You’re a person just like everyone else. So why does everyone make such a fuss when you talk about your lifestyle, and why do you feel the need to tell every person you meet that you’re a vegan? It’s like “Hi, I’m Candice, and I’m a vegan…”…
Grey is the new black and dehydrating is the new cooking. On a Monday last week I spent 8 hours prepping, marinating and blendering items to be dehydrated in a friends brand spanking new Excalibur Dehydrator. For nearly 2 years I have been reading about the most incredible raw recipes. I would drool over pictures in my favorite raw cookbooks and would often be left disappointed to get to the word dehydrate and stop reading. I am not against dehydrating. I just didn’t have one. I needed one! Why? In two words… KALE CHIPS. Those crispy pieces of green leaf are my kryptonite, my vice, natures crack if you will, and ever since I had my first crunchy bite, I have been obsessed with getting the device that makes these.
The dehydrator exposes food to low temperatures for long periods of time to remove the moisture from the food. The food is exposed to air current which does not go about 140 degrees F, leaving the food uncooked, or raw. Dehydration is used to preserve food which can later be rehydrated or to create raw foods such as fruit bars, vegetable chips and crackers. It can be used for other non vegan things but these (obviously) don’t interest me.
Dehydrated foods are a great way to transition to raw food, and even as a great gluten-free treat. Most of the dehydrated foods can replace the textures and tastes of the most addictive foods like bread, cookies, and chips. Crunch, Yum!
Raw Macaroons, So effing good.
Zucchini chips are like crack for me. Here I am working away laying out each chip for dehydration perfection.
You’re a person just like everyone else. So why does everyone make such a fuss when you talk about your lifestyle, and why do you feel the need to tell every person you meet that you’re a vegan? It’s like “Hi, I’m Candice, and I’m a vegan…” Really?! You would never tell anyone else your birthday right off the bat, or your dress size… So let’s stop acting like it needs to be front and center ALL OF THE TIME.
Remember why you are Vegan: Whether you woke up one day and decided that you couldn’t live a life based on the torture of innocent animals, the mere idea of eating something dead freaks you out, or you simply decided your diet could use a makeover; remember why you went vegan. If you are reaping the benefits, then be happy with yourself; you don’t need a pat on the back from anyone.
Don’t try to be perfect: Don’t live in a state of vegan paranoia. The world we live in is constantly using, hiding, and filtering our wines, sugars, and shoes with animal by products. Being vegan means that you are making conscious decisions about the products you consume and use, it is not about being perfect. That car you drive is probably not vegan… neither is the transit system… you can demand that Toyota make a cruelty-free car until your vocal cords start bleeding but it may never happen. So stick to the things you can control, your food, your beauty products, your clothing and cleaning products. You have to do what’s practical, or go live in the forest and reject modern society all together. Hell, I know tons of vegans that go on vacation and will indulge in a pizza in Florence or a croissant in Paris. But they consciously made that decision. Is it right? Well who has the right to tell you what you are doing is wrong? You will suffer enough from the stomach pains you’ll receive after eating it… but you knew that before you took your first bite. It’s cool that you’re Vegan but no one is expecting you to be perfect, and if they are– you already have a back pocket of shit to lay on them.
Learn to cook: Cooking vegan is NOT hard, unless you don’t know how to cook. It’s not more time consuming and it does not involve special tricks. The #1 reason why people don’t go vegan or don’t stay vegan is because they haven’t realized that it isn’t the food they miss but the flavours they are conditioned to like. Any non vegan will tell you that the taste of bacon cannot be duplicated, and they would be 100% correct. If they were to take the time to explore the flavours a vegan diet has to offer they would realize that they could live without the taste of bacon all together. It’s just a matter of finding a substitute. If you’ve been to a good vegan restaurant, you know that vegan food can be as delicious as non-vegan food. I myself struggled giving up cheese. For one year it was my weakness and my curse. But after giving up cheese for 40 days, I no longer found myself craving the taste, I didn’t even think about it. Just buy yourself a good vegan cookbook (I live by all of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks) and just follow a recipe. Anyone can cook, and if you can’t it’s your own damn fault for not trying. PLUS you can wow all your non vegan pals with your awesome vegan skills. Seeee that’s living by example! There’s nothing better than watching a non-vegan eating a vegan cupcake.
