Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Cookies, Oh My!

Hello, friends, and Merry Christmas! Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you are merry nonetheless. I personally just love holidays for the food... all holidays.

My favourite way to show people I care is with food. Surprised? Ha!

It's all about the Christmas cookies. I pondered what cookies screamed Christmas; Gingerbread and shortbread top the list, as well as thumbprint cookies, rum balls, and probably some sort of square like date squares or oat bars and such (didn't make those this time).

I made a shit ton of cookies to give to friends.

The thumbprint cookies were super simple and so good! I just mashed a bunch of banana, added almond butter, a bit of maple syrup, oats and baking powder, and an organic jam center. I also made some raw balls, which I intended to be rum balls, but I had no rum, so just ended up making these with what I had on hand. I used prunes ase my base, and I added coconut oil and tons of shredded coconut, as well as some maca, cinnamon and maple syrup. To be honest, I hadn't written down the recipe for those two, or I'd share those too.

The raw balls and the jam cookies were the only gluten free ones I made. I used fife flour as my flour for the following recipes, and I'm not sure how other flours would work, but I'm thinking a gluten-free all purpose flour blend would be okay if you're celiac or gluten intolerant. Feel free to sub, and let me know how they turn out.

Here is the recipe for the shortbread and gingerbread cookies. They were the biggest hit. I didn't use any margarine... they're all based with delicious and nutritious coconut oil.

Vegan Shortbread Cookies

-1 cup room temperature coconut oil
-3/4 cup icing sugar (you can make your own in a blender using just regular granulated sugar. I used organic cane sugar, but I think coconut sugar would be best)
-2 cups spelt or fife flour
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the icing sugar and mix again. Add remaining ingredients and beat just until combined. Do not overmix.

If you want your cookie dough to be more manageable for shaping, put it in the fridge for a couple minutes to firm up. This can be helpful if your kitchen is quite hot.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. I found them perfect after 11. Enjoy!

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

-3/4 cup room temperature coconut oil
-1/4 cup maple syrup (you can also use raw honey if you eat it)
-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
-1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
-1 tbsp milled flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water
- 1 1/4 cups spelt or fife flour
-1/3 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour (+ more for flouring the work surface)
-1 tbsp pumpkin spice (you can just use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
-1.5-2 tbsp ground ginger
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the flax "egg" and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the flax "egg" and beat again. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to mix until combined.

Flour your work surface liberally with more coconut flour. Kneed your dough over the flour, and spread it about a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick, if shaping into cookies using a cookie cutter (or shot glass). If you just want good old fashioned circles, just roll them into balls and put on a greased baking sheet, then flatten with your hands.

Note: You may want to refrigerate the dough before shaping, or add more coconut flour. The coconut oil may melt and make the cookies hard to work with.

Once your cookies are shaped and placed on the baking sheet, pop them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Less time will result in softer cookies.

Enjoy! I had leftover cashew cream icing (no recipe for that today), and I sandwiched it between my cookies.

As a side note to end off, some random person who I don't know has made a website without my permission at This is NOT me behind this! I'll be trying to resolve the issue. Just letting you guys know.

Have a great holiday. More recipes coming soon!


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ferrero Rocher.. the vegan and gluten-free way!

Remember those delicious Ferrero chocolates, with their golden wrapper, chocolate coating, and delicious nutty center? Ah, nostalgia. Well a lot of you probably still eat those, but alas they are not vegan, so it's been years since I've had one.

They are also full of modified whatever ingredients, and refined sugar and other stuff I don't wanna see in my food. That's why I decided to veganize them!

I got some hazelnut butter from a health food expo last weekend, and I've been hooked on hazelnuts since. I made porridge with it a couple times, and had it over mochi. Oh my god. I also had it on my protein pudding, which I didn't photograph.

For the recipes to these babies and more, go to my Instagram page: @missveggievibes

Without further a due, here is the Ferrero recipe! It's a lot of steps, but I've tried to make it as clear as possible. Comment if you have questions!

