Why We FINALLY Switched our Dog to Plant-Based PET Food
Here's the thing: we've been vegan for a long time, but we weren't vegan when we adopted our sweet girl Maddie nearly 9 years ago. So when we started buying her dog food we made sure it was organic and grain-free (she struggles with skin rashes), but always bought protein-heavy puppy kibble for her. And for a long time, that was okay. More recently, alongside just getting older, Maddie tore her ACL in her back right leg. This led to a super expensive surgery that she's now about halfway through recovering from. (You can read alllll about what happened, what kind of surgery we chose for her, and get healing updates here.) We've still got four weeks until we can start taking her on walks and working to strengthen her joint again, so we've been laying very low at home. While prepping for her surgery, the Vet informed us that Maddie was also starting to get some small bladder stones, and would need to come back for a second surgery once she eventually heals from her first. This was devastating news. Our poor girl was just through a really tough, pricey surgery - and she was about to need ANOTHER one?! We started exploring our options, reading as much online as we could about the connection between the two problems she was experiencing; As someone so acutely aware to eating with intolerances and allergies, I knew that her body starting to break down at just 8 years old was a problem. Even with regular exercise, she was experiencing a lot of issues and inflammation. So we decided to completely overhaul her diet!
We didn't know at first what to do; there is so much info online for making your dog's food, but for a 65 lb pup it seemed like a lot of food prep that I barely did for myself. We started researching plant-based dog food brands since too much protein can cause problems for older dogs, and found some great kibble versions online. This way we could transition her to a new food while keeping a similar texture to the food she was already eating - we hoped maybe she wouldn't notice! We tried a brand called GATHER Endless Valley by Petcurean. Made from organic ingredients and sustainably produced, this dog food is also totally plant-based and vegan. And Maddie freaking loves it!
Seriously - she's never been the type of dog to perk up that much at mealtime unless you're giving her literal food scraps but the day I brought this bag inside and opened it up, she went nuts. She was sniffing all over the bag, curious about what was inside. I opened it up and she stuck her face right in the bag. She couldn't wait to try it - she fell in love at first bowl. We had a week or so period where I lapsed and didn't order her any more food before she ran out of her first bag, so she was stuck eating her old brand of kibble...and she damn near starved herself all week avoiding it! She totally turned her nose up to it now that she had a better option. Plus this new food was comparably priced to the food we had already been buying her, so no hangups there.
GATHER Endless Valley is packed with actual real food ingredients that I can pronounce and feel good about feeding out old girl. She's been eating it for just two months now, and the doctor has marveled at how quickly her leg has healed post-surgery and that her bladder stones have actually gotten smaller since then. I always knew a plant-based diet was better for humans, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize it could be beneficial for pets, too!
The secret, for dogs anyway, is that they consume sufficient protein containing all the essential amino acids, and complementary ingredients that provide complete and balanced nutrition. That’s what you’ll find in Endless Valley; certified organic pea protein and other pure and natural ingredients in a recipe crafted especially for dogs with vegan appetites. And Maddie would be the first to tell you - she loves it! Even better? GATHER food comes in bio-based plastic bags produced from sugarcane, a sustainably-produced and renewable raw material - so you can feel good about serving your pet AND can recycle the bag afterwards, too!
Want to try out a bag of GATHER Endless Valley for yourself? Head to petcurean.com/pawsome and enter coupon code PS135ZW997 for $5 OFF your first bag!
Last week, I suffered from my very first anxiety attack. Before writing this, I considered the terms 'panic attack' and 'anxiety attack' interchangeable. Turns out, there are subtle differences. For the purpose of this discussion, I will consider my attack that of the anxiety variety, which usually includes a direct stressor - i.e., an event or situation - as opposed to a panic attack, which is often unprovoked and unpredictable.
