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Monthly Archives

June 2013

Homemade Deodorant (It works!)

Making all natural, toxin-free deodorant requires nothing more than your average deodorantkitchen ingredients. In fact, I bet if you looked in your kitchen right now you would have more than enough to get started! Making a deodorant (that works!) may seem difficult BUT it super easy and very, VERY effective!

At first I was hesitant with the idea that these ingredients would be able to keep me smelling fresh all day (I even brought a back-up deodorant to work just in case!). But to my surprise, I smelled fresher than when I used my regular deodorant!! FYI: I tested this recipe on a 90 degree day and I still smelled fresh by the time I showered that night. Trust me, if this did not work I wouldn’t have thrown out my backup deodorant!

ingredients

Here’s the simple, step-by-step tutorial:

Recipe:

  • 1/3 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBSP Shea Butter
  • 10 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 1 Container

*recipe is equivalent to 1 deodorant stick

In a medium bowl, combine the corn stach and baking soda.

step 1-1

Mix in the coconut oil and shea butter. Feel free to soften the coconut oil and shea butter for a FEW seconds in the microwave to make it easier to mix in with powders. Add a few shakes of peppermint oil.

step 2

Stir all of the ingredients together until well combined. I used a hand mixer but a whisk or spoon will work well, too!

step 3

Pour the mixture into a small container. I chose a small, screw cap container since the mixture is not exactly solid like other deodorants. Feel free to recycle an old jam jar for your container. Place the deodorant in the refrigerator for 30 mins or until the mixture has solidified.

Depending on the temperature in your home, this deodorant won’t always be solid at room temp. The coconut oil and shea butter naturally soften and/or melt in higher heats. Since it’s the summer here, my mixture was somewhat mushy within the hour but I don’t mind! The consistency is similar to body butter, which I find much easier for application.

*If you are sensitive to baking soda or essential oils try using significantly less then the amounts above. You can also try the recipe without either ingredient. It is best to do a test patch before applying to make sure you aren’t sensitive to any of the ingredients. When applying the deodorant you only need a very small (half of a dime) amount for each armpit.

final productWhat’s your favorite deodorant recipe? Share below!

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

Sunburn Soothers!

Can you feel the burn? Sunburn that is.sunburnsoothers

Okay, so you didn’t read my last post about using my favorite sunscreens… (just kidding! 🙂 ) Seriously though, sunscreen really is the key to preventing sunburn, BUT if you don’t use it then you won’t have protection against the sun’s rays .

If you made the small mistake of not using sunscreen, (or at least enough of it) then you probably are dealing with the aftermath, a serious sunburn. Here are some helpful products and tips to help alleviate the pain that comes with a sunburn.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel can be purchased in stores, online, or grown at home. The best way to use this lovely ingredient is straight from the plant itself. Slice one of the leaves open and apply the gooey gel straight to the burned area. This will help with redness and pain.

Potatoes

Believe or not, potatoes aid pain reduction for burned skin (whether it’s from the sun or a hot stove). Just slice a piece of potato and apply the inside to your burned area.

Green Tea Cool Compress

Using a cool, damp, cloth is such a great relief to burned skin. The cooling temperature of the cloth will definitely help to calm the skin and the green tea contains antioxidants and is super soothing. All you need to do is bring 3 cups of water to a simmer, add in 2-3 green tea bags. Allow to cool on the counter for 20 minutes then place in the refrigerator for extra coolness. Dip a washcloth in the green tea and apply to burn.watermark

Water

Drinking water rehydrates you and chances are that if you’re dehydrated, your skin will show it. That’s part of the reason why drinking water is a part of having healthy skin. It will help with dry skin and flaking especially after a sunburn.

Oatmeal Bath

Looking for something soothing for the whole body? Try a nice oatmeal bath. The cool water will bring relief to the skin and the oatmeal will help to soothe the irritation and itchiness. Combine 2 cups of hot water and 1 cup of all natural, plain oats in a bowl and stir. Meanwhile, run a bath of cool/cold water and dump in the oatmeal. Stir the oatmeal to make sure it is well distributed.

Hope these recipes and tips help beat the heat for your skin!

Peace, Love & Coconuts

– Nalani

Here’s Why Fiber Can Help Clear Your Skin

fiber can help clear your skin

The debate on whether or not acne is influenced by diet is nothing new. I’m sure we’ve all heard at one point or another that candy, soda, and fatty foods cause breakouts, only to be later told that there is no relation between food and acne. The inconsistent information is certainly cause for much confusion among acne sufferers, myself included (once upon a time), but as it turns out diets high in fiber can help clear your skin, and keep it clear.

