Good morning and happy Friday! Hope you’ve got fun things planned for the weekend, or well-deserved R&R if that’s more your speed. I usually like a mix of the two .
Sorry if I left things a bit confused yesterday…. Although I don’t have certain allergies, I still feel tired frequently and have stomach issues throughout the day. I’m not sure if they’re related… the fatigue has been something I’ve struggled with for years and years, and the stomach issue has only become particularly bothersome (perhaps because I’ve had more free time to try and deal with it) of late. They’re both things I’m going to continue to look into, and I’ll be sure to update you with any new developments.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a Five Things list, so here we go!
1. Flax milk. Good Karma contacted me a little while ago to see if I was interested in trying out their soy-, dairy-, lactose-, and gluten-free milks. I’d never heard of flax milk, but I was intrigued! And a little wary… would it taste like grains? Would it taste like hippie?
The shipment conveniently overlapped with my nut-free weeks (almond is usually my non-dairy milk of choice). They sent three flavors: Original, Unsweetened, and Vanilla. The plain old Unsweetened ended up being my favorite (cow’s milk doesn’t come vanilla-flavored, so why should non-dairy milk?).
I had success substituting it for regular cow’s milk in a baking project…
… and it was great to sip with cookies! It has a really light taste, but is still thirst-quenching and satisfying.
Most importantly, it mixes into coffee without curdling! I’ve tried all sorts of dairy substitutes (almond milk, soy milk, soy creamer) with no success. I literally jumped up and down when I saw it turn this lovely creamy brown color. A tip: pour the milk in first, then add coffee.
2. Smoked Sea Salt. This isn’t exactly new to me, but I don’t think I’ve quite shared just how amazing it is with you. This smokey gray sea salt adds so much flavor to everything: eggs, salads, risotto… even caramel! It has a permanent spot on our dining room table, right in front of my chair. Trader Joe is getting pretty fancy shmancy.
3. Young Adult fiction. There are a lot of gems out there in the YA section! When I was in Minnesota last weekend, I spent a good 20 minutes talking to a younger girl at my favorite bookstore about all of the great books for teens that had just come out. Then just the other day, my friend Jenny gushed about a book she’d just read straight through because she couldn’t put it down. And it’s going to be made into a Tim Burton movie! I ran right out to the library and picked it up, and I’m almost done with it now. It’s creepy good.
4. Making money from (unused) money. For the past couple years, I’ve been emptying my wallet every day and depositing my coins into this big blue Buddha’s belly. When it’s filled up, I take it to one of those Coinstar machines at the supermarket and walk out with cold, hard cash. (Coinstar takes almost 10% of every dollar and there are some banks who also accept coins, but it’s just more convenient for me to do it this way.) My last trip made me $82!
5. Giving blood. I have a universal blood type so I try to donate whenever I see a drive going on. After learning I didn’t have any immunological allergies or diseases, I happened on the BloodMobile to give a pint. Some things to know: people react differently to giving blood; it wipes me out, and I had to take a two-hour nap and ended up sleeping for 11 hours that night. You also cannot exercise for 24 hours, need to increase your sugar and fluid consumption (I munched on Oreos on the way home), and have to wait 56 days until your next donation. Click here for a blood drive near you.
*Bonus… giveaway! Ultra Immune is a one-month supply of plant and mineral extracts (including four different kinds of mushrooms) that are designed to maintain a healthy immune system. Each morning, you place one dropper (about 1/8 tsp) under your tongue on an empty stomach. It has a sweet, pleasant flavor, much like spearmint. I’ve been taking it for over a week and haven’t noticed any increased allergies, which was my main concern when trying this out.
More information from the company:
These days, most people understand the benefits of taking a daily vitamin supplement for their health. But, sometimes people end up taking too much of the wrong things and risk overloading their system with unnecessary ingredients – plus, they’re wasting hundreds of dollars every year.
Now that cold & flu season has arrived, the usual reaction is to reach for Vitamin C when you start feeling sick. In contrast, Ultra Immune is an all-natural, food-based immune system supplement for everyday use. Most immune-related supplements contain ingredients like Echinacea and Zinc that are not meant for continuous use, but Ultra Immune is intended to be taken every day, so you can feel your best ALL the time.
Want to win a one-month supply of Ultra Immune? Leave a comment below about the ways- if any- you keep yourself sniffle-free throughout the colder months. Bonus entry for giving me your Five on Friday! I’ll pick a winner on Monday, January 23, at 8 AM EST. Good luck! Contest open to US residents only, please.