It was last Thursday, the day before my bachelorette party. I was about an hour out from leaving my house for LAX to pick up the first of the weekend's guests - my cousin, Devin. I had been cleaning the house all morning, wiping up stray water drops and scrubbing things no-one but me would pay attention to. I was already frustrated, knowing how little time I had left to prepare. As a crazy perfectionist, I generally can't relax until everything feels perfect. Which it never does, which creates a really shitty cycle of me hating myself for not reaching impossible expectations I set for myself. That morning was particularly hard, as I was also silently dreading going to my own bachelorette party. Don't get me wrong, because I'd really hate to some off as a bridezilla here; it's not that I didn't feel lucky to be having one, or that I didn't think it was grand enough for my expectations. Rather, as someone who generally considers herself an introvert, I was dreading dealing with the social pressures of making sure everyone at the party was socializing, happy, well fed. Things a host does. Things you'd think, just by following me on social media, I'm probably great at. But that's sort of the wonderful illusion of social media - I can show you everything I want and nothing I don't. And as honest as I try to be here and with this audience, I don't normally advertise how hard it is for me to be social. It feels likes it only makes it harder, pointing it out. And makes me feel awkward. If you're an introvert, you get it. If not - imagine social anxiety as one of your greatest fears in place of heights, spiders, or whatever normally gets your heart racing. That's what it feels like - like something you just would reallllly rather avoid if you could.
So, Thursday morning was stressful and feeling heavy and impending, and I don't remember when I started crying. It might've been after my cousin called saying his flight landed an hour early, it might've been when I realized I was leaving my sweet dog for a full weekend, it might've even been when I started packing my overnight bag. All of sudden, I was just a pile of stress and tears and extreme sadness. I've struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety my whole life, but this just felt different. It was like a wave, overtaking my throat, choking my breath, my tongue getting thick and sluggish in my mouth. My shoulders seized up my body was shaking as I just broke down. I sobbed for so long and so heavily it felt like I would never stop. I couldn't catch my breath or open my eyes, and everything hurt. I moved to the back yard and back into the bedroom, with Alex finally wrapping me in a blanket while I just lay there choking on my own snot. It was a mess. It took me about an hour to calm down, from start to finish, and I still feel nearly a week and a half later like it could happen at any time. I knew immediately it was anxiety attack because I'd seen people have similar instances before, but I really, truly thought that somehow (white privilege? societal constructs? all of the above?) it couldn't happen to me. I like to think of myself as well put together, strong, able to handle my shit - but this kind of rocked me. I hated not feeling in control of myself completely, and feeling like my emotions and stress could overwhelm me in such an abrupt and upsetting way.
I'm working on a recap of the bachelorette weekend now, and it should be ready in a couple of days for you guys. It took me a while to sort through my emotions about it, because it went neither like I wanted it to or like I expected it to. And that's okay, just frustrating. In the meantime, I've been spending as much possible time on self-care and things that make me happy as possible. I wrote a post on instagram about how yoga invasions have been helping me deal with stress lately, but I wanted to give you guys a few suggestions for dealing with your own anxiety and stress and hope you'll give me your suggestions in the comments below as well. I think the best part about this platform is the ability it gives me to connect with so many of you who are in the same or similar situations; We have so much to offer each other in terms of support and education!
Here are just a few ways I like to relax + practice a little self-care:
hard workouts - anything that makes me sore is great for clearing my head
Now that I've had the anxiety attack, the scariest part is anticipating another one. DON'T DO THIS! Haha. It just stresses us out more! If you do feel an anxiety attack coming on try taking deep, regulated breaths (ujjayi breath in yoga), and think about something that makes you genuinely happy. Or just work on clearing your mind - its up to you to find which works best for you. I also try to be super honest with Alex when I'm feeling like this. If you're lucky enough to have an awesome partner, they want what is best for you. Let them comfort you and keep them in the loop when you start feeling more anxiety-ridden so they can help you. If you don't have alive-in partner or aren't comfortable getting super real with them yet, give yourself an outlet. Whether its a close friend or therapist, I'm a big fan of talking it out. Do what you gotta do to keep yourself happy + healthy. And I will too! While I'm sure a lot of stress will leave after the wedding, I'm still considering getting into therapy again. It's so nice to have a neutral outlet when you need it!
