Fall Fresh

 

I was going to call this ‘Pumpkin Season,’ but the more I thought about it, there is so much more to fall than pumpkin. Specifically, more FLAVORS than pumpkin. There is a colorful new crop of beauty foods ripe for the picking. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll explore pumpkin this season as well: overnight oats, pumpkin protein smoothies-  I love it. But let’s look at other beauty options. With a full spectrum of fall foods, you can maintain your healthy summer glow and transition into a new season feeling great.

Fall has us craving more grounding, warm dishes.

I made a couple dishes out of Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty Inside and Out by Jolene Hart.

Warm Fall Salad with Cranberry-Ginger Vinaigrette

It’s an anti-aging boost in a bowl with sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, and ginger.

1 Large sweet potato, chopped            Vinaigrette: 1-2 inch piece of ginger

1 large apple, chopped                            1 cup raw cranberries

2 medium carrots                                      ½ cup evoo

1 head Kale , chopped                               2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar and Balsamic vinegar

Steam sweet potatoes and half of kale. Peel carrots into ribbons. Toss all together and set aside. Vinaigrette: rough chop ginger and combine with other ingredients into food processor until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste! YUM. *I added lentils for a protein kick.

APPLES

The quercetin found in the skin is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, which is a skin care powerhouse protecting from free radicals and UVB damage. It’s is also a anti-cancer, anti-aging compound, and natural anti-histamine. The skin contains a phytochemical that defends against wrinkles and is full of pectin that fills you up and even lowers cholesterol.

CRANBERRIES

Packed with antioxidants and anthocyanin pigments that protect cells, collagens, and lower aging inflammation. They promote good digestion, healthy lymph flow and help prevent UTIs. Full of flavonoids, cranberries increase blood flow to the skin giving you a nice glow.

SWEET POTATO

Full of Vitamin A, 1 cup has 796% of your daily need, along with great doses of Vitamin C and B6. Vitamin A keeps skin smooth and collagen regenerating. And Vitamin B6 is important for sleep and healthy hair.  This complex carb will help keep you full without the glycemic index spike that could contribute to blemishes.

PUMPKIN SPICE PUDDING A guiltless indulgence- I had to, for all my pumpkin peeps!

1 ½ cup pumpkin                1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 frozen banana                   2 ½ tsp pie spice

1 cup almond milk               1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup flax                             1 tsp vanilla extract

Throw it all in a high speed blender. Can serve right away, or chill for 30+ minutes to let get a thicker texture.

PUMPKIN

Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories this is a  great all around beauty go-to. Rich in beta carotene, one cup contains 7 times your daily recommendation of Vitamin A, which is crucial for your skin, nails, bones, and teeth. It’s lutein and zeaxanthin protect eyes and it’s high fiber and natural diuretic properties reduces water retention.

CRANBERRY SMOOTHIE I made this one myself with the last haul of red chard from my FIL’s garden.

Handful cranberries            1 tbsp flaximg_7550

Handful red chard               filtered water

½ inch ginger                      1 celery stalk

Mix it all up in a high speed blender and enjoy!

CHARD

Biotin (Vitamin B7) rich chard helps your body absorb protein. Protein is very important in repairing damage and keeping skin, hair, and nails healthy. A deficiency in biotin can actually cause you to lose hair. Also very dense in both Vitamin A and C for cell repair, Vitamin E for UV protection, Vitamin K and calcium for strong bones, and lutein for healthy eyes and wrinkle help.

Bottoms up am I right?

More fall foods to incorporate:

Acorn squash-beauty mineral gold mine

Broccoli-inflammation buster

Daikon radish- crunchy cleanser

Escarole-bitter is better for anti aging

Figs-fruit of love. Boost blood flow to skin and…other areas of the body

Grapes- red for anti aging, protects DNA

Kohlrabi- support liver

Leek- cell defender

Pumpkin seeds- clears skin

Red cabbage-build collagen

Shiitake mushrooms- maintain skin elasticity

I always get more inspired about healthy recipes when I know more about what they do for my body, hope you do too! Here’s to keeping our summer glows well into fall.

Be sure to check out Eat Pretty– She has great suggestions for all the seasons.

Kimberly Snyder’s new book, Radical Beauty with Deepak Chopra also just hit the shelves this week. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. It also goes into food for the seasons, but dives deeper into Ayurveda principles, even moon cycles.

Steeping in Wellness,

Tori

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Update on my Journey

I am two weeks into my Whole30 journey. I have been trying to figure out how to describe my journey thus far. To sum it up, I would say I have been near optimal with compliance of the program. As a reminder, I started this journey for health reasons. I am motivated and ready to figure out once and for all what is causing this issue. Here is my journey so far…

KISS
My 6th grade Social Studies teacher taught me the acronym KISS – it has stuck with me all of these years. Keep it Simple Stupid. Complexity isn’t needed. I have found a lot of foods that work well for this. Frozen fish such as salmon, tilapia or shrimp are a good protein and are quick in the oven or on the stovetop. A little seasoning with a lemon slice and you are golden. I also prep my veggies ahead of time and just warm them up when I am ready to eat them. Sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts are all easy to do this.

salmon

Family Ties
I am the main chef in the family – I wouldn’t want it any other way. I try very hard to not be a short-order cook though. Although they aren’t on my meal plan, I tend to incorporate a lot of what I’m eating into their menus or vice versa. What I mean by this is if we are having tacos, we would have the same ground turkey but I enjoy mine on a lettuce wrap and they can have their shells. Same goes with spaghetti – I just make mine with zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti squash but use the same sauce and protein.

