For the past 6 or so months, I’ve felt I have a food sensitivity, but haven’t been able to pinpoint what food (or foods) has been causing me to break out more than normal and be bloated. While these symptoms come and go- sometimes lasting longer than other times, this has made me believe it is something I am eating on a regular basis. I got an allergy test done (just to rule it out) by my functional doctor, and as suspected no allergies came back, nor did I have parasites or anything else to blame for these symptoms. So that led me to confirm my belief that it was a food sensitivity I wasn’t pinpointing.
To identify a food sensitivity one could do an elimination diet. This is essentially when you eliminate the suspected food or foods for 3-4 weeks. To save time, you should also eliminate the most common culprits: Gluten, dairy, shellfish, fish, soy, eggs, beans/lentil, citrus fruits, nuts, and nightshade vegetables. Then slowly reintroduce the food(s) back into your diet one at a time, and allow 1-3 days to see if any symptoms occur before testing the next food item. Sounds a little time consuming right? That’s why I was so happy when I was able to try the Pinner Test. It takes out all the guesswork and trial and error.
Before I dive into that, you may be wondering what a food sensitivity is and how it differs from a food allergy, so here it is:
A food allergy happens when your body creates an immune response to a certain food. It looks at what you have eaten as an invader instead of tolerating it, which is how food is normally handled. IgE antibodies are then made to fight this “invader” and it creates an immediate reaction. This can include hives, swelling, and/or itching skin. These antibodies are able to identify the allergen the next time it comes into the body and release histamine and other compounds that create the same reaction. Since the reaction is immediate, allergies are easier to pinpoint.
Food sensitivities/intolerances are actually more common than food allergies, and don’t involve the immune system, like allergies do. Nor do they involve IgE antibodies, but instead IgG antibodies. They can occur from eating a food too often, not having the right enzyme to break down the food, detox problems, or intestinal permeability (known as Leaky Gut). They cause inflammation in the gut and unpleasant symptoms like bloating, fatigue, brain fog, acne, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and more. Additionally, food sensitivities have been linked to everything from asthma, allergies, autoimmune conditions, mood problems, arthritis, skin conditions, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, ADD/ADHD and more. So the lesson here is if you think you might have a food intolerance it is a good thing to address, and not allow to linger. Since the gut is the body’s second brain, and home to 70-80% of the immune system it is crucial to identify any suspect foods and remove them, and then take note of any positive changes and/or diminished symptoms by doing this.
So what exactly is Pinner Test and how does it work?
It’s considered the “Next Generation Food Intolerance Test” and tests for 200 food items. It is also able to distinguish between temporary and permanent food intolerances (temporary foods just need to be removed for a period and then reintroduced). This couldn’t be any easier to do. There is no doctor visit needed. You simply receive your package from Pinner that includes a small needle contraption that you poke your finger with (it doesn't hurt, I promise!) and allow a few blood droplets to collect on a provided sheet of white paper, and then send it back to them for evaluation. What’s nice is they send you two needle contraptions, in case you mess up with the first one (it happened to me). I pushed the blue button without sticking it on my finger mainly because I was a little skeptical as to how it worked exactly. So the takeaway from that? Leave it on your finger as you push the blue button down.
As I’m writing this, I just sent my results in and thought I’d share some guesses as to what I think my food sensitivities may be. Based off when I seem to experience bloat and even belching I think it may be onions and garlic (I really hope it isn’t garlic), chickpeas, and possibly eggs. Although I did eliminate eggs for close to 3 weeks and didn’t notice an improvement, so we will see. I really hope it isn’t eggs though as I LOVE them as a source of protein, D vitamins, sulfur and more. It could be something aside from these foods that I’m just not suspecting.
So I just got my results back and I’m sensitive to the following:
Pork (+1) = Low reaction
Shrimp (+3) = High reaction
Peanuts (+1)= Low reaction
I’m so relieved it isn’t the foods I suspected! But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed about shrimp and peanuts. I don’t ever eat pork, so that doesn’t affect me in the slightest way. I did start to have peanuts (peanut butter) more regularly this past year, and I usually have shrimp at least once a month, so these results make sense, even though I didn’t suspect these foods.
I’m so glad I did this test, as I now have a much clearer idea as to what may be causing some of my digestive issues. While I have heard of people getting different results with these types of intolerance tests, or a food sensitivity they know they have not showing up on the results, I'm going to test the water by eliminating these foods and paying attention to how I feel. Since I know I don't have allergies, I'm grateful this test has given me a starting point.
To find out more about Pinner, check out their studies, or order your own Pinner Test and find out what your food sensitivities are click HERE
With the New Year quickly approaching, you may be thinking about how you can update your wellness routine for a healthier, happier you in 2017. It seems like every year there are new health trends that come out, and while some come and go, the truly beneficial ones stick around because they make a lasting impression on us and our health. So what wellness trends should you be focusing on for 2017?
Below are my favorite health trends that are worth adding to your wellness routine this upcoming year.
CLICK HERE to continue reading...
As 2016 comes to a close and you get ready to enter 2017 use this time to reflect on all that you have accomplished in 2016 and envision what you want to accomplish for this upcoming new year.
You may want to do this by getting a piece of paper and writing down your three most proud moments for 2016. Think why they made you proud, how much hard work they took you, what you gained from these areas and so on. Reflecting on what you have accomplished can be helpful in making you realize how far you have come. Sometimes we don't stop to give ourselves enough credit, instead always focusing on the next step or goal to accomplish.
