Tag Archives: wellness

Natural Products Swap

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       I think that even a small change is a valiant effort in taking control of your own physical health. In this day and age where the emphasis is on easy/fast/cheap, health can often take a backseat to work, kids, social interaction…you name it. I don’t want to preach and by no means think I am a health expert, but most of my life has been spent in cities that  are probably the most health conscious environments in the country. Just by osmosis I feel like I’ve picked up so much information about new, healthier, products and techniques that can make a huge difference in your health and well being.  If a health overhaul seems daunting (and expensive), and you don’t know where to start, pick one thing and stick to it. You can slowly add less toxic products to your routine going forward. For example, three years ago I stopped using conventional, store bought, and completely TOXIC deodorant. I’ve probably tried most of the aisle of natural deodorants in Whole Foods, most of which had little to no effect for me personally, and I’ve heard time and time again from others, that they have felt the same way. After trying and tossing most of the natural deodorant sticks I bought, I tried the crystal. This product apparently has some sort of negative “hippie” stigma.  Every time one of my girl friends saw it in my travel bag, or if a guest saw it in my medicine cabinet, they would give me a strange look and comment on it saying something like “thats for crunchy granola eaters.” Well guess what people…IT WORKS, and I’ve found that in conjunction with a natural spray deodorant (the crystal needs a wetting agent, such as water) this miracle combo lasts all day. My absolute favorite spray deodorant is from Aesop and contains refreshing vetiver, which adds a double dose of protection.

Enough about deodorant. Facial cleansers and scrubs are another crucial part of the everyday routine. The objective for cleaning your face is to remove dirt, grime, pollution…not add to it! Most all grocery store brands have harsh chemicals and parabens that can add to problems like breakouts and damaged skin. I love using  organic brands like Eminence, but these products can add up and break the bank. Simple homemade face scrub can be used with just baking soda and water. This mixture is super alkaline and after using it for even a few days, you will notice a balance in your skin. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in a small mason jar, and add a pour spot top for an easy dispenser. Add a few shakes to wet hands and scrub. Use twice a day for best results. Easy.

Anything you rub, brush, paint, or spray on your body goes INTO your body. I try and think about this beyond just the lotions and cleansers that I use. Fragrance can deliver a potent spritz of chemicals and preservatives which can in turn cause rashes and allergic reactions. I have super sensitive skin and have started using essential oils as fragrance almost exclusively. There are a few exceptions to this, my favorite being Le Labo. This company’s fragrances are completely organic and natural. The “fragrance life” of Le Labo is what may have made this company so popular. The oils in the perfume linger for days, and changes in a lovely way as the hours roll on. They have an awesome program where you can purchase samples that contain a few days worth of fragrance to make sure you love it before you take the plunge. These perfumes are pricey but a bottle will undoubtedly last you a year or longer…and the best part is  you don’t have to feel bad spraying it on your body!

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Recipe from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

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This was the first recipe we made from Plenty More, the highly anticipated sequel to Ottolengi’s Plenty. Filled with vibrant vegetable centered dishes that are both simple and healthy, each and every page of the book is inspiring and mouth watering. We had difficulty choosing what would be the first attempt, and slowly paged through the whole book (save for the sweets section at the end) and bookmarked more than a few pages, deciding on this recipe featuring bright grape and cherry tomatoes highlighted by roasted lemon. I was intrigued to say the least, never having roasted lemons except with a whole roasted chicken, but Ottolenghi’s argument made sense, “Seek out the sweetest tomatoes you can find for this salad in order to balance the bitterness of the lemon.” He is the authority on these things, so it was settled. Following the recipe, but adding more mint and parsley than what is originally called for, we sliced, chopped, squeezed our way to an artful salad ripe with sweetness and tang. We brought the salad to our friends Caitlin and Dan’s house and everyone seemed to enjoy it, as we fittingly brunched outside under their lemon tree. After sitting for a bit, the tomatoes became macerated in their own juices, forming almost a chutney that could be paired well with chicken, or added to a grain bowl for color and acidity.

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Juice Cleanse Recap

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 Moon Juice | Moon Milk | Moon Juice Pantry | Zenbunni Chocolate

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Ok so it’s been two days since we finished “the cleanse,” and I’m feeling pretty damn good. I feel LIGHT. I’m energized. I feel like I’ve completed a goal, so if nothing else it’s boosted my self-confidence lol. But really, my body has had five days to reset itself, and it shows, but before we get down to results, I’ll give you the rundown of each day. Day one was well, not amazing. On the first day you’re coming to terms with the fact that you wont be eating for the next five days, so it’s really the most mental day. You’re coming down off the holidays, which is like the heroin of drugs am I right? You have to switch off your brain a little, stop looking in the fridge, and god forbid read the new issue of Bon Appetit. It’s time to be quiet. Read, drink tea, sit in the sun, contemplate, and internalize WHY you are really doing this. It’s going to help your body, it’s going to reset your metabolism, and it’s the mecca of willpower tests. Day two rolls around..Alright! We made it through one day, four more to go. This day isn’t fun. It’s hard. You might have a headache (which is totally normal), you may feel cold, and yes, you’re hungry, but you make it through. Day two and three are definitely the hardest. It’s day three…you are HANGRY. All of your wildest inner fat child cravings emerge. Pasta, pizza, something with a creamy dressing, oh maybe some sugar (remember this cleanse is basically sugar-free), and COFFEE. Give me my coffee. I always crave coffee the most on a cleanse. Let me tell you, if you can make it through three days of any cleanse, you can make it to 10 on the master-cleanse. THE FIRST THREE DAYS SUCK. But you know what? It’s all down hill from there. Day four-alright! You can do this. Feeling pretty good that you’re over the hump. Only today and tomorrow. Headache is gone, and your mind is clearing from the fog. Day five…success! So the results: I feel no bloat. Like I said, I feel lighter, I haven’t weighed myself, but everything feels just a little looser. Under eye circles, where have they gone?? Skin looks preeeeety good! One thing that was new for me on this cleanse was my nails. My nails have no more transparent spots where the white begans. They are white and feel STRONG. This must have been from all the chard and kale we drank. 20 lbs of veggies and nuts a day…that adds up to a total of 100 lbs for the entire cleanse. No wonder I’m feeling like super woman. SO,  now that its over, we’ve been really successful in not gorging ourselves on whatever we were dreaming about mid-cleanse. We made a huge pot of veggie soup, and have lots of things  to snack on around the house (organic peanut butter, nuts, rice cakes, apples). We are continuing the “dry-January” thing as well, so no wine here. I also really advocate for drinking a ton of tea. Green, Kukicha (really savory and satisfying), and Yogi Detox tea are some of my faves. I usually drink them without any added sweetener, but sometimes at night if Im craving dessert, I’ll add honey and coconut creamer. I have to say, I enjoyed Moon Juice’s green cleanse regimen, and I’ve loved Moon Juice since we moved to Venice. They have so many other juices, snacks, and pantry items that keep me coming back for more. I definitely recommend this to anyone, and if you aren’t in LA, then create your own juice cleanse regimen, its the best 5 days you can give your body.

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