Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Airport Food Review

I travel a lot.

This year alone it was 60,000 km from Canada to Namibia, to South Africa, to Thailand to Vietnam to Hong Kong and a few more in between for good measure.

I have spent my fare share of time in airports, both domestic and international, attempting to source out vegan foods to keep me going. More often than not it ends up being coffee, crackers, chips, nuts and if I am super lucky a week old fruit bowl of some kind.

Which is why this article on US Airport food caught my attention.

Its a neat read and its interesting to see who comes out on top. I have to say, I was surprised.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary Bus Ads

I have seen a few of these over the last little while and today I saw the Milk one. I got a few looks as I was taking a snap of it with my BB, but shit, who cares. I am so impressed that TransLink has posted these. Way to go guys!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Have They No Souls?

KFC, Coca-Cola and Walmart, that's who.


Just read this and you will find you head a shakin':KFC aims to double revenue in Africa by 2012. The colonel would be proud. -

After spending time in Africa this year, this is the LAST thing people need over there.

Clean water, education and health care is what most people need. Not deep fried battery chickens, high fructose corn syrup and other high processed foods.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why "exergames" Are A Crock

What's an "exergame"?

Wii Fit, Xbox Kinectis and PlayStation Move are all considered exergames.

And according to this article, unless you are elderly, you ain't getting fit using them.

“At this point, there is little scientific evidence to suggest that exergames can be used alone to meet current guidelines for physical activity in young people,” said Elaine Biddiss, Ph.D.

Read More Here: Why Wii Fit is Best for Grandparents -

Human Decapitation in Chicken Factory Accident

Where do I even start with this.

Yes, it is horrible and saddening that this event has occurred.

However, it is even more distressing to think that most people will read this and not for even split second think of the animals that suffer this end each and every day. Most will focus will be on the human element, for this is what they can relate to more.

If this does not cause you to stop and think I don't know what will.

Ask yourself this: Why is it more horrific for a human be decapitated then a chicken?

Indian migrant Sarel Singh decapitated in chicken factory accident in Australia | Mail Online

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adventures in Bread

Never, has it ever crossed my mind to make my own bread.

A few times I may have had a fleeting thought about getting one of those fancy bread makers, but nothing has ever come of this idea.

But for whatever reason, last week while I was out shopping I stopped in front of the baking section and the yeast packages started to stare at me. I never really noticed them before, but today they were all I could see.

I took this to be a sign, grabbed a few and checked out.

Back at home I grabbed my trusty La Dolce Vegan and flipped through until I found this: Easy French Bread.  It seemed really straight forward, with a long, but not overly involved process.

So I jumped in and was up to my wrists in bread dough before I knew it. It was so enjoyable to see it come together and start to resemble ... bread.

After letting it rise, pounding the crap out of it again and then shaping it, it was time for the oven. The oven
scared me the most since mine is beyond temperamental. I kept a close eye on the bread at the last 10 minutes or so, not wanting to burn it at the very end.

Time for the oven!

What came out was a stunning, crispy on the outside, soft (but a bit gummy and dense, so I clearly have work to do on my skills) on the inside. It was awesome. I was so proud of my self. I made bread from scratch. Gold Star for Me

Once I perfect the Easy French Bread I want to move onto raisin and pumpernickel ... and maybe eventually rye.

Ooooooh let the adventures in bread begin!

Freshly Baked

I Had to Use a Steak Knife ...

Who would have thought I would ever say that again? 

Chickpea Cutlets: I know these have been blogged about and posted to death, but last night was my first foray into the vital wheat gluten world and I was both pumped and sceptical.

I had been reading about these for ages on numerous blogs and in my trusty, messy and well used copy of Veganomicon and seeing that there was a massive lack of food in my once crazy stocked freezer I stopped off at Whole Foods on the way home, grabbed me some Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten and headed home in the cold and snow (yes, we here in Vancouver are having a massive snowfall. It’s so pretty and makes me want to curl up on the couch with my flannel pants on and a warm blanket, a hot cup of tea and a good book, but I digress …)

Once home I got to work. I thought that these babies were going to take me ages to make, like my first attempt at Whole Wheat French Bread ended up being, but this recipe was fast and darn easy.

The recipe says you can get 8 pieces out of a doubled batch, but I ended up with at least 12 good sized cutlets.

I also opted to not float my cutlets in a sea of oil to cook, and since I was too damn lazy to get the oven going I simply brushed each cutlet with some canola oil before popping them into the pan, and again when I flipped them and they came out nicely browned and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

In a word: Delish.

Over all they ended up being far superior to what I had imagined and will for sure be a new addition to my manic Sunday cooking sprees.

Since I had so many, I chose to freeze most of them and keep only a few in the fridge for the next few days.

In closing, there are a few things that I wanted to note about cooking adventure:

  1. ·         Waiting for the cutlets to cool, not only avoids the mouth burning issues, but also makes them a bit chewier and tougher which really gives them a ”meaty” texture.
  2. ·         While I was making them I kind of got a bit grossed out. Why? Because when the gluten strands started coming together it reminded me of chicken and I only then realized just how OFF meat and dairy I really am. Even the “fake” stuff makes me queasy now. Interesting …

Chickpea Cutlet w Tiny's BIG Salad

Tiny's BIG Salad

If can I squeeze in a Seinfeld clip, know that I always will.

I made this when I realized that I had a bunch of odds and ends in my pantry. I was inspired by all the fantastic salads that I grab from from Whole Foods now and then (they have a lentil one that is unreal).

With that in mind, I decided to toss together a salad that turned out quite well. It needed a bit of a kick so I added a few red pepper flakes at the end, and think that after it sleeps in the fridge overnight the favours will pull together.

This BIG Salad is very filling, chock-a-block full of fibre and protein and big on taste.


TINYs BIG SALAD: Mixed Bean & Quinoa Salad

2 cups mixed dried beans (I used kidney black, pinto and black-eyed)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn nibblets
2 cups Quinoa

Soak beans in cold water over night, rinse well

In crock pot add beans and enough water to cover them
Cook for 2 hours on low heat
Drain beans and set aside

Cook Quinoa according to directions and set aside

Steam peas and corn and set aside

Combine beans, peas, corn and tossing in dressing
Add Quinoa and incorporate into bean mixture
Add Sale & Pepper to taste


I make a bunch of this at once and keep the leftovers in a jar in the fridge. It settles after a while so make sure you give it a good shake.

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp lemon pepper mix

Add ingredients together in glass jar and shake!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegan iPhone App

Now ain't this rad. Any of you iphone, itouch, ipad users out there can now us this handy dandy app to check out protein content in your food.

Protein App for Vegans

Don't that just make life a bit easier.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vegans Fire Back!


Marla Rose has posted this biting and well written post in response to this weeks very hot topic: Ex-Vegans

Sure Its a a tad over the top, but hey, she is keeping in style with Tasha's post.


If I can trace my falling out with omnivorism, the path would lead back to our family dog. His being helped to usher in the first inkling that something was wrong. I could observe that he had emotions, that he had preferences and the same reasons anyone else would have for not wanting to be exploited, abused, killed. Then, somehow, this view expanded outward, try as I might to contain it, and it grew like a thing out of control to encompass the birds, pigs, cows. Before I knew it, it no longer felt justifiable or rational to eat some but not others.

When I threw away the cheese, tossed the chicken in the garbage, it just felt so profoundly right: even more, when I piled the pizza high with gorgeous roasted vegetables, a cornucopia from our local farms, it just felt so correct, deep inside, and I felt the ancient echo of uncomplicated contentment I had been missing from my life for so long as an omnivore. I don't know if I had ever been so hungry or had that innate hunger so completely satisified. Yes, my starving soul nearly screamed with each voluptuous bite of silky roasted vegetables and chewy crust, yes.

Read it in all its glory here: Vegan Feminist Agitator: Omnivore: Fail

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FREE Vegan Resources

On the heels of my rant on ex-vegans, I have found this interesting link that requires sharing.

Virginia Messina of the Vegan Examiner gathered together a great list of FREE vegan online resources.

The opening paragraph of her article also made me laugh:

There’s just no excuse for a star like Angelina Jolie to abandon her vegan diet. After all, the rich and famous can hire personal nutritionists and private chefs. Eating a healthful plant-based menu should be a breeze for them.

A must read for ALL VEGANS new and old.

Be Educated, Be Smart

Five must-have resources for new vegans (and they’re free!) - National vegan |

This one is my recommended reading.

She also had some funny words for my massive girl crush: Angelina Jolie.

Can't everyone just listen to Jack Norris when he says: “Something as simple as not eating enough calories might be a problem for an uninformed person who decides to give the vegan diet a try for a few days. They might only be aware of low-calorie vegan foods (e.g., salads, vegetables, fruits), and eating only these foods for a day might leave them feeling hungry and weak.”


It's always amazing when I get emails, comments and notes sent to me, good or bad, about the things I write and post. I shocks me to realize that people actually read my blog. I really though I had like 2 friends and a few family members popping in just to be nice.

I was sent this note after I posted a comment on a YouTube video and it warmed my heart so I wanted to share the love:

MinaInSA hat dir eine Nachricht gesendet:
Congrats to your first anniversary!!! Just celebrated my first anniversary of being vegan, too (on the 1st of October) and read your comment at the video -maketheconnection-.
I feel the same you do, never felt better and cannot imagine to ever go back again for I've learned so much about life and educate myself every single day.
No regrets, eyh?! Only one thing makes me sad, the fact that it took me so long to find the right way.
Keep well and keep up your spirit. :-)
Vegan hugs and love from South Africa, Cxx

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ex-Vegans - A Rant

Over the last few weeks, a few articles and posts have popped up online about or written by ex-vegans, discussing how they came to toss their vegan lives out the window and each article seems to have the same effect on me.

They make me mad. Very mad. Angry even.

Not mad because "We" have lost one to the "Other" Team, but angry because they were so fast to flip and seeming so easily swayed back to meat and dairy.

Where was the conviction of choice? Where was the passion? Was it ever there to being with? Were these people every really on board or were they just tagging along for a ride?

When I made the CHOICE to become vegan I knew that I was going to have to be diligent and educated in order to keep healthy, fit and strong. I knew I would have to supplement my diet where needed (B12, iron, etc.) and that just removing animal products from my diet and not taking the time or care to learn how to replace them was just stupid and irresponsible.

Don't all people who make massive life changes realize that they will actually have to do some work to make it an effective change?

After reading these posts I feel that these cases of ex-vegans are isolated and relate only to those that are mis or under educated, lazy and basically stupid. And I really don't care how that sounds. Harsh, fine, mean, fine. I really don't care.

People like these make it hard for the rest of us to be taken seriously and to be respected. They make it seem like its all crap, when in fact it's just them; they were the ones that didn't do the work to being with and are now suffering.


Wanna read the articles that got me all riled up? Here they are:

Do Ex-Vegans’ Stories Make the Case Against Vegan Diets? | The Vegan RD

And that was a nice little Monday rant ... now back to work ....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Veganism in a Nutshell

Classic. After I wrote the title for the post this popped into my head. Good funnies ....

ANYWAY ....... I was flipping through my cookbooks this morning, as I do every Sunday, trying to figure out what I was going to take on for my weekly cooking extravaganza this afternoon and I was stopped when I read the first few pages of the conscious cook by Chef Tal Ronnen.

I’m not big on preaching my life choices to others (though if you open the door, I will come charging in!), but this struck me and I feel that I should share. I always feel like I need to explain why I became vegan and validate my choice to others and its annoying. I come up with something different to say each time depending on who I am talking too (shocking I know, but I really have no desire to get into heated conversations or debates with all my friends, thanks). But this may be the answer. I think I may just get this on a t-shirt and wear it 24/7 so I no longer have to answer the question.

Tal nailed it on the head with his succinct and elegant definition of veganism. And he did it “without being preachy”.

Reproduced from the conscious cook

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Piglet Bank = WTF

Where do I even start ... this is just so disturbing on so many levels I can't event think where to focus my disgust, sadness and anger ...

PIGLET BANK « The Cheeky

Designed for anyone who has far too much money and loose change, this is the piggy bank of all piggy banks. Its a real piglet that has been taxidermied and inserted with what all piglets probably dream of as babies, a coin storage unit and a cork plug.
Make your plush overpriced apartment complete with this little guy.

The piglet bank will take up to 12 months to produce from the time of order. We expect half the money up front and half when the piglet had been completed. Just so you know that we don’t actually kill the Piglets, they die of natural causes and these are the ones that we use.

Price $4000 (not including postage and packing)

But at least I am not alone in my outrage. Piggy banks made from real piglets spark outrage

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Animal Abuse at an Egg Farm? SHOCKER!

Could you sense my sarcasm in the post title? No, well I was being VERY SARCASTIC!

Cal-Maine is the single largest egg producer in America with approximately $1 billion in annual sales and has nearly 30 million laying hens.

The Humane Society has released footage and an investigative report exposing the rampant abuse and food safety problems at a factory farm owned by Cal-Maine.

Watch the video HERE: Investigation Exposes Rampant Abuse

Read the full report HERE: Cal-Main Investigation Report

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World Diabetes Day ... and other rants

Today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day.

My Dad has been struggling with Type II Diabetes for over a decade now. My Nana had Type I.

My Nana is no longer with us. Not because of her diabetes, but due to heart related issues (which could have stemmed from her diabetes, but we will never know). But my Dad still is with us and I want him here for as long as possible.

I try to help my Dad by giving encouragement and offering advice on his diet and ideas as to manage his illness. He listens to me and nods and is polite. And then he continues along in the same way that he always has and nothing changes. He is old school. He is stubborn. He is very much like me.

I am hoping that one day I can get through to him and show him that his diet is the KEY to his health and well being. I am hoping that he will watch these videos and listen and take them to heart. (I have emailed him the links so we'll see ...)

As far as I am concern that is all he needs to address in order to make massive changes in his life and health. And this is the case with most people who are suffering from various diseases and health issues

I think Morgan hits it on the head with his comments on fear, on people being scared about making the change and taking on the "Machine". I think we should be more scared of dying young, suffering from ridiculously preventable heath issues and disease and being dependent on pharmaceuticals.

And sorry, but WTF is with removing Phys Ed from schools? That is probably the most ridiculous thing I have EVER heard. I don't even come close to understanding that. Its not like parents are taking over this responsibility. Kids are fatter and lazier and more unhealthy now than ever. I don't see parks and fields over run with kids anymore. When I was a kid it took all of my Mom's strength to reel us in for a day outside playing with our friends, riding our bikes, exploring the local parks and making forts. All I see now are sad and empty parks, fields and streets.

Where they hell are all the kids? Oh right, they are inside getting fatter and fatter, lazier and lazier, dumber and dumber while eating crappy over processed and preserved foods while parked in front of a TV or computer. Awesome. A "Nation of Fat Readers" is in the making ....

One day, dammit ONE DAY! kids will pitch a fit for an apple over an Oreo... One day, one day ..... A girl can dream can't she?

PLEASE WATCH THESE and do yourself and your family a world of good: The Simply Raw VIDEO SERIES

Friday, November 12, 2010


Last week while replenishing my beauty and cleansing products after my crazy summer of backpacking and washing my face with mini bars of no-name soap and daily use of pore clogging sun screen, I reached for my long used and trusted AVEENO® Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser. I tossed it in my basket and carried on.

Only after I got home and was unpacking my purchases did it dawn on me that I had no idea what was in this bottle other than stuff that made my acne, sensitive and red skin less of a stress for me. Was this vegan? Oh man ... it never crossed my mind. I had stupidly assumed that because it was a "creamy cleanser with moisture-rich Soy extracts gently exfoliates to help improve skin's tone and texture while salicylic acid, a proven blemish-fighting ingredient, works to clear up break-outs without over-drying, leaving skin soft, smooth and even-looking. This mild, oil-free, hypoallergenic formula won't clog pores and is gentle enough for everyday use", that I was in the clear.

I jumped on good old Google and started searching away. Shockingly I could not find one site or post that could advise me if these products were in fact vegan.

What the deuce?! All I got was reviews and comments. I was tweeked by the one post that I did see that had any vegan tone to it, and that was that the parent company of Aveeno was in fact Johnson & Johnson, a well know UNvegan company.

My heart sank right there and I decided to contact the company directly.

Through their website I submitted a simple questions asking if the following products contained any animal products and if they were vegan:

  • AVEENO® Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser
  • AVEENO® Clear Complexion Moisturizer

That was Tuesday. Today I got a response back:

Thank you for contacting the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Information Center. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.
With regards to your recent inquiry, the AVEENO® Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser does contain animal by products. The ingredient Cetyl Alcohol is derived from animal. AVEENO® Clear Complexion Moisturizer does not contain any animal by products.
We hope this information has been helpful to you.
Again, thank you for your interest in our company. Should you have any comments or questions in the future, please contact us via our website or by calling our toll-free number, 1-877-298-2525. Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m. EST and will be happy to assist you.
Should you require further information, I invite you to e-mail us again or call the Information Centre at 1-800-361-8068.
The Information Centre

Well would ya look at that? A proper answer. 

So now I have to return my cleanser, which is fine because while I waited for my answer from J&J took a trip to my local LUSH shop (my most favorite store ever!) where I picked up a bar of the AMAZING FRESH FARMACY. It is "the soothing, cleansing bar to reach for whenever you see a spot starting rear its ugly head. It makes a tiny bit of froth to clean your face gently. And because it's made with masses of calamine and chamomile, it's one of the most extraordinarily calming cleansers known to humankind."

One word: UNREAL. In just 2 days my redness is going down and stress acne is drying up and heading out!

I also grabbed a few pots of their uber yummy vegan NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX LIP BALM 

And a jar of the winter must have, BON BON LIP SCRUB. Its tastes like lemon pie and scrubs all that dry skin off your pout and makes them lip balm or gloss ready.

Have I professed my love for LUSH yet ….

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Say What Michael Pollen?

A FANTASTIC review of "The Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollen, and a FANTASTIC site.

I was once a fan of Mr Pollen (I quite enjoyed In Defense of Food at first read). Now I tend to take him with a massive grain of salt and then turn my head and find someone who isn't talking out of both sides of his face to listen to.

The Vegan RD | Thoughts On Being Vegan: A Dietitian's Viewpoint

NOW this is a resourse page!

If you are at the start of, or just begining to think of adopting a vegan lifestyle then go no further than HERE:
The Vegan RD | Thoughts On Being Vegan: A Dietitian's Viewpoint

This amazing site has it all covered: Health, Eating Guides, Nutrition, Recipes and loads more.

And its very accessible, easy to read and not at all intimidating.

So give a whirl, do you homework and then MAKE THE CHANGE!

Milk: Its Grosser than You Think

Where Does My Milk Come From from Animal Aid on Vimeo.

Mmmm, Animal Bones in My Glass

I have been aware of animal products being being used in alcohol, spirit and beer refining & filtering for a while now.

It is both unnecessary and gross. There are other ways to do this.

Just look at Amstel, Alexander Keith's, Becks, Creemore Springs (A personal fave of mine since I grew up spending my summers in this small, quaint Ontario town) and Corona to name just a few brewery that are FULLY VEGAN.

This post reminded me to be diligent when at the booze barn.

I’ll take a shot of animal bones on the rocks please

And this handy-dandy website makes it very easy and impossible to claim it too hard to do.

You have no excuse. Unless you like fish bladders, eggs and horse joints in your beer and vino ....

Making the Connection: Chapter 6 Environment

What we eat, how we eat and how it effects the environment.

Please watch!

Making the Connection: Chapter 5 Farming

Making the Connection: Chapter 4 Global Food Security

Making the Connection: Chapter 3 Nutrition

A wonderful video discussing the health questions/benefits of a vegan lifestyle, as well as the support for vegan pregnancy and parenting.

Making the Connection: Chapter 2 Fitness

Making the Connection: Chapter 1 Food

A fantastic video series on the benefits, myths and realities of adopting a vegan lifestyle and how you can make the change NOW!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy World Vegan Day!

World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated on 1 November, by vegans around the world. The Day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of The Vegan Society UK. 2010 marks the 66th anniversary of the term 'vegan' (and thus the verbally clarified concept of 'veganism' and of the Vegan Society). (Thanks Wikipedia)
One year ago today I made the choice to remove animal products from my life. I don't eat, wear or otherwise consume animal products or by-products.

Most people expressed love and support for my decision, others however shouted out concern and outright contempt for my choice. I was accused of being radical and uneducated in my decision. I was going to get sick, ruin my health and revert back to my omnivore ways before the month was over.

Well, here I am, 12 months later and still VEGAN and PROUD. I am in the best health of my life, my skin is glowing and my lifelong acne issues are a thing of the past. My weight is healthy and easily maintained. My sleep patterns are solid and I now wake up feeling refreshed and energized. My heart is warm and content and my mind is at peace with my choice. For me, this is now the only way I will live.

I am not a fool. I take care of myself and do not live on lettuce, peanut butter and water. I eat like a champ, never am I hungry and I have rediscovered my LOVE of cooking and creating in the kitchen. I visit my Naturopath for monthly check ups and vitamin booster shots in addition to taking daily vegan friendly vitamins (Multi vitamin, B12, B16 and Folic Acid)

To honor today I thought I would share my favorite website, blogs, movies, books and articles in hopes that after reading them you will be inspired to think about and evaluate your current lifestyle and realize that by adopting a animal & cruelty free lifestyle you will not only be helping yourself, but you will be helping you friends, family, children (both here and now and in the future), as well as your environment and your planet.

Before exploring these links, watch the following video and get a good understanding of what becoming and being a vegan really means:

A Life Connected: VEGAN from on Vimeo.



You'll notice I didn't post a PETA link. Why? Because I feel that they are a group of radical, hypocritical freaks who do nothing but harm to the vegetarian/vegan community by creating hate and fear. That is not what I am about and therefore I do not support them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spicy Lentil Soup

This recipe is easy, delish and perfect on our now cool, crisp fall days. I was bored one afternoon and had lentils to use up and just tossed a bunch of stuff into my crock pot and let it cook away for 4 hours. What came out was a rich and subtly spicy soup. I blend it up to make it thicker but if you like your soup thinner just blend 1/2 and mix it back in with the rest, simmering over low heat until its warm.

Super yum with a hearty slice of my favourite bread: Silverhills Bakery Squirrelly Bread

E's Spicy Lentil Soup

6 cups Water
2 cups Vegetable stock
1 cup Red Lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 cup Green Lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
3 Celery hearts, diced
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp each Red Pepper flakes & Cumin
3 Bay leaves
1 tbsp Canola oil
1 Onion, peeled and diced
Salt & pepper to taste

In crock pot combine water, vegetable stock, lentils, carrots, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin and bay leave.

Over medium heat sauté onion in canola oil until translucent.

Add onion to crock pot and stir all ingredients to combine.

Cook for 4 hours

Let soup cool slightly before blending (its usually too hot to put straight into the blender from the crockpot)

Skim off any foam and ENJOY!

This soup freezes wonderfully and this recipe makes about 8 servings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Real or Fake?

When I was a new vegan I took to the fake meats like a fish takes to to water (teehee - like my animal reference? Dang I am funny). It made the transition easier and like this article notes, it was nice to have comfort foods around and to be able to indulge in things that were familiar.

However, now a year into my veganism I feel that I can stand here and say: FAKE MEATS ARE BAD FOR YOU (and they taste gross too) with a clear conscious and the knowledge and education to back it up.

Why do I say this? Well, BECAUSE THEY ARE FAKE (and duh) are highly processed and full of preservatives. Mmmm, fake dead cows made of high fructose corn syrup, grain powders, artificial flavourings and color. Dosent that sound delish? ICK!

So keep on walking, move away from the fake chicken nuggets, “beef” strips and deli slices. Go onwards and find that veggie isle and dry goods bulk bin - Dive in head first to legumes, lentils, beans and whole grains. I promise, you will not be sad you did.

Sure, fake meats serve a purpose when you are at the start of your vegan conversion and help to bridge gaps that may be hard to cross at the beginning. But they should only play that bridging role and be something that you move away from as you become more confident in the kitchen and find better and FAR TASTIER ways to replace meats and dairy products in your diet.

There are endless website and books devoted to yummy, easy vegan cooking. Even here on my blog you will find tons of recipes that are tasty and simple (trust me, I ain't no Martha, but I do know my way around my kitchen).

So ditch the fake stuff and go for the good stuff, the REAL stuff: FOOD!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The 5th Annual GO VEGAN WEEK is taking place between October 24 - 31.

If you are not currently living a vegan lifestyle, take the plunge and try it - Even if just for the week.

Sign up and take the Vegan Pledge and go vegan for 7 days.

Take action, for the animals and the planet. A plant based diet not only improves your health, it significantly reduces your carbon footprint and helps to preserve our natural resources for all our future generations.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Biggest Loser goes VEGAN!

My heart is singing!

Bob + Vegan = Biggest Loser is even better than before!!!

Note: The losing 40 lbs in a week thing is still scary and strange.

Urban Decay Cosmetics - Vegan Friendly

How is it that I JUST found out about this?!

I am in Vegan Make Up Heaven!!!!

What Vegans are NOT

This following paragraph is probably the best summation I have ever read of how I feel about myself and my other vegan sisters and brothers:

Earth Balance: Another one Bites the Dust

Slappin’ the faces of those that eat you

As the title of this article reads, that just what it is when you find out that a company and product that you love are only using you.

So long Earth Balance, it was nice while it lasted

Where Do You Stand?

I loved this short and sweet article on the mindset of vegans and how they are most always taken as being extreme and angry ... and why maybe some of them are.

I'm don't consider myself extreme or angry. I consider myself passionate and compassionate.

Just don't piss me off with stupid and ignorant comments ;)

Think about it. | Your Daily Vegan - The Daily Vegan Spin - Unapologetic Veganism

Monday, October 18, 2010

She's BACK!

Wow. What a crazy, fun, adventurous and exciting last few months it has been.

My travels were more than I had dreamed they would be and I have come back to Canada with a new perspective, appreciation and understanding of not only the world, but myself.

I had no troubles keeping to my vegan lifestyle while lugged my pack from bus to boat, from country to country and never once went hungry, managing to to eat like a champ everywhere I went.

Sure, I had to learn a few phrases in the local language of wherever  I was at any given time, but that made it all the more fun and challenging.

I have loads of places to review, recipes to post and stories to tell.

All will be coming very soon. I promise.

As if eating chicken wasn't gross enough

Now we get to see this: mechanically separated pink chicken goo which is the "main ingredient in hot dogs, bologna, chicken nuggets, salami and other processed meat products"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Traveling the World as a Vegan

Next week I am heading out on a long awaited and dreamed of 4 month adventure through Southern Africa and South East Asia.

I am super excited to be venturing out into the world and experiencing new cultures and meeting new and fantastic people.

But I am also nervous about the reality of keeping to my vegan lifestyle and diet.

Through lots of internet research and talking to others who have traveled similar routes I feel that I will be able to maintain my diet, even if it means eating loads of rice and beans.

Check out some of these sites out for more info on traveling as a vegan:

I am looking forward to trying local foods as much as I can and don't feel that I will be missing out or not having a full experience by avoiding meat, dairy and eggs.

I hope to be able to post about my travel and food experiences as often as possible, however some of my locations (such as the Kalahari desert and the hill of Northern Laos) may not lend themselves to internet access.

Otherwise, I will be back in action in October with (I'm sure) loads of stories both good and bad.

Wishing you all a fabulous, healthy, vegany-good summer!!!

Canada's Food Safety Rated Among World's Best!

Sometime I am so proud to be Canadian!

A report comparing Canada's food safety system with other industrialized nations places the country among the best in the world at protecting the quality of the food supply.

Canada tied for fourth place with the United States, behind Denmark, Australia and the United Kingdom, according to the independent report prepared and paid for by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, part of the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina.

The nation's food safety is ranked as superior based on factors such as the rate of food-borne illness, inspections, education programs, use of agricultural chemicals and strategies on bioterrorism, risk management and food recalls.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Its sweet to be VEGAN

Its once again time for the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. And once again, it proves that even small vegan steps can have a big impact on breaking down stereotypes and educating non-vegans. So go out and take a big bite out of a delicious vegan cupcake or brownie and ask some questions and do a little thinking ...

(CNN) -- When animal rights activist Jasmin Singer found herself face to face with a scientist who conducts animal testing, a cupcake was exchanged instead of harsh words.

"A good vegan cupcake has the power to transform everything for the better," Singer said. "It's almost like a political statement with icing."

Singer was co-hosting a vegan bake sale in New York last week as part of the second annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. More than 120 groups across six continents are holding vegan bake sales from April 24 through May 2.

Bake sale participants see the sweet treats as a way to introduce those unfamiliar with a vegan diet to some of the flavorful foods they can eat.

While vegetarians stay away from meat but may consume dairy and eggs, vegans give up all animal products.

Some people become vegan for animal welfare reasons. Others view it as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. Still others choose the plant-based diet as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Ruxandra Costescu, of Bucharest, Romania, said most attendees at the bake sales she helped organize weren't vegan.

One person who showed up couldn't decide what he wanted, so he took one of everything, she said, adding that he came back later to buy more of his favorites for his family.

"It's really nice to have people who eat anything really appreciate the vegan treats," Costescu said. "Usually people are amazed that they're so tasty."

In Sydney, Australia, Amanda Salles was inspired to start regularly holding vegan bake sales after joining the first worldwide bake sale last year.

She has never gone to an animal rights rally, but she tries to make a difference by baking vegan desserts like gingerbread cookies.

"I know a lot of people probably think it's not enough or that you should be going to protests or demonstrations," she said. "But it's a good way to participate. It's not very aggressive."

Some approaches to vegan outreach are less subtle. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has had half-naked activists campaign against meat consumption by covering themselves in fake blood and lying in human-sized meat packages.

PETA's theatrics may seem a far cry from a bake sale, but the organization sees the sales and protests as means of reaching the same goal.

"Even if [people] don't like the medium that we're using to get things across, we really just try to make sure they understand why we're doing it," said PETA senior campaigner Ashley Byrne.

Gary Loewenthal, director of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, said he believes bake sales can be a nice change of pace for people used to more confrontational forms of activism.

"I liked it because it combined this time-honored, well-liked tradition with vegan outreach," he said.

He started planning last year's event from his home in Falls Church, Virginia, after brainstorming fundraising opportunities with Compassion for Animals, the animal advocacy group he helps run.

Loewenthal sent invitations to cities all over the world and soon generated a buzz online. In 2009, the event had close to 100 participants and raised more than $25,000.

Each group decides where to direct the proceeds of its own bake sale. While the money is not required to go to any specific type of organization, many opt to donate to nonprofit groups.

Two events in Seattle, Washington, last week raised $1,770 for Pigs Peace Sanctuary, where Edgar, a potbellied pig, is being treated for a broken leg.

Funds from a vegan bake sale in California on Sunday will benefit breast cancer research and education through the Avon Foundation. A group in Louisiana will send its proceeds to Food For Life, a vegan hunger-relief organization.

When Loewenthal started researching vegan bake sales in 2008, a Google search yielded few results. Now, he says, one can find at least a handful of them taking place in any given month.

In late January, more than 25 U.S. cities held vegan bake sales to raise money for Haiti hurricane relief. They were able to donate more than $75,000, according to organizer Isa Moskowitz, author of a number of vegan cookbooks.

The growing popularity of vegan bake sales makes Loewenthal think about the future of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale.

"We've got some ideas going forward about how to keep it fresh," he said. "But we're also prepared for it to be obsolete. ... We can call it a success and go on to something else."

Source: CNN

I think I have a pretty good hand with an icing bag and fondant no?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Food, Inc. - The Passionate Eye | CBC News Network

Sunday April 11 at 10 pm ET/PT & Saturday April 17 at 7 pm ET on CBC News Network

If you are in Canada or have access to CBC and you havent already seen this (or even if you have) - YOU MUST WATCH SUNDAY NIGHT!

Food, Inc. - The Passionate Eye | CBC News Network

Vegan Around the World

With my world travels just 2 months away (today!) I have started looking more seriousley into my eating options while on the move.

Asia will be easy. Loads of veggies, fried rice and keeping to Buddhist style restaurants will ensure that I keep to my diet. I have learned how to say “I am allergic to eggs, milk and fish” and “I am a vegetarian” in Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, Khmer and Cantonese.

Africa is where I had been told that my issues would arise.

However, from my Goggling, I have been able to find out the following and my mind has been set at ease:

Fruits and vegetables in southern Africa include bananas, pineapples, pau-pau (papaya), mangoes, avocadoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, and cabbage. Nonetheless, the traditional meal in southern Africa is centered on a staple crop, usually rice or maize, served with a stew. The most common dish made from cornmeal is called mealie meal, or pap in South Africa. Also known as nshima or nsima further north, it is usually eaten with stew poured over it. The stew may include a few boiled vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, or turnips, or on more special occasions, fish, beans, or chicken.

Ok so that sounds good …

But we cannot forget the Braai:

Braai, which is Afrikaans for "barbecue" or "roast" and is a social custom in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In addition to meat being the main focus, the other main part of the meal is pap (pronounced /pɑːp/, meaning porridge), and is actually a thickened porridge, or the krummelpap ("crumb porridge"), both of which are traditionally eaten with the meat. Made from finely ground corn/maize (similar to polenta), it is a staple of local African communities and may be eaten with a tomato and onion sauce, monkeygland sauce (a type of South Africian BBQ sauce) or the more spicy chakalaka.
P’s family in Pretoria was so excited that we were coming that they immediately organized a braai … but we had yet to drop the E-Bomb on them. So with that in mind P mentioned that I was vegan and as I awaited the gasps of horror and shock, I was pleasantly surprised by their accommodating reply “Well we have lots of nuts, soya and veggies in SA too!”.

Excellent! I am not a freak in their eyes … yet!

But we are not staying in Pretoria or with Family the entire time in South Africa so I still needed to do some more research on vegan dining within the country.

I found this amazing site and my fears and worries have be totally put aside.

The South African Vegan Directory is just that: a directory for vegans in South Africa, listing not only restaurants but also shopping, accommodations, recipes and product listings.

With options like Indian, Turkish, Chinese and Mexican, not to mention a whole listing of cafes and bars I feel more than ready to eat my way across the country, vegan styles.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Victory: Monsanto drops GE Wheat

I dont even know what to say. I know this is old news but it makes me want to jump for joy, yell from the roof tops and do cartwheels.

I am overjoyed that Monsanto is starting to be put in their place. Hopefully this is just the begining.

Thanks to years of pressure from environmental groups, the consumers, our cyberactivists and Greenpeace, today we can annnounce a victory for the environment following the announcement by Monsanto that they would suspend further development or open field trials of its genetically engineered, Roundup Ready wheat.

"This is a victory for the environment, farmers and consumers," said Pat Venditti, our GE campaigner in Canada. "Strong rejection of GE wheat from virtually every corner of the globe once again showed the resistance to GE foods."

Monsanto announced today that they will defer all further efforts to introduce Roundup Ready wheat, and that they will discontinue breeding and field level research of the crop. This follows a similar announcement in 2003 when the company announced its withdrawal from the development of pharmaceutical crops.

"Let's hope GE wheat permanently joins GE flax, GE tomatoes and GE potatoes in the dustbin of bad ideas. Rather than having to restage this battle in four years time, we hope that Monsanto has heard loud and clear that genetically engineered wheat is a non-starter," continued Mr. Venditti. "The Canadian Government should make a note of this and re-think its devotion to this unnecessary technology."

Take Action: Stand up for your rice!

Rice is daily food for half of the world's population. Genetically modified (GM) rice, on the other hand, is a threat to our agriculture, our biodiversity and a possible risk to our health.

At present, GM rice is not grown commercially anywhere in the world. But Bayer, the German chemical giant, has genetically manipulated rice to withstand higher doses of a toxic pesticide called glufosinate, which is considered to be so dangerous to humans and the environment that it will soon be banned from Europe.

In just a few weeks, the European Union will decide whether or not this GM rice can enter EU countries, appear on supermarket shelves and end up on our dinner plates. If the EU approves the import of Bayer GM rice, farmers in the US and elsewhere may soon start planting it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Detox Phase II

Phase I of the detox was the prep. Now I am on to Phase II – Liver detox

My naturopath gave me 21 days of MediHerb LivCo tablets to take 3x’s a day and according to my googling, the LivCo tablets will do the following:

*Aid in the elimination and cleanse the liver
*Enhance the productions of antioxidants in the liver
*Increase the natural synthesis of proteins in the liver
*Support healthy liver function
*Protect again the damaging effects of free radicals

That all sounds pretty good to me. I'm still feeling great from Phase I and am still sleeping better and feeling well rested every morning.

I'm also still drinking at least 1.5 litres of distilled water a day and I have noticed a big difference in my skin and complexion. Almost no acne now (FINALLY! At 31 … geeze) and a more even tone and texture overall.

