6 May 2014


This post is a bit different than my other ones. I've got an actual point.

In today's world, corporations and private organizations intentionally make it very easy for one to follow instructions and advertisements blindly, without critically analyzing their choices or the consequences of such. "Buy this, eat that, wear this, listen to that, watch this..." we are told what to do and who to be every minute we are in the public space, and even in the privacy of our homes. Naturally we choose the path that requires the least effort (human nature, wassup) and in our contemporary Westernized environment, that equates to sticking to the status quo (eating fast food, buying clothes from the GAP, throwing away plastic bags) and not asking questions (Where did the food come from? Who made the clothes? What impact does plastic have on the environment?)

The point I am trying to get at is that many of us have a tendency to do the minimum required in our lifestyles, because it is the easiest way to get by. I am not laying down any blame or judgement on you; but I am calling out a pattern I see. The following words might seem a little harsh, but I mean absolutely no offense, I am simply stating my opinions and the reasons behind the lifestyle I choose to lead. Also: my main issues are with factory farming and mega corporations that choose cheapness over responsibility, not unknowing consumers who aren't aware of the effects of their choices.

My message is: eff the minimum!

Let's be excellent! Let's bring up any repressed questions, guilt or concerns we have about the impacts we have on the planet and other beings, find real answers and change our actions accordingly. I am vegan because I do not believe someone innocent whom I love should have to die so I can eat a beef burger for lunch.  I am vegan because I respect all beings and believe we all have the right to happiness and freedom. I am vegan because factory farming and agribusiness is worse for the environment - they produce more carbon dioxide - than ALL transportation combined.

I do not buy clothes from stores that outsource manufacturing to developing countries because I want the people who make my clothes to be fairly paid and in control of their job; not separated from their families for weeks at a time, paid mere cents an hour, or suffering from back problems from sitting at a sewing machine for 15 hours at a time while the heads of the corporations make millions because they have cut so many moral corners and are doing the minimum. I buy mostly used clothing because there is more than enough new clothing to go around and recycling is more important than ever, as we are just now experiencing the first effects of human-caused climate change.

My family buys natural, eco-friendly cleaning products and I buy organic, not-tested-on-animals beauty products because I don't think the planet or any innocent creatures should have to suffer just so I can have pink lips, smell pretty and have a clean sink.

Go beyond the minimum. Let's do something more. 

I believe we all have the right to live freely, and have the opportunity for happiness, love and growth. I am proud of my values, choices and beliefs. I think they are right and responsible. I appreciate each day for the gift it is and understand that although serious inequalities of all kinds are still prevalent in our world, we can change that. I am doing my part by voting with my dollars for what I think is sustainable, compassionate, fair and just. I am doing something more because I am choosing to feel something more. More than the minimum. I will not allow myself to go the easy route and ignorantly believe baseless advertisements and claims by opportunistic corporations, or support what I know is wrong. I want you to join me. It is as simple as choosing organic almond yogurt (recipe below!) instead of pasteurized dairy yogurt, thrift jeans instead of new Levi's, and non-toxic house products instead of animal-tested chemicals. Let's do something more. Let's be the change we wish to see in the world.


1 1/2 cups almonds, soaked overnight then rinsed (remove the skins if you want smoother yogurt) 
2 cups water 
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or raw cane sugar

1 mango, cubed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 cup raisins 

To make the yogurt: blend all the ingredients together until very smooth, adding more sweetener or other ingredients as you desire. Leave in a bowl at room temperature for about 9 hours. Keep in the fridge after that, or eat right away. 

To serve: layer a bowl with the fruit, cinnamon, raisins and yogurt. Mmm... tasting something more! 


  1. AnonymousMay 06, 2014

    Do you remove the skins from the almonds before blending, and do you strain the blended almond mixture after blending?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Love your wordy posts Emily- yes to everything here! We can always do a little more.

