Thursday, January 18, 2018

Books To Help You Restore Balance (With A Giveaway)

When it comes to January, I am of two minds. On the one hand, I am so, so tired of winter and the lack of sunlight. On the other hand, I appreciate the desire for change and improvement that comes with the new year. The Christmas decor has been neatly put away in the basement, I am in the process of organizing my house (it's a never-ending process), I am taking my vitamins and other supplements regularly (see this post for more information) and I'm cooking healthy meals more often.

A key part of improving health and wellness is examining our mental health status. And with the aforementioned winter doldrums, January is the perfect time to do just that. The dark, extremely cold days can be so depressing. It can be serious business for some people and seeking a mental health professional or reaching out to loved ones might be called for. But if you just need a bit of a boost, I think books are a great resource. I recently received a few DK books that are geared to restoring balance for yourself and your loved ones. Read on to the end of this post to enter for a chance to win two of them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Winter Supplement Routine and What I Ate Wednesday (A Day of Vegan Eats)

As I write this post, the sun is shining through the trees in my front yard. I feel such joy when I see even weak rays of sun shining on six inches of snow. If you've never lived in a climate with a long, snowy winter and a lack of sunshine, I'm not sure you can understand how downright depressing it can be. This winter has been especially cold and it makes it all the more tempting to just curl up with a blanket and hibernate. Not always possible, of course, and not only that, it's not the most healthy approach. We humans need exercise and sunshine to flourish.

We bought a spinning bike and an elliptical trainer from a gym that was downsizing in December. I have used the elliptical exactly twice. (I won't use the bike because that type of position bothers my cranky old neck.) The first time I used the elliptical, my head immediately started to hurt. My headache lasted three days. (A sign of how out of shape I am?). The second time I started off more slowly and it went a lot better. My sister-in-law and I are planning more walks outside when the temperature gets closer to zero too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vegan Brunch Recipes From The Edgy Veg (With A Giveaway)

Ginger Kombucha Mimosa recipe from The Edgy Veg
Photos: Brilynn Ferguson

I've always loved the idea of getting together with friends and family for brunch - a leisurely, long meal packed with breakfasty goodies, eaten after sleeping in until 10. My mom tells me that her grandmother Dolhanty (in Nova Scotia) used to have people over for brunch every week after church. "They were poor people, but the baked bean pot was filled, tea biscuits made, teapot on (no coffee)," says Mom. "Probably eggs (from their own hens) and homemade condiments (beets, pickles, chow-chow). Oh yes! Always homemade bread." The coal stove kept everything warm as extended family and neighbours casually dropped in. Sounds like a beautiful way of building companionship and community, huh?

I'm definitely not that industrious. I am not efficient enough at cooking for crowds to get a weekly gathering going. But a nice brunch for the family and a few friends now and then would be lovely. I recently received a copy of  The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes. I was invited to share a couple of recipes with you and I settled on two fantastic brunch recipes - a vegan eggs benedict and a mimosa with a difference. Read on for the recipes, and enter to win a copy of the book.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Starting A Vegan Diet and What I Ate Wednesday (with a day of vegan eats) #Veganuary

Seeing as our thoughts turn to healthy eating in January, I felt it was an appropriate time for me to resume my What I Ate Wednesday posts. Additionally, January is known in the plant-based eating community as "Veganuary," a time when people are encouraged to try (and hopefully permanently adopt) a vegan diet.

I was a vegetarian for almost 20 years before switching to a vegan diet. Sometime within those two decades I also stopped drinking cow's milk. I did, however, eat milk chocolate and cheese pizzas. When I went fully vegan a few years back, it wasn't a big transition for me. In other words, I can't speak with any personal experience about going directly from a meat-eating diet to veganism. But I can tell you I've never regretted making these dietary changes - not for a single moment.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday Book Giving Guide (With A Giveaway)

My ideal gift (to receive) is a basket of nurturing items (think candles, chocolates) that includes a good book. I also like to give books as gifts, finding the right book to match the recipient's interests. Even if somebody doesn't read fictional novels, there's a non-fiction or a general interest book out there that's sure to suit. So, without further ado, here are my book giving suggestions for some of the people on your list this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Peach Walnut Muffins (vegan)

My affection for muffins is no secret. I may have mentioned my love for these portable, healthy snacks about two dozen times on this blog. It's funny because I don't really eat bread often. It doesn't excite me much so I see it as a waste of calories. Muffins, on the other hand, are a bread-type product I can get behind! Especially when they are homemade, wholesome and full of fruity goodness, like these vegan Peach Walnut Muffins. These muffins would make a lovely Christmas morning breakfast addition. Munch on them while the kiddies open their gifts. They will also transition well into the New Year, when you're feeling all that post-holiday guilt and looking for healthier snacks.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Festive Holiday Dessert Recipes From The Vegan Holiday Cookbook

Photo by Marie LaforĂȘt

I've said it before (and maybe I was whining a little bit at the time), holiday meals just aren't the same when you're vegan. Not that I have any desire for turkey. I really don't. Quite the opposite - I would be thrilled if everyone at the table was enjoying a delicious, plant-based feast. That's why I said, "Yes please!" when Robert Rose offered to send me a review copy of The Vegan Holiday Cookbook: From Elegant Appetizers to Festive Mains and Delicious Sweets.

For the simple holiday meals that we enjoy as a family of four, we tend to cook a store-bought turkey alternative or we make this easy tofu loaf. But The Vegan Holiday Cookbook, created by Marie LaforĂȘt, has me seriously considering the need to up my holiday food game. So today I want to tell you a little bit about the types of recipes you can find in the cookbook, and share two incredible dessert recipes for you to try out this holiday season and beyond.

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