What is the deal with face toners? (read that again in Seinfeld’s voice). I haven’t always used a toner to be honest and was always wondering are face toners necessary? What is their purpose and do we need a different one depending on our skin type? Because I am not a skincare expert (I just really like skincare and beauty), I also wanted to get some perspective from an actual expert as well. My goal in writing this post is to get to the facts about face toners and to share how I use them.
Are Face Toners Necessary?
This is the question I have been wondering myself lately. I’ll admit, I used to use a toner all the time, then I stopped because I didn’t understand its purpose. Now, I am back on the toner train. But what do they do exactly? As a teen, I remember being quite diligent about using a toner to help with pimples. Those were the days of alcohol-laden toners that left a squeaky clean feeling on my face. I loved that feeling. I thought that was what I needed to keep acne and pimples at bay. So because my skin is mostly blemish free, are face toners necessary anymore?Toners come in a lot more variety these days (thankfully). There are some that are designed to hydrate, some to combat oiliness and others for combination skin. You want to look for one with ingredients that help whichever skin type you have.
As I have more dry skin, I always thought toners weren’t necessary for me. But the truth is, they have helped my skin retain more moisture, look and feel more hydrated and keep my skin looking dewy and fresh. I also love using them to set my makeup and in the hot summer months, nothing is better than spritzing a little mist on my face. Pro tip: keep your favourite mist in the fridge and use it cold in the summer.
How I use Facial Toners:
The other great thing about applying a toner is that they help increase the absorption of your other products. If you are using oils, they should be applied on slightly damp skin. After cleansing, I always apply a toner, then my serum or oil, followed by a cream (or SPF for daytime) last. If I am doing this at night, I like to apply my toner after cleansing to ensure that all of my makeup and anything else is removed in full. Since I do follow the double cleanse method, I don’t have to worry too much about removing my makeup with a toner because I find this method really removes everything.
Again, throughout the day, if I feel I need a boost, I also re-apply with a little mist action. If I need to touch up my makeup in the evening after wearing it all day, I always start with a little mist as well. I find it helps my makeup go on better and then I usually set with another small spritz. Again, I love a more dewy look, so this is perfect for me. I really feel like it makes my skin look more refreshed and awake and so in the morning, after washing my face I also like to spray with a toner as well.
The thing is with dry skin, it can look a little dull and fine lines and wrinkles also tend to show up more. Staying hydrated with a toner is essential for maintaining elasticity, suppleness, moisture and overall a more youthful appearance. And this 34 year old is not mad about that! So to answer the question- are face toners necessary, I would say yes.
Five Reasons You Want to Use a Face Toner:
It helps increase the absorption of your other products.
It keeps your skin looking fresh and hydrated.
It helps to ensure your face is properly cleansed and your makeup has been removed.
Nothing feels better on your face than a spritz of toner on a hot day.
It helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles as it makes your skin more supple and smooth.
I was really excited when one of my favourite brands, Wildcraft Care reached out to me to try their new toners. They sent along their new 4oz toners for me to try and as always I love that they use high quality, organic and wild crafted ingredients, they’re simple, effective and affordable. I am more partial to their Geranium Orange Blossom as it is geared towards more dry skin. Plus, I LOVE the scent, orange is one of my favourites.
Here are some more details on the Wildcraft toners directly from the owner herself:
1. As soon as I jump out of the shower and dry off I mist the toner on my face neck and chest and immediately apply our face serum while the toner is still wet. The toner will help to glide the serum over the skin and because they are somewhat astringent they also help to pull the oil into the pores.
2. I love to use a few mists on a hot day or after travel to refresh.
The lovely folks at Wildcraft have been generous enough to give you 15% off, use the code HOLISTICFOODIE to save!
If you buy any products from the Detox Market Canada website, you can use my code HOLISTICFOODIE10 to save 10% off your order! Note: This code DOES NOT apply to sale section, product bundles such as the latest Detox Your Beauty Box, gift cards and all May Lindstrom, Kypris Beauty and Vintner’s Daughter products.
On my blog I do share affiliate links, however, I will never use an affiliate program or link to products unless I truly love the brand. I can never be paid for a positive review and do not collect a commission on any item I do not whole-heartedly love and support.
So what doe you think. Are face toners necessary for you?
Don’t forget, if you want to know how to nourish your skin from the inside out with food, download my FREE eBook.
This is my first pancake recipe on the blog! To be honest, that isn’t too crazy when I think about it. I am much more of a savoury breakfast person so I don’t do pancakes very often. And second, I am so picky when it comes to pancakes. I want them fluffy and light, but also nutritious and kinda healthy. I just don’t like overly sweet things, so you’ll never find me ordering a stack of pancakes when I am out, it’s eggs all the way. The problem with using more fibrous flours is that they aren’t as fluffy, but these spelt pancakes are so good, it doesn’t matter. So you may lose a bit of fluff, but trust me, with the toppings you won’t even notice. Plus they are much more filling.
When the cravings hit
I actually love using spelt flour because it not only has more protein and fibre than traditional white flour, but it also has a more unique taste too. Spelt is an ancient grain and is believed to be easier to digest than white flour, although it is not gluten free. Personally, I do ok with gluten. Although most of the meals I make are inherently gluten free, I still love a good sourdough every now and then. With spelt, I feel like I am still getting that bread taste, just in a different way.
Well this past weekend, I woke up and wanted pancakes. It is not often that I will get a pancake craving, it’s usually my partner, Sam who wants something sweet in the morning. But because I am all about intuitive eating and living and honouring my cravings, I listened to them.
