March 2013

Homemade Beauty Products

homemade beauty products

It is said that women expose themselves to over 200 toxic chemicals before they even leave the home; from hair care to skincare, the toxic cocktails include chemicals such as pthalates, sulphates, triclosan, BPA and the list continues. For more information about your beauty products, visit David Suzuki’s website where he details exactly what to avoid- click here.

The reason that we should all endeavor to steer clear of these toxins is because of what they do to our bodies. You see, conventional beauty products that are laden with chemicals disrupt our hormones; and because we, as females, are hormonally dependent (we go through hormonal cycles every 28 days for gosh sakes); and when we disrupt the natural flow of things we can do serious damage. From out of whack hormones to cancer (companies will deny it, but it’s undeniable) our beauty products do some ugly things to our insides.

Homemade beauty products are great, because they are very easy to make and allow us to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals. Generally you will find me cooking up tasty foods in my kitchen, but recently I began cooking up homemade beauty products; that are not only effective but smell delicious too- so good, in fact, you could literally eat them!

Today’s recipe is for my CocoMint face wash and it features organic peppermint soap and coconut oil.

The peppermint soap comes from one of my favorite brands, Dr. Bronners. His soaps are 100% organic, fair trade and vegan, you can even ingest them safely; in fact, one of my coworkers at the deli uses it as her toothpaste! And the reason that I chose peppermint is because of the menthol; the menthol in peppermint helps to naturally balance the PH levels of the skin which can reduce acne flare ups- and it smells delightful. And I used coconut oil because a) I LOVE IT and b) it’s antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial, so it helps to further reduce breakouts. Now, you may be thinking that coconut oil will cause breakouts, but because it’s non comodegenic it won’t clog pores. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, is there anything coconut oil cannot do?!

A great many of my homemade beauty products contain coconut oil, because it’s simply one of the best things in the world!

Gluten Free Doesn’t Equal Healthy

Gluten free everything has consumed a great deal of my thoughts over the last two weeks, as I am preparing for my Gluten Free 101 class; and as I prepare my lesson plan, I know that it is ever so important to stress that just because something is gluten free, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. For some of us, gluten free living is mandatory for health reasons and for others it’s simply to lighten up, because the less cookies, cakes, pasta and bread that we eat the less calories, sugar and sodium we consume; but it is essential to be an informed buyer so you don’t get duped by this health craze a la mode.

Today’s guest author Samantha is going to dispel some myths, and show you how to be gluten free, healthy and fabulous!

Take it away Samantha:)

gluten free

Gluten Free Doesn’t Equal Healthy

Tuscan Chicken and White Bean Soup

white bean soup

I’ve lived in Edmonton for nearly my whole life- 23 years out of the 27 that I have been alive; and you would think that I’d know better by now. That I would know that no matter what balmy weather climate change has to offer, Mother Nature is in the drivers seat; and without warning, and much to everyone’s chagrin, it could snow for two days straight and bring us all right back down to reality. When the mercury dips below zero, I crave warm and comforting foods; and nothing says “comfort” quite like warm chicken and white bean soup.

You may have noticed that I have been posting more dishes containing meat here on the Vitality Guide, and it’s simply because in listening to my body, it’s telling me that it wants animal protein; and I believe that it is essential to listen to what my body wants and provide it with the highest quality foods that I can. If you missed the post where I detail my views on meat eating, here it is. So in listening to my body, I have inadvertently been eating a fairly paleo diet; although I hate labels, it’s the closest description of what my meals currently look like.

Health Benefits of Practicing Yoga

I like yoga. I appreciate the mind body connection that practicing yoga demands; but I’ll be honest, I fall so easily off the yoga wagon. I survive without it for a bit, becoming more overwhelmed over time, wondering what the hell is going on; and as soon as I hit the mat and feel the great release, I get it- THIS is why I do yoga.

There are many benefits associated with practicing yoga, some of which we forget as we get too deep into our hectic lives; so today’s post will serve as a reminder to us all.


practicing yoga

Health Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Crispy Acorn Squash

Crispy Acorn Squash

 I’ve always been finnicky about texture; even the smallest texture variance in my food can turn me off completely. My aversion to bananas is rooted in their soft, yielding texture combined with their overwhelmingly bossy flavor profile- but I digress; there are moments where texture is a welcome addition to a dish.

Although mild, it’s still winter and in an effort to be more seasonably aligned with my eating habits I have been eating an insane amount of squash; from spaghetti to butternut to acorn squash, this diverse group of root vegetables and I have become rather familiar. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, eating seasonably in a northern climate requires your inner David Copperfield to come to life, or else face a season of boring casseroles and the like; with that being said, squashes of, all kinds, are exceedingly nutritious and full of fiber.