how something as small as gratitude changed my life

When is the last time you took a moment to stop and think about what you’re thankful for?

IMG_1223.jpg

Or, how often do you take the time to actually sit and write it down? If you asked me this question two years ago, I would probably have said never. And guess what? Two years ago, I was insecure. I was overweight. I was unhealthy. I was living the life I “thought” I should be living, rather than the life I wanted to be living.  Anyone else ever feel this way?

Here’s the peculiar part of this picture: At that time, I didn’t realize how unhappy I actually was. I had great friends and family. I was at a college I loved. I was about to move to the city of my dreams and work in the industry I had worked my ass off to get into. That sounds like happiness, right?

Since I graduated college, I’ve learned more than ever that just because you’re not unhappy doesn’t mean you’re truly living your best life. Sure, that may seem daunting, but in my opinion, it’s exciting. Think about it this way: Whether you consider yourself to be happy or unhappy, there’s always room for growth. You can always be happier. Healthier. Stronger. In my opinion, happiness is a choice, and a huge part of how I found mine is such a simple yet highly underrated practice: gratitude.

Now, you may be thinking, “Practice? Gratitude is a noun, not a verb. It’s a thing, it’s not something you do.” This was my hesitation at first as well. How can something as small as gratitude be practiced regularly, like brushing your teeth or going to the gym?

I came across the concept of practicing gratitude and making it part of my everyday routine after reading an incredible book called The Secret. The Secret is a book that focuses on energy—both good and bad—and how it can affect your life in ways you could have never imagined. In the book, the author Rhonda Byrne explains the law of attraction. We’ve all heard about karma and the concept of, “what goes around comes around,” but the law of attraction is less about your actions and more about your perspective. Think more, “you are your thoughts” rather than “you are your actions.”

In the book, Byrne explains that a great way to use the law of attraction is through gratitude. It’s simple: The more you consciously say, think, and feel excited about the things that you have to be grateful for, the more they will manifest in your life. Whether it be an emotional thing like friendship and love or physical things like a house, job, or car, by practicing gratitude each day, the law of attraction can bring you…well…anything you want.

Sounds crazy and kind of, “living in never-never land” ish, I know. But then I started doing my research. Ever heard of how Jim Carrey became who he is today? He used gratitude, a positive outlook, and the law of attraction to make himself a millionaire. He tells the full story during an interview on Oprah. Once you find his story, it’s easy to fall down a rabbit-hole of countless others just like it. Needless to say, I did just that, and that was enough for me to become fully invested in the concept and practice it as much as I could.

After finishing The Secret I frantically began my search for things that would keep me in the right mindset. Calendar markers, vision boards, and brand new notebooks filled my search history. It wasn’t long before I had a vision board in my tiny New York Apartment in Nolita, a rock that I carried around with me to constantly remind me to be thankful, and a journal I wrote in every morning and night. My gratitude journal is The Five Minute Journal, and this journal, along with my other law-of-attraction rituals, have undoubtedly changed my life.

15094523_10157842218085341_2258007339079006489_n.jpg
Me and a dear friend Hayden with my “gratitude” rock a few years ago.

Let me use my Five Minute Journal as an example of how. This journal is designed to help you practice gratitude daily by taking five minutes to write down what you’re thankful every morning and night. Here’s how it’s laid out:

First, the journal presents you with an inspirational quote or challenge. (This quote has become more of a daily reminder than an inspiration for me.) It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget why you are even doing what the hell you’re doing; we all need a little reminder every once in a while.

Then, the journal prompts you to list three things you are grateful for. After that, it asks you to write down three things that would make the day great. If you’re writing down what would make the day great, you’re more likely to do anything to make them all happen, right? That’s where the magic happens. By doing this you’re setting yourself up for success first thing in the morning.

The next part of the morning journaling is my favorite: it tells you to write your daily affirmations. If you’re unfamiliar with what this means, here are some helpful prompts. Finish these sentences:

I am…

I have…

By saying things like, “I have the best job in the world,” or, “I’m healthy, happy, and strong,” it’s manifesting these things and making them a reality. Whether or not you actually have what you believe to be the best job in the world, by writing down that you do every day, you are taking it out of the future and bringing it into the present. You’re making it real. You’re using the law of attraction.

IMG_6018.JPG

At the end of the day, the journal gives you two prompts: “3 Amazing things that happened today…” and “How could I have made today even better?”

