Mirror, Mirror

In my last post, I talked about being aware of what you’re putting on your body and how it might be affecting your health.  I figured that in this post, I’d give you an idea of the things that I’ve changed in my self-care routine so that you have a sense of how it all works.

  1. Oils are great moisturizers – You don’t need lotions with a million ingredients.  You can use a one ingredient natural moisturizer right after you take a shower or bath.  I use jojoba oil and coconut oil.  Jojoba oil is supposedly the closest to our natural skin oils and coconut oil has antiseptic properties.  Some people even use coconut oil as a deodorant.  Both smell fantastic.  You do have to leave a little bit of time for the oil to sink into your skin before you get dressed.  Since I’m not the most patient person, I usually moisturize with oils at night and put cotton pajamas on and go to sleep.  No worrying about getting my dry clean only clothes ruined and I wake up with great skin.
  2. Plain soap works for everything – I use a bar of plain soap from the co-op.  Cheap, fragrance free, and it gets me clean.  Fragrances are known for being hormone disrupters, so I try to keep those out of my self care products.  I also use plain soap for my face every once in a while and will be using it for my hair when I finish the leftover shampoo.
  3. Less is more – My body is built to take care of itself, so the less I mess with it, the healthier it’ll be.  I take fewer showers and shampoo my hair less.  Less showering means less chlorine exposure and less oil stripping.  As for shampooing, I’m hoping to find a regimen of apple cider vinegar and baking soda that works for my hair, but that hasn’t happened yet.  Currently, I just use less shampoo and shampoo less frequently.  I used to be a must shower everyday or I feel gross kind of person, but this more relaxed regimen has been good for me and my body.  I have less problems with oiliness in my hair and skin than before.
  4. I don’t need makeup – I have never been a habitual makeup wearer, but these days when I look in the mirror, I’m happy with the way I look and makeup is the farthest thing from my mind.  Of course, I do like to glam it up like any other girl if I’m going out, so I’m currently trying out natural makeup brands.  Right now I’m experimenting with rms beauty.  I bought an eye shadow of theirs.  The girls in the store that I bought the shadow at all use rms beauty products and were enthusiastic about them.  The girl helping me did up my face so I could get a sense of the products.  My conclusion is that I don’t like any foundation or foundation like products.  I’m hoping to try out the other products, but they are pricey, so one at a time.
  5. Sleep and water are necessary – I look my best if I’ve gotten enough sleep and been drinking plenty of water.  Get these two things down and you’ll look great.

That’s pretty much it.  At the end of the day, it’s plain soap, water, and oils.  That’s all I really need.  I might have missed something, so if you’re curious about whatever I missed, feel free to ask me in the comments or via e-mail.



What Are You Putting On Your Body?

You read that title right, what are you putting on your body?  Think about it. Lotions, soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, aftershaves, perfumes, colognes, water.  There is a lot of stuff that you put on your body.

I changed a lot of the things that I put on my body since going paleo.  I changed the body wash that I use to a plain, unscented soap.  I switched out my lotions for jojoba oil and coconut oil.  I use more natural toothpaste.  The one thing that I didn’t consider much until last week was makeup and perfumes.

Now, I’m a low fuss kind of woman.  I let my hair dry on its own and I rarely wear makeup.  Despite the fact that I’m a low fuss kind of person, I am still a part of the society at large and when I go out, a little jazz with some makeup is fun.  I’m not sure how I came upon it, but I was doing some Internet research about makeup and came across rms beauty.  When I read about the founder’s health problems from being constantly exposed to chemicals in her job as a makeup artist, I realized that makeup is probably a lot more dangerous than people know.

Thus, began my hunt for makeup and beauty products that are more natural.  Even though I don’t wear makeup often, I still want to know that I’m not harming my skin and body by putting makeup on.  I found out that natural does not always mean good for you and that just like eating, people have some interesting ideas about what is okay for your skin.

With all the misinformation out there, it’s pretty hard to figure out what is right and what is just commercial propaganda to sell products.  A good source of information that a lot of places refer to is the Environmental Working Group database.  They have information on all sorts of things including cosmetics.  You might be surprised to find that what you thought was better for you than the standard stuff is still not that good for you.

When it comes to cosmetics, learning that they are harming your health is probably not the easiest pill to swallow.  The most popular blogs and websites on the internet are fashion and beauty blogs.  There are a million magazines on fashion, beauty, and fitness.  As a society we are obsessed with looking good.  I don’t blame us, but to continue looking good, we have to consider what we are doing to our bodies.

