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Vegan

Food Vegan

Vegan Meal Ideas

When people don’t know what veganism is, or when they initially go vegan, they are unsure what to eat. “What do you even eat… lettuce?” Is often a question that vegans get asked. I have tons of recipes here on my blog, but I decided to make this post to represent a very simplistic/basic idea of the things that vegans/I eat on a regular basis.

I also know that ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos are super popular on YouTube, and people love to watch what others are eating. Everyone is different, so don’t watch someone’s video, or read someone’s blog or instagram and think that you need to eat exactly like them to be vegan. Some vegans are super healthy and eat 100% plant based foods. Other vegans are fully raw. Some vegans eat junk food and faux meat and cheese’s. Others may never eat vegan meats. Some people switch it up and have a bit of everything! I think the best and healthiest way to live and eat is solely up to YOU as an individual. Experiment in the kitchen, look up recipes online, try a bunch of different things out. But remember, you don’t have to stick to any certain regime of meals. If you love them, then hey, eat that every day! But the glorious thing about eating this way and living this lifestyle is that you can try something new every day.

My person favourites that I eat almost every single day would be nana ice cream or a smoothie for breakfast. This is routine for me because it’s what make me feel my best, so I have this every morning. For lunch (lately) I’ve been having salads. But I go through phases of eating the same thing for lunch/dinner every single day for a couple of months, and then I move on to something new. In the past my phases have been: avocado on toast, oatmeal, pb&j sandwiches. For dinner (lately), I’ve been rotating between salads, potato wedges, and pasta.

It’s funny because back in 2013, I literally ate oatmeal every single day for breakfast. Now, I can’t even eat it anymore. It doesn’t work well with my stomach. So I eat more fruity meals/smoothies, etc. Things change. Our bodies change. Every body is different. Remember that. And good luck 🙂 Below are some of my fav meal ideas. I hope you can try them out and enjoy them too!

Breakfast

LUNCH

DINNER

Events Vegan

Toronto Veg Fest 2016

It’s that time of year again, folks. The Toronto Vegetarian Association hosted it’s annual Veg Fest and you can sure as heck bet I was in attendance, this year as a TVA media representative covering the event. Here I will give you a run down of some of the best places to get food and what kind of vendors and speakers were there so that if you didn’t make it out this year, you know for next year!2016-09-11-021 2016-09-11-026 2016-09-11-004Okay, so the best part about the festival is that…. IT’S FREE! There’s a vegan food and drink festival in Toronto every summer, however, it’s $10 to get in, then on top of that, you have to pay for whatever food you want, and I don’t think there’s many samples. This veg fest is 100% free and there are so many free samples! This is a great way to try foods that you’ve never had before and judge if you like it enough to buy it or not/visit the restaurant.2016-09-11-023 2016-09-11-015There were SO many food vendors and restaurants/cafe’s who came out to represent their company so it is honestly very hard to narrow it down. Some of my favourite’s included: Sweet’s from the Earth, Tori’s Bake Shoppe, Bloomer’s, Apiecalypse Now, So Delicious, Govinda’s, Cosmic Treats, and Ipanema Valley (banana brownies pictured above)

Other great places that I sampled from or thought were great are: Earth Island (vegan cheese), Oat & Mill (ice cream), D-Beatsro (brunch, donuts, etc) , Avocado’s from Mexico, The Field Roast Company, Sol Cuisine (falafal’s) Whole Foods (pumpkin pie!)

See all vendors here: http://vegfoodfest.com/2016/vendors.html2016-09-11-006 2016-09-11-007 2016-09-11-008 2016-09-11-009 2016-09-11-010 2016-09-11-012 2016-09-11-013 2016-09-11-014 2016-09-11-016 2016-09-11-017 2016-09-11-025Okay, aside from the food, there were so many other great companies there for animal rights, clothing, books, non-profit organizations, etc. There were also tons of speakers and cooking demo’s. My favourite part of the day was getting to hear Dr. Michael Greger and 2 other doctors speak, along with John aka the Badass Vegan. (Dr. Reed Mangels, Dr. Tushar Mehta, John Lewis) Dr. Greger’s speech “Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death” is literally one of my favourite speeches ever. It’s life changing. So meeting him was pretty rad.2016-09-11-005 img_8386 2016-09-11-022All in all, I had yet another incredible day at the event this year. There was just so much food it was overwhelming for me to think about where to even begin, hahaha. I brought tupperware container’s so that I could bring more food home with me.

If you are vegan, vegetarian, or even veg-curious, check out the website and mark it down on your calendar for next year 😉

http://vegfoodfest.com/2016/index.htmlimg_8390

img_8353 img_8351 img_8348 I also vlogged the whole day and it’s pretty funny to watch:

Article Vegan

When Veganism Doesn’t Work: Ethics vs Health

Since it’s the second last day of 2015, I thought I’d make this blog post to go over a few things that people may experience over the course of the next year if they are either vegan already, or plan to go vegan.

Did you/are you going vegan for ethics or health? What keeps people there and what turns them away?

Today I’m going to be talking about what drives people to go vegan, and how sometimes people slip up and ditch veganism, while others stay vegan for life.

ethics vs health

 The reason I decided to write this post was because I’ve come across quite a few people (mostly on social media) who have been vegan and have gone back to eating meat, dairy and eggs. A lot of people that switch back claim it is because of health reasons (not enough protein, iron, etc), but we all know that it is possible to thrive off a plant-based diet because it gives you the MOST nutrients. So I wondered if people were doing it wrong, or just stopped caring/craved old habits?

Let’s get into it then.

So you’d think that ethics brings people to veganism and is able to keep them there because of everything they know. I mean, how can you go back to eating meat once you are aware of the cruel injustice that goes on within the factory farms?

