Self-Care for Seasonal Affective Disorder

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As we move closer and closer to the winter months, unfortunately this means that those who are prone to SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, might begin to experience symptoms like low mood, sleep problems, changes in appetite, and increased fatigue, among other symptoms. If you’re someone who is prone to developing seasonal depression, or a more mild case of the winter blues, practicing self-care habits that are targeted towards SAD can help to make this season more manageable.

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Have a Cup of Warm Tea

Though it's always soothing to sip on a warm mug of tea, this self-care suggestion goes beyond that. Herbal tea is hydrating, and is often an easy way to increase your water intake in the winter, when you may not want to reach for cold drinks.

Practice Yoga

Excercise is known to be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, however, increased fatigue and a lack of motivation can make if difficult (or seemingly impossible) to be active. Yoga is a gentle practice that can help you to get your body moving without taking too much out of you.

Try Supplements

Certain nutritional deficiencies can contribute to SAD, so making taking any necessary supplements a part of your daily self-care can help you to manage symptoms. Vitamin D supplementation in particular has been shown to be helpful. Consider asking your doctor to check your vitamin D levels to see if supplementation may be helpful for you.

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Go to Bed Early

When you think about the natural daylight cycles in autumn and winter, it’s only natural that we’re tired earlier as there’s less daylight. It’s alright to give into this season of hibernation and accept that you might need an earlier bedtime in the winter than you might in the summer.

Try Journaling

Journaling is shown to be helpful for depression in helping you to track your mood, becoming more in-tune with yourself, and help you get out any negative thoughts that you may have swirling around in your head. A gratitude journal can be especially helpful, where you try to focus on a couple of things that you are thankful for each day.

Get Out of the House

When you’re experiencing difficulties associated with depression, it can be very easy to fall into wanting to stay inside and avoiding being social. Making a point to meet up with a friend or checking out a local coffee house or book store can be a wonderful act of self-care.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

There might not seem like as many opportunities to see natural daylight as other times of the year, but it’s still out there! Even just opening your blinds on a day where the sun is shining can be helpful.

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Aromatherapy

Certain essential oils can help with stimulation, meaning that incorporating aromatherapy into your self-care routine can be helpful in dealing with some of the symptoms of seasonal depression. Basil, bergamot, and citrus oils like grapefruit are all known to be uplifting. If you struggle more with winding down, lavender, rose, and frankinscense essential oils can be soothing. Try diffusing these oils, or use bath and body products that feature these scents.

Put Down Digital Devices

While there’s nothing wrong with a good Netflix binge, if it’s making you feel worse rather than relaxed and rested, it might be time to step aside from the screen for a bit. It’s very easy to rely on our digital devices more and more when the weather isn’t as nice, so be sure to check in with how you’re responding mentally to your increased screen time, and consider turning to other activities if necessary.

Ask Your Doctor for Help

Like other mental health issues, asking a professional for help is often necessary, and its okay. Scheduling appointments with your doctor and following through with their care instructions is an important part of your self-care, too.

19 New Inspirational Books to Pick Up

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We could all use a little extra boost of inspiration now and again! These books are some of our top picks for when you need a little extra boost, time to reflect, or inspirational words as a practice of self-care.

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The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying

Written by Nina Riggs, a woman who was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, this memoir focuses on living a meaningful, positive life, even if you have limited time, and is a moving book that about the power of living your best life.

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How to Get Sh*t Done

A productivity book written just for women, this book focuses on helping you to choose the three areas in your life that mean the most to you and focusing on them, while unloading all the rest to help you feel like you’re living your best life.

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Girl, Wash Your Face

Girl, Wash Your Face is an essential book for beating all the limiting, untrue thoughts that you tell yourself with a welcome dose of honesty and humour.

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Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Though all of Brene Brown’s books are very inspiration, Dare to Lead focuses on developing leadership and the courage to stay curious about new ideas, share our power with others, and be vulnerable so we can do better.

