sweet potato soup.

Sweet Potato Soup

Super easy vegan sweet potato soup recipe to share with you on this windy spring day! Just a few minutes in the kitchen to make a bubbly pot of soul-warming nutrition for the ones you love! Continue reading

warm up and cool down routines to improve your workout.

cool down stretch

What happens before and after you workout is key to lessening your chances of injuries and sore muscles. Here are some quick routines to help you warm up before you workout and cool down before you call it a day.

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vegan strawberry bon-bons.

strawberry bon-bons

Finding allergen-friendly valentines treats that aren’t just pure sugar is tricky business. Making allergen-friendly valentines treats is not so tricky…and WAY healthier. Blended with a ripe banana and some coconut butter, these strawberry filled bon-bons are just right for satisfying a sweet tooth. Continue reading

how to relax: just breathe.

how to relax

Some days it feels impossible to catch your breath. For me, yesterday was such a day. With the minds of three little boys to sharpen, with the hearts of three little boys to shepherd, with clothes to be ironed, with groceries to shop for and food to prepare, with dust bunnies accumulating in every corner, with thoughts and prayers burdened for struggling friends, with year-end accounting and taxes looming on the to-do list, with commitments to keep and seemingly no time to tend to them, sometimes it just starts to feel like I can’t catch a break or a breath. Know the feeling?

This perceived struggle to breathe has nothing to do with faulty lungs, but it has everything to do with the need to relax. To let go. To find peace. To realize that all I can do is one thing at a time. To just breathe. To do what I can do and not worry about the rest. So today I’m sharing what I’ve learned about how to relax: it is absolutely essential for health, it takes conscious effort, and the easiest way to relax is to just mindfully breathe. Continue reading

heavenly carrot cake muffins.

carrot cake muffinsFair warning: I’m about to get all overly-emphatic-blogger-chick on you. You know the type that gush on and on about how A-MAZ-ING every single thing they ever make tastes? The type that knows all about grammar and proper word usage but somehow loses all desire to care if the sentence is written correctly because, yum. Forgive me? Because, yum.

But seriously. These carrot cake muffins. Heavenly may be a bit of a stretch, but I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful they are. You just have to taste the perfection yourself. It’s a good thing they are healthy because I could have eaten every single one of them. It was love at first bite. 💕 Sigh… It really is unfortunate that “healthy” doesn’t equate to “calorie-free” isn’t it? But I digress… Continue reading

luxurious herbal facial steam.

Herbal Facial Steam

In the middle of all of life’s craziness, some days you just want to feel like a princess. Your stress level is a little high, your skin is dry and dull, and a little extra pampering never hurt anyone, right? Give your skin (and yourself) a little treat with a luxurious herbal facial steam. Continue reading

the art of exercising with kids.

the art of exercising with kids

As a homeschooling mom of three busy boys, I know how difficult it can be to get anything done, let alone make time for exercise. But may I encourage you not to make this your excuse? Exercising with kids can be tricky for sure unless you are a rise-before-the-kids-do kind of person. I try to be up in the morning before my kids, but honestly my consistency with early rising is dismal. So even if you can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed before everyone’s awake (welcome to the club), there are lots of things in life we simply have to accomplish in a day, and one way or another we manage to get them done (when was the last time you went without dinner?). So why not make exercise one of those things that just has to be done? Start your day with a boost of energy, a sense of accomplishment, and the upper hand on improving your overall health. Continue reading

vegan layered bean dip.

vegan layered bean dip

After finally trying and loving a spin on vegan cheesy sauce, visions of vegan layered bean dip danced in my head. I have an unfortunate affection for (translation: addiction to) tortilla chips in spite of their obviously oil-drenched inappropriateness for fitting into an otherwise healthy diet. Maybe I rationalize them as my guilty pleasure…or my attempt to make sure my health-nut status isn’t too over the top…or shall I call it what it is? Hello, my name is Jessi, and I have a chip problem. Continue reading

mastering movement.

