Natural and Glossy Lips

Loving these http://bitebeauty.com/blog/ lip pencils and glosses! I have a minor lip gloss obsession, and lately I’ve  been on the hunt for products that are not only chemical free but also go on well – and have that perfect glossy consistency.

BiteBeauty

So happy to find these food-grade lip products made with resveratrol (think red wine). Tasty, non-toxic and glossy – perfect. ♥

A Smooth and Aromatic Shave

Besides blending my own all-natural skincare recipes, I also love testing other products that are aromatic and chemical free. Recently, I began using shave foams from eco-armour http://eco-armour.com/.

Eco-Armour Shaving Foam

Eco-armour is a small, eco-friendly bodycare company in Annapolis, Maryland. Robert and Zoe Benzinger started making shave foams as a hobby, and now they are spreading the word on how natural shave foams free of chemicals are much less irritating for our legs – and faces, too!

My favorite of this locally-produced line is the Bergamot/Pink Grapefruit.  This soothing foam smells amazing and always results in a smooth shave – no bumps, cuts or nicks.  Love it!

Robert Benzinger, eco-armour

What makes these products so effective?  They are made with many of my favorite nourishing ingredients, including aloe vera, witch hazel, coconut oil, sunflower oil and lavender.

Shave with Benefits foams are a great choice for natural girls (and guys) looking for a smooth, sexy shave.

Find the Shave with Benefits product line beside mine on the shelf at Restoration Foods, a local community-supported market in Edgewater, MD.

You also find eco-armour on facebook <http://facebook.com/ecoarmour>.

Pink Himalayan Salt

Love when my kids ask for these salts after a hard practice or workout instead of the ibuprofen!

Pink Himalayan salts contain 84 vital nutrients known to relax and soothe sore muscles. Whether I am sore, hormonal or tired, I reach for these bathing salts and after 20 minutes in a warm bath, I feel refreshed.

The salts alone are very therapeutic for me, but sometimes I add frankincense, lavender or chamomile for the additional anti-inflammatory benefits. I use @ 5-6 drops of essential oil per ounce of salt to make the bath a 1% blend.

I’m also relying on this salt during my January detox to help me deal with detox headaches and to flush the toxins out of my body quickly.  Be sure to always purchase unbleached, uncolored, untreated pure minerals salts and to check with your doctor to see if these salts are a good fit for you.

I can’t wait for my next salt treatment!

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It’s love…

Love my Juicer and my Vitamix! Putting both to good use in 2013 :)

Here’s a smoothie I made today…. so good!  I juiced dandelion greens and cucumber, then blended it with berries, organic raw shelled hemp seed (10 g of protein in 3 tbsp serving!), acai berry powder and pineapple.  Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acai berry protein pancakes

Obligatory protein pancake photo:

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Recipe:
1 cup gluten-free oats, powderized (easy in the vitamix)
1 cup acai berry protein powder
1 tbsp coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine. I let the batter sit for a few minutes for fluffier pancakes.

I use eevo in the pan too. Top with fresh fruit or a dash of powdered sugar. These are delicious and can be made ahead. They reheat nicely, and I love have a quick, healthy breakfast to fuel my workouts.

If you’d like a yummy, gluten-free way to start the day, give these a try. I enjoy the added taste and health benefits of the acai berry powder (antioxidants!) but any protein powder will do. Let me know if you give this recipe a try :)

A green beauty search for a beautiful lip

Just ordered some products from Bite – has anyone ever used this brand? Our lips absorb everything, but these use no petroleum by-products or synthetic chemicals! I will report back after they arrive….

http://www.sephora.com/bite-beauty

Gluten-free Grilled Cheese

My first grilled cheese sandwich in years!  I am grateful (and a little worried)  about how good the new genius breads by Glutino Foods are.  http://www.glutino.com/our-products/genius-by-glutino/

Gluten-free Grilled Cheese

Health food? No, but made with eevo and heirloom tomatoes to make my grilled cheese a bit healthier than the traditional sandwich. Comfort food for the week :)

Gluten-free quest: a tunafish sandwich

I grew up in Philadelphia were fresh Italian breads and soft pretzels are consumed daily. Finding out I was intolerant to wheat products was a bit of a shocker.

Since I’m alway trying to improve my nutrition, I try to see the upside. I’ve made the switch to a healthier, whole foods diet, and it’s easy for me to follow the much-repeated nutrition mantra: no white flours, no doughnuts, no white breads etc.

