DIY

Conscious Beauty: DIY Face Scrub

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My dears, I have another beauty post for ya’ll!

My skin care and beauty routine has definitely taken a huge leap over the last few years.  Whether its converting myself from drug store products to expensive brand cleansers and creams, I have tried it all.  The perfect skin is still far from reach, but after all this time, I finally discovered the secret! Or, rather experienced it.  Not only does it reduce puffiness, but it actually makes you feel and look a little more radiant and alive! SLEEP!

Yes, I said it.  I know it’s been something everyone’s been raving about.  But for the first time I had consecutive days of early rises FOLLOWED by early bed times.  Magical.  I found myself not needing to put a load of make up (eye-makeup) to feel and look alive.  What I noticed most were the under eye baggage not being as prominent, which is actually a hereditary struggle for myself.  Try sleep, it’s great.

Any way, I promise this was not the only thing I wanted to share with you.  I just thought since we were on the subject of break-through beauty thangs…. On to the good stuff.

How has these winter months been treating you?  Well, what I really want to know is how your skin is doing? If you are anything like my vata-self (windy, dry, and cold), then you most likely feel like the whole world is ending at times.  Or rather, you might just feel itchy and dry.  Same thing?

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As you know, I’ve been experimenting with lot’s of DIY products.  From homemade deodorant, to easy face cleansers, I try to always make it easily adjustable for everyone. This one is no different.  It is pretty simple, and does what’s needed for anyone looking to get rid of dry skin, and help skin feel rejuvenated and soft.

Natural ingredients, each having their own reason to shine and have you shining as well.

  • Sugar – Natural scrub/exfoliator.  Helps rid dead and flaky skin.
  • Coconut oil – Helps moisturize and hydrate dry skin.  Fight acne.  Antibacterial and antioxidant properties to keep skin healthy and protected.
  • Lemon – Balances pH on skin.  Helps brighten and soften skin.  Rids dead skin cells combined with sugar.

This recipe calls for a pretty small portion, but it is perfect since a little goes along way and you don’t need to use it everyday.  I recommend about twice a week at least.  It keeps in the fridge for at least a month, but I recommend smelling and keeping it eye on it after.  Like any natural food like product, use your senses for any spoilage.

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DIY Face Scrub

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lemon squeezed

Mix then refrigerate.  Use small portion and make pliable on hand first.  Apply onto skin, moving softly in slow circular motion all over face.  Rinse with luke warm water, then splash with cool water.  Pat dry with small towel.

You may add another nightly moisturizer to seal hydration.

 

 

 

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Holiday Realizations

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Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day has always been my favorite time of the year.  Besides the cold weather, snow, and blue hands, I really enjoyed everything about it.  The Christmas decorations and lights throughout neighborhood streets and downtown.  Christmas movies and music from your house to the malls.  Not just gift exchanges, but cookies and delicious food.  I come from a strong Hispanic Culture.  Canciones de la Navidad, arroz con gondules, pastelses, y perníl, were just some of the stars.  Proud to say my favorite holiday to eat is always the night of Christmas Eve.

I haven’t done a list in a while, and if I don’t do a list for this post, it will most likely come out like a rant. I got these emotions and thoughts that need to come out! It’s a way for all of us to turn back around, start over if you will. Why wait till the New Year? Now is the best time!

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So here it is.  How can we get over the past year’s strifes.  How can we remember the things, more so people, that really matter?  I want to make the end of this year a little more beautiful.  And hopefully keep it going for a little while longer.

1. Spend time with others.  Seriously, I feel the best way to relieve yourself from holiday craziness and to-dos, is to actually spend time with the people.  Maybe it’s your family or maybe it’s some coworkers you have grown very fond of.  Make that extra effort.  You would be surprised at how relaxing and fun a movie night in could be.

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2. Eat with purposeful bliss.  Extra cookies and cocktails usually come around this time of year.  Because nothing says love like homemade cookies, and nothing says party like fancy dranks.  Enjoy it.  Going out to eat, make sure to order something delicious but practical.  I always like to keep it simple and go all out a few times a month.  You be surprised what a few simple meals can do for your mind, digestion, and waistline.  You want to feel good from the inside out

3. Get corny with it!  Dress up!  Bake those cliché cookies.  Blast holiday music everywhere you go.  Being corny makes me happy, sometimes because the other person can’t help but smile and laugh.  Have fun with spirited holiday.  Buy into it.  I’m not saying in a retail manner (but watch out for the sales), but in a heartfelt manner.  Put up decorations and a charlie brown Tree, even for your small family enjoy.

