Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fish-Free Omega-3's!

We will start by going back to the summer of 2011. I had just gone "plant powered" in January, and my anxiety was still at full tilt. It was then I discovered that the health insurance they made me get at school included mental health. I could talk to a psychologist at no extra cost! Yay! Though, in order to do that, I had to meet with a psychiatrist about medication. Though I insisted I didn't want any, I was told I had to speak with her at least once. After telling her all the changes I had done to my diet and lifestyle in order to get well she responded by saying, "that's nice, but you will NEED medication to get better being a vegan because there are no omega-3's in a vegan diet." A Harvard psychologist was telling me this. I just KNEW that there had to be plant based sources of omega-3s. I went home, looked it up, and behold I found that my hunch was spot on. (by continuing with a whole foods plant based diet relentless anxiety has since become a thing of the past).

She was right in saying that we need omega 3's for sound mental health. Our body needs omega-3's to build cell membranes in the brain, and keep things running smoothly up there. Since our bodies cant produce it, we must consume omega-3's via our diet. It is also essential in controlling blood clotting, protects against heart disease and stroke.

My top two EASY ways of consuming omega-3's every day is by either adding 2 tablespoons of organic ground flaxseed to my food OR consuming one vegetarian soft gel per day (pictured on the right). They are comparable in price. Personally, I think the flax may be my favorite because it is organic, and I already take a few vitamins (multi, iron and probiotic) so its one less pill to pop. Plus, I like the way it tastes on my salad. 

You can also get omega-3's eating chia seeds (great in smoothies), hemp seeds, nuts (especially *walnuts*), seeds, beans, olive oil, flax oil (this is what I did right after leaving the psychologist office) and organic tofu. 

Fish is not the only option! So, if you want to try something better tasting, and not potentially polluted with mercury or GMO harvested, give one of these plant based options a try.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Recommendation!

I love a good health book, even after four years of adopting a "plant powered" lifestyle I'm still always learning and being inspired. Especially living differently than the general population, and temptation to be swayed being everywhere. I love a good reminder. Helps keep me on course.

So, this is my most recent discovery- kept me up past 2 AM reading! I borrowed it from the library, but will buy my own copy so I can highlight and underline all over the place.

This book is just chuck full of amazing health lifestyle information- way past just apple cider vinegar. They speak about the importance of eating a healthy vegetarian diet, 70% raw fruits and vegetables, how incredibly healing fasting is, and to partake one day per week to keep our bodies at peak health, the vital importance of CLEAN water, both drinking and showering, and so much more. There are references to scientific studies, and historic figures who practiced these principles in their daily lives. Oh, and its only 100 pages long!

So, if your looking for an easy quick read that has a power punch of information I highly recommend flipping through this. Helpful to go into the new year on a healthful leg.

From page 85: "The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of human frame, in diet and the cause and prevention of disease" Thomas Edison


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Oil Pulling~How to REALLY Whiten Teeth - Naturally!

My little brother (Cavan) and me at the Red Sox
Oh goodness, its been I while since I posted anything! I feel neglectful....I will correct this immediately!

Bringing it back with something super simple and practical! How to whiten teethe, both effectively and naturally. When I first meet people one of the first things they comment on is my smile, and how white it is. I've been asked what my secret is, bleach? A special toothpaste? Nope, only super simple and natural for  me (though, in my late teens I did get those at home bleach kits, but those chemicals are so harsh on our teeth I will never use them again; Especially since there are natural alternatives).

First of all I BRUSH my teethe twice a day~ once in the morning, and once at night. At night I also floss. A dentist explained to me that it is most important to brush and floss at night because whatever food is left on our teethe has all night, while we are asleep, to wreak havoc on our teethe and gums.

I brush with a FLUORIDE FREE toothpaste, I am particularly fond of Tom's Of Maine's Peppermint toothpaste. Correct, no brushing with poison for me! (to read more about negative effects of fluoride here is a quick, to the point, read: 10 fluoride facts ).

For an extra WHITENING BOOST I sprinkle BAKING SODA on my toothpaste when I brush. Yep, that ingredient that's sitting in your pantry right now has amazing, natural, whitening powers.

To keep my overall oral health I OIL PULL every day for 20 minutes. First thing in the morning, before brushing, I put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around (size is approximate, do what feels good). When I first started I could only do 10 minutes, it felt strange, but now I do 20 like a champ (20 is the optimal time, to draw toxins out of our gums, and spit them out before they start to re-absorb). I oil pull while I do whatever needs to get done;  shower, clean up my room, tidy up the kitchen, etc. This process whitens teethe, kills off bad bacteria in our mouths, and draws toxins out of our bodies~ its a centuries old practice. Then, after you're done, spit it in the toilet (NOT in sink, it will clog drains).

That's it folks. The path to super simple, naturally, white teethe.


P.S. Also, sometimes its what we ABSTAIN from that keeps our teethe white, such as coffee and cigarettes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Acne Turned Out to be a Blessing

Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston Nov. 2014 -clear cheek baby!
"Acne" and "Blessing" are not two words I ever expected to pair together. In high school my skin was okay. I had some blemishes, but they weren't too terrible (though at the time it felt like the end of the world). I figured (and hoped and prayed!) that as I got older things would clear up and go away. In reality, my skin was getting WORSE as I got older. By the time I reached age 21, and things weren't getting better (and my anxiety was simultaneously getting worse) I was at wits end.

