coconut oil

Summer Series: Tips to Staying “Healthy” On Vacation

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“Healthy” – What makes you feel great.  During the act.  After the fact.  Simple.

I am back and trying to get things moving, you guys!  My trip was just what I needed for a little relaxation, inspiration, and motivation, to give all I had to give out to you all.

This is the first post of my Summer Series!  From today until the first day of Summer, I have a few posts lined up, on how to enjoy and prepare for the hot months to come!  This one was inspired from my recent trip.  I dealt with extra heat and humidity, so I thought I would start with something we all get to enjoy this time of year.  Vacation!!

A vacation is a way to incorporate both new and exciting, with tried and trues of what really makes us feel centered.  You want that, trust me.  I used to stray very far from eating habits and routines during vacation, so much so I would need a detox to feel back on track, lose that extra weight.  I don’t believe a vacation has to be like that.  You want to feel great during and even better after.  You went on this vacation to feel renewed, inspired, adventurous.  Your health is the gateway to being able to enjoy that much MORE.

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Keep to most of your everyday routines.  I used to be told that on vacation, you have to let go, that it’s unrealistic to take what you use and do somewhere else.  Not true!  Whether you find yourself in a house or hotel, most likely you have a bathroom, mini fridge, and a kitchen of some sorts within the area.

Unless you are going hiking, then disregard.  Since I was staying for about a week, I bought a few things that I could not bring with me.

  • lemon
  • applecider vinegar

*If you don’t have a fridge or kitchen to take advantage of,  I recommend water every morning and night.  Hydration is the key.

That’s it!  Everythingh else of non perishables, I used mini-jars ($5 at target) and bought travel sized beauty products.  Even my tea and salt, I was able to bring in a small bag.

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  • Jars filled with coconut oil.  One as my body and face moisturizer.  Another for oil pulling.
  • Jar of deodorant.  I make mine in bulk, so needed only a bit.
  • Store bought cleanser/toner.  This is good to limit extra oils, since you would be at risk of spilling during travel.
  • Mini dry brush for everyday skin and body detox.
  • Triphala.  My morning digestion supplement

If you happen to have a fridge, take advantage, please! I like to keep to light snacks.  Lots of fruit.  With no kitchen, going out to eat is inevitable.  But even you eat right in between, and keep to just one splurge meal, the only thing you are going to crave after is a home cooked meal.

  • Fruits.  Bananas, apples, oranges.  If you have a fridge, pineapples and berries are a great addition!
  • Rice chips and hummus
  • Granola and yogurt
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Chia Seed Pudding (check my recipe page!)

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Did you know that travel and different surroundings can effect you regardless if you are eating right or not? Everything from your digestion to skin can be impacted.  We are sensitive creatures.  The good news is that even one simple product or food can help that.

Aloe vera became my go to.  My digestion wasn’t perfect leaving so a couple of days in I had to take action.  Alittle bit cut up to sooth bloat and constipation.  It worked like magic.  Since I was also in the sun, I used it as a soothing ointment for my face and neck.  The most sensitive parts of my body.

So here are some of my favorites.  Whatever is your morning beverage and your favorite cleanser, stick with it!  Vacations should be packed with what you want.  Whether relaxing or adventure.  Feeling great is part of the package that I hope you signed up for!

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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.

 

 

 

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 😉

 

Whole Foods Favorites

Hey heyy!

Well it is finally here! Spring!!  This Friday will mark the start of a new season, new moon, solar eclipse, and end to the Zodiac Year.  How’s all that for a Friday?  I will most definitely be celebrating 😉

So around this time, it is most popular to talk about slimming down, detoxes, and change of diet.  All very interesting (some of my favorite things to talk about), but I thought we try something new.  I would like to talk about where, how, and why I shop at my favorite store for my favorite buys

Whole Foods Favorites!

These are things I buy as part of my everyday essentials.  When I splurge, where I save, and how it’s actually possible to get yourself a cabinet/fridge/home full of amazing products.

