Sometimes all I want to do is indulge in something naughty
Ya feel me?
In my 17 years of life I have never made a better, more indulgent healthy treat. It’s like you’re deceiving your sweet tooth, it’s so good.
Fun fact about me: my favorite cake is carrot cake
What I love about this specific recipe is that the cake stays extremely moist, yet still fluffy and the icing seriously mimics real cream cheese frosting like nobody’s business. Plus, for all of you who are already prejudging it’s difficulty, I’m here to tell you that these are really easy to make and don’t require a lot of time or skill (woohoo!).
For the cupcakes…
1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup refined melted coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup grated carrots
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with 8 muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.
Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not frost until completely cool.
For the faux cream cheese icing…
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water 1 hour or cool water 6-8 hours
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or cream
3-4 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (preferably the consistency of softened butter)
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water for 6-8 hours. Drain thoroughly and add to a blender. To the blender, also add remaining ingredients.
Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. It’s important to get the frosting as creamy and smooth as possible, so blend on high with a high-speed blender until the texture is silky and smooth.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, vanilla for vanilla flavor, or more lemon zest for tang.
Transfer frosting to a medium mixing bowl (with room to blend / whisk) and cover. Place in the freezer and chill for 45 minutes. Then remove from freezer and whisk. Freeze for another 45 minutes – 1 hour and whisk again. Then leave in the freezer until semi-firm to the touch (cheesecake texture // ~ 2-4 hours) and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend until creamy and smooth. Depending on how firm your frosting is, this may take a little work at the beginning as it softens. If too thick, microwave in 15-second increments until blendable (or leave out at room temperature to soften).
Your frosting is ready to use.
It’s that simple.
I encourage everyone to try out this recipe, which is now one of my favorites. And anybody who does make these decadent cupcakes, please send me pictures via instagram @moodymadeline.
With it being the third week of fall semester, my days have been full. Trying to balance being a student, a part-time employee, and having a social life is nothing short of challenging. Maybe I’m the only one, but one of the first things that I sacrifice when life gets hectic is taking time for myself and focusing on my health. When I have to be at work at 7 it’s hard to eat a filling, healthy breakfast unless I wake up extremely early. Then only have an hour between work and class makes it very difficult to pack a lunch and usually leaves me grabbing something quick. Not to mention, with a packed schedule that demands late nights, early mornings and focus for school work, it’s very easy to become best friends with caffeine. Oh, and working at a coffee shop doesn’t help very much.
Can anyone relate?
For a second there I forgot to spend any time working on myself, and I’m the type of person that if I continue to forget about bettering myself for more than two weeks I start drowning. I won’t even notice it sometimes until subtle things become apparent and I have to stop and realize that the cause of them are from neglecting certain aspects of my life. You guessed it, the first place I see a negative change is my skin… whether it’s from stress or cheating slightly in my diet, I notice direct correlation with breakouts.
Just this past week I looked in the mirror, and all at once, realized wow, when was the last time I did something for me? Mind you, I suddenly became aware of this because of a breakout that gave me a flashback of the years I struggled with acne. I slowly had been losing sight of my health and skincare roots. For the first time I felt as if I could relate to everyone who’s told me their countless excuses as to why they don’t eat a clean diet- “I’m too busy” “I work too much” “School is hard and I can’t worry about that” “My schedule doesn’t allow for me to eat good”. So, if you’re in the same boat as me, rowing down a fast-paced river with lots of rapids, I want you to know that you can still eat clean, but don’t stress about being perfect.
My best tips to live healthy while being busy
1.Make the best possible choices
It’s okay that you’re not super woman and don’t have time to meal prep every single meal seven days a week, and it’s okay that you want to sleep in the extra thirty minutes instead of cooking a full breakfast spread. I understand that life is busy and unpredictable and sometimes you don’t want to worry about working a full day and then coming home to cook dinner. However, what you do have control over is choosing healthy restaurants to get takeout from, and picking the best options when it comes to food. Opt for gluten free whenever possible (almost everywhere should have at least one option nowadays), ask for the dairy free option, and try to go away from processed, sugary foods. Start ordering coffee with honey instead of a sugary syrup sweetener, or switch out cream for an alternative milk like coconut.