Vegan & Gluten Free Ferrero Rocher


-1 cup whole hazelnuts
-2 cups crispy rice cereal (I used Enjoy Life brand, see photo below)
-3/4 cup hazelnut butter (I used Prana, which is incredible!)
-1/4 cup + 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided (measured solid)
-1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp coconut sugar, divided
-1/4 cup coconut flour
-1.5 tbsp milled flax seed
-1 cup vegan chocolate chips
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non dairy milk)


Preheat oven to 350.

1. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn. Remove from the oven, wait until cool enough to handle, then manually remove the skins. If a little is being stubborn on them, don't worry. The skins aren't too bad, but they will taste less bitter without them. Turn the oven off.

2. In a food processor, grind the cereal until it is not quite all crumbs, but a fine mix of crumbs and larger pieces. I took a picture, because that sounds confusing as hell. By the way, this is the cereal I used. It has honey, so if you don't eat that then try another healthy rice cereal! Rice Krispies are probably GMO ridden, so go for a whole grain or organic version.

3. Mix the flax with 4 tbsp water and let it sit. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil on gentle heat in a small saucepan, then add the hazelnut butter and 1/4 cup of the coconut sugar. Add more sugar if your rice cereal is totally unsweeteened. Yea, you're making a dessert, so it needs to be sweet! Stir the hazelnut mixture into the rice cereal, along with the coconut flour, and mix it up well. Add the flax and mix again.

4. Put your mixture in the freezer for just a few minutes so it hardens a bit and is easier to manage.

5. Remove from freezer. This next step takes some patience, and I guarantee your hands will be covered in crispy hazelnut mixture, which you will want to lick like a hungry dog. Try not to. This recipe is probably for other people besides yourself, and having your spit in it isn't nice. ;) Take one whole hazelnut at a time, and grab a generous spoonful of the crispy mixture, and then use your hands to "wrap" the mixture around the nut. Try your best, and don't worry if it feels like it won't set. It will. Take your crispy nut balls and put them on the same baking sheet from before (save some dishes here). Return to freezer to harden a bit. Note: you will have some hazelnuts left over, so save those.

6. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate chips, almond milk, and remaining coconut sugar and coconut oil in a small pan on low heat. Stir frequently. When mixture is nice and uniform, remove from heat. 

7. Take your remaining hazelnuts and process into crumbs in your food processor. Remove the balls from the freezer, and then use a spoon to cover them in chocolate. I find leaving them on the baking sheet is easier, just roll them around as needed, to cover. Sprinkle the hazelnut pieces on top. Return to the freezer until set.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Hearty Harvest Soup

I know it's getting chilly when I've made the first soup of the season. I used to really dislike soup. I only had it when my mom made me as a child, when I was sick or something. That was probably because it was the Knorr instant MSG-in-a-box kinda soup.

I love making soup now. It's the perfect way to clean out the vegetable crisper to make an easy one pot dish that can easily be hearty enough for a meal. Just add some grains (or pseudograins), some beans and peas, and you've got yourself a protein and fibre rich medley of deliciousness to go with your nutrient-packed veggie base.

I've had a huge bag of spelt berries sitting in my pantry for way too long... I tried making manna bread with them once, and it went moldy. I was just too sad to use them since then. (Just kidding, I just forgot about them and wasn't sure what to use them in.)

I also had a very attractive sweet potato squash from the farmer's market sitting in my pantry. Going with the colour scheme, I also had yellow split peas, which don't take very long to cook and make a perfect addition to a soup.

Here it is - a delicious "fall themed", nutrient-rich soup!


-1/2 tbsp coconut oil
-1/3 cup each carrots, celery and onion, finely chopped
-1 tsp cumin
-2 tsp garam masala
-1/4 tsp sea salt (optional, add more or less, to taste)
-2 tbsp low sodium vegetable broth powder (I buy mine in bulk. You may also use 2 vegetable broth cubes)
-About 2 1/3 cups chopped and peeled squash, sweet potato or pumpkin
-1 cup whole spelt kernels/berries
-1 cup dry yellow split peas


1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil on medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots and onion and sautee for at least 5 minutes.

