Hello Fresh Food Subscription Review

I am a woman who is easily tempted by a coupon code. I am also that woman who orders her groceries online because setting foot in a supermarket, although a necessary evil, is not my cup of tea. Most of the time, I don’t feel like being creative with dinner, so after I was able to secure a coupon code for Hello Fresh, three dinners for two people came to $40. What a steal!

Food subscriptions are a new rage. Hello Fresh is a food delivery service that ships dinners right to your door. You can choose from the Classic (meat and fish), Vegetarian, or Family plan for either 2 or 4 persons.

Our Classic Carnivore menu consisted of:

  • Juicy Lucy Burgers
    • 840 calories
    • 10-minute prep
    • 40-minute total time
  • Zesty Crusted Catfish
    • 650 calories
    • 5-minute prep
    • 30-minute total time
  • Gremolata Strip Steak
    • 880 calories
    • 10-minute prep
    • 40-minute total time

These are the 3 meals we chose out of 8 offered options.

Hello Fresh is packaged in a cooler box, so I didn’t have to worry about rushing home from work to find spoiled food. Everything is neatly packaged in recyclable cardboard. I like how Hello Fresh keeps all of the different meals organized.

The first meal I made was the Jucy Lucy Burgers. I was happy I had the additional ingredients on hand (olive oil and sugar). The burger was cooked perfectly and Jason kept raving about the dressing on the arugula salad. However, I did have quite a few pots, pans, and bowls to clean up, which makes for a fun after dinner chore.

The second night we had the Zesty Crusted Catfish, which was deceivingly filling. I love roasted broccoli and jasmine rice (staples in my home). I rarely have catfish which was a nice treat. The panko breading was crunchy and flavorful with the included fish seasoning.

The third meal was the Gremolata Strip Steak. I love strip steak! Cauliflower mashed potatoes is also a great way to include vegetables into my diet. The pesto on top of the steak really added flavor. I would absolutely make this again!

 

The Good:

  • I didn’t have to think about dinner. It was nice to grab a box and get to work.
  • Each dinner was tasty and flavorful. Jason and I really enjoyed the variety.
  • The variety offered is plentiful. I love adding different meals to my nightly menu.
  • You won’t spend more than 40-minutes preparing a meal.
  • Good portions.
  • Easy to follow, step by step directions with pictures.
  • Cost effective with a coupon.

The Bad:

  • I used more pots, pans, bowls, and utensils than usual.
  • The calories are a little high. (I try to stick around 500 for dinner).
  • No leftovers. (I usually have leftovers for lunch the next day).
    • I could order the 4 person option to solve this problem.
  • Expensive without a coupon code

Verdict

I would absolutely use Hello Fresh again, especially on crazy busy weeks where I don’t have enough time to order groceries online or get to a supermarket. I would also use them if I am in a “dinner rut” and want some new ideas.

Hello Fresh, you certainly made dinner much easier!

Sign up HERE to get $40 off your first box!

Namaste.

PS. This is not a sponsored post. I wanted to share my experience with Hello Fresh with you. All opinions within all of my posts (whether sponsored or not) are my own. If you would like to have your product/brand/service on Realm of Vibes, please visit the Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com. Realm of Vibes is also looking for guest bloggers in the lifestyle niche. 

 

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Practicing Mindfulness: Take the Challenge

Mindfulness. What does being mindful mean to you? To me, it means focusing on one thing at a time. I used to call myself a “Master Multi-tasker.” Over the years, I have shed that title, and have learned to immerse myself into one task at a time. I have less stress and truly enjoy experiencing all of the different sensations and aspects of my task at hand.

Riley from the Spirit and Soul Blog, and I have collaborated on blog posts and a 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! First, read my five tips for becoming more mindful, then head over to Riley’s post. Sign up here with your e-mail address to take our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge where we will instruct you on integrating tips and tricks for becoming more mindful in your everyday life.  

So, we begin…

Mindful Eating

Clear your table. Turn off the TV and phone. Prepare your food on your plate. Sit down comfortably. How does it feel to sit? Take ONE bite. How does your food taste? Is it hot or cold? What’s the texture like? Chew slowly and thoroughly. Swallow. Put your fork down. Take a deep breath. Savor your food.

