Vegan Cupcakes? Really? Seriously?

Yep, I’m serious. Really. I made vegan cupcakes. And honestly, aside from the slight difference in texture and not being quite as sweet as a regular cupcakes, they were damn good. I mean, DAMN good!

I made a vegan chocolate ganache to go on them as well. Dear heavens, y’all, it was decadent!

Are you wondering why? Why was I playing with a vegan recipe? Why was I baking instead of writing? Well, I’ve been trying a new eating thing. I know, I know, but… seriously, I’m tired of being the weight I am. I’m tired of feeling so tired, so burnt out, so blah… A friend recently told me that I never seem to feel good and she’s right. I don’t. I’m rundown, I’m cold and I’m hot, I’m stressed, and generally…blah.

It’s hard to create when one doesn’t feel all that great and just wants to take a nap. I eat things that, while they might not be terrible for me, I could be eating better for me. I drink things that aren’t good for me either. Believe it or not, coffee isn’t one of them. For every good thing I do for my body, I do enough bad that I counteract it all.

I see authors talking about weight loss, weight gain, weight going nowhere. We all talk about food and drinking and coffee and sweets and exercise and sitting on our asses all day. I want to be done with it. We’re all stressed with too much to do, not enough money, more jobs than we can handle and in the end, we’re killin’ ourselves. Well, no more. Not for me. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The diabetes eating isn’t working for me. Then again, it didn’t work for me when I did it 16 years ago during my pregnancy with my daughter. And yes, I know I’ve splurged, but… 90% of the time, I’m good and I do what I’m supposed to or what we’re supposed to. My husband is doing great with his eating, managing his blood sugar. I’ve gained and felt sluggish and most days don’t have much energy.

So, I’ve decided on something different. I’ve been talking to fellow author and a very dear friend, Fallon Blake about this lately. She’s the one that talked me into trying soy milk. But, fair is fair and I’m the one that got her into the OCD world of calendars and trying to be more organized. She said once she cut out dairy, she started losing weight, feeling better. I’d read somewhere about it once upon a time and how for certain people, it is a good thing. I’ve cut out red meat for the last few days as well, eaten more fresh fruit, more fresh veggies, no more whole wheat or whole grain (just specialty grains). And I can tell a difference. I still eat eggs, still have my creamer in my coffee, still eat cheese but not as much, drinking more water, slowly cutting the sodas out again. And I’m starting to notice little differences in how I feel, how I’m sleeping. I went for a walk today and felt great and not at all as worn out as I had been feeling after walking.

Basically, what I’ve started doing is eating a modified vegetarian diet. I still eat things like poultry and seafood, but, with the lack of dairy save for a few cheeses which I don’t eat every day and eggs which I don’t eat every day, the introduction of more soy protein and different other grains… When I was on Weight Watchers, it was somewhat the same way, except I did eat more whole wheat and whole grain products, but I’d cut out red meat and ate a lot of soy protein. However, the weight came back.

I don’t want it back. I want it gone. I know what I want to weigh and how much I need to lose to get there. It’s a lot. Fallon and I got to talking about these things because she loves to cook and bake and so do I. It’s been a real education for me, learning these different things, keeping an open mind about trying new foods. I’ve become somewhat addicted to the soy milk, the vanilla, not the plain. I really like it. I’d tried it before but didn’t stick with it. It was too easy to just go back to normal, to shrug it off, to get back into bad bad habits.

The vegan cupcakes were a new thing for me. I had heard for a while that the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World was an awesome cookbook of nothing but cupcake recipes. I was hesitant. Cupcakes with no eggs? No milk? A different kind of butter that’s not butter but it’s really very good butter? Soy? I couldn’t believe they’d been good. But… I was so wrong. You can’t go in expecting them to taste exactly like the cupcakes we’re all used to because they won’t. The texture is different, the taste is good, really good, but not as sweet, it’s soft but a little more dense. And all that’s left out of the 12 I baked, is 4. That’s right. 4. My kids and my husband ate the others. I’ve had one. Let me tell y’all… if my daughter will eat more than a nibble of something she’s never had before, it’s a success. Same with my husband and son.

This is what the last 4 look like…

They smelled heavenly and let me tell y’all, if I don’t like it or if it’s not good to me, I won’t lie. I’ll be honest and tell you I hated it. I tried gluten-free waffles one time and they smelled so good, but tasted like sawdust…yuck. I will though, try the gluten-free cupcakes in this book just to say I tried. But these cupcakes were good. I substituted sugar with with the Splenda Sugar Blend which made them more appropriate for my husband, though the amount of sugar the recipe called for was really a small amount.

It’s all about motivation. And it all has to be for me and what I’m looking to achieve. I’m not the best at sticking with things long term and when I hit a plateau I tend to slide back down the way I came, but this one, I’m trying. My mom has had some success with this way of eating (though she won’t touch soy to save her life, but she’s cut out foods that seemed to not agree with her, even if she loved them and she’s feeling better and has lost weight as well doing it). I think weight loss and food and such are just like anything else…not everyone is going to fit inside the same size or shape box. What works for one isn’t going to work for another. Might work similar, but we’re all built a little differently inside and out bodies react to different things in different ways.

This, just like everything else, is a learning experience. I’ve told myself I’d give it a solid, no fudging try for 2 weeks, which include yoga, meditation, and walking a few times a week. I expect y’all to hold me accountable.

Oh, and once I make it through the cupcake book, I’m moving on to the new book:

Here’s the latest inspirational hottie, too…

~lissa

The Special Selena Illyria

Selena is…I’m just not sure there are words enough to describe her. She is sweet, supportive, loves her chocolate, her tea, and her friends. She is always including others in her promotion of her books and keeping her name in front of readers. She funny and witty and I just think she’s a blast. I love being around her, even just online. She’s so cute and bubbly. And her books…are HOT! 

Genre: Paranormal, Multicultural
Length: Novella
Available from Changeling Press
Author Website: www.SelenaIllyria.com

Blurb:

All romanced out, Love Fairy Alastrina is tired of putting together happy couples. All she wants is a little bit of “me time” to forget her job for one night. She strides into Last Call: London looking for some action. 
Chocolate Shock: Heat packed sexin’ — no baggage required or desired. 

Rebellious leopard shifter Garrison Fredricks may be the answer to all her needs. Some sexy talk and a bit of action is just what the love fairy ordered. Only problem is he has a teensy-weensy little secret that may piss her off. And a Love Fairy pissed off is not a good thing.

Excerpt:

Garrison’s beer arrived. He took a pull from it and slouched in his seat, still bored, still restless. The door opened and out of habit he glanced toward the entrance, only to have his breath catch in his throat. His heart skipped a beat and then sped up. Warmth flowed over him as his body tightened. His cock hardened and pressed against his jeans.
“Oh, fuck me,” he groaned, as he watched the woman in the tightest jeans he had ever seen stroll into the bar and wind her way gracefully through the crowd. She had a corset that showcased her high breasts and a small waist. Her ass made him want to bite his bottom lip to hold back the moan threatening to escape.
She was a tiny thing with riotous dark brown curls streaked with pink. When she turned around, he saw her face. Her features were delicate with a small pert nose. Her lips were full and tempting, slicked with shimmering pale pink gloss.
Blow job lips, he thought, and he wanted those lips on him, covering his body in sweet love bites before she sucked him off ’til he shot his load down her throat. His cock jumped as the fire burning within him became an inferno lapping at his veins.
His leopard scratched at the flesh bars of its prison, wanting to go up to the woman it desired and mark her with its scent. She made things worse by turning back toward the bar, giving him another glimpse of her perfectly rounded ass. The corset left a wide strip of skin exposed above the waistband. Her perfect mocha skin was adorned with a colorful tattoo done in glittering pink ink. He had to strain his eyes to make out the glyphs and symbols on her lower back.
“Lean over some more, love. Give daddy a good look at what it says,” he urged softly. As if she heard him, she stuck her ass out further and he sucked in a breath as his pulse pounded in his ears and need roared through him. He had to shake his head to clear the lust wrapping around his mind like a gossamer web.
He squinted to see better and read the tattoo.
“Fairy Alastrina, daughter of Elan, servant of Labhaoise.” He stroked his chin, his fingers slightly burned from the abrasion of his stubble. Half of his brain saw opportunity to bring a genuine Fairy to Eros, and the other half wanted to fuck the living daylights out of her.
“Alastrina.” He tested her name on his tongue. The sound of his voice came out husky with the edge of a purr.
An image rose of him pounding into her pussy as she cried out in ecstasy before he came himself, spurting his seed deep inside of her as he called out her name, and he swore. Their sweat-slicked bodies moved and ground against one another as they started yet another round.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he chanted. This was not what he needed. Tomorrow he would be going to see Eros. A meeting with him was draining. The love god liked to pick and poke at Garrison’s mental shields. It was a game of chicken because Garrison would be doing the same. Five hundred years of servitude to Eros had taught him all of the god’s weaknesses but no way to exploit them, although Eros knew all of Garrison’s weaknesses and abused them every opportunity he got.
One of his weaknesses was standing a few feet away. This night was either gonna be hell or heaven. He wouldn’t put it past Eros to send him a sexy little gift in the form of this Fairy. Whether it was a trap or not, he was going to fall into bed with her. The question was how. There were others who had noticed her arrival. One of the bolder admirers strode up to her. Before he could even open his mouth he was shot down and sent on his way, a deep red flush of embarrassment on his cheeks for his trouble.
“Mmmm, sassy, I like that.” Garrison sat back and watched as, one by one, men and even a few women went up to curry her favor. After the fourth person was sent away he couldn’t help but wonder why they all wanted a piece of her. She was gorgeous but there had to be something else. He decided to test a theory.
With great concentration he dropped his mental shields a sliver and tasted her power. It was like the sweetest, thickest honey. There was a hint of spice, an indefinable quality that made its potency richer, more seductive to the palate. Power rolled off of her in waves.
Understanding dawned on him all at once; she was a Love Fairy. Legend had it that to be touched or even come in contact with one could bring you good luck in the love department. They weren’t hitting on her. They were asking for her services. He felt bad for them but most of all he felt sad for her. Must be tough never being off the clock to some people. Then again, he could understand how she felt. He was at Eros’ call night and day. Didn’t matter where he was, who he was with or what he was doing, if Eros summoned him Garrison had to go.
As he studied the woman, his desire burned through him. Instead of doing his usual saunter up and try his luck routine, he decided to wait and see what developed. If he played his cards right, there would be no need for him to do anything.

Yeah, that’s a Chocolate Shock!