My Super-Simple All-Natural Skincare & Beauty Routine


A lot of readers ask me for all the deets on all the things I put on my face. If you’ve been around these parts before, you’ll know this is because I suffered from some serious melasma my early 30s. During this time, I spent a small fortune on dermo appointments and skincare products, wasted countless hours orchestrating.

I’ve dubbed this mask the “blackhead busting blackout” mask since 1) its ingredients clarify the skin by pulling dirt from pores and thereby helping to eliminate blackheads, and 2) it’s as black as the night sky.

Or should I just say that it’s as black as charcoal (activated charcoal, to be specific), one of its main ingredients? I suppose that would make more sense.



Activated charcoal is similar to common charcoal, but is made specifically for medicinal use and to be very porous (so no, you can’t use regular ol’ BBQing charcoal for this recipe!). These pores allow activated charcoal to trap impurities. For this reason, activated charcoal is used to treat poisonings, intestinal gas, nausea, and bile flow issues (cholestasis) during pregnancy. But activated charcoal also works wonders for the skin when applied topically: it keeps skin clear by acting as a magnet to draw dirt out of pores.

Bentonite clay also acts as a magnet to draw dirt from the pores. High-quality bentonite clay can be ingested to pull toxins from the body. When applied topically, it absorbs toxins, draws out blackheads, and kills acne-causing bacteria.

So let’s get to it!

DIY all-natural blackhead busting blackout mask:


  • 2 capsules of activated charcoal (approximately 0.2 grams) opened and emptied. To open gelatin capsules, simply twist the two halves and gently pull them apart as in the picture below.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bentonite clay
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of water






Mix* all of the ingredients together into a smooth paste, and spot test the mask on your cheek or underside of your wrist to make sure that you do not have any adverse reactions. Wash face with a mild cleanser and pat partially dry (so that it is not dripping wet, yet moist). Apply the mask evenly avoiding the delicate skin around your eyes and lips, and let sit until dry, about 7-10 minutes. As the mask dries, it feels tight on the skin, which can sometimes feel a little itchy (if you start to feel uncomfortable, wash the mask off).  After the mask dries, wash it off, pat face gently with a clean towel, and let the skin breath or apply a mild all-natural moisturizer (I usually just apply jojoba oil to any areas that are prone to dryness).

That’s it! Easy-peasy as always.

*Be sure to stir this mixture with a plastic or wooden spoon, as both charcoal and clay pull toxins from metals. Also be sure to store your clay in a non-metal container.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

xo-Ivy Johnson

We all love lemonade – it’s the perfect refreshing beverage throughout Spring and Summer.


But most traditional lemonades are loaded with sugar and calories and are definitely not the healthiest option.  This version cuts out the traditional refined sugar and replaces it with a small amount of coconut sugar, which has a much lower glycemic index.

It also puts the focus on ginger and turmeric, which give amazing flavor and colour to the lemonade along with aiding digestion and providing immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Rather than being a sugary indulgence, this lemonade is a health drink you can enjoy and feel good about imbibing.


200 ml water

4 inches, fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced or 1 tablspoon dried turmeric.

4 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced

4 tablespoons coconut sugar

4-6 lemons, juiced (about 200 ml juice)

large handful of ice cubes

2 lemons, sliced to serve

800 ml cold still water, or sparkling water if you like a bubbly twist.


Place the sliced turmeric root and ginger root in a sauce pan and cover with 200 ml water.

Add in the coconut sugar and bring to a boil

Reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the mixture has extracted the color and flavor of the turmeric and ginger.

Remove from the heat and cool

Juice the lemons, and pour into a pitcher

Add in the cooled ginger and turmeric mixture and stir to combine. You can strain out the pieces of ginger and turmeric, but I simply leave them in.

Pour the remaining cold water (or sparkling if you like) and stir to combine.

Add the slices of lemon into the pitcher and stir

To serve, add ice cubes to the pitcher if you think you will drink the whole pitcher right away. Otherwise add ice to each glass.

xo-Ivy Johnson


Shrimp Ceviche Salad
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 ½ cups seeded and chopped cucumber
  • 1 ½ cups chopped green apple
  • Meat of 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup chopped cooked shrimp
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least two hours to let flavors marry. Stir well before serving.


So today I wanted to share with you a little something which really resonated with me after reading a really great article.

It’s about being in a place you don’t want to be in, but knowing that you aren’t any less of anything because you aren’t where you want to be or “should” be according to yourself or everyone else. Life happens, sickness happens. I now know I am exactly where I should be. My purpose and my reasoning for going through this will be revealed to me when the timing is right for ME. When it it’s supposed to happen for me.

