Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.
Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my morning juice when traveling
my morning juice when traveling
breakfast BAS
breakfast BAS
and another
and another
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...
Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...
last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…
roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)
roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome
it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!
at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!
me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!
that’s my driveway and front yard!
dude kayaking through the street
dude kayaking through the street
view from my front yard
view from my front yard
blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.
blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase
Ginny jumped in my briefcase
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.
I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...
I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…
Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.
Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.
spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.
spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.
that tongue...
that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece
hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)
with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

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Kuma tagging along
Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
me, JG and RM last night
me, JG and RM last night

 

 

Veganism, Activism, Food, and Having a Famous Daughter

FOOD

I believe I warned you all in my post yesterday.  I have food pics.  Lot’s of food pics.  Mainly because I’ve had lots of great food!

I admit that the food gluttony didn’t start until later in the day yesterday than planned.  After my run, I grabbed a banana at the hotel, and had intentions of grabbing a light lunch in the University of Texas – Austin area (which is where I’m staying).  Long story, but that didn’t happen.

BUT…that’s not to say I starved all day.  In fact….this happened…

I hit up Whole Foods to grab a bite.  Sadly, the pho was flavorless (no pic), but this...this was brilliant.
I hit up Whole Foods to grab a bite. Sadly, the pho was flavorless (no pic), but this…this was brilliant.
there were several food trucks at the Vida Vegan Con Bazaar.  I didn't get anything, but I was tempted by the vegan corn dog!
there were several food trucks at the Vida Vegan Con Bazaar. I didn’t get anything, but I was tempted by the vegan corn dog!
Arlo's - which I also didn't partake of, but heard was awesome.
Arlo’s – which I also didn’t partake of, but heard was awesome.
yet another food truck that I didn't get anything from....but it sounded great.
yet another food truck that I didn’t get anything from….but it sounded great.
I DID, however, eat here!  The Vegan Nom is a very vegan-famous taco place here in Austin, and I just had to have one.  This is the Jalisco.  I could eat it every day!
I DID, however, eat here! The Vegan Nom is a very vegan-famous taco place here in Austin, and I just had to have one. This is the Jalisco. I could eat it every day!

And then there was today!  Both breakfast and lunch were buffets as the conference – but make no mistake.  I hear “buffet”, and I picture Golden Corral or some cafeteria type place.  These buffets were ridiculous.  And I mean that in the best possible way.

this was my plate - though I wish I had snapped a shot of the spread.  Breakfast taco with chorizo, tofu, black beans, and yummy toppings.  And potatoes and a slice of toast with Earth Balance coconut spread and a slice of vegan cheese.
this was my plate – though I wish I had snapped a shot of the spread. Breakfast taco with chorizo, tofu, black beans, and yummy toppings. And potatoes and a slice of toast with Earth Balance coconut spread and a slice of vegan cheese.
lunch was this crazy deconstructed bowl line - can't even describe all the ingredients, but mine had kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, roasted cauliflowers, and a creamy ranch sauce.  my most epic BAS in a long time. I also double fisted the desserts.  Coconut panna cotta with toasted quinoa and spicy pineapple, and a blood orange tapioca with crispy ginger.  Freaking ridiculous.
lunch was this crazy deconstructed bowl line – can’t even describe all the ingredients, but mine had kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, roasted cauliflowers, coconut bacon, and a creamy ranch sauce. my most epic BAS in a long time. I also double fisted the desserts. Coconut panna cotta with toasted quinoa and spicy pineapple, and a blood orange tapioca with crispy ginger. Freaking ridiculous.

I’m going to dedicate a separate post to dinner tonight since I’m going to a supper club hosted by Chef Chad Sarno and his brother.  Should be pretty freaking amazing.  Or freaking ridiculous, since that appears to be the word of the day.

FITNESS

After my run yesterday, I showered and cleaned up, and it was still too early for lunch.  So…I decided to go for a walk around the University and kill time.  Then I decided I wanted to walk to Whole Foods.

In the end, I walked 8 miles AFTER my morning run.  Yeah, no guilt in that last taco I ate 🙂

random sighting on my walk.
random sighting on my walk.

