Snickerdoodle Almond Pulp Bites (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

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Thank goodness it is FINALLY Friday! Am I right? Or am I right?

I am so glad the weekend is finally here and I am so glad the weather finally feels like Fall. I haven’t seen Barrett all week so I am looking forward to him being here this weekend. We have a few things planned like a trip to the local orchard and a nice dinner Saturday night. Tonight, I am making my family paleo chili and cornbread so I am also excited about that!

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Like I said, thank goodness it’s finally Friday.

So, what the heck are “Snickerdoodle Almond Pulp Bites?”

Well, I finally used up some of the almond pulp I had from my first bath of almond milk. In my first batch, I used a little maple syrup so I knew I had to recreate something sweet out of the leftover pulp. I threw together some things in the blender and voila —

Snickerdoodle Almond Pulp Bites were born.

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This recipe contains natural sugars like maple syrup and coconut sugar and it is also packed with healthy fats like almonds and cashews. Just eating 1 or 2 of these little bites should help keep you full between meals or help out that sweet tooth late at night. Oh, and I also added some cacao nibs for a little crunch.

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One thing you should know about this recipe: they taste best frozen! After you throw all the ingredients into a food processor, freeze the bites you formed and whenever you want one or two, take them out and let the de-thaw a minute.

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This recipe makes about 38 – 40 bites. 38 if you eat some batter along the way…40 if you don’t. ūüėČ

First things first…make my homemade almond milk recipe (HERE) and use the leftover pulp!

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Snickerdoodle Almond Pulp Bites (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

  • leftover almond pulp from 1 C soaked almonds (about 2 cups of pulp)
  • 2 C halved cashew pieces, salted
  • 4 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 C coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 T water
  • 1/2 C cacao nibs (or mini chocolate chips!)

Combine almond pulp Рcinnamon ingredients. Pulse in the food processor until all ingredients are fine and crumbly. Add in 1 T of water at a time. Pulse after each T. After 3 T, if the dough is still crumbly add 1 more tablespoon at a time. Add in cacao nibs (or chocolate chips). Pulse until cacao nibs are well combined. Use a tablespoon or small  cookie dough scooper to form 40 bites on a cookie sheet. Place into the freezer overnight. The next morning, transfer bites to a Tupperware container and place back in the freezer.

ENJOY ‚̧

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My Favorite Skin Care Products

Today I wanted to talk about skin care! What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put into our bodies. Did you know that your skin absorbs whatever you put onto it? Did you know that a lot of skin care products are packed with so many shitty chemicals that they can cause acne, wrinkles, and rashes? Who wants to deal with that?

What’s the point of eating kale and grass-fed meat for dinner if you put on a chemical and paraben heavy lotion an hour later after you take a shower? In my opinion, I want the skin care I use to be just as nutrient dense as the kale and grass-fed meat I just ate.

Skin care is incredibly important. I get asked all the time how I keep my skin so clear and healthy. Well, let me tell you…I drink a shit ton of water. I’m talking 1 gallon to 2 gallons a day. I eat the most nutrient dense foods I can find, with the occasional splurge on something not-so-healthy (I am a sucker for homemade white bread). And lastly, I treat my skin with the same respect and love that I treat the inside of my body.

Today I wanted to walk you though some of my FAVORITE skin care products that I use every. single. day. I will link all the products are the end of the post! You will notice I use A LOT of oil based products. Oil based skin care products help reduce wrinkles, protect your skin, and give your skin a lot of nourishment. In my opinion, they are a lot less harsh on your skin than water based lotions and moisturizers.

Below are the face oils I incorporate into my everyday skin care routine:

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  1. Rejuvenate Argan and Macadamia Oil

  2. Jojoba Oil

  3. Rosehip Oil

  4. Rata & Co Chia Seed eye serum

When looking for facial oils, be sure to look for a product that contains 100% of the oil. Many oils will try to trick you into buying Rosehip oil when the ingredients contain other chemicals and things like soybean oil instead of 100% Rosehip oil.

Let’s talk about some of the benefits of these oils! Argan oil contains vitamins A & E and can protect your skin from harsh winter weather or sun burns in the summer. In macadamia oil, you will find Omega-6 and Omega-9 which helps fight inflammation in the skin and also keep the skin mouisterized¬†and nourished.

