This time of year, the squash literally just takes over my garden! Everything from pumpkins to butternut to gourds to zucchini start growing, and when I harvest all of these things, I really can’t even give them away I have so many!! And believe me – I’ve tried (sorry, unsuspecting friends!)
So after a week or so of watching them sit around the kitchen, I decided to cook up some delicious Chocolate Squash Bread! Grated zucchini, from zucchini picked fresh from the garden, is really wet and lush, which is what makes this bread so wonderfully moist. I had to drain my garden picked zucchini for about a day before I could grate it well for this bread, but I recommend this step in the process as it makes the bread come out soooo moist and lovely! This all got eaten by the family in a day! 🙂
So how can you turn this…
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) shredded raw zucchini or squash (I used a pumpkin, a gourd squash and a large zucchini – all home grown! 🙂 )
1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose gluten free flour (my favorite is here!)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup (120 ml) organic vegetable, coconut, safflower, grape, olive, or canola oil
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated raw white sugar
1/2 cup (105 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs (vegans may substitute with a teaspoon more of oil)
Preheat Oven to 350.
1. Whisk together the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl until there are no more clumps and the ingredients are well combined.
2. In a separate large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until smooth, about a minute.
3. Mix the shredded squash into the sugar egg mixture. Combine with your flour and cacao mixture.
4. Place into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F.
5. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan & enjoy!
I hope you’re all having a lovely end of summer/start of fall so far and cooking up some delicious, healthy recipes!
I’m a water filter snob. I don’t know what it is, but I’m particularly sensitive to the taste of filtered water. I know, I know, but this can be the difference between me hydrating properly or reaching for something slightly less hydrating, like a tasty iced tea or kombucha. While those are great options, there’s absolutely nothing for your skin, mood, digestion, blood building and your overall health – like water!
The CamelBak Relay water pitcher is one of the best filters in the whole world – and trust me, I have tried them all. From the frustrating Britta style (where the filter’s routinely slip or fall off) to the Drop (which, while awesome and highly portable, has it’s own set of probs, bob), I’ve been through a ton of different kinds of water filters, each with their own pros and cons.
The CamelBak Relayhas won my heart, my fridge and the #1 place as the best filter EVER. Plus, it’s extremely fast. I mean INSTANT.CamelBak says it’s 10 times faster than any other water filter on the market, and I would have to agree. I have never seen anything like it!
Plus, an added bonus – an extra filter! When you pour the water through the sprout, the Relay filters it again! So great! This makes sure that your water is at its purest form, which is extremely reassuring. You can take this on a hike and fill it up at the stream, or take it outside and make fresh tasty lemonade, or infused fruit water, like I did recently!
To infuse your water:
Fill up your CamelBak Relay Pitcher at the sink.
In a separate pitcher, add fruit or veggies to your infuser or straight into the water. Cucumber, strawberries, lemon, ginger and mint are all great to make a tasty beverage!
Add the water from your CamelBak Relay Pitcher.
Add ice and leave in the sun to infuse for fifteen minutes to half an hour.
So, before I backstory, let me just say that I posted this on instagram the other day by sharing that, “Not only has this smoothie balanced my belly, enhanced my food & vitamin absorption, improved my mental clarity & let me kick some deadline a$$ buuuuut… it’s begun to clear my skin, plumped up my assets & gives my skin a killer glow!”
What powerful herbs and foods make up this super drink?
First, a bit about how we got here. It all started with a craving for sushi. Normally I make my sushi at home (I’m not bad at it 😉 ), but this particular day on a whim I grabbed some from the local market and chowed down as I caught up on some emails and finished my book edits.
I realized after about an hour that I definitely had gotten food poisoning. 3 days later I was at my doctor, begging her to help me. She prescribed me gatorade, water and bread. 5 days later, I was back, even worse. Around 7 days – one week into it – my body finally started kind of turning around and remembering what it was like to keep food down and not consistently feel awful. I lived on smoothies because I didn’t have much of a choice. Even the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apples & Toast) would not comply.
I lost ten pounds, my skin was dry, dehydrated and sunken from all the meals that had come up. All the time spent laying around feeling like death had done a number on my body as well as my mind. I felt super cloudy and light headed, and I even started to get migraines again – something I hadn’t suffered from in over four years! I needed a serious boost, so I went to my favorite medicine cabinet – my refrigerator – and made myself a great tonic for belly health, skin and my overall digestion.
Two weeks later, and this has been my go-to for skin health, my digestion, any days where nausea or even some anxiety may have crept in… plus! It’s balanced my hormones, plumped up my assets and totally relieved my PMS symptoms this month! Ready to change your life, totally naturally? Here’s what you’ll need!
2 tablespoons Olive Oil because of it’s well-researched anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and numerous heart-healthy macronutrients. Olive oil fights free radical damage and has been proven to boost brain power.
Raw Vanilla by Moon Juice is filled with potassium, magnesium, and promotes natural production of dopamine, stimulates good moods, lubricates your cells for brain function and keeps your blood sugar healthy. Yes, I said vanilla. 🙂 Raw vanilla is amazing for your health, as long as the source is pure. It’s also high in calcium, manganese, and has been proven to release both serotonin (making it a natural aphrodisiac and mood booster).
2 Tomatos as tomatos are high in lycopene (carotenoids precursor) for skin boosting, glowing color and acne remedy. In addition to being antioxidant rich, tomatoes have a high level of acidity inherent in their juice, which can help digestion as well as complexion.
