This is such a special time for me, not only is it my birthday month but its also Holistic Foodie’s birthday! I cannot believe I launched this website one year ago today and about two years prior I launched the business which really was just my Instagram account haha. It’s crazy to think how much has changed since I began this site and I have surely had my fair share of stress with it but also the best moments as well. This site (and launching my biz) has been beyond scary for someone like me who considers herself more of an introvert but I am really proud that I decided to take this leap of faith with all of you.
When I think of how much I have accomplished over this past year with Holistic Foodie, I really couldn’t be more proud and although I still get stuck in the comparison game with other bigger sites and more prominent nutritionists, I have to remember all that I have done. I know I have spoken about this comparison trap before, but I think it bears repeating once again since I think so many people can relate to it. The fact that I actually put this website up and put myself out there is HUGE and it not easy for anyone to do. Constantly creating new content and worrying about what people will think are huge issues that I still think about, but I also have to remember the end goal of all of this and that is simply to not only have a voice, but to share it with as many people as I can. It’s easy to get caught up comparing yourself to others and then start feeling bad about where you are, which is also why it is important to remember (and celebrate) how much you have accomplished. It’s a constant internal struggle that I know so many people face no matter what career they have. The best thing you can do is learn to just focus on you and be happy with what you are doing, as long as you believe you are doing your best then who cares about anything else?
For the past eight years, I have also worked in a bureaucratic office trying to climb the corporate ladder but feeling as if something wasn’t quite right almost the entire time. I ignored my intuition before I ever started working there when I had a gut feeling it wasn’t right for me, but after almost six years of schooling and debt, I ignored that feeling. Day after day, month after month and year after year, I told myself it would get better when I reached a new level in the organization, but it never did. There was always a voice whispering to me “this isn’t what you were meant to do” until finally at some point, I had a breakdown. I remember coming home from work and just sobbing uncontrollably on the couch, thinking “is this it, is this my life now?” and feeling guilty that I had these feelings at all because I had what so many people wanted, a secure government job with benefits, a retirement package waiting for me when I turned 55, but still it wasn’t right. At this point, I had been on a plant based diet for about 4-5 months and the most devoted reader of several food blogs, mainly Oh She Glows (who isn’t though?!). I kept wondering to myself, if she could do it, why couldn’t I? I picked a WordPress blog (a free one) and came up with a domain name and said to myself I am going to be a food blogger. This would be a passion project, something I could work on, on the side and would keep me happy. I never posted one blog post… I got scared and said “no one cares what I have to say…” and ended it right then and there. But I still felt unfulfilled and woke up dreading every day I had to go into work and the best part of my day was deciding what to make for dinner, no joke! I stumbled upon Meghan Telpner’s website and instantly fell in love with her. After browsing through her site/aka obsessing over it all, I saw that she went to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and decided to give that a look.
A leap of faith!
From that moment, I knew what I had to do. It’s also no coincidence that after losing my mom to cancer three years prior that this created an unwavering urge to help people. I had a strong belief that food was the most powerful tool you can use to live a healthy life and wanted to be a spokesperson for this. At my core, I have always wanted to help people and I never felt that I accomplished that in my day job, I was too disconnected from everything, I felt I had no purpose. I truly don’t think there is a worse feeling to have, it eats away at you and can make you miserable. From the moment I started nutrition school I can honestly say that my purpose has never wavered and is now stronger than ever.
You do you!
If you are feeling lost, hopeless or just plain stuck, remember that you don’t have to feel that way. You just have to find what works for you, give it everything you have and keep going even when you feel like giving up. Maybe its the Capricorn in me, but I have a strong ambition to succeed and work as hard as I can, but I believe in you too. The world needs to see what your talents and passion are, we are waiting…
Dairy Free Matcha Cheesecake
I firmly believe that a birthday is not complete without a cake, so even though it’s January and everyone is all, “I’m on a diet/cleanse/detox” I think you can squeeze this in. Not a traditional cake, but these mini matcha cheesecakes are soooo creamy and delicious, you need to make them!
After receiving the WithinUs TruOrganic matcha, I have to say this is the best tasting matcha I have every tried! It is so smooth and not bitter at all, I am completely addicted to it. Matcha is a traditional Japanese tea made from stone ground tencha leaves, which have a unique growing process that includes protecting them from light during the last few weeks before harvest. This preserves the smooth, rich flavour of the leaves and encourages maximum formation of antioxidants, amino acids and chlorophyll. TruOrganic Matcha from WithinUs is made from tencha leaves that are harvested by hand, dried, and stone ground into a vibrant, emerald-green powder. This matcha is as pure as pure can be and does not contain any additives, sweeteners or fillers and is expertly tested at every stage of production. The tencha leaves used here are premium grade and come from the first harvest of the year and the tea is certified organic (in Canada, the U.S. and Japan!). This means the matcha meets strict quality standards and is grown without the use of fertilizers, nitrogen or chemicals, and is routinely tested for purity. The soil in which the plants are grown is also subject to frequent testing, ensuring that there are no contaminants (lead/fluoride) in the product. I really love this matcha and in this dessert especially, you can taste the difference this quality tea has as it is not bitter at all.
Hope you enjoy this dairy free matcha cheesecake as much as I did and if you want to make it into one big cake, by all means you can do that as well, I probably will do that myself the next time I make it (which lets face it- wont be long!).
- 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup raw pecans (or almonds)
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup of pitted medjool dates (I used 10)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, plus 1 tsp
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 2 tsp maca (optional)
- ¼ tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1 ½ cup coconut cream (from a can of coconut milk that has been refrigerated overnight)
- 1/3 cup raw cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 2 tsp matcha
- ¼ cup water plus 1-2 tbsp more as needed.
- I liked toasting the hazelnuts as I find this intensifies the flavour a bit. If you wish to do this, just throw those hazelnuts on a pan and into the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 300. Let them cool a bit before adding them into your food processor.
- Prepare the crust by adding all of the above ingredients into your food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together and the nuts are chopped up finely.
- The crust/dough should hold together well and stick together when pressed between your fingers, if it is not try adding a touch more coconut oil or half a date and pulse again.
- Using a mini silicon pan, use a spoon to pack the crust into the pan.
- Drain and rinse your cashews.
- Add all of the ingredients into your high powered blender (starting with 1/4 cup water) and adding more water as needed, one tablespoon at a time until blended and creamy.
- Pour from your blender into your mini silicone cups slowly until complete.
- Put the tray in your freezer to set on a flat surface for about 1-2 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and pop them out of the cups and into a covered container and put them back in the freezer.
- When you want to serve, take them out and allow them to come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
- Remember to put the can of coconut milk in your fridge overnight and soak your cashews ahead of time, then this recipe comes together in a pinch!
- The prep time includes the non-active soaking time.