Treat Yo Self W/ Zandra Beauty

Zandra Beauty is a newly launched skin-care line by the young and beautiful entrepeneur, Zandra Cunningham of Buffalo, New York, U.S. But, Zandra is more than just an entrepreneur, she is also an influencer who serves to empower and encourage confidence to young girls and women from all over the world. Since a young girl she has aspired to create natural products that inspires girls & women to feel beautiful! In the words of Zandra herself ” My fascination with entrepreneurship began when I was just 9 years old. It was totally the result of my dad’s refusal to buy me my beloved lip balm. His NO forced me to do the work and make my own.” She then made her start in the summer of 2010 by making a few products (lip balms & body butters) at home & selling them at the local farmer market in her area. And as she got older she decided to expand her products after she began to use popular products from the mall and found that those products left her skin dry, itchy, and uncomfortable. (Many mainstream products are filled with unhealthy ingredients that often just smell good and that’s about it, no other benefits.) Fed up with having to choose between smelling good or having itchy & irritated skin Zandra made it her mission to create products that not only smell good but also make her skin feel nice & smooth as well! Now here we are in 2019 & she has successfully launched her very own skin-care line that is eco-friendly, 100% plant-based, cruelty-free & “yuck-free” (toxic chemical ingredient free). Her line offers hair & body butters, exfoliating body scrubs, deodorants, lotions, soaps, and lip balms that will be distributed nationwide on her official website. But that’s not all, she also has an exclusive “Treat Yo Self” gift box currently being sold only at Target! This is just the beginning for Zandra and I am anxious to see her and her brand grow and flourish! So let’s all support her and purchase some products, if not for yourself then maybe as a gift for a loved one. As if she isn’t amazing enough she also donates 10% of the net value of each product purchased towards girl’s education! For more information on Zandra & her brand or products please use the contacts provided below. Stay yuck-free! ✌🏾

Contact Zandra Beauty:

Website: http://www.zandrabeauty.com

Email: orders@zandrabeauty.com

Facebook: @ZandraBeauty

Instagram: @ZandraBeauty

Twitter: @ZandraBeauty

Choosing the “Diet” for Your Lifestyle

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, lactovarian, fruitarian, pescatarian, or have no preference, a diet isn’t something that should be equated to a temporary intake or quick fix to lose/gain weight. Your diet should be your way of life, in other words it should be consistent and beneficial. I personally think that we should throw away this whole idea of “going on diets” and transition our intake to foods that are more reasonable and responsible. Your diet should consists of foods that makes you comfortable (tastes good & makes you feel good), caters to your health, and provides a balance to your digestive system. Labeling yourself as vegan, vegetarian, or whatever doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily “eating right” or that you even feel 100% good about the decision that you made. At the end of the day the food that you consume should benefit you, be eaten in moderation, and shouldn’t make you feel bad or create side effects. And by side effects I mean acne (most commonly caused by sodas, white bread & rice, & dairy), high blood pressure (most commonly caused by fried food, sodium filled food & canned food), and digestive issues (most commonly caused by red meats, dairy products & high amounts of fructose). What we eat not only affects our bodies, but our minds and spirits are heavily influenced as well. So you should always take into consideration the foods you choose to intake because they certainly play a major role in the future of your health, just saying! Which is why transitioning to the plant-based diet is the most realistic, comfortable, beneficial, and effortless decision that one can make. Think about it, by going plant-based you don’t have to restrict yourself to certain foods or even refrain from the ones you enjoy (just as long as you eat it occasionally or at MAX in moderation). To be plant-based simply means that you’re eating MOSTLY delicious, naturally grown products given to us from our bountiful and beautiful earth (beans, grains and oats, nuts, fruits, vegetables, soy, etc) but with a the option of flexibility. Basically you won’t have to cut off animal products but definitely cut back on them. If you’re someone who eats meat or any animal product (milk, cheese, eggs, honey, etc) everyday then start by going a few days without them, and eventually attempt to only eating animal based products a few times a month or every once in a while (every couple of months or so). It’s challenging (only in the in the beginning), but not impossible. Remember that your health is wealth, and that without it you won’t be worth a damn, (I said what I said🤷🏽‍♀️)!

