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Favorite Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

Favorite Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

So excited to share with you my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets.  Eating real food can seem daunting when you’re first starting out but I’ve found some of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets that have made making real food so much easier.  

Welcome to the #betterforyoucrew! I’ve teamed up with my girls Lisa from This Organic Girl, Sarah from Whoorl, Kate from Root & Revel, Caroline from Olive You Whole and Kristina from Love & Zest to highlight green, yet effective food, beauty and lifestyle products that are rocking our natural mama worlds. This series will publish the last week of every month so check back for the latest. You can also search #betterforyoucrew on our blogs and Instagram to access the entire series. Wanna join in? Tag #betterforyoucrew on social with your picks. We want to see your faves too!  For last month’s post on Natural Hair Routine- check it out here.

Sometimes you just need a good kitchen tool or gadget to really help make the process so much smoother.  They can take you from dreading to cook, to getting excited about real food!  Which is what it’s all about- getting real food on the table.

 

A couple things to keep in mind-

  • I didn’t buy these all at once.  It was a gradual process.  So don’t feel like you need to get everything on the list unless you have an endless budget for kitchen tools and gadgets- which if you do, go girl!
  • Know what you would eat most.  I’ve slowly collected favorite tools and gadgets over the years as I’ve learned more about real food and realized what I eat pretty regularly.  For ex. I wouldn’t go out and buy a tool or gadget that is only going to be used once in a blue moon on Thanksgiving.  It’s just going to get annoying taking up space in your cabinet or on your counter.  Plus, it’s a waste of money. 
  • Invest in tools that help with foods you eat consistently. Instead, I would invest in items that you know are going to get a lot of bang for your buck.  I like to keep my kitchen minimalistic.  Then I can see what I have and use it, instead of being overwhelmed by clutter.  Trust me, you want counter space when you’re making real food!

 

Not every kitchen tool or gadget is going to work for you just because it works for someone else.  

You really have to know how you’re going to use it and if it serves you.  Plus, take in to account the time.  Some kitchen gadgets are cool but not practical.  For ex. making homemade pasta might be a great idea but realistically you need to figure out if that really is going to be happening on a weekly or even monthly basis.  

Also, keep in mind that it might be as simple as getting a good kitchen knife for yourself and not having 10 different choppers.  Know your kitchen personality.  I don’t like a lot of extras personally.  A good knife is gold for me but some people really love a quality chopper and the ease of it.  Don’t just assume one thing will work for you since it worked for someone else.  We’re all different.  From the amount of time we are willing to spend in the kitchen to what we make. 

Ok, now that you’re understanding your kitchen personality type and what you might lean towards.  Allow me to share my favorites with you.  These are tried and true!

 

 

favorite kitchen tools/gadgets

This Blendtec blender takes the cake when it comes to making the best smoothies!

 

Blendtec Blender

A high powered blender is a must in my book.  I’ve had this blender for almost five years now and I love it!  It works so well.  I had a Bullet before I had a Blendtec but felt like I was limited to what I could put in the blender and it wasn’t has high powered.  This blender can shred kale, and anything else until smooth and creamy.  I use it every single day.  Yep, you heard me right.  Sometimes a couple times a day.  This thing definitely gets a workout.  

I make a smoothie for my husband and I every morning in it.  I can’t recommend getting a high powered blender for smoothies alone.  Honestly, in my opinion it’s worth it.  The amount of money you save from making your own smoothies and the nutrients it provides your body makes such a difference.  It works for my lifestyle too as I mentioned earlier.  I’m a busy mom of two with a third on the way.  I work and try and balance it all.  Which we all know doesn’t really happen- balance is a nice thing to say but hard to achieve. 

Anyways, I love the blender for smoothies because it provides me a quick real food option.  It fits right into my lifestyle of wanting real food but also not having all the time in the world to make it happen.  I also love using it for making so many recipes.  Batters, puddings, really the list is endless.  I have the smaller jar too, for making nut butters, and sauces.  I love it too.  Since it’s smaller it makes it so easy to whip up a quick sauce or nut butter.  The larger jar just doesn’t allow for it in the same way.  If you’ve been on the fence about a high powered blender, allow this to be your invitation to get one!  It’s changed my life. Also, be sure to check out the refurbished blendtec blenders.  They save you a considerable amount of money and work great!  Check out my Blendtec here!

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

This immersion blender costs less than $30 but is a game changer in the kitchen!

 

Immersion Blender

I know you’re probably thinking why are recommending an immersion blender after you just talked about your Blendtec blender.  Well friends this is used so much in my house and has become a staple since I got it.  It’s not even $30 but I can’t sing it’s praises enough!  

