What To Do When You Don’t Want To Workout.

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Fatigue is a major buzz kill.  Today, I am tired.  Yesterday was long. Life is busy. I need a good rest.  I don’t want to workout.  I am wiped out.  What to do?

I could shut it down for the day and give my body a rest.  Sometimes that is needed and I absolutely do, but I don’t ever want to use that as an excuse.  Over training is a real problem for some.  Recovery is something that people don’t understand.  I know a collegiate athlete who does her sport every day and doesn’t rest. She gets sick more often, gains weight when she should be loosing and is drained all day long. There is something very real about rest and we will talk about that in a later blog.  It is impossible to gain ground when you don’t rest.  Your cells do not have time to rebuild, you place extra stress on the body and potentially throw your hormones and cortisol levels off. But this isn’t about rest. This is about the days where I know, deep down, if I get up and shake it off and get my body moving, it won’t tire me, it will energize me for the day! Most of the time, this is the case. This is the case for all of us. For most of us, our trouble isn’t working out too much, it’s getting up and getting our body moving and blood flowing enough.

This isn’t about pushing through, this is about understanding the body.  I know that after I workout I will feel better, especially if I approach it with the right attitude.  Attitude, cycles of thoughts, affect the outcome of your workouts.  So I don’t have time to do an hour today, maybe I’ll do a quick core workout and then end the day with a quick HIIT in the living room or outside.  My body, my brain, my work production and the people around me will be glad I did.  After the workout, you will want to eat a great, balanced and wholesome breakfast and you will feel like a fresh, energized, happier person.  Working out releases the happy hormones (endorphins) and lifts mood significantly. You may feel exhausted as you get started, but trust me, if you begin you’ll feel the energy rising and you will feel fantastic afterwards and be glad you did.

Steps to make it happen.

1. Be in routine during the week. Get to bed early, set your alarm, get up, splash water on your face and immediately put on your work out clothes. Avoid lounging in your robe or it will be harder to get going.OR if you exercise after work, pack your gym bag, water bottle, protein bar or shake. Head straight to the gym or your class, just like it’s your everyday routine and soon enough, it will be.

2. Drink a full glass of water and turn on some music you enjoy that pumps you up, focuses you and/or set’s your heart and intention for the day.

3. Begin to move.  Throw a Youtube exercise video on or do some yoga and stretching and then go for a run, or hit the gym. Get your blood and energy moving.

After you are finished, your energy will be up, you will feel refreshed and you will be ready to move on and start the day.

Live Well!

J

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13 Fantastic Alternatives For Coffee

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Looking for an alternative to coffee? Great!

You’ve said you were going to quit, or reduce your intake to break the addiction, but that hot, steaming mug of coffee is part of your morning ritual. Most of us can relate. Without that first cup you’re groggy and unable able to function. The caffeine jolt is a powerful tool to wake up your brain. But you know you’re in trouble when you find yourself chasing the coffee high with a second cup and skipping breakfast because the caffeine suppresses your appetite.

Sound familiar? If so, here are 13 healthy coffee alternatives that will give you a morning or afternoon boost without the adrenal crash.

If you are starting slow, switch out your afternoon coffee for one of these OR go cold turkey and opt for a different one everytime you feel you need a boost. Shortly, your body won’t be dependant on caffeine and your adrenals along with many other parts of your body will be in much better health and vigor.  1 single cup of organic coffee (pesticide free) a day won’t do damage to the body, but most of us don’t have a single cup of pesticide free coffee.  Most of us have a BIG cup or way more through out the day of whatever coffee, flooding the body with pesticides and caffeine wreaking havoc on the adrenals.  Caffeine overload or addiction is responsible for many symptomatic issues including fatigue, pms, headaches, adrenal fatigue, acne, cloudy memory, digestive issues, menstrual problems, etc. due to the fact that it overloads the endrocrine system, throws the body off and therefore various symptoms arise.

Maca

A couple of tablespoons of maca blended in a cup of warm almond milk, with a splash of raw honey and ground cinnamon is a delicious way to start the morning or a nice afternoon pick-me-up. Maca has adrenal boosting properties and will give you that boost without the crash of coffee.  Use it in your smoothies as well, especially if you need to get used to the taste. I personally LOVE the taste and it adds a nice thickness to my smoothies.

Benefits of Maca

Maca has gained a reputation for helping balance hormones and reverse hypothyroidism. It is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production.

Maca has also been used as a way to increase fertility.  It is naturally “high in minerals (calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc), sterols (6 found), up to 20 essential fatty acids, lipids, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids.”

Maca is often recommended to those with adrenal fatigue as it nourishes them and reduces stress hormones. It’s especially known for its benefit in balancing hormones. According to this article:

“Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.

Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. Maca’s also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function, especially in men.For this reason, it’s earned the nickname “nature’s Viagra.””

Dandelion Herbal Coffee Blend

This is the closest to coffee flavor that you’ll get. Roasted dandelion, chicory root and maca come together to give you a fairly close rendition. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn close.

Dandelion and chicory are great for your liver and gallbladder along with a host of excellent properties and maca will help your adrenals while giving your body a natural awake feeling without the craziness or crash of coffee.

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha green tea is awesome!  It is a metabolism booster as well as being touted as a superior antioxidant, detoxifier and energy booster. Because you ingest the high-quality powder, rather than the herb infusion, the health benefits are higher than those of green tea. Use it in hot water or blend it up in a morning green tea smoothie with coconut or almond milk, bananas and strawberries. (Add in your maca.) Or use whatever fruit of choice. Make sure you buy a high quality, organic powder. You can purchase a good whole food, high quality version at Vitacost.  (Get 10 dollars off with the link on the sidebar.)

Lemon Water

I know, I know, this is not anything like coffee. But waking up with a cup of warm lemon water gently wakes up your liver and kicks off your system on the right foot and the refreshing zest of lemon will awaken your digestive system and senses.

