6 Ways to Embrace A Vegan Diet

While you’re searching for delicious vegan winter meals, you might wonder whether it’s time for you to embrace veganism to its fullest. You may have dabbled here and there, and you don’t eat meat with every meal the way you used to. Still, going vegan can be a significant lifestyle change and if you want to make it stick, you need to know how to do it properly to ensure you get the health benefits and start making positive changes to the environment. 

Find the Perfect Meat Substitutes 

Most people are scared of a vegan diet because they aren’t sure about good meat substitutes, but this is far from the truth. Just looking at this quinoa recipe collection from foolproofliving.com is proof that you can put together a range of exciting and traditionally meat-based dishes without going anywhere near pork, beef, or chicken. If you’re concerned about protein intake, many of these foods pack plenty of protein that will help keep you energized and build muscle if you want to bulk up over the winter. 

Know What to Look For On Ingredient Lists 

Even if you feel dedicated to veganism, you may not know enough about ingredients that could affect your journey. Some brands try to include sneaky non-vegan ingredients in the food you can purchase at the supermarket or restaurants. Knowing what to look out for will help you maintain your veganism and keep you from making continuous missteps that go against everything you’re trying desperately to avoid. 

Remove Food You Won’t Miss 

If you’re taking it slowly, you can start by getting rid of food you won’t miss. Everyone has some foods they only eat out of necessity or even peer pressure, so if you feel you can live without turkey breast or pork chops, you don’t need to worry about this. Likewise, you can replace milk with almond milk, and don’t ignore the benefits of seasonings and how they can transform dishes that seem bland. 

Make It A Gradual Change 

No one is expecting you to become vegan overnight and some people end up suffering from health issues their bodies cannot cope with under such a rapid adjustment. Furthermore, the more changes you make in a short period, the less likely you are to stick to your new diet. There is likely to be some food you’re not ready to give up yet, so take it easy and gradually remove non-vegan food from your diet until you feel ready. 

Don’t Beat Yourself Up 

Everyone makes mistakes and one slip-up doesn’t ruin everything, but it can teach you an important lesson about what you’re ready to do. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve betrayed veganism just because you accidentally consumed meat or you felt the cravings were too much. Still, use this as a learning opportunity. Consider why you consumed meat and ask whether any triggers encouraged it.

Embrace It

If you feel ready to take on veganism in all its glory, there is no better time than right now. However, you don’t need to make wholesale changes overnight. If you want your vegan habit to stick, take it one step at a time to protect your health and keep you motivated which will boost your chances of success.

5 Eco-Friendly Ways To Care For Your Garden

Gardening is a great way to get outside, enjoy fresh air, and dirty your hands. But it’s also important to be mindful of the impact that gardening can have on the environment. There are a lot of small things that you can do to make sure that your gardening practices are eco-friendly. Here are five easy tips to get you started.

1. Use Organic Fertilizer

One of the best things you can do for your garden is to use organic fertilizer. This means avoiding synthetic fertilizers that can contain harmful chemicals. Instead, opt for natural options like compost or manure. If you’re unsure of the best organic fertilizers, you can contact your local lawn service company to attend to your garden. This way, you can be sure that whatever is being used in your garden is safe for the environment and your plants. 

2. Use Native Plants

Another easy way to make your garden more eco-friendly is to use native plants. These are plants that are naturally found in your area or country and don’t need to be imported from somewhere else. They’re also more likely to be resistant to local pests and diseases, which means that you’ll need to use fewer pesticides and herbicides. Native plants also support local wildlife, as they provide food and shelter for birds, bees, and other animals.

3. Mulch Your Garden Beds

Mulching is a great way to reduce weeds, conserve water, and insulate your plants. There are many eco-friendly mulches that you can purchase to use in your gardens, such as wood chips or straws. You can also try using biodegradable options like grass clippings or fallen leaves. Just make sure that whatever you use is biodegradable so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill. You also need to ensure that you don’t over-mulch your garden, as this can lead to the suffocation of plants and other issues.

4. Collect Rainwater

Rainwater is one of the best things for your plants! It’s free and naturally soft, so that it won’t harm delicate plants like flowers or vegetables. Plus, it’s really easy to collect; all you need is a rain barrel. Set one up near your downspout and watch as the water collects over time. Then, when you’re ready to water your garden, just hook up a hose and let the rainwater do its magic. Collecting rainwater is also great for saving on your monthly water bill and conserving overall water usage.

5. Avoid Plastic Gardening Tools

Just like with anything else in life, it’s important to avoid using unnecessary plastic whenever possible. This includes the garden. There are all sorts of eco-friendly options for gardening tools these days, so there’s no need to buy those cheap plastic ones from the hardware store. Instead, invest in some good quality metal tools; they’ll last longer and won’t end up in a landfill when you’re done with them.

Gardening is a great way to enjoy some time outside while also doing something good for the environment. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your garden is as eco-friendly as possible!

5 Simple & Nutritious Vegan Winter Meal Ideas

Looking for vegan winter meal ideas that are nourishing, wholesome, and hearty enough to keep you warm during these cold months? We get it – with less daylight and darker evenings coming up, eating seasonally can feel more challenging. However, there’s no need to panic. There are lots of ways to enjoy a plant-based diet all year round! Here are some delicious, nutrient-packed vegan winter meal ideas to get you through the colder months.

