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0 In DIY/ Food/Supplements/ Recipes/ Wellness

Vegan Meal Replacer Smoothie Recipe ft. Orgain


One of my favorite fast and nutritious breakfast options is this vegan meal replacer smoothie. Most mornings, I’m rushing out the door so I need something that is easy to make and fast to clean-up. This recipe takes less than 5 minutes! Wanna know the best part? It has a total of 30g of plant-sourced protein! Scroll down the post for the recipe…¬†ūüćďūüćĆūü•õ

Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored and contains no affiliate links. The recipe is my own! 


Vegan Meal Replacer Smoothie



  1. Add all ingredients to NutriBullet
  2. Blend until smooth

Nutrition Value Highlights (estimate):

  • 30g protein
  • 16g fiber
  • 43% daily calcium
  • 35% daily iron
  • 515 calories (remember, this is a meal replacer so this is a proper¬†calorie count for breakfast)

A common misconception about a plant-based diet is that it’s hard to get enough protein, iron, and calcium. In reality, many meat-eaters do not meet these daily nutrient goals either! If anything, converting to vegetarianism forced me to be more mindful of what I consume which has lead me to be healthier than ever. As you can see above, this one shake helps me meet my daily nutritional goals while tasting great.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. If you have any recommendations for things I should add, let me know because I love to change it up every now and then. Have a great weekend!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Food/Supplements/ GIVEAWAYS/ Wellness

Simply Gum Review & Giveaway: Natural Gum & Mints!

Simply Gum Review & Giveaway |

Simply Gum Giveaway |

Disclaimer: All thoughts & opinions are my own. I did receive some of these products from Simply Gum in return for my honest review. However, I have been using and loving these products long before speaking to the Simply Gum team! 



How to Enter the Giveaway:

  • Complete¬†at least¬†one entry option in¬†the Gleam plugin provided on this page by first entering your name/birthday/email. Remember, the more entry options you complete, the better your odds of winning but additional entries are not required. Certain entry options are weighted more heavily than others.

Simply Gum Giveaway

Rules & Disclaimer: 

  • Open to the U.S. and Canada to anyone 18 or older with a valid mailing address.
  • You may enter the giveaway anytime between November 10th and November 21st 11:59 pm EST.
  • (3)¬†winners will be randomly generated using the Gleam Plugin and announced November 22nd at approximately 12:00 pm EST on this blog post, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn ‚Äď any missing¬†likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.
  • I run giveaways for my readers who are genuinely interested in the products I am offering. Entries completed with social media accounts used solely¬†for giveaways will not be counted. Although the giveaway winners are randomly generated, if you are chosen as one of the winners and I see you did not follow this rule, I will manually invalidate your entry and¬†have a new winner randomly generated.
  • Once the¬†winners are selected, I will personally contact him/her with the email address he/she used to enter the giveaway¬†in order to obtain his/her shipping address. If no response is made within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
  • I have not been paid to feature any of this brand.
  • No purchase necessary.

Simply Gum

Have you ever considered what your favorite mints or chewing gums are made of? I know I never did until I came across Simply Gum at my local Whole Foods. While waiting to check-out, I remember picking up a pack of their gum and being fascinated by the clean/simple ingredients. I bought a pack and quickly fell in love! It made me question what was in my favorite Trident and Orbit gums.

Conventional Gum vs. Simply Gum

Conventional Gum vs Simply Gum |

After doing some research, I couldn’t believe how “dirty” the formulas are of conventional gum products. Aside from artificial¬†flavors, colors, and preservatives, the most concerning listed ingredient is “gum base”.

What exactly is gum base? Good question. The FDA allows 46 different chemicals to fall under the umbrella of “gum base” but¬†does not require manufacturers to disclose which ones they used in their gum. Investigators have found most conventional gums are made of a¬†mixture of synthetic elastomers, resins, plasticizers, and fillers. In other words, you may be unknowingly chewing on a mixture of plastic, glue, or gelatin (anyone else grossed out?!¬†ūü§Ę).

What makes Simply Gum different? They use only 7 completely natural and easy to pronounce ingredients in their chicle base gum! That means it is free from plastic, aspartame, or anything synthetic. The chicle base is made from the sap of the sapodilla tree making it 100% biodegradable and therefore, better for the planet!¬†ūüĆ鬆To top it all off, Simply Gum only uses natural flavors to give their gums their yummy taste.

Product Review: Simply Gum | Chewing Gum

Simply Gum Review |

Pictured are 4 of the 6 chewing gum flavors offered by Simply Gum (not pictured: Coffee & Maple). All of the flavors are made of the same base with their only difference being which natural flavor is added. The mint and cinnamon are my personal favorite but they are all great! These gums have become a permanent addition to my purse!

