Vegan and vegetarian

Lime Popsicles

My Top 10 Vegan Popsicle Recipes of the Summer

If any of you have been following my Twitter feed in the last couple of months, you’ll notice a definite trend in content: popsicle recipes. I admittedly have been obsessed with popsicles lately, and now I feel the need to post my top ten fave popsicle recipes of the summer.

Disclaimer: some are easier than others (check out my pick from Jillian Harris!).

Here they are; all associated images were taken from the websites in which the popsicle recipes were found:

1

Summer Berry Chia Pops

By Daphne Cheng; Found on Well + Good

Vegan Treat

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Agave (optional)

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients until well-blended but still slightly chunky for texture.
  2. Taste and add agave to sweeten, if necessary.
  3. Slowly mix in chia seeds, whisking while pouring to avoid clumps.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze at least 2 hours or until solid.

2

Tart Rhubarb Ice Pops

By Kelly Irwin, Found on Vega

Vegan popsicle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp. orange zest (depending on your citrus love)
  • ½ inch fresh peeled ginger

Method

  1. Place chopped rhubarb, raspberries and water in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat to low and continue summering for about 15 minutes (until rhubarb is tender).
  3. Pour mixture into a blender with the syrup, peeled ginger and orange juice.
  4. Blend until pureed.
  5. Add in orange zest, then place in the fridge to cool.
  6. Once mixture is cooled, pour into ice pop molds, freeze, and leave for at least 5 hours.

3

Grapefruit Popsicles

By Jillian Harris, found on Jillian Harris

Grapefruit vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • Sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice

Method

  1. Pour slightly sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice into your favorite popsicle molds and freeze!

4

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

By Alex Caspero, Found on Delish Knowledge

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 can coconut milk (either regular or light), divided
  • 1 large lime, zest and juice
  • very small pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place blueberries in a single layer in a glass baking pan.
  3. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and roast for 10 minutes or until bubbly and piping hot.
  4. Remove from oven, allow blueberries to cool completely then transfer the blueberries and any blueberry juice into the base of a blender along with ¼ cup coconut milk and a pinch of the lime zest.
  5. Puree mixture until creamy and smooth, then divide blueberry mixture among the popsicle molds.
  6. Return the blender to the base and add the remaining maple syrup, coconut milk, lime juice, zest and very small pinch of sea salt.
  7. Puree to combine and add to the molds. (You can keep the mixture layered like this, or give the molds a quick stir for a marbled look.)
  8. Cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

5

Red Paradise Tea Pops

Found on Amoda Tea

Tea Berry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Your tea of choice
  • Your preferred sweetener (we like organic cane sugar)
  • Berries or sliced fresh fruit

Method

  1. Steep a pot of tea!
  2. Sweeten if up a little more than you would if you were going to drink it, then put it in the fridge to cool it down. (Alternatively, you can cold steep it overnight or steep it double strength and pour it over ice.)
  3. Pour the cooled tea liquid into popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer until their slushy.
  4. Give it a stir so the sweetener doesn’t end up in the tip of the popsicle and add fresh fruit.
  5. Freeze overnight.

6

2-Ingredient Mango-Coconut Popsicles

Found on Simple Vegan Blog

Vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced fresh mango
  • ½ cup coconut milk

Method

  1. Blend the mango and the coconut milk in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
  4. Freeze until solid.

7

Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops

By Dana, Found on Minimalist Baker

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 14 medjool dates, pitted (If dry, soak in warm water for 10 min. then drain)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk (if using full fat milk, add 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil)*
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • *Optional: 1 Tbsp. bourbon

Method

  1. Add pitted dates to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until a caramel-like paste is achieved. If you have trouble blending, add 2-4 Tbsp. warm water to help achieve the right texture – thick and spreadable. Scrape down sides as needed and blend until a thick, caramel-like consistency is achieved.
  2. Once the date caramel is smooth and creamy, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt depending on how salty you prefer it. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Scoop out caramel and set aside. Then add coconut cream (or coconut milk + coconut oil), vanilla, 1/2 cup of the date caramel, and 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar for additional sweetness.
  4. Blend until creamy and smooth and taste and adjust flavors as needed. Bourbon is optional, but recommended for flavor.
  5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or freezer for 1-2 hours) for best results.
  6. Once chilled, add the remaining caramel back in in small spoonfuls and loosely stir to combine/swirl.
  7. Scoop/pour into popsicle or ice cube molds (about 10, depending on their size) trying to evenly distribute the caramel swirls, and tap to remove air bubbles. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
  8. Once set, remove from freezer and let rest for 5 minutes to soften. Then gently pull out of molds and enjoy.
  9. Pops keep covered in the freezer for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

8

Peachy Vegan Vanilla Pudding Pops

By Jennifer Chait, Found on InHabitat

Vegan Pops

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • 2 and 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk or other alternative milk.
  • 2/3 cup organic white sugar.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter).
  • 2 teaspoons fair trade, organic pure vanilla extract.
  • 1 to 2 organic peaches, washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups worth). (You can also use frozen organic peaches or another fruit of your choice.)

Method

  1. Whisk 1/4 cup milk plus the cornstarch together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of the milk and the sugar in pot on the stovetop.
  3. Heat the milk and sugar on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the milk starts to steam whisk in the cornstarch mix.
  5. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until thick and starting to boil (about 5 minutes).
  6. Turn the heat down very low and cook 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and whisk in your butter and vanilla.
  8. Allow mixture to cool down. then fold chopped peaches into the vanilla pudding.
  9. Pour into molds and freeze.

9

Mint Chocolate Popsicles

By Miryam Quinn Doblas, Found on Nuts.com

Vegan Mint Chocolate Pops

Ingredients

Popsicles:

  • 14 oz coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp. spirulina
  • 2 tsp mint extract

Drizzle:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Method

  1. Place all the popsicle ingredients into your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together.
  2. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and place a wooden stick in each compartment.
  3. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. Before serving the popsicles, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen popsicles. Enjoy!

10

Honeydew Green Tea Popsicles

By Sarah, Found on Well and Full

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 3 heaping cups cubed honeydew
  • 1 cup brewed green tea

Method

  1. In a blender, combine honeydew and green tea. Blend until everything is smooth and mixed.
  2. Pour your honeydew green tea mix into your popsicle mold, and set in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight, until popsicles have completely hardened.
  3. When you’re ready to eat the popsicles, run the molds under a little hot water to loosen, if needed.

To find more popsicle recipes by these amazing people, please visit the links that I’ve included in this post. If you’re interested in learning to make fun and plant-based baby food, check out Baby Nosh (my latest; released in March), and if you’re into sneaky smoothies, see HERE.

Happy summer! xo

Homemade granola

Maintaining Good Digestive Health While Camping

Maintain Good Digestive Health While Camping

For many of us, summertime means camping. In my family, we’re fortunate enough to own a cabin that’s shared between extended family members. Each summer, everyone is doled out their respective weeks, and we just got back from our initial 10 day getaway. The cabin in located in Green Lake, in 72 Mile, British Columbia.

It’s beautiful.

As someone who needs (and wants) to eat a certain way to maintain good digestive health, I’m often thrown off at our cabin. Travel plus convenience foods plus a shared washroom (there were nine of us to one bathroom) plus readily available alcohol at all hours of the day means that my gut typically gets thrown into a tailspin pretty quickly.

For the past couple of years, I’ve developed ways of making digestive health while at our cabin more realistic and sustainable, and wanted to share some tips with all of you. Here are 5 ways to keep your gut health while camping:

Bring Healthy Food

Camping might immediately bring about images of hot dogs and hamburgers and s’mores, but it doesn’t mean you actually have to eat those things. If your gut is touchy (like mine), then trying to maintain your current, regular diet is important. If you’re used to consuming daily smoothies, beans, and whole grains, then it’s fairly crucial to keep eating those things even while you’re away from your own home.

