Natural Deo for your B.O.

As more and more people of the world are becoming conscious of what they are putting into their bodies, so are they becoming aware of what is going on the body. I was recently sent this wonderful article by Review on natural deodorants, and it made me realize how important it is this information get out to the public. We are constantly taking in toxins from out environment, possibly food we eat, the air we breath, and if you aren’t careful and conscious: what you are putting on your body! (Note: I was not paid to do this. It was just brought to my attention and I found it to be vital information that needs to be shared!)

Everyone knows by now that you are what you eat, but what if your skin has the ability to eat too? What you put on your body gets absorbed into the skin and begins circulating in the system (prime example: nicotine patches). It is just as vital to be aware of what is going on as it is what is going in.

I will be sure to cover other areas of the natural product world (shampoos, body washes and lotions, facial care products, etc), but today we are going to focus on one that gets attention on the daily: your armpits.

You may have dipped your pits in the world of natural deodorants already and had mixed results (or no luck at all). I was in the same boat when I started. From Thai crystals that are activated by water to Tom’s deodorant, nothing seemed to work quite the way I needed it to. Some things seemed to work great in the beginning then slowly lost potency over time with extended use. This was very discouraging at the start of my natural body care journey and I quickly switched back to my beloved Secret Deodorant until something good came along.

Why is switching to a natural deodorant so important in the first place?

There are several toxins lurking in your average store-bought deodorant. This includes chemicals such as aluminum, parabens, TEA (not the drink) and DEA, and artificial colors. These compounds are known for acting as estrogen within the body and have carcinogenic properties. For more information see this lovely article.

Now for the good stuff!

A few years past and I began working at a health food store where I had access to many more lovely options. I tried several and still was having tough luck… until!

schmidts-naturals-facebook-opengraph

Photo Cred: schmidtsnatural.com

Schmidt’s Deodorant. By far my FAVORITE deodorant I have ever tried. I own both Rose + Vanilla and Lavender + Sage and found them to be phenomenal. They last for hours, don’t leave clumps, and even act as a perfume if I forget to spray some in the morning. They are free of aluminum, artificial fragrance, and common irritants.

There are still many other options out there besides Schmidt’s that work just as well, or even better! There are 5 more well-tested options highlighted in this article you may feel free to check out and start experimenting with.

Have you tried natural body care products before? What was your experience? Do you have any favorites? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

 

Featured Image Cred: https://www.reviews.com/natural-deodorant/

Warming Autumn Squash Recipe

Autumn is here and with it the cold weather! Living in Michigan the transition going in was definitely whacky. 90s one day and 60s the next. What the heck? I can’t keep up with this state and neither can my body. For the past few days I’ve been feeling a very tense energy and possibilities of a cold coming on, so take care of yourself during this time as we adapt to the changing of the seasons! This means grounding exercises, releasing what’s holding you back, hot tea and warming, nourishing dishes!

This Squash recipe is by far one of my new favorite meals. Acorn squash is full of vitamins and minerals, but most importantly- Vitamin C! Extremely vital for keeping your immune system running while the B vitamins help convert the food to energy. This dish also features pumpkin seeds to add some additional immune boosting power with their zinc content, cranberries for a little sweetness, and warming spices also for healing and comfort 💜

Autumn Squash

Serves: 1-2

  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 3 Lacianto Kale Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon, Clove, and Fennel to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the Acorn Squash in half and scoop out the insides. In a glass baking dish you may use oil to grease the bottom if desired. If avoiding oil, fill the dish 1/4 of an inch high with water. Place the acorn squash in the baking dish, inside facing down (if using water, cover), and bake for 45-60 minutes.

When the squash is halfway down cooking, prepare the quinoa according to the direction on the package. Typically it’s a 1/4 Cup dry per serving with a 1/2 Cup of water. Boil on low-medium heat until water is absorbed.

Rinse the kale leaves and chop then into 1/2 inch strips. I like to throw then into the pot with the quinoa once it’s halfway done absorbing the water.

