Posts tagged vegan
Having lived in several states we’ve experienced different levels of pride, but there’s nothing quite like what we’ve experienced in Ohio. Yes, The Ohio State Buckeyes play a part in our pride, but that’s not the whole of it.
We’re proud of our lake, we’re proud of our hometown, we’re proud of our history. We’ve experienced the highlights, we’ve weathered the recession, we’ve seen cities rebound, while others continue to take a dive.
Our pride runs deep. While some may see us as rude or pompous more often than not it’s simply that we’re proud. (That’s not to say we don’t have our fair share of douche bags, just like every state/college…..for those that have experienced this, my apologies.)
No matter where we live DH and I will always call Ohio our home.
As you know, in an effort to usher in the holiday spirit I’ve been spending time in the kitchen. This past weekend I decided to make buckeyes.
For those that don’t know a what a buckeye is, here’s a little info.
A small, shiny, dark brown nut with a light tan patch that comes from the official state tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree.
According to folklore, the Buckeye resembles the eye of a deer and carrying one brings good luck. “Buckeyes” has been the official Ohio State nickname since 1950, but it had been in common use for many years before.
The first recorded use of the term Buckeye to refer to a resident of the area was in 1788, some 15 years before Ohio became a state. Col. Ebenezer Sproat, a 6’4″ man of large girth and swashbuckling mannerisms, led the legal delegation at the first court session of the Northwest Territory in Marietta. The Indians in attendance greeted him with shouts of “Hetuck, Hetuck” (the Indian word for buckeye), it is said because they were impressed by his stature and manner. He proudly carried the Buckeye nickname for the rest of his life and it gradually spread to his companions and to other local settlers. By the 1830s, writers were commonly referring to locals as “Buckeyes.” – via OhioStateBuckeyes.com
While a buckeye is a nut, there’s also a “candy” that is made to look like a buckeye, which is obviously what I made. Whenever I make them I am sure to make extra and share them with with friends and coworkers. Since many aren’t familiar with what a buckeye is, let alone a candy buckeye, I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and they are always a hit. I’m guaranteed at least one person will request the recipe, several people will return for seconds (or thirds), and I’ve even been told they are, “just as addictive as crack.” Ha!
After posting a photo on instagram of my vegan buckeyes there were multiple requests saying, “Recipe please?!” I’m not one to hold secrets, so here is the recipe I found on AllRecipes.com many years ago that I have veganized.
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
½ cup butter, softened (Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As you all know I’ve voiced my concern over the lack of holiday spirit I’ve had over the past few years. I heeded my advice to take this head on and I must say my holiday spirit is in full swing! Woohoo! Here’s what we’ve done so far that just so happens to be working….
We’ve got our tree - My family always had the tradition of setting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Sadly no live trees were to be found that weekend here in Arizona. We’re not sure if things don’t get rolling around these parts that soon (Maybe due to the heat and the ability for the trees to “keep” that long?) so we had to remain patient. The Home Depot crew must have thought us crazy when we were so excited for the arrival of their first few trees. DH made the final decision on our choice. It’s pretty small. No ornaments. Quite sparse. Slightly irregular. Lots of spirit. Perfect for us. Nothing like the glow of a Christmas tree to light the room at night.
We found Christmas lights - I went on a recon mission to find the best lights in Phoenix and hit the jackpot. This past weekend we visited the Phoenix Zoo for Zoolights. While it’s still a bit weird that it’s not freezing, Phoenix has had a bit of a cold spell and we were able to bundle up for the event, making it a little more Christmas-like.
Also, thanks to AZCentral’s Holiday Lights map we’ve got a ton of addresses marked to check out this holiday season, and made sure to pass by a few on the way home from Zoolights.
