Giveaway: Block Island Organics Skincare

Block Island Organics Giveaway!

Block Island Organics Giveaway
We’re so excited to bring you this awesome giveaway — the entire product line from Block Island Organics a $65 value!

Check out our review of this wonderful line here.

To enter, please take both of the following steps!

1. Follow me on Instagram by clicking here.

2. Like Block Island Organics on Facebook by clicking here.

3. Leave a comment with the steps you took!

For a bonus entry, click here to join our email list for awesome free coaching and exclusive wellness content!

Continue Reading

Soups: Your Quick and Easy Dinner Solution

Soups on the Organic Beauty

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

A light, delicious, vegetable-based soup makes the perfect dinner for encouraging healthy weight, quality sleep, improved digestion, and increased energy in the mornings.  Soups are easily digestible, which leaves your body primed for rest, detoxification, and rejuvenation while you sleep, instead of expending tons of energy on digesting a big meal full of slow-to-digest foods like animal protein and grains.  Plus, it is super easy to throw together a delicious, quick dinnertime soup that leaves you free to relax and enjoy your evening, without spending hours in the kitchen!  Cook a big pot for the week, and enjoy your freedom!

 

A super important trick for quick and easy soups is a good quality vegetable broth base.  My absolute favorite for a flavorful, delicious broth is Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth Powder.  It’s all natural, instant, and allows you to customize how strongly flavored you want your broth.  I use it for all of my soups!  Pacific Organics and Imagine Organics make ok ones too, but in my opinion, nothing beats the natural broth powder!

Your other tools for whipping up a dinner soup in no time at all are canned veggies.  Stock up your pantry with canned organic beans and canned organic tomatoes.  Other pantry staples include yellow onions, garlic, greens, and olive oil.

Check out our delicious quick and easy dinner soup recipes!

Quick Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil SoupQuick White Bean and Kale SoupRaw Summer GazpachoChilled Cucumber Soup with MintAny Root Vegetable SoupAcorn Squash & Apple SoupSplit Pea, Fennel & Spinach SoupThai Sweet Potato Soup

 
{Image}
Continue Reading

Go Nuts For Coconut Oil! 6 Amazing Benefits and 10 Beauty Tricks

Coconut-Oil-Coconut-Water-and-Coconut-Milk-Benefits

By: Stephanie Heino

At this point, I am sure you are all aware of how yummy coconut tastes, but did you know that it also offers a great myriad of health and beauty benefits? My all-time favorite fruit is complex and versatile and can be used in a lot of different areas they you may not be aware of. We have all seen people going crazy for coconut water in an attempt to hydrate their body in the best possible way, and recently all I see and hear when visiting grocery stores, juice bars and beauty stores is what a great natural all in one product coconut really is.

Let us see what the hype is all about!

6 Things to Love About Coconut Oil

1. It may help with weight loss. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are metabolized differently than fats from other oils. These unique fats may help with weight loss. It also contains Vitamin E, K as well as minerals such as iron. Coconut oil has also been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle. Because of this, coconut oil has shot to popularity by being the world’s only natural low-calorie fat.

2. It can raise your good cholesterol. Although coconut oil contains saturated fats, it’s not the bad kind you normally think of. In fact, coconut oil can raise your good HDL cholesterol and give you a dose of antioxidants! When coconut oil was first brought to the U.S., there was a lot of negative hype about it because it contains high levels of saturated fat, but don’t panic! People were concerned that it increased cholesterol and contributed to heart disease—but this is a myth. It actually lowers cholesterol and reduces the chances of heart disease. This is because its fat content is simply changed into energy, lessening the likelihood of fat buildup in the arteries and heart.coconut-oil

3. It may strengthen your immune system. Coconut oil contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. This can help in fighting harmful bacteria and illness in the body! (Goodbye acne!). If you consume coconut in any of its various forms (whether it be raw coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, etc.), it can help treat some of mankind’s worst and most resilient of illnesses such as influenza, giardia, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis, and numerous other ailments caused by microbials.

4. It helps you to absorb important minerals. The fats and substances in coconut oil help your body to better absorb calcium and magnesium, which are important for healthy bones and teeth. It also prevents osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become thin and fragile and lose their density). This makes coconuts a good, healthy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, but still want to have strong bones and teeth. Those who prefer a vegan diet can benefit from it as a good source of protein and fatty acids.