Jojoba oil is a powerful and wonderful oil that has multiple purposes. It acts as a makeup remover, scalp conditioner, facial cleanser, and facial moisturizer.

Rosehip oil is derived from the seeds of rose bushes. It is sometimes called “the beauty oil” and for good reason. Not only does rosehip oil moisturize¬†the skin, but it reduces wrinkles, brightens the tightens the skin, and helps reduce acne scars. A win-win-win-win in my book!

Lastly, chia seeds aid in strengthening your skin while keeping it bright and nourished.

After cleansing my face at night, I add a few (or all!) of these oils to my face before I go to sleep. When I wash my face in the morning, I will just use Rosehip oil which can also be used as a makeup primer.

If you don’t want to buy any of these oils, just head to your kitchen pantry! Avocado, olive, and coconut oil all contain the same amazing and healthy benefits for you skin!

Next, lettuce discuss facial cleansers, exfoliators, and masks!

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I am absolutely obsessed with Desert Essence facial cleanser. It is made with the cleanest and simplest ingredients. I have also loved using Neal’s Yard / Deliciously Ella Rose, Lime, & Cucumber facial cleanser at night. It is soothing and comforting when I am winding down for the day.

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Exfoliating your skin is also extremely important. It helps get rid of build-up and dead skin, keeping you looking healthy and glowing! I love using Cocokind sea moss exfoliatior. This company is amazing because the ingredients in every product are so clean, you could basically just eat it! I have also loved taking olive oil and brown sugar and mixing them together to create a nice scrub for the shower. I think coffee grounds and vanilla would also be a nice addition to olive oil as a scrub!

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I love to use a mask once a week because it feels like I am hitting the “reset” button on my skin. The top mask contains oatmeal, charcoal, and aloe vera. All of these ingredients help detox the skin while also repairing any damage. The bottom mask is loaded with chlorophyll which is loaded with antioxidants that help protect your skin. It has also been known to detox the skin as well!

Let’s talk about post-shower moisturizing for the WHOLE body!

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I am totally gung-ho about this Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Bath, Body, & Massage oil. When I get out of the shower, I put this stuff all over my body. It smells like a tropical vacation and I am hooked! It keeps my skin glowing and soft all day! I love that this company doesn’t add any parabens, harsh chemicals, or harsh fragrances. All-natural over here! Plus, I love that one bottle lasts FOREVER! Just a quarter-size drop goes a long way.

Lastly, I want to discuss perfume.

I used to spray my whole body down with perfume not really thinking about how it was hurting me or the environment. Just in the last few months I have completely cut perfume from my daily life! Now, instead, I use a fragrance oil or essential oils diluted in water.

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I love the Olivia Care lavender aromatherapy oil. One teeny, tiny drop makes me smell like lavender and also puts me at ease. I used to get such a headache when I would put on a ton of perfume, and I still get a headache when I smell someone wearing a ton, but this fragrance oil is subtle and natural. I love it!

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I recently purchased a couple of glass bottles to start making my own room sprays and perfumes. The one above I have been using as a perfume. It contains water, a few drops of grapefruit essential oil, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. It seriously smells so refreshing! I even spray some on Barrett as a cologne ūüôā

As you can see, skin care is just as important to me as eating a nutrient-dense diet! When it comes to skin care, I definitely prefer the holistic route. Don’t be afraid to try oils on your skin! A lot of people think that oil will make your skin more oily but that’s not true at all! I say, GIVE ME ALL THE OILS. Remember to look for ingredients with 100% of the oil and zero added shitty stuff. Kapeesh? Kapeesh.