 

Need help with plant-based recipes?

Use the search bar below and type in “recipes” for some of my favorite plant-based meals, feel free to add your spin on them!

 

Online Encouragement from @Plantbasedvibes/ @Greenwithin

The accounts you follow online play a lot into your mental health whether you notice it or not! Following friends and family is the norm but when you start following mostly celebrities and gossip sites you’re opening your world up to a bunch of negativity, including anger, jealousy, discouragement, depression, & anxiety just to name a few. And yeah sure you can feel those emotions without being on social media however you have a greater chance of being affected the more that you’re online. Think about it, every time you log on you’re seeing these negative posts focused on embarrassing or exposing a celebrity (who are people with feelings too smh), posts about some BS “lose weight quick” products, a bunch of unhealthy “good looking” foods being posted, people engaging in unnecessary drama, people constantly bullying and shaming each other, and don’t even get me started on the comment section of almost any social media platform 🤦🏾‍♀️. Let’s all just take a moment to evaluate who we’re following online, unfollow or remove all of the negative and start following more pages that are uplifting. When I first followed @Plantbasedvibes (Twitter) & @greenwithin (Instagram) she made such a difference in my day! Her posts are not the super corny typical motivation “do the right thing” type of posts. She posts about relatable everyday type of situations, delicious plant-based food pictures, and recipes, mental & physical health tips, & she’s constantly reminding us to drink water and to be nice. Her focus is for the betterment of people and that’s the type of positivity and encouragement I like to see on my timeline. She interacts with her followers, gives us the best advice, and even gives out goodies from time to time (free food…yum). She’s based in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area, yet she has helped to encourage & motivate people from all over the country and even some across the world! If you aren’t already following her then please do now, her page is such a breath of fresh air & I actually look forward to seeing her posts whenever I’m online.

Tomayto, Tomahto: 5 Undeniably Tasty Tomato Based Recipes

Before we get started…question! Have you really heard anyone pronounce tomato like “tomahto”? Yeah me neither lol. But no matter how you pronounce it, nothing can take away from the savory, tangy, deliciousness of this lovely “fruit” we call the tomato! Thanks to tomatoes we have pizza, pasta sauces, better salads, chunky chili, and several delicious dips, just to name a few things! But I have to be honest here for a quick second, growing up I could NOT stand tomatoes lol. Aside from ketchup, I would not eat anything with tomatoes in it. But as I grew older somehow my taste buds started to evolve and I can now happily say that I love them, mostly cooked though; I still can’t eat too many raw lol smh but hey baby steps right? After giving them a second chance I realized that they can be used in many ways and I thought it’d be cool to share a few of my favorite ways to enjoy them along with detailed recipes! Click the link below 😋

  1. Spicy pico de gallo & tortilla chips
  2. Creamy tomato & sweet basil pasta sauce
  3. Fried green tomatoes with vegan ranch
  4. Stewed tomato spinach grits
  5. Ricotta tomato toast (can be made vegan)

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ThbcgvD2l7lpuPzkemtvLQjhP3oGPEUIlH5oICmp5jU/edit?usp=sharing

The Versatility of Beans/Peas/Lentils: 6 Un”bean”lievable Recipies

The legume family, also known as bean, pea & lentil family are an affordable source of protein, fiber, and vitamins that also happens to offers many health benefits. Such as being natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, stabilizing blood glucose levels, reducing digestive issues, lowering cholesterol, and providing zinc, iron, magnesium, and fiber. And on top of all the many benefits, they’re so versatile and delicious! Oh, the tasty things you can do with beans/peas/lentils. The endless possibilities, limitless flavor combinations, and the guarantee of a filling satisfactory ending. 100% natural, gluten-free, (unless you’re eating canned beans…another topic for another day) yet savory, scrumptious, and nutritious. From old fashioned red beans & rice to garlic n’ herb string beans to spicy black bean burgers to curried lentils to mediterranean style roasted chickpea salads, to teriyaki glazed sugar snap peas, the bean, lentil, & pea family can be used as a protein replacement in almost any meal you can think of. I just made you hungry huh? Well no worries, I won’t leave you hanging. Allow me to share with you a few recipes that you will want to make, then fall in love with & end up wanting to share with the world!

