Danielle Chassin Hippie in Disguise Shabana Buwalda

Unpacking, Owning and Leveraging Privilege

Danielle Chassin Hippie in Disguise Shabana Buwalda

Photo credit: Shabana Buwalda

I have the privilege of Caucasian skin tone

I have the privilege of Canadian citizenship

I have the privilege of roof and shelter

I have the privilege of mental health

I have the privilege of physical health

I have the privilege of a conventionally abled body

I have the privilege of literacy and language

I have the privilege of education

I have a privilege of geography

I have the privilege of stable employment

I have the privilege of 5 physical senses

I have the privilege of stable family

I have the privilege of heterosexuality

I have the privilege of species

I have the privilege of not knowing my other privileges

I want to say that I have the privilege of being a woman and mother, but these are not privileges in the sense of the word ‘privilege’ here.

Instead, I will cast them this way: I have the immense benefits that come from being a woman and mother, of mixed ethnicity and Indigenous descent. While these are not privileges in the contemporary sense and certainly not in every space, place and forum, they are gifts for the awareness, compassion, understanding and open-mindedness they cultivate and require to survive and thrive in spite of these dimensions of being that are unjustly devalued. I own and cherish these aspects of myself that bring challenge and struggle, but I also own my privilege. I have to admit, own, and dismantle the unfair benefits I reap from my many privileges. I have to leverage my privilege to the benefit of others, not myself.

Unchecked privilege permits us to look the other way, to be silent, to be too tired or too busy to act. Please understand that if you feel as though you can dismiss this, then you are privileged.

I am privileged. Let’s stop being afraid to say it! I am privileged.

But, let’s be afraid, ashamed and embarrassed when we do nothing with our privilege but serve ourselves. I can’t change most aspects of my privilege, but I can change how I use and leverage it.

Privilege is a form of domination. While it is impossible to exist outside domination (power relations) – and, all of us, in one way or another, dominate someone or something — we need to recognize, call out, and awaken ourselves to domination. We need to dismantle it whenever we can. We need to shift and share power. (For those of you afraid to share power, please remember: Power is like love. When you give it away, you don’t have any less of it, in fact, sometimes it grows.) Don’t be afraid to share power, be empowered to.

The fact that we can’t step outside domination, does not validate any and all forms of domination. Do not let anyone persuade you to think that because domination is ever-present that it is also necessarily right or justified or that it can’t be diminished. I dominate grass when I step on it. I dominate flowers when I pick them for art-making and home décor. I dominate pears when I choose to kill and eat them for my own survival. These are not the same as other forms of domination, but they are domination and I have to admit and own that. (And, one of them is absolutely unnecessary). I have to ask myself how I can shift, share or relinquish power in these and other instances? My relationship to the pear, should awaken and inform me about my relationship to all others, human and non-human.

Once you’ve checked your privilege (is it white privilege? it is religious privilege? is it gender privilege?) please remember this is only the beginning. Acknowledging privilege is step one. It’s not a test you pass and then you’re done. It is ongoing: it is daily work, attention and care. Does that sound exhausting? It can be. But you know what? When we all work together, we can do hard things. Let’s support each other in the work of unpacking and dismantling privilege.

So, you’re working on deconstructing your white/male/religious/… privilege? Great. You’re not done. Next, please acknowledge that you have many dimensions of privilege and work on the rest of them. One of the biggest blindspots in discussion of privilege is species privilege. We must as a species acknowledge and dismantle the unfair advantage we take from nonhuman animals, plants and ecosystems. We are not better or more important than them. We simply aren’t. If that makes you uncomfortable, sit with that. Privilege isn’t all fun and games.

Finally, please don’t wait for the perfect time, place or way to start talking about privilege. Perfection is an illusion and excuse. We need to challenge cultural expectations of perfection and flawlessness, so that we can move forward, do the work and make important, overdue changes. Please do not let perfection paralyze you on this topic, or in life in general.

What are your privileges? And will you leverage them for the benefit of others?

And, please, feel free to tell me which privileges of my own I’ve not woken up to. But it’s not your job to educate me, I know.

Danielle Chassin Hippie in Disguise Shabana Buwalda

Waiting for the Right One: Our Essentia Organic Mattress

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise

We recently got a new bed mattress and to honour this special item (simple things are special to us) we bought some flowers, a rare indulgence. I had planned on letting the children cover the bed in petals and bounce around, since we’ve never owned a mattress that has bounce I figured they would enjoy that. But, my little boy, Sen, had other plans. The photos that follow depict the making of his “flower sculpture”, which turned out to be the most perfect, organic way to appreciate our new mattress (which happens to be made from plants and infused with essential oils). The dried flower sculpture now sits on the shelf above our bed.

Please enjoy the photos and I hope you’ll read my post about how and why this mattress came into our life and why I feel so strongly about it as a product. But first, let’s start with the back story.

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

About 8 years ago an Essentia mattress store opened in Ottawa, the city we live in here in Canada. At the time we were sleeping on a 5-year old terribly uncomfortable futon mattress (I cannot overstate this enough). Being environmentally-minded consumers, we sourced and had custom made a futon made entirely from recycled cotton t-shirts and wool, we were assured it would be comfortable and last 10 years. But from day one it was uncomfortable. It was lumpy and slanted — I always felt like I was going to roll off the bed — a bit of an unnerving feeling when you’re trying to fall asleep. We figured it would take some time to settle and, besides, we weren’t about to waste all the materials, effort and money that went into the mattress. Months went by and the mattress never improved…it really only got worse, much worse. Being students and young parents we had no money to replace the mattress so we made do, which we are pretty good at doing. (Did you read my post about how we’ve been eating our meals at a desk for over 15 years, because we can’t afford to upgrade to a bigger, sustainable option? Ya, we make do.)

The point of the story is that after 5 years with the lumpy futon we were more than ready for a new mattress, but wanted to make sure we bought one that was ethically and sustainably made, and much more comfortable. After years of bad sleeps (I’m talking waking up every hour of every night from discomfort), we were ready for a good night’s sleep (and to reap all the health benefits that come from good rest).

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

Essentia mattresses are certified organic, plant-based (vegan-friendly!), biodegradable (!!), and ridiculously comfortable. After we walked into the store, laid on a few mattresses, we were sold on them. We decided that when we had the money these would be the mattresses we would invest in.

Years passed and our finances never really improved, so we kept sleeping on the lumpy futon. The slant in the mattress got worse. The lumps became more accentuated. It got to the point where we would take turns sleeping on our love seat because it was more comfortable (despite the obvious fact that we couldn’t stretch out on it).

My sweet sister (who is generous beyond words) caught wind of our sleeping woes and gave us a synthetic memory foam mattress topper for our futon. Many people I know use these memory foam mattress toppers for extra comfort, as they add a nice layer of supportive cushion to a mattress. But, being the health nut that I am I didn’t want to get one as I’ve read terrible things about the off-gassing, since the foam is synthetically made with chemicals and treated with fire retardants. Basically a toxic cocktail you sleep on 8 hours a night — not something I was itching to do (no pun intended).

I didn’t want to say no to my sister’s generosity (and she had let the mattress topper “breathe” for a while at her home) so we accepted the kind offer and looked forward to a good sleep. The topper was quite comfortable, but when we woke up in the morning my daughter was covered head to toe in hives, she was visibly swollen and in a lot of discomfort. She is not the allergic sort of child, she has no known allergies and is generally in good health and has a strong immune system, though she does have very sensitive skin. I quickly googled “foam mattress allergy” and found a tonne of photos of people covered in the same rash. I researched further and found that many people have terrible reactions to memory foam. So, we took the mattress out of the bedroom, disposed of it, and that was the end of foam mattresses for us.

