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Monthly Archives

March 2014

Clarisonic Mia Review

clarisonic mia

I began using the Clarisonic Mia about a year and a half ago and wanted to update you all on my progress. As you may know, I suffered from a bout of facial-acne from the age of about 19-22. I had never suffered from acne at the peak of my teenage years like most do, so I was utterly stumped when it started as I entered the latter half of my college years.

After a long battle, using a combination of organic skin cleansers, better diet, exercise, probiotic supplements, and fish oil, my skin FINALLY normalized.
I still had the occasional break-out, so was seeking a better wary to cleanse. My sister Zeena introduced me to the Clarisonic Mia which she said she’s had great results with. Skeptical of the ultrasonic-cleansing brush after reading reviews of how this made some people’s acne worse, I ultimately gave in and decided to give it a shot.
I did end up experiencing the infamous “purging” that occurs when you begin ultra-sonic classing, but those break-outs eventually cleared and I must say, I am happy that I stuck with the Clarisonic Mia as it has helped keep my breakouts at bay and my pores relatively clear.
(See below for my initial review of the Clarisonic Mia.)
Do you use the Clarisonic Mia or another ultrasonic cleanser? What has your experience been? Comment below!
~ Letisha

Fight the Flu, Naturally

Being sick sucks, it really does. You’re tired, achy, stuffed up, irritated… Not to mention every task becomes so bothersome.  A few months ago, I wrote an article on how to get over your cold with a few DIY methods (click here to read). Sometimes when you’re sick, doing anything at all is just too much, even DIYs!. So, I thought I could provide some tips to help you fight the flu naturally! Some you can make at home and some might require a quick trip to the store (the last thing you want to do when you’re sick, I know).

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1. Sambucol Cold & Flu Relief

This homeopathic formula is designed to alleviate symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and chills/fever. This product contains Black Elderberry, which is plant that has been used for centuries to support the immune system and functions. It is best taken when you first start to notice symptoms.

 2. Kombucha

This product makes no claim to help you fight a cold or flu, but it sure makes me feel better! Kombucha claims to have a high nutritional value while supporting a healthy immune function. I love it because it tastes great, gets rid of my sugar cravings, and gives me a boost of energy. The carbonation in kombucha seems to help clear up my nasal congestion! Pretty awesome, right?

3. Green Tea

Okay, this is mix between a visit to the store and DIY, but making this tea is pretty simple. A simple mix of warm water and green tea is all you need! I love having green tea when I’m ill because it soothes my throat, clears my nasal passage, and also improves my immune function! Adding honey and lemon makes it even better. Try looking for a quality, organic green tea which may contain higher amounts of immune boosting ingredients.

 

 Stay happy and healthy, Coconuts!

-Nalani

Dry Brushing 101

When was the last time you rubbed a dry brush against your dry skin? If you haven’t done so recently, then you are missing out!

Dry brushing (the name of this painful sounding technique) is just that–dry brushing your dry skin in order to induce a plethora of amazing benefits.

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Well, what are these so called “amazing” benefits, you ask?:

  • Improves circulation
  • Removes layers of dead skin
  • Tones muscles
  • Strenghtens immune system
  • Cleanses lymphatic system
  • Stimulates cell production
  • Reduces appearance of cellulite
  • Relieves stress

So, now that you’re eager to get started, here’s how:

  •  Starting at your feet, work the brush upwards in a circular motion, using gentle pressure. The key here is to slowly work your way toward your heart–hence starting at your feet! Continue this gentle motion until each body part is done (feet, calves, thighs, buttocks, hands, arms, back, abdomen, chest)  Avoid areas that may be more sensitive than others.
  • Once you’re done, it’s shower time (or not). Enjoy a warm shower (not too hot since hot water dries out our skin). After showering, apply your favorite non-toxic body cream or oil. My favorite is coconut oil–it smells lovely and is super moisturizing. 

