Monday, September 12, 2016


Heat is a beautiful thing, passion, intensity and fire. We need heat to love and to survive.  When heat is overloaded in the body however there is an array of health problems that arise. I was told years ago as a little girl that I needed to cool my body and skin down.  The redness on my face I experienced from blushing and skin irritation was an excess of heat. In Ayurveda this is known as an imbalance of the Dosha Pitta, responsible for fire. We now know that many diseases are caused by an over-abundance of acid in the body. Acid in large quantities can cause inflammation which then leads to disease. We can think of acid as excess heat and alkalizing as a way of cooling the body. Many detox diets are a way for the body to become more alkaline and therefore become more balanced. There are many foods and activities that create acid in our bodies and we can see it in certain ways. Alcohol and drugs for example burst blood vessels on the skin, interfere negatively with digestion and affect sleep patterns. These are all signs of an overly acidic condition. Coffee unfortunately is another acid causing drink that can lead to indigestion and acne. To combat these activities we can introduce alkalizing foods and supplements. The rule of thumb with alkalizing foods is anything green. 
When we eat greens we are automatically removing heat. The darker the green the more alkalizing the effect.  When we alkalize the body we will notice, clearer skin, weight loss, less irritability, sounder sleep, and better digestion. This is why cancer patients will often go on juice cleanses, a way to quickly remove acid from the body. Juicing is a great way to alkalize the body but for people that work full time it can be a challenge time wise. Chlorophyll is a great alternative to juicing.  Chlorophyll is simply the green pigmentation in plants. It is is filled with many health benefits and can be mixed in an 8 oz glass of water on an empty stomach. 
It comes in liquid form and is a deep green color with almost no taste, but a subtle scent of seaweed. Chlorophyll is said to calm inflammation, skin rashes, candida, anemia, cleans out heavy metals, and is even being used for cancer treatment. Another great benefit of chlorophyll is that it is a natural deodorant for the body. It rids the mouth of bad breath which is a sign of bad digestion as well as fighting natural body odor. Its a way for the body to naturally get energy as well, which is why i will take it first thing in the morning. This cools the body and speeds up the metabolism for the day.  Foods that are naturally rich in chlorophyll can also be added to your diet such as seaweed, leafy greens, broccoli, sprouts and asparagus. Remember when these vegetables are over cooked and turn brown the level of chlorophyl and other minerals decreases. The best solution is to eat them raw or slightly steamed for maximum benefits. Chlorophyll is is an easy and hugely beneficial addition to a healthy diet! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Detox your summer hair!- monthly product review, Detox Dry Bar

I am constantly on the lookout for new, organic and natural products. I am basically obsessed with body products, face products and hair products but also inner and outer health.  I am always trying to find the balance of both health but also high end. It seems there are two industries but not many products that can combine both of these requirements. As a self proclaimed girly girl I love beautiful things and lux items. With the rest of life I think balance is key. I try to use a hundred percent organic products on my skin (especially face) because it is the most temperamental as well as the largest organ we all have. My hair I have more leniency with as organic hair products have yet to impress me. If I can't go organic I will at least find products that are free of the really harmful chemicals. My new hair product obsession comes in the form of an amazing new dry shampoo that has really changed my hair. This product has not only changed my hair but also made my schedule much more convenient.
The great thing about using dry shampoo is that it not only saves us time but it actually makes our hair much healthier and stronger. The less we wash our hair the faster it grows and the less direct heat we are usually applying. I've always noticed that female athletes have the most beautiful long, healthy hair. This is usually because they are refraining from heat styling and washing daily. Sweat is actually great for our hair growth and scalp health. We want however to avoid the dirty, greasy feeling of having dirty hair. Detox dry shampoo is the most incredible dry shampoo I've ever used. With one application this product literally makes my scalp and hair feel freshly washed. It has a sandalwood and musk scent and it is free of sulfates and parabens and is never tested on animals.
My hair stylist and sister swear by this product and I am now a life long devotee. My hair has never looked healthier and coming from a straightening addict that is saying a lot. This is also a perfect product for the summer when the humidity prevents us from ever wanting to get near a blow dryer. The more heat we put on our hair during the summer the more frizz and breakage seems to occur. This product can prolong a blowout for days leaving hair look non greasy but with more volume and texture. It also doesn't leave a powdery residue like many other dry shampoos I've used in the past. This is a great perk for brunettes like myself who don't want to have that gray, powdery look on our roots. Detox is also safe for color and keratin treated hair. This also comes in a travel size and can be conveniently stored in a purse. Perfect product to take us through the heat and humidity of summer!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Parsley tea for the Ladies

