So. Damn. Local.

I hadn’t realized what living locally and seasonally would mean until tonight.  I’ve always seen those bumper stickers or signs that say “live local, shop local” and the like, and have always found that a nice sentiment.  Yeah, live off what’s near you.  Carbon footprints and all that jazz.

When sentiment becomes necessity, however, its an entirely different game.

Let’s take my life in downtown Phoenix.  I bike to work, to the farm, to the Duce, to the market, etc.  I could take a bus somewhere but Phoenix is a total newb when it comes to public transport.  Things are not awesome on busses.  I have a sweet bicycle though and it gets me everywhere I need to go.

Except not really.  The nearest Safeway is three miles away, and have you ever carried your week’s worth of groceries on a road bike for three miles?  Its not impossible, but its a pain.

This is fine though; I get half off at my restaurant.  (I keep wanting to leave the serving industry…but my god, how will I eat food?!?)  The problem is my work doesn’t offer kale smoothies, and I am secretly a diva in rags who needs her kale.

Actually, this all brings to reality an interesting form of class-ism.  My friend’s Facebook status today mentioned this actual quote from an actual food blog; “If eating healthy is important to you, it’s simple – you’ll just make it a priority”.

Excuse me?  My friend, and the rest of us, were more than a little peeved.  Whoever this ignoramus is obviously has never lived in a food desert like downtown Phoenix, worked some unglamorous minimal wage gig, whilst supporting family and maybe friends. Tell a downtown Phoenix mother she ought to feed her kids more organic veggies and you deserve the raised eyebrows and pursed lips you’ll receive in response.  The problem isn’t a lack of knowledge, the problem is a lack of accessibility.  And why buy a head of lettuce for a dollar when you can buy a more filling, and ready to eat burger for less?  We could change this too, if the US stopped subsidizing the hormone-injected meat industry and turned their wallets toward the vegetable farmers.  (God I should be president. Obvs.)

-end rant-

(…for the time being…)

Today I deposited my second paycheck from this new job, noted I could officially pay my bills for the month, and booked it for the nearby market.  All the local! All the organic! All the seasonal!

Here’s where the implications of eating locally hit.  This tiny market had a ridiculous plethora of kale, but no celery.  All out of spinach, too.  And no chard?  Frick.

Two separate kales in hand, I headed home, determined to still be my greeny old self and make this all work.  I’d bought (for $15) kale, more kale, four apples, three lemons, two broccoli florets, an onion, a carrot and a zucchini.  I came home and made a green smoothie, then butter-knife sliced my veggies and sauteed them in olive oil.

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I texted a friend to let her know what a badass I am.

“I’m so freaking local and organic.  Also I cut this meal with a butter knife.”

I really was gleaming a bit.  I think its going to be a challenge to live within my means, especially my location boundaries.  I don’t have a cuisine art set to slice and dice my food, so I’m going to have to get creative.  (I may or may not have bitten little pieces of apple to toss into my smoothie…because what else are these fangs for?)  I am going to learn whats really in season, based on what my local growers bring to this market. More than anything this is exciting.

One tongue-in-cheek funny about the food desert that is Downtown Phoenix (and cities like it), to end this: What the hell am I supposed to feed my rat, Japhy?  There isn’t a pet store anywhere near me.  You wanna know what this punk’s been eating?

Organic, locally grown broccoli, organic quinoa, and house-made trail mix from my work.

organicjaphy

Sometimes things are ridiculous.

DIY Compost bin

You may have seen this already on Instagram, but here’s the compost bin we built yesterday.

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It was free, and its going to be an awesome addition to life over here.  If you’re not already familiar with composting (I certainly wasn’t), here’s the basics;

“Compost” literally means ” to put together”.  It is part of earth’s natural cycle of growth and decay, and farmers have been making and using compost for centuries.  Farming taxes the soil, and composting is a way of putting nutrients back into that soil.  Plants grow because of nutrients from water and soil, carbon dioxide in the air, and energy form the sun.  Dead plants decompose, and their nutrients go back into the soil  (Its really complicated and scientific and involves fungi, bacteria, insects, and the like.)  Nutrients go into the soil and carbon dioxide back into the air, and the “humus” (not the kind you eat EVERY SINGLE DAY with pita chips) stays behind.  This is what you use in your garden.  As for what you compost, it needs to be about 25 parts brown matter to 1 parts green matter.  Brown matter is dead leaves and things, and green matter is your apple core, crushed egg shell, etc.

