Tag Archives: tips

Super Easy Superfood Latte Mix

I’m a huge coffee drinker. I actually drink about 6 cups a day (or more) while I’m at school, just because I wake up early for class and it’s kind of go-go-go until 10 or 11 pm. A girl needs energy. Plus, there’s unlimited coffee in the dining hall, so while my darling boyfriend is eating his 9th plate of food, I can load up on caffeine.

I could probably talk for hours (or pages, I suppose) about why coffee is the best thing in the world. For example, the global switch from drinking beer or water mixed with wine (using the alcohol to kill off bacteria) to drinking mainly tea and coffee (using boiling to kill off bacteria) essentially took the world off of depressants and gave it a swift kick. No wonder we love so quickly these days!

Anyway! I love coffee. So do a lot of people. Let’s make coffee work for us.

While I was in Hawaii last year, I fell in love with a superfood chai at a local cafe. I can’t remember the exact blend, but I distinctly remember it having turmeric, and thinking “wow, I thought I hated turmeric! This is amazing!”

I also drank many, many expensive protein shakes at the Kauai Juice Company, and I because enchanted with a certain Island Protein shake, that tasted like vanilla cake batter. All of the ingredients were familiar- in fact, things I used in my own protein shakes- except maca. Its a wonderful, butterscotch flavored root with lots of fiber. And it’s delicious.

So here is my accidental ode to last year’s vacation, a simple mix to add to your coffee for a little boost of taste and energy. It’s really great for those of us who realize that breakfast isn’t always a good idea (if I eat a full breakfast, I either feel nauseous or incredibly hungry for the rest of the day. It’s a bit of a lose-lose).

Superfood Latte Mix

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1/4 cup stevia in the raw

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (I love this)

2 tbs maca powder

2 tsp organic turmeric

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together and transfer to a clean jar. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons to a cup of coffee, along with a splash of almond milk or cashew milk.

May this grant you delicious coffee and lots of energy. Happy baking!

30 New Years Resolutions That Aren’t “Lose Weight”

Almost everyone above the age of twelve has probably said that “this is the year I lose weight!” And then repeated it the next year, the next year, the next year. It’s a little passé. Even if you start with the best intentions, little things sneak up and it’s suddenly April, with no progress made– or even a few extra pounds.

The definition of insanity is supposed to be doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. So why would you have the same resolution, every year, and expect to suddenly achieve it without changing a thing.

I challenge you to leave weight loss off your list this year. Here are a few suggestions, in all different categories:

This year, I will:

HEALTH

1. Start doing yoga every day.

2. Start running every week.

3. Go vegan!

4. Drink a gallon of water every day.

5. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.

6. Eat 5 servings of veggies and fruits every day.

7. Stop eating processed foods.

8. Start eating mindfully.

9. Let go of “food guilt”.

10. Listen to my body.

SPIRIT

11. Go to religious services every week.

12. Pray every morning.

13. Do one extra kind act every day.

14. Meditate every day.

15. See a therapist.

HOME

16. Stop buying things I don’t need.

17. Stop buying things with plastic packaging.

18. Get rid of unworn clothing.

19. Get rid of unused items.

20. Clean up every day.

21. Organize my closet.

22. Organize my pantry.

23. Clean the garage.

24. Put money away into savings.

SELF

25. Play an instrument every week.

26. Start studying a foreign language.

27. Take new classes.

28. Read 12 books.

29. Write a book.

30. Love myself.

Let’s make 2019 a little brighter for everyone. Happy Holidays!

Header image by rawpixel on Unsplash

The 5 Biggest Greenwashing Tactics (And How to Avoid Them)

Greenwashing. It sounds nice, right, like using all natural soap to clean your baby’s hair, or making the house sparkly clean with only baking soda and lemon. I suppose that would be green-washing. But, tragically, the reality isn’t nearly as idyllic.

Greenwashing is essentially what happens when a company tries to make their products, services, or whole organization appear eco-friendly, even when it’s not. It’s similar to the food claims that something is “all natural” and “fat free” or even “vegan”. These may sounds fancy and healthy, but really carry little meaning in regards to overall health. Similarly, products that are greenwashed may make you feel like you’re making a good choice, but in reality they can be just as harmful as their conventional alternatives. I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are the most common forms of greenwashing that I see nearly every day.