Now that the bitter days of winter are long gone, we are left with the season of Spring. Spring is one of my favorite seasons for the wild flowers, the warm nights and the fresh vegetables. Spring however, is one of the main times of they year that the body can get thrown off balance. If you notice what times of the year sickness is going around it is not actually Winter but usually the in-between seasons, Fall and Spring. Spring is a damp season and it can take the body time to adjust to this. This time of year they refer to in Ayurveda as Kapha time. Kapha time when out of balance can bring on feelings of lethargy, hunger, instability, allergies and insomnia. One of the reasons this takes place is that the body is transitioning to the next extreme in temperature.  Kapha time is a time to take extra care of our bodies and get an extra amount of rest.
For women especially this time of year can really throw the body off. Women are said to be creatures aligned with the subtle rhythm of nature. Like nature, women live within a cycle that ensures balance in the physiology. This cycle is one that corresponds to the cycle of the moon, the moon is also known as the mother and the feminine. We as women have a way of tracking our hormone levels and a monthly cleaning system that resets us. When this cycle is thrown off however we not only feel physically off but our emotional and mental balance can take a real hit. As inconvenient and uncomfortable as our periods may feel, this is a woman's way of naturally detoxing the body each month. 

Our cycles are our bodies way of 'spring cleaning' every 28-35 days. What happens then when the cleaning doesn't take place or is untimely? Any woman will tell you that the week leading up to her cycle is usually one of irritability, bloating, extreme mood swings and an overall waterfall of tears for no reason. This is because the hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone, otherwise known as 'female hormones' are higher at this time. If estrogen predominates, anxiety occurs, if there's more progesterone than is desired women can feel symptoms of depression. We see that there is a subtle union of hormones that need to take place. Once the cycle starts however, most of these symptoms will flush out replacing them with feelings of extreme relief. If our cycle is late or our bodies don't menstrate that month, the hormones can overwhelm the balance of the body. Having a regular cycle is the body's way of showing health and balance.
There are many ways to ensure that we have a regular and healthy cycle each month. Some are, staying rested, healthy diet, moderate exercise and reduction of stress. Unfortunately sometimes the body is still off balance when doing all of these things. Just a simple change in our daily routine such as starting a new job or going to school can really disrupt us. A great and natural way to induce your period when late is brewing your own parsley tea. Parsley is an amazing herb and other than being filled with minerals and being a natural diuretic, it is also considered an emmenagogue (an herb that stimulates menstruation). If pregnancy is not the cause for a late period this is a great alternative to harsh drugs that doctors will give women that have hormone problems or are irregular. The oil from parsley is the key ingredient in what regulates the menstruation process. This is due to the existence of Apiol in the parsley plant, Apiol is a component of the female hormone estrogen.
Apiol has been used by women throughout history to balance their monthly cycles and align their hormones. Parsley tea can also be used to balance the body after going off of the pill which can reign havoc on the body. Parsley is also said to help in curing urinary track and bladder infections. Making this tea is very easy, simply boil 1/4 cup of freshly cut parsley (with stems) in about 4 cups of purified water. You can change the measurements depending on how strong you want it. I usually brew this for about an hour or so. This tea can be very potent and is not meant for pregnant women or nursing mothers. The tea has a nice earthy, mild flavor and honey can be added for sweetness. Sip this throughout the day and your period should come comfortably! Another perk to this powerhouse tea is clear, beautiful skin!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rose Oil for Winter

