These Feet Were Made For…

Have you ever stopped to think about how important your feet are? Where have your feet taken you so far? Where will they take you next? And most importantly are you taking proper care of them? I mean after all, without them life can become pretty challenging! And no I’m not talking about that pedicure you get once a month (if that, I know people who don’t get them at all…no comment). Do you properly moisturize them? When traveling do you wear proper shoes and or socks? These are all things that you should really think about because if you don’t know already your feet are your foundation. They do more than walk, run, jump, and skip. They are connected to every part of your body, from your liver and kidneys to your ears and eyes. Over 7,000 nerves from major organs and functions of the body end in your feet. Those nerves are known as reflexes and they are more important than you’ll ever know. Your feet literally have feelings (those nerves we just talked about), so please don’t neglect them! Stop leaving them all dry and crusty after your shower, take some time to moisturize (look below for a very beneficial D.I.Y. foot mask). Stop trying to be cute, and be comfortable. Don’t wear tight shoes and socks, your feet need to breathe, they need wiggle room. Be sure to stretch your feet out and also massage them, avoid foot cramps and don’t ever “crack” your toes! Take into consideration how important your feet are and start treating them how they deserve. You wouldn’t be the same without so treat them as if your life depends on them….because it sorta does. If you can’t afford to go get a pedicure it’s not that hard to do your own (I’ll leave instructions on how to perform one below). Don’t make excuses, you need your feet so take care of them, please!

Your feet were made for more than just walking, take care of them and they will take care of you.

How to do your own pedicure:

1. Soak your feet in warm water for about 5-10 minutes (feel free to add Epsom salt to the water to relax your feet a bit)

2. Remove any polish  (if this applies to you)

3. Scrub feet with a soft foot brush, apply soap or sugar scrub to wet feet and then scrub each foot thoroughly  and then rinse or dip back in the water

4. Apply more soap for sugar scrub directly to feet and use a pumice stone and scrub the dead skin cells on the bottom and back of your feet

5. Rinse or dip feet back in the water and then dry them

6. Clip your toenails evenly and file them (optional)

7. Apply oil to your cuticles and massage in

8. Press your cuticles back using a cuticle tool (don’t be too rough)

9. Trim your cuticles (excess skin)

10. Apply a foot cream or oil and massage/ moisturize both feet thoroughly (about 5-10 mins)

Oatmeal and Brown Sugar D.I.Y. Foot Mask:

1. In a blender or food processor mix 1/4 cups of rolled oats, 1/4 of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tbsp of fresh lemon or lime juice, and one tbsp of olive oil

2. Once fully mixed scoop mixture evenly into two separate plastic bags (ziplock, grocery bags, etc doesn’t matter)

3. Place one foot in each bag and sit for 10-15 mins.

4. Rinse feet in warm water

5. Gently dry feet then moisturize and  with olive oil

Tips on Ordering Out: Keeping it Plant-Based Even While on the Go

Some days we don’t even feel like looking at the kitchen, let alone prepping and cooking an entire meal. And that’s completely understandable because from time to time I find myself in the same predicament. Whether we’re busy or just feeling lazy, the reality is that we’re going to eat out at some point. But just because you’re ordering out doesn’t mean that all your hard work (sticking to your diet and new lifestyle) has to go out the window. Ask your cashier or waiter if they have any plant-based or vegan options, and if they don’t I’m more than positive they have meals or sides that can be adjusted to being plant-based. It takes all of 30 seconds to google the ingredients of a meal or entree. So don’t be too shy to ask for them to remove certain ingredients because you think it’s not possible. If you never ask you will never know.  I’ve asked soo many places and even helped to educate the employees for future customers like myself. So no there may not always have a vegan or plant-based option on the menu but with just a few modifications it can easily be done. For example, every time I go to the mall I have to stop at Auntie Anne’s to get a pretzel…well I don’t have to but I just can’t resist. Do you really think they have a plant-based/vegan pretzel? Nope, they don’t but that doesn’t stop me from ordering a cinnamon pretzel or those little bites! And the only adjustment I have to make is removing the butter (because butter is a dairy product and that’s a huge no no for me)! But anyway I promise you it tastes exactly the same, just a little less gooey and personally I prefer a firmer pretzel. So, see! You can order all of your favorites and keep it plant-based by simply asking for “no meat”, “no butter” “no cheese”, “no egg” or whatever other animal products are in the meal that you want to eliminate and voila! Below I will list 5 of my favorite go-to fast-food restaurant meals to order when I don’t feel like cooking.

