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When the Fourth of July comes to mind, the first thing I think of are all the different foods: burgers, brats, hot dogs, cole slaw, potato salad, apple pie, corn on the cob, etc. However, once I went vegan my food options at family cookouts went from seemingly infinite to roughly two: watermelon and butterless […]

via Recipes for a Vegan-friendly 4th of July — LVNG Limitless

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Homemade ‘Nice Cream’

Hi all and Happy Thursday! I leave for school in 2 weeks so I’m taking full advantage of all the higher quality kitchen appliances that I won’t have in my apartment! One of those is my food processor. I’ve been making protein balls (expect a recipe on these too because they are DELICIOUS), hummus, and this week nice cream!


I’ve been vegan for 2 and a half-ish years and I’ve never made quite possibly the easiest (and most delicious) vegan dessert to exist. I started googling nice cream + when I saw the bananas that I had planned on making banana bread with (overripe bananas are the best for nice cream),  I chopped them up, froze them, and then made some tasty chocolate nice cream. I love making my non vegan family members try my creations because if they love them anyone will (my sister says my taste buds have definitely changed because I find weird vegan foods tasty that she claims she wants to vomit at merely the sight or smell of), however, I ate all of it (about 3 bananas worth) right after making it so I knew I had to make it again and soon.

So, when my 2 bunches of bananas were 100% overripe 3 days after I bought them, my opportunity arose. I chopped up all 8 bananas, tossed them in a plastic bag, and plopped them into the freezer while I headed to Target to get ingredients for all my potential flavor combinations

One flavor I was DYING to make was mint chocolate chip. I am a mint chocolate chip lover from way back and have yet to find a vegan option. So with peppermint extract and chocolate chips in hand, I kept searching for other flavor ideas. I also wanted to make a  strawberry flavor too, so I scooped up a bag of frozen strawberries (which were ridiculously overpriced in my opinion) and headed home since I already had mixed berries and cocoa powder for my very berry and chocolate flavors.

As I arrived back home, I set up my food processor and placed ¼ of my bananas in it, blended them up, and then added my first flavor ingredients, strawberries. I started by adding a half cup to the mixture, however, when it tasted like a frozen strawberry banana smoothie, I added another half cup of strawberries and I could not tell there were bananas in it at all.

I repeated the same process for each of my flavors, about ¼ of my bananas, and then adding cocoa powder, peppermint extract, berries, etc. to taste until I would be comfortable eating these and serving them to my family.

For those of you who want to make these yourselves

Strawberry Nice Cream

Place 2 frozen bananas + 1 cup of strawberries into a food processor and blend until creamy

Chocolate Nice Cream

Place 2 frozen bananas, 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder (to taste), 1 tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blend until creamy.

Very Berry Nice Cream

Place 2 frozen bananas + 1 cup of frozen mixed berries into a food processor and blend until creamy

Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream

Place 2 frozen bananas, ⅛ tsp peppermint extract (or more depending on taste preference), and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blend until creamy.To achieve the green color you can add a handful of spinach or some green food coloring ( I did both)

*If the fruit isn’t blending, add a splash of almond milk to help*


Have you made nice cream? If so, what flavors did you make?

❤ Alicia ❤

Anyone can cook

Hi everyone and Happy Saturday! I hope you all are enjoying the start of your 3-day weekend (if you’re in the States that is). Something I love about being home (and will enjoy this fall in my apartment) is a kitchen! I’ve been cooking so much since I’ve been home and trying SO many new recipes and I wanted to share them, with you guys (especially my vegan followers because I know I love learning about new vegan recipes) since I’ve been loving some of these things so much! Here are a few of my current favorite things to make!


Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve been really loving mushrooms lately but I wanted to learn to cook them myself. I had stuffed mushrooms once in Peru and they were one of the best things I’d ever eaten so, I took to the minimalist baker’s website to find a simple and quick recipe for them. These were sooo good and my non-vegan family members thought they were great too!

