Clean and Green Beauty: Facial Moisturizing Routine

I have been really working on cleaning up all of my beauty and household products and I have to say that this new routine is WAY better than the more chemical laden one I was using before! This simple combination has transformed my normally dry and sensitive skin and even gives me a bit of a healthy glow.

Both of these products are super clean and you can even pronounce everything on the ingredient list…BONUS!

On the left is Daily Face Moisturizer by Carina Organics. It earns a top score of 1 from the Environmental Working Group. It is certified organic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable and a super bargain at $14.99 for the 4.2 Fl oz pump bottle.

On the right is Harmonic Healing Oil by Innersense Beauty. This oil can be used on hair, skin and nails and it makes an amazing facial oil. I love a good multi purpose product! I buy mine from because I can usually find a coupon code online to save a little bit…and I do love to save!

I started with the 1 oz size which sells for $24 but I have since upgraded to the 4 oz size. You only use a little bit so it lasts for good long while.

Here is what I do. I wash my face and then I use 1 pump of the Harmonic Healing Oil with 2 or 3 pumps of the Daily Face Moisturizer. I rub them together in my hands and then slather them all over my face and neck. I use whatever is left to moisturize the back of my hands and forearms.

I do this first thing every morning and then again before bed every night.

Cauliflower Turnip Soup: Instant Pot

The other day I went to my fridge to pull the ingredients to make my weekly batch of Creamy Cauliflower Leek soup and lo and behold I was out of leeks! Not to fret. I subbed in turnips, tweaked a few other things and wow, the result was amazing. Voila! Another version is born. Here are the details if you want to give it a go.

Creamy Cauliflower Turnip Soup

Ingredients List:
3 cups water or broth
1 large cauliflower with leaves and stem
3 shallots
2 medium sized turnips (roughly each the size of a large apple)
thumb sized chunk of peeled fresh ginger
optional pear or apple quarter (omit or use green apple for 21DSD)

Start by adding 3 cups of water or broth to your Instant Pot using the cup markings inside the stainless pot and hitting the sauté button. I recommend homemade chicken bone broth if you are opting for the broth method. Due to suspected gelatin and or oxalate issues I use water, but either liquid works well.
This first step will start the liquid heating while you chop up the veggies so everything will come to pressure more quickly later. Feel free to skip this step but I find it handy.

Wash the cauliflower and chop it in half or quarters. Trim off the very bottom of the stem but otherwise include the stem-base and even a few of the bigger thicker leaves. I just pull off the green parts of the leaves as they tend to get cabbage-y smelling (is that a word?!) during cooking. Add the cauliflower to liquid in the Instant Pot .

Now add in:
3 large shallots, peeled and chopped in half
2 medium sized turnips trimmed and chopped. You can leave the skin on.
Chunk of peeled ginger, thumb sized
Optional 1/4 piece of pear or apple

If you opted to start pre-heating the liquid, now you need to turn off the Instant Pot sauté function.
Lock lid in place, close vent and now hit SOUP… (this is a 30 minute high pressure cycle for those of you with other brands of pressure cookers). This soup can easily be made stove top in a covered stock pot. Just cook covered until the veggies are tender. You may need a little more liquid to account for evaporation.

Once the soup cycle is done, let the soup cool in the fridge until it is a safe temperature to transfer into your blender jar. I am absolutely mad for my Blendtec 725 blender, which is a major game-changer for the creamiest soups!  Their website says to avoid adding ingredients to their jar that are above 115 degrees as ingredients continue to heat as they blend at high speed, though their blender jar is safe up to 176 degrees. Before adding the soup to the jar pull out a little of the liquid and reserve it. You can add it back in little by little until you get to just the right creamy texture. You can also blend with an immersion/stick blender, which is what I used to do in the days before my Blendtec arrived.
If you are not sure how much ginger flavor you want then pull out the ginger chunk and cut it in to quarters and add one in at a time until you reach your ginger sweet spot.
Blend in batches if needed, drizzling in optional olive oil while blending for an even creamier texture. I usually add about 2 T of olive oil per batch. You may not need oil if you opt for homemade broth as it has some of it’s own fat content.

