3 Brands That Simplify Natural Living

3 Brands That Simplify Natural Living

So excited to share with you 3 brands that simplify natural living.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when detoxing your life.  Trust me I get it!  But it doesn’t have to be.  I like to break natural living into three categories.  The food we eat, the beauty products we use and household products.  These are some heavy hitters when it comes to toxic load.  Getting these detoxed is definitely a priority!  But where do you start?  What brands do you trust and what is effective.  

Check out how to enter the GIVEAWAY happening in honor of my new website launch at the bottom of this post!  

No worries, I got your back!  I’ve rounded out my top picks for where to get clean food for budget options, where to buy beauty products all in one place and what to use for your household products.  I’ve simplified the process for you!  These are tried and true and have worked not only for me but many of my peers and friends.  

After all, detoxing your life shouldn’t feel like work but it should be exciting and fun!  I mean who wants toxins lurking in their food, house or beauty products?  I know you don’t!

Here’s the skinny on 3 brands that always deliver-

The Detox Market-

Detox Market Natural Beauty

Find the best in green beauty at The Detox Market!

This was the very first green beauty store I shopped at.  I still remember angels singing when I visited the actual store in L.A.  Ok, maybe angels weren’t singing but it felt like I had arrived in green beauty heaven!  They have ALL the brands and more.  You want some Josh Rosebrook- they’ve got you covered.  Need some Osmia Organics in your life, sister they have it.  Want some Odacite?  No problem- they have the whole line.  It’s your one stop shop for all things natural beauty!  They have a list of ingredient standards, which lists ingredients they don’t allow in their formulations, so you can be sure your products are squeaky clean. 

I remember hearing about their pop up shop in 2010- I was salivating to go!  It was at the same time I had started to detox my beauty products.  It’s so crazy to think where The Detox Market is today!  There’s so many natural options, compared to 8 years ago.  I love their mission on educating the consumer and bringing awareness.  Forever a Detox Market fan! 

Some Favorites At Detox-

Vitacost-

Vitacost organic pantry

Find all your favorite clean eating and organic food pantry staples at Vitacost.

I started using Vitacost for over a year now and let’s just say I haven’t looked back!  If you haven’t heard of Vitacost allow me to bring you up to speed.  Vitacost is your one stop shop for all healthy and clean dry goods.  Think pantry staples!  Plus, they have some great household items too.  I love stocking up on all my favorite natural brands through Vitacost.  I save so much money when I purchase them there.  Plus, they’re always offering some sort of coupon code to save even more through email. 

I’ve been so impressed with their customer service, and timely delivery of my orders.  I place an order a month and I never have had any broken or damaged items.  I used to shop at other online retailers and I had several products break constantly.  They carry all my favorite natural brands.  I also love that I don’t have to pay a yearly membership to receive the discounts.  

Some Favorites At Vitacost-

Branch Basics-

Branch Basics review

Branch Basics makes simple and clean household products that are effective.

I have fallen for this brand!  I started to try all their products 6 months ago and have loved each one!  They make detoxing your cleaning and household products so easy and simple!  From the cleaner you use to clean your counters, bathrooms, laundry detergent and windows.  It doesn’t need to be toxic to clean!  Their whole mission on why they started is so cool.  Each founder had their own awakening moment that made them realize the impact our environments have on our lives.  Read all about the founder and their journey’s here!  

Branch Basics products are based off their concentrate- which is made from plant and mineral based. I love how simple it is. You basically can remove all your cleaning products with one product- their concentrate.  They give you the bottles to easily make window cleaner from it, countertop cleaner, laundry detergent, bathroom cleaner and even hand wash!  It is hypo-allergenic, peanut free, gluten free, fragrance free, and contains no toxic stabilizers, preservatives, brighteners or surfactants.  It removes grease, dirt, dust and grime.  They’ve made the whole process so simple for people to transition from toxic household cleaners to non-toxic.  Can’t recommend them enough!  

Some Favorites At Branch Basics-

  • Concentrate- This is the plant and mineral based cleaner that does it all!
  • Oxygen Booster- Helps to create an abrasive when added to tubs, toilets or sinks.  I also like adding it to heavily soiled laundry for a boost.
  • Trial Kit- Great to try before buying a large bottle or kit!
  • Mini All Purpose Spray Bottle- Perfect for traveling or on the go.
  • Starter Kits- These give you everything you need to completely overhaul your household cleaning products and start with nontoxic products.

Shop Branch Basics here!

Have you tried any of these brands?  What brand has helped you in detoxing your life? Leave me a comment and let me know!  