Protein Pancakes

I am a pancake fan like no other and since I’ve been trying to track my macros, I’m trying to eat more protein. These pancakes are SO simple and SO tasty (my sister doesn’t think so) and I could literally eat them for breakfast Every. Single. Day.

Mac & Cheese

If you couldn’t tell by now I LOVE THE MINIMALIST BAKER! She has recipes on the foods I really want to make with ingredients I already have in my house. This vegan mac & cheese recipe has made my life! I haven’t had it in so long and this recipe made my heart (and stomach) so happy.

Tofu

Tofu is awesome to cook because it is SO versatile! Whatever flavor combinations you are feeling, you can season it with tofu or add tofu your recipe and the tofu will compliment the dish perfectly!

2 types of ways I like to cook tofu is asian style- with sesame and soy sauces with sesame seeds, stir-fryed with broccoli and placed over rice. I also like to eat it (stir fried again) with garlic, salt, pepper, and various veggies. YUM


What recipes do you all like?

❤ Alicia ❤

My allergic test experience

Hi everyone and Happy Friday! Recently (the past year), I’ve been having some issues with my stomach. I was certain that it was because I was allergic to something I’d been eating and because of this I wanted to get tested for allergies without getting needles poked into my entire arm and back (I had to get that test done when I was younger just to tell me I was allergic to cats… not fun) so, thanks to groupon, I bought an IdentAllergy test, snipped off some of my hair, sent that in (hopefully not to be cloned as well), and then waited to receive my allergy results.

Upon receiving my allergy test results, I was honestly shocked to see some of what I was (and wasn’t) allergic to.

This test showed me the following

  • My personal results for sensitivities to Food and Environmental factors
  • My heavy metal levels
  • My mineral and vitamin levels
  • My hormone levels
  • My stress levels

I’m not going to discuss my vitamin, mineral, heavy metal, and hormone levels because it was nothing too interesting. At the time I was iron deficient even though I’d given blood just fine the week before. Funny how that fluctuates. I do want to share my Food and Environmental factors and my stress levels because that’s what I was really curious about. Let’s get into it… Shall we?

For my food intolerances, I was told I’m intolerant to:

  • Carambola
  • Millet
  • Millet Seed
  • Pine Nut
  • Pumpkin
  • Rosemary

What’s comical about this is that I was certain I was allergic to coconut (after my total skin conundrum last summer) yet it’s not on here. What’s worse? I don’t eat any of these foods religiously or ever. So, I may have to take another allergy test that doesn’t use hair to see if this one missed something because I have a gut (haha) feeling I’m eating something I shouldn’t be.

For environmental intolerances, I was told I’m intolerant to:

  • Cat Dander
  • Common Wasp
  • False Ragweed
  • Jack Fruit
  • Japanese Millet
  • Mixed Moulds Sections
  • Russian Thistle

I’ve always known I was allergic to cats (how I knew this test had at least some truth to it), and it’s great to know I’m allergic to wasps. I also have pretty bad fall allergies so some of these were pretty obvious as well.

Lastly, my stress levels. I don’t know if it’s because I was in school, trying to figure out my life, or what, but this test told me I’m STRESSED. Once my hair was tested for the rest of these allergies, my hair was washed measured then ground to a fine powder (weird…) and the cortisol levels were measured.My cortisol levels are 50-60 pg (picograms of cortisol) / mg (milligrams of hair) which means Frequent acute repetitive acute stress: AKA high stress… not that this surprises me in the least, it’s still good to know.

All in all, I’m glad I took this test. However, I really want to know what’s wrong with my stomach.

Have any of you tested yourselves for allergies? If so, what test did you do? Let me know!

❤ Alicia ❤

My favorite protein bar recipe

Happy Monday everyone, One of my favorite things about being home is having a full kitchen. No tiny microwave and using my desk as a counter for me! After I posted my Women’s History Month post and being enlightened that March is national months for a bunch of other things, I took to the internet and found out that it’s National Nutrition Month!!!! For National Nutrition Month I’ve decided to share a fave recipe of mine that can be made using only a food processor!!!


