Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours! I hope today finds you surrounded by family, whatever that may look like. Whether it be just you & your spouse, a house full of kiddos, extended relatives, or friends that have become family, I pray many blessings over your home and Thanksgiving table today.
My heart is so thankFULL everyday. This week has been a whirlwind of awesome that I just want to take time to soak it all in this weekend. I had multiple girl-day catch ups with some of the women who make my heart feel so full. At the new magazine I'm continually meeting amazingly talented artists and I get to interview an actress from one of my favorite shows next week.
I then spent the afternoon on the phone with a major reality show yesterday talking about parts of Mr. Charming's and I health & travel adventures and this week I'm honored to be a part of Earth Balance's Vegan Holiday Bake-Off! It's surreal and amazing and all the Glory to God for these opportunities!
For the Bake-Off I got super ambitious and made my FIRST EVER Bundt cake. Gluten-Free, Vegan and Refined-Sugar Free (aside from the optional glaze), it came out beautiful AND super-delicious. Not going to lie, I tasted a slice after it's photo session last night and it paired well with my breakfast this morning. hehe... I'd love it if you'd take a moment to vote for my cake, as I'd love to be in the running for the People's Choice Award. I'll share a slice if you do...
We enjoyed a breakfast of Paleo goodies mixed with a small slice of cake as we watched the parade and got to sit and enjoy the view of our holiday decor before the cooking for the day began! Aside from my Bundt, I've kept my holiday menu clean. I believe that even during the holidays, it's important to respect our bodies & our health and make good choices.
Does this mean starve yourself? Abolutely not.
Does this mean sitting out of all the fun and resenting the day? Absolutely not.
Just know your limits. While I eat a primarily Paleo diet, I am a PIE fan from way back. So on special occasions, or a random Wednesday, you know whatever, I allow myself the slice of pie. Why? Because mentally, depriving yourself is only going to make a healthy lifestyle harder. Today I am forgoing pie because, cake & I may whip up a batch of my Paleo chocolate chip cookies to share with the littles. You can see my full menu below.
I live by a 90/10 rule. 80/20 when I'm feeling fantastic. I make healthy eating and fitness my priority, every day. So I'm conscious of what I'm consuming. That's the best way to enjoy the best of both worlds.
My charming little Charlie is going bananas over all the smells in the house today, and I took some time during the bake off to get some new shots of my little love. Isn't he just so darn handsome? I think so. He and his fur-brother got a special breakfast of chicken livers, chicken, brown rice, carrots, peas and vitamins. So, he's happy as a clam right about now.
As for our menu, it looks a little something like this...
N&N Thanksgiving Menu
Fruit & Veggie Tray
Turkey Cooked With Onions, Celery and Organic Bone Broth
Mr. Charming's Famous Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Au Gratin
Whipped Garlic Butternut Squash
Coconut Flour Honey Biscuits
Garlic Roasted Broccoli
Glazed Maple Apple Bundt Cake
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sparkling Organic Cider
Hot Crio Bru
So thankful for a roof over our heads, for food on our table, for the love in our lives, friends and family, our beautiful marriage, our fur babies and living our dreams. God is good. All the time. I'd love to hear about your healthy fare & delectable splurges. If you need any assistance planning a gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, vegan or sugar-free Christmas or New Years menu, contact me. I'd be happy to help!
Each year I like to make a list of my goals to moving toward more healthy, whole, organic living. I did a Natural Goals post in 2013 for home, food and body. And this year, I am doing the same. I am happy to report that Mr. Charming and I are taking big strides into improving the over-all health and toxin load of our home.
What I've Accomplished Since 2013:
Honest Co. Products Have Become A Staple. I adore the full line of Honest Co. cleaning products and I have replaced most of the cleaning products in my kitchen, living room and laundry room with Honest Co. products. I will be doing full product reviews on this lovely line soon!
Ceramic is my friend. We have moved away from teflon, which was a goal in 2013! We invested in a really nice set of ceramic stovetop cookware. It's SO easy to clean, the food cooks so well in it, and its a beautiful shade of aqua that matches the beachy theme of our kitchen.
Say No To Plastic. I invested in all glass tupperware. I love taking my lunch to work in little glass bowls. Knowing the only option I have is a microwave for one meal of my day, I try to take salads or cold cuts as much as possible, but now when I do have to heat leftover bone broth soup or chili, I heat it in glass instead of plastic, saving me from the chemicals that can leech into food, even if it IS BPA free. We also use glass and ceramic dishes on the daily, all plastic bowls met the trashcan.
Got All New Filters. While spring cleaning, Mr. Charming and I replaced our home AC filters. We also got a new filter for a vacuum and I bought a brand new tile vacuum for our kitchen. Dust is a huge problem in Arizona, so anything I can use to help filter that away from my delicate little nose, the better.
Redecorating and Passion Projects. I realized, that for the well-being of my mind and soul, especially working from home so much, that redecorating and working on passion projects around the house are very important activities. I use to feel guilty for investing money in making our space more of a home and making it pretty and diving into things I found on Pinterest, but overall, writing in a beautiful space or working out in a space that is inspiring makes us so much more creative and productive in the long run.
What I Still Want To Do In 2014:
Get our air ducts professionally cleaned: Sears is one company I found that does this with high pressured tubing ONLY. NO chemicals!! This was a goal in 2013, and though I really want to do this, we invested money elsewhere first.
More Ceramic. I would LOVE ceramic bake ware as well. Now that I've fallen in love with how easy they are to cook with and CLEAN, I'd love ALL my cookware to be ceramic.
Clean out cabinets: This is still a process. Though we switched our everyday cleaners, we still have a lot of old chemical products in the cabinets we don't access much. We need to take a day to just mask up, and dig into these areas and get rid of it ALL.
Continue purging things we don't need. Everyone has areas in there home that just collect, stuff. My type-A personality hates these areas, haha. I want to continue finishing our spring cleaning list.
It's a good place to start, and I was happy to see, looking back, what we've been able to accomplish. It's all about baby-steps in the right direction. Don't stress about changing everything NOW. It will put stress on your family and yourself. Do one small thing at a time towards a better environment.
I'd love to hear what all of you are doing to improve the health in your home! Feel free to leave comments and share your accomplishments and goals!
However, I had to share a little trick I stumbled upon that TOTALLY worked.
Cleaning my microwave!
You heat a small bowl of vinegar and water in the microwave until hot and it will steam clean off EVERYTHING that is stuck on to the inside surface of your microwave. It just WIPES RIGHT OFF. My microwave inside was pretty gross and it looked SPOTLESS when I did this little trick. Even though I want to get away from using a microwave (one step at a time), at least for now its spotless! ;)