The College Guide: How to stay healthy, grounded, and make the most out of your fours years


Upon graduating from college in May, I spent many hours reflecting on my four years at Elon University. Aside from being blown away by how fast it all went, I was overcome with gratitude for how incredible my college experience had been. I can honestly look back and say, "Good work Sky, you did it right." Of course there were challenges along the way, but I truly feel that I made every moment count. Including the sometimes hard-learned lessons. 

I will never forget the words given to my class at freshman convocation by our university president, Leo M. Lambert. He stressed the importance of diving in and taking advantage of all that Elon has to offer. He told us:

“YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT A GIANT FEAST. DON’T MAKE YOURSELF A BOLOGNA SANDWICH.”

The entire crowd laughed. I often think back to that moment and that message. Well, I really took this advice to heart and I feasted my freaking face off.

If you are getting ready to go to college, or if you are currently attending college, I urge you to do the same. 

However, my ability to be involved in so much throughout my four years was directly related to the time and energy I spent on taking care of myself. When I put my health first, everything else fell into place. When I did not take care of myself, now that is where I ran into trouble. 

Although there were a few bumps in the road, for the most part, I stayed incredibly healthy in college and connected to my mind, body and soul. I created tactics for staying healthy and grounded and now I want to share what I have learned. 

I wrote The College Guide to both you, and to my 18-year-old self. So I found it only appropriate that I open the book with a letter to her: 

Dear 18-year-old Sky,
I am inspired by your wide-eyed excitement and curiosity for what will become the best four years of your life, up until this point. I am going to be honest and tell you right now, it will not be easy. College is a whirlwind in so many ways and not all of it will be flowers and rainbows. You will be tested and tried and you may even lose yourself for a short period of time. You will have some of the worst and best moments of your life thus far, but it is all beautiful.
Embrace this chapter with open and loving arms, for all that it’s worth, because what you will gain will change you forever. You are entering college as an effervescent, eager, passionate, and often naive teenage girl. You will emerge as a strong, independent, (still effervescent), and more passionate than ever, young woman.
Remember what your mom has told you since day one: “stay true to yourself and you will never go wrong.” You might not always feel like yourself during these four years, but I promise that is okay. When you do find yourself again, you’ll feel more like you than you ever have. This will lead you further to your true purpose.
This book contains all of the important lessons you will learn during the next four years. Some of it is practical and actionable, like how to take care of your mind and body. Some of it is personal and emotional, like how to take care of your soul.
No matter what happens, I want you to trust. Trust yourself and trust the journey. It is all part of your unique path and the story of your life.
There will be hard work, learning, partying, trying new things, travel, friendship, love, heartbreak, and a shit load of fun.
Get excited!
Love, 22-year-old Sky

The College Guide can now be purchased here! I hope it helps you and I hope that you'll share it with anyone in college who may find it helpful. As always, I would love to hear your feedback. Please leave comments or email me! 

Vibes, 

Sky 

Self-Care For The Holidays


Feeling stressed out this Holiday season? STOP. Breathe... and give yourself some L-O-V-E with these easy and delicious self-care tips. 

We all know the holidays can be a stressful time. However, "the most wonderful time of the year" should be filled with peace, joy and indulgence. That's why it's important to take care of yourself during this season to relieve stress and anxiety. 

SELF-CARE TIP #1: Self-Massage 

Grab some peppermint oil and give yourself a delicious self-massage! Roll out all of those knots in your shoulders and neck and soothe your mind with some gentle temple massage. 

SELF-CARE TIP #2: Gratitude

Write down 10 things you are grateful for. No matter what stress you encounter, or challenges you face, the holidays are a time for gratitude. By focusing on all that you have to be grateful for, you will automatically be put in a state of peace and joy. You can't be stressed and grateful at the same time! This quick practice will only take you two minutes but will have incredible results. 