My husband and I used to read bills, text whoever was pinging us, and watch the news. Now, we have a no distraction zone at our dining room table. We sit together, without external resources and devices, enjoy each other’s company, and taste our food.

Mindful Eating

Mindful Exercise

Have you ever gone to a yoga class and the person next to you is on their cell phone? Whenever I enter the gym, I find it comical to see a bunch of zombies walking around with headphones blasting and mobile devices in each hand.

I used to be both of those people. Now, I leave my cell phone in my car during my yoga class. At the gym, I go without my headphones and cell phone. It is so easy to zone out on an elliptical; I want to be present in my workout. I want to feel my body’s movements and be more aware of what’s around me. I learned that I like the gym’s music, too!

Mindful Exercise

Mindful Mornings

My alarm would sound and I would fly out of bed like a bat out of hell. I would begin checking my e-mails, text messages, and calendar. Now, after I turn off my alarm, I sit at the edge of my bed, and take a few moments to acknowledge, and give gratitude for, receiving another beautiful day.

This allows me to be present in the moment.

As I sit on the edge of my bed, I do a full body scan. How do my neck and back feel today? Do I feel well rested, or am I still tired? I take deep, cleansing breaths. I meditate. Now, I am ready to begin my day.

Mindful Grooming

I don’t have an intense grooming routine. I brush my teeth with doTERRA’s On Guard Whitening Toothpaste, floss, and use mouthwash. I run a brush through my hair and affix a messy bun. Simple, right? Try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth and hair. What happened? How did you do?

Slow down your grooming routine. Taste the toothpaste and mouthwash. Feel the sensation of the bristles on your teeth and scalp. Look at yourself in the mirror. Take time for you.

I love my showers. Showers can become a sensory experience, inducing feelings of peace and happiness. As you enter, feel the warm water rush over your body. Take a moment to enjoy the scent of your shampoo and body scrub. I love feeling the texture of the body scrub and smelling the aroma of the essential oils. My skin feels so soft and lovely afterward. I love seeing the dirt from the day wash away. I meditate in the shower and take the time to focus on myself, completely surrendering to moments of self-love.

Mindful Driving

During yoga class, an instructor asked, “For those of your who drove, what was your experience like getting here?” Answers ranged from, “Same as always.” “Listened to the radio.” “Rushed.” “Got stuck in traffic.” She proceeded to ask us how we sat in our seat (were we in good anatomical alignment?), whether we had both hands on the wheel (with arms engaged?), and if we practiced Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock and breathing technique). We proceeded to review how to integrate mindfulness into driving. These techniques I still use today.

I learned to sit with good alignment, practice breathing, and abdominal holds, have both hands on the wheel, arms engaged, and to turn off the radio. Turn off Bluetooth. Let your call go to voicemail. Pay attention to the road. Let thoughts enter and exit. If the weather is acceptable, roll down your windows. Open your sunroof. Feel the breeze. Do you notice a difference from your normal routine?

Driving Mindfully

Final Thoughts

How are you more mindful? In what ways do you integrate mindfulness into your daily routine?

Don’t forget to sign up for our 5-Day Mindfulness Challenge! It will start July 3!

Namaste.

5 Ways to be Mindful

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Flavored Kale Chips

I love kale. I always purchase kale for my salads and smoothies, so I decided it would be more cost effective to grow kale in my garden this year. I also found that it was very difficult to find a bag of kale chips without artificial flavors and preservatives. Kale chips could also be quite expensive, so I started making flavored kale chips at home. It took a few some experimenting to come up with the perfect recipe.

Shopping List

  • Fresh kale, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Flavored olive oil (I used cilantro & roasted garlic.)
  • Flavored salt (I used garlic.)
  • Side note: Get creative. Add crushed red pepper, minced ginger, black salt, etc.

Olive Oil and Garlic Salt

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread one layer of kale onto a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle olive oil over kale. Make sure each leaf has olive oil on it.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch kale closely. If you overcook, it will taste bitter and burnt. If you don’t cook it long enough, it will not be crunchy and will be slick with olive oil.

Kale on Baking Sheet

The final result…

Kale Chips

Crunchy, yummy, healthy kale chips with a nice flavor of cilantro, onion, and garlic.

Do you like kale? Have you ever made kale chips? 

