- April 20, 2017 -
As a west coast baby I was never exposed to the glory of cooking in the traditionally southern cast iron tradition. Cast iron has wonderful benefits ranging from providing dietary iron to providing a depth of flavor in your favorite recipes. Cast iron is also a great investment because it can last forever and is virtually indestructible if cared for correctly. Some people shy away from cast iron because they are intimidated by a pan with “rules”. The rules of care for these old school pans are simple, I promise. I purchased my cast iron skillets at marshals, a great spot for low priced kitchen goods but amazon is another great place to get one! The first thing you need to do with your cast iron once you get it home is seasoning it. Start by scrubbing the base layer off of the pan with steel wool, all natural soap, and hot water. Next towel dry your cast iron and place it on a stove top until it is one dry to prevent rust. Then pour a drop of oil onto your cast iron and spread it around with a cloth, once coated, wipe off excess oil. I choose to use melted coconut oil to grease my cast iron because coconut oil has a higher smoke point than many other oils aka it doesn’t burn and create carcinogens when heating. The coconut oil can leave a white film but it doesn’t bother me or your skillet one bit. Once your cast iron is oiled bake it upside down for an hour at your ovens highest temp (probably 500 degrees) . Now that your skillet is seasoned feel free to make this yummy cast iron skillet cobbler or any other baked or sautéed dish. After dirtying your cast iron skillet there are a few do’s and dont’s in the cleaning department. Do wash it right away, you don’t want to leave water in your skillet. Don’t use soap, use salt, hot water, and a scrub brush or the back side of a sponge to wash your skillet. Do dry well after washing, using the stovetop drying method listed above. Do re oil your skillet before you store it. Maybe sing to your skillet too, I’m sure your food will taste extra delicious if you follow my last suggestion.
Cast iron skillet cobbler
Cook time: 35 minutes
6 peaches, sliced
The juice and zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon arrow root powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup Harvest Snaps Black Bean Crisps, smashed
1 cup oats
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
One pinch of sea salt
The zest of 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 cup of pistachios, chopped
1/2 a cup of coconut whipped cream
1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Add filling ingredients to a large bowl and stir until well combined
3. Add mixed filling ingredient to a greased 10″ cast iron skilled (I use coconut oil to grease mine)
4. Add crust ingredients to a large bowl and stir until well combined
5. Pour crust ingredients onto filling and lightly press the topping into the skillet until top is smooth and even
6. Bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven
7. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes
8. Top the cobbler with coconut whipped cream, pistachios, and lemon zest
- April 14, 2017 -
I’ve passed this wall a hundred times, driving passed this instaconic backdrop littered with bloggers and other millenial babes dressed up to capture the perfect “LA” moment. I’ve never thought I’d take a picture in front of this wall, I guess I thought it was silly and not quite “on brand” for me. It wasn’t until earlier this week when I was helping my very talented photographer friend shoot at this iconic wall that I took a moment to reflect on how significant the symbolism of the “Made in LA” wall is to me. My blog was made in LA, my career goal trajectory was made in LA, my creative confidence was made in LA, my most cherished relationship was made in LA, the list could go on forever. I’ve also learned a lot in LA, a lot about self care and mental wellness. I’m sharing the lessons I’ve learned below, if you have any wellness lessons ‘d love it if you shared it in a comment!
I’ve had this blog for three years, it has truly been my biggest passion project to date. It’s a place to foster my creativity, explore my love for food and wellness, and engage with likeminded individuals. Each mini milestone in this process of becoming a blogger has been soul sparking. Each link in the chain as lead me to a deeper appreciation for this connecting platform: from my first post, to my first reader comment, to my first influencer event invite where I had the opportunity to meet some of my insta peers in person. I’ve always loved sharing my wellness tips and tricks with friends and family, extending my reach has been Immensely rewarding. I am so grateful for having this platform to connect with others interested in health, food, fitness, and anything else my new wavy west coast brain might congure up. Not only am I grateful for this inspiring platform, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to live in such a creative city brimming with opportunity and buzzing with hope. It’s so important to show gratitude in this life, gratitude for personal growth often goes overlooked and it’s beyond important to overall happiness. Reflecting on our journeys and showing gratitude for the mini milestones is essential is being content. I feel like contentment is a goal worth striving to achieve. I personally get bogged down with timelines and comparing myself to others when focusing inward from a place of gratitude would be a way better use of my mental space. I’m making an effort to write down one thing I’m grateful for everyday in order to open the gratitude floodgates in my life.
You know the old saying you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take? Well it’s still true.lol When I graduated collage over six years ago I got a holiday job working retail at Lululemon. I was in it for the stretchy pant discount and much to my surprise I got a full education in goal setting. I learned the importance of setting goals that are measurable and attainable. Another important factor in goal setting is creating a calendar, the experts who developed the Lululemon training suggested creating one month, one year, and five year goals. Setting goals and visualizing them coming to fruition is a super effective way of manifesting. I love to set mini goals throughout the week and writing them in my planner, crossing them off once you accomplish them is the best feeling in the world. Setting out some time to goal set for yourself and get ready to reap the rewards.
