December 30, 2011
“All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage” – Matt Damon
We all have fear, you know that little voice in our head that paralyzes us cold. The little nudge that tells us we aren’t good enough, smart enough or pretty enough. That nasty fear is the biggest culprit to depression. Studies show that people who listen to that voice more often, are less happy and less successful than those who choose to bust through their fear.
As we start 2012, it’s time for a new year, new you. This can be the year that you get everything that you want. But it starts with getting clear about what is stopping you from reaching your goals.
Focus on What You Want
The first step is to get clear about what you want. For example, if you hate your job, but don’t know what else you would do, then ask yourself what do you value in life?
Making a value list will help you see what is most important to you. For instance. I hated my job in corporate marketing, but I loved being creative and expressing myself. I also loved traveling. By recognizing that I valued being creative and traveling I was able to see that travel writing would be a better fit for me.
I finally got up enough courage to leave advertising and pursue my new career as a travel writer. But before I could bust through my fear of the unknown I had to get clear about what I wanted.
Here is a list of the most common fears and how you can bust through them.
If you worry about what other people are thinking and if they like you or not, ask yourself if you really like them? Sometimes we try to gain approval from others but we don’t even like that other person. Remember, you can’t please everyone all the time. Even Mother Teresa had haters.
Making the First Move
Is it traditional for the man to ask the woman on a date or are the ladies just scared cats, afraid of rejection? Men have been asking women out forever, it is time to bust through your fear and step into powerful courageous you. Many men find assertive women to be attractive and super sexy. And if the person you are chatting with isn’t interested at least you get to meet a new person and face your fear.
Many people dread finding their first gray hair. That strand that pops up with a silver reflection. Gasp, you think, “I am getting old.” Men tend to get more handsome with age, and the silver hair makes them distinguished. But society has forced women to look at gray hair as a welcome to ‘Old Maid Ville.’ The trick is to learn to be comfortable in your own skin and embrace the gray hair. It is part of you and makes you unique. Plus you can always color your hair. But the real value is learning to love yourself and all aging parts.
Going to the Dentist
If you are afraid of visiting the dentist the thought of going can feel life threatening. People who fear the dentist will avoid going even if they are in server pain. The first step to overcoming this fear, is to ask yourself where does it come from? Perhaps there was a traumatic experience in the past. If this is the case realize that you are taking a situation from the past and playing it out in the future. Therefore it is not real. Ask your friends and family to refer a good dentist to you and talk to your dentist about your concerns. They are there to help you. The Dentist and staff have your best interest in mind. For more health tips on how to face your dental fears visit Dr. Samani, at Tualatin Dental Care, a dentist in Tigard Oregon.
Photo by lululemon athletica
~ Shannon Kaiser
Worried about overindulging on New Year’s Eve? It happens to the best of us. A refreshing natural hangover cure promises to make this New Year’s Day a little more bearable.
Coconut water, often called “the fluid of life” and “nature’s energy drink,” contains a whole slew of nutrients and electrolytes our bodies need, including vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, and calcium. A low-cal answer to sugar-laden sports drinks, coconut water has become increasingly popular in fitness circles. Several Hollywood stars are also singing its praises, including Madonna and Demi Moore, both of whom invested in Vita Coco (http://vitacoco.com/), a leading pioneer in the emerging coconut water market. As an excellent rehydrator, coconut water is gaining a reputation as a natural hangover cure. Alcohol is a diuretic which flushes the body of essential vitamins and nutrients and leads to dehydration and that’s exactly where coconut water steps in. Packed with more electrolytes than water or sports drinks, coconut water replenishes what alcohol takes away.
According to Dana James of FoodCoach (www.foodcoachnyc.com), “[c]oconut water’s high potassium helps accelerate hydration and the liquid is non-acidic, so it won’t upset your stomach.” To address your post-New Year’s Eve woes naturally this year, try this coconut water hangover cure smoothie recipe recommended by James:
- Eight ounces coconut water. James recommends using Vita Coco or another fresh coconut water.