Next, write down 3 areas you would have liked to have spent more time on in 2016 and reasons why. Perhaps you have been meaning to start a blog for your business, and it's something you haven't done. Think of reasons why you want a blog in the first place, and write those thoughts down. If the reasons you write down still resonate with you, set the intention to focus on and accomplish this in 2017. Write down three ways in which you can accomplish each intention you set for yourself- Whether it be something you would have liked to accomplish in 2016, or something new. Your intentions can be anything from giving yourself me-time for 15 minutes each day to starting your own business.
Often New Year's Resolutions fail because we don't spend time asking ourselves such questions, like why we want to achieve something and how we are going to achieve it. By diving deeper and setting intentions that resonate with you, you are more likely to stick to these and achieve the goals you have set forth for yourself. The end of the year, and beginning of a new one is a great time to reflect how far you have come, and align your goals for 2017 with the life you envision. You can even make this more spiritual by using sage to clear your space and meditating before you reflect on 2016 and set intentions for 2017. Sit with your 2017 intentions, and visualize accomplishing them, and then go out and do what it takes to set your intentions into motion, and into reality.
Now, let's talk Conscious Kombucha Mocktails. While, we often associate the holidays, and especially New Year's Eve with alcohol, it certainly doesn't have to have it. And who knows, it may be funner to go into the New Year with a clear head and clear intentions for what you want from 2017, right? Plus abstaining from alcohol is better for your brain, skin, and liver (plus more). So with that said, here is my favorite mocktail recipe. Full of festive spices like cinnamon and ginger, and bubbles to make you feel like you are sipping on something "fancy".
B’s Festive + Conscious Kombucha Mocktail
Ingredients- Serves 2
1 bottle of your favorite apple flavored Kombucha (I used Health-Ade's Pink Lady Apple, my favorite booch brand ever)
1 tsp. organic maple syrup
1 tsp. organic cinnamon
½ tsp. organic ginger and organic cayenne powder
Optional- 1 packet Moon Juice Beauty Dust
Pour the Kombucha in a medium sized glass bowl
Next, add in the rest of the listed ingredients, stir well, and sample it.
Adjust any spices as needed to your liking. If you like it more sweet, add in more maple syrup, and if you like it more spicy, add in more cayenne. This is sure to warm and energize your soul.
Happy intention setting and happiest of New Year's beautiful souls! xx
A lot of people associate the holiday season with STRESS, and while it is understandable why as the holidays can bring about stress over such things like shopping for gifts, spending money on these gifts, seeing or visiting family, dealing with crowds and traffic, having to juggle a handful of holiday parties and so on. There’s also a lot to do before celebrating the holidays, between cooking, cleaning, wrapping, and so forth. But at the end of the day, the Holidays should be a joyous time when you get together with loved ones and build new memories.
With all of the stress, to-do’s, and busyness surrounding the holidays they can also be a time when you forget to still take care of yourself, but don’t let that be the case this year. Here are my favorite ways to stay balanced through the holidays, regardless of what I have going on. My own December month is pretty much booked every weekend with holiday events up until Christmas, as I’m sure you can relate to, so I hope these ideas help YOU…
Tips for Reducing Stress and Staying Grounded Through the Holidays
Spend 5-20 minutes a day working on your meditation practice. It will help keep sickness at bay, and also can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and bring you into the present moment. For more information on how to cultivate a meditation practice click here.
If you are stressed about spending money on gifts this year, why not make a homemade gift instead? Some of my favorite gifts I have received have been homemade…You can make a bracelet, sea salt scrub, candle, and so on. Pinterest has tons of ideas for homemade gifts! If you don’t have money to spend on gifts, that’s OKAY. There are plenty of unique ways to GIVE around the holiday season, so get crafty or you can forgo gifts altogether. For 20+ years, my best friend and I would exchange gifts, but a few years ago we decided to stop the gift exchange, and instead get together for a nice dinner and deep conversation. To me this is priceless, and means so much more than any gift. If shopping for so many people is overwhelming you, take a look at your list and see who you may be able to arrange a new tradition with this year instead of the standard gift-giving.
Enjoy a cup of Tulsi tea, daily
This is my go-to tip for anyone stressed out, Tulsi (or Holy Basil) is an adaptogenic herb that makes your body more resilient to mental and physical stress, while helping to relax your nervous system. The Organic India Tulsi Tea line is my favorite.
Nourish your body
Do not let the holidays be an excuse to over-consume food and treats (healthy or not). The best thing you can do to stay grounded this season, is to continue to feed your body properly. To do this, practice self-control and mindfulness. And remember a mindful splurge is okay too. But over doing it can wreak havoc on your mood, blood sugar levels, hormones, and more. Challenge yourself to making 1 new healthy recipe a week in December, this will help you to have healthy food on hand, and make it easier to stay focused on nourishing your body properly.
Make time for YOU
Regardless of your long list of to-dos and everything you have going on, still make time for YOU. Carve out 15-20 minutes each day to do something for you- Whether that’s taking an essential oil bath, reading a book, enjoying a warm cup of tea by the fire and so on. And once a week, commit to taking 1-2 hours for you, doing something you truly enjoy- Maybe taking a yoga class, going hiking, or getting together with friends. Whatever it is that will help feed your soul, take care of your spirit, and reduce any stress you may be feeling related to the holidays.