I want to show my campers that things don’t have to be wasted, that even “trash” is beneficial.  Your banana peel becomes soil, the soil nurtures the eggplants and tomatoes, and we eat the eggplant and tomatoes.  Even my caffeine habit is beneficial; coffee grinds and tea bags can be composted.

So this is how we did it.

First, locate old trash bin.

compost-binThen, screw lid to the bin.  (make sure and use tiny screws, because you don’t want anyone getting caught on the sharp end of a screw as it pokes out from under the lid.)

drillingWe built the stand out of unwanted two-by-fours.  I think the long pieces of wood are 45 inches and the support beam is 15 inches from the ground.  Yours can be taller, which would be nice if you want to dump compost directly into a wheelbarrow or something.  We made our short because we wanted little kids to be able to turn it.

compost-building

We found an old shower curtain and used a nifty sphere-cutter thingy (technical term right there) on the lid and the bottom end of the bin, so we could fit the rob through.  Then we cut the hatch, and with that open were able to screw little wooden enforcements so that the rod doesn’t wear through the plastic as this thing gets heavy with compost.

See?

compost5compost3You’ve also got to drill a bunch of teensy holes in the bin, so the decomposing gunk you put in there is well-ventilated.  Just make sure the holes are small so you don’t get teensy animals trying to eat your old veggies.holes^This was the most fun.  “Drill all the holes!!!”

We put these hinges on the door;

hatchWe also attached a latch to it, so we can close this opening and spin this guy around, mixing the decomposing matter.

Viola! Compost bin!  Its a beautiful thing!

I love it because I love the idea that nothing is useless, and nothing is trash.  Nothing wasted.  I love the idea of giving as much as we take.  I love the idea of nurture.  I want to take care of things, and be intentional about my life.

(I’ll probably edit this post later when I’ve asked Drew what all the measurements were.)

For now, know that I’m stoke about this, and equally stoked about the three raised beds for the greenhouse we constructed yesterday;

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SXSW and Food for Lovers

Sometimes life is awesome and gives you a tax refund, then an opportunity to go to a gigantic music festival for a week.

Oh yeah, South By South West baby.

hashtag-me-happy^because all the coolest still have bloody flip phones.

I took my tax refund and hopped in a van with two friends of a friend, and the three of us peaced out of Phoenix for Austin, Texas the Sunday before last.  The whole thing was one random hilarity after another, with little nuggets of soul-searching beauty and small revelations.  For instance, you know what I would rather be than funny?  Authentic.  I realized on this trip that while I used to take pride in the shit I could talk, lately I’m more into truth than sarcasm.  I’d rather be an instrument of love and peace, as cheesy as that sounds, than someone known for their sense of humor.

…speaking of cheesy, at SXSW I actually met the creators of the World’s first Vegan Queso.  You know me; I love decadent vegan food, and I love people who make a living doing something they believe in, so I totally ditched a concert to hear their story.

Meet Crystal and Chris Tate, the most adorable little vegan couple to ever take the country’s Mexican food-lovers by storm.

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I seriously just wanted to be their friend, they were that cool.  I talked with Crystal the most (over nachos, of course) about how this Austin-based queso found its way all over the country’s stores, as well as numerous restaurants.

A little background; When Crystal and Chris met, he was already vegan and she was already Hispanic, so their friendship formed over a love of tamales, burritos and the like.  Then it became more than friendship and she became vegan, and voila, the two were hanging out in Texas trying to live on a budget and eat delicious food reminiscent of Crystal’s background.

“We were so poor,” Crystal laughs.  “We used to walk to Taco Bell and split a bean burrito; that was our ‘going out’”.

Crystal, since feeling so much better on a plant-based diet, started a food blog where she shared tips and recipes.  One recipe in particular (this is where it gets good!) started getting an absurd number of hits a day.

Queso!