Handy Dandy Tips:

  • It is recommended that you dry brush before showering. This prevents any potential moisture from interrupting the process. Not to mention you may want to shower after this process in order to rinse away any of the dead skin cells. (if you decide to skip the shower all together, no judgment here, my friend!)
  • Avoid dry brushing if you are suffering from any wounds, acne, ezcema, or any other skin condition that may be further irritated by dry brushing.
  • If the process ever feels painful or uncomfortable, STOP! Your brush bristles may be too rough or your skin may be very sensitive. Feel free to work your way up to completing your whole body. No rush!
  • Did I mention that natural bristle brushes tend to be more effective and less irritating than the hard, synthetic brushes you may find in your local pharmacy.  
  • Dry brush as many times as you’d like, but at least 1x per week. If your skin is sensitive, feel free to do even less than this amount. 

What benefits have you noticed from dry brushing? We want to hear all about it! Comment below!

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

Eating out of Habit: Are YOU guilty of it?

Are you guilty of habit eating? We all are in one way or another. We are creatures of habit so it is only natural that habits are going to shape how and what we eat. The important thing is to be aware of this so that we can break potentially destructive eating habits we may already have, and prevent any new ones from forming.

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Habit eating is largely affected by our environment, as was confirmed in a study by thePersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin journal. This study involved participants who were watching movie clips/trailers in a movie theater. Participants of the study were either regular consumers of popcorn when attending the movies or were not regular consumers of popcorn when attending movies. Two types of popcorn were distributed for the movie clips, fresh popcorn and stale popcorn.

At the end of the study, the group of regular popcorn consumers had eaten the same amount of stale popcorn as fresh. Among the group that does not regularly eat popcorn at the movies, less stale popcorn was consumed than fresh.

Altering the location of the movie clip showing. Participants were given popcorn (fresh or stale) while watching movie clips in a meeting room. This time, both habitual and non habitual popcorn eaters ate less stale popcorn than fresh. Changing the environment seemed to disrupt the habit thus altering the pattern of behavior.

Lastly, a new group of participants were given stale or fresh popcorn at the movies while watching movie clips. This time, participants were instructed to either use their dominant or non-dominant hand to eat. Participants who used their non-dominant hand, whether they were regular consumers of popcorn at the movies or not, ate much less of the stale popcorn than fresh. Again, changing part of the “equation” seemed to disrupt the habitual behavior.

The important thing is to become more aware of your habits before they negatively affect your health.

Remember:

  • Eat a varied diet. Even with healthy foods,  eating the same thing all the time can cause you to miss out on other nutrients offered by other foods.
  • Try not to eat in front of the TV or while distracted. You want to be aware so you know what and how much you are eating and also so you know when to stop. If it’s a must, try switching the hand you eat with.
  • Change the hand you eat with or the location. These will disrupt the patter or habit that you formed and help stop you from habit eating!

Try eating with a different hand next time you are at the movies. Come back and tell me the effect it had!

Don’t forget to comment, like, and share!! 🙂

~ Letisha

DIY Shaving Cream

Shaving is frustrating. Let’s be honest: the bumps, nicks, scars, ingrown hairs…the dry skin and irritation…it just doesn’t seem worth it! Not to mention, shaving cream is expensive, full of chemicals, runs out fast and doesn’t seem to help much with any of that irritation. Ridiculous, right?! We’ve got the solution! DIY Shaving Cream. Yup, making your own shaving cream will not only save you money, but will keep your legs baby soft and irritation-free! (Um, did I mention baby soft legs?!).

DIY Shaving Cream

This recipe is super easy and only requires 3 ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Peppermint Oil. (Three ingredients that are easy to pronounce! Woo!) Feel free to use any essential oil of your choice. The peppermint oil will give you that fresh, tingly feeling, but any EO will do!

How to make this DIY Shaving Cream

You’ll Need:

  • 3 tbsp Shea Butter
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 3-4 drops Peppermint Oil

In a metal bowl, combine the Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Peppermint Oil. Place the metal bowl in a pot with simmering water. The Shea Butter and Coconut Oil will slowly melt. Be sure to keep your eye on the boiling water (just so it doesn’t boil over!).

