Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

This time of year is so truly magical, isn’t it? I not only love the colors and smells of the season, but the flavors this time of year are so cozy and wonderful.

I’ve been craving those autumn and winter spices lately and wanted to find a healthy way to satisfy my sweet tooth. This recipe was modified through one shared by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, when I first found it, it sounded amazing but I know that my stomach really struggles with milk so I needed to find a way to create something similar without the dairy.

This is my favorite dessert right now! It totally tastes like a drinkable pumpkin pie and there is no guilt involved. For the past few months I have been trying to eat healthier and as I have cut more processed sugar out of my diet I have noticed a big difference. I thought I would notice the change by feeling more fit – which is true, but more importantly I have felt more positive on an emotional level.

This recipe will make either 2 small snack smoothies or 1 meal size smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 almond milk yogurt alternative
  • 3/4 coconut milk (vanilla or original)
  • a little honey if you use unsweetened milk
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground cloves

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into glass container (or metal, or ceramic, or anything not plastic) and enjoy!

This is an easy way to enjoy dessert without feeling guilty! Or, if you are in need of a little pick-me-up midweek for breakfast, forget the sugary cereal or breakfast bar and make yourself this smoothie! It makes every day a good day, if I do say so myself!

What are your favorite dessert and breakfast smoothies?

love & light,

Lena

10 Reasons to Join a Crop Share

This past summer my husband and I decided to join a crop share through one of the local farms here in West Michigan! Our interest was sparked when a couple of our neighbors told us they were members of this particular crop share during a game night. We are so fortunate to have such like-minded friends living in our neighborhood – they’ve introduced us to so many community resources that we love!

Here are 10 wonderful reasons we’ve found for joining a local crop share…

  1. Supporting local business and agriculture. We all know how important it is for our local business owners and economy to support them!
  2. Eat local and seasonal. Eating local has so many benefits, many of them listed in this post!
  3. Connecting with local community. It is a wonderful thing to become closer with individuals in your community. Plus, if those people are also members of your crop share, you most likely have similar values.
  4. Building a positive relationship with your food and where it comes from. In todays busy world we are used to eating fast and rushing to the next thing on our “to-do” list. Eating local fresh produce allows you to not only to appreciate the way your food tastes, but where it came from, and all of the love and labor that when into harvesting it!
  5. Fresher produce. When your fruits and vegetables come from a local farm, you get them sooner because they don’t need to be shipped. Because of this the produce tastes fresher, better, and can be more nutrient rich.
  6. Less pollution caused by shipping produce thousands of miles.
  7. Produce is picked at its peak for ultimate health benefits and flavor since it doesn’t need be sent long distances.
  8. Enjoy your food again. Knowing exactly where your food comes from and how it was grown makes eating a much more enjoyable event.
  9. Safer food. When you decide which farm to buy your produce from, you have the ability to be fully informed on the chemicals and methods used to produce your food.
  10. Encourages a plant-based diet. We still eat meat occasionally (once or twice a week) but I can’t believe how much better I feel when I am eating a plant-based diet. With our crop share, we get lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to inspire our mostly-plant meals! Note: If you simply cannot stand life without meat, choose a farm that offers a Meat Crop Share option! 

What about you? Have you tried a crop share? What about buying your fresh produce locally? What surprising benefits have you experienced by making this easy change?

love & light,

Lena

29 intentions in my 29th year

Today is my 29th birthday! The final year of my 20s has begun and I could not be more in love with the existence I am creating for myself. I am a work in progress, and I am okay with that. I am passionate about so many things and everyday I am astonished at my own thirst for personal growth. I am so very thankful for every opportunity this life has granted me.

It seems fitting that I wrapped up an 8 week Mindfulness Meditation course today. I had tons of clarity in my reflections and it felt like the perfect way to begin a year (and lifetime) of intentional living.