So I want to know: how do you practice self-care? How do you deal when you feel an anxiety attacking coming or strike? Let me know in the comments below! ❤️
Alex and I had the pleasure of attending our very first Southern California Cannabis Cup last weekend at the San Bernardino fairgrounds and had a total blast. We really didn't know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised when, after following respected magazine account High Times on instagram, we saw that tickets were reasonably priced. So we bought them! We arrived in the afternoon (the event went 3 pm to 11 pm) and got checked in pretty easily, barely bag searched, and sent in to get wristbands. Anyone could get in with a ticket, but to get into the sampling + smoking section, you had to have proof of your medical rec on you. After getting into the inner sanctum (and the sampling tents!) we started seeing similarities between this event and something like Expo West. It's basically the same idea - an expo of all the growers, sellers, and products hitting the market in one place, for people who consider themselves connoisseurs. There was everything from flower and bud to smoke, to crumble and shatter to dab, to edibles from every corner of the stoner culinary world - including some really great vegan ones! We scoured the show, taking the occasional dab and sucking down CBD water to stay hydrated, looking for the very best, newest vegan, GF, and better for you edibles at the show and found some really great ones. Scroll down for my list of the best in show - you may find yourself a new must-have treat!
We found the Mary Jane Juice Co. nearly last at the show (pictured above 👆), but we're so glad we did! They had a sampling of at least 6 flavors at the show, but these two were the stand-outs for us; the 100 mg Vanilla Almond Milk and the 200 mg Ancient Healing Tea. They're both low-sugar, vegan, and totally raw, plus each packs a hearty cannabis punch to help sure whatever's ailing ya! The milk, smaller in dosage size, was $10 and the tea was $20, but it would also be more than one serving for most people. These drinks are packed with good-for-you-ingredients so you can reap the pain relief benefits of the drink along with the inherent nutritive value of the drink itself. They're guilt-free, great on the go, and taste great - no weird marijuana aftertaste. Find more info on their Instagram!
Okay guys, all terrible branding and racism aside (the name Cheef and their branding at the show -- white girls dressed as Native Americans -- realllllly needs to be reconsidered) these edibles are really phenomenal. They're one of the only edibles I've seen on the market with a focus on being super, super healthy. I'd tried their super fruit bars before and loved how they tasted like a raw, flax-y granola bar. The high was great too, but it just felt so nice to eat an edible that aligned with how I eat the rest of the time. The coconut caramel chews are a new product, very similar in texture to Cocomels, but infused with marijuana. And packing a hearty THC punch with 5 doses (100 mg) per chew! Find more on their products here.
These pops just get cooler and cooler! Not only do they taste great, pack a solid little punch, and are made with organic ingredients, but when you finish this pop you can recycle the stick by PLANTING it! It contains cannabis seeds, so when planted and watered will turn your trash into a big, beautiful plant. I love this idea! Such a clever way to cut waste and encourage recycling. Just make sure that if you plant the stick, you live in an area where you won't get in trouble if you get caught. Be smart friends. (Here in CA we are allowed to keep plants, but please check your laws before you plant anything! Duh. 😝) We picked up a pineapple and watermelon pop for later, and hope to start seeing these at more of our local dispensaries soon! Find out more about them here.
This was one of my favorite product from the show, and maybe the one I'm most excited about for other people to try. It's literally just an infused peanut butter, which each packet 1 oz packet containing a 50 mg serving of THC (hybrid strains). It's the perfect healthy snack, literally containing just all natural raw peanuts and cannabis. With no added sugar or weird ingredients, this edible is perfect for people looking to stick to a specific diet or who have to eat healthfully because they're not well. Plus, it packs a great punch of protein! (If you have to do chemo and can't get a lot of food down, this may be a great option as well.) This same company also makes a similar single serving packet of coconut oil, perfect for eating raw or cooking with. I can't wait to slather this stuff all over my morning toast, add it to my smoothie, and make a soba noodle salad using this for the peanut sauce. It's so versatile! Find more at ZendoEdibles.com.
