Comfortably Yum - A Giveaway

When my husband and I decided that we wanted to try out a vegan diet, we did so for a month and as it turns out, we loved how we felt both with what we were putting into our bodies and our impact on the environment as well as all the animals we'd be saving, that we never looked back.  I've had so much fun over the last two and a half years playing around with recipes and my excitement and love of cooking has grown exponentially. And then every now and then something comes along and solidifies how I feel even further. 

One of the things I love doing is showing others that you don't have to have meat or dairy in your diet to have FANTASTIC meals. There are so many incredible recipes out there that even the more diehard carnivore will love. 

I'm excited to share this new eCookbook, Comfortably Yum,  that my lovely and very talented friend, Allison from Allison's Gourmet has created. And guess what? She is giving away a copy to one of YOU!


Allison is a trained vegan chef with over 20 years of plant-based cooking experience and this labor of love is her first eCookbook and I'm happy to share it with all of you. 

I met Allison at IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition) and we instantly clicked. Actually, she sought me out because I was vegan and developed an instant friendship from there. 

Comfortably Yum is a recipe book of ten of your old favorite comfort meals but made plant-based including, Mac and Cheese, Tuna Melt, Vegan Egg Salad and my personal favorite, the Salted Caramel Pudding Parfait (quite possibly one of the best desserts I've ever had!)


I've had the pleasure of trying almost all of these recipes because I was a recipe tester for her and I will say, in my honest opinion, they are incredibly delicious, hearty and very satisfying.

So what do you have to do to enter? It's easy, just like me on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me which recipe you really want to try! The winner will be picked at random on February 18th. 

This giveaway is open to all, 18 years or older and will be live from Monday, February 10th to Monday, February 17th, 11:59pm.

If you're as excited about this book as I am and you want your copy of Comfortably Yum right away, here's a code to get $5 off for this week only: SSA14. (If you win, Allison's will give you a refund.)

In health and happiness,

Are You Ready for Some Football? Vegan Style!

I'll be 100% honest with you. I'm really not the biggest sports fan. I always rather be out hiking someplace or doing something active instead but I grew up in a sports crazed home so there are things I do love about them even if I don't care to watch them myself. It reminds me of my childhood and my family and for that, I love it game days.  With the Superbowl coming up here in the US on Sunday I thought I would talk about the one area of sports I love and that is the camaraderie, the big gathering of friends and family watching my hometown team, the Seahawks play in the big game and of course, the food!

Okay, let's just skip to the food part because that's really what I want to talk about anyway!

Before I ate a plant-based diet I use to fear big social gatherings because I felt like I had no control around the food table. I would follow all the recommended tips to prevent overconsumption like eat before you go and drink lots of water but without fail, I would always leave having consumed WAY too much junk and then I'd spend the rest of the evening in a deep state of self-loathing.

However, when I decided to really clean up my diet and only eat high-quality, whole, plant-based foods everything changed. I no longer fear those big food spreads because I've committed to not eating those for my health and happiness and I always bring a few goodies that I can eat and share with my friends. And you know what? They are ALWAYS a huge hit!

One of my all-time favorites and one I will definitely be making this Sunday are these Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. This is a recipe I made on my other blog, Bullfrogs and Bulldogs and is a huge hit with my veggie and carnivore friends.


One of my favorites growing up, and I can't believe I am going to admit this, was eating Velveeta Chili Cheese Dip that my mom always made. Those days are long gone but this version from Post Punk Kitchen of a Cashew Queso is one I have made several times and definitely a crowd pleaser!

I'm also always good for bringing a big bowl of guacamole with a side of rice crackers and veggies. I'll have to post my famous guac recipe here soon.

Some other great ideas are humus and veggies and you can always check out my Pinterest page for more plant-based superfood recipes that all will enjoy nibbling on!

I promise you, it's so much easier than you'd ever expect. Last weekend for my mom's surprise 60th birthday party I made a vegan spinach and artichoke dip and it was gone before you could say "plant-based foods are the bomb!" Did I mention I'm a total cheese ball?

Regardless of who you are rooting for this coming Sunday (go Hawks!) you don't have to miss out on your foodie favs! Be sure to follow my Pinterest page for more awesome ideas!