All you can do in life is have a bit of trust and faith in life even when things aren’t going as planned. Sometimes you just have to trust the timing of your life, surrender to the shit and painful circumstance and know that this is just where you are meant to be at this moment in time. It doesn’t mean you are behind in life, it means that this is where you are meant to be. You cant control it no matter how hard you try and it just might be preparing you for something extraordinary when the time is right and perfect for YOU and you’ve learnt the lessons life wants to teach you.

Life doesn’t have to be a certain way, it’s your human experience and your journey. No one life path or circumstance are more “right” or “on time” than another. It’s your own individual story. Give yourself permission to be where you are and who you are in this moment.

Perhaps it’s preparing you for where you will end up and who you were actually meant to be all along – trust it and believe in it!!


Here are a few of my favorite parts

  • “If it’s not the time, its just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.”
  • “…We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a fucking step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.”


You can read the article below:.



I’ve been looking for some Paleo treats I could have on hand and I stumbled upon Chia Pudding and I was intrigued. I’ll be honest, I’ve been skeptical of chia seed puddings. Honestly, they seemed a little weird to me. And how yummy could they be, right? Well, I picked up a big bag of chia seeds at the store on sale and decided that now was as good a time as ever to figure it out for myself!

It took me a few tries to get my ratios right and then another try to two to find a recipe I like that was still “clean” but I think I’ve got three options for you that you are going to lose your mind over! I have been making and eating these every day and the cool thing is that chia seeds are actually incredible for you so this is totally a guilt-free dessert!
First though let me tell you a little bit about Chia. Chia seeds are actually a member of the mint family and they were a staple in the diets of the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations! The word “chia” even translates to “strength” in ancient Mayan. Chia seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, they can be digested whole, they help you feel fuller longer, and they can even help regulate blood sugar and help you stay hydrated!  When they get wet, they form a gel which is why they can make such awesome “pudding”!

The hardest part about chia pudding (which is being over dramatic because there’s honestly nothing difficult about making chia pudding, hahahahha!) is getting your ratio right! Well, lucky you, because I did the hard work for you and discovered that the magic chia pudding ratio is 1 cup of liquid to 3 tablespoons of chia seeds! Armed with this knowledge you are now basically limitless! There are a million options for you! But if that overwhelms you, and you like to be told exactly what to do, here’s my favorite three pudding recipes for your sweet tooth! All inspired by some of my favorite goodies…

I know right? And the crazy thing? This really tastes like brownie batter! I like to mix up my liquid in the blender first to combine all the flavors in a perfectly mixed way before adding my seeds so toss all the ingredients except seeds into the blender first then pour it into our jar, then add your seeds. Easy peasy! We’re also gonna whip this one up at the end to make it more like mousse than pudding, just trust me, you’ll love it! I like to use mason jars to store my pudding till it sets but you can use anything that seals well.

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 heaping tsp pure cocoa powder
1 tbs vegan chocolate shakeology
1 tbs almond butter
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
3 tbs chia seeds

Put everything except the chia seeds in your blender and blend till combined.
Pour into empty mason jar
Add chia seeds
(extra option: add some diced up dairy-free dark chocolate)Shake, shake, shake and put in the fridge
Shake the jar again 10 minutes later
Shake it again a half hour later
And in a few hours your pudding should look pudding-y and the seeds should be all plumped up
To make this less like pudding and more like mousse toss it back in the blender or use an immersion blender to whip it up! Enjoy cold!

Luckily maple syrup is paleo, so we get to keep that! And I don’t know about you but I LOVE the flavor of maple and cinnamon and creamy vanilla all mixed together. Reminds me of pancakes and french toast! Don’t skip the sea salt in this one! You want that tiny bit of bite to really make this flavor pop!

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tbs pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
3 tbs chia seeds

Put everything except the chia seeds in your blender and blend till combined.
Pour into empty mason jar
Add chia seeds
(extra option: drizzle a bit more maple syrup in, shhhh, I won’t tell!)Shake, shake, shake and put in the fridge
Shake the jar again 10 minutes later
Shake it again a half hour later
And in a few hours your chia pudding will be ready to enjoy! You can also make this the night before and let it set overnight! Easy peasy!

