FREE CHALLENGE GROUPS start tomorrow! (For vegans and non-vegans)

Hello everyone,

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Starting tomorrow, I am offering two FREE challenge groups every Monday!  They will both run for 7 days at a time and participants will have the opportunity to win some amazing prizes!

The first is a Go Vegan Challenge.  This challenge will be great for anyone who wants to go “cold-kale” for 7 days, for someone who wants to try new recipes, or for anyone who wants to eat more plants.  It’ll include a grocery list, recipes, easy vegan swaps, cooking demonstrations and support.

The second is for anyone who wants to Get Active For the Animals.  It will encourage participants to do something for the animals every day, for 7 days.  It’ll include a list of ways that you can advocate for the animals with large-scale organizations, at the grocery store, on social media or in restaurants.

Did I mention that both challenges are FREE????!  They will start on June 3rd and will run every week from now on.  You are welcome to participate week after week.

To sign up, simply click on the link below:

SIGN UP HERE!!!

Have a great day!  I cannot wait to work with you! ❤

Let’s Talk About Supplements

One of the first things you often hear as an argument against going vegan is that “vegans have to take too many supplements.”  I find this interesting considering that grocery stores are full of vitamins, protein shakes and other supplements that are marketed to non vegan customers.  One can absolutely get almost all of the nutrients that he or she needs on a whole food plant based diet.

However, let’s discuss some supplements that may be beneficial to include in your daily routine (these supplements are important for vegan and pre vegans as well).

Some vegans may argue against this one, but I think that everyone should be taking B12.  B12  comes from a bacteria found in our soil but because our soil is so depleted these days, we are not getting enough of it.  In addition, most of us wash the soil off of our fruits and veggies so the amount ingested is so small. Some would argue that you could not wash your produce and also not brush your teeth for awhile (ewwwww!) and you could get an adequate amount of B12.  I think I would rather take a supplement :).

Quick note about how omnivores get B12: did you know that animals are often given B12 supplements during their “production”.  So, people who are eating meat are also getting B12 through a supplement.  It is just secondary through the animal’s flesh.

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(Image found on Google)

Other supplements that are commonly deficient in plant based diets, according to Dr. Fuhrman in Super Immunity, are Zinc, Iodine, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

I recommend getting a blood test to see if you have any deficiencies.  In addition, I love the Chronometer App and website.  It allows you to track your nutrition throughout the day and will tell you what nutrients you are missing from your diet.

For extra insurance I take a multi vitamin created by one of the most influential plant based doctors. **I do not sell this vitamin or get paid to endorse it.  Please check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

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I hope that helps.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions about supplementation.  I always love to hear from you ❤

What do vegans eat?!

You have decided that you are ready to go vegan, you’ve found your “why”, you have studied all of the benefits, but now you are wondering…..what do vegans eat????

The short answer is that vegans eat everything that non vegans eat!  They just happen to do so without including animal products of any kind 🙂

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Let me explain with a little bit longer of an answer…..

A vegan diet is one that doesn’t consist of any animal products: meat, dairy, eggs, fish or honey.  And depending on your “why”, you may eat differently than other vegans.  If your reason for going vegan is strictly for the animals, then you may go the vegan junk food route in which there is literally a vegan version of everything: vegan sausage, vegan ice cream, vegan burgers, vegan pizza, vegan fish, vegan chicken nuggets, so and on and so on.  However, if are transitioning to a vegan diet for health reasons, then you may stick with a whole food plant based version: vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains.

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For fun, imagine going grocery shopping.  All you have to do is avoid animal products.  What’s left?  Everything else! And the options are endless: fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, potatoes, herbs, tofu, seitan, tempeh, rice, plant based milks, plant based ice creams, vegan meats, vegan cheese, nuts and seeds……

To show you how easy it can be, let me take you through a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit, hemp seeds and a green tea

Lunch:  a giant salad with lettuce, red cabbage, peas, sauerkraut, cucumber, tofu, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, avocado, and miso/lemon dressing

(you absolutely don’t have to eat salads, but I enjoy them!)

Snack: a giant smoothie (which will sometimes include a plant based protein powder)

Dinner: pasta, vegan sausage, veggies and marinara sauce, chickpea salad sandwich, potato soup, Mac and cheese or a baked sweet potato

Dessert: if I have dessert it’ll often be fruit or “nice cream”

The trick to switching to a vegan diet is to not complicate things and to try to make it fun!  This should be something that you are excited and are empowered to try.  And if you get stuck, there are tons of resources on the Internet.  Go to Pinterest and type in “vegan” __________________ (pizza, Mac and cheese, sausage, burger, etc).  You will find a recipe for anything that your heart desires.

Best of luck and please remember that I am always here for you if you have any questions or if you need support ❤ 

 

 

How to Make “Cheese” without the Dairy

Hey everyone,  happy Wednesday!

I will keep this one short and sweet, because looking at this picture has me hungry 🙂

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There are some amazing, plant based cheeses on the market.  However, sometimes I want something that isn’t processed and is whole food plant based.

This is by far and away our favorite, dairy free “cheese” sauce.  We use it on Mac, as a dipping sauce for veggies, or even as a spread on a sandwich.  It is delicious!

*Note: this is not my recipe.  I found this recipe here.  However, I wanted to share it with you because through all of the cheese recipes we have tried, this one was the yummiest (is that a word?!)!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled/diced yellow potatoes (or russets)
  • 1/4 cup peeled/diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pinch paprika

Directions:

  1. Boil several cups of water in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Cooking time will vary slightly, based on how small you have chopped your veggies.
  2. When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender. Add 3/4 cup of that cooking water to your blender, along with your remaining ingredients (including cashews).
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Enjoy!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe.  Please let me know what you think!

The Surprising Foods that May Contain Animal Products

Sometimes the hardest part about switching to a vegan diet, is the surprising amount of foods that contain animal products (that you would never even think of!).  Most people know that giving up animal products means giving up meat, dairy, eggs, fish and honey.  But did you know that switching to a vegan diet may mean that you need to find a vegan wine or beer alternative?  Or that your gummy vitamins could be made from insects?!

Here are some ingredients that are made from animals and which foods you may possibly find them in:

*Bread products may contain L-cysteine, which often comes from feathers, to keep them soft.

*Gelatin is made from the connective tissue of pigs and cows.  It is used in Jello, Gummies, and many candies.

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*Refined sugar, which is found in a plethora of sweet foods, was possibly lightened with bone char, derived from the bones of cattle.

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*Isinglass, comes from fish bladders, and is often used in the making of beer and wine.

*Shellac, an insect-based product, is sometimes used to wax fresh produce or in candy.

*Deep fried foods and fresh pasta often contain eggs.

*Whey, casein, lactose are all derived from dairy and can be found in many packaged foods and protein drinks (dairy can also be found in vitamins and pain medications).

*Cochineal, or carmine, is red food coloring that is made from insects (although we are discussing food, this one is often found in cosmetics).

*Some food additives are also derived from animals.  These include; E120, E322, E422, E471, E542, E631, E901, E904.

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The easiest way to avoid the use of animals for your food is to stick to a whole food plant based diet.  However, if you want to purchase foods that have been processed, please look for “Vegan” on the label and make sure to ALWAYS read the ingredients.

And of course, I am always here to help you!  Contact me anytime ❤

 

*This information can be found in the book Vegan Recipes and Preparation by Saskia Fraser

 

 

It’s easy to give up dairy with these awesome alternatives!

Have you ever thought about giving up dairy but just don’t know how you will live without ice cream or cheese?!  With these awesome alternatives, you don’t have to.  Here are just some of my favorite, plant based alternatives to make the dairy free transition an easy one.

Cheese:  There is a vast array of vegan cheeses on the market!  We have tried many and found that Violife is the most like dairy cheese.  It tastes extremely similar and melts just like the real thing.  We use it on pizza and even in grilled cheese.  Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to find, but Whole Foods just launched it in their stores, nationwide.  You can also visit Violife’s website to see where it is sold near you.

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Some of my vegan friends also love the brands: Chao, Kite Hill, Myoko’s and Follow Your Heart.

In addition, we have found that it is truly easy to make your own “cheese” at home.  Here is our absolute favorite, dairy free Mac and Cheese recipe from Vegan Yumminess.

Ice Cream:  Confession time: now that I am vegan, I eat a lot more ice cream than I used to 🙂 I am amazed by how creamy and delicious some of the plant based ice creams are.  My personal favorite is Nada Moo but my husband loves So Delicious (cashew milk).

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There are many dairy free brands on the market now and you can even find them at places like Target and Walmart.

If you want to try to make your own at home, you could try making “Nice Cream”.  There are thousands of recipes on Pinterest and Youtube and it is incredibly simple: blend some frozen bananas with a little plant based milk, add a bit of vanilla and you’ll have a healthy dessert.  Here are 10 nice cream recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Mayonnaise and Butter:   Here are our favorite alternatives for dairy based mayonnaise and butter.  You will be amazed at how these two taste like the real deal!  My favorite mayo is Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and our butter of choice is from Earth Balance.  Earth Balance also makes sticks of butter for baking.

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The dairy free life is taking off in the markets and there are many other alternatives for plant based milks, yogurts, creamers, pizzas….you name it!!  You just have to be open to possibilities and keep trying until you find one that works best for you.

Have you tired any of these dairy free alternatives?  Please comment below with your favorites!

 

***Please remember that any dairy free alternative is going to be better than the real deal.  Dairy contains hormones, saturated fat, cholesterol and PUS…not to mention how they treat the animals (for a review, click here).  Also, please keep in mind that a whole foods plant based diet is better for our health than using alternatives; however, these are great as a treat or during the transition period 🙂