A Few of My Favorite Things

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but maybe you can relate to the crazy, busy life that is associated with the end of school. This is our first year living in GA, and us Georgians get out of school in May. This blows my mind! As a SC native, school has ALWAYS ended in June. Growing up, it was so perfect for this June 2nd birthday of mine.

We’ve been working hard to balance two full time working parents, normal life, fun things, travel, food, the stupid disease, hospitals, interviews, and more.

Today, I have no advice for living. Actually, it’s Mother’s Day, and I’ve locked myself in my bedroom. I WILL WRITE A BLOG POST TODAY. Right?

My sweet hubby is in the kitchen making me an amazing Mother’s Day breakfast (I requested these pancakes and almond cheese grits), my kids are cleaning (ahhh), and I’m sipping on my favorite morning hot tea.

This is a list of things that are making my world go round as of late, and I wanted to share! I can’t even type the title without pretending for just a moment that I’m Julie Andrews. You know, after the bad news we got about our children’s current medical treatment, it sure does feel like the dog has bitten and the bee has stung.  And oddly enough, this list of things truly does make me feel better. Since I know that there won’t be any “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes” any time soon, I’m gonna settle for red wine and pickles.  With me?

Because I’m plant-based, you’ll see lots of veggie and dairy-free products. If you’re plant-based too, you should be excited!!! If you’re not, my goal is always to introduce you to new things–to broaden your horizon just a bit.

I get all of these products at our three favorite grocery stores around: Kroger, Earthfare, and Whole Foods. If your health food store doesn’t have them, you can always ask the store to order the product for you and they will! Or you can purchase on the respective websites, Amazon, or an online grocery store like Thrive Market.

I’d love to know if any of you have tried these products–or if you’re excited to learn about any of these!

1. French Vanilla Coconut Creamer

coconut creamer

 

I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t know what this tastes like in coffee, but I’ve been loving it as the base of Tropical Coconut Ice Cream for a special summertime treat.  It’s so, so, so, so good.

2. Coconut Bacon

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This stuff is addicting. Like in the worst way. I’ve been sprinkling these coconut bacon bits on everything from salads to baked potatoes.  Can’t. Stop. 🙂

3. Kite Hill Almond Cheese

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This cream cheese like spread is made with almonds and has been a lifesaver for one of my kids who can eat almonds.  It’s become a favorite of mine as well, and I use it on almost everything. I’ll put a dollop in soups, spaghetti sauce, and grits to add a creamy, cheesy-like flavor.  There are also versions with herbs that are great on crackers!

4. Paromi Chamomile Lavender Tea

lavender tea

I never have taken medicine to help me fall asleep.  Sometimes that’s a curse because my mind will race for hours.  But I have found a product that genuinely helps me fall asleep like I’ve taken medicine.  I have no idea if it works like this on anyone else, but this Chamomile Lavender Tea has been amazing.  It has the BEST smell, soothes my crazy soul, and calms me down enough to fall asleep quickly.

5. Chao Cheese

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There hasn’t been ONE processed vegan cheese I have liked until I discovered Field Roast’s Chao Cheese.  I don’t really love it on everything, but when I make a grilled cheese (my favorite combo is Just Mayo on Ezekiel bread with Chao Cheese) I’m telling you I can’t tell it’s not cheese.  I don’t miss much about real meat and cheese except maybe a good grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato soup, so this “cheese” has been a game changer for me!

6. Organic Zucchini Noodles

zucchini noodles

I love making zucchini noodles for fun, but my spirializer is somewhere in my storage unit.  I bought these the other day at Whole Foods and was surprised at how firm they were, despite being packaged.  I love that they are organic and easy!  You can eat them raw or steam them a little if you prefer. You can top with spaghetti sauce, or make any kind of sauce to go on top.  They are a great alternative if you want more veggies in your life or are gluten free!

7. Garlic Dill Pickle Sauerkraut

sauerkraut

We all know that we are supposed to be protecting that good bacteria in our guts, but it’s not easy to keep up with what we are actually supposed to do!  I do not take probiotics daily (I take them if I’m sick), but I do eat things like sauerkraut or yogurt to keep that bacteria alive. Sauerkraut really isn’t as weird as once thought it was.  It’s just fermented cabbage.  And THIS one? Oh my! It tastes EXACTLY like pickles and makes it easy to incorporate into your life.  You can throw on hot dogs/veggie dogs, sandwiches, chicken/tuna/mock salads, or just enjoy a small bowl of it.  It’s another one of those addicting products!

8. Field Roast Products

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These vegetarian products are made by the same company as the Chao Cheese, and they truly have changed my life.  For whatever reason, Whole Foods stopped carrying the Frankfurters, so I definitely need to check on that because they are hands down the best veggie products around.  In all honesty, it isn’t worth spending money on any other veggie products. They are grain and vegetable based (so they won’t work if you’re strictly gluten free) and are packed with spices.  My husband is a meat lover, but he adores these products as well and will even sometimes choose these veggies dogs over regular.  I’ve made the Celebration Roast for holidays to keep it simple and it is amazing topped with homemade cranberry sauce!  These products are definitely something to try!

9. Frey Wine

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It’s so sad, but not all wine is created equally.  I haven’t done much research on it, but I do know that not all wine is vegan/vegetarian.  Even if I ate meat, I don’t think I would want fish guts or gelatin remnants in my wine.  When buying wine, I pretty much stick to Frey because I trust them, and because it happens to be the tastiest wine for my little taste buds.  My favorite is the regular red blend from Whole Foods for $10.  Yes, it might be a little pricier than a cheap bottle of wine, but I will gladly pay an extra $3-$5 to ensure that I’m getting organic, sulfite-free wine!

10. Yerbe Matte Tea

yerbe mate

Yerba Mate tea has changed my life, y’all. If you know me well, you know that I just don’t like coffee. But there are days that I NEED caffeine.  I’m not one of those people who likes to take pills to sleep and caffeine to wake up. I much rather prefer to develop a lifestyle that helps me do both.  For me, that means de-stressing my life, prioritizing, and living a life of purpose and passion.  I try to use natural ways to sleep (like the Chamomile tea and nighttime Essential Oils in my diffuser) and natural ways to wake like getting enough hours of sleep (which helps me wake up), spending time in my Bible in the morning, or a morning stretch/simple yoga session.  I enjoy Yerbe Mate tea because it has natural caffeine from plants.  On really crazy days, I drink the cold version in a can, which has some sugar, but goodness gracious it amps me up to get through the hard times.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’d love to hear what you think after you try some of these products!

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