Vegetarianism: my life loving veggies!

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10 out of my 20 years on this planet, I have been a dedicated vegetarian.
That’s right! Half of my life, I have been a veggie-belly. Not only am I incredibly proud to say this, but I love my lifestyle.
I often get asked
‘Do you eat fish?’
‘How do you get your protein?’
‘You must miss bacon.’
And several other annoying, obnoxious questions.. Almost as annoying as when people think its okay to grab and prod at my tattoos, or call them ‘tatts or ink’. No, just sit down and shut up please.

When I was younger, I did often struggle to find nutritious ways of eating.. Pasta, cheese, and bread are always easy. Thank goodness for my mother, who is very health and nutrition based, took it upon herself to educate not only us- but also my father and her, into eating a wholesome vegetarian lifestyle.
I do not eat fish, but on occasion I do eat eggs. So I guess you could say I am an ovo-vegetarian. Their not apart of my everyday food intake-but I do enjoy them. I try to only eat eggs from a neighbors farm, and stick to free range. No, I do not miss bacon! Why would I with all the delicious substitutes on the market now a days!? And to be honest.. I don’t even remember the taste.
I also always have a good vegan protein on hand for my workouts or mixed with fruits in a smoothie as a meal replacement. Whey and casein hurt my stomach, and I believe over the years I have built up an intolerance to dairy/lactose. I don’t drink milk, and I eat very little cheese, but when I do I am sick for hours.
Some of my favorite ways to get protein are:
Beans/Legumes: Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, edamame/soy beans, navy beans you name it! I love them all. There are some AWESOME recipes for veggie burgers made with beans too. They can be delicious on their own, or in soups/chillis, baked, or even made into sweet baked goods like brownies. (Don’t knock it till you try it!)

Whole grains: Like quinoa and brown rice, these can be a staple food in meals. You can also make veggie patties with them! I’m a big veggie patty lover.

Tofu/Soy: While I’m not a big fan of soy milk, I absolutely love tofu!! It’s good in stirfrys, soups, grilled. It’s also a main ingredient in many dairy free cheeses, faux-‘meats’ and one of my favorites- tempeh! On the less savory side, they also make soy yogurts and ice creams! Tofu can also be blended and added to make creamy sauces- like vegan alfredo or mac&cheez!

Nuts, Seeds and Nut butters: I’ve said it before and I will say it again I LOOOVE PEANUT BUTTER! Almond butter is a close second. I also love cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia! Vegan milks are also made from nuts and seeds, my favorites being almond and flax. 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter contain 8g of protein- and it’s convenient. You can easily grab some nuts at a corner store or grocery and snack on them.

Seitan and Meat substitutes: Usually made of a combination of soy protein and wheat protein (so not gluten free) I have found various products I love- and a lot that are gross. It’s all trial and error! Once you find what you can enjoy, the possibilities are endless. Faux chicken, veggie ground round, hot dogs, I’ve even seen up and coming faux sea food products!

Protein supplements: My personal favorites have been anything with sprouted brown rice, pea protein and hemp. Again, I am not very big on soy milk OR protein (in a powdered form), but it’s all up to your taste buds.

Being a vegetarian started for me after coming across PETA video on animal cruelty (A la KFC.. Which my dad thoroughly enjoys and loves). That scared me, and made me think.
People really don’t think a lot about animals. Now, I have no problem with people who eat meat, my boyfriend is by vegetarian and cooks meat in our home. But people often gorge, and take advantage of what we have around us. Meat is not a necessity- but people have made it out to be that way. The quote ‘If slaughterhouses had windows, a lot more people would be vegetarian’ comes to mind when I talk to people about this topic. So many in humane practices go on in the meat industry- and that is why I am a vegetarian. I cannot stand the stupidity in society who try and fight on this matter.
If your someone who does want to keep meat a part of your diet- research it. Buy from local butchers, and farms. Though the price may be a bit higher than the average grocery store- your getting your money’s worth, for food that is proper, and not pumped full of chemicals and water, fed grain till they burst, or stuffed in stalls with various other animals living in their own filth.
Knowledge is power my friends.