2. Have healthy snacks on hand
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to eat the quickest thing while you’re running around town doing errands, studying or find yourself hungry at work… but one of my best recommendations is to always keep quick, healthy snacks on hand for those times when you’re in a pinch. Some of my favorites are RX bars, macro bars, lara bars or perfect bars. Fruit, or trail mix is a great choice, or even hummus and veggies is simple to pack as a snack. Instead of getting fast food, plan ahead and stock up on healthy food when you’re at the grocery store, so that you have healthy options within reach.
3. Drink water
Of course this one should be a no brainer, but for some reason I know that when I’m non-stop busy, I forget to stay hydrated. There are so many benefits to drinking water it’s crazy: clearer skin, increase energy, flushes toxins from the body, aids in weight loss (just to name a few).
3. Get healthy sweets
If you’re anything like me I have the biggest sweet tooth, like ever. So, I think I would die if I didn’t have healthy sweets available to me. Sometimes we need to be rewarded- whether it’s for a hard day at work, or school, or you’re on your period, or maybe you just feel like eating chocolate and watching the office… you deserve it. But instead of indulging in overly sweet, fake, or processed sugars I recommend opting for the alternatives (and yes, they still taste great, I promise!).
Chocolate: Lily’s Chocolate, Evolve chocolate
Simple Mills cookies– these are the best cookies ever- sweetened with coconut sugar, grain free, and freakin’ delicious
Coconut Bliss ice cream: better than regular full dairy ice cream… this stuff is addicting and only sweetened with agave nectar. What the heck!
4. Invest in yourself
Take time for yourself. Take a bath, put on a face mask, watch your favorite show or listen to your favorite music, light some candles and remember your worth. I find it much easier for myself to stay in a healthy mindset and continue to pursue goals when I practice self care. I love to read the bible and write in my prayer journal. We have to remember to love ourselves and be kind to our bodies because they’re the only ones we have. Don’t be so hard on yourself: it’s okay if you eat chocolate or have something other than a salad, just listen to your body.
5. Be thankful
Count your blessings. From personal experience, I know that I am most happy and healthy when I remember to be positive and have a grateful heart always. If you let negativity creep in it can be easy to lose sight of health goals and caring for our bodies- inside and out.
thank you for the support, and thanks for following me.
Let me tell you, these muffins did not last long in my house.
Just yesterday I went blueberry picking with my mom and best friend, and when I came home I couldn’t resist not making something with the berries . So that is what I did with my Friday afternoon. I made these very simple, healthy and yummy blueberry muffins. They are such a great snack.
I am starting to incorporate more eggs back into my diet, and I feel like this is a great way to make the slow transition. These muffins are full of protein, good fats and fiber. I love to stick them into my toaster oven to get nice and warmed throughout and then put some butter on them. So good.
½ cup full fat coconut milk
6 tbsp raw honey
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 small/med lemon
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup coconut flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp salt
¾ cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and then spray non-stick oil into liners (I failed to do this and mine stuck pretty bad to the liners).
In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
In a medium sized bowl combine all dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until incorporated (don’t over mix).
Finally, hand mix in the blueberries until thoroughly dispersed. Scoop batter into muffin tins and fill about 3/4 of the way, leaving room for them to rise. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely to store, or enjoy warm with butter. Yum.
Thank you for reading, if you try these out I’d love to hear how you liked them. xoxo
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly on the go.
I find my biggest struggle to be keeping my body and mind nourished when my schedule barely leaves time for me to get a bite to eat. But my favorite, and easiest way I’ve found to fuel my body fast is always keeping snack bars on hand.
Today I’m sharing three of my favorite healthy snack bars with you, and they don’t even taste healthy.
The three main elements I look for in healthy snack bars: refined sugar-free, gluten free and dairy free. All of these bars meet these requirements with only slight exceptions.
