Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflecting on 2014 & Setting Intentions for 2015


Last year, I set a lofty list of goals for 2014. I accomplished a lot of things on the list:
  • I graduated from Institute of Integrative Nutrition in July and launched a kick ass health coaching practice before I even graduated!
  • We moved to Hastings on Hudson, a beautiful town in Westchester. We're now near family and closer to friends in NYC. I've even connected with lots of new friends here.
  • I have a Learner's Permit. It's not quite a Driver's License, but I'm on track to get that by the end of January.
  • I wrote another eBook: Please Don't Eat the Plastic: A Quick Guide to Detoxing Your Kitchen, which is free for everyone on my email list.
  • I've incorporated more self-care into my day. My morning ritual is a total self-lovefest! By drawing boundaries, I am consistently in bed and nearly asleep by 11pm. I certainly breathe more. My husband set up alarms to go off a few times a day so we breathe mindfully and sometimes I Breathe on Purpose with Melissa Danielle. I also started seeing a naturopathic doctor and taking supportive supplements towards achieving a happy menstrual cycle.
  • I taught workshops at Herbstalk conference, Lady Project Summit, Learning Connection, and Whole Foods Market on everything from green cleaning to blogging. I've also been a regular presenter of healthy eating and DIY workshops at Pace University dorms. I gained just the right amount of momentum, creds, and confidence to meet my goal of teaching a workshop each week in 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

5 Holiday Party Survival Tips That Don't Involve Booze


Holiday parties are awesome. (If catching up with friends over a smorgasbord of cookies is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.) Still, big social situations can be awkward at times. Reaching for a drink as social lubricant can become almost a reflex. Unfortunately, it's not the healthiest choice and it's pretty sad to have to rely on alcohol to talk to people. Plus, I don't know about you, but alcohol has made me say some pretty strange things and made me make out with even stranger people. Not good party etiquette.

I'm actually kinda shy by nature so when I stopped drinking I totally had to teach myself to be outgoing without booze. Here are some tips and tricks I use to make new friends.

Smile.
If you only do one thing, do this. Who doesn't want to get to know a person who is smiling? Happy people are just more attractive/compelling. If you don't feel like smiling, smile anyway. Studies show that smiling can actually make you happier. Also, sharing a smile with someone is an easy way to help him or her feel happier.

Be curious.
Ask people high mileage questions about themselves. High mileage questions are questions that can't be answered with "Yes", "No," or any other single word. A good, and obvious, opening one is "How do you know [the host]?" But don't stop there. When you're a little deeper into conversation try asking: "What are you looking forward to in 2015?"

I've noticed that people really appreciate being listened to. (It's a rare treat!). Asking questions beyond the standard "What do you do?" (which sometimes sounds like "How good are you?" and "Are you worth talking to?") is a great way to make a meaningful connection with someone. It also creates the opportunity to learn something. There are lots of great HMQ in this book, which is technically for coaches, but I sprinkle these in conversation when I'm not coaching too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

4 Ways to Manage Holiday Stress as a Family with Grokker


The holiday season is fast approaching! There are so many things I love about the holidays; relaxing, spending time with loved ones, and eating foods I've eaten since I was a kid. But one inevitable part of the holidays that I don’t like? The stress! To help alleviate holiday stress, I came up with a few ideas to do with my family to help manage holiday stress and balance our bodies and minds.

(This is a guest post by Mark Luskus, courtesy of Grokker, a website offering 1000s of premium yoga, meditation, fitness, and cooking video classes taught by experts along with a community of people passionate about wellness. More info about Grokker, including a special offer, in the footer of this post.)

Play!
It's so important to take time with your family to just play! Whether you're building a snowman or playing a board game, the act of playing will help you manage holiday stress.

Carve time out this holiday season for exercise.
It's important to get out of the house and be active as exercise is one of the most powerful ways to reduce stress. Remember to breathe in fresh air and get your heartbeat up – activities with the family can be anything that get you moving! A walk outside, a family bike ride, or even a low-intensity workout like this flexibility and agility workout from Grokker Expert Angelo Dela Cruz.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kale Coconut Chocolate Chip Courage Cookies Recipe (Vegan + Gluten-Free)


I overdid it with kale on Thanksgiving. Our T-Day menu included kale fritatta for brunch and a kale salad for dinner.  During the bestover weekend that followed, I probably ate kale at least 8 times.

Days later, looking at the sad remains of a fresh bunch of kale from our farmer's market, I was certain that there was nothing I'd like to eat less than that kale. However, I felt a little guilty about the prospect of letting it waste.

Then I remembered Sarah invited me to participate in The Seasonal Diet's online holiday cookie exchange, another thing I was feeling guilty about because I really wanted to do it but I was so afraid that my cookie recipe would be terrible. (I've never created a cookie recipe before. I also tend to burn cookies.) I feared I would somehow single-handedly destroy my friends' business and ruin my reputation.

After hearing myself out, I reasoned that that is totally improbable. I decided to confront my fears and get over feeling guilty by not continuing the things I was feeling guilty about-- wasting food and being a flake.

And thus the Kale Chocolate Chip Courage Cookie was born! This cookie is delicious for all the reasons sneaking kale into a chocolate smoothie is delicious. (After conceiving the recipe, I checked with Fifty Shades of Kale cookbook to see if kale and chocolate cookies was a real thing and sure enough it was in there. I think my cookie recipe is better, but it's nice to know this kind of treat is tasty to people besides myself and could make it into a published book.)

My husband, who doesn't like weird food combos said, "These are pretty good. You don't really taste the kale." Then continued stuffing his face. That means they're a winner!

These cookies are vegan and gluten-free. They're also free of processed sugar besides that in the chocolate chips.

Read on for the recipe. I hope you'll find the courage to make these unexpected treats.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Most Common Toxic Chemicals in Personal Care and Cosmetic Products


Ever flip around a bottle of shampoo to read the ingredients? Usually it's just a jumble of words I can't even begin to imagine how to pronounce. Sometimes these hard to pronounce words are just the botanical name for something plant-based or the scientific name for something otherwise totally natural and safe.

Oftentimes these weird words are the names of some dangerous chemicals. Synthetic chemicals and some natural metals linked to cancers, reproductive illness, developmental difficulties, and other serious health issues are ingredients featured in the personal care and cosmetics products that line the shelves of drug stores, upscale department stores, and boutiques alike.

Hopefully, use of harmful chemicals in personal care and other household products will eventually be more regulated. Meanwhile, it's a good idea to check and see if the products you and your loved ones use are safe. I know it's overwhelming, especially because we live in a time when everything seems to give you cancer. Still, it's so important to be aware and do your best to avoid synthetic chemicals when possible.

Here's a list of 17 toxic chemicals to avoid in your personal care products.

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to Make Raw Energy Bars in a Vitamix [Vegan, Gluten-free]

Looking for a healthier snack? These nutrient-dense bars are sweet but free of processed sugar. They’re also packed with plant-based protein, healthy fats (Omega 3 & 6), fiber, and antioxidants. Have a few to get an energy boost without a crash.*



DIY Raw Vegan Energy Balls or Bars Recipe
Tip of the hat to the talented Tommy Nicholas of Raw Blend on YouTube. I basically followed his recipe. Watch his video here. This recipe makes about two dozen bite-sized bars or balls.

This recipes calls for using a Vitamix high speed blender. It's probably okay to use a good food processor if you don't have a Vitamix. Don't try this with a cheap blender otherwise you will burn out its motor.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Make Natural & Vegan Lip Balm


Making natural lip balm is easy, economical, and fun! Here's a basic lip balm recipe (with a beeswax-free vegan adaptation) along with helpful tips for beginners and info on where to buy tubes and other supplies online.

Basic Lip Balm Recipe with Optional Vegan Adaptation
This recipe makes 9-10 tubes of lip balm. I've included info about how many parts of each ingredient to use so that you can easily halve or double the recipe.

You'll need:
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut, sunflower, olive, castor, almond &/or other carrier/liquid oil (3 parts)
  • 1 Tablespoon shea, cocoa, &/or mango butter/ solid oils (1 part)
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated beeswax (1 part beeswax)
  • To veganize, substitute beeswax for half as much plant-based wax, so use 1 Tablespoon candelilla wax or carnauba wax  (½ part vegan wax)
  • 10 to 20 drops of any combo essential oils (about 3 to 5 drops of eo per tablespoon of ingredients) 
  • 3 or 4 drops of Vitamin E oil, works as a preservative (optional, but recommended)
  • stovetop access, small pot, glass measuring cup, measuring spoons, mason jar lid or double boilersilicone spoon or spatula, and pot holder
  • empty lip balm tubes or small balm tins

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

20+ Yummy & Healthy Oatmeal Toppings

Oatmeal doesn't have to be boring! It doesn't have to be loaded with sugar or butter to make it palatable either.



Start with hearty steel cut oats (or gluten-free steel cut oats). They're firm and have a nice mouth feel. Because they are less processed, steel cut oats have a lower glycemic index than rolled oats. This means they take longer for your body to break down-- keeping you fuller longer-- and causing a slighter sugar spike than rolled oats, leading to less chance that you'll be reaching for a snack before lunch.

Both old fashioned rolled oat and steel cut oats are leaps and bounds better for you than instant oatmeal. And don't even get me started on that sugary crap in the paper packets. Yuck! You don't need that. You can make truly fancy oatmeal yourself with real nutrient dense ingredients.

Here are my favorite mix-ins for yummy oatmeal packed with plant-based protein, satisfying healthy fats, and filling fiber:

Warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg are perfect for a cold season breakfast. Sprinkle some in your oatmeal. These spices curb sugar cravings because they are sweet and because they enhance the sweetness of the natural sugars present in foods.

I find sprinkling a little sea salt on my cereal helps to bring out the sweetness of whatever sweet things are in there too.