I saved my favorite for last. I know, I know, most of you are like “Ivy  how is brownie batter NOT your favorite?!” But honestly, I’m all about creamy caramel. And this was the first chia pudding recipe that I loved and it’s my standard go to when I want something sweet. It’s so yummy. And while the caramel extract and diced up chocolate is not exactly paleo, it’s worth the indulgence if you’re on the fence. What can I say, I like to live dangerously. 😉
1 cup vanilla almond milk + full fat coconut milk
1 tbs pure honey
a few drops caramel extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tbs diced up dairy free dark chocolate chips
3 tbs chia seedsFill your cup measure almost to the top with vanilla almond milk
Then open a jar of coconut milk and finish filling the cup.
Put everything except the chia seeds in your blender and blend till combined.
Pour into empty mason jar
Add chia seeds
(extra option: drizzle a bit of goats milk caramel on top, totally not paleo, totally still worth it)
Shake, shake, shake and put in the fridge
Shake the jar again 10 minutes later
Shake it again a half hour later
And in a few hours your chia pudding will be ready to enjoy! You can also make this the night before and let it set overnight! Easy peasy!Let me know how you like it when you try it!

How to go Paleo in a balanced way!!

A common misconception about eating Paleo is that all you eat is meat all day every day. It’s easy to be confused. You see lots of meat-heavy dishes if you search for Paleo on Pinterest or google and this nutritional template is very popular among men who like the idea of a “meat and potatoes” type of mealplan. (Except white potatoes, aren’t paleo… sorry dudes.) But the key to the success (and nutritional benefits) of eating Paleo is like anything else: balance and moderation. Hunter/Gatherers didn’t live on bacon and french fries, and neither should you.

To make sure that I ate in a balanced way when I went Paleo, and how I suggest others begin their Paleo journey, I decided to enlist the help of the 21 Day Fix Mealplan that I’ve always loved so much!  (It’s also available from Beachbody under the name The Portion Fix now and comes with most Challenge Packs!) This plan gives you colored containers for each food group. You are allotted a certain number of servings of each container a day (based on your height/weight/activity/goals) and you just fill up the container and eat what fits. It’s so easy that I think every single person needs to abide by it! I digress…

I followed the color coded mealplan guidelines and TWEAKED them to work with Paleo guidelines! This helps me to step down into the paleo mealplan in a way that is super balanced making sure I still get enough veggies, fruits, carbs, and not too much protein or fats! What are those guidelines? Put very simply, you eat what you could hunt or gather back in the Paleolithic day. So… lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. What is not accepted as Paleo?

Refined Sugars & Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial Ingredients
White Potatoes
Processed Foods (including Junk Food)
Hydrogenated Oils/Vegetable Oils


White Potatoes
Pseudograins (like buckwheat or quinoa)

Okay, let’s talk about these for a minute. Obviously, paleolithic man didn’t have sugar or sugar substitutes so those are easy to understand. Grains came with agriculture so those are out too. Legumes came with agriculture too so you’ll have to pass on the beans and peanuts. Processed foods weren’t around so count them out, same with vegetable and hydrogenated oils (if it says anything like “buttery spread” just don’t even touch it) and alcohol came later too. Now there are a few foods I like to call “fringe foods” which means that they are debated among Paleo participants. These are dairy, cashews, white potatoes, and pseudograins.

Why did I include Shakeology in the fringe foods? Well it’s because regular Shakeology contains whey protein. Which is technically a dairy derivative. Vegan Shakeology contains oat protein which is technically a grain derivative. In my opinion, either one is still waaaaaayyyyyy better for you than anything else you could do so the positives outweigh the fringe technicalities. I have stayed on it and still seen INCREDIBLE results since going paleo.

You will have to make your own decision regarding these items. People who subscribe to a paleo diet but eat dairy are called “Primal” if you want to do some research. The reason dairy is left out is because while animals were around, Paleolithic humans did not have the tools or capacity to be making anything like butter or cheeses or creams. White potatoes are a plant so why can’t you eat them? You can, obviously, no one is forcing you to do anything. But the reason they aren’t considered paleo is because of the labor involved in harvesting them. They are more likely a crop then something that Paleolithic humans stumbled upon. Also, if nothing else, they don’t have a lot of nutritional benefits so it’s worth it to avoid them. Cashews are a nut right? So why are they a problem? Technically, cashews are a legume (like peanuts) so to a strict Paleo person they’d be out. Make your own decision on this one. And lastly, pseudograins like quinoa and buckwheat. These are technically not grains, but they behave like them inside your body. So the choice is yours.

