To be honest, up until a couple months ago, I was never a huge fan of the normal, over-rated cup of coffee. And frankly, I’m still not.
With that being said, I recently discovered a coffee revolution that has transformed my mornings. And today I will be sharing my little secret with you, along with a sweet recipe that will have you in (healthy) caffeine heaven.
Before the recipe, I just want to talk about the actual coffee for bit… Have you ever heard of healthy coffee? Neither had I, before I found out about this one. It’s called Fused by Rain International and it is made from a balanced blend of grapefruit seed, grape seed, pomegranate seed, and black cumin seed. Each seed provides its own variety of benefits and nutrients for the body. They have combined the four seed oils into each coffee bean, creating a high-powered source of nutrition that elevates your normal cup of coffee and transforms it into a source of health and wellness.
I am blow away by the idea of coffee being good tasting and good for you. I absolutely love love this product and can see myself using it for years to come because it’s so much better for you than regular coffee. Now you can get energized and drink your nutrients for the day all in one. I’m going to show you how I like to drink my Fused black instant coffee in my favorite recipe. If you’re interested in further researching, or purchasing the Fused coffee by Rain, you can go to this website–> Rain
p.s. Rain also makes a latte version of the Fused coffee (with the same 4 seed oils) that is made with coconut creamer which means it’s dairy free, creamy and delicious. Try it out here.
Now onto the recipe…
These are the ingredients I like to use in my coffee:
Pour one packet of Fused coffee into about 8 oz. of hot water.
Sprinkle in the cocoa powder.
Add the cinnamon.
Steam, or microwave your choice of milk. I used coconut.
Pour your coffee mixture and milk into a blender (and try not to spill like I did)
Blend until frothy.
Transfer back into your favorite mug
… and enjoy:)
This coffee tastes really yummy and has the perfect flavor for fall. I love adding cinnamon and cocoa to make a “mexi mocha” type drink, but feel free to add any spices you prefer. I don’t usually measure the amounts of cocoa and cinnamon I put in, but I just eyeball how much I like to taste (sorry for the non-measurements). You can also substitute the cocoa butter for regular Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
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.
I just about screamed with happiness when I opened the February Something Snacks monthly subscription box. The variety was spectacular and this month’s was adorably suited for Valentine’s Day.
If you have never heard of a monthly subscription box, this is basically how it works. You can sign up for 1 month ($10), 6 months ($9) or 1 year ($9) with one flat payment. Something Snacks offers a wide selection of “familiar snacks with a hint of adventure”. I love the idea behind enjoying well-known foods, but also getting to try something new in each box. You can even signup to have box(es) shipped as a gift to a friend; great for a birthday or simple surprise.
The only slight downside I noticed was the size of each individualy packaged snack. Most were relatively small samples, but still work to get a feel for the flavor.
Since there were 6 different items, I will only be reviewing several stand out products.
Emily’s dark chocolate covered strawberries, Mscotti cranberry white chocolate biscotti, Dolcetto petites chocolate wafer bits, Off the farm strawberry coconut premium food bar, Laiki red rice crackers, Chocolat classique truffles, AmsterDam! good cookies stroopwafels
Featured Snack: AmersterDam! Good Cookies Stroopwafels
Perhaps it’s because it was the featured snack, perhaps not, but this item was my favorite out of the entire box. I’m always on the look-out for the perfect cookie, and I’d have to say this waffle cone one had made it quite far up there. It has a slight bite to it, the inside syrup is smooth and the taste is almost like caramel. A+
Dolcetto Petites Chocolate Wafer Bites
Unfortunately, I was a bit let down when I tried these delicious-looking filled wafers. The taste was amazing, but the was no crunch, the outside wafer was almost soggy and lifeless. I hoped for more, but maybe I just got a dud sample.
Off the Farm Strawberry Coconut Premium Food Bar
I thoroughly enjoyed this healthy snack bar. I’d have to say you can definitely taste the nutrition and it’s obvious that there are no bad ingredients hiding in it, but I like a good healthy taste to cleanse my palette and keep my tummy happy. It had a bit of a crunch and a bog flavor from both the coconut and strawberry, mmm tropical.
Chocolat Classique Truffles
Who doesn’t love a perfect, melt-in-your-mouth, decadent truffle? I sure do, and these ones definitely delivered. They were amazingly creamy and rich with chocolate; to die for. A+
Thank you for reading my review, I hope you take the time to check Something Snacks out if you’re interested in their company. They have amazing products, customer service, delivery and prices! Doesn’t get much better than that.
When I first opened the Fit Snack healthy snack food subscription box that was delivered to my door, I was impressed by the variety and assortment of packaged treats.
I was lucky to work with Fit Snack, a company that encourages their costumers to stay active and live a fit and healthy lifestyle. Of course eating clean and working out are things I strive to do, but with the hectic life I live and the lack of time I have definitely don’t always help myself keep my goals in view. They are a monthly subscription box that costs $15 per month plus shipping and handling in return for a wide range of clean eating snacks that normally have a value of over $30 in the store. Fit Snack provides healthy alternatives for people who live busy lives and a wonderful support system to go along with their creations.
Most of their snacks, if not all, are:
nutrient dense- high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in sugars.
consciously made- GMO free, produced organically and sustainably farmed.
diversified energy- gluten free, clean eating, paleo and raw.
Visually, the box is very engaging, decorated with bright colors and motivational pictures.
My two favorite things that were included was the guide for a full body workout (something that I’ve been meaning to do) and the sporty tanktop.
I was very excited to try out the various snacks because most of them sounded delicious.
However, I was quite disappointed with some of them, finding they either didn’t have a lot of flavor or their taste didn’t fit the description.
Since the box was packed with 9 different items, I am only going to share a few memorable ones with you, unless you are interested in hearing my opinion on more; in which case you could tell me in the comments.
Nogii Protein Powder
I enjoyed the protein powder, it tasted similar to many I’ve tried in the past, nothing special, but it does the job and tastes good. It is made with whey and quinoa, and is certified gluten free. Both vanilla and chocolate come in the box, ready-to-use on the go or at home in small, convenient pouches.
The Protein Bakery
Chocolate Chocolate White Chip Cookies-
These were one of my favorite food items, packed with protein and chocolate, they are a great on-the-go snack that tastes delicious and is easy to grab. Best of all, the baked cookies are also gluten free, following the wide-spread health craze that many people stick to. Wonderful product! Peanut Butter Blondie-
I have always loved a good blondie, but when I sunk my teeth into the Protein Bakery’s I was very disappointed. It had a slightly grainy texture, I did not taste one hint of peanut butter, that it claims to be made of, and what I did notice was an eggy after-taste. Maybe it’s because the treat was made without gluten, or blondies are hard to perfect, but I couldn’t even finish the whole square.
Fit Snack- Veggie Chips
I really enjoyed the veggie chips even though I could imagine other people could dislike them. They are pack with fiber and vitamin A, and are low in sodium (unlike many other chips). The chips are good for your body and taste simply like a crunchy vegetable, something I have no problem with.
Simply Seven Snacks- Quinoa Chips
I liked the quinoa chips because they reminded me of sunchips, or chips that aren’t healthy for you (always a plus). They are gluten free and made with simple ingredients, perfect for people who are trying to keep a nice figure, but still crave a salty pick-me-up during a hectic day. I would repurchase the quinoa chips for an easy fill-me-up.
Oven Baked Orgaincs- Gluten Free Pancake Mix
I found that I really enjoyed the pancakes, they are gluten free (always a plus!), fluffy and light, moist and easy to make. They turned out slightly grainy, but nothing to worry about once you drench them in butter. I sifted powder sugar over mine, but obviously add whatever toppings you like best. Also, the idea behind the wet ingredients you’re supposed to add is that most of them are substitutable with even healthier ones such as vegan milk, or applesauce.
The mix is easily comparable to Pamela’s, which my house is never without. My family liked them, and I ate quite a lot. I give them an A in my book.
Thank you for listening to my thoughts on this trusted company, I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to test their products out for yourself and let me know your conclusions.
