All posts filed under: holistic living

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. …

DIY Storage Jar/Herb Garden Planter

You’d think a city girl through and through might not be much of a tree hugger, but here’s the full disclosure: I’m crazy about nature and can’t get enough of the great outdoors. I will hike, camp, bike, boat, and play my way through nature. Fortunately, Washington, DC is filled with amazing gardens, greens, and gorgeous plants and flowers. It’s also extremely accessible to fabulous hiking trails, mountains, lakes, rivers, the ocean…I mean, this little city girl has got it made. My one limitation: growing my own garden. The one thing we don’t have a lot of in the city is a big space to grow tons of plants. That doesn’t stop me from having my own fabulous indoor garden, and I’ve been able to grow and care for a wide variety of plants in the comfort of my home. Having fresh herbs on demand is a huge plus when cooking. It absolutely changes the dynamics of any dish in the best way possible, and there’s something really enjoyable about handling fresh, bright greens. It …

Pro-body, Pro-Mind, Pro-health: Probiotics

Researchers and scientists alike agree that we’ve ignored how essential gut health is to our overall health. And guess what our Standard American Diet (SAD) hits the hardest? Our intestines. GMO’s, processed and refined foods strip down the gut of good bacteria, creating an inflammatory reaction that has produced an epidemic of Crohn’s disease, Celiac, and other inflammatory problems as well as causing weight gain. Many of the food inventions of our brave new world are horrible for our bodies. Modern medicine is just too damn smart for its own good, or for our good that is. With all of our wonderful advances through pills, science, and surgeries, we completely ignore holistic health guidelines that have been around for thousands and thousands of years. We seem to think the body incapable of healing itself without the aid of Western medicine. While I don’t think it’s advisable to wholly use natural health alternatives, I think it’s wise to learn what we can and implement simple and yet powerfully effective measures. Remember, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean …

Just How Dangerous Is Your Nail Polish?

Let’s face it, modern science has ushered in a plethora of amazing things that have helped change the world for the better. Unfortunately, it’s also brought in changes that create some very toxic-living environments, and we’re often unaware of the damage we do to our health through simple every day means. I’m not really good at being a girly-girl. I seriously struggle to do my hair (I just learned how to use rollers this year, and just barely I might add) and contour makeup tips terrifying and confuse me. I don’t get it. You have to apply three colors on your face just to look as much like you’ve have plastic surgery as possible? No, thanks Kim K. I don’t mind looking the same with or without makeup. I do, however, love me a good, basic mani-pedi and I cannot go a day without shaving. These are my girly vices, and I plan on sticking to them for life, winter, spring, summer and fall. BAM! Nails did, hair…not so did. Sigh. Skin and nails absorbs …

Organic Foods: Spurge vs Save and How to Choose

By this point, the average health conscious person is aware organic living is the way to go. We know we’re supposed to avoid artificial ingredients that make food more like a science experiment than a nutritious source. GMO’s are also rightfully getting more and more attention as consumers are slowly but surely being alerted to the hazards of consuming these science experiments. Whenever possible, as much as possible, we want to eat organic food so we can safely avoid pesticides and genetically radically altered food. But let’s be real, it can really break the bank to eat healthy. I hear this from many of my married friends with children, and I sympathize. My husband and I pay a ridiculous amount of money on groceries, and that’s even with meal planning and budgeting. We also save money by eating out less, so it evens out a bit. Food should be safe to eat, but the simple truth is that most FDA approved foods aren’t healthy. In fact, they’re dangerous to consume. In particular, GMO foods are …

Natural Beauty: Do Essential Oils Work?

If you’re anything like how I used to be, when you open up your bathroom cabinets, you probably have tons of supplies that you bought to enhance your face, hair, and skin. I used love trying new beauty products until I realized: they weren’t so beautiful after all. Instead of being beneficial to my body, I was basically slathering myself in a lab experiment that was neither healthy for me or the environment. For people who are dedicated to yoga, asanas (yoga poses) are just one part of our lifestyle. Seeking a simple, gentle, and natural living has a gravitational pull for us. We want not only to be strong and flexible, but to have healthy bodies, minds, and souls as well. Using natural beauty products not only is kinder to the environment, but it’s better and more effective for our bodies. I now have a simple but highly effective skin care regimen that uses zero chemical ingredients, and while I’m not one of those lucky people who has a naturally perfect complexion, I can honestly …