• fashion
  • Wool-Free Winter Accessories

    Long before I ever knew about the cruelty involved in the production of wool, I started to lean toward non-wool winter accessories because wool is so itchy. And while I found wool to be so itchy, I found other materials like acrylic and cotton to be so soft. So, needless to say, once I finally did learn about how wool is produced, I was appalled. I made the official switch to non-wool winter clothes and accessories and they have been keeping me warm, toasty and itch-free ever since. 🙂

    Here are my favorite wool-free accessories this winter.

  • health
  • All Natural Cold Remedies To Keep You Healthy This Cold Season

    Are you sick right now? Or surrounded by other people who are? In this post I’m sharing exactly what I do to protect myself from cold germs. You may not know this about me but I work in a pediatric hospital so I am exposed to cold and flu germs on the regular. Not to mention all the exposure we get in our lives outside of work too. So I have a lot of experience knowing I’ve been exposed to cold and flu causing germs, and needing to get my body and immune system ready to fight them. Here’s what I take and what I avoid at the first sign of a cold.

    • Elderberry
      • My mom introduced this herbal supplement to our family years ago and we swear by it. We take it as soon as we feel the slightest cold symptoms, like a tinge of a sore throat, increased sneezing or a stuffy nose and watery eyes. It’s been a game changer for us all. According to Gaia, the company that makes the elderberry I buy, elderberry is an herbal supplement that has been used by traditional cultures to support immune function for centuries. The Gaia website also explains that in Native American herbalism “elderberry has been used by many tribes as a tonic medicine and food to promote health and vitality.” I use this elderberry extract and add it to water, but you can also get it in syrup and pill form. I get mine at my local Whole Foods.
    • Kimchi
      • Kimchi is a Korean superfood made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables. One Green Planet describes kimchi as a “supercharged form of sauerkraut.” It is a hot food (as in spice, not temperature) and it’s well-known as being beneficial for our gut health. I eat it even when I’m not sick because I like how it tastes. But in addition to promoting gut health, I always felt that when I ate kimchi at the first sign of a cold it would heat those germs right out of me. At first I didn’t do any research to back that up. All I had were some memories from college anthropology classes about hot and cold foods being used as medicine in traditional cultures, as well as the fact that I just physically felt that it diminished my cold symptoms. And guess what, as it turns out, I wasn’t making it up! The good bacteria that we ingest when eating fermented foods like kimchi can help counteract inflammation and the growth of disease-causing bacteria. AKA, when we put good bacteria in our bodies it helps us to fight off the bad bacteria, which makes total sense. You can read more about the benefits of kimchi here.
    • Drink so much water
      • This one is simple but it really helps. Drink a ton of water to help flush those germs right out of your system! The more you drink, the more germs you can help eliminate through urination. I try to drink anywhere from 8 to 10 large glasses of water a day when I’m feeling sick.
    • Fresh squeezed orange juice
      • We all know orange juice is said to be helpful when you have a cold because it’s high in vitamin C, which helps support immune health. When stocking up on your OJ try to get fresh squeezed so that it’s bursting with all those freshly squeezed nutrients and make sure that it doesn’t contain any added sugar. (I’ll explain why you don’t want added sugar later in this post.) If you have access to other fresh citrus juices that are high in vitamin C, those will work too. I often get a drink at my local juice shop that is a combination of orange juice, grapefruit juice and lemon juice all together. Plus, the liquid in OJ will help flush out those germs too, just like the water.
    • Green juice
      • Green juice is full of nutrients. Whether you actually eat your greens or get them from a juice, the nutrients in greens will help bolster your immune system even more.

    And last but not least…

    • Avoid all dairy and processed sugar
      • Dairy
        • I already eat a totally dairy-free diet, but here’s why you’ll want to avoid it too! As a kid I always remember my mom saying we shouldn’t drink milk when we were sick because it would make us more congested. And she was right. Dairy makes people congested. That was one of the big differences I noticed when I cut dairy out of my diet, I didn’t even know I could breathe clearer than I had my whole life. Dairy was a part of my everyday diet, so the way I would breathe in response to it was all I knew. And within weeks of cutting dairy out of my diet I was like, “WHAT?! I can breathe this clearly?! Who would’ve known!” So I’m guessing if you’re sick and reading this you’re already congested, so there’s definitely no reason to add to that discomfort by consuming dairy!
      • Processed sugar
        • You know when someone says something and it just sticks with you? I used to see a homeopath who once told me, “Sugar is a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria.” And I never forgot it. Now that’s not to say that the natural occurring sugar in fruit is bad, because it isn’t. It’s processed sugar that’s added to food that becomes a breeding ground for whatever germs we’ve got in us. Sugar lowers our body’s ability to fight off disease while at the same time fueling germs to grow and multiply. So I avoid processed sugar at all costs when I’m feeling sick, and you’ll probably feel a lot better if you do too! 🙂

    I hope you guys found this useful and that it will help keep you healthy this cold season. Do you have any other cold or flu home remedies? If so leave them in the comments section below, I want to hear what they are!

    xo,

    Tedi

    P.S. About to go have some kimchi and rice for dinner. Not because I’m feeling sick, but because it’s healthy and delicious!

    P.P.S. Not all kimchi is vegan, so make sure to check the labels and go for the vegan ones.

  • food
  • A Peek Inside My Grocery Cart

    Happy Sunday everyone! I recently shared this photo on my Instagram account and received feedback that people liked to see what plant-based foods really look like. The purpose of this post is to give you an idea of what a plant-based diet can look like, and some of the delicious plant-based foods and products that are out there. This isn’t an example of meal planning for the week, this was just a quick grocery run to my local Whole Foods. Here’s a list of what I got:

    Pears, kiwis, bananas and sliced mango. These were for snacking on and to throw in smoothies.
    Garlic herb vegan cheese from Treeline Cheese. This is artisan vegan cheese! It tastes delicious and is so much better for us than dairy. (Read more about why dairy is bad for us here). Treeline Cheese is made from fine cashews. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, contains no cholesterol and it’s probiotic. Vegans and non-vegans alike will love this stuff. 

    Frozen pitaya for breakfast smoothies. The organic pitaya I bought is made by Pitaya Plus. It is non-GMO, 100% fruit, full of active enzymes, a good source of fiber and magnesium and has no added sugar.
    • Frozen organic strawberries and mango. Also for smoothies.
    Fresh squeezed orange juice. It’s cold and flu season so fresh squeezed OJ can help bolster our immune systems with its high concentration of vitamin C. Never get OJ with added (processed) sugar. Processed sugar actually has the opposite effect and makes us way more susceptible to getting sick. Also make sure to get your orange juice with pulp, as pulp has fiber, an important nutrient for our bodies. When we get rid of the pulp we also get rid of the fiber.
    Califia Farms almond milk. This almond milk is non-GMO and has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk. This was my first time getting this particular brand of almond milk and I really liked it. One cool thing about this almond milk is that it’s used in lots of coffee shops because it heats up nicely and makes for a great latte.
    Near East roasted red pepper and basil quinoa brown rice blend. I bought this to make for dinner one night with roasted veggies.
    Raw vegan kimchi. Kimchi is a Korean superfood made from fermented cabbage. This brand is Sunja’s and I bought the medium spicy kimchi. It was made with cabbage, carrots, sweet red pepper, leek, scallion, red hot pepper, garlic, ginger and sea salt. I also swear by kimchi whenever I think I’m getting sick. More to come on that in a future post I’m working on about natural cold remedies.
    Vegan almond coconut bar from Perfect Bar. This is my favorite for when I need a quick breakfast bar on the go. This is the only vegan bar by this company so make sure to check the label before you get it. This bar has 8 grams of whole food protein and 20+ organic super foods in it. Plus it’s non-GMO and gluten-free. I find it to be delicious and filling. Here’s what’s in it: organic dates, organic almond butter, organic dried cranberries, organic dried coconut, organic hemp protein, organic cocoa powder, organic chia powder, organic coconut oil, organic flax seed oil, organic sunflower seed oil, organic sesame seed oil, organic olive oil, organic pumpkin seed oil, dried organic kale powder, dried organic rose hip powder, dried organic orange powder, dried organic lemon powder, dried organic papaya powder, dried organic tomato powder, dried organic apple powder, dried organic alfalfa powder, dried organic celery powder, dried organic kelp powder, dried organic dulse powder, dried organic carrot powder, and dried organic spinach powder. And with all that in it, it still tastes like a sweet breakfast bar.
    AiVy vegan spring rolls. It’s not often that I buy frozen prepared foods but on this day I was looking to try some new foods, so I bought these spring rolls and loved them! Since that day I went back and bought 3 more boxes. So perfect for when I get home late from work and need something easy to make. These spring rolls are filled with organic cabbage, carrots, onions and mushrooms.
    • Feel Good Foods gluten-free, vegetarian dumplings. I still haven’t tried these yet but I’m looking forward to doing so soon. With something like this that doesn’t say vegan on the front, a quick glance at the ingredient list on the back will let you know what’s in it.
    • Coconut-milk chocolate bar from Raaka Chocolate. This bar is dairy-free and made from virgin dark chocolate. A delicious sweet treat.

    xo,

    Tedi