- Half a cup frozen strawberries (rich in vitamin C, fiber, manganese and antioxidants). Blueberries may be substituted.
- A shot of wheatgrass or 1 teaspoon of green powder (aids in digestion and detoxification).
- A heaping spoonful of vegan protein powder (amino acids aid detoxification).
- A splash of aloe vera juice.
- A dash of cinnamon to sweeten (protects the liver against damage from alcohol).
- One teaspoon of organic honey to sweeten, depending on taste preferences.
Mix ingredients in a blender for sixty to ninety seconds. Pour into glass and serve.
Finally, a natural hangover cure to go nuts over!
Image: Vita Coco
December 28, 2011
When I was a teenager, my friends and I were always trying to get rid of oil on our faces. We didn’t like the shine, we were fighting pimples. But as I gotten older I realize now that I should actually try to hold onto the natural oil in my face. It helps prevent wrinkles and keeps the skin healthy and elastic.
Particularly in the winter when your skin becomes dry, consider switching to an oil-based moisturizer that is packed with vitamins, absorbs quickly and is easy to make at home. You can use it on your body and face. I use a two ounce travel spray container to control the release of the liquid.
Mix 1.75 ounces grapeseed oil – a natural emollient and carrier oil – with 8-10 drops rosehip seed essential oil and 2-3 drops lavender oil. The rosehip seed oil encourages skin cell renewal and is a great and gentle healing agent. The lavender is astringent and antibacterial, and makes for a delightful scent. Shake well before each use. I prefer to coat the face and body in the evening so that the oil absorbs fully. In the morning, your skin will feel like a baby’s bottom! I began rubbing this mixture into a gnarly scar on my elbow and after a week has gotten much lighter. Let us know how it goes!
December 20, 2011
You may have noticed in our holiday gift guide recently that we featured a lavender-filled eye pillow made by Haiti Projects. The organization’s mission is to empower women in rural Haiti to lift themselves out of poverty, become self-sufficient and build community.
Eye pillows aren’t the only product they make. The organization also sells cute nightgowns, sachets, bags, and other linen products. We tried a couple of the adorable cotton nightgowns, which are great especially for summertime. They are – unlike many products out there these days - hand cut, sewn, and embroidered by the women of Fond des Blancs, Haiti. We thought you should see and hear more about the organization’s endeavors since they have such a cool mission! We couldn’t have done it justice in just 50 words in our gift guide.
The embroidery skills in the cooperative have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations. Haiti Projects started when its founder Sarah Hackett went down to help in the nearby hospital. She saw the talent and set out to help find them materials to use their craft to make money to help lift their village.
Currently, Haiti Projects employs 100 women, 10 of which are victims of the earthquake. Each woman has her own job, whether it be a set wash, iron, sew, and embroider. Every piece the women make they get paid for, so the sale of each gown or other piece goes back to help keep the Artisanat running. With a steady salary every month these women are able to buy good food for their families and send their children to school.
So, here’s another cool thing we wanted to tell you about: Haiti Projects’ biggest sale venue is the homes of its supporters, which host sales in their homes, local church, or community event! So forget the Mary Kay or Longaberger parties. Host a Haiti Projects party! Email Renee at renee AT HaitiProjects DOT org. if you are interested!
December 19, 2011
Left over red wine from the Christmas party? Instead of drinking it why not give yourself a red wine facial? While consuming red wine in moderation has many well known therapeutic effects, it also has several less known anti-aging benefits for your skin.
The antioxidant polyphenols found in red wine help fight free radicals, stimulate blood circulation, promote elasticity, smooth wrinkles, detoxify, and hydrate, rejuvenate, and brighten your skin. Many believe red wine facials relieve stress, anxiety, and alleviate headaches.
While red wine skincare products are popping up everywhere and red wine facials are becoming increasingly popular in spas, indulging in your own at-home red wine facial could not be simpler or more affordable.