Now to get back on topic! Experiment! Have fun with your food. I have had a lot of downfalls and A+’s in my vegetarian cooking/eating life. The best part of cooking healthy, is finding out what you enjoy. I love food and cooking, and I think that’s what makes food so much fun for me!
I will post a lot more vegetarian recipes soon, I promise! Still feeling not so great today 😪 so once I am back in tip top shape- let the veggie masterpieces begin!!!

Xo Caity

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Juice Monkey

Juice monkey.. That funky monkey! Juice monkey junkie, that funky monkey!

Jamming to some Beastie Boys this morning on my day off. Can’t help it but sing this song every time I’m juicing up something yummy! Even if I’m adding my own words to benefit myself..
Juicing has become quite popular in my house, and it’s one of my favorite things to do with my mum on Mondays. It’s apart of our ‘healthy ritual‘ to start the week off right!!
Did you know, juicing can help your body to better absorb the nutrients in veggies and fruits? As well as cleanse, boost your immune system, act as a nutrient rich jolt of energy, help to get rid of fruits and veggies on the verge of going bad, and for all of those who don’t like vegetables/fruits; get them into their diet without knowing (perfect for kids).

This mornings juice is filled to the brim with super tasty and healthy goodies!
Purple Kale:
Nicknamed ‘the queen of greens’ this leafy veggie is rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A, C and K, copper, manganese, potassium, iron, and phosphorous. It has also been said to be a cancer fighter, and is low in calories. It is a power house of healthy properties!!

Apple: Crunchy, sweet and tart, this fruit is anything but ‘forbidden’!!
They help to aid in bone protection, lower cholesterol, lower the body’s need for insulin, and also have cancer fighting properties.

Peach: High in fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron and are a sweet treat-without the added calories. That’s just peachy if you ask me!

Carrot: Not just for rabbits guys- while many studies have also showed these orange beauties prevent cancer, they also improve vision, prevent heart disease, nourish the skin, help to clean your teeth and are a anti aging veggie!!

Ginger: This powerful herb has been viewed as a natural remedy for various ailments over the centuries. From cancer to migraines, cramps, heartburn, colds and flu! It’s a natural pain killer, is a pungent flavoring that can be used in various dishes, and has been proven to be one of the plants with the highest amounts of antioxidants! A little goes a looong way too.

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My juice was even smiling at me today!!! Haha, almost at least. Then, when we decided we needed a liiitle more oomph and liquid to it.. We threw in a sweet potato.

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Fibre, Vitamin B6&A,C, and E, potassium, beta-carotene. One medium sweet potato provides your body with with its complete recommended amount of Vitamin A, and are also cancer fighters. This juice is just a cancer fighting vitamin enriched machine! Delicious, nutritious, and a filling way to begin your day.
The only downfalls to juicing, are that some fibre can get lost due to the pulp that is left out after squeezing all the nutrients out of your produce.. Which leads to the other downfall: it leaves behind a LOT of pulp.. But, that pulp can be recycled into baked goods, including muffins and even pancakes, or frozen in cubes for using in broths later!

I’ll drink to that.
Xo Caity

Coconut lemon Energy bites

After our long hike out to Raft cove and back, I realized.. We really should have thought into snacks. The trail is about 35 minutes through uphill-downhill scales, twists, turns, roots, fallen trees, staircases and bridges, which lead to one of the only sandy beaches this end of Vancouver Island!

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I’m not sure what was going on in the first picture.. But drunk yoga was taking place.

The morning after, we were starvin’ Marvin. I was hating myself for not having packed something healthy and snacking for the track back.. And this revelation came once home to my den of inequity.

Lemon-coconut energy bites
-1 cup oats, blend into flour
-1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (plus extra for rolling)
-12 pitted dates, chopped
-1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin seed butter
-1/4 cup lemon juice (plus another 2 for consistency)

1– Blend your oats into a flour like consistency.

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2-Add your coconut to the mixture and blend again. My magic bullet likes to sometimes not thoroughly mix!

