10 Day Health Challenge – Summer Menu!

Posted on: Friday, July 22, 2016

10 Day Health Challenge 1

Hi everyone!

I’ve shared about the 10 Day Health Challenge before when it first launched it and have always admired one of the founders Claudine’s drive and energy and LOVED all of her food. Her Instagram @cookingclaudine is one of my very favorites to follow! The 10 Day Health Challenge is a program Claudine and her business partner Haley put together that consists of a 10-Day whole food meal plan and grocery list, nutritional support and a community of likeminded people who also want to get healthier and feel more empowered to cook and eat well. The challenge removes all processed foods, sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol and coffee from your diet for 10 days. This isn’t like a juice cleanse where you aren’t eating – you are fueling your body with GOOD foods and seriously, you would be surprised how easy some of the recipes are to make (and how delicious meals can be, even without bread and cheese!).

I was super excited to partner with them earlier this week to bring some amazing bloggers together to learn more about the 10 Day Health Challenge, talk about health and wellness and eating well, and enjoy meal from the 10 Day Health Challenge summer guide. We hosted the event at Claudine’s beautiful apartment (seriously – look at that table!)

Here’s what the menu for the 10 Day Health Challenge summer dinner party was – and check out the photos of the meal and dessert below! All of the food was SO good and I finished the meal feeling full and content, without at all feeling stuffed or bloated. It was so refreshing!

Lemon-Energizer-Aid
Claudine’s signature Buckwheat Crackers with Macadamia and Sun Dried Tomato Spread
Cauliflower Crust Pizza with summer squash
Cauliflower Tabouli
Spinach Falafel with Tahini over Arugula Salad
Chocolate Cashew Cream with raspberries, cacao, and bee pollen

I know 10 days can feel pretty daunting (or at least it does for me a little bit!), so there’s also a FREE 3-Day Health Challenge for you HERE if you’re interested. If you’re up for the challenge of trying out the full 10 Day Summer Health Challenge that kicks off August 1st, get 10% off with the code SUMMER10. Sign up HERE.

If you’re anything like me, it can be easy to end your day with a cheese plate for dinner and a glass (or two..) of wine every night. Because they are both delicious and amazing. And because, duh. BUT – I’m going to try to stretch my eating/drinking habits and challenge myself to eating (and drinking) a lot cleaner and healthier. I haven’t decided if I am going to do the FULL 10 days or do the 3 day or if I am going to swap out all breakfasts and lunches for 10HC meals or how I’ll exactly modify, but that’s why I love the program Haley and Claudine put together. You have the ability to LEARN what you should be putting in your body (and what you shouldn’t), and be equipped to prepare those meals for yourself and take the learnings and go out into your regular, day-to-day life.

Oh! And make sure to follow @10DayHealthChallenge on Instagram!

10 Day Health Challenge 2

10 Day Health Challenge 3

10 Day Health Challenge 4

 

how to ruin your life

Posted on: Thursday, July 7, 2016

JennaKuthcer

 

We choose a program right out of high school because the proper thing to do is to go straight to University. We choose a job right out of University, even if we didn’t love our program, because we just invested time into it. We go to that job every morning because we feel the need to support ourselves abundantly. We take the next step, and the next step, and the next step, thinking that we are fulfilling some checklist for life, and one day we wake up depressed. We wake up stressed out. We feel pressured and don’t know why. That is how you ruin your life.

You ruin your life by choosing the wrong person. What is it with our need to fast-track relationships? Why are we so enamored with the idea of first becoming somebody’s rather than somebodies? Trust me when I say that a love bred out of convenience, a love that blossoms from the need to sleep beside someone, a love that caters to our need for attention rather than passion, is a love that will not inspire you at 6am when you roll over and embrace it. Strive to discover foundational love, the kind of relationship that motivates you to be a better man or woman, the kind of intimacy that is rare rather than right there. “But I don’t want to be alone,” we often exclaim. Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself. Wait for it. Please, I urge you to wait for it, to fight for it, to make an effort for it if you have already found it, because it is the most beautiful thing your heart will experience.

You ruin your life by letting your past govern it. It is common for certain things in life to happen to you. There will be heartbreak, confusion, days where you feel like you aren’t special or purposeful. There are moments that will stay with you, words that will stick. You cannot let these define you – they were simply moments, they were simply words. If you allow for every negative event in your life to outline how you view yourself, you will view the world around you negatively.

You ruin your life when you compare yourself to others. The amount of Instagram followers you have does not decrease or increase your value. The amount of money in your bank account will not influence your compassion, your intelligence, or your happiness.

You ruin your life by desensitizing yourself. We are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. There is no denying that. However, that is nothing to be ashamed of. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you.

You ruin your life by tolerating it. At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive. When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside of you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential. We have to strive to do extraordinary work, we have to strive to find extraordinary love. Only then will we tap into an extraordinarily blissful life.

via Bianca Sparacino on ThoughtCatalog // image via Jenna Kutcher

CHARCOAL!

Posted on: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Charcoal

 

First of all, hi! Thank you all for your kind words, tips and recommendations from my post about my acne issues. I was so encouraged by FB, Instagram and blog comments and a bunch of emails from people, saying that they were also struggling with adult acne. It’s amazing knowing we’re not alone in our body image struggles, amiright?!

I am going to compile some of the tips and products I heard about from a lot of people soon, but today, want to share about ALL THINGS CHARCOAL! I was recently chatting with my friend Brooke about skincare and the benefits of charcoal and afterwards, decided to investigate more and try out some charcoal products! According to allure, “Activated charcoal, carbon that’s been treated to increase its absorbency, isn’t new. It’s been used in hospital emergency rooms for years to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can. The theory behind including activated charcoal in beauty products is similar: It’ll act like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. Activated charcoal is especially useful if you live in a city, where your skin is constantly bombarded with pollutants.”

In addition to absorbing oil and dirt, other benefits of activated charcoal are that it makes pores less visible and cleaner, helps treat acne, soothes skin irritations like cuts, scrapes and bug  bites and MORE! {Read more here}

Here’s a round-up of some skincare products with activated charcoal! From top left, clockwise:

FIG + YARROW Organic Clay Mask – $23 // This mask is a dusty black powder that you can mix with water (or, according to allure, mix with aloe for soothing, yogurt for softening). it’s best for oily skin, because it also contains oil-absorbing kaolin clay and is good not only for your face, but neck, chest and back.

Beautycounter’s Charcoal Cleansing Bar – $28 // I discovered Beautycounter from my friend Brooke and am obsessed with everything I’ve tried from the brand. All of their products are clean, safe, chemical-free, etc. – something MOST makeup and skin care brands AREN’T! This charcoal bar “detoxifies and absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a smoother, brighter complexion.” It’s made with antioxidant-rich, organic green tea and hydrating organic coconut oil.

Beautycounter’s Purifying Charcoal Mask – $45 // Another Beautycounter gem that I need to try out! This mask “gently exfoliates, draws out impurities, and soothes the skin. The formula helps improve skin’s overall condition by refining the appearance of pores and increasing elasticity.” According to their site, 90% of people reported “skin feeling clean and renewed”, 94% reported that “the mask absorbed excess oils” and 97% reported “refined and smoothed skin” after just two weeks!

LUSH Coalface Cleansing Charcoal Bar – $14 // I’ve been a long-time LUSH fan and heard great things about this Coalface bar! It’s best for combination to oily faces. The powdered charcoal “absorbs excess sebum and acts as a mild exfoliator, while rosewood and sandalwood oils reduce redness and clear up blemishes.”

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Soap Bar – $12 // I just bought this bar in Nashville because I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, but have LOVED the results from using it daily so far! The soap bar “deeply cleanses, exfoliates, and detoxifies, working especially well with oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin types. ” Herbivore products are also vegan, formulated without gluten, cruelty-free, and 100 percent natural.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores – $26 // This is a charcoal mask that “draws out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers” helping with dullness and uneven skin texture. It was the #1 selling mask a few years ago and still is a top seller at Sephora. You can also get a mini version for only $4 at Sephora that you can use 3-5 times with one container!

Have you tried any charcoal skincare products? Would love to hear your recommendations!

#nofilter // speaking words of love over our bodies

Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

“don’t say that about yourself.”

this simple statement, said to me during a facial by a lovely esthetician, really stuck out to me. while she was doing extractions (ugh, these are so bad and good at the same time) i apologized to her for my “gross skin.” and she called me out – telling me that i should never call myself or my body gross and instead speak love to myself. and that i shouldn’t apologize for my body, period. it was nothing deep nor profound, but her words were a wake-up reminder that the words we say to ourselves, about ourselves, are so important.

for the past nine (!!) or so months, i’ve been dealing with some not-so-ideal hormonal adult acne. i didn’t really have bad acne growing up, aside for some small breakouts during that time of the month, and it’s been really challenging to experience bad acne as a 27-year-old. i changed my birth control method last fall and since, i’ve been struggling with acne on my chest, neck and parts of my face. i’ve tried lots of solutions and continuing to treat it – topical lotions and creams, antibiotics, these murad skin clarifying vitamins (highly recommend as they seem to be what’s actually helping), the whole nine yards. and the acne sometimes comes and goes. a few weeks ago, my chest was really clearing up – no redness and barely any bumps – and i was so excited. it’s working! i’m getting better! and then, this past weekend, my skin flared up and is redder and bumpier than ever. sigh.

i spent the morning of my wedding day anxious and upset about my skin (pre-makeup pic below, where you can see some breakout on my chest. thank you Sarah for your magical makeup skills! ). I’ve spent many regular mornings in a bad mood, not sure what to wear or how to cover up the bumpiness, the red, the imperfect. now, with warmer weather comes swimsuits and skin-baring tank tops, and that brings a whole new wave of worry over my skin.

i know that there are much bigger and more important issues that people are going through, but this whole skin thing for me has been unsettling and upsetting the past almost-year. my self-doubt and self-hate gets all worked up when i look at my skin and i say things to myself, about myself that aren’t edifying, helpful or remotely loving. it sounds weird to say this, but looking at my skin automatically puts me in a sour mood and makes me feel grumpy and frustrated.

so what i’m really trying to do, slowly, even when it’s hard, is to speak love to myself and to my body. even when i don’t look the way i want or when my skin isn’t “going back to normal”, i’m trying to not freak out, but to instead take a deep breath and move on. i’m trying to not let the way my skin looks on any given day affect my attitude and mindset. i’m trying my best to find solutions that work for my skin type, continue talking with my dermatologist and try my best to alleviate the redness and bumpiness, but ultimately – not let my acne define me as a person or ruin my day. when words like gross or disgusting or ugly pop into my head after looking at my skin, i’m remembering to “not say that about myself” and instead give myself, my body, my skin, grace and love.

i don’t really know what compelled me to share this, as it’s not something i’m necessarily proud of sharing. i also prefer to share the pretty and inspiring and happy things on my blog, but i also want to share the real and honest. i’ve had my blog for 6+ years now, and it’s changed a lot, but i always want it to be authentically me, and right now, this is where i’m at.  it was helpful for me to write down how i’m feeling and what i’m experiencing and to read my feelings, put into words.  i’m just hoping that even one other person out there reads this and is reminded to speak love over their body and to not be quick to judge and condemn yourself based on the way you look. <3

xo

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