1. “All natural” 

So, just like in food labels, this doesn’t really mean anything because there are essentially no governing bodies to determine what gets this label and what doesn’t. Just because something is in a green or brown packaging and boasts that it’s natural, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is– or that you want it near your body. Verify the ingredients list, and check for certifications, such as being organic or a biobased product. usda_organic-logo

Speaking of that green and brown packaging– that counts too! Companies will try to market their products in subtle ways that make us reach for them without thinking.

2. “vegan”

This one should be cool, right? But a certain company, whom we shall call “Farnier Gructis” has started proudly marketing certain products as “vegan formula”. But the products are still tested on animals, which isn’t very cool. Or, by my morals and definitions, vegan. Which brings me to the next topic:

3. This Product Not Tested On Animals

Oof. This carries a lot of questions. Were the ingredients tested on animals? Are other products by the company tested on animals? Always look for a certification, such as Leaping Bunny or PETA’s cruelty free logo– they will show which products are cruelty free and vegan!

 

4. Recyclable container/packaging

Ugh. This one is super hard, because obviously recycling is good, but not the best option. Opt for products that are packaged in recycled and recyclable packaging– or, better yet, little to no packaging. Paper and glass are much more easily and cleanly recycled than plastic.

5. Made with “xxx”

No, not moonshine. Saying a product is made with something doesn’t really even mean it’s a major part. If your fruity tooty mango shampoo has more chemicals than mango, it’s really time to let that go, man. Ha.

Spend a little time researching the brands and products you buy. Find if they test on animals, if they have certifications, where you can buy them for the cheapest. Knowing which makeup brands and cleaning supplies have a good reputation can make greener shopping easy. I like Mrs. Meyers’ cleaning supplies, and I sometimes use Seventh Generation as well, or brandless.com. If you can’t find products that suit you, just remember that nearly everything (including you!) can be cleaned with baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, and essential oils– there are tons of recipes on Pinterest, from shampoo to dish detergents.

I challenge you to open your eyes a little more while doing your shopping, and maybe make your home a little greener, a little brighter, and a little cleaner!

xoxo Emma

Vegan With a Vengeance: Why I Eat (and Don’t Eat) What I Eat

This is a catchall research post. That’s right, hardcore research, with links to actual sites and everything. Because I am so tired of arguing with people about my choices. You want the short answer, the one I give to little kids? I’m vegan because thinking about cows makes me cry. That’s really what it boils down to. But big picture, the real thinking behind it, gets kind of disgusting. Not appropriate dinner conversation. But here we go.

Ethics

This one is kind of obvious. In 2015, 9.2 billion farm animals were slaughtered for food, according to the USDA. Of these animals, almost 29 million were cattle, 115 million were hogs, and a staggering 8.8 BILLION were chickens. These figures don’t even include rabbits, fish, or crustaceans (source).

This one seems kind of obvious, but apparently “bacon is sooooo good” is an equivalent argument, according to many people. Anyway…

Dairy can be just as deadly. Cows are naturally social creatures, much like humans. But when a cow gives birth (after being forcibly artificially inseminated), the calf is taken away within hours. The mother is then milked and eventually inseminated again for the process to begin again. Female calves are raised to be the next generation to undergo a life of pain, while male calves are sold for beef or, more often, killed for veal (source). So much for the “it hurts the cow if she isn’t milked” thing, right?

Finally, we come to chickens. Eggs are okay, right? Sorry. Even the happiest, free range-est chickens have still been bred to lay over three times the amount of eggs their ancestors did a century ago. Beaks are often culled (cut or trimmed) on baby chicks; the unlucky males are gassed or ground up (source, source).

 

Environment

This is one that I started learning about AFTER I had already stopped eating animal products, but it’s incredibly simple if you think about it. Crops are sown, grown, and harvested only to be fed to animals, which are then fed to people. The process is inefficient. 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon is due to cattle raising. Sure, you’re recycled paper and reusable cups are helping, but you know what isn’t? Your Big Mac. (source).

Health

To be honest, this isn’t as much of a factor for me. I mean, does the thought of putting pus-filled cheese and heavily antibiotic-treated chicken into my body disgust me now? Yes. Was it a factor when I first stopped eating animal products? Nah. But this may help convince some people. Vegans tend to be thinner (which, obviously, does not mean healthier, but is still appealing to the general population), have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of high blood pressure, as well as the higher availability of important nutrients such as folic acid and fiber (source).

Disclaimer

I’m not a professional. Obviously. I’m just showing my reasoning. And I know that not everyone has the resources and the drive to plan food and be so careful, and that’s okay. But attacking people for a choice that they are making, whether it is for their health or the environment or because of personal convictions. is not okay. If you want to ask questions because you are curious, then ask! If you want to ask questions to ridicule… what are you even doing? Seriously, dude.

A final anecdote, to finish off a kind of heavy little post:

My brother in law was talking to me, and pointing out that I had all these enzymes in my body that I wasn’t using because I don’t eat meat; why would I have them if I wasn’t supposed to use them, that kind of thing.  I became frustrated and finally yelled “YOU HAVE NIPPLES!” which ended the conversation abruptly.

I hope this has been helpful, if anyone has any questions or helpful links, please comment. Thanks!

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal

DSC08916This peanut butter oatmeal is loaded with 15 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, and only 4 grams of sugar and is vegan, gluten-free, and easy to throw together.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, gluten-free if needed
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbs PB2 powder
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs flax seeds, ground
  • stevia to taste

Prepare oatmeal as usual, using 1 cup of almond milk instead of water. Mix in additional almond milk and other ingredients after cooking, and enjoy!

Nutrition: 340 calories, 13 g fat, 30 g carbs (14 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 15 g protein.

Easy Mason Jar Cozy

 

There’s nothing more irritating than lugging around your bag of groceries and bulk food, or your lunch bag, and hearing the clank of mason jars against each other. I’ve frankly gotten tired of being a tuneless one-woman band, so I decided to make so travel bags/cozies for my mason jars.

What you need: 

  • an old men’s flannel shirt
  • fabric scissors
  • needle
  • thread

What to do: 

  1. Check that the jar fits in the sleeve when buttoned up. You should still be able to unscrew the lid with the cozy on.
  2. Measure where you want to cut, about one to two inches below where the jar sits when it’s in the sleeve. It’s better to cut a little extra than to be short.
  3. Cut the sleeve, trying to keep a straight line. It’s okay for this to be a little uneven and messy, though.
  4. Keeping the sleeve-let right side out, sew along the bottom. It doesn’t matter how neat this is, as long as it will stay.
  5. Turn the sleeve right side out.
  6. Place mason jar inside, button up, and turn down “collar”. Enjoy your noiseless, well-dressed snack or drink!

You can use the rest of the flannel to make rags, unpaper towels, dryer sheets, etc. I buy mine for about $3 each from my local thrift shop.

Vegan at College: How to Hack It

  1. MIX UP YOUR SALADS
    • add beans, salsa, chickpeas, guac, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, whatever is available
    • take advantage of the salad bar- there are probably delicious raw veggies you can eat plain, or with hummus, guac, peanut butter, etc
  2. PROTEIN POW(D)ER
    • if your protein options are limited, you can always keep some protein powder on you (I love Orgain Chocolate Fudge). Just add water or nondairy milk; or, make my favorite protein smoothie bowl (recipe soon to come!)
  3. SPICE IT UP
    • when the steamed green beans and broccoli start to get old, mix it up! Add soy, sriracha, lemon pepper, curry powder, paprika- use your imagination!
  4. MEAL PREP
    • if you have a fridge and microwave, you’re all set. Buy canned soup (I love Amy’s kitchen), and pre-portion veggies and hummus for grab-and-go dining
    • if you have access to a dorm kitchen, even better! Spend some time during the weekend roasting veggies, cooking up soup, or making peanut butter cookies
  5. Speak up!
    • petition for more choices, ask for items to be made vegan, maybe even start a vegan club!

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • DON’T start eating all the vegan junk food you can; it’s hard, especially when you suddenly have new freedom. Avoid the Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, veggie burgers and fries- they won’t be your friend for long
  • DON’T ignore nutrient needs. Track your proteins, fats, micronutrients, etc. Make sure you take a vitamin supplement of some sort for those important B vitamins!
  • DON’T give up. It may seem difficult, but remember that you are not a potato, you are a coffee bean: when you’re put in hot water, change your surroundings, don’t let them change you!