Friday, February 29, 2008
After pausing briefly and thinking it through, I realized that this is the way many of us have come to live nowadays. We fill our lives with masses of cheap things to fill us up. We end up with cluttered homes and bodies. Everything is about getting more for less, from cheaply manufactured sweatshop clothes to supersized meals of frankenfoods.
If we adopt the idea of living with simple luxury we might be better off. Instead of buying an armful of "cheap" clothes you're not really in love with, buy one or two pieces that are truly beautiful, quality pieces you will have for a long time. Your level of satisfaction will be greater in the end and it will cut down on waste and clutter in your home.
When it comes to eating, if you like beef, instead of having cheap hamburgers every night, have a really nice cut of organic steak once a week; better for your body and you get to experience the simple luxury of pure goodness.
So, go ahead and be a bit of a snob. indulge in the finer things and streamline your life. They don't call them the finer things for nothing. Quality counts on your body and in your body.
Pollan doesn't only answer this question, he traces the roots of "nutritionism" in our society and shows us where it all went a little fuzzy.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Who knows what to eat anymore? It can drive you crazy if you let it. But, as far as I am concerned, the most simple answer is probably the best, most "true" answer. If you look around and consider what seems to be the most natural situation for mankind and most other omnivores, the simple answer is eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Our diets should be comprised mostly of real, fresh fruit and real, fresh vegetables. Things like meats, seeds, nuts and grains, or more dense foods should be the garnish or the side dish. But, all too often, it is the case that we simply decorate our meat, pasta or rice dish with vegetables or fruit.
It is important to stay balanced when it comes to diet, so don't stress out, but try to do the most natural thing for your lifestyle. I love the light to heavy concept; eat lightest earliest in the day and heavier towards evening so your body can digest overnight. I know, I know, this is contrary to most of what we have learned, but, I can testify that it works. Aside from amazing weight loss/weight stabilization this method keeps me energized during the day. One day during the weekend, I eat whatever I want. I usually stay within certain parameters (like no white sugar, flour, etc.) but, if I want something, I know the option is available to me, so I never feel deprived. This makes my lifestyle completely livable and realistic.
What this all boils down to is that you have to do what works for you and maintain balance with simple, natural rules. Eat simple, clean, foods from the fruit and vegetable groups that have been processed as little as possible most of the time and you will probably be okay. So relax and have dinner. Manja!
Remember that positive change is a good thing. And when it comes to change, inspiration is just as important as action. Every few days during our project, I will bring you inspirational words and affirmation cards. Repeating positive affirmations each morning can be a very positive force to create change. Words are important. You can print the cards and post them on your computer or your mirror or stick them in your journal. You may also want to create your own personal affirmations.
Thank you all for joining this project and for all of your support. If you have questions or need support at any time, remember that we are all here as a resource and a community.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a carrier oil such as almond, apricot kernel or avocado oil and dot on your wrists for a quick pick-me-up!
Soap-free cleansers for face and body:
+ yogurt and lemon juice- around 1/2 cup yogurt to 1 tsp juice
+ oatmeal paste-use oats ground in a mini processor and mix with warm water to make
+ milk or sour cream
(These suggestions were adapted from one of the best Natural Beauty Books on the market. Janice Cox's Natural Beauty at Home is a must-have for both the aspiring and accomplished at-home beauty expert.)
Gently massage any of the above into wet skin. Using smooth, circular motions, massage skin with your fingertips. Rinse well with warm water and follow with moisturizer or an exfoliant, steam and mask if you are doing a facial.
These recipes are especially suited to dry skin types. If you feel the need to use soap based cleansers such as pure castille soap (try Dr. Bronner's) add a little glycerin or honey in your hand to prevent drying. Keep in mind that even if you have oily skin, over cleaning with soap based cleansers can create more oil production so you may want to experiment for a couple of weeks with a soap free cleanser. It may be possible that your oil glands will start to normalize sebum production if they are not overstimulated.
Be very gentle when cleaning your face. Use a very light touch especially when you are experiencing a breakout. Being to harsh when you have a pimple can lead to scarring.
To remove makeup before cleansing simply massage a light oil such as almond oil into skin, loosening makeup.
My personal daily face wash: a little baking soda sprinkled into my palm in the shower. I simply massage the powder into my face gently. This makes an excellent exfoliant/cleanser. If I want stronger exfoliation I simply use more baking soda, less water for a stiffer paste.
