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  • DIY Perfume for Mother's Day

    DIY Perfume for Mother's Day

    Make Your Own Perfume

    More than likely, the "fragrances" in your favorite perfume, body spray, shampoo, deodorant, and so many of the wildly popular store bought self care items are not as natural as  we'd like to think. What we might think is Lavender, for example, is very likely a chemical concoction meant to make us think we're smelling real Lavender. Synthetic fragrances are everywhere, and unfortunately, they're no good for our bodies. Beyond messing with our endocrine systems (throwing our hormones out of whack), they can also cause allergic reactions and sensitivities that can result in sneezing, rashes, runny noses, dry skin, and more. 

    These days, I'm all about the 100% pure, natural options. And essential oils have given me just that. The peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what I'm putting in and on my body makes me feel extra awesome about all the amazing DIY self/skin/body-care stuff I've been whipping up. Plus, it's super fun!

    With Mother's Day right around the corner, I'm thinking this little combo will be the perfect gift - along with some homemade chocolate, of course! Feel free to give it a go yourselves:

    Ingredients
    10 drops Vetiver essential oil

    20 drops Fennel essential oil
    15 drops Orange essential oil
    Spring water or alcohol* (I used an organic vodka)

    *Alcohol will help to meld and preserve the scents.

    Instructions

    • Add essential oils first. For best results, allow just the essential oils to sit in the container for a couple of days. This will help them mix and meld nicely.
    • Top off with water (or alcohol). 
    • Shake well. Allowing everything to sit for a couple weeks will help everything meld together, allowing the alcohol scent to fade and oils to intensify.

    If you'd like to learn more about the essential oils I love the most, just shoot me an email! Happy Mother's Day, mama friends!!

  • Sesame Garlic Garbanzo Sauce

    Sesame Garlic Garbanzo Sauce

    Sesame Garlic Garbanzo Sauce

    Making my own sauces is one of my favorite things to do. You can play with the different ingredients and consistencies and personalize things to your taste. No hidden, scary ingredients. No overload of salt or sugar. It's the best! Simple, clean, and nourishing. So you can feel free to drench your veggies in deliciousness!

    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    1/4 cup garbanzo beans
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup water
    2 cloves garlic
    2 teaspoons tamari
    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon maple syrup

    Instructions:

    • Add all ingredients to high speed blender
    • Blend completely, until creamy and even
    • Optional: Add an additional 1/8 of water to thin (that's what I did), depending on desired consistency
  • {Chia} Blackberry-Pear Jam

    {Chia} Blackberry-Pear Jam

    Chia jam!

    This is one of my new favorite things.

    What's not to love?

    Blackberries 
    Pears
    Lemon juice
    Raw Honey
    Chia

    Let me assure you: There is nothing complicated or scary about making jam this way.

    It will only take a few minutes - and it might not last that much longer!

    I saw this recipe over at The Kitchn a couple of weeks ago. And it just so happened that I'd snagged a little carton of blackberries at the market the day before.

    You know what they say about synchronicity, right?

    It was simply meant to be. :)

    My version is only slightly different from the original.

    Here's what you'll need: 

    1 heaping cup of blackberries
    1/2 ripe pear, cut into small pieces (~1/2 inch cubes)
    2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    1 tablespoon raw honey
    2 tablespoons chia seeds

    And click here for the instructions, straight from the source

    Enjoy!

  • ALMOND MILK {MAKE YOUR OWN}

    ALMOND MILK {MAKE YOUR OWN}

    The world of wellness can be pretty overwhelming.

    I'm here to make it less about stress, calories, and scales - and more about living, growing, and thriving. To that end, I'm thinking it might be time for a little make your own magic.

    Through a new series I'm calling Make Your Own, I'm bringing this wonderful world to you. Sharing my journey, the things I'm learning along the way, and - most importantly - helping to ease you into a life of greater health and happiness. Why? So you can thrive. So you can live. So you can do everything you want to do.

    One of the most important elements of living well is understanding that how we choose to fuel our lives is ultimately up to us. Too much is missed in school, in the media, in the textbooks - about the power of plant-based nutrition. And there is still so much to learn. 

    This one goes out to all my health-conscious peeps trying to make better choices and buy responsibly. You've heard about the dangers of consuming conventional milk, and you want to do better for yourself and your family. So, what'd you do? If you're anything like me, you headed on over to the Whole Foods and swapped it for a box of almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk. A great idea, in theory, but - as usual - there's more to this story.

    Many of these boxed milk alternatives come with unwanted guests. Preservatives and additives that may not be the safest of options when it comes to our health. One of those additives is called carageenan. It's the concentrated extract of Irish Moss (which, in its whole form, has many health benefits), and it's been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, and even colon cancer. And friends, who wants any of that?

    So, today I'll show you how to make your own {MYO} almond milk! It's delicious, better for you, and super easy. But first, a few tips for when you feel you must go with store-bought. First, always choose organic. Second, opt for the "original" flavor over vanilla or chocolate. And third, read the ingredients list. (This is the most important!) Most brands use carageenan. It's used as a thickener/emulsifier in many products. If you see it listed on the back of the box, put it back and keep looking. Your gut will thank you. Deal? Ok, good. Now, let's get milking.
     

    1 cup raw almonds, unsalted
    soaking water
    4 cups fresh water
    2 dried medjool dates, pitted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    blender
    large bowl
    nut bag (yup, you read that right)/fine mesh strainer/cheesecloth 
     

    • Start by soaking the almonds. Cover the almonds with one to two inches of water and refrigerate. Six to eight hours is pretty standard. Overnight it great, too. This will make blending the almonds easier. It's also gentler on your digestive system.
    • Rinse the almonds well and discard the soak water.



    • Add rinsed almonds, four cups of fresh water, and two pitted dates to the blender. Blend until well combined - about one minute should do it.
    • The next step is to strain the almond-water-date mixture. Place a large bowl on the counter, and begin to pour the mixture through the nut bag, straining out the almond/date pulp. This takes a couple of minutes. Be sure to squeeze out all the liquid.
    • So that all you've got left is a bowl of milk and a bag of pulp. Save the pulp for granola, bread crumbs, or even to make your own natural face scrub/exfoliator.
    • Now, pour the milk back into the Vitamix, add the vanilla and pinch of sea salt. Blend well. Transfer to storage container, and refrigerate. It will keep for two to four days. Enjoy!

    Sidenote: You can easily swap out almonds for cashews, hemp hearts, and other nuts and seeds to create a different variety of nut/seed milk. 
     

    If you liked this post - and you'd like to see more of the Make Your Own series - then "like" this post and tell me what you think in the comments below. Looking forward to more make your own magic!