Ways to Reduce Plastic

We have been working on ways to reduce plastic in our home this year, so I thought I would share some of what we are doing. When you really start to pay attention to how much plastic we use/buy/bring into our homes on a daily basis, you start to see and realize what a major issue it really is! From the grocery store and take-out, to coffee shops, cleaning supply bottles, and ziplock bags — it’s A LOT. Here are some major changes we try to make, why it’s important, and how you can join in! Made in partnership with my friends at Ello Products.
 
Ways to Reduce Plastic

Ways to Reduce Plastic

Now I am not an unrealistic person. It’s going to be nearly impossible (sadly) to really reduce plastic usage fully, but with some effort, we can make changes that we feel good about and ones that are do-able and realistic for our lifestyles and our families!
 
I do love that others are taking action: many grocery stores are no longer doing plastic bags and are switching to paper, and many coffee shops and states are actually getting rid of the use of plastic straws! Bravo! Now, let’s do our part!

How Can You Reduce Plastic Use

  1. Reusable water bottles
  2. If you buy plastic water bottles because of the quality of your tap water, purchase a high quality filter and install it on your sink
  3. Glass or stainless straws
  4. Silicone bags
  5. Opt out of plastic produce bags in the grocery stores, and bring your own grocery tote bags
  6. Opt to buy cartons or glass versus plastic when possible
  7. Switch to glass food storage containers and glass mason jars
  8. Avoid plastic containers or plastic bags of food
  9. Use cloth napkins or reusable towels in the kitchen – to avoid extra trash (plastic garbage bags)
  10. Reusable coffee mugs or a mason jar to the coffee, juice or smoothie shop (bonus: you often get a discount when you bring these
  11. Purchase and eat less packaged foods (bonus: you’ll be eating less processed foods along the way)
  12. Seek out or find local “Buy Nothing” groups to pass on your unused stuff to avoid waste
  13. Make your own household products like cleaning sprays, body scrubs, etc.
  14. Shop in the bulk section of the grocery store with your own reusable bags

What I Personally Use

Ways to Reduce Plastic

Why is Plastic Bad & Why It’s Important

  1. Plastic can release harmful chemicals into our planet. Which can then seep from the soil into groundwater or other surrounding water sources and the ecosystem.
  2. Our environment is seriously impacted. 91% of plastic isn’t recycled and over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
  3. Toxic load. I work hard to reduce the toxic load in my environment for a many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that Mike and I both have the MTHFR gene mutation and don’t detox properly. So when I’m exposed to plastic and heavy metals, they hang in my body unless I work hard to detox and remove them. The amount of toxic load we are consuming and putting in our body is alarming, detox issues or not!

How YOU Can Get Involved

  • JOIN ME! Tag me with what you’re doing and using to make changes! I can’t wait to see what you’re doing to reduce your plastic consumption!!!
  • Remember: Be prepared! Before heading off to work, grab your reusable water bottle and coffee mug. Meal prep in glass containers to avoid take out. Remember your tote bags for the grocery store!
  • Gift it! This Holiday Water Bottle/Travel Mug (2-pack) is an awesome gift for family members, friends, co-workers, or a neighbor!

Win a Holiday SET for YOURSELF!

  • Win this Ello Holiday Water Bottle/Travel Mug (2-pack) – available in Target!
  • Comment below 1 way you reduce plastic in your home or want to!
  • Bonus entry: Tag a friend in this Instagram post! Don’t forget to check out Ello Products and where to buy them on their website here.

Ello Holiday Gift Set at Target

P.S. There are other things I’m doing in my home to create a healthier environment, like removing harmful ingredients from products we use, like PEGs, Parabens and Phthalates. These ingredients that we’re exposed to in makeup, shampoos, home cleaner and more contribute to human and animal illnesses and environmental pollution. Parabens, for one, are in almost every topical product and contribute to everything from hormonal disruption and rising infertility rates to water pollution. Read here about other swaps I’ve made!


This post is sponsored by Ello Products. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

DIY Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub

Want to make an awesome DIY gift this holiday season? This DIY Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub takes ingredients you likely already have on hand in your kitchen and turns them into a delicious scented body scrub that leaves your skin moisturized and smooth. It uses only 4 ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to make and is a great, inexpensive gift for the holiday season! I have been leaving my jar next to my kitchen sink and it’s a game changer! Soft, moisturized, exfoliated skin!

How do I make my own body scrub

DIY Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub

As the winter creeps up on us, this means dry skin season, especially if you live in a cool climate. Every week I use a purchased sugar scrub to help exfoliate dead skin and thought it might be great to look into making a DIY version that also moisturizes and has the most festive scent! Most people know that coconut oil is good moisturizer for you skin but when coupled with an exfoliant, in this case one found in your pantry, it turns in to magical DIY body scrub. All you need is 5 minutes, 4 ingredients for this DIY Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub.

