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Hogtown Vegan – Toronto

HOGTOWN VEGAN! I’ve heard so many amazing things about this place. I went here the other night for my birthday dinner with my family, and the reason I chose this place is because it’s amazing for people who AREN’T vegan. If you take a look at their menu, you can see things such as: steak, phish n chips, unchicken wraps, bacon cheeseburgers, nachos, quesadillas, etc. So I knew I just had to go here because it would be awesome for my brother and dad who love those kinds of foods.

2015-07-17 008It was my brothers first time at a vegan restaurant, and he actually liked it! Not love, but like. Don’t worry, I’ll get him there one day.

I on the other hand, was head over heels in love with this place. But then again, I think I could just be in love with every vegan restaurant, simply because they are vegan hahaha.

But no seriously, this place was amazing. So much amazing vegan food, my whole family and my friend Amy and myself were in a food coma afterwards.

I was debating between the Southern Combo (3 unchicken strips, mac n cheese, and a salad) or the quesadillas. I decided on the Southern Combo because it had such variety for $14. And my brother and Amy decided on that as well, so we all got Southern Combos.

2015-07-17 009My dad got the Unchicken Ceaser Wrap, and my mom got the Bacon Cheeseburger. Yesssss. And as an appetizer, we all split the fries and the nachos, which was a good and bad decision at the same time. It was amazing and delicious, but we are so full by the time our meals came. Oops. At least we got to take what was left of our meals home for leftovers the next day.

2015-07-17 007 2015-07-17 010It’s located in Toronto on Bloor st W. It’s quite small actually, I think I pictured something much larger. It’s like a little pub like place. The service wasn’t outstanding or anything – just average. But the food was delicious – and that’s all that matters.

I definitely recommend this place to you if you’re already vegan, or if you want to take family/friends there who aren’t vegan, because hopefully it will show them that vegan food is not boring, and you can literally make anything that is non-vegan, into a vegan version.

You can check out their website here for more information: http://www.hogtownvegan.com/

Leftovers the next day

Leftovers the next day

Article Food Vegan

Vegan vs Plant Based

When I first heard the word vegan, I honestly had no idea what it was. I thought it was like a vegetarian, but more extreme. It isn’t until now, a year and a half since I decided to go vegan, that I look back and realize there is such a drastic difference between being a vegan, and being someone who follows a plant based diet.

veganism vs plant basedIn all fairness, health is trending right now. That also means that veganism is trending now. People are all about health; going to the gym, drinking green smoothies, and “eating vegan”. But little do they know that being a vegan actually has almost nothing to do with what you eat, but more about what you think.

The word Vegan was created with the sole purpose of animal rights. A vegan does not believe in exploiting other living beings. So yes, this is why vegans don’t consume honey, go to circuses or zoos, use cosmetics that were tested on animals, wear fur, leather etc, or participate in any other exploitation of animals/living sentient beings.

An individual who decides to go PLANT BASED, probably chose this diet for health purposes. There’s no denying it – eating plant based foods is way healthier than following  SAD (Standard America Diet) 100%. There’s been multiple studies proving so. One of the best documentaries on it is Forks over Knives, as well as the books, The China Study, and WHOLE.

But all health put aside – a vegan is someone who solely believes in not exploiting other living beings, and causing as little harm as possible. They believe in love, equality, and justice. There is nothing wrong with being Plant Based, but to all the people reading this: please do not get the two terms confused and mixed up. If you follow a plant based diet and still use leather and eat honey, do not put “Vegan” in your Instagram bio or tell people proudly that you are vegan, because this is an incorrect definition, and is probably why the rest of the world is getting confused on what a vegan is.

For example; if my parents were to define themselves (which they don’t), my dad would be considered mostly “plant based”, and my mom would be a “vegetarian-almost-vegan”. Because my dad only thinks about the health side of what he eats, but my mom thinks about the animals. (She also thinks about health too though)

Originally I went “vegan” because animal by-products were hurting my stomach and causing really bad bloating. I never did it for the animals or the environment, but I still called myself a ‘plant based vegan’, which was partially true I guess. But after a couple months of being a “Vegan”, I educated myself, watched tons of documentaries, and now am aware about the horrible mistreatment of animals that goes on, not only in Factory Farms, but in almost every single industry on the planet. I know how degrading Animal Agriculture is to our planet. And I am 100% vegan for both of those reasons. But I am plant based as well for my health. But I am not restrictive what so ever. I eat vegan junk food once in a while, and that is okay, because I am not a vegan for myself anymore- I am vegan for everything.

The reason my Instagram is food, and my blog and Youtube talk a lot about food and diet is because that’s the best way to reach the mass audiences. Yes, many people care about the animals and want to make a change, but even more people want to be healthy, and since health is such a huge thing right now, that is the best way to grab people’s attention. Food is the best way to grab peope’s attention. Seeing vibrant plates of fruits and vegetables is appealing to people, and I know it will help spread the message. Even if people start off by going vegan for health reasons, it will hopefully eventually lead them to finding the original purpose, as it did for me.

Being vegan isn’t about what you can or “can’t” eat – it’s about what you choose to support and represents everything that you believe in.

I am proud to call myself vegan because, to me, it is a synonym for compassion. It means that I care about the lives of others, and I am willing to make a protest every single day by not harming, exploiting them, or paying others to do so. By being vegan, I am raising awareness, and educating others about the subject. Vegan is a beautiful word, and I embrace it every single day. I’ve never been more proud to call myself anything else.

