Green Tea for Maximizing Health and Beauty

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By: Stephanie Heino

Tea (Camellia Sinensis) refers to Black, Green, White and Oolong teas. The teas differ by the fermentation process where the black tea is fully fermented (oxidized), oolong is partially fermented, white is minimally processed and green is unfermented, which makes green tea the healthiest. This article will focus on the health benefits of green tea, but in general all teas are similar due to similar bioactive health substances, like bioflavonoids (super-antioxidants found in many natural foods), for example.

Green tea, made from a bioflavonoid-containing plant – has beImageen enjoyed as a hot (and cold!) beverage and an herbal remedy in China and Japan for thousands of years. Recently, researchers have investigated green tea’s healing properties and have discovered some interesting health benefits which include protection against certain infections; improved cardiovascular health; better dental hygiene; clearer, healthier skin; and protection from developing some types of cancer.

There are many different types of teas available these days.  Some are sold as herbal teas to distinguish them from black tea. Green tea and regular tea come from the same plant – the Camellia sinensis shrub, which is native to Asia.  The lImageeaves of Camellia sinensis are dried and cured in different ways to yield different types of tea. Instead of fermenting the green tea, the leaves are steamed, dried, and ready for use. The steaming deactivates enzymes present in the tea leaves that can slowly break down the bioflavonoids. Therefore, the green tea process preserves much of the beneficial nutrient content found in the fresh tea leaves. Many people are confused about green tea containing caffeine –it does, but only half as much as a cup of coffee (6-ounce cup of green tea can contain 15 to 60 mg of caffeine). There are also decaffeinated green tea beverages and supplements available for people who want to avoid caffeine intake while experiencing the health benefits.

Some of the major beneficial effects of green tea include a reduced risk of many diseases such as heart disease; a reduction of dental problems; a reduced cancer risk, especially gastrointestinal cancer; the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels; and anti-hypertensive effects. According to Japanese researchers there is a reduced risk of gastric cancers in populations drinking several cups of green tea per day.  According to vital health statistics, the death rate from cancer in both men and women in the Shizuoka region of Japan was found to be much lower than the national average. After conducting animal experiments to see if feeding green tea leaves to mice would suppress cancer cell growth they found that tumor growth in experimental mice fed green tea was indeed suppressed. There is also some evidence that consumption of green tea can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. This can be accomplished by keeping the levels of cholesterol in the blood within a normal range and promoting good blood flow.

There is a great amount of other health benefits of green tea. Due to the naturally occurring amount of fluoride in green tea, as well as the anti-bacterial property, studies have confirmed the positive effect green tea has on teeth. Therefore green tea may be used to prevent dental cavities. Other benefits of drinking green tea before, during, and after meals includes antibacterial action, antioxidant effects, reduction of blood-glucose levels, as well as increased longevity.

The best way to get the benefits from the green tea, take green tea supplements before or with your meals and enjoy a cup of green tea often, in particular with meals. When selecting dietary supplements, look for brands with green-tea extracts standardized to 25-percent or more polyphenols. As part of a total dietary supplement plan, green-tea extract intake of 50 mg or higher will be beneficial.

As for the beauty aspect of drinking green tea, specialists found out that green tea has a special effect on our skinSkinGreenTea especially for eczema and acne sufferers. If you suffer from eczema, drinking green tea regularly can be a remedy for reducing the symptoms since green tea plays the role of a moisturizer with its powerful antioxidant properties that are 20 times stronger the vitamin E. Some say that 3 cups a day is enough for a guaranteed result!

Green tea is also good for preventing and fighting existing acne and a much better method that is far less harmful than the chemicals in all products you usually are recommended. You can find several cosmetic products containing green tea extracts, but consuming it is the simplest and best method to receive all possible benefits. It is said that this miracle beverage contains more antioxidants than any of the beauty products rich in chemical antioxidants and vitamins like E, C, and A. Green tea is an amazing antioxidant beauty food for skin and glow, as well as your general health!

Drink it up!

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Organic Beauty on the 4th

By Callie McBride

Independence Day is here!

Backyard barbequing, boating on the lake, sitting poolside with friends, or marching through a parade; whatever tomorrow’s festivities bring, we have 5 organic beauty tips that will fit right in with all the fun and fireworks.