This also makes a great gift to give during the holiday season, or really any time of year! The recipe makes enough for about 2-4 ounce jars but can easily be doubled or tripled to give away to all your friends and family. Just put on a cute label with instructions on how to use and bring with you as an easy and inexpensive hostess gift or secret santa!

And YES this is edible! But we don’t recommend this for anything other than a body scrub, though it certainly smells super tasty. Honestly, we love this body scrub so much that we plan to make some different variations in the near future to share with you as well.

How can I exfoliate my body a naturally

How to use a body scrub

The LCK team has been using this DIY scrub for a few weeks now and have been loving it. Not only does it smell AMAZING, but it leaves your skin feeling rejuvinated and moisturized. We recommend using it on the body only, not the face!

Soften your skin in a warm shower for a few minutes and then grab a dollop of the body scrub and gently scrub in a circular motion on rough skin. Rinse completely and do not use more than twice a week or so. We recommend about once a week!

What we used:

Diy body scrub coconut oil

How do you make a natural body scrub?

Combine the sugar, coconut oil and natural scent (in this case cocoa powder and vanilla) in a bowl and then gently scoop into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Make sure not to pack down the sugar mixture or it may be hard to scoop out with your hands in the shower.

Like this DIY gift idea? Check out these others:

P.S. Want to buy something instead? Check out my gift guides here, and here is my favorite store-bought body scrub.

DIY Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub

Prep Time 00:05 Yields 8 ounces

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a medium combine all ingredients and mix with a spoon until fully combined.
  2. Place gently (do not pack it down) in a jar with a tight fitting lid and use weekly or every few days on body.

Recipe Notes

  1. This makes a great gift! We found this amount was enough to make two small decorative mason jars (we used two 4 ounce jars) to give as gifts, but it is easy to scale up the recipe to be doubled or tripled.
  2. The coconut oil does not need to be melted, we mixed it all up with room temperature coconut oil and it worked just fine!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

If you are looking for a versatile side dish that works for both a quick weeknight meal or a decadent holiday dinner look no further than this Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon recipe! Cooking the brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup is sure to make this side dish a fan favorite for everybody! This paleo-friendly recipe is sweet and savory and definitely going to be in your winter meal plan rotation!


Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

 

 

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I was never a fan of brussels sprouts until a few years ago, and now I can’t get enough! This dish converts even those who say they don’t like brussels sprouts! This easy brussels sprouts recipe combines savory and sweet tastes to adhere to just about anyone’s liking!  And I mean.. Maple + Bacon = side dish WIN.

How good are brussel sprouts for you?

  • Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • They are low in calories and high in many nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C.

What is the best way to cook brussel sprouts?

This way, trust us!!!!!


Brussel sprouts with maple syrup

Watch the video:

Like this veggie side dish? Try these other favorites:

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Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Something for EVERYONE!)

My 2018 holiday gift guide is HERE and it’s jam-packed with my favorite products for him, for her, for the cook, for the fitness lover, for the traveler, for the teen, for the cookbook collector, and STOCKING stuffers!! Aside from the standard links and prices for you, I’ve also included a virtual shop area for each one! SO helpful and easy. So, if you’ve loved my 2014, 20152016, and 2017 gift guides, this one takes the cake!

Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Something For EVERYONE!)


Holiday Gift Guide FOR HER 2018

For your mom, sister, MIL, wife, girlfriend, friend, and so on!

  1. Ugg Slippers ($129)
  2. Mini Lip Gloss Valut ($89)
  3. PJ Pants ($44) or PJ Set ($59)
  4. Silk Pillowcase ($85)
  5. Necklace ($48)
  6. Hair Wand ($60)
  7. Dyson Hair Dryer ($400)
  8. Shimmer and Shine Body Set ($59)
  9. Beanie ($24.95)
  10. Scarf ($29)
  11. Robe ($130)
  12. Hanging Earring Gift Set ($58) or Stud Earring Gift Set ($68)
  13. Ugg Boots ($120)
  14. Limited Edition Cleansing Balm ($89)
  15. Ugg Blanket ($98)

Bonus Favorites:

Click an image below to shop!


Holiday Gift Guide Stocking Stuffers 2018

For Coworkers, Teacher gifts, friend gifts, etc.