Something I absolutely love are protein bars! Something I don’t love is their price or the amount of added sugar they contain. I decided to take to my kitchen and see if I could make my own. My mom had made some for me over a year ago and over winter break I wanted to try my hand at making my own.

Ingredients

  • 1 cups raw walnuts (extra if you want a topping)
  • 1  cup raw almonds
  • 2 ½  cups pitted dates
  • ⅔  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1  scoop Vegan (I use Vega) chocolate protein powder
  • ¼  tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove and set aside
  2. Place walnuts and almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, protein powder and salt and pulse to combine.
  4. Drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor.
  5. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand. You may not use all the dates.
  6. Add the brownie mixture to a parchment lined 8×8 dish (add a topping of chocolate chips and walnuts if wanted). Press down until flat.
  7. Put in fridge/freezer to chill for a minimum 30 minutes.
  8. Transfer to plate and cut

*Makes about 16 squares*

 

What is your favorite recipe?

❤ Alicia ❤

Tips for eating vegan in a dorm

Hi, all and happy Monday. I have been having a lovely weekend. I got out of my room, worked out, I’ve been drinking water, had classes canceled today (flooding and we are literally next to a river sooooo) and have been getting ahead on school work, writing a lot, and I’m feeling pretty good.

A question I get asked a lot is how I eat vegan in my dorm room. Eating vegan in California is as most people would assume, easy. However, since moving to Ohio, a state where many schools have the first day of hunting season off of school, how is eating vegan possible? Especially living in a dorm.

The answer is sooooo easy. OU is in the top 10 most vegan campuses in the country (this only impacted my decision to go here a smidge) so it’s actually super duper easy to eat vegan on campus, and off campus too!


Here are some tips I have for eating vegan in a dorm (mainly specified to OU but can apply to other universities as well)

  1. Always opt for fruit and veggies- either in markets, dining halls, etc.
  2. Make sure your parents stock your fridge and pantry with vegan snacks (granola bars, fruit, oats, cookies, etc.) when they visit
  3. The salad bar will be your friend- just remember you can add so many things to salads and they don’t have to be just spinach and balsamic!
  4. Find dorm-friendly recipes
    1. Overnight Oats
    2. Gardein meats (microwavable)
  5. Before eating out, make sure there are vegan options where you’re going
  6. Stock your own fridge and pantry with vegan items- I go to Walmart or Kroger every other week to get oatmeal, peanut butter, almond milk, fruits, veggies, granola, cereal fake meat and more so I always have vegan goodies with me
  7. OREOS ARE YOUR FRIEND
  8. Choose the most flexible meal plan- This allows you yo spend your meal plan in the dining hall and markets so that you can still eat even if your dining hall isn’t too vegan in general or isn’t having a very vegan day.
  9. Invest in some kitchenware- Check with your university to see what it legal to have but at least keep Tupperware and bowls, plates, etc. so that you can prep food and then save it for later!
  10. Don’t be afraid to try new things- I’ve  tried curry, so many new vegetables, and soy chicken + ribs and it’s all been so good!

Now that you have these tips… go vegan!!

❤ Alicia ❤

2 years of veganism

Wow. 2 years of veganism. 2 years of being plant-based. Looking back on my past 2 years, I can’t say that they were all vegan. Especially at the start. I can’t say exactly how long I’ve been vegan, but I know that in these past 2 years so many animals were saved.

2 years ago, my roommate at the time, Delaney, showed me a video that forever changed my life. It was a video of a slaughterhouse somewhere in Europe (I believe Sweden) and these cows were being hung from their ankle on a conveyor belt as a man sliced their throats. I can still vividly see that image in my mind and I think it engrained there forever. It is the reason I stopped eating meat. And more videos just like that are the reasons I stopped consuming dairy.

These past 2 years have been rough. They have also been enlightening. But most of all they have been life-changing. I have done happy dances in stores when I found vegan chicken nuggets, vegan cupcakes, vegan macaroni and cheese, and so much more. I have binged on copious amounts of dairy-filled sweets, chocolate milk, and cheese.