Share your kale recipe in the comments!

Flavored Kale Chips

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Part 2: Lake Placid, NY – Things to Do

If you haven’t already, take a look at Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat.

This blog post features some of our adventures during our 4 night, 5 days stay in Lake Placid, NY.

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge

We love animals, so being able to see wolves, foxes, bald eagles, owls, and coyotes up close was really cool. We snapped a lot of pictures! The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge operates on donations, so make sure you leave a few dollars to keep this non-profit organization running smoothly.

Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

I always watch the Olympics. We got at the complex at the perfect time; the Olympians were practicing ski jumping into the pool. We watched them in awe. Then we took an elevator ride to the top of the ski jump. It gave us great views of the complex and high peaks.

Olympic Platform

Olympic Platform in the Ski Jump Complex

Ski Jump, Lake Placid NY

Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid, NY

Hiking Cascade and Porter Mountain

If you are not in decent physical shape and don’t have the appropriate gear, please don’t attempt the high peaks! This was grueling. It took us six hours to do both Cascade and Porter mountains. The conditions were terrible; muddy and high water everywhere. Jason and I are in decent physical shape and we struggled! If you can do it, I would recommend it. The summits are beautiful and we enjoyed a breathtaking view. There are plenty of easier, shorter hikes if this is too challenging. I would recommend getting outside and on a trail!

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain

Fly Fishing

Jason visited the local fly shop, The Hungry Trout, and had the best day in his fishing career. He fly fished the Ausable River and caught (and released) over 20 brown trout. This is a fisherman’s dream!

Balanced Bodywork and Massage

I treated myself to a 90-minute massage and cupping treatment with Tim. It was one of the best massages I have ever received. I made sure to bring my AromaTouch essential oil, which made me feel super relaxed and calm. When I go back to Lake Placid, I will be getting another treatment at Balanced Bodywork and Massage.

Balanced Bodywork

Inside Balanced Bodywork and Massage

Shopping in Lake Placid

After my massage, I spent the rest of the day shopping in downtown Lake Placid. I purchased local olive oils, salts, dish towels, local brews, and other novelties. Each shop is unique!

Final Thoughts

This is a great trip for families, couples, and singles. There is truly something for everyone in any season. If you like the great outdoors, relaxing, adventure, and enjoy the Olympics, you would really enjoy visiting Lake Placid, NY. We will be re-visiting Lake Placid in the near future.

Have you been to the Adirondack region? What was your favorite thing to do?

Namaste.

Lake Placid, NY - What to Do

 

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Chakras: What They Are and How To Start Using Them

by Rachel Erazo of Modron Lotus Garden

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There are centers of energy within your body called chakras. These spheres are constantly in movement, moving energy throughout your body.

When aligned and balanced, you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually feel at peace. But, as energy is constantly shifting, your chakras can move out of alignment. This post will teach you about chakras and how to achieve optimal alignment for spiritual and overall well being.

What are chakras?

To put it simply, chakras are energy centers within our bodies. They’re constantly moving and shifting.

To explain a little further, check out this scene from Avatar: The Last Airbender:

**Note: Yes, the video doesn’t explain in depth what each chakra is but it’s a great introduction, especially for teaching children. I highly recommend watching Avatar for it’s introductory take on the elements, different forms of martial arts, and the use of meditation and energy work.**

There’s many different chakra areas in your body but there’s seven major ones that we’ll focus on.

Root (Earth) Chakra – Muladhara
This is located at the base of the spine and is our foundation. We use this chakra to be grounded and stable. It also deals with our instincts, security, and survivability.

When its out of balance we may feel anxiety, hopelessness, or instability.

Sacral (Water) Chakra – Svadhisthana
This energy center is located in the pelvis. It involves our sexuality, creativity, confidence, and ability to accept others/new experiences.

When out of balance, there may be issues of addiction, emotional imbalance, a lack of well-being, and feelings of loneliness.

Solar Plexus (Fire) Chakra – Maripura
This area deals with out self-esteem, self-love, willpower, energy, and vitality.

Problems with gas, stomach ulcers, procrastination, or a lack of confidence can occur when this chakra is out of alignment.

Heart Chakra – Anahata
This chakra is located in the center of the chest.