Chris got all entrepreneur-esque and suggested they take the recipe offline and start selling it.  Eventually the owner of Bouldin Creek Café, in Austin, had a taste and went absolutely nuts for it.  The three worked out a plan, and Bouldin started selling Crystal and Chris’s queso.    Within the first year they café sold over 300 gallons of the off-menu queso, just from mentioning it to customers.  Word spread, and in December of 2010 Whole Foods realized they needed to capitalize on this as well.  They called up our favorite couple and the rest is history.

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Today?  You can find this stuff anywhere.  Its sold all over the country, in tiny health-conscious restaurants (like Green!) and in huge health food superstores like Sprouts and Whole Foods.  Crystal and Chris come off like two kids who just won a prize at the state fair; they’re all wide-eyed about their success, totally humble and overflowing with gratitude for the supportive “love letters” their fans keep sending.

“Ten years ago we had, like, soy milk, and that was it for vegans,” Chris said.  “It’s just so cool to see this movement toward a more conscious way of eating, and people are realizing it doesn’t have to be plain and boring.”

And its queso that is a soy-free, twenty calories per serving (two tablespoons) and is naturally cholesterol-free.  AND your purchase supports individuals, not just some huge corporation.

The only sad thing about it is the gluten-free version hasn’t hit the shelves yet, but it will this summer.  You’re going to hear a shout for joy across so many GFV tables.

I asked the Tates what they would say to the general public about this whole thing, and both were in agreement; if their story is any testimony to the rest of us, its that you certainly can be the change you want to see in the world, and be successful doing so.

She says the most rewarding part of this entire whirlwind experience has been when they’re giving samples away in grocery stores.

“People will hand us their regular queso and buy ours instead.  They think it tastes better and they’d rather eat something healthier than not.”

That’s pretty awesome.  The more people find out about the food choices we have, the more they’re likely to chose a more sustainable and cruelty-free option.  Its all about exposing people to what’s out there.  This was honestly one of the highlights of South By; I certainly don’t want to punch numbers all day for the rest of my life; I want to work at something independent, geographically un-tethered, and consistent with my beliefs.  If these two can do it, why can’t any of us?

“Its not just huge companies that can do things like this,” Crystal insists.  “We were just making this out of our kitchen, and now look at it.  It’s in restaurants I didn’t even know existed.”

Find these loves on Facebook and go check out their website, http://foodforlovers.com/.  And let’s support people who are doing things.

100_1834^cheesy as peace and love on the way home

Health benefits of coffee

coffee3

I’m on a new health kick.  I get these, goddamnit-I’m-restarting-my-life-tomorrow epiphanies some nights, usually after a binge-like indulgence, (“pumpkin spice late cupcakes anyone?!?”) and decide that’s it, that’s the last time and tomorrow I will be perfect and eat my weight in kale and have a hot body for the rest of my life.

And then I gaze at my french press and I grieve, because all those hoyty toyty health nuts wag their fingers at me and tell me to nix the caffeine.  They tell me all my energy and pooping should come naturally, by the power of the sun god, positive earth vibes and kale, or something.

I’ve given up coffee off and on for the past six years and you know what?  My re-begun life tomorrow involves java.  I have bigger fish to fry than my soft-core caffeine addiction.  Plus, there are some schools of thought that tote coffee as a health elixir (ish) and I’m choosing to side with them.  They’re probably more fun anyway.

In case you were curious, here’s my favorite health benefits of coffee;

1. It may protect against Parkinson’s, liver cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

(These actually aren’t my favorite benefits, they’re just the most serious.  In reality they’re a bit abstract, as I’m this normal, healthy, 21-year old.)

2. It may lower your risk of depression, if you’re a woman.  And if you’re me.  Kid you not, the day I went back to drinking coffee I was struck by periodic urges to dance around my house and found Kira’s weird behavior hilarious, as opposed to mildly annoying.  Coffee, friends, coffee makes you happy. 100_1180

3. This drink boosts brainpower.  Dear college students, stop freaking out about “needing” a cup of coffee before working on homework or during an exam.  If you’re me, that cup of coffee calms you down a bit and happens to sharpen your memory and keep you alert.  Shots shots shots!!!

