Why I’m Eating Hemp Hearts

Hippy Life, Minimalism, Natural Beauty, Simplicity, Sugar-Free Recipes

41OJnCe1kBL._SY300_

Diet, nutrition, and food is always a hot topic. Don’t we all want to be healthy, reduce our grocery bill, and lose guilt associated with over-indulgence?

One of my focuses on my minimalist journey is to do just that:

  • Feel Better
  • Lose Weight
  • Reduce Waste
  • Simplify Cooking
  • Spend Less on Food

I’m heading in the right direction by changing a few of my daily eating and exercise habit. Mainly, I have made it a priority.

My lunch, especially, has been simplified. I eat the same thing every, single day. Eating out is no longer an option. This reduces the temptation to eat fast food and spend excess money. It has also been the number one factor in my weight loss.

I have stumbled across my new fav addition for lunch/snack that I wanted to tell you about.

It’s Hemp Hearts and it’s a superfood.

A hemp heart is the edible inside of a hemp seed and has numerous nutritional benefits:

  • A complete protein
  • Contain the essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 3
  • Good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E
  • High in minerals, calcium, and iron
  • Has 25 percent protein, 35 percent fatty acids and 27 percent carbohydrates (primarily fiber)
  • Include more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving of chia or flax

That’s just the nutritional side, but my favorite:

They have been shown to increase levels of energy without other stimulants like caffeine and sugar. They are a healthy addition to a weight loss plan since they provide essential nutrients such as protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals without adding an excess of calories, starches and sugars. The weight lost with the assistance of hemp hearts is unlikely to be regained, because it is a daily dietary adjustment rather than a temporary fix.

And how cool is this:

The balance of essential fatty acids paired with the complete protein found in hemp hearts promotes cellular recovery and development. Hemp’s unique fatty acid composition and balance can have significant impact on inflammatory processes and cell membrane activities, which are the foundation of numerous chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative disorders, hypersensitivities and auto-immune conditions.

And directly relating to my proneness to bacterial infections:

The high concentration of essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds also supports the transportation of oxygen to cells throughout the body. The presence of oxygen in cell membranes helps to block viruses, fungi and bacteria.

Some other noted info:

  • Minimum of 4 tablespoons recommended per day: eating them straight from the bag or as a topper for salads, cereal or yogurt. Add into smoothies and other recipes for an added punch
  • Eat them raw, they lose nutritional value once cooked
  • They are not marijuana because it doesn’t contain high levels of THC

I found a pack at my local TJMAXX. They have odd food items that I can’t find in stores and I’m always on the search for new low carb items to try. Once I cam across this bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts {raw shelled hemp seeds} I knew it was worth a taste.

They are delicious. Very earthy tasting, satisfying, and natural. I eat them straight out of the bag at work and it makes me full enough not to indulge in unhealthy foods. They remind me of sunflower seeds with less salt and a finer texture. I will continue eating these on a daily basis, although I will have to order online because I’ve never found them in regular grocery food chains (however, they are at Whole Foods but it’s just not convenient for me to go). That’s fine, because I love them and have lost 2lbs since eating them a few days ago!

Woot.

If you are looking for something new, you may want to try. I must also add that I in no way, shape or form am pro-marijuana/drug use.

Fewer Toys: Making Room for Kid’s Creativity

Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

unnamed

One of the main focuses on my journey to minimalism is the amount of possessions I have. I want to remove the unnecessary so that I can focus on what truly matters.

Housework is one thing that takes up so much of our time. It never ends. Stuff piles up. We procrastinate. The easiest thing we can do to invite peace into our home and enjoy less housework is to pare down possessions. Every item we buy, own, and store owns us. We have to maintain, clean around, find a place for, move around; the more things we have in our house, the more we have to do.

A major area in my home is kid’s toys. I’m talking about the kids have a million toys. It’s out of control. The children can’t even enjoy playing with them because there are so many options. It’s like they give up because there is so much stuff surrounding them they don’t even know where to start. My children enjoy a clean slate with enough options to entertain and have room to express their creativity.

I’ve been decreasing the amount of toys for my daughter. I took a whole layer of toys away from her toy box, and bless it, she was so excited to be able to see all the toys at the bottom. It was like Christmas morning. I kept out all of her favs and left a few new ones. She doesn’t know any different, and I have less mess to clean up. Win-win.

I actually googled ‘how many toys does a child need’ and ran across a beautiful article about this very topic by BecomingMinimalist. I love when she said I’m not anti-toy, I’m pro-child.

I don’t have a set number of toys I want her to have, I just want her have space to be her beautiful, funny, creative little self. She can’t do that with so much overwhelming clutter, just as I can’t keep up a peaceful home and mind with my stuff everywhere.

I need open spaces. I need less. I will get there.

Don’t Let Happiness Depend on Something You May Lose

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

One thing that is for sure: everything in life changes.

How often do we depend on routine, other people, jobs, money, and stuff to make us happy? I found myself doing this pretty much my whole life. I was happy if my circumstances were, as I viewed, happy.

unnamed

I felt like my life would be complete when I got a job out of college.

I lost it.

I felt like my life would be better if I got married.

Almost lost it.

I hoped I would be a true grown-up when I bought a house.

Nearly lost it.

I thought that my clothes and hairstyle would make others love me more if it was current and ‘in.’

I am getting older and losing it.

I thought that furnishing my home with cute stuff and wall hangings and furniture would make me happy.

It breaks, runs down, and I lose it.

These things do not make you happy. Happiness comes from within. It comes from the way we view our circumstances. It comes from being content with what we have already been given, and it comes from the brave ability to let go of things we can’t control.

And if you are like me and have tried your dangdest to control your life, you have probably already found out:

You can lose it.

It’s time to take a real account of our stuff and people in our lives and determine if our priorities are in order. It’s too easy for chaos and confusion to rule our lives. But, what’s the most important things?

  • Family
  • Health
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Wisdom
  • Relaxation
  • Clarity

None of which comes from a perfect situation in which your mind dreams up. Life’s lessons, experience, and the ability to flow and enjoy make a person rich. Rich in heart and rich in spirit.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow. There will be trials but there will also be joy. Don’t be afraid to look within and to take change and discomfort with grace. Find your priorities and do that. Forget the rest.

That’s what I am going to do.

No ‘Poo: 3 Week Update

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Natural Beauty, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simplicity

unnamed (2)

My journey to lo/no ‘poo has been interesting. It’s always a challenge to make a big change in life, and this is no exception. At first, you would think it sounds simple: just don’t wash your hair every day and use natural shampoos. Well, it’s a lot harder than that. Not only the routine itself, but how you get to know yourself in the process.

There’s the whole transition period, where your hair is oily and crazy and pretty much unmanagable.

Then, you have to figure out how to style your natural hair. I’m used to straight; but now I’m a curly girl.

After that, if you are like me, you don’t want to use a blow dryer or heat tools, so you learn to just let your hair be free.

My 3 week update:

  • I’m going about 3 days using water-only before using my Burt’s Bees natural shampoo and raw honey rinse. This is leaps and bounds away from my twice-a-day conventional shampoo routine.
  • I still let my hair air dry. I scrunch it a little, use some bobby pins if needed, and go about my business.
  • By the 3rd day I get a little oily, but I’m OK with it. It’s not offensive and the benefits I’m gaining far out way the process.

What’s awesome?

My mother and husband both commented yesterday on my curls! Finally someone noticed!

Now, I’m not doing this to gain attention: it’s solely for me. But I made sure not to tell anyone what I was doing because I wanted to focus.  I need accountability on some ventures, just not this one. It was just a little too personal and challenging internally and externally for me to be getting other peoples 2 cents.

They both were amazed at how curly my hair was. My husband even asked if I was going to continue because he really loves it!

So, I informed my mother of my no ‘poo venture. Of course she was supportive and had lots of questions. And my husband is finally thankful that I am just leaving my hair alone.

Most importantly: I am happy! My hair does it’s own thing and I am loving the curls. I have also gained so much time in the mornings thanks to my minimal hair routine. 

Moving forward:

  • I am wanting to be able to only ‘wash’ my hair once a week while continuing rinsing in between. I’m trying to be patient.
  • I intend on trying the raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse at some point.
  • I am going to get a better boar bristle brush= lifesaver.
  • I am going to be pushing a day out a week in not washing: I’m going 3 days between washing this week and will go 4 days between next week.