Click the link below to full recipes and instructions:

  1. Old fashioned red beans & rice
  2. Garlic & herb string beans
  3. Spicy black beans burgers
  4. Curried lentils
  5. Mediterranean roasted chickpea salad
  6. Teriyaki glazed snap peas

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PimCkZPyjh3OOSCF0oVB2VnvVgKs4yvXaRlpZxv34Ps/edit?usp=sharing

Why You Should Be Eating More Colorful Foods

Every day we should be “tasting the rainbow” and no not from a bag of skittles. The color of each fruit and vegetable has a direct connection to the many benefits and nutrients packed inside of them. The most colorful foods are known to strengthen your immune system, stabilize PH balances, reduce digestive problems and for being the most detoxifying. Our bodies benefit from variety and utilize everything consumed so be good to your body and eat all of your colors. Be sure that you’re eating foods based on them being in seasons (when they are the brightest and ripest) to guarantee that you’re getting the maximum nutritional value and of course the best flavor! Below I’ve listed my favorite fruits and vegetables of each color group along with a few benefits. Brighten your plate and your health will brighten as well 🙂

Blues/Purples: Blackberries, blueberries, plums, grapes, red cabbage, eggplant, beets, etc.

The fruit and vegetables of the darker tint are known to be filled with the most antioxidants (super-foods). They’re good for reducing inflammation, strengthening cells, and promoting the brain and heart functions.

Oranges/Yellows: Papaya, oranges, mango, apricot, carrots, squash, pumpkin, yams, etc.

These fruit and vegetables are essential to the health of your retina and other parts of the eyes (linked to improving vision). They also help improve joint and bone health (arthritis, carpal tunnel, cracking knees, etc) and supports the immune system (packed with vitamin C).

Whites: bananas, pear & apple flesh, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, onions, mushroom, etc.

Although these fruit and vegetables don’t necessarily have a color they are just as important. They are known for reducing cholesterol and inflammation throughout the body, and most importantly for containing natural cancer-fighting agents (specifically garlic and onion).

Greens: Kiwi, honeydew, lime, broccoli, leafy greens (spinach/kale/lettuce), zucchini, etc.

The fruits and vegetables of the greenish tint are full of chlorophyll, which helps to create more blood cells and detox your blood, eliminate funguses and bad odors, energize your body,  and so much more. Green is the color of life and should be a major part of your diet, being that it’s the MOST beneficial of the color groups.

Reds: Strawberries, watermelon, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, red peppers, etc.

Red fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin A and C. They’re full of folic acid which is a good intake for reducing birth defects and complications. Reds are a good source of fiber and potassium, helping with the digestive system and creating more electrolytes improving mood and energy levels.

Introducing: Atlanta’s Very Own Urban Sprout Farms

And on his farm he had a…..plentiful vegetation, a market, free yoga sessions, bonfires, movie nights, workshops, community events, & etc! Urban Sprout Farms and its’ founders (Nuri Icogren and his beautiful wife Safia) are nothing less than phenomenal. Urban Sprout Farms was founded in 2012 when Nuri really took nothing and made it something. Prior to this amazing farm that we witness today, the location was actually an abandoned motel and parking lot. He had a vision, put in the work and turned it into reality. I can honestly say that Urban Sprout Farms is a gem and it’s greatly appreciated by the community of Atlanta and its’ surrounding cities. Urban Sprout is a 5 acre certified organic farm, nursery, and market that also serves as an event space. It’s located in the neighbor of Polar Rock (Lakewood Heights) near downtown Atlanta, just a few miles south.  The farm/market sells flowers, seeds, soil, and plants (edible and non-edible), on top of growing about 8,600 pounds of produce a year! Wow, it’s just so amazing thinking about the progress the farm has made since I first came across it. I’ve known about Urban Sprout for about 3 years now and my first encounter blew my mind, no exaggeration. I took a tour of the farm, (it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the plants and the random artwork and posters), made a few purchases and had an educating conversation with Nuri before leaving. The farm was still in its’ beginning stages but still pretty impressive. And to top it off Nuri is super down to earth, kind, and knowledgable. Since then I’ve been back countless times and even have introduced several of my friends to this extraordinary place. Urban Sprout Farms is always hosting events (the yoga classes and bonfires are my personal favorites)  and looking for volunteers to help keep up the farm & nursery. So if you’re interested in shopping/visiting, volunteering, hosting an event or donating feel free to check them out using the information below.

