Tag Archives: natural

February faves

What an excellent month it has been — for me and for the blog! I’ve finally felt the right combination of inspired and organized to keep up with the blog and create content that I’m proud of. And, astoundingly, people are reading!

Thanks to everyone who has been so enthusiastic in the Urban Garlic “community” (ugh, I need to find a better way to describe “people who like my blog”).

Back when I first started this blog I had a sort of “Things I’m loving lately” feature, which I used to enjoy doing, but I think I got more out of it than anyone else. But ya know what? I’m bringing it back!


New vegan personal/household products I’ve tried lately (including one that almost burned my eyelid off)

Big Shampoo

It’s been a busy start to spring in our apartment (which our friend Molly has affectionately nicknamed the “BJ Supermarket”). We’ve been more productive than ever with clean-ups, new organization systems and personal projects (like finally re-stringing my ancient hand-me-down guitar, or Jar’s continued work on his model train layout. His birthday gift to me can be getting it the f*%^ out of the way of the guest bed).

We’ve also still got big plans, like what we want to do with the balcony, how we want to hang the rest of our art, and how we want our bedroom to evolve, style-wise.

As I’ve eased myself into this new living situation (quite comfortably, I might say), I’ve also settled on products that I’m most comfortable with for doing work around the house, and also, well, work on me. I’ve reviewed a few of my favourite household and personal products before, but I thought I might give an update on some things that have worked out really well for me — and some that haven’t.

I want to state that I’m not strictly a naturalist (is that the right word?) when it comes to my products, even though most of these products you will find are considered “clean” and “chemical-free.” The fact is it’s just easier to find vegan products that also fall under this umbrella — and it’s also easier to track which ingredients were tested on or derived from animals this way.

Note: None of the following products are blog sponsors and no money or personal goods have been accepted in exchange for positive reviews.

Earthpaste natural toothpaste in Wintergreen

  • Price: $6.55
  • Where I bought it: The Big Carrot

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for something just because it seems different. Earthpaste certainly sells itself as different. This is a clay-based toothpaste with no fluoride or foaming agents. It’s the foaming agents thing that makes the biggest difference (again: while I’m not strictly anti-fluoride, since most vegan toothpastes are fluoride-free, I’ve lived without it for years). You won’t get that big foamy texture in your mouth, which definitely feels different. I’m normally one to shrug at this — less foam doesn’t mean you’re less clean. But unfortunately that results in a really thin, runny consistency in the paste. There’s something about the clay that also feels gritty, which I personally don’t like on my teeth. I can’t speak to its long-term success, but I just found no matter what it was difficult to make my mouth feel “clean” after.

Bottom line: Would probably not recommend this product, but it’s more about personal preference.

Green Beaver Cilantro and Mint Toothpaste

  • Price: $4.99
  • Where I bought it: Noah’s (King/Spadina)

Yep, somehow I found a cilantro toothpaste. I actually rushed out to buy a new toothpaste after I decided I couldn’t take another day of the Earthpaste. I was going to go back to my usual Kiss My Face brand, but that was about $3 more expensive, and… I mean, cilantro, y’all. I’ll admit this toothpaste probably isn’t for everyone. Cilantro is already an acquired taste (I used to hate it, now I have it in/on everything!) and it’s not the most common thing to find in a toothpaste, but is a really unique taste. It’s still not as foamy as a conventional toothpaste (it’s more creamy) but it at least isn’t super runny, and a little bit of toothpaste goes a way longer way. After this tube is out I’ll probably spend the extra bucks on one of my older preferred brands, but it’s been a good trip.

Bottom line: Would recommend this product to anyone who likes cilantro, but it’s by no means an amazing toothpaste.

ELF Illuminating Eye Cream

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I was having “some eye issues” lately? I’d been waking up with a lot of eye secretions (sorry, I know that word is nasty) and even crust on my eye that was so bad I could barely open them some mornings. I also experienced a burn on the outer corner of my left eye. I eliminated all of my face products and makeup for a bit and slowly re-introduced them, and the ELF cream started to look like the suspect. I also took a look at the one-star reviews of the product online (I tend to avoid both five and one-star reviews since they usually exaggerate a lot on either side) and found a lot of people said the same thing! Stinging, burning, redness, eczema… yeah. Anyway, ELF responded to my complaints almost immediately and offered a refund, which I have to say really impressed me on their part. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m really publicly not recommending this product to anyone with even vaguely sensitive skin (my skin tends to fall under combination/normal and isn’t very sensitive).