Vegan

Article Food Vegan

Vegan Comebacks

Hey everyone, today’s post is one that I’ve been meaning to post for quite a while now. I created this list and explanations to show people that veganism really isn’t as bad or different as they may think. It is not meant to be harsh or mean, although it may come out that way. I just want to portray the harsh reality that is going on in our world right now, and bring some sort of justice into it. If you are a vegan, great, hey, you’ll probably enjoy this article. If you are not a vegan, please try not to take offense. Read these statements with an open mind and perspective. And remember, if you do get offended by these statements, then that means your conscious is guilty of something that you are aware is morally wrong. I’m not blaming you, I’m simply just stating the truth 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

So without further ado, the most common vegan misconceptions and my comebacks:

“Humans need meat to survive”

On the contrary my dear friend,  humans can actually (believe it or not) survive without having to eat the dead carcass of another being! Surprising, right? You may be wondering how to get protein and every other vitamin imaginable, and here’s what I tell you: plants. Plant based foods have every single vitamin and nutrient that you need to survive. People ate plants originally when the earth was created, but because of cold winters and food scarcity, they resorted to eating to animals. Which I just want to point out is 100% OKAY!! I’m not going to argue that people should have always been vegan. BUT, we are no longer cavemen. We CAN survive winters, summers, and any other season with just fruits, grains and vegetables because of our easy access to importing and exporting all across the world. We are meant be herbivores – unfortunately society has grown up with these ideologies of “eating meat being normal” so anything that goes against that (veganism) is considered abnormal. But just let all these facts sink in for a minute.. if we are meant to eat meat, why does it kill thousands of us a year?
Read more: http://mindfullybliss.com/humans-are-designed-to-eat-meat/

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

Also for those wondering about Vitamin B12, read my article here: http://mindfullybliss.com/the-basics-on-b12/

protein

“Well other animals kill and eat each other – it’s survival”

1. Yes, it is that very thing exactly – survival. Animals are not as developed as we humans are. They cannot drive cars, make money, destroy our planet; ya know, things that humans do. Animals(carnivores/omnivores) hunt and eat their prey because that is their only means of survival. A lion can’t survive off of plants like gorillas and elephants can, and that’s okay. Every animal on this planet is different. The only thing is….. humans are naturally herbivores, NOT carnivores. Meaning, we CAN survive without meat, and we have thousands of other ways of survival and foods to eat. So the difference between humans and animals is choice.

2. Lions live in the wild, run on all fours, and kill animals and eat their flesh raw. If you want to argue that humans are meant to eat meat, please come talk to me after you’ve done this for your dinner.

3. Also, you cannot compare us to wild animals because we are in fact, NOT wild animals. If you would however like to compare us to lions, remember this; lions sniff each others butts when they greet each other, and often times kill their young. So unless you want to start doing that, don’t compare humans to carnivores.

“Animals are overpopulated, so we have to kill them”

Humans are also overpopulated, should we start killing off them as well?

Also, “meat is only produced through our demand. So if no one ate meat, farmers would have no need to impregnate cows every 6 months, because cow’s naturally only give birth once a year. We take away and raise their offspring to be grown and consumed. The population of cows is mostly controlled by the meat industry. If this demand went down, supply would as well, meaning that there would not be as many cows if we left them naturally in the wild. However if we continue in the rate we are consuming meat, supply will grow higher to meet the demand of the growing population, so more forests would be cut down for cattle ranching and more methane gas released, contributing to more global warming.”
Source:  http://instagram.com/veganistic

“I don’t have time to be a vegan- I’m too busy”

I’m sorry, but how do you not have time to eat food? If you can manage to cook a chicken, fry some bacon and eggs, or grill up some fish or a grilled cheese sandwich, than you most definitely have time for some fruits and veggies. It’s actually ironic that people excuse themselves for not being vegan with the excuse that they don’t have time, because on the contrary, eating vegan is the least time consuming. All you gotta do is eat a ton of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, lentils, and so many other food combinations!

“Being vegan is too expensive”

*jaw drop*

Do people seriously think this? If being a vegan is so expensive, than why do the poorest countries in the world eat vegan/vegetarian?
Answer: because it’s cheap.

The cheapest things on the market are rice, beans and pasta. Eating meat is a luxury. A luxury that most countries cannot afford. You’re telling me you can’t afford to be vegan, but you can afford to go to a fancy steakhouse for dinner? No one said you have to become a high carb fully raw vegan and eat 100% fruit, which can tend to be a bit expensive. Eating vegan could mean oatmeal for breakfast, pasta for lunch, rice for dinner. Cheap. Easy. Done.

2. Another point is, even if it was a bit expensive, health is wealth right? Would you rather pay $2 for a McDonald’s cheeseburger everyday to save money and end up being 50 years old with cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc, or pay a tiny bit more for fruits and veggies now, and be healthy you’re entire life? I chose option two.

My dad told me yesterday that two of his friends who are in their 60’s recently got a call from their doctor saying that both of their cholesterol levels are extremely high and at a dangerous level. Hmmm, I’m glad I won’t have that problem when I’m older.

“Humans are superior because we’re the smartest species”

Actually, humans are actually quite dumb. They are so dumb that they still haven’t realized that they are not calves.

2014-08-12 001 2014-08-12 032

2. Also, “If all insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” -Jonas Salk.

So really humans are just doing more damage than good.

