May Favorites

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I feel like I say this every month, but it feels like May has slipped through my fingers. I can’t believe that it is already June! June is probably my favorite month, something about the weather, all the delicious fruit that starts ripening, oh and my birthday…! Anyways, this isn’t all about June yet, so let’s get back to my favorites for May.

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Beauty

  • Uncle Harry’s toothpaste – This toothpaste has been absolutely amazing. I picked it up when I was starting to run out of my old toothpaste that came in a plastic tube. This comes in a glass jar, which I love, but when I first started it using it, it felt a bit strange. The essential oils make it extremely minty and the texture is quite different, but now I wouldn’t imagine going back to conventional toothpaste. My teeth have never felt healthier and it does an excellent job at leaving your teeth sparklingly fresh. I’m sad that I am nearly out, but before I rebuy it I am going to attempt a DIY version. But I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a pre-made zero waste or a natural version for conventional toothpaste.
  • Nubian Heritage Mango Butter Scrub – This body scrub is a m a z i n g ….. It makes your skin feel and smell amazing! I like to pair it with some baking soda to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize my skin. I honestly can’t get over how soft it makes my skin. It is another one that I would love to attempt a DIY version so I can avoid the plastic packaging, but I don’t think I could recreate the amazing smell. I would definitely give it a try, especially if you have dry skin. ( I have oily skin, so that is why I pair it with the baking soda)
  • Shea Butter African Black Soap (lemongrass citrus) – I just started using this soap towards the end of the month when I ran out of my liquid body was from Alaffia, and Oh Mah God. This stuff is amazing. I was looking for a new body soap that didn’t come in plastic packaging but wanted to stick with this brand, because I absolutely love their products. This soap delivers my friend, it is cleansing, yet still moisturizing and leaves me wondering why I didn’t switch to this bar soap sooner. For added benefit, I hang it in a mesh cotton bag, which keeps it contained and also exfoliates my skin. And it comes in wrapped in paper, which is pretty good as far as zero waste beauty products go. 10/10 would recommend, especially with the mesh bag.

Food

  • Nature’s Bakery Strawberry Fig Bars – I know, doesn’t really fit with my movement toward living a less wasteful life, but they are so good…. They are a way tastier version of fig newtons and they’ve definitely been a life saver on days when I am too busy to pack food to take to campus. They are a still going to be a favorite, despite the waste they create. But I definitely need to a find a better solution for next month.
  • Home Brewed Kombucha – If you are a kombucha lover, then I highly recommend searching your local craigslist and investing a few dollars in a scooby. Brewing your own kombucha is really simple and in the end is so much cheaper than buying it at the store. And it also is way less wasteful because you can buy your tea and sugar in bulk, brew it and store it in glass jars. If you live in the Bellingham area, let me know if you need a scooby, with each new batch I end up with more babies than I know what to do with.

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Fashion

  • Still Water Earrings – I picked up these beauties at the farmers market, and they are the first pair of earrings that I actually love. They are dangly, yet simple, and most importantly comfortable and cute! Unfortunately, you can’t purchase them online, but if you are ever in Bellingham on a Saturday, hit up the farmer’s market and check out the jewelry stalls. There are tons of options and they are all handmade!
  • Merrell Mix Master Move Glide Trail Running Shoes – Does this even count as fashion? Probably better suited in the health category, but whateverrrr. These trail running shoes are my new fav closed toed shoes. Lab day was painful before these beauties entered my life and I hiking ceased to exist before I got these. I was a lucky duck and got these on sale at REI, but these shoes are so good that I would probably pay full price now that I know. They are minimal, yet still, give support and there was no “break in” period. You know, the time when you get ugly blisters and question if it is really worth it? Anyway, these are the first pair of running shoes I’ve ever loved whole heartedly. Summer trail runs here I come!

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Home

  • Salt Lamp – I had been curious about salt lamps for a while, but not due to their supposed health benefits, but rather for the warm and comforting light they emit. I bought this one off of a friend who was moving away and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s perfect to turn on in the evenings right before bed because it is a dim warm light that doesn’t mess with your body. I would highly recommend getting one if you are looking for some nice dim room lighting.

Entertainment

  • Rabbits – I stumbled across this podcast and I was instantly hooked. If you are into mystery and intrigue, definitely give it a listen. For added fun, listen to it while walking to it alone it the forest. Definitely, adds to the scary element.

    “When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”

  • S-Town – Another great podcast, which I promptly completed in a couple of days.

    “John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.”

  • Ponzi Supernova – These episodes are so short its a crime, but nevertheless it is another captivating podcast. It is still coming out, so a great podcast to start for the month of June.
    Bernie Madoff Speaks.
    “Was his $65 billion fraud a freak occurrence, or destined to be repeated? An exclusive audio investigation into the dark interior of our financial systems.”

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding | A Note on Sugar

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It has been said that sugar is the cigarettes of our generation and honestly I didn’t really realize how addictive it was until I tried to stop eating it. And this is even after I’d given up most refined sugars. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but I’ve always preferred more natural sugars. I’ve had several birthdays during my childhood where I had half a watermelon as my cake, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t consume my fair share of sugar. I often load up on lots of “natural sugars”, like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dates, honey, coconut sugar… And even those are unhealthy if consumed regularly. So in the spirit of health, I’ve decided to share one of my favorite sugarless recipes that can still qualify as a dessert.

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 water
  • 6-9 tb chia seeds*
  • 1 lemon zested
  • frozen or fresh berries

Blend the coconut milk and water until smooth. Pour out into a container and mix in the chia seeds and lemon zest. Pour into storage jars and leave in the fridge until the chia seeds have soaked up all the liquid and expanded. Top with fresh or frozen berries.

*depending on how thick or thin you like your pudding

Acai Bowl

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Acai Bowls are one of those standard hip health food things, but they can be really expensive if you buy them at a smoothie bar. Making them at home is less expensive and allows to you make them customizable to your own taste and preferences. It’s taken me many packets of pureed acai to get to this point, but I think I have finally figured out the perfect acai bowl recipe.

If you can’t afford the acai puree, just leave it out. I’m sure that if you had the right combination of blueberries and strawberries, you could totally fake the color and nobody on Instagram would know that you are a poor college student.

Ingredients

1 packet of acai puree (Sambazon is my favorite brand)

1.5 frozen bananas

1/2 frozen strawberries

1/4-1/2 of apple or orange juice and a little small of water

toppings: chopped fruit, buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, chia seeds, granola, flax seed meal… are just a few of my favorites.

Defrost the acai puree under hot water and pour into the blender. Chop up the frozen bananas and add in, along with the strawberries. Start with a small amount of juice and water and blend using the tamper. If your blender is struggling add more liquid. My advice is to start small with the liquid because once you add too much you can’t really take it back. When it is fully blended, transfer into a bowl, and place in the freezer while you get your toppings ready. Then decorate if you so please, otherwise just toss it on and enjoy!

Let me know if you have a favorite acai bowl recipe.

 

April Favorites

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I can’t believe it’s May already! Last month was crazy. Between adjusting to my new life in Bellingham and starting my first quarter at Western Washington University, April just seemed to fly by.

First up on my list of favorites, is the ring pictured above. After living here for a couple of weeks, I noticed that a lot of people were wearing layers of lots of really cool rings. So when I stumbled upon this one at the farmers market, I knew I couldn’t leave it behind.  Continue reading

Smoothie Recipes

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Smoothies are a really great way to add nutrition into your body fast. Without them, I don’t know if I would be surviving college right now. And the great thing about them, is that once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a master at throwing stuff into the blender and having a delicious smoothie in minutes. But incase you aren’t that good at improvising, I’ve collected a few of my favorite smoothie recipes. And here is a cool green smoothie chart guide. Continue reading

Vegan What I Ate Wednesday #1

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7:30am: I usually like to start out my day with a big smoothie. Today it contained 2 oranges, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 frozen banana, and water.

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11:00am: I got hungry in my wellness for living class, so I snacked on some tamari almond while learning about fats. It was almost like I had planned it.

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12:30pm: I was feeling like eating lots of green food for lunch. I started out with a big salad that had 1 cup spinach, 1 cup romaine mix, 1/2 avocado, 1/3 cup cucumber slices, 1/2 lemon juiced, and 1/4 cup raw sauerkraut. Then I ate a cup of brown rice with braggs amino acid along with 1 cup of steamed broccoli.

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1:00pm For my dessert after lunch I had a bartlett pear. It wasn’t the ripest, despite being yellow, but nevertheless it was still delicious.

3:00pm: Got my workout in with a 1.5mile run.

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4:00pm: Post run oatmeal, if you know me, it wouldn’t be a day without a bowl of oats.

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5:30pm: Pasta with broccoli and mushrooms from the cafeteria. Granted I did just eat oatmeal, but carbs are life and I felt like pasta.

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8:15pm: 2 dates with coconut flakes for dessert

9:00pm: vitamin D & vitamin b12

This is a realistic what I eat in a day, I am not perfect, but I try my best to meet the RDA requirements with whole plant based foods while still eating on a college diet. It is possible to eat healthy and vegan in college, you just have to be committed to it. Above I have posted what my day of eating looks like when I plug into Cron-o-meter. I didn’t quite meet all my targets, but I was close at 99%

Bananas 3 ways

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Bananas are honestly one of the best foods you can eat in college. They are rich in potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, and other essential vitamins and unripe bananas are quite starchy which acts as insoluble fiber in you digestive system.  I mean, they are cheap and healthy, how could it get any better than that? Bananas = perfect college student food

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Green Goodness Salad

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This salad is my go to dinner in college. It is quick, healthy, and delicious and it helps use up some of my required meals at school. Every week I stock up on saurkraut, avocados, and lemons. Then every night I take my metal lunch box container and pick up whatever looks good at the salad bar. Usually it is a mix of spring salad greens, spinach, and a romaine lettuce mix. I also get whatever vegetables look good. This time it was broccoli and cucumbers. Continue reading

Weekly Grocery Haul 1//17

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local frozen berries, oat bran, flaxseed meal, kale, pink lady apples, peanut butter, lemons, avocado, onion, turmeric, sauerkraut, carrots, ginger, & oranges.

Each week I make a trip off campus to the local health food store to get food that supplements my meal plan that I am required to have here at my university. The meal plan includes 8 meals each week and some money to spend for food on campus. Usually I use that money to buy kombucha and use my meal plan to get things like salad and more fruit.

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oranges, avocados, limes, ginger, bananas, apples, tempeh, almond milk, & peanut butter

Now that I am in my second quarter of college, my grocery hauls are starting to get pretty consistent. Each week I like to keep quick healthy food on hand to make it easier to eat nutritious food when I am busy. Here are some of my standbys week to week… Continue reading

The World’s Best Oatmeal

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I’ve always been a fan of oatmeal, but college has made me obsessed with it. I think a lot of people don’t like oatmeal because they think of it as plain boring mush. At least that is how my boyfriend thought of it before I introduced him to the way I made oatmeal. It is so good that there have been days when I have had it for two meals. It is simple, healthy, and pretty cheap…the perfect college student meal!

I calculated it out and for me its averages out to $2.50 for a bowl of oatmeal. Not too bad for a quick and healthy meal!

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