Green, Oolong, and Black Tea: What’s the Difference?

Green tea

For those of you who may not know, I’m currently in the throes of writing a book on medicinal tea. I’m deep into the research phase of the project, and stumbled across the answer to the following question: what’s the difference between green, oolong, and black tea?

If you know, and are pretty sure I’m an idiot because everyone else knows, keep it to yourself. I’m choosing to believe that no one knows this but a small, select few, and that my knowledge on this topic is fairly on par with everyone else’s.

Don’t tell me if I’m alone in this matter.

Anyway, the answer to the question lies in the fermentation of the tea leaves. Turns out, all three types of tea are from the same plant. The herb is called Camellia Sinensis.

Green tea

Green tea: This bevy is made with fresh tea leaves. It’s considered the most medicinally potent of the three, and is the official drink of Japan, even though its origins hail from China.

Oolong tea: It’s made with the same leaves as the green, but they’re slightly fermented.

Black tea: Same leaves again, but are fully fermented. This is the most pungent of the three teas.

Different countries specialize in the production of each type of tea, and they are marketed and sold in a way that would lead one to believe they are different plants. (Okay, I made that up. But I think that’s what they do.)

The primary properties of tea are called polyphenols or tannins, and they determine the tea’s color, strength, body, and ultimately, the taste. Fermentation changes the medicinal properties of the leaves, which results in each of the three teas yielding different health benefits. All three are considered stimulants.

Kombucha Tea

So there you have it. If you want more, you have to pre-order the book! (Which will take a couple of months to reach Amazon, I think.) It’s called The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea, and it’ll be a goodie. 😉 xo

Is 2015 the Year for Radical Self-Love?

Love

I attended a yoga class this morning, and, as always, benefited spiritually as well as physically. I was so thankful to have been granted the opportunity to make it to that class, and I wanted to share what I walked away with.

We all began by laying on our mats, on our backs with our eyes closed, and the instructor began to speak about resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are typically compiled in a tidy list of promises we attempt to make to ourselves. Usually, they’re about change. We want to work out more, lose twenty pounds, start reading American classics, or be a better parent.

That sort of thing.

We’ve all heard that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” right? Simply translated, we all have great intentions of making ourselves better people, but when we inevitably “fail” (don’t read, gain weight, persist in our habit of brushing off our kids), we become very hard on ourselves and it’s this by-product that we all need to try and avoid. Although the resolution was made with pure intent, it often results in guilt and varying degrees of anger or disappointment towards ourselves.

My yoga instructor today posed the question that instead of setting ourselves up for regret and negative self-talk and guilt, what if we all made 2015 the year for “radical self-love?”

What if we spent 365 consecutive days telling ourselves we’re perfect; that our wrongs can’t and shouldn’t be undone; that who we are today is because of those mistakes and errors in self-judgment and pride, and we just vowed to love ourselves and be gentle; to radiate warmth and compassion for those around us and ourselves?

What would the end of the year look like?

Love

Kindness and love is contagious, as is anger and frustration. Instead of wallowing in our own mis-steps and asking ourselves why we did what we did, or why we aren’t better, stronger, wealthier, or more successful, what if we made a pact to spread acceptance and forgiveness?

This is where we discuss the “trickle-down effect.” When you exemplify love, you receive it. When you show (not just tell) others how to be kind, you are breeding kindness all around you. So what if you did something bad or made terrible decisions in your past or have been collecting every reason under the sun to dislike yourself and give others reasons to dislike you, too?

Stop it.

By trickling down positive feelings instead of negative ones, we automatically offer the people in our lives the tools to do the same. How powerful is that? Instead of a My Little Pony, what if you could give your daughter the gift of self-love? Children model what they see and experience, as do the rest of us. If we all modeled self-love, self-respect, and self-worth, wouldn’t the world be an incredible place?

Forget the typical resolutions, and instead, make 2015 the year for love, kindness, patience, and above all, forgiveness; not just towards others, but towards yourself. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and make a conscious effort to move forward in your life by radiating empathy and acceptance for all you’ve done, and who you are right now. You’re already a perfect version of yourself—you just have to be willing to acknowledge it, and move on.

Happy New Year

Radical self-love. 2015. You can do it. Spread the word, and love, baby, love.

Happy holidays! xo

New Book Announcement: The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea!

Kombucha Tea

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how December is FLYING by! Two sleeps ’til Christmas! Woo hoo!