1. Classic Red Lip

courage3Vapour Organic Beauty’s new Siren Lipstick “Courage 406” is perfect for the 4th. Its made with 70% organic ingredients and 30% of essential vitamins and minerals. $22, www.vapourbeauty.com

2. Electric Blue Nails

Vapour’s Vernissage Nail Laquer is non-toxic, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, boasting only of natural and safe ingredients to give your nails a gorgeous sheen. Try “Ether 524” to add a pop of blue to your look.

3. Festive Hair Accessory

Whether you’re in hot and humid New York, sunny California, or anywhere in between, it’s gonna be a hot one. Ditch the hair straightener/curler, opt for natural wave spray (Josie Maran makes a great organic version), and add in a fun red or blue accessory to beat the heat and stay stylish. We love that this Marc by Marc Jacobs hair pin comes in the two holiday colors, red and blue.

 

4. Beer Alternative

Not to ruin anyone’s fun, but beer, a widely popular drink on the fourth of July, can often lead to bloating, stomach pains, and general discomfort, especially those that contain gluten. If you plan to sip throughout the day, you may as well do it the right way! Enter Kombucha, the best and most beneficial alternative to beer; its fizzy, delicious, and cleanses your system with each gulp.

5. A Vegan Treat To Share

Possibly the most exciting accessory to your fun fourth, here are some simple ideas for snacks to bring to the party: strawberry + blueberry skewers; raspberry + coconut yogurt parfaits; watermelon slices; red, white, and blue homemade popsicles using crushed berries and soymilk; the list goes on!

Make sure to pack enough water, sunscreen, and snacks for the day. Slap on that red lip, wrap up your healthy treat, and have a safe 4th of July!

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Sexy Yoga Essentials for Wanderlust and Beyond!

By: Nkechi Njaka, Msc.

I am leaving for Wanderlust today! I am so excited to travel up north to Tahoe with a car full of my yogi friends for a weekend of yoga, music, amazing food and people.

One of my favorite things that I did to prepare for my trip was create a mini look book for the Lululemon Cow Hollow store. It was so fun to piece together festival looks and styles that would work for a weekend at Wanderlust or any summer vacation.

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Lululemon.com: Hot Hitter Dress | Festival Bag | Essential Polo | Daily Short | Every Day Gym Bag

Lululemon.com:  Mod Moves Tank | Wunder Unders | Energy Bra | Iconic Wrap

Lululemon.com: Mod Moves Tank | Wunder Unders | Energy Bra | Iconic Wrap

Lululemon.com:  Free to Be Bra | Ago Go Crop | One Hit Henley | Surge Short | Sand to Savasana Bag

Lululemon.com: Free to Be Bra | Ago Go Crop | One Hit Henley | Surge Short | Sand to Savasana Bag

And while I was dancing around my apartment listening to Beyonce while packing, I realized something about my excitement.  It’s not about the clothes. I mean, it is, and it is also about how I will practice yoga on the top of a mountain outside in the middle of summer.  I really can’t think of a better vacation! In order to enjoy EVERYTHING while I am there, I must stay hydrated, fueled and skin-protected.

Here are my 6 must-haves: PROBAR | Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer|Harmless Harvest Coconut Water| Elemental Herbs | The Mat

PROBAR | Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer|Harmless Harvest Coconut Water| Elemental Herbs | The Mat

 

Why these guys?

PROBAR is rich in raw ingredients and nutrient-dense calories for lasting energy and nourishment. Great for a post work out snack or something to grab in between means. I love that it is non-GMO product, gluten free and vegan. Happy for all dietary restrictions. They also happen to be DELICIOUS.

Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer 99.9% of bacteria eradicated while being Chemical-free. It is a safe, effective alternative to preventing the spread of germs and impurities. #notoxicshit

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water Nothing is added, nothing is ever heated. They source unique coconuts from small organic agroforestry farms. Super hydrating, outstanding flavor and the nutrition of raw and organic without the need for unnatural and harmful additives. Shweeeet!

Elemental Herbs includes a host of rich, skin-saving certified organic oils–including jojoba, coconut and avocado. Amazingly tested and approved by people like us, the sunscreen is chemical-free and coral reef safe. Beautiful!