2. Add 6 cups of water, along with seasonings and broth powder (you may just use 6 cups of already made broth, if that's what you have.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

3. Add squash cubes, spelt, and split peas. Simmer on low heat, covered but with room for steam to escape, for 35 minutes.

4. Remove from heat. Take about half of the soup and puree it in a blender or food processor. You will want to wait at least a few minutes before adding it to the blender, just to make super sure your blender won't crack (it hasn't happened to me with a blender, but it has with a mason jar... and it sucks). After you're pureed half the soup completely, add it back into the rest of the soup in the pot. Stir and mix well. This gives your soup a nice texture. How much of the soup you puree is up to you!

You may substitute the spelt if you have another grain on hand or want to make a gluten-free soup, and just slightly adjust the cooking time.

Enjoy! I like mine with some Sriracha on top and some warm pita on the side.


Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Joy of Fall Food - Fresh Homemade Applesauce

When fall gives you apples, you make applesauce! A trip to a farmer's market this weekend lead me to make my own at home with my slow cooker.

I can't believe I've never made it before. It's ridiculously easy. All I added was cinnamon, and some apple cider to keep it from sticking to my slow cooker, and it's so sweet and delicious. And I used Cortland apples, which are not overly sweet. I am frazzled as to why anyone would add sugar to this beauty. Anywho, I will post that quick and simple recipe below. Is it even a recipe? It's too easy to be called a recipe!

I've been feeling so inspired by this season. Pumpkins, apples, warm foods, aromatic spices... I'm really playing up the whole fall theme. These days I've been trying to step out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I love to experiment with recipes, but making a crappy or less-than-perfect creation is enough to leave me feeling really crummy about my kitchen abilities.

I don't like to follow recipes. I just read up on things I'm not familiar with, or if I want ratios of ingredients, that kinda thing... then I take different ways of making any given food into account and create my own recipe based on my knowledge. For example, I want to make granola. I start looking at blogs I like, using Google, and snooping around anywhere else I can see a granola recipe. I then see what each ingredient "does" in the recipe, what needs to be in it, about how long/what temperature it needs to be baked at, etc. I then make a "healthified" version with ingredients I'm happy with.

I did do this for granola, actually. I was going for the fall theme, too. Apple spice! I was kinda cheap on the oil, though, and it wasn't very clustery. It was also a bit well-done. Still good, but not worthy of a post on this round.

Some things in life don't deserve cheapness. Can't be cheap with a bit of oil and maple syrup in granola. And you certainly shouldn't be cheap with sweetener in your pumpkin cornbread!

Oh yeah, I made some of that too. I used fresh pumpkin puree I'd made the same day, and farmer's market fife flour! I also added a magic ingredient of some soy yogurt. However, although the texture was on point, sweetness was missed.

Enter my applesauce. Smothered it on the bread, added PB2, never looked back.

Here is the recipe for the applesauce. I left the skins on my apples, because a) ain't nobody got time for peeling over 5 lbs of apples, and b) why toy with nature? Organic apple skins never did anybody wrong.

Homemade Applesauce

-5 lb bag of apples
-1/2 tbsp (or more, to taste) fresh cinnamon
-1/2 cup apple cider

Slice apples, removing the seeds and core. Put the apples in a slow cooker with the cinnamon and apple cider. Turn the slow cooker onto high and let cook for about 3 hours, stirring every hour. Throw your apples into a blender, and blend until silky smooth.

That's it!

Note: I wanted to add a hint of lemon juice, but I was actually out of lemons, so I may add some when I get around to it. This will help maintain freshness a bit longer. Also, you may add whatever spices you like. I think ginger, cloves, nutmeg or a hint of maple syrup would be fun. You be the judge!

As for what kind of apples you like, it's up to you. Sweet ones will make a sweet sauce, tart will make tart. A mix will be the best of both worlds.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Thive Kitchen Launch - Friends, Food and Fun

Recently my favourite company in the whole wide world, Vega, has launched a new chapter in their popular web series Thrive Forward called Thrive Kitchen. It has a ton of info about creating your meals with different staple ingredients, making healthy swaps for not-so-healthy ingredients, and some creative examples on how to turn your plate into a fun international affair or a rawsome dish.

