In this business, I get a lot of emails from strangers. I now can tell when I virtually "click" with someone or not. I often open up my inbox to find requests from various companies asking me to sample their products or develop a recipe for them. Some products/companies are a good fit, and some clearly are not. It is extremely rare that I get an initial email and think, "WOW, this person/product is AWESOME! I cannot WAIT to work with them!" So anyway, that is how my relationship with the founder of Love Rope, Christian Maurer, began.
Christian Maurer is a 24-year old student trying to change the world by spreading LOVE. His philosophy is that "love is patient, love is kind, love is louder - always," and he is constantly asking "what would love do?" in his daily life.
He has created these wonderful, customizable bracelets to give you the opportunity to express yourself. They serve as a constant reminder of something you truly care about that you can wear every day. They are vegan leather and 100% hand-stamped. I just LOVE mine and wear it all the time! Head over to LoveRope and read Christian's amazing story for more information!
I had the opportunity to try some amazing turmeric products from two awesome companies - Gaia Herbs and Temple Turmeric. If you want to know what's so great about turmeric (and how to use it in a few recipes), hop on over to my article where I explain the top 5 reasons I love turmeric!
Gaia has two turmeric products that I absolutely LOVE. My personal favorite of the two is TurmericBoost: Uplift, which is a fantastic blend of turmeric, Gotu Kola, and lemon balm leaf. This combination is designed to calmly elevate your mood and spirit. TurmericBoost: Restore is a delicious blend of turmeric with vanilla chai prebiotics including cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, and vanilla bean. It has a yummy, sweet flavor and is great for digestive support.
Temple Turmeric offers a range of elixirs, blends and tonics with at least 13 grams of organic Hawaiian Oana Turmeric™ in each bottle. Their delicious Elixirs feature organic turmeric blended with ginger, cardamom, and spearmint. They also have Super Blends, which are dairy-free fusions of synergistic, whole-food ingredients with healthy fats from coconut milk and hemp milk. Both products come in a variety of wonderful flavors!
*Note: The last two photos are not my own. I found them here.
Be Bright Superfood Oil is a wonderful blend of chia seed oil, organic coconut oil, organic avocado oil, organic hemp seed oil, and organic black cumin seed oil. It is sweetened with non-GMO cane sugar and tastes delicious! The oils combine into a yummy, sweet gel that you just squeeze out of the container two teaspoons at a time. It has a tropical taste, with hints of coconut and pineapple. You can either enjoy the blend by itself or add it to a smoothie.
Be Bright Superfood Oil contains a unique blend of plant-based omega 3, 6, and 9s in addition to powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Here is a little more on each of the oils used in this product:
1. Coconut Oil
2. Chia Seed Oil
3. Avocado Oil
4. Hemp Seed Oil
5. Black Cumin Oil
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BUBBA Burger. All opinions are 100% mine.
Bean burgers are perfect when you need a quick, filling meal that is also tasty and delicious! When I first transitioned over to the plant-based lifestyle, frozen bean burgers were a staple in my freezer. I don't think I would have been able to make it had I not had these readily available! They are such a great, healthier alternative to regular burgers, and are perfect to bring along with you to a a summer cookout.
BUBBA Veggie Burgers are high-quality and so wonderfully flavorful! Here are a few of the benefits of these delicious, vegan burgers:
My personal favorite way to enjoy bean burgers is adding a few slices of avocado, a slice or two of tomato, and all the kale you can fit. Enjoy!!
I had the wonderful opportunity to try out Oriya Organics' Superfood Protein Medley as well as their Superfood Green Medley, and let me tell you... they are amazing! Oriya is a Texas company dedicated to providing high-quality, nutrient-dense protein and superfood powders that are 100% raw, vegan, and USDA organic. On top of all of that, they taste great, too!!
*Giveaway details are at the end of the post!
One of my philosophies when it comes to packaged foods is the less ingredients, the better. Many protein powders that are on the market today are loaded with additives and things I definitely don't want to be ingesting. Oriya uses only 5 top-quality, organic ingredients in their protein powder (sprouted brown rice protein, hemp protein, sprouted chia seeds, spirulina, and chlorella). In their superfood powder, they use 4 of the most nutrient-dense ingredients on the planet: spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, and barley grass.
I made a fantastic smoothie using a scoop of both powders, and it was so delish!!! I added it to my Simple Green Smoothie and it added a nice, chocolatey twist. I had this smoothie as a snack around 3pm, and it filled me up for a good 4.5 hours. I also tried out the Superfood Green Medley alone by adding a scoop my Green Detoxifying Juice for some superfood energy, and I was buzzing all morning!
To Sum It All Up...
Oriya Organics has amazing, clean products. If you are looking for a protein or greens powder to add in some more superfood nutrition to your diet, look no further, because this is such a fantastic brand! This company is great because:
1. Every ingredient is USDA Certified Organic.
2. Every ingredient is in it's RAW form, meaning that it contains all enzymes in tact to help you digest all of the superfood goodness!
3. Each powder uses as few ingredients as possible, with no fillers or processed sweeteners.
4. They are jam-packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals!! (see photo of nutritional facts below)
5. They are low in calories compared with other brands I have found.
Basically, I love these products!! I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to try them out. Thanks, Oriya!! <3
Now, for the giveaway!!!
I am a huge fan of drinking tea, but I sometimes find it to be somewhat of a hassle to use a tea bag, wait for the tea to steep, add almond milk and/or sweetener, and then finally get to enjoy it. TeaDrops is an amazing company that has eliminated all of the hassle involved with making a perfect cup of tea!! They create delicious, organic tea morsels that are made of tea, spices, and organic sugar, and all you have to do is drop one in a mug, fill with hot water, and enjoy! No muss or fuss, just a perfect cup of tea, every time. I had the opportunity to try a few different samples, and oh my goodness. I am in love! My favorites were the peppermint (pictured below) and the citrus ginger! In fact, I'm sipping on a cup of peppermint tea as I write this :)
Tea Drops are produced in small batches in a certified home kitchen. These shaped and dissolvable morsels are crafted from high-quality ingredients from around the world (including tea estates in China and India), and then handmade and lovingly packaged in compostable and up-cycle-friendly materials right here in the U.S.A.
In addition to original selections of tea (which include various white, black, and herbal teas), they also have special collections geared towards delivering an extra-special tea experience. They recently released the Natural Healing Experience, which are a carefully curated selection of teas that all work in synergy to optimize the drinker's physical, mental, and spiritual health. So far, they have revealed the Turmeric Tea Drop, which serves as everything from a holistic anti-inflammatory to a blood and liver health boost and the Yerba Mate Tea Drop, which is a light tea blended from parts of the yerba mate plant. It is naturally caffeinated and will boost your mind and give you clean energy all day.
About the founder:
Tea has always been a pivotal ritual in Sashee Chandran’s life owing to her Sri Lankan and Chinese roots. To Chandran, tea can be both an intimate and communal experience, meant to be cherished and shared with friends and strangers alike. On her journey of drinking and spreading the love of tea, Chandran encountered many who Sashee spends her days dreaming up new flavors and tea experiences from her licensed home cottage kitchen where she also lovingly crafts and wraps every Tea Drop morsel by hand. Inspired by life, love, and travel, her teas are special and exciting experiences that can be enjoyed wherever your heart desires.
Now, for the giveaway!!
My friends over at RawSpiceBar have just launched and one of my lucky readers is going to receive a free one-month subscription! All you have to do is head over to my Facebook page, "like" it and "like" the RawSpiceBar post. Here is a little bit more about this awesome new company:
RawSpiceBar, the Spice of the Month Club, delivers 3 premium spice blends from around the world direct to your door. They work with top chefs to create a unique and interesting spice blend for you to try out. Each spice box averages ~2 ounces of spice blends and yields a complete 3 dish meal for 8-12 people. All the spices use ingredients of the highest quality (and they opt for fair trade and organic spices where possible), sourced from global spice producers. Each box costs $6, RawSpiceBar covers your shipping costs (in US), and you can purchase for a 3, 6 or 12 month period. You can cancel or pause this subscription at any time.
RawSpiceBar includes an "origins, instructions and recipes" card for each spice blend that includes the blend's history, cooking as well as suggested recipes. RawSpiceBar also includes another 5-10 recipe ideas on their site, and they are sure to provide a great variety of options for vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, gluten free and healthy eaters alike. Each blend label includes a description, the ingredients, and RawSpiceBar's storing instructions.
I love Dr. Bronner's soap!!! I know that's extreme, but it's true. I discovered their castile liquid soap last year, and have been hooked ever since. All of Dr. Bronner's products are fair trade and organic, and their soaps are made with organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba, and hemp oils combined with essential oils. That's it. No extra ingredients that you can't pronounce. All simple, pure, organic ingredients.
The best thing about these soaps is that they can be used for lots of different purposes. In addition to using the soap as face and body wash, I've also used it to create shampoo, dish soap, hand soap, and eye-makeup remover. Doing this has saved me so much money, too!!
I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of shaving gel and lavender castile liquid soap in the mail from this awesome company. The shaving gel is very hydrating and moisturizing and left my legs feeling silky smooth! I used the lavender castile liquid soap to make a lovely lavender shampoo. I diluted it with water, and created a shampoo that leaves my hair feeling clean and smelling delicious. It is also gentle enough to wash my dog with, too! All in all, Dr. Bronner's products are absolutely amazing. I am a huge fan! Thanks to Dr. Bronner's, I will never have to buy shampoo, hand soap, makeup remover, or dish soap again. Learn more about Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps here.
I had the incredible opportunity of staying at beautiful Deer Lake Lodge & Spa in Montgomery, Texas a few weekends ago. Deer Lake Lodge is a completely organic resort and spa that provides the ultimate cleansing, detoxing, and relaxing experience. From the moment you arrive, you enter a world of peace, serenity, and positivity. The staff members are all very friendly, caring, and knowledgable, and the facility is absolutely stunning. If you're ready to hit the "reset" button on your health, looking to drop a few pounds, or just cleanse your body and mind, this is the perfect getaway for you!
The Detox Plan
While you are at the spa, you are only consuming liquids (which includes a scrumptious raw soup for dinner). This sounds like it would be difficult, but the various drinks you consume throughout the day are extremely filling (not to mention delicious), and I did not feel hungry once! When you arrive, you are given complete instructions on how to make each drink, when to consume it, and information on why the specific ingredients are part of each recipe. All ingredients are provided for you to make the drinks in the beautiful Fasting Lounge. Everything you consume during your stay at Deer Lake Lodge is pure, organic, and 100% nourishing and cleansing. In addition to all of the delicious detoxifying beverages, it is recommended that you do a colonic each day you are there. I was very afraid of this at first, but it truly enhanced the detox experience. I only had one planned initially, but after the first one I enjoyed such great results that I went back each day I was there! (I won't get into the details here, but email me if you want to know more!).
Activities & Amenities
Each day starts with gentle yoga at 9 followed by an enlightening class of some sort (it's different each week, but I attended a Liquid Love class on raw foods and juicing and a class on organics - both very informative and enjoyable). The class ends around noon, and then it's time to get pampered with an endless selection of spa treatments, hit the sauna, lounge by the pool, meditate on the meditation deck, or go for a walk on the trails around the expansive property. Soup is served at 4 pm, and the rest of the evening is yours to do as you please.
To Sum It Up
Staying at Deer Lake Lodge was the experience of a lifetime!! I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to cleanse their body and mind or just enjoy ultimate relaxation. When I left after the weekend, I felt refreshed, lighter, and cleaner from the inside out. I felt calm and ready to return to my busy life at home. I will definitely be returning to Deer Lake Lodge in the future, and I am greatly looking forward to it! A big THANK YOU to the wonderful Deer Lake team for having me!
Kale Krunch is a line of organic, raw, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, vegan, kale chips that are packed with flavor and superfood nutrition. I had the wonderful opportunity to sample a few varieties of these delicious chips, and I am now a huge fan! If you are looking for a healthy snack that is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals and nourishing from the inside out, these are perfect for you!
Each kind of kale chip has a delicious cashew-based coating made with various herbs and spices that give each its unique and distinct taste. They are all crunchy and bursting with flavor, making them one of my new favorite snacks. Now let's get into the details. (Note: these are not listed in any particular order!)
1. Southwest Ranch: Kale chips with a spicy kick! This flavor contains habanero pepper, which gives it a hint of spice that will leave your tongue tingling (and asking for more!). I loved these!
2. Quite Cheezy: Even though there is no real cheese to be found in this bag of chips, the distinct cheesy flavor (that comes from nutritional yeast) is absolutely delicious. Once I opened this bag it was difficult to put it down. SO GOOD.
3. Seasonal Spring Onion: These chips seemed a little more bland than the rest. I could taste a hint of spring onion, but not as much as I wanted. This didn't stop me from eating the whole bag though! They are still delish, just not my favorite out of the bunch.
4. Veggie Krunch (Arugula Cabbage): This flavor actually doesn't contain kale, but it is still packed with superfood nutrition. It's slightly more bitter than the kale chips, but still equally as tasty.
5. Superfood: This was my absolute favorite of them all! As if the kale chips on their own weren't packed with enough nutrition, this flavor adds in spriulina, maca, and chia, giving these chips an extra superfood boost. Absolute heaven in my mouth!!!
In conclusion, I LOVE THESE!! They are the perfect healthy, crunchy snack that are exploding with flavor and packed with vitamins and minerals. These get an A+ rating in my book and will definitely be part of my diet from now on. If you want to learn more or purchase some for yourself to try, visit the Alive & Radiant Foods™ website.
I'm Annie! I'm a holistic health coach and PhD student at UT Austin who loves creating and sharing healthy, plant-based, budget-friendly recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. Read more about me here.