Helix Sleep – Personalized Custom Mattresses

IMG_6222I’m starting this post out with a simple question: when was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? For a while, most of my nights were filled with tossing and turning, not being able to fall asleep, or waking up often. My fitness tracker that I wear at night even confirmed that I was spending a lot of time in the “restless sleep” stage and I first attributed it to things like light sources or sounds keeping me up at night; “I must just be a really light sleeper,” I thought. However, I realized it had to be something different when my partner and I were often waking up feeling very tired despite sleeping 9-10 hours, and it was often accompanied with neck and back pain. I didn’t feel like myself a lot because I was so exhausted, and I knew it wasn’t helping me to live a healthier life. Good eating habits and exercise are important, but they can only go so far without good-quality sleep. Continue reading

IMG_6235Finally, I started looking into getting a new mattress, but there are so many choices out there. It was really important to me to get something that was high-quality, something with a good warranty, and a hassle-free process overall (not having to deal with returning it right away, long shipping times, high shipping costs, etc). The company that stood out the most was Helix, who not only makes high-quality mattresses but they are also completely customizable from person to person. Helix really pays attention to things like the overall feel and support, elasticity and even cooling technology that the mattress offers.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 3.16.19 PMYou start ordering your mattress by taking a Sleep Quiz and if you have a partner who normally sleeps next to you, make sure they take the quiz too. I love this feature because it helps both sleepers get the mattress that they want, without having to compromise. I really wanted a mattress that was medium firm, with moderate support, good elasticity and something that was nice and cool. When my partner and I took the quiz, we ended up with very similar results so a blended mattress was perfect for us. However, you also have a dual-comfort mattress option if your sleeping partner has very different needs from you. The quiz also takes into consideration things like body size, any pressure points you have, and sleeping positions, because Helix mattresses are customized just for you. We’re not all the same size, shape, or types of sleepers so why should we be given an identical mattress, even if it is deemed “high-quality”?

IMG_6249After taking the quiz my partner and I got our results a couple seconds later, and it was really interesting to see them. We agreed that this was the perfect mattress for us, so we added it to our cart and went to check out on the Helix website. I did opt for an additional item which was the Helix Mattress Protector, since we do have pets and didn’t want to worry about any accidents affecting the mattress. The Mattress Protector wraps around the entire mattress and really stays put, but is easy to remove when it needs to be washed. The protector is also waterproof, but is still super soft and not noisy at all like other mattress protectors out there. If you’re getting a high-quality mattress I think something to protect it is a great investment.

The online check out process was really simple, I submitted the order and the mattress was set to arrive within the next two weeks. The shipping process went really quickly, although I was alerted at first that the order might’ve been damaged by the mail carrier so I contacted Helix about it. Their customer support team was super helpful and offered to place a replacement order if needed, but luckily the package was just a little damaged on the edges when it arrived the next day. 

IMG_6274Once I received the package I asked my partner to help carry it upstairs to our bedroom. The box was a little heavy for me to lift on my own, but is still a lot easier than carrying and maneuvering upstairs than most mattresses. I should note that if you have a bed frame or mattress foundation, make sure those are already assembled in the room. We unrolled and unwrapped the mattress according to the instructions and it started expanding super quickly, but we were still able to place it correctly onto the bed frame. Though it was tempting to lay down on our new mattress, we let the mattress sit for 30-45 minutes as it fully expanded.

IMG_6242Now it’s been a little over a month since we got our mattress, and both my partner and I are super satisfied with it. I don’t think I realized just how awful our previous mattress was making me feel until after the first night sleeping on this customized Helix mattress. I’m also super excited to offer a $50 DISCOUNT on your own Helix mattress, using the code HUNGRYVEGAN at checkout. Good-quality sleep is so important and everyone deserves it, so why not gift yourself and your loved ones a brand new, personalized custom mattress? Helix even offers a 100-night sleep trial so if you aren’t totally satisfied with the mattress it can be returned hassle-free, but I highly doubt you’ll even consider it after just a couple nights of wonderful sleep.

Disclaimer: This mattress was sent to me by Helix, but all opinions within this post are completely my own.

LÄRABAR: Food Made From Food + Giveaway

Assorted LÄRABAR's
I had first heard about LÄRABAR years ago and I was so intrigued because they are truly a one of a kind bar. Unlike many other snack bars out there, LÄRABARs don’t come with a long list of
ingredients, which is such a relief when you’re just looking for a quick snack! With flavors like Peanut Butter Cookie, Banana Bread, Blueberry Muffin and more, it’s always been tough to choose just one. I appreciate that LÄRABAR makes so many different varieties of their original bars, which also happen to be vegan and gluten-free so a lot of people are able to enjoy them! Continue reading

Peanut Butter Cookie LÄRABARAs I already mentioned, the Peanut Butter Cookie LÄRABAR has been one of my long-time
favorites. Can you guess what the ingredients are? Literally just dates, peanuts and sea salt…but it’s amazing that it genuinely feels like you’re eating a cookie when you snack on this bar. It’s a lot more satisfying (and far less messy) than just eating peanut butter on a spoon, and it definitely helps curve any cravings for sweets, at least in my experience.