Shop: Mint | Cinnamon | Fennel Licorice | Ginger | Coffee | Maple

Simply Gum Review |

Each package comes with approximately 15 pieces of gum. As you can see, the gum is naturally brown since it is made from chicle base instead of synthetic man-made materials.

Simply Gum Biodegradable Wrappers |

One of the extra special details put into this product is the post chew wraps! In my personal experience, the gum tends to stick to your fingers after you chew it so I love these included biodegradable wrappers. It’s the little things that make all the difference.

Now let’s talk about what’s in your favorite mints…

Simply Gum Mints vs Conventional Mints |

Vegetarians and Vegan Beware of Conventional Mints —¬†Until recently, I never paid attention to the ingredients in my favorite mints. However, when Simply Gum launched their new all natural mints, again I was prompted to pay more attention. To my horror, I discovered Altoids and many other mints contain gelatin: a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones (typically from cows or pigs) with water (Source: PETA). Be right back as I go vomit.. but seriously, how gross!? As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I never would have thought to be suspicious of my mints containing animal products.

Simply Gum’s Mints are 100% Vegan! —¬†Made with only cane sugar, calcium stearate (vegetable based binding agent), and all natural flavor, these are most definitely the cleanest and simplest mints on the market! Even with such a simple formula, these mints are strong and will leave you will fresh breath. It goes to show you, all of those added ingredients found in conventional mints are simply not needed.

Product Review: Simply Gum | Mints

Simply Gum Mints Review |

The original mint flavor is definitely my favorite, but I love all 3 flavors! The tin is perfect for sharing and how gorgeous is their branding?! If you haven’t gotten your hands on these yet, you have to ASAP! I’m personally more of a mints girl than a gum girl so these are my absolute favorite and are always in my purse.

Shop: Mint | Cinnamon | Ginger

Simply Gum Mints Review |

Each tin comes with 45 pieces so these mints will last you a long time! I’m always sharing them with my friends and they have never noticed they were any different than conventional mints – that’s proof they are just as effective!

Simply Gum Review & Giveaway |

The Simply Gum Mints are the perfect addition to my vegan leather Angela Roi bag!¬†ūüĎú¬†I always have them and my gum on hand.

Where to Buy Simply Gum Products:

Store Locator | | Amazon

This giveaway ends November 21st at 11:59 pm! Good Luck!

As always, if you have any questions you can email me through my contact page. Did this post convince you to switch to all natural chewing gum & mints? Let me know in the comments section below!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Food/Supplements/ FYI/ Resources

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Goodies: 2017

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Candy |

Halloween is right around the corner so I thought it would be fun to share with you what I’m handing out to the kiddos this year. ūüć¨ūüćęūüć≠¬†Working as a nurse, I meet so many children with life-threatening food allergies. It seems like nut, gluten, and dairy allergies are only becoming more common. With those kids in mind, I decided to seek out various Halloween treats that were allergy-friendly. I also made sure to pick products that were 100% vegan as part of my personal preference. I’m a firm believer that all of our favorite treats can be made without the use of animal products (i.e. gelatin, dairy, eggs, etc.).

What do I mean by allergy-friendly?¬†I’m referring to products free of the top 8 most common allergens:

Allergy-friendly Halloween Treats |

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many yummy vegan and allergy-safe options this year. I bought most of the products at my local Target too! My friends over at free 2b were kind enough to send me a bag of Halloween treats after I reached out to them!

ūüéɬ†For those of you who have not bought Halloween candy yet, I hope this post inspires you to pick some allergy-safe options. There is still time to order online or head to your local Target to purchase some of the products featured in this post. Have a¬†happy and safe Halloween!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and I am not being paid to feature any of these brands. This post does not contain affiliate links. As always, all thoughts/opinions are my own! 

Allergy-friendly & Vegan Halloween Goodies: 2017

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Candy |

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Candy |

Sun Cups for Halloween |

free 2b Sun Cups

Finally, a replacement for the beloved peanut butter cup that is safe for those with nut allergies. Allow me to introduce you to Sun Cups, a top-12 allergen-free candy filled with roasted sunflower butter and coated in vegan chocolate! I can’t even begin to put into words how yummy these are. Plus, free 2b offers a wide variety of other allergen-free candies – check them out here!

Ingredients: Dark Chocolate (Cocoa Mass*, Sugar, Cocoa Butter*), Sunflower Seeds, Organic Powdered Sugar (Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Starch), Organic Palm Fruit Oil**, Sea Salt.