As soon as I watched the video on international cuisine, I was super giddy and thrilled. One of my absolute favourite things is understanding different cultures through food. I love understanding which spices, tastes and staple foods make up a country or region's cuisine. If I had to narrow it down, I'd say Indian is numero uno for me personally. It's also the trickiest to "master" - lots of variance among the regions, and oh so many spices and flavours used to create a unique end result together.

For the new Thrive Kitchen chapter, there was a launch party thrown yesterday to celebrate. I was lucky enough to be able to attend. It was my perfect evening - tons of amazing food (provided by the lovely Marni Wasserman), even more amazing people, and some awesome speeches on what Thrive Kitchen and plant-based eating is all about.

I met new people, saw some old friends and acquaintances, and got to pick some people's brains on how they got into the field they're in. I'm personally very likely going the holistic nutrition route, so it was super exciting for me.

Oh, and I totally chatted with Brendan Brazier. No biggie. He's super cool, and I think I was less blabbery this time.

Here are some pics from last night's event.

 Such an honour to meet Peggy! She's a doll!

 The man himself who started it all - Brendan Brazier!

 Yeah, riding that bike in that skirt... not exactly ideal. Standing in front of it works just fine.
 Oh boy, my friend Luke (left) was juice fasting. He claims he was OK with being around all that delicious food. I think he's super-human!

 Lovely ladies! So down to earth and awesome. Michelle and Christina, runners and bloggers extraordinaire!
 Loved Jessica Morris' speech at the party. All about plant based eating and making healthy swaps.

Good old "Veggie Mike"! The brains behind the operation. Thank you for that awesome evening.

You can check out the new Thrive Kitchen chapter, as well as the entire web series, at 

It's really amazing being in your own element. The feeling is out of this world.

Looking forward to posting some new recipes soon on the blog here, by the way. Stay tuned for cake balls!


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Vegan Chickpea Tuna and my experience with "Flexible Dieting"

Ah, back to school. Man, did I ever miss those 6am mornings and late nights studying.

...said no one ever.

Well, I actually am happy I'm back at school. I really love my program. I mean, school is school, so there is work to do, but being around my friends and learning interesting stuff to apply to my future career is kinda cool. And the crisp fall weather has been pretty sweet too!

These days I've been on a bit of a new "kick". I have been learning more about tracking macronutrients (as I discussed in a previous post), but now I've really gotten quite into it. I've been learning so much about how the body metabolizes macros in different ways. I was going about "losing weight" all wrong in the past. Not that losing weight is my goal anymore, thank goodness.

I want to get lean. I want to drop body fat and gain lean muscle. I feel like I always throw that out there, but lately it's actually started to happen! I always thought I had chunky legs, even when I lost some weight, but I finally am seeing some definition to my quads and booty. My back is totally shaping out, and when I'm a really good girl with water and consistent macros I can even see baby abs!

What I've been doing is using MyFitnessPal to track my macronutrient and caloric intake. Recently, I've really upped it and tried to remain pretty diligent. What's working for me right now is 50/25/25, with about 1600 calories. This means I have about 200G of carbs a day, 45G of fat and 100G of protein.

Of course I still eat whole, unprocessed foods. I do take Vega protein daily, and I am rest assured it's a very clean source of protein with no added junk like a lot of others have from flavouring, etc.

The reason I mention this is because a lot of people tracking macros, or following IIFYM, eat some junk and just write it off as fitting their macros for the day. This is called "flexible dieting", because the idea is you can still get lean by eating whatever fits your macronutrient intake for that day. I could go on about that, but if you want more information, please check out or go to the BioLayne YouTube channel. That has helped me a lot. Of course I'm still learning this for myself!

Speaking of macros, I whipped up a great clean recipe for some mock "tuna" made of chickpeas. I added a wack ton of nooch, because it's the dream vegan ingredient - tastes cheesy, has a lot of protein...what more could you want?! I added no Veganaise (better than mayo, but it's still a processed food), and no salt (trying to avoid the bloat. So I used dulse instead of sea salt!). The tahini makes it just creamy enough, and the dill and veggies add a crisp and refreshing taste and texture.

