LG Faves: February 2019

LG Faves February 2019

It’s time for some February favorites. Since I have been following my February intention of read more, stream + read online less, I have two books and no TV shows, lol! A big part of being able to read more is to not be addicted to a TV show. Anyways, I hope you find something interesting to check out below.

Food: Lavva Coconut Yogurt

Oh Lavva how I love thee! I have finally found a dairy free yogurt that I actually enjoy, doesn’t have tons of sugar, and the ingredient list is normal. I had been missing dairy yogurt because I grew up with my mom putting a dollop of yogurt or cottage cheese on so many things: fruit salads, oatmeal, granola, toast, etc, but as I got older I started having skin issues on my arms and we found out that it was linked to dairy so the yogurt had to go. I had been searching for a replacement but I didn’t enjoy the flavor of any of the ones on the market – until I found Lavva! It is delicious and the ingredient list and sugar content is amazing. I highly recommend checking it out if you have to find a dairy free yogurt alternative.

Nonfiction Book: What Made Maddy Run? by Kate Fagan

Oh this book! I have talked about it a lot now – you can read my takeaways from it here. I can’t recommend it enough. No matter who you are you will learn something and gain some empathy and understanding reading this powerful book.  

Fiction Book: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

This book is so much fun. It’s all about entering into a different magical world surrounded by magicians, kings, dragons, fairies, and I just loved it. It was a nice change from such a serious book (Maddy) and you find yourself falling into a wonderful fantasy hole that sweeps you away. If you’re looking for something fun this is the book for you. 

Music: Lizzo

Lizzo’s music is upbeat and empowering. She has an incredible voice and her music reminds me of powerful woman’s voices from the Motown, soul, disco era. It immediately puts me in a good mood and makes me want to dance, and I love that most of her lyrics focus on loving your body, embracing who you are, and strutting your stuff. It is refreshing! She just came out with a new song called Juice and her new album – Cuz I Love You – is coming out in April.

Clothing: Girlfriend Collective Bodysuits

I have been wearing these bodysuits for a while and can’t believe I haven’t mentioned them before! I love them. The brand – Girlfriend Collective – is amazing. They believe in slow fashion and only use ethical manufacturing and recycled materials for their clothing. The body suits are so soft and comfortable. The Lily bodysuit is my favorite so far, and I love that theres button snaps at the bottom so you don’t have to take the entire bodysuit off to go to the bathroom, makes life so much easier! They’re soft, comfortable, and flattering.

Movement: Running

I started running again after many years of having to avoid it because of recovery and it has been so special. I can’t believe how much I have missed it and am so grateful I was able to reintroduce this movement back into my life. I am going to write a longer post about this because there is much more tied with running and my eating disorder, but for now what I want to say is that I feel so profoundly happy that I have reached a point in my recovery where I can enjoy running again in a healthy way.

 Movie: The Boy Downstairs

I have always liked Zosia Mamet from her days on Girls and the column she wrote for Glamour. I find her very interesting and thoughtful so I enjoy following the work that she does. I recently saw this cute rom-com she did on HBO and enjoyed it. It was a quirky indie film but a nice light watch with a different storyline than the typical rom-coms and takes place in hipster Brooklyn which is always fun.

Stewed Fruit Recipe

Stewed Fruit Recipe

During the colder, rainier months I crave a warm, grounding breakfast. I just can’t bring myself to want anything that’s cold or raw because my body already feels cold inside.

That’s why I am obsessed with my warm matcha tonics in the morning as well as these stewed fruits! It’s a great way to enjoy fruit that still feels warming and comforting.

When it comes to making stewed fruits, I like to keep it very simple with minimal ingredients. My friend sent me this great recipe, which looks delicious, but I have perfected my own recipe that I will share here.

There is so much you can do with these stewed fruits — put it on top of oatmeal, toast, pancakes OR you can add all sorts of toppings to it — like yogurt, your favorite nut butter, coconut flakes, granola or hemp seeds.

