I wrote an article for Healthline, that discusses all things health and well-being and shared several ways as to how yoga can help you stay fit, motivated, and keep you calm during the winter months! I also shared 7 different poses that can help with any stress, anxiety or just give you some energy that you might be looking for during the winter! Essentially a way to have a start a home practice or turn your apartment into a mini studio when it becomes challenging to get to a studio during the winter months! Click the link above!
There are always the must have // staples in my pantry and I am embarrassed to admit that this is only 1 of the many that I have. Sometimes I feel that my apartment is actually built like the aisles of the grocery store. I do like to keep my kitchen stocked at all times with the staples that I use every single day, since I am recipe testing OR just flat out use them so much that I go through each ingredient quickly!
In order to save money, or at least try to save as much as I can; I tend to buy in bulk; especially when ordering online, use coupons, order through places such as Amazon or Thrive Market to find the products at a cheaper price, and I almost always buy name brands; especially nuts/seeds and many of my nut butters for example are Whole Foods brands which are almost 8 dollars cheaper than the average or I go to other stores if I can!
For this post; I wanted to just focus on the ones that I use the absolute most or find to be the most important for my body. These are the ingredients or products that I have on hand 24-7. I am not showing you my cooking oils, my fridge, and my two other cabinets that are filled with my snack type of things, but maybe we can get to those another day!
Hopefully you find this helpful, useful, and I share a bit as to why I use it or how I incorporate it into my everyday routine. Just remember, this isn't everything seen above, but just a spotlight on some of my favorites and what I think is the most important. If you do search throughout my blog you will see some of the other products used in recipes!
Cinnamon (naturally sweeten things up, balances blood sugar levels)
Turmeric; if you search my blog I have over 5 recipes with turmeric: smoothie, warming drink, energy bites, cauliflower steak, cookies,
Ginger (big one for me: digestion)
Nutritional Yeast; nutty, cheesy flavor, source of b12/b6; I also buy the one that contains protein, contains selenium, antiviral and antibacterial properties
Pink Himaylan Sea Salt
Misc. ones, but always come in handy: cumin, curry powder, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
PROTEIN POWDERS: I think this is probably one of the questions that I get asked a great deal; especially since I have a dealt with gut issues (read about some of it there) my whole life and I feel that most protein powders on the market can aggravate an already sensitive stomach. You all want to know; which ones to use, stay away from, which ones do I personally use etc. To be honest, I try to get most of my protein from plants, wild caught fish, and nuts/seeds but occasionally (a few times a week) I add in protein powder in my smoothies, yogurts or when I am making my own energy bites.
There are two on the market that I currently love. One I have been using for many years; Philosophie and then a new one that I just found recently, that is also a plant based protein called; VitalFit Nutrition. Between both, I have found that neither bother my stomach and I can easily digest them without wrecking havoc, causing any abdominal pain, bloating, and they blend in easier into smoothies! Plus they are both filled with a good amount of protein and contain no added sugars, gums, things like inulin or chicory root (which tends to bother me)- which are all things that I look for when picking out protein powders.
- Free of: gluten, grains, sugar, soy, wheat, and it is dairy free.
- Contains digestive enzymes and the base is made from cold pressed pumpkin seeds!
- **Side note: digestive enzymes can be super helpful for anyone that has IBS, leaky gut, or the like because it can help take off the stress of the GI track and just help you break down protein easier! You then can absorb more nutrients! Ideally, this is perfect for someone like me! I take a digestive enzyme everyday before my two largest meals, so having digestive enzymes in a protein powder is an added bonus!
- I like how this protein powder is made with pumpkin seeds because they are a great source of magnesium and omega 3's which I need a diet that is rich, for obvious reasons, but mainly it also helps with my migraines. I try to eat foods that are plenty rich in magnesium because that release of serotonin from them *can hopefully* relax some of those blood vessels and help reduce some of the inflammation that my head is feeling.
- I only use about half a scoop which still gives me over 11 grams of protein (a full scoop gives you 24 grams) and use it in the obvious ways: smoothies, homemade energy bites, yogurts, warm drinks (turmeric lattes; their protein powder is a vanilla flavor, tastes amazing in this drink FYI)
- I also stick to about half a scoop in my smoothies because it can be on the sweeter side, but in a good way & perfect if you want to stick to a fruitless smoothie! I have found that I now do not need to add in any bananas, dates etc to my smoothies because the protein powder gives it a touch of sweetness, which is perfect for me since I can't always tolerate fruit nor dates.
