Friday, January 30, 2015

5 Veggie Burger Substitutes You Need To Check Out

Veggie burgers are basically meatless burgers that do not contain any meat, as well as, eggs or dairy. A majority of the time, they are executed with vegetables. As a vegetarian of many years, I have to tell you, I am always trying new vegetarian alternatives that echo the classic hamburger. So, what are the best veggie burger substitutes?

1. Lightlife Backyard Grill'n Burgers. When it comes to veggie burgers, the key is not only the ingredients, but the flavor itself. Not only is this veggie burger the closest alternative to the real thing, it is free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) too.

2. Amy's All American Veggie Burger. This meat-free delectable proves that it is not only healthy, but incredibly delicious too. If you are searching for an organic option that is both non-GMO and vegan, this one is perfect for you.

3. Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Burger. Some of the best meat alternatives are those that taste great, but resemble the classic. Not only is this burger super healthy, but it tastes absolutely delicious. This veggie burger is also GMO-free and vegan.

4. Organic Sunshine Burgers Quarter Pounder Original. Are the best things in life really free or are they natural? Using only whole-food ingredients, this healthy vegetarian option proves why it is one of the best meatless options around. Did I mention that it is non-GMO?

5. Follow Your Heart Burger. If something is created to embody or resemble the real thing, then it should also taste like it too. This meat-free specialty is not only deliciously healthy, it is free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) and is vegan.

8 Easy Snack Ideas For Watching The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is perhaps the biggest day in sports of the year. As everyone gathers at homes watching the big game on the big screen, swearing and pointing at the tube wondering why their favorite quarterback intercepted, it is important to be freshly stocked with snacks and booze to cater to those watching it.

You can't quite seem to come up with any snack ideas, as you do not have a menu planned. So, what do you do? Relax, I have made it relatively easy for you considering I am a huge foodie and love the Super Bowl. So, what are some easy snack ideas for watching the Super Bowl?

Nachos Whether you want to do the traditional Mexican style nachos which consist of tortilla chips, hamburger (and if you are a vegetarian any hamburger alternative will work), seasoning, lettuce, tomato, onion, Monterey jack cheddar, black olives, jalapeƱo peppers, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole or if you want to change them up a notch and try something different like Italian nachos where you use mozzarella and parmesan cheese and sausage instead of hamburger and cheddar, you could do that too. Please note that if you do decide to do Italian nachos, do not make the mistake of adding cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole. Instead use basil, Alfredo sauce, and olive oil.

Mini Cupcakes The Super Bowl is approaching us and as it gets closer, so does the demand for great company and even greater food. One of the best things you can make for any Super Bowl party is definitely mini cupcakes. It is also a lot of fun to decorate these too. Not only are these a lot of fun to make, but everyone who eats them loves them. Last year, I went crazy making about a hundred different varieties of mini cupcakes. I noticed that before the Superbowl was over, I would say five remained out of the many I made. I could not believe it.

Club Sandwiches When you think of a club think of bacon, lettuce, tomato, with your choice of meat, cheese, veggies, condiments, and of course bread. No Super Bowl party is complete without club sandwiches. Every single time I have made these; everyone went crazy and basically ate them all. They are also so diverse, as you can switch them up and change them. Whether you want to make a ham club or a turkey club or even a chicken club, this sandwich is as classic as it gets. If you are vegetarian like myself, you cannot go wrong with making an egg club and using a bacon alternative in place of the bacon. I also love to add extra cheese and use a lot of great veggies too. If you can't think of a great snack idea, you cannot go wrong with this choice.
Funnel Cake Fries

Funnel Cake Fries What do you get when you combine flour, milk, water, granulated sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar (or powdered sugar), oil, and a little bit of salt? Funnel Cake Fries. Instead of milk, I used almond milk and for my oil of choice, I chose almond oil. In a large bowl, simply combine all of your ingredients. The consistency should be thick, but not pasty or dry. It should also not be watery. In a fryer, heat your oil of choice for 375 degrees. It's key to cover the spout before placing your batter into the fryer. Fry for about 1-2 minutes. If you like your fries a little crispier, fry them for about 3 minutes. Do not go over 3 though. Place them onto paper towels, garnish with the powdered sugar, and serve. And for all of those vegans, use apple cider vinegar or soy milk as a substitute for eggs. 

Kale Chips Believe it or not, there are many people who are dieting during this time of year and even though some have a "cheat" day, they will not embrace it during Super Bowl. One of the best snacks you can serve at any Super Bowl party is Kale chips. Guess what? They are quite possibly one of the easiest things to prepare. Kale, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and you are good to go. Whether you are dieting or simply looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional potato chip, Kale chips are the way to go.

Brownie Bites Every Super Bowl party needs something sweet. Every Superbowl party needs something fun. Brownie bites are basically small brownies made using a mini muffin pan. They are not only quick and easy, but incredibly delicious too. Also, once you eat one, you will find yourself wanting a second and even a third, fourth, fifth, etc. I made these last year and they were so popular that they were gone before the Super Bowl was over. Also, the best part of making these is decorating them to coordinate with your favorite football team.

Sliders Miniature burgers always do well at Super Bowl parties. When I had a Super Bowl party last year, I had a lot of fun making these and what I noticed was as soon as I put them out for everyone, they were gone before the Superbowl was over. Whether you want to make the traditional cheeseburger or a chicken club. Whether you want to make a BLT or a fish slider, these are absolutely perfect for any Super Bowl party. If you are creating a slider option for a vegetarian, you cannot go wrong with creating egg salad or using a meat alternative. 
Cheese Balls

Deep Fried Cheese Balls There are so many great fried delectables that are not only easy to prepare, but great to enjoy during any party, especially a Super Bowl party. I noticed out of the many I have made, deep fried cheese balls are always the most popular. They are very easy to make and believe it or not, very quick too. All you need is basically your choice of cheese, flour, egg (and if you are a vegan, liquid tofu and apple cider vinegar), and salt & pepper. Prepare your batter. Then, start your fryer and let it preheat as you form small shaped balls of cheese before dipping them into the batter. As you can see, they are simple yet delicious.

Since my Steelers are not playing, I guess I will watch anyway. Enjoy these easy yet incredibly snack ideas while watching the Super Bowl with your family and friends today because I know that I will.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Joe Dancing To Blurred Lines

My amazing boo, Joseph Valo III has to be the most talented guy I know, as he can do almost anything. In fact, I truly believe he is a renaissance man. He's a lot of fun and this is only a little bit of proof. Check out the video of him dancing to Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.
Joe taught himself how to dance and literally learned from watching the hit show "In Living Color". I think he does really bank for not having a lot of room to do his killer moves.

Questions for Sky Blue aka 8KY 6LU (from LMFAO)

Hello everyone. I hope you are having an amazing evening. I just wanted to make a quick blog post. I am going to be interviewing Skyler Gordy. He goes by the Sky Blu aka 8KY 6LU aka SkysNuts aka The Party President and is known for being a part of the dynamic duo LMFAO (who recently parted ways). They are known for some of their epic tunes which include: Shots, Party Rock Anthem, Sexy and I Know It, Champagne Showers, La La La, Yes, Sorry For Party Rocking, and I'm In Miami Trick. Get your questions in for Sky Blu by responding to this blog post. Anything inappropriate such as spam or hate speech will not be approved. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Grilling Tips You Need To Know When Cooking Vegetarian Alternatives

As a vegetarian, I have discovered that it can be quite complicated to embrace my inner grill master. In fact, I have had to mess up several times in order to grill effectively. With a wide-range, variety of vegetarian substitutes; grilling should never be as confusing as solving physics conjecture, for anyone wanting a veggie burger or a veggie dog. So, what are 5 grilling tips you should know if you are grilling a vegetarian alternative?

1. Use Coconut Oil. As one of the healthiest oils in the world today, this works as an amazing base for your vegetarian substitute. Whether you want to enjoy a classic veggie burger or even a kabob with veggie sausage, coconut oil will prevent your food from burning.

