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10 Dairy Milk Alternatives for Those Giving Milk the Boot

10 Dairy Milk Alternatives for Those Giving Milk the Boot

As a lover of all things dairy, transitioning to a dairy-free lifestyle has been tough. I am a sucker for everything related to cheese and ice-cream. It doesn’t help that I live across the street from a froyo joint and countless restaurants with cheesy goodness.

My love passion for dairy took a backseat, however, when I began experiencing extreme stomach discomfort after an innocent bowl of coconut flavored frozen yogurt. I knew immediately that something wasn’t right. Could it be that my beloved dairy was causing me harm? No, it couldn’t be! Could it?

It wasn’t long before I realized that my body just couldn’t comfortably process dairy. I tried everything from cheesy pizza, frosted cakes and those fancy Starbucks drinks. Like clockwork, I would be doubled over with sharp pains and an upset stomach. This is not ANY way to live, even if you once loved dairy. 🙁

After quitting dairy, I have experienced zero stomach discomfort. My cystic acne has also subsided. Before giving dairy the boot, I refused to admit that it was making my acneic skin worse. If you do suffer from acne, I highly suggest eliminating dairy to see if it is negatively affecting your skin.

The transition to a dairy-free life has certainly not been an easy one. For the first few weeks I craved froyo like nobody’s business. I wanted ALL the froyos. Once the cravings subsided I began experimenting with different dairy alternatives.  Some have an acquired taste, but I found that all of them were very comparable to cow’s milk.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of going dairy-free, check out these 10 dairy milk alternatives for those giving milk the boot:

Rice Milk

Rice milk holds a special place in my heart. Currently my favorite dairy-free alternative, rice milk is mild in taste and easy to digest. Rice Dream, my brand of choice, is fortified and contains 30% daily value of Calcium and 25% daily value of Vitamin D and B12. This lovely alternative to cow’s milk has a delicious nutty flavor that goes well in cereals and smoothies.

Almond Milk

For those without a nut allergy, almond milk is a great dairy-free, soy-free and lactose-free option. Made by straining almonds and water, most almond milks are primarily water with other thickening agents. Fortunately, unsweetened almond milk is full of healthy fats!

Cashew Milk

Similar to almond milk, cashew milk is a blend of cashews and water. If you prefer the taste of cashews this creamy milk is for you. If you looking to obtain more nutrients from your milk, try making your cashew milk at home.

Hazelnut Milk

Like most dairy-free alternatives, hazelnut milk doesn’t contain much protein but is full of nutrients that our body needs. This low calorie alternative is also a great source of vitamin D and E, calcium, and riboflavin, which is naturally occurring in hazelnuts.

Coconut Milk

If you’re someone who loves the taste of coconut and enjoys milk with a thicker consistency, coconut milk is a great alternative. Consisting of good fats (medium chain fatty acids), coconut milk is highly nutritious. Our favorite brand (So Delicious Coconut Milk) is fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients — we’re talking vitamin A, B, B12, C, and D, calcium, zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, and selenium. Not to mention, it’s dairy-free!

Hemp Milk

Made from hemp seeds and water, hemp milk has somewhat of a nutty flavor. Full of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, hemp milk provides our bodies with a burst of vitamins and nutrients. Much like other dairy-free alternatives, hemp milk contains vitamins A, B12, D, and E, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, and zinc.

Soy Milk

Produced from soybeans and water, soy milk is the most widely consumed dairy alternative. Unlike its alternatives, soy milk is actually a common allergen. My sister and I no longer consume soy milk due to an adverse reaction (itching of the mouth and hives). This is not to say that soy milk won’t work for you. It’s best to find the healthiest option for your body.

Flax Milk

This low calorie option, much like its competitors, is filled with essential vitamins and nutrients (vitamins B12 and D, as well as calcium). If you’re someone looking for more protein in your diet, flax milk can also be infused with protein (5g to be exact). The taste is a bit unique and may take some getting used to, but it’s worth a try!

