DIY Coconut Sugar Lip Scrub

In the few years writing this blog, I've never made a lip scrub. I've made various other kinds of scrubs. I realized today I've been missing out, instead of having to exfoliate my whole body or face. It might take 30 seconds to just give a quick scrub to my lips and have them feeling better than before. And because of the coconut oil, I can skip chapstick and have healthier skin by taking care of it. Plus the skin on lips, much like the skin around the eyes is very sensitive and probably needs more special attention anyway. So, what I'm saying is you'll probably be seeing way more eye and lip care around here.

Coconut Oil: Saturated fats in coconut oil penetrate and prevent the loss of moisture throughout the day. These moisture retaining qualities not only keep your skin hydrated but less prone to cracking skin and wrinkles in the long run. 

Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is dehydrated coconut sap and is considered a raw food, according to PETA. It's also high in vitamin C, and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, meaning that it can actually nourish skin. In addition to antioxidants and electrolytes it also has trace minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium. 

I love that picture above. I was trying to mash it up in this tiny container before I finally wised up and but it in a bigger bowl, but I could help and notice how cute it looked before I did. And so, my favorite picture of the day was born. <3

I see a lot of scrubs made with equal parts oil to exfoliant, i.e. sugar and salt. Which is fine, but personally I prefer a less oily scrub, which is why I used three parts exfoliant (in this case sugar) and one part oil. For my recipe I went in quarter cups, but you can start with teaspoons or tablespoons if you'd like. For example, three tablespoons of coconut sugar and one tablespoon of coconut oil. Easy. 

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil - I recommend organic virgin coconut oil for skincare

 

Directions: 

Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and blend together. 

To use place small amount of scrub on your finger and apply to damp, clean skin. 

Scrub focusing on dry areas and the corners of the mouth. 

Rinse well with warm water or a warm cloth to remove excess sugars and oils from your skin

Homemade Ghee Candles

This is likely one of my more esoteric posts, but ghee candles, oil lamps, or butter lamps, however you want to refer to them, have become of the more meaningful parts of my alter and morning meditation practice. The way I make these ghee candles is a little different than the traditional way which is a small brass dish with a cotton wick and ghee placed inside to burn all day. They work either way, I chose a wooden wick for these because at the Indian store I shop at they didn't have cotton wicks quite long enough for the containers I have. But just know you can build your candle either way in a shallow dish with a cotton wick, or in a container with a longer wooden wick. 

These little candles are common in both Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist temples, where you're likely to see a lot of them, lit by different people, burning for different reasons and while the meaning and reason you may choose to burn a ghee candle in your house may be unique and private to your life, your practice, and your ideology there is a generally accepted view of these candles as representing illumination, enlightenment, and personal awakening.

I like this definition from Ayurveda Sedona, "The light emanating from the ghee lamp removes darkness, ignorance and evil. The light or knowledge shows us the way out of our problems, fears, tensions, and unhappiness. The light of a ghee lamp is believed to bring in prosperity, as knowledge or wisdom is the greatest form of wealth."

Ghee at room temperature is usually a mix of liquid and solid, the picture above shows some ghee that's been sitting in the fridge, which takes on the texture of shea butter when its cold. The texture will soften significantly as it burns. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 3/4 cup of ghee
  • 2 wooden wicks or cotton wicks
  • 2 small containers for ghee
  • 1 teaspoon of beeswax - optional but it helps it to stay more solid at room temperature 
  • 1 small jar of attar - optional (ittar or attar are oils commonly used for meditation, applied to the temples and/or the third eye)
  • Note: Most of these supplies can be easiest to find at an Indian food store.

Directions:

  • Melt your beeswax and ghee in a heat proof container on the stovetop, until the beeswax is melted completely.
  • Stir lightly and add in ittar,
  • Dip cotton or wooden wick entirely in oil, and add into candle
  • Set aside to cool for 1-2 hours
  • Light for morning meditations or daily intentions
  • It's traditional to leave your candles burning all day, but obviously, this is at your own discretion. 

Poblano Lime Black Bean Dip + Mango Lime Spritzer

This post is proudly sponsored by S. Pellegrino. All thoughts, opinions, content, and photos are my own. Thank you, as always, for supporting TFS. 

Eating healthy is something I spin around in my mind a lot, what it is, what it isn't, how to do it right, how do I feel about gluten? That last one is super real for me. I think like most things in life the simplest answer is usually the right answer and that, for me is to eat what makes me feel good. Fresh fruit, veggies, and mineral water are all pretty high on the list of things that make me feel good. 

I feel like I don't have enough veggie plates in my life, one reason is, I probably think back to childhood days of pre-packaged veggie plates where the only dip was ranch. Not a ranch fan here, but aside from my previous bad experiences, I'm pretty into just eating raw veggies with dip. I mean they're super easy to make, enough variety to keep my attention and it's pretty simple to make an awesome presentation. Even if it's just me eating it, I care a lot about how my food looks. I just feel better about eating it that way. I'm sure there's some research paper or book out there about the psychology of food that can support my Type-A theories about eating pretty food. Another not so fun fact about me, I'm pretty sure I legitimately got sunstroke a few weeks ago. While most of my days are a literal walk in the park, there are a few down sides to sitting outside perched on a rock taking photos for hours on end. One of them is that in the past week in the mountains we've had 5 days over 100°. Yup, so hydration has been pretty important to me these days and while I typically have enough water on hand, hydration is about more than just water. I need to keep the right electrolyte balance, that's why I like things like S.Pellegrino and coconut water, both are natural sources of electrolytes. I was really fighting off the urge to not bog down this post with a ton of links like I always do, but here's one about hydration, because I think it's important to know, and if it keeps you from getting sick from dehydration you'll thank me later. 

So for this dip I chose poblanos because I like a milder pepper, but if you're braver than I am in the spice department, try a jalapeño or habanero, both spicy, both relatively easy to find in your grocery store. If you're a spicy food kind of person and have your own preferences on peppers, I'll leave you to your own judgement about what to use. The point is, I'm pretty sure any type of pepper you want to make this dip with will be fine. Oh, and if the mango in the blender looks a little funny it's because I bought a crate, yes a crate of mangos, chopped them up and froze them. They then formed this log of mango pulp that was very satisfying to cut into, like a giant cheese log or something. It was amazing, but either way, that's why my mango doesn't look very mango-y. 

Here's what you'll need:

For the dip:

1 - 13 oz can of black beans - drained

1 poblano pepper - sliced

1/4 red onion - diced

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

sliced pepper, tomato pieces, and cilantro for garnish - optional 

For the veggie plate:

1/2 broccoli crown - cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cucumber - sliced

1/2 yellow bell pepper - sliced

1 large carrot - cut into strips

1/2 white nectarine - sliced into wedges

1/2 lime - cut into wedges

2-3 radishes - for decoration 

a few blackberries - optional 

For the spritzer: 

2 cups of mango - frozen 

1 750ML bottle of S.Pellegrino

1 cup of coconut water

2 limes - juiced 

lime wedges - optional 

 

For the dip: Saute onion, garlic powder, and poblano on medium heat in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add in black beans and stir for 4-5 minutes longer. Place into a high speed blender or food processor, add in salt and pepper. Serve in a small bowl or ramekin and garnish. 

For the veggie plate: Once everything is chopped and washed, it's really a matter of arranging. All I really did was put the larger portions of vegetables down first on some endive or radicchio, and arrange the smaller things in the spaces afterwards. 

For the spritzer: Add all ingredients, except for the lime wedges into the blender, serve cold with a lime wedge. 

This will all last for up to two days in the fridge, but the spritzer will start to separate if it's left, so you'll have to re-blend it. 

Asparagus Walnut Zoodles with Grapefruit Avocado Cream Sauce (Vegan)

I need an endless summer type of situation to work itself out for me. I don't know how this will come to light, but I'm confident I'll work it out, or completely change my mind by the end of the season and decide I am entirely ready for the calm, quiet, soup-eating, snuggling in bed all day season that is fall. I might've already changed my mind. But for now I'm grateful for zoodles, covered in avocados and citrus, fresh herbs, and vegetables, sunshine, and all of the glory days on the river. 

I made these with avocado walnut sauce with grapefruit. The grapefruit flavor really isn't very overwhelming, but it does add a distinct citrus flavor to the sauce. I'm starting to think that grapefruit is way underused in the citrus department. It's a nice balance between familiar and hard to place flavor. So, obviously for this recipe you'll need a spiralizer, and a blender for the sauce, but with the right tools this recipe is really pretty simple. 

Here's what you'll need (Serves 2):

For the noodles:

2 medium zucchini - ends chopped off and spiralized into zoodles

1/2 bunch or 20-30 thin stalks for asparagus - stems chopped off and cut into thirds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste 

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and cracked pepper to top it 

For the sauce:

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup of walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice from half a large grapefruit 

1 Tablespoon of agave nectar 

salt and pepper to taste 

Full disclosure this is about double the sauce I needed, but you can always half the dressing, or do what I did, use some for a salad and what's left after that for a hair mask. 

Directions:

Coat a medium pan with olive oil and salt and pepper, set to medium heat and add in chopped asparagus.

Sauté for 3-4 minutes

Add in zoodles and sauté an additional 4 minutes

Blend all sauce ingredients in a high-powered blender, if you have a single serving attachment to your blender it'll be very useful for sauces. This sauce will turn out thick, but if it's not spreadable add in a bit more olive oil until it reaches the right consistency. 

Add sauce to cooked zoodles sparingly, mixing as you go. 

Top with cracked pepper and chopped walnuts