clean eating

My new skincare score!

I have finally found it. Okay, my gorgeous sister-in-law found it FOR me, but nevertheless, my search for the perfect foundation has finally ended come to a screeching halt!

 

IT COSMETICS has come out with an incredible foundation, but here’s the best part (the Esthetician in me is soooo happy): it has 50 SPF! Need I say more??? It’s called “CC Cream with SPF“, and it’s a full coverage + color-correcting + an anti-aging serum + physical SPF sunscreen all in one! I can almost hear angels singing.  

 

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My favorite 3 things about it are

1) The high SPF coverage,

2) The consistency/anti-aging serum

3) The lightweight feel.

All of these factors have won me over. FAST. 

I found mine at Ulta, for $38. You really don’t need to use a lot when applying to your skin. This product will last a long time, so I am comfortable paying the price for it. And really, when I think about it, I’ve paid much more for foundations that I did not care for very much….so this is a total score for me! If you are like me, and you live in an area that dosen’t have and Ulta store, you can order it online here.  

Questions? Comments? Let me know! Hope ya’ll like it!

Happy weekend!

 

My new friend with benefits

What I’m about to say is very controversial…it’s not popular to admit, but I am going to be very candid here….the truth is I strongly disliked Kale when I first tried it. There, I said it.

Ok, so maybe I couldn’t even stand the sight of it. I know this may sound dramatic….but it’s not the tastiest veggie out there. It’s hard to chew, can be very bitter and definitely was not on my “top 10, late-night cravings” list. It was just NOT for me.

Boy am I glad I gave it another chance because this recipe has become a staple in our house and even the hubby likes it! When I need a quick, healthy side-dish, this is my go-to veggie recipe! I’m obsessed. Kale also contains numerous health benefits and is high in anti-oxidants….Win, win!

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Ingredients:

-Raw Kale (I love the bag from TraderJoe’s-pictured below)

-Low sodium Soy Sauce

-Fresh Ginger

 

Directions:

1. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. I love olive-oil spray because it gives the veggies a nice flavor.

2. Once the pan is warm, throw in a generous amount of chopped, raw Kale and let it cook for 1 minute.

3. Grate some fresh Ginger and throw it on top of the Kale. I personally LOVE Ginger and use quite a bit, but it can be a strong taste, so start with a little. You can always add more.

4. Toss the Kale and Ginger in the pan then add 1-2 TBSP of low-sodium Soy Sauce. 

5. Let simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until the Kale looks soft.

6. DEVOUR….all of it!

 

I love to eat this dish on its own, but its pretty delicious paired with other main dishes as well. 

I hope you enjoy this simple & easy recipe that will change your mind about Kale! At least, it did for me 🙂

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BIG news!

For those of you who haven’t heard, my hubby and I recently relocated back to the Bay Area! We are all settled into our new place and I will post pictures once I get around to hanging art on the walls and making the bed. Right now, I am in “recovery mode”. Moving really takes it out of you….yes, I know they say it’s one of the most stressful things that happen in life and now I am on board with that statistic. This move nearly destroyed me. But, I am still here and back to blogging again! 

One of the biggest changes I have encountered with the move has been the extreme weather in the Bay! Apparently we moved up here on the COLDEST week the East Bay has ever seen. I know other parts of the country are seriously freezing, but I’ve never lived in a climate this cold before and I am just trying to survive at this point! It’s been in the 20’s at times, and I’ve had to make several Target runs, for cold-weather essentials. Here are a couple of my favorite cold weather looks for this Holiday season….

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Happy Holiday season to all of you out there! Stay warm!

 

 

Cinnamon Maple Breakfast Quinoa

I’m coming to you from my couch, on this chilly Saturday eve. Exciting, I know. It was either this or get in bed…being that it’s 8pm, I chose to NOT be a 90 year old woman & be productive. Plus, I figured that some of you may need a new breakfast recipe for your Sunday morning. So, here you go. You’re welcome. 

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This recipe is so easy, its ridiculous. 

Prep time: 3 min. Cook Time: 7 min.

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for garnish
2 teaspoons butter
milk or cream, to taste
maple syrup, to taste
banana slices

(Optional: add Chia &/or Flax Seeds for added nutrients and flavor)

Instructions:

Place quinoa in water and rinse well.

Drain quinoa, then stir in 1 cup cold water, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon butter (I personally only use Earth Balance). Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir and microwave 3 more minutes. Remove from microwave, cover with foil and sit 2 minutes. Fluff quinoa and stir in remaining butter. Divide between 2 bowls and top with almond milk, maple syrup, banana slices and cinnamon to taste. *You can use Agave (plain or vanilla flavored) instead of Maple Syrup to cut down on the sugar.

