Amazing Vegan Mac-N-Cheese

May 23, 2015

Attention allllll my Mac-n-Cheese lovers!

I had been on the hunt for a dairy free mac-n-cheese recipe for a long time because…. Well.. who doesn’t like the cheesy goodness and do I really need a reason? Most recipes I had come across had some sort of artificial cheese/processed ingredient that ends up tasting like cardboard and chemicals. Yum. Not!

Fear not! I discovered the most amazing mac-n-cheese recipe. What makes it so awesomely delicious? Well not only is it totally all natural with no artificial or processed ingredients, but it tastes like something you would get a gourmet restaurant. Did I mention that it is VEGAN and HEALTHY! Internet high five to all my dairy/lactose intolerant peeps out there! In my opinion it is hands down the best recipe I have tried which includes any restaurant quality mac-n-cheese I have tried (and suffered afterwards).

EVERYONE needs to try this recipe right now!

The secret is the cashews and nutritional yeast. If you haven’t heard of or tried nutritional yeast, do yourself a favor and get familiar with it. Nutritional yeast is all natural, low-fat, low sodium, non-GMO, with a mild nutty/cheesy flavor. It’s deelish on popcorn!


I used the quinoa pasta she recommended which cooks up and tastes just like regular pasta. Bonus: It’s gluten free.



For the cheese sauce:

1 1/2 cups raw cashews

3 T. fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup water

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 clove garlic

pinch of turmeric

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow) I used yellow



Start boiling your water for pasta. If using a Vita-mix, throw all your ingredients in the blender and blend away. If using a food processor (which is what I used), process your cashews FIRST until the cashews have a cashew/nut butter consistency (this will take a few minutes).



Then blend the rest of your other ingredients together. Cook pasta as you normally would. If using the same brand, it cooks up pretty quickly so keep an eye on it.


Once your pasta is cooked to your liking, drain and return to pot. Mix cheese sauce and pasta. Thats it!



*She gives instructions on how to bake your mac-n-cheese which I am not a fan of. She also gives some other suggestions of things to add in.

This recipe makes a ton of the cheese sauce so I like to coat my pasta with enough sauce and then save the rest to use as a dip. Ahh helllloo queso! (she has a recipe on her blog for that too)

Detoxinista ——She is a genius and her blog is amazing. Check her out!


DYI Non-toxic Cleaners

May 23, 2015

IMG_1261 I am quite the organized clean freak… ok ok so that may be quite the understatement. At least I admit it and I am working on it. Since I am confessing, I will also admit that I was one of those sick people that use to enjoy the smell of cleaning products. Annnnd along with that “clean” smell comes the running nose and stinging watery eyes from inhaling all those toxic chemicals. Gross right? So I am trying to do better by using more non-toxic cleaners that I make myself. Here is what I have been using:

White vinegar

A natural disinfectant and deodorizer. Cuts through grease and soap scum. Use a simple solution with water as a great all-purpose kitchen and bathroom cleaner. Do NOT use vinegar if you have stone countertops due to the acidity. I mix equal parts vinegar and dish soap to clean the shower. White vinegar and water works great as a glass cleaner and on mirrors. Baking soda- can be used in any cleaner for the kitchen, bathroom, and detergent. Lemon- natural disinfectant and natural bleach. Cuts through grease and mold.  Use alone on cutting boards to disinfect.


The possible combinations are endless. A simple white vinegar and water solution is a great all-purpose cleaner, but adding lemon or an essential oil like tea tree will amp up the disinfecting properties and adds a nice clean scent that doesn’t sting the eyes. I like adding baking soda to diluted white vinegar and water for the bathroom and kitchen especially for the garbage disposal.

Dish Soap

I haven’t attempted to make my own YET, but I have been using Nature’s Promise liquid dish detergent. It is free from artificial fragrances, dyes, and harsh chemicals.

I used a plastic spray bottle because that’s all I could find in a pinch, but ideally use mason jars or re-use old glass condiment bottles. I highly recommend adding some essential oils to your cleaner. Its cheap and a natural way to make your home smell good.

Leave me a comment below if you have any suggestions for DIY non-toxic cleaners.


Make-Up Brushes/Tools

April 27, 2015

If you are a make-up junkie like myself, then you probably already know how important it is to get some good brushes. Good brushes allow for the proper application and proper blending which is an important step to any flawless make-up look. There are tons of great make-up brushes out there, but these are just some that I use and love.

A good drug store option are the Real Technique brushes/tools. I have several Real Techniques brushes which are great quality and can be found in drug stores. They come in sets and you can’t beat the price point. These brushes are super soft and blend really well. I love that you can find different sets and they explain on the back what each one is used for. These are some of my favorites: (far left) powder brush- I use this for setting my foundation with powder or blush, stippling brush to apply foundation, and eye shadow brushes.


I, personally think the beauty blender is the best tool to blend your foundation and concealer. It provides a more natural finish, which I prefer. Sephora sells the regular size and mini version for $19. Please excuse the picture of my dirty beauty blender- it gets a lot of use. 

Real Techniques has their own version called Miracle Complexion Sponge which is only $6 and I think it is comparable to the beauty blender. I use it just as frequently as the beauty blender, but mine was too dirty so I didn’t photograph it. If you don’t know or haven’t tried the beauty blender, you MUST run out and buy one ASAP.


The brushes I use the most and recommend to everyone are these Sigma brushes. These brushes are not only amazing quality, they do NOT shed, and they do all the work for you. I was fortunate enough to get the Extravaganza Complete set as a gift, but they have less expensive sets or you can purchase individual brushes. I highly recommend these and I know the sets can be pretty pricey, but I promise you it’s worth it!

Face brushes (starting from the left): 

Tapered Face F25- I use for powder to set my foundation, but can be used for applying blush or contouring.

Duo Fiber F50- I use this brush at the very end to blend my contour with my blush to make sure I don’t have any harsh lines.

Powder/Blush F10- this brush is amazing to apply blush, but it can be used for any powder.

Large Angled Contour F40- Perfect contour brush that provides a more natural contour or can be used for blush.

Small Contour F05- this is what I used for as my everyday contour brush. I love to contour my whole face and I only have to use this one brush to get the job done in a hurry.

Tapered Highlighter F35- To apply powder highlight to the tops of the cheekbones. Can use to apply any powder or contour.

Eye brushes:

Tapered Blending E40- Used to blend the crease color to ensure no harsh lines

Eye Shading E55- To apply eye shadow to the lid

Tapered Blending E35- Another crease blending brush

Blending E25- The shape of this brush allows for a more defined crease

Small Tapered Blending E45- To apply contour in outer corner of the eye and crease.

Concealer F70- This is technically a concealer brush, but it can be used to contour small areas (like the nose), but I use this this brush for highlighting my brow bone.

Short Shader E20- I use this to smudge/blend out color on my lower lash line

Flat Definer E15- Used to press color in the lower lash line


I have to give a shout out to my eye lash curler! I have long spidery lashes so I, personally like how my lashes look when I curl them before using mascara. I do not recommend applying mascara and then curling your lashes because your lashes will stick to the curler and possibly rip your precious lashes out.

Lastly, some of the best tools you have are your clean HANDS! BB and CC creams go on beautifully with clean hands and I love applying and blending my under eye concealer with my finger. Using your finger is gentle and provides a nice natural finish. If your in a rush, you can apply eye shadow with your fingers too.*Let me know if you want me to do a post on how I use the beauty blender!

Links to all products are below:


Building That Summer Body {Part 2}

April 11, 2015

Work out, but work out smart. Let’s get one thing out of the way, you cannot get a hard rock bod in 2 weeks. Sorry. So start early and commit to the process. *Consistency is the key*

#1 Lift weights and not the 2 lb. pink dumbbells. Lift heavy weight- whatever heavy means to you. If you are still going at rep 20, then the weight is not nearly heavy enough. Lifting burns more calories and burns more fat than cardio. It strengthens your bones and reduces anxiety and depression. Everyones bodies respond differently to lifting so do whatever works for you. If you are looking for a lifting program I highly recommend– they have tons of workout programs for everyone including beginners.

#2 Do your cardio, but do it smart. Spending 2 hours jogging on the treadmill isn’t going to get you closer to a hard bod any time soon. Spend 20-30 minutes doing some sprints or high intensity interval training (HIIT). It’s not easy and is meant to kick your butt. Hit the pavement, treadmill, stair mill, stair master, elliptical DOESN’T MATTER just sprint. I personally don’t love steady state cardio and my body responds well and quickly to sprints. This blasts fat without burning/losing muscle. I keep them to no longer than 30 minutes (warm up included) to ensure that I am not losing any of my precious muscle. Heres an example:

5 minute warm up starting at a slow pace and working up the speed

30 seconds sprint

30 seconds fast paced walk or jog if you can

for 15-20 minutes

5 minute cool down

#3 Don’t be hero. DO NOT throw yourself into lifting weights if you have never lifting before/ don’t know what you are doing. Start with a light weight for form and work your way up. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right STOP DOING IT.

#4 Rest. Allow at least 1 day of rest from the gym. Lifting weights puts a significant amount of stress on the body and recovery is just as important as exercise. Rest days are when the body repairs and strengthens the muscle tissues.

Remember, consistency is key. Stick with it and the results will come.

Fitness, Food

Tips for Healthy Weight Loss {Part 1}

April 11, 2015

Summer is right around the corner and we are all trying to get ourselves beach ready. So for those who are trying to get healthy, lose weight or get back at it here are some tips that I personally follow and  hope are helpful for you.

The biggest tip I can give anyone is to clean up your diet. Eat whole, real, and natural food. As they say, you can’t out train a bad diet. This is probably where most of us struggle. I admit, I struggle with it too. I mean cut out processed foods and artificial sugars. I notice a big difference in my energy levels and GI functioning when I stick with clean foods.

The bulk of your grocery cart should contain items from the outskirts of your grocery store-so veggies and lots of them (if you don’t like them- I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to play around with recipes to find a way to enjoy them), lean proteins, fruits, dairy, and eggs.

#1 Dairy – I am lactose intolerant so I stay away from dairy all together. Limit your dairy or eliminate it if you can. Yogurt can be a good source of protein, but unfortunately most of them are loaded in sugar and artificial ingredients. So if you want to include yogurt in your diet, choose organic 0% plain greek yogurt and then add some cinnamon, almond butter, and a bit of fruit to make it tasty. If you can’t handle the plain, don’t eat yogurt.

#2 Carbs are not the enemy. Healthy carbs = a happy healthy lifestyle. Why do I say happy? Have you ever interacted with someone on a no or low carb diet? Ekkk!!!! Choose healthy WHOLE GRAIN carbs like potatoes, organic brown basmati rice, steel cut oats, quinoa or any other gluten free grain. Your body needs healthy carbs to function: whole grain/healthy carbs allow for maintaining insulin levels, maintaining a healthy adrenal functioning, and keeping a balance in hormones. Low carb diets can decrease metabolism, cause muscle catabolism, and can increase the stress hormone- cortisol which can cause fat storage.

Lets talk about Fiber which comes from fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Most people don’t think about fiber intake which is important for proper GI function. Typically, when the carbs go down, so does fiber. In most cases, a no carb or low carb diet is not long term so why not maintain a healthy balance AND be a lean mean fighting HAPPY machine.

#3 Fats do not make you fat in fact, healthy fats help will help you lose fat. Healthy fats lower bad cholesterol, improve the immune system and boost your mood. Some examples of healthy fats are avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter etc. Not only are they important for a healthy diet, hormone balance and also for weight loss.

#4 Sugar-Eliminate all sugar from your diet. No soda, no white sugar, no baked goods, no honey, no agave. Be mindful of the amount of fruit you are taking in.  Stick with low GI fruits. It’s important to have a healthy balanced diet, but since we are talking about weight loss, keep your fruit intake minimal. I recommend berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) and don’t use fruit as a dessert unless you can practice portion control.

#5 Healthy lean protein- chicken breast, lean turkey, wild fish, organic eggs etc. Diets high in protein have been known to lose fat and preserves muscle.  Protein will keep you fuller longer due to its long digesting time. Try to get some protein with each meal/snack.

#6 Listen to your body. It seems that every other person has some sort of food intolerance which can be tricky to identify so try to be self-aware of how you feel after you eat.

#7 Don’t drink alcohol. Yes, that includes wine. Too. Much. Sugar.

Optional: #8 Some people do better with tracking food using a scale and utilizing a food tracking program like (like me). Others do better being more relaxed and using basic portion rules. Do whatever works for you.

*If you find yourself struggling with cravings and really want that piece of chocolate, a cookie, some ice cream then EAT IT. Just don’t binge and don’t feel guilty about it. It’s important to be healthy and a part of being healthy is being HAPPY. We do not want to not develop or feed bad relationships with food.

Remember, consistency is key. Stick with it and the results will come.


Simple DIY Scrubs

March 28, 2015


Exfoliating is an important step to ensure you have healthy and glowy skin. This is not breaking news. However, it is to my surprise that many people are still not exfoliating their skin. I don’t believe there is a need to purchase expensive brands to achieve healthy skin. I have used a variety of DIY scrubs that I love and rotate based on my particular skins needs. I have very sensitive & combination skin- which is new for me because I’ve always had just oily skin. I also struggle with eczema around my mouth. My go-to scrubs are always made with sugar because sugar is gentle and perfect for my sensitive skin. Whatever I used for my face, I can/will use on my body, but never the reverse. The skin on your face is far more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body. The sugar that is photographed is regular organic raw sugar, but the sugar I use is much finer which works better for my skin.

I love DIY scrubs because you use all natural products that are great for your skin and super hydrating. These are some of my favorites:

Coconut oil and organic raw sugar- feel free to add any essential oil as you desire. I have used rose oil in my body scrubs and loved it.


Raw whipped shea butter with organic raw sugar- I add olive oil to thin it out- I love this for the body, but can be used for the face as well. It is super creamy and hydrating


Honey with organic raw sugar- currently my favorite and go to. Leaves your skin glowy and super smooth. Tackles those pesky black heads and treats any blemishes. The honey is soothing for your skin and great to treat eczema.


I recommend using ingredients in their pure, raw, natural form to get the maximum nutrient benefits from them.

I don’t follow any kind of recipe, I just pour a little at a time until it’s the consistency that I want. Play around with the ingredients until they are to your liking!

I like to do my facial scrubs in the shower, after I have washed my face. This allows my pores to open up and my skin absorbs the moisture from the oils/honey. I usually make a little extra to use on my body.

As you can see I added some lemon juice and lemon rind to these scrubs. Lemon has healing and toning properties that is great for you skin. Give it a try!

IMG_1198 Let me know which DIY scrub is your favorite.


Raw Whipped Shea Butter

March 28, 2015


  My new obsession! I started looking into shea butters when I was trying to get rid of my nasty razor burn. Very shortly into my research, I realized that it’s pretty easy to make and this way I know exactly what’s in it. Raw shea butter is a super thick excellent moisturizer, especially in the cold winter months. It is loaded with vitamin E and A which is great for skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. It’s also great for blemishes, dry skin, stretch marks, sunburns, bug bites and the list goes on and on. It’s perfect for those of us with super sensitive skin.  Good grade raw shea butter is solid, usually ivory in color and has a nutty scent. I, personally, did not want to add any additional oils. Most people add oils (coconut oil, olive oil, essential oils etc.) to increase the benefits, to make it creamier and easier to apply.  


What you will need:

 Raw solid shea butter, two bowls for a double boiler, electric hand mixer, a big bowl, a knife for mixing, and a container for your butter.

Here’s what I did:

I cut the brick in half and used only the half. Broke it up into smaller pieces using a butter knife, the chunks fall off just like a block of cheese. As you can see its pretty solid so we need to soften it up a bit before it can whip up.


I added those smaller pieces to a double boiler. I like using this method instead of a double boiler directly over the stove because this way ensures that my shea butter will not overheat and lose some of its healthy properties.


Stir. Keep stirring. You’ll begin to notice that some of the shea butter melts down to an oil and that’s ok. When you notice that most of the shea butter has softened (its ok if it’s still chunky) Transfer the butter to bigger bowl and use the hand mixer to whip it. Give it some time to ensure all the lumps have been smoothed out.


So there you have it, whipped raw shea butter! This stuff is super thick so I only use it at night. It’s perfectly ok use on your face and body.