Making the Perfect Raspberry Baked Oatmeal — April 29, 2020

Making the Perfect Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

Making the Perfect Raspberry Muffins — April 27, 2020

Making the Perfect Raspberry Muffins

Can I Please Get Some Help Around This Place? — April 25, 2020

Can I Please Get Some Help Around This Place?

I’ve Been Cleaning More Lately Than Ever Before…How About You?! — April 23, 2020

I’ve Been Cleaning More Lately Than Ever Before…How About You?!

Cleaning with Clary and Clarity — April 21, 2020

Cleaning with Clary and Clarity

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#4 — April 19, 2020

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#4



1. Queen Helene

  • Availability…Albertson’s
  • Focus…famous for their Mint Julep Masque
  • Founded…in 1930
  • Ingredients… ingredients like cocoa butter which is rich with vitamins and natural emollient properties, pomegranate oil for its antioxidant protection against the skin-aging effects of environment, and essential oils to help relax tired muscles and ease tension
  • Mission…to provide a full line of affordable and effective body care products that are passed on from generation to generation
  • Philosophy…
  • Price Range…$7 for body lotion

2. Renee Rouleau

  • Availability…spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas
  • Focus…effectively correcting every skin type’s concerns
  • Founded…established in 1996 by celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau
  • Mission…to help people maximize their skin’s potential with a propietary line of natural, high-performance products based on nine unique skin types
  • Philosophy…that the skin care industry’s one-size-fits-all approach was not in-sync with what the modern client wants, or needs, in their pursuit of balanced, healthy skin
  • Price Range…$46.50 for body serum

3.  Rodial

  • Availability…Nordstrom
  • Focus…famous for products like “Bee Venom” and “Dragon’s Blood”
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

4. Radical Skincare

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Founded…by Liz and Rachel, the daughters of Dr. Richard F. Edlich MD.PHD, world renowned Professor of Plastic Surgery
  • Ingredients…extract of paracress, seaweed extracts, macadamia and desert date palm oils, glycerine
  • Mission…to provide solutions that are as effective as possible for all skin types.
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

5. S.W. Basics

  • Availability…Target
  • Focus…using as few ingredients as possible, usually 5 or less per products
  • Price Range…$20 for body oil

6. Suntegrity

  • Focus…offers sun care and nothing but sun care
  • Founded…in memory of all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer
  • Ingredients…only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide)
  • Mission… to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair
  • Philosophy… It doesn’t make sense to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer.
  • Price Range…$24 for sunscreen

7.  Sukin

  • Focus…Australia’s Number One Natural Skincare Brand
  • Founded…in Melbourne, Australia in 2007
  • Ingredients…the highest grade essential oils, antioxidants, and botanicals
  •  and 100% natural botanical extracts…naturally derived, cruelty free and vegan
  • Mission…to provide high efficacy, environmentally sustainable and affordable natural skincare products that restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair
  • Philosophy…producing the highest standards of natural skin, hair and body care products begins with sourcing quality ingredients
  • Price Range…$14 for body lotion


8.  The Wonder Seed

  • Focus…hempseed oil
  • Founded…by Theresa Ruiz-Hellings and her daughters Elena and Juliet and formerly known as The Healing Seed
  • Ingredients…100% natural, vegan, with no parabens, and no artificial colors or perfumes
  • Mission…to nurture, heal and protect skin and hair with a complete line of products rich in virgin organic hempseed oil, the most nutritious oil on Earth
  • Philosophy…From our families to yours, we wish you vibrant health for your most wonderful life!
  • Price Range…$17 for body lotion

9. Tatcha

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…based on the rituals of the Japanese geisha
  • Founded…in Japan by Victoria Tsai
  • Ingredients…complete list here
  • Philosophy…less is more
  • Price Range…$48 for body butter


10. Yes To

  • Availability…Ulta, drugstores all over the world
  • Focus…products in their carrot, blueberry, tomato, cucumber, and grapefruit ranges
  • Ingredients..95% NATURAL INGREDIENTS…no parabens…packaged in recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  • Mission…to make skin feel good while bringing a smile to your face
  • Price Range..$13 for body lotion.
Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#1 — April 15, 2020

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#1

Not only are there more and more cruelty-free natural and organic cosmetic companies being started these days…but also a slew of cruelty-free natural and organic body and skin care companies popping up.

These products-which are good replacements for brands that test on animals…including Aveeno, Garnier, Olay, Neutrogena, and St. Ives…can more easily be found and are being formulated to address various skin type needs and concerns.