It has been a little while since my last blog post, due mainly to the dead of winter. With the holidays behind us and Spring beautifully in sight, we are left with winter's dry, white skin. February is usually the month that we can see and feel the effects of all this cold, harsh air. Dry skin is not just unattractive to look at but it can also be excruciatingly uncomfortable. It can be itchy, scaly, keep you up all night and even sting after a warm shower. All of my girlfriends lately have been complaining about how dry their skin has been and how nothing seems to help! Coming from someone with combination skin, it is a problem that I struggle with as well during this time of year. My favorite lotions that I normally love just don't do the trick for the extreme weather conditions of the Midwest. That is why I turn to the simplicity but highly effective use of oil.
I have spoken about oils a lot on this blog but I cannot stress enough how much they have changed my skin and continue to do so. Oils are often found in many organic lotions and even chemically filled lotions but they can get lost amongst other ingredients. The purity of just the oil on the skin can bring such a comfort and is the most effective moisturizer I have ever used. Americans love their lotions but in Europe and other parts of the world oils are the prime way to moisturize the skin. Oils guard against the skin's lipid barriers and prevents moisture from evaporating. Lotions on the other hand are more penetrating and can add other healthy ingredients to the skin like aloe and vitamin E. Lotions can dry the skin out however, which is why they are a great option to use in the heat when the skin is supple and can sweat. Oil can moisturize the skin in a much more efficient and effective way. Another great  perk of swapping lotions for oils is that you need a lot less of the product. A little goes a long way rather than having to reapply lotion all day to dry skin. When oil is applied to the skin it locks in moisture and can protect the skin against environmental effects. This is why it is a prime product to use in the winter. 
There is a fallacy out there that oil on the skin can clog the pores and cause breakouts, but in fact pure organic oils due the opposite. For girls with oily skin, when oil is applied it can actually trick the skin in thinking that it doesn't need to produce anymore oil. It seems counterintuitive but it really works! I have tried many different body oils to feel luxurious relief and moisture.  I use a lot of different versions  of body oils throughout the year.  My absolute favorite and the most effective for winter's dry skin is Weleda Wild Rose. This oil is a truly amazing product and one that is going to be forever stocked in my medicine closet. 
This oil is made of organic jojoba seed oil, organic rosehip seed oil, and organic rose essential oil. All of these ingredients work together to create a rich product that renews and heals the skin. This oil is specifically great for the dry days of winter because it is thick and very decadent. The skin will feel immediate relief as soon as it is applied I guarantee. You can also apply this oil before the shower and let it steam on the skin and really lock in moisture. After bathing or before bed is another great option for this product. After using this oil for a week you will notice that dry skin is healed, becoming soft and supple. What I love about oils is that when applied they can actually bring out the health and beauty of the skin. My skin will instantly start to glow hours after using this either on my face or body. Although it is a thick oil it is also easily absorbed. The beautiful scent of rose is a calming scent and my absolutely favorite. Rose also soothes and heals any kind of skin ailment and redness. This is a skin savior and a product that will help ease us into the spring and bikini season!

Rose oil

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hydration with Nubian Heritage

