Veganism is one of the most popular trends of the last 5 years, if not the most popular of all! People choose to adopt this new lifestyle for the sake of the environment, their own health or because of the poor treatment of animals. Though this trend is quite appealing, it’s overwhelming and stressful for some, which discourages them from trying. But stop worrying, we’ve all been there!
We asked our friend Caroline Huard (Loounie), a generous and creative vegan woman, to give us her best advice on how to begin eating vegan if we don’t know where to start.
Here they are: the 5 tips to help you eat more vegan!
Time to find your juicer and treat yourself with something fresh and full of vitamins!
If you’re passionate and patient, you’ll love to create your own juices. However, we made a list of the most common mistakes to avoid when you’ll juice your own nectars.
1. Not washing your fruits and veggies
Yum! germs and pesticides in your juice… We don’t want that. To prevent that, the rule is simple: thoroughly wash the fruits and veggies! Choose fresh, organic, local and seasonal products that you love. This way, you also help an agriculture that is more environmentally friendly. If you don’t use organic, peel the fruits and veggies to significantly reduce the amount of pesticides. The best would be to harvest your own fruits and veggies but that’s less simple… 😉
2. Using only fruits, no veggies
Fruits are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants but also in sugar. In your juice, you should respect a 60% veggies – 40% fruits rate so it tastes fruity but has a reasonable quantity of sugar. If you choose green veggies, it’s even better! Our favorites: spinach and kale which are rich in chlorophyl, calcium and iron. Add superfoods and voila! Enjoy.
3. Waiting too long before drinking your juice
Vitamins change with light and heat. You must drink your juice as soon as it’s ready if you want to enjoy all its benefits. If you don’t have much time, you can keep it in an airtight container for 24 to 48 hours, refrigerated. It will remain good, but will lose some of its nutrients.
4. Drinking it too quickly
Drinking slowly helps digestion and therefore facilitate the absorption of the juice’s nutrients. You’ll also feel better! Take the time to really enjoy this healthy made-with-love beverage ❤️
5. Drinking your juice with a meal
It’s better to consume your juice when your stomach is empty so your system really focuses on the absorption of the good nutrients. Best times to drink it: in the morning before breakfast or between two meals when your energy levels are low!
Do you cut your watermelons in triangle shape? Do you peel your kiwis before eating them? And the peas, do you pick each one of them with a fork?
Time to change!!! Time to make your life easier.
1. WATERMELON Instead of cutting it into triangles and having juice running down each side of your mouth, you can cut your watermelon in half and then cut lengthwise and crosswise to obtain kind of watermelon sticks. Easier and cleaner to eat!
2. MANGO Cut it in half leaving the core behind. Grab a good mug and place the mango, between the fruit and the skin, against the mug and push it down. The fruit will fall into the glass and the peel will be gone gone gone.
3. KIWI Did you know that the most nutritious part of it is its skin? To get all these nutrients, slice your kiwis in thin layers and eat it like chips.
4. GREEN PEAS Picking each pea with a fork makes it hard to eat… An easy way to eat peas is to simply mash them with a fork instead!
5. BANANA Instinctively, we try to peal it from the top but did you know that chimps and monkeys actually peal it from the bottom? And these animals are kind of the experts it comes to bananas, right? So peal your banana from the bottom by pinching the tip and it will easily split!
6. APPLE Once you remove the stem of an apple, e-ve-ry-thing can be eaten from the fruit! No more waste.
7. SALADS Salads make excellent lunches. But when you already mix everything the texture can become unappetizing. To change that: use a Mason jar, put the dressing in the bottom, add crunchy veggies, nuts and fruits. Then add the leaves. The veggies and other stuff between the dressing and the leaves will prevent the leaves from becoming wet!
8. TACOS So you like hard shell tacos? We get it. Isn’t that annoying though when the shell cracks after your first bite and everything falls apart? The solution is simple: put some lettuce around the shell. It will protect it and create a double-layer to save all this amazing stuff you added in the shell.
9. ORANGE Peeling an orange is quite a job and your fingers become all nasty. Instead, cut each edge of the fruit and make a slice from bottom to top. Then, roll it to open it!
10. PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY What a classic! However keeping everything together can be hard. To help: place a generous amount of PB on the edges of the slices. Then add a generous amount of jelly in the middle. Finally, press the breads together.
Eat simple folks, there’s too much complicated stuff in life!😌
I think this Summer is one of the hottest summers I’ve ever lived; I keep looking for places with AC, for pools and for ice cream stands.
So, when I received my weekly pack full of juices in my apartment that doesn’t have air conditioner (😭please send help), I immediately thought of transforming them into popsicles.
The result was so refreshing and delicious that I decided to share this easy peasy recipe with you.
Here it goes!
You need: – a popsicle mold
– your favorite Dose juices (I chose Melon, Taxi and Zest)
– fruits (I chose blackberries, but you can choose anything)
Preparation: – fill half of each mold with your juices
– freeze for an hour
– fill the rest of the molds with the rest of the juices
(make sure each popsicle is made with two different juices – it’s so pretty!)
– add fruits on the top
– freeze for about two hours
– enjoy ❤
SIX INGREDIENTS PINEAPPLE MOJITO: Easy Peasy with TAXI!
Okay, it’s not because Winter is here that we cannot enjoy a fresh Summer cocktail during the Holidays, right? So let’s pretend we’re celebrating Christmas under the sun, feet in the sand, with a fresh ocean breeze in our hair.🌴🌊
Here’s a pimped version of this classic minted drink that you and your children will love! (Of course, you could add some rhum to this recipe… but keep it away from the kids!😉)
– 1.5L of our TAXI juice (5 bottles of 300ml)
– 2.5L of sparkling water
– 250ml of lime juice
– A handful of fresh mint, chopped
– 3 limes, sliced
– 1 cup of pineapple pieces
– 2 cups of ice cubes
In a large punch bowl or pichet, combine everything and stir well. Serve.
Tadaaam! Easy Peasy with TAXI!
Montreal really knows how to please foodies and, good news, the number of tasty vegan/vegetarian places is continuously increasing! #YEAH
I asked our vegan friend Caroline Huard (@loounie on Instagram), who is also a health practitioner and well-known by the vegan community of Montreal, to list her favorite vegan/vegetarian spots in the city when she wants to drink a coffee, eat well and treat herself!
This Italian-style coffeeshop is located in Rosemont and is known for its tasty vegan desserts (hello cannolis!!!) and for its pizzettes. Their delicious pastries could easily fool many of your non-vegan friends. The devoted and friendly employees will also make you want to come back for sure! In fact, the majority of Café dei Campi’s crowd is composed of loyal clients for whom the place is a vegan must. (PS: your non-vegans friends can also ask for cow milk!) 1360 Rosemont Blvd, Montreal
Located downtown Montreal, this cute coffeeshop brings some natural freshness to the grey and urban environment where it is located. This plant-based espresso bar stands out for the many plants, succulents and cacti, that can be purchased on place as other little cruelty-free products. Other important thing: the baristas use macadamia milk (mamamiaaa!!) in their coffees. Nice place for the eyes and for your belly! 2051 De la Montagne Street, Montreal
“Esquina”, that means “corner” in Spanish, is aptly named as it is the “corner” coffeeshop for many people living in the neighborhood. Here, everything you’ll eat is homemade: cookies, muffins, poptarts (whaaat?), and even the almond milk! The place’s lattes are also always magnificently done. Lovely place! 4526 Papineau Ave, Montreal
LUNCH TIME (or where to go when you don’t have much time!)
Completely vegan, meals at Aux Vivres are flavorful and will please vegans AND non-vegans! The restaurant is on St-Laurent boulevard but you can find its products in many grocery stores. Having a dragon bowl, made with tempeh or grilled tofu, is a true classic but there are plenty of other options: sandwiches, salads, hot meals and desserts. It’s also a great place to go if you are allergic/intolerant to gluten, soy or nuts! 4631 St-Laurent Blvd, Montreal
Many foodies will tell you that La Panthère Verte sells the best falafels of Montreal! These fried chickpeas balls are served in a pita bread to create a generous and yummy sandwich. Another positive aspect: the responsible restaurant tries to reduce its environmental footprint; deliveries are made by bike during Summer, most of the jars are made in glass, there are compost trashes, etc. And, on top of that, everything is organic! 160 Saint Viateur E Street, Montreal (and 5 others)
Since last Spring, Gusta has its kiosk in Jean-Talon market where vegans and vegetarians can happily enjoy their exclusive products. Because, you know, even vegans can crave for some junk food sometimes! The restaurant’s food is really simple but knows how to please us: hot-dogs, burgers, poutines, kebabs. Everything is vegan, natural and local. Ya-Hoo! 191 Marché-du-Nord Place, Montreal
TREAT YOUR BELLY AND YOUR EYES! (with friends, family or your lover)
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian or are following bloggers on Instagram, you might have already seen pictures of this leafy Old-Port restaurant. What we love about this place is that, of course it’s beautiful, but the cuisine is original, for all tastes and made from seasonal, organic and local products. You could also go for a 5a7 and sip a refreshing cocktail (they have 6 signature ones). This restaurant proves that vegans can eat so much more than green salads when they want to eat something healthy! 1232 De la Montagne Street, Montreal (and one other!)
This restaurant isn’t vegan, but there are many options that are clearly identified on the menu. Inspired by the Californian community of Venice, the plates and the sunny decor will make you feel like you’re on a vacation. Full of poke bowls, tacos, salads and smoothies, the menu is varied and colorful. Venice MTL really knows how to mix flavors, freshness and healthy foods. 440 Saint-François-Xavier Street, Montreal (and one other!)
Vegan sushis? Yes dears! No seafood nor fish is used in Sushi Momo’s meals. The only animal imitation is a “shrimp” made from soy and seaweed. Of course, the sushis are different from the classic Japanese sushis but you will be gladly surprised by their original compositions and seasoning mixes. Vegans and vegetarians who were missing sushis will finally be satisfied, yeah! 4669 Saint-Denis Street, Montreal
Owners of Hoche Café have recently launched Hoche Glacé: a 100% vegan and lactose-free ice cream shop. Perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth! And all the ice cream lovers will be happy: soy or rice milk swirls, sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes, vegan coatings (strawberries, orange, caramel, hazelnuts… wo!!!) and frozen yogurts. Makes us want to scream YUMMY! 2225 Bennett Ave, Montreal
Thank you again, Caroline, for your generosity!
Follow the inspiring and creative @loounie on Instagram: here.🌿
Par Cloé Lachapelle
* cover picture: Facebook Cafe Dei Campi
** pictures directly taken from the places’ Instagram accounts.
6 million bees + 3 billion flowers = 10 000 tons of cranberries Yep! you read that right: to produce 10 000 tons of organic cranberries each year, the 3 billion flowers in Patience Fruit & Co’s fields need to be pollinated by 6 million bees.
Patience Fruit & Co’s producer, Fruit d’Or, was actually the first company to cultivate organic cranberries for a commercial purpose.
However, this business native of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, located in Centre-du-Québec, has been through a lot since its creation in 2000… At that time, cranberry cultivation was only a retirement project for the Le Moine family and 3 other families of the region!
Today, almost 20 years later, let’s say that these entrepreneurs have a fruitful pension.😉
That’s why, in 2015, seeing all Fruit d’Or’ success, they decided to launch Patience Fruit & Co for the retail sector so all the population can have access to their delicious organic fruits.
Therefore, since two years, everyone is delighted by the company’s products that are now available online and in many retailers.
Why chose “Patience” as their name? Well, because you need a lot of time and patience to harvest tasty organic cranberries which are cultivated without any pesticide nor fertilizer that chemically speed the process. This even makes more sense when you realize it takes 3 years before a cranberry field produce its first fruits!
Cranberries, they grow in water? No; it’s a false belief! Cranberries fields are actually flooded when the fruits are ready to be picked so the fruit can detach from its stalk more easily.
At Patience Fruit & Co, they utilize a « closed circuit » watering system, which means that rainwater and snowmelt are collected in tanks to be used to flood the fields when it’s harvest time, from mid-September to the end of October.
So Patience Fruit & Co is both organic and ecological!
But if cultivating organic cranberry requires a lot of time and patience, discovering that we love what Patience Fruit & Co has to offer only take a sip or a bite!
We really hope it will grow continuously, patiently and always deliciously.
Because I live in Montreal and don’t know all the secret gems of Toronto, I asked Áine Davis (one of the girls behind the blog @vegangirlfriend) what were her favorite vegan-friendly spots in her hometown. She kindly and generously accepted to share them with me!
If you too aren’t from TO, you will definitely want to plan a little road trip there soon. And if you are from TO, I am a bit jealous because trying these places will be much easier for you!
This place is the main cafe of the Pilot Coffee Roasters, a local and much appreciated roaster in the city. If you are not a fan of caffeinated beverages, note that they also serve many types of tea blends. The atmosphere is relaxed and perfect for working or studying. During Summer, you can even take it cool on their cozy patio! 983 Queen St E, Toronto
This coffeeshop is owned by a mother and her daughter who give a kind and careful service. Mostly known for their espressos, the two women also cook and bake most of the food you’ll find there. Actually everything except their their tasty empanadas (available in different vegan options, yeah!) that comes from a company called The Empanada Dealer. Filled with plants, the place is bright and beautiful with a chill hipster vibe. 1150 College St, Toronto
This coffeeshop in Little Portugal only opened a year ago and is already many people’s favorite (it is Áine’s!). Baristas are super cool and competent and also serve vegan breakfasts (muffins, parfaits…). There again, you can have a Pilot coffee while enjoying some sweet treats (vegan and gluten free cookies. #yumyum). We dare you to go there without having the thought of “Instagramming” the place! 1615 Dundas St W, Toronto
One of the best spots to go for a healthy and fresh brunch/lunch. Entirely vegetarian and vegan, it will please your tastebuds and your taste for pretty things (as you can see, their aesthetics is lovely and genuine)! Their avocado toast is a classic go-to but their many bowls are also flavorful with all their fresh veggies and many choices of sauces. 739 Ossington Ave, Toronto
This bakery/cafe/restaurant is 100% vegan and has many gluten free options. According to many, they make the BEST bagels in the whole city which are made each day, and sometimes twice a day as they are so popular! It’s also open at night, but we suggest you go during the day as it’s quieter then. Perfect for a chill lunch with a friend or simply with a good book. 873 Bloor St W, Toronto
Don’t panic but this place is a Mac and Cheese bar… Yup! You read that right. What’s awesome about it is that they have some of the best vegan options of macs in all TO. Plus, the staff is super friendly and allows you to customize your own dish (but Aine strongly suggests you try the “green trees” one)! Note that you can’t eat there directly so you have to take it take-out. 162 Ossington Ave #3, Toronto
If you are craving for some Southern comfort food, this is the place! From the mac and cheese to the pulled “pork” or the un-chicken and waffles, you’ll surely find something to please your belly. They also have a wide selection of craft beers or you can try their cocktails if you prefer. This Bloorcourt village restaurant was one of the first vegan restaurants of Toronto and is now a true classic. 1056 Bloor St W, Toronto
This diner is co-owned by Doug McNish, aka Toronto’s best chef (not best vegan chef, just best chef, according to NOW MAGAZINE 2017). He paired with Doomies, another vegan place, to open this charming establishment. Please note that it’s so popular that you have to arrive early (sometimes before its opening at 5pm) but the wait is worth it! Their plates are flavorful and the meat imitations are so well executed, they could fool many non-vegans. 1265 Queen St W, Toronto
Located in Yorkville, this 100% vegan restaurant serves delicious gourmet food. They also offer amaaaazing cocktails made with fresh cold-pressed juices (!!!). Their brunches and desserts are tasty, as are they burgers. Actually, their burgers are so good they opened another place that only sells them (called Planta Burger)! It’s easy to have a good time when you go to Planta, enjoying its exotic ambiance, fresh food and pretty decor. 1221 Bay St, Toronto
This vegetarian/vegan Chinese restaurant is underrated! They excel in “faux-meat” and offer dim-sums (so rare for vegans!!!). The menu is huge and composed of many different dishes that are all made with fresh ingredients. The place itself is also super nice and bright with its large windows. It’s Áine’s favorite spot in Toronto! 192 Augusta Ave, Toronto
A hidden gem, near Kensington Market, that serves Vietnamese food at its best! The Pho, as everything else you can eat there actually, is truly yummy. The menu is entirely vegan but is in fact a safe bet for any people who like asian food. Must try: the fresh rolls… again: truly yummy! 6 St Andrew St, Toronto
Looking for THE place to satisfy your sweet tooth? Bunner’s Bake Shop is for you! There are actually two locations in the city, one in The Junction and one near Kensington Market. In both shops, you’ll find gluten free and vegan treats: cinnamon buns, cupcakes, cookies, pies, brownies… And even vegan & gluten free soft serve – vanilla, chocolate or swirled – during Summer! 244 August Ave, Toronto and 3054 Dundras St W, Toronto
Thank you again, Áine, for your time and generosity!
Follow @vegangirlfriend on Instagram: here!
And Áine: here!💚
By Cloé Lachapelle
* cover photo: Facebook Hogtown Vegan
** pictures directly taken from all the places’ Instragam accounts.
Did you know that bees’ lives are closely related to our health?
Bees are responsible of the natural pollinisation of our fields and therefore improve the cultivation of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Unfortunately, more than ever, bees are threatened all over the world.
Environmental changes, monoculture and pesticides used by many agricultural companies prevent bees’ colonies from perpetuate.
It’s a vicious circle: more pesticides > less bees > less natural pollinisation > need of more artificial pollinisation > more pesticides.
And, more pesticides = more toxicity for our health!
Fortunately, there are green enterprises such as Alvéole.
This Montreal-based company is the project of three friends which academic backgrounds had nothing to do with bees! Two of them studied music and the third one studied chemistry and English literature.
However their common passion for apiculture and their environmental values guided them in the creation of Alvéole in 2012.
After working together as beekeepers in Manitoba, Alex, Declan and Etienne wanted to get involved in the ecological cause and educate people about environmental issues.
Their beekeepers’ knowledge is their way to achieve their goals!
Adopt your own bees! Alvéole provides hive that can be installed in urban areas. Large cities, such as Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Ottawa, now have legislation prohibiting the use of pesticides which help our bee friends expand.
The company educates by giving classes in schools, workplaces and at home, and gets involved with the hives it offers; hive that you can personally install on your own roof.
It’s a simple and underrated way to take care of the environment… and your tastebuds! Because, of course, you can harvest all the honey that is produced by your little bees. Double YES!
And if some people can be reluctant, know that you can find many detailed information about the process and maintenance of hives online. Plus, the video capsules on the website are really interesting and easy to understand.
Recently, Alvéole that also owns about 50 hives of its own launched its urban honey products, available online. You can now taste honeys harvested on your city’s roofs!
Every gesture counts Sure, one bee’s work is pretty small but when all bees work together, they can do a lot!!! One hive contains approximately 50 000 bees and produces 10 to 15 kg of honey (sometimes more, during a particularly flourishing season).
It’s the same for us, humans; by uniting our little daily actions, we can create a huge and positive impact on our planet.
So, when do we install our hive?
Learn more about this inspiring and passionate company here!
And, did you know that?
One hive contains 50 000 bees… so Alvéole is responsible of 45 millions of bees!
The difference between bees and wasps? The first one is vegan, build its hive with bee wax rays and dies when she stings. The second is carnivore, lives in a paper hive and can sting more than once.
It’s flowers that make the color and the taste of honeys. I.g. bees from Westmount harvest linden’s pollen which has a taste close to mint… Therefore the honey taste a bit like mint! Yum!
Otherwise, how can help bees? Eat organic. Grow organic honeybee wild flowers. Stop using pesticides and herbicides. Install a clean supply of water, that you’ll frequently change, to help the little workers of your neighborhood. Every gesture counts.🐝
Thank you Alvéole, especially to Jade Carier-Saucier, Sales and Marketing Director, for your generous answers and precious time!