Archive | December 2012

Chia Seeds

Nutiva-Organic-Chia-Seeds-400g-01Ok, I am not one to be in the gym for long hours or go on crash diets but Lord knows I need to lose some weight especially in the rear area.  Since I have been on my journey to weight-loss the healthy way which includes juicing veggies and fruits I am doing moderate exercise between running  small business and raising 2 boys-one of whom is at home with me 24 hours a day.  You can imagine what that is like for those who are at home parents you have got to be an octopus, keeping them engaged while trying to run 20 other tasks including eating right, right? In my findings of different natural foods and just loving to try new things I came across this natural product called Chia Seeds.  If you have heard of the Chia Pet this is what the Chia Pet’s are derived of, Chia Seeds, ok dont make the funny face just yet.  These seeds are edible and what is even more amazing they have no taste so you can blend them in your foods, deserts, etc and it will only enhance the flavor by taking on that which it has been incorporated with. Amazing right?!  I thought so, so I tried some in one of my smoothies and it was like it wasnt there had I not been the one to prepare it I would never have known they were in there.  Not to mention these tiny seeds are HIGH in OMEGA 3-you know that healthy stuff in fish that we are in desperate need of. Here are some other great advantages to having these little wonders in your cabinet:

-Makes food and drinks (smoothies) 2x as flavorful

-Curbs your appetite from the high amounts of fiber thus makes for a great weight-loss supplement without feeling hungry

-Bake with less fat by  dividing the amount of butter or oil in half, and then use the same amount of Chia gel(add a bit of water to create this) to fill in. The anti-oxidants in Chia can even help keep the food tasting fresh longer

-Balance your blood sugar helps lower chances for diabetes: it’s unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars

-You will notice the change in energy levels will be high and stay at a constant rate due to the gel action: if you eat Chiawith a meal, it will help you turn your food into constant, steady energy rather than a series of ups and downs that wear you out

I have been using these little seeds for the past month and let me tell you I have so noticed a difference in my energy, where as by 1 pm I am ready for a nap with the baby but now I can go with the best of them, I look up and it is 4pm.  I have noticed my smoothies are much richer tasting and that is without sweetener, even Agave Nectar. I love how I have how even the smallest meals I am full for more than hour and all I can say is “where have you been all my life”… I know growing on some Chia statues.

Let me tell you if you are not up on these seeds as more than the ‘Pottery that Grows’ then you need to incorporate, which is not a hard thing to do, into your diet.  You will thank me for it.  I would love to hear from you to see if you agree and how you are using them in your diet.

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Milk It For All It’s Worth!

Milk Really Does a Body GREAT!

 

I know you are probably wondering why Goat’s Milk is being used in some natural soaps, really is this just another gimmick to get you to buy a product?  No this is no gimmick and why commercial companies dont want you to be knowledgeable about the positive effects Goat’s Milk soaps have on our skin. Even some commercial soaps that use moisturizing cream cannot compete with the invaluable assets Goat’s milk can offer your skin.

For  one Goat’s Milk PH is that much closer to human’s PH balance and makes it easier to protect skin from bacteria and and other daily chemical contact. I use goat’s milk in my natural beauty bars because goat’s milk has more beneficial properties than cow’s milk and you really can feel the difference it makes in all skin types. Aside from the fabulous skin loving benefits it gives you I just love how wonderfully I can incorporate it into just about any product I am creating.  And I so notice the difference in my baths when I use it and when I dont in my soaks just how much of a benefit it is in softening my skin as well as added moisturizing, yes even before I step our of the tub.

