Featured Product: GaiaGuy Glass Straws!


I’ve been on a mission to make my household healthier and friendlier to my children’s health problems. Considering they both have hormone production issues (thyroid, growth), I decided plastic should really not exist in our lifestyles. I got rid of plastic containers for glass ones, water bottles, opted for stainless steel in all other places where plastic might exist (pots, utensils, cooking and baking tools).

“Provide eco-friendly products that people need. Earth friendly products that are non-toxic, from renewable resources and at fair prices.

Products that partner with natural systems and resources

Pricing that respects and compensates all involved, while offering value

Profits that return to the first two principles above”

There I was, giving my kids a plastic straw everyday with their water cups and smoothies… in their plastic cups. I fixed the guilt with “glass is too dangerous for them” or cringing at the price tag of other options. Then I saw glass straws.. Just do it. JUST TRY THEM. 

I ordered my straws and they came very quickly. They come in a pretty little box that will store them nicely. I made a banana, mango smoothie with almond milk and dates rolled in shredded coconut. I poured the softserve ice cream in the biggest glass I have and I called the kids in. The real test.

“Try this.”

My two-year-old old grabbed for the glass first so I handed it to him. There he goes drinking like there’s no tomorrow.

“Ok, sissy’s turn”

My four-year_old was hesitant to take the glass. I convinced her that she is a big girl and can hold it. They finished the smoothie. I went and refilled and came to the conclusion that these straws aren’t as terrifying as I thought they would be.

Now it’s my turn and here’s what I learned:

The straws are big, thick and less fragile than I expected.

They are perfect for thick drinks!

Even after a couple of hours before I rinsed the smoothie out of it, the straw rinsed easily (better than my glass) and comes with a brush for easy scrubbing.

I will never use a plastic straw again.

I’m going to look into stainless steel cups for my children because they are definitely more fragile than my straws. I advise against this but I actually dropped my straw into the sink when I was washing dishes and it was fine!


It’s really not just about us, plastic straws have been found stuck in marine wildlife and other wildlife. In their nostrils, paws, throats, mouths and gills. It’s frightening and sad. It’s disgusting. We can do better and one of the obligations we have as an intelligent species is the responsibility of taking care of nature, our world, the animals and plants that live here, and each other.

Check out their website: Gaia GuyInstagram, Amazon, and Etsy!

http://www.gaiaguy.com *I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review, this did not affect my opinion on the product. Glass straws are everything.



Why you should try Graze.com

Graze let’s you try a box for free and with all the new weekly snack subsriptions out there I figured why not try it.


Each sample box comes with four selections while the subsription comes with 8. The choices range with 112 recipes! 

They have a box type for everyone:

our favorites

Discover our most popular graze boxes.

8 snack variety box

Enjoy all the snacks graze has to offer.

 look inside
8 snacks$11.99

flapjack box

Our range of unique rustic rolled-oat flapjacks, handcrafted from a family recipe.

 look inside
8 snacks$13.99

popkern box

Get the best of both worlds with our light & airy popcorn and our crunchy half-popped kerns.

 look inside
8 snacks$11.99

sweet treat box

Guilt-free sweet indulgences that are not only delicious but also nutritionist-approved.

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8 snacks$11.99

savory box

Explore just our savory snacks, inspired by tastes from around the world.

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8 snacks$11.99

top 20 box

Experience the graze fan favorites with a variety of the top rated snacks.

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8 snacks$11.99

afternoon pick-me-up box

Good sources of protein and/or fiber, to keep you going through the day.

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8 snacks$11.99

breakfast box

Start your day the graze way with a variety of our tasty bites.

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8 snacks$11.99

wholesome nutrition

Nutritionist approved plans to meet your goals without compromising on taste.

carb count box

Let us do the carb counting for you, and just enjoy the tasty snacks!

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8 snacks$11.99

protein box

Tasty ways to get more protein into your diet.

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8 snacks$11.99

calorie count box

Delicious top quality snacks all under 150 calories.