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You

Written by the creator of Hamilton, Gmorning, Gnight!, is a book filled with affirmations to start and end your day with, complete with accompanying illustrations.

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The Art of Talking to Yourself: Self-Awareness Meets the Inner Conversation

A different twist on the classic self-help book, this book’s message is to look within yourself, focusing on understanding yourself better and following your truth.

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She Felt Like Feeling Nothing

Written by one of our favourite poets, r.h. Sin, this book of poetry is designed to be a safe place for women to let go and reflect on themselves.

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Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

Focused on making time for what matters rather than becoming more productive, Make Time is full of little shifts that you can incorporate into your life without completely overhauling everything, making it a practical guide to feeling like you have more hours in your day.

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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

In a collection of several honest, comforting essays, Shauna Niequist shares her journey of moving away from focusing on perfection and, instead, being present in all of life’s incredibly messy experiences.

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Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

This powerful book focuses on finding little pieces of hope and little bits of light, to help you focus on feeling more moments of joy in your life.

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The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

The Year of Less documents Cait Flander’s year of purchasing nothing but consumables, which may inspire you to practice your own ideas of decluttering, making use of what you have, and breaking the cycle of buying things that don’t bring you joy.

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Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness

Using research from both neuroscience and psychology, Ingrid Fetell Lee talks about the impact that our environment has on our mood and emotions, teaching you how to use this to boost your happiness and reduce stress.

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The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self-Care

Created by two editors of mindbodygreen, The Spirit Almanac is the essential guide to self-care. The books features suggestions from a variety of experts, including reiki healers and psychologists, to introduce you to forms of self-care that will work for you.

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Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World

Neil Gaiman’s book focuses on the importance of art, imagination, and creativity, in this book filled with inspiration about the impact of multiple mediums of art.

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This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today

From the star of This is Us, This is Me is a vulnerable and honest look into Chrissy Metz’s journey, and is both relateable and inspiring.

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Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World

If you constantly feel like life is moving too fast, this book provides a welcome reprieve. With sections on decluttering and mindfulness, this book provides a great look into simple living.

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Radically Happy: A User's Guide to the Mind

Written by two meditation teachers, this book is all about incorporating meditation into your daily life, and is especially great for people with busy careers.

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Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization

From the author of the guided journal Start Where You Are, Made Out of Stars is yet another gorgeous guided journal packed with beautiful illustrations. This edition focuses on helping you to explore what makes you truly special.

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How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety

Written by Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, How to Be Yourself is a book designed for anyone who second guesses themselves in social situations. The book is filled with tips to help your feel more confident in being yourself.






















14 Hygge Self-Care Ideas for Fall

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Autumn is the perfect time to embrace all the coziness that hygge brings. Here are fourteen hygge-approved ideas for self-care to practice this autumn season.

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Apple Picking

Along with getting some fresh air, apple picking is a fun way to spend an autumn weekend, and leaves you with plenty of fresh apples for snacking or baking.

Bonfire

Although you might think of bonfires more for during the summer months, it’s awesome to get bundled up and cozy by a fire outside during the fall, too. Bonus points if you have some hot chocolate or hot apple cider to sip on.

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Pumpkin Farm

Whether your visit is related to Halloween or not, visiting a pumpkin farm is another great autumn time activity, whether you’re picking out decor, checking out a local farmer’s market, or getting lost in a corn maze.

Cozy Loungewear

The cooler weather is the best time for bringing out your comfiest pj’s and loungewear. Opt for what makes you feel the most comfortable.

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Stay in Bed

You know those days when your bed is just everything? It’s okay to embrace it, and spend the day sleeping in and watching Netflix.

Cook Soup

Is there anything as cozy as a warm, nourishing bowl of soup? Embrace hygge this autumn by pulling out your favourite soup and chili recipes.

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Knit or Crochet

Creating is one of our favourite forms of self-care, and something about knitting and crocheting just says hygge.