The Mat is hands down the best mat to practice yoga on. It doesn’t slip or stick, it provides a ton of padding for those difficult poses and it is easy to clean.

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Nkechi Deanna Njaka, MSc. is a health and wellness lifestylist combining her backgrounds in neuroscience, dance and nutrition to create a holistic practice.  Nkechi is a private practitioner, seminar and workshop leader and a writer. Professionally having studied and worked as a neuroscientist and as a choreographer/dancer, Nkechi has spent the majority of her life investigating the relationship between the brain and the body. In her practice she approaches stress management and lifestyle goals with equal parts mindfulness, movement & diet.

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Organic Beauty Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Organic-Beauty-Holiday-Gift-Guide

It’s that beautiful, festive time of year again!  We at The Organic Beauty LOVE gifting mindfully, giving our loved ones goodies that help them feel gorgeous, vibrant, and healthy.  Join the healthy giving party with our top picks for everyone on your list!

1. UP 24 Fitness Tracker ($79.99-$99.99)

This is our absolute favorite fitness and health tool that we’ve been obsessed with since we got ours last year.  Check out our full review here. The UP24 band is the perfect way to motivate yourself to be more active, get those 8 hours of sleep, drink more water, and make healthy changes to your eating and lifestyle.  Perfect for anyone in your life that is trying to take better care of themselves, or a techie fitness buff!

2. Geometric Hanging Air Plant Holders ($49 for set of 3)

Air plants add the perfect touch of minimalist style to any home decor, and these gorgeous brass geometric holders are works of art in and of themselves!  Perfect for the aesthete, design buff, or stylista in your life!

3. Botanic Organic Essential Six Travel Set ($30.00)

Holistic, all-natural skincare that’s good enough to eat is an amazing gift for anyone in your life!  We’ve been using this travel kit all year, and it’s become our absolute favorite way to stay mindful, glowing and beautiful while on the road.  Read our full review of this amazing and potent organic line of beauty products here!

4. RMS Beauty Glowing Gift Set ($120)

RMS Beauty is our number one secret for glowing, healthy, gorgeous skin.  This gift set has everything you need for a perfect look of natural beauty. You get the signature Luminizer (amazing for that goddess glow), Un-Coverup, a creme eyeshadow, and a luminous Lip-2-Cheek color (our daily essential).  Click here to read more about these beautiful products!

5. Make Your Own Rules Diet ($21.24)

This new cookbook from our favorite down-t0-earth yogi, Tara Stiles, is loaded with awesome tips on incorporating more mindfulness and movement in your life, as well as some delicious and fun healthy, vegan takes on comfort food favorites!  We don’t do diets, and this is definitely not a diet.  It’s about connecting to what your body needs, and showing yourself the love to honor it!  A definite standout on the cookbook/health book scene this year!

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How to Become a Morning Person

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

In my holistic health counseling practice, the excuse I hear most often for why someone just can’t make time for a healthy breakfast, a morning workout, or meditation is “I’m not a morning person.”  I’ve got news for you:  That’s a load of hooey!  Any staunch night owl can become a super productive person before 9am if they want to.  I’ll tell you how I know this.. I did it!  I come from a family of night owls.  We stayed up LATE in my house, and mornings were a time to sleep until the very last minute, rush around getting ready, and frantically arriving late wherever we needed to be.  I kept up this M.O. well into my late 20’s.  And then I decided to change.  I craved calm, nourishing mornings.  I craved time.  I hate the feeling of rushing.  So if I can do it, so can you, if you choose to.  Here’s how:

1.  Get to bed at a reasonable hour (DUH!)

This is so obvious, but always overlooked.  If you want to wake up, totally rested, before your alarm, with time to get some stuff done in the morning, you need to get to bed earlier.  Don’t kid yourself into thinking you do ok on less than 7 hours of sleep. You don’t, and pretending is what’s making you a tired, grumpy zombie in the mornings.  Figure out when you ideally would like to wake up, leaving time for whatever you would like to accomplish in the morning (see below), and get thee into bed at least 8.5 hours before that time (leaving yourself a 30 minute buffer to actually get to sleep). If you have trouble getting to sleep, check out my article, How to Sleep Better, Naturally!

