Lifestyle · vegan

A Weekend of Good Eats: Wichita

Kansas isn’t necessarily the most vegan friendly place, but there are some hidden gems. We also have really great grocery stores and farmer’s markets, so if you are in Kansas and can’t find vegan options hit those places up. Anyway, I wanted to share some standout dishes I had last weekend while I was in Wichita.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is great for both herbivores and omnivores. This restaurant has many vegetarian options that can be made vegan and the ingredients are farm fresh. The day I went, they actually had a vegan soup as the special (spinach gazpacho).  The sandwich I ordered was called the Lulu and it had edamame, guacamole, hummus, tomato, and spinach (I think, I can’t quite remember). The bread was wheat toast (no butter). This restaurant was affordable, quiet, satisfying, and had more than one vegan option.

College Hill Deli and Catering 

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This restaurant offers simple Mediterranean dishes. There were many vegetarian options that could’ve be made vegan easily. The hummus was so good! I ordered the falafel sandwich and sweet potato fries. Overall, this was a solid Mediterranean restaurant.

Tuta’s Teriyaki 

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Tuta’s Teriyaki is a very small restaurant offering Thai and Chinese food. I ordered vegetarian pad thai. They use rice noodles instead of egg noodles. I also made sure that there wasn’t fish oil. Not all vegetable pad thai is vegan. The picture doesn’t do this meal justice. It was so yummy and filling!

At My Sister’s House…

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I am so thankful that my family supports my vegan lifestyle. My sister bought tons of fruit for me so I decided to make smoothie bowls. This one has bananas, mangoes, cherries, kale, chia seeds, and vegan protein powder. I topped it with bananas, agave, and mixed nuts.

I ate more last weekend, I just didn’t take a picture of everything. I hope this gives you some vegan inspiration. Thanks for reading!

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Fajitas ~ Vegan Style

Vegan Chili

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Lifestyle · vegan

Do I have an Eating Disorder?

For the most part, I have always had a healthy relationship with food. My mother had anorexia in her 20s, so she always warned me against unhealthy eating behaviors. When I was a child, I was under the impression that I was fat and I occasionally got teased for it. That being said, I just ignored the haters and continued to eat the same way. Now looking back at my childhood photos, I was actually normal-sized. Either I thought I was fat and other kids latched onto my insecurities, or someone told me I was and I then believed them. I had some insecurities about my weight like most young girls (this is an idea for another post), but I didn’t excessively think about it.

Fast forward many years, and now I follow a vegan lifestyle and I have been for about 7 months. I started eating plant-based because I was tired of feeling like crap (physically). Then, I made the connection. I realized how viewing animals as products negatively impacts society. I also learned how terrible consuming meat is for the environment. I have another post about the benefits of veganism that I will link at the end.

I don’t know how it started, but I started restricting unintentionally and I also cut out most fats. I was following a HCLF vegan diet. There is nothing wrong with this, but I turned it into a control issue. I was becoming afraid of certain foods and I wasn’t enjoying cooking like I had before. I was becoming a slave to my food. I snapped out of it pretty quickly though. My acne flared up and my hair became very dry and brittle (no, it wasn’t a detox) and this is what caused me to take a look at how I was eating. I started tracking my nutrients and calories to make sure I was adequately eating. I reintroduced healthy fats (nuts, avocados, seeds, etc) into my diet as well. I wasn’t any healthier on this restrictive diet and my body was giving me warning signs. I don’t know if I would consider this experience an eating disorder, but for about two months I definitely had negative feelings about food and was developing restrictive behavior.

I get upset when people associate eating disorders with veganism. But, I also wanted to share my story because I feel it can help others in the vegan community struggling with restrictive behavior. There are so many vegan diets and I think we should all try to find the one that suits our bodies and lifestyle best. Some people thrive on a raw vegan diet and others do best with a whole foods vegan diet. For me, I try to find balance and I listen to my body. I am not suggesting a high fat diet, but I incorporate healthy fats into my mostly high carb and non-processed diet. Some days I want healthy salads and smoothies and other days I want vegan pizza. Please do not obsess about your food! If you are an active person and eating a plant-based diet, you are healthier than most and one tablespoon of olive oil every now and again isn’t going to ruin your health.

Thanks for reading!

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Benefits of Veganism

Lifestyle

Coming to an End

Well, my summer is over. I am excited to be back at school, but I am going to miss my summer break. I had a perfect summer. I traveled and I relaxed. I reflected and I spent time with meaningful people. It could not have been better!

 

I made a video compilation of my summer, check it out here ⇒ https://youtu.be/fLFI82xTRjU

 

Thanks for reading/watching!

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Other posts to check out ~

The Sunflower State

Chasing Sunsets

Savannah Travel Guide

Lifestyle · vegan

Fruit: Vegan Advice

Welcome back to my second post in my vegan advice series! I am addressing fruit today. I cringe when I hear “diet experts” say that you should only eat fruit in moderation. Or that certain fruits are unhealthy because of their glycemic index. As a vegan, these statements just make me laugh. I eat tons of fruit as do a lot of people and I have never had negative experiences from it. If anything eating large amounts of fruit has my improved energy, skin, and health in general.

I know that not everyone agrees with veganism or a plant-based diet, but eating more fruits and vegetables is not a detriment to one’s health.