Bottom line: Would absolutely not recommend this product regardless of skin type or needs.

Attitude Daily Shower cleaner in Citrus Zest

  • Price: $4.99
  • Where I bought it: The Big Carrot

Moving into an apartment can be tough — even if the building management cleans your tub prior, one big clean session can’t quite get everything off the surface. Combine that with us both being, well, basic human beings who shower every day, and me being a girl who likes her bath (and bath bombs) it was really hard to get ahead with the tub. Admittedly, most vegan bathroom products I’ve tried don’t have the same scrubbing power as non-vegan ones (although I hated using traditional cleansers like Vim anyway because of how they irritated my hands). Every time I’d give a good cleaning session (that would wear my shoulders and chest out as much as a good climb would) it felt like I never got the grime fully off, then after one shower it was dirty again. Anyway, we spontaneously decided to grab this stuff at the Carrot one day. Upon first use we gave it a super thorough scrubbing (that’s recommended for very dirty bathtubs. I’d like to think our bathtub wasn’t “very dirty,” but still, we wanted to see results) and we now use it after every shower. Woah! Major difference. No grit, no weird shady shit that I try to convince myself is a shadow, just a nice, clean shower (and the smell is barely-there, so you don’t have to worry about some overbearing artificial fragrance).

Lush BIG shampoo

  • Price: $27.95
  • Where I bought it: LUSH (Queen/Peter)

I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I no longer have to shampoo my hair every single day. In fact, I’m down to about 1-2 shampoos per week. This shampoo has proven to be the best possible formula for my hair — which is of the Flat ‘n’ Floppy variety. Most shampoos intended for volumizing tend to dry my hair out too much (my hair has oily roots but once you get down to ear level you start to see the dryness/damage), whereas this is a mild enough formula that it doesn’t leave my hair feeling totally parched. A little goes a long way with this shampoo in terms of lather, and the sea salt sensation is actually really cool.

Bottom line: would recommend this shampoo to anyone with a flat hair problem!

One last thing: I had a few lipstick reviews to add (I’m a total lipstick junkie), but I’ve decided to do a separate post on my favourite vegan lipsticks. You guys have to hold me to that, okay?

Veganism didn’t make me pretty (and I don’t &$^%! care)


One time while I was working at my old job and desperate to get out of the office (seriously, I hated it) I volunteered to go pick some supplies up at Walmart. I sped a little bit on the way there and spent the time I saved sauntering around the Markville shopping centre, and was (naturally) lured into Lush by the smell of handmade cosmetics and beautiful, complimentary cashiers. When one of the cashiers recommended a product with honey to me, I quickly said sorry, I was vegan.

She smiled and told me, “I should have known — you know why? The whites of your eyes are so bright. That’s what I find about vegans.”

I smiled, thanked her, paid for my impulse purchase and waited until I was 20 feet away from the store to let my bright white eyes roll into the back of my head.

Bright whites of my eyes? Really? They’re eyes, how much could the shade of white honestly differ? I’ve looked at my eyes against my  boyfriend’s eyes in the mirror when we brush our teeth in the morning and I don’t notice a damn difference in the shade. In fact, just this week after months of increasing irritation with my eyes I finally found an optometrist who gave me some pretty frank news: I have deep scarring in both my eyes and shouldn’t wear contact lenses for the next year (which is why, for those of you who follow me on social media, you’ve been seeing me in my specs lately).

So what I’m saying is, I don’t think there’s a damn thing that’s special about the whites of my eyes.

But that’s not the first thing I’ve been told about my physical appearance that’s  been attributed to my veganism. A few weeks ago, a barista at Starbucks told me I had beautiful skin. My co-worker who was in line with me said “It’s probably because she’s a vegan.” They then both started gushing over my apparently flawless complexion. Joke was on them. First of all, that wasn’t my natural complexion, I was wearing Kat Von D’s tattoo effect foundation, which is basically spraypaint (but, like, awesome, fabulous, cruelty-free spraypaint). Secondly, my skin’s condition is such a roller coaster. My last period, I had zits the size of marbles pop up all over my forehead and chin — and I’m 26.

