Raw Banana Soft Serve

I’ve always loved ice cream. It’s always been a guilty pleasure of mine. There are plenty of wonderful vegan ice creams out there, but there are also plenty of raw versions as well. One of them being ice cream made from just bananas! There’s a local raw cafe relatively close to my house and one of their most popular menu items are called “banana whips.” They were so delicious I decided to look up some different recipes online to see how it was done, turns out it’s not so hard at all!


frozen bananas

a little bit of coconut water (a couple teaspoons)

The amount of bananas is truly up to you, depending on how hungry you are. Sometimes I’ll have this as a meal and 2-4 frozen bananas tend to do the trick. Take your desired amount of frozen bananas and place them in a food processor. I use a teeny little cuisinart which works fine for me. You can also use a high speed blender like a vitamix. Either will work. Add a couple teaspoons of coconut water and then blend until super creamy and smooth. That’s it! Take it out, put it in a bowl, and grab some toppings and eat it! It’s super satisfying and even better than regular ice cream which is made from cruelly acquired cow’s milk. Not to mention it’s also full of fat. This ice cream is wonderful because it has one of the most wonderful fruits:bananas. Top it off with hemp seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs, coconut, etc and make it even more of a superfood. Enjoy!!

A nice little tip for you: when your bananas are starting to brown, peel them and then freeze the banana. Before I did this I always had the trickiest time getting frozen banana peels off. I always have ton of bananas, so I always end up with plenty of frozen bananas which happen to be perfect for ice cream.

 banana ice creamI topped off this beauty with blackberries, cacao nibs, and a small side of frsehly ground natural peanut butter.

Reasons to go Vegan

Being a vegan myself and running my own vegan lifestyle blog, I feel the need to make this post about veganism itself.  If I can make even one person just consider veganism or vegetarianism by visiting my blog, I’d be so incredibly happy. Even going vegan or vegetarian one night a week makes a bigger difference than you could ever imagine. First of all, let’s start off with the definitions of vegetarian and vegan for those unaware: a vegetarian is someone who follows a plant based diet (no meat) but still eats eggs, dairy, etc. A vegan is someone who abstains from all animal products, no meat, no dairy, no honey, no leather, etc.

I can think of a million reasons to go vegan, but here are just a few:

1. For the animals. Millions of animals suffer everyday by humans for humans. Whether it be at factory farms, the zoo, sea world, the circus, in rodeos, in labs, dog fights, for leather, for fur, etc. Animals are abused. Being a vegan means you’re standing up to this abuse and refusing to take part in all these cruel and unusual practices and forms of entertainment. We have so much fresh vegetables and plant based foods available to us. Why eat animal products? We have so many forms of entertainment available, why use animals for entertainment? Look up vegan videos, documentaries, undercover exposé, books, articles, statements, testaments, etc. You will learn a lot!

2. For the environment. A lot of the world’s water goes to the production of livestock. Most of it is used for the irrigation of feed crops for these animals. Feed crops that they do not eat naturally and for the most part, cannot digest like corn and soy. Not only is water a factor, but also pollution. The mass amounts of animal waste (that is full of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, etc) adds “dead” spots to local water supplies by triggering eutrophication. All the land used to feed livestock could be land used to harvest crops for hungry humans. Healthy cows and healthy pigs living in a free range farm as companion animals would be able to fertilize the land without harmful chemicals and without causing detrimental environmental effects. Mass production of abused and drugged up animals, however, only causes environmental destruction.

