2016 #skingoals: 5 Rules to Drive Away Dry Skin

5-rules-for-dry-skinHow do you like my clever use of alliteration?  Sweet, huh? I’m going to try to keep it up for the whole #skingoals series.. Just to keep you entertained!

So dry skin is the number one skincare complaint I hear about from you guys.. and I’m with you! It seems like pretty much October-March spells dry, lackluster skin, be it from the cold weather, the dehydrating indoor heating, or less moisture in the air.  Either way, it sucks.  Personally, I managed to drive away my dry skin a few years ago with the tips I’ll share below, until they all came back after I had little M. A few weeks after I gave birth, my cheeks, chin and jawline got insanely dry, and it took months of experimenting with different hydrating techniques to really make a difference.  But my pain is your gain! I was able to further refine my remedies to suit even the most stubbornly dry skin.

Follow these dry skin rules and you will be a beautiful, hydrated, goddess in no time at all! (And by no time at all, I mean anywhere from 1-3 weeks… true beauty takes time, people).

5 Rules for Dry SkinDry Skin Rule #1: No more face wash!

News flash: Even face washes that claim to be moisturizing are not, my friends.  The additives that “clean” your skin start by sapping it of all moisture and washing away the beautiful natural oils that keep your skin hydrated, healthy, and youthful.  Face wash is not your friend.  The solution? Switch to face cleansing oil! Oils deep clean your skin without drying it out, and leave your face hydrated and happy.  How can an oil clean, you ask? Well, oil sticks to oil! It actually deep cleans your pores by drawing out the nasty, dirty, oiliness, and replaces it with happy, radiant skin. I’ve been using the oil face wash method for a few years now and managed to completely clear up my skin (no more pimples!), drive away dryness, and maintain a healthy, youthful glow year round.  Seriously, this is a miraculous game-changer.  It’s also great for acne or breakout prone skin, aging skin, rosacea, and more.

Fave product: Sunkissed Dream Sun Goddess Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

Dry Skin Rule #2: Exfoliate weekly

Over-exfoliating your skin can definitely cause problems, but not doing it enough leaves your skin dry and flaky.  Once a week, in the shower, when skin is wet with pores steamed open is the perfect time to exfoliate.  But say bye-bye to all those harsh, chemical scrubs or beads, which are awful for your skin and the environment.  Instead, go for a natural, fine grain or kernel based scrub that sloughs off dry, dull skin, without tearing up your face.

Fave product: Buff Her food-based exfoliation

Dry Skin Rule #3: Hardcore hydration

A great moisturizer is obviously critical for hydrating your skin, but sometimes just using a moisturizer isn’t enough.  After toning and antioxidant serum, use a moisturizer that is suited for your specific skin type.  I’m a big fan of organic ingredients like jojoba and coconut oils, shea butter, and calming rose hip for all skin types.  For aging skin, look for sea buckthorn and frankincense.  For breakout prone skin, look for rosemary and tea tree oils.  For sensitive skin, look for aloe and chamomile.  But your hydration doesn’t end there! For dry spots, an oil-based balm is key for sealing in moisture and keeping those areas hydrated.  Use balm on your dry spots day and night, and even use a little extra before exposing your skin to sun, wind, cold, or swimming.

Fave products: Odylique Timeless Rose Moisturizer and Ultra Rich Balm

Dry Skin Rule #4: Use the right masks

A weekly, super hydrating mask is an amazing tool for driving away that dry skin, but not all masks are created equal! Masks that are clay based without the addition of hydrating oils are going to dry out your skin even more.  Steer clear of masks labeled as clarifying, pore refining, or tightening if you have dry skin.  Instead, opt for masks with hydrating ingredients like baobab and avocado oils, shea butter, and alpha hydroxy acids, which slough off dead skin cells without over drying.

Fave products: Earth Kiss Hydrate Sheet Mask

Dry Skin Rule #5: Hydrate from within

Lastly, your diet plays a HUGE role in your skin’s hydration.  Make sure you’re drinking tons of water (at least half your bodyweight in ounces a day), and eating foods rich in healthy fats every day.  Avocado, wild caught salmon, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, and probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and kombucha.  And of course, try to minimize dehydrating elements like caffeine and alcohol (obvi!).


{Photo via Pinterest}

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2 Multipurpose Products for Gorgeous Skin and Hair

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Argana Vita

Being a bit of a lazy girl, I am all about easy, multipurpose products.  And I get even more excited when these amazing do-it-all products work even better than the 20 individual things they can completely replace.