Again, as before, these are all good things.

I have also started a massive overhaul on my gym routine. Aside from adding in at least 20 minutes of running, I have started working on the circuit training as outlined in the Jillian Michaels’ book MAKING THE CUT. It’s a pretty intense workout based on circuit training, plyometrics and stacking and it’s kicking my ass, literally.

The promise of the plan is to, as you can gather from the title of the book, get cut. And of course, she says that you can make this promise a reality in a mear 30 days. I suppose if you do nothing but work out everyday and follow her routine to a T then sure, you may get ripped in 30 days. Me, I’ll be more than happy to look “cut” by June. That’s me being realistic.

I already hit the gym 3 times a week and so sure, I’m game for adding a few more days in there to make it an even 5, but that’s it. I have a life, school and work to balance outside of the weight room so that’s as much as a commitment as I am able and willing to make.

But just from the last two days, I think that June is more than realistic. I am gonna look ripped, and toned and strong on the beaches of Thailand.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Fitness Personality

Took a quick little quiz this morning that was sent to me in my weekly Healthy Monday newsletter from and thought it was pretty darn accurate:

Your answers indicate that you tend to be more of a leader than a follower, that you like to be in charge and that you're likely a goal-oriented person. (YUP!) You may enjoy the process of setting goals and mapping out the steps you need to reach them. You're also disciplined and self-motivated, so you may not need a buddy or group activity to keep you supported.

Because of these traits, you're the kind of person who is consistent with exercise and doesn't have a problem committing to a regular exercise program. You may lean towards more athletic activities and you may also have a tendency to get stuck in exercise ruts from time to time, having difficulty changing things up on a regular basis.

Best Exercises for Your Personality

You tend to go solo when it comes to fitness and, because you're so disciplined, it's easier for you to stick to a more regimented routine. You might enjoy activities where you're in control -- of your movements and your schedule -- rather than following along in a fitness class or video. Just a few ideas:

Walking, Running or Cycling
Any one or all of these activities might appeal to you because you're in charge of these kinds of workouts. There's no instructor to follow, no rules -- you create your own workouts and move at your own pace, which is just how you like it. These activities also offer opportunities to improve; you can go faster, find bigger hills and increase your distance. Tracking these things might help keep you motivated.

Training for Races
Beyond basic running or walking programs, training for a race (whether it's 5K or a marathon) may be a good goal to set for yourself. Training for a race requires specific, timely steps which may appeal to the goal-oriented part of your personality. You may also like to get your competitive juices flowing.

Strength Training
While strength training is good for all of us, it might appeal to you more than the average person. Lifting weights is a solo activity that requires a specific plan as well as a specific list of exercises for each muscle group. You might enjoy the act of creating your own program just as much as carrying it out and keeping track of your progress.

Martial Arts
Though more of a team activity, martial arts offers many aspects of training that fit your personality. The moves you learn are regimented, require regular practice and you also have the ability to earn different belts and move up into more complicated training programs. Because you may prefer to exercise alone, pursuing something with group interactivity may actually be good for you, helping you learn how to rely on and support others. (I did LOVE boxing when I was training with my PT and am dying to do more ... does that count?)

What to Watch Out For
Because you're smart and self-disciplined, there are some downsides to that personality type that could cause some problems. Just a few things to watch out for:

Being inflexible. You like routines and habits, but they may turn into ruts if you don't make changes now and then. Make it a point to take stock of your situation every few weeks and make changes in your schedule, workouts or activities to keep things fresh.

Being afraid to try new things. You're good at a variety of things, but you may also have a tendency towards perfectionism. That may stop you from trying new things, since it's hard to be perfect on your first try. Test your boundaries every so often with new activities and allow yourself to be bad at them.

Being a know-it-all. You may spend time researching exercise and fitness. You may also have a lot of personal knowledge about fitness, which can keep you from having an open mind about new ideas. Listening to what others have to say, even inexperienced exercisers, can teach you more than you realize.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Detox Update

Its been a week since I started my first ever cleanse/detox, whatever and I have to admit I am feeling pretty darn good.

The first few days I was met with "flu like symptoms" such as a bit of a stuffy head, a tad groggy and a little throat irritation, all of which are apparently very normal for the first time detoxer.

They passed within a few days and since then I have been feeling great.

I also seem to be sleeping better and have far more energy than before.

Oddly enough, with the sleeping thing, I seem to actually be needing less sleep then before and am no longer waking up feeling tired and groggy. Last night for example, I went to bed at 10:30pm as per usual, read for a bit and then attempted to drift off to lala land. But I couldn't fall asleep. I wasn't fidgety, or over tired. I wasn't uncomfortable or achy. I just wasn't tired.

So I laid there until 1:00am trying to fall asleep, dreading the alarm going off in just 6 hrs. However, when 6:35am arrived and P got up and hit the showers I woke up and was STUNNED to realize I felt fine. Sure, I didn't have to get up for another hour, but I was very aware of the feeling of rest that I had with only 5 hrs sleep behind me. I dozed off again and got up an hour later when my alarm sounded. Again, the feeling of restfulness was unexpected but warmly welcomed.

And this has been the case for a few days now, starting on Sunday.

An odd but not at all bad effect of cleansing the body.

Another fantastic side effect has been some very unexpected weight loss. Not loads, just 5 lbs, but to have dropped that in a week is unreal.

I have not changed my diet other than to remove sugar and have added in a ton of water (1.5 liters a day or more) and exercise wise I am still at the gym 3 times a week. I've switched up my routine a bit and have started to do 20 minutes of running, followed by about 30 minutes of weights (chest and shoulder presses, curl squats, triceps curls and leg presses).

The loss is most noticeable in my gym pants (which are starting to fall down as I run!) and my work pants (the butt is getting baggy and I'm back to my original belt loop!)

So clearly something is working and I am loving it.

I wonder what kind of results I will see after moving to Level II of the program next week ...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prohibit Genetically Engineered Alfalfa

Resulting contamination of non-GE and organic alfalfa hay and seed would devastate livelihoods and organic industry

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) today announced that more than 200,000 people submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) critiquing the substance and conclusions of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on Genetically Engineered (GE) Alfalfa. Groups, including NOC, Center for Food Safety (CFS), Organic Consumers Association, Food & Water Watch, CREDO Action and Food Democracy Now, mobilized their communities to help generate the unprecedented number of comments.

In addition, more than 300 public interest organizations, farmers, dairies, retailers and organic food producers from the U.S. and Canada delivered a strongly worded letter to USDA, calling upon it to deny approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, Roundup Ready alfalfa (GE alfalfa). The letter cites the inevitable contamination of organic and non-GE alfalfa hay and seeds and threats to the viability of organic dairies, livestock, and meat and dairy producers as reasons for urging the denial. NOC, Organic Valley, Whole Foods, National Cooperative Grocers Association, CFS and others agree that it would be irresponsible government policy to approve GE alfalfa in the absence of legal requirements holding companies accountable for GE contamination, as is currently the case.

More Soy

Wow, it seems that the soy debate is a raging and more and more information and studies are coming out.

Its kinda like when you get a new car and all of a sudden you start see that same car everywhere you look. Ya know what I mean?

I found this article to present some great information on both sides of the debate.

Some stand out pieces are:


There is a debate about whether soy prevents or causes breast cancer. Some women have estrogen-positive breast cancer, meaning their tumors have estrogen receptors and are thought to grow from contact with estrogen. Soy contains isoflavones which are weak estrogens. It is not known if this is good or bad. The isoflavones could stimulate estrogen positive breast tumors, or they could dull the effect of real estrogen on the tumor. There has been little research performed on humans.

In April of 2009, a paper was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, written by Mark Messina and Anna Wu.6 Here are highlights from this paper:

-Daily per capita isoflavone intake in the United States and in Europe is about 3 mg per day.

-Daily per capita isoflavone intake among older adults in Japan and in Chinese cities such as Shanghai is about 25-50 mg per day.

They noted that the study by Trock et al (mentioned above) found no statistially significant protective effect of higher intake on breast cancer rates in Asian countries.

Reduced risks were found for both pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer.

When you pick apart these various studies, there appears to be evidence that eating soy early in life is important for gaining a protection against breast cancer.

Four studies have taken breast tissue biopsies before and after exposure to isoflavones and none found any increased breast cell proliferation.

Two epidemiologic studies looking at survival after breast cancer diagnosis found no reduced survival among women eating more soy.

The authors conclude, "The concern that products containing isoflavone might be contraindicated for patients with breast cancer and women at increased risk of breast cancer is based almost exclusively on results from rodent studies. In contrast, however, the clinical and epidemiologic data suggest that isoflavones pose no risk to such women. This suggestion is consistent with the relatively unimpressive data showing that postmenopausal therapy with oral estrogen increases breast cancer risk.

Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that, because there is an imprecise understanding of the effect of soy and isoflavones on breast tissue, women at high risk of developing breast cancer and patients with breast cancer should first discuss any dietary changes with their primary health care provider."

Also in April of 2009, a prospective study on soy intake and breast cancer risk in the Shanghai Women's Health Study was published. They found that among premenopausal women, higher soy intake was protective, but not among postmenopausal women.


A 2008 study from Indonesia found that among people aged 52 to 98, increased tofu consumption was linked to slightly worse memory scores (-0.18, p = .05).9 Tempeh, on the other hand, was linked to slightly better memory scores.
The authors state that:

"According to the Departments of Public Health at the Universities of Jakarta and Yogyakarta, formaldehyde is often added to tofu (but not tempeh) to preserve its freshness. Formaldehyde can induce oxidative damage to the frontal cortex and hippocampal tissue...."

As of September 2008, the government was trying to end the practice (Formaldehyde-laced tofu still selling despite raids, The Jakarta Post, 09/11/2008). In light of the formaldehyde problem and how slight the differences were in memory scores, there is probably little to worry about.

The authors surmised that tempeh might be good for memory because the bacteria used in the tempeh starter, Rhizopus oligosporus produce folate, which is thought to protect memory.


There is evidence that soy intake may be protective against heart disease, prostate cancer, osteoporosis4, 10, and menopausal symptoms. Tempeh is also a good source of absorbable zinc.

Of course, some people are allergic to soy and should avoid it. Other people say they feel better when not eating soy. And other people feel better when they do eat soy. But the research indicates it’s “not unsafe” for most people at 2 to 3 servings a day

This is another good read if you are interested:

Is It Safe to Eat Soy? by Virginia Messina, MPH, RD & Mark Messina, PhD

Oh and before I forget:

Soy milk and infants:

A study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the highly concentrated phytoestrogens in soy formula might weaken the immune systems of babies. The formulas have more of these compounds than soy foods do. But researchers emphasized that this risk is largely theoretical. There's no evidence that soy formula is unsafe, or that infants drinking it have been harmed. Breast milk is still the first choice, however, followed by milk-based formulas. Only infants allergic to milk should drink soy formula.


During pregnancy, isoflavones from the mother's diet appear to be passed on to the fetus. High levels of isoflavones were found in healthy Japanese infants whose mothers also had high blood levels of isoflavones, probably due to high intakes of soy.18 These levels of isoflavones have not been associated with any health problems in infants. One report has found that a birth defect of the penis called hypospadias occurred more frequently in infants whose mothers followed a vegetarian diet during pregnancy.19 Although some have attributed these results to use of soy, there was no significant association between use of soymilk and other soy products and development of hypospadias.19 Isoflavones from the mother's diet also appear in breast milk, although the daily isoflavone intake of breastfed infants remains negligible,20 even when breast milk levels are increased as much as tenfold by the mother's use of soy foods.21 At this point there is no scientific evidence of a need to avoid soy foods in pregnancy or during breastfeeding; 2-3 servings a day is a reasonable amount.

Ideally, all infants would be breast-fed. There are circumstances, however, where soy formula is the next-best alternative. Researchers have concluded that use of soy formula appears to have no effect on fertility, miscarriage rate, birth defects in offspring, or maturation.22 Based on the results of this study, and calculating isoflavone intake on a body weight basis, and assuming that older children absorb and metabolize soy isoflavones similarly to infants, a daily soy intake of 2-3 servings per day appears reasonable for children.

Children can use soy products as a part of a healthy diet. Sometimes, perhaps because of convenience, or perhaps because they look like what other children are eating, vegetarian children become over-dependent on soy products like veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and veggie deli slices. Using seitan or bean burgers, peanut butter sandwiches, or other foods can encourage some dietary variety rather than focusing strictly on soy.