Then, a few weeks later I happened to get an email from Essentia asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their products. I couldn’t believe our luck! As a rule, I always so ‘no’ to any product sponsorships unless I already use the product (or want to use it but can’t afford it), so this was perfect: I received something I had wanted for 8 years in exchange for an honest review.

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

We got ourselves a Stratami Queen mattress and our sleeps have been truly blissful ever since! I can’t say enough good things about the mattresses and pillows that Essentia makes. There is nothing green-washed about their products, they are fully  organic, plant-based, sustainably made and (amazingly) biodegradable — so even after the mattress is out of use it can fully decompose, rather than hanging out in landfill indefinitely!The mattress comes in fully recyclable packaging too. I have not come across anything near as environmentally-friendly and comfortable in my research. Click here to read their certifications and eco-standards, it’s a long, impressive list.

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

Essentially the mattress is made from rubber plants (hevea milk) and is the world’s only all natural memory “foam” mattress. It has that crazy comfort of synthetic mattresses, without the off-gassing that makes you sick over night or over the long-term. As well, the mattresses are guaranteed for 20 years, which is hard to come by with mattresses these days. The mattress is covered in an ultra-soft organic cotton cover (I didn’t believe it was cotton, it was so soft!), which you can remove and wash, if required.

When we laid down to sleep that first night on our new mattress, our little boy, Senny, got into bed first and smiled, but a curious smile. He said: “Mama, I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I don’t think I’ll need a snuggle to fall asleep tonight. The bed is snuggling me!” Senny is such a snuggly child, he needs snuggles more than anyone I know, but he felt on this mattress like he was being snuggled just right. He drifted off to sleep and woke up in the morning super happy and ready to bounce on the bed!

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

If you happen to live in a city with an Essentia store I recommend you make a visit, the staff are very helpful and not at all pushy (Big thank you to Alana at the Ottawa store who let me ask every question under the sun and happily answered them all). Normally, I dislike shopping with my children because I can tell they are bored being stuck inside a store, but when we visited the Ottawa store, I had to force them to leave after over an hour in the store! They had such a good time lying on the beds and relaxing, they said “Mama, seriously, you can stay at the store as long as you want! We want to lie on these beds forever.” I don’t know if there’s any science behind it, but the mattresses seem to calm my children down. (Essentia also sells direct online if you aren’t in a position to visit a store).

Although I would have liked to have a comfortable mattress sooner, I’m glad we waited to get an Essentia mattress because it is ethically and sustainably made and I know I won’t have to replace it for a very long time, if ever. When Matt and I first got together we made a pact that we would always buy things that last, even if it meant waiting longer to be able to buy something of quality. Long-lasting things are more sustainable for the planet and ultimately cheaper in the long run. Waiting to buy things also teaches you a lot about what you can live without, and while we lived a long time without good sleep, it’s not something I would advise. A good sleep is something that gives back in terms of health and quality of life, and is worth investing in.

essentia organic vegan sustainable natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise flower rose sculpture

essentia organic natural memory foam mattress hippie in disguise

Matt has a whole list of reasons why he loves the Essentia mattress that are different from mine. He’s high-performing athlete competing in elite and pro cycling races almost year-round, so for him the mattress is about good recovery from training, getting deep sleep so he can perform again the next day. In addition, as someone who has long suffered from insomnia, his mind was blown by the fact that the mattresses have a signature smell (from the essential oils and plant ingredients), so that people can develop a strong olfactory association with their sleep space and fall into a sleep that much more quickly. He thinks its pure genius, and I have to agree with him.

All in all, we are thoroughly impressed with the mattress and will surely be investing our money in another one for our kids — so we can get them out of our bed! But for the time being, it hardly seems fair to not let them sleep on an Essentia.

You can follow Essentia on Instagram @essentiagram

You can visit their website and online shop www.myessentia.com

Slow Fashion by Eco Label Four’eMki

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Four’eMki designs women’s and children’s wear. Show above is the Shape Dress and below the Poncho Dressboth for women. All garments are sewn to order.