But some days, all I really want is a tunafish sandwich…with pickles on the side.

Gluten-free tunafish sandwich

I’ve tried a few of the commercially-produced and freshly made g-f bread products, but, well, I won’t name names but many of the products are just not very good.

Recently, I came across a gluten-free sandwich bread that I can work with. Glutino makes a new line of “genius” sandwich breads  http://www.glutino.com/our-products/genius-by-glutino/ with improved flavor and texture. I tried the mulit-grain sliced loaf (very low in sugar) that I found in the freezer section at Whole Foods.

Does it taste like a fresh, hot Italian loaf from the Italian markets in South Philly? Well, no. But with lettuce and tunafish, it was damn good.  My first tuna sandwich in a few years…it was a good day.  So, thank you to the Glutino Food Group for continuing to develop products to make the transition to gluten-free easier.  Now, if you could just get to work on developing an authentic-tasting, gluten-free soft-pretzel?  I would be forever grateful.

I told Emily about my discovery, and she said she is having no problem finding delicious gluten-free items in the markets and the restaurants in London. She talks about treating herself to some foods she hasn’t been able to eat in years here:

http://travelandtrenches.blogspot.com/2012/10/gluten-free-made-easy.html

Let me know if you have tried any delicious gluten-free breads!

Vitamix or Juicer – which is better?

I thought I had to make a choice, a decision.  I thought it might be time to free up some kitchen counter space and pick one of these amazing machines over the other.

How could I choose between my trusty Breville juicer that wakes me (and the entire house, apparently) each morning and my new, shiny and highly-touted Vita-mix?

I was not looking to be disloyal to the Breville, but the idea of less kitchen clutter was appealing.  But…after several years with my juicer and several weeks with the Vita-mix, I already know that I won’t be choosing between these two amazing machines.

I need both.

Why?  Well, I recently watched an awesome Vita-mix demo at the Whole Foods in Annapolis.  I was thinking this might be it – the one dream machine!  The skilled demonstrator made soups, smoothies, fresh nut butters and even ice cream in minutes.  I stood there for a long time, just to be sure I didn’t miss a juicing demo.

But, I wasn’t swayed to get rid of my juicer. Don’t get me wrong – I am only in the learning stages of my Vita-mix and I am hooked.  I’m making amazing smoothies and soups in a few minutes. The Vita-mix blades make it so much easier to use than previous blenders (no food getting stuck and re-stuck in the blades), and it blends smoothies to a perfect consistency. I can even sneak some fresh greens into my family’s smoothies without them knowing.  (tip: dark berries can conceal a small amount of greens, even spinach :) .

But, when making one of my super-green juices, I prefer my juicer.  The recipe book they provide does offer some green juice recipes, and if I was mainly juicing cucumbers and other watery fruits, I could get a nice, fresh juice out of my Vita-mix.

But I like so many deep, rich, leafy greens plus apples and cranberries in my morning juice, so I am sticking with my Breville. Yes, it takes time to make the juice, take the juicer apart, wash out all of the parts and put it back together each morning.  But, it quickly becomes just another part of the morning routine, like brushing and flossing, or grinding the fresh coffee beans.  And the benefits are huge – I am getting a ton of vitamins and anti-oxidants from swiss chard, watercress, kale, collards, dandelion greens and many other vegetables every day.

I like my juices free of pulp, so a clear, refreshing green juice is how I start the day.  I then add any leftover morning green juice to my Vita-mix – throw in an endless variety of fruits, vegetables, protein powder and ice to prepare my lunchtime or post-workout smoothie.

Final analysis:  Yes, my kitchen counter is going to remain cluttered.  Both machines are definitely an investment, but I don’t spend as much money eating out or buying prepared foods.

Now I have two amazing pieces of equipment to pack my day with fresh fruits, vegetables, vitamins and antioxidants! Visit both sites here:

http://www.brevilleusa.com/beverages/juicers.html 

https://www.vitamix.com/

Nailing Natural Beauty


More often than not, I go with a natural nail – I use a high-quality buffer to get the perfect touch of natural shine.

But a night out or a day at the beach call for color. Nars is one of my favorite nail polish picks – both for their dreamy colors and the fact that their polishes are free of Toluene, formaldehyde and DBP.  Nars colors are always on trend – can’t wait to try the new fall shades of this long-wearing polish.  And with a name like Bad Influence, this fall color will be hard to resist!

http://www.narscosmetics.com/color/nails/opaque-nail-polish/bad-influence