Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vitamin D and Your Skin

Photo courtesy of Imagery Magestic/
There is one essential vitamin your skin absorbs, and that’s vitamin D. It is best received naturally from the sun, but those living in colder climates experience little-to-no sun exposure during the winter. So much so, northerners usually suffer from D-deficiency more than those living in warmer climates.

Although the recommended daily amount is 600 IUs for adults, still check with your doctor as you may need more or less than what’s recommended. Once you’ve been exposed to sunlight it converts into D3, which is stored and can be used by the body.

A D-deficiency has been linked to diabetes, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, hair loss, a weakened immune system and the list goes on. An adequate amount lends itself to being a great source of calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin-D's benefits leave many western medical physicians at odds, as research shows that high levels of Vitamin-D can reverse a variety autoimmune diseases. Of course, other studies report the opposite. Perhaps, listen to your body and be your own judge.

If you prefer to have doses of vitamin D naturally, then get at least 15 minutes of direct sun exposure daily. Supplements, salmon and fortified dairy also contain vitamin D, but sometimes not enough (depending on your geographical location, skin type and season).

However, there are benefits to absorbing vitamin D through the skin as it has been found to reduce the appearance of dark spot and wrinkles while stimulating the skin’s elasticity, collagen production and increased radiance. In addition to the sunshine, there are products enhanced with vitamin D to be used topically.

Image courtesy of Carlos Porto/FreeDigitalPhotos.ent
If you choose to get your vitamin D from the sun, which is also needed for healthy hair growth; then be play it smart. Wear a sun hat when needed (sun blazing days), moisturize your skin and drink plenty of water. Oh, and if you’re beginning to feel as if you’ve had enough sunlight (experiencing symptoms of fatigue or dizziness), then step inside to cool down.

As always, my advice is to trust your instincts, but also consult a health care provider for necessary guidance and to help you sort through which approach to vitamin D consumption is best for you.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

4 Reasons to Have a Natural Beauty Regimen

Three Part Series (3 of 3)

Courtesy of Ambro/

1. Your grandmother was right, “True beauty starts from within.”  

Courtesy of Stuart Miles/

2. You won’t need as much makeup, although you’re free to still apply as much as you like for as long as you wanna.


3. Your beau will LOVE your natural shining radiance!   

Courtesy of Phaitoon/

4. You're friggin' worth it!    

 I hope you will continue to delve deeper into learning about the ingredients being used in beauty products, whether it's commercial brand or products making "natural" claims. I hope to have encouraged you to transition into living holistically -- even when it comes to your beauty. My hope is that more people become aware of just how serious this matter is, the prolonged use of toxic skin care having an adverse affect on one's health.  May your journey continue. Take it one day at a time, and follow your gut. I wish you well! Thanks for reading.
Did you miss the beginning of the series? Here's a link to where it all began, enjoy!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

4 Reasons to Have a Natural Beauty Regimen

Three Part Series (2 of 3)

Courtesy of Bandrat/

1. So that you can look alive, neglected skin can look dull and dreary.  Sure your skin looks alright now, but when you're applying real, natural body care products to your skin you'll acquire a deep luster and shine that radiates naturally; a radiance you can't buy in a bottle. 

Courtesy of Farconville/

2. Because sulfates are stripping your skin. Sulfates produce lather in soaps, shampoos and detergents which sucks moisture from your skin and causes dryness, flakiness and eventually roughness. It's also been tagged as a cancer causing agent. 

Courtesy of Vectorolie/

3. Because there is no such thing as a magic pill, wonder serum or fix-it-all. Don't fall for the hype claiming that if you use a given product it'll produce immediate results. True beauty is a lifestyle that involves drinking plenty of water, healthy eating, exercise and reducing the amount of toxins both internally and externally. There is nothing on the market (natural or commercial) that can give you the same long-lasting results of a healthy lifestyle.

Courtesy of Ambro/

4. Tailor your natural beauty regimen to best fit you, personally. Because no two people are the exact same, what will work for one person may not always work for the next. So, tailor your body care items to suite you. 


The story continues, 
read on for more reasons about why natural beauty regimens rock!

Monday, January 20, 2014

4 Reasons to Have a Natural Beauty Regimen

Three Part Series: (1 of 3)

Courtesy of Samarttiw/

1. Because your skin will glow more radiantly! Using natural products can help enhance your beauty naturally, rather than applying toxic chemicals to your skin, loaded with carcinogens (cancer causing agents) resulting in product dependency.

Courtesy of Ambro/

2. So your skin doesn’t look like an ashtray. Drinking enough water and using the proper moisturizer for your body type  makes all the difference in having naturally soft, smooth skin.

