Monday, March 23, 2015

Past Happy Mail, Local Eats with Vegan Options, Paco Update

Hello everyone!  Thanks for all of the kind words, thoughts, emails, notes on Instagram, etc...I appreciate it!  I have so much to share with everyone but so little time! 

I hope to be doing updates more this week to try and catch up!  I have lots of products to share with you - I have reviews I need to catch up on - I have lots of articles and recipes to cross promote and link to over at TRFW and much, MUCH More!  In the's a sneak peak at some of the things that have been exciting me lately!  My shipment from last month, actually!

In this first photo you can see Sun Warrior Immune Shield, a new Skin Brush, salted Sacha Inchi Seeds, Kelp Noodles, Shea Butter, and Nutritional Yeast.  Yup!  Had to stock up on some nutritional yeast...I was getting low.  I did get the Kelp Noodles but because of the horribly cold winter weather we have had for MONTHS now they froze.  I contacted the lovely customer service people over at TRFW and they said they could send me another one or credit my account because Kelp Noodles change texture if frozen.  I thought that was pretty amazing that they offered to do that - I mean - it wasn't their fault they froze,  you know?  It's not like THEY control the weather! LOL - but I thought that was wonderful!  I decided to opt for the credit and will re-order in the more fair weathered months since it's still really cold here.

In this photo you will see I stocked up on some snacks!  I couldn't resist!  The prices were awesome when I ordered them!  Plus I LOVE Foods Alive products!  I got two of their Flax Crackers.  I also grabbed a pound of cashews, a few salad boosters, some raisins, pro-biotic almonds, Organic Cayenne Powder, and some Khorasan Wheatgrass Juice Powder (Kamut).

I have to say all of the powders that I have been getting from TRFW have been AMAZINGLY fresh!  The colors and aromas are so VERY vibrant!

I've still been building my Raw/Living Foods and Vegan cookbook area in my house and this was one of the books I grabbed with my last order. 

I have a slew more on order again and hope to get them before the end of this week.  I'm also visiting my local library again since it has been a while.  If anyone is on GoodReads let me know - I have been posting on that app for a while now, too!

Have you gotten any new books as of late?  I'd love to hear about them! 

A couple of weekends ago Hubby and I went to our new favorite place in Erie...Mad Mex...mainly because there are a lot of vegan options there for me!  Here is what I's the Chickpea Chili Burrito.  You can opt for the Daiya Cheese and Tofutti Sour Cream like I did.  We also got a few of their amazing dips!  2 out of the 3 of them were vegan.  Now hubby wants me to try and make Pepita Hummus and Tomatillo Avocado Dip...and I hope to do that soon!  I'm already trying to come up with a few other things I want to try at this place the next time we go!  They have 'home made' vegan salad dressings, too, including a RANCH.

Now...this past weekend we visited a local gem of a place that has been around for decades - and generations!  My husband loves it - always have - of course - he's no where near being a vegetarian - so yes - we are a mixed diet household - anyhow - they had a special salad for March - and I had them do it without what ever meat they had on the menu.  They came up with this for me and it was FABULOUS!  I asked them to add it to their menu full time!  Not sure if they will but it was great!  It was iceberg lettuce and mixed greens, pineapple, green peppers, tomatoes, almonds, roasted coconut, and I choose the grape balsamic dressing made with local grapes!  It was WONDERFUL!

Now for a quick PACO update!

His ITP has been under control for at least 3 months while he's been on a LOT of medication.  While I hate putting all the pills in his body - it's what he needs to stay 'normal' - we tried to take him to a lower dosage with the approval of our vet - he ended up relapsing - so she told us we had to get back on the dosages he was on prior to trying to take him down.  It seems to be working, so that is good.

However, it's been about a week and he had an unrelated issue...he basically threw his kneecap out of place.  This has happened once before about 3 years ago.  But this time was pretty bad.  He's been trying to 'walk it off' and has found some work arounds.  The first two days was rough but he's been getting better since then.  The vet told us she didn't think he was in pain - and she thought he just noticed a 'difference' or it felt 'weird' and it was something that he would have to work out himself.  He hasn't been acting like it's been bothering him but he will pull up on it every once and a while...I think he's trying to pop it back in. All-in-All he's been doing fairly well with it and we do have pain pills but he's only really needed one on that first day.  I hope to have more posts very soon!  There are LOTS of things going on!  It's been CRAZY in my whole lately! How about you!?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekend Contest - Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein!

