People are often dumbfounded when I explain to them that I do not eat any animal products of any kind.

“But you still eat eggs right?”

“Nope no eggs.”

“Oh, but you eat fish though.”


“You don’t eat dairy, meat, eggs or fish? So what do you eat?!”

This is a typical conversation I have on a daily basis. Animal products have become the foundation of the American diet; therefore, it is very difficult for people to comprehend what it means to be on a vegan diet.

So what do I eat? My mom can vouch for the fact that I eat, and I eat a LOT. She calls me a human vacuum because I eat everything in the house. I eat every kind of fruit, vegetable, potato, nut, seed, bean, and grain. I love making vegan pesto pasta, pizza, tacos, nachos, burritos, fries, smoothies, salads, toast, burgers, mashed potatoes, mac + cheese, cookies and even ice cream. I am often asked if I crave animal products or if I miss anything that I have given up. In all honesty, no, I do not. I love being vegan (if you couldn’t already tell). I still enjoy the most delicious and healthy food, while knowing that another living being was not harmed in the production of my food.

We are easily tricked into thinking the products we are buying did not cause harm to our animal friends. “Cage-free,” “humanely raised,” and “grass-fed,” are just some of the marketing buzz words we are subjected to. The meat, egg, and dairy industries are filled with multi-billion dollar companies that have one objective and that is to make a profit. Animals are looked at as commodities instead of living, breathing beings with feelings. If someone were to treat a dog or a cat the same way farm animals are treated, they would be charged with animal abuse. Why do we love some animals and eat others?

My vegan lifestyle is often labeled as being extreme. You know what I think is extreme? The mass murder of billions of animals every year due to our selfishness, ignorance, and willingness to turn a blind eye to the horror and cruelty of animal agriculture. Our society has been brainwashed into believing it is normal to eat animals and their by-products. People are eating dead bodies but think I’m the weird one for eating fruits and vegetables.

My mom always taught me to show kindness to the world and to everyone around me. I believe it is my job to be a voice for those who do not have one, whether that means standing up for someone being bullied, or for the animals. There is no difference to me. The animals were not given a choice. We are made to believe that animals are here for us to eat. Animals share the world with us and it is time we stopped believing we are above them. We are so lucky to live in a time where we have access to all kinds of food and we do not have to kill animals to survive.

This summer I am working at a summer camp as a counselor. We recently had a traveling petting farm come to camp and the kids had the opportunity to play with the farm animals, including a five-week old baby calf. I had some time to talk with the farmer. He informed me that the calf was forcibly separated from his mother (on a dairy farm) and was then given to the petting farm. Just like human babies receive their nutrients and energy from their mother’s breast milk, calves also require their mother’s milk in order to grow properly. He explained to me that they feed him two bottles of soy milk a day. YES, SOY MILK. I honestly thought he was joking. I instantly became outraged, and upset. I tried my best not to express my anger towards the farmer but the rest of the day I could not stop thinking about what he had told me.

Could this situation get anymore twisted? Why is this newborn calf drinking soy milk while us humans are drinking cow’s milk? This calf doesn’t even get to drink its own mother’s milk because its going on our pizzas and being made into ice cream. It is cruel, unfair, and completely hypocritical. I am vegan because I refuse to be apart of this cruelty. I often hear people say they would never be able to give up cheese or they could not imagine life without steak. It is important to ask yourself if taste takes precedence over the murder of an innocent animal.

As a Jew, I believe God would be ashamed of the way we treat animals. And as a Jew, we are taught to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and for me this includes animals. As animal rights activist Gary Yourofksy said, “In America, it took 400 years to convince white people not to own black people. So you can understand why this is taking so long, teaching a human being to be compassionate to a chicken or a cow a pig is twice as hard, but it is possible.” I am hopeful that one day we will live in a vegan world.

Even if you start with meatless Mondays or simply swapping almond milk for dairy milk, you will be making a difference. If you are thinking about trying the vegan/plant-based lifestyle here are some resources to help you out:

Minimalist Baker

Forks Over Knives


Happy Cow

I Love Vegan

Oh She Glows

Chef Chloe Recipes

Best Speech Ever (this is an absolute must see)

Documentaries to Watch:


Forks Over Knives





photo source: http://www.azindia.com/TopStories/0_cows111.jpg



5 Foods You Should Be Eating More of in 2016

I am sure a lot of you have made New Year’s resolutions to be healthier this year. Have you been keeping it up? Incorporating these following foods into your diet regularly will jump-start a healthier and happier you! Making an effort everyday to eat foods that nourish and fuel your body is so important. Dedicate yourself to making small changes at first until healthy eating becomes a habit!


