Ah, coffee. I could not imagine my life without you. I dream about you at night. I spend hours sipping you in the mornings, and get sad when the pot is empty. Sometimes I will make two pots. But only on special occasions. Coffee, you are my soulmate. My one true love, and the only constant in my life outside of er…uh, mah husband. He loves you, too (but not as much as me). After all our years together, coffee, I think it’s time we get a little more healthy with how we sweeten you. After all, you deserve nothing but the best ingredients.
There’s been plenty of well-publicized debate on whether coffee is good or bad for you, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I drink coffee like a regular addict. It is what it is. And until recently, I never really put that much stock into the creamers I was using. I switched to mostly organic food a few years ago. My skincare followed soon after. But the one thing that I never stopped to regulate or even investigate was my one daily indulgence: coffee creamer!
Store-bought coffee creamers are generally not made up of actual “food.” At all. Common ingredients are corn syrup solids (yum!) or partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil. Partially hydrogenated oils = trans fats. There are also a lot of additives and preservatives in commonly used coffee creamers, and aside from tasting DELISH, they are likely doing you more harm than good. When you think of how much creamer you use in a week: 3-4 tablespoons a day (be honest, girl) x 7 days a week = up to 28 tablespoons of this gunk weekly.
Oh…but they have so many flavors now though, don’t they…? Cookie Dough. Bailey’s. GIRL SCOUT THIN MINT?! So. So. So. Tempting.
Well, I have a solution for you that is not only cost effective, but also YUMMY. A 16 oz bottle of Coffee-mate will set you back around $3. My solution will give you 30 oz for around $6. Not bad, eh? There are ways you can adapt this creamer to make it into one of your favorite flavors, and it will turn your coffee nice and creamy, like store bought creamer does, but without all the nasties. It’s also dairy-free for any of you with sensitivities. Each tablespoon is around 25 calories. All you need is five minutes and some cool glass mason jars. Let’s do this!
This has been one of my favorite posts to write. In the midst of learning about/buying better skincare options in the all-natural world, Jennifer and I have come across so many products that we love. Truly. I would say the overwhelming majority of what we have been lucky enough to stumble upon has been fantastic. Also, the people behind the brands in this relatively small community are always so knowledgeable, passionate, and generous.
Jessica Ress is one of those incredible people behind a brand that we have been lucky enough to get to know. The founder of natural spa product line Angel Face Botanicals (check out our review of her products), and “blogess” over at Spa Goddess, Jessica can now add published author extraordinaire to her resume. Her new DIY book, 100 Organic Skincare Recipes, will keep you occupied for hours.
I had so much fun reading this book and trying out some of the recipes for my face, body and hair. Jessica’s main mantra is to infuse all that you do with love. Having already developed a successful line of natural beauty and skincare products, she wanted to share her insights and empower readers to make homemade remedies with a few simple ingredients. While I obviously didn’t try all 100 recipes (I mean, c’mon, girl, we like to research our blog entries, but I ain’t got THAT much time!), I dabbled. Some of the recipes are so simple you could probably make them right now with what you have in your fridge; others might require a trip to your local farmer’s market or health food store.
What I love about this book is that you are getting inside information from a health and wellness expert who really knows her stuff, why certain ingredients will work for or against your skin, and so on. Jessica has taken an enormous amount of time, love and consideration to make this book not only enjoyable to simply read (and learn), but has made it super user-friendly for you to start experimenting in your own kitchen.
We will be giving away a copy of this gem of a book to one lucky reader in honor of our one year “blog-iversary” (it all started with this deodorant post…)! Enter the rafflecopter bellow by Oct. 31 for your chance to win! This is open to all U.S. Unsullied readers.
It’s been A FULL MONTH since I decided to try out eating vegan for 30 days (check our my first post on the topic for more background!).
Phew, that went fast! I gotta say, I may or may not be in the majority here, but this truly has not been that hard – or not nearly as hard as I had imagined. The most encouraging thing I have learned from this experiment is I don’t miss cheese (thought I would). Not even a little! I MAY have cheated and had a few eggs here and there…so that’s been the main block for me. But the most important outcome of this experiment has been how I FEEL. And that’s been amazing. I have energy, I feel vibrant and I haven’t felt hungry or unsatisfied. I’ve tried to keep a good balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. And while I may not always eat 100% vegan going forward (someday, maybe!), I will definitely continue to enjoy vegan meals and principles. It’s a great, healthy feeling.
With some help from my vegan and vegetarian friends, lots of inspiration from online recipes and a little willpower, I have had SO much fun making meals! Here are my favorite vegan meals: filling, flavorful, and fast!
Friends, I have been feeling a bit…saturated these days. After some soul searching and some experimentation, I have decided to try out eating fully vegan for 30 days.
I have dabbled with vegetarianism, and during my days when I worked at a farmers’ market, I didn’t even so much as look at meat. I didn’t miss it. I didn’t crave beef burgers or chicken wings, and I felt really good: slim, clear headed. Because the vendors at the farmers’ market had a trade deal agreement, I’d trade the cheese I was selling for bunches of organic greens, peppers, squash…even veggies that I couldn’t identify (!). It was SO much fun to come home with my bounty and look up unique recipes online.
My overall feeling of healthiness has been waning this past year. I’ve gained some “happiness” weight with my fiancé, I’m tired a lot, and I don’t have the resolve to say “no” like I used to. (Cupcakes have been happening…too much.) I’m getting married in less than four months, and aside from just losing a few pounds, I want to feel more vibrant. I want to bounce off the walls with energy. I want to simplify my diet. No more flip flopping. I need to make a change. Also, as I enter into my marriage, I want to start establishing habits that are good for both me and my soon-to-be husband. I’m going to be 30 this year, and while I don’t know if a fully vegan lifestyle is for me for all the years to come, I want to try it in effort to see the difference it makes in my existence overall. It’s a step in the right direction, at least. If anything, I will learn new recipes and will hopefully feel a little better by following a regimen that omits dairy and meat. Choices will be easier knowing what I can’t have.
SO: I am calling on myself to take a one month vegan challenge. Thirty days of vegan eating that is inspired and deliberate. I will chronicle my experience on Unsullied: the next post will be about my favorite new vegan recipes and then I will follow up with my results of the challenge! We will see how a dairy-eating, salami-loving gal like myself does trying to make a healthy, plant-based change.
All right, I know the Interwebs are always ablaze with a new “super duper miracle cleanse” or an all-juice diet that usually consists of starving yourself whilst cleansing out the toxins that are keeping you from feeling your best. Honey, I have done it AWL. I mean, truly. The Master Cleanse nearly killed me. I tried an apple cider vinegar cleanse, and that lowered my blood pressure so much that I fainted and hit my head on a coffee table giving myself a nice shiner and trip to the E.R. Gwyneth likes to tell us at goop that a full-time working, gym-going, kid-having, on-the-go female can drink herbal teas and a spoonful of mushed lentils to cleanse ourselves, thus making us feel radiant. This might be true, but I also may freak out and order the entire Fresco menu at Taco Bell by day two from sheer hunger/anger/confusion. I can’t be blamed. It’s not my fault that I like to chew things. I am not putting down ANYONE who can do this…but I can’t.
And I got a solution for ya!
Anyone who knows me from my formative years (JENNIFER) will tell you that when I was growing up, I was OBSESSED with rainbows. I drew a rainbow under the “K” in my name on homework, and I bought only rainbow posters, rainbow socks, rainbow pens. I painted my room myriad colors, much to my parent’s dismay. I even wore rainbow make-up. Sometimes…I still do. Although, as I approach 30, I’ve learned to embrace more earth tones. Whatever, I still like me some purple eyeshadow! Rainbows are just FUN. They are fair, you know? Not neglecting any color, any shade. Everything is represented! Equal rights. Well, turns out, rainbows are a good way to eat your fruits and vegetables. I knew I was onto something… (but put those Skittles down, girl.)
This recipe comes from years of trial and error. And by error, I should specify that there is no bad way to make this salad. It’s just a matter of preference, as most of my recipes are! Haven’t gone to the market in a week? No problem. This is a simple and nutritious recipe, and once you have the BASE down, you can literally throw anything in it.
Here’s a Sunday night recipe: warm stuffing inside peppery goodness…and it’s good for you, too! If you want to swap the breadcrumbs out of this recipe out for cooked couscous or cooked quinoa, feel free. You can always tailor recipes to your own unique tastes and needs…or to what you have in the cabinet!
Peppers are in season in summer and fall, and while we definitely advocate eating fresh, in-season veggies, we couldn’t wait six months to post this recipe…!
If you woke up this morning with a frosting hangover and tinsel stuck to your face…only to realize that you need to feed a gaggle of hungry relatives…we’ve got ya covered.
This is by far my favorite breakfast casserole of all time. I have been making quiches and eggy dishes for years now, but the two problems I always have with them are: 1) you end up with a lot of extra starch using a basis of potatoes or tortillas, which obviously equals more calories. Or 2) using egg whites and spinach and not much else…there isn’t a whole bunch of taste there. I hate things that taste “diety,” don’t you? There are ways to pair your food so you don’t sacrifice taste for being healthy.
I recently have been trying to steer away from cheese. Not because I don’t love it, but because when it’s in my house, I will eat it and munch on it all day until it’s gone! This recipe knocked my socks off, and everyone who ate it told me it was so good they just assumed cheese was in it. And they didn’t even miss the potato base! (I swapped out the potato for zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. If you ask me, TASTIER!)
I’m so sorry you’re feeling icky! I’m here to help with my tried and true natural remedies.
After I got back from a summer of travelling around Europe, (hello, jet lag!) back-to-back long days of work coupled with extreme stress (due to not having a enough time in the day…Millennial syndrome), the glands on my neck were really swollen, almost constantly. I always seemed to have some sort of “crud.” I had been checked for strep and other more serious things, but the truth was this persistent little bug I had felt off and on for months hadn’t 100% worked its way out of my body, and it was well past it’s welcome.
Pretty soon, I had a fever, was coughing every five seconds and was in sinus headache hell. I couldn’t even sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time because everything was just so uncomfortable. Ironically, I had gotten called into a commercial audition for an energy drink that day. I tried… but it was a disaster. (*hacks, keels over.*) This was a cold from the deepest dregs of hell. Yay! No magic Western medicine to fix me this time? Wah!
This is how I sped that bug out of my system. Get your notebook out: this is what you need, Sniffy McCoughington.
Time to get your holiday bake on!
So, this is easily my favorite baking recipe of all time. It’s a soft, chewy, DELICIOUS cookie. I can only make these when I know I am bringing them somewhere…otherwise I can’t be trusted with them. The good news is that this recipe is vegan, and utilizes my good ol’ favorite: agave, so no refined white sugar here! Follow the recipe and you’ll have the best dessert at the par-tay! (or on your couch, alone, watching the PBS special on Liza Minnelli. No judgement here, people!)