Be a conscious consumer: Eat out and get groceries locally, buy food that doesn’t have plastic packaging, don’t use plastic bags for bulk fruit, put it loosely in the top part of the cart, or get reusable bags. Buy from companies trying to make a positive impact on the planet. I will link some of my favorite sites in the bio!
Cut back on motor vehicles: Carpooling, riding your bike to work, and so on will help save about a pound of pollutants per mile. Not only that, but the exercise that it takes you to bike or walk to your destination will promote good health physically and mentally. Doing good things feels good.
Pay your bills online. Most businesses are already using this technology. Take advantage of saving the paper! Usually companies will also give you a discount for saving the trees.
Go meatless: Vegetarian and vegan options are at almost every restaurant you go to. Roughly 2,000 gallons of water goes into one pound of beef. Going meatless will not only save that water, but it will also cut down on the harm and over production of agricultural animals. Meat is the number one source of water pollution, and the industry has a massive carbon footprint.
Use reusables: Get a reusable water bottle, silverware set, plates, and even napkins. Bonus points if your reusable is ceramic, glass, or recycled. Every year disposable water bottles use 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce, and napkins cut down 34 million trees. It is limitless of how you can impact the planet by what you buy for everyday things. That being said, if you use glass products, never put them in the trash. Glass is very easily recyclable and can always be reused.
Let me know if this is you. Doesn’t like waking up, not a morning person, tired for a few hours before finally waking up after coffee (or a few cups of coffee).
There is a cure!!! It starts with you wanting to make the change, about a week to a month of healthy habit forming, and a positive mindset.
Move for at least 5 minutes. Whether this is stretching in your bed still, or going to the living room and doing a few sun salutations, take a few minutes to get your body more warm, this will give you better circulation and digestion.
Be grateful. Write down 5 things you are grateful for, and then say them 5 times each.
Meditate. You can also add a little manifestation in there as well. What do you need? Once you know where you want your life to go, make it happen. What you think, is what will be. If you add 5 minutes everyday to say to yourself for example, “I am successful, I am working my dream job, creating my hours and pay, and I am so grateful for that.” or “I am positive. I create joy within myself and others.” Use statements that reflect that it has already happened, (I am statements).
Drink a glass of water. Now I know every insta-famous or youtube famous person will tell you to drink a hot glass of lemon water, and then take a turmeric & ginger shot, and go to soul cycle and then blah blah blah, and that’s great and so healthy, but it’s not reality for a majority of our lifestyles. I’m here to tell you to just get some water in your system. Help your body flush out toxins. Theres so many other scientific reasons you need to drink water, but don’t worry as much about the temperature or whether it has a lemon or if you are drinking it too fast or too slow. Just drink water. If you get coffee on your way to work, a great option is to take a water bottle with you and sip on it as you drive to your coffee shop or just to work.
Smile. When you look in the mirror make really funny faces at yourself or dance or something. Make yourself smile. Try and laugh, smile, say good morning to other people too, whatever being happy in the morning looks like. Being positive is hard, it is so easy to not look at someone on your way into your office, its harder to say hello and smile. BUT here’s the rub. It’s so worth it to be nice. It’s so worth it to make connections with people. Our mind craves it, we really need people to connect with to stay sane. It’s an amazing curse. If you are introverted like me, or simply just crabby pants in the morning start with this: smile at everyone you walk by and every few people say “good morning”. Don’t say how are you if you don’t care. That sounds harsh, but we as humans have these habitual phrases we use, but don’t hold meaning unless we give it meaning, and most of the time we don’t. If you feel compelled, as someone how they are, but phrase it like this- “How have you been recently? Anything new?” make that sound like your tone/voice and if you have the mental space to listen to how someone has been, ask. I bet it would make their day.
When You Want Something Warm:
My go-to breakfast recently has been all about avocado & bagels. Toasted, drizzled with balsamic, and 100% yummy. I roast or sear some sweet potatoes with a little BBQ & spices (I use garlic, pepper, and chili powder) and it all comes together in about 5-10 minutes! So easy and so filling and nutritious.
When you want something cold:
Recently the weather in Nebraska has been fluctuating, but spring is in the future!! We can finally start eating cold breakfasts again without feeling absolutely frozen after. Is that just me? Anyways, here’s my go-to smoothie recipe for the days that start off warm. What a dream that would be- crossing my fingers it gets warm here soon!