Assuming you won’t have to access to a kitchen (I’m pretty spoiled with this cabin thing), here’s my go-to list of foods to bring camping:

  1. Raw fruits and veggies
  2. Hummus
  3. Veggie burgers (use lettuce in place of a bun!)
  4. Homemade energy bars (teeming with fibre!)
  5. Oats for oatmeal
  6. Homemade chili (heat on a portable BBQ)
  7. Avocados (eat half at a time with salt and pepper)
  8. Pre-made chia pudding
  9. TONS of water

Which brings me to…

Drink a Ton of Water

If you’re camping, you should probably try and drink more water than you usually do, because you’re probably outside in the sun and will become dehydrated more easily. Booze does NOT replace water; water is very much needed to keep your insides healthy, hydrated, and properly lubricated.

Increase the Fibre

For those who suffer with IBS (like me), or any other chronic digestive issue, it’s pretty common for your body to decide to stop working properly with travel. Before I became more educated on the topic of IBS, I used to fly places and not have a bowel movement for a week.

Seriously.

So to keep your body in check and your bowel working, it’s a good idea to increase your fibre, water, and activity. It’s also important to pay attention: we might be distracted in our new surroundings, but if you receive any sort of signal that tells you it might be bathroom time, GO.

Incorporate NutraCleanse into Your Foods

NutraCleanse is a locally produced (well, local for me), high-fibre supplement that you can mix into anything. It’s not like over-the-counter laxatives; it’s whole and raw and healthy. It contains only 5 ingredients: flax seed, burdock root, fenugreek seeds, dandelion root, and psyllium husk. You can stir it into smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.

It’s a lifesaver.

If you’re currently taking Metamucil or any other comparable daily laxative, stop, and start taking NutraCleanse instead. For more information on this product, visit www.nutracleanse.biz.

Stay Active

This means don’t sit on your butt and drink beer all day. Walk, run, paddle board, swim, play games, water ski, hike, and do whatever you have to do to move your body. If you sit for a long weekend, your gut will respond to that by shutting down.

What kinds of tips do you have for me?! I’m always looking for better ways to love my body while on vacation, so anything you can think of is helpful. Leave your comment below, or find me on social and share.

For more ways to improve your digestive health, check out Happy Healthy Gut, available on Amazon, or in Chapters/Indigo and Barnes & Noble.

Happy Monday! xo

*Photo credit to Wild Honey Art House; recipe for this granola in Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

chia pudding

Vegan Chia Pudding: The Ultimate Fast Food

When we think of fast food, we often think of popular restaurant chains that crank out relatively unhealthy (yet delicious—damn all that addictive crap in there!) meals that are convenient for on the go.

But what if you could make your own fast foods that not only tasted great, but also fueled your body and brain? That would be a no-brainer, right? (Pun intended.)

Introducing Chia Pudding

Ok, so not exactly introducing, because you’ve probably already heard of it. But re-introducing. Chia pudding is a fabulous food for those on the run. (So, everyone.) Besides the fact that it’s insanely easy to make, it’s also teeming with heart and brain healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fibre, and protein.

So here’s a very basic recipe for chocolate chia pudding. You can add fruit, NutraCleanse (my very fave digestive health supplement), honey, or whatever. You can swap the chocolate soy milk for coconut milk.

But start here.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Comfort Foods (just released in August of 2015), but there’s another in Baby Nosh (released in March of 2016). They’re both vegan, gluten-free, and super yummy.

Babies to elders; everyone can eat chia pudding—you don’t need teeth. (OMG, that should’ve been the title of this blog post! Ha. You Don’t Need Teeth. Love it.)

Here ya go:

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic chocolate soy milk
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. raw coconut

Method

  • Stir chia seeds into milk and set aside for five minutes.
  • Stir again well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • In morning, sprinkle coconut on top and eat right away.