Start a gratitude journal
While you may be stressed because of the holidays, they can be a perfect time to start counting your blessings. Get a journal or notebook and commit to writing down three things you are grateful for each day- This can be in the morning or evening time. Do what resonates with you. This will help you hone in on what is important and make you appreciate all that you have. There is always something to be grateful for, and as they say, gratitude is the best medicine!
Donate your time to a local homeless shelter or retirement home
Helping others who need it is such a rewarding feeling, and a special way you can give back to others in your community. Go online and search holiday volunteer options in your area, and pick a day (or more!) to lend a helping hand. This will put things in perspective, and is such a rewarding way to give this holiday season.
Now that you have some ideas to help you stay grounded through the holidays, how about a nourishing and easy to make pie recipe to sweeten the day? If you want to make something homemade, but don’t want to spend hours and hours in the kitchen this Mostly-Raw Caramel Apple Pie recipe will be a hit! I made it last year for Christmas, and even some of the people in my family who aren’t typically keen on “healthy foods” LOVED it. And aside from an hour of baking, it takes about 20 minutes to make.
Raw Caramel Apple Pie Recipe
10 pitted dates
1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Place all listed ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix until well mixed, and a pie crust dough forms. Evenly distribute in a pie dish, cover, and put in the fridge.
2 medium organic apples (I used 1 granny smith and 1 honey crisp apple)
5 pitted dates
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. pink sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pink sea salt
Soak the dates so they are soft and add to a food processor or Vitamix with the vanilla and sea salt. Mix until a sauce texture forms and set aside.
Next wash and cut the apples into thin slices. Place in a baking pan, with the coconut oil, seasonings, and the date caramel sauce. Mix well to evenly distribute. Bake in oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour until the apples are tender.
Once the apples are ready, set aside and let them cool. Then take the pie crust out of the fridge and place the apple filling in it. Enjoy a slice a la mode with coconut vanilla ice cream. Keep stored in fridge.
I hope you enjoy the holidays, and remember to stay balanced. This is one month out of the year. Breathe through any stress or discomfort, and go into 2017 with optimism.
While you may not realize it, you already have a morning and nighttime ritual that you do on a daily basis. Do you shower? Brush your teeth? Watch TV? More than likely, you answered yes to all of these things. But what about approaching your morning and nightly rituals more mindfully? You can do this by consciously making a decision to add a few new rituals to your daily routine, and even replace some current rituals with healthier alternatives.
Mindfully cultivating a morning and nighttime ritual can be a great way to welcome lasting healthy habits into your life, while starting and ending your days on the right note. Is there a self-care act that you wish you did, but can’t seem to make the time for? This may be something you want to mindfully add into your morning or evening routine. Whether it be taking a bubble bath instead of a shower, going to bed with a book in hand instead of your cellphone, drinking tea instead of coffee and so on. There is no wrong way to do this, except to be mindful of what habits you would like to welcome into your life, and which ones you may want to replace for a healthier you. By approaching your daily routines more mindfully, you will be able to have control over your days and health.
Continue reading HERE
Whether you are looking for some inspo for gifts you are giving this season, or gifts to add to your own list of wants, I thought I would share a few items I’m gifting to loved ones this year and some that are on my own wish list. The past few years I have struggled with Holiday Wish Lists because as I have gotten older, I don’t feel like I need as much, and the materialistic things I might have wanted growing up don’t interest me, but this year something changed- I had a clear idea of what I wanted, most of the items benefiting my health in some shape or form.
So whether for yourself or for the most cherished humans in your life, what better gift than the gift of wellness this season? Here are some of my favorites...
These wild crafted/organic products are full of medicinal plants, superfoods, and tonic herbs with an array of healing properties for a healthier body. They can be added to smoothies, made into elixirs, and snuck into an array of breakfast foods and more. For any loved one conscious about their health.
My personal favs: Ashwagandha, Mucuna Pruriens and Rhodiola.
If you or someone dear to you wants to learn more about adapting foods with magical healing properties into your life, this cookbook is a dream come true. Filled with raw food recipes, adaptogenic herbs, and alkalinizing ingredients for an array of health benefit from the creator of the LA based Moon Juice Shop. Another idea? Their magical dusts! From brain and beauty to sex and power dust there is a health benefiting dust for your own personal needs or everyone on your holiday list.
These stones can be used to clear negative or stuck energy from any of your 7 chakras. Place them on/near their appropriate chakra or meditate with whichever stone represents the chakra in which you may need balancing in. The perfect gift for your in-tune friend or if you are wanting to dive deeper into the energies of your body.
What better gift for yourself or a loved one, than a spiritual yoga retreat? Forget a vacation of sunshine and margs, what about a vacation filled with sun salutations and deepening one’s yoga practice, while connecting to one’s higher self?! Sign me up!
The mystical cards from Star Child are a great way to get insight and clarity from your past, present, and future or day to day life. Perfect for the moon child or meditator looking for more insightful post-meditation.
We all forget how critical our brain is to our wellbeing. This book dives deep into eating for optimal brain health, discusses brain culprits, and gives one a full blown plan to conquer eating and living for a thriving brain.
A fun and inspiring way to organize the upcoming year, and to stay on track to reach one's intentions and goals set for 2017. For the child artist who survived.
Perfume made of 100% natural and 80% organic ingredients to leave one smelling good without the toxins. This sample pack offers 7 scents with fun names like Seeker, Devotion, and Freedom, and scents that range from floral and exotic, to woodsy and amber. A scent for every mood!