One very important fact to consider is the relation between our immune systems and acne. A key player in acne is the growth of bacteria within a clogged pore. What fights bacteria? Our immune systems. A strong immune system gives your skin a fighting chance.

Now, the immune system and the digestive systems are more largely linked than many people know. The gastrointestinal tract contains quite a bit of immune tissue which helps to protect our bodies from outside pathogens.

Taking care of your gastrointestinal tract is important when it comes to ensuring your immune system continues to operate optimally. How does one go about doing this? One major part of caring for your digestive system is feeding it well. What you eat does in fact affect the environment within your gastrointestinal tract which ultimately affects the health of your skin. For example, a diet high in sugar can be detrimental because sugar weakens our immune system. A weakened immune system means your body cannot fight the bacteria in your pores as effectively, resulting in worsened acne.

What’s more is our skin is used by the body to detox, so if your body is laden with toxins from eating poorly, it’s going to show up on your skin as your body tries to detox and essentially cleanse itself.

Why Fiber Can Help Clear Your Skin

One major way to keep our gastrointestinal tracts healthy and running smoothly is by ingesting adequate amounts of dietary fiber (at least 25g daily for women and at least 38g for men) from food (not supplements). Fiber comes from plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seed, legumes, and grains. It helps to keep our tract running smoothly, ensuring the timely removal of waste from our bodies, so that toxins are not lingering, wreaking havoc on our immune system.

There are Two Types of Dietary Fiber:

1) Soluble Fiber

  • Dissolves in water
  • Slows down the rate of digestion, which helps to keep you fuller for longer since the contents of your stomach are not emptied as quickly
  • Can lower your level bad cholesterol
  • Can help regulate blood sugar
  • Examples include: oatmeal, beans, nuts, pears, flaxseeds, apples, pears, & carrots

2) Insoluble Fiber

  • Does not dissolve in water
  • Passes relatively whole through the digestive system
  • Has somewhat of a laxative effect in that it speeds up digestion
  • Examples include: whole grains, nuts, seeds, broccoli, grapes, celery, dark
    green leafy vegetables, & raisins

When eating more fiber (especially soluble) be sure to drink more water.

Other ways to care for your digestive system:

  • Avoid refined carbohydrates, including sugar
  • Avoid a diet high in processed foods
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid vegetable oils including
    • Canola Oil
    • Corn Oil
    • Soybean Oil
    • Vegetable oil
    • Peanut Oil
    • Sunflower Oil
    • Safflower Oil
    • Cottonseed Oil
    • Grapeseed Oil
    • Margarine
    • Shortening
    • Artificial butter substitutes
  • Drink lots of water (at least 8 glasses per day). You’ll need more if you sweat more due to increased activity or warmer weather.
  • Try incorporating “good” bacteria into your diet. It is great for keeping your gastrointestinal tract healthy and balanced. I use Bio-Kult Probiotics and drink GT’s Kombucha
  • Get enough rest — at least 7-9 hours per night

Try adding more fiber into your diet if you are an acne suffer and be sure to eat a diet that is clean and includes lots of water.

– Letisha


hibiscus cleansing grains

DIY Makeup Remover

Removing eye makeup after a long day is not fun, especially if the non-waterproof mascara will just not budge!

This inexpensive homemade recipe is the best for removing stubborn eye makeup and it contains NO harsh, irritating ingredients.

photo-32

Recipe:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Castor Oil

(BOOM, only 2 ingredients!)

In a container (any type is fine) mix the two oils. I prefer to use a bottle that I can squirt the oil out of so that I don’t have to worry about introducing any nasty bacteria into my mixture.

To remove your makeup, simply add a few squirts of the mixture onto a cotton ball and swipe across your closed eyes. Not only will your makeup be cleared away, but your eye lids will feel moisturized! (Plus, the castor oil is super beneficial for hair growth!! Say helllooo to fabulous eyelashes!)

This DIY eye makeup remover is budget friendly, safe, and effective! 🙂

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite DIY makeup remover?

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

Beat the Burn: Sunscreens I Love

Beat the Burn: 3 Sunscreens I Love

“Wear Sunscreen!”, a phrase we often hear, especially during the summertime, is enough to instill its importance, but doesn’t make choosing one any easier. Selecting a sunscreen can be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with skin sensitivityacne, oiliness, concerns about absorption or SPF, and so much more! So to help you out, here are my top two choices when it comes to sunscreens!

