Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What I’m Loving Lately 122

Hi, guys!

Exciting news! I (finally) created a weekly round-up email of recent CNC blog posts. Now you can get a recap of what happened on the blog delivered right to your inbox. It’s just one email per week! Just sign up here!

I’m hitting publish on this blog post a little early this week – although, maybe my weekly What I’m Loving Lately should become a Thursday post from now on? I kind of like leaving Fridays open for blog randomness, but let me know your thoughts on that! 😉 Anyway… let’s get to this week’s edition of What I’m Loving Lately!

My recent trip to Santa Barbra for CJU18Under Armour invited me to attend this conference and partner with them on a future blog post. FYI: They have so many awesome things coming out for the holiday season – keep your eyes peeled for a post (or two)! I’ve worked with Commission Junction (CJ) for as long as I can remember and actually attended this same conference back in 2016 (on behalf of Overstock – I created a blog post about my favorite kitchen tools), so I was excited to attend again. I loved hanging out with old blog friends (Gina and Nicole pictured below) and meeting new ones, including Elly, NicoletteMerrickKim, and Cori. It was great to spend time with these ladies to bounce around ideas and learn new things from one another!

Hale 45 Women’s Kenna Stunner Mid Rise Skinny Jean – Well, helllllllo, $48 skinny jeans! I stumbled upon these jeans on Amazon (you can never have enough jeans!), and they’re super cute and priced right. I also love that you can “Prime” them right to your house. Other awesome finds on Amazon: The Luna Coalition Women’s Cozy Pullover ($32) and Low Heel Ankle Booties ($20). I’m seriously loving all of the affordable apparel on Amazon! 

Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser – I heard great things about this cleanser, so I just had to give it a try – and I’m happy to report that I’m a fan! It deep cleans without drying out your skin. It’s intended for oily and blemish-prone skin – and removes oil, makeup, and other impurities without striping skin of its natural moisture. I love the little jojoba beads that help exfoliate and gently slough away dead skin cells and lovvvveee the energizing citrus scent. I might just switch from my beloved Nourishing Cream Exfoliator to this one!

Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage – Over the years I have experimented with removing both caffeine and coffee in my life. Sad, right? These days, I mostly drink decaf iced coffee, but, recently, in the afternoons, I switch to Dandy Blend with a scoop of vanilla bean collagen and unsweetened vanilla Ripple milk. It’s actually just an herbal beverage made from dandelion root, so it’s naturally caffeine free, low in acidity (aka good for the digestive system), and tastes a good bit similar to coffee. With the mix of vanilla flavors, it’s quite the perfect afternoon treat! FYI: I switch it up and drink it iced and hot!

Soft & Chewy Pumpkin Protein Balls – Is it too soon for pumpkin? I’m giving myself another week or so and then breaking out all of my favorite recipes, including this one for soft and chewy protein balls!

Levi’s Rain Jacket – Oh my gosh, I am in love with this rain jacket! It comes in 5 different colors, and I can’t decide which one to choose. Olive? Navy? Wine? Black? I’m so undecided, but I NEED this jacket in my life! #love

Increased Discount on EverlyWell Testing – Still thinking about trying the EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Test (here’s my review)? You can get 12% off EverlyWell’s At-Home Health Tests using code EVERLY!

Lorissa’s Kitchen Grassfed Jerky Snacks – With all the travel I did this month, I’ve perfected the art of packing snacks. I love these jerky snacks because it’s often hard to find high-quality protein on the go. Lorissa’s Kitchen uses all grassfed beef and doesn’t fill their products with preservatives and artificial ingredients. I also loved hearing the story behind the brand and caught Lorissa herself on the Fed and Fit Podcast a few weeks ago. It was a great listen if you want to hear more about their mission!

Picky Eating May Mask Larger Issues – This was an interesting article, especially for the parents of picky eaters. I don’t think Quinn falls into this category, but I wanted to share just in case your child struggles with these issues.

5-Minute Desserts For One – An oldie, but goodie blog post! I still make these recipes from time-to-time when I want a delicious treat, but don’t want the temptation of eating a whole batch!

Nano-Enhanced Hemp Oil – If you missed my post about CBD oil, you can read it here. I’m still loving it and playing around with the dosage to see if I can take less (and save some money) and still get the same results. I’m currently taking 4 pumps every other day and things are going great!

