Venezia 

Before arriving at my temporary home in Florence, Italy I was lucky enough to have the wonderful opportunity to spend a couple days in Venice! I was absolutely enchanted by this city on the water, it’s unlike anything I have ever seen before and there are endless opportunities to enjoy yourself and your unique surroundings. Some of my favorite things in Venice are the gorgeous views of the water and the gondola boats. Here are a few of my favorite photos from vantastic Venezia 

My favorite Florentine violinist 

I added some personal touches to a photo of my favorite street violinist who sits outside the Gucci Store Florence and makes beautiful music (as if real life doesn’t do him enough justice).

Croatia – Rovinj, Split, Dubrovnik

This past week I had the opportunity to drive down the coast of Croatia. It was the most beautiful experience that I would recommend to anyone who loves coastal beauty. I made three stops, the first of which was Rovinj, a picturesque small Istrian town based around a castle on a hillside that overlooks the Adriatic Sea. Next, I saw Split which is a fun city that is also located on the Adriatic Sea. My favorite part of Split was the Old Town which is a collection of the most amazing shops, restaurants, and bars set in Diocletian’s ancient castle which overlooks the Adriatic Sea as well. Finally, I went to Dubrovnik which is where my favorite HBO show, Game of Thrones, did a lot of filming (it is where most of the scenes set in Kings Landing are shot). Dubrovnik is also a town set in an ancient castle overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most dramatic and beautiful cities I have ever seen, with no shortage of breathtaking views and experiences. Here are some photos from my time in this beautiful country, I hope you enjoy!

Rovinj:


Split:


Dubrovnik:


These are just a few of the photos I got in magnificent Croatia, I hope you enjoy looking at them even a fraction of the amount I enjoyed taking them!

Shake Cafe & Vegan Bowl

I have officially found the most perfect spot in Florence – or at least one of them! Shake Cafe is a healthy cafe with the best vibes and even better food, juice, smoothie bowls, buddha bowls, wraps, coffee, and more. They have tons of vegan options and awesome wifi so I have been absolutely in heaven here. Yesterday a I had a delicious veggie wrap  and today I had a vegan curry bowl which had sweet potatoes, chickpeas, beets, cauliflower, quinoa, spinach, and some more of my favorite things.

I have spent some time the past few days taking online coding classes and hanging out here enjoying the adorable, succulent-rich decor and the funky alt music playing. If I could pick a cafe as my spirit animal, you bet it would be this one!

May 17 – Exploring Firenze

Today we (two of my freakin awesome roommates and I) spent a few hours exploring this fantastic city by getting lost in it and I had the opportunity take a few pictures in the process! Here are a few of my favorites, I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Yogi Diaries: A Brief Introduction

As I told you guys in my recent post Honey, I’m Home, I have recently started training to be a yoga teacher at CorePower Yoga here in San Francisco! I’m so excited to share my experience and my progress through my yogic journey with you all, and I hope that my journey will help to encourage you through yours!

I want to begin my Yogi Diary by telling you about what yoga is to me, explaining my relationship with yoga, and my reasons for doing Power Yoga Teacher-Training at this point in my life!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed attending the occasional yoga class here and there. I have always had somewhat of an affinity for it, although as I have gotten older I have become less bendy and my balance still leaves a lot to be desired. One of the things that resonates with me about yoga is the spirituality of it – I am endlessly amazed by yoga’s ability to bring the spirit and the body in sync with one another. I like to think of it as a physical expression of spirituality. I also admire the spirituality of yoga because it is the most accepting spiritual community that I can think of. Unlike any other spiritually based activity, group, or community that I know of, yoga welcomes everyone of all genders, abilities, races, religions, ages, sexuality, socioeconomic groups, you name it and you’re welcome to participate.

Beyond that, and back to the mat, yoga is one of my favorite forms of exercise for so many different reasons. I love that yoga is both an individual experience as well as a shared experience if you’re in a class setting or working with a practitioner. Whether you attend yoga class with someone you know or go alone, you still get to have a totally individual experience while also feeding off of the energy from everyone else in the class. I also love that it is something you can practice on your own, anywhere you go, and with little to no equipment or required materials. Yoga enables you to cultivate your muscles and your bodies versatility and strength in an extremely enjoyable and relaxing way. It’s endless variations, poses, modifications, and challenges offer people at every ability level the opportunity to benefit from yoga. There is nothing like the feeling of laying in a peaceful Shavasana (or corpse pose – just laying flat) at the end of a challenging yoga class; feeling totally loose and relaxed, clear headed, muscles warm, breath full and focused.

