Ko Lanta; Riding the Coast

IMG_0044.JPG

After making our way through Bangkok, Phuket, and Ko Phi Phi, we were ready for some real serene time by the beach. It seemed as though our destinations were becoming more and more peaceful, Ko Lanta being our quietest yet. If you’re looking for a place to truly relax, this is it. 

IMG_0046.JPG

Accomedations

As a now solo (and frugal) traveller, I’ll admit that our hostel in Ko Lanta was a bit of a splurge. The upside to travelling with 3 other people however, is that sometimes you can swing a private cabin for cheap! We stayed at Lanta Long Beach Hostel, a five minute walk to the beach, a swimming pool, free breakfast, and access to motorbike rentals. Considering we were right off the main strip, this place was very quiet and seemed fairly secluded. I would recommend it to a group/couple, but if you’re a solo traveller sticking to a budget or looking to meet other travellers, it might be in your best interest to venture to one of the more social hostels.  

IMG_0049.JPG

Our Coastal Adventure

Ko Lanta has many hidden gems that are easily accessible with a motorbike and an offline map. I used ‘Maps.me’ on this island and was so thrilled with all of the amazing sights we found! It’s definitely possible to venture to a beach or a beachfront bar by stepping out onto the main strip and hailing a Tuk Tuk (Thai Taxi), but if you want to see multiple attractions and are working with a budget, a motorbike is the way to go. This was our first time riding motorbikes in Thailand, which I would recommend if you're looking to ease your way into it. Ko Lanta has minimal traffic with no need for traffic lights. You’ll be sticking to one or two main roads, making it a great place to practice driving for the first time.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

Hot Spots!

1. Lanta Long Beach Hostel

2. Khlong Khong Beach Lookout Point 

3. Same Same But Different Bar (A cool vibe right on the beach)

4. Bamboo Beach  (A quiet beach with stunning blue waters)

5. Mu Ko Lanta National Park (220 Baht gets you entry & parking; A nature hike and access to a spectacular viewpoint & Epic beach)

6. Epic Beach  (Perfect way to cool off after the hike)

7. Why Not Bar (Huge menu, right on the beach)

8. Sunset Viewpoint  

9. Happy Veggie Restaurant  (Amazing vegan food!)

Here’s an outline using Maps.me of our coastal adventure. I would recommend pinning these hot spots and creating a route from your hostel. This was by far one of my favourite days travelling! 

FullSizeRender.jpg
Same Same But Different Bar

Same Same But Different Bar

Lookout point from Mu Ko Lanta National Park  & Epic Beach

Lookout point from Mu Ko Lanta National Park  & Epic Beach

National Park: 200 Baht Entrance Fee + 20 Baht Parking (~$9 CAD)

National Park: 200 Baht Entrance Fee + 20 Baht Parking (~$9 CAD)

Time Well Spent

We ended up spending 3 nights in Ko Lanta; a day on the bikes, a day by the pool, and a day exploring the beach in our own backyard. Between the various beaches and restaurants, you could definitely swing a longer visit in Ko Lanta. However, if you're squeezing all of Thailand into 1 month, 3 nights works no problem! Be sure to dine at the traditional Thai restaurants on the main strip (they have the tastiest/cheapest dining), hit up the beach at dusk for a $5 (CAD) massage, and stop in at Sanctuary Hostel on the water to participate in some yoga and arts & crafts. Be sure to enjoy a relaxing lunch here on the beach. Their food is fantastic; a wide range of healthy options and large portions. I ordered the Gado Gado salad (I believe this dish is Indonesian) with tofu and was so thankful for the giant plate of assorted veggies! Not to mention the curry sauce! 

Honeslty you can’t  go wrong in Ko Lanta. I could have stayed for much longer, enjoying the beautiful blue water beaches, laid back vibe, and delicious Thai food!