High in protein, packed with flavor, and best of all, filled with ingredients that will fuel your body for an extended period of time. I have yet to try a flavor of the RXBAR that I even slightly dislike. Yes, these ones do contain egg whites, which are usually not a key component in my diet. However, lately I have been trying to reintroduce eggs by slowly adding them back into my eating habits. So far it has been going fantastic, and I haven’t noticed any negative effects of doing so in small quantities. I would 10/10 recommend these delicious snack bars for anyone looking for a clean pick-me-up. And can we just talk about how adorable their packaging is? I love how clearly they market their bars to only have a few wholesome ingredients, and of course no BS.
2. Go Macro Bars
Also high in protein, packed with healthy plant-based nutrients, vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. Shop these vegan nutrition bars here. What more can you ask for? Plus, they taste like a treat. My favorite is the coconut and granola… so yummy. I definitely look forward to snacking on these throughout my day.
3. Square Organics Protein Bars
With each bar containing an average of 12 grams of protein, you can’t go wrong with these sustaining snack bars. The only downside to them, is that the chocolate coating on the outside has a small amount of dried cane syrup, which I normally try to avoid all together. I try to limit the number of bars I eat because of the sugar, but I don’t feel like it’s bad to have them once in a while. I love the variety that square organics offers, and the unique flavors like mint and cherry coconut. If you’re looking for a great alternative bar to one like a Luna or Cliff Bar (that are packed with sugar and processed ingredients) I would highly recommend Square Bars.
If you’re like me and constantly need quick fuel for your busy lifestyle, then my biggest word of advice is to always keep healthy snacks on hand when those moments of hunger or cravings hit. Bars are some of the smartest ways to keep your body nourished in a pinch.
I hope my snack bar recommendations were helpful… I plan to do more of these healthy snack food posts in the future. I would love to know what healthy “snack” foods you eat, so please leave me a comment💛
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a doer. I don’t enjoy being unproductive; I like to be busy, whether it’s creating something, spending time with others or working towards a goal.
But it’s extremely hard to be productive when you’re energy is drained for no reason and you constantly feel like you need a nap.
I usually have a packed schedule… go to school in the morning until early afternoon, go to work, then either hangout with friends or work out (occasionally.. ha). And normally I have no problem going, going, going (until I absolutely need a day of rest). But what I’m getting at is that I’m young and it’s typically not hard on my body to be busy.
But a couple months back I began noticing that I was so mentally and physically exhausted by mid-morning when I still faced a list of to-dos for the remainder of the day. At first I thought that it could be normal, and I was just over-exerting myself, but after I continually felt like I was a zombie, I decided it was not normal. I would literally go to bed around 11, wake up around 7, feel fine in the morning while I got ready, then I would get to school and my energy would literally crash around 10:30 everyday. And I don’t mean just the type of tired where you yawn once and then five minutes later you feel fine. I mean the type of tired where it’s almost painful to keep yourself awake, but then imagine that feeling lasting for a couple of hours sometimes. So obviously trying to be a focused student or good worker is difficult when you feel like death 24/7. I started to get frustrated that I didn’t have enough energy, and then not having any energy would put me in a bad mood. It was a terrible cycle.
I finally reached my tipping point when I went to lunch with my family one day, after going to school for a half-day. I met them at the restaurant, and not five minutes into our “hellos” and conversation, my mom said to me, “Mads, are you okay? You seem so out of it.” At that moment I realized how badly my energy was affecting my life, and I’m happy she pointed it out to me, because that was the first time someone else reassured me that I wasn’t myself and that I wasn’t crazy for thinking I had to fix this problem.
I decided to meet with a nutritionist who recommended ways in which I can improve my diet to boost my energy levels. Here is what she said…
Start your morning with an adrenal gland tonic. Supposedly, your adrenal glands play a large role in the amount of energy you have, so this morning drink is meant to kickstart your day and naturally fuel the body. Plus, the mollasses has a large quantity of iron which is perfect for me since I’m anemic.
1 Tbsp. Blackstrap Mollasses
Juice of a whole lemon (or 1/2 the juice depending on preference)
1/8 tsp. himalayan salt
Simply dilute all ingredients in hot water, and then top it off with about 12-16 ounces of cold water, which should make for a room temperature beverage. I drink this with my breakfast, and continue sipping on it throughout the morning until it’s gone. There’s no need for it to be drank fast, and my nutritionist recommended having it in a large quantity of water. I would say start with a small amount of salt, and build yourself up to more, and if it’s too sour with using a whole lemon, simply add as much as you’d like.
Before trying this drink, I was skeptical of the taste, but now that I drink it every morning, it has really grown on me and I don’t mind it at all. Not to mention, blackstrap mollasses has other great health benefits, such as healthy hair, skin and nails.
The nutritionist also emphasized incorporating more protein into my diet and having a higher healthy fat consumption, since your body burns fats at a slower rate than carbs, and will keep you energized for a longer amount of time. She told me that a large contributor to my energy crashes could have been from eating a lot of natural sugar early in the day, which elevates your blood-sugar, and then causes a drop during mid-morning.
I started implementing this by starting my day off with a high-protein, high-fat meal that has low sugar. For example, I’ve been cooking a lot of sausage/veggie stir-frys topped with about half an avocado and trying not to eat as much fruit in the morning.
I have been cooking at home a lot more often, which is good because I can incorporate healthy fats, such as coconut oil, into every meal and control exactly what I’m eating. This differs from eating out at restaurants where they could sneak in less healthy additives and ingredients.
Throughout the day I have been trying to choose snacks that will keep me full and satisfied for longer, such as coconut cream, or coconut manna, by the spoonfull. I am also doing my best to eat three balanced meals a day, which all include protein, at relatively normal times throughout the day.
Other tips include:
I do my best to drink as close to a gallon of water as possible when I remember. I no longer drink coffee, and the only times I drink anything caffeinated is green tea or matcha. I consistently take my favorite gelatin collagen which I have raved about 1000 times now. I opt for healthy, whole-food snacks, which satisfy my hunger and my cravings. Look out for an exciting upcoming blog post where I share my favorite healthy snacks.
With just these small dietary changes I have noticed a world of difference. I have been eating this way for about a week and a half, and only found myself to have low energy once. I am ecstatic with the results, and I can’t get over how rewarding it is to see the direct connection between eating a clean, specialized diet and the overall improvement of my health. It’s so obvious that food can completely alter your state of mind and physical performance. How amazing.
Thanks for reading. Do you have any life-changing tips on how to stay energized naturally (through food or miracle products)? I’d love to hear about them, or your experience if you’ve ever felt how I was feeling when I had low energy. xoxo
I know I do, especially on a chilly morning with a cup of coffee, and topped with a generous amount of peanut butter.
Today I’m sharing my all-time favorite gluten free, vegan, refined sugar-free crepe recipe with you all and I am so excited. I’ve been making this recipe for about six months now, and I feel like I’ve finally perfected it. So enough with the chit chatting, let’s get onto the recipe.
First, I wanted to quickly mention my crepe topping/filling of choice; this delicious Wild Friend’s peanut butter. Today I used their coconut chocolate peanut butter which reminds me of nutella, but is only made with agave and natural ingredients. However, they have a multitude of other flavors to choose from, for example, this gingerbread peanut butter, and they also make almond butter and sunflower butter if peanuts aren’t your thing. The company was started in Eugene, Oregon, very close to my home, and their story and outlook on food is one I can stand behind. I would fully recommend checking them out, looking for them in your local grocery store, and supporting their growing business!
In order to add a holiday flavor to these crepes, I opted for a touch of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and extra vanilla extract. I enjoyed the depth of flavor they added.
I choose to use a mix of two gluten free flours- this one is one of my favorites: Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour, which acts as a 1:1 substitute for regular flour. Through recipe testing, I have found that varying the flours while cooking with gluten free ingredients makes for a better outcome than using all of one type of flour. But I have tried other flour mixes in this recipe, and all all-purpose mix seems to work just fine, so use whatever you have on hand. I just recommend sticking with the Bob’s Red Mill mix for half of the portion of flour, and you can change the other portion of the flour mixture if you desire.