The first allows you to sit back and recognize the beauty that is life, even if you’ve had the worst day EVER. I’ve gotten dumped, laid off, and sick as hell, and on days like these, this prompt saved my mental state from slipping into a slippery slope of, “whoa is me.” Because even on days where shit hits the fan and life happens, there’s always something to be thankful for; even if it is something as small as “I had a great cup of tea,” or “my commute was three minutes shorter than usual.”

By asking you to reflect on the day and put your life in perspective, the second prompt is setting you up for success BEFORE you even wake up the next day. How badass is that?

IMG_6020.JPG

Something I want to stress here is that I’m human, and some days are definitely better than others. Sometimes, I wake up late and forget to write in my journal. Sometimes, sad things happen and I just want to cry about them and not only focus on the good. It’s important to feel your feelings and recognize that life is not perfect, and through pain comes growth. However, it’s also important to realize that no matter what happens, happiness is a choice and there is ALWAYS something that makes life worth living. I write more about feeling your feelings and how to do so in a functional way in this post.

In a nutshell, gratitude is all about perspective. If there’s anything I’d like for you to take away from this post, it’s that you get to decide how you are going to receive and react to everything that happens in your life, and you also get to decide what your future looks like. Yes, some things are out of our control. However, by practicing gratitude on a regular basis, you will always feel happy because you will constantly be reminded about how everything that has happened to you has made you better; and you will constantly be reminded that the world is literally at your fingertips. You can have it all.

All you have to do is step back, be thankful for what you have, and allow the universe to shower you with anything you desire.

DSC_0344.jpg

In good health,

G

8 little things you can do to live a healthier life

A common misconception is that being healthy means taking EVERYTHING to the extreme. It’s like people think that in order to reach an optimal state of health and happiness, you have to eat bags of kale for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and do yoga 24/7. It’s much easier and pleasurable than that, peeps, I promise! (And what a relief.)

IMG_5396.jpg

As I already said on my about page, my health has not always been as important to me as it is now. Yes, I’ve been vegan for about two years now, but there were another 22 years of my life where I over-indulged in everyone’s favorite fixes: coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, and looottssss of meat and cheese.

People often ask me how I started to change my lifestyle. “Oh, I could never do that,” they say, “I enjoy coffee way too much.” Or, “I want to be healthier, but I just don’t have the time or money.” Trust me, I understand! Though I currently live a non-traditional lifestyle that isn’t a 9 to 5, I did for a long time. And guess what? I was vegan when I did. I was healthy when I did. I prioritized my health and happiness when I did.

So, how did I do it? I’ll start by saying that I surely didn’t wake up one morning and become the person I am today. First, I decided what “healthy” meant to me, both physically and emotionally. Then, I started to make small lifestyle changes that eventually made big lifestyle changes easier (like becoming vegan or quitting smoking), and later, they became a part of my everyday routine. If I went a day or two without doing these small things, it felt like I was forgetting something important. Kind of like if you forget to brush your teeth or put on D.O.

Heads up! Being “healthy” looks different for everyone, and though it’s a lifestyle change, your changes can be small at first. In my experience, it was easy for me to start small and THEN figure out what my big picture was. Just because it was veganism for me, doesn’t mean it has to be for you.

If you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle, first and foremost, take this moment to feel good about that. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be relieved to know that there are lots of very small changes you can make that’ll make your transition way easier than you’d think.

8 simple things you can do to be healthier

1. drink more water

I’m always shocked to hear people tell me that they “have to try” to drink more water. But then again, I realize that I react this way because drinking water has become such a huge part of my day that I can’t imagine going through a day without constantly drinking it. Over half of your body weight comes from water, and without it, your body suffers. Staying hydrated at all times can help relieve bloating, curb cravings, clear your skin, and give you energy. Here are some ways I hold myself accountable and drink a shit ton of water:

  • always carry a water bottle with you. EVERYWHERE you go! (Preferably reusable! Hydroflask is my favorite brand.)
  • Use fun apps/markers to keep track of how much water you’ve had in a day. A lot of my friends use the app Plant Nanny. I use colorful rubber bands to keep track of mine! Every time I drink a bottle, I put a rubber band on it.

moment_photo_27991FD2 2.jpg

  • Take a sip of water between each/every other bite of food you take. Not only will this help with hydration, it will also help you SLOW DOWN when you’re eating your food, which will aid the digestion process.
  • Cut out the sugary shit: soda, old school juices (ones that have a lot of sugar and aren’t natural), sugary alcoholic drinks, etc. Even if it’s a hot summer day, you’re craving a soda, and you feel SUPER hydrated after drinking it, guess what? You’re not craving it because it quenches your thirst, you’re craving the sugar. Also, it’s not hydrating you, it’s dehydrating you. Smh.