Try whipping one cup plain yogurt (use plain Greek yogurt for a thicker mask), two tablespoons of honey, and four tablespoons of red wine together. The honey and yogurt will help nourish, smooth, and soothe your skin. You can also add an egg white (a great toner), aloe vera gel, cocoa powder, or green tea to this mixture. Green tea in particular is a powerful antioxidant and when combined with red wine becomes an anti-aging force to be reckoned with.
Apply the red wine mask in a circular motion and let absorb into your skin for fifteen to twenty minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Store the remainder of the mask in the refrigerator.
December 18, 2011
Are you still looking for the perfect holiday gift? Take inspiration from your favorite spa and bring the luxurious experience home to your friends. Some of the worlds best spa products are celebrating the holidays with limited edition gift packs. We were inspired from some of the top “must visit” spas like Round Hill Spa, in Jamaica, who uses Elemis beauty products.
Try Elemis Superstars. The gift set includes a collection of their world’s best- sellers for the face and body. The advanced skincare and body care will create a 5 star luxury every day. Plus the special treats come in a sophisticated classic white Elemis gift set. $85.00
Gift set includes:
Papaya Enzyme Peel 50ml FULL SIZE
Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules 14 caps
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 30ml
Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream 50ml
Skin Nourishing Milk Bath 125ml
Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 35ml
If you or your friend love taking baths, this gift will soothe them over. Wake-up or rest at end of the day with these delightful shower and bathing companions. $65.00
Gift set includes:
Lime and Ginger Hand and Body Wash 100ml
-Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash 100ml
-Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir 100ml
-Revitalise-Me Shower Gel 100ml
-Skin Nourishing Shower Cream 100ml
-Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir 100ml
Bathing Treasure Gift Pack
December 15, 2011
Since we’ve been on the topic of traveling well this week, I thought I’d give a few helpful tips on how to keep your hair in shape when you hit the road. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have space to pack a hair dryer, so I use the hair dryer at the hotel. The problem with this is that the high heat and poor quality of the dryer usually kills your hair, making it a bit frizzy and dry. But there’s a few easy ways you can battle your hair problems while traveling, and still pack lightly.
The first is that you can still nix the hair dryer, but bring along a little fly-away cream to tame those frizzies on the top layer of your hair. I use Redken Rewind 06 Pliable Styling Paste (you only need to apply a little after smearing in your palms or your hair will get greasy – this stuff will last forever). To make it TSA-friendly, I purchased a package of little travel containers for creams at Target and transferred the Redken to the smaller container, which fits in a Ziploc.
The other way you can tame your hair is to try to only wash and dry it every other day. This keeps the damage and drying from the hair dryer and shampooing to a minimum. If your scalp tends to get a little oily, bring a travel-sized baby powder with you. Before you style, put powder between your fingers, shake it out a little, and apply to the scalp until it appears translucent. This absorbs natural oils.
I bring along the Cricket Friction Free Mini Flat Iron to style my hair on the road (but I use it at home too). This thing is about 6 inches long and about an inch wide, so I can literally fit it in my toiletry and makeup bags. This makes for guilt-free straightening for next day hair (and to tame the frizzies after a fresh blow dry!) The tourmaline plates reduce friction and hair damage, and the results are the same as a full-size straightener. Even though I have thick, straightish/wavy hair, I am able to straighten in the same amount of time as a full-size straightener. If you have a full head of curly hair, it may take you longer with a smaller iron (but when you’re traveling, why tame those pretty curls? Let it all go girlfriend!)
Finally, the night before you are due to wash your hair again, rub some coconut or avocado oil into your scalp and through to the ends (you can buy this at a natural foods store, but transfer some to an empty travel sized container). Keep it wrapped in a plastic bag or shower cap for at least 30 minutes. This will help repair the hair, moisturize and replenish vitamins and nutrients, making it softer and ready to handle the day ahead!