3. Eating meat contributes to cancer and heart disease, which, not coincidentally, are the number one killers of America. Can you believe that!? These diseases that are 100% preventable are killing most of the people on this earth per year, and what do we “smart humans” continue to do? EAT MEAT.

195737f865c459b54971905bc3b9c71b“God put animals on this planet to eat”

ACTUALLY, if you read the bible, you will see that is indeed not true.

Genesis 1:29: And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”

Although this may have changed later in the Bible, this is the statement that was originally stated.

http://hannahpetrak.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/christian-vegan-part-ii/

http://hannahpetrak.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/christian-vegan-part-iii/

And if you still don’t believe me about the Bible sitch, why are you choosing to follow this one specific thing from the Bible? It also states that homosexuality is wrong and that adulterers should be faced with death.

Animals are equal beings that inhabit this earth with us. God did not put them here for the sole purpose for us to slaughter and eat them.

“I like the taste of meat and could never give it up”

“Tell me something: Why is taste, the crudest of our senses, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses? If you stop and think about it, it’s crazy. Why doesn’t a horny person have as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to killing and eating it? It’s easy to dismiss that question but hard to respond to it. And how would you judge an artist who mutilated animals in a gallery because it was visually arresting? How riveting would the sound of a tortured animal need to be to make you want to hear it THAT badly? Try to imagine any end other than taste for which it would be justifiable to do what we do to farmed animals.” Eating Animals -Jonathon Safran

3258e3703c43eae448802a9d9098de61“Well, I only eat free range chickens that were raised and slaughtered humanely”

Mhm, so let me ask you this: would the Holocaust have been okay to you if the victims were ‘treated nicely’ before they were slaughtered? Oh, and that murderer was really pleasant to his victims before he raped and murdered them, so that makes it okay then, right?

1e3811a05023dbadd51098b86aa312dbevr_2D00_chicken

“It’s my life and none of your business what I eat. It doesn’t affect you or anyone else so stay out of it”

Usually I would agree with you and stay out of your business, BUT unfortunately what you eats not only affects me, but the entire world. Factory Farming is the third highest contribute to global warming IN THE WORLD.

“65% of the world’s grain is used to feed the 60 billion land animals (meat, dairy and egg industries) and tens of billions of marine animals that are killed each year for food, rather than the 7.5 billion people that are on this planet? The number one cause of world hunger is animal agriculture. If just all the humans in America went vegan, we could solve world hunger.

The Council for Agriculture, Science and Technology even admit than 10 billion people could be fed with the available crop land if everyone in America alone went vegan. Example: 1 acre of land can yield 40,000 pounds of potatoes, but one of acre of land can only yield 250 pounds of meat.”
Source: http://instagram.com/ellenfisher

c51c1a8bb6c7f63c3c8a1f77e966efcc 6f8eaace0a15f8acb90a43a14750b4f1“We’re supposed to eat animals okay!!!?? It’s just the way things are and how things have always been.”

Yes, but during the 1900’s, women belonged to men and didn’t have a say in anything they did.

African Americans and anyone else with dark coloured skin could not go to school or sit on the same bus as people with white coloured skin.

Homosexuality was considered a mental illness and people ostracized them, tried to ‘fix them’, and isolated them.

So when you tell me that things are ‘supposed to be this way’ and use that as a valid argument, I can only tell you this: things change. Everything that we humans do is a social construct, meaning every norm, value or tradition that we do is created by us. So if we all of a sudden decided to stop torturing innocent animals and eating them, IT COULD BECOME A NORM TOO!!

what is normal“One person can’t make a difference in the world, so why bother?”

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

“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.”

And Martin Luther King was one person… and he kind of changed the world.

 I’m done.

Bam.

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Article Food Vegan

The Disconnect

In our society today, there is a very large disconnect between the food on our plates and the animals that are slaughtered for it. Thousands of years ago, people would go out and hunt their own food. They worked for it: chased, hunted, killed, and was rewarded with a meal, all for a means of survival. However, we do not live like this today.

We go to the grocery store, pick up some steak or chicken that is ever so nicely packaged for us. We did not have to experience the blood and the killing. We did not have to see the lifeless body of the animal that was killed for our food. We did not have to skin it, cut it up, and prepare it for our meal. No. We just go to the lovely little grocery store, or pull through the drive-thru window at McDonald’s or Burger King, and continue living this life in a blissful ignorance. We never truly make the connection of what goes on and how we get our food. There is a massive disconnect.

Even children, who are fed meat, dairy and eggs at such an early age, are conditioned to think this is normal. (I’m not sayin brainwashing) but if they grow up with this, they never question anything. Well, actually, some kids do. They are very smart and can make that connection at an early age. However, the majority of children just accept what is given to them, and proceed to eat their chicken burger in front of them. Do you think if you took them to a farm, let them play with the beautiful cows, pigs, lambs, and chickens all day, then showed them a burger, chicken nuggets, bacon, and lamb chops, and explained to them what had to happen for you to have this food, that they would still eat it!? OF COURSE NOT!! Kids LOVE animals and they do not want to see them hurt or dead. “This is why we take children apple picking and not to slaughter-houses”. And parents know this. That is why no one does this. Because those children who do learn about where their food comes from… decide to go vegetarian.

I completely 100% understand where people are coming from. Don’t forget, I too was once a meat lover who ate scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. I too bought makeup and clothing without making a conscious thought about where it came from. But I CHANGED! And you can too!

