Magical, Energizing, Superpower Smoothie

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Superpower Smoothie on The Organic Beauty

As this interminable winter starts to draw to a close, I’ve found myself gravitating back toward my daily green smoothie routine. I have to say, the difference in my health and vitality is night and day! Since getting back on my smoothie kick, with daily variations on the powerful recipe below, I have a ridiculous amount of energy (like two cups of coffee kind of energy), am in an amazing mood, feel slim and totally bloat-free, have zero cravings, and even my skin is looking more glowing and clear! That’s one powerful smoothie.

This particular recipe is super awesome for:

FertilityEnergyBeautyWeight lossAntioxidant powerImmunityAllergiesInflammationAnd way more…

Try it for yourself for a week or two and notice how different you feel!

Magical, Energizing, Superpower Smoothie

Serves 1

1 small banana
A handful of organic berries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup organic spinach or kale
1 tsp Active Bee Power (bee propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly)
1 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp raw almond butter
1 tsp organic spirulina
1 tbsp organic raw cacao
1 tbsp chia seeds
Organic unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk (or just water!)

Dissolve the Active Bee Power in a small amount of water. Add the remaining ingredients, and enough liquid of your choice to reach desired consistency. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

In the colder months, pair this smoothie with a cup of hot tea. Ginger tea is the most warming.

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Dinner Tonight: Acorn Squash & Apple Soup

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Squash Apple Soup on The Organic Beauty

This soup is delicious for a cool fall evening, and is amazing for beating nighttime sugar cravings.  It tastes like apple pie in a bowl!

Acorn Squash and Apple Soup1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed, washed, and reserved.
1 sweet organic apple, Gala or Macintosh work well, diced
1 tbsp raw coconut oil
1-2 tbsp organic maple syrup or raw agave
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk or almond milk
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place acorn squash, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Spread coconut oil over the flesh. Drizzle with about 1 tbsp of maple syrup or agave. Place in oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, occasionally basting with coconut oil that’s pooled in the center. Spread washed squash seeds on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and add any other spices you’d like (a little curry is delicious). Add to oven when there’s about 15 minutes left of cooking time for the squash. Remove seeds when they are lightly browned. When squash is fork tender, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Scoop out flesh, and combine with apple, spices, abs water in a medium soup pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and dinner until apples are soft. Transfer to a blender, add coconut milk or almond milk, and purée until smooth. Add a little more maple syrup/agave if you’d like. Garnish with roasted squash seeds and serve warm.

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7 Ways To Combat Stress

By Callie McBride

Let me fill you in on a secret-I had one of the most stressful days of my life last week. Let’s just say leaving your phone in a cab, trekking it to an AT&T store in a downpour sans umbrella, while simultaneously dealing with unwelcome house critters -in the New York City humidity- doesn’t do a body good.

The worst thing you can do to remedy stressful times is to ignore your body and mind’s needs and shuck them aside for a later time. When stress creeps into your life, as it always does, its imperative for a healthy lifestyle to deal with it properly. How is this possible, when all you want to do is pull your hair out and shut off your brain for the day? I think I may have a pretty successful formula.

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Here are my 7 steps to combating stress and maintaining peacefulness throughout your day:

1.) Always find a silver lining.

Believe in the power of positivity, and find the good in your situation. It could be anything from the weather, to an upcoming TV show, to your Twitter or Instagram feed. While I was soaking wet and getting more frustrated by the second buying a new phone, I kept thinking of my plan to crawl into bed and watch Girls on repeat that night (which I did, thankyouverymuch). Remember, your mind is the ultimate tool to changing your attitude and taking the focus off of whatever is causing you stress.

2.) Write out a list.

This one never fails. If you aren’t a constant list-maker, this may feel strange at first, but I find that writing things out always helps to alleviate stress. Schedule out your day or week, write out a to-do list, or even map out a list of things you want to accomplish. Getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper can release anxiety by simply changing a mental breakdown into a visual reference. Plus, its an excuse to buy an adorable notebook or notepad!

3.) Talk things over.

Tread lightly with this one, for you don’t want to turn a friend or significant other into an unwilling therapist. Still, finding someone who will listen to your problems, and even reciprocate with their own issues, can be extremely detoxifying, if you will. Here’s my cheeky go-to line: “So I need ten minutes to vent. What’ll it be, coffee or tea?” Your friend may just listen politely, or may try to offer advice. If you can find a confidant to rant to, be open to that advice! A second opinion or viewpoint is always helpful to find a solution to a complicated matter. Either way, talking out your problems out loud, similar to making lists, is stress-relieving in itself; often times you will end up seeing a new perspective as you are forming the words.

