Wednesday, May 28, 2014

4 Ways to Show Your Body You're On Its Side

Do you wish you could love and accept your body the way that it is? That you could be on the same team, at least? This can feel like a mountain to overcome for many women, maybe even a pipe dream. I didn't always love my body, in fact, I've spent most of my life feeling embarrassed by it and furiously locked in a battle trying to control its shape and urges.

What you focus on expands. We all see what we believe to be true. We love to be right (and who doesn't more than our ego?) and so we look for evidence, usually completely subconsciously, to prove to ourselves right. If I believe my body is disgusting, all day I notice every little bulge and blemish, I feel worried or guilty about almost everything I eat, and I compare and judge myself against every woman I see.

Be honest: How much of your inner dialogue, time and energy get wasted on beating yourself up? How much of your life, your opportunities and your potential are you missing out on because you're feeling bad about yourself? I talk with a LOT of women and this is something almost all of them say they're sick of wasting their energy on.

What would it be like to stop battling your body and to partner with it instead? If letting yourself love your body is too big a step (and PLEASE don't feel bad - we've all got a lifetime of cultural programming to undo), can you at least agree to take a deep breath and start seeing it more like a friend? Here are four ways to show your body you're on its side:
  1. Dress your body. Figure out what time of day you feel your best (when you get home in the evening, right before bed?) and lay out your outfit, including jewelry and shoes, for the next day. This says to your body: "You are worth the time and forethought."
  2. Adorn your body. Wear a little something extra: A scent (try Ylang Ylang or Jasmine essential oils for their sensualizing qualities), a fancy necklace, your grandma's ring, a luxurious scarf, some bright lipstick or eye makeup, sparkly glitter, or flowers in your hair! This says to your body: "You deserve the extra bling."
  3. Decorate your body. Give yourself a manicure. Get yourself a henna tattoo (try tibetan shops for tubes to DIY or do it with friends). This says to your body: "You are a piece of art."
  4. Moisturize your body. Every day I smooth my whole body with sweet almond or coconut oil (get at your grocery store). This says to your body: "I care how you feel."
What one thing are you going to do this week to be more of a friend to your body? What do you want to express to it? Please share! We are all in this together. We have all been taught to hate and shame ourselves and each other publicly, which means coming into new relationships with our bodies will require us to speak out loud and support one another. There is space to begin right here:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Soothe Your Skin: My Edible Face Mask

I believe in putting on your skin what you would want in your body. Our skin is notably porous: it sweats out toxins but it also takes them in. What you put on your skin MATTERS because a hefty portion of it ends up in your bloodstream!

Do you want toxins and chemicals in your blood, many of which are proven hormone disruptors and linked to cancer. Would you take a lick of your perfume or lotion? Just asking.

It's all over the internet that your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it. While I'm a healthy skeptic at heart, and can't believe it would be that simple or cut and dry (and I can't seem to track down the source itself), I do believe it's important to consider what you're slathering directly onto your largest organ. I'm a huge advocate for reading nutrition labels AND for reading the labels on the back of your body products.

I've been researching all-natural, organic food-based face masks, and have tested my first recipes! I treated myself to one (well, two... the first was a near disaster) face masks this past Sunday...

The first one burned my face! I'd mixed up a concoction of oatmeal, green tea, honey, cinnamon and a squirt of aloe. The cinnamon is most suspect: I'd read that it has potent anti-inflammatory effects on the skin... and I'd also read to test some on the inside of your arm first (did not = mistake) and my face started burning and turning bright red almost immediately. So I washed that right off and looked for something more soothing.

Bingo. My second mask was not only much more soothing and simple, it was DELICIOUS! I ate all of the extra with my fingers! It has only 3 ingredients: Yogurt, Honey and Avocado. It left my skin feeling supple, dewy and fresh. I could feel and see the healthy glow.

Check out these amazing benefits!
  • Yogurt: loaded with vitamins and minerals, it replenishes withered skin, brightens and evens out skin coloration, moisturizes and nourishes, and its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties are great for breakouts.
  • Honey: protects your skin from free radicals, hydrates, is anti-inflammatory, and promotes new skin cell formation, which slows down the aging process!
  • Avocado: it's healthy oils deeply hydrate, replenish and protect skin cells, and vitamin C builds collagen to keep your skin strong and elastic

Sweet Green Beauty Edible Face Mask

2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tsp honey
spoonful avocado

Mash everything into a spread (mine wasn't completely smooth, you can see by how it dried) and spread it on your face, even under your chin and on your neck. Let dry for 15-20 minutes (read, have a snack, relax) and rinse off with lukewarm water. Gentle enough to do 2-3 times per week. Great for dry, oily, tired and breakout-prone skin. Enjoy!

Want to know more? Check out this resource: 10 Foods That Belong on Your Face!