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To say we are wild about tea is an understatement. One of our favorite things to do after a long day at fashion week is relax with a hot cup of tea while we let our minds go. We like to let our creative juices flow as we take in all the inspirations from the day.
Recently, I have been trying out different blends of loose teas by Teavana. Once you taste loose tea, you won’t go back. Talk about fresh. I really enjoy being able to control how strong my cup of tea will be depending on how I feel. Teavana has changed my outlook tea, and if you are a tea lover you have to give it a try. Take a look at the wide variety of loose teas and blends the company offers here. Find a store near you or order online. Enjoy!
An important re-blog: I came across a game changing article recently. The biggest excuse and real life concern I hear in regards to buying organic food is the high costs. So, realistically, how can we eat toxin-free diet when we have to abide by a grocery budget?
This is where Danny Seo comes into play. He is an environmental lifestyle expert, who appears frequently on The Today Show. His cool resume: he has created an organic mattress line with Simmons Natural Care, a beauty and skincare line called Wholearth by Danny Seo, and has written a lineup of Simply Green books about gift-giving and party-planning. Oh, and his latest must-read, Upcycling, “features hundreds of innovative, easy and eco-friendly craft projects that turn useless stuff into beautiful new things.”
See his tips below on saving money at Whole Foods. This equation should no longer be an issue: organic food + grocery budget = an impossibility.
Tip #1: Yes, Whole Foods takes coupons. One of the biggest misconceptions about Whole Foods is that because they operate differently than big box supermarkets, they must not take coupons. Wrong. Granted, finding coupons in your Sunday circular for probiotic raw coconut juice or ylang ylang oil is not going to happen, but mainstream organic brands like Kashi and Silk soy milk do advertise. And here’s the kicker: Whole Foods itself has downloadable coupons right on their own website. That’s about $40 off right there.
Tip #2: Can’t find a coupon? Ask for it. When you can’t find coupons for your favorite products, the simplest thing is to play into the whole social media “trend” all of these consumer brands seem to be obsessed about. Make a list of your Top 10 Always Buy items at Whole Foods. Now spend a minute hitting the LIKE button for all of them on Facebook. Periodically, brands like Morningstar Farms and Honest Tea release money saving coupons to their Facebook fans.
Or, tweet that you love a specific product and can’t live without it. I found this delicious Siggi Icelandic yogurt and tweeted about it. They wrote right back saying they wanted to send coupons for some free yogurt. And even emailing a company directly and just outright asking for coupons surprisingly works pretty well, too. The folks at Method cleaning products like their fans so much they reward them with coupons for nice emails.
Tip #3: Join Recyclebank.com; it’s free. Recyclebank.com is an online community that rewards eco-behavior with huge money saving coupons. Sign up for free and learn really helpful tips on going a little bit more green at home, at work and with your family. Each time you pledge to do something, your account is rewarded with points. Then you can shop with those points under “Rewards” for really good deals on things like $2 off any Kashi product, $2 off any two packages of Earthbound Farm organic salad mixes, $1 off Dagoba chocolates, $1 off any (2) Stonyfield Oikos organic greek yogurt and $2 off any Kiss my Face product $5 or more. These aren’t rinky dink fifty cent off deals, but actual full dollar increments. The average Recyclebank members saves about $133 off their supermarket bill each year. And, again, it’s free. The more you learn, the more points you earn, and the more you save. More than 2 million people so far are on the Recyclebank bandwagon.
Tip #4: Pay it Forward. My policy is even if I have a coupon for something, I don’t buy it if I don’t really use it. Lots of time I’ll just leave the coupons on top of the products in Whole Foods so someone who does use it can save. So, if some strange woman leaves behind, say, twenty $2 off Boca Burger coupons at your market and you hoard them all for yourself, pay it forward next time by leaving a stack of Cascadian Farm organic cereal coupons in the breakfast food aisle the following week. Together, we can help each other save.
Fall is finally here, and I know we are all excited about it. Costumes, boots, tights, fall decor, and fall flavored foods, say that ten times fast! This is my favorite time of the year. As a food fanatic, I think that I have some expertise in the area. I was feeling very chef-like this week, and decided I needed to put all of that energy into something that would not only be delicious, but a desert that would incorporate all of the colors and flavors of Fall. In honor of my favorite season, I knew the way to my own heart would be through caramel apples. They were so easy, and so fun! I know you will love them too.
What You’ll Need:
-Assorted apples, Granny Smith’s are my favorite.
-Caramels, stores have them everywhere right now. It will probably be easiest to find them individually wrapped in a bag. Healthy option: See how to make raw caramel here.
-Nuts, chocolate chips, or anything you would like to dip the apples in. I went with crushed walnuts!
-Sticks, you can find these in the craft aisle. If you want to get extra crazy, you could use cinnamon sticks.
1. Melt down the caramel in a pot. Don’t let it boil!
2. Push the sticks into the base of the apple.
3. Emerge your apple into the caramel or grab a spoon and drizzle it on the apple.
4. Wait for apples to cool, preferably on a cooling rack. Make sure to place wax paper underneath.
Put any toppings on the apple you like, and enjoy!
Your kids, friends, husbands, wives, and family are going to be so impressed with your culinary skills. When they ask you where you went to culinary school, just say LOLO! Shhhh… I won’t tell anyone how easy they were for you to make… it will be our little secret. I would suggest eating these the day you make them. I mean, come on, could you really wait anyways?
Yep, I dare to say nothing is better than good quality chocolate. Whether it’s infused into a coffee mug with fresh whipped cream scooped on top and then finished off with more magical dust (aka cocoa powder) or packaged into a carefully wrapped bar of goodness, this superfood sometimes turned sweet is a food worth highlighting. I have to admit that I have been inspired, yes inspired, by my latest chocolate bar buys, and I can’t help but share them with you!
My newest love nugget, Divine chocolate.
I thought this was just the most delicious treat I have yet to test-taste from the Whole Foods shelf, but after some Googling, I realized that in each bite I was playing a part in a more equitable trading partnership. Divine is the only Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by the farmers. What does this mean? Farmers are guaranteed to receive a better deal for their cocoa, receive additional income to invest in their community, and company ownership gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, you can actually meet the farmers. Cool. Go buy your bar today. My personal favorite: Mint Dark Chocolate.
Dagoba Organic Chocolate.
The mission began in 2001, when founder Frederick Schilling dedicated his energy to the purpose of concocting exquisite chocolate to benefit the people and the planet. On a vigorous search for the finest organic ingredients, Frederick searched through rainforests for the most exceptional cacao, all the while becoming inspired by the heart and soul of cacao as well as its rich history and the farmers who grow it.
His adventurous palate and great support from family and friends led to rapid company growth. In fact, his creations became the first organic chocolate bars poured and wrapped by hand. Read more about their commitment to conserving rainforests and supporting urban greening programs here. When you are at the checkout counter, I recommend the Eclipse Bar (for those of you extreme dark chocolate lovers).
I am a slight sweet potato fanatic (understatement) to the point where my skin tone has taken on an orange glow. In college, I had one of these beta-carotene packed root vegetables every day, and they still continue to be a primary part of my diet. Why I am a fan: they are loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Sweet potatoes have super food powers and anti-inflammatory properties, which keeps your tummy flat and your stomach full. Not to mention, they are a complex carbohydrate, which means they digest slower than white potatoes, and therefore will not cause your blood sugar to spike. More sweet spud news: they are virtually fat-free, cholesterol free, and are very low in sodium! So, eat up, and stay tuned for more delicious recipes.
What you’ll need:
1 large sweet potato
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (Optional: Peel the skin off the sweet potato.) Slice the sweet potato into thin, quarter-inch slices, and place into a large bowl. Mix in olive oil evenly, stir, and pour mixture into a baking pan. Pepper the top of the evenly spread slices to your liking. Bake for about 40 minutes, occasionally stirring and flipping until browned on the outsides and soft on the inside. Enjoy!
Avocado is equivalent to a summertime dream. Why? It makes your hair shine, your skin glow, and your body burn fat while simultaneously fighting disease. In first thought, it is often known as the culprit in Mi Cocina’s addicting guacamole or otherwise referred to as the substance that sticks to your thighs. Take note: yes, avocado is high in calories, but when consumed in moderation, it is a powerful fat-burning agent.
Is it just me, or does this fruit have an element of refreshment? Maybe it’s just the lime green color, or the fact that it aids in forming a heightened internal metabolism to keep your body in bikini shape. For all it’s worth (AKA a source of GOOD fat), this superfood deserves some attention. Here are fun new recipes to sneak into your diet that ignite the health benefits of this yummy treat. It’s time to take use of this dynamic source of omega-3. Are you on board?
To jump start the morning:
Avocado Breakfast Pudding (Serves 2)
1 ripe avocado
1/2 c. 1% milk
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. slivered almonds
Blend first three ingredients until smooth. Garnish with granola or almonds.
Source & nutritional ingredients: Vital Juice
For a mid-day meal:
Here we have (with absolutely no measurements, as usual):
Roasted Brussels Sprout and Avocado Salad
Mixed garden greens
Roasted brussels sprouts: cut in half. toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. roast until toasty brown.
For extra pizzaz and protein, throw in an egg fried in a bit of olive oil.
Honey mustard dressing:
One part white wine vinegar to two parts olive oil
A dollop of dijon mustard
A large drizzle of honey
Salt and pepper
Add dressing ingredients to a small jar and give it a good shake. Toss with salad and enjoy!
Try this dip with grilled skewers. Choose your favorite meat and veggies!
Avocado Cilantro Dip (Makes about 1 cup of dip)
1/2 cup thick greek yogurt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 avocado (average Haas size is good – about 6-8 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 tablespoon capers
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of garlic salt
Pinch of smoked paprika
Optional: If you love garlic you can add a clove, extra cilantro leaves
To top off the day with a sweet treat:
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
2 ripe avocados
½ cup of unsweeted cocoa powder
½ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Cut open 2 large avocados and spoon them out into a bowl. Beat well until the avocado is a creamy mouse-like consistency. Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat until all ingredients are mixed evenly. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve later.