Apple slices + PB2 dip – I posted this delicious dessert/snack combo the other day in my sample macro day blog post, and I can’t stop eating it, especially after we took a family trip to go apple picking. We have apples galore in our house right now! This balanced snack takes two seconds to make – all I did was mix a few tablespoons of PB2 with a little water, top with cinnamon, and enjoy! I bet it would be great mixed with a little cocoa powder or even pumpkin stirred in. All the fall flavors, please!

Question of the Day

What are your thoughts on my weekly What I’m Loving Lately posts? Do you like reading them on Thursday or Friday or it doesn’t really matter as long as you get to read them? 

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5 Ways To Naturally Get Glowing, Beautiful Skin

Your skin is your largest organ. It covers and protects everything on your body. How you treat it is incredibly important to your health. However, the skin is one of the most unappreciated organs, and one that I used to totally take for granted, slathering products full of toxic chemicals on it day after day.

I’ve since learned that many of those big-name skincare products were making my problems worse! It’s better to keep your beauty regimen simple and use natural techniques to fight wrinkles, eczema, acne, and other skin issues.

There are some simple healthy habits you can do that help your skin glow from the inside out. Instead of slathering on expensive lotions and potions, add each of these to your regular routine and watch you skin get its glow back!

#1 Eat fermented food

The average American diet is full of refined carbs and chemical food additives, coupled with residues from plastics, pesticides, and antibiotics from factory farms – all of which destroy healthy bacteria in the gut. You see, not all bacteria is bad. In your gut, you want to have good bacteria to fight off bad invaders.

An imbalance of healthy gut bacteria can show up in your skin, in form the of acne, eczema, rashes, or other ailments. When you get balance back, these skin issues can improve dramatically and your skin will glow from the inside out.

Fortunately, you can easily increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut simply by eating fermented foods. The bacteria found in fermented food is likely more varied, and more easily assimilated in the body than what you can get from most probiotic supplements. Adding these foods to your diet restores healthy bacteria in your gut, which can help improve your skin (and other health benefits as well!)

Fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, and yogurt are inexpensive to make at home. It can be as simple as making homemade sauerkraut with just cabbage, water and salt. You also might want to try store-bought organic miso paste or tempeh.

#2 Dry brush your body

Dry brushing from head to toe rejuvenates the skin and stimulates the lymphatic system. It helps make skin glow and keeps it soft without needing to use very much moisturizer. Dry brushing has also been known to improve the appearance of cellulite (temporarily), increase circulation, and unclog your pores.

It’s like a spa treatment, without the expensive spa! You only need to do it about three times per week to see the benefits.

Do this technique with a large dry brush before you shower on completely dry skin. In small circular motions, brush your skin starting at your feet and move up towards your head. Dry brush your stomach last.

After you’re done brushing all of your skin, hop in the shower and use a mild natural soap to cleanse your body. After showering, moisturize with organic sesame oil, olive oil or coconut oil mixed with a little bit of organic body lotion.

#3 Stop eating refined sugar

Eating refined sugar (the white stuff) makes us age faster than we should and destroys the look of our skin. In a process called glycation, sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin, two proteins that keep skin looking young, and create Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). AGEs weaken your skin’s support structure and lead to lines and wrinkles.

Refined sugars processed from cane, corn, or beets, such as table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are the baddest of the bad. These sugars have been chemically stripped of their minerals, so when you indulge in these sugars, you get no nutrition and your body becomes more acidic. Because these sugars are devoid of minerals, they are acid-forming causing inflammation – which leads to skin disorders.

Instead of processed white sugar – use natural sweeteners that don’t cause this skin-wrecking inflammation. These include dates, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, or monk fruit.

#4 Get more sleep

They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing. Your skin cells renew themselves while you sleep, at almost double the rate as during the day. This is when your skin is repairing itself from the stressors of the day. During deep sleep phases, growth hormones rise in the body that help repair damaged cells and rejuvenate the skin, fighting the aging process. As you sleep, the hydration in your skin is replenished, which plumps it up, hiding fine lines.