Argana Vita makes just two amazing products, but these puppies are so powerful, effective, and versatile that you can literally toss out half the content of your bathroom!

First, start with their 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil.  Lusciously silky in texture and clean smelling, this natural beauty powerhouse gives you clear and radiant skin, beautifully hydrated hair, and even works wonders on your nails, callouses, and cracked heels.  It’s loaded with vitamin E, omega fatty acids, phenols and sterols, and squalene, making it super effective for a variety of beauty quandaries. Use it as your:

Moisturizer for faceAnti-aging serum for facePost-shower hydration for bodyHealing for itchy skin, bites, burns, and rashesTreatment for psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitisHealing treatment for stretch marks and scarsLeave-in conditioner and heat-style protectant for hairHydrating serum for split endsScalp cleanser and hydrator to promote hair growthHot oil deep conditioning treatment for hairTreatment for dandruff or itchy scalpCuticle oilNail brightener and strengthenerSoothing treatment for feet

Then, add to your weekly beauty regimen their Rhassoul Moroccan Lava Clay, which comes in either plain or lavender infusion.  Rhassoul clay is deeply clarifying, detoxifying, and nourishing for skin and hair, and like the argan oil, can replace so many products in your life!  It’s loaded with vital nutrients like silicon, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium, and is amazing for extracting toxins and impurities through it’s high negative ion concentration. Use it as your:

Weekly pore clearing anti-aging mask for faceSpot treatment for pimplesTreatment mask for body, especially for break-out prone areas like back and chestScalp mask and exfoliator for deep cleansing hair follicles and promoting hair growthDeep cleansing shampoo for eliminating product build-up and boosting shine

Is the lazy girl in you doing her happy dance?  Mine sure is!

Argana Vita supports Berber women in their sustainable business practices, promoting literacy and self-sufficiency.   They also donate 1% of all sales to spana.org, an organization that provides free medical care and services to working animals in the third world. Read founder Elisabeth Yvrot’s inspirations story here.

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Skin Perfecters from the Sea of Galilee

Lavido Skincare on The Organic Beauty

The Sea of Galilee has long had a reputation for benefits to beauty, health, and even spirit. The volcanic thermal springs and mineral rich waters from this mythical body of water and it’s surroundings make for an intensely healing base for an amazing line of natural skincare products, especially when combined with raw, plant-based ingredients.  This is Lavido, and I have been falling more and more in love with this line every day that I’ve used it!

Starting with the Gentle Exfoliator Cream, with cold-pressed pomegranate seed oil, lemon, and macadamia nut, which smells heavenly, and delivers beautiful exfoliation paired with deep hydration, renewal and brightening. Followed by the Alert Eye Cream, with plant-based hyaluronic acid, cold-pressed avocado oil, and citrus oils that keeps eyes looking younger, more awake, and totally de-puffed in a light, creamy formula.  And, of course, my favorite, the Invigorating Facial Serum, with cold-pressed evening primrose oil, frankincense and rose hip that prevents aging, deeply hydrates skin, and I kid you not, smells like aromatherapy heaven.

Not only are these beautiful products clinically proven to work wonders on your skin, they’re also lovingly concocted with the utmost attention to detail.  Every ingredient is chosen for maximum benefit (and of course, the crucial olfactory element).  My skincare routine has taken on a heavenly spa-like feel with these luxurious beauties.  I can’t wait to try out the whole line!


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Skincare Good Enough to Eat!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Botanic Organic Skincare

My mantra when it comes to skincare is: If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your face.

Now, obviously I can’t stay true to this all of the time (sometimes a pimple requires a bit stronger action), and I’m certainly not advocating eating your face wash.  But making sure that everything you put on your skin is natural, and preferably organic, leads to not just radiant, glowing skin, but a healthy and balanced body.

I’m happy to say that at this point, about 90% of my skincare routine is pretty much good enough to eat!  And a lot of that is thanks to the amazing natural beauty line, Botanic Organic.  I’ve been using their line of all natural, unrefined products for a few months now, and I have to say, I’m obsessed.  Best of all, the whole line is totally affordable, so you don’t have to pay and arm and a leg for high quality, natural products!

