Aubrey Organics – a review of the age-defying therapy moisturizer

It’s no secret around here that I like to use natural products, especially when it comes to beauty products!

Many times I simply make my own or make do.

But…as I age I’m finding that sometimes my homemade stuff is lacking. My skin sometimes needs more nourishment than what I can provide it with my basic skills. And as we delve into the world of handmade skin and hair products via beard oil and another line we’ll be launching in the next couple of months, I’ve come to realize how much research and work goes into producing a great quality product.

I have so much more respect for companies that go above and beyond to produce safe and toxin-free products for my skin and hair.

But I also like to protect my pocket-book and sometimes have a hard time paying the extra money that these products cost only to throw them out if they don’t work. (I once threw away a $30 natural shampoo and conditioner set because it did horrible things to my hair!) Yet, I’ll definitely pay extra from a company that has worked for me in the past.

After trying out the moisturizer I was sent from Aubrey Organics I have no qualms buying anything from them.

aubrey organics

I also really like the company:

  • they’ve been making all-natural beauty products since 1967
  • their vision is “To be the earth’s most respected leader in personal care products for health and environmentally conscious consumers.”
  • part of their mission is to lead by example
  • they have a complete body care line, so you can get exactly what you need based on your skin type
  • they have an INCI dictionary on their website so that you can see exactly what the ingredients are and they also list all of the common names.

My review

Aubrey sent me the Age-Defying Therapy Moisturizer.

Sigh…guess there’s no time like 33 to start using a product to decrease the formation of more thin lines on my face!

It features:

  • Sea buckthorn and vitamin C to protect skin from oxidative aging
  • Carnosine, milk thistle, and a vitamin E blend to reduce the depth of wrinkles
  • Laminaria Ochroleuca to protect against environmental aggressors and to improve firmness

Pros:

  1. It contains a natural preservation system. And before you think that preservatives are only bad, let’s think about what might happen if bacteria gets involved. Any product made with water or water-based ingredients NEED a preservative in order to keep consumers safe. Nobody wants MRSA or a flesh-eating bacteria on their face. Not to mention that mold can also take over.
  2. The packaging is pretty, which totally makes me feel better about leaving it out on the counter in the bathroom.
  3. This product is gluten-free, which isn’t a big deal for me, but is definitely a big deal to a lot of other women!
  4. The moisturizer itself is very light with a great slip to it, almost silky feeling. It goes on easily and absorbs very quickly! I can put my foundation on right after I use it without any problems.

Cons:

  1. If I had to pick any con for this particular moisturizer it was that the scent wasn’t my favorite. The scent fades rather quickly (which is a bonus for me – I don’t like to smell lotion all day) so it wouldn’t prevent me from buying it again when I run out, and I know all of the ingredients used are specifically meant for aging skin.

Overall I was quite happy with it and need to remember to use it twice a day as my skin feels fantastic when I do! If you’ve ever used products from Aubrey Organic, I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below.

Discount:

Aubrey Organics is offering my readers 25% off when you use the code “NFW25″. They also have free shipping for orders over $25.00!

Giveaway:

Enter to win a bottle of the Age-Defying Therapy Moisturizer for yourself!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you used any of the Aubrey products? Which ones?

Asian Spring Slaw Salad

Right around March my body starts craving fresh, raw veggies. We are pretty seasonal eaters in our house, so with the winter comes less variety to my veggie rotation – and I think that is a good thing. Cooked veggies (with friendly fats like butter) are easier on our guts to digest, and it is good to give our bodies a break from foods while we rotate with the seasons!

Asian Spring Slaw Salad3

While I am still a good couple months away from fresh salad greens in my garden, I do have access to some nice late winter and early spring vegetables that make a really great raw “slaw” type salad. Just a simple julienne peeler (available on Amazon) is all you need (the spirilizers work too if you have one, also found on Amazon) and you will have colorful strips of veggie that really feel like a noodle indulgence.

Asian Spring Slaw Salad

I am a big time Asian cuisine fan and a couple of years ago I put a twist on my Thai peanut sauce and made a salad dressing – it is one of my favorites and it really dresses up this slaw type salad so nice!

This salad makes a fantastic lunch since it is filled with satiating friendly fat from the dressing. You can add chopped nuts/seeds or chicken/tuna to your bowl for added protein if you want as well.

