Grad School Eats My Life Into An Insatiable-Like-Cookie-Monster Black Hole Of Time Suckage. So What I’m Saying Is, Oh Hey It’s Friday! Hello there.

February 28th, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

Mi vida loca, lately . . .

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1. Teaching him how to drink jasmine nectar. // 2. Designing my first PowerPoint in like, 8 years, for my “how to be a TA” class. // 3. A quick lunch on the go with my two very most favorite guys. // 4. A bedroom makeover for his upcoming FOURTH birthday. (!!!) // 5. Beachside skate park.


Hello hello! Hi guys! Somehow another week is already gone, and to tell you the truth, I’d actually planned not to post at all this week. Busy busy in this crazy life. But, now I’ve gone and changed my mind and decided to squeeze one weird little mash-up blog in here. Because it’s raining and raining is for writing and also because, well why not?

A few bits of business I wanted to run by all of you:


Next weekend Jeremy and I will be heading off to Expo West, the ginormous annual Natural Products Expo down in Anaheim. I’m so excited! And of course, I’ll share all my highlights and my favorite new discoveries with you guys. Lots of companies take advantage of Expo West as the moment to unveil their new products, so there should be tons of fun stuff to share.

But I had another idea as well. I was chatting recently with a friend, about food and parenting and natural living. And we started talking about “greenwashing” – when companies use eco-friendly-sounding language/packaging/branding to try and sell their faux eco-friendly products. So basically, a greenwashed product looks like it should be eco-friendly, but it’s actually still a big ol’ pile of crap.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the food industry. And so I started thinking, what if I kept an eye out for examples of greenwashing at Expo West? And then showcased them on the blog? Would that be something you would be interested in?

Or would it be too negative/mean? I might feel bad for calling out products by name . . . but then again, I’m also really really opposed to greenwashing! So I’d love your input on this.



Our second item of business: Earlier in this week I got an email from a reader, who wrote:

Hi Sayward! I just have a quick question that maybe you could address on your blog: Do you know/read/follow any vegan blogs like your own? I’ve tried looking up vegan lifestyle blogs but all I find is recipe or news blogs, which are fine, but I want to read about personal day to day life that happens to be vegan. And look at pretty pictures. I find your blog so inspirational, yet attainable. You keep it real and I think all your readers really appreciate that.
(name redacted)

So the thing is, I’ve actually had the same problem as this person. I find lots of pretty recipe blogs and lots of interesting news/”info” blogs, and lots and lots of gorgeous lifestyle blogs that are *not* vegan . . .

But I haven’t found many blogs that strike a real balance, and that have pretty pictures, and that also keep things down to earth and authentic. So, I put the question to you guys! Please share your favorite veg-friendly lifestyle blogs!


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And now, a Friday post just wouldn’t be complete without at least a little bit of gratitude-y goodness. Let’s do this Le Love List thang!

Have I mentioned that grad school is hard? Harder than I imagined? The hardest thing I’ve done in a very long time? Well it is, and the reason that fact belongs on this list is because hard = challenge, which leads to growth. Right now I’m really stretching. I am so sore. And it feels good. // Sitting down last night with a good friend who’s also an amazing artist, and brainstorming ideas for a new header for this site. Big changes are coming . . . // Working with Jeremy, late into these nights, to give Waits a major bedroom makeover. We make such a great team. // Pulling up the carpet in Waits’s room and finding hardwood floors underneath. Busted, beat-up, painted hardwood floors, but hardwood floors nonetheless! Which means . . . someday soon my WHOLE house will be rid of that awful carpet, and I will be enjoying fabulous painted wood floors. I can’t waaaaaait!!! // Getting back out in the garden. We’ve been working the yard and I’m so excited for another growing season. We’re doing lots of herbs in pots, leafy greens in wooden wine boxes, and tons of flowers in the ground. Plus a few other secret projects of course . . . // Waits’s new little hand-me-down wooden house! So sweet! // When I curl myself into Jeremy’s arms, the way that we fit together is so precisely right, so jigsaw puzzle-perfect, that I just can’t help but believe that Aristophanes had it right. And we really are two halves of an ancient whole, cut loose from one another so long ago. It has to be. There’s just no other way to explain that feeling . . . (if you don’t feel like reading the Aristophanes story from Plato’s Symposium, there’s a really lovely video here, featuring a song from the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which tells the tale. It’s a beautiful story either way, and worth knowing.)

Alright, now it’s your turn! I hope you’ll leave your own little Love List in the comments below. I’d love to hear what’s making you smile these days!