 

Urban Sprout Farms

Address: 2200 Reynolds Dr. SW, Atlanta GA 30315

Hours: Saturday 9AM-1PM (shopping)

Website: https://www.urbansproutfarms.com

Facebook, IG & Twitter: @urbansproutfarms

 

 

Tips on Ordering Out: Keeping it Plant-Based Even While on the Go

Some days we don’t even feel like looking at the kitchen, let alone prepping and cooking an entire meal. And that’s completely understandable because from time to time I find myself in the same predicament. Whether we’re busy or just feeling lazy, the reality is that we’re going to eat out at some point. But just because you’re ordering out doesn’t mean that all your hard work (sticking to your diet and new lifestyle) has to go out the window. Ask your cashier or waiter if they have any plant-based or vegan options, and if they don’t I’m more than positive they have meals or sides that can be adjusted to being plant-based. It takes all of 30 seconds to google the ingredients of a meal or entree. So don’t be too shy to ask for them to remove certain ingredients because you think it’s not possible. If you never ask you will never know.  I’ve asked soo many places and even helped to educate the employees for future customers like myself. So no there may not always have a vegan or plant-based option on the menu but with just a few modifications it can easily be done. For example, every time I go to the mall I have to stop at Auntie Anne’s to get a pretzel…well I don’t have to but I just can’t resist. Do you really think they have a plant-based/vegan pretzel? Nope, they don’t but that doesn’t stop me from ordering a cinnamon pretzel or those little bites! And the only adjustment I have to make is removing the butter (because butter is a dairy product and that’s a huge no no for me)! But anyway I promise you it tastes exactly the same, just a little less gooey and personally I prefer a firmer pretzel. So, see! You can order all of your favorites and keep it plant-based by simply asking for “no meat”, “no butter” “no cheese”, “no egg” or whatever other animal products are in the meal that you want to eliminate and voila! Below I will list 5 of my favorite go-to fast-food restaurant meals to order when I don’t feel like cooking.

1. Chipotle’s sofrita burrito or burrito bowl (no cheese, no sour cream) or you could get a bowl or burrito with just veggies and don’t forget for that delicious vinaigrette dressing (takes your meal to the next level I swear, I’m drooling just thinking about it).

2. Burger King’s french toast sticks with hash browns & OJ on the side for breakfast or for lunch you could order a garden salad with vinaigrette or sweet and spicy dressing, french fries, and the apple pie if you’re craving something sweet

SN: Mc Donald’s is the only fast-food chain where the french fries and hash browns aren’t vegan (they’re fried in beef fat…yuck)

3. A veggie lover’s pizza from any pizza place (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Pizza Company, etc.) just get thin crust (vegan) or ask for them not to brush your crust with butter and ask for “no cheese”

4. Order a smoothie from almost anywhere just simply ask what it’s made with and opt out animal ingredients (ask for water or juice instead) if it’s made with dairy.

5. Subway’s/Publix/ or any sub/sandwich place, order the veggie delight sandwich just say “no cheese” and don’t get any mayo as a topping

Remember that being plant-based is a lifestyle, not a trend so don’t let your environment or peers stop you from elevating your life. Let’s stop punishing our bodies and start rewarding them for a change!

If you have any questions about ordering from a specific restaurant I’d be more than happy to help you out with that just comment or send me a private message  at anispenc@theelevationjourney.com or theelevationjourney@gmail.com

Benefits of Raw Eating|5 Snack/Meal Ideas

Taking a break (3-7 full days minimum) from processed and cooked foods at least every other month is something that you should really take into consideration. Now allow me to give you a few reasons why; a raw diet helps to reverse chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes, it reduces heartburn, gas, constipation, and indigestion, it increases energy levels, it gives you the full amount of needed nutrients, it strengthens the immune system, it balances PH levels, it clears skin, and so much more, the benefits are infinite! A raw diet consists of uncooked, fresh, dried, sprouted or fermented vegetables and fruit, grains, seeds, nuts, smoothies, and water. When you’re on a raw food diet it gives your digestive system a break from having to work so hard, and it also gives you a lot more energy because you are now preserving enzymes. Your PH levels start to naturally correct themselves because of all the antioxidants, alkaline, and nutrients your blood system now has access to. Your skin becomes clearer because the raw diet is helping to reduce inflammation and opening up clogged pores. The higher fiber intake reduces any digestive issues such as constipation and gas. Many raw vegetables and roots, specifically broccoli, garlic, and ginger contain natural cancer-fighting and blood pressure lowering properties and compounds that won’t be as productive if the foods are cooked. When you cook vegetables whether it’s by boiling, sauteing, steaming, or grilling, the vegetable becomes 22-34% less nutritious. Once vegetables reach a high temperature the nutrients, vitamins, fibers, and minerals immediately start to diminish. The same goes for grains and oats, they are the most beneficial and nutritious when consumed raw. You have nothing to lose by giving your body a break and consuming food just as nature provides it, natural, raw, unseasoned, and without oil. It’s the perfect diet for weight loss, stops cravings, raises your spiritual awareness (we’ll talk more about this another time), and it’s awesome for the environment! So the next time you’re feeling clogged up this diet would be a great way to detox and give your body a good flush and re-boost. Below I have listed a few of my favs along with a link for the recipes, feel free to re-make them and let me know how they turn out!

5 of my Favorite Raw Meal/Snack Ideas:

  1. Smoothies, Smoothie Bowls, Smoothie Pops
  2.  Apple-Peanut Butter Granola Bars
  3. Raw Veggies Dipped in Tzatziki sauce
  4. Raw Taco Wraps
  5. Sweet Chili Cauliflower Bites

For complete recipes to these snacks/meals click the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOgnUSzDC9gYAKgDnRXrPORI0CM3jVBU44nBhtSsCMw/edit?usp=sharing

Delicious Recipes At Your Fingertips: The Food Monster App

The Food Monster App is the perfect app for beginners looking to transition into the plant-based lifestyle. With over 15,000 delicious plant-based, gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes and counting you will never run out of meals to cook! The recipes themselves are personally crafted, created, and approved by the team of http://www.OneGreenPlanet.org. If you haven’t heard of OneGreenPlanet they are a team of amazing individuals that are helping to save the planet in countless ways. Their website is filled with knowledgable and interesting information revolving around lifestyle wellness, the well being of animals, and worldwide news regarding what’s currently going on with planet Earth. The co-founders Nil Zacharias and Preeta Sinha of OneGreenPlanet came together and launched the Food Monster application in 2015 and it has been flourishing greatly since then. Food Monster is now considered the largest plant-based food app in the market and it’s absolutely free in both the iTunes and Google Play stores unlike most of its’ competition. The Food Monster App has saved the day for me so many times and although I love being creative with cooking, sometimes I run out of ideas or I just want to try something new. And that’s when I simply pick up my phone and browse through the thousands of recipes located on this wonderful application! The website and the app are both fantastic resources for beginners and even veterans in this plant-based lifestyle. So if you’re looking for a little help and guidance on your journey make sure you download the app today or visit OneGreenPlanter.org. To learn more about the founders of this organization and all of the incredible information they have to offer they can be found on twitter at @NilZach and @PreeTweet, on Facebook @OneGreenPlanet, and of course on their website!

#EatForThePlanet