Why I Became a Vegetarian / Vegan

As those of you who have read my blog in the past, you all probably know, Ive been eating a vegetarian diet for quite some time now. I have strayed here and there but Ive been mostly faithful to the plant way of things. Although, after reading a few books, watching a few documentaries, and experiencing how great I feel, Ive been 90% Vegan for a while now.

I eat a vegan diet pretty much all of the time, except for the 10% (where I eat vegetarian). The 10% is allotted for the times I am at someones home and do not wish to be difficult with my food choices (Ill just tell the person in advance that Im a vegetarian and then let them go from there).. I dont want to make things difficult for the person cooking or stress them out, ya know?

I think with every kind of diet its good to allow yourself 10% breathing room, that way, you dont have to stress too much when going somewhere with an unfamiliar food territory.

I know that food can be a touchy subject, its a very personal choice, and we can all get offended if someone challenges our food choices.

This post is not about challenging any one or offending you in any way. I am just going to tell you why I decided to switch to eating a plant based diet.

The important thing is that you feel good about yourself, and if you are happy, healthy and feel okay about what you eat, then thats great! No judgement here.

.which brings me to reason #1 why I became a plant eating enthusiast.

1) It makes me feel great! 

I have a bunch of energy, I feel happy and healthy. I just feel really good. I used to have tummy issues, and now they have all gone since Ive switched to vegan-ismno more bloating for this gal!

2)Love and respect for the animals.

Its no secret that most food production these days is all about producing as much food, as fast as possible. This has led to terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE means of production. The animals are treated as money making units. They get injected with hormones, tortured, pushed around, left to die, taken from their mothers, castrated with no pain killers, branded, beaten

Any way, you get the point

If you feel brave, feel free to search Farm to Fridge- The Truth Behind Meat Production on you tube, narrated by James Cromwell. Im warning you now though, this 11 minute clip is eye openingly brutal. Its very difficult to watch.

Reading:

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

Watching:

FOOD, Inc.

Vegucated

3)Health

There have been many studies done that correlate a mostly whole foods plant based diet to a drastic reduction in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

Reading:

The China Study

Watching:

Forks Over Knives

4)Environment

Meat production is the #1 contributor to global warming.

Reading: 13 Breathtaking Effects of Cutting Back on Meat

One of these reasons alone would have been good enough for me to change my diet to plant based, but combing all four reasons is what really made my decision EASY!

As I mentioned before, Im not trying to convert any of you, if youre happy with your diet, Im happy. Although, a little more veggies and a little less meat never hurt anyone

I hope you all have a great Friday!

Stay safe and be good!

– Ellie

Its a New Day

Well well well Look who decided to show up.
Me! Me! Me!

I dont want to start off this post like all my recent ones, but Im just going to do it. Because thats just what my little fingers want to type. SO here it goes: Apologies aplogies for my lack of posting. When I first started this good ol blog, I posted every single day. And now the posts are really lacking these days.

I could give you a bunch of excuses like school, work, fatigue But you know what? Although those are fantastic excuses, I do think that I could have squeezed in a teensy bit of time to blog. Truth be told, Ive been feeling a little uninspired lately.

I havent really been putting much effort in the preparation of my meals. Ive been pretty lazy actually, so I feel like a lot of my food lately hasnt really been blog worthy if ya know what Im sayin.

But its a new dawnIts a new day

And Im feeling gooooood.

I will definitely stop ignoring the blog and start posting more, because thats what I like to do: talk about food.

I had a killer breakfast this morning. I hadnt had waffles in FOREVER, and when I saw the beauty of a sale that was going on yesterday, I decided to pick up some frozen wild berry buckwheat waffles. When I woke up, I had one thing on my mindwaffles. Okay maybe two things waffles, teeth brushing.

I rushed to the freezer popped these babes in the toaster. Topped them with some earth balance, plain organic greek yogurt, strawberries, and a homemade maple hazlenut chocolate sauce (it was hazlenut butter mixed with maple syrup, cacao powder, almond milk, and a little xylitol for extra sweetness.

I really do like waffles frozen in particular because when you toast them they get really crunchy.

Oh and you know how I said earlier that I was feeling uninspired? Well..inspiration hit me the other day while blog reading. So many cool cats are eating Kabocha squash these days. I wanted to try it for myself. Best part- you can eat the skin. I sliced, olive oiled, salt and peppered, then roasted the squash in a 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.

It is REALLY good. The squash part is pretty sweet (maybe even a little too sweet for my taste) but the skin was the best part in my opinion. It has such a nutty flavor.

If youve never tried Kabocha squash, go ahead, try it! (its super healthy too- vitamin A, beta caroteneall that good stuff!)

Oh and did you want to know what Im snacking on right now?

Probably not- but Ill show you anyway.

Rice cakes and cottage cheese. Gosh-so simple yet so good.

