People ask me why I rarely share recipes on SW. And it's because 1). I never measure anything, 2). I creatively make meals spontaneously each day.
My body really responds well to whole organic foods from the earth. And I - unlike many others - have an appetite for less ingredients in everything I make....or bake.
I love purchasing large amounts of organic produce (for example) and then pick & choose that evening what to saute. When I bake, I tend to look over someone's recipe and then create my own version.
Today, I want to talk about these raw gooey brownies I make all - the - time. I freeze them and like having them on hand to satisfy my sweet tooth. They are made with all healthy organic ingredients and I - thankfully - miss out on the sugar crash and 'white carbs'....all of that toxicity that so many baked goods come with. And there is no processed sugar of any kind (hence the lack of a 'crash' after eating). You actually gain energy after eating them. So delicious!
I first learned how to make raw brownies after reading Deliciously Ella's recipe here.
Deliciously Ella's Raw Brownies were soooo good that I just started making my own variations over time. And that's the fun in baking!
I'll share various ingredients I toss into the blender: Organic Medjool Dates, Raw Cacao, whatever organic 'nut' I have in my pantry (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.), Coconut Oil & a little bit of Maple Syrup. And those are the base for Ella's recipe and many others. And then I get creative! I love to then sprinkle in whatever seeds I have: Chia, Hemp, Pumpkin, Flax, etc. Sometimes I add in goji berries or raisins. I make them differently every single time. This last batch, I added in roasted almond butter. And I blend.
Oh wait....you know what I did once? Prepare to salivate. I made the raw brownies and then melted a portion of a dark chocolate bar over low heat. And then poured it over the brownies - placed in the freezer - and they were so insanely good!!!! The dark chocolate served as the icing. Oh my goodness.
Try these sometime vs. grabbing for that doughnut or packaged/processed 'treat'.
I am jumping off the internet for the rest of the weekend. And ya'll know what I am about to do right now.....yes, grab a raw gooey brownie out of the freezer.
Happy Memorial Day weekend (again....see post below)!
It's Friday!!!! This makes me soooo happy. Can you believe it's Memorial Day weekend? This year is just flying by at warp speed! I almost cannot wrap my brain around it.
So here we are on the 'eve' of summer and I thought this was a perfect day to share with you my experience with the recent DIY Beauty event hosted by Sarah Baker & Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market! And you are all in for a treat because I am sharing The Matcha Face Mask 'recipe' that you can make at home as soon as this weekend to get your skin hydrated, supple and glowing!
Let's get to it!
Who is Sarah Baker & what/where is Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market? As if. I'll explain anyway....
Sarah Baker is the wildly popular -Chicago based wellness media personality - Certified Plant Based Nutrition & Holistic Heath/Lifestyle Coach & Founder of The Balanced Babe. The list does not stop there so pa-lease go join the Balanced Babe community! From my own perspective, The Balanced Babe community is a worldwide community of diverse people who are health and wellness minded - people who desire to evolve into and through a holistic lifestyle. And Sarah will walk that path with you. What I appreciate is that she has so many options for us to choose from as far as how we want to be best educated to be our healthiest selves.
Sooo, if you want to attend her events, they are so fun & educational. If you don't wanna leave your home and rather watch her on various television shows, you'll pick up invaluable health tips. And, let's not leave out the 'jaw dropping' success of the BeHealthful Retreats (psst, my favorite retreat each year).
OK, I need to stop sharing about what Sarah does b/c I am supposed to talk about DIY Beauty! But.....what is crazy is she does WAY more then what I just share above. Isn't that cray? And she has stayed humble and filled with integrity while doing it all.
Are ya'll still with me? I hope so!
Sarah teamed up with Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market. This quaint (and incredible) organic farmers market is located on Elston in the city. Who knew?!!! I continue to digress but, I had no idea this fab organic & holistic market was even here! And it's an 8 minute trek for those in Wicker Park!
In my own interpretation, Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market is a combination of various outdoor farmers markets in the city - all in one....but even better!!!! The store design has this grassroots & cozy feel with the most healthy organic produce in the city of Chicago (along with numerous other healthy food & products). And here I was shopping at Whole Foods all this time....missing out on this (and these prices)! You guys, please - head - over! And tell me about your experience!
This blog is not going as planned b/c I haven't even talked about the event yet - haha. Oh come on. Tell me you all stay on topic when you are chattin' with friends - OK then.
Let's get to the DIY Beauty event! Sarah hosted this event at Fresh Thyme.