Here are some of the facts/benefits of high fruit consumption!

  • Most fruits are naturally low in fat and sodium.
  • Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Dietary fiber from fruits helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Also, helps the stomach feel full for longer.
  • Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
  • Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may reduce risk for heart disease.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.

Source ~https://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruits-nutrients-health

I hope this post was useful. Thanks for reading!

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Vegan Advice: Dorm Rooms

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Lifestyle

Over It

This phrase is common among millennials. “I am over it” or “So over it”. While this has a negative connotation sometimes, I feel it can be positive in certain ways. Moving on from things that don’t suit your life can be extremely beneficial to your mental health.  Sometimes it’s just easier to say that you are over it.

Enjoy my week in pictures! All photos in this post were taken by me.

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I was taking a walk and taking pictures when I thought about this.

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Literally everything used to bother me. I would get upset about the dumbest things.

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I don’t know when it started, but I eventually just kept saying “I’m over it”.

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I eventually said it enough and so I started to believe it.

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I’m “over it” truly. Small inconveniences don’t bother me. I don’t make assumptions about people’s behavior and I don’t stress over events that haven’t happened. I’m not saying that I am completely unphased by anything that happens to me. But by telling myself to “let it go” or “get over it”, I am taking a step in a peaceful direction.

Thanks for reading!

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Lifestyle

Vegan Advice: Dorm Rooms

Many people think “going vegan” is hard and I have noticed that a common reason/excuse is college. As a vegan and a college student, I feel I can offer some advice for other vegans in college or people in college wanting to eat more plant-based. I also made a youtube video of some advice and a grocery haul so please check that out also⇒https://youtu.be/hCk-GMHoy8k.

Buy a crate for packaged and dry goods

Most dorms don’t have a full kitchen or if they do, you are not allowed to keep your food in the cabinets for long periods of time. I suggest getting a crate or box to put food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Snacks, legumes, rice, bananas, bread, and potatoes could all be kept in your room.

Stick to affordable, but nutritionally dense food

Rice, quinoa, legumes, bananas, potatoes, and peanut butter are all affordable foods and healthy for the most part. I also suggest buying most of your fruit and vegetables frozen to save money. Frozen fruits and veggies are packaged at peak freshness so you know that you’re getting all of the nutrients that food can offer.

Use mason jars as containers

Instead of having bulky packages lying around, store things in mason jars or other small containers. Saving space is extremely important because dorm rooms are small and on the plus side you can reduce waste by using mason jars.

Label and use containers

This is an obvious one, but label your food. Put your name and the date on the foods you put in the refrigerator. Also, you might want to be a V on your food so people are aware of your dietary restrictions.

Use the community refrigerator or share a mini fridge with your roommate

This goes along with the previous tip. Utilize the community refrigerator that most dorms have or share a mini fridge with your roommate. You don’t need to purchase a lot of cold foods, but plant-based milks, greens, and leftovers should be put in the refrigerator.

Think about investing in a ninja blender or any small blender

I use my blender every day. It allows me to make quick breakfast smoothies and it doesn’t take up too much space.

Use reusable bags

Using reusable bags when shopping not only reduces plastic waste it is also more convenient and you won’t take up space storing old grocery bags.

Don’t get a meal plan

Seriously please don’t waste your money on meal plans. You won’t have that many options other than salads and you will be more tempted to eat animal products. You’ll save money by just shopping for your own groceries.

I hope you enjoyed these tips, if you have anything else to add please leave it in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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Start Your Day Off Right

Monday Motivation

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Lifestyle · vegan

Start Your Day Off Right

We all have heard a million times how important it is to start your day off  “right”. I was never a morning person. Recently, I have made it a priority to wake up on time and develop good morning habits. Getting a positive start truly makes a difference!

Drink Water!

We hear this all of the time, but how many of us actually drink enough water in the morning? You have to remember that you haven’t had any water for at least 8 hours. Drinking an appropriate amount of water in the morning helps digestion and also gives us energy to tackle the day. Water can also reduce blemishes and dark under eye circles.

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Nourish Your Body

You must eat or drink something nutritious. If you don’t want a cooked meal or if your stomach is upset, then go for a fruit and vegetable smoothie. If you want something hot, oatmeal is always a good choice or even toast with your favorite toppings.

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Journal

I like to write in the morning to get my brain juices flowing. I try to write at least a page. I usually write down the dreams I had the night before or quotes I like. I also like to write about what I want to accomplish that day or that week.
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Listen to Music 

If I am more tired than usual in the morning I like to turn on some music. This makes me want to move more and it gives me more energy. It also allows me to concentrate on writing. I do this during the school year if I have homework.

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Get Moving 

Lounging on your bed in the morning will make it harder to accomplish things throughout the day. Being active in the morning promotes a full and satisfying day. You don’t have to do an intense workout. You can simply go on a walk or spend some time stretching.

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I hope you enjoyed my tips on starting your day off right!

Featured Picture source ~ blog.furnishedquarters.com. All other pictures in this post are mine!

*My blog contains affiliate links, however this doesn’t affect my opinion.

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The Sunflower State

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Lifestyle · vegan

Baked “Fries”

Who doesn’t love French Fries?!

I love fries, but I don’t love fatty and salty foods. Baked fries are a healthy alternative to traditional fries.