3. Veganism is healthier. The meat today is not like the meat humans used to eat hundreds of years ago (especially the meat in fast food). Animals are fed hormones and pesticide laden foods that they don’t naturally ingest. By eating meat, you are also at risk for certain diseases that can be carried by livestock. Finding organic fruits and vegetables is a lot easier these days than finding organic meat and grass fed / free range livestock. Since humans are not natural meat eaters, meat takes a long time to digest. We don’t have the naturally occurring enzymes that break down meat like carnivores do. Eating less meat, and eating more vegetables is good for your digestive system. There is also a myth out there that you need meat to be healthy, which is just not true. If you don’t believe me, look up the countless vegan athletes out there (Brendan Brazier, Carl Lewis, Fiona Oakes to name a few). Also, dairy and meat cause high cholesterol levels, acne, and even obesity. It is well known that eating too much red meat is bad for your health, and it is also well known that eating too much eggs and cheese can skyrocket your cholesterol levels. Animal products are very tied into heart problems. When you skip out on a cheeseburger or a fried egg & bacon sandwhich, you’re doing your entire body a favor.

4. You don’t need animal products. With each passing day, there are more and more vegan brands, products and options out there for you. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is the ultimate option, but there are also plenty of mock cheeses, burgers, and other meat products. You can go into any grocery store and pick out a nice box of veggie burgers easily. Not to mention that there’s vegan mayo, cream cheese, yogurt, ice cream and milk. Why use cow’s milk when there’s hemp, coconut, almond, rice, flax, and soy milk? These options are also healthier for you and each different one has it’s own wonderful benefits. You can still have burgers, pizza, and ice cream. There are vegan versions of everything. Can’t find it at your grocery store? Check the internet, you can find all sorts of things that aren’t offered at your local grocery store. Even if you don’t want to use these fake meat products, there are so much fresh produce available to us these days. You can find exotic fruit like mangoes and you can crack open a coconut and have fresh milk, even if you live in a suburb. Not to mention all the wonderful nuts, seeds, and beans that are available to us also. Hundreds of years ago, people had to survive on what they could grow, raise, and scavenge. Now, every food you can imagine is at your grasp.

Imagine a world where cows and chickens can roam the wilderness again. Where no animal has to live in complete fear and agony. A world where obesity levels are down, heart problems are down and cholesterol problems are down. A world where plenty of people have jobs farming, growing, educating, healing, saving, nurturing, and doing what they love.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of people who love meat. I know a vegan world is completely far-fetched. I will promote veganism for as long as I live. I don’t care about opposition, I care about education. I want people to know that veganism is wonderful and rewarding! I have felt amazing ever since going vegan and I cotinue to feel wonderful. I know this post isn’t perfectly organized, but I really want people to find out more about veganism. Do some research yourself, you’ll find out a lot. Read both sides of the argument, find out how you feel.

I am not a doctor, so I cannot prescribe any kind of diet plan to you. Know what works for your body and know what your limits are. Know your food allergies and know what you can’t tolerate. Any questions about your health or about whether you should eat certain foods or not, contact your doctor or nutritionist or health specialist. All I can do is promote and educate!

If you have any comments, questions, opinions, feelings, anything, please tell me! I’d love to hear your experiences with veganism, animal activism, food, etc!!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes With A Chocolate Cashew sauce

I had a typical work day today which isn’t such a bad thing. I do actually enjoy my job for the most part. Maybe not “enjoy” but I really don’t have any complaints. I work in the kitchen of a retirement community doing “salads” and “desserts.” Non of it is vegan, of course but other than that it’s a nice job. I get paid well, I like my co-workers and my managers are very accommodating to me. I really am excited to go back to school, however, I honestly miss it. At this point, I’ve decided to go to school for environmental studies. I cannot wait to move forward with my life. Just one step closer to my dream of owning a farm full of animals I’ve adopted!! No, but seriously.

On days I work my eating schedule tends to be really off. For example, I had breakfast at 5:50 am this morning (cereal), a green juice at around 10:20 (I go to my house on break because it’s close) and my lunch break was at 1 but all I had was a banana because I refuse to eat the gross food they serve where I work. It’s all processed with huge lists of ingredients for the most part and even the vegetables (which are of poor quality quite often) are covered in oil and cooked at high temps a couple hours before even being served. It’s just not my cup of tea.Anyway, enough rambling. Basically, I got home from work and had a nice work out and and was then in the mood for pancakes.

