Swimmies and snackies

This post is from a fun and relaxing trip one of my best friends and I had at the beach. We brought along some old expired 35mm film with us, some zero waste snacks, and of course, our favorite eco-friendly swim suits.
I used to try and find the cheapest and "in season" bathing suite online and if there was a sale I would get 2 or 3 pairs. Then I would wear it only a handful of times and the next year I would repeat. Now that I think twice about everything I invite into my life and am also more focused on quality, I couldn't wait to put in some effort to research what swim suit works best for me that is sustainable, ethically made and on the low foot print scale. 
I bought a sweet thrift store swim suit last year and as I do really love it, it stretches easily in some areas making it not so splash and high-activity friendly. 
I chose Camp Cove Swim for my swim suit, and as I was conflicted since it is getting shipped from Australia and I keep most of my purchases, in every aspect of my life, regional, I am so happy I made the decision! Not only is this black swim suit adorable and perfect fitting, it is so durable. This black baby will be a classic staple in my closet meaning I don't need to purchase another one for a long time to come! It is made of recycled fabrics and they manufacture locally in Australia in small quantities and high quality. High quality not only means long lasting products but means less waste and less production.

I'm 5'3 and I bought a size small. It fits great!

My best friend who went on this beach adventure with me bought her swim suits from a thrift store and she has had these for years! I've talked to some people and they say the reasons why they don't buy thrift swim suits are for "sanitary" reasons but most of the time they are there is because the suite didn't fit right and is still in amazing and clean condition! 

No need for plastic water bottles! Just bring your own mason jar or favorite water bottle.

Whether it is a thrift store swim suit or an ethical and sustainable swim line, it is so important to invite these things into your life! Avoid fast fashion not only because it is incredibly harsh on the environment and unfair to the hardworking laborers behind the clothes but because you want your life to radiate clean living. To live minimally, thoughtfully, and with the smallest imprint on our earth is the greatest and most fulfilling gift one could have.

We packed up some zero waste snacks which saved our lives! Instead of stopping in at your bodega to get packaged things, make sure you think a bit ahead and bring some things from home! I buy all in bulk so it was super easy to pack it up in a mason jar and theres virtually no clean up. Pop it back in your bag!

YAY to sustainability and putting the power and responsibility back into being a consumer! <3

What can you do with leftover veggie fibers from juicing?

Every time I make a juice I get a bit bummed about the leftover fibers that I have to compost. I just feel like there must be a way to save some of it since there are still benefits to what I am getting rid of. During my juice cleanse i decided to take a huge portion of my fibers and make something into them. I definitely didn't want to taste the dry fibers so there must be a way to mask it, and still in a healthy way.

So I made the best asian veggie balls EVER!!!! Shared this will all my room mates and they were equally obsessed.
 

INGREDIENTS:
-2 cups of leftover juice fiber
-3/4 cup oat flour ( I used gf oats and blended them til flour consistency)
-No measurements with spices/sauces but I mixed in to my liking:
-paprika -garlic -sea salt -basil -cayenne
-coconut amines -tamari -sweet cooking rice wine

You do not have to follow this exact recipe, it really is just what flavor you want the veggie balls to taste like! Get creative. The fiber has a good way of being bland so the flavor depends on what spices you are craving!

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix together leftover veggie fiber, spices, and sauces
2. Roll into small balls
3. Add nice amount of coconut oil, butter, or olive oil to pan
4. Put the veggie balls into pan on a bit higher medium heat.
5. Flip them every 3 minutes or so. Sides should be a nice brown color and crispy texture.
6. Put them over rice noodles or steamed rice and eat as is or with peanut sauce, soy sauce etc…
YAY!!!!

My juice cleanse

I always have a vision to kick off the summer with a fresh mentality; and thoughts fill my head of being toned and really fresh looking. However, what often happens is that I go into a weird hibernation mode (maybe it's weather change) where I feel tired and hungry all the time! My body is craving greens, nutrients, and water to get through the heat but what it triggers is a desire for carbs and sugars.
So I decided to give myself a 3 day cleanse. Not one of those crazy ones where you only drink lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne water, and not even one of those strict ones to where I can only drink 8 juices a day and call it good. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but when I tell my body that it can't have something that it wants, it goes into overdrive and will retaliate.
 

So I did 3 days. Four big juices a day all with different benefits to the body, every 2 hours, and then after 4pm a big dinner. It went so successfully and I want to adopt that mentality all summer, getting all my greens and fruits in during the day and healthfully carbing up at night. Not only did my body lose its bloat, but it had more energy following and I wasn't craving the bad stuff. Sometimes we think of juice cleanses as cutting out real food, but what we are really doing is cutting out the bad, fake food and bringing on the natural goodness.

So here I am to give you my juice schedule. Please shop responsibly and sustainably! All my ingredients were mostly from the farmers market and all of it was organic! It is important to cleanse your body but even more important to keep our environment clean which means sustainable farming practices!

Do not take this as medical, nutritional, or personal advice. I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or anything of that kind. I just tailored a juice cleanse to what I know about my own body and what it will crave, and what it will need. 

DAY 1:
8 AM: 32oz luke warm water with lemon juice and ginger (drink lots of water through the day!)
9 AM: 1 apple-1 cucumber-3 kale leaves-1 handful chard-1 oz lemon juice-ginger
11 AM: 1 orange-6 carrots-3 small golden beets-tumeric-cayenne
1 PM: 5 ribs celery-1 cucumber-1 handful chard-1 zucchini- 1 oz lemon juice
3 PM: 1 cucumber-1 beet-3 ribs celery-1 handful spinach-ginger
DINNER 5 PM: Used the leftover juice fiber and rolled asian veggie balls with vietnamese noodles! Recipe on blog.
Dessert 7PM: 2 Frozen bananas blended with dates and cinnamon


DAY 2:
8 AM: 32oz luke warm water with lemon juice and ginger (drink lots of water through the day!)
9 AM: 1 apple-1 cucumber-handful of dandelion greens-handful chard-1 oz lemon juice- ginger
11 AM: 1 grapefruit-5 carrots-1 cucumber-cayenne-tumeric                                                                                        1 AM: 3 handfuls spinach-2 kale leaves-1 zucchini-handful of dandelion greens-1 apple-3 sprigs celery
3 PM-None, the previous juice above was really big and I was full as all heck!
DINNER 5 PM -Veggie stir fry with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, sesame seeds, avocado and steamed rice
Dessert 7 PM- 2 frozen bananas with cacao powder, cocoa nibs and dates

DAY 3:
8AM: 32oz luke warm water with lemon juice and ginger (drink lots of water through the day!)
9AM: 1 big zucchini-handful of dandelion greens-handful of chard-1 oz lemon juice-ginger
11 AM: 6 sticks asparagus-4 carrots-3 sprigs celery
1 PM: 1 big beet-1 cucumber-1 apple
3 PM: Smoothie(whoops! sorry not sorry) Frozen banana, handful spinach, avocado, ice and water
DINNER 5 PM: Refried beans, guacamole, mexican rice, cabbage, and fresh tomato salsa

                                                                       YAY!!!!!
 

Palm Oil Free Cheez-Its!

This recipe was adapted from Minimalist Baker, whom also is one of my favorite bakers ever.

It's pretty easy to find a snack that you love to binge on and even easier to find one where you feel guilty and bloated directly after eating it. I would say cheez-its is one of them. Looking at the ingredients, however, is horrific. The list goes on for about a paragraph and most of the words sound like a disease. With just a few twists; cutting out the conflict stuff (palm oil) and cutting some bloat-tastic ingredients out (lactose whey and many more), you can find the perfect cracker! It's a mix of cheesy, crunchy, lightly salty and so filling.

This little jar next to my delicious crackers is nutritional yeast! I get it in bulk.

INGREDIENTS:

-
Heaping 1/2 cup of Pamelas GF pancake and baking flour (or regular flour)
-1/4 cup GF oat flour (if not gluten free, regular oats work)
-3 tbspn yellow corn meal
-2 tbspn nutritional yeast (add more or less for cheesy preference
-1/2 tsp garlic salt
-pinch of salt
-1/4 tspn baking powder (only if you want fluffier cracker)
-3 tbsn of olive oil (coconut oil or butter works)
-3 tbspn cold water

WHAT TO DO:

1. Preheat oven 350 F and take out your silicone baking mat (for trash free!) to put on baking sheet
2. Put all dry ingredients together in processor or blender and mix them together. 
3. Add oil and pulse til crumble type dough forms. Then add your cold water slowly in to form dough ball.
4. On a lightly floured surface, take dough ball from processor and form a disc with your hands and put disc on surface.
5. Flatten out with hands (that's what I did) or a floured rolling pin until dough is 1/8 thick.
6. Cut dough into square shapes with knife or pizza cutter and get creative and find something to put a hole in the middle of each cracker. ( I used end of a wood skewer)
7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crackers are golden and crispy. Longer for extra crisp!
8.YAY!  
 

Palm oil free potato chips




Easy, breezy, beautiful…Palm oil free potato chips.

Once you scan the aisles in the grocery store, knowing what kind of destruction palm oil does to our rain forests, your heart will start to panic a bit because it truly is in almost everything. Then you'll remember all of the boxes of cereal you had that has contributed to the supply and demand of this conflict palm oil. Then you look at the potato chips and see that, it too, has palm oil  and you put the bag down and smile because potato chips are SO easy to make!! Yes saving the orangutans is THAT easy.
Check out my page Lower your foodprint to read more about it!

INGREDIENTS:
-2 big potatoes (or however many you want)
-Olive oil (or any oil you want)
-Seasonings (I used rosemary sea salt and garlic)
WHAT TO DO:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Use a silicon baking mat on your oven tray (to be trash free!)
Slice potato chips really thin, about 1/8 inch thick with either a mandolin or a evenly cut slices with regular knife (be careful please :D)
2.Take slices and put in big bowl and drizzle olive oil with seasonings over it (drizzle and sprinkle to preference)
3. Evenly distribute slices on mat. Pop in oven for about 30 minutes, and turn. If others are getting crispier take them out, and let the others continue.
4. YAY!!!!

Palm oil free hazelnut butter : homemade NUTELLA

Guys I kid you not, this was by far the easiest and best thing I have EVER made. The problem is, is that the pictures do not do this justice. This was just the right amount of sweet and so nutty and spreadable. I refused to put powdered sugar in it (No refined sugars please) that is supposed to give it a creaminess like the Nutella brand but the texture did not compromise the insanely delicious flavor.

INGREDIENTS:
-8 oz hazelnuts
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-3/4 cup maple syrup (add more or less to preference)
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-dash of salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 WHAT TO DO:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place all your hazelnuts evenly on your (trash-free!) non stick silicone baking mat.
2. Roast until golden for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool then place in food processor (blender works)
3. Grind in processor for a couple of minutes. The hazelnuts will slowly start to release yummy oils that form a nice paste. Process nuts and scrape sides down every now and then.
4. Add in everything else! Food process more until you get a nice paste. 
5. YAY!! 

What can you do with hazelnut butter?!!? Put it in smoothies, spread on bread, put in oatmeal, on bananas. The list goes on!

Palm oil free Ritz peanut butter crackers

Palm Oil Free, Gluten Free (RITZ) PEANUT BUTTER CRACKERS
 

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DAY 1: These "Ritz" peanut butter crackers are better, if not tasting entirely similar, to the branded one! It has a perfect twist of sweet and salty for that perfect snack. Best part, and the reason why I recreated this recipe, is that they are palm oil free! If you are curious as to why I have a 7 day recipe challenge all about keeping palm oil out of my food (amongst keeping it out of everything else in my life), then check out #2 on my "Lower your footprint" page. This pesky ingredient is contributing to massive deforestation in the Sumatran rainforest and its causing our fragile ecosystem to collapse, driving animals out of their homes and to the brink of extinction.

This snack is super simple to make and you can find these ingredients in sustainable bulk to make this trash free, organic, and cheap! The only thing I didn't buy in bulk was the gluten free flour which I bought in a huge bag that I will reuse for my bulk brown rice flour hauls in the future. It was the first purchase I made since being trash free/plastic free that had any packaging and I'm so happy I found a reuse for the bag. In the future I don't think I will do it again but it was nice to put my brain to the test for alternative uses after it ran out.  I adapted the recipe for the crackers from Gluten Free on a shoe string! It was a perfect recipe, and Im so happy with it.

INGREDIENTS:
- 1 cup of Pamelas gluten free pancake/baking flour (you can use regular flour which is easier to find in bulk!)
-4 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil (+2 tablespoons melted oil for brushing crackers before oven)
-1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
-1 teaspoon paprika
-pinch of salt
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-1/2 cup water with ice in it (don't include ice in measurement
FOR FILLING:
-Organic and palm oil free peanut butter! 

WHAT TO DO:
1. Preheat to 375 F. Prepare your baking sheet with non-stick silicone mat (making this trash free!)
2.Chop the 4 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil in bowl and after place in freezer.
3. Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Take chopped oil oil out of freezer and mix in with dry ingredients cutting with two knives to form pebbles.
4. Add in olive oil and slowly, bit by bit, add in water (discard ice, maybe throw it in a flower pot <3).
5. Stir until complete dough forms. Make into ball and put in refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes (just to firm)
6. After allotted time, take out and put on clean, floured surface and roll out dough to thickness you desire (about 1/8th inch thick). Get circular shape cutter to cut out cracker sized circles from dough. (I got very creative and found a stainless steel lid)
7. Pop in oven for about 8-10 minutes. Take out and brush with melted oil. 
8. Lay out and let crackers cool.
9. Put desired amount on one side of cracker and squish with another! BOOM! YAY!

What did my morning look like for Earth Day?

Earth Day morning was a blast for me! Took a train to Long Island City with my good friend Alex and went to an amazing warehouse called The Materials for the Arts. I have never heard of this center before and was introduced to it by a wonderful activist and model, Cameron Russell. She hosted a small meet but the message was huge. 

The fashion industry is one of the dirtiest industries in the world next to factory farming and oil. When I used to think of pollution I would think of sewage pipes leaking into oceans, or power plants billowing with smoke into the ozone, but one of the biggest contributors to global warming is actually as close as your closet. With damagingly water intensive practices, toxic chemicals being leached into the environment, and the demand for more of earth resources once your clothes are quickly "out of season"; it is inevitable that change must happen for us to sustain existence.

PHOTO BY MEI TAO. If you can spot me, I have the amazing repurposed bright red yarn hat.

PHOTO BY MEI TAO.
If you can spot me, I have the amazing repurposed bright red yarn hat.

On this day Cameron promotes a new wave of consciousness for sustainability in the fashion world, and sheds light on this amazing center that has been changing the sustainability game for 30 years now. The Material for the Arts Center saved 1.5 million pounds of fashions fabrics and supplies that were headed to the trash last year. They provide a way for companies and individuals to donate unneeded supplies to thousands of non profit organizations with arts programming and public schools.

Cameron states " We need every single person, in the area that they know (their community, their school, their jobs) to push for sustainability because innovation needs to come from all over. So the real choice we have isn't whether or not we are going to change, but are we going to lead change?
 

So after her inspiring speech, we took a grand tour of the this amazing center. I was mind blown with the things that they had. Textiles, fabrics, old paintings and frames, a whole tub full of brand new phone cases. Leather bags, perfect jewelry rejected by big companies, aisles upon aisles of amazing goods that were near perfect.
If you have time you have to go to their website to learn more!  Click HERE!!! Better yet, go to an event, class, or workshop where you can experience and learn about creative reuse hands on!
 

After the tour my friend and I got a little too excited about the repurposed clothes and creations so we found a pretty cool chicken head and thought we would make the most of it. Check out the video below!!!! Thank you Alex Todaro for your creative direction in the video and for allowing me to dance to my hearts desire…with a heavy chicken head on.

Happy Earth Day everyone! 

If you want to read another article on this day check out Glamour's article by clicking HERE!!!!