This booth caught our attention as we were walking by because they were one of the few advertising as a VEGAN product - which we loved, and of course stopped to check out. These body butters are made with quality, moisturizing ingredients like cupuacu butter, kokum butter, cannabis infused coconut and olive oils and vanilla infused jojoba oil, and rubs on super thick and emollient, but not greasy. There are 4 different types, all designed to alleviate pain, inflammation and irritation and to protect and nourish your skin. It's amazing stuff! I actually talked to the woman at the booth for awhile about my psoriasis and she explained that she actually started making these salves as an alternative to medicated psoriasis creams for her boyfriend. I've started using it on my psoriasis on my thighs and have been loving the results - super moisturized and no flaking! Find more about their salves other website here.
About 4 months ago I officially came out of the GREEN CLOSET with my review of Dr. Raw, a Medicated Edibles company that makes a bunch of great, vegan options. This post, like that one, will quickly become one of those 'if you don't know, now you know' posts. For some of you, it'll be more like uhm, duh! If you know me personally, it's probably the latter. Before I totally shock you with my grand exit from the green closet, let me just remind you that this is my choice. You can make yours. I am very pro-choice, and I want to offer these reviews both for people who may medically need the products and would like an honest review before they try 'em, and because medical marijuana is now legal is 28 states and DC and frankly, it seems like everybody's enjoying it. One more quick note - this is very much a safe space for questions and discussion, but no hate. I'm happy to indulge curiosity but never douchebaggery. If you're more comfortable asking me privately, please feel free to email at email@example.com and I'll do whatever I can to help you and/or answer your questions.
Now, if you're new to the edibles game or you're just looking for more information, let me tell you that I've tried 'em all. Well, just about. I have a great relationship with marijuana and use if often for pain relief, so I'm always trying new products to see what the best options are. Lucky for me, I live in Southern California - where there are no shortage of dispensaries to buy what you need in a safe, healthy environment, much like a doctors office. I've narrowed it down to what I consider the 5 BEST Vegan Medicated Edibles on the market right now! They may only be available in Southern California (or another weed-friendly state like Washington or Colorado), but it's always good to know what to keep an eye out for, and it's fun to see the latest stuff on the market! Now - here's where we get real: I'm surely not promoting drug use for people who shouldn't be using, but I'm also not here to judge friends. You do you. That said, a few notes before we move on.
1. KNOW YOUR DOSAGE. Start small. Most people should start with a 5-10 mg dose of THC and see where that takes them. For many, that'll be plenty. I personally have a tolerance that allows me to take something more along the lines of 50-60 mg of THC to feel really "high". Work your way to that point. Weed won't kill you, but a bad trip is a bad trip, man.
2. Know what you're eating! THC and CBD are different types of cannabinoids. THC is the one that'll make you feel 'high' - spacey, munch, maybe a little paranoid. CBD is all about pain relief, and won't actually get you 'high' at all. This is the most common type used in things like balms and lotions, specifically targeted for topical use.
3. Once you start talking THC, there are two main types within that category to be aware of; first, Indica, the strain type that will make you feel sleepier, hungrier, lazier. Great for movie nights, help with sleep, relaxing, looking generally 'stoned' - haha, and by that, I just mean melting into the couch with red eyes. Second is Sativa, most people's daytime go-to and the strain that gives you more of a get up and go feeling after using. Most people who actively smoke or ingest marijuana would probably say this one is the more 'productive' of the two, as it usually gives you energy and motivation - the opposite of indica in that way.
4. Don't be an idiot, follow the law. I mean, I won't tattle but you're also totally on your own if you fuck up, kids.
I knew I was going to love Dr. Raw Organics from the second I saw their booth at the Women Grow convention I went to in LA. It was a small event, and their smiling faces and yummy-looking candies, labeled VEGAN, immediately caught my attention! I'm so glad I found them. They make a range of products, but these cute, simple candy hearts are probably my favorite. They're such a simple, discreet way to get your needed dose, and they taste delicious! Plus, if you smoke or have a cold and get a scratchy throat, they give perfect relief - plus a slight numbing of your sore throat. Their hearts come in two dosage sizes, one a little more CBD focused, which is perfect for starting slow and working up to a bigger dose as needed. They have a range of baked goods, including a few vegan ones, and also have yummy low sugar, raw Date Balls - which is an especially great option if you're health conscious or using marijuana for the health benefits. See all their products and use their product locator here.
