Pros and Cons of Veganism

First of all, what IS veganism?

People following a vegan diet do not eat animal products. That includes, but is not limited to, eggs, fish, dairy, gelatine, and even honey. People choose to become vegan for reasons that may be health-related, cultural, religious, or ethical.

A day as a vegan might look like this:

  • Breakfast of oatmeal in almond milk, a banana, berries, nut butter, and chia seeds
  • Snack of an apple and hummus
  • Lunch of sweet potatoes, quinoa, wilted spinach, black beans, corn, and nuts
  • Snack of smoothie with blueberries, coconut milk, and hemp hearts
  • Dinner of kale salad, with broccoli, beets, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, nuts, and a tahini dressing

PROS of Veganism:

  • reduced risk of disease
  • may help lower BMI, because vegan diets tend to be lower in calories
  • may help lower hypertension rate
  • slower progression of kidney disease
  • saves animals
  • decrease pollution greenhouse gas production, and acid rain
  • saves water and natural resources
  • increases antioxidant intake
  • promotes greater self-control
  • there are now lots of vegan bloggers that create incredible recipes (think Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker)
  • that being said, veganism can be absolutely delicious

CONS of Veganism:

  • if you do not live near an organic/speciality foods store, it may be hard to get your hands on things like chia seeds, flax seeds, and other vegan “essentials”
  • more expensive, depending on your choice of groceries
  • may be a radical change
  • may interfere with current medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or diabetes
  • may be “carb-heavy”, which can be “good” (sweet potatoes, veggies, peas), or refined (i.e. French fries, white bread)
  • difficulties when dining out, eating away from home, or travelling long distances
  • decreased calcium intake, thus increased risk for bone fractures
  • decrease iodine (for proper thyroid function)
  • decreased iron intake
  • supplements may be pricey

The bottom line: make the right choices for YOU, your beliefs, your body, and your resources. One size never fits all, and never hesitate to seek professional guidance if you need it.

Perhaps this quote says it best:

“All in all, whether you eat only vegetables and soy, or if your one of those people who has steak for breakfast and dinner, at least we can all still agree on one thing: Oreos.”

vegan-stuff

It’s Oak-y

Aren’t these oak tree leaf-shaped sticky notes the cutest? I found them at Hanji, a Korean stationery/card/gift store on Queen Street West in Toronto. I love them!

My life recently has consisted of lots of oatmeal and bananas. I think my body is 20% oatmeal. I love adding a side of yogurt to my oatmeal to add a boost of protein and some chilled creaminess to the warm, sticky oats.

With overripe bananas I made this recipe! It came out of the oven beautifully puffed, and then sank down. Fortunately, the taste is still on point.

Simple Oat Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (or any other nut/seed butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla extract
  • splash water or milk (dairy milk or nut milk)
  • chocolate chips, coconut, nuts/seeds, or any other filler or toppings you like

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a bread pan with parchment paper, so there is some overhang for easy removal.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender and blend at medium-high speed, until everything is broken down. Fold in chocolate chips or any other filler you’d like. I left mine plain this time.
  3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread out, and top with more toppings if desired.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
  5. Remove when the loaf is completely cool. Store in an airtight container for 5 days, or freeze.

NOTE: I can’t wait to try this recipe soon using peanut butter and swirling in some jam! This recipe is sweetened using only the two bananas. If you like, add 1/4 cup honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to the blender for additional sweetness. If you do not have a blender or food processor, you can also whisk this by hand, using 1/2 cup of packed oat flour.


Another day, I enjoyed leftovers of the trout coulibiac from the Tempered Room.

Check out my spring/summer schedule, friends! I can’t wait to be headed back to school, even though I love working.

Schedule 2

On Saturday night, I went to Fresh on Spadina for a healthy salad bowl dinner. This bowl was a baby size, but was still massive and incredibly filling. I also had this purple smoothie made with banana, coconut milk, blueberries, and apple. The tempeh on this salad was super soft, and I loved the sweet potato and “3*6*9” dressing made with tahini, maple syrup, and lemon juice.

I wish I had more to show/tell you today, but that’s it!

Have a glorious rest of the week 🙂

Double Chocolate Beet Brownies

No pictures because I was too busy shoving these decadent chocolate squares into my mouth. Sorry – but enjoy!

Just make them. Trust me. 😉

Double Chocolate Beet Brownies {Grain Free, Gluten Free}

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I omitted since I ran out)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups beet puree (I used 4-5 large beets)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven 350 F.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in the order listed.

3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Grease an 8 X 8 pan and pour batter into the pan.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Looks Gross, Tastes GREAT

Hello, friends! I hope you all had the most fantastic Easter weekend. I did, especially when you consider the number of almond croissants that I devoured. You’ll see. 😉

This was my long weekend plan, most of which didn’t play out because the weather was gorgeous and I didn’t want to be cooped up in a yoga studio.

Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 8.01.51 AM.png

Almond croissant numero un was at Delysees, where I nibbled on a warm croissant with a dark hot chocolate.

On Sunday, I tried Russian food for the first time. This was a trout coulibiac from The Tempered Room. It was a puff pastry (similar to a wellington) filled with flaked trout, roasted kale, lentils, slices of hard-boiled egg, and quinoa. Definitely not the most authentic, but a delicious, protein-filled healthy twist to a Russian classic.

Let’s be honest, this doesn’t look the greatest. But it tasted AWESOME.

That was devoured alongside a buttery kale and sweet potato scone.

London Fog tea lattes are my favourite, and this was my first time trying the famous Sloane brand of tea. I loved this mug of tea, but thought it was similar to any old supermarket Earl Grey.

Croissant number two. Did I mention this was all in the same day? This chocolate almond croissant was flatter, denser, less flaky, and more buttery.