1. Chipotle’s sofrita burrito or burrito bowl (no cheese, no sour cream) or you could get a bowl or burrito with just veggies and don’t forget for that delicious vinaigrette dressing (takes your meal to the next level I swear, I’m drooling just thinking about it).

2. Burger King’s french toast sticks with hash browns & OJ on the side for breakfast or for lunch you could order a garden salad with vinaigrette or sweet and spicy dressing, french fries, and the apple pie if you’re craving something sweet

SN: Mc Donald’s is the only fast-food chain where the french fries and hash browns aren’t vegan (they’re fried in beef fat…yuck)

3. A veggie lover’s pizza from any pizza place (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Pizza Company, etc.) just get thin crust (vegan) or ask for them not to brush your crust with butter and ask for “no cheese”

4. Order a smoothie from almost anywhere just simply ask what it’s made with and opt out animal ingredients (ask for water or juice instead) if it’s made with dairy.

5. Subway’s/Publix/ or any sub/sandwich place, order the veggie delight sandwich just say “no cheese” and don’t get any mayo as a topping

Remember that being plant-based is a lifestyle, not a trend so don’t let your environment or peers stop you from elevating your life. Let’s stop punishing our bodies and start rewarding them for a change!

If you have any questions about ordering from a specific restaurant I’d be more than happy to help you out with that just comment or send me a private message  at anispenc@theelevationjourney.com or theelevationjourney@gmail.com

Feature of The Week: N/A

Due to unfortunate circumstances the feature I planned on sharing with you all this week has been pushed back. The individual had something come up last minute and was unable to get the form back to me in time and I didn’t plan for a back up (I dropped the ball there, I apologize but lesson learned). But please tune in next week for an awesome feature that you WILL NOT wanna miss! Thank you for understanding. See ya next week 💜🙏🏾

Manifestation: The Breakdown

“Speak it into existence” ok & then what just wait for a miracle to happen? I think too many of us take sayings/prayers/whatever it is that you do entirely too literal. It’s wonderful to pray, to speak positivity and encouraging things into the universe to keep you motivated or in good spirits. However, you still have to put in work! You still have to keep putting in an effort to make that a reality, you can’t just say something over and over without taking action of backing it up. Manifestation has a lot to do with “The Law of Attraction”, it takes focus, co-creating activities, patience, keeping your vibrations high, and last but not least clearness (Make sure that you’re crystal clear in what you’re asking for. For example, let’s say I ask the universe for a computer. And by the end of next week, one of my friends end up giving me their old computer because they just got a new one. However, this gifted computer has buttons missing and a quickly dying battery. Maybe not what I had in mind but I got my computer right?). If you’re having difficulty with the process of manifesting then take a look below for some tips and motivation that will help lead you.

1. Focus; make whatever it is that you’re wanting to manifest a priority. Always keep it in your mind, talk about it, dream about it. Make it your center of interest! If you really want it you have to be serious about it. Don’t go to the universe asking for things if you’re going to be half-assed with it.

  2. Co-creating activities; working towards your goal creates a higher chance for making your goal come true sooner. If you want to be a stylist create a portfolio and send it to those in your field, go to the meet-ups, offer free services to public figures, do whatever it is you have to do and just ask for the universe to back you up!

  3. Patience; trust the process. Things don’t happen overnight! Don’t be in too much of a rush that you lose sight of why you want what you want. Longevity over everything, you could reach your goal overnight and that can last 5 minutes. So just relax, don’t get frustrated, don’t doubt. Believe that you’re getting closer to your goals because you truly are!