Here is a list of all the products I use and where to find them:

Provence Beauty Rejuvenate Argan and Macademia Oil: purchased at TJ Maxx. Here is a similar one –
Jojoba Oil: Also purchased at TJ Maxx, here is a similar one – Click Here
Rosehip Oil:Also purchased at TJ Maxx, here is a similar one – Click Here
Rata & Co Chia Seed Eye Serum: Click Here
Desert Essence Facial Cleanser: Click Here
Neal’s Yard Deliciously Ella Facial Cleanser: Purchased through my aunt who is a distributer for their products. You can view the product here – Click Here
Sea Moss Exfoliator: Click Here
Queen Village Facial Mask: Click Here
Chlorophyll Facial Mask: Click Here
Body Oil: Click Here
Fragrance Oil: Click Here

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Resources:

https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/wellbeing/7-amazing-benefits-of-rosehip-oil/slide/6

https://www.desertessence.com/top-uses-jojoba-oil

https://www.diamondherbs.co/13-argan-oil-benefits-that-you-never-heard-of-before/

https://ecologyskincare.com/organic-macadamia-oil/

http://www.byrdie.com/chia-seeds-beauty-benefits

https://draxe.com/chlorophyll-benefits/

 

Homemade Almond Milk

Happy Saturday!! I have something very, very exciting to share with you today. I wanted to share this recipe with you earlier this week but I could only make it at night and the pictures were EW. But, today being Saturday and today also being gorgeous outside, I knew I HAD to take some pictures of my new favorite hobby…

MAKING ALMOND MILK 

This is by far the easiest thing in the world to do. Also, there is probably an even easier, less messy way to do this but I prefer the messy route.

Let’s get to it!

Homemade Almond Milk

What you need:

  1. Plain, unsalted almonds. I purchased a 3 lb bag at SAM’s club for $12.
  2. Nut milk bag or cheese cloth
  3. Water!!!
  4. Sea salt
  5. A high-speed blender
  6. A small bowl (for soaking)
  7. A strainer
  8. A large bowl (to place nut milk bag over for straining)
  9. A pitcher (for storage!)
  10. Any sweeteners / flavors you prefer

Step 1: (unpictured) Soak plain, unsalted almonds in water for 24-48 hours with a pinch of sea salt. The ratio is:

1 C almonds per 2 C water

I used 2 C almonds and 4 C water for 36 hours in my process below!

Step 2:¬†After 24-48 hours, it’s time to begin making your almond milk! This is what my almonds looked like after 36 hours of soaking.

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Step 3: Rinse off your almonds! That foamy film is just the phytic acid mixed with the sea salt you soaked with your almonds. The sea salt helps bring out the flavor of your almonds!

Step 4: Fill a high-speed blender with filtered water. The ratio is:

1 C of soaked almonds per 4 C filtered water

I used 8 C of filtered water for my 2 C of soaked almonds.

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Step 5: Add the rinsed almonds to the water

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Step 6: Add a pinch of sea salt.

This is also a good time to add whatever flavors you may like! You can add cinnamon, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, cacao powder…whatever you like!

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Step 7: Blend the almonds on high for 4-6 minutes.

I like to add a towel for my blender to sit on to make less noise and I also added a towel to the top of the blender since 8 C of water tends to leak through the top a little.

…I realize it looks jankey.

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Step 8: When the almonds are blending for 4-6 minutes, take a nut bag (or cheesecloth) and use it to cover a large bowl.

I picked up my nut milk bad at the Nutrition Center in town. But I am positive you can find a cheaper one online. I just try to support local business!

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Step 9: Take almond/water mixture off the blender. It should be a little foamy.

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Step 10: Begin pouring almond/water mixture through secure nut milk bag / cheesecloth.

Since it tends to overflow, I like to scrape the pulp into a separate bowl after each pour.

…also extremely janky. Hah!

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Step 11: Once you have poured all the almond/water mixture through the nut milk bag, remove the nut milk bag from the bowl and carefully add the pulp mixture back into the nut milk bag.

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Step 12: Squeeze excess almond milk from pulp inside the nut milk bag into the almond milk bowl.

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Step 13:¬†Carefully pour the milk into a large, easy-to-pour container. I used a large pitcher with a piece of plastic wrap over it…jeez. I should have titled this “How to make almond milk the janky way!”

 

Step 14:¬†Say “see ya later” to your new child and place him in the fridge!

 

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And that’s it! Easy peasy¬†almond squeezy…get it?

Okay, now that you have learned how to make almond milk in the most ridiculous but successful way I hope you realize how easy it is.

Homemade almond milk tastes 100% better than the store-bought kind – I promise. Plus, you feel like you accomplished something and that’s always a perk!

Let me know if you have any questions.

PS don’t forget to save your leftover almond pulp to make crackers, flours, or anything else you’d like!

