healthy

A Parfait, S'il Vouz Plait!

Andrew and I love eating healthy!  We love the feeling of doing something good for our bodies and having the energy we need to power through a tough work day.  So why don't we eat healthy all the time?  Because we don't have the time.  Unfortunately, with 2 little nuggets running around (and by nuggets I mean puppies), we don't have time to make breakfast "the proper way!"  We typically wake up about 30 minutes late, run to get ready/take care of the pups, then race out the door with nothing but a banana in hand!  Thankfully, I decided to try a new little trick and boy did it make things better.  This Noosa Yoghurt Parfait is the perfect breakfast for a healthy couple on the go! 

 

RECIPE BELOW

 

While perusing Sprouts the other day, I came across a few yummy ingredients I knew Andrew would love:  Noosa Yoghurt, Fiona's Natural Food Almond Millet Granola, and a cartridge of Organic Strawberries that smelled amazing!  We love finding products with legible ingredients and delicious taste.  All of these products were a slam dunk in our book.

 The one product I want to highlight is this Fiona's granola... I am never satisfied with granola; it's always too soggy, too hard, too bland, or contains WAY TOO MUCH sugar!  Fiona's was a complete surprise and I couldn't have fallen more in love.  The bag contains larger nuggets of granola for those who like to snack, but there is an even number of nibbles parceled in the bag for those who like Parfaits!  The flavor is packed full and you can read all 7 of the ingredients.  YEP- you heard right - 7, and not one of them is sugar, stevia, or corn syrup!  For the record... we have tried 3 of their flavors and love every single one of them :)

If you're looking for a delicious, healthy new granola, please check out Fiona's Natural Food, available at your neighborhood Sprouts Farmers Market!

A PARFAIT, S'IL VOUZ PLAIT!

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Ingredients

1 container of Noosa Yoghurt, Blueberry

3 Large Organic Strawberries

1/3 cup Fiona's Granola, Almond Millet

Directions

In a small glass bowl, scoop half of the Noosa Yoghurt into your dish.  Then slice the 3 strawberries and use to top the yoghurt.  Sprinkle Fiona's Granola on top of your strawberries.  Tops with whip topping, if you please.  Enjoy! 

Pure Cacao Apple Fries – A Whole30 Friendly Snack

 

I’m so excited to bring you a delicious Whole30 recipe today, while sharing a great company too! Cholaca baking chips are pure liquid cacao---if you haven’t had cacao, it is a superfood that is one of the main ingredients in chocolate.  It is the bitter, “chocolate” taste you experience when eating a dark chocolate candy bar.  The percent of the cacao in the chocolate bar determines the bitterness of the candy… which is why dark chocolate tastes more bitter than milk-chocolate – and some consider it healthier!  Cholaca, on the other hand, is pure cacao and is great for you, has no sugar, AND it’s a superfood…. It’s honestly the closest thing to heaven on earth!

What is Cholaca and Regenerative Farming?

Cholaca, based in Boulder, Co, was founded in 2012 by Ira Leibtag. Ira’s vision was to sustainably partner with farmers in Peru and Ecuador to bring liquid cacao to the world, which is hands down my favorite part of this company and their products!   This is accomplished through regenerative farming, which is a practice that sources bean from cacao farms on the Ecuadorian Pacific coast, that practice Regenerative farming. Regenerative farming is a practice that “not only “does no harm” to the land but actually improves it, using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the environment. Regenerative agriculture leads to healthy soil, capable of producing high quality, nutrient dense food while simultaneously improving, rather than degrading land, and ultimately leading to productive farms and healthy communities and economies” (regenerationinternational.org). Even more impressive, Cholaca is also certified Fair Trade, something Ira is so pationate about. 

 

What are the health benefits of Cholaca?

Cholaca has antioxidants, flavonoids, flavanols, oleic acid, and iron. The antioxidants can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavonoids can help repair cell damage and flavanols have beneficial phytonutrients. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat J). Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport other nutrients throughout the body.

 

Where Can I Buy Cholaca?

Cholaca is used in coffee shops and breweries—go check them out here! Cholaca can be bought at Sprouts or from the company’s website.