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8 snacks$11.99

sugar count box

Tasty snacks all under 5 grams of sugar – the easy way to eat less sugar.

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8 snacks$11.99


















The flavor combinations are quite magical! There’s sweet, salty, savory and of course sweet and salty together.


I'm only 130 calories per serving


I'm only 110 calories per serving

image of spicy thai sriracha crunchspicy thai sriracha crunch

sriracha peas & popped corn kernels with jumbo salted corn



This snack contains 7g of protein. See nutrition facts for fat and sat. fat content.

image of salted fudge and peanut cookiesalted fudge and peanut cookie

baked salted peanuts, mini cocoa cookies, redskin peanuts and vanilla fudge

I'm only 130 calories per serving


I'm only 130 calories per serving

image of white chocolate dip and wild blueberry toastswhite chocolate dip and wild blueberry toasts

white chocolate dip with wild blueberry toasts

My box came with Sesame Garlic and Crunch and it was delicious. The garlic isn’t too strong and the crunch is perfect. Their oats snacks are nice and moist, not dry like I always fear with oats. The mango dip is like a dessert, it is so sweet and tangy and very addictive.

The subscription is suggested for weekly at around $12. While the snack packages seem a little small, they’re also gourmet with wonderful quality ingredients. The subsription options can also range from weekly to monthy and a one time purchase.

I have one warning, the company states that Graze boxes are NOT suitable for anyone with allergies as cross contamination may occur even if the snack choice doesn’t have your allergy in it (unfortunately my kids and I had a reaction because of a gluten intolerance).

My overall opinion: these are pretty great boxes and while I can’t enjoy them I love them for gifts! If you don’t have allergies, you might just fall in love with these. But share the love people, Father’s Day is coming up after all 😊

Order here & enjoy>> http://www.graze.com

Use code LIZM1D4DB to get your 5th box free!

Mondays are for #Smoothies!

I don’t know about you but Monday mornings are tough. Maybe it’s all the excitement from the weekend or just the mental thought of “Mondays suck” but I have to drag myself out of bed. One thing that gets me up a little quicker is the thought of having a delicious Green Banana smoothie (and my kids begging for it because they are starving).

So I thought I would share my favorite smoothie recipe as my first non-book related post. Excited yet? I am! It’s only five ingredients and easier than getting a hard-boiled egg right and has more protein. It tastes like dessert but is jam-packed full of nutrients.

I’ll jump right in.

Green Banana Smoothie


What you’ll need for 1 serving:

  • 1 large banana (I love to use frozen bananas but if you don’t have frozen that’s fine too, you can add ice)
  • 1.5 cups of milk of your choice  (I used almond milk)
  • 3 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter powder or nut butter of your choice
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • optional* 4 ice cubes if using fresh bananas instead of frozen

It’s simple, just add the ingredients in the order above to a blender or processor and blend until smooth and creamy . Don’t over blend as the smoothie can easily become warm. You can also pour this in popsicle molds and freeze for yummy ice pops. I recommend washing your blender and blade out immediately as smoothies get crusty and stick everywhere.

Quick nutrition facts for the recipe above:

  • Calories: about 360
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Protein: 13.5g
  • Sugars: 4g


A note on the banana debate: Freckled bananas are a sign of ripening! This is when you should eat them! Check out http://health101.org/banana for more information about bananas and how to tell when they are ready to eat.

What do you think guys? Would you like to see smoothie recipes every week? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a good day!

A review of TWO new healthy books

So here’s the news people: I’ve been out of commission for a little while due to a series of unfortunate events (hehe). My surface pro decided to go all hardware malfunction after mandatory updates and it took me longer than it should have to get it taken care of (by the way, thank you for the good customer service Microsoft!). Also, the Blogging for Books program I often write about banned me and I am still unable to get this situation resolved (this means – no review copies and slow customer service). In good news, BookSparks sent me a beautiful package with amazing books, one I have already gobbled up and will post soon. Also, I found Litfuse and they accepted me as a reviewer, you’ll find a ton of books from them in April.