Licorice Tea

Even if you didn’t like licorice candy as a child, you’ll appreciate the benefits of sweet, spicy licorice tea. The bold-tasting brew is actually caffeine-free, but supports overburdened adrenal glands, which are organs that respond to stress. “Licorice is an adrenal tonic and increases energy. It adds a pleasant taste to tea blends and can also be taken in tincture form,” explain Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster, authors of The Herbal Drugstore.

Wheatgrass Juice

This natural energizer is known as a liquid shot of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Some people don’t mind the taste and others do, but all agree that wheatgrass is one of the most nourishing juices. “Because of its easy digestibility and rapid assimilation, it’s a natural energy supplement, whether alone or added to a protein-type supplement drink,” says Gloria Gilbère, doctor of natural health.  You can buy this in powder form and mix it with water to create a shot to down for a pick me up. OR you can mix it in your green smoothie.  (Are you picking up that GREENS are a great energy boosting alternative?)

Siberian Ginseng Tea

Siberian ginseng tea gets its kick from the slightly bitter ginseng root, but if you can’t down the brew on its own, sweeten it with a dollop of raw honey or stevia. The herbal drink is supposed to stimulate your concentration, according to White and Foster. “This favorite, tried-and-true fatigue-buster is safe for long-term use in most people.’

Chai

Native to India, this soothing beverage is commonly made with rich black tea, milk, and a variety of spices, like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. A steaming hot mug of chai tea will help you get over an afternoon hump. An added bonus? Though you’re automatically cutting your caffeine intake by drinking chai, the tea’s smooth, creamy flavor tricks your mind into thinking that it’s coffee!

Carob Powder

If a post-lunch slump has you running to the nearest Starbucks for an espresso shot, you may want to think about keeping a stash of caffeine-free carob powder in your desk drawer. Similar to cocoa, naturally sweet carob powder tastes just as yummy mixed with warm milk and a touch of honey or stevia, and prevents you from experiencing a nasty energy crash later on.

Pomegranate Juice

Sweet and tangy, pure pomegranate juice is a delicious energy booster and easily incorporated into other beverage recipes. Sip the juice on its own, or blend it with other fruit juices or in a smoothie. Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and energizers. For a tasty pick-me-up, try this super energy drink recipe which calls for a fusion of pomegranate juice, almond milk, a banana, spirulina, berries, and kefir.

Green Smoothie

Introduce more greens into your diet with a fresh veggie and fruit smoothie. Experiment with different combinations of your favorites, like spinach, kale, mango, blueberries, and bananas, then put your blender to work. A chilled smoothie in the morning is a quick way to wake up! Some people get a quick energy lift from nutrient-rich green drinks containing blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, or barley greens.

Peppermint Tea

Perk up with peppermint tea! As well as freshening your breath and calming your stomach after a meal, the cooling sensation of this minty drink is an instant revitalizer. “[Peppermint stimulates] the same nerve that’s activated when you revive someone with smelling salts,” says Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.

Organic, Single-Origin Coffee

If you’ve tried all of these beverages but still can’t kick the coffee habit, try sourcing your coffee beans. Poorly sourced coffee contains mycotoxins (mold) that make your coffee less healthy. If you live in a city where you have local coffee roasters, go ask them about the source and quality of their beans. Try comparing a cup of Starbucks or Peets to the quality beans and see how different you feel.  Once you find the healthier bean, try limiting your consumption to special occasions, like a cup once a week on Sunday mornings.

Carrot Juice

High in vitamins and minerals along with natural accuring sugar, this 100% pressed juice will give you a burst and even works as a great pre workout! Add a bit of ginger, lemon and cayenne for an additional kick and even a little raw honey if you want for EXTRA energy and you’ll be ready to conquer your day WITHOUT the moody crash later on. Carrot juice is a staple in my household for energy, pre work out and a refresher in the afternoon. Plus, it is chalk full of vitamin A, which makes our skin healthy and glowing!  Walk into the office looking refreshed and energized with this yummy juice!  Juice it yourself of pick up an organic pressed juice at Trader Joe’s, your healthfood store, a juice place or Costco!

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The Buuuzzzzz About Bees.

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The Buuuzzzzz About Bees. 

Sadly, our soil continues to deplete and the nutritional value of many of our healthiest fruits and vegetables are lacking.   This is leading more and more people are starting to seek out less conventional foods to meet their daily vitamin and mineral requirements.  That is where the bee is our best friend. Bee products are praised for their impressive benefits and profiles. Full of nutrient dense properties, bee products are a great addition in the home for your health.

Bee pollen

Bee pollen is pollen that helps feed the hive’s younger bees. That being said, bee pollen contains all the essential components of life; it is a “complete food,” much like eggs and raw milk.  Bee pollen corrects the deficient or unbalanced nutrition, common in our present-day civilization of consuming incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to a number of physiological problems.

Bee pollen is more rich in proteins than any animal source. It contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight. Bee pollen is particularly concentrated in all elements necessary for life.  The average pollen ball is made up of approximately 40 percent protein, which includes 18 amino acids. It contains vitamins B, C, E and D, important enzymes that aid digestion, carotenes, essential fatty acids, polysaccharides and countless trace minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. Bee pollen is also rich in antioxidants that target cancer.

Additional Benefits:

– Energy Enhancer -The carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins can help keep you going all day by enhancing stamina and fighting off fatigue.

-Skin Soother – Bee pollen is often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations like psoriasis or eczema. The amino acids and vitamins protect the skin and aid the regeneration of cells.

-Respiratory System – Bee pollen contains a high quantity of antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the tissues of the lungs, preventing the onset of asthma.