 

5 surprising uses for coconut oil

So, it seems that lately I’ve gone a little coo coo for coconut oil. It’s kind of taking over my life & I get the feeling that my husband thinks I’m nuts. But seriously, I need to reign it in a little and stop being so obsessive over this wonderfully, perfect product. Whoops, there I go again.

Here’s the bottom line: Naturally gluten & dairy free, fights diseases, stabilizes blood sugar, packed with medium-chain triglycerides (fatty acids that deeply nourish the skin) & contains an SPF of 10 (meaning it blocks out 90% of the sun’s UV-B rays)….need I say more? If I could marry a food, we’d be hitched by now.

Ladies (and Gents), the best thing about this product? IT’S CHEAP! For a jar of cold-pressed, organic, virgin coconut oil (16 oz jar) you’ll spend about $5.99! I’m practically jumping out of my seat. I know, I’m a huge nerd.

What you may not already know, is that there are hundreds of uses for this stuff. I’ve compiled a list of 5 surprising uses, in hopes that you’ll buy yourself a jar & join me in my love for this little gem.

Makeup Remover

Coconut oil removes EVERY trace of makeup, including mascara (even waterproof)! Since trying it, I ditched my name brand makeup remover & only use coconut oil now. The drug-store makeup remover you’re currently using is most likely full of preservatives–some of them very toxic &/or carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Why not make this simple switch? It’s not messy either because, when stored in a cool place, it remains in its solid state. Also, it is super hydrating for the under eye area!

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Deodorant

This one really surprised me! How could this really work? Well, I’m here to tell you the facts: It does work & I’m currently in the process of making the change from drug-store deodorant to coconut oil. Deodorants have SO many ingredients in them, while coconut oil contains just one. The long list of ingredients in deodorant are placed in the product to keep us from sweating/excreting toxins. If these toxins do not leave our body, just imagine how harmful this must be. Things like propylene glycol (which is a component in ANTIFREEZE) and aluminum (this has been linked to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer) are in traditional deodorants, guys. Using coconut oil is a great alternative to even the “natural deodorants”…which, to be fair, are actually pretty clean but still contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce and claim to have “natural fragrance”. Where do they derive the natural fragrance from?? After reading this, I am hoping you’ll give this idea a chance!

Moisturizer & Lip Balm

About a year ago I ditched my brand name ridiculously overpriced face moisturizer & swapped it for coconut oil. My skin absolutely loves it! It contains so many healing properties, penetrates the layers of the skin on a deep level & naturally helps clear away dead skin cells! This all applies to your lips as well. It heals cracks and chapped lips in no time at all! By doing this, you will save money & love the results it gives your skin! It also contains an SPF of 10 & can be layered with your daily sunscreen.

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Bug Repellant

Yeah, weirdest use for coconut oil ever, I know. But, it works! By making your own, you’re avoiding those pesky chemicals (like DEET) that comprise main-stream bug spray.  Luckily, we don’t have to spend hours perfecting the perfect, natural bug repellant recipe…someone has already done it for us! Here is the link for the spray:

CLICK HERE

Helps with Nausea

Is there anything this oil can’t do?! Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the inside of your wrists to help calm your upset tummy. Great for infants & toddlers since it’s all natural & chemical free!

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Friends, if you end up trying out any of these ideas, let me know what you think….I would love your feedback!

Coconut Vanilla Protein Pancakes

BREAKFAST….It’s my favorite meal of the day. Sadly, this poor meal does not get enough credit or appreciation from its fans. I mean, we spend anywhere from 7-8 hours sleeping….shouldn’t we celebrate the very first meal we have after our food hiatus? I think so! So here it is, a celebratory post about pancakes. These are not your ordinary pancakes…they’re packed full of protein, metabolism boosters and FLAVOR! Yes, you can have all 3 things in a recipe 🙂

One thing that I strongly recommend you use for the creation of this recipe is a food processor. It mixes the ingredients to perfection and gives the pancakes the perfect consistency! 

Without further delay…..here is the recipe:

2 tbsp spelt flour
2 tbsp almond meal
3 tbsp protein powder (I used Trader Joe’s Vanilla Protein)
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1 egg white
4 tbsp almond milk

 

instructions:

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Then add wet ingredients and stir together.  Heat a pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour 2 tbsp of batter to form each pancake.  Cook a few minutes. Once it starts to bubble on top, flip and cook an additional minute or two.  You’ll get exactly 4 pancakes if you measure (and use a spatula to scrape the bowl).

Serve with you toppings of choice.  One delish way to serve it is with some extra coconut and a maple syrup/yogurt combo (2-3 tbsp greek yogurt + 1 tbsp maple syrup + water to thin it out).  YUM.

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