Vegan Banana Bread and other yumminess

I have to say, right now my house smells A-MAZ-ING.

After my work out today I needed to refuel, and what better to refuel with then some good old fashion store bought soup? Our local health food store makes these soups to die for and I grabbed one yesterday that caught my eye. Portuguese Kale Soup with vegan sausage. It’s simple and packs a yummy spicy punch.  My husband works for them on Saturday morning, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to smuggle out the recipe for me.

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And on the side I followed it up with a piece of Ezekial bread, topped with: Hummus, avocado, and tomato and cucumber from our garden.  It was so so good.

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For dinner I snagged a portion of my sons dinner he wasn’t interested in, it’s the same things every night I swear.  We are very uncreative… so I thought to myself:  what can I make my son, that will be healthy and yummy for him tomorrow morning?  I looked around and realized I had about a dozen or more bananas I had snagged from work.  I work at a local college, and when their bananas or anything else are out dated/over ripe/unsaleable… they give them away.  So I took a LOT.  But only giving my son one a day and already having a freezer STUFFED with bananas, I knew I only had one option.  Banana bread.

But I can’t find my bread pan… probably got thrown out… I also don’t have any eggs… or brown/white sugar… or butter…

What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what, improvise… and it’s AMAZING.

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This is seriously the best tasting banana bread I have ever made.  The top is crispy and the inside soft and thick… and it’s just all around WONDERFUL.  I will never go back to my old way of making it again, I won’t be able to, it JUST-WON’T-BE-THE-SAME.  And the best part?  It’s pretty much a health food.

My recipe:

2 cups of flour: I used organic unbleached

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 a cup of organic coconut oil

3/4 cup organic date sugar

2 tablespoons chia seeds

7 tablespoons water

2 1/3 cup over ripe mashed bananas.

Step One: Heat over to 350

Step Two: Mix chia seeds and water, set aside

Step Three: Mix together all ingredients except for flour

Step Four: Mix in chia seed gel

Step Five: Add flour

Bake until top is solid, and a knife can be inserted and removed cleanly.

I promise, it is SO good.  And it’s perfectly safe to eat if it is under cooked because there are no eggs!  Enjoy.

Android Phone and Face Masks

Today I got a delivery of what I THOUGHT to be my amazon order. When I opened the box however, there in all it’s wasteful plastic glory, was a wrapped up Android Straight Talk phone. My wonderful husband took it upon himself to order me a nice phone, mostly because he knew that I refused to use my old one out of frustration with the piece of shit. I was so surprised! It’s very unlike him to buy me a gift out of the blue like that. At the moment, seeing as I have no camera, I will be using my phone for any pictures I want to take. Yay!  The quality isn’t TERRIBLE, and God knows my camera isn’t much better… it’s better than nothing.

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So after putting my son down for his nap, I hopped on the elliptical for an hour burning 1,100 calories and hoping for the best for my next weight in… I haven’t been doing well, I gained 5 lbs out of no where and they aren’t budging. This does not sit well with me because I worked HARD to take off pounds, and now they are coming back when I need to go down further. I haven’t had the best food day either so I’m thankful I was able to stay on the machine for so long. After I was done I took a much needed shower and thought “what the hell” and slathered on the only face mask I have left. I actually really like this mask, but as I’ve said before I’m looking for most natural alternatives.  I would love to try out making my own products.  But for now Freeman Clay Mask works best for me.  I feel so refreshed after washing it off, it’s definitely my favorite post workout indulgence.

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I also tried my hand at a colour block eye today.  But phones and my odd eyelids don’t do it’s justice.

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Oh and I really like my outfit today, so here’s a shot of it in a dirty bathroom mirror.  My husband is apparently a big fan of this outfit, his words “I like the way you’ve been dressing lately, very free spirited.”  He’s so neat.

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Mask: Freemans Clay Mask

Kimono Top: Forever 21

High waist shorts: Rue 21

Necklace: Sears, old.

