Monday, July 13, 2015

Sensory Deprivation Tanks... Experience Absolutely Nothing!

Tank Action is Ottawa's first and only flotation spa and I had the wonderful opportunity to try out a session. Their location is a beautiful and clean space with a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of clean towels to go around. Their services, however, are completely unique. They have sensory deprivation tanks that block out all sensation, creating an environment to bring you to the deepest relaxation level while still being conscious.


Inside the 5x8 feet tanks, there is no sound, no light, and no sense of feeling at all. The water in the tank contains thousands of pounds of Epsom salts, causing your body to float completely, and is heated to the same temperature as your body. This type of therapy has helped people who deal with stress, chronic pain, mental and physical illnesses. Learn more about floating here.


Friday, June 26, 2015

An inside look at Green Beaver Company

Note: This is a repost of my original article written for the terra20 blog.

Green beaver is a family-owned natural products company that has been around for 13 years. They prioritize using local, organic and natural ingredients which reduce harmful chemical exposure to humans as well as reducing environmental impact on the planet.


20150428_144850.jpgBefore starting the business, Alain and his wife Karen were working in the chemical industry. It wasn't until they were starting a family that they really became concerned about the dangers of harsh chemicals. To create more choices for those looking to make a change, they started Green Beaver.


When developing the products, they made sure everything was in line with their ethical standards. They do not test on animals, nor do they use animal ingredients in the products (with the exception of the local organic beeswax in the sunscreens and lip balms). They also do not use any palm oil in any of their products for ecological and ethical reasons. They want everyone to be able to safely use the products, which is why they chose to have a gluten-free facility and the majority of the products are nut-free as well. Green Beaver has an open-door policy; they have nothing to hide and encourage visits to their factory.
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Launch: Will Travel For Vegan Food

My friend Kristin wrote a book! And it’s officially out in the world as of today!! If you enjoy REAL life stories about adventure, following your dreams, travel, and inspiration definitely get your hands on a copy of... Will Travel for Vegan Food : A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, & Make Love 
http://amzn.to/1HxkI0l


Watch the trailer:




I’m absolutely in love with this memoir! Talk about inspiration and following your dreams!!
Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/1HxkI0l

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Matcha Series: Green Milk In My Cereal

I've been relying on cereal bowls the past couple of weeks. It's a quick breakfast fix that can be just as healthy (or not!) as you make it. 


This is my favorite combo right now: organic puffed rice cereal, coconut shreds, hemp seeds, walnut pieces and green milk. Green milk, you say? That's my secret to adding an extra boost of nutrition and flavor. Oh and let's not forget the healthy levels of caffeine to kickstart the day ;) See the recipe below.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Favourite Cookbooks for Gift-Giving

It seems like every year I consistently have cookbooks on my wish list. Even with all the new ones coming out, there's always the handful that you keep going back to. I've rounded up a few of my favorites that are perfect for gift-giving.



This year's shopping list will be so easy!

For the Italian (at heart): Comforting recipes for the creamy pasta lovers.
Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Whole Foods opens in Ottawa!

Brace yourself for the visual feast you're about to enjoy. Whole Foods has just opened in Ottawa at the new Landsdowne Park/TD Place. With a plethora of amazing vegan and organic choices, the grand opening was a big success.


I could't resist this sale on organic bananas

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beauty Review: Bare English & Co.

In my previous Bare English & Co review, I raved about the wonderful texture of these vegan lip balms from Toronto. With organic ingredients and tea infusions, the non-toxic formula is the best I've come by. My friends at Bare English & Co just came out with 5 new flavors and I'm so excited to share these with you!


They currently have 7 flavors available;

Friday, October 24, 2014

Field Roast in Canada

As some of you know, the Health Canada has recently ceased the distribution of Feild Roast products in Canada. This brand makes great tasting and nutrition-dense vegetarian sausages using wheat, vegetables and all-natural ingredients. I met the Field Roast President, David, at Toronto's VegFoodFest in September and this is were I first learned of this news.

