What I'm Loving: August 2013

Sometimes, when I really love something, I start to get a bit obsessive over it. This is precisely what happened when I got my hands on Jessica Alba's book The Honest Life. I came across her book as I was looking more into her newly founded Honest Company and could not put it down once I opened it. Since we've really made a concerted effort to eat clean over the past few months, I've been educating myself a little at a time on how to create a clean, healthy environment as well. As I was researching the realm of clean eating, I started coming across information here and there on the toxicity of products used in daily life far beyond the realm of just food. The information I started finding was mind-boggling, but also super overwhelming. I started learning that there's so much information out there and I was hungry to educate myself on all of it.

That's when I found The Honest Life and it has become my go-to for the answers to almost all of my questions regarding the safety and health of foods, home cleaning products, beauty products, and just creating a healthy home environment. She breaks everything down perfectly, explaining the harm in certain ingredients and what they do to the body. What's even better? She explains how to avoid using toxic chemicals in daily life as much as possible and gives tons of suggestions for improvement and healthy alternatives. She presents ideas in such a managable way and doesn't claim to be perfect at it, both of which I admire. For food, she breaks down the most and least toxic non-organic choices and also throws in tons of healthy recipes and quick meal ideas. I highly recommend this book ASAP for anyone looking to live a less toxic life.

I'm always looking for new shows to get into that we can watch at our own pace. When Preston suggested we should watch Game of Thrones, I kept putting it off--for reasons I now cannot even comprehend. The fantasy drama is based on author George R.R. Martin's series of novels A Song of Ice and Fire. The story takes place in fictional kingdoms of the continent Westeros and the content follows several houses and the battles for the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Although the show is most certainly fictional, Martin puts a fantasy spin on dramatic periods of governing, corruption, and scandal in European history. I must warn you, like many HBO offerings, there's questionable content, but if you're not easily offended, it's a MUST watch.

As I mentioned previously, I have given up the majority of wheat, pasta, and breads within my diet and have noticed countless benefits of mind and body from doing so. With that, I've adopted the custom of replacing pasta dishes with spaghetti squash and LOVE IT! It's a much healthier alternative to pasta, not to mention way less carbs and super easy to cook! Each cup contains only 42 calories, 10 carbs, and 2.2 grams of fiber...whoa momma! Because it's a plant, you're of course additionally getting way more vitamins and minerals than consuming pasta.

To cook it, cut it in half, hotdog style, and pop it in the oven in the oven on 375 for about an hour, then scoop it into your pot to use as pasta. People say you can cook it in the microwave, for those of you looking for a quicker method. I cook it as a "Garlic Pasta" side dish sometimes, other times it's the main meal. The possibilities are endless! Anything I would normally do with pasta, I do with spaghetti squash instead.

My most recent favorite recipe with it is this:

Garlic & Carmelized Onion "Pasta"

1 Small Spaghetti Squash, cooked

2 TBSP Stonewall Kitchen Carmelized Onion Jam

1/4 Cup Chives

2 Cloves Garlic (chopped finely)

1 TBSP Dried Basil, crumbled finely (I prefer to dry out fresh basil for best taste)

3-4 TBSP Grapeseed or Coconut Oil

Seasonings: Sea Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne

I hope you've been inspired to try out one of my August loves soon -- you won't regret it!