If you want a visual, watch me make Riaz from Breakfast Television make it below:

Recipe: Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

When two full loaves of vegan banana bread are gone within an hour of baking them, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve baked. I mean, I have three kids who love to eat, but still.

Sheesh. Carb, much?

I wanted to share this week’s recipe, because miraculously, my older son wolfed it down, too. (He’s 16 and usually picks at everything and comes up with lame reasons why he shouldn’t touch it. Examples are “the chocolate chips aren’t big enough” or “the bread looks dark—you know white bread tastes better” or “IS THAT A CHIA SEED?!”)

But this time, he ate it. Happily. So here’s what I did to create this little miracle:

Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

banana bread

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. flax seed meal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 ripe bananas (large)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole grain flour
  • ½ cup bran
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine flax seed meal (ground flax seed) and water in small bowl, stir well, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas then add the applesauce and sugar. Combine well.
  • After letting sit for about 5 minutes, stir flax seed mixture into the rest of the wet stuff. You should now have one large bowl containing all wet ingredients. Set aside, please.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, bran, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, then add to the wet mixture.
  • Stir until combined, but take care not to over-mix. Add chocolate chips and stir 3-5 times.
  • Using loaf pans lined with parchment paper, pour batter evenly into both.
  • Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If in doubt, conduct the clean toothpick test.
  • Remove from oven and transfer from loaf pans to cooling rack by gently lifting up loaves using the parchment paper.
  • Let cool, still in parchment, until barely warm. (If you try and remove while still hot, the bread will stick.)
  • Remove parchment and serve! Enjoy!

For more recipes your family might enjoy, check out my new(ish) book Vegetarian Comfort Foods. xo

 

Are You a Dirty Vegan?

As Canadians and Americans increasingly make the move towards veganism, some are doing it right, and others are…not. It seems pretty straight-forward, right? Vegan equals no animal products. But just because you aren’t consuming animal products, doesn’t mean you’re making healthy choices that are synonymous with veganism.

Three Major Reasons People are Taking the Plunge

Health

Health

One reason people decide to cut animal products from their diet, is to reap the health rewards that come with eating mindfully. Those who view their bodies as temples and are reluctant to consume foods that harm rather than help, are more likely to give veganism a try. By cutting down on animal products, you automatically shave many processed foods (deli meat, hotdogs, pepperoni sticks, beef jerky), trans-fats, hormones, and unnecessary antibiotics from your diet.

Sustainability

Another reason to go vegan, is to stop contributing to unsustainable farming practices and the inevitable catastrophic results that occur from mass factory farming. The stats on land decimation caused by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is devastating, and the water used to hydrate food animals directly takes away from water that could be saving the lives of thirsty human beings.

The system doesn’t work, and more and more consumers are recognizing that.

Ethics

The third reason people explore veganism, is an ethical one. Why kill animals if we don’t have to? Sure, in some parts of the world, animal products are mainstays and necessary to the survival of that area’s inhabitants, but not in most of North America. (There are some northern regions, where the people living there rely on animal blubber and meat to survive.) Unnecessary suffering seems…unnecessary.

Since more people than ever before are becoming open to veganism, it’s interesting to take a look at their eating practices. Despite point number one above (health), many vegans are unhealthy people, and there are a variety of factors that contribute to one becoming a ‘dirty’ vegan.

Three Signs that You’re a Dirty Vegan

Dirty vegan

You consume A LOT of sugar.  As in, waaaaaayy too much. A bowl of saltwater taffy is definitely vegan (I think…), but it has zero nutrition. If you have a sugar addiction, don’t hide behind your new-found veganism—kick it to the curb with a fruit replacement, or, if you drink soda, convert to sparkling water.

You rely on processed foods. Again, a box of Oreos is vegan—this one I know for sure. But nutrition-wise? Another zero. Homemade granola or even grainy crackers are a better alternative. You have to be careful to not fall into the “it’s vegan—I’m good” trap. Just because it doesn’t contain animal products, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Don’t assume a processed veggie dog has the same quality protein as a cup of chickpeas. It doesn’t.

