Friday, September 22, 2017

BEAUTY BITES: 3 COFFEE ALTERNATIVES


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  3   C O F F E E   A L T E R N A T I V E S
An easy like Sunday morning guide to combat weekday fatigue without coffee or caffeinated tea . . .

G O L D E N   C A C A O   L A T T É
Profile note: Raw cacao contains theobromine, which touts many benefits including increased bioavailability of nitric oxide that aids in the circulation of blood as well as regulating brain activity

Ingredients
6 ounces of hot, sub-boiling plant-based milk, I prefer almond or coconut that's been diluted in half with water
2 tablespoons Crio Bru or Anandemide, the latter will impart an earthier note
1 tablespoon coconut manna
1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon suma powder, a flavour & energetic profile sister of maca that is a ginseng rather than a root
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, I prefer this brand as it's certified gluten-free
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8th teaspoon vanilla bean powder or extract
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of pink salt or smoked sea salt
Optional sweetener to taste, such as stevia

DIRECTIONS
I. Heat the milk on medium-high heat until it's hot but not boiling, which can tamper with the integrity of these sensitive plant matters.
II. Pour hot milk along with the rest of the ingredients into a high-speed blender to blend for about half a minute.
III. Serve your frothy latté & enjoy!


C A R A M E L   C H A I
Profile note: The Chai blend below not only imparts a sultry, peppery flavour but also contains four medicinal adaptogens—Lion's Mane mushroom, Astragalus, Tremella, & Cordyceps—that aid in mental & energetic focus.

Ingredients
3 ounces of hot, sub-boiling coconut milk and water
1 packet of chai
1 tablespoon cinnamon red maca almond butter
1 teaspoon raw coconut oil
Pinch of pink salt or smoked sea salt

Directions
I. I. Heat the milk on medium-high heat until it's hot but not boiling, which can tamper with the integrity of these sensitive plant matters.
II. Pour hot milk along with the rest of the ingredients into a high-speed blender to blend for about half a minute.
III. Serve your frothy latté & enjoy!


C O R D Y C E P S   C R E A M   L A T T É
Profile note: Cordyceps has been my long-time energiser bunny of sorts for marathon training. I usually drink it pre-run but this recipe is an indulgent, creamy option for refuel or a treat . . .

Ingredients
6 ounces of hot, sub-boiling plant-based milk
1 packet of Four Sigmatic Cordyceps
1 tablespoon coconut manna
1 tablespoon coconut cream powder
Pinch of pink salt or smoked sea salt
1 scoop of Collagen Powder, optional but will render a frothier latté
DIRECTIONS
I. I. Heat the milk on medium-high heat until it's hot but not boiling, which can tamper with the integrity of these sensitive plant matters.
II. Pour hot milk along with the rest of the ingredients into a high-speed blender to blend for about half a minute.
III. Serve your frothy latté & enjoy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

FARMACY: CLEAN BEAUTY STAPLES UNDER $50

F A R M A C Y   |   C L E A N   B E A U T Y   S T A P L E S   U N D E R   $ 5 0 
A compilation of my favourite clean beauty staples under $50 & the one thing I splurge on . . .

The Staples
Below are my long-time favourites in clean beauty, which with the exception of only a few, are all $50 or below. All the links are clickable, so shop on!

The Splurge
lthough my affordable foundational basics have their every day time & place, there is one thing that I do recommend splurging on. Every few months or so, especially during times of high sun exposure, I recommend getting a facial. Our skin deposits sebum or oil as we repeatedly sweat, stress, and expose it to the sun. The rays of sun pigment the oil, causing little black dots that you most likely have found around your T zone called sebaceous filaments (not blackheads, contrary to popular belief). Regular facials allow for the removal of these & consequently for your skin to properly breathe. 