First, preheat your oven to 450°. Then, cut one Russet Potato into wedges. Place wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I don’t use a lot of oil when cooking, so I drizzled water over the potato wedges and then added seasoning. I used water because I wanted the wedges to be crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. I added garlic powder and cumin (I know it sounds weird). Just use whatever seasoning you like. Then you bake the wedges for 12 minutes on each side.

If you still want to use a little oil that’s fine, you just don’t need to drown the wedges in olive oil. These are great for when you’re craving junk food, but still want to have a semi-healthy meal.

Thanks for reading!

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Vegan Chili

Fajitas ~ Vegan Style

Benefits of Veganism

Lifestyle

The Sunflower State

Summer in Kansas is idyllic.

Sunflower fields and blue skies for as far as the eye can see.

F R O L I C
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Summer Love

A Walk in the Morning

Savannah Travel Guide

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Chasing Sunsets

I had some spare time a few days ago so I decided to watch the sunset. Many people go through their life on auto-pilot. They go to work, they eat, and they sleep. We get so caught up in our routines. Sometimes I just like to disconnect and take time to enjoy pretty sunsets and nature walks.

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Low quality, I know. But, the moon behind the trees looked so cool!

 

I hope you enjoyed my amateur photography! All photos are taken by me of course.

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Lifestyle · vegan

Fajitas ~ Vegan Style

I love burritos, fajitas, and basically any Mexican food (vegan of course). I especially love vegan fajitas. They are simple, easy, and affordable.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans or 1 cup.
  • 1 cup of rice (brown or white).
  • Mini sweet peppers.
  • 1/2 of an onion.
  • Sliced tomatoes.
  • 1/2 of an avocado.
  • Lettuce (optional).
  • 2 small corn tortillas.

Directions:

This is a really easy recipe. Cook the veggies in a skillet until they turn light brown. I also put a little garlic and salt in the pan. Cook the rice and beans as you usually would. I put lime juice and cilantro in my rice. Make sure to rinse both the beans and rice before cooking and put whatever seasoning you want. Heat the corn tortillas in a pan for a few minutes on each side. That’s basically it. I put some tomato slices, avocado, and lettuce on the side.

Thanks for reading!

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Lifestyle

Summer Love

Summer always gives me a feeling of bliss. I love summer and I love how magical it can be.

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As cheesy as it sounds, anything can happen during summer time.

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You’re free from school and from the barren winter. Kids are cheerful and adults reminisce.

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Sweet treats are abundant. Family picnics are common and young love flourishes.

Make this summer one to remember!

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Lifestyle · vegan

Cruelty-Free Haul

I’m all about the animals and I’m all about beauty products. I have recently tried some new products that are of course cruelty-free. I have been loving these products and they are also affordable!

Maui Moisture Shampoo (Curly Hair)

This shampoo has super simple ingredients and a lovely smell. My hair feels really clean after I use it and it nourishes my waves.

Shea Moisture Problem Skin Facial Wash & Scrub

I’ve used many Shea Moisture products. I had some hormonal breakouts and this face wash helped a lot. This product works great and is from a trustworthy and ethical company.

Equate Pure Castile Soap

This is basically the same as Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. The ingredients are essentially the same and it can be used in the same ways. The only difference is-this one is a little more affordable (both are affordable). This is a staple product and I love the way it makes my shower smell!

Hello Mint Toothpaste

Sometimes it’s hard to come across cruelty-free and organic toothpaste. This one was conveniently at my local supermarket. It is a minty/whitening toothpaste. I am impressed with the quality and I would highly recommend it.

Shea Moisture Eczema Therapy Bar Soap

Another Shea Moisture product! This is specially made for irritated skin. I accidentally threw away the packaging so I don’t know the exact ingredients. But, it is african black soap. It soothes any irritation I have and it leaves my skin feeling fresh.

Babo Botanicals

Capture

This isn’t included in the picture, but I have a lot of respect for this brand. All of their products are natural and earth friendly. They do not test on animals and they offer products suited for everyone. They are even having a sale this weekend for Independence Day. You can shop their products HERE!

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful!

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Lifestyle · vegan

June Favorites (Vegan)

My summer is flying by! This month I have quite a few favorites. I don’t purchase a lot of things, so most of my favorites are foods or experiences.

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Fruit bowls have been my life this month. This one is banana, blackberries, and dark sweet cherries. I put together my own fruit bowls to save money.

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I visited a new restaurant this month. It’s called HomeGrown and it is great for those who love to eat intentionally. As the name suggests, the restaurant prides itself on natural and local ingredients. While there were only a couple of vegan options, I still very much enjoyed this restaurant and would recommend it to anyone in the Wichita area.

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I love Kombucha. It is a great way for vegans to obtain live probiotics without consuming animal products. It tastes like a mix between a tea and an alcohol-free beer. This one is Kevita Master Brew Kombucha Ginger.

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This month I have developed more of a morning routine. I really enjoy waking up a little earlier. I like sipping on my coffee and I like to intentionally get ready for my day.

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I think it’s mandatory for all vegans to take pictures of their food. I have been eating tons of sweet potatoes this month. This dish is sweet potatoes, lentil falafel, salad, and rice with sugar snap peas.

