New Year’s Resolution- Three Goals to Live By

2014

Happy New Year Lovelies!!!

2014 is upon us and I’m excited for what this year has in store! I’ve looked over the goals that Hubby and I set for last year and I’m always impressed with what all we’ve accomplished! Each year I have three set goals that are standard. While most people dive right into the “Lose Weight” resolution, I prefer to focus on these three themes:

  • Be Healthy
  • Feel Confident
  • Get Fit

It’s my belief that if you do these three things, losing weight will come naturally. You have to remember that if you’re looking to look good, you have to CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE. Fad diets, temporary fasts, and skipping meals do not help you to permanently lose weight. Don’t get discouraged though! You can change your lifestyle and accomplish all these things easily by becoming vegan.

I don’t suggest diving right into being vegan unless you have a knack for being very disciplined. Fast, drastic changes don’t tend to last. So what do you do then?

  1. Start Small.
    -Replace your dinners with a vegan meal. Once you’re comfortable with that change, include lunch and transition to all meals and snacks being vegan.
    -Buy a Vegan Cookbook. Some of my favorites are The SuperMarket Vegan, Veganomicon, and The Four Ingredient Vegan for simple but tasty recipes.
  2. Try Something New.
    -Have you ever had a green smoothie? Sound gross? It’s not! Take out your blender and throw in some spinach or kale, some bananas, strawberries, and a little almond milk. Voila! Pure deliciousness and it’s oh so good for you!
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    -Look up vegan or vegetarian restaurants in your area and make an evening of it. Experience vegan culture and dining. You may find a new favorite place to eat! In Dallas, my favorite is Spiral Diner. In Austin, Casa De Luz.
  3. Be Realistic.
    -Results do not happen overnight, but if you’re new to being vegan, they will happen quickly. Make goals you know you can obtain like, try one new green smoothie a week or fill your fridge with the vegan basics. (Check out my starter grocery list)
    -If you set goals you can reach, even if they are just baby steps, you’ll feel accomplished and encouraged to continue pressing on.
  4. Stay Focused.
    -Don’t give up! It’s ok to hiccup every once in a while. Don’t guilt trip yourself. If you fall behind, make a new goal, find a friend to hold you accountable, and keep moving forward.
    -When you see results, you’re likely to stay on top of your goals. Post pictures of yourself or motivational quotes where you’re likely to see them every day.

Some other tips to help you get and stay on the right track are:
Stay away from sweets and meats.
Eat large when it comes to veggies and grains.
Exercise. Walk. Lift Weights. Target different muscles every day. Switch it up so you don’t get bored.

If you do the things listed above, you’re guaranteed to Be Healthy, Feel Confident, and Get Fit and isn’t that what you really want for your life? Not just this year? I believe in you!

If you’re trying one of these steps out, have a recipe to share, or would like some accountability, share with us on Facebook! As always, I love to hear stories and feedback!

Happy New Year Lovelies! I look forward to spending it with you! 🙂
– Cali 

Dr. Ian McDonald and The Vegan Option

Hello Lovelies!

The new year is approaching so fast! Are you ready? I don’t know if I am! To help you get started off with a great vegan resource this year, I’ve interviewed Dr. Ian McDonald from The Vegan Option internet radio show. His radio show/blog is quite inspirational, touching on all sides of veganism and even topics you wouldn’t think of at first like- Cats: Can they be vegan? After viewing his site and listening to some of his podcasts, I decided it would be nice to actually get to know this guy! So now, you can get to know him, too. 🙂

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Meet Ian: Q&A Session

Pic by Radka Bailey, Radiant Star Photography

Pic by Radka Bailey, Radiant Star Photograph
I’m a British new media person with a passion for radio, and interested in the kind of stories best told when we see humans as part of the world of animal minds. I blogged about why I’m producing The Vegan Option.
  • What was your inspiration for becoming a vegan?

As a late teen, I was curious and questioning about values and faiths, reading widely. I consumed Gandhi’s autobiography one summer; and before the new University year, I was faced with my student hall registration form. I had to tick a box to say whether my meals would be vegetarian, and this made me realise how trivial the decision was for me. So I ticked it.