Asian Spring Slaw Salad

Asian Spring Slaw Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 large carrots, julienne peeled
  • ½ diakon radish, julienne peeled
  • 1 cucumber, julienne peeled
  • ¼ head purple cabbage, sliced thin (green cabbage works too if you can’t find the purple)
  • 2-3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Asian dressing (If you like more dressing you can add more!)
  • Optional red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and/or water cress to garnish
Instructions
  1. Put the dressing in the bottom of your salad bowl.
  2. Add the veggies and toss with the dressing.
  3. Add your garnishes if you want!
  4. Note – the salt in the dressing will pull the moisture from the veggies over time – if you are packing it up ahead of time it would be a good idea to pack the dressing separately and add it to the salad upon eating.

So! Are you ready for rotating to spring veggies too?

Iced Mango Green Tea

This summer has been the summer of drinks! And by drinks I mean the fruity refreshing ones I can share with the kiddos on a hot summer day. A few weeks ago we experimented with freshly picked blackberries, by adding them in a homemade pitcher of lemonade. Let’s just say it was probably the best idea that this dreadful Texas heat inspired so far!

This mango tea is another one that we’ve had lately around here as well. Hope you enjoy!

mango green tea
1.  Bring about 4-5 cups of water to a boil.

mango green iced tea

2. Pour boiling water into a safe container and let tea bags sit for about 3-5 minutes. You can actually choose to do this in your tea pot/ pan if you prefer, but I don’t like mine to get stained with sugar and other things, so I just boil water and do all my mixing in the pitcher. Mix in stevia while hot, to dissolve. You can also supplement the stevia with the sweetener of your choice. (Find info on exchanging the stevia for sugar.)

homemade mango tea
3. While the tea bags are sitting in the hot water, set aside and begin slicing up your mango in small chunks.

homemade mango tea

4. Pour mango chunks into a food processor or something similar to make into a thick liquid. I use the bullet, which works perfectly! Process the chunks until the pieces are completely blended.
homemade mango green tea
5. Pour mango juice into the tea pitcher or container that the tea is brewing in, and remove tea bags if you haven’t already. Boil again for a 2-3 minutes to dissolve the mango juice into the tea.

Iced mango green tea

Pour mango tea mix back into the pitcher and fill the rest of the pitcher with water until full. Stir well, and enjoy over a glass of ice!
*You can also add freshly squeezed oranges or cranberries into the mix if you want a little tangy punch!

Mango Iced Tea
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Mango
  • 4 Organic Green Tea bags
  • stevia (or favored sweetener) to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring about 4-5 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Pour boiling water into a safe container and let tea bags sit for about 3-5 minutes. You can actually choose to do this in your tea pot/ pan if you prefer, but I don't like mine to get stained with sugar and other things, so I just boil water and do all my mixing in the pitcher. Mix in stevia while hot, to dissolve. You can also supplement the stevia with the sweetener of your choice. You can see this link for more info on exchanging the stevia for sugar.
  3. While the tea bags are sitting in the hot water, set aside and begin slicing up your mango in small chunks.
  4. Pour mango chunks into a food processor or something similar to make into a thick liquid. I use the bullet, which works perfectly! Process the chunks until the pieces are completely blended.
  5. Pour mango juice into the tea pitcher or container that the tea is brewing in, and remove tea bags if you haven't already. Boil again for a 2-3 minutes to dissolve the mango juice into the tea.
  6. Pour mango tea mix back into the pitcher and fill the rest of the pitcher with water until full. Stir well, and enjoy over a glass of ice!
Notes
*You can also add freshly squeezed oranges into the mix if you want a little tangy punch!

 

Soothing Period Pain Naturally

I think it is easy to reach for pain killers with our monthly period. Trouble is, those things leave us with nasty side-effects and can also interfere with our digestion. Ever noticed how you get constipated with your period? Those little Nurofen’s might be playing a part in that!

I want to share some natural alternatives to ibuprofen, NSAID’s and other pain-killers for your next monthly.

Soothing Period Pain Naturally

6 ways to soothe period pain naturally

1. Increase the amount of Omega 3 in your diet.

The hormone like substances called prostaglandins, are the ones that control our clotting, inflammation and pain responses. We want to stimulate the ones that negate those reactions. One of the ways to do that is to increase the amount of Omega 3 in the diet. You can try fish oils, krill oil and eating more Chia Seeds during that time of the month.

2. Try natural pain relievers.

My two favourite herbs to use during your monthly to alleviate pain are feverfew and crampbark. They have beens shown to dramatically improve period pain and aid the body by reducing inflammation at the same time! Plus… not nasty side-effects!

