Thursday, January 30, 2014

My experience with meat eating and veganism.

I often get asked why I am vegan, how long I've been doing it, why I stopped being vegan in the first place....Etc. I figured I would dedicate this post to answer a few of those questions.

Number one question is why I went vegan in the first place. In a nutshell, I never really liked meat growing up. However, I come from a European background and my whole family eats meat for breakfast lunch and dinner. I was always the one at the table That just didn't want to touch the stuff. To me, eating meat was gross and I love animals and didn't understand why they were being eaten and just grossed me out seeing the Raw meat simmer in a pot, on the pan or on the grill. I still would eat it occasionally and suffered from a lot of health issues, including chronic headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. I literally would have to miss at least two or three days of school each month. But hey, what was I supposed to do, I was young and obviously wasnt old enough for a job to afford my own groceries. Nor were there really any vegetarian friendly options at that time (or at least that I knew of) and my mom was afraid that I would lack protein or iron or other vitamins if I just eat vegetables all day. (A lot of people think this today....little do they know.😜) 

Okay let's fast-forward a few years, I was about 16 or 15 years old when the book Skinny Bitch came out. I borrowed it from my friend and decided to just try reading it. Well a whole hour or two later I was finished with the book because it's just that funny and so informative. I found out so much more information in that book than I could've imagined, and that basically made me go vegan. I went online and looked up where the nearest supermarket was,awhole foods or something and found a few supermarkets that carried some of the products that they mention in the back of the book. I literally went vegan overnight, a day before Thanksgiving to be exact ironically, and felt amazing...dropped a few pounds had so much energy, never really had any headaches or stomach issues. 

       About two years later when I was graduating high school I decided to go vegetarian because I had some temptations and for some reason began craving cheese and milk but later on I figured out that it was because I was doing veganism wrong and wasn't eating enough whole foods and my body was just constantly craving junk and I started becoming sluggish again. When I was vegetarian I started getting bloated again from the milk and cheeses and about two years later when I turn 20 I started eating meat again. Worst. Decision. Of. My. Life. 

      I don't really know what possessed me to start eating meat again, I think it was just the college life of partying and then making stupid decisions with food while drinking. But it's not like I was eating complete crap like hamburgers...i was just eating lean. 

      Well, I started noticing that my clothes were tighter and I could no longer fit into my size 0-2 jeans and each time I would step on the scale I would be gaining about 5 to 10 pounds a week. A WEEK!! That was too much to handle but I didn't really do anything about it until I had gained 40 pounds.(this was in about a month and a half) I went to a doctor and she tried putting me on a Paleolithic diet. Horrible decision, I told her I used to be a vegetarian and vegan and she told me that those were horrible diets (hah) and I just decided to take her device on the Paleo diet...another horrible decision because my skin started breaking out and it was so dry and dull, my hair started falling out and I still was gaining weight

      I eventually gained 85 pounds within a year. I was put on metformin and that stabilized my weight but it was impossible to lose weight. She had told me that according to my blood work I had an imbalance of hormones and then finally I went to an endocrinologist and she had told me that the fact I was eating meat and all of the hormones and crap in meat was messing with my hormones and causing me to gain weight, break out and lose hair. 

       I went vegan again and have been slowly losing weight without having to restrict my calories. I have so much energy and just feel amazing and so much happier. I rarely ever crave junk food and I feel more in sync with my body. 

      It's crazy how eating right creates this domino effect. When I was eating horrible foods I was really lazy and just didn't feel like doing anything and everything just became sloppy and was spiraling out of control. Once I Turned vegan again I became more organized and just happier with life and I don't think I will I ever go back to eating meat again. Being vegan lets me experiment with foods and try different recipes and it just changes your taste buds and you feel so much better and I swear I am not one of those people that tries to push my beliefs onto other people but I really do think that this diet can help a lot of people out there.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. ❤️ ( and stay warm, to all of my Midwestern readers!) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vegan Gyros with Tzatziki sauce

There's nothing better than a warm veggie gyro with a cooling tzatziki sauce and some fresh vegetables.

I came over to a fellow veggie friend's house and I happen to have my groceries in my trunk ('s cold enough here that the food wont go bad).  I decided to whip up these bad boys for my friend and I. 

