Gluten Free Peppermint Snow Cookies

‘Tis the season, my friends!

I know, I know. It’s not technically Christmas season yet but with Denver’s Union Station halls decked, Breckenridge covered in a magical “blanket” of snow (okay, so five feet of snow is more than a blanket), and bows and ornaments on full display, it is most definitely the holiday season.

In my home, the eggnog is cold, the Christmas tunes are on, and the decor is up. I just can’t help it! Christmas is so magical to me and I want to experience all the joy and cheer for as long as I can.

Fortunately for me, that includes baking! I have so many recipes coming this year like double chocolate hot cocoa cookies, s’mores cookies, and lots of cozy + savory dishes but I wanted to start it out with something simple and wonderful.

These cookies are a slight adaptation from my almond shortbread cookies, but with the holiday favorite, peppermint, and a fresh twinkle of coconut “snow” and made perfectly fluffy.

These are super simple to whip up and a perfect pairing with a warm cup of coffee. I can’t wait for you to try them!

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Gluten Free Peppermint Snow Cookies

2 pastured eggs
1/3 c pure maple syrup
2 T ghee or grass-fed butter, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
2.5 c blanched almond flour
1/4 c + 2 T of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a stand up mixer, combine eggs, syrup, butter, and peppermint extract and mix until fully incorporated and frothy. Add in dry almond flour, 1/4 c shredded coconut, baking soda, and salt. Form dough into ping pong size balls, flatten slightly, and sprinkle on remaining coconut. Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes or until outer edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve!


If you make these, make sure to tag on social media so I can see how you celebrate the season.

How I Helped Heal my Acne (Naturally + Affordably!)

Happy Halloween! It’s a typical Halloween here in Colorado: snowy and cold. It always seems that the weather fluctuates until October 31st, when it finally settles into cold temperatures. I love the magical winters but gosh, sometimes my skin does not. Bring on the moisturizer!

My skin is incredibly finicky. It’s sensitive, acne-prone, and a combination of oily + dry. Seriously, I won the lottery of frustrating skin.

When I was a teenager, it was SUCH a battle. I remember in sixth grade, right next to the water fountain by Mr. Ryan’s classroom, a bully made fun of my hormonal, broken out skin. I hid in the bathroom and cried during recess. When I was in high school, a boyfriend told me, while standing with this football buddies, that I looked like I was “sick and dying in a desert” without makeup. I never went without makeup to school again. In college, I would cancel plans or skip class so I wouldn’t have to show my skin. I thought that surely it would go away when I was an adult.

Nope.

It didn’t.

I began to change my diet and noticed improvement but it still seemed so hit and miss. I figured this would be as good as it gets and I was stuck with this curse forever.

Then about a year and a half ago I was on a girl’s vacation and just hit my whit’s end. I was so sick of dealing with this. So sick of ducking my face away when meeting new people. So sick of spending money on this or that, only to see no improvement. So sick of my skin dictating my life. So I decided to make my skin health a project.

I’ve changed my health.
I’ve changed my weight.
I’ve changed my lifestyle.

So it was time to change my skin.

Since then, things have gotten so much better.

The photo on the top was taken the day I returned from that vacation I mentioned above. My skin was dry, scabbed, uneven, inflamed, and oily and my makeup did nothing to help.

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The photo on the bottom was two days ago.

Can you see the difference in my skin? Can you see the difference in my confidence?

So if you’re wondering how I did it without spending hundreds of dollars on products, lemme tell ya!


  1. Diet: healthy skin begins from within.

    This was my first line of defense. Acne is almost always an external manifestation of internal dysfunction. It can be contributed to poor gut health, hormone imbalances (most notably, excess estrogen), adrenal dysfunction, or consuming foods you’re intolerant to. These things don’t always look like digestive upset; they can most definitely look like acne, chronic skin conditions, or dryness.

    The most common culprits for acne: gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, and corn. So how do you know which ones affect YOUR skin? Remove a category for 30 days then reintroduce it and see how your skin reacts for the next week. Also take a look at your hormonal health.