2. Use Cedar Planks. I discovered that when you a rich wood to grill a vegetarian substitute, the flavor is more flavorful and robust, then if you would use charcoal. Flavors will not meld properly if they are cooked incorrectly.

3. Use Variety. When it comes to grilling any kind of meat or chicken alternative, you will want to use a variety of mixed vegetables into the mix. With everything from onions and bell peppers to squash and mushrooms and much more, the options are endless.

4. Use Grill Baskets. Every vegetable on the planet is different and therefore; needs to be prepared differently. In order to grill effectively, I highly suggest using these the next time you grill any veggies.

5. Use Salt. Sure, it is important to season your food with your favorite spices, however; without salt you are left with nothing more than tasteless food. When you grill your vegetarian substitutes, along with your vegetables they lose flavor naturally, so in order to bring that flavor back to life it is key to use salt.

The Best Vegan Restaurants of 2015 in Pittsburgh

Recently, I had the chance to contribute an amazingly buzzworthy article to AXS about vegan food. Although I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (occasional vegan) I am always discovering new vegan eateries all over the place. And believe it or not, some of the best vegan eats are in the steel city. The next time you visit the burgh, you may want to check out 5 of my favorite vegan joints. So, what are they? Just click here to find out.

Why You Should Cut Negative People Out Of Your Life

You walk into the grocery store and you come across some of the finest organic kale you have ever seen. However; after a complete evaluation, you discover that some of the kale has mold on it and that the kale with mold on it is touching the good kale. You, then realize that a vast majority of the kale looks good, but you still would never trust it.

Now imagine if the kale were people and that moldy kale you discovered represented a negative or toxic person. Once that kale touches the good kale, you find yourself questioning the good kale. If the moldy kale were a negative person, that particular kale would affect you. So, why should you cut negative people out of your life?

Negative people have no real goals nor do they have real accomplishments and if they exist, they have existed in the past. Statistically speaking, a vast majority of those that have this particular quality would rather talk negatively about people than setting a goal for him/herself and accomplishing it as a result.

The spoiled kale that represents the negative person affects the good kale around them. That negative person has an impact on those that choose to associate themselves with that type of person. If you set a goal for yourself, the negative person will always attempt to trivialize that goal. The negative person always holds back from their goals and attempts to get their friends to refrain from setting one.

The negative person also tends to be critical of everything around them and quite narcissistic. They find the bad in everything and tend to think of themselves as superior to everyone they criticize, as almost if they suffer from some sort of inferior complex. They sabotage friendships for no reason and emotionally disconnect themselves as being the sole root of the problem, the problem they created.

You have the choice to befriend a negative person, but don't aspire to change them instantaneously. In fact, studies have shown most negative people never change and aspire to be nothing. Is that where you want to head? Think about it and understand why cutting negative people out of your life is a good thing to do.

How To Cope With A Jealous Bully

People are really fascinating and when I think of everyone being as unique as their personality, I think without some jealousy and hatred, the world would be extremely boring.

So, how do you cope with a jealous bully? You simply don't think of them and if you do, you stop thinking about them. How can you stop thinking about them? It's simple. You come up with ideas on how to better your own future, you look at your present life, and you set both short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Then, you look back at what you have accomplished.

Another great way to cope with a jealous bully is to remind yourself that they are talking about you. When I think of my haters, I think that I am doing something right because without haters, I know I am not doing my job correctly. Remind yourself that with virtually no effort whatsoever, you are making them go crazy over you.

Think of your jealous bully as a stalker. As they attempt to devalue you and spread lies, just remember that you are making no effort for them to do that. Think of them as a rabid fan, a fan that is negative and manifested with you, looking for attention. After all, lovers make a person rich, but haters make a person famous.

If you feel entitled to exercise the first amendment, it is important to recognize that giving them attention gives them ammo which is why if you do decide to do this, you want to blog only once about the person/people bullying you and then leave it at that. Remember your jealous bully does not need your attention more than once, let alone at all.