But as for reviews right now I have a two-for-one special for you guys: The 5 Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp and The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson. I won’t be putting a comparison of these books because they are completely different and could be wonderful to use together. I just found that the subject of both might work well in a review together.

The 5 Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp


From Amazon: “Discover the safe, effective, delicious cleanse that took Instagram by storm! This 5-day detox program allows you to eat whole, nutrient-rich foods—and feel satisfied and energized while dropping pounds!

As a professional model, Nikki Sharp traveled constantly, barely slept, skipped meals, and relied on quick fixes to stay skinny, all of which took a toll on her physical and emotional health. Realizing she needed to make a serious change, she began to study integrative nutrition—and learned that the key to weight loss, radiant skin, and overall well-being is not starving yourself but eating. That’s right: eating! Sharp created her detox plan based on the knowledge that in the right combinations, real whole foods—grains, vegetables, fruits, and spices—can aid digestion, burn body fat, flush out toxins, reduce bloating, banish fatigue, and clear up acne.

Unlike other cleanses, The 5-Day Real Food Detox allows you to eat five times a day—and shed a pound a day—with meals and snacks developed by Sharp (and backed by a nutritionist and a registered dietician). Even better, the recipes, including Love Pancakes, Spinach & Chickpea Hummus, Black Bean Burgers, Cauliflower Mash, and Taco Bowl, have been taste-tested by Sharp’s many of 300,000-plus Instagram followers, who have done the plan and seen amazing results. In The 5-Day Real Food Detox, you’ll discover

• nutrient-dense foods that encourage detoxification and weight loss
• the facts on juice, smoothie, tea, and raw food cleanses
• yummy foods to substitute when you crave unhealthy ones
• ingredients to avoid and how to decode food labels
• the secret to great-tasting meals—use spices instead of salt
• strategies for lowering stress and combating insomnia
• troubleshooting for food allergies, mood swings, bloating, and other detox issues

Complete with gorgeous full-color photos, success stories, shopping lists, and meal plans, The 5-Day Real Food Detox lays the groundwork for eating well and feeling wonderful for the rest of your life!”

To the point: A lot of filler. Without all the junk it could be a great detox book.

Review: I hated flipping through this book. I hate saying that but it felt like an Instagram ad over and over again. This detox program is sound, it can really work if you stick to it and the author doesn’t need to promote the book within the book. Worse than that, the “progress” photos of before and after the detox didn’t really convince me the detox worked. I wish I received this book without all the extra junk in it.

The information is smart. Chemicals, pesticides, and the nutrients in our food and what it does to our body really makes a difference. The life changing abilities of food are spectacular. Healthy eating can be a medicine. For those who don’t have any ailments and just want to look better, detoxing to get you there too. While I think I might go through with this whole detox, I will probably need to get rid of those before-and-after pages first. Nikki Sharp is, well, sharp. I’m too observant (some might say) so the progress might be encouraging to most.

The 5 Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp. Paperback: 288 pages. Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 22, 2016). Healthy Living. I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

Get it HERE>>The 5 Day Real Food Detox

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson


From Amazon: “Find your happiest, healthiest self

When Sarah Wilson gave up sugar for good, she developed a new repertoire of inventive, go-to dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With 306 satisfying recipes for one-pan wonders, grain-free breakfasts, leftover makeovers, smoothie bowls, and more, this comprehensive cookbook makes living sugar-free easy, sustainable, and delicious.

Bacon ’N’ Egg Quinoa Oatmeal
Gift-Wrapped Miso Cod
Caramelized Leek, Apple, and Rosemary Socca
Green Spaghetti and Meatballs
Two-Minute Desk Noodles
Broc Bites and Cauli Popcorn
Carrot “Bacon”
Red Velvet Crunch Bowl
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crackles
Strawberry Cheesecake Mug Cake”


Review: This cookbook is fantastic and I am aware I say that often about healthy cookbooks but here’s what makes this one special, it is no sugar added. There are recipes for cakes, dinners, lunch boxes, snacks, and everything in between. Plus she gives you all the good info about what tools to use and helpful hints of what ingredients you can freeze. Actually, the first 35ish pages are all about how to use the kitchen, prepare ingredients and what tools are best.