I don’t condone people who get mad at meat-eaters for loving cats and dogs but eating meat. You cannot get mad at someone for that and call them a bad person, or say that they can’t be a real animal-lover. Unless you were born vegan, we ALL ate meat, dairy and eggs! And we still loved our pets, right!? I have never doubted my own love for my pets, even when I ate meat.

However, I do understand how vegans feel when they witness these things. Obviously all animals are the same; we are all earthlings who inhabit this planet. So why do we love some animals, yet eat others? Simple; history and culture. It is how we’ve grown up and lived our entire lives. So this ‘vegan’ thing is such a huge, radical change for us. But it’s all about perspective, right? Like in some countries, cows and pigs are worshipped, and many cities in the middle east or asia are vegetarian. Many places in the world also eat cats and dogs; harsh right? But then think about it: here in North America, we love cats and dogs, but eat cows and pigs? Is there really a difference in the animal? Or does the difference lie between where we were brought up and how our culture and history defines what we eat?

In the summer time, there was a huge controversy over a man who left his dog in the car with the window only cracked a tiny bit. People were outraged and broke the window to get the dog out. It was all over the news and people everywhere were horrified. Of course I would never want a dog to be harmed or left in a car, but I found it interesting that these people freak out over the life of one dog, meanwhile billions of innocent animals get slaughtered each year for people to eat.

Really think about this; what is the difference between a dog and a pig? Or a cow or a lamb or a chicken? They are all living, sentient beings. Just because they don’t speak our language doesn’t mean we cannot understand them. And if you’re thinking of any common responses to this, don’t worry, I have a blog post on it:

“But we’ve always ate this way, it’s normal”

“We need meat to survive”

“They’re just animals”

“Humans are superior…”

We all inhabit this earth together; why do humans believe they are so superior that they can kill off living beings?

When people eat bacon, they don’t imagine a baby pig on their plate. And I know some people do, but just don’t care, which is disgusting.

The worst is when people say, “well I only eat free ranged chickens,” or “the cow was killed humanely.” Pardon me, but how can any time of murder be done ‘humanely’. If a man were to kidnap a woman, treat her really nicely, buy her flowers, then rape and murder her, would it be okay? If Adolf Hitler treated the victims of the holocaust ‘nicely’ before he murdered all of them in masses, would it have been okay? OF COURSE NOT. So why on earth to people use that as an excuse to eat meat. Oh wait, I know why, because it ‘tastes good’ and they don’t want to give up their previous meat and cheese.

I know you may think it’s hard to give those things up, but there’s definitely more difficult things in this world than quitting a ‘food’ that isn’t even good for you in the first place.

“Meat is not oxygen – you can survive without it.”

When I look at this photo, it reminds me of my pup named Ebony. I literally have this photo for my phone’s background and every single time I look at it I want to cry. These two little fellows are just so cute and precious. Look into that little eye. Don’t you feel love and compassion? It’s eye looks so sad, but at the same time, it has it’s little snout over top of the baby chick, almost to protect her. This photo is just so sincere and I’m in love wit it. It’s true what they say, a photo speaks a thousands words, but this photo just has me at a loss of words.

So please, if you consider yourself a compassionate person, or claim to love animals, try cutting out animals and animal by-products from your diet. It’s not as hard as you think, and you’ll be saving lots of lives, so it’s 100% worth it.

ps. I say cut out animal by-products as well for a reason. I love that people go vegetarian to help animals, but in reality, billions of animals are being abused and slaugtered just to produce your milk, cheese, eggs, etc. So if you truly want to end all cruelty, you’ll go vegan.

If you consider yourself a compassionate person and an animal-lover and still eat meat, that is completely fine, I understand! But think about how many MORE lives you could save and how much of a greater change you could bring to this world if you lived a 100% cruelty free ethical lifestyle! 🙂

For more information, check out the following links:

How to Go Vegan? Master Post

Informational Articles

Vegan Resources

 

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.

Misconceptions:


 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. (http://www.peta.org/features/eat-chickens-period/)

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.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=raw+vegan+reverse+cancer

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:

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

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

http://mindfullybliss.com/the-medical-industry/

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

http://mindfullybliss.com/eating-raw/

http://mindfullybliss.com/whats-in-our-food/

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,
Katrina

 

Article Food Personal Vegan

How I Became a Vegan

Before

I was brought up in a healthy household.  I ate the foods that I was supposed to and never really thought anything of it.  As a child, I loved broccoli and sweet potatoes. But with that love for certain vegetables was also a love for steak, scrambled eggs, chocolate ice cream, mars bars, Reese’s peanut butter cups, chicken wraps, etc.

In April 2013, I made a bet with my friend to see who could go without eating chocolate the longest. I ended up winning because she caved and had some after a couple of days. But even after I won, I tried to challenge myself to see how long I could go without having chocolate or junk food. I then extended that to include fast food like McDonald’s as well. I continued living this so called ‘healthy’ lifestyle for months and months. I was never over weight or severely unhealthy – I just wanted a change and I wanted to feel healthy. Little did I know that the foods I was still consuming (meat, dairy and eggs) were not in fact the healthiest of choices.