3. Drink plenty of water.

When we think about what our monthly is and what our bodies are trying to achieve, we want to aid the natural blood flow as much as we can. If we don’t drink enough water, the blood becomes more thick and sticky. Make sure you increase your water drinking efforts during your monthly to really aid in a cleaner and easier monthly.Untitled_2

4. Take care of your Uterus.

I attended a Mayan Massage course in London a few years back and was amazed at how much I could care for my uterus by a daily massage done morning and night. This encourage stimulation and circulation of the Uterus muscles and provides valuable nutrients. ** You can learn how to do the Mayan Massage through my video demonstration here. 

5. Stop viewing your monthly as a dread and something to be embarrassed about.

This is a natural process and a wonderful way for our bodies to be able to flush out toxins. Men only have two outlets! We get three!

6. Try to take some time out or at least relax more than normal during your period.

It might not be easy to take a day or a half day off work but if you can, try to. Give your body the space it needs to cleanse during this time. Do an easy Yoga class, go for a back massage or just watch a girly movie with a nice cup of tea. Just take some time out and give your body some love.

 

I hope these ideas really support you during your monthly period. I would also like to stress that having period pain every month, where you are relying on strong pain-killers is actually a cause for concern. It could be an indicator of something more serious going on for you, that could impact your fertility. One of those conditions is called Endometriosis.

After I experienced period pain, pretty much from my first period, I discovered I had Endometriosis. It did take me a number of years to get a proper diagnosis. If you suspect you might have Endometriosis or feel that your monthly period pain is a little higher than average, definitely visit a Gynaecologist to find out what is going on. I have created a list of common symptoms experienced along with Endometriosis, which might guide you on whether you might have the condition.

 

If you’ve dealt with period pain, what natural remedies have helped you?

My favorite homemade spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti is actually one of my husband’s favorite meals and I also love the fact that it’s so easy! Just noodles, sauce and a bit of meat. Although to make the meal a bit more balanced, it’d probably be a good idea to include a salad or something…

Homemade sauce always seemed so daunting, and my husband was very picky about the brand I was to buy. So with a bit of trepidation, I entered the world of homemade spaghetti sauce. Both he and I were pleasantly surprised, and we haven’t gone back to premade sauce since.

homemade spaghetti

For me, the addition of fresh, and not dried, ingredients really make the sauce. In the summer I can grab fresh basil and oregano from my garden, but in the winter I do use dried. (Sometimes my own, other times from Mountain Rose Herbs as I’ve found theirs have great flavor.)

Onions and garlic that are slowly sautéed also add a depth of flavor not seen when using dried versions of the two.

homemade spaghetti sauce

This sauce also works great with meatballs, but rarely do I take the time to make them! Though lately I’ve been making myself take the time to add a bit of sauce and cooking water to the drained pasta and the results definitely make the final product better.

My favorite homemade spaghetti sauce - this one definitely rocks!

 

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauces, Seasonings, and Condiments
Ingredients
  • 28-30 ounces tomato sauce (homemade sauce is fantastic)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 6 ounces water
  • ½ pound ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 small - medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • salt to taste
  • optional: mushrooms, diced tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Brown beef and drain off fat. Set aside.
  2. Saute onion in oil until soft (along with mushrooms if using). Add garlic and saute for about one minute.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Use with your favorite pasta!
Notes
For best results, save ½ cup of the cooking water from the pasta. Once the pasta is drained, put it back in the pot and stir in the ½ cup water and one cup of the sauce. Let sit for just a couple of minutes before serving.

Top with hot sauce and fresh Parmesan.

 

What is a vaginal steam? (and why YOU should consider doing one)

Alright friends, since we are going to be talking about vaginal steaming today I figured it is okay to call y’all friends, since I wouldn’t talk about this to just anyone. So sit back and hear me out before you rule anything out by just hearing the words ‘vaginal steaming’.

steam my vagina

(And to make it official, I am not a doctor, you should make sure to do your own research before attempting a vaginal steam. This should not be done while pregnant or nursing.)

What is now becoming a new, popular tread, vaginal steaming is actually an age-old tradition meant to cleanse and detox the uterus.

So, let’s get the facts straight.

What is a vaginal steam?

A vaginal steam is basically a steam ‘facial’ only it is for your vagina and uterus. (See? Aren’t you glad I said ‘friends’ because we are talking about personal stuff here!)