5. Provides amazing nutrition. Whether you’re eating the meat, drinking the juice, or consuming it as oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It has tons of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of electrolytes. In fact, coconut water is known to have the same electrolyte levels as human plasma, and is one of the reasons people zip it up in the summer!

6. It helps with blood sugar levels. Coconut oil also helps control blood sugar levels by improving the secretion of insulin and the utilization of blood glucose.

You can use coconut in a myriad of different ways (cooking, baking, smoothies and as beauty remedies) and forms (coconut water, coconut milk, coconut crystals, coconut flour and nectar, etc.) so make sure to pick up your raw, organic cold press coconut oil the next time you go to the health food store for your fruits and veggies. Coconut oil is ideal for high heat cooking since it is the only oil that does not create toxic byproducts (those that cause wrinkles on your face ladies!) when heated. Also get rid of your petroleum based creams that plug your pores, causing pimples and generally poison your body and start using something that’s really good for you and the planet!

10 Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil

1. As a cheekbone highlighter

Nothing perks up a tired face like a little highlighter, but you don’t need store-bought products to achieve the same effect. Simply sweep a small amount of coconut oil on top of makeup and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but adds more glow, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas.

2. To shave your legs

Conventional shaving cream is an expensive cocktail of chemicals that you don’t need to get a nice clean shave on your legs or underarms. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is inexpensive, naturally antimicrobial, and smells divine. Plus, its skin-soothing properties will leave your legs looking hydrated!

3. As a deep-conditionersilky-smooth-hair

There’s a reason many conditioners contain coconut oil: It’s better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil. Apply to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You’ll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual with a gentle cleanser.

4. To remove eye makeup

Yes, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you’re done, wash your face as usual.

5. As a body moisturizer

A recent animal study found that when applied topically, virgin coconut oil can speed up wound healing, and a human study found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin.

6. As facial wash and exfoliatorface

Because coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing many women see miracle when using coconut oil as part of their facial skin care (be careful if you’re adult-acne prone!). Mix the oil with baking soda to create an exfoliator and simply rub the oil in circular motions all over your face and neck, giving yourself a gentle massage as you go. If just using it as a facial wash, leave it on for 10-15 minutes when you are in the shower to get maximum results!

Go nuts for coconuts!

Continue Reading

Sulfate-Free Argan Oil Haircare

Maple Holistics on The Organic Beauty

“Oh my god, Natasha, enough with the argan oil!”

Yes, yes, I hear you.. But when you find a beauty ingredient that is truly obsession worthy, it’s hard to shut up about it!  We’ve been bringing you our favorite argan oil products for a few months now, but this is totally new: argan oil-based shampoo and conditioner!

We’ve long been on the sulfate-free bandwagon for haircare.  I don’t remember the last time I used a shampoo that actually lathered.  (Lathering is for sissies!)  So we’re super excited to find natural, sulfate-free haircare products that feature our number one favorite beauty ingredient.

Maple Holistics creates holistic, natural, plant-based products that are designed to heal and enhance beauty.

Their Argan Oil Shampoo is formulated with healing jojoba, almond, and avocado oils to nourish hair.  It also has botanical keratin, which is awesome for building hair’s strength and resilience. This shampoo is perfect for normal to oily hair, and balances hair’s natural moisture beautifully.

Pair that with the Silk 18 Conditioner, which, in addition to magical argan oil, is loaded with nourishing shea butter, calming organic pomegranite, hibiscus, and green tea, and strengthening silk amino acids.  It’s lightweight and won’t weigh hair down, making it also perfect for normal to oily hair.

Maple Holistics hair products are proof that you don’t need to slather your head with drying, toxic chemicals to deep cleanse and condition, and come out with beautiful, shining locks!


 

Want to try it for yourself?Enter our Maple Holistics Giveaway!

Follow the steps below to enter our giveaway to win a full-size bottle of both the products above!

STEP 1:  Click here to sign up for our email list! (You’ll also get our free 3-day holistic cleanse!)

STEP 2: Click here to follow me on Instagram! (You’ll get tons of awesome inspiration for eating and living beautifully!)

STEP 3: Leave a comment below to let me know you’ve completed steps one and two.  You can also share your biggest hair challenge — I may even write an article just for you!

AND OUR WINNER IS…. ASHLEY! CONGRATS!

Continue Reading

Maty’s: Effective and Safe Products for Baby’s Skin

Matys-Baby-Products-on-The-Organic-Beauty

Both as a holistic health practitioner and now as a new mom, I get so infuriated when reading the ingredients of common baby products found in drugstores, and unfortunately, the medicine cabinets of most American families.  Petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens, tetrasodium EDTA.  Just one glance at the ingredient list of popular baby brands like Johnson and Johnson’s, Desitin, and A+D read like a list of who’s who of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals. And yet, many parents don’t think twice about applying these products to their baby’s delicate skin, exposing them to harmful toxins when they are most vulnerable.

Just as a walk down the baby aisle of the drugstore gives me heart palpitations, perusing the world of natural baby products gives me hope and makes me pretty giddy!  So I was super excited to discover Maty’s Healthy Products and their healthy, 100% natural alternatives to common baby products. And the story behind the brand is absolutely heart-melting. After founder Carolyn Harrington’s daughter was born with serious heart or organ defects, requiring several surgeries before the age of 5 (read her story here), she knew that using common toxic brands of baby products would be detrimental to her delicate immune system.  So after working with a naturopath and acquiring her own certification as a holistic health practitioner, Carolyn set out to create a line of products that supported her baby’s health and her own, and now we all get to reap the benefits of her journey and research.

When I was pregnant with our little girl, I took my commitment to all-natural, organic beauty, body and home products even more seriously than I did before, determined to do everything I could to support the beautiful little life growing inside me.  I only used products that were safe enough to eat (although, of course, I wouldn’t recommend snacking on body lotion!), and now that our little girl is here, I am diligent about maintaining my commitment with every single product that touches my baby’s skin, and finding healthy alternatives to common baby products has been a really fun undertaking!

Though I tend to avoid any chemical ingredients, the biggest, baddest three that top my list of things to keep away from my daughter are petrolatum, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances or perfumes. All three of which are carcinogenic toxins, and unfortunately, all three of which are found in common baby products.

All of Maty’s products are free of these ingredients, as well as any other unpronounceable chemicals. Even better, their products are full of ingredients that are actually beneficial to baby, like natural oils of coconut, olive, jojoba, and sunflower, and natural plant extracts like eucalyptus, lavender and chamomile — all in dilutions that are appropriate for baby’s sensitive constitution.

Matys-Baby-Ointment We love using the All-Natural Baby Ointment ($7.99-$13.99) every night to protect baby’s delicate diaper area from moisture while she sleeps.  Formulated with natural oils, vitamin E and beeswax, it forms a moisture-proof barrier, while also hydrating and protecting baby’s skin.  I’m happy to say we’ve never had an incident of diaper rash, and our girl sometimes goes all night without a diaper change!  It’s a super safe and healthy alternative to Vaseline or A+D diaper ointments.

Matys-Baby-Chest-RubTo calm our little one and keep her nasal passages clear at night, I love using the All-Natural Baby Chest Rub ($7.99), loaded with natural essential oils in a healthy oil base. Not only is this a safe alternative to Vapor Rub, which has menthol that can be dangerous for little ones, but the oils of chamomile and lavender add a relaxing effect that help baby get a good night’s sleep, especially if she’s sick!

Although our little one isn’t quite old enough to use it yet, I can’t wait to try the All-Natural Children’s Cough Syrup (not that I’m looking forward to future colds!).

Of course, all Maty’s products are gluten-free, vegan, and not tested on animals.  And best of all they are totally affordable, and available at many major retailers! So this leaves you with absolutely no reason not to choose the healthiest, safest products for your precious little one!

Learn more about Maty’s on their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Continue Reading

How this nutritionist feeds her baby 

How a Nutritionist Feeds Her Baby

As a holistic nutritionist, I put a lot of thought into what and how I want to feed my baby. Her first foods and the way she is fed set her up for a lifetime of healthy eating and a happy relationship with food.

I did a bunch of research before I settled on baby-led weaning and a very specific set of first foods for my little one. Check out this video where I discuss what I love about baby-led weaning, what foods I feed my little one, and how I’m setting her up for a lifetime of happy, healthy eating!

Baby-Led Weaning ResourcesBaby-Led WeaningRapley WeaningNum Num Dips SpoonsBaby Led Weaning CookbookIron-Rich First FoodsDark leafy greens (puréed or added to a smoothie): add a little breast milk or water, and don’t be afraid to add seasonings and spices!Pumpkin and squash (roasted and cut into wedges, or puréed): add some rosemary, thyme, or nutmeg to spice things up!Dried prunes and apricots (stewed and served whole or puréed): I mix these in with oatmeal and other veggie puréed, as well as just feeding them whole. Make sure they’re stewed nice and soft!Beets (roasted and puréed): with dill, rosemary, even some garlic!Peas (cooked and puréed): add mint or thymeBeans (cooked and puréed)Broccoli (steamed): cut into baby-fist sized floretsBerries (puréed in green smoothie, or strawberries halved and served whole)RecipesMommy + Me Green Smoothie (great for lactation and iron!)Quinoa porridge, chia pudding, and flourless banana pancakes (omit the salt and sweeteners)#gallery-1 {margin: auto;}#gallery-1 .gallery-item {float: left;margin-top: 10px;text-align: center;width: 33%;}#gallery-1 img {border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;}#gallery-1 .gallery-caption {margin-left: 0;}/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */mmm... broccolimmm… broccoliyum yum caulifloweryum yum cauliflowerself-feeding pureed kaleself-feeding pureed kale
pancakes!pancakes!broccoli facebroccoli faceloving her green beans!loving her green beans!

Continue Reading

9 Natural (and fun!) Ways to Relieve Anxiety

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Your job, your health, your relationships, money, the future, the end of the world… Sometimes it seems like life is filled with an endless stream of things to feel anxious about.  If left unchecked, anxiety can run rampant, taking over your thought processes and making everything feel like a major catastrophe.  This is no way to live!  Life is just too short to spend so much of it worrying.  Plus, not to worry you even more, but the long term effects of anxiety can wreak havoc on your body, your immunity, your digestive system, and even your skin!  So it’s time to take control, and stop letting anxiety rule you.  The best part is, the natural ways to relieve your anxiety that I detail below are FUN… which, in and of itself is a wonderful balm against anxiety! Now before you read this list and start thinking of a million reasons why these remedies won’t help, or don’t apply to you (“I mean, how can having more sex help me feel less anxious about money??”), just take a breath and give them a try.  When you are in a happier and more balanced state, you are much more able to calmly take on life’s challenges without letting the anxiety take over!

1.  Laugh it up! Studies show that laughter, even just nervous giggling, shows your body and mind that a situation isn’t as bad, or as dangerous as it seems.  It is an amazing way to diffuse anxiety, and to instantly raise serotonin levels.  So make sure to laugh several times a day, every day.  Be it the latest episode of The Mindy Project, your husband’s antics, or a hilarious LOLCats photo, make laughter a priority, and instantly reap the benefits!

2. Get outside!  Fresh air, nature, walking, sunshine, or even just a change of scenery do wonders for anxiety.  Make it a point to get out into nature whenever possible.  Walk your dog a little longer.  Take a walk around the block after lunch every day at work.  All of these little steps will go a long way toward relieving your anxiety, especially if you employ this tactic when a wave of anxiety hits!

3. Have more orgasms!  Need an excuse to get it on? Whether with a special someone or going it solo, the oxytocin and endorphins released after an orgasm are natural anxiety and stress busters.  Sharing a steamy experience with someone important to you really enhances the anti-anxiety effects, so don’t take this recommendation as a carte blanche to go on a random sexscapade!

4. Dance like no one’s watching.  Research has shown that music therapy significantly lowers stress and anxiety levels, almost immediately!  It can lower blood pressure, raise serotonin, and is a wonderful distraction from whatever is causing you anxiety.  So crank up your favorite tunes, and dance around your living room like you mean it!  Bonus points for singing along!

5. Get a fuzzy friend!  One of the most wonderful benefits of having a regular relationship with an animal is the amazing stress lowering and anti-anxiety effects it has.  Research has shown that one-on-one time with an animal can lower blood pressure, boost mood, and relieve anxiety.  If you have a pet already, make sure to schedule in some quality time together every day.  Get out of the regular walk/feed routine for some daily cuddles, playtime, and hugs!  Don’t have a pet?  Consider fostering an animal!

