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One Person Can’t Change the World

In my time living as a vegan, I have far too often heard people say “well you’re just one person – you can’t change the world”, and it makes me so upset and angry because that is literally the opposite of true. When you are as passionate about something as I am with veganism, you believe fullheartedly that you can and will make a difference for the better.

(and remember, veganism isn’t just a diet, it’s a necessary change for our planet)

I know it may seem that way sometimes – that you are only one little drizzle of rain in a tsunami of water. But you are so much more than that, and every little thing you do does make a difference.

you-must-be-the-change-you-wish-to-see-in-the-world-8As a vegan and social activist looking to make a positive change in the world, I can’t help but keep my thoughts in. How can you stay quiet and passive about things when there is so much oppression in the world? You have to go out there and try, speak your mind, say how you feel, and that is how you’ll get things done. No one ever changed the world by staying quiet and being polite to everyone. You have to use that fuel and anger you have and turn it into a burning passion. Make people understand that you are serious about what you’re doing and allow them to open their minds to change as well.

My change slowly started branching out last year when I went vegan. I decided to help others and educate them for the better. I educate and spread knowledge through my Instagram and blog. Do you know how many people have told me they are going vegetarian or vegan because of me? A lot. And there are SO many beautiful and inspiring people I follow as well that spread the vegan message and help people open their minds to it. With all these people spreading love and compassionate across these social media platforms, the possibilities for change are endless.

Another branch began to grow for me when I showed my parents the documentary Forks over Knives. Their eyes were opened to the dangers of eating animal by-products and they were able to see things in a new light. They also watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which they loved Joe and Phil. I wrote a post last year about the weekend they decided to challenge themselves to go fully plant based. You can find the link here. 

Another branch stemmed out from me when my parents began to educate their friends. My dad would go up to his friends place and mention veganism and how dairy isn’t in fact as healthy as it’s made out to be. My mom told her friend about Forks over Knives and she even watched the documentary. You see, more and more people spreading the message.

The more I preached, the more I began to see a gradual change and reaction. The more I grew as a person and gained more knowledge, the more I could spread to others and help them spread it as well.

In September I moved into a house for University with five other girls. My one friend Carlee who is an environmentalist, watched Cowspiracy with me and decided if she was going to save this planet, she had to go vegan. You can read my interview with her here.

In December, my other roommate Shelby decided to go vegetarian because of her love for the animals. And in January, my other two roommates Brooke and Amy decided to do a 22 day vegan challenge. Brooke is currently doing what’s best for her body and also spreading the vegan message. Amy is loving being vegan, and even got her parents to watch Forks over Knives, and they decided that they want to try going vegan!! How amazing is that?  

aimsAnother girl from my school named Tara had been feeling sluggish and down with her diet lately, so last week she asked me to help her go vegan for a week. We went grocery shopping and picked up a bunch of good foods, and I gave her tips such as take it slow, buy all the foods you still enjoy, and eat in abundance. Veganism is only as hard or easy as you make it. Even if you’re only eating smoothies, oatmeal, pasta, rice and salads, you can still feel amazing. You can read Tara’s blog post on here experience here.

So to say the least, I think I have spread my message and effected the world quite a bit. My goal is not to transition the entire world to vegans over night, but rather to kindly educate and enlighten people about the benefits of a plant based vegan diet, and hope that some day, they too can see how amazing it is.

As for people who tell you one person can’t change the world, here are some words of advice:

“A snowflake never feels responsible for an avalanche, as does a raindrop feel responsible for a tsunami. But they were responsible; those tiny little things can make a difference – and so can you” – Katrina G (me, ayyy)

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.” – Edward Everett

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“The question is not “Can you make a difference?” You already do make a difference. It’s just a matter of what kind of a difference you want to make, during your life on this planet.” – Julia Butterfly Hill

“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan

And even if you can’t make a huge difference, just going vegan yourself can make a world of difference for that animal whose life you’ve saved. Per day a vegan can save:

  • 1100 gallons of water
  • 45 lbs. of grain
  • 30 sq.ft of forest
  • 20 lbs of C02 from going into the atmoshphere
  • 1 animals life

Also, Martin Luther King was one person… and he kind of changed the world. Good luck everyone <3


photo 2015-01-20 001

For more information that will hopefully change YOUR world, check out these following links:

The Best Speech you will Ever Hear – Gary Yourofsky

Forks over Knives

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead




Advice Article

How to Nurse your Sickness

Okay folks, it has happened: I, Katrina the vegan, have gotten sick. *cue all the meat eaters cheering*

Ya, it happens, I get sick. About once a year. It’s very rare that I get sick and I give full credit to the strength of my immune system to my healthy diet. I eat healthy foods that are so good for my body. Fruits and vegetables have so many vitamins and nutrients in them to keep our bodies strong and healthy. So times like this when I do get sick are very rare but also very sad. I hate being sick. I feel like my body is letting me down after all I’ve done for it. But I know I’m not perfect, and yes, even the healthiest people get sick sometimes. For me, it was kind of unavoidable because my one roommates has pneumonia, another could potentially have mono, and the other three are getting sick as well. Six girls living under one roof and attending University classes multiple times a week… it was bound to happen.

Last year around this time I wrote a post called “Reducing the Risk of Getting Sick“,  which tells you tips on how to prevent yourself from getting sick. But obviously if you’re like me and you’re already sick, then this post you’re on now is the one for you.

Anyways, I’m not here to talk about me being sick. I’m here to talk about what I’ve been doing to get better, and what you can do to help nurse yourself back to health!

Like I’ve stated in previous posts, I don’t believe in the medical industry. This is my first time getting sick that I’m not taking any medicine. I believe in letting our bodies do what they’re meant to, and heal naturally. Think about it; we weren’t put on this planet to come up with crazy chemicals and toxins to put into our bodies. Think about what our ancestors did; they healed themselves naturally through plants, foods, and herbal remedies. As Hippocrates said:medicine

#1. Drink lots of water.

I can’t stress how important this is, especially when you’re sick. Even when you’re not sick you should be drinking plenty of water to help flush out your system and give you energy. It’s also great to add some lemon to your water foe extra benefits. Drinking tons of water aids in digestion, gives you clear skin, flushes out toxins, and boosts your immunity.

#2. Eat healthy foods.