What makes the vaginal steam beneficial is what is used in the steam. Typically herbs are chosen that can help increase circulation to the uterus or to aid in cleansing.

Stagnation is not a good thing when it comes to any organ system, but when it comes to the uterus it can cause a myriad of issues with menstruation and fertility.

Herbs can be picked for the individual to help with specific issues and health conditions. Some herbs that are typically used are oregano, motherwort, mugwart or rosemary. (all available at Mountain Rose Herbs)

what is a vaginal steam?

How does this work?

When doing a vaginal steam , you are basically making a ‘tea’ out of herbs and allowing the herbal steam to travel to your vagina and uterus. This sounds kind of hooky, but really the tissues of the vaginal area are very porous and absorb things quite easily.

The steam carries the volatile oils from the herbs to the tissues where it is adsorbed into the body. (Our bodies are so amazing!)

The herbs can help improve circulation and blood flow to the area. The vaginal steams are also said to thin mucus and help the uterus detox and cleanse.

In the past these steams were used to help with irregular periods, fertility issues, and even anxiety. The idea being that the herbal steam goes right where it is needed to aid the reproductive area.

How do you do a vaginal steam?

The hardest part about doing a vaginal steam, in my opinion, is finding some quiet time to do it. (You do not want people banging on the bathroom door when you are trying to relax!)

You need to decide what herbs you would like to use and make a big pot of tea.

1 cup of herbs*
2 quarts of water

You’ll also need a chair or stool with either slats or a hole in the middle (available on Amazon), a couple of chairs next to each other (a cheek on each!), or a clean toilet (turn off the water and flush so it empties the bowl).

  • Bring the water to a boil and let settle for few minutes, add the herbs and stir.
  • You will then want to find a quiet place, which I recommend setting up BEFORE you get your steam ready, to set the basin of water that you will be able to sit over. (If you use a basin that fits into the bottom of your clean toilet, this works well)
  • Once you get the steam ready, sit above it making sure the steam is not too hot. You do not want to burn the area, the vaginal tissue is sensitive.
  • Wrap blankets around your waist to keep the steam trapped in.
  • Typically steams last 20-40 minutes. This is a good time to read, journal, or pray to pass the time.

Once you are done it is a good idea to lay down for a while to allow your body to relax and the herbs to do their work. (This is good to do before bed because then you can just go to sleep and stay resting)

*What herbs do I use?

While it really is something that personal and should be picked on what issues you are trying to work on, these are a few that I found to be beneficial.

  • Rosemary-has been used to help fight infection (steaming should not be done during an active infection)
  • Yarrow-an herb used for cleansing and toning
  • Motherwort-a long-standing herb used for woman’s issues can help with toning the uterus as well as used for anxiety brought on by your period
  • Calendula-a mild, soothing herb that can be beneficial for scarring
  • Lavender-a typically relaxing herb which also has antibacterial properties

When should you do a vaginal steam?

From what I read there really is not set time to do a steam. Traditionally, a safe time to do it is right after your period and before ovulation, this allows any lingering tissue and cells to be cleansed before ovulation.

Some say if you have a lot of menstruation issues that the week before your period is a good time.

I have also read that if you are struggling with  fertility to do it right before ovulation.

However if pregnancy is suspected, do not do a vaginal steam.

A long-standing tradition, vaginal steaming does seem to have it place in the world of herbal remedies. I know that isn’t the most fun thing to talk about, but knowing how herbs work, this practice seems like a great therapy to aid in uterine and vaginal health.

If you are comfortable sharing, I would love to hear from you, what benefits have you seen from doing vaginal steams? 

Read more:

Yup, I’m gonna talk about vaginal steam baths by Stephanie Brandt Cornais

Should you steam your vagina? by Nicole Jardim

Traditional Vaginal Steam for Healthy Fertility by Dalene Barton-Schuster

What keeping a food log will tell you

Food diary, food log, food record or food list, whatever you name it, it sounds the same, right?

I can guarantee you they are not.

In my practice, keeping a daily food log is 80% the key to your success in a designed clinical nutrition program.

AND, you don’t have to be on a program to track every little bit of every little nibble that goes into your mouth.

keeping a food log

Why Keep a Food Log?

Believe me when I say (personal experience: I have kept a food log for the majority of the past year) you have no idea what you’re putting into your mouth unless you’re tracking it.