I received an early Christmas gift a couple of days ago: a new book contract! I’m super excited to announce The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea: How to Brew the Cure to What Ails You will be released in January 2016! Not only is this fabulous, but I’ll be fortunate enough to work with Tanya R. Loewen from Wild Honey Art House again! Sooooo exciting!

 dried green tea leaves

It’ll be a few months before I’ll be able to unveil a cover for this new book, so instead, I decided to post a few extremely gorgeous tea images to satisfy myself (and maybe you? Any hardcore tea lovers out there?!), until I can make it happen.

My holiday is already off to a fab start, and I hope everyone who reads this has an amazing couple of weeks, too. xo

Medicinal Herbal Tea

20 Original Gift Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

Christmas

Hey, Happy Healthy Lifers! Today’s post has been contributed by one of my fave guest bloggers, Ashley Erikson. She has some great ideas about holiday gifts, and I for one could use the help!

Enjoy. xo

The Christmas season is in full swing, and many of us still haven’t done our shopping. It’s okay; it’s not unhealthy to procrastinate. It is unhealthy to stress out—and when you don’t know what to get someone this late in the season, it can be stressful.

After looking for a couple of gifts for some friends of mine, I decided to write about some of the finds that I was impressed with. If anything, these gift ideas might give you better direction. These products range anywhere from $5 to $500, and for the record, I don’t work for any of these companies.

Gaiam Yoga for Beginner’s Kit – Price $

Yoga mat

Two short yoga workouts, plus all the accessories needed for a beginner to find their zen. If you’ve heard any of your friends or family talk about their interest in getting started with yoga, then this might be the perfect solution. Getting started with yoga is typically expensive, but this will ease the cost a bit.

Aroma Food Steamer – Price $

A steamer creates delicious meals without adding fat and excess calories. Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook meat, vegetables and other foods. If you want to know how interested your friend might be in this product, look at their social presence online, and see if they talk about cooking much. Every cook would love this gift.

Fitbit Zip – Price $$

This is one small electronic device that tracks steps, distance and calories burned. It syncs to the user’s computer or smartphone. This is one of the most powerful fitness tracking devices out there and your fitness junkie best friend might appreciate this for their next jog.

Philips Activa Portable Workout Monitor –  Price $

Gift Box Wrapped In Natural Paper With Blue Ribbon.

Exercise is more enjoyable when this monitor provides music with the perfect beat and feedback to keep you going. The user selects the type of workout, and the device sets the tempo. This device is something I was thinking about buying for myself. It’s impressive with its ability to turn up the beat as your run gets more intense.

Wake-Up Workout Alarm Clock – Price $

Give the gift of commitment. This dumbbell-shaped alarm clock comes in a variety of colors and won’t shut up until you perform 30 bicep curls. It’s fanatically healthy but it can be a funny and really cool gift for that loved one who is not a morning person.

Dark Chocolate Bar Library – Price $

Dark Chocolate

You can never go wrong with chocolate. Unless the person is not a human. Seven dark chocolate bars in a box, ranging from 54% to 72% cocoa. The flavors are unique, and dark chocolate is one of the healthiest snacks for those with a sweet tooth. Remember dark chocolate is stuffed with magnesium, which helps the body in many wonderful ways.

Flip Belt – Price $

Keep your loved ones safe with this stylish and comfortable belt that holds their identification, cell phone, keys and other items when they head out for a run or walk. This gift is perfect for your marathon runner friend who leaves the house unlocked for hours on end.

Unimug Tea Infuser – Price $

Green Tea

This glass mug cradles a loose-leaf tea infuser and makes it easy to brew a cup of tea at the office or home. It’s very affordable, and your herbal tea lover friends will admire it.

Tribest Personal Blender – Price $$

Smoothies and protein shakes are fast, easy, and convenient with a personal blender, and this blender is small and powerful. It’s worth a shot if you have no idea on what to get a person.

Sedona Dehydrator – Price $$$$

This isn’t the cheapest gift, but it is one of the healthiest options. Instead of letting fresh produce go bad, your loved ones can dehydrate it into healthy snack food. This is the dream gift for your raw vegan loved ones.

Sproutman’s Wheatgrass Grower – Price $$$

Holiday gift

Wheatgrass juice is the best way to cleanse and nourish the body, and the process is faster and cheaper when you grow fresh wheatgrass at home. It’s different (definitely not your average gift), but it can help someone save if they love their wheatgrass shots.