Dark circles under my eyes? I got ’em. Hair? Comes out in my brush. Only reason I don’t have split ends anymore is because I keep it short. Bloated belly? All the time, man. Dry shins and elbows? Over heeeere. They’re all over here.

Oh, my super white teeth? Been that way since I was a kid. Helps that I don’t smoke and rarely drink coffee. Soft-looking lips? I  keep myself well-hydrated and am addicted to lip balm. Everything else I credit to makeup and genetics. It’s not veganism that did it.

But why is there such a strong connection between veganism and our physical appearance? Plant-based diets have already been zealously embraced as a path to a svelte physique (assuming you also ditch those delicious, delicious grains and survive on a 1000 calorie diet of cucumber juice and plain zoodles). But why don’t we talk about this total myth that veganism makes you pretty?

Books like Eat Pretty make us believe that we can actually become physically flawless specimens from eating the right things and avoiding all the wrong things (yes dear, I eat a ton of avocados, my hair still sucks), and a certain I’m-not-calling-myself-a-vegan-anymore-because-vegans-are-so-mean blogger has basically built her entire brand on pushing a diet that supposedly makes you a radiant child of the Earth.

Look, I’m not going to knock anyone for making steps to improve their lives in ways that they see fit. Even if something turns out to be a placebo at best and a coincidence at worst, we’re all reducing harm, right?

But then again, what’s probably more troubling than the myth itself is this continued emphasis on pretty, that something has to make us thin, clear-skilled and all-around lovely in order to be a good choice.

As much as I was thrilled with Kat Von D’s recent decision to go vegan (largely because I cannot wait to not have to check her brand’s vegan list before plopping down my hard-earned coin for something), the emphasis she placed on being “healthy” (read: thin) but still having boobs and a butt made me uncomfortable. Congratulations, you’re hot, that makes you more valid!

I worry sometimes that when I go on these types of tangents I come off like a bitter ugly girl who hates on the pretty girls. Rest assured, I’ve (for the most part) made peace with my totally average appearance.

The worry is that there’s a lot of ideas floating out there that make it really, really hard for a lot of us to make peace with our appearances.

We often talk about the sources of overt negativity in our online interactions. But a lot of times it’s those seemingly positive sources of light and inspiration that can leave us feeling so empty. We see things that we aspire to be, and in some cases we might make drastic changes to do that (like going vegan — which is great, but let’s not pretend that it’s a simple thing for a lot of people to just do).

It should come as a surprise to no one that most big (and by “big” I mean big enough to have released a book, to have six to seven figures of subscribers, to have struck ANY sponsored content deals) bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers and other online influencers aren’t just hanging out making movies in their bedrooms with webcams, even if they’d like you to believe it. Don’t believe me? Should I mention I work in that industry? (Yup, that’s my name on the byline). Again, this isn’t me being pissy over my mid-range income and the fact that influencers are making more money than me (trust me, most of the YouTubers I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to are some of the hardest-working, most business-savvy young people I’ve ever met). But what I am saying is that they are business people. They’re conscious of their brand, they’re paid money to do what they do and they look good because they need to. You can be seen as a Luddite to say anything vaguely critical of social media, but it really needs to be said: stop thinking this shit is real life. It’s no different than other media.

Well, practically 1100 words later and I’m unsure if I’ve really said anything, so if you’re going to look at anything, look at this: I don’t give a shit that veganism didn’t make me pretty. I never went vegan to become pretty. I’m perfectly happy being a normal-lookin’ girl, and if my physical appearance was a factor in changing my diet and lifestyle so drastically, I’d have some other issues to address.

I went vegan because I was sick of being complacent in a system that exploited other living things. Whether you’re the type of vegan who survives off Daiya and Oreos or a kale-and-quinoa type of vegan, compassion and care for our earth (and those we share it with) should always be priority numero uno.

Not the whites of your eyes.