  4. Keeping your vibrations high; simply do things that put you in a good mood. Stay happy and positive. The universe feeds off energy, you send your “waves” to the universe and it bounces back to you so keep that in mind. Spend some time each day (twice a day, morning and night) meditating, singing, dancing, drawing, or whatever it is you do to escape and feel good. Doing this twice or more will guarantee that your spirits are lifted at all times.

  5. Clearness; to reiterate BE CLEAR! Let it be known exactly what you want, because if not the universe will be left to guess and you’ll end up with whatever. And that would defeat the purpose. Speak specifics, speak details. Don’t just say “I want to be in a new house next year”, say something more along the lines of “By the end June 2019 I will be in a new house that’s designed by me and built from the ground up”.  Just be clear about what you want so there are no surprises about what you get.

Manifestation is real, don’t doubt it, put in the work, and stay patient! Congratulations in advance 🙂

Benefits of Raw Eating|5 Snack/Meal Ideas

Taking a break (3-7 full days minimum) from processed and cooked foods at least every other month is something that you should really take into consideration. Now allow me to give you a few reasons why; a raw diet helps to reverse chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes, it reduces heartburn, gas, constipation, and indigestion, it increases energy levels, it gives you the full amount of needed nutrients, it strengthens the immune system, it balances PH levels, it clears skin, and so much more, the benefits are infinite! A raw diet consists of uncooked, fresh, dried, sprouted or fermented vegetables and fruit, grains, seeds, nuts, smoothies, and water. When you’re on a raw food diet it gives your digestive system a break from having to work so hard, and it also gives you a lot more energy because you are now preserving enzymes. Your PH levels start to naturally correct themselves because of all the antioxidants, alkaline, and nutrients your blood system now has access to. Your skin becomes clearer because the raw diet is helping to reduce inflammation and opening up clogged pores. The higher fiber intake reduces any digestive issues such as constipation and gas. Many raw vegetables and roots, specifically broccoli, garlic, and ginger contain natural cancer-fighting and blood pressure lowering properties and compounds that won’t be as productive if the foods are cooked. When you cook vegetables whether it’s by boiling, sauteing, steaming, or grilling, the vegetable becomes 22-34% less nutritious. Once vegetables reach a high temperature the nutrients, vitamins, fibers, and minerals immediately start to diminish. The same goes for grains and oats, they are the most beneficial and nutritious when consumed raw. You have nothing to lose by giving your body a break and consuming food just as nature provides it, natural, raw, unseasoned, and without oil. It’s the perfect diet for weight loss, stops cravings, raises your spiritual awareness (we’ll talk more about this another time), and it’s awesome for the environment! So the next time you’re feeling clogged up this diet would be a great way to detox and give your body a good flush and re-boost. Below I have listed a few of my favs along with a link for the recipes, feel free to re-make them and let me know how they turn out!

5 of my Favorite Raw Meal/Snack Ideas:

  1. Smoothies, Smoothie Bowls, Smoothie Pops
  2.  Apple-Peanut Butter Granola Bars
  3. Raw Veggies Dipped in Tzatziki sauce
  4. Raw Taco Wraps
  5. Sweet Chili Cauliflower Bites

For complete recipes to these snacks/meals click the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOgnUSzDC9gYAKgDnRXrPORI0CM3jVBU44nBhtSsCMw/edit?usp=sharing

Delicious Recipes At Your Fingertips: The Food Monster App

The Food Monster App is the perfect app for beginners looking to transition into the plant-based lifestyle. With over 15,000 delicious plant-based, gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes and counting you will never run out of meals to cook! The recipes themselves are personally crafted, created, and approved by the team of http://www.OneGreenPlanet.org. If you haven’t heard of OneGreenPlanet they are a team of amazing individuals that are helping to save the planet in countless ways. Their website is filled with knowledgable and interesting information revolving around lifestyle wellness, the well being of animals, and worldwide news regarding what’s currently going on with planet Earth. The co-founders Nil Zacharias and Preeta Sinha of OneGreenPlanet came together and launched the Food Monster application in 2015 and it has been flourishing greatly since then. Food Monster is now considered the largest plant-based food app in the market and it’s absolutely free in both the iTunes and Google Play stores unlike most of its’ competition. The Food Monster App has saved the day for me so many times and although I love being creative with cooking, sometimes I run out of ideas or I just want to try something new. And that’s when I simply pick up my phone and browse through the thousands of recipes located on this wonderful application! The website and the app are both fantastic resources for beginners and even veterans in this plant-based lifestyle. So if you’re looking for a little help and guidance on your journey make sure you download the app today or visit OneGreenPlanter.org. To learn more about the founders of this organization and all of the incredible information they have to offer they can be found on twitter at @NilZach and @PreeTweet, on Facebook @OneGreenPlanet, and of course on their website!