Have a makeup loving friend or looking to upgrade your own makeup to include more organic, nontoxic products? A gift card to LA’s Detox Market filled with nontoxic beauty and body products is the hot ticket to the train of cleaning up one’s skin routine. And the best part? You can order samples to test out before you purchase products.
Life gets stressful, sometimes we need to remember to just BREATHE in and out. What better way to be reminded of this than with this cute message ring?
For your yoga loving friend or yoga loving self! These prayer beads are made with 108 stones signifying meanings like the belief that there are 108 stages the human soul takes on its journey. They can be used for manifesting and intention setting. We can all use more balance in our lives, right?! These didn’t make it on my Wish List, but I wish they had!
This vegan soap with essential lavender oil not only enhances one’s shower/bath and relaxes the soul, but every purchase from this company helps to fund international vocational programs to create jobs, grant scholarships, and more for people around the globe by offering hygiene in developing country. A gift that gives in more than one way- I LOVE that.
I hope a few of these ideas resonated with you! Share which ones you are vibing most below. And remember, while gifts and the act of giving gifts is nice, the main focus of the holidays should be centered around appreciating the time spent with loved ones and the memories built.
Happy Holidays Glorious Beings!
I always wanted to meditate. I’d say it, and say it. I’d tell myself I needed to meditate, but I never really did. I occasionally would try, but it never became a true habit, like I had wanted it to be. I’d get fidgety as I sat there legs-crossed, back-straight, and wouldn’t even last the whole 5-10 minutes I set for myself. In reality, I could have been making it more of a priority than I did, because I knew it would benefit my health and mind.
So for years I have told myself that I wanted to meditate.
Sometime this summer I started waking up with an anxious feeling on MOST mornings, it was awful. What I will say from this experience, is that I learned to always trust my gut. Sometimes our bodies know what’s best for us or that a decision is wrong or right before we can come to that realization on our own. But at this time, I kept putting my gut feeling aside, and waking up feeling SO anxious- Racing heart, excessive worry...I knew this wasn’t healthy and that I needed to find a natural solution to this, and that’s when I stumbled upon the app Headspace. An app dedicated to helping people meditate and truly sticking to it- Where was this app years back when I originally told myself I needed to get on the meditation kick?! It would have undoubtedly helped.
And I know this because TODAY I can proudly say that meditation is a daily (sometimes twice daily) part of my life that I have finally been able to incorporate into my holistic lifestyle. I credit a lot of the 5 solid months I have meditated to this app. The Headspace intro guided meditation series really helps to get you in the right head space (hence the app's name right?!), and you can even set meditation reminders for yourself to help you stick to it. Probably after 2 weeks of meditation (2 x daily) using Headspace the morning anxiety I had been experiencing started to lesson, and when I finally listened to what my gut instinct was telling me and took action? It vanished. Quite fascinating, right?!
Aside from the app, it’s the feeling meditation has brought me that has also kept me going and made me a strong believer in doing this practice on a regular basis. What is so beautiful is meditating can relatively be done anywhere- all you need is yourself, a quiet space, 5-20 minutes, and possibly an app for guidance, and it is there for YOU in times of need. Meditation comes with a long list of scientific evidence supporting the vast benefits of it. For myself, I can say my anxiety has cleared, I am able to live more in the present, get a rush of creativity after meditating, can think more clearly, and even feel happier.
Here is a long list of reasons why meditation may be the answer for you (or everyone!):
·Reduces stress and anxiety
·Improves mood and well-being
·Wakes up your unconscious mind
·Decreases inflammation (believed to be the cause of most diseases)
·Increases grey matter in brain- This is involved in learning, memory, having a sense of self and perspective, and regulating emotions
·Helps you handle stress better
·Lowers blood pressure
·Lowers risk of Alzheimer’s
·Helps you process information and make better decisions
·Shown to help reduce alcohol and drug abuse
·Boosts your immunity
As you can see, meditation has a variety of health benefits. To set the tone for meditating, designate a quiet and comfy space in your home- You may even want to create a meditation corner with some pillows, and inspiring images or quotes attached to the wall corner. I sometimes light some sage before I meditate to clear the space around me and often put some essential oil on pre-meditation and draw a tarot card after meditating for some clarity and guidance around my day. Have fun with this practice and customize it to make it YOURS.
And if you can relate to my initial story of longing to regularly meditate, I encourage you to download Headspace TODAY- or any similar meditation app out there (this is not sponsored, I truly love Headspace and how it’s impacted my life). I also LOVE going to meditation classes, something about having a teacher guide you through a meditation is very helpful. You may find you prefer silent meditation or guided meditation may be more of your thing. Play around with these options and see what works for you. Meditate as often as you can, but know that it’s OKAY to skip a day, a few days, a week….Meditation will always be there for you. Once you do make it a habit, it definitely becomes easier to do and the less you will want to skip it. Today, I SO look forward to my meditation time during my days. Remember, health includes nurturing our mind and thoughts too and I can’t think of any better way to do this than through meditation.
Self-care is a topic that has started to take center-stage in the wellness scene. People are starting to catch on to the belief that before they can care for others, they must first take care of their own well-being. Running ourselves to the ground trying to help others, while forgoing our own health and personal needs, will eventually leave us feeling drained, tired, and even sick.
If you haven’t yet, perhaps it is time to implement a self-care routine in your own life. Self-care can be implemented throughout your day, or you can designate a specific time each day, either in the mornings or evenings, where you solely focus on YOU. Include self-care activities that resonate with you. We all have things we say “We would love to do, if only we had the time,” perhaps those may be good areas to focus on. When we take care of ourselves, it allows us to be able to give more to others. Self-care routines can also help to bring us into the present moment allowing us a chance to slow down, and just be.