Courtesy of Marin/

3. Because well nourished skin promotes great health. Your skin is your largest organ, so when you apply natural ingredients and avoid toxic chemicals you're giving your skin the very best nourishment and creating the breeding ground for it to have a natural glow, void of aluminum, sulfatesparaffins and harmful preservatives.

Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

4. Fix acne for good… if you’re committed. If you're trying to clear your skin, you may/may not always get overnight results, but if you commit to a holistic beauty regimen -- improve your diet, de-stress, exercise and use natural body care products -- you might just get to the source of what's causing your break outs and repair your skin for good.

There's more... click here for more info about why your beauty routine should be a natural one

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Meet your new best friend: ELDERBERRY

It’s important to boost your immune system throughout the year, especially during these colder months. The following recipe shows you how to make a natural immune support drink/syrup using elderberry. In my house, we use the honey as a mild sweetener and drink this beverage as an iced tea. I've found the iced tea version to be more kid friendly, and all the skeptics who give a side eye to foods that seem remotely good for them, love it and keep asking for more. 

4 Tblsp. Dried Elderberries
3 ½ cups Boiled tea – include one immune boosting herbs (or you can use them all for a stronger brew):

  • Echinacea 
  • Goldenseal
  • Astragulus
  • Ashwagandha, or more elderberry

NOTE: If you can't get your hands on one of these herbs in time, green tea will do just fine
Flavored tea (I usually use black currant tea)
½ cup Raw, local honey
1 Tblsp. Juice of a lemon
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
¼ cup Rum (optional)

In a pot, bring elderberries, herbal tea and black current tea to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow this blend to cool down just a tad, or 2-3 minutes, then add honey and stir. Then add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar (to make syrup alcohol-free for children); or rum. However, you can add both ACV and rum together if you like for added potency. Add or subtract ingredients (herbal/flavored tea or ACV/rum) as needed and based on what you have available. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 months. Take 1 tablespoon daily for best results, or as needed.

About Elderberries:
Elderberries grow wild in the U.S. and are most known for its ability to fight cold and flu virus. Research has proven that it is effective against the flu virus and helps speed up the healing process by 2-3 days. That said elderberries also are good for warding off bronchitis and excessive coughing.  As always, pay close attention to your body, just as there is no magic pill there is no such thing as a wonder herb, so still get plenty rest (to allow your body time to heal) and drink lots of fluids like water, orange juice or apple juice if you also have a scratchy throat. Consult your health care provider if your condition worsens.

*Children under 2-years-old should not consume honey

Monday, January 13, 2014

Home Remedies: Remineralize your Teeth...

Credit: David Shankbone
As usual a poor diet and malnutrition is the main culprit for tooth decay. We already know that refined sugar and processed foods are the main offenders. Yet over time, teeth missing vital minerals tend to rot. Let’s face it; most of us aren’t getting the necessary minerals that we need daily. Well, multiply this mineral loss times 365 days over the course of your lifespan and you’ve got yourself a dental bill that’ll make you want to holler and throw up both your hands.

Good thing there’s a thing such as tooth remineralization, which is unheard of to most dentists so don’t be surprised if your dentist seems unaware about it; but you may want to put him/her on notice about your plans.  Find a happy medium and work with your wallet and dentist to resolve cavity-ridden teeth.

Remember solutions may vary from person-to-person so use your best judgment (do your research continually -- and I mean keep digging, if you need to, until you find a solution that works best for you) as you embark upon this journey of remineralizing your teeth.

I found this blog post (see link below) to be really useful and informative and just had to share the information with as many people as possible.

In this post The Paleo Mama points out that vitamin C can help neutralize the phytic acid (a suspected cause for tooth decay) found in grains, nuts, corn, rice, bean, legumes and seeds. Personally, this was music to my ears, because simply boosting my vitamin C intake sounds doable until I am consistent with adopting a completely grain-free diet. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know my results on this one.

To learn more about how to remineralize teeth visit: Leave your comments below and let me know your thoughts, experiences with your tooth remineralization process.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Natural Mineral Makeup: Face Powder for All Skin Tones

Image courtesy of photoexplorer/

Recently a friend asked me if I knew how to make mineral foundation, and although I didn't have a clue... I found some "how-to's," so this one is for my dear friend Cam and all others who may be wondering, enjoy!

Below you can learn how to create your very own translucent mineral face powder with a matte finish. No matter your complexion, this post has you covered, the first recipe is for brown complexions, and the one following it is for lighter complexions. Although both recipes will tell you how to portion control till you find your tone, take your pick as to which one you'd like most.

[Excerpt taken from Minimalist Beauty] Creating your own makeup isn't as difficult as it sounds. There are simple and natural ingredients that you can use to make your own cosmetics. Read more at Minimalist Beauty...

