Everyday Essentials: DIY Razor Relief Potion

Summer is still in full swing, and that means a lot of things – including sun, sand, surf, swimwear…and SHAVING. It’s no fun, but we have to do it (or risk being ridiculed at the beach, lol). Razors may be inevitable, but razor burn is not. This easy Razor Relief Potion will soothe even the most sensitive skin and make razor burn a thing of the past.

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Mediterranean Tofu Scramble

Breakfast used to be my favorite meal – I loved eggs, but it was never really about the eggs. It was about what I put on or in them! I usually have a smoothie for breakfast these days, but I’ll splurge on the weekends and make something like this scramble. I enjoy it with toast and Nutritional Yeast Cheesy Sauce. (Like I said – it’s all about the sauce!) I sometimes double this recipe for a big batch because the leftovers reheat well and are excellent in tortillas or taco shells for a quick and easy hot breakfast.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This banana bread is easy, decadent, gluten free…and this is one of the ways I use over-ripe bananas. (The other thing I do with them is peel and freeze them for use in smoothies.) It’s a perfect snack, topped with some vegan butter, or it’s a great breakfast/brunch item. As with most breads, it is best when it’s hot from the oven!

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Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

This is a really simple, basic barbecue sauce. I don’t see any need to buy bottled sauce when making it myself is so easy – this recipe uses typical pantry and fridge ingredients, and it tastes fantastic. Use as a glaze or dip for veggie burgers, chickenless nuggets, or – my favorite – grilled vegetables!

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Everyday Essentials: DIY Body Scrub

Making your own body scrub at home with quality essential oils is easy as pie…easier, really. (I’m SO not a baker.) Just three simple ingredients + an airtight container, and voila! Simple sugar scrub. Here’s a tip, though – using a scrub like this this can make the tub or shower especially slippery. Take Sheldon’s advice and don’t break a leg – or dislocate a shoulder – due to lack of adhesive ducks.

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Red Lentil Dal

Lentils are packed with protein, and they tend to be one of the staples of my diet. Red lentils are the sweetest and the nuttiest of the lentils, and they tend to get mushy when they are cooked – which makes them a great choice for curries and dals, or for thickening soups.

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Pasta Salad with Fresh Dill

This is the IDEAL summer picnic or potluck recipe – it makes a ton of food, and there’s no mayo in it – so less chance of spoilage as it heats up outside! I was looking for a great way to use fresh dill, as our herb garden has been producing TONS of fresh dill, sweet basil, purple basil, mint, and cilantro. (That’s not a complaint, mind you – I’m loving the access to fresh herbs!) Anyway, I was inspired by this recipe from the Minimalist Baker to make a pasta salad. I made a few tweaks to suit my tastes and to utilize the ingredients I had on hand. Let me tell you – the dressing is divine!

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Instant Pot Black Beans

Beans are a staple of my diet, and black beans are one of my favorites. I used to buy a lot of canned beans, but not anymore. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dried beans, and the Instant Pot makes cooking them a breeze. You don’t have to soak the beans first, but I usually do (and pour off the soaking water). This is my new favorite black bean recipe, and it was inspired by this post on www.apinchofhealthy.com. Enjoy!

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Everyday Essentials: My Favorite Perfume Oils

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? As such, it’s important to consider what you put ON your body, as well as what you put IN it. I’m not a fan of commercial perfumes – in part because they often get their scents from synthetic ingredients rather than natural ones. And the scents are so strong – overwhelming to the olfactory system! (Think about it…do you really want to put that chemical shitstorm on your skin?) I prefer soft scents and natural ingredients, so I use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils + unscented lotion instead of perfume. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Five Easy Steps toward Ditching Plastic

A few sad facts about plastic:

  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.
  • Fifty percent of the plastic we use is used once and thrown away.
  • More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day.
  • It takes 500 – 1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
  • Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, and more than one million bags are used every minute.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
  • Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
  • One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Sources: EcoWatch, Container Recycling Institute.

So, here’s the important question – what can you do about it?

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