Baking

Not only do you get to enjoy the process of baking and the yummy smells it gives off, but you also get to reap the rewards of your efforts: win-win!

Cozy Blankets and Pillows

Nests of blankets and pillows are perfect for hygge! Why not pull out all the blankets and pillows that make you feel cozy?

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Walk Through Autumn Leaves

An autumn walk is awesome for mindfulness, and we love crunching through all the autumn leaves. Be sure to bundle up!

Refresh Your Skincare Routine

As the weather cools, your skin needs change. Autumn is the perfect time to switch over to more nourishing, moisturizing products to help your skin feel its best.

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Drink an Autumn Drink

Whether you’re into chai tea, pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, or hot chocolate, we’ve got you covered! Grab your favourite from your local coffee house, or whip something up yourself.

Go for a Drive

As the leaves change, there’s plenty of gorgeous autumn scenery to enjoy on a drive. Listen to our Cozy Autumn Playlist for Relaxation while you do.

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Decorate Your Front Porch

Decorating your home for the seasons is a wonderful act of self-care, and your front porch is a great place to start - plus gives you something fun to come home to!

















DIY Spa Recipes for Autumn

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Need a spa day? These D..I.Y. bath and body recipes are made with many common items you likely already have in your kitchen, and are inspired by fall flavours and scents, to leave you feeling cozy and pampered.

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DIY Cinnamon Lip Scrub // Food Fun Family

This spicy lip scrub is perfect for keeping dry lips soft during the cooler weather. The cinnamon also acts to help plump your lips - bonus!

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Pumpkin Spice Brown Sugar Scrub // Somewhat Simple

This sugar scrub smells just like pumpkin pie, and is perfect for exfoliating dry patches on your feet, knees, and hands.

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Sweet Caramel Pumpkin Hand Scrub // Life N Reflection

This yummy scrub is perfect for fall! Kristy recommends keeping it by your kitchen sink to treat your hands after doing dishes.

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Pumpkin Seed Rosewater Face Mask // Catching Seeds

This gentle mask is made with clay and pumpkin seeds, so it’s equal parts detoxifying and hydrating.

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Pumpkin Honey Brightening Face Mask // Gimme Some Oven

With only 3 ingredients, this pumpkin face mask is super easy to whip up, and works naturally to brighten your complexion.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Lip Scrub // Ex Sloth

Wake yourself up with this lip scrub inspired by the quintessential autumn drink: the pumpkin spice latte.

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Pumpkin Spice Face Wash // Busy Being Jennifer

Olive oil moisturizes while pumpkin spices gently exfoliates in this autumn-inspired face wash.

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Cinnamon and Clove Lotion Bars // Growing Up Gabel

These solid homemade lotion bars require only a few ingredients and are perfect for moisturizing and protecting dry skin.

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Vanilla Pumpkin Sugar Scrub // Simply Stacie

This soothing scrub smells like pumpkin spices and vanilla, and lasts up to a month in the fridge!

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DIY Vanilla Chai Lotion Bars // Makeup Dummy

Turn a vanilla chai latte into moisturizer with these DIY lotion bars.

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Soap // Living Well Mom

Make your own moisturizing soap with pumpkin and fall spices.

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DIY Chai Sugar Scrub // Gimme Some Oven

This sugar scrub smells just like chai tea, and leaves your skin silky soft.

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Vanilla Chai Shea Butter Soap // Sarah J Hauser

Made with a combination of moisturizing oils like coconut and jojoba, this soap features the perfect blend of chai spices and vanilla.

Gratitude Playlist

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With songs that focus on showing gratitude for both yourself and others, this playlist is designed to help you release into feelings of thankfulness and appreciation.