Thats the thing abut cravings, most people I talk to want to simply ignore them. But, what ends up happening when we do this is that we ignore the signals our bodies are sending us. After doing many workshops on intuitive eating and emotional eating, I have found that women either want to forget about the craving and they try to ignore them or they try to satisfy it as quickly as possible. I always encourage these women and clients to listen to the craving and to sit with the feelings before trying to move on too quickly. A lot of the times, these cravings are emotional rather than physical. That means that although there could be a nutritional element missing from our diets which is why we are having the craving in the first place, it is more often an emotional reason. This requires some mindfulness on your part. So check in with yourself, ask yourself “what do I need?” You may be surprised of the answer when you search for it. Many times it is more self-care, slow living and love. For example, often times when we crave chocolate, what we are really craving is love. Maybe, you need to allow more love in your life in some way. This doesn’t always need to be love from someone else, but maybe more self love instead. Finding what that missing element is can be much more beneficial than just numbing yourself with food. And maybe, food is the answer at the time and that is more than ok too. Sometimes, we can’t feel all the feelings and we just need a distraction, that could be in the form of some spelt pancakes. Whatever feels best for you, do that.
What I was Really Craving:
For me, I think the craving for something sweet came at the perfect time. I’ve been acting a bit like a recluse lately… working from home all day, everyday can get lonely. I haven’t allowed much time for play. I think this craving was trying to tell me that I need to slow down, go outside have a little fun. Summer time is the perfect time to be outside and yet, here I am spending far too many hours at home trying to do all the things. So I spent the afternoon outside, wandering through the market in Toronto and taking in the beautiful summer weather.
Here are some snaps of what I found, bought and admired.
Spelt Pancakes For the Win
I also made these spelt pancakes with chocolate chips and coconut whipped cream because I truly wanted them. So next time you find yourself getting a craving, rather than being upset with yourself or trying to ignore them, just stop for a minute and listen. Maybe you need a little more excitement or love in your life, maybe its these spelt pancakes and maybe like me, its both.
Do you find yourself constantly dealing with cravings? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see if I can help.
Delicious, easy to make spelt pancakes with chocolate chips and coconut whip cream.
2 cups spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 scoops collagen ((optional))
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cup almond milk ((or other dairy free milk))
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping:
coconut whipped cream
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (spelt, baking soda, sea salt and collagen).
Mix the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl (almond milk, eggs, vanilla, avocado oil).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined, do not over mix.
Heat up a pan on your stove over medium heat and use a little bit of coconut oil if you need.
Pour a large scoop of batter in the pan (and add some chocolate chips if you are using). Cook until bubbles start to form and the one side is starting to get golden in colour, then flip and cook for an additional minute or so. This should take only a few minutes per pancake.
Keep the pancakes in your oven to keep warm, just set the oven on the lowest possible setting and keep them on a baking tray.
When you’re done making the pancakes, serve with sliced banana, extra chocolate chips and coconut whip cream. Enjoy!
Lets just preface this whole post and recipe by saying these chickpea brownies are not your typical brownie. And I am ok with that. So, if you make them, you should be ok with that too. That isn’t to say that regular, baked ooey-gooey brownies don’t also have a place at the table. They sure do in my book. But, if you want to try something a little lighter and a no-bake version, these chickpea brownies might just do it. They are vegan, contain no refined sugar and are gluten free, plus they have lots of fibre and protein. Curious? Read on…
I have tried A LOT of protein powder over the years and while some are great, a lot aren’t. Not only in terms of taste, but also quality and ingredients too. Most of the protein powders on the market have lots of fillers, questionable ingredients and come in those giant tubs that bodybuilders love. Well, those are gonna be a hard no for me. If I am going to be adding a protein powder to my smoothie or anything else, it has to be QUALITY. And also, taste great. If you want to read more about protein powder, have a look at this post where I break it all down.
When I heard about Botanica Health’s Perfect Protein, I was intrigued. It’s made with only a small handful of ingredients and people RAVED about how great it tasted. So when they reached out to me to try their protein powder, I said yup! I tried out the chocolate because if you didn’t already know, I am kind of obsessed with chocolate and I have some nearly everyday. I will for sure be trying the vanilla next.
The protein blend comes from brown rice, quinoa and coconut, all of which are sprouted and fermented making it easier for digestion. Then the only other additions are cocoa and vanilla. I love that these powders are not only minimal in ingredients but they also don’t add any sweeteners of any kind. This way, I can control exactly what and how much I want to add. They are also organic, dairy free and gluten free which is great for anyone with a gluten or dairy sensitivity.
I knew that I wanted to add this protein powder to a baked good of some kind. But I didn’t want to cook with it as heat can diminish some of the nutrients in it. Plus, with it being summer, the oven only goes on in my place for urgent items. And if I can get away with not turning it on, especially for a dessert and for brownies then you better believe it’s staying off. As I said in the beginning of this post, these chickpea brownies are not your typical brownie. First of all they contain no flour, so the texture is very different. Second, they are no-bake meaning, they are much softer than a typical baked brownie. Honestly, I love them. the real test came when I had Sam try them. He is so picky when it comes to desserts and especially brownies. Plus he does not like the taste of protein powder. And he has a super power where he can detect them in anything I make. So I had my work cut out for me. I didn’t tell him there was protein powder in them, but I did say these are made with chickpeas and gave him fair warning that these chickpea brownies are in fact very different than what he may be used to. Immediately, he had a worried look on his face, but he tried it. And he liked them! It’s always a success to me when he likes something. It’s not that he is picky, but he is honest and he likes his desserts sweet and on the more traditional side. And so if he doesn’t like something, I’ll know about it.
So if you want to make these chickpea brownies too, just know that they are not your typical brownie. These ones contain no refined sugar (so long as you find chocolate chips that aren’t made with sugar, I like these ones) and no flour. They are intensely chocolate-y, melt in your mouth and a fun treat for the summer.
Alright so let’s get to some chickpea brownies, shall we?
Make the date paste first and marvel at how creamy and delicious it is. Remember, this was made from DATES!
The dough, once everything is incorporated…
The raw version of the brownie, just waiting to be popped into the fridge or freezer.
Make sure to keep them in the fridge or freezer if you want them to last longer. And serving it with a glass of almond milk, a dollop of coconut whipped cream or nut butter is also a really good idea.
And the final product of course…
Want to enjoy some high protein, vegan and gluten free chickpea brownies? You gotta try this no-bake recipe for the ultimate sugar free dessert.
1 cup dates (pitted, about 10 in total)
1 can chickpeas (15 oz, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 scoop protein powder
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp he shou wu (optional)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (Added after blending)
Line a 9 x 11 square pan with parchment paper, use coconut oil on the pan to keep the paper in place.
Pit the dates and add to a blender or food processor with 3-4 tbsp water. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, this is your date paste.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the date mixture and blend again.
Add the remaining ingredients into the blender/food processor (except the chocolate chips) and mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the chocolate chips and stir it around until they are incorporated.
Add the mix into your lined pan and smooth the top layer, add some more chocolate chips on top.
Place in your fridge or freezer to set. If placing in the freezer, leave it for about 45 minutes and in the fridge, about an hour or longer. I like to leave it in the freezer until it’s really cold, then I cut into squares and put it in the fridge.
I used a mix of raw cacao powder and cocoa powder for this recipe. Raw cacao has more nutrients. minerals etc., however cocoa has a subtler taste. You can go for either or in this recipe, depending on your preference.
Please note this post was sponsored by Botanica Health, meaning they have compensated me for my time and provided product to me to try. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Holistic Foodies possible. This post contains affiliate links which I could receive a small commission of you purchase. Regardless, I stand behind all of these products and services.
If you are into health, wellness and beauty then I am sure you have heard of face rolling. Perhaps you’ve seen jade rollers popping up everywhere, I know I have! While I was attending the Holistic Beauty Expo (an annual expo on all things natural and holistic beauty), I stumbled across facial reflexology. To say I was curious was an understatement. I was very close to buying a rose quartz roller at the expo, but after I tried these tools, I was hooked. I’ve been using them daily for a few months and definitely noticed some changes in my skin and knew that I had to share. So get ready because today we are talking all things facial reflexology!
What the Heck Is Facial Reflexology Anyways?
Maybe like me, you have never heard of facial reflexology. I had heard about reflexology but still didn’t know too much about it. So let’s understand what this is first!
Reflexology has been around for thousands of years and is most often practiced in Eastern cultures. The main premise of reflexology is built around certain pressure points on the body and how they correlate with different organs in the body. It works through the circulatory system, nervous system and energy flow within the body. I had heard about having reflexology done on the feet and hands, but never the face. Turns out, facial reflexology is also a thing and its pretty special.
Facial reflexology is relatively new and is thought to have started around the 1980s. One of the modalities is called Dien Chan or multireflexology. It is the foundation of any facial reflexology done today and is what I will be talking about when it comes to the specific tools I am using.
It is believed that certain issues with your skin (such as wrinkles, blemishes and spots) are caused by an imbalance in your body. The face is an important source of information about the general internal state of your body and a good indicator of overall health. I can speak anecdotally on this in regards to how foods impact your skin. I always notice a difference when I have too much dairy and not enough water. My skin can break out if I have too much dairy and look very dry when I don’t drink enough water.
If you are curious about how to include more foods that are great for inner and outer beauty, including your skin, download my FREE eBook.
The first thing to note is that it doesn’t just benefit your skin. This is a truly holistic approach and can benefit different parts of your body and organs. The main reasons I use it are for the benefits to my skin as I have noticed a difference both immediately after using it and some of the longer term benefits thus far.
Facial reflexology helps to promote blood circulation, strengthen the bond between the facial skin and muscles, and release muscular tension. So if you are anything like me and tend to clench your jaw, this is actually really helpful in relieving some of that tension as well. In addition to this it can also result in improved facial tone and tightening of the skin.
In addition to this, it also helps your skin the following ways:
Helps with lymphatic drainage (thus reducing puffiness)
Evens out the skin and over time can help lessen wrinkles on your face
Makes your oils/serums or moisturizer go on better as it can absorb more product
Relaxes your facial muscles
Tightens the skin
Non-invasive, easy to do at home and takes only minutes each day
Increases blood flow (giving you that glow to your skin)
How to Use the Tools?
The tools that I bought and have been using are these ones, called Multireflex. I am using three tools in total each day and it doesn’t take longer than 6-8 minutes in total. The reason I like these tools is because they offer both a yin and yang approach. Unlike a jade roller which is only a yin tool. When I spoke to Erica (the owner of the reflexology shop) she advised that the reason I want to use both a yin and yang approach is that each offers its own benefits. Specifically, the yin effects are used to hydrate, distribute, cool and stabilize. They are ideal when you want to perform a treatment involving cold or fight pigment concentrations such as spots or beauty marks. Yang tools are used to dry, concentrate, warm and revitalize. They are used them to tone up the flesh, mobilize nutrients and free interrupted energy flows.The specific tools that I bought are numbers 206, 207 and 252. As for how to use them, I would suggest watching the videos from Erica. The tools also come with a reference pamphlet that explain how to use each one. Personally, I found them fairly easy to use and after using them for a few days, I don’t need to look at the pamphlet anymore.
Why this is Different Than Using a Dermaroller or Jade Roller:
I am not familiar with a dermaroller but from what I understand it is a bunch of tiny needles all over your face, without supervision. That just sounds super crazy to me. I am sure it has its benefits and could be done correctly, but it doesn’t seem like something I would want to do on myself.
A jade roller is fine, but here is the thing. Most of the jade on the market is fake. Sorry, but you are not going to be able to get a jade roller for like $10, that shit isn’t jade. The larger issue I have with jade is the ethical implications. There are a lot of issues surrounding the mining of jade, specifically in regards to human rights issues. This is one of the reasons that Living Libations told me they don’t use jade and rather they use rose quartz as their stone of choice. And last, jade rollers (or even other crystals) only provide a yin element. This is why all the tools that I bought and have been using have both yin and yang elements.
Please note that the tools are called Mutlireflex. The tools are hand-crafted and sustainably made in Vietnam. They are created with natural products such as: wood, natural horn (farming cattle at the end of their natural life), stainless steel and polymer (beauty pad). They use natural horn because of its anti-bacterial, anti-septic properties along with its luxury and unique appearance.
So that concludes my post about facial reflexology, what it is and how it works. I like that it is non-invasive, helps with lymphatic drainage (which means less puffiness) and I can do it myself at home. It’s helped my skin look and feel tighter, less puffy (especially around the eyes) and increased blood flow to my face. My skin appears brighter and I use less products as I find my skin can absorb the product better. And that is always a good thing as I have quite the skincare and beauty addiction.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me! I will do my best to answer them and if I can’t, I will ask Erica (the facial reflexology queen) and let you know.
Are you into having healthier hair, naturally? You may want to have a look at what ingredients are in your shampoo and conditioner. Even though you may think it isn’t all that important as you are just washing it out, it does matter. I’ve been using natural hair care products for about five years now and was really happy to see my fave holistic nutritionist, Joy McCarthy launch her Joyous Health shampoo and conditioner. So if you want to know how I like it, stay tuned for my full review!
I will admit that although the ingredients looked good to me, I was worried it was going to be a bit basic for me. I’ve used really high-end natural hair products over the years and so when I saw Joy’s I thought it looked average to me (I’m sorry, don’t hate me). I wasn’t entirely sure that it would work on my hair either, I have very thick hair and lots of it. It is naturally wavy, but I always blow dry it straight. It is not the kind of hair that you can just let air dry or tie in a bun and have it look great after taking it out. It takes work to get it the way I want it and I’ll be honest, I am super jealous of those ladies that have great hair without the work.
But after trying out Joyous Health shampoo and conditioner, I am so happy to report that it is a great natural option. It worked really well on my hair and because I always need to do a double wash (no matter which shampoo I use), it lathered really well too. The Joyous Health shampoo and conditioner have a great lavender scent and work well to clean and condition. I was surprised how nice my hair looked after and how light it felt. My hair lately has been suffering from some build up, but this duo left my hair feeling really light and bouncy. I found the conditioner not as thick as I like, but it still did the trick, although I used more than I normally would with another product. Again, probably just because of my thick hair problems <insert eye roll emoji here>.
If you want to switch to a natural hair care line, I would greatly urge you to consider starting with shampoo and conditioner. So many conventional products out there contain harsh ingredients and silicone which can make your hair feel soft and squeaky clean, but are actually dangerous for your hair. They really provide a false sense of your hair being clean and looking shiny. When in fact, you are actually ruining your hair. Over time, silicone will actually weigh your hair down making it lifeless and dull. It prevents your hair from getting enough moisture making it a magnet for dirt and build-up. That will result in build-up and dried hair that is more prone to breakage and frizz. The worst thing about all that build-up is that your hair will look and feel greasy, leading you to want to wash your hair more and more often. That will lead to further damage long term. I wrote more about this issue in my Innersense hair care review, so feel free to check that out as well.
Since switching to natural hair care products, I only wash my hair once to twice a week, usually twice. I have pretty much trained my hair to stay healthy looking and fresh in between washes. I can’t tell you how much time and money this has saved me. This kind of training has really come from switching to natural hair care products, lifestyle changes and of course my own diet as well.
If you are curious about how to include more foods that are great for inner and outer beauty, including your hair, download my FREE eBook.
Overall, for the price point, I think both the Joyous Health shampoo and conditioner are great options and the ingredients are all really safe, with none of the ingredients rating higher than a 1-2 on EWG. I do have some balayage colour in my hair (learn about natural hair colour here) and although these products don’t have any harsh detergents, it isn’t confirmed to be 100% colour safe. So I will see how my hair does with this over time and may have to use this in conjunction with another colour safe hair care line.
I definitely recommend Joyous Health shampoo and conditioner and its so nice to see a natural hair care line with great ingredients that also works really well.
Let me know, are you ready for the FREE 4-week hair care challenge?
I had so much great feedback from part one of my story on becoming a holistic nutritionist from those wanting to get into holistic nutrition and run their own business that I knew I had to write part two. So before you read this, maybe you want to read part one first. The thing is it was really hard to do it all on your own, so I needed to get help, enter the Wellness Business Academy. Because just becoming a holistic nutritionist isn’t enough and neither is all the schooling, sorry not sorry. If you want to make a greater impact, you are going to have to step it up, put yourself out there, hustle and be in alignment with your greater purpose.
Alright, I was fresh out of school in late summer 2015. I thought that I would just launch my website, people would visit and I could blog about nutrition and food and share recipes. I imagined that clients would just find me that way and I would work one-on-one with them. I didn’t know who my client was, who I was supposed to be serving or talking to and I didn’t think that it mattered. Oh boy, was I wrong!
Develop Your Niche:
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a well-defined niche. You cannot serve everyone, trust me. Your message won’t be targeted enough and you’ll want to please everyone and you can’t (nor do you want to). So take a bit of time and find out who it is you really want to speak to. Write out who that person is with as much detail as possible. GET SUPER SPECIFIC here. Know who the person is, give them a name, describe them both physically and emotionally. What are their pain points, what makes them happy/sad/angry.
I wrote all of mine out on a huge bristol board. I look at it all the time so I can remind myself who this person is.
When you need help:
How did I know to do this though? I don’t have a marketing background at all, so I registered for Lori Kennedy’s Wellness Business Academy (read all about the program here!). This program is one of the only programs that specializes in building a business in the health and wellness space. It was by far one of the best decisions I made financially for myself. The program does focus a lot on building an online program that can be run online. But truthfully it is so much more than that.
I met Lori when I went to her in-person Wellness Business Summit in Toronto and it was love at first sight. She gets it. She is a Holistic Nutritionist (although, she doesn’t practice anymore) and a total boss. Her story was my story and I felt this strong connection to her, plus she isn’t afraid to tell it like it is and drop an f bomb here and there *swoon*. After the summit ended, I wanted to sign up for the program, but felt I wasn’t ready. Plus, I was struggling financially and couldn’t get myself to make the purchase. So, I waited…
I tried to do things on my own, created an e-book, worked on my website and played small. I didn’t put myself out there, I didn’t do any in-person events, nothing. Truly, I was almost ready to give up, I thought I just didn’t have it in me.
Enter the Wellness Business Academy:
But the thought of staying in my career and working a job I didn’t care about stopped me. I knew I had to step up. So when Lori launched the Wellness Business Academy again, I didn’t miss out this time. I purchased the program and completed it after a few months. It brought me so much clarity about my why. Why was I doing this, who was I doing it for and why it all mattered so much. The why is so much bigger than just helping people, it has to be. It has to also be a why for you, for what you want in your life, and why you need to invest in yourself. So don’t forget about you in the equation either.
Do I recommend the Wellness Business Academy?
If you are looking for my seal of approval on the Wellness Business Academy, here you have it. I think that if you have a marketing background then perhaps you don’t need this program. I truly felt lost on all this and I do better by doing rather than simply reading. So yes, you could just read some marketing books, but the Wellness Business Academy makes you do the work along the way. I developed my program using her method and it made the process much easier. You work at your own pace, so there is no set timeframe to finish the program. This means you have access for life.
And the last thing I’ll say about the Wellness Business Academy is that the community is fucking awesome. The Facebook group is sooooo helpful and Lori and the manager, Michelle do monthly coaching calls in the facebook group. So you can ask all your questions in there and they will spend the time giving you a very well-thought out answer. This also never expires, no matter how long after you purchased the program. If you prefer in-person stuff, Lori also runs a mastermind for students in Toronto as well. These 2-day events are great to meet people, connect to your why and get shit done or GSD as Lori says.
In case you haven’t been able to tell, I am a big fan of the Wellness Business Academy, which you can find more about over here. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to ask me. I would never endorse something that I didn’t feel deserved it because your opinion matters so much more. Truly, I haven’t come across another program like this one with so many bonuses and lifetime access. Lori gives so much I don’t know how she does it.
What about Social Media?
After completing the Wellness Business Academy, I was able to focus much more clearly on what I should be doing more of and spent less time doing things that don’t matter. One of those things that is important but not everything is social media. The thing with social media is that you don’t own that medium, so one day the app could disappear and you’d be left with nothing. It’s much better to have an email list and a website. Even if you don’t plan on blogging, having your own website is really important.
All about the gram?
If being on social media and putting yourself out there scares you or makes you feel uncomfortable that can actually be a good thing. Nothing good ever comes from your comfort zone. At first, when I started my instagram account in 2015, I was playing it very safe. I shared quick snippets of food that I made and never shared much of a personal side. I also didn’t engage with many people on the platform other than just ‘liking’ a pic every now and then. Suffice to say, my growth was sooooo slow. I didn’t understand the importance of sharing from a place of vulnerability and engaging with others. Those things matter on social media so please don’t underestimate them. If you could care less about being an influencer (ugh, I hate that term lol) then don’t focus on that. But, I do think that in today’s age, you should have some kind of social media presence. Choose the platform that works for you and leave behind what doesn’t.
In closing, I think that having a strong niche with a focus on who you are serving is the most important thing.
You can’t create content for anyone if you don’t know who you’re creating it for.
Just for reference, I worked a full time job, completed the Wellness Business Academy and managed this blog, social media etc. So it is entirely possible if you want it bad enough. In the last two months, I left my very safe corporate job and have been pursuing nutrition and blogging full time.
Please note that some links are affiliate links, as always, all opinions expressed are my own. I only recommend programs/services and products that I have used/bought and believe in.
Have you ever made a big investment in yourself? Share what and how it helped you below!
I think it’s safe to say that there is no escaping stress in our lives and finding ways to deal with stress effectively is so important. Unfortunately, anxiety doesn’t seem to be something that a lot of people want to talk about, even though so many people are dealing with it. It wasn’t until this week when news broke about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain that I thought to myself I need to share more about my own struggles. If its something we all deal with, why are so many suffering in silence?