Would you like to win a bag of Garden of Life's NEW Organic Plant Protein SMOOTH CHOCOLATE Flavor?  If so...all you have to do is comment on this post along with an email address I can contact you at IF you are the winner!  I will choose one winner at random on Monday the 2nd and contact them by email to let them know they are the winner!

I've been tinkering with these new OPP's (Organic Plant Proteins) in my recipes and will be sharing more on my blog very soon!  In the meantime visit their website for more info OR check below...

  • USDA Organic
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Grain Free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
Garden of Life Sources clean, pure ingredients from organic family farms to bring you the best nutritional products in the world.

  • 15g of complete protein
  • Smooth, with no gritty texture
  • Tasty and flavorful
  • Includes essential fatty acids, probiotics and enzymes
  • Gluten free with no allergenic ingredients like soy, wheat and dairy

Typical Amino Acid Profile 
Alanine 710 mg
Arginine1445 mg 
Aspartic Acid 1910 mg
Cysteine 140 mg
Glutamic acid 2830 mg
Glycine 680 mg
Histidine 400 mg
Isoleucine*ˆ 790 mg
Leucine*ˆ 1435 mg
Lysine* 1215 mg
Methionine* 180 mg
Phenylalanine* 925 mg 
Proline 700 mg
Serine 740 mg 
Threonine* 585 mg 
Tryptophan* 160 mg 
Tyrosine 605 mg 
Valine*ˆ 850 mg

* Essential Amino Acids
ˆBranched Chain Amino Acids

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Soups & Social Media

Just a quick little check in today with a HELLO to all!  I HAD to share this soup photo with you but because I wanted to submit it as a possible feature over at The Raw Food World NEWS Site under their RECIPE Section I thought I would wait to mention what's in it. I have to say I'm pretty proud of this soup, tho!  The main ingredient is BEET and YES those are Hemp Seeds you are seeing!  Eventho I'm not a girlie-girl and not fond of the color PINK the color of this soup is out of this world!  The flavor was amazing, too!  It's considered a RAW VEGAN Soup as well!

In other news...
There is only 2 days left on my friend Anne's Kickstarter Campaign if you have a few bucks to help her out it would be greatly appreciated!  She's in the process of trying to purchase and take over 52 Teas which is a really creative tea companies that prides themselves on organic and vegan ingredients.  Read more about this and contribute HERE

Incase you aren't already following me on InstaGram you can find me HERE.  I try and post at least 1 photo everyday but most days I go a little crazy and post several and especially with the upcoming plans we have I will be posting almost everything on InstaGram before I post it anywhere else.  If you are on InstaGram make sure you let me know in comments!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Salads & Sass

Yesterday Hubby and I did some shopping for our upcoming trip and did a "Linner" afterwards.  I have to say I was overly impressed with the Make Your Own Salad option they added to the menu and I couldn't pass it up!  I decided to do mixed greens, avocado, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, cranberries, broccoli, pecans, and cherry tomatoes with a Sun Dried Tomato Balsamic.  It was AWESOME!

I'm not going to lie - I can't wait until we get there - for the pure and simple fact that the temperatures will be significantly warmer!  Everything else is just a PLUS.  I'm already trying to research vegan options when we are on site.  There are a few but the prices where we will be staying are out of this world.  After all it IS a 5 start hotel.  I have never stayed at a 5 start hotel and I highly doubt I will again!  I'm just NOT that type of girl!

This is one of the dresses I tried on yesterday...

Eventho I didn't purchase this one - now I am wondering if I should have. I kind of like it.  Which is FUNNY because I don't generally wear dresses!

The one I bought I will NOT post YET but will after I wear it in sunny Florida!

I now have 3 dresses, 3 shirts, a long skirt, a short skirt, and some capris I will be bringing which is a bit more than I need but maybe I will be in the mood for a wardrobe change in the middle of the day! HA!