How to Conquer a Sugar Addiction {part 1} + A Little Recipe

I am a sugar addict. Or, I was a sugar addict. For years I'd load up on pounds of candy and sugar laden goodies and I couldn't get through a meal without finishing it off with a little something sweet.

My need for candy turned into a need for cakes, croissants and anything else that would give me my little buzz, only to leave me with a serious ache in my belly and a lull in my energy. I would sometimes wake up literally feeling hungover because I had consumed so much sugar the night before.  My head would be foggy, my skin would be muted and dry and my whole body would ache and long for more.

Here is the truth; sugar is a drug. Sugar, in it's most refined, highly processed forms, is a bad and dangerous socially acceptable drug and we don't even realize how much of it is in the foods we consume.

Sugar is pumped into everything to make it taste better and to keep us coming back for more. It wasn't until I started eating an extremely clean  vegan diet that I realized just how addicted I had been over the years. I do my very best to stay away from the stuff now but on the rare occation that I pop a sugar treat into my mouth, I am quickly reminder why it's, why I refer to, as the devil!

Today my need for sweets is still present but it's different.  I am a fanatic for my raw lemon bars and anything with cocao in it but I focus only on eating the things that are whole and natural and leave the white stuff out.

If you are looking to ditch the white stuff but want to know more of how you can get the good stuff I suggest you check out my two Pinterest boards, RAW Treats and Vegan Sweets.

Here you will find some of the most delectable treats I've found around the web and today I'm sharing a clean treat with you as well! Before that however, I want to give you a few tips on how to get over your sugar addiction. Pin it so you can go back and reference it whenever you need to!

10 Tips to Eliminate Your Sugar Addiction

So what can you eat instead of the sugary devil-like foods? Well, stay tuned next week for part two of this post. In the meantime, I leave you with one idea and it's the

Ladies and gents...without further ado here it is:

Blueberry and Raspberry Galette. (Vegan, Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar Free)

galette 2


For the crust you will need:

(I adapted my crust from one I found on Nutrition Striped)

1.5 cups baking and biscuit mix (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Mix)

1/2 cup coconut oil

3-4 tbsp cold water

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp organic pure almond extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

For the filling you will need:

1.5 cup organic blueberries

1.5 cups organic raspberries

Juice from one lemon

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (grade B)

2 tbsp. agave

1.5 tsp organic pure vanilla extract


How to Make:

Begin by preheating oven to 325 degrees.

1. Add berries and all other filling ingredients together into a mixing bowl and set aside to marinate a bit.

2. Pouring the baking mix into a mixing bowl, extracts and salt into a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. I use a hand mixer because my food processor is broken but you could definitely use that!

3. Add in the coconut oil and mix until the pie crust is crumbly. Add ice water and mix until dough clumps together.

4/ Pour mixture onto a baking sheet on top of parchment paper (this makes life easier) and form dough into a large circle.

5. Add berry filling to the center of the pie crust making sure you don't add too much of the juice that has settled at the bottle.

6.  Gently fold just the edges of the dough (about two inches) and place it in a pie dish (I cut out a circle of parchment paper to help with removal later)

6.  Brush the outside of outside of the crust lightly with maple syrup and place in over for 30-40 minutes (this depends on your oven so check after 25 minutes)

7. Allow to cook and then serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.

galette 3

What are your favorite clean treats? Share in the comments below!

The Best Decision I Ever Made + An Offer for You

Today I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about a choice my husband and I made almost two years ago. One that, at first, was more about health, but slowly, over time, has become so much more about who I am as a person, who I've always been, and my core values.

I really haven't spent too much time talking about why I am vegan. When I decided that I wanted to get certified as a health and wellness coach, I knew that my diet and lifestyle choices were something that would be an integral part of my business, but how exactly, I'm still not sure. It is ever evolving (just like me) and I love the doors it has opened for me and the relationships I've built.

Below I share a video. I promise it isn't over the top. It's a cartoon so it can't be that bad, right?  It highlights some pretty important information and really what is the core reason as to why I don't eat animals.


