Fruit Bowl!

IMG_20160613_073555

I just wanted to share this lovely fruit bowl that I had for brunch.  I featured it on my Instagram (@razzledazzlelove), and I basically get this same fruit bowl every single time I go to this one cafe.   If I’m lucky they will even give me extra raspberries.  Have a lovely Day!

Happy 4th of July Weekend Everyone!

IMG_20160603_130239

When starting off this holiday weekend don’t forget to prepare yourself for the BBQ vegan style!  The worst is when you show up to a BBQ, and then you realize there was nothing for you anyway, and you probably should just eat the lettuce.

That’s why you have to bring your own stuff.

Featured above is a photo from my Instagram (@razzledazzlelove) from my last BBQ.  They are fabulous veggies skewers!  They have onions, potatoes, tofu, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini on them.  I would recommend cooking the potatoes first in another fashion, maybe baking them before putting them on the skewer or they do not cook at the same rate as the other veggies.

If you’d rather not put in the effort for skewers, there are those sweet grilling baskets that you can buy for anywhere from $15-$30 in a grilling section of almost any store.

Happy and safe BBQ-ing to all!

Cruise Adventures and Being Vegan

IMG_20150327_085715So I went on a cruise… And the Vegan part, lets just say it was way easier than I expected.

I used to flip through magazines and say “oh hey look there is a vegan cruise! But it’s 9x the cost of a regular cruise” and then not go on a cruise.  This time, I said, “The heck with it” and took my chances with the run of the mill budget cruise.

So it was a Carnival cruise… and first of all, the fruit selection was AMAZING.  The fact that there are options at any hour of the day/night for the duration of the cruise is also AMAZING.  Additionally, on Carnival, the room service was free, so even when the only thing that was open was the pizza place and the ice cream parlor at 1 am, I could order free fresh fruit and oatmeal delivered right to my room!  I mean, I didn’t even have to walk to get my vegan fix, how great is that?

Also on cruises, the BF and I try and jump start our healthy lifestyle choices.  I would say this is my favorite part.  So healthy fruits, fresh raw options, and some jogging with a side of salsa dancing?  I’ll take it.  We went jogging on the track, swimming in the pools, dancing in the clubs, and even visited the gym to check it out.  Overall, cruises make me happy 😀

Oh, and if you go to the service desk when you first get on the boat, and tell them you have special dietary requirements – they tell the kitchen! And at your dinner time, since you have the same wait staff every night, they come up to you and alert you that they were told about your food preferences.  I was offered to select an entirely vegan cooked meal not on the menu for every single night.  The only caveat was that I had to let them know the night before, but they usually gave me two or three choices to pick from.

Needless to say, I will be cruisin’ more often for vacations!  Less work for food prep, and fresh fruit around the clock! Sign me up!

 

Chickpea Salad

 

IMG_20150401_162831

 

This Chickpea salad was modified from Oh She Glows.  The origional has additional ingredients like onion, pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.  My sister and I chose to make this salad with other ingredients because we like the flavors of carrots and tomatoes better.  Either way, I am sure the original is great too! It was simple to make, and easy to modify, which makes it a perfect salad to me!

This Asparagus Soup IS AMAZING

IMG_20150121_194657

So I was going through some blogs and looking for something creamy and filling on my vegan diet.  I found an asparagus soup over at the Vegangela blog and I noticed that the ingredients list was short (perfect), and there was lots of simmering and not much stirring (also perfect).  I decided to give it a try.

Now, asparagus tastes great, don’t get me wrong, but it totally tastes like veggies.  A very distinct veggie taste.  I was apprehensive about the recipe, especially since I had to use ALL the asparagus in my fridge, and I didn’t want to waste it.

I didn’t weigh out the asparagus like it said to in the recipe, and I used 32 ounces of veggie stock, instead of the 5 cups, because that was the size of the container I had.  I soaked my cashews in water, and cooked for the full 20 minutes, maybe even longer because I got distracted on the phone with my friend 🙂

This soup is amazing.  Thank you Angela at Vegangela for sharing this on your blog.  I recommend everyone make it if they are looking for a nice, filling, warm soup.  Smooth and delicious!  Looking forward to trying more recipes from your site Angela!

The Vegan Has Landed

For the last few years I have been an on again off again vegetarian. I know for a fact that I feel better when I am a vegetarian. The “off again” part comes from my taste for steak and meat dishes that I have eaten for the past 26 years of my life. It also comes from the fact that trying to live on a vegetarian diet correctly is difficult. Everyone has their own idea of what is correct and what isn’t, so here’s mine: If I am a vegetarian peppersand eating all sorts of chips, bagels, refined grains, and pastas, then I don’t want to be a vegetarian – I’d rather just eat the meat; If I am a vegetarian eating large salads, fruits, and limiting my refined carbohydrates and added sugars, then I am happy.

 

It’s a challenge to balance being a vegetarian and social obligations, including work and holidays. Also being on the run, and not just constantly eating granola bars (which I don’t approve of), is hard too! Especially when you are hungry – you should never starve yourself! I crave bagels, and those large soft pretzels when I do this. I just don’t want to be a vegetarian for the wrong reasons. I don’t want to be a vegetarian to indulge in highly processed goods that cause me to crave them again and again, and enjoy them not only for their taste, but also because they are acceptable and easy to fit in my bag – with minimal preparation.

 

Everyone I surround myself with eats meat. I’ve heard that you are an average of the five or so people closest to you, but I disagree – at least in my eating styles. I don’t have any vegan or vegetarian friends, but I do love the people close to me and I’m not giving them up! So keeping up this lifestyle, especially when those I live with make different dinners, is another challenge entirely.

 

On Christmas I got a Ninja Blender. Normally I don’t like blending things, because nothing ever gets blended correctly. Also I don’t like cold drinks in New England freezing winters. I asked for a blender anyway, and I got it. This was part of my latest plan – to be vegetarian again!

 

Not only have I been vegetarian since using my blender a few days after Christmas, but I have just switched, only 5 days ago, to a fully vegan diet.

 

All of my circumstances are still the same. I still have the same friends, and live with the same people, who eat differently. Friends and strangers alike ask me about my eating style (not just now- but before when I was vegetarian as well), and sometimes it’s exhausting sticking up for myself. People ask me “how” and “why” and although I have read many books, and taken nutrition and biochemistry courses, it’s hard to get the facts straight when explaining to friends. They start with a simple question, I answer, they challenge, I answer, they get deeper and deeper into questioning me as though I am supposed to be a world renowned nutritionist, and eventually I throw my hands up and explain that I really don’t know all the answers. I just know that I feel better when eating this way. And then somehow my explanation is not academically or socially correct.

All this because I packed my own meals, didn’t eat the main dish, or asked for a vegetarian option. See how it can be challenging?

 

Here I am again, but this time, being more extreme. Being vegan will help me rid myself of those cravings. It’s already been 5 days. I am fine. I am more than fine. I am happy, well rested, and motivated. I am motivated to find a new community of people to share my journey with, both on the web and in person.