Thursday, February 18, 2016

DIY: Midwinter Break Lavender Coffee Scrub

Ahhhhh, it's finally midwinter break. To be honest, this is my favorite break of the year. There are no major holidays or commitments that coincide with it. It truly feels like a time to relax and recharge.

And recharging I am, including taking care of my poor hands and feet.

I was at the store the other day and saw a jar of lavender salt scrub. It was in such a cute little container, and it boasted claims like "all natural" and "nourishing," but when I looked at the label, it was just so full of ...stuff. Stuff like fragrances, four types of oils, and stabilizers. After mentally reviewing the contents of my kitchen cabinets, I realized I could make my own lavender scrub, with a little kick.

So here we are. This lavender coffee scrub got my dry, cracked hands and feet back to soft and silky in no time at all. It smells great too :)

Lavender Coffee Scrub
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs. coarse-ground coffee
A few drops lavender essential oil

Melt the coconut oil and then mix in the sugar, coffee, and essential oils. Your scrub can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Coconut oil gets very firm in the fridge, so if you choose to store it in there, you'll need to take it out before you plan to use it to allow it to soften.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Allergen Free Muesli

As a teacher, I get to work early and hit the ground running. There's no such thing as "easing into the day." If I don't arrive with breakfast, I won't get anything to eat until lunch, so it's super important to have something easy, nutritious, and filling while I'm taking attendance and organizing papers.

That's where muesli comes in. It's hearty, packed with healthy whole grains, fats, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Dairy or soy milk add even more protein and healthy fats. Fresh seasonal fruit makes it plenty sweet -no need for added sugars!

I think it's best when the milk is added the night before so that the oats can soak up the liquid and soften. I have eaten it unsoaked and over yogurt too, though, and it's nice that way as well.

I've included the recipe for a single portion here, but I actually make this in batches so I can easily scoop it out, pour milk over it, and pop it in my lunch bag in the fridge to grab and carry with me the next morning.

Allergen Free Muesli

1/2 cup oats (steel cut oats will only work if you plan to soak the muesli overnight)
2 tbs pumpkin seeds (I use SuperSeedz -they are absolutely the best out there)
2 tbs sunflower seeds
1 tbs unsweetened shredded coconut
1-2 tbs dried fruit, depending on preference
2 tsp flaxseed
2 tsp chia seed
Milk to taste

Mix all ingredients together well. If soaking overnight, pour into a container and fill with desired volume of milk, keeping in mind that the muesli will absorb a lot of liquid overnight. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, add extra milk and fresh fruit if desired.

Muesli can also be eaten fresh with milk or yogurt.

Makes one serving.