Here's what you will need:
  •    1 pkg Viana veggie gyros
  •    1 small tomato
  •    2 large pita breads or 4 small pocket pita breads
  •    Diced green pepper, to taste. ( I know this isn't normally in gyros..but it gave it a nice twist)
  •    1/4 cup diced red onion
  •    1/2 cup Ewelina's Tzatziki Sauce (see below)
  •    Vegetable oil ( for sauté pan)

Ewelina's Tzatziki Sauce:

  •    1/2 cup Tofutti brand sour cream
  •    1/4 cup diced cucumbers
  •    1/2 -2/3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  •    Pinch of fresh parsley or if you prefer, cilantro or basil flakes
  •    Dash of garlic salt

What you do:

  •    Heat up sauté pan on stove with 1 tbsp vegetable oil (any preferred oil works fine). Open package of veggie gyros and heat up in pan. **Make sure the gyros are separated into individual pieces!!**
  • Turn heat to medium-low and allow it to heat up inside first.
In the mean time...
  •     In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce. Also, slice up your tomatoes, red onion, green pepper and any other ingredients you'd like to include, put those to the side.
  • After the gyros have been sautéing for a good 5 minutes, turn up the heat to allow them to get crispy. Make sure you keep stirring the faux meat around. This should only take 2-3 minutes.
  • Push all of the gyro meat to the side and grab your pita bread. If needed, add a little more oil into the empty half of the pan, and let the pita bread get warm, crispy and a little greasy. 
  • Take the bread off...add the gyro meat and throw on your toppings.

You don't necessarily have to stuff the pita pockets..I kinda just eat them like tacos.


Some of my favorite natural beauty and vegan cooking books!

(Not pictured: Vegan with a Vengeance, The Kind Diet, Crazy Sexy Diet and Skinny Bitch)

I'll go in one-by-one explaining what each book is and why I like it.

Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox : I love this book because it gives you some amazing DIY recipes for things ranging from face masks to foot scrubs. This book is just awesome. I've mad SO many things and they were never a failure. Of course, the only downfall of make-it-yourself beauty products is that there are no preservatives. That's actually a great thing but you just have to make sure to use everything up very quick, or share.

Chloe's Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli  : I first discovered Chloe when I was watching an episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. She was the FIRST vegan to ever win.  I later discovered that she had released a cook book and I purchased it immediately. I absolutely LOVE this book. The recipes are easy to make and they always come out SO good. (Especially her Orange Chicken!!) I also love that she uses simple ingredients...she's a genius. 

The Truth About Beauty by Kat James : LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I love books that actually take a realistic approach when talking about beauty. That's exactly what Kat James does in this book. She explains how what we eat actually DOES affect our skin texture, aging, health...etc. Must Have.

Part Time Vegan by Cherise Grifoni : Now, you don't need to be a part time vegan or flexitarian to like this book. You don't even have to be vegan. I saw this gem at Half Price Books in my town and it was a pretty good price, so I figured why not. While I dont understand why this book couldn't just be called a Vegan book is beyond me. But whatever, the recipes are still vegan. Some things I love are the Saucy Kung Pao Tofu, Saucy Indian Veggies and the Raw to Die For Apple Pie with Berry Topping.  Oh, and there's a VEGAN NUTELLA RECIPE IN THERE! Need I say more?

Friday, January 3, 2014

New year, new priorities.

Happy New Year everyone! While 2013 was great, I believe that 2014 will be even better!!

2013 has been a very stressful (yet still amazing ) year. Nursing school,planning a wedding and totaling my car just to name a few of my stressors. 

I noticed that writing down my feelings or just writing about some of my favorite things (ex. Makeup and veganism) has been a great way for me to de-stress. 

I may have abandoned my blog for over a year, but this is a fresh start. 

Do I believe in New Years resolutions? Not so much. But I do believe in new year prioritizing. This blog is one of my top priorities this year (and for a very long time hopefully) and I hope to continue with what I started. 

Delicious vegan recipes ,cruelty free makeup reviews AND a new segment called "beauty and the bride" are among the few things that will debut on this blog. 

I hope you all have a wonderful and healthy new year and I'll talk to you soon!