Favorite NON-TOXIC Sunscreens.


Although I should probably be wearing SPF every day of the year, it’s this particular time of year that I’m even more aware of the sunshine and its effect on my skin (and my boys’ skin!) So when it comes to choosing sunscreen, I take some time to consider the ingredients. Why? Because our skin is the largest organ in our body and anything we apply to our skin is immediately absorbed into our bloodstream. Conventional sunscreen is loaded with ingredients that are less than reputable. Did you know that the FDA is calling for sunscreen reform after discovering the way that traditional sunscreens penetrate the skin and potentially cause endocrine disruption and other harm? There are two surefire safe ingredients when it comes to sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), so those are the ones that I hone in on when I purchase!

If you’re confused about which ingredients to look out for, have no fear! I’m here to break down what I’ve learned (but please, know that this is just my research and my discovery - please do your own research, friends! I’m linking to everything in this post so please feel free to check all my sources!)

Okay, there are 2 types of sunscreen on the market- chemical and mineral. Because of the sneaky toxic ingredients that are in chemical sunscreen, I avoid those all together and look for mineral sunscreen.

Active Ingredients

First up, when checking out your sunscreen, make sure to look at the Active Ingredients. On the label, under “active ingredients”, look for:

  • Titanium Dioxide

  • Zinc oxide

Conventional chemical sunscreens will use chemicals such as the following:

  • Oxybenzone: detected in nearly every American and found in mother’s milk; this chemical acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women.

  • Octinoxate: also detected in mother’s milk, this chemical has hormone-like activity and is associated with reproductive system, thyroid and behavioral alterations in animals.

  • Homosalate: disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone.

  • Octocrylene: relatively high rates of skin allergy

Inactive Ingredients

After looking at the “active ingredients” I also look at the “inactive ingredients” to make sure they are free of harmful chemicals, too. This is where things can often get dicey. You don’t have to be an ingredient guru to make an informed decision here (seriously).


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Grossed out yet? Me too. But there’s no cause for alarm because I have found SO many great sunscreens that perform well without all the nasty toxic ingredients listed above. I’ve tried a LOT more than what is listed here, but these are the few that made it in the top running.

My Sunscreen Picks

Runner Ups

  • Bare Republic
    You have to check the individual types of sunscreen to make sure the ingredients are as clean as you would like. I like to use the Think Dirty app and the EWG as a resource for this. They also have some wild colors and metallic options which I think would be fun to try, but they aren’t so clean, ingredient-wise.

  • Coola
    Same as the Bare Republic - some of the products are cleaner than others.

  • REN Clean Screen SPF Mineral SPF 30
    Contains fragrance but otherwise has good ingredients.

That’s all I’ve got for you friends! I hope this guide is helpful as you navigate the sunscreen game! Keep in mind that this is simply my own research - PLEASE do your own research and trust your gut instinct when it comes to decisions for yourself and your family! Even though we are more than halfway through summer (say it ain’t so!), we will all be enjoying warm weather (and sun exposure) until basically November down here where I live in Georgia. So our sunscreen isn’t going to get retired for a good long while! Happy summer-ing to you! xx

Acai Berry Breakfast Bowl

Your breakfast is about to become very on-trend. Because everyone in the world is talking about smoothie bowls and I for one don't like to be left out of breakfast popularity. Those are the best kind of trends, amiright? So here you go, folks. The simplest, most ridiculously easy smoothie bowl recipe there ever was.

I first had one of these a few years back at Kale Me Crazy. And the entire time I was wolfing it down, I kept thinking, I have to remember everything that is in this so I CAN MAKE IT AGAIN. And ever since then, we've been making them at our house. It's kind of like a twist on the traditional breakfast parfait. You just swap out the yogurt for an almond milk/acai mixture. And let your mouth go numb with the yum. Enjoy!



- 1 Sambazon Acai Berry Frozen Pouch - you should be able to find these in the frozen fruit section of your grocery store.

- 1 cup Almond Milk

- 1/2 cup Blueberries

- 1/2 cup Banana, sliced

- 1/2 cup granola

- 1/4 cup shredded Coconut, unsweetened

- Honey, drizzled

- a dash of Cinnamon



1. Place the pouch of acai in a cold glass of water for a few minutes to thaw. This will allow it to slide out of the pouch easily.

2. Once a little bit thaw, open the pouch of acai and pour into your high-powered blender. I am a sucker for my Vitamix, but any blender will work for this recipe. It's okay if the acai is still very frozen.

3. Add in the almond milk, and blend on high for 20 second, or until completely combined. The mixture should have the consistency of a smoothie. And it should be a grayish-purple shade that will make you want to paint your walls with it, nay, bathe in it. But you won't. Because you will want to eat it more.

4. Pour half the contents into a bowl, and cover half to use at another time. Like tomorrow. And voila, your first layer is complete! Now it's time to dress it up.

5. Add a layer of granola, then berries, then coconut. Top with a dash of cinnamon and drizzle with honey - the more the better in my opinion. And that's it! Your trendy, delectable acai berry bowl is ready for consumption! Enjoy, my friends!


TASTE: (My) Lentil Tabbouleh

TASTE: (My) Lentil Tabbouleh

I had no idea how delicious tabbouleh truly is. What a healthy, fresh way to take in some lunch! This is a twist on the classic recipe, using lentils (how Christ-like, right?!) which means it's super packed with protein. I have really been getting into mixing grains in with my salad at lunch - it makes them much more filling, and honestly, just way more fun. I am so bored with salad, but in an attempt to clean up my diet and eat super healthy during the week, salads are making more of a presence in my life lately. This one still counts as a salad because of all the awesome raw veggies. The mustard in the dressing gives the whole dish a bright fresh finish.

Try it! You will be surprised at how super easy this is to make this ahead of time and have stocked in the fridge for mid-week lunches. Also, the colors are so pretty I kind of want to wear it AND eat it. 


- 2 cups cooked, drained lentils (I used the dark green variety)

- 2 large bunches parsley, roughly chopped

- 2 cups shredded carrots

- 1 small red onion, finely diced

- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

- 1/2 cup olive oil

- 1 tablespoon course, seeded mustard (I prefer whole-grain mustard)

- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

- juice from 1 lemon

- 3 garlic cloves, minced

- 1 tablespoon salt

- Pepper to taste


1. Prepare lentils according to package. Drain and set them aside in a large mixing bowl.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustards, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

3. Add the dressing to the lentil mixture. Stir in the onions, tomatoes and parsley. Add a pinch more of salt and pepper, if you'd like.

Party in your mouth. Yes.

Taste: "Good Morning!" Green Juice

Good Morning Green Juice.

It's almost the weekend! To celebrate, let's add some healthy color to your morning routine! This is such a delicious way to get revved up and start the day. It's even better then a cup of coffee. That's right, I said it. I love drinking this in the morning because it feels really good to get in so many fruits and veggies so early in the day! Plus, it looks suuuuper green, but I promise it doesn't taste like grass. It tastes really tangy and refreshing (thanks to that hot hit of mint, mmm.)

This recipe serves two and is best if made in a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, or a juicer.


- 2 ribs of kale

- 1 handful of spinach (about 1 cup)

- 1 cup baby carrots (5-6)

- 1 green apple

- 1 red apple

- 1 lemon, skin and pith removed

- 3-4 sprigs of mint

- 1-inch piece of ginger, peel removed

- 1/3 cucumber, peeled

- 1 cup water


1. Place all the ingredients into Veronica the Vitamix (it's a bond, people), and secure the lid.

2. If you have a Vitamix: Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase speed to variable 10, then turn on High. Blend for 45 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached.

If you have a juicer/food processor: You might have to do this in batches. My food processor is only a 2-cup, so I would probably have to break this up into three separated batches. Or you could try to use a powerful blender, but just make sure all your ingredients are roughly chopped (the carrots might pose the biggest problem.)

Seriously, this is going to make you feel like a superhero. Now go and conquer your week!

Keeping your weekend green! And let me know what you think!

*This recipe was featured this week on Flat8 Magazine's website! Make sure to visit the site and check it out! Their content is so fun :)

Taste: Artichoke Pesto Farfalle

Artichoke Pesto Farfalle.

Happy Superbowl weekend! I always try to think of something festive to make that doesn't lead with a zillion bad calories. Why is Superbowl food so, well, unhealthy? We're mixing it up this weekend with a ridiculously good pasta. Bless you, Giada, you've done it again.

This Artichoke Pesto Farfalle is a twist on this recipe from Giada's Feel Good Food. I've swapped a few ingredients: farfalle pasta for orzo, diced tomatoes instead of cherry, subtracted the corn (I have a thing about corn), added in pine nuts, that sort of thing. Also, my sister made this the other night, and she added shrimp for a bit of protein. She says it was a hit! The possibilities are endless, but this is a good recipe to have on hand... plus, it's kind of Spring-y, which is always nice when I'm staring out the window at the eternity of snow. At least I can trick my taste buds into thinking that we are almost into warm weather season :-) So...goooooo (insert your team here)!


- 1 lb. Farfalle pasta (or whatever kind of fancy pasta you prefer!)

- 1 12-oz. jar Artichoke hearts (you could also use frozen, just make sure they're thawed before you cook)

- 2 cups diced Tomatoes (you can use fresh or canned, but if they're canned, make sure you drain them completely before using)

- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

For the Pesto:

- 3/4 cup Olive Oil

- 1/4 cup Walnuts

- 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional, but I just love them)

- 1/2 fresh flat-leaf Parsley

- 1/2 cup fresh Oregano

- Grated zest of 1 lemon

- 1/4 cup fresh Lemon juice (basically the juice from an entire lemon)

- 1 clove Garlic, smashed

- 1/2 tsp. Salt

- 1/2 tsp. Pepper


1. Cook your preferred pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. For the pesto, combine the following ingredients in your food processor: 2 cups of the artichokes, the walnuts, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper and olive oil.

3. Pulse all the ingredients until blended smoothly. You might have to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to blend everything evenly. This should take a few minutes. Set pesto aside.

4. Chop the remaining artichoke hearts into 3/4-inch pieces and add to the pesto. Add in the (drained) diced tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Ta da! Your ridiculously delicious dinner is served. The dish itself is so pretty to look at with all the colors, but like I said, you can dress it up a bit more with your preferred protein. I think this is a great option to have on hand on game day, when you might have more than a few (hungry) dudes showing up at the house. Now you have something healthier to serve than chips and queso :-)

Yum yum yum. I want to eat this all over again.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!