Saturday, 9 August 2014


Today I am sharing a special recipe from Amy Lyons' amazing raw vegan cookbook: Fragrant Vanilla Cake. Amy has a blog by the same name and it was one of the first sources of raw vegan dessert inspiration for me. She has the most glorious cakes, cupcakes and other sweet recipes that are put together like they're in a professional bakery. I was honoured when she asked me to review her book. Every page has a unique and creative recipe, along with at least one photo. There are instructions for everything from these Thai Peanut Truffles (that I adapted into cups because I am supremely lazy) to banana oat pancakes to red velvet cupcakes! Colours abound when your ingredients are raw from the plant kingdom. If you're into raw vegan desserts and you love to experiment with new and fun flavours, get this book! If you're not sure about it, check out Amy's blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake, and make a few of her recipes to see if you want more. 

I chose to make a recipe called Thai Peanut Truffles. Of course as mentioned above, I didn't wanna wait for the peanut butter mixture to harden (in order to roll into balls), so I just poured everything into cupcake molds. They're Thai because the peanut butter mixture also has lime, coconut, chili and ginger! Cover that all up with raw salted chocolate and you've got me drooling. My dad gave this his seal of approval! Actually he just said, 'yum!', but I'm choosing to leave the definition of "seal of approval" vague. 

From Fragrant Vanilla Cake by Amy Lyons

1/3 cup raw coconut butter (not oil!), liquified

1/2 cup raw peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp chili flakes
1 Tbsp very finely minced fresh ginger (or 2 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or maple syrup

Raw chocolate:
1/2 cup raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
a pinch sea salt

To make the filling, whisk together ingredients until smooth. Place in the freezer to firm up enough to roll into balls, about 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, to make the chocolate, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.  Once the filling is set, dip each truffle into the chocolate and place on a foil lined sheet pan.  Place back into the freezer until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Store in the fridge.

(Alternatively you can do what I did and simply pour each mixture into cupcake paper molds, then set in the fridge or freezer until solid. Either way, these babies are delish.)

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Friday, 8 August 2014


This post is more of a photo essay than anything else; it documents the two road trips I just had the pleasure of going on. First I went to a small Northern town called Wells with my partner, where his grandparents have a lovely 50's era cabin. We spent a blissful, quiet week there before I had to rush home and leave on an 11-day trip with my parents and little brother across the northern United States to get to a family reunion in Minnesota! I benefitted from both of these little escapes, and it was important that I got away from my everyday routine for a short time. I hope you enjoy the photos I captured along the way. For more practical reasons, I WILL be doing a whole post on how I stayed healthy, vegan and fit while travelling. Stay tuned.

The following group of photos was taken in and around the cabin in Wells. The lighting was always picturesque so I stayed busy with my camera for a couple days. Since no one lives here permanently anymore the house wasn't in the best of shape so we spent more than a day cleaning it and mowing the huge lawn. By time we left it was feeling more like a home again. The building needs a bit of work internally, too. The plumbing was on its last legs (we didn't have running water for the last few days) and the oven didn't work, but we managed with a slow cooker and patience. We found an old record player and several boxes of records, so we immediately hooked that up and enjoyed vintage tunes while we cleaned, cooked and relaxed every day. There was a lot of Joan Baez, which I appreciated. Jacks' grandpa has good taste. There was also an abundant forest of wild flowers all over the lawn, before Jack mowed them all down I picked a few bouquets and decorated the house with them. As far as food goes we usually had fruit smoothies (there was a blender there, THANK THA LAWD) or hand squeezed citrus juice during the day, along with bread and peanut butter or hummus. We found some amazing rye bread in a nearby town and it was AMAZING with avocado spread on top, with a pinch of salt and lime juice. For dinner I would make varying one pot meals in the slow cooker consisting of potatoes, avocado, yams, broccoli, curry powder and rice or quinoa, often with chill peanut sauce.

This next set of photos was taken in the old - seemingly ancient - bakery that is also on the property. Jack's grandparents bought this piece of land long after the bakery closed down, so even then it was beginning to become decrepit. I believe it was built in the late 40's or early 50's. It was chock-full of dusty, rusty, and fascinating objects. Old baking bans, gardening and farming tools, suitcases, bottles, newspapers, typewriters and more were stacked up in corners and creaky rooms. I very much enjoyed wandering through it and imagining what this place was like in it's active days. I also loved the smell. Perhaps that sounds creepy but I simply adore the smell of mustiness! It's the smell of nostalgia, in my eyes (or more accurately, my nose). 