When the quinoa is done, take it off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Get creative here and adjust it all to your taste. I personally use generous amount of cinnamon, a few shakes of clove, and a sprinkle of fennel seeds (to be exact 😜).

Once the squash is done, take it out of the oven and “stuff” it with the quinoa mixture. I recommend mashing up the squash a bit before adding the mixture to allow it to release some of the heat first. You could also scoop it out of the skin if desired.

Plate it up, serve, and enjoy!!

I used a small squash so this served a very hungry me for lunch, but depending on the squash size and if you wanted to adjust some of the other ingredients (half cup for pumpkin seeds and cranberries) it could easily serve two.

Leave a comment below on what you think! If you try it send me a picture at spoonfulofgratitude@gmail.com ! I would love to see your creations and hear your thoughts. Happy Autumn!

Love & Light

Self Care 101: Love and Balance Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Hello Sister Goddess!

First I want to say thank you for your interest in learning more about this program, what it has to offer, and how it will help you transform into your absolute best and highest self. This program has been a work in progress for several months now and is created for you!

I know what it is like to feel detached and empty. I use to constantly search for meaning and purpose in external things, whether it be a job, others, material objects, media, you name it. I use to constantly search and never feel full no matter what I did. When I made the decision to be happy two years ago I also made a commitment to discover “who am I?” At the time I didn’t know what that entailed. As I have grown closer to my Self with each passing day, I feel ready to share with you how I have overcome an endless search in the void to find the inner light. The light that is true being and fulfillment.

This may all sound heavy and complicated, but I promise it does not have to be! I am here now to make it very simple for you and support you along this mystical and worthwhile journey.

“Self Care 101: Love and Balance the Mind, Body, and Soul” is a 6-Month program designed awaken the energetic blueprint of your Being. It is a program that will focus on each divine aspect (the mind, body and soul) and teach you how to build a harmonious foundation upon them. Through love and understanding of your own life you will be able to take the tools presented to you and start experimenting to find what resonates with you, so that you too may begin living a life in line with your divine purpose.

“What should I be expecting for this first meeting?” I’m glad you asked.

We will open the meeting with introductions and allow everyone to get to know each other a bit better. I also have a Facebook group for you all to connect before the meeting. I will give an overview of who I am, my intentions for this group, and what the lesson outline looks like. I will leave space for any questions or comments afterwards and then we will all connect more over delicious high-vibrational meals (keep it plant-based!).

There are 5 more sessions planned after the initial meeting around the new moons each month. Each meeting will start at 6 PM and run for an estimated 2 hours.

 

This all sounds amazing, but how do I sign up? Contact me via Facebook or by email (spoonfulofgratitude@gmail.com) and tell me your name, email, phone number, and if you plan on bringing friends or a dish for the potluck.

I do ask a $10 donation which will go towards the curation of coming group sessions.

In summary, I have planned this program for you because I felt a call to action. There is a major shift happening in the world and we need to be ready for it. This group has been designed to bring together like-minded women to release the burdens that have been holding them down and make room for positive growth. You will be surrounded by open hearts, valuable tools to implement desired changes, and the support you need to crush your goals. In this first meeting, we will each have time to share our stories and things we wish to cultivate more of in our lives. We will set goals, hold each other accountable, then check in on and evolve those goals as we grow throughout the program!

Are you ready to grow into your best self? RSVP today and share with your fellow goddesses!

The Purpose of Life

In this dimension you are driving around a body, a gift from the Universe that you do not get to keep, and nothing you do actually matters. Your dreams and what you want for yourself are so important, yet no matter what happens your soul will eventually leave your body and this world behind. What matters most is the impact you have made in this world around you. The impression you have left on this earth and the quality of your loving interactions with other beings. The outcome of this existence is entirely up to you.

What you think, what you do, the life you live is all for you to design. Feelings will come and go and are meant to be felt, good and bad. Events will come and go and all you can do is choose how to react in that moment. This existence is here for you to experience and learn from. Grow in knowledge and you grow closer to the divinity inside of you.

