How to Become Vegan Step by Step

Hey everyone,

The more and more I talk to people about what is happening to animals, our planet and their health, one thing is very clear.  Most people are compassionate, wonderful people.  They want to make a change but have no idea how to start.

Today’s video is a helpful guide to start making the transition to a better way of living and eating.  Every small step can help make our world a better and more peaceful place.

Please take a few minutes to watch, and please share it with anyone who may be interested.

Also, please feel free to message me if you ever need additional assistance ❤

Difference Between Plant Based and Vegan

Hello everyone,

I don’t know about you, but with the movement growing so much, I am often SO confused about all of the terms out there.  Should you be “vegan?” Should you be “plant based?” What about “whole food plant based?”  Ahhhhh!!!

In today’s video I quickly address what these terms mean and if being “vegan” is actually healthy.

Here is the link.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Could you do me a favor? Will you please subscribe to my Youtube channel while you are there?  I have some fun topics coming your way and want to make sure that you don’t miss out.

Thank you for all of your continued support!

<3, April

The Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being an Animal Rights Activist

Hello everyone,
I hope that you have all had an incredible summer.  I know that it’s been a bit…
I cannot believe that summer is almost over! Where does the time go?!  My summer consisted of working at the gym as fitness director, running my own business, taking a plant based nutrition course, activism, volunteering at a sanctuary, going to a wedding in San Francisco with the hubby, attending my 20 year high school reunion (whoah, I know!), and kissing Layla (our fur baby).  It was filled with ups and downs; the lowest of the downs took place a few weeks ago.  And that brings me to the subject of this blog:  “The Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being An Animal Rights Activist”.
I know that seems like a rough transition, but hang in there.  It’ll make sense by point 3.
1) Being an Animal Rights Activist is one of the hardest jobs in the whole world!
Not only do you not get any financial support for your actions, but the job never stops. I am no where near as active as some other activists, but I co-hosted a Cube of Truth almost every weekend for a year. In addition, I try to cook vegan food for people to sample, offer online challenges and to post something valuable/informative on social media every day! This work may not sound difficult but you never hear the end of it when you are fighting for something that is against the social norm.  It is full of Internet trolls, family insults including “you are a f*ing moron”, and strangers posting pictures of tortured animals.  The hours also never stop.  Being an activist means knowing the truth about what happens to animals and never being able to get away from the images: on social media, going to the grocery store, at family dinners, smelling barbecues in the neighborhood, seeing commercials on the TV’s at the gym, listening to food commercials on the radio, in your dreams (or nightmares).  It is a constant battle of trying to be compassionate, yet knowing what a dark place this world can be.
2)  Self-Care is crucial and must be done to sustain this movement! (And this is where my breaking point comes in….)
As an activist, you feel like you can never stop.  At this very moment, thousands of animals are being slaughtered and I should probably get off my butt to advocate for them instead of writing this blog.  I don’t have time for a bath or a vacation because the animals need me (and if one more person tells me abut their vacation when I am trying to save the world!). I am tired but I need to go to a Cube.  I want to cry but I can’t stop.  I don’t have time to be sick…..and vegans don’t get sick!
These are all thoughts that go through our heads.  I have heard fellow activists who feel guilty for sleeping in a warm bed because the animals the animals don’t get the same luxury.
For me, it had been months of no sleep, anxiety, and months of activism when I simply broke: both physically and mentally.  I saw a video on Instagram of an activist who was entering a meat market.  At this market, the customer went inside, purchased a live animal and the animal was killed right there for them to take home.  There was a video of a baby cow, and this is where I lost it.  I cried so hard, one of those gut-wrenching cries where you have to hold back the vomit.  Since then, I have been broken.  I have not been able to think of activism, I cannot see a video on social media and I have had the most intense stomach pain for the last two weeks.  Not doing self-care or taking care of my mental well-being finally caught up with me.
As an activist, we have to remember that we have to put our oxygen masks on first.  We cannot take care of this planet and save animals if we don’t take care of ourselves.  It is not selfish.  It should be a requirement.  This is a lifelong movement and the animals need us for the long haul.
3)  It is okay…better yet, more than okay to be happy!  
I think sometimes as activists we think that we have to watch the slaughterhouse videos, we have to study the facts regarding how animals are killed and how we are destroying the planet.  And we become so angry at the world, at our family and at our friends.  We scream at them that “meat is murder” and we become people that aren’t fun to be around.  While I don’t think that we should ever sugar coat our feelings, I do think we may get more people on board if we are happy and compassionate human beings.  Someone is more likely to jump on board if they see us as an inspiration instead of someone who is sad all the time (“I don’t want to be vegan if it makes me angry like you!”).  In addition, what is that doing to our health if we are angry and sad all the time?!  The animals don’t want that.  They want people to be strong so that we can thrive in this fight.
Having said all of this, I am not quite sure when I will completely recover from my breakdown.  I am spending my free time doing Yoga, meditation, eating healthy foods, taking baths and staying off of social media (that’s a whole other subject).  I am not quite sure when I will be able to dive back into activism 100%.  I know that when I do, I will try to remember these points so that I can make it through this long haul.  Maybe some extra Layla kisses will help ❤
Thank you all for reading.  I will be back with something happier soon.  And to my fellow activists, please take care of yourselves!  ❤

Potato Nacho Cooking Demonstration

Hello everyone,

Happy Food Friday!!  If you are looking for a delicious dish to make this weekend, look no further.  This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, vegan and is comforting!

Please click on the video below for the full cooking demonstration on how to make potato nachos.

I hope that you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Easy to Make Breakfast (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Hello everyone,

The question that I get asked the most is, “What do you eat on a vegan and gluten free diet?”  In today’s video, I will show you just that.

I am starting a mini-series on easy to make breakfasts: food for real, busy people!  Today’s video is the first in this collection.

Please check it out when you have a chance….there may even be a small cameo from my dog 🙂

Have a great rest of your week and I will be back with even more food next week!

<3, April

Our Favorite, Dairy-Free “Cheese” Sauce

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having an incredible weekend!  It is cold and rainy here in San Diego, which means it’s the perfect time for a warm meal….maybe Mac and cheese?!

Here is a recipe for our favorite, dairy-free (and warm) “cheese” sauce.  This recipe was originally found on a blog called Vegan Yumminess and we have modified it slightly.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup water (use the warm water from the pot of boiled veggies)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a few drops of Sriracha (optional, this will kick up the spice!)

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop veggies.
  2. Bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chopped potatoes, carrots and onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft enough to blend.
  3. In the meantime, put the remaining ingredients into a blender or Vitamix.
  4. When the veggies are done, drain the water (leaving 3/4 cup water to add to the blender).
  5. Add the soft veggies and water to the blender or Vitamix.
  6. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.
  7. Pour the warm sauce over pasta for Mac and cheese or use it as a sauce for baked potatoes.  The sauce is also great for dipping veggies or on a sandwich.
  8. Enjoy…and make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe :). I would love to see your creations.