And finally we come to the pictures I took when I travelled across the States with my parents and younger brother. I have to be honest and say that I hardly took any photos. This is primarily because we had to get there and back in almost no time, so we didn't have the luxury of stopping at every scenic spot, or exploring the unknown gems hidden beyond the highway. And regardless of that, when we weren't in the car getting there or getting home, we were spending time with family and relaxing on my aunt and uncles deck! Nevertheless, I managed to snap a few. These were taken mostly in Montana, and the pie is what I made for my aunt and uncles anniversary (yes, I will be posting the recipe soon).

I love the landscape of the northern United States, and it is almost effortless to imagine the first nations peoples living in the land, only 200 years ago. Now the land is divided into cattle and buffalo ranches, which made me pretty damn depressed. I wanted to let every animal go free, but of course - as my parents wisely reminded me - that isn't the answer. The answer is to stop the demand for their murder by becoming vegan. It's gotta be from the grassroots up. Tell corporations the world you want to live in, by buying or boycotting products that support or hurt that world, respectively. Meat is murder. I don't want to live in a world where murder is allowed. So I am vegan.

Okay there's my little rant. Whenever there is an opportunity I WILL talk about the benefits of living a cruelty-free life. Aaand that ends this post. Please let me know what you thought of this post in the comment section or elsewhere (I'm all over social media like coconut oil on a hot body). It's different to what I normally do, but if you're into it, I will do more like this!

Saturday, 26 July 2014


Hey, guys! I have not been around for an entire week! I miss you all so much, simply keeping connected helps me stay sane... thus not communicating with you for 7 days is leaving me feeling a little ungrounded. Having said that, I am having the best time. The past week I stayed in a small town called Wells (9 hours north of Vancouver) with my partner, in his grandparents antique-y house. It was exactly what we both needed; time away from the city, just us too in a charmingly quiet home surrounded by trees and mountains. I will be posting photos from this adventure soon, but first I need to go on another one! I got back from Wells this evening, and tomorrow at 4 am I leave on a family road trip to Minnesota with my parents and younger brother! I am equally excited for this journey. But while I have a second on the computer before I disconnect for another 11 days; I figured I should share a recipe. Here is one that I offered up to the lovely Amy from Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has the recipe featured on her site. Get the recipe here.

I have been obsessed - no, scratch that, addicted - to this recipe since I made it a few weeks ago. It has been SO hot here (30c+ degrees  everyday) and the only way the fam and I can bear it is with cold drinks! Mom realized early on that frozen fruit and booze do the trick for her and my dad. I took note of that, but swapped the vodka for bananas! You can add water (or better yet, coconut milk) to this to make it the BEST smoothie ever, or leave as is to create the perfect sorbet: creamy, cold, sweet and luscious. Who needs added sugar when you have the sweetness of the fruit!? I am quickly realizing mango will define my summer, and there ain't nothing wrong with that. Get the recipe here! 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


A lot of you have been asking for more savoury recipes and more low-fat dinners. My job as I see it is to give you what ya want. So here we go. This is also a good representation of my actual diet; since I do not simply live off raw vegan chocolate cake (although sometimes I wish I could), but in reality enjoy mostly fruit all day in the form of smoothies followed by a dinner of lots of steamed or baked veggies with rice! Check out my Instagram to see more on this... and also to see my PMS face.  I do love my raw vegan desserts recipes, and I definitely eat as much of them as I want, but I see them as a fun and delicious way to get in my fats for the day, so in the rest of my diet I keep fat content to a minimum. Fat is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but I just don't need much of it. So in this recipe, I only use a handful of nuts (or 1 tablespoon of nut butter if you prefer). It provides the perfect amount of creaminess and richness without making me feel sluggish afterwards, which happens when I eat too many nuts in a day. I have learned my limits.

As many of you may know, I have gradually transitioned into an 80/10/10 diet (a high carb diet) and for me that basically meant just increasing the amounts of fruits and starchy veggies I was eating. Instead of 3 bananas a day; I eat anywhere from 5 to 15 now. Instead of 3/4 cup of rice; I eat 2 cups, etc. When I eat this way I find I don't crave the rich foods that I used to. I don't want to eat the entire tray of raw vegan brownies, I am satisfied with one. I have learned that my body does best with minimal amounts of fat. As I stated a moment ago, I feel weighed down and head-achey when I eat too much fat in a day. All I need to keep me energized and strong is a handful of nuts, 1 avocado, or 1 tablespoon of nut butter or coconut oil a day. Am I saying this is the ideal diet for everyone? Of course not! You know your body better than I do! So experiment and find what works for you. I have a friend who does best on a high fat diet, and so that right there is proof that we all require different percentages of macronutrients to fuel ourselves right. Having said that, it DOES make sense to me from an evolutionary perspective that most of us would do best with a diet high in fruit, greens, and starchy veggies.

