Friday, July 19, 2013

Homemade Scrubs & Masks

I can't help it... The Hippie Momma in me can hardly contain myself!!!

Just in this last week I have made several DIY homemade remedies/cosmetics that are simply GLORIOUS!  

Recently I have met my seemingly long lost Soul/Earth Sister and we have every intention of starting a natural cosmetic business together in the near future. 

Here is a start to our collection of recipes:

It is important to note that all of these scrubs can make the shower floor a bit slippery, so be sure to be careful and it may not hurt to give the bottom of the tub a wipe down with a dry towel just to be sure none of your kiddos (or hubbys) slip and fall. 

Coconut Patchouli Hair Mask:
1/2 cup Coconut Oil 
4-6 drops Lavender {Lavendula Augustifolia} EO
8-10 drops Patchouli EO

Shampoo and condition hair as usual. Apply dime sized amount to hair, starting at the ends. If hair is shorter than shoulder length, try a slightly smaller amount. (It doesn't take much at all!)  Slowly work in until you reach the nape of the neck.  Brush hair, starting from ends, to work mask through hair thoroughly, slowly working up to the scalp.  Rinse if you wish, but it probably won't make a huge difference.  The wonderful combination of Coconut Oil and Essential Oils are already working their magic!  You will notice immediate differences in your hair after the first use. Continue use 3 times a week to maintain healthy, shiny, more manageable hair. 

Sweet Orange Oatmeal Cookie Body Scrub: 
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Crushed Oats
1 1/2 cups Raw Sugar
2 tbls Baking Soda
4-6 drops Sweet Orange EO

Mmm.... as tempting as it is, resist eating this one! This does not replace your body wash. Lather up as usual and rinse before applying this scrub. Rub small amount in palm of hands and rub over rough spots such as elbows, knees, bottoms of feet. Rub all over body for an invigorating, exfoliating and moisturizing finish to your shower! Try skipping the after-shower moisturizer and see how long your skin feels baby butt soft! It's amazing! Continue use at least 3 times a week to maintain beautiful, supple, firm skin. 

Brewed Awakening Coffee Body Scrub: 
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
2 cups Raw Sugar
4 tbls Ground Coffee
2 tbls Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbls Honey

Rise and Shine! This morning body scrub will awaken the senses AND your skin! Caffeine is super good for the skin, making it more firm and has even been known to fight inflammation and cellulite! Use your body wash as normal, rinse and apply to rough spots and all over body for a perfect wake-me-up in the morning. You'll feel soft and lovely all day long!

Lemongrass Morning Facial Scrub:
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Baking Soda
4 drops Lemongrass EO

This is a moisturizer and toner all in ONE! Wet face, apply dime size amount all over face (careful around the eyes) and rinse with cool water. Pat dry with a towel and feel the natural astringent effects of the Lemongrass getting to work! Your face will feel tighter and so soft. Use daily as a morning pick-me-up! Our teenage son even loves this one!

Lavender Nighttime Facial Scrub:
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Baking Soda
8-10 drops Lavender {Lavendula Augustifolia} EO 

This is another moisturizer and toner all in ONE! Wet face, apply dime size amount all over, rinse and wah-lah! Pat dry with towel and notice immediate differences in your skin. Use nightly to feel fresh and calm right before bed. 

We are only getting started. Coconut oil is all we had on hand for this round but we have already put in our order for more ingredients to broaden our recipe collection. 

Please let me know what you think! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome and Healing Options? .....Guest Post by

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome is not generally recognized by conventional physicians, but new evidence is suggesting the condition is real.  Physicians and natural medicine practitioners are both agreeing that a lot of health issues have to do with the bowel, and healing these issues invariably involves first tending to the gut. 

Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances.

Abnormally large-spaced lesions form on the intestinal wall lining, between the cell walls. Consequently, some toxins, bacteria, undigested foods and waste, not normally absorbed, may "leak" out of the intestines and into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as gas, skin rashes, autoimmunity, cramps, joint pain, fatigue, arthritis, periodontal disease and bloating.  It's even been linked to autism.

