Boosting Your Breakfast

I’ve blogged before about striving for a healthy balance when it comes to the foods I eat. I love pizza and I love sweets, but I try to balance these things with plenty of greens and other superfoods in my daily food intake. I also try to make the most out of my meals, remembering that the true point of food is to fuel our bodies and therefore adding things in that give me the most benefits.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why not make it the healthiest it can be to start your day off right? Breakfast is personally my favorite meal and one I find very easy to really supercharge with adding some healthy boosts.

The following are some extra ingredients I add to common breakfast food items. These ingredients give them a healthy boost and additional benefits. The breakfast items I mention are great alone, but why not make them even healthier?

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil. Oh how we love you and all of the amazing things you can do for us. Coconut oil gets a lot of hot press for DYI beauty, oil pulling, etc. but let’s not forget the benefits of consuming coconut oil in our daily diet.

Coconut oil is a healthy fat…a saturated fat that are known for their ability to increase the healthy cholesterol in your body. There are so many other benefits, but some of my favorites are those that benefit the immune system. Coconut oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. It is also easy to digest, produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. Winning!

Add a spoonful or two of coconut oil to a smoothie, to hot coffee or tea. You can even add a spoonful to oatmeal. Lastly, I sometimes use a little coconut oil when cooking up eggs.

Avocado

Avocado! Another healthy fat… Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Sign me up!

Add avocado to your smoothies. Adding an avocado actually gives smoothies a great smooth and creamy texture. Avocado toast! Spread half an avocado on your bread slices. You can jazz it up with a squeeze of lemon, some pink salt or if you like it spicy, some crushed red pepper. Make a fun Mexican style breakfast bowl, with an egg or two, some veggies, salsa and top it off with some avocado.

Cinnamon

Did you know that according to research, out of 26 of the most popular herbs and spices in the world, cinnamon ranks #1 in terms of its protective antioxidant levels? As little as ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity and more. Add it to your coffee, smoothies, oatmeal… I also buy plain organic greek yogurt and add cinnamon to give it some flavor and then throw some fresh berries on top. Save a few calories and consume less sugar than buying and consuming the yogurt with fruit, sugar and other additives.

Turmeric

Like cinnamon, turmeric is a powerful spice with a long list of uses and benefits. It’s known for its antioxidant content and ability to work as an anti-inflammatory in the body. This one you will have to play around with, because some people don’t like the flavor of turmeric, but I don’t really notice it. I add turmeric to my smoothies and coffee and personally love the flavor if I notice it at all.

Bee Pollen, Flax & Chia Seeds

Did you know bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods? It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.

Flaxseed is a high-fiber super food! High in omega-3 essential fatty acids or “good fats” that have been shown to have heart healthy effects.

In addition to chia seeds being an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids similar to flax, they are also rich in antioxidants and provide fiber, iron, and calcium.

These are all great to sprinkle on top of yogurt or oatmeal or add to smoothies. You can even whip up your own granola and add flax and chia seeds to some oats and honey.

Spinach & Kale

Spinach and kale both serve as excellent sources of vitamin K, A, and iron. I always add greens to my smoothie. It’s the perfect way to make an average smoothie so much healthier. I strive to get greens into at least 2 out of my 3 meals each day to aid in digestion and to increase overall vitamin and mineral intake. I do not taste the difference when I throw a handful of spinach in my smoothie, but kale does tend to alter the taste a bit if you are sensitive, just an FYI. I also cut up spinach and add it to eggs!

 

Hope this gives you some new ideas to help you supercharge and make the most out of the most important meal of the day.

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

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2017 Whole Foods Limited Edition Beauty Bag Favorites

FullSizeRenderAt the end of March, Whole Foods Market announced that their yearly limited edition clean beauty bags were available in stores in limited quantity. They sell for $18 dollars and feature 11 different samples/full size beauty items. I booked it to my local Whole Foods as soon as I heard about it and shockingly, I snagged the very last bag they had!

FYI: Whole Foods quality standards prohibit 75+ ingredients that are commonly found in conventional body care including phthalates, formaldehyde, microbeads, triclosan, oxybenzone, BHT, BHA, aluminum chlorohydrate and many more.

