Good Afternoon Everyone! Well in Alberta it’s afternoon… 🙂 Sorry I haven’t written in a while. 2016 is now over and i’m on a new path for 2017. Some of my goals include writing A LOT more for you guys, creating more, sharing more, possibly having workshops, how-to videos or podcasts.
2016 was the year of transformation, a whole lot of learning about myself, learning who I am and how I can create the best year (2017) possible for myself, my family, everyone around me and everyone supporting me – like you guys! Just for future reference, when I refer to my family I am referring to my amazing partner and our new joy…Cosmo.
Cosmo is one of the main reasons I haven’t written in a while, the other reason is that my heart wasn’t in it. I had so much going on (it felt like) that writing seemed unmanageable. With saying that, I want to put my heart and soul in every piece of content I put out for you guys. If it has been written when I was feeling unmotivated or zoned out ( which was most of 2016 ), the content isn’t WHO I AM, therefore it was never posted. I want to put the real me on every page, I want to share my goals, my travels, my interests, my loves and passions.
For those of you whom follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter, know that we have a new and beautiful life to take care of, go on adventures with, hike, camp, swim and simply enjoy life with. His name is Cosmo! The name “Cosmo” has been given to our little pup and taken from the word “Cosmos” meaning universe.
“The cosmos is the sum total of everything — pretty big. It’s hard to wrap your mind around the cosmos, as it extends far beyond the Milky Way, or far-off galaxies, or even our own universe.”
Synonyms: Creation, Existence, Universe, World
If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing our little one, check out some of the photos below. He is currently 14.5 weeks, which is almost 4 years old in people years! 🙂
Cosmo @ 6 Weeks – When we first met
Cosmo at 8 1/2 weeks
Cosmo is truly filled with magic. He makes life incredible. He has shown us that the little things matter most, that cuddles are needed, that true happiness comes from within ourselves as well as a few life lessons along the way. He truly is special. ❤
I would like to share some amazing news with you all, again if you follow me on social media, you may already know this. On October 12th, 2016 I decided that I need to be a better me, I decided that I needed to contribute to the Earth, the environment, the animals and to peace on Earth by going vegan. That’s right! As of October 12th, I have been eating vegan and feeling absolutely amazing.
And that’s kind of what this blog is about! This blog isn’t going to be about animal cruelty, the meat or dairy industries, the earth, the environment or veganism as a whole. This blog is simply about my journey, the foods I have been eating and how and why I transitioned to veganism.
~ // The Food \\ ~
The food makes me feel amazing. I am filled with more life, energy and happiness than ever before. I truly enjoy consuming vegan eats and finding alternatives for dairy and meat products. A long time ago (before being aware, open-minded and awake) if anyone ever asked me to go vegan I would probably say NO WAY! However, learning more about the amazing causes, the amazing recipes, the “culture” and the food I am able to cook at home has completely changed my mind, my life, my soul and how I feel on a day-to-day basis.
One of my original concerns (living in Calgary – Beef Central) was finding vegan restaurants or restaurants serving vegan options. To my surprise, it isn’t too difficult! I downloaded the “HappyCow” app and went from there! It’s extremely user-friendly, and has great options for restaurants in your area. You can even filter your results by viewing Vegan, Vegetarian, Veg-Options and Stores+More. It’s available for both Android and iOS, Just visit the Google Play or Apple Store to download. This is what the app looks like:
The other part about vegan food I really appreciate is that (when made right) it packs-a-punch of flavour! I have learned how to work with more spices than ever before. I have also learned how to make my own sauces and where to purchase them if need be – EVEN CREAMY ONES! What? Creamy sauces without dairy? You must be crazy….Nope! i’m not! and the amazing part about this is that they taste better than the ones with dairy! One of my favourite brands that carry a lot of “deliciously dairy-free™” options is Daiya Foods. They have an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G selection of cheeses, yogurts, pizzas, dressings, Cheezecake (cheese cake), Cheezy Mac (mac and cheese) and more!
Vegan Cesar Salad using Daiya Cesar Dressing and Cheese
Daiya Dairy-Free Yogurt
If you have any questions about where to get any of these products, or where to find great vegan recipes, don’t hesitate to ask! I have also linked the products/services to their website where you can find a lot more information about them!