#FoodMadeFromFoodSometimes when I’m feeling a little extra hungry, I’ll take a LÄRABAR and turn it into a full meal. They make excellent smoothie or banana ice cream toppers, and I find that I’m a lot more full when I eat the LÄRABAR with something like a smoothie…as opposed to just having the smoothie on its own. To feel my best, I try to keep my meals and snacks to as few ingredients as possible. With just 2-9 simple ingredients per bar LÄRABAR is something that fits with my daily routine and goals to stay feeling as good as possible.

LÄRABAR Cherry PieSome days are definitely busier than others and I don’t always have extra time to put snacks
together for myself. I always keep a stash of LÄRABAR’s on hand, whether it’s by storing some in my car, purse, or just around my kitchen. Oh and in case you were wondering, LÄRABAR’s Cherry Pie bar has just dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries!

I love how easy it’s becoming to find LÄRABAR at almost any major grocery store, which to me is a sign that things are changing! I always get so excited when I see people snacking on them
instead of other less-healthy options. LÄRABAR was first established to make easy, accessible, and real food available to as many people as possible, and they are doing an excellent job
keeping that passion going!

Real Food Prize PackGIVEAWAY DETAILS: Now, do you want to know how you can enter to win your own Real Food Prize Pack? Just visit Larabar.com, find your favorite bar and comment below which one it is and you’ll be entered to win! You have until February 2 to enter (and the winner will be announced on 2/3), but why wait? Best of luck to all of you!

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway has been chosen. Congratulations to Christa! Thank you so much to everyone who entered this giveaway, I’m so happy to see how excited you all are about some of my favorite bars. As always, stay tuned for more giveaways in the future!

Compensation was provided by LÄRABAR for this post. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of LÄRABAR.

Califia Farms Denver Brunch

IMG_2993Before I get into the details about this incredible brunch that I was invited to by Califia Farms, I have a few things to go over. Once upon a time I used to actively blog on here…posting product reviews, recipes, interviews and more. Since graduating school and working full-time, I’ve realized just how challenging that can be and I give a lot of credit to people who can balance life and blogging. I can’t make any promises here, but I can see myself sharing at least a few things from here on out to let you know what I’ve been up to. Which leads me to the brunch from this past weekend! Continue reading

IMG_2999Not only was I super psyched about getting to try Califia Farm’s new products at brunch…but this was also a great opportunity for me to meet some other Califia ambassadors, local Denver influencers and try some great food (spoiler alert: it was better than great)! I was first greeted by a giant tub of assorted almond milks and juices. This was the first time I got to try the Matcha, Ginger with Turmeric, and Cali Coco and they made the wait fully worth it. My top favorites are definitely the Matcha and the Ginger with Turmeric — both of which aren’t overly sweet but they are packed with full flavor in each bottle!

IMG_3035The table settings were beautiful and after reading the menu I couldn’t wait to start eating! This brunch was also co-hosted by The Dinner Party Association, which I recently discovered on Instagram! The dishes were all completely plant-based and prepared by Chef Kyle Morgan and Ashlae Warner of Oh, Ladycakes.

IMG_3020The first items our group was greeted with included coffee and other Califia Farms beverages, cocktails and a beautiful toast bar with jams, a nutella-like spread and even Kite Hill cheese. If you haven’t tried it already, the Black & White Cold Brew is my newest obsession, and it comes unsweetened for all those people who don’t like sugary coffee drinks! The Full Shot, another new item is basically a veganized bulletproof coffee. I could see either of these working really nicely with my morning routine. Ok…now, on to the courses!

IMG_3057The first course was a Tropical Ginger Turmeric Smoothie made by Ashlae (aka Oh, Ladycakes). It featured the Ginger almond milk with turmeric and some tropical fruit. I was so impressed with how sweet and smooth this was, it was difficult to savor such a delicious treat! 

Course 2 (made by Chef Kyle) included these Veggie Breakfast Tacos with smoked eggplant, mushrooms, bell pepper, and mango papaya puree. I can say without a doubt that I haven’t had tacos this good in a LONG time. 

Course 3 was very intriguing to me, as a Colorado Grain Mixto with Califia Curry Consomme. It was served as a mason jar with the almond/coconut milk to be mixed in. The grain mixture included sweet ingredients like pecans, cacao nibs and some kind of dried fruit, but with the curry it was just the right balance of sweet and savory!

Course 4 (and by this time I was definitely getting full) was Ashlae’s Vanilla Bean & Matcha Chia Pudding. This dish was the perfect end to this meal, since a lot of us were raving about Califia Farms’s new Matcha almondmilk. She said she’ll be posting the recipe to her blog soon, so I guess we’ll just have to wait patiently for that!

IMG_2980Is there such a thing as table setting envy? Because I definitely have it! A big thank you to Califia Farms, Oh, Ladycakes, Chef Kyle Morgan, photographer Nora Logue, mixologist Lawrence MackDJ Casey Sidwell, Logan House Coffee and all the wonderful people who made this event spectacular! I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of things Califia Farms has in store for the future, and I can’t wait to get experimenting with their products as a new brand ambassador!

