harm to you, provided you don’t suffer from any illnesses, try to not overindulge in the celebration, as too much ice cream can be bad for you, regardless of its flavor.
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International No Diet Day (INDD) is an annual celebration of body acceptance, observed on the 6th of May. This day is dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success; the Institute of Medicine summarizes: “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it within five years.
First started by Mary Evans (who had battled anorexia in her life) in 1992 with the aim of helping men and women around the world appreciate their own bodies, No Diet Day has evolved over the years and currently brings attention to tough issues regarding diet and body awareness, focusing on a number of agendas. This includes the following:
- Educating people about the right way to diet responsibly and effectively
- Having all people take a one-day break from their diets
- Celebrating the diversity of different shapes and sizes
To celebrate No Diet Day, you can start by recognizing that your own body is beautiful exactly as it is. De-emphasizing your efforts to shed weight to look a particular way, it is far better to celebrate the holiday with efforts at beginning to live a healthier lifestyle altogether. Worry less about your final goal, and more about getting out and being active and keeping your body healthy.
Participants are also encouraged to:
- Compliment colleagues on skills, achievements, and contributions instead of focusing on appearance
- Declare a day free of dieting and obsessions about weight and shape.
- Challenge the idea of one “right” body shape and embrace body diversity.
- Learn the facts about the diet industry and understand the inefficacy of commercial diets.
- Help end weight discrimination, sizeism, and fatphobia.
- Use the #NoDietDay hashtag to share on social media.
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Established in 1994 to commemorate the forward movement of the vegan ideology, as well as the creation of The Vegan Society in the UK in November 50 years prior, World Vegan Month is an annual designation observed in November.
According to DayOfTheYear.com, the date was selected to fall in line with Halloween and the Day of the Dead as a way of honoring those animals who had already passed under the unnecessary cause of supporting human life.
The underlying “rule” to embracing the vegan lifestyle is to eat a plant-based diet. The majority of vegans don’t just avoid meat; they also avoid fish, dairy, eggs, and honey, as well as products like leather or fur.
Whether you are interested in veganism for health-related reasons, due to compassion for the animals or to protect the environment, I invite you to check out the following list of links where you can find more about World Vegan Month, so you can make an informed decision in case you want to get involved: