Monthly Archives

July 2015

snacks, travel

Music Festival Snack Guide

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Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’re going to a music festival this summer. And I don’t blame you. There’s something undeniably appealing about 3 straight days of pure, unadulterated summer fun. The perfect blend of escapism and nostalgia.

But if you’re anything like me you also value things like healthy food, quiet time, running water, self-respect, etc. Classic adulthood conundrum.

In an effort to address one of those concerns I thought I would share my shopping list for Wayhome this weekend. I still anticipate buying a few overpriced tacos on-site, but my goal was to cover snacks, breakfasts and lunches. My shopping list includes a mix of whole grains and fruit to keep you energized (for dancing), healthy fats to keep you satisfied (for long treks between your campsite and each show), and some protein to keep your blood sugar in balance (so your friends don’t hate you by the end of the weekend). I’ve included a couple of quick recipes as well. Hope you enjoy!

My shopping list

– Trail mix*
– Vegan Banana Granola Bars*
– Jerky
– Fruit
– Coconut water
– Popcorn
– Rice cakes
– Nut butter
– Canned tuna
– Avocado
– Chickpeas
– Mini-cucumbers

Easy Meal ideas:
– Avocado “toast” on rice cakes
– Chickpea and tuna salad
– Apple and almond butter sandwich

Recipes:

FAVOURITE TRAIL MIX

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– 2 cups pumpkin seeds
– 1 cup coconut flakes
– 1.5 cups chopped figs

VEGAN BANANA GRANOLA BARS

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– 2 bananas, mashed thoroughly
– 1/4 cup applesauce
– 2 cups oats
– 1/2 cup chopped dates
– 1/3 cup chocolate chips
– 2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Stir to combine. Press down in a lined 8 x 8 baking sheet. Bake at 350 for approx 30 mins.

recipes

Ugly Cookies

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Before I knew rosemary from thyme in the kitchen, I knew how to bake. I love baking. The ritual of it calms me down and and distracts my mind which helps me a lot when I’m feeling anxious, nervous or stressed. Rarely is it ever about the product, it’s a process thing.

That said, there is nothing worse than having a baking experiment bomb so over time I’ve noticed I return to a few tried and true recipes time and time again. This is one of those. Simple, adaptable and I always have the key ingredients on hand.

I’ve called these Ugly Cookies because that’s what they are. Gnarly little piles of chocolate chips, walnuts and figs. Sometimes a little ugly is a good thing.

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Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup applesauce (or yogurt)
1 egg
1 cup chopped figs
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
3. In a separate bowl combine oil, egg & applesauce.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until a dough has formed.
5. Add in figs, chocolate and walnuts.
6. Bake at 350 on a lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes.

beauty, reviews

Confessions of a Beauty Addict

The following is a guest post from my glamazon sister Shawna. Shawna is a rare breed – a Paris Hilton/Jo March/Kathleen Hanna-type. She spends 1/3 her days nose-deep in Proust, the other 1/3 at hot yoga and the final 1/3 dancing her face off at a feminist queer dance-party. Needless to say she’s good people. And she knows her stuff when it comes to all things makeup and beauty. Enjoy! 

shawna

I have never been a tinted moisturizer and lip balm kind of girl.

Several years ago I began eating more intentionally – salads, green smoothies and a mostly whole-food, plant-based diet – but even after cleaning up my diet I still stubbornly clung to my VIB Rouge Status at Sephora. I spent years searching for the holy grail of matte red lipsticks and black liquid eyeliner and I was not about to give up my perfectly curated makeup collection just because of a few chemicals.

Then my sister gave me a subscription to a beauty service called Petit Vour and my mentality started to shift. Petit Vour sends a box of sample sized beauty products every month and each one is ingredient-conscious and cruelty-free. I didn’t have to completely overhaul my beauty stash all at once (which would have cost a small fortune) I could try out products slowly over time, and gradually replace my go-to items when I found alternatives that worked for me. Eventually I learned that natural makeup has come a long way and now many healthy products are just as effective as their chemical-laden counterparts. I’m not saying Mac’s Ruby Woo won’t always have a place in my heart, but I am open to change.

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Me, my sis & my pops in Chicago a few weeks back

As a consumer I feel better about supporting ethical companies and smaller beauty brands that are more health and environmentally aware and do not test on animals or contain scary animal products such as carmine (which is derived from crushed up beetles!).

Below are some of my favorite findings in my ongoing quest to detox my makeup bag. I will tell you about some of my preferred products for a natural (but not TOO natural) makeup look.

Meow Meow Tweet Tweet Deodorant

Traditional deodorant was the first product I tried to replace, and probably the hardest to find a good substitute for. Over the years I swear I tried every natural deodorant on the market and none of them were effective. I think Portlandia summed it up best in their ad for “Mother Sun”:

Basically nothing I tried that didn’t contain scary ingredients such as aluminum could hold up to hot yoga, spin class, and sweaty dancefloors. I got pretty close to finding an effective natural deodorant when I tried Schmidt’s but after a while it broke out my super sensitive skin and I had to keep looking (armpit rash is not cute). Shortly thereafter I found this: Meow Meow Tweet Tweet aka the best deodorant ever. It keeps you smelling fresh and it is available with or without baking soda so it is extra sensitive on your skin. If you are used to deodorant in stick-form it is worth noting that this is a cream you rub in with your fingers (you’ll get used to it!). I am partial to the Lavender scent. The website offers trial sizes so you can sample it before you commit to a whole jar.