The Vegan Roadie – Interview

TheVeganRoadieAnother interview has made its way to Another Hungry Vegan! This time, I got to learn more about Dustin Harder, AKA the Vegan Roadie who recently traveled through Denver for an episode of his webseries. Dustin is a well-seasoned traveler (no pun intended), and he made it his mission to show how easy and fun it is to eat vegan around different parts of the United States. Read on to find out how his love for travel and living a compassionate life work in harmony to encourage others to go on their own vegan food journey. Continue reading

1. What made you decide to start the Vegan Roadie?
I have been traveling on and off for work for the last 10 years. My partner watches a lot of HGTV and The Food Network. When it was on in the background, I started getting very frustrated and equally disgusted at the show “Diner’s, Drive-In’s and Dives”. The fact that so much money and effort goes into showcasing food that has a detrimental effect on America was mind blowing to me. Beyond that, I was discouraged when I traveled, often when I typed “vegan” into yelp a steak house or something of that nature would come up, random things like that. During my time in the Chef’s Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC I had a light bulb moment and made a commitment to myself, when I went out on the road next I would create a road map across America for the Vegan and Veg-Curious, and that was how The Vegan Roadie was born. I’m committed to making this resource, vegans and non vegans need to know what wonderful things are being created without animal products or by-products and where to get them. 

2. What has helped you to stay vegan over the years? 
It used to be weight and health. As time has progressed and as any good vegan does, you do your research. I have learned about our food system and like anyone who has a heart, I’m truly disappointed and saddened. Those feelings shifted into fuel to make the right choices for myself and the environment to be the best me I can be, and that means being vegan. Immersing myself in the cooking aspect has also been very helpful, and fun! It’s a different world full of so many new and exciting possibilities, that keeps me going. 
 
artichoke3. What’s your best advice for vegans who are afraid to travel? 

Prepare and get excited! Now more than ever there is a stimulating and very abundant vegan scene on the Horizon with Chef’s coming out of the woodwork to show the world how innovative, delicious and down right mind blowing plant based cuisine can be. Take advantage of your resources, google stuff like a mad man (or woman) before you go somewhere and get excited about their menu’s! If you find yourself lacking vegan options, be sure to get a hotel with a fridge and stock some staple items you know will keep you satiated. Did I mention prepare? You know you are vegan, the rest of the world doesn’t, you can’t blame anyone but yourself if you find yourself hungry.

4. What has been the most memorable experience while filming for the Vegan Roadie?
I did a demonstration in OshKosh, WI for an audience of all carnivore’s. I made a pasta with a cashew garlic cream sauce from Chloe Coscarelli’s “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen” cookbook, instead of mushrooms I used Field Roast brand artisan grain meat. A woman came up to me after and said her daughter had become vegan and she wanted to support her, she felt after my demonstration she could go home and make something her entire family would love, including her “meat and potatoes husband”, and she could support her daughters choice. It’s memorable to me because I was in Wisconsin, this was a tough crowd. This woman said she felt discouraged and now saw that it can be easy. That meant a lot to me, made me feel I was doing something right! That kind of stuff keeps you going on a journey like this.

VR_45. Who are some people who’ve inspired your journey to become vegan?
My initial inspiration came from reading “Skinny Bastard” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I strongly recommend that book to anyone curious about a vegan diet and what it offers. As for a specific person, I worked in the test kitchen of Chloe Coscarelli and her spirit and positive attitude forever is ingrained in me, she sees the positive light in everything and sort of spreads that energy around, it’s lovely. Chef’s Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of VEDGE and V Street in Philadelphia are a huge inspiration in that every place I visited when in Philly had the most amazing things to say about them and their contribution to their community. It was unanimous among the Philly Vegan Business owners that their business was better because Kate and Rich, both established in their own right, took the time to stop in and work with people on their menu and offer insight when it was sought out, that’s amazing, they are very busy people! Robbie Tucker and Lauren Loomis of Lulu’s Local Eatery (St. Louis, MO) stick out in my mind for their commitment to grow as much as they can on their own for their restaurant and cut down on waste, and they are just a stellar couple on the crusade to better the world through compassionate eating and living. I think I have to stop the list now because I could really go on and on, I have met so many fantastic, uplifting and inspiring people in the last 10 months alone. These are just a few of the people that have inspired me to become and stay vegan.

6. What inspires you to travel?
I have always enjoyed traveling. Early in life I knew I wanted to tour as an actor, I did that. Now I want to tour to help educate those curious about a plant powered lifestyle and create a resource for vegans across the country to travel with ease. I also want to entertain and engage, not preach, about how inventive and fun plant powered food is! What better way to do that than travel the country and meet some of the master minds behind it all?

7. Favorite place you’ve visited so far?
Austin, TX. It is a Vegan’s playground! Denver was also awesome, the whole vibe had me and my partner considering our next move for our home base.

