Wellness With Courtnie Goes To Oregon
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Wow, Oregon is a really amazing place. The food options, the nature, the people, everything was wonderful! We stayed a total of 4 days but I could have easily spent another week there. We tried to see as much as we possibly could. Not a single one of the places we visited disappointed us. Below you’ll find a list of everywhere we went.

Stay

We stayed one night in Portland, if we could do it again I would definitely want to stay at least two nights. There’s so much to do and see in the area. We tried to pack in as much as we could, but I feel like we didn’t even scratch the surface when it comes to trying all the healthy cafes and cute coffee shops. We chose to stay in an Airbnb and I’m so glad we did. The one we chose was cute, clean, cozy and in a great location. Check it out here if you are interested.

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Salishan Resort

Salishan is located right at the heart of the Oregon Coast, just off of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Gleneden Beach. They offer a huge list of different activities you can experience during your stay including yoga classes, meditations, guided hikes, a wellness program, kayaking and so much more. I got an amazing facial at their spa during our stay. We also took advantage of the morning yoga classes and the hiking trails on the resort grounds. Salishan offers 3 on-site restaurants, we thoroughly enjoyed The Attic Bar & Lounge, the fish tacos were some of the best I've had and their craft cocktails were all super unique and tasty. All of the rooms at Salishan come with fire places making it super cozy in the colder months.

 The view from our room at Salishan.

The view from our room at Salishan.

 Hiking along the trails located at Salishan.

Hiking along the trails located at Salishan.

Eat & Drink

POA Cafe- Great for brunch! We came here twice because there were so many things we wanted to try. The first time I got the overnight oats and the second time Nate and I shared the gluten free waffle and a matcha. It was all delicious.

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Por Que No- The best tacos in town. They also serve margaritas made from fresh fruit juice. Right up my alley!

Milk Glass Mrkt- Super cute neighborhood restaurant serving food made from locally sourced ingredients.

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Pip’s Original- Delicious, made to order mini donuts, lattes, matcha and chai.

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Tusk- This was at the top of my list of places to try, and for good reason. Everything they serve is locally sourced and seasonal. The restaurant itself is beautiful and our whole experience was a 10/10.

The Hoxton- Super hip hotel with a large open lobby where cocktails and coffee are served all day. We stopped here for a drink one night before dinner.

Maurice- French inspired cuisine. We got the toast of the day and the most delicious quiche I’ve ever had.

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Coava Coffee Roasters- Best coffee we had during our trip. I got an almond milk latte

Presso Coffee Bar- Cute and trendy coffee bar.

Eb & Bean- Vegan soft serve with incredible topping options. The almond brittle was the best thing I’ve had in a long time.

Harlow- Best matcha I’ve ever had at a restaurant. For food I got the Betty Bowl which was a combo of steamed greens, roasted veggies, beans, brown rice, kimchi, sea vegetables and a poached egg. It was just what I needed after all the sweets I ate the day before.

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Sea Level Bakery + Coffee- We stopped here on our way to Cannon Beach. The peanut butter praline cookie was incredible! We enjoyed it with almond milk cappuccinos. SO good!

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Explore

Solabee Flowers & Botanicals- Cute little plant/flower shop. They had beautiful pottery for sale too. I wanted to buy everything.

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Portland Japanese Garden- A must see while in Portland. I think we got lucky coming here at the time we did because all of the trees were beautiful fall colors.

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Cannon Beach- No trip to the Oregon Coast is complete without a stop at the famous Cannon Beach.

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Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area- The most fun I had on our trip hands down was visiting Cape Kiwanda. I thought we would just go there, take a few pictures and leave but we ended up spending a few hours there. You can climb to the top of a huge sand dune to see a beautiful coastal view. The best part?! Running down the hill! I felt like I way flying. SO fun!!

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courtnie hamel
Sweet Potato Pumpkin Seed Dip
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Sweet potatoes have to be one of the most versatile foods. They taste delicious roasted or mashed, in sweet or savory dishes and also make an amazing base for dips! This sweet potato pumpkin seed dip is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It requires only a few ingredients but is packed with flavor! It has a light and creamy texture and pairs perfectly with Simple Mills new hexagon-shaped Sprouted Seed Crackers. It’s a match made in heaven!

 
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Ingredients

- 1 medium sized sweet potato (roasted)

- 15oz can organic chickpeas (drained)

- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

- 1/2 cup olive oil

- 2 cloves garlic

- juice of 1/2 lemon

- 1 tsp sea salt

- 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

In a blender add all ingredients except for olive oil. Blend on high until smooth (if the consistency is too thick add 1/4 cup water). Turn blender to a lower speed and slowly add in olive oil. Transfer dip to a medium sized bowl and enjoy with Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers.

 
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courtnie hamel
Whole30 Week Four Recap

We made it! Our final week of whole30 is complete. I must say, that was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. When I think back to our first round 2 years ago it felt like such an ordeal. I would spend hours in the kitchen prepping food and planning everything out. This time around things just felt easier. I think a lot of what we learned on the first round really stuck with us.

 Whole30 Cobb salad made with avocado, thinly sliced onions, cherry tomatoes, soft boiled eggs, organic bacon and romaine lettuce.

Whole30 Cobb salad made with avocado, thinly sliced onions, cherry tomatoes, soft boiled eggs, organic bacon and romaine lettuce.

Day 22

On day 22 Nate and I took a trip down to San Diego. We love to take little day trips to get out of town and explore. Typically our day trips involve hiking, eating and drinking. We knew of a restaurant that we could get a good whole30 approved breakfast at, and since we haven’t eaten out much, it sounded like a real treat. If you’re ever in the San Diego area you must check out Nectarine Grove in Encinitas! They have tons of gluten free and paleo options. After we finished eating we drove down the coast and checked out a few beaches. I’m not going to lie, things got tough as the day went on. There were temptations around every corner. We both really wanted to have a drink and hangout like we normally do when we visit San Diego. For the first time since we started whole30 I was OVER IT. Luckily this was the only day that felt really challenging. Once we got home and back into routine things were back to normal.