I honestly don't remember how tuna tastes like, but this is kind of nostalgic. The texture is very similar. All I know is that it tastes amazeballs!

Chickpea Tuna

-2 cups cooked chickpeas
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-1/4 cup fresh dill, or 2 tbsp dried
-1/2 cup finely chopped celery
-1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
-2 tsp dulse flakes
-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1/4 cup tahini

Pulse chickpeas alone in food processor until some chunks remain. Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse or process for short bursts at a time, scraping the work bowl as needed. You may add 2 tbsp of water while you pulse to help the mixture form a tuna-like texture. Some chunks should remain.

Spread it on some whole grain bread, eat it with crackers, or do whatever you like to do with your tuna!

Approximate macros (per 1/2 cup serving):

202 calories
8.6 G total fat
24.2 G carbs
10G protein

Happy eating!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Super Moist Protein Brownies (AKA Heaven)

I have been OBSESSED this these babies since I whipped up my first batch. Using beets in brownies is old news - they're a very healthy way to add sweetness and nutrients to brownies. And guess what? Chocolate is healthy, too. Real frikkin chocolate. Well, this recipe is made with protein powder, but it's Vega, so it is indeed real cacao. And it's sweetened with stevia. Awww yeah. 

I love to crumble them on my protein puddings (see a previous post I did on those), eat as a morning snack or I may even try to throw them in a healthy brownie "milkshake" with almond milk and frozen bananas. OH LAWD!

The first time I made them, I just used coconut oil instead of almond butter. That's yummy too. They turned out very red the first time. I had originally named them Red Velvet Brownies. Since they're browner now, this is their name, lol. I also changed the type of nut milk pulp I use. If you're curious about a sub in this recipe, and don't wanna try it, you can just shoot me a comment and I'll probably have an answer for ya.

You'll never believe they get a lot of their sweetness from beets, and their moistness from nut milk pulp!

-1 cup beet purée (approximately 4-5 medium sized beets. I bake mine!)

-1.5 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use Vega sport)

-1 cup spelt flour 

-1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda

-1 cup unsweetened almond milk (see below how to make your own)

-1/4 cup almond butter

-About 1/2 cup nut milk pulp (make from soaking a cup of raw nuts overnight, then rinsing and blending at high speed with 1 litre of water, and straining through a colander. The liquid is nut milk, and the fibre is your pulp!)

-1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water (aka one "flax egg")

-2 tbsp dairy free chocolate chips

Optional frosting-1/2 scoop protein powder-1 tbsp pb2 (you can use regular nut butter!)-1 tbsp coconut flour -almond milk, to consistency


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix. 

3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (not chocolate chips yet). Make sure you've let the flax egg absorb the water before adding it. 

4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, then add the chocolate chips and mix well. 

5. Pour batter into a 9x9" lightly greased brownie pan. Bake for 30 minutes. 

6. Allow to cool before adding the frosting on top. Slice into brownies and enjoy! I like to make 9.

Monday, 19 August 2013

My First Race - 30 Tough Kilometres

This weekend I ran my first race. It was called A Midsummer Night's Run, and it was on Centre Island. I ran the full 30K. 

The same day, there was the CanFitPro convention. I was fortunate enough to score awesome samples of goodies which helped me HUGELY in my race. I was fuelled by plant based products from Vega and Cliff Bar. 

Let me tell you that 30K is much easier said than done. I've never considered myself a runner, and certainly not a fast one. But this year I had decided to take up running. I thought its a great way to challenge your fitness, set personal goals and join an awesome running community. This is all awesome, however you gotta dedicate the time to do all of this. 

Between work, meal prep and commuting around on the TTC, I'm a busy bee. I'm out of the house 75% of the time. When I work out I need to be sure I bring my food out with me, shower stuff, allow travel time, etc. With running, I find you need to a) dedicate time for long runs and b) allow yourself more time to include going home to shower, eat, etc. 

For these reasons, I had not trained properly for my race. My farthest distance EVER was 10K. I figured it'd be a slow 30K race, but since I'm aerobically fit I'd be totally fine. 