Sunflower Milk

Made from sunflower seeds and water, sunflower milk is a unique way to enjoy the pleasures that come with drinking cow’s milk without actually consuming it (such as enjoying a bowl of cereal or milk and cookies). Sunflower milk can be easily made at home or purchased at natural health food stores.

Oat Milk

An easy and inexpensive dairy alternative to make at home, oat milk is great for our skin and hair. Those with gluten allergies should avoid oat milk unless it is specifically a gluten-free version. Oat milk is naturally high in sugar though so be sure to limit your intake! You can also use a homemade version topically for added skin benefits!

What is your favorite dairy-free alternative? Have you given cow’s milk the boot?

-Zeena

Facial Steaming: The Key to Flawless Skin

Facial steaming comes with a plethora of benefits, and like most facials, when done correctly steam is the perfect addition to any beauty regimen.

Clogged pores? Gone. Dry skin? See yah! Blackheads? Blackheads, who? 

Transform your skin in just 5 minutes with a bowl of steamy water and a towel. Beautiful skin is that easy, people! 🙂 Now, let’s talk benefits.

Benefits of Facial Steaming:

Unclog Pores

Steam softens the dead skin cells and gunk from your pores making it easier to remove. After steaming, apply a mask to gently exfoliate softened debris. Be careful not to force open a pore that doesn’t want to be messed with. It won’t be pretty, trust me.

Increase Blood Flow

Steam increases the blood flow to the skin, which brings with it plenty of oxygen and nutrients improving the overall appearance of your skin.

Increase Perspiration

Simply put, steaming will make your face sweat. This increase of perspiration from your pores brings out the dirt and oil. Once on the surface of your skin, this can be easily washed or exfoliated away.

Remove Dry Skin

Removing dry skin is even easier when it is softened by steam. Somedays it seems no matter how much I scrub my skin, dry spots remain. Steam makes removing dry skin 100x easier. Halle-luh-yer.

Relaxation

Okay, this is a bonus benefit however relaxation speaks volumes when it comes to the appearance of your skin. When I’m stressed, my acne flares, causing the overall appearance of my skin to look not-so-good. Steam facials can be very relaxing, especially when you add calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile to the water.

Ready to get started? Here are the steps:

Begin by boiling a pot of water. Make sure there is enough water to fill a good size bowl without overflowing. Once the water begins to boil, carefully pour the water into the bowl. Add essential oils or dried flowers for added relaxation benefits. Place a towel over your head and the bowl, preventing the steam from escaping. Allow the steam to penetrate your skin for about 3-5 minutes or less depending on how your skin reacts to steam or heat. Be careful not to steam too long to avoid damaging your skin. After steaming, cleanse your skin or exfoliate, depending on your preference. Everyone’s skin is different! Then, mask, tone and/or moisturize. Wallah!

**Like most treatments, too much of anything is never good. Avoid oversteaming your face. Make sure you keep your face a safe distance from the steam to avoid burns (about 12-18 inches away). Steam is very dangerous. Wear oven mitts while handling the hot bowl and pot.  Be careful!

How do you steam?

XOXO

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

It’s no secret that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can offer a plethora of benefits to the body, both inside and out. Just during the season of fall alone, there are tons of fruits and vegetables that are staples of this season getting devoured by the masses. But in addition to eating these seasonal favorites, some skin benefits can be observed by slapping these foods on our faces. Fall Foods Facials, has sort of nice ring to it right? Read on for 8 fall foods that make amazing face masks.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is arguably one of the most popular fall foods. It gets served up in drinks, pies, soups, breads, cookies, muffins, cakes, you name it. I even saw pumpkin popcorn at the supermarket recently! This vegetable is a staple in many household during fall, and even winter months. And while it is oh-so yummy, it’s also a treat for your skin. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A which helps protect your skin from loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and poor skin tone, all caused by damage from free radicals. Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, which again, helps fight free radical damage. What’s more is this orange veggie contains acne fighting, sebum balancing zinc, as well as, collagen and melanin regulating copper.