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Image source ~ https://media.netflix.com/en/

This is my last favorite for this month. I also watch Netflix, but this month I have really enjoyed some of the shows and documentaries. Glow, Dexter, Iceman Reborn, and Betting on Zero were my standouts for this month.

Hope you enjoyed these favorites and thanks for reading! Leave your favorites in the comments!

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Benefits of Veganism

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Lifestyle

DECLUTTER

Consumption is out of control. More, more, more. This is driving our society. We buy more in hopes of instant gratification. Getting that next “best thing” will make your life easier. False. The constant search for better and newer things just creates clutter. Clutter holds you back and is essentially visual noise. Do you want to be a slave to your possessions?

I think there are two types of clutter. There is mental clutter and there is physical clutter. Both can be caused by social media and mass consumption. Mental clutter can be commercials, advertisements, magazine covers, etc. While these things can’t collect on your floor, they can collect in your mind and cause stress. Physical clutter is obvious. Physical clutter takes up space. It’s all of the unnecessary things you buy. It’s those things that have no meaning or purpose to you. Those things just lying on your floor.

I’m not saying that social media is bad or that shopping is bad. It just needs to be decluttered. Make sure that you are only allowing positive things and ideas into your life.

Thanks for reading!

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Thoughts on Minimalism

Benefits of Veganism

PEACE

 

Lifestyle

HYPOCRITE

We are all hypocrites, aren’t we? We are so quick to tell others how to “fix” their life, but we often don’t take our own advice. It’s so easy to give our opinion, but when looking at our own lives we seldom change. Even I am guilty of this.

I often tell people that they need to love themselves and I tell people that they need to be more empowered. The no. 1 thing I always tell people – “you shouldn’t care what people think”. Hypocrisy. I always care what people think. I try so hard not to, but I can be a huge people pleaser. It aggravates me so much if someone doesn’t like me or I can tell they’re judging me. I haven’t gotten much better about it either, I’m just better at hiding it.

I would give you advice on this, but I am a hypocrite and you’re probably one too!

Thanks for reading!

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A Walk in the Morning

HEARTBROKEN

PEACE

Does Manifestation Really Work?

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Lifestyle · vegan

A Walk in the Morning

For one minute, walk outside, stand there, in silence, look up at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is. ~ Unknown

 

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Lifestyle

Savannah Travel Guide

If you have been following my blog, then you know that I was on a 10 day trip. I traveled to the “South” and did service work and also experienced the rich culture of Savannah, Georgia.

Georgia isn’t often on people’s list of places to vacation, but I truly think it is worth the visit! What’s not to like? Savannah has: an amazing downtown, rich (also dark) history, friendly people, tasty food, awesome bars, and peaches are literally everywhere.

If you are planning a trip to Savannah, here is what you need to check out. If you aren’t planning a trip to Savannah, then I hope this persuades you to go.

*Pictures included at the end of the post.

Haunted Tours

This was probably my favorite thing I did in Savannah. The city has a fascinating history and because of this, there are allegedly quite a few spirits. The haunted tour I did was a walking tour, but there are some that are in a bus. There are various haunted tours so it’s easy to pick one to suit your needs. The one I did was the “adult” version and we walked around downtown Savannah at night and went to key spots. Our tour guide also showed us photographic evidence of paranormal activity. Whether you are a skeptic or not, the haunted tours are informational and fun.

For more information go to ~ www.HauntedSavannahTours.com

Wormsloe Historic Site

When you think of the deep south, picturesque Spanish Moss trees and plantations often come to mind. The Wormsloe Historic Site is exactly that. This historic site used to be a plantation and was established by one of Georgia’s colonial founding fathers. Not only is this historic site gorgeous, there are tabby ruins and recreations of colonial structures. Films have even used this location for scenery. The descendents still live on part of the property, but the rest is open to the public. However, a tour of the plantation will cost a few dollars. In my opinion, it is worth it though.

Bonaventure Cemetery

This cemetery is open to the public and free to tour. The cemetery is beautiful and has impressive burial plots.  It is located by the Wilmington River and was even featured in, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. This is a great place for learning more about the history of Savannah.

River Street

This isn’t one place, but a section of downtown Savannah. You might have guessed from the name, but this part of town runs adjacent to the Savannah river. It nearly consists of bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stop at every single restaurant. But, the bars and restaurants I went to were great. The drinks were always flowing and I even had some vegan options. I went on a haunted pub crawl and most of the bars we stopped at were along the river. It blew my mind that I was having a beer in a three hundred year old cotton factory.

Museums and Squares

So many museums and not enough time. The first museum I went to was the “Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum. This museum is small, but well-organized and extremely informational. This museum documents the struggles of the civil rights movement specifically in Georgia. If you are a history lover, then I recommend this museum. The staff was also friendly and knowledgable. I also visited the Sorrel-Weed House. This isn’t a traditional museum, it is a historically accurate representation of the original Francis Sorrel House. It is considered a historic landmark and it is commonly referred to as haunted. The house is beautiful and the story behind it is intriguing. The only drawback is it $20 per person to tour.

Downtown Savannah also has many squares. Each of them are scenic and make you feel like you are in a different time period. One is called, “Lafayette Square” and there is also “Forsyth Park”. Basically, there is a pretty park/square every few blocks. If you are a little worn out from all of the haunted tours and drinking, I suggest sitting on a quiet park bench in Lafeyette Square.