“What’s left?!”  You might be thinking. What can I eat? A LOT actually! Here’s some of my meals…

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking about giving this whole Paleo thing a try. But you’re so confused. Where do you start? How do you figure out what to eat? And how do stay balanced and avoid living on bacon, avocado, and steak alone? Don’t worry friends, I’ve got you covered! Here is a sample week’s mealplan using the Portion Fix plan as a guide. These are all meals I have eaten since going Paleo so you know they are actually good! This is based on my serving allowances in the Portion Fix. If you’re in a higher bracket and have more servings you would just either eat bigger meals or add in more food in your day. I wrote out each meal’s ingredients in the color container they would correspond to so you can easily see VISUALLY how to combine your containers into a day’s worth of amazing meals!

PALEO PANCAKES (just substitute almond meal/flour for cashew meal if you like)
DRESSING 1: combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar
DRESSING 2: combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part champagne vinegar, add in diced shallots, and pepper
DRESSING 3: combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part champagne vinegar, add in some dill if you like

Now to make things even EASIER for you, I put together a grocery shopping list for you based off this mealplan (who loves ya?!) Just print it out and take it with you to the store. Now here’s the secret. Don’t feel chained to this. If you don’t like something I listed (like spinach) swap it out for something you do like (like spring mix). Make it work for YOU and your tastes.

I know, this still might seem overwhelming. And maybe you have questions? Have no fear! I’ll be hosting a live, free webinar digging more into my personal story with going paleo. I’ll be sharing my struggles with auto-immune, how paleo helped, and how EXACTLY I use this mealplan to do it in a balanced way. I’ll also be sharing how I fit physical activity into this and keep my energy levels up! I’ll even give you my TOP THREE TIPS for success in this process! I’d love to have you join me!

The webinar is scheduled for Monday, February 27 th at 7:30PM EST. But if you can’t make it, it will be recorded and left up for a few days so you can watch after. If you do hop on live though, you’ll have the chance to ask me questions as I go! Click the banner below to head to the event and RSVP so you get a reminder on the day of!


Want to do this with my help, with the full color coded mealplan, my super weapon: shakeology, and a year’s access to EVERY workout program Beachbody has ever made? Let me hook you up with an All Access Pack in my March Challenge Group which will have a paleo focus! We’ll all be going through it together, sharing mealplans, recipes, etc to make it so much easier to make this transition and make it stick!  Choose from workouts like the 21 Day Fix, Piyo, Core De Force, or even yoga if you wanna keep it light! Daily motivation and accountability, and the opportunity to ask me questions as you go? You’re in luck! Click here to email me and let me know you want your name on the list! I’ll send you all the details!

xo-Ivy Johnson

Paleo Pancakes


1 c. Trader Joe’s cashew meal
1/4 cup almond or hazelnut meal
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
2 organic, cage free eggs
1/2 c. almond (or coconut) milk
1 tsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Mix it all up in one big bowl and then portion it into 3 smaller bowls.Cook like regular pancakes in a pan over medium low heat.

Top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!




Thyroid Disease

Here’s a shocking statistic…

Approximately 20 million Americans are walking around with a thyroid condition… and almost 60% of them don’t even know it

Pretty scary right?

And women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to get a thyroid condition.

Could you be one of them?

Take 30 seconds and discover your risk level for thyroid disease. It could save you years of struggle and uncertainty.

Take the quiz here

Not ready to take the short quiz?

That is OK…I totally get it. 

Here is a bit more info that might help you.

If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms then there’s a pretty good chance that your thyroid is out of balance…

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Constipation/stomach problems
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Hair falling out
  • Thinning of your eyebrows

If left untreated thyroid condition can lead to:

  • Brain fog
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Depression and related mental health issues
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Goiter — which may inhibit your ability to swallow or breathe
  • Infertility and birth defects in offspring

If you identified with one or more of the symptoms up above I urge you to take this short 30 second quiz

The quiz was designed by  Dr. Izabella Wentz, one of the foremost researchers in thyroid health today.

Dr. Wentz is uniquely qualified because she had misdiagnosed thyroid disease for almost a decade until she finally got the answers she was looking for!

Take 30 seconds and discover your risk level for thyroid disease. It could save you years of struggle and uncertainty.

Take the Thyroid quiz here

-Ivy Johnson

How To Save Money Buying Real Food






A real food diet is the cornerstone of good health.

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

So it breaks my heart when readers tell me how they struggle to balance buying the best quality food for their families with their budgets. And I totally get it — healthy, real food can definitely be more expensive (thanks to our country’s backwards, profit-before-people food policies).

But over the years, I’ve found quite a few ways to shave down my grocery bill without compromising food quality or my health.

Ways to Save Money on Healthy, Real Food:

  1. Buy dry goods from the bulk section.

Most grocery stores have a bulk section where nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dried beans, and healthy grains (like quinoa) can be purchased per-pound. The savings here can be considerable. Plus, you’ll be skipping out on extra unnecessary packaging, especially if you use your own reusable produce bags, reducing your personal environmental footprint.