- Bonus!!! It is locally made; in Boston, by two guys who actually care what is being put into our bodies; they work with some of the top trainers here listening to what they are lacking or needing in hopes to constantly evolve their product to deliver what they need in order to train, teach, and reach their own goals, faster and smarter. How cool?! They are also in the process of doing some other pretty innovative things; focusing all on recovery component vs that pre-work out boost and working with local companies in Boston!
Philosophie: I have been using the protein powders (3 different flavors, Cacao Magic, Green Dream, Berry Bliss), coconut butters, and the honey consistently for many years! This was actually the first brand of protein powders that I used and truly love the ingredients.
*Spotlight on the Cacao Magic Superfood Protein Blend: No sugar, contains ingredients like cacao, cacao nibs, reishi, mesquite, maca powder, hemp protein, chia seeds, and vanilla. That's it! (All organic). It is high in antioxidants and magnesium. It tastes so good and also provides an energizing, caffeine-free power boost and I do find that I need to add at least 2 servings for a chocolate taste, which then gives you 20 grams of protein! I personally love this one or the Green Dream and stick to just one serving since it is pretty "green" tasting, but so good for you! I love that it contains spirulina! I find it to be detoxifying! You can check out many different recipes on my blog that use the Cacao Magic Superfood just by searching it!
*I also love the superfood honey because it contains the same ingredients as the protein blends so you are getting additional nutritional bonus including the benefits of honey, alone. I tend to use this solely when I am sick (take a spoonful for its' antibacterial purposes) or will use this as a replacer for anything sweet, if needed. The coconut butters also include the ingredients of the superfood protein blends, sweetened with honey, and full of healthy fats. The green dream and the cacao magic are my favorite. You can use these the same way you would as regular coconut butter, but I love that they have a bit of a flavor and are filled with *superfoods* so you are getting an additional benefit when you are using them besides just healthy fats.
I have a dedicated blog post coming soon, stay posted! For now, I am mainly taking it to help repair/rebuild my gut/intestines after having leaky gut. It can be very beneficial for anyone that suffers from gastrointestinal health. It is also great for muscle recovery and improving performance; if you train intensely or just looking to optimal recovery from your workouts! More to come. I love the brand Pure Encapsulations.
VitalFit Nutrition: Tart Cherry: I have a hard time taking advil or any pain medications because of the damage that it presents to my gut; therefore I either totally stay away or need to look into more herbal or holistic approaches. Two of the main functions of these capsules is that it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. So, you can take it the same way as you would with a pain reliever yet you would feel those nasty side affects on your body; just relieve from soreness, tenderness; or any pain within a few hours!
SilverFern Probiotics: Read my blog post here!
HUM Nutrition: The two that I take are: Daily Cleanse & Flatter Me. The Flatter Me, is actually a digestive enzyme, to help improve your digestion and absorb nutrients more efficiently. The Daily cleanse: helps cleanse your skin, bowels, liver and is made with over 15 detoxifying herbs. These are my favorite two so far and have been taking them for just about 3 months now and started to notice a difference a month in, in a good way!
Marine Collagen: If you are just starting off, I would start here! If you search "collagen" on my blog you can find out so many ways that I have incorporated it into recipes; salad dressings, smoothies, soups, protein bars, breads, just about anything- it can be added to! It has greatly improved my gut health, skin health, helps with any type of joint pain, hair growth (seriously, my hair does not stop growing), and nail strength! The biggest for me, is obviously gut health: helps heal leaky gut and can help with "sealing" the lining of the gastrointestinal track // helps with the absorption of water to help things stay moving. I make sure I have this every single day; at least 1-2 scoops.
Beauty Water; I also use their beauty water, lavender lemon, and mix it in my apple cider, lemon, water by adding in about 1 tbsp or more. It can easily be mixed into smoothies, see my stress relief smoothie, here! It is subtle taste, but I do like it with other things and prefer it that way vs. on it’s own. I find it to be refreshing and there is no added sugars
Hydrating for skin, keeps skin firm / improve elasticity & same benefits as the collagen!
Navitas Naturals: These are the three that I tend to stick with and use the most!
Cacao powder. I use cacao powder every single day.
