LIFE UPDATE + FEBRUARY FAVORITES

WARNING. Super long, maybe boring story ahead. 

Over the last few months, I've cut out all refined sugars, {almost} all gluten, soy, and really just any other processed crap. As long as I can remember I have had digestive issues and repeatedly had stomach pains after my meals. A bowl of pasta is my worst enemy. Ice cream? Forget about it. 

About a year ago I was tested for gluten intolerance and irregular hormone levels. I was looking for anything that could help explain why my body was packing on weight. Why was I exhausted after a full nights rest? Why is my skin blotchy and breaking out ALL THE TIME? I still don't know all the answers to my questions. But, going though all of this and finally being so over it, I decided to do some research of my own. (I should say, I started this whole thing in the first place because of my very persistent mother.... thanks mom!) I started reading about the food I was consuming and the effects it was having on my body.

Basically I realized for the first time that almost everything I was eating had sugar in it. All those "healthier" options were actually not that healthy at all. That Organic "healthy" tomato soup I love? Sugar. The "healthy" almond milk I was drinking? Sugar. Everything is loaded with refined, white sugar. Or soy. Or gluten. Or just a million chemicals and ingredients we have never heard of. I have always tried to maintain a healthy diet, so this was really hard for me to grasp at first. I didn't fully understand that food labels aren't always the whole truth.

 Even though I didn't have a doctor telling me that I need to change my diet, I knew I did. So that's exactly what I am doing. I know it's going to be a challenge, but I am trying to stay excited. Like two nights ago when I really wanted some froyo, that was hard. But one day those cravings and desires for sugar will go away. I'm sure of it.

POINT OF ALL OF THIS... I have been staying excited by constantly reading and learning more and more. I think it's fun to wander the isles of the grocery store and reading all the labels. Or surfing the web for new recipes. Venturing out to the farmers market and trying a new veggie. With that said, I bring to you my "favorites"! Each month I am going to compile all my favorite new things I have tried and share them here for anyone else who is interested!

One. THIS avocado chocolate cookie recipe is at the very top of my favorites list! When you are trying to cut out bad sugars, it's nice to have a dessert alternative that is healthy and delicious. These are serious so amazing, and really do satisfy that need for sweet. And I second what Josephine says, they really are even better after being refrigerated over night! 

Number two... YouTube! I absolutely love a good YouTube channel. One of my very favorites is Holistic Habits. She is amazing and completely inspiring. I love her recipe videos! THIS one is especially amazing. I made it for my family when I went home for the holidays and it was a hit!

 

Three. Lately I have struggled with extremely dry and irritated skin. Most moisturizers just clog my pores and give me little breakouts. More clarifying cleansers are too harsh and dry me out even more! I have been using this Josie Maran Cleansing Oil and this moisturizer and I LOVE it. They feel so gentle and amazing on the skin. I also use her Pure Argon Oil under my make up and it makes it look so beautiful and natural while still letting me cover up my redness. 

Four. If you like Kalamata Olives, you need to try this hummus. I'll admit I am not a hummus lover. (Unless it is from my favorite little greek spot on the Lower East Side, I typically don't reach for it.) But this stuff is the bees knees. It is like candy. Only down side, it has canola oil in it. (insert annoyed face) SO! I am going to try making my own and I'll let you know how that goes. I don't think it can be too hard. In the meantime, this stuff is still delicious. 

Okay, that's all! I have a few other things I am currently trying out so we will see if they make it to March Favorites. 

Until next time!