Health on the other hand is a different story sort of. People who go vegan for health shouldn’t actually be considered vegan, rather plant based instead. (See my post on vegan vs plant based here)  So these people who go “vegan” for health do it to become happy, healthy etc. The thing with this though, is that animals were not their main priority or driving factor in the switch to veganism. So when you don’t have that cruel reminder ringing in the back of your mind when you walk into a restaurant, you could be tempted to just “let loose”, have a “cheat day” “indulge”, etc. because having meat once a week is not going to make you obese or give you heart disease. So to them, depending on the person, it’s okay to have these things sometimes in small amounts. (“In moderation” as most say)

But those two situations do not apply to everybody. I originally went vegan for health reasons (I experienced bad bloating and stomach pains when I ate meat/dairy/eggs), but even though my driving force to veganism wasn’t the animals, I later discovered all this information about the planet, the animals, global warming, etc. But even before I learned those things, I still stayed vegan because 1. animal by-products made me feel like shit, and 2. I considered them unhealthy and they grossed me out. So in some people’s scenarios, they can go vegan for health and stay vegan 100% without going back.

In fact, I’d say “health” vegans could potentially stay vegan the longest BECAUSE they are so healthy. They would never complain about lacking iron or protein, and they would understand how to get all the proper vitamins and nutrients. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t ‘cheat’ on their ‘vegan’ diet though. (read: plantbased.)

People who go vegan for ETHICS can sometimes forget about those aspects because they are so focused on animal rights and ethics. Often times those people who were driven to veganism strongly through ethics, such as Gary Yourofsky, can sometimes be “Junk Food Vegans”, because to be quite frank, they don’t give a shit what goes into their body – as long as it didn’t come from animal. And I think that’s AWESOME, because sometimes Health Vegans can get so caught up in being healthy and perfectly pure that they are afraid to eat vegan treats and desserts.

I feel like I am healthy, but also very ethical. I care about what goes into my body – to an extent. Like, I probably wouldn’t eat oreos or vegan candy, or Kraft peanut butter and other things, but mostly anything other than those exceptions I will eat. IF IT’S VEGAN, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME TO EAT IT! I love vegan brownies, chocolate bars, cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, ice cream, etc. I love treating myself and being happy. And as long as no animals were harmed to make my food, then that makes me even happier. A cruelty free, happy conscience.

But with all that being said, sometimes those kind-hearted people who go vegan for the animals, sometimes have to go back to eating meat or eggs because they think they need protein and other nutrients. I’ve actually heard of quite a few people who thought they had to incorporate chicken or salmon back into their diet to get their proper nutrients. So while their initial drive to veganism was awesome, they couldn’t keep it because of health purposes. That is I believe you need to be educated on both health and ethics to essentially stay vegan.

And then there’s some people who just no longer want to be vegan and simply go back to eating meat, dairy and eggs because they wanted it.

CONCLUSION

So what is better then? To go vegan for health reasons or ethics?

To go vegan for health reasons and believe it’s okay having to have cheat meals? But also maybe going vegan initially for health reasons, but then discovering everything else on your journey.

OR

Going vegan for ethics and having a happy mindset with food forevz, but then chancing not knowing enough about health and nutrients and feeling the need to go back to their old ways!?

Well, my ultimate conclusion would have to be: either one; they just must balance each other out.

So if you’re going “vegan” for health reasons, also learn about ethics. And if you’re going vegan for ethics, then also do your research about health so that you are informed.

They work hand-in-hand with each other, and I think to ultimately stay vegan for the longest period of time, you need to have both those health and ethical drives to keep you reminded of why you are doing this, and how you can sustain it.

See my video on this similar topic here:

Article Health Mindfulness Vegan

Curing Cancer and Living to 100

The other day I heard the people on the radio talking about how scientists are inventing this new drug that will help people live to be over 100 years old. This drug will also apparently eradicate such illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and alzheimers. And I immediately thought: when will people realize that the answer to health and longevity is not in a pill; it’s in our diet and lifestyle.

Recently I’ve been presented with an abundance of knowledge and information regarding humans living longer and healthier. I guess it all started about a month ago when I watched the presentation by Dr. Michael Greger titled: “Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.” Consequently, I found the speech life changing. His presentation is full of extensive studies and research done over periods of 30 years and more. What he explained was how by eating a plant based diet full of fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, nuts, etc: we can cure, prevent, and reverse 15 of the 16 top causes of death in North America. These would be diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and many others. I would highly recommend watching the presentation as I felt very enlightened afterwards and wanted to share it with everybody.

But then I had a thought that has crossed my mind multiple times in the past: if the solution is so simple, why isn’t the whole world having access to this information? If we can all prevent cancer and heart disease by eating plants, why doesn’t everybody know about this??

The answer to that question is simple: money.

The government makes money off of our sickness. The meat and dairy industry make money off us spending all of our money on their products. And then when animal-based foods like meat, dairy and eggs cause diseases like cancer, obesity, heart disease, and all the others I listed above; well, you see how the system works. It’s all about money. And unfortunately, if everybody was healthy and lived long, the medical industries would be out of business. One of my favourite quotes is actually from Family Guy when Lois’s dad says: “Why cure someone of cancer in a day? When you can treat them for a lifetime and bill them every step along the way?

It’s so sad that we live in a generation where cancer is the most deadliest thing someone can hear. But what if all of that could change; what if there really was a cure to fix it all?

Well, there is; it’s called eating a plant based diet.

In Dr. Greger’s presentation, he specifically outlines the causes of cancer, and how eating animal foods can cause cancer growth to grow. And when patients were fed a diet of only plant based foods, the cancer cells shrunk. I really cannot do it any justice by describing it to you so please, if you are doubting me or are just interested, go watch the speech now. It’s only an hour and can literally change your life.