Oil Mister – Price $

This is an inexpensive gift that eliminates the need for aerosol oil spray cans. It allows users to control fat intake, while infusing food with mists of oil. This affordable gift is loved by many, and it will help you save financially this holiday season if you’re on a budget.

Galvanic Body Spa – Price $$$

This is a relaxing home spa that helps smooth skin and reduces the prominence of cellulite. Let your loved ones tone up and refresh without paying for expensive spa visits. If you’ve heard any complaints about cellulite or skin issues, this is the perfect gift. (Just be careful not to offend anyone.)

Slimware – Price $$

Christmas Gift

These uniquely-designed plates make portion control simple. There is a decorative pattern to fit every personality. A young married couple would love plates like this–they’re creative and long-lasting.

Resistance Band Door Attachment Kit – Price $$

Give the gift of fitness on the go. Simply attach bands to any door and workout. Not everyone likes to go to the gym every day; this gift is perfect for the mom who wants to add resistance training to her morning run. These long lasting bands are worth a try.

Aromatherapy Shower Tablets – Price $

Drop a tablet in the shower and cleanse, relax or revive your mind before you dry off. This is a gift that will give someone you love a fresh start long after the holidays pass. Sticking tight to the holiday budget? This is perfect for you.

Pop Chef Shape Cutter – Price $

Cookie Cutter

Encourage children to eat healthy with this fun kitchen tool that cuts fruit, sandwiches and other foods into hearts and other shapes. There are 12 shape options in one child-friendly kit.

Kamagon Ball – Price $$$

This water-filled medicine ball is difficult to control mid-swing, and that’s good news for your muscles. Deliver a challenging workout tool that even a dedicated fitness pro may not already own. If any loved ones are building their gym at home, this is the perfect idea!

Define Fruit Infusion Bottle – Price $

Staying hydrated is easier when the water has natural, healthy flavor. This bottle was featured on Shark Tank, and is now available in a variety of sizes, colors and designs. It’s very affordable and really impressive. Lemon water just got simple! If they’re adding lemons and limes to their water at a restaurant, they will admire this creative bottle.

Quilted Inspirational Cuff Bracelet – Price $

Inspire someone special to stay on the healthy track with this “Never Quit” quilted cuff bracelet. Your ETSY fanatical friends will admire this one!

Merry Xmas

———————————-

About our Guest Blogger

I’m Ashley. I’m a vegan, a blogger, a happy mom to 3 happy little dudes, and a woman of strength (I do like to work out). My passion is health, but my life is focused on helping others achieve their goals. Visit my site and learn more at AshleysHealth.com

Stop Eating THIS for a Brand New YOU

Hi, guys! As I opened up Facebook today to see what shenanigans everyone had been up to throughout the last few days, the very first “story” caught my eye. A friend of mine had written:

“1 month meat free! Endometriosis gone, stomach pains gone, fatigue gone, new me.”

Health and happiness

Girl, Meatless

Reading this brought me back to four years ago, when I underwent the same transformation. My story would read “6 days meat free! IBS gone, fatigue gone, back pain gone, new me.” After a few months, I could have written “Four months meat free! IBS gone, fatigue gone, back pain gone, periods lighter, sleep is better, mood is more stable, lost weight, cleared skin, am happier, new me.”

So what is it about meat that contributes to such unwanted ailments and unhappy symptoms? And isn’t it sad that all you have to do is eliminate it for a week or two to understand just how crappy you feel on a daily basis?

The Effects of Consuming Meat

There are so many reasons why meat consumption changes our bodies for the worse. Logistics of whether or not we should be consuming animal products in the first place aside (this blog post isn’t about that), meat has been proven to alter our bodies in ways that contribute to sickness and disease. Because many of us have grown up with meat on our plates every day, our bodies do what they’re designed to do, and adapt.

But not well.

IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Over time, consistent consumption of animal products wear down, and have a negative effect on our immune system, bone density, natural pH, and most obviously for me, our digestive tract. Animal products contribute to chronic allergies, lethargy, hormone disruptions, cancer and heart disease, gut bacteria imbalances, antibiotic resistance, and even things like unfavorable body odor.

