Friday, February 28, 2014

My 10 Favorite Snacks & A Healthy Snack Guide for You


Being healthy and maintaining your ideal weight doesn't mean never snacking. It means choosing snacks that are packed with nutrition and love, instead of empty calories and guilty feelings.

When choosing a snack, I like to think about what foods make me feel my best and taste good. I also try to think of snacks as an opportunity to fit in the things I know I should be eating, like more protein and veggies.

Here are my favorite go-to snacks:
  1. chunky peanut butter by the spoonful
  2. dark chocolate, especially with almonds and sea salt
  3. tamari roasted almonds

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Green Cleaning Essentials Shopping List

Wanna start making your own non toxic cleaning products? Begin here.

Keep these things on hand and you'll be ready to use the safe and effective DIY eco-friendly cleaning techniques I share on this blog and in my eBook, Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning. You probably already have a lot of them in your pantry. 

Sign from last year's workshop at Whole Foods Market University Heights

Most Grocery stores:
  • Baking Soda
  • Club Soda
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Distilled Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • White Vinegar

Natural/Health Food Store or Amazon:
  • Dish detergent (from a green brand)
  • Castile Soap (liquid, unless making powdered detergent)
  • Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIWW: I'm Gonna Wear The Same Thing Every Day

I'm talking about my engagement ring. My fiance and I picked it out together this weekend. It was super important for me to not have a ring that is made from new gold or diamonds for humanitarian and environmental reasons. Overwhelmed and unimpressed by the new jewelry made from recycled gold on the internet, we finally dropped into Reliable Gold here in Providence which sells antique and estate jewelry to see what they had.


I fell in love with this awesome ring with citrine gemstones, wee diamonds, and yellow gold. I was drawn to it- the color and the shape- and it felt perfectly light on my finger. I knew I would want to wear this for the rest of my life.

After a little research, I discovered citrine is a gem that improves energy flow into the solar plexus chakra. Healing Crystals for You reports that the solar plexus chakra is the area where responsibility for others, caring for others, personal honor and courage emerge. I think all those qualities are so important for being a good life partner. The energy of this chakra is about personal power and self esteem, manifestation, creativity and feeling centered. I'm psyched to have this on my finger!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wanna Look Like a Cover Model?

Upworthy gave four women "cover model" makeovers complete with professional hair, make up, and some serious Photoshopping. They then made this video of their reactions to the final photos.

SPOILER ALERT: The women weren't pleased with the photos, even though the physical features they griped about earlier were gone.




At first I didn't see the big deal. The women didn't look that different in the final photos. When I watched the video again I noticed the things that made them quirky, and stand out, were gone. Freckles disappeared along with curves and smile lines.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Edamame Hummus Recipe: Not Your Mommy's Bean Dip! [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


These fresh shelled soy beans called out to me from the freezer case at Whole Foods, "Edamame hummus. Livi! Make edamame hummus." "What the heck is edamame hummus," I asked. "Don't worry about it. Just pick us up. We'll figure it out," the beans replied.

So I bought them and Googled "edamame hummus." Apparently, it's just like regular old hummus, but made with fresh soy beans. Brilliant! I was totally inspired by Oh My Veggies recipe for Better Than Trader Joe's Edamame Hummus. It seemed perfect, simple, and easy, so I just tweaked it to match what I have in my kitchen and my love of sauteed onions.

I normally make hummus in my big Kitchen Aid food processor. This time around I used the Cusinart mini-prep from my guy's bachelor pad to see if it could handle hummus. The machine got a little hot, but it didn't burn out the motor. So if you only have a little processor, don't let that stop you from trying this yummy, high protein treat!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Vegan Parsley Almond Pesto Recipe [Gluten-free]


I'm having a blast following The 28 Days Lighter Diet. It's such a great way to know the best foods to eat for happy lady hormones based on where I am in my menstrual cycle and for overall reproductive health.

Last night I made parsley almond pesto for the first time since it has lots of 28 Days Lighter Diet approved foods. Almonds have iron, magnesium, and protein. Parsley has vitamin A. Olive oil has vitamin E. Also, can I just say pesto is the easiest, tastiest healthy thing to make ever?

Vegan Parsley Almond Pesto Recipe
This recipe was inspired by Aube Giroux's non-vegan but very good looking parsley almond pesto recipe. Love her!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of Vegan Cuts and their Vegan Snack Box? A vegan snack box is a curated package of plant-based, mostly gluten-free surprise and varied goodies shipped to your door each month. Subscriptions to the box are $19.95 per month, inclusive of shipping in the US. Vegan Cuts offers international shipping as well.

Vegan Cuts sent me a complimentary box for review. Look at what was inside:


Overall, I feel the box fulfilled Vegan Cut's promise: "From chips to cookies and sodas to teas, each month we'll send 7-10 vegan goodies straight to your door." An assortment of treats arrived at my doorstep, neatly packed in a box with minimal fluff. Nothing was broken, crushed, or wet. There wasn't a ton of useless promotional crap- like you usually get with gift bags- just real goodies plus one coupon.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My New Website & Party on Sunday!


You may have noticed my blog posts have been a little thin lately. I was busy creating my new website, itsolivialane.com. It's the one stop shop for all things Olivia Lane, including information on my health coaching practice, my green cleaning book, events, and recipes.

I made my website by personalizing the website that Institute for Integrative Nutrition provides to all their health coach training program students. It's just one of the many fabulous marketing tools included with tuition! 

I'll continue blogging here at oliviacleansgreen.com, so no need to update your bookmarks, RSS feed, or email subscriptions to blog posts. But if you prefer to remember one URL per human being, there's a link to my blog at itsolivialane.com too. New posts will be up every weekday(-ish) again starting today.

On Sunday, March 16th (new date), I'm throwing a phone party to celebrate the completion of my website and passing the halfway point of the health coach training program. I'd love for you to join me!

Friday, February 14, 2014

3 Ways to Invite More Love into Your Life


Happy Valentine's Day! Wishing you a day full of love!

If you're feeling like you could use a little extra love, stop and smell the flowers. Wildflowers might be hard to come by in the winter, but there are lots of equally lovely things in your life.

Here are three ways to experience more love. They are all free and don't require any extra time or a partner. They just require more awareness.

Allow yourself to fully enjoy things with all of your senses.
Love is sensual. Sensuality is experiencing your senses. How cozy and soft is your favorite sweater or scarf? What does chocolate feel like as it melts on your tongue? Enjoy the smell of herbs and the sight of vibrant colors in your dinner. My favorite sensual food experience is the way the texture of kale changes as I massage olive oil and lemon into it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Coconut Tahini Sweeties Candy Recipe [Gluten-free]


Here's a supereasy, healthy candy recipe- coconut tahini sweeties! This recipe was adapted from the Energy Balls recipe in 28 Days Lighter Diet: Your Monthly Plan to Lose Weight, End PMS, and Achieve Physical and Emotional Wellness, a book that I've recently begun using to transform my reproductive health.

Friday, February 7, 2014

How Much More Awesome Do You Want to Be in July?


My school, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, recently released this incredible guide, 6-Month Roadmap to Health & Happiness. It's the snazziest guide I've seen from them yet!

The roadmap focuses on nourishing yourself with whole foods and creating balance in all areas of your life. This unique guide provides monthly wellness recommendations to help you gradually improve your health over the course of 6 months.

Sound good? Get your guide here! It's totally free.  

What are 3 wellness goals you plan to achieve by July?  If you shoot me an email, I'll even help keep you accountable. 

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.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is Apple Cider Vinegar the Secret to Optimal Wellness?



In November, I started drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a mug of warm water each morning. Since then, I've noticed my acne hasn't been as problematic. A few small blemishes usually pop up the week before my period, but that's it. I also haven't had any of the winter bugs that are going around. The last time I was sick was in late September when I had a cold. This is huge for me because most winters past I've battled a cold or strep throat every four to six weeks. 

While apple cider vinegar is lauded by natural remedy enthusiasts for it's health and beauty benefits, it's hard for me to pinpoint it as the reason I've had great skin and abundant wellness this winter. Quite few other things are different. I've crowded out sugary treats by enjoying more whole foods at mealtime and as snacks. (I still totally eat sugar. I'm just eating a lot less of it than I did in the past.) I've upgraded my natural skin care routine. I also don't take public transportation. I'm sure this reduces my coodie exposure by the millions!

Do you drink apple cider vinegar? What is your experience? Do you believe apple cider vinegar is: a. the secret to optimal wellness; b. part of a bigger picture of wellness; or c. snake oil? 

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.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BeMOCreative Weeks 2-4: The Artist's Way Check In


It's mid-Week 5 of the #BeMOCreative group journey through The Artist's Way that I'm co-hosting with my friend health coach Melissa Danielle. The last time I did a check in was Week 1. Eek! We are long overdue for a check in.

Overall things are going well. Despite the fact that I need something added to my morning ritual like I need a hole in the head, I've managed to do The Morning Pages, a three page free write upon rising, about 5 days each week and learned a little about myself in the process. I also recommitted to taking a break each weekday afternoon to do a moving meditation followed by a little one song dance party.

I'm just beginning to feel the benefits of these small changes. I'm much more at ease balancing work, study, fun, faith, and doing absolutely nothing. Life feels just a bit lighter. I'm noticing random opportunities for fun and growth popping up in many places. I'm proud to say I'm taking quite a few of them too!

I haven't done all the weekly tasks for any week so far, but I'm okay with that. Rome wasn't built in a day or even 12 weeks. I'm happy with the progress I'm making. The weekly check-in calls have been a great motivation for me to stay on track.

Keep reading for more highlights of my experience weeks 2 through 4.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

8 Simple Stress Busters

Guest post by Henry Miller.


Got stress? Stress is a part of a normal life that you can’t really avoid. The good news? You have more power than you realize to control stress before it prevents you from living the life you want to lead. Here are 8 simple stressbusters to help you.


1. Breathe Slowly and Deeply
Before you react to the next stressful event, first take 3 deep breaths and consciously release each breath slowly. If you have more time, try a relaxation technique, such as meditation or guided imagery, before deciding how to handle the situation.

2. Speak More Slowly
If you feel overwhelmed at any time, deliberately slow down the pace of your speaking. You will appear less anxious and more in control of the situation. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly. If you slow down, you’ll find you can think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations.

3. Take a Break Outdoors
Take advantage of the healing power of fresh air and sunshine. Just 5 minutes outside on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating. If you have more time, 30 minutes of sunshine has proven positive benefits.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Savory Oatmeal with Kale, Sweet Potato & Black Eyed Peas Recipe [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


I finally broke free from of my fruity comfort zone and branched out to savory oatmeal. Savory oatmeal is a great way to fit lots of veggies and protein into breakfast without doing the typical omelet or tofu scramble.

Keep reading for the recipe.

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