Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NATURAL DOGGY TOOTHPASTE

So recently we had to take one of our girls to get a good teeth cleaning and that certainly killed the wallet, but it was very necessary, close to the point of emergency. Terrible, I know. Our pets are our responsibility and it is important to take care of them in every way, including oral health. Just as in humans, oral health is so important for overall health and so teeth brushing is just as important in dogs. 

After Clara got her teeth cleaned we got a sample of some dog toothpaste which both of our girls loved and that certainly made teeth brushing easy. I just ran out of the toothpaste and was about to go buy more when I thought of looking up a natural recipe online. I found one recipe and decided to make it vegan by removing one ingredient and viola, they loved it! 

INGREDIENTS
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
- 1/4 cup coconut oil 

PREPARATION
1. Make sure coconut oil is solid at room temperature, if not put in fridge for 10 minutes. 
2. Mix all ingredients and put in glass (not plastic) container to store. 


* The toothpaste can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks.
* Only use a little toothpaste for each brushing and avoid letting your dog eat large amounts of the toothpaste.
* If you are worried about the ingredients and wonder how it will affect your dogs health then do some research before trying this recipe. I personally looked stuff up and found out that this recipe is safe and healthy for dogs in small doses. To be extra safe feel free to ask your vet before trying this recipe.
* UPDATE* I mentioned this toothpaste to a vet and she said it sounded great :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

ECO MARKET GUELPH - VEGFEST FUNDRAISER

Yesterday was the first day of the Guelph Resilience Festival! The Vegfest Guelph team got a table at the Eco Market to help raise money for Vegfest Guelph and raise awareness about the vegan lifestyle. The Eco Market & Community Connections Fair each year consists of different vendors that showcase different ways to help the environment and give people the resources and information to live a green lifestyle. Check out the different Eco Market vendors that were part of the festival this year.

I am so grateful to be part of the Vegfest Guelph planning committee. We are in the works of putting together the first ever vegan festival in Guelph for this September 2014. This was our first of many fundraiser events where we sold delicious baked goods, handed out a variety of literature on how to live the vegan lifestyle, and we were able to promote the vegan lifestyle to hundreds of people who came to our table throughout the day. It was such a successful day in that we were able to give others some basic knowledge pertaining to the vegan lifestyle, knowledge I personally wish I was given so many years ago.



A special thanks to Fairly Frosted Vegan Bakery for taking part in our bake sale fundraiser. Thank you also to Danielle who was kind enough to donate some baked goods for this special event, your banana bread and brownies were fantastic. Thank you to one of our own, super-mom Kelly, who made delicious carrot cake loaves. 

Our table at the Eco Market :)
 
Literature to help educate others all 
about the beauty of a vegan lifestyle.
Becky and moi. 
Becky is currently raising money to go to Guatemala to volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation and conservation centre. Every donation counts. Please consider donating HERE for a great cause :)
 Nathan & Becky
Nathan did an exceptional job creating the Vegfest Guelph Website that was just launched earlier this week.
 Christine - Making vegan look extra good :)
Kelly & her adorable baby Anika, Robyn & moi
Trisha & Denise

GREAT JOB VEGFEST GUELPH!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

HOW TO BE A HEALTHY VEGAN

I miss blogging! Today I was asked by a friend to blog about how to be a healthy vegan. She wanted to know my workout routine and how I eat, I was flattered. Instead of doing that specifically I would like to talk about raw vegan eating, the 80/10/10 diet, juice cleansing and what I believe makes a healthy vegan.

I began my vegan lifestyle over 1.5 years ago after watching one video on Youtube (Gary Yourofsky- The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear). I remember getting comments from family and friends likes "oh it's just another diet", "it's just a phase", "there is no way you are going to be vegan forever" etc... Well time will only prove to others what is in my heart, but vegan is not a diet fad to those who are truly vegan. Some people may be looking for a way to lose weight and cut meat and dairy out of their diet for some time, or for a long time, but they may also continue to use animals for clothing or purchase products that have been tested on animals. Some people may want to eat healthy and turn to a vegan diet, which is wonderful but that does not necessarily mean they live a vegan lifestyle. A vegan lifestyle does not include ANY harm towards ANY animals, it is not a selective diet.