  1. Buy whole produce rather than pre-cut or pre-washed produce.

Sure, it’s more convenient to purchase a pre-cut and pre-washed salad mix or green beans. But you’ll save quite a bit if you buy whole produce and do the washing and cutting yourself instead.

And again, you’ll be skipping out on extra unnecessary packaging, especially if you use your own reusable produce bags.

  1.  Prioritize which produce you purchase organic.

Some crops are heavily sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides while others aren’t. Similarly, some crops are often genetically-modified while others are not.

Get to know the Dirty Dozen — those crops with the most trace pesticides — and the Clean Fifteen — those crops with the least trace pesticides — as well as the common GMOs. To save on your grocery bill, prioritize buying the Dirty Dozen and common GMOs organically-grown while buying the Clean Fifteen conventionally-grown.

  1.  Avoid wasted food by meal planning ahead of time.

Meal planning not only saves you time and energy, but it also saves you money by ensuring you don’t buy more than you need. (I hate finding a pricey organic red pepper soft and fuzzy at the bottom of my produce drawer!)

  1.  Don’t discount the frozen section for produce.

Especially if you’re a smoothie drinker, check out the produce selection in the frozen section. I buy frozen organic blueberries, kale, and spinach for smoothies, as well as brussels sprouts, pearl onions, and broccoli for side dishes.

Nutritionally speaking, frozen produce is very similar to fresh produce… sometimes even better! This is because frozen fruits and vegetables are often picked in the peak of their growing seasons and flash-frozen — which halts their “aging” and nutrient losses — immediately after being harvested. For this reason, frozen fruits and vegetables have been shown to have higher vitamin and antioxidant content than their fresh counterparts.

  1.  Buy seasonal produce from a local farm or farmer’s market.

Seasonal produce is often cheaper since the supply is greater. And you won’t find better prices than at local farms or farmer’s markets, where fruits and vegetables pass directly from producer to consumer, cutting out retail markups.

You can even have the farm come to you by joining a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Do some research to see if there’s one in your area, and look into pricing and details for joining.

xo-Ivy Johnson


Have you seen these pretty little votives and lamps around? You might see one in an interior pinned on Pinterest or even on the shelf at your local health foods store. That’s where I had seen them. And they looked so warm and glowy and crystalline that I was intrigued. I bought my first Himalayan Salt Rock at a HomeGoods store. It’s small enough to hold a single vote candle. And it looks beautiful when the lights are dim and it’s glowing a flickering orange. I was smitten.

So I went online to see if I could find more in other sizes and I was surprised to find a plethora of salt rock pieces from candle holders to huge lamps in all different shapes! Little did I know that Himalayan Salt Rock lamps are totally a thing. Did you know that? You probably did. I’m always the last to know. Apparently they have some supposed health benefits above just being relaxing and pretty to look at…

Salt has long been a mineral recognized for it’s various benefits. Salt mines and salt springs are often used for rejuvenation and relaxation. Why? Because it is believed that salt mines and salt springs have a negative ion environment.

Say what?

So have you ever breathed in deep by a waterfall? Or felt like singing in the shower? Or sat and marveled in calm bliss by the seashore? You probably have. But what you might not realize is why these areas have such an effect on you. These forces of nature (and shower) create negative ions in the air. Why does that matter? It’s natures way of cleansing! So negative and positive ions exist all in the air around you all the time. Negative ions are generally a molecule of oxygen that has gained an electron (stay with me!) These ions attract particles in the air and give them a negative charge forcing them to seek an electrical “ground” which usually means falling out of the air and to the ground. So, in essence, negative ions clean the air. That is why when you walk outside after a rainstorm the air feels so fresh!

How are negative ions produced?
➳ Ions cannot be produced without an energy source like…
➳ Heat/flames
➳ Electricity
➳ Evaporation
➳ Friction
➳ Radioactivity

Okay, so how do these salt rocks actually help clean the air in your house?

How do Himilayan salt rock lamps work?
➳ The salt crystals cannot create negative ions, you need energy for that. BUT….
➳ Salt attracts water molecules in the air…
➳ When the water comes to the salt, the heat of the candle inside or the bulb warms it up…
➳ The water molecules heat up and begin to evaporate
➳ Evaporation produces negative ions in the air! Ba-zing!

So what do you think? Try it and let me know… Dig or Ditch? 

PS. The big one you see in the photos above I got off Amazon
I don’t get any kickbacks for this, I just love it and wanted to share with you!