Three Food Items You Should Definitely Put on Your Face

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I’ve been trying to switch out a lot of toxic items in my household for clean, natural, and inexpensive ones over the past few months. Here are just three that I have going in my daily routine:

1. Raw Honey as a Facial Cleanser

This is all over the net lately, and I decided to try it out this week. From first use I have loved it. I’ve tried the oil cleansing method in the past, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea (or jar of facial cleanser in this case). Recently, I tried baking soda followed up with coconut oil for a good exfoliating scrub, and that one actually worked out nicely, but honey just takes the cake for its ease of use and effectiveness. It’s so simple! Here’s what you do:

      • Wet your face with warm water
      • Take about a teaspoon of honey into the palm of your hand
      • Wet your finger on the other hand with warm water, and smooth it over the honey (this way there is no sticky mess!)
      • Dab your finger in the honey/water mixture and start spreading it all over your face
      • Gently massage it in (gets the blood flowing and helps flush away impurities under the skin)
      • You may leave it on for a while if you’d like (and admire the way you glisten in the mirror like a 21st century vampire exposed to sunlight)
      • Rinse with warm water
      • Follow up with cold water rinse to close those pores

Yup, that’s it. Tell me your skin isn’t soft and radiant! Raw honey has all kinds of good bacteria and enzymes that your skin loves as much as your GI tract. I have acne prone skin, and so far the honey seems to be reducing the inflammation of my breakouts, and leaving a more even tone. So go, bee good to your face! (Yes I went there)

2. Baking Soda as a Weekly Toothpaste

Okay, so I lied–this one’s not in my “daily” routine. I don’t use this more than twice a week because I don’t want to be abrasive with my teeth. This is so clarifying for your mouth and gets all the plaque. It doesn’t taste great, but I find using a small amount isn’t too overwhelming. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Wet toothbrush
  • Dab it in a small amount of baking soda
  • Brush your teeth
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • You may want to follow up with your usual paste or mouthwash to get rid of icky taste

Baking Soda is alkaline so it’s good at fighting acid wear (this is what causes sensitive teeth) and tooth decay caused by too much acidity. Although the most important part of changing your mouth’s pH comes from what you eat, this really doesn’t hurt. ¬†It’s much cleaner and more safe than the numerous ingredients found in commercial toothpastes which are not considered safe to swallow. Personally, I use Earthpaste daily in place of toothpastes with too many ingredients.

3. Virgin Coconut Oil as Moisturizer

Coconut oil is something you should really consider buying in bulk, otherwise it can be pricey. Plus, it’s extremely useful for all kinds of things (from cooking and baking to bug bites and bee stings) so you should have a lot of it anyway. In fact, I’m not sure how I lived before I started using coconut oil.

Make sure you are buying cold pressed or virgin coconut oil. You don’t want to end up with a refined or bleached scentless ¬†substance that barely resembles the fruit it came from. Nutiva makes a good one, but I use Carrington Farms because they sell it in large tubs at Costco for about 17-18 dollars (which is a similar price to the small tubs in grocery stores).

Coconut oil is really healthy, and unlike other oils, it absorbs into the skin quite readily. It won’t cause breakouts because it doesn’t clog your pores. And it stays solid/creamy at room temperature so it’s very easy to handle. Like honey, it also carries anti-microbial properties, so it cleans you too! It is still an oil, though, so don’t go crazy with it the way you might with a lotion. It’s best used:

  • Right after a shower as a full body lotion (It does not leave you all oily after a shower and absorbs quickly)
  • As a nightly facial moisturizer (You’ll wake up with soft skin, and won’t go to work with light reflecting off your face brighter than the sun)
  • After washing your hands or doing dishes–just give it time to absorb in
  • Any time you have a dry patch, an itch, or a scar that needs TLC
  • If your skin is extremely dry and cracking, this stuff is made for you, and will not sting

So there it is. Using things on your skin your body can readily use without worrying about toxins is always a good thing. It’s okay if you accidentally swallow this stuff, or get it on your tongue, or if you accidentally get it on a spoon and it gets in your mouth… (well, you may want to avoid baking soda in spoonfuls, but perhaps that’s a personal preference).