As you know by now, I am all about using oils to wash my face (learn about the Oil Face Wash Method here), and I have been LOVING the Botanic Organic Tangerine & Lemon Facial Cleansing Oil for my nightly cleansing. With jojoba oil and castor oil to unclog pores and clear up skin, apricot kernel and sunflower oils to soften and hydrate, and citrus oils to energize and exfoliate, my face is one happy camper.  I’ve also been super into their double cleansing method, which follows the facial cleansing oil with Honey & Licorice Root Cleansing Grains for even deeper cleaning at night.  This fine powder is gently exfoliating, healing, and deep cleansing, with the added benefit of anti-inflammatory and anti-aging coconut, honey, and licorice.  I swear, my skin smells to yummy after cleansing that I literally want to lick it!

I follow my cleansing with one of their delicious facial mists — I use the Cucumber & Calendula Nutrient Mist after washing my face with only warm water in the morning, and the Rosemary & Geranium Hydrating Mist after my double cleansing routine at night.  The facial mists are made from pure, organic plant distillates that deeply nourish, heal, and balance the skin.  My morning nutrient mist has antioxidant green tea extract, which is awesome for protecting skin from damaging UV rays, and my evening hydrating mist restores pH balance and promotes cell repair.  These delicately scented beauties pack a powerful protective punch!

After I’m all cleansed, toned, and hydrated, it’s time for some serum action, and I am in LOVE with the Pomegranate & Argan Antioxidant Oil Serum.  Not only is it deeply nourishing and hydrating, but it also helps heal breakouts, irritation, scarring and redness, and slows and reverses the signs of aging.  Now that is one powerful little serum.  Plus, as with all Botanic Organic products, it smells heavenly, and is literally good enough to eat.

The last step in this delicious routine is moisturizing.  In the morning, I use the Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense, which is super lightweight, loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, and offers great natural protection from UV rays and other environmental damage.  At night, I use the Calendula Blossom & Rose Night Cream, which is beautifully repairing and anti-aging, deeply hydrating and healing.

My skin looks amazing, my bathroom smells like a spa, and I feel like I am taking such gloriously good care of myself and my body by using these high quality, non-toxic, natural, plant-based products.  But don’t take my word for it, try Botanic Organic for yourself!  Pick up the Essential Six Starter Kit that serves as a lovely introduction to a lot of these products, and will have you craving the whole line in no time!

This skincare line is perfect for acne prone skin, sensitive skin, aging skin, as well as normal skin, and is totally customizable to give you exactly the healing and protection you need.

All I have to say is… YUM!

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High marks for cannabis: Beauty super-ingredient

CBD for Life | The Organic Beauty Blog

Being a recent west coast transplant, I am no stranger to all the buzz surrounding CBD (cannabidiol) as a super potent force for health and healing.  Along with THC, CBD is one of the active cannabinoids in cannabis, accounting for about 40% of the plant’s extract.  But unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive (read: it’s not gonna get you high), and is loaded with tons of health benefits.  Taken internally — typically in the form of an oral spray or vaporizer — it has been found (through legitimate research published in places like The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology) to act as a major anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-cancer, and anti-convulsant.  Pretty much anti-everything-bad-you-can-think-of.  This accounts for it’s widespread use in our beloved new state of California as a first line of natural medicine to treat a variety of health issues.  But even newer research is showing some pretty exciting results about CBD’s as a super powerful beauty ingredient, with the power to slow the signs of aging, heal dry skin, and calm breakouts… all this in addition to the proven topical effects of pain relief and decreasing inflammation.

Knowing how powerful CBD is internally, I knew I had to try it’s beauty effects for myself.

