How to Deal with Holiday Meals as a Vegan

Hello everyone,

I realized today that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away!!!  Ahhhhh!!!  Time sure does fly.

For some of us, the holidays can be an extremely difficult time.  We are surrounded by animal suffering and it is thrown in our faces in the grocery store, on tv and at holiday meals (happy turkey anyone?!).

I am hoping that today’s video will make the holidays a bit less overwhelming.  It is important to take care of our mental well-being so I have come up with a few approaches to help us do just that.

Please watch the video and let me know what approach you think you will be taking with your family and friends this year.

And please remember that I am always here if you need even more support. ❤

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

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole (Great for Thanksgiving!)

Hello all,

Yesterday we discussed why I think it is important to leave turkeys off of our tables (on Thanksgiving and always).  You may be wondering what to make for your holiday meal instead.

This was one of the many recipes that we made during our cooking class last week and it is incredibly delicious.  Plus, it is comforting, warm and perfect for this time of year with its’ main ingredient being pumpkin.

I hope that you will give it a try and let me know what you think.

*This recipe has been modified from Fresh Creations.  For more information, check out @freshcreationssd on Instagram.

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole

(4 servings)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs Pureed Pumpkin (*we used organic, pureed pumpkin from cans instead of whole pumpkins. The directions below are for the canned option)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (small dice)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 can Organic Coconut Milk (15 oz can)
  • 2 cups Kale Leaves (removed from stem and leaves cut thin)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/3 tbsp Bread Crumbs (*we used gluten free)
  • 1 Bag of Macaroni (*again we used gluten free)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In an extra large sauce pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and sage and continue cooking until onions are carmelized.
  2. While onions are carmelizing, cook pasta of choice using directions on package. Strain and set aside.
  3. Add pureed pumpkin, coconut milk and nutritional yeast to carmelized onion sage and garlic mixture. Stir/mix together. Cook 4 minutes.
  4. Add shredded kale leaves, stir everything together and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine pasta with pumpkin and kale mixture.
  6. Scoop into individual ramekins or a 9×9 baking dish. Top with bread crumbs of choice. Bake for 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
  7. Garnish with green onion or chili pepper flakes (you can also add some tempeh bacon).

 

I truly hope that you enjoy this recipe!  Please remember that it is absolutely possible to have an amazing, and satisfying, holiday meal without consuming animal products ❤

 

 

 

Sometimes it would be easier to not care…

Hello everyone,

This is a blog that I wrote just last year and I wanted to share it again today.  Facebook reminded me that it has been one year since we went to visit these babies and I want to honor them with this story.  We started off with twelve babies and today 5 of them are still alive and thriving!!!  Please take a moment to read this blog.  I still feel just as strongly about this today!

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“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” -James Aspey.

Most of the time, in this blog, I try to share information with you: whether it’s vegan nutrition, facts or a kick butt workout that I have created.  Well today is not that day!  Today, I need to share a story with you in order to get it off my chest…that’s what a blog is for, right?!  I truly hope that you will read it anyway; you never know, you may still learn from it or may find it inspiring 🙂

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Since becoming vegan, I have definitely had my share of bad days and this past Sunday was no exception.  Over the past two weeks, my husband and I had been volunteering at an animal sanctuary where 12 baby cows had been rescued the day before they were scheduled for slaughter.  Just like other days, we showed up ready to feed the 9 remaining babies and to give them some love (during the last few months, I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with cows, realizing how incredibly smart and docile they are.  They honestly remind me of a big version of my sweet dog).

When we arrived at the sanctuary, we could tell immediately that the energy was completely different.  Not only were we one of the only people there, but the people surrounding us were completely silent.  We walked in, said hi to the babies and checked to see if they had been fed.  In the meantime, we noticed a baby on the ground who was being loved and kindly spoken to by the sanctuary owner (a 16 year old teen girl, by the way!).  She told us, “this one isn’t doing so well.”  We went on with our sanctuary chores, which included picking up the stall and being sucked on by the other babies, but knew that this poor baby had reached the end.  Surely enough, this baby passed away within minutes of our arrival.

