I can’t explain how important it is to check the ingredients on ALL your products. Last week I really had an eye opening experience. We ran out of face wash and so the first move I made was to check underneath the sink to see what we had hiding. Well, I found a Neutrogena face wash and thought, “PERFECT!” I started using this face wash and didn’t think much about it. That week I had terrible blemishes. In fact, I hadn’t seen my face break out like that since high school, or even middle school!

I continued using the face wash because I really thought it was helping me. It wasn’t until Friday afternoon when my fiancé said “wow that face wash really isn’t working for you” and I thought to myself… what in the world does he mean? Just because I have pimples doesn’t mean anything. Then I had an aha moment and went to read the ingredients on the back of the Neutrogena bottle. 3.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. There it was – the culprit. I couldn’t believe I had missed this important step. I am always so careful about reading the labels on every other product and this time I didn’t think twice about it since we already had it in the cabinet – I assumed it was fine!

Well, my face really suffered from that wrongdoing and this week I am working on correcting the terrible effects.

This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to be aware of what goes into your body AND onto your body. We usually use Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash and I think I’ll stick with that! Next time we run out, I will use regular soap and water – that can’t do any harm… at least I hope not!

Tea_Tree_Cleansing_Pads-1

Since I began to change my lifestyle habits, I’ve also made a change in many of the products that I use on a daily basis. I’d like to share one brand that I’ve been enjoying for a few months now. It’s called Desert Essence and boy is it fabulous. You will find many of their products at Whole Foods or other health food stores. They use tea tree oil in many of their products and frankly that’s why I like it so much.

Tea tree oil is a wonderful, natural herb used in many different ways. Yes the smell is quite pungent but if you buy their facial cleanser pads then rinse your face with water afterward, the smell will minimize. My fiancé loves using their jojoba oil after he shaves – it’s soothing for his face.

In the past, I’ve tried changing deodorants to a natural brand like Tom’s but have always found that it would never last throughout the day. This always made me frustrated because I never wanted to use deodorant with aluminum but I also didn’t want to smell bad. I finally found my answer! Desert Essence deodorant! It lasts through the day AND it smells great.

I hope you check out some of their products, I know you will enjoy them. It’s really important to check the labels on ALL your products including lotions, soaps, deodorants, toothpaste and anything else you use. Your skin is just as important as the rest of the organs in your body. If you’re going to change your food and lifestyle, then you may as well go all the way – that’s how I see it anyway. Treat your skin with care, it IS the largest organ in your body.

microwave

Our society is constantly looking for ways to quicken every process up – especially cooking. That’s why they created the microwave oven – to have a quick meal and not have to worry about the long hours of standing around the kitchen.

Well… I have lots of thoughts about the microwave oven. First off they say you can’t put aluminum AND plastic into it… WHY? Well, it’s because when you microwave those items, substances used in manufacturing them may leak into the food. That sounds nasty… Even though you can’t see any changes in the food it may be getting dangerous chemicals poured into it.

That does NOT sound fresh and appetizing to me – and that’s why I stay far away from the microwave oven. I’m not trying to bombard you with my opinions on this issue, but I think it’s important that you know the facts. The microwave oven has only been around since 1946 when Dr. Percy Spencer created it – that means that we’ve only been exposed to it for 63 short years and quite possibly we don’t know the exact long-term effects of it.

My aunt, may she rest in peace, died two years ago of pancreatic cancer. While she was battling the cancer she did a lot of research and found that staying away from the microwave oven was a very good idea – she didn’t want any other abnormal cells floating anywhere near her. Ever since this time, I have also stayed away from them and now when I need something heated, I stick it in the oven or I heat it up on the stove – it takes a few minutes longer, but at least I’m not injecting my fresh food with any abnormal cells.

If you’re one to use the microwave on a daily basis I would think about cutting back. If you’re using it at work to heat up lunch then try bringing a lunch that doesn’t need to be heated, a.k.a. salad or a sandwich. There are ways to get around it but it may require a change in your daily routine.