Enter: CBD For Life, a super-cool, women-owned beauty company that’s been harnessing the power of 99% pure CBD for it’s beauty results.  They combine their high quality, GEM extracted CBD with essential oils and other natural ingredients to create a whole line of beauty and health products that deliver some potent effects. Start with the Pure CBD Face & Body Cleanser, a deep cleaning wash that has awesome anti-inflammatory benefits that are great for oily or breakout prone skin.  Follow with the CBD Eye Serum, which goes on silky smooth, and is amazing for decreasing dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines.  In addition to CBD, it’s packed with anti-aging super-ingredients like olive, grapeseed and avocado oils, as well as cucumber, aloe, chamomile, licorice and coffee extracts.  Then, slather on the thick and luxurious CBD Face Cream, which is deeply hydrating, and due to the lipid-producing effects of CBD, awesome for staving off a variety of skin issues (like acne, rosacea, and redness), while imparting a beautiful, radiant glow.  After using the cream at night, we woke up with hydrated, smooth, and clear skin. For body care, there’s the Pure CBD Body Massage Lotion, which is super smooth and hydrating, and is packed with hydrating ingredients like jojoba, safflower and apricot kernel oil alongside anti-inflammatory, skin soothing botanicals like aloe, arnica, and lemon peel oil.  But we especially love the Pure CBD Foot Cream, which we’ve been using for lovely foot rubs that leave our tired tootsies feeling refreshed and good as new! Of course, CBD For Life would be remiss if they didn’t harness the power of their namesake cannabinoid for pain relief, as well as beauty. For that, they have a whole suite of awesome products that we made good use of over the last two weeks, as my poor hubby recovered from a bike accident.  The Pure CBD Pain Relief Spray is great for melting away aches and pains with a bunch of anti-inflammatory properties.  We used it in conjunction with the CBD for Life Rub, which is like Tiger Balm on steroids (or… more appropriately, on cannabis).  Combining the traditional camphor, eucalyptus and cajuput oil found in typical tiger rub with anti-inflammatory CBD and hemp oil makes a world of difference.  This stuff does wonders for deep muscle pain, body aches, and even helped ease some of the pain from my poor hubby’s fractured ribs!  It comes in regular and Lemongrass, which infuses the whole experience with a more uplifting and energizing aroma.  To really take the edge off of pain, there’s the CBD Oral Spray, which is also amazing for decreasing stress, anxiety, insomnia, and so, so, so much more. Be it for beauty, anti-aging, or pain relief, CBD totally has you covered, and you can rest assured that you are treating yourself to a natural, miraculous compound that works with your body to heal, soothe, rejuvenate, and protect.

4 quick facts about CBD:It’s totally legal.  Unlike THC, CBD does not get you high, and therefore is not a controlled substance and in the doses used in products like the above, is legal in all 50 states.It won’t get you high, but it can help you to relax and feel awesome.  In fact, CBD has been shown to counteract many of the negative effects of THC, like focus and memory problems.It’s completely safe to use everyday… for real.  In fact, daily use has been shown to have phenomenal antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.CBD works by inhibiting a naturally occurring cannabinoid, anandamide, which already exists in our bodies.  Anandamide helps to regular functions like pleasure, reward, memory, sleep, pain, hunger, and ovulation.Enter to win the entire CBD for Life product line!

 CBD for Life Giveaway

For wholesale inquiries, please contact Jackie Andersen  |   310-420-8848  |  Jackiea@cbdforlife.us

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Food-Based Exfoliation for Fab Skin!

Buff Her Food Exfoliant on The Organic Beauty

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good scrub.  But with sensitive, oily skin, many scrubs out there are too rough, or just not substantial enough to give me what I need.  So I was particularly pumped to discover Buff Her, a positively delicious line of organic, food-based face scrubs.

Each of the scrubs features rice as the primary exfoliant, and then they add a veritable farmer’s market of awesome food ingredients to suit your particular skin type.

Want to nourish and cleanse to get a glowing complexion? Try Sweet Potato Pie.

Want to soothe inflamed, sensitive skin? Go for Oatmeal Blueberry Cookie.

Suffer from dry winter skin and breakouts?  Rock some Milk & Honey (and enter our giveaway below!).

Me? I’m obsessed with Strawberry Parfait with natural salicylic acid from strawberries and yogurt for deep cleansing and soothing. It’s perfect for keeping breakouts at bay, deep cleansing skin, and healing, all with some gentle (but powerful) exfoliation.  My skin looks radiant, clear, and happy, and as an Organic Beauty, I can rest assured that I’m using skincare good enough to eat!


Want to try this amazingness for yourself?Enter our giveaway to win a free jar of Milk & Honey Exfoliating Food Powder!  Here’s how:Click here to follow me on InstagramAre we already friends on Insta? Then come hang out with me on Facebook or Twitter. (You must follow somewhere new to enter!)Leave a comment sharing your worst cold-weather skincare woe, along with a note on where you followed.

Our winner is Jenny!  Congratulations!

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Want To Have Amazing Hair, Skin & Nails? Eat Your Raw Foods!


By: Stephanie Heino

Want healthy and glossy hair without supplements? Do you want it to grow faster, while getting strong nails and flawless skin? Keep reading!

A sound diet with lots of raw foods will give you the best possible nutritional advantage for getting healthy hair, nails and skin. Stock upon leafy greens and get in a serving of soaked raw nuts or seeds each day which deliver minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids (the building block of protein that makes our hair, nails and skin). A mineral-rich diet with lots of raw foods is your best bet for creating beauty inside-out.