 

I started a new blog series over on the Enfants Terribles Magazine blog today called ‘Eco Label Love’. For this series I will share interviews with small companies who produce clothing and other products in a sustainable and ethical way. The fashion industry can be pretty terrible in terms of labour practices (for example, this). And, fast fashion is sorely contributing to landfill.

We need another way to clothe ourselves. With care. Slowly. Ethically. Mindfully. Sustainably.

While the most sustainable choice is always to buy second hand or thrift, thrift is not an option for everyone. This is why I want to celebrate companies who are leading the way toward a more sustainable and fair (or more than fair) industry. When it comes to sustainability, this means the fabrics are organic and renewable, locally sourced and sewn, or eco-dyed. In terms of ethical production, this means the garments are sewn and produced under fair conditions, as locally as possible.

For the first interview and feature I spoke with Polish slow fashion brand Four’eMki, which produces their designs end-to-end in Poland: from fabric to final garment. With their current collection designed in a vegan spirit and called Natureholic, this little label, and the lovely woman behind it, stole my heart.

Please skip over to see my blog post and interview on Enfants Terribles Magazine here.

You can find Four’eMki‘s online shop here, follow them on Instagram here, on Pinterest here, and on Facebook here.

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You might also like my post:

Ethical Wool: Love Your Mother in Luv Mother

Slow Ethical Fashion: Dreaming with Little Creative Factory

The Slow Living Project

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Recipe: Raw Mint Chocolate Pudding

Recipe and photos contributed by Dillon Indira of Oh Holy Basil

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If you haven’t tried avocado pudding you are missing out! I love avocado in all formats (except cooked), but I have to admit that when I heard about avocado-based desserts I wasn’t particularly eager to try them. To me, avocado is a savoury food and best consumed with little change brought to it. This humble ingredient does not need much of anything to be a treat. But then again I like my food simple and uncomplicated. And, I like whole food ingredients to be able shine in and of themselves.

Being someone who does not consume dairy and avoids soy, I was pretty much missing out on pudding, except for the infrequent foray into coconut milk tapioca pudding. While we do eat our fair share of cooked foods, I do  always err on the side of raw foods when I can, so when my kids asked for pudding (more than a few times) I decided to try an avocado pudding recipe. To my delight, and especially my children’s, chocolate avocado pudding is super delicious and super nutritious. On top of that, it’s super easy to make. Super all around!

Raw Mint Chocolate Pudding | Serves 4

*I’ve included links for some items which may not be in your pantry, such as raw cacao and pink salts, these are included in this recipe because they are optimally healthy, however I have also noted some substitutions that you could make at the end of the recipe with more common pantry ingredients.

  • 2 cups avocado, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder, preferably raw (I like this one)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a heaping 1/4 teaspoon pink salt (I like this one)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled (I like this one)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Optional garnishes: berries, mint leaves, cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Blend for about a minute or until very smooth, scraping the bowl down half way through. Divide among glasses or ramekins and chill until ready to eat. Garnish and serve, or chill for later.

This pudding can be made a day in advance.

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Thank you, Dillon, for this deliciously healthy recipe!

Danielle’s Notes: Variations and Substitutions

Variations:

Avocado pudding is easily adaptable to ingredients you have on hand and has many options for flavour variations,  depending on how you garnish, flavour or spice it. In my experience there is no pure science to avocado pudding, so play around and see what you like. For example, my kids love swapping the fresh mint leaves for organic grated orange rind and one drop of Wild Orange essential oil. If you don’t have fresh mint on hand you can use one drop of Peppermint essential oil.

Simple substitutions:

While himalayan salt is included in the recipe for its health benefits, you could use other salts you may have on hand, such as table salt or fleur de sel.

You can substitute conventional cocoa powder in place of raw cacao powder. Similarly, you can substitute honey or agave syrup in place of maple syrup.

I most often use vanilla bean powder in place of liquid vanilla extract, as I prefer the vanilla taste from the bean. For this recipe just a tiny sprinkle of powder is sufficient, probably 1/16 of a teaspoon.

If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, I recommend omitting oil altogether. Coconut oil is much healthier than other oils and has the benefit of hardening at room temperature, which helps to “gel” the pudding, although it is not necessary to make the pudding hold.

My only warning would be to minimize any liquid added, as this will thin the pudding. Always use powdered spices, extracts or essential oils (edible ones only!) to flavour so the liquid input is minimal.

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Readers: Make sure to visit and bookmark Dillon’s site, Oh Holy Basil, to see all the delicious family approved recipes on offer. You can also keep up to date by following on Instagram @ohholybasil

About Dillon:

Dillon is the mother of two young ones. She has a passion for health, food, Ayurveda and macrobiotics, which she intelligently combines into delicious, wholesome, plant-based recipes shared on her blog Oh Holy Basil. Dillon trained in integrative nutrition and gourmet cooking and has worked in esteemed New York City kitchens.

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If you would like to contribute a plant-based recipe to this blog please email me: hippieindisguise1@gmail.com.

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You might also like my post:

Recipe: Summer Berry Cream of Buckwheat

How to Make Temporary Tattoos from Real Flowers

Summer Lists: Of Sun, Sand and Strawberries

Sustainable Children’s Gift Guide for Any Occasion

Mindful Flower Picking and Making a Flower Crown

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How to Make Easter Egg Bath Bombs with Flowers + Essential Oils

natural easter egg bath bomb diy with flowers

I freely admit that the naturally dyed Easter eggs I see on Instagram (these ones!) and Pinterest (these ones!) have me feeling a little underwhelmed with our own vegan Easter crafting traditions. For a few years now, I’ve wanted to naturally dye wooden eggs but haven’t found an economical source for the wooden eggs. We’ve been making our own bath and beauty products for the last year or so (deodorants, creams, toothpaste and so on) and it occurred to me when I was getting our Easter decorations out that the plastic Easter eggs we use for the egg hunt would make perfect bath bomb moulds, so I decided to try it out with the kids. And, low and behold we found our Easter egg, vegan friendly, crafting tradition! (Note: After years of frustration related to buying aluminum wrapped chocolates, I decided to buy reusable plastic eggs that I could fill with dried fruits and other treats, rather than put aluminum foil into landfill).

Making the bath bombs was really easy and a super fun activity for the children. They got their hands into some dough, designed their own scents from mixing essential oils, and crumbled dried flowers. A sensory and very satisfying experience! The bombs smell great, are healthy for sensitive skin and soothing for the soul. On top of this, you can make the bombs with common household ingredients that are likely to be in your pantry or available at the grocery store.

natural easter egg bath bomb diy with flowers dried

natural easter egg bath bomb diy dried flowers essential oils

natural easter egg bath bomb diy dried flowers essential oils

Here’s how we made them:

  1. In a bowl combine: 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of potato starch (you can also use corn starch or cream of tartar), 6 tablespoons of Epsom Salts (you can also use sea salt).
  2. If you want to make different scented bombs, then separate the mixture evenly into a few bowls — we separated into four bowls.
  3. Crumble approximately 2 teaspoons of dried flowers into each bowl. We did different combinations to get different colours. For example, a pink egg from wild roses, and a green egg from blue hydrangea. Make sure to finely crumble the flowers because the bits will go down the drain in your bath so you don’t want to clog it up. Although, as Ro said: “It would be the nicest clog ever!”
  4. Add 7-10 drops of your favourite essential oils to each bowl. I use Do Terra essential oils which are very high quality (pure) so I didn’t need many drops, if you use a more conventional essential oil you may need a few more drops to get a strong enough scent. We used lavender, wild orange, balance, serenity, citrus bliss, eucalyptus and melaleuca in different combinations.
    • Lavender, balance and serenity are calming.
    • Wild orange and citrus bliss are energizing and refreshing.
    • Eucalyptus is great for opening up the air ways especially if you have congestion or a cold.
    • Melaleuca, also known as tea tree, is a natural anti-septic, is soothing and smells great.
    •  I’ve included links above to purchase from Amazon, but if you are interested in opening an account with DoTerra to get oils at a significant discount email me: hippieindisguise1@gmail.com
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of melted (liquid) coconut oil to each dry mixture, if separated into four bowls. (Overall you would add 6-8 tablespoons to the entire mixture).
  6. Using a spray bottle or a teaspoon to very slowly add water and mix, only add water until the mixture is crumbly but will hold together if you squeeze it in your hand. At this point it can be pressed into your egg moulds. Pack the moulds fully and firmly so that as they dry they will hold shape. I let ours dry in the egg mould for 2 days although 1 day was probably enough.
  7. Gently open the moulds. A few of our eggs crumbled from over excited hands, so be careful.