The benefits of Goat’s Milk in soap can be felt by people suffering from various skin conditions or those just wanting to maintain youthful, rejuvenated skin.  Other benefits like combating acne by killing the acne causing bacteria.  Eczema, because of its natural state and even in the natural soaps Goat’s Milk Soap uses natural ingredients unlike many commercial brands that use a lot of detergents and dyes that trigger these skin irritations. Natural exfoliation when using Goat’s milk soap is also a wonderful reason to switch from commercial brands to natural soaps that contain Goat’s milk.  Goat’s milk has caprylic acid that removes dead skin cells and natural alpha hydroxy that naturally rejuvenates the skin to reveal fresh new skin cells leaving you with hydrated clean and refreshed and protected skin from the inside out.
This is so why I advocate for when buying natural soaps you get those with milk it, whether it be goat’s milk (my favorite), coconut milk, buttermilk,or whole milk, trust me when I say your skin if it could would kiss you for doing it.
Contrary to what we have been fed these many years that body washes and antibacterial soaps are better for you than bar soap because of bacteria that can spread from them, well it isnt true.  Antibacterial soaps dont make you any more protected against bacteria  than any other soap it just removes not only the bad bacteria but the good bacteria and your skin is left moisture less and more vulnerable to other bacteria than it was before you washed your hands.   Some commercial hand soaps have the glycerin removed from them and not much moisture is put into them between all the sulfates and synthetic alcohols that do nothing but dry our skin out.  Even some commercial brands that claim to be “natural” soaps use alot of drying agents.  So between the shea butter and the oatmeal or almond oil that is added how can your skin really receive the nutrients and skin protection it needs if those few natural  ingredients are swallowed by the many synthetic ingredients? Do we really want to continue to use these falsely advertised products at the risk of our skin’s integrity?  banana-Mango
Goat’s milk is very gentle for even the most sensitive skin and offering the same moisturizing and nourishing benefits as it would for a person with normal to oily skin.  Dont be fooled by these claims that body washes are the best way to go and if it doesnt lather like the body washes that means we arent getting the same clean.  So not true.  The lather is for aesthetic purposes, it is a window dressing to cover up the fact that your skin is being stripped away of its natural moisture and instead of adding to it with more moisture and vitamins and minerals needed to sustain healthy radiant skin these products are like sponges soaking up the natural moisture our skin creates under the guise of using petroleum oil and calling that your moisturizing savior.

I leave you with this thought, if what you are using is currently not doing what it said it would do then what harm would it be to try something new?

Please would love to know if in a week’s time if you notice the difference in your skin.

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You Can Have Sugar With This Coffee!

Coffee- It’s Not Just for Drinking

Although coffee has several benefits as a beverage, it may be used as a body scrub as well.  I am sure you are probably saying Coffee on my body- now what can coffee grounds rubbed on my body possibly do for my body.  Just take a look at the many benefits coffee offers you.Exfoliation
The coffee grounds combined with either salt or sugar act as exfoliates for the skin. Regular exfoliation removes residual dirt and dead skin to give you younger looking, fresh skin. After the skin is exfoliated, it is able to absorb moisture more effectively as well. All beauty regimens should include exfoliation treatments, and the coffee scrub provides it. I know you say I dont want to smell like coffee but once you exfoliate just wash yourself with soap to remove the coffee smell.Aromatherapy
The scent of coffee acts to clear a person’s mind of excessive thoughts. The scent also works as an anti-depressant and can combat feelings of nausea. Here are some ways that Coffee can benefit you externally

Antioxidants
Natural Antioxidants are found in the caffeine of coffee that have many benefits-heart disease and cancer-fighting properties  not to mention neutralize the effects of free radicals,which can damage the inner layer of skin. This damage is often reflected in age spots and wrinkles. The Coffee Body Scrub helps skin absorb this antioxidant and help prevent premature aging.

Blood Flow
Some people use coffee scrubs to combat the occurrence of varicose veins. The caffeine found in the scrubs typically increases blood flow and may reduce the appearance of cellulite. Just the use of Coffee Scrubs with the squeezing and massaging of the product on the skin helps release toxins and fats held in the skin.

Skin Texture
Caffeine is a vasodilator, which means it constricts blood vessels in the skin. This action works to make blood vessels tighter and firmer very quickly, which is reflected in your skin texture.

I know I know who wants to smell like coffee all day-unless you are just such a coffee fiend you dont care-you ask how exactly do you use a coffee scrub and not leave your bathroom wondering if you should add some cream to your skin.  Well, all you do is once you get in the shower you circulate the granules like you would any body scrub rinse it off then follow it up with your showering regimen,using soap and water, preferably a natural soap not one full of sulfates and drying agents that does nothing but zap your skin of its oils.
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Here is a simple recipe:
2 cups coarsely ground coffee
1/cup raw sugar
2 tsp Almond Oil
2 tsp Jojoba Oil
You can tweak how you want add or take away ingredients but you will be doing your body a good with this natural scrub and wake yourself up in the process and no calories.
Let me know how it worked out for you!

What’s All the Babassu About?