Some Day Starts Today

Yoga. Pilates. Aerobics. Zumba. Crossfit. There are a lot of ways to get your body moving. When I was a little girl I had “Get In Shape Girl” cassette tapes and I would dance around my room pretending to be the instructor. I’m guessing you’re not interested in twirling around the room to an 80s-era children’s exercise routine, but whatever your style, move you must. Our bodies were designed for movement. Modern culture has developed such that movement is not always a required part of our daily routine, but it is no less necessary. Bodies that don’t move become bodies that can’t move. Movement in one form or another stretches tight ligaments, muscles, and joints and releases tension – both physio- and psychological. So unless you still live a life without modern transportation and filled with manual labor, you need to find a way to move a little more each day. Your exercise routine doesn’t have to have a label…sorry, I couldn’t resist . You don’t need a gym membership or even any equipment. Go for a walk. Chase your kids around the backyard. Explore different routines and find what energizes you. Learn some basic moves from various exercise programs and use them to help you get moving throughout the day. Continue reading

spiced banana smoothie.

Spiced Banana Smoothie

A spiced banana smoothie is one of my favorite rehydrating, energizing drinks. It’s great after a workout, after or during a dehydrating illness, or if you’re just feeling a little sluggish. It’s so simple that I feel a little silly sharing a “recipe,” but I will anyway! Read more about the benefits of bananas here. Continue reading

the best move to tighten your waistline.

Want to tighten your waistline? The obliques are the muscles located at the sides of your abs, along the rib cage. Toning the obliques is key to a tight, fit waistline. The problem is that many of the moves designed to work the obliques involve twisting the upper body and improper form can cause injury and compromise results. The side jackknife is a slow, simple, and very effective movement targeted at the obliques. Continue reading

crockpot sweet bean burritos.

sweet bean burritos

This time of year things can get so hectic it’s easy to end up unprepared for dinner and resorting to unhealthy convenience foods. Along with the added stress of the holiday seasons, as we celebrate with friends and family we also tend to overindulge in unhealthy, fatty foods and lots of sweets. Not surprisingly, this time of year is also known for an increase in the occurrence of colds and flus. We create a perfect storm sort of a situation. Stress hormones are at large wreaking havoc on our bodies. The bloodstream is crowded with an abundance of unhealthy fats, compromising the flow of nutrients and energy to our cells. The immune system is further weakened up to 40% for 3-4 hours after consumption of refined sugars. So taking the time to feed your family well is even more important than usual right now. Continue reading

plank rows for upper body fitness.

plank rows

Given the right equipment and enough resolve, the chin-up/pull-up is superior to most other upper body workouts. But…not everyone has something to pull up from…and not everyone wants to work that hard! While no single move that I know of will have the same effect, the plank row comes very close to working the same muscles without the Spartan-like determination, strength, and confidence. The basic plank is a deceptively difficult move by itself. Making it a plank row by adding an alternating row makes the move even more challenging in terms of balance (improving your core strength and stability) and adds another element of shoulder, chest, and upper back work. Continue reading

nut-free vegan cheesy sauce.

vegan cheesy sauceCheese. If following a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle is new to you, I probably don’t need to say more. Cheese. Please. I remember what cheese was like ~ salty, creamy deliciousness that overpowered the flavor of every other food and somehow made everything seem to taste better. Almost every drool-worthy savory recipe plastered across Pinterest is oozing with cheese. You would think it was a near impossibility to cook without it. We are creatures of habit and we tend to crave foods similar to what we are used to. And so, we try to recreate the look, feel, and taste of the foods we are familiar with. Continue reading

how to do lunges.


Lunges are a good exercise for improving your balance while working the muscles of your upper legs and glutes. The stabilization required engages your core muscles, multiplying the effectiveness of the move. Learn how to do lunges correctly to get the best results and avoid injury. Continue reading