After I began my vegan lifestyle I began to do more research on how to eat vegan and be a healthy vegan. I came across raw food, the 80/10/10, juice cleanses and green smoothie diets. I was raw vegan for a couple months, I even did a 30 day 80/10/10 low fat raw vegan challenge (see blog), I did a 6 day juice cleanse and for a period of time I was having green smoothies religiously. Why am I no longer 100% raw vegan? Why do I still not eat the 80/10/10 way? Why do not I not have green smoothies every morning anymore?

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A HEALTHY VEGAN?
My answer to this question is simple. A healthy vegan to me is someone who eats a variety of foods, has a healthy mind and makes time for physical activity. A healthy vegan means to embrace the lifestyle fully, not to be ashamed or worried about what others think, not to change for other people, to be true to oneself.

Variety of Foods
I got stuck in a restrictive diets such as raw vegan, 80/10/10, juice cleansing or only having smoothies. Restrictive eating is very detrimental to ones overall health - mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. By restrictive diet I mean that I was very particular about what I ate, how much I ate, where I ate, when I ate etc...obsession = not healthy. I do believe that you can be healthy eating a raw diet as well as an 80/10/10 diet, but I know that for me it was the most unhealthy way of living I could have put myself through. I personally thrive on a diet filled with a variety of cooked and raw foods. I used to fear processed foods and sugar. Although it is healthy to eat a clean diet of organic whole foods I believe it is just as healthy to incorporate processed foods in moderation. Moderation and balance are key to healthy living. Restriction can lead to overeating and bingeing which can further lead to unhealthy neural pathways in the brain which lead to nasty habits and eating disorders (yes I have done my fair share of research). I try my best to eat organic, I eat raw and cooked foods, I eat processed foods and I practice mindful eating. Enjoy your food, do not get caught up in restrictive eating because it often leads to scary roads.

Healthy Mind
I believe a healthy mind is a positive mind, a mindful mind, a mind that knows how to take life and look at the bright side. A grateful mind is a healthy mind, a mind that reflects on the past instead of dwells on it. A mind that looks forward to the future instead of fears it. A healthy mind takes work in a world filled with so much fear. How to get a healthy mind: You have a healthy mind, you just need to get rid of all the junk and let it shine. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, being around positive people, achieving goals, letting go of destructive habits, embracing nature and its beauty --- all great ways to tap into your healthy mind. Live in the moment.

Physical Activity
I am not going to sit here and tell you you need to get a gym membership and set up a strict workout routine for yourself because honestly, that never worked for me. I LOVE exercising. Exercising has been a part of my daily routine forever. Get out for a hike, join a cycling group, sign up for some yoga classes, buy some exercise videos on days where the weather does not make the outdoors inviting or get a gym membership --- whatever floats your boat! Just make sure to get active daily because there are some incredible benefits and it will make life better in every way.

We all have the ability to thrive and live life to our fullest potential. Let go of what is holding you back, and embrace new ways of living that will help lift you up and allow you to soar.

Here are some pics from my Rawlicious date with my lovely sister :)

 FALAFEL SALAD
 HOUSE SALAD


BROWNIE YUM

BE TRUE TO YOU 

Friday, March 7, 2014

OFFICIAL WEDDING VIDEO

Ryan and I are so happy to share our wonderful wedding video with everyone. We are grateful to have had such a beautiful celebration with many of our close family and friends. 

Thank you to Ben and Star for putting together this creative, treasure of a video. 

The incredible voice singing our song in the video, that is my hubby :) 

Check out our video >>>>     FOREVERGREEN WEDDING


Sunday, January 19, 2014

GREEN ORANGE-CREAM CRUNCH SMOOTHIE

Finally!! I finally bought myself a young coconut and YUM! I put a hole in it with a hammer and managed to not lose any of the coconut water :) I am sure there are much easier and safer ways to open a young coconut, but the hammer thing worked for me :P 

To be completely honest, I have made better smoothies, but this tasted good and was loaded with super healthy ingredients so I downed it just fine :)

IF you want something truly amazing then just blend the coconut meat, coconut water, bananas and the orange, I tried that before I added the other ingredients and it was so delicious! It was super creamy with a nice orange-banana flavour.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup young coconut meat
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 bananas
- 1 orange
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs

PREPARATION
1. Toss all ingredients in a high speed blender except for the cacao nibs.
2. Once smooth add the cacao nibs and blend for 10 seconds so that they are chopped smaller, but not too small that they don't allow for a little crunch :P
3. Top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs.
4. Drink and feel the energy!  