Always follow cleansing with a moisturizer. I love aloe vera mixed in my hand with a little glycerin. Aloe alone usually does not provide enough moisture for my skin, but glycerin does the trick.
Feel free to share some of your favorite natural personal care recipes for beauty.
This featured product line is by the super-natural company Griffin Remedy. I have been using their bath gel, body lotion and foaming hand wash in the orange blossom scent for the past few months. Why do I love these products? Aside from the fact that they are made from safe, natural ingredients, I love the fresh, fruity orange blossom scent. The lotion is just the right texture and consistency, not too thick, but rich enough to provide lasting moisture. The bath gel can be a little drying sometimes (I have hard water) but I fix that by adding a little glycerin to the bottle. Voila, perfect! I just love the bubbly foaming action of the hand soap. It feels so luxurious. Griffin Remedy is a real find. Great ingredients and products at an even better price. Products run around $6.00 on average.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Okay, so let's get moving towards our goals!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Fill in this calendar with your own personal 30 Days to a More Beautiful You key dates and schedules. For instance, I'll be doing facials , skin masks and deep conditioning my hair every Sunday. Click on the calendar, print out a copy, and count down the days to a more beautiful you!
1. Well groomed eyebrows shaped to fit your face
2. Facial symmetry(makeup can help even out minor differences)
3. Healthy skin
4. Soft, moisturized lips
We all have different faces and unique looks, however these elements seem to be universal markers of "beauty." I love makeup for fun and expression, but for everyday I love a very natural look characterized by muted, radiant color, lush lashes, softly color-kissed cheeks and lips and well groomed brows. I'm not a big fan of concealer or foundation except as temporary, occasional measures. When your skin is at its best you won't feel the need for these things.
Makeup should ideally be an embellishment, not a cover up. As an artist, I look at makeup as one more medium of accentuating beauty and a way to express a mood. This is the basic natural face.
1. Natural highlighting on brow bone, under eyes and on center of nose. Can be achieved with a neutral colored shimmer powder from a company like afterglow cosmetics.
2. Well groomed brow. Have your brows professionally done or tackle them yourself if you feel up to it. They should not be too thin or heavily penciled in. DO NOT OVERPLUCK. Do not pluck too much from the inner brow and make sure each side matches. Symmetry is very important to achieving a "beautiful" look. If you make a mistake you can fix the problem by first lightly penciling in short feathery brow strokes and then blending in lightly with a brow powder.
3. Soft, natural colors on cheek , eyelid and mouth. Soft glowing colors like dusty roses and bronzes achieve a natural look on most complexions. One of my favorite brands is eccobella especially for lipsticks.
4. Lightly lined lids. You can use natural kohl sticks or charcoal pencils.
5. Defined eyelashes. I like to use aloe vera gel as a clear, natural mascara. Just use the wand from an old tube of mascara. (be sure to keep it clean)
6. Soft sheen on lips. A tiny, tiny touch of a light oil like almond oil will do the trick. Or try Burt's Bees lip balm. Or, even better make your own lip balm.
Okay, let's get beautiful!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
If you want better skin here are a few simple guidelines;
1) If it's white, do not eat it! This is the most important thing you can do for your body and your skin. Your skin will become clearer, softer and less lined just by replacing processed white sugars, potatoes and grains with more natural options like agave syrup, sweet potatoes, and 100% whole grains. Simple sugars and refined carbs interfere with the proper formation of collagen (which is responsible for keeping our skin elastic and youthful). Of course, eat lot's of fruits and veggies.
2) Drink your water. While I don't necessarily believe that you have to drink a certain amount of water each day(this will vary), you do need to be hydrated for firm, supple skin.
3) Drink Freshly pressed green juices. I LOOOVVVVVEEEE juicing!!! and I can't say it enough!! Drinking fresh juices every day makes you feel better inside and it gives your skin an amazing, soft, GLOW that would make even J-Lo green with envy. The emphasis is on green juices for maximum impact. Use only enough fruit or sweet juices (i.e. apples or carrots) to make the greens palatable. My favorite fresh juice is green lemonade. I drink it every day.
