Picking Your Granola Bar

Granola bars are easy, fast snacks that we can bring on the go to school, sports, hiking, and friends houses. And, they are considered a healthy snack, which they CAN be if the right ingredients are put in them. A lot of the time though, they are a candy bar with a more appealing label.

Those kinds of granola bars are the ones that you definitely want to stay away from. They are filled with chemicals, refined sugars, and high fructose corn syrup! Not something that you want to be eating as a healthy snack, that we are using for energy.

Luckily, there are companies out there who make some really good ones, and ones that are better than others.

Here are a list of ones that are NOT as good to eat:

  1. Nature Valley
  2. Fiber One
  3. Chewy
  4. Power Bars

Here are some BETTER ones:

  1. Cliff
  2. Luna
  3. Kashi
  4. Soy Joy
  5. Annies
  6. Cascadian Farms

The BEST:

  1. Kind bars
  2. Raw Revolution

Kind bars are my absolute favorite bars! I usually stick with the raw fruit and nuts ones, and not the chocolate ones, but hey, if you want chocolate eat it! They are sweetened with honey, and contain no preservatives are chemical crap!

What are your favorite bars?

Go Get Em’ Smoothie

Today I felt like I was in a lull. I had a really hard time waking up and getting out of bed, and, I felt like I was going to fall asleep standing up all day! My natural instinct was to go and get the biggest cup of coffee I could find! But, I knew this would just end up making me crash in the matter of a few hours. Instead, I whipped up an awesome green smoothie recipe to get me going. It worked amazing! Try this out the next time you feel like you need a pick me up!

What you need:

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • tsp cocoa powder
  • tsp chia seeds

Blend everything up and drink!

Much Love!

Sierra

DIY Spa Hacks

There is nothing better than feeling vibrant, energetic, and beautiful. Often times we use beauty products, facials, or other beauty services to get us closer to this feeling. But, those can be expensive! Not to mention that at certain places, the products they use aren’t really that great for your skin.

There are things that you can do at home that will make you feel like you are at the spa. And, this way you can apply exactly what you want. In this post I am going to give you a few ideas as to what you can do to give yourself the relaxing day you deserve.

Body Exfoliation 

SALT SCRUB:

1/2 cup of organic sea salt
1/3 cup of organic raw sugar or 1/3 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of room temperature coconut oil {best when it has a liquid consistency}
30 drops of essential oil

-or-

SUGAR SCRUB:

1/2 cup of organic raw sugar or 1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1/3 cup of organic sea salt
1 cup of coconut oil {best when it has a liquid consistency}
30 drops of essential oil

Try these while you are in the shower! Take your time, and gently exfoliate all of your body. This will leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed.

DIY Strawberry Face Mask

You need:

Strawberries
Plain yogurt
Lemon juice
Honey
A knife
A fork
Measuring cups and spoons

Step 1: Cut and mash the strawberries

Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of honey

Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon yogurt

Step 4: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Spread on your face, put on some relaxing music, and enjoy!

DIY Spa Bath

The best part about a spa is the atmosphere. It smells amazing, is very relaxing, and gives you a sense of peace. You can make your bathroom feel like this too! Find some lavender scented candles, a bath salt of your choice, and bubble bath. Place the candles around the room, draw up your bubble bath, and turn on some relaxing music (I love the relaxation channel on Pandora). Put on your face-mask, and allow yourself to relax!

Healthy V-Day Ideas

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I am going to preface this post with this: This is not a post about how you shouldn’t eat anything unhealthy on Valentines Day. I am a total believer in treating yourself! Rather, this is post is meant to give you some ideas about how you can treat yourself, but in a more HEALTHY way.

Valentines Day is full of tempting foods; donuts, pizza, fancy dinners, chocolate, chocolate covered chocolate… did I mention chocolate? So it may be difficult to be super healthy that day. Again, that is OK if you don’t go out on a complete binge and make yourself feel sick. Trust me, it can be easy to fall into the Valentines Day vortex, that is why I am going to give you some tips/options as to what you can treat yourself with on Valentines Day…while staying healthy!

The have 1 rule

If you have 1 piece of pizza, 1 donut, 1 piece of cake, this is not going to set you completely back. The keyword here is 1 though. If you have 3 pieces of pizza, some cake, and a donut you are not going to feel good about yourself!

Swap Hershey’s for dark chocolate

There are some chocolate options that are better than others. Dark chocolate is always an awesome alternative to the milk chocolates, reese’s, etc. If you make sure you limit yourself to a few pieces, not the entire bar, you will be fine!

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Make your own

Instead of ordering a bunch of pizza that night, invite your friends over for a night of pizza making fun! You can go to the store, buy all the ingredients, and make it at home! There are some great healthy pizza recipes out there. Click here for my favorite.

Keep it simple

If you are going out on a date to a super fancy place you are still allowed to indulge. However, instead of ordering a ton of appetizers, dinner, and desert, limit yourself to maybe one of each. Or, you could even split the meal with your date! That way you get to try some of everything, but you don’t get super full and feel bloated for the rest of the night.

Remember, Valentines Day is all about love! Love your body enough to want to take good care of it, after all what’s the point in celebrating the day of love if you are feeling bad about yourself!

Money Saving Tips

As a teenager it can be a really hard balance between buying things that you want and buying things that you need. There is gas… which you HAVE to buy and, there is clothes, coffee, etc. which you WANT to buy. It can be really frustrating when you find yourself running out of funds every month, even when you think that you had done a good job budgeting everything out.

I have found that all of the little purchases are the ones that add up! The things like coffee, clothes, movies, food, etc. Those are the purchases that you don’t see as a big deal but when they happen often that is when it can create an issue. There are steps that you can take to cut the amount of money you spend on these small things. Below I am going to give you some easy money-saving ideas… its up to you to put them to use!

1. Don’t go to Starbucks EVERYDAY. An average Starbucks drink costs around $4. Doesn’t seem like much, but, if you go 3-4 times a week that has already added up to almost $20! Instead, cut your Starbucks runs to maybe once or twice a week. You can make your own coffee at home… they sell the chai and other drinks in large bottles that will end up cheaper than a daily purchase at the store!

2.Buy what you need before what you want. If you know that you are going to need gas this week, don’t go out shopping. Wait until you have purchased everything you need and then if you have money leftover, TREAT yourself! That way you always have the necessary things and you won’t feel guilty about buying yourself something.

3.Eat at home. All of those food purchases will really start to add up. Instead of going out and getting food, try to make sure you have food at home. That way, you can cook yourself something (healthy) and not spend the money. Also, try to keep some snacks on hand if you know you tend to get hungry throughout the day… no vending machine purchases!

4. Keep your spending money with you. I have found that if I keep the amount of cash I know I can spend that month with me; I am less likely to go buy a bunch of stuff. When you use your card it may seem like you can sort of buy whatever you want. With cash you have that amount and then you are done.

All in all, just try to be smart with your money. Think about what you are buying and make sure it is worth it!

Treat Yourself Happy

UnknownTreating yourself every once in a while is not a bad thing. In fact, I think that it is one of the most important parts of having a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t treat yourself you will either end up 1) miserable or 2) binge eating on a bunch of crap food because you lose control of your willpower. A healthy diet is all about BALANCE! That means that yes you do need to eat healthy the majority of the time (you should want to do this anyway) but, that also means that you have a little room to treat yourself.

Now, that doesn’t mean that once a week you should go gorge on 2 gallons of ice cream and a bunch of pizza. That will just set you back and make you feel terrible about yourself. A treat is a little bit of something that maybe you wouldn’t have everyday. Below are some examples:

-1 piece of pizza
-A little dessert: a scoop of ice cream, a piece of cake, etc.
-A splurge meal of your choice (just make sure the portion isn’t out of control)
We may plan on saving our treats for the weekends or an event, but sometimes our cravings get in the way. I do not think that it is bad to allow yourself a small treat a day to keep yourself going, ESPECIALLY if you have a terrible craving. For example, I let myself have 1 square of dark chocolate if I really feel like I need something sweet. That way, I felt like I treated myself and then I don’t have to think about my cravings anymore.

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If you find yourself needing a small treat, HAVE ONE. Its better to do something small and put it out of your mind than dwell on it and end up overeating.

Stay Healthy!

Healthy Banana Pancakes

Healthy Pancakes can be sort of hard to come by. Most pancakes that you would order at a restaurant are just filled with sugar, carbs, and generally don’t contain a lot of healthy ingredients. Generic pancakes also put you in a sugar overload and can actually lead to a blood sugar slump and breakouts! But… pancakes are delicious! Plus, they are fun to make on the weekends, at sleep-overs, and when you just feel like relaxing and cooking. The recipe below is loaded with vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy and full!

Ingredients (serves 2 to 4)

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Spoonful of coconut oil
  • Handful of berries

Combine almond milk and vinegar and set aside. In a bowl together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and walnuts. In a separate bowl, mash banana with a fork. Mix in maple syrup, oil, egg, and almond milk mixture. Combine ingredients in one large bowl. Heat skillet and put a little oil in the pan. Scoop batter into appropriate amount and pour onto the pan. Cook, flip, and go until you have used all your batter! Top with berries, or more banana if you want!

Try this recipe out this weekend, or even make it for dinner as a little mid-week break! It is so easy and so delicious!

The 15 Minute Workout

It can be hard to find an hour in the day to go to the gym and get a good workout in. If you are busy and know that you are not going to have time, there are things that you can do at home to stay fit! Below is one of my favorite workouts… and it only takes 15 minutes!

No equipment needed!

  • 1 minute air squats
  • 1 minute of burpees
  • 1 minute plank
  • 1 minute mountain climbers
  • 1 min rest

Repeat 3x through

It may not seem like much but it will get your heart rate up and tone the entire body!

Puffy Eye Remedy

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Puffy eyes are the result of a lack of sleep. And if you are anything like me…. you are definitely lacking in your sleep time right now. I have been super busy with school, internships, and trying to maintain a normal life. All of this has started to add up, and this morning I woke up and noticed that my eyes were INSANELY puffy. It looked like I hadn’t slept in a year! So I started looking at some different remedies for puffy eyes and found an AWESOME one that really worked for me. It is super easy and cheap!

You’ll Need: 

  • Hot Water
  • 2 chamomile lavender tea bags(both chamomile and lavender have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties)
  1. Heat the water and allow the tea bags to sit for a moment in the water. 30 seconds max
  2. Place tea bags over your eyes and sit somewhere relaxing for 10-15 minutes
  3. Remove tea bags and cleanse face.. Try not to get the water IN your eyes.

It will allow the swelling to come down and soothe the irritation that is causing your eyes to swell. In addition, it will give you an excuse to get another 15 minutes of shuteye!

Comment and Tag me if this works for you!

Lemon Hair Cleanser

If you tend to use a lot of product in your hair there is a risk of getting excessive build-up. Sometimes just shampooing your hair doesn’t get it out! This is a super quick but effective recipe for a hair cleanser:

You will need:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Bowl

Mix everything together and massage onto your scalp, leave for about 15 minutes. Rinse it with water, THEN shampoo your hair as normal.

I use this whenever I feel like my hair has gotten really dull and limp! Let me know in the comments how it works for you!