This morning when I woke up my hips and calf muscles were tight – I’m assuming from the hills!  I opted for a half hour of yoga in my hotel room before getting ready for the day.

LIFE

I learned that Whole Foods originated right here in Austin, TX, so I just HAD to go see the mother ship!  She was beautiful.

seriously, there were multiple restaurants and bar areas INSIDE.  I want one...
seriously, there were multiple restaurants and bar areas INSIDE. I want one…

Then it was off to the Marchesa Hall & Theater for the Vegan Bazaar.  It was open to the public, which was really awesome.  There were the food tucks, of course, but also vendors galore as well as tables for various animal activist groups.  It was awesome (aka, ridiculous).  I personally picked up a t-shirt from the Compassion Co, a tank from Herbivore Clothing, a mason jar smoothie thing from Meaningful Paws, some stickers and buttons (I LOVE buttons), and this gorgeous bag for my daughter A from Cykochik.

one of the vendor tables!
one of the vendor tables!
my new t's!
my new t’s and smoothie/juice jar!
bag for A!  It's called Love Bunnies.
bag for A! It’s called Love Bunnies.

There were also many great speakers and demos, including a great one from Fran Costigan that I really enjoyed.

As for today – today was the first full official day, and it was amazing (or ridiculous!).  Both yesterday and today, I got to connect with new and familiar faces alike.  I’m planning to do a recap post with links to all these great people, so I encourage you to check them out when I do.

the selfie I sent to D since I can't see him today.  Clearly excited, right?!
the selfie I sent to D since I can’t see him today. Clearly excited, right?!
the conference Swag Bag of Wonder!  Conferences where you get tons of free food and fun stuff is excellent.
the conference Swag Bag of Wonder! Conferences where you get tons of free food and fun stuff is excellent.

Breakfast was with Amey from Vegan Eats & Treats, and her wonderful mom!  Her mom and I had a long and delightful conversation about healthcare.  She’s been in women’s health her whole career, and is heavily involved in the Santa Cruz community.  She shared some amazing programs they have launched, and it was just an amazing time.

I had a similar conversation with Jessica from Sprouts & Chocolate.  Totally delightful.

These conversations were revolutionary to me.  In vegan circles there is certainly a LOT of conversations about health.  Typically those I’ve heard or been involved with are related to personal health.  My personal passion (other than veganism of course!) is in global health – and I loved finding and talking to so many people who were interested or engaged in the state of healthcare affairs in their communities – who are interested in making a difference on the policy side as much as within their own lives.

I took a break and sat outside to type out some of my session notes!

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In order to not write a total novel, I will recap the sessions in future posts after I’ve had a chance to distill some of the messages and what they mean to me – and not just ramble on and on.

So summarize this post, it’s been another remarkable, enlightening, and inspiring day at Vida Vegan Con Austin!

And of course on the home front…pictures!

All weekend long, I’ve had people come up to me and tell me how much they love the morning pictures – how it’s the first thing they see in the morning.  Amey told her mom how much R smiles now that she has braces and how adorable they are.  How the love they have just shines through each picture.  I told R today that she’s famous, and that everyone looks forward to her and her dad’s pics every day.  Then I told D that I needed a morning pic, even though it was a weekend.  I didn’t want to fend off a mob of people looking for one!

So, here’s today’s morningpic!  Right after R woke up.

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And a selfie of D in the pool!

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And my first harvest!  A radish – that grew this big from a seed 6 weeks ago!  Caterpillars have decimated the leaves, so D pulled one.  Said it was spicy and awesome!  Can’t wait to get home and eat these bad boys.

V__6D1C

 

 

 

Candles & Cats Don’t Mix

FOOD

I start every morning with a cup of black coffee. And despite many people's claims that to truly get healthy one must kick the habit…not going to happen. One cup of coffee isn't going to suck my body into acidic hell. So it stays. And that will make me and everyone around me (especially in the morning!) very happy!

That said….

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie, lunch was a quick spicy tofu soup, I had a post-run snack of a baked potato with refried pinto beans and hot sauce, and dinner was a soup and salad.

my standard recipe of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sriracha. This version was also cabbage and asparagus.

