Do you love plant-based milks? Have you ever thought about making you own? Homemade plant milks are super fresh, free of preservatives, and you have complete control over the quality of the ingredients, the sugar levels, and the texture.
You can make a variety of plant-based milks simply by blending raw seeds, nuts, and grains with water. To name a handful: Almonds, hemp seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, coconuts, flaxseeds quinoa, rice, oats, millet, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and more can all be liquefied into delicious milks.
Milking raw nuts, seeds, and grains is quick and super easy:
THE BASE RECIPE
1 cup RAW nuts or seeds of choice (or 1/4 cup flaxseeds)
1 pinch sea salt (optional)
Sweetness (optional) - use any of the following:
2-3T maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar
5-10 drops liquid stevia
1 tablespoon coconut oil - liquified (optional)
1 tablespoon sunflower lecithin (optional)
EASY AS 1 - 2 - 3
Click graphics to enlarge
Useful Info + Knowledge:
Tinlid Hat Co. was founded by a couple of college kids from Traverse City, Michigan who had a strong mission to do as much good as possible. They offer their customers something very different – charitable fashion that is sustainable, stylish and well-made. Tinlid has an affordable range of hats (snapback and strapback), with great comfort that are carefully made to impact others. They attack environmental and economic issues through the sale of their products:
“Cultivate the future by growing others.”
I had the honor to review the Hemp Hat:
Be sure to check out more of Tinlid’s incredible hats for a cause.
Make a difference. Be the change. - Tinlid Hat Co.
What exactly does healthy, radiant and youthful skin begin with? Simple answer: a lower glycemic, whole food plant-based diet rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients, paired with a natural, organic skin care regimine.
Our skin is a reflection of the foods we feed it. By taking charge and nourishing our overall health with fresh vegetables, dark leafy greens, fresh fruits, super foods, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, whole-grains and legumes our skin will shine. Processed foods and animal products don’t deliver anything living or rejuvenating to our skin. Eat as close to nature, consuming a high whole-foods diet. Eat the rainbow everyday if you can. Fresh veggies, fruits and juices like carrots, avocado, celery, and cucumber deliver hydration and skin nourishing and rejuvenating fats, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Try to incorporate many alkaline foods into your diet as well.
Some Top Anti-Aging Foods:
Don’t forget about staying active and sleep
Staying active helps with many things, including: Elevation in mood, healthy blood circulation to the skin, improvement in immunity, and better quality of sleep.
Sleep is extremely important to overall health. When we rest, everything goes into repair mode– including our skin. When you eat a clean, whole food plant-based diet and stay active, the quality of sleep improves. In addition, as you feel more rested and restored, you will become more energized to maintain an active lifestyle and plan for healthier eating every day.
Organic Skin Care: Hana Organic Skincare Review
I was recently introduced to an incredible local company called Hana Organic Skincare. They make gorgeous products without harmful ingredients.
I’ve always been very picky about what I put on my skin, so prior to Hana Organic Skincare, I found myself trying to make many of my skincare products myself. Now, I’m not only stoked about how well my skin enjoys these products, but I’m practically addicted with this entire line and look forward to my daily skin care regimen. Hana Organic Skincare was created on the gorgeous Bainbridge Island off the coast of Washington State. The line is 100% cruelty free (most products are vegan), gluten free and uses only the highest quality certified, Non-GMO ingredients. Created in 2011 by certified herbalist, Karen Ries and hand made in small batches, Hana Organic Skincare provides pure, simple products for your overall radiant health and well-being.
Overall, I would describe the products as being incredibly delicate, gentle, natural, non-irritating and easy to apply. They are also very effective. My skin loves these natural ingredients!
My favorite product from this line has to be the Eye Oil. I’m really picky when it comes to the area around my eyes, as it’s very delicate. Hana’s Eye Oil has certified organic jojoba and rosehip seed oils as well as vitamin E and rose essential oil – truly nourishing! The small drop will easily do one eye, sometimes two. It’s not greasy and it absorbs well. A little goes a long way.
