Taking care of Evie, my companion dog, is a huge priority in my life. She's about 7 years old now and I do everything I can to make sure that she's as happy and healthy as possible every day. Overall, her health is fantastic. She's thriving on the plant-based diet and has had very few health issues in her life. However, she's getting up there in age and every once in a while a few challenges pop up. Evie has some skin sensitivities and digestive distress off an on, and I worry about the long-term effects of giving her flea medications. That's why I was thrilled to try out a homeopathic detox from HomeoAnimal.
Win a pretty glass water bottle and a cool DIY kit for your home!
I'm thrilled to share this giveaway, brought to you by my friends at Digital Shopping Channel (aka DSC). We shot a few videos together, including recipes, mindful living tips and products reviews, which are rolling out on their website and YouTube channel.
DSC will be sending one lucky person two natural home products featured in the videos: a water bottle from Aquasana (featured in this juicing video) and a DIY air plant terrarium from Makers Kit (featured in this meditation video).
Learn more about DSC in the following video and then enter to win the products below!
Here's how to enter the giveaway:
Giveaway ends on Monday, August 8th at 6pm PST. One winner will be chosen to receive both products, through a random drawing using the Rafflecopter widget above. Best of luck to you!!
Serving Size: 1 truffle
Ingredients (buy organic whenever possible):
- coconut flakes: 1 cup
- cacao powder*: 1 tbsp
- coconut oil, melted: 1 tablespoon
- liquid sweetener of choice (I used coconut nectar): 1 tablespoon
- dates, pitted: 4-5
- Green Juice powder**: 1 tbsp
*cocoa powder can be subbed
** use code "ecovegangal" to get 15% off Organifi Green Juice
Video recipe in playlist below
- Add coconut flakes and coconut oil to food processor and blend until well combined.
- While food processor is on, add pitted dates through top, followed by coconut nectar, cacao powder and Green Juice powder
- Stop processor and check for consistency. You want the truffles to be sticky enough to roll into a ball shape. Add another date if needed
- When the consistency has been achieved, form the mixture into truffle shapes and place them on a plate
- Optional: dust the truffles with cacao powder
Store remaining truffles in fridge to keep them cool and fresh.
Learn more about Organifi's Green Juice powder in these videos:
Smoothies are all the rage in the healthy living community and have been creeping their way into households everywhere. It seems that almost everyone has a blender these days, and many homes are equipped with high speed blenders from Vitamix or Blendtec. That's likely because smoothies are such a delicious and easy way to get fruits and vegetables into your diet, whether it be for breakfast, snack or dessert. If you're like me, you make the same couple combinations over and over again, which can get a little boring. Great news: my friend Tess Masters recently launched two amazing tools to solve this dilemma. Get re-inspired with The Blender Girl Smoothies book and mobile app, which provide 100 innovative and lip-smacking recipes to take your blending beverages to the next level.
Vince is a rising star. Mark my words, he will become a vegan household name. I met Vince when he signed up for the Pick My Brain sessions and I was blown away by his enthusiasm and commitment to spreading the healthy vegan message. He has a fantastic website and has a budding YouTube career. Most importantly, he is one of the friendliest and most passionate vegans I have ever met. I'm so excited to introduce you to him today and learn more about his history along with you.
Hey everyone, my name is Vince Lia and first let me say that is an honor to be chosen as an Eco-Vegan Gal Viewer of the Month. I am the man behind the website Healthy Vegan Guy, which is centered around plant based recipes and provides information to educate and inspire others about the benefits of living a healthy vegan lifestyle.
Of course, my life wasn't always like this. Growing up in an Italian family, I was constantly surrounded by cheese, meats and desserts that I ate daily. That was until the day I first heard the words "ulcerative colitis" (UC) that changed my life forever. It was November of 2005 and I started experiencing abdominal pain that I just disregarded as something small that would pass, but it didn't go away. The breaking point came when the pain became so unbearable, I felt like I was going to pass out that I left work and drove myself directly to the doctor's office and then to the Emergency Room. After being discharged, they still did not know what was wrong with me. My first GI doctor had me trying various medications with no luck. It was not until I asked for a colonoscopy that my diagnosis was finally confirmed, but now what?
I was told don't eat vegetables, don't eat this, don't eat that, that you become almost scared to eat anything. My condition and symptoms proceeded to get worse, my medications became stronger, and the effects that this condition can have on you physically is just as bad as the mental toll it takes. I couldn't leave the house without knowing exactly where I was going and the number of bathrooms I could stop at along the way. My life revolved around going to the bathroom and I gradually stopped participating in any physical activities because of this fear, such as playing basketball, running, hiking, etc. My body wasn't absorbing any nutrients and I proceeded to loose about 40-50 pounds. It was at this point that I knew I had to do something.
I started a few diets, some of which did improve my condition slightly, but it wasn't until I migrated to toward a plant based and vegan diet that I noticed substantial improvement. I started by having a fresh juice every morning from a local juice bar. I remember having this and waiting to see how my body was going to react, since I hadn't eaten any raw vegetables in years, and surprisingly, I made it through without any issues. In fact, I felt better. I then gradually introduced salad and vegetables back into my diet, and let me tell you, a salad never tasted so good after not having it for years!!