Vegan brownies — no flour, no oil

Processed with VSCOcamCan you feel it, garlic lovers? In approximately 9.5 hours, spring will be upon us. I will be happily doing yoga as the sun sets over Toronto for the final time this winter. And then, so long, sucka! And by tomorrow night, I will be a cat mother again (and hopefully, if I have time tonight — blonde)! I can just feel the winds of change blowing. Okay, that’s the winds of Toronto (brr! Is it weird that I actually find Toronto colder than “up North?”), but still. Spring is rebirth, second chances, all that stuff. New veggies will be coming into season. I’m excited to have a few raw pasta dishes to celebrate, and to get out on my longboard once again.

There was really no other reason to make brownies other than I wanted f-in’ brownies. But really, does anyone need a reason to eat brownies? You’re a grown-up — you don’t have to justify your brownie cravings to anyone.

Especially these delicious brownies, made free from dairy, oil, flour or eggs.

When I described my avocado black bean brownies to my co-workers, one responded with, “That’s not a brownie, that’s a Mexican dip!” I guess I’ll just have to whip up another batch to show them what it’s all about. The good thing is, they’re really, REALLY easy to make. I especially love the way the avocado whips up to be like a luxurious butter.

No oil, no flour vegan brownies, makes about one dozen brownies

(Bonus: this is a one-bowl recipe)


  • 1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh (I used almost one whole small avocado)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup coconut sugar, sucanat or organic brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  • Pinch of espresso powder (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prep your flax egg (1 tbsp flax seed meal+3 tbsp water) in a mug and set aside to let thicken for a few minutes
  3. Process the avocado until it has the texture of whipped butter and set in a large bowl
  4. Place your rinsed beans and peanut butter in a food processor together and process until pureed. Mix in with the avocado.
  5. Once all of the fruits and veggies (what what?) are mixed together, add the rest of the ingredients (including the flax egg) and mix thoroughly. Lay the batter out in an 8×8 baking dish.
  6. Bake for about 27-30 minutes (I needed 29, but my oven is a bit of a weakling).
  7. Let cool for about 30 minutes

And that’s that! Seven steps to brownies that are moist (I know everyone hates that word, but how else can you describe a brownie?!) with no flour or oil, and more importantly, no animal ingredients!

Now, enjoy my favourite song of the moment (oh, who am I kidding — of the past year).

Festive burrito lunch wrap with raw zesty taco “meat”

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Guys, all my wistful blogging was right! Spring is finally here! Well, technically it won’t be here until Saturday. But as I walked through Toronto in just my sweater and a military jacket yesterday, I really felt it. “It.” Spring! There was sunshine beating down on my face through the window of La Hacienda on Queen (near Bathurst) and dogs walking out without booties on. I mean, that’s the true sign of spring, isn’t it?

Okay, so, two major developments in my life to share. One — I finally own a DSLR camera. Thanks to my amazing friend Lance, I am the new proud owner of a Cannon Rebel XSi. I’m still experimenting with it and will likely take a long time to figure out all my settings, not to mention how to compose photographs so elegantly like all my favourite food bloggers. But learning is a process and I’m a proud lifelong learner, so there you have it.

Second, and one I’ve been bursting at the seams to share, in five days time I will be reunited with my darling cat, Benny!

For those who don’t know me personally, Benny was my cat last year. He is a five-year-old black and white Norwegian forest cat with large paws, a love for brushings and a dislike for being told what to do. Benny came into my life in an amazing way. My roommate last year got him from the Toronto Humane Society rather impulsively. She had never owned a cat before, so I was worried about how she’d handle him. Now, without getting too into the drama that was my old roommate and I, I can safely say that her ownership of Benny didn’t work out very well. After she lost her fascination with him, she basically stopped taking care of him, which included emptying his litter, brushing him and even feeding him. Benny is very affectionate and he quickly became “my” cat, which I didn’t mind at all. Then in March my roommate took a two month trip to Europe and did not pay her rent, nor did she tell our landlord she was leaving the country. I was pretty eager to get out, so I took the eviction notice as a sign. However, I couldn’t leave poor Benny alone, so he came along with me to my parents’ place.

Months later when the time came to move out again, Benny had become well-acquainted with a) my Mom, b) her cat and dog, Maggie and Tessie and c) the back yard. My Mom thought it would be cruel of me to take that all away from him, so I moved back to Toronto without him. I have Lucy (Chris’s cat), but I miss Benny every day.

Well, now that my Mom is selling her house, she’s eager to get Mister Fluffy Pants out of her hair (more specifically, to get his hair out of her hair). It’s time to transition Benny back to living with me… and living with Lucy. How will this go? Only time can tell!