4. Coffee shops are great places to meet up and chat.  I just met up and chatted with someone at a coffee shop last weekend, actually.  We’ve talked about this; forming close, personal and authentic relationships with people is one of the healthiest things a person can be intentional about.  Life is hard, remember, and we need each other. Loneliness is actually the worst; it can shorten your life by weakening your immune system and making you less motivated to seek help when you’re feeling ill.  Depression and hopelessness are side affects of being lonely, which is a byproduct of not putting yourself out there and into deeper friendships.  So quit being wussy and love people, and be loved by them.

coffeeNot quite a health benefit, but you can put french vanilla and caramel flavors in your coffee!!!! Until it becomes a french vanilla drink with a splash of coffee.  Like Cheetah used to do.  Crazy kid.

5. It makes you poop! Who doesn’t love pooping?!?

6. When you wake up and smell coffee, it reminds you of your childhood, of growing up with an early-rising, coffee-loving daddy who thought you were amazing, and who’s love you were never insecure about or shy around.  This smell reminds you of being small, of being beautiful, of a life’s potential and, mostly, of peace.

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7. And finally, dude, if it makes you stressed and self-critical to try and quit drinking coffee, lighten up and stop trying to quit.  Stress is worse than the potential high blood pressure and jittery nerves.   It makes you stupid happy to drink coffee, so stop worrying about it.  We’ve got other things to worry about.

Feel free to add more in the comments!  I’ll probably post-edit later.

Gluten-free vegan hangover food

We held our housewarming party last night.  Old friends, new friends, work friends, church friends, and two neighbors.  And alcohol.  Holy frick ,so much alcohol. This will not be an artfully done expose on the science behind these hangover foods.  This is simply my hung-over attempt at providing you, dear Gluten-free Vegan, a concise list of what I was scouring google for all morning.

For starters…B12 and water before sleep.  I don’t care how late it is or how drunk you are, you have got to remember this one.  Or make sure you designated friend-not-having-fun knows what you need.  This is the Holy Grail of all miracle hangover preventatives.  My worst debauchery has nothing on B12 and water.

Water! Water water water.  Does this need explaining?  Ok good.

Raw honey* –You need to get a good quality honey, something raw and not messed with too much.  Honey is packed with antioxidants and concentrated fructose, which you need to flush those toxins out of your system. The fructose will help your blood sugar stabilize; alcohol is mainly sugar, which causes your pancreas to produce an excessive amount of insulin to try and bring the sugar level down.  It produces too much, which brings it down too far, which causes this terrible headache and makes you ravenous.  Low blood sugar will make the nausea worse as the day drudges on, so you need to get this stabilized, pronto.  I like honey on almonds; its messy, but packed with much needed nutrients.

Naked juice, or blend your own (INCLUDE A BANANA!!). No orange or grapefruit, because these can irritate you’re your stomach.  This is good for, again, getting your blood sugar raised and stabilized and is easy on queasy tummies.  Banana, coconut water, some easily digestible berries, greens, honey, and this smoothie has the potential to change your life (er, day). 

Banana – We’ll delve into this more (see quinoa), but your muscles are seriously depleted of amino acids after a night of excessive drinking, hence the shakes and weakness.  A nice ripe banana will restore your body’s potassium levels.  Coconut water is a beast at potassium restoration as well.

Qiunoa – since alcohol sneaks in and robs your body of its amino acids, you’ll need to replenish these protein building blocks with the perfectly balanced amino acid profile of Quinoa.  Quinoa is the gluten-free vegan’s best friend.  Make it like oatmeal the morning after, stir in some berries (sugar) and almonds (fat) and you’re good to go.

Peppermint tea will help settle the stomach, as will chamomileGreen tea, though caffeinated, is great at detoxing the liver and super high in antioxidants.  Go easy until you’re feeling more hydrated, but you should be drinking green tea everyday anyway.

Speaking of caffeine…good God, all I want hungover is a mocha.  Coffee is going to dehydrate you further, so take. it. easy.  However, lets be serious; a day without coffee is a day that sucks, I always say.  I dosed my (small[ish]) cup of coffee today with a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder and honey.  Then I started googling hangover remedies and you know what?  My drink rocked.  We already know about honey, but chocolate, too, is excellent for hangovers.  It’s packed with antioxidants, helps raise your low blood sugar, and stimulates the pleasure center of the brain by releasing serotonin and dopamine.  And who doesn’t want their brain’s pleasure centers stimulated whilst fighting a hangover?

Also, chips and salsa.  I don’t know why but this is all I want to eat post alcoholic frenzy.

Luckily for me, miso soup is free at my workplace, so when I drag my sorry ass in there this evening I’ll will be helping myself to more than a few servings.  Bring on the beneficial bacteria!

Bonus tip; take your dog for a walk.  She’s bored to death, your party stressed her out, and the fresh air and exercise will do you good.

*There are so many ways to get your blood sugar stabilized; you need not feel like you’re missing out if you’re a honeybee empathizing vegan.  I almost excluded it from the list, but because I eat honey (for now) I figured I’d be truthful and include it.

I own a broom.

I’ve been in my new home for a week.  One week and one day.
We have bought pots and pans, a broom, toilet paper.  We have turned on internet, water and utilities.  I rode my bike to work today for the first time.  (5.2-mile round trip.)   Tonight I am using our utensils and stove for the first time, cooking* lentils, quinoa and random veggies.  I am also drinking wine my roommate brought home from her trip back home to Portugal.  My dog is lying at my feet, the Civil Wars are streaming from my laptop, and I am genuinely content

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I had a few days with the house to myself.  My roommates were either in Portugal or else working too much to be able to move in.  I had days to walk around my empty home with Kira, nights to get to sleep silently and in the dark.  I read.  I walked to Starbucks. I got acquainted with my home and my intentions here.  I found myself comforted by Kira, and comforted by my reassuring her; ‘this is our home for the next twelve months.  This is where we live, this is where we’ll be at the end of the day.  You can relax now.  You don’t have to think about it for the next year.  And a year is eternity, haven’t you noticed?’.

Rest.  Security.  Stability.  I never thought I wanted it until I really didn’t have it.  And even though this is temporary stability, it is a weight off my shoulders nonetheless.  I am so content; school, the ultimate stability, begins next Monday (Intro to Nutrition, Food and Culture, and Math) and my job is actually fun.  We’re allowed and encouraged to get along and communicate with our co workers, even the cooks.  We can eat between tables, so we don’t, I dunno, have dangerously low blood sugar, contract a complex migraine headache, have it mistaken for a stroke, and go into hospital debt.

I already love my roommates, and I love this location.  It’s technically Tempe, but north of the lake, which provides a comforting separation from ASU and the Mill Ave lifestyle.

Home.  Its such a complicated idea.  Because what is home on earth, when you know this isn’t your final resting place?  How can you feel at home when you know you were intended for something more and something other?  I used to full-out reject the idea of “settling down”; I was attracted to transience, other-worldliness, and the rejection of physical possessions.

These days?  The attraction is still there, but it is mellowed by my longing to fit into my own space.  To love my location, to let the world slip off my shoulders at the end of the day, to know where I’ll be sleeping for the foreseeable future.  I am craving stability in my friendships and the place I end up at night.  I am aching for community and for normalcy.  I want something that’s mine.

I am tired of so violently rejecting commitment.  I’ve got, for the first time in years, ⅖ of my family living within twenty miles of me.  I own a broom.

I want to experience holding my lifestyle (even with its legally binding commitments) with an open hand. I want to be neither attached, nor angrily rejecting, the Stuff of Earth. I want to be here, now, present and aware, and I want to be excited for the plans and unknowns of the future.

*I am a broke gluten-free vegan with pet deposits and school payments, and I thought I could go raw at the height of all this spending.  C’mon Self, give me a break; we’re already eating things like sprouted quinoa, for God’s sake.

Rawgust

I once was in a heated debate over the band Kings of Leon.  My friend who we’ll call Jason (because that is his name) claimed KOL sucked, and I counter-claimed they were fantastic.  He bashed their repetitive drumming and I tried not to confess my crush on Caleb, the lead singer.  Eventually I gave up on proving their musical prowess and said something to the affect of, “they’re just, very simply, a refreshingly raw -sounding rock and roll band.”

I know, its only rock and roll…but we like it.

I like the word raw.  I like the feelings it conjures.  (See; raw emotion.)  It seems like such a genuine word, uncorrupted by pretense or fancy drumming.  Or heat.

This month I crave renewal and healing.  Healing spiritually, from the selfish panic at watching the South America fund become the Moran Kid Preservation fund.  Healing physically, from the self-destructive stress binge that has been my diet.

And healing from feeling helpless and apathetic.  I want a kick-start.  I want a challenge.

I want something pure and genuine, and I want to get back to basics.

And rawgust has such a fun ring to it, don’t you think?

My newest roommate and I are already gluten-free vegans (ish…I’ll explain later), and we figured, why not go the full caveman monty for a bit?  The mental and physical health benefits are littered all over the internet, complete with images of gorgeous old women holding raw “cook”books.

Its August first now, but because my food processor is in storage and I’m living out of a backpack, we’re starting Rawgust officially on the fifth when we get the keys to our new home.  I’m excited to let you know how this goes, and I’ll be honest with you about what it costs and if its difficult.  (I keep finding these sites where people are like, ohemgee, its so cheap and easy being raw, and I’m like

You and I both know that’s not the case.

I think they’re full of it, but we’ll see.  I can already tell that one of my stay-sane tips is going to be celebrating at least bi-weekly with raw vegan cupcakes from Tsom.

I did make some raw vegan ice cream (thankyouthankyouthankyou Pinterest, you addictive substitute social life, you) the other day for a barbeque, and it was actually very well received by my carnivorous friends.  Here’s how it happened;

Cut up bananas and freeze;

Handy-dandy Craigslist-bought food processor.  Cross them fingers.

Rejoice when it works!!!

Its good with just bananas, but I love peanut butter.  You can use raw peanut butter for Rawgust, obvs.

And cocoa;

Then get fancy and put ‘em in mason jars until you’re ready for the barbeque.

Viola!

Probs I will live off this “ice cream”, as it truly is cheap and easy. (Oh man…I’m going to become one of them!!!!)

 

Anyone ever gone raw before? And if so…please help.  We’re new and need recipes over here.

What I’m eating these days

After paying rent and getting my Savings account in check, I went out and invested in twenty-four pint-sized mason jars, some sprouted quinoa, various veggies, bulk legumes,  and the “supplies” necessary to brew my own kombucha.

The kombucha is the big splurge; a bottle at the store runs form $2.99 (at Safeway) to $3.99 (at AJs), and the stuff is addicting. If you’ve never tried the effervescent nectar of the gods, you must.  I recommend you try GT Dave’s “Trilogy”, as its juicier than, say, the Original.  Kombucha is a fermented tea with millions of probiotic microorganism awesomes hanging out inside.  People swear by kombucha’s “healing” properties.  I won’t go so far, however, when I’m drinking kombucha consistently I do fancy myself feeling better.

Drinking kombucha consistently means spending three to four dollars every other day or so, and that, friends, is not feasible for me.  I want to spend my money wisely, and while I’m into investing in oneself, I’m not into waste.  Especially if there’s a better way.

The better way here is brewing my own kombucha, so with this woman’s step-by-step plan, I’ve begun the SCOBY-growing process!

When I imagine what being “home” is like, I imagine my dog lounging somewhere, chickens strutting around outside, a veggie garden, and kombucha fermenting in my pantry.

Two down, right?

So that’s that.

The food I invested in is just that; an investment.  Your diet affects the way you feel and think, which affects he way you interact with and experience the world. The way you treat the machine, my old man was fond of saying, is the way the machine will treat you.  I soaked black beans last night, froze half the soaked beans, and simmered the other half for two hours this arvo.  I sauteed onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers with garlic in coconut oil and steamed some broccoli.  And that Tru Roots Sprouted Quinoa Trio I splurged on? I made that, and threw everything together in a huge pot.  That’s what I’m eating these days.

And I’m storing the remainder in portion-perfect mason jars, along with the cut veggies I didn’t use tonight.  This way my lazy ass can just plop everything together in a pot without even thinking, and ten minutes later I’ll have a meal!  And look how prettay this all looks!

I wanna hash-tag this as gettingstokedabouthealthfulliving.

Bon appetit!

BrewingSoonThe suppliesCompletionStorage

A cynic hops on the bandwagon.

Or, why I am an (almost) official Arbonne consultant.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a gluten-intolerant vegan with budget and time constraints, and I intend to travel a good many places and help people along the way.  I’m a huge believer in Chris Guillebeau’s main blog premise;

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and for other people at the same time.

I want a vibrant life and believe vibrancy and service are not mutually exclusive.  We can be happy and helpful.

I also believe in not ravaging the world He so lovingly created. I don’t believe the command to “subdue” the Earth meant abuse, genetically modify, and disregard the animals here.  Or the environment at large.  I believe everything ought to be treated according to its kind, and I’m learning how to live consistently with these truths.

This matters for are cosmetic products, for the food we eat, for the way we commute to work, etc.  It matters whether or not are eye-shadow was poured into animals eyes before being put onto the shelves, and it matters where the packaging for our protein shakes wind up when we’re through.

My friend Lisa is an Arbonne consultant, meaning she joined Arbonne and now goes around coaching people on the toxins in our everyday products and how to live healthfully.  She’s been my supplier of free Arbonne awesomeness for almost a year, be it the gluten-free, vegan protein shakes or the miracle night cream I use that makes it look like I’m well-rested at work.

Arbonne products are 100% vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, and actually have a neutral carbon footprint.

Lisa has been trying to convince me I could make a living doing what she does, but I am a cynic and I am lazy, and kept telling her no and waiting until she offered more samples.  I love this stuff; the idea of selling it though seemed like a scam.  Or kind’ve a sell-out.

Long story short, I came home from Australia with a new-found appreciation of quality products.  I don’t want to hurt anything, not in the makeup I wear or the food I eat.  I found my mom’s old stock of Arbonne energy fizzy tabs, pocketed them, and brought them to Arizona and live off of them at work. (Sorz mom.)  Lisa is an amazing person and, upon hearing of my destitute self sleeping on my new roommate’s couch and wearing the same rotation of clothes every other day, pooled her resources and got her friends to donate clothes, bedsheets, a lamp, kitchen supplies, etc.  She brought everything over, along with (bless her heart) Arbonne samples, and it got me thinking.

It got me thinking that, hey, Arbonne is a legitimate company.  All organic and certified vegan, PH-correct and delicious.  And like I said, I’ve been a closet-user for a year.

All this to say…hey friends, I’m starting a business!  I’m going to be coaching whomever in the health and wellness department (Nutrition Communications is a degree at ASU!!!) and incorporating Arbonne products in my quest to better the world.

And, lets face it, making money on the side is not a negative thing. Especially since I would continue making money even whilst traveling abroad.

Friends, this is a company I genuinely believe in and am excited to share with you.  I’ll post links so that you, dear reader, may shop Arbonne online and see what I mean.  Also, contact me if you’re curious about a product and I’ll send you a sample.   And if you want to make some money on the side (because like, who doesn’t?) don’t hesitate to contact me. Arbonne has something for everyone; men, women and children, and its all the best quality possible.

I’m just getting started, so bear with me. I haven’t officially signed up yet (because you make more money signing up with a few friends!) but when I do, I’ll share more info about it all.  Also, if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.

Bandwagon…sheesh.  I’ll be driving this wagon in no time. ;)

On another note, CST published part one of my Australia/wwoof memoir!  Woohoo!!!  Page 38.

http://news.citysuntimes.com/

 

Post-edit

*I’m not 100% sold. I’m reading other consultant’s experiences and trying to make an informed decision. Just…fyi. I haven’t downed the cool-ade quite yet.

Cooking > snacking

Ok, that loving of the food thing? Like any relationship thats meant to be, it’s getting stronger. I absolutely love food. I love cooking.

Just now I was getting hungry and thinking of grabbing a snack. If you’re me though, a snack becomes an hour or two of mindless munching, after which the I’ve consumed nothing nutritious and am still unsatisfied. I’m on a recent kick to just start cooking instead of snacking and see where that takes me.

Thus far, I’ve created these cheap, nutritious, animal-friendly meals that are filling and delicious. I usually don’t even know what I’m doing until halfway through the thing.

For instance, today I started steaming broccoli, then decided what the heck, let’s steam some ‘shrooms too. Onions are for frying, and ooh, look at these chick peas! They’re good for protein. I like color, so some red peppers found their way into the pan as well. The fact that I didn’t have any rice on hand didn’t dismay me; I sprinkled this goodness with oats. Curry powder for some culture and viola! I am a deliciously cheap vegan.

I mean…

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