Some believe that chronic inflammation is the source of this syndrome, along with other causes such as certain medications, excessive alcohol consumption and food sensitivity.
There are, however, certain natural protocols you can administer to heal leaky gut. Among them are a good, clean diet, a healthy lifestyle and certain supplements. Check out the below list of suggestions for curing this condition:

Healing Options for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Supplements, Fiber, Digestive Enzymes and Herbs

Since Leaky Gut is an absorption problem, certain vitamin and minerals such as vitamin-A, B, C and E, as well as Co-Q10, zinc, L-glutamine, probiotics, magnesium, calcium, iron colostrum and selenium helps to absorb food, heal the intestinal lining, rebuild the gut wall and reduces inflammation.  Fiber is another good supplement, working double duty on protecting the gut and sweeping the abdominal wall for harmful bacteria and fungus.  Great fiber sources include flax, chia seeds and organic psyllium powder...not to mention organic vegetables and fruits. 

Digestive Enzymes like lemon and apple cider vinegar can improve low stomach acid levels.  A deficit of stomach acid associated with leaky gut can present digestion problems and toxin leakage. Finally certain herbs like marshmallow root, sheep sorrel, ginger and even licorice root can calm inflammation, sooth and coat the intestinal tract, heal gut damage and minimize toxin absorption. To eliminate parasites that frequently follow a compromised digestive tract, garlic, cloves, black walnuts grapefruit seed extract and echinacea have been known to work.

Life Balance

While maintaining a balanced lifestyle is important for anyone at any age, it's particularly important if you suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Exercise, eating right and adequate sleep are invaluable for encouraging a healthy digestive system.  

Additionally, minimizing stress has also been shown to improve this condition.  Many times, stress produces harmful hormones like cortisol, which is linked to stomach inflammation, and as a consequence, leaky gut.  Getting a handle on the stressors in life can drastically improve or eliminate the leaky gut condition.

Clean Diet
It should go without saying that a clean diet is critical for a healthy body.  What may not be so obvious is the fact that healthy foods play a vital role in repairing the gut.  Eliminating bad foods is even more important, because generally speaking, bad foods can be a major contributor to Leaky Gut Syndrome.  

We're talking about foods such as gluten, sugar, dairy, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods.  Rather, focus on high-fiber foods as well as clean, organic fare, since pesticides and GMOs, (genetically modified organisms), antagonize the situation. 

Additionally, essential fatty acids from flax, borage, fish and chia are also key to healing the bowel and reducing inflammation. Drinking plenty of purified water is also a “deal-breaker” in avoiding gut-destroying contaminants.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is no joke.  It's been linked to countless maladies, and the medical profession is beginning to recognize that the secret to a healthy body may very well originate in the gut. 

So if you suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome, take heed at the above suggestions, and incorporate some of these into your life to promote good health and relieve your body from an ailing stomach.

David Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries.  He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline. For more information, visit 

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Friday, July 5, 2013

My Husband's Imaginary Book

From early on in our relationship, Paul has always found great pleasure in, not only laughing at my quirks, but also by writing them down in his imaginary "Things Amanda Says & Does" book that he pulls out of his imaginary pocket when he feels the time calls for jotting down what just went down, for the sole purpose of being able to remember it at another time as a conversation piece at future gatherings of friends. 

This was the beginning of his ritual: 

We walked down the grocery isle arm in arm several years ago looking for some snacks for a movie we wanted to watch that evening. 

{ Now.. Don't Judge Me - I was young, OK?! }

"What in the world?", I said looking at a container full of popcorn kernels.

"It's... popcorn, baby", he said smirking and wrinkling his eyebrows as he does.

"But... how do you get them in the microwave..?? Won't they go all over the place?!", waving my hands in a motion demonstrating the 'all over the place' I was talking about.

"Baby......", was all he could say before laughing uncontrollably at the fact that I thought popcorn could ONLY be made in the microwave.

{ Pause so you may commence to laughter as well. }

After gathering himself, he reached in his pocket to document this memory as I spent the next several minutes trying to grab this imaginary book away from him. { again, don't judge me! }

He then told me he would buy me that container of popcorn kernels and show me how popcorn was made in our BEFORE microwaves were invented.

And, so he did. :) 

Yep, true story. 

Happy to bring a smile to your face! 
Enjoy your day!

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