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons and my personal favorite. There is something about the crisp air and simplicity of time changing. There is movement and energy which moves us out of the heat and humidity of summer. The transitions between the seasons however, can be very challenging on the body if not taken care of properly. In Ayurveda this time is known as vata season. Qualities of vata are dry, light, rough, cold and quick. This coincides perfectly with the actual weather that we experience  leading up to the winter months. We change the food we eat from summer berries and greens to more grounding root vegetables and warming foods. We change our daily products as well. I go from using cooling coconut oil on my skin and hair to the warming properties of sesame oil. This is the time of year that we want to warm the body as well as hydrate it from the cold air. Most people experience the downsides of the cold on their skin. 
In the summer the humidity makes our skin glow and we need less help with hydration. Our skin appears naturally dewy and fresh and fewer beauty products are needed. In the fall and winter however, we need to spend a little more time adding moisture and nourishment to the skin. In addition to healing oils I like to use a heavy body lotion after a shower in the winter. I have tried many different organic and natural lotions but never found one that I was in love with. Until my recent discovery of Nubian Heritage lotions. Nubian is an incredible and unique company. The products draw on global healing and knowledge from across the world. The list of ingredients used are lemongrass, blackseed oil, raw shea butter, tamanu oil and chai. These are all indigenous ingredients that are combined to nourish modern day skin conditions. 

The products are made to bring balance and harmony to the body, physically and emotionally. These products offer more than just a beauty solution but actually heal the skin and target actual skin disorders. The list of ingredients heal, acne prone skin, combination skin, dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. All their products are natural, contain no parabens, no phthalates, no synthetic fragrance,  and never any animal ingredients. This is incredible because the smell of the lotions are unbelievable and so luxurious. The specific favorites of mine are the Raw Shea Butter with Frankincense and Myrrh and the Honey and Black Seed. 
The Honey and Black seed has such an unusual and musk-like smell to it. Honey as we know in other organic products is a great natural moisturizer. Black seed is an unusual ingredient but does wonders for an uneven skin tone. This is great for keratosis pilaris on the backs of arms and thighs, a very challenging skin condition to treat.  The Shea butter, Frankincense and Myrrh scent is also one that is intoxicating, truly a smell like none other. Frankincense specifically is known to have an anti-aging effect  as well as toning lose skin. Frankincense is a resin from the bark of a tree and is used in perfumes and incense. Myrrh, is a resin as well and is leaked from the sap of a tree. It is known as a natural gum because it has a sticky and gooey texture. Myrrh is has many skin healing benefits but mainly it helps to treat chapped and broken skin. It is also great to increase circulation and can be used on the bottom of the feet, hands and anywhere to increase blood flow. 
Both of these formulas are rich and luxurious and perfect for sensitive skin conditions. The texture is thick but not greasy and absorbs very easily into the skin. They are a perfect transitional product for this time of year. They prepare the skin for the dry, windy, and cold autumn and winter weather ahead. The scent of these lotions will linger on the skin all day while moisturizing! Definitely the perfect product to prepare for the winter ahead!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Gold Star: Golden Berries

On the road to perfect health, we often find some major bumps in the road and challenges. Each individual has specific unhealthy habits that they find harder than others to kick. Weather it be alcohol, coffee, carbs, fast food, etc.  For me personally it is the dreaded sweet tooth. I love sweets of all kinds healthy or unhealthy. I have always felt a sense of calm biting into a chocolate bar or cupcake or any other baked good. However, nothing satisfies my addiction like that of candy. Candy is something that makes me feel like a little girl again. Its fun to eat and a tradition my best friend and I have shared over the years. Unfortunately, candy is one of the most processed and energy draining things one can consume. Filled with artificial sweeteners, colors, gluten, and many other carcinogens, it is difficult to justify eating such a thing. After many cavities over the years and serious energy drops, I had to find a way to replace my life love. 
I have found that for every unhealthy food there is a healthy counterpart waiting patiently to be found. For chocolate, there is pure dark chocolate or raw chocolate, baked goods, there is gluten and sugar free options. For pizza there is cauliflower crust with raw or fresh cheese. Sadly, candy has been a food (or chemical) group that has been very trying to replace for me. I think this is mainly due to the fact that candy is not a food at all but rather a mixture of perfect chemicals that give us that chewy and satisfying bite. Being a fan of gummy chews and licorice I have been on the lookout for years for something to appease me. I have finally found something that I couldn't wait to share! Golden berries! Goji berries and raisins are also good alternatives but I have always hated the taste of both, especially goji berries and raisins are too sugary. Golden berries are the perfect solution. Think of golden berries as the healthy alternative to sour patch kids. They are soft and chewy bites of both sweet and tart tastes. Originally from Brazil, golden berries provide a power house of nutrients to the body.