You cultivate the essence, the vibrational frequency, of your existence. You were born into this world to rise into the highest frequency. To ascend dimensions, leaving behind all concepts of space, time, any and all attachment. You were born to return to the Divinity that gave you life and teach others to do the same. That is your life purpose.

At the same time, life is entirely what you make it. You are a spark from the blazing inferno of God. The creator, preserver, and destroyer. You are always evolving, burning away what no longer serves you and rising from the ashes.

You are an infinite, eternal being crafted from star dust and love by the divine mother herself. You are on this earth for a reason. You are part of a cosmic manifestation that reaches on without beginning or end, constantly changing and growing. In every moment you are reborn. You have the ability to decide what you wish to do with every moment presented to you and align it to your self; your dreams and aspirations.

What do you want for yourself? Where do you see yourself in the future? If you feel you don’t have an answer then I ask you this: What is the person you try to be? Who is it that you present to other people in person or on social media? What is the life you try to convince people that you have?

It’s time to start asking yourself:

What am I doing?

Why am I doing it?

Is it in line with my Divine Purpose?

When you can do this, you will be able to filter out the distractions and start living for the self. Become self involved in your way of living. Some may think of it as selfish, but I look at it as an act of self love.

Start questions who it is you truly are. Stop focusing on the idea, the false ego. You are not a doctor, a football player, a chef, a college kid, a hipster, a lgbtq+ person, a high-stress individual, an alcoholic, you are not even this body! You are something so much more than that and it is entirely up to you what you wish to do with this spark of divinity within you. You have the right to choose if you want to live in line with your purpose, with your SELF and your TRUE NATURE, or whether you would like to continue in the endless consumerist, drama and sex-driven society that loves to keep you distracted from what truly matters.

You are not who you identified as 10 years ago, 10 months ago, yesterday, not even 10 second ago. You can be anyone you want to be whenever you desire to do so. The past does not define you. People’s ideas of who you are that were shaped by past interactions DO NOT DEFINE YOU.

You are divine. You are love manifested into this world. The vessel you experience this world through is made of materials that have been recycled for eons and will continue to be recycled for eons more. You hold the infinite powers of creation in side of you. It is your very essence. Connect with it. Allow it to grow and cultivate that love around you. Pour it out into everything you do, everywhere around you. You were born to live the life of your dreams and inspire others to do so, purely by living true to who you are! Forgive yourself. Release what is holding you down. In this second, you have been reborn. Who do you want to be?

If this is something that resonates with you, but feel you need help falling back into alignment, I do offer a 6-month Soul Coaching program. Together we can clear away the mountain that has been holding you down and start building the foundation that you can grow and thrive upon. You can schedule a free Acceptance Session here to see if this is something that aligns with your purpose.

Soul Coaching: What it is & What it can do for you

If you have ever taken a glimpse into the world of health and wellness you would know it is a bit crazy. There are countless theories of what is right to eat and every person has the science to back it up. There are countless supplements and powders that you’re told to take on a daily basis. Everyone is so fit doing calisthenics, zumba, p90x, cycling, barre… what even is this stuff?! Most days it seems hard to even get a walk in aside from the one from the car to work!

You may have even tried some of these things or certain fad diets and detoxes, but just could not get it to stick. You keep ending up right where you started. It’s stressful and tiring. Why can’t I just live how I want without worry?!

Well, you can. There is something that has been missing from your endeavors. Maybe you’ve even figured it out but have had trouble committing to it. That thing is yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of life and other people’s needs, and put yourself on the backburner. “I’ll just do it tomorrow,” “where’s the coffee,” “I already at 5, what’s one more?” and “when’s the last time I had a me day?” all become repetitive phrases in your mind. With a Soul Coach, you would be able to break the cycle of stress and self destructive tendencies, and shift your focus back onto your own needs.

For some people this may seem daunting. You may have the impression that it’s selfish to take care of yourself and put yourself first. I promise you, it’s not. I’m sure you have heard this before: you’re no help to anyone if you can’t first help yourself. If you can learn to love and care for yourself, you will naturally be able to radiate that love and care into your environment and those who surround you.

