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    Have You Met Our Orlando Vegans? | ToYouSnacks

    Have You Met Our Orlando Vegans? | ToYouSnacks

    By: Nikki Namdar | Creator of the Blog Orlando Vegans

    After becoming vegan in the summer of 2011, I became obsessed with food. Obsessed is an understatement. I always had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was overweight, under-ate, and over-exercised. As someone with Hashimoto’s hypothyroid disease, that’s a no-no. But for the first time in my life, I actually started to enjoy food—its decadence and deliciousness. The savory taste of veggie burgers on my tongue, along with the sugary sweetness of pastries. I ate more, I ate often, I felt better. I was actually healthier. Yes, veganism comes with its ethical standpoints, but the healthful benefits are an added perk.

    I began the Orlando Vegans blog in 2013 as a WordPress account. After nine posts, I was basically done. It wasn’t until a year later when I took a writing class at UCF that I relaunched it. We had to market our writing, something we are passionate about and use a digital platform to deliver it. I mostly did it to earn my A, honestly, but the Instagram followers started to mount up. So I felt that because I wanted to help people, I kept it going. Then I decided it was time to meet my fellow Orlando vegans. So I rounded up about eight of us at a local restaurant known for its organic foods and tasty teas, Dandelion Communitea Café. It was such a success, I wanted more. I wanted to meet every vegan in town. Fast forward to 2017, I’ve met so many and it hasn’t stopped. There are so many! Every day more and more people are turning to plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles. Recently a documentary What the Health revealed the shocking truths about the meat and dairy industry and how they are developing declines in our health. Prior to this film, documentaries about animal cruelty weren’t a big enough push for meat-eaters—it was the HEALTH risk that gave them a nudge!

    Thankfully at this time, there are a ton of plant-based options that can replace virtually any food or drink that people will miss. With companies like ToYou Snacks, a healthy, cruelty-free life is even easier. With no preservatives or gluten and diverse flavors from piña colada to goji cranberry, you can eat them as an on-the-go or pre-workout snack. Goji berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s truly an underused fruit, and ToYou utilizes it deliciously. After getting my first vegan variety pack, I was hooked (especially to the piña colada, ermagerd) and I knew I had to share. On my Orlando Vegans Instagram account, I will be launching a contest where one lucky winner will win a whole bundle of the bad boys! The giveaway will begin Friday, Sept. 22. Follow Orlando Vegans on Instagram, “like” on Facebook, subscribe to the YouTube Channel, and sign up for the emails. If you’re already a veghead or interested in becoming one, be sure to join us for the biggest vegan festival in Central Florida, Veg Fest, on Oct. 28! Mark your calendars and spend a day eating from our 20+ food vendors. For more details about the group and event, visit www.orlandovegans.net.

    Snacking Healthy in The Office | ToYou Snacks

    Snacking Healthy in The Office | ToYou Snacks

    By: Diary of a Snacker Blogger, Kristin Phillips  

    When you work in an office setting, it’s often difficult to find healthy snacks when you’re hungry. If your company provides vending machines, they usually contain processed chips, candy, soda, and other indulgences that scream afternoon sugar crash.

    There are so many other temptations, too. It seems like every week there’s a birthday, anniversary, retirement party, or baby shower – you name it. So. Much. Cake.

    What can you do to prevent your sweet tooth from making a tragic mistake? Emulate the Scout Motto and Be Prepared.

    Each weekend I usually spend about three hours prepping my meals and snacks for the week. As a product marketer who regularly works from 8 am-5 pm outside of the home, I know firsthand just how challenging it is to pack food in the mornings. No matter how early I wake up, I’m always pressed for time: walk the dog, workout, shower, make my superfood shake, and run out the door. It helps to get everything ready to go the night before.

    When I started changing my fitness habits about a year ago, I became very mindful about what foods I put into my body. For me, it’s all about nourishment and fueling the day. To think I used to be the girl that could get by with just a banana or chocolate covered cereal bar for lunch! Now I make sure that my lunches include lean protein, healthy fats, fresh produce, and a lot of variety. Most days my meals are good enough to hold me to the next one, but sometimes a hunger pang will strike. Do you know how embarrassing it is when your stomach roars like a lion during a lull in a meeting?

    I always pack a few healthy snacks for those rare occasions. Some of my favorites include raw cashews and almonds, cherry tomatoes, fresh berries, hard boiled eggs topped with guacamole, and jerky. Of course, not all can be stored in my desk drawer as easily as ToYou Snacks. The Peanut Butter CranberryMint Chocolate, and Mango Yogurt are seriously delicious and hit the spot when I’m looking for something mid-afternoon.

    Today so many portable options are considered healthy, but they are actually filled with a lot of junk. I tend to avoid items labeled 100-calorie packs, low-fat, sugar-free, and the like. These products use a lot of fillers and modified ingredients to produce lower calorie foods that still taste appealing. 

