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Healthy Pantry Makeover

Health, Healthy Home, Info & Tips, Lifestyle

A healthy beauty routine starts in the kitchen. You’ve heard that old saying “you are what you eat”. If you want outer beauty then you must look at nourishing the body from the inside out. Did you know that your hair, skin, and nails are the last parts of the body to receive nutrients? Your body gives whatever nourishment to the vital organs first then the remaining nutrients go to the outer areas. That’s why it’s important that your diet has an ample supply of fresh leafy greens, veggies, and antioxidant boosting fruits like berries.

 

Your kitchen is the go to place for the foods to make meals and snacks. Most of your foods should be whole unprocessed foods. Foods without ingredient lists or heavy handed health claims on the labels are the best choice. Fresh food and items without a shelf life are a good way to go.

 

Below are a few ways you can start to give your panty a healthy makeover:

 

  1. GET A CLEAN START

Clear out all your shelves of your pantry, kitchen, cabinets, and refrigerator. You won’t be able to see what you’re working with until you’ve completely removed everything. You don’t have to throw everything out at once but it’s best to know what not to buy again and what needs to be swapped with a better choice when you go grocery shopping. By emptying your pantry you may uncover a few hidden gems that you’d completely forgotten.

 

 

  1. SORT AND PURGE

Go through everything to see if it loosely fits within the suggested items above. IE fresh whole foods or grains like wild rice, quinoa, spelt, amaranth, etc.

Items you should also toss include:

  • can goods
  • bags and boxes with rips or tears
  • spices older than one year
  • items that are expired
  • anything with an infestation

 

Inspect ingredient labels- look for these artificial food colors, sweeteners, flavor enhancers, preservatives, hydrogenated or highly processed oils and fats, GMO’s (genetically modified), high fructose corn syrup, sugar.

 

Ditch the junk- It’s better not to have those items in your kitchen to tempt you and learn to find healthier choices to snack on. Get rid of the potato chips, candy bars, cookies, etc especially any with the ingredients we have discussed so far.

 

Bypass BPA- I stopped buying canned good and plastic for this reason. Shop labels that say BPA free or buy items in glass containers instead. BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical also known as bisphenol-A, a synthetic oestrogen

 

dried-oranges-in-an-old-jar-picjumbo-com

 

  1. ORGANIZE 

Once you’ve purged your pantry, organize your remaining items grouping like items with like items. For example snacks in one area (crackers, nuts, dried fruits), containers of cut carrots, celery, snow peas on a low shelf in the fridge. Keeping your pantry organized in this way will make it easier to identify the items you need when heading to the store or preparing healthy meals.

 

  1. CLEAN

Obviously before restocking your pantry make sure you thoroughly clean out the space. Start at the top shelf wipe down all surfaces with a warm, damp cloth. If any of your food containers are sticky or dusty wipe them down before placing them back in the cupboard.

Amazing Beauty Products from your Pantry

Health, Healthy Home, Info & Tips, Lifestyle

I’ve reviewed a few natural and organic beauty brands on the blog but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about the DIY days. Products that are already formulated for you without having to do anything extra are great. However you can find great beauty products right in your own kitchen. I’ll bet most of you already have some of these items on hand. Fruits, veggies, and herbs can fight wrinkles, dry skin, dullness, and even dark spots! Here are a few natural beauty products that you can find at home:

 

Potatoes– Oh I love potatoes! Although I’ve made a commitment to stay away from this starchy veg for a while or at least not eat them all the time. But it’s actually the starch from the potatoes that can help alleviate puffy eyes. Potatoes contain an anti-inflammatory astringent that reduces the puffy areas around the eyes. I’ve used this trip myself many a times and trust me it works.

 

Brown Sugar– With the summer basically around the corner we all want that beautiful healthy skin glowing in the sun! Clear glowing skin starts with a regular exfoliation sessions. No need to spend crazy amounts of money buying those scrubs when you can take a half a cup of brown sugar and mix it your favorite oil like olive or coconut oil (melted). Bring this mixture into your next shower and scrub your body with it after your normal rituals.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar– I know ACV is very popular amongst the natural hair community even though many hair stylists are saying the total opposite. Read here for more info on that… Back to the matter at hand apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent and toner. You can actually apply this to your face with a cotton ball after a cleansing. This will help restore your skin’s pH balance, tone, hydrate, and can even help with removing unwanted dark spots.

fruit-on-counter

Strawberries– Oh how I love berries and if you are following me on social media then you know how I’ve been on a berry binge for the last few weeks. Not only are the filled with antioxidants for healthy skin but strawberries also contain malic acid which is a natural teeth whitener. You can make simple at home toothpaste using strawberries by crushing a strawberry in some baking soda and coconut oil. Mix the ingredients together until they form a paste. Brush teeth as normal. Over time this will actually brighten your smile and promote fresh breath.

 

 

Avocados– Not only are they a healthy fat which is delicious when eaten but avocados are a natural moisturizer as well. You can use fresh ripe avocados as a hair conditioner to provide moisture or even a facial mask to hydrate dry skin. Just be sure that the avocado is masked and blended well if using it in your hair; you don’t want chunks of avocado left in your hair! As a mask simply mash an avocado with a fork and apply it to your face for 10 minutes. The natural fats and vitamins will relieve dry skin.

 

 

Those are just a few of my at home natural beauty items. Have you tried any of these? If so let me know in the comments.

 

 

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Why Women of Color Should Opt for Non-Toxic Cosmetics

Body, Health, Info & Tips, Lifestyle, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

When I refer to women of color I don’t just mean those of Black or African decent. The term includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including Latina, Native American, Asian, and Indian. As a fellow brown girl my passion and drive for creating this blog is to serve as a resource and motivation to chose organic and all natural options when it comes to cosmetics. My goal with this blog is to at least get women to consider their health when purchasing beauty products and to show that there are safer alternatives.

 

Cosmetics are a $71 billion industry. Of that number women of color spend close to three times as much than any other group. Cosmetic products marketed to women of color have improved in providing safer ingredients. The natural hair care industry has grown from only a select few companies to several; most of which are now offered in local beauty supply stores and big box retailers. I remember a time when there were only a select few available exclusively online.

 

According to the Environmental Working Group many ingredients used in traditional personal care products are known carcinogens, which have been linked to breast cancer. Unfortunately in the United States there is no system in place to regulate potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics. Cosmetic companies are not required to have their products tested for safety by the FDA or any other agency. This means we as consumers have to be careful to read our labels and understand the ingredients in the products we use in and on our bodies daily.

 

The average US woman uses beauty products that contain nearly 200 different chemicals. Of these chemicals many include parabens, mercury, artificial dye, phthalates, formaldehyde, and toluene. All of these substances have been proven to cause many adverse health risks with prolonged use. Some of these health concerns are fibroid tumors, infertility, birth defects, hair loss, cancer, and this is just to name a few! Women of color are at a greater risk for these fibroids, breast cancer, and other diseases.

 

I often hear women of color especially in the black community stay away from certain ingredients in their hair care products but why not extend that to your makeup, skincare, and other beauty products. While it may sound overwhelming at first you can make small changes one product at a time. As a woman of color I understand where the challenge comes to finding cosmetics that are a perfect match. Hopefully this blog will introduce you to some natural alternatives that won’t compromise your health in the name of beauty.

 

Here are some resources if you want to do more research:

Story of cosmetics

Safe Cosmetics.org

Environmental Working Group

 

 

A few things before you go…..

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