Certifications: Vegan | Top-12 Allergen Free | Rainforest Alliance Certified |Project Non-GMO Verified | Fair-trade Certified Ingredients | Kosher

free 2b Sun Cups |

Buy Online: Thrive Market or free2b Online Store

Yum Earth Organic Gummies for Halloween |

Yum Earth Organic Gummy Candy

What kid (or even adult) doesn’t love gummy snacks?! I specifically love these gummies because they are made without gross gelatin (an ingredient derived from various animal body parts¬†ūü§Ę). Therefore, these are one of the few gummy products available that are 100% vegan!

Ingredients: Organic Rice Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavors, Organic Color from Concentrate (Apple, Carrot, Pumpkin, Blackcurrant), Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Carnauba Wax.

Certifications: Vegan |Top-8 Allergen Free | USDA Organic |Project Non-GMO Verified | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Dairy-free

YumEarth Organic Gummies |

Buy Online: Target

Yum Earth Organic Lollipops for Halloween |

Yum Earth Organic Lollipops

These organic lollipops taste so yummy without all the artificial flavors and colors found in conventional lollipops. Every flavor tastes great so I know all of the kids will love them!

Ingredients: Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Colored with Concentrate (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colored with Organic Concentrate (Carrot, Apple, Blackcurrant), Turmeric (Color) Organic Annatto (Color).

Certifications: Vegan | Top-8 Allergen Free | USDA Organic | Project Non-GMO Verified | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Dairy-free

YumEarth Organic Pops |

Buy Online: Target

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads for Halloween |

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads

How awesome is it that there is an organic alternative to Sour Patch Kids?! Formulated with 100% natural ingredients and free of artificial colors/flavors, these are definitely a better option for the sour candy lovers out there.

Ingredients: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Potato Starch, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Cornstarch, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Colors (Black Carrot Juice, Carrot Juice, Turmeric).

Certifications: USDA Organic | Project Non-GMO Verified | Gluten-free | Dairy-free

Black Forest Sour Heads |

Buy Online: Target

BOOMCHICKAPOP for Halloween |

Angie’s Boomchickapop (Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn)

This popcorn is seriously addicting! I have to admit, I may have eaten a bag or two before putting them aside for the trick-or-treaters. I love this Kettle Corn because it is lightly sweetened so it is not overwhelming or as unhealthy as other options out there. With such a clean formula and great taste, these single serving bags are perfect for handing out on Halloween!

Ingredients: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Cane Sugar, Sea Salt

Certifications: Vegan | Top-8 Allergen Free | Project Non-GMO Verified | Kosher | Gluten-free

Boomchickapop Kettle Corn |

Buy Online: Target

Happy Halloween! |

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions/comments, feel free to comment below or contact me through my contact page.

Check out my other Halloween Posts too: Peanut Butter Cup Spider Cookies | Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups Review

Happy Halloween! Be safe and have fun!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Food/Supplements/ Wellness

Vegan Halloween Spider Cookies – Justin’s PB Cups

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

How adorable are these peanut butter cup spider cookies!?¬†ūüē∑ūü•ú¬†After browsing Pinterest and seeing so many cute Halloween dessert ideas, I became inspired to recreate one using only all-natural & vegan-friendly ingredients. Although I would not call these “healthy”, they do contain clean ingredients you can actually understand/pronounce! I believe if you’re going to treat yourself to sweets, you should still be conscientious of what’s in them.

Instead of using regular mini Reeses, I swapped them for mini organic Justin’s peanut butter cups! The Justin’s team was kind enough to send me over a few peanut butter cups when I told them I was writing this post so thank you Justin’s!

Below is my favorite vegan peanut butter cookie recipe. It is extremely simple and takes only 20 minutes to make! Right after the recipe I’ve included instructions on how to make the spider cookies! Enjoy!¬†ūüē∑

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookie |

Recipe: All-Natural / Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies¬†ūü•ú


  • Dry:
    • 1¬†cup¬†brown sugar
    • 2/3¬†cup¬†oat flour
    • 1¬†tsp¬†baking soda
    • 1/8¬†teaspoon¬†fine salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350¬įF.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and brown sugar until creamy. Once creamy, mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining dry ingredients together (oat flour, baking soda, and salt).
  5. While beating the peanut butter mixture, gradually add in the dry ingredient mixture until dough forms. Add the almond milk until combined but be sure to not over mix!
  6. Roll 2 tbsp of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined pan. Slightly flatten the balls with your palm.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookie edges start to turn golden (be careful not to burn them!).
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

How to Make Spider Cookies¬†ūüē∑


  • Justin’s Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (available online or at Target)
  • Vegan Chocolate Frosting (I used Wholesome Organic Chocolate Frosting)
  • Candy Eyes (available at Walmart, Target, Michael’s, AC Moore, and some grocery stores)
  • Piping bag (can also use a regular ziplock bag with corner snipped)
  • Optional: spider-web doilies¬†ūüēł¬†(available online at¬†Walmart, I saw them in both Target & AC Moore)
  • Optional: orange napkins


