Category Archives: vegan

Will It Cotton Candy??

 

I was recently at one of the local thrift shops and wandered through the housewares department.  A thrift shop is a little like an appliance graveyard for trendy appliances of years gone by.  I admit to being a bit of a kitchen gadget whore in the past and had done a major purge of all my wacky, single use appliances and gadgets.  Well, I fell off the wagon and came home with a cotton candy maker for $10.  Now what does one put in a cotton candy maker?  Sugar?  Yeeess, but what kind?  I had no idea, so I did some Googling and read that people have put hard candy in their appliances, and I wanted to try it.  I came home with Jolly Ranchers.  Will Jolly Ranchers cotton candy?

Yes, yes they will!  I am likely going to need dental work from all this sugar after!  Jolly Ranches make great cotton candy!  It sticks to your teeth like crazy when the sugary strands dissolve in your mouth though.  I think I am going to need some practice rolling the cotton candy onto a stick too (I used a wooden spoon lol).  I think Jolly Ranchers are vegan too.

Happy thoughts,

Amber

My First Vegan Cuts Box!!

I love of getting surprises in the mail.  I love writing old fashioned letters with fun stationery, reading letters from people and have a deep loathe of junk mail.  You can remove that insult to your mail box by inserting a “No junk mail please” (say please, someone had to haul that huge craptastic junk pile all the way to your box) sticker inside of your mail box where your carrier can see it.  I am so crazy excited and impatient to get a package when I order one, I can barely stand it.  Something even more fun…. when you don’t know what’s coming!

I just received my first Vegan Cuts beauty box today.  The box costs $19.99 and Canadians add on an extra $8 for shipping.  You get 4-7 mystery vegan samples in each delivery.  This is a monthly box and will ship out once a month automatically unless you cancel.  Everything you get is vegan and cruelty free and a surprise each time!  Some people would hate that surprise factor, but I think it’s all part of the fun.  It only took 6 days to get here, and that’s not bad for an international package (I’ve had things tie up in customs for over a month before) and there were no duty fees.  Here is the link for the Vegan Cuts website:  http://vegancuts.com/ and I will post a video of all that I got in the June 2015 box down below.

They also have a snack box and OMFG I want the snack box, but that is the last thing in the world I need right now.  I sort of went to town on snacks lately and it’s starting to show.  My pants have gotten a little tighter!   I say it every week, but it’s time to get the diet back in order.

Be well and write someone you love (or at least tolerate) an old fashioned, hand written letter.

Amber

Day 4 Of The 22 Day Vegan Challege

Day 4: 149.4lbs Whaaaaaat?

So this diet seems to be working out for me, 4 and some pounds lost in three days!  I am guessing it’s also a result of giving up the hoards of beer I have been drinking as well.  It was pretty awesome to see under 150lbs on the scale again.  I unfortunately didn’t finish eating my dinner, which was a pretty large bowl of pasta until 11:40pm which is when I started to write this post and I am sure the scale will not be so kind tomorrow.

I did one of my twice weekly exercise classes today a few hours ago and my whole body is aching all over.  It must have been a good one!  So far the meal plan hasn’t called for any leftovers and with things to do after work like an exercise class and a dog to walk, it gets late fast.  I don’t use canned beans (they taste tinny and I like dried for storage and cost effectiveness) and that can make cooking take forever.  I’m also a horrible cook and have no idea how to properly time things.

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Today’s meal plan had it’s ups and downs.  The breakfast was a vegan bar and fruit salad.  I love love love sweet, dark cherries and mango.  I thawed them over night and they were soo good.  The bar was okay.  Lunch was just meh, but then again I don’t have a big love for raw kale.  Kale cooked in soups is my way of loving the kale.  Raw kale is just thick and not all that good.  It is not easy to eat kale fast and I only managed to get half the salad down during the lunch hour.  I ate the other half later at work.  The snack was also kind of blah to me too.  It was just raisins and almonds.   I had an overwhelming urge to eat when I got home between work and class and I ate something not on the list.  It was the second half of an avocado from day 2 I think.  I also had 1/4 of a pear at work that someone was sharing.  The dinner (although the photo doesn’t make it look all that appetizing) was pretty good.  It was eggplant and zucchini pasta sauce with beans.  The pasta noodles were rice noodles I picked up at the store.  I definitely prefer corn or wheat flour over these, but it was still really good and I just finished eating it now.  I was hungry after I got home from class so again I ended up eating my dessert first.  They were the raw macaroon bites and holy amazeballs they were freaking good!  They are packed with sooo much fat though and all I wanted to to was chow down and eat all 15 of them (I only ate the suggested two).

