Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese practice of “forest bathing”. Forest bathing is fairly self explanatory; just take a relaxing walk under the forest canopy, breath deeply, and soak in all the health benefits. It’s a popular preventative health care practice in Japan. I’ve always noticed a significant positive shift in my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state after spending some quality time in nature but I’ve never really understood exactly what attributed to that. Vitamin D, fresh air, and exercise are all fabulous benefits of getting outside but there are many other scientifically proven benefits to forest bathing. Some of these benefits include: improved mood, reduced stress, increased energy, reduced blood pressure, and accelerated recovery. One of the most impressive benefits is boosted immune function. Trees emit organic compounds that actually support our natural killer cells (cancer killing cells) and decrease our stress hormone levels. Literally forest healing! How fricking cool is that?! Nature is so incredible and so powerful. I enjoy forest bathing with my husband and dog! I take conscious, deep breaths and touch the forest floor and fallen leaves. One of my favorite things to do is to just stop and listen to the silence of nature, it’s beautiful. Get curious- touch, smell, listen, observe, and bathe in the forest.
Tyler and I recently made the decision to become plant based vegans. We are super stoked to be on this health journey together! We made this decision after a lot of research, experimentation, thought, and consideration so it was definitely not on a whim. We are feeling better than ever and it’s only been a week so far! We have been eating in abundance and are having so much fun in the kitchen cooking plant based meals. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
We are adopting this lifestyle primarily for health reasons. We both want to live long healthy lives full of vitality and free of health issues. We are so fortunate that we are both healthy young adults without any health problems but we want to ensure that for our future so that we can thrive, not just survive. Our bodies are temples so we should power them with the best possible fuel, which are plants. Plants are the most nutrient dense food on the planet and our bodies are biologically designed to eat them. Plants are also wondrously not calorie dense so there are no caloric restrictions when eating a plant based diet because there’s no way you can get fat by eating plants. That’s pretty cool if you ask me! Some people think being a vegan is extreme but it has been truly freeing to eat until completely satisfied without feeling guilty.
A plant based vegan diet has proven in many studies to prevent, and even reverse, cancer and disease, the two things that are killing our population more than anything else. Processed meat is classified as a group 1 carcinogen, just as smoking cigarettes are. That’s crazy!! Most people probably don’t realize that their diet is doing the most damage to their bodies. There is truly no reason to consume animal products and there is nothing that you need from them that you can’t get from plants, even adequate protein!
Another reason to go vegan is for ethical reasons. I’m not going to dive into this too much but we want to be socially and environmentally responsible. I personally do not want to promote animal cruelty or industrial agriculture. One of my favorite quotes is, “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian” by Paul McCartney. It’s very hard to watch but educating yourself will make you realize there is an awful lot of suffering that occurs to produce food products that we are really not meant to eat. It’s actually making our population fat and sick. Voting with your dollar is the most effective way to make a change and promote what you stand for.
We initially took steps towards clean eating back at the beginning of 2016 by adapting the paleo diet, which I shared here on the blog. We both lost weight/toned up however, we didn’t feel better on the inside and didn’t feel truly nourished. It was really not sustainable eating a very high protein and low carbohydrate diet. You don’t feel well. The carb flu is real and not fun. We are enjoying eating a diet rich in plant based carbohydrates! We also realistically do not need nearly that much protein, no one does. Bottom line, paleo may work for some people but it did not work for us and we knew it was not a healthy long term lifestyle for us. The health of internal organs is much more important than the size of your waist. However, loosing weight on a vegan diet is just an added bonus! I’ve actually read about many former paleo people going vegan because of similar reasons to what I stated. It’s always good to become an expert on yourself and learn what works best for you and try things out for yourself because everyone is different.
Check out What The Health and Forks Over Knives on Netflix, The China Study book, and of course there is a ton of great information on the word wide web. A few of my favorite vegan bloggers Ellen Fisher, Earthy Andy, and Oh She Glows. Serious Eats also has a really awesome vegan recipes section. There are so many resources out there to educate yourself on why a plant based diet is truly optimal for health and wellness!
We will definitely be posting some of our favorite vegan recipes on the blog, and maybe even some cooking videos! Here are a few photos of some vegan dinners we have enjoyed.
I first discovered OSEA Malibu skincare products at the Halele’a Spa at the St. Regis Princeville on Kauai. I instantly fell in love with the glass packaging, plant based ingredients, natural scents, and luxurious textures. OSEA products are made with quality ingredients such as seaweed, plants, flowers, salts, botanicals, and essential oils. So much goodness!
I don’t know about y’all but every time I go to the beach my skin just looks and feels healthier. One of my favorite parts about using OSEA products is getting that same effect at home! Seaweed is the foundation of most all their products. The organic proprietary seaweed trio is rich in bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. It’s important to nourish your body using natural ingredients from the Earth + Ocean.
I am admittedly very picky about what I put on my skin and I believe everyone should be! My primary concern is using non-toxic products and my secondary concern is efficacy so I am happy to find such an awesome company that is in line with these values. I have been using the Ocean Cleanser, Atmosphere Protection Cream, and the Red Algae Mask for about 2 weeks now and I am loving the results! The Ocean Cleanser is so refreshing and balancing. The Atmosphere Protection Cream is the perfect moisturizer because it’s light yet hydrating (so thankful for humidity because now I don’t have to glob on heavy creams). The Red Algae Mask is purifying without drying and can be used once or twice weekly. These are the products recommended for my skin type (normal/combination) however, OSEA does have oily/blemish prone, age defying, and dry skin products to address your specific skin concerns.
Let’s talk skincare! I knew that when I got engaged, it was time to improve my skin and get it wedding ready. I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what I am doing to my skin so I wanted to share with y’all. My skincare routine is my favorite self care ritual and I love it even more now because I am seeing such great results. I have been doing this routine for about 3-4 months now and I’m just being honest, my skin has never looked better! It glows from within and I rarely break out. I credit it 100% to sticking religiously to my routine. I’ve also discovered the beauty of using acids to exfoliate the skin (AHA and BHA) which are much more effective and less irritating than manual exfoliation (scrubs, brushes, etc.). It’s truly how you achieve the glow and get rid of accumulated dead skin cells.
While there are so many options out there, it’s not easy to find a clean and clinically effective skincare routine. As a self professed product junkie, I’ve done my fair share of experimenting with supposedly good products that left my skin overly dry, red, irritated, or that just flat out did not do anything. Many popular brands often are loaded with nasty fragrances (which break down the collagen in the skin), alcohols, parabens, sulfates, and other gross irritants. Through lots of research and consulting Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, I finally found my “holy grail” skincare routine. I use a combination of products from Drunk Elephant, Paula’s Choice, and EltaMd. Mostly Drunk Elephant products. I love literally everything they make. What first drew me to the brand, other than the raving reviews, was the cute, colorful, and airless packaging. This is SO important! That Vitamin C, E, AHA/BHA, antioxidants, etc. all become much less effective/unstable when they are exposed to oxygen. That’s what we pay the big bucks for so definitely invest in a brand that packages their products correctly and sanitarily! All their products are made in the U.S.A. which is important to me and they are extremely committed to providing clean and clinically effective products. Good skincare is not cheap and cheap skincare is not good. In my opinion, it is smarter to invest in skincare so you don’t need as much makeup!
The only product you cannot purchase online or in store, is the retinoic acid which is a prescription you have to get from a dermatologist. I am currently using only .025% retinoic acid which is super weak but if you don’t want your skin to peel and flake everywhere, start with a low strength and work your way up. I am probably going to bump mine up next time I go to the dermatologist. Also, to all my deep south friends and family, I would definitely suggest not using this many moisturizing products if you live where it’s humid. When I was in Louisiana, I only used the B-Hydra as my moisturizer. This is what works for me living in Colorado where it’s super dry and arid. FYI, this post is not sponsored.
So you may be wondering why we are doing a post on making a sourdough boule considering grains are not paleo and we mostly eat a paleo diet. This particular grain, einkorn, is exceptional because it is over 10,000 years old (some think it’s even older). Einkorn is the only non-hybridized wheat so it is truly an ancestral food. Unlike modern/conventional wheat, einkorn is high in protein and fats, with a low glycemic index. We freshly mill our whole, organic einkorn berries in our Vitamix and then we ferment it with wild Boulder yeast. We prefer to mill the whole berries so it keeps the whole bran and wheat germ oil intact. Since we ferment before baking, this bread contains many prebiotics, metabiotics, and lactobacilli spores which basically act as probiotics in our gut. The sourdough product is lower in the naturally occurring wheat starches and sugars The final product is super protein and nutrient dense and has little gluten. It’s seriously the most filling, delicious bread that gives us lots of energy!
I created a delicious & nutritious green smoothie in my Vitamix that I want to share with y’all! I have the Vitamix 750 Professional Series and it is seriously a life changer! It was a huge investment but probably one of the best I’ve made thus far because I use it at least 2-3 times a day. It does everything- smoothies, nice cream, sauces, condiments, soups, nut butters, nut cheeses, nut milks, grinds whole grains, and sooo much more. It can also make baby food so I’m excited to do that with it one day!
This creamy green smoothie is loaded with antioxidants, plant based protein, ripe fruit, fiber, and healthy fats! It’s the perfect balance of nutrients. I feel like I hit the sweet spot with this green smoothie because it’s not overloaded with fruit or greens but has just the right amount of both. Make sure to blend it really really well until it’s completely homogeneous because there is nothing grosser than chunks of kale in your smoothie. Add a few ice cubes in towards the end because the blender does heat up its continents after blending on high for a while.
here is what you’ll need:
3-4 kale leaves
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup hemp milk or nut milk of your choice
few drops of raw honey/agave/maple syrup (optional)
Everyone loves Asian take out, am I right? It’s so delicious and comforting but, usually super unhealthy and far from Paleo. We are slightly obsessed with Thai food so we decided to recreate Pad Thai. It’s ridiculously good and definitely better than any take out! Click continue reading to see the full recipe. I’m using my new Canon camera for these pics!