2.  Decide how you want to use your morning.

Morning is a perfect time for exercise, meditation, a healthy breakfast, and some chill time before work.  Figure out what your priorities are and set your intentions for the morning.  Figure out how much time you want to dedicate to these activities, and go to sleep accordingly the night before (see above).  Create a little morning ritual for yourself that incorporates everything you would love your morning to include.  A ritual is an amazing way to create and stick to a new habit, injecting it with calm and meaning (check out my article, The Power of Ritual!).  Here’s my morning ritual:  I wake up, walk the dog, feed him, take my morning vitamins, meditate for 15 minutes, make breakfast and watch the news for about 20 minutes… all before even starting to get ready for the day!  I set my alarm to leave myself time for my ritual, and make sure I get to bed at the right time to allow myself at least 8 hours of sleep (preferably 9 ; )

3.  Leave yourself plenty of time, and stay calm.

Regardless of what you want to accomplish in the morning, leave yourself enough time to do it all calmly.T he number one way to ruin your morning is to rush, or even just to feel rushed.  So always give yourself a buffer to account for any unpredictable events, as well as all the basics of getting ready.  The more time you feel  like you have, the calmer you will be.

4.  Save room for pleasure.

Make sure your morning includes something you find pleasurable (like meditation, checking your favorite blogs, or watching the news).  You’re not going to be motivated to get up early for your awesome mornings if they’re not pleasurable, or if they’re filled with more stuff you have to do.  Morning is an amazing time to start the day with some you time, which sets the tone for a more  enjoyable and less stressful day. So dig deep and connect to what you’re really craving in the mornings.  Maybe it’s tons of time to do your hair or pick out the perfect outfit.  Or sitting down at the table for a real proper breakfast.  It’s YOUR morning, so make it count!  The more enjoyable your mornings, the more you will look forward to them.  And, wait, what?  Suddenly you’re a morning person.

{Image: WeHeartIt}

Related articlesStudy: Camping Could Help You Become a Morning Person (newsy.com)Why You’re Not a Morning Person (and How to Become One) (lifehacker.com)The Morning of the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise (paradelle.wordpress.com)How to be a Morning Person (lifehack.org)The Power of Mornings: Why Successful Entrepreneurs Get up Early (youngentrepreneur.com)How to Become a Morning Person (pintertesting.com)Want To Be A Morning Person? Take A Few Tips From Campers (wnyc.org)The incredible possibilities of the meditative mind (theconfluencecountdown.com)Morning Meditation: Literally (gayestofalltime.com)

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Your Guide to a Perfect Night In

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Living a fabulous life is amazing, and of course, something we’re all striving towards (or should be!), but with all the emphasis on going out, doing, and taking over the world, we sometimes forget the therapeutic effect of a good night in.

Now I don’t mean the kind of sad, pathetic night in where you’re wishing you were somewhere else and bury yourself in reality TV and a pint of ice cream.

I’m talking about the luxurious, pampering, thought-out, fabulous kind of night in that leaves you feeling like there is no where you’d rather be!  Lower your stress levels, feel more in-control of your life, calm your sweet little soul, and get some much needed self-love.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Guide to Staying In

(Clockwise from top left)

1.  Delicious, organic popcorn like Hudson Valley’s Bjorn Qorn, or better yet, make your own (see below)!

2.  A favorite, classic movie or book (you can’t go wrong with Clueless or The Secret Garden!)

3.  An amazing, detoxifying face mask, like Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($8)

4.  A cup of delicious, calming tea, like Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea in Honey Lavender ($3.46)

5.  Comfy and luxurious loungewear (no dumpy sweats here!), like these Bamboo Dreams Sugar Pie Pajamas ($99)

Cheesy-Spicy Vegan Popcorn

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup organic popcorn kernels
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in small pot over medium-high heat.  Add kernels and cover.  When kernels begin to pop, shake pot every few seconds, keeping lid closed.  When pops come a few seconds apart, remove pot from heat and keep covered for a minute to make sure all kernels have popped.  Toss with nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, if you’d like!

 

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What’s Your Ayurvedic Type?

Your Ayurvedic type, or dosha, is a super powerful tool to have in your healthy lifestyle arsenal.  It reveals what foods and self-care practices are going to help you feel amazing, slender, energized, and radiant, and which may be causing you to gain weight, feel sick and sluggish, and experience of physical and emotional imbalance.