Also at the convention, these guys are coming out with more vegan products everyday. I tasted some of their stuff to come at the show - including soft and hard vegan caramels - and was blown away. I haven't seen any of that stuff in my local dispensaries yet but I do keep seeing (and loving!) their macaroons. They have them in at least 2 flavors - vanilla and raspberry - and they both taste great. Most edibles will taste and smell at least reminiscent of marijuana, but these macaroons are really on the low end there. They certainly don't look like what most people think an edible looks like either. These are the perfect dosage size for me - about 50 mg per - but if you're just starting out, I'd recommend trying a half or less to start. Love that these are raw, gluten-free and vegan, the perfect option for health-conscious eaters and people looking to keep their habit as healthy as possible. Also, if you are using marijuana for wellness, chances are you're avoiding extra sugar anyway - these are the best option I've found without going homemade. You can find info about Utopia Farms and check out their product locator here.
An oldie but a goodie, these bars are one of the first I ever found when I started exploring dispensaries. I actually tried this tangerine-infused chocolate for the first time in San Jose and totally fell in love with how incredibly not like an edible this bar was. The tangerine really helps to mask the marijuana scent and taste in the bar, which makes it easy to eat. Be careful! This is where edibles sneak up on you. It tastes so good you just keep eating and before you know it, you've overdone it! (If that ever DOES happen, drink a big glass of water and go to bed. You'll be fine.) KIVA is a great company, known for their innovative, high-quality products. Their bars are consistent and they offer 5 flavors that are vegan, not including their new mints and chocolate-covered coffee beans. If you're a connoisseur, this bar brings the taste and the solid dose you're looking for to be impressed. Worth picking up if you see one, for sure. The dosage squares are a little large, start small. Find all their product info and locator here.
Korova makes the best TASTING edible for sure. Like a vegan millionaire bar, this bar is three layers of goodness starting with a cookie crust, filled with a crunchy peanut layer and topped with a smooth, fudgy layer of chocolate. It is TOO GOOD. And another one where you can go overboard if you're not careful! Luckily, they keep this bar vegan, gluten-free, AND low sugar, so no guilt if you go a litttttle overboard. Oh, and this edible is totally ORGANIC! Not something most companies seem to strive for, so it's definitely nice to see. I've also had very pleasant, though sleepy, highs with this bar.Also, their logo is so wacky and wonderful - I love it! Find more about their products and where to find them here.
This is gourmet dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt - an edible for the adult with a refined palette. Made from 61% cacao, this bar is just the right amount of salty sweet and is broken up into convenient serving-sized squares. It does have a bit more of the marijuana scent and flavor than some of the other edibles, but it's parent company VCC Foods is known for making consistent, high quality edibles and this bar won't disappoint. I took about a third of this bar before a red eye, overnight flight to the East Coast and was happy to fall asleep promptly and sleep soundly until I landed comfortable in Boston. They even make this bar in 3 different flavors, if you like it. For more on their products and where to find them, head here.
If you haven't heard of Juicero yet, listen up - because this thing is AMAZING! I was sent one to review, but I wasn't compensated. I just love it! With my wedding quickly approaching (115 days people! 😬), I have been looking for a way to commit to my morning green drink routine, and have also been totally avoiding sugar. It's tricky business, and it can be hard when you're busy to commit to buying and hauling home enough produce to make a morning habit routine. Plus, my regular juicer has been on the fritz for months and cleaning it is such a pain in the butt - I avoid using it for that very reason. And that sucks!
Juicero is juicing made smarter - quite literally. This app-based juicer is clean, quick, and couldn't be easier to use. When the juicer came, it came wrapped in a big sturdy box. It was fun to open it and I immediately fell in love with how clean it was. All of the wrapping it came in - and ALL of the juice pack - are completely recyclable. That was a main concern of mine before starting, but I was reassured that all of the cardboard, paper and plastic used are 100% recyclable. Not perfect, but a fair trade for the convenience. The process from delivery of the machine to your first glass is juice is simple. Pre-selected packs you order online or through the app are delivered to your door in refrigerated, well wrapped packaging - again, totally recyclable.
We got a mix of organic juices over the few weeks including the Greens, Sweet Greens, Spicy Greens, Root Renewal, Granate Glow, and Beta Glow. My very favorite is the Spicy Greens - with a kick of jalapeño - for its flavor, and the fact that it only contains 12 natural sugars. Alex is more partial to the sweeter Beta Glow, but we've both been loving waking up and enjoying a glass before we eat breakfast. It gives me little more energy during my morning workout and helps to stave off my hunger for a little longer. It can be hard to get the full 5 cups of fruits and veggies recommended into your diet every day but drinking fresh, cold-pressed 100% juice is a great way to infuse a daily diet with more fresh fruits and vegetables - so if you're on the fence, this may be the perfect solution. Juicero has engineered the first home, cold-press juicing system that makes raw, organic juice at the touch of a button.
One of my favorite things about the Juicer really is all the technology; first, the packs all contain a QR code with information that the juicer reads at each press. It send info about the juice, what farm the produce was collected on, and when to enjoy your pack by right to your cell phone. Expired packs won't be pressed, so you'll never have to guess at the freshness of your packs. Sure you can't SEE the produce inside, but it come out tasting AMAZING! And actually CUTS DOWN on waste because of the lack of food scraps and ability of the packaging to all be recycled again. You can personalize your weekly orders so you're getting a different range of juices each week if you like. Then you just pop your pack in the press, press the button, and watch as your juice is delivered fresh from the Juicero to your glass. You can even open the package up and use the pulp, if that's your thang!
I have totally loved using the Juicero and will definitely continue use it - at about $7 a pack it costs me the same as going out and buying a green juice, but is absolutely more convenient. Plus, just this morning I saw they added a NEW Mini Greens flavor that I have to try. Juicero isn't available everywhere yet, but it will be soon - get more info + order at Juicero.com.Use codeAP10for 10% OFF!
**Full disclosure: I was given this product for FREE to review. I was not otherwise compensated in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Okay, guys. This will quickly become one of those 'if you don't know, now you know' posts for a lot of you. And for some of you, it'll be more like uhm, duh! If you know me personally, it's probably the latter. Before I totally shock you with my grand exit from the green closet, let me just remind you that this is my choice. You can make yours. I am very pro-choice, and I want to offer these reviews both for people who may medically need the products and would like an honest review before they try 'em, and because medical marijuana is now legal is 28 states and DC and frankly, it seems like everybody's enjoying it. One more quick note - this is very much a safe space for questions and discussion, but no hate. I'm happy to indulge curiosity but never douchebaggery.
That said, I live in California, which was well known for it's Emerald Triangle long before last month's election. Weed, mary jane, marijuana cigarettes - whatever you call them, it's very available and widely accepted here. I've had my medical marijuana card for years to help with hunger and essentially help to break my battle with eating disorders. Seriously - it helped me calm down and get hungry enough to stop worrying, which is what I really needed to ultimately overcome my consistent binge/purge/starve cycle. While I will always stuggle with it, it's been a solid 6 years since I 've felt those really awfuly urges in full swing. And that is amazing for me. If you're still reading, you're probably at least curious about self-healing with and exploration of marijuana. And I'm so glad, because it is such a great, natural alternative to prescritpion medications. (Obviously check wih a doctor before trying anything new!) Besides increasing my hunger and appetite, marijuana helps me sleep more deeply, deal with aches, pains + PMS, and regulates my stress levels. I'm a big fan, but also understand that for many, including myself, smoking simply isn't the best or easiest option. Luckily, with states legalizing left and right, producers have gotten more creative with how to deliver to medicine to your system. Nope, you no longer have to smoke a joing or take a hit off a germy, passed-around water pipe to feel it, friends. You can eat, sip, suck, swallow and rub it on, instead! That sounded really innapropriate, but seriously - you can medicate just by sucking on a hard candy!