15 Cherries ‘cause, like all other berries, cherries are store houses of antioxidants such as vitamin-C and flavonoids which effectively neutralize free radicals and protect us from all ailments associated with aging or the action of oxidants, such as weakening of the heart and nervous system. Apart from protecting against the damage of free radicals, the antioxidants (Vitamin-C, Carotenoids and Flavonoids) also boost immunity and protect us from bacterial, viral and fungal infections, particularly those of the colon, urinary tract, intestines, and excretory system.
Spinach makes a great base for any smoothie, because dark leafy greens like spinach are important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. Spinach is high in fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation promote a healthy digestive tract.
Chlorophyll since the use of chlorophyll to promote the healing process was first reported nearly 100 years ago. Chlorophyll binds with toxic metals to hamper absorption, and research has shown it can do the same with some carcinogens. Great for especially icky days!
Pineapple is one of the world’s healthiest – and most delicious – foods! Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending all aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells, and pineapples contain a high concentration of vitamin C, making it great for skin as well as your gut.
Seasonal Carrots for their ability to promote skin health as well as their awesome effects on digestion. Carrots are rich in dietary fiber, a type of indigestible carbohydrate that’s found in plant-based foods. Fiber comes in two forms, called soluble and insoluble, and carrots are a good source of both types. For example, a 1-cup serving of sliced, cooked carrots provides a total of about 3.5 grams of fiber, with approximately equal amounts of each type. Although it provides no nutrients, fiber plays an important role in digestive health, especially when we’re fighting a powerful gut bacteria.
Avocado because eating a cup of sliced avocado has been known to increase your fiber intake by 4.9 grams — 13 and 19 percent of the daily fiber needs for men and women, respectively. Avocado’s beneficial fiber helps promote healthy digestion. Fiber doesn’t break down into energy as it passes through your digestive tract, but instead absorbs water.
Mangoes contribute copper, calcium and iron to the diet as well as antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in mangoes, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from degeneration, also helping my migraines.
Coconut Water may be better at replacing lost fluids than a sports drink or water — as long as you enjoy the taste. A study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that coconut water replenishes body fluids as well as a sports drink and better than water but the athletes preferred the taste of the sports drinks.
Flax Seed are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote cell regeneration and supple skin and hair. My nails have even gotten longer since I’ve been sipping this tonic every morning!
Mixed Carotenoids give your skin a beautiful, golden color. Classified as a xanthophyll, which is a carotenoid pigment found in fish and algae, this gives you a striking, supple complexion all around! Fair skin? This will enhance skin’s pigment over time, giving you the healthy, bronzed color we all crave. Totally natural, and it’s also been proven to help one burn less while out in the sun!
Ginger Kombuchato support digestion and eliminate any bacteria still left in my stomach from the food poisoning.
Herbs & Vitamins:
Pueraria Mirifica for hormone balance. This is what’s been making me curvier in all the right places – and I love it! It contains phytoestrogens that balance feminine hormones. PM also has flavonoids and miroestrol compounds, which have all been shown to be effective for fighting aging. A reduction in gray hair and cellulite, increased energy, improved memory and improve circulation are some of the benefits that people have reported after taking pueraria mirifica.
withinUs TruMarine Collagen(use code ORGANICLIFE at checkout for a discount) because Collagen is one of the most important structural substances in our bodies, accounting for 25 to 30% of its total protein – 75% of our skin is collagen. It is the key component for supple and radiant healthy skin. As we age, our body loses its ability to make collagen, causing it to break down. Loss of collagen leads to a collapsing dermal layer and this contributes to wrinkles and loss of elasticity. The environment also affects our skin and UVA/UVB exposure induces skin damage and loss of collagen. Everyone can benefit from taking collagen and maintaining the integrity of the extracellular matrix is essential for a youthful skin appearance.
St. John’s Wort is commonly used for treatment of depression and anxiety, but it also has amazing benefits on mental clarity. And surprisingly – your skin! St. John’s Wort contains flavonoids, which protect, soothe, and heal skin, while providing anti-acne and anti-inflammatory benefits.
LifeEquals probiotics (use code ORGANICLIFE75 for 75% off subscription orders!) supports digestive health issues (constipation, bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, and obesity). When your gut or skin is in a serious state of distress, these are your answer! I empty 4 capsules into my smoothie before I blend it up.
Blend on high! Enjoy! You’re on your way to becoming your own wellness warrior!
This all natural face mask will have your skin thanking you! It’s luxurious, effective, very affordable and easy to make. It also smells amazing! I use mine 3-5 times a week to cleanse and detoxify my skin and it has worked wonders in preventing break outs and curing acne and post-acne redness! It also works really well as a spot treatment. As you can tell, I’m a little in love with my skin saving concoction. And super excited to share it!
Ever since I did this post, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for exactly how I got that lovely Tiny Devotions scarf to stay on my head. Today, I’m giving you a quick, 30 second DIY tutorial for to how to achieve the look! I love Tiny Devotions – from their cute manifesto (below) to their incredible healing malas, bracelets, scarves and conscious accessories to their adorable blog and beautifully curated instagram!
Plus, I spotted one of my wellness warrior heroins Kris Carr, as one of their models!
Personally, I think head wraps are so pretty, as well as being super duper convenient for those of us who are constantly on the go! They look exotic, beautiful and are a great way to stand out. Learn how to head wrap your Tiny Devotions scarf from the video below!
I’ve often been asked about my signature “look” this past season: a natural, relaxed, fresh-faced inspired daytime look that I often spruce up even for nighttime by adding a bit of darker eyeshadow. Here is the daytime version, though – all makeup used is natural or organic and contains no harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients.
+ Waxelene on lips, eyebrows, eyelids and a light coating to moisturize the face.