The Cricket Friction Free Mini Flat Iron
December 13, 2011
We at Healing Lifestyles & Spas believe, as part of our philosophy to follow our bliss, that travel is essential piece of living mindfully. But sometimes travel is stressful, particularly when it comes to packing light and being comfortable! And we don’t want that. That’s why we hunt down items that can minimize travel stress.
We discovered this pair of L31 riding boots from Arcopedico that fit the bill. These handmade, vegan boots are made of Lytech, which is a fabric-y type of material that is nontoxic and biodegradable (a big plus in HL&S’ book!). That also means they fold and pack easily into a suitcase with minimal room without wrinkling (unlike leather and some other manmade boots). They’re also super lightweight – about a pound per pair.
We wore them around for a few days and noticed that because the boots are a cushy material, they are comfy and unrestrictive. Unlike some other flat boots we’ve tried, they also have good arch support for long days of touring around or shlepping bags through the airport. They are also versatile, which minimizes how many pairs of shoes to bring along for a trip (they are thin enough to wear under jeans for a casual day or to dress up with tights or leggings). The boots lace up in the back, but it is simply for decor – a zipper on the side makes them easy to slip on and off.
We like that these shoes can be found at independent shoe shops around the U.S. (why can’t every day be Small Business Saturday)?
Check them out and let us know what you think too!
The L31 Riding Boot by Arcopedico
December 11, 2011
Coconut oil is often called “the healthiest oil on earth” and “the miracle oil” and for good reason. Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is made up of medium-chain fatty acids which are easily absorbed by the body. The lauric acid found in coconut oil also gives it anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties which helps strengthen the immune system and fight disease. Most notably, coconut oil helps boost the metabolism and aids in stimulating and balancing the thyroid gland.
Coconut oil’s ability to nourish thinning, brittle, dry hair is unparalleled. The small molecular structure of coconut oil allows it to be easily absorbed into the hair shaft and scalp, and its high moisture retaining capacity improves the condition of hair, making it soft and preventing breakage. Coconut oil also strengthens hair follicles and by doing so, stimulates hair growth.
For a deep monthly conditioning treatment, warm up or liquefy coconut oil, massage it through your hair, wrap your hair in a do-rag or shower cap, and sleep with it on over night. In the morning wash it out. For a quick and easy weekly pre-conditioning treatment, massage warm or liquefied coconut oil into your hair 30-45 minutes before washing.
Like many of the essential oils, coconut oil helps soothe and repair skin tissue. Coconut oil forms a protective barrier to hold in moisture and penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin, keeping it supple. Patting a little coconut oil under your eyes before you go to bed at night helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Putting a few tablespoons in your bath also helps keep your skin well-moisturized, as will massaging it into your skin after you shower. This is especially helpful during the winter months.
Make sure to use only organic or virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil does not have the same fatty acid profile necessary to do the job properly and it has far fewer proteins and minerals than its organic and virgin counterparts. You can also reap the benefits of coconut oil by taking it internally. Coconut oil can be taken by the spoonful as a daily supplement or you can add it to things like coffee, tea, oatmeal, and smoothies. It makes an excellent cooking oil and can be substituted for shortening in baked goods as well.
The healing properties of coconut oil are far-reaching and varied. Perhaps this is why African, Asian, and Polynesian cultures have relied on it for centuries to cure disease and to maintain beautiful, luminous skin and thick, luscious hair. Try adding coconut oil to your health and beauty arsenal and start reaping its miraculous benefits today!
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Our 2011 holiday gift guide was just released, and boy do we have some awesome ideas for everyone you have to buy for!
We’ve searched big box to indy shop stores, looking for the best and unique gifts for your shopping list. From the wee ones to your eco chic sister-in-law, from the traveling couple who don’t seem to ever work to your husband who always does, this gift guide will give you insight, inspiration, and ideas for your list… and for you, too!
Of 80 gifts we chose, we think there are a few extra special picks.
From our publisher, pay special attention to these super unique, super practical and basically just super awesome picks:
See the full guide for more of where this came from!