Berries contain high amounts of phytonutrients, and anti-oxidants which work to fight off free-radicals (cancer fighters). Basically berries are perfect for preventing disease, fighting disease, aiding in weight loss, and providing energy.


Dark Leafy Greens

The next time you have a salad, try to make it a dark leafy green like kale, or spinach! They are low in calorie but these veggies are LOADED with nutrients. This is referred to as nutrient density. These dark greens will cleanse & detox your system as well as fuel your cells with vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens are definitely vegetable superstars.


Flax Seeds

How many times have you heard that the only way to get your Omega 3’s are to eat some salmon? Well let me tell you, flax seeds will give you PLENTY of Omega 3’s. Getting your Omega 3’s from a plant based source is healthier anyway. Flax is high in protein, fiber and healthy fats. Just a few tablespoons of flax a day will keep your colon healthy. Whether you add ground flax into a smoothie or sprinkle some whole seeds on top of your salad, flax is an all star (and is also pretty cheap).


Whole Grains

Instead of having white pasta or white rice, switch it out for whole grain pasta or brown rice! They taste just as good and they are beneficial towards your health. Whole grains release sugar into your system much slower than refined grains. This ultimately causes your body to use the carbohydrates from whole grains as energy instead of storing them as fat like when you consume refined grains. Whole grains have also been known to lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss. Don’t be afraid of healthy carbs!




Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is said to be the single most nutrient dense food on earth (WOAH). Spirulina is a great source of anti-oxidants which can help with chronic inflammation, cancer and other diseases. Spirulina can also lower LDL cholesterol levels (your bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. While it works to lower your bad cholesterol it simultaneously helps to raise your good cholesterol! It also contains anti-cancer properties and has been proven to reduce blood pressure. Spirulina comes in pill form or powder. Although slightly on the more expensive side, it’s health benefits are worth it. I personally love adding Spirulina powder to my smoothies in the morning for a green, powerful, nutrient punch!


Do you have questions about living a healthier lifestyle? Email me at daniellejkeith@gmail.com

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You Won’t Believe This is Vegan

Today while in New York City, my boyfriend and I went to a vegan/gluten free bakery (I know, best day ever, OMG). Erin Mckenna’s Bakery has a mission to bake healthier treats, free of harmful ingredients. Their products are not only vegan and gluten-free but are also soy-free, certified kosher and non-GMO. And for the icing on the cake (no pun intended), they do not bake with refined sugar.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been made fun of for being vegan or how many people think I am a total weirdo health freak. There have been times where I have cooked something vegan and someone refused to try it just because they had a preconceived notion that it wouldn’t taste good. There is a common misconception that vegans only eat tofu, dress like hippies and that they suffer from vitamin deficiencies.

Let me tell you, this could not be further from the truth. Just because something is free of animal products does not mean it can’t taste good. It just means that is it healthier for you and is cruelty-free (a win-win in my opinion).

Some advice from me to you
If you ever meet a vegan, find yourself in a vegan restaurant, or eat at a house of a vegan family, keep an open mind and don’t judge.

Here are some pictures of the amazing desserts we got today. Sorry to make you drool.



Healthy Gluten-Free Pretzel Bites (VEGAN)

One of my boyfriend’s favorite junk-foods is soft pretzels. He was craving them and we decided to make a healthy version! Also, what better way to start of the New Year than with HEALTHY soft-pretzels? These are the perfect snack/appetizer/munchie for starting a healthier lifestyle!

Pretzels (2 of 3)

We put an original spin on Foodie Fiasco’s Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe and made it gluten free as well as used agave as the sweetener. Let me tell you, they were AMAZING. This guilt-free snack is oil-free, low-fat, contains zero refined sugar, and is 100% vegan!

For Pretzels:
  • 1½ cups warm water, 110-120 Degrees Fahrenheit (warm sink water)
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • ½ teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 3½ – 4 cups gluten-free flour (or any other flour)

Topping Ideas:

  • Roll in vegan parmesan cheese (garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and raw cashews in food processor) then dip in marinara sauce
  • Sea Salt
  • Coconut sugar + cinnamon
  • Dip in melted chocolate

Tip* – you can spray the pretzels with coconut oil or coat in water before adding toppings so that they stick better