A few kale leaves
2 fresh mangoes (not frozen)
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/4 c water or dairy free milk
2 T maple syrup or agave
Things you can add in extra: almond butter, supplements, fruit sorbet/sherbet, and other fruits/veggies that you have local/on sale! The base of this smoothie is very versatile so keep experimenting!
To make this smoothie more filling, add more fats such as avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, nut butters, etc.
This is my most loved recipe. I feel like this is such an easy dinner that I had to share just to show you all that you don’t have to be a Rachel Ray caliber chef to make good, hearty, and satisfying vegan meals! This meal is one I brought to my non vegan friend, and he went WILD. I loved it so much he said it was on his list of the best chili dogs he’s ever had, vegan or not! Now that’s the type of compliments I’m looking for people.
The Total Chili Cheese Dog Recipe
What You Need:
1/2 Pack Mushrooms
2 C Veggie Stock
1 T Minced Garlic
2 T Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
1 T Garlic Powder
1/2 T Onion Powder
Salt/Pepper to taste
Small Batch Cheese Sauce (Approx. 4-6 Servings)-
1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 Tub Tofutti’s Cream Cheese
1 T Nutritional Yeast
2 T Tapioca Starch
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T Onion Powder
Salt/Pepper/Chili Powder/Cumin to taste
Beyond Meat Sausages (or other vegan hot dogs)
GF Hot Dog Buns
Vegan Sour Cream (I’ve gotten mine from Rutabaga’s in Lincoln, or I buys Tofutti’s Sour Cream and either option is great- I <3 Tofutti’s)
Start with your chili, then avocado mash, then cheese sauce.
1) Cut your tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms and start sautéing in a large skillet with the tomato paste. Once they soften add the veggie stock.
2) Add minced garlic and spices and let simmer until you are ready to plate.
3) Start making the avocado mash by scooping out the avocados and adding pepper & garlic powder to taste. You can add whatever you like such as lime, cilantro, chili powder, etc.
4) Take your vegan sausages or hot dogs and start heating in a pan, rotating every once in awhile to evenly heat.
5) Once you have the sausage cooking, you can start to make the cheese sauce by combining the Tofutti’s cream cheese and the can of coconut milk in a sauce pot. Once evenly combined add in the spices and stir.
6) Once the sauce is fully mixed, start to add the tapioca starch little by little, bring to a boil, then turn the heat off as it starts to thicken. Check on the vegan sausages, they should be about ready.
Combine all together. Bun, Vegan Sausage, Chili, Cheese Sauce, Vegan Sour Cream, and Avocado Mash. And there ya go. The best and tastiest thing you might ever eat.
I’ve been dreaming about this meal for days and maybe weeks because of how yummy it was. These BBQ Sweet Potato Nachos are versatile, easy, and so tasty. I say versatile because this is a meal that makes sense to eat any time of year. You can eat it in the winter or summer. There is something so comforting about roasting veggies in the winter, then leaving the oven door open so your heat bill is a dollar lower (myth, but a girls gotta try.) and in summer, it is so fun to be outside while you grill up veggies. You can make this dish either way, and that’s the beauty of it, it’s an easy go-to.
The Amazing BBQ Sweet Potato Nachos:
2 Sweet Potatos (you could also add carrots, onions, jalapeños, anything!)
BBQ Sauce (Most is vegan, but check the label!)
Romaine Lettuce (The kind you can make into tacos)
Spices to taste: Garlic Powder, Pepper, Salt, Cayenne, Chili Powder, ect
Cover the sweet potatoes with a light layer of BBQ, make sure it is coated, then put onto a pan. Sprinkle your spices on the potatoes, and put in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes. All ovens are different so keep an eye on them, and poke them every once in awhile to make sure they come out soft.
Wash the romaine and pull leaves off and dry.
Take your avocado and make a lil guac/avo mash by mashing the avocado with garlic, black pepper, and chili powder.
Set out all of the toppings you’d like for your tacos, and enjoy! So easy, you probably have most of the ingredients, and it is SO yummy.
So I made this cake with intricate ingredients, lush flours, high end flavors, and lot’s and lot’s of steps.
So because I NEEDED a cake, we tried something out. I drove to target at 9:30pm (past my bedtime.) bought a two boxes of GF yellow cake mix and re-hit the kitchen to hopefully get a cake ready for my party the next day. And golly-gosh it worked. It worked SO GOOD.
Here’s the cake I made for my wedding shower that had no leftovers. Amazing.