The health of our hair and nails depends on good circulation of the blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to the area. We need to move the body to ensure this circulation is working as it should. But mostly problems with hair and nails are due to an imbalance within, and that can always be re-balanced through healthy raw foods!

In fact, your body prefers to be nourished with raw foods. If your diet predominately consists of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you will create a perfect balance within, which will show up on the outside (with some patience!).

Check out this guide to 5 amazing raw foods that will boost your beauty and give you fuller, shinier, healthier hair:


Dark Green Vegetables

Greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard, are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. They are also packed with minerals like silicon and sulfur that are vital to healthy growth of our nails and hair.


Do you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should. Brazil nuts are one of Imagenature’s best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure you eat nuts on the regular.

Flax seedsImage

The second step to beautiful skin, hair and nails involves including optimal amounts of essential fats in your diet. Fats are especially important for our skin and hair. They are an enormous part of how skin and hair are stay moist and lush as opposed to course and dry, and by including flax seeds and avocados you take care of this issue. If you feel like it will be a problem to eat enough of these foods to truly nourish, it can also be practical to use an essential fatty acid supplement in the form of a liquid oil. Although this is a post on raw foods, evening primrose oil is also a favourite of skin, hair and nails.



By drinking wheatgrass, and washing your hair in it you will see some great results. By doing this, nutrients penetrate into follicles and stimulate growth of new pigment-producing cells. Getting results takes time, but be patient!

Sea Vegetables

Research shows sodium alginate, a compound found in most seaweed, binds with heavy meImagetals and chemical poisons, flushing them from the body. They nourish the endocrine system, especially the thyroid and adrenal glands. Iodine in seaweed keeps the thyroid functioning normally, and is high in natural sodium. Sea vegetables, providing plenty of proteins, complex carbohydrates, carotenes, and chlorophyll, not only stimulate and strengthen the hair, but also the skin and nails. Brittle hair, caused by a shortage of minerals, too much salt or animal food, or use of drugs, can be restored by eating sea vegetables. Kombu comes in sticks which you can add to your soups, stews, beans and casseroles. It has a yummy salty flavour, and you also get a range of minerals that your skin, hair and nails love.

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Eating for a Perfect Period

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Welcome to the first post in our Perfect Period Series: Eating for a Perfect Period.  First, a few facts:  what you do and do not eat/drink has a direct impact on how you experience your period.  Mood swings, cravings, cramps, irritability and fatigue are all affected by your diet in the days leading up to and during your period.  {Tweet it!} You cannot go on a pizza and beer binge the week before your period and expect smooth sailing come P-time. Our culturally engrained habit of ignoring our menstrual cycles in terms of dietary and lifestyle modifications is what makes America the land of PMS.  You don’t get an award for pretending that you are just like the boys, don’t have a natural cycle.  And you certainly don’t get any awards for needless suffering.  You DO however get an amazing Organic Beauty Goddess award for being mindful of heeding the natural changes of your body’s needs!   Select specific foods for your luteal phase (the weeks between ovulation and your period), your bleeding phase, and your follicular phase (from period to ovulation) to maximize your energy and health all month long, and lead you to a perfect period.  Read on to find out how…

A Perfect Period Meal! Dark leafy greens, sweet potato, fish, and whole grain.

Foods to Increase:1. Dark leafy greens.

These guys are Perfect Period Powerhouses, and are one of the biggest keys to unlocking easy period and happy cycles.  Make sure to have at least one serving of dark leafies every day to gain their full, period-perfecting benefit!

Before your period, dark leafy greens have an anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect, so they are perfect for your luteal phase.  Make sure to have a green salad or cooked greens every day during your luteal phase, and throw fennel, parsley and celery into your meals, especially if you’re prone to bloating.  Dark leafies are also amazing sources of B vitamins, which are important for balancing your hormones in your luteal phase, as well as calcium and magnesium, which are crucial for keeping cramps and headaches at bay.During your period, dark leafies are your best friend, since they’re loaded with calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are amazing for minimizing and preventing cramps and headaches.  They are also full of vitamin K, which slows down blood flow, and iron, which supports your energy levels as you bleed.After your period, dark leafy greens help to replenish all the minerals you may have lost during your period.  They cleanse and detoxify your blood, energize your system, and are all around amazing for your health.2. Whole grains.

The second most vital perfect period foods, whole grains balance your blood sugar, prevent cravings, and balance hormone levels.  Eat at least one serving of whole grains every day throughout your cycle to reap their amazing, period-perfecting benefits! Quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth are all great options.

Before your period, it’s super important to balance your blood sugar levels, and slow-digesting whole grains are perfect for that.  If you’re prone to cravings before your period, this is especially important for you!  Whole grains provide your body with natural energy, fiber, and loads of nutrients, which are all super important for balancing your hormones.During your period, whole grains continue to help stave off cravings for period foods like sugar and simple carbs.After your period, whole grains help to rid your body of excess estrogen and keep blood sugar levels in check, which is important all through your cycle.3. Omega-3 Foods.

These foods have a potent anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which is crucial for minimizing cramps, headaches, and other period-related pain, and for maximizing energy and great moods throughout your whole cycle!  Low-mercury seafood like salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring, shrimp and scallops are great options, as are walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds!

Before your period, load up on omega-3 foods, which decrease inflammation in the body and boost mood, and therefore create the foundation for an easy period.  Opt for eating low-mercury seafood at least 2-3 times a week during your luteal phase!  Throw walnuts, chia or flax seeds into your morning smoothies or granola, add them to your salads, or sprinkle them on top of your lunch!During your period is the perfect time to amp up and diversify your omega-3 foods, which will boost your mood, reduce clotting and heavy bleeding, and minimize cramps, headaches, and body aches to boot!  Try to eat an omega-3 rich food every single day of your period to maximize your results!4. Beans.

These guys are loaded with protein, which is great for balancing blood sugar and minimizing cravings.  They also have lots of iron and calcium, which make them a perfect period food!

During your period, beans will minimize cravings and help to keep you sane.  They also have tons of fiber, which ease the digestive upset many women experience during their periods.  An added bonus is that they’re high in iron as well, which helps to offset the fatigue that can come from losing blood!After your period is the time to protein up.  You’ll likely have tons of energy after your period, and you’ll want to support that with more healthy proteins.  You’ll also want to restore your iron levels after bleeding, so eating lots of beans for a few days after will be a great iron insurance policy.5. Water.

It is crucial to stay hydrated throughout your cycle.  Before, during, and after your period, water helps to fight bloating, hormonal and blood sugar imbalance, and pain.  Opt for half your ideal body weight in ounces of fresh, filtered water every day.


Foods to decrease:1. Refined sugar.

This is obviously something to avoid all the time, but it’s especially important to stay away from all refined sugar before and during your period.

Before and during your period, eating refined sugar is a sure way to have a crappy period.  Refined sugar is congesting (read: cramps, headaches, low energy), inflammatory (ditto), and creates blood sugar and hormone imbalance (read: mood swings, irritability, fatigue, cravings, and pretty much all other PMS symptoms).  It’s pretty much the biggest bad for crappy, painful periods.  So avoid it entirely!  If you want a little sweet treat, opt for a few squares of high quality, organic dark chocolate, or better yet, some berries!  If you take sugar in your coffee or tea, switch to organic stevia.2.  Processed foods.

Chips, cookies, bars, almost anything in a box or a bag, are all loaded with salt (read: bloating), sugar (see above), and chemicals, all of which wreak havoc on your periods.

Before your period, eat whole foods during your luteal phase to maximize energy, and to set up a great foundation for a healthy period.During your period, eating processed food will increase bloating, cramps, cravings, and headaches.  You may get a momentary rush of happy feelings if you scarf down some Kraft Mac n’ Cheese during this week, but trust me, you’ll pay for it later. It is crucial to eat a nutritious, whole foods diet during your period to keep it symptom free and happy!3. Alcohol.In the days leading up to your period, you would do best to avoid alcohol altogether.  It can increase bloating, digestive problems, cramps, and fatigue.During your period, consuming alcohol can increase bleeding, cramps, headaches and fatigue, and is best avoided completely.4. Caffeine.

Right before and during your period, that daily coffee is not making things any easier on your.  Coffee makes cramps, fatigue, bloating, and mood swings during your period much worse, and it an also make you bleed heavier!  Opt for green tea or better yet, red raspberry leaf tea instead! Red raspberry leaf tea is one of the best uterine tonics out there for preventing and managing cramps, and decreasing heavy bleeding.  It’s loaded with trace vitamins and minerals and is one of the most potent period herbs out there.5. Fatty meat and dairy

Red meat and other fatty animal proteins, as well as cheese, milk, and other dairy products are highly inflammatory to the body, which increases cramps, digestive issues, and are a straight shot to painful, awful periods.