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As you can see by my CRON-o-meter stats I had a lot of calories today and I am not feeling good at all about it.  I am really regretting the avocado and kind of wish I skipped the snack for the day.  Maybe low calories isn’t what this is all about.  Maybe day 4 just happens to be a higher calorie day.  Maybe it’s all going to vary.  I will find out day by day.  Maybe I’m just tired and cranky pants. I am uneasy about the amount of fat in this diet, but so far it seems to have been working out okay.

Sleep well!

Amber

Day 3 of the 22 Day Vegan Challenge

Day 3:  152.2lbs

I weigh exactly the same as I did yesterday, which is really not all that surprising.  I didn’t drink as much liquids today as I did the previous two days and between meals I would get pretty hungry.  I was absolutely stuffed after lunch as it was a monster salad.  I felt a little nauseated when it came to snack time.  I think it was just too many veggies in too short a time period.  I didn’t feel any nausea the previous days.

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Today’s meal plan really wasn’t anything overly exciting, although I do really love banana soft serve which was dessert today.  Breakfast was a quinoa and berry porridge with some nut butter and flax powder.  Lunch, a huge monster salad that I thought I had pumpkin seeds for, but turns out I didn’t, so I used hemp which was in the directions.  The snack was some of that super awesome hummus with celery and carrots.  I ate the dessert before dinner because I was too hungry to wait for the beans to cook when I got home.  Dinner was steamed broccoli, steamed potato and black beans with an entire tablespoon of coconut oil.  I didn’t really want to use that much coconut oil, but I did what the meal plan said.  I used curry, garam masala, sea sald and turmeric to season the bowl.  That was not in the instructions, but I am pretty wild, so I went with it.  Dessert was my favourite and something I’ve made often before.  If you’ve never had banana soft serve you need to give it a go.  I always called it banana nice cream.  You just chuck a frozen banana or two in the food processor until it has the consistency of soft serve and it does taste surprisingly a lot like soft serve.  You need to use a super duper ripe banana for it.  I like to add cinnamon and this recipe called for vanilla which I also liked a lot.  I have no clue why I never thought of adding vanilla before… or maybe I did and just can’t remember.  I haven’t had it in awhile.  Anyway here are my CRON-O-meter stats for the day:

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Be well

Amber

Day 2 Of The 22 Day Vegan Challenge

Day 2:  152.2lbs

Now I’m not going to get crazy excited because I know there is no way I lost over 2lbs in a day.  I must have gotten rid of some retained fluid from drinking mostly beer and wine over the last few months.  And now that I think about it, I really can’t say the Starch Solution didn’t work for me as I doubt you are supposed to be drinking a bottle of beer or glass or two of wine each evening… My bad.

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Here is what I ate for the day minus a peach and one brazil nut that I didn’t take a photo of.  I also take a kelp supplement a couple times during the week as I eat Himalayan sea salt and don’t get the iodine.  My calories were also closer to 1600 yesterday as I realized after posting my blog post that I forgot the dessert which was dark chocolate!  I had a couple squares of the Heidi brand 75% and it was YUM.

Today I had a smoothie for breakfast which I loved.  It was a bit of almond butter, raw sun warrior protein powder, spinach, almond milk and a frozen banana.  Lunch was a wrap with a side salad (it said small, but I made it a big salad.  I liked the taste of the wrap, but as you can see that tortilla shell was horrible.  It was gluten free and super crumbly.  It fell apart and was hard to eat.  The snack of the day was a vegan snack bar I found at the grocery store and I liked it okay.  Dinner was really good too.  It was a zucchini noodle pasta dish with steamed sweet potatoe and some veggies.  I was thinking about getting the Vegetti which is a vegetable spiralizer, but I need to keep my kitchen gadgets down to a minimum and a plain old grater works just fine.  I will save myself the drawer space and skip it.  The recipe called for only half an avocado and I love avocado so much I was just going to eat the other half which is why it’s pictured above.  I was so stuffed there was no way I could eat the other half and I am saving it for day 4 when it goes into a smoothie recipe.  The “pasta” was flavoured with balsamic vinaigrette, fresh basil and hemp seed “Parmesan” which is made of hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt.  I really loved it and I would make that again.  Dessert was raw brownie bites which is chocolate, nuts and dates blended together.  I was supposed to use walnuts, but I forgot to buy them so I used almonds instead.  They were good, but I wish I got to try them with the walnuts instead.  I think they would have been amazing.  I drank a small glass of lemonade in the morning (fresh squeezed with stevia) and a couple glasses of tea throughout the day.