-Treating Allergies – Pollen reduces the presence of histamine, ameliorating many allergies. Dr. Leo Conway, M.D of Denver Colorado, reported that 94 percent of his patients were completely free from allergy symptoms once treated with oral feeding of pollen. Everything from asthma to allergies to sinus problems were cleared, confirming that bee pollen is wonderfully effective against a wide range of respiratory diseases.

-Digestive System – In addition to healthful vitamins, minerals and protein, bee pollen contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Enzymes assist your body in getting all the nutrients you need from the food that you eat.

-Immune System Booster – Pollen is good for the intestinal flora and thereby supports the immune system. According to holistic health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola, bee pollen has antibiotic-type properties that can help protect the body from contracting viruses. It’s also rich in antioxidants that protect the cells from the damaging oxidation of free radicals.

-Supports the Cardiovascular System.
-Prostate Aid – Reduce inflammation to stop frequent urges to urinate.
-Infertility Problems – (Stimulates and restores ovarian function, hormonal booster, aphrodisiac)

Propolis

Propolis is made from bee saliva combined with tree bark resin used by bees to close off their hives from intruders. It is a superfood that has been coveted for centuries in Europe for its medicinal properties.  Like bee pollen, propolis is made up of a dense concentration of nutrients. It contains high amounts of vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as many amino acids, antioxidants and over 60 trace minerals, effectively covering the full spectrum from A (antimony) to Z (zinc).

 All of these nutrients work together to assist our bodies’ natural healing & functioning processes.  Studies have found that propolis contains anticancer properties, anti-inflammatory properties, antiseptic properties, and immune-boosting properties. Other studies have also found that propolis contains anti-aging benefits and that it can treat dental plaque.

Royal jelly

Royal jelly is secreted from the glands of worker bees to feed their larvae and queen. Another amazing “complete” food, royal jelly is packed with vitamins A, C, B and E, antioxidants and all essential amino acids (protein).  It also has a trace mineral profile up to par to those of bee pollen and propolis.  It has been discovered that it can suppress blood supplies to tumors, improve insulin resistance and blood pressure and remove unfriendly bacterial cultures from our bodies.

Benefits:

• Helps to regulate and balance hormones

• May help lower blood lipids and cholesterol

• May prolong life span due to its antioxidant levels

• acts as a nutritive energy tonic

• may help extend lifespan

• Stimulates the immune system to fight viral and bacterial infection

• Boost testosterone

• helps reduce cancer causing estrogens

• may help those with Colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome

• Bone Loss

• bronchial asthma

• insomnia and sleep disorders

• Helps to keep skin smooth, toned and elastic

• Promotes sexual vitality and rejuvenation

• Sinusitis

• Facilitates fertility and may help reverse impotence

• Has a bacteriocidal action on bacteria like staph

• Helps to regenerate bone growth

• May help build tissue and muscles

• Supports wound healing

• Protects the liver

• Increases physical strength

• Provides extra physiological support during pregnancy and menopause

• Helps to reduce arthritic pain

• Stimulates memory and mental function

• May help with depression and anxiety

• Anti-anxiety

• may help boost metabolism

• May help with autoimmune issues such as rheumatism

Factoid:

Royal jelly also stimulates estrogen production, which helps stabilize menstrual cycles in women and improve sperm morphology in men.

When purchasing:

It doesn’t matter which one you pick because all three products listed above share similar profiles.  If none of them appeal to you, raw honey is, of course, always an option.  It is high in nutrients as well.

Regardless of which product you choose, make sure that it is organic and unprocessed.  It will not only be cleaner, safer and healthier but products from organic sellers are much likelier to come from bees that are treated well.

Adding these products to your buuuuuzy life will ensure better energy, additional protection against the wears and stress of the day and pack you full of nutrients to assist in your whole + well life!

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Its Time To Cleanse When…

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Eating healthy can sometimes feel like you got on the struggle bus, but deep down we all know the enormous benefits of doing so for our health and well-being.  There are so many fads, programs and weight loss crazes, that one can get overwhelmed? What is right for me? Where do I start? For a beginner to a seasoned health expert, gently cleansing and detoxing (I stress gently), is not only the place to start, but a regimen that even seasoned health peeps do as maintenance every 4-6 months. Why? We live in a world with so many toxins, environmental chemicals, pesticides, hormone disruptors..the list goes on, that gently detoxing the body of the build up or overload is key to maintaining healthy for the long haul.

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Why is detoxification important?

When our bodies become “toxic,” it means that our natural means of ushering out metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet – funny, right!) have exceeded the threshold for what the body’s innate detoxification system can tolerate on its own. With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!

How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse?

Usually a constellation of complaints helps you determine whether or not you are toxic and to what extent you need to cleanse. Some examples of what might infer a toxic system are:Constipation

  • Constipation

  • Persistent headaches, muscle aches and muscle fatigue

  • Eating a lot of swordfish, tuna, shark etc.

  • Several mercury fillings and dental amalgams

  • Food allergies

  • Stubborn weight loss

  • Hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement treatments such as birth control or creams like progesterone.

  • Consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen

  • Skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea or eczema

  • A lifetime of consuming the SAD Diet

How long should you stay on a cleanse?

Typical cleanses that harness our body’s natural processes for filtering and removing waste tend to be gentle and can therefore be tolerated for longer periods of time than more extreme protocols. A safe cleanse is one which doesn’t make you starve yourself or take fancy pills, potions or expensive drinks.

Safety means allowing the body to do what it wants to do naturally, with a little assistance from some guided healthy eating, appropriate cleansing supplements and relevant lifestyle modifications. I usually have my patients do a cleanse for 7 days to 6 weeks, or even longer, depending on their particular needs. You should work with a trained medical provider to help you determine what length of time is right for you.

How can you prepare for a cleanse?