 

Sweet Potato

There’s no question that sweet potatoes baked in a pie are absolutely scrumptious (it’s my favorite pie in case you were wondering), but what is equally as delectable is this root vegetables benefit to your skin. Sweet potatoes, like pumpkin are a great source of skin protecting Vitamin A (also known as beta-carotene) and free radical fighting vitamin C.

Winter Squash

Like pumpkin and sweet potato, winter squash  is a vitamin A containing vegetable that fights free radicals and helps to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful. It also contains anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

How to use: Go straight for the gold with these vegetables and smear some mashed pumpkin, sweet potato, or winter squash on your face leaving it on like a mask. Go ahead, you know you want to…

 

Cranberry

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

These tart little red berries are consumed year round in juices, cooked up in breads, savory dishes, baked sweets, sauces, and jams, but what can it do for you skin, you ask? Well, these yummy berries have not only been used in the treatment of oily skin, but are know for their ability to fight free radicals and prevent premature aging. Cranberries also possess antiseptic properties, making it them perfect for the treatment and prevention of acne and breakouts.

How to use: Take fresh (unsweetened) cranberry juice dabbed on a cotton ball and wipe over your face as a toner. You can also mix cranberry juice and a little honey to use as a face wash.

 

Apples

Apples are eaten year round, but definitely get more “air -time” during the fall. They get baked into all sorts of yummy fall desserts, they get made up into candy apples, turned into apple cider, and is it just me or does it seem like its not officially fall until you or someone you know has gone apple picking?

But what can these crisp, delectable fruits do for your skin? Well, for starters, apples contain collagen-boosting vitamin C, along with Vitamin A and E which together with Vitamin C, fights free radicals to help to prevent premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles. Apples also contain copper, which helps to produce melanin which maintains your skin color.

It is said that some apples can offer limited protection from UVB rays. You should not use apples as a sunscreen replacement, however.

Note: Red Delicious and Granny Smith are said to be the most beneficial apples for the skin.

How to use: Blend your apple in to a pulp and spread across your face, you can also use freshly squeezed apple juice as a toner. Take a cotton ball, dab it in the freshly squeezed apple juice and wipe across your entire face. An apple pulp and honey mixture also makes for a great face mask.

 

Figs

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

Figs are another festive food than can work wonders on your skin. Fig is not only hydrating, but an excellent exfoliant that gently works to remove dirt and debris, including dead, poor clogging skin cells.

How to use: Spread fig pulp directly on your face, for no more than 3-5 minutes. Due to the exfoliating enzymes in the fig, you want to be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin.

 

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is often used during the fall and even the holiday season to flavor both savory and sweet dishes, but did you know it can also help with pain and inflammation? This spice is the perfect remedy for those painful, swollen breakouts.

How to use: Mix a dash of nutmeg with a little honey and dab onto affected areas. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

 

Cinnamon

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

Cinnamon is a spice widely used year round, but also makes an appearance in so many fall sweet treats. Not only is it delish, but it can be used on the skin to stimulate blood flow, bringing oxygen to the surface of the skin, helping to plump things up and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Cinnamon can also be used to clear up acne by drying out your breakouts.

How to use: Mix honey and just a dash of cinnamon and apply to the face, leaving on for a few minutes then rinse. Be careful not to overdo it. Cinnamon can be extremely irritating and drying. Do not do this mask more than once per week. As a spot treatment for acne, mix honey and cinnamon and dab just on the affected area, leave on for 10-20 minutes (depending on how sensitive your skin is) then rinse. Kick this spot treatment up a notch by adding both cinnamon and nutmeg to honey and applying to affected areas.

Which mask will you make this season?? Comment below!