And holy cow! I am so excited to have finally found this. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Coconut milk has finally reached Canada. SO SO SO excited to try it! I will give you my full review once I do! Im sure its amazing though.

Yall have good day now.

Peer Pressure: Just Say Yes!

Let me hear you say it

yes!

..a little louder

Yes!

Still cant hear youuuu

Yes!Yes!Yes!..To healthy cookies!

Theres nothing like a yummy plate of cookies that taste and smell amazing!

A friend sent me this recipe from a food blog, and today was the day that I felt like making them! This recipe literally took me 5 minutes to whip up SO easy!!

Nikkis Healthy Cookies (from 101cookbooks.com)

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm so it isnt solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats (i used gluten free)
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together. Bake for 15 minutes.

*The only changes I made were to use almond butter instead of coconut oil, and I double the salt! Oh and aslo, Nikki makes little ball cookies out of hers, I made huge flat ones!

Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm in my tummy and if you make these, in yours too!!

You know what else I like besides cookies, PLAYING WITH MY FOOD!

While I was cutting veggies for a stir-fry I am planning on making, I remembered reading a post the other day that got creative with peppers. Well, it just so happened that I was in the mood to play with my food and be a little festive. Thanks Healthful Pursuit for giving me the idea!

Who says peppers and bean sprouts cant be scary?

21 Candles

Yesterday was a very special day

My 21st birthday on the 21stWoo!

I seriously had the best birthday ever!

It started off with breakfast at the cutest little Italian caffe..

The Epicurean so cute and cozy inside!

Oh, and that coffee smell, dont get me started!! Aroma of the gods!!

The caffe was especially fun because my favorite person was there!

I also started my birthday morning with the BEST coffee ever!

While sipping on our coffees, we browsed the menu and decided what to order. (this was tough because so many items looked really yummy!)

Dan got the egg sandwitch:

And I got the:

Colazione Romana
Scrambled Eggs served with Bocconcino, Tomato and grilled Eggplant flavoured with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Organic baby greens. Toasted bread, butter and jam.

This was absolutely delicious, I didnt leave one crumb on the plate. The perfect meal after a night of celebrating!

After breakfast, we headed home, unwillingly worked on some homework for a few hours, and then went to see the movie Argo.

Really good movie! Highly recommend it (true story too!) crazyness

After the movie, came the part of the day I was most looking forward to!

Dinner at a vegetarian restaurant call The Acorn.

Although it took us probably 20 minutes to find parking, it was well worth it because this place was adorable and had a really chill vibe!

We ended up sitting at the bar (the two seats closest to the wall) because the tables were all full. I originally wanted to sit at a table but once we sat at the bar, I realized how cozy it was.

Plus, the bartender was really nice and gave us great service!

We both ordered a glass of malbec, and decided on an appetizer to share:

Chestnut
Chestnut & Potato Soup, Parsnip Chips,
Beluga Lentils (GF / V)

(forgot to take a photo but it was really tasty!! my favorite part was the parsnip chips. My only commentary would be that the soup could have been a little hotter (it was just warm.)

Everything on the menu looked amazing, but I finally decided to go with

Zucchini:
Raw Zucchini & Cashew Cheese Lasagne,
Lemon Sage Cream, Spinach Coulis, Pine Nuts
(GF / RAW / V)

Wowie was this delicious. There were alot of flavors going on but they all worked! I LOVED the spinach coulis part (wish there would have been more!)

I decided to order this because I rarely make raw meals for myself since it can be pretty time consuming, so I jumped at the chance to get this lasagna since I will probably never have the patience to make this at home!

Dan ordered the

Halloumi:
Beer Battered Halloumi, Zucchini Pancake,
Smashed Peas, Yogurt, Lemon Balm

Halloumi is a type of greek cheese so this meal was theyre vegetarian take on fish and chips! It was really good, but thats alot of cheese for one meal!! Dan really liked the Halloumi cheese sticks and the zucchini pancake!  I tried the cheese as well and it was good, though the smashed peas literally just tasted like mashed peas with no seasoning at all, really bland!

Overall though, our main meals were really good and we were satisfied!

Oh, and there was no way I was going to have a birthday dinner without some cake at the end!

So I got:

Olive
Olive Oil Cake, Apple Puree, White Chocolate
Frozen Yogurt, Lemon Balm, Candied Olives
(V Option)

I really loved this cake!! I got the vegan option so it came with coconut whipped cream instead of frozen yogurt. The apple puree was amazing and the cake itself was super moist. I could definitely have gone without the candied olives though, those were just weird

After a wonderful meal, we were ready to head out..

We got the bill, and I just couldnt not take a photo how cute is this?!

I really recommend both The Acorn and Epicurean if youre ever in the Vancouver area! Both really fun and unique restaurants!

Thank you to my boyfriend for making this day incredible.. Oh and thanks to my family for sending me those cute letters and packages.. (the checks inside didnt hurt either ) Lots of love in the family!