My Own Struggle with Anxiety:
Growing up, I dealt with anxiety but never knew that was what it was. I thought it was normal, so I just dealt with it for most of my life as is. I have always been rather shy growing up, so I was always a bit uncomfortable in large group settings. I would stress about going to party’s in high school because of it and when I found alcohol, it helped me relax and I used it as a crutch to open up and be more outgoing. Over time, I did learn how to have my own voice and open up more with people sans alcohol, but I would be lying if I said alcohol didn’t help a lot. The shyness was really a result of a lack of self confidence and anxiety about what I thought people would think about me. It was exhausting to always be so concerned with what people thought.
It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I finally figured out that what I was dealing with was indeed anxiety. I heard about it being talked about somewhere and thought to myself, “I do those things…” and it finally clicked. For me, my anxiety would peek at night when I was going to sleep. I would be lying down and going over everything I said or did that day and over analyze it to death. I would think about comments that someone made at work and go over it again and again, trying to see if I should have done or said something different. It was exhausting. Many nights, I lost sleep because of it. I thought this was completely normal, but it’s not.
I know that my anxiety is not nearly as debilitating as others and I think that is also why I didn’t want to share it either. I worried that my anxiety wasn’t serious enough. So I worried about my worrying, lol. I had to find ways to deal with stress and anxiety effectively though because it was no way to live. So when stress and my own fears and anxiety start creeping in, I’ve developed several strategies to deal with them.
Ways to Deal with Stress and Anxiety, Naturally:
There are two main things to consider when it comes to finding ways to deal with stress and anxiety. The first is that you need to have lifestyle changes in place to help you deal with stress and anxiety before they get out of hand. The second point is to use specific products to deal with stress when it manages to creep up on you.
Lifestyle Changes to Help with Stress and Anxiety:
This has to be one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and one of my favourite ways to deal with stress. I have been meditating for about 4-5 months now and the change that I feel when I do this continuously (meaning daily) is life changing. It isn’t easy and not every time I do it is it perfect by any means, but the difference that I feel when I don’t do it makes me want to keep doing it.
Here is how it works for me:
Slowing down the mind and tuning in has made me more comfortable with myself, it has helped me see things about myself that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
It helps calm my mind down when it wants to go 100 miles an hour.
I prefer doing guided meditations for now, but in the future who knows, maybe I will get into doing it on my own.
For now, I use apps like Headspace, Simple Habit and Insight. I have also been going to some meditation classes in Toronto as well and have really enjoyed doing guided meditations in-person as well.
Simply getting out your thoughts and feelings on paper is very therapeutic for me. I will admit, writing has always been something I loved (hence blogging) but it can be difficult if you aren’t used to it. How often you should journal is entirely dependant on you, but if you are just starting out, I would try to do it as often as possible. There is also a huge emotional component associated with journalling and it has been shown that journaling 15–20 minutes on 3–5 occasions was enough to help the participants deal with traumatic, stressful, or otherwise emotional events.
Here are some tips for journaling:
Give yourself a timer for 5-10 minutes and just write, whatever comes to you. It may not be super introspective at first, but it will get there in time.
Just start, see what comes up and don’t judge whatever that may be.
Write truthfully (if you can’t be honest with yourself, what’s the point?)
Write in a way that is natural to you.
Pick up a pretty notebook or journal that makes you want to write. I love my five minute journal for daily writing.
Cleansing the energy around you can be very therapeutic. If you aren’t into energy work and you think crystals or sage/palo santo are too woo-woo for you, just try it. Even if you don’t do anything with it, but simply light the sage or palo santo, you can feel the benefits. Its all about creating the routine and has quickly become one of my favourite ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
Here is how I use these modalities:
Personally, I like starting my mornings with a meditation and lighting some palo santo. Every now and then, I will use sage to cleanse my whole condo.
If you think about it from a practical point of view, there is energy everywhere (we are all energy) and sometimes that can become stagnant and build up. Clearing old energy (that may not even be from you) can really help calm your own energy.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, a couple of deep breaths can really help. Taking really deep belly breaths in and then exhaling out of your mouth can do wonders, I often find this technique very useful when I find myself getting overwhelmed.
Check out this post all about my nightly routine! Overall, it is important to develop your own routine that will help you deal with stress and anxiety. The tips I share work for me, but find what works for you.
Caffeine can actually be the cause of your anxiety and can plague your adrenals (your stress glands) negatively. If you haven’t already tried, make the switch to some caffeine-free lattes or try matcha. If you notice yourself dependant on coffee throughout the day or to get started in the morning, it may be time to make the switch at least for a little while.
Challenge My Thoughts:
When I find myself deep in the throws of self doubt and limiting beliefs, I simply try my best to take a step back and challenge them. I ask myself “is this really true?” and most of the time it is not even close to the truth. This is one of the hardest things to do sometimes, because we all believe that little voice in our heads that wants to tell us we can’t do something, but trust me, you can. Next time you find yourself having some doubts, challenge the shit out of them.
If you want some great book recommendations, check out any of these:
Expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to deal with stress and anxiety. It is impossible to be in a state of fear while expressing gratitude. Simply write down a few things that you have right now to be grateful for and see how that changes your body, your energy and your mind. Just another reason why I love my five minute journal as it forces you to write down three things you are grateful for each day.
Talk to someone:
If you are really dealing with something, sometimes it’s better to talk to someone. In an age where we are constantly disconnected from each other (even with social media), it is so important to foster an environment of community. Whether it is a friend, colleague, family member or a therapist, find someone you can talk to. If you have trouble expressing yourself verbally, write an email out to that person and get the feelings out that way.