IMG_5783(1)8. What has this journey taught you about being vegan in the United States?
That it’s easier than one would think, most of the time. That the vegan community, for the most part, is very nurturing and supportive of each other’s efforts to mainstream veganism. And also, as I said before, to be prepared. While I have stumbled across so many vegan gems, there have been a few cities that are rough but if you are prepared you can make it work. Also, talk to business owners, often if you suggest a way to make something vegan an owner will more than likely take that into consideration and offer it to the general public as that is simply good business. I met an amazing woman in Jacksonville, FL who has single handedly changed her communities standards by simply going into establishments and using her natural southern charm to educate owners and chef’s of what their options are to create vegan choices for their patrons. You can check her out on Facebook at “JAX Vegan Love”

9. What is a go-to, favorite meal of yours to prepare? 
The previously mentioned pasta with garlic sauce from Chloe Coscarellis “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen” as a main dish. My own recipe for a Caesar Salad at www.veganroadie.com. And Chloe Coscarelli’s “Vegan Cookie Dough Truffles” (recipe available on her website www.chefchloe.com), always a crowd pleaser.
 
10. Where are you off to travel to next? 
Dallas, Charlotte, NC & Hershey, PA will wrap up the first Vegan Roadie Tour. Then it’s back home to New York City to further my education with the Professional Plant-Based Certification course offered by Rouxbe Online Cooking School and to start raising funds and mapping out the route for the second Vegan Roadie Tour. I’m also working on another web series, “OMG! That’s Vegan!?” that will be out in the fall. In the mean time, check out episode 1-8, including Denver (episode 8) on The Vegan Roadie YouTube Channel. Our final episode for Season One featuring the San Francisco Bay Area will be out July 14th.
 
So, a big thanks to Dustin for working on this interview with me! You can keep up to date with his adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheVeganRoadie. Don’t forget to check out his webseries and subscribe to his YouTube while you’re at it!

Madecasse Chocolate Bars

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there. I’m in love with chocolate and I’m not afraid to admit it! I don’t know if you knew this, but Madecasse makes a line of high quality chocolate bars (most of which are vegan), plus a line of other products like vanilla extract and chocolate discs that I have featured in recipes on this blog. One of the reasons why Madecasse’s chocolates are so tasty is because they are made with heirloom cocoa, known as some of the world’s last genetically pure cocoa. I am so thankful to Madecasse for sending some samples of their products to try out, that I went and purchased a few of their other items. What can I say? I just wanted to give a lot of new chocolate bars a try! Continue reading

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.One of the first flavors that got my attention was the Salted Almond. This bar is made with 63% pure Madagascar cocoa and the full list of ingredients is cocoa beans, almonds, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, sea salt. The bars have a really fancy appearance, with the crushed almonds showing up right on the back outer size. Sea salt, sugar and chocolate make excellent companions in a dessert and this chocolate bar is just further proof of that!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Something that really stood out to me about Madecasse was their story. The founders of the company were Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar, where they became inspired to start making chocolate there. By making the chocolate in Madagascar, they have been able to provide income to its residents while empowering local cocoa farmers. Through sustainable cocoa farming, the ecosystems of the land have been preserved-and this isn’t something that is common along many famous chocolate companies. You can learn a little more about their awesome story right here.

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Speaking of sea salt…here we have the Sea Salt & Nibs bar. This one is also made with 63% dark chocolate with cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and sea salt. This is Madecasse’s most popular bar, and I can tell why! Its taste is pretty similar to the Salted Almond bar, until you get to the cacao nibs which add an excellent crunch and a new depth of rich chocolatey flavor. If you aren’t sure which bar to get first…I would highly recommend this one!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Another super tasty bar…the Toasted Coconut. This one has a slightly darker chocolate taste thanks to the 70% cocoa content. However, the tastes are well-balanced between the rich cocoa and the sweet toasted coconut. Even with the coconut flakes on the outside, the inside of this bar is still nice and smooth. Though I love to share my chocolate, this is one of those bars that I would probably keep all to myself!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.The Cinnamon & Chili Pepper was a surprising treat! It has just the right amount of “kick” to it, and the little pieces made it a lot more manageable in terms of spiciness. I’m not sure if Madecasse still sells this bar because it’s not on their website, but I was able to find it from another seller. If you can get your hands on this bar, it’s definitely worth a try!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.I managed to get my hands on Madecasse’s seasonal bars-including their Winter Spice and Peppermint. Unfortunately these bars melted in the summer heat, so they didn’t photograph that well, but I can assure you that they would’ve looked just as gorgeous as the other bars. I found the Winter Spice a little similar to the Cinnamon & Chili Pepper bar, with a warming cinnamon and chocolate combo. The Peppermint bar, however was the clear winner in my opinion between the two. It didn’t feel out of place for me at all to enjoy the peppermint bar in the middle of the summer because chocolate and mint are delicious all-year-round.

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Last, but not least…the bar of all bars. 80% Coco is for all those true dark chocolate lovers out there, who like nothing but the best. A warning when it comes to all of these bars…savor them and make them last! These are not the kinds of chocolates that you eat all at once. The flavors are all so rich that even the smallest of bites is enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings. 

