How to Keep Your Skin Glowing into the Cold of Winter!

Winter doesn’t have to mean dull skin!

If you’re like me, you absolutely love fall and winter! I love the fall and how the leaves change, the air changes and everything feels more cozy! I also love winter though because for me it means time with family for Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season that follows(: Seriously, my favorite time of the year! What do I not love about winter? How pale and dull my skin can get. I’m going to show you 10 tips, mostly DIY tips, to keep your skin extra healthy through the winter and keep that glowing summer skin!

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1.Sunless Tanner! Probably the most obvious choice to make your skin glow in the winter is to use your favorite sunless tanner to keep your skin bronzed! My favorite sunless tanner is a brand called Loving Tan! Their 2 Hour Express tanner takes only 2 hours to develop so it’s also great if you’re in a pinch!

2. I know in the winter, long hot showers are so satisfying – but the hot water actually strips all of the moisture out of your skin and can leave you with dry, flaky and dull skin. Instead, opt for the short cooler showers so you don’t lose as much moisture! As always, be sure to apply a moisturizer after you get out when your skin is still damp to lock in extra moisture as well!

3. Love smoothies? Try avocado + banana + mango + pineapple + spinach + coconut water! Avocados are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids to help your skin stay hydrated and your hair stay shiny! Mangos, pineapples and bananas add some vitamin C and deliciousness. Spinach actually has anti-aging benefits and also can help your skin heal itself from acne scars, nicks cuts + has about 5 ounces of water per cup of spinach to keep you hydrated! The coconut water is AMAZING for hydration and also has loads and loads of health benefits for your hair and skin! Overall, drinking this smoothie will be like a mini spa day for your skin!

4. Say Yes to Cucumber Facial Wipes. I swear by these + they’re only like $4 at the drugstore! I have a pack in my gym bag, in my car, in my book bag, in my soccer bag, and in my purse at all times – they’re seriously amazing. I use these after workouts, after soccer games, after I run, after long classes (because I tend to touch my face a lot in class – NOT good!), as a refresher, or if I need to remove makeup! These wipes are packed with green superfoods that naturally exfoliate, detoxify, and rejuvenate all in one! They are 98% natural, biodegradable, oil-free, non comedogenic, hypoallergenic, cruelty free, and work amazing with sensitive skin ( I have VERY sensitive skin & these never break me out!). These will definitely keep your skin clear and glowy!

5. Eat foods rich in vitamins! There are SO many vitamins and there are a ton that do so many great things for your skin. To name a few, vitamin C helps keep skin bright & has anti aging properties, vitamin E helps protect skin against sun damage + helps with inflammation, vitamin A (retinol) is very well known for skin benefits such as cell turnover (ridding of dead skin cells) and also is effective at preventing acne! That’s just to name a few! Keep vitamins high in your diet and I promise you’ll see a huge difference in your skin! I also found some AMAZING recipes for healthy skin at ALOHA which put a lot of the foods very high in vitamins together for a delicious healthy skin meal (: I cannot wait to try the Healthy Coconut Sweet Potatoes 😀

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6. Drink your water infused with lemon + cucumber + mint. Water is very important in keeping your skin hydrated and clear – so if you don’t like infused water, just drink a ton of water! However, if you like to spice up your water, try adding lemon for some brightening vitamin C as I’ve mentioned, cucumber for skin calming effects and mint leaves for some added flavor and anti inflammatory properties!!

7. EXFOLIATE!!! Exfoliating is SO essential to keeping the skin beautiful and glowy because as your skin goes through its natural process of shedding skin cells – if you don’t exfoliate those dead cells away, this can cause your skin to become dull looking. I recommend exfoliating your skin 2-3 times a week! There are so many different exfoliators out there but if you’re looking for something cheap and fast, try taking 1/2 of a lemon and put sugar + honey on the inside exposed half and rub in on your face. The sugar will help exfoliate the skin, the lemon will brighten the skin, & the honey will calm the skin! You’ll see a huge difference after just one use! Also, my favorite body exfoliator is Sea Salt from LUSH! It smells like a margarita and makes your skin look so incredibly bright!

8. Try a mask of 1 egg white, honey, and lemon juice. This may sound gross, but I promise your skin will thank you so much for this. Egg whites are great for tightening the face + making pores look smaller, plus they have a ton of protein which nourishes the skin, honey calms the skin + acts as an anti-bacterial, and lemon juice brightens and acts as an astringent to keep oil and pimples at bay! Use this about an hour before you apply your makeup for a night out and your products will apply SO much better and look much more natural!

9. Mix in a spray bottle water and a few drops of rosehip seed oil. This oil is packed with Vitamin C and is great for a refresher throughout the day or over your makeup! Rosehip also leaves the skin VERY hydrated and I find it gives my face a very subtle glow.

10. Try a bath with a few green tea bags infused in it! Do NOT drink the water – that’s gross haha. This is actually one of the best herbal baths you can take for detoxifying your body and destressing. Many people think green tea is only beneficial for ingesting, and while that is very true, that is not its only use. It leaves the skin very soft (thanks to the vitamin B) and also helps heal any rashes, cuts, or imperfections on the skin to keep your skin looking very healthy. Bring your bath water a bit hotter than normal, use anywhere from 5-10 tea bags, let the water steep for about 20 minutes or so (also lets the water cool) + make sure to have a good bit of water with you to stay very hydrated! I usually bring a pitcher and a glass when I take detox baths!

I hope you all can take something from this list and put it to use with the cold months coming up! Let me know if you tried any of these out and how they worked for you! Also, please let me know what some of your favorite methods for glowing skin are because I’m always looking for new methods!! As always, thanks for reading!(:

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October Favorites!!

October was a pretty busy month for me school wise because for some reason, every professor I have wanted to have at least 2 projects or papers due every week. Needless to say, November isn’t slowing down either as we are nearing the end of the semester. I’m very ready for the year to be over so I can enjoy the holiday season! Since October was so busy, my favorites are very sparse because I really didn’t get a chance to try or buy anything new. For November, I’m setting a goal to get up at least 6 posts, if not more! So with that being said – here are my monthly favorites (:

Batiste dry shampoo for dark hair – $7 at Target

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So I recently went back to the dark side for fall and my normal amika dry shampoo was leaving a tiny bit of a white cast on my hair when I used it. I’ve heard so many people rave about this product so I figured I would try it out, quickly it became my go to for when my hair is darker. I’m not really fond of the smell and I can’t honestly describe it but the amika one smells 50x better, but this doesn’t leave a white cast and actually has a dark color in it so it doesn’t show up in your hair as obviously. It’s really good at sucking up all the oil out of my hair and I don’t feel like I have gross, coarse sticky hair afterwards. If you have dark hair – this will be your life saver!

Scentsy Whipped Body Souffle in No. 34 – $28 through Scentsy consultant

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Scentsy? Lotion? I know. I was SO skeptical about trying this but I recently hosted a Scentsy party in October and I absolutely fell in LOVE with this soufflé. The consistency is perfect, it isn’t too thick and absorbs SO fast into the skin. I actually was able to put leggings on right after I applied this with no problem – aka, leggings approved. It absorbs fast, but it still hydrates really well and leaves your skin so incredibly soft. Now, the smell… holy crap. Online it says “White satin and pearls. The fairytale is yours for the taking amongst lilting confectionary notes pretty enough for a princess”. I don’t know if that describes anything well enough but I 100% only ordered this because it said it was pretty enough for a princess, so, duh – naturally… 😀 I never smelled this before I bought it so I was hoping it didn’t smell awful, and it definitely delivered! It smells like flowers, but still has a very faintly sweet candy smell – it’s just a perfect mix of floral and sweet. I adore it & if you have the chance check out their body line + their laundry line. I was super impressed with everything I ordered, but this the most!