Do you like chocolate? How about adding some cocoa powder (baking kind, not hot chocolate mix) or raw cacao for sugar-free chocolately goodness? Or how about stirring a few semi-sweet chocolate chips to your bowl of warm oatmeal? Yeah!

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Make Natural Salt & Sugar Scrubs, Bath Tea, and Bath Salts

On Sunday, I taught a Healing Herbal Scrubs & Soaks workshop at the Pace University dorms. There were seventeen students (my biggest hands-on workshop yet) and we all had a great time!


I'd love to take this opportunity to share with you some recipes, tips, and tricks to creating your own custom natural bath products that will make you smile too.

Basic Salt Scrub and Sugar Scrub Recipe
Make your own awesome scrub (aka "body polish") to exfoliate dead skin, unclog pores, increase circulation, and moisturize dry areas. Your skin will feel so silky after using this!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DIY Easy No-Sew Floral Drawer Sachets

Easy No-Sew Floral Drawer Sachets make beautiful and inexpensive "just because" gifts, last minute hostess gifts, and holiday stocking stuffers. This project can be completed in 10 minutes or less, from set up to clean up. Bonus: Not only is crafting an awesome stress relieving activity in its own right, the smell of the herbs will lift your spirit and calm your nerves.


To make your own Easy No-Sew Floral Drawer Sachets, you'll need:

  • scissors, bowl, and spoon
  • square of cotton fabric or cheese cloth; 6" x 6" or larger is a good size
  • one handful of your favorite dried herbs, flowers, and/or citrus peels
  • 5 drops of essential oil(s) (optional)
  • ribbon, twine, yarn, or other strong string; at least 6"
  • tea tag with pleasant quote or affirmation and string attached (optional)

Do this:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Video: DIY Natural Mold Killer Recipe

Yes you can kill mold and mildew without chlorine bleach! I finally uploaded this video I made last year and forgot about. (Oops!) Check it out to see one super simple recipe for a super mold (and mildew) killing spray.


Hate videos? Okay. Read on for the recipe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DIY Bug Control [Infographic]

Are roaches, ants, fruit flies, and other insects bugging you out? Before you reach for toxic chemicals, try to prevent and remedy pest infestation using the simple tips in this infographic. Check it out to see how to use essential oils, herbs, vinegar, and other things you probably already have around the house to deter bugs.

(It's probably hard to read all the text on this image. View the larger, full-sized graphic here.)


Source: PartSelect.com

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

Stay connected: Free Gift // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // YouTube
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Monday, September 8, 2014

VIDEO: Your Past Makes You Perfect


You can achieve any dream that comes from a place of love. Do not let your past challenges and current obstacles stop you! The exact reason you have this dream is because you need to experience the self-acceptance and growth necessary to accomplish your goal. (Reaching the goal is almost a secondary benefit.)

Your unique personality and experiences formulate you into a rare medicine that is the cure for something. Your desires are a response to the universe's prayers for this cure. By first appreciating yourself and being willing to transform your challenges into a source of strength, you can make the world a better place.

Every time someone's desire is honored, another person's prayer is answered. (CLICK TO TWEET)

Friday, August 29, 2014

What's New & Good at IIN This Fall?

There are some exciting new developments in Institute for Integrative Nutrition's health coach training program. I just attended a teleseminar to learn all about them and am so happy to share them with you. It's awesome to see a great program like this one get even awesomer!



You can watch me talk about the new and good at IIN on YouTube or read about it below.

New live web class format.
Starting with the October 2014 class, some of the classes taught will be live so you can see the faces of your classmates and teachers and interact in real time!

IIN Learning Center launched in June 2014 and streamlined access to course materials.
All the video and audio lectures, lecture notes, discussion boards, and reference library are accessible via the new IIN Learning Center. You can hop on the learning center via your desktop, laptop, or any type of mobile device with an internet connection.

Best part: All of the content will be synced so if you start watching a video lecture on your iPhone (or Android) while you were on line in the supermarket you can pick up where you left off on your laptop during your lunch break at work the next day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Awesome Plastic Free Water Filter: Kishu Charcoal Review



I just got Kishu charcoal, the only completely plastic free water filter. It is fantastic!

Kishu is a sustainably harvested oak tree branch that has been transformed into activated charcoal by Japanese artisans using a centuries old method. Activated charcoal is what is inside of plastic water filter cartridges and makes them work. Kishu stick is like a naked Brita!

Simply drop Kishu into a pitcher of water. Immediately toxins like chlorine begin to bond with the activated charcoal stick, leaving your drinking water better tasting and healthier. (If you have serious water contamination concerns, you should probably test your water after using Kishu to make sure it's a safe option.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vegan & Vegetarian Food in Cape May


I just spent three days in Cape May, NJ with my husband and his family. I almost didn't go because generally touristy seaside towns and healthy vegetarian food do not coexist. Usually the only food on the beach is of the deep fried and seafood variety. Also, #realtalk, I simply hate the beach. However, determined to both spend some quality time with my new family and not starve, I scouted out these vegan-friendly restaurants.


