Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here please feel free to send us an email.
1. You state that organic foods should be used whenever possible but your recipes don’t list the ingredients as organic. Should I buy organic products or not?
• All of our recipes are made with organic ingredients. In an effort to not be overly repetitive we don’t label each ingredient as organic. While we HIGHLY encourage everyone to use organic ingredients whenever possible we understand that not everyone has access to organic items all the time.
2. What are raw coconut crystals and coconut nectar and why are they used so often in your recipes?
• Raw coconut crystals and coconut nectar are both plant based sweeteners that we use in our recipes as alternatives to artificial sugars. Unlike other processed sweeteners, both coconut crystals and coconut nectar are minimally processed and still contain all their nature enzymes and nutritional value.
3. Why don’t you use agave nectar?
• Most agave ‘nectar’ or agave ‘syrup’ is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup which is devoid of virtually all nutrient value. Agave nectar has a fructose content of about 75% which is much higher than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) itself with a 55% fructose content. While we try to limit the use of sweeteners in our recipes, when a sweetener is needed we prefer to use either raw coconut crystals or coconut nectar.
4. What do you eat in a typical day/How many calories do you eat a day?
• What we eat in a day varies greatly from day to day and season to season. You can check out some of our meal plans for an idea of what we eat each day. We tend not to focus on calorie counting and instead try to eat a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables each day.
5. Do you really eat all the food you feature on your site?
• YES! Not only do we eat all the food we feature but our family does too. A recipe has to be deemed ‘blog worthy’ before it will show up on the site. We taste test everything and if it doesn’t get the thumbs up by our family then we either rework it until it’s yummy and delicious or we scrap the idea and move on. We want to make sure that when you make one of our recipes that you will be pleased with the results.
6. Where do you find the ingredients you use in your recipes?
• We purchase most of our ingredients from our local natural grocery stores. We shop at Jimbo’s Naturally, which has several locations in Southern California and Whole Foods Market. From time to time we do purchase ingredients through online venders.
7. Can I switch one ingredient for another in your recipes?
• We love hearing from our readers and we wish we could test each and every substitution but it’s just not possible. We encourage you to be adventurous, experiment and play with the recipes. Sometimes our most successful recipes have resulted from our ‘experiments’. If you do try a substitution we’d love to hear about. Leave us a note in the comment section or send us an email telling us how it went.
8. Can I substitute ‘x’ sweetener for coconut crystals?
• Our recipes are generally created by experimenting with ratios until we get the right formula. All of the ingredients need to work together just so to create the final product. Different sweeteners have different properties and we can not tell you how the recipe will turn out when another sweetener is substituted for the coconut crystals. We are always interested in hearing how substitutions work so please let us know if you have any luck.
9. Many of your recipes use Nutritional Yeast. What is that and do I have to use it?
• Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast and is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12. In our recipes nutritional yeast is used for its flavor and texture. There are no substitutions for nutritional yeast and leaving it out of a recipe will drastically alter the final result and the taste, therefore we do not recommend leaving it out. Nutritional yeast can be purchased at most natural and health food stores. It’s usually located near the protein powders and vitamins.
10. I have a recipe that I would like ‘cleaned up’, can you help me?
• If you have a favorite recipes that you would like reworked to make it healthier please send us an email. We can’t make any guarantees but we’re always happy to try and help out.
11. Why do you use ‘flax eggs’ instead of regular eggs? And can I use regular eggs instead?
• A flax egg is a mixture of 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water. It is used in vegan baking to replace a traditional hen’s egg. When mixed with water, ground flax seeds gels up and the texture is almost identical to an egg. While the flax egg is a great binding agent in many recipes, it does not work as a replacement in every recipe so please use with caution. We follow a plant based diet which excludes dairy (including eggs, cheese and milk). Instead of using transitional eggs you’ll see that many of our recipes include flax eggs. In most cases you can substitute a regular egg for a flax egg without any problems but we can’t guarantee that it will always work.
12. How long have you been a vegan for and why did you make that decision?
• We’ve been eating a ‘clean’ 100% organic diet for about 6 years now. In September 2011 we made the switch to a plant based diet. Our decision was based on health reasons and you can read about it here.
13. What vitamins do you take?
• (Sarah) On a daily basis my husband and I each take 6,000 mg of Vitamin C (click here and here to find out why we take Vitamin C) and my husband also takes this multiple vitamin. While he eats a very healthy plant based diet, he doesn’t consume as many vegetables as I do and therefore he takes a multiple vitamin to supplement. My children (ages 5 and 6) both take 2,500 mg of Vitamin C and a Green Vitamin which contains organic wheat grass, organic barley grass, organic algae, organic alfalfa leaf, organic spirulina and kelp. All the other vitamins and minerals we need are provided from our diet. Living in California and spending time outside the way we do provides all of us with more than enough Vitamin D which is why we don’t take a Vitamin D supplement.
• (Kristy) On a daily basis the only vitamin I take is Vitamin C. The rest of my vitamins and minerals I receive through my diet. I make sure I have adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables and I enjoy spending time each day in the sunshine to assure I get a daily dose of Vitamin D.
14. What brand of blender/food processor/juicer/hand chopper do you have?
• Blender - Vita-Mix 1363 CIA Professional Series Platinum Blender (used every couple of months)
• Food Processor - Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor (used 2-3 times a week)
• Juicer – Omega J8005 Nutrition Center Single-Gear Commercial Masticating Juicer (used daily)
• Hand Chopper – Pampered Chef Food Chopper (used 3-4 times a week)
15. You refer to your diet as plant based. Isn’t that the same as vegan?
• For the most part, yes, a vegan diet is the same as a plant based diet. What we try to avoid is labels. White sugar is considered vegan but is highly processed and devoid of any nutrients. Just because it’s consider vegan doesn’t mean we would eat it. Our diet is based on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. The foods we eat are 100% organic, everything from the fruit and vegetables to the whole grains and spices. We do whatever we can to avoid genetically modified foods and unnecessary chemicals. We avoid all processed foods, dairy, meats, artificial sweeteners and chemically flavored/enhanced products.
16. You eat a plant based diet but some of your recipes contain meat? Isn’t this a vegan blog?
• Prior to September 2011 we ate a diet that contained meat and dairy. Although we now eat a plant based diet we still kept all our recipes available for those that might be interested. We do our best to make recipes that are delicious, healthy and nutritious. We have recipes that are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, meat based, low fat, reduced carbs and sugar free. We try to provide recipes that will fit a variety of lifestyles yet are still tasty and good for you. Instead of labeling our blog with a specific title we like to focus on healthy wholesome recipes that taste fantastic.
17. Do you have a cookbook available?
• We are currently working on completing 2 ebooks and will be publishing a cookbook within the next year.
18. Can I use one of your recipes on my own blog?
• Feel free to use any of our recipes on your blog. Our only request is that you link back to the original recipe when blogging about it.
19. Can I use your pictures on my blog?
• We do not permit the use of any of our photographs without consent.
20. I read somewhere that you run. What other exercise do you do on a daily basis?
• (Sarah) I’m a fan of running, walking, hiking and cycling. My husband and I try to mix up what we do each day. Living in Southern California allows us to be outside almost every day the whole year round. We go for long walks almost everyday and we mix up cycling and running every other day. On weekends we travel to nearby areas and go for half day hikes.
• (Kristy) I first started running in 1984 to get rid of the “baby fat” I put on after having 2 children. I ran off and on for about 10 years and then in 1994 I entered my first 5k and got hooked on running for real. I have run 5-6 days a week since that time, countless 5, 10, 15 and 25 k races and 7 marathons. Since moving to Californina I have recently taken up hiking with a local group and am loving it. I walk a couple of times each day with my dog Leo and cycle occasionally on a stationary bike.
21. Do you make any money off this blog?
• To keep our site clean, clutter free and easy to read we’ve decided at this time not to do any advertising. Because we don’t allow advertising we make no money off this blog. In fact it costs us quite a bit of money. We may decide in the future to use some advertising but at this time we are happy with the way things are.