You really don’t need eggs or dairy to make good pancakes!

Pancake Recipe:

1 banana

1/3 cup coconut milk (or any other non dairy milk of your choice)

1 tbsp maple syrup or agave

1 tbsp liquid coconut oil

1/3 whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 cup cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips

Mash the banana with a fork and combine with the milk and maple syrup and coconut oil. To get coconut oil to be liquid, it’s easy to just heat up a little bit of water and put the container in the water until the coconut oil softens and turns to liquid form. The whole thing doesn’t need to be liquid, just enough for the recipe. Mix together the baking powder and flour and then mix with the wet ingredients until everything comes together and then add nibs or chocolate chips.

It helps to preheat the pan to medium heat before hand because these pancakes are a little thicker with wet ingredients and take a little longer to cook. Cook on one side until ready to flip and golden brown and then cook on the other side until golden brown. The insides may still be a little wet because of all the wet ingredients, so if you like you can cook longer. This recipe makes about two nice sized pancakes, four little ones, or one huge one. Double if you want to feed more people, or if you’re really hungry!

Sauce recipe:

1/3 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup coconut milk (or other non dairy milk)

1 tbsp carob powder (or cacao or coco powder)

1 tsp maple syrup or agave

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if you want the sauce to be thinner and add more maple or agave if you want this to be sweeter.

I had these pancakes with another banana but I was really craving strawberries, those would go so well with this recipe. Blueberries or raspberries would also be good.

My Fitness Journey

When I was in high school every time summer was approaching I’d tell myself “I should really start working out so I can have a sweet beach body and look good in my bikini.” I always thought these things to myself, but I never actually made any changes. I was also trying to become fit for the wrong reasons. Of course most highschool girls go through phases where they’re unhappy with their body. So I wanted to lose some weight to look good, it wasn’t the worst mindset ever, but not the best either. My path to health didn’t even start until my junior year when I became a vegetarian and joined a gym. At this point, I cut out meat and I was doing some cardio and some strength training exercises but I wasn’t actually committed to a healthy lifestyle. I was eating a lot of bread and cheese sandwiches and honestly not a whole lot of vegetables. Then I started really cooking for myself, experimenting with flavors and herbs and going food shopping and picking out vegetables to use.  I gave up chips and ate nuts instead and made some other healthy exchanges.

Now I believe I’m at the best point of my life so far. I’ve cut out both meat and dairy, I’ve limited my intake of processed foods to an absolute minimum. Junk food is not my snack of choice anymore. Of course there will be some times when I’m at a party or a friends house or some other gathering and I’ll have some chips or something like that, but when I have the option I choose something healthier. It’s funny to me because when I was younger all I ate was chicken fingers, pizza, cheeseburgers, turkey sandwiches, etc and now I would never eat any of those things again. Now I maintain this mindset that everything I eat has to have some kind of nutritional value. I choose things based on their benefits, especially when I’m out to eat. Instead of picking something deep fried and fattening, I’ll opt for something that is going to be at least somewhat healthy for me and I won’t force myself to eat it all just because it’s there. Not only have I changed my eating habits, but I’ve changed from lazy to active. Of course I still have my lazy days, and most people do. But I’ve become interested in getting fit, sweating, and making changes to my body. I want to be strong and I want to be healthy. That’s my goal. It’s not about looking good in a bikini anymore because I’ve accepted my body. Now I just want to improve upon it. I want to live a long and healthy life, without pain and without medication. I work in a retirement community, so I’ve seen many people who can hardly even walk. I always tell myself I’m going to take care of myself, so when I’m older I won’t feel older.  I’ve been inspired by so many people: raw foodists, yoga masters, vegan chefs, vegan athletes, health junkies, etc. There’s so many people out there that have given me inspiration to cook and to be healthy in all aspects of life.

I’m really proud of myself right now. I’m continually surrounded by people eating unhealthy things at work, at home, or just when hanging out with friends. I don’t give into the temptations of food I used to love, and that is really a big thing for me. I’m really happy because community college worked out great for me. I took raw cooking classes, acquired so many useful kitchen tools (spiralizer, juicer, steamer, food processor), and I’ve done so much research on recipes and food and overall health. When I finally end up at a real university next year and live on my own, I believe I’ll be ready to continue to eat healthy. I must admit, I do have a little bit of a cocky attitude when it comes to food (which I’m not too proud of). When I see my friends buy an entire pizza or indulge in a greasy cheeseburger, I cannot help but to think that I feel so much better that I’m not eating those things and that I have the will power to abstain from them. I honestly also feel a bit of sadness whenever I go out to eat with friends and there will be 4 or 5 people ordering cheeseburgers and I’m the only one getting something meatless. It’s the fact that no one else cares what kind of suffering the animal they’re eating went through before ending up on their plate. Becoming a vegan has made me much, much more aware of the suffering of animals and I’ve become so much more passionate about promoting veganism and compassion to animals.
Today, I started off well.  I woke up and had a delicious bowl of chocolate oats (regular organic oats, coconut milk, carob powder, tiny bit of powdered chocolate peanut butter) with hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and a couple dark chocolate covered pomegranates. It was good and filling and I felt ready to get going with my day. Over the last couple years I’ve really learned how to make better breakfasts by incorporating things like flax and chia seeds, hemp, different nuts, dried fruits, etc. Having a great breakfast is really one of the best things you can do for yourself. About an hour or so later I set out to the park for a nice walk / run. I’m just starting to get into running so I start out with walking then I run for a bit, walk for a bit, run for a bit, etc. I’m trying to build up my endurance because I never really ran for pleasure before so I don’t have much endurance when it comes to running. It is marvelous outside and it felt great to be outside and exercising. I’m so happy to have gotten interested in so many different forms of exercise.

It is true that even the laziest and pickiest of teenagers can turn into vegan health freaks.

Here are some of my current health goals:

1. Cardio 4x a week

2. Yoga / pilates as often as possible

3. Eat 2 raw meals a day at least

4. Stretch everyday

5. Eat less carbs that come from bread, pasta, etc

6. Don’t pick at food all day at work

7. Eat 100% vegan (i’ve eaten packaged foods that have had small percentages of milk or another dairy product)

Tell me about your fitness journey! Where did you start, and where are you now? What are some of your goals? 

Gluten Free Thrive Diet Inspired “Pizza” With White Bean Sunflower Crust and Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

When first transitioning into veganism, pizza was my biggest temptation. I cut out eggs (which I ate all the time), milk (which I always thought was gross) and butter (which I never used) and all other dairy products just fine. I’ve always loooved pizza. Even after cutting out all other dairy I did eat some pizza every now and then for the first couple months into my transition. Finally, I told myself that I was being wrong and I wasn’t fully committing to this lifestyle. I’ve made plenty of delicious homemade pizzas without cheese or with daiya and I’ve been to a vegan pizza place and they’ve all been even more delicious than the traditional pizza.

If you take apart the ingredients of a traditional pizza, it’s anything but healthy. White, enriched, bleached flour for dough. The sauce does have tomatoes in it, but there’s also a high chance of the sauce containing sugar or other unwanted ingredients. And then there’s the cheese, and lot’s of it. So the whole thing is just unhealthy. And I dont know about you, but I always found it hard to eat just one piece of pizza.

What I decided to experiment with is a Thrive Diet inspired pizza. The Thrive Diet is something that athlete Brendan Brazier put together to optimize your full athletic potential by eating whole, vegan (and raw vegan) food and cutting out allergens and processed food. In his book, he has recipes for what he calls pizza. These are not the traditional pizzas you’d find in a pizza shop. These are pizzas with crusts made with ingredients like chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and / or beets. I had never thought of a pizza with a wheat-less crust, so I decided to try out my own recipe.