DIY Shaving Cream

 Once everything is melted, carefully remove the metal bowl from the pot (it will be hot!). Using a spoon, make sure all of the ingredients are combined.

DIY Shaving Cream

Place the melted mixture in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once it appears hardened, begin to whisk the mixture by hand or with an electric mixer. Whisk the ingredients until it appears light and fluffy, almost like whipped cream. Once mixed, the shaving cream is ready for use!

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TIPS:

  • Since the shaving cream will be oily, a bowl of warm, soapy water will come in handy. Use the soapy water to rinse your razor after each shave. 
  • Using soap and water, wash off your legs after shaving. The soap helps to wash away the shaved hair. 
  • The bathtub will be slippery so be sure to rinse the tub after you’re done.
  • This mixture will make enough for about 1 shaving cycle (legs, armpits, etc.)
  • I wouldn’t suggest storing any left over cream since this mixture doesn’t contain any preservatives. Feel free to use the remaining mix as a body moisturizer after your shower. 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

Satisfy Your Cravings…the Healthy Way

So you want to get healthier, lose a few extra pounds, maybe even tone up, or pack on some muscle — but you can’t seem to cut out all of those food temptations that sabotage your efforts.junk food

In many cases, what I find works best is not focusing on what we CAN’T have, but what we CAN have. It’s not about depriving ourselves, but about finding healthy alternatives. We all have weaknesses, but instead of giving into those weaknesses and feeling guilty about them later, find a healthier substitution that will leave you feeling better and your body healthier.

Think about it, most of the time we are not craving something solely for the taste, it’s more than that — it’s the sugar-fix associated with that food, or the texture or the crunch. Sometimes it’s the salty taste, or the cold feeling of that food in our mouths.

Below, I’ve highlighted some common cravings and healthy alternatives that I believe are fairly comparable for those cravings.

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So, tell me..what is your biggest craving??

~ Letisha

Baked Parsnip Fries with Spicy Tomato Sauce

I am always trying to find new ways to cut unnecessary calories from my diet, while still enjoying the foods I love. You know—fries, pizza, desserts, basically everything that tastes delicious but is bad for you! This time, I have devoted my time and efforts towards french fries. Instead of using potatoes, I used delicious parsnips (the root vegetable that looks like a white carrot).

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This veggie not only makes a tasty treat but is also good for you because it contains necessary fiber, potassium, vitamin c, and folate.

Here’s my recipe for Baked Parsnip Fries paired with a spicy tomato dipping sauce.

Parsnip Fries:

-3 Parsnips (medium size)

-Sea salt

-Olive Oil Spray

Slice parsnips into relatively even 3 x ¼ inch strips. Distribute evenly on baking sheet, making sure that they on not on top of each other. Top with olive oil. Bake for 15 min – 18 min at 450°. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crushed sea salt.

 Spicy Tomato Sauce

-½ cup Tomato sauce

-1 tsp Garlic (chopped)

-¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

-¼ tsp Chile Powder

Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Fries

Enjoy, Coconuts!

 

Peace, Love, & Coconuts!

-Nalani

DIY Housekeeping: Disinfecting Spray

Wait! Before you wipe those counters down, hear me out. Have you ever tried making your own disinfecting spray?

Let me explain.

Common household disinfectants such as Lysol and Fantastik are full of TOXIC chemicals. These toxic chemicals that most of us use on a daily basis to disinfect our living spaces are dangerous to our health and the environment. Think about the last time you had to stick your head out of the window for fresh air while cleaning.

(pause for reflection)

Homemade disinfectant is not only better for your health and for the environment, but for your wallet, as well. Instead of buying 7 different toxic cleaning agents for your home, why not use something more cost effective AND better for you and your family? Just check out some of these amazing benefits these ingredients have to offer:

White VinegarNon-toxic, kills most mold, germs and bacteria. Wallet and environment friendly.

Peppermint Oil-Antibacterial and a pest deterrent.

Tea Tree Oil-Antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal (great for showers!)

 

disinfecting spray

Ready to get started?

