Healthy Protein Cookie Dough

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I’ve always been one of those people who would rather eat cookie dough with a spoon than wait for it to be baked into cookies. And when that cookie dough happens to be high in protein, high in fiber, vegan (no raw eggs to worry about!), and free from processed sugar- then why not, right?

Don’t knock chickpea cookie dough until you try it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or sweet cocoa nibs

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, agave, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Transfer your “dough” into a mixing bowl and stir in chocolate chips by hand.

3. Chill in the fridge or freezer until cold. Note: This treat tastes much better chilled than at room temperature. 

Top 10 Beauty Foods

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It’s no coincidence that some of the most beautiful women are the ones who care about what food they put into their bodies. I’ve even noticed this phenomenon with my own appearance, and maybe you have too. When I’m eating a well-balanced diet filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, my hair is shiny, my nails are strong, and my skin has a glow to it. And when I overindulge in greasy, fried or processed food my complexion and tresses usually suffer.

Here is a list of the top ten all-around beauty foods. These fresh and delicious eats are filled with nutrients needed for clearer skin, healthier hair, brighter eyes and more! You can invest in the latest facemask or top concealer on the market, but those beauty products are nothing without a healthy diet…

1. PURPLE CABBAGE. If you’re worried about wrinkles, eating lots of purple cabbage is the way to go. High cortisol levels in the body can cause crows feet and other wrinkles. Purple cabbage is both anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins A, C, and E- which help to lower cortisol levels. So next time you’re shopping up a salad, add some cabbage to your mixed greens.

2. EDAMAME. Edamame and other non-processed soy foods are rich in isoflavones, which help to preserve skin-firming collagen. So, eat this sushi bar appetizer for youthful looking, wrinkle-free skin.

3. WATERCRESS. Ailments like uneven skin tone and hair loss are often signs of poor circulation. Rich in calcium, iron, and iodine, watercress helps to cleanse and oxygenate tissues for improved circulation and glowing skin.

4. WILD SALMON. Wild salmon is full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which keep your skin supple and hair shiny. Salmon also contains selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from UV exposure. The vitamin D in salmon keeps bones and teeth healthy too.

5. BEETS. Beets naturally help to flush out the lymphatic system, which removes toxins from the body, and in turn brightens your eyes. Raw in salad or roasted as a side, these are a delicious and nutritious beauty food.

6. CILANTRO. Cilantro has the ability to remove heavy metals that enlarge fat cells from your body. Enlarged fat cells increase the appearance of cellulite, making this common seasoning a great beauty food for your whole body.

7. WALNUTS. Along with keeping your scalp and hair healthy, the healthy fats in walnuts can make skin more supple and resilient to issues like age spots and sagging skin. What a perfect midday snack!

8. TOMATOES. Tomatoes (especially canned ones, believe it or not) are the best source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which fights many signs of aging. Tomatoes are also rich in the immune-boosting vitamin C, which increases the body’s natural ability to heal damaged or irritated skin. So bring on the pasta sauce…

9. YOGURT. Since yogurt is higher in calcium than milk alone, it’s great for strengthening your nails, teeth, and even improving your posture. I like to add a little low-fat or non-fat Greek Yogurt to my morning smoothie for a calcium and protein boost!

10. WATER. Water may not be a food per se, but H20 is everything when it comes to beauty. When you’re body is dehydrated, every inch of your appearance suffers- from your skin to your hair to your nails to your eyes. If you have trouble sipping plain water all day, try adding slices of lemon, oranges, or strawberries for some extra flavor.

Facemapping: What are your breakouts telling you?

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Recently, I’ve become fascinated with the Eastern tradition of face mapping. Face mapping, which combines modern dermatology with ancient Chinese medicine, is the idea that there’s a correlation between your internal organs and different zones of your face.

Face mapping makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact you’re skin is an organ too (the largest one in your body, in fact). When I was traveling in Egypt, I noticed my skin breaking out on my cheeks due to the poor air quality and high level of pollution. My aesthetician can also tell when I’ve just been sick or am about to get sick based on the area right above my brows. I don’t know about you, but I find it all very fascinating! Besides just being an interesting topic, educating yourself about face mapping can actually help to clear up your skin. Once you’ve identified what’s causing your acne, it’s easier to prevent it. While some causes are unavoidable (monthly hormone swings, for instance), diet and lifestyle changes can definitely help to clear up your skin.

1. FOREHEAD. Breakouts across the forehead are often triggered by stress or sleep deprivation. Make sure to get 7 to 9 hours of beauty rest a night to keep your forehead clear.

2. ABOVE THE BROW. The area above the brow is affected by your immune system. Breakouts here tend to happen right before, after, or during a cold or flu. If you notice a breakout in this zone, slow down for a couple days, drink plenty of water and eat immune boosting foods.

3. BETWEEN BROWS. Breakouts between the brows can be caused by overindulgence of unhealthy foods or a food allergy. Cutting back on sugar, dairy, rich foods, and alcohol can help clear up skin in this zone.

