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Ideas for how to make life simple, seasonal, and satisfying in every way. I am a nutritionist and natural chef based in Chattanooga and this is my journal of food and health enthusiasm to share with you all

seasonal :: five fall habits

I recently moved from Florida where the markers of fall consist of pumpkin spice lattes from starbucks and the 13 days of halloween on ABC Family. I'm not sure what to expect from fall in Tennessee, but with the first day of autumn came cool mornings and view of a constant confetti of leaves through my kitchen window. I instantly wanted to cuddle on the couch with a cup of tea and watch you've got mail and put chili on the meal plan for the week (both of which I did, and loved every second :). 

Autumn is bittersweet, in that it symbolizes the death of the bounty of summer and the entrance into a barren time of winter. Isn't it amazing, though, how beautiful it is? The oranges, the reds, the foggy mornings, and the golden sunshine (in Tennessee, anyways). Do you feel more contemplative? I always do, and honestly the cycle of death and rebirth through the seasons was a major reason for our relocation. Our bodies crave change, but love consistency and the seasons offer both. 

While the leaves are falling off the trees, energy is surging away from the greens on the branches and down to the roots in the ground. We function in a similar way! Autumn is a time of settling in and re-energizing, recharging ourselves after a season of busy trips, late nights, fireworks, sunburns, and ice cream. It is a time of abundance, thankfulness, and celebration, but it is also a time of restoration, thoughtfulness, and strengthening. The landscape is changing from bright green to soft golds, why should we not change our colors :)

Here are the changes that I'm excited to make this season:

1 //MOVE YOUR BODY// i will be focusing on restorative movement, such as yoga, pilates, foam rolling, and stretching. i won't give up on my other favorite forms of movement, but i want to facilitate healing in my tired muscles!

2//EAT THE HARVEST// there are still so many luscious summer crops available, but you will find yourself craving them in different preparations. rather than a tomato salad, whip up a roasted tomato soup. use a bumper crop of zucchini to make zucchini bread. roast your hard squashes and mix them with a bevy of fresh herbs that should still be thriving. follow your cravings and don't forget to find a you pick farm or farmer's market and take part in the harvest!

3//CLEAN YOUR HEARTH// obviously i'm a big fan of the idea of the modern day hearth; i love the image of a family gathering to share their lives and nourish their bodies. nowadays, the hearth is not limited to the kitchen, but has extended to the living room, the office, and the bed room. be sure to cleanse these areas and make them as comfortable as possible. make your home a place that you love to be, you will likely be spending more time there in the cold weather! keep your decor simple, but meaningful.

4//SPEND COZY TIME WITH LOVED ONES// if you are like me, you spent your summer moving from one adventure to the next. these adventures feed your soul, but can wear out your body! take time to slow down and focus on spending down time with those that you love the most. remove a few social commitments from your list and leave margins to be filled with snuggle time on the couch or unexpected discoveries nearby. one of my biggest pet peeves of our generation is the tendency to look to the next thing and overlook right where we are. spend an afternoon walking your neighborhood or talking with your spouse/best friend. often, the most fulfilling moments are the ones found in the midst of the familiar.

5//CULTIVATE INDOOR HOBBIES// don't mistake this point for a call to stay inside all season! please, take daily walks, go for hikes on the weekends, and sip your coffee on the porch while you still can. fall weather is beautiful and the changing foliage is breathtaking, but it will begin to get dark much earlier than your bedtime which means a lot more indoor time. listen, i love dvr as much as the next girl and there are some killer shows starting up this fall, but take the time to explore new hobbies now so that you are no longer a beginner during the dark days of winter. SAD is a real thing, and people, we must create our own sunshine in winter! finding a hobby that you are passionate about is one way to do that. take a skillshare class on whatever strikes your fancy, take a visit to the library to find a new book that you just can't put down, rediscover an old hobby that you let fall by the wayside during the summer. do whatever makes your heart sing!

I hope these small changes help you enjoy your fall even more than normal and begin to acclimate you to the entrance into winter. there are a million and one more ways to do this, but these are such a lovely way to start. oh, and don't forget to stock up on your favorite tea and break out the dutch oven for lots and lots of chili :) you'll want them, trust me...

simplify :: beauty routine :: deodorant

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Ok, I'm going to share a secret that I normally don't share unless I can prove that I don't smell..but since you aren't within armpit-smelling distance you will just have to take my word for it! I was once a smelly girl, like, secret prescription strength was no match for my pits. Then, I read the research on aluminum in anti-perspirants and how they are REALLY, REALLY bad for you and I thought, it doesn't work anyway so I may as well embrace my exceptional detox sweating abilities! At the time, I had a full time job where I was one on one with clients regularly, so for their sake I decided to try to hippify (i made that up) some sweet smelling concoction to cover up my smell! I whipped this guy up and seriously, on the first day of wearing I was amazed that it did not simply cover up my smell, but STOPPED it. Honest to goodness, it was my first non-smelling day since I hit puberty when I was 15. Score one for being a hippie homemade deodorant wearer. Fast forward 5 years and I still wear and make this AND have converted some very non-hippie people to the homemade pit paste dark side! Guys, if my husband endorses this stuff, you know it is good. I put it in a jar, but if you really don't like the idea of putting on deodorant with your fingers (again, if my husband is down, you can do it too :) you can grab an empty deodorant stick and put it in when the paste is slightly melted from mixing, pop it in the fridge until hard and you are good to go. I don't trust this method though, because my bathroom gets hot enough to melt a popsicle on a summer's day, let alone coconut oil (melting temp of about 76 degrees!). Ok, ok, I know you are totally convinced and want to know how to make it, but let me just say this will not keep you from sweating, it will keep you from smelling! Sweating is one of the number one ways that our toxin-overloaded bodies can get rid of the badies so let it do its thing, please! Anti-perspirants are not only loaded with chemicals and heavy metals that can cause alzheimer's and cancer (among a thousand other bad situations) but they stop your body from releasing toxins and keep them cooped up in your body :( Give your armpits some love and let them breathe for heaven's sake! What this deodorant does is stop bacteria from growing in the dark, warm, and moist (ugh) environment of your armpits using the anti-microbial properties of the ingredients used and it just so happens that these ingredients are moisturizing, exfoliating, and smell wonderful. WIN, WIN! Ok, now on with the show!

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::what you will need::

a cute half pint jar

1/4 cup baking soda (by a giant arm&hammer box, you will thank me :)

1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or non-gmo cornstarch, you can also use either in jeni's ice cream recipes which are by far THE best ice cream treats ever...)

1/2 cup coconut oil (anti-microbial)

40 drops of tea tree oil (anti-bacterial!) i don't love the brand that i used for this batch in the photo, but linked to one that seems better...essential oils are so tough to choose from, but usually you want it to say pharmaceutical grade on the bottle!

25 drops of other essential oil of your choice (get creative)

::scents i like::

lavender+chamomile = soothing & calming

peppermint = invigorating and kind of tingly :)

sage = manly

lemon or orange = clean feeling

to infinity and beyond!

a batch this size lasts the hubs and I about six months...that's a LONG time!

Mix 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup of baking soda...powder will get everywhere if you go too fast!

Add essential oils of choice, but definitely include 40 drops of tea tree oil which gives it extra anti-bacterial power. You will not regret buying a bottle of this, I promise! I use it for everything...on blemishes, to take off sticky tag residue on things, in homemade all purpose cleaner, etc.

You want the coconut oil to be a semi-solid when you mix it in. If it is too melted, the mixture will separate in the jar as it cools, but if it is too cold you won't be able to mix it at all! 

Scrape every last drop out of that bowl into the jar...waste not, want not (says my grandma :) 

Now you are done! Yay! Pop it in the fridge if it is a bit soft and then put that bad boy in your medicine cabinet and apply whenever you want. I love it so much that I literally put it on 4x a day!

homemade deodorant!

Enjoy your non-smelly, healthy armpits :)

p.s. you can see this on my steller story also, here!

satisfy :: make the weekend last

i'm not feeling quite ready for the week. the weekend haze is strong with me... uninterrupted snuggle time with the husband, hours to spend luxuriously lounging on the couch and reading, time to spend on yummy dinners with a glass of wine. these are the things my dreams are made of.

here is my antidote... retain the feel of the weekend :) simple, but effective.
start with a lovely meal, read a few pages of a book, snuggle extra close with the husband for the short time you have.

Transient

this picture is from a few weeks ago, but it definitely applies.

book: the hobbit (finished a while ago :)
meal: delicious full fat grass fed yoghurt with pomegranate seeds and sliced almonds (you know there was a great, big dollop of honey in there :)

so, my friends, that is the remedy! take the time to make the midweek special! what do you do to hold on to the freedom of the weekend all week long?

simplify :: channel mary poppins

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there are times in my life that i feel as though i've got my stuff together. i wake up too  early, i have actual free time, the to do list is clean, and i am generally well groomed. 

today was that day for me and it felt great. i felt like a modern day mary poppins, practically perfect in every way. i'm glad i avoided the mirror because my frizzy half-done braid would have ruined my record.

here's to mary, who never has an off day and never ever has frizzy hair.