You’re unaware of your nutrient intake. Many may feel that a stellar diet might consist of consuming only apples and carrots, but that’s incorrect. Remember that we, as human beings, require carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, millet, and other whole grains, fruits, seeds), protein (beans, tofu, nuts, seeds), and fat (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts). Consciously consuming a great variety of the above foods as well as a plethora of vegetables and water is what makes your body happy and healthy, and that’s the main purpose of anyone’s intent when going vegan—to make the environment, animals, and ourselves happier and healthier.

So don’t be a dirty vegan. Remind yourself what your initial motivation was, why it’s important to you, what other amazing reasons there are for going vegan, and what your ultimate goal is.

Being dirty can be fun, but not at the expense of your health.

Bean Sprout Salad with Peanut Dressing and Pan Fried Tofu

Tofu Recipe

So….Mondays. The day of the week I find the hardest to get back into the whole cooking-for-my-family-and-not-relying-on-snacks routine. I’m often uninspired on Mondays, but THIS Monday, I have a plan.

That I stole from www.kitchenuncorked.com.

Because I can. Because I have tofu in my fridge that’s dying to get eaten. If anyone out there is looking for a healthy, easy, Meatless Monday recipe idea, this one’s for you.

You’re welcome.

Bean Sprout Salad with Peanut dressing and pan fried Tofu.

Meatless Monday Recipe: Vegan Honey-Glazed Blueberry Scones

Vegan scones

My 14-year-old neighbor makes amazing scones. I can’t attest to this fact first-hand, since I’ve never seen or eaten one, but I’ve been assured by my kids that his scones are the best. Which is why I decided to make my own last night.

To compete with a 14-year-old.

Like most of my baking, these suckers are vegan; I converted an old recipe. Immediately upon pulling them out of the oven, my 8-year-old commented that our neighbour’s scones were:

“better and fancier, because they’re triangle.”

Uhhh…

So I decided to brush them with honey to give myself a little edge on the competition. (Yep—I play dirty.)

Both of my little ones awoke this morning, took one look at the scones I had arranged for them for breakfast, and burst into tears because they weren’t warm, like our neighbour’s. After closing my eyes and cursing myself for somehow producing seemingly very spoiled children, I took a deep breath, and invited them to at least take one bite.

I’m happy to say that the bite turned into an entire scone each, plus I was begged to throw another into their school lunches.

Moral of the story?

(No, really, what’s the moral here? To not bake? To keep my kids from the neighbour’s delicious triangle scones? To beg the 14-year-old for culinary lessons? To make my children realize how disgustingly spoiled they are? Please tell me.)

In the meantime, give these a try. They’re actually very good, and I’ll be making them again. (If I want to really scar my children, maybe I’ll throw some raisins in them, next time…)

Happy Meatless Monday! xo

Vegan Honey-Glazed Blueberry Scones (Makes 8 large)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth’s Balance Buttery spread
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. organic raw honey

Vegan scones

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine chia seeds and water, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes until “gloppy,” then combine with yogurt, mix well, and set aside.
  • In large bowl, mix together flour, powder, soda, and salt.
  • Cut buttery spread into flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
  • Add sugar and blueberries, mixing.
  • Add chia/yogurt mixture and using your hands, mix and kneed softly until mixture is a one giant soft dough ball. (If too floury, add a little water.)
  • Place ball on floured surface and pat out until 2 inches thick.
  • Divide into 8 sections, then roll into balls.
  • Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and gently pat balls down a bit.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and immediately glaze with honey.
  • Let cool on rack before storing.

Vegan scones

5 Ways to Improve Gut Health TODAY

Key to healthy digestion

It’s no secret that if you want to strengthen your immune system (something we all want to do at this time of year), you have to start with your gut. Your intestines are the key to great health, and when you provide a good home to your good bacteria, you’re subsequently telling the bad bacteria to get lost, pronto.

