I’m taking the Veganuary challenge

veganuary

Instead of making a bunch of resolutions for the new year that I may or may not keep, I’ve decided to simplify things. From January 1 – January 31, 2015, I’m taking the vegan pledge and participating in Veganuary. For those 31 days, I won’t be consuming any animal products in my diet.

Here’s my motivation:

1. Curiosity: What’s it like to live for a month like a vegan? What will I eat? How will it make me feel? Will I become more conscious of what I’m putting in my body? Is it something I could sustain?

2. The environment:

  • saving water
  • protecting nature, wildlife and natural habitats
  • reducing pollution
  • saving energy

3. Nutrition and well-being: Plant-based diets are receiving increased coverage in health and wellness studies and I’m eager to see how my body reacts.

4. It’s a new challenge: As someone who loves trying new ingredients and being innovative in the kitchen, a month of veganism presents a wealth of exciting recipes to explore. I’m looking forward to discovering some new food blogs and cookbooks during this process!

5. To try some of the best veg-friendly eating establishments that Toronto has to offer, and blog about it.

I’ve only got six weeks left of omnivorism, so here goes! Feel free to post any tips.

 

 

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Pluck Teas: FMTO’s Pick of the Week!

I am always on the hunt for a new great tea, so I was really happy to discover Pluck Teas on Twitter a few weeks ago. Based in Toronto, the company uses natural ingredients in their teas and only purchases their tea from ETP (Ethical Tea Partnership) members. Even better, their teas are locally sourced. Using fruit from Muskoka and the Niagara region, lavender from Prince Edward County and grape skins from Southbrook Vineyards, their teas taste absolutely incredible!20141002_083708-1

It was really hard to decide what I wanted on my first order, but I ended up choosing their Kensington Blend, Smoky Maple, Vanilla Rose (with real rose petals!) and Just Peachy. All of them were fantastic and very unique. These teas have definitely given me some extra motivation to get up for school in the morning!

Interested in checking Pluck out for yourself? Visit their website here. They will deliver to your door for a reasonable price.

Next on my wish list? Their Amaretto Chocolate Infusion and White Niagara Icewine tea. Can’t wait to try them!

Food Truck Fest Ontario a Success

The infamous Sloth Burger
The infamous Sloth Burger
Burgatory
Burgatory’s food truck
Burgatory's menu
Burgatory’s menu

Last Sunday, Toronto hosted the first Food Truck Fest Ontario. Backed by CraveTO, the Ontario Place event boasted over 20 food trucks from across the province. Established favourites like Buster’s Sea Cove attended, along with newcomers.

When I arrived mid-afternoon, the lineup just to get in was long. Cheery volunteers chatted with the crowd as we passed through security. $10 granted entry to the grounds, where we had access to the food trucks, promotional booths (Excel and Indie88) as well as carnival-style games.

Scouring the site, I couldn’t decide where to start. Kai and Mooy, the Somalian-inspired food truck? Localista for fresh eats with GTA-sourced ingredients? Or Bacon Nation for the name alone?

I settled on lunch from Burgatory, a truck featuring gourmet burgers named after the seven deadly sins. I placed my order for The Sloth and bought a fresh lemonade while my burger cooked.

In six-and-a-half minutes, patty perfection was in my hands. Delicately seasoned, the beef was juicy and tender. Topped with tomato, lettuce, “sloth sauce”, creamy Velveeta cheese, and Hickory Sticks for crunch, it was flawless, and required a fork.

I rounded out my meal with pumpkin gelato, but was tempted by other trendy flavours like caramel fleur-de-sel and pomegranate cherry.

Though the event could have used more seating and entertainment, the festival was a great way to bring the province’s most influential food trucks together. In a city where most attempts at building a food truck community have floundered, this event was much needed.

On my way out, laziness overtook me and I sat on some rocks by the water for a while. I guess my Sloth Burger must have kicked in.