Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Vegan Superfood Hot Cocoa Recipe!

Given the recent change in weather, I have been looking to snuggle up with a warm cup of hot cocoa. But, the problem is, every hot cocoa mix I can find has milk products in it!

I searched long and hard for a delicious vegan hot cocoa recipe, and after trying a few and altering them, I came up with this delectable and healthful concoction:



Here are the measurements for the ingredients pictured above:

Makes 2 Servings of Vegan Superfood Hot Cocoa
  • 4 TBSP coconut sugar*
  • 4 TSP raw cacao powder**
  • 1 TSP coconut oil
  • a dash of pumpkin pie spice
*you can also use organic cane or raw sugar, I just prefer coconut due to its health benefits and low glycemic index 
**cocoa powder will also work, but using cacao provides more antioxidants and less fat

The ingredients in this hot cocoa are not only ethical, but amazing for you! The cacao has a number of beneficial antioxidants and vitamins from the natural cacao bean, and the coconut sugar and oil give it a balance of healthy fats and also make it a little more creamy :)

Feel free to add any non-dairy milk of your choice as well. 

This can be prepared with hot water or non-dairy milk on the stove, but I prefer just using the hot water from my keurig to mix in!

Let me know what you think and I hope you enjoy this superfood hot cocoa!

xo Danielle

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Vegan Pizza + Veg Talk

To be completely honest, I was really nervous about going full vegan because I thought that there weren't going to be any cheese options as close to actual dairy products. Being a vegetarian for the past 8 years, cheese was never really a thought in my mind in terms of ethics. I became a vegetarian when I was 12 or 13, and back then all I knew was that I didn't want to eat meat because of how awful animals were treated. Fast forward to now, when I am 20 and more aware of the horrors of this industry!

If you haven't watched Vegucated on Netflix, you should. This is ultimately what helped me decide to go full veg. I never really thought about dairy in terms of health either, but lately more and more people are attributing their acne or stomach discomfort to dairy and it made me think.

So plain and simple, I am a vegan. Hi, nice to meet you. Now you may be wondering how my life is without cheese and ice cream, and I have to say that it was hard at first but that was from my own doing. I was personally freaked out by vegan cheese. I had a horrible experience with soy cheese once that scarred me for life. Needless to say, I had to get over this fear quickly if I wanted to be fully committed to veganism, so I went to Whole Foods. 

I was mostly sad about not being able to eat pizza of all things, so I researched far and low for the best vegan pizzas and stumbled upon this baby:
 
(Photo taken from daiya.com)

I literally have no idea how, but this is basically an exact (vegan) replica of my favorite Kashi Fire Roasted Veggies Pizza! I swear I think I could eat this everyday it is so good. 

I was nervous about the taste and texture of the cheese on the pizza, but it was so stretchy and delicious that I had to keep reminding myself that it was vegan. I even ate it cold this morning for the final taste test.

All in all, I would say that being a vegan is pretty dope. I get to eat yummy foods that give me lots of nutrients and I get to save the animals and our world! 

Anyways, that's my rant on being vegan and eating pizza! Until next time!

xo Danielle

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Beauty of Gardening

My favorite part of spring is all the new vegetation! I get so excited every time I see a tiny flower sprouting along the side of a trail. One of my favorite ways to celebrate this season is to get out and garden. 

I personally am always running around busy, but I made some time early this year to get out and garden. I took a gardening course at my college where we learned about native California plants, and that really sparked my interest.
I planted a few natives around the garden and propagated some house plants for myself as a token! 

Here is some of the Rainbow Chard I planted: 



One of my favorite ways to get grounded is being in nature. When you're living amongst the plants it makes you feel more at home and serene, something you can't find in the streets of the city. 

Being in California is such a blessing because we have so many beautiful plants and recreational areas that celebrate the natural beauty of this state. 

If you want to get more involved with gardening, check out local gardens and volunteer! Not only will you learn invaluable lessons, you may also get to take some produce home! It's a win-win situation :)

My advice to you is to go out and enjoy nature! There's no way anyone can be in a bad mood when you're surrounded by so much beauty. 

I love taking pictures of plants and the natural wonders of the earth, so I will be sharing plenty in the future! 

For now, here's a picture of the succulents in the garden: 



I hope you find some time to go outside and celebrate the beauty that God has created for us! 

Xo Danielle 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Facial Oils

One of my favorite skincare products is my facial oil. Now you may wonder what I mean by facial oil as there are varying types of these products. Personally, I am referring to both facial oil cleansers and facial oil moisturizers.

If you're anything like me, your skin gets a little dry around the winter/spring months, and no amount of moisturizer will keep my skin hydrated.

This past winter I tried out the Nuance Marigold Cleansing Facial Oil, and fell in love. It retails for about $20 at CVS or on Amazon.com, but it has lasted me a few months so I say it is worth every dollar.

So here's how it works: you pump 1-2 pumps of the facial oil onto your palm and smooth across your face. (If your skin is extra dry, let it soak in for a few mins before you wash it off so that the oil can really penetrate your skin). Wash off and pat dry with towel, do not scrub!

I follow that cleanser with either the Miracle Oil facial oil or the Rosehip Collagen Facial Oil. Both oils contain therapeutic grade essential oils that are 100% natural. I switch off on application depending on what my skin needs.

The Miracle Oil works best when I am having a breakout or have some acne scars, as it contains tea tree and hemp oil which help to calm irritated skin.

The Rosehip Oil helps to keep your skin elastic, filling in wrinkle lines, and also smoothes out skin while deeply hydrating. I use this when I feel like my skin is extra dry and tight!

Facial oils are suitable for everyone, regardless of skin type. Even if you're oily, this will help to balance out natural oils in your skin to work with your oil production.

I hope you check out these oils and let me know what you think!
xo Danielle