My personal favorite combination is a slice of gluten free buckwheat toast from honey hi topped with some sunflower butter, stewed fruits, lots of cinnamon and then some coconut flakes :)

Here is my recipe:

Ingredients

- honeycrisp apple, or fruit of your choosing, cut into 1” pieces — pears, persimmons, peaches and raspberries work well! I used a honeycrisp apple and raspberries in the photo above

- 2 tsp of ghee — I like to use the 4th & Heart Madagascar Vanilla ghee — you can use coconut oil for a vegan alternative

- cinnamon — to your taste (I like a lot)

- cardamom — to your taste (I usually use a small sprinkle, about 1/4 tsp)

- pinch of pink himalayan salt

Instructions

- Heat a small pot on the stovetop. Once the bowl is warm add the 2 tsp of ghee, when the ghee is melted add the apple or fruit pieces. Stir them around and let them cook for a few minutes, then lower the heat and cover the pot and let it cook for about five minutes

- Keep stirring them around and keeping an eye on them. If they start to get too dry you can add a little bit of water (about 1 tbsp) but not more than that because you don’t want them to get watery.

- Once the apples are soft (but not falling apart) remove them from heat and let them cool down a little bit.

- Prepare your toast or get your other ingredients ready and either add the stewed fruits on top, or assemble your bowl of stewed fruits with all your favorite fixings!

Roasted Squash Soup Recipe

Roasted Squash Soup Recipe

It is soup season! Well sorta here in LA — but it is quite chilly in the evening. I love soups and stews and this recipe is one of my favorites because it is SO easy to make and SO delicious.

You can make it with really any vegetable you would like, but I tend to make it with butternut squash or cauliflower most of the time. Those veggies come out particularly amazing with this recipe. Enjoy!

*Note you need a high speed blender for this recipe because that’s how you mix the soup!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large butternut squash, halved vertically and seeded (or chopped cauliflower)

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

  • ½ cup chopped shallot or red onion

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Up to 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee, to taste (this is optional, and if you’re vegan sub for more avocado oil)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough avocado oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside. Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

  2. Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Then use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skin.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon avocado oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently.

  4. Transfer the cooked shallot and garlic to your blender. Add the roasted butternut squash, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the maximum fill line (you can work in batches if necessary, and stir in any remaining broth later). Securely fasten the lid and select the soup preset, being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. The blender will stop running once the soup is super creamy and hot.

  5. If you would like to thin out your soup a bit more, stir in the remaining cup of broth (I usually use the full 4 cups, but if you used a small squash, you might not need all 4 cups). Add 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee, to taste, and blend well. Taste and stir in more salt and pepper, if necessary.

  6. Serve immediately!

LG Faves: January 2019

The Original LG January Favorites

It’s time for some January favorites! The first of the year :) I have discovered some amazing things that I am loving, so I am excited to share!

WORKOUT: Kait Hurley Move + Meditate

I am obsessed with Kait Hurley’s workouts because they leave you feeling SO GOOD. They provide a great mix of: mindfulness, toning, getting your heart rate up and being challenging, great stretches throughout that relieve tension and feel amazing, and then ending with a lovely meditation that helps you tune inward and cultivate presence. By the end you feel like you had an amazing workout and are also calmer and more present. I can’t say enough on how much I love this program. She has many different workout classes: fun toning high intensity workouts, mindful running workouts, yummy yoga flows, and guided meditations. I cancelled all of my workout class passes here in LA because I enjoy doing these workouts more.

WELLNESS: Ayurvedic Oil Pulling

I have become addicted to this habit because it leaves my teeth and mouth feeling amazing. It feels like conditioner for your gums and mouth. Basically oil pulling consists of swishing about 1 tbsp of Ayurvedic oil around in your mouth for a few minutes (making sure not to swallow any of it), then spitting it out into a trash can, and then rinsing your mouth with some warm water. Some directions say to swish the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes — but that’s too long for me! I usually do it for about 7-10 minutes first thing in the morning. It leaves your mouth and breath feeling clean and refreshed, and also has tons of other benefits that you can find here. I know it sounds weird, but I highly recommend it!

BOOK: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This book has been extremely helpful in managing my anxiety and overthinking. It feels like it is a handbook on taming mental activity and relieving you of pointless suffering. The way that Eckhart Tolle explains and breaks down all of the concepts is very powerful. It is also a spiritual book and has introduced me to new ideas I had never thought of or even fathomed that are very freeing. I highly recommend reading this book if you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, overthinking, unhappiness, or pretty much anyone who wants to be more at peace, because it helps you live a more present, mindful, content life.