For full blog post click HERE
Eating seasonal is getting back to the basic foundation of how people used to eat when they grew their own food. It focuses on consuming foods during the time of year that they’re grown and harvested. This allows you to eat the food when it’s at the freshest, tastiest and most nutrient prime. Unfortunately, with technology and grocery chains making foods available year round, we have lost touch with our roots and how nature intended for us to eat.
Let’s look at some of the key benefits of eating with the seasons....
Read the rest of this post HERE
What used to only be found in pie around the Holidays has turned into a season of pumpkin. As soon as it starts to feel like Fall, every food imaginable has turned into that festive pumpkin flavor. From lattes, to snacks like pumpkin bread, to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes and more. Who can be blamed though? It brings out the perfect combination of fall spices and a feeling of comfort, easily making you forget that you miss those care-free summer days.
Not to mention, pumpkin is full of health benefits, so why not add pureed pumpkin to everything imaginable?! Not sold on pumpkin season? Perhaps these benefits will make you reconsider joining in on the fall flavor...
Read the rest of this post HERE
Elixirs are medicinal drinks made with an array of healing herbs, spices, powders, and more. They’re a great way to get a variety of nutrients and can be extremely nourishing to the body and what it may be needing. Whether you need energy, happiness, peace, and so on, a concoction can easily be created to support your given state and needs by providing therapeutic benefits to the body.
As Fall is coming into play, my smoothies are transforming into warm, comforting drinks like elixirs. I love incorporating organic teas, spices, and superfood powders into my elixirs. Sometimes I enjoy them first thing in the morning after meditating to ease into the morning, and other times they make for the perfect night cap. Below are two of my favorite go-to recipes, one filled with energy, and the other filled with peace.
Golden Milk Elixir
This will fight inflammation in your body, help you to focus and provide you with magical energy
Ingredients (Use organic whenever possible)
8-10 oz. organic coconut milk
2 tsp. turmeric (plus dash of black pepper for better absorption)
1 tsp. of each: Cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger
1 tbsp. MCT oil
1/2 tbsp. raw Wedderspoon Manuka honey
1 tsp. Moon Juice Power Dust
Warm the organic coconut milk (low heat and stir occasionally) until desired temperature is reached
Add turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger to teacup
Next add MCT oil, honey, Power dust, and mushroom powder
Once the coconut milk is comfortably hot, pour into cup and mix well
Taste and adjust any flavors needed
Top with cinnamon and enjoy this golden treat in the morning
Cacao Lavender Tonic
This tonic will calm your nerves, bring you peace, and boost your mood + immune system
Ingredients (Use organic whenever possible)
8-10 oz. filtered water
1 tbsp. cacao powder
1/2 tbsp. raw Manuka honey
1 tsp. Sun Potion Ashwagandha
¼ cup organic coconut milk
A few dashes of cinnamon
Warm 8-10 oz. of filtered water
Add the cacao powder, honey, ashwagandha, Spirit dust and cinnamon to your favorite teacup
Once the water is hot, pour into the cup and add the teabag
Mix well and let sit for 5-7 minutes
Remove teabag and top with coconut milk and stir before sipping in the evening to set the tone for a dreamy sleep
Make elixirs a part of your regular morning or evening time ritual to nurture your body, mind, and soul.
Portland Inspired Chili Bowl Recipe (serves 1)
Mixture of ½ cup of cooked brown rice and quinoa (or one or the other)
½ cup 3 bean chili (or homemade chili)
½ cup baked sweet potato chunks
1 cup sautéed kale (in olive oil and lemon juice)
¼ avocado slices
¼ cup smoky tempeh
1 tbsp. cilantro
2/3 cup filtered water
½ cup soaked cashews
2 tbsp. adobe sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cumin
Pink sea salt and cayenne pepper- Season to flavor
After soaking your cashews (for 4-6 hours), add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well blended, and sauce forms. Set aside.
After everything is cooked/heated, get a medium sized bowl and add in the kale followed by the grains.
Then pile on the chili, the tempeh, and sweet potato chunks.
Next, add avocado slices and top with cilantro.
Lastly, drizzle on the sauce.
I hope this inspires you to get in the kitchen and whip this magical bowl up!
I shared the ingredients to this AMAZING smoothie base I’ve been swooning over all summer long, but it definitely deserves the measurements to be broken down and to be formerly shared on the blog, so here it is:
B’s Cacao Blueberry Loaded Smoothie
I always try to get a variety and A LOT of different nutrients and superfoods into my smoothies and this one really has it all. I even include frozen zucchini and avocado in it, so that not as much frozen banana has to be used, which makes it lower in sugar without sacrificing the flavor.
If you are just starting to stock your kitchen up with various nutrients for your smoothies and smoothie bowls, I recommend adding 1-2 powders, nuts, seeds, superfoods, and so on to your cart each week while at the market, by the end of the month you will have between 4-8 new things to play around with and add to your smoothies.
First, let's talk some of the nutritional benefits of this smoothie base:
Cacao for antioxidants (has 40 x more than bluebs have!), magnesium which supports your brain and heart, and calcium (has more than in cow's milk).
Blueberries for that brain (the BOSS lady/man of the body), healthy digestion, and has gallic-acid, which kills cancer cells.
Maca for hormonal balance, amino acids, mood and energy.