The next week I came across this TED talk by Dan Buettner titled: “How to Live to be 100+“. In the presentation he discusses the tribes of people who are the longest living on the planet: in Sardinia, Okinawa, and Loma Linda. What all of these groups of people had in common was that they ate a predominantly plant based diet: consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

But it’s not just diet that aids in their longevity, it’s also their culture. These people do not live like we do in Westernized societies. They wake up each morning with a happy and peaceful mind. They pray to whatever God or higher powers they believe in; they spend quality time together in their community; they form genuine connections with people who will be with them their entire life time; they do not over eat like North Americans do, they simply eat until they are 80% full to ensure they do not over eat. They also say a prayer before each meal and also say that they will appreciate this meal and not over eat. Another thing all of these communities have in common is that they do not exercise; yet they are the healthiest people on the planet, where living to age 100 is normal, even 120 is average for them. They do not have a word for retirement because these people believe that the job they have is not a job at all; they believe it is their duty to their community; to help and serve. They never want to finish working because they love it so much. They work to be 97 and older.

The difference between these communities and ours is that we live these busy, hectic lives. We are overwhelmed by industrialization, consumerism, and the internet. We rush around the busy streets surrounded by tall buildings and polluted air. We stress about the future and let things from the past haunt us. One specific thing that these tribes do is to sit down once or twice a day and just relax and pray. To say what they are appreciative for, and to de-stress/mediate, and relax their minds and bodies. We do not do that enough.

So with all of these things combined – diet, stress, culture – they live much longer and healthier than we do.

I aspire to be like them. I want us all to aspire to be like them. Because if we can all be happy and live long together, why wouldn’t we?

But then I am reminded; where is the profit in that?

And that is why we will never be like them. Because our Westernized world revolves around money and greed, not the wellness of our people. Unfortunately, people being sick is what keeps the money flowing. And until people wake up and do their own research on these things, they will continue to be a slave to the system. And I truly do not want that to happen to people. That is why I highly advise you to watch these presentations, read these books, do your research, and learn about these things. Because sometimes the internet can help you more than think.

Article Vegan

Breaking Vegan – My Thoughts

Well this is a long-time-coming post….

I’ve followed Jordan Younger since well.. I first created my Instagram account, which was back in the summer of 2013. She was even the person who kind of inspired me to go vegan! In December 2013, I noticed I was having really bad bloating and stomach problems. I happened to be reading her blog (theblondevegan at the time), and she discussed how she had these exact same problems and that is what caused her to go vegan!!

article-2692973-1FA937CA00000578-620_634x418YAY!! I was so happy. Someone I could finally relate to. I ended up going vegan (or.. plant based actually.. but I didn’t know the difference at the time), and immediately my stomach issues went away and I was never happier.

I’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts, but basically, I was a very uneducated ‘vegan’. I didn’t go vegan to be healthy, I didn’t go vegan to save the animals, and I sure as hell didn’t go vegan to save the planet. I didn’t even KNOW about any of those things. It wasn’t until two or three months of being vegan, that I randomly decided to watch five documentaries in one day (Forks over Knives, Food Inc, Vegucated, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Earthlings) WOW. That changed my opinion on EVERYTHING. I was like, “wait.. what? Meat and dairy are UNHEALTHY!?? Animals get TORTURED AND SLAUGHTERED every single day!!??? I was overwhelmed to say the least. So I changed my ways and was a full fledged, committed VEGAN (and proud).

But I think my vegan/plant based ways were influenced by the person who introduced me to the word vegan, which was Jordan Younger.

She labeled herself as a vegan, and so when I went ‘vegan’, I thought everything was fine and dandy. But it wasn’t. (Now I know that there is a huge difference between vegan and plant-based)

It is now November 2015, and things have changed… a lot.

breaking bad vegan

In June 2014, Jordan Younger announced that she was no longer vegan due to the fact that she developed an eating disorder called Orthorexia. Everyone was shocked and horrified to say the least. I think she lost about 1000 followers, tons of blog readers, and received plenty of hate and even death threats.

I was devastated. I had followed Jordan for so long and looked up to her as my vegan inspiration. And now, here she was, ditching the title, and returning to not only eggs and dairy, but fish and MEAT as well!!!

So long story short, her story blew up. Every single news outlet was reporting about THE BLONDE VEGAN: the girl who turned away from veganism and received death threats!! It was everywhere!! Every website I turned to was reporting on Jordan Younger. Then she got a book deal.

Screen-Shot-2015-10-26-at-11.43.30-AM-1024x809

So two weeks ago, her book/memoir finally was released. And can you guess the title? BREAKING VEGAN. BAM.

I already wrote a blog post on this topic back in April of this year titled: Veganism or Orthorexia, so you can read that posts for my thoughts on that whole controversy.

But basically today I am going to be talking about my thoughts on the book release, Jordan Younger, and it’s title.

2E19B6E400000578-3303707-image-m-20_1446650863054

Since the release of her book, Jordan has been getting tons of hate all over again. Angry vegans getting angry for the huge amount of publicity this is getting.

But Jordan has not once, but three times, written about this on her blog. She has NOTHING against veganism; she has made this evidently clear. She does not BLAME veganism for developing orthorexia. She knows this was caused by her obsessive all-or-nothing personality. Yet, if Jordan is admitting these things, why are all these media outlets blaming veganism?

Now, I haven’t read the book (yet?) but I already know it gives a bad name to veganism. And that will probably apply to the majority of people. Because not everyone in the world is going to read her book, but if they see it online or on a bookshelf, the first thing they see is BREAKING VEGAN, and the first thing they think is, wow, veganism DOES suck!!!!!!

This isn’t Jordan’s fault. (Okay, maybe a bit for choosing to name her book that). But it is mostly the news outlets and agencies that are reporting on this. I saw this one screenshot online from the TV with this message broadcasted across the bottom:

BLOGGER SAYS BEING VEGAN NEARLY KILLED HER

Okay.. a bit extreme, don’t ya think?

It wasn’t veganism that nearly killed her – it was her orthorexia, which may I just mention that literally anyone in the world can develop, vegan or not? Why is no one mentioning this?

Also some will argue that Jordan was never truly a vegan; she just chose to follow a plant based diet.