Sometimes getting out of our comfort zone pushes us to be our better self. If we are doing something that just isn’t working, it’s time to be brave and make a change.

It’s hard to argue when it’s overall just better, right?

This is the case with my no ‘poo journey. I’m loving it so much. It’s working me inside and out.

DIY Sugar-Free Coffee Creamer: Coconut & Chocolate

Sugar-Free Recipes

unnamed

I am obsessed with coffee. Which also means I am obsessed with creamer. Like, I go through 2 bottles of store-bought creamers a week. One at home, one at the office. No apologies here, just a confession.

Also, I limit sugar in my diet to dang near zilch because I keep my carbs low. I fuel up on meats, veggies, fake sugars and coffee. May I insert here that I am soon to be on a search to a more natural sugar that works for me, but until then: Splenda.

Because I thrive on so much coffee and creamer, I end up feeling a little sicky mid-day because of the creamer. I know, it’s weird, but it happens.

I wanted to create my own version of coffee creamer using something a little more lighter and a sugar-free or minimal sugar recipe that I can make my own flavors. Currently in store there is French Vanilla and Itialian Sweet Cream that’s easily available and they are both played out.

My attempt was a success! I would like to share this recipe should you be interested in:

  • More sugar-free options
  • Not-so-heavy
  • Saving money

Here’s the ingredients and the how-to:

Coconut&Chocolate Coffee Creamer

Put in blender until mixed and store in a mason jar {or any other jar you wish}. I also labeled my mason jars and put the expiration date which, is about a month away so I’m good-to-go.

It was really delicious! What I’m loving most about the base {coconut or almond milk + heavy whipping cream} is that you can add whatever flavors tickle your fancy.

I’m thinking ingredients like these for the future:

  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate Mint (sugar-free candies)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Nutmeg
  • Peppermint
  • Caramel
  • Banana Extract

And the list rolls on. It really opens up the taste-buds and allows creativity where store-bought is limited.

Titles like:

  • Banana Nut
  • Cinnabun
  • Cocoa Mint
  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Christmas Spirit
  • Chunk-o-chocolate
  • Vanilla Bean Cream
  • Butter Pecan
  • Coconut Summer Breeze

are making my mouth water! I’m so ecstatic to have a cost efficient delicious, homemade creamer that works for me. So easy to make, too!

Natural Soap: Reasons Why I Use It

Essential Oils, Free Spirit, Minimalism, Natural Beauty

unnamed (3)

That’s our pet goat, Sally. Isn’t she adorbs?

I’ve recently changed a lot of my beauty routines over from conventional to natural:

  • No ‘Poo: I quit using shampoo & conditioner; now it’s water only and natural cleansers
  • Caveman Skincare: I wash my face with water only
  • Make-Up: I only use organic CC cream and mascara {currently transitioning to only organic}

The results are really amazing and I feel much better with my choices. I can let go of my past mistakes, and make better choices moving forward that really benefits my skin, beauty, and life.

I’m also after a simple life where I focus on what truly matters so I can do meaningful work, live peacefully and light, and love with all my heart and soul.

Freeing up my obsession and constant ‘messing-with’ of my hair, make-up, body will allow me to live the passionate, hippyish life that I am after.

Since changing my hair, facial skincare, and make-up routine, it’s only natural that my body soap would be next.

I’ve had horrible, bodily skin my whole life. It’s patchy, ruddy, and has patches of red bumps. It also dries out super fast, but then moisturizer inflames my dry skin even worse. I’ve been diagnosed with dermatitis where dermatologists basically give you a topical ointment and tell you to rub down in it several times a day until it’s gone. Well, it doesn’t go away.

So, since I’ve had success with the natural approach to hair and my face, I switch to an all natural, goat’s milk, soap bar.

It’s amazing.

I’m using Indigo Wild’s Zumbar. It’s made from goat’s milk, natural ingredients, and essential oils. My skin is improving, it’s:

  • Smooth
  • Moisturized
  • Less flaky
  • Fewer red patches

All within a few weeks.

I also use Burt’s Bees Grapefruit body wash in the morning. It has a refreshing scent and sometimes I just want to use my pouf.