*Deep rich // chocolate taste (can be bitter)
*Natural boost of energy, contains antioxidants, magnesium, boosts my mood, contains fiber, less processed than cacoa powder, it is raw,
Cacao nibs: same as above! I love adding these into my homemade energy bites, protein bars, on top of my yogurt, smoothies, oatmeals. They can have more of a bitter taste than sweet!
*Use 1 tsp - 1tbsp at a time
*Increase energy // stamina
*Improve sexual function
*Everyone is different, so I would just test it out and see if it works for you or not! It is claimed to restore proper hormone balance and elevate that feel good mood endorphins and I try to take it a few times a week by simply adding it into my smoothies! For me personally, it can have a strong taste, so a little goes a long way. Usually during my period I try to increase my intake (the week before and during) hoping that it elevates any symptoms and I have noticed that I don’t experience cramping as often and as much bloating! It is not overly sweet tasting, maca has a natural nutty, slightly sweet quality to it, similar to cinnamon or nutmeg.
Paleo Passion Foods:
*Ingredients: walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut oil (& a few more) making the grain free granola higher in protein than most & more fiber, so you will stay fuller longer. I have three recipes on my blog using the granola! And, the best part, 1 serving size has only 4 grams of sugar. While most other granolas are full of refined sugar, carbohydrates and lower in protein. *Honey/maple Syrup to sweeten: maple syrup is lower on the glycemic level and affects your blood sugar less than white sugar. Both honey and maple syrup have antioxidant properties, help reduce inflammation in your skin, and they make a great alternative for improved digestion. I have actually found that this is one of the only granolas that doesn’t bother my stomach if I ever over do it.
Nuttzo: even though it can be on the pricer side I love this one because each jar contains 10 different nuts/seeds (cashews, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds etc!) High in protein and very little sugar no added oils!
Georgia Grinders: No added oils, just the nut butter and salt! 11 different flavors!
Whole Foods 365: I usually always buy the whole foods brand because it is the cheapest! Organic; the nut and salt as the addition.
Sunbutter: Nut-free! Energy bite here, on my blog!
Obviously there are other things that are hiding in my pantry that I use every so often, but the ones above are a few of the things that I tend to use every single day. I can work on creating a PDF guide of everything; fridge and all pantry (snacks, cooking oils, etc from brands to generic) that is downloadable that might be helpful when grocery shopping! A lot of you probably know this information, but It is easier to have it up here written out so I can refer you back here always, instead of it being missed in a post // story. I personally think that some of these are a good place to start and a good investment in your health and you will start to notice a difference in your overall well-being, over time because remember nothing is ever a quick fix!
Talking about money or even just thinking about money can be difficult and really just make you want to bolt to the nearest exit to avoid it at all costs, especially when you are just starting out on your own; maybe you own a business or are learning how to manage your finances. For the last few weeks, I've been fortunate enough to work with amazing women from The Financial Gym to help me to all of this - better prepare me for my future; help me set goals, balance and manage my finances, make all of this feel less intimidating, and present it in a way that was comforting and just easy to understand. Trusting someone to talk over your finances with can be difficult but I felt at complete ease when I was discussing my future plans, where I was at now, and the little information I knew about my money currently with one of the financial trainers. It is almost as if you are talking to a friend; a casual conversation that flowed effortlessly between money, finances, goals, to more personal topics or off conversation topics that naturally found their way into our first Skype sessions. A little background first: can be found here on The Financial Gym website.
For most of us, we leave this magical land of college where our lives were pretty carefree and somewhat tied to your parents (possibly) compared to the reality post graduation looking for a job, apartment, moving to a new city, and the burden of budgeting your paycheck, saving for retirement, a family and maybe even trying to throw a vacation in there! Feeling unprepared we just go through the motions, living our lives and not too concerned as to how we are spending our money. We may be oblivious to the $5 latte or $10 smoothie we buy every day because we are only thinking in that moment, not realizing that it truly does add up; month after month and year after year! For me, it is always out of sight out of mind. When I do not look at my finances in front of me, then I don’t always know what I am spending.
After leaving my stable job this past April; one where health benefits were covered, I received a paycheck each week guaranteed, I had vacation days, and paid sick time…life was pretty good. Yet, I decided to pursue my true passion, leave that job to start my own business (of blogging, writing, teaching yoga, and anything else that came my way) and knew it was a risk, but it would be worth it.