The scene: A group of ladies snacked on organic fruits & hydrating sips while learning about natural beauty hacks you can do right at home! And not just learning but, making them along side Sarah! Sarah educated us on various benefits of matcha, botanical steams, etc.
What was great was after you learned how to make the face masks, steams & essential oil sprays, you can simply walk over and shop for the products at Fresh Thyme! What was even better is that Sarah breaks it down for you.....meaning, you learn the 'why' behind the benefits of matcha for your skin and the why behind every beauty regimen she shared. It's one thing to eat healthy & choose a holistic healthcare regimen. But it's empowering when your informed as to why it's the best choice for your body.
Do you all know how budget friendly, healthy & FUN it is to make your own skincare at home?!! And what is even better is.... the results!
I am going to share the Matcha Face Mask recipe below (you are so very welcome) and then, I am going to share more about this event after Memorial Day weekend! I am aware this blog is getting long and we all have places to be...am I right?
Matcha Face Mask:
3 tsp of Republic of Tea Matcha Powder
1 tsp Coconut Oil or 1 tsp aloe vera gel
Squirt of Lemon
Note: For extra dry skin - add one tsp of seasame oil
Result? The softest and most hydrating skin. It's ah-ma-zing.
Cost? Combining all of the ingredients above, the cost is less than 20.00 AND there is enough product for about 10-12 of these face masks!!! Just take that in folks - a fully organic - healthy - antioxidant infused - facial at home (x 10) for around 20.00.
If you are not running over to Fresh Thyme by the time your done reading this & heading over to The Balanced Babe to learn more......well, then I didn't do my job here today (0; So, I'll be back after the holiday weekend to tell you even more (and I promise to share more DIY recipes and make the blog short...and sweet)!
Cheers to supple skin & the kick off to the summer months ahead! Happy Memorial Day weekend friends!
Happy Saturday! I am starting off this blog by specifying that....that is not my foot. It is a male foot (0; haha - vanity. I was like 'I do not want my readers to think that is MY foot'. But doesn't that organic plant based box looks incredible?!
I had somehow mentally convinced myself that having a monthly veggie/fruit organic delivery to my door was 'way too expensive' but, when calculating food budgets both small and large (my own and many friends), it's actually LESS expensive for all of us to have organic deliveries and more healthy TO invest in this.
In Chicago, the two best organic deliveries (in my opinion) are Angela's Organics and Door to Door Organics. I have not tried either but, I will be trying both to decide which I prefer! Have you ever used either? Let me know!
Also, Farmer's Market season is starting NOW! Yay! Here is a list of 'all' of the Chicago's farmers markets in the city. My personal fav. is the Green City Market in Lincoln Park. Why? It's festive and the location is so beautiful! It really feels like bliss when I am there on a Saturday. Living in this city is a such a blessing.
Enjoy your weekend! It's gorgeous out so, don't waste it indoors! How long have we waited for the sun & warm weather? Longgggg.
I don't know about you but, I have a major sweet tooth. Some people crave savory snacks and others have a palette whispering 'Sweets please'.
You can satisfy your sweet tooth without added processed sugar. You can even thoroughly enjoy sweets that are actually HEALTHY! Yes, it's true.
One of my favorite sweet treats is so simple:
A scoop of Vega One French Vanilla + Organic Raspberries (a big handful or two) + Homemade Almond Milk (raw organic almonds soaked overnight) and blend. It's this thick, yummy and protein packed hearty smoothie that tastes like berry/vanilla bliss. Seriously yummy.
The fact that this smoothie is packed with a level of nutrition that will have you raising that brow, makes it even more satisfying: 20 grams of Protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% of your daily vitamins/minerals, 25% of your daily Fiber intake, 1.5g of Omega-3S, 1 Billion Probiotics, 160 Calories (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, No Sugar Added).
If I am just wanting to devour anything sweet, I will add more to the smoothie like almond butter or peanut butter, bananas, cacao, etc. This girl loves her smoothies and it's fun to get creative in the kitchen.
I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday. I hear that Chicago is about to warm up and stay warm! We earned this Chicago.....we earned this.
Keep it healthy! You're body will thank you and you're worth it!
I have received so many requests to share a blog about being single. And I have thought long & hard as to what to write to all of you. I always read your emails (every single one) and do my best to cover topics that you want to hear about.
Let's talk about it....
I have been single for exactly one year this weekend. I made a conscious & deliberate choice to stay single for a year after my last relationship. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in respect to honoring God & myself. It has also been the best pivotal decision in respect to all of my relationships.