Non-vegans are not the enemy: Listen, you were a cheese devouring, chocolate milk guzzling, burger happy monster once yourself, so don’t badger the poor non-vegan because they haven’t seen the light yet. It’s easy to get caught up with the intricacies of a vegan lifestyle and the debates about animal welfare, health problems surrounding animal by-products and comments made by non-vegans. But stand strong, as it shouldn’t matter to anyone what lifestyle choices you have decided to make. There is a time for debate and a time to discuss, but not all the time. Lead by example, lead with food, and lead with your beautiful complexion and rockin’ bod. There is something for everyone in a vegan lifestyle and once they see you as the happy beautiful vegan you, are they’ll get it. You are not contributing to the exploitation of billions of living things every year. That’s special — that’s reason enough to smile every day! Be proud, but don’t preach.
Create a Community: Unfortunately, you will be at the receiving end of some ridiculous and sometimes hilarious stereotypes. That’s why it is very important to engage with other like-minded vegans. It’s so easy these days; there are Facebook groups, fan pages, Meetup’s, conventions, cooking classes and twitter! Create a community, get together and swap stories, recipes and all things vegan!
Don’t make the non-vegan world wonder why you choose a lifestyle that differs so greatly from theirs; make them wonder whether their lifestyle needs a second look. Live by example and be true to you!
You did it again, you swore you wouldn’t, but one drink turned into 15 and now, here you are, on your ass with your head in the toilet. After thousands of years, we are still in search of the perfect remedy to rid us of that head spinning, gut rotting, body aching, feeling. We could just stop poisoning ourselves… but let’s face it– thats not going to happen any time soon.
In the mean time, here are some helpful ingredients to include in your post-bender menu…
- Milk Thistle: Commonly prescribed for people with liver problems. It is known to help the liver function properly, and may help the liver process alcohol better.
- Gingerroot: Often brewed and consumed as a tea, gingerroot is known for its ability to settle an upset stomach.
- Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Juices: Juices help to replenish lost nutrients and they help re-hydrate your body.
- Lemon Water: The lemon will help to raise your blood sugar levels, and the water will re hydrate your body.
- Soup: Soup is a common hangover remedy because it soothes the stomach and helps re-hydrate the body.
I have wanted to attend Coachella since I first heard about the festival in 1999. The 1999 lineup consisted of Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Ben Harper, Modest Mouse and Beck, just to name a few. As years passed, I was either in school, broke, or just never had anyone that was serious about going with me. There was always a lot of talk and no action. As I started my 20s I made a promise to myself. No regrets, act now, think later. I told myself I was not going to go through life missing out on the experiences I wanted to include in my biography later on down the road. Even if I had to do them by myself… which I do quite often, with no money, and no plan. Luckily I met someone who is as spontaneous and wild as I am. Yeah, you know I’m talking about you Saralicious.
The first step to this was moving out, the second was picking up and heading to Toronto, driving to Chicago for Lollapalooza, and starting this blog. (If you haven’t watched the video from last year, here it is…) So Get ready for videos, pictures and tweets from my week down in the U S of A … you knows it’s going to be filled with #shitsarasays and tons of stories about yours truly causing heaps of trouble.
In less than 24 hours we’re going on a road trip kids! First LA, then Vegas than Coachella Valley. So keep your eyes open for updates and vegan tips while on the road. See ya on the flip side kids!
EEEEEEEeeee so excited!
DOS: Cook it, don’t mush it.
Serving mushy quinoa is like slapping your Nonna in the face with starchy spaghetti– it doesn’t end well. If you want to avoid total embarrassment at your next dinner party, here is the best way to cook it in two, yes TWO easy steps.
- Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
TRES: Drain It
Quinoa tends to hold a lot of water. Make sure that you drain it properly after you have cooked it, or else your meal will resemble something along the lines of plate soup. This is bad… unless you were aiming for soup, in that case- yay! Just use that handy mesh strainer again… I told you it was a great investment.
Cuatr0: Power Nap
Dancing around in a pot is hard work. Your quinoa is tired and needs a break. After you have drained your seeds, return them to the pan and let them sit for 15 minutes, covered. This will ensure your quinoa does not dry out and become lumpy. Gross.
Cinco: Fluff me baby
Use the prongs of a fork to carefully separate the cooked quinoa. This will remove any lumps and separate the delicate seeds without crushing them, this will give them a light, fluffy texture. No Lumps, yo!