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4. Give your face a rest.  Smile more! I must say, even I have turned into a bit of grinch throughout this year.  So, first I’m trying to forgive myself and move on.  Give my customers the benefit of the doubt, breathe in indifferences with important people in my life, and in the end, smiling through it all.  I am constantly reminded, you never know what another person is going through.  So maybe that three second smile can gets somebody’s day going a little better.

This is simple and short.  I hope you read it and pinpoint where it affects your life the most.  How can you improve?  Little changes to make day’s worth while?  The goal is to keep this way of thinking all year long.  In the end, I think that’s what Christmas is for most people.  You may celebrate that Christian meaning, as do I.  Then, you can also celebrate the simple gifts and people that have came into your life all year long.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to my very special readers!

 

Thank you,

yesenia

Conscious Beauty: DIY Deodorant

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I was going to wait for this DIY, but I ran out of deodorant, so I thought it as a sign.  This is one of my tried and true recipes.  At least for myself and few others.  I try prett hard to limit harmful chemicals and most commercial products tend to have an abundance.  I’ll try not to get too hippie-dippie on you, but having chemicals so close to your heart chakra everyday, physically and soulfully, I don’t see that as very good.

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So here is one of my tried and true recipes.  I got it years ago and have even shared once before.  I guess you can call this a post revamped, but regardless, sharing it again can do no harm.

This deodorant recipe is easy with a few simple ingredients and little time needed.  The best part is, once you buy the ingredients, besides the coconut, they will last for a long time.  I go through coconut oil like bath soap, which is probably the best thing anyone can do for themselves with the amazing benefits!

Also, you can totally adjust this recipe.  If you need something a little bit stronger, up the baking soda.  Senstive?  Less baking soda and more coconut oil.  Like a thicker consistency?  A bit more arrowroot starch will solidify the product in the jar and keep it dry under your arms.  Everyone is different, so don’t be afraid to play your way!

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DIY Deodorant

  • 6 tbs unrefined coconut oil
  • 4 tbs baking soda
  • 4 tbs arrowroot starch
  • 10 drops of essential oil

Mix and refrigerate for an hour.  Lasts about 6 months!

 

Enjoy!

 

Conscious Beauty: Cleansing Edition

One of the things I’ve been into lately is holistic beauty.  Conscious beauty.  Beauty that is great for you, the environment, and of course, your pockets.  It goes with the concept of being aware of not only what goes inside your body, but what is put on your body as well.  Now, a little disclosure.  I am not perfect.  In the end I do what feels right for myself.  Some stuff may be a little expensive, or bought unaware of the testing involved.  I try, and just hope you can take something out of it, and share your favorite products!
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And it all starts from the beginning, so this is where we will start.

I have naturally very dry, sensitive, porous skin. I have been able to limit my breakouts to one pimple a month, if that, keep my skin looking and feeling neutral, and minimizing the size of my pores with a few simple tricks and products.

Oil Cleansing and Moisturizing.  I do not use soap at any time to clean my face.  Now, I have dry skin and I noticed this oil cleansing has helped me a lot.  I was even one to get pimples a few times a month, but with diet and proper cleaning, it was handled correctly and with care.IMG_0205

My official face cleanser is almond oil.  It’s part of my go-to everyday routine.  I used to do a mixture of castor and almond oil, but found the castor oil to be a little too thick and heavy for my skin.  So with a just a nickel size amount of almond oil onto the hand I apply  it on my face and neck.  I put a face towel under running hot water and squeeze out excess.  Then I put the hot/warm towel on to my face and let sit for about 10 seconds or so.  Just enough time to open up the pores and extract the dirt out.  Makes sense, no?  You want to make sure to pat the towel on your skin, not wipe.

Afterwards, I sprinkle a little cold water onto my face to bring pores back to their original size.  This also helps keep the moisture in.  If you have oilier skin, I recommend you stop here.  For us drying folks, I recommend moisturizing with jojoba oil. This oil is best for sensitive, dry, easily irritated skin.  Vitamin E(also found in almond oil), anti-inflammatory(reduced inflammation) and anti-microbial(fights acne) properties help to heal many types of skin.  Just a dime size, a little goes a long way.