My 29th year will be a year of authenticity and intention. I will be mindful in the way I live. I will be loving in my daily actions. Here is my list of 29 intention for my 29th year:

  1. Be intentional with my time and energy.
  2. Continue to cut down on plastic use.
  3. Become a full-time pescatarian.
  4. Maintain a regular mindfulness meditation practice.
  5. Attend yoga classes regularly with Will.
  6. Make quality time with family a priority.
  7. Buy less.
  8. Write more.
  9. Practice gratitude regularly.
  10. Be resilient.
  11. Pursue zero-waste and circular living.
  12. Only purchase ethically made and sourced clothing.
  13. Breathe.
  14. Walk.
  15. Stretch.
  16. Create a better system of organization at home.
  17. Designate a special spot in the house for meditation.
  18. Be more patient with my littles.
  19. Spend more time in the kitchen.
  20. Practice self-compassion.
  21. Spend more time with the people I love.
  22. Extract joy from every day.
  23. Explore more.
  24. Ask questions.
  25. Make things.
  26. Get to know me better.
  27. Dream far and wide.
  28. Show kindness and compassion everyday.
  29. Be courageous.

This is my list. It covers so much while still leaving such a great deal to seek and explore. I want my 29th year to be a year of curiosity, risk-taking, and growth. I want to spend my time diving deep and falling in love with who I am and the life I am leading.

What are your intentions for the year ahead? Have you thought about it? What would be the first thing you would put on your list?

love & light

Lena

Sale on All-Natural Bug Spray in the Etsy shop!

Today I am sharing a special coupon code with all of my lovely blog visitors! My Etsy shop is filled with homemade, all-natural, toxin-free apothecary items that I adore… But my all-natural bug spray – made with 5 all-natural worry free ingredients – has been used on the regular at our house lately.

We love taking evening strolls as the sun sets, but the downside to that is all the mosquitos start coming out… and they are hungry! I have wanted to avoid any bug bites because I am getting married in less than a month and I definitely do not want to be rocking little red itchy spots all over my arms and legs! So every night I spray my handmade bug spray on and when the mosquitos smell me coming, they fly the other way! And the light lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella scent is not off-putting to us humans at all.. so don’t worry about smelling like chemicals and getting a headache!

My All-Natural Bug Spray is made with the highest quality essential oils on the market so you can rest assured that you are getting a safe product! Just spray it on your exposed skin, clothes, and hair and you can be on your way!

From now until the end of the month you can enjoy your purchase with a 15% off discount when you use the code BUGSBEGONE in the checkout! Each bottle is made-fresh-to-order andcomes in an amber glass bottle so it will last you the whole summer!

love & light

Lena

My summer sun must-haves…

When it comes to summer, I don’t think there is a time of year that makes me any happier! With my fair and sensitive skin though, it is really important that I take care of my complexion so I can enjoy as much fun in the sun as I can.

Because this is one of the biggest outdoor barbecue and beaching weeks of the year I thought now would be a great time to share my summer skin must-have items! For me, it all comes down to keeping my skin safe from too much sun and keeping it hydrated. So here are some of my must-haves for healthy summer skin!

1. Suntegrity SPF 30 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer – I wear this just about everyday under my mineral make-up. The SPF 30 was the big draw for me when I started using this primer but the orange citrus scent is pretty wonderful.

2. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer – This is my go-to on the days I don’t feel like putting on makeup. The light tint makes me feel put together on days when I will be spending most of my time outdoors without having to worry about my makeup melting away.

3. Herbivore Botanicals Face Oils – I find it impossible to decide whether I like their Orchid Oil or Pheonix Oil more, they both smell amazing and give my skin great moisture! I use Orchid in the evening and Pheonix in the morning.

4. Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask – I love facial masks and I have really gotten into them this summer. There are a few that I use regularly but this new mask is the best hydration mask I have tried! I love putting it on and relaxing for 25 minutes while the mask does all of the work. I like that with this mask you can take it off with just a clean towel and not worry about scrubbing with water!

5. SPF 50+ Sunscreen – I know there is a lot of debate about whether wearing sunscreen is worth the health risks. After lots of talking it over with my doctor, she and I decided together that it was more important that I wear SPF 50 or higher sunscreen, my fair skin is considered high risk for skin cancer, but I love to be in the sun so it is really important to protect myself. Lately I have been using SunBum and I enjoy it!

6. Wide Brim Hat and Prescription Sunglasses – I’m a glasses everyday kind of girl, so having my prescription glasses on hand is always important! And I always wear a hat when I am out in the sun all day, I love this straw cloche hat that I found at Target a few years ago! My perscription sunglasses are from Bonlook.

These are my daily items that I just couldn’t enjoy this warm summer sunshine without but I would love to hear the must-haves on your list for the summer season… Please share!

love & light
Lena