 YOUNG COCONUT
COCONUT WATER DRAINED - 1 1/4 cup from 1 coconut
COCONUT MEAT SCOOPED OUT- about 1 cup from 1 coconut
 UMMMM....YUM
 FOREVERGREEN :P

Thursday, January 9, 2014

OUR FOREVERGREEN WEDDING

January 4th, 2014 was by far the absolute best day of my life! I got married to my soul mate, a true angel, the most incredible man, the man of my dreams. I am grateful. 
I would first like to share about how things went while planning our vegan wedding, because at times it was not easy. When we got engaged I had been living the vegan lifestyle for about 10 months. I say lifestyle because I want to stress to new readers that vegan does not mean veggie diet, it means cruelty-free lifestyle. My fiance was vegetarian for only a few months and getting engaged meant planning a wedding, a celebration that incorporates food, lots of food. Let me tell you that I did not realize that to many people the food is the most important part of getting married, guests need to be fed what they love and they need to be satisfied. I learned that quickly when I had family members stress how it is wrong to serve vegan food to people who would never eat it. This experience made me stronger, it broke me at first, but when my wounds healed I gained a new strength and I felt great sticking to what I believe in despite going against the grain. 

My fiance made it clear that he wanted a vegan wedding even though he was eating vegetarian, he said that he was working his way to living a vegan lifestyle as well. His support gave me much needed strength and in time I realized that life is not about pleasing others, but rather being the best person you can be and holding true to your beliefs, no matter what. I had to send out an email to many family members letting them know that I was hurt about what I was hearing, their concerns about the food and being upset, judging and making accusations. I sent out an email to many family members trying to best explain the vegan lifestyle, I ended up getting many pleasant responses. My God Mother even threw me a vegan wedding shower (in previous blog posts), things started to turn around and my beliefs were being understood, but most importantly respected, just as I respect that others have their own beliefs. I wanted guests to be happily fed, but I could not have hundreds of animals killed in our name, for our special day, there would be nothing special about that.
We wanted our wedding at The Old Mill in Toronto and we were turned down at first, they said they could not throw us a vegan wedding. We persisted, spoke to another person and were so grateful that they changed their mind on one condition, the meal had to be a buffet. Could we have cared less about it being buffet? NO! We were so happy that they were going to help us host the first ever vegan wedding at The Old Mill! :D The food turned out to be phenomenal, people wanted recipes and some of the biggest meat eaters were raving about how great the food was. We had some people question us, asking if it really was vegan food because they couldn't believe how great it was. This made our day 1000x more perfect and precious to our hearts. Our goal was not to turn people into vegans, it was not to force people to eat one vegan meal, it was simply to stay true to our beliefs and in doing just that my husband and I were able to open many minds. We are grateful. Thank you to The Old Mill for taking on the challenge of a vegan wedding. Also, if you are interested in hosting a vegan wedding at the Old Mill, they now have a vegan buffet menu which you can see below.

Our wedding cake --- Sweets from the Earth
We chose a vanilla cake with vanilla icing, it was moist and delicious! We had guests asking us all night where we got our cake from :) 
Our cake toppers were hand made in Thailand. Our three girls, Miley, Clara and Kami (chameleon on Clara's head). Ryan, my husband, gave me these cake toppers in October for our two year anniversary :D

Our wedding favours 
--- PETA donations
--- Giddy Yoyo- raw vegan mint chocolates

Hair 
--- One Salon - This salon uses vegan products - no testing on animals 


Makeup --- I had a vegan company (Lush Brush) cancel on me at 2am, just a few hours before the bridal shower. I was devastated and upset because they were going to do our hair and makeup for the wedding too. My beautiful cousin saved the day and did our makeup with products that were not tested on animals, but not vegan companies. This I add only to point out that things cannot always be perfect, but you must always try your best.