What the Studies Say

“When cancer researchers started to search for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat were much less likely to develop the disease. Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.”[1]

As human beings, we are designed to crave salt, sugar, and fat. This is a fact. Thousands of years ago, we could only access these tastes by eating meat and fruit—there was no corner-store candy or Krispy Kreme doughnuts. This high-protein, high-carbohydrate diet was essential to us back then, because we lived a very different lifestyle. We spent all day hunting and gathering and trying to keep ourselves alive to the ripe old age of maybe 30 or 40 years old.

Nowadays? We sit a lot, and we eat more than we can burn off. We’ve been conditioned to think we need all that protein, and although we’ve been eating it for a very long time, our current lazy lifestyles are just not conducive to having a chunk of animal flesh rot in our intestines for a couple of days. It takes us too long to process animal protein when we’re sitting at a desk. And the diseases and discomfort that come from a diet high in animal products often rear their ugly heads much sooner than we would have imagined. If back in the day our lifespan was only a few decades, then eating meat to build the kind of muscle and give us the type of stress function we needed was fine. But if we want to live a long and healthy 80+ years, then meat consumption needs to stop.

“A growing body of evidence suggests Americans’ taste for meat and animal products is putting them at greater risk for a range of health problems.”[2]

In a 2012 study conducted by The National Institutes of Health, researchers concluded that their “study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers in other studies.”[3]

If we know all of this, and it makes sense to us, then why not conduct your own little trial run and see how eliminating meat and other animal products from your diet makes you feel? If you feel great (which you will), then continue with a more vegetarian lifestyle.

Happy Healthy Gut

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt compelled to touch (okay, rant) on this subject, but this is exactly what my book Happy Healthy Gut is about. It’s become a passion of mine to put this type of information out there. I want people to read it and find out they can do something really easy and inexpensive and natural to help themselves feel better, look better, and live longer.

Perhaps in a few short weeks, you can comment on this post and simply leave “Meat-free, one month, feel great, new me.”

Just try it. xo

References:

[1] http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/facts/meat-consumption-and-cancer-risk

[2] http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livable-future/projects/meatless_monday/resources/meat_consumption.html

[3] http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/march2012/03262012meat.htm

5 Common Triggers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today’s post was inspired by a series of realizations I’ve had oven the course of the last year or so. For those of you who don’t know this about me, I used to struggle with awful IBS symptoms that impeded my life every single day. This gut-wrenching story (see what I did there?!) has a happy ending, though. I managed to figure out the sources of my discomfort, and reap the rewards that come with a calm, happy, healthy gut.

BUT…everyone who has ever suffered from a chronic health issue, knows that from time to time, there are circumstances that cause these types of conditions to rear their ugly heads.

Here are, in my opinion, the top five offenders that just LOVE to make my bowel (and perhaps yours) irritable:

Yoga for stress

  • Stress. This is seriously the number one cause of any IBS flare-up I experience, nowadays. I can eat as clean and regularly as I want, and exercise, and sleep well, but your brain doesn’t care. If you’re stressed, IBS becomes more imminent. Some ways to relieve stress, include meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, and exercise.

Dairy

  • Dairy. This “does a body good” mammal secretion (I write with pure loathing) does not do anybody good. It sucks. It’s for calves, not for adult humans. Dairy acidifies our bodies and clogs up our bowels. It sparks spontaneous allergies, and is loaded with fat and sugar. If you have IBS, please refrain.

pink slime

  • Meat and processed food. Both of these foodstuffs are so chalk full of crap that our bodies silently scream in protest, but we don’t pay attention. Unless you have IBS, and then you’re pretty much forced to. In addition to this, meat is also full of saturated fat, and acidifies our bodies like dairy. (That’s “pink slime” above, if you were wondering. You should totally Google it.)

Working Out

  • Stagnancy. That is, not exercising. Everyone needs to move their bodies every day in order for vital bodily processes to occur. (Circulation, digestion, proper respiration, muscle building, calorie burning, etc.) When you don’t move, it throws your entire body out of whack, and when you have IBS, your digestive system is beyond touchy. It’s one sensitive son of a bitch, and I can assure you, it’s in your best interest to keep it happy.

Lack of sleep

  • Lack of sleep. This might be related to stress, but lack of sleep is my worst nightmare. (Irony—and pun—intended.) In order to sleep very, very well, I would definitely advise you to take everything I’ve written above to heart. You sleep better when your stress level is down, you’re eating good, clean, whole food, and exercising your body on a regular basis.