Before your period, limit yourself to occasional organic Greek yogurt or hard cheese (like parmesan), and make sure you’re eating lean, organic animal protein like free-range chicken and eggs.  If you’re a milk drinker, switch to nut milk.  Use avocado as a delicious substitute for cheese in salads and sandwiches.  Try nutritional yeast as a healthy cheese substitute in sauces, soups, or on pasta.During your period, avoid all dairy, and eat only lean, organic animal protein.  Better yet, switch to fish and beans as your protein sources for a truly great period!After your period, eat animal protein and dairy in moderation.  But remember, these foods are special add-on’s, not the main component of your meals!Want more ways to eat for a perfect period?  Stay tuned for our new ebook, Your Guide to a Perfect Period, coming out soon!  Make sure you’re on our mailing list to get your free copy!{Image: PinterestKatheats.com, Pinterest}


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Exercise for a Perfect Period

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

If you’re like most women, you reach a natural slump every month where it is just grueling to stick to your typical workout routine.  You drag yourself to boot camp, feel drained afterwards, and wonder what you’re doing wrong. Or you feel just too tired to stick to your routine, and end up skipping your workouts altogether for a week. This is because your body’s needs in terms of exercise vary pretty dramatically throughout your cycle.  In this installment of our Perfect Period Series we’ll be delving into the best forms of exercise to keep you in alignment with your natural hormonal patterns, which will decrease PMS symptoms, boost weight loss, balance your hormones, and help you feeling amazing and energized all month long.

Exercise in Your Follicular Phase

7-10 days from the end of your period to just before ovulation.

After your period ends, you will likely experience a gradual increase in energy, which corresponds to the rising levels of estrogen in your body.  Although you won’t be at your absolute peak energy, levels will be high, making this a great time for rocking some cardio.  Opt for running, swimming, group classes, dance cardio classes, or anything new.  In a few weeks, it will be much harder to motivate yourself to switch up your routine, so if you’ve been itching to try a new class or workout, now is the time!

Try Tracy Anderson’s Dance Cardio DVD for a super fun, challenging and sexy workout.

Exercise in Your Ovulatory Phase

3-4 days in the middle of your cycle around the time of ovulation.

As your body prepares to ovulate, your system gets flooded with all kinds of fun, energizing hormones like testosterone.  In addition to feeling sexier and being more attractive to the opposite sex, this phase also brings with it your highest energy levels.  This is the perfect time to rock some high intensity workouts like boot camp, plyometrics, Crossfit, or high intensity interval training (HIIT).  This is the time to really go for it, and luckily, your body will be craving the intensity, so it’ll be easier to motivate, and you’ll feel best afterward.

Try Insanity Fast & Furious for a quick and intense interval workout!

Exercise in Your Luteal Phase

10-12 days from after ovulation until the start of your period.

You may still be running on maximum energy for the first few days of your luteal phase, but as estrogen starts to decline, you may feel yourself getting a little more mellow.  It’s super important to stay in tune with your body and try not to fight against the signs it’s sending you.  If the thought of a hardcore workout is kind of a turn off to you in this part of your cycle, that’s a sign to take it down a notch.  Opt for workouts that are a bit slower and focus on strength training.  Pilates Reformer sessions, barre classes, ballet workouts, vinyasa yoga and weight training are going to feel really good in this phase, especially if you’re trying to conceive.  Stay away from anything high-impact that requires lots of jumping around.  As you move closer to your period, you may want to lighten up the workout even more– a Pilates mat class or yoga class might feel best! But do make sure to move your body in the weeks leading up to your period to minimize PMS symptoms (in combination with the awesome food choices we talked about in Eating for a Perfect Period)!

Try the Pure Barre Workout for an amazingly effective toning and fat burning routine!

Exercise in Your Menstrual Phase

3-7 days of your period.

The absolute worst thing you can do for your menstrual health is to ignore your body’s signals, scarf down some Advil and force yourself to hit your boot camp class or go running during your period.  With the sharp drops in estrogen and progesterone that correspond with getting your period, it is perfectly natural to feel a drop in energy and to need a little TLC.  Listen to your body, and hit a restorative yoga class (or better yet, do a little restorative yoga at home!) or simply do some walking.  Moving your body during your period can help to minimize symptoms, and it will simply help you feel better, more energized, and happier!  But if you’re in pain and need to take pills just to get to a class, you’ll serve your body better by staying home and showing yourself some love.

Try the Restorative Yoga Practice DVD for an awesome, calming at-home practice!


