Gluten Free Cooking With These Cookbooks

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I have to be gluten-free thanks to my terrible, terrible reaction to gluten which is probably celiac disease. If you are paleo or simply avoiding gluten due to health issues, cooking can be a real challenge. Thankfully there are awesome cookbooks ready to help inspire and guide you!

The Healing Kitchen: 175+ Quick & Easy Paleo Recipes to Help You Thrive  is a beautifully done book with easy to follow recipes and lots of information including guides for autoimmune diseases and meal plans.

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There are no crazy ingredients that you will need to search for, everything is easy to find at your grocery store and pretty budget friendly too.  This book is best for anyone with an autoimmune disease or looking for optimum health.

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Love going out to eat but don’t want to actually leave the house? Then this book is for you!

Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk features the type of foods you will find at restaurants but spun with a paleo twist!

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With gorgeous photographs of various foods, this book recreates the best takeout meals but healthier.

Minimal skill is required to follow the recipes and master the meals. There are over two hundred recipes which featureChinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Greek, and American cuisines!

I love this book because it really inspires me to think outside the box and try new flavors and spices! And if it’s one thing I need after cooking night after night, its inspiration!

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Ditch The Wheat is another must-have cookbook for paleo and gluten-free people. Also, perfect for those who do not eat grains, gluten, legumes, and dairy!

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If you suffer from any illness or chronic issue, it might help to avoid foods with inflammatory properties which often include dairy products and processed foods (things from cans, boxes, bags, etc.).

This is another book chock-full of  information and ideas and even an accomplished home cook can learn new things with this one. Features healthy, creative recipes that are also budget friendly.

I love paging through these cookbooks for ideas and inspiration. At this point, I feel like I make the same things over and over again and always need new recipes and meal plans.

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I highly recommend these books! They make great gifts too! Every cookbook is gorgeously photographed and easy to follow.

The only thing I am going to throw out there is if you have trouble with oxalates, you will want to substitute the almond flour, often used in paleo cooking thanks to its nutrient dense and protein high content, for something else. I typically use brown rice flour to thicken sauces and gravies. In my experience, avoiding oxalates can help with Interstitial Cystitis, a painful bladder disease.

You can find all of these terrific books on Amazon!

This Week’s Favorite Products

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Rene Furterer  has been around for a long time and comes to us from Europe. When I decided to only review clean beauty products, I found myself missing many products from this brand and decided to revisit. Rene Furterer uses lots of oils and butters and many of their products do not contain sulfates, petrochemicals, or parabens.

The Naturia Dry Shampoo is among the best I’ve ever tried. I keep dry shampoo on hand, not to skip shampooing necessarily, but to add volume and to soak up any extra oil or serum that I’ve overused. When I try to get the frizzies out of my fine locks, I tend to be overzealous with my oils. The dry shampoo comes to the rescue!

This one is like magic, you spray it on hair and it quickly absorbs,stays all day and night keeping hair fresh and healthy looking.

The other product I love is the non-silicone Leave In Repair Serum. The consistency is very light and I only use a small amount for my whole head of hair and it helps smooth without weighing hair down.

You can find out more by going here. 

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I’ve been experiencing the worst reaction to natural deodorants lately. My underarms have broken out in a terrible red rash and I don’t know which to blame- the extreme heat or the baking soda in the deodorants I’ve been using.

What has saved me and my sensitive skin is this incredible product from Lone Body Care. Take for example, my day today which had me running errands in 112* heat. Not only did this handle the pressure but it did not aggravate my skin which has been super sensitive.

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I give it an A+! They also have really  nourishing lip balm which I keep next to my bed so I can slather my lips in soothing oils while I sleep!

I cannot recommend this brand enough- check them out here.

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I like It Cosmetics for the fact that they are cruelty-free and certified by PETA. The products perform very well and you only need a tiny bit, their concealer is my favorite. I really like these lip glosses too which offer great shine and zero stickiness. The reds are very long lasting!

These are super hydrating and the colors are really pretty- I love the nudes mixed with a little of the red for a custom color. Lips also look a little plumper and fuller!

Green beauty purists will want to check ingredients. Though these glosses are amazing and do not contain animal derived ingredients, I do encourage everyone to read up on what’s in each product. You can find out more by going here.

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Last but not least, I have been captivated by the Good Guide, a site (and app) dedicated to rating everything from food to beauty products to mouthwash.

Here’s what you need to know:

“Find safe, healthy, green, & ethical product reviews based on scientific ratings. With over 250,000 products on our site, we can help you find what you’re looking for.

