Natural skin care products and toiletries I love

It’s important to think about what were putting on our body as well as what we put in. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and anything we put on it, creams, sprays, perfume, cosmetics and shampoos/conditioners are being absorbed through the skin instantly. Many people think that if it is natural and organic it doesn’t work as well. This is not true! Most of the ingredients in our make up bags are petrochemicals, (chemicals derived from petroleum). Some of the ingredients are used in plastics and are known endrocrine disruptors. Yuck! Not to mention the horrible animal testing that goes on in the laboratories.Here is a recent article from the Food Matters blog with a more thorough list of the chemicals to look out for. http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/what-in-the-world-are-you-putting-on-your-skin

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Raw Lasagna

Last week I made a raw lasagna that was out of this world. It was inspired by The Raw Chef Russell James …and my grandmother of course! His recipes are incredible if you have a little extra time. I had some raw marinara sauce left over from my raw zucchini pasta and I had all the ingredients on hand. This was so flavorful I didn’t feel too bad that I wasn’t following my grandmothers family recipe. I did feel like I was cheating a little by not using her sauce. Every time I go home to upstate New York to visit she sends me home with containers of her sauce along with her lasagna and frittata that smells up my car like crazy. Her lasagna is so freaking good. She doesn’t exactly understand what it means when I say I’m trying to go “raw” or “vegan”. I have since found this healthier, kinder version. I do know her tomato’s are straight from her garden and while I was growing up I never once had sauce that came from a jar or can. That would be a sin in her book.  I don’t ever feel like I’m depriving myself. I feel so good eating plant foods and knowing I’m doing it for the animals.

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Basic flax crackers

Flax crackers are my absolute favorite snack now. When I’m at home just hanging out I love to snack. I’m a huge snacker. I just don’t want to put on the pounds or end up feeling bloated because I ate a bunch of salt. Flax seeds contain rich, healthy fatty acids (omega-3, omega-9, omega 6) that are needed for the human body to function. They provide soluble fiber and are rich in lignans, which are hormone like substances known to balance hormone levels in the body. The seeds can be bought in bulk and kept in the fridge or freezer. I just grind a portion at a time before I add to smoothies or oatmeal. The recipe is so easy. You will need a dehydrator. I have an Excalibur 4 tray. It’s a great starter dehydrator. I’ve made many crackers, breads, nuts,and other gourmet raw foods. I think it’s essential for a raw foods kitchen.

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Hair Color and the chemicals to avoid

I’ve  been an American board certified hair colorist since 1994 and consider myself an expert in the field. I love hair color. I always feel sexy and beautiful when I have my hair colored. There’s something about it that livens me up. It adds color and vibrance to my naturally pale complexion. I don’t have gray hair, but if I did you better believe I would want to blend it or cover it up completely. I’m not a big fan of looking older than I am. I believe beauty starts from the inside and starts with spiritual nourishment. As a result of this, diet naturally comes into play. Eating a diet rich in whole plant foods has changed my skin and my hair is actually getting thicker and more lustrous. When I tell people I’m 36 years old they don’t believe it!

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Hottie Black-Eyed Peas and Greens and Conscious Eating

Last night I decided I really wanted something warm and comforting for dinner. It was rainy, cool and damp (my favorite kind of weather!). After a somewhat decent cardio workout I was starving and wanted to fix something that took under 30 minutes. I shared with you before how much I love the cookbook Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I made the Hottie Black Eyed Peas & Greens recipe on pg.119. It was so delicious and satisfying. I don’t eat 100% raw at all. I would say I eat about 70% raw with my goal being 80%. The other 30% I try to eat mostly vegan. I used to believe I needed to eat some meat because of my blood type and just a bunch of old ideas I have about it. The meat/dairy industry wants us to believe we need it. I’m finding out that I really don’t. I don’t believe animals are beneath us and should only be here to serve us. I’m seeing just how self-centered I’ve been eating meat and cheese because it tastes good and not caring about how it got to my plate in the first place.I think if your going to eat meat make sure it’s grass-fed and pasture raised from a local farm. Know your source, go visit the farm. I think going vegetarian or vegan is a big step and can be done in stages like I have. I love animals and always have. I’m currently reading Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousins,M.D.

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Natural cleaning products

I have to say I love to clean! I love the way it feels when my apartment looks clean and organized, I love the smell of essential oils and clean air. I love the way it feels when I’m done cleaning because it feels like I really accomplished something. I just don’t want to bring into my home a wealth of toxins, chemicals, and dangerous substances that will harm my health and the Earth’s  waterways and soil. Every time it gets washed down the drain we add to the chemical burden of the planet. I remember one time I was cleaning my toilet with some ammonia based cleaner with a huge WARNING stating that a teaspoon to an ounce may be fatal if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. I inhaled too much and lost my breath….I could not breathe and thought I was dying. I had a terrible cough for weeks following. I realize now that if the cleaning product has a number on the back for poison control it can’t be good for me. I don’t want this stuff around where I eat and breathe and let it absorb through my skin…gross! These toxic chemicals can accumulate in your body causing respiratory distress and are extremely carcinogenic. What to do? I make my own.

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