While there are many factors that determine just how healthy your gut is at any given time, an ideal ratio of good to bad bacteria is essential. That is, you need more good than bad—and that can be difficult to attain at this time of year. Wintertime is full of bugs, booze, and baking: things bad bacteria thrive on.

So let me help you out. Here are 5 ways to increase the good guys, decrease the bad ones, and give your gut a great start to the New Year:

  • Begin taking probiotics. This is SUCH an easy way to increase the good guys. A daily dose of good quality probiotics can make a huge difference in your gut health. Tip: buy probiotics that are displayed in a refrigerator, and make sure to keep them cold at home, too. These supplements are full of living bacteria, and have a very short shelf life once they reach room temperature.
  • Stop consuming added sugar. Excess sugar depletes the immune system. It’s completely unnecessary, and over consumed by just about everyone. Food that contains naturally-occurring sugars are fine; things like fruit and whole grains. But abstain from candy, baking, chocolate, alcohol, fruit juice, and anything else that is loaded with added sugar. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for this move: you’ll feel better, have more energy, clearer skin, and a much healthier immune system. (Not to mention losing a few post-holiday pounds!)
  • Eat less. This has nothing to do with losing weight. When you eat more than you need to, it creates strain on your digestive tract and throws your organs into a panic. For good bacteria to do its job properly, it needs to work what’s in its limits—and overeating on a consistent basis does not help these guys. If you want the good bacteria to thrive, then feed it what it can handle. Tip: Don’t eat until you feel full; eat until you don’t feel hungry anymore. When you reach 80%, stop. (This is also a good tip for those with IBS.)
  • Add fermented foods to your diet. I DO NOT MEAN BOOZE, PEOPLE! Fermented foods come in the form of sauerkraut, good quality, plain Greek yogurt, kombucha, organic miso, organic tempeh, and kimchi. By adding these probiotic powerhouses to your meal plans, you will increase the number of enzymes you consume, which will aid the good bacteria.
  • Make sure you stay regular. Yep—I mean in the bathroom. When you become constipated and stool backs up, friendly bacteria becomes completely overrun with the bad guys. Bad bacteria LOVE poop. Don’t let them have it—make sure you are using the toilet at least once a day to keep the bad guys in check, and the good guys happy. Tip: Upon waking, drink one liter of room-temperature water before putting anything else in your body. This will kick-start the digestive process.

There you have it! 5 ways to improve the health of your gut, ASAP. xo

Pretty in Pink: Vegetarian Foodie Pics of the Week

Black tea

Happy Nude Food Friday, everyone!

Here are my fave vegetarian foodie pics of the week, courtesy of my iPhone, and filtered by Instagram. I freaking LOVE Instagram, which is funny, because friends of mine have been trying to get me on it for years, and I always resisted.

Aaaaanywaaay, here they are. They make me hungry, they make me feel better about purchasing single, pretty dishes compulsively, they reinforce my love for vegetarian food, and they are inspired by my favorite food photographers. Even though I’m not nearly as good as they are, the fact that I can come up with these makes me a happy girl.

Also, they each have a pink ingredient or two (or five), so that’s what the title of this post is about.

Enjoy! Hope they make you as hungry as a vegan hippo. xo

Chickpea Salad with Pink Lady Apples + Raw Asparagus

Vegan salad

Local Raspberry Yogurt with Chia, Hemp + Edible Flowers

Soy Yogurt with Edible Flowers

Very Berry Smoothie with Coconut

Berry Smoothie with Coconut

Amaranth, Daikon + Beet Sprouts

Vegan Salad

Beer Battered Cauliflower Tacos with Shredded Red Cabbage

Vegan Tacos

* I just wanted to just let everyone know that this last recipe was an inspired twist on Thug Kitchen‘s Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw. You must try. Recipe HERE.