Here’s a summary:

Stress, animal products, processed food, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep are all BAD for IBS.

Reduced stress, whole food, lots of vegetables and water, daily exercise, and great sleep are all GOOD for IBS. 

Happy Healthy Gut

It’s all about the routine, and the lifestyle you choose to implement for yourself, but I can assure you, IBS can be tamed. For a full 272 pages on EXACTLY how this is possible, check out Happy Healthy Gut. For a recipe book full of delicious, tummy-taming concoctions, check out Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

Have a great rest of your weekend! xo

NEU Skin Botanicals: a product review

NEU Skin Botanicals vegan

Happy Meatless Monday!

Usually I’d talk about food today, but instead I want to tell you all about the latest and greatest skin care product line I’ve been indulging in! I live close to Vancouver, BC, and this product is local for me, which I love. NEU Skin Botanicals makes handmade, all-natural body products that are kind to your skin and smell great.

Here’s why this product is so fabulous: our cosmetic industry is super sneaky, and even when certain products are deemed “natural” or “vegan” or “kind,” it might not mean that they truly are. Something might be vegan, but it can still possess artificial fragrances that can give you hives, or phthalates that are related to cancer development. For a skin care product to genuinely be amazing, it needs to be free of parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, petroleum, artificial colourants, and laureths. All of these chemicals contribute to toxic overload, and should always be avoided if possible.

Fortunately, NEU Skin Botanicals is on it, and the creator describes her product as “natural, eco-friendly, and unprocessed.” Here’s what else the company has to say about their products:

“Tired of applying strange unpronounceable ingredients to your skin? We couldn’t agree with you more! NEU Skin Botanicals handcrafted products give you a wonderful moisturizing and aromatherapeutic experience, using only 100% natural ingredients to smooth, soften and promote healthy, well-balanced skin. Each product has unique healing and aromatherapy benefits. Our products are chemical-free, preservative-free and fragrance-free and are only tested on human animals. We have high standards when it comes to environmentally-friendly packagaing, too. You won’t find any plastic here! We use only recycled and environmentally-friendly packaging like glass jars, reusable tins and recycled kraft paper. NEU Skin Botanicals encourages you to please recycle by providing a $1 off your next order for every jar/tin returned.

Our product line includes our luxury sea salt and sugar body scrubs, moisturizing solid lotion bars, exfoliating shower scrub bars and whipped Shea body butters. Lip Balms – COMING SOON!” *

NEU Skin Botanicals vegan
If you love gorgeous, thoughtful, environmentally friendly, and truly kind body products, you need to check this new company out. Visit their Facebook page HERE. You can order online from them HERE. xo

*Quote taken from HERE

Six Awesome APPS for Vegans

APPS for iPhone and iPad

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Fellow blogger Ashley Erikson is back to help navigate Happy Healthy Life readers through the world of fabulous vegan APPS! Hope you enjoy…

Being vegan isn’t the easiest choice in the world. Our meat obsessive culture doesn’t admire the vegan way of life (lets face it). As a vegan, you don’t do it for the social love, although deep down it feels awesome to be unique.  Being a vegan is a compassionate and healthful choice, but operating in a world where the majority of people and businesses don’t think the way you do is a challenge. Going out to eat, buying personal care items and traveling are just a few areas where vegans need to tread with care. Technology and smartphone apps can help in these areas. It’s time for us vegans to adopt and support these amazing resources!

Reading labels is a given, and some products generously provide symbols or statements about being vegan or at least vegetarian, but with food additives, unrecognizable personal-care ingredients, household-product labels that don’t even list ingredients, and companies that still test on animals, who knows what’s safe without constant, diligent research? Well, there’s an app for that on iPhone, Android and even some for Windows. New and experienced vegans are sure to find helpful features among these apps.

Reading labels

Is It Vegan?/Ingredients Guide

iPhone, Android and Windows

The Is It Vegan? app for iPhone and Android eliminates the guesswork on food labels. Point your phone’s camera at the UPC bar code, and the program analyzes the ingredients to determine vegan, vegetarian and animal-based sources. You can also search for product names or specific ingredients. Windows phones offers the Ingredients Guide app that defines and lists the sources for 200 different food ingredients. These apps are free.