 

Pure Cacao Apple Fries: A Whole30 Friendly Recipe

You will need:

-1 cup Cholaca Baking Chips

-3 tablespoons pure almond milk

-Sliced apples

-Your choice of chopped nuts (for toppings)

-Dried banana chips (for toppings)

-1.3tsp of coconut sugar (if you are not on Whole30)

 

Directions:

Place milk chips in a microwave safe bowl. 

Next, pour your almond milk over the chips.

Microwave the mixture for 15 seconds.  Leaving the bowl in the microwave, stir the melting chips and milk. Microwave an additional 15 seconds and remove. 

(NOTE) If you are not on Whole30, feel free to add 1.5 tsp of coconut sugar, to make the mixture less bitter.

Lastly, dip sliced apples into melted cocoa, then sprinkle with desired toppings and ENJOY! 

 

Clothes: Intrigue Boutique

 

A "Parent Trap" Worthy Face Mask!

Taking your skin care routine to the next level can be hard…  BUT, if you’re like me, then you’ve always dreamed of walking around your house in a mud mask- just like Meredith Blake from The Parent Trap – so taking that next step can be fun at times too!! 

Today’s post is all about the amusing and glamorous side of being a girl – and you’ll LOVE the price of my favorite product!

Like I’ve mentioned before, Denver’s dry climate has pushed me to make changes to my skin care routine that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own.  While I’m grateful for the little nudge, I’m also constantly looking for the best products for my new developing fine lines…  I hope you’re enjoying all of the Wednesday beauty posts that are dedicated to helping you do the same thing!  Luckily, I’ve seen huge benefits from going that extra mile and doing a more in-depth regimen on a regular basis!  

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One of my favorite products I’ve added to my routine has been a bi-weekly face mask!  When I started down the path of further care, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, so I started small.  This Dead Sea Mud Mask was a best seller on amazon, so I thought I would give it a try.  Not only was it affordable, it didn’t require any additional steps, had no man-made additives, and there was no chance of burning my face or peeling off skin because I didn’t know what I was doing!  

To keep things manageable and hold myself account, I set a schedule to do the mask every other week!  I chose Sunday as my day because I knew that I wouldn’t be pressed for time and it would be a great way to start the week! 

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Little did I know I would fall so in love with the product that I felt compelled to buy it for my mom for Christmas…  I’ve started looking forward to “mask Sundays”!  They are a great way to make myself take some Me Time and ground myself before the week begins.  Not only has it been awesome for my state of mind, but my skin has LOVED the extra moisture and exfoliation.  I’ve found that every other week is the perfect amount of time; my face is never irritated or over moisturized!  My pores are smaller than they have ever been and I get compliments on my glowing complexion on a regular basis.

Want to try it out?  I’ve linked the product below for convenient shopping!!  && GUESS WHAT?  It’s less than $15 and available with free shipping!

A New Take on Stir Fry!!

Today’s post is all about a new take on an old classic!! 

Ramen Noodles was one of my favorite after school snacks while growing up, and quickly became my favorite late night food in college.  I still argue that they are better cooked on the stove, than in the microwave, but to each their own! 

This little recipe takes 15 minutes to make and is so tasty!  Andrew was hesitant at first, but after trying it, he was sold.  Inspired by a craving for Thai food and a dwindling pantry, this inexpensive meal will be perfect for anyone, on any budget. 

Ingredients:

Stir-fry:

1 white onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 green bell pepper, cut into strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

2 heads of broccoli, destemmed

1 lb flank steak (or skirt steak), cut into 1” squares

2 packs of Ramen Noodles (any flavor)

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Sauce:

½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce

6 cloves garlic

1 tsp cayenne

¼ cup chopped scallions

2 packets Stevia

Juice of 1 lime

 

Directions:

In a Wok, drizzle the pan with olive oil and add the onion, peppers, and broccoli, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. 

Turn heat to medium and cook until tender.  While the vegetables are cooking, drizzle a secondary skillet with olive oil and add the flank steak, again, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium heat until browned. 

Next, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the two packs of Ramen Noodles, no seasoning.  Cook for 5 minutes, drain, and place to the side.  Once all three components are finished cooking, combine all in the Wok and reduce heat to low.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and whisk together.  Drizzle over the stir-fry in the Wok and allow to marinate for 2-3 minutes.  Now you’re ready to serve!

Loving Your Body is a Lifestyle

Truth::  Loving your body is a hard at every age.  I used to think it got better with age, but i was wrong... I do, however, believe that movements of "self love" and "self acceptance" are bringing to light how hard it is to be a woman.  I'll go further to say that they are calling attention to the horrifying fact that we are told, from the time we are little, that we are to be thin, healthy, happy, and have everything we deserve in life because it's what we were born for.  But what is happiness?  What things in life are important? And where is the line between wanting to be better and being obsessed when it comes to self improvement?  I get lost in thought trying to sort out my feelings on it, much less have a solid answer to any one of these questions!

Luckily, I very good friend of mine: MR. BRANDON HILL of @HowdyBrandon set out to help women identify these feelings and learn how to love their body despite what the world around tells them how they should feel.  His mission was created to support his beautiful wife, Ashley.  He wanted to create a space where she felt safe and secure in who she was and in doing so, he started a movement that sweeping Denver off their feet!  His awareness and presence in the Denver Fashion blogging community has been indescribable, as he is pushing all of us to grow outside of our comfort zones and opening our eyes to the struggles that we may (or may not) realize influence us.

In his movement #cleanandstrong, Brandon is promoting a well rounded lifestyle and an openness to "self love" that can only be taught!  His magazine is dedicated to the growth of women and short "lessons" if you will on how to find happiness in a balanced life!  You can't afford not to check it out.  Even if you love yourself, purchasing the magazine with continue to promote this movement of acceptance!

Just for being a follower, you will receive $10 OFF with the code "THENOVICENATIVE"

Get your lovable booties over there-- you may just see a familiar face!! #CLEANANDSTRONG 

www.CLEANANDSTRONG.COM

I also have to say how much I love these two humans... In addition to the #cleanandstrong campaign, Ashley and Brandon have started a weekly YouTube episode documenting their lives and growth!  It's hilarious, funny, and I honestly think Bravo should cast them to have a reality show.  I've linked the episodes below because I watch for them every week!

Why You Should Juice Every Few Months

Andrew and I started juicing this past year after moving to Colorado...  I know exactly what you are thinking - We moved from the "Big City" to Granola-Town and of course went hippie,  but I promise you that isn't the case!

After moving to Downtown Denver, we found ourselves in awe of all of the amazing restaurants and culinary creativity this town harbors.  Every night we liked to experience a different happy hour and try a new place for dinner.  It was the best few months - so we thought!  But after a while, we found ourselves feeling tired and sluggish.  The desire to work out had become a mere dream and the pounds started packing on!  

When we got engaged, we both had a renewed interest in losing weight (the right way) and presenting the best versions of ourselves for our soon-to-be spouse!  However, after an extended holiday from working out, I was still struggling to get back on the train.  That's when I had the idea to juice.  

Wanting to do it the right way, I did a ton of research and found that not all juices are alike.  The ones you buy in store are highly processed to make them last longer on the shelves, and most of the time have been made in a way that your body can't absorb all the nutrients you need.  So I kept digging!  Finally, I came across one of the best companies in the industry, Denver's very own: THE JUICING TREE.  The local store cold presses their juices fresh every morning!  A huge win in my book - yipeeee!!  The best part?  They will deliver the juices to your door, making the whole process easier.

The first "juice" I did was only three days long, but the impact was dramatic.  On Day 1, my juices arrived via carrier at my office, fully numbered in the order I was to drink them.  This numbering made it so easy to follow, not to mention the experts at The Juicing Tree knew just when my body would be craving something and the next juice settled that craving!  The juices were filling and I never found myself hungry or crabby (which was a big fear going into it).  One of my favorite parts of the cleanse was the fact that  I was getting all the calories I needed that day, but my body felt a million times better.  I had more energy, more focus, and a desire to workout because I was showing my body a little love when it came to food!

The next "juice" Andrew and I did together.  This time, we did the full 5 days!  Our experience was absolutely the same as my first and Andrew quickly joined me on Team Healthy.  We began to change the way we viewed ourselves, as well as the way to wanted to live.  We hired a trainer (who will be featured this Friday for wedding prep) and now juice every few months!

If you haven't checked them out, you definitely should- you really can taste the difference!