Why I Became A Beautycounter Consultant

For the past 3 years, I’ve been on a mission for a cleaner, healthier lifestyle for me and my family. And this not only includes what we put in our bodies but also what we put on our bodies. I’ve been making body butters and flaxseed hair gel at home. But as you know, making products yourself can be a little time consuming. So, I’m always on the look out for beauty products that I can believe in. Cleaner, safer products… I came across Beautycounter recently from one of my favorite bloggers, Kate Kordsmeier from Root and Revel. She spoke highly of the company from its never list to its advocacy efforts. So, I had to take a closer look myself. Beautycounter’s mission statement alone made me want to dig deeper. Their goal is to get safer products into the hands of everyone! Safer products?! Wow!!!That’s exactly what I’m looking for! The more I researched, the more I loved about the company. They have this Never List. It’s a list consisting of products that they will never use in their products. These are over 1500 questionable or harmful chemicals! This includes the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern. So, these are chemicals that are possibly used in our favorite beauty products. Not knowing that are we could be harming ourselves and the environment. Well the big question is, how can these other companies use such harmful ingredient?! It’s because the United States beauty industry isn’t well regulated. Actually, the U.S. has not passed a major federal law governing the cosmetics industry since 1938! So there are many harmful ingredient that have been slipping through the cracks for a long time. Too long!!! That’s why Beautycounter is the leading company advocating for more health-protective legislation across North America. Over the past six years, they have worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to ensure issues like ingredient review, labeling and recalls for products that cause harm are consumer safety priorities. This is exactly the type of company that I’ve been looking for. But how are the products??!! Of course, I had to try them out for myself. And I absolutely love them. They truly do not compromise product quality for safety. Their skincare line is amazing! From the cleansers to the moisturizers. One of my favorite products is the Brightening + Vitamin C Facial Oil. It brings out a beautiful glow to my skin. And it won the Allure Magazine Best of Beauty Award in 2017! The Color Intense Lipstick is also one of my favs. The colors are gorgeous and it leaves my lips moisturized and smooth. They also have products for kids and a line for men, Couterman. So many great products for everyone! This is why I decided to become a consultant. I want everyone I know, to know about this company!
People need to know that their are companies like Beautycounter making moves in the beauty industry. Moves to bring cleaner, safer products in the hands of everyone!!! But don’t just take my word for it, try out some of their products for yourself!

Check out the products!

If you have any questions or would like to try some samples, please send me a message. I will gladly assist you!!

Homemade Tahini Salad Dressing

Most salad dressing today are full of sugar, poor quality oils and preservatives. Why ruin your healthy salad with an unhealthy salad dressing?! Well, you don’t have to! You can make your own salad dressing with quality ingredients! And that’s exactly what I decided to do. I made my own Tahini Salad Dressing and it was delicious. It totally complimented my salad without the added junk.

In case you didn’t know, tahini is toasted ground sesame seeds. Yes, the same ingredient used to make hummus! It’s mildly nutty, creamy and savory. Coupled with a few other ingredients, you can make a delicious salad dressing at home.

Here is the recipe I used…

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Tahini
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon organic rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 or 2 cloves of minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon of salt
A dash of pepper

Directions:
Whisk together all ingredients into s bowl.
Set aside for 15 minutes so that the flavors can blend.
Use on your favorite salad or roasted vegetables.

Note:
If it’s too bitter, add more salt to counteract the bitterness.
You can also add raw honey or stevia to help with the bitterness. I added a couple packets of stevia and it was delicious!

This tahini dressing is good for several weeks in the refrigerator.
You may need to mix the dressing prior to each you.

If you’ve tried this recipe, tell me what you think in the comments!

Tips for Healthy Eating

What I’ve learned on my healthy quest journey is to take baby steps and to find substitutions for my favorite foods. So I’ve come up with a list of healthy tips that have helped me along the way.

Drink more water and cut out the soda. The goal is to drink half of your body weight in ounces.

Incorporate more vegetables in your diet. Try to add more veggies in all 3 meals. A salad or a green smoothie is a great way to add a variety of vegetables to a meal.

Eat more healthy fats… avocado, whole eggs, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel), full fat yogurt, nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts).

Cut out fried foods. Choose baked or grilled instead.

Cut back on processed foods. Instead of snacking on potato chips, cookies or candy, eat raw veggies, nuts, fruit or sunflower seeds.

Check out our healthy snack review…

My 4 year old needs glasses!

