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Five on Friday (+ giveaway!)

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?).

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I had success substituting it for regular cow’s milk in a baking project…

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… and it was great to sip with cookies! It has a really light taste, but is still thirst-quenching and satisfying.

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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.
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I would definitely buy this. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hope it’s on the way! If you can’t find a store near you that sells flax milk, you can also buy it online.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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*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.

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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.

24 comments to Five on Friday (+ giveaway!)

  • oo flax milk sounds greaT! im going to have to try that!!

  • I mean, I would try Ultra Immune. I’m always looking to feel healthier.

  • I’m a little dependent on hand sanitizer. I used to be a freak abut it but now I just make sure to use it before eating.I also try the whole no touching your mouth, nose, or eyes thing. I’m trying to get better at taking my vitamins…

  • jen

    i’m trying to be consistent about washing my hands to keep from getting too sick this winter. i’ve got the sniffles right now and was totally thinking of taking emergen-c but this post made me think twice about that!

  • Wow, I’m really curious to try the flax milk now.

    My go-to immune boosters are probiotics, a vegetable-rich diet, and turmeric tea as needed. I also am a bit of a freak about washing my hands.

  • i’d love to enter! looks great.

  • Abby

    I up the hand sanitizer, try to up my veggie content, and sip green tea daily. I have tried to make a point of taking a vitamin C supp as well.

  • So glad to hear that the flax milk mixes with coffee well! I haven’t tried my samples yet, but I will definitely add it to my next cup of coffee now :)

  • I totallly want to try the flax milk!!!To stay healthy I eat lots of fruits and veggies, drink tons of water and stay active!Happy Friday

  • I love the flax milk. I tired it a few weeks ago and was hooked. I almost forgot I have a bottle of that sea salt but I hardly ever use it. Maybe mine needs to go on the dining room table too. :)

    Happy Weekend Darling!!

  • bread'n'withit

    To avoid colds/flu I wash my hands every time I can–sometimes 10 times/day or more–and use a lot of hand cream because all that soap ‘n’ water leaves a desert in its wake. I also try to GIVE IN to feeling sleepy once I’m home, and don’t get on a super-crowded train, bus, elevator, etc. Wear gloves. Have tissues in your pocket/purse at all times. And Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. Think breezy, summery thoughts.

  • Hmm sniffle-free… I try to get enough sleep!! I’m not that successful though.

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried flax milk. Will have to try it :)

  • patti

    I make sure i get enough sleep, always a challenge. I try to bust a good sweat every day and i use a salt water solution in my neti also.

  • patti

    my 5 things…
    Organic creamer for my coffee
    Kindle, didn’t think i’d love it but i do!
    dogs! everyone needs at least 2.
    Fresh Blueberries…anywhere, any time.
    Acupuncture, an essential on a weekly basis.

  • Ooh, I’m definitely intrigued by Ultra Immune! My attempts to stay healthy in the winter typically involve paying closer attention to my vitamin/mineral intake via whole foods. :)

    I’ve heard great things about TJ’s smoked sea salt; it will be in my cart next time I’m there!

  • kelsey

    i load up on emergen-c! and try to drink more tea than coffee, but that never works out well….

  • Lots of hot tea, vitamin c, and fruits and veggies

  • kate

    I am a big fan of consistent exercise (but I think there’s a fine line to balance so you aren’t overtaxing your system), lots of hot tea and fresh fruit and veggies, and the occasional airborne when I feel something coming on…

  • Jordan

    I’m a hand sanitizer addict. Especially for those cute little Pocketbaks in awesome scents from Bath & Body Works lol

  • Nikki

    Hand sanatizer and I use paper towels not hand towels to dry hands at home

  • elise

    I drink echinacea tea from traditional medicinals. it cured my cold in a couple of days!

  • elise

    my five:
    1. crunchy peanut butter
    2. apples
    3. my favorite book, the white oleander
    4. tj’s candy cane green tea – i’ve been rationing so i still have a few bags left
    5. bhangra indian dance class. they started offering it at my yoga studio and it is the most amazing thing i’ve ever done!

  • Aya

    I haven’t seen flax milk around actually, but the curdling is an issue I have too! I should go and find some.

    For colds, I drink barley juice every morning (or try to). And thermal everything. And long hot baths (I also massage myself with oils afterwards to improve blood circulation)

  • I LOVE THE BOOKCASE!!! One of the best bookstores, for sure.

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