Tybee Island 

This is technically outside of Savannah, but everyone in Savannah goes to Tybee Island. This small island (barrier island) town is known for its calm and sandy beaches. The beach has a large pier and pavilion. The beach was clean and the water was nice. It was very scenic and had a lot of wildlife. I would say that it is perfect for everyone. There is also a still functioning light house from the 18th century. People were very friendly and there were a lot of little shops. If you are visiting the Savannah area, then I strongly urge you to visit Tybee Island.

Lifestyle

PEACE

Peace is talked about quite often. Sometimes it seems like this unattainable idea. I think most people would agree though, that it is increasingly important to find inner peace at this moment in time. Our world is in chaos and peace feels far off in the distance (this thought could have it’s own post). But I digress, a basic definition of peace is, “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility”.

While we can’t always control the peacefulness in our environment, I believe I can offer some insight into this idea of peace.

First, peace is for everyone. Everyone is deserving of peace and no one should be able to take it away from you. Second, it is more about your mindset than your environment. It is easier to find peace if you live in a tranquil location, but peace is an inner feeling and belief. Lastly, everyone should want to achieve peace. This isn’t a religious thing and it should matter what belief system you adhere to. Peace needs to be a goal.

If you are having trouble achieving peace, then I urge you to immerse yourself in a passion or find a quiet place to sit and think. You don’t need to be a master of meditation to find peace, you just need to find activities that are relaxing and fulfilling. Inner peace takes a while to develop, so patience is extremely important. You are not going to become “zen” overnight.

Peace “takes work”. Throughout your day, you need to take deep breaths and you need to be more aware of yourself and how you interact in your environment. Something that helped me, was when I realized that getting personally offended is pointless. Everyone lives in their own world, so to that person what they said or did wasn’t intended to be offensive because in “their world” it’s not. Of course, this doesn’t apply to situations in which people intentionally hurt you (you shouldn’t be around those people anyway). But when I realized this idea-that everyone lives in their own world, it was instantly easier to achieve peace within myself.

Activities that help me find peace:

~ Hiking, walking, and running. Basically anything in gives me a peaceful sensation.

~ Listening to music while laying down.

~ Writing lists.

~ Thinking about something bigger than myself. Take yourself out of your body if that makes any sense.

~ The sound of rain on my window. You can look up rain sounds online or download an app called “Calm”.

~ Being around animals. Spend some time with your pet or volunteer at an animal shelter.

~ Think of a “happy place”.

I hope this rambling was helpful!

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Check out these other posts!

You Are More Than A Body

Does Manifestation Really Work?

Let That Man Go 

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vegan

Benefits of Veganism

I do not judge anyone that eats meat. I just wanted to get that out-of-the-way first. I believe that going vegan is a personal choice. While it has been a very positive change for me, I understand that it is not feasible for every single person in the world.

There were two main reasons I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle. The first reason was for my health. The other reason was I felt ethically pulled to veganism. Listed below are positive aspects of “going vegan” (in my opinion).

  1. Health. Research indicates that a healthy diet should be centered around fruits, veggies, and legumes (plant-based). Many doctors recommend reducing red meat intake and recommend cutting out processed food. Before I became vegan, I was sluggish and I had a lot of digestive issues. Now that my diet is plant-based, I have more energy, my skin has improved, and I have little to no digestive problems. Small amounts of lean meats can be healthy for you, but this leads to my next point.
  2. Ethics. To put it simply, I am against the mistreatment of animals. I do not agree with animals being treated as a product. While I know that some farm animals are free-range, industries do not have enough regulations. A company/brand can say that their animals are ethically treated, but there are no safeguards or standards to ensure ethical treatment. I have peace of mind knowing that what I put in my body has no ties to the mistreatment of creatures.
  3. Sustainability. Meat and dairy production uses so much water and energy. I’m not going to list statistics, but it is shocking that one hamburger uses 660 gallons of water. If you are on the path to a more sustainable living or you want to help out the environment, then I strongly recommend reducing your meat and dairy intake.
  4. Positivity. This aspect is hard to prove because it is personal to everyone. I feel more positive and untethered since I have been vegan. I don’t have much of explanation for this, this is just how I feel. I think when you align your values to your actions, then your quality of life improves.

Thanks for reading! I just want to reemphasize that I am not pressuring anyone into veganism, I just simply wanted to share some benefits I have noticed.

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You might like these posts also!

Quinoa Patties

Thoughts on Minimalism

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Lifestyle

You Are More Than A Body

It is extremely easy to get caught up in our vanity. Unfortunately, our society puts a lot of value in our outward appearance. We compare ourselves to our friends, people on magazine covers, and our favorite celebrities.

It breaks my heart to know that some people hate themselves solely because of their looks. People won’t leave their houses unless they have layers of makeup on and wear clothes that cover nearly every inch of flesh (not judging if you love that style). Individuals very dear to me have confessed to me that “no one will ever want to be with me because I am heavy”.

Honestly, this disgusts me. Enough is enough. No one should feel useless because of their body. Who or what is responsible for this? I do not know the answer. But, what I do know is that your body is just flesh. Your body is a vessel that carries your soul, which is your true essence and your true source of beauty. It is more important to be a good human and radiate light. We need to stop putting so much emphasis on physical attraction. I’m not saying that outer beauty is completely useless; but instead of saying “but she’s really pretty” or “he’s super hot though”, we need to say “they were so kind to me”.

