Does Canada Want its Citizens to go Vegan?

Canada is revising its Food Guide Guide in preparation for release in early 2018.  The Milk and Alternatives and Meat and Alternatives groups have been entirely eliminated and instead replaced by guiding principles for healthy eating based on the most recent peer-reviewed evidence.

I’ve seen many articles purporting that this new guide is encouraging Canadians to adopt a vegan diet. This is not exactly true, though it is true that milk and meat now belong to a general protein group that is made up largely of plant-based sources of protein.

This is definitely big news! Never in the history of the Canadian Food Guide has Health Canada steered Canadians towards choosing plant-based foods above all else, even touting their health and environmental benefits. Plant-based proteins are given precedence over traditional forms of protein such as meat, seafood, and dairy, and this has not come without its fair share of critics.

The best part is that you have a say in all this. Canada has opened up their draft guide to feedback and suggestions from the public, and it’s imperative we let them know that we want the focus on plant-based foods to stay put. I’ll outline how you can contribute later in this post, so keep reading to find out.

Continue reading “Does Canada Want its Citizens to go Vegan?”

Where do You Get Your Protein?

My fellow vegans and vegetarians know where I’m going with this. Raise your hand if anyone’s ever asked you where you get your protein! 🙋🏽🙋🏽🙋🏽 I’m guessing there are quite a few raised hands out there. This question often stems from concern or curiosity, but also from a deep misunderstanding of what protein actually is, and how much of it is required to maintain health.

We have been conditioned to think that quality protein can only been found in animal sources but this is simply not the case. Plants are an excellent source of protein and one who does not eat meat is not deprived of essential nutrients.

I’m going to break down some facts about protein so we can all gain a better understanding of what protein actually is, how much of it we need to stay healthy, the role it plays in the body, why we’ve been made to care so much about it, and the foods in which there is an abundance of quality protein. By the end of this post I think it will become clear that protein is last on the list of things a vegan has to worry about.

Continue reading “Where do You Get Your Protein?”

The Best Vegan Chili

Chili is pretty much a staple dish in every household. I tend to make chili when I don’t have a ton of fresh produce lying around and I want to make use of what’s in my cupboards. One of the challenges when making vegan chili is recreating that hearty, meaty flavour, and achieving a texture similar to chewy pieces of ground beef. The flavour was no big deal; I just used ingredients packed with lots of umami like vegan Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and tomato paste. For the chewy meaty bits I used textured vegetable protein or TVP. TVP is made from soy beans which are mashed, baked, and dehydrated, and need to be reconstituted before being used for cooking. Once rehydrated they become chewy little flavour sponges that are a welcome addition to any dish. I mean anything. That’s why I always keep a few bags of the Bob’s Red Mill brand in my pantry.

This chili is among the best I’ve ever had (If I do say so myself). It’s sweet and spicy and filling, with a wonderfully dynamic flavour that will definitely keep you wanting more. It is perfect served with a warm chunk of vegan cornbread, over rice, or eaten all on its own like a hearty stew. You’re going to love it.

Continue reading “The Best Vegan Chili”

A Week in the Life – Eat Your Veggies!

I have not been having a good week diet-wise. My husband was away at a conference for three days, and I’ve discovered I can really only bring myself to cook when we’re sitting down to eat together; otherwise, I can subsist on very little and am completely unmotivated to cook an actual meal. I definitely didn’t meet my nutritional requirements this week. I also cheated a little on my sugar intake: my grandmother requested my now-famous Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles, so I whipped her up a batch and I struggled internally for hours until finally scarfing one down and then feeling supremely guilty afterwards. And then I had a Diet Coke at the movies (plus popcorn that maybe had butter), and I ate half a party-size pizza, and I had supremely delicious, greasy quinoa onion rings with chipotle mayo, and I had an enormous bowl of poutine. Very few vegetables made an appearance in my week, so I tried to make up for it last night by eating about 3 pounds of broccoli, and let’s just say today I’m paying for my overcompensation. So basically I’m not impressed with myself, but my life’s motto is, “Never a mistake, always a lesson,” and that’s what I’m going to view this week as – a valuable lesson in eating your veggies, and not all in one sitting, otherwise your stomach will seek vengeance.

Last week I mentioned I was developing a recipe for sugar-free almond-cocoa crisps. It’s still in the testing phase because ideally I would use a dehydrator to achieve the crispy texture I’m craving, but since I don’t have one I baked them in the oven for eight hours on the lowest heat possible, which you can imagine is not exactly energy efficient. Once I’ve perfected them I will share the recipe.

I also mentioned that I was researching material for a post on protein. This is currently in the works but is taking longer than anticipated because I really want to get it right. Too often I read posts by vegans that feature misleading or outright incorrect information, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes. I generally aim to research both sides of any issue and avoid limiting myself to materials that affirm my preexisting beliefs. While this practice usually yields more well-rounded and accurate conclusions, it takes double the amount of time, but time I think is well worth the effort. I appreciate your patience and promise I will have something for you soon!

And now, please read on to learn what horrible things I’ve been eating this week. I promise you’ll feel much better about what you ate this week.

Continue reading “A Week in the Life – Eat Your Veggies!”