Soup

It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a hot bowl of soup. It’s a super nutritious way to warm up and can be made with many different ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a creamy potato soup or a lighter root vegetable soup recipe, there are many options. You’ll also add an extra dose of protein to your soups by adding lentils or beans. Another great thing about soups is that you can make big batches to eat for multiple meals – freeze the leftovers for later. If you’re feeling like a warm bowl of comfort food, there are many vegan winter soup recipes to try out.

Veggie Burrito Bowl

If you’re looking for a tasty, filling meal that’s easy to make, try a veggie burrito bowl. Using a large bowl as your “bowl,” you can add lots of colorful veggies and combine them with a protein-rich sauce. One of the best things about burrito bowls is that you can make them as healthy (or as unhealthy) as you like. You can add black beans, guacamole, corn, salsa, and even some vegan cheese. This makes them a really versatile meal and perfect for busy lifestyles. If you don’t have much time to prepare a meal, buy some rice, beans, and veggies and combine them in a bowl with lots of flavors. You can change the ingredients to suit your tastes and enjoy a quick, healthy, vegan winter meal.

Eggplant Dishes

Eggplants are one of the best vegetables to eat during the colder months as they’re packed with warming spices and are a good source of Vitamin C. They’re also naturally low in fat and cholesterol, making them an excellent option for healthy vegans. Whether roasting, baking, or frying eggplants, there are many ways to enjoy them as part of a vegan winter meal. They go well with many different ingredients and can be used as the main vegetable or side dish. Try pairing them with cous cous, rice, or even pasta for a warming meal that’s great for the winter months.

Curries

Did you know curries are a great way to warm up during the colder months? Traditionally, they contain lots of spices that help heat up the body and lots of hearty ingredients such as lentils, beans, and squash. They can also be made with many different vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, onions, and garlic. There are many different kinds of curries – you can make a vegan winter curry with sweet potatoes! Make your own curry spice mix, or use an Indian curry mix to save time and effort. You can serve curries with rice or naan bread or try them in a wrap or sandwich for a different take on this winter meal idea.

Casserole Pies

Casserole pies are a great vegan winter meal idea. They’re hearty and packed with lots of different vegetables; you only need to add some rice or mashed potatoes! You can make them with many different ingredients, including vegetables, legumes, grains, and even tofu. Try a simple broccoli and sweet potato casserole pie, or go for a more adventurous root vegetable pie. Casserole pies can be made in advance and frozen, which makes them perfect for busy lifestyles. Reheat and serve with some rice or mashed potatoes to enjoy a warming vegan winter meal.

Conclusion

There are many ways to stay nourished and warm when it comes to eating a vegan diet during the colder months. Soup, curries, and casserole pies are great winter meal ideas, especially if you like to meal prep. Try out these ideas and enjoy the benefits of a vegan diet all year round.

4 Fall Inspired Eco-Friendly Art Projects for Green Kids

I love fall – it is my favorite season. Have I mentioned that before? Ha! I love the colors, textures, and find myself crafting with Eben more during the autumn season. With that being said, the artwork really piles up around here. Many pieces get photographed and recycled, however there are pieces that we love so much we want to keep and display. Here are 4 fall inspired art projects that we have enjoyed over the year and thought they might inspire you this autumn:

1. Baker’s Twine Apple
Whenever I work with baker’s twine, it seems like I am left with a few scraps that I keep for craft projects. I recently came across an amazing baker’s twine apple project that would be perfect for those leftovers. I adore it!

+ Baker’s Twine Art
+ Domestically Speaking

2. Button Art
If you have a large button collection – this is the project for you! I love the different colors and sizes – I think it would be fun to do a set of four, one for each season, arranged on a wall together. This would be a perfect project for children of all ages too!

+ Button Art
+ Diane Payne

3. Leaf Prints
Eben loved this project because it incorporated a nature walk and pigment paints. This is a project that we tend to make over and over again each fall. It’s easy, a fun way to get our hands dirty and the perfect excuse for working together after school.

+ Leaf Prints

4. Alphabet Leaf Animals
Again, this is the perfect fall project for kids! It gets their creative juices flowing as they arrange the leaves into different animal shapes. I have to admit, Eben is much better at this than me – he is fantastic as seeing things that I never would. Are your kids like this?

+ Leaf Animal Prints

What fall inspired art project are you and your children working on?

What Are Your Favorite Family Halloween Traditions?

We love Halloween around here! In fact, it’s our favorite holiday. We try to visit our mountain home in North Carolina for Halloween; however, we are in Florida this year! So it’s sunshine and pumpkins for us, today!

I’m thinking of wrapping up work early so I can mix up a batch of my famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They are super famous to us – a fall favorite!

When Eben was little (ya’ll he’s 21!), Mr. Sweet Greens used to read us spooky stories in the dark. I might be lucky if Eben watches a horror movie with us tonight!

We like to pack our Octobers with fun fall traditions at our house. It’s even better if we can sneak away to North Carolina to peek at the beautiful fall colors and get a breath of fresh, cool air! But either way, Halloween together as a family is always fun!

Does your family have Halloween traditions?