Well duh, you shouldn’t eat crap when you’re sick…. or ever actually. I eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and I feel amazing. Many people think vegans are nutrient deficient because they don’t eat meat. But if you ask someone what they think the healthiest foods are, they’re most likely to say fruits/vegetables…..

Anyways, eat tons of these things. Spinach, broccoli, blueberries, bananas, apples, mangoes, oranges, kiwi, carrots, celery, etc. eat them all. They are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients that will help strengthen your immune system and get you back to your normal self.

Today I attempted to make some juice/smoothie thing with a ton of fruits and vegetables. It was kind of chunky and weird but you know what..  Nyquil is gross and people drink that stuff all the time when they’re sick. So I drank it all and felt better afterwards.

Organic Burst super powders are amazing for health benefits and boosting immunity, you can look around and find the ones I use here.

photo#3. Take vitamins

Along with eating lots of foods, take your vitamins. Especially if it’s winter time and cold where you are. I take vitamin C and D, as well as Iron and B12, just for an extra precaution in the winter. Vitamin C is super important for boosting immunity so eat lots of broccoli and oranges.

#4. Get lots of rest

Your body is busy trying to fight off whatever sickness is inside of you, so it’s super important that you lie down and rest. Your body needs its strength and energy and it has to work ever harder if your up running around being busy with things. Life will wait for you if you put it on hold. Your classmates can send you your lecture notes. Your boss will understand if you need the day off. Just treat your body like the temple it is and hop under the covers with a warm cup of tea.

#5. Think positive

Your mind is everything – literally.  If you have positive thoughts, that will show physically. Your body only goes where your mind goes first, so if you want to get better, think positive thoughts and believe that you will get better. Moping around feeling sorry for yourself never helped anyone or cured a cold; but positive thoughts can. Also, after chugging my green juice/smoothie thing, I felt super awesome and radiant afterwards, and although I’m 100% sure this was all placebo effect, I still felt better and that’s all that matters.

#6. Don’t leave the house unless you have to

Embrace your sickness – you don’t have to face the outside word where there are people and germs.. *shutters*. Like I said, hop into bed, boil some tea and add some lemon and cinnamon, put on a movie, and just rest. Listen to your body and sleep if you’re tired. Eat if you are hungry. Just nurse yourself back to health and treat yourself like your own patient. Besides, if you leave the house, your body is more susceptible to more germs and illnesses out there, so you’re the most safe in the depths of your own bed.

Other than those six things, there’s not really much else you can do. A common cold lasts anywhere between 7-10 days, so all you can really do is drink lots of water and rest until it passes through. Good luck and I hope this helps!

Advice Article

The Problem with Perfect

I live in a generation where girls will never truly love themselves. Where they look in the mirror every day, and rather than smiling at what they see, they are disappointed.

My generation can say they love themselves. My generation can be conceited and arrogant, and even come off as a bit cocky – but even those girls still have a longing for something else; for some deep desire for a look or purpose in life that will give them some sort of meaning. Because to them, looks are everything, and they are not.

Girls feel low and useless if they do not look a certain way. They feel judged and less important to the people around them. Yes some people are judgmental and shallow and only care about looks, but that is some people. What about the rest of us? What about the ones who love the girl with the shy laugh, or the girl with the witty remarks and smart attitude. We love you for your inside; for your personality, your charm, your heart and your soul.

We say we don’t care about looks and that looks do not matter, but we are lying. We are lying because as we say this, we are judging ourselves. We fear rejection. We fear bravery. We fear confidence. We put on a smile and try to stand as tall as we will let ourselves, but eventually, we all break. We cannot put on fake smiles while we tell others they are beautiful and not to judge themselves, because we too are doing that very thing – judging ourselves.

Why has society made us into these judgmental beings that pick and pick at people’s imperfections until there are no more imperfections to pick at? People run and they hide, and they cry, and then they change. They change themselves from the outside, and then eventually once they’ve had enough, they change themselves on the inside. They cannot deal with all the judgement so they change themselves entirely, thinking that if they have the looks and the charm, they will be loved, but in the process, they change their hearts, and that is truly sad.

The ones who cannot change themselves give up and since they cannot deal with themselves or others, they leave us entirely so that they will not have to be a burden with their imperfections any longer.

We are all just skeletons with a bit of flesh and hair. We are all just souls with a brain that thinks and a heart that beats. Why do people think that the way they view someone should matter. The eyes are not meant to see cruelty the way we humans often do. The brain is not supposed to think malicious thoughts, and the fingers are not supposed to point to the corner where those who suffer crouch in fear. We are not supposed to be this way.

Girls. We want everything that we cannot have. We want to be taller, and skinnier, and have lighter eyes, longer hair, smaller feet, bigger bums, smaller waists, bigger hips, longer nails – we want impossible. We need reality. We are not Barbie dolls that society has structured. We are humans, and we are meant to be different. If we were all the same, we’d be clones. And then how would you tell us apart? How do we tell people a part? Is it based on their looks, or how they treat others? And even if girls did have everything they wanted, they would still  find things they did not like about themselves and long for more. We are always longing for a need that will never come.

Girls are sitting there right now hating their bodies and wishing they had someone else’s. And while they sit there wishing for that, you sit there and wish you had theirs. And believe it or not, while you are sitting there wishing for someone else’s body, someone is sitting there wishing they had yours. Now how messed up is that?

Our bodies don’t need to change. The way we look at them does.

We want to change our appearance and somehow achieve what we believe to be perfect, and do all of this for what? Love? Happiness? You cannot change yourself and expect these magnificent things from life. You cannot go out searching for happiness. Happiness is not a destination that you reach at the end of your long tough journey. Happiness is a lifestyle. And you cannot “want” happiness. You just become it.

So rather than beating yourself up and picking out your flaws like flowers from the ground, change yourself; but not on the outside; from the inside. Change your thoughts, change your mind. Change how you think and how you act. Don’t stress about the bad, and don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Worry about you. Care for others, and care for yourself. Learn to love and to use your hands to mend, not destroy. We were created to serve a purpose on this earth, and that is to live; to love, be loved, and to be strong. So be strong


Advice Article Food Vegan

Misconceptions About the HCLF Diet

(Please note this updated article I did called “Why I’m not Longer HCLF or Raw Till 4“)

In early 2014 I was introduced to the HCLF diet. I wouldn’t normally refer to it as a “diet” because it’s more of a lifestyle, but for all intents and purposes, that is what it’s called. This lifestyle changed the way I think about food and has helped me immensely over the past few months. It is an amazing lifestyle and I think everyone should be aware of it. I also wrote a post a couple months back describing all the details. You can find the post here.