Do you know where the idea to take a year off originated from? Donald Miller & his book Scary Close. He intentionally took 6 months off from dating before meeting his wife, Betsey. And he explained why he did that in his book (which is fab - a must read). Thanks Don for your crazy fruitful wisdom (by crazy, I mean, fantastic).
I have spent so much time and effort 'healing' in life that I nearly missed the areas where I was already healed....and not walking in freedom.
I have spent the last year no longer focusing on mistakes (I tend to be unbelievably hard on myself) but, I have spent tremendous time realizing my worth in Christ this past year. I read The Bible more than I ever have. But this year, I didn't just read about who God thinks I am. Rather, I began to accept who He says I am . I began to understand my worth in Him fully - and honestly, everything continues to change.
Externally my life may look the same to others but, internally, I have a new life entirely. I do not think the same. I don't relate to others the same way. I do not observe others through the same lens. I will never date from a place that I was dating from again. And my choices in every area of life have been altered. And it's all due to who God says I am.
I will share this: If you are dating from a place of vast insecurity, fear or shame, you will attract that in another person. Every single one of those ole cliches is true. Let me tell ya. If you are emotionally unhealthy or dealing with some gaping wounds, you 100% will attract someone who is as well. On and on.
I relish being single. It has been a season of finding my authentic lifelong tribe. My friendships have deepened to a degree that I did not anticipate or plan for. My friends & I are family. And my friends are the best example of healthy & thriving people. I have read so much about the power of others in our life (The Power of The Other by Dr. Henry Cloud is incredible). It's definitely the best gift I've ever received from God (by far).
I removed myself from relationships that were not healthy. I stopped people pleasing and attempting to be dear friends with 20+ people. I was exhausted. It was all a process that was slow - often painful -startling in the best way - freeing and worth it. But that process has now ended in shocking growth. And this process is waiting for you too.
Healing doesn't have to go on and on and on. You can actually heal - grow - move on - and not look over your shoulder anymore.
I spent a tremendous amount of time nurturing myself and caring for that 'inner child'. I used to think the latter was too 'woo woo' for me but, listening to some friends experiences, I realized that loving that part of myself was crucial. And it proved to be a pretty radical loving experience.
I have spent hours (hours and hours) reading, engaging in healthy deep discussions, learning about various aspects of the world that I am passionate about, journaling, meditating, caring for others and welcoming others to care for me. Late night phone calls laughing hysterically with friends, hosting friends, sharing meals and praying a lot with those I love.
And something started to organically happen. I noticed I wasn't thinking about my ex anymore. I noticed I no longer longed for 'what was' yet I was grateful for it. I didn't feel guilty saying 'no' any longer. Friendships that weren't healthy for me, I approached them head on and respectfully ended them. I realized that social media was not serving the types of connections I wanted. I started spending a lot of 'face time' with those I love. I noticed that I felt fulfilled despite any obstacles swirling around me. I felt free from a lot of the chains that I had attached to my own self (various insecurities). And this is all because I am looking to God to fulfill me, not others or even myself. It doesn't mean life is perfect by any means. But it does mean my life is drastically different and by different, I mean healthy.
So my advice to any of you that are single is to embrace this season. It's such a meaningful and special time in our lives. Have FUN with it! Be spontaneous. Invite your girlfriends over for a sleepover (yes, in your 30's, 40's, 50's, +), go on weekend getaways, lay in bed eating pizza with your pets, etc. Travel wherever you want to..... if you can! Embrace every single activity that interests you (painting, photography, blogging, etc.). Dare to go deep with those you feel safe with. Talk to God all of the time. Enjoy this because this season is just that 'a season' for many of us.
I would also say to surrender to Him. This will be the best decision you have ever made in your life - it's the only thing I can promise you.
Allow yourself to grow. Realize that - with growth - comes massive uncertainty - discomfort - loss - new terrain - possibilities and CHANGE.
People forget that about growth.....that when you break out of those chains you confined yourself in (shame, insecurity, etc.), you have a vast amount of time freed up for new thought patterns and a new way of life. We almost forget that with change comes CHANGE - haha. And many aren't ready for that so they gravitate back to what was comfortable....even if what was comfortable was not the best for us. So, float around in the newness of it all. And you will eventually revel in it.
When you truly love yourself - I am talking true blue - authentic - unconditional Godly love, your entire life will change. The changes will start internally and then spill into all areas of your life. It can't 'not' change - it just will. And you will wonder why in the world, you didn't surrender sooner. You will finally be free and life will be as it should be.
When you date from THIS place - the place when you believe who God says you are? I bet you meet the true intended love of your life! And all of that pruning God did will finally make so much sense.
I just opened the book, Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe. It'll take me into the weekend to read in full and I cannot wait. I plan to absorb every bit of knowledge I can from Dr. Axe.
Eat Dirt is a deep dive into "Leaky Gut' as this may be the root cause of the majority of our health problems (if not all) and Dr. Axe provides 5 'surprising' steps to cure it.
I got that from the cover of the book (0;
Dr. Josh Axe is the world renown Functional Medicine Practitioner. He is a doctor of 'Natural Medicine' and a Clinical Nutritionist. If you want to see all of his accolades (there are so many), head over to his site, www.draxe.com.
I first learned about Dr. Axe from a friend of mine. She recommended his site to me for my own healing & wellness after years of endless 'loss' (and I will leave that there).
I have been exposed to numerous physicians across the entire country. And I have access to the 'best of the best' in their specialties and field. Despite this, if someone asked me to recommend a Functional Medicine physician to them or any physician practicing holistic medicine, I would only recommend two. This is even startling to me as I have been personally treated by over 40+ along my own journey.
If you know my background in Medical/Biotech/Operating Room sales coupled with my own personal story (you can read under the tab 'Him' via 'My testimony') of integrative/holistic healing, you would know that since graduating from college, spending every week with physicians of numerous specialties is basically all I know both as a professional & patient. When I walk into a doctor's office, it is a familiar feeling and hospitals feel oddly comfortable to me. Being in a room full of physicians of any and all specialties feels beyond normal to me and not in the least intimidating.
Dr. Josh Axe is one of the two physicians I would highly recommend. I encourage you head to his site, watch his YouTube videos and attend his FREE webinars (which I tend to find on his Facebook page). He has managed to deliver his approach to health with complete integrity & the results are speaking LOUD from people across the country.
If you want to order the book, order here.
By reading this book, you will begin to unravel 'gut health' and gain an education that typically you'd have to pay hundreds of dollars for in a Functional Medicine Physician's office for.
So curious to her what you all gleaned from this book & hoping we will all be able to Eat Dirt together in the very near future.
Hi everyone. I thought I would start this Monday off with a Bits & Bites themed 'It's a Good Day When'. If you are unfamiliar with Bits & Bites on Snapshots of Wellness, head over to the B&B tab (your top right). Bits & Bites is a compilation of a lot of random topics via health/wellness/lifestyle.
Let's kick this off by chatting about this fab app - Moments.
Moments tracks how long you are on your phone each day. I learned about this app after reading an article by Jennie Allen that confirmed so many of my own thoughts. I think this app is a 'wake up call'. I absolutely love it.
My relationship with social media (outside of this blog and anything blog related) & my phone has changed dramatically. I am so not into either. And the further away from Facebook I get, the more I realize how downright strange it is that I used to spend so much time on there every single day. I really encourage you to examine the 'why' you are posting on social media. As you evolve, your reasons will most definitely change. At the end of each day, I look at how many hours I was on my phone and think about how I could have been using my time to be in nature, connect with loved ones in person, move my body or do anything that benefits my health and relationships..
So, it's a 'Good Day When', you don't use your phone as much any more. And you replace FB with real life.
It's a 'Good Day When' you are no longer interested in 'looking back'. What does that mean? When - organically - you wake up one day and begin to realize that you are no longer examining the past or what coulda/woulda/shoulda been. It's a 'Good Day When' even if you 'could' go back in time, you really don't have any desire to. Because what is ahead of you is so much more fulfilling.
It's a Good Day When' you don't just read books that change how you approach your health such as Eat Dirt & Ella Woodward Every Day but, you role them both out and realize your wellness game is shifting yet again. Incredible! I encourage you to purchase both!
It's a 'Good Day When' you become a 'Best Lifer'! I'll let the Vega Team tell you all about your best life and then examine if you ARE living your best life every single day. I hope we all are. I find #BestLIfeProject SO ENCOURAGING & INSPIRING!
'It's a Good Day When' you are doing more than you are 'thinking about doing' - when you are engaging in your 'present' - when you are investing in your health & sustainability- when you are educating yourself on environmental awareness and realizing every decision you make affects our planet for the better or worse.
And folks, it's a very 'Good Day When', you are pouring love into yourself and others. I know people who hold onto love so tightly and don't express it. And I encourage you step out of your comfort zone (b/c you'll realize that holding onto love is anything but comforting) and sprinkle love everywhere you go!
'Be Love' as Bob Goff would say.
Enjoy your week!
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.