I’m a haphazard internet researcher, so I encourage you to use google to find out more about healthier alternatives to the beauty products in your cabinet.  I’ll tell you what I’m doing now and what I hope my self-care routine looks like so you have an idea, but go do some research and think about how you want to change.

Have a Happy Heart Day

I wrote about this over at Funny Eater, but I’ll write a little something here for variety.

I’m not going to be mushy about today’s supposed holiday or go on strike for this holiday.  I mean, really, I have better things to do.  I’m happy if you have someone and happy if you’re rocking your carefree, single status (I know someone of you are already arguing with me about “carefree”).  Either way, have a happy heart.

My happy heart deed for today is giving my friends who have two kids a break so they can have some time to go out and enjoy themselves as a couple.

So have a heart and do something nice for someone.  You’ll feel pretty awesome, too.

Have a Happy Heart Day! 🙂

PS Karma comes back around…just remember that.  🙂

Monday Musings

  1. The less I use my computer, the more work I get done.  The computer means the Internet and the Internet means the vast unknown of all sorts of things to amuse yourself with.  And I’m not even that great at finding funny youTube videos or anything like that.
  2. I hate watching videos online.  I am not a fan of online videos.  I would much rather read a written out article than watch a video.  I do watch movie trailers online, though.
  3. I miss the fun of actually going to the movies.  I know you can still do it, but it’s ridiculously expensive considering I can watch things on my computer at home.  Plus, these fast times have made the movies lose some of their magic.  The suspense, the anticipation of seeing a new movie, it’s just not there.  You know that it’ll be on iTunes or Amazon or wherever really soon.
  4. I haven’t read a good book in a long time.  The sad reality is that I spend so much time sitting on my butt that the last thing I want to do is read.  And I love to read.  Give me a good book and I won’t stop until I’m done reading…literally.  I have gone nights with little to no sleep because of a good book.  One of these days, I’m going to get myself a beach vacation with leisurely swims, morning runs, and sunset walks.  All the in between time I’m going to be sitting in the shade drinking some fruity drink and lounging with a good book.
  5. I like to have something to look forward to everyday.  Honestly, sometimes doing what you have to do can be a real bore.  The drudgery of work, school, or whatever really just makes me feel blah.  Throw in some winter weather and cloudy skies and it take extra effort to get out of bed.  So, since I can, I’ve been trying to schedule something that I look forward to everyday.  Most of the things are simple and accomplish other life goals.  For example, yesterday, I was looking forward to going to a trampoline class.  I got my work out in, my socializing in (I went with a friend), and it was the highlight of my day.  I still don’t have something for today, but we’ll see.  

Jumping Up and Down

This is going to be a quick post.  I just got back from a morning trampoline workout.  I even got a friend of mine to join me.  One hour and three bottles of water later, I’m in a chipper mood and ready to get some work done.  Not only was all that jumping and working out a good start to the week, this week is going to be awesome.

Lots of things going on this week.  I still have a couple more recipes from my recipe list over at Funny Eater to try.  I have a workout that I’m looking forward to (hopefully I’m not walking around sore this week after this morning).  Best of all, I have plans for an awesome weekend, next weekend.  So, I’m pretty excited.

Well, I could go on, but I won’t.  I’m off to get some stuff done.

PS You should try trampoline workouts.  They’re awesome.  Check out Skyzone and see if there are any classes near you.  

PPS Skyzone did not pay me for this ringing endorsement of their classes.  

Thursday Thoughts

I’m awake bright and early.  Well, it’s not exactly bright outside, but it’s definitely early.  I was going to sleep around this time over the weekend and now I’m waking up at this time.  Go figure.  I prefer waking up at this time rather than sleeping at this time (that is 3 AM).  I can get my night owl tendencies toward darkness and peacefulness in while still getting a jump start on my day.

Some early morning thoughts for today.