479 Degrees popcorn in asiago, parmesan + cheddar – $4 at Target

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Holy. Guacamole. New favorite popcorn hands down – even over the 3,000 calorie movie theatre popcorn. This stuff is so good and with only 130 calories, 6g fat, & 16g carbs, this is a very macro friendly snack. Not to mention, 1 serving is 3 cups so you get a pretty good amount of popcorn! I received this as a snack in my Love With Food box and fell in love with it. It doesn’t taste like healthy popcorn which is a huge plus because most popcorn has no flavor and tastes like burnt paper. This is full of flavor and is definitely my favorite to date! They have TONS of other flavors as well so if cheese isn’t your thing, I’m sure they have something to fit your flavor! (Salted caramel is the bees knees too!).

Reebok Crossfit Lifter 2.0 – $120 at reebok.com

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As you can tell by the picture, I’ve given these babies a good bit of use this last month. They are so comfortable and I really feel like a get perfect stability from them with my leg workouts. Deep squats are SO much easier in these and I can really drive through my heels. I haven’t gotten a pair of Reebok shoes I don’t love and these were no exception. I wouldn’t recommend them for cardio though.. definitely not running shoes X). However, totally amazing for lifting and WODs.

Snapea Crisps in Caesar – $2 at Kroger

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I also received these as a snack in my Love With Food box (I’ll do a review on my next box if that would be helpful? Amazing company!). I was so incredibly weary about these because I HAAAATTTEEEE peas and I figured these would taste like baked disgusting grossness. To my very pleasant surprise, these are SO delicious. They also have a peanut taste to them and the caesar flavor is my favorite – they also have lightly salted, peppered, wasabi and a few others! These have 120 calories, 6g fat, 16g of carbs and also 5g of protein! I like to pre portion these out and take them to school with me for when I need something on my stomach, they’re so good and coming from a person who absolutely hates peas – these will not disappoint!

So October’s favorites were very sparse, but I again was so busy and didn’t have a chance to try many new things out – but these were my go to’s for the month! November’s is sure to be exciting! Let me know what your favorites were for the month of October & if there’s anything you’d like to see a post on/ review on this month! As always, thanks for reading! (:

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3 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes!

The Paleo diet has been around since the cavemen, literally, this diet is 100% based off of what cavemen and cavewomen ate when they were around. If you’re not familiar with the Paleo diet, it’s basically you eat as whole as you possibly can. It comes from the idea that you eat food that can be harvested from the ground or hunted. You mostly eat meat, fish, veggies and fruit while excluding dairy or grain products as well as all processed foods. It’s actually a very healthy diet & as long as you’re getting a good amount of carbs in from your fruit & veggies, you won’t feel sluggish or tired. It’s a very hard, very strict lifestyle though because you don’t realize how much processed foods and grains you eat, until you can’t eat them. I did the Paleo diet not long ago for lent and it was actually pretty easy to follow once you got a decent plan and meal prep going. I was trying to come up with some recipes while I was on this diet and came up with these Paleo Pancakes that have only 3 ingredients in them & are pretty filling. I remembered these this morning when I grabbed for a banana and there was two VERY ripe bananas sitting on our countertop – so I thought I would share this quick and easy recipe!

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas

1 whole egg

1 tsp cinnamon (or to your preference)

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Directions:

  1. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork until they are as smooth as you can get them. They will act as the water and flour part in regular pancakes & you’ll see once you mash them they almost resemble the color and texture!
  2. Add in the egg. This will act as a binder and make the bananas cook easier & more like regular pancakes. I found they give these a bit of a french toast taste & texture!
  3. Add cinnamon to taste! You can also add fruit if you would like which I would have added blueberries or apples, but I wanted to give the basic recipe first. + I added a bit of Flavor God Chocolate Donut Seasoning as well !

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5. Heat up a griddle or whatever you cook pancakes on to medium/high temps. I sprayed my griddle with coconut oil to make sure nothing in these pancakes were straying from the paleo diet!

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6. Place a small amount onto the griddle & I let each side cook for about 10 minutes. These are a much different texture from normal pancakes and I find they need about double the time on each side to make sure they don’t crumble or fall apart when you go to flip them. If you don’t cook them long enough they will crumble & look like scrambled eggs – but still taste delicious!