So in honor of my new website launch, I’ve teamed up with all three of my favorite natural lifestyle brands to bring you the ultimate giveaway!

  • The Detox Market is giving away $100 gift card
  • Vitacost is giving away $150 gift card
  • Branch Basics is giving away $100 gift card

You will be set with this giveaway loot!  From clean beauty, organic food and natural household cleaners, detoxing your life just got so easy! 

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Comment below sharing what the biggest struggle is for you when detoxing your life?  Whether it’s beauty, food or household products.  Make sure you leave your email so I can contact you if you win.  
  2. Repost my Instagram photo where I share the details of my new website for 10 extra entries. My Instagram is here. 
How To Make The Best Green Smoothie

How To Make The Best Green Smoothie

It’s summer and I want to share with you how to make the best green smoothie recipe!  I LOVE smoothies- especially if they have greens in them or are packed full of veggies.  As a busy mom a green smoothie has been a must.  It keeps me full, is quick to make, and works for on the go.  Plus, I’m getting a serious nutritional punch!

So many of you have asked me for my green smoothie recipe- I had to share with you!  I always typically have my smoothie in the morning, but you can make your smoothie whenever it works for you.  Let me first explain how this green smoothie inspiration got started!

How to make a the best green smoothie by Gurl Gone Green

How to make the Best Green Smoothie that tastes good and packs a nutrient punch.

I was making smoothies for a while, I mean years but I never thought of my smoothie how I do now, until reading Kelly Leveque’s book, Body Love: Live in Balance  This book changed my life and thinking about food in general.  But it also changed my whole mindset on smoothies.  I had been reading things here and there about smoothies and how they weren’t necessarily the best.  People were saying you need to eat meals and the nutrients were so much better.  I was bummed because I LOVED my smoothies!  It was such a convenient way for me to get a quick meal in and feel satisfied.  I don’t know about you but as a mom cooking every single meal can seem daunting.  Fortunately, I read Body Love: Live in Balance and the negative smoothie connotations had quickly been debunked by Kelly.  Hurray!

Now that I was back on the smoothie train I was so excited to learn about her smoothie method and how it was different.  With her smoothies, there are 4 components that create the perfect smoothie nutritionally, fat, fiber, protein, and greens.  Having all these components in your smoothie is going to give you the perfect ratio for your body to stay full, not raise your blood sugar and give you all the nutrients you need.  It makes so much sense!  I had never heard someone explain it as she did in the book.

How to make the best green smoothie!

Green smoothie love!

FAT-

A lot of times I would feel hungry within an hour or two after drinking my smoothie.  Looking back I can see I was missing some good fat in my smoothie.  Fat is your friend and so good for you!  It helps you feel full and keeps your blood sugar in check too.

Healthy Fat Options- 

  • Coconut Oil
  • Cashew Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Butter
  • Sunflower Seed Butter
  • MCT Oil

FIBER- 

Another ingredient I didn’t think about before was fiber.  I would include fiber often with chia seeds but I didn’t understand the amazing benefit in can have besides good omega 3-‘s.  It also helps keep you full, aids in healthy digestion and it also helps to slow the release of blood sugars into the blood stream.

Healthy Fiber Options-

  • Flaxseed
  • Chia Seed
  • Psyllium Husk Powder
  • Hemp Seeds
The best organic/natural protein powder for green smoothies.

The Best Organic Protein Powder. A clean protein that doesn’t make you feel bloated.

PROTEIN POWDERS-

I always added a protein powder.  This is one that I knew I needed!  If I didn’t have the protein my smoothie would often be just carb heavy.  My favorite clean protein powder is Activ Whey Protein Powder.  The protein powder comes in a vanilla or chocolate.  Instead of cow’s whey, it’s a goat’s whey.  It makes smoothies taste SO good!  I always add 1 serving.

*Protein Tip- Always blend all your smoothie ingredients first and then add your protein last.  If you add it with all the other ingredients and blend it for a while it will expand, causing the smoothie to get huge and may cause you to have an upset stomach.  Throw it in after everything is blended so you only have to blend it for a few seconds.

Healthy Protein Powder Options-

*I also have a podcast with my naturopath on protein powders and what to look for here.

GREENS-

Finally let’s talk greens.  You know the leafy vegetables that are SO good for you!  They offer good fiber, and a serious nutrient punch.  Greens are going to give your skin a glow, revitalize your cells and just feed your body pure health!  Plus, what’s a green smoothie without some greens!

  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach
  • Bok Choy
  • Romaine
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Beets(though not technically green they offer a nutritional punch)
  • Really any veggie that you like.  Some go better in smoothies, some don’t but at the end of the day you are the one drinking it.  If you like it then throw it in!