#EatForThePlanet

Mantra Meditation Continued…

So you’ve found your mantra (read part 1 if you haven’t already, simply type “mantra meditation” in the search bar, located in the footer of the website) or so you’ve thought but still can’t seem to remain focused during your practice. At this point, you may be feeling discouraged, confused or maybe even frustrated and I’m here to tell you that I get it. I do, I completely understand! Mastering meditation is not an easy task, it takes dedication, patience, mental strength, and desire. Struggle in the beginning stages is natural, but with continued practice and maybe implementing a few methods to ease the process (mantras, music, humming, etc) you will finally meet the internal peace that you’ve been yearning for in no time!

A mantra can honestly be any positive quote or saying known to man. Something you googled, something you heard on the radio, even something you personally made up. However, when it comes to choosing your personal mantra there should be just a bit of thought put into it. Without thought, you most likely will end up in the same position, unfocused, frustrated, discouraged….etc. So adopting the “right” mantra could be apart of the problem in terms of being able to focus. When you selected your mantra from what standards did you make your choice? Was it something to inspire you, something that reflects your beliefs, or something completely foreign? In my opinion, I feel that whatever prompts your selection should be words to live by. Don’t just choose any old mantra, find something that is personal to you! Don’t allow others to set the tone for you, just because something sounds good or your friend or a famous figures uses it or has used it doesn’t mean that that mantra is for you. Take the time and do research, find something aspiring, relate it to your personal goals even. Don’t just use the mantra to get through the meditation session, let the mantra use you. If you lose focus count down from 10 and try again. Aspire to become the words that you are chanting. Believe in your words, speak them confidently, relax your shoulders, inhale, exhale and repeat!

Revisit Tips for Beginner Meditation:

https://theelevationjourney.com/?s=meditate

Revisit Mantra Meditation Pt 1:

https://theelevationjourney.com/?s=mantra

D.I.Y. All Natural Body Mists for Women & Men

Smelling good instantly gives me an extra boost of confidence! When I smell good I am happier, giving out more hugs, feeling “sexier”, as my mom would say I start “smelling myself” lol. But what I don’t love is having to settle for a strong, overbearing, chemical filled, skin, nose, and eye burning fragrance that’s sold to me at a ridiculous price. Call me cheap but I would NEVER pay $50+ for poison…oops I mean perfume/cologne just because it smells “good” or because it’s made by a designer or a famous brand! *shrugs* Especially when I can make my own amazingly smelling fragrances that are 100% natural and skin benefiting with inexpensive ingredients in under 15 minutes. I personally love making my own products because I know what’s in them and can feel confident about the benefits behind my products. You can smell good all day long without any chemical side effects, without exposing your brain to potential damage, (yep, your brain is responsible for your sense of smell, so think about that the next time you take a sniff your favorite chemical filled cologne/perfume) and for under $10 USD. Below you will find instructions and ingredients for making your own “scent”sational body mist. Smell ya later!

Ingredients:

  1. Essential Oil(s)
  2. 1 cup of distilled water
  3. 2 tbsps of witch hazel

How to get specific scents:

“Fruity/Girly”-sweet orange oil, lavender oil, vanilla oil, rose oil, neroli oil, juniper berry oil

“Masculine”-cedarwood oil, patchouli oil, vetiver oil, eucalyptus oil, ginger oil

“Refreshing” (unisex)-peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, balsam fir oil

“Calming” (unisex)-lavender oil, rose oil, coriander seed oil, sweet basil oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour witch hazel into an 8oz spray bottle (glass preferred)
  2. Add 6 drops of 3-4 essential oils (one by one)
  3. Swirl bottle around to mix the witch hazel and oils together
  4. Pour the distilled water into a bottle
  5. Twist on the cap, shake well
  6. Allow to settle for 5 minutes and store in a cool dry place until ready to use

How to stick to your diet…For real this time!

