Post 3 of “My Favorites” Series: Beauty Products

2 Comments

So you eat healthy already? Hats off to you! Now what about your beauty routine? I bet there are some things you are using that you never knew were toxic. If you want to be healthy and think its all about diet and exercise, think again. Putting stuff on your skin is just like eating it. Your skin soaks up these tiny particles of chemical and toxins like a sponge, being absorbed into your bloodstream within seconds after applying.

Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health. The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of (the 1900’s) and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.
Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University

Get in the habit of investigating cosmetics labels, just as you do for food labels. Don’t trust the product simply if it says “organic” or “natural”. This tactic has been somewhat abused by companies who are attempting to use it as a marketing gimmick to trick the consumer into thinking they are purchasing something healthy when they really are not. Check the label – if there are too many things on there you can’t pronounce, chemical dye #’s or other things that don’t seem pure, check out the EWG report on it before purchasing. The FDA claims that all beauty products on the shelf and their chemical makeup are safe but think about it.  Do you really want ANY chemicals being absorbed into your body, no matter how small the scale it may be? Scientists have found that nanoparticles can accumulate in body organs such as the liver, the nervous system and the lymphatic system.  Um…no thanks! Here’s the scary part:  The FDA doesn’t have the responsibility to approve new ingredients or issue safety recalls. (Ain’t nobody got time for that over at FDA!)  It’s up to the manufacturer to decide whether a product is safe. How you ask? Luckily there is a nonprofit group called Environmental Working Group that ranks cosmetics containing chemicals with known or suspected health risks. The group considers brands to be “high hazard,” based on information provided by the companies, the U.S. government and scientific studies.

Switching to the greener side…

I have been slowly switching my beauty products over. It is not an easy task, let me tell you. After using your favorite products for so many years, you typically can’t see yourself crossing over to those “boring” natural products.  I used to buy a lot of cheap products from the pharmacy because they fit my budget and were easy to get. I’ve discovered though, that its not worth a few bucks saved. Cheap products are just that – cheaply made and throwing a cheap shot on your body.  If you think that the teeny bit of concealer you are putting on your dark circles isn’t effecting you, think again. No matter how small the dose you are putting on your body or face,  chemicals are toxins no matter which way you break it down.

So my suggestion is to start slow. Do your research and read reviews (amazon!) on more natural products, ask around and try to get samples of makeup or other things before purchasing. Try to replace one thing at a time. For me the first thing was soap. Next was toothpaste. Then bronzer. It took time and lots of trial and error with buying different products to figure out what worked for me. Some products I am currently using could be better but to be honest,  I am just happy that they are a step up from the cheapies I was using. I am always refining my routine with eyes open for better alternatives, so this list is always changing but I wanted to share with you my current favorites!  We are all so different and all have different skin types, preferences, needs and wants, so take my list just as suggestions. I know not to label them as the best, because what’s best for me may not be best for you. They are simply what I am loving at the moment!

BEAUTY 1

Shower/Bath

A: Dr. Bronner’s Body Wash  No more drying chemical laden bars of soap sitting in my shower these days! Dr. Bronner’s is by far my favorite body wash and has been for years. Depending on my mood, I switch between scents but I do tend to favorite the Peppermint. It is invigorating, makes your skin tingly and fresh and awakens your senses with the strong minty smell.

B: Soignee MSM Shampoo/Conditioner: I used to be a Pantene girl ever since I

can remember. Then I made the switch to this stuff and I look back and laugh at how I used such a terrible cheap shampoo on my precious locks. My hair has never felt more soft & shiny. It  smells amazing and there is absolutely nothing harmful in these products. Rich in essential fatty acids, organic sulfur, proteins, herbal and flower extracts, vitamins and other nutrients.

C: Rose Scrub:  I use this 2-3 times a week for silky smooth skin! A little shop on Etsy called Good4You is a shop that I stalk each week looking for new products I can try next. Everything I have bought from here has been incredible. I’m actually a little hesitant to tell all of you how wonderful these products are because I don’t want her to get too busy and not be able to provide me with my favorite items. 🙂

D: Rose Water Body Spray: I spray this directly after a shower and before lotion application – very refreshing and smells wonderful. It contains extracts and essential oils from rose petals plus MSM, a natural source of organic sulfur which helps skin to restore collagen and elasticity. The rose petals are considered cleansing, astringent and emollient and have been used for special non-allergenic ointments and creams. The rose hips have a tonic effect and are a vital form of Vitamin C. Aloe Vera is used for its antiseptic and healing properties.

E: Epsom Salts: I love love love taking baths with epsom salts! It is soothing, detoxing and refreshing. The most common health benefit of Epsom salt baths is it boosts your intake of magnesium. Surprisingly, Magnesium helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. Did you know that Americans’ magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Our soil has been so depleted of minerals that our produce is longer providing the adequate amounts we need. With this large magnesium deficiency epidemic going on, I want to tell everyone to take a bath with Epsom! It really works! (tip: dry brush before the bath to open up your pores and allow those salts to venture in to your skin more easily!)