It’s really just a simple change and a better choice for overall skincare. The natural soaps smell delicious and are less harsh on the skin – all while cleaning just as well {or better, even} than the chemically-filled ones.

There comes a time when we do the same thing over and over and get the same sucky results. This is the turning point when we can open our mind and try some new things. The natural approach leaves nothing to be lost; only improved.

Meditation: How to Begin

Clarity, Essential Oils, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Simplicity

unnamed (1)

This is one of my favorite meditation spots.

Meditation has done wonders for me over the last few months. More than exercise, therapists, or medication ever thought about.

It’s powerful because you take back control of your thoughts. It helps bring you back to center and allows you to explore your authentic self.

Life has a way of becoming hectic, wild, chaotic, busy…if we let it.

If you are at your wit’s end and don’t know what else to do, like I was not too long ago, it’s time to try something else.

How to meditate:

This is something that you will discover for yourself because there are tons of different ways people do it. It’s not just for Yogi’s or Buddhists. It’s also for you.

Just like everything else, it takes practice and patience. It also takes mindfulness and the willingness to try something new.

Here is how I started out:

  • 2 minutes: I made it a priority to sit with myself for a minimum of 2 minutes every day. Normally this was in the bathtub where I could relax after kids were in bed.
  • After some time, I then became mindful of meditation: driving down the road, sitting on the porch, drinking coffee, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • I welcomed my thoughts. Let’s be real, they don’t stop. Our minds go and go and are constantly chattering. I simply observed and then watched them float away like a balloon.

I try to meditate every, single day. I don’t put a time limit on it, I just do it. I make a point to be mindful, to be quite, and to look within.

You don’t need a fancy room or pillow to meditate.

It’s just a simple exercise that you can do to quieten your thoughts and gain clarity.

My recommendations:

  • Quiet room: bathtub, bedroom, on the road; anywhere with little distraction
  • Peaceful music: nature sounds, slow tunes with no words
  • Start with deep breathing. Take your time and take long, deep breaths. Focus on the in and out
  • Watch your thoughts. They will be there, but after a little time and with a little breathing they will become less and less
  • Essential oil: Sometimes I like to add a little ambiance to the experience. Frankincense brings a little woodsy aromatherapy and helps me focus
  • Let go of guilt. Don’t feel guilty about giving yourself a few minutes throughout the day to ease anxiety and get to know yourself again
  • Stay with it. You may feel tempted to procrastinate feeling like you are ‘wasting time’ just sitting and breathing. When I first started out my thoughts were all the same: “I really should be doing the dishes” “I’m missing my favorite show” “I have to fold laundry” “Hmm. I’d really like to re-decorate this room” Sit with these thoughts and let them go. They will pass and you can remain calm and realize that these thoughts are not urgent. They will come back later, I promise.

After meditating, you will be able to attack your tasks, family, and self with a calmer attitude. You will learn what is most important to you. You will be able to let go of anxiety. You will regain control of your thought patterns.

Isn’t it time to take back control of our thoughts and life so we can live in a meaningful way?

How can we know which path to take among all the mental chatter, busyness, and chaos?

Meditation will help settle this so we can move in the right direction and live from our heart.

No ‘Poo Journey: Bobby Pins are a Hippy Girl’s Best Friend

No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo

Remember that time you prayed your whole life for full bodied, naturally curly hair that you could just roll out of bed, scrunch, and go about your day?

And then you went no ‘poo and actually got your wish, but you now have absolutely no idea how to keep your new ‘curly girl’ full-bodied hair tame?

Oh, right. That was me.

unnamed

unnamed (1)

A few bobby pins with sections of hair pinned all over will just have to do for now.

Caveman Skincare

Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Natural Beauty, Simplicity

unnamed (2)

A lot of us have spent so much time and energy on over-the-counter and medicated facial cleanser. We scrub, exfoliate, moisturize; wear clay masks, apply toners and astringent, and pop zits.

If you are like me, then all of this started as a pre-teen when acne was running wild and it was cool to start using beauty products and makeup.

I’m in my thirties and the question still remains:

Why do I still have crazy skin and what can I purchase and do to make it go away?

It seems like I have tried everything imaginable and nothing is making it any better.

I had a turning point after I was using a combination of facial exfoliation, medicated facial wash, charcoal mask and makeup: my face broke out unbelievably and my cheeks turned beet red and very sore.

That’s when I made the decision.

It’s time to do something drastically different.

Then, I stumbled upon the Caveman Regimen in skincare. It really doesn’t get any more simple:

  • Wash your face with water only
  • Or, don’t wash it at all

I opt for the washing my face with water only and a baby soft rag.

After only 3 weeks, my skin has totally cleared up and my oils have regulated. Also, my black and whiteheads came out on their own. I will admit: it was disgusting but so amazing at the same time. After the first week, I looked in the mirror and they all made their way to the surface. If I hadn’t been in such shock, I would have taken a picture because it was wild; gross, but awesome at the same time. I’ve been trying for years to get them all out: biore strips, exfoliation, mashing. Well, they are gone now and haven’t returned. I’m sold and lo and behold my body is doing what it is meant to do. All on it’s own.

Why make the switch?

  • Conventional facial cleansers have chemicals and medication that may simply be way too strong for your face. They also can be stripping you of natural oils causing you to dry out and break out
  • You have tried every product on the market all your life and nothing is working
  • You want to save money. Water only is free!
  • You want to simplify your beauty routine
  • You want clear skin
  • You want to trust your body. The body is a machine made to cleans, heal, and grow all on it’s own. It doesn’t need our help with products. It already knows what to do if we just let go and allow it to do what it’s designed to do.

It’s really not as scary or gross as it sounds. It’s actually very beautiful and skin is allowed to heal naturally – which, is what your body is trying to do in the first place before we take it upon ourselves to slather and scrub it raw.

What to expect after making the switch from conventional to caveman:

  • Few days of transition. My skin was very oily and felt weird for a few days. I wasn’t used to water only and I had the strong desire to go back to my products. But, I held strong and am so glad I did. After a few days (depending on the person), your skin will begin to regulate and you can continue water only washing until it becomes your new norm.
  • You will realize that you have been spending way too much time and money on facial cleansers. Haven’t you heard that companies know that you will have to keep coming back for more? You try it: skin dries out, you buy moisturizer. You break out: you buy acne cream. You use makeup to cover acne: cycle starts over and continues.
  • You simplify your routine. I spend my mornings meditating, working on blog posts, yoga, and sipping coffee instead of slathering makeup on top of makeup to conceal my blemishes. Now, I put a little organic CC cream on my face and do something else.
  • It becomes the norm. After a few weeks, you quit thinking about your face. You don’t reach for cleansers in the bathtub. Oils regulate and skin clears. Ah. So nice.

Am I going to continue with caveman skincare?

Without a doubt.

The results can’t be denied. I wanted:

  • Simplified beauty routine
  • To save money
  • Clear skin

I now have all three.

It’s healthier and my skin is happier. Much, much happier.

Coming Home Blend: Essential Oil DIY

Essential Oils, Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity

unnamedOne of the best feelings in the world is coming home to a clean, fresh home.

I was away on a weekend trip where I was low key and packed lightly. Being away from my home is fun and makes great memories, but when I get home I am ever so grateful.

Before I leave I make sure:

  • Dishes are clean and put away
  • Toys, clothes, clutter is in their spot
  • Clean sheets are on my bed
  • Fresh towels and bathroom are clean
  • Smelly-goods: that the house smells fabulous upon arrival

Being welcomed by a calm home is peaceful.

The hustle, bustle, and travel time away drains us of our energy. The last thing on our minds when we get home is to have a to-do list. Our minds and body can relax if when we arrive our home is happy and clutter-free.

Coming Home Essential Oil Blend

  • 5 drops lavender
  • 5 drops frankincense
  • 5 drops lemon

This is the blend that I whipped up as soon as I got home. I put it in the diffuser and let my spirit be nourished and relaxed. It was a little woodsy from the frankincense, fresh from the lavender, and clean from the lemon.

My home smelled lovely as I gave into the exhaustion and enjoyed being where my heart is.

Then, I brought out my yoga mat, took deep breaths, and rejuvenated my senses as I parted from the weekend and welcomed the upcoming week.