SELF-CARE TIP #3: DIY beauty 

Take five minutes to make an easy, all-natural beauty product that you can use to exfoliate dry, cracked lips that often haunt us during colder weather. It will also get your lips ready for all that mistletoe ;)

DIY cranberry sugar lip scrub

In a mason jar or small bowl, mix together the following ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cup sugar
  • splash of unsweetened 100% cranberry juice 

Rub together a small amount on your lips and wipe away with a tissue. You can also lick it away! It tastes great. This lip scrub can also be used on your body as an exfoliator to tighten and brighten your skin that often suffers during the winter. 

Remember to take good care of yourself during the holidays so that you can share your best self with others. Peace, love and joy to you and yours! 

Your Life Is the Perfect Movie


Eckhart Tolle quote

You know the feeling you get when you experience something so beautiful it feels like you're in a movie? Perhaps a moment in nature or a moment of romance. 

You know the feeling you get when someone pisses you off? It may not seem like it, but such a moment of aggravation is just as "movie-like" as the moment of beauty.

We often say, "It's just like the movies!" The truth is that the movies are like this. 

It is easy to get so caught up in the drama that is our life, without even thinking about certain recurring patterns that we may need to pay a bit more attention to. That's where it gets fun. 

The subconscious is highly intelligent. It has a very specific memory pattern that has been building upon itself since before you were even born, a little embryo inside your mother's womb.

Every moment, every encounter, every interaction, it remembers and records. Although we don't consciously "remember" our childhood, you better believe that our subconscious does.

That's why the subconscious is the perfect movie director. 

The subconscious is a casting director, holding auditions for parts in the movie that is our life. And it will find the perfect person, to play the perfect "part," in the perfect situation all in the hope that we may begin to awaken to its message.

Every situation in our lives that triggers a negative reaction is providing us with an opportunity to bring awareness to something we may be holding onto in our subconscious mind or body. 

I first became aware of this reality during my yoga training. It's something we dove into and worked on. It wasn't until about a week ago when I stumbled across the thought, jotted down in my notebook, that I realized how much cultivating this awareness has shifted my perspective.  

Now, when I am triggered by anything, I look inwards. I try and take a step back and watch the situation like I'd watch a movie. Since doing this, I noticed I am "triggered" a whole lot less.

It's not about trying to analyze every situation and "figure it all out." It's simply about developing an active awareness so we can continue to identify recurring patterns and themes, and perhaps look at those a bit more closely. 

Eventually, the subconscious will be made conscious and that's where true healing will occur. Start with being mindful of your triggers and reactions. 

Your life is the perfect movie. When you start to recognize that, life becomes a whole lot more fun, less stressful, and you take back the ability to control your reality.

Raw Vegan Twix Bars


raw vegan gluten-free coconut twix bar

Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for these AMAZING things, but HOLY MOLY they are on a different level. Huge shout out to This Rawsome Vegan Life for sharing the magic. I absolutely love how simple and easy the recipe with made with all PURE ingredients. No gluten, animal products or refined sugar allowed! 

Find the original recipe here!

To be original, I did add my own twist to the dessert by adding a layer of sliced banana in between the decadent layers. Now this really blew it out of the water. I highly recommend trying a few like this.

coconut twix bars with banana

Chopped kale salad with lime ginger tahini and coconut chili cashews


creamy cashew kale salad

This salad recipe was inspired by Amelia Liana, I just added my own twist to it :) It is absolutely amazing --especially the tahini dressing. It is also super filling and satisfying and has a multitude of essential nutrients packed into one meal.

Salad Base

  • 3 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot

Toasted Coconut Chili Cashews 

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews 
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil 
  • 1/1 tsp. chili powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice 
  • pinch sea salt 

Let coconut oil melt in pan. Add in lime juice. Stir in cashews and spices and continue to mix on low heat until golden brown/toasted. 

Lime Ginger Tahini Dressing 

  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. tahini 
  • 2 tsp. organic/wheat free soy sauce 
  • 1 clove crushed garlic 

Mix together. Massage dressing onto kale salad base. Top with cashews. 

