Collagen Boosted Hot Chocolate

They say that chocolate is the best carrier of any medicine + I must say I agree! Add chocolate to anything + it will always taste great going down.

We love making chocolate elixirs on cozy winter evenings. It’s a great way to get in our collagen, medicinal mushrooms + more! Did you know that some species of mushrooms have medicinal properties?! Several are also adaptogens, meaning they help your body adapt to stress. Adaptogens increase the body’s resistance to stressors, including physical, emotional, chemical + environmental. Cool right?!

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3 Reasons to Ditch Water-Based Personal Care Products

All though high school and college I suffered from dry skin in the winter. It was itchy, flaky + red. I would constantly reapply lotion but it never seemed to really help. It wasn’t until I learned the power of waterLESS skincare that I finally saw those dry patches heal. So, you probably wondering what’s the deal with waterless skin care? Let’s dive in.

There are 3 main reasons why you need to ditch water-containing products.

  1. Water attracts water, so when you put a lotion containing water on your skin, it will pull out the moisture in your skin, evaporating it into the air. So, the water in our lotions is actually drawing the water OUT of our skin, making our skin dryer. No wonder I had to reapply 583x per day.
  2. Water makes products less stable and more prone to spoiling or growing bacteria. This requires the addition of stabilizers + preservatives. Unfortunately, most companies are not investing in healthy stabilizers + preventives, so most are toxic and harmful to our bodies. Examples include: parabens, formaldehyde, phenoxyethanol
  3. When water is added to products, it dilutes the active ingredients, creating a cheaper product with less of the good stuff!
Continue reading “3 Reasons to Ditch Water-Based Personal Care Products”

Prebiotics 101

Most have heard of probiotics, but have you heard of PREbiotics?

PREbiotic foods contain a specific type of fiber that actually serves as FOOD for PRObiotics — cool right? These two groups work in synergy with each other. Eating both types daily helps keep your gut microbiome healthy!

This means:
🥬 stronger gut barrier to keep out viruses, bacteria, etc
🥬 top notch immunity 
🥬 decreased inflammation
🥬 reduced risk of disease 

Prebiotic foods include:
🧅 onions
🧄 garlic
🥬 leeks
✨ artichoke
✨ asparagus
🍌 banana
🥬 chicory

Prebiotics can also be consumed in supplement form, especially if you’re dealing with picky eaters or think you need some extra support 💛

My favorite prebiotic-containing supplement is called Arise Am Booster! It also provides clean energy + hunger control. You can save $10 off your first order + an additional 20% here!

Choose This, Not That: Salad Dressing

how to choose a healthy salad dressing

Salad dressings can liven up a meal and make veggies/salads more tolerable BUT most are loaded with:

  • inflammatory omega-6 fats (i.e. canola oil, soybean oil)
  • added sugar
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial sweeteners
  • artificial preservatives
  • artificial colors and flavors

To learn more about how these additives can impact your health, check out this A to Z Food Additive Glossary.

Instead of typical dressings like Hidden Valley Ranch or Kraft Thousand Island, try the homemade recipe below or either of the healthier brands pictured above. Primal Kitchen is my go-to — their Green Goddess dressing is delicious!

Creamy Avocado Hemp Dressing

Delicious and healthy salad dressing recipe

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ⅓ cup hemp seeds
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon (squeezed)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend completely. Enjoy!

homemade dressing, salad dressing

What is your favorite homemade dressing recipe?! Share below!

6 Ways to Naturally Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to the seasons. It is also called “winter depression” as it typically starts around fall and continues through winter. In most cases, symptoms of SAD go away as the days grow longer and sunnier.

It typically occurs in individuals age 18 to 30 years old, and is more common in women.

Continue reading “6 Ways to Naturally Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder”

Homemade Gummies

I posted this in my Instagram stories the other day and tons of people asked for the recipe so, here it is! Who else loves gummies? I feel like they are so nostalgic of the 90s. Unfortunately, gummies typically contain:

  • artificial flavors
  • artificial colors  (yellow 5, blue 1, red 40, yellow 6 and titanium dioxide)
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • other 💩 ingredients

When there are questionable ingredients where I’m unsure of the safety (or even just what the heck it is) I love utilizing this Food Additive Glossary. I am all about making healthy swaps when possible, and I’ve found that this simple recipe is a great way to do that!

These make great snacks for little ones, and will be perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat! Additional benefits of making gummies on your own include:

  • utilizing a healthier sugar source
  • includes real fruit
  • gelatin sourced from healthier animals (you are what you eat)
  • ZERO artificial ingredients that your body can’t recognize
  • can customize the shapes!
Continue reading “Homemade Gummies”

My FAVORITE Blueberry Oat Pancakes

I recently found this recipe on the Medical Medium Instagram page — they are AMAZING! Easily my favorite pancake recipe I have tried to date (even better than my sourdough pancakes). They are super filling and the addition of blueberries adds a powerful antioxidant boost.

In addition to being loaded with free-radical fighting antioxidants, blueberries are low in sugar, and high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. When purchasing blueberries, be sure to buy organic whenever possible as the non-organic alternatives are highly sprayed with pesticides. To learn what other types of produce to purchase organic, check out the Dirty Dozen list of pesticides in produce here.

This recipe also uses arrowroot powder as a thickener. Arrowroot powder is gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly. It is extracted from the root of the tropical arrowroot plant and looks similar to other tubers such as cassava. It is used in place of corn starch, which can be helpful for people with allergies or looking to avoid GMOs and foods high in pesticides. Arrowroot is high in fiber, B vitamins and iron.

The blueberry oat pancakes are so delicious and honestly, they don’t even need syrup. The blueberry topping is the icing on the cake!

Let’s get to it!

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

Made with rolled oats and packed with blueberries and banana, these healthy and moist Blueberry Oat Pancakes are perfect for a hardy breakfast. Vegan and gluten-free.


  • 1 cup rolled oats (choose gluten-free if sensitive to gluten)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • ½ medium-sized banana
  • ⅓ cup organic blueberries

Blueberry Sauce

  • ½ cup organic blueberries
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder**
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbs water (if needed)
  1. Place the oats, baking powder, lemon juice, almond milk, maple syrup, and banana in a blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Pour batter into a bowl and gently stir in the wild blueberries.

  3. Preheat a large non-stick ceramic frying pan over medium-low heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook for a further 30 seconds.

  4. To make the topping, combine the wild blueberries, arrowroot, and maple syrup in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and the blueberries soft. If it gets very thick then add a bit of water.

  5. Top pancakes with the wild blueberry sauce and enjoy!

**If you do not have arrowroot powder, you may also use cornstarch as a thickener.

If you LOVE this recipe: Try my 2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes, Double Chocolate Muffins and Berry Overnight Oats!

Your Health Matters Every Day

Hi all! And Happy New Year! To start off this New Year I have a guest on the blog — Jennifer McGregor! Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to make it easier for people to find high quality health info. She is a pre-med student who enjoys writing about health and medical topics to help the readers find reputable health resources.


We all do it. We notice we’ve gained some weight, so we started dieting. Our skin starts to look bad, so we invest in makeup and face creams. But, if you take care of yourself every day, you’ll find that you don’t have to take corrective action for your health quite as often. Especially if you suffer from chronic pain. Here are some great ways to prioritize yourself all the time.

Get more sleep

The benefits of getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night are many. Your skin will look better, you’ll have more energy, and you may even suffer from fewer aches and pains since nighttime is when your body recovers from muscle strain. You’ll also enjoy the side effects of REM sleep, which is restorative to the mind. Give yourself enough time to rest each night. To promote better sleep, you should keep your room cool and dark. It can also help to do some decluttering in your bedroom and using a hypoallergenic pillow.

Take your vitamins

There are many different types of chronic pain, and no matter what you suffer with, chances are, you can benefit from keeping your body properly nourished. While this is accomplished primarily through foods, certain supplements, such as 5-HTP, riboflavin, and turmeric, may help ease symptoms. Those who suffer with daily pain might also consider solutions like taking ginger and glucosamine


Chronic pain and stress are two conditions that tend to overlap. And there is little doubt that stress can exacerbate pain. For this reason, it makes sense to take proactive measures to reduce stress in your life. Per Mayo Clinic, meditation is one of these. When you meditate, you connect your mind and body. You gain a new perspective on the things that cause you anxiety and you can transfer your attention from negative to positive feelings. While this may not eliminate your pain altogether, it will help you cope.

Limit stress

Stress and chronic pain are definitely intertwined, and high levels of stress can exacerbate pain. While reducing stress in this day and age can feel like an impossible task, there are small changes you can make that truly add up. For example, try saying “no” more often so you’re not overextended, or you could try journaling to get worries out on paper. You could also deep clean your home and clear clutter so your home remains a refuge from stress. You can even find ways to outsource help around the house so you’re not overwhelmed. There are myriad ways to reduce stress, so find your sweet spot and make it work. 


The thought of regular exercise when you live with chronic pain may sound challenging. However, exercise can make a significant difference in your pain levels and your overall physical well-being. Activities like walking, yoga, strength training and bicycling can be great choices to help those with chronic pain stay active. Plus, with the advent of smartwatches, you can track your exercise and even monitor your sleep so you can see the results of your efforts in real-time and stay accountable. 

Eat anti-inflammatory

You’ve likely heard of the arthritis diet, but you do not have to suffer with arthritis to enjoy the perks of eating anti-inflammatory foods. For instance, you can start eating a Mediterranean diet, which can lower your blood pressure and curb inflammation. It may even lead to weight loss, which, if you are significantly overweight, can help reduce tension and strain on your joints. A Mediterranean diet isn’t boring, and includes fish, fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, and olive oil. Rossella’s Farmacy has a number of great nutrition articles and recipes to help you develop a better, healthier diet.

When you live each day in pain, you have to do everything you can to reduce this for your mental and physical health. The changes above are easy to implement and won’t interfere with your current lifestyle. They are all simple self-care strategies that will go a long way toward helping you live your best, pain-free life.

What ways do you plan to incorporate self-care into your life this year? Share below!

How to Prevent Dry Skin & Stay Hydrated This Winter

As winter approaches us, we humans tend to neglect hydration. Some believe hydration is not as essential as during the summer since we are not sweating as much, while others opt for warm diuretic-containing beverages such as coffee and tea (guilty). However, these cold-weather months can be extremely dry, wicking the moisture from our skin. The skin on my face and hands has already started to feel the effects of it. This is all the more reason to keep the momentum going and continue our healthy hydration practices from the hot summer months!

There are several ways we can help our bodies maintain hydration besides simply drinking water. I will outline some of my favorite, winter-friendly strategies below:

Continue reading “How to Prevent Dry Skin & Stay Hydrated This Winter”

The What and Why on Probiotics

As increasingly more studies have been published demonstrating the importance of gastrointestinal (GI) or “gut” health on our overall well being, naturally the popularity of methods to improve gut health has also become more mainstream. Enter probiotics.  The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization defines probiotics as “living microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host”.  

We have 10x as many microbes in our body than we do human cells, and around 1,000 different species! Some species have been associated with different health benefits, and the benefits of these little organisms have been known since 1907, when Elie Metchnikoff published a report linking the longevity of Bulgarians with consumption of fermented milk products containing Lactobacilli. Ever since, foods and supplements containing probiotics have been widely marketed and consumed. 

tell me more!