MAKE: Homemade Nut Milk

I started making homemade nut milks and have loved how creamy and delicious they are.  They upgrade everything you put them in — lattes, matcha tonics, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. I don’t always have the time to make it but when I do it makes me so happy. It is honestly very simple to make, it just takes some planning. My recipe is on my Instagram here if you’re interested!

MUSIC: My Winter - Fresh Playlist!

I made a Winter playlist a few weeks ago that I have been playing on repeat. I pulled this playlist together with the theme of fresh, fun, dance-y, melodic beats and a mix of some new stuff that I am enjoying at the moment. You can listen to it here!  

TV Show: Schitt’s Creek

My best friend told me about this show a few weeks ago and I have been watching it most nights ever since. It is hilarious and I love all of the characters. It is about an extremely wealthy family that loses all of their fortune so they are forced to live in a rural town and adapt to a whole new way of living. Throughout all of these changes, they go through so many hilarious situations that they have to deal with. The show is easy to watch and light-hearted which is exactly what I have been needing lately.

BEAUTY: Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation

I don’t like wearing much makeup, but as an actress I need to have a solid makeup routine. The only time I wear actual makeup is when I have an audition or am filming something, on other days I simply wear some moisturizer with SPF, curl my eyelashes, and a little blush. Anyways, in the past I had been wearing a very light, tinted moisturizer and it just wasn’t enough for on camera work, so I went into Blue Mercury to try out a few different foundations and discovered this incredible one from Ilia! Right away I loved it, it is natural and feels like I am not wearing anything, but provides great coverage. It’s moisturizing but it didn’t leave my skin looking very glowy and shiny the way a few of the other foundations did. Ilia is an incredible clean beauty brand, only using organic and natural ingredients. I am so happy I found this foundation that checks all the boxes for me!

Low Sugar, Gluten & Dairy Free Granola Recipe

Low Sugar Granola Recipe

Low Sugar Granola Recipe

There are some things that taste SO much better homemade than store bought, and once you’ve made them yourself it’s impossible to go back.

One of those things for me is: GRANOLA. Store-bought granola does not even come close to how delicious it is when you make it yourself. Another thing about store bought granola is that it is usually processed, made with lots of sugar, and shitty ingredients. If you look at the ingredient label it is loaded with sugar and the worst types of processed vegetable oils (not the good fats).

Plus when you make your own granola you make it EXACTLY how you like it – for me that is low sugar and low grain with lots of cinnamon, vanilla and coconut — and you know EXACTLY what you are putting in it.

I have followed a few different granola recipes and have finally perfected my own. My recipe is adapted from the Simple Gourmet Granola recipe on My New Roots. I lower the amount of maple syrup and sub some of the rolled oats for raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Oh, and I add lots of cinnamon and vanilla – because duh.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1 cup raw almonds

1.5 cups unsweetened coconut fakes

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt 

Directions: 

1. Preheat over to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Put the nuts and seeds into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are chopped up, but still chunky enough to have texture in the granola.

3. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk oil and maple syrup together.

4. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt.

5. Pour oil and maple syrup mixture over dry ingredients and stir very well to coat.

6. Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer so the granola bakes evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir halfway through.

3 Easy Plant Based Recipes

Cooking is such a wonderful way of showing yourself some self love. Taking the time to make yourself a nourishing home cooked meal is such a gift and something we don’t make the time for very often.

I enjoy cooking and eating delicious meals but one thing I hate is spending hours in the kitchen and having tons of dishes to clean. Talk about not fun at all. For me simplicity and ease is key. If the recipe has more than ten ingredients - I get turned off.

Thats why these are 3 of my favorite go-to meals. They are easy to make, healthy, require little clean up, make great leftovers, and most importantly - delicious!

ALSO I have made these dishes for my brothers and father at home - aka meat loving men - and they enjoyed all of them. My dad even said I had to make him the curry again.

Hope you show yourself some self-love this holiday season and make yourself a home-cooked plant based meal!

Plant Based Recipe: Thai Yellow Curry —  Image from The Minimalist Baker

Plant Based Recipe: Thai Yellow Curry — Image from The Minimalist Baker

Thai Yellow Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry from the Minimalist Baker

All of the recipes I have made from the Minimalist Baker are very good. I love this one because the curry has great flavor, it warms your soul, and you make the entire thing in one pot so the clean up is as easy as it gets. This recipe is a favorite at my house.

