It’s unbelievable how quickly time flies by. It’s now been close to 7 months since I went vegan and 4 months since I’ve gone gluten-free. I must admit that I am and feel healthier than ever and I’m so grateful for the incredible support from strangers, friends and family. It’s an experience that has changed my physical and mental health, diet, fitness and general well-being. Plus, it’s been a lot of FUN! This blog post is just an update on where I am in my quest for optimal health and well-being, some of the health benefits I’ve encountered, interesting things I’ve learned in the past six months and your most favourite Just Add Good Stuff Series posts. My May update on going vegan is located here.


My Vegan & Gluten-Free Experience > Revisiting the 10 Original Personal Benefits

In May, I updated my followers on 10 unexpected personal benefits since going vegan and I’m really happy to report that all of those things are getting even better.

  1. I continue to sleep a lot better… sometimes up to 6-8 hours a night (compared with 1-2 hours before this year)
  2. I’ve had only 1 migraine all year (and that was due to drinking too much the night before!)
  3. Allergies to pollen, temperature and altitude change have gradually decreased.
  4. My body weight has remained constant. The myths about the lack of plant based protein sources and complete amino acids in whole foods is really, just a myth.
  5. My body fat content continues to drop. Still healthy though but seem more ripped.
  6. I still haven’t had to take a nap in the afternoon. I don’t get the extreme tiredness at all nor the sugar spikes and troughs through the day.
  7. My teeth are still white.
  8. My digestion is consistent and healthy.
  9. I’m more patient and a lot less anxious and it seems to be getting even better
  10. My skin is still clear of acne and my hair is growing back. How’s that for a health benefit!


5 More Unexpected Health Benefits

In addition to the previous 10 unexpected personal benefits, I’ve also noticed a few more health benefits of note. They include:

  1. I’m more focussed. I’ve always been efficient and focused when it comes to work and decision making, but since I’ve gone vegan, I find that I am less easily distracted and can focus for longer periods of time. Because of that, I’m more efficient and can get more work done within a shorter time frame.
  2. I’m more positive and grateful for my health. Going both gluten-free and vegan has given me a more positive outlook on my health and well-being. By knowing that I’m doing everything possible to reduce my risk of disease and inflammation, I’m also focussing on being more positive throughout all facets of my life. This is a great mental health benefit.
  3. My skin is smoother and healthier looking. I used to get really dry skin but since I’ve gone gluten free and vegan, it has a more natural hue and is more ‘radiant’. This is probably because I have a good balance of essential oils, minerals and vitamins in my diet that keeps my skin healthy and hydrated. Plus, I don’t even use any skin moisturizer.
  4. My instances of bloating and cramps has diminished significantly. After decades of abusing my body through bad diet, I believe my body needed time to readjust and rid itself of all the toxins and build-up of bad cholesterol, fat and undigested or semi-digested food. After 5 months of veganism, I hardly get any bloating or stomach cramps. I believe my body has fully adjusted to this new whole foods plant based diet.
  5. I feel as though I can conquer any challenge and face any adversity in my life now. The mental focus, discipline, constant action and commitment to health, diet and fitness has taught me a lot about what I am capable of doing and being. This has been one of the most important life lessons that I will never forget from my vegan experience.



My Vegan Experience > 5 Interesting Things I’ve Encountered and Learned Since Going Vegan

  1. More people are asking me how long I’m staying vegan and gluten-free for. I don’t know if they are assuming that this is just a diet or fad… or something temporary. I just laugh because going vegan and gluten-free has been about a lifestyle change for me. It’s learning about nutrition and fitness and making sure that I do everything possible to live a healthy and prosperous life. The things I’ve learned will stay with me for life… so I often respond by saying: “This was a one year experiment, but the results and interest in veganism will stick with me for my entire life.” I should honestly respond by asking them: “So how long do you think you will continue killing yourself through an unhealthy diet. How long will you continue to eat processed or packaged foods? How long will you continue to eat fast food even when you know it’s unhealthy for you.” But I’m really not that mean…

  3. My favourite SUPER FOODS now include the previous 10 as well as chaga, pomegranate, asparagus, turmeric, cumin, cilantro and parsley.

  5. About 5 months into my vegan experience, I started ‘slowing down’. I became more lethargic and ‘slow’ in physical activities and focus. My dietician told me that I was probably deficient in Vitamin B-12 which is usually only found in meats and dairy products. So, I self diagnosed myself as being Vitamin B-12 deficient and started taking a Vitamin B supplement every morning. The difference was night and day. I will be publishing an article about Vitamin B-12 deficiencies and some common myth and misunderstandings about this very soon.

  7. Just like my self-diagnosed deficiency in Vitamin B-12, I was probably also deficient in Vitamin D. Again, a vegan and gluten free diet doesn’t really bode well for adding these two essential vitamins into my body. Therefore, the most natural form of Vitamin D is through sunlight. I get out more often just to get 5-10 minutes of direct sunlight every day. It’s awesome.

  9. My vegan and gluten-free diet actually does NOT cost any more than my previous unhealthy diet. I eat less but eat more nutritional food. So yes, by volume, I’m consuming more expensive foods, but I’m also eating and drinking a lot less. There are very few ‘empty calories’ in my diet now.


Great Response to our Just Add Good Stuff Series

When I first started Just Add Good Stuff, I wanted to present information in various ways that would touch people differently. From visual images to summarized nutritional info and from catchy/edgy quotes to helpful statistics, here are the highly successful Just Add Good Stuff Series that I’m so proud of:


The Excuses Pile On…

In the past 7 months, I’ve heard hundreds of excuses from strangers, friends and family as to why they’ve never tried eating healthier or going vegan or adopting a fitness/training program. Some of these excuses include:

I don’t have time / I’m too busy
I don’t believe in veganism / Veganism is stupid
There’s no difference between conventional and organic foods… it’s just marketing
I’ve survived this long, so why change
Other people who eat meat survive until they are 100, so why can’t I
Eating healthy means I don’t need to exercise
I have a family so it’s not possible
I’ve got a full time job so it’s not possible
Eating just greens and whole foods is unhealthy

For me, making an excuse is just an easy way out. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to change or I’m too lazy, but making excuses for myself is no longer something I do.

In every decision I make, I take a different perspective and ask myself:

“How do it do this?”
“How do I make this change?”
“How do I make time”

You should also try it sometime.

A Valuable Lesson …

One of the most important life lessons in this entire vegan/gluten-free experience has nothing to do with eating well, exercising or learning about nutrition. On the contrary, the most valuable life lessons are how this vegan/gluten-free experience has taught me about:

Taking Action
Dealing with Change

Mastering all 5 of these skills will help in EVERY FACET of my life … not just health and fitness. People who make excuses and oppose change will likely never learn how to master these 5 skills. Going vegan will teach you and push you to the limit when it comes to these life lessons. Try it and see how well you do…

me with coops on mayne island

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QUOTE of the day! Life is so endlessly delicious!




Life is so endlessly delicious! Ruth Reichl


Life is so endlessly delicious! Ruth Reichl





EAT CLEAN - TRAIN MEAN - LIVE LEAN - Michael Kenneth quote


EAT CLEAN - TRAIN MEAN - LIVE LEAN - Michael Kenneth quote


EAT CLEAN - TRAIN MEAN - LIVE LEAN - Michael Kenneth quote


EAT CLEAN – TRAIN MEAN – LIVE LEAN – Michael Kenneth quote

Just Add Supergrains (Set 2)

We touched on the difference between whole grains versus refined grains in Part 1 of Just Add Supergrains and in Part 2, we introduce 2 more fabulous new whole grains packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and nutrients.  They include farro and amaranth.  Continue reading for more information about these 2 super grains you can add to your diet!


top health benefits of farro


Just Add Farro Supergrains!


What is Farro Supergrains?

Not many people have heard of farro.  The supergrain originates from Egypt and the Middle East and it is a chewy, wheat-like grain that tastes similar to barley.  Although it may seem trendy right now, it’s actually an ancient nutritional grain first domesticated over 10,000 years ago.  It now grows in central and northern Italy and throughout the Middle East.  Sometimes, people mistaken the farro supergrain with spelt which looks familiar but is an entirely different grain.  Please note that “farro” is often called ‘faro’ as well.  The Faro Supergrain is exactly the same as Farro (spelt with a double ‘r’).


Why You Should Add Farro Supergrains to your Grocery List

In a nutshell, the farro supergrain is often used as substitute for rice or pasta, and for good nutritional reasons.  Farro is a supergrain with a nutty flavour (like brown or dark rice) and it is extremely high in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E.  According to Ashley Koff dietitian, magnesium is often called ‘natures muscle relaxant’ and can be used to treat tension and cramps.  The fiber content is very high compared to other grains as well which aids in your digestion.  Farro’s complex carbohydrates also break down slowly, which help to keep your energy levels very stable.  The farro grain also contains cyanogenic glucosides which is a type of carbohydrate that boosts your immune system.


Farro Supergrains Nutrition Info


(1/4 cup)

Calories: 170

Carbs: 35g

Fibre: 5g

Protein: 7g

Fat: 1g



How To Eat Farro Supergrains

The farro grain is easy to cook and prepare and goes well with a kaleidoscope of dishes.  Taking over menus by storm the farro supergrain is now seen as a main ingredient in soups, salads, main entrees and even desserts. Here is an example of how farro is cooked and served: Soak the grains overnight, and drain. Combine 2 cups water with 1 cup farro and bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 to 35 minutes. This is much like quinoa don’t you think? For 6 to 8 servings of a hearty vegetarian dish, chef Heap mixes 2 cups cooked farro with 1/2 pound sautéed shiitake mushrooms, ¼ cup cream, and ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, then simmers until thick, adding salt to taste. YUM!


top health benefits of amaranth

Just Add Amaranth Supergrains!


What is Amaranth Supergrain?

There are over 60 species of amaranth supergrain that come in a variety of colors.  Many of the species are actually considered weeds, but there are just as many that are cultivated as grains for consumption.  The origination of the amaranth supergrain is from South America and Mexico and the growth of this supergrain has seen crop yields throughout Asia and the Caribbean.  It’s definitely making its way to menus in North America and Europe now for good reason!


Why You Should Add Amaranth Supergrain to your Grocery List

The nutritional benefits of eating amaranth is why it’s been launched into the superfood category.  Firstly, amaranth is high in vitamins with a good source of Vitamin A, B6, K and C as well as folate and riboflavin.  In addition, the amaranth supergrain is high in numerous minerals that include calcium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese.  The amaranth supergrain also contains large amounts of easily digestible proteins, and are unusually complete when compared with other plant sources of protein.  Lots of amino acids, dietary fiber and low fat are other great features of this ancient supergrain.  It’s also very palatable and easy/quick to cook.  The oils in the amaranth supergrain have been shown to prevent hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases in addition to lowering cholesterol.  It’s also an immune booster and prevents grey hair in early testing stages.


Caution: Amaranth’s moderately high content of oxalic acid inhibits much of the absorption of calcium and zinc. It should be avoided or eaten in moderation by those with gout, kidney disorders or rheumatoid arthritis. Reheating cooked amaranth is not recommended, particularly for consumption by young children, because the nitrates in the leaves can be converted to nitrites, as in spinach.


Amaranth Supergrain Nutrition Info


(100 grams)

Calories: 371

Carbs: 66g

Fibre: 7g

Protein: 14g

Fat: 7g


How To Eat Amaranth Supergrain

Bring 3 cups water or broth and 1 cup of amaranth seeds to a boil; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cooked amaranth has an oatmeal-like consistency. Enjoy amaranth supergrain as a hot cereal, or use it to stuff mushrooms or tomatoes. When baking, replace up to ¼ of the white flour with amaranth flour.

Veganism isn’t boring! Veganism is…




Veganism isn't boring! Veganism is inspirational, challenging, healthy, responsible and educational. - michael kenneth


Veganism isn’t boring! Veganism is inspirational, challenging, healthy, responsible and educational. – michael kenneth

DAILY AFFIRMATION! Even though my body isn’t perfect…




Even though my body isn't perfect, I trust my body's ability to heal itself in its own time. Food Matters Film


Even though my body isn’t perfect, I trust my body’s ability to heal itself in its own time. Food Matters Film








QUOTE of the day! There is no silver bullet…




There is no silver bullet, but there is a lifestyle change that reverses serious chronic disease - Andrew Saul from Food Matters Film


There is no silver bullet, but there is a lifestyle change that reverses serious chronic disease – Andrew Saul from Food Matters Film

EAT LESS SUGAR { you’re sweet enough already }




EAT LESS SUGAR { you're sweet enough already } - Michael Kenneth quote


EAT LESS SUGAR { you're sweet enough already } - Michael Kenneth quote


EAT LESS SUGAR { you're sweet enough already } - Michael Kenneth quote


EAT LESS SUGAR { you’re sweet enough already }