Fast forward 9 months to December 2013. I was away at University where I lived in residence. I had a meal plan there and our dining hall was ‘all you can eat’. I indulged in all the bad stuff, but still tried to even it out with the good stuff. I would often get stomach pains and feel very bloated and full. I would go to eat lunch and have chicken and veggies, then go to a lecture and be holding my stomach because I felt so bloated. I always just blamed myself for eating too much and told myself I’d just cut back and have less next time. Boy was I ever wrong. Little did I know that it wasn’t the quantity of the food that I had to change, but the quality. (meat, dairy and eggs)

I would also go to the gym 4-5 times a week and think I was helping my body. I remember one night for dinner I had taco wraps with meat, cheese, sour cream etc, then went to the gym later and felt sick. But I thought to myself as I ran on the treadmill “at least I’m working it off now”.

It is only now that I look back and reflect on those moments that I realize how ignorant and uneducated I was about health and wellness. I now know that you can’t go to the gym or workout and expect to see results when you are still putting junk into your body. Your outcome derives from 80% of the foods you’re putting into your body, and 20% exercise. I was working out a lot, but still eating bad foods, and I  wasn’t seeing big results in my abs like I wanted.

On December 16th, 2013, I was at home eating dinner with my parents,  and I somehow got the idea for another challenge: cutting out meat for one week. Seven days went by, and I saw how easy it was; so I continued. This all started as simply a challenge. It was not about my diet, it was not about the earth, and it was not about the animals. But now one year later as a full vegan, I could not imagine my life any other way. 

The new year came and in January 2014 I began reading about people who had similar problems as me (stomach pains and bloating). They said how they cut out all things that were bothering them and they flourished. I noticed a small difference when I cut out meat, but not a huge one. I would eat grilled cheese for dinner and think I was making a good choice because it was vegetarian. But then later that night I would have stomach pains.

I hopped on my computer and began researching about the vegan diet. I typed in “what do vegans eat?” and “how do vegans get protein?” I compiled a list of all these things, printed it out and brought it down to my parents. They said they didn’t think it was a smart idea because it could be harmful to my body. I sadly agreed, and said I would try eliminating things one at a time and see if that helped.

When I went back to University the following week, I tried cutting back on eggs and dairy. The week after that, I completely eliminated them for 5 days. After that, the only thing I was really having that contained dairy was Greek yogurt, quest bars, and the occasional dessert. I continued eating predominantly vegan for a month, but it wasn’t until February that I decided to cut out these foods completely.

After

Fast forward to exactly one year since I started that challenge. I currently live a happy and healthy vegan lifestyle full of abundant eating. I don’t say I follow a diet because to me, being a vegan is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle. It just happens to affect your diet. I eat healthy plant based foods that come from the ground, so my foods consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, beans, lentils, legumes, seeds, etc.

At first I thought of veganism as something restrictive. I always thought about the foods I couldn’t have. But it’s not about what I can’t have, because this is a choice, and I would never choose animal by-products again. Now rather than looking at what I don’t eat, I look at all the things I do eat. 

  • Salads
  • Fries
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Tacos
  • Pasta
  • Sandwiches
  • Chilli
  • Cheesecake
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Burritos
  • Pizza
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Stir-frys
  • I could go on forever…

If I know one thing for certain, it’s that I have never felt better in my life. Not only are my stomach pains 100% gone, but my skin cleared up, my nails are stronger, and I am so much happier. I never have to worry or stress about the foods that I eat or what I put into my body because I know it’s all healthy. (That’s not to say that I don’t indulge in vegan junk food often). I get to experiment in the kitchen and try so many new foods. I never used to be able to cook. I used to attempt to make cookies from the box and end up burning them. Now I bake all the time and I’m actually good at it. Vegan baking is amazing and not as weird and foreign as everybody thinks. It’s literally just food without eggs or dairy… w o a h.

I listen to my body and feed it the foods I know will nourish it. I’ve learned that I feel the best after eating lots of fruit and raw foods. I wake up in the mornings and am so excited to go downstairs and make a huge green smoothie or a big bowl of oatmeal. I eat in abundance and never get that full, bloated feeling that I did before. I eat tons of carbs and low amounts of fat. It’s funny because society makes you believe that carbs are the devil and will make you fat. Well, news flash, a casual dinner for me is 4 potatoes (cut into fries) and am I fat? Nope. Everyone is always so shocked by my portion sizes cause they’re always bigger than my head. I often get “you can eat all of that?” Yes. Why yes I can.

2014-08-27 004 2014-08-27 001Aside from food, I’ve also learned a lot about our world, society, and myself. I’ve learned that there are many things society tells us that are not true. Like that you need milk to be healthy and have strong bones… lol. So many fruits and vegetables contain calcium… and protein and iron. So if it’s nutrients you’re worried about- don’t be. Spinach has almost every single nutrient you need to survive. So does Broccoli and Blueberries.

Not only does this life style make me feel happy and give me such great benefits, but I think it has overall changed me as a person. I am more compassionate and caring about the planet and the earthlings who inhabit it way more than I ever was before. I see these creatures and I want to help them, not see them suffer. I could never imagine eating a chicken, pig or cow again. I have watched so many documentaries and read so many articles to know about the pain and suffering that they go through not only to get their meat, but to also get their milk and eggs. (Yes there’s a big difference in being a vegan and a vegetarian)

Our world is a dark room with a big window in the front, and right now the blinds are closed. But outside that window is what is going on in this world, and because people don’t want to see/hear about that, they keep those blinds shut. Or maybe they just don’t care. Either way, people stay in the dark about where their food comes from and choose not to know the pain and suffering that goes on.