IMG_0055.JPG

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand; Vegan Friendly Island Oasis

IMG_0013.JPG
IMG_0020.JPG

Phi Phi Island is commonly pinned on the Thailand backpacker route, known for its phenomenally blue-green waters and small island vibe. After reading some mixed reviews on whether or not Ko Phi Phi is worth the trek, I’ve come to realize that every individual will be looking for something a little different. My best advice, as someone who also depends on feedback while planning a trip, is to consider the pros and cons list being handed to you. What makes or breaks someone else’s stay, may not even be on your radar. Honestly, I had such a great time in Phi Phi - I was shocked to see anything less! 

Accommodations

We spent 4 days at Freedom Hostel, roughly a five minute walk from the pier. Keep in mind, there are no bikes or cars on the island, so everything is merely a stones throw to both beach fronts. One being a little more prone to the party scene, the other a little more tame (this is where we posted up). Our hosts were very warm and kind, and kept the space clean and smelling of incense. We even made friends with the hostel pet, Miss Karen! Did you really go to Phi Phi if you didn’t see island cats? The answer is no my friends, Thai people LOVE their cats! 

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_0019.JPG

The Sights

It was obvious upon arrriving that the best part of Ko Phi Phi is the amazing views. Even after an afternoon sun shower, the skies brightened the water to a deep green. Aside from the stunning beach front views, there are a few elevated hikes throughout this cozy island that offer some beautiful scenic landscapes. If you’re looking for a way to get your legs moving after some relaxing time spent on the beach, the 3 Viewpoint Hike will definitely do the trick. There’s a small entrance fee of 30 Baht, but the view is well worth it. From the second viewpoint (only 15-20 minutes), you're able to see both beaches. I use the ‘Maps.me’ app to search for various sights and restaurants when I don’t have wifi, which proved especially useful on this little island. It’s not big, but it’s very easy to get turned around until you spend a few days exploring, as the streets are small and tend to move in every direction. 

IMG_0022.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_0015.JPG
IMG_0013.JPG
IMG_0017.JPG

PG Island Fun

Noticably so, Ko Phi Phi is gaining a bit of a reputation for party goers and resort style vacationers, rather than travellers who are looking for a more authentic cultural experience. Even though the island caters to tourists (as I’m sure it’s economic structure is primarily reliant on tourism), there is still lots to enjoy without diving too far into the party scene. While the beach is stunning enough to relax and enjoy a good book, there are options for some exploration as well! Kayaks are available for rent (roughly $8/person for a few hours) with a few hot spots to check out just off the main beach area. 

If you’re looking for a shorter trek, Monkey Beach is about a 15 minute paddle, just along the shoreline. My advice to you; don’t leave anything of value in arms reach when approaching the monkeys. Within seconds of pulling our kayak onto the sand, a baby monkey jumped into our boat, snatching my water bottle! Of course my initial reaction was to reach for the bottle, in an effort to save my water for the day, but this only led to a larger monkey chasing me down the beach through crowds of people. My second piece of advice; monkeys have sharp teeth - if they take something, it’s probably best to let it go. And no, I didn’t get bitten, but a friend I travelled with did! 

IMG_0024.JPG

Another thing to keep in mind while observing these playful little creatures; monkeys are not made for energy drinks, sugary candy, or the road beer you decided to bring out on the boat with you that day. As fascinating as it was to see these little creatures frolicking around on the sand, I was so disappointed in the tourists who thought it would be entertaining to feed wildlife anything that would be harmful to their bodies. It’s so important to remember that we are exploring these places as visitors,  and that our behaviour effects the natural order of these beautiful environments and the species that inhabit them. 

If a monkey wants to try on your shades then so be it. But let’s not encourage the consumption of toxic chemicals into their tiny fury bodies. No one wants to get the little rascals hooked on refined sugar and alcohol. 