On days when I put on makeup, coconut oil serves as the best makeup remover for myself.  Literally, put on and wipe off and follow with another oil cleanser.

IMG_8205P.S. Products will last for a very long time.  Get a sale and these will last you 6 months to a year!

Now everyone is different.  What works for me, may have different effects for yourself.  I’ve heard of cleansing and moisturizing with olive oil, sesame seed oil, and even avocado oil.  See what works best for you!  I recommend almond because it seems the less heavy out of all of them besides coconut oil and avocado, which are about the same and great for moisturizing.

My last trick for those with dry skin.  I wash my face once a day and usually at night.  Cleansing twice a day dried me out and stressed my skin causing more breakouts!  This helps me rid bacteria/dirt from the day and stay moisturized all night.  In the morning I do a quick rinse with water and moisturize again with coconut oil(antibacterial, proteins, vitamin E).  This oil is light enough to put makeup or leave natural for just a slight dewy look.

IMG_0208I told you I would start from the beginning!  Fresh face for real!

Hope you enjoyed!  I would love to hear any suggestions or comments on products or methods.

Beauty from the inside out, even the outside in 😉

 

Berry Chia Jam

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Can we just talk about first how I planned this post a week ago and when I finally stopped procrastinating enough to get down to it yesterday, the post disappears as I try to save.  So, this will be the second time around.  I hope it’s as good as the first.  I usually wing it, but I guess this one will be prewritten/edited.

Anyways….. This one is a good one.  This one is an easy one.  What more can you ask for?

Sometimes I like my breakfasts to have a sweet kick to them.  Like, not just fresh fruit sweet, but a little sugar in the mix.  AKA: jelly.  Whether it is healthified with almond butter on a sprouted muffin, an indulgent topping on pancakes, or a sweet snack on top of crusty bread, I am all for jam/jelly/preserves.  (Can someone tell me the difference?)

I’ve actually been seeing different versions of this recipe for a while now all over the internet, but never got around to actually making it.  Partly because, well, I could buy jelly.  Yet, when times get tough and you run out, you learn to make that sweet substance?  Am I right?  You can’t deny your wants!  So I took what I have on hand, and saw this as the perfect opportunity to make  a healthier homemade version.

Now, this doesn’t involve real jelly making, using pectin or a thermometer (do you use one of those for jelly?), but rather 3 ingredients that I always have on hand anyways.  Fruit.  Sugar.  Chia Seeds.  Sweeeet!  I used to frozen fruit for this recipe and though it seems like the perfect opportunity to use fresh summer fruit, I find the frozen fruit to work just right.  All them juices from when the fruit boils?  Perfect!

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Berry Chia Jam

  • 16 oz bag frozen mixed berries (or any fruit, frozen or fresh)
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 or 3 tbs sugar

In a medium saucepan over high heat, pour frozen berries.  Cover and let sit for about 3 minutes.  Once there is liquid and fruit is heated, mash until some chunks remain.  Lower heat to medium and add chia seeds and sugar.  Stir for another 3 minutes or so until jam thickens and chia seeds enlarge.  Let cool before transferring to an empty jar.  Keep in the fridge for about a week.

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Enjoy!

PS.  I’m torn between “jam” and “jelly”.  But I think “jam” sounds better for a recipe 🙂

Why Should You Garden?

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Helloo beautiful people!

Hope you guys had a good day today.  Mine was actually pretty good before I went to work.  Isn’t that usually the case for most people.  One day that’s going to change for me though, but that’s for another day.

During the day I got to spend time with my grandpa, going to home depot and starting up the garden.  I actually never thought of starting a garden till my grandparents started living with us.  My parents never mentioned it, and I always thought that it wasn’t necessary.  I could go to the supermarket for everything and save time.  It wasn’t till a few years ago, I started getting into farmer’s markets, seasonal, and local produce.  

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Well, when we got our new house and my grandparents came to live with us it was the perfect opportunity to start a small, but fruitful garden.  No matter how much you are into food or plants, you learn to see the benefits and take pride in your own produce.  Why start one this year?

