Can A Vegan Be Unhealthy?


I think one of the biggest misconceptions people generally have about Veganism is that they equate Vegan with Health and both aren’t necessarily mutually inclusive.

You can be a healthy Vegan or what I call a “junk food Vegan”or perhaps a little of both. The thing is, a lot of the time people choose a plant-based diet due to health related issues. They believe getting rid of all meats and animal products take them to the road of health and happy living. Even though it is definitely a good start, there are other factors to consider.

First, let me tell you there is no such a thing as the perfect Vegan…except me, of course lol. Okay, okay…just kidding. People choose Veganism for a variety of reasons. Perhaps those who chose this lifestyle for health reasons do not understand why those who are ethical Vegans would eat so much junk food and yet call themselves “Vegan”. However, whether they like it or not, they are still Vegan…unhealthy and all.

For me, it is all a matter of finding the right balance regardless of what type of Vegan you are. Even if you are an ethical Vegan and morally nobody has an issue with what you put in your body, think about the fact that if you take good care of yourself you will have more energy and time to spend doing some activism for the animals. 😉

A lot of Vegans think they are eating healthy because they eat no meat or animal products…but they increase significantly their consumption of hydrogenated oil and sugar, making their diets even unhealthier than prior to going Vegan.

Now, don’t take me wrong I am not the food police. 😉  Everyone likes a little junk food here and there and personally, I don’t see the big deal if done on rare occasions. The problem becomes one when you are cooking with a lot of hydrogenated oils and consuming products with lots of sugar on a daily basis.

Think about it, who eats just a little roti, one doubles or one French fry or a half slice of cake?  Some of these products have ingredients that make you highly addicted.  If you are consuming these products on a daily basis, you will be prone to heart disease just like any other meat-eater in the planet. Yikes! So please watch out in the consumption of these products and exercise!

It is amazing to me when I started cooking Vegan meals, how unnecessary is to put oil in a lot of dishes. I make curry potato without any oil and without compromising on taste, same for pizza and even pelau.


When you have to sauté onions or sweet peppers or any other veggie, use a little water instead (or vegetable stock) you will be surprised how great it works. It is so simple and yet healthy. What I usually do, is let the onions get a little brown (I like it that way, sort of caramelized) and add a little more water if necessary.

For baking, you can replace the oil with bananas or applesauce which is the most common substitute when baking cakes. You will hardly notice the difference, although box cakes tend to be crumbier if you are using an egg replacer but delicious nonetheless.

Please make sure to research about oils and the impact they have in your overall health.


When I make muffins, I replace sugar with super ripe bananas. The more spots they have, the sweeter they will be. They are absolutely fantastic.

I do the same when I make my homemade granola, porridge, pancakes or waffles.

Now, as I said previously we all eat some “unhealthy” foods sometimes but let’s be careful. Veganism isn’t an automatic license to increase oil and sugar.

At the end of the day, we all want to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life therefore, we all need to make the right choices that take us in that direction. 🙂

6 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Dairy


Going dairy-free is definitely one of the best decisions I ever took. I would like to share with you some of the reasons why and how it helped me in my life.

I know what you are going to say 😉 : “But Maria I LOVE cheese!”. The question is: Does cheese love you back?

I summarized 6 main reasons why you should ditch dairy altogether and start living a healthier life. Food is medicine and whatever we put inside impacts our health in one way or another.

Sometimes, we are very unaware of the link between what we eat and the illnesses we have but trust me, it is all interrelated.


One of the first things I noticed when I ditched dairy is that my headaches were completely gone. As a matter of fact, I never thought my headaches were connected to dairy at all.

Until I discovered that casein, which encompasses almost 80% percent of all the protein found in cow’s milk, is a major trigger of migraines and other types of headaches. Casein causes serious addiction.

 So if you are having headaches regularly and you ruled everything else, give it a try and go dairy-free for a month and see if you see any improvements.


We all love clean, clear skin and let me tell you, dairy is quite the big bad boy in this department.

There is growing evidence suggesting a link between dairy and acne.

I know you are probably thinking: “Oh, so going Vegan can help me with the acne?”  Being Vegan does not automatically equal eating healthy. You can be Vegan and eat lots of junk foods and oils for example.

Therefore, I think you could see an improvement if you go HEALTHY Vegan. 🙂


Since we have been children, we have been told through serious advertisement and marketing strategies that we should drink lots of cow’s milk to strengthen our bones!

Now help me out, if this is the case then those countries that consume the MOST milk should have almost non-existent levels of osteoporosis among their population, correct?

But what we discovered:  Those countries that consume the most milk in the world such as USA, Sweden and England have also the highest rates of osteoporosis.

So wait, I thought milk helps strengthen the bones…. 😉

By the other hand, China and Japan, where people consume very little dairy they have the lowest rates of osteoporosis in the world.


One of the misconceptions people have is that dairy is the only source of calcium. But it isn’t. There are way healthier sources for calcium found in kale, broccoli, leafy green veggies, almonds, etc. And none of them have the kind of side effects we see with dairy products.

Dairy provides high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol which we do not need! The number one cause of death in Trinidad & Tobago is heart disease. We are killing ourselves slowly with the foods we are consuming. And we need to take some serious measures now with our health before it is too late.

6 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Dairy


Just the other day, I was looking at an advertisement in the highway for a popular milk brand and it said something along the lines “What is inside our product? 100% cow’s milk!”. I chuckled for a little bit and then I thought to myself:

Do we realise that we are the only species that drink the milk of another species? Even though we have been weaned since we were babies?

The milk found in cows is clearly NOT for us. They are for their offspring: Calves. The milk is super rich in all the nutrients a CALF needs in order to become 350lbs in a matter of a year. Think about it.