Spring is all about rebirth, that first breath of a renewed life and energy. And that’s what Benny will be bringing to our home.

In the meantime, I’ve been switching up my eats lately. Not so warm and hearty — more cool and light. I’ve been looking at recipes for a raw zucchini lasagna lately, and in general look forward to having to use my oven less as the months warm up (especially because our place isn’t air-conditioned, and our windows get the direct sunset light).

This raw taco “meat” that I made for my burrito is a nice change from just beans in my burrito (although as you can see, there’s beans as well — I tossed on some of my festive fresh bean salad). There’s a crunch and crumble, but the vegan mayo also adds a creamy texture that goes against type.

Raw zesty taco “meat,” makes three servings


  • 1 cup raw unsalted walnut halves/pieces
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (about 5-6 tomatoes), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise (I used Wildwood Aioli for a garlic zing, but if you want a soy-free variety, Earth Island makes soy-free Veganaise)
  • 2 green onions, copped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely copped (use less or none if using aioli)
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds removed if that’s not your thing)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)


  1. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are crumbly without being dusty (like regular ground taco meat) and set in a medium-sized bowl
  2. Once your tomatoes, green onions, garlic and jalapeno are chopped, add to the bowl
  3. Add the mayo and the spices and mix thoroughly until everything is coated and even.

In case you’re wondering what I had on my burrito, it wasn’t a 100% raw or GF wrap — but you could totally go that route if you’re trying to be conscious of both (or if you’re just looking for a good cooking challenge). Maybe try a lettuce wrap (way more fun and tasty than a gluten-free wrap).

My wrap consisted of:

  • A whole wheat burrito wrap
  • Roasted garlic hummus
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Roma tomatoes
  • My bean salad (yum!)
  • Raw taco “meat”
  • Avocado!

Even though today is dreary and cloudy, I’m still just really feeling this spring weather. However, now that I’m no longer wearing tall boots all day, this was a terrible way to realize that ALL MY PANTS ARE TOO SHORT. I love skinny jeans, but I’m a long-legged lady, and this simply will not do. Time for shorts/skirts weather to come back into style. QUICK.

I Love My City: Grassroots

11112_10152558612152827_4653180284829085976_nFor those of you who don’t know, I grew up in a small town — Kapuskasing, Ontario — and lived there until midway through Grade 5. From then on, I lived in slightly larger places, Timmins, ON and North Bay, ON. Moving to Waterloo for school was undoubtedly the first exposure I had to a city where I was blessed with the gift of choice — I didn’t have to settle for the one grocery store or buy my clothes from one of the ten chain places in the mall. I visited my first farmer’s market, learned the value of supporting independent shops, and realized how good it felt to buy local. I’m certain that these revelations were what helped me decide to go vegan. Now that I’m living in Toronto, there’s even more choice with what I do, what I buy, who I support.

That’s why I’ve decided to start this series, I Love My City. Because, well, I love my city! The greatest thing about it is that no matter how long you live here, you can discover something new every day — a cool store you never knew existed, a cafe run by someone really nice, a clothing brand you suddenly fall in love with.

This week, I’m featuring Grassroots

Located at the corner of Danforth and Chester, Grassroots fits perfectly into the eclectic and open-hearted neighbourhood that is the Danforth. While I always knew of its presence, I first really discovered Grassroots when I was attending a yoga class at Moksha Yoga Danforth, which happens to be on top of Grassroots. While doing an exercise on our bellies, I turned my ear to the ground and could faintly hear one of my favourite songs playing in the store downstairs. After class, I thought, “Hey, they play good music, there’s gotta be something cool in there!”

I discovered a world.

Processed with VSCOcamNow, I’m used to eco stores that tend to have a singular focus. They’re either all about big things, like furniture and clothes, or they’re a world of tiny trinkets — accessories, travel mugs, cleaning products.

The amazing thing about Grassroots is that it’s bursting with both, from everyday useful little things like razors made from recycled yogourt cups and Klean Kanteens, you can also, you know, buy a bed.

Processed with VSCOcam“I think I own one of everything we sell here,” said store manager Magenta Suzanne. “Except a bed.”