6. Breathe.  Yoga and meditation are documented through tons of research as being immensely powerful tools for managing and reducing anxiety and stress, in no small part because of the emphasis they place on breath.  Drawing your attention to your breath for good chunk of time stabilizes all of your body’s panicky symptoms, and takes your mind off of what’s worrying you.  Make either or both of these practices a regular part of your week for optimal anti-anxiety results.  In a pinch, or when you feel a panic attack coming on, just hold your breath for as long as your comfortably can, or do a cycle of the 4-7-8 breath (detailed in Less Stress and More Energy Through Breath!)

7. Eat calming foods.  There are a whole bunch of foods out there that have super potent anti-anxiety properties.  Nutmeg has qualities very similar to Prozac — sprinkle it on everything from your chai latte to your oatmeal to your roast root veggies.  Whole grains like brown rice contain tryptophan and magnesium, which are both amazing for relieving anxiety.  Nuts like walnuts and almonds are also loaded with potent anti-anxiety, calming, and energizing nutrients.  Salmon and other omega-3 rich fish are also amazing for regulating mood and relieving stress.  AVOID caffeine, which can exacerbate anxiety and lower stress threshold.

8. Supplement smartly.  There are so many natural supplements out there that can support a calm mind.  Often times, nutritional deficiencies can be a cause of anxiety!  Magnesium, B vitamins, and calcium are all vital for keeping anxiety at bay.  If you don’t eat salmon several times a week, add a good omega-3 fish oil supplement to make sure you reap all the benefits.  Vitamin D deficiency can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety, so make sure you’re getting at least 2000 IU per day. If anxiety tends to hit you at night, take a good natural sleep supplement with natural ingredients like GABA, hops, passionflower, valerian, and l-theanine (my faves are Herbal Slumber and Knock Out).  Sipping Kava Stress Relief tea has very potent anti-anxiety effects as well!

9.  Write about it.  Journaling is a super powerful anti-anxiety tool.  Whether it’s writing your way through some complex issues you’re dealing with, just jotting down some thoughts, or keeping a pad of paper by your bed to get anxiety-producing to-do’s or ideas out of your head, putting pen to paper does wonders.  I’m a big fan of Morning Pages, the practice of freestyle writing first thing in the morning.

{Photos via Pinterest: 1, 2, 3, 4}

Continue Reading

The Last (and Best) Diet You’ll Ever Need

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The traditional Ayurvedic approach to eating emphasizes when you eat as well as what you eat, and it is literally the best and healthiest key to permanent weight loss, lifelong weight management, and optimum health and digestion.  It points to the body’s ideal time for consuming the biggest meal of the day.. and it’s certainly not when most Americans think it is.

Our bodies are designed to consume the majority of the day’s calories before 3pm, when digestion is the strongest.  This means a balanced breakfast that is nourishing and filling enough to get you through to lunch without feeling hungry (and without needing that mid-morning cup of coffee or snack!).  Our bodies function best when lunch is the biggest meal of the day.  Midday is when our digestion and metabolism are the strongest, and our system is in need of nourishment and healthy calories.  So guess what?  That soup or salad just aren’t going to cut it.  Your typical light lunch is what’s responsible for your late afternoon energy crash, your high hunger levels in the evening, and your struggles with weight!  Making your lunch healthy and dinner-sized is the biggest secret for longterm weight loss, and the end to dieting forever.  This big lunch keeps you full and energized throughout the day, and keeps you from overeating in the evening, which is when calories eaten go directly to your problem areas and contribute to weight gain.  Dinner, or better yet “supper” (sharing the root of “supplemental” or “soup-like”), should be the lightest meal of the day.  Soup is the absolute ideal supper, although a salad is also great.

This way of eating certainly has history and culture on it’s side, being the traditional way of eating for many Eastern cultures, and even much of Western Europe, before eating habits and work cultures were Americanized.  But now, there is also cold, hard scientific evidence supporting it!  A new study recently published in the International Journal of Obesity proves once and for all that eating your main meal of the day in the evening contributes to weight gain.  In the study, a group of 420 overweight men and women were evaluated over five months.  During that time, half the group ate their biggest meal of the day before 3pm, while the other half ate it after 3pm.  Both groups had the same amount of exercise, ate the same amount of calories throughout the day, and got the same amount of sleep throughout the study.  Over the course of the 5 month study, the early eating group lost an average of 22 pounds, while the late eating group lost only 17 pounds.