Up & Up - Coldplay

Kind & Generous - Natalie Merchant



Piece By Piece - Kelly Clarkson

The Lucky Ones - David Cook

She Treats Me Well - Ben Howard

Float On - Ben Lee

Hello My Old Heart - The Oh Hellos

Cannonball - Lea Michele

Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper


This Woman’s Work - Kate Bush

Shelter From the Storm - Bob Dylan

Home- Phillip Phillips

Orange Sky - Alex Murdoch

Thankful For - Adam Sanders

Home - JOHNNYSWIM

93 Million Miles - Jason Mraz


I Wish I Would Knew How it Felt to be Free - Nina Simone

I’ll Be Your Mirror - Velvet Underground with Nico

Be Here Now - Ray LaMontagne

The Lime Tree - Trevor Hall

Tomorrow’s Charms - Tom Francis

Not For Nothing - Mutual Benefit

Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion - Oliver Tank

Into You - The Cinematic Orchestra

The Days That Are to Come - John Vincent III

Only Want You - Brett Dennen

Shine - Birdy

Imagine - Jack Johnson

If You’re Out There - John Legend

From Gold - Novo Amor

Bluegrass - Matt Phillips

Carry You Home - Jamie Scott

Birdsong - George Ogilvie

Simple Things - Amos Lee

Warm Coffee (The Market Song) - Ziggy Alberts

Slow Down - Scott Orr

Blossom- Noah Gunderson

After The Storm - Mumford and Sons

Timshel - Kina Grannis

Courage - Villagers

Duet- Rachael Yamagata

Monday- Matt Corby

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Cozy Warm Drinks for Autumn

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Warm up and take a moment for yourself with one of these cozy and yummy warm drinks this autumn season.

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Blackberry Hot Chocolate // Little Sugar Snaps

This tasty hot chocolate is filled with deep flavours, pairing dark chocolate with blackberries for perfectly sweet drink.

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Spiced Apple Cider // In Search of Yummyness

Cider is a go-to autumn drink, and this spiced apple cider is no exception! With cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and orange, it’s both sweet and spicy.

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Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate // The Happier Homemaker

Indulge your sweet tooth with this PB hot chocolate, which combines peanut butter with chocolate - yum! Top with whipped cream and peanut butter chips for extra fun.

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Crockpot Chai Spice White Hot Chocolate // Whole and Heavenly Oven

Because it’s made in a crockpot, this autumn white hot chocolate is super easy to make - and leaves your house smelling like yummy chai spices!

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Beetroot Latte // Aline Made

This beetroot latte is creamy and comforting - but its also nutritious! Made with cashew milk and cooked beetroot, the dash of cinnamon and vanilla make it perfect for fall.

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Golden Turmeric Elixir // In It 4 The Long Run

Because its made with coconut oil, this elixir is super creamy, helps to boost energy without caffeine, and helps to fight inflammation thanks to the turmeric.

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Cinnamon Maple Latte // Pumpkin ‘n’ Spice

Sweetened with maple syrup and with dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, this Cinnamon Maple Latte is the perfect way to upgrade your morning coffee for fall.

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Hot Apple Pear Cider // The Seaside Baker

Warm up with this cider which pairs apples and pears, alongside cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon - yum!

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Chamomile and Cardamon Tea // Sarah Bell Nutrition

This calming latte is perfect for cooler mornings and evenings. Chamomile and cardamon are light, cozy ingredients, making this latte perfect for when you want to calm down.

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Autumn Spiced Apple Tea // Mostly Homemade Mom

This tea was made just with fall in mind! With apple, cinnamon, cloves, and tea, it’s everything you love about autumn in a mug.

Best Essential Oils for Fall

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Cinnamon Bark

Cinnamon is often a go-to scent for autumn, but it’s got some pretty cool benefits, too. Naturally anti-bacterial, cinnamon is also great for promoting circulation to help with pain and inflammation, stimulates the immune system, plus its scent is naturally energizing and grounding.

Try it: Detoxify with Ecodema’s Cinnamon & Chai Body Scrub

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is great for promoting circulation, and is also helpful for relieving pain, swelling, and inflammation. It’s also awesome for promoting sleep and a sense of calm.