Day 23-25

Once we got past Monday, the rest of the week was a breeze. Energy levels were still high, sleep was great and I felt really productive going into the weekend.

 Spiralized sweet potato egg nests with avocado, dill and chili flakes.

Spiralized sweet potato egg nests with avocado, dill and chili flakes.

Day 26-28

Something interesting happened on day 26! I knew my period was coming sometime in the near future, but I wasn’t exactly sure on what day. Normally when I’m getting close to that time I can feel it coming. I usually get moody, bloated and lethargic the day before. This month I had none of those symptoms. I felt really strong in my body instead of fatigued (I think this might have something to do with the increase in protein). I didn’t experience any cramping either which was great. It was the easiest and most pain free period I think I’ve ever experienced! I’m assuming this has a lot to do with lowering my sugar intake and eliminating alcohol.

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Day 29-30

On the days leading up to the end of our whole30 I started to get a little anxious about it being over. I’ve been feeling so good for the past few weeks and I wasn’t quite ready to give that up. I can’t nor do I want to stay on whole30 forever so I figured I would treat myself to a cocktail and maybe a dessert on day 31. I’m not doing the reintroduction phase on this round since I did it the first time and already have a good grasp on what foods don’t agree with me.

Results

  • Increased energy

  • Increased mental clarity

  • Clearer skin

  • Drastically decreased PMS symptoms

  • Better mood

  • Less anxiety

  • Clothes fit better

  • Less fatigue

  • Better sleep/easier to wake up in the AM

  • Non existent sugar cravings

  Cashew beet hummus-  Blend   1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours), 1 small roasted beet, 2 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper until smooth.

Cashew beet hummus- Blend 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours), 1 small roasted beet, 2 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper until smooth.

Reintroduction Phase

When you complete the whole30 it is advised that you do a reintroduction phase where you slowly add certain foods back into your diet to see how they affect you. I took this phase very seriously on my first round 2 years ago so this time I decided to opt out. These are the foods I found that I’m sensitive to.

  • Gluten. I’ve found that I can tolerate small portions of gluten, but when I eat it in larger quantities I tend to have digestive issues and brain fog.

  • Dairy. Even small amounts of dairy can cause my skin to breakout and my belly to feel bloated and uncomfortable.

  • Bell peppers, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. While all of these are healthy and nutritious, they don’t always agree with my stomach.

  • Grains. I can tolerate grains when I eat them in very small quantities and when I don’t mix them with a lot of other foods. Otherwise they make me bloated and sluggish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the biggest benefits you experienced from whole30?

A. A better relationship with food, more mental clarity and less sugar cravings.

Q. When is the best time to meal prep?

A. I think this really depends on your schedule. Find a day when you have nothing planned for a few hours. Spend some time mapping out your schedule for the days ahead and then figure out how many meals you’ll need and what you want to cook. From there, write a grocery list and go shopping for everything. Having a plan is key when it comes to meal prepping!

Q. Where do you find affordable produce?

A. I love to buy my produce from the local farmers market. A good tip is to go towards to end of the market when farmers are trying to get rid of everything. You have a better chance of getting a good deal. If you have a Sprouts in your area, that is another great place to find good deals on produce.

Q. Is it possible to do Whole30 as a vegan?

A. There are definitely parts of the program that you can incorporate into your lifestyle as a vegan. Eliminating added sugars, alcohol, baked goods and deserts are all things you can do for 30 days to reap some of the benefits. The guide lines of whole30 advise you eat meals with a balance of veggies, proteins, healthy fats and carbs. Since there aren’t any plant based protein options that fall under those guidelines, it technically wouldn’t be considered whole30.

Q. Is it too hard to do it by yourself for the first time?

A. It’s absolutely possible to do it on your own! With that being said, I think it’s a good idea to tell someone you are planning on doing it to really hold yourself accountable. It helps to have a strong support system in place before starting. Explain to the people in your life what you have planned and your reasoning for doing it.

Q. Do you recommend trying to get a friend of partner to do Whole30 with you?

A. Absolutely! It makes things a lot more fun and manageable when you have someone to share the journey with, but it’s important to make sure you aren’t forcing that person into doing it. Its a big commitment so you’ll want them to be in it for the right reasons. If you can’t find someone to do it with you there is TONS of support online.

Q. What foods did you miss the most?

A. Eating Evolved coconut cups, Simple Mills crackers, Majestic sprouted hummus, coconut yogurt and homemade cocktails.

Q. Is whole30 expensive?

A. It depends. For us, we saved a TON of money because we didn’t eat out or buy extra treats like we normally do.

Q. Did you notice a difference in your skin? If so, how soon?

A. Yes! Towards the end of week two my complexion started to look a lot more even and glowy and I didn’t experience any breakouts around my period like I normally do.

Q. Did you take supplements while on whole30

A. The only supplements I’m currently taking are collagen peptides and Bulletproof brain octane oil.

Q. How long did it take to kick the sugar cravings?

A. The first weekend was a bit challenging, I had been eating dessert almost every night leading up to whole30 so I had to adjust to not having that. After the first week I didn’t really have many sugar cravings at all.

Q. What snacks did you eat?

A. Bone broth, sliced veggies, apples, oranges, lara bars, raw cashews, soft boiled eggs and smoked salmon.

courtnie hamel
Whole30 Week Three Recap

This week flew by! We were on the go or busy with work for most of the week so we didn’t have a whole lot of time to think about what we were eating. I kept our meals pretty simple which made things easier but I did start to feel a little bored and uninspired towards the end of the week. Going into our last week I’m determined to try as many new recipes as I can to keep things interesting.

 I turned the salmon cake recipes from the whole30 book into a waffle and topped it with arugula, a fried egg, dill, salt, pepper and chili flakes. It was delicious and super filling.

I turned the salmon cake recipes from the whole30 book into a waffle and topped it with arugula, a fried egg, dill, salt, pepper and chili flakes. It was delicious and super filling.

Day 15-16

After work on Sunday we headed up to Mammoth to do some hiking and exploring. We packed an ice chest full of food since there aren’t many Whole30 approved options in the area. The hike we did ended up being a little longer and more challenging than we expected. Luckily we packed our lunch and a few snacks to keep us fueled. I brought a small insulated lunch box and packed us a salad to share. It included mixed greens, sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, pumpkin seeds and avocado. For snacks we brought apples, hard boiled eggs and lara bars. We were pretty exhausted after the 13 mile hike so we went back to our hotel room to relax and make dinner. We woke up the next morning feeling sore but ready for another day of exploring.

 Hotel room eats! We brought our own bowls and utensils and put together bowls similar to this the whole trip. Simple and tasty!

Hotel room eats! We brought our own bowls and utensils and put together bowls similar to this the whole trip. Simple and tasty!

Day 17-19

Around day 17 I stared to notice a few things. I was no longer craving sugar whatsoever, instead all I wanted was salty foods. I found myself dumping salt on everything. It’s funny because I used to be so afraid to eat salt, I’d always read how it makes you retain water so I thought it would make me swollen and bloated. This week I’ve noticed the opposite effect, I feel less bloated and my clothes seem to be fitting a lot looser than they did before. I’ve been drinking tons of water which I’m sure helps flush out the salt. This week I didn’t get to experiment a ton with new recipes. I ate a lot of eggs, potatoes and greens for breakfast, grilled chicken salads for lunch and ground beef bowls for dinner. One day I made a salmon sashimi bowl that was really delicious. I picked up the sashimi at a local fish market and then brought it home to make my own salad.

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Day 20-21

Over the weekend I found myself craving an alcoholic beverage. I’m not a huge drinker but I do enjoy the occasional homemade cocktail. It’s been really great waking up with a clear mind these past few weeks and I’m sure that eliminating alcohol has a lot to do with that. I do my best to find balance when it comes to alcohol and I’m sure I’ll order a drink out pretty shortly after finishing up Whole30. Until then you can find me sipping on homemade mocktails made from freshly squeezed juices, kombucha and whole30 approved sparkling water (I love to use Spindrift).

 This is one of my favorite drink combos. It includes fresh blood orange juice, lime juice, grapefruit Spindrift and fresh mint leaves.

This is one of my favorite drink combos. It includes fresh blood orange juice, lime juice, grapefruit Spindrift and fresh mint leaves.

courtnie hamel
Whole30 Week Two Recap

Woohooo two weeks down and only two more to go! This week felt relatively easy. Unlike week one, I really planned ahead this week. I really wanted to try new recipes and spend more time in the kitchen prepping ingredients for the week. I focused on making easy dishes that I could throw in a bowl for meals on-the-go.

 We made these DELICIOUS cashew crusted chicken breast for lunch one day. I can’t believe I’ve never tried something like this before. The flavor and texture was perfect.

We made these DELICIOUS cashew crusted chicken breast for lunch one day. I can’t believe I’ve never tried something like this before. The flavor and texture was perfect.

Day 8

I was GRUMPY on day 8! I don’t know why, but I was. It might have been because I had a long (but great) weekend where I spent a lot of time in the car. I think my body was really craving movement. I did what I always do when I’m having a rough day and I went for a nice long walk and took a yoga class. As the day went on I stared to feel better and better. I can’t stress enough how powerful getting out and moving your body can be.

Day 9

I woke up on day 9 feeling amazing. I had a ton of energy and unlike the day before, I was in an excellent mood. It’s really interesting to me how our moods can fluctuate so drastically day to day. I took advantage of all my new found energy by getting in a good workout and then heading to the bookstore to get inspiration for new recipes. I came home and made this seared salmon and ginger caramelized pineapple dish from the Whole30 Fast and Easy cookbook. I’ll definitely be making this again, it was quick and so delicious. The sweetness from the pineapple was a REAL treat.

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Day 10

Nate and I both had the day off so we took a yoga class together and then went to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a little Whole30 approved date night spread. We’ve been saving TONS of money this month since we aren’t buying our usual treats like chocolate, crackers, chips and fancy dips. We picked up a grass-fed bison ribeye from our friends at Diamond Mountain Ranch, normally this would be completely out of our budget but since we’re saving so much we thought we could treat ourselves. We paired it with bacon wrapped asparagus (our favorite), spinach and a purple sweet potato mash. Normally on nights like this we make cocktails to sip on while we cook. Instead we made a mocktail out of fresh passion fruit and grapefruit Spindrift. It was delicious.

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As an appetizer we made a a fruit and veggie platter with prosciutto and cashew ranch dip.

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Day 11

When I woke up on day 11 the first thing I noticed was that my skin looked clearer than it had in a long time. I remember this happening the first time I did Whole30 too. I don’t really struggle with acne anymore but sometimes I do feel that my skin tone looks a little uneven. I’m guessing this glowing skin effect is due to the elimination of alcohol, gluten and excess sugar. I’ve also been drinking a lot of water so that probably plays a role in it too.

 Using leftover sweet potato mash we made patties and fried them in avocado oil to make delicious little hash brown things. Topped it with an egg, radish and micro greens. So good!

Using leftover sweet potato mash we made patties and fried them in avocado oil to make delicious little hash brown things. Topped it with an egg, radish and micro greens. So good!

Day 12-14

Once we got to day 12 I kind of forgot I was even doing Whole30. The first week it tends to takes over your life and it’s all you can think or talk about, but by week two you really get into a groove. I also felt super focused and energized these last few days. I noticed that my mental clarity was at an all time high. Normally when I teach my yoga classes I have to really focus and plan everything out. This week it felt SO easy, like my brain was just working so much more efficiently. I also noticed that towards the end of the week my appetite was a lot bigger than it had been the first week. I found myself reaching for seconds at dinner which I normally never feel the need to do. I took it as a sign that maybe I need to add a snack in-between lunch and dinner. Both Nate and I experienced very weird, very vivid dreams on these nights.