Yeah, that was very stupid. If you're a runner you know that completing a race takes time and dedication to training. When people heard I'd only run 10K before, they were telling me it'd be slow and it would probably hurt. 

To make matters worse, since the last 10K run I'd done, I could feel my right shin getting some sort of weird pain. It was different than a shin splint, which I used to suffer from a lot, but hadn't experienced in a while. I kept foam rolling, stretching and icing it like a maniac leading up to my race.

On race day, I was so excited! Not to mention that the stuff I got to fuel me at the CanFitPro convention was a huge bonus. I stopped by Cliff Bar and met Christina, aka The Athletarian, and she gave me awesome advice and awesome race goodies. I even got to talk to her running coach Michelle, who gave me some more running tips on fuelling and training for races. 

I got a couple of energy blocks, an energy bar, and some energy gel shots. I had half the bar about an hour and a half before the race, a couple blocks before I started, and a block every few kilometres until 20K, where I had my chocolate energy gel shot. 

Oh, and I freaking met Brendan Brazier that day!!! I was like a giddy school girl. I'm pretty such I sounded like a blubbering idiot, but I was so stoked. I told him I can't go a day without Vega. It's so true! Speaking of Vega, I went to their booth and got amazing free goodies: a couple recovery accelerators, gels, electrolyte hydrator and pre workout energizer. I had the hydrator and pre-workout before my race, and the recovery accelerator after. I think it helped in a huge way. I have another one I'll probably have today. 

The race started at 5:30 pm (hence the name of the run). I was eager and excited as soon as we started. 

5K flew by. By this time my friend had passed me, but I knew that would happen inevitably, so I was just running on at my own pace. My leg was okay, but it definitely affected my speed. I could feel it getting aggravated. Honestly, I was walking with a slight limp the last couple days before that, so the fact I finished the whole race is beyond me.

 When I got to 10K, I was still feeling stoked, but I started to worry about finishing the race. What if my leg got worse? What if I couldn't finish? I started getting all these negative thoughts. I tried my best to shut them out, but I was very doubtful. I just tried to breathe through it, and even briefly called my boyfriend at 11K. 

The second third of the race was tough. The KMs felt very long. I remember being sure I'd missed a sign, and that the next sign would be 2 kilometres ahead of what I last read. Nope. I was just getting even slower. 

At 15K, I thought "wow I ran 15 freaking kilometres!" And immediately thought "...and have 15 to go." I was getting very negative, and the dark thoughts kept coming. The next few KM were the toughest. What kept me going was reading the back of people's race shirts which read "mind over matter". I kept reminding myself that if I keep going, there is an end, and I'll finish one way or another. 

Around the halfway mark is when I needed to take walking breaks. I tried to avoid it, but I just needed to walk it out for a bit, and that's okay. 

When I saw 20K, I was pumped. I ate my delicious chocolate Cliff energy gel, walked for a bit, and starting slowly running. I honestly don't know if I could have had the drive I did at the end without it.

To wrap up the rest, I just had to mentally shut everything out and keep going. My iPhone died at 17K, so I was just taking in the beautiful island view and keeping it slow and steady. 

I crossed the finish line at 3:35. At first I felt embarrassed by my finish time, but then I immediately told myself that's ridiculous. I ran a 30 freaking K race for my first time, and I was injured. My goal going into it was to cross the finish line, and that I did. Besides, my goal is always to compete with myself, not others. 

During my dark moments in the race, I was thinking how painful it was and how I'd never run again. It's pretty funny that as soon as I finished, I was already planning a half marathon. I wanna take it slower and do a half before attempting a full, this time with proper training. 

Post-race, my legs immediately felt like Jell-O. I inhaled a banana at the finish line, then a veggie burger (on a white bun. YOLO), which I thoroughly enjoyed as well. And a beer, which really hit the spot! 

My friend and I went back across the water to the city, then to her aunt's place to grab our stuff. We were both all Jell-O. Half a Cliff bar, some recovery accelerator and a long shower later, I was passed out. 