Living in the city, with things like high rent cost, blogging and teaching yoga isn’t the most ideal job to have especially when you are first starting out because you are constantly wondering when and where your next paycheck is coming from AND you are working 24-7. Just because Friday comes, does not mean you receive a paycheck, in fact there are some weeks that I do not even get paid! It is a constant struggle to manage your money, balance your spending, while constantly finding new projects for the future as you always need to stay a few steps ahead of the game, while working on current ones, all while staying afloat, manage your stress levels, stay relevant and most importantly, not burn out!
I wanted to change all of that, now that I have established my own business. It is a goal of mine to be more aware of how I spend and save my money so I can better prepare myself for the future that I hope to have. It is always important to think about goals, what you want in the next few months, next few years, and where you see yourself in the long term future. Speaking with the women from The Financial Gym helped me with all of this! On their website, they have a podcast, "Martinis & Your Money," if you want to tune in where their CEO, Shannon, speaks with 3 clients who go over their process and experience of working with them! So, not only can you read about my experience here, but you can hear from others as well and Shannon! There is also another great article on the blog that talks about the top ten ways to save money! Click here.
In a nutshell, you, have the opportunity to work one on one with one of their financial trainers that offer you tools, resources, and their full support to make sure you stay on track once they have gone over your full financial profile. The best part is you can do all of this online! For me, I was paired with Joy, one of their financial trainers and so far we’ve had two Skype meetings, each lasting about 1.5 hours. During our first conversation I will admit that I wasn’t prepared for the call at all. I was slightly embarrassed but Joy was so easy to speak with, she wasn’t intimidating, and constantly reassured me that it was OK that I wasn’t prepared for the meeting. The first meeting with one of their trainers, is the discovery session and the second is the plan delivery where they give you a financial roadmap! During the first meeting the trainer literally discovers everything about you and during the second meeting they lay it all our for you and act as your accountability partner and money mentor to help you and hold you accountable along the way to accomplishing your goals!
To summarize, in our first meeting, Joy talked through different points; such as setting goals, mapping out my journey, how their approach is private, judgement free, answering the question: what is the most important to me, and what my current financial situation is now, etc (a total of 8 points). We went through all 8 step by step and it was a real wake up call, but in a good way! It really allowed me to think about my future goals, how I spend my money, what areas I need to be better with spending my money, and most importantly allowed me to think about what I want to be doing in a few years financially or even in general. It didn’t necessarily cause any added stress, yet this first call was a proactive way to begin to think about the ways in which I can prepare now wisely in how I spend my money so I can have the future that I have always dreamed of having.
The second meeting is a week later and before this meeting, Joy, had sent over a spreadsheet of everything that we had talked about during our first one; my income, assets, liabilities, my goals. It was amazing to see everything put together as I have never taken the time to actually put this type of information down on paper myself. You could tell that she was truly listening during our first conversation and also made notes on the documents, suggestions as to how I can save money, areas in which I can manage my money in order to reach certain goals that I have set for myself. Nothing was out of my reach. Once again, it wasn’t intimating at all, nothing was forced upon me and it was as if I was once again conversing with a friend!
I think my favorite part was, their Financial Gym Training Zone. Here, you link your credit cards, bank accounts etc, and you and your financial trainer (which would be Joy for me) can keep track of your money together, what you are spending, how you are spending it, where etc. This truly does make you more aware of how you are handling your money especially since someone else is watching how you are spending your money too! It almost feels as if you have your parents watching you spend your money on something you shouldn’t be buying!!
After the first two meetings with one of their financial trainers, the next time you officially speak with your trainer again is in a few months. The reason being, is they want to check in on you then to see if you have essentially done your homework. Have you saved money, have you reached any of the goals you have set for yourself that you discussed, have you changed any of your spending habits and so forth. So for me for example, I am trying to set aside money to re do my blog, I also want to become better at spending money at the market, and I want to begin to save money each money and set it aside for the future. During this time, you can still email your own personal trainer at any time and use any of their resources, such as the Financial Gym Training Zone or even attend any of their events in you are in the area!
I am excited to see how far I have come and where my life is at then. Blogging is a different world because it is different every single day, week, and month, for me at least, yet that is what makes it exciting for me. I have set certain goals for myself, yet things are constantly changing and evolving but I am excited to make certain financial changes, be more consistent with my spending and saving, and reach the goals that I have set and discussed with Joy. I can’t wait to continue to share this journey with you all too!