As you can probably tell, health and wellness is my passion. This stuff is my JAM, I love it and I can’t get enough. Like I said before, I have always loved yoga and it has always been a daydream of mine to picture myself teaching a yoga class and having extensive knowledge of the practice. When I came back to the Bay Area, I realized that this is my opportunity to really explore my “daydreams” in a real way, and possibly make them a reality! That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to participate in Teacher Training at this crossroads in my life, even though my practice might not be as strong and versatile as I would like it to be.

My schedule right now is very demanding, with 3 hours of teacher training after work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as well as trying to fit in at least one class every day, but so far it’s been nothing but rewarding and energizing. I’m proud of myself for perusing my dream and my passion even though it took a considerable amount of planning, time crunching, and saving, and I can’t wait to continue to share with you my journey and my evolving relationship with yoga!

For now, Namaste y’all 🙂 Stay zen!

Dairy Farm Pit-Stop Pizza

There are times when you have the freedom to pick a perfectly vegan friendly restaurant, and then there are the times that you wind up eating at a dairy farm in the middle of Italy.  Luckily, these friendly Italiano’s were able to whip up a cheese-free veggie covered pizza just for me, and it was absolutely sensational.

This should serve as a reminder to us all that it’s quite possible to enjoy the wonderful delicacies that Italy is known for without “cheating” or breaking your vegan morals! Bon appetite !pizza

Inspiration Point, CA

This week I took a little trip to Inspiration Point with my trusty beagle companion, Diego and took some pictures. I hope you enjoy them!

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Easy Vegan Zoodle Dinner

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Incase you were wondering what I whip up for dinner if I can’t decide what to make, here it is: One Pan Balsamic Veggie and Zoodle Dinner. And theres good news: it’s SO easy to make, and it’s SO good for you!

All you need are zoodles (you can buy these at the store but I prefer to make my own using my spirilizer which I got on amazon.com for about $25), veggies of your choice (I usually have frozen brussel sprouts and pearl onions on hand), aged balsamic vinegar, red pasta sauce, and seasonings of your choice (I use Himalayan pink salt, pepper, chili flakes, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on just about everything).

Here’s how I prepare it:

First I start by heating a pan on high with a little bit of oil and himalayan pink salt, and then I add in the thickest vegetables (I like to cut my brussels in half and cook them face down on the skillet so that they are somewhat crispy by the end) and then continue to add vegetables in based on how long they will take to cook. Feel free to add more oil (I love Trader Joe’s coconut and olive oil aerosol sprays) and now is the time to add seasonings like himalayan pink salt, pepper, and chili flakes as well. When everything seems to be cooked to your liking, turn heat to low and add a generous drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. Next just transfer it into a bowl, add pasta sauce and nutritional yeast on top, and viola, you have a healthy, refreshing, vegan dinner ready to eat!

It may look somewhat complicated, but as usual it’s very simple and your dishwasher and digestive system will both be thanking you for that fact.

Keep it simple, keep it veg!!! Peace and love y’all

Juice Cleanses: Worth the Hype?

Everyone has their two cents to put in about juice cleansing. Is it great for you? Is it horrible for you? Does it serve a real purpose? Is it totally redundant since your body is constantly detoxifying itself? Who knows! All I know is, I love it. In moderation of course, as with everything.

The longest juice cleanse I have done has been 4 days of nothing but juice, water and herbal tea, so nothing extreme. More frequently, however, I have done 3 days, 2 days and even just 1 day. I have tried all 3 of the popular Pressed Juicery cleanses and I have also tried BluePrints 3 day cleanse, as well as Georgia based Arden’s Garden’s 2 day cleanse, and I have also put together my own cleanses using the juices available at the supermarket. So I’m no expert, but I do know a thing or two about the popular juicing craze and I’m here to share my ~juicy~ philosophy (or philoSophie, if you will):

I want to start by laying it all out there, my feelings about juicing for me and for everyone else, as well as my reasons for juicing and my personal connection to it.