When I first transitioned into this plant-based lifestyle for some reason I was always hungry, or so I thought.  When really I was just so used to eating whenever I wanted, whatever I wanted, and however I wanted. Basically, I had no control over my eating schedule or intake and once I tried something new my digestive system was very confusing. I felt like I was starving myself but I decided to stay strong through the process. As the days went by I realized that by putting myself on a schedule, implementing more nutritious meals/snacks, and a lot more water that it was all in my mind. It wasn’t hunger I was feeling, it was my body detoxing itself from the previous damage I’d allowed for so long. I was going through I guess what you can describe as “withdraws”; my body was craving the sugar, the excessive salt, and all the other crap I was eating non-stop. Each time I wanted to give up or have a cheat day I had to remind myself that eating healthier is a reward to my body, essentially just another form of self-care. Like anything new, it will take some time to become fully adjusted and there are going to be uncomfortable moments, but this is where your mental strength will shine through. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy but that’s only in the beginning, it will be more than worth it once you make it past the first couple of months. You’ll notice the change in both your mental and physical states, you’ll find yourself spending less money, you’ll have more positive energy, and who knows you may even motivate someone else to make a change in their habits as well! Below you will find that I’ve put together 5 tips on how to stick to your diet. I hope these help some of you, remember that it’s mind over matter and that eating healthier is not a punishment but a reward. Tune in next week for more recipes!

5 tips for sticking to your diet

  1. Make an eating schedule, try sticking to it the best that you can. Eat your last meal of the day before 9/10pm.  (9/10pm is being generous, that’s still pretty late. Eating late is not the best idea…for me personally, that’s when all the cravings kick in so save yourself from temptation.)
  2. Implement snacks in between meals (Don’t go overboard with this one, eat light snacks like fruit, nuts, or raw veggies with dip.)
  3. Drink MORE water (Can’t stress this one enough, liquid fills you up and “tricks” your stomach into feeling full.)
  4. Eat every meal sitting down, and eat slower. Take time to really chew and enjoy your food. Eating fast just makes you feel hungry again within 10-15 minutes. (Also remove distractions when eating! Watching a movie, scrolling through social media, reading a book, etc. while eating tends to make you eat faster, just simply enjoy your meal.)
  5. Keep yourself inspired and motivated by trying new recipes, getting into the kitchen more, partnering up with a friend/spouse/family member, and keeping a log/record of your meals. (Mix it up, don’t keep eating the same boring salad over and over there are millions of recipes to take advantage of.)

The Neglect You’ll Regret

I don’t think many people realize how important it is to take care of your knees. In the past I’ve been one of those who took my knees for granted and overlooked how much I need them. After high school I noticed that my knees started to pop and I didn’t know why but still I pretty much ignored it, allowing the damage to get worse. I wasn’t aware that I’d allowed my knees to become weak due to lack of exercise and stretching. Now that I think about it I didn’t even give it much thought that you have to do more than walk to keep your knees healthy, strengthened and stable. They were getting me from point A to B without any major issues so I assumed that they were just fine. I’d become so wrapped up in my studies and working a full-time job that I completely neglected my physical health at one point. But as the popping of my knees became more frequent and now accompanied by pain I decided that enough was enough. I knew I had to start taking better care of my knees and regaining the strength in them if I wanted to continue using them without further issues. During my research I was surprised to find out that our knees are the largest joint in our bodies, and that they are surrounded by some of the most powerful muscles in your entire body.  By not working your knees out you are exposing them to the likelihood of injury and a long road of recovery. Our knees carry the weight of your upper body and have direct connects to the spine and hip bone, giving us an overall greater sense of balance. So the knees are definitely important and play a major part in our day to day lives, and I know that mean seem like common sense, and if we’re being completely honest it is. But the knees are often overlooked as muscles, making it easy to neglect them especially if no immediate issues or pain occurs. Our knees deserve the same attention, if not more as our stomachs, arms, calves, etc. when working out. With that being said here are 4 simple knee focused exercises to keep them healthy and strong. Be sure to do these exercises at least 2-4 times per week, and stretch before you proceed. Take care of your knees because the only time weak knees are okay is on your wedding day 😉