So what exactly is a Soul Coach? This is someone who helps you reach vibrant health and wellness by connecting you to yourself on a soul level. It is an intuitive guide and empath that can relate to you, understand and accept you, and lead you back to your inner knowing. A Soul Coach is an open heart and mind that you can freely speak with and release all of your fears and worries. Once you uncover all of the dirt, underneath you will find what it is you are truly passionate about and want for yourself.

With a Soul Coach you will learn to pave your own path. We are all in a different place and need different things, despite what all the health articles and dietary theories may say. Once you find what it is you desire, a soul coach can help you craft the goals to get you to where you would like to be.

It’s an accountability partner. Creating the goals is a great first step, but sometimes we need an extra push to keep the train moving. By partnering with a Soul Coach, you will be held accountable to your goals and encouraged to follow them, so that you can turn you life into your dreams.

If you are interested in learning more, you may check out my coaching page, or jump right in and schedule a free Acceptance Session with me. This first session helps you to lay out all it is that has been troubling you and figure out what it may be that you would like to start working towards.

By working with me you will learn valuable self-care techniques, gather skills to release stress, and be able to bring diet and lifestyle into balance simply by focusing on you!

What are you waiting for? Get to loving yourself!

The Essence

Look around.

What do you see?

I see beauty.

I see life.

I see love

in gold sparks, floating on the late summer breeze.

Autumn slowly makes its descent.

I can smell the sun

bouncing off the trees.

Leaves cheering in their gleeful dance.

The day is new; Clean slate.

I feel empty,

yet filled with the warmth

of the seasons passion.

She urges me to hold on.

“Hold your head up.”

“Brace the winds.”

“Keep moving forward.”

I do not feel stress

as I rest with each breath.

Exhale.

Here comes the breeze again.

A cosmic dance.

I float in the winds ripples;

Make waves with every movement,

Every thought,

Every feeling.

I’m in love with a dream;

An essence.

A reflection shown through a slivered mirror;

Depths unseen and unknown.

The wind stills again and the ripples cease.

Through the puddle of our reality-

a glimpse.

I’m alive.

Banana Island Detox & What It Taught Me

For the past 7 days I have been on a cleanse called banana island. I wasn’t sure why I was doing it, I just felt like it was necessary at the time.

Banana Island is a detox where you eat only bananas and greens for a set period of time.

I had been eating 20 bananas a day minimum, along with a head of romaine. I was also drinking a gallon or more of water (most days).

Around days 4-6 I experienced gas and bloating. I realized later this was due to a few reasons:

  1. The bananas weren’t full ripe. I couldn’t find brown spotty ones and settled for bright yellow. This caused constipation.
  2. I was not drinking enough water. Once I realized this and started drinking more water, all gas and bloating diminished.

Takeaways:

  1. If you are to embark on banana island, prepare ahead of time with plenty of spotty brown bananas. If they aren’t ripe and spotted, the starches have not yet been converted to sugars and are much more difficult for the body to break down and use for energy.
  2. Always drink enough water. It is much more important than the food you are ingesting.

Overall my experience was very rewarding. I had more energy, I felt stronger and could go for longer while working out, and I was also much more peaceful. I typically have crashes midday and am easily susceptible to mood swings.

However, I did experience a drastic shift on day 7.

Day 7 I was already off as I was feeling a bit sleepy. Later on in the day a coworker started talking calories. Calories are never something I worry about. I am more of the “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” kind of person. I adopted this mindset after years of binge eating disorder followed by a physically and emotionally exhausting period of time where I… you guessed it: counted calories.

I won’t get into the details of the conversation, but basically I had already met my RDA of calories after lunch time.

My first instinct was to get angry. I had spent my whole life with an eating disorder I thought I was over and now I have someone telling me that scientifically speaking, it was the opposite case.