Simple Mills Plant Based Pizza -  Image from Alison Wu @alison__wu

Simple Mills Plant Based Pizza - Image from Alison Wu @alison__wu

Simple Mills Pizza Dough

This pizza crust is delicious, healthy, and so easy to make. I usually like adding a pesto or marinara sauce, mushrooms, red onions and zucchini and then some vegan ricotta cheese from Kite Hill. Sometimes I will also sprinkle some Daiya Mozzarella Cheese :) Believe me - it is a great combination!

Plant Based Recipe: Chickpea & Zucchini Stew -  Image from People

Plant Based Recipe: Chickpea & Zucchini Stew - Image from People

Natalie Portman’s Chickpea & Zucchini Summer Stew

Ok confession — I did try this recipe because I am a big fan of Natalie Portman and wanted to try out one of her favorite recipes, but I am glad I did! This recipe is extremely easy to make and tastes amazing. I add a little bit of cumin and paprika when I make it myself for a more robust flavor. Serving this stew on top of rice with a squeeze of lemon is the way to go.

LG Faves: November

Holistic spirituality

CRAVING: Sunflower Seed Butter & Ginger Tea

The weather has been getting cooler and drier here in LA so I am craving warm, grounding foods. 

I recently discovered sunflower seed butter and can’t believe it took me this long! It is so good – blows almond butter out of the water for me. It is a little nuttier, creamier and not as sweet. I love having it on some gluten free toast with banana for breakfast or with an apple for a snack.  

Ginger is my current go-to tea. I like how the warmth and spice from the ginger feels like it is heating you up from the inside out. It is the perfect mix of spice and comfort at the end of the day.

MUSIC: Empress Of

I love Empress Of! Her dance-y beats and cool vocals are very catchy. It’s such a dreamy pretty electro-pop. I love alt-pop so mixing that with a female sound is my sweet spot. I also love that she sings some of her songs in Spanish. It’s such a great way to represent her roots in her music. My favorite Empress Of songs are: I Don’t Even Smoke Weed, When I’m With Him, and Love For Me.

MOVIE: Bohemian Rhapsody

This movie is so good! I was familiar with Queen and most of their music but I didn’t know their story or much about Freddie Mercury. I was fascinated by their background and how they became Queen. They were true visionaries and trailblazers creating such unique and incredible music. It is a fun and exciting movie and leaves you inspired by their vision, perseverance and amazing musical talent.  

BOOK: Material Girl, Mystical World  

This book was such a great read. It is a nice intro to all sorts of different now age and spiritual practices. I was familiar with most of them but I enjoyed the overview of each and it did a good job explaining how we can apply these practices to our lives in the world today. The book includes stories from the author’s life and her experience with all the various topics covered in the book so it reads like a memoir instead of something informative. Ruby is a great writer and I loved learning about her spiritual journey.

HEALTH: Lola Tampons

When you learn about regular tampons it’s frightening to see all the bleach, chemicals and sh*t that’s in them. All of those toxins are being absorbed into your body when you use them, which can’t be doing anything good. So I wanted to make a switch to using something with natural safe ingredients. I had read about the Diva cup, which looks amazing but I don’t know if I can do it lol. So as a first step I started using Lola tampons — which are 100% natural, vegan, non-toxic, organic cotton tampons. I used them for the first time last month and they were great — so easy to use and since you can customize the box it was exactly the assortment that I needed. I am definitely going to only use Lola from now on.

My Favorite Spots in Los Angeles ☀️

I have been in LA for a little over a year now. There are so many cool spots to explore and endless things to do. Here are a few of my favorites so far!

Honey Hi restaurant in Los Angeles

Food:

Honey Hi – Hands down my favorite restaurant in LA. They serve craveable, sustainable comfort food with thoughtful ingredients. The food is so delicious and their menu changes seasonally. They use organic and locally sourced produce, as well as 100% organic, humanely raised animals and eggs. Basically they serve exactly the food we should be eating because everything is so thoughtfully chosen and comes from the best local sources. I always feel amazing after eating at Honey Hi.