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3– Throw in your chopped dates. Make sure they are pitted as well, don’t want any accidental issues in the blender. This will begin to make a paste- but you will need more liquid.

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4-Warm up your 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed butter. This will greatly help it to mix! Blend, and stir with a spatula.

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5-Start pouring in your lemon juice, carefully, and blending between. I needed this much liquid, but you may not need it depending on your ingredients. I felt I needed this much at least!

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6– Spoon out, and roll with hands into little bite sized balls! Roll in coconut, and your done ☺

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My recipe made 10, one of which I definitely ate.. Cause you have to test taste 😉 These are so good! Not to toot my own horn or anything. Super lemony, and great texture. I love anything lemon, so I often go over board with the lemon. So you can substitute water for the extra lemon if you don’t like things as tart as I do!!
Happy munching 🍋😘

xo Caity

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Breakfast shakes, the perfect solution to a morning starting late

This summer, I feel like I have been doing nothing but waking up late. Usually, I am up at 6:30, get my workouts in, clean my house, dishes, get some laundry in and I’m out the door by 9:35 heading to work.
But it seems like no amount of my much needed java can break me from my tired zombie state.

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So on days like these (which have been coming more often than not..)
I need something quick in the mining that will fill me without weighing me down. My go to is a perfect breakfast smoothie!!!
Today’s concoction included a few of my favorite’s:

0% Greek yogurt– fat free, thick, adds richness to your shakes, and is an awesome base.
Flax milk– I just recently discovered this stuff and love it. I thought it would be quite a bit like rice milk, which I do not like, but it’s FAR from it! Balanced taste, not a significant flavor, but earthy all to its own. Plus, fibre galore!
Raspberries– these little sweeties are not only fat burners, vitamin c (amongst other vitamins), antioxidants as flavonoids, their also super tasty (Im sure you knew that though!)
Spinach– Popeyes was right on this one, spinach is an anti inflammatory, protects your eyes, promotes healthy skin, and is low calorie! About 7 calories per cup.
Blueberry greens– this is my go to, all time favorite smoothie add!! (Besides nut butter!) High in more antioxidants, this powder increases energy and vitality, improves your over all cardiovascular wellness, protective nutrients for all sorts of good things (younger healthy skin, vision, fights toxins in your body) and the flavor is phenomenal. It makes anything taste like dessert!
Almond-Cashew butter– Almonds are a fabulous source of calcium for vegetarians/vegans and everyone! They also lower cholesterol, provide healthy fats (aid in weight loss), nourish the nervous system and lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after a meal- while cashews hold heart protective healthy fats, are high in magnesium and copper.

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My recipe:
*3/4 cup 0% strawberry Greek yogurt
*1 cup raspberries
*3 rounded teaspoons Blueberry Greens
*1/2 cup flax milk
*Handful of spinach
*1 tablespoon nut butter
Top it off with water, and add a few drops of stevia I used Valencia orange from SweetLeaf.
Blend and enjoy! Ohhh the benefits of a Magic Bullet ✨

Have a good morning everyone ☺
Xo Caity

Pursuit of happiness

These past few months have been a huge awakening for me.
I cut refined sugar from my diet (which has made a huge difference!), cut down on my lactose intake as I realized how much it really affects my over all well being, and increased my workout program back to where it used to be!
I have been so incredibly happy. After living on my own awhile, and working full time, I really started to let myself down.. And not go for runs, or go to the gym. Or eat the foods my body needed, only the stuff my body wanted. I gained quite a bit of weight and realized
What am I doing to myself. I’m not even happy being this way, I’m only happy in the moment, and I want MY body back!
So I decided I would take my temple back, and replenish it with nutrients, spoil it with praise when I had done well, and push myself to my limits.
These are a few progress picture over the last few months. All I want is to be happy, and fit. I don’t want to be my old self, where I was working myself to exhaustion and eating very little.. Fighting with calories and starving myself for the days I had one little guilty moment. I want to be the best me I can be!

7 weeks ago

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One week ago

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Though these may be small steps.. Rome wasnt built in a day. I couldn’t be happier and more proud of myself. 😋❤