This challenge is pretty awesome.  I’m only on day 2 and I’ve already found a couple recipes for meals that I will definitely be making again.  The chia seed pudding and the zucchini pasta dish for sure.  I’ve tried other zucchini pasta dishes and I didn’t really like them very much.  This one was a for sure win.

Be well!

Amber.

P.s.  Here is the link for the challenge and my cronometer stats for the day:  http://www.22daysnutrition.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/22-Days-Vegan-Challenge-Recipe-Book1.pdf

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Day One Of The 22 Day Challenge

Day one of the 22 Day Challenge:  155lbs

I have a fad diet addiction, like a serious problem.  The last one I recently just got off of, I had gained 5lbs.  I swore I was done with them and then a friend told me to check out the 22 Day Challenge and of course I did.  And now I must do this.  It’s not a diet, but a suggested meal plan.  I think they basically want you to challenge yourself to 22 days of veganism.  I am going to follow their meal plan (unless I go out for dinner, then I’m likely going to eat something super high in calories and fattening.  I’ll be likely having a beer or two as well) and hope I drop some weight in the next 22 days.

It is the end of day one and I chose a Saturday to start.  I just finished the last meal and feeling thirsty.  I rarely get thirsty and I’ve drank a lot more then I usually do in a day.  I started off the day with a tall glass of fresh squeezed lemonade sweetened with stevia and had two big mugs of tea.  I’ve just brewed myself another mug of tea (nettle leaf) and waiting for it to cool enough to start drinking it.  I’m surprised I’ve drank this much.  I am horrible for hydrating myself.

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This is what I’ve ate for the day.  The chia seed pudding was AWESOME!!  I’ve made it before, but realized I’d never let it sit long enough.  I only let it sit for about 15 minutes and you are actually supposed to leave it sit for at least an hour.  I think mine sat for 1 1/2 hours and that’s how I am going to continue to make it.  So good!!!  Breakfast was lemonade, tea and the chia seed pudding, lunch steamed potato and a cabbage salad topped with apples and hemp seeds and dressed in tahini dressing.  I put some of the dressing on the potatoes, plain potatoes are so boring.  The afternoon snack was hemp seed hummus and that was also super amazing.  I ate double the recommended serving, it was so good!  I kept scooping spoons of it out of the food processor.  I wanted to eat the whole thing.  I ate it with a few stalks of celery.  Dinner was a black bean and quinoa salad that was okay and I had it with the other mug of tea.  I was kind of hungry through the day except after lunch when I was super stuffed.  I added everything I ate for the day up on cronometer and the calorie count was lower then I usually eat in a day.

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Normally I end up eating around 2000 calories a day (a lot of times it’s 2500 because of my love of beer and wine) and I am hoping this kicks butt for weight loss.  I realized when I updated my cronometer profile that I had gained 10lbs from the last time I had updated!!!  EEP!!!!  No wonder my clothes aren’t looking all that great lately!  There are a bunch of dresses in my closet I can’t wear right now and some of my pants are too tight!  This blows!  Anyway, maybe I’m back on the right track again.

Wish me luck!

Amber

Happy Easter and/or Long Weekend

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I hope everyone had a good long weekend no matter what you do or don’t celebrate.  I had a pretty relaxing weekend that was supposed to be way more productive then it actually was.  I had wanted to get some beer started that I have been saying I was going to start for a few weeks now and to rack a small batch of ginger wine that has finally finished fermenting.  Well that didn’t happen, but I did get a batch of sauerkraut started which takes all of maybe an hour, so I’m not sure what happened to the rest of my resolutions.  Yes I do, it was a Dexter Netflix marathon.  Wow what a horrible, horrible ending.  I won’t say anything more about it in case you haven’ seen it, but it was not the ending I had hoped for.

I was recently at a raw food restaurant in Belmont Village in Kitchener called Rawlicious and had some amazing quesadillas.  I made my own for dinner this evening, and although they were vegan, the tortilla shells were not raw, nor was the salsa.  For the first time I made my own tortilla shells and WOW what a difference!  If you haven’t had all corn flour tortillas you need to try them!  As you can see from the above photo, they were not a great texture and looked rather horrible, but they tasted amazing.  I filled them with a raw almond nut cheese and raw nut loaf patty from the Rawlicious cookbook (the restaurant sells their own cookbook), and spinach and salsa (made by me last Summer.  I forgot how much heat it had, it made my nose run) and avocado.  There were tons of nuts in there so it wasn’t exactly a low fat meal, but hey, it’s the long weekend.  Which is another reason to enjoy a few bottles of my favourite beer, Creemore lager.

I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend!