D.I.Y. Sunscreen Recipe (Sensitive Skin Friendly)

With the warmer seasons quickly approaching we have to make sure that we stay on top of our skin care.  As bad as we can’t wait for fun in the sun let’s not forget that the hot summer sun is anxiously awaiting to beam on us and potentially burn us. And although you may think you don’t need sunscreen…you do! Black, white, Mexican, Indian, Asian, it doesn’t matter honestly because your skin can and will dry out with too much exposure to the suns uv rays and not enough moisture. So allow me to introduce my d.i.y. sunscreen recipe filled with  nothing but nature’s goodness. Take the time out to prep your skin by applying something natural to enhance that natural glow that the sun is waiting to gift us with. Take a peak below to view the step by step and ingredient list to the recipe I created. A simple, all natural, homemade sunscreen that smells amazing, is sensitive skin friendly, and guaranteed to keep your skin healthy, moisturized and smooth all spring/summer long!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil (unrefined)

2 tablespoons zinc oxide

1/8 cup beeswax (can substitute with candelilla wax if allergic but use half 1/8)

1/2 cup almond or olive oil (feel free to infuse with herbs first if desired)

1 teaspoon red raspberry seed oil (optional)

1 teaspoon carrot seed oil (optional)

2 tablespoons shea butter, natural SPF 4-5 (optional)

2-3 drops of vanilla extract essential oil or other natural extracts to suit your preference

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a 1/6 cups of water and place over medium heat.
  3. Loosely adjust the lid on the jar and place it in the pan with the pan with water.
  4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Stir occasionally to mix them.
  5. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage.
  6. Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is mixed in well.
  7. Store at room temperature

Please note that this sunscreen is not waterproof and will need to be reapplied after. Discard after 6 months.

3 Easy & Fulfilling Plant-based Lunch/Dinner Ideas

I’m back with some more bomb plant-based recipes! Eating is about allowing your tastebuds to explore and enjoy different cuisines and flavors. There’s way too many recipes waiting to be created, on top of the millions already out there. Nothing beats a home cooked meal and when it’s filled with natures garden not only does it satisfy your tastebuds but your body benefits as well! Take a step into the kitchen with me and get started with some fresh ideas that your tastebuds have been waiting for. With all the flavor packed ideas I have coming your way I am more than positive that I can make you forget all about consuming animal products. Let’s create healthy habits and eat to live!

Tikka Masala—- Hands down one of my favorite meals! This Indian cuisine will have leave you wondering why you never tried it before. Chunky veggies covered in a tomato-y, savory, creamy sauce that’s slightly sweet but also packed with lots of spices and herbs on top of steamed rice with side of naan bread…I can’t even think of a word to describe this meal!

Veggie Spring Rolls & Sweet & Sour Soup—- Spring Rolls and sweet-spicy soup are my   go-to! Perfect as a snack, lunch or dinner. The light crispy crunch of well seasoned stir-fried veggies wrapped in a thin flaky crust along the side of some hot, fresh hot and sour soup…yum!

Falafel Wrap & Fries—- Falafel by it’s self is already good, but dressed up with some veggies, tahini sauce, stuffed in a warm pita wrap with a side of fries (sweet or regular)…ah-maz-ing! Deep fried (can also be baked) patties made from chickpeas mixed with scallions, red onions, parsley, cumin, garlic, etc. The scrumptious combination of herbs and spices topped with a tangy creamy tahini sauce is unmatched!

Click the link below for full recipes:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kyGhrLiS1uJzKAQwStDvxZevcPN8f1-Yrwy6v6PVf3Q/edit?usp=sharing

P.S.: Tell your tastebuds I said you’re welcome!

 

D.I.Y. Lemon Lime Pink Salt Face & Body Scrub

Nothing’s more refreshing than exfoliating, it literally feels like you’re washing all of your sins away! Scrubbing away old dead skin cells, smoothing out your top layer of skin, and receiving a rejuvenating glow, all sounds like wins to me. Now imagine all of that plus the citrusy smell of lemon & lime, the soft yet even roughness of Himalayan pink salt crystals, silky smooth olive oil, and the sweet succulent smell of fresh honey all mixed together anxiously awaiting to make you feel brand new 😏. Oh and did I mention that it’s incredibly simple to make, includes natural, inexpensive ingredients, and that it will be easy store away and preserve? Very tempting right? If so just follow my D.I.Y. ingredient and instruction list below, and get to exfoliating and showing your beautiful skin some loving!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pink salt (aka Himalayan rock salt)
  • 1/4 cup of your choice of oil* (I use olive oil)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp of honey

Instructions: 3-4 uses

  1. Measure out salt into a medium sized plastic tupperware style bowl
  2. Squeeze the juice from one fresh lemon and one fresh lime on top of the salt in the bowl
  3. Scoop in the 3 tbsps of honey
  4. Add the oil of your choice and mix all the ingredients together
  5. Let the scrub settle in a cool environment for 25 minutes before using
  6. Apply scrub to a freshly washed face or if using on body in the shower in bath wash your skin before applying for best results
  7. Rub scrub into skin soft in a circular motion for a few minutes
  8. Rinse with lukewarm/cool water
  9. Pat dry skin afterward to avoid irritation
  10. Moisturize skin with shea butter or an oil of choice

 

Storage: Place lid on bowl and store in a dark cool place until next use. Be sure to discard after 30 days.

D.I.Y. Black Charcoal Mask

Black charcoal masks are the internets latest skin-care trend, but when I tell you that they really live up to the hype please believe me! Unless you’ve been lost in the Himalayas there’s no way you haven’t seen a picture or a video involving the infamous black charcoal facial mask. These trendy masks are known for giving your skin an instant glow and detoxing your top layers of skin but, the benefits go wayyy beyond just a little glow. Black charcoal masks help to remove acne-causing dirt that gets clogged in your pores, they exfoliate the skin (removing old dead skin cells when you peel it off), and they also regulate and balance oil secretion of your skin. They are very vital to my personal skin care regime, so much so that I’ve created my own version of black charcoal masks. My version is fresh, 100% natural, it’s also fun and easy to make! Sure you can go out and buy a pack of it already made but you never know how long it’s been sitting on that shelf & don’t forget about all the extra ingredients they include to extend that shelf life. Now I don’t know about you but I’d rather fully know what I’m putting both on and in my body. If I can’t read the ingredients 9/10 I will not purchase it lol. But anyway below you will find my ingredient list along with instructions on how to make and use the mask and also how to preserve the leftovers!

Ingredients:

Activated charcoal powder (1 teaspoon per mask you plan to make), Aztec or bentonite clay (1 teaspoon per mask you plan to make), one pinch of baking soda (one pinch per mak you plan to make), apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon per mask you plan to make), coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon per mask you plan to make)

How to make the masks:

  1. In a medium bowl (glass preferably) mix in charcoal powder and baking soda
  2. Pour in ACV and oil, mix together well
  3. Mix in clay
  4. Mix for about 60 seconds
  5. Let mask settle and thicken

How to apply to the masks:

  1. Wash hands and fash (use a gentle soap-free cleanser)
  2. Pat face dry
  3. Apply mask by even spreading it all over your face (be careful to avoid eyebrows and hairline)
  4. Allow mask to dry and tighten (15-20 mins)
  5. Start peeling the mask off (upwards) at lower cheek or jawline
  6. Wipe face with a lukewarm rag to remove leftover particles
  7. Pat face dry
  8. Moisturize face

How to preserve the masks:

If you have leftovers scoop them into a ziplock bag and put them in the refrigerator. Can’t be kept in fresh for up to 3 weeks. If the mask is too thick, add a 1/2 teaspoon of lukewarm water and squish around until it softens to desired texture.

SN: These masks can be a great way to bond with your spouse, family, or friends, having a spa or self-care day at home! Make the masks together, apply them together, laugh at how silly you look, laugh at the screams and looks on each other faces when taking them off (won’t lie sometimes they get super tight and hard to peel off…haha),  just enjoy a nice simple time with those that you love! Oh and don’t forget to moisturize afterward 🙂

Improving Your Flexibility & Balance

Life is all about flexibility and balance, both literally and physically. Without balance you will notice that your life can quickly become uncomfortable, frustrating and can even be deemed undesirable. And without mastering the skill of flexibility you can kiss progression goodbye, these days you have to be comfortable with “stretching” yourself, that is if success if a goal of yours. Just as you need flexibility and balance in your life to keep things going smoothly the same goes for your body.  Balance and flexibility, in my opinion, are very underrated principles of everyday life. We often overlook how without balance we wouldn’t be able to walk upright or prevent injury (falling, breaking or spraining bones, etc). Flexibility is also an overlooked but very important factor in everyday mobility. Improving your flexibility not only helps to relieve stress and tension but it also prevents injuries. Continuous neglect of stretching out your muscle will cause them to tighten, making it harder for your body to function normally. When’s the last time you stretched? When’s the last time you focused on your coordination? If you have to really think about those then chances are you could use some guidance in improving both of those. Don’t wait until you rip a muscle or randomly find yourself off balance and falling over. Stay ahead of the game, taking proper care of your body is about prevention, not treatment or solution. Allow me to give you a few tips on how to your flexibility and balance (attempt daily for better results).