Your appearance should never be an excuse for people to disrespect you or make you feel dehumanized. You should treat your body right, but obsessing over your beauty is a waste of energy. Worrying about your appearance will make you miserable. Instead, I challenge you to look at how you treat other people and even yourself. Are you kind? Are you giving? Are you smart? If all you have to offer is your outer beauty, then you are essentially empty. I am a believer that if you put out good “vibes”, then good things will find you regardless of your body type/clothes/face/style.

Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts on this topic!

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Check out these other posts…

Does Manifestation Really Work?

Never Good Enough

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beauty · vegan

iHerb Review

I’m all about natural products. I’ve heard a lot about iHerb and I was always wanting to try it. I recently ran out of some beauty products and vitamins so I decided to finally browse iHerb. At first, I was a little overwhelmed by the website. There are so many products to choose from! The great thing is their website separates everything into categories and has a search option. It was incredibly easy to navigate through all of the supplements and beauty products.

I was pleased with their selection of products, everything I looked at was natural and cruelty-free. Everything was also reasonably priced. Ordering was simple and I received my purchase in about 3 days. Below are the products I ordered!

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I haven’t used these products for long, but so far I am pleased. They’re fairly basic products. I take l-lysine for inflammation and skin problems and the rest are just beauty and hair products. My order was processed quickly and arrived in the mail shortly. Overall, I enjoyed ordering from iHerb and I plan to order again in the future.

Disclaimer: the featured image is not mine, it is from the iHerb website.

Thanks for reading!

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Check out these other posts!

Throwing Away Makeup

Mini Beauty Haul + First Impressions

Flower Beauty Brand Review

Lifestyle

Relax

It drives me crazy when someone tells me to relax or calm down! But most of the time, I should probably listen because it’s true. I have felt overworked and rundown recently due to final exams. I thought I would share some things that have helped me relax. Whether you’re in college or just a high-stress person, I hope you find these tips helpful.

Put down the phone! This is a big one. All of the notifications will stress you out even more. If you absolutely can’t part with your phone, then there is an app called “calm”. This app has a meditation option or you can turn on the relaxing nature sounds. I like to use the app in the morning and before I go to bed at night.

Go for a walk. Spending quality time outdoors always takes my mind off school and work. The fresh air and exercise will release built up tension.

Spend time with friends or family. I feel like I don’t need to explain this one. Spending time with people dear to you will undoubtedly make you feel better.

Laugh. Look at funny memes, watch dumb youtube videos, or laugh with your best friend. Laugh your worries away!

Thanks for reading!

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Does Manifestation Really Work?

Benefits of Journaling

Never Good Enough

Lifestyle

Does Manifestation Really Work?

If you believe it will work, then it will work…The phrases “manifestation” and “Law of Attraction” are buzzing right now. It all seems so appealing. Simply changing your thoughts, will ultimately change your life. I am unsure if I 100% believe in the Law of Attraction, but I do believe that positivity is powerful.

Actively focusing on positive vibes has made my life, for lack of a better word, easier. Overcoming tough times is simpler when my outlook is focused on personal aspirations and gratitude. I find achieving my goals to be manageable and I feel I am truly living my purpose.

Making lists has been super beneficial for me and it is something I would strongly recommend. Every night, I make a list about what I am grateful for. Even the small things count. I also avidly write about my goals and what I want my future to look like. Nearly everything I write about ends up actually happening.

You will receive what you put out into the “universe”. I feel that when you visualize your ideal life, you start attracting the right things and people. Personally, manifestation has worked for me. But, you have to do more than just imagine. You have to work hard and stay determined on what you want. I think this is where people get confused on manifestation and Law of Attraction. You still have to work for what you want, simply wishing for something won’t make it appear. You also have to keep in mind that what you want might not be the right thing for your life at that moment. Patience is to manifestation as well. You need to trust the “universe” or whatever word you want to use, but you also need to put trust in yourself.

I hope this helped!

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Check out these other posts

PERSPECTIVE

Thoughts on Minimalism

Looking for Happiness in the Wrong Places 

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Lifestyle

NOSTALGIA 

I was sitting in class the other day. As I listened to the monotonous explanation of statistical analysis, tears welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t the mathematics that moved me, but something in me was wakened (not in a dirty way). I thought about the kind of person I was last April.

From the outside looking in, not much has changed with me. I have the same hairstyle, for the most part I wear the same clothes, and I have the same attitude. Reviewing last April to this April, I feel like (and most likely am) a completely different person. I’ve been happy, I’ve been sad. I was in love and I was heartbroken. I have been poor and I have been financially stable.

In my “core” I haven’t wavered, but experiences have affected me in a way that I am forever grateful for. The past 365 days served as a series of self-reflection. The negative experiences have brought about change in perspective and the positive ones have given me a fulfilling gratitude. I view every interaction as meaningful, even the painful ones. I am self-aware and my strength in my character is better than ever. I am not constantly competing with others, my self-worth is not determined by how others perceive me, and I am faithful to myself.