GoodGuide scientists rate products on a 0 to 10 scale for their health, environment, and social impact.”

I’ve been on the site for hours looking up products and ratings. Surprisingly and also a comfort is the fact that there are many products that score high for safety that is not specifically green beauty- meaning that drugstore and luxury beauty brands are not necessarily as toxic as I thought they might be.

It’s also enlightening to see brands I thought were non-toxic as not quite as healthy as I assumed.

The best you can find is a rating that says this: This product contains no ingredients that raise a health concern. 

Warning- you could possibly spend hours reading about various items!

Weekend Reading

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I love this book, it makes my heart happy! I’ve followed the Instagram account Esther The Wonder Pig for a long time now and am always amused by Esther’s  joyful personality that shines through each photo.

But how did Esther end up an Instagram sensation? That’s part of the story here and one that is so amusing and fun and full of love that I cannot recommend this book enough especially if you are an animal lover like me.

It’s the story of how one day Steve got to be in possession of a mini pig…but that pig kept growing and growing into a 600 lb bundle of love. Steve and his partner Derek clearly couldn’t keep this giant pig in their small home so long story short, they opened up the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where Esther could live and they could take in other animals as well.

Reading this makes me not only want a pig, but inspires me to adopt more animals…

If you read one book this month, make it Esther The Wonder Pig.

A Week in Paris

I pretty much love everything that has to do with Paris and I will read every book that takes place there. I was so eager to read A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore. I enjoyed to stories of both Fay and her mother Kitty.

Here’s what you need to know:

When talented young violinist Fay Knox arrives in Paris from England, the city feels familiar to her. But not because Fay has visited Paris before. Back home, she finds an old canvas bag with a mysterious luggage tag hidden in her mother’s old trunk, and soon starts to realize her connection with the streets of Paris runs deeper than she ever imagined. As Fay traces the past, she is taken back to 1937 Paris – and the eve of a war that changed her mother’s life forever. When she discovers a dark secret buried years ago, Fay begins to question who she really is and where she belongs.

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Due out in December, Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel centers around Kate Pearson. She is not particularly motivated and rather do nothing than find a decent job. Her parents are over-the-top smart and her sister is uptight so Kate’s personality is a deep contrast to them.

Somehow Kate gets employed at a prestigious Hudson Day school where she deals with over the top parents and unlikeable children and the plot thickens…

I am not done with this novel so I’m not sure how it ends but I can tell it’s going to be a hit when December rolls around.

On my To Be Read Pile are these which are getting awesome reviews:

Since I’m always interested in the story of another outsider like myself, I cannot wait to read You’ll Grow Out of It byJessi Klein.

As both a tomboy and a late bloomer, comedian Jessi Klein grew up feeling more like an outsider than a participant in the rites of modern femininity.

In YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT, Klein offers an incisive collection of real-life stories-a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond.

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Crowning Glory has been on my radar for quite a while and I am very excited to read it! As someone who wishes she was born with thick, unicorn hair, I am looking forward to reading about Stacy Harshman’s experiences trying on different wigs and colors and jotting down her experiences. Though that sounds like fun, Stacy also delves deeper into her anxiety and self -image.

In this beautifully written, heartfelt, witty, and life-affirming memoir, Stacy Harshman tracks her amazing experiment. By wearing dramatic, identically styled but differently colored wigs for weeks in New York City, Stacy Harshman learns more about who she is and what she can find in herself as a redhead, a raven-haired goth, a brunette, and a blonde.

After hiring a spy to document how people responded to her, Stacy realizes how her hair is woven into every aspect of her life: her self-image, her depression, and her relationships. Changing her hair changed how she approached all of them.

By turns rapturous, rueful, and riotous, this wise and funny book charts the story of one woman’s way to shake it up, change it all, and discover something new about herself.

 

Green Beauty: It’s Not All Or Nothing

 

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When I first learned about toxins in personal care items, I did a huge clean sweep of all my cosmetics, body care, oral care, shower stuff, hair products and anything else that dared to have a single toxic chemical.

I only kept the things I really truly loved and tossed out so many products that it took three garbage bags to haul off everything I was not going to use again. Which is never a terrible idea- consume less and use only what you really, truly love!

Over the past few years, I’ve learned so much about not only green beauty/clean ingredients but toxins in products. What I am aiming for is nothing crazy but rather attainable for everyone I think, and that is being aware of ingredients and avoiding a dangerous accumulation of chemicals that have the potential to be hazardous. 

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I have found that natural and pure ingredients perform better than conventional beauty products when it comes to skincare and even some hair care there is no doubt about it. The results of green, clean skincare are incredible and I don’t see myself going back to any drugstore or luxury beauty skin care line.

But if I wanted to, I’d ask myself some questions about ingredients, potential toxins, is the product cruelty-free/made with animal ingredients?  I’d be mindful then make an educated decision.

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Sure, I dabble with conventional cosmetics, using some here and there. If a brand isn’t put in the category of green/clean that does not mean a product or brand is highly toxic.

You can find lots of cosmetics that score mid-to-low hazard on the Skin Deep website where many ingredients are analyzed. This site is not the end-all but it helps to learn what to avoid and what ingredients are highly toxic.

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I’ve gotten emails and read comments about consumers feeling that a routine of complete and strict green clean beauty is unattainable or unrealistic. It’s true that super pure, organic, natural products can  be costly… though when your health is concerned, the investment is well worth it. Something to consider.

If you do one thing for your health (where beauty is concerned), let it be to use very clean skin care. Not only is non-toxic skincare better for you but the results speak for themselves.

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Here’s my point: being conscious of ingredients and using green beauty is not something to worry over and stress about. Do your best.  Learn as you go along. Make educated choices. Be mindful.

You do not have to go crazy and clean out your cupboards and cabinets and avoid drugstore brands like the plague. Don’t fret if your blush or lipstick came from Sephora and isn’t green/clean/organic.

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I’ve mentioned before how I like an 80/20 kind of balance where the majority of what I put ON and IN my body is clean but there’s room for a hamburger and french fries… or a Dior lipstick or TooFaced eyeshadow if I really want it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

New Deodorant, Sunscreen, and a Tool for Beachy Waves in Seconds!

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I am a big fan of Meow Meow Tweet’s wonderful deodorants. When they announced this product would be available in stick form, I was thrilled. I was loving and using the cream formation which was recommended to me by a friend and I encourage you to try that one if you don’t mind using finger tips to apply.

Not only is Meow Meow Tweet green and clean but they care enough about the environment to create  biodegradable packaging which I love.

If you do one thing for your health, switch to a non-toxic deodorant like this one. Not only does it work to keep sweat and odor away but it won’t clog your underarms with potentially cancer-causing ingredients.

Here’s what you need to know:

Skin conditioning, organic plant oils and butters moisturize and soothe even the most sensitive skin. 

With only a touch of baking soda, magnesium is still the queen here, so this stick has a similar gentleness to our soda-free cream formula.

I could not be more pleased or impressed with the product and encourage you to check it (and all the other products) out by going here. 

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Another favorite brand that offers amazing non-toxic products is Kari Gran. If you  haven’t given their Lip Whip a whirl, do it now. I’m obsessed!

The newest addition is the Three Sixty Five SPF 28 broad spectrum facial sunscreen. This product offers protection against  both UVA rays that will age the skin and UVB rays that can burn skin.

I use sunscreen daily especially remembering to apply to my hands, neck and chest. The formulation is very light and is quickly absorbed, leaving behind zero white streaks or residue. The scent is pleasant and reminds me a little of almond.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Active Ingredient: Non-Nano Zinc Oxide 17%
  • Non-GMO Rubus Ideaus (Red Raspberry Seed) Oil
  • Non-GMO Prunus Domestica (French Plum Seed) Oil
  • Organic Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut Seed) Oil
  • Non-GMO Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui Seed) Oil
  • Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil 
  • Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed) Oil
  • Organic Beeswax
  • Tocopherol (Non-GMO Vitamin E from Sunflower)

I’ve been using this sunscreen daily and I really like it. I love the packaging, the smooth consistency, the light scent and the fact I can wear this on my face under makeup. You can learn more by going here!

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Looking for big, beachy waves with very little effort? Then you will love this curling iron! It takes less than three minutes (at least for my short, thin, frizzy hair!) to throw some waves in the hair.

Here’s what I like about the Gold N’ Hot Jumbo Ceramic Iron:

*locks into place so the iron doesn’t remain open, *easy heat setting, *gets hot very quickly, *requires only a minor effort to achieve large waves, *leaves hair soft not frizzy

I also tried the Ceramic Deep Waver which is pictured above, and that works equally as well but gives (my thin hair) more of a crimped look.

You cannot go wrong with either of these for summer hair that looks like you just came in from a day at the beach.

By Hello Dollface