At-Home, Natural Microdermabrasion!

So, have you ever woken up feeling sluggish and you go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and think: “This is NOT what I look like!” Well, that was me this morning. My skin felt dull and I looked exhausted.

You start thinking about that wicked cute picture you took last summer with your boyfriend/husband/friends and probably made it your profile picture. THAT is what you really look like, isn’t it? Not this tired, pasty-looking person staring back at you.

All of a sudden you start to wonder if this is how people see you and not that beautiful girl with the gorgeous glow in those pictures.

I remembered hearing about an at-home, all natural “microdermabrasion” in some organic magazine or blog some time ago that only required baking soda and water. I thought I’d give it a try, after-all, this was an emergency!

I got in the shower with my baking soda and began applying it onto my damp skin. As I worked it in, I could immediately feel a difference, but it was missing something. I needed another ingredient to give me even better results and hopefully something else to help wake me up! That’s when I spotted the Refresh Facial Polish next to my shampoo bottle. Refresh Facial Polish is a  Glo Therapeutics exfoliating product made up of peppermint oils, jojoba beads and arnica. I added a little bit of the polish to the baking soda and started again. WOW!!! The peppermint and arnica helped awaken my senses and the jojoba beads mixed with the baking soda was like polishing the sharp edges of a piece of dull wood. As I massaged this combination all over my face, I couldn’t believe how well it was working!

I rinsed my face of any leftover debris and (after finishing my shower) got out and patted my face dry. My skin felt AMAZING! Now, this would have all been for nothing had I not finished the job with some great products. My skin would have been left dehydrated without them, so I spritzed my face with Conditioning Tonic, applied Pure Hydration, a drop of B5 Hydration and finally, some Vita E Essential Cream (all Glo Therapeutics products).

My makeup went on smoothly and evenly and I felt like I had that glow again. This picture was taken at work this afternoon, hours after my at-home treatment!

Microdermabrasion treatments in salons usually start out at $100 and go up from there. Baking soda is a natural antibiotic relieving symptoms of bacteria, fungus, acne, etc. It helps draw out toxins in your body and is a great additive to any bath for it’s detoxifying properties! I also use baking soda to brush my teeth. I put it on top of the toothpaste and when people ask me how I whiten my teeth, baking soda is always my answer!

Paleo Plantain Honey Bread

If you’re dieting or trying to eat better in general, you may be missing that “starch” in your diet. I know when I’m trying not to eat many carbs or starchy foods like breads and pastas, I feel like I’m being deprived and never really feel full or satisfied.

This bread was really delicious in the morning, toasted with organic peanut butter and a cup of coffee. You can have my pasta but leave me my coffee!

Here’s what I did:

  • 3 Green Plantains
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (plus extra to grease pan)
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Raw Honey

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bread loaf pan with a little coconut oil. Peel and cut the plantains and put in your food processor and pulse on high until completely blended. Add the eggs, honey and coconut oil and blend again. Finally add the coconut flour and baking powder and mix one last time.

Pour mixture into your greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool, slice and enjoy with some peanut butter and coffee:)20160206_225023.jpg20160206_232823.jpg

Healthy, Gluten-Free Chicken Carbonara

So, as you probably know by now, I LOVE to eat! If food is involved, I’m there. If I ate the way I want to eat, I’d be extremely unhealthy and I’d be concerned with my blood pressure and cholesterol. That’s why I re-create these recipes so I can enjoy everything I WANT to eat without consuming an absurd amount of calories and fat.

I was so completely satisfied with this dish, even without the pasta! I poured the cabonara over mashed cauliflower and thin zucchini noodles, which turned out to be the perfect combo.

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No dish is complete without a glass (or bottle) of wine, in my professional wine-drinking opinion, which is why I decided on the chardonnay, pinot grigio blend. I wanted the buttery flavor of the chardonnay with the light/crisp taste of the pinot grigio.  Let me tell you, Villa Cerrina knows their stuff!

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Here’s What I Did:

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 Onion
  • 4 Slices uncured turkey bacon
  • 1 tsp. oil (I used grape seed oil, but you can use olive oil or other)
  • 1/4 Cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 Cup half and half
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. arrow root
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • S&P to taste
  • 3/4 Cup steamed, cut green beans

 

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, chopped. Allow it to cook alone for a couple minutes while stirring occasionally. Once the onion begins to soften, slice the turkey bacon into small, 1/4 inch pieces and add to the onion. Let this combo cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken, cut into cubes, and sprinkle all seasonings including S&P.

Once the chicken has cooked 1/2 way through, add the chicken broth and lemon juice and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the half and half, butter and arrow root, mixing well. Turn heat to medium/low, cover, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and sauce has thickened.

I cut and steamed the green beans at the end and tossed them into the mixture so they were a little crisp.

For the cauliflower, I literally just steamed the crowns, drained and pulsed on high in my food processor. You really don’t need any seasonings or fillers in this because you want to enjoy the flavor and sauce from the carbonara.