Another day, I enjoyed a phenomenal brunch at Barque Smokehouse, where I enjoyed cornbread topped with citrus smoked salmon, two poached eggs, and BBQ hollandaise, the crispiest roasted potatoes, and a kale salad with carrots, cabbage, and pear.

Healthy dinner at home involved cauliflower rice and zucchini/yellow zucchini shreds with gruyere cheese.

I can never make the 2 egg + 1 ripe banana pancakes successfully. They always seem to rip or break on me! Even this time, when I added a bit of rolled oats and almond meal to create sturdiness, they tore as I flipped them. Any tips?

Regardless, they tasted fantastic smeared with almond and peanut butter.

Round Two turned out better! I added a bit of quinoa flour this time. I think that contributed to the sturdiness.

Another day, I whisked up four eggs, lots of wilted spinach, and feta cheese. I made it omelette-style, then tossed it into the oven to broil and melt the cheese. This created a filling, delicious, and easy meal that I paired with yogurt and a crumbled date bar.

Saag paneer (spinach + cottage cheese) roti is probably my favourite thing about Toronto so far. This roti from Mother India on Queen West was stuffed with pureed spinach, tender potatoes, and some chunks of paneer cheese. I had a big craving for Indian food after a patient told me about Mother India, and it needed to be satisfied! I loved this roti as much as the one from Gandhi Indian Cuisine. Though Mother India’s roti itself tasted better and was less spicy, Gandhi’s saag paneer roti had bigger chunks of paneer and the spinach looked greener.

It looks gross. I know. But it tasted absolutely incredible.

Can you believe that I have EIGHT more days of work before I’m going back to Waterloo and saying goodbye to Toronto (possibly forever!)?

My sister, Seline, published a book! Her novel is called ‘Journey to Avalon‘ and details the adventures of an awkward, self-proclaimed loser who finds herself with strange powers in the Elemental Academy for the Supernaturally Gifted – and will do anything to go back to her mundane life at home.

I think that’s it for today! I have lots more stuff to show you in the next few days, so stay tuned 😉

Finals Over? Do This!

This post is specifically targeted to first-year students in Kinesiology who have just finished final exams. Welcome to your first (and last!) four-month academic hiatus: you won’t be going back to school until mid-September!

Let’s make the best of that time.

  1. Pursue a hobby that you’ve always wanted to start. Get truly passionate about it and start improving. Maybe you’ve always wanted to oil paint – now is the time to take lessons. Perhaps you want to learn how to bake a killer macaron or design your own website (PS: I can give you WordPress tips). Start now, start now, start now! You can possibly even start a club at UW. Take something you are interested in, and move it to the next level.
  2. Polish up that resume! Add a pop of colour. Add modern graphic designs. Update it with your experiences. Make it so well-designed that employers HAVE to take a second look. Your resume should be 2 pages maximum, highlighting only relevant information.
  3. Make a LinkedIn account. Most employers will search up your name, and potentially make their final decision based on your online presence. Use your LinkedIn as an “extended resume”. Show off the courses you’ve taken, the awesome experiences you have, and the things you’re passionate about. You can see mine at www.linkedin.com/in/cindyweikinesiology/
  4. Consider doing some kin-related volunteering. I volunteered at Waterloo Sports Medicine, which gave me great experience for the clinical job that I am doing now. You can volunteer in 2-hour shifts once or twice a week. I also volunteered at KidsAbility, where I helped a teacher lead a class of 8-10 kindergarteners with special needs. One of my favourite summer volunteer jobs was supervising elderly residents at the Parkwood Senior Home. Eventually, they allowed me to lead my own Stretch and Strengthen fitness classes for groups of seniors (age 70+).
  5. Go on vacation with your family. In the rest of your Kinesiology degree, you will not have a 4-month break again. Enjoy it! Do things you love.
  6. Consider applying for the AHS Fun Run coordinating team. It was hard work to organize the Fun Run, but SO worth it – even being at school for 6:30 AM on event day was great. I got to meet so many dedicated upper-year friends.
  7. Chat up a professor (with a polite email!) and ask about research opportunities.
  8. If you are interested in teaching fitness classes like spinning, Zumba, Aquafit, yoga, or barre, consider getting a fitness certification. Search up ‘CanFitPro’ if you’re interested.

10 Things I Need in a Career

Being in Waterloo’s co-op program taught me a lot. I worked at the Toronto Health Centre, a physiotherapy clinic, for the last four months, and was truly instilled with a sense of what I like (and don’t like!) in my future jobs.

  1. Something medical or healthcare related. I like to make people feel their best.
  2. Being able to care for people who cannot care for themselves. By that, I mean that I do NOT want to serve food as a waitress (because that is something people are able to do). I want to teach things to people who don’t understand certain concepts, organize events that people wouldn’t be able to create, or treat regular citizens in a medical sense.
  3. Regular hours. I need to work from 9:00 to 5:00 every day, with a 30-60 minute break for lunch at around 1:00 (flexible). Weekends off; and 2-4 weeks of vacation each year. No overnight shifts!
  4. The ability to be very independent, so I don’t need to wait on other people.
  5. Encouraging, positive, success-oriented coworkers who inspire me to be the best version of myself.
  6. Being able to move around, so I am only sitting in front of a computer 40-60% of the time. I like to move it, move it!
  7. Long-lasting relationships. I want to be able to see people grow, progress, improve, develop – over the course of a year (or even a decade or two).
  8. Organized and sanitary environment: no poop for me, please.
  9. A variety of tasks to do every day, so I don’t feel bored. I need to see different people, do different things. No dull, monotonous tasks day after day.
  10. Being able to wear my own choice of comfortable (and professional, of course) clothing.

What do you think? Are my “rules” reasonable?