I was in disbelief. I became stubborn in my mind and let this fester for hours. I kept asking myself, “why am I so mad about this? If I know I am doing what is best for me and I have good intentions then why should it matter? All I am doing is listening to my body, I know what’s best. If I know what’s best then why am I so angry? Why can’t I let this go?” and so on…

When I was eating I never felt a definitive “full” feeling. I stopped once I was satisfied and ate again when I felt my tummy asking for more. Could I have been eating too much? Possibly. It could have also been what was causing constipation and I didn’t realize it. Yet, it still felt like something deeper….

Then, it dawned on me. It didn’t matter how much I was eating so much as it mattered why I was eating.

When I started this journey, I felt a bit lost. I felt like I hit a fork in the road, but both of the roads had a very dense fog on them. I had no clue what way to go. By the end of my journey, the fog began to lift and I realized it was the same road all along. The problem was that I was running.

Sometimes I can be a bit of an escapist. Two popular tools I abuse are my phone…and food. When there is something coming up that I am not quite ready to face I will avoid it at all costs. I can not yet answer why. I often envision the life I want for myself, the things I would love to create, manifest, and mold into reality. I can see it all perfectly. In all this daydreaming I easily lost sight of my passion. I forget to hold dear the drive that can get me to where I want to be. I love to think about what my life could be, but when it comes to putting in the work? Nah… forget about it…  I’ll just eat/check instagram instead.

On Day 7 I was faced with a harsh reality check. When I arrived home from work with my last banana meal in the seat next to me, along with my keys and phone, God gave me a kick in the ass. I unlocked the passenger door before getting out of the car so I could pick up all my stuff. When I got out on the drivers side I subconsciously locked the car and shut the door.

Well, Shit.

Now all of my stuff was locked in the car. My last bundle of ripe bananas, my phone, keys, my highly perishable probiotic! Woe is me! Whatever will I do now?!

I walked to the lawn and laid down in the sun defeated. Okay lord, you win. I am done with my consumeristic ways from now on. I will face my reality and start living in line with my passions. You sent a sign and it has been heard.

This isn’t the first time something like this has come up for me. By this point it was becoming common knowledge to me that when I focus on creating and doing things I love, food and all other distractions become secondary. When I focus on painting, for example, hours could go by before food even crosses m mind. During the duration of this cleanse my main focus was all about food. “Do I have enough bananas? Am I hungry again or thirsty? Did I eat enough for the day?” I let my self and fall on the back burner. I forgot about my own desires and passions.

Thankfully, my brother was home to let me in the house (my mom wouldn’t be home for another 5 hours), so I could get a small start on loving myself again. I was able to change out of my work clothes, do yoga, clean my room, and watch The Matrix. I had never seen The Matrix until that moment; It was further testament that I need to start believing anything is possible, and I am capable of doing whatever I put my mind to.

Who knew that deciding to eat only bananas for a week would help me realize that I was subconsciously avoiding self-love and living in line with my passions? Who knew that by doing a cleanse, I was really avoiding myself? And how ironic that what really got cleansed out wasn’t necessarily physical toxins, but mental ones? Negative self-talk and depressive thinking.

It’s always a good idea to cleanse every once in awhile. Even if you’re the healthiest person alive, you may still find that there could be some benefit behind it. Just remember to stick it through and have faith in yourself. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.

 

P.s. be sure to drink enough water.

20+ Quick Plant-Based Milk Recipes

This is a master post of Plant-Based “Mylks”; From cashew to banana, and everything in between. I promise, it is way easier (and tastier!) than you think.

Whether you are vegan, sensitive to dairy, or looking to try something new, these plant-based nut milks (mylks) were designed just for you!

Some of you may be thinking: “I don’t have time to make my own milk. I can go to a store and buy it, why should I bother?”

Well, I’m not going to go into the ethics or gorey details of why you should limit dairy consumption. Google it and look at any of the 39,700,000 results. I will, however, tell you why you should aim to make your own plant-based milks over buying ones on the shelf.

Store-bought plant-based milks are often filled with preservatives, thickening agents, gums, isolates and lecithins, and unless you buy unsweetened: roughly 14-24 teaspoons of sugar. It isn’t just plant-based milks, though. Standard cow’s milk could contain anywhere from 22-28 teaspoons of sugar. All of these “natural” ingredients in store bought milk could lead to inflammation, insulin spikes, leaky gut, digestive discomfort, bloating and excessive gas.