On the Run
This past week, I was challenged with a lot of travel for work. I wasn’t in the office as much as I usually am so I had to pack my breakfast, lunch and snacks accordingly. A few of my favorite go-to quick bites are Lara bars (only a few are Whole30 compliant), medjool dates, plantain chips, Justin’s individual almond butter packs, and hard boiled eggs. All are filling, easy and I look forward to eating them!

dates

Although there will eventually be an end for the me with the Whole30, I am focusing on sustainability. What practices from this journey can I keep in my life that contribute to my over health? The answer to that is everything above. I will continue to focus on simplicity, streamline the food making process and find foods that work best for each situation. Each person’s journey is different. We are all starting and ending at different points. What works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for you – and that’s ok. We are here to support you through your journeys. Reach out to us  for me information on how we can do just that! Thanks for being part of my journey!

Steeping in MY journey,

Megan

BeautyCounter is at Target!

Why should you care eco-beauty babes? Because it’s pretty awesome. I am coming to you a day early because, why wait? Holistic skin care company BeautyCounter’s mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, sustainably sourced, and at luxe level.  They have gone above and beyond what the U.S. allows and restricts over 1,500 harmful ingredients on their NEVER list. Normally you can either buy online or through a consultant. (May I recommend Julie Nibbe? Not only is she fun to follow on Social, she has a passion for all things wellness, and happens to have a September special). If you are more of a walk-the-aisles aficionado for a LIMITED TIME they are launching a capsule collection with one of my favs! What are you still waiting for? Go, I’ll be here!

By now you must realize that I love to change things. In my mind it’s always for the better; even when I dyed my hair black back in college (yep, that was a good decision…). If I knew then what I know now! Specifically, that dark permanent hair dyes contain coal tar ingredients such as: aminophenol, diaminobenzene, and phenylenediamine, which are linked to cancer.

Megan and I are not only conscious of what goes in our bodies, but what goes on them as well. The more we learn, the more good changes we can make!bc3 Now that I am pregnant again, I am more aware, more concerned, and more actionable about the products I use. After all, it only takes 26 seconds for products to enter your bloodstream. It’s a common myth to believe that if it for sale, it is safe. The United States only bans 11 ingredients from personal care products; the EU has banned over 1,000. I have many friends who struggle with infertility. Many of the products we use EVERYday contain estrogen disruptors. It is completely legal for companies to use ingredients that have been linked to cancer. The FDA has no regulating power. Makes you think.

I like to smell good. I like to look good. I like to feel confident. I’ll be honest, most days I feel pretty darn confident not wearing much makeup at all. Usually it’s just a slightly tinted BB cream (I have been out for two weeks waiting for this launch!) and maybe some bronzer.bc Mascara only if I’m going out, which was a big conscious decision I made this past year. Kinda funny to say that out loud. It seems so frivolous! What can I say, I feel more put together when I have my lashes on point.

So what to do? I am not suggesting throwing your painstakingly acquired gems from your makeup bag away. I know how much thought and time goes into picking out our new shades.  How about ADDING in, rather than throwing out? Next time you need a cleanser, upgrade! The collection is mostly skin care, some discounted,  with a few make up options. If you and up liking the products contact Julie Nibbe in the future!

The EWG’s Healthy Living  app is great for looking up a product when you are at the store. “With Breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.” The power is literally in your hands.  ewg

 

Happy shopping, Happy Steeping

Find Your “Why”

I’ve always been up for trying something new. I rarely turn down an adventure. When I was 20 I traveled across the globe to a world unknown (to me at least) for three months and experienced A LOT of adventure. I studied abroad, in the most unconventional sense. I traveled in a van across New Zealand & Australia with 19 other like-minded college students craving adventure. route-burn

(Photo Credit: Mary Marmorstone)

We bungeed, we rafted, we spelunked, we flew, we climbed, we camped, we survived – oh and we studied. It truly was a once in a lifetime. Many years later, I still reminisce of my time. I still feel my fire for adventure burnswith in me, more or less as a small pilot light version. I am different now but I still love to try something new.

white-water-rafting

(Photo Credit: Mary Marmorstone)

That need for adventure translates into my health & wellbeing as well. I have an interest in trying new diets, meal plans or workouts. The appeal for me is trying something different, with a purpose – and that’s exciting! So what I mean by that, with all of the diets that I have tired, they each had a purpose in my head. I didn’t just do something blindly. My suggestion would be, before you start something new, really understand your “why”. Why am I doing this? If your answer aligns with the program, then it’s a fit. I have talked to many clients who have a goal in mind and are struggling to accomplish something but aren’t necessarily sure how to go about getting there. I get it, we live in a confusing world with lots of influences.

I have had to ask myself that question recently. Over the last two years, I have struggled with a very specific issue that I have been trying to move past. Ever since I had my daughter, I have experienced joint pain – very similar to an arthritis type pain. The short of the long story is there are more avenues that I could go down with specific medications to try but personally, that isn’t where I want to go at this time. Our belief’s align when we say Food is Medicine (read Tori’s post here). With that in my mind, I have a strong feeling that something in my diet is causing this pain in my joints. I have read a lot on different diets and learned of the Whole30 meal plan through my sister. I have heard of it before but it never really spoke to me until I put two and two together and aligned the results to my “why”. I want to fully commit to this and find out what it could be. The program is very strict and limiting and potentially intimidating but I keep going back to my “why”. Today I am starting my 30 days.  I have read, I have planned, I have prepped, and I have shopped. I have my support team who is going through this as well. I am excited to go through this with them and be their support too. I will share my journey with you as a hope to inspire those who want to take a step toward committing to their own “why”.

Steeped in My Why,

Megan