Moving my body in some way each day has been so helpful in getting me into a different state of mind when I am feeling stressed or anxious. It can be as simple as going for a walk, doing yoga or Pilates or a HIIT/spin class. Whatever it is that you need at the time. I will say that most of the time, if we are dealing with stress and anxiety, lighter forms of movement like yoga and Pilates can be far more beneficial than a high intensity exercise.
I personally love these mushroom blends! Sometimes making a warm elixir is all that I need to wind down. The benefits of mushrooms are well documented and can help your body adapt to stress. You can read all about mushrooms and Four Sigmatic here and here.
One of the ways to deal with stress is by simply diffusing a blend of essential oils. You can read all about essential oils and how I use them over here.
I love taking magnesium before bed as it helps to calm me down, get me ready for bed and puts my racing mind at ease. Recently, I have been combining magnesium (I like Natural Calm) with Organika’s Enhanced Relax Collagen. I simply boil water, add that hot water to the magnesium and 1 tbsp of the collagen with magnesium and it has really been helping me get to sleep.
I have been loving this product lately! These supplements are made using only organic and natural ingredients and are whole-foods based as well. So this product in particular contains only lemon balm and goji berries. Goji berries are among one of the highest sources of melatonin among plants and lemon balm (one of my fave plants) is known for its sedative properties.
I also like having a relaxing cup of herbal tea before bed as well. Some of the brands I like include Affect Health- Nightly Zen which contains valerian, passionflower, oat straw and skullcap, all of which are beneficial in promoting sleep and soothing anxious thoughts. I also like this tea blend from Lake & Oak called liquid calm which contains skullcap, chamomile, spearmint and rose petals.
This is something that is fairly new and although I have only tried it a few times, it seems promising. I haven’t been able to source a good quality or even a legal one here in Canada yet as many of the products sold here are black market. I can’t recommend a good quality one as of yet, but it is definitely something I am actively looking into.
And there you have it! Ten ways to deal with stress and anxiety, naturally. I hope that you found something here helpful.
I’d love to hear from you as well, so please feel free to share some of your own unique ways to deal with stress.
I don’t know about you, but I am pretty obsessed with healthy skin. I love to keep my skin looking glowy, dewy, hydrated and just as radiant as possible. Of course, it doesn’t always look picture perfect because that isn’t real life either, but when I make sure to incorporate more nutrients into my life, I notice a big difference. I love including fun superfoods and supplements for added skin benefits, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, you don’t need to have them. Regular food (and water) can also do wonders for our health and our skin. Today, I am focusing on the best foods for healthy skin, which include my top five favourite beauty foods that you can start including right now to help boost your skin’s appearance.
If you haven’t already checked out my free ebook called “Get the Glow” you gotta check that out! In it, you will find a whole list of the best foods for healthy skinplus you’ll get six delicious, easy and plant-based recipes too.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE GLOW
So here is my list of the best foods for healthy skin which you can easily start incorporating more of into your life. They are seriously so basic, that you may not even think they are worth being included, but trust me, they so are.
Best Foods for Healthy Skin:
Cucumber: known as a water vegetable, these are great for increasing hydration which is crucial for great, glowing supple skin. The silica which is found in the skin of the cucumber helps make your skin resilient and radiant as well, so be sure not to peel the cucumber. For this reason, choosing organic cucumbers is best to avoid and reduce pesticides. They also contain vitamin C which helps to brighten the skin and aids in the formation of collagen, something that we all lose as we age. Last, the caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and is incredibly soothing to the skin, helping to counteract water retention which is why people place them over their eyes to help reduce puffiness.
How to use them: add them sliced into salads, frozen in your smoothie or just eat them raw with a dip or smashed avocado (my personal fave). Also, don’t underestimate their power in reducing puffiness from your eyes, you can read more about how to reduce dark circles and puffiness here. Brazil nuts: these nuts are one of the richest and most reliable food sources of selenium you can get. Selenium is a valuable trace mineral that is often times missing or low in the diet, so by incorporating just a few brazil nuts into your diet you are ensuring an adequate supply of this mineral. Selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from sun damage as well as helps the skin maintain firmness and elasticity. Selenium is one of the best minerals for your skin along with zinc.
How to use them: add a few to your own homemade dairy free nut milk, add some to salads, make a vegan parmesan with them and nutritional yeast (just process them together into a fine powder), or add them to any dish that requires any other nut. You don’t need very many to reap the benefits.
Avocado: this has to be one of the best foods for healthy skin out there in my opinion and too many people don’t get enough for fear of the fat content and that is pretty unfortunate. They are rich in the skin smoothing beauty vitamins of A, C, E (the best of any fruit) and K. Vitamin E in particular is a potent antioxidant and because it is fat soluble it offers protection against damage to the fats that line the outside of every cell in our body. This truly works wonders on the insides of our body and that shows on the outside. The high fat content of avocados combined with the fiber and protein also help you feel full and can ward off binging on sugary foods that don’t do much for your skin.
How to use them: literally any way you choose, you cannot go wrong! Make my avocado chocolate pudding with the bonus of chia seeds for some serious beauty food. Or throw them in your salads, mash them and have it as guacamole, or add frozen to your smoothie to make them super smooth.
Radishes: radishes are oftentimes overlooked or under-appreciated, but they are a wonderful food to add into your diet as they are great at strengthening your hair. This is due to the vitamin C content as well as silicon and sulfur which together help build strong and healthy looking hair. They work to dissolve mucus in the digestive tract so those nutrients can go to work and flow throughout the body.