Like we would plan for any big trip to a new destination, we need to prepare, plan and set out some main goals for our journey. And by the way, as in all travels, it’s always a good idea to leave some room for the serendipitous excursions to occur. When handled properly, they can be the best part of a trip! So how can we plan for a safe and simple detoxification protocol?

Take some basic measurements before you begin so that you can track your progress as you go through your program. For example, if weight loss is your goal, measure your waist, hips and weight. If, migraines are an issue, determine the duration, intensity and frequency they currently plague you. Keep a journal, which will help you in more ways than one.

  • Make lists! Organize your pantry, toss out the junk, gather recipes, sketch out weekly menus, make shopping lists for healthy foods you will be eating and formulate a cooking schedule to ensure you allot time to prepare your food for the week.

  • Use journaling as a way to “cleanse” your inner world and relieve yourself of mental and emotional stress.

  • Gather any supplements you need that have been advised for you to take by your medical provider.

  • Think about the kind of exercise that will best complement your end goal and plan for it in your schedule.

  • Detoxification requires you to slow down. Make sure you fit time for deep relaxation into your plan.

  • Often, unsavory side effects appear in the initial phase of a cleanse. Two side effects to look for and keep track of in your journal are:

  • Constipation: Move those bowels! Drink plenty of purified water. Try warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. Often, taking 300 mg of magnesium citrate is helpful, too. Or, try an epsom salt bath.

  • Food allergies or sensitivities: These can be obvious or obscure. But chances are, as your body lets go of toxic waste, it will be easier to recognize a hidden reaction to gluten, dairy, soy or any of the other common food allergies.

Common Symptoms of “Withdrawal” from a Toxic Lifestyle

The following symptoms are very common at the beginning of the program and should dissipate within the first few days of your program. Don’t worry, these symptoms are indicative that your body is eliminating toxins and are a good sign!

  • Bad breath

  • Constipation

  • Achy, flu-like feeling

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Hunger

  • Irritability

  • Itchy skin

  • Nausea

  • Offensive body odor

  • Sleep difficulties (too much or too little)

These symptoms can occur for a number of reasons. First, eliminating food allergies and un-junking the diet causes reactions similar to withdrawal from other addictive substances like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine or heroin. Note: We are often most addicted to the foods we are allergic to! Getting off those allergens can cause a brief, flu-like achy syndrome that may last 1-3 days. Second, toxins in our digestive tract may make us feel ill if we don’t eliminate them. The best way to get relief from these symptoms is to follow the recommendations below.

 How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty initially. Symptoms usually disappear after 3-4 days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour, and over-the-counter medications (except as directed by your physician) a week or two before you start your program.

  • Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Stay away from plastic bottles, but glass bottles are okay.

  • To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.

  • Fatigue is normal during a cleanse, so allow more time for rest and sleep. To boost energy, exercise for 30 minutes a day. Walking outside in the fresh air is best. Roll up those sleeves and let the sun hit you with some vitamin D too!

  • Take 1000 mg of buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner. Take 300 mg of magnesium citrate at dinner.

  • Don’t wait till you are starving to eat!  Balance your blood sugar by eating protein-based meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. Excellent sources of protein are baked or broiled fish, lean poultry and legumes, such as edamame or black beans.

  • Heat is a great resource while cleansing as it helps draw out the toxins from within. Try a sauna or a warm bath with epsom salts for 20 minutes a few times per week.

While safe, these types of cleanses can still be stressful on the body and mind so remember to relax. Actively engaging your parasympathetic nervous system helps restore your energy, which your body needs to replenish itself. Meditation, deep breathing or any calming activity is good.

Eliminate all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance. By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet, the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior. Reset your biology to eliminate all triggers.

Keep a journal and track your symptoms. You should feel better in 3-7 days. If you do not feel well at this point, please exercise caution and check in with your doctor.

Tune in to your body and listen to the cues it provides you. A cleanse is a great journey to learn more about understanding how to operate your very own owner’s manual!

Live Well Juice Recipe:

Its Time To Cleanse When...
 
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Daily green drink that will super-charge your day.
Author:
Recipe type: Juice
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 scoop green powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 chunk ginger
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 bunch parsely
Instructions
  1. Add green powder/turmeric/cayenne into large glass.
  2. One by one place produce in juicer and juice into smaller glass and when small glass is full, add to large glass and continue.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1

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DIY Home Spa Day

I saw these recipes and couldn’t wait to try!  Nothing sounds more enticing than a spa day…..alone…..at home. Preferably with tea, a film and warm, cozy socks to put on afterwards. Have day off coming up soon? Taking a “rest day?” Make sure to try out these fabulous age old beauty regimens + one of my go to face masks next time a rainy day comes along, or you must simply take the day off!

Amazing Minerals Mud Mask

You guys. I LOVE this mask. It quickly and gently exfoliates dead skin cells from face & body, deeply cleanses & re-mineralizes your skin and hair/scalp + draws toxins from your skin and quickly clears them away.

Helps with acne + pulling out toxins + rejuvenation.

Use it not only on your face, but entire body and scalp. 

You can find it at wholefoods and amazon.com

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

What you need:

Coconut oil + hair tie + brush.

Scoop out a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and begin to smooth and work into hair. Use enough to lather hair generously. Leave in while you watch a moving/do you house chores or even overnight in a hair cap. Wash out in shower.

This will make your hair strong, vibrant, healthy, smooth. I can’t even tell you other than..it’s addicting. I pretty much smear coconut oil all over my body a couple times a week on my skin, hair, lips.. you could fry me on any given Tuesday afternoon chore day. :)-

Not to mention we cook with it with everything eggs, meat, you name it. Coconut oil freak (This gal).

Bonus: Costco has a double pack of 24oz organic coconut oil pack for $25 bucks. Highly recommended. Oh ya, have I mentioned I’m a Costco queen…you can find me there at least once a week and it’s only my husband and I in the house….hmmm…we like to eat?