Breakfast today was a green juice (used up the last of my kale and cucumber!), morning snack was a green smoothie (and used the last of the pineapple), lunch was spicy hummus and gluten-free seed crackers (not pleased with this choice…truth be told…but found myself hungry after yoga, really sweaty, and no easy meal in site), a PM snack of Allegro hot chocolate in unsweetened coconut milk, and dinner was a butternut squash and black bean soup served over quinoa.

I've been loving making juices almost every day the past two weeks. I hope to get these in at least 3 days per week once I go back to work. It's also a great way to use up produce that's not going to last much longer!
threw in a scoop of Vega Vanilla Smoothie powder for some extra staying power
holy crap, this was good. Whole family loved it. D and M each had two servings.

FITNESS

Yesterday – shortly after writing my “come clean” post – I went for a run. I am on W2D2 (week 2, day 2) of the 10K app, and the run was just under 2.5 miles. I will be honest – it's a bit frustrating. The app includes walk breaks – and the goal is to build up the endurance – and I really just want to blow through them sometimes, especially when I'm feeling strong, but I also know that overduing it is dumb.

Today I went to a hot yoga class, and I have a new favorite instructor! I took his class earlier in the week, and he's just awesome. Great instruction, walks through the class to be sure everyone is in the right alignment, and has a great and playful energy. I have a feeling I'll be specifically seeking out his classes in the future.

LIFE

The past two days have been blissfully simple. Today was my last day off, and this time away from work has been quite lovely. We're gearing up for a busy year, so I'm glad to come into it after a week and a half off!

D is feeling great and is allowed to have fiber again. No raw broccoli or anything, but he's back to his green smoothies, is putting weight back on, and looks awesome. Kids have mostly been big lumps and enjoying their vacations too!

In this morning's meditation session, Ginny joined me…like she always does. This time, she decided to check out my candle a little too closely and ended up with a singed whisker! She was fine, but the room smelled awful, so I cut my meditation short (only 4 minutes in!).

I have a confession to make. I totally love the Biggest Loser. While I disagree with some of what they do (losing 15 lbs in a week…no matter how big you are…can't possibly be good for the long term), I do still find the show fun and inspiring. I can relate to people who want to change their lives, regain their health, and need help doing it. Thing is, I haven't watched it much the past few years and completely forgot about it. Until this week. And in between reading, cleaning, relaxing, and hanging out with my family….I've been binge watching the heck out of Season 16 on Hulu.

my Biggest Loser companion…though she clearly fails to see the value of the show!

 

GOAL CHECK IN

I know it's only been two days, but here's how I stand with it:

  • 100% gluten free
  • worked out both days
  • no wine
  • the crackers today – while GF, were still a processed food. I was really disappointed in that. I haven't bulk cooked, and when I got home from yoga, the kids were in the kitchen making lunches for themselves (tofurky sammiches!), and so I didn't have the room to make something. Truth is…I could have picked something better. Even a banana to get me through a half hour until I could reclaim the kitchen.
  • meditated yesterday for 8 minutes and today for 4. Yesterday's was bad…mind kept wandering…but that's part of the process. Today was great until the smell…
  • my goal is to be around 1200 calories per day. Nailed it today….was under yesterday (which is NOT good). I think it was partially because I slept in yesterday and also went to bed fairly early last night, so there really weren't enough hours in the day. And while I've been tracking my calories for years…there's a shift when I'm not drinking any!

 

 

No, Kim Kardashian’s Butt Isn’t the Topic of This Post

FOOD

The past couple of days have been very simple on the food front. I like that about FitOrbit – simple and clean meals. I didn't do 100% of their meals, but when I subbed something of my own, it was with similar nutritional breakdown.

Take for example my mornings. They are hectic and I certainly don't have time on a week day to make a tempeh scramble! My go to's are smoothies, and now (when I make a big batch in advance on Sunday), the quinoa/berry/coconut milk yogurt breakfast. I'll save the time-consuming dishes for the weekends (maybe).

So naturally I've had smoothies or quinoa the past two days! I did pick up a new raw vegan protein powder by Garden of Life called Raw Fit. It's high in protein and low in sugar, so exactly what I was looking for. I love my Vega too, but wanted to try something new. So far (and I've only made two smoothies with it!), I'm a fan.