Top 3 objections people have to tracking what they eat:

  1. I eat the same thing all the time.
  2. I will lose the piece of paper.
  3. I don’t have time to write it all down.

My responses to the top 3 objections people have to tracking what they eat:

1. Actually, you don’t eat the same thing all the time. When you have a week or two to look back on, they might think they have the same thing for breakfast every day, though the food record indicates that most of the time they have eggs. Sometimes another food is mixed into the eggs, and other days they have thrown in a dietary meal replacement or shake, and then there is the quick, ‘I grabbed a muffin at the office’, or ‘ate half of my son’s waffle’.

2. You may lose the piece of paper, and you may not. Even in these technologically advanced days of digital everything, most people are still carrying around a bag of some sort with a planner, a pad of paper, or a folder where they carry important documents.

This is an important document. THIS food log is a picture of your current state of health.

Even if you don’t carry a bag with you, it’s likely you have a pocket you can fold it into until you need to pull it out and jot down what you’re eating. The best food logs my clients turn in to me are the ones with food and water stains, they are tattered and wrinkled-they have been used.

If it’s an important document for you, it’s less likely you’ll misplace it. You might forget it on the kitchen counter but you probably won’t lose it entirely.

3. None of us have “extra” time in our days, we’re all on the same clock, however, its all about priority. Is it a priority to get better quickly and stay that way or are you fine with slugging along feeling so-so and hoping things will change? This is where you take matters into your own hands.

Most people eat while sitting down. Whether this be during a project at your desk, while having yourself on mute during a conference call, or while perusing a magazine or browsing online. You are likely sitting. Which means taking out your food log and jotting down what you are eating takes all of one minute. Then you can carry on with the task at hand.

Even if you’re standing because you might feel rushed-it still takes a few minutes to chew and swallow, so get scribbling while you’re at it.

If you forget to write down what you had at lunch because you got distracted while having lunch with a friend, write it down the moment you remember, or during dinner.

Taking responsibility for your health is an empowering step, and one that can be easily made by keeping a food log.

Suspect you have food intolerances or allergies?

Then a food log could be your best friend without yet eliminating any foods. I always tell my clients we aren’t going to eliminate food groups unless we have to, meaning, unless you have tested for needing to remove them one in my program.

However, sugar isn’t a food group.

In case you were wondering.

And gluten can be an anti-nutrient.

But that’s another blog topic right there.

Off soapbox and back to topic: people who have begun paying attention to what they are eating or attribute certain foods to a rash, headache or stomach ache, may notice this might happen, though haven’t challenged it in any way.

Having a food log allows you to see what you’ve eaten in relation to how you’re feeling. Did you know it can take up to a week for your body to communicate its level of unhappiness in regards to a particular food? Yes, your body can respond right away with a scratchy throat, runny nose, a cough, explosive diarrhea, headache and belly ache or a number of other things….or if can take a bit for your body to process, in which case we blame that headache on stress, kids fighting, tight muscles or the like.

It’s not to say our bickering children can’t cause a headache, or your boss pressing into you with a deadline can’t get your heart racing, but having kept a food log, you can look back and connect that after book club stop at the pub for onion rings and a beer with the girls (which is, say, rare for you) with the stabbing gut pain you had two days later as your body is working so hard to digest that gluten you usually don’t eat.

How to begin keeping a food log

Grab a small notebook to keep with you making up three columns, one for each breakfast, lunch and dinner. Track this info, along with your water and other beverage intake each day, leave a spot to track snacks, and perhaps a place to jot down a note or two.

An interesting note to keep in the margin would be a quick word or two summing up how you felt that day: sluggish, full of energy, rested, bloated, etc.

Another level of tracking would be to look at your bowel movements, their number and consistency, along with how many hours and quality of sleep you got.

I can almost guarantee you won’t need a professional eye to make some basic changes based upon a few weeks of data you collect.

Maybe you realize how much sugar you eat between dinner and bed, or that you actually consume 3 or 4 cans of soda per day versus the 2 on your work shift. I have a client who was consuming 6 cans of soda per day, and, on her own eliminated 1 can per day and lost 7 pounds in the first week!

You might notice you aren’t eating any protein with breakfast-maybe that’s why you’re so hungry an hour after you get to work…

Like I said above, taking responsibility for your health is an empowering step, and one that can be easily made by keeping a food log.

And if you decide to begin working with a professional on your nutrition or health goals, you’ll have a great amount of data, failures and successes to share with them, furthering accelerating your quest to being full of energy and vitality.