There is also the simple truth of the matter: it just tastes better. When you take the time to make it yourself, put love into it, and use fresh ingredients that have not been processed, it is hard to go back to the store-bought stuff!


DIY Plant-Based “Mylks”

 

Banana

Naturally Sweet and Creamy!

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

1 Banana

1-2 Dates

Put ingredients in a blender and blend. Enjoy immediately.


Coconut (Lazy Version)

Easy-Breezy and Smooth Going Down

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp Coconut Manna or Butter

1-2 Dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Coconut (Lazy Artisan Version)

One of my favorite methods. The result is Rich, Indulgent, and Full-Bodied.

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

2 Cups Coconut Shreds

2-4 Dates

Heat up the water to the point of steaming. Pour in a bowl with the Coconut Shreds and let stand to soften (can skip if you have a high quality blender).

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend from low to high until smooth. Pour through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Coconut (Artisan Version)

I recommend investing in a CoCo Jack for this one….

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

Flesh of 2 Coconuts

Crack open the coconut and scoop out its flesh. Remove as much of the shell fragments as possible.

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Strain through a few layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store up to 5 days in fridge.


Nut or Seed of Choice (Lazy Version)

I like doing this in my Coffee for an Easy and Satisfying Latte.

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp of Unsweetened Seed or Nut Butter

1-2 dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Nut or Seed of Choice (Artisan Version)

Pro-Tip: Always soak the nuts in a bowl of water overnight, at least 8 hours. For seeds, soak at least 2 hours. Remove the ones that float to the top. This gets rid of the bad ones and makes them easier to blend.

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

1 Cup Raw Nuts: Almond, Cashew, Pecan (add extra ¼ cup), Pistachio, Macadamia, Hazelnut, Brazil

OR

1 Cup Raw Seeds: Sesame, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp or Chia (no need to soak)

2-4 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour ingredients through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in fridge up to 5 days.


Hemp (Lazy Version)

This one gets a special feature because of how easy it is to make. It is one of my go-tos as it is super frothy and great for homemade lattes!

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

1-2 Dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Oat

You don’t know creamy until you have tried oat mylk.

Serves: 3-5

3 Cup Water

2 Cups Oats

1-2 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Strain through several layers of cheesecloth and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Quinoa or Rice

Slightly nutty in taste. Not bad at all.

Serves: 4-6

3-4 Cups Water

2 Cups Cooked Quinoa or Rice

1-3 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Optional: 1 tsp Vanilla

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. Pour through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Notes and Tips:

  • Use filtered water for all of the recipes.
  • Experiment with different flavors! You can add cocoa or cacao powders, vanilla, different fruits… It doesn’t have to be plain!
  • I use dates in my recipes to sweeten, as they are a whole food and won’t spike your blood sugar like refined sugars do. Adding them is optional, as these all still taste wonderful without. If you choose to use the dates and they’re a bit on the harder side, soak them prior to using (approx. 30 minutes). You may also swap them for your preferred sweetener.
  • Always use an airtight container to store these in to prevent spoilage. I personally use 64 oz mason jars for the stored batches.

 

What is your favorite milk alternative? Are there any unique flavors you can think of and would like to try? Let’s get creative and start a conversation in the comments below!

Why to Cleanse

Last week I made a post on how to know when it’s time to cleanse and I talked a little about the cleanse that I am currently on. If you have not read it you can check it out HERE.

Now I will go over some of the things I have learned so far, how this cleanse has made me feel, pros and cons, and share a yummy recipe to satisfy the sweet tooth.
I am on the 6th day of this cleanse, so halfway through. The hardest thing about it is remembering to take the herbal supplements. I will probably have an extra day or two worth of pills to take after my 12 days are up. Another difficulty was adjusting to the foods recommended. My diet before this cleanse was mainly bananas and dates, and both of those are not recommended during the time of cleansing due to their higher sugar content.

