Sunday, November 4, 2012

"But isn't eating healthy expensive?"

This is a question I get all the time as an almost-Registered Dietitian. (I am studying for my exam now and plan to take it before Thanksgiving. Pray for me, guys, and hold me to it, 'cause I keep wanting to  put it off.)

Back to the question. Want to know the cold hard truth? This may be a bit harsh, and it is probably stemming from the rage that built up inside me while watching Food Matters for the first time a few hours ago. But, listen here, come closer...

Pay for good food now OR pay way more in hospital bills later to treat the disease you developed from all the crap you put into your body over the years all because you think it's "cheaper" or you "don't have time." 

News flash: You make time for what you think is important to you, so if you don't value quality of life, well...

Seriously, we have it all wrong, America! Why does it make more sense to pop pills (containing who-knows-what chemicals) everyday than to eat real food?! Yes, THINGS THAT GROW!

Real food my family and I got from the farmer's market.
We got this plus mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus and real honey (yum!)  for about $30.
I'd rather pay for this than random prescription drugs each month.

I will guarantee you that if you change your diet, you will feel better! I will give you a tip that I use in my daily life. At each meal, I ask myself, "Did any of this food grow out of the ground?" If the answer is "no," then I re-evaluate my meal. Add some carrot sticks, a side of grapes, a handful of nuts, anything that is real, that my body will thank me for and not attack me for eating.

In closing, please remember that you are in control of what you feed your body, so you can feed it things that make it feel good (i.e. real food) or you can feed it things that make it feel bad and develop heart disease, cancer, and the list goes on.

Or, you can continue to feed it crap, and once you develop a life-threatening disease, you can go to a doctor who will prescribe you pills that are designed to keep you in a state of dependency on those pills (because if you didn't know, it's all about money, people!) Then, once those don't work and you still feel crappy and your disease worsens, you can come pay me to tell you to eat real food. (I wouldn't mind that, though. *smile*)

Your choice.

You are probably mad at me now, but hey, friends tell you the truth. And real friends don't let friends die from eating crappy food. Now, please go watch Food Matters while you cool off. I've got nothing but love for ya.

Oh, and happy natural living =)

I know you're still mad, but you'll get over it. (P.S.- I love doctors. I have friends that are doctors. I tell them what to eat, too! Haha!)

Reader participation: What are some of your favorite real foods???

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"So, what do you use on your face?"

This is the question everyone keeps asking and I am more than happy to answer.

But first, here's the back story. I've had acne since 6th grade (yep, that's 14 years). People kept saying, "Oh, you'll outgrow it." Here I am, 24, and...nope, still haven't outgrown it.  Don't get me wrong; it has gotten better since middle/high school days, but that doesn't make me any less tired of it. I am fed up.

Last year in December, I saw a doctor at my school's health center and she determined that the problem was probably internal, so she prescribed me some antibiotics, Doxycyclin to be exact. These worked like a charm. Within days, I was blemish-free. Seriously. I took them for a few months. I was clear-faced and happy! But then reality hit. "I can't be on antibiotics for the rest of my life! There has to be some other way. This cannot be the end-all, be-all. I mean, taking antibiotics for the rest of my life can't be healthy, right?!"

On my last visit to the doctor, she said my face looked pretty good (and I agree that it did), but she instructed that I still keep a bottle of the antibiotics around to take sporadically "if I needed them." So, that's what I did. However, I am pretty sure my body built up an immunity to them (scary!) because my last round had absolutely no effect. This put me on my research rampage. I wanted to know any and everything that other people did to clear up their acne, but here's the thing. I wanted to use things that I am familiar with, things that are natural. Who knows what the heck some of these acne meds are doing to the insides of our bodies! Could it affect my organs? Cause cancer? Or even worse (in my opinion), affect my fertility!? (I wanna be a mom! Not now, but one day...after I'm married)

After many hours of reading and video-watching, here's what I've come up with that seems to be working for me (at least for now). I am not blemish-free, but my skin feels softer, cleaner, and my acne scars are fading away. I'd say it's a pretty good system. I also haven't worn make-up for the past 4 days in order to let my skin breathe and repair on its own without the stress of rubbing random chemicals on and off of it each day.

Here are the 3 ingredients I have been using on my face for the past week now. Only these 3. Nothing else.

 I got the 2 bottles on the end from the Dollar Tree. 

