Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Conscious Box 2015 - Gluten-Free

June Conscious Box 2015 - Gluten-Free

How Does Conscious Box work?

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10 Tips To Raise A Child With Resilience & Self-Esteem

Although there are many ways of defining the concept of self-esteem, in general the term encompasses the way we think and feel about ourselves, and the way we evaluate ourselves. Children with healthy self-esteem believe that they are deserving of love, and they possess a willingness to face challenges in which they may not succeed.

It’s never too late to build your self-esteem, and increase your ability to be a great role model for your children.
Children with low self-esteem tend to be very critical of themselves, are hesitant to face challenges because failure will confirm their negative self-view, show poor frustration tolerance, and do not feel worthy of love. Furthermore, having a negative self-esteem is correlated with many mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance use.
One of the major goals of parents is ensuring that their child develops and fosters a healthy self-esteem to carry with them through life. Here are 10 tips to help your children see their inner beauty:

1. Model healthy self-esteem by taking care of yourself.
Children are quite tuned into the state of their parents’ overall well-being, and parents often don’t see how much children are paying attention. In fact, children use their parents as a model for behavior and as a mirror for their own feelings. So if you are struggling with your own self-esteem and demonstrating these struggles through your words and actions, chances are your children will too.
It’s never too late to build your self-esteem, and increase your ability to be a great role model for your children. Engaging in psychotherapy, for example, is an excellent way to gain assistance with life’s challenges, including parenting, and to increase your love for yourself.

2. Pay attention to how you speak to and listen to your child.
Watch the labels and judgments that you say to your children to describe their character, as they can make more of an impression than you want. For example, “Michael is not a good sharer” can be interpreted by your child as a global statement of disapproval, rather than the description of a particular behavior. 

So describe behaviors in the moment, rather than globalizing them (e.g., “Michael had difficulty sharing his toy with Marcos last time”) and model the behavior that you want your child to exhibit.

3. Help your children to express feelings and change inaccurate beliefs.
Prompt your children to express feelings both in successful and challenging situations, so they become adept at recognizing and verbalizing emotions. When you hear your children express negative beliefs about themselves (e.g., “I’m stupid”), encourage them to view the situation differently (“What proof do you have that you’re stupid? One bad grade does not mean that you are stupid. You have a lot of strengths too!”).

4. Stress the importance of effort and completion rather than performance.
Research demonstrates that it is more effective to reward actual effort and completion of a task, rather than praising children for their performance compared to others. You want to ensure that your children understand that they are valued because of who they are, not how they perform and measure up to other children. 

5. Create a safe, loving environment at home.
A family and home environment that is safe, loving, and has established rules and structure is essential to building self-esteem in children. Be sure to be mindful of your children’s interactions with others at school and in their peer groups as best as you can, to ensure they are safe and secure in those relationships as well.

6. Remember and demonstrate that failure is a part of life.
In order to learn and develop, we must experience failure in our lives. Children with high self-esteem tolerate failure and see it as an opportunity for learning and growth. And along with that …

7. Let your children take some risks and make some of their own choices.
Although may parents find it incredibly difficult to stand back and watch their children fail, it is imperative to developing a healthy self-esteem that you let your children take risks and chances, so they develop confidence in themselves and in their choices, and learn problem-solving skills. Furthermore, they understand that failure and success are not reflective of their worth.

8. Have your children be involved in cooperative experiences.
It is important that children experience cooperation and collaboration through a host of activities such as volunteering, team sports (especially ones that stress teamwork), music and art endeavors, and camp.

9. Teach your children to be critical of media, especially social media.
Rather than outright forbidding or limiting your child’s exposure to social media (which often makes them want to see it more), help them to view media and internet postings with a critical eye so they learn to effectively understand how to manage the information and messages they are being given.

10. Remember that love is unconditional.
Make sure your children know and experience your love for them no matter what happens, and make it clear that your love for them has no limitations. This is a powerful component to building your children’s self-esteem.

If you are concerned that your child is struggling with their self-esteem, consider having them see a psychotherapist to help build their repertoire of skills for dealing with the challenges they face, and foster positive self-beliefs that will increase their self-esteem.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Garden harvest 6/27/15

6/28/15 - Today's Harvest....Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, Curled Scotch kale, and Sugar Snap peas

Sunday, June 28, 2015

10 Choices That Will Guide You To A Regret-Free Life


It’s easy to dwell on past mistakes — what we could have or should have done. But, those experiences shape who we are. The trick is to use them to grow. With that in mind, here are a few tips to stop regretting the things you can’t change and to focus instead on how to live now.

1. Own your weirdness.
Embrace what makes you different, and use it to your advantage. You are the only you in the whole world. In terms of supply and demand, you’re a hot commodity. Treat yourself as such! 

2. Relinquish self-consciousness.
It’s impossible to control other people’s opinions of you. You could spend your whole life trying to make a good impression and you’d still fail eventually. Stop wasting time trying to please people whose opinions matter less than your own. Make the choices that feel right to you, and your self-confidence will grow. 

3. Follow the three-second rule.
Not that three-second rule. Any time you’re tempted to respond out of anger or pain, take three seconds to calm down and think about how you’ll feel if you hurt someone else. It’s never worth it, and it’ll save you a lot of future regret. 

4. Don’t spend time with people you don’t like.
It sounds obvious. But, how often do you attend parties or functions because you should? Time is our most precious resource, and not to be wasted on activities or people we don’t love. At the end of their lives, people most often regret not having spent more time with their loved ones. Prioritize them now. You’ll always be glad you did. 

5. Love your work.
We spend more hours at work than anywhere else. If it drains you, bores you, or makes you unhappy, it's the wrong job. If you’re not sure what you love to do, take some time for self-reflection. If you already are, now is the time to start taking steps toward that dream. What’s holding you back? 

6. Honor your mistakes.
Mistakes are lessons. Failing is not something to beat yourself up over. It’s something to celebrate. It means you tried. Learn your lesson, forgive yourself, and move on. 

7. Stop seeking praise.
Doing anything with the expectation of glory almost inevitably leads to disappointment and bitterness. The way you invest your time should be determined by your pleasure and satisfaction in the activity itself. Then, positive opinions become a bonus and negative ones become irrelevant. 

8. Follow through.
Making empty promises and assurances inevitably hurts and disappoints the people you love. Keep your word, whenever possible. On the rare occasions something unavoidable comes up, explain the situation and try to offer an alternative. This makes people feel prioritized, even when you have to bail.

9. Treat your body well. It’s the only one you get.
You know how on airplanes they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping anyone else? Apply that concept to your health in general. You’re a much better, more productive person when you take care of yourself.

10. Practice gratitude.
No matter how bad things seem at an given moment, there is always something to be grateful for. Did you have clean drinking water today? Food in your refrigerator?
Consciously considering the things you’re grateful for can make the negative seem smaller and less overwhelming. Time spent wishing for what you don’t have is wasted. Time spent appreciating the present pays dividends.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Simple Sequence To Open Your Heart To New Possibilities

June 21st was the Summer Solstice, making it the perfect time to head out into your nearest green space, breathe deep and get your asana on. It's also the first ever International Day of Yoga, recognized by the United Nations.

Here are six simple poses to open your heart to new possibilities, ground and connect you to the present moment, and help you consider what you’re cultivating in your life, both on and off the mat.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) With Anjali Mudra

Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your feet hips-width apart. Consciously root down through the soles of your feet, feeling the connection between your feet, the mat, and the earth beneath you. Bring your hands to your heart in a prayer — Anjali Mudra. Set an intention.

Tadasana With Padma Mudra

Press your thumbs and pinky fingers together and open your other fingers into Padma Mudra. This is the mudra of receptivity. Take 3 cycles of deep, conscious breath here, and breath your intention into your practice.

High Lunge, Crescent Variation (Alanasana)

Bend your knees and shift your weight into the left leg. Step the right foot back to and bend into your left knee, stacking it over your ankle. Press back through your right heel.

Keep your shoulders over your hips and your weight centered. Find a sense of connection and strength as you raise your arms to frame your ears.

High Lunge With Padma Mudra

Bring your palms to Anjali Mudra, take a breath. Open your palms to Padma Mudra, and take another deep cycle of breath, consciously breathing into your intention.

Connect again to the energy of growth and receiving, and take 5 breaths here. Bring your palms back to Anjali Mudra at your heart. 

Step forward to Tadasana and repeat on the other side.

Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana) Variation

Hinge forward from the hips and lower to Low Lunge, bringing your palms on the mat. You can lower your back knee down if you choose. Keep the front knee over the ankle and stretch your arms forward to flip your palms toward the sky, knuckles down on the mat.

Think of something that no longer serves you in a positive way and decide to consciously let it go. Breathe it out through three rounds of Lion’s Breath.

Flip your palms and bring them under your shoulders. Step back to a high plank. Step the left foot forward and repeat on this side.

Child's Pose (Balasana)

Lower to your knees, bringing the toes together and knees wider than the hips. Stretch the arms out with the palms facing the sky. Bring the hands toward each other in a gesture of receiving. 

Connect to your intention and consciously acknowledge that you are ready to receive it. Take 3 breaths here. 

When you are ready, slowly transition to lay down on your back. As you rest in Savasana, bring one palm to your belly and the other to your heart. Remember the importance of rest for growth. 

Turn to the wisdom of nature and meditate on this quote by Roman poet, Ovid: “Take rest, for rested fields yield beautiful crops.”

Friday, June 26, 2015

3 Buddhist Beliefs that will make you happier

You don't have to practice yoga or follow an Ayurvedic diet to benefit from Buddhist ideas (but if you do, more power to you). 

So whether or not you think about balancing your dosha, here are three powerful elements of Buddhist philosophy, "The Noble Truths," and how you can incorporate them into every day. They might just change your life...
1. Dukkha: Life is painful and causes suffering.
Many people might say that Buddhism is pessimistic or negative. This is a common result of learning that one of the Noble Truths is translated as "Life is suffering." But there's more to this statement. It's not just telling us, "Life is tough, so deal with it." So what is it telling us?
We actually can create more suffering in our lives by trying to avoid or suppress difficult emotions. Yes, our lives are inevitably punctuated with various unpleasant feelings: loss, sadness, fatigue, boredom, anxiety appear and reappear during our lives.
But attaching or clinging to particular expectations, material items, and states of being is often a cause for acute frustration, disappointment, and other forms of pain. So rather than fear our suffering or seek an ultimate resolution to it (and become frustrated by our lack of finding one), we can learn simply to recognize our suffering.
How we can use this belief every day: Try not to buy into the idea that you're broken. Expect that death, aging, sickness, suffering, and loss are part of life. Practice acceptance in the face of strife. Stop attaching to the idea that life should be easy and pain free, both emotionally and physically. This is a misconception made popular by the fashion, beauty, and pharmaceutical industries.
Illness, heartbreak, loss, disappointment, and frustration are parts of life that can be mitigated by practicing "non-attachment." Try to embrace imperfection, to let go of this belief that life should be a certain way. Open your heart to uncertainty.
2. Anitya: Life is in constant flux.
Anitya or "impermanence" means that life as we know it is in constant flux. We can never access the moment that just passed, nor can we ever replicate it. As each day passes, our cells are different, our thoughts develop, the temperature and air quality shifts. Everything around us is different. Always.
When we are feeling especially uncomfortable, the concept of impermanence can be, paradoxically, comforting. In other words: if nothing is permanent, we know our pain will pass. But when we are experiencing joy, the idea of impermanence can be incredibly fear-inducing.
If we accept the idea of impermanence at face-value, it can be incredibly liberating. In the West, about 100 years after the Buddha expressed this idea, Greek philosopher Heraclitus mirrored the belief when he famously said, "You can never step in the same river twice." All we have is the present moment.
How we can use it in our everyday lives: Celebrate the idea of change. Accept that everything is constantly changing. It's kind of amazing, when you just think about it! And even when the idea of impermanence might feel scary, it helps us appreciate everything we are experiencing in the present: our relationships, body, mood, health, the weather, our favorite shoes, our jobs, our youth, our minds. So let's savor those moments we do enjoy and know that the ones we don't enjoy will pass.
3. Anatma: The self is always changing.
When I ask clients what they want to get out of therapy, they commonly answer, "I want to find myself." Our culture has led us to believe there's a concrete, constant "self" tucked away somewhere in us. Is it between our heart and liver? Or somewhere unknown in our brain? Who knows!
Buddhism, however, assumes there is no fixed, stable "self." In line with Anitya (impermanence), our cells, memories, thoughts, and personal narratives — all of the "matter" that ultimately comprises our identities — change over time.
Sure, we all have personalities (though they can change over time). We have names, and jobs, and other titles that we use to identify ourselves, to feel a sense of "self."
But the idea of a constant self is yet another story our culture has told us. It is a story we can change, and thereby accept the idea that we ourselves can change — at any time, in any place. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, "Thanks to impermanence, anything is possible."
How we can use it in our everyday life: Instead of focusing on "finding ourselves," we ought to focus on creating the self we wish to be at every moment. It's possible for us to be, and feel, different today than we were and felt yesterday. Being depressed today doesn't mean we'll be depressed forever. We can forgive others. We can forgive ourselves.
Once we let go of our attachment to the idea of the constant "self," we can rest more comfortably with the constant change present in all of life. In each new moment, we ourselves are new.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Garden update & harvest 6/24/15

6/24/15 - Picking a strawberry
 6/24/15 - 2nd row - Gold Berries tomatoes, Beats, Cucumber and lettuce
 6/24/15 - Beats, Cucumber, lettuce, Zucchini, Chinese Michihili cabbage and bok choy
 6/24/15 - Dino kale, Swiss chard and Giant Szegedi sweet pepper
 6/24/15 - Sugar Snap peas
 6/24/15 - Cossack ground cherry tomato
 6/24/15 - Red Russian Kale
 6/24/15 - Lettuce and Red onions
 6/24/15 - Red onions, Curled Scotch kale and Swiss Chard
 6/24/15 - Zucchini and lettuce
 6/24/15 - Tokyo Long White Bunch Onion and tomoatoes
 6/24/15 - Cucumbers in the middle, Beats on the left, lettuce under the covers on the right, and Gold berries tomoato at the back
 6/24/15 - Giant Szegedi sweet pepper
 6/24/15 - Giant Szegedi sweet pepper
 6/24/15 - Basil
 6/24/15 - Today's harvest - Tokyo Long White Bunch Onion, Curled Scotch kale, Sugar snap peas, Chinese Michihili cabbage, and Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard
 6/24/15 - Today's harvest - Tokyo Long White Bunch Onion, Curled Scotch kale, Sugar snap peas, Chinese Michihili cabbage, and Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard
 6/24/15 - Chinese Michihili cabbage
 6/24/15 - Tokyo Long White Bunch Onion
 6/24/15 - Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard
6/24/15 - Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

14 Collective Reason To Use Epsom Salt Daily As Medicine


Epsom salt is basically crystals of magnesium sulfate. Epsom salt has many uses, from health and beauty to household cleaning and organic gardening. This web page focuses on the medical uses of Epsom salt.

Although there is a great deal of historical and anecdotal information on the medical uses of Epsom salt, little human research has been published. It is known that soaking in Epsom salt leads to absorption of magnesium and sulfate into the bloodstream. Topical use of Epsom salt, or soaking with Epsom salt also acts as a drying agent for the skin which can be used to benefit certain skin and nail 

14 Collective Reason To Use Epsom Salt Daily As Medicine

Mosquito bites
Epsom salt can ease the symptoms of mosquito bites. Make a compress by soaking a washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (2 tablespoons per cup of water), then gently apply to the bite area. This is yet another one of my favorite Epsom salt uses.

Relieve constipation
Pour 8 oz. of drinking water into a glass, mix with 1 to 2 tsp. of Epsom salt and drink the mixture for immediate relief of constipation. Mixing directions are also found on most Epsom salt packages, consult your physician before trying this.

Sore muscles and arthritis
If your muscles or joints ache, an Epsom salt bath is a great way to find relief. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your very-warm bath water, agitate the water with your hands to dissolve it then soak for 15 minutes.

Facial scrub
This is one of my favorite Epsom salt uses. Mix 1/2 tsp of Epsom salt with your favorite cleanser; massage into skin using small circles to give your pores a deep-cleaning. Rinse your face with cool water, pat dry. This is one of the most refreshing Epsom salt uses!

Epsom salt can assist in eliminating toxins from the body. The magnesium in Epsom salt is required for detoxifying cells. It also helps detox the body of environmental contaminants that can potentially cause ill health.

Treats Sunburn
Epsom salt is very soothing for sunburned skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties alleviate mild sunburn irritation like itchiness and pain. It can even help maintain an even skin tone.

Regulate Blood Sugar
Research indicates that raising magnesium levels can promote a healthy heart by improving circulation and lowering blood pressure. It also improves the body’s capacity to use insulin. Magnesium is necessary to sustain calcium levels in the blood.

Pest control
If you have lawn pests and you’re looking for natural insect control, consider turning to Epsom salt. A spray solution on the lawn can control insects without damaging the grass, and it’s totally nontoxic. Sprinkle some dry Epsom salt to deter slugs and snails.

Soothe Bug Bites
Dissolve 1/4 cup of Epsom salts in a cup of warm water. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator. Apply 

with a cotton ball to bug bites to soothe pain and itching.
Improves Digestion
Epsom salt assists in the elimination of harmful toxins and waste products from the body and the digestive system. It also works as a laxative to soften stools, making them easier to pass, and can be used to treat constipation.

Remedy for colds and flu
Take a hot bath with Epsom salts when you feel you’re catching a cold as it helps the body to fight infection more easily and recover faster.

Improves nerve function
By regulating electrolytes. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood

Draw out infection
For simple infections on hands or feet, soak in a hot Epsom salt bath for 10 minutes to help clear the area. Note, some staph infections are worsened by soaking in hot water, consult your physician.

Removes feet odor
Keep your feet in warm water with Epsom salts to get rid of odor, pain or heavy legs feeling. Do it for 15-20 minutes as it improves blood circulation, reduce inflammation and soften skin.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Garden update & harvest 6/21/15

 6/21/15 - My ground cherry tomatoes went from tall and spindly to pushing out at the top and finally doing what they do best, grow low to the ground.
  6/21/15 -Today's harvest...a lot of Curly kale and Swiss Chard
 6/21/15 - I'm absolutely loving the Swiss Chard this year!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Castor oil is great for thickening and regrowing hair, eyelashes and eyebrows


Castor oil is often overlooked for its benefits for the skin and hair because of its extremely thick and sticky consistency.  However, if you’re looking for a cheap, natural remedy for several common skin and hair complaints, then castor oil is definitely worth your time.

Castor oil for regrowing and thickening hair, eyelashes and eyebrows

I first stumbled on castor oil as a remedy for regrowing thin eyebrows. I had over-plucked my brows back in the nineties when it was the hip thing to have pencil thin brows, and they never did quite recover.  It became necessary for me to pencil in the “bald” spots and I missed the natural look of real hair where these spots were missing.

I read about castor oil as a remedy for thinning brows and hair, and thought I’d try it. I bought a hexane free, organic and cold pressed castor oil and started applying it to my eyebrows every night after washing my face.  After about three months, I noticed my brows were noticeably thicker (and they seemed to be growing in darker as well), and attributed it to the nightly application of castor oil.
I’m not the only one that this has worked for.  So, why would castor oil help you regrow hair – both on your head and the other two important places, the eyebrows and the eyelashes.

Castor oil is high in ricinoleic acid.  This acid is a very effective natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent.  This can help keep any fungus or bacteria from inhibiting hair growth.  Since the oil is also very thick, it may help to prevent hair loss simply by helping to coat the hair and protect it from falling out.

Castor oil is also high in omega 9 fatty acids, which are nourishing to both the hair and the follicle, as well as the surrounding skin.  Castor oil has a unique ability to be deeply penetrating, and this helps it to deliver its nourishment deeply into the pores and the follicles that produce hair.
It also has a high gloss, so it lends a lush glossiness and shine to the hair. A little goes a long way, and it is best to only add a tiny bit to the very ends of your hair instead of putting it up near the scalp if you’re just looking for a natural hair smoother.

Simply put about two drops on your hands and rub, then smooth through the ends.  If you use too much, there is a fine line between subtle shine and a heavy greasiness so go very light until you figure out the amount that works right for your hair type.

If you’re looking to regrow the hair on your head, you can use castor oil as a scalp treatment. However it can be tricky to get on the scalp without thinning it out with a lighter oil. You can add some melted coconut oil, apricot kernel oil or another lighter oil to help get it spreadable enough.
If you’re simply looking to help thicken hair that is thinning at the edges of your hairline, you can use pure castor oil, with a light hand of course.  Another use is to apply the oil to eyelashes to help thicken and strengthen them, as well as to help prevent thinning and shedding.


Castor oil for scar tissue reduction and shiny, smooth lips

Many attest to the wonders castor oil offers for keloid types of scars and other scars that involve a lot of hardened scar tissue.  This is presumably due to its ability for deep penetration through multiple skin layers.

Because castor oil softens the skin so much, the thought is that this softening helps to break down deep scar tissue so it may be smoothed out.  In addition, castor oil has shown promise as a white blood cell stimulating agent.  Studies have also shown that castor bean oil helps reduce the inflammatory response in subcutaneous tissue.  This may be why it seems to speed wound healing, and may also contribute to its ability to reduce scarring more quickly.
Castor oil is also excellent for the lips.  Our lips needs constant protection against the elements. Although our lips regenerate and recover quickly, they also dry out and begin to peel when they are dehydrated.

Castor oil not only smooths the lips with fatty acids, but it also helps protect them due to its naturally thick and immovable nature. In other words, it doesn’t budge without being wiped off. It also imparts a natural shine to the lips, which makes it ideal for both improving the appearance and health of the lips.

Danna Norek is the founder of AuraSensory.com, which offers a line of natural body, skin and hair care products. The Herb Mint Citrus lip balm uses castor oil as one of the primary ingredients to add shine, moisture and protection to the lips (all naturally flavored).  Line also includes a Natural Shine Enhancing Shampoo (sulfate free), Deep Hydration Conditioner, natural deodorant and a popular MSM and Vitamin C Face Cream.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5 Non-Toxic Natural oils That Act As A Sunscreen Layer

UV Natural Protection

If you’re looking to wear plan oil as your sunscreen of choice, I have some options below, in order of their sun protection value (raspberry, despite having lower SPF than carrot seed comes first because it takes care of UVA & UVB rays). Please have a look at the cautions at the bottom of this page before rushing out the store to buy oils.

These oils are not meant to screen out the majority of the sun’s rays, and probably shouldn’t be considered as an all-day, intense sunlight protection for prolonged periods in the sun, they certainly can provide a level of protection without all the other unwanted ingredients for reasonable periods of time in the sun. Further, they will allow some of the sun’s rays to reach your skin so that you may manufacture the all too important vitamin D. They have another bonus too, many of them will leave you with baby soft, healthy skin – and most also contain other skin-friendly vitamins, fatty acids and other nutrients and antioxidants.

5 Non-Toxic Natural oils that act as a sunscreen

Carrot Seed Oil
This rich oil is one of nature’s best skin guarding oils, providing a level of protection from the sun that matches high end commercial sunscreen products. Carrot seed oil is very concentrated and should be mixed with a carrier oil to create a highly effective natural sunscreen that can be used on a daily basis.

Coconut Oil
Inexpensive, easy to find and sweet smelling, coconut oil is a staple skin care products of traditional tropical societies all over the world. Worn when going out in the sun it provides a moderate level of protection against the sun’s rays.

Almond Oil
The golden oil of this delicious nut is another common and easy to find oil that makes a great light natural sunscreen. The same study mentioned above found that almond oil provides a natural protection level of SPF 6, on par with many suntan lotions sold commercially.

Red raspberry oil
Red raspberry oil is another one that has a relatively high SPF, clocking in at an estimated SPF of 30-50. Not only does this oil have a high UV protective factor, it also is used for cosmetic and beauty purposes as a highly emollient addition to skin care products. It is high in vitamin E, which is very healing and repairing for the skin, and also is a highly stable oil, meaning it is resistant to spoilage.

Wheatgerm oil
Wheatgerm oil is the third best natural oil in terms of SPF. It gives the skin Vitamin E and a boost of natural antioxidants that repairs cell damage. Wheat germ oil is primarily known as an excellent source of vitamin E, which has multiple benefits for the skin. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, so it helps to prevent or even somewhat reverse UV damage. The high antioxidant value of the oil is one of the reasons it is also taken internally for a variety of health benefits.