For the zucchini noodles, I peeled the zucchini with a potato peeler on 4 sides until I hit the seeds. I put the noodles in a small skillet with a tiny bit of oil and tossed around frequently with a little salt and pepper. These noodles cooked very briefly because you don’t want them to get soggy, which they will very quickly.

Pour your mixture over the cauliflower and place the zucchini around the outside. Pour yourself a MUCH deserved glass of wine WHILE you cook AND while enjoying this delicious light version of a favorite dish!

 

If You Have A Spoiled Husband…

Homemade BBQ Sauce…Hand-rolled honey wheat AND white pizza dough (for the spoiled husband)20160201_203207.jpg BBQ Chicken Pizza!!!

Because I love my husband…(and don’t feel like listening to him whine) I made him his own “white” pizza, while I enjoyed my honey wheat bbq pizza and here’s what I did:

(Same bbq sauce recipe from the paleo chicken bbq dish, but doubled this for 2 pizzas):

  • 6 oz. Can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup 100% Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs. Honey
  • 2 Tbs. Molasses
  • 1 Tbs. Grape Seed Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Minced Onion
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. 21 Season Salute (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves

For Honey Wheat Pizza Dough (same recipe as the pizza I made with veggies)

  • 1 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • BBQ Sauce (from above)
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • 1/4 oz. Pizza Crust Yeast (“Fast and Easy”)
  • 2 tsp. Honey
  • 2/3 Cup Hot Water
  • 3 Tbs. Grape Seed Oil (plus extra for greasing baking sheet)
  • 1/8th Purple Onion (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (part skim)
  • Cilantro (for garnish)

In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients for BBQ sauce, step by step, mixing as you go on medium/low-medium heat. You want the contents to simmer but not boil. Allow this to simmer, mixing occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken into strips and cook in a skillet with a little oil over medium-medium/high heat, mixing occasionally to cook evenly. Once the chicken is about 3/4 way cooked through, remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease your baking sheet (mine was 17 x 12 1/2). In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and honey and mix together. Slowly add the how water and mix until it forms a “sticky ball”. Remove from bowl and place on a cleaned surface, dusted with flour. Begin to knead the dough, adding more flour as you need so the dough doesn’t stick. Once the dough has been kneaded for about 4 minutes, or until it becomes “elastic”, begin to roll out into a rectangular form. Place on the greased cookie sheet and begin to press down and into the edges (I brush a little oil around the edges).

Bake the dough for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and pour scoops of the BBQ sauce to evenly spread, leaving a little room for the crust. Sprinkle the cheese, then the chicken strips and onion. Bake again for another 10-13 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cilantro to garnish. Slice and serve!

We enjoyed this with Blue Fin Petite Sirah!

Brie And Green Apple Grilled Cheese

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I took some thin slices of prosciutto and laid them on a cookie sheet with some foil. I drizzled some grape seed oil, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper on top and baked at 400 for about 5 minutes, tops.

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Once they came out of the oven, I put them inside 2 slices of sprouted grain bread with fresh slices of Brie and Gouda cheeses, fresh slices of Granny Smith green apples and arugula. I heated the sandwich in a skillet with a little butter and flipped once it began to brown and the cheeses began to melt. Once the sandwich was browned on both sides, I removed from the heat and sliced the center.

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On the side, I sliced some English cucumber and plum tomato and put them together in a bowl with a little Red Wine Vinegar, Grape Seed Oil, fresh Dill, salt and pepper to taste. This was a DELICIOUS dinner and I would recommend it for any time of the day!

I enjoyed this dish with Napa River Sauvignon Blanc, which was perfectly paired with the green apple!! Every single ingredient from this dish was from Trader Joe’s, down to the wine!

I’m Not Funny…Or Witty.

So…as it turns out after reading several awesome blogs on both skin care and cooking, I have come to the sad realization that I am neither funny nor witty.

I hate to say that, because I always think I’m funny, but that’s just the conversations I have going on alone in my head. It’s with a tilt of the head and a smart remark that no one else can hear that I chuckle to myself. Embarrassingly, however, I think if I uttered these thoughts aloud, no one would laugh but me…so alas, I keep them to myself.

Before you think to yourself “maybe she actually IS funny, but doesn’t speak her mind”, first of all, I thank you for your faith, BUT I have tried sharing the thoughts that go on in my mind and instead of laughs, I get a lot of “aawwww”s, which are really in sympathetic tones to my attempts at witty humor.

I accept this. I’m not the girl who takes her top off and posts pictures of myself on a camel because she’s gorgeous and hilarious (all praise Chelsea Handler), or bakes a killer turkey stuffed with garlic butter, all while looking completely gorgeous AND being both funny AND witty (God bless you, Chrissy Teigan), or the beautiful, talented and hilarious Ali from http://bitchesbeglutenfree.com/me.html

It’s cool, though. Respect.

Hope you like all my stuff..even though it’s not funny…or witty. I just like wine and food and skin care.