All posts filed under: healthy living

Eat Your Way to Youthful Skin

We live in a society that’s pretty obsessed with beauty—outer beauty that is. The makeup industry is a multi-billion dollar corporation, and the average medicine cabinet is overflowing with lotions and potions and concoctions promising to make up more beautiful. More youthful. More desirable. Beauty is a business, and booming one at that. Somewhere along the way though, health and beauty became two very separate entities. The ingredients in these “anti-aging” and “beautifying” products often cause way more harm than good. Recently, I went to my dermatologist for the good old Let There Be No Skin Cancer checkup (all good in the hood; all those years of drenching myself in SPF and assiduously hiding under an umbrella at the beach like a stowaway vampire have finally paid off). I had just run out of the nighttime essential oils I use, so I asked about moisturizers and an anti-aging cream. She gave me two products and sent me on my merry way. Both creams cost around $200 (JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL) and what’s worse, when I looked …

Sunscreen Swaps: the Best Picks for Children

Currently, my husband and I are spending the week in Vegas. I’m not into the casino scene, but we are having such an amazing time together. I’m convinced that you can have the time of there life wherever they are, if you’re with your Person. We got to put this to the test when our flight in was bumped, and we chilled at the airport all day…and had a ball. I’ve always been a big believer that you can make extraordinary memories from the most ordinary of days, and so far, life has proven that to be true. Meanwhile, Vegas is literally hotter than crawling into an oven, and now all those crimes on CSI make so much more sense. People are probably going crazy from the heat! Surprisingly, we adapted to the weather pretty quickly (read: we stay inside/poolside), and I’ve been pile on a bottle of sunscreen per day to protect my oh so fair skin from this desert sun. That’s an exaggeration…but just barely. If you’ve read my post/rant about sunscreens for …

Use This Not That: Sunscreen Swaps

Summer is officially here, and according to my Siri, it’s going to be a million degrees with a UV ray index of off the charts. This is what happens when you don’t recycle, people! Mama Earth gets angry at us all and then gets hotter than Hades! All that aside, I’m a delicate little flower when it comes to the sun. My skin is so white, I glow in the dark like a ghost. I really do; true story. I could effortlessly play a Walker on The Walking Dead, especially if I didn’t get any coffee when I woke up.  I’ve never been into tanning (read: the sun and I are genetically incompatible). It takes a lot to keep this Walker skin ridiculously young-ish and protected from the sun’s death rays, so I used to pile on the sunscreen. Then I found out most sunscreens might cause as much damage as sun exposure. I can’t even.  The reason sunscreens are harmful is because most are laden with toxic chemicals. These chemicals get directly applied and then …

When Dairy-Free Milk Wreaks Havoc on Your Gut

Many people switch to nut milk in pursuit of healthier options, completely unaware of some companies using ingredients that are highly inflammatory for your intestinal tract and harmful to your gut microbes. It seems like everyday, more people are ditching cow’s milk and switching to healthier options, like nut milk. With increased demand comes increased supply, so many mainstream food brands are now marketing nut milk of every variety. Many people switch to nut milk in pursuit of healthier options, completely unaware of some companies using ingredients that are highly inflammatory for your intestinal tract and harmful to your gut microbes.This should be a good thing…but it’s not. While you’d might think consumers should be able to waltz into any grocery store and not have to worry about what the hell is in our food, that world just doesn’t exist anymore. The food industry is a massive business and, like many other businesses, it’s more concerned with product sale than people’s health.  The simple truth is not all dairy-free milks are created equal, but there’s …

Nutrient-Dense Delicious Pho Recipe

The only good things about winter are snowboarding, snow, hot chocolate and soup. In no particular order. Everything else is just meh. Ok, ok, those aren’t the only good things. Some people hate on winter (like the Starks a la Game of Thrones…I’m still weeping over Ned Stark. Oh, and Rob Stark. And Catelyn Stark…basically, all the Starks and the long list of characters which fell prey to the GOT bloodbath), but I actually love all the seasons. I’m a hippie at heart, and each season brings with it some amazing outdoor playtime. D.C. winters are pretty mild (now that I’ve written that, the weather gods are probably going to send a raging snowpocalypse on the DMV area), but my husband Samuel and I get our fill of winter, because we usually go skiing at least two or three times a month to some of the surrounding resorts in-between our trips to Colorado. We love the snow so much, we would build an igloo and camp out if we could. I’m probably going to be featuring non-stop …

Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Two Ways

I don’t know about where you live, but the weather is moody AF here in Washington, D.C. What’s up, mama nature?! While I tend to prefer meals that are heavily plant-based, sometime life calls for some good old Southern comfort food. My mom has a collection of the best southern dishes, and while they taste ah-maaaazing, they certainly aren’t healthy. The good news is just about any recipe can be modified to fit your dietary needs. I adjusted my mom’s mac & cheese recipe two ways: 1) gluten free noodles using organic milk and cheese, 2) vegan using creamy cashew sauce Both of them tasted so delicious, I almost forgot we’re in the clutches of winter. Almost. But not quite. MAC & SMOKED GOUDA CHEESE  _________________________________________________________________ SERVES: 6 PREP TIME: 10-15 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40  INGREDIENTS: 4 cups dried GF macaroni 1 whole egg 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 1/2 cups ORGANIC whole milk 2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired) 1 pound Gouda cheese, grated (not pre-grated cheese) Seasoned salt …

Ditch the Sugar, Lose the Weight

  Pour some sugar on me… But not on my food. No way, no ma’am, no thank you. I not-so-secretly adore sugary things. Actually, I love salty foods. Fatty foods. Fried foods. If it is dyed an obnoxious color, I’ll probably like that too. (Those chewy Swedish fish make my day. Some part of my brain knows it’s not a real food, that fish are neither chewy nor bright red nor sweet, but I become 100% committed to devouring the entire box the second they’re in my hands.) I use so much salt on my food, it looks like a literal snow blizzard has descended upon my plate. But out of all my vices, I think my sweet tooth is the worst. Scratch that, it’s not a sweet tooth, but teeth. Like, a mouth full of ’em. I’m pretty sure my body is out to get me. When science is finally confessing sugar is silently killing us and likens it to a hyper addictive drug, what’s a girl to do? Find ways to cut sugar out …

Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics (and how to take them)

Happy New Year! Praise baby Jesus, 2016 is over. …Damn, 2016. You were vicious! Don’t even get me started on all the celebrities we lost, because we lost our humanity for a hot minute and I think that’s a bigger deal. It was like a poop cloud of negativity hung over the entire year in the form of politics, social media, and the news (ok, and celebrity deaths). Most of the time, I felt like I was a very reluctant extra in a HORRIBLE episode of North & South. On a personal level, it was actually a good year for me and my husband. DESPITE the presidential debates, we can’t complain (#DodgedThe2016Bullet), but man, our hearts have been breaking for so many dear friends and even strangers who are hurting from last year. Here’s all I have to say about the Wretchedness Which Was 2016: whatever  personal opinions and views we value, let’s make sure we value people as well. I hope 2017 is marked by our kindness and desire to unite with one another instead …

How to Weekend + Travel Proof Your Health Game

Current situation: living across the pond in London proper for most of the month of September. Health game: Staying mooooostly on point, despite the massive attack (musical pun for you fellow fans out there!) on clean eating by way of incredible dining and wining in one of my favorite cities.  Let’s face it, weekends and vacations do a number on our health, and it can be incredibly difficult to reel ourselves back to reality. Many people, myself included, can testify that the “occasional indulgence” or exception accidentally become the norm. It’s so much harder to get back on track than to stay mostly consistent with our lifestyle. I’m speaking from personal experience of course; in all honesty my will power waffles and wavers entirely for a fancy pants meal, bottomless brunching, and/or an amazing bottle of wine. What’s a girl to do? Never dine out? Skip traveling? Forget it! That sounds like zero amounts of fun. I have major wanderlust and frequently travel both nationally and internationally. When I’m home, I’m fortunate to have a lovely network of friends …

How to Have a Dynamic Yoga Practice

Yoga is an investment. Like money, we don’t want our practice to be a proverbial credit card, where we’re charging skills and tricks that our body actually can’t afford for us to do. We also don’t want to needlessly hoard our energy, so we must learn to invest ourselves and our energy wisely. As with most things in life, you’ll get out of yoga whatever you invest in it. This makes me oh so happy! Hooray! A predicted outcome: work hard, enjoy the results! On the other hand, this makes me feel RIDICULOUSLY GRUMPY: wait, what? Sooo…no coasting? Not even a little cheating?! DAMNIT! I guess I’ll have to rely on good old fashioned hard work when it comes to my practice. Oh, joy. But all good things are worth the effort, and yoga is at the top of that list. Because yoga allows for many modifications and no one is shouting at you to run harder, climb higher, pump heavier, the degree of intensity is a highly personal and regulated primarily by the individual. Pros: you …