Image courtesy of Rasmus Thomsen/

[Excerpt taken from My Merry Messy Life] If you're already into making your own cosmetics... like I am, this probably sounds like something fun you'd like to try. But, if you're new to the whole non-toxic way of life, you might be thinking, "why in the heck would I put cornstarch on my face?" I'm choosing to because commercial cosmetics are known for being full of chemicals I'd rather not be putting on the largest organ of my body - my skin. Many of those chemicals are toxic, even carcinogenic. So, one time exposure may not be a big deal, but everyday for your entire adult life? A big deal. Read more at My Merry Messy Life...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

DIY Recipe – Baby Powder (Talc-Free)

Turns out that talc, in and of itself, is a toxic mineral for human use. It's crafted by mining talc rocks, then crushed, dried and milled – similar to how flour is processed. This process leaves behind minute asbestos-like fibers. It’s reported that products containing talc has been linked to being a known carcinogenic (cancer causing). Even the American Academy of Pediatrics have reported talc’s hazard.

I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve used baby powder all my life and didn't have any problems at all.” Although this may be true for most, buy products containing small traces of talc, the side effects are not always identifiable or easily related. Further, although it doesn't pose a danger to many, exposing to babies and your more delicate parts does lend itself to improve your health or overall well-being. Like most products using small amounts of harmful substances, after continued use of its carcinogens toxins are more prone to pile up in the body and become a problem eventually. Research has shown talc particles found inside ovarian tumors in women who use powder near their genitals.

To be on the safe side, here's how to make your very own talc-free body powder at home:

What you’ll need:
1/3 cup Arrowroot powder
1/3 cup Cornstarch (non-GMO)
2 Tbsp White Kaolin Clay
1-3 drops Vanilla essential oil (or your preferred gentle essential oil)

Combine all ingredients then mix together and sift to ensure that ingredients are well blended. Then, pour powder into a bottle with a sprinkler top (re-use Parmesan cheese or an old spice container if you do not have any on hand).

Note: arrowroot powder and kaolin clay can be found in most local health food stores. You can also order these items online with Mountain Rose Herbs.
If you don’t want to make your own, but prefer to simply buy it. Try these carriers:

Liquid Vitamins – Nutrients You Can Drink

It’s the middle of the week and you’ve been running around like a chicken with your head cut off and once again you don’t have time to prepare a fully balanced meal. Frustration sets in, because you’re wondering how you’re supposed to juggle so many balls in the air, wear multiple hats and prepare a nutritious meal. Trust me, I’ve been there wrote the book and read the novel.

Image courtesy of gameanna/
So first things first, cut yourself some slack, you’re doing just fine. Instead, let’s get creative to keep your health and well being at the forefront. Enjoy the journey of creating a balanced nutritious diet for yourself (forgive yourself when you’ve gotten off course); and when you feel as if you can’t afford to pay attention to your health, have a drink – a drink filled with nutrients that is.

·  Vitamin C: Liquid vitamins absorb directly into the bloodstream rather than being filtered through the digestive system, most of which is wasted.  Liquid vitamin C is no different, as it helps to absorb iron, rich with antioxidants and gives the immune system a boost. Kal Liquid C is my favorite brands. Just add a teaspoon to your beverage. I’ve found this to be most helpful when I feel a cold coming on, at the onset I’ll add more or less vitamin C as needed.

·  B12/B-Complex: If you’re anything like me, sometimes too busy to stop and smell the roses, then liquid B-Complex just might help you to where you’re going. It’s most known for supporting mental focus and helping to calm the nerves. Feeling unsettled and restless, then give liquid B-Complex a try.

·  Black Strap Molasses (unsulfured): Liquid iron. Feeling like you’re running on fumes? Add blackstrap molasses to your diet to help boost your iron count, and give some much needed energy.  It also is a good source of calcium, selenium and potassium.

·  Cod Liver Oil: Before you say eww, Twinlab’s Norwegian Cod Liver Oil comes flavored, (I prefer the mint flavor) to help mask the aftertaste. Not only does it help to lube the joints, but it also promotes brain and mental health as it contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for the brain and nervous system.

·  Green Drink: rich in iron, antioxidants, protein and vitamins. This drink may take some prep time because you’ll have to prepare it at home, but nutrients are well worth it. Prepare your ingredients (green tea, local honey, spinach, kale, mango, mint leaves) in advance, and throw them in the blend and enjoy! For a concentrated effect, you can pour green tea in your ice tray, freeze, and then use them as ice cubes.

·  Buy a drink: grab a smoothie on the go at your local restaurant or juice shop. Just remember to check if the juices are made with artificial sweeteners and syrups (mango syrup, strawberry syrup, etc.).

   You've heard it time and time again, but it still rings true... true beauty starts from within!