Favorite Cookbooks

vegetarian cookbooks

Due to my cleanse, I have been cooking up a storm. Prepping gluten and sugar-free snacks, creating nutrient dense vegetarian meals from whole foods, and exploring the world of home made dressings and sauces. I have rekindled my love affair with cooking from scratch and have the messy kitchen and dirty dishes to prove it! I usually pin my favorite recipes to Pinterest or scour social media and blogs, which are terrific resources for meal inspiration. However, I have recently started collecting more cookbooks, and adore having them in my kitchen! There are so many amazing whole foods, vegan and vegetarian cookbooks from seasoned chefs, food bloggers and the like. I find myself reading cookbooks like romance novels…I even took one with me to the beach to read. I guess that comes with earning a Master’s in nutrition – you really start to pay attention to the fuel you put in your body!

My favorites so far:
Oh She Glows
The Green Kitchen
The French Market Cookbook
Thug Kitchen
Nourishing Traditions

What are your favorites? Please share…no seriously – I want to go cookbook shopping!!

A Year’s Worth of Body Scrub Recipes!

photos courtesy of In Between Laundry

This adorable e-book from fellow blogger In Between Laundry contains 24 body scrub recipes (a year’s worth) in delicious scents! Better yet? It’s only $3.99!! Mind you, they are not all natural – so pick and choose, or use the recipes as inspiration to find your own natural remedies! Homemade body scrubs also make awesome hostess and stocking stuffer gifts for the upcoming Holiday Season – FYI.

Here’s one I tweaked because I am currently craving pumpkin bread hard-core!

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub
½ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Turbinado Sugar
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ cup Organic Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mash with clean fingers until thoroughly incorporated. Add to mason jar with lid and use in the next shower or bath

Great Books for Daily Inspiration

Two books I’m currently loving to keep me inspired daily:

Sacred Living: A Daily Guide, by Robin Hereens Lysne
Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice, by Christy Turlington

Sacred Living is a sweet little coffee table (or in my case, bedside table) book to help keep you in the right frame of mind each day. The book contains information on cultivating daily practices for stress reduction and general mental well-being, then goes day-by-day through the entire year to give you a message and task for “sacred” living.

For example:

August 1: Strength. My strength comes in developing the ability to express myself honestly.
It takes strength to be true to ourselves, When you express your truth, it may not look anything like you planned. Sometimes it comes out with tears, sometimes with laughter, sometimes forceful or gentle. As we cultivate our inner truth, however, we find the strength to speak it.

Nice, huh?

I’ve already mentioned on multiple occasions that I’m a big yoga fan. Yoga helps bring balance to the body (and the skin) in so many ways, and regular practice makes all the difference with this type of exercise. I’ve had Christy Turlington’s book, Living Yoga, for YEARS and read through it from time to time. It is currently keeping company with Sacred Living on my bedside table. In the book, Christy writes about herself, her family and her travels. She also writes about her discovery and love affair with yoga and how it has improved her life mentally, physically, and spiritually. She explains the basics of yoga in easy-to-grasp terms and suggests gentle and effective yoga poses for daily practice.

Two Great Reads on Nutrition

Two books I’m currently reading:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
Deep Nutrition by Catherine and Luke Shanahan

Many of you may not know this yet, but I am working on my Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition. In between facial appointments, sending product orders and blogging, I have been reading these two fabulous books for class! Nourishing Traditions is more of a cookbook with a really great forward that re-educates on the low-fat diet myths. Deep Nutrition is more a a history and science lesson combined. It delves into the world of biochemical diversity and epigenetics – WHOA! This book has been an eye-opener to why we really truly need to return to our historical roots of eating whole, real food.

You may hear me quoting these authors over the next month or so, and you may notice that some of my blog posts delve into skin nutrition a bit more, and that’s because what we eat plays a vital role in how our skin behaves. The more I learn, the more I will share with all of you!

Book Review: Sugar Blues

William Duffy wrote a book in 1986 that will make you want to reject refined sugar for the rest of your life. In Sugar Blues, Duffy explains the history of sugar and why it’s so freaking addictive. He recounts his personal health battles attributed to sugar intake, and reports on several research studies that just might shock you. Sugar really had ZERO nutritional value. We love it because it’s sweet – but it may be tricking our taste buds.

As humans, our taste buds are set on sweet. Sweet in nature usually equals dense amounts of energy in foods. If we were all hunter gatherers fighting tigers before bedtime, we would need this energy. The funny thing is…in nature, sugar is incorporated in foods that also have protein or fiber so that our bodies can handle it. Science has allowed us to extrapolate sugar and make it into a, well, super sugar (hello high fructose corn syrup.) In the mid 20th century we also declared war on anything unrefined and went to great lengths to make sure all our food was white: rice, flour, sugar, margarine…and the result was – disease! Did we win this war on food? Nope.

Duffy brings to light the results of ingesting too much sugar, and will have you cleaning out your pantry even before you finish the book. It’s an easy read, and since so many of my clients suffer from skin conditions caused or made worse by sugar intake – it’s worth a post! Get the book here.

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