I’ll say it again: I love juicing. Short term juice fasts are great for me for so many reasons; they help cut cravings, they flush me out, they give my sensitive digestive system some time off, they pump me full of nutrients, they clear my head, they force me to regulate myself and listen to my body extremely vigilantly, they’re basically just a big reset button for me. I have learned that sometimes my body just needs to take a beat, and this is the method that works for me.

That being said, I’m not under the impression that juice cleansing serves some overarching, pivotal, medicinal purpose or that it is something that my body couldn’t go without. I would never pressure anyone to juice with me or claim any kind of superiority over someone who doesn’t like to juice. My recommendation when it comes to juicing is to listen to your own body, and respond to it. Who knows, you might be like me and feel refreshed and rejuvenated. You also might feel irritable and deprived, no shame in that, just remember it’s not a competition so there’s no shame in quitting! Sometimes it feels like my body is begging for a day of juice, so that’s what I give it. Other times, it feels like my body is begging for a beer and a basket of fries, so that’s what I give it! Long story short, if juicing isn’t your jam then forget it, who needs it if it sucks?

To give you a more in depth history of my emotional relationship with juicing, I have to give you some back ground info. This may come as a surprise, or maybe it won’t, but I used to struggle with an eating disorder. All I ever thought about was food; when I would eat next, what I would eat next, how I could avoid eating, or how I would punish myself if I did overeat. Needless to say, I would find myself in some crazy psychological funks surrounding food. I knew full well that I needed to provide my body with nutrients in order to live, but I also had the eating disorder devil on my shoulder telling me to forget about that and to do whatever it took to avoid ingesting anything. At this particular point in time, it was finals week at my University so I needed to study and just take my mind off of food. Having juiced in the past (before my ED had become serious) and knowing that it worked for me, I decided to do a 3 day cleanse during finals week for the soul purpose of taking my mind off of food. And guess what? It worked! It was the first time that I felt truly “reset” by cleansing, and from then on it was a method that I employed very frequently when my ED would become unbearably overwhelming. Right or wrong, juicing was a tool that I used to help pull myself out of my eating disorder. As a result, it’s something that I feel strong gratitude for and that I feel very lucky to have found.

Lately, I have enjoyed cleansing for just one day here and there (I would say once a month or so) to reset my palette and apatite when I notice myself having lots of cravings or when my body just doesn’t feel right. I like to think of it as my way of hitting the reset button for my innards. Since I work right near two Pressed Juicery locations, that’s basically my go-to for juice. When I do my one day resets I choose the most advanced set of juices (pictured), which consists of 5 green juices and 1 almond milk. If I have an active day, I’ll stop by and grab a 7th juice or almond milk to keep myself from feeling deprived. Contrary to what you might think, these juices almost always last me through the day as long as I pace myself – I like to make a juice schedule when I start my first juice – and keep me feeling full and relatively satiated. They’re also tasty, especially the almond milk, and they have the ingredients listed right on the front so you know exactly what you’re getting!

After I finish a cleanse even as short as one day, I experience a multitude of benefits: cravings significantly diminish, bloat decreases if not vanishes, I sleep soundly and I wake up with ease, I can think more clearly, I don’t feel tempted to overeat, my senses are heightened, and those are just the benefits I can think of off the top of my head! Sometimes the benefits might seem to last longer or to be more or less intense, but no matter what I always feel overwhelmingly refreshed and reenergized.

On a more serious note, there are many stigmas attached to juice cleansing that brand it as some torturous, depriving, quick-fix weight loss tactic. I hope this post will serve to show that if done correctly it can be much more than that, and that it could be something to consider trying if your body or mind feel clogged or foggy. For a first time cleanser, the Pressed Juicery and BluePrint both have awesome beginner options (you can even get them delivered right to your door) – and don’t feel like it’s the end of the world if you need to snack on a raw almond or two while you’re cleansing. Ultimately, any type of cleanse you do is for YOU, so don’t let anyone tell you what’s wrong for YOUR body. Feel it out, and have fun with it!

