must-have accessories for the modern hippie

As much as I consider myself a hippie chick, working as an Executive Assistant with a corporate job means I need to be a less Stevie Nicks and a little more put together. I try where I can to bring a bit of ethical, eco-friendly and mindful style into my look through accessories, loose flowing tops with skinny jeans and shoes with a conscience.

I do believe that you can be a fashionista with a heart. It can be extremely frustrating at times to find vegan clothes that are both stylish and ethical. I still don’t quite understand why a large percentage of veg-friendly shoes are chunky and clunky. Shopping on Etsy, second-hand and vintage shops + online at eco-friendly boutiques are a few great ways to find unique pieces that won’t break the bank and go with your cruelty-free lifestyle.

We know accessories make the outfit. Here are 5 of my favourite accessories that are beautiful, eco-friendly and office appropriate:

mindful accessories

1. MATT & NAT

Matt & Nat is a really cool, super stylish handbag company based out of Montreal. The bags are made from vegan leather, cork and recycled materials – the lining of the bags are made from recycled pop bottles! The majority of Matt & Nat bags come well under the $200 mark, making them affordable and they remain quite durable unlike many of the cheaper, polyurethane bags out there. They have a large selection of styles and come out with new colours a few times a year. Another cool tidbit is they are a vegan company and have potlucks at the end of each month (we vegans love our potlucks!)  www.mattandnat.ca

2. MALA COLLECTIVE

I can’t say enough positive things about Mala Collective. This Vancouver-based company is ethical and fair-trade in partnership with residents of Bali, where the malas are handmade. Mala beads, both necklaces and bracelets are traditionally used for meditation and prayer although as of late they have become a fashionable item to wear. I purchased several mala bracelets for myself and some girlfriends, whom I knew would love them as much as I do. Wearing a mala bracelet is a great reminder to stay mindful and present during often hectic and stressful workdays. Mala Collective offers a variety of different gemstones and intentions to choose from so you can find the one that is just right for you! www.malacollective.com

3. TOMS

Vegan shoes. Often hard to find. Often hard to find nice ones. That is just one reason I love Toms. This company is known for their One For One movement. You buy a pair of Toms shoes or glasses and Toms gives a pair of shoes or glasses to a child in need. Doesn’t get much better than that! Not all Toms are vegan. This is a source of contention for me because if they have a vegan collection, why not just make all the shoes vegan? On the bright side, they do have a collection of vegan shoes that are cute and ethical.
www.toms.com

4. TINY DEVOTIONS

Every boho babe needs a Tiny Devotions mala necklace. This company knows what they’re doing from design to branding. They have truly created a lifestyle and community of mindful, intention based living. They have a large assortment of mala bracelets and necklace each with their own intention. I feel Tiny Devotions malas are the perfect accessory for the mindful girl to inspire positivity and peace and act as a gorgeous piece of jewelry.
www.lovetinydevotions.com

5. SOYOUNG

The lunch bag. Maybe not an accessory in the traditional sense of the word but carrying around your quinoa salad and fruit in a cute cooler bag is definitely a nicer option than a plastic bag. SoYoung offers a selection of small and large cooler bags (and diaper bags, but I have no use for that) with gorgeous prints appropriate for both children and adults. These bags are made of coated linen and are PVC, Pthalate, and BPA-Free. Mindfully eat in style!
www.soyoung.ca

What are your favourite must-have accessories?

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chai-spiced no-oatmeal

Very early this morning when I woke up, there was an overcast sky, rain and cool temperature resembling Fall more than Summer. A warm and nourishing breakfast was most certainly in order!

I love the below recipe because it is such an interesting take on breakfast. Very hearty and satisfying as well as rich in nutrients and fibre. It can be enjoyed anytime as it is not too heavy feeling. It resembles oatmeal and yet does not contain any so its great for those who limit or avoid grains.

