Brand-new name, brand new attitude (hopefully)

On this lovely and sunny Monday afternoon, something fabulous happened: I found my new blog name!

Why “My Lighthearted Kitchen”?

Well, for the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about my life, my beliefs, and my attitude. From this introspection came the realization that I used to be a lot more lighthearted, but that somehow with stress, work, stress from work, and growing up, this quality has started to crumble out of my personality.

This is not a good thing. (see what I mean?)

So, in an effort to show more lightheartedness, I decided that working with a name that was scary and limiting had to stop. Why scary? Well, try telling someone you barely know, like a colleague for example, that you are vegan. When I did, I certainly was welcomed with fear, misunderstanding, teasing, concern, and often anger. Not very lighthearted words.

This was taken last summer, when I was working with kids and really channeling my inner lightheartedness. Look at these wonderful Montreal grown figs! They were delicious!

This was taken last summer, when I was working with kids and really channeling my inner lightheartedness. Look at these wonderful Montreal grown figs! They were delicious!

Also, I really want to share my recipes and show others that it can be easy and simple to switch to a vegan diet. Of course, I cannot do this with a scary name. As I didn’t want to go with the new vegan (plant based) word, I tried to focus on a quality that I wish my work here to stem from.

So, yes, my recipes will still continue to be vegan and gluten-free. However, the spirit in which they will be done and shared will be different.

So, in all lightheartedness, I hope you enjoy the new content, and let me know what you think!

And I’m back again!

Hello amazing people!

Where was I? Well, last year has been a really busy and weird year.

First, it was my first year teaching, meaning that my personal life almost died by the time June came. I really thought that I would write or film everyday of the summer, but after a year of intense work, I really couldn’t get myself to do it. In fact, this was probably the worst summer of my life.

For the first time ever, I got insomnia and spent multiple nights crying and asking myself if I had made the right career choice, or if I had just made the wrong decision.

Then, September came back and so did school. I really did not feel like coming back and felt enormous pressure as to my teaching performance. I questioned myself continuously about how I would face the students, the administration and the other teachers. Of course, because of our weird education system, I didn’t even know if I would get the same  job as last year, if any for that matter.

A week before the beginning of the school year, I got a call for the same job I had done last year. I restarted and try to forget about my doubts and aspirations. See, between two sobs, I thought about what I could do if didn’t have a job come September. I realized I really wanted to pursue veganism and share my experience and knowledge about being vegan. I also wanted to push my gardening experiments. Finally I started to write my own recipes and found great ones that I want to share! However, because life as an adult is, well, life, I did come back to school.

I have to say, things are a lot better than last year, and I feel very excited about sharing things with you again. Also, I have reconnected with an old friend, and I am very happy about what this means as she has recently become vegan. Collabs on their way, maybe! 🙂

Anyhoo, come back often to discover new recipes, exciting reviews and videos!

Something yummy this way comes!

Something yummy this way comes!

Where have we been?

It has been several months since we posted anything here! Final internships, adopting a cat and changing out apartment has kept us quite busy, with late nights and many early mornings.

However, as I am now starting the last week of my last internship to finish my TESL degree (yay!), I feel like I can breathe again. These two final internships (one primary, one secondary) have really stretched my resources and patience to their limit. Nonetheless, they also showed me that teaching was really my thing. So, yes, I do feel exhausted, but I am happy. What else can you ask for? (… sleep!) If you are interested, check this project I started with students: http://missanneandcompany.wordpress.com/ It’s always fascinating to see what their little brains can come up with!

For those of you wondering, yes, we did end up adopting Tootsie. I guess we were naive to think that we could
1) find someone to adopt an elderly cat
2) have the guts to bring her back to the SPCA after her foster period
Well, Tootsie has been a darling, always making us laugh we her weird faces and behaviours. She is a real lady, but still likes to play and act silly. She really is part of our family now!

Next, I think that changing apartment is an excellent pretext for changing our daily habits. Almost two years ago I had an accident while practicing aikido. My back prevented me from any hard, serious or repetitive work-outs. This of course resulted in me gaining so weight, about 10kg. Even if I do feel comfortable in my skin and happy being curvy, I miss the feeling of lightness I had before my accident. Even if my back still wakes me up at night, I feel like I need to get back to training. A friend of mine recently did her first half-marathon, and it really inspired me. I ran a 5K with her last summer, and I really want to run more. This is why I am going to join a gym in the next few days and start running again! This is super exciting!

Finally, I have to be completely honest with you, we had a few slip ups during those stressful months where cheese and even meat came back into our plates. Once again, this change of neighborhood brought us back on track. We are now more vegan than ever!

So if you kept reading up until here, here are my resolution for the months ahead:

1) Eat vegan
2) Train at least 3 times a week
3) Stretch every day
4) See the little things that make me happy
5) Breathe!

Hope to do this run again this year!

Hope to do this run again this year!

Three weeks check point!

So, it has been three weeks since we started the “vegan experiment”. What a blast we had during those two weeks! I don’t think we ever cooked that much or ate as many fruits and veggies. We realize we are still in the “honey moon” phase, where eating is exciting and testing out new recipe is exciting, but it is a really good start> in fact here are a few things we noticed:

– We eat less, but are less hungry. We don’t really understand how that works, but we realized that our groceries last longer. Also, at meals, we don’t go for second helpings quite as often as before. I don’t know if it is because we have diversified our source of nutrients, or if we are just getting used to the new food, but it is good.

– NO cravings! We really thought that it would be hard to pass in front of sushi shops, pizza place and ice cream booth, but she did not feel any cravings. In fact, she thoroughly enjoyed her vegan sushis. In fact, by making sure that there was always food available around (mainly fruits and nuts) no desire for cheese or eggs came up.

– Breakfast (the regular one, not the brunch type) has become her favourite part of the day. Indeed, since turning vegan, she has set out to find different spreads and different milks to try out. We strongly recommend going to your bulk food store and try out some of their nut butters. Near our place, we found one that sells cashew nut butter. Needless to say, it is AMAZING!

We are hoping this state of bliss (…) will continue on for a long time. We really are having a lot of fun being vegan, without any negative side effects. We did not notice any fatigue or any expected change when modifying a diet.

How did you feel when you started to be vegan?

This photo by Brian Crump really describes how we feel :P

This photo by Brian Crump really describe how we feel 😛

First week as vegans

We made it through the first week!

It really wasn’t that hard. It was actually really fun and easy. We are guessing this is because we are still on the high of newness. However, we do feel pretty well.

He found he felt better after meals. He also realized more easily when he was not hungry anymore and knew when to stop eating. This made him realize how much extra food he ate for no reason. Less cravings between the meals too. He did not feel any fatigue that could be linked to his new diet. He also found the food was really good and was more tasty.

She found it was easy to prepare good meals. She did not eat as much as usual, but did not feel as hungry. It felt as if the food contained more than normal. Her body did not have any trouble adjusting to the new diet. In fact, she felt better after the meals, less drowsy. She did feel tired, but as it is midterm season, it is probably normal. She really enjoy testing and creating new recipes.

This week was a very positive week. We both enjoyed it a lot and are looking forward this new week!

Vegan resolutions

Following our very expensive visit to the grocery store, the duo has decided that it would be nice to have some cooking resolutions.

We like to keep it simple.

1) Make our own hummus: we have tried a couple of recipes, which were good but not exceptional. Still working on our own, but we will keep you updated when we get to a golden one!

2) Make our own bread: we recently acquired a retired bread machine that is very big and takes a lot of space on our kitchen counter. It is time we have her come back into the working force and make so yummy bread!

3) Make our own soy yogurt: Before we took the vegan turn, she loved to make her own yogurt and kefir. Indeed, sitting next to the bread machine, there is the yogurt machine (which is basically an electric thermos). We think this machine must be missing all the TLC we used to give her.

We will keep you update on these resolutions and will, of course, share our recipes with the world! Because sharing is better!

What are some of your resolutions?

You know it!

You know it!

Our first completely vegan grocery!

Well, being a duo is not always going on crazy adventures, romantic picnics or surfing on the verge of danger. Sometimes you just need to hand the capes up and go grocery shopping.

We are lucky enough to live in a “granola” and multicultural neighborhood where we can find many little grocery stores carrying weird, off the map, but oh-so-delicious products. However, we wanted to try out shopping vegan at a regular grocery store to see

a) if it could be done
b) how much it would cost us

So that’s why we embarked on this odyssey last Sunday afternoon and went to our local Provigo. We bought a bunch a ton of fresh vegetables and fruits (some local) from carrots to broccoli, without forgetting the kale and orange bell peppers. We also found interesting fruits like dragon fruits on sale, local apples, avocados and grapes. This formed the bulk of our grocery.

To avoid being tempted by animal food, keep your grocery shopping to the outsides aisles of the shop. It is here you will find all the produces to keep you healthy!

To avoid being tempted by animal food, keep your grocery shopping to the outsides aisles of the shop. It is here you will find all the produces to keep you healthy!

We grabbed a couple of quinoa and kamut bread loaves (yes, they do have yummy gluten free vegan breads at Provigo). We then moved on to the heavy stuff and bought some tahini, hummus, tofurky and cans of beans (all shapes and color).

We got through with a 185$ bill, which is super expensive and kind of a cut-throat.

Our most expensive items were
– tahini 7$
– Tofurky 6$
– Hummus 5$
– Grapes 7$/kg
– Bell peppers 8.80$/kg

Our least expensive items were
– Canned beans 1.30$
– Zucchinis 3.30$/kg
– Broccoli 2$ the bunch
– Lettuce 1.25$ each
– Bananas 2$ the bunch

Hopefully our next grocery is going to be less expensive. Today being Thursday, we have eaten all the tofurky, some of the beans, most of the peppers, almost all the apples. Be will probably have to go back grocery shopping during the week-end, but we still have plenty of food.

What are some of you tricks to keep your grocery shopping cheap?

Who is the Duo?

 

The Duo is amazing, fantastic, unique, and you will love it!

This is the beautiful city of Montreal, under the snow. The Duo loves this city and will make it the theater of their vegan journey!

This is the beautiful city of Montreal, under the snow. The Duo loves this city and will make it the theater of their vegan journey!

After watching the documentary ” Vegucated”, there was an awkward silence. A silence in which each member of the duo was thinking: “How can I ask her/him to go vegan without sounding like a dictator?” Then, there was understanding, discussion, and a decision was taken: “LET’S GO VEGAN!”

She is from a Franco-Vietnamese family from Montreal. Vegetarian,  with many slip-ups, for more than 10 years, gluten intolerant for 5 years, going vegan seemed to be a logical step. The documentary was the much-needed trigger. She is doing this for the animals as much as for the environment as much as for her health.

He is from a French family and recently moved to Montreal. Amateur of cheese, pastries and wine, his childhood meals, more often then not, included meat. Going vegan was not a logical path, yet, with her it seemed right. He is going it for the animals as much as for the environment as much as for his health.

After buying “The Daily Vegan Planner” by Jolinda Hackett, doing their first vegan groceries, they are ready to go.

This blog is the journal of their journey. Here they will post recipes, grocery lists, ideas, updates on how they’re feeling and interesting things they will come across with as they go.

Enjoy, and join in!