Thursday, June 5, 2014

Banana Milk


This recipe is super simple and fast to make. It's healthy, hydrating, and it tastes delicious. I like to make this in the mornings or after I work out (I like to use coconut water if I've just worked out for the added electrolytes). 

Ingredients:
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup water, coconut water, or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon 
  • banana slices for garnish
Directions:
  • Blend banana, water/milk, and vanilla extract in a blender.
  • Place banana slices on top of the banana milk, sprinkle cinnamon on top, and enjoy!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Vegan Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps



Now obviously this recipe doesn't have any tuna in it, but it looks very similar and tastes similar as well (but so much better and without the fishy taste) to tuna salad. I served the salad on lettuce leaves but you could make this a sandwich or just eat it by itself!


Ingredients:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 pickle spears, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegenaise 
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I used sweet onion mustard)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • a few slices of fresh tomato (optional)
  • romaine lettuce leaves for the wraps

Directions:
  • Add garbanzo beans or chickpeas to a bowl, and mash them with a fork or spoon until there are only a few or no whole beans.
  • Add the celery, pickles, and green onions and mix until all the ingredients are blended together.
  • Add the vegenaise, apple cider vinegar, and mustard, and continue to mix until everything is blended. 
  • Add your spices and mix everything together one last time. 
  • Use a spoon to add the mixture onto your lettuce leaves. 
  • Add fresh tomato on top, serve, and enjoy!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Vegan Crunch Wrap




This recipe is very versatile. I just used what ingredients I already had, so you can be creative with this!

Ingredients:
  • 1 large whole wheat tortilla or gluten-free tortilla
  • about 1/4 cup vegan refried beans -  this is what I used
  • 1 tostada shell (you can make your own by baking a corn tortilla if you don't want to use a fried one)
  • a small hand full of chopped lettuce (iceberg or romaine depending on preference)
  • 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes 
  • A few sliced jalapeƱos
  • 1 tablespoon corn or corn salsa
  • 1 tablespoon green chili sauce
  • dash of chili powder
  • side of your favorite salsa or hot sauce
I just eyeballed a lot of the ingredients so these measurements are just approximate and can be adjusted depending on preference and size of tortilla. You can also add your preference of a vegan cheese alternative, but I prefer it without. 

Directions:
  • Heat up beans in a small saucepan or in the microwave. 
  • Lay tortilla out flat and place tostada shell in the middle to see how much of the tortilla it covers. 
  • Remove tostada shell and spread beans out to cover the space the tostada shell was covering. 
  • Place tostada shell back over the refried beans. 
  • Spread and stack the rest of the ingredients on top of the tostada shell; I did it in this order: corn salsa, jalapeƱos, green chili sauce, chili powder, diced tomatoes, lettuce.
  • Once all ingredients are there, start folding the tortilla making one fold at a time in toward the center of the tostada shell until the entire tortilla is folded (usually about 5 or 6 folds)
  • Heat a medium pan on medium-high heat. Toast both sides of the crunch wrap until it reaches desired crispness. 
  • Serve with a side of your favorite salsa or hot sauce and enjoy! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thank you Score Nation!

Thank you to Jenny Blakley and all of Score Nation for writing such a great article about me! Check out the article here! Who said ballet dancers can't be athletes?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Steps to a Natural and Pampering Shower

Here are the steps I take to a relaxing, pampering, and rejuvenating shower. 

1. Essential Oil


A great thing to do is to sprinkle a few drops of essential oil in your shower stream once the water has gotten hot. The steam from the water will act as a diffuser for the oil and your whole bathroom will turn into an aromatherapeutic steam room. I like to use lavender because it's a very relaxing and soothing scent - perfect for showers. I purchased this at Whole Foods, but you can buy essential oil at just about any natural health food store. 

2. Dry Brushing


Before I even enter the shower I will dry brush my body. This is great for multiple reasons. First, it stimulates circulation and can help reduce cellulite. It also removes dead skin and helps aid in the body's natural detoxification process. To do this, all you need is a soft brush with natural fibers. Then, just brush your body in directions that are toward your heart (ankles to hips, wrists to shoulders).


3. Hair Wash


The first thing I do once I get in the shower is wash my hair. I stopped dying my hair because I didn't want to be putting those chemicals on my scalp so often. However, it's only been a few months since I've stopped so most of my hair is still a lot lighter from dying it; that is why I have two different products here. After rinsing my hair and body thoroughly, I will use these aveda hair products. I will either use the Color Conserve on my ends and the Invati on my roots or I will alternate between the two every other day or so. The invati is my favorite (I recently used up the shampoo so that is why it is not pictured). It is designed to help your hair to be thicker and to lose less hairs by exfoliating the scalp and strengthening the hair. It also smells fantastic because it uses ayurvedic herbs like turmeric and ginseng. 


4. Deep Conditioner



Next I will use a deep conditioner and leave it in until the end of my shower. Recently I've been using Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie which I purchased at Ulta. It has no silicones, parabens, mineral oil, artificial colors, or petroleum. I haven't been using it for very long, but so far I've been loving how my hair feels and looks. I still need to use a bit of hair detangler after getting out of the shower although my hair is very long. To use this I just take a generous amount and work it into my hair, particularly working on the ends. I usually don't put any on the hair close to my roots because it is the newest growth and doesn't really need it. 


5. Natural Body Wash



Using a natural body wash is important because your skin covers so much of your body and you want to make sure you're using clean ingredients so you don't damage your skin or allow harmful chemicals and toxins to enter the body. I've been loving the 100% Pure Eucalyptus Hydrating Body Wash which I also purchased at Ulta. It makes my skin feel super clean plus there is peppermint oil in the ingredients so it leaves your skin tingling and feeling refreshed. I love this product because it is 100% natural and 100% vegan. I also usually use this to shave. 

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe Juice)*, Organic Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (Rose Hydrosol)*, Organic Lavendula Angustifolia Aqua (Lavender Hydrosol)*, Cocos Nucifera (Saponified Coconut) Oil, Essential Oils of Peppermint and Eucalyptus, Organic Camelia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea)*, Calendula Officinalis Flower (Calendula), Opuntia Tuna Fruit (Prickly Pear), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Euterpe Oleracea Fruit (Acai Berry), Lycium Barbarum Fruit (Goji Berry), Morinda Citrifolia Fruit (Noni), Aristotelia Chilensis (Maqui Berry), Sambucus Canadensis (Elderberry), Rubus Fruticosus Fruit (Blackberry), Organic Rubus Idaeus Fruit (Raspberry)*, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed and Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle), Hyaluronic Acid * Certified Organic

6.  Clarisonic


Next I will use a clairsonic. I have a clarisonic for my feet, for my body, and for my face. Since I started using the clarisonic brushes, my face and body have never looked or felt better. At this point in the shower I will normally use the body and foot brushes because I like washing my face to be the last thing I do in the shower, right after I rinse out my hair treatment. 

7. Ginger Wash


I often times will use this with my body Clarisonic brush. These Origins ginger products were a limited edition set during christmas time, but the individual items are still available. These smell so refreshing and the Incredible Spreadible scrub is and effective exfoliator yet it's very gentle. The Ginger Burst body wash is creamy and feels great on the skin. 

8. Face



Now that my body is clean, I will rinse my hair treatment out, and lastly I will wash my face. These are the face products I've been using. The  Checks and Balances face wash, A Perfect World face wash, and the Modern Friction gentle exfoliator. I couple these products with my Clarisonic for a deep clean. These have been working well to keep my face clean but they are also gentle enough that my face never feels like it's burning from using harsh chemicals. 

After my face is clean and I've completed all my shower steps, I will rinse my entire body in cool water.
This helps to close pores, and the hot to cold change is also good for your circulation. 

9. Face Lotion



After getting out of the shower and drying off, I will apply some face lotion. If I shower in the morning, I will use the Origins Perfect World SPF 25 moisturizer. And if I shower at night I will use the Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins mineral enriched renewal cream. I will also apply my eye treatment that I talked about in my face routine post. 

10. Body Lotion


Lastly, I will apply a body lotion. While I have many different body lotions that I love, to go along with the ginger theme I really enjoy the Origins Ginger Rush body cream or the Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream that was pictured above in the set.









Thursday, March 20, 2014

Simple Greek Salad



Ingredients:

Salad

  • 1small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 head lettuce or bag of baby spinach
  • A few pepperoncinis
Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • juice of 1/4 a lemon
  • 1/2 dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
Directions:

  • Combine salad ingredients in large bowl and toss the salad. 
  • Combine dressing ingredients and stir until well blended.
  • Dress salad with dressing and enjoy! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

6 Tips for Good Oral Hygiene


1. Floss



We all know that flossing is a daily necessity. It's good to floss at least once a day but even better if you can floss after every meal. A good idea is to stock up on floss and keep some in convenient places other than just the bathroom like in your purse, in your car, at your desk, or by your bed. I like to alternate between using regular floss and a water floss. The water floss I use is the Philips Sonicare Airfloss. It uses a combination of air and water and is extremely easy to use. However, I would not recommend it as an alternative to flossing but it works great in addition to a regular flossing routine. 

2. Natural Toothpaste


Many toothpastes today contain hazardous and toxic chemicals so it is best if you can find a toothpaste with recognizable and natural ingredients. For example, a common ingredient in toothpastes is Triclosan which as been registered as a pesticide (EPA). It gets a score of 7 on a toxicity scale with 10 being highly toxic on ewg.org. I've been using Desert Essence's  Natural Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste, but you can also just make your own with a little baking soda and peppermint oil.  

3. Brushing

While electric toothbrushes are much more expensive than standard toothbrushes, I highly recommend investing in one. I notice a significant difference in the appearance and feel of my teeth when using an electric toothbrush, and I will never look back. I do like to alternate between an electric toothbrush and a normal one so that I'm not being too harsh on my teeth. The electric toothbrush that I use is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush. My teeth have gotten noticeably whiter since using this toothbrush, and it also has different modes you can use such as whitening, gum care, sensitive, polishing, and clean. 

It is important to keep your toothbrush clean as it can be a good place to harbor bacteria otherwise. First, don't keep your toothbrush near your toilet. It's best to keep your toothbrush in an upright position in a cupboard without a cover so that your toothbrush doesn't stay in a moist environment. If you don't have a cupboard, it's better to use a toothbrush cover and put it in a drawer than keeping it on the counter with the toilet nearby. Also, it is recommended to replace your toothbrush/toothbrush head about every three months. 

4. Tongue Scraper 



A major cause of bad breath is a dirty tongue. Using a tongue scraper or a tongue brush will help to remove tongue plaque and is more effective than using your toothbrush. I use the Orabrush. Doing this will keep your breath much fresher. Just put a little dab of toothpaste, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide on your brush before using it. 

5. Mouth Wash 

After flossing, brushing, and cleaning your tongue, follow up with a mouth rinse. Just like many toothpastes, many mouthwashes contain dyes, preservatives, and other harmful chemicals. Many also contain alcohol which can dry your mouth out and can cause increased bacteria and bad breath. Unless you want to buy a natural one, you can use ingredients at home. Apple cider vinegar is good to gargle with because of its antibacterial properties. You can also create a mouthwash using hydrogen peroxide, water, and peppermint oil. Oil pulling is also something you can do to reduce bacteria in the mouth. 


6. Food and Beverage

Keep in mind that certain foods can increase teeth staining like coffee, black teas, dark juices, and wine. Try to brush immediately after consuming these or try to use a straw when appropriate. Eating clean food will help keep teeth strong and healthy because of the nutrients and lack of harmful chemicals and teeth decaying unnatural sugars. Also, always choose water over soda or other unnatural sugary drinks. 




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