Wellness Festival: THE GOOD FEST
I was SO excited to see The GOOD Fest make it's west coast debut this year! I had followed along last year as some of my favorite friends and influencers traveled back East for the event and was thrilled to see them hosting an LA edition! I attended the day-long wellness festival with my friends Kruti and Michelle (pictured center) and met up with the beautiful Carina and Chiara Wolff when we got there. It was a day filled with wellness panels, yoga classes, crystal meditations, great snacks and inspiring women and it was AMAZING! We started the day with a meet and greet brunch for VIP gals with treats from Simple Mills and Live24k after picking up our track passes, then assembled in the Main Room for a brief chat from the founders before getting the day started.
The afternoon was split up into 5 different tracks, so depending on which track you picked, you had a customized day of panels, group activities, and female-led session. I picked Track 4, which included the following sessions throughout the day:
Session 1 - Food Freedom Panel with Jordan Younger, Talia Pollack, Jess Sepel and more
Session 2 - How to Have GOOD Sex with Shan Boodram
Session 3 - YOGA: Jordan Younger + Sophie Jaffe
Session 4 - Modern Approach to Ayurveda with Sahara Rose
We arrived around 10 am and didn't leave until about 6, so it was definitely a full day. Each activity lasted about an hour, plus some time for lunch, shopping at the wellness marketplace inside the festival, and talks from a few different closeout speakers. Pictured below are the iced turmeric lattes from the meet and greet brunch in the morning, a shot of Jordan Younger from our yoga session, a lil' selfie action and a shot of the food panel I attended, as well.
The first event I attended in the morning was actually shopping the marketplace, where I bought a crystal and tried alllll kinds of samples, plus ogled plenty of gorgeous yoga pants and tops. Everything was pretty reasonably priced, but I wasn't there to spend much money. I did however buy a yoga block because I've been needing one and they we're pretty cheap. And it's cute!
My second session was the Food Freedom Panel with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde, Lynn Chen of The Actor's Diet, Jessica Sepel of JS Health, August Vega - the founder of Malk, and Talia Pollack of Party in my Plants. Talia and I are pals so I was especially excited to see her onstage and squeeze her afterward, and I have followed Jordan forever, so I was super stoked to meet her and tell her how great she is. She was just as grounded in real life as you'd hope, and the food panel was super interesting. Each lady talked about what Food Freedom meant to them, along with some of their stories on getting a healthy, happy place with food.
Next up, and in the same big, beautiful main room, was the How to have GOOD Sex with Sexologist Shan Boodram session. And it was FANTASTIC! Her energy and straight up real knowledge dropping was both impressive and entertaining to watch. She talk about a few different topics but essentially encouraging your partner to do what you like and need with real, open conversation. She was rad. So was her outfit, haha.
After that was my third session, Yoga taught by Jordan Younger and Sophie Jaffe. I was super excited to do some yoga and take it from people I really admired. I sat in the back of the room and mostly enjoyed it, though Sophie was sick so her section seemed a little short. Fair enough! It lasted about 30 minutes, and then we headed into the next session, which was also my last: Modern Approach to Ayurveda with Sahara Rose. I have had very little introduction to ayurveda but have been interested in learning more for awhile, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much info Sahara was able to cram into our short session. I felt like I walked away with a great into on the breakdown of basic ayurveda and a desire to learn much more.
After our final session, we headed back downstairs for a catered lunch from Sweet Green (YUM!) and then back to the main hall for the final speakers. It was a fantastic day - seriously full of so much fun, health and wellness, and I met so many babes I've only had the pleasure of interacting with on IG. If you're interested in checking out their upcoming events, including the next GOOD Fest in Philly, check out their website and follow them on IG for the DL on upcoming events! I'll definitely be attending again next year - I had a dang blast and met so many new, fun, incredible women! See you then, babes.
Summer Vacation in Maine!