I will be completely out of my realm - but - you have to do that every once and while to keep things interesting, right!?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Reflecting on Last Week and Recipe Posts

This past week I was trying to focus on my Lymphatic System and I think I did a pretty good job with it.  I was able to try almost everything on my list from last week.  However...I didn't get around to the Plantains, Echinacea, and didn't do as much Yoga as I had hoped.  I made it about 90% or more with RAW FOODS last week, too! 

 It's been extremely cold over the past week - or month for that matter!  We've been seeing temperature anywhere between -18 and -29 and YES that is BELOW ZERO!  Brrr!

Because I am having some discomfort in certain areas of my body (and I am chalking it up to what time of month it is) I will be trying to focus on these things this week.  Most of the suggestions I have found online I already do with my diet.  So I think I will be upping my herbs and essential oils - as well as my green juices and smoothies.  I think I would be more excited about juicing again if I had a different juicer.  I'm still tossing the idea around of getting a new one.  Right now I am HOT on both a Breville and an Omega NC900.

In other news - I have been concentrating on Recipes over at The Raw Food World News Site and I will continue to but I will now be contributing articles again.  More on that down the road.

As for the recipes - I will include some quick links and sort descriptions throughout this week!  First up...Raw Tomato Garlic Herb Bread that I made in my dehydrator a while strayed from the version just a little bit that I posted previously on my blog.  Brazil Nut Pesto was another recipe that was featured this past month.  You know I LOVE my Pesto's!  And the last preview for today is the Ginger Wasabi Noodle Bowl.  I did this a while back using a Wildtree Product but have since made it from scratch and enjoy it just as much!

Work has been going real well.  Incase I didn't mention it before I've been switched over to sales and I have already met my goals for the first two months of this year and I am really happy about it.  I'm still keeping a few of my responsibilities from before, too, so I won't solely be doing sales eventho that is my main priority from now on.

Furkids Update: Riley has been showing his age a bit and I think he is either getting random muscle pains or spasms or arthritis.  Paco has another appointment today for his ITP and they will be doing another full blood work up to check his levels.  We have been going about every other month since his levels have been coming back better the last few times, however, I have been getting meds for him every month.  Charlie seems to be doing as well as he has been since his tail that is good!

Hubby has been on and switching meds for his Crohns and doing fairly well with it, however, our insurance changed over the last few months and things are NOT working to our benefit with the changes and his prescriptions.

As far as my love of Pop Culture as of late...I was able to watch the 40th SNL Anniversary Special and LOVED it!  We are back into The Walking Dead and will watch Sunday's Episode tonight.  Nothing, really, in the way of movies, lately, and my ears have been enjoying a split of Reggae and New Wave, it seems.

What about you!?  Do tell!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Smooth Vanilla Nice Cream


1 C Cashews
2 tea Smooth Vanilla OPP
1 tea Vanilla Extract (optional)
1/4 C Agave
6 T Coconut Milk

How's THAT for, short, sweet, and to the point?

Yup!  The recipe upfront!

Now I should probably tell you a little bit more about this recipe and raw vegan vanilla ice cream adventure, right?  Well, here goes!  After soaking my cashews for an hour or two I put all of the ingredients you see above in my Vitamix and blended on high for 30 seconds.  I then froze the 'ice cream' and dished it up and into my lovely bamboo bowl and topped with Jem Organics Maqui Camu Super Berry Butter.  This was off the charts AMAZING!

I used Garden of Life's Smooth Vanilla Organic Plant Protein in this recipe, too!  The vanilla aroma upon opening the bag was pure HEAVEN!  It added a great deal of flavor and I think next time I might add more to it, too!  YUM!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Eats this week - Salads, Fruit, and a Cashew Dip Treat!

Since I am doing a mostly raw week while focusing on my Lymphatic System I thought I would show a few things I have eaten over the last few days.  I'm also thinking about extending this adventure into next week.  Time will tell.

First up a MASSIVE Salad.  I wish you could see how big this bowl was!  The salad turned out awesome!  It has 5 different kinds of lettuce in there, mini cucumbers, raw walnuts, 2 different colors of sweet bell peppers, and I topped it with a Braggs Dressing that had Ginger and a few other things in there.  Also on top is Garlicky Green Vegan Parm.