So my conclusion? Juice cleansing is worth the hype from where I stand! We all stand in different spots, however, and I would love to hear new perspectives on this topic. Whether it’s a green juice, a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, cheers to listening to your body and doing what’s right for YOU!

Destination Relaxation: Monterey Bay Area

As you’re probably well aware at this point, I’m currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area and chronicling my life as a vegan (among other things). Admittedly, California and the Bay Area especially is probably one of the best places in the world for vegans. Even still, it’s always a special treat to escape from your every day environment and see what other places have to offer! This passed weekend, my Mom and I decided to take a quick trip to Pacific Grove and Monterey, CA where I stumbled upon some beautiful vegan meals, beverages and gorgeous views.

Before I begin to gush about all that Pacific Grove and Monterey have to offer, I’d like to give you a little bit of background information about weekend getaways with my mom and I (the self proclaimed real life, authentic version of the Gilmore Girls). Since day one, my mom and I have always been chillers. Hanging out and relaxing, living on island time is our absolute jam and we do all that we can to indulge ourselves in some good old fashioned lazy vacation days at every opportunity we can find. For us, the perfect getaway involves lots of long walks, comfort food, wine, and shopping. The Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel area has always been exactly our speed for weekend getaways because of it’s quaint, mellow nature and dog friendly communities as well as it’s close proximity to the Bay Area.

Since I was a little girl, my mom and I have stayed in a picturesque, rustic group of cottages in Pacific Grove called Andril Fireplace Cottages. We love it there because of it’s laid back, vintage feel and it’s dog-loving environment. We also love it there because of it’s walkable yet not-too-close distance from the downtown areas of Pacific Grove and Monterey, if I had to guess I would say that it’s about one mile from downtown Pacific Grove and two miles from downtown Monterey (where the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium is located). Our go-to vacation day activity is covering ourselves head-to-toe in athlesiure wear and setting out on foot to find brunch, shopping, and wine tasting if we’re lucky.

As promised, the best brunch was found this passed weekend in Pacific Grove at a restaurant called Toasties Café on Lighthouse Ave. A die-hard lover of potatoes, you can probably imagine my excitement when I spotted “potato dish” on the menu of an otherwise somewhat traditional, non-vegan brunch menu. A restaurant meal of breakfast style potatoes, vegetables, avocado, and various hot sauces? I honestly don’t think I could name four things I would choose over those for any meal. To make the experience even more wonderful, we were able to sit outside on a sunny patio with our beagle, Diego while we enjoyed mimosas, coffee and our breakfast.

I could seriously go on and on… and on and on and on about how delicious this breakfast was. Maybe it was the mimosas, but this simple dish was exactly the brunch that I always dream of, and as someone who used to enjoy breakfast scrambles it’s the perfect vegan substitute for that simple savory breakfast option.

After our wonderful breakfast experience, we continued to walk around downtown Pacific Grove and all the way through to Monterey. On our walk, I found an awesome store called The Mind Shop Metaphysical Books and Gifts where I was lucky enough to find some low priced quartz, rose quartz, amazonite, selenite, and amethyst. Although I don’t know a lot, or anything really, about crystals, I have been wanting to educate myself on their healing powers and how to use them so I was excited that I could pick some up for less than $10.00! I also got a bumper sticker for my computer that says “There’s No Place Like Om”.

Just down the road, and located in the tourist area of Monterey, we came across another highlight of our trip: the Carmel Ridge wine tasting room overlooking the Monterey Bay! We had the most pleasant experience looking out at the water and tasting some awesome wines (somewhat reasonably priced, too!) and we were even able to veganize their meat and cheese platter, turning it into an assortment of delicious crackers, dried fruit, and nuts! Lucky for me, my mom is completely on board with my choice to be vegan and she even tries to eat vegan as much as possible herself, which makes traveling and eating together super convenient for me.

We loved the Carmel Ridge tasting room so much that we ended up going back the next day! After our long walk home that second night, we were more than ready to indulge in some margaritas and Mexican food. It is a common misconception that vegans would have an extremely difficult time finding fare at Mexican resteraunts. Fortunately for me, the reality is quite contrary! Vegetable Fajitas are a staple on pretty much every single Mexican menu, so they tend to be my go-to when ordering Mexican.