1. Crust recipe:

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 can white beans (any kind will do)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 clove garlic

a couple pinches of sea salt, dried rosemary, and black pepper

Before you do anything, preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit so it’s ready for action.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until everything comes together. Make sure the oil is well incorporated into the entire thing and the herbs and spices are all mixed in. Then take the dough and flatten it onto a greased sheet pan. I made two small pizzas, but you can easily make one big one.

2. Sauce recipe:

1 1/2 cup tomato

2 gloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

a few pinches of fresh or dried rosemary and basil

a dash of black pepper

4 sun-dried tomatoes

Add all the ingredients except sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor. Process until everything is chopped and then add sun-dried tomatoes and process again. Evenly spread the sauce mixture onto your dough.

3. Veggies

This step is up to you, add any veggies that you want! For mine, I just added spinach and extra basil leaves. Here are some suggestions for good toppings: red onion, white onion, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, seaweed, zucchini, daiya, nutritional yeast

4. Bake

By now, you should have preheated the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. If not, then do this now and wait until your oven is ready. When it’s preheated, add the pizza and bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is crisp. Don’t be surprised if it falls apart when you’re eating it. Like I said, it isn’t traditional pizza! Cut a slice and use a spatula to transfer it to your plate. This is best eaten with a fork. This “pizza” is loaded with nutrients and the textures and the flavors are really incredible!

Have you heard of the Thrive Diet? Have you read any of the books by Brazier? What do you think? If you try this pizza or have tried any other thrive diet inspired pizzas, let me know what you think!

Full Body Yoga

Yoga and stretching have some incredible benefits. Yoga is not only soothing on your body, but also your mind. Slow, strong poses help you to stay clear headed and focused. There’s so many different kinds of yoga out there, and each have wonderful benefits for your body and overall health. Yoga is also incredibly strengthening and toning. Holding difficult poses challenges your muscles and strengthens your entire body. This routine is from Tara Stiles who is well known in the yoga world.

Raw “Honey” Mustard Sunflower Seed Dressing

I’ve been really intrigued by juice cleanses lately and I’ve been dying to do one. I just remembered today about the juice cleanse you can get delivered right to your doorstep! It’s called BluePrintCleanse and there’s three different levels of cleansing and the juice comes to you ready to go and you just drink them throughout the day. For those of you who don’t own a juicer or don’t have time to do all the juicing, BluePrintCleanse is the way to go. I do have a juicer, and I would like to do all the juicing myself. I have plenty of greens to do it, so hopefully it works out!

For those of you who don’t know, or think juice cleansing sounds crazy, it’s actually something that almost everyone can do and should do (however, you should always do research on the process if you’re unsure and if you have questions about your overall health consult your doctor or nutritionist). Over our lifetime, we’re exposed to vast amounts of chemicals and toxins. There’s pollution, exposure to cleaning products and other toxic chemicals, processed foods, and old waste in our system that can best be removed by doing a juice cleanse. I’m waiting for at least two or three days off from work to do this, because I have no idea how high the levels of toxins are in my body and how doing this will make me feel. I have been eating well the last several years, but before then it was all junk food and some fruits and vegetables here and there. Now, the majority of my diet is fruits and vegetables. My eating is clean, but I want to feel clean from the inside out. Right now, I’m trying to focus on preparing for a cleanse by eating light and mostly raw (which is how I eat anyway for the most part). For lunch today I decided to have a nice light salad with some raw homemade dressing.

I usually make this with cashews but at the moment, I don’t have any. I do, however, have plenty of sunflower seeds. Salads are such a quick and easy light meal to prepare and having homemade salad dressing on hand is a must for me.


1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

1-2 cloves of garlic

small piece of ginger (about the size of your garlic clove)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp stone ground mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

a couple dashes of salt, mustard powder, and turmeric

1 tbsp maple syrup or agave

1 tbsp onion

1 cup water

Add all the ingredients to your blender except the water and pulse a couple of times. Add about half the water and blend. Add water until you have a creamy consistency. If you like your dressing to be a little spicier, you can add more mustard or more onion or both. If you want it to be sweeter, add more agave or maple syrup. This dressing is creamy and can be a little thick, so if you want to thin it out more add more water until the consistency is perfect for you!