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The finished product! I topped mine with some pure buckwheat honey & devoured them! They taste like banana french toast & have a light and fluffy texture. I really enjoyed these and they make about 5-6 pancakes depending on the side you make them (the smaller, the faster they cook). They come in at 60 calories, 1g of fat, 12g carbs, 6g sugar & 2g of protein for 1 pancake.

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I hope you enjoyed this recipe & let me know what you think if you try it out! Also, let me know some of your favorite Paleo recipes because I love trying new recipes! As always, thanks for reading (:

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My favorite healthy meals when I’m out and about!

So let’s face it, we all like to go out and treat ourselves with a huge piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory every now and then as a cheat meal, but what if it’s not your cheat day & you have to go out for a birthday, celebration, work party, etc? Below I’m going to list my favorite HEALTHY meals and options when I’m out to eat at some of my favorite restaurants!

Cheesecake Factory: So God bless Cheesecake Factory for making the Skinnylicious menu because it takes the guess work right out of trying to find something healthy to eat – although the salt content is pretty high in some of these items (ya gotta make it taste good, right?) you can always ask to have you item cooked with minimal salt! So here’s a few of my favs!

+ Greek Salad as a starter

+ Skinnylicious Caesar salad (TO DIE FOR!)

+ Chicken lettuce wrap tacos (Mexican style w/ no crema)

+ Skinnylicious grilled salmon w/ asparagus

+ Skinny Margarita if you’ve had a rough day 😉

Panera Bread: Panera is iffy with me because some of their stuff isn’t necessarily the freshest of ingredients, but I guess that’s to be expected when you’re out to eat, unfortunately. Plus their menu is seasonal which irritates me & they get rid of some of their menu items randomly, BUT, nonetheless, I usually order one solid meal every time I go and it’s actually really delicious!

+ Pick two of: Greek salad w/ chicken + a cup of black bean soup + an apple instead of bread or chips!

+ Their steak and egg power bowl was my all time favorite thing to order for breakfast there – BUT, just like Panera does, THEY GOT RID OF IT?! I believe if you go there, you can still ask for it and they’ll make you one – but it’s not on the menu any longer which is a shame.

BJ’s Brewhouse: BJ’s also has a healthy menu option called the BJ’s EnLIGHTened Entrees and if you can resist the temptation of their delicious root beer, you’ll be pretty set as far as eating a decent meal there!

+ BBQ Bison burger (all time favorite!)

+ Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi

+ They have a new Fire Roasted Barbacoa chicken there that also looks really delicious, but I have not tried it yet!

EO Burger: EO Burger has some seriously delicious food, but they aren’t necessarily the healthiest of burgers out there. I normally only get one or two things whenever I go there because everything else is pretty much a heart attack on a plate + they don’t really have any healthy side items.

+ Gobble burger with no cheese or cranberry mayo on a whole wheat bun w/ no fries.

+ They have the option to “Cluck It”, which means you can make any burger a chicken sandwich – but I’m not entirely sure if it’s grilled or fried chicken :/

BD’s Mongolian Grill: Hands down my favorite place to eat out when I’m watching my diet because you basically control your entire plate – salt, seasoning, veggies, meats, EVERYTHING.

+ Chicken + Sirloin w/ broccoli, green onions, yellow onions, green bell peppers, tiny amount of red potatoes, w/ mongolian ginger sauce + 1 egg. BOOM. seriously, the sauce makes it & it’s pretty clean.

Olive Garden: I know, the breadsticks – but you can easily eat 5 in one sitting and meet your entire DRV of calories, salt, carbs & fat with one food item & who wants to do that? 1 breadstick is 140 calories & 460 mg of sodium………….

+ Baked Tilapia w/ shrimp + asparagus (also some salad they give you, because yum).

+ Sometimes I’ll have a glass of red wine because as we all know it’s heart healthy & delicious!

Chipotle: Everytime I order this certain bowl they give me the strangest looks & I don’t know why because it has a name so I’m sure people other than me order it?!