Next stop, Nui Beach! This little lagoon is the perfect kayak ride if you’re looking to get some exercise. In order to venture to this little nook from Monkey beach, you’re forced to cross a fairly large body of water - from one shoreline to another. The waters do seem calm closer to the beach, but once you paddle outwards a few hundred feet, the wind and waves can make for a tricky ride! A few kayakers even waited at Nui Beach for the wind to die down in order to get back to the main beach area. But hey, if you’re up for the challenge, it is a stunningly intimate place to cool off for the afternoon. The surrounding rocks offer a cozy lagoon with calm shores, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. 

IMG_0018.JPG

Vegan Refueling

FullSizeRender.jpg

The island offers countless food options; trust a fellow vegan - you won’t be disappointed! Most restaurants offer a breakfast of fresh cut tropical fruit with granola and yogurt - simply ask for coconut milk instead! As far as savoury dishes go, Thai curries became a staple for me! A flavourful mix of veggies and tofu and you’re set! I even got my hands on some Chana masala to change up my protein intake. 

One of our favourite restaurants/food stalls on the island was a newer addition; OhanaCafe. Primarily vegan, Ohana offers up burgers, cauliflower wings, various smoothies bowls, and more! And because the owner is linked to the Treehouse Bar across the street, they encouraged us to take full advantage of their fun jungle atmosphere! This place is definitely worth a visit. The hospitality was over the top, and the food was delicious! 

Frugal vegan traveller hack: You can purchase things like fresh fruit and peanuts from the small stands set up by the locals for much cheaper. You can find them on the quieter streets, further away from the party hotels. Fresh cut mango and pineapple on the beach was a breakfast favourite of mine. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Ko Phi Phi was by far one of my favourite stops in Thailand. It’s small and cozy, and a perfect island getaway. The island offers both a quiet and intimate laid back feel, as well as a party scene for those so inclined. If you’re travelling the Southeast, this little gem is worth the stop! It’s also surrounded by many more beautiful islands, which are easily accessible by ferry!

 

Taling Chan Floating Market; A Bangkok Must See

IMG_0010.JPG

Our one month backpacking trip through Thailand began in Bangkok; a common central starting point for travellers alike. Eager to explore and stretch our legs after a combined 30 some odd hours of travel, we dropped our packs and hit the city streets. Bangkok is (quite literally) littered with street vendors and food stalls; you won’t have any trouble coming across souvenirs and traditional eats. Personally, I was a big fan of the Pad Thai vendors who would whip up a plate of noodles for you for a couple of dollars (a backpacker’s treasure). But if I’m being honest, the city streets did not even compare to the atmosphere of the Floating Market! 

Transportation

Coming from the heart of the city, you’ll need to venture out a little ways to the floating market. If memory serves me correctly, we hailed a meter taxi and drove roughly 10 minutes to the pier, where we would then hop into a Long Boat which took us to the actual market. Keep in mind, there’s more than one floating market to see. We chose the Taling Chan Market because it was the closest to our location, and given that we were only spending a few days in Bangkok, it freed up our afternoon for other attractions on our list. 

A piece of advice; you can haggle just about any price in Thailand. After negotiating a group rate at the pier, we spent the next little while speeding along the Chao Phraya River towards the market. This was definitely a part of the experience, so be sure to catch a long boat if you can swing it!

IMG_0011.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg

Fresh Up!

It is an absolute wonder what the Thai people can cook up, let alone on a boat! I was so impressed by the preparation that must go into being a vendor at a floating market. Fresh produce filling ceramic bowls, portable heating surfaces, and prep spaces all confined to a boat not much larger than your front door! Not to mention having to row your boat of goodies to your stall in the morning and back again in the evening! To say that I was fascinated, would be an incredible understatement. 

Though many vendors do sell their stock from boats, the Taling Chan Market does extend to the streets, leaving it accessible for travellers who prefer to drive in. The walking streets also offer up the opportunity for souvenir shopping and dining outside of the seafood realm. As a vegan, I found more than enough options! 

