Avocado Pesto Recipe

Avocado Pesto Recipe

Avocado pesto is one of my favorite quick meals to throw together. When I first tried avocado pesto, I found that most recipes were too heavy on the avocado and lacking in flavor. Sure, they were creamy. But there was not much else to them aside from the creamy texture. This vegan avocado pesto recipe contains just a handful of ingredients, but packs some bold flavor.

This avocado pesto goes great with traditional pasta, but is also great with zoodles (zucchini noodles) too. I recently bought a Paderno spiralizer and it is great for making zoodles! I’m so excited to be able to share more recipes in the future.

What you will need to make Avocado Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (if you’re feeling fancy, use 3/4 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 tablespoon truffle oil)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 medium ripe avocado (peel but reserve the pit)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

How to make Avocado Pesto:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix until the basil and garlic are finely chopped.
  2. Add in the avocado and blend until creamy.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container with the avocado pit. This will help the avocado pesto from turning brown. Just be sure to eat any leftovers within 24 hours.

Don’t have a food processor or blender? That’s okay! Mash the avocado in a bowl until creamy. Finely chop the basil and garlic, then add to the avocado. Mix well. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well. It may turn out a little chunkier, but will still taste delicious.

If you try this recipe, please let me know. I love getting comments on the recipe posts and please tag Logical Harmony on Instagram or Twitter if you share a picture.

An Update on Bath & Body Works and Animal Testing

An Update on Bath & Body Works and Animal Testing

Recently I posted that Bath & Body Works had changed their animal testing stance and was no longer a cruelty free company. The brand had been able to answer my detailed questions about their animal testing stance for several years and, on the most recent outreach, they stated that they did test on animals when required by law.

Earlier this week I had a call with the Vice President of External Communications for Limited Brands about the Bath & Body Works stance on animal testing. It helped to clarify the situation and give me a bit more background into things. Now, before you start reading this hoping that it means the brand is still cruelty free – they are still stating that they test as required by law.

A lot of confusion was caused after the post here on Logical Harmony when the Bath & Body Works customer service team began telling people that they had not changed their stance on animal testing. As you can see in the response that Phyrra received, the brand was replying to some stating, “Thank you for reaching out to us.  Despite the recent report on Logical Harmony, we have not changed our policy.”

Many consumers believed that this was Bath & Body Works stating that they did not change to a required by law animal testing stance. Many people took this to mean that the brand was still cruelty free.

What I learned after talked to a representative of the company is that Bath & Body Works was supposed to have switched to a required by law animal testing stance some time ago. When they state that they have not changed their policy, what they meant was that required by law testing was not a new addition to the policy. They stated that they were not aware that the FAQ page did not include this statement, nor were they aware that customer service reps were not telling consumers this.

The Bath & Body Works representative also stated that while they currently do not sell in markets that require animal testing by law, if a market they are in now, or in the future, required animal testing they would allow this testing to occur. Bath & Body Works’ sister company, Victoria’s Secret, will be expanding into China in 2015. The rep told me that there is no official announcement at this time to move Bath & Body Works into China, but that this may or may not change in the future.

Bath & Body Works themselves does not test their ingredients, products, or finished products on animals. They are unsure if their ingredient suppliers take part in any testing that may be required by law. If they were selling, now or in the future, in a market that required animal testing they would allow animal testing on Bath & Body Works products. They also stated that they cannot say that they will never test on animals in any way because of this.

Due to all of this, Logical Harmony will be leaving Bath & Body Works on the list of Brands to Avoid.

I appreciate that they reached out to me and wanted to talk about this. Bath & Body Works was very professional in this conversation and I appreciate that they answered my questions to best of their ability. No matter what a brands animal testing stance is, I always appreciate when they want to communicate.

That being said, I personally find it surprising that their internal communication about their animal testing policy was so poor. I was told, as far back as three years ago and as recently as a couple of months ago, that Bath & Body Works ingredients, products during production, and finished products were not tested on animals. Nor did they test when required by law. A required by law statement was not included in any communication that I received. Their FAQ page does not say that they will test when required by law and I am surprised that, if this has been the companies policy for some time, that this was not updated to reflect those changes. I have dealt with a few companies who did have internal miscommunication about their stance on animal testing, but it never appeared to be a long-term issue as it appears to be with Bath & Body Works.

I am also surprised by the brands lack of response on social media. My personal Facebook account is still blocked from the brands page, but I can view it when I am signed out. So many people have posted on their Facebook wall about this issue, and so many people have tweeted at the brand. I see on Facebook that they are replying to some people saying they have been sent a message about things (likely similar to the one Phyrra received), but there is no public response.