+ Steak 3- pointer bowl which is simply just brown rice & steak. It’s really filling & good as far as macros go!

+ I never get their chips because HOLY SALT. Their corn salsa is also loaded with salt unfortunately 😦

BW3’s: Their wings are just heaven, but believe it or not there’s actually some pretty decent options there as well as far as healthy eating goes or if you just don’t feel like running to the bathroom 4 minutes after you pound 8 wings.

+ Naked Tender with desert heat seasoning (if you don’t like heat, DON’T get this seasoning because it will light you up!)

+ Sometimes I get a small garden salad with no dressing & cut my naked tenders up and put them on my salad for a healthier chicken salad! + I take my favorite healthy salad dressing with me so I can use them instead of the fatty ones they have at most restaurants!

Starbucks: Basic. I know. But Starbucks has some really delicious & healthy food + drinks!

+ My go to drink: Trenta iced green tea w/ no sweetener. I actually hate coffee, so I never order anything but teas or refreshers when I go there!

+ Hearty Blueberry whole grain oatmeal w/ honey. SO good & actually perks me up quite a bit!

+ Fresh berries & honey yogurt

So, I hope some of these options may help you next time you’re out to eat or you just want to try something I mentioned! I usually only drink water with all these meals because I try to stay away from pops (I’ll drink green tea too!). Let me know if you’ve tried any of these & what you think of them or what some of your favorite options are at the restaurants I mentioned! As always, thanks for reading (:

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My Favorite Healthy On-the-go Snacks!

If I’m out and about the last thing I want to eat is fast food because honestly, thinking about how they make their food makes me sick to my stomach. I will sometimes get the occasional Chipotle because, it’s Chipotle? But as far as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc.. No thank you. Being a college student, I’m out at classes a lot and I have some down time in between classes & as far as food goes for around my university, there’s nothing but fast food after fast food restaurants around it. So I usually pack my meals with me if I know I’ll be there for a long period of time. With it being summer, if I’m out running errands I like to bring snacks with me because I try to eat at least 6 meals a day. But sometimes, I’m honestly just not hungry and I’ll take something quick and easy with me, so for this post, I wanted to share my favorite healthy snacks I bring when I’m out and on-the-go!

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Probably my favorite of all, The Protein Cookie Company’s protein cookies. These are the bomb & come in at around 230 calories a cookie, 20 g of protein, 29 g of carbs & 5 g of fat. These are pretty filling too & it really satisfies my cravings for something sweet. Check them out here !

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Buff Bake protein nut butters really grabbed my attention because 1. I have a peanut butter addiction and 2. the flavors are out of this world. They recently just introduced these little on-the-go packs & it’s really convenient to take with you anywhere! You can eat them straight like I do, or put them on anything from waffles to rice cakes or mix them in a smoothie! My favorite of all is the Snickerdoodle almond butter. They also offer them in jars, but for on-the-go, I think the packs are really convenient ! Try them here, they’re also offering free samples right now so get some while you can (:

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Rice cakes, I know, ew right? No, these white cheddar ones changed the game for me. They’re really packed with flavor & great with some turkey on top! The original rice cakes are good too, but these and the chocolate kind really opened my eyes to the not  so boring side of rice cakes. These are great to put in a plastic baggy and head out the door!

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I mentioned this Whirlybird granola in my last favorites post & I just can’t get enough of it! This is my favorite flavor because I’m obsessed with blueberries and it’s got a great taste and it’s pretty good for you as well. I usually measure out the 30g serving with my food scale and put it in a to-go container and head out the door. This also satisfies my sweet tooth because the blueberries and vanilla have a great taste together, and it’s only sweetener is organic agave & stevia !

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GNC Lean Shakes aren’t necessarily my favorite on their own with just water because they are a bit too thick, but in a smoothie with a banana and peanut butter, it’s super satisfying and really good. These are technically meal replacement shakes, so they do really fill you up & make sure you aren’t hungry for a little while after eating them. Sometimes I just don’t have time in the morning to make a whole breakfast, so these are a really good substitute !