  1. Using a small amount of frosting, stick¬†a Justin’s peanut butter cup face down in the center of a cookie.
  2. Add frosting to a piping bag and pipe 8 spider legs on top of the cookie. If you do not have a piping bag, add frosting to a ziplock bag and snip off a tiny piece of one of the bag’s corners to use to pipe the legs.
  3. Attach the eyes using a small dot of frosting.
  4. Place in the fridge to cool.
  5. Optional: Lay a spider web doily over an orange napkin to display your cookies on!

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookie |

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

Vegan Peanut Butter Spider Cookies |

Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups |

Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

If you read last’s years¬†Halloween post, you know I am a die-hard Justin’s peanut butter cup fan (I eat way more of these than I care to admit). If you are a chocolate-loving fan of Justin’s nut butters, I guarantee you will LOVE these!¬†ūüćę

Why I Love Them:

  • The chocolate is super rich and the perfect compliment to Justin‚Äôs smooth peanut butter.
  • They are 100% natural and USDA certified organic (no hidden scary ingredients).
  • They are Rainforest Alliance Certified (learn more about this impressive certification)
  • The palm oil found in Justin‚Äôs is certified sustainable meaning it does not lead to¬†deforestation and habitat loss!
  • The dark chocolate cups are vegan! (please note: they are manufactured on the same equipment as the milk chocolate cups but the equipment is thoroughly cleaned in between batches to prevent cross-contamination)

Justin's Peanut Butter Cups |

Justin's Organic Peanut Butter Cups|

Justin's Organic Peanut Butter Cups|

Swap out your peanut butter cups! |

I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as I do! Have a Happy Halloween!

xoxo Caitlyn |


29 In Fitness/ Food/Supplements/ GIVEAWAYS/ Wellness

December Giveaway (Week 3): Get Healthy Kit!



Nichelle P.



Who else wants to start 2017 off on the right foot when it comes to health!? I think we all do. This week’s giveaway is all about getting healthy and being prepared for the new year. My hope is that these prizes will help your new year’s resolutions become a reality!¬†ūüí™

This giveaway features three brands that I absolutely love: Orgain, inkWELL Press, & GoMacro. Up for grabs are..

Enter the giveaway below and keep scrolling past the giveaway plugin to learn more about each prize!¬†ūüėä

Enter the Giveaway

Inkwell Press Fitness Planner / Orgain / Go Macro

  • Open to anyone at least 18 years old with a valid U.S. or Canada mailing address.
  • You have until Saturday, December 24 at 11:59 pm EST to enter.
  • The winner is randomly generated through the Gleam Plugin.
  • The winner will be announced Monday, December 25 at 12 pm EST via this blog post, social media, and¬†email.


  • Use the Gleam plugin below to enter the giveaway (may take a few moments to load).
  • How to Enter: Submit at least one entry option using the ‚ÄúGleam‚ÄĚ plugin provided on this site.
  • There are opportunities¬†to earn extra entries and¬†increase your odds of winning!
    • Simply pick and choose as many or as few as you would like. You need to complete at least 1 entry to be added to the giveaway pool.¬†Additional entries¬†are completely optional.¬†
    • Certain entry options are weighted more heavily than others.
    • If you are already following on any of the social media platforms, that is fine ‚Äď just list your name/username for it to be counted!
    • All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn ‚Äď any missing¬†likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.


What You’ll Win:

Orgain | Organic Vegan Protein Powder 2lb (Chocolate, Vanilla, or Natural Unsweetened) = $39.99

  • There are a lot of plant-based protein powders out there.. but how many are organic and actually taste as good as they are for you? In my opinion, Orgain is the best vegan protein product on the market. This is the only protein powder I will drink. I drink a shake once a day so it has become a staple of my plant-based diet. Winner gets the choice between a vanilla, ¬†chocolate, or unsweetened 2lb tub.
  • Ingredients & Nutrition Facts:

inkWELL Press | Fitness Planner (Blue Herringbone) = $29.00

  • This brand makes near perfect planners (what I’ll be using for 2017) and was featured in my¬†“Choosing Your Perfect Planning System” blogpost. I am in love with their Fitness Planner. It’s the perfect sidekick to help you tackle your 2017 fitness goals from beginning to end! Click and scroll through the pics below to see details of each page/book section.
  • Features:
    • 3 Months of Daily Fitness/Food Logs with Weekly + Monthly Check-Ins
    • Fitness Resource Section =¬†portion size references, calories burned guide, & healthy snack¬†ideas
    • Ultra Thick 140 gsm (100#) Paper = no bleed through or shadowing on pages
    • Lay Flat True Gold¬†Wire Binding
    • Hardcover Design with Matte Laminate Coating (6″x8″)
    • Full Color Throughout!