I would always have to add my hot soups to my large plastic blender and it bothered me.  Not only could I not stop thinking about all the plastic leaching into my soup, but the whole process of pouring the soup into the blender was cumbersome to say the least and usually it wouldn’t all fit.  Needless to say I finally used my sister’s Immersion Blender and my life was changed.  I literally remember thinking where has this been all my life?!  

I’m totally a late bloomer on so many levels so it made sense why I didn’t know about it.  Now I can easily plug it in and quickly blend up my soups in a matter of seconds to a smooth consistency.  No pouring or plastic leaching.  It’s so easy to clean too.  Just take off the attachment and rinse.  I use this for mashing cauli mash and making coconut cream whip cream real quick.  But really it changed the game for me when it came to soups.  I make soups often. It’s my bestie in the kitchen!  Get it here!

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

Love my chef’s knife!

 

A Good Chef Knife

I’m totally not the girl with a knife for every vegetable, meat or fruit.  Just give me a good quality chef knife and I’m good to go.  It makes my life so much easier when I can quickly pull out my cutting board and chop up some veggies.  

I remember I had asked for a quality knife for Christmas years ago and my hubs delivered.  Even though I’m pretty sure he asked if that was really what I wanted a hundred times!  I mean when you’re the one doing majority of the cooking a good knife is worth it’s weight in gold!  He got me the Wusthoff Chef’s Knife from Williams Sonoma.  This knife can cut anything.  And that’s exactly how I use it- for anything.  

What’s cool about Williams Sonoma is they actually will sharpen your knife for free the first time.  If you’re a minimalist in the kitchen like me and haven’t invested in a good all purpose knife, this may be a good purchase for you!  Check out my Wusthoff Chef’s knife here.

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

Almond Cow changes the game when it comes to making non-dairy milks!

 

Almond Cow

This is another gadget that I really thought would be unnecessary but I’ve come to love!  It makes creating nut milk so easy.  When I stopped drinking dairy milk I quickly was thrown into the world of non-dairy milks.  When I realized there wasn’t great options to buy I knew I would need to start making my own.  

I did make them but it was a tedious process compared to the Almond Cow.  It required a nut milk bag and blending, pressing- you know all the things that go into making real food.  When I discovered the Almond Cow it was game over.  Not only does the Almond Cow take away the blending process but also the pressing through a nut milk bag too.  

You add nuts or seeds to this colander, attach it to the Almond Cow device, add water, push a button and literally less than a minute later you’re left with creamy non-dairy nut milk- minus the crazy additives that store bought versions like to put in there.  It also neatly condenses the pulp you can use for making crackers or pancakes, or muffins- so many uses.  My non-dairy milk is creamier and easier to make each week thanks to this bad boy!  Use coupon code: GURLGONEGREEN for $15 off your purchase.  Check them out here!

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

We’ve had this Breville Espresso Machine for 9 years and love it!

 

Espresso Machine

My hubs and I got this almost 9 years ago as a wedding present and we still LOVE it!!  It wasn’t cheap by any means but it’s lasted us 9 years.  If you’re serious about your coffee, then this is for you.  Nowadays, you can easily spend over $5 on a cup of coffee.  Well, once you start adding things like organic coffee, non-dairy milks, the price goes up even more. 

It may sound like a lot initially as an investment but it pays for itself so quick if you’re making yourself coffee everyday!  Imagine how much you would spend on coffee for a month if you bought it somewhere?  $150 a month…I did the math and that’s on the low end for most people.  You would quickly pay for this in several months time.  Plus, you would know exactly what’s going in your coffee.

I love that it’s stainless steel, so plastic isn’t leaching into my coffee. I also love that it grinds my beans right before the water goes through the espresso handle.  Making the espresso shots so fresh.  It also steams milk so nicely.  I am a Seattleite so maybe that has something to do with making the perfect cup of coffee, either way I can’t get enough of this espresso machine!  Check out the espresso machine here!

 

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

Berkey is a must for me! Drinking filtered clean water is a non-negotiable.

 

Berkey Water Filter

This is definitely a must in my opinion when it comes to kitchen gadgets.  We all need water and filtering your water is so important to avoid the common contaminants.  Tap water can contain fluoride, bacteria, pesticides, viruses, chlorine chloramines, heavy metals and more. Berkey filters out these contaminants and more, plus has testing done on their purification process.  

I recommend getting the Big Berkey for most people, as you want to have extra for cooking too.  If you’re single you could get by with the travel Berkey.  Check out all the Berkey’s here!

 

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

The instant pot will stretch your time in the kitchen so much more!