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thinkThin bars are one of the better tasting protein bars I’ve had, but they still taste like protein bars. But these are one of the better ones for you nutrition wise that you can get at almost any grocery store! These only have 150 calories, 10 g of protein, 5 g of fiber and only 5 g of sugar, so they aren’t that bad for you (unlike Quest bars). They’re also pretty low in carbs and the ingredients on the back isn’t loaded with tons of things you can’t pronounce (again, unlike Quest bars). So if you’re going to go for a protein bar, I’d suggest these or any of the Thunderbird brand (find at Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme!)

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This isn’t food, but when I’m thirsty and I don’t want water, I’ll go to Starbucks and get a Venti green tea with no sweetener. So if you’ve ever had their green tea, I think it’s pretty good, but most other people hate it – SO, I figured I would put a scoop of my BCAA’s in with it and it 100% changed my green tea game. It’s so good because these aminos have a great orangey mango flavor and it just adds so much more to the green tea. I really love these aminos too because they really cut down on my soreness and help with recovery after a rough workout & they help with hydration!

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Turkey jerky is one of my favorites as well because in my opinion, it had a better taste than beef jerky and it’s much more healthy for you. You can find these basically anywhere & if you’re in an SOS position, these would be a good thing to grab for! Plus it’s pretty high in protein and low in fat so it’ll keep you full for a little while!

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Tuna/Salmon packets may not sound appetizing, but tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and it’s pretty low in calories. They also have the to-go packs with mayo, and crackers, but they mayo isn’t light & the crackers aren’t the best tasting- so I would stay away from those. I find these with a plastic fork makes a great to-go snack that is really healthy for you as well!

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It’s been said that almonds are one of the healthiest foods you can eat because they are loaded with different vitamins like biotin, vitamin E and vitamins B2. They lower bad cholesterol, can reduce the risk of heart disease, protect against heart disease & diabetes, they’re great for your skin, nails & hair, they have healthy fats that can aid in weight loss, can prevent gallstones and the list goes on and on. Raw almonds are great for you & I read a study that said if you eat them daily, it can help you eat a better diet! So it’s pretty safe to say that almonds are a great snack for on-the-go!

These are some of my favorite snacks when I’m on the go or traveling! Let me know some of your favorite healthy snacks & if you have tried any of the ones I mentioned! Thanks for reading (:

Refreshing Summer Dip!

So I came across this dip recipe on Facebook about a month ago and had been meaning to try it because it looked absolutely delicious and I was told that it was as good as it looked! The original creator of this dip is Marilyn Hanbury from her Facebook page and looking through her recipes she has some AMAZING looking stuff! So I decided to give this stuff a whirl since I loved (almost) everything in it! + Recently becoming a member of Healthy Living Blogs, I decided now was a good time to do my first recipe!

So first to start off you need 2 jalapeños, 1 red bell pepper, 1 can of corn [no salt added] & plain non-fat greek yogurt. The recipe also called for a half a can of sliced olives but I couldn’t find the low sodium ones so I just omitted that! So this is what you’ll have once you have all your ingredients together! *I used the sweet potato chips for dipping!

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After you chop the red bell pepper & chop + de-seed the jalapeños you’ll want to add the whole can of corn and 16 oz of Greek yogurt together!

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^ All the ingredients!

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^ All the ingredients in a bowl together before combining!

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This is the final products and I tell you, it’s delicious with the sweet potato chips! I also added a little pinch of Himylayian pink salt and a bit of my Flavor God Garlic Lovers seasoning [here + they’re 100% clean and won’t ruin your diet!] After calculating one serving (4 oz) came out to be around 100 calories, low salt (if you use no salt added corn) and zero fat! Basically it’s completely guilt free and I can’t wait to eat some while I’m sitting by a pool this summer because it’s got really great flavor and it’s really refreshing! Next time, I might leave 1/2 of the seeds from 1 jalapeno in to add just a little bit of heat!

Let me know if you try this and if you like it + also, what are some of your favorite clean summer snacks?!

Thanks for reading (:

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