​It’s considered the connection between mind, body, and spirit; it connects the lower chakras to the upper within our body and acts as a bridge between the two.

This energy center deals with love, inner peace, and connection.

There’s guilt and a fear of intimacy, along with asthma, heart conditions, or allergies, when this center is unbalanced.

Throat Chakra – Vishuddha
This chakra is located in the throat, governing truth, verbal expression, and self-expression.

Feelings of confinement, difficulty expressing your feelings, sore throats, and thyroid problems are signs of an imbalance.

Third-Eye Chakra – Ajna
Located between the eyebrows, our third eye is the center of our intuition and focusing abilities.

Problems with eyesight, lack of intuition, and hormone imbalances can occur when this chakra needs to be reopened or realigned.

Crown Chakra – Sahaswara
This chakra connects us to our higher self, Guides, deities, and universal energy and spiritual sources. It’s at the crown of the head.

When unbalanced, you can experience problems with meditation, sleep deprivation, and generally feeling disconnected.

How do I know my chakras are out of balance?

It depends on how bad the shift is.

Sometimes it’s very slight; you can’t tell that much of a difference. Maybe your pelvis feels slightly off or you’ve had to pop your knuckles today. Something small and unnoticed.

But let’s say you get really sick. Your throats is burning, your eyes are watery, nose is dripping, and you’re running a fever. Although it may not be the cause, chances are your throat and crown chakras are out of alignment. Re-balancing them will help you recover quicker.

When can go our whole lives without being realigned; the energy within our bodies can shift back into place. However, when we take initiative and realign our own energy, we’re taking our complete health and well-being into our own hands.
You don’t have to go to a guru and have your chakras worked on for over an hour to be realigned (although that is a viable option).

Re-balancing your energy can can easily be done from the comfort of your own home or while you’re going about your day. Here’s some ways you can change it!

Food

Yes, eating food can realign your chakras. But don’t break out the Ding Dongs yet!

You have to eat:
Food that nourishing for your body
Corresponds to the different chakras

An easy way to do this is just with the color of the food you’re eating. But here’s a sample list of foods you can use:

Chakras and Food

Essential Oils

Using essential oils for balancing your chakras is one of my favorite ways to realign! But I also love smelly things like candles and oils.

You can make your own perfume, candles, hair mist, or anything you can think of with these oils to rebalance yourself. Bath bombs are my favorite; plus it’s bath magic! Woo!

Here’s a list of oils you can use:

Chakras and Oils

*If you are looking to purchase essential oils, please look no further than Danielle’s doTERRA page where you will receive personalized guidance to choosing the best essential oils for your lifestyle and well-being. Please click here to shop and e-mail Danielle at realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started!

Crystals

One of the more popular methods amongst the witchy community, crystals can be used to realign your chakras or increase their vibration.

All you have to do is place the properly corresponded crystal on the energy center and meditate/relax for awhile. Here’s a list to help get you started:

Chakras and Crystals

Tarot readings

Tarot can be used to tell you the current status of your chakras and what you can do to realign yourself. This method can be incredibly personal, which is very good for realigning your chakras in everyday ways.

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I do offer a reading for identifying the state of your chakras and offering advice on how to fix them on my shop. It uses the lovely Dreams of Gaia tarot (as you can see above).

Pendulums

My absolutely FAVORITE way to balance my chakras: using my pendulum. I do this after I take a long, bubble bath and boy do I sleep great.

One way you can use a pendulum is to stand over someone who needs their chakras balanced, place the pendulum over each center, and ask it to realign that chakra. It will take a minute to do this; as one chakra moves into position another may move out. So be super diligent.

Another way is to simply have your hand out with your pendulum over it. Ask it to realign or balance your chakras. Done! The downside to this method: you don’t know what’s out of alignment because it’s so general.

My personal favorite is to make a pendulum board specifically for your chakras and have your pendulum tell you which is unbalanced and let it work on each one individually. I made one in my personal witchy journal and it works fantastic! Very much a sketch, but it works for me.

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And voila! There’s your introductory guide to chakras, what they are, and how to realign them in everyday ways!

If you liked this article and want to share your thoughts, hop over to the Facebook group for witchlings.

What do you think about chakras? What other ways can you align them?  Leave a comment below!

​Until next time, stay balanced!

Namaste.

 

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