Vegan Street Fair!

Well hello there. I’ve emerged from my writer’s hibernation (no, that’s not really a thing- my life has just been terribly out of balance recently), to talk about the Vegan Street Fair that happened a couple of weekends ago in LA. It was- in a word- amazing.

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Overwhelmed, right from the start

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Fun fact: I do not live in LA. But I decided that this event was worth the 4 hour drive from Vegas to enjoy the magic of a festival ALL ABOUT vegan food. Obviously. So I grabbed two other vegan friends and my non-vegan bestie and we embarked on what turned out to be a very long, verrry delicious day.

I’d never been to a vegan fest of any kind before and honestly didn’t know what to expect, but oh. Oh wow. The funny thing is that we came into the fair at an angle that didn’t have much traffic. Maybe 6 food trucks and a few long lines, but it made it look like a fairly small event. My first thought was this is it? but as we turned the corner, I saw everything I’d been dreaming of. And so much more.

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Two unicorns and a horse

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We got free Parmesan fries from the Follow Your Heart booth (LOVE them), along with a free vegan egg sample pack and more FYH swag. We chugged down flavorful kombucha, ate potato tornadoes, tasted the vegan versions of Cajun and Indian cuisine, shared a Beyond Burger, and ate more sweets than we probably should have.

The nice thing is that the many, many booths of VSF had small bite-sized, appropriately priced servings. So while we ate a huge variety, we didn’t break the bank in the slightest! And though we left full, it wasn’t the awful full-to-bursting feeling.

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Pretty sure I still have dreams about the potato tornado

And the merch! That’s something I would have (should have??) spent all my money on, but how could I have picked just one vegan tee/tote/sweatshirt? Maybe next time.

What made my heart soar was just seeing the sheer amount of people that came out for the fest. Because holy crap. And they were all wearing really great vegan swag. That’s California for ya. It was so encouraging- coming from Vegas, where there are a decent selection of vegan options but a lack of vegan social events + community- to see all the people (vegan or not) that came out to enjoy the festival. Just knowing that more people are embracing the vegan lifestyle (or even just eating more vegan food) makes me feel pretty damn good inside.

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Photo creds to my gal Sara

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After the festival, we decided to go to the beach. I mean, how could we drive all that way (from the middle of the desert, no less), and not go to the beach. Nevermind the cold water, nevermind that it was another hour away and we still had another long drive home ahead of us. We went to the beach. And it was glorious.

Santa Monica seemed like a no brainer, probably because it’s the one beach we’d all been to the most. We stuck our toes in the water, cursed ourselves for not having money to rent bikes for some beach cruising, and just felt overall refreshed and happy at the day.

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Somehow the little beach jaunt left us all starving. Veggie Grill was the only solution. I’m still eagerly awaiting the day that Vegas gets a Veggie Grill. I would give them MORE than enough business with my frequent patronage. They are so damn good. And it felt amazing to just sit down and really eat a meal after sampling what we could at the fair.

It wound up being the perfect day. Good food, happy vibes, and even better friends. I would do it all again every single weekend if I could (maybe if someone else did all the driving, more likely). I’m definitely still getting food envy from all the pictures I see posted of what others ate at the fair. Some lines were just too ridiculously long, but it sure looks like it was worth it.

 

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Can I get married in a Veggie Grill? Or to a Veggie Grill?

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I’d love to make it a thing for me to just travel around, going to all the vegan festivals and fairs around the country world. I’m working on it. Til the next time.

 

 

Beet by Beet

Yep, I did just do that. I’m a sucker for puns.

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We’re 22 days into the new year, and thank goodness. 2016 was so full. Maybe too full for me. A lot of travel, graduating college, and personal milestones. But also a lot of shit swirling in the world at large. Oh man.

I feel refreshed, as new beginnings tend to inspire. Everyone seems to make really wonderful resolutions at the start of the year, go strong for a few months, and then abandon them entirely, often by accident. What was your resolution last year? Do you remember? I don’t. So screw resolutions, I’m trying something different for myself this year. And so far, so good. Inspired by that minimalism documentary on Netflix, I am aiming to live a more deliberate life in every way possible. On a daily basis, I ask myself what is adding value to my life, and then I shed what doesn’t. It’s more than just stuff. I have a ton of bad habits. But I’m making a genuine effort to change that. Because if not now, then when?

I’ve stuck to doing yoga every single day (even if it’s just one sun salutation) and have committed to making a smoothie for breakfast at least 5 days out of the week. And I’m proud. Because consistency is hard for me (note the multiple month gap in posts).

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Smoothies are SUCH a great start to the mornings, and I’ve actually started looking forward to each one. I get to be creative (although I tend to put peanut butter in almost every one, sue me), and they’ve helped to normalize my appetite.

Plus, I get to share them with anyone who happens to be nearby, which is a win on both ends. Everything tastes better shared. I wish the newest addition to our family, Genevieve, could agree.

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At least she likes being around plants. If anything, we’re kindred spirits in that way.

In addition to my usual breakfast smoothie this morning, I had this fabulous beet smoothie for lunch! It was originally going to be a beet juice, but I opted not to strain it and instead drink it in its thick, wholesome entirety.

Ingredients:

2 beets, peeled

1 apple, cored

2 carrots, peeled

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 ice cubes

12 oz coconut water

+as much water as you want to thin it out!

I Vitamixed (can that be a word?) all of that up and drank it down. So nourishing + detoxifying!

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I intend to continue on with these healthy habits, and to make 2017 a year of continued growth…. and plentiful smoothies.

I hope that 2017 is so, so good to you.

Plaaaaaaants

 

They are everywhere. Even as I look around my room, this fact is glaring. From the paper making up my stacks of journals, to the cotton in my bedsheets, to the obvious noble jade plant on my windowsill, to the wood that gave shape to my ukulele. Plants. Are. Everywhere. And I love it.

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Regal af fairy castle cactus

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This blog is a result of that realization. My life truly feels “provided by plants.” Certainly, much more makes up my life, but from my purely plant-based diet, to my reliance on herbs for medicines, to all the subtle ways plants lend themselves to my daily life, it’s impossible to ignore their importance.

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Chaste Tree spotted in Vegas!

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From the medicine cabinet

So here we are. I write to honor my favorite uses for various plants. I write to record my journey on the path to becoming an herbalist. I write because plants simply deserve the attention! So buckle in, and maybe you’ll feel the plant love too.