Another Bonus: Speaking of Costco…they are carrying more and more organics. Seriously, the deals are freaking fantastic.

(No I don’t get paid to say this…but they totally should.)

Enjoy!

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Age Old Beauty Regimens

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1. Rosewater and coconut milk make for a soothing & unwinding bathtime.  Rosewater is a natural toner and is full of healing properties including the therapeutic benefits of helping to relieving stress. Coconut milk nourishes and rehydrates dry skin leaving itsmooth and revitalized. Try adding oatmeal for added softness & nutrients for your skin! Oatmeal protects the skin from irritants and helps soothe skin that’s itchy, painful or irritated.

Instructions:

Throw a quarter cup of rosewater into your bath with a quarter cup of coconut milk and soak the stress away.

2. Honey and olive oil mix wonderfully for a skin moisturizer. The smoothness of honey and olive oil make a good moisturizing mask for your skin.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon olive oil

What to do:

  • Grab two small bowls.

  • In one bowl, add your olive oil.

  • In the second bowl, add honey.

  • Microwave honey for 15-20 seconds so it mixes well with the olive oil.

  • Combine both ingredients, and apply to clean skin for about five minutes.

  • Rinse off with warm water

Benefits of honey:

Acne: Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it’s great for treating acne and prevention.

Aging: Full of antioxidants, it is great anti – aging tool.

Complexion boost: It is extremely moisturizing and soothing, which helps create a glow.

Pores: Clairifes pores because it opens up them up making them easy to unclog.

Keep the leftovers in a small mason jar in your shower for a quick go-to when your skin is feeling dull or dry.

3. Brown Sugar + Honey. Beauty Fact: Brown sugar is full of vitamin B6 (great for hair and skin) and honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.  This facial/body scrub will gently exfoliate while cleansing out some of skin’s impurities as well.

(Scrub in a circular motion for about 30 seconds and rinse in warm water.)

Instructions:

In a jar: Fill half of a glass container with the sugar + 2 tablespoons of honey + 1 tablespoon of walnut or olive oil. Mix well. Store in fridge.

 4. Weather can often dry your lips out. Using safe un-petroleum jelly and raw sugar make a great little scrub when your lips need a little something more to make them smooth and kissable. Rub a little on your lips and rinse with a warm washcloth.  Add a gorgeous gloss to top off the fresh lip!

Unlike a salt scrub, sugar scrubs do not dry the skin. A sugar scrub is alpha-hydroxy rich. Alpha-hydroxy is an active substance with exfoliating and emollient properties.

Instead of using petroleum jelly or vaseline, opt for a sae, natural un-petroleum jelly like Alba’s version (Alba) Un-petroleum is 100% vegetarian, formulated without artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium myreth sulfate.

Instructions:

1/2 tbsp raw sugar + 1/2 tbsp un petroleum jelly.  Mix and apply on lips. Gently scrub and wash off with a warm wach cloth.

 5. Perfect for an anti-redness facial and for spot treating pesky blemishes is this mixture of lemon juice and egg yolk. Use this treatment about once a week or as needed (especially in after a day in the sun) to give your face a cool, fresh feel and take away redness from sun or blemishes.

Eggs contain vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and zinc. These vitamins & minerals are full of anti acne, anti-scarring properties.  Yolks contain a high level of powerful nutrients sure to give your skin what it needs.

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and vitamin A. Vitamin E gives you a youthful appearance by slowing aging. Vitamin A is what gives skin a healthy, natural glow. Olive oil is also filled with antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause skin to age.

Instructions:

There are a few ways of doing this mask.

A.

1 whole egg + 1/2-1 tbsp of fresh squeezed squeezed lemon juice

Apply to skin with fingers and allow to dry.  You could try a basting brush. (This is liquidy so do it over the sink and apply liberally.  As it begins to dry add more.  I load my face with it and my neck and chest as well. I grab the egg white and will somehow get it on my face.  🙂

Rinse with cool water.

B.

1 Egg yolk + 1/2 – 1 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Same thing. (this one is a bit thicker and it especially great for dry skin.

C.

1 egg white + 1/2 – 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Apply the same way.  (this is great for oiy skin.)

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Weekend Treats! Still Healthy?

We all love a good, juicy burger.  Food is meant to be enjoyable.  Many people think eating healthy has to be boring, taste horrible and a somber experience. Biggest. Lie. Ever. Personally, I find eating a healthy, delicious meal more tasteful and enjoyable than your processed twinkie or burrito at Del.  Not only that, but you don’t feel hung over, bloated or gross after you eat it. So how do you do it when you eat out?

 

1. Find a restaurant that serves locally grown + raised food &/or grass-fed organic options or that has healthy options.

Many restaurants will work with you. There are so many restaurants that offer this these days, it blows my mind. I just moved to Chicago and I was shocked that so many burger places had your grass fed burger. Delicious. We aren’t used to eating out that frequently, but after I saw the frequency of these restaurants and the tasty options, I have turned into quite the regular. (Oh, Lord hide my wallet.)

2. Swap out for healthier options/alternatives.

Get the gluten free bun or pizza crust or ask the burger on a bed of lettuce or wrapped in lettuce. Get the organic or raw cheese on the pizza. If you are staying away for dairy, don’t get it as it will only exacerbate your intolerance or gassy symptoms. (If you want to find out more about food intolerances/r would like help with uncomfortable symptoms after eating food in general or certain foods, please go to www.waldenwellness.com)  Get a veggie side dish.  Use stevia or raw honey for sweetener. Get grilled instead of fried. Ask your server what oil they use and if it’s not olive , coconut or grapeseed oil, ask to go without. Vegetable oil and canola oil turn into carcinogens (cancer causing oxidized molecules) when heated and the hydrogenated fats aren’t beneficial for the body and contribute to many potential health imbalances.