Getting there happily:
I truly believe that happiness is based on your reaction to the events of life and the coping mechanisms you enlist to help you along the way. There will always be struggles, there will always be kinks in the plan, but if you can stop to take a breath it can make a world of difference. I definitely struggle with some anxious tendencies, I can overthink and over stress about almost anything. I’ve been using fitness as a way to combat anxiety far before I knew it was an anxiety relieving technique. As I’ve gotten older I’ve included other coping mechanism to help with stress and live in the moment. One important coping mechanism is fostering relationships with grounded people who lift you up. Spending quality time with positive people and supporting one another can be one of the most fulfilling things in life. Another coping mechanism/happiness technique is meditation. Being a type A high strung individual the thought of starting a meditation practice was always daunting. I’ve tried different types of meditation, guided meditation, meditation apps, kundalini meditation, and none of it has ever worked for me. I’ve finally found what works for me and it’s a very easy and palatable intro into the world of meditation. I do a five minute mindfulness meditation and man does it put me in a relaxed happy state.
Here’s a step by step
- Find a comfortable position: sitting, standing, or laying down (I like to lie down on the couch)
- Put on some soothing music or no music if you’re into silence (I love Tibetan singing bowl playlists on Spotify)
- Set a timer on your phone for five minutes
- once you set your timer close your eyes and try to release all thoughts and focus on your breath. You will think of random things, just try your best to put those thoughts on a cloud and let them sail away.
- Ta Da! You just meditated, now enjoy those glowy vibes
Photos by Ashley Streff @ashleystreff
- April 10, 2017 -
Happy Monday loves, I’m starting off the week by sharing my best new quick recipe, Harvest Snap Nori Bites. I think your gonna want these Nori Bites, let me tell ya why. I was born in on Oahu, a great place to begin foodie life. Being a island child of the Hawaiian island means that you know and probably love Asian snacks. I feel so incredibly lucky to have ties to Hawaii and to be exposed to a multitude of Asian cuisines at such a young age. My mom likes to tell the story about how when I was a little blonde nugget, my favorite snack was dried cuttlefish. Not much has changed since my cuttlefish days, I still love Asian flavors. This recipe is inspired by a tried and true Japanese ingredient, nori . I love all seaweed but nori sheets are readily available in almost all American markets. I have a memory of sitting at my cousins house and making our own lazy take on spicy tuna hand rolls. Plates of ahi tuna, avocado, a bowl of spicy sriracha, and mini nori sheets covering a plastic outdoor table. It was a perfect dinner on a perfect night overlooking a perfect Hawaiian ocean. Food is so closely tied to memory, now every time I eat anything wrapped in mini nori squares I get nostalgic about my family in Hawaii, whom I love so much. I know that cooking for family can de daunting but my previous gush proves that simplicity can be king. I made a quick veggie friendly, completely gluten free nori snack that will satisfy. Feel free to get creative and use any veggies you have laying around. The Harvest Snaps offer up a perfect crunch and the wasabi flavor ties beautifully into the Japanese sensibility of his recipe. I hope this nori bites recipe inspires you to cook with your family and start new culinary traditions at home.
Harvest Snaps Nori Bites
1 package nori snacks (the small square ones)
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
2 teaspoons of ghee, melted
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup of baby bok choy, julienned
1/4 cup of carrots, julienned
1 cup Harvest Snaps Wasabi Ranch Snap Pea Crisps
1/2 a cup of flaked coconut
1 tablespoon micro greens
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1. Preheat the oven to high broil
2. Plate one package of nori snacks
3. Add edamame dip ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined but still chunky (about a minute) spoon a dollop evenly onto each square
4. Top each nori square with a little bokchoy, a little carrot, and two Harvest Snaps
5. Place flaked coconut onto a dry baking sheet, broil for two minutes, cool for 5 minutes
6. Top nori squares with a sprinkle of toasted coconut, microgreens, and black sesames
- April 4, 2017 -
Happy April friends. Now that spring has sprung you might be feeling the need to reevaluate your diet and enter this new season with healthier habits. In the winter months we can get a little lazy (myself included)and overly rely on takeout, frozen foods, and packaged snacks to get us through the week. The longer daylight hours have inspired me to buy more fresh ingredients and do a solid meal prep each week. The main thing that prevents most of us from cooking our meals is time. In this era of 12 hour work days, non existent mealtimes, and convenience food marketing it can be difficult to commit time to cooking. I find that if I block out half of a day once a week for shopping and meal prep I can lay down some fundamental building blocks to make cooking/eating easy for myself. If you really think about the time it takes to pick up food for lunch on your minuscule break or after work, “convenience food” is truly not that convenient. One of the other amazing benefits of cooking is the astronomical amount of money you can save. Realistically eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will cost you about $45-$60 bucks a day, that’s even being mildly conservative for Los Angeles. That’s at least $1,200 per month, per person! Even if you’re buying the highest quality organic ingredients cooking at home will cost you a fraction of what you would pay eating out. My wellness lifestyle heavily relies on the healthy recipes I cook at home. There are countless benefits to shopping, meal prepping, and eating what you cook. Knowing exactly what ingredients are in your food is essential to having a healthy diet and feeling amazing. The amount of hidden refined sugars in most quick foods is horrifying and will maintain a mood smashing cycle of sugar highs and epic blood sugar lows. Maintaining sugar balance with whole fruits and veggies has been one of the most gratifying lessons I’ve learned in the wellness space. Making substitutions to your favorite foods can be easier than you might think, a few creative ideas and a little Prep goes a long way. I am so lucky to work with the foodie Mecca PopSugar, as a recipe developer I create crave worthy recipes for their website and social media and I wanted to share it with you! Recently I created this yummy 30 calorie pizza bite recipe for their Facebook audience that fulfills pizzas craving with a healthy True Spoon twist. This cauliflower crust is a great alternative to its sad carby brother packed with fiber and micronutrients. I’m still utilizing some packaged foods in this recipe but they are thoughtful ones free from unnecessary sugars so please check your labels before buying ingredients. I also love this recipe when made with a vegan cheese, you can alter this recipe to adhere to any dietary restriction. This recipe is also super portable and will hold up in a Tupperware container until lunch time. You can even make a double batch of these and freeze half so you have healthy snacks for weeks to come. I hope you enjoy this recipe tutorial video courtesy of my friends at PopSugar.
- March 27, 2017 -
I’ve been that girl, the girl who doesn’t want to leave her bedroom because of debilitating insecurity about her skin. My skin might be seemingly enviable now but it took about thirteen years of skincare trial and error to get this place. The truth is that I don’t have enviable skin, I have human skin, skin that requires holistic attention in order to stay healthy. I am a registered nurse specializing in aesthetics, I’ve worked in skincare for almost 5 years. My skincare knowledge comes from my nursing experience in addition to tips I’ve been lucky enough to pick up from other experts along the way. I can’t pretend like I can solve everyone’s skin blunders but I want to share what I’ve learned. I hope that this post will help some and inspire others to find the key to unveiling their best skin. Since adolescence I thought my skin was oily. Visible oil and hormonal breakouts were blatant clues. I tried countless over the counter solutions, even turning to a prescribed medication with diuretic affects to cure my acne. Cut to twelve years later, two expert Estiticians both told me in one month that my skin was ultra sensitive, not oily. I was informed that I was stripping my skin by over washing and using harsh products like benzoyl peroxide. I was actually stripping my skin to the point that my sebaceous glands were kicked into overdrive, creating “oily skin”. Surprise surprise my skin needed balance! I achieved skin balance by integrating a regimen of products, treatments, and diet. I’ve outlined my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly skincare suggestions below.
1. I wash my face with nothing but cold water
2. I follow with a balancing fruit acid toner called p50 lotion from Biologique Recherche to remove excess skin debris and clean my pores
3. I hydrate my face neck and décolleté with Vintners Daughter and or Osea argan oil Product Link
4. I hydrate my eye area with Osea eye serum Product link
5. I use a mineral SPF 30 from juice beauty on my face, neck, décolleté and the back of my hands Product link
6. I finish with juice beauty primer, foundation Product link , and finishing powderProduct link if I decide to wear face makeup that day
7. I try to incorporate skin superfoods into my daily diet to feed my skin with the nutrients it needs to glow. Cocoa nibs, blueberries, spinach, and chia seeds are great skin superfoods that can easily be added to a daily smoothie.
1. I wash my face with Osea ocean cleanser Product link
2. I use my neutrogena light mask to reduce any inflammation and prevent breakouts Product link
3. I hydrate my face neck and décolleté with vintners daughter and or Osea argan oil Product link
1. I usually use masks one to three times a week depending on my the time of year and what I feel like my skin needs. I love the volcanic crystal ash mask from DMH aesthetics to exfoliate and remove dead skin from my face. I also love the Osea red algae mask to infuse my skin with antioxidants Product link
1. I find monthly facials with extractions to be super beneficial in maintaining healthy skin. I strongly suggest visiting Reini Greene for luxurious French facials Reini Spa Link she’s so knowledgeable and amazing. I also suggest visiting The Spa on Rodeo for their state of the art hydrafacial to gently remove impurities from the skin The Spa on Rodeo link
1. I like to do a yearly series of IPL photo facials and resurfx laser facials to improve sun damage and promote collagen production. I suggest visiting DMH aesthetics on Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles DMH Aesthetics Link
I’ve listed most of the products I use including the Neutrogena light mask on my shop page. I hope this review helps you achieve healthy balanced skin. Please feel free to comment, message or email if you have any questions for me.