1. Local Fruits and Vegetables.  I know it depends mostly on the time of year and where you live for this to happen, but I’m almost positive I stress it every chance I get.  If you live in the northern part, summer farmers markets are the way to go.  Here in Florida, I noticed quickly the abundance of local vegetables in January!  To say I was excited is an understatement.  Until I find a farmers market in the area, I will continue to shop for more local and pick and choose when to be organic.  Local is usually cheaper, tastier, and always in season.  If it isn’t organic, it’s ok!  Tomatoes and apples are my go-to organics, if not I know that most likely less pesticides and travel time were used before they ended up in the shelves.  This equals yummier and healthier produce!

2. Coconut Oil.  Whether Whole Foods brand or larger named brand, you can usually get a good deal on a jar of coconut oil.  I love organic and fair trade, so Dr. Bronners is my go-to.  I buy a big jar, usually whenever it is on sale because I go through it so fast!  Especially now in a more tropical setting, coconut oil is actually one of the more cooling oils to use for warmer months.  From make up remover, moisturizer, DIY deodorants, and mouth wash, I dare say one day I may have the guts to drink this stuff.  Buy in bulk and distribute how you like!

3. Apple Cider Vinegar.  Yes, because of so many reasons.  Benefits are endless and real.  Buy in bulk and wait for that sale!  So worth it!  So cheap and will last you depend on how much you take advantage of this stuff.  My love for ACV goes into my morning cup of lemon water, EVERYDAY.  As a way to keep your skin and gut happy, it may also be use as a toner and hair shine.  If you tried for anything else, please share!

4. Nut butters.  Whole Foods always has a sale. Whole Foods always has an amazing selection.  Try them out.  Really,  all are beneficial and tasty in there own way.  I’m all about having fun with food.  This is the perfect way.  From traditional, to chocolaty, to cinnamon raisin, you can keep it as healthy or naughty as you like 😉  Whoops!  I’ve enjoyed mine in oatmeal and smoothies, on toast, or straight out of the jar!  Healthy fats and protein any way you like.

4. Toothpaste.  Natural toothpaste is the way to go for me.  I go to Whole Foods for the wide selection, which allows me to pick and choose.  Even though I have my favorite brand Auromere, sometimes if others are on sale, I experiment.  Why not?  This allows you to figure out which works best for you!  And going to a larger supermarket allows for more customized preferences, while trying to stay on YOUR budget.  Why natural though?  Less chemicals and ingredients I don’t understand.  This helps your sensitive gums, strengthen teeth, and keep both you and the environment healthy as well.

5. Pasture-raised or local eggs.  I’m not fully convinced with organic.  I’m more of a “want my chickens to be eating grass and worms all day-everyday.”  Chickens are actually meant to eat insects and feed off of other animals (poop) and grass.  Organic usually means vegetarian-fed and which is still great considering less pesticides and antibiotics.  Although Whole Foods gives me the selection I crave, so I may make my own decisions on how I like my eggs.  I’ve noticed that most New Jersey Whole Foods have local eggs, here in Florida not so much.

These are just everyday and weekly favorites of mine.  Of course, there is so much more I love to buy and try, but I thought I keep with the basic necessities.  You have your veggies, protein, and edible healthy beauty products 😉  I think it’s the perfect time to really get to know your grocery stores, health food stores, and farmers markets.  These items and brands will not only help you transition into a healthier new season, but an overall healthier new way of living.

If you would like to know a little more about certain items, please let me know.  If you are fortunate to live by a major health food store (like myself) check out there products and prices!  I find some stuff to be cheaper and if you are one to get overwhelmed with a lot of choices, definitely check those out.  It’s a great way to try and talk with the workers too, as it’s usually a more intimate setting.

Remember, it’s not easy, especially in our culture, to spend good money on good food.  Choose your priorities.  Choose them wisely and humbly.

 

Oil Pulling: An All Natural Mouthwash

As I read more holistic health articles, I see more and more information on oil pulling.  I find this amazing.  All though I only started this in the fall of last year, I can’t imagine not doing this every morning.