GoMacro | Protein Bar 12-pack (winner picks flavor) = $34.68

  • Are you looking for a protein bar that is actually good for you and not full of scary ingredients and a ridiculous amount of sugar? Say hello to the GoMacro MacroBar! These bars have become a staple in my diet (especially as a vegetarian on busy days at work) and are definitely my favorite protein bar currently on the market. They are USDA Certified Organic, 100% Vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-Free Certified, Kosher Certified, sustainably sourced, and free of common allergens such as soy, eggs, and¬†dairy. What’s not to love?! With so many flavors I am confident there is one for everyone’s palate. My favorites are¬†Protein Pleasure,¬†Protein Replenishment,¬†Protein Purity, & Sweet Rejuvenation.
  • Check out all their flavors and nutrition info here.
  • Side Note: They also recently launched their Thrive bars which I’ve tried and loved!

Wouldn’t you love to win all these healthy prizes!? Make sure to get all your entries in by¬†December 24th at 11:59 pm! Good Luck!

xo Caitlyn

Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Orgain, inkWELL Press, or GoMacro. There are no affiliate links included in this post. All opinions are entirely my own!

0 In Food/Supplements

My Favorite Halloween Treat: Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cup Minis

Happy Halloween!

So.. calories don’t count on Halloween, right?! One can dream!¬†ūüėā¬†If you’re like me, it takes a little more self-control than usual to not snack on the bowl of candy intended for the trick-or-treaters. Luckily, being more conscientious about the ingredients in the products I consume has helped me curve most of my cravings. And even more luckily, there are natural candy options to satisfy my chocolate cravings this Halloween.

..So you can imagine my excitement when¬†I was shopping for Halloween candy and saw my all-time favorite candy in Target’s¬†Halloween section and in a bulk bag!¬†ūüėć

So what candy am I talking about?

If you haven’t tried them yet, allow me to introduce you to Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups! (Caution: your life will never be the same)

Justin’s is a natural brand that specializes in nut butter. After their various kinds of nut butter gained nationwide success, they decided to dive into the world of candy making and added¬†these organic peanut butter cups to their product line (available in dark, milk, and white chocolate)! I discovered these a few years back and I have been addicted ever since (bye bye Reeses)! Originally, the candy only came in a standard 2-pack but last year the company introduced its minis. I dare you to try and only eat one!

What I Love About Them:

  1. The chocolate is super rich and the perfect compliment to Justin’s smooth peanut butter.
  2. They are 100% natural and USDA certified organic (no hidden scary ingredients).
  3. They are Rainforest Alliance Certified (learn more about this impressive certification)
  4. The palm oil found in Justin’s is certified sustainable meaning it does not lead to¬†deforestation and habitat loss!

Fun Fact: I met the one and only Justin at Natural Products Expo West last March and had an embarrassing fan-girl moment¬†ūüôą



justins stack





Let’s Break it Down:


