Tag: healthy

Dietetic Intern + New Endeavors

Dietetic Intern + New Endeavors

If any of you have maintained a blog for years, then you understand the realities of coming and going in your blog life due to literally anything else in the world. Although I have been in and out, I have (or at least tried to!) […]

Vegan Salad Round-up

Vegan Salad Round-up

Salads are the easiest way to get in a ton of delicious veggies. They’re generally low in calories but  high in so many essential nutrients among other awesome things, like protein, fiber, & antioxidants, depending on the ingredients you choose to use. Being so versatile and easy […]

Why you should reconsider your coffee brand.

Why you should reconsider your coffee brand.

I’m sitting here on this gorgeous Saturday morning taking my first couple sips of hot coffee. If you’re a coffee lover like me, you know that bliss. There’s nothing like the smell and taste of hot coffee on a Saturday morning. But I had to travel all the way to Whole Foods in order to get organic, fair trade coffee grounds. [This weekend I am house sitting Taylor’s parents house and they do not have organic coffee. So yes, I traveled all the way to Whole Foods just to get some.]


After being a loyal customer to Grounds for Change for almost two years now, it’s difficult to accept anything less. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I won’t have some Starbucks or something else once in a while (by the way today I purchased Allegro’s organic fair trade coffee from Whole Foods: this flavor). But I’m really passionate about supporting organic, fair trade, shade grown, and carbon free coffee. What makes the difference between the quality of coffee depends on it’s production and growing process; literally before it reaches your cup is what matters the most.

Grounds for Change is a sustainable business, and when food production is sustainable, it “preserves the land’s capacity to grow and nourish food into the future. Sustainable agriculture does not damage the environment or harm human health, and offers a safe work environment and a fair wage to the farmer, supporting and enhancing rural life. Because sustainable farmers see nature as an ally rather an obstacle, they are able to produce more wholesome food using less fossil fuel, thus contributing less to climate change. Unlike industrial farming, sustainable farming does not rely on synthetic pesticides, artificial hormones, or routine use of antibiotics.”1

What contributes to their sustainability is producing coffee that is fair trade and organic certified, carbon free, and shade grown.

Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), fair trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers, and enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.2

Certified organic coffee is grown by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality. Grounds for Change coffee is grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, thereby assuring the health of the soil, the forest and the farmers.3

Shade grown: Traditionally, coffee was shade-grown on biodiverse farms, which preserved animal and bird habitats, but the demand for coffee has fueled the creation of “sun grown” monoculture plantations, which means a number of bad things for the environment, including clear cutting of native forests and intensive fertilizer and pesticide use.4 In addition, Rainforest Alliance certification is focused on the ecological effects of coffee-growing – their major goals are protection of biodiversity and stopping deforestation.

Carbon free certified: Grounds for Change utilizes Carbonfund.org’s reforestation program to offset the complete carbon dioxide footprint of their coffee production.

Overall, I urge you to look beyond just taste when you decide on a coffee brand. I discovered Grounds for Change when I started making French Press coffee at home and sought out organic coffee. But this company goes beyond organic; I fell in love with their philosophy and became a dedicated customer immediately. If you are currently purchasing a conventional brand, please reconsider! As you can see, your purchasing decisions have an impact on the Earth & environment, our health, and farmers around the world.  You’re supporting so many awesome things when you purchase sustainable coffee. If you want to switch up your coffee brand, your best bet is to research and look into the coffee brand online so you can read about their philosophy and production practices. Then you can make an informed purchasing decision. [Hint: look for brands who really emphasize their sustainable practices!] Although some small farmers are simply not financially capable of the certification labels, consider purchasing a coffee brand that has the certifications listed in this article.

  1. http://www.sustainabletable.org/1117/welcome-to-sustainable-table
  2. http://www.sustainabletable.org/944/these-labels-are-so-confusing
  3. http://www.groundsforchange.com/learn/organic.php?
  4. http://www.gracelinks.org/blog/6034/real-food-right-now-and-how-to-cook-it-coffee

Note: I was not asked to write this post and I am not being paid for it either. This post is out of sincere loyalty to Grounds for Change + all other coffee producers who support sustainable practices. 🙂


What it’s like to be an imperfect vegan.

What it’s like to be an imperfect vegan.

Perfection. Why is everyone always trying to be perfect? We all know it really doesn’t exist, because perfection lies in the eye of the beholder. You might think that statue is perfect, but he might think it’s flawed. I might think the weather is perfect, […]

Conscious Bite Out: a volunteer’s perspective

Conscious Bite Out: a volunteer’s perspective

Last night I volunteered at an exclusive event called Conscious Bite Out in Wynwood, Miami. The event took place in an enchanting, modern spot called The Sacred Space Miami, with dimmed lights, tea candles and spider green flowers delicately placed everywhere. It really was such a gorgeous ambiance that fit the theme of the event. This four course, wine paired dinner was completely vegan and served over 50 like-hearted people who were all passionate about the benefits of a plant-based diet yet wanted to have a great time. Originally I wanted to attend the event myself but it was a little bit too pricey for my graduate-student-wallet, and when I received an e-mail seeking volunteers, there was no question I would like to help!


photo // @pamelawasabi


photo // @carolina


photo // @pamelawasabi

The event started with Veev Organic cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, which was followed by the four course dinner that sat in a dining room with a huge communal table full of tea candles and the green spider flowers. It really was gorgeous! The chefs of the event were Massimiliano Lozzi from Full Bloom on Miami Beach, acclaimed chef and educator Pamela Wasabi, and Diego Tosoni from Love Life Wellness.