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Do you have any clean cleaning practices you currently use or wish to in your home?

*Image courtesy of Paul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Tale from a Former Coffee Lover

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I have just discovered my perfect coffee alternative hot drink. It’s healthy, creamy, and might I add, delightful. Because the effects of caffeine have become increasingly disappointing to me, I have had to move on from my rocky relationship with coffee.

Any fellow coffee lover may understand how difficult it is to part ways with this delectable demon of a beverage if you’ve ever tried. Whether it’s an overpriced espresso prepared by a professional student in a dimly lit cafe or a fair trade French roast brewed at home that strikes your fancy, coffee has a hold over a large chunk of the population in one form or another. It is a drug after all. And we live in an era when stimulants keep the world going round.

But what do you do if caffeine is causing you more trouble than healthful aid? We’ve all encountered the benefits of coffee. It boasts of antioxidants, mood enhancing qualities, and the ability to prevent an array of diseases like Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s (though let’s face it, most of us are just in it for the high). It might make you feel “regular” when it comes to bowel movements, and supposedly helps you lose weight as an appetite suppressant. But I have personally never met someone who has lost weight drinking coffee, and coffee is a diuretic, meaning it is actually causing you to lose fluids and accompanying nutrients: hardly a fair compromise for frequent poops if you ask me. And then there are those people who are sensitive to caffeine.

Enter the rising minority of people trying to banish the brew from their lives for good. If someone had told me a year and a half ago that I would willingly give up on my daily caffeine fix, I might have spit my coffee out at them. I was the typical wild-eyed, pissed-off-until-coffee-is-under-my-flaring-nostrils, totally not a morning person, bona fide caffeine addict. I mean the I-experienced-flu-like-withdrawal-symptoms type of addict. I would shove small children out of my way to get to my morning coffee.

And yet, here I am, perfectly content, sipping on a cup of a non-caffeinated, non-coffee product–that tastes … kind of like coffee–with absolutely no cold sweats, no caffeine headache, and not an ounce of desire to get back on that crazy train/roller-coaster of caffeine highs and lows. If you follow the notion of adrenal fatigue, coffee is one serious culprit. And don’t get me started on its ill effects on a lady’s menstrual cycle. Ugh.

So now, to my point. I have discovered the wonderful world of chicory coffee. Although it’s hard to come by a brand that’s not an instant type drink, Teeccino is a promising candidate for the fresh brew experience. I have yet to try it because it is M.I.A. in stores near me. But it’s up there on my bucket list.

For any gluten-free readers, you will want to steer clear of the instant chicory coffees as they contain other ingredients such as barley and wheat, and the gluten is of course dissolved right in with your brew. But gluten is not extracted through boiling water, so if using Teeccino no gluten should be getting into your drink (barring a coffee maker seeping grounds into your cup).

I am currently using Caf-lib, and though it still has that freeze-dried burnt flavor aftertaste typical of instant coffee, I am actually impressed. I prefer it to instant coffee. I think the aftertaste is less pronounced in the chicory drink. I’ve seen a few different brands around and look forward to getting my hands on them so I can write a comprehensive review and choose my favorite. In the mean time here is the delicious concoction I have come up with for a sweet and creamy healthful hot beverage:

Chicory Coffee Coconut Latte

Ingredients:

  • One cup chicory brew
  • Canned coconut milk, with a bit of water (I use Aroy-D, since it’s the only one I’ve found with only one ingredient)
  • a tsp of unpasteurized honey (or however much or little suits your fancy)

    Method:

  • Brew or mix your chicory coffee as per instructions and pour a cup. Leave room for milk (I leave about one-third of my cup, but it is up to your discretion as coconut milk is quite creamy)
  • dissolve honey in drink
  • Optional: Mix your coconut milk with some water. I have used leftover milk after cooking, and perhaps did not mix it together enough initially, so I’ve been left with some very thick coconut milk in the fridge the next day. Not functional without water.
  • Shake your milk (if you have a milk frother, even better, but possibly not as fun). I use a mason jar. Now, shake that milk–and your booty too if you’d like–until it’s nice and frothy.
  • add to coffee and enjoy!

    Easy peasy. Tell me what you think. Got any delicious recipes up your sleeve?

    Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net