1.       ecō FACE Sunscreen Lotion

With an SPF of 30, ecō FACE is great for daily use on the body.  It absorbs in a few minutes and has great ingredients! If you put too much on though, it will leave a white coating, though it will disappear eventually.  I usually wear this one when going to the beach because it is also slightly oily.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20%. Inactive ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Isoamyl Laurate, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Sorbitan Stearate, Sucrose Cocoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract*, Rosa Canina (Rosehips) Seed Oil*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract*. *Certified Organic

2.       Kiss My Face Sunscreen

I like this one especially for outdoor activities, whether you are simply hanging out in the sun or playing a sport, this sunscreen holds up pretty well with its SPF of 30. Like the ecō FACE, it can leave a bit of whiteness depending on how much you use and how well you rub it in. I do however, like that it doesn’t leave a super greasy feeling.

Ingredients: Aqua, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, polysorbate-20, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, glycerin, acrylates copolymer, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, xanthan gum, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oleosomes, avena sativa (oat) protein, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, carota sativa (carrot) extract, avena sativa (oat) betaglucan, glycrrhiza glabra (licorice) extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) extract, caprylic/capric triglyceide, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin.

Let us know your favorite sunscreen and skincare regimens for the summer!

Peace, Love & Coconuts

– Nalani

My TOP 5 Moves for a STRONG & Toned Body!

Here are some of my FAVORITE exercises that everyone should incorporate into their workout routines, if possible! These moves are all great for targeting multiple muscles, giving you more “bang for your buck“, so to speak, during your workout! Not to mention, they’re simple to do and require little to no equipment! They are also practical in the sense that they strengthen muscles your use everyday.

Add them to your workout routine, performing them regularly and you’ll see results in no time!

1) Barbell Squats

Muscular athlete man exercising on a white background

Squats are one of my all-time favorite moves for lower body training. This exercise tones, lifts, and rounds out your glutes as well as tones your quads, hamstrings, and calves. It also strengthens your core and the added barbell targets your upper body. A powerful move indeed that you won’t be sorry you did! All you need here is a barbell and your desired weight. Of course you can always do a simple squat without the weight.

Watch this video on HOW TO DO A BARBELL SQUAT.

2) Burpees

This one is a BIGGIE! Burpees should be on EVERYONE’S To-Do List! This move gets your heart pumping very quickly and is great for conditioning. They buildup your endurance and don’t take very long to do so. They also build muscle, working your entire body including your arms, back, chest, core, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. No equipment needed!

Watch this video on HOW TO DO A BURPEE.

3) Lunges

With lunges you get the benefit of targeting your glutes, abs, hamstrings, & quads. To increase the intensity, try adding a jump in between switching legs or holding dumbbells to the move.

Watch this video on HOW TO DO A LUNGE.

4) Push-Ups

Push ups are a GREAT total body workout. Aside from the obvious toning of your arms, back, shoulders, and chest, you also work your core, glutes, and quads. No equipment needed for this one!

Watch this video on HOW TO DO A PUSH-UP.

5) Plie Squats

I love this fantastic lower-body toning move. You are going to target your inner & other thighs so it helps with those ‘hard-to-reach‘ areas, pulling-in your inner & outer thigh and tightening the glutes. This move doesn’t require equipment but you can always add a kettlebell or dumbbell to add resistance.

Watch this video on HOW TO DO A PLIE SQUAT.

Give these moves a try! FEEL the burn and SEE the difference!

– Letisha

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Super Hydrating Avocado Hair Mask

Suffering from dry, damaged hair? Try a super hydrating avocado hair mask! Avocados are full of vitamins and nutrients that nourish and soften the hair, promote hair growth, treat damaged hair, and prevent hair loss. The best part: avocado hair masks are super easy to make!

You’ll need:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1TBSP Honey
  • 1 (or 2) TBSP Olive Oil

avocado-74260_640

  1. Start by mashing the avocado in a small bowl. Mix in honey and olive oil. (Feel free to substitute the olive oil for your favorite oil like coconut oil, almond oil etc.)
  2. Apply mixture to wet hair. Allow to sit for 30 mins to 1+ hour.
  3. After desired amount of time, shampoo and condition hair.

Have you tried an avocado hair mask? What are your favorite ingredients to add?

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

DIY Polka Dot Nails

For a fast and simple manicure all you need is a pencil, a pin and your favorite polishes!

photo-29

To achieve this polka dot look, start by painting on a base coat, followed by the polish color of your choice. I am wearing Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “First Kiss”.

Allow nails to dry fully before starting the dots. To create your “dotting pencil”, simply stick the pin into the eraser of the pencil. I prefer to use a long pencil to allow for better control when creating the dots.

dotting pencil

In a serapate area, apply a small amount of polish. This will be the polish you will dip the pin into. No need to apply too much because the polish dries fast!