  1. Letter Mug ($10) or Plaid Letter Mug ($5)
  2. Lip Balm Set ($18 + 10% off with code LEXI)
  3. Stainless Steel Straws ($7.99)
  4. Hand Cream Trio ($30: great gift to break apart and have for 3 gifts)
  5. Diamond Pop Socket ($13)
  6. Nude Lip Gloss Trio ($49: great gift to break apart and have for 3 gifts)
  7. Monogram Travel Jewelry Case ($59)
  8. Agate Coasters ($14)
  9. Two Minute Gratitude Journal ($11.91)
  10. Candle ($36)
  11. Transforming Lip Duo ($30)
  12. Warm & Cozy Mug ($14.99)
  13. Touchscreen Gloves ($39)
  14. Cable Knit Beanie ($29)
  15. Bluetooth Speaker ($99)

Bonus Favorites under $30:

Click an image below to shop!


 

Holiday Gift Guide For HIM 2018For dad, FIL, husband, brother, boyfriend, friend, coworker, etc.

  1. Adidas UltraBOOST Sneakers ($200)
  2. Ugg Jogger Pants ($85)
  3. Counterman Travel Set ($45)
  4. Ugg Zip Hoodie ($95)
  5. Bose Ear Buds ($199)
  6. Charcoal Set ($49)
  7. Slippers ($39)
  8. Mizzen & Main Shirt ($145)
  9. Men’s Nail Set ($14.88)
  10. Mike’s Favorite Long Sleeve Tee ($59.50)
  11. Shinola Watch ($700)
  12. Apple AirPods ($144)
  13. Ted Baker Belt ($65)

Bonus Favorites:

Click an image below to shop!


Holiday Gift Guide For The Cook 2018

  1. Le Creuset Dutch Oven ($379)
  2. Vitamix (this link for a discount + FREE Shipping)
  3. All-Clad Roasting Pan ($129)
  4. Two Set Green Pan Ceramic Non-Stick Pan ($99)
  5. Instant Pot Pressure Cooker ($69) — Best deal so far is here!
  6. Thermoworks Thermapen (Our kitchen BFF) ($99)
  7. Citrus Juicer ($199)
  8. Hand Mixer ($99.99)
  9. Stand Mixer ($227)
  10. Le Creuset Skillet ($149.95)
  11. Air Fryer ($299)
  12. Pie Pans ($59.95)
  13. Slow Cooker ($139.99)
  14. Shun Knife Set ($249)
  15. Green Pan Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set ($399)

Bonus Favorites:

  1. The Inspiralizer ($34.95)
  2. Silicone Baking Mats ($8.38)
  3. Espresso Machine ($499)
  4. Salad Serving Set ($39)
  5. Recipe Cocktail Shaker ($39)

Click an image below to shop!


Holiday Gift Guide For The Traveler 2018

  1. Travel Body Wash Essentials Set ($35)
  2. Sony A6000 ($650) + 50mm Lens ($248)
  3. Portable Steamer ($30.99)
  4. Ugg Blanket and Eye Mask ($79)
  5. Reusable Mug and Water Bottle Combo ($24.99)
  6. Neck Pillow ($30)
  7. Lip Conditioner ($22)
  8. Passport and Luggage Tag ($25)
  9. Wireless Headphones ($149)
  10. Luggage Set ($223)
  11. Eye Masks ($5)
  12. Portable Charger ($48.79)
  13. Travel Jewelry Case ($104.50)
  14. Cozy Sweatshirt ($49)
  15. Slip On Sneakers ($39)

Click an image below to shop!


Want a few more guides?

For the TEEN:


For the FITNESS LOVER:


For the COOKBOOK COLLECTOR:


Other favorite places to shop for the holidays:

  1. *Beautycounter
  2. *Primally Pure – 10%-off with code LEXI
  3. *ButcherBox– FREE BACON FOR LIFE!
  4. 23andMe
  5. Abercrombie
  6. Nordstrom
  7. Amazon Cookbooks
  8. Anthropologie
  9. Madewell
  10. Crate and Barrel
  11. Amazon
  12. Bloomingdales
  13. J Crew
  14. Loft
  15. Kohl’s
  16. Ann Taylor
  17. Express
  18. Macy’s
  19. Old Navy
  20. Wayfair
  21. Francesca’s
  22. Urban Outfitters
  23. West Elm
  24. Dicks Sporting Goods
  25. Ulta
  26. Nordstrom Rack
  27. H&M
  28. Banana Republic
  29. Gap
  30. Bauble Bar

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Every item is something I truly love and think you will, too!

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce

This Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce is an easy update on the classic Thanksgiving staple! It is such a great combination with tart cranberries, along with sweet apples and just the right amount of citrus. It’s made right in the slow cooker which means hands-off cooking so you can focus on other aspects of your holiday meal! It contains no refined sugars and is bound to be a new family favorite!