4) Clean with care. Treat your skin with care, cleaning your face with chemical free, sulfate free cleansers. Harsh cleaners can make oily skin or acne worse by aggravating oil glands. You can also clean your face with ingredients found in your kitchen like milk or baking soda. Be very gentle when cleaning delicate facial skin (especially if you are prone to breakouts or irritation). (Stay tuned for more how-to info)
5) Dress with care. You take the time to put good things in your body, so it only makes sense to put good things on your body. Your moisturizer should be pure and effective. The best moisturizer I've found is aloe-vera gel mixed with glycerin; simple, inexpensive and safe. Aloe is intensely healing while glycerin is one of nature's most effective humectants. Moisturize every day and every night to preserve skin's elasticity. Your makeup should also be as pure as possible. Don't worry, if there are certain things you can't give up yet, just replace the items you can live without, with healthier options like AfterGlow cosmetics or Eccobella products. When your skin is healthy and glowing from the inside, you will greatly reduce your dependence on cosmetics.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
It’s time get in gear for our 2008 30 Days to a More Beautiful You project. We will soon be well on our way to getting more beautiful skin, increased energy, more balance, and greater self confidence. These are the guidelines that I will follow and recommend. Remember that these are just goals and guidelines. I believe strongly that you must educate yourself and follow the path that speaks to you.
We are all at different levels and as long as you are making positive change you are moving in the right direction. If you are new to these ideas and concepts choose three things to implement instead of trying to change everything at once. Baby-steps can take us where we need to go. Do not feel pressured to be “perfect.” You are already at the perfect point for this moment in your life. You have the choice to move forward to the best of your abilities and understanding. I hope you can learn something that will help you in your journey.
1) When you wake it is a good idea to take a moment of silence before the noise of the day begins. Mindful prayer or meditation will help center you and keep you on an even keel. Many studies have proven that prayer and meditation can have powerful health benefits. Positive daily affirmations are another good way to start the day.
2) Move your body for at least 30 minutes each day. This can be as gentle or as rigorous as you are comfortable with. Walking is a perfect option. Rebounding or jumping on a mini-trampoline (these can be as cheap as $20 in stores) is extremely beneficial. I do this each day and it is an invigorating way to start the day.
3) In the morning between 8 am and 12 pm try to ingest only fresh fruits and freshly pressed juices. Start with room temperature, steam distilled water (distilled water aids in the cleansing of your body) with a squirt of fresh lemon juice. After the water, move on to other fresh juices. You may enjoy any fresh juice liberally, but is important to emphasize green juices. That is why I love author Natalia Rose’s Green lemonade recipe. It is chock full of greens, but it tastes like lemonade. You can’t go wrong with lemonade.
A good juicer to try is the Breville Juice Fountain. I have had my Breville for 2 years and I absolutely love it. It is easy to use and clean up is a breeze. I cannot stress enough the importance of juicing. Juicing organic produce, especially greens, is like giving your body concentrated shots of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and pure earth love. If you drink 24 ounces of fresh green juices every day for at least a week, you will see a difference. Your skin will glow and be soft to the touch. And that’s only the beginning; your body will love being flooded with goodness at the beginning of each day.
Drinking juices and eating fresh fruit gives your body a chance to continue cleansing in the morning. Even if you cannot juice every morning, eat as much fruit as you like. Stay satisfied and full so you don’t feel deprived. Contrary to popular belief, freeing your body up from the energy expenditure of digestion will give you more energy for the day. Remember when you have eaten a heavy pancake breakfast and passed out shortly after. That is because your body is expending all of its energy trying to break down the food that you have just heaped into your stomach. Juicing and eating easily digested fresh fruits will free you from this cycle and give you a clean slate to start each day. Drink to your health!
4) Eat only pure, unprocessed, unadulterated foods. Stick to the fresh section of your grocery. Do not eat anything sweetened with white sugar. Use maple syrup, raw honey, agave syrup or stevia to sweeten foods. Drink distilled water. Eat only %100 whole grains (be careful to read ingredients as some items are deceptively labeled). Eat organic where possible, but don't get hung up on it. Remember that is just important to make healthy choices.
Use small amounts of coconut oil to cook with and use only cold pressed oils like olive oil, coconut oil and sesame oil to make salad dressings or to drizzle on foods for flavor as a healthy condiment after the food is cooked. Raw fats are much healthier for you body and they even aid weight loss.
