I’m a food writer, photographer and activist living in Toronto, Canada. I live with my partner and we’re expecting our first child in 2015.
If you enjoy healthy, whole-food-based desserts as much as I do, please consider picking up a copy of one or both of my ebooks, Tiny Treats and Edible Gifts, both of which are co-authored with the lovely, Nicole Axworthy.
I have been vegetarian since I was six and started eating a vegan-diet very soon after. I became an ethical vegan in my teens.
When I was little (less than 2 years old) my Mom started to notice that I was sensitive to eggs and dairy. Eating meat made me ill immediately. After lots of tests, doctors discovered that my body can’t digest animal protein. I was given the option to take enzymes everyday – I decided to eat vegan instead. Eliminating animal foods changed my life. All of a sudden I was full of energy and the daily stomach aches disappeared.
When I started reading labels and researching the food industry (so that I wouldn’t get sick from cross-contamination) I learned a lot. The truth about the way our society uses animals is disturbing and once you are faced with the reality it is hard to ignore. The more I read, the more overwhelmed I felt. I knew I couldn’t change the system but I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t doing anything to support it. Veganism is powerful activism at a personal level.
For me, being vegan means making lifestyle choices with the impact in mind. I know there are lots of things in this world outside of my control – but, when I have a choice, I try to pick the option that has the most positive impact on the world around me.
So, in a practical sense, I don’t eat, wear or buy anything that comes from an animal. I try my best to support companies that are socially responsible. I want the people and the planet to thrive. I don’t mind doing a little research or looking around locally to feel confident about where I spend my money and the individuals it supports.
I eat plants! I feel my best when I avoid the overly-processed foods that seem to be the main-stay of the standard North American diet. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables nuts and seeds. Most of my diet is comprised of fresh, raw plants. I also enjoy eating cooked beans, oats, buckwheat and sweet potatoes (especially during Canada’s long winter).
I completed a Raw Chef Certificate at Matthew Kenney OKC (formerly 105 Academy) and I enjoy hosting cooking demos, creating food-based outreach events and contributing recipes for One Green Planet and the Toronto Vegetarian Association, but my career is actually outside the kitchen.
I work full-time as a social worker. I specialize in macro practice (policy and research). I have worked in: family violence, child welfare, youth development and with children who have special needs.
Although I don’t work as a professional chef I have learned a lot over the years from working with chefs and cookbook authors to perfect their recipes. I have tested for Ripe From Around Here, Viva Vegan, Blissful Bites, Ricki Heller, Lindsay Ingallas, Allyson Kramer, and Amber Shea.
*Photo by Amber Ellis of Creating Light Studio