I grew up in Maine, so anytime I get to head back for a vacation- especially when it's not winter- is a welcome retreat. This summer Alex and I were able to both take off from our real lives for a week to head east and hang with some of my family. Normally around this time of year, my whole family- aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and friends- would all go camping at a place (peninsula) called Hermit Island. Its a magical place that I grew to really love and cherish spending summers there every year. I love going back, but these days it seems like we've all grown up and moved away and it can be hard to get everyone together for a whole week of just enjoying each others company. So instead, this year, Alex + I joined my Dad and sister Jade, plus my Dad's partner and her daughter as we planed to hike to the top of Mt. Katahdin, Maine's tallest mountain, and then raft our way through class 5 rapids in the Penobscot River. We hopped on a plane at LAX (Miley style) and spent 5ish hours traversing the country before waking up at about 4 am in the Boston Airport, where my Dad was waiting to pick us up. First stop on the way home? A bright and early check in at LL Bean for some quality hiking boots and then to Mister (Mr?) Bagel to get double toasted onion bagels with veggie tofutti cream cheese (at least that's what I ordered). It was humid AF outside, but it was good to be back!
We got home and napped, then woke up to do a bit of foraging on Dad's property. We found at least 6 different crab apple trees, plus ripe raspberry bushes and early season blueberries to munch, and we collected some for later. It also just so happens to be peak strawberry season in Maine, so we stopped by our favorite local and SUPER vegan-friendly farm + cafe Sheepscot General to pick as many pints of organic strawberries as we could hold. That night we made dinner for the family, which included a big green salad with lots of goodies from the garden and our foraging adventure, a whole roasted cauliflower like this one, some chickpea salad with rye bread and a strawberry raspberry crisp made from the fruit we'd collected ourselves. It was so good + we were so happy to cook a healthy, protein-packed vegan meal that everyone could enjoy.
The next day we spent driving north and setting up camp and eating bagels at my FAVORITE ever bagel joint in Maine, Bagel Mainea, where I coincidentally worked in high school - so maybe I'm biased?- but almost every bagel is vegan and they offer 5 vegan-friendly spreads as well customizable vegan sandwiches and even house-made granola and bagel chips! I always get the veggie garlic, double toasted, with plenty of veggie tofutti cream cheese and sliced down the middle for my eating enjoyment. If you're in Augusta, it is way worth the visit.
The next morning we were up and out of camp by 5:30 to drive to the trailhead and get our permits checked in. Below is a picture of my sister Jade, me, and my Dad at the beginning of the hike, probably about a mile in. (Note the rad fanny back if you will!) I have a super weak stomach in the morning and rarely eat before 10 am, plus being up so early hadn't allowed me my normal morning *ahem* ritual, so at about this point I was slowly dying inside. I felt SUPER nauseous and dizzy, and also like I was going to crap my pants while hiking uphill in front of my boyfriend so yeah, it was getting bad. It was about 3 miles to the first stop with outhouses on the trail, Chimney Pond, and somehow I managed to make it there without throwing myself off the mountain itself, although I did manage to get stung by a bee while attempting to sit down and rest on the way up. It wasn't a great start. But after a visit to the ladies room at Chimney Pond, a lot of trail-side dry heaving and half of a chickpea salad sandwich, I was feeling ready to push on and conquer Katahdin. (2 pics down is Chimney Pond in all of its shorts-saving glory.)
When we left Chimney Pond, we were about 4 or 5 miles from the top and the weather was getting worse and worse. We had worn shorts and brought light rain jackets, but overall we were seriously underdressed for the ascent. Alex and I ended up getting quite a bit ahead of the rest of our group as we neared the top, and the higher we climbed the steeper it got. We kept hearing about rock scrambles but it felt like the whole top half of the mountain itself was one giant rock climbing expedition. Your arms felt like they were working just as hard as your legs, and it was getting colder and harder to bend your fingers and toes all the time, but we pushed on. We look happy even!