To begin creating the dots, simply dip the dotting pencil into the pool of polish. With a steady hand, dot the pin along your nail. I find that using a bit of a template helps with spacing. I do 3 dots down the middle, then fill in the blank spots (like a brick pattern).

photo 2-14

After the dots dry, apply a topcoat and enjoy!

photo-28

Peace, love and coconuts!

-Zeena

6 Fabulous Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil

Oh, coconut oil, how I love you! Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils because it has so many uses. It is good for us internally AND externally. When applied topically, coconut oil fights skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis, moisturizes hair and skin, and treats wrinkles and dandruff (just to name a few!) Let’s not forget to mention that coconut oil is full of fabulous antimicrobial/antibacterial properties. 🙂

Coconut Oil

Here are 6 fabulous ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your beauty regimen:

1. Shaving Oil– Coconut oil leaves your legs baby smooth after shaving! It moisturizes and hydrates the skin so you don’t have to worry about dry or irritated skin! Simply take a quarter size amount, rub onto your legs and shave away!

2. Deep Conditioner– Coconut oil has amazing conditioning capabilities because of its ability to penetrate the hair shaft and deeply moisturize the hair. Not only will your hair be silky smooth but shiny too! To deep condition hair, massage coconut oil into the hair and onto the scalp. Leave on for any desired amount of time (30 mins to 24 hours!). Then, simply shampoo and condition hair.

3. Body Lotion– Coconut oil works wonders as a body moisturizer because it nourishes and hydrates the skin (better than most lotions). A little goes a long way but you’ll be left with hydrated skin all day long. Plus, who doesn’t want to smell like tropical coconuts??

4. Body Scrub– For polished, radiant, glowing, moisturized skin, mix up a batch of coconut oil and sugar. This mixture will exfoliate dead skin cells and leave you with fabulous looking skin!

5. Makeup Remover– Coconut will make removing eye makeup a breeze! It glides on smooth, removes the makeup, and won’t leave your delicate eye area dry or irritated. To use, simply apply a small amount of coconut oil onto a cotton ball. Swipe the cotton ball over the makeup and wallah!

6. Foot Softener– Keeping our feet smooth and soft can be tough since its sandal season. For smooth feet, layer on some coconut oil and throw on a pair of socks. After a few hours of wear your feet will feel like you just left the spa.

Coconut Oil is an amazing ingredient to have on hand at all times! It is incredibly versatile and can be used in nearly every aspect of your beauty regimen. 

How do you lovely people use coconut oil? Comment below! 🙂

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

The Pros & Cons of Drinking Coffee

coffee

Ooooh coffee…one of the world’s most powerful substances. Coffee is definitely a money maker all around the world. In fact, much of the coffee in the U.S. is imported from countries like Brazil, Columbia, parts of Africa and Asia. For so many people, coffee is their morning perk or even their extreme addiction! There has been debate over whether drinking coffee is good or just plain bad for you. Surprisingly, it’s actually a little bit of both! Like many things in life, coffee has great benefits and some not so great side effects.

Drinking Coffee – The Good:

1. May help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Some research suggests that it’s the antioxidants that may be so helpful.

2. Benefits brain cells. Coffee could be a great booster, not just for your mood, but for brain cells as well.

3. Your liver and kidneys may benefit as well by reducing the risk of disease.

4. Besides the internal benefits, coffee (black of course) is also super low in calories, has no sugar, and contains very little sodium, so this makes java a better alternative to those high calorie, fattening, sugary beverages.

5. It’s everywhere and can be made just for you. You can buy it in stores, online, local markets, fair-trade, coffee shops, even at gas stations! Whether it’s dark, light, medium, sweet or with milk, you can make it just the way you like! So many options!

cup-2691_640

Drinking Coffee – The Bad:

1. It can be addictive. Many people feel perkier after a cup, however they can also start to get addicted to getting that caffeine fix every morning. This can be problematic, one sign of that is stopping cold turkey can equal a bad caffeine headache.

2. Coffee can negatively affect a goodnight’s sleep. Sleep is incredibly important and anything that takes away from that may not be worth it. Also be careful of sleep loss and trying to make up for that grogginess with coffee in the morning. Those especially who already suffer from sleep disorders should be careful as well.

3. Too much coffee can make you jittery.

4. It is naturally acidic so sufferers of acid reflux and those prone, might want to avoid coffee.

5. A lot of coffee is produced in countries with no minimum wage laws or (at least they are not enforced). So poor and mistreated farmers and workers are producing coffee beans but do so in tough working conditions.

So there you have it. Decide for yourself is coffee is your favorite beverage or addictive substance to ditch. Let us know your thoughts! Can you make it without coffee?

Meanwhile check out these great resources:

Peace, Love, & Coconuts

– Nalani