Some of the great things you’ll find (besides of course the razors and Klean Kanteens) include eco staples like Dr. Bronner’s, Solar Boaters lanters and a variety of indoor gardening kits. Basically, the place is a huge collection of practical things that you never realized could make a difference like, say, chic reusable lunch bags. There’s also a ton of kid and baby-friendly items, so it’s a great place to go to find a unique gift for someone.

When I went in to get a good look at the store for the blog, Magenta explained to me that Grassroots isn’t just a place to sell eco products, it’s a hub for education. “If you need information on, say, why a natural bed is better than a conventional bed, we can provide that. There are all these layers of knowledge that we provide.”

Processed with VSCOcamMagenta’s journey with Grassroots unfolded in a real dream-like way. “I started as a customer here,” she said. “They just happened to need someone when I needed a job.” So how did she find the fit in to Grassroots and its environment? It seems like she got the idea right off the bat.

“I want the environment here to be really welcoming and I just want people to feel good when they come in here,” she said. “My thing is, when you come in here, you should just be able to come in here and totally relax. Because as an employee, you want to come back.”

Processed with VSCOcamWhen we talked products, Magenta revealed that she’s a huge tea geek, while I was still fascinated with my new yogourt cup razor (seriously the first time I’ve been able to find a razor that is not sold by a large corporation). It was then that she informed me that they also sell a razor sharpening block. “You’ll seriously keep your blades fresh for months,” she said. Looks like I’ve got another thing to purchase next time I go back.

As I checked out, I contemplated buying a pair of earbuds made from recycled wood (I decided against it, only because my current earbuds are only a month old and these will always be there) and Magenta’s super-sweet co-worker offered me a vegan shortbread cookie. I haven’t tasted shortbread in years, so it was a beautiful, amazing moment. They also told me about a few great places I should check out for my next segment, and I’m happy to say that next week I’ll be featuring Freedom Clothing Collective!

At its core, Grassroots is all about education — not just selling you something, but helping you walk away with knowledge and inspiration.

Grassroots is located at 372 Danforth Avenue and can be found on Facebook, or you can check out their website.

Winter Sunrise Smoothie

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Well, what a day I had yesterday. I was in a bit of a funk due to general depression/anxiety crap, but just as I thought, “Well, at least I’m bottoming out now,” my car battery died as I was gassing up my car, I blew a fuse at work, dropped a waffle and nearly started a fire.

Go me!

But hey, that’s done now. And once in awhile everyone needs a good bottom out. Yep, all uphill from here!

Okay, but then this morning, I busted my ass to get to hot yoga on time, had some issues with the parking meter, ran in, dropped off my things, ran back out to use a different parking meter, and got back to find class had started and I’d been locked out. Holy shnike! It’s a good thing I at least had the important things — my food for the rest of the day and my wallet — with me. Looks like I’ll have to get my mat and towel and water bottle back another time.

So it’s all uphill from here, right?

Honestly, there’s no point in being upset. Wow, I didn’t make a yoga class — my life must be so hard! I mean, when I put it in perspective, I think I’m doing alright. Yes, I have to go to the Danforth to pick up my yoga mat tonight, and yes, I came to work at *checks watch* 7:15 without having showered (please don’t let them realize it, please don’t let them realize it), but… when that’s my biggest problem today? I think I’ll be okay.

At least I did start the day off with a really fantastic orange smoothie. I call this the “Winter Sunrise” because it’s undeniably summery, but made a few artistic choices to give it a warmer, spicier taste. This packs a lot of vitamins and hydration, and the banana and chia make it totally filling. In truth, I like the name “Winter Sunrise” because that’s my favourite part of winter, being awake to see the sun rise (it is really cool doing the morning hot yoga and watching the sun rise over the Danforth). I’m a bit sad that we’re going to be kissing winter good-bye, supposedly within the next six weeks (but hey, what do rodents know)?

Winter Sunrise Smoothie, serves one (about 3 cups)


  • 2 seedless naval oranges
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup water or coconut water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • A squirt of lemon juice
  • A generous pinch of garam masala
  • 2-3 ice cubes


  1. Peel the oranges and banana and blend until purified
  2. Add the carrots, mango chunks and coconut water and blend
  3. Add the chia, ginger, lemon juice and ice, blend until smooth.
  4. Enjoy the sunrise!