    It’s refreshing to tear open a ToYou Snack and know that what you see is what you get – there are no additives or preservatives, they’re gluten-free, and they’re filling. Even if I find myself hungry at 2 pm, I won’t be forced to grab a candy bar. However, I will be happy, energized, and just as satisfied.

    The 5 Best Places to Explore in Orlando

    The 5 Best Places to Explore in Orlando

    Written By: Sam Tetrault

    Hey guys, I’m Sam! An Orlando-based writer who blogs at Samanthability.com and TheWanderingFloridian.com! I’m partnering with ToYouSnacks to share some of my favorite places to PURSUIT ADVENTURE in Orlando!

    I actually just moved to Orlando a few months ago, and I’ve made it my mission to seek out new and exciting areas of the city. Before moving, I lived in St. Augustine on the Northeast Coast of Florida. St. Augustine, the oldest city in the country, had a much different feel than Orlando.

    St. Augustine is cobblestone streets and 400-year-old Spanish forts. Orlando is International Drive and theme parks. Despite my misconceptions, Orlando has quickly proved itself to be a hip, invigorating place to live, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite spots with you today!

     

    1. CELEBRATION

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Celebration Florida

    Located just south of Orlando, Celebration, FL was planned by the Walt Disney Company in the early 1990s, but today stands alone as a small village. Though small, Celebration packs a big punch. At times, this quaint district feels a little too perfect. It’s Orlando’s very own Stars Hollow, and it's become one of my favorite exploring spots.

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Celebration Florida

    Downtown Celebration is only a few short blocks, but the parks, local businesses, and lake make it look like something out of a movie. Hidden in a retro cinema is the Columbia Restaurant, which serves unbeatable Cuban sandwiches and black bean soup (maybe I’m biased since I used to work at their St. Augustine location). The Sweet Escape bakery also has excellent coffee and doughnuts. Basically, you can’t go wrong with any of the stops around their central hub.

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Celebration Florida

    The athletic center is open only to residents, but anyone can enjoy the tree covered lake walking trail that loops around the water and to the other side of downtown. I like to cool down after in one of the umbrella-covered rocking chairs on the lakefront and recharge with a ToYouSnack bar.

    2. MILLS 50

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Mills 50 Florida

    Mills 50 is an unusual melting pot of fluorescent street art, holistic living centers, and tattoo studios. In other words, it’s everything I need in life. Walking the main streets of Mills 50 is like visiting a modern art museum, with huge murals taking over almost every wall.

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Mills 50 Florida=

    Mills 50 is an Instagram wonderland, with the art deco architecture and street art. With Orlando classics like the Black Bean Deli and Tako Cheena, there’s a lot to see and even more to eat in Mills 50. This unpolished main street has a surprisingly large Asian influence that adds another element of exploration. With acupuncture facilities and Vietnamese markets, Mills 50 is a constantly evolving surprise.

    3. AUDUBON PARK

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Audobon Park Florida

    Audubon Park Garden District is essentially the opposite of what you’d expect Orlando to be. It’s dominated by local businesses, quaint shops, and farm to table eateries. It’s a far cry from the corporate theme park wonderland I expected when I moved to Orlando, that’s for sure.

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Audobon Park Florida

    Audubon Park is my favorite place to spend an afternoon window shopping. There’s Park Ave CD’s, a surprisingly prosperous CD and record store that’s called Audubon Park home for 30 years. Also you can find a variety of boutique-like shops including Dear Prudence and The Owl’s Attic.

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Audobon Park Florida

    Before I leave, I always grab a craft beer at Redlight, Redlight. With over 250+ beers to select from, this bar is much more than it appears on the outside. I didn’t expect much from Corrine Ave’s high traffic, grungy feel, but it’s my quite possibly my favorite neighborhood in Orlando.

    4. DANDELION COMMUNITEA CAFE

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Dandelion Cafe Florida

    I love tea. Like, a lot. There’s no better place to get my fix than the Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Though Dandelion Cafe is technically located in Mills 50, I felt it deserved it’s own place on my list. As a herbivore, I’m always looking for more vegetarian places to get food beyond the typical salad. Dandelion Cafe has an organic all-vegan menu that satisfies both meat-eaters and plant-eaters, which is pretty impressive!

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. Dandelion Cafe Florida

    Though I like a good vegan lunch as much as the best plant-eater, I’m mostly infatuated with the humongous tea selection. We aren’t talking tea bags either, this place is legit. I always opt for their tea of the day because it comes with free refills which you bet I take advantage of!

    5. EAST END MARKET

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. East End Market Florida

    The East End market describes itself as Orlando’s neighborhood food market, open only to local farmers and food vendors. The East End Market even has its own garden outside on property, and you can purchase ripe, ready to eat food from inside. There are bakeries, breweries, and excellent restaurants represented inside, and this spot offers more than the average farmers market.

    Best places to visit in orlando. Simple Snacks. East End Market Florida

    The East-End Market has ample patio seating amidsts succulents and palm trees, the perfect place to read a book or chat with friends. I always make a point of visiting Lineage Coffee, and I’m excited to keep trying more as this local destination grows.

    | Explore Orlando

    Orlando was named the second fastest growing metropolitan area in the country by Forbes this year, and it’s clear why. With picture perfect main streets like downtown Celebration and up-and-coming neighborhoods like Audubon Park, there’s something for everyone here!

    I still miss St. Augustine, but I’m surprised to find the small-town feel I appreciated so much is alive and well here. I’m still exploring this city every chance I get, and there’s so much more to see and do! What are your favorite spots in Orlando?

    Share your Orlando Adventures with us using #PursuitAdventure and don't forget to bring your local On-The-Go snack bar with you! #ToYouSnacks

    Kickstart Your Morning with these ToYou Topped Treats!

    Kickstart Your Morning with these ToYou Topped Treats!

    Four Healthy and Easy Breakfast Swaps
    Hi everyone! This is Allie from the blog and Instagram account @midwestmunch. I teamed up with ToYou for an Instagram giveaway a few weeks ago, and now I want to share some delicious recipes I’ve made with my favorite ToYou bars.
    Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why it’s so important to kickstart your day with a healthy breakfast. Sugary breakfast cereals and processed carbohydrates cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which is responsible for the resulting “crash” in energy. Here are some healthy (and easy!) swaps that will leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the day ahead.
    1. Blueberry Mango Chia Pudding Topped with a Mango Yogurt ToYou Bar: This chia pudding is the perfect swap if you find yourself getting tired of your regular bowl of oatmeal. It’s quick and can be made with a fruit of your choice, simmered on the stovetop with water (or your favorite non-dairy milk) and chia seeds. On the go? Toss it in a mason jar for a portable breakfast.
    2. Strawberry Goji Smoothie Bowl topped with a Raspberry Lemon ToYou Bar:  Smoothie bowls are probably my favorite thing to make--I never get tired of them! Although most people associate smoothie bowls with tons of fruit, I mix it up and add a bunch of veggies to my smoothies and smoothie bowls. My favorite veggies to add are zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it--if you steam and freeze the vegetables, they add so much creaminess without adding a “veggie” taste!
    3. Blueberry Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Toast topped with a Coconut Mocha ToYou Bar : Tired of multigrain toast and nut butter in the morning? Look no further! This sweet potato toast gives you your daily dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6--the list goes on and on. This toast is so incredibly easy; just chop a sweet potato in ¼ inch slices and pop them in the toaster. Top with whatever toppings you want, whether it’s bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, coconut, or all of the above!
    4. Banana Peanut Butter Rice Cakes Topped with a Banana Foster ToYou Bar: Rice cakes and peanut butter are another one of my favorite snacks. They’re light enough to snack on, but there’s a perfect amount of protein to fill you up for a little while. The Bananas Foster Bar I topped these rice cakes with is one of my favorite bars in the entire ToYou box!

    Enjoy! If you try any of these recipes, make sure to post your masterpieces and tag @midwestmunch and @toyousnacks! And if you want to find more recipes like this, we've got plenty on the feed-- happy snacking! 


    XO, Allie

     

     

    Congrats TO YOU, our 2017 Nautique Masters Champions!

    Congrats TO YOU, our 2017 Nautique Masters Champions!

     

    While many of you know ToYou is all about snacking healthy, pursuing adventure and getting involved in communities.. but we're also activists for getting active! That's why many of our Ambassadors are World Traveling Athletes who fuel up on ToYou Snacks.

     

    Last month, a handful of ToYou Ambassadors we're invited to compete in the 2017 Nautique Masters Waterski Tournament, including the son of our Founder, Patricio Font! We couldn't be more proud of each and every one of our competitors and with much joy, send an ENORMOUS congratulations to you, our Champions! It is evident that you're dedication and hard work has paid off and we can't wait to see what's in store for you this Summer and the years to come!

     

    Neilly Ross, First Place in Masters Womens Tricks with a score of 10,350 points.

     

    Ali Zharnasek, First Place in Masters Mens Tricks with a score of 12,020 points. 

     

    Patrico Font, First Place in Juniors Mens Tricks with a score of 9,510 points.

     

    Anna Gay, Third Place in Masters Womens Tricks with a score of 9,980 points

     

    Valentina Gonzalez, Third Place in Juniors Womens Tricks with a score of 7,130 points and Second Place in Junior Womens Overall with a score of 2,612.7