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.

Nae The Natural Hair Guru

Natural hair is being globally recognized and appreciated now more than ever. But what most people on the outside looking in don’t understand about natural hair is that it isn’t easy or cheap! We (black women) spend so much money going through product after product trying to find the right one for our hair textures, we face discrimination from employers and sometimes even men because of our hairstyle choices, we are constantly having to defend ourselves and having to explain our hairstyles to people. So let’s just say it can be a challenge to be a woman of color wearing her natural hair and remaining confident while doing so. But, thanks to beautiful proud natural women like Tanae Locke. A natural hair guru/ youtuber based in Atlanta, GA, we have access to videos and tips on styles and products at the tip of our fingers. In the words of Tanae “My goal for my YouTube channel is to inspire and help women to be more confident with their natural hair. I get so many compliments on my hair, outfits, and food so I decided to start a channel to share that with the world!” Tanae’s channel can be found on Youtube by searching “Nae So Curly” or by simply clicking this link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4yM4v3Hz7ZH-rCMRsjjKmA . I personally enjoy watching her youtube channel and if you have natural hair and enjoy seeing new styles I’m sure you will as well. She provides excellent tips and her videos are very detailed but easy to follow! Please be sure to subscribe to her channel and also like & comment on videos that you enjoy!