Quick tip: Road trips and snacks

Last week-end, my boyfriend surprised me with a day trip to Quebec city for our birthdays (yes, we are born on the same day!) So we looked for how much time we needed to get there, rented a car and started to get excited. Friday night, I started to think about the 3 hour ride that awaited us in the morning and realized that we needed some snacks! It is quite impossible to find any kind of healthy, gluten-free and vegan snacks on the road so I took down some trusty Masson jars and started to cut up some grapefruit, orange, cucumber, carrot, and kiwi. I also made some nettle tea that I let in the fridge overnight. We were ready to go!

Let me tell you, by Saturday night we had finished everything and did not spend money on ridiculously priced unhealthy snacks.

So next time you have a road trip planned ahead, don’t forget to bring some ammunition! 🙂

Reasons for being vegan, a refresher

Every time I try to explain why I wanted to become vegan, I feel like I sound childish. People will look at you like that too: ‘What do you mean you love animals too much to eat them?’ It is a weird feeling to have to justify for too much (sane) love, don’t you think?

This morning a vegan friend sent me this video:

This little boy is so cute, and this hug looks so real and felt ‘both ways’ that it is difficult not to see that there is a relationship of trust and care.

I thought this could be a perfect reminder of reasons for being vegan on those harder days…

What do you think?

Being gentle to every living thing

For the new years, he and I decided that we would be a foster home for cats from the SPCA. This program is meant for cats that are sick, too young for adoption or bench warmers (meaning they sat at the SPCA for too long without being adopted). The foster parents welcome their furry resident for a fixed period of one month. After that, they have three choices: bring back the cat to the SPCA where it can be adopted, keep the cat until it is adopted through Petfinder.com, or adopt the cat.

her favourite spot: the top of the sofa

her favourite spot: the top of the sofa

We decided to become foster parents because we did not want to commit to a cat for 15-20 years right now. We still wanted to have a cat at home as we have been very happy catsitters in the past. We also thought it would be a good way to be kind to animals who need the attention and care.

whatcha looking at?

whatcha looking at?

This time, we welcomed Tootsie, a wonderful lady cat of 9 years. She is very independent and seems to have a lot of trust issues. Still, she loves to have her ears scratched for long long long periods of time. She is not very active, but will play if you are in the mood. Tootsie is also very observant and loves to watch us do our things for the top of the sofa.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Isn’t she gorgeous?

I really enjoy having Tootsie around because she showed me that cats could have distinct personalities. I know it might sound dumb, but really she is her own person. She has clear limits as to how she likes to be pet and when you need to stop. She is so expressive: it would be impossible to think that she is emotionless after spending some time with her around.

under cover tootsie

under cover tootsie

So far we are loving the experience, and I’m feeling it is going to be hard sending Tootsie to her new family. I really hope we can find her someone who will cherish and care for her as she needs.


This week, she had a realization.

During her Spanish class, she was given an info-gap exercise where she had to create a vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu for a wedding. Skimming the text, she realized that there were no vegetarian options but only meat and fish. So, she naively asked the teacher where the vegetarian meals were. The teacher told her they were the fish dishes. She was a bit confused so she said that vegetarian don’t actually eat fish or seafood. The teacher answered that all her vegetarian friends ate fish and so the options were vegetarian. So she repeated that no, vegetarian did not eat fish: fish being animals it would not make sense. Another eavesdropping students said that the teacher was right: vegetarians do eat fish, it’s the vegan that “don’t eat nothing but beans and lettuce”. She was surprised by their ignorance and nodded her way out of the conversation.

This happened in a university course, in a vibrant multicultural, multilingual city. Yet, people do not know what it is implied in the words “vegetarian” or “vegan”. She was really surprised to see that even technically “educated” people were not aware of such distinctions. Moreover,she was a bit shocked by the refusal of discussion. Granted that this was just a Spanish exercise, but still. Sometimes, she wish people would be more open and ready to accept it when they lack some knowledge. This incident was probably due to the fact that the teacher had never thought about vegetarianism/veganism. That’s alright, but pretending to know is silly.

This was just an incident that happened. It did not change her resolutions or her choices. It just made her realize that veganism still has a long way to go…

I guess we have to be prepared for those comments.

I guess we have to be prepared for those comments.

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?

Going clean

As we are starting our journey of going vegan, one question kept coming back in our minds:

What to do with the non-vegan food we have at home?

As vegetarians, we found out that most of our pantry food contained non-vegan ingredients like “modified mild ingredients” and “casein”. We were faced with a dilemma”: should we eat this food even though it is not vegan and therefore against our values, or should we throw it out and make it worse?

Because sharing is better than throwing out!

Because sharing is better than throwing out!

After some reflection, we agreed that throwing completely-still-good-but-not-vegan food is not an option. Still, she felt pretty uncomfortable eating non-vegan food. After a bit more reflection, we decided that this food needed to be shared. Even if some of you might argue that giving out non-vegan food is bad, we think that it is the best way to “veganize” our pantry. Plus, with Christmas coming around the corner, food bank drop box have started to appear all over town. Here are some options to get rid of non-vegan food when starting out:

– give it to food banks

– have a huge “Going Vegan” meal/ party where you cook all of it out

– share it with classmates or co-workers (ex.: that box of cookies/hot chocolate mix)

Of course, you can also identify those foods, eat them out and not quit buying them. However, NEVER THROW FOOD OUT! It makes the animal suffering even worse, because useless, in our opinion.

What do you think? If you went vegan, what did you do with that food? What options are you considering if going vegan?