Grad school really is sucking my life away, and I’ve had to cut back on blogging big time. But! I’m actually managing to stay pretty active on social media, especially Instagram, where I share food tips and recipes, mini product reviews, and of course lots of pretty pics from our normal (and sometimes not-so-normal) day to day adventures. I’m also finally really getting into Twitter, where I share the random weirdness that happens inside my head, and of course there’s always Facebook, where I talk about health, nutrition, and current events-y type stuff.

If you want to keep in touch, I’d love to see you in any of those places!

  • Sandii

    I like the greenwashing idea!

  • Cati

    I like the greenwashing idea, but maybe you could make it more general so your readers would know what to look for when trying to by real eco-friendly products. You could say something like “I saw a lot of hygiene products in 30% recycled packaging claiming to be green but were really filled with sulfates” and then maybe an example, that way it’s less calling individuals products out, which might come across as mean, although I also hate greenwashing.

  • Suz

    Transparency always. Definitely report back on greenwashing.

  • Rachel from The Vegan Mishmash

    I always love your posts. They are so energetic and full of life. I always feel like creating something or doing something big after I read your writing. Thank you for the inspiration <3

    P.S. The greenwashing idea is great.

  • theveganchickpea

    i really like the greenwashing idea. it’s something that is definitely out there, yet doesn’t get much attention.

  • Heather J

    Choosing Raw blog has a good balance of food, body image and vegan lifestyle discussions. I am an omnivore but I find Gena’s blog approachable, inclusive, well-rounded and informative (much like BA!)

  • Kyleigh

    Love the ‘greenwashing’ idea, and I don’t think it’s mean to call-out companies who are doing it. They’re lying to their customers, and we as consumers deserve the truth.

    My husband just started a vegan lifestyle blog the other day. It’s t he only one I know of aside from yours.

  • Los Franich

    Please report on the greenwashing! As far as vegan lifestyle blogs, Oh Dear Drea is a good one with pretty photos.

  • Cara

    I say go for it. It would be helpful to see how they’re changing the greenwash message as people get more educated & they have to try harder to fool us.

    Painted wood floors are wonderful!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m gonna do it for sure!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yeah I’ll probably go this route. We’ll see, but I’ll most likely make note of major trends in greenwashing, and report back on those. If I see any horrible offenders I might just take pics . . . ;-)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m doing it it!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you Rachel! What an awesome comment. =)

    And yes! I’ll be reporting on greenwashing for sure.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Totally! I’ve been seeing it for years, I’m excited to finally really address it.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yeah! Gena’s great, one of my favorite blogs on the internet. Gena brings some of the greatest wisdom, one of the most intellectual approaches, and some of the most innovative recipes in the vegan landscape. She’s fantastic for sure. That said, I think her blog is less of the “day-to-day”, “day in the life”, really intimate sort of lifestyle blogging that I think this person was looking for. I could be wrong there though!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I go back and forth with that. I don’t want to be mean or create negativity, but . . . if companies are trying to trick their customers by selling them faux-eco crap, well, they should be at least identified! Right?

    I think so.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    This was the first blog I thought of when I got the question. I used to follow her and really love her photography. But to be honest, I was deeply offended and completely turned off with her racist Hallowe’en costume last year, and more importantly, the totally insensitive way that she dealt with the aftermath. So it’s not a blog I support anymore. That’s just my personal choice of course.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Great point about the message/techniques changing and getting more manipulative. I’ll look out for that too!

  • Helen Seifert

    I love the greenwashing idea. However, even if I am aware that some companies are not as green as they would like us to believe, I often don’t know what I can believe anymore, and if there really are better alternatives. Another company might just be doing the same thing, and maybe I just don’t know about it because the company is smaller/less well known… Therefore, I would really appreciate, if you could give alternatives, too! This way would also be less negative, but also spotlight products/alternatives that are good for us and the environment!

  • Emma –

    I agree, I would love to see your greenwashing idea, as well as some alternatives to give us pointers about what to support and keep things a bit more positive / motivational

  • Felicia

    My other favorite vegan lifestyle blog is I’m lucky to live in the same city as Jaime!

  • Jen

    Yes on the greenwashing. I am always disappointed to find many greenwashing products at health food stores. In agreement on the blog issue.

  • Jenn

    I like LiveLoveLearnEat

  • Kelli Roberts

    I’m glad that I happened to see your post today, and I’m so glad that you included that email. I have a vegan “recipe” blog, but lately I’ve been thinking about starting to transition it to including more lifestyle posts, or at least more of my own thoughts and questions, rather than strictly just recipes & product reviews. I’m glad to hear there is an interest in more of that !