1. Heel Raises- perfect for strengthening the muscles that will typically absorb shock before going to your knee joints, great for building resistance for future bending activities (do in sets of 10-20, fully stretch legs before engaging)

2. Wall Squats – builds knee strength, helps to stabilize surrounding muscles, back is supported by wall creating a greater focus to the directed area (position back against wall, hold for 25-45 seconds, repeat 7-10 times)

3. Glute Bridges- amazing for relieving knees of pressure, increases knee stability, strengthens glutes, hamstrings, and core (lift butt 4-6 inches from the ground, hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times)

4. Straight Leg Raises- strengthens the front muscles surrounding the knee joints, raises support from the bottom up, aides in mobility, lessens strain and reduces friction (start with leg higher and gradually bring down to where leg is just above ground, hold for 5-10 seconds, lower and repeat, repeat 10-20 times)

Sevananda: Atlanta’s Best Natural Market

If you live in Atlanta and the surrounding areas I’m sure you’ve heard about this wonderful store, Sevananda! But if you haven’t then I am more than honored to introduce you. This amazing gift of a market is located right in the heart of Atlanta in a neighborhood locally known as Little Five Points. Sevananda is not only black owned but it is also community owned which makes the shopping experience even more personal and fulfilling! You just never know who you may meet or run into when entering this lovely establishment. From the moment you enter the doors you are welcomed by beautiful smiles, lovely scents, and gravitating vibes that you won’t find anywhere else. This natural foods market offers a variety of natural and organic groceries (dry, fresh, and frozen), alternative dairy products, pre-packaged to go meals, a delicious hot vegan bar (the best vegan food I’ve ever had in my life), a wide variety of alkaline, spring, and mineral water, and a self-serve nut, seed, granola, and candy area. They also have an entire natural product section where you can find natural options for skin care, hair, oral health, vitamins and supplements, laundry and home cleansers, and so much more! I can easily go in this store and get lost for a few hours and although the store isn’t that big, they have so much to offer. From exclusive locally made products to knowledgeable down to earth employees with a passion for educating, making it very easy to get caught up in the remarkable ambiance. This place alone brings me so much peace and since my first experience I haven’t been able to stop telling everyone I know about Sevananda. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the store’s administrator Ms. Carolyn Morris once and the marketing and outreach assistant Ms. Ifini Sheppard on several occasions and I can honestly say that they both are beautiful, inspiring, educated women. They are always looking for volunteers for different events around the city and are always hiring for full-time and part-time employees! If you are in or near Atlanta or if you ever decide to visit please make your way to this extraordinary market for an incredible and unforgettable experience! “Own Your Health” today , tomorrow, and forever, what are you waiting for?

Contact:

Ms. Ifini or any other lovely employee at the customer service desk

Phone: 1-404-681-2831

Address: 467 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA (8:00AM-10:00PM Daily)

Website: http://www.sevananda.coop/

Your Favorite Brands: Exposed!