And secondly, I added the Enjoy Life gluten free all purpose flour.
Here I used rice milk, just because that’s the best milk for all of my allergy needs, but feel free to use any plant milk of choice.
Gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free Crepes
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour
1 cup Enjoy Life all purpose flour
1/4 cup coconut oil (liquified)
2/3 cup plant milk
2 cups water
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. Maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Grease a large pan with coconut oil. Ladle a small amount of batter into a low-to-medium heated skillet and quickly coated the entire bottom of the pan. Let cook until the edges start to curl and then flip and cook for a bit longer.
Top with any desired toppings: chopped nuts, peanut butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar and butter or fruit.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more healthy recipes and collaborations with awesome brands! xoxo
As many of you already know, I am an avid health nut, which means I’m constantly on the lookout for new, healthy foods or supplements that benefit my body. Over the past couple of weeks I had been trying out SOUL by Rain International. Remember my FUSED coffee review and recipe? SOUL is created and marketed by the same company, so you already know it will be amazing.
Basically, SOUL comes in convenient, individual packets that are perfect for a busy body like myself who seems to be constantly on-the-go.
SOUL is the first seed based nutrition of it’s kind. Each packet of the gel-type liquid is filled with a synergistic blend of the black cumin, black raspberry, and chardonnay grape seed. All of Rain’s products are non-GMO and don’t contain any harmful additives. They use a high-tech “cold-press process to carefully preserve each seed’s life-giving nutrients.”
Instead of drinking those horrible energy drinks that contain who knows what, SOUL has created an innovative product that helps fuel the body, naturally.
Benefits of SOUL
Anti-inflammatory Properties: Through a cellular study, SOUL proved to reduce inflammation in the human body by 33%.
Anti-aging Properties: Through a cellular study, SOUL showed a 62% increase in stimulation of cell life for anti-aging properties. And who wouldn’t want to look younger?Through multiple studies, SOUL has proven to boost antioxidants in the body.
Now that you know all of the benefits of SOUL, I will tell you my experience with the product.
I made a point to take one packet per day in the morning for a solid two weeks in order to track my results. I really enjoy the taste of SOUL; it’s quite concentrated because it packs such a punch in only 2 fluid ounces, and tastes very fruity from the raspberry and grape seeds.
After nearly a week of religiously taking it, I realized that my energy was boosted quite a lot. For some reason, especially when the weather begins to get really cold, I feel as if I’m struck with tiredness and all I want to do is curl up in my bed and sleep. So, with the cold upon us here in Oregon, I was beginning to feel this way, but after taking SOUL I didn’t have the same urge to sleep my day away. I also noticed that SOUL put my in a better mood throughout the day, and that starting my day off with a packet really kept working to brighten my mood throughout the whole day.
My skin is honestly the best it has ever been during my teenage years (and I am 16). I attribute the clearness and smooth tone and texture of my skin to SOUL and also to another supplement I’ve been taking. I think, without both of them together, my skin wouldn’t have seen anywhere near the amount of progress as it has while taking both supplements. With SOUL, your taking a whole concentrated 2 ounces of pure wellness and nutrients, so you can only imagine the effect that is will have on your body and skin.
Overall, I’m very impressed by SOUL’s philosophy, effectiveness and thought behind each product. So far, I have absolutely loved their FUSED coffee (which I drink almost everyday) and SOUL. I am now currently trying out another product from Rain International, called CORE, which is similar to SOUL. I will be doing an in-depth review on that once I complete my two week cycle, so stay tuned if you’d like to read what I have to say about it.
Want to purchase SOUL?
If you’re interested in purchasing or reading up further on SOUL, there are a few options I would recommend.
Through this link you can visit their website, browse their products and read all of their reviews and stories behind the products. You will have the choice to either buy a product one time with a flat rate, or you can “subscribe” and save money on their products. If you subscribe, you will be sent any products that you choose each month, for example, a month’s supply of SOUL, with the exception of putting it on pause or skipping certain months.
I am always a sucker for a great smoothie. Especially a green smoothie.
