Morning Rituals 

  
Mornings are my favorite part of the day. I haven’t always been a morning person but as I have gotten older, I have developed a few tips and tricks that help me have the best, healthiest, and most productive mornings. 

1) Drink Lemon Water: Every morning right when I wake up I drink a cup of hot lemon water. Lemon water has numerous benefits such as improving digestion, boosting the immune system, increasing energy, reducing inflammation, and several others. Drinking this not only hydrates me but makes me feel more awake. 

2) Exercise: Now I’ll admit, this isn’t something I do every morning but it is something I try to do. We all have something we could work on and this is that area for me. However, I know that the best time for me to workout is in the morning and I also feel great after I do it. Personally, I love running. I just love sleeping as well. I try to sign up for races as much as I can so that I have something to train for and motivate me to get out the door in the mornings. Find a morning exercise routine that works for you! 

3) Eat Breakfast: Every single morning I make myself breakfast. Every morning. Whether it’s eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, or a breakfast burrito, I always make sure I eat something that nourishes my body and keeps me fueled for the day. My #1 tip for doing this is prepare the night before. If I know I don’t have much time in the morning and I want to make an egg and veggie scramble, for example, I will chop up all of the vegetables the night before so that they are ready to go when I need them. I also cut up the lemons for my lemon water the night before as well. 

4) Drink green tea vs. coffee: This is a recent ritual for me but it seems to be working so I thought I would share. After finally coming to the realization (I’ve secretly always known) that coffee does not digest well with me, I have made the switch to green tea. Green tea seems to work great for me and has plenty of additional health benefits which is a plus! Drinking green tea actually makes me feel more energized throughout the day and just makes me feel better in general. 

5) Reading Jesus Calling: This is something that I started doing at the beginning of the year. Every morning I try to read the passage for the day in Jesus Calling. I have mentioned this before, but this is a really good way to set your day off on a good start. Religious or not, I think this book is great for everyone and really helps. Each day there is something said that I can apply to what I am going through and it always seems to help me see a positive spin on things. 

So those are just a few things I do (or at least try to do) each morning, which help me get day day off to a great start. Try incorporating these rituals, or your own, to make your day the best day! 

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Creamy White Bean Basil Hummus

  

Tonight I experimented with white beans and made an extra creamy hummus. This is pretty delicious and a healthy and all natural alternative to store bought hummus. Hope you like it! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can of organic cannellini white beans
  • 2 tbsp tahini 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp water
  • A few basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until you have reached a smooth, creamy texture. 
  • Pair with some organic tortilla chips or veggies and enjoy! 

My Skincare Essentials

Many of you may have seen my post about my face wash routine, but today I am going to talk about my favorite moisturizers. As I have mentioned, I have very very sensitive skin. I also care a lot about what is in the beauty products that I use and I try to buy products that are as natural as possible. 

I used to be a Clinique skincare girl but after switching to a more natural lifestyle, the Clinique had to go. I tried using Coconut oil and Vitamin E oil as a facial moisturizer for a while but found myself with a quite greasy face by the end of the day. After trying several products, I have finally found one that I absolutely LOVE! “Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Repairing Moisturizer” has changed my skin. Not only is it less greasy by the end of the day, but it is much healthier looking as well. The best part about is that it is 97% natural, paraben-free, and I can pronounce the ingredients. 

Another thing I struggle with is sensitive legs. Ever since the day I started shaving, my legs would break out the moment I put lotion on them. I have tried all of the tricks and even some of the most natural products (olive oil/coconut oil) still irritate my legs. I was at the health foods store a week weeks ago and saw this lotion and thought I would give it a try, and I am in love! “Weleda Citrus Hydrating Body Lotion” is the best lotion I have ever tried. It leaves my skin super soft and without irritation. Not to mention it is a certified natural product. I found this lotion at Natural Grocers but I am sure you can find it at any health foods store. If anyone has any tips/favorite products that they use for sensitive skin, feel free to comment! 

Happy Friday!  