VEGAN BUFFET AT THE OLD MILL

 SALADS
1. Spring Mix Compilation, Cherry Tomatoes, Shaved Cucumber, Assorted Dressings 
2. Orzo Pasta Salad, Artichokes, Red Peppers, Marinated Mushrooms, Shallot Vinaigrette
3. Wheat Berry, Golden Raisin, Pumpkin Seed & Sunflower Seed Salad, Cider Dressing
4. Fennel, Carrot, Pear Slaw, Apple Cider Vinaigrette
5. Tuscan White Bean Salad, Olives, Onions, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Parsley, Lemon Vinaigrette

DECORATIVE COLD PLATTERS
1. Roma Tomato & Cherry Tomato Platter with Fresh Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2. Grilled Tofu & Pepper Skewers
HOT PLATTERS
1. Braised Vegan Tagine Tofu, Eggplant, Zucchini, Roasted Garlic, Tomato Sauce
2. Vegan Penne Pomodoro, Roasted Peppers, Garlic, Mushrooms, Leeks, Pomodoro Sauce
3. Sweet Potato Mash
4. Herb Roasted Mini Potatoes
5. Vegetable Medley
 
SWEETS
1. Chocolate Vegan Cake
2. Panna Cotta with Soy Milk
3. Poached Fruit in Red Wine
4. Seasonal Selection of Fruit
5. Wedding Cake - Vanilla - from Sweets From the Earth
Food --- The Old Mill - vegan buffet upon request 

VIDEO: My incredible husband and his surprise song to me at our wedding>>> WHEN SHE SMILES<<<<<Check out VIDEO! :)
Thank you again Uncle Steve for the video :) 

Photography --- Laurin and Lovell Photography
* All photos on this blog post are from Laurin & Lovell our incredible photographers that are so very wonderful to work with :) Thank you Shari and Sandra for capturing our special day.


* We planned our own wedding from start to finish and we were thrilled with how it all turned out :)*

***FOREVERGREEN 1.4.14***
 
  Never feel like change cannot happen with small actions, each little action contributes to small changes which can create positive, beautiful and bountiful changes in this world. 
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
BE TRUE TO YOU!

 DEAR DAD

Roses can be red, 
and I brought one just for you.
You were there in my heart, 
you're still my hero, it's true.

Though I could not see, 
your winning smile,
I could feel your presence, 
walking with me down the aisle.

Your candle lit the room,  
for everyone to see, 
that even though you are gone, 
you will always be with me. 

I LOVE YOU DAD.

Love always, your KareBear. 




 My beautiful mom. I love you. 
My little sister, my maid of honour, I love you.
My big brother, thank you for walking me down the aisle. 
I love you. 
 My husband, thank you for being my best friend,
 my soul mate, my other half. I love you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

FOREVERGREEN REHEARSAL DINNER

For our rehearsal dinner, my husband (ah still so new :P) and I wanted to try a new vegan restaurant in Toronto. We are so lucky to have such supportive family and feel blessed to have shared in our new experience with our closest family members. The night before our wedding we went to Vegetarian Haven for a great time and incredible food! 

Below are some pictures of the deliciousness we tried :) We will certainly go back again and must also mention that the service was wonderful. Our waitress taught us about the different ingredients in the dishes and loved answering all questions we had about the beautiful food. Our meat loving family had nothing but great things to say about the food and they were pleasantly surprised as to how great vegan food can be. :)

 Our very own set menu :)
 CALIFORNIA SUNSHINE JUICE
 BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
 MATCHA GREEN TEA SMOOTHIE
 HOT APPLE CIDER
 CHEF'S BISTRO SPECIAL*****
 SPICY MOROCCAN PAD THAI
 WARM KALE SALAD
COCONUT CURRY SUPERBOWL
CHOCOLATE CAKE
CARROT CAKE
 Last night as FiFi & FuFi <3

Please check out Vegetarian Haven and their fabulous fully vegan menu :)