Sometimes when I embark on something new and big, I usually crave something comfortable and familiar to keep things feeling balanced. Like gluten-free blueberry pie. Warm, juicy and naturally sweet, it pairs perfectly with a scoop of sugar-free vanilla coconut milk ice cream. One of my favorite blueberry pie recipes is gluten-free and dairy-free from The Spunky Coconut. I’ll be indulging in a similar blueberry cobbler (above) today, as I just finished a two-day long overhaul of my blog (as you’ve probably come to notice). I’m now completely self hosted and couldn’t be happier with the new design! To top it off, my fiance just finished graduate school and starts his new job next week. He’ll be spending more time at home this summer, something I know we’ll both cherish. So what’s not to celebrate? I hope you’re looking forward to the long days of summer as much as I am.
Congratulations to Anne H, the contest winner of the Red Apple Lipstick Mint 2 Be gloss giveaway!
Thanks to everyone who entered, and be sure to stay tuned for some other giveaways in the future. I also want to wish everyone a happy spring and share a picture of the beautiful spring flowers my fiance brought home the other day. Have a lovely start to the week!
“The World is using the equivalent of one and a half planets to support life on Earth.”
Earth Hour 2013 is coming up tomorrow, Saturday March 23 at 8:30pm (Eastern time) and I couldn’t be more excited! It snuck up on me this week and I nearly forgot all about it until yesterday evening, even after I recently wrote an article for Delight Gluten-Free Magazine about celebrating it with a gluten-free twist in the March/April issue….safe to say it’s been a busy week! We’re planning to switch off all our lights and appliances, have a candlelight yoga session, and indulge in vegan blueberry pie–the recipe will be posted on Sunday!
This morning as I was writing this post, I was quietly listening to the news in the background. They were discussing a nominated CNN Hero, Doc Hendley, for his work in bringing clean water to those living in impoverished areas where safe water is scarce. It’s sadly not news to me that many people in other countries must walk for 4 or 5 hours just to reach their water for the day, and it’s dirty water at that. Today is World Water Day and I feel incredibly lucky to live in a place where clean water is available to me whenever I turn on the sink. Clean water should not be a privilege. It’s so vital that we take care to preserve the resources on this planet through our everyday actions and by celebrating our planet every day. Check out the awesome video by EarthHour.org for 2013:
In the spirit of celebrating and sustaining our mother Earth, I’d like to share five easy but effective things that I try to do on a regular basis to help sustain our planet:
- Turn off the water faucet while brushing teeth to save water.
- Use sustainable candles and candlelight instead of lamps a few nights per week.
- Bring reusable grocery bags on shopping trips. If I forget, I am sure to recycle the bags by using them for small trash bags in the house or in other ways.
- Use (or upgrade to) energy saving electronics and appliances whenever possible. My latest energy efficient purchase was an energy star ultrabook laptop.
- Buy local produce often. I love supporting the local farmers and economy in this way. A bonus is planting a garden annually ourselves.
For more ideas to celebrate Earth Hour and Earth Day often, check out my article in the March issue of Delight Gluten-Free Magazine for tips and fun vegan/raw food recipes. I also have a plethora of easy and earth friendly recipes I’ve posted throughout the life of this blog that can be browsed in the Recipe page or by typing in keywords such as “vegan” or “earth day” in the search box in the upper left corner of my site.
Happy Earth Hour and World Water Day!
How will you celebrate the planet today?
Everyone I’ve met that has Celiac disease or severe food allergies of any kind, I feel an automatic unspoken sort of connection to. It’s a mutual feeling of understanding, of having “been there”. While I’ve never met Zooey Deschanel, I think she’s the epitome of making the most of her situation with multiple difficult food allergies. I learned Zooey is allergic to gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs from her appearance on Top Chef where she was a guest judge who challenged the contestants to create an allergy friendly vegan lunch for her and her family. It was fantastic to see her embracing herself and her health, while bringing allergy awareness to the mainstream food shows.
I fell in love with this so true quote from Zooey Deschanel, which can apply to everyone regardless of their walk in life:
Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love.
One thing I appreciate about my food allergies is how they enable me to eat a lot more healthful than I might otherwise. That’s not to say I never indulge in treats now and again, but I’m of the mentality now that treats can be made quite healthy and beneficial. I regularly like to hide veggies in my homemade desserts and stay away from refined sugars. Most of the time, my trusty taste tester can’t tell the difference.
With all the hype around the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake returning this March for St. Patrick’s Day, I definitely wanted in on the creamy minty goodness. Since I’m lactose intolerant, I knew that wasn’t going to happen; not conventionally anyway. I was inspired by Emily over at Cupcakes and Cashmere to embark on creating my own homemade dairy-free and vegan version of this coveted shake. With no added sugars, fresh mint leaves, almond milk and SO Delicious vanilla bean no sugar added dairy-free ice cream, this shake came out better than I anticipated and was pretty close to how I remember the original tasting. The best part? I even added a handful of baby SPINACH to increase the green hue of the shake! It can’t be detected at all in the taste! This would be a great trick to get an extra serving of veggies in for the kids. I topped it with my own Coconut Whipped Cream recipe featured in Delight Gluten-Free Magazine’s Winter 2012 issue which can be found here on Delight’s Recipe page (I substituted 15 drops of liquid stevia instead of xylitol in this recipe).
So I might be a lot more French than Irish, but from a partially Irish girl to all of you, have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!
Vegan Homemade Shamrock Shake (Dairy-free)
This recipe is free of: Gluten, Soy, Dairy, Eggs, and Peanuts. Can be modified to be free of tree nuts.
- 2 cups SO Delicious No Sugar added Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 1 cup almond milk
- 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
- 1 handful baby spinach (optional, but adds great nutrients and natural green color)
- Add all ingredients to a high speed blender.
- Blend until creamy and smooth consistency is reached.
- Top with my Coconut Whipped Cream (dairy-free) recipe. Enjoy chilled, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint leaves.