My logic is simple: we all know fruits and vegetables are good for us, so let's eat as many as we can!

Now, onto this meal! I am in love with sweet potatoes. They are excellent for your brain and eye health, as well as overall wellness. Basil is called The Sacred Goddess Herb and is thought to be the embodiment of femininity and holiness itself, tomato is great for the prostate (holla to the males out there), and the whole recipe is just freaking yummy altogether... so make it.


1 tomato
1 tablespoon nut butter (optional) 
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup 
1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste 
1 garlic clove

Other ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, sliced and steamed until soft and tender
2 cups cooked wild rice
1/4 cup basil leaves

To make the sauce: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Mix the sauce into your rice and sweet potatoes in a bowl, then top with basil leaves and enjoy! 

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Hey, all! So today I am sharing my review of some Luminance Skin Care products the lovely company was generous enough to send me. Oh aaaand I am hosting a giveaway of their goodies, so read on for your chance to win! All their ingredients are certified organic, or wildcrafted (AKA organic but not certified). I have been using their cleanser, toner and moisturizer for a couple weeks now and my skin is clear and glowing every day, even in this crazy heat when I am sweating in my sleep! The products smell divine because they are made of essential oils and rose water, mostly. In fact I have learned a little something about skin care by using these products. Apparently tap water has a pH that is not suitable for our skin, but Luminance's toner made from rosewater, has almost the exact same pH level as your skin! Huh! Even though I am about as healthy as a girl can be I still have very sensitive skin, yet I can confidently say that using these products has been delightful; I can use them daily with only positive results. They are so gentle and nourishing, and my skin can tell. The people behind the company are also wonderful. They genuinely care about you, the environment, and the animals. Their products are NEVER tested on animals, except in a phone call with the head of Luminance, Kim, he admitted HE is the one animal they test on. Chuckle chuckle. 

That is my short but sweet review. I love these products, and I highly recommend them. If you want a chance to win some for yourself, enter below by commenting on this post with a question about their products. Luminance Skin Care will be checking out the comments and picking a winner soon!

If you don't end up winning, Luminance still wants you to try their products! They are giving you 20% off all products with the discount code "VEGAN". Woohoo! Use it on their site right here. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 11 July 2014


First thing's first: listen to this. Hopefully that improved your day, as long as we disregard the painfully conventional gender norms going on and just enjoy the track for the sweet beat that it is. Moving on. To oatmeal. I think my period is coming... soon. My lower back hurts, my muscles are sore and I am TIRED even though I got a good sleep last night. I suppose it seems like I talk about my menstruation cycle all the time, but that is not true! I only talk about it MOST of the time. Gimme a break (read: pass the heat pad). If you are a woman, you understand the significance and thus why I mention my moon flow so often. If you don't got a uterus, you may as well try to empathize and respect the #$%& we go through every month as fertile ladies.

This morning I woke up and wanted oatmeal. So I made oatmeal. That is the simple story behind todays recipe. I wish it was more exciting but at this point "exciting" does not sound appealing. I just wanna lay in bed with my cat, Dante, the chocolate maca bars Vega was so kind to send me - people ALWAYS send me chocolate at the right time of the month, at least I've got that going for me - and a marathon of Downton Abbey. That show is ADDICTING. Now, I say that is all I want to do; but in reality what I probably end up doing is just wandering around the house whining and rolling on the floor sporadically. I think I'm staying at my partners place tonight so he can be victim to my moans and lack of motivation to move. I am also planning on forcing him to massage my back. This is why I am in a relationship: it's all about the rubbin'. I used a special ingredient in this bowl of oatmeal: baobab powder! It comes from the gorgeous baobab tree and is super nutritious. I tried some from Kaibae and loved it! It adds a lovely flavour.

I feel like I have written so much but I only see a measly two paragraphs... well too bad. I can't think of anything else witty to say (have I even said anything witty yet?) so I'm calling it a day. Or, blog post.

Just make the oatmeal. Wait, also listen to this.


1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons steel cut oats
Pinch himalayan salt
1 tablespoon hazelnut butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup or preferred sweetener
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baobab fruit powder
1/4 cup raisins
1 large sliced banana
1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Pour the water into a pot and stir in the salt. Throw in all the oats and bring the water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, bring the temperate down to low and simmer until the oats absorb the water, I like my oatmeal thin so I don't cook it for that long, around 20-30 minutes. Throw all the other ingredients - except the banana and raisins, into the bottom of a bowl, then pour on your oatmeal and mix everything together. Top with banana slices, raisins, and hemp seeds. Ahhh. Yum. 

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this also best choice to make beef bourguignon if you are have party