Babassu Oil

Another South American native I want to tell you about is Babassu Oil.  This is another oil I have fallen in love with.  It has so many of the same characteristics as Coconut Oil yet you can only use a certain percentage of Coconut Oil before it begins to dry the skin out. Babassu oil on the other hand is considered to be a superior emollient that is rather beneficial for either dry or oily complexions (this is why I include it in my handmade soaps). It gently moisturizes the skin without leaving an oily sheen. Babassu Oil
This reason being is due to the Oleic Fatty Acid (Sunflower Oil, Primrose,Avocado) it holds twice as much as coconut oil so us soap makers aren’t as restricted with the percentage used when creating our soap formulas and like the oils mentioned in the above sentence we can use babassu oil to super-fat our soap to give you added moisture without leaving your skin with an oily residue.   I love this oil and use in lip balms and hand creams as well as creating my own hair cream using babassu oil.  Babassu is high in Vitamin E and has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in its ability when being applied as a solid directly on the skin how it melts on contact giving your skin a cooling sensation.
This is why I love what I do, even if you cant try or experiment with different butters and oils because it can get become rather costly you should venture out of your comfort oils and butters and give some of these wonderfully exotic butters and oils a try-especially if you find what you are using isn’t giving much help. Read your labels and if you see some of these butters or oils I spoke of by all means give them a try they are worth it.  Also try asking your natural body care professional to see what they recommend and by all means do research on your own-after all it is your skin and you want the best there is to help keep its integrity.Healing Balm 1oz
So you see no one butter or oil can work alone and this includes Shea or Olive Oil-where one is lacking in vitamins and minerals another makes up for it.  Don’t be fooled your body needs most if not all the vitamins both inside and out and when you deny it there tends to be an issue that you will have to address later.  Your skin needs A,B’s,C,D,E,and F.  Your skin needs Panthenol, Beta Carotene, and the Omegas(3,6,9). Your skin needs added Sulfur and Anti-Oxidants because it is all connected. So don’t deny your body these nutrients because all you may know is Shea believe me it will thank you for it and you will notice a difference.Soaps 4
I love using this butter as a substitute to coconut oil and in my healing and lip balms because it cuts down on the greasy feel that I found coconut oil to have and melts so easily into skin upon skin contact. This is a beautiful butter that I hope becomes more readily used and learned about because it really a needed addition in both skincare and hair care products.
Remember this: Keeping one’s head in the sand because you want to follow the pact doesn’t make living less dangerous it just makes you unprepared.
You Grow as you Know

It’s All in the Smoothie Baby!

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Recently I have been on a kick a smoothie kick that is! Now I have had smoothies before in the past and never really thought much of them when I did get one accept that I liked them.  Well lately I have been reading more and more about the wonderful benefits smoothies have on the body by just what you put in them.

Sure I made smoothies as home in my blender I said to myself this isnt hard, put some fruit in some juice and a bit of honey or sugar and there you go!  Since I had my baby, 3 years ago, and starting a business almost around the same time I can say I have been horrible about getting myself back in shape but since October I have been determined to really do something about it and one of the key things is eating.  Along with a exercise regimen my eating habits werent bad but I realized I could be doing a whole lot better.

I like most who want to take off the inches and just feel better when we move eat salads and other healthy vegetables along with baking or broiling my fish, chicken even having some turkey burger or bacon.  I cut back on the bread but all in all I thought I was getting all of the nourishment in my meals.  Well I was wrong! I was wrong because I didnt realize it didnt matter how much green leafy goodness I was ingesting I was NOT getting the recommended amounts that we need on a daily basis. Image Not from lack of trying mind you but I read that our teeth are not equipped to really break down foods the way they need to be broken down in our bodies and that is why we need to juice them. Not our meats, I dont think I could do that even if they suggested it, but our veggies and fruits,our chewing no matter how much we do it doesnt compare to a juicer or processor even a heavy duty blender like (Vitamix)which I did get and I just LOVE!!!  But that is another post!

It seems the additional pulverizing that the machine does that our teeth cant do actually helps the nutrients get to our bloodstream more efficiently and effectively.  I was skeptical about this but when my mom bought one and we were trying out recipes I noticed a change, more energy, and actually the gray hairs on her head weren’t as pronounced as they once were which was really fascinating  to me.