This weekend, however, I was able to mix things up a bit on the Mexican food front with El Torito’s delicious spinach enchiladas! Aside from the fact that they sprinkled some cheese onto my dish (which was very minimal and easy to remove), I was obsessed with everything about this dish. It was as amazing to look at as it was to taste. The margaritas and guacamole were splendid as well, we had the most wonderful time watching the Warrior’s game and enjoying our dinner. All and all, both my mom and I were left with a good taste in our mouth – literally and figuratively!

Along with these four places that we found and loved were countless other adorable spots in Pacific Grove and Monterey. There are tons of vegan eats that I didn’t have time to try, and dozens of charming shops and experiences that we made a note to check out on our next trip. At the end of the day, the Monterey Bay Area is an amazingly beautiful, unique and relaxing part of California and we will definitely continue to cherish our stays there! Walking, eating, drinking, and shopping our way through a new place is by far our favorite way to get to know a new location and after this weekend I have a few other recommendations up my sleeve. Feel more than free to reach out to me if you’re curious. For now, keep on keeping it simple and keeping it whole 🙂

Yogi Diaries: Updates and Intentions

As I delve deeper into the world of yoga and as I am suddenly at a point in my life where free time is scarce, I am becoming more and more aware of the importance of going about my life in a more purposeful and mindful way. When there are fewer hours in the day than you might like, it’s important to ration your time and to assign a purpose or reason to each thing you do, which is why I want to start to focus more on setting clear intentions for my life, weeks, days, and even little tasks.

While I have always had goals in life, I’m finding myself now at a time where I am completely in the driver’s seat of my life for the first time. It’s a strange mixture of terrifying and exhilarating, most importantly, however, it’s inspiring. At any transition point in life, it’s important to find the direction that’s right for you and run with it. While I am constantly exhilarated and excited by the possibilities of the future, I’m beginning to learn that the “run with it” part of finding your path can be easier said than done.

For the past week or so, I spent time focusing on the beginning two aspects of the 8 limbed yogic path: the first Yama, Ahisma which represents non-violence or non-harm, and the first Niyama, Saucha which stands for cleanliness and purity in all aspects of life (for more background information, see my earlier post Yogi Diaries: A Spiritual Journey Beginning with Yamas & Niyamas). The outcome of my focus on these aspects of life was somewhat minimal, but meaningful nonetheless.

Since I already have an inherently non-violent vegan diet, I sort of feel like I used it as a cop-out for focusing on Ahisma. I would have liked to spend more time looking inward and focusing on how I treat all of the people I interact with on a daily basis. I would have liked to make more progress towards eliminating any accidental rudeness or unintentionally inconsiderate behavior, but at the very least it’s good that I am thinking about it at all so that I can continue to make an effort going forward. For Saucha, I made an effort to keep my bedroom space more tidy and to clean up after myself more thoroughly, especially in the kitchen. While my room is still far from perfect, I do think that I made some progress or at least taught my self some helpful tidiness tips and tricks that I’ll be able to employ in the future.

For the week or so to come, I’ll be focusing on the next Yama and Niyama. Respectively, Satya which stands for honesty and truthful communication, and Santosha which represents personal contentment and being enough on your own. As someone who has recently been in recovery from an eating disorder, I think that this one could be particularly hard for me. Intrinsic contentment and confidence is something that I deeply struggle with. I am nervous and scared to look that still-open wound directly in the face because I don’t know how it will feel. I’m terrified to be alone with my thoughts and feelings on this matter, but the fact that I have such fear shows me that it needs to be done and that I should give this aspect of my life special attention. I think that Satya and Santosha will compliment each other as my focuses for this time period to come because I will have to focus on communicating honestly with myself, and being truthful about my progress when it comes to self acceptance. Wish me luck and send me good vibes through this microjourney that I’m embarking on!

Now on a very different note…

Since this is my diary as an emerging yogi, I’m going to bring the conversation back to the mat for a hot second. Since day one, my balance has been sub-par to say the least. Nailing crow was much more of struggle for me than I would ever care to admit. Since I mastered it, I have been trying to work on my tripod head stand and my chin stand. I want to emphasize how unbelievably difficult balancing is for me, because these poses seem to be much harder for me than the average person. It is beyond frustrating to advance so slowly in some aspects (balances) as compared to other aspects of my practice.