When I attended the Women GROW Conference in LA last month, I was lucky enough to meet (in-person!) several companies that are pioneering healthier, easier to enjoy edibles. Most companies are still making sugar-packed sweets like brownies, gummies, and cookies - so if you're actually very sick or simply are avoiding sugar, gluten or dairy, it can be tricky to find edibles that you know you will enjoy and that would leave you in a sugar crash three hours later. When I first met the folks at the Dr. Raw booth I was immediately interested. I could see right on the packaging that they were offering up some totally vegan, soy-free, gluten-free products -and even some that were sugar-free, too!
Dr. Raw Organics is based in Southern California and makes a range of products - both THC-based (the part of marijuana that makes you feel mentally stimlated - i.e. 'high'), and CBD-based (the part of the plant that is for purely pain relief. You'll get NO high from this.), so they have something for everyone. Their team of herbalists has been handcrafting organic, non-GMO edibles for over a decade, and they always potency test for consistent results you can trust. They make their own tinctures, balms, oils, hard candies and range of baked goods (not ALL are vegan), which you can peruse on their website. At the conference, they were whipping up fresh hard candies, and I immediatey loved how simple and yummy they were. Because they contain both THC + CBD, they offer more a hard-hitting pain relief. I have a pretty high tolerance - I usually ingest about 50 mg~ when I want to get 'high' or feel some serious pain relief. These hard candies start in 10 mg portions, so you can start small and without messing your entire day up. Of course, as with any new medication, prepare to be home the first day so you can see how your body reacts. Better safe than asleep on your desk at work!
I ended up getting a little care package sent to me from them later, since I was so in love with all of their vegan options! We've found some great vegan things at dispensaries before, but usually they're full of crappy ingredients, so I was so so happy to open it and find all of the goodies pictured here. We're tried the candy hearts, in multiple dosages, the 1:1 balm, and the raw bites. The 1:1 balm is a cocoa butter topical analgesic, great for aches and pains. It works much like arnica to help soothe the tender area and provide relief, and I love it for my sore neck, after yoga, and on any place that just feels not good - I slathered it all over my cracked fingers after my trip to Maine and it worked wonders - plus it smelled great!
The raw balls are a great option for more pain or in a case where you can really relax. They contain 50mg of THC per ball, so most people should start with half a ball or less. I can pop a whole one, but it definitely leaves me feeling sleepy and verrrrrry relaxed about 2 hours later. They are made with organic, gluten-free steel-cut oats, infused coconut oil, ground peanuts, cocoa powder, flax-seed, cinnamon and a touch of agave nectar. The small portion size gives you the perfect indulgence you crave, with just the right amount of medicine.
The butterscotch-flavored candy hearts are my favorite. So easy to just pop one in your mouth and very discreetly medicate! They are made using seasonal, certified organic fruit and veggie based flavorings and colorings, plus they come in two dosgae sizes. Each regular Candy Heart contains 10mg THC and 1mg CBD and there are 10 Hearts in a package – so 100mg total. Each 1:1 Candy Heart contains the perfect dose of 5mg CBD and 5mg THC, also containing the 100mg total as well.
Whether you're just getting interested in the medical cannabis industry or you just really love edibles, I highly recommend searching these guys out. They have a convenient product locator on their website and offer free samples to curious consumers. Dr. Raw Organics are offering some of the highest quality, certified tested products out there right now, and we love supporting a company like that. Visit them + get more info at DrRawOrganics.com and on their IG at @Dr.RawOrganics!
