HEYYY, Long time no check in. Like usual life (and summer) are flying by!

I often get asked what would be a good substitute for an ingredient. We get used to what should be in a dish but what if I told you that Mac and Cheese can be made with cashews or butternut squash and some nutritional yeast – say wha??? And still delicious? Yes. 

Today I’m breaking down 12 Dairy Free Swaps for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and even Dessert. 

Let’s start with WHY dairy-free?

It’s entirely a personal choice. Some do it for digestion and bloat, others have intolerances and /or allergies, many like to avoid the hormones found in dairy, some see benefits in their skin, others see 

I started easing up on dairy a couple years ago and immediately noticed tummy and skin improvements. In addition, I just feel that because we are not baby cows, we don’t NEED dairy. Protein, calcium and vitamin D do exists in other forms 🙂

The idea that we need dairy to get our calcium is just not true because… kale, collard greens, and spinach (among a ton of other veggies!) all have plenty of calcium!

Dairy is also super inflammatory, and inflammation leads a slew of health concerns and symptoms. While cheese is delicious, do you need it?? This post is to prove that there are many replacements that feel just as decadent and yummy as the real deal. 

Note: gluten, soy and refined sugars / processed foods can also be inflammatory, so if looking to reduce inflammation don’t forget that it’s not ALL due to dairy. 

Dairy-Free Breakfast – All about the nut milk.

Breakfast is one of the EASIEST ways to go dairy-free. Between smoothies/smoothie bowls (sub almond, cashew or hemp milk), oats with nut milk, coconut yogurt, and chia pudding, you’re golden. 

Here are some of my favorite breakfast recipes and combos + recipe for HOMEMADE nut milk. It’s easier than you think…

1. DIY Nut Milk Tutorial : While you can totally grab store bought, and trust me, I usually go that route, you can make your own and it’s delicious. My girl Jess over at Health Coach Philly has this tutorial that taught me how to milk my own nuts right at home. 

2. Coconut Yogurt with Made in Nature Dried Fruit: What’s better than a parfait with crunchy granola and sweet bites of dried or fresh fruit? Coconut yogurt is a great source of healthy fat – leaving you full and satisfied. Try topping yours with Made in Nature’s mangos, banana slices, or pineapple for a tropical vibe. Made in Nature Dried Fruit can be found here!

3. Pancakes: YUP totally ok to replace regular milk with nut butter, and use coconut oil rather than butter on the pan. If you’re already thinking about fall before Labor Day, or just want an excuse for a summer pumpkin recipes, check this one out. 

Dairy-Free Lunch – Dressings and sauces are key.

1. Tahini Based Sauces for Nut-Free Creaminess: Tahini is made from sesame seeds, and lends an earthy, and creamy texture when added to dressings and sauces. I love using it, because it’s super versatile and is nut-free, great for allergy concerns. Here’s a recent post to our B+YND Blog – it’s a zucchini noodle dish with spicy tahini dressing! 

2. Cashew Based Dressings: Caesar and ranch dressing … like, come on… how hard are they to give up? I’m amazed how easy it is to recreate the taste using soaked cashews. Soak cashews (or almonds) overnight, or quick soak for 30 minutes in boiling water, and blend the cashews with desired spices and seasonings to recreate a super creamy dressing without the loads of dairy! I’m really proud of this caesar dressing recipe. It’s easily one of my most popular on the blog and I still make it almost weekly to keep in the fridge for lunchtime!

3. Avocado Caprese Salad: Avocado is nature’s butter. I love this fat which is actually a fruit -did ya know? Great on toast in place of butter, duh – but I wanted to give you all a more creative way to use this substitute. 

I hope you had a chance to enjoy a caprese salad this summer due to the fresh tomato and basil we have abundant right now. It really is the best kind of salad, light, refreshing and full of different flavors and textures. 

But what if you’re avoiding the dairy, try swapping the slices of moss for avocado. They lend a similar texture as the soft cheese. Then top the salad with balsamic reduction and some fresh cracked pepper and course seasalt. 

Dairy-Free Dinner – Mac and NO Cheese.

1. Almond Parmesan For…EVERYTHING: Almond Parm is simply ground almonds (use a high speed blender) plus garlic, salt and nutritional yeast OR you can skip the first step and combine the seasonings with almond flour that works too! I like to use this on anything 

2. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese: I know, when I heard that you can substitute butternut squash for cheese I was not buying it either, but TRUST. This flavorful squash pureed and combined with some cashews and a touch of dijon mustard actually brings a depth of flavor and rivals the real deal. 

Here’s a recipe I’m dying to try : Oh She Glows

3. Tofu or Almond Ricotta for Pizza: “I could NEVER give up pizza”. Yeah, me neither, and I sure haven’t! Ricotta is my favorite nut or tofu cheese to whip up for a pizza night. A little fresh basil, some great pizza sauce, and a couple spoonfuls of this on the crust and you’ll never miss the cheese. Plus, less gross- no grease. 

Here is a tofu ricotta recipe I have tried (and loved) : Simple Vegan Blog

SNACKS ON SNACKS ON SNACKS… + Dessert. 

I live for snacks. I love snacks that are crunchy, salty, and cheesy. But I also balance with sweet. Here are a few ways I enjoy dairy-free snack foods. 

1. Made in Nature Kale Chips: You guys know by now that I love Made in Nature products because they’re the cleanest out there. The kale chips are no exception. Made with cashews (hell yes) the Bedda Than Chedda Flavor is truly better than any kale chip I’ve ever had. I also love the Rosemary Truffle. These are my go to when I’m craving something salty and savory.

By the way, all Made in Nature Snacks are Dairy-Free! They have tons of gluten-free and vegan options, great for anyone suffering from allergies.

2. Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast: The best for movie nights, I sprinkle sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil and some nutritional yeast (high in b12!) on popcorn for a cheesy flavor. I like using Braggs nutritional yeast best. 

3. Time for the grand finale – DESSERT. My favorite dessert swaps are below. I included non-dairy swaps as well – like preferred sugars or egg replacements!

Bake with almond milk rather than dairy milk

Mix vinegar with soy milk to make a buttermilk

Swap a flax egg for a regular egg in recipes (1 tbsp flax + 1 tablespoon water)

Enjoy Life Allergen Free Chocolate Chips – no dairy or soy!

Earth Balance vegan butter in place of regular butter (great for frostings)

Coconut sugar for white sugar – in any dessert that calls for plain white cane sugar, I make sure to use the less refined coconut sugar option. 

Dates as a sweetener. You can use Made In Nature Dates to sweeten breads, muffins, and of course smoothies!

 

This post was sponsored by Made in Nature, but as always, opinions are my own! 

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I’m often asked the question “what does recovery feel like?” What does it look like? How does it smell / taste?

…Ok I don’t get that one.

But much like any city, movie, food or situation you have yet to experience first hand, it’s almost impossible to truly relate to it. It’s hard to KNOW what it’s going to be like – what to prepare for, and how to decipher if you’ve reached it-  and I understand that. But trust me, it’s a new sensory experience. 

I can’t help but be reminded of a scene from last season of The Bachelor with Nick Viall. 

Before you think… Seriously, Kate?!? Hear me out…

Does anyone remember last season when Kristina described her childhood and experience immigrating to the United States? How she felt scared to leave Russia because it was familiar, and seemingly safe? Yet it was as if she was living in black and white. And remember how she shared with Nick (and a tearful audience of millions in their living rooms) that her teacher told her at 16 “in America you’ll live in color”?

Obviously the circumstances and challenges are different in this comparison, but overall I think THAT is a great description of what it is like to shed an eating disorder, and live without one.

It’s more colorful.

ed recovery looks like kaleinit

So in 5 simple but powerful words, this is what I have found recovery to “look” / feel like. 

It looks like…Willingness.

Recovering from an eating disorder requires a lot of this. More often than not, overcoming an ED means tackling much more than the physical. It’s not always about weight maintenance – in fact, usually that’s secondary to the “root” of what caused someone to react to life through disordered eating and negative body image / body dysmorphia. I want to take a second and get statistical about the prevalence of these mental illnesses, and then back to willingness. 

  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. 
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • More Statistics here.

 

Often times, recovery requires letting go of something. Letting go of past resentments, and/or forgiving yourself. This can be some heavy shit. It’s not easy, it’s certainly not fun, and it’s truly work to learn where anxiety around food or a negative body image stem from. So it comes down to being willing and receptive to the process, a willingness to let go of the familiar.

Those in recovery typically need a strong support system throughout – be that family, friends and/or significant other + the guidance from mental health professionals. Why? Because overcoming disordered eating takes repeatedly doing something that is the OPPOSITE of what you want to do or what feels familiar, safe and “black and white”.

Repeat after me: “I’m willing. I know that recovery takes strength”. 

Seriously, willingness to work on yourself is bad ass. 

 

what ed recovery looks like kaleinit

Gratitude.

A HUGE piece to the puzzle (in my opinion) is gratitude.  Gratitude and any form of spirituality is extremely personal. I used to have no form of spiritual practice or belief. It was not until I realized I couldn’t recover alone that I allowed myself to have faith in something larger than myself. Today I choose to not so much subscribe to a religion, but rather believe in something powerful as guidance. Call it the universe, spirit, or anything you’d like, but I have found comfort in finding gratitude despite the difficulties and pain that my eating disorder caused me.

Simple ways to easeee into living from a place of gratitude includes writing gratitude lists, meditation, practicing mindfulness and finding the beauty in things (nature, pets, love, music,) things OUTSIDE yourself.

I also like to practice gratitude for my ability to own and reside in a healthy, capable body.

It’s humbling to remember how valuable our health is, how LUCKY we can be to move our legs (rather than hate their size) and remain thankful as health is truly never guaranteed. 

Joy.

YAY! Here comes the fun stuff. I started heavy but what about JOY AND FUN AND FREEDOM? Those come with recovery as well. You can enjoy your favorite food without looming anxiety, laugh (genuinely), admire and support another woman’s beauty without comparing it to your own, go out with friends on a Friday night, or vacation with your sweetheart without thinking about your weight or calories, or “diets” or gyms, or secrecy or shame. 

AHHH. Incredible, genuine, REAL (!) joy. 

Joy is the most rewarding part of the process, I believe. It’s what makes you sit back and say to yourself “THANK GOD I did this for me.”

Repeat after me: “I deserve a life full of joy and fun and freedom, without disordered thoughts or behaviors.”

Imperfection.

 Let me just say, I have my bad days. There are days I look in the mirror and say “Ugh. What. The. Hell!”  I’ve cried (more than a few times), felt angry at my new body, discouraged with the process, and then I refer back to number 3, and get back to gratitude. 

Repeat after me: “I am perfectly imperfect.” 

Hope.

 Above all – recovery is colorfully hopeful. 

Your heart and mind widen to the possibilities of your future. You’re more present. You’re more excited about the opportunities ahead rather than being laser-focused on the contents of the next meal or the details of an anticipated workout. 

You create room in your life to live your truth rather than define yourself by restrictive details such as weight, size or shape. Life becomes MORE than the numbers, your appearance, and quite honestly yourself. Being stuck in an eating disorder often feels isolating, lonely, and pretty self centered, sometimes. If we’re lucky enough to be human beings , (which by the way my favorite business hardass to follow, Gary Vee, often reminds his audience that the chances of being human are 400 TRILLION TO 1. Yup.) don’t we want to, and deserve to, feel anything but isolated?

Repeat after me: “I choose to feel more hopeful about my colorful future, rather than live in fear of what’s to come.”

 

There you have it. The way I’ve defined recovery in 5 words… simple? Not really.

Worth it? Very. 

Want to know more about my story? Read this post, or listen to this episode of the Actually Adultish Podcast where I discuss my journey! 

xx

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Protein…no longer just for smoothies. 

Hey, I am a donut-aholic. I’ve professed my love for donuts many times on social media, and I ask for them in place of cake on my birthday. I also made this donut recipe last fall and can’t believe that was the last donut recipe I’ve featured on Kaleinit.

 So rather than reserving these delicious treats for dessert, I’m cleaning them up a bit for breakfast. I decided to take a stab at making them vegan and gluten-free, and packed with protein so that they’re more satisfying, and not just an unnecessary carb or sugar bomb. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think there is always room for desserts, indulgence, and fun with food. So bring on the “normal” donuts on January 16th (my bday, so…donut day).

I set out to create a strawberry banana donut that was …

ALOHA protein packed (so…more breakfast approved)

baked, not fried

gluten-free

vegan

refined sugar free (the glaze has powdered sugar, but the donuts taste incredible sans glaze, and are made with coconut sugar)

+ different from the usual cinnamon sugar or chocolate frosted variety. Let’s switch it up!


Adding protein powder to baked goods is a simple way to up the nutritional value. I’ve added protein powders to pancakes and waffles, muffins, breads… and now, donuts. 

I think it’s important to find ways to utilize supplements like ALOHA protein that don’t require a blender bottle. Especially when serving to unsuspecting children, hesitant friends, and boyfriends who just don’t “get” the whole clean eating thing. For health nuts, protein vegan donuts don’t phase us, but for loved ones and friends who aren’t as committed to cooking gluten-free, dairy-free, or limiting refined sugars, a donut feels a wholeeeee lot more appeal than another green smoothie.

Baby steps, ya know? Healthy doesn’t have to mean “gross”, and these strawberry banana donuts are certainly the opposite.

I recently shared that ALOHA is my favorite protein these days, and you can read a full review of their products in this post. Particularly their banana flavor, which I used in this creation. I like it because it really tastes like banana. So much so that it allows me to skip the fruit in my smoothies and pack the blender with spinach, zucchini and steamed cauliflower (don’t knock it till you try it) without missing the fruit. 

Let’s get these donuts baked… shall we??

strawberry banana donuts kaleinit


Strawberry Banana Protein Donuts
Print
Donuts
  1. 2 scoops ALOHA Banana Protein Powder
  2. ½ cup coconut sugar
  3. 1 flax egg (2 tablespoons ground flax + 1 tablespoon water)
  4. 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk mixed with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free baking flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
Strawberry Glaze
  1. 2-4 strawberries, very finely chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons of almond milk
  3. 1 - 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees lightly grease a donut pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, flax egg, almond milk with vinegar mixture, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ALOHA Banana Protein powder until combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the liquids and stir until just combined, don't over mix.
  4. Fold in the chopped strawberries.
  5. Spoon the batter into a donut pan, filling each hole about ¾ of the way.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the tops of the donuts begin to brown.
  7. Remove the donuts from the oven and allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pan and frosting.
  8. Mash together the finely chopped strawberries and almond milk in a bowl. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the powdered sugar, adding more until you reached the desired consistency.
kalein it http://kaleinit.com/

strawberry banana donuts kaleinit


strawberry banana donuts kaleinit


What do you think?? Simple enough right??

They’re delicious, but that’s coming from me who loves any and all donuts. Be sure to comment below or tag me on IG if you get a chance to make these strawberry banana protein donuts. The fresh strawberry keeps these gluten-free donuts moist and can easily be substituted for another in-season berry. The coconut sugar is a better-for-you option, (yet you can’t tell the difference at all), and the ALOHA protein provides just the right hint of banana. Monday recipe experiment … win. 


Be sure to follow ALOHA on Instagram! This recipe and blog post were created in collaboration with ALOHA, however all opinions are my own.

strawberry banana donut kaleiit


strawberry banana donuts kaleinit


strawberry banana protein donuts kaleinit

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relaxit'ssunday.jpg


ways to take care of yourself on sundaze.

i loveeee me some self care.

we all need to indulge in it. it allows us to recharge for the week and shake off any stress. and if you’re a creative trying to balance “real life” work and creative outlets/passions (in my case, the blog) then you DESERVE it.

moms do. students do. dogs do. we all need self care.

shit, grab your dog and cuddle – that’s one of my favorite ways to de-stress.

I found that when I began setting time aside for myself, my moods remained more level, my creativity was higher, my productivity during the week more sustained and I felt generally better about myself. sounds like there’s nothing negative with self care.

so to honor the day of rest, I’m sharing a couple ways I’m taking care of myself today and tips on how to incorporate more self care into your routine. but first, some “myths” about self care…self care

self care myths.

contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t need to be expensive. sleep in, walk in nature, paint your nails, dance in your living room, make tea, journal, take a bath, call your best friend, watch a movie you love, the list goes on. yes, it can be that simple.

you don’t have to be alone. sometimes, when people think of self care they assume self reflection, meditation or general down time to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.  while these are fantastic and true, I’ve found that one way to care for myself if to surround myself with those I love.

last sunday I was at the beyonce concert with two girlfriends, singing my heart out, shaking all this jelly, and among many other peopl in a packed NFL stadium.

not exactly, chill. but it fed my soul. I left feeling confident, energized and had made memories with two women I love. three ladies, if you count queen bey.


what I’m doing today: a few self care suggestions…

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reading.

current reads: the skinny confidential sent me her book, and I’m so grateful. you guys know how much I adore Lauryn, I’m catching up on all her tips and laughing because I find her  so damn funny- order here. 

i love hearing how others stay healthy and fit. i’m fascinated by other women’s routines, favorite foods, etc. even if it’s not my thing, it’s interesting to see a topic i love so dearly through the eyes of another.

speaking of, I’m reading Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson. she’s gorgeous, she’s healthy, she discusses feeling good in your skin, loving yourself and more.

I’m enjoying her tips on mindfulness, meditation and ayurveda.

and third, I’m still savoring Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. you know those books that you purposely drag out for a while? this is one. it’s all about combating fear to live your most fulfilling and creative life. I suggest it to ANYONE.


journal self care.jpeg

journaling.

i like cute journals and patterned pencils. i type and type all day long, so there is nothing better than a pencil to paper.  get out your thoughts (or to do lists) before the week begins.

lately, I’ve been into bullet journaling. any opinions on it? maybe I’ll write a post on it soon.

this journal is great because it reminds me of camping adventures. without the actual camping….

 sipping tea.

it’s the epitome of self care. i prefer sipping Yogi tea detox tea. it’s semi spicy in flavor. roasted dandelion root is fantastic for cleansing.

i also think tea should be sipped while curled up on a soft surface, preferably with fuzzy socks. yeah, even in mid june.

lately I’ve been into these essential oil towelettes by  sage tonic. these are lavender scented. I rub them on my temples and it’s refreshing and calming.

cup of tea self care .jpeg


 get a self care package.

a new monthly subsc
ription box is available through caring crate. the founder, Janelle, felt that a monthly reminder of self care and mindfulness would help those experiencing mental health issues, chronic illness, etc.

with the intention to raise awareness around mental health, this subscription box is curated to spark joy, promote inner peace, and provide helpful reminders to slow down and show yourself compassion.

i loved the lavender scented body balm, the garden in a bag (how cute!), and the mandala cards for coloring.

so sweet! if you want to subscribe, visit caring crate!self care caring crate.jpeg

 

make a sweet smoothie! 

last but not least, I’m sipping this peaches and cream smoothie.

I made it by blending:

1/2 cup of lite coconut milk (from can)

1/2 frozen banana

2 sliced peaches

i added a dollop of whipped coconut cream and voila. a summer inspired milkshake smoothie.


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there you have it, a few ways to unwind and care for yourself. caring for yourself is a form of self love. find my thoughts on self love in this series I did last fall.

you deserve to have fun, relax, and feel your best. have a wonderful week! xo

 

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I’m not sure about you guys, but I love reading “day in the life” posts from bloggers! I’m always fascinated by their routines, what they eat, and how they structure their work day especially if they are self employed or have unconventional schedules. I partnered with Snap Kitchen to show you what a day of eating Snap Kitchen looked like (and tasted like) from AM – PM. Snacks, juices, and 3 delicious meals later, I’m happy I took the challenge of eating strictly Snap Kitchen for a day, and not having to cook was the best perk of all.

If you’re not familiar with Snap Kitchen, they offer pre-made, prepared fresh DAILY meals that are fantastic if you’re looking for allergen-free food. Everything is gluten-free, but they’re so transparent with the ingredients used in each of their dishes, that it’s easy to navigate just about any allergy or dietary need when picking up meals there. From paleo and Whole 30 options to vegetarian and vegan, they have it all covered, and labeled clearly. Nothing is artificial, no preservatives used, it all tastes homemade (if a chef was in your home) but without the work of cooking and prepping meals yourself.

Pretty much, they make eating healthy a delicious and simple experience, so I’m a fan. I’m all about ease, especially since beginning other projects like The GOOD Fest and B+YND which don’t allow me as much time in the kitchen as I used to have!


my fridge stocked with snap!


They have multiple locations around Philly, so it’s so quick and easy for me to stop in on the way home after a meeting or a coffee shop work session and pick up dinner. Everything is fresh, but lasts a couple days so I stock up on a couple days worth of meals as “prep”. 

Here’s what went down today in my totally-ordinary-but-totally- real, life.

8:00 AM – RISE AND SHINE!

I’m up by 8AM on the days I work from home. I know this is actually pretty late for some people, but I enjoy working at night so I’m usually up late. I also  love working out mid day because that’s when I have my most energy and need to step away from the computer for a brain break, so 8 AM works for me.

8:15 AM – HYDRATE and vitamins!

 I drink about 20 oz of water when I first wake up, usually with lemon juice or a few drops of chlorophyll. I also take my vitamins, which include ashwaganda (great for stress and anxiety!) and HUM Nutrition’s Daily Cleanse. I also quickly do my skincare routine which includes a quick rinse with water and a couple drops of Franklin and Whitman’s Walnut Hill face serum. I only scrub or use a face wash at night. I use Piperwai all natural deodorant and that’s about it for a beauty routine… Low maintenance!

8:30 AM

 Back home from a morning walk with Ralph, my beagle. We take a long morning 30 minute stroll every morning and I usually listen to podcasts, sip iced green tea (I gave up coffee a month ago), or work on emails while I walk.

8:45 AM – Breakfast… Snap Kitchen Style.

 I usually make a green smoothie or a bowl of oats with almond milk, fresh fruit and chia seeds but today I had Paleo BANANA PANCAKES from Snap Kitchen. I was so excited to have pancakes mid week. I usually whip up gluten free banana pancakes on Sunday’s, but these are a great way to switch up the routine. When I stopped in Snap Kitchen earlier this week the Almond Butter Pancakes with Berry Compote weren’t there – they ran out by popular demand, and I understand the hype. I had them one day last week and I will definitely be sure to pick some up whenever I see them on the shelves!

What’s in the banana pancakes?? Banana, organic egg, almond butter, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla bean, nutmeg. Seriously, that’s it. They taste unreal, it’s hard to believe they are grain free.

How are they?? YUM. I didn’t need to add any syrup because they are that delicious, but I did anyway along with some fresh banana slices. The almond butter takes these pancakes to the next level, and provide some great fats and protein rather than just being a ton of empty carbs like traditional pancakes. I usually eat half, when I purchase the Medium size portion, and save the rest for a snack or second breakfast the next day because they really fill me up, plus I tend to do two breakfasts… more on that below.


snap kitchen kaleinit


9:30 AM – WORK BEGINS!

 Today I shot some photos for a brand, edited photos for materials for our B+YND CMPNY Membership, emailed (because, when am I not emailing?), and had a call with a potential speaker for GOOD Fest LA. Needless to say, job love. I love working from home, but it takes discipline to sit down and WORK without distractions. I usually take breaks every hour for a couple minutes, keep music or podcasts playing for background noise, and usually stand rather than sit for the majority of the day. I’m actually more productive when on my feet, and word on the street is that sitting is the new smoking.

11:30 AM – BREAKFAST, take 2.

 Yes, I really eat two breakfasts most days, or maybe I should consider the second breakfast as a snack? Whatever we decide to call it, today I devoured the Pineapple Vanilla Cashew Parfait. I ate it while at my computer and before getting ready for the gym.

What’s in it??: Organic light coconut milk (organic coconut, water, organic guar gum), pineapple, organic chia seed, lemon juice, cashew, organic coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, acidophilus probiotic, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla bean

How is it?? Great flavor! The combo of coconut milk and vanilla is perfect. It was much better than the kinda bland chia puddings I whip up! This snack was again super filling and satisfying but not heavy, which was great before the gym.


snap kitchen kaleinit


12:15 PM – 1:15 PM – GYM!

 I have been really diligent with my gym routine because I’m lucky enough to live 1 block from the gym. I only did a 45 minute workout today but it was an effective one that left me feeling energized and ready to get back to the work I had to finish up.

1:30 PM – READY FOR THE GREENS.

 I’m usually ready to eat by 1 PM on the dot, and after the gym, I was READY to eat. I ran to my fridge and I had a salad pre-made from Snap Kitchen. Good thing, because it’s sometimes easier to reach for avocado toast of peanut butter sandwich when I need to eat quickly between a call or meeting. Not that those options aren’t great, but after my pancakes this morning, I was ready for some greens! Speaking of, Snap Kitchen also has affordable and delicious cold-pressed juices, so I drank that with my lunch today. I always opt for the Super Greens because it doesn’t have added fruit.  Today I enjoyed with the Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad. I dined al fresco, because I love being outside but the wifi is ehhh out there, so I just ate lunch work-free!

What’s in it??: Mesclun lettuce mix, strawberry, cooked organic quinoa, zucchini, goat cheese (pasteurized goat milk, cheese cultures, vegetal rennet, salt), radish, almond, mint, organic apple cider vinegar (organic raw apple cider vinegar, water), water, organic coconut palm sugar, mustard seed, smoked paprika, turmeric, lemon juice, maple syrup, orange juice, extra virgin olive oil, olive oil, onion, organic dijon mustard (water, organic mustard seeds, organic vinegar, salt, organic turmeric, organic spices), poppy seed, garlic, sea salt, lemon zest, ground black pepper

How is it??: I avoid dairy, and very rarely eat goat cheese, but I do on occasion because I find it’s the easiest for me to digest and the tangy flavor is great on salads. I couldn’t resist a salad with fresh strawberries, quinoa, pickled zucchini (it’s so good, trust) and a sweet vinaigrette. Other salads I love from SNAP? The Goddess of Green…yes, the delcious one so many of you enjoyed at the GOOD Fest.

snap kitchen kaleinit


snap kitchen kaleinit


snap kitchen kaleinit

2:00 PM – BACK ON THE COMPUTER, again.

 Round two of work begins and I’m putting together a contract, working on my content calendar, and doing some of the less creative stuff because this time of day is when I’m more task-oriented and in a “get it done” kind of mood. I usually cross off the bulk of my to do list or schedule calls for this time of day.

6:30 PM – DINNER DATE.

Feeling so grateful that dinner was ready for me today. I picked up the beef, broccoli and cauliflower rice dinner for Max when I was at Snap Kitchen, and I got myself the Mediterranean Mezze Bowl. We’re ate together, but not until I took a photo of it for the blog. #bloggerlife. Luckily it’s summer now so it’s light out at 6:30 again!

What’s in it?? : cauliflower, eggplant, organic chickpea (organic chickpea, water, salt), roasted red bell pepper (red bell pepper, water, sea salt, citric acid), zucchini, kale, kalamata olive (kalamata olives, water, sea salt, red wine vinegar, olive oil), tomato, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, jalapeño, water, ev olive oil, sea salt, parsley, nutritional yeast (inactive dry yeast, niacin, pyridoxine hcl, riboflavin, thiamin hcl, folic acid, vitamin b12), turmeric, ground black pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest, beet hummus (beet, apple, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt), vegan tzatziki (cucumber, cashew, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, mint, dill, sea salt, nutritional yeast)

How is it?? : Again, yummy!! The vegan tzatziki was my favorite part, and the beet hummus that comes with it is bomb, too. The chickpeas were seasoned well, I loved that it included eggplant, and the cauliflower rice is perfect for anyone looking to avoid grains. Of course like everything from Snap this dinner was entirely gluten-free!

 

snap kitchen kaleinit


7:30 PM – VEG OUT, and maybe have a glass of wine or a little chocolate…

I don’t have any on hand today, but the cookies and brownies from Snap are both gluten free and oh so good. I pretty much eat something sweet, everyday. I just eat it mindfully and enjoy it without guilt, making a small portion totally satisfiying. I’ll probably have some dark chocolate covered almonds tonight or gluten-free pretzels dipped in Soon Chocolate Tahini. It tastes like Nutella! I also plan on catching up on the Bachelorette tonight because I missed half an episode on Monday, and that’s just NOT ok.  This time in the evening is also when I catch up with Max, call family members to check in (I talk to my parents daily) and take Ralph out again for an evening stroll after dinner. Its pretty chill!

10:00 PM – LAST round of screen time.

 I’d be lying if I told you I unplug at 7pm. I never do, but I love it that way. I value my flexibility during the afternoon and mornings more. I like being able to run errands or catch a workout, rather than prioritize a work free evening.  Usually from 10-11:00, I’m finalizing my workday / preparing for the next day.  A couple follow up emails  and the final touches on a blog post are what I plan to do tonight. This also happens to be the time I most like to write my blog posts, with a little Trevor Hall playing to chill me out.

kaleinit


11:30 PM – Nighttime routine.

 I meditate at night before bed. Sometimes this is 5 minutes, sometimes 10 and sometimes 15. I just go with what feels comfortable and typically just sit on the edge of my bed rather than roll out a yoga mat. It helps me decompress from anything that happened during the day. 

I also add a drop or two of lavender essential oils behind my ears or on my wrists, to help put me to sleep if  I’m still feeling alert this late at night. 

11:45 PM – SNOOZE TIME.

I’m not sure what it is about 11:30-11:45, but I feel like it’s soooo much earlier than midnight, so I make it a point to hop in bed and go to sleep at that time, and tonight will be no exception!


Thanks for following my day! Be sure to follow Snap Kitchen on Instagram, and visit their stores if you’re in the Philadelphia, Austin, Houston, Dallas or Chicago areas! I can’t wait to see them expand to even more cities, because can’t say enough great things about their selection of pre-made, FRESH meals made with whole ingredients. 

This blog post was sponsored by Snap Kitchen, but as always, opinions are my own. 

 

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Aloha, loves!

I had to – I’m in an Aloha mindset right now because I’m reviewing my new -er, actually, I’ve used them for a while – favorite brand, ALOHA. They switched their look recently, so it feels new to me, and I think it’s gorgeous. 

But before I geek out over packaging like I tend to do…let’s talk protein. Specifically what I try to avoid when looking for a plant based protein, and how ALOHA’s protein is the bomb. They make plant based protein-packed products (say that five times) that are really, freakin good. 

aloha protein review

First, my weird relationship with protein powders…

I personally find protein powders to be difficult to shop for. Finding a great tasting powder with clean ingredients can be a delicate balance. 

I’ve tried so many over the years I’ve learned the ingredients I’m not into for health reasons, like no way am I going to purchase whey.  The ingredients I absolutely try to avoid are…

Soy: Soy is like a puppy. It gets into everything. Labels may be loud and proud about being gluten free and dairy free, but always be sure to check for soy because it’s in so many “healthy” things!

Gluten and/or Dairy: Luckily, there are plenty of dairy free and gluten free options on the market, so this isn’t too difficult but I’m always sure to check.

Refined Sugar. But, stevia tastes kind of gross too… : HMM this is the tough one… sugar. You want it to taste good, but you can’t fathom the idea of a healthy plant based protein supplement adding a ton of sugar to your morning smoothie? Been there.  

As a general rule of thumb, I don’t AVOID sugar completely but instead find the most unrefined options. I love anything sweet – so coconut sugar, dates, coconut nectar, and monk fruit extract are options I enjoy and incorporate into my meals in moderation. 

Stevia is this odd exception. From a sugar substitute stand point, I think it’s actually a solid option. I personally found that it can cause bloating for me and above all I’m not fond of the taste. Some love it, but I think it’s very distinct, does anyone agree? For that reason I can detect it in a smoothie almost instantly, and I rather add additional dates or berries to give a hint of sweetness rather than stevia. 

If you share my weird aversion to Stevia, ALOHA doesn’t use it, FYI.  More on the sugars they use below. 

I sampled ALOHA’s plant based protein, protein bars, green superfood powders and teas. All delicious and easy to incorporate into my lifestyle. So I broke it all down below…


ALOHA Teas:

Why I love them: The branding nerd in me is obsessed with the packaging – it’s so beautiful. But beyond aesthetics the benefits of each flavor is tailored to different needs, and the blends are not ordinary. They add a couple great ingredients that I don’t always see in tea, like sea buckthorn featured in the beauty blend. Love it.

Ingredients / Benefits: Depends on the flavor! I love using the Sleep flavor to relax in the evening. It’s full of calming ingredients like chamomile and lavender. I LOVE the Beauty Tea blend and the Clean Green is fantastic for detoxifying. It features my favorite tea ingredient ever, roasted dandelion root.

How I use them: I love making a huge batch of iced tea early in the week to drink for the next couple days. I like to blend the Clean Green flavor (2 tea temples) plus 1 tea temple of the Beauty Tea to bring in some of the Hibiscus flavor.

Best Flavor: The Beauty blend. It tastes amazing, and I love that it is decaf so I can drink it anytime of day – and I’m so into the beauty and skin benefits.

aloha protein review


aloha protein review


ALOHA Protein Powder:

 Why I love them: EASY. Easy and filling, I can sprinkle this protein in a smoothie or stir it into oats and make it a simple part of my routine. I use it usually in the morning as part of breakfast, but will occasionally blend 1 scoop with some almond milk and strawberries as a snack later in the day, or post workout. 

Ingredients / Benefits: Sweetened with coconut sugar (my favorite sweetener) and monk fruit extract rather than stevia, it’s (in my opinion) the tastiest and best alternative for a low sugar protein powder. It’s also a plant based blend of hemp, pumpkin seed, and pea protein. I love that it includes hemp, but hemp protein alone has a flavor I don’t care for so this is a great blend to tone down the flavor hemp brings.

How I use it: In smoothies, mixed in overnight oats, shaken with almond milk, raw energy bites, or baked into breads and muffins.

Best Flavor: Banana! It’s delicious – like, best protein powder I’ve ever tried – and I love that I can add it to an entirely green smoothie made with leafy greens and zucchini or cauliflower and it brings just the right hint of sweetness without the added fruit.


aloha protein review


ALOHA Protein Bars:

 Why I love them: Besides being full of protein (so they’re filling), ALOHA bars have really original flavors that are nothing like the ordinary and often taste-free, protein bars you may be used to. 

Ingredients / Benefits: 14 g. of protein per bar, plus healthy fats from ingredients like sunflower butter and cashew butter, and plenty of fiber. Fat, fiber and protein are the trifecta when looking for a solid snack option. Keeps you satisfied!

How I use them: ON. THE. GO. Like all bars, they’re convenient to pack in my bag and head out the door. I pretty much save them for on the go situations – and just blend a smoothie at home if I’m looking for a protein fix there. 

Best Flavor: SO tough. The peanut butter and jelly I like a lot because it’s different from the typical PB and Chocolate flavor you find in bars a lot. I also like the mint chocolate chip but honestly all of the flavors are delicious.


aloha protein review

ALOHA Superfood Greens:

Why I love them: I feel like I’m repeating myself but… EASE. To be able to just stir a super nutritious packet of green goodness into a glass of water is the best. Like the bars I keep on win my purse or travel with them for those occasions where you can’t seem to find a good smoothie place anywhere. 

Ingredients / Benefits: So many. With ingredients like moringa, spirulina, wheatgrass and oyster mushrooms, you’re getting a lot of benefits in each packet. Vitamin A, D, and Iron to name a few…

How I use them: Stir them in water. Simple! I have also blended them in a smoothie but the draw of this product (for me, anyway) is that I can turn water into green juice in a matter of seconds. I like to use them in the afternoon when I need a pick me up but don’t want to reach for any more caffeine. 

Best Flavor: I’ve only tried the Original Green – but I love it so why mess with a good thing? I like it. Also maybe I’m the only person who feels that super healthy green things should taste a little…green? That’s a part of the experience! In all seriousness the flavor is mild with a hint of coconut from the coconut water included in the ingredients. 


There you have it, a complete run down on one of my favorite brands to incorporate into my routine. Be sure to follow them on Instagram, and I’ll be making a recipe with the banana protein soon! 


This post was sponsored by ALOHA, however all opinions are my own. 

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I’ve never been much of a party -hoster, (eh, minus that whole GOOD Fest thing that just happened), but I want to up my adult-ing game this spring and have more…soirees.

The two questions I always ask myself before entertaining are…

  • Will my dog be annoying to my guests??? … followed by
  • What do I feed them??

I believe practice makes perfect when it comes to having friends and family over. You learn the dishes you like to make, the things they like to eat, and everyone is a happy camper. It is about the company, after all. But I think hosting doesn’t always come effortlessly, so I put together a couple fool-proof ways to host this spring without the hassle.

Here’s what I suggest…

Dips, salsas and finger foods.

Why mess with a good thing? Who HASN’T hung by the familiar (and always delicious) salsa and chip station?

Learn a few dip/salsa staples that you enjoy making and can whip up while still holding a conversation with that one friend who ALWAYS shows up really, really, early.

For example, I know my guacamole and mango salsa are on point and it takes me no time to make them.

In the winter I love serving roasted garlic or beet hummus or rosemary white bean dip.



Find a couple snack foods that lessen the load.

No, I’m not talking cheese puffs or chex mix. Let’s keep things healthy and opt for gluten-free pretzels to pair with a great mustard (I love Quinn Pretzels) or some of the Betta Than Chedda Kale Chips from Made in Nature. These extra snacks are easy to throw in colorful bowls on tables, counters, or wherever kids are crowding.

The purpose of these finger foods are that they keep guests from getting HANGRY and allow you to put the finishing touches on the main event.

Build-your-own …except the guests do the building.

Build your own stations are the easiest way to make EVERYONE happy.

I have never met a taco or salad station I don’t love. Make sure you offer plenty of proteins, like quinoa, black beans, chickpeas and some meat or fish for anyone attending who’s a meat-eater.

This build your own style also take the pressure off. You don’t have to create a menu that pleases everyone, but rather everyone gets to have their say in the ingredients they choose. Use fresh colorful ingredients, and set the table with everything placed neatly (don’t forget plenty of spoons to serve!) and be sure it’s in a location that makes it easy for guests to line up and move through, like a buffet.

It’s possible that you’ll have more leftovers with this technique because you don’t know what ingredients will be a hit, but hey, you have lunch for the next couple days!

When all else fails, cheeseboards feel fancy, and always serve dessert.

Here’s another thing many guests can’t help but love…cheeseboards.

I love finding a few cashew or almond based cheese (Kite Hill makes great ones) – and adding them to a large wooden cutting board. If you’re not avoiding dairy, at least opt for the “fancy” cheeses and a goat cheese option as it’s enzymes are the easiest to digest.

Then add the accompaniments, maybe a fig or cranberry chia jam (easy!), Made in Nature dates or dried apricots, and gluten-free crackers or grain-free almond flour crackers. YUM.

made in nature apricotes

Don’t forget dessert because, dessert. Berry tarts and crumbles are gorgeous to serve, full of fresh in season produce, and can be made lightened up by using coconut sugar in place of white sugar, and a crust made with Made in Nature Dates, rolled oats, and cashews. Or, if all else fails put a bunch of their Figgy Pops out (the chocolate flavor is bomb) and watch guests devour. 

Woah, you did it.

You served a healthy meal to your guests and stayed sane. Spring and summer entertaining really doesn’t need to be that complicated.  

Who’s hosting next weekend??


To check out Made In Nature Snacks – head here. And be sure to use promo code GOOD for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more!

** This post was sponsored by Made in Nature, however all opinions are my own.

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This may seem odd, but do you ever feel BAD for your purchases that are meant to be doing GOOD? As in, are you ever like, I could have chose a more ethical, conscious, or charitable product from a brand, but I just don’t want to compromise

“It’s 2017, we shouldn’t have to choose between a luxury experience and doing good in the world. The two are one in the same.”  – Leila Janah, Founder of LXMI

Finally. Finally, I feel like it’s ok that I love beautiful packaging, a luxury skincare product, and a consumer experience as much as I value non-toxic, pure ingredients, preferably with a social impact or business model I can feel good about supporting.

You guys know I’ve been looking for ways to live more consciously, opting for brands that have a social mission, well-sourced ingredients, fair-trade practices, etc. I truly relate to the founder’s quote above.

I’m not necessarily… crunchy granola.

I enjoy feeling pampered, indulging in quality beauty products that make me feel beautiful – you know, “girly stuff”.

I found LXMI – a conscious and female-founded brand that combines luxury skincare products with a social cause – and I’m glad I did…I’ve been using the Pure Nilotica Melt during my nighttime routine ever since!


lxmi skincare


The Super Ingredient:

What’s Nilotica? I wondered too! This product uses 1-ingredient, and 100% organic, so that sounded right up my alley. After a bit of research I found that the Nilotica seed was similar to Shea in it’s properties and moisturizing abilities, but with 25% greater essential fatty acids. 

The Nilotica sourced in LXMI is fair-trade certified and are harvested in the Nile River Valley,  more on how the harvesting of these ingredients benefit others below. 

I’m very passionate about what I put on my skin. The more simple, and pure, the better. Just like my makeup-free routine I referenced in this recent blog post, the more clean and simple, the less I break out, which allows for a more minimal lifestyle (aka, less junk filling my bathroom cabinets of products my skin, and wallet just doesn’t need!)

The Mission:

My favorite part of LXMI is the dedication to not only producing a quality skincare product for the consumer, but a quality of life for those who harvest the rare Nilotica seed.

The founder, Leila, discovered the benefits of the seed while traveling in Uganda, and fell in love with the butter’s ability to bring a luminous glow to her over-traveled, dehydrated skin. 

She combined it’s beauty benefits with a social mission, and worked to create jobs for East African women – providing wild harvesting and production jobs that providing fair, livable wages. 


souced from the nile


The Product:

It’s a balm-to-oil skin savior. LXMI is sold in Sephora, again proving that luxury products can be found in your favorite stores. A conscious lifestyle doesn’t have to be “too hard” or “inconvenient”! 


LXMI skincare


How I Use It:

Because it’s pretty much “all-purpose” I’ve been using on my lips, cuticles, and dry areas like my elbows and hands. I love how quickly it absorbs, because I often share on social how I have trouble with facial oils, oil cleansers, serums and more. With LXMI it’s not the case! I’ve also tried it as a overnight leave-on mask and loved it for a deep hydration. I notice that even on nights I don’t cover my entire face, using just a touch (a little goes a long way with this product) on the delicate skin under my eyes, leaves my skin more smooth and helps with under eye dark circles the next morning. 


LXMI skincare


Looking to add my new favorite product to your nightly routine? Head to Sephora to grab a jar and experience (good) luxury for yourself!

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 Has anyone noticed lately that crystals are… trending?

I swear, I see a new gorgeous flat-lay of crystals, Palo Santo and some Mala beads everyday on social media. Gorgeous? Yes. Confusing, or dare I say, intimidating to someone who doesn’t know how to incorporate these items into their spiritual routines? Yup!

I used to think I was pretty with it when it came to wellness trends, but lately I feel I’m missing out on this untapped new trend and I wanted to challenge myself to learn more. I enjoy meditation, and grounding exercises because they help with my anxiety levels, and bring me a sense of peace and balance. 

So, I was ready to give crystals a shot. What is the fun of working in wellness if I don’t get out of my comfort zone and evolve, right?


energy muse kaleinit


How do you use crystals??

When my crystals arrived, I started reading the materials that came along with them to get started. Energy muse suggests first cleansing your stones by either…

  • Placing them in soil or branches of a houseplant for 24 hours
  • Placing them outside under the sun or full moon for at least 4 hours.
  • Immerse in the smoke of burning Sage or Palo Santo until they vibrate with energy.

I chose the houseplant route! It was a rainy day – so I definitely didn’t want to bring that dreary energy to my new gorgeous crystals.

Then, choose your first crystal to use. Again, this is a entirely personal choice. I found recently I’m drawn to the Selenite, the Blue Lace Agate (inner peace crystal – go figure!) and Citrine Stone. Of course you can switch crystals depending on your needs.

Next, set your intention.

Hold your stone in your hand and visualize your intention for it. After setting an intent, carry them with you or meditate with them. It’s that simple!

The “power” of the crystal is really up to you  – the intention, stone, and belief in the possibilities is what YOU choose.

About Energy Muse

Energy Muse was founded by two incredible women (and dear friends, how sweet!) Heather and Timmi. They’re proud of their business they’ve built which began literally in the trunk of the car while sporting their flip flops and yoga clothes.  

And they have GROWN. These ladies have built an incredible brand that highlights crystals (read more about the process they go through below) and beautiful jewelry that combine healing properties and promote intention.  Now, they are are even working on a book to help debunk this crystal trend, and make it something more accessible and simple to add to readers everyday, modern, busy lifestyle. 

They discuss what it’s like to own a female-owned and operated business (hell yes to that!), creating a spiritual routine that grounds you, and “starter crystals” – think of them as training wheels for your spiritual practice. 


energy muse kalein it


KV: How did the two of you meet? What inspired you two to start Energy Muse?

HA: We grew up together, and have been childhood friends since the single digits. And then we started what I call an “accidental business.” Our business started out of the trunks of our cars in Manhattan Beach, California. We were known as the “flip-flop girls” who sold “energy beads” because early on, we did business in our flip-flops and yoga clothes!

 I came up with the Prosperity Necklace, combining my knowledge of Feng Shui and crystal energy. This “formula” consisted of 3 Chinese coins tied with red thread, combined with a string of jade beads, which are known to bring prosperity. I gave this necklace to 10 of my most skeptical friends to try for 10 days to see if there was some sort of shift in prosperity in their life—Timmi was one of the 10. All 10 of them came back and said there was!

 Word spread like wildfire around the South Bay and even to Los Angeles, and everyone wanted to know where they could get this necklace. At the time, Timmi was in the garment industry, and I knew she would be able to help me figure out how to produce product. We decided to team up, and our business of Energy Muse was born.


energy muse founders kaleinit


KV: Before starting Energy Muse, what were you working on? What is your background?

HA: My background is in sales and marketing. Before I entered the crystal world, I sold high-end real estate in Manhattan Beach. I am also a Feng Shui expert and I used those powerful principals to differentiate myself from the market and to maximize my success.

TJ: I was in a transition phase having just left the garment industry after 15 years. I was taking some time to myself to figure out what I wanted to do during my Saturn Return. Before, I was selling to all the major big box retailers—Sears, JCPennys, Walmart etc. I had a strong knowledge of production and how a business should be run in all aspects.

KV: What is a great “starter” crystal? What’s the FIRST crystal you’d suggest to someone who’s beginning a spiritual journey or interested in?

HA: Clear Quartz is a must. Being crystal clear is the ultimate super power! The more clear we are with who we are, what we want to create in this world and what stands in our way, the easier it becomes to manifest results and bring goals into reality.


energy muse kaleinit


KV: I’m so fascinated by the process your crystals and jewelry go through before they are sold to consumers, can you tell us more?

HA: All of our crystals and jewelry are always cleansed, cleared and charged before they go out to the customer. They go through a “cleansing spa” process where they are purified with incense + herbs, sound, sacred geometry and color to clear them of all previous energy so that they can vibrate at their highest level and maximum potential. We do this step so that when people receive their products, all they have to do is give it a purpose and they are ready to work with it!

KV: What would you suggest (crystal or otherwise) for someone who needs more grounding in the modern, fast-paced society we live in today?

HA: Allow yourself to stop for 3 minutes or whether it is breathe or just do nothing. AKA don’t look at your phone. Hold onto a crystal—your touchstone—such as Fluorite, because it holds the state of peace and tranquility. Tap into the stone’s energy! The crystal is gentle reminder of who we are. You can truly shift your mindset in a mere 3 minutes.

TJ: For grounding, I love to use hematite. As a mom and business owner, it is easy to let your mind and body go a million miles an hour. It is important to stay grounded into the energy of the Earth because the more grounded we are, the more focused we are and that helps put everything into perspective. Holding hematite or keeping it with me at all times helps me get there.

KV: I saw a video on your site about finding stability and creating a routine to remain centered – tell us about yours and how it centers you?

HA: One of my non-negotiable routines is starting my day with at least an 11-minute meditation, holding onto the Selenite harmonizers. I usually do Kundalini Sadhana at 4am. I write down in my notebook what my intentions are for the day and mentally visualize myself going into those experiences. This way, I set my energy in those places before I arrive to create positive and harmonious outcomes.

I also usually pick a piece of jewelry that I will wear for 40 days. I wear crystal jewelry to have a transformational breakthrough. When I give my crystals a purpose and focused intention for 40 days. It gives me the opportunity to energetically work with the energy of the Earth on my body for an extended period of time.  This helps me to release anything that is blocked or stuck in my mind, body and spirit and allows new energy to be infused into my life.  I am able to shift and transform when wearing the jewelry for an extended period of time and gain greater insight into myself so that I can grow and evolve. 

I end the day with gratitude, thinking of 3 things I am so thankful and grateful for.

TJ: My routine varies day to day, but there are a few staples I always try to follow. Meditation comes first, along with warm lemon water and my jewelry rituals usually follow, where I pick specific pieces for certain intentions. For example, if we have an interview or a podcast, I won’t leave my house without a blue lace agate piece to open my throat chakra and I always wear my Energy Cleansing Necklace and Sacred Quartz Crystal necklace from John of God. To close my routine, I usually will go for a walk and read a few positive excerpts from Guru Singh’s Spiritual Pavement.

KV: What would be your advice to someone who is skeptical of using crystals? How do you make crystals and spirituality feel more approachable, and something that anyone can benefit from?

HA: Crystals are tools to help us connect with the earth, to become to grounded and centered. Don’t try talk yourself out of why you’re drawn to crystals. You may be drawn to them because you think they are pretty or because they simply feel calming. Don’t judge your experience. Hold a crystal and get out of your head. Just feel it. When we truly start to feel, you can heal. To feel is to heal. Keep it simple!

 TJ: Well, I think that Heather and I have worked to demystify the “reputation” crystals have. Because we do not come off in the esoteric kind of way, we can relate to a lot of different people. Crystals are a form of Earth’s energy. They come from Earth and the Earth is the one thing we all have in common. They are here to help us along our journey.

energy muse 2

KV: What have been the most fulfilling and exciting parts of working together as partners AND/OR in starting Energy Muse and building a community around intentional living?

HA: I feel very grateful that we have achieved success as a women-owned business in a many times male-dominated crystal industry. Having all women working in our establishment is amazing! Being able to inspire other women to do the same – if we can do it, anyone can. It is the every day stories of real people that have had a transformative experience and their lives turn around for the better – these are the reasons why I continue to do what I do and why our business is so powerful.

TJ: For me, on a daily basis, what we do helps people and this inspires me to continue down this path. As with anything, there have been a lot of ups and downs, but the satisfaction you get from helping others is beyond rewarding and soul-filling.


energy muse founders


KV: Lastly, you have a book coming out this fall. Tell us more about it!

TJ: The book is called Crystal Muse and is available for pre-order on Amazon now! The official launch date is Oct 17th. We are excited to share our stories about how we’ve used crystals in our lives to get through the ups, the downs and all the in-betweens.

HA: With Crystal Muse, we wanted to “demystify” the crystal world. Think of it like a crystal recipe book! We want to teach and educate people on how they can use crystals everyday to get results in their lives through simple, practical rituals in 11 minute or less. And we have personally used these “crystal recipes” over the last 17 years and with our community – they truly work!

Where can readers find you?

Our website is www.energymuse.com and our blog can be found at http://www.energymuse.com/blog/. You can find us on social media @energymuse on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! Also, stay tuned for our upcoming YouTube channel!


Curious which crystals I’m using??? 

Citrine Stone: “Stone of Light”

– Happiness, Wealth, Manifestation

Shungite Stone: “Stone of Fruition”

– Healing, Detoxifying, Relieves anxiety and insomnia

Selenite

–  Removes Blocked Energy , Cleansing, Protection

Amethyst Stone: “Stone of Contentment”

– Intuition, Spirituality, Relieves Stress

Rose Quartz: “Stone of Love”

– Opens the heart, reduces stress and grief

Clear Quartz: “Stone of Clarity”

– Amplifies, Activates, Energizes

Blue Lace Agate: “Stone of Inner Peace”

– Calming, Soothing, Stress and Anxiety Relief

 
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ok, let me start by saying I’m by no means a “beauty blogger”. However, I have tremendous respect for beauty bloggers because they search far and wide for the very best bronzers, blenders and more. 

I mean… have you seen their mountain high stacks of eye shadow palettes and YouTube contouring tutorials? For real- mad respect. Those how-to videos take time and help a hell of a lot of ladies (like myself) who don’t know a thing when it comes to applying, blending and highlighting.

Makeup is an art, I’m just no artist.

It’s definitely a beautiful way for women (or men) to express themselves while confidently playing up their natural beauty. I’m 100 percent behind that, and therefore I’m not a beauty blogger, nor a makeup hater.

But I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that makeup just isn’t my thing.

I’ve spent countless hours applying and searching for the right makeup for years because I felt I HAD to. Dropping an entire paycheck at Sephora was never, euphoria. But I was so concerned with what I looked like, if my pimple was showing through my concealer and if I looked tired or run down, that it was a necessity. 

Back in the day I didn’t want to go to the grocery store, class, or (helllll no) out to dinner without a hefty layer of concealer, foundation, and bronzer. I mean, I’d do it sometimes, but I always felt super uncomfortable in my skin, and would come armed with a huge pair of sunglasses to divert attention. The “ugh I’m bare-faced and look like crap” thought was in the back of my mind the whole time I was out. 

Let’s rewind to college days, AKA during the days of heavy foundation and concealer. I was on the largest campus in the country. There were like 70k students so let’s say 45k females. You know, just a few of us. And let me tell you, Arizona State lives up to its reputation that ASU girls are, pretty, pretty. 

I saw fellow female Sun Devils wearing false eyelashes and extensions to class and thought to myself- “WTF?! How have I not figured out how to do that / make it look good / make it look even semi natural / not like a Halloween costume?!?!?”

I felt like I was missing some “girl gene”. I felt like because I never knew how to apply these make up and beauty hacks,  I was just a plain Jane. Or, the fact that I had no interest in learning how to meant that I was doomed. (Don’t worry, that’s not the truth if you’re feeling the same).

But despite my lack of interest in all things super-girly, I laid the concealer on thick, took to tanning beds (let’s not even talk about that right now), and only caused myself more blemishes in the process, and created the cycle of…

1) break out 2) breakout leads to need for more toxic makeup clogging my pores / “covering” my blemishes 3) leading to more breakouts. 4) Repeat. 

Needless to say, this comparison trap where I was looking at other’s makeup routines and effortless contours was doing NOTHING for my self-confidence and I was starting to resent the whole makeup thing because it wasn’t about art or creativity or self expression. It wasn’t even that fun or a “hobby” I enjoyed.  

Fast forward to today…

Below I’ve listed EVERYTHING I own makeup wise. Every single thing fits in one, yes ONE – small bag. I mean come on, that’s pretty minimal right?? 

I use:

  • mascara
  • bronzer / blush duo + a brush
  • CC cream
  • eyeliner (when I’m feeling REAL fancy)
  • 1 Anastasia Eyebrow filler-inn-er thing < told you, not good at this stuff> 

I only have 1 mascara, 1 bronzer / blush, 1 cc cream, 1 eyeliner, and a couple tinted lip glosses. 

I’m. Not. Lying. 

Well, I also have like two lipsticks and 1 small eyeshadow palette from my mother – but those don’t reside in the bag. Talk about freeing. I remember when I had drawers in my bathroom full of so many random bottles and expensive products. 

What CHANGED?

Well, I did. And my outlook did.

Now, I choose to focus on the ROOT of the “problem”.

I hate to use the word “problem” or “problem area” to describe my skin (it’s only your largest organ, so why don’t we give it some props) but my acceptance of my skin started when I looked to the source rather than the reaction. I now try to be proactive-  through my diet and skin care routine.

My lack of confidence around my skin and dependence on makeup was rooted in the insecurity and fear around my face breaking out. So, let’s stop (or lessen) the breakouts and let our true skin shine through, shall we? 

Below is how I broke up with makeup + my everyday skincare routine…

  1. Environment switch: Well; I’m not going to say that moving away from college didn’t help get me out of the constant comparison trap and ground me a bit. But if you’re not able to pick up your life and  relocate OR start fresh in a new place .. see step two below. 
  2. Surround yourself with people who don’t give a shit: No, not people who don’t give a shit about you, people who care so freaking much about you they don’t think twice when you show up to happy hour without any makeup on. They’re to excited to spend time with you, hear your jokes, share their stories with you, etc. 
  3. Prioritize your diet, exercise, water consumption and sleep: The drugstore skincare aisle won’t tell you this while looking at acne-fighting scrubs. They’ll tell you nasty ingredients like benzol peroxide can fix anything. Try some sleep, some veggies and tons of water and then….
  4. Invest in your skincare : Now that you’re not investing hundreds in concealers and eyeshadow palettes, stick to the purest, high-quality, non-toxic skincare imaginable. I like Frank and Whit, more about them and my routine below.
  5. Believe in nature’s (skin) medicine:  Do you know charcoal, rosewater, matcha green tea and oatmeal can do WONDERS for skin? Stick to REAL ingredients – things you can pronounce or recognize if you saw it on a shelf.

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**KALEINIT for 40% of ALL Franklin and Whitman Products Through SUNDAY!**

Here’s my weekly skincare routine…

Everyday: Cleanse

Everyday: Moisturize

Scrub: 5x per week with Franklin and Whitman

My FAVORITE of ALL the new Franklin and Whitman products? The scrubs. And that’s a bold statement, but I’m sayin’ it. 

I used to be sooo into the Fitler Square, and I still use it once a week or so, but the Midtown Village has won me over. I honestly have seen a huge difference in how even my skin tone is, and the glow after using this scrub is unreal.

Worried that 5x is too much scrubbing? For you, it could be. But Frank and Whit’s products are much more gentle then the plastic micro-beads found is “scrubs” you may have used in the past. The coffee in the midtown village is SO finely ground, like… think of super soft sand. It’s very gentle. The Fitler square is a bit more rough as it’s a sugar scrub, so 1x per week works best for me when using that one.

Body Scrub: 3-4x per week with Franklin and Whitman

I like the Midtown Village Body scrub as well – see a theme here with the coffee? I love coffee, and I love how soft my skin is after using this scrub. 

Fair warning : Your shower will be covered in coffee grounds.

Mask: 2-3x per week with Franklin and Whitman

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Oak Lane

is the most mild of Frankin and Whitman’s masks. It’s made with turmeric, cacao and activated charcoal. I like to use this if I mask a 3rd time in a week, because it’s gentle.

Queen Village

is my FAVORITE. It’s perfect for my combination skin because the oatmeal moisturizes while the activated charcoal detoxes and deep cleanses, and the aloe vera soothes. I find it leaves me glowing – leaving no need for makeup. I’ll do it the night before a date with the BF or going out with girlfriends.

Spruce Hill

This one is for a DEEP cleanse. I find it to be the most drying, but it’s great to use every few masks, to really draw out impurities. It’s made with matcha, activated charcoal and pomegranate.

Midtown Village

There’s also a NEW mask out – and it smells like a vanilla latte. It’s fair trade coffee, vanilla, and activated charcoal. The Midtown Village mask is the perfect addition to the face and body scrub.

Because face masking can get a little messy… I like to use the face mask bowl set from Franklin and Whitman. It’s a bowl to stir your face mask, a spoon to help measure the dry mask (add a touch of water at a time until you reach a good consistency) then apply with the brush. It makes it much easier to apply evenly. 

frank and whit

Steam: 1x per week

Usually on #selfcaresunday, I go all out with the scrub, followed by a steam, a mask, then moisturize. Four steps, but my skin has never been better. I like the Cobbs Creek Steam best.

Bonus: They are amazing for when you’re feeling under the weather. I love using them when I feel a cold coming on.

You simply fill a large bowl with some of the steam, add hot water, and put your face over the bowl, then tent a towel over your head and soak in the steam for about ten minutes. Sounds complicated, but I promise you it’s not. 

I can also promise you that you’ll be sweating after ten minutes of steaming, but do it for your pores!

Takeaway?

Whether a beauty blogger, or self-proclaimed makeup minimalist… skin and confidence start with the source. You should NEVER feel uncomfortable in your skin or feel any blemish MUST be “fixed”, but rather feel empowered to make lifestyle changes to find what works for you, and reach a place where going out with a bare face feels freeing rather than terrifying.

I truly believe that finding a solid skincare routine that works for YOU, combined with a clean diet (plants, plants, and more plants) + beauty sleep and a hearty dose of self-love and confidence, and you’ll be ditching the layers of makeup in no time. 

To grab your own Franklin and Whitman products, head to their website and use the promo code below…

**KALEINIT for 40% of ALL Franklin and Whitman Products Through SUNDAY (4/2)!** 

To read more about F&W, where they’re made (PHILLY!!!) cruelty-free committment, and social mission for rescue dogs, read here

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A lot of you all know I moved into a new apartment in February, and for those of you who sent congrats and checked in on the moving process- thank you!! 

After taking some time to settle in, I wanted to share a couple ways I’ve made the new space feel more like home!

I’m thrilled with the new apartment, not only because it’s mine (thanks pops for letting me crash while I worked my butt off on GOOD for a few months!), but also because I now have the chance to be mindful about the new products and “things” I purchase to fill the space. 

I really wanted to have less “stuff”. I didn’t bring my entire closet, in fact I probably cut that in half (more on my minimalist mindset with clothing in this post), and I finally parted with the million worn out t shirts and no-longer-loved leggings. 

In addition to less junk, I wanted to make my home feel healthier and more sustainable.


boll and branch kaleinit


I think many times health begins with food. The desire to live more consciously or to use cleaner ingredients and products may first start with the transition to organic spinach and berries, then slowly beauty and household cleaning products, and then finally everything from the furniture you decorate with to the bedsheets you sleep on each night. Truly any purchase can be a more compassionate, holistic or all around more mindful choice, it just takes a bit of research and time. 

I’m realizing that literally everything I purchase is essentially, a vote.  It’s the ballot I cast to the big bad world of marketing ($$) about what I’m willing to buy and support. 

Listen, as someone with a marketing background I can tell you that there’s a reason fast fashion, disgraceful factory conditions, chemicals / toxins in make up and processed foods exist…

…They make the process less expensive and therefore more profitable. That’s it. And at the expense of your health or the employees who work to create the products. Not good. 

I really wanted to find a balance between making my new home feel beautiful and comfortable, and do this consciously. Enter Boll and Branch. 


boll and branch kaleinit


I knew I wanted to start with the bedroom as its a place to recharge and rest. Rest is critical to your health. That could be a post in itself. 

I notice such a difference when my sleep pattern is regular and I get to bed before11pm. I’ve already made a rule (with myself) that my laptop does not enter the threshold of the bedroom, ha! Silly? Maybe- but it works. 

That said, I wanted to be sure that my bedroom felt relaxing and was filled with products I could believe in and trust. Like Boll and branch bedding that is luxuriously soft and cozy, and made with organic cotton and is fair trade certified. To read more about Boll and Branch, and their values as a company – read more here. 

I highly suggest you read more about fair trade, what it means when a product is certified fair trade, and the lengthy, difficult that process brands go through to receive this stamp of conscious approval. 


boll and branch kaleinit

Ralph is also enjoying his new conscious home


Here are 3 ways I make my bedroom feel more tranquil, as well as healthy, conscious and sustainable. 

GET YOUR GREENS

I talk a lot about the power of a green smoothie, but this time, I’m talking plant-based decor. House plants are amazing for purifying the air and bringing life to a room. 

I bought a ton of succulents and a cat palm which feels tropical and gives the room a more boho look. 

I’m becoming a proud plant-lady, and although I’ve always kind of sucked at keeping plants alive, I’m determined. 

I love walking into my bedroom and seeing something bright, fresh, and green, and a room full of natural life. Like I mentioned above, since moving in I’ve REFUSED to bring my laptop into my  bedroom and it’s made all the difference in maintaining my routine and the tranquility of my bedroom. 


IMG_5639


SALT LAMPS AND SCENTS

My pink salt lamp is my second favorite in my room. Also fantastic for purifying the air, the lamp is also meant to improve sleep and moods. I have found my sleep quality is better with the lamp, and you can read more about the benefits of this home accessory here. 

ORGANIC BEDDING

 Boll and Branch helped me put together this beautiful bed look using their organic sheets (I LOVE the shore color) as well as a soft white duvet and cozy knit throw to complete the bed look. I filled the bed with tons of pillows and Euro shams so when I head in for a good nights sleep, it 

There’s something about sleeping on organic cotton that makes sense to me. You eat wholesome food, you can use clean, non-toxic beauty and skincare products on your body, why not wrap yourself in organic cotton after a shower or lay on soft organic sheets while you sleep? 

It’s the next choice that takes a mindful, sustainable or compassionate lifestyle a step… further. It wasn’t my first step in living well (food was), but I’m enjoying learning about new products and brands who value this lifestyle and transcend it’s message and beliefs beyond the food. 

Boll and branch has many sustainable options for the bedroom (and bathroom) with simple, timeless bedding in a variety of gorgeous colors. Shop one of my favorites, the shore colored sheet set, here.  Their team is incredible helpful in answering any questions around style, organic cotton, as well as their process and mission to change the textile industry. 


boll and branch kaleinit


boll and branch kaleinit

boll and branch kaleinit

boll and branch kaleinit


Shop my Boll and Branch Bed Look:

Duvet Cover

Shore Sheet Set

Banded White / Shore Standard Sham

Hemmed White Euro Shams

Grey Cable Knit Throw


I was gifted the Boll and Branch products featured in this post, but all opinions are my own. 

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