St. Patrick’s Green Piña Colada Smoothie (No Alcohol)

Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m not really into corned beef and cabbage so I’ll be mixing up a different St. Patty’s treat. The weather has been so nice I thought I would put a summer spin on my smoothie and make it a piña colada minus the rum. 
Recipe:
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (as always you could use any kind of milk you like)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2-4 handfuls of spinach. Spinach blends down very easily so you really can add as much as you want. 
  • 4 pineapple slices
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • About 1/4 cup of coconut flakes
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • A few drops of green food coloring for extra green color
Blend it all together and enjoy!
Are you making any other treats for St. Patrick’s Day? Let me know in the comments!
Have a great day!
Courtney
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My Journey Into Oil Pulling. Does It Work?

I was inspired to take another journey into oil pulling by lovelyreverie_ on Intsagram. She posted a photo about oil pulling and it got me thinking. I have tried oil pulling a couple of times inconsistently and while I did notice a whiter smile, I don’t think I was consistent enough to fully reap all of the benefits.

I did some additional research and came across an article claiming that oil pulling could be a cure for headaches or migraine. As a frequent migraine sufferer I am open to just about any suggestion to relieve my pain.

Oil pulling is where cold pressed organic oils are swished around in the mouth for about 20 minutes each day. Coconut and sesame oils are the most popular to use for oil pulling. I use coconut. This process of swishing the oil in your mouth is supposed to help kill bad germs that live in your mouth. Apparently the oil also  “pulls” germs and toxins from other parts of your body via your mouth. After the time is up you spit the oil into the trash so that no toxins are reabsorbed. It is not recommended to spit coconut oil into the sink because this type of oil solidifies at temperatures below 75 degrees meaning you could possibly clog your pipes.

Other possible benefits of oil pulling include:
~Less cavities and bad breath
~Whiter teeth
~Promotes healthy skin
~Helps maintain a healthy liver
~Corrects hormone imbalances and possibly help relieve PMS symptoms
~Help boost immune system
~Helps relieve allergies or other sinus problems

So here I go once again! I started today, March 11th by lightly melting some cold pressed coconut oil and swishing it my mouth for 15 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. I am going to challenge myself to do this everyday for the next two weeks to see if I find any improvements in my migraines, teeth, or overall health. I’ll be sure to update you with my findings.

Have you ever tried this? I would love to hear about your experience, opinions, or general thoughts! Let me know in the comments, tweet me @Imperfectperla, or email me at cwlinguistics@gmail.com

If you are interested in learning more about oil pulling here are some articles I found really helpful:

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/oil-pulling-the-habit-that-can-transform-your-health

http://wellnessmama.com/7866/oil-pulling-for-oral-health/

Have a great day!

Courtney

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Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” Recipe

Good Evening! Or Morning, or afternoon….depending on where you live. 

I just got done eating dinner and taste testing a new recipe I tried out today. Like always I cant’t just keep these things to my self. Oh no. They must be shared! 🙂
This is a recipe where you take a head of cauliflower and make a substitute for mashed potatoes. This recipe is 100% gluten-free, vegan, and delicious. 
 It still has the same texture as mashed potatoes and basically the same taste but with more nutritional value. Cauliflower is a great source of protein, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, K, and B6.   
Enjoy!
Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1 1/2 tsp of nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic salt or just plain salt depending on what you prefer
A pinch of black pepper
2 Tbsp of unsweetened almond milk. You could also use unsweetened soy milk. 
Directions:
1. Chop up your head of cauliflower and add all pieces to a large pot of slow boiling water. You can use every bit of the cauliflower except for the leaves so don’t be afraid to add both the florets and stems. 
2. Once your cauliflower bits are tender drain the water and add the cauliflower to your blender along with the almond milk. 
3. Blend on lowest setting until the mixture is well blended but a few lumps remain. If your blender has a pulse setting, use that. 
4. Pour the mixture back into the pot and place it on low heat. 
5. Slowly mix in the salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast one at a time. 
6. Remove the pot from the stove and serve!
While the recipe itself is vegan I sprinkled a little cheddar cheese on top and it was quite tasty. 😉
This was my first time making this recipe and I was pleasantly surprised. It really does taste just like mashed potatoes! 
I hope you enjoy this dish and have a great day!
Courtney
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Protein Brownie Bites

Nom, nom, nom….

Here is my recipe for some delicious little brownie bite treats.
What You Need:
  •  3/4-1 cup of chocolate protein powder. Mix in 3/4 cup first and if the mixture is too water add in the rest.  I use the Nutribiotic Brown Rice Protein Powder.
  •  1/4- cup of stevia or 1/3 cup of regular sugar.
  •  1/4 cup of  soy milk creamer.
  •  1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
  •  1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1/2 cup of egg replacer or 1/2 cup of egg whites.
  •  1/2 teaspoon of raw cacao powder.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of nut butter (I used almond but you can use whatever kind you like)

To Prepare:

  • Mix the egg/egg substitute, soy milk creamer, and protein powder together first.
  • Then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended.
  • Bake on 350 for 20-26 degrees, keeping an eye on them until a toothpick comes out clean.
NOTE: You could substitute the soy milk creamer for any type you like (coconut milk, almond milk,etc)

I think these treats are best served warm. They are also delicious with a little nut butter spread on top.

Buen Provecho!

Courtney

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Check out my new YouTube Channel!

Hello everyone!

I want to share some fun news with you. I decided to start a YouTube channel. Woo hoo!!

I started this blog and now this channel as a sort of self-care project. My day job involves hearing about a lot of traumatic events so it’s good to have a positive outlet to relieve stress. Plus I think it might be fun!

Head on over to My YouTube Channel to check out my first few videos. Please subscribe and leave comments telling me what other kinds of videos you would like to see. You can also Tweet me your requests or comments @imperfectperla.

Some of my future video ideas include:
~Health product reviews
~Cooking/baking tutorials
~Craft DIYs
~Budget-friendly videos
~Beauty, makeup, and fashion
~Motivational and self-care topics
~ Your requests! 🙂

I hope you’re having a great start to your week!

Courtney

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Review: Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Cream

Hello Lovelies!

I am back today with a review of the Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day and Night Face Cream. I bought this product at Target about a month ago, kind of on a whim.

 I needed a new night cream and I wanted something that was cruelty-free and all natural. I was REALLY impressed with the ingredients so I decided to give it a go. Ever since then I have been using it day and night after I cleanse my face and I am absolutely loving it! After 30 days not only did I see a difference but I’ve had strangers comment on how nice my skin looks.
Also, I have combination/dry skin that can be sensitive at times so I needed a face cream that would work with all those issues. That being said, I think this product would also work well for normal to oily skin types. 
Here’s a breakdown of why I love this product:
1. The ingredients. One glance and you will fall in love. It has Sweet Iris Leaf, Damascus Rose Leaf, Kelp, Coconut water, Sunflower Seed Oil, Shea butter, Grape seed Oil, Cucumber extract, and many more wonderful things.
2. It’s vegan and cruelty-free so you can rest peacefully at night knowing that no precious animals suffered for your beauty. 
3. It smells great but the scent isn’t overpowering. 
4. It’s a cream but it feels very gel-like and soaks into the skin quickly. 
5. It’s non-irritating and it didn’t make me break out.
6. It really helped hydrate my skin in these dry winter months but it didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. 
7. I saw improvement in those little “parentheses” lines around my mouth and in the fine lines on my forehead.
8. It made my skin look more radiant and hydrated. 
 9. It comes in a slim 1.7 oz container so it’s very travel friendly. 
I bought mine at Target for $20 and I know to some that may be a bit pricey but I think it is well worth it. Some of the super high-end moisturizers cost way more and aren’t all natural or cruelty-free. So it makes me wonder why they are even so high priced!? 
If you don’t have a Target nearby you can order directly from Pacifica at www.pacificaperfume.com or I found it on www.beauty.com. 
If you have any comments or questions you can leave them down below or tweet me @imperfectperla. 
Also, let me know if there are any other cruelty-free skincare or beauty products I should try. 
Paz, 
Courtney
***These opinions are all my own and I was not paid for this review. I purchased this product myself.***
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Video: Random Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Trip

Hola gal pals!

Yesterday I had to travel 2 1/2 hours away for work so I decided to take a little side trip to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Before I put everything away I made a little video showing you what items I picked up. (including some of my absolute favorites!)

I actually did a more complete grocery trip last week before I knew about this work trip so I didn’t need any fresh products.  I was just replenishing some everyday staples and trying out some new foods.

I hope you enjoy this video. I LOVE watching these types of videos because it gives me ideas of different items to try.  I have another trip planned for early February so please let me know if there are any other things I should try from either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. You can comment below or tweet me @imperfectperla.

Peace,

Courtney

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How To Tuesday/Wednesday: Make Delicious Roasted Chick Pea Snacks!

Good Evening!

 

Today I want to share a delicious chick pea snack recipe. I have been working for a while to figure out the right technique to make my chick peas crunchy and not chewy. These are a great healthy snack and making them yourself will save you a lot of money. The average bag of roasted chick pea snacks retails for about $2 per serving.  With this recipe each serving is only about $.50. That’s incredible!

 
  

What You Need:
1 Bag dry chick peas
Large Bowl (for soaking)
Small Bowl (for mixing)
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt or Spice of your choice
Baking Sheet
Aluminum Foil (optional)
Vented Pizza Sheet
Paper towel

 

The Night Before:
Soak dry chick peas in enough water so that all beans are covered. I suggest using dry beans over canned because they don’t contain any additives, salt, or sugar. Plus, they are usually cheaper!

What To Do:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In the smaller mixing bowl coat 1 cup of chick peas with the olive oil.
  • Then add in your spice, making sure all of the chick peas are covered.
  • Line you baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any oil drips.
  • Place the vented pizza sheet on top of the baking sheet.
  • Then spread your chick peas onto the vented pizza sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes taste one chick pea from the center and outer edge of the vented pizza sheet. Fully roasted chick peas are crunchy and may have browned slightly.
  • Remove all fully roasted chick peas and set them aside in a small bowl.
  • Any remaining chick peas that are not fully roasted can go back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Check on them every 5 minutes though to make sure you don’t over-roast or burn them.
  • After all the chick peas are fully roasted spread them out on a paper towel to absorb any excess olive oil.
  • Add extra seasonings to taste. I like to put them in a zip lock bag and shake them with some spices.
  • Then enjoy and share with a friend. 🙂

Fun Facts About Chick Peas!
India is the #1 producer of chick peas
Chick peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, and essential amino acids.
“Chick pea” comes from the Latin word “cicer”
They are perfect at stabilizing blood sugar and recommended for diabetics.
There are two types of chick peas: Kabuli (larger) and Desi (smaller).

 
 

I hope you all are having a great day and enjoy this tasty, healthy snack.

 

Paz,
C

 
 

P.S. Let’s talk! Tweet me suggestions for recipes or post topics @imperfectperla or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources cited:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea

 

https://www.integratedbreeding.net/chickpea-facts-figures

 
 

 

     
       
       
       

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      New Year Resolutions!

      Happy New Year!

      As a chronic list maker, goal setter, and just planner in general I get excited when the new year comes around because it means I get a fresh start to set new goals. I wanted to share with you today the things I’ve learned over the past few years about making goals or new year resolutions and successfully achieving them.

      1.Make easy goals.
      When I say easy I mean ridiculously easy. Think of goals that you are 100% sure you can achieve. I believe that by making and completing easy goals, you give yourself momentum to tackle larger goals. For example, one of my goals is to simply hang up my coat and purse everyday instead of draping them over the couch.

      2.Use the buddy system.
      Accountability is a proven method used to reach and maintain goals. Ask a friend to join you at the gym a couple times a week or volunteer at a soup kitchen. You can also come up with goals together and encourage each other throughout the process. Send each other motivational text messages or emails once a week as a reminder that you are still there for them and working towards the goal.

      3.Reward yourself.
      Just like  #1 make the reward very simple at first. Don’t make your first reward of the year a brand new pair of Jimmy Choo heels. Start off with something small like a new lipstick or magazine. It is also best to space out rewards. Once you have completed a goal go ahead and reward yourself but then increase the difficulty of the goal and the length between rewards.

      4. Do a little every day.
      Over the past 4 months I have been trying very hard to break my habit of procrastinating. I have done a really good job too and the way I have been accomplishing this is by taking a goal and breaking it up into daily tasks. It is not a new concept that doing small parts of a larger task each day will help you complete the task with less stress. It is, however a hard concept to put into place. One goal I made a few months ago was to keep the house more organized and tidy.

      I used to let my laundry and house cleaning pile up until it was complete chaos. Then I would have to dedicate an entire day or two just to cleaning up those messes. Now I try to clean a little every single day so I don’t have to waste my weekend with a dust rag in my hand.  I also like to use the 60 second rule.  If something will take 60 seconds or less to clean up I do it right then instead of leaving it for later.

      This same idea can be applied to a new year resolution. Think of some 60 second tasks you can do each day to work towards your goal.

      5.Write it down.
      We are all so busy it is possible to simply forget about a goal. So, writing down your goals and keeping them in sight will help remind you. Try writing them on a post-it note and sticking it to your mirror or on a colorful piece of paper you hang on your fridge. I like to sometimes set an alarm on my phone with a single word or phrase that reminds me of a goal I’ve made. (ex. Take Vitamin) This year I am going to try journaling again. It is a great way to check in with yourself for a few minutes every night and process your feelings from the day. Through this process you can track the progress of your current goals and you may even discover some new goals.

      I hope these tips help you achieve whatever goals you are making this new year.

      Here are some of the goals I am making this new year:

      ~Hang up coat and purse in the proper place everyday. (Remember Tip #1)

      ~Journal everyday or at least every week

      ~Volunteer in some capacity

      ~Strengthen yoga practice

      ~Run a race

      ~Experiment with new recipes

      ~Pass Medical Interpreter Certification Exams

      ~Work on new content for this blog. (Maybe more videos!?)

      ~Find joy every day in the small things

      ~Be happy and healthy!

      What are your resolutions or goals for this new year? Comment below, tweet me @imperfectperla, or follow me on instagram (@liveloveandtiu) and comment on my new years post.

      I wish you all a very successful year.

      Peace,

      C

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      Video: Holiday Health Travel Essentials

      Hello again, 
      I hope you are having a great week. Today I wanted to share with you a little something different: a video!
      Today I am traveling back to my hometown for a 10-day trip to celebrate the holidays. I couldn’t be happier to spend time with loved ones but unfortunately my family and my husband’s family have all been sick. Last year I came down with a horrible flu on Christmas Eve so this year I am packing an artillery to protect myself against those nasty cold and flu viruses. I hope you enjoy this little video and please let me know if you would like to see more videos. 

       I would love to know your recommendations for vitamins or supplements. Let me know below or tweet me @imperfectperla
      Happy Holidays and Safe Travels!

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