2. add lemon to…well…everything.

Squirt it into your morning cup of H2O. (I try to have AT LEAST 8oz of water + lemon every morning, first thing.) Drizzle it onto your salads. Add it (with the skin!) to your juices. Anywhere you can sneak it in, doooooo ittttt. To name just a few benefits of these bad boys: They aid digestion, they’re a great source of vitamins, they help with clear skin and bloating, and control high blood pressure. When I first quit drinking coffee, I swapped out my morning cup of Joe with hot water + lemon every day. It was way easier than I thought.

3. only eat when you’re hungry and take note of cravings

Ever crave something out of nowhere and feel the need to eat it, without even thinking about whether or not you’re actually hungry? Each craving represents a lack of a specific micronutrient in your body.  Example: If you’re craving carbs, you need more B vitamins. Next time you find yourself craving something, google it and see which micronutrient you’re lacking and give your body THAT instead of cavin’ to the cravin’.

4. listen to your body

Seems simple, but very few people ACTUALLY go through with it. I’m a victim of this, and I have to make an effort to do so because I tend to push myself too hard sometimes. Tired? Sleep. Hungry? Eat. Not hungry? Don’t eat. Feeling overworked? Slow down! Stress is SO detrimental to our overall health. Your body is a magnificent force and it’s on your side; whenever it needs something, it TELLS YOU. So, listen up!

5. sneak in greens anywhere you can

moment_photo_6738AEB7.jpg

The traditional American meal consists of carbs, proteins, and sometimes grains. If greens are included, they’re often the side attraction, and they’re prepared in an unhealthy way. If you’re in the mood for a savory breakfast, sautee some veggies and have them on the side. If you’re having a sandwich/salad, choose veggies that are SUPER high in essential vitamins and double-up! (Kale, spinach, arugula, etc.) I sneak greens into everything; soups, casseroles, pasta dishes. In my opinion, they make most meals taste even better. Next time you whip up a bowl of spaghetti, throw in a few handfuls of spinach and see how you like it.

6. don’t skip breakfast

I could go on and on about this. Managing blood sugar levels is ESSENTIAL for a healthy lifestyle. If you skip a full breakfast and start your day with a cup of coffee or a sugary bar of some sort instead, you’re sending your blood sugar levels on an emotional rollercoaster that will cause crashes, fatigue, cravings, and more not-so-fun things later on. If you don’t like to wake up early to sit down and enjoy a meal, just try this: Upon waking up, have 8oz of water and be sure to eat within 70/90 minutes of waking up. Pay attention to your sugar intake as well. (Added sugar.) The difference in your mood will shock you. It did for me!

7. make lunch your biggest meal

Think about this for a second: Why is dinner usually the biggest meal of your day? For me and many others, it was for a few reasons. First off, I wasn’t feeding/fueling myself enough through the day, which would make me STARVING when I got home from work or when the day was ending. Second, it was a mental thing for me. I did a good job, I worked my ass off, so I deserve a big flippin’ bowl of pasta, right? Sometimes, yes, but as soon as you begin to make food a reward, it can also quickly become a punishment. “You didn’t work out today, so you don’t get to eat x, y, or z.” This is a very unhealthy way to look at food, for our bodies NEED IT to survive. If you really think about it, it doesn’t make sense to save our biggest meals for the end of the day, because soon after, our bodies are going into sleep mode. They’re inactive. It makes so much more sense to fill your body with energy-filling foods in the middle of the day because THAT’S when we need the most energy! After lunch, we still have over half of the day to be active. I’m not saying make your dinners small, I’m just saying rethink the way you make each meal. If there’s going to be a meal you “go big” on portion or carb wise, make it lunch.