Further supporting this evidence is a study from the University of Alabama last year, showing that eating higher fat meals in the first half of the day, and a lighter low-fat meal in the second half of the day (see The Key to Sustained Weight Loss) support longterm weight loss.  So here’s how to eat:

Eat three meals a day, and don’t snack.Make lunch the biggest meal of the day.Make breakfast big enough to get to lunch without feeling hungry.Make dinner light and “supplementary.”

Even if you change nothing else about your diet, just this shift alone will give you some results!  But of course, for this to be the last and best diet you’ll ever need, you’ll want to make some changes to what you’re eating as well.

Eat less meat and dairy, and more low-mercury fish and healthy plant-based fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and healthy oils.Eat more vegetables!!!  Better yet, eat mostly vegetables!  They are nature’s perfect foods.Eat less processed grains and flours, and more whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and oats.Eat less sugar.  If you need a little sweetness, get it from fruit and healthy sweeteners like stevia or raw honey, all in moderation.

Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?

Want some healthy meal ideas?  Check out What Do I Eat? Healthy Eating is Easier Than You Think!, and our Healthy Recipes database.

Reference:
Garalualet M. International Journal of Obesity, Jan 2013.
Bray M. International Journal of Obesity, Mar 2010

Continue Reading

Anti-Aging Magic from Avitalin

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Marina Volod, creator of Avitalin Skincare, has devoted her life to the study of skin physiology, cosmetic ingredients and skin nutrition, and that immense knowledge base has yielded the creation of an immensely effective, powerful, and best of all, healthy line of vegan skincare products. For the past month, I have been using her products, and I have to say, my skin absolutely loves it!

I follow my oil face wash with Avitalin Firming Fluid ($55), which is formulated with anti-aging skincare powerhouses like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and phospholipids. It also has one of my favorite natural ingredients, seabuckthorn oil, which is a wonderful anti-inflammatory antioxidant. The vegan fluid goes on super smooth, and I actually found that I don’t even need a moisturizer after using it!

When my skin is feeling a little overstressed and red, I love to use Rebalance Calming Complex ($58), which is specially formulated to calm sensitive skin, especially if you’re prone to eczema, rosacea, or dermatitis. It is loaded with nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like rooibos and green tea extracts, licorice and oat extracts, and calendula. It also helps to keep skin cells young and vital with potent vegan embryonic phyto complex and beta glucans. It leaves skin silky smooth and even, and provides non-greasy moisture all day long!

To keep eyes youthful, I love the Smooth Contour eye cream ($55). It is marvelous for getting rid of any puffiness and dark circles, and feels absolutely luxurious around the eyes. It’s made with ultra nourishing shea and cocoa butter, brightening alpha-arbutin, and the patented Syn®-Ake, which is a potent complex that relaxes facial tension, preventing the formation of new lines, and improving firmness and tonicity.

Once a week, I love to exfoliate and rejuvenate my skin with the Active Enzyme Peel ($40), which uses gentle fruit acids and skin lightning ingredients to increase cell turnover, improve skin’s texture and brighten the complexion. Pineapple and papaya enzymes make this peel feel and smell like a treat straight out of the spa, while arbutin and baltic amber extract deliver potent skin transformation.

Marina really embodies our ethos here at The Organic Beauty, that nature provides us with the most effective and potent ingredients to heal and beautify our bodies, inside and out!

I love the Avitalin line so much, I just have to share it with you, my beautiful readers! From now until next Friday, March 15th, we’re holding a giveaway of over $160 worth of Avitalin products! Click here to learn how to enter!

Continue Reading

Is Your Food Raising Your Stress Level?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Did you know that your food choices can have an impact on your stress levels?  I know, it sounds like a stretch, but your diet might be full of foods that are making you feel more stressed out throughout your day.  The foods below create inflammation in your body and cause your whole system to work harder to process it.  This makes you a lot less able to handle the normal stressors that come your way, leading to heightened feelings of overwhelm, overburden, and, yes, stress!   Avoiding these foods is not only going to help lower your stress levels, but it will also improve your overall health, improve sleep and digestion, combat anxiety, and improve your mood!

