Gluten Free Pancake Breakfast

Great post from co-blogger, Emily 

yummy gluten-free breakfast

One of my favorite ways to start a rainy day is with homemade pancakes.  Being gluten-free does not mean you have to miss out on this breakfast treat. Today, I tried a pancake mix from one of my favorite brands, 1-2-3 gluten-free, which is a mother-daughter gluten-free baking company out of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Their buckwheat pancakes are fortified with vitamins that you would not get from an ordinary mix.  In one serving of the all-natural mix, you get 12% of your daily iron and 17% of your daily thiamin.  The rice and buckwheat flours are not bleached like non-gluten free pancake mixes.  The unbleached flour is easier on the digestive system.
Two of my other favorite treats from 1-2-3 gluten-free are the Poundcake and Apple Spice Pan Bars. To see what else they offer look at
And to get extra vitamins in the morning, I like to drink a smoothie. While smoothies you buy at a stand or store can have added sugar and yogurt, Bolthouse Farm’s smoothies are purely from fruit. I like to buy the Strawberry Banana flavor from Whole Foods. Drinking one serving gives you 100% of your daily vitamin C, which will have you energized and ready to start the day!  


Do You Brush?


If dry body-brushing is not already part of your daily skincare regimen, you may be missing a great way to improve the look and tone of your skin.

Do you brush?

We all know exfoliating the skin is great for getting a healthy glow. But did you know dry brushing is also good for circulation and toning muscles?

Here are a few benefits of dry skin brushing:

  • Dry brushing exfoliates dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture.
  • Dry brushing stimulates oil glands. I am a fan of using natural oils to keep my skin fresh and glowing.  This is a simple way to get more natural oils on my skin.
  • Dry brushing can help rid the body of toxins. I find this especially effective if I dry brush before I take salt bath.
  • Dry brushing helps to tighten the skin by increasing blood flow to the skin.
  • Dry brushing may lessen the appearance of cellulite.

How to Dry Brush:

I dry brush my skin before a shower or bath, so I am sure to wash off the dead skin cells right away. I always brush towards the heart, with long strokes that help drain the impurities from my skin. I would also obviously avoid sensitive areas with any type of rash, cut or inflammation.

How to Pick a Dry Skin Brush:

I use a natural fiber brush with a long handle that can be removed. Sometimes I get a more effective brushing on my legs and arms without the handle. When you first start, the bristles might feel a little rough. My skin quickly got used to this, and now I love the feel of getting my blood flowing and getting rid of dead skin!

Sensitive skin brushers may want to start with softer brush or a dry towel to get skin used to the brushing.

Happy exfoliating!


Bedtime Salt Bath

Dead Sea Salt

After a long day, a tough workout or a few days of over-indulgence, I love to restore with a relaxing natural salt bath. It’s important to use pure salts that are never colored, treated or bleached.

If you’re looking for a bedtime bath recipe to deeply relax or detox, here’s one of my favorites.

1 cup raw dead sea salt

6 drops lavender

6 drops frankincense

Always hydrate during and after any salt bath!

Enjoy –

Natural Girl

Papaya Enzyme Mask

I have spent a fortune on skincare products over the years, but for almost 5 years now I have been making my own masks and green beauty products. My initial goal was to see if I could keep my skin looking good without all the expense and chemical preservatives. I wasn’t sure if these natural topical treatments would be as effective as the expensive products I bought in the past, but my skin actually improved rather quickly once I was using pure, natural skincare treatments.

I won’t bombard you with facts about papayas, but this delicious fruit is packed with enzymes that make for a great end-of-summer mask…when my skin has that “too-tan” look and I need to freshen my skin.

Papaya Enzyme Mask

Here’s a favorite recipe I use:

  • Papaya/Aloe Enzyme Mask
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 ripe papaya
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 fresh aloe vera or aloe vera gel

Place all of the ingredients in blender (I use my Magic Bullet – so easy to clean!). Blend until the mixture is the consistency of a puree – think baby food. The consistency can change based on the ripeness of the papaya. If it is too runny, add a little more papaya. If too stiff, add a tiny bit more oil.

Before applying the mask, wrap hair in a towel because this is a bit messy. Cleanse face thoroughly with warm washcloth.

Scoop out papaya mask and gently massage onto your skin in a circular motion. Leave on for @ 10-15 minutes. You will feel your skin tingling after a few minutes. Sometimes I scoop out a little more mask and apply after 5 minutes if the first application dries too quickly.

Wash mask off thoroughly with warm water. Your skin will feel smooth and soft. But just like with any facial, you may experience a few breakouts within 24 hours. That is very normal, and your skin will quickly recover.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think.