4.) Make an emergency “happy” kit.

Mine looks like this: Dark chocolate w/ sea salt, GIRLS on HBO, candlelit yoga or meditation, a long solo walk, the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities, and a hot bubble bath. This one’s easy. Keep a handful of “favorites” on hand to lift your spirits and calm your nerves. Call it Insta-peace!

5.) Consider the Big Picture.

When things aren’t going your way, its never productive to dwell over it and wallow in sadness. One way to beat that easy trap is to think about things from a different, much wider perspective. If work troubles have you upset, remember your career goals; if a relationship is on the rocks, remind yourself of your values and your commitment. It could be that your weight loss goals are taking longer than expected. Imagine yourself accomplishing those goals, instead of impatiently dwelling on the present, however frustrating it may be. Again, let your mind be your tool for peace!

6.) Take out the unnecessary.

Declutter, downsize, and decrease in order to de-stress. Declutter your home and work space, downsize any “stuff” that has accumulated in your home, and decrease any unnecessary time or effort into people or things that do not bring you a sense of fulfillment or happiness. In stressful times, you don’t need to extend yourself beyond what’s manageable, which means that an unreliable or unpleasant friend shouldn’t take up your free time.

7.) Enlist the help of Youtube.

If all else fails, head to youtube to cheer you up. We’ve all done it: hopped online “for 2 minutes”, landed upon a funny Youtube video, and spent the next 45 minutes searching and enjoying plenty of others. No shame! Pure joy and laughter can erase stress in an instant, and if an adorable baby panda sneezing does it for you, more power to ya! I would suggest “I Knew You Were Trouble Goat”, “Sassy Gay Friend”, any laughing baby video, and go from there.

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Must-Have’s and Tips for Airplane Travel with Baby

Little M and I are wrapping up our first solo trip (without daddy), and now that she’s at the ripe old age of 1, the experience couldn’t be more different than traveling with her as a little baby. As you’ll see below, you need much less to stay sane while traveling on a plane with an infant (or pre-crawler), but once the little tykes start moving (or, god help us all, walking), it takes quite a bit more strategy to keep baby entertained and calm, and keep parents sane.  After 8+ flights with our little one over her first year, I’ve nailed down the perfect set of must-have’s and tips for airplane travel with baby, to keep everyone comfortable, entertained, and happy (or at the very least, sane!). Check them out below!

Must-Haves-for-Airplane-Travel-With-Baby

Must-have’s for airplane travel with baby (aged 0-18 months):

An awesome diaper bag (all ages):  Nailing down the right diaper bag for airplane travel is so key. We all have our diaper bag must-have’s, but for me, it’s lots of pockets (internal and external), overall roominess, and style.  I use my diaper bag as a purse, so it’s gotta look good! My favorite has always been my Honest Co. Carryall Satchel, though if I could find a backpack with as many pockets, I could be persuaded to switch.Airplane-Travel-With-Baby

Little M sleeping in her Ergo while I work ; )