Today my legs are actually much better than I anticipated. Granted walking and stairs are Satan, but I can still walk nonetheless. I did some hot yoga too, which really hit the spot. And I'm just ravenous today. All things aside, though, I do know I fuelled myself pretty darn well. My hydration was on point before, during and post race, and my glycogen was certainly restored well by yesterday's and today's carbs (thank you, Cliff Bar and Vega!). 

The bottom line is that I have enormous respect for runners after this experience. I hope to be able to call myself one soon! 

Safe training, everyone.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

The PERFECT Falafel

My God, who doesn't love falafel. So freaking good. Well guess what? A baked version made with organic, wholesome ingredients, and spelt flour instead of white, is just as good. No, I lied. MUCH BETTER!

I came up with this a while ago, but never got around to posting it. It's a great idea to make a huge batch to have on hand as a protein source throughout the week. And it goes mega quick!


-3 cups cooked chickpeas
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 medium sized onion, diced
-2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2 tbsp sea salt
-1 tbsp cumin
-2.5 tbsp dried parsley
-3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
-1/4 cup spelt flour (or flour of choice)


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, onion and olive oil, processing until combined but some texture remains.

3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Roll into balls.

4. Lightly grease a baking sheet with some oil. Place falafel on the baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway.

Serve with prepared tahini sauce (recipe below) on a whole grain pita, in romaine leaves, or on a bed of greens!

Tahini sauce:

-1/2 cup tahini (sesame butter)
-1/4 cup water (or more to reach desired consistency)
-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp sea salt
-Juice of half a lemon
-2-3 cloves of minced garlic

Sunday, 21 July 2013

My Juice Fasting Experience

Last week my dad and I went on a camping trip to Algonquin Park. My first time camping there was last year, so I knew what a beautiful place Algonquin is. We had planned this camping trip for a couple of months before going. This time, we were going for five whole days. The thought of being in such a serene location for five whole days without city distractions, pollution, work, and social networking was a very exciting thought!

I also thought this trip would be the perfect time to do a juice cleanse. The longest I had ever done a juice fast was just one day. I have done that many times, after a potluck or a day of overindulgence when my stomach felt like it was full of all these combinations of food it would have a tough time digesting. This time, I wanted to go for the whole five days.

The reason I had never done a juice fast any longer was because I knew you really had to be minimally active while juicing. I am a very active person. I'm either working or working out. Aside from worries about having enough energy for my active days, if I was juice fasting I'd need to have my juicer with me. Carrying pre-made juice isn't something I'd do because the enzymes are gone quite quickly, as the juice oxidizes after it's been made fresh from a juicer.

This trip was the perfect time to do a fast - I'd be away from the city without any responsibilities. I wouldn't be going to the gym (a thought that actually made me quite sad, lol). No work. And I got my dad on board too! Which was really awesome, because I didn't know how he'd feel about it. We watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and he totally agreed it'd be a good kick start for him on his weight loss (he's a bit overweight, and always saying he wants to lose a few!).

When the time finally came, we packed the juicer, bought a TON of produce, some tea for the evenings...and we were off! I want to make an important point that juice fasting should be focused on dark, leafy greens as much as possible. Fruits and sweetener or starchy vegetables shouldn't be most of what you're juicing. If your juice is very sweet, it enters your blood very quickly because there's no fibre there to slow it's absorption, so your blood sugar would go way high! We planned to juice the sweet stuff mostly in the morning.

Monday morning I woke up and prepared a delicious and tasty juice for my dad and I. I wanted the first one to be very delicious for him, because he wasn't used to juicing very green and less sweet stuff yet, although he knew we would be doing that during this fast! We made a toast, and we were off.

By the time we got there (I think it was about a four hour drive), I was very tired. And I was starving! I had packed a juice for on the road, and I drank most of it because my dad said he was full. My dad wanted to bike for a bit, but I actually just took a long nap.