    It’s also important to be proactive in supporting your skin health so include things like mineral rich bone broth, grass-fed collagen, filtered water, green tea, and leafy greens.

    What I did: I removed corn + dairy from my diet, added in collagen + a probiotic daily, and increased my water intake.


2. Products: what you put on your skin matters.

I was so desperate to fix myself that I spent a ton of money on cleansing bars, masks, and balms, hoping for relief but they made my skin worse. I was so frustrated! What was wrong with me, I thought, because it seemed to work for everyone else!

I shared my frustration with an esthetician and she said “DUH, look at those ingredients!”. Turns out, the products I was using were abrasive and comedogenic and were literally harming my skin far more than helping. The products I used worked for some but when you’re acne-prone, they were a no go!

All of that to say, what works for some may not work for you.

If you’re acne prone, skip abrasive products or ones that contain comedogenic ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil (the worst offenders!) and use gentle skincare products.

What I did: I tossed my coconut oil + charcoal cleansing bar and opted for a super gentle cleanser (my faves are Mad Hippie + Acure’s Instantly Clear Cleansing Stick - both under $15!), and added a gentle serum (I used KHUS+KHUS CBD serum or Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C serum).

3. Lifestyle: love the skin you’re in.

Do you remember the college days where we would fall asleep in a full face of makeup and one glue-on eyelash hanging by a thread of glue? Sorry, ladies, we’re almost 30 now and need to kiss those days goodbye. It’s important to let our skin breathe.

How we treat our skin goes beyond just what we do or don’t put on it but also how we nurture it. This looks like removing makeup EVERY night, saving up for an occasional facial, going makeup-free a couple days a week (take that, highschool boyfriend!), or simply using a jade roller to massage your face every morning.

These things aren’t only an act of love for your skin but also for your soul. When we actively reduce stress, our hormones will follow suit and then you have a win-win: taking care of your skin and taking care of yourself.

What I did: I budget in quarterly facials, take steam baths right before I cleanse my skin, skip the makeup on days I’m just running errands, and wash my makeup brushes weekly (byeeeee, bacteria!).


My skin definitely isn’t a dewey, angel kissed, airbrushed complexion but it’s SO much better than it used to be. Experiment with some of the things I’ve mentioned here and let me know how it works for you! Wishing you luck + success!

xo,

Cam








Low Carb, Dairy Free Paleo Zucchini Fritters

I have to be honest.

Most of the time when I create a new recipe, it goes a little something like this:
scrolls through Pinterest
finds a good recipe
HOW many steps!? I have to stand in my kitchen for HOW long?
Nah.
I’ll just make it up!

And thus, these zucchini fritters were born by way of sheer laziness.

HOWEVER. I’m sure glad about it because these little fritters are absolutely amazing. Let’s talk about them! They are: low carb, dairy free, gluten free, and grain free. They take about 5 minutes to prep and you can use them in lots of ways!

We’re talking:
hamburger buns!
breakfast sandwiches!
side dish!
pancakes! (okay, maybe a stretch)

Seriously, prep a batch or two of these at the beginning of the week and you instantly have a nourishing, veggie packed side to throw with any meal.

Let’s get to the recipe!

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Low Carb, Dairy Free Paleo Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:
3 medium sized zucchinis
1 c blanched almond flour
3 eggs
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1.5 T ghee, coconut oil, or avocado oil, melted


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl, shred zucchini using the large side of a cheese grater then use a paper towel or cheesecloth to strain excess liquid. Add in almond flour, eggs, sun dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper and mix well. Brush the parchment paper with half of the cooking oil of choice. Use a 1/3 c measuring cup to scoop the fritter mixture onto the parchment paper and flatten, rounding the edges. Brush the tops of the fritters with remaining cooking oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are lightly golden. Flip and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve warm or store in airtight container in the fridge!