Mushroom powder for longevity by boosting immunity, fighting cancer, and liver + brain health.
Spirulina for detoxing heavy metals, helping rid Candida (overgrowth of yeast) from the body, and protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidizing (oxidized LDL increases your chances of heart disease).
Collagen for healthy skin and hair, boosting the metabolism, and cleansing your liver.
Coconut butter for lauric acid, which kills bacteria, funguses, and viruses, and supporting weight-loss.
Some sneaky zucchini in there for bone and teeth strength, potassium for the heart, and B vitamins to increase energy, mood, and cognitive health.
Avocado for lots of heart-healthy potassium (more than bananas), fiber to aid in digestion, and for increasing nutrient absorption.
Cinnamon for antioxidants and even treating Alzheimer and Parkinson symptoms. It is especially great in smoothies with bananas (a high-glycemic food) because it prevents the banana from causing blood sugar levels to spike, and keeps them stabilized.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there, I think you get the drift. So here’s what you babes and fellas need to make this dreamy smoothie STAT:
Ingredients (serves 1):
¾ cup homemade cashew milk
1 scoop of Vital proteins collagen
1 tbsp cacao powder
½ cup organic bluebs
1 tbsp coconut butter
1 frozen zucchini (diced before freezing)
½ frozen banana
1/4 frozen avocado slices
Additions (use 1, a few, or all): 1 serving Om mushroom Reishi powder, 1 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp maca powder, and/or 1 serving Sun Potion Ashwagandha
For flavor: 2 tsp cinnamon, a dash of cayenne pepper, and a few dashes of pink Himalayan sea salt
A few ice cubes- To make it thicker for a smoothie bowl
Remove Blueberries for an extra chocolatey taste or add in some figs for richness and extra fiber and potassium.
Add all ingreds to a blender and blend away. Sip with a straw or put in a bowl and add your favorite toppings. The chocolate dipped figs were money, just saying.
While I aim to cleanse my body every day- Because let’s face it, our bodies are always going to be exposed to toxins, whether from our foods, environment or lifestyle, it’s inevitable and in some cases, unavoidable.
For this reason, I try to do everything I can to help support my body in its regular detoxing process. To do this, I rely on getting my daily dose of cleansing foods in my diet from things such as lemons, cilantro and parsley, fiber rich foods like fruits and veggies, beets, greens, clean sources of protein, avocados and even water (lots of it). Nutrients in, toxins out!
Even in doing this though, I find that my body and overall health really benefit from doing a deeper kind of cleanse 2-3 times a year. While there are tons of different cleanse options out there today from the master cleanse, juice cleanses, herb cleanses, food cleanses, soup cleanses and so on, my usual go-to method for cleansing typically includes an organic 3-day juice cleanse, especially during the warmer months, which in California, is most months. Juice cleanses don’t leave me starving, ravenous, or turn me into a grouch. Before committing to any type of cleanse it’s important to know what you are getting into and make sure that it aligns with your lifestyle and body’s needs.
What I really love about a juice cleanse is that it gives my body, specifically my digestive system, a much needed break. I usually consume 4-6 meals a day, that’s A LOT of digestive work my body does day in and day out for me. A juice cleanse preserves my body’s energy and gives my liver (the chief detoxing organ) a break so that it can focus on getting any current toxins in my body out of it. The organic vegetables and fruits are anti-inflammatory, and also give my body a break from having to fight inflammation that can be caused from certain foods like sugar, dairy, and refined flours. An organic juice cleanse also boosts my bod with nutrients to help heal my gut and all of these nutrients- The vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants are able to support my body and the liver in its detoxification phases to help get toxins out. Additionally, it provides the cell's mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) with the nutrients it needs to create new energy.
So with the end of summer near, and my wine tasting trips, beach days under the sun, and return to a little more normalcy with less toxic exposure, I knew it was time to do a cleanse. Enter Project Juice’s Advanced Reset 3 Day Organic Juice Cleanse. What appealed to me most about this specific cleanse is that the juices are made primarily from low-sugar vegetables, so I didn’t have to worry about my blood sugar levels spiking from too much fruit sugar or veggies high in sugar (like beets and carrots) while on this cleanse. In addition to the 4 green juices and charcoal based concoction, they also have an almond milk that you drink each day, which helps to provide the body with some proteins and fat.
This cleanse was super easy to follow. It came with numbers on each of the bottes, so I knew what order I was supposed to be consuming them in. I was on it for 3 solid days and also included lots of water, some tea, and added 1-2 cups of grass-fed bone broth (for collagen and gelatin- for additional gut support) on a daily basis. It didn’t leave me hungry, deprived or spike my blood sugar. I was also able to do this cleanse while still conducting my normal routine, it didn’t leave me running to the bathroom or anything unpleasant like that. I always like to ease back into “normal” eating, so I continued to have fresh juices in the mornings and early afternoons, followed by lots of veggies and whole food, plant based meals for 2-3 days following this cleanse.
I came out of day 3 feeling lighter and more energetic. It’s funny, sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve been tired or running on low energy, until you aren’t anymore. My sleep has been better and more routine. I’ve been waking up more bright-eyed and naturally, without my alarm, something I’ve had to depend on more than usual these past few summer months. Another perk? The bloating, which I’d been experiencing more frequently and often, vanished. My head has felt clearer, and my memory has even improved. I did lose a few pounds, but that’s truly never why I do a cleanse, and I assume some of that was from the bloat going away.
