What I Ate Yesterday

This is a totally random day of eating for me – it is in no way an example of perfection, nor is it intended for that purpose.  I like to see what other healthy vegetarians/vegans eat in a day for inspiration and personal interest.  Sometimes what I eat is super healthy, and sometimes not so much.  I try to find a balance. Beside my coffee with breakfast, I only drank water all day.breakfast Breakfast – approx. 8:00 a.m.

  • Cold coffee with stevia and a splash of almond milk
  • 2 slices of toasted Ezekiel bread with half an avocado, raw hemp seeds, and raw pumpkin seeds
  • Strawberries and blueberries



lunch Lunch – approx. 11:30 a.m.

  • Leftover roasted veggies (eggplant, zucchini, onion, yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes) on a bed of greens


snack1 Snack 1 – approx. 1:30 p.m.

  • Sliced banana drizzled with peanut butter sauce (just PB thinned down with water so that I can drizzle it), cocoa roasted peanuts, a sprinkle of hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds


snack2 Snack 2 – approx. 3:30 p.m.

  • Two Moms In the Raw Gojiberry Granola Seed Bar


Dinner – approx. 5:30 p.m.

  • We were out of town for dinner and went to The Olive Garden.  This is a perfect example of bending when necessary and trying to make the best food choices.  I had a huge bowl of salad, no croutons, no cheese.  I also had 3 – yes, 3 – breadsticks.  For my entrée, I had vegetable penne with vegetable primavera without cheese.  The sauce was a simple marinara with tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and onions.


Snack 3 – approx. 8:00 p.m.

  • Huge handful of banana chips from the all-natural store I shop at…they are so addictive


I tried to do a very rough estimate of my calorie total for the day and I think it was in the ballpark of 1900 calories.  As far as my carb-fat-protein ratio, I don’t know, I try to have a balance, honestly.

What are some of your favorite easy, healthy meals?


Product Review: Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint


For the second summer in a row, I am using the Coola Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Matte Tint with SPF 30.  I use this as both my sunscreen and tinted “foundation”, although the coverage is pretty minimal.  Because my skin is usually in good shape, all I need all-over is a little tint to help even things out and tone down any redness.  After a layer of this, I only need a bit of concealer under my eyes and around my nose.

This product has a rating of 3 on the EWG’s Skindeep Database, but due to just one of the ingredients: cyclopentasiloxane.  Otherwise, every ingredient rates a 2 or less, with the majority of ingredients rating a 0.  I’m willing to deal with the cyclopentasiloxane for the time being for 2 reasons – this product works so well for me in the summer, and all the other ingredients are really good.  If, however, I found a comparable product with a lower Skindeep rating, I would switch, but that’s because I always am driven to find the most pure products.

This has a unique mousse-like consistency – a light, whipped texture.  For me, there is no shine, no oily feeling, no heaviness – it just disappears into my skin and leaves it neither greasy nor dry.  The color is a light-to-medium shade with yellow undertones – definitely no pink undertones here.  However, given that it is a sheer product, I think it would work very well for light-to-medium skin, regardless of undertones.


Coola Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Matte Tint with SPF 30 – this is heavily swatched for the purpose of showing the light texture and color. It sheers out when blended.


I have skin that is VERY sensitive to the environment – so in the spring and fall, I have very calm skin.  In the winter it is very sensitive and extremely dry, and in the summer I deal with occasional breakouts.  As such, I gravitate towards cream-based products in the winter, and powders in the summer.  While I loved tinted sunscreens like Suntegrity and Juice Beauty in the winter and spring, they are just a bit too heavy for my skin right now.  The Coola is absolutely perfect for the humid climate where I live.

What is your favorite tinted sunscreen for the different seasons?





Simple Vegan Apple Pie


I love making homemade apple pie.  When we first moved into our home, I was ecstatic that we have apple trees in our backyard.  The problem is, traditional apple pie takes a healthy apple and loads it up with sugar, flour, and butter.  Now that I am transitioning from vegetarian to vegan (more about that in the future), this is the perfect apple pie substitute.  Also, I’ve modified this recipe in the past with blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with great success.

A lot of raw vegan pie recipes will give you exact measurements and tell you to do things like pre-soak your dried fruit or even the nuts – which is great and fine…but I like shortcuts and this turned out beautifully without any presoaking or measuring at all.  I like to eyeball ingredients and just look for the right texture.

You can use a springform pan for this recipe, but I don’t have one so I used a regular cake pan that is around 8-9″.  This is a delicious guilt-free pie…just remember to share!



  • About 2 cups dried fruits – dates, raisins, cranberries
  • About 2 cups nuts – any type you prefer
  • 4-6 organic apples, depending on size
  • Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.
  • Vanilla bean, vanilla bean powder, or pure vanilla extract
  • About 1/2 cup pecans for the topping, optional


For the crust:

1. Use about 1 cup total of any combination of pitted dates or raisins. I also used some cranberries. This will act as the binder. You want a sticky consistency.  I put the fruit in a food processor with enough warm water to create a paste, almost syrupy in consistency.

2. Now add a combination of nuts that you like – like almonds, walnuts, pecans, or cashews.  Add a handful or so at a time.  Add enough nuts so that the “dough” starts to form – it will start to roll into a ball when the fruit-to-nut ratio is right.  It should be a somewhat formed sticky ball.

3. Transfer mixture to your cake pan and smooth out into a crust.


For the apple pie topping:

1. Repeat step 1 of the crust directions – again, this will form the binder for the apple pie to hold together.

2. Roughly chop up a few apples – I used 4.  I think any variety of apple would work well except a super sweet or mealy variety.  Add the apples to the processed fruit along with either apple pie spice or a combination of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or whatever you like.  Definitely add some vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract!  Combine until it is the texture of a very, very chunky applesauce – you do not want to over-process!

3.  Evenly spoon apple pie on top of the crust.  Top with pecans and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon if you like.

4. Refrigerate the pie long enough for it to firm up – or, you can stick it in the freezer for about an hour.  And if you really don’t care, you can scoop out some immediately, although the texture will be quite soft, it will still taste delicious.

For even more yumminess, you could top a slice of pie with coconut milk whipped cream!

Have you ever made a raw pie?  What is your favorite vegan summer dessert?

Products I’ve Used Up: Haircare/Dental Care/Miscellaneous

haircare&miscHaircare and a few random items – this is my 2 cents on some of the all-natural products I’ve used up in the past few months.

Woats Oatsnack in Cookies ‘n’ Dreams – Health food?  Not a chance.  But, if you ever get a real hankering for some chocolate cookie deliciousness without lots of chemicals and processed ingredients, this is a nice once-in-a-while treat.  All-natural ingredients, however it is not vegan.

Iceberg Probiotic Tablets – I really love dropping one of these tablets in my water bottle when I’m at work.  Yummy orange flavor, vitamins and probiotics = happy tummy.

Traditional Medicinals Easy Now (FYI – name has now changed to Cup of Calm) – One of my favorite teas.

Honest Company Fluoride Free Strawberry Blast Kid’s Toothpaste – I bought this for my daughter, but for some reason she didn’t prefer it over other toothpastes.  So…I used it up, and I have to admit I really loved the flavor.  However, I am most likely going to switch over to glycerin-free toothpaste, so I probably won’t repurchase just for that reason.

Kiss My Face Sensitive Toothpaste in Orange Mint Gel – Again, a nice toothpaste, but I want to try out a glycerin-free dental regimen.

Honest Company Dryer Cloths – I used these a lot during the winter when static is the worst.  They really seemed to help, as when I forgot to toss one in the laundry, there was a noticeable difference in the amount of static.  I plan on getting more of these.

Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss – The best floss I have ever used, hands down.  I love to floss because it is the cleanest your teeth can be, in my opinion.  It took a little getting used to, as the texture and feel of this floss is more…”cloth like” in texture, for lack of a better explanation.  You know how typical floss feels slippery and waxy?  Not this.  It is amazing floss, seriously.  Get on this bandwagon!  I will never use another floss unless by some miracle a better one comes along.

Hugo Naturals Coconut Conditioner – I am picky about my haircare.  My hair is very fine, limp, and easily gets weighed down, but the ends are often dry.  This one just wasn’t good for me so I used it to shave.  I always try to use up products in one way or another, even if I don’t like them for their intended use. Waste not, want not.

Honest Company Conditioning Detangler – Another staple that is technically for my daughter, but I love it, too.  It conditions without weighing down our fine hair.

EVOLVh Leave-In Conditioner – This Petit Vour sample was good but the scent was a little strong for my taste.  Still, I used it up.

Desert Essence Organic Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo & Conditioner – I loved these enough to repurchase.  The scent is amazing if you like apple and ginger – and for me, it’s not too overpowering.  Also, they are really affordable for clean shampoo and conditioner.

Deep Steep Weightless Moisture Shampoo – I picked this up on a whim at Whole Foods and while I did use it up, the Deep Steep hair products were way too strongly scented for me – like a heavy perfume.

Deep Steep Daily Repairing Conditioner – I feel the same about this as the shampoo – they worked well enough, but the perfume scent was way too much for me.

Have you used any of these natural products?  What are your thoughts and experiences?  Leave me a comment!

On Letting Go

letgoIn one of my favorite self-help/spiritual books, there is a parable of a peaceful man.  Whenever anything happens to him – be it “good” or “bad” or “unfair”, he keeps the same calm demeanor and accepts it with peace.

Life is both simple and complicated depending on how you perceive it.  My mind has worried itself to pieces nearly my whole life.  It is not something I would wish on anyone.  Something I’ve heard and read many times in the past recently struck me a bit more deeply…

Let go

Let go of worry, fear, anxiety, hurts, perfectionism, vanity, negativity, jealousy, disappointments, and perhaps most to-the-point, let go of trying to control life and the people in it.  “Let go, or poison you mind and body” some higher force seems to be telling me.

For me, “letting go” is harder than college, harder than raising a child, harder than anything, because it forces me to ‘rock the boat’ that sails on the sea of my mind.

Letting go is telling your ego to change the way it has operated for years, if not a lifetime. However, I’m coming to a point in my own life where I feel that if I do not learn to truly “let go”, I will destroy my happiness and peace, not to mention my mind and health.

Letting go isn’t about accepting mistreatment, abuse, “taking it lying down”, or being a doormat.  It isn’t about accepting what hurts you, it isn’t about taking whatever someone throws at you.

Letting go IS about accepting what is – or, in other words, making peace with what you cannot have control over. We have no control over the past, nor the future, nor other people.  This is what we should “let go” of.  Fear creates anxiety, while letting go of the fear releases anxiety.

Letting go is the path to peace and freedom.  I see the path before me, and am making every effort to embrace it and walk it with courage.

When a bird lets go of the branches of the tree, it embraces the unknown of the open sky without fear.  I want to be the bird.

Fave Nail Polishes for Spring & Summer


L-R: Treat Blushing Blooms, Zoya Carmen, Treat Cotton Candy, Lauren B #IMSOLA, Zoya Bela, Essie Sunday Funday

I almost completely forgo nail polish in the winter, or at least I did this most recent winter.  I was so busy trying to soothe my dry, sensitive skin that painted nails were not happening.  Now that it is warm, I almost always have my nails and toenails painted.  I admit I typically only use reds, pinks, and pale pink/nude shades.  These are my current favorites.

Treat Collection in Blushing Blooms – I cannot get enough of this polish.  It’s what I’m wearing as I type this.  Aside from the Treat polishes having fantastic flat, wide brushes, the formula is very good and the color is the most perfect glossy, creamy pink with a coral edge.  While it seems to be available on other websites, I don’t see it on the Treat website.  However, their Popsicle shade looks very similar.

Zoya in CarmenThis is my favorite red.  Red nails, like red lips and black dresses, never go out of style.  A solid red nail polish is always good to have on hand.  This one is a cream based true medium red with glossy finish.

Treat Collection in Cotton Candy – I was afraid this would scream “pre-teen”, but it is the perfect pretty pink with a sophisticated twist.  It has a touch of mauve that keeps the pink from being too bright.  It’s seriously the most perfect dusty pink I have seen.

Lauren B Beauty in #IMSOLAThis was in one of my recent Petit Vour boxes and I love the shade.  It’s a beautiful raspberry pink with blue undertones.  So pretty on the toenails!  I’ve yet to put it on my fingers, but I think it would look equally nice.

Zoya in BelaThe prettiest sheer pink.  One coat looks like healthy, shiny bare nails, two coats is a very sheer pink, three coats is still sheer but more milky.  Just gorgeous for times when you want low-maintenance nails that are still feminine and pretty.

Essie in Sunday Funday – Though Essie isn’t the cleanest brand, I admit I love this shade.  While I believe they are 3-free,  the downside is, I don’t think they are cruelty-free.  This is actually a pretty old polish and I now do my best to buy only 5-free, cruelty-free brands. I would love to have an all-natural replacement for this shade, which is why I’m including it here.  It’s a beautiful coral with subtle shimmer – any recommendations for a clean, cruelty-free dupe?

What are your most-used nail polishes for warm weather?