Now, are you curious where to get some of these incredible bars for yourself? Check out Madecasse’s website to purchase some of their products. Or…keep your eyes out at your favorite local natural foods market and see if you can find these in the chocolate aisle. The beautiful packaging isn’t easy to miss, and you’ll be glad you don’t have to wait the shipping time. Have you tried Madecasse before? Which flavors are your favorite? Or, which are you just dying to try ASAP?

Amrita Bars

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comYou wouldn’t believe the amount of things I’ve been up to lately. With just having recently moved, starting a new job and doing other work in my spare time, the days just don’t seem long enough. At times like these, I’m really grateful to have easy “grab and go” foods like fruit, nuts and seeds, and energy bars. Of course, that’s where Amrita comes in! Amrita makes a lot of unique-flavored nutrition bars, that not only taste great…they are also made with really high-quality ingredients. As their name would suggest, they are made out of dried fruits, seeds and other gluten, dairy and soy-free nutritious foods. Are you curious about these bars and what flavors you would like the most? Read on to find out!
Continue reading

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comThe first bar I tried happened to be the Apricot Strawberry. When I first opened the package, the smell actually reminded me of a PB&J sandwich (despite being completely free of peanuts and gluten). I think I was picking up the sunflower seeds and tahini, which often give off a rich and nutty flavor. Once I tasted the bar I could taste the apricots as well as the strawberries and dates mixed in. I couldn’t taste the chia flour or brown rice and they didn’t seem to affect the texture at all. Overall, I would say this was a great bar to start out with!

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comI’m not sure what paradise would taste like, but it must be something like this Pineapple Chia bar. First off, with it being summer I find that these bars all have really appropriate flavors. Along with pineapple, this treat also contains cranberries, sunflower and sesame seeds, chia seeds, coconut and brown rice protein. It’s great that a little bar like this also has the benefit of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, along with 4g of fiber and 7g of protein!

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comOne of my favorite bars, not surprisingly, was the Apple Cinnamon. This seriously tasted like apple pie in bar form. What I love about Amrita bars is that you get so much fresh flavor, and all without added sweeteners other than the ones in dried fruit. I find that these bars are similar in texture to Larabars, but the combination of seeds, brown rice protein and dried fruit makes them a lot more filling. These definitely are more of a snack than a meal replacement, but they are really satisfying in-between meals!

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comAnother fun, tropical flavor is the Mango Coconut. When it comes to dried fruit, mango and coconut are some of my favorites for their ultra-sweet flavors. Because this bar is also balanced with a mix of seeds, you don’t get as much of a sugar rush as plain fruit can often deliver for some people. This bar would be also be delicious if you blended it into a smoothie (seriously), or if you cut it up and placed it on top of a smoothie with banana, mango and coconut.

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.com
I was worried that the Cranberry Raisin bar might be a little sour, but I think it was another winner! The texture reminds me a little of an oatmeal raisin cookie and I’m not complaining! I notice that many of the bars are made with similar ingredients, but with the addition of the special dried fruits they really take on a unique taste. Plus, they don’t make a mess when you eat them and are very portable and for a snack that also happens to be raw.

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comLast but not least…the Chocolate Maca bar. Where oh where do I begin with this one? Cacao and maca are an incredible combination,  and this bar proves that. These superfoods are great for giving you energy as well as helping with hormonal issues. Another fantastic thing about this chocolatey bar is that it doesn’t melt in the heat, unlike many energy/protein bars made with chocolate. Though the flavor sounds more like a sweet dessert, this actually makes a great morning or mid-morning snack. Instead of reaching for coffee or energy drinks, I would recommend picking up one of these instead.

So, did hearing about all the different bars entice you? I hope so! If you’re curious where you can pick up some super tasty and nutritious Amrita bars for yourself, visit their store locator. You can also add some to your cart when you shop on their online store, either way I hope you can enjoy the bars for yourself. If you’ve tried these bars before, let me know which are your favorite or which flavors you want to try next!

Vegan Cuts Snack Box

IMG_9905 Guess who finally got to try out the Vegan Cuts Snack Box? Lucky for me, Vegan Cuts gave me the opportunity to try and review their snack box from May 2015. If you don’t know about this special box, then you’re in for a fun treat. Every month, a selection of 7-10 vegan products are curated typically by someone pretty well-known in the vegan community. Each box subscription is $19.95 a month (with free shipping to the US) to get the chance to try products that likely won’t be in a lot of stores near you. This particular box was curated by Heather and Jenny from Spork Foods and I just couldn’t wait to see everything that was inside! Find out what I thought about this box as well as my recommendations for why you should get your own subscription.  Continue reading

IMG_0682One of the first snacks I went for…of course was the Beanitos Chipotle BBQ chips. These are bean chips with a tortilla chip-texture, so they are extra crunchy. I loved the flavorful chipotle bbq flavor that had this smokiness to it. I thought about pairing these chips with salsa, but honestly they were just perfect on their own. As far as chips go, these also had a pretty good amount in one serving-size bag which is a plus!

IMG_0553Being a lover of NuGo bars and their new Fiber d’Lish variety, I was glad to see a flavor I hadn’t tried yet in this snack box. The Orange Cranberry was the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and it had the chewy consistency of a muffin. This was so good that it was satisfying as a dessert, and the added fiber made it a lot more filling.