How to use them: Add sliced radishes on top of your avocado toast, or in your salads, in a stir-fry or just eat them raw. I love adding watermelon radish to my dishes to really make the meal pop from an aesthetic point of view. Romaine Lettuce: rich in beta carotenes, this beauty food is converted into the powerful anti-aging vitamin A which allows for proper moisture retention in the skin, aiding in removing dead skin cells from your body and making room for new cells. Romaine also has a high concentration of water which helps to keep your skin looking hydrated and plump. A lot of times people assume that romaine is all water and mistake it for iceberg lettuce which has little to no nutrients. This is a mistake, romaine is a great addition and offers so much more than iceberg ever could!
How to use them: as a base for your next salad, or add it to your smoothie (bonus, you can easily hide this much better than spinach). Or take it to the next level and try it grilled! You can find this recipe in my 21-Day Kickstart.
Keep in mind that while all these foods are amazing for your skin and some of my personal faves, that doesn’t mean that fun foods like those higher in sugar or a great cocktail can’t also be part of your life. It really is all about balance and finding what works for you. Don’t be afraid to indulge here and there and when you do, lose the guilt because it has no place on your plate.
Did any of these foods surprise you? Do you have another favourite beauty food?
Don’t forget to download my free ebook that goes into detail on the best foods for healthy skinand shows you how to easily incorporate them as well.
I cannot even begin to tell you how good these jicama tacos were. I want to throw out that term “life changing” but it’s sooo overused (in the blogging and food world) and I don’t want you to think these are overhyped because they are not. I was talking about them for days after I ate them and even my boyfriend, Sam, told me I had to blog this recipe. He is always brutally honest when it comes to recipes and so if you are a little weary of how these taste, don’t be! Trust in the process friends and just make these jicama tacos in some form because they are legit PERFECT for spring and summer.
This was the first time I made jackfruit myself. I have had it out at restaurants and absolutely loved the taste and texture, but hadn’t yet taken the plunge and made them in my kitchen. I am so happy I did because not only are they tasty, they are beyond easy to throw together too. Much easier than making pulled pork or chicken in my opinion and if you are wondering how it will hold up compared to the original meat option, just know they HOLD UP SO WELL! In fact, if I didn’t blab to Sam that these contained no meat, he wouldn’t have known at all. So if you want to freak people out, don’t tell them until after and then just whisper to them “that wasn’t meat…” and watch the panic set in. Ok, that’s kinda mean, but also funny and I think you should try that and let me know how it goes. Of course, after that you can share that the secret ingredient is jackfruit, but keep the suspense going for just a few moments.
What is Jackfruit?
So what exactly is jackfruit? It’s a magical thing to be honest and if you are vegetarian, this substitute might just be my personal favourite meat alternative, in terms of taste. Jackfruit is a species of tree native to Southwest India. As such it is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines, both the ripe and unripe fruit is used as are the seeds. For this recipe, we are using unripe jackfruit as this is the one that would typically be used in a meat type dish. The ripe version is much sweeter and is traditionally used in breakfast type dishes.
What about Protein?
The only potential downside of jackfruit is that it doesn’t contain much protein. But the thing is because unlike most of the population, I am not obsessed with this macro (or any macro) in particular. Obviously, protein is important, but if you are combining this with other sources of protein or you had protein in another meal that day, I am not too worried. It does contain other vitamins (such as vitamin C), minerals (especially high in magnesium) and a decent amount of fibre. When you combine this with jicama as I do in these jicama tacos, HELLO FIBRE! The seeds from jackfruit are actually where you will find most of the fibre, so don’t discard those.
Jicama Tacos: Full of Prebiotics!
Jicama in particular is full of prebiotic fibre and is mainly water, which means it is great for increasing hydration and for your skin. Although jicama is a root veggie, it is very low in dietary starch, sugar and carbs. Because it contains that prebiotic fibre, it is amazing at helping to feed the probiotics in our body, you can read more about prebiotics here. This also means that it helps with stabilizing your blood sugar as well. I loved using raw jicama as the base for these jicama tacos in this recipe. I had it similar to this when I was on vacation in December in the Caribbean and it was a game changer. Who ever thought to make jicama as the taco shell is a freakin’ GENIUS. If you want them super thin (which is ideal), slice very thinly or use a mandolin. I don’t have a mandolin (slightly terrified of them tbh) but I did try and slice very thin and it seemed to work just fine for me. Some piece were a little thicker than others, but whatever, it still worked, they just didn’t fold as nicely.
You can find jicama at a well-stocked grocery store, like Whole Foods or other South American grocers (as these are popular in Mexico).
If you want to learn more about beauty foods for glowing skin from the inside-out, download my FREE ebook!
Drain both cans of jackfruit. Cut the firm pointy ends off each triangular piece. Shred with your hands the pieces of jackfruit, you can shred them more with a fork once you start cooking as well.
Heat avocado or coconut oil on a pan, add the onion and cook over medium, until softened. Add the garlic in the last 20 seconds or so, stir together and add all the spices (paprika, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and chili flakes).
Now add in the jackfruit and stir, add in the tamari and bbq sauce. Mix everything really well and just squash the pieces of jackfruit and use two forks to pull apart the pieces.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
While this is simmering, slice your jicama as thinly as possible using a sharp knife or mandolin.
Serve the jicama with jackfruit on top, avocado, radish and cilantro.
Let me know, have you used jackfruit or jicama before? Are you going to try jicama tacos now?