Earrings: The Isle Of You (local shop)

Eye liner: Bare Minerals in tuxedo

Review: Avalon Organics Shampoo in Lavender

shopping

Ever since I started following The Food Babe‘s blog I have been dying to try Avalon shampoo.  In my journey to have a healthier life both inside and out I have been searching for healthier alternatives to my household and beauty products.  In her post about Holistic Hair Care, The Food Babe suggests this shampoo in peppermint… I couldn’t find it at my local stores.  What I DID find was the lavender scent in a BOGO pack, whoop!!!  So I picked up the pack at a Hannaford in Dover NH, where I could get it tax free right before my wedding(double whoop!) and held on to it until I got home and ran out of my other shampoo (which I will review later).  Now from what I understand this is a newer formula, I never got to try the old one.

First thing I noticed about the shampoo was the wonderful lavender scent.  I’ve been obsessed with lavender ever since I started getting into a more natural life.  If I could bath in it I would.  That being said, I was really excited to try this product out, and I wasn’t disappointed… but I wasn’t in love either.

Pros: First of all, for a shampoo it does a great job for sure.  It doesn’t strip my hair like other shampoos do, and I wouldn’t be concerned to go without conditioner with this product.  I do plan to pick up the matching conditioner, because who-am-I-kidding-I-need-conditioner-in-my-life.  The scent is great and subtle in it’s lasting effects.  My hair looks healthy, and smells heavenly.

Cons: It rates a 3 on the EWG’s Skin Deep site.  Yeah a 3… that is the highest I ever want to go with a product now.  I would have been much happier with a 2, but we pick our battles right?  Also I need a little extra to get it to lather up in my hair.  And I have SHORT hair now!!  I can’t imagine how much I would have needed with my longer hair.  That is a big con for me because it means less bang for my buck!  Which being on a tight budget now, and soon to be even tighter (the restaurant my husband works at will be closing at the end of the month) means I need to make my $ stretch.

I would love to try and go no-poo… but I just can’t give up my hair products yet!!!  Plus I work in food service, who wants someone greasy serving them their food?  Mad props to the no-poo people, they are brave and dedicated!

Organic India: Organic Tulsi Tea Review.

A few weeks ago I was shopping in my local Co-Op and I stumbled across a heavenly smell at the register.  It was sweet and heavy, like a perfume, but not over bearing.  I couldn’t help but ask what it was.  When the cashier lifted up her mug and the Tulsi tea label swung lazily in the air, I knew I had to have some.  The shop sold three different kinds: Original, Sweet Rose, and Lemon Ginger.  Not only that but they were offering coupons for $1 off each box, plus they were on sale for $3.99… PLUS I had a 20% discount because my husband volunteers his Saturday mornings to work in their bakery.  I got all three boxes for under $6, and rushed home to try them out.

First thing I LOVE about these teas is that they are all herbal, which is great for me because I tend to drink tea at night.  The base of each of them is Holy Basil, which is also called Tulsi.

Herbal Supplement. USDA organic. Caffeine-free. Certified organic.Throughout India, Tulsi is considered “The Queen of Herbs” and is revered as a sacred plant infused with healing power. Traditionally grown in an earthen pot in every family home or garden, Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil) makes a delicious and refreshing tea that possesses wonderful health benefits that support the body’s natural immune system while relieving the body’s negative reaction to stress.Tulsi’s remarkable life-enhancing qualities, noted repeatedly in ancient Indian scriptures dating back 5,000 years. 

Modern research has classified Tulsi as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens have been shown to support the body’s natural immune system while relieving the body’s negative reaction to stress. Adaptogenic herbs have been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicines for thousands of years to promote and maintain wellness. Many adaptogenic herbs have been referred to by herbalists as rejuvenative herbs, qi tonic herbs, rasayanas or restorative herbs. They help the body adapt to environmental, physical and emotional stressors, support normal functions, and restore balance. 

(Info taken from brand website).

I have been looking for a holy basil tea so this was right down my ally.  I have to say I am hooked on the Sweet Rose tea!!!  It smells heavenly, and tastes so wonderful.  It is refreshing and helps me relax after a night at work, and it just makes me FEEL good, which is what life is about right?

