beauty

Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

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As we all know, the holidays can be a stressful time with traveling, cooking, gifts, and trying to remain calm through it all. I used to stress about buying gifts for my family and friends, until I realized that gifts don't need to be something expensive or even material. In my opinion, the best gifts are usually good company and sweet memories. That said, of course I still get the urge to gift my loved ones something, but it's different now. Now I gift things that I make myself because I know they will enjoy especially because they're made with love.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite gifts that I've made in the past that will still make your loved ones smile, but won't leave your wallet hurting. Plus, you'll be giving them something nourishing that will support their health.

  • Dark Chocolate Bark - Find my recipe for 5-minute homemade chocolate here. To make into bark, pour mixture onto a flat dish lined with parchment paper and then add any toppings of choice to make it festive. Refrigerate until firm and then break into pieces. Recommended toppings: chopped nuts or seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cacao nibs, goji berries.
  • Lavender-scented Coconut Oil Moisturizer (or flavor of choice)
Lavender coconut oil
Lavender coconut oil

Ingredients:

1 cup melted coconut oil

Handful dried or fresh lavender flowers

A few drops of lemon essential oil (optional)

Procedure: Mix lavender flowers into coconut oil and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Drain lavender and mix in a few drops of lemon essential oil if desired. Place in a glass jar with lid and let sit on counter until solid. Use as you would any lotion. If too solid when ready to use, grab a spoonful and let it melt in your hand for a few seconds before applying it.

  • Coconut & Cinnamon Granola - recipe here - Never fails to impress.
  • Creamy Sunflower Seed Butter - recipe here.
  • Prepare a DIY gift for someone with all the ingredients they need - I did this last year and it was a hit. Simply choose a fun recipe and get all the ingredients together in a container along with the recipe for your loved ones to make themselves. Fun examples are chai (picture below), granola, baked goods, or homemade beauty products.
chai gifts
chai gifts
  • Coupon book! -  This one seems silly, but it can be the most fun. Make a coupon book for someone you love with coupons for special gifts they like such as a massage, a picnic, their favorite food/dessert, and day trip somewhere, a movie, or anything else your heart desires to give.

I hope you enjoy making your own loving gifts. Get creative, there are no limits.

Happy Holidays!

Giovanna

Herbal Vanilla Latte

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Perfect for a chilly night, this herbal vanilla latte is calming and comforting. Besides the anti-inflammatory and digestive support properties of the herbal tea, I sneaked some extra superfoods in there to make it an even more nourishing treat. Recipe was created for Oh My Drifter.

Photography by Micaela Hoo.

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons raw hemp seeds

1 cup spring water

3 cups hot herbal tea (chamomile, mint, nettle, rose)

3 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

2 teaspoons maca powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 drops vanilla stevia or 1 teaspoon raw honey

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

1. Place hemp seeds and water in blender and blend until smooth to make hemp seed milk.
2. Add remaining ingredients to milk and blend until smooth and frothy.
3. Serve and garnish with extra cinnamon.

Strawberry-Tahini Milkshake {dairy-free}

strwberry-tahini featured image

While I prepare pumpkin everything for my upcoming fall brunch club, I'm also still holding on to summer for as long as I can. When strawberry season was at it's peak, I loaded up on them every time I visited the farmers market and froze them so I could later use them for delicious recipes such as my simple strawberry-matcha sorbet and this milkshake/smoothie I'm about to share with you.

I just love using strawberries in my smoothies since they give it just enough sweetness and add anti-inflammatory and skin nourishing properties. Tahini also provides tons of health properties. It is made out of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and fiber. All these minerals are important for many functions of the body, but especially nourish the skin, bones, and aid with PMS. Tahini is also a great source of plant-based protein, which stabilizes blood sugar and will leave you feeling satisfied.

I hope you enjoy this taste of summer as we move into the chillier days. Perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

strawberry-tahini smoothie 1

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

2 Tablespoons tahini

1 cup coconut milk (or any nut milk of choice)

1 teaspoon raw maca powder, optional

1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean

1 drop vanilla stevia (I use Omica Organics brand) or 1 teaspoon raw honey

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Top with toppings of choice: shredded coconut, bee pollen, sliced strawberries, cinnamon

Serves 1

Enjoy! x

 

 

 

Foods for Beautiful and Radiant Skin

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What is beauty?

Let's be real, we all want to be beautiful, but what exactly is that?

In my opinion, beauty is not physical. We are each individually beautiful, whether we think so or not.

Beauty comes with being giving, accepting, vibrant, happy, passionate, and kind - because when we practice this, we glow inside and out.

There are many thoughts and circumstances that we go through daily that make us feel not beautiful, and might even suppress our highest potential in life. But there are many things that can help us let go of those negative thoughts and drive us to our most vibrant self.

One thing that makes us beautiful is the food we eat. Believe it or not, radiant skin begins from the inside out. In fact, our skin reflects what is going on internally. Notice when we are stressed, we might have pimples, rashes, dryness, or blemishes pop up in our skin.

We look to buy the perfect cream or serum for our skin to be smooth, but our food plays such an important part of our inner and outer beauty. When we are accepting and loving, we tend to nourish our body with the best foods out there because we know that will only enhance those feelings and actions.

On the contrary, when we feed ourselves nutrient-deficient foods, we don't quite feel that acceptance and happiness. Eating foods that aren't good for us reflects on our skin and body, and as a result, can reflect in our attitude toward ourselves - we're more likely to talk poorly about our image or feel uncomfortable in our own skin.

I'd like to share with some of the best foods for beauty, which just so happen to be nutrient-rich foods, but these in particular will support beautiful and vibrant skin (& hair - bonus!):

  • Leafy greens
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Lemon & lime
  • Berries
  • Extra-virgin olive oil & olives
  • Nuts & seeds - best if sprouted (soaked and dried)

Feel free to browse around the blog for tons of recipes with these ingredients such as the Mojito Protein Smoothie, Avocado Garbanzo Bean Salad, and Coconut and Cinnamon Granola. You can also grab a free copy of my 'Beauty Smoothies' ebook on the home page.

If you're in the Bay Area, you can personally come enjoy a wholesome (and beautifying) meal prepared by me at my next brunch event on October 26th.

Get your glow on!

Giovanna