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Results of being vegan for a year!

Hey Everyone!! I wanted to share an amazing podcast created by my friend Alyssa named Live Planted. I just was on the last episode for what a year of being vegan has done for my health. I can't wait for all of you to listen to the episode because I am so proud of all the amazing things that being vegan has done for my life. Not only have I've seen amazing results in my blood work but I am so much happier and making a difference in other peoples lives. I think that is the biggest blessing for me is to share my story and encourage others to join in this amazing lifestyle. 

I'll be honest I was a little nervous about showing the photographs of myself below. However what makes me proud to show you is not only all the amazing work I've done on myself but if I can help one person have a healthier life its worth it. Ready to see it? Here we go. 

Now am I finished with my progress, heck no. I still every day am striving to become a healthier version of myself. I give the results to being on a whole foods plant based diet and sticking to it. I am mindful of what I put into my mouth because it truly is a huge part of your health. Not only do I feel better but my lab work shows it. Like I said on the podcast this week, my total cholesterol is now 161. Numbers do not lie. Let me know if you'd like a more detailed blog post on my lab work. Get number checked at Walk in Lab and don't assume your healthy - know what your numbers are!
 This lifestyle truly does work, and I encourage all of you to do your research and try it. 

We also have a free Facebook group that is private named Changing Your Life Plant Based which gives awesome advice, recipes, and a place to ask questions. Please join us on becoming a healthier, happier, and wiser you.

 If you haven't checked out Alyssa's podcast Live Planted please go subscribe. I believe its an amazing resource and has so many helpful tips/advice on being vegan.  

Listen on iTunes

Listen on SoundCloud

 Live Planted Blog Post

I can't wait to see what 2018 photographs look like!

 Make sure you head over to Alyssa's social media accounts and
 let her know what you thought of the episode! 

Jackfruit BBQ Easy Recipe

Can you believe this delicious looking barbecue is fruit? I know its pretty unbelievable but yup this is all fruit. Jackfruit to be exact, which is native to South Asia but is now available at Trader Joe's. I love using Jackfruit for a chicken substitute. 

It shreds easy and has the same texture as chicken so a perfect food to use for this BBQ recipe. For this recipe I used a can of green jackfruit, which I drained and rinsed well. After that I used a fork to shred the pieces of jackfruit and placed into the homemade barbecue sauce. 

Heating the jackfruit and combined sauce on a skillet for 5-7 minutes. We love this easy recipe and will be using it a ton over the summer. Who doesn't love a barbecue! 


+ 1 can of jackfruit (I found mine at Trader Joe's)

Barbecue Sauce:

+4 cloves garlic smashed

+2 tbsp tomato paste 

+2 cups ketchup

+1 tbsp chili powder

+2 cups water

+1 tbsp paprika 

+1 teaspoon red pepper (crushed)

+1/4 cup molasses

+1/4 cup dark brown sugar 

+1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 

+1 tablespoon barges aminos

++Anything to pair the barbecue jackfruit with, I used brown rice & green beans


1. Mix together all of the barbecue sauce ingredients well in a large bowl.

2. Drain the jackfruit and rise well

3. Use a fork to shred pieces of the jackfruit and place in barbecue sauce ingredients

4. Let jackfruit marinate in barbecue sauce for 20-30 minutes 

5. Pour barbecue sauce and jackfruit in a skillet and heat for 5-7 minutes until warm. 

6. Enjoy over rice, in a wrap, on a sandwich, or any way you'd like to eat barbecue! 

Let us know if you make our Jackfruit BBQ recipe and be sure you tag us on social media at #thejaroudis!

Mini Camp It

I found one of the most adorable Etsy stores yet! The shop Mini Camp It creates purely handmade teepees for kids and pets, decorative pillows, toys, blankets, teepee accessories, fabric buntings and more! I am so obsessed with how adorable adding a teepee for a pets bed or a kids room would be! We added one of Mini Camp It teepee just like the image above for our little Shih Tzu and not only does she love it but it makes our living room complete! I adore all of Mini Camp It whimsical designs and the story behind the start of this amazing shop. 

The owner GintarÄ— story:

My daughter is my muse
Even before I had my first and yet only daughter, I always had a dream - to create something for myself, some small business or an interesting hobby to do why I am on maternity leave.

As here in Lithuania we have a wonderful opportunity to raise our children at home up to two years, I thought I had enough time.

And I thought and thought, but nothing special came to my mind, until one day.

It was a big day - the very first birthday of our first daughter, so I put quite some efforts while planning it.

I invited some friends and as my brother borrowed an instant camera for me, I wanted to create some themed party.

This is when indians (native american or pow wow) themed party crossed my mind. I started creating some headbands as well as our first no-sew tipi.

The party went really well and after a week I decided to make a proper teepee for my daughter - this was the time when it just happened: my teepees, my storage baskets, hobby horses, blankets and everything.

I say thank you, my daughter, for all this! 

I love the variety of colors and fabrics they use at Mini Camp It to create such a magical piece for a play area or even a dog bed! Our little dog loves her Mini Camp It teepee and its truly one of our favorite items we've added to our home. 

Easy Healthy Plant Based Cream Cheese Recipe

One of my guilty pleasures before I became vegan and focused on whole plant based foods was a bagel and cream cheese. Well we all know that cream cheese isn't exactly a health food, however I have found this amazing trick to make a vegan cream cheese that actually isn't bad for you! 

Depending on the plant based yogurt you pick for this recipe will determine how healthy or not this dish ends up being. I do know that once you make this recipe you'll be hooked. 
 This is actually a pretty simple recipe although it does take about 24 hours to make. 

Are you ready for the best vegan cream cheese recipe?! 


+One Cheesecloth 

+Two 5oz plant based plain yogurt (I really like Plain Kite Hill; you can find at Whole Foods)

+Bagel of you choice (everything bagels are amazing!)

+Fruit for topping 


1. Place a cheesecloth open and scoop out the plain yogurt inside.

2. Let the cheesecloth drain into a dish
 (I tie the cheesecloth onto a spoon sitting on the top dripping into a deep bowl)
(Should make 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup of liquid)

3. Place in refrigerator and let sit for 24 hrs

4. Remove the thicken yogurt from cheesecloth and place in a bowl.

5. Toast Bagel and spread with the homemade cream cheese

6. Top with fruit and enjoy!

This recipe is so easy and we love having the cream cheese on a bagel 
or even just enjoying with fruit! 

You also could customize the flavor by adding different flavor of jams. 
Anyway you make this recipe it will be a total hit!

Perfect recipe for Easter brunch this year!!

Let us know if you make our vegan cream cheese recipe and be sure you tag us on social media at #thejaroudis!

Plant Based Meatballs Recipe

Who doesn't love spaghetti and vegan meatballs, right?! Well I've been trying to come up with a whole foods plant based version of this traditional classic dish and I think I've done it! This is a great dish that you can enjoy anytime since its a whole foods plant based recipe. 

We also love to turn these meatballs into a meatball sub sandwich! These meatballs hold up nicely and taste amazing that you'll want to make them all the time.

 If you do end up using our recipe, be sure you tag us on any social media platforms! 
We love seeing your photographs and hearing your feedback! 

Plant Based Meatballs


+1/4 cup cous cous cooked
+1 15oz can of chickpeas drained and patted dry 
+1/4 cup chopped onion
+1/4 cup medium salsa 
+1/2 cup brown rice flour
 +2 tbsp Italian seasoning
+1 tbsp paprika 
+1/2 tbsp garlic powder 


1. Place dry chickpeas in a food processor with all ingredients expect cous cous and brown rice flour. 

2. Pulse until well combine and chickpeas are broken up into mixture.

3. Empty the food processor mixture into a bowl 
and add in cooked cous cous along with brown rice flour. 

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

5. Roll out small balls of the mixture and place on parchment paper.

6. Bake for 15 minutes on one side and then flip meatballs baking for another 15 minutes

7. Remove from oven and enjoy over pasta or as a meatball sub! 

Let us know if you make our vegan meatball recipe and be sure you tag us on social media at #thejaroudis!

The Direction Giveaway!

I wanted to introduce all of you to this adorable clothing shop The Direction! Right now they are online but opening a storefront in Pittsburgh very soon!! They also have tons of different states to pick from for a different collection, which is amazing. 

Lets say you have a friend in Ohio well this has you covered for the perfect gift. All of the clothing that I've tried out have been soft, perfect in the sizing, and made of good quality. 

I can't wait to get a few more of The Direction pieces into my wardrobe. Here are just a few of my favorite and be sure you enter the giveaway happening now! 

The Direction storefront is happening this July at Ross Park Mall! 
Can't wait to check out the store in person and all of the adorable clothing they will have! 

Good luck entering our giveaway! 

Easy Healthy Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!! Hope you all are enjoying one of my favorite holidays! With a maiden name of Harrington and a few years of Irish step dancing plus visiting different parts of Ireland you know Saint Patrick's Day is kinda a big deal at our house. 

This year I wanted to celebrate with a healthy (also Dr. Greger friendly) shepherd's pie recipe. I love how easy this recipe is to make and it tastes amazing while of course being super healthy! 


+ 2 cup cooked green lentils 
+ 1 package of frozen vegetable blend (cooked)
 (I used one that had corn, soybeans, carrots, and broccoli)
+6-8 medium russet potatoes
+2 Tbsp unsweetened soy milk 
+1 cup vegetable broth 
+1 Tbsp garlic powder
+1 Tbsp onion powder 
+2 Tbsp brown rice flour
+1 tsp thyme


1. Cook green lentils and place into the bottom of the baking dish along with the cooked vegetable blend. 

2. Place vegetable broth on a cooking pan bringing to a boil. Add in garlic powder and onion powder mixing well. Stir in brown rice flour slowly and whisk together until thicken like a gravy. Pour over the green lentils/vegetable blend and mix well. 

3. Peel the russet potatoes (cut into small pieces) and set in large cooking pot filled with cold water just above the potatoes. Let the water boil until the potatoes are soft. Strain water and mash potatoes with soy milk. 

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

5. Place the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetable/lentil gravy mixture and smooth down with a spoon. 

6. Bake the shepherd's pie for 20 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle the thyme on top. Enjoy!

Let us know if you make our vegan shepherd's pie recipe and be sure you tag us on social media at #thejaroudis!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!