Another thing this lifestyle has made me see is the truth about the government and all these big corporations who feed us lies to make money. Companies like McDonald’s and Burger King advertise that bringing your children there for lunch is the better choice. Companies also advertise that milk makes your bones strong and eggs are a great source of protein. Those are lies they promote to make money. The medical industry doesn’t truly care about you – they care about how many things they can prescribe to you and how much money they will make off your pain and suffering.

Not only do I see those things, but I now read the labels on literally everything. These companies add so many unnecessary additives to our food that are so bad for us. Ever read the food label on your peanut butter? On the Kraft one, it lists at least 6 different ingredients, half of them I can’t even pronounce. The ONLY thing that should be in peanut butter is peanuts. Trust me, I buy organic peanut butter and it is SO good. So I don’t understand why they add salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils, evaporated cane juice, and so many other things. Even our fruits and vegetables are being sprayed with pesticides and injected with GMO’s: growth hormones, taste, flavour, colour enhancers etc. Before I went vegan I never even noticed or cared about these things. Now they are a #1 priority that I believe is so important and that everyone should be aware of.  Our health is kind of a big deal, and we often forget that when we purchase our food.I also see the world differently. When I see the construction workers tearing down trees and putting up houses it breaks my heart. We are ruining this planet and treating it like we have 5 more lined up in case this one dies. This is the only earth we have and we have to start realizing that.

A vegan saves over 200 animals per year and 48,933 pounds of C02 from being released into the atmosphere. Switching to a vegan plant based diet not only helps your mind and your body, but it helps the animals and this earth. If there is any better way to save the world, please let me know. But until then, I will continue to live a vegan life style because I know it’s best for me, and planet earth.836go_green_go_vegan_bumpPeople won’t agree with this lifestyle. They will call it extreme. They will call it stupid. They will tell you to stop shoving your opinions in other peoples faces and stop thinking you are superior just because you don’t eat meat. They will tell you that you are missing out on calcium and protein. They will tell you to mind your own business.

And you want to know what you should do? Ignore them and just live your life. This is your life and it’s not up to other people to judge or decide what you can and cannot do. If you want to change your world for the better, than do so with pride and confidence. Don’t push things down other peoples throats or get angry at them for not thinking like you. Remember, there was once a time when I ate eggs for breakfast and chicken for dinner. But once I opened my mind and educated myself, I was able to make that change. You have to be patient with people because you were once just like them. You cannot force a change on someone who does not want it. They have to be willing and open to new ideas and change. In the mean time, the best you can do is happily lead by example, and educate when needed.

My blog is here because one year ago when I Googled “what do vegans eat”, not many results popped up. So that is why I dedicate my time to blissfully educate others on the subject. Not to push my ‘beliefs’ down others throats, but when certain individuals come looking for the information, it will be here.

And that is why I am so thrilled to announce my new ebook guide: Vegan Beginners Guide! It is completely free and is open to anyone to download! I just want to help educate people and spread awareness about this positive and amazing change. So if you’re thinking about switching to a vegan lifestyle but feel pressured or confused, download this now! https://payhip.com/b/57Vi

Thank you so much xx

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: https://www.youtube.com

Product Review Vegan

Petit Vour Review

I meant to make this post a while ago considering I received this product in August, but it’s better late than never, right?

So I officially received my first ever vegan cosmetics package. It’s from a company called Petit Vour, which specializes in natural, vegan, cruelty free make-up and other cosmetics.Each month they send out boxes containing different beauty products. I got their August box which had some amazing little goodies in there. (note: the baby lambs are mine)

IMG_7377 IMG_7380These products are all vegan, natural and amazing for your body. Most companies these days unfortunately don’t care about our wellbeing – they’re main goals are to make money. But I can assure you that Petit Vour uses only natural ingredients that are not harmful on your skin, AND they don’t test on animals, which is such an important thing when it comes to cosmetics. I love animals and I would never approve of something that harms poor innocent animals. Here are the products that came in the August Box:

  • Eye Defining Pencil
  • Brighten Face Mask
  • Chapstick
  • Perfume
  • Body Butter

Eye Defining Pencil

The box came with this eye liner that works amazingly. Personally, I don’t wear that much make-up. Usually it’s just some foundation under my eyes, and fill in my brows a bit because they’re very light. So I used this for my eye brows and it matched perfectly! It’s very smooth and works like a charm.

IMG_7387Brighten Face Mask

This stuff is just a little dark powder that you simply mix with water and scrub your face with. There’s instructions on it where you can either mix it with just water and use it as a face wash, or mix it with agave, coconut oil, and water, and it makes a face mask.

IMG_7384IMG_8014I just measured 1/2 tsp. of Brighten and 1/2 tsp. of water, mixed it together in a little bowl, and rubbed it all over my face. It looks like mud and it’s so fun to play with. I left it on for a few minutes, then washed it off and my face was so soft after!

IMG_7889Chapstick

This little Tangerine chapstick is amazing. It’s made from coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter, avocado butter, tucuma butter, murumuru butter, capuacu butter, candelilla wax, vitamin E and tangerine essential oil. So it’s all natural and  incredibly beneficial for your lips. Mine feel instantly soft after I use it and I probably use it ten or more times a day.

IMG_7385‘Journey’ Perfume

I also got a little sample of this perfume called Journey. It smells amazing and like the other products, is all natural. My friend sprayed it on her wrist and fell in love.