F: Dry Brush: Dry brushing is such a wonderful ritual to have before your shower or bath. It sloughs away dead skin, aids in removing toxins, helps to break up cellulite, and helps get your lymphatic system moving (I love to detox!). A dry bristle brush can be picked up at any pharmacy for relatively cheap. Keep it near the shower to remind yourself, and no excuses – it only take a few minutes!! Read here for all the benefits of dry-brushing.

beauty 2

Face and Body

A: Toner: I always use toner after a shower, before face cream and before I go to bed. They are great refreshers and skin balancers. My favorites are from 100% Pure & Fresh Rose Water tonic from Good4You etsy store.

B: Soignee MSM Face cream: Another Soignee product that I love! The jar may seem expensive but the quality of ingredients are like no other and one jar goes a long way. Its fresh, healthy and my face loves it. I use a tiny amount (size of my finger tip) and add a few drops of rose serum and its enough for my face and neck.

C: Bulgarian Rose Serum Another favorite product from Good4you. LOVE the fresh glow it gives to my face and the scent is amazing. ingredients :: organic rosehip oil, meadowfoam seed oil, unrefined wheat germ oil, kukui nut oil, organic unrefined almond oil, organic unrefined apricot kernel oil, unrefined vitamin e oil and the organic essential oils of carrot seed, bulgarian rose and helichrysum.

D: Under Eye cream: Ive tried many, many, many eye creams and the coffee bean eye cream is by far my favorite because it actually works at making my dark circles disappear as well as hydrating my whole eye area without irritation. After seeing it on Dr. Oz, I had to try and boy, I am hooked. I sometimes alternate with the cucumber eye cream when I want a more cooling, de-puffy treatment. Both smell amazing enough to eat!

E: 100% Pure body lotions: Nothing beats these body lotions for me, and I’ve tried LOTS! They smell great, are very lightweight and are made from the purest ingredients. My skin absolutely loves them!

F: 100% Pure Pineapple Enzyme Peel Mask: I use this once a week to renew my face and slough off any dead skin that may be hanging around. It gives me an incredible glow and makes my skin so soft.

G: Pura D’or Pure & Organic Argon Oil: I cannot vouch for this yet, because it is a new product that I haven’t received yet but I’m listing it here because I did extensive research and read many amazon reviews and concluded that this is an ultimate all around winner. Argon oil is wonderful to use on your face for an anti-wrinkle treatment, a beautiful glow induced moisturizer, and on the body for soft silky skin. Argan oil is also known as Liquid Gold due to it being the most expensive and rarest cosmetic oil today. Benefits: -Anti-aging -Treat dry skin, eczema & psoriasis -Reduce facial blemishes -Reduce muscle pain -Reduce the appearance of scars -Effective moisturizer -Non oily, non-greasy & deep penetration -Reduce wrinkles -Treat dark circles under eyes -Mild anti-bacterial -Treat dry, brittle, frizzy & damaged hair -Protect from cold winds, pollutions & smoke. Argan oil is all natural, cold pressed from the Argan tree native to South-western Morocco.

H: Lavender perfume: I carry this in my purse at all times. The scent does not last too long so I like to reapply on my wrists and neck often throughout the day. It smells amazing!

I: Macadamia Healing Oil Spray: I love this stuff simply for the smell. It’s divine! I spray a little bit on damp hair before blowdrying to calm frizz and to give my locks a little shine boost. I sometimes spray on my body too, it smells that good! I wish it came as a perfume 🙂

beauty 3

Makeup

A: Korres Under Eye Concealer: I’ve been using pharmacy brand concealer since high school. Who knows how much damage I was creating using cheapy chemical stuff. I’ve tried many different natural concealers without success. Either they’re too orange or too thick. This concealer by Korres is perfect. Its dewey, the perfect color match and it has quercetin and oak extract to help with wrinkles. Now, I know the ingredient list is long and there are things on there that I am weary about but for now this is what works for me. I am always looking for a more pure version, so recommendations are welcomed! (I am trying RMS Un-Cover Up next!)

B: Tart Bronzer in Parke Avenue  This may be another product that isn’t the most pure but much better then what I was using! Tart is a paraben free, lightweight mineral bronzer. The one thing I love about this is that it is more matte and less sparkly then most bronzers. Who naturally sparkles? Matte bronzer is much more natural looking and this shade is perfect for my fair skin!

C: Pink Luminscent Powder by 100% Pure This is the perfect tint of pale pink to contour my cheeks over my bronzer. It has tiny aluminizing pigments in it to make your skin more radiant.