Knowing the facts about controversial topics is very important. You need to be in control of what goes into your body. I hope this post gives you a little bit of insight into a whole topic that doesn’t usually get brought up at the dinner table. Remember: the truth isn’t only what you see, but it’s also what you DON’T see. Stop those voluntary abnormal cells from growing and maybe our cancer rate will plummet!

For those of you who wake up in the morning and dread those 8 hours of sitting in an office bathing under fluorescent lights – I completely understand.

I too am in this lovely position all-day and only find comfort and excitement when I write a blog post or spend time coming up with a new recipe to try.

It’s the small things that I do for myself during the day that actually get me through. SO if you find yourself in the same position as me – don’t consider yourself stuck – just find a way to bring what you like and what makes you happy into your workspace. Just remember that you’re NOT alone and there are lots of people who are in the same boat as you.

The trick is to find your way out – how can you make your exit strategy as painless as possible? Remember that this is YOUR life and your time is precious. If you don’t like your job take time for yourself to figure out what you do like and make it work. Your passion CAN be your job. I know its hard to make any sort of change or transition – I’m going through it right now – but I know once the initial plunge is over then it will all (hopefully) be smooth sailing from there. I try to stay as positive as I can and I definitely recommend the same for you.

I hope the rest of your week is filled with happiness… you deserve it.

This morning I woke up all anxious – what a terrible way to start my day… As soon as I opened my eyes and even before, I had all these thoughts rolling through my head – I was obsessing about ridiculous things. These are the types of thoughts that kick my stomach down and make it super hard to pick myself back up. Well, I decided that I wasn’t going to start yet another day this way and I put an end to it. I walked up the stairs, took out my yoga mat and started practicing yoga, which I’ve learned from numerous teachers around NYC.

I figure you don’t need to be a yoga teacher to practice yoga in your own home.

You wouldn’t believe how much this helped me. For the 10 minutes that I was practicing, my breath began to get heavy and all of a sudden my muscles loosened up, my back felt great, and I was simply amazed.

It took 10 minutes from my morning routine and I made it work so that I wasn’t late for work. I’ve decided that this will become part of my daily routine and I recommend this for everyone.

If you’ve been to a few yoga classes then your all set, just try to remember at least 1-5 poses and you will be ready to practice on your own. If you’re not into doing the poses on your own, sit cross-legged with your hands resting on your legs and palms facing up – begin to focus on your breath – hear it, feel it, be it, live it, enjoy it.

Have a wonderful day,
Namaste

Orange soup

Orange Soup - a mix of the orange veggies

I’m pretty lucky enough to live really close to where I work and have no problem going home for lunch. Today on my lunch break, besides making myself a sandwich I made something else… Orange soup and no it wasn’t the citrus orange that you’re thinking of, but a mélange of the orange veggies. I threw in butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrots and oh man is it delicious!

I made quite a bit so that we can have two bowls for dinner and then save the rest for the week.

I will list the recipe below and fyi it doesn’t take long to chop everything up and throw it into the pot – I had plenty of time to make my sandwich and eat my lunch all in one hour!

1 butternut squash

1 sweet potato

3 carrots (depending on their size – you don’t want them too large)

1 yellow onion

4 cups vegetable broth

4 cups water

1 teaspoon nutmeg to taste

1 teaspoon salt to taste

Start by chopping up the onion and letting it sauté in the bottom of the pot with some olive oil until it becomes clear. While that is sautéing peel the squash, sweet potato and carrots. Then chop up each vegetable into chunks. When the onions are clear and are beginning to brown pour the vegetable broth and water into the pot. Add the veggies and cover on high heat until it boils. Once boiling turn the flame to low and simmer. It should take about 20 minutes for the veggies to soften completely. Use your hand blender to puree the soup – If you don’t have one then you can use a blender but be careful since your dealing with hot liquid. Once pureed add the nutmeg and taste to make sure you love it!

Thankgiving!

It’s that time of year when lots of people are scrambling to find recipes for their thanksgiving and holiday dinners. This has now become my favorite time of year! I’m having so much fun searching through all of my cookbooks trying to find recipes that fit the needs of my special gluten free, no dairy and no refined sugar diet. I will definitely have to alter some of the recipes to my needs, but hey, it’s all part of the fun!