Yesterday for lunch I had 6 Kiwi Fruit.  I've also been gnawing on Kale Chips a lot this week.

I was able to find a few different kinds of Apples yesterday - including Grapples that are NOT pictured.  Cantaloupe - YAY - I hope to make a smoothie or at the very least Cantaloupe Milk with it.  A few oranges - hopefully I will make some dressings with those.  And MORE kiwi fruit!

Later in the day I bought 3 bananas and will be freezing them either today or tomorrow after they have ripened a bit more. (Frozen and in smoothies are the only way I can stomach Bananas!)

The Salad was amazing and I can't wait to have another one!

I had some Spirulina Chips left from a while back and wanted to get rid of them.  The reason I bought them was because they were Spirulina based but when I got them and tried one I knew right away they had a good amount of banana in them. Oye.

Well, last night I attempted to make a Cashew Dip and OMG it turned out AWESOME.  I dipped the Go Raw Spirulina Chips in it and PROBLEM SOLVED it was an AWESOME Combo!  I am going to be doing a recipe for The Raw Food World NEWS Site but I will tell you NOW that I used Cashew Butter, Lemon Juice, Coconut Oil, and Coconut Aminos in this recipe and now I'm kind of addicted to it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Smooth Chocolate Organic Plant Protein - First Impression

This is a blog post about Garden of Life's new Organic Plant Protein - specifically - their Smooth Chocolate Flavor.  This is also a FIRST IMPRESSION post - therefore - I tried this as a single serving - straight up with Almond Milk - nothing more and nothing less.  My first encounter was last week when I mixed the dry powder in with the Almond Milk and used a Blender Bottle to shake it well.

I will completely agree that this new Organic Plant Protein (OPP) is VERY smooth.  It's NOT grainy like some other powders.  The Smooth Chocolate Flavor was tasty but I will say the aroma is what got me hooked up front!

Overall I really did enjoy sipping on this smooth chocolate flavor!  There was an undertone of 'green-ness' to it...similar to that of a pea or spinach.  I can't wait to start playing with this brand new line from Garden of Life!

Grain Free
We source clean, pure ingredients from organic family farms to bring you the best nutritional products in the world.
  • 15g of complete protein
  • Smooth, with no gritty texture
  • Tasty and flavorful
  • Includes essential fatty acids, probiotics and enzymes
  • Gluten Free, with no allergenic ingredients like soy, wheat and dairy.
Super SMOOTH and delicious, our family friendly Grain Free Organic Plant Protein is packed with energy-giving protein and wholesome fiber.
Mix 1 level scoop in 8 ounces of water (scoop included). Delicious with unsweetened almond or rice milk.
Store in a cool, dry place. Do not use if seal is damaged or missing.
Does Not Contain:

Contains No dairy, soy, tree nuts, added sugars, filler ingredients, artificial flavorings, colors, sweeteners or preservatives. Grain Free

Monday, February 9, 2015

Focusing on My Lymphatic System

For the next 3 days - minimum - I will be doing a detox of sorts - while focusing on my Lymphatic System.  

There are a few things that I want to heal with my body and I feel the Lymphatic System is the perfect place to start.  I have 2 confessions to make up front.  ONE - I've never done this before so it's a learning process - so it's rather fitting that I am posting it here on my blog - My Blissful Journey.  And TWO - as much as I try and do things to improve my life and situation - it doesn't mean I don't have bad habits.  To get a little personal here - the older I get the less comfortable I feel about going undergarment-free (if you know what I mean) and I know that is BAD...I really have to change that.  It's suggested that women go at least 12 hours every day without that kind of support.  Because I have felt physically uncomfortable doing so I haven't for quite some one of the things I will be forcing myself to do during this time is wear a camisole when I get home at the end of the day.  This might sound like a 'small thing' but it's going to be a challenge for me.  