Take this quiz to find your dosha, and learn a few simple steps you can take to bring your body and mind into balance.

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Slay your 2016 #skingoals in 90 days

The new year is an awesome time to finally address all those skincare and beauty woes that are always standing in the way of you looking and feeling your absolute best, and I am here to help. In honor of this beautiful year of the monkey (hehe), over the next few months I’m going to post a series addressing all the skin and beauty issues you guys ask me about the most.  We’re going to vanquish your dry skin, brighten up that dull visage, eradicate redness, clear up acne, deep clean face and body, and smooth away wrinkles and bumps.  How’s that for some #skingoals? Whoa.  2016 is looking mighty fine, is it not?

To get us started, it’s crucial to have a regular daily, weekly, and monthly healthy skincare regimen. Doing a mask every once in a while, or drinking a glowing green smoothie when you feel like it isn’t going to cut it, ladies.  That covetable, confidence inducing radiance comes from committing to a regular routine of self-care. This awesome infographic from Holland & Barrett breaks it all down for you with easy to follow steps, and some great natural beauty DIY’s for a holistic approach to true radiant beauty. Ready, set, go!

Your-90-day-beauty-calendar-V2

#skingoal 1: Drive Away Dry Skin#skingoal 2: Amp Up Anti-Aging#skingoal 3: 5 Steps to Clear Skin

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Boho 1st Birthday Inspiration

Minted-Boho-Floral-1st-Birthday

Well our little butterbean is 11 months, which means the count down to her first birthday has officially begun!

We’ve been knee-deep in party planning, and I have to say, I think throwing kids’ parties is going to be an unexpected perk of this whole motherhood thing.

The theme we’re going with is sort of a boho floral, which will go perfectly with our party location at a park in the Santa Monica mountains.  I’m picturing wildflower crowns, dreamcatchers, a teepee, and a beautiful naked cake (gluten-free and vegan of course) topped with pale pink blossoms.

We’re collaborating with Minted on this lovely little shindig, and I am so beyond in love with all their adorable kids’ party invites and party decorations!

I can’t wait to put the whole thing together and share the photos from the big day!

In case you’re planning your own shindig.. Minted has a sweet 4th of July sale going on that ends today!!

ENJOY 15% OFF MINTED WEDDING AND BABY+KIDS ORDERS. USE CODE: JULY4, EXP 7/5

INSPIRATIONS:Teepee: Etsy  |  Invitation and paper goods: Minted  |  Birthday Balloon: Etsy  |  Boho Romper: Etsy  |  Flower Crown (similar): Etsy  |  Baby Moccasins:  Freshly Picked  |  Dreamcatchers (similar): Etsy

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2013 Dirty Dozen — Highest Pesticide Produce

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The Organic Beauty 2013 Dirty Dozen

Organic produce is now on more tables than ever before, which spells great news for our country’s future rates of cancer, autism, and fertility disorders (all of which increase with persistent exposure to pesticides and insecticides).  Unfortunately, it can still be cost prohibitive for many families to buy organic produce.  Staying on top of each year’s Dirty Dozen list of most highly contaminated produce is a super cost-effective way of selecting which foods to buy organic, and which are safe to buy conventionally.  Buy these dozen highly sprayed fruits and vegetables organic whenever possible, and scroll down to this year’s Clean Fifteen to find the least sprayed crops that are safe to buy non-organic.

2013 Dirty DozenApplesCeleryCherry tomatoesCucumbersGrapesHot peppersNectarines (imported)PeachesPotatoesSpinachStrawberriesSweet bell peppers2013 Clean FifteenAsparagusAvocadoCabbageCantaloupeCorn (BUT beware of GMO!)EggplantGrapefruitKiwiMangoesMushroomsOnionsPapayasPineapplesSweet peas (frozen)Sweet potatoesRelated articlesApples Top EWG’s Dirty Dozen (yubanet.com)Dirty Dozen: EWG Releases 2013 List Of Most Pesticide-Heavy Fruits And Veggies (huffingtonpost.com)Pesticides affect sperm quality – Experts (vanguardngr.com)

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