3.  Get the dressing on the side.

You can always add it, but you have the power to determine how much and many times you’ll realize you don’t need as much as they throw in there. There is a lot of calories packed in dressing. Opt for olive oil, lemon slices and salt, balsamic, a light vinaigrette or a lighter version.

With all that being said, enjoy your food. Good food + good drink + good company. Now that’s a good weekend indeed.

 

A quick note on dairy/gluten/food intolerances. My husband loves pizza. He can eat dairy and gluten no problem and living with me, I made sure his body was good with it.Although he doesn’t hardly ever eat gluten because we focus on a more paleo, pegan lifestyle in our home. Even though his body for now doesn’t react to it, we do do gluten free/organic,raw cheese when we make it.  We also don’t do dairy (I don’t eat it), unless it’s our occasional pizza (we use raw/organic cheese or he uses raw cheese on his eggs.) If he does do milk, we do raw/organic. I talk about raw milk a little bit in Episode 7 of the Living Well Podcast.  I will cover the benefits of raw/unpasteurized dairy soon on Live Well, but in short- raw milk/cheese/dairy contains the enzymes necessary to break down the lactose in the dairy, making digesting it much, much easier. Pasteurization kills off all of the enzymes required to metabolize and break down the dairy properly, which results in people having a very difficult time digesting dairy and consequently could cause leaky gut syndrome, intolerances and digestive issues down the line.  I will also address gluten in more depth, but let me just say this. It is very rare to have a gluten allergy, BUT it is extremely common to have a gluten intolerance.  Many people have intolerances to many foods do to repitition/gmo/insufficient digestion-hydrochloric acid issues/leaky gut/ processed foods + more. I will cover that all in depth. Back to the huz…he will have the gluten free/organic/no nitrate-nitrite meats on his pizza and loves it.  I say all this all to tell you that getting your spouse on board can be hard, but if you make the alternative switches, you can do the food he/she loves and you love, without creating additional inflammation/irritation in the body.  It’s all about making the step in the healthy direction, especially when it comes to eating out.  Treat yo’self, but also treat your body well!

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Protect Your Skin From The Sun….From The Inside-Out!

IMG_7146Protect Your Skin From The Sun….From The Inside-Out!

 As summer approaches (or feels like it is already here, as the case is where I live), sun protection is definitely something to plan for, though I do it differently than most.  Conventional wisdom says to slather on some sunscreen and call it a day, but this is problematic for a couple of reasons. Wearing any sunscreen blocks the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D, which is vital for hundreds of reactions in the body (including cancer prevention).

Most sunscreens also contain toxic chemicals that can be more dangerous than moderate sun exposure. Despite the push for more awareness about sun exposure, and the advice to use sunscreen whenever we go outside, incidence of skin cancer, especially melanoma, is rising dramatically.  In fact, skin cancer rates are rising by 4.2% annually, despite the fact that we spend less time outdoors and wear more sunscreen.  So, if skin cancer rates are rising despite sunscreen use and reduced sun exposure, perhaps there is a deeper underlying cause.

There are an exhausting amount of studies that show the link between nutrition and sunburn, and I especially know this to be true.  As soon as I filled my diet and lifestyle full of rich antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, veggies, fruit and good complex carbs, this nutrient rich diet helped my tolerance in the sun. Hydration is also kay.  The most convincing part for me personally was my own reaction to the sun over the last couple of years. I’m Irish-Polish (which is Latin for very fair skinned!) and have always burned. In fact, even moderate sun exposure would leave me with a pinkish glow rather than a tan… until the last couple of years. Now my skin absorbs the sun and I can go much longer without a burn.  When I am in the scolding summer sun for more than 2 hours, I use a natural sunscreen that I make myself, or that I have purchased. But for day-to-day sun exposure, my diet has proven to be a toxic-free protection that gives me the ability to take in Vitamin D as well! Last summer, I was able to garden for 6-8 hours including during the heat of the day without burning and to sun bathe in the middle of the day in the summer for 2 hours with total protection.  To those of you blessed with olive skin, this may not seem like a big deal, but to me, this is huge!

 The Underlying Cause:

Doctors and sunscreen manufacturers are quick to push sunscreen for those who burn easily, but this is often the equivalent of giving antibiotics for every illness. It may address a short term problem, but it does nothing to address the underlying cause.  Sunburn is a type of inflammation, and diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body. As such, addressing diet is often a much more important that just slathering on the sunscreen, plus dietary improvements can improve other areas of health as well.

Certainly, it is also wise to avoid burning by wearing protective clothing or by using homemade sunscreen for prolonged exposure, especially early in the year, but a good diet and a few supplements are often far more effective at day-to-day sun protection. (You can also use coconut oil on the skin for light protection, as it is naturally about an SPF 4)

Diet for Sun Protection:

A large part of natural sun protection is eating an anti-inflammatory diet. This type of diet will also be beneficial for many other health conditions.

Avoid:

processed foods

vegetable oils (this is the most important for sun exposure)

grains

sugars

Eat:

lots of healthy saturated fats

lots of foods rich in omega-3s (fish, etc)

lots of leafy greens

2+ tablespoons of organic tomato paste daily

Supplements:

About this time of year, it’s good to start taking a specific regimen of supplements that help reduce inflammation and improve sun tolerance.

The supplements:

Vitamin D3 (about 5,000 IU/day)- Emerging evidence shows that optimizing blood levels ofVitamin D can have a protective effect against sunburn and skin cancer.

Vitamin C (about 2,000 mg/day)- A potent antiinflammatory, and it is good for the immune system too.

1/4 cup coconut oil melted in a cup of herbal tea per day- the Medium Chain Fatty Acids and saturated fat are easily utilized by the body for new skin formation and are protective against burning.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend (also great for remineralizing teeth)-Probably the most important supplement for sun protection. I take double doses during the summer.