Have you ever kept a food log? What was your process?

Salmon and Avocado Salad – a great recipe for your hormones and fertility

A couple of weeks ago I was skimming through Pinterest looking for new recipes and happened upon an infographic with different ways to “perfect your salad”. In the same few minutes I passed another post about the health benefits of avocado and knew I needed to step out of my comfort zone when it came to eating avocados.

avocado and fertility

I grew up hating them and only in the last few years I’ve gotten to love them, but only in my tacos and mexican fare. In my quest to keep my body functioning as it should, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new recipes. The first one inspired from that niffy little salad combining pic!

salmond and avocado

tuna and avocado salad

Salmon and Avocado Salad

A tasty way to boost your nutrient stores, balance your hormones, and increase your fertility through food.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Salmon and Avocado Salad - a great recipe for your hormones and fertility
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (or about 6-8 ounces) of salmon
  • ½ avocado, cubed
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional - chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Drain salmon and place in small bowl with chopped onion, lemon juice, and seasonings.
  2. Stir to combine and taste to see if you need more salt.
  3. Add avocado (and almonds if using) and gently stir until it's fully incorporated.
  4. Serve over lettuce, toast, or enjoy plain.
Notes
Variations:

Use canned tuna instead and omit basil.

Use shredded chicken and omit lemon - add minced garlic.

 salmon and avocado salad

Cooking for fertility

Avocados

Containing more potassium than bananas, avocados are a great source of nutrients like folate, vitamin E, and vitamin B6 as well as an excellent source of monosaturated fat.

Salmon

Wild caught salmon to be more specific, is full of healthy omega 3 fats that contain the ever important EPA and DHA. DHA is really important for fertility and hormone balance! It’s crucial to the formation of neurons and helps protect the brain from oxidative damage. In traditional Chinese Medicine, they believe that eating fresh wild salmon contributes to yin which is an essential factor in her ability to generate healthy follicles and ample amounts of cervical fluid. The omega 3 fats are also important for proper brain development for babies in utero and while nursing.

Almonds

A good source of monounsaturated fats, almonds also contain plenty of vitamin E, manganese, and biotin (a B vitamin). If you soak and dehydrate them first they are even better for you! And they add a great crunch to this salad.

 

Dietary variations:

Whole foods diet – you can include a piece or two of homemade bread or sprouted toast is a great addition.

Paleo/Primal/Grain-free – skip the bread and eat your salad as is or over some fresh lettuce.

THM – without the bread this is considered an S meal, with 1 slice of sprouted toast it’s an S Helper.

Fast Metabolism Diet – for phase 3 use fresh salmon instead of canned or use shredded chicken or canned tuna. Skip the bread and add a phase 3 fruit if you’re making it for lunch, but include 1 slice of sprouted toast, extra veggies, and no fruit if making it for dinner.

Gluten-free – swap out any gluten containing breads with GF versions (like this gluten-free sourdough bread) or skip the bread entirely.

French Silk Pie

Every once in a while I go through a season of life where at home is where it’s at.

Whether it’s during a season of tight budgets, or a season of healing where restaurant food just isn’t going to cooperate with the eating plan, sometimes having some really great celebration food in my back pocket is really helpful.

valentine's day French Silk PieFrench Silk Pie

 

gluten free french silk pie

Everyone deserves to celebrate the things (and people!) that are important to them! I also think everyone deserves to have a treat, even if you are trying to stay away from processed food.

I adore this French silk pie for a couple of reasons.

The biggest one being that I am *not* a baker. I completely and fully admit to that. I don’t make a lot of dessert in my house, and frankly I am just not comfortable with it! I have a fool-proof gluten-free pie crust though that is super easy to work with and very forgiving. It makes pie making less stressful when you know you can just patch up any little mishaps with extra dough!

And because I don’t really enjoy dessert making all that much, I don’t care to spend a bunch of time fussing over every little step. Not only is the crust easy, but the batter just blends up and spreads into the baked pie crust – no cooking! And the whipped topping is as simple as plopping simple and quick homemade whipped cream on top. Looks fancy but it is so easy.