That being said, last night I finally found myself in a comfortable straight leg supported head stand (or sirshasana if you prefer Sanskrit)!!! This was a seriously big deal for me, like HUGE! I was so excited and proud of myself that I lost my focus and toppled straight to the ground. In the process, one of my knees ended up hitting my right forearm instead of the ground and as a result my arm has been hurting all day since. It actually caused so much pain in my forearm that I decided to skip yoga class completely today in order to avoid putting weight on the arm (since that’s when it hurts the most). This kind of stuff is scary for me as someone who has little to no experience with injury. Luckily, my arm is feeling better already so I think I’ll just be able to chalk it up to a close call and a sign that I shouldn’t get ahead of myself in the future.

At the end of the day, I’m so so so very excited about getting into my head stand and I hope it will open more doors for me! I am attending a balancing workshop this coming Saturday so hopefully I’ll have a few solid days of headstand practice before then. I hope that my struggles and constant sequences of trial and error will inspire y’all to try something new or tackle your goals because even if you (literally, in my case) fall on your face the first time it will always be worth it in the end.

I know that my writing has been lacking lately, but I’m getting back into my groove this week I promise so stay tuned for more recipes and/or bay area eats and whatnot. For now, keep it HONEST and keep it CONTENT in solidarity with me!

 

Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

I’m usually not the type who reaches for a muffin first thing in the morning, but every once and awhile I just crave something sweet and decadent in the morning. As a vegan it can be hard to satisfy certain cravings, especially when it comes to baked goods since options are somewhat limited, that’s why I decided to take matters into my own hands!

Even beyond the fact that there are few vegan baked goods available to buy (although the options are improving exponentially), I prefer my own homemade baked goods because I like to know exactly what I am putting into my body. I tend to be weary of store bought baked goods because it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to preservatives and the quality of the ingredients.

This recipe is extra near and dear to my heart because it will forever go down in history as my very first original vegan breakfast baked goods recipe. As such, it’s extra simple with no complicated directions or uncommon ingredients which makes it super easy to replicate! I always love to whip up a batch of some yummy vegan food to share because it gives me the opportunity to show the people in my life that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor or indulgence in order to enjoy a vegan lifestyle!

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe:

You’ll Need:

For the Muffins:

  • 2 Cups of Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Baking Soda
  • 3 tbsp. melted Coconut Oil
  • 3 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1/5 Cup Blueberries

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup Chopped Raw Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Agave Syrup (maple syrup will do as well)

To Prepare:

This is the easy part! Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In a big mixing bowl combine all of the muffin ingredients except for the blueberries together until the batter is smooth and even. In a separate bowl, combine all topping ingredients to make a granola-ish mixture. In a greased muffin tin, fill each muffin hole about 1/3 of the way, and add 2-3 blueberries to each one. Bake in for 20 minutes. At this point, sprinkle the topping mixture over top of each muffin, and bake another 5-10 minutes or until the tops are just solid. Let cool, and watch them disappear! 🙂

The cool thing about this recipe is that it’s extremely versatile so it gives you the freedom do customize it however you want. For example, you may want to exclude the coconut flakes and add in chocolate chips or substitute the blueberries for goji berries! The options are endless. The other awesome part about this recipe is that the batter is so light and fluffy that it works as a vegan baked doughnut recipe as well! To make vegan doughnuts, just grease a doughnut tin and fill up each doughnut about 1/3 of the way, bake for 15-20 minutes and voila! Vegan Doughnuts! I actually made a few flower shape mini muffins as you can see in the photos below, and they turned out great as well.

Since this recipe is so new, I would absolutely love to hear any feedback or constructive criticism that you might have for it! I hope you enjoy these as much as my friends, family and coworkers that I served them to did! Keep it simple, keep it vegan and keep it whole!

Vegan Rosemary Flatbread Crust

When I think of some of life’s greatest pleasures, it’s hard not to think of pizza. Unfortunately, it can be tough to find a truly satisfying and delicious vegan pizza, which is why today I decided to take matters into my own hands! The final product was this addicting Rosemary and Brown Rice Flour Flatbread Crust topped with a modified version of my garbanzo avocado mash (see my recent post Worlds Best Garbanzo Avocado Mash), heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced radishes, and black sesame seeds.