So recently I read an article about someone who was debunking the HCLF diet by saying every body is different and some people may not thrive this way, and also didn’t recommend it to people who have/had an eating disorder. So I just wanted to make a post to let everybody know some misconceptions about this diet, and that truly anyone can flourish from it if you put your mind to it 🙂 Don’t knock it till you try it.


 1. HCLF / raw vegan / 801010 diet are all the same.

First of all, many people may think these three diets are all the same and may generalize them into one category. Although they are similar, they are not all one diet. For those of you who don’t know what any of these things mean, I’ll break it down for you. (I also previously wrote a blog post about all the types of vegan diets that you can find here.)

HCLF = High Carb Low Fat. This means eating an abundance of food that are high in carbohydrates (good carbs vs bad carbs post here) such as fruit, vegetables, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. Low amounts of salt/sugar/fat. A typical day for a HCLF diet would consist of possibly a raw till 4 meal (or more than 1 cooked meal because it’s all up to you) such as: giant smoothie for breakfast, fruit, nana ice cream or a big salad for lunch. And rice/potatoes/pasta/stir-fry/curry for dinner.

Raw Vegan = One who does not consume anything cooked over 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). People who live this lifestyle typically do it strictly for health, since eating raw foods are the best for you. A typical day for a raw vegan could be a giant smoothie for breakfast, a huge fruit platter for lunch, and a giant salad for dinner!

Scientists found the energy levels that radiate from raw fruits and vegetables are phenomenal compared to cooked ones. You are what you eat.

Scientists found the energy levels that radiate from raw fruits and vegetables are phenomenal compared to cooked ones. You are what you eat.

801010 = a ratio of 80/10/10 where one gets 80% of their calories from carbs (fruits and veggies), 10% comes from healthy fats(avocados, nuts, etc), and the other 10% comes from protein(leafy greens). Hence the break down, 80%-10%-10%

So you could see how one might get these three diets confused and think they are all one diet. But one who follows a HCLF diet doesn’t necessarily listen to the 801010 ratios, or one who follows 801010 may not be fully raw. You see? 🙂

One thing all of these diets do have is optimal health and abundance. You get to eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables that leave you feeling the best! Which brings me to my next misconception:

2. These diets are restrictive. Bad for people with eating disorders.

This one makes me laugh because this diet is the OPPOSITE of restrictive. This is personally coming from someone who has battled with disordered thoughts for a long time. I used to eat as little as possible to lose weight and use the ‘calorie counting’ app to ensure I had under a certain amount of calories each day. I can officially say that ever since I have started this lifestyle (I say lifestyle because a ‘diet’ implies a temporary fix) I have not restricted my calories or said no to a food once.

Of course when you are a vegan you say no to anything that comes from an animal, but I think that is different. That is not restrictive, that’s a choice, and it’s an amazing one cause you are doing what’s best for the human body, as well as saving the animals and helping the earth.  I don’t consider veganism a diet, and it’s not a lifestyle either. Is not being racist a lifestyle? Is not being sexist or homophobic a lifestyle? Being vegan is a necessary change we need for this world. So no, it’s not restrictive – it’s necessary.

I get so excited to wake up in the morning and have a big smoothie or nana ice cream for breakfast. I don’t follow a strict diet, so I don’t count calories or ratios, or make sure that two of my meals each day or raw. I just wake up and eat what my body thrives on. For me this would be nana ice cream with 4 bananas (lately I’ve been able to do 5), then for lunch I have oatmeal, or a ton of fruit, or a PB&J sandwich. Then for dinner I alternate between a giant salad with every vegetable you can think of, rice pasta w/ tomato sauce, potato fries (3-4 potatoes), tofu and mashed potatoes, or vegan chili! See, so many options, and everybody is different. So just find what works for your body and do that. And if I want dessert, I have dessert. When I used to restrict, I didn’t know if all the foods I was eating were healthy so I felt guilty eating treats. But now since I know that everything I eat is healthy, I have no problem eating desserts and treats! Especially when you can make those healthy as well! Some of my favourites are: dates+peanut butter, vegan brownies, vegan cookies, vegan cheesecake. mmmm.

3. Eating too many calories is bad for you.

Eating too many calories is not bad for you!!! Calories are irrelevant because literally every single food contains them. What people don’t understand is that there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ calorie. However foods do contain are things like fats, sugars, cholesterol, etc. THOSE are the things that are bad, not the calories. I always put it this way: would you rather have 1 banana that’s 100 calories, or a diet coke zero that is zero calories. hmmmmmm……..

As long as you’re eating the right foods, calories don’t matter 🙂 Count nutrients, not calories. If it comes from a plant – eat it. If it was made in a plant – don’t eat it.

10330241_706865666019119_2734672709792063852_n4.  I tried this diet and felt sick from a 10 banana smoothie. (digestive issues)

I like to compare this diet to yoga or doing the splits. You can’t just stretch your legs out for the first time and expect to do the splits right away. It’s going to hurt like a bitch and your legs will be super soar after. But you can’t go complaining to your friend that you tried to do the splits like her and you pulled a muscle or felt soar after. Because she has been doing yoga all her life and you have just started.

The same thing goes for this lifestyle. You can’t begin day one of your new life with a 10 banana smoothie for breakfast. You have to take it slow and gradual. Like I’ve said before, I don’t label myself as anything except for vegan (and proud) or follow any strict diets. But I do however aim to eat a high amount of carbs, low amounts of fats, and tons of raw foods, because I know those are what makes my body feel the best.

With that being said, I make up my own rules. Last year when I first started drinking smoothies, I could only put 1 banana in it. And when I would make oatmeal, it would be less than half a cup of oats.

One year later, I’m using 4-5 bananas per smoothie/nana ice cream, and over 1 cup of oats! I slowly stretched my stomach over time to allow myself to eat more. And I love eating in abundance because, like previously stated, IT’S NOT RESTRICTIVE AT ALL!! I am so in love with how much food I can eat and not get fat. Whereas my friends who are having chicken or eggs have to watch their amount due to fats and cholesterol, I eat until I am stuffed and I have never felt better.