Top 5 Stress-Causing FoodsProcessed sugar.  Yeah yeah, you’ve heard how horrible processed sugar is for your health, your waistline, and your health over and over again.  But it is also one of the biggest culprits for your feeling totally stressed out with work and life.  Processed sugar is mega inflammatory, and inflammation in your body causes a whole slew of physical and mental symptoms (like pain, headaches, stomach issues, weight, anxiety, depression, and stress).  Additionally, it spikes your  insulin levels, which leads to an inevitable blood sugar crash and the corresponding mood swings, bouts of anxiety, and significantly heightened stress response.  Are sweets your go-to stress relievers?  Opt for a couple squares of high quality dark chocolate that does not have processed sugar, like Nibmor or Simply Light (which is sugar free!).Factory farmed meat.  Your conventional, supermarket or restaurant meat is loaded with antibiotics, hormones, and other toxins that totally stress out your system and make it work overtime trying to detoxify itself.  Factory farmed meat is super inflammatory and puts your body into an acidic state, which makes you much more susceptible to stress.  Additionally, when you eat factory-farmed meat, you are eating unhealthy flesh that has been tortured, fed poor quality feed, and confined without exercise.  There is substantial research that shows that the old adage of “we are what we eat” holds true — when you eat something that lived in a perpetual state of stress, anxiety and poor health, it is going to impact your own stress and anxiety levels and health.  Always opt for organic, free-range, grass-fed, and antibiotic-free meat, and make sure it doesn’t make up more than 20% of your diet.  Don’t want to pay the price for high quality meat?  Go vegetarian!Factory farmed dairy.  Pretty much ditto for all of the above — factory farmed dairy has tons of growth hormones, antibiotics and toxicity.  It is inflammatory, acidic, and as if that wasn’t enough, it’s also very mucous-producing and upsetting to your digestive tract.  Even if you’re not lactose-intolerant, most human adults just don’t do well with conventional dairy, and get symptoms like bloating, loose stool, headaches, and even anxiety from regular consumption.  How’s that for stressful?  Always go for organic dairy from grass-fed cows.  Raw, unpasteurized dairy is best, if you can get it.  But if you suffer from headaches, anxiety, or any kind of digestive issue, going dairy-free is highly recommended.Processed conventional wheat.  By now you’ve heard all about the evils of gluten (if you’ve been under a rock, check out What’s All the Buzz About Gluten?), but research is showing that it’s not specifically gluten that’s the big bad, but conventional processed wheat.   I though I was gluten-intolerant for ages, but in the last couple of years I started eating Ezekiel bread (which has sprouted wheat, among a bunch of other great grains) and Mestemacher natural rye and pumpernickel breads, and low and behold!  No symptoms!  Conventional wheat is sprayed with tons of pesticides and insecticides, which are huge stressors on your body, and can lead to pain, joint swelling, bloat and gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, depression and anxiety.  And when your body is dealing with all that, it’s certainly not going to be able to handle normal stressors with any amount of calm and balance.  Opt for sprouted wheat, or avoid wheat altogether in favor of delicious grains like rye, quinoa, brown rice, millet, and amaranth.Processed, unfermented soy.  Soy has been getting a really bad rap of late, and for a good reason.  The majority of soy eaten in America is processed and unfermented.  Processed soy is typically genetically modified (and GMO’s have been linked to depression and anxiety, among other health problems), and sprayed with tons of chemicals.  Our bodies are just not designed to deal with those factors, and digesting them regularly puts a huge amount of strain on the system.  Healthy forms of soy are fermented, like organic tempeh, natto, wheat-free tamari (organic) and miso are cleaner, easier to digest, and have lower estrogenic effects on the body.  Avoid eating any processed soy like tofu, soy sauce, soy milk, fake meats and cheeses, soy protein, protein bars, and even edamame.  {Images:  CNN.com, KimberlySnyder.com, Prostate.net, EndTimesHeadlines, DrHyman.com}Related articlesStress early in life leads to adulthood anxiety and preference for ‘comfort foods’ (sciencedaily.com)Eating Fish During Pregnancy Lowers Stress (medindia.net)5 Foods That Cause Stress (Clean Plates)

Continue Reading
1 2 3 19