IMG_9942Speaking of filling…I got the chance to try these Zesty Italian Meatless Meatballs from Nate’s with some zoodles (zucchini noodles), marinara and this new-to-me vegan parmesan from Go Veggie! I was amazed at how much this smelled and tasted like parmesan made with dairy! Seriously, I don’t even think cheese-loving omnivores or vegetarians would know the difference.

IMG_0122I love popcorn, and I love this Spicy Chipotle & Lime popcorn from Oogie’s. This wasn’t super spicy but it definitely had a kick to it. I must say, I’m really loving all the fun flavors in this snack box. There was even a sample pack of some crushed Chipotle Chile Pepper in the box, so I have a feeling I could use some of that and fresh lime juice to make my own seasoned popcorn.

IMG_0541I have never heard of Toyou bars, and being pretty bar-savy I’m surprised! Apricot and coconut are both some flavors I find really appealing, and this bar did not disappoint. It reminded me of a granola bar, but it was softer and more fruity. Unlike a lot of bars, this also wasn’t sickeningly sweet which I really appreciate.

IMG_1066I thoroughly enjoyed the Daily Green Boost in one of my morning green smoothies. This was made with some dates, bananas, vanilla hemp protein, spinach, and cinnamon. The green powder reminds me a little of matcha in terms of both smell and taste. It’s made out of barley grass and is a great boost to add a little something extra to virtually any smoothie or shake.

IMG_0166I was probably the most excited to try these Chocolate Sea Salt Quinoa Clusters. I actually saw them online a while ago, but they only came in bigger bags and I didn’t want to pay a lot to find out I didn’t like them. Thankfully these were delicious, and I will likely be purchasing a larger bag elsewhere. A great thing about Vegan Cuts is that the snacks are small enough that you don’t end up paying a lot for something that you don’t like. However, I think the boxes have been curated with a lot of people’s different preferences in mind. You have at least a few items that are healthy, gluten-free and portable so that you can enjoy them wherever you go.

IMG_9911The only items that I did not try were the Blood Orange organic energy drink and the MiracleTree moringa tea. Normally I stay away from energy drinks because I’m actually really sensitive to caffeine, so I will be giving that one to someone else to try out. As far as energy drinks go, this one looks much better than most of the standard drinks on the market. As for the tea, I’ll be saving it for (literally) a cold, rainy day. The strawberry, lemon, and mango flavors all sound super delicious!

Are you interested now in getting your own monthly snack box subscription with 100% vegan products? Be sure to visit Vegan Cuts and sign up today! They even have a Beauty Box with a wide variety of personal care products, that you can subscribe to in addition to the snack box. Not a fan of surprises and subscription boxes? Vegan Cuts also has an online store with lots of discounted vegan items, where you know exactly what you’re ordering. However, I recommend the snack box because I think trying new things is fun…and this service is an excellent way to do just that!

Fresh N’ Lean Meal Service

IMG_0011-1 copyWouldn’t it be nice if you could have fresh, healthy vegan meals delivered right to your front door? What if I told you that services like Fresh N’ Lean do just that? This company is dedicated to making vegan meals more accessible to everyone, whether they are Type 2 diabetics, athletes, hospital patients, people with allergies, or just anyone looking to improve their health. Their meals are full of nutritious ingredients, and they are not about restriction or promising unhealthy weight loss. Fresh N’ Lean prides themselves in providing real food made by real people, not something pumped out of a machine. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try 5 days worth of meals thanks toFresh N’ Lean, to review for you all. Find out what I thought of this service and see if it will fit in with helping you live healthier with a plant-based diet. Continue reading

IMG_0007-1Fresh N’ Lean has a menu that rotates, so you always get the opportunity to try a wide variety of meals. You have the option to order a meal plan, either 5 or 7 days, based on how many meals you would like. Fresh N’ Lean also offers à la carte dishes, as an alternative if you aren’t ready to commit to a meal plan just yet. This is a great way to try out the meals before subscribing to a delivery service, and you get to preview the dishes and get their nutritional facts/ingredients before placing your order. 

IMG_0033-1One of the first meals that I tried fromFresh N’ Lean was the Blueberry Cinnamon Oatmeal. This was filled with organic ingredients such as oats, maple syrup, walnuts, blueberries, raisins, almonds, dates, vanilla and cinnamon. This meal was extra filling, energizing and easy to digest. The best part? It tasted incredible (like something you would get at a restaurant), and there were no artificial ingredients or preservatives added. This means that you have to consume the foods by the “best by” date on the package, but that’s the whole point! These meals are so tasty and easy to prepare that there really is no good reason for why they would sit in your fridge and go bad.

IMG_0304-1 The next meal that I tried for dinner was the Fiesta Black Beans. These were made with black beans, cabbage, bell peppers and other veggies. Now, I have to say that the initial color wasn’t super appetizing because the black beans were mixed with the veggies. However, the aroma was wonderful, and so was the taste! The other people in my household were wondering what was cooking because it filled the kitchen with such a great smell. Fresh N’ Lean recommends adding your own spices to these dishes, although I thought they were plenty flavorful without them. I do like that they give that option because everyone’s tastes are different. These would’ve been great with some salsa, avocado or hot sauce too!