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1. Save the environment.  When you go to the supermarket, you can get produce from anywhere in the world anytime of the year.  I don’t know about you, but I never heard of be able to grow in the dead of winter in the Northeast coast, not without pesticides or special genes being injected in the plants (GMOs)  When you’re buying produce that comes from anywhere in the world, the amount of greenhouse emissions goes up dramatically.  The planes and car mileage to get from New Zealand to the US is unreal and unnecessary. If everyone would be able to plant a little something, there wouldn’t be a need to transport as much food as we do now.  

2. Save money.  To buy a plant to start up in the summer literally is as cheap as buying a pound of fruit for one shopping trip at the supermarket.  We got 10 different plants for $20.  Once they start growing and blooming.  You are set for a few months.  If you are lucky enough to have the space and green thumb, you can actually be growing produce 9 months out of the year (in the Northeast).  If you are a summer salad lova, or a fall squash junkie,  think of how much money you can save not needing to buy that every week.   

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3.  More nutrients.  The nutrients are at their peak fresh off the vine.  Once ripe and picked, ideally, is when one should consume them.  Once they have been sitting around or picked before ripened, they lose the nutritional value that the vegetable could have had.  They actually stop producing nutrients and start a process towards spoilage.  When you buy produce from the supermarket, the average piece of produce takes about 2 weeks to get from the farm to your house.  Then, it doesn’t take into account when a person actually consumes it.  Not only that, but you are most likely reducing your intake of any pesticides that contaminate your food.  Unless you buy organic, pesticides actually hinder the nutritional value and absortion of your produce.  

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4. Taste better.  Fresh food taste better. Period.  Why does you mom’s cooking always seem to taste better than going out?  It’s fresh.  It’s familiar.  It’s love.  I’ve actually learned this from going to the farmers market.  The quality of food was so much better coming from a farm 20 miles away, than a farm thousands miles away.  It is crazy.  Crazy good.  The food that you grow is also seasonal.  Jersey corn? Jersey tomatoes.   Puh-lease.  Never going to find anything more yummy in the summer.  Taking the food from your own backyard can ensure seasonality, freshness, and deliciousness to be the best it may be.  

5. Be one with nature.  This is when I start getting a little bit cheesy, but seriously, I can’t express how good it feels to get out.  To be able to get out in the sun, pick your plants, get the land ready, and put your hands in the soil feels amazing.  Could it be the vitamin D?  The nutrients of the soil between your fingers?  That’s just real vitamins and nutrients doing it’s thang.  Positive energy at it’s finest.  Seeing the plants grow and picking them off, there is always a bit of happiness and pride that comes with it.  The energy from the ground to your plate is there.   Just like love is the secret ingredient in any meal, love is also the secret ingredient to a fruitful yummy life.  

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Do what you can.  Any bit makes a difference.  Try growing what you know you might use more often.  Tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers are usually hits within many household.  Try even having your favorite herb around.  I love me some summer mint, so I’m excited to report that I brought me some for this year 🙂 

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I may never be able to grow peaches and corn in my yard, but for that there are the farmers markets and CSA programs.  You are supporting your community and the practice of eating local.  Not only can you meet different people in the community, but you get to know the people that were able to grow your food.  In the summer and early fall months, a weekly trip is always necessary   Walking through the markets is something I look forward to every summer.  It’s a beautiful kind of therapy.  

I hope this helps.  Here’s a website so you may find your local farmers market or CSA program to join.

Good luck!

 

yesenia 

 

 

Starting Fresh For Spring

It’s Spring!!!

It actually is somewhat a decent spring day around here.  By that, I clearly mean there is no snow.  Hope you guys are able to enjoy this day!  I’m working all day, but I plan to do what I need a little before and a little after.  

The seasons are changing and I couldn’t be more excited (and exhausted).  As I’ve mentioned before (or maybe not)  as the season’s change our body’s change.  If you are not careful to pay attention and help the process it could be difficult.  For me, sleep and eating habits were getting kind of wacky.  

To start fresh in Spring, I think most people would benefit from some sort of detox.  NOT the same one, but one that works for you.  For me this was kind of an experiment.  I took a slight derail from an Ayurvedic detox and went with a raw food short cleanse.  Here’s how it went down.