D: 100% Pure Fruit pigmented Brow Gel  I have light blonde eyebrows so I  like to define them more with a darker shade of blonde to make my eyes pop. I love how natural looking this is and how easy it is to apply. It lasts all day too!

E: RMS Lip2Cheek  If you want makeup that is organic, amazingly natural looking and made from minimal &  pure ingredients, RMS is it. I LOVE their products. They may seem expensive but fear not – they last a long time (totally worth the price)! The Lip2Cheek colors are so natural looking. I use them both on my cheek as the perfect blush and on my lips for a hint of color.

F: RMS Living Luminizer  I have a little secret to get that glowing skin you’ve always wanted! All you need is this little gem, dabbed on your cheekbones, on the bridge of your nose, a little under your eyebrows and a touch on the inside of your eyes. Instant beautification and an easy way to get that dewey healthy look. This stuff is amazing – I use it everyday and the jar I bought over a year ago is still full! Every woman needs to get this. Thats all I’m saying.

G: 100% Pure Fruit Pigment Mascara  I used to be such a mascara snob. I only bought the most expensive designer brand who I swore was the only kind that gave me lashes a mile long. It was a sad day when I threw out my designer mascara, but it was an extremely happy day when I discovered this brand. I cannot believe that natural mascara made from fruit gave me even better looking lashes then before!!! I use Blackberry shade which is a deep Plum color – really makes my green eyes pop!

H: Korres Tinted Lip Butter – This color is the perfect nude pink for me and this has been the only lip butter to keep my lips soft, ever!

I: Evian Water Mist Whenever I need to cool down or need to re-freshen I spray this on my face and neck. It feels so good and its an easy way to keep skin moisturized through out the day. I always have it in my purse, and spray liberally throughout  the day at work. Its great to have while traveling too – whether you’re on a plan,e at work or at the beach.

H: Jade Roller I keep this in my car and roll my face as I’m driving to and from work. The jade is cool and refreshing on the skin and its also a great massager to get knots out of my neck! Jade rollers have been used throughout history by Chinese Women, believed to reduce and prevent wrinkles. Regular rolling, stimulates lymphatic drainage and by improving the circulation increases the oxygen supply to the face. By generally speeding up the drainage system of the face, a jade roller reduces residual puffiness and any congestion caused by stagnation in the jawline, where toxins are liable to accumulate. Jade is believed to absorb negative energy too!

So tell me, what are some of your favorites?

Advertisements

Healthy Spicy “Ramen” Noodle Soup

2 Comments

photo 3

Healthy Spicy “Ramen” Noodle Soup

Most of the time in the GLB kitchen, recipes are not followed. I kind of just throw in a little this, throw in a little that & go by my knowledge of food pairings and by taste. So my apologies first and foremost that this isn’t a formal measured recipe but more of an idea of what I did so you can try to re-create!

Preparing the kelp noodles:

First, I took my kelp noodles and soaked them in water for a half hour. A half of a lemon gets squeezed into the water and as it sits, every so often, massage it with your hands as you would kale. This makes them very soft, like noodles should be. I also don’t like a big tangled mess of kelp noodle in each bite so I take cooking shears to them and break them up a bit – you can also use a knife for this.

Ok. After soaking and massaging, drain water and add them to whatever container you are going to keep them in. Next you will be adding flavor with a marinade. Mix all up and let sit overnight.

I used:

sesame oil

sesame seeds

garlic powder

togarashi (Japanese hot spice)

lemon juice

tamari

red pepper flakes

mixed seaweed veggies (extra iron!)

 

Preparing the broth:

All you really need is your favorite veggie broth. I prepared mine using a vegetable bouillon cube and added a piece of kombu to allow more nutrients and flavor to be developed. You will be adding miso before serving the soup so the kombu is really not necessary if you do not have any. When broth is flavored enough keep in container in fridge until ready to serve.

Preparing the soup:

Ladle some broth into pot. Add your uncooked broccoli florets and a scoop of miso. Next add a big serving of kelp noodles and kimchi.  Turn the heat on medium-low, making sure it doesn’t get too hot – Miso is a fermented food that you don’t want to overheat. Same goes for Kimchi. You just want to heat the soup up enough to be able to eat right away, nothing hotter. Ladle into bowl and sprinkle fresh scallion on top.

Yum. Slurrrrpy ramen goodness.

Oh, and hey, its good for your gut too! Fermented foods, seaweed, broccoli…what’s your body not to love here?photo 4

Enjoy!

photo 5

 If you are wondering what products I use:

South River Chickpea Miso is my fave!

First time trying TJ’s Kimchi – I’m pretty impressed, it was really good! I recommend fresh kimchi from a Korean restaurant or raw store bought brand, but this sufficed for tonight.

Rest of the ingredients you might want to know about, I highlighted above. Click on them to find a link!