  1. Caffeine and Estrogen levels – Sorry to be so scientific so early in the morning, but there was this interesting study that I came across last week about how consumption of caffeine affects estrogen levels in women.  (see official NIH media release here)  In looking for that information on google, I also came across another older study (PDF here) saying that caffeine does appear to elevate estradiol, but the focus of the study was looking at testosterone levels in postmenopausal women consuming caffeine.  It’s all very interesting and scientific.  It’s also too early in the morning for me to come up with any good coherent thoughts on the matter.  I’m sure someone in the paleo/primal/ancestral blogging world will be jumping on this.
  2. Did you know that you only need one space between sentences?  So a friend found this article on spacing between sentences.  Apparently, it’s wrong to double space after periods.  I tried to single space for a while after that, but I couldn’t do it.  Double spacing is automatic for me.  I think I have to thank public education for this little bit of incorrect dogma being drilled into my head.  Not cool.  The only place where I single space is my text messages and that’s only because the technology is more recent and space is at a premium.
  3. I’m pretty sure today calls for coffee.  I’m sure my estrogen levels will be going up, but until I get on a better schedule and start sleeping a good amount of hours consistently, I’ll be spiking my hormone levels.  I wonder if the whip cream I put on top makes any difference.
  4. I need to do laundry, but I don’t want to.  I like clean things, but I hate living without my own laundry machines.  Plus, the laundry machines here are the old fashioned agitator kind, which I’m not a fan of.  The debate rages between going downstairs and doing laundry here or going to a laundromat.  Personally, it seems about the same to me.
  5. I’m thinking it’s time to get to work before the magic on this early morning runs out.  Approaching 4 AM here.  I had some breakfast (I might have some more) and then it’s off to the races.  Perhaps, this morning I can squeeze in a post on Funny Eater.  I’ve been hung up on writing this one post for a while.

Well, I hope that everyone else is enjoying sweet dreams this morning.  Off I go.

Wednesday Words

  1. I like my chocolate, coffee, and beer as dark and deep as possible.  A bartender at a bar specializing in beer this past weekend told me that “dark and deep” was not enough of a descriptor to help me pick a beer.  Who knew that a beer could taste acidic and metallic while looking like a dark and creamy Guinness?  Apparently, this can be true.  As for chocolate, I won’t eat it unless it’s dark chocolate.  I don’t like milk chocolate and I absolutely detest white chocolate (which for the record is not technically chocolate).  Coffee tastes best to me when it’s dark and smooth.  Sometimes bold works, too.
  2. Almost all the food in my house is in the fridge.  Right now, I’m focused on eating high quality fresh foods, so I have almost nothing in my freezer and the only things that go in a cupboard or pantry that I have are herbs, spices, and a couple of tins of sardines in olive oil (emergency food in case I really don’t want to cook).  The only thing in my freezer is some wild caught seafood and a couple trays of ice.
  3. I don’t like ice.  Speaking of ice, I almost never use ice.  I think the last time I used ice was to cool my freshly boiled eggs.
  4. I like white Christmas lights.  I have some strung up in my kitchen.  The lights make my kitchen look festive and give me enough light to cook by.  I don’t like the overhead lights in my kitchen right now.
  5. I’m growing wildflowers from a card. I got these little paper cutouts from a Valentine’s Day card making party last year that have flower seeds embedded in them.  I found them last week and planted them in a pot.  There is one very tiny sprout coming up.  Hopefully, the rest will sprout soon.  I’m excited to see what kinds of flowers will grow.  It’s a mystery!  (My favorite line from the movie, “Shakespeare in Love.”)

Tuesday Trivia

I’m on a roll with the alliterative day of the week titles…sort of…it’s only day 2.

In any case, here we go.

  1. I need to eat more. Bet you don’t hear that often.  I haven’t been all that interested in cooking or food for that matter, so I haven’t been eating as much as I normally do. There are a bunch of recipes I want to try out, but I’m feeling a bit lazy.
  2. I’ve made chicken soup at least three times in the last two weeks. That’s how lazy I’ve been feeling. Chicken soup is something that I can do without consulting a recipe.  Chicken soup is also something that I can eat for a few meals.
  3. I had rice the last couple of days. Those of you that have been around for a bit know that I follow a paleo/primal (I think I’m going to start using ancestral) lifestyle/diet.  For most people that means no grains.  This is the first time I’ve had rice in a very long time.  I can’t always avoid rice because I’m Asian and people freak out if you say you’re not eating any rice.  That being said, eating rice doesn’t really bother me that much.  I just find that I feel less satisfied if I eat rice.  Even though I can eat rice without a problem, I can’t eat wheat.  Wheat makes me feel ridiculously sleepy…fall asleep at the wheel of the car sleepy.  No good.
  4. Drinking beer seems to be okay.  Oddly enough, even though eating wheat throws me for a loop, beer doesn’t seem to do the same thing.  When I asked my knowledgeable paleo friend about it, he said that beer has the same effect as wheat for him.  So, this is an oddity of mine.  Not that I’ll be downing a lot of beer.  Just an interesting observation.
  5. My proteins this week have been chicken and seafood.  I love seafood.  The only problem is getting fresh, wild caught seafood.  Not that easy.  That’s why I’m usually eating something else for protein.  Since I didn’t visit the farmers market this past week, I’ve been eating my frozen seafood stash from my freezer and making chicken soup.