IMG_0008.JPG

Considering the pure humidity and heat of our first few days in Bangkok, I couldn’t say no to some coconut ice cream on the river! Traditionally served with peanuts or soy beans, it was the perfect afternoon pick me up. Not to mention the Thai man who served this to me had the biggest Thai smile. I'll admit, I felt a sense of kindred to the man with his ice cream stall. Not many things make me happier than handing over healthy vegan treats to customers on a hot market morning. I’d like to think I knew his happiness in that moment. 

IMG_0012.JPG

Sun Warrior Vegan Protein: Product Review

As someone who has learned to navigate a plant based diet for nearly 4 years, I’ve done my fair share of experimenting with certified vegan products. In doing so, I’ve begun to set a standard. And in a time when the vegan food industry is booming, why not!

41626356_1093389990836714_4330731145076408320_n.jpg

Nutrition

The obvious focus of nutrition when looking for a great protein powder, is in fact protein content. However, it is important to take in to account the source of protein, as well as additional macros per calorie count and serving. 

Per Serving (25g)
Calories: 90cals
Protein: 17g
Carbohydrates: 5g
Sugar: 3g
Fiber: 1g
Fat: 0g

Your recommended protein intake will vary depending on your body composition and your fitness regime, so it’s usually best to focus on the nutrition facts as a collective group. If your personal protein intake is higher or lower than the serving size, you can easily modify this. I aim for 20-25g of protein first thing in the morning, so I use about a scoop and a half of the given serving size. 

Sun Warrior offers 17g of protein per 90 calories. Our bodies require a balanced combination of 9 essential amino acids. Aside from a few exceptions, plant based food sources on their own, don’t include all 9. By eating a variety of foods, we ensure that the body gets these 9 amino acids. When scoping out a protein rich protein powder, it is important to find a product that does include these essential nutrients.  

It is also important to pay close attention to additional macros. There lies the difference between meal supplements and protein powders! Sun Warrior contains an additional 3g of sugar, a product of organic stevia. Yes this product is certified organic! No synthetic or artificial ingredients!

Flavour & Consistency

Personally, I will try just about any flavour of protein powder. Most brands carry a standard Vanilla and Chocolate. However, Sun Warrior also offers a Natural (no flavour added) as well as a Berry flavour (from organic goji berries). As someone who consistently adds protein to smoothies, having a variety of flavour options is key to a diversified diet. With a Vanilla protein powder I’d be inclined to mix a green smoothie loaded with kale, pineapple, basil, mint, and banana. With a Berry protein, I’d combine berries, banana, and chia seeds for example. 

41445137_2114717688558569_5629641336853364736_n.jpg

Aside from the variety of flavours, Sun Warrior delivers a clean finish that some lower grade proteins just can’t compete with. A well produced protein powder shouldn’t leave you with a chalky manufactured taste. And trust me, you will recognize the difference. Lately I’ve been using the Sun Warrior Berry Blend and it is by far one of the best proteins I’ve tried (and I’ve dabbled with many brands over the years of being plant based). My go to breakfast is a smoothie bowl with blended frozen bananas, almond milk, and Sun Warrior Berry protein. Top that off with some granola and a spoonful of nut butter and you’re off to a great start. Click here for a smoothie bowl recipe - try this recipe and be sure to add Sun Warrior protein!

Another benefit to Sun Warrior is the fine consistency for blending into a silky smooth beverage. If you’ve ever purchased a low grade protein, you’ll notice a huge difference in the texture. Some of those chalky proteins can go down way too thick, and no one wants that. Especially when you only mix nut milk or water for that quick protein fix. 

Storage

Sun Warrior’s convenient container includes both a twist lid, as well as a pop top and retractable scoop for easy use. This recyclable packaging is BPA free, which is a harmful chemical that can, in small amounts, dissolve into foods and drinks.