I hope that Bath & Body Works will soon issue a clear and direct public statement about this matter. If their animal testing stance is that they do or will test when required by law, the company should be transparent about that. Especially if, as I was told, this is not a new policy for Bath & Body Works. If this was not being effectively communicated to consumers earlier on, than instead of saying that their stance has not changed, Bath & Body Works should just apologize for the internal miscommunication that caused their correct required by law testing stance to not be going to consumers.

Throughout this, it’s been truly amazing to see how many people care about the welfare of animals and realize that animal testing is completely unnecessary. Thank you to everyone who has brought this up in conversation, on social media or in person, and spread awareness to this issue. Thank you for caring about our furry friends!

Kale Salad with Grilled Tempeh

Kale Salad with Grilled Tempeh

Kale salad is easily one of my favorite things to make. This leafy green is loaded with fiber, iron, calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. This hearty kale salad with grilled tempeh is an easy meal that’s perfect for workday lunches and quick dinners. This kale salad in particular is great because it takes about 10 minutes to make, but the mix of fiber and protein keeps you full for hours. I prefer to eat it while the grilled tempeh is still warm, but it’s delicious cold too.

What you will need to make Kale Salad with Grilled Tempeh:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
  • 5-10 Kalamata olives
  • 1 package tempeh
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

How to make Kale Salad with Grilled Tempeh:

  1. Wash the kale thoroughly and pat try with a towel. Tear the leaves away from the stems. Discard the stems, or save them for juicing or making stock.
  2. In a large bowl, massage the kale. The easiest way to describe this is to make fists in the kale and be sure that you really squeeze the leaves. You should see the color of the leaves change and the smell should be brighter. Massage for at least 5 minutes to really break the kale down.
  3. Chop the cabbage and cherry tomatoes to your liking. Add these vegetables into the bowl with your kale.
  4. Cut the tempeh into cubes. I personally tend to use the kind from Trader Joe’s because it’s so affordable and it still tastes good.
  5. In a large pan over medium heat, warm up the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Add in the tempeh and the seasoning. Cook, turning periodically, until the tempeh is browned on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes.
  6. Place the warm tempeh on top of your kale and vegetables. Top with nutritional yeast and/or lemon juice if desired.
  7. Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, please let me know. I love getting comments on the recipe posts and please tag Logical Harmony on Instagram or Twitter if you share a picture.

Phoebe Dykstra supports the #BeCrueltyFree Campaign!

Phoebe Dykstra supports the #BeCrueltyFree Campaign!

TV’s Phoebe Dykstra Asks Politicians to Have a Heart for Animals, Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing

Star supports #BeCrueltyFree Canada campaign for World Animal Day

MONTREAL (01 Oct. 2014)—Phoebe Dykstra, social media personality and former MTV Canada host, has chosen the week of World Animal Day (Oct. 4) to urge Canada to ban cruel animal testing for cosmetics. Rabbits are commonly used in cosmetics tests during which they can have chemicals dripped in their eyes and spread on their delicate skin. Such testing is cruel and unnecessary, says Phoebe, who is giving her support to the #BeCrueltyFree Canada campaign, a partnership between Humane Society International and Animal Alliance of Canada.

To demonstrate her support, Phoebe took to Twitter and Instagram, posting a photo of herself wearing a #BeCrueltyFree t-shirt and bunny ears. She Tweeted “Canada! Be beautiful without hurting bunnies! Ban cosmetics animal testing #BeCrueltyFree”.

Phoebe said: “I’m a proud Canadian, but I’m not proud that it’s still legal in Canada to test on bunnies and other gentle creatures for cosmetics. Causing animals pain for the sake of a lip-liner or an eye-shadow can never be justified. And that’s why so many other countries around the world have banned the practice. I want Canada to be one of them, I want Canada to #BeCrueltyFree!”  

Thanks in large part to #BeCrueltyFree campaigning, animal testing for cosmetics is already banned across the European Union, Norway, Israel and India, and legislative bans have also been proposed in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States. But the practice remains legal in around 80 per cent of countries globally, including Canada.

Aviva Vetter, HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree Canada campaigner, said: “We’re thrilled to have Phoebe’s support for an end to cosmetics cruelty in Canada. She’s the perfect #BeCrueltyFree advocate – she loves make-up but not at the expense of animals. It’s so sad to think that in laboratories around the world and right here in Canada, animals can still suffer for our beauty despite the fact that it’s so easy to produce cosmetics without animal testing. So this World Animal Day #BeCrueltyFree is asking Canada’s politicians to have a heart for animals and ban cosmetics cruelty.”

Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice all endure untold suffering for the beauty industry. Developed in the 1940s, skin and eye irritation tests involve holding rabbits in full body restraints so that chemicals can be applied to their eyes and skin. These tests are notoriously unreliable as well as extremely cruel, causing eye reddening, swelling, ulceration, even blindness, skin cracking and bleeding. Unlike humans, rabbits have no tear ducts so they can’t cry out the harmful substances.

Phoebe joins other celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Leona Lewis who have spoken out against cosmetic animal testing on behalf of #BeCrueltyFree.

Say “no” to cruel cosmetics in Canada by signing the #BeCrueltyFree pledge here.

Be Cruelty-Free Canada is a partnership between Humane Society International/Canada and Animal Alliance of Canada, and is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally, #BeCrueltyFree is driving policy change across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and in the U.S. where the campaign is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States – on the Web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree.

Phoebe Dykstra supports the #BeCrueltyFree Campaign!

A note from Tashina of Logical Harmony – I was SO excited when Phoebe posted this on Instagram. I thought it was amazing that she was sharing her support for the #BeCrueltyFree campaign. As you may or may not remember, I was a part of a video campaign when this first launched. I was even more excited about this when I saw a comment Phoebe made on her Instagram photo! Thank you for supporting #BeCrueltyFree AND Logical Harmony, Phoebe!

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter & Body Wash Set Review

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter & Body Wash Set Review

This winter there are some amazing exclusive holiday sets being released by Pacifica. One of them is the Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter & Body Wash Set, which is an ULTA exclusive. This set pairs two great winter products in one of the most popular Pacifica scents together. When I was able to try this set, I couldn’t wait to see how it helped my skin adjust to the changing seasons.

Claims: “The perfect combination of two of amazing products in our signature Tuscan Blood Orange fragrance: our sulfate-free lathering body wash and incredibly hydrating body butter with natural beneficials that love your skin.

Body Butter Ingredients:  Aqua (Purified), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Source), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable Source), Glyceryl Stearate (Vegetable Source), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Stearic Acid (Vegetable Source), Stearyl Alcohol (Vegetable Source), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Allantoin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Hyaluronic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum (Vegetable Source), Algin (Algae Source), Riboflavin (Plant Source), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Butter, Rosa Rugosa (Rose) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Aleuritus Moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B), Parfum (Pacifica’s Own Fragrance Blend with Natural and Essential Oils), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin (Plant Source)

Body Wash Ingredients:  Aqua (purified water), sodium methyl-2-sulfolaurate (coconut source), disodium 2-sulfolaurate (coconut source), sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (coconut source), cocamidopropyl betaine (coconut source), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, polysorbate-20, glycol monostearate (vegetable source), glycerin (vegetable source), hydrolyzed soy protein, chamomile extract, calendula extract, tea extract, grape seed extract, pomegranate seed extract, cucumber extract, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, ethyl hexyl glycerin (vegetable source preservative), parfum (Pacifica’s own fragrance blend with natural and essential oils)

Pros: Cruelty free and vegan formula. Free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, propylene glycol, petroleum and peanut oil. Recyclable packaging. Natural scent that lasts a long time. Moisturizing formula. Lots of lather from the body wash. Very creamy and thick body butter consistency.

Cons: There are not really any. I had not smelled the Tuscan Blood Orange scent before, so I was expecting something a little fresher and not sweet. It smelled great though and this wasn’t a negative, just unexpected.

The Verdict: I have to say that I really enjoyed this set. I had heard a lot about the Tuscan Blood Orange scent but had never tried it before. It was a sweeter citrus scent, but I really liked it. When I paired the body wash with the body butter, the scent lasted a really long time but was not overpowering or artificial smelling. The body wash produced a lot of lather and my skin felt soft afterwards, not at all dry. The body butter is a thick consistency that absorbed quickly. My skin felt moisturized for hours after use.

Overall, I think that this is a great set. It’s exclusive to ULTA and retails for $20.00. I think that’s a great deal for two high quality items. Especially when you would pay $25.00 if you buy them separately. The Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange scent is one that will appeal to most people. This makes it a great gift option for someone else, or for yourself.

You can stay up to date with Pacifica on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

Editor’s Note: The product(s) featured in this post were provided by a representative of the company named in this post for editorial consideration. Please note that all reviews are 100% honest and a product would not receive a favorable review unless it provided favorable results.

Photos by Justin M.G. Mendez