8. meal prep

Meal prep changed my life. If you’re frantically trying to figure out what your lunch is going to be ten minutes before your mid-day meeting and you have nothing in your fridge when you get home after working late, you’re definitely more likely to order in Chinese takeout rather than prepare a beautiful, veggie-filled meal. Duh. But what if the meal was already prepared for you, waiting patiently for you to enjoy right when you got home? If so, you’d be much more likely to choose the healthier option, because it’s already there. This is why I take one day out of my week (usually Sundays or the weekend) to prep a majority of my meals.

Here are some things I always have ready in the fridge:

  • Green juices/smoothies (I make them the night before and keep them sealed in a mason jar. It works! I just shake before enjoying. Here’s my go-to recipe.)
  • Ripe avocados
  • A large tub of quinoa, rice, buckwheat, or farro. (I cook about a cup or two and keep it in Tupperware throughout the week. LIFESAVER.
  • Pre-cooked legumes; they’re an easy add-on to any meal: kinds of pasta, salads, bowls, etc.

MORE TIPS FOR MEAL PREP:

  • Pay attention to what will get soggy/settle weird after a few days. Example: If you are meal prepping sweet potato fries for the week, have them for dinner Monday night and make a big batch for Tues-Fri. Don’t make a big batch Sunday, not eat any that night, and then expect them to be perfect for Friday’s lunch or dinner. A day in the fridge makes a big difference.
  • Make it a ritual, or something to look forward to. Before I meal prep, I look up fun, new recipes that make me excited to try. During, I blast music and pour myself whatever I’m feelin’ at the time. (Sometimes matcha, sometimes wine…balance, am I right?)
  • Afterward, I take that opportunity to clean my kitchen. It is such a great way to start the week!

If all of the above things don’t seem “small” to you, that’s OKAY. Everyone has to start somewhere. You don’t have to do all of them at once or none of them at all; pick and choose what seems easiest for you and gradually build. Again, everyone can get there differently, but YOU decide what your first step to healthy will look like. Even if it’s just starting your day with hot water and lemon, that’s something!

In good health,

G

 

 

why it’s important to feel your feelings

Before you read this, ask yourself: How do you deal with trauma? When things aren’t going the way you planned, how do you cope with it?

IMG_4050.jpg

Life is beautiful. There’s so much to see, so much to experience, so many people to meet that will change your life and shape who you are. I often wake up and look out my window in disbelief that I get to live on this planet and choose what my life is going to look like. It’s all about perspective, ya know?

IMG_4027.jpg

When I take a moment to stop, revisit my gratitude, and focus on the things that make life worth living, I feel so humbled. I feel amazing. That being said, like anyone else who lives an ordinary life, though, I work. I workout. I pay bills. I cook, clean, visit with friends. I travel. When you get caught up in the day to day and you get into a routine, it becomes easy to turn on auto piolet and cruise along for the ride. So, what happens when the autopilot is on and tragedy strikes?

Feeling your feelings and dealing with emotions can be difficult. This is why people do things to “not feel,” like use drugs, shut down, disappear, etc. Obviously, everyone deals with stress, sadness, and hardships differently. Recently I’ve noticed this more than ever. Sometimes you forget that people are different than you—I know I definitely have forgotten this and still struggle with understanding it. Through friendships, work, and relationships, I’m still learning.

After reflecting on the last six months of my life and taking a hard look at where I am today, I’ve realized something that, in my opinion, is extremely important for personal growth: Feeling your feelings is a good thing.

IMG_1293.jpg

Take a moment to think about the people in your life. How do they deal with trauma? In my experience, some people yell. Some people cry. Some people talk it out, bottle it up inside, ignore it all, run away, whatever. Something I’ve learned, though, is that there is a difference between acknowledging the presence of your emotions, rather than letting them run your life and fuel your choices.

Here’s a personal example: This year, I was laid off. In that moment and moments after, I felt sad, hurt, and stressed. When I felt sad, I cried or talked about it with my friends and family. When I felt angry, I did the same. However, once those emotions passed, I had to step outside of myself and make sure I was using those moments to move forward and heal, rather than drag me down and hurt me further. On the days when I let them get the best of me, I wouldn’t be productive and I’d feel like shit about everything. That’s no way to live!

On the other side of things, though, sometimes, I wouldn’t feel anything. I’d start to feel upset, and then I’d stop myself because I wanted to keep my pride. “I won’t let a job and a company that wasn’t meant for me dictate my mood or ruin my day,” I’d think to myself. Or, I would be scared of feeling pain, because let’s be real…no one wants to hurt inside. It’s scary. You feel vulnerable. Well, guess what happened when I didn’t feel pain? I felt it even more later on. It would all come back full circle, and I would have LEGIT meltdowns.