Ingredients: jojoba & rosehip seed oils; Vitamin E; rose essential oil.
It’s always been hard for me to find a serum I truly like and works for my sensitive skin. After 4 weeks of using the Luxe Serum, I am beyond pleased. My skin has an even tone and is super soft! As little as 2-3 drops of this earthy, yet sweet combination is plenty to smooth over my face and neck. The skin rejuvenating benefits are priceless Ingredients include: certified organic jojoba, apricot and rosehip seed oils; Vitamin E; lavender, neroli, frankincense and rose otto essential oils.
Ingredients: jojoba, apricot & rosehip seed oils; Vitamin E; lavender, neroli, frankincense & rose otto essential oils.
This lovely combination of white clay, organic oats, almonds, poppy seeds, rose, lavender & calendula is easy to apply and very gentle on sensitive irritated skin. It works fabulous as a gental cleanser as well as a mask. As a mask I mix it up with toner in my hand before I gently apply to my face - leaving it on for about 15 minutes then use a warm washcloth to remove and follow with Gentle Toner and moisturizer.
Ingredients: white clay; oats; +almonds; poppy seeds; rose centifolia (rose); lavendula officianalis (lavender); calendula officianalis (calendula); lavender & rose essential oils.
This product pairs very nicely with the Gentle Cleanser as it’s lightweight and easily applied in a convenient mist spray. The smell is lovely too including certified organic rose hydrosol, aloe vera gel, ylang ylang and lavender & lemon essential oils.
Gentle indeed! This liquid cleanser leaves no soap residue, immediately leaving your skin moisture, refreshed and clean! Since it’s not soap based, it didn’t dry my skin at all either. The smell is crisp and light with rose hydrosol, castile soap, jojoba oil with geranium and neroli essential oils.
Bonus: Hana also has cute essential travel kits available – I just love this! As many road trips as I do, this makes is super convenient. It’s also an excellent way to experience this incredible line for the first time.
HANA Organic Skincare is a wonderful innovative company with a commitment ” to provide pure, simple products for your radiant health and wellbeing.”
I highly recommend you try this line - HANDS DOWN! - Kristin (aka Miss Bellevue Vegan)
Previous post: The Hottest Health and Wellness Trends in 2016
Each year is a new beginning. And a new opportunity to improve your overall well-being. You can transform your health—even with the smallest changes. As you get geared up for 2016, here are some of the hottest trends in health and wellness. It’s going to be an exciting year, so embrace it by living in the moment!
THE CARB COMEBACK
Rice, oats, whole grains and even … tada… BREAD are back on the menu as we get smarter about carbs and learn to distinguish the types that provide nutrients and lasting energy and those that can add to our waistline. One study of 5,000 consumers released in November found that 1 in 2 could now distinguish between a “good” and “bad” carb. It’s exciting that we are also starting to understand and separate carbs into “slow-fuel” (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc.) and “fast-fuel” (sugars, processed and refined foods). Plus, just as you finally learned how to pronounce quinoa, a family of new supergrains is getting a lot of attention, including farro, amaranth and kamut. By not having consistent amounts of carbs, you’re messing with your blood sugar throughout the day, which can contribute to many other issues. You want to choose carbs that have at least some other nutrient in them. If the food has fiber, it’s going to digest more slowly. Your body depends on carbohydrates to function properly.
EATING BFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER OUT OF A BOWL
It all started with the smoothie bowls. Now bowls are branching out into lunch and dinner too. They are becoming featured healthy items on restaurant menus – going by the name of macro bowls, veggie bowls, grain bowls, poke (sushi-style) bowls, etc.
SOUPING IS THE NEW JUICING
In 2016, green juice fasts and detoxes are going to be replaced with cleanses and diets that use healthy soups – thick, runny, chunky or smooth. Souping can actually be healthier for detox compared to juicing for one main reason: soup retains fiber.
Matcha is becoming a trendy new staple in pretty much any coffee shop you go. And it’s not just for drinks. We are even starting to see matcha being added to desserts and brunch menus. With this kind of enthusiasm for the tea, we could see matcha-dedicated cafes starting to pop up. We might even see the antioxidant-rich green tea starting to show up in beauty products. Read my recent blog post on Matcha.
SEAWEED IS THE NEW KALE
Suddenly, everyone is talking about this crazy underwater plant, for its nutrient profile, skin-care benefits, and incredible potential for combatting climate change. Seaweeds are amongst the most nutrient-dense plants on the planet, and as they have access to all the nutrients in the sea, they are an extremely rich source of minerals. We are even seeing manufacturers using seaweed as a healthy option to replacing the salt added to processed foods. The bioactive substances derived from seaweed provide a beneficial and functional role at the cellular level, contributing to healthy looking skin, hair, and nails.
MINERALS ARE THE REAL HEALTH ROCKSTARS
Vitamins may get all the kuddos, but in 2016 experts are going to be calling minerals the real health rockstars. The day to day “things” we experience in today's modern life that affects us all—stress, sleeplessness, and a dependence on stimulants—aren't just giving us something to complain about, they’re depleting our mineral levels, particularly magnesium. According to Functional medicine doctors, 80 percent of us are deficient in magnesium. This is a problem because magnesium is linked to improving your muscle and bone strength, helps regulate blood pressure and keeps our immune systems strong.
BEAUTY PRODUCTS YOU DRINK
2016 is going to be the year where sipping is part of your beauty regimen vs. what you slather on. Consumers are increasingly making the connection between skincare and nutrition. We will see a wealth of beauty-boosting beverages loaded with the nutrients that help promote a healthy glow from within, prevent signs of aging, fight acne, and more. Many of these elixirs will contain antioxidants and superfood ingredients linked to skin health, like turmeric, probiotics, zinc, and adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea.
MEET ADAPTOGENS, THE NEW STRESS-FIGHTING SUPERHERBS
Everyone has heard of (and hopefully eats) superfoods. Well, meet the superherbs! There are superpowers present in some plants that can help our bodies adapt to stress and handle it in a healthy way. These are called adaptogens and they have the attention of respected physicians like Frank Lipman, MD, skincare lines and even juice companies. The potential of these stress-fighting superherbs to improve all kinds of issues related to health and beauty is super exciting. These superherbs can help your body adapt to its specific needs. Get ready to see adaptogenic ingredients like moringa, Ashwagandha, maca and ginseng in your juices, smoothies, chocolate, beauty products, and more. As we burn out on RX drug experiments and look to sustainable sources to help with stress and health, all arrows point to these herbs.
NUT MILKS GO WILD
Nut milks are getting tons of attention - more than cold-pressed juices were getting even five years ago. Thanks to all the exposure around animal agriculture, dairy intolerance and the issues around soy, more people are drinking nut and seed milks than ever before. But now, people now want milks that are all natural and emulsifier-free (NO carrageenan). Customers are looking at ingredients. Get excited to see some new brands and improved brands! Have you ever made your own nut/seed milks? Here is a nice DIY plant milk recipe formula.
ANTI-DIET! IT'S ABOUT THE BRAIN, NOT THE A$$
Thanks to a growing millennial philosophy about fitness—working out is not about chasing a dress size or for appearances anymore. It’s about working out to ease anxiety and feel strong rather than just to lose weight. The mental health benefits of fitness really are to experience how good it makes your body and brain feel. This stamps an impactful change in thinking about wellness as a holistic way to live versus always trying to look a certain way that leads to letdown and depression for many. Checkout the Anti-Diet Project.
OIL WILL BECOME YOUR CLEANSER OF CHOICE
Ready for a new skincare ritual that has a lot in common with your grandmother’s evening cold cream to remove dirt and makeup? Bring on nature! This modern holistic technique uses natural plant oils. You will see many beauty brands bringing in cleansing oils in 2016. It’s a gentle concept of oil cleansing – an oil cleanser effectively tackles the dirt and oil on your face – vs. water-based cleansers that need surfactants to provide suds to get your skin clean. The oil removes the emulsified oil, makeup, and pollution while leaving your skin balanced and nourished.
Cheers to 2016!
Previous post: Why I'm Vegan, by Kristin Wuhrman
Childhood to Adulthood
When I was a young child, I loved visiting my grandparents’ farm in Michigan. There were so many animals – cows, chickens and barn cats. I loved hanging out with, watching and petting them. I started observing their behaviors and understanding their needs for love, companionship and compassion. They were no different than me. My dad would let me hold the piglets – I wanted to take one home as a pet so badly. I grew up with having cats – there was Oscar, Smokey and Magic. I deeply loved, nurtured and cared for our cats – I felt like I really understood them. I would do anything to protect them, make them happy and keep them from harm. When they died, I was heartbroken, crying nonstop at their sad and unfair deaths.
As I grew older, yet still a child, my love for animals continued to grow – I went to vet visits at Michigan State University, subscribed to as many animal magazines I could, daydreamed about having a farm hotel for all homeless animals, and just wanted to be the animal whisperer I thought I could be. I started questioning why we had to eat animals – it didn’t feel right. I believed then that they were meant to live and enjoy life just like I was. I had this terrible experience seeing these massive semi trucks transporting chickens. It absolutely made me sick. They were crammed so tightly in small crates and not even upright. How could this even be allowed? I then learned what happened to baby calves within hours of their birth, removed from their mothers and many becoming so distressed from the separation that they became ill. I started to refuse eating animals and my family supported it, knowing how it made me feel.
After graduating from Michigan State University, I started my career of 10 years in the animal health industry, volunteered at several rescues, was a heavily involved in helping feral cats and visiting sanctuaries. I also adopted my first cat, Lexi. I still have sweet Miss Lexi, who has welcomed my other lovely 5 cats I adopted over the past few years. Three of them have vision problems (one blind), due to being separated from their mother at only a few weeks of age. I rescued them at my grandparents’ farm and bottle-fed them to great health.
Vegetarian to Vegan
My reason for becoming vegetarian was simple: I absolutely loved and love all animals and I didn’t want to be involved in anything that lead or contributed to their suffering. I first gave up pork, beef and chicken, then fish. But I still didn’t feel right and wasn’t educated enough on commercial dairy and egg farms. I quickly learned that these loving and innocent animals lived miserable lives too, so why was I still having eggs and dairy? I was not eating and living in accordance with my beliefs that animals have their own lives, that they're entitled to their own lives, and that contributing to animal suffering was something that I would never ever be a part of. It was literally over night that I gave up all animal products and became a vegan.
com·pas·sion: concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
In Love and Cross Country Road Trip
I fell in love with my amazing husband, who was from Seattle and moved out there with all 6 cats. After living out of our backpacks in France for 12 days, my husband and I flew to Michigan, built a "pet hotel" in the back of my FJ Cruiser and then drove 2,351 miles to Washington State with all 6 of our cats. We took advantage of all the natural beauty we possibly could as one big family. It was a road trip we will never forget! Lexi, Sammi, Ruthie, Lulu, Miranda and Chuck did extremely well and we are happy and healthy living in the Pacific Northwest now.
Advancing in Veganism
I continued to stay very active on educating myself about veganism and learning about health, climate change and the environment continually reinforced my knowledge. Thanks to many powerful resources like Cowspiracy, I learned that eating meat, dairy and eggs are highly responsible for people developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer. I found out livestock covers 45% of the Earth’s total land. I found out that 5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes and 55% of water in the US is for animal agriculture. I found out that 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs; almost 90 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese. I found out that 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second. I found out that there is 15 times more protein on any given area of land with plants rather than animals. And I found out that most of zoonotic diseases (SARS, mad cow disease, bird flu, etc.) are the result of animal agriculture. And as a clincher: Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.
My Vegan Business
As I studied veganism, health and the environment, the more eager I was to educate others. Also, being an athlete, I learned how much better my performance and recovery was when I ate balanced, plant-based whole foods. My passions were really becoming clearer everyday – animals and plant-based health. But how could I educate and softly influence others in order to get them to listen to the wealth of information and knowledge I had to share? After attending the world’s largest nutrition school, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I became certified as a holistic health coach and I started my own plant-based health coaching business called BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health (aka Miss Bellevue Vegan). I coach, support and help people and businesses transition into or better understand the benefits of a healthy vegan lifestyle. BEVEGAN® Boot Camp, my signature program is a 33-day 'clean-eats' cleanse program built around an unprocessed, nutritionally complete, whole food plant-based diet. Delivered by a realistic, down-to-earth approach, BEVEGAN® Boot Camp will help you discover your authentic self. I also hold local events to raise awareness and provide new experiences for both vegans and non-vegans. These include Vegan Food Crawls and Vegan Cooking Classes.
"Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing nonviolence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable" ~ Gary L. Francione
In addition to my Vegan Health Coaching Business, I’m proudly involved with several incredible non-profits that support animal rights and animal welfare. I’m a District Leader with the Humane Society of the United States, a Community Member Benefits Provider with The Vegan Trade Council, a Feral Friend with Ally Cat Allies, an active volunteer and team captain with The Humane League – Seattle and supporter of Pigs Peace Sanctuary and Pasado’s Safe Haven.
There is so much more I could say, but I truly have covered the reasons that I became and proudly remain vegan. I hope my story has been an inspiration to many and there become more heroes for the animals.
Peace, Love, Vegan,
*Agribusiness statistics courtesy of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.
Have you heard of matcha? I've been getting asked a lot about matcha lately. It's one of those superfood ingredients that went from "matcha what"? to "how do I use it and why is it healthy"?
What makes matcha tea so special?
Matcha tea is a high-quality green tea that is covered before picking to accentuate the color, then stone-ground after being picked and before being sealed into small tins. It's very versatile, can be enjoyed in many ways, and because of the incredible reported health benefits, people are starting to include it in smoothies, lattes, oats and more. While typical green tea bags still deliver fabulous antioxidants, consider matcha a superfood due to its extremely high antioxidant levels (nearly 10 times stronger than green tea) called polyphenols, which have been tied to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. Another polyphenol in matcha, called EGCG has been shown in research to boost metabolism and slow the growth of cancer cells.
Matcha is also high in amino acids, specifically containing high amounts of L-Theanine, which is a unique set of amino acids found exclusively in green teas, and known to help the body to relax, be more calm, and reduce stress levels.
What does matcha tea taste like?
Matcha is very concentrated giving it an earthy flavor. The taste is strong and vegetal - some people would say spinachy, others would say grassy and with an umami character. TIP: It's best to buy an unsweetened, pure matcha and sweeten it on your own with maple syrup or organic stevia leaf.
Matcha could be the token to a rockstar workout
If you normally drink a cup of coffee as part of your pre-run kick, try replacing it with matcha. I enjoy blending 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into 1 cup of warmed almond or coconut milk, sweetened with organic stevia. You can also incorporate matcha into your pre-run meal. I love oatmeal and smoothies before a long run - both digest with ease and complement matcha well.
Simple smoothie: 1 scoop plant protein powder (hemp, brown rice or pea protein), banana, matcha powder, unsweetened plant-based milk and organic stevia leaf. It's delicious!
Super Oatmeal: As your oats are cooking, stir in 1-2 teaspoons of matcha - remove from stove and add in 2 tablespoons of flaxseed or hemp seeds, 1 tsp coconut oil, and sweeten with organic stevia leaf (or maple syrup).
Other fun things to try matcha in are soups, puddings, and even guacamole.
Does Matcha contain caffeine?
With Matcha, you are consuming whole leaves, therefore you are getting around three times as much caffeine than a cup of steeped tea. However, compared to the caffeine buzz from coffee, matcha creates an “alert calm” due to a natural substance it contains called l-theanine, which induces relaxation without drowsiness.
Are you ready to get your matcha on?
The Mayuri Family of Food Businesses: A leader in specialty foods in the Seattle Area.
Do you love vegan Indian food, such as curry, vindaloo, kitchari, masala, samosas, and pakoras? Do you wish you could cook up these delicacies like a pro, but have no idea where to start? Head on down to Mayuri Foods in Redmond or Bothell, where you’ll find an incredible wealth of vegan-friendly imported goods and organic produce with excellent prices. Mayuri Foods is part of the Mayuri Family of Food Businesses, which includes two grocery stores (Redmond and Bothell), two restaurants (Redmond and Bothell), a bakery specializing in vegan baked goods (awesome wedding cakes), and catering/weddings.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Raj Poudyal, one of the owners of Mayuri Foods in Redmond, as well as get a full tour this incredible grocery store! Let’s just say, I was beyond impressed! It’s perfect for vegans looking for fresh ideas (see my latest recipe below), as well as anyone who savors healthy, light recipes that don’t compromise on authenticity. Mayuri has a unique grocery selection (Indo/Pak/Nepali/European), an impressive bulk section, organic produce and exotic spices making it easy to whip up your favorite ethnic dishes – vegan style. I’m a huge fan of exotic flavors found in Indian food, so thanks to Mayuri, my kitchen is now stocked full of exotic spices, bulk grains, beans and lentils. Be sure you sign up for their Club Card Program when you shop. It’s free and will reward you with additional savings.
Mayuri Indian Cuisine
If you haven’t yet been to Mayuri Indian Cuisine, now’s the time! The Mayuri Redmond restaurant recently moved to a new location, which now includes a bar. It is surrounded by a large guest parking lot with a seasonal patio adjacent to the saffron colored building. They offer an abundant, fresh lunch buffet with quick, friendly service and a la carte dinner menu. Happy Hour and Daily Specials are also available. The Mayuri Team recommends letting them know you are vegan and they will explain which items are vegan.
Holiday Party at Mayuri Indian Cuisine: Eastside Seattle Vegan Group
We will be having our first annual holiday party at 1:30pm on Friday, December 11th at Mayuri Cuisine in Redmond. For more details and to RSVP, visit or join our Facebook Group Page. You can also email me at email@example.com This will be a great way to connect with other vegans in the areas over delicious VEGAN Indian Cuisine!
RECIPE: Ayurvedic Kitchari
Do you need to hit the “reset” button? It’s time for Kitchari! This easy and nourishing meal is a staple comfort food of India, especially during times of fasting. It's meant to be nourishing and grounding.
In macrobiotics, food is viewed as energy and using it to serve the larger purpose of your life. It makes it very easy to create delicious, nutrient-dense, and healthy meals. As for the food groups, macrobiotics primarily includes whole grains, beans and vegetables as they nourish humans best. After living a macrobiotic lifestyle, you naturally discover the truth about the impact of food and health once you experience how great you feel.
One of my favorite nutritional bar companies that supports this way of life is GoMacro. I am an advocate for what they represent as well as the education that follows. I encourage my clients to include these bars as part of their everyday health, lifestyle and activities. They are excellent in-between meals, after a workout or even as a dessert. Everything is made 100% vegan, USDA certified organic, certified non-GMO, Gluten-Free and made from mostly raw ingredients. I love this company because our beliefs align in that everything we put in our bodies should have a beneficial impact.
Owner of BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health. Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AKA Miss Bellevue Vegan. Plant-Based Health Consultant. Vegan Athlete. Outdoor Enthusiast. Outdoor Gear Reviewer. Author. Cotopaxi Local Ambassador. Animal Lover. Dreamer. Believer.