Fat and the Moon Lip & Cheek Stain

cheek stain

This product is made of beeswax and essential oils and gets its colour from beet root. It adds a nice blush to cheeks that blends in well, or a very subtle stain to lips.

RMS “Un” cover-up

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Photo credit: No More Dirty Looks

This is the one natural beauty product I have found that I actually like better than anything I have used before. The make-up comes in a small pot, which you can apply like concealer and as a highlighting foundation on areas under your eyes, around your nose, and on your forehead and chin. The look is completely natural but with a nice amount of coverage. I have actually stopped using traditional foundation on a daily basis and just apply the “Un” cover-up with a light dusting of powder on top for a natural finish that is good for summer when you don’t want your make-up to be heavy anyway.

To learn more about the ingredients contained in commercial products consult the “Skin Deep Cosmetics Database”and shop at thoughtfully curated retailers such as credo beauty, detox market beauty counter and spirit beauty lounge.

 

reflections

HOW TO KEEP YOUR SHIT TOGETHER (IN YOUR 20’S)

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Have you ever dropped something off a dock and had it fall to the bottom of the lake? Like your fancy new sunglasses or a piece of jewelry or your phone?

One second you’re staring out at an expanse of water and sky, reflecting on the vastness of it all. The next second you’re staring down into dark, dingy water resolving yourself to the fact that you – smart, capable, “special flower” you – can’t think your way out of this situation. You can’t delegate it. The only thing you can do is climb down into all that weedy muck and fish out what’s yours.

That’s my metaphor for adulthood.

No matter who you are or where you come from there will always be a disconnect between the vision you have for life and what it actually becomes. In my experience, coming to terms with that discrepancy is the major emotional milestone of your twenties.

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I’ve seen a lot of people traverse these years successfully, but I’ve also seen a lot of people stumble and backslide (myself included). Based on these observations, I’ve put together a few basic tips that may just help you keep your shit together when you realize that concepts like “success” and “stability” are about as real as Bing Bong, the pink nougat-filled elephant-cat hybrid from Pixar’s Inside Out. Here goes…

  1. FORGIVE YOUR PARENTS.
    I know. They were emotionally unavailable. Or unstable. They were narcissists. Or acted like victims. They coddled you. Or they criticized you. If you can’t afford therapy, this is me telling you right now that all your accusations are real. Validation granted. Your parents made countless mistakes and they’re going to keep making them for the rest of your life. However, having a good relationship with them as an adult is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Old people are wise and your parents know you better than anyone else. Their advice will get you through the hardest times. Love and accept them like they love and accept you.
  2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF.
    Once you forgive your parents you’ll notice that is less satisfying to blame them for all the stupid things you do. You’re not rebelling, you’re regressing. The only person suffering the consequences of your credit card debt, heavy drinking, questionable romantic partners, lack of gainful employment, et al. is you. So it’s time to start facing those life choices head-on. The upside is that once you start taking care of yourself rather than ignoring your problems or passing the buck, you’ll realize that it actually feels pretty good.
  3. SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
    I was chatting with a friend over cocktails last week (2 drinks each at a cool 8pm) and we both agreed that one of the best parts of growing up is learning how to say, “no.” It’s absolutely liberating when you figure this out. You don’t have to do things just because your friends do. You don’t need to show up places just because it’s a “scene” you want to be a part of. You don’t have to go out on a limb for everyone who asks you to – only for the people who matter. Learning how to set boundaries forces you to think about you actually want and then communicate it clearly to those around you. The struggle is real but these skills will take you far.
  4. BE WARY OF YOUR COPING STRATEGIES
    When you’re in college or even your early twenties, you can usually get by with whatever ragtag group of coping skills you pieced together as a child. Binge watch 8 seasons of Buffy! Buy a new outfit! Go on a juice cleanse! Party with pals! All of the boyfriends! It’s pretty PG. But like any repetitive action, over time these distractions become your coping strategies and once they’re ingrained it ain’t pretty. Addiction, credit card debt & disordered eating are the trifecta of cant-handle-my-adult-life distractions. But that’s all they are – distractions. The only way you will actually get through these years is to confront your feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness and failure head-on. In time, your ability to face these hard truths (and persevere in spite of them) will help you come to the realization that you that you are in fact the resilient badass/bad bitch you were born to be. 

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recipes

Strawberry Chia jam

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When I was little making jam with my grandma was my idea of a good time. We’d wake up early and head to the strawberry fields, scoop up all the berries we could then head home and spend all day prepping canning jars and boiling vats of hot strawberry syrup. It was the perfect combination of fun, ritual and reward. At the end of all your hard work you were always left with a sticky sweet indulgence.

As it turns out, I haven’t changed so much since those days. I still love feeling the hot sun on my shoulders as I treasure hunt for berries. I still love the smell of hot bubbly fruit and the calming ritual of skimming bubbles from the pot. I don’t however have as much time or patience as I used to. I also don’t have quite as much of a sweet tooth.

This recipe is the perfect solution. Sweet sticky quick jam minus the canning process and omitting all that sugar and pectin. Hope you enjoy!

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Strawberry Chia Jam

Ingredients
4 cups strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
2-3 tbsp honey (or a mix of honey and cane sugar)
1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions

1. Cook strawberries, orange juice and 1 tbsp of honey in a pot over high heat until bubbling.
2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, breaking up whole berries with a fork or masher as you go.
3. Taste and add more sweetener if needed.
4. Add chia seeds and stir. Turn off heat and allow to cool.