The next day, I woke up ravenous. It wasn't the smell of the food cooking around me, because it was just bacon and eggs people were making, and to be honest that smell grosses me out if anything. I was just used to my routine of waking up, going to the kitchen and making a delicious sweet potato pudding, or oats, or something with peanut butter... mmmm...Okay, I was big time dreaming about food. I made a giant juice for my dad and I. I felt okay. I wish I could say I had all this amazing energy, and my digestion was going great...but I'd be lying. Truth is, as the day went I just felt so hungry and so tired. My dad asked me if I wanted to eat something. Truthfully, by the end of the second day of no food, feeling like crap, no improvement in digestion and inability to bike or swim for longer than 20 minutes, I decided I would eat the next day if I still felt shitty.

Day three, I woke up and sure enough I felt the same. Maybe worse. My stomach rumbles woke me up. The day before, I had drank juice til I was blue in the face. I was still STARVING! My dad told me he was not hungry at all, and he felt great. I wished with all my might I did. I decided I need to listen to my body. I need protein. And FIBRE! My digestive system felt like it was dead. I expected to be going straight to the bathroom the whole time. Not once!!! (Yeah, TMI, sue's relevant! lol).

Above = me breaking the fast... with actually EATING some of the fruit!

We went to Metro in the next town over and I got some organic tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, kidney beans, hummus, avocado and olives. My beloved protein and healthy fat!!!! AHHHHH!

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but damn. We didn't have any cooking resources with us, and my creations were not too shabby!! Mmmm, smoked tofu/hummus kale wraps...

After eating, I felt amazing. I ate half a Cliff Bar at Metro, and then some hummus and clean tortilla chips on the way back to camp. My god, heaven. I kept a diary on my phone of my "journey" prior to when I decided to eat again. Here is is:

Day one: 
So tired all day. I woke up with brain fog, and have had it all day long. Took a nap, but my body still feels heavy. Pretty thirsty tonight. Trying to increase my water intake as much as I can. 

Day two:
Woke up still feeling pretty drained. But I felt less brain-foggy today. Went on a bike ride and got attacked by bugs. Went to the beach, just wanted to lie around but I took a short swim. It's now 4pm and I'm just glued to my chair, and my stomach is rumbling even after 3 juices (one of them just watermelon). Very disappointed that there have been no bowel movements.

Day three: 
Slept for a good eight hours at least. Feeling pretty tired still. Not gonna lie, I had hoped I'd wake up with a huge burst of energy. Even after a sweet morning juice, I still feel so tired. We're considering finishing the fast early. My dad is feeling great and he's drinking even less juice than me! I think I need more calories. At least I had a bowel movement. 

I apologize for the details about the bowels. Again, it is relevant to my review on juice fasting. For me, it did nothing but seemingly back things up! Needless to say, it was all good after I ate again.


After I broke my fast, I came to some realizations. I think juice fasting is amazing for those who are overweight, have digestive issues, and/or eat poorly. I am none of the above. I'm very active, I eat a plant-based diet with no processed foods at all... come to think of it, why was I wanting to fast anyway? Not for weight loss. My digestion was okay. Maybe it just wasn't a good fit for me.

My dad agreed. He said that he felt great because he had so much extra fat that it was definitely keeping him company. He wasn't hungry. He told me that the two days was more than enough for someone like me. And I agree with him!

In conclusion, I think there are very important cautions to take with juice fasting. Number one, GET YOUR CALORIES IN! I probably eat like 1500+ caories (AT LEAST) on a regular basis. Green veggies have very little calories. I had probably like 4 large cups of juice a day, but that was certainly not measuring up to how many calories I usually ate. Second, I think for anybody three days should be the limit. Fibre is pretty damn important. Sure, your digestive system needs a break. Give it a break from junk, then....forever! Juicing for three days is sufficient to clean someone out enough, I think. Most people who are overweight and eat poorly would benefit from that, and then having fibre-rich, clean, plant-based foods from there on in would be their best bet. No, I'm NOT a doctor - this is just my opinion based on my experience. 

Would I do it again? Maybe for a day. But honestly, never longer for me. It's funny how you really gotta try something to find out what your consensus really is on it. I know my opinions have changed on juice fasting quite a bit! OF COURSE I will continue drinking my juices frequently, but I will use them as a supplement to my diet, and not as a meal replacement.

If anyone has experiences, I'd love to hear them! 

Happy eating and/or juicing, folks. :)

xoxo Tijana