I have to thank my daughter-in-law, Jennifer, for putting me up to a very fun and novel exchange, called “The Foodie Penpal.,” a food exchange sponsored by the creator of The Lean Green Bean, a fabulous blog about all things healthy, focused on healthy eating.
The program works as follows:
- On the 5th of the month, we receive our penpal pairing via email. It is never (or seldom) the same person, in order to allow for a more diverse exchange. We then contact our penpal to get their mailing address and any other information we might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
- Our box of goodies must be mailed by the 15th of the month. Also, on the last day of the month, we must post about the goodies we received from our penpal. A word of advise: make sure to take your photos of the goodies BEFORE eating them and/or destroying and discarding the packaging! This blogger had to retrieve a bit of packaging from the trash (ick!) in order to capture the information needed for my entry.
- The boxes should be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! There is a spending limit of $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe, or whatever our imagination dictates!
- We are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship our items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Flat rate USPS boxes are great for heavy but not-so-big boxes.)
- Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader only and you get paired with a blogger (writer), you can choose to write a short guest post on your penpal’s blog about what you received, unless two readers are paired together, in which case neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents as well.
This was my first month participating, and I must say I had a great time doing it. Not only did I have fun choosing what to send to my assigned Food Pal–Colleen Lizkiewicz–but also from the anticipation and surprise in receiving the goodies sent by my own food pal, Alexis Puskas! She did a great job in adhering to my “limitations,” including some items I’d never heard of, but that I’ll quickly become a fan of.
You see, I’ve recently turned vegan, a challenging life-style for many to even understand. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not scary-militant, or anything like that. In fact, I’m not scouring food labels and restaurant menus for animal-based ingredients, nor am I throwing out my leather shoes or wool sweaters! But I AM trying to eliminate animal-based products from my diet as a general rule–and whenever possible–because I do find I feel a lot better overall following a plant-based diet, not to mention how easy I find it to keep my weight under control without great effort.
Back to the box: it contained yummy vegan treats, such as fruit chips, homemade jam, vegan popcorn, and some wonderful teas! The note that accompanied these tasty treats was warm-hearted, and much appreciated!
|Organic Yoga Vive apple chips (yum!), sorghum “popcorn,” Crystal Light drink mixes, home-made jam, herbal teas|
|Home-made strawberry-raspberry-chia jam|
I’ll be participating again in August, and can’t wait to see who my new “food pals” will be, and what wonderful treats will be there to enjoy!