When you're a health junky and organic-loving gal, you gotta love when all your favorite brands are all in one expo for a three-day weekend.
Expo West in Anaheim is like a Disneyland experience for people who love sustainable and organic products. Walking up to the expo, vendors hand you coconut water and walking through the aisles your hunger will be sustained with protein bar samples. You'll do probiotic shots with CEOs of the big brands (with big earth-loving hearts) and when you're a blogger covering the event, you'll take selfies. Lots and lots of selfies.
You'll also get samples. This is fun because even with the brands that I know and love I haven't tried EVERYTHING that lines the shelves of Whole Foods. And even more exciting, some of these brands are brand new and in the upcoming months as they hit the shelves of my local health food stores, I'll cheer for them as if they were my favorite sports team.
Getting to sample the goods and learn about each product's ingredients and each brand's commitment to their product and the environment has influenced my personal buying practices.
I now usePitayaPlus for my organic, fiber filled margaritas. (I mean, that's where my mind went as soon as I saw this vibrant, fushia gem. Not to Instagram smoothy bowls, but to margaritas for a "nutritional" purpose.)
I've also been using Ripple that uses peas to make non-dairy milk, instead of water intensive almonds.
I fell in love withJack fruit and their sumptuous meaty flavor filled with fiber and non of the guilt. You'll see it in all my grocery cart Instagram pics.
While I have my tried and true makeup faves (eh hem, Jane Iredale) I'm still open to explore my face palate options, especially from a line made with organic ingredients. Inika Organic's products are made out of "botanicals and minerals" and are ethically sourced. Guilt free beauty? Count me in!
When you're a label reader, it's refreshing to read ingredients that you recognize. Ingredients in this kit include coconut oil, green tea, and aloe vera, among others.
Full disclosure: I'm a long time "vegetarian" upping my plant based game.
I'm swapping out one item at a time (ok probably more than that) in order to save the planet and myself.
While I'm not morally opposed to egg eating in total (I live in the egg capital of the world, after all!) I'm still looking to make slight modifications on my diet.
So, welcome to The Neat Egg...
It seems like every time I thought about throwing in the towel on blogging, the universe intervened with a reason why I needed to stay in the ring.
Let's be honest. Blogging's tough. There's a huge time commitment (and financial investment) that goes into running a blog. For those that blog, the Return on Investment is often nil, so at times I've questioned where my time is going and if it can go to better use.
About a year ago, I wondered if anyone was even reading my stinking blogs...
The universe answered back. The first was with a nod from a blogger named Outlaw Omnivore. I had just written,Dear Vegan, Please Don't Hate Me, in which I addressed how a diet that incorporates animal products may be better in the grand scheme of sustainability. He messaged that he liked my blog (yay!) and was writing a chapter about THE SAME THING in his new book. When you're feeling down in the dumps, there's nothing quite like an internet celebrity giving you some praise to bring your spirits back up. So I continued on.
Shortly thereafter, I ran into strangers who said they read my blog and loved it. They even quoted parts to me (because I guess my incredulous look demanded proof). While I do have analytics in place, I suppose that because our readership is for the most part anonymous, it can feel to us bloggers like we're casting our work out into a void - what I learned from these two experiences is that there are readers out there in that void and if they like our work, we won't necessarily know it.
Through the years, I've had some lapses in my writing. It's been one of those things whereby the more time that passed in between blog posts, the more anxiety I'd have about writing, and the less excited I'd be to write.
But I took a really, REALLY long hiatus this year. Too long. Embarrassingly long. So long that I didn't even bother to renew my domain name and when I learned it expired, I didn't hurry to do anything about it.
It was on this most recent break that I noticed a Facebook post from a friend which lamented that certain "Organic" products were actually owned by bigger companies guilty of making products that are likely contributing to obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. These companies aren't just guilty of making shitty products, but engage in unethical practices in multiple domains. If you have yet to see the interview with Nestle's CEO, I highly recommend it. It was so inspirational that I vowed to never, ever, ever buy anything from this company again. And I'm sticking that promise.
You can't win, my friend's post seemed to indicate.
But as I looked at some of the smaller brands, I realized that they were shit products, too. Some are green washed and sold at big grocery stores in a certain aisle and placed at eye level with big, persuasive marketing campaigns. In short, they ain't that great.
I told this to my friend and suggested that she shop more independent brands. Those, she said, we're likely out of her price point.
Maybe.... but maybe not. While I am guilty of indulging on some high end nutrition, like cacao nibs, I've also become a savvy organic shopper. There's a way to live this lifestyle on the cheap.
For example, Trader Joes repackages some products from some pretty legit brands. Because I wrote a story about Wildbrine sauerkraut, I learned that some of Trader Joe's sauerkraut is sourced from Wildbrine. At whole foods, a jar of the fancy stuff will run you about $5.99, but a jar at Trader Joes is $2.99. It's the same stuff. IT'S THE SAME STUFF, just with a different label. While I prefer not to buy fruits and veggies from Trader Joes because it's trucked up from Mexico and I just cannot justify the carbon footprint on those kinds of tomatoes, Wildbrine sauerkraut is local to me and about as eco friendly as it can get in that regard.