I had literally tried every conventional means to clear my skin, short of going on the birth control pill or taking accutane (though I was VERY tempted, ultimately I didn't want to go on meds- especially the pill, I'll write more about that another time). I mean every lotion, potion, "hair skin and nails" vitamin on the market I tried. Nothing helped.

Meanwhile my diet consisted of McDonald's french fries, McDonald milkshakes, chocolate, ice cream, chips, yogurt, I dont even remember specifically anymore, but I do know there were minimal (if any) fruits and veggies. But, I had read in the Proactive handbook that diet has no effect on our skin! So that didnt matter anyways (which I later learned is a load of hogwash).

Right after turning 22 I made drastic changes to my diet. I was already gluten free, and had been for years. At this point I got off of white sugar, for real this time. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I also stopped eating meat, dairy and eggs. Started leaning into fruits, vegetables and plant based foods and away from processed foods. These were my first staggering baby steps and since then I have evolved in so many ways. Physically, mentally, emotionally I am a completely different human being. I also have learned SO much about the healing (or poisonous) effect food has. Nothing has a greater impact on our lives than what we put in our mouths three times a day, every single day.

February 2013 -look at that cheek!
Which brings me to the whole acne being a blessing thing.

At one point in my journey I made the connection that the body is one whole until. We live in a society that treats every ailment separately. For high blood pressure there's one medication, for diabetes another, for erectile dysfunction another, and for depression another.  Always treating the symptoms rather than healing the problem. In reality if something is wrong with one aspect of our bodies, something is out of balance everywhere.

Acne is a blessing because it is a very clear signal to me that something is out of balance in my body. I never would have had the motivation to change what I feed myself if it hadn't been for initial vanity. It is a second blessing because when my body is overloaded with toxins (I'm making naughtier food choices) it works to get them out of my body ASAP (via my skin). There are people who are slim, have porcelain skin, and eat whatever they want. That doesn't mean that body is balanced and healthy. Illness festers where we cant see it, only to show up 10-15 years later after fully incubating.

So today I am still in progress to having that porcelain skin I have dreamed of.. I still get breakouts, but not as severely. Plus I usually know exactly the cause (PMS, a dairy consuming slip up, a few too many organic gluten free treats, etc).

The picture from 2013 you can see how agitated my cheek was. Though I wasnt eating animal products, I wasn't in a happy place in life, and remember eating more processed foods than I should have to cope.  The other picture was from last week, under bright museum lights. This is the exact photo angle that would have horrified me before (because I break out on my cheeks), and now is perfectly clear.

So I guess at the end of the day our "ailments" are our friends. Our bodies are always talking to us, and sending us feedback. If we listen, we can have a good, strong, happy and healthy run here.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Falling Off the Wagon

Here is the deal: whenever we are making a positive change in our lives chances are we will have some slip ups. Lets just accept that more likely than not its going to happen, so we can stop stressing about it. We will fall, slip, slide, jump off the wagon, until one day we don't anymore. My mom says she quit smoking many many many times, until she finally quit (15 years ago now). My sister "cut back on drinking" alcohol many times until she want cold turkey a year and a half ago now. I went "sugar free" for 5 years before actually getting off of white sugar for good. Whatever it is, cutting back on drinking, saving money, quitting smoking, eating more greens, giving up white sugar, going gluten free, exercising more, stepping away from drinking soda, etc, its going to be a bumpy ride.

I dont want to shock anyone here, but Im not perfect. My ideal diet is gluten free, no white sugar, vegan (no dairy, eggs or meat), plant based diet, rich in leafy green vegetables. Lifestyle wise I try to get at least 30 minutes of cardio in at least 5 days a weeks. I'm not a perfect vegan. If I'm out in a social setting, and eating options are limited, I will have a little dairy or eggs (meat, gluten and white sugar are where the line is firmly drawn). Though I have a bit of an internal moral battle over it, I try not to stress too hard. The problem for me is that dairy is fricken addictive. Once I have a little I want more (temptress that she is). There is a reason for this- dairy is meant to be addictive, so baby cows come back to their momma for more and more milk, so they will survive. Dairy and eggs aside, sometimes I find myself in a slide where Im eating more processed food, and hardly any vegetables are passing my lips. Or, I go days and days without any exercise.

So, what to do? Instead of focusing on what we DON'T want, its best to try  and  focus on adding in the good stuff. Instead of telling myself that I cant have that gluten free pizza, I say that I can have it AFTER I have an organic green salad/juice/smoothie. Instead of stressing about the big picture of my exercising laziness, I tell myself to go for a run or jump on the trampoline for just 20 minutes (20 minutes is better than nothing).

MOTIVATION is also really helpful for me. Watching one of my favorite plant based pioneers on YouTube talking about the health benefits of a plant based diet really helps to get my head back in the game.  Watching a video on how dairy cows are treated will bring tears to anyone's eyes, and keep me the hell away from dairy. The "fitness" page on pinterest has kicked my booty into gear on more than one occasion.

Alicia Silverstone on Vegan Diet (she is one of my go-to's for motivation!)

Taking a few simple steps, and keeping positive, is the key to getting back in the groove. The one thing that is not helpful is to beat ourselves up or shame ourselves. That only creates more negativity, and will stagnate us from making those positive moves.

Straight from the spiritual doctrine I study, A Course In Miracles, Jesus says that when we make a mistake to simply:

 "Choose Once Again."

<3 Kelly

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy AND Healthy Halloween

Let me start by saying that I completely and totally adore Halloween. I love everything about it. Costumes (how can I girl pick just one??), parties, creepy (but not gory) movies, carving pumpkins, toasting pumpkin seeds, transforming the house into a haunted house, parties, dancing, and did I mention costumes?

I realized that one thing I DONT associate with Halloween anymore is candy (I know, weird, right?). Just the thought of how much candy is being collected and consumed by children across the nation tonight makes me cringe a little.

This is coming from a girl that no Reeses Cup was safe around (I literally used one as a model for an art project in high school). I would judge how much I enjoyed reading a book by how much chocolate was smudged on the pages (if I enjoyed a book I would undoubtedly have a chocolate stash within arms reach). I mean, candy and I were inseparable.

Along with candy I also had anxiety and acne, and I could not for the life of me figure out why. Then, I started reading into the connection between sugar and anxiety/depression (Sugar Blues by William Dufty really opened my eyes). My mind was opened to life without the sweet confectioner.  At first it was fricken hard as hell; I fell off and on the wagon many many many times. Until one day it wasnt hard at all. I really realized this last night, dressed as Wonder Woman sitting at a bar, the bar tender handed me a bag of Halloween candy. I had had a drink, so if ever I was going to be tempted this would be the moment. Emotionally, it was the equivalent as if he had handed me a stack of napkins. The temptation literally just isn't there anymore. 

Im not at all saying to have a Halloween (or life) without treats, but I am saying there is always a healthier alternative. Part of what keeps me away from candy that you can pick up at CVS is that it is literally poison. More than sugar (which is enough in itself) are many many unmentionable ingredients. Just look at the wrapper and try to pronounce all of those words. Bad News.

It could be as simple as limiting how much candy is consumed. If typically we allow ourselves (or our children) an endless supply, pick a limit and stick to it. Throw everything else away. I bribe my eleven year old brother, I say if he hands over the trick or treat bag I will bring him to whole foods and load him up with treats there.

slice organic apples. blend coconut dates.
Which brings me to my next point- alternatives! Try something organic, not genetically modified, gluten free, etc. I think you may be surprised to find that it is MORE delicious then that synthetic stuff. Walk through the chocolate aisle at Whole Foods, they have amazingly scrumptious things over there.

Here's a super simple caramel apple recipe. Slice apples. Blend coconut dates in blender (add a little water if necessary) Voila! Maybe sprinkle some nuts, coconut shreds, or organic chocolate pieces if desired. I was really suspicious when my mom told me about this, but when she handed it over to try I became a believer!
Happy Halloween!!

Having a healthy body and peaceful mind are every reason to want a happy and healthy halloween for ourselves and loved ones!

Tonight, we fly!

<3 Kelly

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Food Isnt Everything

you are what you EAT and THINK
Food isn't everything. Dont get me wrong, it is super important and plays a BIG role in our overall health and well being (more than most of us realize). That said, it still isnt everything. Someone can do cardio for one hour a day, drink organic green juice for breakfast, eat an organic plant  based vegan diet with no processed foods, sugar, or gluten. They can oil pull, body brush, use all natural products and drink plenty of water every day. BUT, if their minds are out of whack, they wont have a sense of wellness, and are less likely to be healthy.

What we THINK has a HUGE impact on our health. Both physically and mentally. Years ago I read an article about how our THOUGHTS effect the PH in our bodies. Negative thoughts make our PH more acidic, while positive thoughts help to neutralize our PH. Our PH is vitally important because disease thrives in an acidic environment.  So even if we are eating super clean, and have amazing habits, our stinking thinking can literally be making us sick and unhappy.

Not only do studies show this, but you can see it by looking at someone. Ive seen those angry vegans; They eat healthy, exercise and DO all the right things, but I cant help but be repelled by them. They're all about being right, and making other people WRONG. They have an edge, and you can see it on them.

I certainly am nowhere near perfecting this, but I do my best to keep this in mind and improve on it. To not get caught up in going through the physical motions of health, while neglecting the people around me. In my everyday life to show up ready to give a hand or time to those around me. To watch how I am thinking about people, and if there is an edge catch and correct it ASAP. What does it matter if I ate a whole head of organic kale today if I come home, and blow off my eleven year old brother thinking I have more important things to be doing?

Clean eating is the first step to wellness, but as our bodies get cleared out from the sugar and chemical stimulants it become important to be mindful of how we are feeding our minds.

<3 Kelly

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jump to Lose Weight, Tone Up and Detoxify

Want to lose weight, tone up your body and detoxify? It is literally as simple as jumping on the trampoline (aka rebounder) for 20 minutes a day. That's pretty doable. I have read over and over that you can see drastic results in only 6 weeks of doing this consistently.

I was not particularly into jumping on the mini trampoline, I never really gave it much thought. Generally, I prefer to go for a run outside to get my cardio and fitness fix. Though, last winter, when it was so bitter freezing out I fell in love with this bouncy tool. I like to workout first thing in the morning, get my sweat on, then clean up and get on with my day. When its below freezing at 7 am (my usual running time) this is just not going to happen. So, I tried out jumping instead, and a whole new world opened up to me! (dont get me wrong, I still love running, but its nice to have multiple options in the morning).

So, whats so special about rebounding? (jumping on the trampoline). What makes it different than other forms of cardio?

1. Its fun! I have friends who HATE running (and cardio in general), who were so psyched when I turned them on to the mini trampoline.
2. Its low impact on our knees and other joints.
3. It stimulates our lymph system, which helps the body clean out toxins.
4. Oxygenates the bodies cells, disease cannot fester in an oxygen rich environment.
5. Improves elimination (if you know what I mean).
6. Tones the body.
7. Decreases body fat.
8. Dramatically improves (even eliminates) cellulite.
.....and more!
$38 Trampoline

When it comes to purchasing a rebounder some are better than others. There are rebounders that cost as much as $400, they're supposed to be very low impact, no springs, made in USA, super magical, etc. They can also be as inexpensive as $38 (follow the link below the picture- it has pretty good reviews too!). Personally I have an urban rebounder (purchase here), which is somewhere in the middle, and I have been very happy with it. 

Jumping is so quick, easy, fun and effective, whats not to love? Try it out for six weeks and see for yourself.

<3 Kelly

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

All About Maca

Maca belongs to the radish family. It is a root vegetable that is grown in Peru, and is often seen, and consumed, in powder form. People have raved about maca for thousands of years (dating back to ancient Inca!) because of its ability to boost energy, libido and balance moods.

What makes Maca different from other energy boosting products is that is does not tax the adrenal glands. It is able to work with the body in an effective, and sustainable, manner to improve endurance. It is also able to work with the body to balance its OWN hormones naturally (without the assistance of pharmaceuticals). It has been shown to be effective in helping women transition through menopause, improve menstrual cramps, boost fertility, balance mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, and put a little kick in the libido of both men and women.

Organic Maca
Maca is power packed with vitamins and minerals. It is loaded with vitamins B, C and E. There is a power house of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and amino acids. All of this makes it a great resource with those suffering from anemia, the iron helps restore red blood cells. The calcium keeps bones and teeth healthy. People have also seen an increase in muscle mass when consumed alongside an effective exercise regime. Individuals who suffer from acne have even seen their skin clear!

Personally, when I am on the ball, I take a teaspoon a day mixed into my daily smoothie. It can also be mixed in with juice, tea, water, sprinkled onto cereal, anything really. I have searched high and low for the best product (USDA Organic) at the best price (2 lbs for $18!), and I have posted a picture and link here (it is very popular so sometimes get back ordered).

Dont take my word for it, see for yourself what people have been raving about for thousands of years!

<3 Kelly

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cosmetics Are Toxic

Cosmetics being toxic is not something that really occurred to me before changing my diet. I just used my makeup, lotions and potions without giving it much thought. I totally bought into (literally) the advertisements, and was convinced that these products would make me beautiful.

Once I changed my diet, and started to see behind the curtain, I started having second thoughts about the products I was using. If we have been misled so greatly about the food, then why would the makeup be any different? What I uncovered is the vastness of the lie we are being sold.

First of all, the ingredients themselves are toe curling. Especially because 70% of what we put ON our skin gets absorbed into our bodies!  It can be a little overwhelming when we first look into it. These ingredients, found in products we use every day, lead to skin problems, fertility issues, birth defects, learning disabilities and even cancer. It's important to take a look at and understand which ingredients to avoid. Doesn't matter if it's in pretty pink wrapping, and Kate Moss is selling it; poison is poison no matter what form it is sold in. Below is a visual for some of the ingredients to avoid.

Secondly, the cruelty that animals go through to get us these prettily wrapped items is heartbreaking. They live their miserable lives strapped down getting burned and poked and prodded to get us that "just right" mascara. Personally, I do not want anything to do with an item if that's what went down in order to get it to me. If I buy that item, I am supporting these practices. I always look for a "no animal testing" label.

The big kicker of the whole thing is this toxicity and torture are completely unnecessary. Natural products, that are GOOD for us, and don't harm anyone are available, and just as effective (if not better!).  If your feeling overwhelmed just go one item at a time. We don't need to turn our lives upside down in one sweep. Personally I got natural replacements as items ran out. The first step is just knowing what is going on. It is important for us to be aware of the effects the little things we do every single day have on both ourselves and the world. It's these little things that make the biggest difference.

<3 Kelly

Monday, September 22, 2014

Basic Healthy Habit: Drinking Water

One of the simplest, most fundamental and basic things we can do for our health is to DRINK MORE (CLEAN) WATER. Our bodies are 60% water. More than HALF of our bodies are made up of water. It is so vitally important that we keep that supply fresh, and clean, so everything in our body can function properly. Its like letting oil in the car get low and gunky, the cars going to stop driving smoothly. Its the same thing that happens with out bodies when they don't have enough clean water.

In our bodies water helps to flush out toxins, allows the bodies cells to grow, reproduce and survive, lubricates joints, is a major component of most body parts, needed by the brain to make neurotransmitters and hormones, regulates body temperature (ie: sweating), acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal chord, central ingredient in digestion (converts food to components needed for survival), forms saliva and delivers oxygen to all parts of the body.

So basically, its really important. We want to be sure that we have plenty of it, and that we also have the good stuff. Stay away from water that has fluoride, lead, chlorine and other hard metals. My friend knew someone who works with the water pipes, and he said if you ever saw what they look like you would never drink water from your tap. Opt for a reverse osmosis filter that can filter out all the metals, or spring water from a reliable source.

Make sure you are drinking plenty, every day. Personally I aim for about 100 oz each day. I have a camelbak water bottle that I LOVE (heres a link) and if I drink three bottles full each day its 99 oz exactly. Drinking plenty of water hasnt always been easy for me though (especially because I already have a small bladder). I worked up to it. Just a little over a year ago getting half a gallon a day felt like an overwhelming goal; I felt like I was spending my whole life remembering to drink water and then was in the bathroom every five minutes. Now I have 100 oz to a gallon a day seamlessly, its just part of my daily routine.

Its so super simple, we all can do it, and actually be able to feel the difference.

<3 Kelly

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eat More Kale

The title says it all. We all could stand to eat more (organic!) kale, and quite frankly, more greens in general. Personally, when I eat more kale I feel amazing. Almost like I could levitate off the ground. My skin glows, my energy is high, my stomach is flat. Plus, an added bonus is, when I start eating more kale, and feeling good, I tend to lean even more into the healthy foods.

So, whats so great about king kale anyways? First of all kale is very high in iron, per pound it has more iron than beef. It is rich in vitamin A (great for vision and skin), C (good for immune system and metabolism)  and calcium (per pound more than milk! one response to the infamous "where do vegans get their calcium?" question).  It is rich in antioxidants and is fantastically anti inflammatory (helps with arthritis, asthma and autoimmune diseases). Eating more kale helps lower cholesterol. Overall it is an excellent detox food.

But please, dont take my word for it! Give it a try yourself!

If you'd like I can post some kale recipes (kale chips, kale salad, soups, smoothies, juices, etc), just leave a note in the comments or on facebook!

<3 Kelly

Friday, September 12, 2014

Natural Deodorant That Works Better Than Dove!!

Back when I was a teenager, and first using deodorant, my mom warned me not to use deodorant with aluminum in it. She said that it causes Alzheimer. So, off and on I would be conscientious of what brand I was using as to avoid this ingredient. Though, I wasn't diligent. Mainly because I didn't really think it was THAT big of a deal, and it didn't seem worth it if I was going to end up smelling stinky.

Then, a few years ago I had a wake up call. I dont remember who, but someone pointed something out to me. They said look at your armpit. Now look at your breast. See how close they are? Anything that you put on your armpit, every single day, is going right into your breasts. This was my "HOLY CRAP!" moment. No wonder breast cancer is so rampant! We are literally smearing on these toxic chemicals, every single day. This was even bigger than aluminum and alzheimer, this is a chemical cocktail of poisons and cancer.

What is so great about it is that the power is in our own hands! Just changing ONE thing we do everyday will do wonders for our health.

So that is when I made the change to natural deodorants. No, they didn't work as well as the ones I bought at CVS (I tried many, many different brands, some better than others), but I also didn't smell outright stinky either (thanks to eating a plant based vegan diet!). I did have a dirty little secret though; I kept a small container of traditional deodorant for emergency situations (nights out dancing, going for a run with a cute gentleman friend, date night, etc).

That is, until I discovered the best natural deodorant EVER! Even BETTER than my secret CVS bought deodorant. I could apply in the morning, be active all day, go out dancing, go for a run the next morning and STILL no stink; and no re-appying since the morning before. My CVS deodorant was never THAT good.

That is when I threw away that toxic emergency situation deodorant. No reason to NOT use natural when it both works better and is healthy.

Guess what? Its also cheap, and super easy to make yourself. Here goes:

6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder OR cornstarch
optional: essential oil  (tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, etc)

1. combine baking soda and arrowroot or cornstarch
2. mix in coconut oil
3. add essential oil
4. scoop into deodorant tube or any other container


*note: in the summer, coconut oil becomes liquid so deodorant will not be solid. It can either be applied with fingers OR add beeswax (1 tbsp grated beeswax, and only 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted together, then add dry ingredients) to solidify it*

Or, if you're lazy/ busy and dont feel like taking the five minutes to mix this together, you can buy some already made here:

Here's to little changes that make a BIG difference!

<3 Kelly

Monday, September 1, 2014

Depressed? Anxious? This Will Help

When my mom was in her early twenties she suffered from agoraphobia. Pretty much depression/anxiety on steroids. She couldn't even leave the house.

She got it in her mind that if she knew of ONE person who had recovered, just ONE person who had done it, then she could do it too (this is before google, facebook, the internet in general; so you had to actually meet someone). Long story short, this illness that can last decades, she pulled herself out of in three years, and never went back.

One doctor she encountered was excellent. He didnt want to pump her up with meds and encouraged her to get better naturally. The golden nugget he said to her was this:

"it is physiologically impossible to suffer from depression if you do one hour of cardiovascular exercise every day"

Yes, that is it: exercise. Whether its running, jumping on the trampoline, jumping rope, dancing, bike riding, step class, zumba, swimming etc.

Get your heart going and be consistent with it. It has both an instantaneous and cumulative effect. 

(diet also plays a big role with mental health, but we will talk more about that later)

<3 Kelly

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

All About Spirulina

Spirulina Powder
If you are not familiar with each other yet, this is spirulina. An amazing super-food that is floating around the health market these days. It is a blue-green algae that grows in warm, fresh water. It is said to have been consumed in cultures for centuries (including the Aztecs) and was re-discovered and produced for mass consumption in the 1970's. It is a pretty simple item to consume; mix one teaspoon into juice or smoothie (personally I prefer it in my smoothie). Some are intimidated by the color, and think it will effect the taste. I have not experienced any distinct flavor consuming spirulina. I even experimented with mixing it in with my "chocolate milkshake" (frozen bananas, almond milk, and chocolate vega protein powder) and though it turned it green, in no way did it alter the flavor. If you're not into the powder form you can also consumer it in tablet form. It is important to remember to consume USDA ORGANIC spirulina, as bodies of water are being polluted it is essential to ensure we are consuming the purest product possible.

So now that we know what it is, lets uncover what's so "super" about this food:

-it is 60% protein and amino acids (including the essential fatty acid gamma linoletic acid which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties)
-contains omegas 3, 6 and 9 (is especially high in omega 3)
-high concentration of bio-available iron
-great source of B-6 (pyridoxide), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin- C, vitamin-D, vitamin-A, and vitamin-E
-high in B-12
-source of potassium,calcium, chromium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc
-protects from medicine bi-products
-great for cell regeneration
Organic Spirulina (amazon.com)
-easily digestible
-regulates blood sugar
-lowers cholesterol
-boosts immunity
-cleanses the liver
-increases fat burning during exercise
-binds with heavy metals
-protects neurons
-shown to boost fertility

All of this from just a little green powder! Dont take my word for it, give it a try yourself. Here is a link to a great deal for organic spirulina on amazon (this is what I use!):

<3 Kelly

Monday, August 25, 2014

Visit an Island and Lose Weight

Visiting a tropical island would be great; warm climate, rich in fresh fruits. Great conditions to eat clean and lose weight. Only, that's not exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking about what raw foodies do when they eat only ONE raw food item for a period of time, whether it is for one meal, or a whole week. It is called mono eating.

Personally I  have visited "banana island" in the past, where for several says I eat only bananas. Sky is the limit to the food item; watermelon, apples, grapes, mangoes, strawberries, pineapple, cherries, oranges, whatever suits your fancy. There is no limit to how much you can eat either, no deprivation on this trip!

The benefit of mono eating is that it is very easy for your body to digest. Its like an internal scrub brush, your body can digest it, and send it on through without too much work. Since your body does not have to work too hard digesting, built up items can get cleaned out at well. The body can then use that free energy to heal other parts of the body.

People lose weight, gain energy and improve health using this method. People with GI issues, including irritable bowels and crohns, see a drastic improvement, or total elimination, of symptoms.  Book a trip, stock up, and have a great time.

<3 Kelly

Friday, August 22, 2014

"You Don't Need to Be Perfect to Make a Difference"

"You don't need to be perfect to make a difference"- Dan the Man Liferegenerator  (Dan's YouTube channel) said this in one of his YouTube videos a little while back, and it stuck in my mind.

I absolutely love him, and his videos. Not only because he is so incredibly informative and overflowing with knowledge pertaining to health and wellness, but he is real. He has his ups and downs, and he is very honest that he is not a master. Most importantly he doesn't let that hold him back; he continues to help people and give himself away.  After committing to unconditional love he is still working on not getting angry. It took him 12.5 years after dedicating himself to raw foods to actually be 100% raw, and has had his own bumpy past previous to that which he is very open about. The whites of his eyes are incredibly bright and he has amazing skin; which is compelling evidence that he is doing something right as far as nutrition goes. He is a walking demonstration of "to teach is to demonstrate;" he is concerned with walking the walk, sharing his path, and those who want to come along for the ride are welcome to join him.

He has made that possible by sharing what he has going on. He turns on the camera and lets us in, and Im so glad he does. It really makes a difference in my life, as well as many others.

Which is a reminder to me that one person can make a difference, even if it only uplifts one person. We don't have to wait for "perfection" to start giving ourselves away (we will be waiting a damn long time). Dont have to wait to eat the perfect vegan diet with no slips, or have a buff body type, or be in a state of continuous peace, or living a conflict free life. Just being exactly who we are, setting intentions for ourselves, heading in that direction and being open to share is more than enough.

I'm not even just talking health specifically. If someone has a love for gardening and intends to be the best gardener, sharing that process (newly learned soil techniques, learning from gardening mistakes, best place to plant petunias, etc) will only uplift anyone who wants to tune in. Sister Wendy is another shining example of this. She is a nun who had her own art television show on PBS decades ago. Just this little nun, talking about art, but she has so much passion for it you cant help but get carried away with her. She could have easily become an art expert for herself. Instead she shared it, and brought so many of us on a ride we never would have gone on without her.

Thank you Dan for the reminder that one person can make a difference, we just need to do our part to share with those that want to hear.

<3 Kelly

Thursday, August 21, 2014

If You Get ONE Beauty/Health Product Get THIS!

What could this one, elusive, item be? ......COCONUT OIL!!!

I cannot express in words how much I love this stuff.

I, personally, use this as a head to toe moisturizer, the night before my "shampoo" day (I only shampoo every other day) I saturate the ends of my hair with coconut oil, and sleep with it in overnight to make my hair extra shiny, I use it to oil pull my teethe every morning (swish 1 tablespoon every morning for 15-20 minutes, before brushing teethe; it does amazing things to detoxify, whiten teethe, freshen breathe and kill bacteria in the mouth),  I use it as a master ingredient in my home made deodorant, it is the only oil I will cook/fry food with since it is the ONLY oil that does not turn RANCID when cooked at high heat, I also use it instead of butter on toast, eat it to kill of systemic candida and parasites, use it as an ingredient in my home made sunscreen, antibacterial ointment and lip balm......okay, and these are just some of the ways this amazing, versatile, item can be used!

Some more uses:
-diaper ointment (as a nanny I have seen some nasty, stubborn, rashes disappear using this)
-eye makeup remover
-prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
-supports healthy thyroid function
-natural SPF 4 sunscreen
-massage oil
-mix with equal parts sugar for body scrub
-sexual lubricant (just not with condoms! it will break them!)
-soothe itchy poison ivy
-ingesting daily improves mental alertness
-ingesting helps promote hormone function
....and, yes, even more!

Beware not all coconut oils are created equal. The first and most important thing is to make sure it is USDA ORGANIC. Second is to have one that is extra virgin. If your really feeling like going all the way pure, unrefined and cold-pressed is the golden ticket. If you want to take it to an even higher level there is also raw. As you coconut oil around a bit  you will start to taste, smell, and know the difference.

The best deal I have found for the highest quality is the coconut oil pictured above (and, well, I have looked more than most human beings would....hours googling and calculating, haha). Then, I literally tripped upon this beauty, Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, in COSTCO and literally jumped up and down in the aisle. It's $17 for a 54 oz container! A great deal!

Please, dont take my word for it. Get your own jar of beauty elixir, and start a love affair of your own.

<3 Kelly

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Losing Hope

I haven't posted anything for a little while. I kind of shut down my virtual world for a bit in order to take some time and get quiet. It would have been very easy to keep on writing posts about the health benefits of kale, lemon water first thing in the morning, how to make your own deodorant and mental and physical health benefits of exercise. Only it would have felt disingenuous. Not because I no longer am practicing these things, but because sometimes I need to take pause. Sometimes I lose hope and am not sure if any of it even matters (from seeing destruction in the world at large, the mass slaughter of animals, the deterioration of health, poison being consumed by everyone under the guise of food, then wonder if eating healthy even matters etc. to personally not feeling certain about where Im going, what Im doing, and is it even making a difference?). I mean, I wouldn't go out and eat a cheeseburger or anything like that, but I don't believe in just trudging ahead without taking some time for reflection.

So, Ive been reflecting.

Here are some things I fundamentally believe in (or at least until further notice):

1. "To teach is to demonstrate" (a course in miracles). I am not here to teach you anything. The only way to teach ANYTHING is to walk the walk, and those who want to know what you have going on will come to you. That's what I always look for. Who is being honest, who is being raw, who is actually practicing what they preach? Who is healthy, who is happy? THAT is who I want to learn more about.

2. Power down. Its so important to be able to just BE still. I mean literally. With smart phones, laptops and tablets its so easy to be on the phone/texting/Facebook/internet etc ALL OF THE TIME. Waiting in line at the store, sitting at the park, at a red light in traffic, on the bus, etc and be browsing Facebook (Im talking about myself here). I feel that it is so important to be able to just BE. Instead of running away from that discomfort into the next distraction, I want to be able to sit with it and move through it. When I find myself feeling imbalanced on Facebook I just shut the whole thing down for a bit (just like juice fasting when Im feeling out of balance with food).

3. Let go of control. In every way possible (this is my wall of fire). I can be very rigid so I take pause and  check in on myself. One aspect of letting go of control is in regards to my lifestyle. It is so important to take the most loving care of myself possible, and eat vibrant plant based foods and exercise. BUT, I make sure to not make a God out of my habits. Its not self love to be rigid. Going a couple of nights without dry brushing is okay, and sometimes I will go a whole day without eating any greens (gasp!). Its important to flow with life. Ive actually found that those "slip ups" end up being a good thing because the contrast lets me know how GOOD I feel when I'm clean fueled.

4. You gotta have faith. The cleaner we eat the more we feel life's ups and downs. When we stop numbing ourselves out with chemical laden, sugar filled, highly processed foods and step away from other habits (cigarettes, alcohol, hard drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, casual sex, pornography, etc) we have to face down our demons. That's why so many people will lose a ton of weight and then become an alcoholic; they are just replacing one addiction (food) with another (alcohol). When the sh** we are running away from starts to come up (whether physical or emotional symptoms) sit tight and have FAITH in "this too shall pass." Totally accept exactly where we are, don't resist anything, and trust that it will pass.

5. Laughter and dancing are two of the most transformative things in the world. Try it for yourself; watch a laugh out loud funny video or dance shamelessly to a song you love. That feeling says it all.

So, for the moment, I'm at a place of "this too shall pass," at least for this moment.

<3 Kelly

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunscreen (not sun) Poisoning!

my homemade sunscreen!

We have a very backwards thing going on in our society when we are being told to FEAR the sun (because it will make us sick!) and slather on sunscreen. Everyone goes along with it, so anyone who points out whats really going down is viewed as a wackadoo.

Here's a little 411: SUNSCREEN is poisoning us, not the sun.

The sun is actually an essential part of life. It is literally the fuel for all living things on earth. We need it for vitamin D, and to survive. Personally, when the weather permits, I lay out 20 minutes on my back, and twenty minutes on my stomach, with as much skin exposed while still remain descent- GASP- with NO sunscreen.

Im not saying that it's healthy to lay out and get a sunburn. That is no good. I am saying to stop fearing the sun.

So onto the toxic ingredients we are slathering on ourselves, and our children, EVERY DAY when we go along with the whole "sunscreen" thing.

Here are a few of the doozies, Im just gunna make it simple and copy and paste it from Womens Health Magazine:


Oxybenzone This penetration enhancer (i.e., chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin) undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays. When oxybenzone is absorbed by your skin, it can cause an eczema-like allergic reaction that can spread beyond the exposed area and last long after you're out of the sun. Experts also suspect that oxybenzone disrupts hormones (i.e., mimics, blocks, and alters hormone levels) which can throw off your endocrine system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 97 percent of Americans have this chemical circulating in our bodies, as it can accumulate more quickly than our bodies can get rid of it.
Octinoxate One of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens with SPF, octinoxate is readily absorbed by our skin and helps other ingredients to be absorbed more readily. While allergic reactions from octinoxate aren't common, hormone disruption is: the chemical's effects on estrogen can be harmful for humans and wildlife, too, should they come into contact with the chemical once it gets into water. Though SPF products are designed to protect skin from sun-induced aging, octinoxate may actually be a culprit for premature aging, as it produces menacing free radicals that can damage skin and cells.
Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) Just like the vitamin A we eat, retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant. As an ingredient in sunscreen, it's function is to improve the product's performance against the aging effects of UV exposure, However, certain forms of vitamin A found in sun protection products—namely retinyl palmitate, a combination of retinol (vitamin A) and palmitic acid, an ingredient found in tropical plants such as palm and coconut—can be cause for concern. When exposed to the sun's UV rays, retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer. In fact, FDA studies have shown that retinyl palimitate may speed the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to skin before sun exposure, so steer clear of skin sun products that harbor the stuff.
Homosalate This UV-absorbing sunscreen ingredient helps sunscreen to penetrate your skin. Once the ingredient has been absorbed, homosalate accumulates in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it, becomes toxic and disrupts our hormones.
Octocrylene When this chemical is exposed to UV light, it absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations. It is readily absorbed by your skin and may accumulate within your body in measurable amounts. Plus, it can be toxic to the environment.
Paraben Preservatives Associated with both acute and chronic side effects, parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-) can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. While butylparaben was reported to be non-carcinogenic in rats and mice, but it has been previously suspected that parabens and other chemicals in underarm cosmetics may contribute to the rising incidence of breast cancer."

Yep, not so good. Like I said before, EVERY DAY this stuff is absorbing into us, and our children, (who's little immune systems are even more vulnerable than ours).

So, now that we got the poison stuff out of the way, what are healthy alternatives?

First of all, a healthy diet rich in organic fruits and veggies helps the body to protect ITSELF from the sun. Imagine that. With the proper fuel the body has the ability, to a large extent, to keep itself from being harmed by the suns rays. Personally I drink a cup of carrot juice every morning, which builds up a beta-carotene protection under the skin (it actually makes you look a little tan, I call it the "carrot glow").

So what do we do when we are spending eight hours at the beach? Or our little, fair skin, baby needs to be kept from a sun burn while playing in the sand box?

Switch to a natural sunscreen. And be careful not to trust the packaging, READ THE LABELS. There is a lot of "green washing" where products are advertised as "natural" or "mineral based,"
 and you turn it over to find the above ingredients all up in it.

This summer I decided to take the matter into my own hands by making our own sunscreen, and I was so pleasantly surprised at how EASY it was.

After spending hours pouring over homemade sunscreen recipes I settled on Wellness Mama's. Literally four ingredients (olive oil, coconut oil, beesewax and zinc oxide) and had great reviews. I didnt know what to expect. I followed the original recipe to a T, and absolutely love it. To get the full instructions on how to make your own super simple sunscreen click the link below.

So in short, its a good and great thing to be a sun worshiper! For those times when we need protection opt for something that will truly protect our health, not slowly poison us. 

<3 Kelly

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Juice Fasting

I first learned about juice fasting Spring of 2011 when my family watched the documentary "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead." Joe Cross, the man who made the documentary, was overweight and on many medications as a result of his poor health. He did a 60 day juice fast and completely rebooted his system.

After watching this documentary, Spring of 2011, my sister Robin went on a 60 day juice fast, and rebooted her system and her life. I have seen first hand how this has transformed her. Both physically and mentally.  She is literally a different person than she was three years ago. Healthy, vibrant, peaceful and fit.

Personally, I now have done many juice fasts. When I first started I was a big baby about fasting. Three days was the absolute longest I could go. Then, a couple summers ago, I just went for it and did a twelve day juice fast with my mom. Since then Ive gone through phases when I would do a five day juice fast once a month for months at a time. I also have incorporated fresh pressed juice into my everyday life. 
Right now I am on day three of a juice fast and plan to break my record, going for two weeks, (fourteen days!).

The question at hand is, why even do it?

The main reason to fast is to detox our bodies. People walk around with toxins piled up in their system. Even after changing to a plant based diet, it still takes a long time for all of these toxins to be cleaned out. Fasting is a good way to speed this process up. During fasting the liver and immune system have a break from digesting food, and are free to detoxify and heal other parts of the body. In addition to that, with a juice fast, the body is still receiving the nutrients from the fruits and veggies that are being juiced. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, believed fasting enables the body to heal itself.

Also, in all religions, fasting has either been advocated or demonstrated by spiritual leaders. It is a great means to gain mental and spiritual clarity.

Though, fasting is not for the faint of heart; you will feel detox symptoms. As toxins leave our cells there is a higher level of them circulating around our bodies. This can lead to dizziness, flu like symptoms, acne, fatigue and other symptoms. The way to counter act this is by drinking a lot of water.

Some people, like my sister, fast for 60 days and others for 1. Any amount of time feeding our bodies with freshly pressed juice is so incredibly healing. Its one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves.
Juice on!

<3 Kelly