Enjoy!

xo,

Cam


InstantPot Chicken Green Chili

It’s fall, y’all! Okay, it’s actually 80 degrees today but next week the high is in the mid-40s with snow forecasted but if that ain’t Colorado for ya, I don’t know what is. Few things kick off the season better than Broncos football, cool evenings, and green chili. This is a meal I grew up with and is a family tradition to make in mass amounts at the end of each farmer’s market season. You could say that green chili is part of my family’s legacy (#toofar?) so I take it really seriously so when the craving struck, I knew I needed an easy and quick way to make it. Hello, InstantPot! I just threw everything in, set it to cook, then ate approximately one million Siete chips while I waited. You can watch the step-by-step recipe on my “Recipes” highlight on Instagram or save this for later. Either way, you’ll love it!

I should warn you of two things though:

  1. This is spicy. Heat runs through my blood, I cannot help it. If you want to mitigate the heat, use a mild green chili sauce and plain diced tomatoes.

  2. This feeds enough to cover your entire church potluck (remember those?) and then some so plan on having it for leftovers!


Okay, let’s get to the recipe!

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InstantPot Chicken Green Chili

Ingredients
1/2 white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T ghee
12 oz chicken bone broth (I used Bonafide Provisions)
28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
16 oz jar of green chili sauce (I use 505 Southwestern)
1 can of coconut milk
1.5 - 2 lb chicken breasts
2 T arrowroot starch
2 T filtered water
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika

Set InstantPot on low saute and cook onion and garlic in ghee until fragrant. Add in broth, tomatoes, green chili sauce, coconut milk, and chicken. Seal vent and set on high pressure for 12 minutes. Once it’s through the cycle, quick release pressure, remove chicken and shred, setting InstantPot to “Keep Warm”. In small bowl, whisk arrowroot starch and water to form a slurry. Add chicken back into the InstantPot along with arrowroot starch and spices and stir to combine. Allow to sit until slightly thickened and then serve!


I hope you enjoy! If you make it, tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see!

xo,

Cam


Pin for later!

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InstantPot Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

I finally did it.

I bought an InstantPot. Because #Costco. I went in for tuna, avocados, and sparkling water and I was done for when I saw the newest InstantPot model and Costco exclusive, Nova Plus. It's been on my wishlist for over a year so I finally did it!

And yes, I'm obsessed and wondering what I ever did without it. 

I was nervous about the learning curve but with lots (and lots!) of Googling, I figured it out and made this incredible teriyaki chicken! It was perfectly sticky, richly flavored, and flawlessly cooked. Even better, it came together pretty darn quickly considering this recipe used to take me 5 hours of slow cooking and approximately 7,384 dishes.

Now that I can cook this in less than 30 minutes, it will definitely be a meal plan staple!

This teriyaki chicken uses coconut aminos in place of soy sauce for a healthier option. You can find coconut aminos in the asian-section of most grocery stores or at Trader Joe's or online at Thrive Market. I use the Big Tree Farms brand at Costco (again, I love Costco) because it saves me SO much money. This recipe also uses a tablespoon of honey but if you're doing Whole30, you can easily omit it with no problem.

So let's stop gabbing about my love affair with Costco and get to the recipe!

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InstantPot Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients
3/4 c coconut aminos
3 T rice vinegar
1 T honey, omit for Whole30
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp dried, ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5-2 lb chicken breasts, trimmed
1 T water
1 T arrowroot starch, can sub tapioca starch if needed

In small bowl, whisk coconut aminos, vinegar, honey (if using), garlic, fish sauce, and seasonings. Place chicken in the InstantPot and pour teriyaki sauce over, stirring to evenly coat the chicken. Close and secure the lid, ensure vent is set to "sealing", and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release pressure then remove chicken and shred. In small bowl or cup, whisk water and arrowroot starch until a slurry is made. Set InstantPot to "saute" and pour in slurry then heat until thick, stirring often. Add shredded chicken back into the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Serve with cauliflower rice and broccoli.


If you make this in your kitchen, please share with me by tagging me on social media (@_lemonandfig on IG!) or sending me a message! Happy InstantPotting!

xo,

Cam


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