Join the Made to Glow Community
Healthy living posts, tips, & resources to get your glow on!

15 Easy Healthy Snacks (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Hey friends, I know many of us are looking for some new snacks. I’m one of those eat-every-three-hours or I get hangry (hungry + angry) type of people, so I’m always on the lookout for ways I can fuel my body on the regular. 

Healthy snacks should be easy to make and/or transport, and full of nutrients to give you a boost of energy and balance out blood sugars and other hormones. Couple that with needing to align with some dietary restrictions, and sometimes we’ve got to get creative. 

15 Quick, Easy, and Health Snack Ideas (Paleo, Real Food)

I’ve come up with some go-to snacks whether I’m at home or on-the-go.

All of these ideas are gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo, and most can be modified to be vegan (if they aren’t already). 

Click over to my guest post on Red and Honey to see some of my favorite nutrient-packed, clean-eating snacks! 

 

For everyday recipes, pictures, resources, and healthy living tips,
check out Made to Glow on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.
 
Have you seen the Made to Glow Amazon Shop?
It’s full of my favorite products – from food to kitchen gadgets to books to body products. Check it out!
 
 

8 Tips to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

Green beauty buys are becoming more and more mainstream – for good reason! I’ve seen a lot of articles profiling eco-beauty buys lately, and I love the exposure that they’re getting, as well as the focus on reducing toxic chemicals for health and environmental purposes.

The natural beauty market is growing with leaps and bounds, but for newbies to going green, it can be hard to navigate the various (and hard to pronounce) ingredients, new formulas and product lines, and how and where to shop for them. 

I’ve spent the past few years slowly switching the products that I use – in my kitchen, bathroom, make-up bag, etc. – over to products with safer ingredients, and have gathered a lot of tips along the way.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my tips, tricks, favorite products and more in this 3-part series: (1) 8 Tips to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty Products; (2) My Favorite Eco-Beauty Products (What’s in My Make-Up Bag); and (3) My Favorite Non-Toxic Hair and Body Products.

8 Tips to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty products

Photo credit: Beautycounter

When I got sick and first realized the importance of reducing the toxic burden on my body, I was shocked at how harsh the products are that we use in and around our bodies every day! How could I expect to heal or get my glow back if I was slathering myself in, breathing in, or eating toxic chemicals? So, I started to do my research. I also found that my super sensitive skin cleared up, and I felt better all around after making the switch to eco-friendly products.

Thousands of ingredients are still being evaluated for toxicity, especially on the long-term use of them on our health, but I’d rather be safe than sorry and look for safer alternatives. Here are some of the things I’ve learned that makes it easy peasy to switch over to eco-beauty products!

How to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty products

1. Do your research –
2. Read ingredient listings on the back of a product – 
Product labeling can be really confusing (i.e., what does “all natural” actually mean?), and is usually not standardized, so it’s important to actually read the ingredient labels. I try to avoid the following ingredients: parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petroleum, mercury, sodium lauryl sulfates, triclosan, and synthetic fragrance, and look for ingredients that I can pronounce or are familiar with their purpose/safety. Luckily, the apps listed in #1 make it easier to figure this all out!
 
This Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics Glossary from the Green Beauty Team is also super helpful – it explains what the ingredient is and where it’s found. 
 
3. Look for reviews –
All body and beauty products are not made the same. That goes for non-toxic products as well – good ones can be even trickier to find as brands sometimes have to get creative with ingredients. Google the product, and you’ll usually find a bunch of helpful reviews. 
 
I’ll be posting what’s in my make-up bag and bathroom in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!
 
4. Find brands you trust and stick with them – 
As product labeling and marketing is not always standardized and can be hard to figure out (see #2 above), I suggest finding some brands that you trust, and stick to those. When you trust in a brand that clearly has a mission to provide safer, greener products, it’s nice to not have to worry about if they’re hiding anything!
 
My favorite eco-friendly beauty and body brands: Beautycounter, Honest Beauty, Whole Foods 365, and EO. I’ll share my favorite products from each in Parts 2 and 3 to this eco-beauty series in the coming weeks.
 
8 Tips to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty products

Photo credit: Beautycounter

 
5. Ease into it –
Don’t worry about having to switch every product to its non-toxic counterpart at one time – you’ll make yourself crazy and spend a lot of money. 
 
Do what you can at the moment! I’ve been switching to eco-friendly products over the past couple of years. Whenever I need a new product, I then buy the non-toxic version. 
 
6. Buy products you can return for no charge – 
No use in wasting money on products you won’t like. And let’s face it, I’m picky about my products – if I don’t like them, I won’t use them and I want to get my hard-earned dough back!
 
I like Amazon, CVS, and Honest Beauty the best because I’ve been able to return the items for free (with a receipt). 
 
8 Tips to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty products
 
7. If you’re crafty, make your own products – 
Avocado, coconut oil, and egg whites are some common ingredients used in eco-beauty products, so try googling, or searching Pinterest, for recipes and head to the kitchen! If you’re not a DIY (I’m not), don’t sweat – use the resources listed under #1, above, to find brands you trust.
 
8. Remember, it’s about progress not perfection
Even just minimizing the amount of toxic chemicals on your body helps. Do what you can, and you’re already doing your body a favor. This is about doing what’s best for your body, and stressing out over body products is not the goal!
 
Look for my favorite eco-beauty products in Parts 2 – What’s in My Make-Up Bag and 3 – My Favorite Eco-friendly Hair and Body Products coming next week!
 
Pin this post to save it for later:
8 Tips to Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty products
Disclaimer: Some of the links listed above are affiliate links. The price of each product is no different than normal, I simply receive a small percentage of your purchase which helps to keep this blog running. Thanks for your support.
 

Celebrate Spring with the Top Gluten-free, Dairy-free Recipes

Wahoo, spring is officially here! 

I’m just going to forget that we had a freak winter storm on the first official day of spring… Ugh. But, now that the temps are more spring-like this week, I’m celebrating. 

Trees are blooming, the sun is out longer, temps are warmer, and you can just feel it in the air. 

Bring.on.spring! 

Today I’m celebrating with the five most popular seasonal MTG recipes – all free of dairy and gluten, and can be easily modified to be paleo and vegan if they’re not already.

Blueberry mini muffins with lemon coconut frosting (paleo)

Blueberry mini muffins with lemon coconut frosting (paleo)

Blueberry Mini Muffins with a Lemon Coconut Frosting – 2 recipes in one post… these mini muffs are the best in all the land. Seriously. Give them a try, and watch how quickly they go! And the frosting? They take the muffs over the top. And just try not eating it by the spoonful.

 

Strawberry, Orange, and Mint Infused Water

Strawberry, Orange, and Mint-Infused Water – call it “spa water”, “detox water”, or whatever you’d like, but this refreshing combo is as beautiful as it is tasty. My friends and I made it for a baby shower last year, and it was a huge hit. It’s perfect for showers, BBQs, or to just keep in your fridge or water bottle!

 

Banana Nut Pancakes (Paleo)

Banana Nut Pancakes – bananas and cashews team up for this yummy stack of pancakes. Top with chocolate mousse, a drizzle of PB, and your fruit of choice = breakfast of champions! Hint: make a large batch and freeze, so you can quickly heat and eat on the weekdays.

 

Lemony Lentil Salad with Almonds and Arugula

Lemony Lentil Salad with Almonds and Arugula – this was one of the first recipes that I posted on MTG years ago, and it’s still a favorite. The lemons and arugula are the perfect combo, plus the almonds add some crunch. YUM. 

 

Coconut Berry Banana Powerbowl

Coconut Berry Banana Powerbowl – strawberries are almost here, y’all. I got my first batch of organic strawberries the other day – it’s the first sign that winter is truly over! This is a tasty little powerbowl. Pile on your favorite toppings, and off you go to conquer your day. 

 

And a BONUS:

Springtime Glow: Beet, Carrot, and Orange Juice

Springtime Glow – Beet, Orange, and Carrot Juice – This juice uses some gorgeous beets, carrots, and oranges to not only get that pretty color, but also make you feel great! I even threw in some beet and carrot top greens because those are also packed with goodness. 

Save this post for later! Pin here:

Celebrate Spring with Paleo Vegan Recipes

For everyday recipes, pictures, resources, and healthy living tips,
check out Made to Glow on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.
 
Have you seen the Made to Glow Amazon Shop?
It’s full of my favorite products – from food to kitchen gadgets to books to body products. Check it out!
 
 

How to Take Five Minutes for Self-Care Every Day

I wrote this post a couple of months ago, for a guest blog on Red and Honey (see the link below), and hesitated to share it here for awhile. To be honest, I felt a little hypocritical.

The post is about taking five minutes out of your day to ground yourself – using meditation, mindfulness, body scans, prayer, deep breathing, or other mind-body excises that feel right to you. When I wrote the post, I was in the midst of several months of taking five minutes for myself each day to do one of those exercises. 

And I was seeing it pay off big time with how I felt physically, emotionally, mentally… all around.

Just five (yes, just five!) minutes might seem like so little, but when you think about how busy we are, how we fly by the seat our pants, how we barely make time to eat, sleep, or exercise, five minutes for ourselves is pretty huge.

Anyways, I was into it. I was doing it almost every day and reaping the benefits. I felt much calmer, more in tune with my body and all that was around me, more grounded, and less tense. It resulted in me taking more time for myself throughout the day and I found myself prioritizing my needs and my self-care practices… I also got pregnant

How to Take Five Minutes for Self-Care Every Day

I could tell my body was loving the self-care and I loved the way I felt. 

So back to the whole hypocritical thing… smack in the middle of a few weeks of grueling morning (errr all-day) sickness, I got out of the routine. 

It’s been a few months since I sat down and did my “morning five”, but I’m okay with it now.

I’m realizing (as I talk about in the post on Red and Honey), that: (1) no one is perfect, and that’s not what it’s about; (2) routines are powerful – once you’re out of it, it’s hard to get back into it; and (3) acceptance is key. 

If finding some moments throughout the day to sneak in mindfulness works for me right now, then I accept it. If I can get back into the five-minute routine, then that’s wonderful! In the meantime, I’m not going to beat myself up – whatever I can do, whatever feels good. 

I’m still sharing this post for those of you who are ready to prioritize self-care – my hope is that you’ll fit it into your daily routine in whatever way works for you… click below to read more!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL POST.

 

For everyday recipes, pictures, resources, and healthy living tips,
check out Made to Glow on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.
 
Have you seen the Made to Glow Amazon Shop?
It’s full of my favorite products – from food to kitchen gadgets to books to body products. Check it out!
 

A Big Announcement: Baby Glow!

Hey friends, I’m thrilled to share that I am pregnant! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in July. I’m about 5 1/2 months along, and the baby and I are doing great!

IMG_0065

My hubby and I just came back from babymooning in Southern California last week. It was perfect timing — we got to celebrate the halfway mark of my pregnancy and an “all-good” check-up of the baby at the 20-week ultrasound, as well as open the envelope to reveal whether our baby was a boy or girl (we asked the ultrasound technician not to tell us during the appointment, and instead write it down for us to take on our trip). 
 
Opening that envelope that first night in California on our deck during the sunset, and learning that this bump is a boy was an amazing feeling and made it all feel so very real. 
 
IMG_0069
 
The rest of the trip was spent basking in the sunshine, enjoying the gorgeous views throughout Laguna Beach and Newport, going on long hikes, eating allllll the food, and gushing over this baby bump! 
 

IMG_0109

IMG_0102

IMG_0112

IMG_0091

If you’ve been following MTG for awhile, you know my heart belongs in California.
 
My hubby and I lived in Los Angeles for several years while I got my masters in public health (in maternal and child health and chronic disease prevention) at UCLA. I fell in love with the area and feel it’s where I really glow – the healthy food and abundance of year-round produce, the gorgeous hiking trails/mountains/beach, and the whole culture of ecofriendly, healthy living is right up my alley. 
 
IMG_0101
 
So although we moved back east with family and friends and have set down our roots, we like to get back to California every year or so (check out pics from last year’s trip!)
 
IMG_0082
 
During this trip we also stopped at La Venta Inn (above), the venue where we got married overlooking the ocean a few years ago, which was a highlight for both of us. I may or may not have shed some happy tears knowing I was back to the place we got married with our baby in my belly. So special. Oh the hormones 😉 
 
IMG_0080
 
Pregnancy has been a wild ride so far, and I can’t wait to meet our little guy. 
 
I’ve learned a lot about myself, my inner resilience, and my husband and our marriage, and I have endless gratitude for the mind-blowing changes happening inside my body everyday.   
 
I am THRILLED to be out of the morning sickness fog, and feeling back to myself again. From months 2 – 4.5 of pregnancy, I felt like a shell of myself, just trying to make it through the day and counting the minutes until I could get back in bed. 
 
Morning (why it is called “morning”? it’s all.damn.day.) sickness is no joke, and I’m so thankful that my hubby, family, and friends were so supportive and helped me get through it. 
 
You can probably imagine why things have been so quiet around Made to Glow for the last few months! 
 
IMG_0111
 
Obviously it was all worth it, and I’m incredibly thankful that I’m able to experience it all. 
 
After years of severe, chronic health problems, multiple hormone treatments, experiencing flare-ups and bumps in the road, and not knowing when or if I’d be able to get pregnant, I am over the moon.
 
Needless to say there is tons of gratitude, love, nervous energy, hormones, awe and excitement flowing around our house right now! 
 
I’ll check-in here periodically to let you know how it’s going as we prepare to welcome baby boy. 
 
Also keep up with me on Instagram and Facebook where I’ll be sharing pictures, and on Pinterest where I’m pinning inspiration for healthy prenatal recipes, nursery decor, pregnancy exercise, and all things baby!
 
In the meantime, keep your eyes out for new posts coming next week – ecofriendly MTG beauty faves, spring recipes, stress reduction tips, and more.