New Favorites: Winter 2018 Edition

best organic bralette PACT

I love doing little roundups: it’s fun to write about some of the food, kitchen, and green living items that I love, in hopes that maybe you’re looking for the same things and/or maybe inspired to try something new. None of these are paid or sponsored, just me sharing my favorite new things.

This Fall/Winter has been one of abundance in all forms, and for that I’m so deeply grateful. I’ve been able to purchase some really fantastic items that make me feel good and I’m going to share them here!

Want to see my other Favorites lists?

Favorites Spring & Summer 2018
Favorites Spring 2017
Favorites Fall 2016


what is tocosI had heard some whispers about this superfood supplement, and then one day Instagram ads found their target and I was suddenly OBSESSED with obtaining this superfood.

Tocos (or Tocotrienols) are made from rice bran solubles. Why add tocos to your diet? The highly soluble oils in the tocos is supposed to be good for our skin and hair. Read more about this superfood here in my review. TLDR: good, maybe helpful, but maybe spend your money on other awesome superfoods like maca.

Wildwood Tofu

This is not a new ingredient in my kitchen, but it is my FAVORITE for so many reasons. Also I need to have an article to send folks to when I explain why Wildwood Tofu is the best and only tofu you should buy. First: it has less packaging. Yes, it’s still wrapped in plastic, but it’s not a hard plastic shell like many water-packed tofu options. Second, it has the best texture. It’s ‘high-protein’ because they squeezed all the water out so you’re left with just a dense little soy cake. This is the best for frying up in any basic tofu recipe, but works great when marinated or covered in a delicious sauce. Third, it’s sprouted, which means it has improved digestibility … so that you can eat more tofu! This tofu often comes packaged as 10-ounce or 16 ounce-packages, the latter which is always enough to make a second recipe for me later in the week. And another important kitchen note: if you do have leftover tofu, store in a container filled with water in the fridge to ensure freshness. Wildwood makes heaps of other awesome products too, so check them out.

PACT Clothing

best organic bralette PACT

Not a food thing, but a super cool and conscious company that makes easy-to-love basics like tees, undies, cute dresses and THE BEST bralette I’ve ever owned – all from organic cotton. They are super swift to send their packages (even to Hawaii!), have an awesome return policy, and everything they make is really high quality and feels SO good (physically and mentally!) to wear.

In recent years I’ve mostly given up on ‘regular’ bras and switched to bralettes, and these are great for sleeping and wearing all day, and even wearing solo to yoga classes. The boy shorts are very cute for period panties or lounging around the house, and their lace thongs are just as cute as anything you’ll get at VS, but much more sustainable and fair.

Homemade Hawthorn & Rose Heart Elixir

A few years ago I attended a wild cocktails workshop with author Emily Han. I was so taken with her creative recipes and old-fashioned/classic techniques that I bought her book immediately. I read it longingly, but didn’t commit to making any of the recipes until just a few months ago. I made a few of the bitters recipes, a homemade vermouth, and a few flavored syrups, but the big winner was the Hawthorn & Rose Elixir, an elixir for both the ‘physical and emotional heart [and especially] for afflictions of the latter.’

Hawthorn berries are good for our cardiovascular health, but can also help bring calm, love, and clarity to difficult situations, especially those around love and heartache. This truly magical elixir is made with hawthorn berries, rose petals, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla steeped in honey, brandy, and port wine. This mixture is left to decoct for two months, then the dry ingredients are strained off. Once I made the first batch, I was so in love I immediately made two new batches so that I can always have this potent herbal blend on hand. I like this elixir as a little tonic, stirred into sparkling water, or mixed into a little bit of bourbon over rocks.

Not only does this elixir taste incredible, it is truly powerful. A little sip in times of sadness, stress, or emotionally trying situations can be a wonderful balm and I’ve come to rely on this elixir for hard decisions (making a big financial decision), stressful or sad days, and some days when I just need a little bit of a self-love boost. Find the recipe here on Google books if you’re on a budget or buy the book on Amazon. Han’s book is a treasure of great herbal information and delicious infusions, cocktails, mocktails and more.

Golden Milk Lattes (aka Turmeric Lattes)

To be honest, this drink became an obsession in the cooler months of last year: I came down with the flu, and didn’t have anyone to take care of me or give me snuggles. So I comforted myself by drinking these golden milk lattes like three times a day for the duration of my sickness. The sweetness, warmth, and spiciness is so very lovely, and I look forward to these as a dessert or pre-bedtime sip.

Golden milk has some great health benefits, and is incredibly calming. Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom are carminative herbs, meaning they benefit digestion, making it great for after dinner. The rich coconut milk is key, as is the black pepper (which helps make the potent turmeric more bioavailable). Try sweetening with a little maple syrup or coconut sugar. I like to make with abundant fresh local turmeric and ginger, but you can also make with dried. Find my recipes for all types of golden milk here.

how to make turmeric milk with fresh turmeric

Nespresso Milk Frother

Years ago a friend had one of these at her house, and I was immediately smitten. I finally splurged this holiday season and bought one for myself. Yes, it makes all your plant-based milks frothy and light, but what I really love is the ability to heat and blend at the same time.

This is especially great for making maca drinks, vegan bulletproof coffee, superfood hot chocolate, matcha lattes, jasmine green tea lattes, blending green drinks, or reheating your turmeric milk that got too cold.

Psyllium Husk

I was at a dinner party a few weeks ago, and when one of the guests learned that I was a health and wellness writer + chef, she asked what the ONE thing would be that I would recommend to improve one’s health. There are lots of good answers here, but psyllium is what I told her, because if you can’t make big changes to your diet or lifestyle, increasing your fiber intake and sweeping your colon clean everyday is a good place to start and is really vital to true wellness. It’s a really important thing to have happy poops!

Not only does healthy, consistent elimination improve digestion and reduce bloating, gas, and likely excess weight, once cleaned of built up… you know… your intestines function better by absorbing nutrients and producing hormones that can affect your mood and overall wellness. Buy psyllium in bulk at your local store, or start with a trusted brand. ALWAYS take psyllium with water, drink more water afterwards, and start with small amounts. Give your body a few days to adjust, then increase or decrease the amount of psyllium as needed.

I’ve also been currently obsessed (again) with this gluten-free bread made with nuts and seeds- lots of psyllium is used as the binding ingredient. It’s a wonderful beginner recipe, and I can’t recommend it enough for morning and snack deliciousness, but also, yes, for better POOPS! 💩

gluten free bread

About Andrea Bertoli 597 Articles
A vegan chef, cookbook author, wellness educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu. Follow my delicious adventures on Instagram

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.