My smoothie is 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 2-3 cups greens (spinach or kale or both!), and 1 scoop of powder. It's tasty and very filling.

Snacks have been veggies mostly (like cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper strips), popcorn, wasabi chickpeas, and…admittedly…a piece of much needed dark chocolate (it had cinnamon and pepper oil – CRAZY hot and strangely tasty).

I had a slow cooker veggie chili for two days in a row. I'm not complaining at all because it was good and I love leftovers!

FITNESS

Yesterday I hit up a hot yoga class after work. It was an awesome class. I love this instructor – she gives such great verbal cues that not only has me verifying my alignment in each pose, but she articulates it in a way that not only explains exactly what my body is doing, but what benefits it's getting too. Pretty much all of the instructors at this studio are like that, and I love it.

Today was cycling, an exercise band workout, and a quick (but killer) ab workout. Abs before work, cycling and strength after. I keep thinking it would be great to be a morning exerciser…but I hate mornings almost as much as I hate being cold (and those that know me, know that I hate that a LOT). Mornings are a necessary evil, but purposely getting up an hour or two before I absolutely have to seems insane.

LIFE

It's been a good two days. I don't have any late nights again for over a week, and I'm definitely taking advantage of that! I took R to her swim team practice on Wednesday (something I don't get to do often). I love watching her swim. It's hard for me to fathom that she's a competitive swimmer at 10 (and has been for nearly 2 years!). With my hectic schedule I don't get to take her often, but definitely love it when I do.

Last night I went to yoga before going home. Since dinner was in a crockpot, it worked out perfectly. Chili and Almost Human, and we were all quite happy!

On the happy news front (because news isn't usually a happy topic), a US Congresswoman from my very own state of Virginia has proposed legislation to ban animal testing for cosmetics! I know in a climate where everyone is worried about the economy, jobs, healthcare, unrest in the Ukraine and Venezuela, and Kim Kardashian's butt size, I think it's great that this is coming forward. I honestly think that if people understood the extreme torture that cosmetic animal testing causes – for NO REASON (non-animal testing has proven to be more reliable, less expensive, and obviously cruelty-free), that this bill should be a no-brainer. Then again, I've thought that about many other proposed laws before….please don't let us down (again) Congress!

I almost forgot, I got a special delivery at work yesterday! I get back to my office and found this on my desk! Inside were two bags full of specific fruit, veggie, and herb goodies with two recipe cards. I had no clue who it was from, but was quite excited anyway 🙂

With that said….THE WEEKEND IS HERE! On my agenda is a group hike with R at the botanical gardens tomorrow, my eldest coming home from university, a family movie, grocery shopping, running, yoga, and (heaven help me) lots of sleep.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

 

 

Gonna Go All Exorcist Now….

FOOD

Nope, this exorcist post has nothing to do with pea soup – that was a couple months ago here 🙂

Breakfast was another green smoothie. Coconut milk, banana, spinach, frozen mixed fruit, and a cut up pear. Like yesterdays, it was really filling. I wonder if it's the loaded fiber of the pear that's doing that….anyway, it's a keeper.

I was at a work-sponsored leadership conference at work all day. 1700 people, and nothing I could eat for lunch. I usually assume that'll be the case (I mean really, probably not a lot of vegan's in the group), but I had thrown a banana and a clif bar in my purse before heading to the convention center, so I wasn't in danger of starving or anything.

Dinner was very simple. An oven-baked sweet potato with pepper, and a small salad with onion, avocado, and salsa.

FITNESS

I did end up going to a hot yoga class after the conference. I was seriously considering skipping it – I was exhausted – but D told me I'd feel so much better if I went, so I did.

And he was right! I was almost falling asleep lying on my mat before class started, but it ended up being amazing. I had killer focus and managed to get deeper into two postures than I ever had before. So yay!

I will say, that's one of the things I love about yoga. My brain swirls constantly – I have no idea how to “shut it off”, and I always envy people who can totally veg out and not “think” about anything. Not me….it's constant head chatter in my melon. Problem solving, list making, worrying about something, making plans for something, figuring out something I forgot to do, etc. All the time – except with yoga. For that 60-90 minutes, my brain doesn't focus on anything other than what I'm doing at that exact moment. I don't think about earlier or later, but right then.