People like Freelee will tell you to eat over 2500+ calories a day, and that’s awesome for her and anyone else who can do it! However I understand if you physically can’t hold that much. I don’t count calories so I don’t know how much I have, but her point she is trying to make is that you need to eat enough.So if that means your smoothie has 7 bananas or 4 bananas, they’re both great depending on whatever works for you.

Also, eating 400 calories of animal by-products only fills your stomach up a tiny bit, leaving you feeling still hungry and therefore eating more things that aren’t healthy for you. Whereas when you eat 400 calories of vegetables, it signals your brain that you are full and satisfied.veggies, oils, fats

5. Not enough protein.

I’ve said this like a million times but….. what is with people and their obsession with protein!? People always ask vegans “how do you get your protein?” hmmm, gee, I don’t know. I guess I should be dead by now.

Do people not realize that PLANTS have protein too!?? Literally almost every single fruit and vegetable contains protein. Kale and Spinach alone contain more protein than steak.. Here are some vegan sources of protein:

lentils, cous cous, tofu, potatoes, seitan, tempeh, quinoa, peanuts, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, almonds, whole wheat bread, black beans, rice, pinto beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, cashews, artichoke, corn, peas, avocado, bananas, pumpkin seeds, watermelon, spinach, flax seeds, broccoli, pecans, kidney beans, rye bread, popcorn, steel cut oats, soybeans.

Ya friends, even watermelon contains protein.

Oh and btw, people think they need like 50 billion grams of protein a day to survive or something!? Did you know that the human body only needs 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh) If we do a few calculations we see that the protein recommendation for vegans amounts to close to 10% of calories coming from protein. [For example, a vegan male weighing 174 pounds could have a calorie requirement of 2,600 calories. His protein needs are calculated as 174 pounds x 0.41 g/pound = 71 grams of protein. 71 grams of protein x 4 calories/gram of protein = 284 calories from protein. 284 divided by 2,600 calories = 10.9% of calories from protein.]

The problem for humans actually isn’t too little protein – it’s too much protein.

A large egg contains about 185 mg of cholesterol. And since the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a limit of 300 mg per day. Eat two eggs and you’ve exceeded that limit. (

6. This is not the healthiest diet above all or a cure for everything.

No offence, but it literally is.

Just kidding, but still. This diet is SO healthy for you, I don’t understand how people don’t comprehend that. They tell you growing up to eat your fruits and veggies cause they’re good for you. Yet as soon as someone starts eating ALL fruits and veggies, suddenly that is… unhealthy? What?

Fruits and vegetables contain every single nutrient that humans need to survive. I wrote an article about the top 5 best foods for you, which mean if you ONLY ate these foods for the rest of your life, you’d thrive. Those foods are: Spinach, Broccoli, Blueberries, Chickpeas/Beans, and Flaxseed.

That’s it guys. Literally. Those 5 foods contain almost every single vitamin and nutrient you need. So there is no need for chicken or steak or eggs or milk. Everything from protein, to calcium, to vitamin C, to iron are all right there.

Not only are they healthy, but they can even cure multiple diseases and wait for it…

Reverse cancer growth. And no it’s not magic guys – it’s the way we were built to eat.

You go show me some chicken and eggs that can do that and I will be amazed.

Why do you think the doctors and nutritionists don’t recommend eating this way to cure ourselves? Well because how else would they make their money? It’s really something to think about eh?

For further reading about health, you can see my previous articles here:

Remember guys, every body IS different, I don’t doubt that. But I also don’t doubt that if you follow this lifestyle correctly and find what works best for YOU, that you will thrive, and you will be happy 🙂

Lots of love,


Advice Article

The Power of our Minds

Last night I read an article that truly changed my perspective on life and how we react to it. The article was titled: 10 Amazing Examples of Mind over Matter.

In summary, the article discusses instances where the human mind is more powerful than the body. Here are a few of my favourite examples they used:

1. Tibetan Monks

Tibetan Monks are so in sync with their mind that they have complete control over their bodies. An example is when the monks allowed physicians to experiment on them by placing soaking wet, freezing towels/sheets on them while in their state of meditation. In such conditions, the average person would likely experience uncontrollable shivering and would shortly suffer hypothermia. However, through deep concentration, the monks were able to generate body heat, and within minutes the researchers noticed steam rising from the sheets that were covering the monks. Within an hour, the sheets were completely dry.

2. Placebo Effect

If you haven’t heard of the Placebo Effect, it’s basically an inert substance or belief which produces real biological effects in humans. It’s so widely accepted as fact that a placebo variable is included in most medical tests as way of proving if, say, a drug works on its own merits or because people “think” it works.

Sometimes this works through taking a pill that someone tells you is medicine, when in reality it could be a tic-tac. But because your mind thinks it will make you better, you literally start getting better.

A group Princeton students experimented on their classmates by throwing a Kegger with pretty much fake alcohol (of 0.4% which is nearly impossible to get drunk off of). The students began slurring their words, falling over, and passing as the night progressed. This is simply because their minds thought they were getting drunks. Weird eh?

3. Nocebo Effect

This is very similar to the placebo effect, but rather it’s when you’re mind thinks that something negative happened, when in reality, you’re fine. An example is touching a plant that you think is poison ivy and getting a rash, when in reality it was just a regular plant. If a doctor tells you that you’re sick when you are not, you can literally start showing signs of whatever illness he informed you that you had. It’s all in the mind.

4. Positivity and Meditation

This is so important and by thinking positive you can physically change how you feel. By taking some quiet time to yourself and just breathing, you can cure yourself of a headache, stress, sickness, etc. They say when you wake up in the morning you should think of 3 positive things to begin your day. If you do that, you will have a happy, positive day.

For example, in 1989, Dr. David Spiegel of Stanford University conducted a study on 86 women with late stage breast cancer. Half of those women received standard medical care while the other half were given weekly support sessions in addition to the standard medical care. During the sessions the women shared their feelings, talked with other patients, and generally had a positive outlet where they could cope with their illness. At the end of the study, the women in the support group lived twice as long as those not in the group. In 1999, a similar study found that cancer patients who have feelings of helplessness and hopelessness have a lower chance of survival.

A happy outlook on life can literally improve your life. THINK POSITIVE!!

5. Blocking out Pain

Jack Schwarz, a Dutch Jewish writer, also lived in horrific conditions while forced into a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Like so many others, he was beaten, starved, and tortured beyond what most of us can comprehend. To cope with his situation, he began the practice of meditation and prayer, which he developed to the point where he could block out the pain of his torment and subsequently withstand his situation.

After his release, Schwarz continued his mind over matter practice and occasionally demonstrated his skills by putting a long sail-maker’s needle through his arm without injury. He also displayed his ability to regulate his body’s blood flow by causing the puncture hole in his arm to bleed or stop bleeding at will. Schwarz was studied by researchers at the Menninger Foundation who found that he could indeed control many of his bodily processes with only his mind. Furthermore, through an electroencephalograph, they determined his brain had different electrical activity as compared to most other test subjects. According to Schwarz, he could also see people’s auras, which allowed him to gauge their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental conditions.

6. Boosts Weight Loss

If you envision yourself losing weight, and be positive about losing weight, you CAN lose weight! Again, it’s all in your mind what you do, so if you think it, you can achieve it.

To prove the point that the mind has a major impact on the body, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer conducted an experiment on a group of predominantly overweight hotel maids who, judging by their daily activity levels, should have been thin. Despite essentially exercising all day long through their work, Langer discovered through a survey that 67% of the maids felt they didn’t do any type of exercise. Langer predicted the maids’ perceptions were hampering their weight loss, so she took half the maids aside and, in addition to taking their physical measurements, explained that through their cleaning work they were exceeding the surgeon general’s definition of an active lifestyle. The other half of the maids were given no information.

A month later, Langer’s team returned to the hotel and reevaluated the maids. They found an overall decrease in systolic blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio in the educated group. The other group had no significant physical changes. While some suspect the mere discussion of exercise somehow altered the women’s behavior, Langer said there was no indication any of the maids modified their routines, and she feels the results were due simply to a change in mindset.

After reading this article I thought a lot about it. I told a few of my friends, and even called my dad to tell him. I was just so amazed that our minds are so powerful and we don’t even realize it. We go by day after day living our same old lives and never realizing that we have this miraculous thing inside of our heads. We literally have the ability to cure ourselves, heal ourselves, lose weight, remember anything we chose, be happy, and change our lives.

Lately I’ve been getting really bad pimples constantly and I can’t seem to get rid of them. It makes me so upset and definitely drops my self-esteem. But last night I was looking at myself in the mirror after reading the article and thought; I could fix this. I am so powerful that my mind has the ability to heal itself. It’s not crazy and it’s not magic; it’s just the human mind. I could start doing something every day, say like taking a certain vitamin, and convince myself that the pill or vitamin is going to get rid of my pimples. And if I convince myself and believe it, I could physically cure it.

We have the power to do anything; you just have to put your mind to it. If you believe it you can achieve it, remember that.



Advice Article

Raw Cacao Powder: Good or Evil

Happy Tuesday everyone! I haven’t done a Tip Tuesday in a while, but today I have an interesting topic to address: the benefits and dangers of raw cacao powder.

I discovered cacao powder last December and thought it was amazing. I added it to smoothies to make ‘chocolate smoothies’ or chocolate nana ice-cream and it tastes amazing. Most people I gave samples to had no idea it wasn’t “real” ice-cream. I also started adding it to homemade baked goods such as cakes, brownies, cookies, and so much more. It’s the perfect ‘chocolate not chocolate’ to add to your foods. I also read that it’s awesome for you and is a great anti-oxidant. And not to mention way better than cocoa, which is actually just processed cacao powder. You can read my previous post about the two here.

But anyways, I recently saw someone post about the dangers of cacao powder. I was shocked and didn’t believe it. How can this thing that comes from a plant be bad for you? I am a plant based vegan after all, so everything that comes from a plant has to be good.. right?

Wrong. After hearing that cacao powder maybe isn’t the best choice for you to eat, I can now understand how people who eat animal by-products feel when people tell them that those things aren’t healthy for them. It’s like being told that your whole life is a lie. What do you mean milk isn’t good for your bones? You know what I mean? So that’s how I felt when I heard that cacao powder is bad for you.

I wanted to believe it was a lie; so badly, because that means I could keep eating it and pretend I didn’t know any different. But I don’t like to live in ignorance. So I did my research, and now I’m sharing it with you. (Just in case you wanted to know)

lsf009-live-superfoods-organic-ecuadorian-cacao-powder-16ozCacao powder comes from the cacao bean. The raw Cacao pods are opened up, the seeds are removed, and they undergo a natural fermentation and drying process that takes up to 2 weeks and is made into the cacao powder that we eat. The Cacao bean is a cousin to the Coffee Bean. You all know what coffee is right? Highly addictive and a substance to keep you awake.

Basically what people are saying is that the substance is harmfully addictive and can cause a variety of negative health effects. 

“Below are just a few of the theories circulating about the negative side effects of this raw food. Be aware that no solid scientific evidence exists to substantiate or debunk any of the claims, so if you are worried about the effects of raw cacao in your diet, it’s a good idea to discuss your concerns with a medical or nutritional professional. He or she may have access to additional research or information that is helpful to share.”

  • Cacao may be an extremely addictive substance.
  • Much like coffee, raw cacao acts as a stimulant, which at the least can negatively affect sleep and at worst may agitate kidneys.
  • Some believe regular, long-term consumption of raw cacao may lead to a variety of health conditions such as depression, mood swings, nightmares, and paranoia.
  • In high doses, cacao may act as a hallucinogen.
  • Frequent consumption may cause a toxic buildup in the liver and in the blood over time.


There’s also this video right here where the man who kind of introduced Cacao into the raw food market says his opinion and thoughts on Cacao Powder:

And here’s one more link that talks about the negative effects of cacao powder:

Again, I’m not positive on any of these things, I just thought I’d put it out there for everyone to decide for themselves 🙂 I have easily made the switch to Carob Powder which I have tried in the past and it’s amazing and tastes almost identical. There are no negative effects thus far that I am aware of from Carob Powder so I will continued to use this instead, just to be safe.