The Detox

Fasting.  Probably the hardest part.  I did talk about it before in this post, but I want to say a little more about the juices and why the juices.  These juices were all organic, freshly juiced, must be refrigerated and drank within the week.

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I chose this because I still wanted to get in some nutrients and calories.  It’s all natural sugars, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.  I used to think that juicing was weird,  mostly because I didn’t understand why you would just take the nutrients and not fill yourself with substance and fiber.  I’ve finally educated myself the benefits.  I wanted to give my digestion system a break.   To heal itself from overuse and abuse of toxic foods.  Taking in all the nutrients and making them easily accessible to the body is what juicing does.  From what I’ve been learning in this book, Prakriti, Ayurveda believes that one of the first steps to healing, is fasting.  Digestion is taken very seriously and believed to be the main importance of your health.  So that is what I did.  I thought since I have a pretty active job, and I was still going to yoga, I needed something, and to be honest, I probably needed more.  Just one more juice, to get my sugar and energy up to continue that last day.  I made it, but just as I was advised, 1 to 2 days is enough.  After that it will do the reverse.

Raw Foods.  Prob the easiest and most delicious part of my detox.  Literally, I felt amazing by Friday.  I truly believe that no specific detox is good for everyone.  I chose raw foods, because as someone who leads a high vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, I wanted something that would give my system that extra boost it needed.

Since the winter, most of my foods have been cooked.  They were heavy, warming, and seasonal for the winter months.  For my dosha, that was important.  With the season changing, I wanted to get my body used to the type of eating, that would probably be best for the upcoming months.   When you cook food, you loose nutrients.  No matter what you never get the same amount of nutrients that the food is said to have whether you boil or roast you vegetables.  I wanted to try and get the maximum amount of nutrition out of my meals.  I wanted to let my mouth, saliva, and natural enzymes do the work.

When you chew your food, saliva naturally works with your food to create these enzymes (cellulose for example) that help more nutrients get assimilated into the body and starts digestion sooner  within your system (this is salivary amylase) .  Especially raw foods which need a little extra work.  Chew your food people!

So the kale (a well-known nutrient powerhouse), sprouted legumes (low-fat raw source of protein), spiced sunflower seeds (omegas and protein), coriander (detoxifying herb), and avocado (healthy fats and full of potassium) all helped in keeping me full for hours.  And it tasted amazing.

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When detoxing, I was advised to double the dosage of Triphala, although to be honest, I hadn’t seen any difference while I was honest or after.  I wasn’t really  regular, but I also didn’t feel bloated or uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s from eating less?  To be honest,  I got a little nervous.  I know this is far from a laxative, but I thought I would be going more.  Well, everything ended up normal, which I guess it’s fine since I wasn’t having crazy issues before last week.

Post-Detox

I recommend taking it slow after the detox.  Saturday I only had the Vegetarian Curry which was perfect.  Warming and light.  Sunday was a whole different story.  I ended up feeling crazy full and a bit sluggish through Monday.  Where did all that energy go that I created last week?  When you over eat, you build up Ama in your system, waste product of bad digestion.  I kind of felt guilty about throwing that detox out the window.  But I decided to get myself together and yesterday I ate “normal” to get back on track but slowly.  We can get more into that tomorrow.

 I will say, feeling better didn’t take as long as it used to.  I think the detox cleanse you out enough so that you start new.  There is less ama from the past to deal with, so it’s easier to discard what you just accumulated.

I hope this helps!  This is just my own accounts.  I didn’t follow a specific detox, but rather took a little from each.  Juicing, raw, and Ayurveda.  That is what nutrition is, even more so the future.  No wrong or right.  Some how the healthiest people may range from eating paleo to vegan.  I think it’s a blessing that we are all different like that.

How are we all similar though?  Movement and meditation.  I couldn’t have felt as good as I did without yoga.  To sweat out the toxins was great, keep my body limber, and energized was absolutely perfect.  And the meditation?  Even just focusing on my breath, focusing on the now, that itself detoxes your mind.  Mind and body are one.  How you think affects how you feel and what you do.  Even if you don’t do yoga, any kind of movement and meditation will help your Spring Detox.  It’s just 10 minutes or one hour with only yourself.

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Enjoy this beautiful day lovelies,

yesenia