Other oils with natural sunscreen
Macadamia Oil – SPF 6
Non-GMO Soybean Oil – SPF 10
Avocado Oil – 4 – 10
Olive Oil – 2-8
Shea Butter – 3 – 6
Almond Oil – SPF 5
Sesame Seed Oil – SPF 4
Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6
Jojoba Oil – SPF 4
Coconut Oil – SPF 2 – 8

Homemade Sunscreen Oil Recipe
You can also just create an oil to put on your skin.
1/2 cup fractionated coconut oil (doesn’t harden below 76 degrees F)
10 drops myrrh essential oil (add up to 40 drops for higher SPF)
5 drops carrot seed essential oil
Combine all ingredients and keep in amber jar (to help preserve oils). Apply over all exposed skin. Reapply often.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How To Get Some Sunshine (But Still Protect Your Skin)


We’ve been told for decades that we need to slather ourselves with sunscreen all day long — whether it’s sunny or cloudy, winter or summer — in order to protect ourselves from the damages and health risks imposed by the sun.

We need sunshine to survive, but somehow we've made it the villain and declared ourselves helpless victims.

The problem is that this sunscreen obsession isn’t helping. Not only are we scrubbing toxic chemicals into one of our largest and most sensitive organs (our skin), but wearing sunscreen hasn’t reduced skin cancer cases. In fact, melanoma rates have tripled since the 1970s. 

We need sunshine to survive, but somehow we've made it the villain and declared ourselves helpless victims.

The sun is our primary source of vitamin D, an important vitamin that strengthens our bone health, helps balance our hormones, boosts our immune system and nourishes brain function. But when we apply sunscreen, we block the sun’s rays and subsequently, the production of vitamin D in our bodies. Sad, no? 

So what’s a sun-loving, vitamin D-craving gal or guy to do? I’m a sun baby myself and I certainly won’t be holed up inside this summer, nor will I be dancing in the rays wearing oxybenzone-laden sunscreens (a chemical commonly used in sunscreens that actually becomes carcinogenic when heated. Yes. Heated, like by the sun!). 

With these simple tips, you can protect yourself from toxic sunscreen chemicals and reap the sun’s benefits at the same time! 

1. Get your sunshine during off-peak hours.

The sun can cause the most damage when it’s high in the sky: anywhere from 10am to 4pm., but that may differ slightly depending on where you live. 

Stick to the sunshine early in the morning or later in the day, with one little caveat: spend 10-15 minutes in the sun during peak hours to get your daily dose of vitamin D. This is all the time you need to grab your essential amount of vitamin D. 

2. Don't wash off the vitamin D.

Vitamin D is formed on the surface of your skin when it's exposed to UVB rays from the sun, but that vitamin D doesn't sink in right away — it can take up to 48 hours to absorb the majority of it. But at the end of a sunny day, most of us are in the shower scrubbing off the sunscreen, sweat and sand ... and sending all that lovely vitamin D down the drain. 

I'm not telling you to stop showering, but try to rinse your body in the shower with just water if you can. Limit your soap usage to just your pits and your bits. 

3. Eat your sunscreen.

UV radiation increases free radicals in our bodies. And what counteracts free radicals? Antioxidants! Boost your consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like berries, leafy greens, walnuts, hemp seeds, black beans, bell peppers, carrots, green tea, raw cacao, garlic and salmon. 

There’s a reason nature offers us such a beautiful bounty of foods like berries in the summertime. Sure, they're delicious, but they'll also help us boost our consumption of important free radical-fighters

4. Avoid sunburns and cover up.

Wearing sunscreen lulls us into a false sense of protection. We believe we can frolic through the surf for hours in tiny bikinis and we’ll be 100% shielded from the sun. This is how sunburns happen, people! 

No one wants to end up looking like a leather handbag. Don’t spend too much time in the sun all at once, and wear lightweight clothing that'll allow you to cover your skin and still beat the heat. 

5. Make your own natural sunscreen.

If you feel naked or uncomfortable going without sunscreen, try making a homemade version instead. Add some zinc oxide to batch of DIY sunscreen to help deflect the sun from your skin. 

Remember to include nourishing fats like almond oil and shea butter will keep your skin supple and smooth, and toss in some lovely essential oils to smell sweet.
By using these sun protection strategies, you can get the essential sun nutrients that will ultimately benefit your health and well-being.