These are the kinds of things I tell people about. When I find a great product, I just can't help but shout it from the rooftops. When I learned about Sustain Condoms, I just about lost my mind. For years I had been scouring the aisles of pharmacies reading the labels of these intimate purchases, always disappointed with the options available to me. So when I found Sustain, fair trade condoms without crazy chemicals that hurt delicate vaginas, I couldn't help but pass out packs to my friends, some of whom had been going condom-free for lack of better options.
And the great thing is that they also have lube made with aloe (and no petroleum - yay!) and healthy menstrual accouterments. This. All of this.
Finding these gems is what I'm good at. It's what I do.
And it's because of these realizations that I decided not to quit blogging, but to rebrand.
So, good bye Accidental Blogger. My blog is no longer a series of serendipitous opportunities and happenstance. I know what I'm doing now (kind of). I have focus. I have purpose.
Good bye Accidental Blogger; Hello Easy Organic Chick. It just fits.
What started as a hobby and a charitable deed turned into a full-fledged business…
About six years ago Rick Goldberg (the now co-founder of Wildbrine) was volunteering at Ceres Kitchen in Sebastopol, CA. The Ceres Community Project is basically what I wished I had the opportunity to be a part of when I was a kid:
Teenagers are mentored by local chefs in the arts of cooking – but not just any meals – they cook with nutrient-rich, healthy foods.
And what do they do with the bounty of their labor? They deliver it to local cancer patients (about a week’s worth of meals per delivery).
I had already fallen in love with Primal Foods Mayo when I discovered their salad dressing...
I'm a sucker for a good, organic salad. I subscribe to my local CSA Farm Fresh to You, and I get a monthly box of organic green goodness.
What to do with all those veggies?
Make a salad!
My salads are simple. I just chop up everything I have on hand.
For this salad, that included organic and local tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumber. In my CSA box I ordered some local, organic, pasture raised eggs, so I hard boiled those to get some protein into the mix. I also added some raw pumpkin seeds for added crunch and nutritional goodness.
I used Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. Made with organic ingredients (Avocado Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Mustard, Honey, Lemon Juice Concentrate, salt and spices) it definitely gives the salad some spice and tang!
The final result! A yummy, nutritious salad!
I had been on a years' long hunt for good mayonnaise when I'd finally given up. I'm a mayo junkie, my favorite indulgence being a steamed artichoke with a side of mayo for dipping.
Several years ago, I began the search for a good mayo - one free of canola oil, maybe even one made with quality eggs. I went through the ingredients of every jar in Wholefoods, Sprouts, and my hippy co-ops. Even those made with "olive oil" were also laced with canola oil.
So for a while, I made my own.
In your hand you have three aces. You’re excited. This is a really good hand, so you decide to stay. Who cares what the other cards are because you’re holding three aces, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
But after a while, you look down and realize you don’t have three aces. Some of those aces are really fours. Aces look a lot like fours, so as you wonder how you were mistaken, you stare at your cards and wait for them to turn back to aces. But they don’t because they never were aces; you just thought they were, at first.
So now you’re left with a pair of fours, ace high. That’s not a terrible hand, it’s just not the hand you thought you had. So now you have a choice.
It’s not a typical night that I’m holding my arm up, imploring a near stranger to take a whiff of my armpit.
But so it was the Tuesday night that I met Monica Mayer At the Holistic Chamber of Commerce.
“You mean, the Grateful Naturals deodorant is your product? I’m wearing it right now!” (Circle back to the beginning armpit scene).
I’m a big fan of healthy product. And good natural deodorants can be hard to come by. For those of us on the healthy armpit journey, it can be challenging to find a) a product without aluminum b) a product that works.
I was already impressed with the lavender natural deodorant I had been using, and Monica gave me some lemongrass and vanilla deodorant to try. I was also game to give her other products – lotion and a lip balm - a try as well. Monica was sweet enough to even throw in a tube of Pure Confidence, a natural deodorant for men, so my boyfriend could try it, as well.
The other week I posted a picture of some farm-fresh eggs on my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I was then unfollowed by several vegans and vegan groups.
I get it. I get that seeing a picture of eggs posted by an egg-eater can be offensive to some.
And what I’m going to say could come off as equally offensive - actually, probably more so. But you’ll be better off for continuing reading because we have more to gain by collectively banding together than being separated because of our differences.
Living an organic lifestyle doesn't have to be expensive or hard. I mean, it can be, but there are easier ways...
I'm the chick that promotes the best products with the biggest bang for your buck - products that are good for your body and have the least impact on the environment (and they're tasty, too!).
I'm the chick that makes organic DIY easy-peasy.
And there's some cool stuff coming up on this site. You like Giveaways? Whoop Whoop! Follow me my new friends...
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