So far, I think that this has been a really great resource and is especially great for anyone that feels lost or intimidating by handling their finances. It is such a great start! If you want to try it out, they have been so generous to offer a 50% discount code by just simply saying “balance with b” off your first month of service if you get started in September! You can also sign up for a free 15 min consult call here to learn more about the service and get all your questions asked and answered before making a decision to use them or not.
For the month of June, I’ve partnered with theSkimm, for their No Excuses Healthcare Campaign. Ok, two things; first if you aren’t familiar with theSkimm, it is a media company that is changing the way female millennials receive news and information, that was just so happened to be started by two females! You are 100% missing out if you are catching up on the latest news every single morning with them. It has a no BS, super funny, but factual way of delivering the news to you; all before you even wake up. It’s just waiting in your inbox ready for you to open the moment you roll over in your bed and grab your phone in the morning.
Second, you are probably wondering, what their No Excuses Healthcare campaign is all about. A quick summary: They are engaging their audience on key issues driving the national conversation and challenging US to make ‘No Excuses’ when it comes to being informed. During their last No Excuses campaign, they activated over 1.5 million of their followers across social media to take action. For their campaign around the 2016 Election, they registered over 110,000 people to vote. And for their recent No Excuses immigration campaign, they rallied over 500,000 people to take the citizenship test. They’ve been making huge differences to say the least in getting people involved, spreading the news, having people become more aware, more informed, no matter what political or social stance they take! It doesn’t matter! The goal is just to become informed and to simply care about what is happening in the world. You can read about their No Excuses Health campaign, by clicking here.
"Why is this a big deal?
Because theSkimm’s mission is to make it easier to live a smarter life. And this time, we’re getting personal. Part of living a smarter life is taking charge of your own health. That doesn’t just mean going to the doctor. It means understanding what health coverage you have, what you want now, what you would want for your children, and how that matches policies being discussed. And we don’t just want to give you the info you need to understand and join the conversation, we want to give you the tools you need to take action." Link
So why is this important to me? For starters, you all know that health is a big deal to me, a really big deal. Mental health and digestive health is my life and I openly discuss it with you all whether it be on my blog, Instagram, or throughout my stories from time to time. If you’ve been on this health rollercoaster ride with me, you remember that in February of this year (2017) I decided to leave my full time job and unbegntost to me, my health insurance was terminated before the end of the month from my previous place of employment. I had talked about this happening to me and the situation on my stories the moment that it happened, sharing my feelings, thoughts, frustrations, and was taken back at the amount of responses that I had received from you all that had experienced similar situations or had/have issues when it comes to health care coverage. I was under the assumption and was told that I had health care coverage until the end of the month, yet when I had gone to the pharmacy to retrieve my medication, I was unable to due to the lack of insurance and the prices it was going to cost me. I suddenly had no health insurance and the medication was now costing OVER 1,000 dollars for only a 30 day supply. Unfortunately, this medication is something that I need to take currently every single day as it is preventative care for my migraines. I’ve tried to not take it before, but have continuously ended up in the emergency room with severe migraines that are so debilitating that it takes almost 2 weeks to recover. Secondly, money does not grow on trees and I had NO way of paying for this.
Naturally, I cried and was at a loss as to what to do. Working for yourself and figuring out health plan is the best one is confusing. (Side note, there are a variety of plans out there: HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, POS, HSHPs and so forth…any sound familiar or just confusing you even more?!). Honestly, would you know what to do? Which plan to pick, truly know which one would be the best for you now, fit your needs, your budget, in the future, for emergencies, medications, doctors and anything that might come your way?
Having no health insurance flooded my mind with thoughts: What if I had a family? What if this was an emergency situation, how would I pay for it? What if I had a child and the child needed this medication ASAP? I couldn’t imagine how stressful this would be. Luckily, I can get by without taking the medication for a few days as I know what I need to do to take care of myself, but after a few days, I need to take the medication, as my system will begin to develop migraines, anxiety and it will soon spiral out of control.
It ended up taking over 3 months to figure out a health insurance plan that would work best for my situation. The first two weeks of figuring out a plan were extremely stressful. It felt as if I was being passed along from one person to the next and because I take medication and see my doctors a good amount, I needed coverage fast. Therefore, for the first month, I had to go on a plan in which I had to pay a ridiculous amount for the first month. I would say that it was as high as most people’s monthly rent. However, there was no time to figure things out, wait a few weeks, plan ahead, or give it much thought because I needed medication and I needed coverage fast and this was the only thing that I could do. After that month had past, I was able to switch plans, a plan that is much better, the price is much lower and it works for me now and for the future. Even just typing this is giving me flashbacks and headaches!
I often wonder I had just been more informed from the start, could this situation have been avoided. Would there been a way to have worked with my previous place of employment, my doctors, or anyone else to have figured out what I would have needed to have done in order to make this transition much smoother. If not, then it is up to me to be completely informed about what is available to me. I share this with you, not to cause stress, anxiety, or to freak you out, but because there are real issues that we must face every single day that we often forget about. There are things such as health care, that you need to be informed about; it affects me on a daily basis and my future greatly and while it may not affect you now, it will in the future; if there is an emergency, if you have a child, visit the hospital, anything! Being prepared now, being informed, and educated, only allows you to take care of yourself better today, tomorrow and the future to come. It is especially important, for us, women because we need to be in control of what happens to our bodies and should be the ones making the decisions when it comes to matters such as our reproductive system. We should have a say in how we want to run our bodies, the medications that we want to take, and the plans that fit our needs the best. This link, is a great read by theSkimm, that talks about statistics, facts, and other information regarding women, healthcare, and our systems today. Its quick and to the point, mainly focusing on reproductive care, trust me!
I wanted to bring awareness to this idea, the importance of healthcare, the importance of being informed, educated and aware of your options, in hopes that you to do the same to others. Even if you are perfectly healthy now, it doesn't mean that it will not affect you later in life.Little did I know that leaving my full time job with benefits and working for myself, would I end up in the predicament that I was in for a few months. It was stressful, expensive, and left me feeling extremely frustrated and only wanted to learn more information about how our system works as well as make sure people are aware as to how important this is. Living in our world today, we should make it a goal to stay current with the issues that we are challenged with daily so we can either, make positive changes, be informed for the sake of it, and most importantly spread awareness.
These kind of topics can make your head SPIN, I get it! theSkimm can help you understand everything and break it down for you! They’re Skimm’ing everything you need to know, by going here!
Let’s talk skin. Yes, by now we understand that the foods we consume are extremely important in making us feel a certain way, we eat for energy, for longevity, for fuel, for happiness or to calm our minds, and even eat foods that make our skin glow! However, I think we can all agree that we are finally realizing that what we actually put ON our skin is just as important as what we put IN our bodies.
Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies and absorbs anything and everything that we put on it- think about it for a second...
Many of the products that we use today that aren’t natural, certified organic, or safe as they claim to be, these products, get into our skin and can harm us! Our skin can break out, develop rashes, acne, itch, become dry, affect our hormones, our state of mind, and just how we are feeling in general, maybe without us even realizing it! I noticed this a few times when I used a few products, that claimed to be natural but were in fact toxic and my skin broke out, was extremely itchy, and my eyes would not stop watering! I also remember using a make up brand that I loved and it had stained my duvet cover once because I was carelessly putting make up on while in my bed. I tried to bleach it out (old days, I do not use bleach anymore) and the bleach would remove the make up after a few tries. I thought to myself, WOW, if laundry detergent and bleach wasn’t able to remove the make up, what the heck was the foundation doing to my skin!? On that day, I ended up throwing out my make up and ordering a non-toxic brand of make up. I started small, baby steps, with my make up. A year later, I was lucky to be introduced to a OSEAMalibu, a female founded family run business in CA! You can read a little more about their story; here.
Their products are non-toxic (ingredients and packaging!), vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, and non-GMO. Their products also contain no sulfates, no fillers, and are made with natural plant derived ingredients. I think that my bathroom shelf has just about every single one of their products! I love the way they make my skin feel, especially since my skin is sensitive and tends to react to anything immediately. I think that their products work well with my skin, because of their ingredients, the source of the ingredients, and the relationship they have with their suppliers. They have a strong connection with their suppliers, and work closely with them as well as the ingredients that are used in their products, especially the organic seaweeds, that is present in nearly all of their formulations, which are sourced directly from their family friends in the pristine Sea of Patagonia. That makes a difference. You can read more about their ingredients; here
One thing that makes it easy about these products, is that they are now carried in Follain, which is located not only in New York but Boston! For those that live in Boston, you can find one in Beacon Hill or South End as well as Nantucket (seasonally). Every product that Follain carries, is primarily founded on the same principles that OSEA was as well. They only carry the highest quality of products, that are made with safe, intentional, and unprocessed ingredients. This is important. It is important to trust and to know where you are buying your products. The team at Follain, tests each of the products they are selling to ensure that YOU, are getting the best of the best!