Kitchen Mouse - Cute vegetarian restaurant in Highland Park. The menu is delicious and the space is adorable.

Botanica Restaurant - Amazing farm to table restaurant in Silverlake. The food is local and seasonal and their menu is made up of innovative vegetable dishes. Love the ambience and the vibe here too. Good to go with friends.

Hiking in Griffith Park

Hiking:

Fryman Canyon - This is my go-to hiking spot! It’s a great loop that takes about an hour and is a nice mix of incline, flat and downhill. It is easy to get to with great parking and beautiful views. I am so grateful this hiking trail exists.

Griffith Park - So many great hikes here. You can always be changing it up and exploring new paths. I love to come here when I have more time and can explore. Great views of LA and the Griffith Observatory.

Skylight Bookstore

Bookstore:

Skylight Books - Cool indie bookstore in Los Feliz. They curate a thoughtful collection of books on numerous topics that’s on the cutting edge of culture. They are always putting on great events with incredible authors and have reading groups as well. I love spending hours here.

Go Get Em Tiger

Coffeeshop:

Go Get Em Tiger - Such a cool coffeeshop. They have won numerous awards for having some of the best coffee in LA and the food is great. My favorite place to get coffee in LA and they have a few locations around central/east LA.

Maru - THE BEST MATCHA! This is my go-to spot for my absolute favorite matcha in town.

Highland Park

Explore:

Highland Park - I love exploring this neighborhood, it is my favorite area to just hang out in when I have some extra time. Lots of unique record/music stores, vintage shops, restaurants and bars. Favorites here are: Highland Park Bowl, Donut Friend and Gimme Gimme Records.

Hiraeth Collective

I am excited about this new fashion label - Hiraeth Collective. They focus on creating women’s clothing and accessories for conscious consumers who value design and quality while not compromising on their ethical beliefs. All of their items are leather, fur, wool and silk-free. They use alternative fabrics that are sourced from mills in Italy, France, Japan and the UK, and then each piece is carefully crafted in downtown LA.

The label was founded by Rooney Mara and two fashion partners, and is designed for forward-thinking consumers who believe that, “in our impersonal, disconnected age, the values of craftsmanship, quality, comfort and respect for all living creatures are more essential than ever.”

I have been learning more about ethical fashion and have been working to transition into a more sustainable wardrobe. It can be difficult to know which pieces to buy because companies are not always honest and transparent about their sourcing practices and work conditions. This is why I love seeing companies like Hiraeth popping up that have this ethos at their core. I know I can trust them and feel good about investing in their pieces.

I also love the name of the label and what the word means:

Hiraeth

(n.) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the last places of your past

I think it is sad and beautiful at the same time, and there is also something so true about it. For me it captures that feeling of missing the way things were in the past or the idea you have of how some things were - even if its not true to how they actually were - it’s that nostalgia for it. I think of childhood and how sometimes I can miss that spirit I used to have or way of looking at the world but it’s something I can’t return to because I am a different person now. Anyways I digress..

Hiraeth has a small capsule collection at the moment comprised of high-end classic items - my favorites are their Arbus loafers and Blaise Moto jacket. I am looking forward to seeing more of the pieces they make and how they begin to create change within the fashion industry.

Five Powerful Documentaries

Documentaries can be such powerful forms of learning and entertainment. I love how they can take a subject and create such an interesting educational experience around it. I have gotten really into documentaries because I want to spend my extra time expanding my brain. If I am going to be spending two hours watching something, I might as well watch something that inspires me and teaches me something new. Of course every now and then you need to turn your brain off and enjoy a great comedy, but I've recently watched some fascinating documentaries that have been made over the past few years. 

Here are five powerful documentaries that made a strong impact on me:

Bill Cunningham New York - A lovely film about the life of this incredibly eccentric man, Bill Cunningham, a renowned New York City street style photographer. 

Black Fish - This documentary is chillingly moving and heartbreaking. It exposes you to the cruelty and injustice behind the captivity of wild animals for human pleasure, in particular killer whales. 

Eating Animals - An eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming. 

RBG - I wrote about this documentary in a previous blog post. Read all about it here

Won't You Be My Neighbor? - I loved this documentary about the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers neighborhood, so much. It is so moving and you are left wanting to be a better person and inspired to find ways to help make the world a better place.