Having a limited diet is also a blessing in disguise. It opened a doorway to a whole new abundance of recipes to try out and I have been enjoying experimenting with more vegetables and different foods than I would normally eat.

As for how I have been feeling, to my surprise, I have had a lot more energy. I have moments where I feel a bit more tired or my stomach starts to hurt a bit, but then it is quickly over after I realize I just need to go to the bathroom. This detox has opened my eyes to how connected energy and the gut truly are. If the digestion is sluggish, or there is a buildup from eating foods that are difficult to process, it will decrease energy tremendously. Forty-five to seventy percent of daily energy, on average, is put towards processing food. This percent increases as we eat heavier and more processed foods.

On this cleanse, I have been eating mostly raw, all whole foods; saving the cooked and heavier foods for the end of the day. On the days when I experimented with eating cooked foods for breakfast I found my energy levels started to dwindle much sooner.

Some of the benefits I have experienced on this cleanse thus far include: a LOT less bloating, clearer skin, clearer thinking, connection to the body and its natural signals, better sleep, newfound motivation and passion.

Some of the cons: moments of bloating and brain fog before using the bathroom. … That’s it. I feel better after going to the bathroom every time.

I recommend everyone try out a cleanse at least once. There are so many different kinds of cleanses out there. There are even one-day resets for those of you who feel you do not have the time or feel timid on making the commitment.


Reasons I recommend a cleanse:

  1. It connects you to yourself.
    • A cleanse allows you to tune in to your bodies natural signals.
    • It releases old baggage so you are able to focus on here and now.
  2. It is an act of self love.
    • A cleanse is a commitment to yourself.
    • By turning the focus inward, you are acknowledging that there is work to be done, and by releasing all of the old build up you will be able to start fresh and grow anew!
  3. You will feel so much better!
    • Low energy? Low libido? Yeast problems? Gassy or bloated? Angry for no reason? Cleanse.
    • A cleanse is more than just clearing old waste and toxins from the body. It is clearing all of the negativity that has made its home in your body through time. As we progress through life, we carry old burdens with us. A cleanse can bring those up and release them leaving you feeling much lighter.

If you are thinking of embarking on a cleanse, here are my top tips to make it easy and painless:

  • Stay hydrated. Always keep water on you. If you don’t drink plenty of water, any toxins being kicked up will just sit inside of you leaving you feeling fatigued and sick.
  • Go at your own pace. If you feel you are only capable of a one day cleanse, then start there. We are all in a different place, and some may have a lot more toxicity built up than others. Release what you can handle and do not try to tackle it all at once.
  • Eat plenty of whole foods, low-sugar fruits and vegetables. Keep the heavy foods (starchy, protein-rich, fatty) to a palm sized portion and see how you feel from there. Keep the focus on high-fiber fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
  • Rest. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the noise of daily life, but if you feel you need to take some time to relax and be with yourself, do it. Light some candles, take a bath, read a good book. Whatever it takes to keep you grounded and at peace.
  • Ask for support. Sometimes our biggest downfall during a cleanse can be being around others who are not on one. Make sure the people you surround yourself with know about and respect what you are doing for yourself. That way you feel supported through the process and will feel less tempted to go off-course.
  • Forgive yourself. If you mess up once, do not worry about it. I have already forgotten the pills I was supposed to take at least 3 times, and I ate grapes (a high-sugar fruit, not on my acceptable list) on the first day! That did not stop me from striving forward towards my goal. Never let a bump in the road keep you from yours.

Recipe

Sweet Potato and Millet-meal

Serves: 1

1 Cup cooked Millet
1 Small baked Sweet Potato
Almond Milk, to cover
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
Dash of Vanilla
Generous shakes of Cinnamon

Directions: Stir the millet in a container with the flax, vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, or while the sweet potato cooks. Cook the sweet potato whole in a glass baking dish for an hour at 300 degrees (quicker at higher temperature, but not as good for you.) Right before the potato is done baking, put the millet concoction into a small pan and warm on low. When the sweet potato is done, cut it in half and drizzle almond butter in the center. Plate it up and Serve!


 

10 Easy Ways to Survive the Summer Heat

Here in Michigan, Summer came creeping up from behind quickly, and with a story to tell. We were all feeling it as the sun blazed down and the sweat started to form a sticky layer that seemed to become a part of the skin. I had to learn quickly how to adapt to this heat wave, just to be comfortable in my own home. Now I would like to share a few tips and tricks with you on how to survive these coming summer months. After all, this is only the beginning….

First, we will start with some of the obvious:

  1. Loose-Fitting, Cotton Clothing

It’s breathable and will increase airflow around your body.

      2. Drink Plenty of Water

You are roughly 60-70% water. It is vital for regulating body temperature and keeping you cool, especially as these hot summer months can suck the moisture right out of you! (Gotta love that sticky humidity) Be sure to stay extra hydrated, I aim for at least 3 Litres of water a day, if not more. Listen to your body to find what works for you. If you’re one of those people who don’t like the taste of water, try adding fresh fruits and herbs! Experiment with different flavor combos. Here are a few to try out:

  • Cucumber + Lemon (Alkalizing and contains Electrolytes!)
  • Blueberry + Lavender (High in Antioxidants and Relaxing)
  • Watermelon + Mint (Summer in a Cup)
  • Strawberry + Lime + Mint (Refreshing Detoxifier)
  • Green Tea + Lemon + Ginger (Metabolism Booster)

      3. Turn Off and Unplug

Pretty straightforward. Electricity emits heat. Keep the lights off and unplug electronics at night.

      4. Hang a Wet Sheet

This might be a new one! Hang a wet sheet in a doorway or on the windows. The air blowing in will pick up moisture from the cloth and quickly cool down the room.

      5. Avoid the Stove and Oven

Have you ever cooked something in the oven during a hot summer day and dreaded going into the kitchen after? I would too, having a large appliance emitting waves of 400 degree heat.
Opt for eating more fresh and raw foods, especially ones with high water content to cool down and regulate body temperature (Easy Summer Recipes coming soon!) Some good choices include fruits (Berries, Watermelon, Peaches, Apples…), celery, cucumber, leafy greens, peppermint, and tomatoes.

      6. Sleep Outside

I’ve taken a liking to sleeping outside on my porch. It’s much cooler at night, but sometimes the house is left still humid and hot from the day time. Go rustic and set up a tent in your backyard for the night. If camping was never really your style, try glamping! You could even invite some friends over and make a little party out of it.

     7. Put your Sheets in the Freezer

Place your sheets in a reusable bag and store in the freezer for a few minutes before you go to sleep. It won’t last all night, but can at least keep you cool while you’re drifting off to sleep.

      8. If You’re Sweating, Up your Salt Intake

Salt is a vital mineral for regulating body temperature and has a cooling effect. As you sweat, you lose salt through your pores. If you’re a coffee drinker, you may need salt even more, as it leeches it from your body! Take a small pinch of high quality sea salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt) and add it to your food or water throughout the day.

      9. Go Cold Brewed

You could brew coffee or tea traditionally and pour it over ice, but boiling the water could add excess heat to the air.
For Iced Tea, I like to add around 8-10 tea bags to a half gallon container and store it in the fridge overnight.
For Cold-Brew Coffee, add 1 + 1/3 Cup of ground coffee to a jar with 4 cups of water and let sit in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours). When ready, pour through a fine mesh strainer and serve! It will turn out quite concentrated, so I recommend diluting it to your liking.

      10. Exercise… your Green Thumb

You thought I was going to tell you to actually exercise didn’t you?

Did you know there are plants that can help keep your house cool? Most of them are the same ones that remove pollutants and toxins from the air! Bonus!
Just to name a few:

  • Snake Plant
  • Ferns (especially good for humidity)
  • Areca Palm Tree (removes benzene and formaldehyde)
  • Ficus Tree
  • Aloe Vera (will also come in handy for the sunburn you’ll be getting!)

Have you tried any of these methods, or have tips and tricks of your own? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!