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast and let sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in agave and salt. Slowly stir in the gluten-free flour until the dough comes together and is not too sticky. Knead the dough (either by hand or with the mixer’s dough hook) in the bowl until the dough is smooth but not overworked, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four equal parts. Cut each part into four more equal parts, for a total of 16 balls of dough.
  5. To form the pretzels, roll one of the balls of dough into a long thin rope. Put the two ends of the rope next to each other to form a tight U shape. Twist the ends together once so the twist is about half way down the U. Bring the two loose ends down to the loop at the bottom below the twist. Tuck the two ends under the loop and press so the dough adheres to itself. Gently pull on the pretzel so the dough becomes thinner and the pretzel becomes larger to form a nicely sized pretzel.
  6. As for other shapes, you can bake the ropes for pretzels sticks, knot the ropes for pretzel knots, cut the ropes into little equal sized pieces for pretzel bites, or roll the dough into balls and scour the top for pretzel rolls.
  7. Lay the pretzels on the prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray (this helps the toppings stick). Dip the sprayed pretzels in a shallow bowl filled with your topping of choice and place back on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 425°F for 10 minutes, then broil for 30 seconds or until golden. Devour.


Pretzels (3 of 3)

Questions on how to start living a healthier lifestyle? Email me at daniellejkeith@gmail.com



10 Things that Happen When You Drink Lemon Water in The Morning

Why Lemons?

Lemons are a powerhouse citrus fruit. They are packed with B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and fiber. Keep in mind that the acidity of the lemon can be hard the enamel of your teeth so it is recommended that you dilute it with water – preferably warm water. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning before your breakfast is when you will benefit most.

10 Things That Happen When You Drink Lemon Water

1. Aids Digestion

Lemon juice will help rid your body of toxins and will also relieve symptoms of indigestion like heart burn, and bloating.

2. Detoxes

Drinking lemon water will cleanse your entire system and will keep your digestive track clear of toxins. It will also prevent the growth of infection and disease-causing pathogenic bacteria.

3. Clears Skin

The anti-oxidants in lemons will help diminish blemishes, prevent acne + wrinkles, age spots, and scars. Lemon juice also detoxes your blood which keeps your skin looking radiant!

4. Supports Immune Health

Lemons are FULL of vitamin C. When you stress, your vitamin C levels are the first the plummet. If you do this every morning, it will help prevent you from getting sick.

5. Excellent Source of Potassium 

Lemons are also filled with potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that we need for proper nerve and brain function as well as heart health.

6. Metabolism 

Drinking a cup of lemon water in the morning will help to jump-start your metabolism which aids in weight loss over time!

7. Reduces Inflammation 

If you begin drinking lemon water on a daily basis, it will remove uric acid from your joints – which is a main cause of inflammation.

8. Fresh Breath

The acidic content in lemons prevents the growth of bacteria which in turn, prevents bad breath.

9. Regulates High Blood Pressure

Lemons assist in keeping blood vessels soft and pliable which causes blood pressure to be reduced.

10. Weight Loss 

Because of the fiber content, detoxification and metabolism boosting properties, drinking lemon water on a regular basis will promote healthy weight loss.

How much?

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into 1 glass of water.

Picture source – http://thespiritscience.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/lemon-water.jpg

Avoid Poor Health Tips To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

How to NOT Gain Weight During the Holidays

Studies show that people gain on average 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is completely understandable. We eat gigantic portions of fattening, calorie laden comfort foods. Why has it become a tradition to stuff ourselves until we have to unbutton our pants? As Americans, we have adopted many unhealthy habits, especially when it comes to the holidays.

Here are some of my personal tips to help you avoid the infamous holiday weight gain:

  1. Find healthy alternatives to all of your favorite comfort foods. When you’re eating healthier food – you don’t have a reason to restrict yourself as much. A calorie does not equal a calorie. Potatoes by themselves are perfectly healthy for you filled with vitamins, minerals and healthy carbohydrates. However, when you load them up with butter and heavy cream, this will contribute to weight gain. Instead of using heavy cream in your mashed potatoes, try using unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened cashew milk, then add garlic powder, salt and pepper (chives optional). They are just as delicious and guilt free!

2. Google – When trying to find healthy alternatives to your holiday favorites, Google will be your BEST friend. Let’s say you’re trying to find a healthful apple pie – simply search “healthy apple pie”.

The source I highly recommend is the Forks Over Knives website/cookbook. They share tons of healthy holiday meals. They provide plant-based, low-fat, and sugar-free recipes that still taste amazing. Link below –  http://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/

If you want more of a variety of recipes the Forks Over Knives Cookbook is amazing! I highly recommend it. Find it in bookstores or they are available to order on Amazon. Here is the link – http://amzn.to/1LMBU3p

3. In the case where you are not the host: offer to bring some dishes to the house you’re invited to. That way, you’ll know you will have some healthy options.

4. Listen to your body! Do not just keep eating if you are full. You know you will end up not feeling well after so take it slow and do not over stuff yourself! When you’re done with your meal, chew a piece of gum or have coffee/tea. This way you can still be social with everyone without taking more servings.