That is a big thing that many people get confused with. The term vegan was created solely for animal rights. A plant based diet is a health choice. And while I don’t blame Jordan for developing an eating disorder or even writing a book called Breaking Vegan, I do have to admit that I think she was plant based rather than vegan, and that should have been made clear from the beginning.

Jordan had an obsession with healthy eating. That is the reason that she decided to ‘vegan’ (or plantbased). So already right there the problem was in her head, not veganism. Veganism was simply another by-product/result of her obsession with clean eating.

Tons of people live vegan and never develop eating disorders. And some vegans do. But the same thing applies for meat eaters. TONS of girls develop anorexia and bulimia each year, but no one blames it on being an omnivore, do they? Why not? Because it’s a mental illness that is not CAUSED by diet, DIET is simply the OUTCOME.

Girls starve themselves. Starving themselves doesn’t make them anorexic (underweight), the mental illness in their brain does that. Being skinny is simply an outcome.

That’s why I’ve always hated when people say, “you look anorexic”. YOU CANNOT LOOK ANOREXIC. ANOREXIA IS A MENTAL ILLNESS IN YOUR BRAIN!! Overweight people can be anorexic because it is all in their head.

ANYWAYS, MOVING ON.

I do not hate Jordan. I applaud her for her bravery on making this huge announcement and dealing with the immense amount of hate she is receiving. However, I do think she is in the wrong for labeling herself as a vegan, when she was in fact plant based, and also for naming her book breaking vegan, when like I just stated, she was plant based.

But I understand Jordan’s side of this. She says the point of the book is not to shame or blame veganism, but to make a point about breaking labels. Well, that’s great and all Jordan that you choose not to label yourself, but again, labels were not the problem; your mental illness was. I can label myself as anything I want, but it’s up to me to determine how that label affects my life. (Similar to the recent argument about Essena Oneill and Social Media. Social Media is not detrimental – but it’s a tool that allows you to have detrimental thoughts)

I love the word vegan. To me, I associate it with love, well-being, compassion, animals, earth, and so many other beautiful things. It is unfortunate that because of this, people will see veganism differently and perhaps even not allow their children to go vegan because they think it causes orthorexia. (Again, not your fault Jordan.. it’s the media’s fault)

End note: And VEGANS; stop yelling at her, swearing, and telling her she belongs in hell. This is NOT helping the vegan movement. Do you want people to associate veganism with psychopaths who yell at others? I understand your anger, I really do. But please consider taking a more gentle, understanding approach and perhaps seeing the WHOLE story rather than just the part about her making a book called Breaking Vegan. We are all humans and we’re allowed to get angry, but getting angry really just isn’t helping anyone.

Jordan’s Blog: http://www.thebalancedblonde.com/

TBB-97815923370021

Vegan

How do I Go Vegan? Master Post

When I first made the decision to go vegan, I had no idea what it really was. The reason I decided to even go vegan was because I noticed I was getting really bad stomach pains and bloating when I’d eat meat and dairy. I had read about this ‘vegan’ thing online, and that other people who were experiencing the same problems as me went vegan and it helped. So that was it – one night, I decided on the spot to go vegan. I went onto Google and typed in “what do vegans eat” and “how do vegans get protein?” Silly me.

Actually no, not silly me. Silly society. It was not my fault that I wasn’t educated about veganism. We’ve grown up in a society that has normalized eating animal by-products, so anything different from that is considered weird or abnormal.

But I did some research, found some protein sources, and began my (uneducated) vegan journey. I say uneducated because while I was still vegan, I really didn’t know anything about it. It wasn’t until 2 or 3 months into it that I decided to watch five documentaries in one day; and that changed my life. (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Forks over Knives, Food Inc, Earthlings, and Vegucated)

I know for many people, going vegan isn’t easy. And I know being vegan isn’t considered ‘normal’ in society. I know that back then, I needed those resources and didn’t know where to look. So that is why I have my blog: to help share and learn with others. This main Master Post is dedicated to all the sites, resources, and information that I personally think are necessary for someone who is interested in becoming vegan. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go vegan.

veganism is magic1

earthlingsWhat is a vegan?

The term vegan was created in 1944 by Donald Watson, with the sole intent of animal liberation.

Vegans do not believe in the harm or exploitation of any living beings, humans and non-human animals alike.

Vegans do not use, wear, or eat anything that contains a product that derives from an animal. This includes not eating meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey,  not using cosmetics that were tested on animals, and clothing that comes from animals such as fur, silk, leather, cashmere, shearling, and many more.

Vegans also do not support zoos/circuses/sea world, horse racing, bull fights, etc, because these are terrible forms of animal exploitation.

 

Getting started? Going vegan benefits:

YOUR HEALTH                THE ANIMALS                  THE PLANET

Whether you’re coming to veganism for health, for the animals, or to help save the planet, any reason is a good reason. So here are some common questions/misconceptions that people have about the scary ‘V word’ that I’d like to address. I hope these help.


Are you worried about protein? Read here: Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein

How will you get any nutrients? Read here:

WHAT ABOUT VITAMIN B12?? I heard vegans can’t get that?? Read here:

Wondering what you can even eat? Check out my recipes:

Do you think that humans NEED meat to survive?? Read here:

Do you think that dairy milk is healthy?

What about honey? Is that vegan?

Wondering about the different types of vegans? Read here:

But what if I told you that being vegan was more than just a diet…

It can actually help save this planet. How?

playing-with-chickens-funny-cute-little-pig-pics-photos
Are you afraid to go vegan because you’re a man? 

Do you workout/train/body build, etc and are concerned about protein nutrients? Well, check this out:

Do you think vegans can’t get enough calories?

Think it’s too expensive? Read here: 

Do you think it will be too difficult to be vegan in uni/college?

Worried what your family/friends will think? Or don’t know how to handle social situations? Read here:

Don’t know how to handle restaurants? Read here:

What about holidays and family functions!?

How to prep food for school or work?

What about being vegan while traveling!?

Do you have doubts that people can survive as a vegan without being nutrient deficient? Check out these twins who’ve been vegan since birth:

What about raising children as vegans? Vegan pregnancy? Check out the amazing Ellen Fisher.

Will it work long term!?

Remember; if you think going vegan is hard, you are thinking about yourself. When you think about the planet and the animals; it becomes easy.

Vegan

Speeches:

101 Reasons to go Vegan
The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – Gary Yourofsky
The Best Animal Rights Speech– Simone Reyes
Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death – Dr. Greger

Vegan TedTalks

Plant Strong and Healthy Living – Rip Esselstyn
Beyond Carnism – Melanie Joy
A Vegan Body Building Experiment
Plant Based Nutrition: Julieanna Hever
The Power of our Food Choices
What’s Wrong with What we Eat
The Food we were Born to Eat – John McDougall

Interesting Links

(Updated often.. feel free to send in links you find interesting to be added to the list)

Federal Report Finds Plant Based Diet is Better, Meat Industry is Unhappy
David Suzuki On Exponential Growth
Opera and her 378 Staff Members do a One Week Vegan Challenge
Gary Yourofsky educates News Reporter on Veganism
Vegan Diet Best for Planet
Cystic Acne Cured Through Starch Based Vegan Diet
6 Ways to Raise a Child Who Doesn’t Eat Animals
Why the man who brought us the glycemic index wants us to go vegan
Bacon Lovers Meet Baby Pigs
Overweight Couple Goes Vegan and Loses 280 pounds
Free From Harm – Your Guide to Going Dairy Free
My Favourite Vegan Quotes/Photos
600 Doctors Attend Conference on Plant Based Nutrition
Dr. Ellsworth Wareham – 98 years old vegan
100 Year Old Retired Heart Surgeon has been Vegan most of his life
Veganism as a Solution to Heart Disease
Why a Vegan HATER turned into a vegan Body Builder
The Best Burger of the Year is.. VEGAN
The Longest Living Dog was VEGAN!?
Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarian
Common Justifications/Excuses for Eating Meat
Can Cats and Dogs be Vegan!?
Israel’s Soldiers Going Vegan
Which Groups of People Live the Longest?
The Okinawa Diet – longest living in the world
How to Live to be 100+
Ontario Bans Orca Captivity!!
Chef Alain Ducasse has removed all meat from the menu at his Paris restaurant
A New Year’s resolution that’s good for you and the planet
Arnold Schwarzenegger just told the world to stop eating meat the save the planet

Documentaries:

Earthlings
Forks over Knives
Cowspiracy
Vegucated
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Food Inc.
Hungry for Change
Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days
The Future of Food
The Cove
Black Fish

Vegan/Plant Based Doctors

Books:

The China Study – Dr. T Colin Campell
WHOLE
The pH Miracle – Robert Young
801010- Dr. Douglas Graham
Skinny Bitch- Rory Freedman
Eating Animals – Jonathon Safran Foer
Becoming Vegan – Brenda Davis
Vegan Freak: Being a Vegan in a non Vegan World – Bob Torres
The Food Revolution
The Startch Solution
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Celebrities News

Mike Tyson on Going Vegan
Stevie Wonder with James Corden “Go Vegan”
Miley Cyrus talks Vegan on Jimmy Fallon
Ariana Grande Vegan Weightloss
James Cameron to Launch America’s First All Plant Based Primary School
Emily Deschanel: Vegan Pregnancy
>Sons vegan birthday party
John Stewart Opens Animal Sanctuary
Liam Hemsworth Goes Vegan

Sources:

http://mindfullybliss.com/sources/

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Article Food Health Vegan

Is Eating Meat a Personal Choice?

So often I hear people say, “I respect vegan’s choice not to eat meat, and they should respect my choice to eat meat.”

“Each to one’s own”

“You do your thing, I’ll do mine”

shutterstock9723865This argument is dangerously flawed in many ways. The first factor being that the individual saying this is clearly thinking about THEIR choice, but not the choice of the animal. The cow/pig/chicken that you are eating did not have a choice. They were taken and killed against their will. This argument will be irrelevant for people who do not care about farm animals, and solely believe that they are “just food”. But to anyone else who may have an inkling of compassion in their hearts for those poor farm animals; you are neglecting the choice that they did not get.

The second factor of this argument is that it really isn’t a ‘personal choice’, as it does more than just affect that individual. Animal agriculture and factory farming are the leading causes of environmental destruction due to the amount of resources (water, food, land, etc), and greenhouse gasses used to keep these animals alive to turn into food. So when you eat that burger, you aren’t just affecting your own life; you are affecting the entire planet. (See sources here.)

Not plucking one’s eyebrows is a personal choice. Going bald is one’s personal choice. Heck, not showering for a week is someone’s personal choice. These are choices that solely effect that one individual. But there are many things in this world that are more than just personal choices. For instance; wearing makeup. I was originally going to say in this post “wearing make-up is a personal choice!” But is it? Most of the brands out there test on animals. So if you wear the majority of the popular make-up brands, you are contributing to the testing and deaths of  innocent animals. And people will say “but I love make-up; it makes me feel happy/confident/insert emotion here. That’s fine! You are allowed to wear make-up! But individuals should be aware about what they are putting their money into. So it is a choice to participate in that, or you can choose to wear cruelty free brands. 

When people choose to continue to pay for animal by-products, they are giving into the demand. If we all suddenly stopped eating meat, that demand would go away, causing the need to kill animals to decrease.

You see, we all make a difference in this world, whether you know it or not. When you purchase animal by-products, you are shaping how this world will turn out. So it is up to you whether you make a positive or negative choice.

It bothers me that people also refer to veganism as a ‘belief’ or even a diet. They say, “Don’t shove your religion down other people’s throats”. But when did justice and compassion become equivalent to Christianity or Judaism? It didn’t. It is not a belief or a religion or a diet; it is way beyond that. Stopping the slaughter of sentient beings is not something that you choose to ‘believe’ in; it is choosing to do something that is morally and ethically right.