  4. I completely agree with you Em! I can't say i'm not completely guilty of buying clothes from major stores and brands because I would be lying, but I do try and make a conscious effort to help the environment/make the world a better place. I've only started making small changes, but like to think they will help in the long run :). I think because people lead such 'busy' lifestyles it's easy to get caught up in convince and not think about the broader scale of things sometimes. Great post :) xx

  5. I love this:

    Let's do more than the minimum.

    Absolutely! Let's take our living up a notch & become a bit (or a lot) more intentional in our food/clothing choices so that we can make the world a better place.

    (Always love your photos, btw.)

  6. @Anonymous - I don't remove the skins, but you can if you want :)

  7. AnonymousMay 06, 2014

    why can i not get my nut-yogurt to thicken uniformly, like yours seems to? it just separates and gets chunky like. what am i missing?

  8. Love the post, emily. U couldn't of said it better. I preach about this stuff all the time, & yes some will take an offense to it.

  9. This post should be compulsory reading for every human being. I'll be sharing it until the cows come home (the happy, free cows that aren't going to be slaughtered for meat and whose calves aren't taken away so their mums can produce milk!) :-) Thank you!

  10. Couldn't agree with you more!I really try to live by "Be the change". Not perfect, but definitely doing more than the minimum. What I find depressing though is when I explain all this stuff to people who ask me and they just don't seem to care!Nice almond yoghurt btw- just got some almond, so will try it, thanks :)

  11. AnonymousMay 06, 2014

    I second the question about how to get smooth yogurt. Yours is so silky and white! You really don't skin the almonds?

    Love the blog! <3

  12. Its so refreshing to read a post from someone who shares my world belief's exactly, thank you so much for sharing this with the world - I'm sure it'll inspire many more to make the change we wish to see.
    I had no idea making almond yogurt was so simple, so I'm definitely going to give this a shot!

  13. The dress is a little big in the bust but workable. This is a quality made dress. Excellent value for your money. I would not hesitate to order again.

  14. AnonymousMay 07, 2014

    Thank you Emily for such a great post. I do most of the things you mention (eat vegan, grow my own veggies, buy non toxic cleaners etc) but i am very guilty of buying cheap clothes and things from pound shops as i have a small budget to live on. i have felt SO guilty for so long but your post has been a wake up call for me. i can do more......i have just started writing my own list of what i need to do. i to want too be the change i want to see in this world so thanks again for making me realise there is SO much more i need to do. Hugs Kim

  15. Hey Em, thank you for your incredible post. I agree with everything you have to say and it's hard to not take "the easy way" in our fast paced consumer world. But when I read your post... and I come across my day to day choices... you're like a little voice in my head... and I think "hey if Em can do it... so can I!" Lets be the change in the world and inspire others to do the same. Thank you for your words of wisdom, such a great way to start my day!!!! xoxo!

  16. AnonymousMay 07, 2014

    Does leaving it out for 9 hours give it a chance to ferment and get that lovely zingy yogurt flavor? It won't spoil if left out for that long?

  17. Have you ever heard of or read Deep Green Resistance? Check them out: http://deepgreenresistance.org/en/

    P.S. Thank you for creating an almond yogurt recipe! No more plastic containers to clean and recycle ;)


  18. Oh yes! Thank you for your post. It's very true and inspiring... Anyone can make the difference, anyone can change the world with a little effort. I'm still learning to free myself from lot of false needs that our civilisation is pushing in our heads every day (to be "in", to buy brand new things, get everything what I may/should want and get it emediately...). But I know that it's worth the effort. Really great post!

  19. Amen girlfriend. PREACH!

  20. Agreed with everything you said (except the allusion global warming, or anthropogenic climate change, which has not been conclusively proved, IMHO). If only more people were more mindful, like you, of what they buy, what they eat, how they live.

  21. AnonymousMay 07, 2014

    we have been blessed to go and be a blessing...

    how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

    be the difference that makes the difference ~ indeed.

    give thanks ~ it is a verb that asks us to not just say the words, but show gratitude in the ways that we invest our life.

    blessings to you all.