Many people naively believe that cows produce milk at any moment of time. The obvious fact is that cows (like any other animal) would produce milk only when they are pregnant or nursing.

A cow’s natural lifespan is around 20 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are typically killed after five years because their bodies are wear out from constantly being pregnant or lactating.

“Most dairy cows reach a point in their life when they transition from being a milk producer to being a beef producer. The contribution of beef from culled dairy cows and dairy steers is very important to the beef industry.

These poor cows are standing on concrete flooring for the entire day without having the chance to go out and enjoy green pastures.


But what exactly farmers do in order to get the milk flowing? They artificially inseminate cows over and over using tools called “rape racks”(I didn’t make up the name, that’s how they call it). If you have no idea how this process is like, please take a look (viewer discretion is advised).

When you ditch dairy, you are making a conscious choice to take good care of your health. You are also helping our beautiful animals. They are here WITH us, NOT for us and we should try our best to minimize any pain that we might cause them.

If you have any questions on how to go about going dairy-free please leave a comment below and I will be glad to help. 🙂

Hypertension In Trinidad & Tobago: The Silent Killer


Hypertension (high blood pressure) has become a very serious epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly in women. The amount of money being spent for the treatment of this condition is an obscene 3.2 BILLION annually.

Uncontrolled hypertension is the main cause for heart attacks. There is a reason why hypertension is called “the silent killer”, because most of the people who suffer of hypertension have little to no symptoms, even when the blood pressure is high.

Therefore, it is crucial to check blood levels every 6 months. High blood pressure can also lead to blindness, and kidney failure. As I previously blogged, heart disease  is the #1 cause of death in T&T.

1 in 4 persons are living with hypertension in our country!


Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels. The pressure depends on the work being done by the heart and the resistance of the blood vessels.

Science defines hypertension as a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 mm of mercury (mmHg).

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.



Sodium and salt are the number one enemies of hypertension. More than 75% of the sodium we eat daily comes from packaged foods, and not the salt we add at the table. Package foods such as canned beans, canned soups, frozen pizza, packaged and processed meats, pastries, candies,and deli have a very high-sodium content. Always read labels before purchasing any product.


Sugar is also known as the “silent killer” for a reason. We love sugar-sweetened drinks in T&T but they are strongly linked to high blood pressure. Don’t be fooled by labels such as “juice”, read all the ingredients.

Sugary-drinks contribute to an increased in obesity  in individuals of all ages. Yes, hypertension affects ALL ages, not only adults.

As we know, hypertension is more common in people who are overweight or obese. Obesity is a significant factor for high blood pressure. The extra weight puts unnecessary strain on the heart and slows down the blood flow.


We all should avoid saturated and trans fats but people with hypertension should avoid it at all costs.

Grannies love to cook with oils and butter, that’s how they grew up. Look at how we cook pelau (heated oil with sugar!) but these are some of the very same things that are killing us rapidly but silently.

Chicken skin for example is high in saturated fats, same with dairy and red-meat. The very same thing people say they love to eat, are the cause of death of their loved ones and themselves.

There are some real causes of concern over hypertension in T&T, not only due to heart-related conditions and stroke but it has been reported that causes dementia among other conditions.

Brain scientists have recently discovered that by age 40, the brain of a person with clinically high blood pressure of 140/90, looks seven years older than the brain of a person with normal blood pressure.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the University of California, Davis, USA stated that even slightly raised blood pressure, if persistent, causes brain injury and premature brain aging.



A Vegan diet can significantly lower your risk of high blood pressure by anything between 33 to 75 per cent compared to meat and dairy eaters.

Nature has provided us with wonderful fruits and vegetables in abundance. Bananas, watermelon, portugals, oranges, apples, mangoes, etc. Fruits are the earth’s way to help us heal the same very conditions we inflicted upon ourselves.

I love all veggies so I have a salad for every single meal I eat, if I don’t have one I feel completely lost. My salads usually consist of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and corn.

I like kale in my salad on occasion (I bought a Kale seedling that is producing some nice Kale leaves from a small pot!) In smoothies, it is fantastic!

I also love to roast my vegetables. There is such a great variety out there such as broccoli, celery, carrots, squash, kale, corn, eggplants, sweet potatoes, etc.

I know some of these veggies and fruits are more expensive than others. The key is to buy what is in season and NOT what they are trying to sell us or what is “trendy”. Shop at your local market or food trucks you see on the roadside. They are way cheaper than shopping at the supermarket. Keep it simple.


Oats are also an incredible source of fiber and can reduce cholesterol. I love to eat it for breakfast with a plant-based milk, bananas on top and some sprinkle of cinnamon, yum! Fiber lowers blood pressure and helps to control blood fat levels, which helps to prevent strokes.

Lastly, let’s not forget our wonderful beans and peas. My pantry is packed with beans and peas (dry) that I pressure-cook. I have yellow split peas, lentils, channa, black beans, red beans, pinto beans and on occasion I like to eat black-eyed peas.

What about “good fats”? You can get it Omega-3 from flaxseed and dark green leafy vegetables that they help to protect your blood vessels.


High blood pressure increases with age, but don’t think everything is lost. As a matter of fact, exercising can help dramatically. The key is to start slow and incorporate more physical activities in your daily routine.

Regular exercise helps your heart become stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can do that without straining itself, the force on your arteries will decrease, lowering your blood pressure.

The secret is consistency, the change will not happen overnight. It will take a few months before you see the desirable result and will continue as long as you keep healthy and active.

Hope this article can give you the encouragement to start your journey to help and happy living. No food is worth greater than your life! 🙂