~Letisha

7 Natural Toothpaste Alternatives You Need to Try

When it comes to brushing our teeth, we are not limited to just the tubes we see in the grocery store aisle. These toothpastes can be chalk full of chemicals that have no place in our body. NO PLACE.

A popular brand, that is no stranger to our households, totes the following inactive ingredients:

Hydrated Silica, Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, PVM/MA Copolymer, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Flavor, Sodium Hydroxide, Carrageenan, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Saccharin, Titanium Dioxide

Woah.

Not to mention the active ingredients, which include Triclosan, an anti-bacterial compound used in personal cleaning products.

In fact:

The state of Minnesota has banned the sale Triclosan from personal care cleaning products.

Procter and Gambled vowed to removed Triclosan from their products by 2014. (I hope they followed through!)

The hidden chemicals in toothpaste is scary stuff.

Fortunately, there is a plethora of ways you can clean your teeth without going anywhere near your current toothpaste.

 

Natural Toothpaste Alternatives:

  • Baking Soda + Water: Baking Soda polishes teeth, increases white appearance, fights bad breath, helps remove place, and improves dental health.
  • Bentonite Clay + Water + Essential Oils: Known for its abilities to draw out toxins, bentonite clay makes for the perfect teeth cleaning agent. Clay paired with minty essential oils (think Peppermint) will leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
  • Clay + Coconut Oil + Peppermint Essential Oil: While the clay draws out toxins, the coconut oil destroys bacteria and microbes. The addition of Peppermint Oil keeps your breath minty fresh.
  • Coconut Oil + Baking Soda: Coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial works in conjunction with the Baking Soda to help polish and clean your teeth.

Not a fan of whipping up your own toothpaste? There is a plethora of pre-made, healthy options.

Too much of anything is not always a good thing. Limit brushing your teeth with baking soda to just a couple times a week; too much usage can result in damage to your teeth. As always, be careful with essential oils; too much can result in burns.

None of these recipes contain fluoride. It’s your choice if you prefer to use a fluoride toothpaste. These are simply alternatives you can choose from if you want to avoid chemicals in your toothpaste. Your choice! 🙂

Happy Toothpaste Trails!

10 Reasons Every Woman Should Try Reusable Pads

Reusable pads. Yes, I said it. These two words don’t always go hand in hand. Why would anyone want to reuse a pad? Simple. The benefits are endless. Reusable pads are great for your mind and body, not to mention Mother Earth. Glad Rags, a brand of reusable pads, offers an amazing selection for both beginners and the pros alike. The Glad Rag reusables had me hooked after one use! Here are 10 reasons every woman should try reusable pads, at least once!:
1. The comfort is undeniable.
When it comes to comfort, Glad Rags exceeds any form of menstrual pads. In fact, Glad Rags reusables are the most comfortable thing you can wear during your period. You almost forget it’s even there! Made of 100% cotton, these reusable pads are perfect for sensitive skin. No need to worry about irritation unlike traditional pads.

2. Better for your body.
Unlike traditional pads, Glad Rags are chemical free! The pads that most of us have grown up using are full of chemicals that may not be so good for our body like plastic and artificial fragrance.

3. Saves you a pretty penny.
Why spend your hard-earned buckaroos every month when you can use Glad Rags? These affordable pads will save you $1000s each year! Pretty nice, huh? It’s no surprise that many women have found their Glad Rags to have lasted 20+ years! I’d liked to see a traditional pad that could last that long…well, actually…maybe I wouldn’t. 🙂

Day Pad
4. The environment will thank you.
R-E-C-Y-C-L-E…RECYCLE! Unlike traditional pads, reusable pads are not contributing to the ever growing landfills. In fact, in just one lifetime the average woman uses up to 16,000 pads and tampons. Glad Rags delicately packages their reusables in a cardboard box, with no plastic in sight.