180764_dbdac4eea9aa2bd7339c240a3bd44322_largeI guess it all stems from the argument, are we all equal? Many people do not think so. Humanity feels superior for many reasons. But once you take away those layers, and strip it down to the basic thinking, you realize we were all created on this earth for a purpose; we are all earthlings and we are all equal. When egotistical/ superior thinking comes into play, humans get cocky and become know-it-alls. “We need meat to survive” “We’ve been doing it for thousands of years” “Animals can’t feel pain; they don’t have souls; we’re supposed to eat them”

Yeah, only until we’re not.

If we can survive without meat, then why are we still eating it?

Habits. Culture. History. Taste.

Those are difficult barriers to break through. Difficult; but not impossible.

I did it. Many people did it. You just have to find your true reasons for wanting to go vegan; something that clicks in your brain and makes you say ‘hey, you’re right. Why are we still killing animals and destroying our planet?’

It’s not easy, but it is possible.

We can do this.

So no, I don’t think eating meat is a personal choice. I think it is a very public choice that affects the entire planet and it’s species. Oceans, rainforests, third world countries, North America, etc. It affects everything.

So today you have a choice; what kind of change will you make for this world?

 

Vegan

12 Plant Based Mums to Follow

1. Ellen Fisher

ellens family

I’d be surprised if you haven’t already heard of Ellen, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you a little bit about her. She lives on the island of Maui, Hawaii with her husband and her two boys, Elvis and Sandy. Elvis is three and a half I believe, and Sandy is almost six months. Ellen is mostly raw vegan, but has some cooked foods from time to time. Her beautiful family lives a vibrant life of happiness and abundance. I absolutely adore her morals and beliefs, and she is such a kind spirited, down to earth soul. I did an interview with Ellen a couple months back, so if you’d like to read that, click here.

2. Loni Jane

loni jane

Loni Jane is a plant based, organic mum who resides on the Gold Coast of Australia. Loni is quite the trendsetter on Instagram, with her hashtag #lonijaneinspo having over 13,000 posts. She also released her first Ebook earlier this year: Feel the Lean.  She lives with her partner, now fiancé, and her son Rowdy, who is a little over a year old I believe. Loni posts tons of mouth-watering plant based meals, as well as snaps of baby Rowdy. Loni also just announced that she is 3 months pregnant with her second child. Congrats Loni!

3. Vanessa Prosser

vanessa prosser2

Vanessa Prosser, who is good friends with Loni, also resides on the Gold Coast of Australia with her partner, Sean, and her baby girl Bambi. Vanessa is only 21 and shows that you can still look amazing after giving birth. I’ve put some images below so you can see her transformation during pregnancy to after birth. She eats fully vegan, and a lot of raw foods. Again, this muma shows how fun and healthy it is to eat and live a healthy abundant lifestyle.

vanessa prosser

4. Andrea – EarthyAndy

andy

I love Andrea. She is such a kind, gentle hearted woman. She lives on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but was born and raised in Canada. (yay Canada) She moved to Hawaii for University where she met her husband, and now they have two beautiful boys. Andrea is a fairly new vegan, who decided to make the change for her health a couple months ago. But boy is she doing it right. She’s noticed such an improvement in her health, and feels so much happier and healthier. Her feed is so vibrant and colourful, full of yummy plant based goodness.

5. Angela Liddon – Oh She Glows

angela liddon

Another fellow Canadian, Angela Liddon is famous for her New York Times best selling Cook Book: Oh She Glows, which is the same name as her award winning blog and instagram: http://ohsheglows.com/ Angela had her first baby last year, and is a glowing mama. She doesn’t post too much of the baby, Adriana, on her food account, but she has a personal account where she posts more personal things: The Glow Spot. You can also read more about her plant based pregnancy and baby raising under the baby tab on her blog. http://ohsheglows.com/categories/baby/

6. Taline Gabriel – Hippie Lane

taline gabreil

Taline is one of the most fashionable/hip/stylish mums on Instgram. She is the creator of the website and app: HIPPIE LANE, and posts her delicious treats and meals on her Instagram account. She has two beautiful children who she nourishes with her delicious vegan treats.

7. Natalie – Fruit and Family

natalie

Natalie is such an amazing person. She is actually the third Canadian on this list, and also my friend who’ve I met through fruitlucks in Toronto. She has three children and is raising them fully vegan. Her feed is full of colourful, vibrant fruits and veggies, as she has just decided to make the change to go fully RAW. You can check out her YouTube videos for more inspiration: Fruit and Family Natalie

8. Ulenke – De Happy 5 Mama

Ulenkle

You are going to love this mamas Instagram feed. Ulenke is quite incredible. She has three children and decided to switch her family over to a vegan, plant based diet to cure their chronic illnesses. And well, it worked. Her instagram photos are a work of art: literally. She is so talented in designing these setups and photographing them. She also just released two Ebooks about how she cured her children’s illnesses through raw vegan living: http://www.dehappy5.com/store/

9. Steph

steph

Steph is a really good friend of mine. I was lucky enough to meet her when I was traveling through Australia a couple months ago, and she let me stay at her house multiple times. I am so grateful for this women. We clicked instantly and got along so well. She lives on the Gold Coast of Australia and has raised her two children vegan since birth. Kai is 5, and Dakota is 4. She eats 100% vegan and organic, and decided to go vegan when her first child, Kai, was born, because she realized she couldn’t put animal products and other chemicals into his little body. Now, she is thriving, and they are too.

10. Chelsea Aaron

chelsea aaron

Chelsea lives in California and is raising four vegan babes. She recently decided to homeschool her children, and finds that it is much less hectic, and they are able to spend more valuable time together, and learn together as a family. She preaches kindness and compassion, and is an overall amazing mama. She posts lots of adorable photos of her children on her Instagram, as well as beach photos, which are awesome.

11. Cissylala

cissylala

Cissy is a vegan mum who lives in San Diego. She is raising her two daughters consciously as vegans. Her feed is full of bright and colourful photos, showing you that this lifestyle can be fun and easy. I absolutely adore her photos, and her girls are the cutest!