Your favorite carrier (0-18 mo): hands-down, this is the most important tool for traveling with a baby. Baby can stay wrapped up and cozy, snoozing most of the flight (if you’re lucky), and being in a carrier is much more comforting for most babies than being strapped into their car seat or just sitting in your lap. Plus, you don’t need to pay for a seat. We used the Baby K’Tan for flying until little M was about 6-7 months old, at which point we switched to the Ergo 360 Air (which I still use now that she’s 1). Not only does a carrier encourage baby to nap throughout the flight, but it also lets you have your hands free to negotiate luggage, folding up your stroller, having a snack, etc. Our first flight with M, at 3 months, she slept nearly the whole time, while I enjoyed a leisurely lunch and read a book. Lest you think that’s a new baby luxury, I am currently writing this article while 1 year old M sleeps in her Ergo on my chest, 10,000 feet in the air (or however high an airplane goes ; )A bottle or boob (all ages): It’s common knowledge that nursing or bottle feeding baby during takeoff and landing is a must to prevent those dreaded air pressure earaches and fussiness. Don’t skimp on this! If you’re lucky, baby will just nurse to sleep during takeoff and you’re good to for an hour or more. If you’re nursing, make sure to wear a cute and functional nursing top which allows easy access while keeping things more or less covered — I always travel in one of my H&M MAMA Organic Cotton Nursing Tops. For older babies who may be too distracted to nurse on the plane, bring their water bottle (we love the Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Straw Cup), which will have nearly the same effect.A multi-functional toy (all ages): When baby wakes up, it’s good to have something on hand that can keep her occupied, but you certainly don’t need to cram your carry-on full of toys. To be honest, the barf bag (clean and empty, of course) will provide just as much excitement as a toy, so there’s no need to overdo it. When M was under 8 months, I liked to bring a multi-function activity toy like the Manhattan Toy Company Sight and Sound Activity Toy or the Manhattan Toy Company Shapes Travel Activity Set, both of which have a few fun different activities for baby, and are easy to clip onto your bag, car seat, or stroller, making them perfect for travel. For the over-8 month set, you’ll need something a little more exciting. I recommend a plush “Quiet Book,” which is a cool multi-activity sensory toy with zippers to pull, buttons to snap, etc. Not only do these types of books have tons of fun activities to keep your little one busy, but they’re also quiet (as the name suggests) making them much less annoying for your fellow travelers, portable, and lightweight. I also like that the activities are tactile, without lots of battery-powered blinking lights and things like that, which can easy backfire and overstimulate your babe. I recommend avoiding any small toys or toys with small parts, because they WILL end up on the floor, and you will spend your flight irritatedly picking things up every 10 seconds!  BONUS TIP: Get a NEW toy for the trip, something they can discover for the first time on the flight!  This will add a lot more playtime milage.  Packable books (6+ mo):  Books can keep littles occupied for some time, but they take up a lot of precious space and weight in your bag.  So I LOVE Indestructibles Books, which weigh nothing, and can take pretty much any abuse your little one can throw at them, making them perfect for travel.  I just packed one, which I deeply regret.  Next time, I’ll have at least 3 different ones ready to go in my bag!A teething toy (3+ mo): Having something clean and safe on hand for baby to chew on is also a must. I like to bring our Sophie La Giraffe So Pure Teether (which is all-natural, and smaller and more multifunctional as a teether than the full-sized giraffe) as well as a cute teething necklace, which doubles as an adorable travel accessory for mama!Teething tablets (3+ mo): Nothing will make for a more miserable travel experience than a baby in pain from teething, so make sure you have a full complement of all-natural teething pain relief on hand. I always bring our Hyland’s Teething Tablets and keep our Camilia Teething Drops in my purse at all times as well. The latter is also great for Hebraic fussiness and irritability, owing to the chamomilla.Natural Disinfectant (all ages): I keep EO Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes and Cleanwell Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray in my bag at all times. I use the all-natural wipes to wipe down every surface baby could touch around our seat — the armrest, top and back of the table, etc. And then I clean my hands and baby’s with the natural, baby-safe spray periodically throughout the flight and after using the bathroom (obvi). These simple steps go so far to prevent getting sick while traveling!Muslin Swaddle Blanket (0-12 mo): This has to be the most multi-functional baby item ever, and it’s many uses just continue with travel! These puppies are great to use as blankets on a chilly plane, as nursing covers, as sleeping covers when baby is in the carrier, and even as little play mats for baby to get some floor time before boarding (or if you’re seated in the first row, you can even have a little space for baby to play on the floor at your feet!). I recommend a darker colored swaddle for traveling, like these from Aden + Anais, they’ll show less dirt and grime.Healthy Snacks (6+ mo): Generally, I’m not a supporter of snacking (I find 3 meals a day to be much healthier for adults and littles alike), but while traveling, all bets are off. Normal mealtimes get messed up, and flying can cause upset stomachs, so it’s good to have some healthy snacks on hand, for both mama and baby. For baby, blueberries are a favorite of ours, as are baby bean patties or muffins. These are much healthier than puffs or cereal, and are less likely to get everywhere. Dehydrated veggie sticks can also be fun! If baby eats purees, an organic pouch like those from Sprout Organics is a good idea to have on hand. For mama, I like to bring Lara Bars, which are filling without being bloating, and have no added sugar. It’s hard to plan for much more than that if you’re traveling alone with baby, but if you have help, grab a salad before boarding (a Nicoise is my favorite travel salad, with lots of protein and veggies), which will be loads healthier than anything you can get on the plane. In a pinch, most airlines now have healthy (often gluten-free) snack boxes — Sun Country, for example, has these great Go Picnic Snack Boxes that are perfect. And of course, water water water!iPad loaded with baby apps (9+ mo):  Ok, so I’m saving the best (and most controversial) for last.  I am a big supporter of the no screens ’til 2 years old rule.  Margaux has seen a total of 20 minutes of TV in her whole life (when we were both sick, which I figure was a good excuse), and I make only one exception to the rule for FaceTime with the grandparents.  So this was a hard one for me to get on board with.  But keeping an older baby or toddler occupied during a long flight is cause for more severe measures, and whipping out the screen is the most severe of measures.  I recommend saving this step for last.  After you’ve read your books, played with your new toys… After you’ve nursed and napped and snacked… Then it’s time to whip out the big guns.  I loaded my iPad with a few great baby apps, which were really big winners when the fussies hit.  I tried to get things that weren’t too involved, overstimulating, or loud, and were appropriate for a 1 year old.  My top app picks were: Baby Bubbles (a basic, cute, bubble popping game), Baby Paint (a really cute, colorful painting app), and Smart Sorter (a great shape and color sorting app that’s a little advanced for a 1 year old, but fun nonetheless). For babies 12 months and up, you may want to download a few cartoons as well, for when the going gets rough.  Even with the volume off, watching cute cartoony moving images will keep an older baby occupied and chill for quite some time!  NOTE: You shouldn’t need (nor do I recommend) to bring out the iPad for babies younger than 9-10 months.3 Bonus Tips for Airplane Travel with Baby:Airplane-Travel-With-BabyBook the right seat:  An aisle seat, close to the front is great, ensuring that you can be one of the first ones off the plane, and giving you flexibility to walk around (or rock baby to sleep in their carrier) whenever necessary.  If you can score the first row, even better.  That gives you some floor space, which is invaluable.  Put down a swaddle and you have a place for crawling or playing a bit.  If you can swing a first class seat, you’ve won the jackpot.  The extra space and comfort are so worth it.Board last:  Remember back in the day when you envied all those early boarding people with kids?  Well rest assured those early boarders don’t know what they’re missing.  You want to spend the least possible amount of time sitting on a plane with a squirmy baby, so wait until the last minute (or nearly the last minute, you don’t want to feel rushed) to board.  That way you get on and find your seat right before takeoff, which is AWESOME.Coordinate with nap time: Our flights were scheduled for right before M’s nap time, which meant that the odds of her sleeping were greatly enhanced.  You don’t want a flight that’s after nap time, because you’ll have an over-tired, cranky baby on your hands.  And too long before nap time means you’ll have a super energized and extra squirmy baby to deal with.  M naps at 9am and 2pm, so I found us flights that left at 8am and 1pm, which worked perfectly.  She nursed, played a little bit, and then it was into the carrier and off to sleep!