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Whole30 On The Go

This week I was thinking a lot about the fact that I’m able to make most of my meals at home, but a lot people don’t have that luxury. I really wanted to share some tips and tricks for whole30 meals on-the-go.

Tools

  • Insulated lunch box- Great for bringing your lunch to work! I like to use a small ice pack to keep things extra cool.

  • Glasslock containers- These are so handy, they come in all different sizes. I use mine to store leftovers and pack things like salads, sliced veggies and dips for day trips.

  • Stasher Bags- These are a more lightweight option for packing mixed nuts, sliced fruit or veggies.

  • Bamboo cutlery set- I love to keep this set in my car or purse for eating on-the-go

  • Small Hydro Flask- I love this for keeping things like bone broth or chili hot.

    To-Go meals

  • Grilled chicken, greens, avocado and homemade pico de gallo.

  • Tuna salad with celery slices, grapes, walnuts and carrots.

  • Soft boiled eggs with shredded cabbage, arugula, avocado and roasted sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes can be pre made and stored in the refrigerator. They taste delicious cold!

  • Smoked salmon, greens, cucumber, cashew ranch dip, micro greens and sliced radish.

  • Sliced organic chicken sausage, pre roasted sweet potatoes, greens and pickled onions.

    To-go snacks

  • Applegate farms turkey slices

  • Baby carrots and cucumber slices

  • Apples and almond butter

  • Raw cashews

  • Canned sardines

  • Lara Bars

  • Sea Snax roasted seaweed

  • Bone Broth

  • Soft boiled eggs

 
courtnie hamel
Whole30 Week One Recap

Hey guys, welcome to my Whole30 recap! When I did my first whole30 two years ago I would search the internet high and low looking for other peoples weekly experiences. I wanted to know what to expect and how everything worked. I found it super helpful and interesting to read weekly updates, so I thought I would share mine this time around. I think it’s important to note that no two people will have the same experience. I eat pretty close to whole30 day to day so the effects of the program might not be as dramatic for me as they would be for someone who is making a major lifestyle change. With that being said, I have noticed some changes already just in the first week. In preparation for our first Whole30 two years ago I did a LOT of planning. I mapped out all of our meals for the week and went grocery shopping for everything before it started. It was a big deal. This time around we took a more relaxed approach. We didn’t have much of a plan and I only went grocery shopping for the first couple of days. If you are new to Whole30 I highly recommend you have the book. I read it thoroughly and referenced it every day during our first round. I also can’t stress enough how important it is to have a plan. Map out what you’ll be eating each day and make sure to always have groceries stocked. It also helps to have a strong support system. The first time around I did it with my boyfriend Nate and this time I’m doing it with Nate and our roommate Dani. We are all in it together and holding each other accountable.

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Day 1-2

Going into this I was coming off of a week long vacation where I indulged in some things that I don’t typically eat. Things like gluten, dairy and excess sugar really do a number on me. On day one I was experiencing brain fog, a major lack of energy, poor digestion and raging sugar cravings. For the first part of the day I did what I normally do when I feel this way. I drank tons of water, got in a good workout and ate a huge breakfast salad. Once the afternoon rolled around I hit a wall. This is when I typically reach for an afternoon coffee. Going into this I knew I wanted to cut back to one caffeinated drink per day. I made a habit out of reaching for something to give me energy mid day when most days I probably didn’t even need to. The first day was HARD. I’ll admit, I almost gave in and bought an iced coffee, but instead I went for a long walk outside and kept chugging water. Walks have been SO helpful. Whenever I felt like I wanted a snack or a sweet treat I would go for a walk instead. It really made me realize how little I actually needed the snack but instead just wanted it out of habit. One thing I love about whole30 is that it forces you to see the habits you’ve formed. Once the evening rolled around I started to feel extremely tired. I think my body was to running off of sugar and caffeine for a while so when I didn’t have those things my energy levels really started to take a dive. I made a big nutrient packed dinner and went to bed early. When I woke up on day 2 I still felt sluggish and a little moody to be honest. I went for another long walk, ate a big breakfast and started to feel better right away. I experienced a lot of the same sugar and caffeine cravings later in the day as I did on day 1.

 Here’s an example of one of my go-to breakfast salads. Tons of greens, veggies and soft boiled eggs. I dress all of my greens in avocado oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I also like to top my bowl with sesame seeds, salt, pepper and chili flakes.

Here’s an example of one of my go-to breakfast salads. Tons of greens, veggies and soft boiled eggs. I dress all of my greens in avocado oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I also like to top my bowl with sesame seeds, salt, pepper and chili flakes.

Day 3-4

On day 3 I woke up feeling ALIVE. I jumped up out of bed feeling energized and clear headed. My digestion was finally back to normal after our trip and I felt a lot less bloated. I was still getting used to not having snacks here and there or dessert after dinner, but by this time it started to feel a lot easier. I was still getting to bed pretty early (around 9) but instead of waking up groggy, I was getting up early with tons of energy.

Day 5-7

Over the weekend my two friends and I went for a road trip up to Big Sur. I was pretty worried about what we would be eating since there aren’t many restaurant options in the area, especially ones that would be Whole30 friendly. Our solution was to bring a big ice chest full of pre-cooked foods to throw together. We brought our own bowls and utensils and put our meals together in our hotel room. We ate tons of veggies, roasted potatoes and protein. We snacked on things like nuts, seeds, fruits, sliced veggies and hard boiled eggs. Below is a list of everything we brought.

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Road Trip Eats Whole30 Style

  • smoked salmon

  • grilled chicken breast

  • hard boiled eggs

  • organic turkey breast

  • tons of avocados

  • cucumbers

  • radish

  • roasted sweet potatoes

  • a big box of greens

  • shredded carrots and purple cabbage

  • pickled onion

  • micro greens

  • apples, berries and oranges

  • pecans, walnuts, pistachios and cashews

  • almond butter

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Eating Out On Whole30

We did stop at one restaurant for lunch on our way to Big Sur. I forgot how hard it is to order something that is Whole30 approved, even at a “healthy” restaurant. You have to watch out for hidden ingredients that aren’t compliant. I ordered the grilled chicken salad with no dressing because all of their dressings contained added sugar and/or canola oil. I asked for extra lemon slices to use instead. I also made sure to ask what the chicken was seasoned with because some restaurants marinate their meat in oils and sauces that might not be compliant. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about whats in the food, but DO be extra nice and also tip your server accordingly for the extra time they might spend finding out for you.

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What I’m Missing Most

The hardest thing to give up has probably been my nightly Eating Evolved Coconut Cups. Nate and I would share a pack almost every night. Although I think there is nothing wrong with having dessert after dinner, I do think it’s important to get in tune with your body and recognize when you really are craving it VS just having it because it’s a habit to do so. I’m also missing things like Simple Mills crackers, hummus, Kite Hill cream cheese and my chocolate milk drink. A great thing about eliminating these things is you save a TON of money. I think I’ll spend part of those savings on some kind of selfcare thing like a facial or a massage :)

courtnie hamel
Wellness With Courtnie Goes To Maui
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Honestly, Maui is so wonderful that you don’t really have to do much planning or research to find beautiful beaches or fresh local food. There is something incredible to see around every corner! Here I’ve compiled a list of where we stayed, ate and explored. Before any trip I like to star all the places I want to go on google maps. This way I can get a clear picture of where things are.

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Stay

For our first night in Maui, we stayed at a wonderful little AirBnB in Kihei called The Mango Tree Studio. It was clean, super cute and walking distance to the beach. We loved having a kitchen to cook in, make matcha in and relax in without having to see other tourists at every turn. I honestly wish I would have taken more pictures of the place because it was decorated to perfection. One of the highlights from our stay here was going for an early morning walk to admire the neighborhood charm. All the homes are unique, colorful and have yards filled with beautiful tropical flowers and fruit trees. If you’re traveling to Maui and would rather stay in an AirBnB instead of one of the big resorts, I can’t recommend this one enough! It’s perfect for a solo traveler or a couple.

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Next we headed to The Grand Wailea. This was probably one of the nicest resorts I’ve ever stayed at! It had everything you could ever want in a resort including an amazing gym, spa, a flower lei greeting upon arrival, free morning yoga, restaurants, beach access, multiple pools and even a lazy river. The service was outstanding and we really couldn’t have asked for more.

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Road To hana

If you love a good outdoor adventure day then you MUST drive The Road To Hana while visiting Maui. If you want to drive the entire stretch it will take almost an entire day (depending on how many stops you want to make) but it’s a day well spent indeed. I recommend getting an early start. We hit the road at 6 am and even that didn’t give us enough time to see everything. We downloaded the Maui Shaka Guide App which uses GPS to give you turn by turn audio directions to each must see stop. The app costs about $8 but is extremely helpful and worth every penny. Below is a list of my favorite stops.

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Ke’anae Peninsula - This was our first stop on The Road To Hana. We got out to stretch our legs, check out the old stone church and watch the waves crash on the rocks. I went for a little frolic in the field in front of the church to get my blood pumping before we got back in the car for more driving. It was lovely.

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Makapipi Falls- There are tons of beautiful waterfalls along the road to Hana. It would be almost impossible to see them all in one day, so we chose to stop at a few that are easier to access. Makapipi Falls was one of our favorites. It’s a very short walk from the road and we noticed that there weren’t many other tourists stopping here, definitely a win win!

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Black Sand Beach - Located in the Waianapanapa State Park, this black sand beach is a must see on the Road to Hana. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time here because it was quite crowded but it’s definitely worth a stop.

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Red Sand Beach - Making it to the red sand beach was on the top of my priority list for this trip. Pictures do no justice here. It was so beautiful I may have actually teared up a bit. Finding this beach can be a little tricky which is why I highly recommend getting the Shaka Guide App to get exact directions.

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Coconut Glen’s - Now this was a real treat. Roadside dairy free, vegan coconut ice cream. When we drove by on our way down it wasn’t open yet and I was worried that we wouldn't get to try it. Luckily they were open on our way back. I got the original coconut flavor and Nate got the lilikoi flavor. Both were spectacular!

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Koki Beach Park - Another beautiful beach that is easy to access.

Hiking

Lahaina Pali Trail - We loved this hike! I recommend getting there as early as possible. It was absolutely beautiful at sunrise. There is no shade on the trail so I can imagine it gets pretty hot mid day. This hike is about 5 miles round trip and moderately challenging. You’ll want sturdy hiking shoes for this because the trail is very rocky and uneven. At the top you’ll find breathtaking views and massive wind turbines. Very cool!

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Big Beach - If you’re traveling to Maui you MUST watch at least one sunset at Big Beach. The water is crystal clear, the sand is soft and the beach is massive. You can easily find a quiet place to sit and watch without having loads of other tourists around you. There is also a cliff you can easily climb to see a beautiful view of the entire beach.

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Eats

There’s no shortage of fresh and delicious food options on Maui. After a lot of research and some great recommendations from you guys, I put together a list of must try restaurants. I am happy to report back that I made it to almost all of them and none of them disappointed!

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Baya Bowls - Located in Lahaina, this little food truck serves up fresh acai bowls and smoothies. I got mine with kiwi, mango and bee pollen and Nate got his with peanut butter and goji berries.

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a’a Roots - Also located in Lahaina, this cafe serves the most beautiful vegan dishes. Seriously, I wanted to try everything on their menu because it all looked so pretty! I got the burrito bowl which was massive and loaded with black beans, rice, veggies, cashew creme sauce, edible flowers and a generous serving of avocado (just how i like it).

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Alchemy - I had my favorite meal at this cafe and kombucha bar. Their fish tacos were INCREDIBLE! Everything is made fresh and the staff is super nice and friendly.

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 The View from our table.

The View from our table.

The Mill House - This place blew us away! Located on the Maui Tropical Plantation, The Mill House is a farm-to-table restaurant using organic ingredients, many of which come straight from the plantation. It’s a good idea to make a reservation because it can get pretty busy. We were able to walk in without a reservation and get seated right away, but we arrived at a slower time (around 3pm). Their cocktails are a must try! Made with organic fruit juices and cold-pressed organic sugar cane, they’re refreshing, unique and only lightly sweet. Pretty much everything I look for in a good cocktail. For our appetizer we got the chicken bao buns and for our main course we shared the squash pizza and the bone marrow with taro leaf risotto. Such a treat!

Monkeypod Kitchen - Another great farm-to-table restaurant that supports local and sustainable organic farming with locations in Kihei and Lahaina. Get the fish tacos, the coco corn chowder and one of their famous Mai Tai’s.

Down To Earth - This is our favorite health food store to visit while in Hawaii! They have an organic salad bar as well as a hot bar with delicious and healthy Hawaiian dishes. Not to mention all the healthy snacks you could ever want. We even found our favorite Eating Evolved Coconut Cups there! We stopped here before we drove the Road to Hana to grab a salad and snacks for lunch since there aren’t many food options along the way.

Whole Foods - Located near the airport, we stopped here the first night to pick up ingredients to make dinner and breakfast the next morning (since we had a kitchen for a night we wanted to take advantage). We also picked up a few snacks and other essentials. We grabbed a ton of local fruit, veggies, potatoes, organic eggs, grass-fed beef, crackers, smoked salmon, almond milk and ice.

Hawaiian Moons - Another local health food store located in Kihei. We stopped here to pick up some local produce. They also have a salad, juice and smoothie bar.

Choice Health Bar - Located in Lahaina and Paia, Choice serves fresh organic juices, smoothies, salads, sushi rolls and other locally made goodies.

Akamai Coffee Co - Super cute and hip little coffee shop located in Kihei. Go here for the best matcha latte on the island!

Barefruit Bar - This little shop serves smoothies bowls out of a pineapple! Enough said.

 ALL the local tropical fruits. So pretty!

ALL the local tropical fruits. So pretty!

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Rental Car

Everything I've listed here is pretty spread out location wise. If you plan to do a lot of exploring, you’ll want to rent a car. We rented through Discount Hawaii Car Rental. They make the process super easy and the prices aren’t bad.

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Road Trips Eats

One of our favorite things to do is go on long road trips to new places. We love to make little stops along the way to explore new towns, stretch, walk around and just get outside of the car. This helps to break things up a bit and makes the overall road trip more enjoyable. Often times there isn't anything but fast food and chain restaurants along those long stretches of road. I'd rather not have to stop and eat at Mc Donalds, so I put in a little extra effort to pack an ice chest full of snacks and meals that I enjoy eating and won't make me feel any less than my regular, energized self. On our last road trip to Big Sur we took things to the extreme and cooked most of our meals instead of eating at restaurants. At times it felt a little stressful, but at the end of the day we saved money and got to eat the food we love instead of compromising for low quality, over priced restaurant food. This method of travel may not be for everyone, but it was a fun little experiment to see if we could cook our homemade meals on the road. Take as little or as much from this as you want, but just know that it IS very possible to eat healthy and stay on routine while away from home. 

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Tools & Utensils 

  • 2 forks + 2 spoons

  • 2 bowls

  • 2 mason jars

  • 2 stainless steal straws

  • handheld electric whisk

  • cutting board

  • large platter

  • 1 sharp knife

  • mandolin slicer

  • 1 medium sized cast iron skillet

  • 1 medium sized pot

  • 2 hydro flasks (one for coffee and one for water)

  • 1 fold out table (if camping)

  • Coleman Table Top Burner

  • 5 gallon water jug with dispenser (if camping)

  • dish sponge 

  • large ice chest

  • large plastic bin (for utensil storage)

 Tacos we made using ground beef, veggies, avocado and Siete tortillas.

Tacos we made using ground beef, veggies, avocado and Siete tortillas.

 The view from our campsite kitchen set up :)

The view from our campsite kitchen set up :)

Food & Drinks

  • matcha powder
  • Vital Proteins to-go collagen sticks
  • Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
  • almond milk
  • Chia seed pudding (pre-made and stored in a 32 oz mason jar)
  • Fresh fruit- strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges, raspberries, kiwi, bananas, etc
  • granola
  • nut butter
  • coconut yogurt
  • grilled chicken (pre made)
  • avocado oil
  • lemons
  • salt & pepper
  • Siete Tortillas 
  • grass-fed ground beef
  • tomatoes, onion, cilantro
  • chips
  • Simple Mills crackers
  • salami
  • smoked salmon 
  • avocado 
  • mixed nuts
  • fresh veggies for dipping (carrots, cucumber, radish, cherry tomatoes, celery)
  • Hummus
  • soft boiled eggs
  • raw eggs
  • organic bacon
  • Banza Pasta 
  • greens- arugula, spinach, romaine 
  • gluten free bread
  • micro greens
  • pickled onion
  • eating evolved chocolate 
  • bulletproof bars
  • 32 oz fresh grapefruit and cucumber juice 
  • limes
  • ice

We packed all of our tools and utensils into a big plastic box, making it easier to transport from the car to our campsite/hotel room. I always make sure to bring all the fixings to make my morning matcha. I've found it impossible to find a restaurant or coffee shop that makes one that's up to my standards (they are often too sweet or not blended correctly). I used my trusty handheld whisk to blend mine in a mason jar. For breakfasts we alternated between chia pudding with fresh fruit, eggs, bacon and big salads. We snacked on a ton of fresh veggies and fruit, coconut yogurt with granola, bulletproof bars and soft boiled eggs. For lunch we had grilled chicken salads with pecans, avocado and apple slices. For dinner one night we had tacos with chips and guacamole and Banza pasta with veggies another night. I like to enjoy a homemade cocktail while on vacation so I brought a mason jar filled with freshly juiced grapefruit and cucumber that i mixed with organic vodka, lime juice and ice. We brought a 5 gallon glass jug with a dispenser on it for drinking water and also for washing dishes at our campsite. 

 We love making meat and veggie plates! This is a fun and easy snack. All you need is a large plate, a sharp knife and any fresh fruit, veggies, meats, mixed nuts or cheeses. 

We love making meat and veggie plates! This is a fun and easy snack. All you need is a large plate, a sharp knife and any fresh fruit, veggies, meats, mixed nuts or cheeses. 

 Grilled chicken salad with romaine lettuce, pecans, micro greens, avocado, salt and pepper. 

Grilled chicken salad with romaine lettuce, pecans, micro greens, avocado, salt and pepper. 

courtnie hamel
Everyday Kitchen Staples

The grocery store can be a pretty overwhelming place. Especially with all the health trends these days. It can be hard to navigate what you really need and what is just extra. I think this is different for everyone but I can confidently say that I've found a handful of items that are absolutely non-negotiable in my kitchen. If I don't have even one of these things I'll usually make a trip to the grocery store. Most of the items on this list are real foods in their purest form, but there are also a small handful of supplements and extras that I find to be highly effective and extremely beneficial for me. Meaning I've been using them on a daily basis for months and can honestly say that they have made a difference in my health. Below I list all of my must have items and then I lay out how I use them in a typical day. 

Must Have Items

  • Water
  • Matcha green tea powder. Brands I love: ippodo tea, Aiya Matcha, My Matcha Life
  • Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
  • Vital Protiens Collagen Peptides 
  • Almond milk
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Hilary's Eat Well Veggie Burgers
  • Avocado
  • Grass-fed ghee 
  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Greens- I alternate between spinach, arugula, kale, romaine and chard
  • Crunchy veggies for dipping (cucumber, carrots, tomato, radish)
  • Micro greens and sprouts
  • Fermented cabbage 
  • Organic/grass-fed meat. I buy directly from the farmer and alternate between ground beef, bison, chicken, lamb and bacon. I try to always have one or two options on hand per week
  • Avocado oil. I like Primal Kitchen and Chosen Foods
  • Lemon
  • Organic sea salt and pepper
  • Dips. I always try to have one or two dip options to add to bowls, toast, etc. I like Kite Hill almond cream cheese, Majestic Garlic Hummus and Better Bean Co bean dips
  • Co Yo Coconut Yogurt
  • Eating Evolved Chocolate
  • Cacao powder
  • Chia seeds

Morning Staples

-I start every morning with a large glass of room temperature water. Sometimes with lemon but usually just plain old water. We have a water delivery service that delivers 5 gallon bottles to us every couple of weeks. This has been extremely convenient considering the large amount of water we drink. It's also a major goal of mine to limit any and all plastic bottle purchase.

-Next up is my favorite time of day. Matcha time! My go to recipe is simple, 1 tsp matcha powder, 1 tbsp Brain Octane Oil and 1 scoop collagen peptides mixed with 12oz of water and 4oz of nut milk, blended then poured over ice. I find that the protein in the collagen powder and the healthy fats in the brain octane oil keep my blood sugar levels feeling really stable. 

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Afternoon Staples

-I always listen to my body and eat when I feel hungry. With my current routine, that typically isn't until 10:30 or 11am. Going longer in between meals has worked wonders for my digestion,  I no longer suffer from any of the stomach issues I once had.  When I start to feel hungry I'll usually make a big breakfast bowl with lots of organic greens, eggs, avocado, and a carb source (usually roasted sweet potatoes.) This mid day meal always has me feeling full and satisfied for hours. I've found that limiting my sugar intake for the first half of the day keeps my energy levels and my appetite really stable. 

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Afternoon Snacks

-If I'm still feeling hungry a couple hours after lunch or just want a mid day pick me up I'll usually make myself a protein rich chocolate milk. This recipe is low in sugar yet satisfies my mid day sweet tooth every time. 

- Sliced veggies like cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes and radishes with hummus dip

-If I'm still feeling hungry or if I have a really active day i'll make a chia seed pudding with coconut yogurt, nut butter and berries.

 

PROTEIN chocolate Milk

14 oz nut milk

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 scoop collagen powder

1 tsp maple syrup or honey

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Evening Staples

- I work evening shifts most nights so I like to have ingredients on hand that are really easy to prepare and don't take much time. My go-to post work meal is grass fed ground beef with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, lots of micro greens, Kite Hill cream cheese and a Hilary's veggie patty. 

- I enjoy a little dessert almost every night. I still like to keep it fairly low in sugar, I'll have a piece of Eating Evolved dark chocolate or coconut cups dipped in almond butter or if I'm feeling hungry still I'll have chia pudding with chocolate and coconut yogurt (if I didn't already have some earlier in the day)

 

Having these items on hand ensures that I can always whip up a homemade meal that is balanced and packed with nutrients. Most of my meals are simple and take little very little preparation. Simplicity is key!

Recipescourtnie hamel
Skincare - The basics
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First and foremost I think its really important to mention that I believe the way we look on the outside is a direct reflection of the way we care for ourselves on the inside. I've seen the most drastic changes in the health of my skin through a healthy diet and drinking TONS of good clean water. 

With that being said, I do love a good skincare routine. I've always been interested in trying new products and testing what works and what doesn't. Recently, I've been shifting to a more all natural, non-toxic range of beauty products. I would consider myself an amateur when it comes to clean beauty, but I've found a few products and practices that really work for me. 

 

Facial Cupping

Facial cupping uses small suction cups to move fluid along lymphatic pathways, lifting and massaging facial tissue. I try to facial cup 2-3 times a week for about 10 minuets. I bought my cupping set on Amazon for $12. 

Benefits

  • increases oxygen-rich blood circulation to the skin
  • relaxes facial muscle tension
  • strengthens the skin and connective tissue
  • promotes lymphatic drainage 
  • relieves sinus pressure and congestion

How to

  1. cover face and neck with your favorite oil. I used Acure Seriously Glowing Serum
  2. squeeze suction cup, place at the base of your ear and move down your neck
  3. move up to your chin and across your jaw line
  4. move upwards to your cheek bones and pull outward 

  5. sweep across your forehead 

Jade Rolling

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I absolutely love my jade roller. I use it almost everyday. I like to store it in the freezer and roll it across my cheekbones, over my jaw and under my eyes first thing in the morning starting towards the middle of my face and moving up and outward.

Benefits

  • improves skin elasticity

  • reduces under-eye darkness
  • increases circulation and decreases inflammation 
  • eases jaw tension
  • promotes lymphatic drainage 
  • feels great!

Sleep

Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night is a crucial part of my skincare routine. I do my best to sleep on my back to avoid causing premature wrinkles from forming. I recommend investing in a silk pillow case for times when you can't help but turn over and sleep with your face on the pillow. Unlike cotton, which draws moisture from your skin, silk is naturally hydrating. 

Exfoliation 

One of the most important steps to acheive glowing skin is regular exfoliation. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin which promotes faster cell turnover, enabling new healthy skin cells to grow. It also allows serums and moisturizers to absorb into your skin better.

Muslin cloth

These lightweight pieces of woven cotton fabric are a perfect way to gently exfoliate the skin daily. I use mine to remove cleanser and face masks. Gently massage the cloth over the skin to buff away dead skin cells, dirt, excess oil and leftover makeup. 

Tata Harper Regenerating cleanser

I use this cleanser 3-4 times a week for gentle exfoliation. It has a light citrusy scent and feels amazing on the skin. Very regenerating indeed!

Tata Harper resurfacing mask

This mask is a bit of a splurge but it works wonders. It's a 100% all natural beta-hydroxy mask that works like a peel to remove surface debris and dead skin cells for an instant glow, smaller pores and smoother texture. I use it once or twice a week.

Other products I love

 

 

 

Fresh Fruit Cocktails

I love a good homemade cocktail, I often opt for having drinks at home before going out to ensure that I get a tasty drink with some added health benefits, while avoiding high prices and lots of added sugars. I like to use lots of lemon and lime plus freshly juiced fruits and veggies for added nutrients. 

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Carrot orange margarita

For this recipe you will have leftover juice, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. 

-4 large carrots

-2 large oranges

-2 limes

-1 oz tequila 

-water

-ice

-fresh carrots, rosemary and lime slices for garnish (optional)

Directions 

In a juicer, juice carrots, limes and oranges. Fill a glass jar with ice, tequila, 1/2 cup juice mix and water. Stir well and garnish with fresh carrot sticks, rosemary and lime slices. 

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Watermelon Lime Refresher

-1/2 cup fresh watermelon juice

-juice of 1/2 lime + slices for garnish

-1 oz organic vodka

-water

-ice

-fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

Directions

Fill a 16oz mason jar with with ice, add watermelon juice, lime juice and vodka. Fill the remainder of the jar with water and stir well. Garnish with thyme and lime slices. 

 

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Grapefruit Cucumber Refresher

-1 large grapefruit 

-1 large cucumber

-2 limes

-5 strawberries 

-1/4 cup kombucha or water

-1 oz organic ginger infused vodka 

-ice

Directions

Peel grapefruit, cucumber and limes. In a juicer, juice grapefruit, cucumber, limes and strawberries. Fill a 16 oz mason jar with ice, vodka and kombucha or water. Fill remainder of the jar with juice mixture and stir well. Garnish with grapefruit slices and fresh basil (optional)

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Strawberry Mint margarita 

-5 strawberries 

-juice of 1 lime

-1 oz tequila 

-water

-1 tsp maple syrup or honey

-ice 

directions 

Muddle strawberries in the bottom of a glass mason jar. Fill jar with ice, lime juice, tequila, maple syrup and water. Stir well and enjoy!

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Pomegranate Lime

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup sparkling water 

1 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds

2 sprigs rosemary

1 oz organic vodka

Ice

 

Cinnamon Pear

1/4 cup pear juice + slices for garnish

1/2 lemon (juiced)

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup  sparkling water 

1 oz organic vodka or bourbon 

1 spring rosemary 

Ice

 

Blood Orange Turmeric Lime

1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice 

1 small blood orange (sliced for garnish)

1/2 inch piece turmeric (juiced)

1/4 cup sparkling water

Juice of 1 small lime

1 oz organic vodka or tequila

Ice  

Bulletproof Coffee
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Everything you've heard about bulletproof coffee is true. It kills cravings, aids in weight loss, boosts cognitive function and tastes buttery and amazing. Two key ingredients for your morning bulletproof are Bulletproof brand Brain Octane Oil and grass fed ghee or butter. Brain Octane is a strain of coconut oil containing caprylic acid. The body rapidly metabolizes caprylic acid into ketones that the brain can use for instant energy without the need for glucose from sugar or carbs. Grass fed butter or ghee helps neutralize acidity in coffee making it easier on the gut lining and it's high fat content feeds the brain increasing focus and mental clarity. While these two ingredients make your drink "bulletproof", the possibilities for other add-ins are endless. Some of my favorite things to add to my morning drink are collagen protein, cinnamon and adaptogens like ashwagandah, maca and cacao powder. 

Bulletproof Latte

-16 oz Bulletproof Coffee

-1 tbsp Brain Octane Oil

-1 tsp grass fed ghee

-1 scoop collagen protein 

-1/4 tsp cinnamon 

Blend and enjoy!

Recipescourtnie hamelComment