Ethical Gift Giving

Ethical Gift Giving

This week, I rewatched the documentary film Living on One Dollar, which illustrates the lives of people who live in extreme poverty. The film also documents the day-to-day experiences of farmers, day laborers, and artisans in Guatemala. It is the type of film that really puts things into perspective for those of us who have plenty.

As we enter the holiday season, I want to share the importance of considering our purchases in every way, shape, and form – and moreover, spread awareness about ethically made and fair trade gifts. There may be fair trade stores such as 10,000 Villages in your local area that you can look into, but those are unfortunately rare. For me, one of my most favorite ethical companies is a customized, handcrafted jewelry subscription box called Worldly Box. I have talked about them once in the past on my YouTube channel; they offer a beautiful gift option that your loved ones will get so much out of, and the best part is, the items support talented global artisans who are paid a fair wage. These are not items that can be found at any mall or by making impulse purchases at big box retailers.

Below, I have shared photos of what was in my box this month. What is neat about this is, the box is curated based on your style specifications, and the items make beautiful gifts individually, or you can purchase a gift subscription for your friends and family members so they will receive a surprise in the mail! And each piece is really special, because they will have the opportunity to learn about the person who made it.

I spoke with the founder, Veronica, and she shared a 20% off coupon code with me that is good thru Dec 25th, but orders have to be placed by Dec 4th, 2016, if you want your gifts to be received by Christmas. The discount makes it even more affordable than it already is.

Holiday Discount Code:
“SANTASCOMING” 20% off all gifts – You can order your gifts here

How beautiful are these pieces of art? I cannot wait to wear the pink earrings for New Year’s and the gorgeous blue pouch will be a change purse for me. I just adore it. I have very little by way of jewelry, accessories, and clothes, because I like to live simply, so I truly appreciate every piece I have and wear it with joy in my heart, knowing that they are made by hand.

No matter what gifts you decide on making or gifting this holiday season, I hope you choose options that are special and where the people who made them are paid fairly for their talents, so that they can also enjoy time with their families and experience a better quality of life. We all deserve that.

And if you watch the film Living on One Dollar, please comment and let me know your thoughts on the film. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Thank you for reading and sharing!

Mary Signature

 

No-Bake Chocolate Date Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Date Cookies

Minimalist cookies, folks. These are chewy like a date truffle but shaped like a cookie. And… They are healthy, plus so simple to create in as little as 5 minutes. I like to enjoy a couple of these treats with an evening cup of tea.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
12 pitted medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla extract or powder
3 tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix until well-combined into a dry, but sticky dough-like consistency. If too dry, add more dates. If too sticky, add more oats.

2. Roll the dough into 8 balls.

3. On a flat nonstick surface, press each ball down into a flat cookie of your desired thickness.

4. Pop these in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill and then serve. Store in the fridge.

Recipe yields 8 small cookies. Recipe can easily be doubled. Enjoy!

Homemade Tofu Scramble

Homemade Tofu Scramble

This is a basic tofu scramble recipe that will knock your socks off. It looks similar to scrambled eggs, and tastes super yummy too! To add bulk to this recipe, you can add vegetables of your choice. Otherwise, you can serve this as is on toast or in a breakfast burrito, or as a side dish with oatmeal and fruit (or just by itself; it’s that good). This recipe is also omnivore-approved!
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Ingredients
1 12-oz package of drained and pressed organic firm or extra firm tofu (I used sprouted tofu.)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt and pepper to taste
optional – coconut oil (to coat pan and/or to add in for extra flavor)

Directions
1. Drain the tofu and firmly press it between two cloths or paper towels until the excess water is as eliminated as possible.

2. In a medium skillet, use natural propellant-free coconut oil spray or 1 tsp of organic coconut oil and turn the heat up to medium. Note: before purchasing a spray, the only ingredients should be coconut oil and an emulsifier like sunflower. Try to avoid ingredients such as propellants, natural flavors, and soy oil.

3. Add in your tofu with your hands, crumbling it into small pieces as you add it to the pan.

4. Add in all of your spices and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Note: you will want to taste the mixture before you serve it, as you might need to add more salt. For those not concerned about oil intake, you can add coconut oil to the dish to make it extra rich and flavorful.

5. The tofu will be finished once it is steaming hot. The entire dish takes approximately five minutes to cook through. There should not be an excess of liquids in your pan, if you pressed out the water in step #1 properly.

Serve and enjoy!
Yields 2-3 servings.

21 Day Fix Approved: measure out in the red container to count as 1 red + account for the coconut oil (if you measured out coconut oil for this dish). This tastes just as good as an oil-free breakfast.
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Sprouted Tofu Grilled in Coconut Butter over Kale and Arugula

Sprouted Tofu Grilled in Coconut Butter over Kale and Arugula

This is a recipe for sprouted tofu prepared in coconut butter over kale and arugula topped with fresh ground white pepper, fleur de sel, and honey drizzle! It was delicious!

Ingredients:
3 oz. organic sprouted tofu, cut into thin squares
1-2 TBSP raw coconut butter
freshly ground white peppercorns, to taste
a sprinkle of fleur de sel (or sea salt to taste)
herbs of your choice; I used dried sweet basil
fresh kale and arugula
1-2 TBSP local raw honey (or sweetener of your choice)
1 TBSP balsamic vinaigrette (optional)

Directions

1. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat over the stovetop and melt the coconut butter.

2. Immediately place the tofu into the pan, turning often and pan searing until it becomes a light golden brown. You may have to lower the heat on your stovetop during this time.

3. Mix the kale and arugula in a large bowl. I used an abundance of greens, because it is healthy and filling. You can drizzle and toss the greens lightly in balsamic vinaigrette, if you like.

4. Place the cooked tofu over the greens and sprinkle with fleur de sel, pepper, and herbs.

5. Finally, drizzle the dish with honey and enjoy!

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