 

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Want more great info on healthier life with baby? Check out:

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Fermented Foods: The Amazing Health Food You’re Not Eating Enough Of

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Some of the most exciting research in health and nutrition these days is around the vital role our gut flora (read: healthy bugs and microbes in our stomach) plays in our overall health, beyond just digestion.   Having enough beneficial bacteria in your gut is linked to healthy weight loss, better moods, less anxiety, stress, and depression, increased immunity, clearer skin, and better bladder and reproductive health.  Of course, fermented foods also make you more regular, eliminate gas and bloating, and relieve stomach aches!

Taking an effective, broad-spectrum probiotic, like NOW Dairy-Free Probiotic-10 25 Billion, is one great way of making sure you’ve got enough healthy bugs in your system.  But as with all nutrients, food-based sources are even better!  Fermented foods are naturally high in beneficial bacteria and they are the best way of getting more probiotics in your system.  Eating fermented foods every day has amazing, immediately noticeable health benefits, and unfortunately, none of us are getting enough of these powerful health foods!  Check out our favorite fermented foods below, and keep in mind that quality matters.  Typical supermarket brands of these foods are pasteurized and heated, which kills the beneficial bacteria.

Top 5 Healthiest Fermented Foods1.  Sauerkraut

This delicious treat is a great starter food in the world of fermented foods.  Lacto-fermented cabbage is high in B vitamins and, of course, probiotics.  An added bonus is that cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which helps to balance hormones, lowers cancer risk, and is loaded with beneficial phytonutrients!  Always opt for raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut like Gold Mine Organic Raw Sauerkraut.  Better yet, make your own!  Check out this easy homemade sauerkraut recipe.  Add sauerkraut to your Buddha Bowls, use it as a topper for your veggie dishes, throw it into salads, or just eat it on it’s own!

2. Kimchi

Kimchi is sauerkraut’s spicy Korean cousin, and it’s frickin’ delicious.  Made with Chinese or Napa cabbage and yummy spices, kimchi is fermented in the same way as sauerkraut but the end result has a totally different flavor.  In Korean cuisine, kimchi is served as a side dish with pretty much everything, and we can totally take a page from their book.  Throw some kimchi on your veggies, over your BBQ, with soba noodles or rice, or just as a delicious complement to whatever you’re eating.  Again, opt for a raw, unpasteurized version that has been lacto-fermented (as in, no added vinegar), like Rejuvenative Organic Spicy Kimchi.  Or make your own!