Raw Peanut Butter Carob Oatmeal Cookies

I suddenly had an urge to make something sweet and something chocolately. I made two batches of these, one with actual peanut butter and one with almond butter. The almond butter actually turned out even better in my opinion, but either way it’s delicious! I’ve seen a lot of recipes for oatmeal cookies like this where the batter is heated on the stove before being chilled. I decided to go all raw and just mix everything together and chill them and see how it went. It turned out great, they make awesome little cookies.


1 cup organic raw oats

dash of salt

1 tsp flax seed

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup liquid coconut oil

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter

1/3 cup carob powder

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries or pited dates

Put the salt and oats and flax in one bowl. Put the coconut milk, maple syrup, almond or peanut butter and carob powder all in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and mix everything together until the oats are all well coated and everything is incorporated. Take the cherries and / or dates and put them in a food processor to chop them up small and then mix them into the whole thing. Cover a tray with plastic wrap and place about a tbsp of batter down and flatten it to make cookies. You can of course make these as big or small as you like. Put them in the freezer for one to two hours and you can keep them in there and eat them or transfer them to your fridge and eat them. You could add chopped nuts to these or coconut flakes and they’d be even better! Goji berries would also be awesome in these in place of cherries.

If you want these to be really peanut buttery add another 1/4 cup! With this recipe it’s just a subtle amount of peanut buttery flavor

Sun-dried Tomato and Rosemary Quinoa Burgers

I love veggie burgers. They’re easy and relatively quick and you can use almost anything to make them. I’ve made chickpea burgers and garlic white bean burgers and ones with all the veggies in my fridge. I always use beans as a base and you can add in any kind of grain like quinoa or brown rice. I like to use mine on salads or have it with avocado and some cashew cheese sauce. These would even be good dehydrated. These can be made completely raw if dehydrated and beans and quinoa are sprouted beforehand.


cooked or sprouted quinoa

1 can or about a cup and a quarter of sprouted white beans ( I used white navy beans but any white beans would be fine!)

1/3 cup chopped bell pepper

2 tbsp red onion

2 large gloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

2 or 3 sun-dried tomatoes

a few pinches of fresh or dried rosemary

some freshly ground pepper

dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Add all these ingredients to a food processor except quinoa and blend until pattie like but it will still have some texture. I like to add in quinoa last for good texture, you can add it in to the food processor too if you like but I just stirred it in at the end. Take the mixture and form patties onto a greased sheet pan. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes on each side or until they’re at your desired crispiness! Dehydrating you can do at 105 degrees and about 4 hours on each side will probably do. This recipe makes about 4 medium sized patties

You can freeze the leftovers and reheat them later for a quick meal later on or you can keep them in your fridge and use them the rest of the week. These would be delicious with homemade ketchup, homemade cashew cheese sauce (see creamy raw zucchini noodles for a recipe), and avocado. I like to eat mine without a bun but these would also be great on a nice sprouted grain bun or on some raw bread.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

I love a smoothie for breakfast. It’s light, it’s refreshing and it’s delicious! One of my favorite smoothies is a PB&J smoothie. This particular smoothie calls for almond butter, but if you like you can of course use peanut butter! The hemp powder adds extra protein while the chia or flax adds important omega 3’s. I chose almond butter over actual peanut butter because peanuts are one of the most common allergens, and almonds have more health benefits in the long run.


4 or 5 strawberries

2 tbsp almond butter

1 banana

1/2 cup coconut milk or soy milk

1 tsp hemp powder

1 tsp chia or flax seed

If you want this to be sweeter, add some agave or maple syrup. If you want a chocolate PB&J smoothie, add carob powder 1 tsp at a time until you have your desired chocolately-ness!