Check out one of my favourite authors, Kathy Freston, teaching an eager family how to eat a plant-based diet. It’s a 3-minute video and well worth the watch, not only because Kathy’s GORJ and glowing, but because there’s some good info and tips for those interested in (what Kathy calls) “leaning in” to a healthier lifestyle. Checkit!

Love that dog!

So what’d you think? Inspired? Tacos?

xo Haley-O

Skinny Bitch author and former model Kim Barnouin has a new cookbook out, and it’s just as bitchy as the rest of the books in the series — actually, a lot gentler, I must say. It’s called Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Every Cookbook, and I’m a fan….


In addition to truly scrumptious and creative recipes, there are great tips scattered throughout the book (kitchen tips, tips on eating seasonally, diet tips, antioxidant tips, tea tips, etc.). I’ve haven’t read a cookbook cover-to-cover in a long time…. But I did, indeed, read this one cover to cover. Rest assured, it has none of the horrifying and distressing information that made the original Skinny Bitch so powerful and provocative (and, in turn, largely responsible for turning yours truly vegan in the first place). The information in Kim’s The Ultimate Everyday Cookbook is positive and encouraging, and the photos are literally mouth-watering.

Although I’ll stick to the simpler recipes in the book, here’s a video of Kim making her Butternut Squash Ravioli on The Today Show. Enjoy!

By the way, as of today, Halloween (in 10 minutes), I’m breaking up with Starbucks soy chai lattes. We are DUNZO. I’m breaking up with this horrid drink on Kim’s advice — I love how she likens food addictions to relationships (in one of those yummy tip pages in the book). I’ve never broken up with anyone before. I guess there’s a first time for everything….


xo Haley-O


Whenever I go to one of my favourite health food stores in Toronto, Organic Abundance, I not only stock up on wholesome goodies, but also knowledge. They’ve got some wise vegans over there, including one Jennifer Laur.

Jennifer Laur is a raw vegan, and she — like a growing number of peeps from all walks across the globe — are loving this eco-friendly and truly tasty way of life.

Maybe it’s the trademark youthful glow of these raw vegans (Jennifer looks amazing), I’m not sure…. But, I want to get ON THAT! I mean, it makes sense. When you cook something, as the theory goes, you’re killing all its key nourishing enzymes. While I don’t believe one has to go completely raw to reap the benefits, I do think the more raw you eat the better. I certainly feel better since I’ve consciously added more raw into my diet.

So, Gorgeouses, meet Jen. Jen? Meet the Gorgeouses. Jen’s going to help us add more raw into our diets by bringing on the scrumptious recipes now and then. Starting with this delightful raw vegan Caesar Salad. I tried it just tonight. And, while it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like Caesar (I may have used too much lemon juice, and I didn’t have any coconut on hand), I loved it, and, more importantly, my picky little eaters each ate A BOWL of salad drizzled with it. So, there you go. TRY IT!



1 head romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 large carrot shredded
1/2 cup dried coconut, grated


2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (2 tbsp max, I’d say)
1 tbsp honey (vegans who don’t eat honey can substitute with 1tbsp agave nectar)
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, ground


1. Combine the lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, onion, carrot and lettuce in a large bowl.
2. Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Pour dressing over salad. Toss well, and serve!

Again, I didn’t have coconut on hand, and I decided to omit the onions. So, I’d say these two items are optional. The shredded carrots, however, are a must. Their juice somehow adds to the richness and texture of the dish. ENJOY! And let us know what you think!

Thank you Jen!

xo Haley-O

There comes a time in every vegan’s life, I’m learning, that s/he has to get off her arse and cook — and start bringing her own food to Friday night dinner at it’sgrandma’s because it’sgrandma has enough individual palettes to satisfy.

So, I’m cooking for myself. Even if I have Rascal at my feet, tugging at my lululemons, I’m cooking for myself — not just rice and beans — but FANCY stuff. Well, I’ve made one meal. But, it’s served me well for THREE DAYS, and the monkeys enjoyed it, too (sort of — they only REALLY like “treats”). The apple in this dish DOES taste like APPLE PIE, though!

As a vegan dish, this is wonderfully nutritious and convenient: a mixture of grains and legumes makes it a good source of protein; the sweetness of the light coconut milk helps satisfy sugar cravings, and it’s oh-so-nutritious; the dish is loaded with fiber, beta carotene; and, finally, it’s LIGHT, one-pot, easy-peasy.

I adapted the recipe from Dreena Burton’s wonderful cookbook Vive le Vegan!

Check it….

(Serves 4-6)

2-3 cups cooked/canned chick peas (and/or kidney/aduki beans)
1 (400 ml) can of light coconut milk (I’m sure you could try this with vegetable stock instead — let me know, if you try that)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1-2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
2 parsnips (sliced) (optional, but nice because adds more variety with each bite)
1 cup celery (sliced) (optional)
1-2 apples (peeled, cubed)
1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbsp curry paste (optional) (I didn’t have any on hand….)
1.5 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or around 1/2 teaspoon dried)
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric (for orange glow…, and more importantly for its HEALTHY properties)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp allspice

2 cups cooked quinoa (or other grain)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Place all the ingredients in a large pot or casserole dish.