 It’s also great for digestive and oral health.

Astaxanthin– A highly potent antioxidant which research shows acts as an internal sunscreen. It’s also supposedly an anti-aging supplement.

Of course, it’s wise to add a natural homemade sunscreen or purchase an all natural one at wholefoods/trader joe’s/your health food store to your sun protection regime when out in the sun for sun bathing, vacation, festivals and prolonged exposure.

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10 Positive Habits That Have Nothing To Do With Loosing Weight

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1. Laugh More

Laughing not only is the best thing ever, it’s incredibly good for you. Laughing actually has healing power!  Lighten up, see the innocent humor in things & have a good ol’ belly laugh.

It Decreases Stress Hormones. 

Laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones like cortisol andepinephrin. These hormones can suppress the immune system, which low enough for long enough can lead to a host of infections, illnesses and general poor health. One study found that laughter helped reduce stress by 40% and improve immune function (boosting natural killer (NK) cell activity).  This is an indication that laughter may be an extremely beneficial addition to treatments for cancer and HIV patients.  NK cells are a type of white blood cell that attacks tumor cells and those infected with virus.

Physical and emotional stress can also throw prolactin, insulin, thyroid and other hormones out of whack. Again, the inconsistent production and release of various hormones may have an immunological effect on the body.  The next time you’re feeling stressed, throw on something funny like the talking babiesyoutube.

It Helps With Coping. 

 Laugher also helps coping skills as it protects the mind and emotions from going off the deep end, especially during a traumatic event.  I know, you are thinking, the last thing I wanna do is laugh during a crisis in my life.  Try to find something to laugh at and with, it will help you release those overwhelming emotions for a time and give your mind a break.

It Has Aerobic Benefits. 

Besides the spurt of internal energy, laughter can momentarily clear the respiratory system. Just like with exercise, people tend to take deep breaths in and out during heavy laughter, which helps unclog airways and enhances inhalation and oxygen intake.

It Impacts Blood Sugar Levels.

In a conducted study, people with type 2 diabetes and those without the disease ate a meal, and then attended a boring lecture; the next day, the subjects again ate the same meal, but then joined a comedy show audience. The subjects recorded that blood glucose levels didn’t increase after the meal for the diabetic patients at the comedy show. Researchers haven’t pinpointed the exact cause, perhaps laughter impacts the neuroendocrine system and restrains blood sugar levels from spiking, or it may cause the acceleration of glucose use by muscle motion.

Another study tracked the effect of long-term laughter therapy on the renin-angiotensin system (regulates blood pressure) in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Most notably, plasma renin levels dropped dramatically, an indicator that laughter may help diabetics avoid microvascular-related complications.

It Manages Pain.

Laughter may be one of the best natural pain relievers around — it’s effective, free and available everywhere. You don’t even need a prescription!

Laughter eases fear and anger, allowing us to deal better with a bad situation. Also, it may increase our tolerance for pain by releasing endorphins (peptides that offer a feeling of well-being and help with pain management.

It Boosts Social Skills.

Laughter allows humans to connect, bond and communicate with each other. The more comfortable you feel with someone else, the easier it becomes to laugh. In fact, it’s studied and proven that people are 30 times more likely to laugh in social settings than if they were alone.  Laughter is a great way to break the ice in a group setting and include everyone in the fun.

Traveling to another country and don’t speak the language?  Laughter is a universal means of communication. An online video of a guy tripping down a staircase may be funny regardless of nationality, culture or language.

It Reduces Aggression.

Laughter is the hypothetical knife that cuts tension from a room, allowing you to relax and become calmer and less aggressive.  This may help you form clearer perspectives about what’s actually going on around you.

Releasing negative emotions, like aggression, fear or anger, in a positive way through laughter provides psychological benefits. Laughter also relaxes muscles, which can help reduce stress like we talked about and offer some relief for people dealing with spasm-related muscle pain. Part of the reason why some doctors and nurses tell jokes right before giving shots is that they’re trying to relax patients so they don’t tighten their muscles in anticipation of the injection.

It Energizes Organs.

As I mentioned earlier, laughter improves blood flow, suppresses stress hormones and gives you a burst of exercise. In other words, laughter sends a wake-up call to the heart, brain and lungs and stimulates these organs into action. Laughter is even believed to aid in digestion by getting blood flow to those important organs and can help with symptoms related to conditions in the digestive tract.

 It Boosts the Immune System.

One of the best reasons to start laughing has to do with your immune system. Perhaps laughter will one day join the ranks of immune-boosting staples like multivitamins and antibacterial hand soap.

Decreasing stress hormones, improving circulation and oxygen intake, and releasing negative emotions can boost your immunological responses and keep you healthy.

For example, laughter has been shown to increase levels of salivaryimmunoglobulin A (IgA), an important antibody that fights bacteria and infections, especially those in the respiratory system.

Laughter keeps the stress hormones under control and brings in the big guns when it comes to immune response. Like we talked about before, NK cells are able to do what they do best, attack potentially cancerous and infected cells. Other white blood cells that seem to respond positively to laughter arelymphocytes, which originate in bone marrow and include B cells (to fight infections) and T cells (to attack viruses and manage immune responses) Interferon-gamma levels have also been shown to increase with laughter (interferons assist immunological responsiveness and deter tumor growth).

2. Get Outdoors More

Fresh air, sunshine and the alive and vibrating setting of nature is so important for good health.  New research reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine now provides scientific proof that walking in nature and spending time under leafy shade trees causes electrochemical changes in the brain that can lead people to enter a highly beneficial state of “effortless attention.”

