Tag Archives: veganism

No. Mad. Intro

This is the intro to a new series/section of my site, as I’ve grown to love/appreciate another way of life: nomadic living.

While I’m currently not living nomadic, I thought it’d be fun to document the process I went through to get from point A to point B. (Also, figured it would help all the other newbs out there who don’t know a damn thing about it)

So, let’s start with the basics:

What the heck is ‘nomadic living’? A ‘nomad’ is a ‘a member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place to find fresh pasture for their livestock’. While I don’t have any livestock, I have always wanted to travel and see the world. The one thing that has been stopping me (aside from lack of funds) is the fact I can’t take my house with me. Seriously, I want to travel and see the world, but not leave the comfort of my own home. Maybe that sounds a little ridiculous to some of you – doesn’t that defeat the purpose of travelling? Maybe, but if you aren’t comfortable, then there’s not really a point, is there?

This is why I was super excited to learn of an alternative way to live, called tiny living. The tiny house movement has been picking up steam in recent years as people realize that living in mansions isn’t exactly sustainable. Maybe you’ve even seen some articles or pictures on Instagram about it.

Most people who live tiny reject the social norm of staying in the normal 9-5 grind, and decide instead to live in smaller houses, buses, RV’s or even vans and travel around the globe. It’s essentially the ideal definition of ‘living the dream’ just… smaller.

Since you’ll be living in a smaller space (usually no more than 400sq ft is considered a ‘tiny house’), it will kind of force you into a minimalistic lifestyle, too. And, most tiny lifers are often nomads as well, since their homes are on wheels.

There are so many different Youtube channels/videos dedicated to this way of life, too. Some of my favourites include:

  • Living BIG, In a Tiny House (1st Youtube channel I found about tiny living, Bryce tours absolutely stunning tiny homes all over Australia)
  • Eamon and Bec (one of the most rockin’ couples I’ve ever seen [and would absolutely love to meet in person, one day!] who live out of their van, are from Toronto and vegan! They break down van life into easy to understand videos, and often vlog their travels)
  • Wild by the Mile (solo female vanlifer, who gives some awesome tips/advice on how to stay safe on the road solo)
  • Tiny House Nation (These two guys go around helping people build tiny houses, and make clients dreams come true by going so above and beyond what they initially asked for it’s insane)

There are many amazing tiny house builder companies all over Instagram as well. I follow a lot of them for inspiration, though I already have a floor plan of what I want my tiny to look like. I had first discovered this tiny house movement around this time last year, when I was beginning to think seriously about what I wanted my own home/life to look like.

… I just now realize that up to this point – since this hasn’t been a lifestyle blog – none of you really know who I am. That is in part my fault, as I was told by some trusted colleagues not to disclose things like my age, gender, etc. since I was trying to break into the world of writing. I think I’m established enough now to disclose the truth, so here we go:

Hi, my name’s Ater. I’m a newly 24 year-old (birthday just passed Feb. 15th) woman who is currently still living at home. No you will not get to see pictures of my face. I believe I can both maintain my privacy and share what I want from my life with you. Also, when I get famous for my writing, I don’t want to be swarmed on the sidewalk. (And in case you couldn’t tell, this is partially sarcasm. I’m pretty sarcastic, and no, there’s no font for that) My feelings toward this may change in the future, but as for right now, I hope you can respect my privacy.

The place I’m currently in is scheduled to be knocked down in 2-3 years, so I thought that would be a perfect timeline for moving out on my own. (Since I’ll have to pack up all my stuff anyway)

My ultimate dream is to be able to live off my writing/blogging while I travel the world and live as compassionately as I can. I’ve already begun to take steps to make myself profitable, and align myself with a more compassionate way to live, and I’m hoping to become (one day) self-sufficient in the sense I can grow most (if not all) of my own food, and be 100% off-grid.

My plan right now is to get a 25 foot coach bus to convert and travel in. I’m hoping to get an EV Star as it’s a solar-powered vehicle, and I really don’t want to have to buy gas. At the time of writing, I currently don’t have a full license – in Ontario, we have something called Graduated Licensing – but am working toward it. It would suck major balls if I bought a bus I couldn’t drive.

The title of this section ‘No. Mad’ is a play on the word nomad, as I mentioned above, but I broke it up in the way I did so that it also can be read as ‘no anger’, as in living compassionately. I think this simple title is a great way to encompass everything I want this part of the blog to reflect/be about.

Aaand, I think that’s where I’m gonna leave this intro. We’ll be going into the topics of traveling, tiny living and living off-grid in the articles to come. Don’t worry, there’s a lot of material to cover as I live, grow and learn. And, hopefully by letting you in on my mistakes, I can help some of you from repeating them.

So… yeah. Welcome to No. Mad., ladies and gents!

3 Year Veganversary





I can’t believe it’s already been another full year! It feels like just yesterday I was writing my 2nd Year Veganversary article – and now I’m already writing the next one? It’s crazy!

Again, it’s hard to know what to say in these posts – do I encourage you to go vegan with me? Do I talk about some of the hardships of going vegan?

Wait, I know. How about a quick food montage? Back before I was vegan, I basically ate the same three things over and over. But since I’ve been vegan? I’ve tried so many different kinds of foods, and even discovered some foods that I didn’t know existed before! (Like Nooch, seitan, oyster mushrooms and black salt)

I not only have expanded my taste buds by trying premade vegan products (like Daiya, Gardein and Tofurky), I also learned how to cook, and I’ve gotta say, I can make some pretty kick-ass things in the kitchen now, compared to the not knowing how to boil hot-dogs before.

Check out all the cool, new shit I learned how to make:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - PETA SolFood Vegan's Spicy Fried Chicken Burger - seitan, vegan food, cooking adventures

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Seitan Bites - vegan food, cooking adventures

This is literally wheat gluten, water (or vegetable broth) and spices. It’s magic! And tastes awesome. I love getting to spice the food right from it’s conception – it gives it so much more flavour, instead of starting with a whole, plain slab of meat and then only putting the seasoning on the outside.

Also, you can turn this into any meat you want – the way you spice it gives it it’s flavour. And, because you’re hand shaping, you can also make it look like whatever you want.

Need some chick’n ‘breasts’? No problem.

AterImber.com - Seitan Chick'N Vegan Recipe

Sausages? Sure thing!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Spicy Seitan Sausages - vegan food, cooking adventures

Need some wings? Got that too.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Buffalo Seitan Wings - vegan food, cooking adventures

What about burgers?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - PETAs SolFood Vegans Spicy Fried Chicken - seitan, vegan food, cooking adventures

Yep! Still not a problem. These were actually the first time I made seitan, and was taken from PETA’s SolFood Vegan’s Spicy Fried Chicken recipe.

You could even just leave it together and make a roast out of it, if you really wanted.

The possibilities with seitan are damn near endless.

And it’s got 62g of protein/1C. So, y’know you don’t have to worry about dying from protein deficiency.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Meatball-less Sub w/ Taquitos - Vegan food, cooking adventures

Taquitos? I didn’t even know these were a thing before I discovered them at Good Rebel, and then learned how to make a homemade version.

Side note, if you live in Toronto, you should definitely check Good Rebel out. They’re small, but it’s like a vegan wonderland in there, they have so many products! Also, their egg and sausage breakfast sandwich is amazing.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - The Vegan Zombie Mozzeralla Cheese Sticks - vegan food, cooking adventures

Mozzarella sticks is something I never had before going vegan, let alone know how to make. This recipe I actually got from The Vegan Zombie.

There are a lot of different foods I never tried until I went vegan. Not even just ‘typical’ vegan foods – like seitan, or durian (which admittedly I still haven’t had) – but ‘normal’ foods, like garlic bread, poutine, milkshakes – pretty much anything that had milk in it, I never tried.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Cooking Adventures - Sushi - vegan food

Uhm, hand-rolling sushi with no fish? Oh yeah, I did that, too. It was fun! And apparently because of my small hands, I was naturally good at rolling them.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - HotforFood - HotforFood's Cookbook: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face - Cauliflower Wings and Ranch dip - vegan food

These I made from my favourite vegan Youtubers, HotforFood. Lauren makes amazing vegan food videos, and makes a lot of ‘regular’ foods (ie burgers, wings, etc.) and not just salads. I highly, highly recommend you check out her channel, and that you buy her cookbook 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face. I was lucky enough to get her to sign it at this past years’ Vegandale festival and have made only a few things out of the book, (one of my favs is her Ranch dip) but am very excited to continue trying out more of her recipes.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmellows and Chocolate Drizzle - vegan food, vegan cupcakes, vegan desserts

I learned how to make chocolate cupcakes from scratch, and was pleasantly surprised that my vegan egg substitute of applesauce for eggs worked! The last time I had tried this switch, I was making brownies, and it didn’t exactly work out.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - Vegan Food - vegan desserts

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Chocolate Cherry Pie Cupcakes - Vegan Food - vegan desserts

I also invented my own Cherry-Pie Cupcakes after learning how to make the cupcakes above. I’ve made these the past 2 years for my dads’ birthday and he absolutely loves them. (These pictures are a bit ‘foggy’ because I had icing on the camera)

It’s not even just the foods I’ve learned how to make, there’s also a whole world of restaurants and pre-made foods I never would’ve discovered had I not got into veganism!

Pochiche Poutine - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Poutine! It’s always a win. Look at that deliciousness!

Globally Local Crispy Chickn Burger - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Globally Local I’m a fan of – and they’re not even available in Toronto yet! I had the great fortune of trying them at the festival both years, and neither was disappointing. (With the exception that they aren’t in Toronto!)

AterImber - The Veg Life - Hogtown Vegan - Unchick'N Ceasar Wrap - Vegan food

Hogtown Vegan is in Toronto, and this thing is amazing, too. It’s giant, delicious, and was actually the first time I ever tried seitan – and that was even before I went vegan! It’s since become my ‘regular’ order when I go there. Some of my other favourites of theirs is their poutine, mac n cheese and chick’n burger. I highly recommend you check them out as well, if you’re ever in the neighbourhood.

These guys I only tried once, but again, was blown away. The sandwich was awesome, and it saddens me that they’re all the way in Texas. Also, those were oyster mushrooms? Whaaat?

Kellys Bakeshop Salted Caramel Cupcake - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Salted Caramel cupcakes are a must! I loved these so much and was very upset I was only able to buy one.

I won’t give you the total play-by-play, I’ll leave my food adventures on my Instagram. Also, if you want to check out the reviews I did of the above restaurant foods, you can find them here.

With all the awesome vegan restaurants opening, and all the new products that are becoming available, it’s becoming so easy to go vegan.

Also, if the food wasn’t enough to convince you, maybe this will:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - 3 Year Veganversary - Vegan Calculations: animals, water, and forest saved

Whether you’re thinking about going vegan for the animals, your health, or the environment, you can’t argue with numbers like these. 1,000+ animals saved in the 3 years I’ve been vegan by doing nothing else but changing my diet? Can I get a hell yeah?

Being vegan is one of the most passive ways to help save the planet and animals that I can think of. You don’t have to go out and protest, you don’t have to talk about it. You can be a quiet activist and vote with your dollar.

With so many great options available, and so many stats outlining the dangers of not going vegan, I’m truly baffled that some people haven’t gotten on board yet. I mean, I haven’t been vegan forever, but I don’t think I ever tried debating that animal agriculture was good for the environment, or that murdering innocent beings was right.

Seriously, how are there still people who think veganism isn’t the answer?


Want to check out how much YOU save by being vegan? Do so here!

Want to learn more about veganism? Check out more tips here!

Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy

Ah, Halloween.

A great night where kids get to dress up, explore the neighbourhood, and get free candy. Sadly, this night only comes once a year, so you’ve gotta make it count.

If you’re newly vegan, you might be wondering, ‘what are the chances my kid (or yourself) will be able to eat any typical Halloween candy?’ Well, check out the collage below and you’ll see, it’s more then you think. There are plenty of products that are ‘accidentally’ vegan by nature, even though they’re not advertised as such.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy - Halloween Candy, halloween, holiday

Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Ruffles Original
  • Ruffle’s All Dressed
  • Pringles Original
  • Airheads (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellows 5+6)
  • Pringles Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Original
  • Twizzlers
  • Pull N Peel
  • Super Nibs
  • Jujubes (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5&6)
  • Hickory Sticks
  • Sweet Chili Heat Doritos
  • Sun Chips Original
  • Lays Oven Baked
  • Lays Salt N Vinegar
  • Lays Classic*
  • Mini Oreos
  • Rockets (In the US, called Smarties)
  • Swedish Fish (Red 40, Yellow 5&6, and Blue 1)
  • Jolly Ranchers (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5&6)
  • Gobstoppers (Carmine Colour, Blue 1&2, Red 40, Yellow 5&6)
  • Mike and Ikes (Red 40, Yellow 5&6, Blue 1)
  • Nerds
  • Pixy Stix
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Maynards Fuzzy Peaches (Yellow 5, Red 40)
  • Maynards Swedish Berries
  • Skittles Original
  • Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters (Contains Tartrazine [Yellow 5])

*Lays Classic is made with pork enzymes in the US, making them not vegan. However, in Canada they don’t, so they’re safe to consume. Check out the US list here (at the time of writing, I’ve only been able to find a Canadian and US list, I’d suggest contacting the company for other specific countries)

As explained in my Candy collage, I’ve listed the food dyes next to certain candies because these food dyes aren’t vegan. It’s a choice you need to make for yourself – where is the line for you? Remember, no Vegan Police are going to show up at your house if you ingest something that has animal by/products in it.

The only downside to this is that pretty much all the chocolate has milk in it. 🙁 You’ll most likely have to buy a vegan brand of chocolate if you want that on Halloween night. I’d suggest Go Max Go they make some great chocolate! I’d also advise not handing vegan-specific chocolates out to Trick Or Treaters, unless you’ve got a money tree in your backyard.


Like this post, or curious to learn more about veganism? Check out my Veg Life page!

Or, click here for even more Surprising Vegan finds!