Zero Waste Self Care

This month I am doing a challenge- No Waste November!

In an attempt to lessen my carbon footprint and reduce the amount of trash I produce, I have been making the most of my resources, buying from bulk bins, and making my own… everything.

This post is all about recipes to replace the chemical ridden body care products with clean, easy to make alternatives.

To make these recipes zero waste, you can find local stores, co-ops, or farmers markets that sell bulk goods and buy a majority of the ingredients there in reusable containers. IF there is anything you can not find in bulk, another option would be to buy items in glass containers.

 

You are what you eat, but what about what your skin eats? Everything you put onto your body is absorbed by your body. You even absorb things that are in the air and environment! (That’s a talk for another time.)

We should all know by now that we should not be ingesting things that we can not pronounce, or that have a looong list of ingredients. When is the last time you flipped over your body care products and looked at the ingredients list? How long is it? How many things on that bottle can you pronounce?

A lot of common self care products are linked to a host of health issues, such as skin conditions, infant mortality, cancer, infertility, thyroid disorders, erectile dysfunction, and hormone dysruptions.

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By making your own products from whole ingredients found in nature, you can reduce or completely eliminate the risk of these harmful side-effects.

It is just as vital to put things found in nature on your skin as it is in your body.

Side note: Isolates of things found in nature can be equally as harmful! Just because something is extracted from a plant or whole food item, etc, does not mean it is good for you. Your body can no longer identify the isolated chemical if it does not have the rest with it. Would you rather drink water, or straight hydrogen? Which will quench your thirst? I’ll take the H2O.

 

Edible Skincare Recipes

Shampoo and Body Wash

You can find bath bars without packaging at most health food stores and farmers market. At most they may have a small barcode sticker or paper wrapping around it. Popular places to check would be Whole Foods and Lush.

You could find a recipe online, but I have found sticking with the bars works best. Another option would be Castile Soap, however you would have to recycle the bottle after.

 

Conditioner

Conditioner, in my opinion, is completely useless! It can easily be replaced with a nourishing vitamin-rich oil before or after a shower. If my hair needs extra love, I will apply oil to it from the tips to the roots and wrap it up before bed. In the morning it can be washed out with shampoo and a little apple cider vinegar. More times than not, I can get away with applying a little bit of oil after my showers and throughout the week as needed.

Another option for those with extra dry hair would be a hot oil treatment. You simply heat up an oil, apply it to your hair and wrap it up with a shower cap and hot towel. Wait 30 minutes to 2 hours and wash it out. Voila! Lushes Locks.

 

Face Wash and Scrub

This is by far my favorite thing I have discovered to replace my face care routine. It is balancing to all skin types, hydrating, and firming! It also can help reduce redness and acne. What more could I ask for?

Face Wash

  • 1 tbsp Honey (or lightweight oil for vegan option)
  • 1 tbsp Aloe
  • Optional: 1-2 drops Tea Tree Oil (for acne)

 

Face Scrub

  • 1 tbsp Honey or Oil
  • 1 tbsp Sugar

 

Deodorant

Below are two deodorant recipes based on preference. The spray utilizes himalayan salt which is a naturally occurring mineral that absorbs toxins and odors. It is a lightweight recipe that is good for on the go, as it may not last all day if you are more active. The cream is a heavier option that lasts all day and is better than any natural deodorant you can find.

Spray

  • 3 oz distilled water
  • 2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 oz witch hazel
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 10 drops essential oil (scent of your choice)

Cream

  • 2-3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Essential oil (scent of your choice)

 

Makeup

Blush

blushes

SOURCE: https://thrivingonpaleo.com/diy-natural-blush/

 

Eyeliner and Mascara

  • 1 Tablespoon Activated Charcoal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Shea Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of Bentonite Clay
  • 2-3 Drops of Essential Oil

To use, buy a reusable mascara brush and a line brush for use as eyeliner.

 

Makeup Remover

Oil of choice (I like coconut oil)

 

Other Essentials:

 

Reusable Cotton Rounds [LINK]

Or

Hemp Rounds [LINK]

 

Organic Wash Cloths [LINK]

Bottles and Jars to store recipes and ingredients (easily found at thrift stores i.e. salvation army)

 

Living Waste-Free is the way of the future. It is fun to experiment with and adapt to your own lifestyle! It does not have to be difficult or full of complicated recipes. In fact, it simplifies things- for everyone and everything. If you want to start on this path, don’t be intimidated if it doesn’t happen over night. Slowly replacing items in your house as they run out with zero waste ones is still a step in the right direction. Have fun! Experiment! We are learning together ❤

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

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!

Decadent Raw Orange Cardamom Avocado Cake

Recently I finally made the decision to cut out flours, grains, and sugar (except whole fruit sugar). With my birthday only a few days from this decision and 8 guests coming, I had a very important question to face: what the heck am I going to make for dessert?!

After a few hours of brainstorming and pinterest browsing, I finally had written the perfect recipe!

This moroccan-inspired cake was filling, sweet, decadent, and a huge hit among the guests!

This recipe makes a small cake, about 7-8″ across. If you want a bigger cake, I recommend doubling the ingredients.

Raw Orange Cardamom Avocado Cake

Serves: 8

Ingredients Crust:

½ cup Raw Pistachios

6 Medjool Dates, pitted

3 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted over low heat

1 tsp Cinnamon

Optional, to taste:

⅛ tsp Salt

1 tbsp Maple Syrup

Filling:

2 Avocados, peeled and pit removed

3 Dates

Juice of 1 Orange

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tbsp Orange Zest

¼ cup Raw Pistachios

Seeds of 6 Cardamom Pods

1 tsp Vanilla

Optional Toppings: Chopped pistachios for sprinkling, rose petals, orange peels rolled into flowers, orange zest

Directions:

Add pistachios and dates to a food processor and pulse until incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until well mixed.

In a springform pan, push the crust evenly across the bottom. Place pan in freezer while preparing the filling.

In a blender, add the all of the ingredients and blend until well mixed. Pour filling onto the crust and gently flatten.

Add any desired toppings and place in fridge to stiffen for 5 hours, or overnight.

I recommend taking the cake out of the fridge to thaw for 45 minutes to an hour before serving.

That’s it! Super easy and simple. I will definitely be making this cake again in the future! If you try it, let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you!

 

Vegan Mint Cacao Coconut Bliss Balls 

Better late than never, right?! These melt-in-your-mouth yummy bliss balls, inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, are the perfect healthy snack for any time and make a great pre- and post-workout! Packed with healthy fats, fiber, and 5 grams of protein per serving (and let’s face it, you can’t eat just one!) 

St. Patty’s Day Mint Cacao Coconut Balls

Ingredients

    1 Cup Shredded Coconut

    1 Cup Almond Meal

    ¼ Cup Pascha Cacao Chips (I used 100%)

    2 TBSP Coconut Oil

    2 TBSP Sweetner of Choice

    1-2 TBSP Chlorella or Spirulina (I like Spirulina for the protein, if you can handle the taste!)

    ½ TSP Peppermint Extract

    ¼ Cups Hemp Seeds

Add all ingredients except the Cacao Chips in a bowl. Mix well, then stir in Cacao Chips. Shape into balls and store in fridge in an airtight container.

Serves: 11

Attract Wealth With This Mint Cacao Smoothie

Nourish your heart chakra and attract prosperity to your life with the magical healing powers of this delicious smoothie!

Mint is known for its attributes in healing and attracting luck and prosperity. It’s also great for digestion, soothing inflammation, and cleansing the palate! I like to chew the leaves between meals to freshen the breath.

Cacao has been praised for its high vibrational energy for centuries. It used to be used as money in Mexico and is now know for its use in “Cacao Ceremonies.” This mystical bean is a magnet for wealth and prosperity while simultaneously (as it is most known for in the form of chocolate) bringing love and longevity to your life!

Bananas also play a role in heightening love, wealth, and spirituality. They have been praised since biblical times and continue to be one of the most popular fruits on earth. This abundant fruit is full of fiber and antioxidants, aids in digestion and weight loss, and can help regulate blood sugar levels.

You may also be wondering, “Why is your smoothie in a bowl?” It is absolutely vital to CHEW YOUR SMOOTHIES! Digestion starts in the mouth where important enzymes in your saliva mix with the food to break it down before it gets the the stomach. Putting my smoothies in a bowl helps me remember to slow down, chew, and be mindful with my meals. It also tastes better when I get to make it look pretty!
Mint Cacao Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

4-6 Ripe spotty bananas

3 Sprigs of mint (just the leaves)

2 TBSP of cacao (or carob)

3 Dates

1/4 cup of water or mylk
Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds to a minute). Either pour in a cup or bowl to add toppings!
Enjoy!
If you try the recipe comment below and let me know what you think! Did you notice more prosperity entering your life after trying it? If nothing else, at least it’s yummy!
Thank you,

Allie