Slow cooker cranberry sauce

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce

Forget the over sweetened canned cranberry sauce this year because it is SO EASY to make this Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce! You essentially throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker and walk away! It also is  refined sugar free relying on coconut sugar, honey and sweet apples to balance the tart cranberries and citrus.

This sauce is of course well known as a Thanksgiving staple, but I also love to put a spoonful right on top of of latkes or as a versatile spread for breakfast or leftovers!

Easy homemade cranberry sauce

How do you sweeten homemade cranberry sauce?

We used a combination of naturally sweet apples, orange juice, honey and coconut sugar!

How long does homemade cranberry sauce last?

Homemade cranberry sauce will last quite a while, so this makes it a great make-ahead part of your holiday feast! We’d recommend using it within 7-10 days after making for optimal freshness, but it could very well last longer. For Thanksgiving it might make sense to make the cranberry sauce a few days ahead of time! You can serve it cold or you can re-heat gently in a pot over low heat.

Cranberry sauce with orange juice

Like this Thanksgiving / Holiday recipe? Check out these others:

Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Sauce

Prep Time 00:00 Cook Time 04:00

Ingredients

Directions

  • 1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker
  • 2. Cook on high for 4 hours
  • 3. At 3 hours, use a potato masher and mash mixture (leave some chunks)
  • 4. Cook for the remaining hour with lid ajar

Recipe Notes

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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Easy Gluten Free Cornbread

This Easy Gluten Free Cornbread is the perfect side dish or a great stand alone treat! It’s sweet, moist and tender and super simple to put together! It would be equally amazing served at a holiday feast, with a bowl of chili, or brought along to a picnic or BBQ in warmer months. This cornbread is, of course, gluten-free and also with some easy swaps can be made dairy-free as well!

Gluten free cornbread recipe without flour

Easy Gluten Free Cornbread

It’s finally here! I know you all have been asking about an Easy Gluten Free Cornbread recipe for some time now, and we’re so excited to finally share it with you. This recipe was in development for a while, testing it more than 10 times to get it JUST perfect for you. We are so happy with the final result, and know you will love it as well.

It’s so easy to put together! Simply add the dry ingredients to one bowl and the wet to another and whisk together and then pour into a cast iron skillet or baking dish and 18 minutes later it’s done! Traditionally cornbread contains both cornmeal and wheat flour. We went with a combination of cornmeal (or cornflour) and tapioca flour to keep it nice and tender! And this recipe is developed in New England, so our cornbread is sweet!

Gluten-free cornbread

As we said, we tested this recipe extensively! We ended up deciding on a recipe that resulted in a sweet cornbread that had a moist center, but limited the amount of butter (fat) that was added. If you are looking for a more cake-like cornbread you can increase the fat (and with that, the moisture level) and use 1/2 cup melted butter in place of the 1/4 cup. As always, we tolerate grass-fed butter in my household, but if you don’t you can swap out the butter for a dairy-free butter alternative or palm shortening, but it will affect the flavor slightly. Other than the butter the recipe is dairy-free.

Gluten free dairy free cornbread

We devoured this cornbread right from the skillet, but there are many recipes and many seasons that you can serve this cornbread with!

It would be a great side to serve for a holiday dinner, like Thanksgiving (hello, CORNBREAD STUFFING)! Or it would be great served along side Turkey Chili, White Chicken Chili, Buffalo Chicken Chili, Easy Black Bean Soup or Taco Soup.

This wouldn’t be out of place either served on the table with our Ultimate Southern Dinner or brought along to a picnic or BBQ with Chipotle Slaw, S’mores Pie, and Greek Three Bean Salad.

Gluten free cornbread muffins

If you like this side dish recipe, check out these others:

Easy Gluten Free Cornbread

Prep Time 8 minutes Cook Time 18 minutes Yields 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (238 grams) stone-ground cornmeal or cornflour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup butter plus 1 tablespoons, divided (see note for alternative)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.
  3. Grease a medium-sized cast-iron skillet with one tablespoon butter and set aside. (see note)
  4. In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, maple syrup, almond milk and cooled butter until fully combined.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and whisk until fully incorporated.
  7. Pour batter into skillet and bake for 18 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool slightly before serving, slice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  1. For dairy-free you can use a dairy-free butter alternative or use palm shortening, but it will affect the flavor.
  2. Alternatively you can place skillet with butter inside of oven to get the skillet hot and take skillet out of the oven, brush butter along sides and pour in batter. This will ensure extra crunchy and brown sides.
  3. This can also be baked as muffins. Grease muffin tins with butter and bake at 400 degrees for around 12-15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This will yield about 18 muffins.
  4. If you are looking for a more cake like cornbread, use 1/2 cup melted butter in place of the 1/4 cup. 
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!