President David Lee and I at Toronto's VegFoodFest


Here is a quick update on their status and what you can do about it:

In a recent email from Field Roast, they state:
We have continued to receive a great amount of feedback and support from Canada over the weeks since ceasing distribution. Our Canadian customers are near and dear to the heart of Field Roast and we understand that our products are in high demand, which is why we continue to work towards a resolution. We recently sent a letter to the CFIA and Health Canada, asking for an exemption to sell our products in Canada while they work to reform the outdated regulations. For those who wish to take action, there is an online petition circulating to change flawed standards for vegetarian meats in Canada.

The current regulations from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada categorize the Feild Roast products as “simulated meat products” and thus requires the brand to re-label their products as so. In addition, this category of food requires a Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) study (using animal testing methods) to measure protein ratios in comparison to animal meats. If the product does not meet nutritional criteria, they would need to re-formulate the product adding synthetic supplements or vitamins.

If you want to stay updated on the progress, you can sign up for their “Field Roast in Canada” mailing list here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 Ingredient Recipe: French Toast

After finally unpacking most of my moving boxes from September, I pulled out my mom's old breadmaker and decided to give it a spin. I tried the recipe from Robin Hood that fit my machine size, substituting the butter for vegan margarine. It was so moist and delicious! The only problem with fresh bread is the preservation. It usually goes a bit stale after a day or two, but this is perfect for french toast! Here is my easy-peasy recipe.



Ingredients:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

VegFoodFest 2014: Part 3 - Sunday

For my third day in Toronto, I needed to get myself some breakfast since VegFoodFest started a little later. We went to Fresh Restaurant for a lovely breakfast of vegan pancakes, tofu scramble, tempeh bacon and a side of onion rings. Their almond milk latte is also amazing! I also loved the funky paint colors and chandeliers, it made for a fun atmosphere. 



Once at the Harbourfront where the festival is held, I attended Big Bald Mike's first ever public speaking event.

Friday, September 12, 2014

VegFoodFest 2014: Part 2 - Saturday

Saturday was a beautiful morning in Toronto heading to Day 2 of VegFoodFest hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association. If you haven't seen the previous post, here it is.


My breakfast consisted of Cookies & Cream Marshmallows and a Sticky Bun from Apiecalypse Now Bakery. Because who doesn't love an overload of sugar first thing in the morning!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

VegFoodFest 2014: Part 1 - Friday

Last year was my first time visiting Toronto's massive Vegetarian Food Festival (the biggest in North America!). I had such an amazing time and you can read all about it here. This year, I knew I had to go and experience it again. There is something magical about being surrounded by all these wonderful like-minded people.



My Friday night started off with Doug McNish doing a cooking demonstration of his Mac&Cheese. He showed us how to make a cheese sauce using butternut squash and nutritional yeast, then topped it off with some fresh breadcrumbs. So yummy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Matcha Series: Saturday Morning Pancakes

My prefect Saturday morning includes pancakes and a movie, with the inevitable cuddles from furry babies.



I've tried lots of pancake recipes in the past, and it has resulted in quite a few kitchen disasters. My favourite so far is the one in Chloe Coscarelli's cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen. Using this, I've developed my own version that can be pre-mixed and handy when needed. This is my pancake mix recipe:



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beauty Review: Lush Cosmetics


A little while ago I did a beauty haul post of many Lush Cosmetics products. Now that I've had time to use them and really experience them, I'm spilling all the beans in this review.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Matcha Series: The Green Banana (2-in-1 Recipe)

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Kiss Me Organics to try their wonderful organic matcha powder. For those of you who don't know, matcha is simply green tea leaves that are ground down to a fine powder. Instead of steeping and straining the tea leaves, you mix it with water or other liquids and drink it. This gives you much more nutritional value and antioxidant benefits than the steeping method.



Because there are SO many ways to use matcha, I wanted to share multiple recipes to use it in. For the first recipe in this series, I give you a very simple and easy smoothie recipe which can also be tweaked into an ice-cream recipe.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Vegan Cuts Tea Lovers Box Video

I jumped on the opportunity to get a sweet special edition box from Vegan Cuts... Tea Lovers! This was such a cool idea, and I'm sharing my findings with you in this video.



Products in this special edition tea box:

Simply Straws - Special Vegan Cuts Engraved Straw

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Favourites

Hi guys! It's June already and I'm excited to share with you some of my favourite products.