Prepare fresh organic meats when possible versus, non-organic or processed meat like cold cuts etc. If you consume dairy, which is not recommended during this project, I strongly suggest using raw, organic dairy or at the very least just organic. The hormones and antibiotics in most meat and dairy can wreak havoc with your system. These things are very dangerous and are not to be taken lightly.
Eat Real Food! Do not use artificially low-fat, no-fat, artificial sugar substitutes etc. These things are not real foods. Our body does not know what to do with them and many of these things are filled with dangerous chemicals.
5) Try to eat as many raw, fresh fruits and veggies as possible, but do not feel that you have to eat all raw. Steaming, sautéing, and baking are all acceptable.
6) Eat a large green salad at the start of lunch and dinner. Lunch might even be just the salad. If you think that won’t be filling, think large salad. I mean a mixing bowl full of beautiful yummy greens, juicy tomatoes, fresh or roasted red peppers, a handful of raw sunflower seeds, spicy red onions, fresh or sautéed portabella mushrooms, fresh corn off the cob, yummy chunks of avocado, delicious briny kalamata olives, a creamy, healthy, homemade salad dressing… I think you get the picture. Whatever you choose
7) Snack when you need to. My snack of choice, a delicious snack for anytime except the morning, is any %70 or above chocolate bar. You do not have to count calories so let your body guide you to eat when you want to.
8) For dinner enjoy whatever healthily prepared meal you like. You can follow this with a healthy dessert if you like.
9) Mediate stress in positive ways. Practice deep breathing. Do something every day that you love to reduce stress and keep you vital. Read a book by your favorite author, paint, sing, play with your kids, anything that makes you happy. Keep things in perspective and keep in mind that your perception is your reality, Put on your rose colored glasses and see the good in life.
10) Try to get to sleep before midnight and sleep in a completely dark room. This may actually be the hardest rule for some of us (including myself) to follow, but do the best you can. Take a moment to clear your mind and relax before sleeping (your bedroom should be free of clutter). Prayer or meditation again.
Stay tuned for personal care guidelines and beauty how-tos to help us make it 30 Days to a More Beautiful You and Me!
If you want to learn more about good nutrition and healthy lifestyle, two books that have taught me a lot are Fit For Life by
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
My newest obsession is GT's Organic Raw Kombucha. Just to clarify, I'm actually not exaggerating, I am a little obsessed. G'ts Kombucha is an amazing fermented, naturally sparkling drink.
GT's Kombucha is labeled as "Living Food for the Living Body." It is extremely healthy and I guarantee you have probably never tasted anything like it. When you unscrew the top it gently pops and you get a whiff of the very zingy, tangy aroma, slightly reminiscent of apple cider vinegar. The natural fermentation process gives the drink it's very distinct tart flavor and imparts natural effervescence. With flavors like Cosmic Cranberry and my personal favorite Mango Synergy, GT's Kombucha will leave you wanting more.
GT's Kombucha is made from a "handmade Chinese tea that is delicately cultured for 30 days. During this time, essential nutrients form like: Active Enzymes, Viable Probiotics, Amino Acids, Antioxidants, and Polyphenols. All of these combine to create an elixir that immediately works with the body to restore balance and vitality."
The company's founder, "G.T Dave began bottling Kombucha in 1995 after his mother's success from drinking it during her battle with breast cancer, " and Kombucha has been used as a restorative tonic in China for years.
With so many so called health drinks on the market that are nothing more than glorified, high sugar juices, GT's Kombucha is a true gem. Drink it. It's good for you and it is yummy...
Before we embark upon any change, it is important to be armed with good information. Our first 30 Days to a More Beautiful You Project will begin March 2. In preparation for the project I suggest three books that will help you formulate a plan of action and keep you motivated throughout the 30 days and beyond.
Any real transformation starts in the mind. We cannot hope to gain true beauty by just slathering on potions and creams and colors; we must unlearn what we have been taught and re-learn what is truly good for our bodies. We need to know what real food is and what our bodies really want. We need to be aware of the connection between the condition of our spirit and our external condition.
The previously reviewed books Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose will give you basic knowledge of good nutrition and lifestyle. And regardless of your spiritual affiliation, What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula is a basic primer and guide to attaining equanimity and balance in your life.