5. You will feel fierce.
Not only are you bettering your body, but the environment as well. Does it get any better than that? Call me crazy, but wearing Glad Rags made me feel in control of my body. Oh, and also like a fierce trendsetter. Periods are 100% normal. Menstruating is not nasty nor is it embarrassing. It’s a natural part of life that you begin to embrace once switch to reusables.  You go, girl!

6. Be funk free.
Unlike traditional pads, Glad Rags do not contain a plastic liner, which prevents moisture from becoming trapped and resulting in odor.

reusable pad
7. Be care free.
Does anyone else forget to buy pads until the day of their period? It’s not the most pleasant thought, especially when you’re in a time crunch. With resuable pads, there is no need to worry! No emergency trips to the drugstore required.

8. Enjoy a cycle without dread.
Let’s be honest-no one looks forward to throwing on those crinkly, stiff pads one week of the month. They’re just not the most comfortable thing in the world. Glad Rags take away nearly all of that dread, leaving you with 100% comfort and ease of mind throughout your whole cycle.

Reusable Pad
9. Support the cause.
Glad Rags is committed to sustainability. What started as a small, home business has grown into a source of inspiration for women around the world. Glad Rags is determined to improve  the lives of women and Mother Earth simultaneously. 🙂

10. It’s a conversation starter.
Seriously–reusable pads are a conversation starter. It’s guaranteed that you may get a few quizzical looks, but hey–don’t knock it until you try it! Sharing your positive experiences with other women may encourage them to hop on the reusable pad boat.

 

Are you willing to give up your traditional pads for a day to try reusables? Comment below!

Body Blemishes: 6 Ways to Banish Back Acne

Back Acne–as if the acne on our face wasn’t bad enough. Bacne (back acne) creeps up when we least expect it and lasts much longer than necessary. As the temperature heats up, bacne can be tough to hide; the last thing we want to wear in the Summer is a cardigan to hide our breakouts.

Try these 6 fabulous tips to banish back acne and keep your back clear all Summer long!

 

Shower When you Sweat
Sounds simple enough–if you’ve spent most of your day dripping with sweat, hop in the shower before bed. The combination of sweat, oil and bacteria produced by your body is only good for one thing: Bacne. If you’re a huge sufferer of bacne, try showering at least once a day, before bed, to wash away those little SOB’s (Sweat, Oil, Bacteria).

Rinse Off Well
How we wash, condition and style our hair can have a big impact on bacne. Conditioners and stylers that drip from our hair to our back may clog our pores, resulting in breakouts. Try washing your face and body at the end of your shower and staying away from ingredients that may clog your pores.

Exfoliate Often
Just like our face, the rest of our body needs a bit of exfoliation to maintain its clear complexion. Exfoliating a few times a week removes dead skin cells while unclogging pores. Steer clear of unsanitary body loofahs that harbor bacteria and moisture. Try this Japanese Wash Cloth ($7.99) for much cleaner cleaning.

Wear Fresh, Clean Clothes
As tempting as it is to rewear the shirt you wore just once, skip it. Chances are the inside of the shirt is now soiled with oil and bacteria, the last two things your back acne needs. After working out, remove any sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible to avoid trapping the sweat and oil in your pores.

Don’t Lean Back
Exposing your back to bacteria-ridden surfaces will surely bring on the bacne. When your back is exposed, avoid dirty gym equipment or yoga mats prior to disinfecting. Try Cleanwell Disinfectant Wipes ($12.99) to sanitize surfaces before use.

Treat it
Persistent bacne may require spot treatments. If you have sensitive skin, seek natural treatment alternatives. It may be best to avoid body washes and scrubs with not so nice ingredients as these may be irritating your skin. Try Bentonite Clay ($11) as a weekly bacial (back-facial) to clear up existing back acne and prevent future bumps. This awesome mask also works great on the face!

How do you heal your bacne? Comment below!