IMG_0089-1For breakfast the next day, I tried the Mixed Berry Chia Pudding. This one has organic chia seeds, maple syrup, blueberries, raspberries, almond milk and sea salt. The directions recommend heating this up, either by microwaving or other methods which is great for people who don’t have a microwave. However I think you could also eat this as a chilled pudding as either a breakfast or a dessert. It was great warmed up because the flavors of the berries infused the entire chia mixture, and it was just as filling as oatmeal. I want to start incorporating more chia puddings into my diet

IMG_0384-1The next meal I tried for dinner was the Smoky Kidney Beans with Dino Kale. Along with the Fiesta Black Beans, these had an incredible aroma. For a dish with such simple flavors, it was surprisingly tasty and really filling. As Fresh N’ Lean describes about their meals, they are not about being low-calorie or low-carb, but rather about being nutrient-rich. This one has a ton of protein and fiber while being low in fat and (more importantly) chemical/preservative free!

IMG_0346-1IMG_0357-1I really enjoyed the Hearty Granola, which actually packs 2 servings in one container. Normally I don’t go for granola because a lot of brand add extra unnecessary ingredients such as honey, oils or even extra flavorings. For this granola, you obviously don’t need to heat it up to prepare it. This is one of the few meals from Fresh N’ Lean that will have you add your own ingredients. They recommend non-dairy milk and some fruit to make it a full meal. For this serving, I used half the container of granola with some unsweetened flax milk and fresh berries. Talk about a quick breakfast!

IMG_0607-1We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, despite it being spring/summer so these warm meals have been ultra-comforting (but still totally healthy). These Indian Spiced Lentils came in a surprisingly large serving size, in fact it was almost tricky to finish these off. However, this meal packs 20g of protein, 14g of fiber and only 5g of fat with very little sodium. That makes it healthy for not just our hearts, but for our entire bodies!

IMG_0726-1 The Italian Chard with Millet was definitely a new one for me. I’ve never actually had something with millet that I can remember. This reminded me a lot of rice or quinoa in terms of texture, and it really soaked up the flavors of the vegetables. Some of my favorite vegetables in here were eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini and kale. What I love about this type of meal is that it gets you trying new foods, without needing to buy them in the store or having to prepare them. With this service, you have healthy meals ready in seconds and you didn’t even have to drive to the store for them!

IMG_0759-1 Lastly, the French Lentil Tomato Penne. Normally I don’t think of having a meal with lentils AND pasta, but it ended up being super filling, protein-packed and chewy. The pasta is even gluten-free, though I honestly couldn’t tell from the taste. This meal was higher in calories than the others, but I really wasn’t paying attention to those because I knew these were super nutritious and good for me. In my opinion, it’s more about the quality of the ingredients than the quantity of calories. I noticed that this left me feeling full into the night, and I didn’t feel the need to snack at all after dinner. Because of this, I also slept soundly hours after having such a hearty but light meal. When we eat nourishing meals, we don’t have those strong urges to have unhealthy “midnight” snacks that often consist of junk food.

In summary, I have to say that I was really impressed with all the meals that Fresh N’ Lean provided to me to try out and review. This is a service I would highly recommend to anyone looking for super healthy and easy-to-prepare meals. So I know what you’re thinking now…where do I sign up or how can I learn more about Fresh ‘N Lean? First off, check out their weekly menu to find out what the special meals are. If you’re already wanting to order, just go to that page on their website and pick what meals you want. When you place an order for any meal plan on their site, you can get 15% off with the promo code: ANOTHER. You won’t want to miss out on this! Are you thinking of trying Fresh ‘N Lean out for yourself? What meals sound the most appealing to you and how would this service help you out?

World Peas Snacks

Looking for a healthier, savory and crunchy snack? Look no further than World Peas! Check out my latest review post of these excellent little snacks, that will ignite your inner appetite for travel and more! #vegan and #glutenfreeIf you’ve been following this blog for a while, then chances are you remember my review of World Peas Snacks and their Fava Crisps. Well, I lucked out with the opportunity to try some of their original World Peas. These peas are an all-natural snack, and they come in 7 different flavors from Ranch to Barbecue to Wasabi. Each has an excellent, crunchy taste and a ton of flavor for such small little pieces. Who needs potato chips when you can have a much more nutritious snack that will still satisfy your savory cravings? Read on to see what I think of a few of their snacks and where you can pick some up for yourself! Continue reading

Looking for a healthier, savory and crunchy snack? Look no further than World Peas! Check out my latest review post of these excellent little snacks, that will ignite your inner appetite for travel and more! #vegan and #glutenfreeFirst, I went for the Sicilian Tomato & Garlic flavor. Wow, were these super flavorful! As World Peas states, this variety includes a rich, slow-roasted tomato — or pomodoro — and garlic flavors of our TomGarlic Peas bring Sicily’s sea breezes and sun-drenched, volcanic soils to mind. I couldn’t have said it better myself! This flavor reminds me a little of pizza, but in a much crunchier form. Of all the peas, this is a great variety to try and share with others…or maybe you won’t want to because they’re so good!