My omnivorous mother, and her mother, often reminded me of my hypocrisy in eating milk and eggs. I think they wanted me to abandon my hypocrisy by abandoning vegetarianism. That didn’t quite work – I went vegan couple of years later.

  • What has been the most difficult thing you’ve experienced with veganism?

With veganism itself?

I try to base my reporting on evidence. I think veganism is a rational ethic that follows on from what science tells us about the suffering of others and our place in the animal kingdom. So I do sometimes find it a bit difficult to keep confronting ideas that have no basis in evidence – and yet find an accepting home amongst the vegan community.

  • How did your family react to the change?

Perhaps this is unfair, but I think I remember a sigh and an eye-roll. I didn’t give them much warning. But my mum always looks after her offspring well when we visit, and now has a stock of great vegan recipes.

  • How did The Vegan Option come about?

I fell in love with radio when I managed to get myself onto a BBC introductory course, and was told I had a talent for it. I then got involved in festival radio, as well as a spot of interviewing for a national technology show.

The Vegan Option itself sprang out of plans by Dr Diana Fleischman and myself to do a podcast. But we wanted to do two differents kinds of show, with Diana preferring something more opinionated, unscripted, and informal. So I built a format around that contrast. Being a bit serious I’m always better alongside a co-host (thus far Diana, Erin, or Catherine) who can puncture my pretensions.

  • Can you give us the link and tell us about your favorite show you’ve done so far?

I can’t pick on one, because I like different shows in different ways.

In terms of showing that The Vegan Option really stands alongside other public radio, I’m proud of the Palm Oil show because it’s a solid piece of current affairs; and of holding Eric Weisman to account over the unsubstantiated claims he uses to sell his cat food.

But it was also a real privilege to do the first interview with the UK’s 3 vegan MPs, to share my enthusiasm for science fiction and how it relates to animal ethics; and to share the incredible story of blind medieval Syrian philosopher-poet Al-Ma’arri with todays’ top vegan rebel poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

The listeners, on the other hand, seem to prefer Judgemental!

  • Did you find the transition from a normal diet to veganism difficult?

Not particularly. I was relatively new to cooking for myself anyway at the time. I bought a bunch of recipe books!

  • How does the vegan diet vary in the UK from the US?

My experience of the US fairly limited. People are individuals, but I think veganism in the UK is more strongly rooted in animal ethics; whereas in the US there are more people following the diet purely for health reasons. My perception is that Americans are more likely to call someone who follows a vegan diet but not a vegan philosophy “a vegan”; whereas Brits are more likely to use the words strictly for someone who follows the philosophy.

Pic by Sebastian Schmidt, http://gallery.short-world.de/

Pic by Sebastian Schmidt, http://gallery.short-world.de/

  • What’s your favorite vegan recipe?

I think that if you need to look up the recipe, you obviously don’t know it by heart, and it can’t be your favourite! My staple favourite is to stir-frying some onion, kale, and tomato together and putting it into a wrap with avocado.

But if I’m actually cooking a proper meal, I do like the seitan shepherdess pie from Veganomicon. But I still need to look at the recipe.

  • What advice can you give to people considering the vegan lifestyle?

It’s easy if you know what you’re doing; so reach out and get both the social and practical support that’s right for you. Know that the practical support ranges from pre-packaged vegan junk food to hearty recipes with high street ingredients; and that there are vegans like you whether you worship Allah, the old Norse gods, or Richard Dawkins. But try to get health advice from reliable sources (I’m constantly impressed by Jack Norris RD’s veganhealth.org).

And go for it 🙂

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I’m so incredibly thankful for Dr. Ian giving us his time and answering our questions. I hope you lovelies will listen to his radio show and enjoy his blog! I know I have and will continue to! Happy New Year Lovelies!

~Cali

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A Week of Juicing- Recipes Galore!

Hello Lovelies!