Zeena

Why I Am Obsessed With Coconut Oil

When Coconut Oil first came into my life, it was love at first sight. It was everything I had been looking for in a moisturizer: that light, creamy texture, the deep moisturization and of course the ever-so-yummy tropical scent. Okay, this is beginning to sound like a Coconut Oil Singles advertisement. Not to make this sound too much like a dating commercial, but finding the right moisturizer is a tricky process. It can’t be too sticky, too fragrant, too heavy, too oily, too irritating or too glittery. Wait, I take that back—glittery is okay in my book. (cue elementary school flashbacks). Did anyone else think glitter lotion/spray was the best thing in the world?

Any who, not only is Coconut Oil the Goddess of all oils, it also happens to be pretty darn fabulous at what it does. The moisture from Coconut Oil is unlike any I’ve experienced from traditional moisturizers. With its quick absorption and unparalleled layer of protection, it’s a pretty amazing oil. Let’s not forget that Coconut Oil is free of harsh, irritating chemicals. Woo-Hoo! Say helllooo to irritation-free skin!

Over the past few years, my Coconut Oil technique has changed (Is that even a real thing? Now it is!) Applying the oil right after your shower is best—while your skin is still hydrated and damp. I’ve learned that the Coconut Oil is easier to apply and absorbs super quick while you’re still wet. Now, now, now, I’d advise against lathering up and throwing on that silk gown you’ve been itching to wear for weeks. Coconut Oil will certainly moisturize that gown, too! I’d recommend giving the Coconut Oil some time to work its magic. Allow your skin to soak up all of its magical goodness before putting on your clothes. Use that time to do some yoga or build a bird house, whatever you fancy.

 

Of course, the same moisturizers do not work for all skin types, but it is certainly fun to find out what works best for your skin. Some people may think Coconut Oil was the absolutely worst thing they’ve ever put on their body and that is okay. Everyones skin is different and requires a different type of love.

How do I love thee, Coconut Oil? Let me count the ways:

1. Moisturization: Coconut Oil is incredible when it comes to moisturizing dry, cracked skin. It leaves the skin feeling supple and smooth, without any sticky residue.

2. Bang for Your Buck: Globs of moisturizer need not apply. When using Coconut Oil, a little bit goes a long way. Before you know it, your whole body will be lathered in tropical goodness, which lasts all day long!

3. Multi-Purpose: Coconut Oil can be used on your body and in the kitchen. Oh, the versatility! When you’re not lathering up in its tropical goodness, try baking with it! Coconut Oil makes for a great butter replacement! For sanitation reasons, I’d suggest having 2 jars of oil—1 for personal use and 1 for the kitchen. You know, to keep things clean.

4. Anti-Fungal: Coconut Oil has even been found to be anti-fungal! Some folks have even had great success using Coconut Oil to cure foot fungus! Others have even used Coconut Oil to clear up acne.

5. UV Protection: Coconut Oil is not a replacement for your everyday sunblock, but it is a good contender! Coconut Oil has been found to block about 20% of UV rays, which is better than most non-sunscreen moisturizers. Although Coconut Oil prevents only a small percentage of UV rays from damaging your skin, it does allow your skin enough exposure in order to produce Vitamin D.

6. Sunburn Relief: Applying Coconut Oil to sunburns is an awesome way to speed up the healing process, which we all know can seem never-ending. Coconut Oil soothes the red, chapped skin and absorbs quickly. Unlike other sunburn soothers, it won’t leave your skin hot and irritated.

7. Shave Bump Savior: The oily goodness in Coconut Oil provides a slick shaving surface that prevents those irritating shave bumps we all love. Much like shaving cream, Coconut Oil allows the razor to glide over the skin without the cuts and snags.

Why do you love Coconut Oil?

Zeena

You may also be interested in: 6 Fabulous Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil!

9 Ways to Kick Allergies’ A** This Spring!

Brace yourself, allergy season is upon us…

Prepare for the runny nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing–the type of allergies where one sneeze just isn’t enough. Seriously–how much sneezing can one person take? When it’s not the catastrophic avalanche of sneezing, it’s the itchy throat and eyes…maybe that pesky fly that just won’t take a hint, too. I digress.