The book is organized really well too so it’ super simple to figure out what you want. OH WAIT, did I mention there are 306 friggen recipes. I am serious. And I’ve been trying to make a sugar-free hot chocolate for about 3 years now, and yes, there is a recipe in here.

You can see some recipes included in the description above so I’m resisting my temptation to go all crazy with every page I flip. I love the anti-inflammatory aspects of these recipes which are completely necessary in my life. I definitely recommend this cookbook for the unique combinations, the thrifty nature of it and the healthy ingredients.

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson. Paperback: 384 pages. Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (March 15, 2016). Healthy Cooking. I borrowed this copy for review.


Get it HERE!!>>The I Quit Sugar Cookbook

What about you, have you tried either of these? Let us all know your favorite recipes in the comments below! Tried another healthy cookbook or detox book? Tell me about it in the comments!

The Tabasco Cookbook Review 5/5☆

The Tabasco Cookbook: Recipes with America’s Favorite Pepper Sauce by Paul Mcilhenny, Barbara Hunter, John Besh (Foreword)

From Amazon: “80 recipes with your favorite pepper sauce in a newly revised edition

Whether you ask for it by name at restaurants or are one of the legions of people who travel with your own bottle, you know there’s no substitute for giving eggs, oysters, and Bloody Marys a kick.

But Tabasco Pepper Sauce is a versatile ingredient for other foods, too. This revised and updated edition of The Tabasco Cookbook includes 20 new recipes for enjoying southern-style classics and American down-home favorites. From perfect fried chicken to a pan of peppery gingerbread, here are 80 recipes and color photography to test your fiery food limits—and keep you coming back for more.

With a foreword by renowned New Orleans chef John Besh and beautiful color photographs of the food and Avery Island, Tabasco Pepper Sauce’s birthplace, The Tabasco Cookbook will spice up any cook’s repertoire from breakfast to dessert.”

To the point: Just flipping through this book I found 10 recipes I need to try!

Review: I saw the opportunity to review this book and I had to grab it – even though hot sauce has the habit of making me sick to my stomach (or anything with vinegar). So why did I have to have this? Opposites attract. As much as I HATE hot sauce, my hubby loves it. So when I want to make him a special meal or treat for a holiday or special moments this book will be perfect. He actually used the recipe for the chicken wings for the Superbowl and everyone who tried them loved them.

I’m excited to try the desserts. Sweets and hot sauce together could be the perfect treat. I’m excited to work on some Valentine’s Day treats. Spicy gingerbread, cheesecake and a few other.

The recipe book is small, simple and perfect for every pepper sauce lover out there!

Get your copy here! >>Tabasco

The Tabasco Cookbook: Recipes with America’s Favorite Pepper Sauce by Paul Mcilhenny, Barbara Hunter, John Besh (Foreword). Hardcover: 144 pages. Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Rev Upd edition (February 2, 2016). I received this copy from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Salsa and Moles by Deborah Schneider Cookbook Review 4/5☆

Salsa and Moles by Deborah Schneider



To the point: It’s a valuable lesson in cooking, specifically the art of chile’s and the authenticity of mexican cooking.

Review: I really enjoyed reading about salsas and the history of the food, the myths and the truths. I loved the section teaching me about chile’s and their unique tastes, appearance and textures as well as their uses and heats.

I read through the recipes and noticed a few I am familiar with, if not exactly, only slightly off. My family loves fresh foods and salsas in particular. My sister will make enormous tabbouleh salads and the family will pretty much use it for everything for an entire week.

I tend to stick to simple recipes. Whatever fresh ingredients I have around the house I will dice and throw together in a bowl and dress with a simple mixture to keep it from spoiling.

