Butternut squash smoothie!

Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods. It’s colorful, flavorful, and good alone or mixed in a stir fry or quiche. It’s also a great way to get vitamins A & C,  magnesium and potassium! The last few weeks I’ve been trying to make my smoothies more on the veggie side, instead of all fruits. I love my fruit, but a big cup of them is a little too much sugar to start my day. This smoothie is super creamy, full of good protein and will fill you up for a long day. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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What you’ll need:

  • Frozen butternut squash (organic, if possible)
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 2 tbs. Almond butter
  • 2 tbs. Hemp hearts (I love this brand)
  • 1 tbs. Collagen peptides (this one is my favorite)
  • 1/4 cup steamed and then frozen cauliflower
  • 1 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/2-1 cup (may need more depending on how thick you like it) Flax milk or nut milk of choice
  • Blend and top with granola and coconut flakes!

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I have truly made this every day for a week now. I even made it for a friend that came to visit and she loved it.

ALSO, send me your favorite granola recipes! I know Pinterest has a billion, but I don’t like it too sweet and want to hear from you!

 

Clean beauty round-up!

For me, another huge part of getting healthy was looking at what products I was using on my body. As important as it is to think about what you’re putting IN your body, I feel just as strongly about what is going on your skin! I’ve tried so many “clean” products and have made a list of only the ones I love the most. Each item will be linked! Enjoy!

 

Face cleanser & moisturizers.

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I’ll start with skin care. I’m pretty simple with cleansing and moisturizing. The cleanser I use is Pacifica Kale Detox deep cleansing face wash. I love this brand for a million reasons, but my favorite is that it’s affordable and sold at Target. Any excuse to go to Target is pretty fun. For daily moisturizer, I use Shea Moisture’s peace rose oil moisturizer. The love I have for this stuff is crazy. It’s not oily, not greasy, just leaves my skin feeling clean and happy. About once per week, I mix my Shea moisture with Boots Botanics face oil and get a deep moisturizing in. It feels amazing and has great ingredients!

 

Body care.

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For my bod, I am alllll about some Ursa Major. I love this company. I am weird with smells. I really like more musky, minty, or just masculine smells. I rarely like strongly floral scents. Maybe I’m weird, who knows. Anyways, they have the cleanest smelling stuff, and the cleanest ingredients. I have tried several of their products and have yet to dislike anything! The deoderant smells minty, keeps me fresh for an entire day, and is aluminum free! Both their body wash and lotion come in a set and the smells are perfect. My ONLY complaint about anything, is that the body wash is supposed to be concentrated and not much should be needed, but you do need 2-3 pumps to really clean your whole body. But it’s lasted me a few months and still not empty so it’s not bad! The last product from them that I swear by is their 4-in-1 face tonic. I don’t use it daily, but several times per week, just when my skin is feeling like it needs some extra loving, this stuff comes in and brightens it up. Read the reviews and you will get it, people love it.

 

Face masks.

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My FAVORITE thing. I love masking. It’s such a fun way to scare your husband and is also so great for your skin when you find the right ones. My current obsession is the mermaid mask by Leah Lani. Besides making your skin feel new and refreshed, she is an amazing business woman and so kind. I always enjoy supporting that! Acure is another great brand found at Target for great prices (if you don’t like shopping amazon). This mask is my favorite for pore minimizing and this one is amazing for glowing and younger looking skin! Some others that I enjoy but don’t use as often are the Shea moisture hydrating mud mask and Herbivore botanical ACTIVATE (which is no longer available but they have amazing products as well.)

 

Make up.

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I am suuuuper simple with make up. I used to get a little crazier, but I feel best wearing these three simple products! After moisturizing with all of the mentioned about things, I use 100 percent pure foundation. At first, the texture (kind of watery) threw me off and I wasn’t into it. After getting used to it though, I could not imagine another foundation. For me, it works best applied with just my fingertips. Next, I use their cream blush. This was another product that threw me off some. I had always used powder blush! Again, can’t ever imagine using another product now. Last, I throw on some mascara and am good to go. This stuff smells amazing and no clumps! Mascara is kind of boring to me so not much else to say. I am looking for a good highlighter, I love highlighting my face, but haven’t found a good “clean” product that I like yet. Send me your tips!

 

That’s it! I also use a lot of essential oils for my skin and teeth, but that’s another blog post! I would love to hear if you have tried any of these or if you do end up trying some, how you like it! I also always love hearing about and trying new products so shoot them my way!

Healthy habit challenge

A couple of weeks ago I reached out to Facebook needing tips for working out at home because a gym membership is out of our budget right now (Yay getting out of debt). I love exercise and have a hard time finding time to fit it in. Some angel of a friend reached out to me and said that if I would commit to meeting her at 6am 3 times per week, she would add me to her gym membership. I’m not one to normally accept such a large offer, but I knew I needed this and so I said yes! It is week 3 and it has been incredible. We workout for an hour, nothing insane, but I have so much more energy and joy. So it got me thinking, what are some other things I could add into my day to make it a little bit better? AND THEN I thought, what if I make it a challenge? So, here we are. 30 days. Every day for the first 15 days, we will add one new healthy habit, and then continue doing them all for 15 days and see what we liked and didn’t like. Sounds fun, right? Some will be easy, some will be hard. I’m excited! I would love for you to follow along with me. I’ll be posting a video everyday on Instagram stories (follow me! houseofwade is my username) and then do a big post here at the end. I plan on starting in June, here is the list of habits!

June 1st: Drink a gallon of water every day. They say this can help with weight loss, energy, headaches, memory loss, digestion and joint pain, to name a few.
June 2nd: Take a 10 minute walk (alone or with family). Use this time to listen to an uplifting podcast, or spend time with your partner to talk about your days.
June 3rd: Read for 30 minutes from a good book. Right now I’m reading The Compound Effect! I learn something great each time I pick it up.
June 4th: Morning meditation. However this looks for you, just try 10 minutes. Mine will include prayer, but quiet time is key. This can help with stress relief, brain function, and reduces anxiety.
June 5th: Meatless Monday. Every Monday, eat no meat! It can reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each meatless Monday. It also saves you money! Meat is expensive. (Source)
June 6th- Drink green tea. Green tea has been known to improve brain function, help with weight loss, manages cholesterol and more!
June 7th: Go to bed early. Even 15 minutes! I always have plans to go to bed early but end up watching Netflix or scrolling Instagram. Time to stick to it!
June 8th: Write down 2 things your thankful for. It’s so easy to focus on the negative things, this will help you see some positives!
June 9th: Do something that makes you laugh. I always love a good Youtube video! Here are some of my favorites: Kristen Wiig as KhaleesiChris Pratt on the Ellen showEllen sends her employees to a haunted house)
June 10th: NO processed sugar. I think we all know too much processed sugar is bad. This isn’t one I struggle with much, but I could always eat less of it.
June 11th: Stretch for 15 minutes. Stretching increases circulation, makes you more flexible, could reduce stress levels, can give you more energy and helps with posture!
June 12th: No phones after 6pm. I love social media. Let’s be real. I think it’s so cool that it brings connections from all over the world. I like seeing all of the cool things people post and keeping up with people that have moved away! Every night I notice my husband and I are just staring at our phones. It drives me up a wall. So I’m hoping this is one that sticks.
June 13th: Send someone a card. A thank you card, a hello card, just write it out and send it! Studies have shown that saying thank you to someone can make you feel amazing!
June 14th: Drink hot lemon water in the morning. This could help boost your immune system, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation!
June 15th: Wake up earlier! I’ve already started this 3 days a week to work out, but I will try the other days as well.

If you decide to join me, let me know! I would love to hear about how it’s going.

 

 

Budget grocery shopping.

One thing I pride myself on juuuust a teeny bit is my meal planning and grocery spending. I love food. Like, LOVE food. It’s expensive though, as I’m sure most of you know. I have a few tips and tricks to help me achieve a monthly budget of (roughly) $350 for 3 people. We eat organic when possible, meals are what most consider “healthy” and a good chunk of them are paleo friendly.

*side note: my husband does get some free meats from his job, I would say it takes about $25-50 off of our monthly bill, so still a great price point.

Tip #1: Aldi. If you don’t have one near you, this post may not help. I apologize. Some things about Aldi that seem to throw people off: 1)You bring your own bags. They also have random boxes around you can use or you can buy their bags. 2)There is no guarantee that they will have everything you need/want. When I make my meal plans, I usually just know that if I have asparagus down as a side, it may end up being green beans. You get to used to it. They also do sell quite a bit of organic, so I try and purchase that when I can.

I shop at Aldi first and then go to Harris Teeter. I am a little picky about meats, so the only ones I will buy from Aldi is their grass fed beef and wild caught salmon. HT sells $1.99/lb chicken at the meat counter, so I usually stock up on that and grab all the little things Aldi didn’t have. Harris Teeter is thought of as expensive, but they do B1G1 sales on tons of items. A few weeks ago they had chicken sausage on sale for B1G1 so I got 4. They release weekly sales online so I check before-hand!

Tip #2: Meal prep. I do 2 weeks a time. We’re super busy, so I don’t really have time to do this once per week. I also feel like the less time you spend in a grocery store, the less you spend. Doing it for 2 weeks has been a learning curve, but I am learning which foods last longer than others. I plan stir fry during the second week almost always, onions, peppers and potatoes last for a while, so add some meat and you have a meal! We also like to do pizza at the end of the second week, just have some dough on hand and add all the items that are going bad, it almost always turns out great! (This is obviously a time when I am not eating paleo).

Making the meal plan is somewhat obnoxious, so you can also use meal planning services like this one! Right now, I just ask John if he has any requests, and then I pull up a word document and Pinterest. I write a letter for each day we need planning (M,T,W,Th…) and put in the meals. Then below all of that, have a section for produce, meat, dairy/eggs, and frozen/extra. I look at day one and put in each ingredient needed to make that meal in the right category. I have a private Pinterest board with meal prep ideas and recipes galore, that helps a ton. Always check your fridge/freezer/cabinets and base a lot of it off of what you have! John eats a little different than I do, so a lot of what I cook can work for each of us, so on taco night I eat a taco salad and he and Jack have good ol’ tacos.

Here is an example of what my meal plan looks like:

M- BBQ Chicken with Corn and Broccoli

T- Pear salad with grilled chicken

W- Pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and carrots

T- Picnic in park / Sandwiches and chips

F- Paleo chicken cabbage stir fry

S- Paleo buffalo chicken casserole

S- Sweet potato black bean burgers over salad

M- Chinese chicken salad (we will have some cabbage left from Friday)

T- Sausage potato skillet

W- Pizza Night

T- Tuna cakes with broccoli

F- Food truck Friday

S- Tacos (Taco salad)

S- Zucchini lasagna

 Most items are linked to recipes to make your grocery list!

Tip #3: This one is talked about a lot, but I agree so I’ll say it again…buy seasonally! Avocados are so expensive in the winter, give them up! Produce is the largest part of my trip, so buying what’s in season is key.

Tip #4: Make your own condiments! Especially those that you rarely use. I never use bbq sauce, but needed some for a recipe. I looked on Pinterest for a quick recipe and found this one. I had everything except the Worcestershire sauce and it tasted fine without it. Another big one I save a lot with is salad dressings. Just mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar and random herbs and you’re good to go! Just keep your fridge and pantry stocked with basics and you can make just about everything. I always keep olive oil, coconut oil, ACV, white vinegar, honey/agave, lemon juice, ketchup, herbs of all sorts, and hot sauce around.

Tip #5: And finally, keep some prepped food and snacks in the fridge or on the counter. I always keep some form of energy bites in the fridge, make a dozen or so hard boiled eggs for the week for all of us, make smoothie packs to just throw in the blender, and salads in containers ready to be topped with salmon or chicken! This helps so much.

That’s it! Sometimes I totally fail and spend way too much and I’m still earning every time, but I hope this helps a little!

 

 

Welcome!

Here it is, another blog. How many times have I started a blog? Truly have no clue. This one is going to work though…because I am putting zero expectation into it. I want a blog to remember every day life with my sweet baby, handsome husband and our cute little life in Charlotte, NC. It will be random, sometimes just a sweet update about Jack and his new antics, or there may be a post about my grocery shopping tips and how to help you waste less food. Who knows. Whatever the post may be, I hope you enjoy it and always feel free to reach out to me!

-Shannon Wade