In between sneezing and throat scratching, one may begin to ponder about the plethora of ways to get rid of flies to solve these allergy woes. One may even wander into their local pharmacy in hopes of immediate relief. Sadly enough, traditional allergy medications are not only ridiculously expensive, but don’t always work! (Home Remedies Enter, Stage Right).

These au-natural tips and tricks are all you need to ward off irritating allergies all season long!:

Peppermint Tea

The menthol-y goodness in mint tea works wonders for allergies. Pretty cool, huh? The minty aroma opens our nasal passages and helps clear away the mucous. The steam provides necessary moisture for our dry, irritated nasal passages. Simply allow your nose and mouth to inhale the warm steam from a bowl of hot water. I find it best to place a towel over my head and the bowl. This trick can even be done on the go with your favorite mint tea in your mug!

Steam

Breathe in…breathe out… It’s as simple as that! This allergy-fighting trick is similar to the peppermint tea, just minus the peppermint tea. By carefully inhaling steam, your nasal passages will open, allowing for almost instant relief. Try steaming for about 10 minutes. *The trick also works wonders for your skin!

Shower

Just don’t have time to steam? Then hop in the shower! Not only will the hot shower open your nasal passages, but you will also wash away any pollen that may be lingering on your body. Be sure to put on fresh, clean clothes after!

Probiotics

The sterilized world many of us live in does not leave much room for the ‘good’ bacteria. The more ‘good’ bacteria in your gut (which is what probiotics provide), the less likely you are to suffer from allergies. By building up your immune system, probiotics increase your defense against allergies as well as asthma and eczema. Remember; Healthy gut=less allergies. Some awesome sources of probiotics: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kim chi, and probiotic capsules. 

Butterbur

This European herb has been found to be just as effective as traditional antihistamines. The added bonus? Butterbur does not induce drowsiness, unlike many common antihistamines and can be purchased in tablet form! 

Fish Oil

The anti-inflamatory response of Omega 3’s fights the inflamation caused by our allergies. The omega 3’s also work to increase our immune system. Our favorite brand is Nordic Naturals. 

Turmeric

This magical spice not only works wonders for our skin, but for our allergies, as well. The antioxidant curcumin found in turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has been proven to show the same effects as antihistamine drugs. Turmeric is available as a spice to add to your favorite recipes or in capsule form.

Quercetin

This plant pigment (found in plants and food) contains anti-histamine and anti-inflamatory properties. To reap the full benefits of Quercetin, consume more foods such as onions, apples, citrus, cranberries, broccoli, green tea, just to name a few.

Eucalyptus Oil

Much like peppermint tea, the anti-inflamatory eucalyptus oil works by loosening the phlegm caused by allergies. This magnificent oil comes in many forms: lozenges, vapor rubs, oils. I’d recommend adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your steam facial.

 

My favorite home remedy has always been a quick and easy shower. This may not work for everyone, especially for those who suffer from severe allergies. Although, there are countless medications available to prevent and relieve allergy symptoms, home remedies can often prove to be more effective and less costly.

*Please seek the advice of your doctor before trying any of these home remedies.

 

-Zeena

7 Surprising Ways to Use Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is just one of those ingredients that should be a staple your home. There are so many incredible uses for it! From body aches to foot infections, epsom salt treats a variety of ailments. In fact, there are a few ways to use epsom salt you may not have heard of! Ready to be surprised?

 

Acne Mask

It’s no secret that we are addicted to face masks; epsom salt is no exception. A simple mask made of epsom salt and honey soothes irritated skin while reducing inflammation and acne. To make this gentle mask, combine equal parts honey with equal parts epsom salt. Gently apply this mixture to clean, dry skin, before washing off after 30 or so minutes.