IMG_8028Body Butter

The final sample I got was this Sweet Coconut Body Butter. It’s made from coconut oil as well, so it’s really soft and perfect for dry skin. I have been putting it on my elbows where there is dry skin. It also smells amazing, so that’s a plus.

Now that the colder weather has arrived here in Canada, my hands and in between my fingers have been getting super dry lately, and even bleeding – ya, it’s that bad. So I would put regular hand lotion on, full of chemicals and other things, and my hands would always be dry again within an hour. I started putting on this body butter, and it is the only thing that seems to help and keep them soft and moist. I absolutely love it.

IMG_7382So……

Basically, these products are all amazing, and I love the fact that they are vegan and natural. It just proves that we don’t need to torture and test on animals, and also use animal by-products in our cosmetics to have good make-up.

If you’re interested in getting a monthly box or finding out more information about their products, visit their site here: http://www.petitvour.com/pages/new-box

Let’s make a happy planet together 🙂

IMG_8036

 

Article Vegan

The Obsession with Protein

Everybody needs protein.. right? That’s all you hear health/fitness people talking about. They talk about how they need to eat these certain foods to get lots of protein. But where did this ‘need’ for protein come from? I mean, of course we need protein in our daily lives – just as we need every other vitamin. (does anyone even ask about vitamin B or D?) But humans don’t need protein nearly as much as everyone makes it out to be. I think that society often creates many ideologies and problems that we have in our world. We hear that we need eggs and meat to get protein – we tell other people that- and that message gets passed along. And we believe it because that’s just what we’re used to. But what if I told you that 1. we don’t need that much protein on a daily basis, and 2. that eggs and meat aren’t even the best sources of protein for us?

proteinBeing a vegetarian or vegan, the one question you get asked constantly is: “how do you get protein?” It’s like they think that the ONLY sources of protein in the world are from meat and eggs or something? Even vegetarians think that since they are not eating meat, that their ‘go-to’ for protein is eggs. What if I told you that you could get all of your daily protein intake from foods other than EGGS!?

protein-intakeI think everyone is so concerned about not getting enough protein because society and the media has made it such a big thing to ensure that you have! But think about it… have you ever really heard about someone being protein deficient? NO! Why? Because it doesn’t exist. We humans eat so many foods daily, and the majority of them contain protein. So even if you’re not an athlete, and you’re just eating regular everyday foods (like fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, nuts, lentils, etc) you are STILL GETTING PROTEIN! If anything, humans are getting TOO much protein.

And may I just add that the largest (and strongest) land animals to grace this earth have enormous strength and muscles, and they eat PLANTS! They don’t eat dead cows and chickens to get protein. They eat plants.. and bananas.

Gorilla-ProteinFirst let’s begin with the basics..

What is Protein?

Proteins are large molecules made up of chains of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids the body uses to make protein, and when you eat protein, your body breaks apart the aminos and sends them to whichever part of your body needs whichever type of amino.

Protein in general is an extremely important nutrient, and not just because you like big muscles. “In all cells of the body, proteins perform crucial functions and are present in numerous forms,” says Tabatha Elliott, PhD, who has studied protein extensively at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston). “Proteins form structural tissue [such as muscle fibers], blood plasma, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, hemoglobin, you name it.” Protein is also responsible for a host of other things, from making your muscles move to transporting other substances (such as vitamins and minerals) throughout your body. Without it, you would be practically unable to function. (http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/gain-mass/can-you-get-too-much-protein-part-i)

How Much Protein Do We Really Need?

The RDA recommends that we take in 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh). This recommendation includes a generous safety factor for most people. When we make a few adjustments to account for some plant proteins being digested somewhat differently from animal proteins and for the amino acid mix in some plant proteins, we arrive at a level of 0.9 gram of protein per kilogram body weight (0.41 grams per pound). 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.] If we look at what vegans are eating, we find that, typically, between 10-12% of calories come from protein 3. This contrasts with the protein intake of non-vegetarians, which is close to 14-18% of calories.

So, in the United States it appears that vegan diets are commonly lower in protein than standard American diets. Remember, though, with protein, more is not necessarily better. There do not appear to be health advantages to consuming a high protein diet. Diets that are high in protein may even increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney disease. (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php)

protein2

 Basically…

Humans don’t even need that much protein. Everyone makes this nutrient out to be something that it’s not. We’re not going to die. We’re not going to lose all of our muscles. We’re not going to collapse at work from not getting enough protein. WE ARE COMPLETELY FINE! And even better? We can get all the protein we need from… *drum roll please* PLANTS.

Plant Based Sources of Protein:

  1. Tempeh –  41 g per cup
  2. Lentils – 18 g per cup
  3. Plain soymilk – 11 g per cup
  4. Edamame – 20 g per cup
  5. Seitan – 19 g per 3 ounces
  6. Tofu – 20 g per 1/2 cup
  7. Peas – 9 g per cup
  8. Brown rice – 5 g per cup
  9. White rice – 4 g per cup
  10. Cooked broccoli – 4 g per cup
  11. Sunflower seeds – 6 g per 1/4 cup
  12. Quinoa – 9 g per cup
  13. Cooked spinach – 5 g per cup
  14. Avocado – 4 g per cup
  15. Whole grain bread – 7 g in 2 slices
  16. Black beans – 15 g per cup
  17. Cashews – 5 g per 1/4 cup
  18. Cooked semolina pasta – 8 g per cup
  19. Chia seeds – 5 g per 2 tablespoons
  20. Flax seeds – 4 g per 2 tablespoons
  21. Bulgur – 5.5 g per cup
  22. Peanut butter – 8 g per 2 tablespoons
  23. Sunflower seed butter – 5.5 g per 2 tablespoons
  24. Baked red potato – 3 g per cup
  25. Barley – 3.5 g per cup

(http://www.care2.com/greenliving/25-vegan-sources-for-protein.html)

Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein“What about Eggs?”