Available for Purchase

Sun Warrior Plant Based Protein Blend is available for purchase at GT Supplements right here in Georgetown, Ontario. As someone who chooses a plant based diet, it’s great to see a local business offering not only vegan certified options, but - the best of the best. Personally, I base my diet on a myriad of factors including; nutrition, price, quality, flavour, and company culture. Knowing that Sun Warrior holds itself to such a high product standard, allows me to trust that I’m making the right choice for my body and my health. 

download.jpeg

Why You Should Be Adding Kombucha To Your Diet

Author: Rebekah Carter

If you're looking for a way to boost your diet with some healthy eating and drinking, and you've already checked out the best blenders for your juicing craze, then it might be a good idea to take the next step and try "Kombucha" tea.

Kombucha is a highly popular fermented tea that's made from sugar and black tea. It's brimming with enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that are great for your body, and over the years, has been prized for its healing properties. Kombucha uses something called "SCOBY", a colony of yeast and bacteria that makes it a nutrient-rich beverage. The process of fermentation for the tea can take up to 12 days, depending on the process you use.

Exploring the Benefits of Kombucha

Although in the past, Kombucha was a very obscure drink, it has quickly emerged as a popular solution for those seeking better wellness. Available in a range of different grocery stores and health food stores, you can either buy Kombucha directly or brew it yourself using strategies that you can find online.

Kombucha is attributed with a number of fantastic health benefits. For instance, the nutrients that Kombucha contains are fantastic when it comes to supporting the body in a host of different ways. Studies surrounding Kombucha at this time are somewhat lacking, but the anecdotal evidence is significant. Here are just some of the ways that Kombucha may be able to improve your health.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 11.17.30 AM.png

1. Kombucha Improves Digestion

Although scientists aren't entirely sure why Kombucha is so effective at improving digestion, we do know that this substance is rich in beneficial acids, enzymes, and probiotics which are essential to maintaining proper gut health. According to Harvard Medical School, a healthy stomach is brimming with about 100 trillion different microorganisms. This means that we need plenty of good bacteria to survive.

Drinks like Kombucha, that contain beneficial bacteria for your gut, could help to ensure that your microbiome remains in balance, so you're less likely to suffer from stomach problems. Of course, this is all relevant to your overall gut health, so if you’re experiencing serious digestive issues, it may be beneficial to speak to a healthcare professional to see if this can in fact be a solution for you.

2. Improved Liver Support and Detoxification

We constantly expose ourselves to a range of toxins almost every day, which can have a significantly negative effect on the body, often resulting in fatigue or general unwellness.  The liver is one of the most important organs of detoxification in the body. Fortunately, Kombucha is a substance brimming with Glucaric acid, which is great for the liver and natural detoxification.

Kombucha also promotes better digestion with the healthy gut bacteria we mentioned above, which means that you can have an easier time processing food and enjoying more energy every day without having to resort to sugar and caffeine.

3. Kombucha Improves the Immune System

Our immune systems are essential for keeping us healthy. Fortunately, Kombucha is naturally rich in antioxidants, which means that it's great for supporting the immune system. While there's no magic bullet available when it comes to enhancing immune system function, it's always a good idea to do everything you can to improve the immune process.

Kombucha is brimming with a substance that's called DSL, or D-Saccharic Acid Lactone. This substance has fantastic antioxidant properties, and it's not present in any other unfermented teas, although there are plenty of teas out there that are rich in other types of antioxidant.

4. Improves Joint Health

Kombucha is also a great substance to drink if you're one of the many people who suffer from problems with arthritis and joint health. Kombucha fermented tea is full of a compound called glucosamine, which is great for improving the health of your joints, and reducing the pain you might experience due to stiff joints.

Glucosamines are perfect for naturally increasing the level of hyaluronic acid you have in your body, which helps to lubricate and protect the joints. In some studies, this substance has even been shown to provide better, or similar relief as over-the-counter painkillers.

5. A Better Alternative to Other Drinks

If you're sick of piling on the pounds because of all the sugar-laden drinks you consume such as soda, then it's a good idea to turn to Kombucha instead. The substance is naturally carbonated as a result of the fermentation process, unlike sodas which are artificially carbonated through a process of forced carbonation.