Clove

With natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, clove essential oil is great for boosting your immune system. It’s also helpful for pain, and is packed with antioxidants.

Try it: Unwind with Is It Bath Time Yet’s Orange and Clove Bath Bomb

Cedarwood

With a woodsy, natural scent, cedarwood essential oil will help to bring the outdoors in, and is naturally grounding. It’s also great for helping to balance oil skin.

Allspice

Smelling like a mixture of clove, cinnamon, and cardamom, allspice is perfect for fall. Allspice essential oil is great for helping to relieve pain, and is a natural way to relax.

Black Pepper

Though black pepper might not be the first essential oil you think of, it’s got some pretty great benefits. It’s warming and naturally anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory, meaning that it’s great for muscle aches and pains as well as arthritis. It can also be helpful to improve digestion and increase circulation.

Fennel

With a scent similar to black licorice, fennel is an essential oil that is well known as a digestive aid. It can help to relax the muscles in the gut, plus its also an antimicrobial agent.

Ginger

Another spicy, warming oil, ginger essential oil is another great one for digestion. Ginger is also great for helping with inflammation, and is said to help encourage feelings of ease and confidence.

Myrrh

With a smoky, sweet smell, myrrh is naturally antibacterial and is great for soothing skin as well as promoting relaxation.

Try it: Relax with Frequency’s Ancient Secrets Aromatherapy Roll-On

Sandalwood

Warm and spicy, sandalwood is the perfect oil for cooler weather! It can help ease restlessness and insomnia, and can also be helpful with headaches and colds.

Vanilla

A comfy, cozy scent, vanilla essential oil is one we love for Fall. It helps to naturally boost mood, and had a mildly sedative effect to help relax your body and mind.

Try it: Boost your mood with Red Lemon’s Vanilla-Mocha Whipped Sugar Scrub

Frankincense

Another comforting spicy scent, frankincense is calming but is also great for helping with cough and cold symptoms.

Orange

If you’re feeling a little dreary, orange is a wonderfully uplifting essential oil. Plus, it’s also helpful for dry skin.

Try it: Soothe your lips and boost your mood with Lo and Behold Natural’s Ginger Blood Orange Lip Balm

Delicious Autoimmune Paleo Ice Cream Recipes

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Just because you're following the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet, doesn't mean you can't have a delicious cool treat!  We've put together some of our favourite AIP-friendly ice cream recipes, all dairy-free.

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Strawberry Basil Balsamic Ice Cream // A Clean Plate

This unique, artisan inspired ice cream flavour combines strawberries with basil and balsamic for an ice cream that is delicious and not overly sweet.

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Strawberry Ice Cream // Rally Pure

Classic strawberry ice cream is made autoimmune paleo compliant and vegan as its made with coconut milk and sweetened naturally with maple syrup.

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No Churn Mango Turmeric Ice Cream // Unbound Wellness

No ice cream maker? No problem!  This mango ice cream is made without an ice cream maker, and is laced with anti-inflammatory turmeric for a cool treat.

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Mint "Chocolate" Chip Ice Cream // Rally Pure

Made with avocado or spinach for that added green flavour (and bonus nutrients), this ice cream recipe also includes instructions for carob chips for that AIP-friendly chocolate flavour.

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Chai Coconut Ice Cream // Nourished Kitchen

Vanilla and spices combine to make this ice cream that is like a comforting cup of chai - only in frozen form.

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Double Berry Coconut Ice Cream // Pure & Simple Nourishment

Take advantage of summer's fresh berries with this coconut ice cream, featuring blueberries and blackberries.

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream // AIP Lifestyle

This super creamy ice cream is made with coconut milk and coconut manna, with a yummy salted caramel flavour.

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Black Plum Ice Cream // A Clean Plate

If you've got a plum tree or find a great deal on plums, you can't miss out on this ice cream!