As with everything, be mindful of your body’s needs.  Some people just aren’t constitutionally suited for hardcore, boot camp-like workouts (people like me, for instance!), and that is totally fine!  Whatever your max is, your ovulatory phase is the time to do it.  Some people hate yoga (though I firmly believe that those are the people that need it most), and opting for Pilates and walking in the luteal and menstrual phase, respectively, is perfectly fine.  The key is to move through your cycle in harmony with your body, and not force it into any behaviors that are going to add up to fatigue, PMS, and the need for medication later on.

Happy exercising!

{Images: WeHeartIt, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest}

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Fitness Trackers: Your New Fave Healthy Accessory

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

All it takes is a peek at the wrists of your friends, coworkers and passersby on the street to see that fitness trackers are all the rage right now. And for good reason!

These unobtrusive bracelets track your steps, workouts, sleep, mood, food and more, and in the opinion of this holistic nutritionist, they can be an invaluable tool in understanding your body, setting and sticking with wellness goals, and getting (and staying) super healthy and fit.

For the last 4.5 months, my techie husband and I have been testing the UP24 Band ($127), and I have to tell you, it rocks.

The sleep tracker is top notch, better then most of the others on the market right now, in that it not only shows you how much sleep you’re getting, but also how much deep sleep and light sleep. I can tell you from UP Band experience, 8 hours of mostly light sleep can feel like getting just 3-4 hours of rest in a night, and leads to a very groggy, moody day. Whereas just 6 hours of mostly deep sleep can feel like a blissful, 9 hours of rest, leading to an energized, happy and productive day.

From tracking the detailed quality of my sleep, I can see how that 4pm green tea, late night Walking Dead marathon, big dinner out, or sedentary day at my computer effect my sleep, which gives me so much more insight into exactly what I need to do to ensure high quality, restful, energizing sleep. (Hint: no caffeine after 3pm; a light, veggie dinner; and being in bed by 10:45 with a great book are key)

The step and activity tracker is also awesome, and has really shed the harsh light of reality on what I thought was a pretty active lifestyle. On days when I work from home, I average just 4000 steps, wayyyy below the recommended 10,000 step goal that the program encourages. I now make sure to take my dog on longer walks, find myself taking the stairs way more, and yes, even dancing around my apartment or running in place during workday breaks to get me closer to my goal.

My UP Band has also transformed my attitude towards walking. Whereas before, I would count proximity and convenient above all else, now I don’t think twice about trekking the extra 7 blocks to the organic juice bar I love, or schlepping for 15 minutes from the train to a doctors appointment. If anything, I get excited about the steps I’m racking up, and eagerly await the positive reinforcement I receive from the app.

UP24 App on the Organic BeautyThe app does a great job of encouraging you to keep improving, with incremental increases to your steps, water intake, and sleep. It gives you great daily motivations, with health and nutrition factoids (most of which I actually agree with!), and comparative data on your past weeks. “You’ve walked 30,000 steps already this week, putting you in the top percentile for UP users in your age group! Keep up the great work!”

Perhaps the most useful tool in keeping me on track is the Team function, which allows you to share your feed and stats with other users you know. Though my team is just comprised of my husband and I, we’re a pretty competitive lot. Though he consistently beats my daily count by about 4,000-5,000 steps (he has a standing desk at work, and paces ALL day long — I swear!), knowing that someone else will know if I only leave the house once all day, and spend 8 hours straight in front of my computer is an excellent motivator to get moving.

We routinely leave comments and little emoticons of playful judgement or encouragement on each others feeds, making the whole thing so much more fun, interactive, and social.

The other features include a pretty comprehensive activity tracker, with tons of different forms of exercise and movement to choose from, as well as difficulty levels, and though I’m not into calorie tracking, it’s really interesting to see how many I burned off with that intensive yoga class, bike ride to Whole Foods, or dancing with my girlfriends.

The food tracker isn’t that great, admittedly. It has limited options to choose from, and although you can scan in bar codes, I find the whole process to be rather tedious. I much prefer taking beautiful Instagram photos of my food as a way to make sure that everything I’m eating is healthy and beautiful. But if you’re interested in tracking the nutritional value of your eating, the UP Band has you covered. It features a neat little breakdown of how your diet measure in terms of fat, sugar, salt, protein, carbs, fiber, etc.. Which can be super illuminating!

In short, I love my UP Band, and it definitely took my healthy lifestyle from great to supercharged. For anyone looking to make some measurable changes to their health, it’s an invaluable tool that makes getting healthy way more fun!

For a comprehensive comparison of the different fitness trackers out there,
click here.

Images: Pinterest & Pinterest

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