Enjoy your weekend!

inspired by:

https://wellnessmama.com/366/organic-almond-milk-recipe/

sources:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/456802-phytic-acid-in-almonds/

 

recap of all things life lately!

Hi! How are you? I feel like every time I write something on my blog I say, “Oh, its been forever because I have been so busy!” Which is true but honestly, we are all busy. The truth is, I have just been focusing on other things lately. I haven’t been taking as many pictures because I have been trying hard not to be on my phone 24/7.

Since today is nice and rainy outside, I felt like blogging! I thought I would share some of the pictures I do have on my phone and update you on whats been going on in my life lately.

I am not a fashion person AT ALL. I consider my clothes to be pretty relaxed, girly, and comfortable. But, I wanted to share this outfit I wore to Church last Sunday because I am OBSESSED with it. It makes me so excited about fall! I love, love, love this hat and I am excited to wear it all the time this fall.

Another thing I have been obsessed with? Making my own almond milk! I never knew how easy it was. I will posting how I made it sometime this week so stay tuned for that. I have already gone through two batches.

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I put it in my smoothies, coffee, and just chug it straight from the bottle if I am craving something sweet.

Speaking of sweets… I have been trying pretty hard over the last few weeks to cut out as much sugar as I can. I’ve been trying to stay away from any added sugars in sauces, condiments, chocolate, or fruit. I didn’t eat too much sugar to begin with but I always found myself craving something sweet after dinner and I didn’t know why. I was tired of that so I have just been avoiding any sugar that I can. Chugging a swig of almond milk has helped if I do crave something sweet.

I have also been drinking a lot of kombucha and tonics to keep my immune system up. I am so tired of getting sick!

I have also been getting back into the groove of taking pictures of the food I make again. Here have been some of my favorite meals I cooked up this week. This is a pretty good example of how I eat so I hope you enjoy the inspiration.

One night I had roasted brussels sprouts and roasted broccoli. I roasted them in avocado oil, sea salt, and pepper. For the sweet potatoes I used some inspiration from my friend Kirsty (@feduppharmacist) and boiled the sweet potatoes and mixed in pumpkin spice nutpods, vanilla bean ghee, and coconut milk. So, so, so good! I also made peach chicken sausage over some sautéed kale.

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For a quick-lunch I combined tuna and Tessemaes avocado ranch and sauerkraut. I put some quinoa and golden raisen Tessemas salad toppers on it as well. I put that over some spinach and paired it along with Siete nacho grain free chips. 

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On Saturday night I made my brother and I grass-fed and local beef burgers. I paired mine with sautéed broccoli leaves and more mashed sweet potatoes.

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I also made paleo pancakes inspired by @bucknakedapaleo.hese were super tasty! I topped them with cacao nibs, coconut butter, and Wild Friends pumpkin spice peanut butter. 

Also, whenever I am in a rush this is my go-to meal! An RX bar, banana, and hard-boiled egg. Fats, proteins, carbs. Keeps me full and gives me energy!

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Friday was my sweet, sweet boys birthday. We celebrated in Nashville with breakfast with his brother, a car museum, driving around town, and going to Dave and Busters with some of his work friends. What a wonderful day celebrating the man I love! I have never met a more caring and selfless person than Barrett. He is a true example of what it means to be a man of God. Barrett was in heaven at the car museum!

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I gave these overalls a test drive and they were Barrett approved so I will be wearing them again! Hah!

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Also, shout out to my mom for getting me these new workout shoes. I love her! My parents and sister have been on a cruise all week and thanks to hurricane Nate they are still stuck at sea. They were supposed to get home Saturday night but are unfortunately still stuck somewhere in the ocean. I’m trying hard not to freak out. I miss them so much!

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And lastly, here is a few pictures of Annie. She has been spoiled here lately! Sorry about her being on the couch mom! It was Noah, I swear!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I’ll post the almond milk on Wednesday!

Turkey + Cabbage Soup

Well, hello there!

It’s been a while…a couple weeks…a month? How have you been?

I have been good/stressed/sick. I have been good because I’ve been spending a lot of time with myself since Barrett is in Nashville now. I’ve been rediscovering some things I used to love to do before Barrett and I hung out 24/7. I started journaling again and I spend more time doing self-care things.

I’ve been stressed because school is mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. That is all.