Prepare to be disappointed by the information you will read during this post unless you make your own skin-care products, or have done the proper research before using someone else’s. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but someone has to be, from shampoo to toothpaste to makeup, several products that are used on a daily basis from well known brands are being knowingly sold with cancerous/toxic ingredients. Brace yourself, brands that are loved and trusted by many such as Palmer’s, Luster’s Pink Brand, Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno, Dove, Covergirl, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble (Crest, Oral-b, Tide, Gain, etc), and the list literally goes on forever, voluntarily sell toxic products to the public without an ounce of guilt. I was sooo upset to find out that Dove (my ex-favorite soap and deodorant) was among many brands to advertise and sell deceiving products. It’s pretty sad and disgusting that our health isn’t important to them, seeing as we’re the reason they are still in business. But nope, just as long as they can make their money they are perfectly fine with slapping fancy marketing words and slogans on bottles and cases of their products to lure us in to buying them. Ingredients like oxybenzone, toluene, propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone (MIT), sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), parabens, resorcinol, and hydroquinone just to name a few are found is almost every skin-care product on the shelf. These ingredients have all been linked to cancer and of course the more exposure to them increases your chances of developing all types of cancer. And the argument most of these companies have the nerve to continue using these toxic ingredients is that they are only using a small amount. Hmmm ok but how does that make it acceptable? Let’s think about that for a second….Over time that “small amount” adds up, especially if you’re how I used to be and use the products every day for years at a time. I could care less if a products is 20 % or 2% carcinogenic, I would rather not use products that have ingredients that have been linked to cancer please and thanks. Several of these companies have been petitioned against and some even had lawsuits filed against them yet their ingredients remain the same. Henceforward we need to stop buying products for the name and start purchasing them based on the ingredients and morality of the company. My advice to you all is to become more cautious! Please google the ingredients and side effects of your favorite products before you go out and re-purchase them. There are better, more reputable, natural products out there that you should be using, or you could cut the middle man out and make your own products.

FYI: I post D.I.Y. skin-care products very often. Take a look at previous post for detailed instructions and lists of ingredients!

Smoothie Bowls & Gluten Free Pancakes

I haven’t dedicated a post to breakfast yet and just randomly decided to choose this week to do so. I am a big breakfast person, I have to eat or at least drink a smoothie before starting my day. I don’t always have time to eat the type of breakfast I would like but when I do these two (Smoothie Bowls and Pancakes) are my favorite to eat. They are super simple to make and heavenly to consume! 100% healthy and 100% tasty guaranteed. I love taking foods as simple as these and dressing them up with all types of toppings and interchangeable ingredients to keep from getting bored with the recipes. Find the recipes for these below! 😋😋😋

Smoothie Bowls:

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup of almond milk sweetened or unsweetened (water, rice milk, hemp milk, etc any type of milk you want to use)
  2. 1 cup of spinach (or desired greens)
  3. 1 frozen banana (unpeeled)
  4. 1 cup of desired frozen fruit (I prefer berries or kiwis & strawberries)
  5. Toppings: nuts, seeds, sliced fruit, granola, coconut flakes, etc….(options are endless)

Instructions:

  1. Put milk/water, greens, and fruits in blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour evenly into a bowl
  4. Use a spoon to smooth it out
  5. Place toppings on top of smoothie mixture
  6. Grab a spoon and enjoy

Gluten Free Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/4 cup of GF flour
  2. 1 tbsp of sugar (brown or white)
  3. 1/2 tsp of GF baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp of salt
  5. 1 tbsp of vanilla extract (optional)
  6. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  7. 1 cup of almond milk (water or desired milk)
  8. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  9. 1 smashed banana (optional, add 1/4 more almond milk if too thick)
  10. Margarine (vegan) or butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon into a large bowl
  2. Add milk/water, banana, vanilla extract, olive oil
  3. Mix until evenly combined
  4. Heat skillet or griddle to medium heat
  5. Add margarine/butter and allow for it to bubble
  6. Add pancake mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes
  7. Flip pancake and allow other side to cook
  8. Remove from heat and plate
  9. Add toppings such as fruit, nuts, syrup/agave, and enjoy

Is the weather affecting your mood?