~ // Health \\ ~
I feel a lot more focused, clear-headed and healthier! My skin looks a lot better, I feel a lot better and i’m finding my body recognizing this amazing change. I rarely get stomach aches, cramps or bloating. There hasn’t been a time I felt sick or nauseous from eating vegan food. I feel a lot more motivated to workout, do yoga, meditate, work on my shop and go out! It has been a life-changing experience and how I feel MATTERS TO ME.
~ // Milk \\ ~
For those of you whom know me quite closely know that I used to consume insane amounts of dairy milk when I was younger. I found that I had a lot of acne, I wasn’t feeling too good and constantly felt like I was on over-drive. Even before going vegan I switched to non-dairy milk 3 years ago or so. What are some great non-dairy milk alternatives? There are actually quite a few dairy-free milk options out there, to name a few: Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Soy Milk and Coconut Milk.
My favourite brand of Almond Milk (And YES! THEY ALL TASTE DIFFERENT!) is called Almond Fresh. I personally buy their Original and Unsweetened Almond-based milks. Feel free to visit their website for more information: http://drinksofresh.ca/
Disclaimer: I am by no means promoting or advertising for Almond Fresh. This is just my experience with trying out a lot of the brands to find the one that works for me.
~ // Cooking \\ ~
Finally, Cooking! Cooking has become so much more fun! I am creating and making foods that are healthy. I am working with so many flavours, spices, vegetables and sauces that it makes me feel whole. My soul feels complete eating a plant-based diet. Cooking has also become a lot more fun recently over the Christmas holidays! I made an all-vegan Christmas dinner with Gravy and Shepard’s Pie!
~ // Questions \\ ~
So I decided I would answer some questions you guys may have about my diet, how to maintain it, where I purchase my groceries…etc
Where do you shop for groceries? My partner and I shop locally at Planet Organic. They have locations in Calgary (AB), Edmonton (AB), Victoria (BC), and Mississauga (ON). We have been eating organic for a while now and it has been life-changing. Planet Organic has a lot of really great vegan options including cosmetics, hair products, supplements and other beauty products. You can also purchase vegan/dairy-free options at Community Natural Foods, Superstore , CO-OP and Save-on-Foods. We don’t typically shop anywhere else other than the places listed above.
What are some vegan brands you can recommend? Below is a list of SOME of the brands I recommend. The list is quite long so i’ll add the ones I can remember 🙂
–Coconut Bliss (ice-cream)
–Daiya Foods (cheeses, sauces, cakes, pizzas, yogurts, cream cheese, mac and cheese)
–Earth Balance (butter-style spreads, nut-butters, dressings, crackers, snacks, mac and cheese)
–Gardein (meat alternatives include burgers, chicken strips, fish fingers, roast, crab cakes…etc)
–Nature’s Path (cereals, granola bars, waffles, granola, oatmeal)
–So Delicious (milk, ice cream, yogurt)
–Silver Hills Bakery (bread, bagels, buns)
–Vega (protein powders, protein bars)
–Andalou Naturals (body and skin-care products)
– Jane Iredale (beauty products)
–LUSH (masks, scrubs, shampoos, make-up, soaps…etc) please note that lush also carries vegetarian products, so look on the label to ensure they’re vegan.
–Pacifica (make-up, skin care, body products)
–Sukin Organics (shampoo, conditioner, lotions, moisturizers..etc)
Those are just some of the vegan beauty products I have tried, take a look at this list of “22 Completely Vegan Beauty and Body Products Brands“.
If you would like a more in-depth list of cruelty-free Brands take a look here: Cruelty-Free Brands
How did you transition to veganism? This may require an additional blog, however the short story is that I transitioned from being pescatarian. Reason for transitioning is through exploring veganism and gaining knowledge of why it is important and how I am contributing to protecting the animals, the earth, the environment..etc. Transitioning wasn’t hard for me, a great inspiration is Ralph Smart, also known as Infinite Waters. You can find him on youtube and instagram spreading knowledge, awareness and spiritual education.
I’ll be posting more about my journey, my recipes and my lifestyle. Stay Tuned, thanks for reading.
Love & Light
Wishing everyone an incredible start to their New Year!
All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)