 

DIY Disinfecting Spray

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces water
  • 8 ounces white vinegar
  • 30 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil

In a spray bottle combine the water, vinegar and essential oils.  Simply shake the mixture for a few seconds to combine all of the lovely ingredients.

Done shaking?  Spray the desired location and allow the mixture to sit for 3 to 5 minutes before wiping away with a clean cloth.

I know what you’re thinking–“What about that terrible vinegar smell??” Well, the smell is greatly masked by the essential oils, so it’s barely noticeable. Plus, vinegar doesn’t smell so bad once you get used to it! 🙂

This disinfecting spray can be used anywhere in your home: shower, bathroom, countertops, tables, toys, floors, you name it!

Tips & Tricks:

  • Do not mix vinegar with any other chemical as this may result in a toxic combination.
  • Do not use vinegar on surfaces such as marble and stoneware. This will result in corrosion. 
  • Do not use vinegar on waxed surfaces. 

Ready to start cleaning the safe way? 🙂

-Zeena

What You Should Know About Energy Drinks

The speed of our daily lives seem to grow faster and faster as time goes on. Feeling pressure to ‘keep up’ we’ve seen a staggering increase in the number of products on the market that are classified as ‘energy boosters’. I believe some supplemental products can truly benefit the body; fish oil for example, but when it comes to energy enhancers, I refuse to go any further than a single cup of black coffee in the morning, and thats IF I drink one that day.

Let’s talk about why our bodies are exhausted. We are over working ourselves, devoid of nutrients, dehydrated, sleep Energy drinkdeprived, or suffering from a condition. In any case, I firmly believe the solution to any problem should be to find the root of it and then SOLVE IT not cover it up, put a mask on it, give it a new name and hope all goes well, because it never will! Another problem always arises and then the old one resurfaces, look, now you have two!

So, all these energy boosting agents are not something I would recommend. They are merely short term solutions, a “quick fix” to your problem and when it comes to our health, quick fixes are usually never a good route. If you are sleep deprived, GET MORE SLEEP. Don’t cover it up by drinking an energy drink or chewing energy gum, or spraying energy mist into your mouth (yes, apparently they have that now). There are a whole boat load of issue that can arise from a lack of sleep but I won’t go into that.

Not to mention, many of these energy boosting products are FULL of sugar. Constant consumption of these sugary beverages and other substances can lead to diabetes. A common misconception when it comes to diabetes is that you have to be overweight to develop this disease, when in fact, you can be thin and still develop diabetes from a diet containing too much sugar. 

Part of being healthy is training your mind to listen to your  body. When you feel something, how ABLE are you to figure out what it is?

If I am feeling sluggish, I ask myself a series of questions. Did I get enough sleep last night? Have I had enough water? Did I have a really hard work out the day before? Did I consume enough calories? What did I eat? Depending on my answers to these question, I am able to figure out what needs to be done to solve it. If I just cover up my symptoms with an energy drink, 3 months later, the problem has now turned into a an even worse condition and on top of that, I’m putting added stress on my body from the potentially harmful and artificial substances in these energy boosting products.

I base the premise of my diet on this, if its artificial, its probably not good for you (thats not to say anything natural is our best friend either, but you get the point). We are organic creatures and that should be reflected in our diet.

There are numerous testimonials out there about people that have suffered from crashes, vomiting, chronic fatigue, jitters, headaches, lightheadedness, numbness, nerve damage, and the list goes on, all from these energy products.  That’s ONLY what they are aware of though. Who knows what could be going on inside their body that they may not even become aware of until it has caused irreversible damage.

My mother, who has been a registered nurse for 30 years, always told me that when you experience a symptom, it’s your body trying to tell you on the OUTSIDE what is happening INSIDE.

And I will say this, despite the fact that some have been able to use these energy enhancing substances without noticeable consequence, it does not mean that they are not causing damage, damage that you simply cannot see. So please, do your research and know the risks and benefits of anything beforehand so you are able to make informed decisions.

What are your thoughts on energy drinks and other energy boosting products?

~ Letisha