3. Pickles

Who doesn’t love pickles, right?  But there are pickles, and then there are pickles.  Most pickles you get at your supermarket are vinegar pickled, which means they haven’t been fermented, and don’t have healthy bacteria.  Pickles don’t have to be relegated to burger or sandwich duty.  Slice ’em up and add them to salads, eat them as part of a delicious pickle plate appetizer, or have one alongside your favorite soup.  Opt for lacto-fermented pickles like Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills, or make your own!

4. Kombucha

If you haven’t had this fermented, probiotic-rich superpower drink yet, you’ve been living under a rock.  Crawl on out and pick up a bottle ASAP.  Kombucha is made by fermenting black tea with sugar and a mysterious bacterial culture called a scoby (or “mother”).  The result is a vinegary, fizzy, tart and subtly sweet beverage that is super refreshing, energizing, and amazing for your gut flora.  In addition to beneficial probiotics, kombucha is loaded with active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenol antioxidants. And it comes in a variety of yummy flavors to suit any palate.  Opt for organic kombucha like GT’s Classic Raw Organic Kombucha or find a local kombucha purveyor in your area (we love Kombucha Brooklyn and NessAlla Kombucha in Madison, WI).  You can also make your own!

5. Raw apple cider vinegar

Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples, and is one of the most versatile and amazing health foods and beauty tools out there.  Check out our article, The Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar, to find out all the myriad health benefits and ways to use this superfood.  Use raw, organic apple cider vinegar in your salad dressings, drizzled over veggies and soups, as a marinade for meat and fish, or a couple teaspoons in a glass of water with honey as an amazing drink for an achy belly or gas.  Always go for raw, organic, unfiltered product like Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.  Or, you can try making your own!

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The Macro Bowl: Your New Go-To Lunch

By: Callie McBride

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The food pyramid tells us which foods to load up on and which to enjoy sparingly; restaurants often contradict a nutritious dish with that classic side of fries. It seems that we are led to be confused by the food industry about nutritional balance, or lack thereof. How is one to really know that the steaming plate of roasted vegetables, doused with creamy cheese, isn’t actually the healthy option after all? And when a super, super-sized soft drink is offered for only 50 cents more, the trap becomes difficult to escape.

Enter the Macro Bowl, a dish that has recently made its way onto popular vegan restaurant menus and into raw food cookbooks. Imagine a large, colorful creation of nutritionally dense foods that combine to create a healthy powerhouse right before your eyes. Named after the high content of macronutrients that they contain, Macro Bowls typically feature steamed or raw greens, something fermented from the sea (seaweed, kimchee, wakame), brown rice or cooked quinoa, a root or steamed veggie, and a delicious dressing or side of avocado to top it off.  Right there you’ll see protein, calcium, omega 3s, healthy fats, fiber, many vitamins and minerals, and best of all, easy digestion. They come in different varieties, but they are all extremely dense with macronutrients, or all of the necessary and essential components to a healthy diet. Just think, you can get an entire day’s worth of essential nutrients, all in a tightly packed and flavorful bowl!

Carbs, proteins, fats, macrominerals, and water are the players, and the game is ensuring that your body gets all of its macronutrients as much as possible. (Hence why fried green beans with cheesy sauce probably don’t count.) The Macro Bowl is designed to load up the body with all of these nutrients at once-yes please. I have had my fair share of macro bowls or plates in New York City-specifically Brooklyn’s Sun In Bloom and Cafe Blossom in the West Village- and I can attest that this is one nutritious overload not to miss. The best part is that there is no strict recipe to follow with exact measurements or lengthy cooking. The variety and color is completely up to you and your palate. So check out the recipes below for inspiration, grab a bowl, and say hello to your new favorite dish.

Sun in Bloom’s Hearty Macro Bowl:

Daily Green, Daily Bean, Steamed Collard Greens, Steamed Kale, Wakame, Daily Veggie, House Made Raw Sauerkraut, and Tempeh. Served with Sesame Ginger Dressing (suggestion of adding avocado)

Café Blossom’s Macro Salad:

Spiced Quinoa, Steamed Tofu, Kimchee, Kimpura Carrot, Raw Kale with Avocado and Lemon

Follow this simple formula and personalize it to create an at-home Macro Bowl:

{ steamed greens + healthy whole grain + seaweed or kimchee + julienned raw veggie + sweet potato or avocado + lemony dressing}

Happy experimenting!

{Photo: Pinterest}

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

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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:

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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.

Nuts

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.

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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.