I have reviewed my five favorites from the 2017 beauty bag below:

Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk:

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I was already familiar with this brand and have used and love one of their shampoos. First, this cleanser smells amazing! That was the first bonus as soon as I put it on my skin, like fresh apricots. It is super moisturizing and doesn’t strip the skin at all. If you like the really foamy cleansers, this one is not for you. More of a cleansing lotion, it reminds me of the feeling of Cetaphil if you are familiar, which I used before I realized how bad the ingredients were. Did you know Cetaphil Skin Cleanser scores a 10, the worst possible score for toxicity on the Think Dirty App? It’s full of nasty parabens, and of course is so misleading being advertised as a “gentle” skin cleanser that is dermatologist recommended. This cleansing milk by Andalou is a great natural alternative!

Evan Healthy Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm:

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Every time I’ve seen a product for the face in stick form, like sunscreen, blush, bronzer etc. I have steered in the opposite direction. I’ve just never seen or understood the appeal, until this eye balm came into my life! I love love love this stuff! When it comes to under eyes especially, I would have never imagined, but a balm like this is perfect, it glides and hydrates without pulling on the sensitive under eye area. I use this balm on other random dry spots too, like my lips and nose. I had never heard of one of the main ingredients, wild carrot seed oil, but I now know that my skin drinks it up and responds very well to it, nourishing, moisturizing and brightening the area it’s applied to. Other key ingredients are organic sunflower oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, rosehip and coconut oil. My ride or die under eye care is the coffee bean caffeine eye cream from 100% Pure, but this comes in right at the top with it and I will definitely be purchasing again. I can’t wait to try more products from this brand!

Mineral Fusion Volumizing Mascara in Jet:

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I’ve tried a lot of the natural mascaras out there and honestly have had a lot of big fails and flops. This one I have mixed feelings about and here’s why…I love the full bristle brush, it’s awesome and great for creating volume and length. I feel like truly the brush is everything when it comes to mascara. Am I right? This mascara didn’t clump or smudge on me once applied which I also loved and finally it didn’t irritate my eyes which are normally very sensitive… even to more natural products. What I didn’t love? It seemed like after just a couple weeks of using it, the consistency changed a bit and it started to dry out and get a little clumpy on the brush. I know mascara’s shelf life is short in general and I really loved this mascara at first so I may have to give it another shot.

Pacifica Devocean Deeply Devoted Natural Lipstick in Tenderness:

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While I always want some kind of color on my lips, I rarely wear lipstick and am more of a lip gloss or tinted balm type of gal. That being said, I really loved the way this lipstick felt on my lips and its beautiful, long lasting color. This color is a perfect rosey nude that is great for anytime wear. Formulated without: Animal ingredients (including carmine, beeswax and lanolin), animal testing, FD&C colors, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, porpylene glycol, SLS, gluten, peanut oil and other ingredients you don’t want on your skin. I am wearing Tenderness in the photo below so you can get an idea of the subtle, but pretty color.

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Piece & Co. Beauty Bag:

This bag is gorgeous and unique, so much so that I almost don’t want to use it in fear that something might spill inside and ruin its perfection. I love that the fabrics they use are socially and environmentally responsible. (See picture at top of post) Here’s a bit more about Piece & Co… Piece & Co. is a different kind of textile company. As a social enterprise, Piece & Co. is reimagining the global supply chain while creating high-quality socially and environmentally sustainable fabrics. Piece & Co. enables a network of more than 5,000 artisans in 16 countries to develop their businesses and compete in the global marketplace, impacting over 16,000 dependents worldwide.

From Bolivia to Zambia, Piece & Co. sources material from primarily female-led artisan groups whose traditional textiles are of exceptional quality and beauty. By connecting these artisans with major companies, Piece & Co. strives to create consistent employment for thousands of women and positively impact their children and their communities. Piece & Co. ensures success by investing in the artisan groups through business training, technique development, and raw material sourcing, allowing both the artisans and their production to flourish.

I love clean sample bags like this because I discover new natural brands and products that I may not have come across otherwise. Hope you enjoyed reading about my favorites!

 

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie