HUGE Announcement: We Have a Little Present for You! (Plus Behind the Scenes from our Christmas Dinner!)

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Merry Christmas everyone! I can't believe that in just a few days we're welcoming a brand new year. I hope you're getting those resolutions ready (we'll have a whole post on resolutions and changing habits really soon for you). I hope you're gearing up for an even better year ahead, and also looking back to see what amazing accomplishments and beautiful times you've had this year. Even in years that weren't as good, in which we had difficult times, heartache, loved ones were no longer with us, or we had troubles of any kind, we can still find something of value, even beautiful and special moments. We can find lessons learned, or the simple fact that we made it! We made it through the hardships and we're still standing. Then there's also all those little things. The little details of life that if you look close enough you'll be able to smile and see that there's so much more other than that annoying little voice inside our heads that says we aren't doing enough, or that things aren't going as planned. There are so many small victories and simple things in life that often carry the most meaning for me, and I always love to reflect on that at the end of the year. It makes me step into the new one filled with optimism and a sense that life can be as simple or as difficult as we want to make it. I love periods of transition, even if they're just symbolic as the passing of a new year.

Today I have a short and sweet post and episode for you, I'm giving you a little behind the scenes look into our Christmas celebration, but I also have a HUGE announcement to share with you. I can't believe I was able to wait until after Christmas to tell you all about it, and it comes just in time for the arrival of the New Year, in which often times our resolutions have to do with eating healthier, saving money and time, and getting organized, all of which are included in the little Christmas gift we've made for you.

Yes, I said gift. 

Just for you!

I'm talking about our brand new, FREE (yup! you heard that right!) Plant Based Eating on a Budget Course! We've created this awesome video-based course for the brand new Food Choices Academy for Health Studies, and of course, it's all yours for the taking and watching and enjoying, free of charge

This is the first of two courses we're launching with the Academy (the second one will be live really soon), and it's designed for anyone who is vegan, or thinking of taking steps in that direction and is concerned about how to stay on budget, and not have this new way of eating be more expensive than the way you eat now. I've told you many times before that in order for a vegan diet to stick, it needs to follow certain criteria, at least in my book. It needs to be doable, meaning you have to adapt it to your needs and the time you have without feeling overwhelmed. It has to be health supportive and give you optimal nutrition so that you feel your best, and lastly, it has to be within your budget. These are such important aspects of sticking to a plant-based diet, and in this new course I'm teaching you all the basics I've learned along the way to remove the stress and overwhelm that comes with shopping, cooking and getting organized, all with the goal of eating vegan on a budget in mind.

We go through everything from how to organize your fridge and pantry for maximum savings, to how and where to shop, how to prepare your budget and be clear on your expenses and food prices, how to create a forever shopping list so you don't even have to think of where to shop for what. We go over how to get organized with meal prepping and planning, I give you delicious meal ideas that are budget friendly, and my tips for being social without going overboard with your expenses. We discuss buying in bulk, organic vs. non-organic, frozen vs. fresh, CSA's, farmer's markets vs. regular stores and how to find great deals where you live. I'm so excited about this course I could go on and on forever, but I want you to head on over to the Food Choices Academy for Health Studies and sign up and start enjoying the course ASAP.

Did I mention it's totally FREE?! That's our little holiday gift to you for being so amazing.

I also promised you a little glimpse into our Christmas celebration this year. It was such a special weekend. As you probably know if you checked out last week's post or podcast episode, we spent Christmas Eve at home cooking away for our big Christmas dinner on December 25th, and it also meant lots of holiday movies on Netflix, time with the doggies, and our annual homemade pizza-Christmas Eve tradition. They turned out extra delicious this year.

The next day started really early with a delicious Christmas breakfast. We've been obsessed with making eggless omelettes lately, so I made delicious vegan cheese, portobello and onion omelettes, toast with blueberry jam and vegan butter, and Carlos made his famous soy cinnamon lattes.

As soon as we were done with breakfast the day was filled with cooking all the goodies for that night, getting the table set and all the decor ready. The menu was similar to what I shared on our Thanksgiving post but with a few twists.

The menus were in Spanish this time for all our Spanish speaking friends, but I made this delicious holiday cheese ball by It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, homemade focaccia, our broccoli, raisin and veggie bacon salad, sweet potato purée, BBQ seitan brisket with a red wine mushroom gravy, roasted garlic, cranberry sauce, these spectacular sherry and maple glazed shallots by Bon Appetit and our yummy sticky toffee sweet potato cake.

The company was of course the best part, and we wined and dined and talked until 3 in the morning!

Good news is that the 26th is a holiday here in Spain and we were able to sleep it off, eat plenty of leftovers, not to mention go on our annual post Christmas tradition of going to one of our favorite forests with the dogs. 

All in all it was a fantastic Christmas and the good news is, we still have a few more days to enjoy the holidays and cross all our classic traditions off the list.

I hope you had an amazing day filled with friends and family, and from all of us here at Brownble, we wish you the happiest, healthiest and funnest new year ahead.

Happy 2017! 

May it be filled with love, delicious food and plenty of adventures.