Despite squash being a “Fall” food, I tend to buy them year round and so, needing to use up the acorn squash in my fridge, today was the perfect day for this breakfast!

chai spiced no oatmeal by danielle felip

CHAI-SPICED NO-OATMEAL

1 medium acorn squash
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 apple, diced
maple syrup, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half. Fill a roasting pan with 1 inch of water and place squash flesh-side down. Roast for 45 mins or until very soft. Scrape out seeds and discard. Spoon squash into a food processor. Add coconut milk, coconut flakes, chia and spices. Blend until smooth and top with diced apple, sweeten with maple syrup.

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raw cherry pear crumble

In my family, maple syrup is considered a food group. When I was growing up, my grandparents lived on a large and heavily forested property in Northern Ontario and would tap maple trees for their sap. They built a sugar shack and my cousins and I would have such a fun time playing in the snow while the sap boiled down to syrup. To this day, maple syrup remains my sweetener of choice. It’s flavour brings back really found memories and I’m always happy to support my fellow Canadian maple syrup makers.

Using maple syrup instead of agave and pears and cherries as a substitute for apples, I made this delicious crumble inspired by the raw apple crumble found in Going Raw by Judita Wignall.

raw cherry pear crumble

RAW CHERRY-PEAR CRUMBLE

TOPPING
1 cup pecans
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup raisins
4 Medjool dates
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 cup cherries

In a food processor, combine pecans and coconut sugar and process until you get a coarse meal. Add raisins, dates, sea salt, rolled oats and pumpkin seeds and process until the mixture sticks slightly together. Pit and slice cherries and set aside.

FILLING
3 tbsp maple syrup
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
2-3 pears, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon. Add pears and cover with filling mixture.

ASSEMBLY
Spoon half of the topping into the bottom of a pie dish or glass bowl. Layer pear filling on top and then drizzle remaining liquid over top.  Spoon on remaining topping. Garnish with cherries. Let set for 1-2 hours and serve.

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chocolate-avocado pudding

When I was a child I absolutely loved chocolate pudding made by a certain company whose name ends in “O.” How amazing was it that you could just open the package, mix it with dairy milk and 15-minutes later, viola! Pudding! My younger self never questioned what was in the pudding, the ignorance of youth can be bliss. But it’s this ignorance that ignored this rather scary looking ingredients list -

SUGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE).

As an adult, I’m not ashamed to admit that I still love pudding. However I don’t love that the above list contains more chemicals than it does actual food. Determined to create a rich pudding, it took me a few tries but I think I’ve created the a truly delicious and decadent dessert.

Made with avocado to give the pudding a creamy and smooth texture. Many people still fear the avocado because of the high fat content. But fear not friends! This type of fat is a monounsaturated fat which has been shown to reduce inflammation.  Avocados also support the heart and blood vessels and help with blood sugar regulation. Make avocados your friend by trying out this recipe…

chocolate avocado pudding by danielle felip

CHOCOLATE-AVOCADO PUDDING

2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup maple syrup (coconut nectar will work too)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Cut avocados in half and scoop flesh into a food processor. Add in remaining ingredients and process until mixed thoroughly and fluffy. Scrap into a bowl and divide into four small portions, cover and chill.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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kale, apple + sunflower seed salad

It’s easy to over-complicate things…our relationships, our health, our priorities…life. All of these  can be made simpler with focus, organization and dedication but perhaps the first place to start is with food. It’s often the simplest meals that are the most delicious, maybe it’s because we take less time preparing and more time enjoying. Salads are an easy meal – throw a bunch of food into a bowl, cover with dressing and eat.

Unfortunately, we can even over-complicate a salad by adding lots of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients, additives etc. The salad below brings things back to basics – simple, clean and full of nutrients. It takes minutes to make, is deliciously crunchy as well as detoxifying to the body.

kale, apple + sunflower seed salad by danielle felip

KALE, APPLE +SUNFLOWER SEED SALAD

2 bunches of kale, small chiffonade (or use baby kale)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 apple, chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
splash of apple cider vinegar
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
sea salt, to taste

Massage kale with lemon juice using your hands for a few minutes to break it down. In a smaller bowl, combine mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. While whisking mixture vigorously, add the organic olive oil slowly in a thin stream. Mix dressing with kale and top with sunflower seeds, raisins and apple.

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