I have changed so much as a person. I feel that veganism is truly a part of me and it has helped me morph myself into who I truly am and I sometimes wonder who I would be today had I not discovered veganism. My friends often ask me, “would you still have gone vegan had you not gone to San Diego?” And the truth is, I cannot answer that. I hope the answer is yes, but had I gone to school in Texas or Alabama, I really don’t think I would have.

It is so crazy to me how one decision can impact your entire life. In my last post, I said that I wished I had thought of Athens sooner, however, if I had started my freshman year at OU, odds are, I wouldn’t be vegan today. So, do I sometimes wish life was different and that I bypassed the stress of transferring, yes. Am I undoubtedly grateful that San Diego led me to veganism? Also yes.

Alicia

Wait.. that’s vegan!?

Hi everyone. After my post the other day about things I noticed since going vegan, my sister told me I should make a post about foods that are vegan but you wouldn’t assume are. I am still discovering these foods and I love finding foods that are ‘accidentally vegan.’


  1. Oreos: While I have no idea what chemicals make up the creamy center of the Oreo cookie, I do know it’s vegan. I also know that unless you can hide them like there’s no tomorrow, these cookies don’t last more than 2 days in my house. 😉 03202CF
  2. Twizzlers: Twizzlers recently got rid of the gelatin in their products which make them the perfect vegan-friendly movie companiontwizzlers4
  3. Reese’s Puffs: Despite most other Hershey products being filled with milk and whey and animal products galore, cocoa powder is used. Bonus, they are also gluten free!87adee93-165e-4e20-834a-c9efc4c0a39c.jpg.web
  4. Cocoa Pebbles: Once again, cocoa powder is used to flavor the cocoa pebbles. These are gluten free as well!0002_Cocoa-Pebbles
  5. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup: Perfect on top of some vegan pancakes or some dairy free ice cream!91z14MSci2L._SY679_
  6. Chick-Fila Waffle Fries: Once again they’re potatoes, but these are fried in vegetable oil instead of the alternative… Animal fat.slide_362648_4081737_free
  7. Swedish Fish: No gelatin in these either.450
  8. Poptarts: Not every flavor of Pop tarts are vegan.. Mainly the chocolate ones. However, the unfrosted kinds and most of the fruit flavored ones are vegan but always double check!Strawberry_Pop_Tarts
  9. Junior Mints: My absolute favorite candy is vegan! Other than Reese’s peanut Butter Cups but Justin’s brands get the job done just as good!Junior-Mints-Box-Small
  10. Thin Mints: Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t eat girl scout cookies. Thin mints are vegan!!thin_mints_new_web

Pea protein? no whey

Hello everyone. Right now, I am sitting in front of my laptop, post workout, disgusted as I gulp down my protein smoothie. But wait: it’s full of fruits, vegetables, coconut milk yogurt, AND almond milk so how can I be disgusted you may be wondering?

It is filled with a minuscule amount of pea protein powder that gives off a chalky before, during, and aftertaste no matter how I incorporate it into my post workout drink. However, I put the last of my frozen fruit and yogurt into it, so I cannot make another.

Since going vegan, people I don’t even know have the audacity of asking me ‘Where do you get protein?’ to which I always roll my eyes and eat another crabless crabcake. Before I went vegan, I used whey protein in my smoothies and I couldn’t taste it. However, whey protein isn’t really an option for my plant-based self.

I am calling upon the vegan community (or hell just anyone who uses proteins that aren’t whey) to tell me what their favorite protein powder is. I would go out and buy all of the proteins and see what I like the most, however, protein powder is not by any means cheap and I don’t want my possible protein deficiency to break the bank.

I really do enjoy the benefits of protein powder, and especially since I have been working out a ton since the New Year I would like to have some protein to build muscles because I know there are days when I (everyone for that matter) is deficient on some of the key nutrients we need. However, I would like mine to never be protein so that the next time someone asks me about my protein consumption; I can spike their drinks with pea protein.