What you need for a double batch recipe like I did:
2 Boxes GF Yellow Cake Mix (I got mine from Target, make sure the mix is vegan, we will change up the added ingredients later)
4t Extract of Choice (I chose lemon! Other great flavors would be almond, vanilla, orange, ANYTHING!)
4 Bob’s Red Mill Flax Eggs (Follow how much you’ll need on the box i.e. I used two flax eggs for each box to substitute the regular eggs the box said to add because I doubled the recipe)
2/3 C Vegan Butter Sticks Melted - I used Earth Balance (The box called for 1/3C per box and I used same measurements of vegan butter)
1.5 C Water (my boxed caked called for 3/4C per box, so because I double it I used 1 & 1/2 C Water)
I mixed all ingredients together per box instructions, added lemon extract instead of vanilla & put all of it into a 9in diameter cake pan. Your cake pan might be different, but make sure your batter has at least a half inch to rise.
I will say this cake took a HOT minute to cook. Mine took about an hour because it was a bigger batch, but just keep and eye on it and after about 30/35 minute start checking every 5-10 if it’s done. Put a toothpick or chopstick in the center (I like chopstick because I don’t burn myself on the oven as much, HA), and if it comes out easy and clean she’s DONE! Let it cool, frost it, and serve it to all your friends who will not be able to tell that it’s GF or Vegan. They will be happy, full, and secretly doing good by eating this sustainable and healthier option cake. Woot!
If you want a great GF/V frosting, here’s the recipe I concocted:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup vegan butter or vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti’s Cream Cheese)
2-4 Tbsp water
1 tsp extract of choice
fresh berries for topping (optional)
Mix all of it together and there ya go! I don’t have a mixer so I used a whisk and sheer willpower to get this bad boy smooth as silk. I used turmeric & beet powder to dye the frosting it’s pretty color.
Hey everyone! This “recipe” isn’t hard, it’s easy, cheap, and LAZY. I’m all for a lazy vegan breakfast that are actually GOOD FOR YOU. Yes, you read that right. With over 20g of protein and healthy fats, this lil sammie is ready to fuel your day and keep you full. It’s so filling you might be able to share. Maybe.
Gluten Free Homestyle Waffles
Beyond Meat Sausages (Shaped into a patty that fits your waffle)
Natural Peanut Butter
Agave/Maple Syrup/Your Choice of Sweet Dipping Sauce
THAT’S IT. Cook your sausage on the stove while you pop your waffle in the toaster, once it pops up put your PB on both sides, and your patty should be done at that time too! Get yourself something like maple syrup to dip it in and voila! This recipe took me no more than 5 minutes. It’s great for those running late days, and is surpisingly better for you than most oatmeals, smoothies, etc. Take that McDonalds.
1. You get what you pay for... sometimes.
I know, I know, you hear this all the time! Me too. And in some respects it's true but I'm here to tell you to stop paying $200+ a night for a hotel, and start getting nice hotels for cheap! I personally use only one website to book hotels, and they've given me points, free stays, etc. I know lots of hotel/flight booking websites do this so start taking advantage of it! I personally use hotels.com but there is also expedia.com kayak.com travelocity.com airbnb and etc etc etc. Pick one! When Austin and I went to Maui we got a condo 20 steps from the beach for $106 a night. Dreams come true friends.
2. Don't Look at Flights too Often.
This is something I didn't know, but right when someone told me I should've known. The more you look at a flight, the higher the price starts to become. I was told this about a year ago and boy were they right, we tested this when flying to Vegas and one of the flights we continually searched for went up almost $200. The internet spies on what we want, so we gotta be smarter than it!
3. Book flights during the week.
Another thing I learned is that the same flight you want will be cheaper during the week. If you look even at google flights you can see the fluctuation! This is extra helpful because when your flight is durning the week instead of the weekend, you get cheaper hotels! Hotels usually have higher rates for Friday/Saturdays, sometimes even Sundays!
4. Don't worry about planning every little thing out.
My favorite days during my trips were the ones where I had no plans. In Maui we dove everyday and had 3 days of being on our own island time. One day we ziplined, another we explored waterfalls. In Cozumel we found a local market with the coolest things and then took a night dive! Things come more naturally when you don't plan them, and it usually ends up saving you some moo-la because you haven't over booked!
5. The best of everything is a waste of money.
Don't be under the impression that you gotta be bad and boujee. Live and travel within your means. Save the money a little and then make purchases that give you more adventure and less bells and whistles. I hope you aren't traveling because of the cool hotel bathroom! You will not spend your time there (hopefully, ha). Lose the ego when you travel because you'll get much better pictures on top of the mountain or on a diving excursion than you will on the balcony. Promise!
What is your room filled with right now?
Photos? Art? maybe.. "stuff"?
..like stuff everywhere?
That's okay if you have one of those or all of those- it's normal for not everything to be put away all the time! But there's really great ways to hide our natural clutter. The keys you throw on the counter. The shoes you slip off when you get inside. There's ways to cover up and there's ways to make pretty and kind to the eye. I'm going to tell you a secret too. Our normal clutter is what makes your home look lived in and adds to the emotional value of your space. Its's the difference between a house being staged and a home being a home. I'll tell you an example- my key hook by my door. If my kitchen was nice and put together, no mixing bowls on the stove, no jars, no used hand towel by the sink, it would look like no body lived there. We are humans. We have keys, shoes, and towels and so much more. The key is putting things where they look right and can be kinder to the eye.
Do you have throw blankets that don't have a place? Try a ladder leaned up the wall, or a basket next to your couch to store blankets. Baskets are also great for when you have company and you can hide all of your excess things under the blanket that sits on top! We all do it.
In the past week I've spoke to at least five people on "planting seeds" in people's minds. Whenever we come in contact with people who might not have the same aura or air of happiness or maybe their ego is turned on, we have a lot of mental choices we can make on how we respond, act, and go on with the conversation (or not). But at the end of the day, we have thousands of conversations. In those thousands of conversations you have an active option in all of those to plant a seed in someone's mind of these options: positivity or negativity. What will you spread to the next person?
I'd like to preface this mini workshop blog with this, if you are having a bad day, this seed can still be positive. This negative or positive charge we give people is not contingent on whether our day is going good or bad. This negative or positive charge is something that is already inside of us, and something that you can retrain your inner "charge" to be. I once had a negatively charged mind, but I learned how to rewire my mind to be and spread positivity. This gave me HUGE benefits. I have a positive friend group now, and probably 10 times more friends. I have a better job, more opportunities, so much. And ya know what? You can too.
It's really easy to be negative. It's effort to be positive. This mental shift is just as possible as these things you've probably learned before: learning to riding a bike, learning to read, working out, learning to cook, etc. It's a learning process. It's also okay to mess up.
SO- with that being said. Let's get into the nitty gritty.
1: An argument or coming to an agreement. Is this person negative? Is their ego turned up? Do they have an attitude or are being extra loud or even extra quiet? Start here. The best thing is to not excentuate their negativity by inviting that in to your mind. If you can, try and invite positivity into their mind. Try and use these keywords: "I understand where you are coming from, I think _____". or if that doesn't apply here are some more examples of ways you can plant this seed.
"I want to make sure you feel supported and fairly treated, how can I help?"
"I want you to walk away from our conversation feeling validated and happy."
I want to make sure you are treated kindly."
The important part of planting the seed of kindness is that you make sure they know you
a) want them to feel valid.
b) want them to feel fairly treated.
c) you want them to walk away from the conversation feeling better than they came and happy.
2. A regular conversation. Okay. You know walking in to this that this person might be a gossiper or has a regularly negative outlook. PLANT THE SEED EARLY. This will let them know you are not willing to shift the conversation to negativity. You start the conversation. Here's some tips on how to.
a) Compliment- "You look great today!" or "It was so kind of you to do ____" does not have to be about looks. It can be about anything. This starts the conversation with a seed of kindness. They will not be as likely to gossip or spew negativity if they are shown how you are going to act and where you stand in the conversation early.
b) Gratefulness- "Thank you so much for much for meeting me here" or "I appreciate ____" or "I'm grateful you were able to ___" whatever matches your scenario. This gives them a sense of accomplishment, which plants a seed of motivation to match your energy. It's like they did/accomplished something, even though they really didn't. But it helps push them to compliment the next person, then the next and next.
c) Smile- The conversation doesn't have to be long. This is something you do to quick interactions. Smile when you walk by someone. Smile when you meet someone for the first time. Smile when you wave goodbye. Smile to people when they look like they need a hug.
Planting that seed of kindness will hopefully spread over and over again. All with just that conversation you were going to have anyways. The interaction that was already going to happen, is now an invitation that can be continuously passed on. It started with you.
As always love & light. Go spread your kindness.