Not only do golden berries taste incredible but they are lower in sugar than any other dried berry and are much higher in protein. They are a nutrient dense superfood with tons of health benefits. They are  filled with antioxidants and full of Vitamin A, B, and C. One of the most amazing things that golden berries can do for the body is to prevent redness and swelling. This can be an indication of many diseases or an imbalance in the body. The berries fight redness by reducing the amount and impact of proteins on the body. This can be used to treat hives, inflammation, bruises, bee stings, etc.  This is also great for the skin when it is red and puffy from over exhaustion, too much drinking or dehydration. The berries natural ability to decrease redness is also said to help strengthen other organs such as the liver. Any food we eat that strengthens the liver is also going to strengthen the bodies elimination process. The liver is the main organ of the body responsible for detoxification. 

Golden berries are also known as a belly blaster, in the way that they burn fat, increase metabolism and balance digestion. This is an ideal snack for athletes in that it helps with recovery and inflammation. These berries are anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and perfect for anyone that has dips in blood sugar levels throughout the day.  The pectin in this fruit helps to normalize blood sugar levels and balance the body. This is achieved by preventing carbohydrates to breakdown, which have an adverse effect on energy levels. Golden berries can be added to yogurt, cereal, sprinkled on salads or just eaten out of the bag as a quick pick me up. These are truly nature's sweet, sour, and chewy candy. They are healthy, addictive and a great addition to a clean lifestyle.There is no reason to consume chemicals, when nature has provided us with every taste imaginable!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Miracle of Egyptian Magic Cream

I am always on the lookout for new, organic, and natural products. I am fascinated by beauty and health rituals from across the globe. One of the reasons for this being, the purity of the ingredients used. Often we see in the U.S, mass products filled with chemicals and extremely harmful substances. Many of us have been using these products on our hair, skin, and in our diet for as long as we can remember. It is truly incredible the difference that simple and organic ingredients will have on our health. As a teenager I would cover my skin in harsh, chemically rich products such as Clearasil, Neutrogena, Proactiv, etc. These products to my knowledge were meant to clear my skin, restore its natural beauty, and keep me zit free. Unfortunately they did just the opposite leaving me miserable and self conscious of my complexion. My skin needed to breath and heal rather than being masked by chemicals and animal products.
In healing my skin I turned to the basics of oils, water, beeswax and flower essence. My skin cleared up after about 6 months of eliminating those products. Along with coconut oil, rosewater, and argan oil, I have found a multi purpose product that is a regular in my beauty routine. A formula derived from ancient Egypt, Egyptian Magic Skin cream is an incredible and simple product. This cream is more of a beeswax/oil and can be used as a hair mask, face cream, body cream, shaving balm and even eye cream. There are only six ingredients in Egyptian Magic,: Honey, beeswax, olive oil, royal jelly, bee pollen, and bee propolis. There are no additives, preservative, chemicals or parabens and the product is never tested on animals. All of the ingredients are of the highest quality and most of them are a 100 percent organic. 
The honey here is said to heal wounds on the skin as well as plump the skin, erasing wrinkles and fine lines. The olive oil, moisturizes, adds antioxidants, and does not clog the pores. Beeswax is a rather unknown ingredient in skin products but is one of the most effective and beautifying. Beeswax locks the ingredients into the skin by creating a barrier. This allows the cream to penetrate the complexion and nourish the skin. Many naturopaths have endorsed Egyptian Magic as well as homeopaths. Its is said to help clear and treat both psoriasis and eczema. This is indeed a magic cream and can be used in substitute for many over the counter jellys, vaselines and medicated creams. The cream works best when it is warmed in the hand as it is an oil based product. It literally is like butter for the complexion and gives a healthy glow all year round!