As someone who cleanses up to 3 times a year, this is a cleanse that I would do again. I loved that it was low in sugar, delivered to my doorstep and made from all organic produce. I can’t stress enough how important it is to ALWAYS do an organic juice cleanse. On a conventional juice cleanse you are essentially drinking a cocktail of toxins (from the pesticides and potential GMO’s and they lack the fiber needed to help remove these harmful substances from your body). Not really cleansing, right? I loved that I got significant results from this cleanse, as sometimes I come off a juice cleanse feeling better, but not being able to notice why or how I feel better. The outcome of this cleanse was obvious and felt good- Maybe I was overdue for a cleanse?!
While I think a juice cleanse is a great option to give one’s body a break, I don’t think it should be used as a method for quick weight loss. If you want to achieve lasting and significant weight loss it should come from a clean diet and regular exercise. However, an organic, low-sugar juice cleanse, like this one, can be a great place to start your health journey by helping you “reset” your body. It can get rid of built-up toxins, eliminate bloat and water retention, as well as help to reduce cravings and even food addictions. I recommend that my clients who are in the position to do so, (aren’t undergoing chemo, don’t have diabetes, severe nutritional deficiencies, or kidney disease) do a cleanse like this 2-4 times a year for between 3-7 days, depending on their body’s individual needs. Juice cleanses do lack large quantities of proteins and fats (both essential macronutrients), so they aren’t something that should be done for extended periods of time. If a client still feels hungry or has a spike in blood sugar while on a cleanse, I encourage them to eat a snack of organic vegetables paired with some healthy fat and/or plant based protein like avocado, nuts or seeds.
What’s your favorite type of cleanse to do for YOUR body?!
I don't know about your ladies and gents, but my body wants A LOT of smoothies and smoothie bowls when summertime hits. So usually summer is the time I pull out my Watermelon Smoothie recipe and start blending away. I picked up a nice, round, organic watermelon from the store a few weeks ago, and wondered how I could possibly tweak and upgrade my recipe this summer, and I think I nailed it.
Meet the Watermelon Summer Slushy.
It has the perfect thick and cold consistency you want in a slushy and makes for a great mid-day cool down treat, plus it is loaded with hydrating watermelon and cucumber. Just a sneaky way of getting that H2O into your body. Specifically, watermelon is great for fighting inflammation in the body and combating those pesky free radicals, which you are more prone to be exposed to during the summer when you are spending more time by the pool and in those beach waves. Cucumbers are great for your brain, getting those toxins out of your body, and are full of B vitamins, making them great for keeping stress at bay and decreasing anxiety. This summer slushy also has lime to help detox your bod, cayenne pepper to give your metabolism a boost, and a hint of mint to aid in digestion. All in all it is ideal for summer.
Recipe: (Serves 1-2)
2 cups frozen watermelon cubes (freeze for at least 12 hours)
1 cup coconut water or coconut kefir (probiotics)
Handful of fresh mint leaves
A few dashes of organic cayenne pepper
Stevia to sweeten
Plus a few ice cubes
Add the listed ingredients to a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until well blended and a slushy consistency has formed. You may need to mix the ingreds a few times to get everything blended and add a little liquid or ice cubes to obtain the right consistency. Garnish with a mint leaf.
I recommend sipping this pool-side, but either way it's going to take you to Summer-land. Cheers to that! xx
These taste sinful, but don’t be fooled, they are full of nutrients. I love making these on the weekends, and recently made them to celebrate the bf's birthday. Yes, they are even bf-approved. These minis satisfy those sweet cravings and taste so rich, but won't leave you feeling lethargic or on a sugar-high like normal, conventional cupcakes would. These sweet things will give you energy, cleanse your body, show your immune system some love and enhance your mood. Shouldn’t all cupcakes make you feel that way?! I think so!
To all my chocolate and cupcake lovers here’s the deal on these baby cakes:
1 cup walnuts
½ cup almonds
10-12 pitted and soaked (so they are soft) dates
¼ cup hemp seeds
½ cup cacao powder
1 tbsp. chlorella
1 tbsp. reishi mushroom powder
2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
Stevia- Sweeten to taste
1 tsp. vanilla
Few dashes of pink Himalayan sea salt
How to make:
First add the almonds and walnuts to food processor and pulse until well combined. Next add in the soaked and drained dates and pulse until a dough STARTS to form. Then, add in the remainder of the listed ingredients and mix until well combined. In a mini cupcake/muffin tin form balls with dough and press to fit each space. Stick in the freezer for 30-60 minutes. Once out, frost with a Chocolate Hazelnut spread (I used and recommend the Artisana Organics Hazelnut Cacao Spread) and sprinkle with hemp seed sprinkles.
Confession: Years and YEARS back (late teens/early 20's) I used to be a “cheater”. A food-cheater that is. When I let myself have that ONE “cheat meal”, which usually didn't consist of the healthiest of food choices because after all it was a "cheat meal", it was supposed to feel and be "bad", right?! Well that ONE "cheat meal" would somehow turn into a “cheat day”.
Every time I had a "cheat meal", I’d feel guilty about eating foods I told myself I wasn’t allowed to have, so when I cheated and ate them it made me feel super down and I'd let my mind get the best of me and my healthy eating. I would think I had ruined my whole “diet”, ditch all my good habits, and go to town on all those foods I told myself I couldn’t have. Pizza, fries, Ben and Jerry’s, you name it. I would binge-out (without realizing it at the time that’s what I was doing) on these foods because I deprived myself so much and felt like I didn’t know when I would “be allowed” to have them again. I used to work at a Starbucks (again, back in the day) and if I had a 2 oz. caramel frappuccino from a sample cup while working I'd OBSESS over trying to figure out the calories I must have consumed and deduct those from the mere 1,200 calories a day I "allowed" myself to have and worry about that 2 oz. SIP alllll day. Again, not healthy and 100% not necessary.