  • Organic Milk Chocolate:
    • Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
      • Purpose: The main sweetener in the milk-chocolate.
      • Source: Made from drying cane sugar syrup and grinding the granules into a fine mesh powder.
    • Organic Cocoa Butter (Rainforest Alliance Certified)
      • Purpose: One of the main fat sources in the milk chocolate. Cocoa butter helps the product taste very creamy and holds the product together once the liquid chocolate cools. Similar to palm fruit oil, cocoa butter is solid at room temperature but has a very low melting point; this is part of the reason that chocolate ‚Äėmelts in your mouth‚Äô.
      • Source: It is a healthy saturated fat source extracted from cocoa beans. When the cocoa beans are being ground to produce cocoa powder, the cocoa butter is a by-product that is collected.
    • Organic Whole Milk Powder
      • Purpose: This is the “milk” component in¬†milk chocolate that is absent in dark chocolate. It provides that nice creamy taste!
      • Source: It¬†is produced when water is slowly evaporated from organic whole milk. The result is a finely powdered milk with the same nutrient component as regular liquid milk. When the peanut butter cups are made and water is added, the powder milk is then rehydrated.
    • Organic Chocolate Liquor (Organic Cocoa Butter)
      • Purpose: This is the “chocolate” component made of equal parts of cocoa solids and fats.
      • Source: This is produced by grinding whole roasted cocoa beans into a liquid/semi-solid.
    • Organic Soy Lecithin
      • Purpose:¬†This is an emulsifier which helps mix fats/oils with¬†water to¬†prevent the fats from separating when mixed.
      • Source: This is extracted from and found naturally in organic soybeans.
    • Organic Vanilla
      • Purpose:¬†It provides a great vanilla aroma/flavor to the product without using any artificial chemicals.
      • Source: This is a pure extract from organic vanilla beans.
  • Organic Peanuts
    • Purpose: Used to create the peanut butter (self-explanatory).
    • Source:¬†Organic peanuts (it doesn’t get any simpler than that!)
  • Organic Powdered Evaporated Cane Sugar
    • Purpose: The main sweetener in the product’s peanut-butter.
    • Source: This is made from drying cane sugar syrup and grinding the granules into a fine mesh powder.
  • Organic Peanut Flour
    • Purpose: It provides the product with that great peanut flavor without having to use so much peanut butter that the fat levels get too high!
    • Source: It is made from real peanut butter. Peanut flour made by¬†removing the oils/fat from peanut butter which results in a dry powder that is only 12% fat and 52% protein.
  • Organic Palm Fruit Oil (Sustainably Sourced)
    • Purpose: It is one of the main fat sources in the product. Palm fruit oil helps the product taste very creamy and works with the cocoa butter to hold the product together once the liquid chocolate cools. Palm fruit oil is solid at room temperature but has a very low melting point. This is part of the reason that chocolate ‚Äėmelts in your mouth‚Äô.
    • Source: It is extracted from palm fruit! Palm fruit is a healthy blend of both saturated and monounsaturated fats.
  • Organic Vanilla Flavor
    • Purpose: Flavors are used in small percentages in the product but provide a great sensory experience.
    • Source: Organic natural flavors are the cleanest of all other flavor variations (artificial, natural and artificial, or natural). Artificial flavors can get scary, being made up of synthetic man-made chemicals. Organic natural flavors are made up of components that are found in nature and are certified organic by an organic agency.
  • Sea Salt
    • Purpose: Sea salt is a wholesome natural form of sodium chloride. Salt enhances the overall flavor of the product and helps bring out the chocolate and peanut flavors!
    • Source: Produced from the evaporation of sea-water.
  • Organic Soy Lecithin
    • Purpose:¬†This is an emulsifier which helps mix fats/oils with¬†water to¬†prevent the fats from separating out when mixed.
    • Source: This is extracted from and found naturally in organic soybeans.

(Disclaimer: ingredient descriptions come from a certified food scientist who did not develop this product – sources/purposes are assumed based on typical practices in product development)

This product contains peanuts, soy, and milk. Contains trace amounts of tree nuts due to processing on shared equipment.

*These peanut butter cups are vegetarian-friendly but not vegan.

Nutrition Facts:

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 12.54.45 PM

Where to buy Justin’s:



Online Store



In-Store & Online



Some Extra Halloween Fun¬†ūüéÉūüĎĽūüć¨


b53f2fafe0d830518f00fa5e59c100d1tofitots Print veganwitches

waiting for trick-or-treaters!

Belle (the fairy-princess) and Ollie (the knight) patiently awaiting the trick-or-treaters!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!

What are your Halloween guilty pleasures? Let me know in the comments!

xo Caitlyn


0 In Food/Supplements/ FYI/ How to.../ Wellness

How to Become a Vegetarian: A Step By Step Guide

How to Become a Vegetarian |

Switching to a plant-based diet is a decision that deserves a lot of thought. I thought about going vegetarian for a while before actually starting the lifestyle change. I have to admit, I gave more thought to WHY I should become one and not as much to HOW to (properly) become one. That being said, I am writing this post for any of you who have been considering it.

Before getting started, I want to make it known that I know¬†not everyone wants to be a vegetarian and I don’t write this thinking everyone should be. It is a very personal decision and I respect that. ūüôā¬†And remember, I ate meat for the first 23 years of my life so I would never judge someone for doing the same. This post is simply a resource for those interested that I wish I had before I made the switch!

How to Become a Vegetarian

Now,¬†let’s get started.

1. Ask yourself WHY you want to switch to a plant-based diet. 

  • This is the most important step because your answer to “why” is what is going to guide you through the entire process. When it feels tough or you start having cravings, it is going to be what keeps you on track and motivated. I wrote an entire post on why I made the switch (read it here), but everyone has their own reasons. Do your research and be honest with yourself. If you are not passionate about this lifestyle then it will never work for you.

2. Pick what type of plant-based diet you want to follow.

  • Dependent on your reason(s) for going plant-based, you may want either more lenient or strict diet guidelines. In other words, you may want to remove all animal products from your diet or eliminate¬†certain animal products. Read my post on types of plant-based diets to help decide which one fits your needs.