That difference between my sister and I is exactly why she would use this book often and I might use it once. While this is a beautiful recipe book full of rich history and education in the craft, it is not practical for me. The recipes are extremely specific and precise and deviations in the cooking method will result in the wrong taste or texture.

I tend to eat to live rather than live to eat. The extent of my dietary limitations is quite large, sometimes it feels as if the “do not eat” list is much longer than the “eat this” list. Intolerances and special diets for health conditions frame my meals and because of this I typically stick to raw fruits and vegetables, grains, and some poultry. There is the explanation of why I didn’t do back flips for this amazing book as most might.

There are so many methods in preparing salsa (stew, puree, raw, etc.). I really think a lot of readers would enjoy this cookbook despite my review. Go check it out on Amazon and make your own decision about it 》Salsas and Moles

Salsas and Moles: Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More by Deborah Schneider. Hardcover: 160 pages. Publisher: Ten Speed Press (April 14, 2015). I received this from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Whole Coconut Cookbook by Nathalie Fraise 4/5 ☆

The Whole Coconut Cookbook by Nathalie Fraise



To the point: I was pleasantly surprised with the types of recipes in this cookbook!

Review: I was so excited to see this cookbook come in the mail and I was surprised with the range of recipes included. I had no idea how versatile coconuts are. I’m addicted to coconut butter so obviously when I saw the recipe in here I fell in love. Right there on the cover, another pro, all the recipes are gluten free and dairy free (2 allergens my kids must avoid).

The recipes range from Lemony Mushroom Risotto (pg 55) to Grain-free Raspberry Almond Muffins (pg 25) and Black Rice Mango Sushi (pg 110).

A lot of recipes have a “cook’s note” with tips and tricks that I found interesting, like to get a sushi mat to make rolls easier.

Coconut is extremely healthy and the benefits are becoming more wide known now than ever before. I love healthy foods (and I got a spiralizer for Christmas!) so to see this cookbook full of healthy recipes, including zucchini spaghetti, made it all the better for me.

I definitely recommend this cookbook to others. If anything, you’ll find a recipe you love. It’s hard to use every cookbook on the shelf often but I tend to learn something new with each book I get, you just might too!

Get your copy from Amazon!

How do you eat coconut? Let me know in the comments below!

The Whole Coconut Cookbook: Vibrant Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Recipes Featuring Nature’s Most Versatile Ingredient by Nathalie Fraise. Hardcover: 128 pages Publisher: Ten Speed Press (January 26, 2016). I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Slow Fires by Justin Smillie Recipe Book Review 5/5 ☆

Slow Fires, Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill by Justin Smillie, chef of Upland with Kitty Greenwald



To the point: You can find at least one year of culinary courses captured in this book. The cooking methods are explained in detail along with what meats work for that method, why and how to do it.

Review: Let’s be upfront here, I’m not a meat lover. I eat poultry and rarely venture from that. I don’t like the taste, health concerns, and price that comes with other meat. So why the great rating?

I love how educational this book is. It treats cooking meats like a fine art. It also explains every instruction to the most minute detail. There’s also a vegetable section! The recipes are gorgeous. They aren’t for the faint of heart. There are recipes for every type of meat from whole pigs to cod fish, oxtails and duck. I’ve never even considered roasting a duck never mind reviewing a book telling me how to do it.

With all that said I know any meat lover would love this book. I still love it for entertaining and especially holidays. Just because I eat poultry doesn’t mean everyone else wants to eat it every time they see me. Some of these recipes are awe-inducing and will impress anyone you’re hosting.


I recommend this cookbook to people who have time to cook. If you’re looking to make something absolutely amazing and restaurant-worthy, then this book is for you.

Slow Fires, Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill by Justin Smillie, chef of Upland with Kitty Greenwald. Clarkson Potter (November 3, 2015). 320 pages. Cooking methods: Meat. I received this from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Get your copy here >

Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill

Book Spotlight! Go Clean, Sexy You by Lisa Consiglio Ryan

Okay, so I have been back and forth with this blog. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy over the summer and still haven’t gotten it completely under control (though I am doing a lot better!). On top of that I have a thyroid disease, PCOS, Celiac’s Disease, and Lupus. My children have complicated digestive disorders and symptoms so needless to say, our family is pretty strict about what we eat and exercise is important. My children and I dabble in yoga and we try to practice a positive attitude lifestyle – which is always difficult haha!