Here’s my point with all of this: In the moments where I felt my feelings, I was able to use my emotions as a tool and look inward to aid my healing process. In the moments where I wouldn’t allow myself to do so, everything would bottle up inside of me. It never “went away” until I released it into the universe.

As my mother always says, our emotions are like a compass. They are here to guide you. They are your friend. Sometimes, we let our brains (or the more logical side of ourselves), overthrow our feelings. Should you go rogue and make every decision based on emotions and nothing more? No. But, if your compass told you to turn North, would you go South? Probbbabbbllyyy not. So, I say, use them to get you on a path that feels right. Then, that’s when the logic comes in. This way, you, your emotions, and your logic are a team. You’re not working against each other. Your emotions are here to HELP YOU, not hurt you. They don’t define you. They don’t make you weak. They are meant to be felt and then released.

If you’re dealing with some BS that doesn’t serve you, it’s okay, you’re not alone. Like I said earlier, feeling your emotions can be scary. Here are a few functional ways I’ve learned to do so that have worked for me, step-by-step.

How to heal by using your feelings

  1. Acknowledge them. The emotions you are feeling are there, and they’re real A F. They’re not going anywhere until you do something about it.
  2. So, FEEL THEM. Cry, run, scream, call a friend and talk it out, whatever. Just be sure to do something…don’t run away.
  3. Accept them. How do we move on from something that doesn’t make sense to us? Or, how do we make sense of something that literally doesn’t make sense? We accept it. We don’t have to agree with it, praise it, or love it, but to TRULY heal, we do have to accept it. HARD, I know, but so crucial for moving forward.
  4. Set them free. Imagine yourself tossing the sadness, despair, or betrayal into the air. And then, like a balloon, they just float into the sky, until they are eventually out of sight. By this point of the healing process, you’ve already felt these emotions and used them as a tool. You don’t need them anymore, so, set them free.
  5. Be patient. You may only have to go through this process once. Or, you may have to go through it every day for months. Whatever your healing process looks like, just remember to be patient with yourself. Everyone is different, but as long as you are feeling your feelings, time, patience, and love (from yourself and others) will take care of the rest.

In good health,

G

 

 

a guide to greens: how to make green blends that don’t taste like S$%*!

If you’ve ever taken a sip of a green smoothie and thought to yourself, “This tastes like cardboard. How do people actually enjoy this, and drink it every day?” This post is for you.

IMG_4451.jpg

Leading a healthy lifestyle is SO rewarding, but when you’re first getting started, it can be overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion on what is/isn’t good for you, what you should be having more/less of, what you should/shouldn’t stay away from, etc. BUT, if there’s one thing nearly everyone can agree on, it’s that GREENS are GOOD. Simple.

I didn’t realize how much my diet was lacking in greens until I started trying to incorporate them into my meals more. Before I went vegan, my “healthiest meals” consisted of a piece of protein (chicken/fish), a starch/grain (potato/white rice), lettuce, and dressing/sauce. Now, some of you may be thinking, “That sounds healthy to me!” Yes, that is much healthier than a slice of pizza or a hamburger, but why settle for “healthier than” when you can have THE HEALTHIEST. Catch my drift?

In order to get myself to a place where I truly loved and craved greens, I had to 1. re-train my taste buds, 2. change the way I look at a full, healthy meal, and 3. consider them as an option for every meal, not just lunch/dinner. Instead of looking at a green as a side act for the main attraction (the protein), it became the star of the show. Instead of, “What vegetable can I serve as a side to chicken,” it’s more like, “I have kale, spinach, and arugula in my fridge this week. I’ll use the kale for breakfast, the spinach for lunch, and the arugula for dinner.” The dressings, toppings, and creativity come in later. Ta daaaaa.