Not only that but rose tea has medicinal properties all on its own.  Rose tea helps to clear toxins from our bodies, is fantastic to help ease symptoms of colds, the flu, and bronchitis.  It’s a wonderful digestive aid and kidney/liver detox, and even helps with womanly issues of all kinds.  All that, plus it’s LOADED with vitamin C <3.   Which is enough to get me on board.

The other great things about these teas: they are ORGANIC.  I do love that word!  I use to just drink any kind of tea I came across, but now I make sure I’m buying organic, quality tea when I do… even though most of the time I have to make it with unfiltered tap water *groan.*  If any one is interested in learning about what is in most main stream tea brands, the Food Babe did an investigation.

Do you know what’s really in your tea?

 

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A Victim Going Back To Their Abuser Doesn’t Mean We Should Forgive Domestic Violence

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

A few years ago, a woman with whom I’m extremely close got into a relationship. I didn’t really know a lot about the guy, but something about him just didn’t feel right. They seemed to argue a lot and would have extreme lows where it seemed for sure they’d break up, only to show up the next day like they were the most loving couple in the world. After a few months, her demeanor started to change. She started gaining weight and her personality went from joyous and outgoing to quiet and reclusive.

I was always talking with her and asking what was going on, but with no real response. Finally she started telling me the stories. She told me about how he would threaten to kill her and how he held a knife up to her throat on numerous occasions, telling her that if she ever left he would…

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24 Things We Unexpectedly Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

megaliciousmilleroony:

Oh God I’m old… I had a quinoa wedding for fuck sake.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. Food prep
You know you’ve plopped directly into your late 20s when someone’s Instagram’d picture of a week’s worth of food prep for real makes you envious.

2. Local, organic vegetables
What is our late 20s if not a never-ending montage of us going to Farmer’s Markets, then chopping up an endless supply of vegetables and packing them into tupperware that we then organize into our refrigerators all before noon?

3. Owning a Vitamix
One day, we all collectively woke up and thought, “You know what my life needs more of? Something that can both pulverize produce and make hummus!” Sure, we spent the $600 on it, use it only for green smoothies we could have made in a normal, much cheaper blender, but there’s the promise of soups… hummus… almond butter… and just knowing we have an appliance that can give us those…

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Drug Store Lip Products I LOVE.

So I am completely obsessed with a couple lip products that I am able to actually FIND in my area. I am surrounded by drug stores and Wal-Mart. We are seriously lacking in the ULTA and SEPHORA department. Our local mall (which is 30 minutes away) has ONE beauty country in the whole place, and it’s a Bon-Ton… so yeah. I was planning on gushing about these two products and I see someone on Total Beauty has beat me to one of them. So I’m doing a double post. <3

Love #1: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm.

So a while back I saw on the Burt’s Bees display: what looked to be jumbo sized lip balms.  They are in a thick dark cardboard tube with a colourful end sticking up to display the colour of the product.  I was really excited, thinking this would be a funky product to check out, so I quickly grabbed one in Hibiscus and headed home.  To my surprise the cardboard is just crazy packaging… honestly, out of the tube came a chap-stick… completely threw me off guard.  When I took off the cap a nice orange colour met my eyes and I immediately tried it on in the bathroom.  Upon layering it I found a GORGEOUS hue built up on my lips and it felt like I only had chapstick on: win-win.  It’s very natural, but bright enough to look like you are wearing something.  With colours inspired by nature and ingredients that aren’t off-the-chart-toxic, I went out and grabbed two more.  I now own them in Hibiscus, Rose, and Sweet Violet.

Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm, 0.15 oz

Love #2: Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick

This is probably the best drugstore lipstick I have ever found.  When ever I go to the drug store looking for a lipstick, I immediately head for these.  They have a beautiful colour selection.  The pigment is beautiful, the packaging is perfect.  They stay put really well, even through eating and drinking, and long after there is still a hint of colour left behind like a stain.  I really like that they have a Vivid’s line as well, the colours are crazy beautiful.  I am all about these.

I own these in: Deepest Cherry, Vivid Rose, Totally Toffee, and Warm Me Up.  They are just so amazing.