Foot Soak

Epsom foot baths are the perfect way to begin any pedicure. Soaking your feet in a warm foot bath soothes sore feet while relieving odor. Not to mention it draws out infections of the foot. Start by filling a good size basin with warm water (just enough to immerse your feet). Add 1/2 cup of epsom salt and soak away!

Exfoliate

One of the best ways to remove dead skin cells is exfoliation. Using epsom salt to exfoliate your skin removes dead, dry skin cells, while supplying your body with nutrients. Could this get any better? Mix a 1-2 tablespoons of epsom salt with 1/2 cup of coconut oil or olive oil. While in the shower, gently rub the mixture around your skin before rinsing clean. The oil leaves your skin moisturized and radiant.

Dish Cleaner

Removing buildup from pots and pans only takes a few minutes when using epsom salt. The rough grains help to remove stuck on food or oil without using harsh chemicals. Add a tablespoon or two to your pots or pans and gently scrub in a circular motion.

Remove Black Heads

A simple mix of water and epsom salt works wonders in removing black heads from your skin. Simply apply the mixture with a cotton ball to a clean dry face and allow to sit for a few minutes before rinsing clean.

Fertilize Plants

Plants not doing so hot? Epsom salt might be the solution. The magnesium is used by plants to produce chlorophyll, while sulfur aids in plant growth. In fact, plants that have been fed epsom salt produce larger flowers! Simply mix a few tablespoons of epsom salt with 2 gallons of water. Use the mixture to feed plants with low soil magnesium levels a few times a month.

Constipation Relief

Epsom salt is a super effective way to relieve constipation. The salt increases the amount of water in the intestines, softening stools for easy passing. The epsom salt may also detoxify the colon. Dissolve 1 tsp of epsom salt in 4 ounces of water and consume. A bowel movement should occur between 30 minutes to 6 hours*.

How do you use epsom salt?

Comment below!

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

*This does not replace the advice of your doctor. Please consult your physician before beginning any regimen.

Skincare Guide

Cleanse Your Body: Detox Water

Let’s be honest: it’s not easy consuming our required daily intake of water. It requires some serious concerted effort. With our busy schedules the notion can simply slip our mind. Next thing you know it’s 7 o’ clock at night and you’re hastily gulping down glass #2 during commercial breaks. (We’ve all been there).

 

The solution is simple: detox water. This simple technique creates a deliciously refreshing treat that will have you chugging water all day long.

A few benefits, you ask?:

  • Flush toxins
  • Aid in digestion
  • Boost energy
  • Assist in weight loss
  • Promote healthy skin/hair
  • Decrease bloating
  • Curb appetite

When your body is firing off that desperate call for H2O, don’t reach for soda or coffee. Opt for detox water filled with slices of your favorite fruits and vegetables:

Lemon/Lime + Oranges

These citrus gods do the body good. The high levels of Vitamin C  in lemon & lime improve the immune system and reduce the duration of the common cold. These sour treats also improve bad breath while detoxing the body. Besides being a delicious breakfast treat, oranges contain a wonderful amount of flavonoids, which block carcinogenic agents.

Pineapple + Cucumbers

These green slices are not just for your eyes. Adding cucumber slices to your water is a great way to improve your complexion while potentially lowering blood pressure. Let’s not forget to mention that pineapple is a great way to boost your metabolism.

Strawberries + Mint Leaves

Adding a few sprigs of mint to your chilled water is a great way to settle your stomach and improve your breath. The wonderful antioxidants in strawberries work wonders reducing inflammation throughout the body while the necessary fiber can reduce constipation.

Apple + Beet

Apples slices in your H2O aids in weight loss and may improve your heart health. An added bonus? The antioxidant quercetin in apples may improve your physical endurance. Throw in a few slices of beets for added detox and anti-inflammation benefits.

 

What fruits and vegetables do you add to your detox water? Comment below!

Peace, Love & Coconuts!