12. Nicole Slater – Indie Homestead

nicole slater

Nicole is an indie vegan mama who is raising her two children vegan. She believes in health and happiness, and home schools her children for a better, alternative way or learning. She posts beautiful nature photos as well as lots of posts of her lil vegan babes, as well as what they eat.


You can also check out these books by plant based mums about veganism, plant based eating, and raising children plant based:

The Kind Mama- Alicia Silverstone
Plant-Powered Families – Dreena Burton

Article Vegan

Eating Meat is Destroying the Planet

Five minutes ago I finished watching the documentary Cowspiracy for the third time. I hadn’t seen it since this time last year, and it has just become available on Netflix, so I thought I’d refresh my memory with some info and statistics and watch it again. (watch the trailer here.)

I have so much on my mind right now, and so much that needs to be said, so I thought I’d just write it all in a blog post.

So first off, I just wanted to tell you that we are the same. I too once ate meat. I too was living this ignorantly blissful life of unawareness and content. I thought that typical Saturday morning breakfasts were bacon and eggs. I loved adding chicken to my salads. I even really enjoyed steak. And Greek Yogurt was my favourite food ever. And I’d eat grilled cheese sandwiches all the time. I know how it feels to think that your life is perfectly fine. I know how it feels to be threatened by other people’s diet choices. I used to think that vegans and vegetarians were weird and were certainly protein and nutrient deficient. I remember asking my vegetarian friend so many questions, and saying “do you mind if I eat meat in front of you?? I feel bad, I’m so sorry,”

I now know what it’s like to be that Veg friend who get asked all the questions; to be on the opposite side of those scenarios. Because now, I am a vegan. It’s not that difficult of a concept to understand. One day I ate meat; the next day I made a conscious decision to stop. We are not that different. You too can make that decision. So when I write my blog posts to you, please keep in mind that I am not preaching some higher level thinking of lifestyle that seems I am better than you. I haven’t been a vegan forever. I was once just like that. And then I changed. And now I just want to help other people, and the animals, and the planet.  Okay, let’s get into it.

HOW EATING MEAT IS DESTROYING THE PLANET


The documentary Cowspiracy discusses in great detail how the highest contributor to climate change and global warming is animal agriculture. This means that because humans eat sooo much meat, dairy and eggs, were are destroying our planet. (in simple terms). (in complex terms, please watch the film)

“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”

People say that eating meat is a personal choice. “I respect vegans for their choices, so they should respect me for mine,” But you see, eating meat is not a personal choice. For one, you are forgetting the innocent life that was taken to provide you with food. Did that animal get a choice? And second, what you eat not only effects you, but it effects the entire planet.

“To produce 1 gallon of milk, it takes 1000 gallons of water.”

“Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.”

“Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US”

“If the oceans die, we die. That’s not a tagline – that’s the truth”

(Read more alarming facts and statistics here)

Eating meat affects:

  • Climate Change
  • Global Warming
  • Deforestation
  • Ocean Dead Zones
  • Rain Forest Destruction
  • Animal Extinction
  • World Hunger

And so many other major issues in this world. You want to know why? Because it takes so many freaking resources to raise and slaughter farm animals.

There are 7 billion people on this earth, and 73 billion farm animals; created and slaughtered each year for human consumption. And that’s just land animals. Don’t forget about the 100 billion marine animals that are killed for food, and all the other sea creatures caught in the nets in the process.

65% of the world’s grain is used to feed all of these animals. Think about how many starving people we could feed with that? Sixty five percent!! World hunger is not a scarcity problem – it’s a distribution problem. Rather than giving it to those countries in need, we give it to the farm animals, and then we slaughter those farm animals and feed them to greedy humans. Because.. bacon.

“10 billion people could be fed with the available crop land if everyone in America alone went vegan.”

1 acre of land can yield 40,000 pounds of potatoes, but that same one acre of land can only yield 250 pounds of meat.

land-use

A vegan diet:

  • produces half the amount of C02 from going into the atmosphere
  • 1/11th the amount of fossil fuels
  • requires 1/13th the amount of water
  • 1/18th the amount of land

vegan-vs-omnivore

Per day, a vegan can save:

  • 1100 gallons of water
  • 45 lbs. of grain
  • 30 square feet of forest
  • 20 lbs of C02
  • 1 animals life

9b8f5cd00df3d9a098e3b4ab5b05131a“477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs;  almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese.”

Imagine this:

You are living your life, all happy and peaceful. Then before your eyes, these aliens come into earth and invade our planet. They take over our land and our resources. They start killing all white people in the masses. And then they start kidnapping women, hooking them up to machines, and artificially impregnating them. They can only produce milk when pregnant, so they make them pregnant in order to produce Human Milk, because aliens apparently love that. Once the baby is born, they take them away from the mother and kill them.

They keep other humans locked up in cages and take away things they produce, like vomit, menstrual blood, and anything else humans produce.

That sounds really freaking messed up, right? But it’s not. That is the reality for all farm animals.

Humans do not own this planet. We are not superior. We are ruining this planet ourselves. Our ego’s make us think that we are better and smarter than all other species, but that is not the case. Animals were here before us, and there is way more of them than us. Yet we take control of every single part of planet earth, and destroy it until there is nothing left.

ego_vs_ecoI’m glad I watched this documentary again because it was a wake-up call for me.

Being vegan is not a diet or a trend. It is not only beneficial to our planet, but absolutely necessary. Adopting a plant based diet is literally the best thing you can do to help save this planet. Not taking shorter showers, not taking your bike to work, not turning off every light in your house. Yes those things may help a bit, but they are minuscule compared to how much water, grain, land, and other resources are wasted in order to feed farm animals.

ANIMAL AGRICULTURE IS THE NUMBER ONE CONTRIBUTOR TO GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE.

Yes you can still get protein. No you won’t die from nutrient deficiency’s. Yes it may be a bit hard at first, but it also gets easier. And no, we do not just eat lettuce and rabbit food.