5. Serve Meals Restaurant Style – leave food on the kitchen counter instead of on the table. This way you aren’t just absent-mindedly serving yourself more helpings.

Other great plant-based cookbooks 

  1. China Study Cookbook

2. Oh She Glows

3. “But I Could Never Go Vegan”

4. Plant Powered Families

Picture Source: http://maximizedlivingdrernst.com/Media/DrAaronErnst/images/Avoid%20Poor%20Health%20Tips%20To%20Prevent%20Holiday%20Weight%20Gain.jpeg


Diet Coke Addicts: Here’s a Solution that Won’t Kill You

I know both friends and family who can’t go a day without guzzling down their beloved Diet Coke. They tell themselves its okay to drink because it’s calorie free and has the word “diet” printed across it’s label. Just because Diet Coke does not contain any “real” sugar, it doesn’t mean that artificial sweeteners won’t have the same effect on your body.

Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that just like sugar, trigger your insulin, sending your body into fat storage mode which leads to weight gain. A study conducted at Mississippi State University found that by drinking just one diet soda a day, you increase your risk of type 2 Diabetes by 36% as well as your risk for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome includes a myriad of conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, large waist circumference and elevated glucose levels. All of these things put people at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Diet Coke is FILLED with harmful chemicals, so why do we allow them into our bodies? The diet soda addiction is a real one that is killing us slowly.

I recently have found a drink that I fell in love with. It is called Kombucha! Kombucha is simply fermented tea. It is bubbly, sweet, and especially refreshing when chilled! Most brands of Kombucha have no added sugar and are not made with artificial sweeteners or harsh chemicals. My favorite brand is called GT’s Kombucha (my favorite flavor is either guava goddess or trilogy). Because it is fermented, it does contain trace amounts of alcohol (less than 1%), this gives it almost a beer flavor. Kombucha contains yeast and bacteria that initiate the fermenting process. After it becomes fermented, this beverage contains essential b-vitamins, probiotics and enzymes that aid in:

  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Digestion
  • Increased Energy
  • Cleansing and Detoxification
  • Immune Support
  • Reduced Joint Pain
  • Cancer Prevention

You can find Kombucha at almost any grocery store. They range from $2-4 dollars a bottle, but I assure you, it is worth it! If you’re craving a drink other than water, Kombucha is the way to go. Instead of harming your body, it will show your body some love!

picture source: http://healthblog.dallasnews.com/files/2015/02/img-thing1.jpg


5 Foods You Think Are Healthy (But Really Aren’t)

There are so many foods out there that we perceive to be “health” foods but between the media, advertisements, the food pyramid and commercials, we as a society have become confused about what foods are TRULY healthy. I am here to help you out a little bit!

  1. Fish

I think the number one food people believe to be healthy is fish. Hate to break it to you but it’s not. Let me explain. Fish contains zero dietary fiber, it is high in fat + cholesterol, and it is highly toxic. There are two kinds of fish: factory farmed and wild caught. Farmed fish are raised in similar conditions to factory farmed animals. Their enclosures are filled with feces which leads to parasite and disease outbreaks. In order to keep the fish alive in these horrible conditions, chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics are poured into their tanks. Wild caught fish are better but not still not great. They still contain an astronomical amount of mercury, the second most toxic element on earth. A word of advice from me to you, skip the fish!


2. Granola

Store bought granola is advertised as being quite the health food, I know I used to think it was a great breakfast option. However, when you buy granola from the store instead of making it yourself, it will most likely be high in added sugar, fat, oil, and artificial ingredients. Just because it comes in a pretty box that says organic across the front does not mean it is good for you. Try making your own granola at home instead.

Healthy Granola Recipe: http://simpleveganblog.com/oil-free-granola/



3. Bars

Fiber, protein and energy bars appear to be a great healthy grab-and-go snack but most of them are pretty close to the nutritional profile of a candy bar. For example, a Nutrigrain bar contains 11 grams of sugar and has a laundry list of unrecognizable, artificial, unhealthy ingredients.


Healthy bar option – Lara bars are by far the healthiest out there! They contain just a few, all natural ingredients. Although they are a little higher in fat, it is healthy fat coming from nuts.

4. Yogurt

Yogurt is another one of those foods I used to eat all the time thinking it was good for me. Turns out I was very wrong. Yogurt contains dairy, and dairy is very harmful to the body (causes inflammation, creates weaker bones, high in cholesterol + high in fat and pus). Yogurt is also filled with TONS of added sugar. Having this much sugar is like the equivalent of eating a bag of candy. Along with sugar yogurt also contains artificial ingredients that do not belong inside our bodies.