“No one should have to compromise their health for beauty. Together with our clients and makers, we’re taking a stand against toxins in personal care, refusing to settle for anything but the safest, most effective products. We’re shifting the mindsets — and building a community of activists who want a better kind of beauty.”
They are both out to change beauty for the good and believe that no one should have to sacrifice their health for it. It can be super overwhelming when figuring out which non-toxic skin products to use and where to even start! I am going to list some of the ones that I love from OSEA below that I use on a daily basis to help you out! Remember, baby steps! Start somewhere and become familiar with what you are putting on your skin, it absorbs everything and truly does affect you skin deep!
OSEA Ocean Cleansing Milk: Reduces redness, use morning and night for make up remover. Dry/sensitive skin.
Atmosphere Protection Creme: lightweight, hydrates, all skin types, reduces redness. USDA certified Organic Algae, Shea Butter and Avocado Oil moisturize.
Blemish Balm: My favorite! Lotion, for acne prone skin, super lightweight, targets acne and future breakouts. good for time of the month especially!
Vitamin Sea Boost: refreshing mist for an instant blast of hydration and glow to dry skin! I love this one after spending a few hours in the sun or if my face may have gotten too much sun! It is also great for spraying over make up if you don't have time to change your make up from going to a day to night event! Instant re-fresher!
White Algae Mask: Made my skin completely even, especially around my nose, reduces redness. Brightens complexion.
Essential Corrective Complex: blemish spot treatment!
OSEA has been so amazing to offer a discount to anyone in the surrounding areas of Boston to come into Follain to receive a free travel Sea Vitamin Boost with a min. purchase of $50! All you need to do is present the code= balancewithb at check out! The vitamin sea boost is amazing after a long day at the beach or if you have spent a few hours outside and may have gotten a little too much sun or if you skin needs a little hydration! You can spray it right over your make up and your face will look good as new!
Which are some of your favorites? I encourage you to re-think your skin products and take a look at what you are using! I promise you will start to see a difference not only in how your skin feels, and how it looks, but in the way you feel!
The Heart-Healing Exercise That Will Get You Through A Breakup
When you are grieving, whether it's from a breakup, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or whatever it may be, the pain and stress is taxing—not only on the body but on the mind as well. It is extremely hard to endure head on, and the majority of the time we run from the suffering, denying the reality of the situation, overanalyzing every little detail, or begin to foster the worst possible situation that we believe will happen.
Heartache does fade over time, just like physical pain. This is where yoga comes into play, not only during these times of suffering—a daily committed practice is essential to helping you grow and transforms your outlook, self-awareness, and perspective. The breath (pranayama) and the poses (asana) both have proven to be effective in calming nerves, soothing your mind, and helping in treating depression, allowing you to become more flexible and stronger during times of instability.
Yoga teaches you:
1. Self worth
3. Focus on the present
4. Go with the flow
I have a committed yoga practice, because of the transformation I have seen it do for my own mental, physical, and spiritual life, but I always turn to yoga during stressful times especially when I feel as if my world is caving in and I am just barely crawling to the surface. The four corners of my mat are where I find solitude, my own rhythm. By focusing on these four points, my perspective shifts from hopelessness and weakness to peace and strength and where I can begin to quiet the chatter in my mind.
Read more of the article that I wrote for MindBodyGreen here! The Heart-Healing Exercise That Will Get You Through A Breakup (MindBodyGreen Article)
You need to heal your body first. Part I here, incase you missed it.
In the second part I want to focus less on the facts, "the what is" per-say of the digestive health issue someone, aka you, maybe dealing with, and focus on the foods, tips, and offer up suggestions on how to heal and nourish your body from the inside out. I want to take you on a written, tour of my kitchen, my cabinets, fridge, what I keep on hand, always, and let you in on what has helped me overcome these daily struggles and what I do when I am experiencing the worst flares of my life.