Here are the products mentionned:

Cheeky Monkey - Anna's Eurotrash

Thursday, May 29, 2014

VeganCuts May Beauty Box Unboxing

I just made my first YouTube video! I wanted to share what I received in the May edition of the VeganCuts Beauty Box. Enjoy!



Products in this month's beauty box:

Lauren Brooke Cosmetics Mascara

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fried Bananas

Sushi is one of those things that you either love it or hate it. For me, it's an incredible love that sometimes turns abusive (all-you-can-eat is dangerous). One of the highlights of a sushi outing is the fried bananas for dessert, so I set out to re-create them in the simplest way possible.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Repost: There's Bacon in my Cupcake!

As some of you may know, I have recently teamed up with some fabulous ladies to form a blog called The Mindful Mavens. It was started as a way to share various vegan lifestyle options available in Ottawa, including food, businesses, events, etc. Click here to learn more about who we are. I recently wrote this post, which is about cupcakes. Look how gorgeous they are!


The two ladies at The Compassionate Rabbit know how to make a good vegan cupcake. Inspired by their pet rabbits, they aim to share love and compassion through delicious vegan treats. Willing to take on a new challenge, they went to their Facebook fans to decide on a new flavor. It just so happens that they chose mine! What was this winning flavor? Well, Maple Bacon of course.
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Not only did they succeed on the flavor notes and a great coconut bacon recipe, but they went above

Thursday, February 6, 2014

5 Ingredient Recipe: Miso Soup For One

It's February and it's still cold outside, not a big surprise. Here in Ottawa, we do plenty of crazy things to keep warm, but nothing warms me up like a nice big bowl of soup. Not only is it delicious, but miso soup is really like the holy grail of soup. It's got the perfect mix of salty broth, sweet onions and tofu protein. And I happen to love Asian food. This recipe was incredibly easy and fast, you'll love it!



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beauty Review: Bare English Co. Lip Balms

Lip products and winter go together like peanut butter and jelly. We all know that finding a suitable lip balm is a harder task than it may initially seem. It needs the right scent, flavor, packaging etc.. but the right texture is one of its most important components. Achieving a smooth “non-sticky” application can be pretty tricky for producers of such products, especially without using any animal products or harmful chemicals (petroleum jelly, parabens, etc). Since the average woman consumes 2 kilograms (yep, that's kilos my friends) of lip products in her lifetime, it’s important to avoid nasty dangerous chemicals.  [Source: Terra20]




Like most women, I have a huge stash of lip products. They are hidden in every coat, every purse, hidden in drawers and pant pockets all around me. Also, vegans are always on the hunt for really good vegan lip balms, since they are sometimes hard to find. This is why I was so excited to have won a pack of 3 Bare English Lip Balms from Andrea Tomkins’ blog, A Peek Inside The Fishbowl. I put them to the test, and January is one of the best times to do this, in full blown Canadian winter. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

5 Ways To Like Salad More

We've all made resolutions to eat healthier. You start off great and then you realize all you've been eating is quinoa and lettuce. Let's talk salad... urgh. If vegans got pennies for every time they got offered a salad, they would be rich. *daydreaming*... But let's not get carried away here, the real issue today is salad's bad rep. In general, people don't love salad. We might enjoy it after a week of winter comfort foods (guilty), as a nice light lunch, etc. But we don't LOVE it, we don't lust after it. We seem to lack the excitement and enthusiasm that other foods give us, such as pancakes on a weekend morning. Here, I give you my tips to bring back that love for a big bowl of crunchy freshness.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5 Ingredient Recipe: Spiced Apple Pie Oatmeal

It's that time of year again! We start taking out our cozy scarves, hats and mitts. We crave warm and comforting meals... We've had our first real snowfall here in Ottawa, and now the holiday cheer is fully present everywhere. That's the only thing getting me through the cold weather. Well, that and my nights in, knitting and listening to jazzy holiday tunes.
This oatmeal recipe is perfect for this time of year. Yes, I know this is just another oatmeal recipe, but it's my go-to when I want something easy, warm and hearty. With only 5 ingredients, you have no excuses! And, who wouldn't want to eat apple pie for breakfast?