This last one is the fruit portion!  A little fruit goes a long way in adding flavor to any smoothie.  You just don’t want to overdo it though.  Kelly Leveque explains in her Body Love book so well the downsides of adding too much fruit- which is essentially sugar.  Your blood sugar spikes and you can be left with excess sugar that makes you feel wired initially but then makes you want to take a nap an hour later.  Not too mention, if there is too much fruit in your smoothie your body will end up turning storing it as fat.  Her book explains it in further detail. Highly recommend you get it.

Bottom line: you don’t want to overload your smoothie with excess fruit!  Fruit isn’t bad it’s all about moderation.  I’ve also found most protein powders are flavored(naturally) so you don’t need a ton of fruit really since you get flavor from the protein powder.  Kelly recommends about 1/4 cup of fruit.  I’ve seen recipes that say 1 cup- which is crazy!

FRUIT-

Below you’ll find some fruit options to put in your green smoothie.  I typically do a half of a frozen banana. Bananas I’ve found offer creaminess and thickness to my smoothie, plus a great flavor.

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
How to make the best green smoothie

A green smoothie filled with all the greens!

Ok, so now that you know what makes a powerhouse smoothie, let’s talk about some other ingredients.

  • Nut Milk- I love adding some coconut milk, hemp milk in mine.  You can also use almond milk or whatever nut milk you like.  This will add some creaminess to your smoothie. I also love making my own nut milks with my Almond Cow nut milk maker!  Seriously makes the creamiest nut milks and it’s so easy to use!  It’s been a game changer for making nut milks without a nut milk bag. Save $15 off your Almond Cow and free shipping when you use coupon code: gurlgonegreen. Shop here!
  • Water- If you don’t want to do any nut milk, you can just use some water for the liquid.
  • Fresh Ginger- A great addition to any smoothie. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, good for the heart and gives smoothies a bite with it’s punchy flavor.  Add a little chunk or lot depending on your flavor palette.
  • Fresh Tumeric- Another good addition to smoothies.  It’s also anti-inflammatory- pretty much an all star food! Add a 1/2 inch cube.
  • E3Live- This is a wild grown blue-green algae.  I’ve been taking this for over a year and can’t recommend it enough!  It really is a nutritional rockstar.  It helps with energy, immunity, and focus just to name a few.  I add a tablespoon to each smoothieClick Here to check out all that E3Live has to offer!
  • Cinnamon- A great addition for flavor but also is anti-inflammatory, lowers blood sugar, and is loaded with antioxidants.
  • Herbs- I know I mentioned herbs above but wanted to also mention mint!  A favorite of mine for flavor but also because it’s a calming and soothing herb.
  • Super Greens Powder- There are a lot of super greens powders out now. Obviously do your research and make sure the powder you have is a reliable resource and clean.  This is a great addition to even more potent greens!
  • Superfoods- So many superfoods you an include.  From maca, camu, spirulina- all come in powder form and you just add a teaspoon typically.  Be sure to understand why you’re adding them to your smoothie and talk to your health professional.
  • Collagen Powder- It is a protein, but I also consider it an additive.  Great for hair, skin and nails and joints.
  • Toppings- I love a good topping on my smoothie.  From cacao nibs, coconut flakes, granola, goji berries, bee pollen, nuts or seeds- the list is endless!

Can you see how having a smoothie packs a serious punch of nutrition?!  Your body will literally be glowing, you’ll feel good and you won’t feel hungry!  Plus, when you are blending up the greens or veggies it makes it so much easier for your body to digest them because they’re already broken down.

Also, a couple things to consider.  If you like your smoothies thick, freeze your fruit, and veggies.  This will give your smoothie that creamy consistency and have it be more like soft serve ice-cream versus liquid.  I prefer my smoothies thicker, so that’s what I do.  It also makes it easier to eat your toppings on your smoothie if they’re thicker as well.  Another thing to consider is to make smoothie packs and keep them in the freezer.  That way you have everything you need in one spot and all you have to do is add some liquid.  This is great when you’re in a hurry!

BLENDERS-

This is a meaty topic and I have no intention on swaying you on a blender either way!  I just want to give you a few tips.  I’ve had a Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender for 4 years and love it! Not to say I wouldn’t love a Vitamix too.  I think any higher powered blender is going to be amazing.  I have a friend who has a Vitamix and loves it, another who has a Nutri Ninja Blender– a little more affordable option.  I even have a friend who has a KitchenAid Blender and Loves it too.   I just encourage you to shop around and find what might be best for you.  The Blendtec has been great for me.  They even offer a smaller jar you can get for an additional cost that can make nut butters in minutes and sauces.  I actually use it to make my smoothies.  It’s called a Twister Jar.  I can’t recommend it enough.  A high powered blender really is going to make a difference when making a smoothie.  It will ensure all the ingredients are blended up well and smooth.  You don’t want to be drinking your smoothie and get a chunk of ginger!

I love taking my smoothies in mason jars!  I have some mason jar straw lids from the mason bar company that makes it so easy to just pop a straw in.

I would love to hear how you make your green smoothie!  Tell me your favorite ingredients!

Want my tried and true recipe for making the best green smoothie?

Then hit the button below to get access to my two recipes and where I get all the ingredients!

 

Did you love it?  –  Pin It!

How to make the best green smoothie

Ways to Save at Sprouts + Sprouts Brand Products

Ways to Save at Sprouts + Sprouts Brand Products

Ok, I am excited to share with you all today ways to save at Sprouts + Sprouts Brand Products!  I talked all about Sprouts last week and why I’m so excited a store is opening up near me in Mill Creek, Washington!  The store opens Aug. 15th and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Sprouts makes healthy living fun and doable!

A lot of people ask me how to save money when living out an organic and natural lifestyle.  My biggest tip I give anyone is to know where to shop and shop smart.  In this blog post I’m going to share where I like to shop and how I save money shopping there.

So it’s no secret shopping at Sprouts can save you some serious money!  Not too mention time as well.  It’s so nice when you can get your non-toxic household cleaning items, some clean beauty items and your groceries at the same store- my kind of store.  With Sprouts there are a few tips that can help you save even more money!  And who doesn’t like to save money?!

Ways to Save Money At Sprouts-

  • First Download the Sprouts App On Your Phone.  This is where all the sales action is happening!  You can see their weekly adds on the app by just inputing your zip code.  It will tell you the specific adds in that store for the week- how cool!  Plus, they have mobile coupons on the app and a My savings and Barcode section where it has everything that’s on sale for that day, the weekly ad, mobile coupons and checkout challenges.  Checkout Challenges usually consist of purchasing several items and then getting items for free in return.  Plus you can build a shopping list on the app, and place a catering order too!  You can even discover recipes on the app and learn so much about healthy living.  Can’t recommend getting the app enough!
  • Sprouts Brand Products.  Another way to save money and still get quality products is to look for the Sprouts brand products.  On the app you can just go to the products tab, and then click on Sprouts Brand.  It will show you Sprouts brand products, the price and then you can add them to your list as well.  Sprouts is committed to bringing the best of the best to their product brand.  From grassfed, organic, gluten free and more. You won’t be skimping on quality when it comes to Sprouts brand products.  What’s great is the Sprouts brand products are significantly cheaper than other brands too.  A win/win for the customer!  Look for the products with the Sprouts label when shopping.
  • Double Ad Wednesdays.  Because Sprouts ads go out on Wednesdays and end on Wednesdays there is always an overlap where you can save double on products!  Two ads on one day means some serious double savings!
  • Deals of The Month. You can also save money by always knowing the deals of the month at Sprouts. On the Sprouts app you can click at the bottom of it where it says Deals of The Month and download all the deals Sprouts is having!  There usually is at any given time at least 2,000 deals going on!
  • Weekly Specials.  Each week there is also an ad that tells of all the weekly specials.  It comes out on Tuesdays and can be found on the app as well as the local newspaper often, in the mail or delivered to your inbox every Tuesday.  Sign up here to receive it!

It’s pretty clear that shopping at Sprouts makes it pretty easy to save you money on quality products!  Don’t forget to download the app and subscribe to Sprouts newsletter to get the most up to date info. on all their sales.

I can’t wait for you all to experience Sprouts!  If you’re in the greater Seattle area then put August 15th on your calendar, Sprouts grand opening in Mill Creek.  This is the first Washington store!  For more information on the Mill Creek opening check out the press release here.

Have you shopped at Sprouts yet?

Why I love Raw Veggie Bread

Why I love Raw Veggie Bread

Why I love raw veggie bread?  I thought you would never ask?!  Ok, you actually have and that’s why I’m finally writing this post.  My friend Deanna from @realfoodlab on Instagram is the creator and expert behind raw veggie bread and I totally blame her for getting me hooked- in the BEST possible way!

I remember seeing Deanna post about Raw Veggie Bread before and being totally intrigued by the whole process.  A bread that is full of veggies,  so nutrient dense and actually tastes good? I mean sign me up already!  Even though the bread sounded amazing, I was intimidated to start.  In fact I just didn’t for the longest time.  I had all the tools- dehydrator, veggies and recipes but couldn’t bring myself to make it.  After talking with others I’ve learned I’m not the only one who’s done this!  It does seem intimidating, but can I let you in on a secret?  It’s not!  I don’t know how many people after they started to make it realized how easy it is and wonder why they didn’t start sooner.

Bottom line: Just start making it!  The more you make it the better you’ll get.

One thing I can’t recommend enough is to buy the E-Course from Deanna from @realfoodlab.  It’s the secret sauce!   A lot of people have complained to me that it doesn’t work, or they haven’t gotten their breads to turn out.  But when I ask them if they’ve bought the course they tell me they haven’t.  Trust me when I say the process of making the raw veggie bread will go SO much easier when you buy the E-Course.  Deanna the creator of the course has been doing raw veggie bread for 10 years and knows her stuff.  She literally has come up with over 100 recipes in her E-Book and walks you through the process in her 7 videos in the course too.  If you want to save yourself time and money then get the course!  She knows just the right variations to make the bread turn out great each time.

Get the E-course here!

What does the course include:

  • 103 page eBook that includes raw veggie bread recipe book and manual
  • 7 detailed how-to-video tutorials- learn how to transform boring veggies into tasty breads, wraps and crackers
  • Veggie bread trouble shooting lesson
  • Home-made nut butter tutorial
  • Nut-free and seed-free options
  • Plus, creative ways to get your child to eat more veggies
  • Dozens of low-carb and keto friendly desserts
  • Bonus: Lifetime Acces to bonus recipes and tutorials

It’s kind of amazing the amount of content you get for the price of $79!  I have the course and was blown away by the amount of info. Deanna gave.  I felt so empowered and ready to start making raw veggie bread.

I did an Instagram Live with Deanna recently to help people see how easy it is to make the raw veggie bread and answer some questions.  You can watch the video here!  I also have received a lot of questions since talking about it on Instagram and Facebook.  Below I’m answering all of the most asked questions.

What’s in raw veggie bread?

Veggie bread is a combination of nuts, seeds, veggies, oils, herbs and spices.  The combination gives you such a nutrient punch.  From healthy fats to antioxidants- you’re body will thank you!

How I eat the raw veggie bread?

So many ways! Here are a few of my favorites.  Instead of using a traditional wrap I just use a veggie wrap!  From egg wraps to turkey wraps- I mean if you can wrap it then I veggie wrap it!  I also love cutting up the bread into cracker sizes and using it as a dip in hummus or any other type of dip.  It’s also SO good on it’s own.  The flavors in the raw veggie bread come out so vividly in the bread.  Trust me when I say it will be hard to not stop eating it.  It’s addicting!  We also love using it as a patty for hamburgers, the list is endless.

I’ve never eaten so many veggies in my life!

How many times a week do I make it?

I make the raw veggie bread twice a week usually.  I make two batches typically each time.  It ends up accounting for two recipes I make from Deanna’s eBook.  The dehydrator has trays and I end up with 4 trays filled each time I make it.  Sometimes 5 trays depending on the recipe.  This is split between my husband and two daughters who are 3 1/2 and 17 months.  They like eating their raw veggie bread with hummus especially!

Do you buy your produce all at once?

I do!  I buy everything on Sunday usually and then will make a batch that day and then another batch on Wednesday night or Thursday.  This ensures we always have veggie bread.  I’ve learned my veggies are great even after being in the fridge for a couple days.  If you’re concerned about your veggies going bad, check out these OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keeper !

Do you store veggie bread in fridge or on counter?

I store my veggie bread on the counter in a Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bag usually.  If we are going to be gone and not eat it right away I’ll store it in the fridge. But we eat it so quick I never have to worry about it going bad!  If you like your veggie bread extra moist, then you may want to stick it in the fridge just to make sure it doesn’t get moldy.

What dehydrator do you use?

Yes, a dehydrator does make the raw veggie bread work.  Some people have asked if they can use an oven.  You could try but the whole point is to keep all the enzymes intact by using a temp of 115 or lower.  Deanna goes over this in her course too.  I use the Excalibur dehydrator.  There are many different models.  But they all look about the same and work great!  You can get them off Amazon for a great deal, especially if you get a used one.  Typically the used ones aren’t really used but just opened and then returned.  A great way for you to save some money!

One thing I wanted to mention too is the kale chip recipes you get in the eBook.  I’ve never tasted kale chips that were so good until I had Deanna from @realfoodlab kale chips- SO tasty!  We makes these weekly and my daughters love them too.

Deanna answers so many questions in her course too.  If you want to take your healthy eating to the next level then get the course and start becoming a raw bread machine!  Get the course here! 

 

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