Vitamin D is so important for your health and sunshine provides your body with numerous benefits of this vitamin including: protecting your eyes and keeping them in good health, strengthening bones, boosting mood (increased endorphins & happy hormones), lowering blood pressure and more.  Daily time in the sun helps to regulate circadian rhythms for a better night’s sleep. Fresh air is good for cleansing out toxins in the lungs and revitalizing the blood.  Being outdoors ables you to “get grounded” with the negative electrons of the Earth which clears you of the enormous amounts of positive electrons from cell phone, computer, microwave, energy towers etc. that are buzzing around and through us all day long. It is known that the Earth maintains a negative electrical potential on its surface. When you are in direct contact with the ground (walking, sitting, or laying down on the earth’s surface) the earth’s electrons are conducted to your body, bringing it to the same electrical potential as the earth. Living in direct contact with the earth grounds your body, inducing favorable physiological and electrophysiological changes that promote optimum health.There is an emerging science documenting how conductive contact with the Earth, which has is also known as Earthing or grounding, is highly beneficial to your health and completely safe. Earthing appears to minimize the consequences of exposure to potentially disruptive fields like “electromagnetic pollution” or “dirty electricity.” There are countless amounts of benefits from spending time outdoors.  We were created to benefit from nature and utilize it!

3. Stop For The One…More.

Stop for the person on the street who needs help with their groceries.  Stop for the homeless man who desperately needs prayer and maybe an apple.  Stop for the one.  In today’s busy body society, we can tend to buzz from one thing to the next, forgetting about the one who needs help, prayer, a smile or whatever the need.

Love the stranger’s around you and show them life.

4. Hug & Kiss & Touch More.

Along with the busyness of today’s culture and the culture of social media, we spend less time together and that means less physical interaction.  Let’s be real, some people desperately need a big hug and that person is sometimes you!  Kiss your spouse and kids more, hug your friends more, make physical contact like a shoulder touch or a hand shake when you come into contact with someone.  Some people are rarely touched and it’s so sad.  We were made to be touched and physically interacted with.  Keep that in mind.

5. Spend Time With Family & Friends More.

Again, I could say today’s society…yada yada yada….but Im done with excuses.  Make the time for friends and family.  Consciously carve out an evening to play games, eat dinner or go on a walk.  Cultivate community and relationship.  We were made for it! It’s funny how we are made for and to enjoy all these things like nature, relationships, physical touch, laugher etc., yet they seem to dwindle if we don’t keep our eye on them. Work creeps in, stress, the cares of the world, worry, seriousness of getting a project done….tiredness…whatever…..let’s not make excuses anymore! These things are VITAL for our health & well being!

6. Exercise Your Brain More.

Read, get into a deep and stimulating conversation, play mind games or test your memory skills. Keeping your brain active and exercised will benefit you for the long haul.  It’s said if you don’t use it you lose it.  Your brain certainly won’t fall out of your head, but your mind may not be as sharp as it once was if we discontinue to stimulate and challenge it.

7. Do That Favorite Hobby More.

What’s that? You love to knit beanies for the homeless? You love to play golf with your buddies?  Get off Instagram and Facebook or watching youtube and go do it! Haha. Find the time to play for yourself!  Take time to enjoy the hobbies you love and thoroughly enjoy and go do them, distraction free.  You will not only benefit from them holistically, but those you come home to will also.  Ever talk to a kid who just came home from playing in their fort with their friends for hours? They are energized, elated, talkative, hungry and alive! They want to talk with you share with you and it’s totally stimulating for the listener! Be that gift to your spouse or family.  Go get energized and them come home and spew life all around your home!

8. Disconnect From Social Media & Connect With Those Around You More.

This is obvious.  We all need some time away from the instagram world and more time engaging with real world. Disengage with the virtual relationships for a time and engage with the ones around you.  Are you standing in line a target and on your phone? Put it down and take up a conversation with the stranger behind you.  Look up and out into the world. See what’s going on and be present.  We could all do a little more of this, ya?

9. See With The Eyes Of Heaven More.

There is a lot of cynicism in the world.  Don’t jump on the band wagon.  See the gold in people and call it out! See people from Heaven’s perspective (perfect, whole and beautiful) and treat them as such (even if they are mean, terrible and stinky). Yes, they may have just spewed emotional or vocal garbage at you, but you don’t need to harden your heart and spew back, or even worse, spew inside and broil with negative emotions.  Turn your cheek and realize, it’s not you, it’s them, and treat them kindly anyways.  One day, if and when they awake to their senses, they will remember your kindness and be changed by the unconditional love you showed them in their time of absolute rudeness or whatever the case.  It’s not as easy as 1,2,3 and sometime we want to be cynical and bitter, especially when hurt, but that only does damage to our own selves and keeps us from truly enjoying peace and joy and the freedom from other people’s junk.  Choose to think and live above the junk.  Cynicism is a tool of a lazy thinker.  Let’s not be lazy, but purposeful in our thinking and acting towards other’s.

10. Cook & Sit Down At The Dinner Table More.

Fast pace equals fast eating whether it be a fast food joint, eating in the car or just shoveling your food standing up to run to the next appointment (guilty).  You may not have the time to cook every night and there are great options for the on -he-go family, but say Thursday nights you all happen to be home at once, cook a favorite dish and purposely sit down and commune with your loved ones.  Talk about the day, the challenges, the victories. Chew slow and enjoy each other and your food.  Food was also meant to be enjoyed (are you sensing an enjoyment theme? God is good!) and so enjoy the taste of the labor of love that was created in the kitchen and the conversations around the table. One of the biggest gifts we could have is to sit, eat and enjoy the food given to us to nourish our bodies and the family that loves us and that we are given to love.

X,

J

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Coral Craze

Coral really does it for me. Watermelon, ocean coral, coral dresses, coral yoga apparel…you name it. I found this gorgeous dress at H&M and love, love the fit.  I paired it with Nine West nude shoes, my Cole Haan Signature bag and grabbed my cheap, but oh-so-cute sunnies, from Forever 21, cut up some watermelon and hit the day.

 

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