Eastern Canada Road Trip

So we went for it, we decided to take the journey 6,000 kilometres from Ontario all the way to Nova Scotia. There is no better time then summer to take a journey across Canada in your vehicle and thats exactly what we did. We set out on a 7 day road trip starting in Quebec, then heading to New Brunswick, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and back to Montreal. We aimed to hit all of the tourist spots and take in as much beauty as we could! If you are planning on an east coast road trip or a road trip in general I encourage you to read on!

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If you are planning to do the same trip or any road trip, plan it out! Unless you are experienced road tripper with an unlimited amount of time, then make sure you plan out each day.

Day One: Barrie, ON – La Maurice, Quebec

During our road trip we camped most of the way to stay organized and save a bit of money on travel and food costs. La Maurice is a national campground situated just a few hours outside of Quebec City. It was by far my favourite campground out of them all as the drive to the actual campsite was beautiful and the campground itself was very clean and the people were very friendly.

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Day Two: La Maurice, Quebec – Saint Quentin, New Brunswick

At the start of the second day we decided to make a stop in Quebec city as neither of us had been before, it was a gloomy day but it was worth the side trip. We went and visited the Chateau Frontenac, got some poutine (I got a veggie burger), drank some coffee and took in the scenery. After we had left Quebec City we headed on to Saint Quentin, New Brunswick. This was our next stop for the evening at the provincial park of Mount Carleton. This spot has a vast array of hiking trails, views and is close to our next stop Shediac.

Day Three: Saint – Quentin, New Brunswick – Cheti camp, Nova Scotia

During our drive to our next destination we made a pit stop in Shediac, New Brunswick. Shediac is well known as they have one of the largest lobsters in the world, they are also well known for their lobster rolls and beaches.

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My boyfriend got a lobster roll, we stopped at parlee beach provincial park for some rock collecting and we moved on. Our next drive was a long stretch to Cheticamp. Cheticamp is situated in Cape Breton along the Cabot Trail which is where we stayed for the next two days.

Day Four: Cape Breton

On day four we stayed on the cabot trail once again in Cape Breton as there is so much to see and this destination deserves at least two days. Driving the cabot trail is so much fun on its own let alone all the amazing hiking trails and beautiful scenery that is out there. This is a spot that should be on everyones bucket list. When you go to the cabot trail make sure that you hike the skyline trail it is the most popular trail out of all of them and when you hike it you will know why. The view, the animals, the fresh ocean air, it was nothing I had experienced before.

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Day Five: Cabot Trail, Cape Breton – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Unfortunately we had to move on from Cape Breton, which was one of my favourite parts of the whole trip. We were off to our next destination, Halifax. We knew there would be a lot we wanted to see and do so we got up early and headed on the road. First we stopped in Lunenburg to check out this historic little town filled with so much history, shopping and great little eating spots. We made our next stop at Peggys Cove which is obviously one to see on everyones list and it stood up to its name. One of the most beautiful towns and sights I have ever seen. Then after our day of adventure we were off to downtown Halifax. Fortunately this was one of the nights we actually had a hotel, we stayed at a bed and breakfast downtown called commons inn. It wasn’t the most pleasant of rooms but it was only for one night and was a 15 minute walk to downtown so no complaining there! I did some research and found an amazing vegan restaurant right near our inn which was called EnVie a Vegan. It was so delicious and a nice change of pace from veggie dogs and hamburgers. After that we went downtown to a bar called the lower deck, met some nice Nova Scotians, danced to keltic music and had a great night. One for the books!

Day Six: Halifax, Nova Scotia – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

For our last day out east we were staying at Fundy National park and we had to make this stat a quick one. We set up camp, woke up early and went for a hike along dickson falls. It was a quick hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end of it. Our next journey for the day was driving from New Brunswick back to Montreal, Quebec.