The next few posts will be a guide to cruelty-free skincare brands and the locations where they can be found.

1.   Alba Botanical

  • Availability…available in many drugstores, Amazon, iHerb.
  • Focus…acne-prone skin
  • Ingredients…high quality, 100% vegetarian products that overflow with botanical ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea and chamomile extracts
  • Mission…to Do Beautiful…to help fellow women look beautiful on the outside while feeling beautiful on the inside
  • Price Range… $10 for body lotion

2.  Athar’a Pure

  • Focus…ancient Ayurvedic skin care treatments and dosha types
  • Ingredients…the best natural and organic pure, plant-based ingredients found on earth…without the use of toxins, chemicals, parabens, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances.synthetics, alcohol or any other harmful ingredient or preservatives
  • Mission…providing you with high quality, luxurious, vegan beauty products that are cruelty free and never tested on animals
  • Price Range…$22 for body lotion

3.  Avalon Organics

  • Availability…Walmart, Kroger, Sprouts, Amazon, iHerb
  • Focus…anti-aging
  • Ingredients…plant-based organic ingredients from only trusted sources
  • Mission…founded on the deep-rooted belief that all beauty comes from the Earth…deep reverence for the Earth and a respect for all living creatures.
  • Price Range… $9


4.  Andalou Naturals

  • Availability…Amazon, iHerb
  • Founded…by Stacey Kelly and Mark Egide in 1999 as the very first certified organic personal care line
  • Ingredients…fruit and plant stem cells
  • Philosophy…Beauty is YOU – a simple and bold empowerment message to consumers and the industry at large. Beauty happens in the moments of the everyday (for individuals and organizations) – the little choices that we make along the way that all add up to monumental change: Commit to defining beauty one action at a time and be Empowered, Radiant and True. Beauty is YOU.
  • Price Range…$15 for body lotion

 


5.  Blissoma

  • Focus…demanding skin types, such as extremely sensitive skin and allergies
  • Ingredients…100% natural, Certified Vegan…a much stricter ingredient palette than even most “natural” brands…packed with certified organic botanicals, bioavailable vitamins, essential fatty acids, and skin-soothing seed oils
  • Mission…to provide true solutions to uncomfortable skin conditions…to help people develop a healthy, happy relationship with their skin… to bring forth a positive, loving vision of what beauty can be, embody inclusion, and enhance the dignity of all people
  • Price Range…$36 for body lotion

6.  COOLA

  • Availability…Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…sunscreen
  • Ingredients…natural, organic, sustainable and locally sourced…vitamins and age-defying antioxidants…without parabens, paba and phthalates
  • Mission…Better for your skin, better for the environment.
  • Price Range…$32

7.  Derma E

  • Availability…Whole Foods, Sprouts, Ulta, CVS, Walgreen’s
  • Focus…the belief that skin health can be visibly improved through the right combination of potent vitamins, wholesome nutrients and exceptional ingredients.
  • Ingredients
  • Mission…to honor our customers with products that promote healthier-looking skin and business ethics that promote a healthier world.
  • Price Range…$13

8.  Dermadoctor

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…problem-solving solutions for skin concerns ranging from anti-aging challenges to blemishes, chicken skin bumps and perspiration dilemmas
  • Founded…by Dr. Audrey Kunin
  • Ingredients…include Artichoke Bud Extract and Bayberry Fruit Extract
  • Mission… to provide effective solutions to skincare problems without the need of a prescription
  • Philosophy…DERMAdoctor is truly just what the skin doctor ordered.®
  • Price Range…$58 for body lotion
Essential Oils and Weight Loss — April 8, 2020

Essential Oils and Weight Loss

This audiobook is a guide written for insomniacs, and other people who have trouble sleeping quite often, to show the life-changing health benefits that optimum sleep provides….and more importantly how to have this optimum sleep experience.

 

 

This book sparked my interest because as I get older, the more I’ve started to realize that how well and how much I sleep impacts your entire life…(yeah, Mom, I shoulda listened to you all those nights when I was little and you told me to turn the lights off and go to bed.)

 

The title of the audiobook, Healthy Sleep, is appropriate for the book because the book explains how a healthy sleep cycle can improve your immune system, mood, sense of well-being—and even your weight.

 

This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by the exercises and strategies that the book provides to help manage both stress and anxiety as well as common sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

 

 

The authors of the audiobook are alternative medicine “guru” Andrew Weil, MD…and sleep expert Rubin R. Naiman, PhD.

—–Andrew Weil, MD, is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, and director of Integrative Health & Healing at Miraval Life in Balance Resort in Tucson. Dr. Weil s bestselling books include Spontaneous Happiness, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing, and his popular audio programs with Sounds True include The Healthy Heart Kit and Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing.

—–Rubin Naiman, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in integrative sleep and dream medicine. He is director of Circadian Health Associates, an organization that provides information, goods and services in support of sleep health. Dr. Naiman is the sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona s Center for Integrative Medicine, directed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He also serves as Director of the Sleep and Dream Advisory Board for Sleep Studio. For more than a decade, Dr. Naiman served as the sleep and dream specialist at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, where he founded the first formal sleep center at a spa. Subsequently, he served as director of sleep programs for Miraval Resort. Dr. Naiman is the author of a number of groundbreaking works on sleep, including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep (with Andrew Weil), The Yoga of Sleep, and To Sleep ToNight, as well as a number of professional book chapters and articles. He also blogs about sleep and dreams for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

 

This audiobook consists of two discs. The first disc is a discussion on why sleep is so important and why you may not be sleeping as you should. The second disc contains guided exercises, including three sessions to help you fall asleep.

 

Topics covered in the book include sleep stages, sleeping disorders, breathing techniques, good “sleep hygiene,” and safe supplements to overcome insomnia. The book uses a combination of creative visualization, self-compassion, and pranayama to explain insomnia and then lull you gently to sleep…

 

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has trouble sleeping…makes an excellent read about 2am when you should be sleeping instead of reading.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Even More — April 6, 2020

When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Even More

Lord knows, these months and the month or even months have been downright crazy…not to mention stressful.

 

 

So what is one way that you can worry less and chill out more?

 

 

If you actually read my blog on a regular basis, you will already know what I am about to say…

Aromatherapy…

More specifically essential oils…

And even more specifically diffusing essential oils as a part of the complementary medicine called “aromatherapy.”

 

 

******************

How Essential Oils Work

ls through the air, our olfactory nerve  sends almost instantly sends messages to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system and amygdala, which are both directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion.

If you remember watching the movie Forest Gump, you will remember the professor explaining that the amygdala is that part of the brain which controls our emotions, mood, and memory.

Interestimgly, these parts of the brain also do two what seems opposite reactions…either triggering a fight-or-flight respons where we get short of breath, our heart rate and blood pressure go overboard…or awakening the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us relax.

In fact, certain essential oils…(which we’ll talk about later)…interact with our nervous system and brain in the same way biochemically that many anti-prescribed anxiety medications do..making it a great complementary and alternative choice. 

So let’s find out which specific essential oils, more specifically citrus essential oils, are actually the best oils for helping you feel less stressed out.

**********

Citrus in General

Citrus essential oils can affect different people different ways…they can either be stimulating or relaxing…are totally have different effects from one person to the next.

These oils can help some people fall asleep more easily…other people to relax but not actually fall to sleep-more easily…feel more both refreshed and relaxed if you use them during the day,

Since this is the case, you must try the particular essential oil yourself to see how it affects you.

Below are some citrrus essential oils to consider.

**********

Bergamot

What is it…Bergamot essential oil is derived from the peel of a bergamot fruit, a hybrid citrus fruit somewhere between a bitter orange and lemon or lime, and is widely used in aromatherapy. This is the fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its signature fragrance,…(more on this later)…

 

What does it smell like…Bergamot has a clean, spicy citrus-like fragrance that is soothing…yet at the same time invigorating.

 

How long have people been using it…This essential oil has been used traditionally in Italian folk medicine because of its ability to relieve tension and anxiety….and in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance the flow of energy, fight bacterial infections and support digestive health.

 

What other essential oils should I blend with bergamot…try  floral oils like lavender, clary sage and jasmine.

 

How do I use it…Like all other essential oils, you have the option to use bergamot essential oil in your diffuser or apply it to your skin,..but be careful if you do apply bergamot essential oil topically because it can cause severe sunburn.

Also be sure to combine bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil—such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado—before using it on your skin or adding it to your bath.

Bergamot can often be irritating to the skin…and make you more likely to get  sunburns and blisters when you’ve been out in the sun for too long.

