Homemade Almond Milk

I love (!!!) almond milk… and I find myself buying it at least twice a week. I go through the stuff so fast… I put it in waffles/pancakes, coffee, smoothies, vegan protein shakes, baked goods, pretty much anything that requires regular milk. However I never really drink it plain. I don’t know why but I actually don’t enjoy drinking it… maybe because it tastes a little salty to me (?) I don’t know but I just don’t enjoy it. Well, one day I ran out of almond milk but I had a box of raw unsalted almonds so I decided to go for it and make my own. This almond milk was so delicious, I was finally able to drink a whole cup plain (and love every drop)

almond milk

  • Recipe:
    • 3 pitted dates
    • 1.5 cups soaked raw unsalted almonds (5-10 hours)
    • 2-3 cups cold water
    • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2-4 pitted medjool dates
  • Blend in a blender for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Strain in a nut milk sack, cheese cloth, or fine strainer. Strain a couple times if you use a fine strainer, the other two options are preferred.
  • Enjoy!

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I later made a strawberry and cinnamon spice milk shake with it, and they were both AMAZING.

milkshake

Yummy, healthy, and homemade!

Cheat Days: Do? Do Not.

A lot of body building websites/plans or “weight loss experts” who prescribe the chicken/broccoli diet will tell you yes! A cheat meal or day is okay, or even good! But let’s just be completely clear… whether it’s okay or not when it comes to weight loss… it is NOT okay for your health. Part of being healthy is not starving/binging. Maybe you can achieve an amazing physique while being hungry and unsatisfied 6/7 days a week and full and sick 1/7 days of the week, but you will never be “healthy” following a plan like that. Especially mentally. Real foods should not be looked at as OFF LIMITS for 6/7 days of the week. You can eat any food you want, waffles, cake, milkshakes… just try and find ways to make them healthier so you can enjoy them in your everyday life. I love making frozen banana milkshakes with honey, dates, almond milk, and spices, and it tastes JUST like a milkshake! I’ll try to post my gluten free dairy free waffle recipe in a week or two, but trust me these waffles are to die for, I can eat them everyday, and they satisfy me (fill me up and taste awesome… I don’t feel like I’m settling.)

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That’s me after a full day of eating, taken right after dinner with my boyfriend. My body stays the same and pretty slim (but my booty stays big) since I discovered how to eat right vs starve then binge. (my weight used to yo-yo)

Let’s talk about off limits. I do make a few foods off limits, but not just because they’re bad for me… but also because they make me feel awful and I don’t really enjoy them that much.

  • Candy (processed, packaged candy – this does not include a dark chocolate bar or chocolate covered almonds)
    • Absolutely nothing good in these types of foods, loaded with trans fats and processed sugars, and they make me feel like complete garbage.
  • Milk
    • I’m lactose sensitive, and I have researched milk so milk absolutely disgusts me. Plus it’s not good for your skin or keeping your figure.
  • Chips (lays, cheetos, etc.)
    • I do eat organic chemical free kettle cooked chips which actually are delicious, and I can eat a whole bag without feeling a gross coating all over my insides and like I can’t walk for a week.
  • Fast Food
    • I just avoid all fast food. I don’t really desire fast food fries when I could go get some good, fresh, thick cut, yummy fries at a restaurant. For me fried foods aren’t a no-no, but chemical covered, oddly flavored, cooked in rancid oil fried foods are.

Now let’s go over some “sometimes foods”. These are foods I eat small amounts of. Not because I am limiting myself but I find that if I allow myself to eat these foods I find I feel my best when I just eat small amounts everyday.

  • Cheese
    • Cheese is actually pretty rare in my diet (once a week max) but not because I plan it that way, just because I found once I allowed myself to eat cheese I didn’t actually want it all that much. Sometimes you only want a “bad” food so much because you make it off limits.
  • Sugar
    • I try and avoid added sugar or super sugary products, but sometimes your waffles need a spoonful of brown sugar to turn them from good into great and I’m not going to have a good breakfast when I could have a great one because I’m scared of a spoon of sugar.

SOMETIMES I eat a little pizza. I go to a local place that uses all organic ingredients and get me some pizza with veggies and maybe (pretty rarely) will get pizza with a meat topping. It full fills my cravings and at the end of the day, it’s really not that bad for you. Me allowing myself a couple slices of my favorite food when I crave it actually helps me crave it way less. Like I said before… knowing you can have whatever you want whenever you want actually doesn’t make you want it all that often.

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Portion sizes are super important when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Right? Wrong. Eat until you are full. Really listen to your body, get in touch with it. Find out how much you can eat before you’re too full and how much you need to eat to have enough energy and feel good. If you’re eating the right foods, weight shouldn’t be a problem. This isn’t me telling you to stuff your face with healthy foods, I’m just saying, satisfy your appetite, or It’ll come bite you on the ass.

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This is a little bowl of vegan hemp soft serve. I didn’t skip a planned snack later that day or do an extra mile on my run (I didn’t run at all actually) to make up for it. I just ate it. It was satisfying, I enjoyed it, and I didn’t hate myself or try and make up for it.

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Vegan Bonus tip. If you’re vegan and love you some junk food, oreos are vegan and you can eat as many as you want whenever you want, do you, eat how you want, live yo life, and treat yo self!

Guide to Glowing Skin

Ever see a woman just walking around with flawless skin thinking “who are you, how do you keep your skin so flawless, and will you please be my friend and teach me your ways?” Because I do that… all the time. Having nice skin helps you to be your most beautiful and confident self… but it’s not easy.

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Good skincare starts from the inside out. Drink WATER!!! At least two liters of water!!! Also drink things like tea, green smoothies, fresh cold pressed juices, and coconut water. Limit things like dairy, deep fried foods, and processed sugar (or ideally cut them out). Making these dietary changes will help your skin tremendously.

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Washing your face is important. Do it once a day; preferably at night. Rinsing your face in the morning is okay, but washing your face too often can strip your skin of it’s natural oils and cause it to overproduce, or give you other skin troubles. Try to find unscented, high quality, gentle cleaners. Here is a short list of some good options, if you are in the market to find a new cleanser, or haven’t found one you like yet.

  • Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap; developed by Clinique’s dermatologists, this facial soap claims non drying and protective properties.
  • Dior Self-Foaming Cleanser; Cosmetic America calls it “magic water”, the white tea in this product claims radiance-boosting properties.
  • Isomers Foaming Cleanser; Isomers Foaming Cleanser works on all skin types to clean impurities and remove makeup.
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser; this products boasts apricot kernel oil and avocado oil as key ingredients, which are vitamin rich and moisturizing. It is also pH balanced to preserve the skin’s natural balance.
  • Patricia Wexler M.D. Dual Action Foaming Cleanser; developed by a clinical dermatologists with 20 years experience, reviews claim overall clearer and softer skin.

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Masks are great! But a lot of drugstore masks are highly scented, colored, and full of added chemicals. Clay marks are the most effective face masks. Use once every two weeks, to once a week can help you keep your skin glowing.  Don’t be cheap when it comes to your skin… investing in a high quality clay mask can help your skin greatly, while some cheap clay masks could end up doing more harm than good. Do a little research when you go to find which brand you want. These types of marks will pull all the impurities out of your skin, but they will also pull the moisture out. It is important to rehydrate your skin with a good moisturizer. Which brings me to my next point.

Moisturizers! Two words… coconut oil. All you need to know.

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  • DO – hit the gym and sweat it out; get yourself sweating whether its running, boxing, lifting, or sitting in the sauna.
  • DON’T – exfoliate your face too often (and if you do use a gentle facial one)
  • DO – wash your pillowcase once every 5 days; you put your face on it for 4-10 hours of your day. Gotta keep it clean.
  • DON’T – talk on the phone with your screen pressed to your cheek; ever heard the little “your phone has more bacteria on it than a toilet seat?”… well thats 100% correct. I’ll just let you connect the dots of why you shouldn’t let your screen touch your face. Try speaker phone, a bluetooth device, headphones, or just hold the phone a couple inches from your face.
  • DO – try out different DIY face masks; they can be relaxing, fun (this tip is mostly for fun), and usually void of chemicals and added scents so they usually don’t harm your skin.
  • DON’T – get down on yourself if you don’t have perfect skin; love yourself HONEY!