While some of these might not be anything new or groundbreaking to hear, it is just a reminder that self care is so important. It truly affects how you feel, how you carry out your day, and just your overall energy that you put out there. A few of the biggest things that I've learned throughout this whole process, is understand your trigger foods and stay away, seriously, managing stress and finding an outlet to do so is so key, and to not be embarrassed about any of this. Who cares if you bring your own food somewhere, it's better than feeling like complete crap, it's ok to be selfish during this time.Read More
so a lot of you have been messaging me on a daily basis related to questions about certain digestive health issues and how to deal with them when it feel as if you have tried just about everything under the sun and then some, yet nothing works. To be honest, I love these emails and questions the most. I geek out about gut health and read about it all the time, since this is the whole reason as to why I started my blog in the first place and I know what it is like first hand to deal with all of this; leaky gut, IBS, SIBO, distention of the abdomen, you name it, I pretty much have it or have suffered through it. It seems as if more and more people are suffering from these types of problems, yet we are at a loss as to why. What is the root cause? I like to think of these often taboo topics, a silent health issue, because while the person may appear normal on the outside, their insides and mental health is taking a huge hit.Read More
The other week, FurtherFood asked me to write an article and share my experience with eliminating sugar from my diet. They are starting a sugar challenge, where they are encouraging their followers to give up sugar in their daily routines and see how much of an impact it has in improving their overall health. Writing an article and sharing my story, was a no-brainer for me and is something very personal that I have dealt with for many years. Detoxing my body from sugar was the first step in improving many of the digestive health issues that I face on a day to day basis; leaky gut, SIBO, IBS, you name it! I remember the exact moment when I realized how much sugar I was actually eating on a day to day basis, I felt as if I had hit rock bottom in the way that I was feeling and no amount of antibiotics, kale salads, green juices, sweaty workout classes, could make me feel better. I realized that sugar was the main culprit and it needed to be eliminated in order to feel my best. My body was rejecting it in all forms and I was learning that I was intolerant to it. The article is below! Let me know what you all think and how sugar has affected you.
The other week I was asked to put together a short little story as to what I do before bed! It changes daily, but I realistically I try and stick to the same routine every night to get the in habit of calming my mind and body down before I go to bed. Of course there are nights that I am awake until 3 AM working on a project or out until 2 AM and I am totally paying for it the next day! I can't focus, my motivation is at an all time low, my eating schedule is off as in I want to eat everything in site, my stomach/digestion is terrible, my skin looks as if I haven't washed it in days and is totally red, I am so irritable! (sorry!!), and I will have the worst headaches all day! I have the WORST time sleeping in general and usually suffer from insomnia on most nights so making this routine a habit, that I share is a priority to me. It helps me sleep and relaxes both my mind and body.
Here is the article! Plus, there are some other amazing yogis on here, that I feel so lucky to be next to, that share their routines too! Maybe you can learn a few tips!
The other week I wrote an article for one of my favorite wellness website, MindBodyGreen. I have been reading their site religiously since college, ever since I became more obsessed, curious, and totally fascinated with all things wellness, health, yoga, and especially gut health! It was then I started dealing with severe digestive health issues and was looking for ways to relieve the pain. Naturally, embarrassed, I sought the help from wellness websites first and would read countless and countless articles soon realizing that these writers, yogis, and wellness experts would become something that I wanted to be, they were such an inspiration to me. I was so grateful, when MBG reached out to me to start contributing to their yoga section and now write articles for them about the same type of topics, (or any topic really!), that I was once in search of! It is quite humbling and it almost feels worth going through some of the pain to be able to share these real experiences with everyone now, whether it is through these articles that I write or through the classes that I teach.
Here is the article: Dealing With Digestive Issues? Here Are 3 Ways To Use Yoga To Take Care Of Your Gut
Before we get started, a lot has been happening in my own personal life & I am excited to share just a few of the projects that I have been working on. [I am going to make this short as possible to not take away from Jeannette- more shares to come!} For starters, just as one's personality and life progress, it only seems natural that my blog would reflect this transition as well. Food/recipes of course, will still be of main focus, but so will yoga/wellness/and anything else that life throws at me. To kick things off with this new theme I have decided to do an interview series and what a better way to kick it off with J! [which we will get to the reason as to why I choose her first.] Each month, I want to shine the spotlight on someone that we all love in the community or someone that we might not know too much about. Someone that continues to inspire not only me but others as well each day. Readers would get to see a snapshot of their daily lives plus I think you will enjoy reading each one because I am approaching it with a lighthearted and fun touch.Read More