Raspberry Chia Superfood Smoothie

I spent the better part of the afternoon watching the documentary on Yogananda, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, and drinking raspberry protein smoothies. And have since been practicing Yogananda's spine breathing techniques, I'm into it. Since watching George Harrison's and Steve Jobs' fascination with the man I'm pretty determined to get my hands on Autobiography of a Yogi, as this transformational piece of literature that Jobs apparently requested everyone in his company read as his dying wish to actualize themselves. Pretty interesting stuff from such an accomplished and sometimes controversial man. Anyways, I'll get ahold of it after I'm done reading about Benazir Bhutto, another fascinating historical figure. If you're bummed out about not having a female president (I am) then reading about the accomplishments and missteps of the first female prime minister of Pakistan may be what you need. Spoiler: It's a sad story, but an important one nonetheless. 

For this smoothie I used Maca, a probiotic tablet, and chia to make it extra healthy, and protein powder, of course. So, I learned recently that Maca is an adaptogen and it helps you cope with stress. This is something we probably all need. I drink it in the afternoon dissolved in warm water, like tea. I love the way it tastes. Other people say it tastes like dirt. So, it's up to you to decide, but there's really no denying that it makes you feel better and helps you cope with stress. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup of vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 1/4 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon of maca
  • 2 tablespoons of protein powder
  • 1 probiotic tablet - opened
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Directions: 

  • Blend all ingredients together and serve cold

A Guide To Ethical Gift Giving with Thymes

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Thymes but the content and opinions expressed are my own. 

One thing I thought a lot about while working as a freelance writer earlier this year was making ethical purchases, and as Christmas draws ever closer the idea of spending money on things that aren't benefiting the environment or the economy can be a little nerve-racking, with my preference for ethical goods in print and all. So, when partnering with Thymes for their #BuyOnePlantOne campaign, I was pretty excited to see that not only are the candles made in the US, but they focus on using plant-based fragrances, and I checked the packing boxes and they're all recycled. In addition to that for every candle you buy, they'll plant a tree. I'll leave one of the tracking codes for the trees at the bottom in case you want to track my tree, or one of them, because I am the proud owner of like 7 new trees. So, all in all I'm super happy to be part of the campaign, and plan to keep my house smelling like Christmas for as long as possible. And pretty much everyone I know is getting American-made candles this year, except the ones I've hijacked for myself, along with the reed diffuser currently warming up my bathroom. Those are staying here. 

So while I'm at it I thought I'd give a quick outline of what to look for when you're getting started with your ethical shopping. I know it can feel overwhelming when you're bargaining over the best Black Friday deals, but I firmly believe you'll be picking up the best gifts if you take a minute to look at the tags and see if you're voting with your dollar to bring changes and sustainability not just to the environment, but for American manufacturing, or Fair-Trade. I think both are good. 

1. Source: First thing to look for when picking out a gift is where is it from. If it's from the states, you can be pretty sure that there were ethical labor practices involved and that the people working were given fair wages, and holiday pay, and the things we've gotten used to as American workers. If it's made overseas, look for Fair-Trade, unfortunately most international manufacturing provides less than ideal conditions for its employees. (I could go into the gory details, but I'll spare you.) Granted there are so many good companies trying to change that. All I'm saying is, that you should try and find one to support this holiday season, or opt for American-made. 

2. Environmental Impact: So Thymes does their #BuyOnePlantOne where they'll plant a tree for every item you buy from the Northwoods or Limited Collection, which is amazing. Sustainability doesn't only mean recycling but also replenishing, because we all like new things from time to time, but it's important to keep the balance and do good where you can. 

3. Materials: So many synthetic materials take an immense amount of water to produce. So, focusing on things that are plant-based or recycled can eliminate this problem. I live in California, the amount of water available is a daily concern, as is clean air, and like I said before maintaining the balance. 

4. Quality: Last, but not least, when shopping ethically think about the things that you're breathing in, like fragrance, and the lotion you put on your skin. It's all getting absorbed and it's either helping or hurting you. So, as you go out and do your shopping, think about you skin and respiratory system and avoid synthetics, and opt for natural ingredients instead. 

Oh, and you can use that code to go find my tree