Empanada Mama's Cantina
This was my favorite place. We went here twice. The food was fresh and cheap ($5 for 3 tiny, tasty empanadas, $4 for a colorful red cabbage salad). It also had the most adorable kitschy decorations. There were vegan, vegetarian, and meaty empanadas making it a pleasing lunch for eaters of all stripes. I overheard that they make gluten-free empanadas too. Everything is super casual and served in take-away containers but you can eat inside or outside the restaurant
600 Park Blvd, West Cape May, NJ 08204 // (609) 972-3977 // Website // Empanada Mama on Yelp

Bliss Homemade Organic Ice Cream
Bliss makes all of their ice cream in their tiny oasis-like shop located in a touristy outdoor mall. I enjoyed their blueberry lavender coconut-based vegan ice cream. It was creamy and just sweet enough. While I was there, several smiling people left holding green smoothies.
326 Carpenter's Ln, Cape May, NJ 08204 //(609) 884-3350 // Website // Bliss on Yelp

Friday, August 15, 2014

3 Life Lessons My Wedding Taught Me


I got married on Saturday! Here are three things my wedding taught me that I think can be applied to any life situation.

Everyone has a different idea of what's awesome. 
If you're planning a wedding, or any other major life event, most people are more than willing to share this idea with you, sans solicitation. Generally, I'm not a fan of giving or receiving unsolicited advice, but it was interesting to hear what makes other people happy. There's a pretty big diversity of dreams out there. Hearing them helped me get a clearer and stronger sense of what I wanted. It also reminded me how important it is to ask questions and listen to others when they are floundering and seeking guidance. The answers are inside of them. It's just up to us to support and empower them to find the answers that will fit their definition of success and joy. 

People love to help others.
They really do. One of the nicest things you can do is let others help you. For me, that's pretty dang hard. I have a natural inclination to "sweat the small stuff" and worry about things being done my way. I chant everyday to help my use my attention to detail for good as well as to be able to take a chill pill sometimes. 

You can't do everything yourself. Sometimes you've just got to let other people help you. Yeah, they won't do it exactly as you would've done it. (Perhaps they'll do it better!) In the end, those details don't really matter as much as the loving bonds that are strengthened. In this age of automation, a time when almost any service can be purchased, it's rare and precious to have an occasion when people can really show up for you. Let the love rain in, feel the abundance, and let that give you the energy to pay it forward. 

Don't expect to be happy just because you're getting what you wanted.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Turn Your Sugar Cravings into a Life Transforming Experience


Cravings are awesome because they aren't about bullshit. They are raw and real. A sugar craving can offer you so much information about how you're really feeling underneath all the "I'm fine" or "Everything's okay."

Next time you get a sugar craving, a chocolate craving, or a craving for anything that doesn't support your health and life goals, ask the craving some questions. It will tell you the truth if you listen without judgement. Here are some questions I ask my cravings.
  1. Does my business/professional life feel abundant right now?
  2. Am I sexually fulfilled and feeling at ease with my romantic relationship status?
  3. Am I surrounding myself with friends that contribute to my happiness and growth?
  4. Am I creating and participating in experiences that excite and stimulate me?

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Things Healthy People Do in the Bathroom



Dry Brushing
Dry brushing using a brush like this one (and no moisturizer) to brush your entire body. It supports your body's natural detoxification system by increasing the circulation of lymphatic fluid and blood flow. It also removes dead skin cells and makes your skin incredibly soft.

I first got wind of dry brushing in Kris Carr's book Crazy Sexy Diet four whole years ago but just started doing this spring. Don't wait as long as I did to try this. It's so awesome! Check out Dry Brushing 101 on GreenSmoothieGirl to learn more.

Tongue Scraping
Tongue scraping is a detoxifying Ayurvedic self-care ritual that freshens breath, improves digestion, and makes food tastier by to removing bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. To do it, every morning pull a tongue cleaner (a long, thin, flat piece of metal that is bent in a "U" shape) across your tongue a few times. (More info here.)

I've never done it before, but I just ordered these stainless steel tongue cleaners on Amazon for me and my fiance today. So many healthy people I respect have been raving about it, so I can't wait to finally try it! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Amazing Amaranth Breakfast Bliss Porridge Recipe [Vegan, Gluten-free]

I finally tried amaranth! This teensy gluten-free "grain" (which is actually a seed) made the yummiest, creamiest warm breakfast cereal. Amaranth is high in protein, a great source of fiber, a has plenty of iron and calcium to boot. What a great way to start the day!

Some of you may be thinking, "It's July. Whachu talkin' 'bout warm cereal for?" But eating and drinking warm things can actually cool you down.

Try my recipe for amazing amaranth breakfast bliss porridge.


Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Remove Cat Hair from Upholstery [VIDEO]


Tired of going through a dozen sheets of sticky paper on your lint roller only to still be left with a massive amount of pet hair on your furniture and clothes? Don't feel like lugging out the vacuum and its upholstery attachment every time you need to spot clean fur from your favorite chair?

Check out my latest video to see how to quickly and easily remove cat hair, dog hair, rabbit hair, ... any kind of pet hair (or pet fur, if that's what you'd rather call it) without a lint roller or vacuum!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Create a Life You Love


Do you know you are a brilliant artist? My Buddhist practice has taught me you are constantly creating your world with your words and actions, and even your thoughts.

Remembering this, pull out your magic markers and draw up something bold and beautiful for yourself. Let your wrist get giddy with excitement, causing you to color beyond the edges of the paper, enjoying the freedom of exploring, being big, and making room for beautiful imperfection. Absolutely sprinkle some glitter all over everything! And certainty, do it without apology, without shame, and without concern that so-and-so might not like you because you didn't include her favorite colors. (Feel free to point out to So-And-So that she has her own paper and markers too.)

You are powerful and magical. You can create a life you love by being bold enough to live it. (Click to tweet.)

If you read that and think, "Yeah, that's great, but I'm afraid," I want you to know that shaking in your boots while taking baby steps toward a life you love also totally counts!

As my graduation from Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach Training Program grows closer (it's tonight!) and as I build my coaching practice, I feel more and more conscious of- and grateful for- my magic markers. I graffiti doors onto brick walls. I turn periods into question marks. I create possibility.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Looking for Exercise You Love? Meet Shannon. [VIDEO]


I interviewed my friend Shannon Sodano, a NYC-based nutrition, fitness, and yoga instructor, about her unique vision for a healthy and gym-free world.



Live or work in Park Slope? Meet Shannon for yoga in Prospect Park on Tuesday evenings 7pm at New Leaf Studio (9th Street near Prospect Park West). Details and registration here.

Connect with Shannon online: shannonsodano.com // Twitter // Facebook

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

Stay connected: Free Gift // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm Taking a Social Media Chill Pill


Over the last two years, I've become a natural at using social media marketing to position myself as an authority in natural living and to promote my emerging health coaching service. I faithfully posted to Facebook and Twitter at least a dozen times a day. I entered a new blog post every weekday. I shared images and articles via Instagram and Pinterest several times a week.

I have over 700 likes on my Facebook fan page and over 700 Twitter followers. I've got a few hundred followers on other social media platforms and my mailing list too. To the outside online observer, it looks like I really have my shiitake together.

Unfortunately, social media success does not equal career success. I'm not in the business of acquiring social media followers. I'm in the business of helping people discover the freedom to live guided by their passion and purpose.

When I slowed down long enough to let this sink in, I realized I was abusing social media. I was busying myself with tasks that were comfortable and without risk to trick myself into believing I was making progress. Meanwhile, I was avoiding scary new territory that was full of risk of possible rejection. Of course, there was plenty to gain by putting myself out there. In fact, success as a health coach, and as a human being who takes responsibility for her freedom, requires taking risks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Un-Beetable Cupcakes & 4 Other Ways to Eat More Veggies


Are you sure you're eating enough veggies? According to MyPlate, adult women should eat 2.5 cups of veggies every day.  If that seems like a tall order, here are simple recipes and ideas that will help you cram more veggies into your snacks and meals.

Have veggies for dessert.
These fudgy vegan beet cupcakes from The Minimalist Baker are made with 1/2 cup pureed roasted beets. They were a hit with the kids at the Memorial Day yard party and with the adults at my Buddhist discussion meeting. Not too sweet, but no taste of beet. Need even more veggies? These kid-approved cucumber and hummus cupcakes from Food Heaven Made Easy are made entirely of veggies.

Eat veggies for breakfast.
Add veggies to your tofu scramble, omelet, or savory oatmeal. Have a side salad or vegetable soup with breakfast too.

Add veggies to your smoothies.
I am so inspired by Raw Family's 15 Green Smoothies recipes. They went beyond the usual suspects of kale and spinach to include other veggies: herbs (parsley, basil, and cilantro), leafy greens (chard, lettuce, and collards), celery, peppers, carrot tops, and even onion! They also made a kick a** video with funny costumes!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Infographic - Guide to DIY Green Cleaning Products


I'm smitten by this lovely visual guide to making DIY cleaning products.

The photo illustrated collection of simple recipes shows how to make eleven completely natural, non toxic solutions: toilet bowl cleaner, grout cleaner, laundry detergent, fabric softener, stove top cleaner, burnt pots and pans, carpet stain remover, wood polish, two all purpose cleaners, and air freshener.

Check it out and try a new recipe today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What To Eat When You Have Diarrhea

Yup, I dropped The D Word.

Image via All Pet News
Recently, I had diarrhea for an entire week. I've only had a stomach virus once before so I had no clue what to eat. Many articles I discovered via Google recommended the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Ugh! It sounded so boring and unhealthy to me. I'd rather starve or poop my brains out, I declared. So I did both actually.