Your “personal food choices” go way beyond you now. Eat and live consciously. Think about what you are eating and how it effects the entire planet.

“If you think veganism is hard, you are thinking about yourself. If you are thinking about the animals and the environment, it’s simple”

2013-12-15 004 2013-12-15 168 2013-12-15 004 2013-12-15 157 If you are considering going vegan or plant based, please take a look around my website. I have soo many links and articles to help people.

http://mindfullybliss.com/veganism-101/

http://mindfullybliss.com/why-veganism-is-more-than-just-a-diet/

http://mindfullybliss.com/the-best-foods-for-you/

http://mindfullybliss.com/the-obsession-with-protein/

http://mindfullybliss.com/the-power-of-plants-what-they-can-cure/

http://mindfullybliss.com/informational-articles/

http://mindfullybliss.com/sources/

Thank you for reading this and I truly hope you are able to make a change, for our future, and for the generations to come.

1stum no planet b

Advice Article Food Vegan

Tips for Being Vegan in University

As mid-August approaches, the most dreadful time of the year is right around the corner…. and I think we both know what that is….

SCHOOL.

As much as it pains me to write this post, I know it is necessary to help all the youngens out there going off to college and university. My heart is breaking because Summer is my favourite season. I love the sun, the warmth, swimming, tanning, exploring, adventuring, and… ya know, not going to school.

So without further adieu, here are my tips for being vegan in college or university. (Point formed because well, they’re pretty straight forward)

Dorm Rooms:

Eating food in the dining hall and meal plans:

  • I lived on residence first year and had a meal plan that consisted of 12 meals a week. I went vegan in January/February, but even before that I would always keep certain food in my room because I preferred making my own meals. For breakfast I would make oatmeal, then go to class. I’d come back to my room, make a smoothie for lunch, then go back to class. Then I’d always eat dinner in the dining hall that would consist of a big salad with either potatoes, rice, veggies, fries, or whatever else they had that I could eat. One could say that it’s a waste of money, but my mealplan was pre-paid and I didn’t know I was going to go vegan… but if you are a vegan going into  college or uni, then just buy the smallest meal plan and make do with what you can in your dining hall, and buy a few groceries for what you need.

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Is it hard to cook food in a dorm?

  • I didn’t do any cooking because like I stated above, I would eat dinner in the dining hall. But if you consider oatmeal cooking, I brought my own kettle and would boil water and pour it into the bowl to mix the oatmeal. Some colleges or universities have little kitchens on each floor so you can bring your own kettle/microwave/toaster/fridge whatever you want, but there are also sometimes appliances in the kitchen areas. My dorm had a kitchen that we could rent out, but I never got a chance to use it.

What to keep in your room?

  • Whatever you eat. So in my case, I always kept stocked up on bananas so I could ripen and freeze them for smoothies. I’d also put them on my oatmeal. Also fruit (Strawberries and blueberries) to put in smoothies and on oatmeal. Ummm, almond milk, peanut butter, spinach/kale, mangos, apples, kiwi, oranges, crackers, chips, bread, etc.

How do friends react to it?

  • They didn’t really care that much. I ate my stuff, they ate their stuff. Except sometimes they’d ask questions and be like, “wait, can you have this?” And of course there was always ‘ice cream night’, or muffins being handed out in the caf. And treats in class. But if you have a motivation and continue to remind yourself of it, then you won’t fail.

Is it hard going shopping and keeping stuff in a small area?

  • No not really. On the weekends that I’d go home, I’d stock up on all the main stuff I ate. Then when I was at Uni, I’d take the bus into town some weeks and get stuff I needed. Also one of my friend’s had a car so sometimes I’d go with her.
  • I designated an area in my dorm-room for all my food, and I also brought my mini fridge so it was easy to keep all my stuff in one place.

Dishes?

  • Washed them in my room because I had a shared bathroom, but there was also a common room that had a sink.

The loud blender?

  • I used it during off times when I hoped it wouldn’t annoy people too much. And if I really needed to use it, people can just suck it up. It takes like 1 minute to blend a smoothie.

living with roommates

Living off campus with roommates:

Buying groceries

  • I would walk or take the bus down the street to the closest grocery store.
  • Always look at flyers to see when there are sales to get the cheapest deals.
  • Bring reusable bags/your own cart and stock up on everything you need for that week.
  • Make a list so you don’t miss or forget anything when you go. (I always forgot at least 1 thing)

Packing food for lunch when you’re on campus all day

  • Use lots of tupperware containers.
  • Meal prep and make your meals the night before if you know you have a busy day.
  • Pack easy lunches or snacks like sandwiches, lots of fruit, lara bars or other snack bars, nuts, crackers, etc.
  • Bring money if you know that there are veg friendly options to buy something on campus. (noodles, sandwiches, etc)

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Social situations

  • Just do your thing and don’t let people bring you down.
  • Don’t bring up the fact that you are vegan unless people ask.
  • Tell the waiter/hostess/etc that you are allergic to certain things so that they make sure not to give it to you.
  • Don’t make a big deal about it.
  • If someone offers you something you can’t have, just politely say “no thank you”
  • Give it time and the more people learn, the more they will come around. My roomies always came to this one vegan restaurant with me and they loved it!

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Dishes and kitchen appliances

  • I’m a very neat and organized person; also a perfectionist. Also a cleanfreak; so I brought a few of my own dishes to the house and used certain separate ones than my roommates.
  • I also created a sponge system so we each have our own sponge so nothing cross contaminates (eggs, meat, cheese, etc)
  • I washed pots/pans/large bowls with steaming hot water and soap before using it (those are the things we all shared)
  • Use the dishwasher as well if you have one. (I personally wash most of my dishes by hand)
  • My roomies and I also have a sticker system so we put a colour star on stuff that is ours so that it is not confused and that no one eats your things.

 

I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, feel free to comment them below! Have a great semester everyone xx

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