Wednesday, September 28, 2011

21 days to health

I'm a bit of a healthy living, nutrition blog nut follower. I admit it. Back in January, I came across Meghan Telpner's blog - and fell in love. I love her style, food philosophy, how she cured herself of an 'incurable' disease through nutrition, and how she turned her knowledge and passion for nutrition and food into an amazing and growing business. She's kind of my nutritionista idol, if you will.

A couple of weeks ago she started a 21 days to health challenge based on one of her e-books, appropriately named, 21 Days To Health.


She describes the program as follows:
21 Days To Health is about incorporating very simple changes everyday for 21 days. By the end of those short three weeks, you will have tried out and gradually added more healthy living practices than you ever thought possible- and done so with virtually no stress and minimal effort. You will have broken old habits and established new ones.

This program has nothing to do with whether you should eat organic or not, or what’s the best kind of fish oil you should take. This is about 21 simple transitions that cover off the 20% of the effort that will give you 80% of the results. This is the important stuff. The changes in this book are not rocket science, they are things we inherently know we should do, but for whatever reason, don’t do.
So, spurred on by her challenge and my wanting to incorporating more healthy living tips into my routine, I'm participating (if you follow me on Twitter, hopefully now my most recent tweets make more sense). And it's awesome!

I've found that a few of her tips I had already incorporated into my routine, including meal planning and shopping with a list, and incorporating more natural body care products. However, I've begun new ones as well that I've been committed to, such as flossing daily (if not twice a day), drinking a large glass of lemon water each morning first thing to help cleanse the liver, alkalize the body and stimulate the acid in the stomach, getting to bed 15 minutes earlier each night and more.

It's a really great book, filled with lots of great recipes and ideas, all with one goal in mind. I'm hoping to get to Toronto one weekend soon to take in some of her amazing cooking classes too... I just can't get enough!

I'm a bit obsessed, but I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"You made your own WHAT?"

I made my own body wash. Yes you heard me right. Is your next question "why"? Thought so. Well, I'll tell you why.

The stuff you do in the bathroom, including showering, brushing your teeth, putting on your makeup, washing your face can lead to putting an enormous amount of poison into your body each and everyday -- sometimes twice or more per day. To combat this, I'm trying to make small changes here and there to lessen my toxic load. In doing so, I consulted the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to check some of the products I use. And, well, I was somewhat shocked. What I thought was a more "natural" body wash, turned out to be just average for the money I was spending and had more bad things in it that I thought. I should have known better, but we all get fooled once in a while.

And so I began a search for a cleaner product. And by the magic of Pinterest, I found what I was looking for!


I only needed three things: a "clean" bar of soap, vegetable glycerine and an essential oil (optional). I headed to Rainbow Natural Foods to find my loot and found it!

This soap, Kiss My Face's Pure Olive Oil Soap, gets a "0" from the Skin Deep database, because it's just that, pure olive oil. I also picked up some pure vegetable glycerine and some pure, organic tea tree oil.

The instructions are pretty simple: grate the soap, which made four cups of soap, and put it in 16 cups of water, over a low to medium heat and stir until all the soap melts. Add 4 tablespoons of the glycerine and at the end 20-30 drops of the essential oil.

This gave me four litres of body wash. I washed out my old body wash bottle to use in the shower and the rest got poured into large 1-litre mason jars (the colour is that green/yellow because again I used olive oil soap and therefore it's the colour of olive oil!)

Easy-peasy! And the verdict? It's a very different soap, but that's mostly because of my choice to use an oil-based soap. It's more liquid than a cream or a gel and like all soaps without sulfates, it won't lather that much. But that doesn't mean it doesn't feel lovely on my skin and makes me squeeky-clean.

So now the cost... well the soap was about $4, the vegetable glycerine was about $6 and the oil was $11. I used all the soap, half the glycerine and not much of the oil. I used to pay $10/litre. This one cost me about $9+tax for 4 litres. Yup, that's a bargain!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Rambles - A gratitude journal

A few weeks ago, spurred on by a tweet from someone I follow, I started a gratitude journal using Happy Rambles. What a lovely idea for a website. It keeps a running log of all things for which you are grateful.

Every day (or at whatever interval you want) at 8 p.m. (or whatever time you want), I get an email asking me what I'm grateful for. It's a really nice reminder to reflect on your day and pick something small or large that might have stood out in your day.

Try it out, it's totally free and when you get the email each day, included in it is a past entry from your journal. I love the idea and love contributing to it each evening.