  • Emily

    Definitely report on the greenwashing. It isn’t negative or mean if you’re just stating the facts. I understand what you mean though, it’s terrible that we have guilt over exposing blatant wrongdoing! <3 your blog

  • Chelsea

    Sayward, you rock. And now I’m starting to get the blogging itch again. If I don’t see what I want to read online, maybe I need to write it myself.

  • Sarah Sylvester

    Ahh! That has been my favorite song since I saw the movie when I was 14. :)

  • Grace

    I love the idea of a greenwashing post. Some blog love,

  • Natalie Diane

    Hi! Yes, please! I would love a product review from the expo and a call out on green washing is much needed imo! I went to expo west a couple of years ago and remember feeling excited and also disillusioned by the industry. Some businesses had so much heart and conviction- other companies were clearly tied up in pharma politics and big business. Totally interesting. Have fun! xoxoxo

  • Rachel in Veganland

    STOKED to hear your thoughts on greenwashing, Sayward! I too am always flabbergasted by the phenomenon. I’m also nearly always in search of great vegan lifestyle blogs that incorporate both food and real life antics into the mix. It would be so cool to see a list of your favorite blog reads sometime, if you’d be up for posting about them! I’d also LOVE to hear more about your grad school eats and how you juggle eating a healthy plant based diet as a grad student as I’m about to leap off the graduate school bridge myself.

  • Melissa Ferrante

    In regards to the “green washing” reviews: Transparency, always. You are always thoughtful and scientific in your approach to ALL your posts and product reviews, so no need to feel bad. Just look at all the positive change you brought about you when you wrote about the Earth Day in your city.

  • veronika

    i think the greenwashing (what an awesome term, haven’t heard it before!) is super interesting. labeling in general, is so important, as it skews our perception and effectively directs the mind. my recent thoughts on labeling were ignited when i decided to try green warrior protein powder. i immediately noticed that they misspelled “leucine”, claimed that it “promotes pro-longevity” (wtf), and included only 18 amino acids in their profile while claiming that the product provides all essential and non-essential amino acids (hello!). maybe it’s small change to most people, but labeling IS important, whether it’s mis-representation, or making a good product look like a hack because of lack of spell-checking. plus, it played on my obsessive fact checking. that’s something you get to do a lot in grad school, so get stoked! :)

  • Brie

    Your idea of presenting green washed items would be really helpful. I’m just getting into the art of reading ingredients. It would be nice to see what you found.
    My Love List: the exhilarating and terrifying thing that is new love, the slow increase of sunlight that is melting the snow, easy mondays that help me keep balance, opportunities to practice speaking my vegan truth with grace, a good curry, chia seeds in pomegranate juice, and rain when there should be snow.

  • Diana

    Please share your “greenwashing” finds! I think it would be great, and super helpful to let me know what kinds of things to watch out for when trying to make eco-friendly choices. It’s kind of mean, but they’re faking “eco-friendly-ness” in order to make money, so they deserve it. Love your blog and I’d love to see more like it, but I can’t say I’ve been able to find any. Have a great day!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Jaime is amazing! Such a bright shining light of happiness and positivity. She’s just radiant. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Jenn, I don’t know that one!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    There’s definitely a hole there Kelli. You should do it! Always trust your gut. ;-)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Emily!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yeah, such a disappointment. I guess that just means it’s time we start holding “health” companies accountable!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    EXACTLY! What’s that saying – “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

    Or maybe, “Be the blogger you wish to see on the Internet”

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve been singing it to Waits as his lullaby since the day he was born. Such a beautiful song!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks for the blog rec Grace!

  • Treesa

    A little late here, but I’m throwing in my vote for the report back on greenwashing! One of the many things I like about BA is that you focus on the wider picture of veganism, which I find incredibly interesting and important, despite recently admitting that a vegan diet is just impossible for me – so I would really love to see your thoughts on that. “How the hell does one respond to greenwashing” would also be good info to have but that’s a way larger scope and sounds like a lot of work you might not have time for at the moment.

    I’m starting grad school in the Fall and am really excited/nervous – so glad to hear it is a great learning-stretching experience for you :)

  • Bel

    Late to the party, but I love the greenwashing thing!! I find a lot of products which claim to be “pure” and “natural”, then have a list of chemical products the length of your arm on the back. I think of myself as an ‘environmental vegan’ (if such a thing exists!), so try to use all homemade/wholefood items (food and household) as much as possible, but it is a source of frustration for me that these companies are jumping on the green bandwagon to only make a profit, by deliberately mis-selling their toxic piles o’crapola. No ethics involved, and it cheats everyone, including the planet as a whole.