3. Map out your nutritional needs.

  • It is important to match your caloric and macronutrient needs (protein, fat, carbs) with your lifestyle.
  • Your nutritional needs will vary based on your gender, activity level, and personal philosophy. If you’re not sure what your target¬†caloric intake and macronutrient ratios should be, I recommend starting with the presets on the My FitnessPal App (Computer,¬†iPhone, iPad, Android). This app calculates each value based on your body mass index, activity level, and ideal weight. If you disagree with the app’s presets you can manually adjust them to fit your needs. Starting out, I logged all my meals/snacks on the app to ensure I was eating enough calories but also getting the right portions of macro/micro nutrients. (Side Note: For those of you who do not wish to switch to a plant-based diet, I still recommend this app. There is a misconception that by going vegetarian you will become malnourished but the average American’s diet is not properly managed.)¬†
  • As with any major dietary change, you should make sure you are following up with your doctor and getting annual physicals/blood work. If you have a complex medical history, I recommend consulting your doctor before changing your diet.¬†

|| Once you have completed these first three¬†steps, I recommend one of¬†two methods to start implementing this¬†diet/lifestyle change. One doesn’t necessarily work more effectively than the other across the board; it all depends on the individual. Read both and see which one sounds more realistic for you. ||

4. Think gradual baby steps!

  • Unfortunately, it is not realistic to switch to vegetarianism overnight. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard of people who have done this but it is much¬†easier said than done. Gradually changing your diet will make the change less noticeable and easier to make a permanent part of your life.
  • Option #1: Start by¬†cutting out certain types of animal products at a time. I recommend eliminating red meat first (beef, pork, lamb, veal, etc). You can start by replacing these foods with chicken/turkey/fish alternatives if that makes the change less drastic for you. Next, gradually start eliminating chicken and turkey meat. Many believe this is the hardest step in the process since these meats are staples¬†in most people’s diets. However, almost everything made with chicken can be made with an alternative (think eggplant, avocado, tofu, imitation meat – sounds gross but most¬†are¬†made from natural plant proteins & fibers, etc.). You will slowly redesign your favorite recipes to fit your new plant-based lifestyle. I can confidently¬†say, there is a vegetarian version for just about¬†every meat-based meal.¬†Once you have reached this point, you can consider yourself a pescetarian (what I am although I follow a vegan diet most days). To be able to truly call yourself a vegetarian you must eliminate fish and seafood. If veganism is your ultimate goal, gradually eliminate eggs and dairy. The entire process¬†can be as fast or slow as you like!
  • Option #2: Start by eliminating meat and/or animal products from your diet for one day of the week. You can eat meat as your normally would the other 6 days.¬†Use those regular¬†days¬†to prepare for your plant-based day by writing out¬†your meals and researching new recipes. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and unprepared. Gradually increase the number of meat-free days per week. Like option #1, this can be as gradual as you like. If you start feeling overwhelmed, slow down. There is no rush!

5. Always be prepared. 

  • More than likely, you aren’t going to be able to always prepare your own meals. Although restaurants and food¬†stores are introducing more vegetarian options, there is still much progress to be made. Before going out to eat, I recommend looking up the restaurant’s menu. If you are going to a sports game or theme park,¬†you will notice sometimes vegetarian options are so limited you have to choose between a hot pretzel and mozzarella¬†sticks. In an effort to not eat like a picky 5-year-old, you have to plan accordingly. When vegetarian options are limited, try to eat something small before you go out (I suggest a¬†protein shake) and¬†have vegetarian-friendly snacks on hand.

6. No diet is perfect and mistakes can happen. 

  • Every vegetarian’s worst nightmare is the thought of accidentally eating meat (esp. if you went vegetarian for the animals). I will admit, it happened to me and I immediately felt sick to my stomach (I¬†thought I bought¬†tuna when it was actually chicken salad ūüôĀ ). A sudden rush of panic and immense guilt came over me and I felt like all my previous efforts were wasted. No one is perfect and mistakes happen. These mistakes are more likely to happen when eating out which is why I recommend cooking for yourself as much as possible. If it happens to you, think about what went wrong and make an effort to be more careful in the future. One mistake does not discredit the impact your previous efforts have had on the lives of animals!

I hope you have found this post helpful! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Leave them in the comments section or contact me directly by email.

Final thoughts: I am significantly happier living a plant-based lifestyle¬†and think of food completely differently than I use to. This lifestyle’s benefits are truly endless.

Thank you for reading!


2 In Food/Supplements/ Wellness

Types of Plant-Based Diets


Vegetarianism is not easily defined because it can mean different things to different people. There are definitions to help understand the different types of vegetarian diets but even these are not completely accurate. For instance, I technically have to consider myself a pescetarian because I occasionally eat fish even though I usually¬†stick to a vegan diet. It is important to not get hung up on defining yourself or feeling you have to fit into one of the following categories! I have listed them to show you that not all plant-based diets are the same and there is a version to fit everyone’s different values and lifestyles.Watch The Channel (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Types of Plant-based Diets:

  • Vegan = eat NO products derived from animals; this often includes honey
  • Lacto-vegetarian = eat dairy¬†+¬†plant foods but no meat, fish, poultry or eggs
  • Ovo-vegetarian = eat eggs +¬†plant foods but no meat, fish, poultry or dairy foods
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian = (most common type) eat eggs + dairy + plant foods but no meat, fish, or poultry
  • Pescetarian = eat fish + eggs + dairy +¬†plant foods but no red meat or chicken

Many people begin their transition to vegetarianism¬†as a pescetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian. Some stop here while others slowly transition to full-blown vegan. Either way, I believe by switching to any of these plant-based diets¬†you are making a positive difference! ūüôā

Are you a vegetarian? If so, tell me about it in the comments section.

Source : Vegetarian Society

2 In Food/Supplements/ Wellness

Why I Became a Vegetarian

Why I Became a Vegetarian:

I’ll be honest, it was not difficult for me to become a vegetarian. Before May 22, 2015, the only meat I ate regularly was chicken, turkey, and fish. I had eliminated “red meat” from diet several years before this. I don’t remember exactly why I stopped eating beef¬†but I do remember reading some article that stated “red meat” was hard on our digestive tracts so I just went with it. This wasn’t hard because there was a turkey alternative for all my favorite foods. I should also add, since my little sister was obsessed with pigs (and still is ūüėČ ), as we grew up, pork was strictly prohibited in our household.

That day in May when I took the leap and abstained from chicken and turkey, it was barely even noticeable. I ate the same things I usually ate but replaced the meat with other sources of protein. There was definitely a learning curve in the beginning. I had to do my research and start to look at food differently: each food I put into my body had a purpose. I was no longer eating to feel full or for taste, I was eating to nourish my body. After a few weeks, I knew I would never go back.

When did I decide to go vegetarian?

I became interested in vegetarianism when I graduated high school but never seriously considered it. Like most, I focused on all the reasons NOT to become one. I convinced myself it would take too much time/effort which I didn’t have and that, as an athlete, I¬†wouldn’t be able to get enough protein to repair my muscles.¬†Any time I mentioned the interest, people told me¬†“you’re going to waste away” or¬†“you’re going to become malnourished”. Fast forward to my final year of undergrad — I promised myself¬†I would make the transition to vegetarian. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make any excuses because my cheerleading career would be over and I would have plenty of free time. I’m happy to say, the¬†day after graduation was my first day! ūüôā

So what exactly convinced me to go vegetarian?

While many people switch to a plant-based diet for the health benefits, my primary motivation was my love for animals. Raising my two doggies showed me we have more in common with animals than we have differences. All animals have emotions just like you and me Рthey can feel love, excitement, attachment, fear, and suffering.

When¬†I started doing research, I quickly realized the only thing¬†difficult about becoming vegetarian was acknowledging the horrific reality of the meat industry. The animals do not live a single day without pain and¬†suffering. I didn’t believe what I read until I saw it. As much as I didn’t want to, I forced myself to watch real undercover videos as I cried in horror. I doubt even the most devoted meat eaters would be able to watch those videos without getting upset. The images from those videos¬†are forever engrained in my head. The second I saw them¬†I knew I could never eat meat again.

‚ÄúIf slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.‚ÄĚ – Paul McCartney

I believe it is natural to question the way we eat and what we eat. We inherited our diets from our parents which they inherited from theirs and so on. In other words, eating animals is our “cultural norm”. Like any of our beliefs, we have a right to question them and explore alternatives. I don’t expect everyone who reads this post to walk away and never eat meat again. I wrote this post because I think more and more people are becoming interested in this lifestyle and want to learn more.

Final Thoughts: People become vegetarians for many different reasons. If you are seriously considering this lifestyle change, I can tell you first hand the best reason to make the switch is justice for the animals. I believe you are more likely to stick to something when you are doing it with others in mind and not just for yourself. This is one of the only “diets” that not only affects you but also others as well! These animals have no control over their situation – it is on us to be their voice and proponents for change.¬†Having switched to a plant-based diet, I feel genuinely happier and healthier than ever.

If you would like to learn more about vegetarianism, here are the resources I recommend:

Thank you for reading! I hope you took something away from this post.

If you liked this post, let me know in the comments!