healthy lifestyle staples: apple cider vinegar
the healthy lifestyle staples series is my chance to let all of you in on all of the healthy products that i cannot live without and always keep on hand. from reusable water bottles to tongue scrapers to hot lemon water, there are quite a few things that i rely on to make my life easier and healthier on a regular basis…. and as the list continues to grow, i want to make sure I’m keeping all of you in the loop! today, i’m bringing you the low down on apple cider vinegar and why it’s one of the staples in my arsenal of healthy products.
apple cider vinegar is one of those products, much like coconut oil, that has more uses than i can even begin to list here. among those ways, it can do many things from balancing your body’s pH to disinfecting surfaces in your home and it works wonders on your hair and skin. here are 5 simple ways that i use apple cider vinegar on a day-to-day basis that you can start doing right away:
- as an all-natural toner: apple cider vinegar is great for balancing your skin’s pH and evening out your skin tone naturally. because it’s rather strong, you should always dilute it with water before applying it directly to your face. i make my own apple cider vinegar toner [recipe here] and use this as a part of my morning and evening skincare routine every. single. day.
- as a hair rinse: dilute some apple cider vinegar with water [i usually do about 1 part apple cider vinegar to 10 parts water] and pour it over your hair immediately after shampooing and conditioning. it will strip any leftover residue from your locks and leave them silkier and shinier than you can even imagine… just be careful to not get any in your eyes!
- to detoxify your body: every single morning, without fail, i always drink a cup of hot lemon water with cayenne pepper, turmeric and a cap-full of apple cider vinegar [recipe here]. while balancing your body’s internal pH, apple cider vinegar has also been shown to help stimulate the lymphatic system, clear out sinus congestion and detoxify the liver. getting all of these benefits is as easy as adding a tablespoon to the first glass of water you drink each day.
- to clean your home: apple cider vinegar can replace quite a few household cleaners, which not only reduces the amount of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis, but will help you save a little money [and space!], too. mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water to make an all-natural cleaner [you can mix the two together in a spray bottle to make it easier to use] that can be used on sinks, stoves, ovens, countertops and even your bathtub/shower.
- as a mouthwash: apple cider vinegar can brighten those pearly whites and fight bad breath. gargle a mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water before brushing your teeth once a day [i do this in the evening since i usually oil pull in the morning].
bonus tip! another way to sneak some apple cider vinegar into your diet is by using a teaspoon or so as a salad dressing along with a little olive oil… yum.
you can purchase apple cider vinegar at just about any grocery store these days, but i highly recommend buying a raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized version, such as bragg’s.
do you have any other ways of using apple cider vinegar in your every day life? share in the comments below!
image courtesy of wikihow
motivation mondays: week 31
okay! it’s a new week and i’m not as heavily scheduled as i was last week and hope to stay on track with everything i have planned… sorry for the late posts [or total lack of]… i tried my best and that is just all you can do sometimes, so i’m totally okay with it.
also, in case you weren’t aware, i’m communicating with all of my newsletter subscribers once per week with exclusive content and offers, so if you haven’t already subscribed…. ya should! you can sign up over there to the right in the sidebar or by clicking this link. [i promise to never spam you or share your information with any third parties.]
so, i had one post all set to go for today, but after a comment i heard in passing this morning at the gym that really just enraged me, i decided to go a different route for motivation mondays this week. while i don’t typically use my blog as a platform for this kind of agenda, i feel like there is something we all need to be reminded of right now:
plain and simple. no one, and i mean no one, should ever have to be afraid of being who they are. it doesn’t matter what your religion is, what your skin color is, if you’re gay or straight or bisexual or if you identify with a gender that you physically are not… if you’re skinny or fat or if you fall into what society has told us is “beautiful” or not… i could keep going but I think you get my point… which is this: if you are a human being living on this earth and you are a good person who is doing their best to make it through life and be happy, you deserve love.
go out there and be yourself and accept others for who they are, too. hate doesn’t get anyone anywhere, but love conquers all. i think one time someone said “all you need is love”… i can’t remember who exactly, but i think they had a pretty good point.
just a few more things…
1) TEAM BRUCE FOR DAYS.
2) as a taurus [my birthday is in 2 weeks!] i have to say that basically all 10 of these things are true.
3) finally, did everyone see my post about the importance of nourishing your heart this spring on living body wellness? i’m excited to officially be a contributor, so keep checking back for more content from your’s truly over there!
enjoy your week, and please make an effort to be extra nice to every person you come in contact with today, tomorrow, this week, this month and every day, even if you aren’t having the best day/week/month/year. everyone is going through something, often fighting battles we can’t even begin to imagine, and the power of kind words, a smile and love can go farther than you realize.
p.s. this week, i’m sharing another one of my healthy lifestyle staples with you and reviewing another workout class i’ve been attending here and there… be sure to come visit again soon!
image courtesy of instagram
what i ate wednesday: boston + chatham edition
as i mentioned yesterday, i was in boston over the weekend visiting a friend, and what would a weekend getaway be without checking out some local spots for amazing food and a what i ate wednesday recap? not a getaway i’m interested in taking, that’s for sure!
saturday morning, we went for a run down near the harbor, grabbed breakfast, and drove down to the cape for the afternoon, specifically, to the town of chatham, which was like… storybook perfection. it was such a gorgeous day, and even though it was a little windy and chilly, we still took advantage of the sun and spent most of the day outside… and eating. this post is a little more cape heavy, but it’s all relevant [i think]!
smoothies + juices at the juice box:
we hit this cute little juice bar in south boston post-run and i went with the green glow smoothie. they also have breakfast bowls and cleanses available… and a trail mix bar!
flavored coffee at marylou’s:
we stopped for coffee at marylou’s, a massachusetts/rhode island staple, on our way down to the cape. Normally flavored coffee is not something i would ever entertain [sugars, syrups, etc. = major yuck factor] but instead of flavoring the coffee with the sh*t they use at most coffee shops, marylou’s infuses the beans with flavor so you avoid all of those terrible additives. i had a really hard time deciding what to get, but i ended up with an iced mocha mint coffee with a splash of almond milk. you can guess how it was.
afternoon cocktails at chatham bars inn:
we arrived in chatham and immediately went to the chatham bars inn for a drink. the raspberry lemonade [pictured here] was perfect – refreshing, but not too sweet – and i think the view made this even more enjoyable. cocktails + adirondack chairs + the beach + the sun = pure happiness.
lunch [+ beers] at the squire:
the squire is your typical dive bar with walls covered in snarky license plates from all over the country. they serve pub-fare with an emphasis on seafood [this is cape cod, after all] and if you’re into that sorta thing, you should definitely check this place out. as a vegetarian, i went with the black bean veggie burger served with a side of fries and coleslaw. naturally, i washed it down with the cape cod i.p.a. they had on tap. #foodcoma
brunch at anthony’s café:
finally, on Sunday morning, we had a quick [hungover] brunch at anthony’s café. this place is pretty old school: cash only, walk right up to the counter, order, take a seat [inside or outside] and they bring you your food… served on paper plates. i had the three egg omelette with spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese, served with a side of whole wheat toast and home fries. the picture does not do it justice [i was too busy inhaling my meal to get a good shot], but i guarantee you will understand why this place is a neighborhood staple if you try it out for yourself.
must-eat: anthony’s café
honorable mention: chatham bars inn
what are your favorite boston spots?! share in the comments below!
motivation mondays: better late than never
this has happened before, and honestly, sometimes it’s just really necessary to let life throw the unexpected at you and just go with the flow. i was in boston over the weekend visiting a friend and ended up staying an extra day, so motivation mondays didn’t happen on schedule and you know what? i’m okay with that. i got to spend an extra day with one of my nearest and dearest friends [did i really just say that?] and experience “marathon monday” in boston. #worthit
i’ll do a little boston recap later, but for now, motivation mondays… it’s really better late than never, right?
i really love this. just ask yourself this: how many times have you decided to not do something, not because of what other people thought or said, but because of what you thought, what you told yourself you couldn’t do? if you’re anything like me, probably quite a few times.
this quote can literally be applied to any aspect of your life. work, relationships, hobbies, dreams, goals, oh, and i don’t know… your health and wellness? where are you holding yourself back? where are you downplaying what you want because you think you can’t have it, can’t do it, it’s unrealistic?
it’s bad enough that we sometimes have friends, co-workers and family members telling us we’re being crazy, that our ideas are too far out there, that our dreams and goals aren’t realistic. the very last thing we need is to be getting this same attitude from ourselves, our own inner dialogue. quite often, even if we have a supportive team of people surrounding us, we’re our own worst critic. all of the encouragement in the world can only go so far if we’re telling ourselves we can’t do something.
we need to get out of our own way. stop telling ourselves that we can’t do it. even if the only reason you have for wanting something is “because i want to”… guess what? that’s good enough.
[and this is all within reason, of course. and i still strongly encourage you to use your judgement. don’t make bad decisions just because you feel like it or anything like that. but i think you all have a pretty good idea what i mean with this whole thing.]
links to start the week [or continue it]:
1) i mean, obviously.
2) because dogs.
3) i loved this little post on the impact of a positive response. sometimes attitude is the most important thing.
have an amazing week… see you tomorrow with a what i ate wednesday post… boston edition!
when are you going to get out of your own way and just effing go for it?
image courtesy of ella frances sanders
honeycakes with lemon-lavender icing
last weekend, i attended a game of thrones season premier party [that was disguised as a birthday party to make us all feel a little better about ourselves] and we tracked down a recipe blog dedicated to GoT inspired dishes and everyone went. to. town. i made honeycakes with lavender icing and obviously decided i needed to start experimenting with the recipe to make them bananas + bellinis appropriate! here is what i’ve come up with… i think they are the perfect spring treat for a fun weekend breakfast or afternoon snack. they aren’t vegan, but they are dairy-free.
ingredients for honeycakes:
- 2 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 c. vegan butter [I use earth balance sticks for baking]
- 1/4 c. coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 c. applesauce
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. honey
- 1 c. vanilla almond milk
preheat the oven to 350° and line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
- in a medium-sized bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients together until well-combined.
- in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter [which should be at room temperature], coconut palm sugar and applesauce.
- add the egg and honey to the butter/sugar mix and blend.
- beginning and ending with the dry mixture, alternatively add the dry mix and almond milk to the sugar/butter/egg/honey and mix until smooth.
- fill the liners 2/3 of the way up and bake for 25-30 or until you can stick a fork into the center of the cakes and it comes out clean.
- let cool completely before applying the icing.
ingredients for the lemon-lavender icing:
- 1/2 c. vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 tsp. fresh culinary quality lavender + extra for garnish
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. frozen blueberries, thawed and crushed [for coloring]
- 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- [you also need a cheesecloth for this part!]
- in a saucepan, combine the almond milk, lavender and lemon zest and bring to a boil.
- as soon as the milk is boiling, remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
- add the crushed blueberries and stir.
- strain through a cheesecloth to remove the lavender, blueberries and lemon zest and then place the milk back into the saucepan.
- whisk the powdered sugar into the milk in increments of 1/2 cup.
- use a butter knife to apply to honeycakes and garnish with fresh lavender
this recipe yields about 15-18 honeycakes. i recommend serving them as soon as possible, but they will keep for a few days if stored in an airtight container. they pair well with a cup of warm breakfast tea… enjoy!
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