When you don’t get enough sleep, not only does your skin not get to properly repair itself, but it doesn’t recover moisture – which leads to dry skin, visible wrinkles, and bags under the eyes. Lack of sleep also causes your cortisol levels (a stress hormone) to rise, triggering inflammation in the body. This inflammation can make skin look dull, and acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin issues may start to pop up.

Aim for getting 8 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. To help you get a good night’s rest, turn off the electronic devices and avoid big meals at night – and make your bedroom cool, comfortable, and quiet as possible. Your skin will thank you in the morning!

#5 Add collagen to your diet

Collagen is a unique protein that plays an important role in our skin as we age. It’s naturally found in the skin, ligaments, and connective tissue throughout your whole body. It functions like a scaffolding that supports our skin, keeping it nice and smooth.

As we age, our body’s collagen production slows down and research shows that collagen in your skin drops by about 1% every year. Seems small, but this means that by the time you turn 40, you’ve lost more than 30%!

You can start turning back the clock by eating collagen-rich foods. Cutting-edge research suggests that getting more collagen into your system can promote youthful looking skin by supporting skin elasticity.* Collagen fights the signs of aging by helping to maintain the skin’s youthful tone, texture, and appearance.*

This is why I make sure to eat a collagen-rich diet by adding Truvani Wild Caught Marine Collagen Powder to my breakfast.

One of the best ways to add Truvani Collagen to your diet is to mix it in with your morning coffee or tea. You won’t taste the powder. It’s virtually tasteless and dissolves smoothly without clumps in cold or hot water.

Of course, you can also blend it into your smoothie, oatmeal, yogurt, and more. I love adding it to whatever I’m having for breakfast. It’s now become part of my morning routine so I don’t forget to take it.

I hope these tips help your skin shine bright and radiant! As it turns out, beauty does come from the inside – literally. Because when you’re healthy, you feel great about yourself. And when you feel better, it shows. 

If you know anyone who would love some skincare tips, please share this post with them!

Xo,

Vani


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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WIAW + The Good Old Days

Good morning friends!

I remember one of the hardest parts of having a newborn (lack of sleep will always be at the top) was not having a third hand to eat. I take for granted that Mazen and I can sit down and enjoy a meal together these days! I still have to jump up for more milk or an extra napkin nearly every meal, but for the most part we can eat together in peace. I remember the days of shoveling food in because I didn’t know how long he would be happy in his bouncy seat, how long the nap would last, or maybe just dropping crumbs all over his head while I was holding or wearing him. There are so many things that I’m super excited to experience again with a new baby and things that I’m already nervous about, knowing what’s ahead. It’s all the good old days though. (And I’m obsessed with this song! I’m always months behind the rest of the world.)

Playing with his train set for the first time in ages!

Daily Harvest sent me a sample set of their smoothies, and I’ve been loving them. I will definitely be ordering another batch near the time that the baby comes because these are the ultimate new mom breakfast! While I couldn’t justify the cost of one-a-day forever, during periods of stress or busy seasons, these would be a wonderful gift to yourself or a friend.

While obviously making an at-home smoothie doesn’t take that long, sometimes getting the ratios of fruit to milk right are hard. And sometimes you run out of frozen berries. And sometimes you literally don’t have 5 extra minutes in the morning to measure everything out. I love that the DH fruit, veggies, and flavors are pre-measured in the cup and you just add milk of your choice and blend – and then you can enjoy it right in the same cup and not have an extra dish to wash (except that ole blender!) They have a bunch of superfood ingredients too, so they’re different from my usual smoothie flavors. Cauliflower and zucchini are two things I have never added to a smoothie, but I couldn’t taste them at all!

So far I’ve tried and loved the chai and coconut and the dragon fruit + lychee. Both were great. Can’t wait to try the hot harvest bowl too – but I’m saving that for when the baby comes!

If you’d like three FREE smoothies for yourself, you can use my link or discount code: katheats.

We are eating all the caprese sandwiches before the tomatoes are gone! This was on this wonderful rosemary bread from Whole Foods.

Dinner salad with leftover chicken and a pre-made kale mix. We had toast on the side! My wood looks like a leopard because it had just started to rain when I took this pic : )

Two jokes to end the day because Mazen loves jokes these days!

Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?

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.

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Because he was a chicken!

 

Why did the lion cross the road?

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To get to the other Pride :mrgreen:

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