Have you ever really thought about what eggs are? Okay, I’ll break it down for you. Each month, a human women sheds an unfertilized egg. What is this called? Her period. The same thing happens to a female hen: she sheds an unfertilized egg. Although a hen’s ‘shedding’ happens way more frequently than a human, it’s still essentially the same thing. So yes people, you are currently eating hen period. Yum.

Besides the fact that eating a hen period is kind of disgusting, eggs are not the healthiest thing for you, especially if you’re looking to them for 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. (http://www.peta.org/features/eat-chickens-period/)

 A Thing Called ‘Too Much Protein’

According to Dr. Ornish, “high-protein foods, particularly excessive animal protein, dramatically increase the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and many other illnesses. In the short run, they may also cause kidney problems, loss of calcium in the bones, and an unhealthy metabolic state called ketosis in many people.” – http://www.webmd.com/diet/ornish-diet-what-it-is

The cancer connection is spelled out at length in a fantastic book by Cornell scientist T. Colin Campbell, called The China Study. Basically, there is overwhelming scientific evidence to implicate that animal protein consumption causes cancer.

Olympian Carl Lewis has said that his best year of track competition was the first year that he ate a vegan diet (he is still a strong proponent of vegan diets for athletes).

Strength trainer Mike Mahler says, “Becoming a vegan had a profound effect on my training. … “My bench press excelled past 315 pounds, and I noticed that I recovered much faster. My body fat also went down, and I put on 10 pounds of lean muscle in a few months.”

Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke advises, “The basics for nutrition are consuming large amounts of fresh green vegetables and a variety of fruits, to load yourself up with vibrant vitamins and minerals.”

http://www.alternet.org/story/86942/getting_past_the_%27protein_myth%27_that_keeps_people_from_quitting_meat_and_dairy

Read more about protein here: http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/the-dangers-of-our-protein-diet-obsession/

Conclusion

So basically, protein isn’t a worry. We all get it through plant foods, and we all get enough that we need. The real concern shouldn’t be not getting enough protein, but getting too much protein.

 

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Personal Vegan

Toronto Veg Fest 2014

Earlier this week I attended the Toronto Vegetarian Festival. I have never been or even heard of it for that matter, until the other day when I was eating at The Food Forest Cafe, they had a sign on their door saying “we will be closed tomorrow as all of us are going to Veg Fest”. So I went home, Googled it, and immediately wanted to go. So the next day, I went.

veg fest2014-09-07 003 2014-09-07 001It was honestly such an amazing experience. It’s a huge festival filled with lots of food, samples, speakers, questions, performances, activities, etc. I loved being in the environment because everyone there is like me and has the same thoughts and beliefs about veganism and such. It was great to talk to different people and hear about how long they’d been vegan for, or why they decided to go vegetarian or vegan.

I think the best part was all the free samples of foods. I am glad I had a small breakfast because I ate SO MUCH. I got to try ice-cream sandwiches (made from coconut milk) lots of crackers and hummus, raw bites, chocolate bars, brownies, cookies, ice-cream, mac n cheese, alfredo sauce and pasta, breads, peanut butters, quinoa cereal, and so much more! Here are some photos.

2014-09-07 005 2014-09-07 001 2014-09-07 005 2014-09-07 005 2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 010 2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 012 2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 025I also saw some other pretty neat things there like stickers, sweaters, t-shirts, necklaces, other jewelry, etc.

2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 015 2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 017 2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 027I also got the chance to meet Olympic Silver Medalist, Meagan Duhamel, who is a figure skater and proud vegan.

Meagan Duhamel returned from the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a silver medal that she and pairs partner Eric Radford helped Canada to win in the Team Figure Skating competition. Meagan and Eric are 3-time Canadian Champions and won the bronze medal in the pairs competition at the World Championships in 2013 and 2014. Meagan became a vegan in 2008 primarily for the health benefits she believed would help her achieve peak fitness. She soon became aware of the issues facing farmed animals and is now a proud supporter of Mercy for Animals Canada.

I got to listen to her speak about why she decided to go vegan, and then got to meet her and got a photo with her.

2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 036There was also a doughnut contest where 4 judges sampled 4 different vegan doughnuts and had to choose 1 winner between the four chefs. It was also interesting listen to their stories and why they went vegan/opened vegan doughnut and pastry shops. Plus the audience got to try the doughnuts too and they were delicious.

2014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 0692014-09-07 006 2014-09-07 067It was super fun and an amazing experience, and I am so glad I decided to make the quick and last minute spontaneous decision and go down there for the day. I definitely recommend going if you live in the GTA or even anywhere outside of that. I will most likely go back next year, and ALSO the Toronto Vegetarian Association has tons of other fun events throughout the year. You can click the links below for more information 🙂

http://vegfoodfest.com/

http://veg.ca/

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