I can’t express the gratefulness my heart feels when I am granted love, not only from my small community, but from a far away place. my friend who lives in Hawaii was gracious enough to send a hawaiian snacks/candy care package to me in Oregon. it is so special to me since I’m unable to go to my local grocery store and buy the same items. I will shortly be sending her a care package from little old Oregon soon.
share love, from state to state.
love all. love Madeline. xoxo
there’s nothing like a hot bowl of ramen (yes, raw-men) to sooth the ever-desiring soul. happy new year’s, thank you for a wonderful few months!
p.s. this creation is straight from the magical kitchen of Toshi’s in Eugene, Oregon. close to my home and most definitely close to my heart.
I was recently introduced to a new brand of green tea called Organic Matcha. don’t be fooled, this creation is not any normal tea. instead of only the concentrated remnants of the green plant, used by most companies, Kiss Me Organics brand uses even the leaves themselves, finely ground and ready to dissolve into nearly anything. therefore, the powdery substance has more beneficial affects on ones life, body and mind than regular green tea bags. the formula provides you with skin improvement, extra energy, anti-aging, a boost in metabolism, help with focusing and it is a fast calorie burner. i don’t know about you, but those perks sound unmistakably good to me for my health. not to mention the matcha tastes amazing and can be incorporated into essentially anything you want to bake, cook or liquify. kiss me organics green tea is certified as an organic product by the USDA, it is vegan, and non GMO as well.
what i recommend is to put about 1/2-1 teaspoon matcha into a cup of hot water and drink it like you would regular tea. by doing this you can taste the raw flavor and get a feel for how you like it and what you would like to use it in.
the first recipe i made using green match powder was a healthy breakfast smoothie. i prefer to drink blended beverages in the morning instead of actual solid foods because i’m usually not overly hungry and i enjoy starting my day off with fresh and antioxidant-filled fruits and vegetables. i came up with this recipe and really liked how it turned out.
1 cup frozen tropical fruit blend
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or any of your choice)
1/4 cup spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha
1 1/4 cup chilled almond milk
honey to taste (optional)
simply put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and combined.
the second creation i made was my favorite and i would easily make it again, green tea waffles with whip cream. surprisingly, i liked them better than many normal waffle recipes i’ve tried before, they turned out moist, fluffy, flavorful and somewhat crispy. also, since they are vibrantly green they would suit a special occasion perfectly such as halloween or St. Patrick’s day.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. matcha
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3⁄4 cup milk
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1. Preheat waffle iron an spray with cooking spray.
2. Add beaten egg to large mixing bowl and add in milk, 1 tbsp. matcha, flour, 1 tbsp. lemon zest, oil, brown sugar and salt until combined.
3. Ladle into waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
4. Combine confectioner’s sugar and remaining matcha and lemon zest with heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form.
5. Serve a dollop of matcha cream over waffles.
makes three waffles.
and the final item i made was a healthier green tea latte. it only took me about three minutes and it tasted like something you would buy at a coffee shop for $4.50. since i own an espresso machine, i decided to steam my milk in order to warm it up, but microwaving works perfectly fine.
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon matcha
1 teaspoon honey
heat almond milk, and stir in matcha and honey.
overall, i really enjoy using this new product and i could see myself repurchasing it in the future. it makes me feel energized and healthy, and the biggest plus is that it tastes amazing also. there are many other recipe options that it could be used in, for example, brownies, cupcakes, cocktails or ice cream. i’m excited to experience the long-term effects it has on the body, mind and health during the coming months.
if you are interested in purchasing the Kiss Me Organics green tea matcha:
as I was sweeping the internet I wondered upon a deliciously wonderful recipe of buttery popped corn. let me tell you, it is the best caramel goodness you will ever eat.
… and if you think the treat will last more than one night, you’re wrong. my family and I devoured it in mere hours. and we all concluded that it’s the best caramel corn we’ve ever eaten.
the hardest part of the process was popping the popcorn because I was using a 25 year-old electric air popper… but luckily the kernels still turned out good.
after the popcorn is spread onto the baking sheets, all you need to do is mix all the ingredients together except the baking soda which is incorporated after…
…once it comes to a boil, keep it there for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat
after a few more steps… what do ya know, you have golden caramel corn!
I hope you enjoyed my first food post and try it out yourself. you won’t be disappointed! love all. love Madeline.
here’s the recipe…
10 cups (100g) air-popped popcorn*
1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (80g) light corn syrup
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 200F degrees. Spread the popcorn out onto 2 large baking sheets. Set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir constantly and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir gently until all the kernels are coated.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan and break apart large clusters if desired. Cover the popcorn tightly once cooled; it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
funny title, right? but don’t take it too lightly, because i mean what i say. just recently i have been more troubled with the state of my skin than i have been in a while. i have large pores (curse my genes), which causes them to be more prone to clogging. even though i am adamant about washing my face twice a day every day, my skin continues to produce stubborn acne and the occasional “break out”. being a teenage girl, it’s hard to live with such a struggle, therefore, i’m always researching new ways to rid young skins of pesky pimples. and believe me, i’ve tried a number of different methods in which people claim work for their skin, but apparently not mine.
1. the most expensive treatment i’ve used is Proactive, and let me just say it is not worth all the hype. i first used it two years ago in the fall, but stopped using it because the drying effects it had on my skin (probably also due to the colder, drier months). not to mention back then my acne wasn’t as bad as today, so it didn’t make a big difference if i used it or not. back to present time, i began using it again around a month ago and haven’t seen any good results… if anything, it made my skin worse. and a definite disclaimer for Proactive is that it isn’t formulated for sensitive or dry skin. in my opinion i have combination skin, but my T-zone gets unmanageably oily throughout the day, causing the cream to make the other regions of my face flaky and dry. another down side is that the cleanser/exfoliator that comes in the kit is much too abrasive and irritated my skin. in no way would i ever recommend purchasing Proactive because i have had no luck with it’s properties.
2. i’ve never bought any other acne treatments, but i have tried countless home remedies, never one seeming to do the trick. i’ve made many face masks including: oatmeal, egg white, honey and cinnamon, chocolate and greek yogurt and countless others. some seem to improve my skin for a short period of time, but never anything lasting.
after a few years of desperately trying to find the magic trick, i’ve resorted to eating a healthier diet, taking skin-friendly vitamins, and buying a retinol serum off Amazon that is said to work wonders. i’m hoping that by taking all of these measures i will see drastic improvements with my troubled skin in upcoming months. since sunday i have been eating healthy, for example, smoothies, vegetables, limited sugar, and gluten free. so far it hasn’t been a problem for me and i’m really enjoying the change:) after thanksgiving (starting Friday) i’m planning on doing a cleanse/detox in order to start eating fresh with a clean system and clearing out the impurities of processed foods. the cleanse was formulated by Dr. Oz, where you follow the planned out recipes, including green tea, smoothies and vitamins for three days straight. since you don’t get any protein with the diet, it isn’t recommended to exert too much energy during the time span. my mom and sister are going to do it with me, and i cannot wait to feel cleansed and detoxed. if you are interested in cleansing, we can do it together! i’m starting on friday morning and going until sunday night, here is the whole plan for all 3 days if you want to print it out.
today i went to my local herb shop any purchase vitamin b5, which is said to treat acne very well according to many non-professional studies that are found on the internet. one of the cons to this route is that the recommended dosage is somewhere around 10g. (20 capsules) and to me that sounds like an extreme amount (not to mention, expensive as heck). i plan on starting with a lot less than that and seeing if it affects my skin in any way, if not i will slowly increase my intake at a safe amount. if you have ever tried this method of acne treatment or know anyone that has, please tell me how it worked for you or them so i have more knowledge on the natural vitamin. like i said i also ordered a retinol serum that is meant to help troubled skin in a more intense way, from the outside in. i’m praying that i’ll like it and that it will help my skin combined with taking the b5. i ordered it off Amazon and it’s called, Retinol .25 by the brand SkinMedica, i was told about it by a friend who said it worked for her. all i can do is hope this treatment works for me, and i can keep all of you updated if you would like. love all. love madeline.