All posts filed under: holistic living

When Dairy-Free Milk Wreaks Havoc on Your Gut

Many people switch to nut milk in pursuit of healthier options, completely unaware of some companies using ingredients that are highly inflammatory for your intestinal tract and harmful to your gut microbes. It seems like everyday, more people are ditching cow’s milk and switching to healthier options, like nut milk. With increased demand comes increased supply, so many mainstream food brands are now marketing nut milk of every variety. Many people switch to nut milk in pursuit of healthier options, completely unaware of some companies using ingredients that are highly inflammatory for your intestinal tract and harmful to your gut microbes.This should be a good thing…but it’s not. While you’d might think consumers should be able to waltz into any grocery store and not have to worry about what the hell is in our food, that world just doesn’t exist anymore. The food industry is a massive business and, like many other businesses, it’s more concerned with product sale than people’s health.  The simple truth is not all dairy-free milks are created equal, but there’s …

Ditch the Sugar, Lose the Weight

  Pour some sugar on me… But not on my food. No way, no ma’am, no thank you. I not-so-secretly adore sugary things. Actually, I love salty foods. Fatty foods. Fried foods. If it is dyed an obnoxious color, I’ll probably like that too. (Those chewy Swedish fish make my day. Some part of my brain knows it’s not a real food, that fish are neither chewy nor bright red nor sweet, but I become 100% committed to devouring the entire box the second they’re in my hands.) I use so much salt on my food, it looks like a literal snow blizzard has descended upon my plate. But out of all my vices, I think my sweet tooth is the worst. Scratch that, it’s not a sweet tooth, but teeth. Like, a mouth full of ’em. I’m pretty sure my body is out to get me. When science is finally confessing sugar is silently killing us and likens it to a hyper addictive drug, what’s a girl to do? Find ways to cut sugar out …

Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics (and how to take them)

Happy New Year! Praise baby Jesus, 2016 is over. …Damn, 2016. You were vicious! Don’t even get me started on all the celebrities we lost, because we lost our humanity for a hot minute and I think that’s a bigger deal. It was like a poop cloud of negativity hung over the entire year in the form of politics, social media, and the news (ok, and celebrity deaths). Most of the time, I felt like I was a very reluctant extra in a HORRIBLE episode of North & South. On a personal level, it was actually a good year for me and my husband. DESPITE the presidential debates, we can’t complain (#DodgedThe2016Bullet), but man, our hearts have been breaking for so many dear friends and even strangers who are hurting from last year. Here’s all I have to say about the Wretchedness Which Was 2016: whatever  personal opinions and views we value, let’s make sure we value people as well. I hope 2017 is marked by our kindness and desire to unite with one another instead …

Use This, Not That: Deodorant Swaps

The many of the ingredients that go into our every day, run-of-the-mill products are a little bit terrifying.  Worst of all, when it comes finding out just how unhealthy a product really is, the burden of proof falls on the consumer. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately, if we want to stay healthy, we can’t completely trust the FDA or consumer reports. There’s a huge chance you’re using a hazardous product right now. Aluminum is directly linked to Alzheimers and a slew of other health problems, but guess what we put directly into our lymph nodes every day? Yup. Aluminum, brought to you by way of your trusty deodorant. I don’t know about you, but this makes me mad AF. All I want in life is to smell fresh as a goddamn daisy, without risking putting my husband through a Notebook type of scenario. My memory is pretty sketchy as it is, so I need all the help I can get. Since it’s approximately a million degrees outside right now (depending on the sun’s …

Natural Cleaner for Yoga Mats + Gym Equipment

Just when you thought it was safe to watch documentaries, you come across The Human Experiment and life is over as you knew it. Nightmares for DAYS, people. Damn it, Netflix, why do you do me like that? The basic synopsis of The Human Experiment is that we’re all going to die. Well, ok, more specifically, we are experiencing a chemical overload via the things we use daily, ranging from food to products. Households cleaning items are rarely tested for long term effects on animals, and what data we do is not looking good. After watching that documentary my first instinct was to pack up, pulling a Walden, and getting my Henry David Thoreau-self outta here! But here’s the thing: I absolutely refuse to live my life in fear of all of the non-holistic things that go bump in the night. There’s a big difference between making smart, well-informed changes that positively impact your life verses being controlled by information that terrifies you. The point of educating ourselves about natural alternatives is to simplify, empower and protect our …

How to Weekend + Travel Proof Your Health Game

Current situation: living across the pond in London proper for most of the month of September. Health game: Staying mooooostly on point, despite the massive attack (musical pun for you fellow fans out there!) on clean eating by way of incredible dining and wining in one of my favorite cities.  Let’s face it, weekends and vacations do a number on our health, and it can be incredibly difficult to reel ourselves back to reality. Many people, myself included, can testify that the “occasional indulgence” or exception accidentally become the norm. It’s so much harder to get back on track than to stay mostly consistent with our lifestyle. I’m speaking from personal experience of course; in all honesty my will power waffles and wavers entirely for a fancy pants meal, bottomless brunching, and/or an amazing bottle of wine. What’s a girl to do? Never dine out? Skip traveling? Forget it! That sounds like zero amounts of fun. I have major wanderlust and frequently travel both nationally and internationally. When I’m home, I’m fortunate to have a lovely network of friends …

Surprising Foods That Sabotage Your Weight Goals

We can run a million miles a day, do cross fit like an original Spartan soldier, and compete in the Olympics, but if we don’t recognize that about 80% of our fitness success starts in the kitchen, it will be almost impossible to reach our goals. Not only do our food choices contribute to our weight goals, but they make us healthy on from the inside-out. Think of how many skinny-minny people you know with limp hair, dull skin, and lack luster energy levels. Skinny does not equal healthy or strong, and I cannot emphasize that enough. Likewise, being addicted to working out is just as unhealthy as extreme portion control. In fact, relentless working is incredibly harmful for your body, causing adrenal fatigue and even injury. A lack of balance in our eating or workout routine is a symptom of poor mental health. Remember, health isn’t just physical. It’s very much a mental thing. Some of the unhealthiest, unhappiest people I know have gym bodies to die for, but I wouldn’t want to spend …

Morning Habits for Weight Loss

In the words of Anne of Green Gables, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” This little saying holds true for our eating habits as well, and research proves mornings are literally a blank slate to our digestive system. How we start our day calibrates our metabolism and can either aid in our health efforts, or wildly sabotage our goals. The start of our day holds another little trick up its sleeve: it can be a powerful detox session for our body if we play our cards right. It’s not news that a detoxed body= a body primed to lose weight/be a fitness beast. The great news is that we can get the most out of our morning with just a few simple habits.  I hate early mornings with an intensity that borderlines on out of control. I personally, require minimal thinking, breathing, doing, and moving in the AM, so the less complicated, the better. Let us have morning success, and let it be effortless, ammirite? I’ve found these little habits make a …

The Great, Mind-Numbing Diet Dilemma: What to Eat

Vegan. Vegetarian. Paleo. Oh my… There are endless diets out there that swear up, down, and sideways to be the absolute best for your body. They usually sound thoroughly convincing too, until you read up on another diet that abosolutely, positively contradicts everything the first diet claims you should follow. This leaves the great, mind-numbing diet dilemma: which diet should I follow to ensure I’m maintaining optimal health?! Most people start out 110% on a particular diet, only to find it feels far too rigid and then they give it up completely. While this post is not a promo for a particular diet, I do believe there are some key guidelines we can all follow to make sure we’re making healthy food choices. Food is fuel, and cooking and eating it should be a joy. Whenever I prepare a meal, I constantly think of all the people who desperately need basic provisions, and it reminds me to be grateful that I have the ability to not just choose to eat, but what to eat and …

DIY Glowing Skin Face Mask

THERE ARE ENDLESS BENEFITS TO LIVING A NATURAL LIFESTYLE, but one of the best perks is that when it comes to beauty, it’s a much more frugal option than mainstream counterparts and you know exactly what’s going on your skin. I repeat: you know exactly what chemicals are NOT going on your skin and therefore into your body. The skin is an organ, but we kinda forget this and the fact that it will indeed absorb whatever we slather on it. My skin routine is 100% natural, and ironically, when I switched to natural products, my skin looked so much better than when I was keeping up an expensive face routine. Not only does my health thank me for this, but so does my piggy-bank. You know, if I had one. Which, I guess Chase Bank counts, right? Remember, more expensive isn’t usually most effective. Some of my girlfriends spend a crazy amount of money on teeny tiny face product and treatments at various spas and such. It’s not necessarily to maintain gorgeous, youthful skin. …