 

The Kelsey Cookie

I had the day off of work and decided to use this time to create the ultimate cookie and I named it “The Kelsey Cookie”. Now, this is not 100% healthy, but it is free of gluten and dairy. It is also extremely delicious! The recipe is below 🙂 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted 
  • 1/8 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup All-natural peanut butter (or any nut-butter, almond works too)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life’s Dairy Free Mini chocolate chips) 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the coconut sugar and coconut oil. Add in the maple syrup, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla, almond milk, egg, and mix well. 
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. 
  • Add chocolate chips. 
  • Place tablespoon sized dough onto the greased cookie sheet (I was able to fit about 12 cookies on mine).
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or so depending on your oven.
  • Enjoy!   

Simple Salad Recipe

Looking for lunch ideas? Try this simple salad that takes minutes to make and is super delicious! 

You can add any ingredients you would like for the salad; I just used what I had in my fridge. You can also use more/less dressing depending on your preference. I don’t like a ton of dressing on my salads so mine was on the lighter side. The best part about cooking is that it is totally up to you! 

Salad Ingredients: A handful of spinach, 3 mini cucumbers, 1/4 cup brown rice, and a few kalamata olives. 

Dressing Ingredients: 1 tsp stone ground mustard, 1tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. 

Directions: Chop your salad ingredient and add them to your bowl/tubberware. After mixing all of the dressing ingredients together, pour over salad and mix until the whole salad is covered. There you go! Super easy, super healthy, and super delicious. 

Happy Tuesday! 

 

All Natural Homemade Facewash

To add to all of the weird health problems I have, sensitive skin is included. I noticed that every time I would shower, I would leave with these red, itchy spots on my face and body. They would go away after a while, but were nevertheless very annoying. One day I decided to try using an all-natural/chemical-free face wash and soap to see if I noticed the difference and I did! The bumps completely went away. It was all of the chemicals in the soaps and face washes that I was buying that were causing me to break out. Although I loved what the all natural soaps were doing for my skin, I struggled with spending so much money on the product. After experimenting with my own face wash recipes for months, I decided to just give in and spend the money on the good stuff. Recently, I came across my friend Whitney’s blog post about an all natural face wash and decided to give it one last try. This actually ended up being free for me to make because I already had all of the ingredients at my house. After using it for a few days now, I AM IN LOVE! The best part is that since it contains coconut oil, so you do not need to moisturize your skin afterwards. Now for the soap I use. I have yet to find a recipe that I am in love with, but I have found a product that isn’t too crazy priced and works wonders: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. These soaps come in a bar or liquid form and can be found all over the place; even the Target near my house even sells them. There are several different scents but my personal favorite is the lavender. The best part about these soaps is that I can pronounce all of the ingredients and I even know what they all are. Dr. Bronner’s Soaps are all natural, GMO-free, and vegan. So, for all of you that would like to try these miracle workers, the link to Whitney’s blog and Dr. Bronner’s website are below!

Whitney’s Blog: click here

Dr. Bronner’s Soaps: click here

For the Calorie Counters

In the past I was a strict calorie counter. I would focus on the amount of calories a food had but not what I was actually putting in my body. Over time this became stressful and extremely hard to maintain and almost more of a chore than it needed to be. Once I started eating cleaner, I realized that what I was fueling my body with was much more important than how many calories I was consuming. During my calorie counting days, I used the app & website “MyFitnessPal” which is super easy to use and can log nearly any food that you can think of. It is customizable for each person and helps you set your own personal wellness goals. It also gives you a break down of how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that you should try to consume. Not to mention it also tracks your exercise and water intake.  Although I personally do not calorie count, I do think that this is a great tool for someone that is just getting started in their health and wellness journey. Every now and then I log my foods to make sure I am getting enough protein, carbs, etc, but I try not to worry about the numbers. Like I said, it is way more important to fuel your body with clean foods than worry about the number of calories the food contains. Click HERE for the link to MyFitnessPal. You can also download the app on your iPhone!