 

Strawberry Matcha Smoothie Bowl


 Summertime has meant smoothie bowls errr dayyy. They are so easy, yummy, filling and refreshing on a summer morning. This one is an all-star day starter. 

Summertime has meant smoothie bowls errr dayyy. They are so easy, yummy, filling and refreshing on a summer morning. This one is an all-star day starter. 

  • Handful frozen strawberries 
  • Handful frozen mango 
  • 1 frozen banana 
  • Handful raw spinach 
  • 1/2 avocado 
  • 1 tsp. pure matcha powder 
  • 1 tbsp. pure moringa powder 
  • Splash of almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice 

Pulse all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Top with whatever you want! Here's what's on this one: 

  • Sliced peaches 
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries 
  • Sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • Scoop of raw almond butter 
  • Raw almond slivers (for crunchiness purposes) 
  • Sprinkle of coconut flax granola 

Morning Glory: Curry Tofu Scramble + Super Green Juice


curry tofu scramble

Curry Tofu Scramble 

Such a yummy breakfast! I didn't measure anything. It's easy to guestimate the amount you'll need for each ingredient, so feel free to wing it and add your own twist. 

  • Organic, non-GMO tofu 
  • Cooked freekeh (an ancient grain green wheat that has more protein and twice as much fiber as quinoa and lower on the glycemic index)
  • Cooked black beans (using canned is easiest)
  • Steamed sweet potato 
  • Baby spinach 
  • Chopped Tomatoes 
  • Chopped yellow onion 
  • Chopped yellow and orange peppers
  • Coconut oil 
  • Curry
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper (just a tad) 
  • Sea salt 
  • Dash of worcestershire sauce (optional) 

Melt coconut oil in pan over the stove. Scramble all ingredients over low heat until veggies are sauteéd and soft. Use your taste for how much spice you want! Just keep adding until you get enough flavor. 

Super Green Juice 

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 bundle of kale
  • 1 peeled lemon 
  • 1 peeled lime
  • 2 baby apples
  • 1 thumb of ginger (I like extra spicy so I used more like a fist, haha)
  • 1 stalk of celery 

Super Green Smoothie Bowl


 Using frozen fruits in your blender and just the right amount of liquid is key for creating that thick, ice-cream quality consistency. 

Using frozen fruits in your blender and just the right amount of liquid is key for creating that thick, ice-cream quality consistency. 

Smoothie bowls are filling and satisfying and also really fun to make. There are endless combinations and possibilities so get creative with yours :) 

The smoothie

  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach 
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Handful of frozen strawberries 
  • Handful of frozen peaches 
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger root (peeled) 
  • Splash of almond milk
    • Use just enough so that it will blend together but stay nice and thick for that ice cream-like consistency
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder. I use Raw Fit vegan protein powder from Garden of Life
  • 1 heaping tbsp. of moringa superfood powder 

The toppings

  • 1 sliced kiwi 
  • Handful of fresh raspberries 
  • Sprinkle of sliced almonds
  • 3 raw cashews (halved)
  •  Sprinkle of chia seeds 

You can really put anything you want on your smoothie bowl. Get creative and have fun with it :) 

"I Can't Believe It's Vegan" Pizza and Kava Milkshakes


Pizza | Milkshakes | Vegan.JPG

When you really want to indulge, this meal will send you to heaven and back. Perfect for a Friday movie night when you feel like just chilling and eating some dope food. Being vegan does NOT mean giving up your favorite treats and indulgences :) 

Pizza 

IMG_9835.JPG
  • Any vegan pre-made pizza crust (thick, thin, gluten-free, multigrain, pick whatever you want!)
  • Olive oil (brush the crust before putting on any toppings)  
  • Your favorite pizza sauce (I used Field Day Organic Pizza Sauce )
  • Daiya mozzarella style cheese shreds (BOMB when melted) 
  • Your favorite toppings! Get creative with it :) Here's the two I made:

Pizza One: Tomato Basil 

 Toppings: sliced red tomato, sun dried tomato, basil 

Toppings: sliced red tomato, sun dried tomato, basil 

Pizza Two: Sautéed Veggie 

 Caramelized onion, red and yellow pepper, fresh spinach 

Caramelized onion, red and yellow pepper, fresh spinach 

Kava Milkshakes 

kava milkshakes and vegan pizza

First of all... what's kava? 