As I mentioned above, almost two years ago my husband came to me with the interest in going vegan. At first I was hesitant, not because I didn't see that value in it but more because I was scared of the changes that would undoubtedly come with giving up all animal products and at the time, I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do it.

I have always eaten a well rounded diet, playing around with vegetarianism for many years because it just felt 'right' to me in my heart. However,I always thought you had to eat meat and dairy to be 'healthy.' So not the case.

After my husband finished the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, he had made the decision that this was the lifestyle for him and I decided to go along with it. We agreed to try it out for a month and reassess after 30 days. We never looked back.

It wasn't until we started to give up animal products that I realized several things were also changing with my body. First, my skin cleared up dramatically. I have always had adult acne, usually flaring up worse when I ate certain things like dairy and gluten/wheat but didn't really put the connection together until after I removed both from my diet. I also noticed that my weight didn't fluctuate anymore. My body found it's natural rhythm and I never feel bogged down after a bigger meal. I feel light and content but never over the top full and heavy.

The biggest thing I noticed was how much a vegan lifestyle resonates with my personal values. I am a huge animal person and in retrospect, eating animals never really made sense to me or made me feel good about myself. However, I believe honesty is so important and so today I feel it is really important for me to share that I still struggle with a few things; namely, honey and the occasional shrimp. Don't ask me why shrimp but it is something I still crave every few months. At first I would beat myself up if I had a bite off someone's plate but recently I realized that it is my ultimate goal to eventually be 100 % animal product free however, I also want to give myself a little bit of room to be human and occasionally flawed. After battling food issues for many years, the last thing I want to do is make myself feel like I'm being deprived of anything. I know one day I will not have those cravings any longer.

The funny thing is, about two months before my husband and I went vegan we purchased 26 baby chicks for the purpose of butchering and eating their eggs. My husband even took a chicken butchering class so that we could be more proactive about knowing exactly where our food was coming from. However,  things changed and we were left with a bunch of chickens. We also had just bred our seven Ewes (female sheep) and a few months later (unbeknownst to us)  we would triple that number leaving us with 21 sheep.

Eventually we ended up selling all the chickens except for four of them that we keep as pets.  I really struggled with getting rid of most of our chickens as I knew I wouldn't have full control over what happened to them and it's a decision I still regret to this day. We didn't have the space or the means to keep them I did my best to find them a good home. However, we did kept all the sheep and I named each and every one of them. Apart from being my pets, we use them in our family vineyard as an organic way of fertilizing and keeping the cover crop down when the vines are dormant throughout the winter. During the summer months they roam amongst the pastures grazing, sun bathing and living the good life.

As much as being vegan is about what my soul wants, it was also one of the healthiest choices I could have made for myself.

About nine years ago I had surgery to remove a precancerous polyp from my colon and was diagnosed with a genetic condition called HNPCC or Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer. This condition significantly increases my lifetime chances of many cancers but primarily, colon, uterine and ovarian by up to 80%. After reading The China Study and learning of all the scientific research, I realized that to give myself the best shot of being cancer-free for a lifetime, I needed to give up the foods that have been scientifically proven to increase those odds; animal products such as meat and dairy.

I know many people have mixed feelings about diet and health and all I can say to this is do your research and listen to your instincts. Sometimes we don't have a logical explanation as to why we do things but have an intense feeling in our stomach that it's the right choice. For me, I had both.

Over the last two years I've experimented with some incredible recipes, learned to 'really' cook and have been blown away by how a well-rounded whole foods diet can effect so much of your overall well-being and I'd love to help you learn to eat this way too.

Ask yourself this; do you want increased energy, clearer skin and brighter eyes and to feel light and satiated after meals? Does eating meat not sit well with you but you are confused about how exactly to eat?

Are you interested in learning more about a vegan lifestyle and diet but are overwhelmed by the idea of changing? I know I can help you. Even if you don't want to go full board vegan but want to learn more about implementing some of these dietary changes into your week I can absolutely help you with that as well.

I invite you to reach out to me to learn more about transitioning into a plant-based, cruelty-free diet. Signing up for a FREE 30 minute consultation is easy and the best way to talk about intentions and learn a little more about eating clean, whole foods. Click here to Sign up here

“Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing nonviolence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable” Gary L. Francione