 

Instant Pot

I finally caved two years ago and bought an instant pot and I have to say it was the best investment!  As a busy mom this is kind of the best gift I could give myself.  I use it for so many things.  From hard boiling eggs, making soups, cooking rice, cooking whole chickens, making shredded meat from beef and chicken and making steel cut oats.  There are so many things you could use it for.  It cuts the time in half for everything and does it all for you. 

I love cooking a whole chicken in it for the week.  It cooks in 35 minutes!  Then I’m left with great broth for soups.  It’s really such a great investment.  I have the 8 quart and it has been perfect for my family of 4.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ll throw some random ingredients from meat, veggies, some broth and spices and it tastes so good.  

It takes all the time out of cooking food in a slow cooker and does it in half the time.  I use this at least twice a week for something.  It might sound like one more thing but really, once you get the hang of it, it’s worth it’s weight in gold! Get it here!

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

If you’re a fan of sparkling water then you need this glass soda stream in your life!

 

Soda Stream For Sparkling Water

This is definitely an extra but one that both my hubs and I love!  It makes sparkling water.  The particular model I have uses glass bottles and not plastic.  What I would recommend, since you don’t want plastic chemicals leaching into your water. I like it because you can use filtered water.   Sparkling water you buy from the store is typically not filtered and you don’t know where it’s from.  I love knowing my water is filtered.  We take our sparkling water pretty serious around here! 

I love adding lemon or lime to it and having a little refresher.  Plus, it saves so much money!   Check it out here!  

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

This food processor is so powerful and makes whipping up recipes so easy!

 

Cuisinart 14 Cup Food Processor

This food processor is amazing. I got it a year ago and I’m not sure how I lived without it. I thought I could use my blender for everything but really the food processor is different and does things the blender can’t because of it’s wide bowl. I use this for my raw veggie breads, making paleo granola, bars, hummus, random recipes- so much.  But I think in the beginning you can get by with just a high speed blender.  Also, I want to note that the 14 cup food processor is the one I would recommend.  My sister has a 10 cup and it’s not as powerful, especially for raw veggie breads.  Get the food processor here!

 

Also, don’t forget to check my other natural lifestyle bloggers favorite kitchen gadgets and tools too:

 

Don’t forget to share what you’re using for favorite kitchen gadgets or tools on Instagram using the hashtag #betterforyoucrew!  

 

 

favorite kitchen gadgets/tools

Sharing my favorite kitchen gadgets and tools.

April Clean Beauty Faves

April Clean Beauty Faves

Sharing my April Clean Beauty Faves with you!  It’s that time of the month where I pull back the curtain on the best of the best in natural beauty and share what I’ve been loving.

This month there’s a little of everything but a couple products from the same brand.  Because when it’s good you have to share!  

Spring is totally in the air and it has me craving all the warm weather which definitely plays a role in my clean beauty picks!  Hope you love them as much as I do.  Also, don’t forget to hit up my Instagram for a chance to win all these products!  

 

clean beauty faves

Ilia takes the cake when it comes to natural beauty that is both affective and clean!

 

Ilia True Skin Serum Primer

I was SO excited to get this in the mail.  It was backordered for a while from Aillea and I was on the edge of my seat to get one of the first bottles the minute it came back into stock.  Ilia is on of those green beauty brands that’s been around from the beginning and keeps producing stellar products.  They work like conventional products and offer the same benefits. 

I love their True Skin Serum Foundation so I knew I had to try their True Skin Serum Primer.  It basically had my name written all over it.  It’s a liquid primer with a hint of shimmer.  Nothing crazy people.  You can’t even see it.  It gives your skin a lit from within glow.  It’s meant to be applied after your moisturizer, right before foundation application.  You will feel your skin tighten slightly and your fine lines filled in.  It creates such a smooth even canvas for your makeup to be applied.  It even helps to diminish pores.  My skin looked lit from within and had such a glow.  I can’t get enough!  It doesn’t make your skin feel greasy at all but has a weightless moisture feel to it.  You’re skin really does look like it’s glowing.  Check it out here!

 

Ilia Eye Primer

I’ve talked about this nonstop but as the weather has warmed up there is no denying my need for this even more.  It keeps my eyeshadow in place like nothing else.  The pigment stands out and is richer because of this primer.  Gone are the days of creasing shadows that fade as the day goes on.  This Primer is in a league of it’s own!  

I apply it to my eye lid all over.  Then take my finger and tap it into my eyelid.  Then apply my shadow. (BTW, check out my favorite eye shadow in green beauty here- seriously nothing compares)!  It gives my shadow something to adhere to.  If you haven’t found a natural beauty eye primer yet, then look no further.  This wand eye primer does the job so well! Check it out here!

 

clean beauty faves

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Moisturizing Lotion Tint is such an amazing BB cream that offers sun protection.

 

Suntegrity 5-In-1 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Tinted

This BB cream is so good!  It definitely hits all the marks for a great tinted sunscreen.  From superb coverage, hydration and good tint.  Plus, it offers a broad spectrum spf of 30.  It provides spf coverage with non-nano zinc oxide.  It also comes in four colors which makes it easy to find one that matches your skin tone.  

I love this tinted moisturizer because it feels more like a foundation to me then just a lotion with a slight tint.  I like a little more coverage and this provides it without looking cakey or overly done.  It wears well in the water too!  I love how smooth and even the formula looks on the skin.  Trust me, you’ll love it!  Grab yours here!

 

Clean Beauty Faves

Fitglow Beauty Colour Lip Serums are in a league of their own!

 

Fitglow Beauty New Lip Colour Serum Duo in Kind+ Rose

This is one of Fitglow’s newest launches.  If you’ve followed me you know I have a thing for their lip serums!  They are like nothing you’ll use.  I’m not a huge fan of glosses but these are so different than a traditional gloss.  They don’t look goopy or tacky but glide on your skin effortlessly and provide such a smooth finish.  What’s even cooler is that they’re filled with antioxidants and vitamins that not only nourish your lips but keep them looking young and fresh.  It’s like a lip serum with color and a subtle shine- what more could you want?! 

My lips stay hydrated and have a subtle shine.  I also love how the color pigment looks.  It’s not overwhelmingly but just enough to give your lips a little pop.  They have so many amazing color options to choose from so if you’re not a fan of Kind and Rose, check them all out.  I also can’t get enough of Bliss, Go, Gospel and Nudie.  Ok, clearly I have a problem they’re all gorgeous!  Check out all the colors here!

 

clean beauty faves

Maya Chia’s newest product the Refresh Mint is a mask you’ll keep coming back too!

 

Maya Chia Refresh Mint Mask

This mask is one of the newest products to hit Maya Chia’s line.  To try a Maya Chia product is to love it!  They perform so well.  So when I was sent the newest Refresh Mint Mask, I basically had to hold myself back from using it the minute I got it.  This is unlike any mask I’ve used before in natural beauty. 

It’s a resurfacing moisture mask.  It takes a drab complexion and instantly awakens it and gives it a glow.  If your skin is feeling less than, this mask is for you.  It uses 4 different types of acids, enzymes, moisturizers to help slough off dead skin cells, hydrate and give you your glow back.  A little magic potion in a bottle.  I apply it to dry clean skin.  Once applied I let it sit on my skin until its dry.  Then rinse off with warm water.  My skin is left with a glow, and smoothness that makes your skin look radiant!  I’m so excited to keep using it and see my skin improve overtime. Get it here! 

 

clean beauty faves

Malu SPF Moisturizer by Honua Skincare not only hydrates skin but also acts as a primer!

 

Honua Skincare Malu 

Malu is a protection day cream with spf 30.  It comes in a dark glass pump bottle- I love that you can turn the cap for when you travel.  It comes out white when you apply it to your skin but quickly fades to clear as you rub it in.  The natural sun protectant in the formula is non-nano zinc oxide.  It feels SO nice on the skin.  It hydrates but doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue.  

It really feels like a nice primer too.  Really filling in lines and creating a perfect canvas for makeup application.  I also felt I had a bit of a glow using it.  I really dig it!  Some facial sunscreens can feel heavy or greasy but not Malu!   A great way to protect your skin in the summer months but even year round it would be great under makeup or by itself.  Get it here!

 

Love this post?  Check out my past Clean Beauty Faves!

 

 

Clean beauty faves

Sharing my favorite natural beauty products for the month of April.

Aluminum Free Deodorant

Aluminum Free Deodorant

I’m sharing my favorite aluminum free deodorant with you today!  Primally Pure! I have tried my fair share of natural deodorants in my day.  Trust me, it seems a new deodorant shows up on my doorstep every week.  But I didn’t land one that was great for everyone until Primally Pure.

Their deodorant takes the cake for my husband and I!  (Scroll to the bottom for my full review on my faves).  They not only create amazing deodorant but also provide so much education on natural deodorant in general.  I wanted to share what sets them apart and why it’s so important to make the switch to a natural deodorant. 

 

aluminum free deodorant

Primally Pure is the best aluminum free deodorant I’ve found in natural beauty!

 

Now let’s back the truck up and talk about why you want an aluminum free deodorant in the first place. 

I really wanted to share the toxic burden mainstream deodorants carry.  This is one area of going green that I want to shout from the rooftops!  Why?  Because people use deodorant everyday, or at least most of us should.  Maybe you can get away with every other day, but you get my point.  Multiply that by 365 days and you’re rubbing toxins on yourself daily!

So what is this toxic load I speak of?  Well, let’s first talk about the biggest offender when it comes to mainstream deodorant, aluminum.  Aluminum is put in deodorant for the sole purpose of blocking your pores from sweating.  In essence, so you don’t get wet.  There’s a problem though, we were made to sweat, and our body uses sweat as a way to rid ourselves of toxins.

So where does the aluminum go?  Into our blood stream, fatty tissue, and can settle into breast tissue.  Unlike toxic food that can be broken down once digested, chemicals we put on our body cannot.  Instead they find a home in our fat and can wreak havoc.  Specifically in breast tissue.  A quote from the Journal of Inorganic Bio-chemistry states, “Over 50% of breast cancers start in the upper outer quadrant of the breast local to the underarm region.” Although, that doesn’t equate to aluminum causing breast cancer, it certainly lays a case for it.  Plus, it’s not just the application of the antiperspirant but the application onto underarms that have just been shaven.  The broken skin makes it even more permeable for the aluminum to get into the body.  Why take the risk if you don’t have too?!

And the crazy part about it all?  Aluminum isn’t the only toxic ingredient in your mainstream anti-perspirant.  Even if you’re using a mainstream deodorant without the aluminum you’re still putting harmful toxins in your body.  I can’t forget triclosan, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol and fragrance.  These all do a number in your body too, and I’m not talking a happy number!  Your best bet is to make the switch over to a non-toxic deodorant that’s free from all the toxic offenders.

Now, I know this can be a tricky thing to do-trust me.  I sweat and I sweat a lot!  However, I have picked up some tips to make the transition easier.

 

aluminum free deodorant

Primally Pure’s Blue Tansy Deodorant and Charcoal Deodorant have won my heart!

 

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO A NATURAL DEODORANT:

 

 

  • DRINK WATER– Sounds like a no brainer but not drinking enough water can leave your body stagnat-nothings moving and that’s not good.  Make sure you’re drinking enough water for your body weight and having consistent bowel movements.

 

  • CONSIDER YOUR FOOD- Often times what we eat has a direct effect on our smell.  If you’re putting junk into your body, i.e. refined sugar, white flour, processed foods etc. then chances are you’re going to smell it too.  Eating more leafy greens and fruits causes your body to have a sweeter smell.  Also, some foods even if they are healthy can cause you to smell just because of their makeup. Be mindful of when you eat odor causing foods that may take your stench to a whole new level. Avoid these foods for a bit to see if your odor improves.  

 

  • EXFOLIATE UNDERARMS- It’s time to slough off all that bacteria and make sure your underarms are clean.  Getting rid of the bacteria and creating a clean canvas will help ensure you’re not creating further stench.

 

  • SWEAT- Many people don’t like to hear it but sweating is actually one of the best ways to detox naturally.  It pushes the toxins out of your body.  I’ve noticed myself I always smell better when I’m consistently getting a good sweat on through some form of exercise.  Also, epsom salt baths are great for helping to sweat, as well as saunas.  If your glands have been blocked for so many years chances are they have some mucous and bacteria buildup.  Remember sweating is a good thing!  Your body may even go through a period where you sweat a little more during the transition-totally normal.  Your body will adjust.

 

  •  CLOTHING- For the first several weeks consider the clothes you wear.  Opt for material such as merino wool, bamboo, hemp and cotton-all natural fibers.  Avoid synthetic fibers which can trap sweat and help breed bacteria.  Choose loose fitting, breathable clothing.

 

  • WATCH YOUR SHAVE- To avoid irritation, don’t apply your deodorant right after you shave.  Since your pores will be open and fresh, it’s best to avoid putting the deodorant on right away.  It may cause irritation and redness.  Give it some time.  If you can, shower the night before and apply in the morning or wait an hour to apply after you shower in the morning.  An hour gives your pores a chance to close up.

 

  • DON’T GIVE UP– Just because one natural deodorant doesn’t work or you’re still feeling like you smell, don’t give up!  It takes time for your body to acclimate and this may not be a quick fix.  Ask around, be diligent de-toxing, and eventually you’ll reap the rewards.

 

aluminum free deodorant

Some of my favorite natural beauty products from Primally Pure!

 

Primally Pure as I mentioned takes the natural deodorant cake in all areas.  From an affordable price, squeaky clean ingredients, smell good scents and no irritation.  Overall the formula works so well!  They have a couple blog posts that really help understand natural deodorant.  Check out what you need to know about using natural deodorant and also their blog post on the science of natural deodorant and why their formula works so well. 

My hubs loves the Charcoal Deodorant.  I love their Blue Tansy.  Although I tried the Charcoal and I have to say I would use that any day too!  It’s crazy because the more I tell people about their deodorants the more feedback I hear on how amazing they are.  It seems to work for the majority of people.  

If you haven’t been able to get your husband to make the switch I recommend grabbing him a Primally Pure Deodorant.  My hubs is picky and when he says it’s his fave, I know it’s good.  The Formula goes on so smooth and doesn’t cause any irritation.  I smell fresh all day long.  The Blue Tansy smell is just so good!  I also love how the charcoal smells minty fresh- you know I’m all about anything mint.

If you’re also wanting to switch your products over in the skincare arena, check out Primally Pure’s skincare products.  I’ve tried a handful of their products and I can’t get enough of their simple ingredients, and effectiveness.

 

Some Favorite Skincare Products From Them Are:

  • Blue Tansy Beauty Cream- This cream soothes skin so well.  Blue Tansy is known for it’s soothing and calming properties.  It also smells divine.  It melts right into the skin and leaves behind complete hydration.  It also has emu oil which is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Dry Shampoo- This is my favorite dry shampoo I’ve used in natural beauty!  They have it in a darker shade for dark hair and lighter shade for light hair.  It soaks up excess oil in hair so well and really adds some great volume!
  • Blue Tansy Body Oil- This body oil also has blue tansy…I know can you tell I’m a huge fan of blue tansy.  This oil is so great for the skin and calms irritation or inflammation.  

 

If you’ve been searching for your favorite natural deodorant, then look no further!   Check out all of Primally Pure’s Products here! 

 

aluminum free deodorant

Sharing my favorite aluminum free deodorant in natural beauty.

How To Survive The First Trimester

How To Survive The First Trimester

So you might be wondering how to survive the first trimester and you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to share all my secrets with you.  Ok, they’re not really secrets but things that have helped me to continue living my life, which is pretty huge when you’re in your first trimester!

If you’ve been pregnant than you totally understand what I’m talking about.  

Here are just a few of the common symptoms first trimester mamas can feel:

  • Nausea
  • Tired- ALL THE TIME
  • Food Cravings and Food Aversions
  • Depressed
  • Not Motivated
  • Weight Gain
  • Mood Swings
  • Headaches
  • Heightened Sense Of Smell
  • Frequent Trips To The Bathroom
  • Acne
  • Out Of Breath
  • Swollen Breasts
  • Changes In Sex Drive

 

first trimester survival

My bump is already popping with the third baby at 15 weeks!

 

I like to describe it as being on a roller coaster.  One minute you’re up and the next minute you’re down.  To be honest, sometimes I feel like two different people.  There’s the me before pregnancy, and then there’s the me during pregnancy.  There’s just so many changes happening all at once.  You want to just feel normal and carry on but that is anything but how it is.

I called this blog post how to survive pregnancy in the first trimester because that’s really how I feel.  I know so many people who don’t have symptoms or feel amazing throughout their pregnancy which is awesome.  But it hasn’t been my case.  I literally feel like I’m in survival mode.  Everything that came easy to me before feels 10 times harder.  Whether it’s doing laundry, making dinner, cleaning the house, doing my job, or being a parent to my kids.  It just takes more head space and energy than before. 

Suffice to say babies really can take it out of you.  I’ve experienced all of the symptoms in the first trimester listed above.  Overall, the  fatigue is real.  I don’t know how many times I would literally just end up taking a nap when I should have been blogging or cleaning or anything besides napping.  I’m not a napper at all, so taking a nap is just all around foreign to me.  But when I’m pregnant sometimes it’s the best medicine.  

I’m going to be sharing my experience and tips and tricks throughout my pregnancy that really help me.  Trust me, if you’re reading this and you’re not a mama yet, don’t worry!  Pregnancy looks so different on everyone and you might not experience these symptoms at all.  It also usually gets so much better as you get further along in pregnancy, especially nausea. 

I created a list of natural resources that have really helped when it comes to surviving the first trimester.  I hope these help you like they did me!  After all, us mamas have to stick together. 🙂

 

First trimester survival

Just a few of my favorite things in this first trimester!

 

First Trimester Natural Resources-

 

  • Brooklyn Crafted Extra Spicy Sugar Free Ginger Beers- These have helped me in a massive way with my nausea.  My friend Kate from Root and Revel had recommended them to me.  They’re made with just a few real food ingredients and sweetened with stevia not sugar so you’re not getting a crazy high sugar spike.  Plus, they have real ginger in them so they help ease nausea.  They’re carbonated too which is huge for me!  I love carbonation when I’m pregnant and these definitely hit the spot when I’m needing something fizzy.  I usually have one in the morning when my nausea is at it’s peak.  Get them here!
  • Real Food For Pregnancy Book- This book was recommended to me by my friend Dr. Ben Lynch.  He’s a research doctor and knows his stuff.  It has been such a resource for me!  I’ve read pregnancy books before that have talked about nutrition but don’t have a lot of evidence to back up their claims.  This book really gives so many references!  It debunks so many of the common pregnancy nutrition guidelines people have been taught and turns them on their heads.  Lily does such a thorough job of laying out what you should eat during pregnancy and why.  She even goes into meal plans, recipes and supplement advice.  I can’t recommend this book enough if you want to optimize your pregnancy. Get the book here!
  • Seeking Health Supplements- These supplements have been taken on the daily by me.  Supplementing is so important these days since are soil is so depleted and even if you’re eating a whole foods diet you can miss key nutrients.  From Seeking Health I take their Optimal Prenatal, or their Optimal Prenatal Chewable,  their Optimal Fish OilVitamin B Complex Plus, NAC, ProBiota HistaminX,  and Optimal Magnesium.  It’s so important to take folate instead of folic acid.  Watch this video my friend Dr. Ben Lynch did.  So insightful!  
  • Elite Fuel Iron Supplement- This has been the best iron supplement I’ve found.  It literally has increased my iron levels quicker than any other iron supplement.  I can’t recommend it enough!  Get it here!
  • Elite Fuel Vitamin D3+K2 Supplement- This is a liquid Vitamin D3 +K2, I love that it’s a liquid.  It’s so easy to take. Get it here!
  • Podcasts:  I’ve done two podcasts about fertility and conceiving and what to supplement, eat and so on in pregnancy.  You can check them out here and here.  Such great resources!

 

first trimester survival

This is the best stuff! Sweetened with stevia and contains real ginger.

 

Other Tips-

 

  • Make breakfast ahead of time- I’ve found for me that having some foods prepped has helped me a lot.  In the mornings my nausea is at an all time high.  One of my favorite foods to have on hand is homemade granola.  Then I just add some to 100% grass-fed organic greek yogurt.  I really like the brand Maple Hill.  They have an organic 100% grass-fed greek yogurt that’s amazing. I just eat plain to avoid the extra sugars.  This greek yogurt I’ve found has the best texture!  The combination of the fat and protein with some carbs has been just the ticket for me.  It helps to curb my nausea and keeps me feeling full a couple hours. Plus, it sounds good which is half the battle!  If you have been pregnant before you know this is key.  Knowing I have this quick breakfast in the morning to go too has been huge.  It really has made a huge difference in helping me operate smoother in the mornings.  Then I’ll make a green smoothie a couple hours later.  But right away I need something the moment I wake up. Scroll to the bottom for my granola recipe. 
  • Chicken and Egg Salad- For whatever reason I’ve been craving both of these throughout my pregnancy.  I’ve made them both and then we also have local place that uses good ingredients that I feel great about ordering from.  I’ll make some for the week and store it in the fridge for lunches.  It’s so nice already having something pre-made on hand.  I don’t follow a particular recipe- kind of a rebel like that but there are a few ingredients I use instead of conventional ones that are important to note.  Instead of regular mayonnaise I use Primal Kitchen’s Mayo- super clean ingredients.  I like adding dill to my egg salads- love me some dill!  For the chicken salad I put celery, chicken, pecan, and apple a lot of times.  It really depends on what I have on hand.  Then I chop up some spinach leaves and toss it all together with the chicken or egg salad.  SO good!  If you want a good recipe I would up opt for one that’s paleo- usually they have pretty simple, clean ingredients.  Here’s a chicken salad recipe and an egg salad recipe.
  • Soda Stream- If you follow me then you know I love some good carbonation.  Well it’s at an all time high when I’m pregnant!  The carbonation really helps to ease my nausea.  I love having this glass soda stream.  It keeps me fully supplied with sparking water.  I love knowing that my carbonated water is filtered since I use the water from my Berkey.  They have the plastic bottles but I prefer the Soda Stream that use glass bottles.  Plastic bottles can leaky unwanted chemicals into my water.  Check out the glass Soda Stream here!
  • Cold Fresh Fruit- All my pregnancy I’ve craved fresh fruit, this one no different.  I loved having organic strawberries, organic organges, organic blueberries and organic raspberries on hand.  Costco has some of the best deals for organic fruit.  I’m pretty sure I had 2-3 Cara Cara oranges a day!  
  • Smoothies- I find it hard to eat my normal amount of veggies when I’m pregnant in the first trimester.  Texture, smell and taste are all off for me.  I’m grateful for smoothies!  These help me pack a ton of veggies in and just slurp them down instead of having to chew them and gag- just being real. I would pack spinach, celery and cucumber in my smoothies and then add some healthy fats like cashew butter, some fiber with chia seeds, some superfood powders like pomegranate powder, camu powder, açaí powder, and half a banana. I would add a cup of coconut milk and blend up!  Then once blended add my protein powder.  Activ Whey Goat Whey Protein is the BEST protein!  If you haven’t tried it you need to get on it.  I personally know the owner and founder and love how authentic he is.  He sources from grass-fed goats.  Can’t recommend it enough!  Get it here!  
  • Eggs- I hadn’t been eating eggs because my food sensitivity test showed I was sensitive to them.  However, when pregnant I’ve been eating them because of the choline content in them.  Choline is so important in pregnancy. If you want to understand more about Choline check out a podcast I did with Sarah Morgan a functional nutritionist.
  • Primally Pure Deodorant- I knew I needed to find a natural deodorant that was safe during pregnancy because your underarms soak up so much of what you put on them.  I was happy to find Primally Pure and know that they are completely safe to use during pregnancy.  They have done extensive research to ensure that their products are clean.  I love the Blue Tansy and Charcoal Deodorant- so does my husband!  Get them here!
  • True Botanicals Pregnancy Skincare Line- I love knowing that I can still have an active natural skincare line that is still safe for myself and baby during pregnancy.  If you’ve followed me you know that I love True Botanical’s Antioxidant Booster and Repair Serum- holy grail products in natural beauty.  Well, True Botanicals has a whole skincare line dedicated to pregnancy.  Excluding the ingredients you don’t want in your products while pregnant, yet still creating an amazing skincare line.  I’ve been using their Calm Pure Radiance Oil and Vitamin C Booster. Since True Botanical’s Antioxidant Booster isn’t recommend for pregnancy I’ve been swapping it out for the Vitamin C Booster. Check out all their pregnancy safe products here!
  • Beautycounter- Another safe line for pregnancy is Beautycounter.  I trust their line completely with all of their third party testing and stringent screening process for ingredients.  I have been using their body butter– so luxurious and crucial for my growing belly!  I also have been using their body wash and their shampoo and conditioner.  Plus, their Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream.  I love knowing I can literally just go to their website and not think twice about picking up a product when I’m pregnant.  Shop all of Beautycounter’s products here!  This is an excerpt taken from their website:
Yes. All of Beautycounter’s products are safe to use during pregnancy and nursing. We screen every ingredient for safety, keeping those especially vulnerable—like pregnant women and babies—in mind.
If you have specific medical concerns, we always advise consulting a physician.

 

chocolate granola recipe

This granola recipe is SO good! It is a spin off of Purely Elizabeth’s chocolate granola but with less sugar and more good fiber!

 

Chocolate Granola Recipe-

  • 3 Cups Gluten Free Organic Oats(I like One Degree Oats since they’re glyphosate free too)
  • 1 Cup Quinoa Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Lily’s Chocolate Chips(stevia sweetened)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt

*Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then spread on a cookie sheet.  Cook at 325 for 15 minutes and then stir and cook for 10 more minutes.

That sums up some of my tips, what are some of your tips for surviving the first trimester?  Leave me a comment below.

 

First Trimester Survival

Sharing how I survive the first trimester. All my tips and tricks!

Pregnant With Baby #3!

Pregnant With Baby #3!

So excited to finally share I’m pregnant with baby #3!  It’s been a secret I’ve been keeping under wraps for what feels like forever, but I’m so excited to finally be able to share the news with you!

I wanted to sit down with you like we were chatting as old friends because that’s how I feel about you.  So I thought a video was appropriate to share the story of how I found out I was pregnant.

I’m sharing how we found out, if it was planned, how I’ve been feeling and if we’re going to find out the gender or not.  I’ll be sharing lots more on pregnancy in the future.  Stay tuned for Wednesday’s blog post where I share all the details on natural pregnancy faves and resources, plus if I plan to have another home birth or not.

Hope you guys love the video! I plan to do more videos so let me know what you want to see in the comments of the video or blog post here.

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