St. Nick came - So, from my feeds I guess many people don’t know who St. Nick is or what St. Nick Day is. Growing up I thought everyone celebrated it. Then I thought it was a Catholic thing. Now I think it’s because I’m of German descent. Who knows! But, it was one of those things I always looked forward to growing up….coming downstairs on December 6th to find my stocking filled with knick knacks, soap, small toys, ornaments, and always gold chocolate coins and an orange. I’ve been saying for years I want to fill DH’s stocking for St. Nick Day and never got around to it. Sadly I missed it again but my work schedule allowed me to get a few things to surprise him when he came home from work. So, while St. Nick was a little late, he still came
We had the opportunity to do good and we took it - I haven’t posted what we did or the circumstances that it happened anywhere. Actually, only DH and the person that we helped knows what happened. Why? Because doing good isn’t about being boastful or showing the world what you did. Ahem, humblebrags. While this opportunity was unexpected, leading to a spur of the moment decision, DH and I have made another conscious decision to give back and help those in need this winter and look forward to putting our plan into action soon. It’s important to note that we don’t see doing good as only a holiday thing. We do our best to do good throughout the year, the holidays just give us even more reason to make it a priority.
We’re enjoying tasty treats - Surprisingly enough, over the past few weekends I could be found in the kitchen. First I made chocolate chip cookies and this past weekend I made buckeyes. I don’t see the holidays as a time to totally let myself go but it’s ok to indulge every so often in traditions. It also allows me to spread some cheer by sharing the holiday treats I’ve made.
We’ve focused on feeling close to family even though we’re far away - We can’t be together during the holidays, so sharing photos, videos, and conversation via a shared iPhoto album with my family helps me feel all warm and fuzzy. Every day I’m simply amazed by technology and I make every attempt to remind myself how grateful I am for this blessing.
Even my grandma is making her presence known - Yes, she passed 6 months ago but I think of her every day. I’ve been repeatedly blessed with random dimes and pennies over the past several weeks. As crazy as it sounds I see them as “pennies from heaven” and “signs in dimes”. I have no doubt it my mind that every time I happen across a coin it’s a sign that one of my loved ones is near me. It’s no coincidence that I’m experiencing an abundance during this season, especially when it’s been so challenging and I’m doing my best to not only welcome but spread the holiday spirit. It’s as though she’s saying, “Heidi, you’re doing good. Keep it up.”
While I’m so happy that the holiday spirit is alive and well, I must remind myself not to get wrapped up in continuing to search for it. Now that it’s here I plan to enjoy it and spread it whenever I can.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Less than a year ago I was contacted by a company who was looking to partner with me called Swanson Health Products. I must admit that at first I thought, “Why would I want to partner with them? Sure, I use vitamins, but….” I really wanted to stay true to my promise so the email sat in my inbox for awhile as I debated what direction to take. After doing some research I saw that they had more than just vitamins. Within a month they contacted me again to follow up to see if I had a chance to think it over. Because of their variety of products, excellent communication, and genuine persistence I figured, why not? I appreciate when brands take a chance on me so I thought it was my turn to take a chance on one myself.
Fast forward to today and I am grateful to say I am happy with my decision and I genuinely love Swanson Health Products. I love the idea of mail order, their presence on social media, and the products they offer. Some may say, “Can’t you get that stuff in a store?” Sure, I can get some of the items, but not all of the items in one place. The kicker for me? All of the vegan items they carry. With over 1930 vegan labeled items I’m in heaven and every time I browse their selection it grows. While I do rely on them for my day-to-day DEVA Multivitamins and DEVA B12 supplement, I love that I have the opportunity to try new things. Every time I order it’s like receiving my own little goody box with different vegan products.
Swanson recently asked if I’d like to take part in their 30-Day Healthier Holiday Giveaway. I was given a $100 credit to order whatever I’d like and the winner of my giveaway gets the their own $100 credit to order whatever they’d like. Each day, from November 25th to December 24th, a different healthy living blogger is hosting a chance to win a $100 Swanson Shopping spree. In other words, that’s 30 chances to win….and today is my day to host! Want to know more details, what other bloggers are included, and their dates? Visit Swanson’s blog post. I’ve ordered several boxes over time and here are some of the items that I’ve had the opportunity to try…
DEVA Multivitamin and DEVA B12 - No real explanation here other than I love knowing my supplements are 100% vegan.
Justin’s Nut Butter - After hearing such rave reviews of Justin’s I wanted to try some….but I was always too frugal. Ha! My first box I bit the bullet and ordered some. What a life-changing experience. All of those rave reviews? Right on. I may be slightly addicted to Justin’s Nut Butter now.