Wheatgrass

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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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2016 #skingoals: Amp Up Your Anti-Aging Action

6-steps-for-younger-skinThe second biggest skin complaint I hear about from my readers (after dry skin woes) is staving off the signs of aging, without fillers, surgery, and toxic chemicals.  Now, we all know that’s a tall order.  Nothing works as well as a good old nip, tuck, or injectable.  But there is a lot we can do, naturally, to slow the signs of aging skin through our skincare and lifestyle habits.  I’m not one to judge a lady (or gent!) for choosing the medspa route, but try these steps first to amp up your anti-aging action, before going hardcore Cher all over the place.  Deal? Deal. Here they are, my…

6 Steps for Younger Skin

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 1: Get serious about your SPF

This is the number one cause of aging skin people, and the remedy is quite simple.  Wear SPF, all. the. time.  Even if your skin has started to show signs of aging, it’s not too late to get in the sun protection game, to slow it all down.  So, what to use? I save the real sunscreen for beach days, and when I do rock it, I go for a natural, mineral-based sunscreen, designed especially for the face. The rest of the time, I love a good natural BB cream with SPF — these awesome multitaskers smooth complexion, deliver targeted ingredients for your specific skin type, AND provide sun protection!

Fave products: Coola Mineral Sunscreen for Face and Andalou Naturals Beauty Balm with SPF 30

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 2: Embrace the oils

In Ayurveda, we learn that kapha body types, who are naturally a bit on the oilier side, age much slower than drier body types, like vata (you can learn your Ayurvedic type here!).  That’s because our skin’s natural oils keep everything hydrated and lubricated, and naturally prevent wrinkles from forming! If you’re not naturally oily (and even if you are), a HUGE anti-aging trick is to embrace oils in your skincare routine.  I cleanse my face with oil, use oil-based serums, and moisturize with oils as well.  If you’re not ready to go all oils, all the time, like me, then at least make sure you’re using an oil as part of your daily routine. Your skin will thank you, and your wrinkles will shrink from fear!

Fave products: Sunkissed Dream Cleansing Oil and Arya Essentials Ayurvedic Oils

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 3: Pick a great anti-aging natural skincare line

The products you use definitely matter for slowing the signs of aging.  You are never too young for a great eye cream, serum, and moisturizer.  But there are a TON of crappy ingredients in most of the major anti-aging skincare lines.  Seriously, check your favorite creams and serums for ingredients like BHT, iso paraffin, parabens, disodium EDTA, and any of these bad guys.  NO BUENO.  And the real kicker is that many of those toxic chemicals actually thin and age your skin long-term. So go natural with this stuff, people! Look for lines with great anti-aging ingredients like argan oil, seaweeds, seabuckthorn, and alpha hydroxy acids.

Fave products: Beautycounter Countertime Collection <– check out my review and enter to win the whole collection!

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 4: Invest in antioxidants

Dr. Cybele Fishman, my amazing integrative dermatologist in NYC, told me that there are three tenants to preventing aging skin: SPF, an antioxidant serum, and retinol (or glycolic acid).  I have since lived by this tenant, and can see the difference.  An antioxidant serum reverses the environmental damage that your skin goes through on a daily basis, protect again free radicals, and literally feeds your skin with anti-aging, skin beautifying nutrients.  Look for a serum with vitamins C and E, preferably in a natural oil base (argan oil is great for this) — that way you can knock out steps 2 and 4 with one fell swoop!

Fave products: Youth & Botanics Organic Anti-Aging Serum and Botanic Organic Pomegranate and Argan Oil Antioxidant Serum

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 5: Whip out the big guns (i.e.: retinol or glycolic acid)

As per my dermatologists orders, I started getting a glycolic acid peel once a month a couple of years ago, and I have to tell you, it’s the best.  I get it done professionally, but you can also do it at home! Natural glycolic acid peels off the dead, dull outer layers of skin (often times on a microscopic level), revealing younger, radiant, smooth skin below. It’s also awesome for breakout-prone skin! If you’ve never had a glycolic peel before, start with a low percentage (like 20% concentration), and work your way up.

If your skin can handle it, you’re not pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, you can give retinol a try.  Retinol is vitamin A, which has a similar, antioxidant and anti aging effect to glycolic acid, but is a bit stronger, making it a bit harder on sensitive skin.  But if you can handle it, go for it! I would be wary of the prescription stuff though (Retin-A) — as with most prescription skincare, it’s loaded with all kinds of toxic ingredients.  Come on, medical community, get with it!

If your skin just can’t take either of these, or you just want something a little gentler, a fruit acid peel is a great place to start!