  1. HONEY: I wash my face with Raw Organic Wildflower Honey (Whole Foods, $5.99) each morning. According to a fellow blogger, Crunchy Betty, it is important that the honey says "raw" or "pure." I encourage you to check out her blog. I am taking her honey challenge. 
    • Directions: I simply dip my 2 fingers in, scoop out about 1/2 teaspoon of it and rub it in for about 2 minutes all over my face, even my eyebrows, sometimes my lips 'cause it tastes good! I leave it on for however long I feel (but 3-5 minutes will suffice). Sometimes, I take a bath with it on or watch an episode of 7th Heaven (love that show!). Then, I just wash it off with warm water. Once it's all off, I splash with cold water to close my pores. Also, I let my skin air dry to avoid putting any traces of bacteria back on my face that could be living on a towel.
    • Results: Since using honey, I have seen a reduction in blemishes. My faces feels so clean afterwards and I think it is making my skin glow. 
  2. OLIVE OIL: Once my face air dries, I moisturize with 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil (You can find this anywhere; Walmart or any grocery store). It is important that it is 100% extra virgin to insure there's no other junk in it.  I started off using it day and night, but have switched to just night time for now. 
    • Directions: I squeeze about a dime-sized amount into the palm of my hand, dab it around my face (forehead, nose, cheeks, chin) and rub it in for a few minutes. Surprisingly, it absorbs into the skin really well. 
    • Results: Since using the olive oil, I have seen a dramatic reduction in my acne scarring (in just one week!) and strangely, my usually super-oily skin is less oily! I love it so much that I use it every night as an all-over body moisturizer. My knees and elbows are softer than ever. No more ashiness! 
  3. BAKING SODA: I use Arm & Hammer baking soda every 2-3 nights as an exfoliator to slough off the dead skin, which promotes cell renewal. 
    • Directions: I squeeze about a teaspoon of it into my palm, then let a few drops of water from the faucet drip into it to form a thick paste. I scrub my face with it for a minute or so. Then, I rinse it off with warm (not hot) water and then cold to close my pores. Then, I moisturize with olive oil, of course! 
    • Results: My skin feels super clean and smooth after using this and it really gets the blackheads too! 
I have been doing this for about 5 days pretty religiously and wearing no make-up because I don't want any interferences. I really want to see if this works. I think it will take time for my face to fully adjust so I'm giving it time. In the mean time, I am loving how my face feels. Tonight, I went to a friend's jewelry party and felt pretty confident wearing absolutely no make-up. Yes, I still have visible zits, but my skin overall looks healthier and smoother. That's my story thus far. I will let y'all know how it goes! At this point, I'll be honest and say I'm afraid to post "before" and "after" pics because I am insecure about how my "before" pictures look. We'll see how I feel next week. 

Thank you for all of your encouragement thus far on my journey! It means a lot to me. Happy natural living =) 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Homemade Deodorant Update: Success!

I am happy to say that today is a successful Day 2 of my all-natural homemade deodorant experiment! I just came back in from an hour power walk outside in the heat of the day in Florida (3pm-ish) and am glad to announce that I am only a bit sweaty (which I expected. Duh! You sweat when you workout), but there is absolutely no smell! I swiped my hand under my arms and the first time I brought it to my nose, I smelled...nothing! I thought it was too good to be true so I did it a second time; this time, I smelled a hint of baking soda, but absolutely no stink or musk! So, in short, I am pleased. I would much rather smell like a hint of baking soda than musk any day! 

Me after my walk.
A little sweaty, but not stinky, thanks to my homemade deodorant!

My dad used it yesterday for the first time and said it "worked great." He is a contractor and works outside often (in Florida) so hearing that from him, I was tickled pink! 

I used it yesterday after shaving. I felt a bit irritated for the first hour but I think it was from razor burn; not the deodorant itself. 

I dip with these 2 fingers.

I only use about this much for both pits. A thin layer does the trick.

I must say that when I woke up yesterday (the morning after making it), I was not pleased with the consistency. Too runny for me. So, I grabbed mine and my parents' jar, poured it all back into a bowl and added 2 more heaping tablespoons of baking soda and about 3 just as heaping tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it up a bit. I stirred it all up like before and redistributed it into my container and two separate containers for my parents. (My mom complained about my dad double-dipping! Haha!) This way, they each have their own so they can double dip all they want!