Beauty Without Cruelty Lavender Shampoo - While eating raw I went ‘poo-free. Now that I eat cooked food and am growing my hair out shampoo is a bit of a necessity. (This is a topic that needs and entire post in itself). My veganism extends further than what I eat. From what I eat, use, or wear, I do my best to use cruelty-free products. The scent is fresh and not “chemical” like regular ol’ shampoos. Kiss My Face Moisture Shave Fragrance Free - When I went ‘poo-free I also reduced the other products I used. After tearing my legs up shaving I realized just using water wouldn’t cut it. I kept my eye out and stumbled up this and it does the trick. This is even DH’s choice when it comes to shaving.
Kopali Organics Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas - Chocolate and Bananas = 2 of my fave things. Add them together and it’s heaven. These did not disappoint. I enjoyed them so much that I’ve ordered them more than once. I only wish the bag was bigger. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing!
Ginger People Crystallized Ginger and Gin Gins Hard Candy - I tend to have nausea issues on 8+ miles runs. While running Ragnar Trail last month a fellow team mate recommend trying dried ginger to calm my tummy and offered my a piece. It was my first time trying ginger alone. Whew! It’s got a kick. I think it will be an acquired taste and not something I’d eat regularly but I figured I’d order some and see if it works. Since there were several brands/types to choose I narrowed it down to 2 types to try and we’ll see if there’s one I prefer over the other.
Bell Plantation PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter - Like Justin’s this is another thing that so many people love and I wanted to give a try. Once again, I’m sold. I love it! Sadly it’s a bit pricey at a store. While this hasn’t deterred me from purchasing when I saw how affordable it was from Swanson Vitamins I was thrilled.
SunWarrior Protein Powder Chocolate and PlantFusion Multi Source Plant Protein - I’m not one to get hung up on the amount of protein I need but I’ve been adding some protein shakes in the mix lately. I’m a fan of Vega but I’ve been wanting to try other options. I love not only having a ton of options but also the ability to try them without breaking the bank.
Dr. McDougall’s All Natural Asian Entree – Spicy Kung Pao and Beanitos Pinto Bean Chips – Better Cheddar - Still making my way through my items so I have yet to try these. =)
See! Swanson Vitamins has WAY more than just vitamins. I’m continuously adding to my saved wishlist. What would you order? Remember you can only enter my giveaway for 24 hours, so don’t forget to enter below!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As I stated in my post about beauty, over the past few years I’ve made it a point to reduce my dependence on items that aren’t necessary to survive. One of those things would be the use of makeup. Ever since that post and the inevitable lifestyle change as I become a Rock Star Wife, I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff lately….specifically makeup and fashion.
It’s safe to say I’m pretty darn comfortable in my own skin and thankfully my husband loves me just the way I am. However, I can’t be going to shows looking like a hot mess or hag, right? Enter my newest “project” for myself…attempting to master the application of make up. Keeping it real, I’m not doing this for anyone but me. (Remember D prefers me WITHOUT makeup) Even if I can make this happen, chances are 9.9 times out of 10 you’ll still find me without makeup. But we both agree that it wouldn’t hurt to spice things up a bit here and there. Not to mention, I’ll take any help I can get at fending off his admirers
Makeup has never been my thing. As a teenager I was never one of those girls that would sit in her room applying makeup. The extent of my daily makeup routine would possibly be powder foundation, maybe blush, and a touch of eye shadow. I never touched eyeliner or lipstick. The first time I ever wore eyeliner was for my wedding almost 11+ years ago and someone else applied it. So as you can see I literally have no base when it comes to makeup application skill.
To add to the challenge I want all products I use to be cruelty-free. Thankfully there are companies that produce cruelty-free makeup. The downside: there aren’t many, they tend to be more expensive, and even if the brand is cruelty-free the parent company sometimes isn’t (big gray area but I want to try my best to avoid supporting those companies)
As of now I’ve turned to YouTube videos in attempt of learning some application techniques. It’s always fun to realize I’m learning to apply makeup by girls that are half my age. I swear no matter what technique I try it all looks the same too. Goodness, I need some serious help. What I need is a makeup artist to sit down and teach me one-on-one. Shoot, at this point I’d settle for the basics. Maybe one day we’ll have enough money so I can hire a stylist/makeup artist. Seriously, how rad would that be? Never say never….
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’ve already written about this but have since had further thoughts, hence why I’m sharing more….
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging since 2006. With the exception of one major dry spell I’ve been writing since then. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I transferred from my old blog to being BananaBuzzbomb. I didn’t transfer all of the blog posts during the transition because quite honestly I didn’t think they “belonged” here.
I’ve said it before, but when I first started blogging it was to keep my family up-to-date on our day-to-day lives. You name it, I wrote about it. It was more like a journal and I held nothing back. My regular readers were family with the exception of a few strangers who would stumble upon my blog for various reasons. To this day I still have blog posts that have regular traffic and receive comments. I loved blogging. It was natural. It was freeing. I didn’t really have to think about it. I just wrote. I didn’t worry about who I’d offend or if topics would hurt my traffic or cost me partnerships with brands.
As I saw social media evolve I saw the opportunity to see if I could work towards making a living off of my blogging…or at least a supplemental income. I was already blogging, so why not? When I started BananaBuzzbomb I attempted to be more formal and business-like….or building my own “brand”. I worked on finding my niche and became associated with a network of individuals that helped share my content as I did for them as well. During that time I saw everyone and their mom creating blogs. I thought, “The more the merrier. Come join the party!”
Over the past several months I realized how commercialized blogging has become. As I looked around at my fellow bloggers I couldn’t help but think, “This isn’t really blogging.” Is anyone actually sharing their real story or are they just sharing bits and pieces that conform around their niche? Even more, are they even sharing any of their real life or just creating an image surrounding products that they receive for free or for compensation? Does anyone really care about their true voice and what they are writing? What ever happened to real blogging?
It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realized I had lost my authentic voice. Sure there was a bit of Heidi in those posts (I wrote them!) , but I was conforming to the change happening around me. I’m not a salesperson and I was literally trying to sell myself. And that’s why it seemed to take forever to write my posts.
Quite honestly the last thing I want is to be known as is an authority on something ( I even say that in my About Me that was written well over 2 years ago). Yes, I want people to trust my words, but authority? No. I simply want to share my life. Losing my authentic voice also meant I didn’t use certain words or share my thoughts on topics that I had an opinion on because I was too scared to hurt my own personal “brand”. In other words, more often than not I was holding back.
I’m not hating on the situation because I was doing it as well. I’m also not saying that people shouldn’t make money off of blogging. There are people out there that are masters of their creation, weaving true blogging and making money off of it. I’m also not against working with brands. However, two important questions I’ve started asking myself when asked to review/promote products are: “Do I already use this product/brand?” and for new products “Would I be willing to spend my money on this if it wasn’t given to me for free?” I’ve quickly found that I needed to pass on more opportunities that I wouldn’t have in the past…but that’s okay. I have and will always be loyal to the promise I made myself. As time goes on I’ve found that I want to be even more conservative.
I want to get back to the basics of blogging. When I read my friend Carey’s blog the other day it confirmed what I’ve been feeling over these past couple months. Her posts are refreshing. They are legit. She doesn’t hold anything back. True life experiences with emotions and all. I’m not saying that I want to hear about every waking moment of someone’s life by reading their blog, but I want to know about them. If they’re a runner. Great. But doesn’t their life consist of more than running? Tell me about that stuff too.
I’m not saying that all the other blogs are crap. On the contrary, there are many great writers out there…but my hope is that they stay true to their voice and are sharing their real-life stories and not some facade in order to get more page hits. Because that’s not what real blogging is about.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
You know, I could actually plan out my blog posts, like I used to…something like every Friday write my “grateful” posts. But that never felt right and let’s be honest, that sort of planning actually works against my whole “Be Here Now” plan. I’m over it. I’m going to write what I want to write, when I want to write. For those that are regular readers I’m sure you’ve already picked up on this transition since I used to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is no longer happening.
Although I’ve always had control over my blog, (hello, I write it.) taking this thought and actually living it has felt empowering. I also have to say that my blogging voice is coming through much easier . My posts may not flow all that well (not that they ever did), but lately I’ve found that when I sit down to type there’s a much easier flow from my brains thoughts to keyboard.
So, with all that being said, it’s been several weeks since I’ve posted about things that I am grateful for I figured it’s time to share.
Mobile banking. Since we have direct deposit that last time we stopped at our bank was months ago. Direct deposit is awesome given that we bank with a credit union and there aren’t locations on every street corner. I recently received a check in the mail to be deposited but kept putting off depositing it because it wasn’t convenient to make my way over to our bank. However, I just happened to check if they offered mobile deposits, like Bank of America shows in their commercials, and sure enough they do! I simply downloaded the app, took a few photos, submitted, and within 24 hours the deposit was accepted. Now, I gotta admit, the whole thought is a bit scary but given that it’s not something I’d be doing regularly it’s a rad option to have.
Swanson Vitamins. After mobile banking and now reading this next one you may think I’m lazy. I swear, I’m not. It’s all about convenience! Coming from a small town I often had to order vegan products to avoid making hour-long trips to Whole Foods and such. Living in Phoenix has made things a lot easier, but heading to the store or mall drives me bonkers (can you believe D loves shopping way more than me?). So from clothes, food, and other odds and ends, I’m all about online shopping. The friendly folks at Swanson Vitamins contacted me and asked to see if I’d like to check out their products and services. Free goodies for trying them out? Why not? I must admit I was pretty blown away not only by the prices (the vitamins I normally order on Amazon are actually cheaper from Swanson) but they have so much more than just vitamins. I was thrilled I could purchase so many of the things I regularly use all from one source.
I also decided to order some Justin’s Nut Butter, which I had never tried. That may or may not have been a good idea. I’ll let you decide.
Running mojo. After several months off of running it may be back. I attribute this to listening to my body, taking a break from my daily runs, and adding in yoga. As you know over the past several weeks I’ve added in Zumba and Total Body classes to the mix. I have slowly pieced together all of this cross-training and am back to working out on a daily basis. I am no longer running everyday (like I used to), but I still workout everyday, with the exception of rest days, and still manage to practice yoga. It feels good and more importantly I’m having fun.
Amande Yogurt. I was never a big fan of yogurt prior to going vegan so it wasn’t something I missed. Several months ago I just so happened to see yogurt at Sprouts Farm Market that was made of almond milk. I was intrigued and grabbed the the coconut flavor. Delicious! I have since tried their other flavors, which are tasty as well, but coconut wins hands down. Unfortunately the closest Sprouts doesn’t carry the coconut flavor nor do they carry the large containers (hence, why David went on the hunt). I have since found the flavor and size at Whole Foods, but it takes a bit of a drive, so I stock up whenever I’m in the area.
Grateful Jar. Speaking of gratefuls. Just like many people we chose to start a Grateful Jar at the beginning of the year. Although I’m not great at putting something in each day I usually make up for it the rest of the days and the jar is slowly filling up. I look forward to reading them at the end of the year. Should be fun!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I have a bit of a confession to make. I’ve been debating a hiatus from blogging. With everything that’s been going on in my life, with all of the changes, I almost feel like it’s time to step back. I talk about “be here now“. I really believe in it and yet I’m not living it because I get so caught up in everything…including my blog.
Over the past year my blog has taken many twists and turns. I’ve dabbled in video, attempted to find my “niche”, and even done work with brands on sponsored campaigns. For every experience, I am grateful. But ultimately, I’ve found that road isn’t really for me.
It’s no secret that I have a history of over analyzing almost every aspect of my life. I’ve gotten much better at accepting things as they come and going with the flow. However, I think it’s also very important to ask questions and assess myself, my journey, and my surroundings. In other words, greet everything with curiosity Looking at my blogging situation is no different. As I questioned whether I wanted to continue blogging these are the thoughts and questions I found swirling around in my head….
I love documenting what I’m doing but compared to many people my life isn’t all that exciting. I get up at 4:30a, do yoga, work, come home, make a simple meal, blog, and then go to bed. Some days I may mix up my workouts/activity, but that’s about it.
Weekends tend to be more adventurous, but I feel that I cannot appropriately put into words all that I’ve experienced because the words don’t seem to come to me or the emotions I experience are too hard for me to express. I feel like I’m not serving my experiences justice.
Lately I’ve had the same thoughts/experiences going round and round me but who wants to hear about the same blogs time and time again….even if they seem important to me.
I’m spending too much time thinking/mulling over my posts that it’s been causing me stress and anxiety. Whatever happened to simple blogging? Now I link back posts, make sure there’s some sort of photo, or even add video.
Video is easier for me but I have an even smaller following to my vlogs and most people who read my blogs have no interest in watching vlogs. I myself am not a vlog watcher. Not to mention, I have a hard time doing only video as I feel I still have to supplement with writing.
As a vegan I’ve also covered some of the basics, but I’m not one to preach from the rooftops. When it comes to cooking and eating, I’m real basic. Sure, I’ll eat out, but I rarely post recipes because I hate to cook and 95%+ time I eat whole, raw foods, or keep it VERY simple.
What about my connections with brands by taking a break, walking away, or changing things up? No doubt, I’ve had some amazing experiences and connections all because of my blog, and it’s great to get “free” items, but really, what are those things worth?
Where does this leave me? What do I have to offer? Myself. I’m not a world-class athlete or chef, but I am a student of life. I’m a lover of adventure and trying new things. Someone that’s willing to try something new, even if it means stumbling, falling, or taking a few steps back.
As for finding my “niche”. I’ve never been one to fit a stereotype or label so why force myself into something now?
Will I lose opportunities with brands? Time will tell. Something I pride myself on is the genuine sharing of brands I believe in. Sure Columbia Sportswear, Mizuno, and Road Runner Sports have been great to me but I was a supporter of them prior to my connections. More importantly, I really do love and use their products. My promise to you and myself is that I only align myself with brands that I actually use and/or that fit my life.
One thing about life is that we are constantly evolving. Oftentimes I feel like my life is evolving faster than I can keep up. If you’ve followed along, even for a short time, you probably have witnessed this. I wouldn’t change it for the world. That idea alone is one of the main reasons I began blogging…to share my journey.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I made it through my first week in corporate America. Cubicle setting, badge required to enter, computer-focused….yep, all of that. Not only have I lived to tell about it but I’m ready for more. Blame it on the newness of it all but I’ve never been in this sort of work setting before so it’s pretty exciting. To add to the fun D and I now only work about a block away from each other allowing us to commute together. We are unsure how long this will last due to his schedule after training, but it works right now. Together time + saving on gas = win/win situation. I guess you could say things are rolling right along. We make it a point not to take things for granted and are beyond grateful with the recent turn of events.
Since I’m already buzzing about our new job situations I figured I could buzz about other things that I’m digging lately. Things that bring a smile to my face.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I’ve already referenced them before and think they’re worth an actual mention. Unless you’re living under a rock, most everyone has heard the song “Thrift Shop”. There’s no doubting I love the song and that’s what drew me in, but after further research I’ve found his album to be too awesome for words. I know it may not be the style for some but from his lyrics to the beats, it’s beyond rad. I find myself jamming out to them repeatedly. My recent fave is “Can’t Hold Us”.
Oakley Sunglasses. Let’s keep it real. I’m minimalist in my needs and am also frugal due to our lack of funds. It should come as no surprise that I’ve never spent more than $15 on a pair of sunglasses and owning a pair of Oakley sunglasses has never been on my radar. When I received word a month ago I won Heather’s giveaway I was stoked. I literally ran around our house jumping for joy. Not knowing what frames would work, I guessed by choosing the “Ideal” frame, and lucked out BIG time. I’ll admit I’m still deathly afraid of scratching them but I’m in absolute love with these sunglasses. They don’t move an inch when I run and feel so sturdy. Now I get why people will spend money on good quality sunglasses and rave about them.
Healthy lunch options. Growing up I never understood why people liked guacamole. When I went raw vegan I gave avocados another try and haven’t looked back. It’s definitely an acquired taste/texture, but they’re a special treat for me. I’ve packed them for my lunch salads this week to add a bit of a twist. Knowing I had an avocado to add to my salad revved up my appetite for my lunch. I love having an easy healthy fast food option. Easy transport, affordable, healthy, and yummy. When I don’t haul a salad to work steamed veggies are my second in line.
Supportive, loving husband. D has held my hand through this work transition as I try to gain back some sort of fashion sense that I seem to have lost over the past 10 years. That girl who made it a point to dress up at least twice a week is somewhere in there and he’s helping me to find her once again. So much that he gives me his honest feedback when it comes to my daily outfits and even went shopping with me this weekend to add a few different tops to my wardrobe. All a bit different than I’ve ever worn. Of course all from the thrift store or clearance rack. Baby steps, ya’ll, baby steps. My wardrobe is becoming a bit more well-rounded yet unique.
Breakthrough moments. Due to money and schedule I have yet to make it to a yoga studio but I am still practicing regularly at home. I am grateful for the little steps of progress I notice with each session, but on Thursday I had a major breakthrough in a couple asanas. So much that I found myself smiling yet confused thinking I must be doing something wrong. ”Why was that so easy?! I’ve never been able to bend that way….”Reinforcement that I thankful for. Yes, I have photos of myself doing yoga for my own purposes to critique myself and make adjustments. Someday I’ll have the guts to share them with you…
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
There aren’t too many dishes that I miss since going vegan. If I really want something I can usually figure out an alternative. For instance, my mom’s party potato recipe. Over the past few years I’ve had the craving for Double Decker Knox Blox.
Although this isn’t something I’d eat on a normal basis, this dessert was one of my favorites at our family holiday gatherings. With the ingredients being Jell-O, Knox gelatin (both containing animal products), and heavy whipping cream (dairy) it’s no longer an option for me as a vegan. Due to my craving I recently set out to see if I could “veganize” my recipe.
As you can see, my jel/cream didn’t separate like typical double decker’s do when they set up. Alas, they were still just as tasty and a terrific vegan-friendly alternative.
Want to make your own? Here’s the recipe!
Not So Double Decker Vegan Knox Blox
3 Envelopes Unflavored Natural Desserts Jel
3 Packages (3 oz each) Flavored Natural Desserts Jel (any flavor)
2.5 Cups Boiling Water
1 Cup Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk
In a large bowl combine all envelopes and packages of Jel Dessert. Add boiling water. Stir in Coconut Milk (don’t whip it). Pour into shallow 9 X 9 pan. Chill until firm.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’m pretty excited to have a couple giveaways lined in the coming weeks. Who doesn’t like free stuff? When it’s healthy, it’s even better, right?
So, let’s get to it!
Recently I was contacted by NatureBox and asked if I’d like to try out some of their products. Having had a taste of one of their mixes at Inspiration and Perspiration along with having seen many rave reviews, I was pretty stoked at the opportunity. For those that are unfamiliar with NatureBox, let me break it down….For $19.95 each month you will receive a box via mail. Your box will include 15 to 20 servings across 5 different NatureBox snacks. Each month your NatureBox will be filled with different tasty treats.
Pretty simple, eh? But it gets better. NatureBox focuses on healthy, natural ingredients that are minimally processed. None of their products contain high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. Even more, many of their products are vegan and are clearly labeled if so.
When I received my box the hardest thing was not eating it all in one day! I immediately dove into the Carrot Chips but I made sure I shared with the pups. Ooh, did they love the them too.
The Cinnamon Spice Granola and Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds were the perfect flavor for getting in the fall mood. I have to admit, when I received my box I wasn’t sure if I’d care for everything in the box. For instance the Country Ranch Peas and Chipotle Maple Almonds. I saved those for last. Alas, those were my 2 favorites. Go figure! The peas tasted so much like ranch that it was hard to believe they were vegan. I have no idea who came up with the Chipotle Maple Almonds but whoever did needs to win a prize. I’d buy those in bulk if I could. Yes, they were that good.
I really think NatureBox is onto something here. They have some pretty amazing tasting snacks at a reasonable price. Some may balk at the price but have you ever seen how expensive regular ol’ trail mix costs at the store. This is more natural, healthier, unique, and brought right to your door.
Because I loved my NatureBox so much they have offered to help me spread the love to my followers by offering a free NatureBox to one of my readers.
Here’s how to enter:
-Leave me a comment below. What’s your favorite healthier snack when you get the munchies?
-For an additional entry, tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment here letting me know you did. Something along the lines of “WIN a box of healthy goodies from @NatureBox & @BananaBuzzbomb!!” or just click this to tweet.
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST January 13th, 2013. The winners will be chosen at random using Random.org and notified by the following Monday. Sorry international friends, this giveaway is open to followers with US shipping addresses only.
For those wanting to give NatureBox a try, head over to their site and use the promotional code CARROT to receive 25% off your first month’s subscription. Get snacking!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)