After a binge episode, I'd be left feeling sick from the terrible foods I had eaten in the course of less than 24 hours and felt GUILT from cheating on my “diet” in the first place. This would happen a good once every month or two and went on for a year. Or maybe a few years. Not healthy at all, right?! Like I mentioned, at the time, I didn't realize I was binging, maybe because it didn't happen all the time. It wasn't until years after I didn't have these occurrences anymore and had adopted a truly healthy lifestyle that I reflected back on my behavior, and had the light-bulb go off that I was totally having binge-episodes anytime I felt guilty about indulging in something or eating too much of it.
So that brings me to…
Despising the fact that the word “cheat” is used in connection to our food and eating. Food is here to nourish our bodies, and eating (a human necessity to survival) shouldn’t ever be associated with the act of cheating. Cheating automatically brings on feelings of guilt, and no one should feel guilty about eating. We NEED to eat! Of course, I will say we need to be eating the right foods to nourish our bodies because that is most important.
I know it is a popular thing, especially in the bodybuilding world, to have cheat meals, and worse cheat days, but I think we need to stop associating our food and the practice of eating with cheating altogether. I especially don’t think it is healthy to have a FULL on cheat day- Eating foods that are processed, full of refined sugars and flours, and have chemicals and additives in them with little nutritional value all day are bound to make you feel guilty and bring on lingering cravings for unhealthy foods. Not to mention what these foods are doing to your insides. Cheat days aren't healthy for your blood sugar or insulin levels, despite what the bodybuilding world will tell you. If you continuously increase the amount of calories you eat on these "cheat days", you could gain more weight over time. Regardless if cheat meals help you achieve abs, they aren’t healthy for our bodies or minds, PERIOD. And no set of abs is worth treating your body poorly.
You may be reading this and relating to the “cheat meals” and the guilt and binge-eating associated with them and wondering how to overcome this vicious cycle if you are still there. What shifted for me since my cheat days was my mindset and also my awareness for what truly healthy foods are and do for my body. Even if I crave something sweet or savory, I don’t crave the truly unhealthy versions of these foods anymore. I've made the connection of the role my food choices plays on my health.
Yes, back in my cheat days I would have Ben and Jerry’s, but if I want ice-cream now my body doesn’t crave ingredients that aren’t good for me. I crave a coconut ice cream made with 5 ingredients that I recognize on the food label or maybe even homemade Nana Ice Cream (made basically out of bananas, genius right?!) drizzled with cashew or cacao hazelnut butter. It's something I can enjoy and still feel good about after. It doesn't make me feel groggy or give me a stomach ache, and it has ingredients that are still healthy for my body.
There are those times though when I may splurge more, like if I stop at a happening, known ice cream joint that’s supposed to have to-die-for ice-cream (It's likely a vegan + organic ice-cream type of shop so I know I'm still getting those quality ingredients). Maybe I will choose to have a cup of it...but without any feelings of guilt or without bringing on a vicious cycle of binging. This is mostly because today I live a true healthy lifestyle. Unlike before where I was always “dieting” and didn't understand the difference between real, whole foods and "fake diet foods". I know I’ll get right back to my healthy lifestyle after I ENJOY, and savor the ice cream. And that's another thing, when I do indulge in something I am conscious of it and eat it with mindfulness. And it's not something that happens every night, there's still a balancing act, like ALL things in life.
How to overcome feelings of guilt around food:
1. Ditch the word "cheat", and "diet" for that matter. Every time you eat you are NOURISHING your body and you aren’t temporarily eating healthy, you are choosing to live a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.
2. By choosing nourishing foods and recognizing foods that don’t nourish your body, you won’t want to “cheat” because you will make the connection that these foods aren’t treating your body with the love and respect it deserves. This is why reading food labels and understanding what ingredients are harmful to your body is so important. Once you make that connection, the desire to go full force on a Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream tub WON’T be there. Start paying attention every time you eat to the foods that make you feel energized, and the foods that make you feel grumpy and tired after you eat them. No one wants to physically feel like sh*t from what they eat. Food is supposed to make us thrive and feel alive!
3. By living a healthy lifestyle, it leaves you some room to splurge. Splurging sounds a lot nicer and innocent than cheating, doesn’t it?! That’s because it is! Here’s the BIG difference between a splurge meal and a cheat meal. While a cheat meal is something you wouldn’t want to ever eat because it’s not healthy for your body (like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, etc.), splurge meals are still nourishing, but just not something you’d probably want to eat every day. If you make your splurge meals at home you have control over the ingredients and can still make them healthy. Your body is going to feel so much better after a homemade pizza vs. a pizza from a chain pizza-joint.
Splurge meal examples and options to try:
Homemade veggie pizza on sprouted grain crust with lots of veggies and nutritional yeast for the cheese
A homemade veggie burger on a sprouted bun packed with lots of veggies, avo for some healthy fat and baked sweet potato fries as the side
Raw cacao brownie bliss balls (Taste way better than refined brownies in my opinion, and made with nothing, but real ingredients like dates, cacao powder, almonds, walnuts...)