And I’ve been sick because I had mono last February so lucky me I catch anything flying through the air. Lots of runny noses, throwing up, bloody noses…everything. Hah! I am slowly getting back to normal though.

I have a lot of things I need to fill you in on. I can’t decided when I want to do that yet so bare with me! I’ve been making some big life decisions lately as I still try to figure out who I am and who I’m supposed to be.

Anyways, I have a recipe for you today! I based this recipe off of this Russian Braised Cabbage from Natasha’s Kitchen. I turned her braised cabbage into a soup with a few more ingredients and some modifications.

Turkey + Cabbage Soup

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb turkey, grass-fed, organic
  • 1 head organic cabbage, chopped
  • 4 large organic carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 C mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas (optional)
  • 4 C vegetable stock
  • 1 can tomato juice
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste

Steps:

  1. Brown turkey in stock pot

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2. Add chopped cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and onions.

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3. Add rinsed and drained chickpeas

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4. Add vegetable stock and tomato juice

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5. Add spices

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6. Let sit on medium heat for an hour, covered, stirring occasionally.

7. Serve with warm sourdough bread and butter. ENJOY!

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Inspired by: Russian Braised Cabbage from Natasha’s Kitchen

meal prep mondays

Another Monday is here and has me thinking, where did the weekend go? Although the weekend felt way too short, I can honestly say I had a really good one. Friday evening my parents got back into town so we all enjoyed a nice dinner together. Saturday started out with a run with my mom, grocery shopping, some errands, and a baby shower together. Saturday night ended eating Indian food with Barrett and watching a little TV until I fell asleep around 10. Sunday included teaching Sunday school, a beautiful liturgy, and cooking dinner with my mom while we watched Royal Pains on Netflix.

Before we cooked a nice dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables, I made a meal prep for the week! I cooked two meals in less than an hour so I thought I would share my process on here and what I cooked.

I wish I could tell you I cooked gourmet meals all the time but I really only know how to cook foods that are convenient. I think a lot of people say they can’t “eat healthy” because they don’t have the time. Well, I am here to tell you that eating in a healthy way does not have to be hard or take a huge chunk of time out of your day.

Yesterday I whipped up an egg casserole to eat for breakfasts and a vegetable-turkey dish to throw on spinach for lunches. Keep in mind, this could probably feed 1-2 people all 5 days of the work week. If you have more people who will be eating this, simply adjust the quantity of items you will need to buy.

Here is your grocery list:

  • 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 1 lb organic ground pork breakfast sausage
  • 1 doz eggs
  • 1 package frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 package frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 package of spinach
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • italian seasoning
  • basil
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)

Steps to preparing egg casserole and vegetable-turkey skillet:

  1. Begin cooking sausage in one pan and turkey in another

2. While the meat is browning, whisk together 8 eggs, 1/2 coconut milk, salt and pepper, 1 tsp italian seasoning, and 1 tsp basil. Preheat over to 350.

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3. Check on the browning of the meat. Salt the turkey.

4. Once sausage is browned, add to the bottom of a pyrex pan. Add 2 cups spinach on top. Top with egg mixture.

** IMPORTANT: Do NOT drain fat from sausage. Keep it all together! The grease gives the casserole extra flavor! **

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5. Place egg mixture into oven for 30-45 minutes.

6. Add frozen peas and carrots and frozen riced cauliflower to turkey mixture.

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7. Add 2 T coconut aminos + 2 tsp seasoning of choice, and salt and pepper

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8. Let vegetable-turkey mixture sit on low-medium heat until vegetables are cooked through.

9. Once turkey mixture is done, remove from heat. Take out casserole from oven once eggs are cooked through.

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10. Reward yourself with a smoothie (optional but highly recommended)

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I hope you enjoyed this type of post! I really wanted to show you how easy it is to prepare fast, nutrient-dense food that you can enjoy all week!

For the vegetable-turkey mixture, I recommend heating it up and eating over a bed of spinach!

Enjoy your week!

 

 

quick date in Nashville

Happiest of Wednesday’s to you! I hope you are enjoying the gloomy weather. Sometimes I think I am the weirdest person in the world (for many reasons) but one being, I love gloomy weather! Dreary and rainy days make me so, so happy and sunny and hot days make me depressed. Is that strange? Probably.

