Natural Beauty

Natural beauty and tips on how to glow from the inside out – written in collaboration with Shannon Kadlovski of BareNaked Nutrition.

Billions of dollars are spent each year on beauty and personal hygiene products – many of which are filled with harsh chemicals. Save some money and save your health by allowing your natural beauty to shine through! Eating the right foods is essential for healthy, beautiful hair, skin, and nails. In addition, making your own beauty care products, using whole foods and natural ingredients is super simple and much better for your health (and your bank account).  So, ditch the harmful chemicals and embrace NATURAL beauty!

6 Foods for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

  1. Avocado – Very hydrating for the skin as it contains biotin, vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which prevent dry skin as well as brittle hair and nails. Healthy fats support shinny hair and glowing skin, while vitamin E protects against free radical damage and premature aging.
  2. Salmon – Contains astaxanthin, which improves skin elasticity and helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help repair cells, improve hair health and promote smooth, young skin. It also helps to rejuvenate skin cells.
  3. Water – Hydration is essential for healthy skin as it assists the body in detoxification and regulates oil production. Drink roughly 8 glasses of clean, filtered water each day.
  4. Papaya – Contains vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen. Collagen promotes skin elasticity and prevents the appearance of wrinkles.
  5. Pumpkin Seeds – Good source of zinc, which is important for wound healing. It promotes healing of acne scars, helps prevent the appearance of stretch marks, and support growth of skin cells. Zinc also helps improve and control acne by controlling oil production.
  6. Swiss chard – Swiss chard is a superfood that contains biotin, vitamin A, K, and C, as well as B vitamins, which protect against free radical damage and premature aging. They also help to promote healthy skin and hair.

Our skin is our largest organ and anything that is applied to the skin gets absorbed directly into the body. Therefore, skin care products should be healthy enough to eat! Conventional beauty products contain harmful chemicals, which can cause skin irritation, clogged pores, premature aging, organ damage, and hormone disruption. Whenever possible, choose to go au natural!

Homemade Beauty Care Recipes

Coconut milk face cleanser

½ cup of cucumber juice

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp honey

Couple drops of tea tree oil

Combine all ingredients. Moisten face and apply cleanser with a cotton ball. Rinse and pat dry.

 

Apple cider vinegar hair cleanser

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 quart water

Spray onto hair after showering. Leave in for a few minutes and rinse out.

 

Avocado Mask

1 avocado

1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp honey

Evenly apply to skin. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off.

 

Clean Brands

  • Pure + Simple
  • Green Beaver
  • Dr. Mist

Be sure to visit www.shannonkadlovski.com for more nutrition information and delicious recipes.

Interested in learning more about natural beauty? Let us plan a natural beauty care party for you and your closest friends – let us bring the spa to you!

Contact me at dee.m.harris@gmail.com or Shannon at shannon@shannonkadlovski.com – mention that you heard about the parties from this blog

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Healthy Digestion, Naturally!

I recently wrote a guest post for Shannon Kadlovski and BareNaked Nutrition about the importance of proper digestion and 10 ways to achieve good digestion naturally.

I have shared it with you guys below and ask that you visit www.shannonkadlovski.com to learn more. The site is full of valuable information, fun cooking parties, and resources – check it out!

POST – 10 Ways to Improve Digestion, Naturally (from www.shannonkadlovski.com)

Do you ever feel bloated after eating? Have you ever experienced heartburn or gas? Do you find that your food feels like it’s just sitting in your gut? These symptoms indicate that your digestive system may need some help.

Digestion is the process of breaking down foods and drinks into smaller molecules that can be absorbed and utilized by the body. Proper digestion is essential to good health, but is very often over looked. Nutrients are needed to repair damage, generate new cells, and support body functions. In order for the body to use the nutrients we eat, we must have good digestion. Food must be broken down into smaller molecules to be absorbed by the blood stream and utilized by cells. Good digestion starts with having proper levels of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. These two factors are required to properly digest food, but are commonly depleted as a result of bad eating habits. Consuming large amounts of cooked food is difficult on the digestive system and depletes digestive enzymes, while the consumption of large amounts of liquids during mealtime can wash away salivary enzymes.

10 Ways to Improve Digestion, Naturally
  1. Chew! Chew! Chew! – I cannot mention enough how important chewing is to good digestion. Digestion starts with chewing. Chewing is the mechanical breakdown of food and helps to increase surface area for enzyme contact. It also helps to trigger the rest of the digestive process. It is important to chew until your food becomes a paste.
  2. Consume raw fruits and vegetables – These items naturally contain enzymes, which help to assist digestion.
  3. Relax – Stress depletes stomach acid (HCl) and therefore leads to poor digestion. Perform activities to reduce stress such as yoga and deep breathing.
  4. Make mealtime about eating – Turn off the TV, put down the book, sit at the table, and avoid eating on the run! Removing distractions during mealtime helps to promote proper digestion. Take your time, put your fork down between bites, and enjoy your meal!
  5. Don’t drink while eating – Save liquid consumption for before (about 20 minutes) or after (about 30 minutes) a meal. Drinking while eating can slow down digestion and reduce the amount of stomach acid needed to properly break down your food.
  6. Lemon water – Lemon gets your digestive fire roaring. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon into a glass of room temperature or warm water every morning on an empty stomach or 20 minutes before a meal. Lemon water helps improve digestion and also helps to increase metabolism.
  7. Eat fermented foods – These are loaded with probiotics (good bacteria), and are rich sources of enzymes. Probiotics and enzymes both benefit digestion and the breakdown of food. Examples include plain yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kombucha (fermented tea), and kefir.
  8. Avoid carbonated drinks and processed foods – They reduce levels of HCl (stomach acid) and lead to abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and acid reflux.
  9. Avoid coffee and alcohol – Consuming coffee and/or alcohol with a meal increases stomach-emptying time, which causes the stomach to empty its contents prematurely. This results in painful digestion and diarrhea.
  10. Supplement – If you are in need of a little extra help in the digestion department, you can supplement with probiotics and/or digestive enzymes. This will help re-colonize your gut with friendly bacteria and promote good digestion. When taking probiotics, choose one from the refrigerator section of your local health food store, and one with over 2 billion live organisms. Also make sure that your supplements do not contain any fillers or additives.

Valentine’s Day

V-day

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

February 14th generates the largest chocolate sales all year. More than 36 million boxes of chocolates will be sold for this particular day alone! Wow, that’s what I call a lot of chocolate!

Chocolate may be considered a treat and something that should not be consumed everyday, but dark chocolate has a number of beneficial properties.

  • Can you say aphrodisiac – that’s right, consuming chocolate can help you get in the mood! Chocolate contains a natural chemical called phenylalanine, which is naturally produced by our adrenal glands when we get excited. Phenylalanine enhances mood, promoted feelings of happiness and improves physical performance.
  • Anandamide – increases feelings of excitement, enhances mental alertness, and regulates mood.
  • Antioxidants – 70% or higher dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cacao and less sugar than milk chocolate. With a higher cacao content dark chocolate has greater levels of antioxidants and “feel good” chemicals. So ditch the milk and enjoy the dark!

Dark chocolate can enhance your health while getting you in the mood!

Now that you know dark chocolate can enhance your love life while helping your health its time to share some creative ways to indulge:

  1. Melt dark chocolate chips in a double boiler and dip some strawberries. Place in the fridge to cool and enjoy. Strawberries contain healthful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals (vitamin C & manganese). Strawberries can help keep your heart healthy on this day of love.
  2. Make your own chocolate – melt dark chocolate chips in a double boiler and mix in different fillings. You can add goji berries, brown rice crisps, peanut butter, or nuts/seeds. Transfer chocolate mixture to a silicone ice tray and place in the fridge to set. Delicious, fancy chocolates in no time!
  3. Melt dark chocolate with a little coconut oil and some honey and you’ve got a delicious homemade chocolate sauce. Delicious on a number of things. Coconut oil and honey are also good for the skin 😉
  4. Indulge in my coconut chocolate fudge (previous post)

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and indulge in some DARK chocolate!

Superfoods

Superfoods have grown in popularity over the past few years. It seems like they are the only thing you ever hear about, especially in the health and wellness field. There’s a reason for the repeated talking and consuming of superfoods – they are “super” for your health!

The classification of superfoods is given to foods that have high nutrient content and are extremely beneficial to ones health. They are packed with phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and everyone’s favourite antioxidants. This amazing group of foods helps promote optimal health by decreasing risk of disease or negative health conditions, promoting natural beauty and healthy aging, and nourishing the body.

There are number of superfoods that are increasing in popularity including:

  • Raw Cacao – favourite among the Mayan and Aztec cultures for thousands of years
  • Raw honey – antibacterial and great for the immune system
  • Goji berries – tart raisin like fruit that has been a staple in Asian health regimes for thousands of years. Thought to provide strength and promote longevity.
  • Maca – Japanese green tea loaded with antioxidants
  • Blueberries – powerhouse fruit with a number of vitamins, minerals and tons of antioxidants in a tiny package

Superfoods live up to their names and provide the body with nourishment and defense aganst disease. They should be a part of everyone’s diet!

To learn more about the above mentioned superfoods and a lot more visit http://shannonkadlovski.com/shop/scrumptious-superfood-smoothies/ and get your hands on the scrumptious superfood smoothies e-book. It is pack with valuable information on what superfoods are, their amazing health properties and delicious smoothie recipes. It is a great staple to have on your book shelf and the smoothies will impress anyone!

Colours of the Rainbow

Do you remember that song from elementary school “I can sing a rainbow”? It goes a little like this

Red and yellow and pink and green

Purple and orange and blue

I can sing a rainbow,

sing a rainbow,

sing a rainbow too.

This song is most commonly heard sung by little voices bellowing from classrooms, but its time it breaks out of school. This song should also be sung while shopping at the grocery store or farmers market and while preparing meals. Now, you may be wondering why I am suggesting you sing a kids song while working with food. This is because foods that are the colours of the rainbow are packed with phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients are found in plant foods, the word literally means “plant nutrients” and are responsible for their beautiful colours. These plant nutrients are important factors in optimal health and help protect against disease and fight free radical damage. There are a number of different phytonutrients also known as phytochemicals found in plant foods, such as lycopene, lutein, flavonoids, indoles, lignans, and plant sterols. These are abundant in fruits (watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, mango, peaches, strawberries, citrus), vegetables (peppers, carrots, squash, eggplant, kale, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Swiss chard) whole grains (brown rice, quinoa), and legumes (beans, peas, lentils).

Benefits of Phytonutrients:

  • antioxidant properties – help to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals
  • Shown to protect against cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s
  • promote healthy aging – reduce appearance of wrinkles (who doesn’t want this!)
  • support immune system
  • Antibacterial
  • Positive effects on hormones

Phytonutrients are powerful and beautiful and should be included in every meal throughout the day.

Brighten up your dinner plate and eat the rainbow!