The reason I’m telling you about all this is because I find some amazing things, I share with you guys the great healthy cookbooks I find and many positive activities I enjoy (aka coloring books) but here is a book I am DYING to read! I have to tell you all about it!

Blog Tour Header

Go Clean, Sexy You not only serves up a collection of delicious recipes, but offers a holistic approach on how to live a healthier life—putting whole foods into your body, detoxing every season to regularly cleanse your system, associating with those who fuel you not bring you down, and managing stress with activities that bring you back to balance.

A certified health and nutrition coach, author Lisa Consiglio Ryan provides straightforward guidance on how to overcome the obstacles that keep you from losing those last ten pounds, make you feel exhausted every afternoon, and compel you to indulge in unhealthy habits. Spending years struggling with a growing arsenal of health-destroying conditions that ranged from fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, candida and rosacea to cystitis and tons of allergies, Lisa decided to turn to nutrition and lifestyle to reclaim her health. Then pursuing her education with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she turned her personal quest into her vocation with the launch of Whole Health Designs.

As a nationally acclaimed wellness expert, Lisa has worked with thousands in her detox programs. Her approach incorporates easy-to-adopt eating habits, free from counting calories and fat grams. As you navigate through the seasons with Lisa’s whole food–based detox plans, you’ll be tapping into your body’s wisdom, forming sustainable habits, and developing loving, respectful relationship with your body. Not only will you feel better, you’ll look better too!”

I found it on Amazon and it’s a great price. It’s preorder because this book won’t be released until November 17, 2015. That’s really around the corner anyway! I’m too excited to wait for this one!
Go Clean, Sexy You: A Seasonal Guide to Detoxing and Staying Healthy

Food52 Vegan Gena Hamshaw, Foreword by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs Book Review 5/5☆

Food52 Vegan by
Gena Hamshaw, Foreword by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

downloadFrom Amazon: ” An essential collection of hassle-free, vibrant vegan recipes, from the author behind Food52’s wildly popular The New Veganism and Vegan Lunch columns.

Omnivore or vegan (or anywhere in between), we’re all looking for memorable, flavorful dishes to cook for ourselves and the people we care about. If those recipes happen to be healthful, nourishing, and friendly to vegetarians and vegans, even better.

With her wildly popular New Veganism column on Food52, Gena Hamshaw has inspired home cooks to incorporate plant-based recipes into their everyday routine—and even gained some nutritional yeast and cashew cheese converts. This vibrant collection of all-new recipes plus beloved favorites from the column—along with exquisite photography and helpful tips throughout—will show all of us innovative ways to cook with fresh produce and whole foods.

From Savory Breakfast Polenta to Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos to Ginger Roasted Pears with Vanilla Cream, these recipes are delicious, dependable, and deeply satisfying. Cook from this book just a couple of times and you’ll soon find yourself stocking up on coconut oil, blending your own nut milks, seeking the sweetest tomatoes at the market, and looking at plant-based dishes in a whole new way.”

Review: I hate cookbooks that have recipes that only chefs can create (I’ve never even heard of that ingredient).

This book is not that! It has recipes that are simple and recipes a little more complex but they’re all doable. Best part is they’re delicious, the thing about this book is the recipes pair ingredients that perfectly compliment each other.

I’m not vegan but I appreciate this book alot. It’s like a nutritionist on file, all the things your body needs in one hearty recipe.

With all the health issues in my family it’s great to have easy recipes without all the processed stuff. I can swap natural foods easily to accommodate any diet.

Great recipes so I recommend this to any food lover!

Food52 Vegan by Gena Hamshaw, Foreword by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Ten Speed Press (September 22, 2015). 160 pages. Cookbook. I received this book from Blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.