It's that time again, to reflect on the month that's ending and take inventory of those things I'm most grateful for. Quite possibly my favourite post to write.
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Stella. This month my parent's got a brand new puppy! The 5-year-old in me basically feels like she's mine. I went with them to get her, I stayed over Stella's first few nights and I've pretty much been at their house steady. I ADORE this little girl. Cheese alert (IT IS my monthly gratitudes, after-all!). After 2 fur babies of my own, I didn't know I could love a new one this much and this soon, but I do. I'm over the moon, head over heels in love with the newest member of our family. To be filled with so much happiness and love - I'm grateful for that!
Clean Skincare. For years now, I've been slowly and consistently switching all of my skincare over to clean products that I can feel good about using. This includes my make up, laundry detergents, dish soap & household cleaners. I'm sure you've heard me say this a dozen times before but everything we slather and rub onto our skin, scalp & nails gets absorbed into our blood stream and thus into our bodies. Pay attention to the ingredients in your products. Most contain harmful, hormone-disrupting, carcinogenic chemicals that we should be avoiding. For those of you who may not know this, I'm obsessed with clean skincare and I've decided to start my own line. Although this venture is still in its infancy, I can't wait to share it with all of you! In the meantime, I'm so grateful for these fantastic companies who create and deliver the best products: Living Libations is my go to for the cleanest and greenest products out there. I la la love their shampoo and conditioner, their Best Skin Ever and all natural perfumes! Don't be put off by the prices - you get what you pay for! You can also find Cocoon Apothecary in my bathroom cupboards. I love using their Ancient Mud Mask and their Rose Dew Facial Toner.These companies are Canadian & they care about the integrity of their products. If you haven't tried them, I strongly encourage you to give them a try!
My Period. I know! I know what you're thinking. But yes, I'm grateful for my period. No, I'm not fond of my premenstrual symptoms or my cramping. And no, I'm not going to dance and do cartwheels on the beach over my period. So, then why the gratitude? Because it's a monthly reminder for me to slow down in life. To turn my focus inward and pay attention to myself, my needs and be present in the moment. Depending on the month, that looks different. Sometimes it's curling up on the couch with my hot water bottle, some Giddy Yoyo, watching a girlie movie. Other times it's scheduling time in with my yoga mat. And others, it's as simple as giving myself permission to step away from my business, obligations and duties and do nothing or something - as long as it brings me joy or peace.
Nutritional yeast. Ha, are you thinking that this month's Monthly Gratitudes list just keeps getting weirder and weirder?! We start off with puppy dogs and now we're talking nutritional yeast! Stay with me, I'm going somewhere with this. This past year I chose to give up dairy altogether. I had my food sensitivities tested and dairy was my highest. If you know me, you know I'm a cheese monster. I can't be trusted alone with a brick of organic cheddar. I had to go cold turkey and give up dairy entirely. The milk thing was easy for me, I never really cared for cow's milk and have been drinking non-dairy alternatives for a while now. The same goes for me and yogurt - not my most favourite thing in the world. And now I'm completely converted to Yoso's cultured coconut yogurt when I am in the mood for something like that. But the cheese! The cheese was a tough one. I made the transition easier for myself by incorporating nutritional yeast into my diet. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that's sold in flakes or powder and is ideal when you're looking to create a cheesy/savoury flavour. It's especially great if you're vegan or vegetarian because it's a rich source of vitamin B12. I love using it on my stove top popcorn, over gluten-free noodles (as a parmesan substitute), you can use it to make delicious cheese dips like my Cashew Cheese - really, anything you want to taste cheesy. Not only does it satisfy my cheese cravings but it's helped me maintain a dairy free lifestyle, to which I'm grateful for :P
Broccoli. My body was asking for something this month and broccoli had it! I could not get enough of my Broccoli Stir Fry, it's all I wanted for lunch and dinner. Lightly steamed or sautéed broccoli with nutritional yeast and tamari - SOOO darn good. I guess as far as cravings go - this isn't a bad one to have. Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants like immune strengthening vitamin C, blood stabilizing chromium and research has shown that it has the ability to lower cholesterol, aid in detoxification and has cancer preventative properties. I'm grateful that my body craves and wants clean, whole foods like broccoli.
Lastly, I'm so grateful to YOU for reading my ramblings :):)
XO - Valerie