Having said that...some of the other things I will be focusing on over the next 3 days (which will probably turn into all of this week) will be hot and cold compresses on problem areas, hot and cold showers, deep breathing, yoga, walking, and natural deodorants.  Some of these things I do on a daily basis such as wear a natural (non-aluminum) deodorant.  I rarely (close to if ever) wear make-up and I don't even use lotion, etc.  If need be I will be using Grapeseed Oil and/or Coconut Oil.  Another thing I will be doing more of this week is Oil Pulling and I tend to do that with Coconut Oil.

Now...on to what I HOPE to consume...of course this is all based on whether or not I can find these items in my area which has been a complete challenge as of late.

Plantains - altho - not RAW - I do have some in my freezer that I intend to bake.

Leafy Greens - you will see me doing a LOT of salads this week - so that means - I will most likely be posting those with my home-made dressings!

Cranberries - I really doubt I can find fresh ones right now but I do have a stash of dried that I have from my shipments from The Raw Food World.

Raw/Soaked Nuts & Seeds

Coconut, Avocado - Again, our fresh coconut situation here is grim so I'm unsure how this will come into play but I have been rather Avocado-Happy, lately!

Echinacea - as well as other herbal tonics and tisanes

Garlic/Ginger/Turmeric - I eat these in some form almost every day but during this time I hope to incorporate them into other ways, too!

Seaweeds, Spirulina, Chorella

Citrus - whole, juice, in dressings - you name it!

Consume more fruit on empty stomach - such as more fruit based mono meals

Cantaloupe - if possible I would like to make some Cantaloupe Juice and/or Milk

Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed with water and possibly garlic, Agave)

LOTS of Water and Water with Lemon!

I will probably be doing some juicing and smoothies this week, too!  At least that is my goal.  One I would like to try was from an old Dan McDonald Video - 2 Apples, handful of Grapes, 1 Lemon, and a chunk of Ginger.

These are just some of this things I would like to work toward this week.  I'm challenging myself with many of them to try and stay consistent but also try and do some healing.  Please drop by with encouragement this week!  I would appreciate it!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kickstarter for 52 Teas Takeover!

Many things have been happening the last few months!  Many of which I still have to announce here on my blog! want to check two of those announcements off of my check list!  First up...The Takeover of 52 Teas and the Kickstarter Campaign!  No-No...I'm NOT the person taking over 52 Teas but my very good friend and Sororitea Sister Anne is!!!  For those of you who are friends of ours in the tea world and those of you who have been a reader of this site for a while you may remember I am a bit of a TEA FREAK!  Anne and I co-created/founded Sororitea Sisters - an online tea review site and it's been going strong for about 5 years now!

Anne is in the process of taking over 52 Teas from Frank the previous owner and creator of the brand.  Therefore, she alongside with her beautiful daughter, they are 'all in' on raising funds to make this happen!  Their GOAL is to keep the 52 Teas brand alive!  What makes this brand so special?  The 52 Teas customer base has kind of a cult's based on a NEW unique and creative flavor of tea every week of the year!  And when I say UNIQUE I mean it!  Above you can see some of their best sellers!  But what makes THIS tea company even MORE special is that it's VEGAN and Organic!   So when you see the "cheesecake" flavors and the novelTEAs like the ones with Marshmellows in them...they are ALL made with VEGAN ingredients!  Woot!

That is why I am so excited about this Kickstarter Campaign.  Of course I am partial because ANNE and her daughter are behind it - but - they are keeping and moving forward with everything being VEGAN and organic!  I've never posted a Kickstarter Campaign announcement on my blog before.  But I totally believe in this one!  I have never contributed to a campaign either - but - I will be backing this one!  I haven't decided which level to do - I'm thinking the $65 level but am very tempted by the $110 level, too!  Not only to help out but because of the incentives!  They are offering their teas, of course, but they also have some awesome logo-ed canvas bags and tea tumbles among other cool ways to be involved!  

EVERY LITTLE BIT if you are reading this and a buddy of mine and you can even do the $5 pledge that would help out immensely!  They are collecting funds until the end of THIS MONTH.  At the time of this post they were a little over $2,500 raised and their goal is $10,000...with your help they can keep the 52 Teas dream alive!  

If you have had any of the 52 Teas before - let me know what your favorites are in comments!  Thanks so much, everyone!