With the holidays surrounding us like crazy, it’s nice to let our bodies take a break while they can. Have you thought about juicing lately? Hubby and I occassionally juice for a week and these are my go to recipes. Some are from google searches, others from The Big Book of Juices and more recipe books. If you are new to juicing, just try doing it for one meal a day and slowly increasing until you feel confident you could handle it for at least 3-4 days. The first day or two your body goes through a detox stage which can be tiring and in all honestly, make even the best of us little grumps. 🙂 That being said, if you feel up to it, head to your local grocery store, stock up on some organic fruits and veggies, and get juicing! The recipes below are enough through a whole week of straight juicing, no meals. Enjoy Lovelies!

Orange Basic: 2 oranges, 1 apple, 3 carrots, 1 celery stick, and 1 in. ginger root

Capple Kiwi: 3 carrots, 1 apple, 2 kiwis

Minty Peach: 2 peaches, 1 apple, 1 lime, 1 bunch of mint

Carrot Deep Cleanser: 6 carrots, 1 apple, 1 beet, 2 celery sticks, 6 kale leaves

Water apple: 3 apples, 2 thick slices of watermelon, 1 lime

Apple Cleanser: 4 apples, 1 beet, 4 kale leaves, 2 celery sticks, 2/3  cucumber

Carrot Lift: 4 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 1 bunch of parsley, ½ lemon

Celery Jointaid: 3 celery, ½ pineapple, 1 in. ginger toot, 1 tbsp flaxseed oil

Williams Orange: 2 oranges, 2 pears

Digestaid: ½ pineapple, 1 thick slick of white(green) cabbage, 1 in. ginger root, 1 bunch of mint, 1 pear

Water, Water, Everywhere: 1 cucumber, 1 thick slice of watermelon

Blue Pear: 2 pears, 1 handful of blueberries, 1 handful of blackberries

Pear Dream- 3 pears, 4 apricots

Veggie Carotene Catapult: 3 carrots, 1 red bell pepper, 1 broccoli spear, ½ sweet potato

Green n’ Pearit: 8 broccoli spears, 3 celery sticks, 2 pears

Green Citrus: 2 handfuls of spinach, 2 celery sticks, 2 oranges

Green Piney Hit: 1 lg handful of spinach, 1 handful of parsley, 1 handful of mint, ½ pineapple

Green Waldorf: 5 kale leaves, 2 apples, 2 celery sticks, ½ tbsp. flaxseed oil

Becoming Vegan: Your starter grocery list

Hello Lovelies! Hubby and I were recently talking about the road to veganism and how intimidating it can be at first. With that in mind, I decided to write this post. I hope you enjoy! For those that are interested in becoming vegan, the grocery store can suddenly become a scary place if you aren’t prepared. It can also become very expensive if you go straight for all of the vegan substitutes out there. If you keep your lists and your diet simple, you don’t have to burn a whole in your pocket to become vegan. Below is a list of basic items I think every vegan should always have on hand. When you’re at the store, check the label for everything. Click here for a fantastic article on what to avoid when reading label.

