When I started my blog, I kept hearing that I needed to find a “niche” to fit into. (If you are a blogger, here is a great webinar to help you get started.) One thing to keep the blog focused toward. That is super hard for me because I am a scatterbrained person by nature and I love learning new things. I didn’t know if I should keep my blog focused on food and health or budgeting and living a simple life. Both of these routes were high passion areas in my life and I couldn’t seem to figure out a way to make them smoosh together. That’s when I realized just how easily all these things go together in a persons life. It’s the minimalist diet and a way of living that has completely transformed my life. You can see my family’s story here: How Downsizing Changed My Family. More than anything I want to share that with people.
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures.
As I have gotten older, I have become a documentary obsessed, total nerd. This means getting informed on the struggles our Earth faces was unavoidable. Slowly our family started transitioning and finding little ways to reduce our carbon footprint. While I am way ahead of my family in the sense that I have deeply researched Earth Homes. Some are extremely modern and beautiful, others are made of the tires and recycled material. Tom was not feeling having walls made of rubber (so picky) so for right now I’ll settle for our little house and just keep doing my best to make small changes where I can when I can. So I compiled a list of over 35 of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint without losing your sanity (or living in a house of rubber.)
The day I gave up processed foods was incredibly stressful. The amount of information was incredibly overwhelming. At the same time, that day was also one that totally transformed my entire way of eating. Working on a diet with no processed food can be challenging at first, but after you get the system down, it becomes second nature. The heart of my kitchen, and the key to my success with whole foods is of course the pantry. Now, I’m going to level with you, I do have a few processed foods in my pantry. Please don’t hold it against me. So besides the few odds and ends, let’s talk about what you need to get started on a no processed food pantry.
Tom and I have been married for over 9 years and I never would have dreamed of the journey we would take together. When we met we both had high hopes for life and “moving up in the world.” One day all our dreams came true and we landed in a house in the neighborhood we always dreamed we’d be a part of. We had the house, we had the location and we slowly started to fall apart.
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures
Composting was something we used to do when I was a kid. Growing up and realizing how much waste we had every month, I started looking for ways to cut back. Living in Minnesota, I wasn’t sure how composting would work for us because our winters are pretty cold. Thankfully I was able to start an indoor compost and after we downsized, I was able to start an outdoor compost. If you are wondering how to start a compost, let me fill you in on both indoor and outdoor composting. I’ll tell you how to build them, how to get them started and how to keep them maintaining and working all year round!
*The post contains affiliate links. For more information read my disclosures here
So often people see photos of the foods I make and ask me what blender I use. Whether it’s what I use to make my own flour, blending my own hummus or how I get my smoothies so smooth. Funny thing is, I get these questions. Since being married, Tom and I have gone through what feels like every blender known to man. None of them ever did everything we needed to. Even basic smoothies somehow wound up chunky. Never did I think that one of the least expensive, smallest blenders would wind up being my go to blender for all recipes. The Magic Bullet NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System. This has literally become a blender, food processor and ice cream maker all in one. Which is super nice because it saves me from having to actually buy all those things! (Yup, cheap skate and de-clutter enthusiast)
The main base is small and very portable which I love because I don’t have to have a big, bulky blender hanging out on my counter taking up space. After downsizing our house, this is absolutely crucial. I use my NutriBullet at least once a day; but in reality it’s usually about three times. After every use, I unplug it, and easily stash the base in the cupboard.
The NutriBullet also comes with multiple containers to fit the size that you need. It also comes with 2 separate blades that work differently depending on what type of blending you need done. Like I said, we use ours around 3 times a day on average for multiple different things of multiple different sizes, shapes and textures. Best part? The blade is still sharp as ever, and trust me, I have put it through the ringer! When I’m cooking my hangry tends to kick in and I get impatient. Thank goodness my NutriBullet has been patient with me.
Naturally, one of the biggest things we use our NutriBullet for is making our morning smoothies. My favorite smoothie recipe is my Kale Smoothie. It doesn’t matter what I add or don’t add, it blends perfectly effortlessly. Every past blender we had would leave behind chunks of kale or clumps of ice. It’s not fun having to chew a smoothie. The most frustrating part was having to stop and stir over and over when trying to get a smooth smoothie. With our NutriBullet I can just click the container into place, wait 30 seconds and all the work has been done for me. I love it.
One of the easiest way to get my kiddos to eat heathier is by making healthy hummus, dips and sauces. Mostly I do garlic hummus, vegan queso, pesto and cashew cheeses. These all turn out perfect and creamy, although thicker recipes, like hummus, I do sometimes have to add a little more water to make sure everything gets blended in. The vegan quesso itself is a heavier recipe that includes potatoes, carrots and onions and I can fit it all into the larger blending cup that comes with the NutriBullet. Here are some of the best online recipes to try:
Being gluten free, a lot of times I am left having to create my own recipes completely from scratch. Blending my gluten free oats into oat flour literally takes a few seconds with my NutriBullet. If you are one of those people who prefers to ground your own coffee beans at home, you can do it just as easily! If you are also struggling with a gluten intolerance, check out my top viewed gluten related posts Gluten Free Shopping List.
Potato chowders are one of my absolute winter favorites. It’s so easy to make a really thick base for your stew, soup or chowder by just adding your main base vegetable and letting it pulse for a few seconds. Be careful though, with something like potato chowder, you will want to leave some lumps and the NutriBullet will not leave any lumps! Just be sure to set some aside before putting the rest into the blender. Check out some of these other super yummy vegetable based soup recipes.
More recently I have started making my own cashew ice cream and I have to tell you, it turns out fantastically! Because you basically pre-freeze everything overnight, you are just putting frozen cubes into the NutriBullet. With no added water, milk or anything, it blends this ice cream to perfection! I recently posted my absolute favorite kind, Mint Chocolate Chip. However, if you are looking for an even bigger variety, check out earthyandy’s website. She has a ton of great smoothies and vegan ice cream recipes that are amazing. You can also see a simpler ice cream recipe I have: Banana Ice Cream.
These are definitely the top made item I use my NutriBullet for. Again, because of my gluten intolerance, I often make my own super easy 3 Ingredient Waffles. These ingredients fill to the very tip top of the largest blending cup in our set. Again, a simple twist and click and then my waffle batter is ready in 30 seconds and there is absolutely no mess, which I love! Tom loves his Protein Pancakes which we do completely in the NutriBullet as well.
Seriously, I’m telling you, I use it all the time. In fact, if you browsed my Recipe Page I doubt you would find a single recipe that I don’t use my Nutribullet for.
We have been using our same Nutri Bullet for years. Since then, they have come with an upgraded version and even though the Nutri Bullet 13 Piece NB9-1301 Pro Blender/Mixer comes with a faster motor, my main desire is the new tops. I know, superficial, but I can’t help myself. It would be so great to blend a smoothie or protein shake, twist on a top that you can sip from and head out the door.
Either way, if you are planning on making more recipes at home, keeping up with smoothies or all around working toward a healthier way of eating, I highly recommend the Nutri Bullet. There are so many expensive blenders on the market these days. This one definitely gets you the biggest blend for your buck!
If you are wanting to make bigger batches of foods that the NutriBullet doesn’t allow, take a look at some of the other top blenders I recommend below.
*The post contains affiliate links. For more information read my disclosures here
I hope this post was helpful to you! Happy blending!