What Goes On Your Body…Goes In Your Body

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So of course I’ve heard about the chemicals and toxins in the products we use on our bodies – sunscreens, lotions, soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, toothpastes, etc., but I suppose I tried not to read too much about it because sometimes ignorance truly is bliss. What we don’t know can’t harm us. There’s already too much information regarding the crap that’s in our foods and pharmaceuticals, how much more propaganda overload can we take? That’s basically what I was thinking on a semi-conscious level, until I met up with a friend, and couldn’t deny the glaringly obvious truth anymore.

I ran into my friend Kristina on the beach the other day and she started telling me about the company she works for, Beautycounter, and their mission to get safe products into the hands of everyone. According to her company:

  • The United States has not passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938
  • Europe bans more than 1,300 ingredients found in products; the US has banned 11.
  • Chemicals linked to breast cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, among many others, are allowed in the products we use every day.

For the most part, I am pretty careful about the food that goes into my body, yet here I am dousing myself with ingredients like benzalkonium chloride and polyethylene glycol.  When you think about the skin as the body’s largest organ, it’s pretty insane what we’re using to feed and nourish it.

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I fancied myself for using coconut oil as a moisturizer and products which are not tested on animals, but after doing just a little research, I realize now that I’ve still been poisoning my body with words I can’t pronounce from sunscreens, shampoos, and make-up to name a few.  Even more troubling, these toxins are passed onto fetuses in pregnant women. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Many of the chemicals studied are known to be transferred to the fetus and have been linked to poor health outcomes, placing them at risk for birth defects or chronic illnesses later in life. Some of the chemicals detected — such as PCBs — have been banned for over 30 years. Click here to read their full article.

So what can you do? There are responsible companies out there who create products that are safer to use. Visit safecosmetics.org for more information. Products made in Europe may contain less toxic ingredients. Skin Deep Database is a website (and app) where you can check the toxicity of the ingredients in your products. Essential oils have many purposes and uses, from deodorizing to moisturizing. You can also visit Kristina’s website at kristinaegan.beautycounter.com to find out more about her company. And of course, just being aware and conscious of this is a major step to a better, healthier, smarter – you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Day Juice Cleanse

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Our bodies act in ways similar to expensive machines in that they require certain fuels to run effectively. When our bodies are deficient in these fuels – vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, etc. – we don’t operate properly and a variety of illnesses and problems occur, such as sluggishness, allergies, infections, inflammation, acne, bloating, excess weight gain, insomnia, hyperactivity, and headaches to name some. Sadly, we’re so used to feeling the way we do that oftentimes we don’t realize how much better we could feel, are supposed to feel, when some adjustments are made to our diet. Please don’t stop reading here. I’m not about to enforce any type of diet, nor discuss foods that should permanently be deleted from our diets.

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Our bodies are amazing machines and have the ability to excrete harmful toxins, additives, and poisons from our diets/environments. However, important excretory organs like the liver, kidneys, skin, lungs and colon can only take so much, and overtime, these organs slow down and stop operating to their full potential, leaving buildup within our intestines and impurities in our blood.

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How does a juice cleanse eliminate these toxins, rejuvenate our mental and physical state, and rid us of dependencies from sugar/simple carbohydrates, caffeine, saturated fats, processed foods, etc.? So glad you asked! The removal of the fibers during the juicing process enables the body to quickly digest the necessary nutrients with minimal effort on the part of the digestive system. The juices from organic fruits and vegetables can replenish all the cells and tissues, rejuvenating every ounce of the human body. After about 48 hours, the body will feel cleaner and lighter, and after 72 hours, the body will feel totally rejuvenated.

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Am I a dietician? No. I just happen to read a lot about these things and dabble in my own cleanses from time to time. So I’m writing about this for a few reasons. One being a totally selfish reason in that once I publish this, there’s no going back on my word. Another reason is that like-minded people are reading this, and I’m sure, like me, you’re curious about how your body can feel after treating it with some much needed tender loving care. Luckily for me, my best friend, Jen, and her mother, Susan, are also doing the juice cleanse with me, which is yet another reason I wanted to share this with you. For me, it’s easier to complete a cleanse when doing it with other people; there’s a sense of comradery. So if you’re interested in trying a 3 day juice cleanse, beginning Monday, email me and we can get through it together! Through experience, I’ve realized that I have better results when I give myself a couple of days to prepare (mentally and physically, i.e. food shop). I have a lot of recipes, with different concoctions for different ailments as well. I’ll be keeping in mind that fruit juices are the cleansers of the body, and vegetable juices are the builders and regenerators of the body. If you have any questions at all, or tips you’d like to share, please feel free to contact me. Please keep in mind that it’s very important to use all organic fruits and vegetables during the process, or else you’re just ingesting more pesticides and unnatural organisms. Enjoy the weekend 🙂

Green Juice

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Juices. Smoothies. Smuicies. Not quite sure about that last one, but ya catch my drift. The health world is obsessed with these drinks – myself included. Yet there’s still one juice, the envy of all other juices, the holy grail amongst yogis and nutrition gurus, who has captured the hearts of millions, the one and only, green juice.

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Chlorophyll, responsible for giving green plants their color, helps the body in numerous ways, by removing toxins from the body, diminishing gastrointestinal problems, replenishing red blood cells – giving our bodies more energy, and it contains properties that kill harmful bacteria, to name just a few. Like I mentioned in my post juices vs. smoothies, cold pressed juices have the fiber removed, aiding the body in rapidly absorbing its many nutrients – cleansing and rebuilding the body.

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*Ingredients:

  • kale stalks (I use the leaves for salads and save the spines for juicing)
  • 2 kiwi
  • 1 green apple (core removed)
  • 1 green pear
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 inch of ginger

*It’s important to try and buy as much organic produce when juicing, especially because you want to juice the skins as well.

Steps:

  1. Add all ingredients, skins still on, and let the juicer do all the work.

If you have any questions about juicing, cleansing/detoxing, please ask! I’ll try my best to help 🙂

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Vegetable Quinoa Bowl drizzled with Tahini and a dollop of Hummus

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It’s been a crazy August and I have no idea where these first 12 days of it have gone!? My mom came into town last week and stayed with us in Rockaway. It was great because a lot of our family were able to visit for the day, so we had a backyard bar-b-que and got to catch up with each other. My Aunt Dawn, the cutie pie that she is, lives in New Jersey near some beautiful farmland, so she brought me some succulent and vibrantly colored produce from one of her local stores. While my mom was in town, there was a lot of eating out, so when she left to go back to Florida (insert sad face – she moved down there almost two years ago), I still had a fair amount of vegetables that needed to be eaten! The more natural the food, the faster it goes bad…

My cousin Danielle's daughter, Lily, gave the produce her stamp of approval.
My cousin Danielle’s daughter, Lily, gave the produce her stamp of approval.

I know I talk about the benefits of quinoa every time I blog about it, so I won’t go into too much detail, but if you’d like to read more about it, you can revisit this post Quinoa Burgers or this post Pantry Essentials. All I’ll say is quinoa is a complete protein and a perfect little seed for all people to eat, but especially those who don’t eat animal products. And an added bonus, it takes just 15 minutes to cook, so I chose quinoa over brown rice for this dish. I happen to love the combination of sweet potato and tahini, so whenever I add this adorable orange root veggie to my recipes, I tend to pair it with a little tahini. The recipe is completely gluten free, oil free, and delicious.

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Ingredients:

  • quinoa (I used a 16 oz bag)
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • about 1 1/2 cups cut up string beans
  • 1 tomato
  • hummus (store bought or homemade – check out my recipe page for some great hummus recipes)
  • about 2 Tbsp tahini
  • optional: lime

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Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the sweet potato and dice it into about 1/2 inch cubes. Add to a baking sheet and place in the oven.
  2. Since the string beans take less time to cook, let the sweet potato cook for about 15 minutes before adding the beans to the baking dish. Cut off the ends and cut each string bean into thirds. Place in same baking dish and cook for another 20-25 minutes.
  3. If the quinoa did not come pre-rinsed, soak it for 15 minutes and then drain it. Use a 1:1 1/4 ratio of quinoa:water, so for every cup of uncooked quinoa, use 1 1/4 cups of water. Add the quinoa and water to a pot on medium/high heat. Once it comes to a boil, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let it sit, covered, for five minutes. Then, uncover and gently fluff with a fork.
  4. Chop the tomato and put aside until the quinoa and vegetables are tossed together.
  5. Toss together the quinoa, sweet potato, and string beans, and top with tomato, hummus, a drizzle of tahini, and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

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