 

I went down to Nashville after work yesterday to hang out with Barrett on his day off. We are both still super poor so we knew we wanted our day to be as cheap as possible. We started off with coffee and treats at Caviar and Bananas and then made our way to Bicentennial Park. 

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We had the best time walking around and reading up on the history of Nashville. I think Barrett was getting a little tired of me taking pictures but I told him to get over it, haha!

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After we finished walking around we headed to the Turnip Truck to pick up ingredients for dinner. Barrett requested vegetarian shepard’s pie and I used THIS recipe. It turned out pretty good but I still like meat in my shepard’s pie!

When we finished with dinner, I helped Barrett organize some of the things he’s been unpacking and then I headed back to Bowling Green. I love getting to spend time with him even if it is only a few short hours.

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friday favorites

Thank goodness it is finally Friday! I haven’t really felt like blogging this past week, so sorry about that.

Sometimes I hate social media and sometimes I love it because one of the sweetest people sent me a message on Instagram letting me know its OK I haven’t felt like blogging and I should just allow myself some grace and blog when I feel like it.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s my blog and I’ll write if I want too.

So, who knows when I will feel like blogging again after this post?

Let’s get started into Friday Favorite shall we? Since I haven’t blogged in a while I have quite a few things to share with you.

slow mornings that start with coffee

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Ever since school started I have been trying to figure out a routine again. So far waking up at 6 a.m. for coffee sounds 100x better than waking up at 6 a.m. to work out and I am OK with that! Next week it might change and I might be heading into Crossfit at 6, but for now I am enjoying starting my mornings off slow while I sip away at my coffee.

speaking of coffee…

coffee dates with Hannah

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This week I met up with Hannah at Spencers and there is never a moment where I am not cracking up with her. She is probably one of the funniest people I know and she is full of ALL THE KNOWLEDGE when it comes to clothes, makeup, life. So, if you like any of those things go follow her in Instagram ( @hannahlarin ) she is the BEST. She posts the prettiest pictures.

grape stomping / grape pruning @ Bluegrass Vineyard 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go and volunteer at Bluegrass Vineyard for some grape pruning and grape stomping. I went with my mom and a couple of ladies from church and we had such a wonderful time! I can’t take credit for any of the photos but I appreciate those ladies who snapped them for me! I can’t wait to go back and taste some wine.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus body oil 

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This stuff smells like straight up Hawaii and I am obsessed. I lather this on after I get out of the shower and keeps my skin soft for hours and makes me smell like a tropical breeze. I picked it up at Ulta but I think you can find it at Target or order it online.

 

football games with my parents

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I have been at WKU for four years now and had yet to go to a football game. Saturday night my parents had an extra ticket so I tagged along and we had so much fun! I didn’t realize WKU football games sold local Kentucky beer so I got an IPA to sip on. Now that I know what all the excitement is about at football games, I can’t wait to go back!

That’s all I have for now. I hope you have an amazing weekend. Enjoy this weather!!

 

Friday Favorites

It’s Friday!! I’m super glad the weekend is here because tomorrow I am going to a winery with some of my favorite people to prune and stomp grapes and enjoy some wine!

Here are some things making me smile this week, I hope you had a good week too!

1. Nut & Seed Lara Bars 

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These Lara Bar’s are INSANE! They are so, so, so good. I’ve found them at Kroger and Target and they make the perfect snack. I enjoyed this one last Saturday mid-hike with Barrett. They also feature some top-notch ingredients: almonds, sprouted chia seeds, and maple syrup.

2. Russian Braised Cabbage (Natasha’s Kitchen)

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My sweetest friend told me about this amazing cabbage recipe she eats and I asked her to send it to me so I could make it for my family Thursday night. The recipe is linked above but I added spinach, mushrooms, and used organic pork kielbasa. You should make this because it is AMAZING! It takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and we just left it simmering on the stove to let the juices marinate together until we were ready to eat about an hour later.

3. Quiet and rainy mornings

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This morning I woke up around 5:30 to get some reading in for school while I sipped my coffee. I loved listening to the rain and easing into my day.