natural easter egg bath bomb diy dried flowers essential oils

natural easter egg bath bomb diy dried flowers essential oils

natural easter egg bath bomb diy dried flowers essential oils

No surprise, the children couldn’t wait for Easter to use the bath bombs. We found they worked really nicely. They didn’t fizz around (you need to add citric acid to the recipe if you want fizz, but citric acid can be hard on the skin so I don’t add it to my recipe) but they smelled really good and easily melted into the bath water. The crumbled flowers floated to the surface of the bath and made the bath water extra fancy. The coconut oil was soothing on the skin and the essential oils gave off a delightful and calming aroma. Overall, the bombs were a success.

natural easter egg bath bomb diy dried flowers essential oils

If you have any questions about how we made the bath bombs please leave a comment and I will be happy to answer. For an amazing tutorial to make naturally dyed wooden eggs visit Fareisle Blog here.

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You might also like my post:

How to Make All Natural Temporary Tattoos from Real Flowers

Garbage Free: How to Make Your Own Delicious Cashew Milk

How to Make a Mother Nature Leaf Dress from Real Leaves

Drawing a Day: A Summer Drawing Project

Want to find me in other places?

Garbage Free: Making Cashew Milk

This is just a simple how to post. Nothing very inspired, but something I feel really strongly about sharing. It’s nothing more than how to make milk, how to have milk in your household, without any waste. Simple, but a big deal.

A few months ago I came into contact with a very inspiring family, the Devine family, who lives a garbage free lifestyle. I interviewed them here, and in hearing from them I was inspired to push myself further in minimizing my impact on the earth. I try my best, but I am nowhere near as effective as the Devines. However, I am happy to be finding ways to minimize each day and am constantly making small changes to move in their direction.

Then there is my friend Kylah, she’s a sixth generation farmer, living and working on a diverse organic farm and homestead that operates off-the-grid. She’s amazing. And, yes, I interviewed her – find it here. Kylah is also a talented chef and health coach. She develops simple, wholesome, delicious, whole food recipes, that also minimize in waste. Recently, she posted to Instagram a photo and recipe for cashew milk. Tired of soaking and straining almonds to make milk (I’ve been there and given up too), she tried making milk from cashews and found there was no need to strain. Less labour and no food pulp wasted. It was genius! I tried her recipe as soon as I could and found it to be exceptionally easy and completely delicious. Best of all her recipe is vegan, plant-based, gluten free, waste free. I’ve adapted it slightly to make it fully raw, by substituting one date in place of maple syrup, and replacing vanilla extract with vanilla bean.

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Photo by Kylah Dobson

Not only was I excited that I could be self-sufficient and make my own healthy milk, it meant I could now provide our family with all the milk we needed in a garbage-free and zero waste way!

Here’s how: I take my reusable produce bag (for example these) to the bulk store, fill it up with raw cashews, close it off with a rubber band or string. Soak the cashews in a mason jar, puree them with the remaining ingredients (water, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt) and then store the milk in the same mason jar. A closed loop without any wasteful packaging or food waste.