Go Vegan!

iPhone

This is something of a vegan lifestyle guide. It includes recipes that transfer ingredients to a shopping list, and there are also audio and video tips from the author, Sarah Kramer, whom Herbivore magazine labeled “the world’s coolest vegan.” The cost for Go Vegan is $4.99.

Happy Cow

Android and Windows

This is a search app for restaurants and stores that offer vegan and vegetarian foods. Choose your current location or enter where you’re going to see listings by type in 150 countries. Locations in North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and some Asian cities offer maps as well as search results while other locations provide search results only. There are free and paid versions; the paid Android app is ad-free and lets you save results to use offline, which could save quite a bit of data time. The Windows version costs $2.99; Android starts free then offers an upgrade.

21-Day Vegan Kickstart/Everyday Vegan

iPhone and Android

Everyone needs a good vegan cookbook at their fingertips. iPhone’s 21-day Vegan Kickstart aims to help new vegans with recipes and other resources to make the transition to a healthier diet. Android’s Everyday Vegan offers 300 recipes with search, browse and bookmark capabilities. The iPhone app is free; the Android one costs $2.99.

R90 Weight Tracker/Journal

iPhone and Android

The TR90 app is the perfect weight journal for vegans who are serious about losing weight or shedding size. The app keeps track of your weight and goals very well. Often times, your goal might not to lose overall weight, but to just lose size around your arms or waste; this app will help you track it. The TR90 program is focused on promoting a more vegan lifestyle as well.

Echinacea Flowers homeopathic remedy

Cruelty Free/Choose Cruelty Free

iPhone and Android

Shop guilt-free with these apps covering personal care, cosmetic and household products. All are offered free of charge.

iPhone and Android have the Cruelty Free app connected to the Leaping Bunny program. It lists companies in the U.S and Canada that don’t use animal testing in any phase of production, including ingredients and finished products.

Android also offers the similar Choose Cruelty Free app, which goes a step further in listing vegan products free from any animal ingredients.

About Ashley – Author BIO

I’m Ashley. I’m a vegan, a blogger, a happy mom to 3 happy little dudes and a woman of strength (I do like to work out). My passion is health but my life is focused on helping others achieve their goals. Visit my site and learn more at AshleysHealth.com

Look Who's Nominated For the One Lovely Blog Award!

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks so much to FIT FARMER for nominating me for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD! I’m super excited to be part of this supportive blogging community, and I hope everyone who reads this will check out my blog recommendations.:)

The Rules
– Thank the person who nominated you for the award
– Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog
– Share 7 facts or things about yourself
– Nominate 15 bloggers that you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog

7 facts about me:
1. I’m a writer. I began with my first book (Happy Healthy Gut), and then I started writing for magazines (like Vancouver’s alive Magazine), and now I just write to get reactions, make a difference, and challenge myself. I’ve always loved to write.
2. I am 33-years-old. I have three kids, one husband, zero pets, and no more apples in my apple tree. (Because I picked them all to make applesauce, which I talked about a couple of blog posts ago.)
3. I used to have IBS, but I don’t anymore. 4 years ago, I began a whole food, plant-based diet that changed my life from the inside out. You can read all about it in Happy Healthy Gut!
4. I love to sing. Even though most people who have heard me will say I definitely can’t carry a tune, it’s because I have a VERY hard time singing in from of anyone aside from my kids (even my husband). But I can sing–for real.
5. I’m obsessive-compulsive. I didn’t really know this until I was a parent, but when you start comparing things with other moms and realize that you’re the only one who tracks days you work out, have a glass of wine, or feel overly emotional, you come to understand that perhaps you’re slightly ridiculous.
6. I love to eat! I’ve always been a major foodie, and I’ve always been willing to make myself sick for that extra stuffed mushroom. (Although I have to say, now that I’m 4 years in on the whole food, plant-based bandwagon, I can eat way more without feeling sick. It’s seriously ideal.)
7. I LOVE trash TV. Particularly the Real Housewives franchise, and especially New Jersey. Yup.

My 15 nominees:
1) Kitchen, Uncorked
2) Just January’s Jargon
3) Oh She Glows
4) Love Food
5) Love.Peace.Hapiness.Cooking
6) Taste of Colours
7) Bucket List Publications 
8) My VanCity 
9) Forks and Beans
10) Pickles & Honey
11) The Kind Life
12) Living Food Love
13) The Garum Factory
14) Fiona Grows Food
15) Good Girl Gone Green

Happy blog perusing! xo