Healthy-Eating-and-Living-Carob-Powder-Mandy-KingOH, also, dogs can’t have chocolate (cocoa or cacao) but people have said that dogs can have carob because it’s not related to the cacao bean. Read more about it here, or do some research yourself.


Advice Article Interview

Interview with Sophie Gray; Keeping a Healthy Mind and Body

The new year has began and I’m sure everyone has some goals set for 2015. Some may want to eat healthier, some may want to lose weight or get fit. Whatever your goal is, I believe that you can achieve them as long as you believe in yourself and are determined.

Today I’m talking with Sophie Gray from WayofGray. Sophie’s an all around happy and active gal who leads a healthy lifestyle to thousands of people everyday.

Interview with Sophie Gray

 Hi Sophie. Thanks so much for agreeing to answer some interview questions with me. The reason I wanted to interview you is because you are so successful with multiple e-books, a very popular website, and nearly 180k followers on Instagram, and you are only 20 years old! So, let’s begin.

1. How old were you when you first became interested in health and nutrition?

I played sports all my life but it wasn’t until my last year in high school that I was introduced to this way of life – so I was 17!

Sophie Gray: Self Love and Exercise

2. How was Way of Gray created?

WayofGray was intended to be my modelling page but quickly took off by forming the right relationships and giving content people wanted! I remember it had a different name then I said to my boyfriend why don’t I call it “RayofGray” as in like a ray of light and he said “WayofGray?!” that sounds great! So the name was just a misunderstanding but it worked perfectly!

3. Explain what you do for a living and what your goal is?

For a living, I help thousands of girls all around the world reach their goals. I run my blog and Instagram page full time. While initially, my goals were to get where I am with my page now, they’re changing at every moment. I am now wanting to establish myself away from Instagram but use it as a backing. I am about to launch a Model Mentor Program which will help aspiring models reach their international modelling dreams – in a healthy way! I am really wanting to focus more on my nutrition career as that is what I’m passionate about most!


4. The reason I and many others love your account is because you are so honest and down to earth. You tell it as it is, and if people don’t like what you’re saying, you say they can freely unfollow you. How do you find yourself staying confident when all society does is try to bring us down?

I had a bad habit of focusing on the negative – but it’s something I’m working on myself. I just always remind myself that any hateful comments I receive isn’t about me. People take out their unresolved feelings with themselves on others. By knowing this, I actually pity those who are negative or try to bring me down. It must be so difficult to be at war with yourself like that!

5. Tell us a little about your first ebook that became so popular over Instagram, and why you decided to continue creating more?

My first eBook was a Do It Yourself if there ever was one. I had my boyfriend’s best friend film the videos in some gym that was really yellow for some reasons so all of the videos are yellow. I had a boy I met at my local cafe make the book and we both had no idea what would happen. After releasing it, I quit my job and went on vacation for a month. After coming back, I realized it was something I could do full time so I haven’t worked since. I remember testing out the workouts and going to my old high school gym where my best friend/mentor worked and being so impressed with myself that I could make a workout that hard. After that, I started seeing Instagram as more of a business, but one I could put my personal spin on and it took off. I decided to make more because I wanted to help more people and knew it was the next step in my journey! Over time and over eBooks, I have finally found my style and am really proud of how they look now!


6. What does being healthy mean to you?

My definition of healthy has drastically changed over the time I have had Instagram. It wasn’t until 9/10 months ago that I finally can say I know what MY healthy is and am finally thriving. To me, healthy is a mindset. It isn’t how often you go to the gym or eat well – it also isn’t the way you look either. I’m the heaviest I have ever weighted, I workout the least and eat the worst (still fine though) but I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. Healthy is a balance and that balance is different for everyone!

7. I know a lot of girls that follow you are either looking to lose weight, or become self-confident because of eating disorders.  What are some words of advice you have for these young girls?

There is more to life and you are going to die one day. To me, that’s not advice as much as it is the blatant obvious – but it’s really important for girls, and everyone to let that sink in. Life is literally passing people by and it’s not something we get another chance at (well in this body at least) and are you really going to spend that precious time at war with yourself? Also, I would ask those girls to think about what they truly think will happen when they feature their body goals? Most likely, they’ll think they’ll finally be happy but being happy is something you can be right now, regardless of the way you look. Again, to me it’s all mindset and my advice is looking on improving your mindset as much as your body.


8. This is a big question I and many others get often: what do you think about “cheat meals” and treating yourself?

I don’t think about cheat meals. I eat acai berry bowls some days and toblerone bars the other day. MY diet doesn’t define me enough for me to consider some meals as any different than others. I’m living a life and if I want a cookie today, I’ll have one but I’ll make sure to drink a lot of water and eat an apple. Cheat meals are just a mindset and if you give them so much power that they have a designated name, you’ll feel guilty every time you have one. I treat myself on the regular but I also take care of myself every day as well.

9. What are four tips you have for someone who wants to lose weight and begin living a healthier lifestyle?

One… Drink water, all day. Two.. Food isn’t the enemy and you need to eat stuff, just make sure it’s the right foods. Three.. Take probiotics  and Four… Always eat breakfast


10. What is something you tell yourself to get your through a tough day?

Hmm.. I tell myself to get over it and that’s it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be. You have a roof over your head but are beating yourself up about eating a cookie? Re-prioritize

11. Last question: if you could only eat five foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Cacao, avocados, acai berry bowls, raspberries and toblerone 😉


Thanks so much Sophie! You can find Sophie on Instagram here, or visit her amazing website:

Advice Personal

New Years Resolutions

Hello everybody and Happy New Year! It’s officially 2015 and… the world doesn’t feel any different. The sun is still shining, the birds are still chirping, and I’m still making nana ice cream for breakfast.

improvedJPGBasically I just wanted to write a post about New Years and the big hype about this one special day.

