Category Archives: Clean Living

Cait Without Coffee

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I love being busy. I love having twelve things on the go, walking quickly, talking faster and doing this all with a 20 ounce cup of coffee in my hand.

Since I started my job as a barista two years ago, I’ve developed a serious “enthusiasm” for coffee and caffeine.  It’s only recently that I’ve ever begun to think about how much coffee and caffeine I’m consuming daily.

A quick estimate placed me at approximately 750mg of caffeine daily. Side effects of this much coffee consumption include

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Stomach upset
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

When I begin to think about what I feel like on a day to day basis, most of these side effects apply to me and suddenly everything starts to make more sense.

With this new information comes the obvious question

“Well, what are you going to do about it?”

So I’ve come up with a plan. Starting at lunch today I gave up coffee for one week. No lattes, no brewed drip, not even a quick espresso shot. (My god, that was hard to write).

This goal luckily prompted a quick Teavana run. I picked out a selection of caffeinated and decaf teas all of which are super yummy!

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Have you ever tried to quit coffee or reduce your caffeine intake? What helped you?

 

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All Pumpkin Everything

This passing Sunday marked the first day of fall.

Autumn is by far my favourite season; the changing weather makes everything especially beautiful and crisp, and it’s just cold enough to still enjoy getting cosy.

For me, cosiness means a good story, something to nibble on and a warm drink. It being fall of course, means that everything should be pumpkin flavoured.

Today I’m going to share a Vegan Pumpkin Bread and a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. Hope you enjoy!

First … The Pumpkin Bread!

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Unfortunately, I was missing a proper loaf pan, so this does look more like a cake. But I assure you that this is much more savoury and spicy than it is sweet.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp  ground cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin pie filling
  • ½ cup oil – ( I used Sunflower Oil)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped pumpkin seeds

LET’S BAKE BREAD

Preheat your over to 350, then grease and flour your loaf pan.

Mix together your dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, spices, baking powder & soda.

In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – pumpkin, syrup, oil and water.

Pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl and mix well. Fold in your nuts and seeds.

Add the batter to your loaf pan, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake for around 45 minutes.

Once cooled you can add the optional spicy sugar dusting. Simply combine a pinch of all the spices used in the cake with icing sugar and dust overtop.

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LET’S MAKE A LATTE

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As this petition on change.org shows, people are really passionate about their pumpkin spice lattes, and getting them veganized.

Now I don’t want to brag, but I really do prefer the taste of this latte, made with natural ingredients and a “true” pumpkin taste.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 2oz Strong Coffee or Espresso
  • 14oz Milk of Your Choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Sugar
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice and (optional) Cayenne Pepper to taste.

In the bottom of your cup add the pumpkin puree, sugar and spices.

Mix in your piping hot coffee and warm milk and “blend” well. I use my handheld milk foamer from IKEA but you could also use a small whisk or even a fork.

Top with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or anything else you fancy and enjoy!

How are you enjoying the new season? Are you making pumpkin treats or sick to death of “All Pumpkin Everything All The Time”?

The Bike Project

There’s something that I just love about a good old fashioned restoration.

Taking something old and discovering what is new and beautiful underneath is incredibly satisfying.
This weekend I was working on an old 1970s Raleigh, It was my bike for years but six inches later it is officially too small for me. So I decided to clean her up and try to find her a new home.

Today I want to teach you how to restore a bike using inexpensive and green methods!

When I started the bike, it looked like this.

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A bit of elbow grease, some tin foil and no harsh chemicals later we had this bike,

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When I started how to investigate how to restore the bike I found page after page of people suggesting toxic chemicals. From paint thinners, to commercial rust removers I was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of using such strong products. So I began to search out some more natural ways of removing heavy rust from chrome and unpainted metal.

I eventually decided to us plain old white vinegar.

The vinegar removes rust because it contains acetic acid which reacts with rust to create a water soluble reside which can just be washed off.

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I applied this vinegar first with a very fine grade of steel wool, then a ball of tinfoil and finally with a toothbrush to finish it up. This process goes much quicker than you might expect.

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After I finished removing the rust, I used an all natural class cleaner to remove the residue and finished off with a chrome polish. Finally, I applied a healthy amount of amourall to the tires and seat, degreased the chain and admired my handiwork!

I’ve placed a gallery at the bottom of the post, for some more before/after shots. Have you ever restored anything? Also, what is your position on natural cleaners? I have to say after this experiment I am an absolute convert.