IMG_5215.jpg

Don’t worry; I’m not implying you should wake up and have a solo bowl of kale for breakfast. In my opinion, kale tastes better when it’s paired with something, and obviously, that’s not a full meal anyway. I know when I first started exploring plant-based nutrition, I felt like I didn’t know how to incorporate my greens into a majority of my meals, especially breakfast+early lunch.

moment_photo_C3FF2BE0.jpg

After I got a Vitamix, I experimented with countless fruit+veggie combos over and over again until I found a formula that worked for me. In an attempt to spare all of you from the nasty smoothie bowl, juice, and other green blends that I painfully experienced, I’ve created a list of hacks for you to keep in your back pocket.

tips+tricks on making green blends you’ll actually like

1. Natural sweeteners are a lifesaver

Before I went vegan, I didn’t even know what a date was. (The fruit, obv. Well, arguably the other thing too, now that I think about it. Hey, it’s tough out there…) That seems so crazy to me now, because today, they are such a HUGE part of my diet. They are a grocery store staple. Other examples of natural sweeteners are vanilla extract or vanilla bean, cinnamon, pineapple, bananas, and flavored nut milk. If it’s not a fruit+veg or it’s not homemade, always make sure there’s NO ADDED SUGAR.

2. Berries, berries, berries

Berries + greens are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, so why not have both before noon? No matter what kind of blend I’m making, I always use one or both of these. When making a green blend, they act as a natural sweetener and they amplify the nutrients in the dish. In most cases, I just use a handful.

3. Go frozen

If you’ve ever bought massive bunches of kale+spinach only to throw it out later in the week because it went bad, you’re not alone. When I grocery shop, I buy a TON of greens, and about 50% of them are frozen. I’ve found that frozen greens sort of act as nutrient-ice cubes in smoothies, bowls, and juices, which is a win-win. Cold, healthy, and cost efficient!

4. Fillers are KEY

When I say “fillers” I don’t mean whatever BS processed food contains to “fill” a product that’s really just made of junk. What I mean is this: A lot of people don’t like green smoothies or juices because when they make them, 3/4 of the ingredients are greens. Nutrient-wise, this is great! Taste wise, eh, not so much. But when you blend/juice greens, they whittle down to nearly nothing, so what do you do? This is where fillers come in. My two go-to fillers are frozen bananas and cauliflower. These ingredients give the blends texture, they make more food, and they help with the taste. (Especially banana.)

5. I’m in love with the vo-vo. AVO!

I always throw half an avo into my green dishes. It adds healthy fats which keep me happily full until the next meal, it REALLY helps with the texture so you don’t feel like you’re chewing on a carpet, and it helps with the taste. Sweet or salty, you can never go wrong with an avo.

6. Know what texture you are looking for

Are you looking to make a quick juice? Add more greens+water and fewer fillers. Are you looking for a breakfast bowl? Use nearly EVERYTHING frozen and top it with seeds+gronola to give it texture. Looking for a smoothie? Do a combo of both of the above. If you tell yourself you want a juice and you throw in 3 bananas and hardly any water, you’ll get a smoothie texture, and this is discouraging. Know what you want before you reach for the blender and you’ll set yourself up for success before you even begin.

Finally, just for reference, here’s my go-to green smoothie recipe. Happy blending!

In good health,

G

 

matcha latte recipe

IMG_4105.jpg

 

Matcha is Japanese green tea leaves that are finely ground into powder. Traditionally, the powder is prepared with hot water to make a frothy drink. It’s packed with antioxidants (more than regular tea + coffee) and, like coffee, it can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some facts about the green goodness that is matcha:

  • 1 serving of matcha is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea
  • It boosts your metabolism
  • It lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • It’s a natural detoxifier
  • It’s a friggin antioxidant POWERHOUSE.

My morning matcha is always different. I make it according to what I’m in the mood for, or what my body is telling me I need. Sometimes, I add turmeric for extra health benefits. Other times, I add organic vanilla extract to make it sweeter. Regardless, I’ve found a handful of key ingredients I use every time that, in my opinion, make the perfect stand-alone matcha latte.

IMG_3910.jpg

what you’ll need

  • high-speed blender
  • stovetop or kettle
  • measuring spoons
  • small mesh sifter/strainer (I use a cocktail strainer. Cheers!)

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup hot (not boiling) water
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I have only used non-dairy for this recipe.)
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp coconut butter
  • 1 pinch pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon (all optional depending on what kind of latte you’d like.)

instructions

Bring water to the edge of boiling in a kettle or on the stovetop. This isn’t a do or die sitch, but if the water is boiling, it will take away from the denseness of the powder and sometimes it gives it a burnt taste. While the water is heating up, add milk, coconut butter, pink salt, and other add-ins to the blender. Place strainer above the blender and strain the powder until there is nothing left in the strainer. This step also isn’t do or die, it just gets the lumps out of your latte and makes everything smooth and even. Once the water is on the edge of boiling temp, add it to the blender. Blend until frothy. Pour and garnish with whatever you’d like; I use cinnamon. If you’d like to enjoy this iced, prep it the same way and just pour it over ice.