You wouldn’t believe how many great recipes I’ve found and don’t worry I will be sure to post them up once I try them out. My friends and family are lucky since they will be trying everything and letting me know if it’s worthy for the thanksgiving table or not.

Try not to get stressed over the holidays – they’re supposed to be fun! And it’s a great time to catch up with family and friends.

Enjoy it – cooking is fun! No one will judge if you order in or buy food already prepared BUT I’m just throwing it out there that cooking is so satisfying – (at least for me!) – I love seeing the end result of enjoyment and pleasure, it makes my day.

I hope you can find some recipes to try out – even if it’s only one – then you will have the opportunity to feel the satisfaction at the end. Try something new! Be adventurous!

Don’t let the rain get you down today – throw on some rain boots and get out and smell the fresh air. Someone once told me that the air is the freshest right after it rains – I believe it. Soak it in, literally.

Delicious Squash Cookies!

Delicious Squash Cookies!

Last night I made Almond acorn squash teff cookies and boy were they good! I was recently assigned a health counselor by my school and I found this recipe on her blog. The cookies are different AND they taste delicious! Trust me! I had never heard of teff flour before this woman’s blog and I was surprised that it tasted so good – I didn’t even use eggs OR oil! The recipe is S I M P L E, just try it. I changed a couple of things in my recipe – I used a different type of squash other then acorn and then I steamed it instead of roasting it just to save some time.

For one batch of 6-8 cookies (depending on how big you make them) use these ingredients:

1 ½ cups teff flour (you can buy Bob’s Red Mill brand from your health food store or supermarket – it’s gluten free!)

½ cup steamed squash (I couldn’t find acorn squash at my market so I used a different kind of squash that looked similar to acorn – it still tasted great)

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup almond butter

dash of salt

½ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and blend well. Roll into a size that you like and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (Non-stick is the easiest pan to use – if you don’t have one I suggest you invest in one). Flatten each ball with a fork and bake for 13 minutes.

Hopefully you enjoy this recipe – I know my fiancé and my work friends loved them! It’s so satisfying when I make a dish or dessert that is gobbled up!

All the recipes that I make are meant to be shared, so please try them. I search for simple, tasty and nutritious meals so please take advantage of the great recipes that I bring to the blog community – you will feel great on the inside.

Whether or not you get a flu shot or the H1N1 vaccination is up to you, but I found this article by Dr. Frank Lipman quite fascinating. Dr. Lipman gives great advice on staying healthy during the fall/winter seasons and actually all year round.

If you want to know my personal opinion about the H1N1 vaccine, well, I’ll share it. I don’t like being the first to try these vaccines. Just like the HPV vaccine, Gardasil for women, my doctor asked me every time I stepped into her office if I wanted the vaccine and I continuously told her no. Finally, out came the bad results about the vaccine and boy was I glad that I didn’t inject myself with unnecessary chemicals.

The same goes for the H1N1 for me. I’m not the first to jump up and get vaccinated just because everyone else is – I would rather load up on vitamins and wash my hands frequently – that’s just my opinion though.

Hopefully you make the right decision for yourself. Please read Dr. Lipman’s article, which will give you some great tips to hopefully stay swine free.

I’ve been spending some time in suburbia recently – only because that’s where my family lives. I’ve noticed a huge difference between city life and suburban life and it’s not just the large city buildings. It’s very rare that people will walk to their destination in suburbia and yes, I understand it’s because things are further away, but if something is 10 blocks away in the city you better believe I’m going to walk there and back – but 10 blocks in suburbia seems like a lifetime away! Why is this the case? I simply don’t understand.

I started thinking of reasons and I decided that suburbia is just not walker friendly. Most people ride in cars because it’s the easiest thing to do. Here’s the problem with this – if suburbanites drive their cars to work, sit all day and drive back home, then maybe they’ve walked a total of 100 steps around the office… NOT what I call a healthy lifestyle.

If you are one of these people I suggest you definitely make time in your day to get to the gym, exercise outside, or take a nice brisk walk during your day around the neighborhood.

You have control over your health so make sure you are making the right choices for YOU. If you have questions you can always contact me.

Twitter: TheHealthyMix