Sara Damelio, founder of Skincando, giving an eco-facial at the D.C. area-based green beauty spa The Emerald Door Salon
A facial, like your skincare regimen, should also utilise clean ingredients. In the Washington, D.C. area, the Emerald Door Salon is my go-to & the premier green beauty spa. They stock their shelves with brands like locally- and woman-owned SkincandoSoul Sunday. For local readers, e-mail me for a special discount for an eco-facial or a Manicure/Pedicure. For green beauty products in general, I am head over heels over the Take Care shop in Georgetown, D.C., a serene haven with equally welcoming staff. For New Yorkers, my favourites are CAP BeautyHeyday.

Monday, September 18, 2017

BEAUTY BITES: 4 TIPS TO EAT PRETTY EVERY DAY


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  4  T I P S   T O   E A T   P R E T T Y   E V E R Y D A Y
Wisdom from Jolene Hart, health coach & author of the coveted Eat Pretty book series, on easy tips for eating pretty every day, for beauty inside & out. Here is a short compilation of the many in-depth yet digestible tips from one of the staples on my shelf . . .

Eat Calmly
Both Jolene & I agree that one of the secret keys to a digestive system that keeps us energised & radiant is our mindset before a meal. How we eat is equally as important as what we eat. This begins with a warm glass of water about 30 minutes before a meal to hydrate the digestive system in preparation for the meal. If you find yourself bloated after a meal, you can add 1/4 teaspoon each of chlorella & raw apple cider vinegar to your glass to increase alkalinity & stomach enzymes, which allow for easier assimilation. 

The second most integral step is to leave the computer, smartphone, the telly, & any other stressful company out of surroundings. Take a deep breath. One recent study demonstrated that relaxed breathing significantly reduced the body's glycemic response, which registers the effect food and sugars have on our body. When the glycemic response is stable, so is our metabolism and weight. 

Be your own company. Hear your own deep breath as you sit down to your meal rather than the ding of your phone or the buzz of another's thoughts or images on social media. 


Eat Fermented Foods Every Day
Eating fermented foods is one of the most effective overall mealtime practises that you can incorporate. Not only does it lead to an efficient digestive system but it also cuts sugar cravings, which is a main culprit for irritated skin prone to breakouts. The skin of our health is a mirror of that within our digestive system; when our organs cannot process, break down, & assimilate our food, the distress is reflected in our skin. Fermented foods—including raw sauerkraut, brined pickles, kombucha, & kefir—feed the trillions of healthy bacteria in the gut that optimise digestive processing. 

I recommend making them at home to ensure that the good bacteria are alive as they are sensitive and can be killed off during temperature fluctuations of factory-to-market transportation. Alternatively, look for a local maker at your farmer's market. 

Make an intention to eat even a small spoonful of fermented foods once per day, gradually seeing the effects the building of a healthy microbiome will have on your skin.

Meal Time Mantra
___

"Today's meals are a gift to my body, as this day is a gift to my life” 
— Jolene Hart, Eat Pretty Every Day


Multitask with a Mask
A favourite no-waste & multitask strategy that Jolene and I share is doing a mask while doing chores. Rather than using a store-bought face mask, reach into your pantry instead. You will avoid unnecessary ingredients and packaging while using that last little scoop of ingredient that might have gone to waste otherwise. Raw honey is a deeply healing mask, both for those with dry skin and those prone o breakouts. The enzymes in raw honey heal blemishes, ward off future breakouts, and draw moisture to the skin. After washing your face, simply massage a thin layer on your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with tepid water. For an even more moisturising treat, mix the honey with an equal amount of Tocos, which also contain enzymes & vitamin E to heal the skin. 


Create an End-of-Day Treat
For many of us, as Jolene denotes, an end-of-day treat is food-related. Whether it involves an indulgent meal, dessert, or a drink with friends, these treats more often than not contain ingredients that don't treat our skin well. While these treat always will have their appropriate time & place and healthy alternatives are certainly better, Jolene recommends a shift of perspective. Instead of pampering yourself with food, pick one or two treats that are unrelated to food to look forward to throughout your day. Make mealtime & self-care a point of self-love, in their own respective ways. 

If you found these tips helpful, hop on over to order Jolene's newest release of 365 daily inspirations for nourishing beauty, inside & out . . .