Please please please help me. I have resorted to plugging my nose while I drink my smoothie today and I need immediate assistance with the task at hand.

Until next time

Alicia

Thrive by GoMacro Nut Bars Review

Hi everyone, a couple weeks back, I won a giveaway done by Lazy Girl Vegan, sponsored by GoMacro. The prize was a sample pack of their new Thrive ‘Ancient Seeds Superfood Nut Bars.” I have tried some of GoMacro’s bars before but never these (since they are new) and decided to share with the blog world my opinion of them. Let’s get started.

The box containing all 12 bars
The box containing all 12 bars

The Thrive bars are available in 6 flavors: Ginger Lemon, Almond Apricot, Caramel Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, and Blueberry Lavender.

All six of the flavors
All six of the flavors

They have quite a few flavor combinations for all kinds of palettes. I tried all 6 flavors and will share the pros and cons of each, and some of my favorites.

*The bars are listed in order from my favorite to least favorite*

Almond Apricot
Almond Apricot

Almond Apricot: I can honestly say I had never tried an apricot before this so I had no idea what I would be in for. I really really really really liked this one. A ton. I am always hesitant on fruit flavored bars unless they are strawberry because you never know what you’re going to get. This was surprisingly good and very refreshing. If there is one I am most excited about buying it is the Almond Apricot because it’s unlike any other bar I have ever tried

    Pros: It was a very refreshing taste, almost like eating the fruit right then and there.

    Cons: The almonds in the bar are whole almonds am personally not a huge fan of when there are full almonds in bars. I like them sliced or whatever.

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Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt

Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt: Being a firm believer in the chocolate and sea salt combination, I grabbed this one first. This one takes the cake for my favorite of the sweet ones (without fruit). If you are a chocolate lover like myself, BUY THIS BAR.

    Pros: Very tasty and nothing was too overpowering

    Cons: For me, nothing

Caramel Coconut
Caramel Coconut

Caramel Coconut: I was never a coconut fan. Every Halloween, had I been given any Almond Joys they went straight to the trade pile. However, after living in California for a year, the love of coconut has been ingrained in me. I liked these a ton as well.

    Pros: You could really taste and feel the coconut flakes which to me is always a good reminder real coconut is used

  Cons: Couldn’t taste an extreme amount of caramel and the coconut did overpower it

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup: Your average chocolate chip peanut butter combination. Nothing too special about it. Good nonetheless.

  Pros: One of those, you can’t mess up the formula and is good no matter what.

   Cons: Nothing really.

Blueberry Lavender
Blueberry Lavender

Blueberry Lavender: Well, blueberry lavender. Lavender. I was a bit terrified of this name because when I think lavender I think of freshly washed sheets but was curious as to how the two would taste together. Curiosity killed the cat… and my taste buds. I was not a fan. The blueberry part was good but whatever lavender I was tasting, was not good. I made my dad try it and he wasn’t displeased with the bar. He said it was a bit bland but not terrible.

    Pros: The blueberry half was good, very sweet.

    Cons: The lavender was mainly the aftertaste but still, not a fan

Ginger Lemon
Ginger Lemon

Ginger Lemon: Preface before even tasting: I hate ginger. So naturally I wouldn’t like this bar… I didn’t. Not to be overdramatic but I couldn’t even swallow it. This is by far my least favorite. But I knew it would be because I hate ginger. I had my mom eat what I couldn’t bare to and she loved it. So, this one is definitely palette dependent

    Pros: The lemony aftertaste

    Cons: The ginger.

All in all, I love the brand in general and will continue to buy the bars that fit my palette. Something I love about not only these bars, but the entire GoMacro company is that they are certified Gluten-Free, Vegan, Organic, and Non-GMO. Perfect for so many people trying to live health-conscious and those with allergies as well.

If any of your try these bars please let me know what you think of them! Also remember to check out Lazy Girl Vegan because I wouldn’t have had the chance to try all of them had it not been for her.

Alicia