This fizzy tea can, therefore, be a natural and familiar alternative to other carbonated beverages, great for providing nutrients and probiotics that might not otherwise be available in soda. Plus, Kombucha contains less sugar than most soft drinks, because the sugar is consumed by the beneficial bacteria. Available in many different flavours, kombucha is also a tasteful and healthy addition to your favourite cocktails! But, we all know it is just perfect as a stand alone beverage!

download.jpeg

The Best Recipes for Juicing with Fall Flavours!

Author: Rebekah Carter

Fall is in the Air - AND it's in Your Juicer!

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 12.18.29 PM.png

Fall is finally here, and with it comes a range of unique flavours and colours sure to spice up your life and revitalize your senses. While the freshest berries of summer, like strawberries and raspberries, might be a thing of the past for avid juicers, that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy incredible fresh beverages throughout the cooler seasons.

From the obsession of pumpkin spice flavours, to a range of delightful veggies and fruits designed to detox your system, keep you feeling slim, and prepare your immunity for winter, there are countless delicious juices to try over the next few months. Here, we're going to take a look at the best juicing recipes for the fall months to help keep you on track with your new favourite hobby.

Remember, where possible, it's best to choose organic fruits and vegetables for your juices, as this will help you to avoid any pesticides or unwanted chemicals in your healthy beverages. At the same time, keep in mind that you're free to adapt and change these recipes however you see fit, if you're feeling creative.

1. Pumpkin and Apple Crumble

What could be more fall-themed than a pumpkin and apple pie mix? This delightful blend is sure to warm your heart and keep you feeling festive as you make the move towards winter. Just juice the fruits thoroughly, add your spices and vanilla, and mix with a dash of water to find your ideal consistency. You'll need:

  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave
  • 3 Apples
  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin

2. Berry and Pear Potion

This is a slightly more refreshing mix for when you need something to wake you up first thing in the morning. Simply juice your berries on a low speed to get them ready for blending, then add your other fruits on high speed. You'll need:

  • 1 Apple
  • 3 Pears
  • 1 Cup Cherries 
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 Lemon

3. Metabolism Magic

When we enter fall, we can quickly feel as though we're becoming more prone to illness and disease. After all, opportunities for colds and flu seem to lurk around every corner. This blend will help to keep you feeling healthy and boost your thyroid function too. Simply juice the fruits and veggies on high, and you'll be ready to go. You'll need:

  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Apples Cored
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Chunks
  • Thumb of Ginger

4. Fall Sunrise

This vibrant looking juice is great for keeping your heart health on track thanks to the beet contents. The ginger will leave you feeling refreshed on colder autumn days, while the carrots will prep your immune system with plenty of vitamin C. Combine all the ingredients together on high, and drink straight away for the best results. You'll need:

  • 1 Beet
  • 4 Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Thumb Ginger

5. The Autumn Cleanse

Detox your body and prepare yourself for the months ahead with this delightful fall juice. Designed to help boost your bodily functions and leave you feeling healthy when the temperature starts to drop, this is a great juice to drink first thing in a morning before you head off to work, or start tackling your daily tasks. Juice the citrus, pineapple, and berries on a low speed, then add the remaining ingredients on high. You can drink this juice in place of one daily meal. You'll need:

  • 1/3 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Stocks Celery
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 Apple
  • 1/2 Cup Pineapple Chunks

6. The Fall Sangria Mix

Finally, celebrate the new season with this wonderful juice blend. You'll need to mix in a little bit of your summer harvest to create the right mix of fruits, but it's well worth it when you're just moving into the first weeks of fall. Juice your peach and citrus fruits on low, then switch to high for your apples, and throw in the cinnamon and honey last. You'll need:

  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Peach
  • 2 Apples
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
  • 1 Teaspoon Agave

Note: Feel free to add in a little bit of chilled red wine if you want the full sangria effect!

About the Author

Rebekah is a passionate writer and healthy-eating advocate. She's always keen to try out the latest foods and recipes, explore new information about health and fitness, and expand her understanding of the world around her with constant learning.

download.jpeg

My Top 10 Favourite Blogs!

I've been building myfitlittlefoodie's blog for a year now, and I could not be more thrilled to be spending my time creating such a positive and fulfilling project! I love what I do, and I really believe that passion is one of the most powerful driving forces you will ever experience. Along with my desire to live a healthy lifestyle, I've also found inspiration in the words and creativity of fellow bloggers. I'm so lucky to be able to share my world with like minded individuals, and I'm so grateful that these women have created a community worth sharing! Here are 10 of my favourite health food bloggers (in no particular order). 

1. Shut the Kale Up 

Jeannette Ogden is one badass blogger. She is constantly preaching the importance of consuming REAL food. Her Instagram stories often feature health food products, thick af smoothies, hardcore workouts at the gym, and of course, her Bub (aka Elliot aka the cutest little boy). Jeannette keeps the positivity UP. This girl is always so responsive and appreciative of her followers. Check out Shutthekaleup on Instagram and on the blog!

2. Kate Fruit Flowers

Kate Fruit Flowers seems to do it all! This girl uploads weekly youtube videos, creates vegan merchandise, and will fill your Insta feed with all the positive vibes. As a vegan/raw vegan, Kate continues to share the ins and outs of her experience with veganism, along with her partner Mae (see below). Check out her uplifting and inspiring story! Kate's IG here; website here

3. The Plant Philosophy 

If you're looking for vegan foodinspo, look no further! Margaret Chapman was one of the first women to really inspire me with her creativity in the kitchen. This girl has such a keen eye for food photography. I love all the behind the scenes updates she gives us on her Instagram feed. It really propelled me in some of my more recent blogging techniques. Check out Margaret's blog and IG!

4. Constancelyeating

It really seems like this girl is ALWAYS busy! Between completing her masters in nutrition, staying fit, and volunteering her time, Connie still finds time to share her day with us. I always look forward to her IG stories, even if half the time she is running from one thing to the next! In a way, she inspires me to fill my day with productivity too! Check her out on IG and her blog

5. So Beautifully Real 

This girl has food photography DOWN! I swear to you, I fan girl over her photos ALWAYS! I must have shown my friends this IG account toooooo many times to count. Sam mostly features her absolutely stunning vegan cakes, but honestly, there doesn't seem to be anything she can't make pretty. With a new cookbook coming out (just around the corner), you can check out Sam's creations on IG or on her website!

6. The Vegan Sparrow

A young but absolutely lovely vegan food blogger; Jenna is so endearing! Her quirky personality definitely shines, from her passion for raw food to her acoustic guitar covers, this girl has such an amazing outlook on life. Check her out on Insta and/or her blog!

7. Lee From America

I haven't been following Lee for very long, but she has really grown on me quickly! Her love for food and exercise inspires me to really utilize my creativity in building a career. Lee sets an amazing example of a life lived well! Check her out on her website and IG!

8. Lulus Dreamtown 

Typically known for her brightly coloured smoothie bowls, Lulu definitely adds personality to the world of Instagram! Her food photography will WOW you! And her dance moves are pretty great too! I always look forward to her collaborations and studio work! Check out Lulu on IG here!

9. Mae Fruit Flowers

You can find Mae on Instagram, where she shares her love for vegan food, music, and home life. Along with her partner Kate, Mae creates and sells vegan merch! As well as shares her stories through her youtube channel; anywhere from raw food, to coming out, to her musical pursuits. Mae and Kate's relationship surrounding love and healthy living is a truly inspiring one! Check out Mae on IG and Youtube here!

10. Caitlin Foulds

This girl makes food look GOOD! If you're lucky, you'll catch glimpses of Caitlin remarkably good looking packed lunches and bits and pieces of her regular lifting routine at the gym. Caitlin was also one of my earlier IG inspos for food photography, and you can see why! Check her IG here!

Fridheimar Tomato Greenhouse; A Golden Circle Must See

A Day in the Golden Circle

During my travels this past October, I had the opportunity to explore the Golden Circle; a sight-seeing route in the southern part of Iceland. In just 300km, I was able to see some of the most naturally breathtaking works of art. The much anticipated Geyser, the great Gollfoss waterfall, the Thingvellir National Park Rift Valley, Kerið; a volcanic crater lake, and (I'd be lying if I said this wasn't one of the highlights of my trip) the Fridheimar Farm. Leave it to the foodie to find absolute, pure joy in dining at a tomato greenhouse!

The once active Geyser (just feet away from it's active partner)

The once active Geyser (just feet away from it's active partner)

Me as a proud little traveller, standing in front of the Gollfoss Waterfall

Me as a proud little traveller, standing in front of the Gollfoss Waterfall

View of the Gollfoss Waterfall in it's entirety; notice the vast open & untouched landscape. The small figures lining the rock below the top of the waterfall are people!

View of the Gollfoss Waterfall in it's entirety; notice the vast open & untouched landscape. The small figures lining the rock below the top of the waterfall are people!

Keri ð,  the volcanic crater lake

Kerið, the volcanic crater lake

Sustainability at the Farm

Fridheimar Farm is a family owned business where tomatoes are cultivated year round; which has become integral to Iceland's rather hostile winter climate. Running on natural resources, the greenhouse utilizes hydro-electrical and geothermal energy to power grow lights; thermal energy is used to balance internal temperatures; and carbon dioxide obtained from natural steam is used to increase photosynthetic reactions. Pumice; a product of Iceland's volcanic geological make up, is also used as a moisturizing agent to aid in the fertilization process. Aside from putting their natural resources to good use, the greenhouse has imported mirid bugs and bumble bees from Holland to control against pests (rather than using harmful pesticides) and aid in the pollination process. I can't help but admit how inspired I was to learn about this farming process first hand, and the importance of minimizing our global footprint through the production of goods.

Atmosphere

So picture this; we walk in through the front entrance, a gift shop to our right, with all homemade Fridheimar farm tomato based products. Past the Little Tomato Shop, is a cozy open concept restaurant, filled with rows of white cloth covered tables, set with pitchers of water, fresh basil plants, and stemmed glasses. We're greeted by a lady, who takes our name, and party number. While we wait for our table, we explore the ceiling high posters to our right, highlighting all the wonderful ins and outs of the greenhouse, it's impact on Iceland's tomato population, and the many natural ways it utilizes it's surrounding resources. To the left of the dining tables, there are rows and rows of tomato plants; open to the public to wonder about (as long as we don't touch of course). The atmosphere felt truly immersive; such an exceptional way to learn about the growing process. I think that in Western culture, food consumption often comes at such a leisure, that we sometimes forget to take the time to really understand the roots of where our food is coming from. We tend to take nutrition at face value, without really digging into the pros and cons of how our food is being produced, the hormonal impacts these foods may have on our bodies, and the overarching effects these production methods have on the environment and other species. Hopefully this is something to think about the next time you're grabbing "a quick bit" or loading up on processed foods at the grocery store! Understanding is key friends!

The Main Event

Of course, the best part! All you can eat homemade soup, fresh bread, and pickled cucumber slaw! Considering how expensive it was to dine out in Iceland, I was extremely grateful for the chance to splurge! You better believe we carbed up that day! And what better way to recharge after a day of sight-seeing in the cold Icelandic weather! I'm simply both humbled and inspired by this experience, and I strongly recommend a visit to the Fridheimar Farm if the opportunity presents itself! 

Contact Fridheimar Farm

Visit the Webpage Here
Phone: +354 486-8894 / +354 897-1915
View a Map Here
Email: fridheimar@fridheimar.is