Although the coordinators of the event were professional, they were also super kind and friendly. The volunteers were allowed to try the food and even enjoy the cocktails and wine. My favorite part was obviously being able to try the food (every single person at the event was an acclaimed foodie), my favorite being one of the hors d’oeuvres: black peppercorn cherry nut cheese, with smoked black lentil and pomegranate on a raw rosemary crisp (pictured above). That little killer was packed full of deliciousness.

I was able to meet so many wonderful people both attending the dinner and those who were volunteering/working that held similar beliefs in the power of a plant-based diet. Being able to enjoy this event behind the scenes was totally worth it and I hope to volunteer for the next one.



  • Black peppercorn cherry nut cheese, rosemary crisp, smoked black lentil, pomegranate
  • Wild porcini mushroom cauliflower risotto, woodchard asparagus, on a cream of vegetable reduction
  • Capresa bite infused with sweet onion balsamic reduction, basil arugula pesto


  • Raw living sushi roll, ginger, wasabi pate, mango chili sause, sprouts


  • Crispy green kale & rainbow heirloom carrot strudel, ‘cream cheese’, wild flowers


  • Red beet ‘pappardelle, purple asparagus, oyster mushrooms, grape tomatoes, cream sauce, fresh herbs


  • Hazelnut waffle, rosehip cream, black fig and liquorish ice cream, dark chocolate, rum

“Why do We do what we do? Because We believe that by creating awareness about our food choices, to the community and to our local Chefs, can inspire and support a change that is not only much needed for everyone’s health but also the environment. The future depends on us…” – Conscious Bite Out


 Till next time, <3

Recipe Feature: “Faux-fredo”

Recipe Feature: “Faux-fredo”

Healthy Recipe Ecstasy: Garlicky White Bean Pasta Faux-Fredo with Kale Pesto There comes a time every few weeks where veggies start to run out in the fridge. Instead of running out to the grocery store immediately, I get creative with the pantry, usually using “processed carbs,” such […]

Vegan Chickpea Tuna Sandwich

Vegan Chickpea Tuna Sandwich

It’s about time I shared this amazing recipe. Some people don’t like the taste of tuna, this recipe is  perfect for you. Some people want to cut back on their mercury intake  (tuna is one of the highest seafoods in mercury), this recipe is perfect […]

Ultimate Running Playlist

Ultimate Running Playlist


It has been becoming more frequent that I listen to music while I go for my runs. Generally, I enjoy a no-fuss workout, just putting on my running outfit, grabbing my sunglasses and out the door. But when you increase your miles you need things like gels, an i.d., and sometimes a little music motivation to keep you running.  (I recently bought this running belt that fits my entire phone, keys, and a gel pack. It’s amazing!).

That being said I still try to run without music sometimes because I enjoy listening to the world around me, hearing myself breathe and making sure I am alert with any cars or traffic going on. BUT, like I said, I have been enjoying the music as well. So over the past few months or so I have been compiling a “running playlist” that I think others will enjoy. Obviously this playlist can be used for any type of workout. I promise, it gets you pumped! I had to go through my songs while typing this list up, and I am ready to workout right now.

  1. I Got U (feat. Jax Jones), Duke Dumont
  2. Love for you, Kove
  3. Jubel (original mix), Klingande
  4. Running (Disclosure remix), Jessie Ware
  5. Cinema (feat. Gary Go)[Radio Edit], Benny Benassi & Garry Go
  6. Firestone (feat. Conrad Sewell), Kygo
  7. Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better), Felix Jaehn
  8. My Love, Route 94
  9. My feelings for you (original mix), Avicii
  10. Bootleg Fireworks (The Rebirth), Dillon Francis
  11. Faded, Zhu
  12. Streamers, Wave Racer
  13. Gold (Moon Booths Remix), Bondax
  14. Long Time (Benny Benassi Edit), John de Sohn
  15. Gecko (radio edit), Oliver Heldens
  16. Thinking about you (feat. Ayah Marar)
  17. Animaux, Kidnap Kid
  18. Lean On (feat. MO & DJ Snake), Major Lazer
  19. You Know You Like It, DJ Snake & Aluna George
  20. Revolution (feat. Faustix & Imanos And Kai), Diplo
  21. Okay, Shiba San
  22. Blame (feat. John Newman), Calvin Harris
  23. Electric Feel, MGMT
  24. I will be here (feat. sneaky sound system), Tiesto
  25. Lost You (feat. Twin Shadow & D’Angelo Lacy, Zeds Dead

I tried to put my most favorites at the top and my least favorites near the bottom… but it was hard. Regardless, I hope you enjoy most of these songs and add them to your workout playlist repertoire!  Let me know what you think.

Now go workout!!



What’s for dinner

What’s for dinner

BBQ PULLED SWEET POTATO SANDWICHES WITH COLESLAW & RANCH SALAD Click for each recipe!! BBQ pulled sweet potato Coleslaw Ranch dressing You’re welcome! 😉