My other reason for really loving this pie is because it is so creamy and rich. It is truly a splurge –and perfect for celebrating anything from a birthday for your loved one to Valentine’s Day.

homemade French Silk Pie

5.0 from 3 reviews
French Silk Pie
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 baked gluten free pie crust (If you use my recipe, just get the crust into your pie plate, poke some fork holes in the bottom, put some foil with beans into the bottom of the crust to weight it down, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the weight and bake another 20ish minutes. Cool completely before filling!)
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup organic pure cane POWDERED sugar
  • ½ cup whole sour cream
  • 3 TB raw cacao powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup melted chocolate chips (I like using the Enjoy Life brand – just watch the ingredients!)
  • 1-2 cups homemade whole whipped cream
  • Optional sprinkle of cacao powder to garnish the top
Instructions
  1. Blend the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add the sour cream, cacao powder, vanilla, and sea salt, and melted chocolate chips and blend through to combine.
  3. Spread the chocolate batter into the cooled pre-baked pie crust.
  4. Spread the whipped cream on top and garnish if you choose.
  5. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Great make ahead dish!

 

Five reasons why you should be skin brushing

I know each year we all start out with good intentions about what we will accomplish, but it seems like it doesn’t take long for those goals to somehow lose their importance. Sometimes it happens because life gets in the way or the goal was too lofty.

My goal for the new year is work on my health. Nice and generic, right? The reason I set it as being more of a broad goal is because I know my body. I know that sometimes I start our doing something I think  I need and it totally is not what I need to be doing.

I decided that for the winter I was going to concentrate on simple things I can do for my body to help let it rest and nourish as needed. I want to support my body and help it to function as best it can. My adrenals are tired and I am ready for them to perk up a bit. Anyone else?

Five reasons why you should be skin brushing

Dry skin brushing was something a friend recommended to me because I was complaining about skin issues. I was a bit skeptical but I decided for the small amount of money it costs (all you need is a natural bristled brush – available on Amazon) and time commitment (just a few minutes a day before your shower or bath) that I would try it.

I was totally surprised that after a few weeks I could see a major difference in some cellulite spots. (Sigh, I can’t believe I said that ‘out loud’) After seeing the improvement, I have been hooked on brushing. It is not a major part of my going to bed routine and I like the effects.

Brushing is also super easy to do. There are a ton of videos online, but I enjoyed this one and I have yielded great results in this method. (All though I really don’t think there is a ‘wrong’ way.)

Skin brushing is something I think EVERYONE can benefit from, if you don’t believe me, just check out the list below. These five reasons are pretty amazing for such a simple thing to add to your daily routine.

Five reasons why you should be skin brushing!

1. Skin brushing moves lymph fluid

The lymph system is one of the most important systems in your body as it is used to help carry debris out of your body. It moves germs and infection out of your system when you are sick. A healthy lymph system aids in a healthy immune system.

Skin brushing helps stimulate the ducts to break up clogs and help the fluid move more easily through your system. Stagnation isn’t good so keeping the lymph fluid flowing aids in helping your body function at healthier levels.

2. Skin brushing helps cleanse the skin

The skin is our largest organ, it not only protects us but it also how we eliminate things we don’t want in our bodies. Our skin also helps absorb things we need. (Which is why natural skin products are a super good idea)

Brushing the skin while dry helps to remove dead skin and tissue to help the skin ‘breathe’, which allows our body to more effectively get rid of toxins. Basically allowing good things in and bad things out.

3. Skin brushing can improve cellulite

Ack! Nobody likes to talk about it and nobody likes to have it, but cellulite is an issue for woman. Skin brushing can help! (I know, I was skeptic about this part too!)

Dry brushing helps break up fat deposits under the skin, there for, helping to distribute it helping to smooth cellulite. I really saw a difference in my upper arm and breast area. (Y’all I’m totally being personal so you know just how much I believe in skin brushing for health!)

4. Skin brushing helps stimulate the liver

In our world today our livers are stressed and overburdened. Their job is to help eliminate toxins, flush hormones and aid in digestion. An easy thing to do to help our livers function better is to brush.

Brushing helps stimulate the lymph system, mentioned above, and in turn that helps to stimulate the liver. It helps keep your body moving all types of fluid needed to work at optimal levels.

5. Skin brushing increases circulation

The action of the brushing increases circulation in the skin. Increased circulations helps to encourage waste elimination. This helps the pores of your skin open up. (This is even where I saw a difference in the pores on my nose, they are quite a bit smaller.)

Dry skin brushing just takes a few minutes out of your day, but is a great and gentle way to detox and stimulate the body. Some times the simplest of steps make a remarkable difference in our health.

Do you dry skin brush? What type of benefits have you seen from brushing?