In the picture above right we're about 1/2 mile from the summit peak at the top of the mountain, and pretty much where we ended our hike. We had originally planed to hike Knife's Edge up to the top but the wind conditions were so strong at Chimney Pond they advised against it. When we reached the tablelands, about 1 mile from the tippy-top, the hail began. First it was a light rain, then harder and harder until actual hail was hitting us all over and the temps had dropped to about 30 degrees. Oh, and there were 50 MPH winds, so we were getting sucked around and hiking behind large boulders to stop and catch our breath. It was a really crazy expercience being up there, and even though some people chose to keep going- and I applaud them- I just could.t My fingers were frozen and I had a little mental breakdown cry feeling so guilty about turing back just before we snapped the above right picture. Luckily, Alex was (always is) amazing and coached me through it, reminding me that no one really cared if we summited but us - and that in his opinion we had gone far enough. That was enough for me! We started our descent back down the tablelands and met up with my Dad, sister, and the rest of our group just before we begin our final descent. A few of them decided to keep going, and did summit (you go guys!), but the rest of us took our frozen buns back down the mountain. We stopped and chatted a bit when we got back to the Chimney Pond station, and we continued down the trail a major thunderstorm rolled in. The lightning was close and we were soaked, but at least my feet stayed dry until the last mile or so. At that point there was a veritable river running down the trails and we were just splashing our way down, trying not to lose footing or each other in the dense rain. When we finally got to the bottom we had hiked a total of 14 miles over 9 hours, in some of the worst conditions I have ever voluntarily placed myself in. We were soaked, but we were happy to be heading back to camp, where we made a big pot of black pean pasta with garlicky tomato sauce and toasted bread. It doesn't look like much, but it was the perfect post-hike hot meal.
The next day we spent rafting down the Penobscot River, where Alex, my Dad, his partner, and the raft guide all got tossed out in a Class V rapid and I had to steer the boat to safety. NO JOKE PEOPLE. I have video evidence, if I can figure out how to single out that part and upload here. I'll work on that. Anyway, it was incredible and I wish we had more pictures but the whole losing-your-iphone-in-the-river thing was something none of us was willing to risk, so we have to pictures to prove it.
After that, we spent a day at Hermit Island, walking around a getting a small piece of what we used to go there for every year. We hiked around the island, collecting seashells and taking in as much fresh sea air as we could. Afterwards we want to the best pizza joint in coastal Maine, The Cabin. Its a great wood-built cabin (literally) that houses some of the worlds best pizza crust and lives right next door to Bath Iron Works, Maine's largest ship builder. It gets pretty busy when those guys are out for lunch around 12-1 pm, but any other time its worth stopping in for a veggie topped pizza for two.
We visited our favorite hidden gem farmstore next door, admiring the produce and hanging with the chickens they keep in the back pasture. Th next day we went paddle boarding in the Damariscotta River while my Dad and sister kayaked, and afterwards enjoyed lunch at The Newcastle Publick House, where we got to try their new vegan menu item - inspired by our cauliflower nuggets recipe! They tasted great and it was awesome to see a small restaurant like that offering something for all their customers. Also, their hand-cut french fries were AMAZING. And isn't my boyfriend just the most handsome? I sure think so.
On our last night, we played trivia at the Liberal Cup in Hallowell, and Alex and I each ordered one of their hand-made, bean + veggie based burgers with grilled onions and a side of hand-cut fries. I also worked here in high school and was always a fan of the fries. In fact, I used to be the one that CUT them all! I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore, but I love coming back for trivia night and its always great to run into old friends while we're there. We didn't win at trivia (but we didn't lose either!), and afterwards we headed home for an early bedtime so we could get our butts up in time for our flight the next day. Lucky for us, our favorite little donut shop, The Holy Donut, in Portland is open early and let us reserve and order of a dozen vegan potato donuts to scoop up on our way by. About 7 made it all the way back to California, and the rest were gone the next day. You can read our full review on The Holy Donut here. We love hanging in Maine and can't wait to go back. I'll be there for a quick visit in September again, and will definitely be getting another dozen donuts to bring back. Have you been to Maine? Where are some of your favorite places?
Joulebody Wellness Cleanse
The day after Thanksgiving, I started a cleanse. I was felling full, sluggish, and had indulged big time the night before. I needed a kickstart! I had never done a full cleanse before: I had tried various juice cleanses but always gave up after too much rumblin' in my tummy.
Several weeks prior, I had been contacted by a representative of Joulebody. They offered to let me try one of their vegan, gluten-free, whole food based cleanses and I was instantly intrigued. Most cleanses seem freakishly unhealthy for you; subsisting on cayenne pepper lemonade for nine days or eating only grapefruit to 'cleanse' your system is just illogical. These cleanses work by shocking the body into deprivation mode, forcing it to burn fat stores instead of sugars that would normally come from food. You're depriving your body of necessary nutrients and goodness that it needs to function healthily!
