Monday Musings 8.13.18

I write this from a beach chair soaking up all the sun that the PNW has to offer! Summer in the Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite times of the year. Even though the weather can reach the 100s some days, the usual dry climate keeps the heat pretty tolerable. Especially if you’re a morning person like me and can squeeze in some perfectly cool 60 degree runs!

Anyway, I am excited to return to blogging after my hiatus and hope to continue to provide quality content where time allows. After taking somewhat of a break from blogging, photographing food and social media in general I have been able to prioritize what is important to me and what I am passionate about!

I have always enjoyed writing, but have only recently realized I truly love writing about nutrition and health topics. Especially ones that are rooted in “conventional wisdom.” I am thankful for my time away but am happy to be back sharing information with you!

#1 Matcha Lattes

Oh my word! Matcha has become my newest obsession. After feeling increasingly anxious the last few months due to increased stress and other obligations I had started to lean on caffeine, mainly in the form of coffee, a little too heavily to get me going in the mornings or as an afternoon pick-me-up.

After doing a little research of my own, I started to notice a connection between general anxiety and caffeine. Typically, if you are prone to anxiety of any form, the higher the caffeine consumption, the higher the level of anxiety. After trying to drink decaf coffee for a little while I finally made the switch to matcha.

Matcha is brilliant green and full of antioxidants. I have been loving mine in the mornings with some added collagen, full-fat coconut milk, cinnamon and ashwagandha. Sometimes I will add a little ghee or cocoa butter if I am working out in the morning.

I have noticed my level of anxiety has been decreasing the longer I abstain from coffee. So for the time being, I have no plans to reintroduce coffee back into my life, but always find it fascinating to play around with diet to try and eliminate certain symptoms or conditions.

#2 Smoothies!!

This is a new one for me. Typically I am not a form of liquid foods, but I have since found that adding “crunchies” to my smoothies has greatly improved the way I digest smoothies! I learned this trick from Beth over at Tasty Yummies. She has an amazing Smoothie Guide here.

Crunchies can be anything from coconut flakes, cacao nibs to dried fruit or bee pollen! They help to activate the digestive enzymes needed to break down food through chewing. Chewing food helps create saliva and alert the body that digestion is about to happen!

Besides, who needs more reasons to enjoy a cold smoothie on a hot afternoon? My favorite (to die for, really) combination lately has been butternut squash (steamed, then frozen), frozen blueberries, coconut milk and collagen for protein!

On top I love to add cacao nibs, bee pollen and dried mulberries (they get really chewy when partially frozen and it is SO GOOD). Other favorites of mine lately include frozen cauliflower and frozen cherries. YUM.

Honestly smoothies are such a great way to sneak in more vegetables (you can’t taste them, promise!) and even superfoods like spirulina, chia seeds, chlorella and many more! The world is your oyster! Get creative and let me know what combos you are loving lately!

#3 Cinnamon- Roasted Jicama Fries

I really need to thank Christina over at Christina Rice Wellness for this game-changer!

Jicama is a root vegetable that contains a ton of prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fibers are a form of indigestible plant fiber that are fermented in the large colon and then eaten by PRObiotics in our guts. The more prebiotic fiber there is for the probiotics to consume, the better job they can do to provide optimal digestion.

Christina’s recipe is so simple. Just toss jicama (I buy mine pre-cut from Trader Joe’s) with some coconut oil and a LOT of cinnamon and roast 30 minutes! Her recipe is here.

These taste like a treat without containing any sugar! Such a great idea and another awesome way to sneak more vegetables into our diets!

#4 Bone Broth Collagen

Since it is summer now and drinking bone broth seems really counter-intuitive I have been LOVING adding bone broth collagen to my daily smoothies or to recipes that call for bone broth.

While I usually have some homemade bone broth cubes in my freezer, it is nice to know I can also use a scoop of bone broth collagen powder, a little bit of water and boom! Instant bone broth.

I haven’t been able to detect the flavor in my smoothies, I like the unflavored one, but Ancient Nutrition also has a ton of other flavor options like Chocolate, Vanilla, Turmeric and Greens! I highly recommend checking this option out as another way to get collagen in every day. If you missed my benefits about collagen post check here.

I recently made these chocolate chip cookies from Juli over at PaleOMG and used bone broth collagen instead of regular collagen peptides and was blown away at the deep, nutty flavor!! They were seriously so good.

#5 Beauty Counter Makeup Removing Wipes

Maybe almost a little TOO excited about this one. I have finally found a product that I love and also contains no harsh chemicals or other harmful ingredients!

I have sensitive skin, so most other makeup removers either leave me with stinging skin or a red, blotchy face. I am so happy to have found Beauty Counter and their amazing products.

Beauty Counter has banned the use of 1,500 ingredients in their products for the harmful effects they have on humans and the environment. For comparison, the US Government has banned only 30 ingredients (the last time this was updated was 1938). The UN has banned 1,400 ingredients. LIKE WHAT!?

After researching the topic more, I have learned about the connection between our skin and gut health. We absorb products through our skin and eventually they can cause issues in our digestive system and disrupt hormones! Just saying, but I really didn’t sign up for that.

Think about the number of products you use in a day – from toothpaste to shower items, to hair products and then makeup and skin products. If our skin absorbs everything we put on it, including chemicals, they must be dealt with and excreted by our bodies.

I am personally very thankful to have companies like Beauty Counter that offer such high-quality products and have been a lot more mindful lately of what I am putting on my body. To read more about their mission statement, head here.

#6 Harry Potter

Okay, this one isn’t really new, but I am really enjoying reading more often lately. I have read the series before and obviously loved them as a teen but revisiting them later in life has been just as magical.

My hope is that by reading more I will spend less time doing mindless scrolling on social media and less time watching television/Netflix. So far, it’s working! I hope to also rekindle my love for reading fantasy books and would love to plunge myself into the Game of Thrones series next!

When I was younger, I absolutely adored reading. You could hardly ever find me without a book in my hand or in my backpack. Now, it seems to hard to find the time but I am realizing I do have the time, I just need to stop doing other things that don’t benefit me (i.e. Instagram scrolling or watching Friends Season 5 for the 100th time).

I have a lot of little experiments going on right now and am excited to see how they will turn out!

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