I’ve used the milk for oatmeal, tea, coffee, baked goods, vegetable purees (mashed potatoes), soups and a whole bunch of other ways with no issues (no unpleasant taste differences, and no need to adjust the amount of milk in the recipe).

Here’s Kylah’s recipe for “Creamy Cashew Milk” 

1 cup raw cashews
4 cups cold water
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional) or 1 date *my version
2 teaspoons liquid vanilla extract or vanilla powder (optional)
Pinch sea salt (optional)
Pinch cinnamon (optional) *I don’t include the cinnamon so that I can use the milk in savoury dishes

1. Soak cashews covered in water 4 hours or overnight in the fridge
2. Rinse the soaked cashews under running water until the water runs clear
3. Add cashews and 4 cups of cold water plus any of the optional ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high for 1-2 mins until silky smooth

Makes about 5 cups and stores in the fridge for about 3-4 days. The milk may separate so just give it a quick shake before using. Add a little cacao powder and bit more sweetener for chocolate milk.

Thank you Kylah for letting me share your recipe here. Readers please visit Kylah’s blog and follow her on Instagram for healthy and inspired family meals. Thank you, as well, to the Devine Family for the inspiration to live more lightly upon the earth. Find them on Instagram or visit their website and shop Bee Eco Wraps.

If you have come up with a way to do something garbage free (or minimizing garbage) please share it here. We can all learn from it!

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Want to find me in other places?

 

Summer Berry Cream-of-Buckwheat

Contributed by Jo of Nurturing Kitchen

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I have been eating raw creamed buckwheat for breakfasts for a few years now and I never get bored of it. It tastes so delicious and has endless variations depending on how you garnish and spice it. Best of all it is easy to make and is made from whole foods. In my experience there is no pure science to the recipe, it is a forgiving dish, so play around and see what you like.

Jo, who I interviewed here, generously offered to share one of her buckwheat breakfast recipes on my blog. The original is posted here, and you might want to skip over to read her lovely introduction to the recipe. Jo writes a delicious food and parenting blog called Nurturing Kitchen. Her recipes are simple, delicious, plant and whole food-based. I recently made her flourless Chocolate-Orange Brownies and I can vouch for the deliciousness of her creations. And so can my toddler!

Recipe: Serves 2 — and packed with healthy goodness!

  • 2 cups buckwheat groats, soaked in plenty of water overnight (I like these ones)
  • 6 dates, soaked overnight in enough water to cover (or dried figs)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (I like these ones best)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (these ones are great)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 handfuls summer berries, plus extra for serving

Toppings: Hemp/sesame/ poppy seeds, Summer berries, Matcha or barley-grass powder for sprinkling

Rinse the soaked buckwheat in a sieve under running water, then transfer all but 1/2 a cup to an upright blender (keeping a few back  for serving). Add all other ingredients (except the toppings), including the date-soak water and blend until smooth. You’re looking for a consistency like thick yogurt. If it seems too thick, add a bit more milk or water.

Pour into bowls and scatter with the remaining buckwheat, whole berries, seeds and a pinch of green powder. Enjoy straight away or leave to firm up slightly in the fridge before serving.

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If you would like to contribute a plant-based recipe to this blog please email me: hippieindisguise1@gmail.com.

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Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Creative Mother Kaity Ferrell

Today I am launching a new series of interviews with creative mothers. Mothers who have started their own business, mothers who are artists, mothers who live a creative lifestyle. These are women whose passions line up with the work they do each day. The thing about passions is the you have that feeling that the energy you are putting into them is contributing something valuable to the world and to the lives of others.

Like a cliché come to life, once I had children my priorities completely changed. No longer did my passions lie in a career pursued outside the home, my passions were right there in front of me, making messes, asking questions, and giving endless snuggles. Living in Canada, I am fortunate to have been able to stay home with each child for a year. But if it had been financially viable, I wouldn’t have gone back to work. I would have stayed home with them until they were in school full days or maybe longer. Who knows, maybe I would have homeschooled them?! I still hold out hope that I might be able to craft a life where I spend my work hours doing something I enjoy and feel passionate about, and so I am drawn especially to women who have been able to do this for themselves.