Fave products: Skin Obsession 30% Glycolic Acid PeelOz Naturals Retinol Night Cream, or MyChelle Fruit Fiesta Peel

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 6: Take a look at your lifestyle habits

Ok, now that we’ve covered everything you can put on your skin, we’ve got to take a look at the other factors that are contributing to aging skin.  The biggest are sleep, smoking, and diet.  Are you constantly sleep deprived? Your skin will totally give you away.  Do everything in your power to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night (check out a few ways to improve your sleep).  Are you still smoking cigarettes? It’s 2016.  Get over it.  If you’re not swayed by the fact that smoking is shortening your lifespan and that of everyone around you, perhaps you’ll be convinced by the fact that it’s giving you wrinkles and making you look 10 years older.  Seriously.  Do what you’ve gotta do and QUIT.  And lastly, your diet! Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and poor quality meat increases free radicals in your body and ages your cells.  That’s going to show up in your blood work and on your skin.  So ditch the crappy foods and start eating an anti-aging diet ASAP!

Favor healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, chia seeds and fatty fish; rock probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kombucha; drink organic bone broth, and eat antioxidant-rich foods like organic blueberries, green tea, and dark chocolate (in moderation).  A glass of red wine at night can also do a lot of good, but any more than that, and you’re actually aging yourself, so keep it cool, ok?

Fave products: Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out, Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, and AM/PM Yoga for Beginners

 

Image via Pinterest

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2016 #skingoals: Amp Up Your Anti-Aging Action

6-steps-for-younger-skinThe second biggest skin complaint I hear about from my readers (after dry skin woes) is staving off the signs of aging, without fillers, surgery, and toxic chemicals.  Now, we all know that’s a tall order.  Nothing works as well as a good old nip, tuck, or injectable.  But there is a lot we can do, naturally, to slow the signs of aging skin through our skincare and lifestyle habits.  I’m not one to judge a lady (or gent!) for choosing the medspa route, but try these steps first to amp up your anti-aging action, before going hardcore Cher all over the place.  Deal? Deal. Here they are, my…

6 Steps for Younger Skin

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 1: Get serious about your SPF

This is the number one cause of aging skin people, and the remedy is quite simple.  Wear SPF, all. the. time.  Even if your skin has started to show signs of aging, it’s not too late to get in the sun protection game, to slow it all down.  So, what to use? I save the real sunscreen for beach days, and when I do rock it, I go for a natural, mineral-based sunscreen, designed especially for the face. The rest of the time, I love a good natural BB cream with SPF — these awesome multitaskers smooth complexion, deliver targeted ingredients for your specific skin type, AND provide sun protection!

Fave products: Coola Mineral Sunscreen for Face and Andalou Naturals Beauty Balm with SPF 30

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 2: Embrace the oils

In Ayurveda, we learn that kapha body types, who are naturally a bit on the oilier side, age much slower than drier body types, like vata (you can learn your Ayurvedic type here!).  That’s because our skin’s natural oils keep everything hydrated and lubricated, and naturally prevent wrinkles from forming! If you’re not naturally oily (and even if you are), a HUGE anti-aging trick is to embrace oils in your skincare routine.  I cleanse my face with oil, use oil-based serums, and moisturize with oils as well.  If you’re not ready to go all oils, all the time, like me, then at least make sure you’re using an oil as part of your daily routine. Your skin will thank you, and your wrinkles will shrink from fear!

Fave products: Sunkissed Dream Cleansing Oil and Arya Essentials Ayurvedic Oils

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 3: Pick a great anti-aging natural skincare line

The products you use definitely matter for slowing the signs of aging.  You are never too young for a great eye cream, serum, and moisturizer.  But there are a TON of crappy ingredients in most of the major anti-aging skincare lines.  Seriously, check your favorite creams and serums for ingredients like BHT, iso paraffin, parabens, disodium EDTA, and any of these bad guys.  NO BUENO.  And the real kicker is that many of those toxic chemicals actually thin and age your skin long-term. So go natural with this stuff, people! Look for lines with great anti-aging ingredients like argan oil, seaweeds, seabuckthorn, and alpha hydroxy acids.

Fave products: Beautycounter Countertime Collection <– check out my review and enter to win the whole collection!

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 4: Invest in antioxidants

Dr. Cybele Fishman, my amazing integrative dermatologist in NYC, told me that there are three tenants to preventing aging skin: SPF, an antioxidant serum, and retinol (or glycolic acid).  I have since lived by this tenant, and can see the difference.  An antioxidant serum reverses the environmental damage that your skin goes through on a daily basis, protect again free radicals, and literally feeds your skin with anti-aging, skin beautifying nutrients.  Look for a serum with vitamins C and E, preferably in a natural oil base (argan oil is great for this) — that way you can knock out steps 2 and 4 with one fell swoop!