I just completed my 3-Day cleanse program from Kaeng Raeng and I feel FANTASTIC! Refreshed, rejuvenated, and really ready for some bread...haha. I actually went in for an endoscopy, colonoscopy, blood work and stool tests late last week to try and diagnose why I've been feeling so crummy lately. Though they still haven't figured out what's wrong, I needed to eat healthy, nutritive, easy to digest foods afterward and really enjoyed starting this cleanse after my procedures; it was a great way to ease back into eating after being forced onto a liquid diet for 36 hours prior, and was nice and gentle on the tummy! Plus, it was a great way to up my water intake, since I was pretty dehydrated afterward. I first became familiar with the Kaeng Raeng company at Expo West two years ago and loved both their Director of PR, Kelly, and the simple ingredients that make up their products. Their cleanse, available in 3 or 6-day varieties is made of simple ingredients, each containing just fruit, pea protein, psyllium husk and probiotics. Unlike most juice cleanses where the fiber is completely removed from the drink, leaving you hungry and without energy, Kaeng Raeng's cleanse pack a fiber-ful punch punch thanks to the addition of the psyllium husks. This is better for your body because it slows the digestion of the drink so your body can absorb more nutrients and doesn't instead just get a sugar rush from all that fruit juice.
The cleanse comes in 3 flavors, so its easy to pick and choose a flavor that suits you best at each meal. I also love that they're made (locally for me) in California and are certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO. Plus, they're completely free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. And each serving (thats 3x each day!) contains a full serving of fruit, 15 grams of pea protein, and 2 billion probiotic cultures. That makes for one very happy tummy and definitely helps keep #HANGER at bay! These cleanses aren't about fasting or starving- you're encouraged to eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as you'd like, and of course drink plenty of water. Like I said above, I did the 3-day detox cleanse. It comes in 3 flavors: Into The Blue (blueberry + banana), Daybreak (mango, peach + pineapple), and Joyful (strawberry, raspberry, + pineapple) so you can mix it up at each meal. They come in powder form and are recommended mixed with water, juice, or blended into a smoothie. I mixed mine with water so I could fully taste the drink's flavor and texture, but I actually really liked it that way and thought it was plenty sweet enough to enjoy that way as well. Each drink is made from a mix of 1 oz of freeze-dried raw fruit, non-gmo protein, probiotic cultures, and vegetable fiber.
The strawberry, raspberry + pineapple flavor was my favorite and the one I finished first. I liked the mango peach flavor second best, and preferred the blueberry banana least- but I'm not a huge banana fan, either. I loved the way they made me feel. All day long I felt light, energized, and satisfied. I have a lot of stomach issues so I usually get a few hours a day of stomach ache-age, but on the cleanse I really felt great and had almost no stomach pain. I was eating plenty of raw fruits and veggies along with the drinks and was using the higher end recommendation of adding 32 ounces of liquid to each packet. The best part about these drinks- and maybe what I was most surprised by- was how realistic and full they tasted. Since Kaeng Raeng freeze dries whole, raw fruit and adds psyllium to the packets, the detox drinks are packed with fiber and actually have a great mouth feel when you're drinking them. Add some ice and it makes a super easy, yummy smoothie! Plus the 9 grams of fiber per serving (27g/day) keeps you filled up for way longer than a juice ever could. Just make sure you mix the powder in water very well (like with a fork or whisk, not just in a shaker bottle) before you drink it or it can get a bit clumpy. I'm sure if you're mixing it into a blended smoothie there would be no problem, though.
I mean it when I say I really loved these drinks- I would definitely order the 3-day cleanse again (it recommends about 4x per year) in a few months when I'm ready for another digestive reset or to help detox a bit before my wedding next fall - though for us brides, they do offer a special Bridal Cleanse Pack. Doing a Kaeng Raeng cleanse is a great way for ANYONE to sneak a little heath into their week, and a really great way to ease back eating after a couple icky health procedures like I had. I'm back to feeling like my old self, my skin is glowing, and I actually haven't had any mega stomach issues since starting the cleanse at all. I'm so happy with it! You can check out more about Kaeng Raeng, their philosophy, and order a cleanse for yourself HERE!
*Kaeng Raeng provided the cleanse to me at no charge, but all opinions are true and my own. It's good stuff! *
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.
Day 1 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.
Day 2 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 3 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!