Today I’m sharing with you one of my all time favorite nutrient-filled smoothie recipes that I like to drink. This beauty beverage is packed with ingredients that nourish the hair, skin, nails and overall health. It is so quick and easy to make in the mornings before work or school, you just throw everything in a blender, and in a few moments, voila! it’s ready to be slurped down as you’re driving to your destination (or at least that’s what I do).
I wanted to quickly talk about the “protein powder” that I have been using, and absolutely loving for the past 6 months. It is made from collagen, in a very convenient powder form that allows you to simply dissolve it in hot or cold water, or add it to anything you wish, like smoothies. It is not made from whey, and does not contain any additives. The only ingredient is hydrolyzed collagen, which means no nasty sweetners or bad things for the body. In a serving of 2 tablespoons, it contains 11 grams of protein, and is packed with essential amino acid groups. And the greatest thing about it, since it is made from collagen which is found naturally in bones, skin and cartilage, it is easily absorbed into the body. I have personally seem many benefits after putting it into my smoothies a few times per week, such as increased shine and health of my hair, skin and nails. Although my hair is already thick, I have noticed it to be stronger. I would 100% recommend it to anyone wanting stronger, thicker hair and improvement in their skin.
My favorite green smoothie fruit blend is any tropical mix, preferably one that has both mango and pineapple. And spinach is my go-to green of choice since it has a mild flavor and is packed with nutrients, but kale is always a good substitution.
I never make a smoothie without at least one banana (fresh, or frozen) because of the creaminess they add to the drink. But make sure that your banana is spotty, like this one, or else it is not ripe yet and can be hard to digest.
Because I am slightly allergic to almonds, and I don’t think soy is a good alternative, I opt for organic, unsweetened rice milk as my liquid of choice. However, any liquid you prefer will do just fine, such as coconut water, other non-dairy milk, or unsweetened juice.
Finally, after throwing all of the ingredients in, and squeezing in half of a lemon, you will be left with this bright green smoothie that doesn’t even taste healthy.
I began eating healthy on the first day of 2016, otherwise known as January 1st. I made the unthinkable choice to cut all dairy, sugar and gluten out of my diet. And just to clarify, when I say sugar-free (which in my opinion, has developed a bad rap), I do not mean that I was okay with fake sugars like ‘sweet and low’, sucralose, aspartame, etc.. Also, on top of cutting these things out of my diet, I began eating healthier, whole-foods that benefitted my body. The reason behind my extreme diet was that I hoped to completely cure, or simply subdue, my mild acne. However, at that time I did not know nearly as much about the pesky skin condition as I do now, for example, the fact that my acne in-particular is mostly caused by genetics and hormones.
During the first few months of my lifestyle change, I learned many things and experimented A LOT. For the first three months, I was eating maple syrup and honey in small quantities in place of “sugar”, however, after doing my research, I found that these two natural sweeteners both have a high glycemic index. This really just means that when honey or maple syrup are consumed, they turn into (pretty much) the exact same thing as sugar in your body. And since I was trying to get rid of my acne, which is many times made much worse from sugar, my body couldn’t tell the difference from these natural sugars compared to white, refined sugar. That was my first mistake of many.
After about four months of strict eating, I decided it was time to invest in an actual food allergy test in order to find out exactly what foods my body had a hard time processing. For this, I was recommended a blood test, because it is said to be quite accurate. I went to my natropath, who drew my blood, sent it off to the lab, and voila! three weeks later I was greeted with my results in my mail box. And I’m not going to lie, what I saw really surprised me. The test results show a select number of foods in which many people are commonly allergic to. They are broken down into mild, moderate and avoid categories (but I was only instructed to really worry about the moderate and avoid foods). Eggs and peanuts were the two foods that I was told to avoid. All dairy products, except for goat’s milk, landed in my moderate range, along with almonds and a grain called gliadin. I was very thankful for these results, because for the four months leading up to my test, I was still eating eggs on a normal basis and had been consuming close to 1 and ½ cups of almond milk per day in my breakfast smoothies. Also, I freakin’ love peanut butter, and I may have had an unhealthy addiction. Needless to say, I was sad to find out my body does not process peanuts well and that I shouldnt’ be eating them.
After my blood test, I made another drastic change to my already-strict diet by eliminating all nuts, eggs and honey/maple syrup. In all honesty, I wanted to cry just a little bit after finding out that I was allergic to foods I thought of as “healthy”, and hearing from my natropath that I should steer clear from sugar for as long as possible to help my acne. Even though I had no intention of incorporating sugar back into my diet, this was still hard to hear since I have a major sweet tooth and sometimes I just really want an ooey gooey homemade cookie, ya know?
Now, fast-forward 2 months, equalling a grand total of healthy eating for six whole months, or half a year. I have continued to eat a strict non-dairy (including eggs), non-sugar and non-nut diet. However, I do sneak in very small quantities of gluten once in a while due to the fact that my body can handle a moderate amount of it. I just make sure it’s all natural and organic. In addition to all of the non’s I mentioned, I try to eat whole foods, such as organic, or free range meat, that is not pumped with hundreds of unneccessary hormones. I also try to limit my red meat and pork intake, leaning more towards small portions of chicken and fish whenever possible. I make my best effort to include dark, leafy greens in most of my meals, whether it’s in smoothies, salads, or stews.
As for extra vitamins, I try to remember to take my iron supplements, vitamin a, b-complex and calcium each morning. because I don’t eat dairy, I try my best to incorporate enriched, unsweetened rice or coconut milk at least once each day for the added nutrients and calcium that I am lacking.
My diet is constantly evolving and being minisculey tweaked. This is not a bad thing, it just means that I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and build upon my healthy foundations that I have laid for myself.
What I Have Learned Along the Way.
There is no doubt that my healthy lifestyle changes have impacted me in a way that I never could have imagined. I can 100% say that at the start of this journey I did not believe in myself, and did not think that I could achieve the place where I am at today. I can proudly say that I’ve grown so much as a person while on this journey; I have developed impeccable self-control and have learned how to listen to my body and adapt to fit my own needs.
Of course I’ve gone through hard seasons while being on my diet. Times of unhappiness, cravings, deficient self-worth and the impatient desire for clear skin and a toned body. But in the end, everything has been worth it, and I can now say that I have never felt better. That being said, no my acne has not completely disappeared, and do I expect it to soon? Not really. Like I said, even with my radical diet, I experience breakouts due to the fact that my acne is caused by genetics and hormones. Does it suck? Yes. But does acne define me? No. And hey, even though my dreams of magically waking up with clear skin have prominently let me down, I am in no way saying that I regret my lifestyle change. I have benefitted from my lifestyle change more than I ever thought possible, and I hope to continue with my progress and journey for many months to come. I have experienced unintended weight loss which is an obvious plus and an obvious decrease in acne, which I am very grateful for.
If I had the opportunity to inspire even just one person by my healthy habits, nothing would make me happier.
What’s the number one tip you would give to someone wishing to begin a healthy lifestyle?
You can do it. You are stronger than you think, and have everything it takes to be healthy. I am not special in any way, and it does not come easier to me than it does to you. I believe in you. Begin small and keep progressing until you’re happy with where you’re at. Don’t completely deprive yourself, or think that counting calories is necessary. Just listen to your body, and eat what makes you feel good (things that are healthy, of course). I promise you, you will see a world of difference if you’re consistent and patient with the process of becoming healthier.
I encourage you to never be too hard on yourself. I can say from personal experience that some days it does not make me happy to look in the mirror and only be able to focus on the bad things. For me, my biggest struggle has always been my unclear skin, but for many others’ it can be their weight, hair, teeth, height, etc.. Honestly, anyone can find something to be unhappy about. But before you put yourself down and tell yourself your unworthy, ugly or not good enough, just remember that you were created for a purpose and your flaws are not what define you. You are so much more than your insecurities, even if you don’t feel like it. I believe that trying to better yourself, whether it be through health, spirituality or things like education, is always a good idea, but it should be done with grace and patience.