FYI: *Coconut butter is KEY in this recipe; it makes the drink frothy. Add more/less coconut butter for more/less froth. *If you’d like it thicker, sub .5 cup of water for another .5 of milk. *If you don’t want it so milky, you can take away the milk altogether and use 2.5 cups of hot water. It might lose a little flavor with this sub though. *The recipe will still work if you don’t measure everything EXACT, so don’t stress! I’ve gotten to a point where I can eyeball the measurements for a latte in my favorite mug, and those measurements don’t exactly align with the ones above. The above measurements are for your standard, small mug. *MAKE IT YOUR OWN! Add things, take away, make it sweet/spicy, whatev. You do you.

 

 

homemade almond milk

IMG_3899.jpg

Yes, I took this picture outside because yes, I BYOM’D somewhere. No shame.

I’m not perfect, but I pay a lot of attention to the products I buy and what’s going into my body. A great rule of thumb I go by is if I can’t pronounce an ingredient or picture what it looks like, chances are, my body won’t know what it is either. Therefore, it won’t know what to do with it. Simple, but SO hard to follow with what’s on the market these days.

I will say store-bought nut milk options have gotten much better over the last few years. That being said, because the product needs to maintain a shelf life, questionable indigents are snuck in here and there. Long story short: Homemade is always your safest bet. You know EXACTLY what’s going into it, from start to finish.

The below recipe is for homemade almond milk, but you can sub for any type of nut. I just experiment with what flavors and textures I like best, add more/less water, and go from there.

ingredients

Makes one 24oz mason jar.

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • filtered water
  • pink salt
  • dates
  • organic vanilla extract

what you’ll need

  • High-speed blender
  • cheesecloth
  • strainer
  • jar or glass that seals for storage

instructions

Place your almonds in a bowl and fill the bowl with water until all of the almonds are covered. Store it in the fridge overnight or throughout the day, for 6-8 hrs. (The softer the nuts, the less they have to soak.) Once the almonds are ready, strain the water and place them in the blender with 3.5 cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth. Grab a bowl or jar and place underneath the cheesecloth. Pour the blended liquid into a cheesecloth and squeeze the milk into the container. Be gentle! If you squeeze too hard, the pulp will get into the mixture.

After all of the liquid has been squeezed out, pour the milk back into the blender. Add dates, salt, cinnamon, etc. These are all optional.

**FYI: This will last in the fridge for about three days.

bok choy + tempeh

If you find yourself getting into a routine where you are buying all of the same greens + proteins for lunch and dinner, this quick dish is for you!
IMG_4721.jpg

I don’t eat bok choy as much as I eat other greens like kale + spinach. I turn to bok choy when I feel like I need to spice up my greens rotation, and it hits the spot every. single. time.

Like most greens, bok choy is loaded with vitamins, like vitamin A, b-6, C and k. It can also help you meet your daily potassium + calcium needs, and they’re full of iron. Those are just a few benefits of the many they possess.

I turn to things like tempeh or tofu when I feel like I need something to “complete” my meal, because though greens are amazing, they won’t keep you full until your next meal. This is why balance is key. People always ask me about protein, as if that’s the only thing everyone has on their plate! Finding greens + protein pairs is key to making quick, healthy meals. Tempeh + bok choy is a great place to start if you are looking for something quick and easy.

IMG_4687.jpg

ingredients

  • organic bok choy (as many as you’d like. I like buying the mini ones because they are easier to prepare.)
  • 1/2 block of organic tofu or tempeh
  • pink salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • coconut amino acids
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • avocado oil or coconut oil

instructions

Wash bok choy with water before preparing. I suggest doing this with all greens, but ESP bok choy, because there is usually dirt on the bottom of each piece. Drizzle a little oil onto a pan over medium heat and let it heat up before placing anything on it. Drop both bok choy and chopped/broken tempeh onto pan until they start to change color. Then, pour on as much amino acid as you’d like. This is a healthy alternative for soy sauce, therefore, it’s a strong taste. I usually don’t go crazy because the bok choy will get drippy. Let it all soak in the acids for 4/5 minutes then add spices.