Thats whats marvelous this Monday

Have a great one!

Looking forward to experiencing my 21st year on this earth- should be exciting!!

The Best Things In Life Are

Pumpkin Flavored!!

Thats right, I said it. Pumpkin. (I was about to say excuse my enthusiasm, but you know what, dont excuse it, because pumpkins are something to be very enthusiastic about)

Is it wrong of me to want to fit into the  blogging world of everything pumpkin?

No, its not wrong,you know why? because everything pumpkin is RIGHT.

I absolutely adore this magical orange squash So much so, that I happened to do a workout with a pumpkin today! (no joke)

A burpee, but when you jump back up, you grab the pumpkin in front of you and stand up and raise it in the air. Then you set it down. And repeat. A pumpkin makes doing a work out so much more fun, nest-ce pas?

Pumpkins also make a breakfast so much more vibrant!

Like these: Hot pumpkin oats!

Boil 3/4 almond milk, 1/2 ripe banana, and a 1/4 cup pumpkin puree add oats, turn heat to low, add cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, keep stirring until the oats are cooked. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips!

Pumpkins make a coffee so much more eventful!

Like this frothy home-made pumpkin spice latte.

Brew a cup of coffee as per usual. In a blender, blend 3 tbs pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup milk ( i used unsweetened almond milk), pumpkin pie spices, and a sweetener of choice (i used xylitol). Blend the pumpkin milk mixture until nice and frothy, then heat up in the microwave or on stove top. Pour the hot pumpkin mixture directly on top of coffee, or blend it together with coffee for a more frothy latte. SO GOOD. TRUST ME.

Pumpkins make a smoothie that much more enjoyable!

Like this pumpkin chai vanilla smoothie.

1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup almond milk, pumpkin pie spices, 1 scoop Vega One Vanilla Chai

Well if you couldnt tell by now Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors of all time!!! Tied with chocolate and peanut butter!

Who else is with me?

Im sure Im not the only one who thinks the best things in like are

Pumpkin Falvored

Step-By-Step Homemade Authentic Chai Tea

Well Hello there!

You know who loves tea?!?

ChaI love tea!!

get it? I rhymes with Chai- bad joke, bad joke.

But you know, I really do love tea, all kinds of tea

And you know what else, I bet you like a gabajillion other people in the world love drinking tea as well.

Looks like we have that in common already!

Todays recipe is an authentic Chai tea recipe on behalf of my mom and her friend Mireille.

The process is definitely not as simple as boiling water and steeping a tea bag in it, but I can bet you that this Chai tea tastes better than any steeped tea bag!

You will need:

  • A few sugar cubes (or a couple tsp sugar) (or sugar substitute)
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Cloves
  • Cardamon
  • Star Anise
  • Ginger
  • Neutral base tea leaves (black, green, rooibois, orange pekoe) nothing with flavor!
  • Milk of you choice (dairy or non-dairy)

*There are no precise measurements, but as for the amount of tea and water you use, it all depends on how many servings you are making. A little spice goes a long way, so you dont need to add too much cinnamon, cardamon, star anise, ginger, or cloves. Go with your gut recipes with no precise measurements are fun! You can make it your own!

Go on, try it!

First, youll need to gather a few sugar cubes and fresh water.

Turn stove on high.

And bring the sugar cubes and water to a boil.

While the water is coming to a boil, gather the essential ingredients: Cinnamon bark, a small piece of ginger, star anise, a few cloves, and a bit of cardamon. ALL FRESH! Its best!

Closer Look: Top: Ginger Right: Cinnamon bark Middle: Cloves Bottom Left: Cardamon Top Left: Star Anise

Put the spices in the water

Wait until the water is boiling and the spices to start smelling to add

Tea leaves. You can use whatever neutral base tea you like. The tea below is authentic Indian Orange Pekoe.

Pour a serving for each person you are making this delightful tea for!

Be sure to get it all in there!

Once youve added the tea, turn the heat on medium-low.

Put a cover on for a few minutes.

Once the tea is a nicely steeped dark color (dont let it steep too too long or else it will get bitter)

Add milk of your choice (dairy or non-dairy) to taste.

Use a strainer to pour into a nice cup of tea. Dont want any of those spice or tea leaves to get in there!

Strain until you have a full cup of yummy aromatic Chai tea.

Enjoy with pumpkin pie or any kind of sweet treat (or heck enjoy even by itself!)

But pumpkin pie would be the best option! Especially this pumpkin pie.

Look at that fab cup of homemade Chai tea!

Anticipate the first sip.

Taste it..

Be amazed! Enjoy it!

Thank you so much to my Mom and Mireille for these wonderful step-by-step instructions and illustrations on how to make Chai tea! Cant wait to try it!

Talk write to ya soon!

-Ellie