Looking for a healthier, savory and crunchy snack? Look no further than World Peas! Check out my latest review post of these excellent little snacks, that will ignite your inner appetite for travel and more! #vegan and #glutenfreeNext, the Wasabi Peas. I’ve tried wasabi-flavored dried peas in the past but they were always way too much for me to handle. Luckily, these still have a kick from the wasabi but it is in a much more “manageable” way. If you chew these right away, instead of letting them dissolve in your mouth it also makes the spicy flavor much less powerful. Apparently this is the flavor that inspired World Peas to make the other types!

Looking for a healthier, savory and crunchy snack? Look no further than World Peas! Check out my latest review post of these excellent little snacks, that will ignite your inner appetite for travel and more! #vegan and #glutenfree
I was also really eager to try the Bombay Curry-flavored snacks. These have a warm, lightly spicy curry taste that is unlike many other typical snacks you find. As World Peas suggests on the website, these would be great with some hot or iced tea to calm down the spices a bit. I think if you made a soup with curry, these would be a great topper for that as well.

Looking for a healthier, savory and crunchy snack? Look no further than World Peas! Check out my latest review post of these excellent little snacks, that will ignite your inner appetite for travel and more! #vegan and #glutenfreeHearing about the other flavors from World Peas makes me want to try them all! They have Ranch, Barbeque, Garlic and Sichuan which all sound spectacular. Something I love about World Peas is the sense of adventure that their products give. From the bright packaging, to the stories about what inspired the flavors and the brilliant taste I feel transported to another place. What other kinds of snacks can offer you this wonderful sense of travel?

Looking for a healthier, savory and crunchy snack? Look no further than World Peas! Check out my latest review post of these excellent little snacks, that will ignite your inner appetite for travel and more! #vegan and #glutenfreeAre you ready to try these peas for yourself? Be sure to check out the store locator on their website to find out where to get some in stores nearby. Don’t want to go to the store? Luckily World Peas also sells these on their online store. Either way, you can pick up and try anything from their peas to their newer fava crisps. Both are a snack that I think you will love! Have you ever tried anything from World Peas Snacks? What did you think? Or if you’re looking to try some…which varieties sound the most appealing to you?

TigerNut Horchata, Granola and More

IMG_5085Ever heard of TigerNuts? First off, despite the name they’re actually completely nut-free. Organic Gemini has a line of products made with TigerNuts that are also gluten-free, non-gmo, organic, paleo and vegan. What’s great about these little root vegetables is that they have a ton of fiber, fiber and potassium along with some other vitamins and nutrients. Organic Gemini sells their Original Raw TigerNut snack, that unlike products from other TigerNut brands on the market are not treated with chemicals in the peeling process. Read on to see how many products Organic Gemini offers using these remarkable little superfoods! Continue reading

IMG_5061One of the products I was really excited to try since I was at Expo West was the TigerNut Horchata. I’m amazed at how many flavors they offer, from Strawberry and Banana to Coffee and Chai. These drinks as well as the Unsweetened and Original are great on their own, or they make a delicious addition to smoothies! My favorites, personally are the Banana, Coffee and Strawberry (either on their own or otherwise). There are literally endless ways that you can enjoy these to replace nut-based or dairy milks, you can even use them in your morning coffee or have them with a bowl of cereal or baked goods.

IMG_5107The Raw Snack is lightly sweet with a taste that reminds me of nuts. I like the fact that per serving these actually have a lot less fat but they have a good amount of fiber and vitamins that most nuts don’t have. Because these are starch-based, I find that they also keep me feeling full a lot longer. Plus I love the fact that you can feed these to anyone, without worrying that they might have a nut allergy. I can’t wait to post a gluten-free recipe using the TigerNut flour!

IMG_5150The TigerNut Granola is incredible! I can’t believe that it’s raw and made by dehydrating in order to preserve the nutrients. It comes in two flavors: Banana Cacao and Apple Cinnamon. Both have an excellent sweet, flavor but they are a lot more filling and crunchy than standard granola. In terms of texture, they remind me of a sweet cracker that becomes softened if you pour some of the Horchata over it, which happens to be a delicious breakfast!

IMG_7819My favorite of the granolas personally is the Apple Cinnamon, which honestly tastes like a sweet graham cracker with its crunchy texture. I love to use the granola to top my smoothies, or as a quick snack when I’m taking a break from working. For the photo above, I was all out of my TigerNut Horchata so I used coconut milk as a non-dairy and nut-free alternative. I had the granola with the non-dairy milk and some freshly cut apples cold, but you could probably also warm up the milk and apples and have it that way as well…I bet it would taste even more like apple pie if you did that and added some cinnamon!

Anyway, a big thank you to Organic Gemini for providing me with these samples of so many of their different products. Stay tuned for a gluten-free recipe coming to this blog soon featuring their TigerNut flour! If you happen to be on the East side of the country, check out their online store locator for places nearby that you can purchase their products. Otherwise, you can purchase them online and join the TigerNut Club for free shipping. Which products of these are you just dying to try first? Let me know in the comments below!