That was until the morning of Day 5 when I woke up completely pooped out. I committed to eating two big chunks of bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two days in a row. I felt like I was dining in prison catered by Whole Foods Market. Menu: Handmade, artisanal bread served with filtered water.

Fortunately, I discovered online that these two delightful foods are also soothing to an upset tummy. I highly recommend them for breaking up the monotony of the BRAT diet if you ever find yourself suffering from GI issues.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

4 Ways to Shop Smarter & Eat Healthier Now

You don't need more time or money to eat healthier. Here are four adjustments you can make to the way you shop for food that will allow you to get a better bang for your buck or, rather, more nutrients for your nickle.

Almost every imaginable Bob's Red Mill product for $2.69 to $11.99 at Ocean State Job Lot in Pawtucket!

Don't discount discount stores.
I went to Ocean State Job Lot in Pawtucket and discovered an entire aisle filled with Bob's Red Mill natural food products, competitively priced, undamaged, and not at all near expiration date! Your local discount store might also have organic food. It is certainly worth looking in the food section next time you're there. If you find a good deal, stock up so you can postpone future trips and thereby save time and gas.

Buy organic when it counts most.
Check out EWGs 2014 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Buy conventionally grown low pesticide fruits & veggies ("Clean 15") like avocados. Use the money you save to spring for organically grown apples and other variety of produce on the "Dirty Dozen plus".

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Get Sugar Savvy with Me at Willy's Local Foods


 

What's your sugar personality?
  • Are you sick and tired of craving sugar? 
  • Do you struggle to understand food labels?
  • Do you only eat "healthy" sugars?

Drop into Willy's Local Foods on Wednesday, May 21st between 12:30pm and 2pm for a fun free 10-minute evaluation of your sugar IQ. I'd love to meet you in person and share how you can change your relationship with sugar for the better!

If you haven't yet been to Willy's Local Foods this is a great excuse to go. Willy's is a small corner store with a big focus on local food and drink. I love to drop into Willy's to grab last minute fresh veggies or pantry items for dinner or to pick up a mason jar salad for lunch at the deli counter. They also have a bar with fair trade coffee and local herbal tea.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Make Hemp Milk

I just spied the yummiest new recipes on The Seasonal Diet blog: Strawberry Hemp Milk and Blackberry Hemp Milk made with fresh berries.

image via The Seasonal Diet
Feeling more vanilla? There's a recipe for that in the blog post too!

Learn how to make your own berry flavored hemp milk now.

I also totally want to plug The Seasonal Diet membership. Members get The Seasonal Diet ebook, a complete resource to being creative in the kitchen and staying inspired throughout the seasons. It's over 150 pages of resources including a 30 day meal plan and 180+ recipes- all plant-based, gluten free and allergy friendly!

Read about all the other membership perks of The Seasonal Diet here.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 
Stay connected: Free Gift // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Overcoming Fear of Flying


A few months ago, I dreamed I could fly. It wasn't one of those typical dreams where one weaves between trees and soars over mountains. I didn't see or feel myself flying. Still, I knew I could fly. It was an intellectual understanding of the fact that I was physically capable of flying.

Here's the kicker: I never actually flew in the dream. There were moments where it would've been really cool to fly. I forget the exact details now, but I remember feeling like a sad sack of potatoes for not taking those opportunities to do it.

I didn't fly because I was afraid. Even though I knew I could fly, I was afraid to do it because I'd never done it before. Also, no one else around me could fly. I worried they would think I was weird. That was also scary.

This dream came when I was experiencing more firsts than I'd experienced in a long time and there were even more in the horizon. So many possibilities have been presented to me this year. I've taken some chances that felt precisely like jumping off a cliff. Truth be told, I've also had moments where I did the equivalent of hiding in a cave.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where to Buy Essential Oils


Here's where you can find essential oils to use for aromatherapy, cleaning, DIY skin and hair care products, and craft projects.

Mountain Rose Herbs is where I shop for the best quality essential oils at the best price online. MRH sells certified organic and fair trade essential oils. All their oils are therapeutic grade, meaning they are safe to use on your skin and hair (when diluted). This is true of all essential oils. It's what makes them different from fragrance oils, which are made with synthetic ingredients.

Your local herb store may sell essential oils too. This is a great place to buy essential oils because you can support a local business. I've purchased essential oils at Flower Power in the East Village. That store is magical!

Monday, May 5, 2014

5 Things to Drink on Cinco de Mayo That Aren't Tequilla

If you aren't into wasting away in Margaritaville but still wanna bust out your blender for Cinco de Mayo, check out these healthier vegan Mexican drink and smoothie recipes.

This puppy will give you the side eye if you get too wasted today.

Make some creamy Mexican horchata with almonds and brown rice. Then take it to the next level with a decadent vegan horchata smoothie. Veganize this horchata smoothie recipe by topping the smoothie with easy vegan coconut whipped cream. Use the coconut water reserved from making the whipped cream, more horchata, or your favorite nut milk in place of dairy milk.

I love the simplicity of this spicy vegan Mexican chocolate and banana smoothie.

Friday, May 2, 2014

How to Blanch Almonds - VIDEO


I accidentally blanched some almonds last night. Apparently, it's really easy to do!

I shot this quick video to share with you how to remove skin from almonds quickly for those times when you actually want blanched almonds.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Check out Super Juice Me! the Movie

Yesterday I watched Super Juice Me! an awesome documentary about eight beautiful chronically ill people who transformed their health in 28 days by drinking juice. It was amazing to see how radiant they became throughout the process.

I dusted off my juicer and made this after viewing the film. Crisper delight: Romaine, kale, celery, apple, pear, broccoli stem, lemon, and ginger.

Super Juice Me! proposes the idea that there is just one disease: inflammation. The chronic illnesses that most Western people suffer from (high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, etc) are just different manifestations of it. The disease is caused by eating man-made processed foods, toxins (including pharmaceutical medicines), and stress. The journey of these eight people illustrated that the solution to healing this disease is simple: change diet and lifestyle. 

Cozy up with a kitty (or beloved human), a juice made with one of the recipes you get when you sign up (or whatever you've got in your fridge), and get ready to be inspired by this feature length film!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How to Make a Natural Car Air Freshener

Looking for an all natural, non toxic air freshener for your car?  You can make your own!


You'll need:
  • fabric (I used craft fur)
  • paperboard or paper
  • marker or fabric pencil
  • yarn
  • glue
  • hole puncher
  • scissors
  • essential oil(s)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Meatless Monday: 4 Vegan Desserts Featuring Avocado

Oh Avocado! If you love the fatty, creamy, and sensual fruit as much as I do, you'll love these vegan desserts where avocado takes center stage. Try one recipe tonight for dairy-free deliciousness*!

Vegan Avocado Ice Cream
Last week, I made vegan avocado ice cream using a recipe I found in Whole Foods Market magazine (North Atlantic Spring 2014 edition; page 22). The ice cream has 5 ingredients: avocado, coconut milk, almond milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. I just blended everything in my Vitamix, chilled it, then put it in the ice cream maker. It was my first time trying avocado ice cream and it was incredibly delicious and simple!!!


image via Free People blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day! Join me at Whole Foods in PVD!


There is an awesome kid-friendly Earth Day celebration at Whole Foods Market University Heights in Providence, Rhode Island. 

I'll be there hosting a domestic detox information table from 11:30am to 2:30pm. I will then teach a hands-on, kid-friendly green cleaning workshop from 2:30pm to 3pm.

Green Penguin, EcoRI, and RIPTA are teaming up to stuff a bus with electronic waste to be recycled 11:30am to 3:30pm. Bring your junk! Click here to read what items are accepted

At 2pm, Acopia Harvest will teach kids (and me!) about hydroponic gardening.

I'm excited to spend Earth Day with some of the greenest people in Rhody!

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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Consider supporting this blog by shopping via my Amazon shop or buying my green cleaning eBook. Thanks. 

Healing Asthma with Non Toxic Products

Guest post by Ginger Stabach, a representative of Ava Anderson Non Toxic.


I found Ava Anderson Non-Toxic because 6 years ago I was diagnosed with severe asthma after being sent to the ER twice by my overbooked doctor and thinking I was having a stroke. Not being one to live on medications if I don't need to, I went in search of what I could eat or do to strengthen my lungs.

While researching, I found the Environmental Working Group. I already knew about their Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list and, being from a farming town, I already ate fairly clean. I had gone to a talk at one of the farms when I was pregnant with my oldest son. The farmer talked about the fact that you could either pay a little more for organic food or pay a lot later in life for medications.

On the EWG site, I saw a link: "Do YOU know what is in YOUR Cosmetics?" As someone who loves creams and lotions, I clicked in thinking "Wow, this will be fun!" Ha! I typed in what I was using and up comes LUNG LUNG LUNG LUNG sensitivity from everything! I quickly shut the computer off and waited a few days as I was pretty freaked out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy Vegan Lunch Recipe: Carrot Apple Ginger Soup & Fennel Scones

These two easy vegan recipes make one delicious lunch or light supper for Meatless Monday or any day.


This carrot apple ginger soup was inspired by a chilly day, my love of carrot apple ginger juice, and the fact that the produce had been in my crisper for almost 2 weeks. Soup, smoothies, and juices are the best way to use up produce before it goes south.


Friday, April 18, 2014

How to Peel Ginger Easily

Tired of struggling to remove the skin from ginger?

Watch me peel ginger the easy way.


Hate videos? No problem. Click through to read how.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Use Coconut Oil to Prevent Frizzy Hair [VIDEO]

Do you know you can (semi-) waterproof your hair naturally with coconut oil? Yeah! Coconut penetrates hair, leaving no room for it to absorb humidity, making frizz impossible.

Watch and learn.

Hate videos? Read on to learn how to use coconut oil to prevent frizzy hair:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIWW: Espresso Roller Disco [VIDEO]


Richard and I have been downsizing our possessions lately. Dreams of being able to one day live in a tiny house dance in our head. The reality of how much more focused and lighter life is without the burden of sharing a home with things we don't value is also keeping us grounded in the project. I can't help but feel we're making space for magical possibilities too.

A few days ago I outed myself to Richard that I was storing roller skates that I hadn't worn in ten years in our attic. "You never know when you're going to be invited to a roller disco party," I argued with all seriousness. Then I heard myself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Detox Naturally Without Fasting


Fat is a protective confinement cell for toxins. The toxins that enter your body through chemicalized food, polluted air and water, toxic cleaning and cosmetic products, etc. are stored in your fat cells if not flushed out naturally.

When you begin to lose weight (burn fat), the toxins leave their cozy fatty storage bins. They enter your blood stream, do all those terrible things toxins do, and make you feel like crap: stressed out, tired, irritable... hangry.

The most annoying part is they mess with your success. Have you ever hit a plateau when losing weight? Couldn't lose the last five, ten pounds? This is a natural defense. Your body is retaining water to dilute the poisons that are now running around free in your system.

Wellness Resources explains how this works in greater detail in a blog post about detoxification and weight loss.

You absolutely need to get these toxins out so you can start feeling great and continue losing weight. Good news is you don't have to do some crazy juice fast, Master Cleanse, or colon cleanse to detox. Your body has the ability to detox naturally and safely.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meatless Monday: Tasty Lately Recipes Round-up



Here are some of the tastiest vegan and vegetarian recipes Richard and I have tried lately.

Broccolini & Tofu Stir-fry and then Southwest Tofu Tacos via Prep Once, Cook Twice article in Whole Foods Market North Atlantic magazine Spring 2014 issue.

Broccoli and Macaroni in Hickory Cashew Cheeze Sauce. The cashew cheeze sauce recipe I used was from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.

"Dang delicious" cheezy broccoli bake following a recipe by The Seasonal Diet.

Yes, I love all things broccoli. I swear I eat other stuff too. Friday night I had Stuffed Ranchero Sweet Potato via Food Heaven Made Easy with Wendy & Jess, topped with Cashew Sour Cream via Whole Foods Market.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meatless Monday: 9 High Protein Green Vegetables

Beans, nuts, and seeds are popular and delicious vegan protein sources, but don't forget about the veggies! Many vegetables pack a powerful plant-based protein punch too.

You need to eat a lot of broccoli (about 4 cups) to consume 100 calories, but I'm up for the challenge!

Here's a list of 9 high protein vegetables to center your Meatless Monday meals around. All are nutrient dense, low calorie, low carb and have plenty of fiber to satisfy your appetite.
  • Brussels sprouts: 6 g protein per 1 cup cooked
  • Spinach: 6 g protein, per 1 cup cooked
  • Broccoli: 5.7 g protein, per 1 cup cooked
  • Turnip greens: 5.5 g protein per 1 cup cooked
  • Asparagus: 5.3 g protein per 1 cup cooked
  • Artichoke: 6.2 g protein, medium
  • Kale: 2.9 g protein per 1 cup chopped raw
  • Cauliflower: 2 g protein per 1 cup cooked  (Not green, but it's supergood for you.)
  • Romaine letture: 1 g per 85 g (about 1/8 th of a head)

Enjoy a variety of ample servings these veggies throughout the week, along with other nutrient dense foods (including beans, nuts, and seeds) to stay healthy and fit. Speaking of nutrients, check out Dr. Fuhrman's chart of the protein content in green vegetables as compared to meat. Lots of surprises there!

FYI: Adult women need around 46 grams of protein a day, according to WebMD.

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin
Consider supporting this blog by shopping via my Amazon shop or buying my green cleaning eBook. Thanks. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Brand New Thank You Gifts!

If you're not already on my email newsletter list now is the time to join.

Sign up to get your free gifts and my weekly newsletters here.

When you join, I'll send you a free copy of  Please Don't Eat the Plastic: A Quick Guide to Detoxing Your Kitchen.


This new 15-page guide quickly and clearly explains:
  • How to reduce the toxins in your body
  • What’s the problem with plastic
  • Practical ways to avoid plastic at the supermarket, when eating on the go, and when cooking and baking
  • How to create an action plan for a plastic-free kitchen.

I created this unique guide so you can only get it through me. Join my list so I can send it to you today along with the following bonus materials:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIWW: How to Make a Perfect Salad


Create the perfect salad in a few quick steps. Check out this awesome guide for even more amazing recipes, produce tips, and more just in time for spring:

Get Institute for Integrative Nutrition's FREE Spring Salads Recipe Guide here.

The guide includes...
  • 18 delicious salad recipes submitted by IIN students and graduates.
  • Tips for creating your own perfect salad, and preserving fresh ingredients.
  • IINformation on what our amazing school is all about.

Now that we've made our salad, how about some dressing?

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