I change a lot in 2014. A year ago I set some goals/reminders for myself for the year of 2014, and looking back at it now, I seem to have successfully completed all of them. Here’s what they were:

  • What you say about others says more about you then it does them
  • Don’t let social media control your life
  • Sarcasm is not an attractive feature
  • Fuel your body with foods that will nourish it
  • Cherish moments before they’re gone
  • Don’t take anything for granted
  • Be kind
  • Keep a healthy mind and body
  • Think Positive
  • Don’t dwell on the bad
  • Don’t stress about the future
  • Be the person your dog thinks you are

I decided to look back on my year and see all that I did or accomplished. Here are some things that happened in 2014:

  • I decided to change myself for the better
  • Found lots of inspiration.
  • Read a poem for the first time at a coffee house thing
  • Learned how to bake.
  • Finished my first year of University
  • Went vegan
  • Evolved as a person
  • Discovered my passions
  • Moved into a house with my 5 girls in Peterborough.
  • Made three pen pals.
  • Traveled to Maui
  • Dislocated my arm….
  • Met my first vegan friend (while in Maui)
  • Turned 19
  • Met Katy Perry (and she sand Happy Birthday to me on stage)
  • Got a new laptop
  • Completed my summer to do list with mom.
  • Created and published my cook book Desserts from the Earth
  • Made so many great friends through blogging and Instagram.
  • Stopped eating animal by-products, stopped drinking, stopped straightening/dying my hair, stopped taking medication, and stopped wearing make-up.
  • I watched documentaries such as Forks over Knives, Earthlings, Vegucated, and Cowspiracy, and learned what kind of change I want to make in this world.
  • I learned a lot about myself as a person: what I like, dislike, where I belong, what I want to do with my life, and what kind of person I’m supposed to be.

2014-12-25 033For the past four days, all I’ve heard people talk about is how 2015 is “new year; new me” “2015 is a fresh star” “bring it on 2015, i’m ready for you” “2015 will be the best year of my life”

Am I the only one who had a super good 2014? Ya I’m looking forward to this year, but there will be plenty more of them.

Something I’ve lerned is that we should not change ourselves one day of the year. We should change/improve ourselves whenever we feel it is necessary. I set goals in January. I set goals in May. I set goals in September. And guess what?  I set goals for myself this year too because I can always improve myself.
But I don’t set goals such as “buy a new car” “lose 10 pounds” “get an 80% average” “go to new york”I just feel like you should set goals that are a) reasonable, and b) change yourself as a person. Not your appearance, not what you own, not where you want to go; but change your mind and your heart.My goals for this year are:

  • Be more giving
  • Stop saying too much
  • Let go of hatred and anger
  • Breathe and meditate
  • Appreciate every day

Short & Sweet. And I know, just like last year, that these things are achievable. I just have to work towards them and change my mindset.

But don’t let January first be some huge dramatic change for you and everyone else on the planet; a date can’t do that, only you can.


Also, I’ve had Tumblr for over three years but I’ve recently become obsessed with it, so you can find me on there if you want:

Also Also, I’ve been updating my Youtube Channel and I made my first vlog ever (What I Eat in a Day) So check that out too if you want:

Advice Article

Balance is Bogus

Harsh words, I know. But this is something that I’ve been thinking about lately and was too cowardly to actually say anything about it.

With Christmas coming and passing, I saw a lot of people over Instagram and social media posting about how they’re going to enjoy Christmas and eat whatever they feel like, then go back to healthy eating later. Yes, this is a perfect example of what you should be doing. Being healthy isn’t just how small your jeans are. Being healthy is having a peaceful mindset and being accepting of yourself as a person. That also means your world doesn’t revolve around food.

When people hear the word healthy they automatically picture an apple or a treadmill. Newsflash, like I said above, healthy is not just about food. So when people talk about being healthy over the holidays and refer to their food, I can’t help but think they’re missing the bigger picture.

Being healthy means living your life without counting the consequences. Being healthy means feeling comfortable at all times and not worrying or stressing about things like food or exercise. If anything, we as a society have been driven to believe healthy is only about those two things, when in reality, it’s so much more.

Which brings me to my next point – balance.

Ah how I loathe to hear this term being thrown around like it has some higher spiritual meaning.

“Christmas dinner is sweet potato and asparagus, but also chicken cuz; balance”

“Having a green smoothie for breakfast and chocolate cake for dinner; gotta stay balanced”

I feel like Balanced is just a term people use to make themselves feel better about eating unhealthy.. or just eating whatever the hell they want.

HELLO PEOPLE!! You do not need to announce that you are balanced to justify eating what you want.

PoiseSome days I eat bananas and some days I eat six cookies. Do I go around preaching balance and tell everyone how I don’t deprive myself, I eat balanced?? No. I just live my life and eat what I want. And you know what that’s called? LIVING?

It shouldn’t be called balance. I shouldn’t have to defend or justify my food/life choices by using the word balanced.

My Dad does this thing where he tries to say he is ‘vegan’ or ‘veganish’ as Operah says, but in reality, he just incorporates more vegetables into his diet; as does most of the world. He’ll have dinner and tell me he’s having most fruits and vegetables, but also having some chicken. Only a little bit though and that it’s okay because he’s balancing it out with the fruits and vegetables.

1. You are not vegan. 2. If you want to eat chicken, then just do it without the need of trying to explain to me that you are balanced.

Life is not one big judging contest. If you want to eat vegan, cool, eat vegan. If you want to eat 100% healthy, that is fine, as long as you’re happy. But if you eat healthy all day then indulge in some chocolate cake, please, for the love of God, do not justify yourself by saying you are ‘balanced.’

You’re just living.


My Christmas Dinner: tofu, sweet potato, reg potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, and cranberry sauce. mmmmmmm


Advice Article Interview Vegan

Interview with Jaimee Stoczko; Parents and Veganism

 Today I am talking with Jaimee Stoczko from PlvntStrong.

Hi Jaimee. Thanks so much for answering some questions with me. I wanted to interview you because after watching your latest Youtube video, it made me realize that many young teenagers like yourself want to go vegan, but simply can’t because of their families. In your video you make it clear that your family does not promote this lifestyle, or even accept it, but you still manage to live this lifestyle and thrive. Let’s begin.

Q: How old are you and how long have you been a vegan for?

I’m 17 and have been vegan since February 13, 2014! 

What made you decide to go vegan?