So a couple of weeks ago, we took our daughter to the pediatrician for her annual wellness visit. At age 4, they perform a vision and hearing screen. So, the nurse takes her off to perform the tests. Soon after, she informs us that her hearing is fine but her vision was slightly out of range for astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a common imperfection of the eye’s curvature. This can change the way light passes through the retina and may cause blurry or distorted vision.

So, we took her to the pediatric ophthalmologist for confirmation. And sure enough, she has hyperoptic (farsightedness) astigmatism, which means her up close vision is sometimes out of focus. She has this along with amblyopia or lazy eye. What?! I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed now. I had no idea my daughter was having these issues. I noticed she would squint sometimes but I honestly didn’t equate that to vision problems. I didn’t start wearing glasses until about the 5th grade. And she just turned 4 so I just assumed her vision was fine. How can my 4 year old need glasses?! My mommy ignorance was bliss!

So, the doctor said she definitely needs glasses. And she may also need to wear a patch to correct her lazy eye. But he wanted to try atropine eye drops first. Apparently, lazy eye is effectively treated in children under 7 years of age because their eyes are still changing. So this makes me feel a little better!

But the next question in my mind is what can I do to help improve her vision?! Crazy question, right?! But I am the healthy quest mom! My entire mission in life is to improve my family’s health. And vision is included… So I did a little research. And studies have shown that vision can be corrected (especially with younger children) through nutrition and eye exercises. Vitamin A and lutein are very important to eye health. Carrots, kale, spinach and collard greens are high in both vitamin A and lutein. Cod liver oil is also a good source for vitamin A. Vitamins C, E and minerals like copper and zinc are also essential to eye health. Anthocyanin rich blueberries, grapes and goji berries have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties that can also help improve vision.

So wild blueberries, wild caught fish, carrots, leafy green vegetables, and cod liver oil are now on my grocery list indefinitely! I found a great cod liver oil at my favorite online health store, Vitacost. Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil… It has 1500 mg EPA and DHA plus multivitamins and floraglo lutein. And it’s marketed for kids with a natural mango peach flavor! Sounds good, right? I give both of my girls one serving per day along with vitamin rich fruit and veggies. My four year is wearing her glasses (most of the time) and taking her daily eye drops. She has a follow up appointment next week to see if she needs to wear a patch for her lazy eye. But I’m very optimistic that her eyeglasses wearing days are numbered. And eventually she won’t need them! But until then, she will be an eyeglasses wearing diva, like her mommy!

Raw Vegan Challenge

So about a week ago, I joined a 7 day raw vegan challenge. Yes, raw vegan!! There are so many great benefits from eating a raw vegan diet. Higher nutritional value, environmental friendly, increased fiber intake, etc. I was sold! This should be a piece of cake, right?! Wrong! The first couple of days were fine. Green smoothies, fresh fruit, colorful salads… But then I started to get bored with the meals. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of raw vegan recipes. You can pretty much make any meal raw vegan. But some of the meals looked pretty complicated. And I needed more ingredients. So back to the grocery store I go. I made a raw chili with walnuts, sun dried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, celery and carrots. It wasn’t too bad. It was actually pretty good. My hubby even tolerated it. Ha! But I felt like it was missing something. And I started to feel this way with every meal. I was starting to get anxiety about eating. I wasn’t really enjoying my food. I felt left out during mealtime. My family was eating delicious, flavorful cooked foods and I was eating fruit and salad. I felt like I was depriving myself and it was stressing me out. So I slipped a few times and I felt awful about it. Ashamed!! This is not what I’m suppose to get out of the challenge. I think my approach was all wrong. This was a totally different eating style that I was use to. Challenges are great but I should have eased my way into it. Don’t get me wrong, I did reap a few benefits to this challenge. A lost a few pounds which wasn’t my goal but is always an added bonus. And I gained more energy. But eating should be enjoyable. I don’t want to live a strict, by the book life. And that includes my eating habits. Mostly whole food, plant based is the way to go for me. But I won’t feel bad or deny myself if I want something that doesn’t fit that profile. So I will incorporate more raw vegan foods into my diet but not strictly. Lesson learned…

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

So, today I decided to be a little adventurous and make something new for dinner. Stuffed portobello mushrooms… Portobello mushrooms contains antioxidants and natural anti inflammatories. It is a good substitute for meat and a great source of B vitamins. Sounds delicious, right?! Well, it was! And it was so easy to make. Here is the recipe…

Ingredients:
3 portobello mushroom caps
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
Freshly chopped oregano
Olive oil
Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Removes gills from caps with a spoon.
Brush mushroom cap and rim with olive oil.
In a separate bowl, mix tomatoes, oregano and seasonings.
Add mozzarella cheese to the bottom of the caps.
Spoon tomato mixture on top of the cheese.
Bake until mushrooms are tender, about 15-18 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!

P90X

A few years ago, I tried this very intense but effective workout plan. It was the one with the late night infomercials that had amazing after results. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s P90X. So yesterday, I decided to give it another try. Day 1 was chest and back along with ab ripper x. Yes, it kicked my butt! By the way, ab ripper x is 15 minutes of pure torture. LOL!! But I think I held my own with the chest and back exercises. This will be 90 days of getting my body in shape. This system includes plyometrics, yoga and kenpo along with other challenging yet effective exercises. I’m so excited about kicking my fitness up a notch. I’ll update after my first week.

Side note – I never finished the program the first time around. But now I’m motivated more than ever to be my best me.

The FLU

My oldest daughter wasn’t feeling well a couple of weeks ago. She had a cough and a sore throat. I thought maybe it was just a cold until she had low energy and a slight fever. I took her to the doctor, which was unusually crowded. And my poor baby was diagnosed with the flu, Influenza B to be exact. I wasn’t terribly surprised because a few weeks prior, her brother came down with the flu. And they both were vaccinated! The good news was that it was a mild case of the flu. It didn’t take her totally out. Just a few days of rest. I, on the other hand, also came down with the flu. And it took me out for a few days. I could barely get out of the bed for the first two days. I had to force myself to eat and drink. This was my first time experiencing this awful virus. So I really didn’t know what to expect. My whole body ached, even my eyelashes. It was terrible!

My mission is to never let this happen again! And the flu shot is not the remedy. All of my kids have gotten the flu in spite of getting the flu shot. The cure is boosting our immune system. I know it’s easier said that done. But I know it can be done. Plant based, clean eating is a key factor. Supplements, herbs, essential oils, sleeping well, and a stress free, minimalist life will also be included. That influenza virus doesn’t stand a chance!

Vegetable Powder

So, I was listening to one of my usual healthy podcasts a few months ago (sorry I can’t remember which one :). And the special guest was Dr. Thomas Cowan. He is a holistic physician and author practicing in San Francisco who specializes in helping people through diet and natural medicines. Dr Cowan and his family are also the founders of Dr Cowan’s Garden which specializes in vegetables powders. They believe vegetables give you the power to live your life with vitality and freedom from disease. And to protect their vitality, they dehydrate their organically grown vegetables with low heat and store them as powders in Miron violet glass jars.

Wow, sounds like a great way to add more vegetables to my family’s diet. Sign me up! So, I ordered a jar of Dr Cowan’s Garden three fold blend powder. It consists of carrots, beets, Swiss chard, Kale, and winter squash. All organic. You can add a tablespoon of this powder to just about anything. Soups, stews, baked goods, eggs, smoothies, etc. It gives you a diverse blend of veggies in a scoop of powder. It’s great!! It’s a little pricey (about $50 a jar). But it’s worth it.

https://www.drcowansgarden.com/

Vitamin D

Vitamin D
So every year I participate in the Blueprint for Wellness program that my job offers. It is a wellness screening that gives you a snapshot of your health. For the past few years, my vitamin D level has been below normal. Last year it was 16 ng/mL. The reference range is 30-100 ng/mL. Yes, 16 was super low! So I started taking Vitamin D3 supplements, spending a little more time in the sun, eating sardines and taking cod liver oil. Well, my level has increased to 54 ng/mL. What a big difference!!! I was so excited to see that jump.

Here is a little info about Vitamin D, also known as the Sunshine Vitamin…

Vitamin D is considered a pro hormone and not an actual vitamin. Vitamins are nutrients that cannot be created by the body and must be taken in through our diet. But Vitamin D can be synthesized by our body through sunlight.

How cool is that?!

It effects hormone balance and immune regulation. Vitamin D is also essential in maintaining the right levels of calcium and preserving bone strength.

According to Dr Axe, the top 10 sources of vitamin D as as follows..
1. Sunlight
2. Cod liver oil
3. Sardines
4. Salmon
5. Mackerel
6. Tuna
7. Raw milk
8. Caviar
9. Eggs
10. Mushrooms