Day Seven: Fundy National Park, New Brunswick – Montreal, Quebec

After our 10 hour drive to Montreal we were in another hotel for the night. We decided to tour around old Montreal and find another vegan restaurant that I could drag my boyfriend too (he actually loves vegan restaurants). We found a trendy spot in old Montreal called LOV, if you’re in the area I highly recommend you check it out. This spot had a lot of options for both vegans and vegetarians at a reasonable price but if you do decide to go make sure you make a reservation! We took it easy for our night in Montreal as the next morning we made a quick stop in Ottawa to visit the parliament hill and then headed home to Barrie.

All in all our trip was amazing and one of the best adventures I have had thus far. I missed a few things on the list of things we did, to keep things short and sweet. If you do decide to do a road trip make sure that you plan out your trip beforehand, stay on track and are well prepared for the journey ahead!

 

Chunky Monkey Banana Nice Cream

Been a few days since I posted any recipes. I was out exploring eastern Canada and what an amazing adventure it was! Got me realizing sometimes how hard it is to live a plant based life style, especially in provinces or countries where veganism isn’t as well known and restaurants are not as accommodating. However it did open up my perspective on how to accommodate myself when it comes to staying on track on the road and at home.

There are always alternatives to make a recipe accommodate your food choices or make a recipe completely you’re own by adding your favourite ingredients. This recipe does just that! So besides chips one of my favourite foods has always been ice cream. Ice cream can be made in so many different variations and I’ve tried to put a spin on it by keeping it completely vegan and sweetened with natural sweeteners.

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Ice cream can be good for your health too! There are more advantages in a plant based recipe for ice cream but hey any type of ice cream can satisfy those cravings and give us a little boost.

  1. Source of vitamins (due to high fruit content in this recipe specifically)
  2. Provides energy
  3. Source of minerals
  4. Stimulates the brain

So go ahead try this recipe and eat all the nice cream your heart desires, you deserve it!

Chunky Monkey Banana Nice Cream 

Prep Time: 20 Mins

Cook Time: 20 Mins

Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

¼ cup oat flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

Pinch of salt

4 frozen bananas

1/2 cup non-dairy milk, plus more if needed

Dash of cinnamon

½ cup walnuts, chopped

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  1. In a blender or food processor, add dates, oat flour, cocoa powder, applesauce, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until a dough forms.
  2. Pinch off little bits of the dough and place onto a place or baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. I had extra so I made mine into date balls!
  3. In a food processor, add bananas, milk, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Process until it forms a smooth ice cream texture, adding a little milk at a time if needed.
  4. Add walnuts and frozen brownie bits to the banana mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Pour the ice cream into aa freezer-safe container; I used a loaf pan. Place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
  6.  

Nutritional Facts 

Serving size: Based on one cup of 6 servings

Calories: 232 Calories

Fat: 11.8 Grams

Carbohydrates: 42 Grams

Fibre: 6.5 Grams

Protein: 5.4 Grams

 

Hope you enjoy!!

 

Healthy Baked Plantain Chips

One of my all time favourite foods and my biggest weakness is… chips. When they say I bet you can’t just eat one, my answer is you are correct I can’t eat just one but I can sure eat the whole bag in one sitting. Sooo not the healthiest option to eat a bag of fried potaotes.

So I did some investigating on some foods that are like chips but have added health benefits. I knew I wanted to make something in my own kitchen so I can across this fruit known as a Plantain Banana. At first glance this fruit looks very similar to a regular banana and a plantain does has many of the same health benefits of bananas yet it is not a banana.

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Plantains contain much less sugar then a banana and are a lot more versatile when it comes to cooking, you can make them sweet or salty! They also have more added health benefits then a regular banana.

  1. High in Potassium – Natural remedy for high blood pressure
  2. Help regulate the digestive system – High source of fibre
  3. Promote healthy brain function – High source of vitamin B6
  4. Great source of magnesium – Affects calcium absorption
  5. High in Vitamin A – Essential for good skin health

As you can see there are so many benefits of plantains and I have put together this great savoury recipe to curb those chip cravings and give you a health boost at the same time.

