-Wellness Lifestyle & food –

Archive for ‘September, 2017’

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Everyone wants that Hollywood skin, but not everyone wants to pay the Hollywood price for it. Luckily for us non-superstars there are hundreds of inexpensive all-natural ingredients available at our local grocery stores and in our kitchens that we can use to achieve healthier skin.

One of the key ingredients for a healthy complexion is EXFOLIATING! You may wash, tone, and moisturize your skin every day but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your skin is living up to its’ full potential. When we exfoliate we are removing the dead skin cells from the top layer of our skin, but why is this important? Well, as we get older our bodies’ process of cell regeneration slows down, which means we do not generate fresh skin cells as fast as we did when we were kids. When dead skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin we’re often times left with a dry, blotchy, and dull looking complexion. Dead skin cells can also lead to clogged up pores and excess oil which can cause blemishes and acne.

One of my favorite methods to exfoliate my skin is this homemade, all natural exfoliator:

What you’ll need

  • 1 tablespoon of ground all natural coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of virgin or refined coconut oil

Mix all three of your ingredients together and gently scrub the exfoliator all over your face. Leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse off. Not only will your skin look and feel like velvet, but the coconut oil mixed with the coffee will leave your skin looking bright and toned.

Keep in mind that you should never exfoliate your skin more than 1-2 times a week. Just like anything in life when done in excess, over exfoliating will do more harm than good. So find your balance and work that skin! ūüėȬ†

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I think I could easily eat pasta every single day of my life without a single complaint. Think about it, it’s the ultimate comfort food and there are literally hundreds of different ways to make it. Although pasta is delicious it’s definitely not a meal that should be eaten frequently, especially for those trying to monitor their carb intake like me.

A few months ago I was parading around my kitchen looking for the necessary ingredients to make traditional pesto sauce but I was out of luck, and had zero desire to go to the grocery store. I needed to improvise! After a little trial and error I ended up creating my new favorite pasta sauce that’s quite tasty and nutritious.

The following recipe is my vegan friendly superfood “pesto pasta.”

Total prep time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Noodles ( I use whole wheat or egg noodles)
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • 1/2 celery stick
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (optional)
  • Cilantro (as much as desired)
  • 2 avocados
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions 

  1. Start by boiling your noodles and add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil, a pinch of salt and pepper to your boiling water.
  2. Dice avocados and put in your food processer or blender with your basil leaves, chopped up celery, garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and pepper, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, cilantro, 1/3 cup of water and pine nuts.
  3. Blend ingredients for the sauce until you get a nice and smooth consistency.
  4. Mix your sauce with your noodles and your quinoa.
  5. Top it off with your brocolli and mushrooms or any of your other favorite vegetables.

This sauce does not have to be used solely for pasta, but can also be used as a dip for veggies, tortilla chips, bread, and even pita chips.

As always, let me know if you tried the recipe out and whether you enjoyed it or not. ūüôā

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With Summer coming to an end and Autumn approaching I started to get this tingly sense of excitement running throughout my body. I love everything about Fall. The crisp cold air that hits my face the moment I walk out the door, the beautiful array of colors on the ground left by the trees that are preparing themselves to endure the cold harsh winter, turtlenecks, scary movies, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the pumpkin spiced candles at Yankee Candle, carving pumpkins, and of course pumpkin flavored foods! I know I’m starting to daydream a little bit too much here since summer isn’t technically over yet, but lets just say I’m ready for Fall.

On a different note, I went to the grocery store and I noticed that Trader Joe’s had a large display of pumpkins up for sale – a little premature I must say, but I couldn’t help myself so I bought one. It’s way too early to start carving pumpkins or to put them on my doorstep, but it’s never to early to eat them. So what better way to bring in the Fall Season than some pumpkin soup?

This pumpkin soup recipe is easy, vegan, and absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin (any size will do)
  • 1 can of coconut milk cream
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Cooking Directions 

  1. Remove the skin off of your pumpkin and remove the seeds.
  2. Cut your pumpkin into small chunks and boil in water until tender.
  3. Blend your pumpkin with chopped onion and garlic until you get a soup-like consistency.
  4. Pour one can of coconut milk cream with your pumpkin mix and blend.
  5. Pour soup back into your pot and add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

For a non-vegan friendly meal, you can top your soup with some shredded cheese. ¬†I added a little bit of¬†Frontier Co-Op’s Five Spice Powder¬†to mine for a little bit of a kick.

 

~Happy early Fall Everyone~

 

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The first thing I think of when I hear the words “banana pancakes,” is the super catchy Jack Johnson song. The second thing I think of is this delicious three ingredient banana pancake recipe. I learned this recipe from a friend of mine, but I decided to add my own twist to it. It’s easy, inexpensive, and takes about 30 minutes to make. There are three main ingredients used for this dish but feel free to play around and add your own personal flair to it. I’ve listed the main ingredients along with some optional ones for you to try out!

This recipe will make about 5 pancakes.

Ingredients:

3 bananas

1 egg

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 cup of rolled oats for thickness (optional)

1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil (optional)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)

Honey and fruits to top it off (optional)

How to make the pancakes:

1) Blend the bananas, eggs, and baking powder together until you get a smooth consistency.