  22. Here here! I have the exact same values when it comes to everything you described here, and I do my best to put my actions in line with all of them. Like Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." When I was a teenager, I had no issue with eating animals or buying clothes at big retain chains. But then I grew up, I became educated on many issues, and I changed my actions accordingly. I hope beyond hope that more people will do this every day.

    I'm definitely going to try this almond yogurt recipe. If it works out well, that's one more thing I can make instead of buying in plastic! :)

  23. How does your yogurt culture & thicken without any probiotics/starter?

  24. @Succulent Succotash - probably would yeah!

  25. AnonymousMay 09, 2014

    Hey Em,
    Would this type of yoghurt contain beneficial bacteria? :)

  26. @Sunfood Junkies - I think yes! Any kind of fermentation process creates that beneficial bacteria, I am pretty sure :)

  27. Well said! I did not consider ethical issues so much as just health and animal rights issues when I transitioned (er, can I call it that when I went cold-turkey?) to a vegan diet, but it's been on my mind more recently. I'm letting it all gestate in the back of my mind until I know what I want to do with all this information. I'm always telling myself now's not the time, or I just haven't got much money, or blablabla... tbh they're probably just excuses. Thanks for being an inspiration and a daily reminder that we CAN do more, and we should. A lot of my friends and family would call me extreme for wanting to eat vegan and recycle all the time and buy 'hippie' washing up liquid, but it's important to me. I'm taking baby steps towards helping save this beautiful little planet of ours.

    Anyway, about the recipe – does it really turn to yogurt if you just leave the blended almonds at room temperature for a few hours? Don't you need to add probiotics?

  28. Wonderfully stated. Thank you for using your blog as a way to deliver this important message!

  29. AnonymousMay 13, 2014

    I think you are confusing "Westernism" with Americanism. No other western country is as wasteful as America. If you have visited any European countries you would know this. Europe in fact has the highest environmental performance rate in the world. America, as bad as you think it is, is still rated higher than most of the world http://epi.yale.edu/epi/country-rankings
    And fast food was an American invention still not embraced by most of Europe. Again if you have been to Europe you would know this. While I think your intentions are good, you are very misguided.

  30. AnonymousMay 13, 2014

    Love this post!

    Would love to see a post from you about the non-animal tested beauty products you use.

  31. I very much appreciate (and envy) your enthusiasm and the fact that you preach and do something for what you believe in.
    I follow your blog because I like your writing and your creativity with food - you are truly gifted.
    But with this post I had the impression you oversimplify some of the aspects of consumption: outsourcing can make people in better off, since they'd have something to trade. Also the term agribusiness is very vague: the from Del Monte to the organic stands at the farmer's market is agribusiness. I'd love a more in depth discussion about this.

  32. AnonymousMay 17, 2014

    Dear Emily, I am having the same problem as "Anonymous" -- the result looks more like crunchy almond skin milk, not like almond yoghurt at all. I did follow your instructions, have a high speed blender and wonder, what I might do to improve the result? I was so excited about this recipe, because I love almond yoghurt but cannot find it anywhere. Please let me know what can be done, how did you manage to get any yoghurt-like thickness without using yoghurt cultures? Muchas gracias, Bianca

  33. @Bianca - agh, I am going to try this again and see what happens and adjust the recipe accordingly.

    @Virginia - when I say outsourcing I'm talking about when the people on the other end are not being paid or treated fairly; that companies are using the fact that these people are living in a developing country as an excuse to treat them poorly and unjustly. When I say agribusiness I am the handful of huge corps that control almost all the food in North America and elsewhere, who are in bed with the government, use heavy amounts of pesticides and other chemicals just to get bigger yields short term, and have nothing but profits on their mind. Hope that helps :)

  34. This looks amazing. Definitely going to make this! Also really loved the inspiring message! I feel so glad I am a vegan and NOT settling for the minimum!

  35. I too was super excited to try this since I'm no longer able to find any unsweetened dairy-free yogurt in large tubs. I tried to make this yesterday and also got the chunky almond milk result. Not sure if I missed something.



Feel free to comment below, I love hearing your thoughts! xo, em