Improving your balance:

  1. Walking head to toe- Simply stand straight up facing north with your shoulders up, breathe in, breathe out, place the right leg in front of the left, and repeat for 20-30 steps.
  2. Standing on one leg- Periodically throughout your day (2-4 times a day) stand straight, stretch and elongate your back, straighten and tighten your legs, lift left or right leg and hold pose for at least 15-30 seconds, lower leg repeat with opposite leg.
  3. Hip marching- Sit in a chair with your back touching the back of the chair, place your hands on your legs then slowly lift your left leg straight up (leave your knee bent), then hold for 5 seconds, then place your foot to the floor and repeat with the other leg.

Improving your flexibility:

  1. Standing hamstring stretch- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees, arms by your sides, bend hips forward, lower your head toward the floor, relax head, neck and shoulders, then wrap your arms around backs of your legs and hold for 45-60 seconds (stretches neck, back, butt, hamstrings & calves)
  2. Frog stretch- Start on all fours, slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart, shift your hips back toward your heels, move from your hands to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, hold for 60 seconds and repeat. (stretches hips/groin & lower back)
  3. Butterfly stretch- Sit tall on the floor with the soles of your feet together,  bend knees out to sides, hold onto your ankles, lightly squeeze abs, and slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees toward the floor, then simply press your knees down, hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. (stretches thighs, hips, entire back, & butt)

Delicious Recipes At Your Fingertips: The Food Monster App

The Food Monster App is the perfect app for beginners looking to transition into the plant-based lifestyle. With over 15,000 delicious plant-based, gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes and counting you will never run out of meals to cook! The recipes themselves are personally crafted, created, and approved by the team of http://www.OneGreenPlanet.org. If you haven’t heard of OneGreenPlanet they are a team of amazing individuals that are helping to save the planet in countless ways. Their website is filled with knowledgable and interesting information revolving around lifestyle wellness, the well being of animals, and worldwide news regarding what’s currently going on with planet Earth. The co-founders Nil Zacharias and Preeta Sinha of OneGreenPlanet came together and launched the Food Monster application in 2015 and it has been flourishing greatly since then. Food Monster is now considered the largest plant-based food app in the market and it’s absolutely free in both the iTunes and Google Play stores unlike most of its’ competition. The Food Monster App has saved the day for me so many times and although I love being creative with cooking, sometimes I run out of ideas or I just want to try something new. And that’s when I simply pick up my phone and browse through the thousands of recipes located on this wonderful application! The website and the app are both fantastic resources for beginners and even veterans in this plant-based lifestyle. So if you’re looking for a little help and guidance on your journey make sure you download the app today or visit OneGreenPlanter.org. To learn more about the founders of this organization and all of the incredible information they have to offer they can be found on twitter at @NilZach and @PreeTweet, on Facebook @OneGreenPlanet, and of course on their website!

#EatForThePlanet

4 Beginner Yoga Poses and Their Benefits

The practice of yoga has many benefits such as elevating mental, physical, and spiritual strengths. A consistent practice of yoga can increase focus and discipline skills, bring you inner peace, enhance flexibility, balance, and overall health. To some yoga may seem intimidating but I believe that’s because people think that they have to be already flexible, or strong or whatever prior thoughts they have about yoga when that’s not the case at all. There are different types of yoga ranging from easy to advanced so please understand that you will work your way up to all the “cooler” poses. We all have to start somewhere so, start slow, keep an open mind, and remember that you have to practice to get results! Below you will find 4 beginner yoga poses, and their benefits…enjoy!

1. Boat Pose – improves digestion and alleviate excessive gas, burns belly fat, strengthens arms, thighs, and shoulder muscles, regulates blood flow and helps to increase ability to focus. (attempt to hold pose for a minimum of 5 breaths)

2. Warrior Pose I– strengthens your leg, knee, and feet muscles, improves posture, stretches your spine and shoulders while also increasing focus and balance. (attempt to hold pose for a minimum of 10 breaths)

3. One Legged King Pigeon Pose- stretches the entire body, strengthens your spinal cord, relieves tension of tight hips, stimulates core muscles and organs, opens chest and shoulders allowing a better path for your airways. (attempt to hold pose for a minimum of 10 breaths)

4. Tree Pose– (best practiced in open air and sun light) strengthens your ankles and calves, elongates the body, improves balance, opens up your hip laterally and loosens the surrounding joints and muscles, decreases back pain and stress levels. (attempt to hold pose for a minimum of 10 breaths)

Practice these poses again and again until you can remain the pose comfortably and focus on your breathing without becoming unbalanced, distracted or shaky. Yoga is not something that has to be done every day, I recommend practicing poses 2-3 times a week to start off and slowly increase time and intensity!