2) Pour mixture onto pan and let simmer on medium for 3-5 minutes on each side.

3) Pat any excess oil with a paper towel.

Voila! You’re good to go. You can top the pancakes off with fresh fruits, syrup, honey, condensed milk, or anything your hungry heart desires. I enjoy mine with raw honey and fresh bananas and blueberries on top. If you get a chance to try these pancakes, let me know how you like them and share some pictures with me!

 

 

~BON APP√ČTIT! ~

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If you’re like me you probably don’t have $300.00 dollars in spare change lying around for the sole purpose of getting your teeth professionally whitened, or maybe you just don’t want loads of chemicals sitting on your teeth eating away at your enamel. I try to avoid as many unnecessary chemicals as possible but that doesn’t stop me from wanting a nice, white smile. Whatever your reason may be, I have a solution and the solution is¬†baking soda!

This quick and easy method of removing surface stains from the teeth was actually taught to me by my mother. When I was younger she would brush my teeth with baking soda once a week to keep my little pearls nice and bright, and it ended up becoming a part of my regular dental hygiene routine. It’s fairly inexpensive and effective. Let me briefly explain how this method works: because of its’ abrasive texture, baking soda will scrub away any plaque build up, and because of its’ alkaline components it will help remove surface stains. Keep in mind that this method may not be as effective for people with stains that are deeply penetrated in the teeth.

What you will need:

Baking soda

Measuring spoons

Small Cup or container

Toothbrush

How to make the paste:

Mix 2 tsp of baking soda with 1 tsp of water and stir until the texture becomes a paste.

How to use the paste:

Once you’ve mixed your two ingredients together dip your toothbrush in the paste and use it to brush your teeth just like you would with toothpaste. Let the mix sit on your teeth for two to three minutes and rinse.

I use this method once every two to three weeks and I have found it to be effective for keeping surface stains off of my teeth. I’ve¬†heard of people mixing the baking soda with lemon juice or vinegar. ¬†I personally have not tried mixing the baking soda with anything acidic but if any of you try it please feel free to let me know which method works best for you!

 

Total cost: 77¬Ę¬†

 

Disclaimer: Please ask your dentist before attempting any of the methods mentioned above.

 

 

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Scrambled eggs, poached eggs, sunny side up eggs, hard boiled eggs, the possibilities are endless. Eggs have been a staple food for mankind since the beginning of time. Lets face it, eggs are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Personally, I eat two to three eggs at least once a day which made me wonder, am I eating way too many eggs? Am I putting myself at risk for high cholesterol? My mom would always tell me that you shouldn’t have more than three eggs a week. Although I believed her, I just stopped caring up until recently. After all, eggs are among the most nutrition packed foods in the world so how bad could they really be?

I decided to do a little bit of research to see if I could go ahead and debunk this three eggs a week rule. After a bit of web surfing and reading, I learned that a single egg yolk contains 187 milligrams of cholesterol which is a little over 62% of the daily recommended cholesterol intake for a healthy adult. For someone who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, and other heart related diseases, the recommended daily cholesterol intake is 200 milligrams. So again, to egg or not to egg?

Before I go any further on how many eggs are too many eggs, I needed to understand cholesterol and how it works. First things first, cholesterol is necessary. Humans can not live without it. Cholesterol is naturally produced by our liver, but when we eat foods that are high in cholesterol our liver actually starts to produce less of it naturally. Although cholesterol is measured through your bloodstream, it’s important to remember that it is found in every single body cell and it’s a necessary building block in the cell membranes. Keep in mind that a healthy liver makes up about 75% of the cholesterol that our bodies need to keep us in tip top shape and only about 25% of it comes from the foods that we eat. ¬†Lets say you only eat around 250 mg of cholesterol a day (remember that one egg yolk contains about 187 mg), your liver would produce an additional 750 mg from proteins, sugars, and fats.

Because cholesterol is a fat it is unable to travel alone in the body. Can you imagine little particles of fat just floating around our bloodstream? I can, and the thought alone makes me feel pretty queasy. In order for fats to flow through our bodies naturally, our bodies pack them in microscopic protein covered particles for easy flow through our bloodstream. At this point it almost seems like I’m blabbing on and drifting away from my original point. I found some studies done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition¬†¬†and below I will list the results along with a hyperlink to redirect you to each study.

This study was done on two separate groups.

Group A would consume 1-3 whole eggs per day

Group B would consume an egg substitute

These were the results after researchers followed up with the participants weeks later:

  • In almost all cases, HDL (the “good cholesterol”) went up (6,¬†7,¬†8).
  • Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants like Zeaxanthin and¬†Lutein increased significantly (15,¬†16,¬†17).
  • Total and LDL cholesterol levels usually don’t change, but sometimes they will increase slightly (9,¬†10,¬†11,¬†12).
  • Eating Omega-3 enriched eggs can lower blood triglycerides, another important risk factor (13,¬†14).

In conclusion, a healthy person can consume up to three eggs a day give or take. So yes, the answer to my question is absolutely TO EGG!

 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a physician or in the medical field, I’m just a curious girl who really loves eggs. Please do not take this advice unless you’ve spoken to your general physician.

 

 

 

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