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Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Day Out: Wishing Well Sanctuary

This past weekend I went to visit an animal sanctuary for the first time. My friend invited me to the event they were having and I thought it’d be fun to go and see the animals. As we were driving along the countryside roads, I questioned her, “What’s the difference between a sanctuary and a farm?” (This is how uneducated I was about where we were going)  She told me that at a farm, they kill the animals. For some reason, this never clicked for me growing up. I just enjoyed petting and feeding the animals but never realized that the animals there would be someone’s future meal.
To give you a better understanding of the difference, a farm is for profit and the animals do not stay there forever while at a sanctuary, the lives of the animals are spared and cared for as long as possible.
Located in Bradford, Ontario, Wishing Well Sanctuary was bigger than expected and as we approached the sanctuary, I felt one with nature. The air felt fresh and the environment was so peaceful. All I could hear were the sounds of birds in the distance. I was there for “The Love of the Lambs” event celebrating the lamb, Meadow, and her first year anniversary at the sanctuary. Due to unusual agreements with a meat packing company, Meadow’s life was saved and she did not become someone’s Easter dinner. The tour started at around noon and we were taken around the sanctuary  to cuddle with the sheep, play with the goats and pigs, and see the cows, donkeys, llama and ducks. Each of the animals had a backstory of how they arrived at the sanctuary and it was fun to interact with their different personalities.
After the tour, the sanctuary hosted a vegan potluck for all to join. The food was so good there! I was very impressed by the variety and taste of the vegan dishes there. People brought Devilled “Eggs” (I have to try making this!), “honey”, “tuna”, salads, pasta, pizza, and donuts! The donuts were insanely good and I plan to go on a road trip to get more! (They were from Beech Wood Doughnuts in St. Catherines, Ontario)
Since last year, I’ve cut down on my meat and dairy consumption primarily for health reasons. I’ve also been so fascinated with vegan youtubers as I find they are so creative with their food and I was curious as to what they ate. I love those “What I Ate in a Day” videos and could seriously binge watch those all day. Visiting the sanctuary, meeting fellow vegetarians, vegans and tasting the amazing vegan options out there has inspired me to be more cruelty- free.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eat Sunshine: Steamed Green Tea Cupcakes


I have this strange love for anything matcha. I’m not sure if I just like the colour green, the bitter taste, the health benefits or a combination of all the above. When I stumbled across steamed green tea cupcakes from, I just had to give it a try. I didn't even know steamed cake was even a thing. It didn’t come out exactly the way I had imagined but it was still good and I think I will try making them again. The steaming part was a bit foreign to me so I don’t think I steamed them quite right but I think that if I were to try again, they should come out a bit better and fluffier. If you want a dessert that’s not too sweet and like the taste of matcha, I suggest you give these a try. If you’re craving for something a bit sweeter, you could add some chocolate chips and/or have it with chocolate frosting. I also made a youtube video for this and used Final Cut Pro for the first time! I'm slowly teaching myself how to edit and finding it fun so stay tuned for more videos in the future!

 Recipe: (Makes 4 steamed cakes)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. honey
 3 Tbsp plain regular yogurt
1½ Tbsp. sugar
½ cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Matcha (Green tea powder matcha) Recipe from

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why I Don’t Drink Anymore (Even though I didn’t really drink much anyways)

I’ve never been much of a drinker as my body never allowed me to do this (Asian genes) but I did occasionally go out and drink with my friends. The main reason why I never really drank was because I would get the “Asian Glow” and just felt embarrassed of how I looked. I would look really drunk with my red face even when I wasn’t. I also never felt that good when drinking and always became super uncomfortably warm. Unfortunately, about 50% of Asians suffer from the “Asian Glow” when drinking. Because of this glow, I often reverted to just drinking in dim lit places like pubs and clubs. Clubs were more fun to drink at as I got to let loose and dance the night away. Actually, I think that’s why I often felt pressured to drink at clubs …it was just really hard to dance sober around a bunch of drunks.

Last year, I just decided to quit drinking for good for health reasons and realized that my body clearly rejects this substance.
After not having any alcohol for about a year, I had some with a couple friends a couple of weeks ago and boy did it hit me right away! Due to those Asian genes, my glow quickened to my face and my body too! My stomach felt itchy and my body broke into a huge skin rash. I truly have an allergic reaction to drinking and created an infographic to show the difference between those who experience the “Asian Glow” and those who do not. This allergic reaction reminded me that drinking just isn’t for me. The pros did not outweigh the cons I experienced when drinking.
From my experience, I’m going to tell you some things that happen when you tell people you don’t drink anymore and the effects of not drinking.
1)     People will think something is wrong with you and think you are weird, lame or boring. You may also start to feel this way due to what social norms are (Drinking is associated with partying which is associated with fun). So many of our social gatherings are centered on drinking and/or food. These are people who don’t really know you and you shouldn’t care what they think anyways. This took me awhile to learn, but now I don’t care what people think anymore.
2)     People will express frustration and try to get you to drink again by encouraging you to have “just one drink”. Being sober can make other people feel uncomfortable and make them hard to relate to you.
3)     People may stop inviting you to social gatherings and friendships may grow fewer but deeper (depending on the type of crowds you hung out with before).
4)     You don’t feel like binge eating or ill at night or crap the next morning. You’ll feel lighter, refreshed and more productive the next day without that hangover and extra calories.
5)     You’ll save some of that extra money usually spent on drinks for other things.
6)     You’ll realize that there are so many other things and activities to do with friends other than going out for drinks.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eat Sunshine: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lately I've been intrigued by vegan recipes as I find them so creative and I've also been reducing my dairy and meat intake for health reasons. I recently remembered that I had the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon lying around in my house and that I need to try and make more items from it. 
Awhile ago, I tried making her Double Chocolate Cookies.  This recipe is from her website and can be found by clicking the link [here]. I didn't have some of the ingredients listed so instead of palm sugar, I used brown sugar and instead of rolled oat flour, I used Scottish oats. I also substituted sunflower seed butter with chunky peanut butter and added some chocolate chips. The next time I make these, I will try it with rolled oat flour . Nevertheless, these still came out good and was a nice treat to have with some almond milk. 

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (do not melt)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (see note)
  • 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats, processed into flour (or 1.5 cups oat flour)
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk (only if needed to moisten batter)
  • 100 grams finely chopped dark chocolate (1 chocolate bar)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside for a few minutes so it can thicken up. Whisk the flax egg again once thickened.
  2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flax egg (coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, cane sugar, and vanilla). With a hand-held electric mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.
  3. Now, beat in the dry ingredients, one by one, as you go down the ingredient list (baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, oat flour). If your dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon (or two) of non-dairy milk and beat the mixture again. The dough should be moist enough to form balls without cracking, but not super sticky.
  4. Finely chop the chocolate (it should be the size of peas). Beat the chocolate into the batter or simply stir by hand.
  5. Shape balls of dough (about the size of a golf ball or 2 heaping tablespoons) and place on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Gently press down on each ball with your hand to form a disc (it should be 1/2-inch thick or so).
  6. Bake for about 12-13 minutes (I baked for 13 mins) until the cookies are spread out nicely.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 7 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
Instead of sunflower seed butter, you can try peanut or almond butter 

Recipe and directions taken from

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year

 Happy Lunar New Year! There are several superstitions for a good, fortunate year ahead. Although they may seem silly, they are still fun to know. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Monkey, which is the ninth animal of the twelve zodiac animals. There are many different traits to each animal sign and predictions for this coming year. Check out the International Business Times for the Zodiac Predictions for 2016.

If you don't know what zodiac sign you belong to, see below, but if you were born in the beginning of the year, be aware that Chinese New Year does not follow the typical Western calendar. 

Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

What zodiac sign are you? Are you superstitious? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Eat Sunshine: How to Make Sushi Rolls at Home

One of my goals this year is to try one new recipe each week and to cook more often to improve my skills in the kitchen.  I have a strong love for sushi but it can get expensive so I thought why not make it myself at home? There’s something about the pretty bite size pieces that makes this meal one of my favourites. I made this sushi with my brother and let me tell you that the more help you can get in the kitchen, the better. We started our own assembly line in the kitchen and it was just as much fun bonding making the sushi as it was eating with him. For our rolls, we used avocado, cucumber, spicy crabmeat, regular imitation crabmeat, breaded shrimp and sweet potato. Feel free to experiment and put whatever you're craving or have on hand in your sushi.

How I Made It:
For the rice:
-3 cups sushi rice
-1/4 cup rice vinegar
-1 tbsp sugar
-1 tsp salt

Making the Spicy Crabmeat:
-Shred artificial crabmeat and mix in some mayonnaise and sriracha to taste

After preparing all the ingredients, this is how you make the sushi:

1. Plastic wrap the bamboo matt (or use a firm towel) so that the sushi doesn’t stick to the matt.
2. Place seaweed shiny side down onto the matt
3.  Spread rice gently all over seaweed
4. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto the rice (optional)
5. Place all the goodies you want in the sushi towards the middle (Try not to overstuff as it makes rolling more challenging)
6. Roll the matt and seaweed over the stuffing once and press firmly forming a round shape
7. Continue to roll the sushi into  … big sushi roll!
8. Use a sharp wet knife to cut the sushi into pieces (Wetting the knife helps cut the sushi and prevents the sushi from sticking to the knife)
9. Eat up! Feel free to use your hands or chopsticks and don’t forget the soy sauce and wasabi!