5. Brown Sugar

Brown sugar has always been thought as being a healthier sweetener alternative simply because its brown! We know that eating brown (whole grain) bread is better than white bread so we probably applied that same principle to brown sugar. I’ll let you in on a secret. Brown sugar is just white sugar mixed with molasses. Forget the brown sugar and use sweeteners like coconut sugar, maple sugar or date sugar!


If you have further questions feel free to email me at daniellejkeith@gmail.com

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Healthy Living: The Key to Staying Motivated

Avoiding the junk food when you’re on a diet seems almost impossible! It takes a lot of will power to say “no” to the desserts at a birthday party, the bread at Italian restaurants and dipping into the candy bowl on Halloween. Throughout my health journey, I have come to a certain realization.

If you are going to dedicate yourself to living a healthy lifestyle, you cannot rely on will power.

You have to BELIEVE in what you’re doing. Your body deserves the best care; why would you fuel it with garbage? Why would you put something into your body that would only cause it harm? Self-love means asking yourself what you need everyday, then making sure you receive it. Eating healthy and staying active are the greatest forms of self-care and self-love. I truly believe health is the greatest gift you can give yourself. One of the best parts of eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables is the fact that these foods LOVE you back!

When you start making healthier choices you will not only see physical results, but you will begin to feel results from the inside out!

Once you get in the habit of eating healthy, you will believe in what you’re doing more and more. Do some research on your own, educate yourself! Knowledge is power. Find out why certain foods are bad for you and why they cause harm to your body. Most people would never smoke a cigarette because they know it causes lung cancer. If you knew eating animal products like dairy, meat and eggs caused diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease would you stop eating them?

I heard this quote and while back and it really motivated me to eat clean and start living a healthy lifestyle. I thought I would share it with you.

“Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live”

If you’re interested in living a healthier lifestyle and want to learn more, feel free to email me at daniellejkeith@gmail.com

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What I Eat in a Day to Stay Fit + Healthy

When it comes to eating, I view every meal as an opportunity to nourish and fuel my body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. My diet is high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat.

If you’re consuming empty calories (calories that do not provide your body with any nutritional value – added sugar, solid fat), these are most likely the calories that will cause weight gain.

Some examples of foods with empty calories are: cheese, bacon, ribs, hot dogs, pizza, soda, donuts, candy, energy drinks, cakes, cookies, ice cream, white flour, the list goes on.

I wanted to give you an example of the food I typically eat on a day-to-day basis to give you an idea of how you can stay healthy + slim!


My breakfast is 95% of the time going to be a smoothie. It is an easy way to pack in a ton of nutrients into one meal. Smoothies are filled with fiber which will keep you full longer and will provide you with tons of energy.

Smoothie idea – 2 cups of unsweetened dairy free milk (almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc), 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup strawberries, 1-2 large bananas, 1 tbsp ground flax or 1 tbsp chia seeds

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Whole grain pasta with sugar-free marinara sauce + veggies is definitely one of my all-time favorite meals! I eat this for either lunch or dinner. If you are gluten-free then try corn pasta or brown rice pasta! Whole grain pasta is high in fiber and plant-based protein! Whole grains have been known to lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss. Don’t be afraid of healthy carbs!Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 5.48.33 PM


One of my favorite go-to dinners is making homemade burrito bowls! I love using brown rice, black beans, corn, guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grilled peppers + onions, cilantro, etc. Plant based burrito bowls are 100 times healthier than ones filled with meat and cheese. Meat and cheese are both high in cholesterol, saturated fat, high in animal protein and sodium, all of which are the building blocks of preventable diseases (type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease).

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Air popped oil-free popcorn, dried fruit (no sugar added, or preservatives), fresh fruit, fresh veggies dipped in hummus, Lara bars, whole grain toast with avocado or peanut butter

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Homemade ice cream (nice cream): freeze as many bananas as you want (preferably overnight), I would recommend 1-2 per person. Once they are ready, put them in your food processor and watch it magically turn into creamy ice cream! Optional add-ins: cacao powder (raw chocolate), frozen fruit of your choice, cinnamon, vanilla extract

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Eating healthy is not as hard as it seems. As you can see, all of the pictures I posted are meals I have made. Let me tell you, you do not have to sacrifice taste when you eat better. I have found that the most yummy food I have eaten is also good for me! I think the biggest bonus about eating healthy is that you don’t have to restrict your calorie intake. I eat until I am satisfied! If you make it a habit, it will become a lifestyle! Treat your body the way it deserves to be treated.