Healthy Baked Plantain Chips 

Prep Time: 25 Mins

Cook Time: 15 Mins

Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients

2 Green Plantains

1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Pinch of chilli powder

Pepper to taste

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel the plantain with a sharp knife. Then slice the plantains as thinly as possible with a mandolin or knife.
  3. In a bowl, combine plantain slices, olive oil, and seasonings. Stir gently to coat the plantain chips.
  4. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place a single layer of plantains on the parchment paper.
  5. Place cookie sheet in oven for 16 to 20 minutes. Turn plantains after 8 minutes.
  6. Plantain chips are done when they start to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and serve.
  7. Plantain chips are very versatile when it comes to ingredients so feel free to add some of your favourite spices for some added flavour.

Nutritional Facts 

Serving size: One cup of cooked plantain (mashed)

Calories: 232 Calories

Fat: 11 Grams

Carbohydrates: 62 Grams

Fibre: 5 Grams

Protein: 4 Grams

Hope you enjoy!

Learning the lessons of life

Its been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything. I seem to have fallen off track with working out, dieting and keeping organized but you know thats life and no matter who you are or where you are in your progress, this is normal! We live our day to day lives and sometimes we fall off track but falling off track is the exact reason to get back out there and start over again. These are the reasons to help you focus on what went wrong and how to fix it.

Maybe one week we eat super healthy and workout everyday and the next we work out once that week and have a few days where you weren’t as healthy and this is hard and it makes you feel as if its impossible. It is not, I promise. I have fallen off and gotten back up so many times I can’t even count. This seems to be one of those times for me and I’m digging deep to find my motivation and I wonder what others do when they fall off and how they get back up?

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Life is full of ups and downs and we have to be ready for them. We have to be ok with the changes that our mind, body and soul will take. Everyone is on a different path and we have to remember that and remember that were all different and we can change over night.

I have been spending my time hanging out with friends, exploring, adventuring and spending time alone and I’m ok with that. I need to remember that changes are ok and that is a part of being human.

But I am back and have some amazing recipes that I am excited to share. I will be taking another adventure next week on a road trip to Nova Scotia. I am excited to take in the ocean air, try new foods and explore the east coast of Canada. But I need to remind myself to live in the moment and not take it for granted.

xxx

 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting(IF)  has become some what of a trend over the past couple of years and I understand why. This trend claims to cause weight loss, improve metabolic health and even extend your lifespan. There are many different types of IF, all of which seem to be very effective. Which one you choose is dependent on your lifestyle and goals. I have been intermittent fasting for about 4 months now, on and off.  The method I have been using is the 16/8 method.

How does intermittent fasting work?

Intermittent fasting typically focuses on when to eat not what to eat. The 16/8 method consists of fasting for 14-16 hours and having your “eating window” for 8-10 hours. For example you will eat your first meal at 2pm and finish eating for the day around 10pm. Which seems pretty reasonable but for those days where you are extra hungry when you wake up it can be a bit tricky. This is when your water intake becomes very important as you can fill up with water, coffee, non caloric drinks or bcaa.

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What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Personally the benefits that I have noticed from IF are convenience, fat loss and less urge to eat more through out the day. I enjoy intermittent fasting as it has become more of a daily routine for me rather then a diet. Intermittent fasting has so many benefits and more and more people are trying it and loving it.

  • Aids in weight loss and loss of belly fat
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Cognitive enhancer
  • Boosts mood and motivation
  • Improves sleep
  • Heals your gut
  • Can prolong your life

Intermittent fasting has so many benefits beyond weight loss. I personally have loved the results and changes I have been noticing. At the end of the day there is not a one size fits all type of nutrition or diet. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run. The only way to find out if this type of eating method will work for you is to try it out. If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, then it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your overall health.