3. Stir it up ’till nice and combined.

4. Bake for 60-70 minutes, stopping midway to give it a stir.

5. Let it sit for a bit, and then serve in individual bowls with quinoa (or other grain)!


(By the way, check author Dreena Burton’s food blog HERE!)

It was this lovely salad that inspired me to do something about my diet — which has deteriorated so much since my cleanse ended that I find myself exhausted, shaky, anxious and depleted…. Arugula salad with chopped fennel, orange, walnuts and a tangy dressing of olive oil, freshly squeezed orange juice and basil. So simple, but creative, aesthetically-pleasing and super healthy. My friend set it in front of me after I insisted that she don’t go out of her way — on our pizza playdate — to feed my vegan self…. And, I was inspired. Inspired to cook again (and, thus, to update this blog, finally) and inspired to get back into the kitchen and create. Fennel! She put fennel in the salad!

The next day, I went to the bookstore and finally bought this book I’ve been eyeing a long time: Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet….

Because something had to be done. I mean, the way my body thanked me upon each bite of delightfully bitter arugala, each nutty crunch of walnut, each juicy squish of orange slice? It was like Minden at cookie time….

…THANKFUL. See, I AM a yoga instructor. So, I might be a little more aware of my body than most people. And I totally felt the thanks with every bite. I KNOW my body needs work. It needs help and proper, educated nourishment. If I’m going to be a vegan — which I am, because I love animals beyond the norm — I have to do it right. If I want to live to a ripe old age with healthy bones and peace of mind, I have to do it right.

So, here are some things I’ve learned from the book (my eyes HURT from scanning its pages all day), that I’ll do, or that I’ll do more consistently, to get healthy and stay on the HEALTHY vegan wagon for life (fingers crossed!)….

1. Have I told you about the sweet potatoes? I can’t remember. I buy about four a week — all for me because my kids won’t touch ‘em now, for some reason…. Right when I get home from the grocery store, I take out my sweet potatoes, poke ‘em with a knife several times and stick ‘em in the oven at 400°F. Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet — loaded with beta carotene, fiber, and so much more. More importantly…, they’re like CANDY. Their juice even oozes out of the holes I poke, and it caramelizes, and I peel it off the baking sheet AND EAT IT — total CANDY. YOU MUST TRY IT….

2. OMEGA 3s. OMG, have I told you about Omega 3s? You need ‘em. Especially if, like me, you’re prone to depression and anxiety (of course, they’re essential for a host of other reasons…). If you don’t eat fish, you must take a supplement. I am now making a concerted effort to get my omegas 3s from walnuts (I make sure my kids eat walnuts), hemp seeds, and a daily dose of Udo’s Choice, which came highly recommended to me by the vitamin person at the health food store…. At first, I thought I had to put a tablespoon into a smoothie every time I wanted to take it. But, yesterday, I realized I could take it no problem mixed in a glass of water. Easy.

3. KALE. You know I love my kale. From now on, I eat one whole bunch of kale a week — at least. I just stick it in a pot with an inch of water and some chopped portobello mushrooms, cover, and leave it on the stove until it’s just steamed. When it’s ready, I pour on a little tamari (soy sauce) and some olive/canola oil, sprinkle with pine nuts (and maybe a press of garlic), and ENJOY. It’s a really nice dish…. Kale, and all dark leafy greens, are such important non-dairy sources calcium. Indeed, since the Monkey decided she doesn’t love milk, I ask her to eat a little kale whenever I make it. She forces it down — it’s great. Heh. I’ll also puree kale and put it in smoothies, and I’ll puree spinach and put it in my kids’ scrambled GREEN EGGS!

4. FORTIFIED ORANGE JUICE. I love that ORANGE JUICE is now part of my diet. I need it because FORTIFIED orange juice is a valuable source of calcium AND vitamin D — which has been all over the news as a major cancer preventer. If you can’t get into direct sunlight for 15-20 minutes a day, you need to take a D supplement. While I have some D in my multivitamin, it’s not enough in these winter months. PLUS, you need vitamin D to properly absorb calcium. So, HOLLAH to the new orange juices that are adding not only calcium but vitamin D to the mix…. One cup a day! Cheers!

5. LENTILS. I hereby vow to have cooked lentils in my fridge at all times. They’re such a perfect food. Full of fiber, protein and other important stuff. If they’re sitting in my fridge, I can dump ‘em in salads, pasta, on rice…. I feel healthier already!

6. FIGS. I’m also SO pleased to announce that dried figs are now an essential part of my diet. LOVE! One serving (five figs) offers a good source of non-dairy calcium for vegans. We’re supposed to get 6-8 servings of non-dairy calcium daily. So, between this and the kale and the orange juice (and the almond butter and hummus I love, and soy/rice milk), I’m golden.

7. Since we’re on the topic of calcium and bones…. 30 minutes of exercise a day is now MANDATORY. I have to do it…. Must stay strong so I can do this forever (yes, I’m posting it again — must take more yoga pics)….

Think you’ll try any of this? Of course, it’s all great advice for vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike! What do you think?

Off to eat a sweet potato…. And I’m, seriously?, really excited about it.

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