I gradually eliminated meat from my diet, then all other animal products until I became fully vegan, and that's when the fun started. I started spending more time in the kitchen cooking some delicious vegan meals. I was making food that tasted so good, I didn't even miss the food I once had as a child. Why miss that food when I could create something that tastes just as good, or maybe even better, in my unbiased opinion....haha. I was exposed to world that was not only about food, but an overall lifestyle that I naturally gravitated towards and quickly embraced. I wanted to share this information with others, which I why I decided to create the website. Although I do still take some medication, I have been able to reduce it and hope to become medication free soon. When looking back, you can say that having UC has been a blessing. I may have never embarked on this journey and met such an amazing group of people that share in this passion and live their life with a purpose.
Vince's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: "It is hard to pick a favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video, since there are so many to choose from, but a recent one stands out in my mind. It was a video Whitney did with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and Michelle Cehn to discuss the response to Beyoncé's Vegan Meal Plan. It struck me because we all begin our vegan journeys for different reasons. Most of us consumed animal products at one time in our lives and we should support any progress and embrace it as a positive change, since we never know where someone is on their path. Progress over perfection....right Whitney?"
Right Vince, you know it! :-)
Follow Vince's journey:
- Web Page: http://www.healthyveganguy.com
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbuD2Iu622R8JDO7hA5i25w
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Vegan-Guy/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/healthyveganguy
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/healthyveganguy
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/healthyveganguy/
The Natural Products Expo is my favorite business event of all time. Each Spring and Fall I attend this massive trade show to find the latest and greatest products and mingle with industry insiders. Since this event isn't open to the public, I make it my mission to report on the best products, brands, news and people. This year I wrote an ebook packed with tips on how to make the most of the experience, and I re-joined the We.Blog editorial team for the third show in a row.
The Eco-Vegan Gal Book Club is doing things a little differently for the next month+. I'm partnering with author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, one of my favorite vegans of all time, to feature her book The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She'll be joining Club members live on March 1st to discuss the book and she's offering 2 lucky people copies of the ebook!
Natalie is a true go getter, which is a quality I absolutely adore in people. When I first met her I was surprised by her youth because she presents herself so maturely and professionally online. Her vegan website is beautifully designed and she has a fantastic YouTube channel. Online entrepreneurs, bloggers and vegans around the world will be inspired by her health story and journey.
Hi everyone, I am Natalie Thomas—writer, photographer, and imagination behind FeastingonFruit.com. As if that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I am also a student at the University of Florida working towards my marketing degree and hoping to graduate in 2015. I am a used-to-be horsey girl of 9 years who parted with her equine partner before heading to college. Perhaps I’ll return to that life one day, although I’m still not sure how I feel about the ethics of it. In the past couple of years I have fallen in love with yoga for the movement, the flexibility, the peace, and the fun of going upside down. In addition to baking and creating recipes, I also love graphic design and am starting to love photography too. In other words, I’m an artsy girl with way too many ideas and not enough time to create them all.
I grew up in a healthy-ish home. My mom tried really hard to feed us healthy and has always and will always believe that homemade is superior to anything in a box. Salty snacks were scarce in my house, but the sweets were abundant. I had quite the sweet tooth, and lots of homemade baked goods around to satisfy it. Some of my best childhood memories are of baking with my mom and sister. We decorated cakes and cookies and even plastic plates if there was nothing better to frost. Despite that, I was a pretty healthy kid.
High school hit and I started to think more about food and health. To decrease my junk food intake, my sister and I adopted the concept of “junk food days” twice a week and no junk food on the other 5 days. Looking back it was a bad idea for a few reasons. Those “junk food days” became sickening full of candy and chocolate and ice cream, and way too much of it all. But I also think it was the start of a not-so-good relationship with food. Foods became good and bad, foods became a focal point, food became something to restrict. I’ll get back to this later…
A recurring theme of my story is trying to imitate my older sister. I love her beyond measure, but I really had trouble being my own person around her. When I was a freshman in high school, she decided to become a vegetarian. I’m not sure if she did it for health or ethics, but without much thought I followed suit. The same thing happened a few years later when she decided to become vegan. That was about 4 years ago, and I’ve been vegan ever since. Also during the crazy mixed-up time we call high school, I began to take the food restriction thing too far. It turned into an eating disorder with food restriction and over-exercise, and a whole host of other physical and emotional challenges that make it completely not worth any skinny body. I am just now starting to really work on repairing my relationship with food and my body. In addition to recipes, I have started to share my thoughts about recovery on my blog as I find the words and courage to do so.
Health is still a work in progress for me, but I’d love for you to come on over to FeastingonFruit.com and share the journey.
Natalie's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: "I wanted to simply post a link to Whitney’s entire YouTube channel, because every single video is full of information, inspiration, and/or yummy food. But to narrow it down, I really love the Q&As because of their wonderful length and personal feel. This Q&A with Kathy Patalsky was beyond incredible: I love both Whitney and Kathy, and I love them even more together!"
Follow Natalie's journey: