VANILLA COCONUT COLLAGEN PANCAKES

My family loves pancakes, and I love coming up with new pancake flavors and combos. They are one of my favorite things to get creative with. I use a pretty basic “base” recipe for most of my pancakes, but this one is a little bit different.


These pancakes are:

delicious

fluffy

sweet

and full of gut-healing collagen!

So good. I won’t waste any time getting right to the recipe, because you are going to want to make these!

Vanilla Coconut Collagen Pancakes

3 c. stone-ground wheat flour, or gluten free flour blend

2 heaping scoops Vital Proteins Vanilla Coconut Collagen Peptides

1 t. baking soda

2 pinches pink salt

2 t. cinnamon

1 egg

2 T. coconut or avocado oil

2 T. local raw honey

2 1/2-3 c. filtered water

Optional: coconut flakes

Mix dry ingredients together, then add egg, honey, oil, and water. Mix well in a stand mixer, until batter is smooth. Add in a handful of coconut flakes if desired ( I don’t love them in mine, but some people love it!).

On a greased (I use coconut oil) griddle, using a batter spoon, cook each pancake for a few minutes on each side. I turn the heat on my griddle to the highest setting, and usually only need 1 minute on each side to get a beautiful golden-brown.

Top with maple syrup, coconut, cacao nibs, nut butter, fruit, you name it!




I hope you enjoy this recipe, and make sure to use my hashtag on Instagram so I can see! #naturallychelsrecipe

Chels 

 

ADAPTOGEN’S 101

I first started taking and learning about adaptogen’s when I noticed I was having postpartum anxiety after my second baby. I have since grown to love adaptogenic herbs, and continue to take them everyday.

I am sure if you follow me, or any other wellness blogger, you have been hearing a lot about adaptogens. But what are they? Basically, they are healing plants used as holistic medication.

There are so many great adaptogenic herbs. So many, that it can feel really overwhelming when trying to decide which may be the best for you. Some are energizing while others can be grounding.

GROUNDING ADAPTOGENS

Ashwaghanda

Chaga

Reishi

ENERGIZING ADAPTOGENS

Maca

Astragalus

Coryceps

Moringa

Rhodiola

These are just to name a few, and keep things simple. With so many adaptogens available, it can get really overwhelming!

HOW TO CHOOSE WHAT ADAPTOGENS TO TAKE

I like to cycle sync my herbs, but if you are just starting out with adaptogens, it would be easier to get a couple to try. First, you want to look at what you want your adaptogen for. Do you want to feel energized, grounded? Are you hoping they might aid in anxiety, organ support, or hormonal balance?

Once you know what you want it to do, you can do some research on what herb would be best. Here are some of my suggestions.

Ashwaghanda- great for thyroid, adrenal fatanxiety, and feeling zen AF.

Maca- for energy, anxiety, and your immune system.

Chaga Mushroom- grounding, immune support, and reduce inflammation.

Cordyceps- increases stamina, liver function, and detoxification.

Reishi- balancing hormones, grounding, good for fighting allergies.

These are just a few of the benefits of some of my favorite adaptogens. What they can do sometimes seems endless, because they are just that good. So, if you are interested in a particular one, do more in depth research on it.

My favorite ways to consume adaptogens

As I mentioned previously, I like to take different adaptogens based on my cycle and what I am feeling I need on a particular day. For example: If I am in my menstrual phase, and feeling low energy, I may opt for some maca and cordyceps.  Or I may do a combination of grounding and energizing, for balance and to for their other benefits as well.

I add adaptogens to my matcha lattes in the mornings, to my coconut (bliss) balls, and to my smoothies. I have also added them into my homemade chocolates, and caffeine-free lattes, and loved it.


There is so much information on adaptogens, and I highly suggest looking into them further! This is just an easy and simple guide for you to get started on, and I hope it helps! I also would recommend purchasing from Mountain Rose Herbs.  They sell in bulk and it’s really cheap. 

Do you take adaptogens?

MENSTRUAL CUPS

First, a true and really funny story. When my husband and I were still only dating, he overheard his mom and sister talking about tampons. I think they were talking about how awful they are, or something along those lines. And my sweet Sam, in all his unawareness to what a menstrual cup was, tells them “oh, Chelsea uses this like glass vial thing instead of tampons.” Insert horrible, shocked, and disgusted face here. I only got to hear about this horrible story after we were married, from his mom and sister (thankfully, they now know what a menstrual cup is and that I am not some crazy person using GLASS VIALS! hahaha!) I was so horrified when they told me what he had said! Menstrual cups are not glass, so fear not! Also, believe me, my husband now knows just about as much about menstrual cups as I do.

Menstrual cups, or period cups, are a great alternative to tampons. I love them and have been using the DivaCup for 10 years! But I am sure so many of you are wondering: what in the world is a menstrual cup?!

A menstrual cup is a soft silicone cup used in place of a tampon during your menstrual phase. It’s reusable, sustainable, better for your body, and far more comfortable than any tampon out there.

How does the DivaCup work?

There are two different fold options, and great instructions come with the cup. You can also read about it on their site before you purchase one.

Fold options via DivaCup website

As you can see, the DivaCup has a bell-shape and a “stem” on the bottom for easy removal. I have tried other menstrual cups and no one compares to the Diva.

These are offered in two sizes: model one for women under 30 and have never given birth, and model two for women over 30 or those who have (whether c-section or vaginal, it doesn’t matter. Birth is birth.) given birth. I have used both, because I have been using this brand for 10 years. You can read more about sizing options here.

Washing your DivaCup

Washing is so much easier than it may seem at first. I wash mine with Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap and that works great for me. The DivaCup website has instructions for washing, and they recommend their Diva Wash, or unscented, oil-free soap. It is also recommended to boil it after each cycle for a few minutes, just to keep it sanitized. You can learn more about caring for your cup here. 

Is it gross to use or get used to using?

I have heard so often about women being too grossed out to use a menstrual cup. And I can understand that initial icky factor. It can be something you need to get used to doing, but honestly, it’s not bad at all. After trying a menstrual cup, you may be surprised to find how cleanly and easy they are to use.

Benefits of switching to a menstrual cup:

  • menstrual cups are non toxic, and much safer for your body than tampons
  • they can be worn for up to 12 hours
  • cost saver! Imagine not having to buy tampons every month.
  • better for the environment
  • far more comfortable to wear than a tampon
  • no leaks! (if you do experience a leak, it was probably inserted wrong)
  • menstrual cups are SO safe, there is no chance of toxic shock like there is when using a tampon.

Where to purchase a DivaCup

You can use the DivaCup store finder to locate where to buy one locally, or you can order is online from any place listed here.

Switching to a menstrual cup is well worth it, and something you will be so glad you did. It’s safer for your body, the environment, and so much more comfortable than a tampon! Of course, I highly recommend them 😉

 

 

(note: this post may contain affiliate links. DivaCup provided this cup for photography purposes, but I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are completely mine own, and I have been using this brand for 10 years and truly trust the brand and company.)

CYCLE SYNCING

Cycle syncing is something I have been long interested in. It’s something you have probably seen me talking about on Instagram if you follow me there. But what is it exactly? And why should you be doing it?

Over the years I have gone through hell and back with my cycles. I started learning about cycle syncing when my husband and I were first trying to get pregnant about 4 years ago. I was using natural family planning to get pregnant, and really liked the idea of cycle syncing too, but I was honestly not that good at sticking to any of those practices in the long run.

This year, I heard about the app My Flo and had to try it out. It has helped me learn so much more about cycle syncing, and helped me stick to it. I highly recommend getting the app (and actually getting in the habit of utilizing it!).

So what is cycle syncing?

Cycle syncing is essentially syncing our daily lives with our cycles. Our bodies require different needs at every cycle phase, and it is so important to learn about these phases and practice cycle syncing.

If you think about the phases of your cycle, they are all so different, they change your hormones, how you feel, everything. They are ever-flowing, always continuing, always changing. This is feminine energy. Cycle syncing is all about embracing this in your day-to-day life, rather than fighting it as most of us tend to do.

For example: so many of us make a strict routine for ourselves, and we get upset when we do not or cannot stick to it. Like, exercise. Always doing the same things, working hard, and never tuning in to what your body may actually need that day.

It’s okay, we have all been there.

There are four phases of your cycle:

  • Follicular
  • Ovulation
  • Luteal
  • Menstrual

 

Cycle Syncing in the Follicular Phase

This is a great time for:

  • brainstorming
  • creativity
  • fermented foods
  • new exercise routines!

During this phase, I like to do a lot of my writing. I drink all the kombucha, and I usually end up having a dance party with my toddlers.

Cycle Syncing in the Ovulation Phase

During ovulation it is great to:

  • open up in communication
  • do some high-intensity workouts
  • eat raw veggies

I cycle sync my ovulation by working on collaborations, and if I am feeling up to it I will do some HIIT. Because I have PCOS, my ovulation phases can be really painful and sometimes I don’t feel up for a hard work out. I listen to my body and I will do some yoga or go for a light walk. I also load up on all the raw veggies, usually lots of carrots, celery and hummus. Oh, and salads! I always have a lot of salads!

Cycle Syncing in the Luteal Phase

This is a good phase for:

  • tackling your to-do list
  • strength training
  • leafy greens.

I am always finding myself wanting to do everything I have been thinking of doing in this phase. I always have a lot of motivation to get ish done! I love strength training, and I focus on it a lot during this phase. I loving leafy greens, and I eat them all the time. But eating extra during this time helps keep the sugary cravings at bay, so I eat kale chips, and put spinach/kale/arugula/etc. in everything I make!

Cycle Syncing in the Menstrual Phase

This a good time to:

  • evaluate the past month as a whole. What worked for you, and what did not, and so on.
  • Eat protein
  • It’s perfectly okay to consider a nap or a rest as your exercise for this time! If you feel up for something, I suggest a really gentle (maybe even short) yoga sequence, or a really light walk.

For me, every other menstrual phase is really brutal. During the really rough phase, I rest. I take extra care of my body, and try to keep myself as comfortable as possible. I also allow myself a treat if I want it, and that’s okay. When I am having an easier (easier for me, I should say!) cycle, I will do some yoga, and walking.

Through cycle syncing I have learned so much more about my body and my cycles. It has also helped me not only understand my PCOS more, but also treating it. To help make cycle syncing easy, I use the My Flo app on my phone. It gives me updates, helps me track my cycle, and more. It’s really helped me get in tune with my body this year, and I am so grateful. I highly recommend it! It’s $1.99 in the app store, and I think it is safe to say it’s the best 2 dollars I have spent.

You can also ease into cycle syncing, I did! Start out slow by incorporating some foods into your diet that are specific to your current phase. Then try changing up your workout routine, and so on. You will probably ed up like me: in love with how in tune you become to your body, feeling great, and obsessed with cycle syncing. It eventually becomes second nature.

To help make cycle syncing even easier (seriously the MyFlo app is SO helpful and informative!) you can make these “cycle syncing note cards.” Here are some super simple instructions as well:


  •  Cut a piece of card stock paper into four equal squares
  • Write one phase of each four phases on each paper
  • Write down a few simple reminders to do during that phase (for example: ovulation phase I wrote down HIIT, eat raw veggies and fruits, be communicative)
  • Hang it somewhere you will see it every morning for a reminder to cycle sync your day!


Make sure you are following me on Instagram, where I will be sharing even more about cycle syncing!

I would love to know, do you cycle sync?

 

3 CAFFEINE-FREE LATTE’S

I am going on week 4 without coffee and feeling amazing. I have been having matcha lattes, or chai lattes in place of coffee, but some days I cut the caffeine out entirely. However, I still like to have something in the mornings, so I started making caffeine-free superfood lattes! And let me tell you, they are so delicious and make me feel amazing!

These are great for anyone who doesn’t drink caffeine, or for those of you wanting to cut back or take a caffeine break (I highly recommend it!). I think a lot of the coffee love comes from the routine of making it. I know that personally I love the routine of making a latte in the morning.

Dandelion Root Latte:

1 1/2 t. dandelion root powder

1 T. coconut butter

12 oz homemade hemp milk (you can sub for any nut milk, or boiled water)

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cacao powder

1 t. ashwaghanda*

1 t. maca powder*

1 t. chaga mushroom powder*

Heat the milk over the stove, but do not boil! Add all ingredients to your blender and blend for 2 minutes!



Herbal “Coffee”:

1 t. roasted chicory root

1/2 c. filtered water

1/2 c. homemade hemp milk

1 t. vanilla

Boil water, and warm milk on to stove. Add everything to your blender, blend 2 minutes and enjoy! You can also brew chicory root like regular coffee. Use 1 t. chicory root to every 1 cup you make. A great coffee alternative that tastes like coffee!


Spirulina Latte:

1 t. spirulina

1/2 t. chlorella

1/2 t cordyceps mushroom powder

1 T. raw local honey

1 T. coconut butter

12 oz. homemade hemp milk

1/2 t. ashwaghanda*

1/2 t. maca powder*

Heat milk on stove. Add everything into a blender, blend 2 minutes!

Why did I stop drinking coffee?

As many of you may know from following me on Instagram, I have stopped drinking my beloved coffee. I stopped for two major reasons: the acidity and the caffiene. Coffee was causing my body a lot of problems like breakouts, bloat, trouble sleeping, and increased stress/anxiety. Suffering postpartum anxiety, adrenal fatigue and severe hormonal imbalances, I got to the point of being done with things not being enough and cut out a lot of things from diet. Coffee was the first! It was a lot easier than I expected it to be, and I noticed major changes by the third day.

*adaptogens:

These all are optional, but highly recommended! I take a lot of different adaptogens. They support adaptation to stress and anxiety, hence the name.

I buy all of my herbs, adaptogens, coconut (to make coconut butter), hemp seeds, etc. from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can buy them in bulk for a great price here. I started taking ashwaghanda about 16 months ago, and discovered this year that it is so much cheaper to but it in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs! They carry high-quality, organic ingredients that I trust 100%!

*This is a sponsored post, thank you Mountain Rose Herbs for supplying the product used to make these delicious lattes. Although this is a sponsored post, I would never recommend of work with a brand I did not already invest in and completely trust. I love Mountain Rose Herbs, and have for years!

DIY: ALL PURPOSE (ALL NATURAL) CLEANER

Walking through the cleaning isle, reading all those ingredients. Toxins, chemicals, things you don’t even know how to pronounce. Cleaning products are so rarely “clean” themselves, leaving us all wondering: “what in the hell am I putting on my counter top?”

If you have ever been there, I have a solution for you. While there are many natural cleaning solution products (this one is what I would recommend for store-bought), making your own all-purpose cleaner is not only more affordable, but also you know exactly what is in it, and can customize the scent.

There are a few different ways to make your own cleaner, but this is my personal favorite, because it is really simple and really fast to throw together when you have procrastinated making a new batch. I don’t love to set aside a lot of time for making my own products,so the easier the better. I also really believe that less is more, and this recipe uses only 4 simple ingredients you might even have on hand already!

Recipe:

-1/2 c. apple cider vinegar 

-2 T. castile soap

-10 drops essential oil (of your choice, I like to go with things that are naturally disinfecting: tea tree, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, etc.)

-1/2 c. water

Instructions:

Add all items into a spray bottle using a funnel (pro tip: use an old ACV bottle to be plastic free, and really sustainable! A standard spray bottle top will fit on it. You can also re-use a bottle from old cleaner, etc.).

Gently shake the bottle (after putting the lid on) to mix everything together.

Use to clean your kitchen, floors, bathroom, windows, door nobs, car, kid’s toys, literally anything! I find that this cleaner works really well for disinfecting, and I use it daily for regular clean-up in the house, but when I am needing to deep clean the shower/tubs/toilets, I use something a little more powerful.

Have you made the swap to safer and “greener” cleaning products?

 

HOW I AM NATURALLY TREATING MY POSTPARTUM ANXIETY

Good morning babes! Hope everyone has had a great week, and that you are ready to take on Friday! I have been getting a TON of emails and DM’s asking about my postpartum anxiety and how I am treating it. I knew I needed to address it all in one post, because there is a lot that goes into this subject, at least for me! I want to mention first of all that I am not a medical professional and everything I do works best for me personally. That might not be the case for you. We are all so different and the biggest thing is to do what works best for you and your family! I have tried so many things before I got to this point where I finally know what works and what does not for me.

I share a little bit of my backstory on postpartum anxiety and depression here. I also shared in this post the things I did when I first noticed that I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. Our baby is now 15 months, and things have changed in how I address these things. Here iI share mindfulns what I am doing now:

  • Ashwaghanda I take two capsules daily, and if I am feeling off or having a hard day, I take more.
  • Maca I add 1-2 t to a latte or smoothie that I have throughout the day.
  • Collagen You can read more about collagen here. I take 1 serving of it daily, usually in a smoothie or oatmeal.
  • I limit my caffeine more than I used to. I will have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, on a good day. On a day I am feeling stressed or off, I will stick with a cup of matcha. Try swiss water method decafmatcha, or Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee.
  • I track my sleep, and stick to a consistent schedule. I use the “bedtime” feature on my iPhone to keep myself on track to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. I allow myself time to be up before my kids, too so I have time to start my day with mindfulness, exercise, writing, or whatever it is I need that day.
  • Mindfulness has played a huge role, too. I share mindfulness tips on Mondays, either here or on my Instagram. One of my favorite tools has been my Purposeful Planner. It is my space where I log all my to-do lists, keep my life organized, meal plan, brain storm, all that. It’s really been helpful with my anxiety because it’s an easy way for me to keep track of everything and make sure I am giving myself what I need. I start each morning in my planner and it gives me a great start to the day.

So these are the things I am doing now, at 15 months postpartum, and I am feeling really good! I am also going to be trying out hypnotherapy soon too, and will keep you guys updated there.

Thanks so much for reading,

xx, Chels

EASY AND HEALTHY CRUSTED SALMON RECIPE

I love salmon, but I don’t usually like crusted salmon. This is one that I actually do love and it is so easy, so clean, and so frickin good! My kids devoured this, so it is definitely going in our dinner rotation. I hope your family loves it too!

Primizie Crusted Salmon

4 servings of salmon

1 c. Primizie Simply Salted of Italian Herb Crispbreads

1 T. coconut oil

Smoked paprika

Garlic

Salt & Pepper

Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet, dust on paprika, salt, and pepper. In a food processor, add the Primizie Crispbreads, coconut oil, and garlic. After that mixture is a chunky consistency (how chunky or fine you want it processed is up to you!) top the salmon with a thick layer. Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes.

Pretty simple, am I right?

Don’t forget to share and tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe! I would love to see and hear how you and your family enjoys it.

xx, Chels

10 REASONS TO TAKE COLLAGEN

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Good morning friends! I hope this post finds you well, and that you are all enjoying your Sunday. As I am sipping a super-food latte filled with some tasty Vital Proteins collagen, I want to share with you guys my 10 reasons for taking collagen.

First of all, I want to mention that I do not eat much meat. I was a vegetarian for a long time before we started having babies, but now I eat very intuitively. I will make a post about this later, but even though I really like to veer away from any animal products, there are reasons that my body sometimes needs collagen and so I take it. You just need to listen to your body and feed it what it needs, and do what works the best for you!

Okay, here we go!

10 reasons to take collagen:

1. Collagen can help heal your gut. Amino acids found in collagen are proven to heal the lining of the intestine and leaky gut symptoms. A healthy gut is so important, you guys! Your gut is like your second brain, so it’s health is everything.

2. Collagen can improve skin elasticity and moisture. Who doesn’t want that? Many creams have collagen in it to “improve and prevent wrinkles,” but collagen cannot actually be absorbed through the skin! So the best way is to ingest it.

3. Collagen (and gelatin) help to break down other foods, which aids in better digestion. It really does work! One of my biggest reasons I started taking collagen.

4. Amino acids and protein found in collagen helps your hair grow faster, stronger, and healthier. I have personally noticed this too! I have pretty healthy hair, and it’s really long, but it grows even faster when I am consistently ingesting collagen.

5. The amino acids found in collagen are obviously a game changer, another amazing thing they do is improve thyroid health which directly improves metabolism!

6. Collagen can help regulate and balance hormones. More info here! I needed help with my hormones after baby boy was born, and collagen is one of the things I take daily and it’s truly been so helpful!

7. Collagen is high in glycine, an amino acid that aids in better sleep! I have noticed this difference as well. It is amazing!

8. Glycine also helps treat stress and anxiety, naturally. This is the number one reason I wanted to get on it. I take several things for my postpartum anxiety, and collagen is one of them. It helps so much and I notice a day-to-day difference if I don’t take it.

9. Collagen is great for joint health, and easing joint pain. I have known people who take it for arthritis, and claim it really helps them!

10. Collagen is such a pure form of protein, making it a great “protein shake” option post workout. This is what I often do and its amazing. I also know people who take it before and love that too.

Basically, collagen for everything, haha! It really is that good you guys. It helps with even more things than I mentioned, but these for my 10 reasons that I take it and use it for.

Collagen, unlike gelatin, dissolved in liquid making it super easy to add to just about everything. I add collagen in my smoothies, superfood lattes, coffee, oatmeal, and other recipes (so good in bars!). I post a lot of my recipes for these things on my Instagram, so be sure you are following along there!

It is really important to find a pure, non-gmo, grass-fed form of collagen. I trust Vital Proteins 100% for that and love their products. My favorite collagen from them to add into smoothies is collagen veggie blend to get more veggie servings, too! I also love the collagen peptides with vanilla and coconut water for lattes, its sooooooo good! The original peptides are great too because they can be added into everything with no flavor! You can also purchase these on amazon!

Do you take collagen? Share your reasons/experiences with me below!

 

 EASY SUPERFOOD LATTE RECIPES

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Matcha, turmeric, collagen, OH MY! Three of my favorite things to use in the kitchen. Not only are they in incredible for our health, but they’re all so versatile.

Matcha and turmeric lattes are really popular right now, they’re nutritious AF and also delicious AF. My favorite combo. I get bored of eating and drinking the same things everyday (with some exceptions… PB, coffee, avo toast… you get the picture) so I love mixing things up a bit! Plus it’s a ton of fun coming up with new recipes.

Matcha Latte:

2 t. matcha powder

1 t. maca powder

1 medjool date (spirulina or honey)

Vanilla

Cinnamon

12 oz almond, coconut, or cashew milk

Turmeric Latte:

1 t. turmeric powder

1 t. maca powder

1 medjool date (honey or spirulina)

vanilla

cinnamon

black pepper

12 oz favorite nut milk

Matcha Turmeric Latte:

1 t. matcha

1 t. turmeric

1 t. maca powder

1 date (spirulina or honey)

vanilla

cinnamon

black pepper

12 oz. nut milk

Other Additions:

Collagen (I almost always add this to mine)

Ashwaghanda

Sun Potion

Moon Juice Dusts

Coconut butter

Cacao butter

Coconut oil

Any herb/supplement you are taking!

You can also serve any of these hot or iced! I prefer iced, so I blend all ingredients in my Vitamix, and pour over ice. Or you can blend and heat it up! Either way, they are so good!

I hope you enjoy these recipes, my family and I LOVE them! Have a great Thursday, babes!

xx, Chels