My definition of "a heaping tablespoon" 

Today, I also have my best friend, Lindsay, trying out my deodorant concoction. I'm actually surprised she wanted to, but happy at her willingness and curiosity. She reported to me from work that she is "sweating ever so slightly but smelling fine!" I would say that all in all, this stuff is working pretty well. We may not ever buy deodorant at the store again, and I am totally okay with that. 

I will be back soon to let you in on my all-natural face regimen (Honey, olive oil, baking soda. That's it). Many of you keep asking, so I want to encourage you to bare with me. It's coming soon! But, for now, take care! 

And, happy natural living =) 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All-Natural Homemade Deodorant

A while ago, my mom and I started using men's deodorant because unlike women's deodorants, many of the men's don't have aluminum in them. I think it's been working pretty well, honestly, but now that I'm "all in" on this natural living journey, I feel the urge to ditch the fancy stuff and make my own. This way, I'll know exactly what's in it. Call me crazy, but it gives me peace of mind to know exactly what ingredients I'm letting seep into my beloved underarms each day! I can't say the same about some of the store-bought stuff.

Here's what I will be using:

  1. Cornstarch (from Walmart, $1.42), which is great for soaking up liquid (in this case, sweat) but it's also used for thickening dishes like soups and sauces. 
  2. Baking Soda (4-lb box, anywhere, $3-4). I have the huge box because I use it for so many other things (laundry, exfoliator, bathroom cleaner, etc.), but you can buy the small box anywhere for only about a buck. 
  3. Virgin Coconut Oil (Whole Foods, $5.99), which can also be used for cooking or as a facial moisturizer.
  4. Vitamin E Oil (Whole Foods, $10.99), which is great for fading scars and lightening up dark/discolored underarms. I'm sure you can find it cheaper somewhere else though. 
  5. Tea Tree Oil (Whole Foods, $6.99), great for acne since it's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I bought a new bottle since I was out, but after making this deodorant it doesn't even look like I used any! This stuff will last you a while and it feels tingly and fresh on your skin.
RECIPE  (from Bonzai Aphrodite, a fellow blogger)

1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup baking soda
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons vitamin E oil
20 drops tea tree oil

I mixed everything together in my kitchen using a good ol' fashioned bowl and spoon.

Mine turned out looking like buttercream icing. Mmmm. It even smells good enough to eat! This is my first time ever working with coconut oil. It smells divine!

Once done mixing, spoon it into a small container to let it settle overnight. I spooned mine into two containers since I have my parents in on the whole natural living journey with me. My dad even agreed!

In the morning, simply use your fingertips to smooth a small amount over your clean pits (about the amount you would use of your regular deodorant). Take note that I've never done this before, so I'm experimenting right along with you guys. I'll let ya know how it goes!

A fellow natural living friend shared this recipe with me and says she has been using it for a while. She says it lasted her through a hot summer in Florida with no pit stains or stinkiness, and since I live in Florida, I took that as evidence that it must be good stuff! Plus, I read comments of people ranting and raving about how good it was, so of course, after that I'm thinking, "It's worth a shot, right?" 

As you can see, it may be a bit expensive on the front end, but my friend assured me that it lasts a long time and works like a charm. Also, I barely dipped into the supplies that I bought, so I am sure it will last at least 6-10 more batches. I think it'll be totally worth it!

If you try it, please comment and let me know what you think, or share any other deodorant recipes you've used and loved!

Thanks, and happy natural living =)

Welcome, Natural Living Followers!

Hi friends! And welcome to my blog that was explicitly inspired by YOU!

A few weeks ago, I developed an obsession with finding ways to cure my acne (which I've had for 14 years), boost my energy, and get my body workin' well and lookin' good, but I didn't want some miracle pill, diet, or drug. I wanted to do it the natural way. 

Why? Because I've tried everything else.  Believe it or not, I have dieted on and off since I was in middle school. I have had my share of meltdowns after seeing the number on the scale. I have tried every product on the market to get rid of my zits, and frankly, I'm just fed up.  There has got to be a better way.

So, I decided to embark upon a natural living journey.  These past few weeks, I have been YouTube-ing, researching, and experimenting with natural remedies and ingredients. I have been posting my experiences on Facebook, which to my surprise, led to lots of feedback and encouragement to start a blog and share my journey with the world. So, here I am world!

Cheers! And happy natural living =) 

Join me tomorrow! I am super excited to be making my own all-natural deodorant for the first time! 

Me at Whole Foods (I could stay there for hours...sometimes I do!)