 

Health benefits of bergamot essential oil are believed to include…

  • helping you to relax
  • improving blood circulation
  • keeping you from feeling so fatigued
  • lowering your blood pressure
  • lowering your heart rate
  • reducing chronic pain
  • relieving anxiety and stress
*******
Lemon

 

Source...leaves of the lemon plant

Benefits…

  • acts as a sedative
  • can help relieve the nausea associated with cancer treatments
  • eases symptoms of depression
  • improves mood
  • promotes sleep and relaxation
  • reduces anxiety and stress

 

 

*********

Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Source...lemons…(go figure, right?!)

History…has been used for hundreds of years. Known for its medicinal and uplifting qualities, it has also been given the name “elixir of life”.

Benefits

  • calms the mind
  • boosts immunity
  • strengthens the nervous system
  • can act as a antidepressant and release feelings of sadness and worry

 

 

 

*******

Neroli 

Source…derived from the flowers of the neroli, a citrus fruit

Fragrance...sweet and spicy aromal..similar to an expensive, floral-based perfume…in fact, commonly used as an ingredient in French perfumes

History…has been around since ancient Egyptian times

Blend with…sandalwood

Benefits

  • acts as a sedative
  • helps you sleep
  • improves concentration, mood, and memory
  • regulates the metabolic system
  • relaxes both body and soul
  • releases feelings of anger, irritability, stress, anxiety, and worry

 

****

Yuzu

 

Source…derived from the yuzu fruit, a type of East Asian yellow citrus fruit often used in Asian cuisine

History…Japanese have had a custom of taking yuzu baths, which involves floating yuzus in hot baths during the winter to relieve stressas far back as the 1700s

Benefits

  • decreases negative emotional stress
  • decreases salivary chromogranin A, an indicator of stress and sympathetic nervous system activity
  • lowers your heart rate in just ten minutes, with effects lasting for about thirty minuters
  • soothes stress and anxiety
  • suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity, also known as the fight-or-flight response
Book Review…Healthy Sleep — April 5, 2020

Book Review…Healthy Sleep

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla is a member of the Aster Family, Asteraceae or Compositae, the dried flowewrs of which are one of the most well-known herbal teas of commerece, valued for flavor, mild anti-inflammatory activity, and a calming effect.

This audiobook is a guide written for insomniacs, and other people who have trouble sleeping quite often, to show the life-changing health benefits that optimum sleep provides….and more importantly how to have this optimum sleep experience.

This book sparked my interest because as I get older, the more I’ve started to realize that how well and how much I sleep impacts your entire life…(yeah, Mom, I shoulda listened to you all those nights when I was little and you told me to turn the lights off and go to bed.)

The title of the audiobook, Healthy Sleep, is appropriate for the book because the book explains how a healthy sleep cycle can improve your immune system, mood, sense of well-being—and even your weight.

This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by the exercises and strategies that the book provides to help manage both stress and anxiety as well as common sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

The authors of the audiobook are alternative medicine “guru” Andrew Weil, MD…and sleep expert Rubin R. Naiman, PhD.

—–Andrew Weil, MD, is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, and director of Integrative Health & Healing at Miraval Life in Balance Resort in Tucson. Dr. Weil s bestselling books include Spontaneous Happiness, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing, and his popular audio programs with Sounds True include The Healthy Heart Kit and Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing.

—–Rubin Naiman, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in integrative sleep and dream medicine. He is director of Circadian Health Associates, an organization that provides information, goods and services in support of sleep health. Dr. Naiman is the sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona s Center for Integrative Medicine, directed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He also serves as Director of the Sleep and Dream Advisory Board for Sleep Studio. For more than a decade, Dr. Naiman served as the sleep and dream specialist at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, where he founded the first formal sleep center at a spa. Subsequently, he served as director of sleep programs for Miraval Resort. Dr. Naiman is the author of a number of groundbreaking works on sleep, including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep (with Andrew Weil), The Yoga of Sleep, and To Sleep ToNight, as well as a number of professional book chapters and articles. He also blogs about sleep and dreams for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

This audiobook consists of two discs. The first disc is a discussion on why sleep is so important and why you may not be sleeping as you should. The second disc contains guided exercises, including three sessions to help you fall asleep.

Topics covered in the book include sleep stages, sleeping disorders, breathing techniques, good “sleep hygiene,” and safe supplements to overcome insomnia. The book uses a combination of creative visualization, self-compassion, and pranayama to explain insomnia and then lull you gently to sleep…

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has trouble sleeping…makes an excellent read about 2am when you should be sleeping instead of reading.