4. Mountain earrings from my greatest love

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At the top of our hike on Saturday, Barrett told me he had a surprise for me. We found a quiet spot to sit down and he told me to close my eyes. He pulled out these adorable earrings and told me he wanted me to have something to remember the beauty we experienced in the mountains that weekend. I LOVE that kid. He is the most thoughtful human being. I was originally going to keep this moment between just him and I but I had to share with you because I have been wearing these earrings everyday since and people keep asking me about them. ‚̧

That’s all I have this week! I hope you have an amazing weekend. Enjoy the cooler weather!

accepting how others see you

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Good morning and happy Monday! Instead of my usual weekend recap, I am writing today about something that has been weighing heavy on my heart. I think I’ll also include some picture from the weekend because Barrett took me on the most amazing hiking trip to Red River Gorge!

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OK. Let’s get started.

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To be honest, what I am going to talk about has been so prominent in my life ever since my eating disorder. I think about this a lot and I talk about this A LOT (just ask my family or Barrett!) But I wanted to talk about this today because things made so much more sense to me this weekend.

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Ever since my eating disorder began, I have hated been DISGUSTED with what I see in the mirror. I think on my blog I seem like I have all my shit together but let me tell you, I DO NOT. I think about my image almost 99.99% of the day. The only real peace and quiet I get is when I am sleeping. I can’t help. Ever since my eating disorder, all I can think about is how I look. When my ED first begun all I thought about was food. And then all I thought about was my weight and food. Then, it was all about my weight. Now, it’s less about the weight and just all about how I look when I see myself in the mirror.

 

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My poor family and Barrett has had to hear me complain about how I look for quite some time now. I can make the nastiest jokes about how big my thighs are or how big my butt is and act like I am “unphased” by the whole issue. I claim that I like to make jokes about myself because I want so badly for people to know that I already know how I look! Because for some reason, I think that people just sit around and talk about how “big” I am. (…not the case, I know.)

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OK, let me tell you about this weekend. Well for starters, since day one I met Barrett, he has done nothing but express his love for not only how he thinks I am beautiful but also how he loves my heart and mind as well. So it was not surprise to me when this weekend when we were hiking, Barrett kept wanting to take pictures of me hiking. There was one point in our hike where he just kept wanting to take pictures of my face, my eyes, my freckles, my ears, and me putting my hair in a pony tail. And the whole time he just kept saying how beautiful he thought I was. I just kept rolling my eyes because let me tell you, I did NOT think I was beautiful. I was sweating like crazy, I had no makeup on, and I could feel my stomach bulging over my running capris. But I went along with his pictures because I knew he was just “being nice.”

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On the way home from the mountains, I went through his phone to look at all of these said “beautiful” pictures of me. I was heart-broken. You could see my stomach pushing out my shirt and hanging over my capris. You could see my double chin. You could see my rosy red cheeks and my hair greased back from sweat. This was me in my absolute worst state. I couldn’t understand how he could think I was so beautiful?! He looked over at me in the car and said “You better not delete one picture!”

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He knows me so well.

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I wish I could tell you I’m perfect and I got over myself but I can’t. There are still so many pictures I won’t share on here with you guys because I think I don’t look good enough. But this weekend made me realize something I should have realized a long, long time ago.

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First, who the f*ck cares?! I mean really. Who the F cares about what you look like? Seriously. The only person I can think that cares what I look like is me.

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Second, why can’t we just accept the way people see us? For some reason I just assume people are “being nice” or straight up lying when they give me a compliment. I can’t just accept the fact that my boyfriend loves me and thinks I am beautiful exactly the way God created me.

And third, what am I so afraid of? What is so scary about loving who you are?

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I’m not sure if you can relate to this long rant or not but if you can, I hope you know you are not alone. I battle with self-loathing every. single. day.

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I pray about this all the time. But this weekend I felt like God was saying “accept how others see you.”

I will still struggle with this when I look in the mirror. But maybe I shouldn’t look in the mirror so much? I think we could all stand to stop comparing ourselves to other people.

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And with all that being said ladies and gentlemen, I challenge you to accept how others see you. Whether that be how much they love you or much they hate you. Whether that be how someone loves your smile or hates the way you chew gum.

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Accept it. Embrace it. And most importantly, (as cliché as it sounds) thank God everyday that you get wake up and be exactly who He created you to be.

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