4. CHEEKS. Your cheeks are linked to your respiratory system. Smoking or breathing polluted air can cause breakouts here.

5. SIDE OF CHIN. The sides of your chin are affected by hormones. Breakouts here occur around the time of your period and happen on one side or another depending which ovary is ovulating that month.

20 Finds Under $100

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So you’ve invested in a couple of comfy sweaters and a few fun accessories, but you still want moooarrr. Unfortunately your wallet doesn’t always feel the same way. To satisfy that shopping crave, we’ve put together a gallery of 20 finds that cost less than $100. Find each products price and the website that it’s available for purchase at, in the description under the photo.

Additionally, a few websites you may want to browse through are Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, and Bigley Shoes, as they have some great sales taking place!

Happy Shopping!

DIY: Natural Hair Highlights

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Many people, like myself, become addicted to one specific hair stylists because they 1. love their work, and 2. fear that if they go to someone else they won’t like the result. I’ve been going to the same hair stylist for the past seven years now, and absolutely refuse to change. However, I live in South Florida and my hair stylist lives in Toronto, Canada…therefore, I only get my hair done 2 or 3 times a year. However, I do still like to keep my natural blonde looking bright, which is why I’ve experimented with several all-natural color enhancers over the years. Whether your hair is naturally blonde or colored at a salon, these common kitchen ingredients can boost your color and keep your mane looking shiny. And when used in moderation, they are also typically less damaging to your strands than salon treatments.

Here’s how to get sun-streaked tresses without spending hundreds of dollars in a salon…

 LEMON JUICE

This natural beauty remedy has been around forever, which is a testament that it actually works! According to Livestrong, when the citric acid in lemon juice heats up in the sun, it opens hair cuticles and lifts out the pigment. Just squeeze some lemon juice into a spray bottle, dilute with water (3 times the amount of lemon juice), and then spritz into your hair before you head outside. (P.S. If you’ve ever used lemon juice to keep your apple from browning, you’ve already witnessed its amazing bleaching properties!)

 CHAMOMILE TEA

Chamomile is another natural hair lightener, said to be more gradual than lemon juice and therefore better for brunettes. Just brew a batch of chamomile tea, let it cool, and then rinse your hair with the tea following your shampoo and conditioner in the shower.

 HONEY

I’ve never tried this one myself, but if anything I’m sure that honey would be deeply conditioning. As Livestrong explains, honey contains enzyme peroxide, which is an effective lightener when mixed with distilled water to activate it. Plus, you hair will smell yummy and feel soft post-honey treatment.

 BEER

Yes, beer. Beer is another method I’ve never tried, but I have several friends who have experimented with beer hair rinses at one time or another, and raved about its lightening properties. Use a light beer of course, and keep in mind that you might not want to try this method right before you go to a party or get-together. You don’t want to show up smelling of booze and have everyone thinking you’ve been doing some heavy day drinking! Bonus: The B vitamins and proteins in beer will repair damaged strands too.

If you’re not a natural blonde, none of these methods are a true replacement for salon highlights of course. But if you’re just looking to add a little extra brightness to your already blonde or light-brown mane, these all-natural methods are pretty impressive considering the ease, availability, and low cost. Also keep in mind that you may not see dramatic results immediately. I recommend repeating these DIY beauty treatments frequently to gradually lighten your locks over time.

Two Delicious Party Popcorns

Fall is a great time to host a movie night with girlfriends, couples, or even just a movie date for you and your special someone. While picking the right movie is key, I personally think the snacks are just as important (don’t you?). Popcorn immediately comes to mind when I think about movie night snacks. It’s a great little munchie to have on hand, and it can be salty or sweet…or even a little of both. Popcorn is also packed with fiber and goes great with most of my favorite refreshments.

Here are two of my all time favorite popcorn recipes that you MUST try!

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CAKE BATTER POPCORN

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup un-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup melting white chocolate
  • ½ cup dry yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup rainbow sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Pop popcorn as directed, then place onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and add cake mix to chocolate once melted. Immediately pour the white chocolate/cake batter mix over popcorn and mix until popcorn is evenly coated.
  3. Add sprinkles and mix once more. Let sit at room temperature until hardened (about 15 minutes).

 

Almondjoypopcorn

ALMOND JOY POPCORN

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup un-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup melting white chocolate
  • ½ cup melting dark chocolate
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. Pop popcorn as directed, then place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add coconut and almonds to your popcorn.
  2. Melt white and dark chocolate in two separate bowls and sprinkle over popcorn. Mix lightly until evenly distributed throughout.
  3. Let sit at room temperature until set and hardened (about 15 minutes).

 

These delicious treats are relatively fast and simple to make, so next time your popping on a movie, give them a try!

20 Stylish Tech Accessories

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These fashionable yet functional tech accessories will help you dress up your electronics in style. From iPhone chargers, headphones, iPad cases, to even camera accessories, we’ve got you covered in this department! Each item comes with the price and the website that it is available for purchase at, under the photo. Happy Shopping!