You can choose to think about it, but then you should realize that when you do, you aren't going nowhere with them because no matter what you say or what you do, they are still going to continue. You can't please the world, as not everyone will love you, but if you love yourself you will never even give your jealous bully a second thought.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

National Cheese Lovers Day: Fromage Brie

Today is 'National Cheese Day' and as you are aware, there are probably about a thousand different types of cheese that exist in the world today, with one of them being Brie.
Whether you are looking to take something simple to a party, picnic, or food event or simply wanting to enjoy something special at the dinner, you cannot go wrong with Fromage, Brie. Add some crackers and enjoy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Wikipedia, Celebrating 14 Years

With millions upon millions of articles and other content submitted daily, Wikipedia remains to be one of the most popular websites in the world today. Today is Wikipedia's 14th birthday. Since they became a strong reference site in 2001, they have worked really hard to be where they are today. I am looking forward to Wikipedia remaining strong for many years to come because what they have done thus far proves that you can accomplish anything if you work hard at it. Happy Birthday Wikipedia!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Person: How I Lost 10 Pounds In 1 Week

Everyone stresses shedding those extra pounds, no matter what time of year it is. Whether it is after the holidays or in early spring, it is a huge goal for most people who are looking to not only look better, but feel better too.

With all of the endless diet crazes that range from incorporating healthy eating into an active lifestyle or fasting until the next binge, it's hard to tell which diets actually work and shed off the extra inches.

As a 34 year old woman, I recently found myself losing weight and although I could not believe that my method worked, I was not shocked. The reality is, our body needs certain things in order to speed up the process, but how did I lose 10 pounds in 1 week?

For my diet - I stuck with a vegan diet that consisted of cabbage soup, kale chips, kosher dill pickles, and tofu. I used no butter or margarine and relied heavily on olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. I also substituted butter for Earth Balance butter, as it is vegan. Instead of having three huge meals, I would also have 8 meals that ranged from medium to small.

The key to really losing weight is to drinking nothing, but water. I would drink at least ten, 16 oz. water bottles a day. The amount increased as I worked out. Some days I would have a gallon. It is so important to keep hydrated. Avoid anything such as diet sodas or anything with artificial sugars. Every other day, I would drink a can of Zevia soda and would have a glass of Silk's Coconut/Almond Blend.

Often times I find myself snacking on something after 5 pm, however; with this diet I did not eat anything after 5 pm. Instead, I would substitute any cravings with one kosher pickle and more water. If I were hungry, I would eat something vegan with no carbs, as well as, no calories.

For my exercise - I would go to the gym for at least 1 hour, every day. Sometimes I would go twice. There are no days off. I would do at least 20-30 minutes of cardio followed by muscle confusion strength training, working almost every area of the body at once. Each day, I would change course and speed.

On some of the days, I would stay longer at the gym and often times, train full contact boxing and Muay Thai. I would also shadow box and do a lot of cardio/cross training workouts outside of the gym such as cycling, running/jogging, and even swimming. In fact, instead of driving or riding a bus or even catching a carpool, I would substitute that form of transportation by riding my bicycle or walking. Every single time I would drink a lot and made sure that I kept myself hydrated.

For my supplements - What people don't realize is the combination of drinking a lot of water and working out is great, however; what makes the weight loss amazing and practically instantaneous is taking supplements to support it.

Although everyone is different, for this particular diet I took Raspberry Ketone, Sibu Beauty's Sea Buckthorn supplement, Mexican Wild Yam, and believe it or not, NeoCell's Collagen supplement. If I felt like I needed more energy, I would take a caffeine pill and/or have a glass of Click's Espresso Protein which I would use Silk's Coconut/Almond Blend as the source. Although the protein is whey and non-vegan, taking just one glass a week shocked my body in fat burning mode.

After a week, I was 10 pounds lighter. Not only did I drop the pounds, I lost inches and of course, clothing sizes. It is the best feeling in the world, when you start feeling the loss and seeing the results that follow. They don't call it a diet (die-it) for no reason. Stick with this plan and you will start seeing results in due time. Just please do not go crazy and consult your doctor before doing it.