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So what is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an detox method that stems from Ayurveda.  By using oil as a mouth wash, you are ridding the toxins within your mouth and body everyday.  The oil acts to absorb any toxins inside your mouth, to even extracting toxins from inside your gut.

From extracting the toxins from your mouth, not only are you truly cleaning out your mouth, there are other benefits involved:

  • Strengthened gums and teeth
  • Sleek shine and feel on teeth
  • Whiter teeth
  • No bad breath
  • Better digestion
  • Healthier immune system

How to do it.

You can use either sesame or coconut oil.  I prefer coconut oil for a more mild taste and feel afterwards.  With about a 1/2 tbs of oil, you swish all through your mouth and in-between your teeth.  You do this for about 10-20 minutes.  Try your hardest to keep moving the oil around, it’s great exercise for your jaw as well.  DO NOT SWALLOW!  You want make sure all the toxins stick to the oil and not be digested.  Once you are done, spit in the toilet (you do not want clog your sink), and rinse with a little salt water.  I find this best to do this in the morning before I brush my teeth.

I believe your hygiene definitely affects your immune and digestion.  I feel the strength in my gums and teeth and have amazing cleaner feel in mouth every morning, that lasts throughout the whole day.  I think I drink too much tea and coffee to see some pearly whites.  I’ll take the health benefits anyway.

Have you ever tried oil pulling before?  I have to admit, I was skeptical for a long time.  I think if your curious, it’s worth to give it a try.  I’ve even heard how it may lead to softer glowing skin!

Sources:  John Douilliard, Life Spa

Good Morning Routines Part 1

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had a good weekend.  Mine was both busy and relaxing.  Even though I can go for another day off, I’ll take what I can get and make myself mentally prepared for another work week.  Although, this morning proved that to be very difficult.

Anyways, I want to talk about a few simple ways to detox…. every morning.  I’ve been doing these different things for a couple of years, to a couple of months.  From the time I wake up and the hour following are the most crucial part of my days.  It gets me centered, prepared, and open to what the day will bring.

1.  Wake up before the sunrise.  This is a more difficult concept for people to grasp.  Mostly because their is no “scientific proof” but more beliefs.  Before the sunrise there is a certain energy on the earth.  The energy of awakening mixed with tranquility.  It is the most quiet of the day, so when you wake up, you as well want to do it gently.  With nature, you start your day peacefully, slowly, and in a more meditative state.

2.  Oil pulling.  This one I just started practicing for myself, but I have been reading about it for a while now.  The point of oil pulling is to get rid of all the bacteria that has accumulated in your mouth during the night, and day before.  With one tablespoon of coconut (or sesame) oil, you swish the oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minute in your mouth.  This pulls out all the bacteria from in between your teeth, gums, and tongue.  Afterwards, you just spit out in the toilet, rinse your mouth, and then brush your teeth as regular.  This method of oil pulling has been shown to reduce plaque and whiten your teeth with a few weeks time. I’ve been doing it for about two weeks now and my teeth definitely feel cleaner, but I’m still waiting for some whitening effects.  Here’s a fun video going more in depth of this detoxifying step.

3.  Warm water with lemon.  This is something I wish I could scream about on the top of my lungs.  It’s amazing.  It’s something I tried a long time ago to try and help me with my constipation issues back in the day (sorry if that was tmi).  Now, I see all the other benefits from this morning ritual.  With a cup of just boiled water and a half a lemon, I sit down in silence and enjoy this tea.  Our body’s become very acidic from the food and digestion process that is going through our body’s every day.  Lemon is more of an alkaline which consuming first thing in the morning brings out balance with the acidity.  It’s a natural body detoxifier.  The warm water gets your lymphatic system moving and hydrated while the lemon detoxifies.

And so we stop here my friends.  It’s Monday, and I know I can handle only so much.  Today proved to be those mornings when you just wanted to stay in bed and pretend for one more hour that the weekend was still upon us….

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Till next time,

 

yesenia