Joulebody is a whole new game. Owner Yvette Rose has created a system that delivers freshly squeezed juices and chef-prepared food to your doorstep in eco-friendly, reuseable glass jars so you can start your cleanse as freshly and as quickly as possible.
The doorbell rings, and at 10 am a well-insulated cardboard box arrives.
I open up the box and see 3 days worth of fresh, healthy pre-packaged meals and juices. They're all packed in small mason jars, tall glass bottles, and compostable cardboard cups.
Each day of meals consists of 3 juices (9 am, 3 pm, and 5 pm), one anytime of the day meal bar, and two pre-arranged meals (12 pm and 7 pm).
I started with my first drink of the day, a raw, dark green juice made of leafy vegetables, berries, lemons, apples, and a blend of metabolism activating herbs and spices. It tasted strongly of ginger and kale and was a little grainy, but satisfied my hunger...which was especially impressive since all I could think about was the fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers!
At noon I got my first real meal, a cream of celery soup that was rich and had a really delicious flavor. It filled me up, but left me worried that I might get hungry later.
After that were 3 and 5 pm juices, a green drink and citrus drink, respectively.
The green juice was hard to get through...and at that point I was hungry for more food!
The citrus juice was oh so good. Like lemonade with a kick of spice (thanks to a little cayenne) at the end. I dug it.
But after that, I was starting to feel a headache come on. And it kept coming, until...
I made it to the 7 o'clock meal- a squash toxins salad with squash and kale- and loved it.
By 9:30 pm, I was snacky. I almost always eat a late snack, so I indulged with my brownie meal bar. A cacao based bar with a nice chewy texture and great chocolate flavor, it quelled my hunger so I could delegate all of my time to watching Breaking Bad and falling asleep.
Much of the same on day 2. Started the day with the same raw drink as on day 1, only this time it tasted way better! Unfortunately, by 10 am, I was starving. I couldn't imagine waiting until noon for my curried apple soup. I emailed my Joulebody Support team and asked what a girl with a fast metabolism, training for a half-marathon should do- I needed more energy! This is my favorite part of the Joulebody system: the email response, which I got back almost immediately, told me I could supplement my cleanse with fresh, raw veggies and equally easy on the body, low calorie, highly nutritive foods. I munched on some bell peppers and sauerkraut to get me to lunch.
The curried apple soup was wonderful and filling, but I was definitely starting to crave bigger portions and lots of carbs. I could feel the junk leaving my body, the toxins being released. As the day went on I was a headachey, a little hungry, and mostly craving cookies, but I knew sticking to the cleanse would be in my best interest. I enjoyed my two afternoon drinks more than I had on day one, and had a mung bean chili for dinner. It hit the spot big time. Around 9 pm I ate my second chocolate brownie meal replacement bar and all the headaches & tummy grumbles were gone! I slept like a baby.
Day three was a rough one. I was really feeling the detox, but also feeling surprisingly light and clean. My skin was glowing a rosy pink and I wasn't having any of my regular heartburn issues.
I had the raw drink again and suddenly loved it. Were my tastebuds changing? Was I enjoying the taste of real foods so much because sometimes I simply am not getting enough of them?
I had a spicy pumpkin soup for lunch, which was much thicker and chunkier and more filling than day 1 & 2's meals had been. I was starting to love how I was feeling, and my stomach looked visibly flatter.
I even craved my 3 & 5 pm juices, especially the citrus juice. I could drink that stuff all the time!
For dinner it was kitchari, pictured above. I'm not the biggest fennel fan, so this was probably my least favorite of the meals, but made me even more ready to finish strong!
When I woke up one what would be Day 4, I felt fantastic. I had an usually unheard of early morning energy that fueled a great run. My stomach and waist looked smaller and my cheeks were pink. I looked healthy and rejuvenated and felt rested and clean.
Its official Joulebody, you've made me a believer.
The Joulebody formula makes sense, and best of all it works.
Nourishing whole foods guide your body through a gentle cleansing process that removes toxins and replenishes nutrients.
Basically, Fettle Vegan approved.
To check out more on the Joulebody Cleansing System, visit Joulebody.com. There you can find info on the cleanse, Yvette Rose, and testimonials- because heck, it works.
We're working on affiliating with Joulebody to get our readers a discount on this awesome cleanse system...so stick with us, and try Joulebody!