I am now speaking my truth…

It’s going to take patience and determination to live your values and grow in who you are. It took me a year to realize I wasn’t living genuinely. Laugh, cry, sleep, run, love, live, travel, binge watch TV, paint, write, work, travel. Find meaning and fulfillment in whatever you choose to do. It’s okay to change behaviors and it’s great to admit that you need to grow. Taking some time to reflect is also never a bad idea. I am not here to explain to you the meaning of life. But, living genuinely and authentically is how I achieved satisfaction with myself, my life, and my surroundings.

Thanks for reading!

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Check out these posts:

PERSPECTIVE

Never Good Enough

Thoughts on Minimalism

Finding New Inspiration

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Lifestyle · vegan

Quinoa Patties

Before I went vegan, I loved hamburgers. I know that is something I probably shouldn’t admit to, but it’s true. I have found that veggie burgers and quinoa patties are great alternatives to traditional burgers. It’s really not as complicated as you might think (only a few key ingredients). My recipe is listed below, but I am really bad about measuring out ingredients when I cook so please keep that in mind.

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Recipe: 

1 cup of corn (or 1/2 of a can)

1 cup of black beans (1/2 of a can)

Cooked quinoa (between 1-2 cups)

Seasoning (I used garlic, salt, onion powder, and pepper)

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo, and bread/tortilla

Preparation: Blend together corn, black beans, quinoa, and spices (I use a ninja blender). You could also use pinto beans if you don’t have black beans on hand. In a medium skillet, heat up olive oil (medium heat) and put a large spoonful of the mixture in the center of the skillet. Wait for one side to become crispy and then flip (approximately 5 minutes). Top with lettuce, tomato, and your favorite condiments.

This recipe makes 3-4 patties and takes about 30 minutes in total. Feel free to add different seasonings and make this recipe your own. Sometimes the patties don’t turn out symmetrical and they might crumble, but they are yummy!

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*The featured image does not belong to me, it was retrieved from food.com. All other images are mine unless otherwise stated.

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Lifestyle

Never Good Enough

I am enough…

It’s very easy to compare yourself to others. We live in a digital age where everyone is sharing their life on social media. This can be great to connect with people, but it is all too common to have feelings of envy and lower self-worth.

I’m not blaming social media. But, it has intensified this made up competition we have with one another. Being extreme is seen as admirable and anything in between isn’t something two write home about.

If you are in a relationship, people constantly ask you about marriage. If you are single, people ask how many dates you go on. If you are vegan, people ask if you are raw. You get the point-this goes on and on. Sometimes this is curiosity, but other times people are actually sizing you up.

I wish I had something profound to tell you. Some people are never satisfied and that is not your fault. Stop comparing yourself to those on social media (you don’t know what happens behind the scenes). Everyone has different paths and you shouldn’t feel pressured to conform. Simply being yourself is and always will be enough.

Much Love,

Kaley

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For more positive vibes…

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Lifestyle

Thoughts on Minimalism

I have been hesitant to write this post. For whatever reason, I haven’t been able to put the words together to describe how I feel about minimalism. Minimalism has become more well-known in the past year because of a Netflix documentary and an abundant amount of minimalists and minimalism ideas on social media.

I was never one to have a bunch of stuff I don’t need. I have always valued my happiness and quality of life over material possessions. My parents taught me and my sister to not hold onto things and we regularly donated possessions to charity. I always thought minimalism was referring to white and gray interior design, almost like sterile hospital rooms. While this may promote minimalism, minimalism is not a specific design.

I am at a cross roads in my life (sorry this is all over the place). I spend a fair amount of time reevaluating my values and my purpose. Minimalism has simplified my life and on a deeper level it has reaffirmed my values, purposes, and basically the direction I’m going. Simplifying my possessions to only things that are meaningful and add value has given me a sense of freedom. I thought that living with less would make me feel restricted, but the opposite is true. I feel carefree and it doesn’t matter what other people think anymore. Why should I care what some random person thinks about my lifestyle? The people who judge how others live are typically people who are not even well-liked; so it shouldn’t matter.

I don’t like to tell others how to live. If minimalism isn’t your “thing” that’s fine. But for me, minimalism along with other changes has greatly improved my life. I am not usually the type of person to label myself, but I would proudly label myself a minimalist. Peace, freedom, serenity, purpose, and importance are all words I associate with my life and at the same time-minimalism. I urge you to research minimalism and maybe try it for yourself. I also recommend “The Minimalists” a documentary on Netflix and they will be able to describe it better than I can. Thanks for taking the time to read this rambling and I hope it is useful!

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Lifestyle

Finding New Inspiration

Exhausted, fed-up, and barely functioning. Recently, I have experienced a low-point. I am not saying I’m depressed because I am far from it. People go through ups and downs and it’s perfectly normal, but lately it’s been hard for me to get excited about basically anything. Constantly switching between class and work has definitely taken a toll on me. Anything outside of school and work seems like a chore even if it is a social event.

While I am not completely out of this funk–finding new hobbies, and analyzing my attitude has improved my drive a great deal. Changing your attitude is easier said than done and it is something I am still working on. I just make sure to rid all negative thoughts from my head and I try to go into everything with an open mind. On the other hand, finding new hobbies and inspirations has been fairly easy. Taking a look at my surroundings-I see all of these amazing opportunities. I have started saying yes to more things and doing so has allowed me to become more involved in my community and on my campus. Also, I love nature so in my little amount of free time I go out and take pictures of my favorite places. I believe that you can find beauty anywhere and in surprising places. Doing this has really brought me closer to my friends because they admire what I am doing and this has given me something to do that is also meaningful. This is important, you should have hobbies; but I believe they should add value and more purpose to your life (as with anything).

