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January Favorites 2016

January
I had so many healthy favorites this month, I had a hard time narrowing them down.  Here, the best of the best, from left to right:

Gold S’well water bottle:  I held off on getting one of these for such a long time.  I had a perfectly functionable stainless steel bottle, and, while I lusted after the gorgeous designs of the S’wells, I just couldn’t justify it (two water bottles!! The decadence!).  And then my fiance came home with this gold version, and I realized just how awesome they are.  The lid screws on tightly, so there’s no purse leakage, and the smaller mouth opening makes them easy to drink in.  They keep green smoothies cold and tea hot.  Basically, they’re amazing and I can’t believe I waited this long to own one. Plus, it’s gold!  So pretty.

Fresh flowers:  We just moved to Brooklyn, and I’m absolutely loving all of the fresh flowers at the corner delis and bodegas.  You can get a fresh bouquet for under $5, and I’m loving filling my house with beautiful, bright pops of color.

Pukka Refresh Tea:  I am so obsessed with this tea.  Pukka makes some of the most unique, delicious herbal teas I’ve ever had, and this one is no exception.  It’s a mix of peppermint leaf, licorice root, fennel seed, hibiscus flower, rose flower, and coriander seed, and it’s bright and fresh from the peppermint and sweet from the licorice and lightly floral from the rose.  I find it helps with bloat and settles my stomach (it’d be great as an after dinner tea), while also simply waking up my palette in the middle of a long work day.

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream:  I’ve been on the hunt for a natural deodorant that works well for sooo long, and this one finally – finally! – lives up to my standards.  It’s baking soda free (many natural deodorants contain baking soda, which, aluminum-free or not, will often irritate underarm skin), and it smells faintly of citrus, but not in an overpowering way (you could still wear any perfume with it).  It comes in a small pot, and you scoop it out with your fingers and rub it into your underarms, which sounds sort of weird and unappealing but it actually rubs in quite nicely.  It doesn’t come off on clothing and it actually keeps me dry all day long.

At  Home In The Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin:  Hands down one of my favorite cookbooks recently, I’ve been turning to this one whenever I need inspiration for simple meals that will reinvigorate my tastebuds.  This is a great one for experts and novices alike.  At the beginning of the book, Amy breaks down a lot of the basics of healthy cooking, from soaking and sprouting seeds to making your own nut milks.  Her recipes are always fairly simple, but so, so innovative, whether she’s putting together flavors I’m familiar with in new, creative ways (a Date Pistachio Praline Tart), or introducing me to dishes I’ve never heard of (Curried Socca with Cilantro Coconut Chutney).

Simply Organic Pepper and More:  In early college, before I knew much about cooking, I had a flavored salt blend that I used to season absolutely everything I cooked.  I realized later that it was filled with artificial flavors and MSG (no wonder it made everything so good!) and promptly gave it up.  This new spice blend, from Simply Organic, is like an amped up, healthy version of my long lost chemical blend – and it tastes even better.  Containing a mix of black pepper, sea salt, onion, garlic, chili and bell pepper (all organic), it has just the right amount of salt, spice and umami to add jazz hands to any dish, from scrambled eggs to stir fries to to avocado toast to popcorn.  I whip it out a few times a day in my kitchen, and every time my tastebuds are better for it.

Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Serum:  I started using this as part of my Style Me Pretty Blogger Bride series on getting glowing skin naturally, and I am so, so hooked.  I’ve honestly never seen a bigger difference from using a skin care product.  It makes sense: retinol is the holy grail of skincare (I literally dare you to find an issue of a beauty magazine that doesn’t mention it), but most versions of it are packed with chemicals and parabens, and are harsh, often causing skin to peel and flake.  This version is so, well, gentle.  I apply a thin layer at night and wake up with skin that’s smooth and almost poreless – and, in the three months I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed the fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes beginning to fade.  A keeper, for sure.

Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters: Lavender is one of my absolute favorite flavors, and these bitters taste like a complex, herbal version of them.  While I use them in cocktails (as is the norm), I’ve also been enjoying mixing a few drops into sparkling water as a delicious sort-of soda.  Bitters were used medicinally long before they were used at fancy cocktail bars, and they offer quite a bit of benefits, especially in terms of digestion.  Plus, it’s free of any added color or flavor (did you know Angostura bitters, the classic brand, contain caramel color?).

That’s it for me!  What are you loving this month?

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  1. Kourtney says:

    Do you suggest a cocktail that includes the Lavender bitters? It sounds amazing!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Kourtney! Honestly, my go-to is super simple: some vodka, soda water, a squeeze of lemon or lime and a splash (to taste) of the lavender bitters. I kind of feel like it’d be good with a honey, muddled thyme, bourbon situation but I haven’t tried that yet!! xx