I usually salt the soup when I serve it rather than salting the batch, but that is totally up to you. Smoked sea salt adds amazing flavor. My personal favorite is Alaska Pure Alder Smoked sea salt. A little pinch of that stuff makes almost anything taste better!

I pour the blended soup right into pint size wide mouth mason jars and fill to the 10 oz line and freeze. I use these jars for EVERYTHING! Splurge on a case. You will thank me later! While you are ordering get these white lids, which are far superior to the metal ones that come with the jars. I have bunches of these jars in my freezer stash…go read all about it here!

One version or another of this soup is a regular part of my breakfast and is a great way to get in extra veggies any time of the day!

Shared a little pic of my garden above where I actually grow turnips, though they are usually too small to make it in to my soup. I love them sauteed right in with their greens and a few other garden fresh greens like dino kale and bok choy.  Next year I may add some purple top turnips which grow a bit larger.

For more soup inspiration visit my guest post on the Blendtec website here or
see these other creamy soup versions right here on my blog:
Creamy Zucchini Leek Soup
Creamy Veggie Soup
Butternut Squash Soup

My Weekly Prep Routine

There are some things I make just about every week.  Here is my weekly prep routine. For details about how I store these items see my Freezer Stash post.

Large batch of Shallot Baked Chicken Thighs. I will vary the seasonings….lemongrass and ginger…fresh picked herbs from my garden…tarragon, sage, oregano, basil. These will get chopped and portioned into single serving mason jars to add to my freezer stash.


Creamy Veggie Soup. Again, the ingredients will vary week to week. Zucchini, yellow squash and turnip with ginger and turmeric…zucchini leeks and pear…butternut, zucchini and turnip.  Tons of possibilities. Again this gets portioned and frozen for the week.

Cooked ground meat.  For me this is typically ground turkey. Sometimes I season it, sometimes I do not…just sauteed with olive oil, portioned and frozen. Turkey seems to work best for me since I follow a low histamine diet. Sometimes I do lamb or veal. Beef, bison or chicken are other options and you could have some of each in your freezer stash with or without seasonings.


Lunch Salads. On Sundays when I am already making my typical lunch salad I also prep to go salads for the first half of the week. I will do a similar session one night mid week. I used to prep for the entire week, but again due to histamine issues I now will prep fresh produce items for only 2 or 3 days at a time.

Sweet Potato Cubes or Cooked Squash. I always have a Ziploc bag full of cooked sweet potatoes and I frequently prep baked winter squash slices or cubes and either portion those or freeze in a Ziploc as well. They are super easy to make. I place cubes or slices on a parchment lined baking sheet drizzled with olive oil and roasted at 425 until toasty. They hold up surprisingly well in the freezer. These cubes or slices are super handy. You can grab a handful, defrost quickly and add to any salad or bowl.

Creamy Veggie Soup

I make a batch of this every week and freeze in single portions in pint size mason jars. So delicious. I mix up the ingredients for a little variety. Lately I have been making it in my Instant Pot. This reduces the lectins in the squash…something I have been tinkering lately.

Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP

Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP

You all know I am always raving about my #freezerstash and what a game changer it has been for streamlining my daily and weekly routine. It makes pulling together a delicious and healthy meal quick easy and is a savior when I am short on time or energy.

Well now there is a cookbook all about creating YOUR very own stash of AIP friendly freezer foods. 30 of us in the AIP community collaborated to pull this together so you have all of the resources you need to build your very own freezer stash, full of delicious foods that work for you! There are 123 recipes, all fully tested for freezer storage with reheating instructions that take all of the guesswork out. From breakfasts (yes, AIP breakfast ideas!) to soups and casseroles and desserts and everything in between.

So treat yourself now, download the book and start building your stash today! Having food on hand after a long day at work…returning from a vacation…on days when your energy is low…if you have overslept and need to get out the door in the morning (ummm, yes that did JUST happen to me earlier this week!)…priceless.


Prep Tip: Cutting board

Wanted to hop on and share a quick tip I recently posted on Instagram. I tuck a paper towel under the edge of my cutting board when I am prepping and then I can slide scraps off on to the towel. At the end I pick it up by the corners and take it right to my compost bucket. Then I give it a shake and usually can use it for a little counter wipe down after I am done. Here I was prepping my weekly batch of creamy veggie soup. I adore this Kitchen Series cutting board by Epicurean. I have 8 of them in different sizes and it is our go to board. I love that they are dishwasher safe for when I am cutting meats.

Pulled Chicken-Instant Pot

Ok…so this is so simple it’s not even a recipe…but it is too good not to share.  Just made pulled chicken in the Instant Pot and it was crazy quick and easy. Going to be a new regular for me and is a great addition to my freezer stash.

Instant Pot Pulled Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup broth
Season as desired. I used fresh herbs from my garden…1 leaf of thyme, a few sprigs of sage and parsley, but get creative and use what you like and try different combos…oregano and lemon…tarragon…so many options.

  • Place in the Instant Pot (or a pressure cooker).
  • Set to manual for 12 minutes.  (Poultry function would also work, which is 15 minutes of high pressure on the Instant Pot.)
  • Quick release the steam when done.
  • To shred I pulled the chicken out into a deep bowl and used my hand mixer. You just keep moving the mixer around and it shreds quickly and easily. I added a little bit of the juices from the bottom of the Instant Pot for extra moisture.
  • This is great to make ahead and freeze in single servings. I used half pint mason jars, which are freezer safe. Vacuum sealing would be another great freezer option. This makes a great addition to my freezer stash.
  • Save the juices (you know I hate to throw anything out!) and freeze them in a freezer safe size mason jar or in a silicone mold for the next time you need a little broth. The broth it made was really tasty with the meat juices and herbs and I am assuming it would be a good low histamine broth option.

*Shown served with braised collard greens, oven roasted carnival squash and some Crispy Parsnip Peel Curls.

Squash Sprouts…The Silver Lining 


Recently the pressure steam release valve from my Instant Pot went missing. I scoured the kitchen in search of it, but to no avail. In a last ditch effort I went to the compost pail we have right outside our kitchen door to see if it might have accidentally made it into the compost collection. With trepidation (and for good reason, pretty stinky!!) I dumped that bucket into a wheel barrow to rummage through…ugh, I can still recall that smell. Sadly it was not there. I transferred the contents of the wheel barrow to the compost bin and then rinsed the wheel barrow with the hose right next to my raised bed, dumping the few remaining contents onto the grass and rinsing again. A few days later….lo and behold, the silver lining to my smelly compost story…there were squash sprouts growing in the ground!  I quickly googled and found that they are indeed edible.

Next step was doing it on purpose.  I always LOVE to find purposes for something I was going to toss in the compost bin or trashcan…think Oven Roasted Leek Greens, Oven Roasted Cauliflower Leaves or Crispy Veggie Peel Curls!  So the next time I was prepping carnival squash I chopped the squash in half and scooped and saved the raw seeds…I didn’t even fuss over separating them from the little bits of orange flesh I scooped from the center of the squash. I dumped the raw seeds into a clay pot filled with seed starter soil and covered with a thin layer of more soil. Within days those had sprouted too…and they were yummy. I have since tried butternut and delicata seeds and both have worked and are tasty. They are best when they are smaller, before they form “true leaves”, as they get a little fuzzy when they get larger, though still edible and certainly would be tasty as cooked greens.
Not ready to plant them, no problem…you can throw the seeds into a ziplock bag and store them in the fridge until you are ready to start a batch, which might even increase their chances of germination, although I had no trouble putting them straight into a pot…Give these a try and let me know what you think!

P.S.  I was just out there and some of those original sprouts have now turned into plants with their “true leaves”. Grow where you are planted, right?!
Note to self…I think we need to re-sod.