Fave products: Youth & Botanics Organic Anti-Aging Serum and Botanic Organic Pomegranate and Argan Oil Antioxidant Serum

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 5: Whip out the big guns (i.e.: retinol or glycolic acid)

As per my dermatologists orders, I started getting a glycolic acid peel once a month a couple of years ago, and I have to tell you, it’s the best.  I get it done professionally, but you can also do it at home! Natural glycolic acid peels off the dead, dull outer layers of skin (often times on a microscopic level), revealing younger, radiant, smooth skin below. It’s also awesome for breakout-prone skin! If you’ve never had a glycolic peel before, start with a low percentage (like 20% concentration), and work your way up.

If your skin can handle it, you’re not pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, you can give retinol a try.  Retinol is vitamin A, which has a similar, antioxidant and anti aging effect to glycolic acid, but is a bit stronger, making it a bit harder on sensitive skin.  But if you can handle it, go for it! I would be wary of the prescription stuff though (Retin-A) — as with most prescription skincare, it’s loaded with all kinds of toxic ingredients.  Come on, medical community, get with it!

If your skin just can’t take either of these, or you just want something a little gentler, a fruit acid peel is a great place to start!

Fave products: Skin Obsession 30% Glycolic Acid PeelOz Naturals Retinol Night Cream, or MyChelle Fruit Fiesta Peel

Anti-Aging Skincare Step 6: Take a look at your lifestyle habits

Ok, now that we’ve covered everything you can put on your skin, we’ve got to take a look at the other factors that are contributing to aging skin.  The biggest are sleep, smoking, and diet.  Are you constantly sleep deprived? Your skin will totally give you away.  Do everything in your power to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night (check out a few ways to improve your sleep).  Are you still smoking cigarettes? It’s 2016.  Get over it.  If you’re not swayed by the fact that smoking is shortening your lifespan and that of everyone around you, perhaps you’ll be convinced by the fact that it’s giving you wrinkles and making you look 10 years older.  Seriously.  Do what you’ve gotta do and QUIT.  And lastly, your diet! Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and poor quality meat increases free radicals in your body and ages your cells.  That’s going to show up in your blood work and on your skin.  So ditch the crappy foods and start eating an anti-aging diet ASAP!

Favor healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, chia seeds and fatty fish; rock probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kombucha; drink organic bone broth, and eat antioxidant-rich foods like organic blueberries, green tea, and dark chocolate (in moderation).  A glass of red wine at night can also do a lot of good, but any more than that, and you’re actually aging yourself, so keep it cool, ok?

Fave products: Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out, Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, and AM/PM Yoga for Beginners

 

Image via Pinterest

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Tips to Care for Your Yoga Mat from Aurorae

Aurorae Tips for a Clean and Long-lasting Yoga MatWash your hands with soap and water before class to reduce any natural oils in your hands. The natural oils in our skin, while sweating, can cause slipping so it is important to keep as dry as possible.Do not use creams or oils on your hands or feet before your practice.Wash your mat in the bath tub/shower with a soft brush/coarse sponge, warm water and small amount of non-oil based detergent/soap. No Bleach. (Some customers also mix sea salt in the water) Rinse thoroughly. This will help break in your mat and reduce any resin that may be sitting on the top surface of your mat. (Repeat as necessary) Resin is an oil base that is put in all synthetic materials to help preserve your mat. When it lies on the top surface of the mat it could cause slipping when wet. This is normal for all new mats and is part of the production process to keep your mat safe during handling/shipping as well as maintain a long life.Wrap your mat is a bath towel after washing and squeeze out any excess water. This will expedite the drying process.Hang dry outside in the sun if possible for best results. DO NOT PUT IN DRYER. (If you can’t hang outside, trying hanging over your shower rod)Always keep a micro fiber towel near you to wipe away any perspiration. Keeping your mat and body dry are keys to prevent slipping on your mat.If necessary use an Aurorae Yoga Slip Free Rosin Bag to absorb any perspiration and increase gripping power. Just tap a little on your mat where your hands and feet go and no more slipping.To preserve your mat as well as keep it free from bacteria, use the Aurorae all-natural organic mat wash.

{Image: Aurorae Yoga}

Yoga Mat Essentials from AuroraeYoga Mat Essentials from Aurorae by arienette13 on Polyvore

Aurorae Yoga Slip Free Value Package (Yoga Slip Free Rosin Bag with… / Aurorae Yoga Slip Free Rosin Bag. Stop Slipping on your Yoga Mat, Odor… / Aurorae Organic Yoga Mat Wash-Cleans, Restores, Refreshes and…

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