However – according to the crack pot running for Lt. Governor of my wonderful Virginia – yoga will turn me into some demon/devil kind of thing. No shit. So many people I know are screwed….

An excerpt of his wildly ridiculous interview is below. Link to article also included in case you want to laugh and be horrified, all at the same time…

….”E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, suggested that yoga could open individuals to Satan, according to a report…

“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. … The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. … [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/ew-jackson-virginia-lieutenant-governor-yoga-satan-92321.html#ixzz2jFlPuUhA

So watch out…I may go all exorcist any day now….

LIFE

Today was our annual leadership conference for work. While all the State of the Unions, updates, and presentations are generally nice, my favorite part is seeing people I don't get to see very often – sometimes only at this meeting. That was certainly true today!

After work was yoga, then making dinner, pumpkin carving, and now it's time to pick up the house and head in the direction of bed. Happy Hump Day!!!

 

 

Growing With Something (a product review #VegaOneStart)

FOOD REVIEW

Okay, so it's seriously groovy to “grow up” with a product and see how much we've both matured over the years! I became a vegan nearly 7 years ago (day after Thanksgiving, 2006), and one of the first products I used was Vega whole foods powder.

I read a lot, and it was a product that was often mentioned in Vegetarian Times magazine, but not something I could find on the shelves. So, after being impressed by what a complete nutritional package it was, I bit the bullet, and ordered a bin online. Admittedly, it was NOT cheap, but, at the time, I was worried about things like protein and fiber (and who isn't, right – I mean especially when we've all been raised to think you can only get enough protein from animal products, and no one eating a Standard American Diet gets enough fiber!), and I thought this would be a sure way to keep my diet balanced.

Well fast forward, and Vega has really grown! They revamped their formula to be easier to blend, came out with new and fun flavors, launched several different lines including a sports line, raw bars, are available on the shelves of Whole Foods, and the founder Brendan Brazier (an amazing world champ triathlete) has even published a few books (that I am the proud owner of). So when Vega asked me to do a review of their new starter pack, I was very happy to!

What's fun about the starter pack is there is little commitment involved. The big tubs are still quite pricy (but worth it when you can get 30+ smoothies out of it), and these little packs means you can try them, decide if they're worth it to you, and also give you a little variety in flavors.

kit arrived in the mail!  The only thing I didn't like was the Styrofoam peanuts.  I would like to see vegan companies also embrace environmentalism, and use a biodegradable alternative to Styrofoam.
kit arrived in the mail! The only thing I didn't like was the Styrofoam peanuts. I would like to see vegan companies also embrace environmentalism, and use a biodegradable alternative to Styrofoam.
two chocolate, two chai vanilla, and one berry pack, plus a coupon and little recipe booklet
two chocolate, two chai vanilla, and one berry pack, plus a coupon and little recipe booklet

I drink smoothies most days, and when I know it's going to be my only meal for awhile, I ALWAYS use Vega (which I've certainly blogged about before). What's fun, is that you aren't limited to just making smoothies with them. The vanilla chai is a particularly yummy stirred in to a bowl of oatmeal for some added punch and flavor, for example. I've also tossed some into homemade granola bars. And while I'm not a big chocolate eater, the combo of the chocolate pack, coconut milk, and frozen banana is one of my all-time favorites.

Vega also has a very active online community where people share their favorite ways to use it. If you're starting out in the smoothie world, exploring more plant-based meals, or just want to up your nutrition, it's a good place to connect. check out My Vega and Thrive Forward for more info.

I want to leave this review with a few fun facts about one pack (or scoop) of Vega powder, just in case you weren't sure how awesome it is for you…

• 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals
• 15g protein
• 6 g fiber
• 1.5g Omega-3
• 3 servings of greens
• Antioxidants
• Probiotics

And don't let all that healthiness scare you away. If it wasn't good, believe me, I wouldn't eat/drink it. And if you're looking for a way to build some more goodness into your diet, vegan or not, this is a great way to start. So my advice? Pick up a starter pack, give it a go, and then let me know what you think!

I was given this product free by the company, though the views expressed here are not influenced in any way by that fact. I've been a Vega fan for years, and was happy to check out a new offering in their product line.