Kava is a root found in the South Pacific Islands that has been used by Islanders for centuries as a natural medicine and healing remedy. It can be consumed as a tea or in powder form. Kava has an all-natural calming effect that decreases anxiety and stress. It also promotes deep sleep. However, it should not be consumed in large quantities or it could cause nausea. It has also been linked to liver problems when consumed long term and in large amounts, so only use as much as directed! For the smoothies, I used kava in powder form. It does have a miraculous calming effect and does not interfere with mental sharpness.  

kava chocolate milkshakes
  • Bananas (frozen is best) 
  • Coconut bliss dark chocolate flavored ice cream 
  • Your favorite non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk) 
  • Raw Cacao powder 
  • Carob powder 
  • Kava powder 

Mint Chocolate Green Monster Smoothie (no sugar!!!)


Obsessed with this smoothie! It tastes like a mint chocolate milk shake but is insanely healthy, chockfull of superfoods to give you a natural energy boost. 

green monster chocolate mint smoothie
  • 1 ripe avocado 
  • 1 bunch kale 
  • 1/4 head broccoli (plus the stalk) 
  • 1 stem fresh mint leaves 
  • 2 tsp. peppermint extract 
  • 1 1/2 tbps. raw cacao powder 
  • coconut water (as much needed to blend smooth) 
  • 2 handfulls of ice 
  • 1 heaping tbsp. moringa superfood powder (optional)
  • 1 scoop of Raw Fit vegan protein powder (optional - or your favorite protein powder!)
 I LOVE  Raw Fit Protein vegan powder  and add it to most of my smoothies. 

I LOVE Raw Fit Protein vegan powder and add it to most of my smoothies. 

Sweet Potato Pancakes


 Gluten free and vegan. Perfect for Sunday morning breakfast!

Gluten free and vegan. Perfect for Sunday morning breakfast!

  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato 
  • 2 chia seed "eggs" (2 tbsp. ground chia seeds + 6 tbsp. water) 
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil 

Whisk together all ingredients in large mixing bowl and pour rounds onto greased (with coconut oil) skillet or pan. Cook until browned edges (should be pretty soft and gooey). Top with ground cinnamon and ginger and your favorite maple syrup. 

Thanks to my friend Belinda Macri, owner of Clearwater Retreat for this bomb recipe. 

Go-to Sunday dinner: Kale pesto and roasted potatoes


kale pesto and potatoes

This is one of my all-time favorite meals. I love making pesto because there are so many different variations to try. This one is made with kale and nutritional yeast and it's banging. I am vegan, so everything you'll find on the Sky Life blog is vegan! 

Kale Pesto

  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts 
  • 3 gloves of fresh garlic 
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced (I put mine through a juicer) 
  • 1 bunch of curly kale 
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 

Combine everything in food processor or blender and pulse until blended smooth. I use a Ninja blender and it rocks! Pour over your favorite pasta or veggie noodles. I used Ezekiel sprouted grain penne for this meal, which I love because it's so filling and hearty. Sprouted grain is also a great source of protein for vegans because it is a complete protein

Roasted Potatoes 

  • 1 bag of small red potatoes 
  • olive oil 
  • sea salt and pepper 
  • Herbamare seasoning (optional, but I put this stuff on everything!) 
roasted potatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and cut up potatoes into fourths. Place in baking tray and coat with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and seasoning of your choice. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Periodically, remove from oven and tossed around in the pan. 

 This is my friend Lilly. We had a lovely dinner out on the porch. My friends know when they come over for dinner they are subject to a photo :) 

This is my friend Lilly. We had a lovely dinner out on the porch. My friends know when they come over for dinner they are subject to a photo :)