Monthly Archives: July 2013

Bike Powered: Margaritas & Ice Cream!

In case you didn’t know, I’m really into bicycles. My husband is into riding long distances on bicycles, whereas I’m content in my place as an urban cyclist. It’s my transportation to work (the BEST start to a morning), my grocery store helper (thank you pannier bags), and you can find me in the city carrying all sorts of crazy shit home on my bike. The two craziest were probably a 6 foot tall picture frame that I put my body through so I could still pedal, and a bunch of huge storage bins from Office Depot that I had to tie to my helmet and shoot down my back (might be contributing to the back problems..).

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What I also love is finding amazing examples of bicycle powered goods. At the Sustainable Brand’s Conference, Earth911 set up a super rad bike-powered blender that we drank delicious margaritas from (thanks to Dimitar for pedaling away!). There, I also discovered Peddler’s Creamery, an LA based creamery that churns all of its flavors by bike (also organic, fair trade, locally sourced). I had the vegan chocolate and it was incredible (please please open up in SF Peddler’s!). If you’re in LA you should definitely check them out.

In SF we have Bicycle Coffee where they personally select the beans from sustainable farms they’ve visited, roast them in SF, and then bicycle them around to stores and businesses, and I recently read about Portland’s new bicycle delivery service: B-Line that bikes any good (produce, baked goods, Office Depot orders) to businesses.
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Biking in cities is definitely the future and I’m glad to see more of these leg-powered goods companies popping up. Some day I will quit my job and deliver something delicious to people using my legs….

Make-Your-Own Trail Mix in New Haven!

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Greetings from the East Coast! As I head into the woods for a week of pure happiness at camp, I’m finding lots of GREEN back in my native CT. New Haven has always intrigued me as a city. Slightly ghetto, pretty small, but with a ton of local spirit, educated people, and even a startup scene. My Dad and I had the pleasure of feasting at Green Well where he commented ‘Woah, this is a hippie SF/Sarah restaurant’. Right he was!

Green Well’s mission is to bring happiness, energy and fulfillment to others through lifestyle and consumption habits (side note: I think this also might be my mission!). There the organic, responsibly sourced food and drink is the norm, and it’s not more expensive (Dad was into the prices and he listens to Rush Limbaugh).

All sandwiches are served on freshly baked/homemade vegan bread, and sandwiches come with kale chips. I’m still dreaming of our breakfast sandwiches, and the glorious trail mix and cereal bar where I tried my first goji berry (16 varieties of dried fruit, veggies, nuts and granola!).

Coming home is going to be much more fun with great places like this popping up. Way to go CT!

Turns out The Body Shop is pretty awesome.

warming-mineral-mask_lI get asked a lot about what moisturizers and creams I use (since cosmetics are not regulated and there are all sorts of horrible chemicals in most of the things you can buy at CVS).

Turns out The Body Shop is a great option. It’s similar to a Patagonia because it was started to improve society &  the planet. I associated it as a bit old school, but really it’s kind of a secret gem. They’ve been 100% anti animal testing from their first day in business (!), every product is certified Cruelty-Free, and they’re also one of the first big brands to be as Fair Trade as they possibly can be. Fair Trade as a seal is just getting into cosmetics and Body Shop is helping them expand. They currently source FT Shea (which is a hugely controversial ingredient – there is conflict Shea butter, I know, wild), Tea Tree, Honey, Hemp, and Aloe. They do a ton with employee volunteerism, have their own foundation, encourage female self esteem (not with makeup, with health), focus on domestic violence, work with a lot of local community groups, are replacing store lighting with LEDs, installed solar on their HQ and other buildings, and have a huge focus on ethical suppliers (which is totally awesome, a lot of companies stop at their own operations and then say they have no control over what suppliers do).

I use the warming mineral mask (because who can afford regular facials) and I really like it. It definitely pulls out the gunk and I break out for about a day after using it (similar to with a facial) but then my skin feels so clean, smooth, and even tighter. Worth a try if you’re into that.

My other favorite brand is Yes To (Carrots, Blueberries, Cucumbers). It’s strong environmentally and health-wise they don’t put any chemical crap in their products. Good Guide rates them as a 6/10 mostly because their social programs aren’t super transparent. I really like how the Carrots Repairing Night Cream feels on my face, and you can get it at Target which helps. I didn’t love the cucumber moisturizer (smelled really fragrant and went on sticky), and the blueberry I like only in the eye cream.

I also use the derma E day cream (with SPF) and I really like it- not greasy and perfect for every day. They sell it at Whole Foods (it’s expensive I think $25 for a little tub), and Good Guide rates it a 7.4.

To healthy faces, healthy society, and a healthy planet!

Another Leg-Powered Vacation: Our Patagonian Honeymoon

We did it again. Except this time we hiked (there were some bicycles-through a vineyard and tandem style through Santiago). After a few days touring Santiago, we hiked through the Lake District in the northern part of Patagonia in Chile, for a week. It was so. freaking. amazing.

We were in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park and we went with a guide through One Seed Expeditions. One Seed was simply the best. They employ all local guides, we stayed with local people, and their basic goal is to eradicate poverty by employing people through tourism. It was also a no-waste trip (the food was made by our local hosts and they make it or killed it themselves). One house had built their own hydro-electric dam, and no one anywhere near us had a car. They had legs, and horses. We ate a lamb a few hours after it was killed (yes I ate a lamb – talk about sustainable meat though!), and they handmade everything (the butter, the honey, the bread). It was some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten…oh take me back. People + Environment, this was my kind of vacation! 

I think the pictures tell the best story but I’ll give you some highlights: dinner in the German inspired village of Puerto Varas before the hike; a motorized row-boat ride across the Emerald Lake (after a 2 hour van ride, this hour boat ride, and 6 hours of hiking we finally reached the first house!); hiking to the top of a mountain up to a volcano – I felt like we were in National Geographic/only humans in the world; our honeymoon suite tent (I almost cried from exhaustion in it one night but took a nap instead); all the unbelievably gorgeous lakes!; the honey, the butter, the bread, the cake; the warm Chilean people; digging our own holes in natural hot springs next to the lake; and a relaxing adventure to Valpariso when we returned!

Luckily Simon and I find intimacy/happiness when we’re supporting each other through things. This may have not been the most relaxing honeymoon (if I did it again I’d add two days at the end to just sit on a beach!), it was the absolute perfect one for us to celebrate the first week of our marriage.

Thank you Chile, and thank you One Seed for the best honeymoon we could have imagined!

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