No matter where you are in the world right now I’m sure any and everyone will be able to relate to this post. When it’s warm and sunny your mood is all smiles and excitement, when it’s pouring down raining your mood is “ehhh…do I really have to go?”, when it’s cold and breezy you dread opening up the door to take that first step outside, and the list goes on. Let’s face it, the weather affects our moods which can then have a trickle affect on your life for that season. But let’s talk about when we’re entering a season that we’re not very fond of, such as winter (for all of my US, Canada, UK, etc. peeps) or rainy season (for all my Southeast Asia peeps). Having to go out in the world and handle your business, which may already be stressful on top of dealing with in-ideal weather day in and day out is bound to have a negative affect on you eventually. Study and research has proven that colder and rainier seasons are the peak of depression, anxiety, stress, etc and we know that weather is unpredictable and out of our control (let’s forget about the government conspiracies here for a moment). So what can we do to prevent the negative thoughts and raise our spirits when enduring unwanted weathers? Complain? Nah, that doesn’t change anything and is very annoying to hear. Procrastinate or reschedule? Nope! Ummm what are you waiting for? Slow feet don’t eat. Be in a bad mood and present anger to everyone you come in contact with? Uh un…Good vibes only! Being mad at the world is only punishing yourself because it’s such a beautiful place. It’s all about perspective. Just remember that weather is only temporary! So…here’s a few things we can actually do: If it’s raining, dark and gloomy, try wearing bright colors and also writing with bright pens or markers that day. Try making an upbeat motivating playlist and listen to it on your way to your destination (music has always been a mood changer for me). Or try doing a quick work out to motivate you into leaving the house. If it’s freezing and windy, bundle up and make time to enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee before you step out. Try lighting a candle with your favorite most comforting scent and take a whiff. Try throwing your coat, jacket, socks, etc in the dryer and taking it out just before it’s time to leave (this is my favorite thing to do when it’s cold lol). Or you could start planning your next vacation to somewhere warm and make a count down (planning vacations always gets me excited no matter how far away the vacation is lol). I’m sure there are many other things you can do to keep yourself motivated but I thought I’d just share a few of the methods that have helped me! If you have more methods please comment or send me an email and I’ll be more than happy to add them to this post. Until next time peeps, remember that “It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the weather and defy it” – Amelia Barr

Minty Fresh Flesh? Try this & thank me later!

With the holidays coming up I was inspired to share one of my all time favorite body cleansers with you guys! For some reason peppermint just reminds me Christmas lol, maybe it’s all the candy canes I snuck off the tree and ate as a little girl *shrugs* idk! But, if you haven’t tried peppermint soap already then you’re seriously missing out! Just imagine stepping out of a the shower or bath feeling like a walking peppermint 😏.  Honestly, it gives you a non-stop fresh feeling and experience that you will never forget. I tried it once a few years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since, between peppermint soap and eucalyptus soap (another amazing minty fresh soap) I have never felt more clean in my life. Minty soaps like these make you feel fresh, smell amazing, and also bring many benefits, such as clearing respiratory congestion, reducing the growth of bacteria and fungi (including athletes foot), sends a calming signal to brain and nervous systems helping to ease anxiety and stress (FYI: scents are a large factor into how your brain and body reacts), and much more! Both eucalyptus and peppermint are also natural anti-cancer agents and are perfect for those with sensitive skin. If you weren’t aware brands like Dove, Johnson & Johnson baby products, Aveeno, etc. “supposedly made for sensitive skin” contain many cancerous ingredients. Always beware of those products that say “organic” and natural”, don’t just believe it because you read it. It’s all apart of the advertising and marketing business, so please take some time out to actually read the ingredients on the back and google the side effects, if you care that much. Ok, getting off topic here lol back to the beauty of this post. Peppermint and eucalyptus soaps and oils can be found in many stores and also online, just google to find where they’re available in your area! (My favorite brand is Dr. Bonners and I normally order from Amazon.com) Give your body a break from those soaps that are filled with harmful and toxic chemicals and upgrade to something more reputable, natural, and benefiting.  I will also drop the instructions to a D.I.Y. version of a peppermint body wash below. Stay fresh, see ya next week!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 & 1/2 Cup Unscented Castile Soap.
  2. 2 Tbsp Vegetable Glycerin.
  3. 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil.
  4. 1 Tbsp Sweet Almond Oil.
  5. 1 Tbsp Vitamin E Oil.
  6. 10 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (Can substituted with Eucalyptus Oil or any other essential oil)
  7. 25 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil.

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix castile soap, glycerin, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, & vitamin e oil.
  2. Mix until evenly blended, if it starts to foam continue to stir.
  3. After about 3 minutes of mixing add in the essential oils.
  4. Continue to mix for an additional 3-5 minutes
  5. Use a funnel to pour soap into 8 oz bottles (should be enough to fill at least 3)
  6. Store in a dark cool place until ready to use, discard after 3 months.