Well I had been a vegetarian since August 2013, and I had made that transition purely for health reasons. I remember seeing a lot of posts on Instagram talking about the bad health effects of meat, so I decided to just cut it out to get closer to what I used to think was health. This still involved a lot of yogurt and generally food items that were high protein, low carb. In February I was inspired by Essena O’Neill’s rapid transition to veganism. She was posting a lot about documentaries and speeches that everyone should watch, and that was the first time I had heard of the documentary Earthlings. I had no idea what it was about, just that a lot of people claimed it was graphic. So, having no idea what to expect, I watched it. All I remember is that I was in my family room, home alone, with the lights off and each of my two puppies in my arms. I sobbed and sobbed and clutched on to them, wondering why this was the first time I was being made aware of all the suffering I had been taking part in. The day after, when I was trying to convince myself to just make the change to veganism, my parents came home from the grocery store. Holding my then-favorite ice cream by Ben & Jerry’s in her hand, my mom said, “Guess what we got you!” I didn’t want to eat it, but I was weak. I faced an inner-debate and finally settled on eating it. As I sat at my kitchen table struggling to take each bite, it finally hit me. This was my life. This was my decision. And I wasn’t going to let a stupid pint of dairy-filled sugar keep me from living with peace between my body and mind. So I cut off my crying, threw away the ice cream and made the switch. I haven’t once gone back, or even thought about it, since.

3. What do you think the best part about being a vegan is?

I kind of just touched on it, but by far the best effect of veganism has been the spiritual part. It has nothing to do with religion, a higher deity or God. It’s the peace that you feel between your thoughts and your actions. My whole life I had always loved animals and felt an immense connection to every animal, household or wild, that I encountered, and I considered myself an animal lover. It wasn’t until I was made aware of the torture I had been contributing to that I finally became a true animal lover. And the fact that every day I am living for a cause and doing something for that cause is what keeps me going. I have never felt so confident in myself or my actions, and I have never loved myself so much. If you can’t go vegan for the animals, do it for yourself. Be your own inspiration.

4. What did your parents think of you initially going vegan? How do they react to it currently?

Well initially, I didn’t tell anyone I was going vegan. I think I was half afraid of judgment, but mostly afraid that I would fail in my pursuit of compassion. Being a person who has gone through many phases, I could just envision my family making fun of me two months down the road, saying, “Remember that one time Jaimee tried to go vegan?” I didn’t even tell my friends. It felt like I was doing something taboo, and I was the only one who knew about. Well, about a month after going vegan I was in the kitchen with my mom. We had had discussions months earlier, at sporadic, unplanned times, about veganism and if I were to eventually eat that way. Well, we were having a similar discussion, and she said, “Yeah, I mean, I’m okay with you being vegetarian, but I don’t want you going vegan. It’s too unhealthy, and I don’t think I could allow you to eat that way.” At which point, I replied, “Well…I already have been for a month.” And then, excited, I added the zinger of, “And would you look at that, I’m still standing.” Hey, she couldn’t even argue with that. Later that night she told my father about it, and they both made it very clear that they were unhappy with me. All I kept telling them was, “This is my body, and what I put or don’t put into it has no effect on you.” I had always been extremely independent, so after a week or so they stopped bothering me about it. They would just poke fun at what I was eating when given the chance and act superior, which I used to take so personally. They are much better now, and they often fight in my defense concerning food. A couple weeks ago my brothers and their wives came over to my house to celebrate my birthday, and my parents had told them to get me a vegan dish. They told them exactly where to go and what to order, and they completely ignored it, leaving me with no food. My parents got so upset with my brothers, telling them how disappointed they were in them and how it was disrespectful to my way of living. It was in that moment that I realized their transformation. They still don’t cook, grocery shop or order vegan food for me, but they have come to respect my way of living. And for that I am extremely grateful.

5. Do you have to buy your own groceries?

I do! Before I could drive on my own, my dad would take me to the grocery store every weekend, and he would do his shopping while I did mine. Then we would meet at checkout. But that only lasted a few months, as I’ve been driving on my own since the end of May. They pay for the food, but I shop for it on my own and pay for my own dinners out and randomly purchased, unsanctioned food.

6. Do people ever make fun of you or give you a hard time because of this lifestyle choice?

Absolutely. My friends were very against it at first, mostly because they thought it would change me; they thought I would be less fun to hang out with now since they couldn’t go get a late-night burger and fries with them. Well, let me just say that that is the kind of thing that shows you who your true friends are. The good ones changed and respected my decision, and the ones who gave me nothing but grief for my decision are no longer significant parts of my life. And this is exactly what I mean when I say that veganism brings you closer to yourself. Any other lifestyle change that could cause me to lose friends would be one that I would avoid. However, veganism is something that makes you so confident in yourself that losing friends is just a part of the journey. I am living for something larger than myself, and I love myself for that.

7. Do you find it is difficult to go to public events or restaurants with people?

I used to definitely get anxiety about going out with people, but now I really don’t. If I have any ability to do so, I make sure we’re going to a restaurant where I will be able to get at least one dish. If there is no way I can change the place we are going, I call the restaurant/do internet research to see what they offer. If they have something for me, great. If they don’t, I eat before we go and then just drink water. Depending on who I go with, I may get concerned looks of people thinking I’m starving myself, but I simply explain myself. And once again, I love myself now to not feel offended even if they continue to think I’m starving myself. I know I’m not, and that’s all that matters.

8. What are some words of advice for people going through similar circumstances?

The only piece of advice that I will give to beginner vegans is exactly what I have been saying throughout this entire interview: love yourself enough to have confidence in your decision to live cruelty free. Some people simply do not understand how you can feel so differently than the mainstream, and I feel sorry for them. But just because they can’t wrap their head around it doesn’t mean you should feel insecure. There are about a million people on Instagram and Tumblr who have your back, and you’re most definitely not crazy. Just be kind to those who don’t understand, educate when prompted, and lead by example. You have more power than you think. I cannot tell you how many times my friends have told me in the past month or so that they want to go vegetarian/vegan. My best friend even went vegetarian, and she was a hardcore meat eater before. And this was all ten months after I went vegan! Once people see that you’re living this way and feeling amazing, they will have no reason to argue against you. Be a shining light in a world of people living in the dark, and believe in the power of compassion. You are a part of something so big, and for that you should be proud.

9. Last question: what is your favourite vegan meal?

My favorite vegan meal is stirfry! Mmmmm I get this amazing coconut tofu stirfry from this place called Harvest near me. It’s to die for!


Thanks so much Jaimee! You can find Jaimee on Instagram here, or visit her YouTube channel: