Spring Detox

Crystal Hills Bella Vita Blogger

  You know it’s time to detox when you order a cocktail with your kids at the table. Normally, I limit my alcohol intake to one or two glasses of wine per week, and hard liquor is reserved for special events. The calorie and sugar content is high, alcohol provides no satiety, and it doesn’t promote a healthful glow. At the end of the meal, I was considering the cocktail menu and asked my ten year old son what cocktail I should order for dessert, the Velvet Hammer or the Black Russian. Without missing a beat, he replied, “The Black Russian, Mommy. Go Eurasian!” While I was impressed by his knowledge of geography, I had to stop and ask myself if perhaps I needed to…

Vegan Gluten Free Fudgy Brownies

Vegan Gluten Free Brownies

Vegan Gluten Free Fudgy Brownies Indulge in this rich vegan, fudgy brownie as a well deserved treat or share with that special someone. It’s an delectable dessert for all to enjoy as these brownies are nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free. Recipe   Yields 12 brownies | Prep time 10 minutes | Bake time 20 minutes   Ingredients 1 ½ cups gluten free oat flour ½ cup Dutch cocoa powder (the dark stuff) ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ground flax seed ½ teaspoon xanthan gum ½ cup coconut sugar dash of salt ½ cup avocado oil or grape seed oil 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips 1 cup raspberries   Method Set oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 inch pan. In a medium…



  Allantoin is an ingredient useful in products such as cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, lipsticks, lotions, and pharmaceuticals. In cosmetics its use is mostly as a moisturizer and to assist in removing upper layers of dead skin cells. This leads to smoother skin and provides a soothing effect. History Allantoin is a minor ingredient found in the comfrey plant. The plant and its root have been used in the past to cure ailments related to skin and bone problems (the plant has common names such as boneset, bruise wort, and healing herb, an attestation to its use). Greek doctors used it stop bleeding, in wound healing, and in helping to mend broken bones. Current uses Allantoin can be extracted from the comfrey plant or synthesized. It…

Immune Boosting Herbs

Immune Boosting Herbs

  Immune Boosting Herbs It’s that time of year again when the cold season emerges. Sometimes we are lucky and our immune systems are strong enough to allow us to stay in that perfect state of health. However there are those times when life keeps us a little too busy, gives us a bit too much stress and our immune system lowers its guard. It might start with a sniffle, a scratchy throat and then it is full out body aches, sore throat, fever and even a sore tummy. For those with little ones, it’s even harder when everyone catches a cold or the flu at the same time. Being an herbalist, I usually make my own little herbal blends and make infusions depending on…

Hair Masque

Hair Masque

I love my blonde hair. In fact, I will go so far as to say that I have waited for this shade of blonde my whole life. This honey blonde hue lifts my spirits and makes me feel like a stylish, modern and naturally happy mom. However, this ideal shade of blonde comes at a price in our harsh winter climate. To fight dryness and to keep my hair soft, supple and manageable, I use a deep conditioning hair masque once a week during the dry winter months. The following is a DIY recipe that will give your mane some much needed moisture. You will need: 1 cup full fat plain yogurt ¼ cup liquid honey 1/8 cup sweet almond oil Stir together in a…

Turkey Quinoa Soup

turkey quinoa soup

  I love one pot meals that intertwine protein, with healthy carbs plus a mixture of vegetables. Here’s a great ‘go to’ soup recipe. Turkey Quinoa Soup Yields 6 servings Ingredients ⦁ 8 cups turkey broth ⦁ 1 cup carrots, shredded ⦁ 1 cup onions, shredded ⦁ 1 cup celery, shredded ⦁ 2 cups cooked turkey meat, diced ⦁ 1 tablespoon coconut oil ⦁ 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt or more to taste ⦁ 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa ⦁ 1 teaspoon oregano ⦁ cracked pepper Method 1. Shred vegetables and sauté on medium heat in a large sauce pot with oil until soft. 2. Add turkey, broth, salt, oregano, pepper and quinoa. 3. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.  

Chocolate banana protein pancakes

chocolate banana protein pancakes

Chocolate banana protein pancakes Start your day out right with a healthy, protein-packed, decadent breakfast. What do you get when you combine cocoa powder, banana, coconut oil and oat flour . . . the most fabulous morning treat. Ingredients ⦁ 1 cup oat flour ⦁ 1/4 cup cocoa powder ⦁ 1 teaspoon baking powder ⦁ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda ⦁ 2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (I used Genuine Health fermented vanilla) ⦁ 1/2 cup banana, mashed ⦁ 1 1/2 cups milk or milk alternative ⦁ 1 tablespoon chia seeds ⦁ 1 tablespoon avocado oil or melted coconut oil Method 1. Combine oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, protein powder together in a medium sized bowl. 2. In another bowl, mash banana and…

Whipped Strawberry Masque for Face and Decollete

DIY Strawberry mask

Whipped Strawberry Masque for Face and Décolleté Summer is a wonderful time of year for everyone. The warmth in the air is a comfort. The feeling of sunshine touching our skin envelops us with a softness and a kind of gentle glow. However, having children out of school and breaking with routine can be a touch stressful. This recipe will apply vitamin-rich tenderness to our skin on the outside, and deliver an anti-stress tonic via our tastebuds. For this masque, you will need: 1 cup fresh strawberries 1 cup plain natural yogurt (or plain Greek, or Balkan style) 1 tsp. ground cardamom ¼ cup organic dark chocolate chips (minimum 70%) We all know that eating strawberries delivers vital nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and antioxidants…

Chocolate Cheesecake Balls

Chocolate Cheesecake Balls

Who loves cheesecake?! Now we all know cheesecake isn’t the healthiest dessert so I’ve changed the typical ingredients with a healthier Greek yogurt option. So why plain yogurt? The main culprit that turns yogurt from a healthy food into an unhealthy one is the added sugar. Although yogurt already contains some natural sugar in the form of lactose (milk sugar), most companies often add large amounts of simple sugars to make yogurt taste sweeter. Typically the healthiest choice is plain, unflavored yogurt. But if you don’t like plain yogurt, there are a few things you can do instead. One option is to sweeten it yourself with your favorite fresh fruit or add your own natural sweeteners, like raw honey, coconut sugar or stevia. Greek yogurt…

Regaining my Inner Balance

Regaining my inner balance

  Regaining My Inner Balance Like most busy moms, I am constantly on the go. It takes a lot of work to pack up the kids and all their supplies for the day. However, I consider myself to be lucky as I can usually fit in some kind of “me” time on most days, such as gym time, tennis, lunch or coffee with a friend, or some quick shopping. Since the mornings are so busy, most days I am lucky to get a five-minute shower and quickly put on mascara and lip gloss before heading out the door. A typical day for me means that I can have either good hair, good makeup, or a good outfit: two out of three means I am meeting…

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