Although we were in complete shock, we stayed, comforted the young teen, helped around the sanctuary (all while walking around the dead calf), and left after an hour.  I cried the whole way home.

IMG_7671*This is not the deceased baby.  Just one that is sleeping……

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ANOTHER REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM DAIRY:  I knew how incredibly scary the dairy industry was but we learned another horrifying fact before we left.  This sanctuary, which had now lost 4 babies of the original 12, had rescued the calves from a dairy farmer.  He was a completely evil man, who wouldn’t let the rescuers take all of the calves, and even kicked the babies in front of them so that they would “die quicker”.  As if this wasn’t bad enough!  I learned that sometimes in the diary industry, if the farmer knows that the mama cow is having boys, they will abort the babies to get them out sooner.  The sooner the babies are out, the sooner they can use the milk and make a profit!!!  These 12 babies were not only young but they were abortions who didn’t stand a chance.  They were incredibly malnourished and didn’t receive ANY love, or even colostrum, from their mom.  REMEMBER THAT MALE CALVES ARE THROWN AWAY, SLAUGHTERED AND ARE USED FOR VEAL.  NO MILK = NO LIFE

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Two days later, and I am still having an extremely difficult time dealing with not only the loss of this baby, but also the enormity of this horrendous industry.  When we came home on Sunday, I was absolutely in shock!  I wanted to cry, scream, run away and completely check out.  I thought to myself that maybe I am not strong enough to deal with this suffering; maybe this is a hopeless cause that I should run away from right now!  Wouldn’t it be easier to just not care and to go on with everyday life?!  Maybe then I can stop being sad.  I can stop being pissed off that we as a society are contributing to this EVERY SINGLE SECOND of every single day!  And just maybe I can stop being pissed off at those around me who are selfishly taking lives so that they can enjoy a minute of satisfaction on their tongues!

MESSAGE TO VEGANS AND NON VEGANS:  And then I realized something.  I realized that it simply not the faults of my family, friends and strangers.  We have been convinced by media and the power of this industry for so long. “Milk does a body good.”  “Milk builds strong bones.”  “We need milk for calcium.”  “At least milk isn’t killing anyone, right?” “Dairy cows need to be milked.”  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

And if we, as vegans, don’t speak up and fight…who will?  This horror will just continue and these animals will continue to be tortured, murdered and have their babies taken away from them.  So as much as I would love to crawl into my bed and grieve, I cannot.  I have to spread awareness and I owe it to these babies who didn’t make it.  There is no more time to be silent.  Once you know the truth, you are obligated to spread the message!

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So as I leave you, to wipe the tears off my face, please, please, please consider how you can make a change.  Are you a vegan who is afraid to speak your mind?  Or are you a non vegan who is ready to make a change?  Either way, please get out there, educate yourself and fight for these innocent creatures who just wanted to be loved!!!

Thank you ❤

 

For more information on the dairy industry, please visit my “Resource” page and check out the following links:

Cowspiracy http://www.cowspiracy.com

Dairy Is Scary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI

Dairy is Scary (No Graphic Images)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DcxKBSEzeQ&t=3s

 

Cooking Demo for my Favorite Recipe

Have you ever been so obsessed with a recipe that you just cannot stop talking about it (and eating it)?!  That is how I feel about my chickpea salad recipe.  It is so easy to make and I could probably eat it for lunch and dinner on a daily basis (maybe breakfast too?).

I have previously posted the recipe for this amazing meal, but I also wanted to share a quick, cooking demo for those visual learners out there.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video and make sure to let me know if you give this recipe a go!  I would love to hear if you are obsessed with it as I am :).

Enjoy!!!

Can ONE person make a difference?

Hello all,

Do you ever find it difficult to fight for a cause that is so much larger than yourself?  Do you often feel discouraged?

As a vegan activist, I often feel this way and wonder if just ONE person can make a difference.

Here is a quick video for those days where you need some extra motivation or inspiration.

Please stay strong, keep fighting for your cause and know that you are making a huge impact!!!!