  • Almond, soy, rice, or coconut milk (I prefer Almond milk; my hubby prefers Very Vanilla Soy Milk by Silk)
  • Vegan butter- Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light w/Flaxseed Oil (cheaper option)
  • Bananas- great to add to Oatmeal, baked items, frozen and blended as an ice cream, or just for a snack!
  • Apples- make apple sauce, use as an egg replacement when baking sweets, or snack time!
  • Oranges- I love to make homemade orange juice. Check out some juicing recipes here.
  • Carrots- Enjoy in juices, salads, stir fry dinners, or just as a quick snack
  • Spinach- Wonderful green addition to smoothies!
  • Onions- Ummm, perfect for anything?! Right? 🙂
  • Potatoes: russett and yams- Especially around the holidays
  • Veganaise- optional*
  • Tofurkey Deli style meat- optional*
  • Daiya Cheese- optional*
  • Nut Butters- Peanut, Almond, Tahini
  • Bread
  • Brown Rice
  • Beans- Try them all! Black, Garbanzo, Pinto, the list goes on and on….
  • Lots of Fruits and Veggies- I highly suggest trying a new fruit or vegetable once a week until you are familiar with all your grocer or local farmers market has to offer
  • Quick Oats
  • Vitamin B-12– Plant based products do not produce B-12, therefore it is highly important that vegans supplement this vitamin. Please view the link!
  • Soy sauce
  • Whole grain cereals- Make sure to check the ingredients!
  • Granola- Breakfast or on the go snack
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Vegetable Broth
*These items are substitutes for items we would normally buy on the typical American diet. These types of items are what will rack up your grocery bill in a heartbeat. As a new vegan, you may enjoy these products during your transition phase, but I encourage you to lean more towards whole, unprocessed, natural foods as you journey further into veganism.
Where to shop: Whole Foods, Central Market, Sprouts, any natural grocer, farmers market, or local grocery store (though natural/health food stores are preferred).
How vegan do you want to be? The stores listed above also have vegan beauty and health products that are cruelty free. These items can also be a bit more expensive, but if you have the funds to do so, you’re doing a great justice for the animals in the world. Keep a look out for these symbols on the bottle:
Becoming a vegan doesn’t have to be crazy expensive or an over dramatized experience. It can be a fun, experimental process. If you find yourself craving a non-vegan dish, start googling. It’s very easy to find vegan versions of dishes all over the web. You may find vegan versions you like quite a bit more than the standard version!.
If you are already a vegan and have a constant item you get at the grocery store, please share and let me know what all you use it for! I’d love to hear your experience!
-Cali

Holiday Pies- Mm mm good!

Fall/Winter has always been my favorite time of the year, partially because my birthday is this month, but more so because I looooove to cook!
Some of my non-negotiable recipes for the holidays are:
Sweet potato casserole, Green bean casserole, Mac N CheezeVegan Fluffy Rolls, and some sort of dessert. This year I’m going to be trying a new green bean casserole recipe along with an additional recipe- this tasty Pumpkin Lasagna with a Creamy Basil sauce!
If you follow me on Instagram (@lovelyveganladies),
 you probably saw my delicious pies I posted a few nights ago. 😉
I’ve never made a pie before this year so I was very excited to try my hand at it. I cheated a little bit with the apple pie, because I just bought a pie filling at the grocery store. The crust is homemade though so I’ll be happy to share that portion. I’m proud to say that the pumpkin pie is completely from scratch! So, without further adieu, RECIPES.  🙂
Apple Pie Recipe
**Crust:
2 cups all purpose or pastry flour
tsp salt
1 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used Smart Balance: Light w/Flaxseed Oil)
1/2 cup Almond milk (other milk substitutes can be used as well)
In a food processor, mix the flour and salt together. Add the margarine and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add almond milk and blend until well combined and dough forms. Remove dough, roll into a two dough balls and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take out the dough and with rolling pin, roll one of the balls out into a 10-11 inch circle. Gently lay the dough into a 9 inch baking pan (it will droop over the edges). Roll out the second ball into more of a rectangular shape. You’ll want to cut out 14 strips of dough about 10 inches long and about an inch thick. Pour your apple pie filling (I used Lucky Leaf Premium Apple Pie Filling) and spread it evenly. Begin laying your strips over the filling. I started in the middle and wove on strip over and under another to get the look pictured above. Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
**Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This recipe is quicker to make than the apple pie, simply because you do not have to refrigerate the dough.
Crust:
1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp ice water
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the oil, vinegar, and water and stir until well blended. Press into your 9 inch baking pan.
Filling:
1 14-oz can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinammon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, blend together all of the filling ingredients until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar evenly over top and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve at room temperature.
**Recipes are adapted from La Dolce Vegan!
I truly hope you enjoy these recipes and this time of year!
-Cali

Coming Soon!

The new Lovely Vegan Ladies site is coming soon! You may see posts pop up here and there, along with posts I’ve done on previous sites. The finished product will be available in January 2014!

Until then you can find me on:

Instagram- @lovelyveganladies
Twitter- @lovelyvegladies
Pinterest
Tumblr
Like us on Facebook

See you soon Lovelies!

Cali
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