The real kicker was the fact that alot of this ‘Green’ movement was promoting putting more than just fruit in your smoothies.  Greens like Spinach,types of lettuce, even actual greens, like, mustard, turnips,kale and collards! Whoa yeah I was like, ok I love greens but to put them in my smoothie, I dont know about that.  Well needless to say I dont make a smoothie without one of those greens!  I noticed I am more regular and have more energy to boot.  Along with my water intake I make a point to have 2 smoothies a day and boy do I feel it when I have only one.

greensInvest in a good blender, juicer, processor because it really is no joke for the food and it is actually a great money savor from buying the commercial brands in the store, plus you can regulate exactly what you put in your drink and how much.

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Here is a smoothie I made it was Yummy!

-1 Cup  Dole Mango Pineapple Peach Juice

1 Cup Greens of your choice (I used Collard Greens)

1 1/2 cup Frozen Fruit (I used Dole Frozen Fruit Mix)

1/2 cup Almond Milk

*UPDATE

Strawberry-Mango Smoothie                                                                                                                                     Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

1  cup Mango Juice (all natural)

1 cup Greens (Kale pictured)

1/2 cup Cucumbers

1 1/2 cup Strawberries

1/3 cup of cold water or ice

2 TBS Chia Seeds

Blend

Optional (Agave)

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

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A Brazilian Beauty

CAPUACU BUTTERImage

Now this is a butter that has rapidly become one of my favorite butters to work with.  The butter grows in the Amazon Rain Forest of South America.  It is the cousin of the Cacao, from which chocolate is made.  It has many of the composites of Cocoa Butter yet it is creamier and smoother in texture and rich vitamins A and C with Omega 6 and 9. It enhances elasticity, helps skin absorb water better, and gives deep long-lasting hydration to dry and damaged skin.
  Just like the mango butter, Capuacu butter safely protects the skin from the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. This broad spectrum protection allows damaged skin to heal itself better, restores elasticity and suppleness to the skin.  I tend to use the butter a lot in my formulations especially my lip and face products.  Another reason I fell in love with this creamy butter is for its cellular restoration properties especially for mature skin that has lost its elasticity this butter  better hydrates than Cocoa Butter.  Wow how that for is exceptional! It is said to help Eczema and Dermatitis to heal and soothe these skin irritations.       Along with its high water retention abilities, this creamy butter leaves a lovely sheen to your skin giving it a glow but not leaving the greasy mess that petroleum and mineral oils do as well some natural butters.  All in all you just cant go wrong with a butter like this in my opinion.
This butter has become my all time favorite to date. It is so wonderful and easy to incorporate into formulas.  I tend to use it for those products that give skin like hands and feet that need a little something extra.  Especially for those in the professions that are on their feet a lot and washing their hands often (nurses,doctors, athletes).
I am not a hair product guru but I do make some hair butters with this little Brazilian Beauty and I love how it holds moisture. Muy Hermosa! Que Bella!

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Don’t Let the Mango Fool You

MANGO BUTTER

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I know Shea has been given a wonderful review of how much it benefits the skin and Mango butter is coming a close second but is still not as notable. Mango butter is extracted from the shelled fruit kernel of the mango tree, which is a tropical evergreen. Vitamin C enriched and high in anti-oxidants, this butter is highly emollient, softening and soothing to the skin.
Mango butter unlike Shea has protective effects against UV radiation. Like Shea it helps treat skin rash, eczema, insect bites, and poison ivy. Mango butter has properties that protect and heal skin from the damage caused by sunburn and frostbite. Mango butter full of natural antioxidants absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy residue behind and forms a protective layer that protects the skin’s cells from aging too quickly. I love substituting when I try new formulas to see which feels better or gives a better result and mango butter is one that I use as a staple in my formulas because of its UV protective properties.
Now in my trials of ordering mango butter from various distributors, I have found that just like any other natural butter, Mango butter is not processed the same. Some come to you very hard-mango is a solid butter but some I found its texture gave my formulas a different constancy one I wasn’t too pleased with. This business is all about trial and era and that does add to the excitement of the creations. Although my pocketbook doesnt appreciate the loss but that is why I only buy in small quantities from a new company so I am not out too much. The reason you try different companies is because you want to have a backup company in case your main supplier is out of product or has closed down. You never want your customers to have to wait longer than necessary if it can be helped.
Check out this bowl of hand whipped butters! Doesnt that look yummy enough to eat?

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