Keep in mind that these books are merely suggestions. The important thing here is to do what works for you. Choose two or three books that inspire you to be healthier, to be more at peace and keep you motivated. Happy reading and lots of knowledge!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
1) Geometry Lesson-
Brightly colored geometric prints and linear forms created interest on runways from Fendi to Ferregamo
The Classic tailored blazer is always in style although this spring it appears in a more luxurios incarnation of lush fabrics and rich colors instead of standard black
Color makes a bold statement in time for spring
Up and down the runways of fashion week transparent fabrics left little to the imagination
This spring will see rich fabrics ripe with luxury and bold patterns
Fringe isn't just for hippies anymore; this spring's fringe is full of glamour
7)Summer of Love-
Hippie chic isn't just for hippies anymore, it's all grown up with sexy sophistication
Pollock-like splashes of color emblazon dresses from Gucci to Misoni
One world, global fashion combines cultural influences
10)It's a Cinch-
Well-dressed Women wear waspish waists...
photo source: elle.com
The idea that no matter what exists today or what we are today, we can create a richer, more fulfilling tomorrow is one that humans have been drawn to since before people started making new-year's resolutions. But, does hope really spring eternal? Can we really make profound change in a relatively short amount of time? Can you change your life in thirty days?
purebeauty challenges you to be more beautiful in 30 days. Our first 30 Days to a More Beautiful You Project will start this March. This 30 days is a time to renew body, mind and spirit; 30 days of harmonious movement, thought and healthy living to achieve a higher vibration of beauty inside and out. In other words, you can be significantly hotter in just 30 days if you are willing to commit to exercising, eating well, and taking care of yourself.
Read: you, significantly hotter, in just 30 days. Do I really need to convince you?
Stay tuned for details about the 30 Days to a More Beautiful You Project...
Monday, February 11, 2008
Each week, starting this week, purebeauty will feature a beautiful woman who embodies confidence, style and heart. This week's beauty is none other than the talented, fresh faced and ultra-stylish Rihanna. Just when it seemed like every young R&B singer was starting to look like Beyonce, Rihanna dared to be different. She chopped off her hair and took it up a notch. Her bob haircut was chic, fresh and unexpected. And now, she has switched it up again. Her new, supershort, edgy haircut is a little round-the-way girl and a little punk. It is a perfect marriage and the perfect style for Rihanna's pixie-like face. Her beautiful blue Zac Posen Grammy dress was the perfect compliment to her new haircut. The gorgeous jewel tone was vibrant and exuberant.
So, Why do we love Rihanna? Three simple reasons; she is talented; she dares to be different, which in a world of cookie-cutter beauties, is very refreshing; she is fabulously confident, and that is beautiful.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Just throw some organic romaine lettuce, a few leaves of organic kale, an organic apple or two, organic lemon and ginger in your juicer and adjust to taste. There you have it. An amazingly healthy, tangy start to your day!
Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin want you to be a Skinny Bitch. As a matter of fact, if these two women had their way, the world would be full of Skinny Bitches. Their New York Times bestseller Skinny Bitch is a self described "no-nonsense tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!"
I have read alot of books about what to eat and what not to eat, some good and some pretty forgettable, but Skinny Bitch was a completely refreshing read from start to finish and the perfect how-to-have-a-healthy-body manual for beginners. The naughty, attention grabbing title is just the beginning. The authors successfully marry smart, modern girl style with all things granola; for the girl who drinks wheat grass shots, but still shaves her pits and could run a marathon in stilettos. Think Samantha Jones meets the health food movement. With Chapter titles like Pooping and Don't Be a Pussy this book is not for the faint of heart, but it can help you unlock the beautiful, healthy, conscious, goddess you are inside.
Read this book. I promise you will laugh, you will learn and possibly even make some positive changes in your life. Don't be fooled by the title. This book is about far more than being skinny. It is about being the best, most radiant, harmonious you.
So, here's to being a Skinny Bitch!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Fit for Life is a more than adequate primer on the benefits and how-tos of food combining. The Raw Food Detox Diet takes these basic concepts a step further and incorporates more raw and living components into the plan. Both books were quick and easy to read and wonderful investments in time. I have incorporated food combining into my daily life and I have experienced weight loss and increased digestive comfort. I really like the principles of food combining because there is no calorie counting and no portion sizes. You eat until satisfied. I have always had a large appetite, so this works for me.