I want to share this vegan pizza crust recipe with y’all because I’m pretty sure it’s the best thing to ever grace my oven, and it will definitely be a staple for me from now on. It has the perfect combination of rich flavors (rosemary is my favorite in this) and crunchy yet doughy texture. It’s also easy and quick to make, and you have the freedom to customize the toppings to your hearts desire! I tried to keep it to as few ingredients as possible, but feel free to add or take out any spices based on your tastes and what you have in your pantry.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 tsp active yeast
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 tsp dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 tsp active yeast with 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tbsp of all purpose flour, let sit for 5 minutes to let yeast activate
  2. Add in 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour as well as all of the seasonings and 1 tsp olive oil and mix and kneed until dough is soft and slightly sticky
  3. Roll dough into a ball and let sit for 15 minutes, preheat oven to 435 degrees
  4. Add about 1/2 tsp olive oil to the outside of the ball of dough, and use your hands and a bit of flour to spread the dough thin on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper – remember that the dough will rise slightly in the oven so spread it thin, leaving it just slightly thicker around the edges (think 13-14 inches)
  5. At this point you can add sauce and toppings to your pizza, or you can bake it with no toppings and wait until after the crust is cooked to add toppings (depending on if you want the toppings to be hot or cold)
  6. Bake for 17 minutes or until dough becomes golden brown on the edges
  7. Remove from oven, add toppings, and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and it’s even better knowing that each ingredient has nutritional value that will benefit my body. I might consider adding hemp hearts or changing up the spices in the future based on what toppings I intend to use, but I can’t imagine an outcome much better than this rosemary and brown rice flour combo!

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As I said above, I used my yummy Worlds Best Garbanzo Avocado Mash as topping tonight. I modified the mash by adding some baby arugula, another half of an avocado, chili pepper, and pink Himalayan salt.

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Stay healthy and stay compassionate y’all! B-)

Quick n’ Easy Sweet Green Smoothie Bowl

Generally, I don’t have time to put together a delicious home cooked breakfast on my way out the door in the morning. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m the girl who presses snooze 5 times on the alarm clock and then ends up rushing out the door with no time to spare. This morning, however, I found myself with an extra half hour on my hands and felt my blender calling my name.

When it comes to breakfast, I don’t like to fill up first thing in the morning because I find that a super full stomach tends to drain my energy and slow me down. So on this workday morning, it was my mission to create a light, refreshing, and simple smoothie bowl that would give me energy for the day and pack tons of nutrients into one pretty package.

The result was this Nutty Zucchini and Tuscan Kale Low Sugar Smoothie Bowl! I loved this recipe because it had the perfect texture to leave me feeling both energized and satiated, plus it tasted amazing and was packed with veggies. In the toppings, I included wonderful sources of plant based protein and fats, it ended up with the perfect amount of fortifying substance that prepared me to tackle the day. There’s no better feeling than beginning your morning knowing you have already done your body a favor and everything else you do for it is just bonus!

This bowl made the perfect amount for one medium size smoothie bowl, no more and no less. I hate having extra in the blender because I rarely end up eating leftover smoothie, so a recipe that yields the perfect amount for one bowl is a keeper for me! Here’s the recipe:

In the blender:

  • 1 1/2 Frozen Chopped Zucchini
  • 1 Extra Large Handful of Tuscan Kale
  • 1/2 Small Banana
  • 2 Large Cauliflower Florets
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk (or nut milk of your choice)

Blend these together on high for 2 minutes or until the color is even and the consistency is just thicker than a regular smoothie

Toppings:

  • Banana
  • Raw Almonds
  • Organic All Natural Cashew Butter
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Hemp Seed Hearts


Lucky for me, this morning was gorgeous in the Bay Area and I was able to sit outside on my front porch and enjoy the early morning light while I ate my smoothie bowl. I like to power down my electronics and savor my food whenever I can, so this morning was a special treat. I would love to hear about any modifications or additions that you used to improve upon this recipe! Keep it green & keep it whole 🙂