I Wanna Yonana

There are few things in life better than ice cream.

It has the unique ability to make everything better with one simple bite. Once the cold, soothing, creamy sweetness touches your mouth, you’re immediately reminded that all is right with the world.

But once you swallow it, you feel the need to be reminded again. So you take another bite. And another. And probably another.

(or if you’re like me, let’s just say approximately 50).

OKAY, I know… I know. It’s bad for us — but let’s ignore the crappy ingredients and empty calories for a second.

I honestly can’t think of a tastier treat (possibly cheesecake, but that’s debatable). And then there’s the toppings. As if ice cream wasn’t amazing enough by itself, let’s just add in butterfingers, cookie dough, oreo cookies, chocolate syrup, butterscotch, chocolate chips, heath bars… the possibilities are endless.

I literally went through a phase in high school where I ate cookie dough ice cream every night after dinner. It took me a euphoric, sweet tooth wonderland that I couldn’t escape.

Until I went vegan and had to sadly say goodbye to my nightly love.

I’ve tried several vegan ice creams that taste good, but recently, I decided to step up my health regimen and focus on curbing my sugar addiction. Sugar addiction. Yes, it is a real thing. And it’s safe to say, I HAVE IT.

Enter ——- YONANA

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I heard of a wonderful little item that makes soft serve ice cream strictly out of frozen fruit (primarily bananas but other fruit works too). You freeze the fruit, then thaw for a few minutes and simply put through the yonana.

This has become my new nightly treat, and it’s strangely satisfying. You don’t need any sweeteners. Just fruit and any toppings you want to add. My favorite combinations — banana and mango with a little peanut butter OR banana and berries topped with fresh blueberries.

It tastes so good that most people don’t believe it’s just fruit. I made it for a friend last night, and she asked about 5 times, “Wait. What’s in this? It can’t just be fruit.” Finally, I had to say, “Shut up. It IS just fruit!!!”

Finally. A healthy, natural treat. Who needs ice cream now? Not me.

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Nutritional Yeast

I was vegan for a year and half before I tried nutritional yeast.

What… the… hell… was I thinking?

Well, for starters, it just sounded the weird. I remember thinking, nutritional yeast? That sounds terrible.

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But, nonetheless… it was in a ton of recipes, so I decided to casually take a peak while at the grocery store. Then, I saw the ridiculous price tag and said “Yeah right! $15? Not happening.”

So, that was that for nutritional yeast. Never gave it another thought.

Until a few months ago… when a vegan mac n’ cheese recipe sparked my interest and called for that weird stuff. UGH! After much hesitation and a few curse words, I did it. I ignored looking at the price tag (ignorance is bliss) and threw it in the cart. I tried not to cry as the cashier told me the total.

Then I got home and opened it. What was this mystery food that I just spent my life savings on? (not really, but close)

Within 5 seconds, I FINALLY UNDERSTOOD! The powdery, yellow flakes were actually kind of like CHEESE! I was shocked. Excited! I think I may have done a little dance.

I started putting it on everything. Popcorn. Salads. Quinoa. Veggies. Cauli mash. Rice. It’s ridiculous and embarrassing how much I use it.

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But, then I felt myself getting angry… angry at my myself. The regret. The frustration. Why didn’t I do this sooner?

And the funniest part… that $15 package of nutritional yeast lasts forever. Like forever ever. So, it’s actually not expensive at all.

AND to TOP it all, some nutritional yeasts are fortified with B12. I’ve actually stopped taking B12 supplements because of how much I use nutritional yeast.

Seriously though… let’s give the damn thing a new name. Nutritional yeast has got to go. Agreed?

Find GMOs in your food!

I recently discovered the Fooducate app for my iphone… and my life may never be the same.

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Here’s the full info:

Get the Fooducate mobile application and use it to –

  • Automatically scan a product barcode
  • See product highlights (both good & bad)
  • Compare products
  • Select better alternatives
  • Dig deeper and learn more about food and nutrition

Features –

  • Created by dietitians and concerned parents
  • Uses your mobile’s camera to effortlessly scan UPC barcode
  • Over 200,000 unique products and growing daily
  • Simplified information helps you make better choices
  • Works on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android OS version 2.2 and up

“… Fooducate is like taking your own personal dietitian to the supermarket…”

You get to see the stuff manufacturers don’t want you to notice, such as

  • excessive sugar
  • tricky trans fats
  • additives and preservatives
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • controversial food colorings
  • confusing serving sizes
  • and more…

And what’s the best part (for me) – GMOs. This app says whether GMOs are in the product or “highly likely” to be.

So, please excuse me as a prance around the grocery store with my scanner in hand.  

Why be Vegan?

VEGAN: eating a plant-based diet with NO animal products (meat, eggs, milk, cheese)

Did I freak you out already? Good. I’ll continue.

The word vegan naturally comes with a lot of skepticism. A lot of eye rolls. A lot of… “It’s crazy.”

And I understand why. We’re Americans – we love meat, right? Well, I’m going to be honest… animal products are making us sick. Like really sick. Like “death” sick. I know that’s a bold statement, but the research doesn’t lie — here are the key benefits of a vegan diet:

  • Lower obesity rates – vegans weigh 5-20 pounds less than meat eaters
  • Longer life – vegans on average live 13 years longer than meat eaters
  • Reduced risk of Type II Diabetes
  • Reduced risk of cancers (especially colon cancer)
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased risk of heart disease

And that’s just our health. What about the health of our planet and the animals on it? Those statistics are alarming too:

  • The meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUV’s, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.
  • Factory farm animals are fed and sprayed with hormones, pesticides and antibiotics, which are passed on to those who eat them.
  • 2 out of 3 farm animals in the world are raised on a factory farm.
  • Cows raised for beef can naturally live up to 25 years but are slaughtered at 6 months.
  • Dairy cows suffer horribly as they are pumped full of growth hormones and perpetually impregnated for their milk. When their production slumps, they are slaughtered.
  • Chickens and turkeys are crowded into large, dimly lit sheds with each bird getting less than a square foot of space. They are bred to gain weight quickly; so many birds are crippled by their own weight and unable to walk.

Maybe being vegan isn’t so crazy after all.