Thanks for reading and I hope this impacts you in some way!

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Lifestyle

Looking for Happiness in the Wrong Places 

Finding True Happiness

I know the title is weird, but hear me out! We are always looking for things and amounts to make us happy. This idea came to me when I posted on my Instagram and I received more likes and follows than normal. For some reason I thought that I would be happier. I was slightly pleased, but for some reason I thought that I would be an even happier person.

People think that reaching so many followers on their blog will make them happier or if they lose that amount of weight they wanted they will be happy. True happiness doesn’t come from material things or numbers of followers. True happiness is learned and comes from within. Now with social media, many people are consumed with how many likes and shares they get. This is just another form of greed.

You don’t have to give up your goals or social media to be happy, you just need to remember what is fulfilling to you. If you want to lose weight-that’s a great goal, but if getting to a certain number becomes an obsession it’s time to reevaluate. I have to constantly remind myself that I just have to do what makes me happy and not to worry if other people will like it. Your happiness comes from self-love and fulfillment. Look at your way of life and ask yourself, what is it lacking? I guarantee your answer isn’t going to be 10,000 YouTube subscribers. Your answer will probably be quality time with friends/family or traveling and new adventures. Stop looking to things and people to make you happier, take control of your life and do more of what gives you joy. It is easier said than done, but continually remind yourself of the life you want and force yourself out of you comfort zone. But, also be grateful for all that you have. Go explore, do dumb stuff with your friends, try that new yoga class, get a pet, spend a day volunteering. These are the things that will be meaningful to your life. When you are 80 years old you will be reminiscing about your trip to Paris, not the number of likes you got on Facebook.

Image result for self love

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle

Goodwill Haul 

Personally, I love going to thrift stores. It’s a great way to reuse and recycle clothes, books, and other possessions. I really don’t care if other people judge me for it, I will still go to thrift stores.

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Not too long ago, I went to my local Goodwill. I regularly donate items to Goodwill, but this time I went I  was a consumer. I was mostly trying to kill time–turns out I actually found some quality items.

I got three books that I am looking forward to reading. “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”, “American Creation”, and “The House Gun”. I  also purchased a necklace and blouses for school. Additionally, I got a gray sweater that I literally wear all the time, a flannel, and a pair of jeans. I didn’t keep my receipt, but the most expensive thing I bought was under $6. I know not everything at a thrift store is in good condition.But, I took my time and made sure the items I bought were in good condition.  If it turns out that I don’t like these items, then I only lost a few dollars so it’s no big deal!

I hope you enjoyed this and thanks for reading!

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Lifestyle · vegan

Current Nutrition Favorites

I’ve always prioritized my health. Lately, I have valued healthy living even more.

I want to share some of my nutrition favorites. Keep in mind that I am vegan and my dietary needs might be different than yours. Do what you think is best based on your diet/lifestyle.

Zinc

Because I eat only plant foods, it is sometimes harder to obtain metals such as Zinc. I started taking zinc because I was experiencing breakouts on the face even though there were no changes in my skincare routine or nutrition. If you are suffering from non-hormonal breakouts on the face; it could be an indication of low Zinc, Vitamin A, or Vitamin K. Some other vegan sources of zinc are flax seeds, kidney beans, and pumpkin seeds. Zinc is also good for hair growth.

Spirulina

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I love making smoothies, but I don’t always love massive amounts of spinach in my smoothies. Spirulina is a green powder derived from algae. It is a good source of many nutrients like B-vitamins, protein, and iron. Spirulina also improves energy and digestion. The powder doesn’t have a taste when blended in drinks. I usually only do a half serving because I find that I don’t need a full serving (2 teaspoons).

Track (app)

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You might be wondering how I knew I needed more Zinc. I downloaded an app called Track and you put in your meals and it gives you a breakdown of the nutrients, calories, percentages of macros, and activity. This is a great app, especially for others eating plant-based. If you feel you might be deficient in something, I recommend this app. If you are consistently deficient, then I recommend going to your family doctor and getting a blood test. This app also helps me maintain a low-fat vegan diet (mostly whole foods), which is when I feel the best.

I hope you enjoyed these nutrition favorites! If you have any, please leave them in the comments!

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Check these posts out!

Baked “Fries”

Vegan Chili

Summer Love

Lifestyle

BLOCK

Sometimes I am just tired. I can’t post new and “deep” content all of the time. I like posting meaningful personal essays, but I have been drained and uninspired lately. All of my pictures are turning out the same and I sound like a broken record.

I can’t produce what is going on in my head. You might have noticed that lately I have been posting recipes and other “fluff” content. There is nothing wrong with these posts, but it is all I can do at the moment.

While I’ll still be posting, I am going to take more breaks. I have so much planned for the next few weeks. I don’t want to waste my time on posts that are not quality.

I am apologizing beforehand. I probably will not be posting too much until I can overcome the writer’s block and settle into a school routine. I am grateful for everyone that reads and follows my blog!

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SERENITY

DECLUTTER

NOSTALGIA