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Veganuary! Going vegan for 1 month

cookies, health, recipe, vegan, wellnessAmanda VinciComment

It's cliche but the new year inspires us to try to make some life changes — and that's a good thing. Any kind of motivation for this spoonie, even if it is short lived, is a wonderful thing. To celebrate the death of 2016, I drank and ate whatever I wanted all over the city of New Orleans, but I did so with one thing in mind — Veganuary.

Veganuary is going vegan for the month of January of course. No animal products at all — no meat, no cheese, no eggs, no butter. Easy peasy I thought. I'm already vegetarian, what's a month without cheese?

Hard. That's what it is. It's damn hard. It's only been 5 days and the brie in the fridge is screaming at me from 3 rooms away. To make matters even more difficult, I'm doing dry January too... no alcohol. 

Why go vegan? Of course there's the obvious benefit of not contributing to the mistreatment of animals and the reduction of environmental pollution — which is a big part of why I went vegetarian. But there are also plenty of health benefits too!

  • a vegan diet is richer in nutrients
  • vegans tend to have lower BMIs
  • helps in weight loss more than other controlled diets
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • improves kidney functions
  • may protect against certain cancers
  • lowers your risk of heart disease
  • can reduce pain from arthritis!

Read more about the health benefits of a vegan diet here.

To help myself stick to my new diet, I've collected a variety of delicious vegan recipes to try, from sweet to savory. I've also made a pact to not buy any products made from animals either — no leather, no wool — to fully commit myself to the lifestyle. Click each image below for the recipe.

Whatever your new year, new you health resolution may be, start with January — who knows, it might just stick around for February too.

Happy new year spoonies!

Sunday Sweets: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe, cookies, sunday sweets, veganAmanda VinciComment

I've been eating healthy all month (give or take a few dishes of pasta) and I'm pretty happy with the results. More energy, a clearer mind, and not one day of feeling totally terrible. But hey, a girl's got to have some cookies now and then. 

Today my little sister woke up dying for some of her favorite vegan chocolate chip cookies. She's a spoonie too — just this year she was diagnosed with a severe dairy allergy, amongst her usual digestive issues. She's only 14, so adjusting to a new dairy-free diet has been hard for her. Luckily, we have a handful of great vegan bakeries in NY, but sometimes you just want to whip up something on your own.

Arguably, vegan deserts are even tastier than non vegan ones. They're creamier and richer and stay fresher longer. Even if you don't have a vegan diet, you're going to love these. 

Recipe inspired by Daily Rebecca with some changes made.

RECIPE

Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  7 mins
Total time:  22 mins
Serves: about two dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup turbinado brown sugar (can use regular brown sugar, but turbinado gives them a nice crunch)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (we love Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Thoroughly mix together the coconut oil & brown sugar, then add the almond milk & vanilla. It's okay if the mixture is liquidy.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Combine the wet & dry ingredients, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into small Tbsp sized balls & place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (or on a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet).
  6. Bake for 7-10 minutes. We baked for 8 and they were perfect!

The result? Soft, warm, chocolatey deliciousness – with a hint of coconut and a slight crunch of turbinado sugar. Have a sweet Sunday, spoonies!