I am excited to have Kaity Ferrell as my first first creative mother feature. Kaity is the owner of Fare Isle, a small business that focuses on farm to table foods, skin care and wellness products. All Fare Isle products are made by hand from her organic garden and wild harvesting. I met Kaity through Instagram and was first drawn to her because she posted the most beautiful and scrumptious vegan food dishes. She is more than a chef though, everything Kaity touches becomes beautiful. To me Kaity is an artist who plays with plays with food, flowers, colour and texture to create a feast for the senses.

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As I got to know Kaity, I was also inspired by her as a mother and as a person. She seems to have curated a balanced life for herself, filled with family, friends, creativity and passion. Her life is not about the things she has accumulated, but about the experiences she fosters for family and friends. As a mother she is giving her son many gifts: her presence, her love and the foundation of a life cultivating and cherishing moments.

Enough of me talking, read on to hear from Kaity, herself.

What part of the world do you live in?

Nantucket, a magical faraway island situated 26 miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I feel so blessed to call this place home.

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How many children do you have and how would you describe them?

My partner and I have one son, Iley, who turns 4 this summer. Iley is a bright-eyed curious playful boy. He loves food and will eat almost anything we make, and loves to help with the cooking. I would say his favorite activities are riding his balance bicycle, building with legos, and treasure hunting in the forest. He has a contagious belly laugh and those hazel eyes of his are always full of mischief.

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What are your core family values?

Honesty is important to us. My partner and I try to instill in Iley to be truthful always. This quote always sticks with me, “Truth is an offense but not a sin”, not to say that speaking the truth is always an offense, but that it is better to speak the truth and risk offense than to lie. Togetherness, family time is so important to us. Kindness is equally as important; kindness to all beings and to the earth.

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How do you spend most of your days?

I work from home on a flexible schedule, thankfully. My partner and I rise and make a cup of tea before Iley wakes up. Then we make breakfast and work while Iley plays. Iley and I run our daily errands midday and then try to sneak in an afternoon adventure outdoors, weather permitting. We make and eat dinner early. We head out to watch the sunset from the beach when we can and then return home and have quiet time in the evening. I usually work some more at night after Iley falls asleep.

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What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

We love family walks to the beach from our house and also family bike rides in the summer.

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What are you passionate about?

I’m a passionate foodie at heart. I love developing recipes and styling and photographing them for my blog.

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What inspires you?

The sea – whenever I am feeling stuck I head straight to the ocean and the salty sea air, the sound of the surf and the sand between my toes always clears my mind. I will forever be in awe of a fiery sunset and a rainbow after the rain. The incredible work of honey bees amazes me-since becoming a hobby beekeeper and watching them work around the garden I just cannot believe what they accomplish. The scent of my son’s head gives me tingles all over and I hope that never changes-what magic is this!? The beauty of a just picked tree-ripened peach, its juice running from my mouth after the first bite is pure heaven. Basically everything in nature inspires me and i am grateful to live in a place surrounded by natural beauty. I’m not sure I could make it as a city dweller.

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Did your career aspirations change once you had a child?

I wouldn’t say they changed, but rather I gained the confidence to go after them and make them reality.

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What is Fare Isle and why did you decide to start your own business?

Fare Isle is a culmination of what I love: sustainable living, growing food, herbs and flowers, making small batch foods and body products by hand, and sharing our recipes and stories on the blog. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted and am happy. And to be able to share this all with our customers, followers and friends is more than I could ever have dreamed.

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What are your dreams for your business?

I am focusing more energy on developing recipes and writing in hopes to move my business more toward freelance work and writing a cookbook. That’s what I really love to do the most. I would also love to host destination workshops on the island; an idea that has been floating around in my brain for some time now, and I would love to make it happen this summer. We’ll see!

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Visit Kaity on Instagram @fareisle and check out her website and recipe blog.

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