2016 was a banner year for natural and organic beauty. With so many amazing brands and products to choose from, we naturally-minded organic beauties are no longer limited to choosing from insanely overpriced celebrity brands or crafted in someone’s basement hippie brands (not that we’re not obsessed with many of those). Now we don’t have to sacrifice selection, effectiveness or budget to stock up our bathrooms and makeup bags with beautiful products that work wonders on our skin, hair and bodies, without harming your health or the environment.
I love green smoothie. I’m not going to go so far as to say I moved all the way across the country to California so that I could have green smoothies for breakfast every day without any consequences — but that isn’t as far from the truth as you would think. I really LOVE my morning green smoothies. They are my absolute favorite breakfast, and I find them to be the most wonderful vehicle for getting insane amounts of nutrients and superfoods into my body in a very efficient fashion.
But as great as green smoothies are, drinking them in the colder months actually messes with your health, digestion, energy, and immunity. Eating and drinking cold foods, especially during periods of cold weather, forces your body to work harder to warm it up and digest it. Cold foods can throw off the delicate balance of your stomach lining, can increase phlegm, decrease immunity and cause or exacerbate digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea. No fun.
In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, eating and drinking warm foods is a big part of keeping one’s body running smoothly and optimizing digestion. I get chastised about my smoothie habit by my acupuncturist every time I see her, and I am in a constant heated back and forth with the Ayurvedic practitioner inside me every time I opt for a smoothie or salad in the middle of December.
So what’s a smoothie and salad loving girl to do?
In this installment of our collaboration seasonal cooking with Milk & Eggs farm direct grocery delivery, I am really excited to talk about more wintery seasonal eating, particularly of greens. Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-rich and delicious foods that come out of winter, and this is the perfect time of year to increase our intake of these blood-purifying, immunity-boosting foods.
To get the most out of the season’s local produce, specifically greens, nothing beats the Milk & Eggs Organic Farm Sampler Bag (pictured below), which is the most budget friendly way I’ve found to get a load of delicious, local, seasonal cooking going on in my kitchen and onto my family’s plates. At the insanely reasonable price of $29.99, you get SO MUCH ORGANIC PRODUCE, it’s kind of crazy. This week, I received a big bunch of kale, a bag of spinach, two heads of green leaf lettuce, celery, beets, a bell pepper, 3 heads of broccoli, a few bananas, an assortment of citrus fruits and a carton of strawberries. WHAT?! This usually costs me $50 or more at Whole Foods or my neighborhood natural foods store.
In addition to being super budget friendly, the organic farm sampler is a great way to get all the fruits and veggies you need for the week! This one bag has yielded countless salads, smoothies, soups, and toddler meals this week, and with the addition with a few other items in our standing order (organic greek yogurt, sprouted whole grain bread, wild-caught salmon), I’m able to feed our family of three delicious, healthy meals that come straight from our local California farms. Boom!
My two favorite seasonal cooking recipes this week are lovely little showcases of winter’s bounty that made perfect use of my Organic Farm Sampler Bag!
Breastfeeding is one of those aspects of motherhood that you just expect to come naturally. We’re mammals after all, right? Do mama bears and lions really struggle with low supply, sore nipples, and mastitis? Obviously our animal counterparts are spared the emotional and lifestyle dramas and sacrifices that come with choosing to breastfeed their young — the stigma of feeding in public or breastfeeding a toddler, the limits on alcohol and potential dietary restrictions, the feeling of being totally tethered to your baby at all times (especially if, like mine, they have no interest in drinking pumped milk from any receptacle). Even with those particularly human challenges aside, it just seems like it should be easier to do something our bodies were built to do. But it isn’t. At least not for many of us mamas.
The skin around our eyes is delicate, and therefore, must be treated differently than other areas of our face. The skin here is thin and prone to fine lines – it is often the first place we see the signs of aging (ah winkles!). In this article, I will teach you the best natural anti-aging treatment for eyes to delay the aging process and keep the skin around your eyes looking younger for longer (you can’t stop aging, but thankfully, you can slow it down).
A mama recently posted in one of the many FB groups I’m in that she feels like it’s impossible to look and feel put together with a baby and a toddler around. Though I only have one of those to contend with, I sometimes feel like little M is both a sweet, needy little baby and a willful, naysaying toddler all rolled into one — so I can relate. As moms or otherwise busy ladies strapped for time in the morning (or EVER, for that matter), it can be super hard to make time for seemingly meaningless rituals like hair and makeup. BUT, feeling schlumpy is a big cause of the lowered self-esteem, motivation and sex drive that can come with motherhood (or super mega busy ladyhood).
To that, I say “No way!”
Feeling put together can mean the difference between a confident, radiant, and joyful day-to-day, and one that is, well.. not. The effects of this one seemingly meaningless act of self-care reverberate across all areas of your life.
But fear not! I am certainly not of the camp of women who always look polished and manicured, and I definitely don’t want you to feel that pressure (unless you’re one of those women, in which case, kudos to you!). So I have perfected a super quick, low maintenance approach to looking more or less put together that leaves me feeling like a sexy lady and not a frumpy mom who may or may not still be in yesterday’s undies.
When it comes to beauty products, I am nothing if not supremely choosy. I mean, I created a whole blog about it. But most of us who are not professional bloggers and wellness experts just don’t have time to research a million different beauty brands and ingredients, or cross-check everything with the EWG database. So finding a great online beauty shop that does the work for you is just, plain awesome. We’ve featured many different natural beauty shops on The Organic Beauty Blog, and there are a lot out there to love. But what I love about The Choosy Chick is that they carry such a wide variety of natural beauty brands, at a variety of price points.
A big complaint I hear from our readers is that going all-natural/organic is expensive. Thankfully, with the explosion of the natural beauty scene over the last few years, this is no longer the case! The marketplace for natural beauty products now mirrors that of conventional products in terms of price — with super effective, budget-friendly brands rubbing elbows with smaller scale, luxury brands. But the big difference in quality (and of course safety!) still applies.
I’ve always been super irked by that image we all have in our heads of post-Thanksgiving bloat, fatigue, and fullness. Truth be told, it is totally possible to eat a big, filling and festive meal and not go into a food coma immediately after, or worse yet, throw off your digestion for days. All it takes is employing a few Ayurvedic secrets to digest better this Thanksgiving!
Fall is kind of a weird time of the year for our bodies. From Halloween through New Year’s, we can get bombarded with all kinds of festive holiday foods that are higher in sugar and fat than we would normally eat. Even though the weather might still be nice in the fall, this can be a shock to our systems (if we’re otherwise healthy eaters) that can lead to compromised immunity, sluggishness, and a bit of a strain on our livers and digestion (not to mention our waistlines). Since I know the fall and impending holiday season is going to bring some “off” eating, I like to be extra on my healthy eating game in between holidays, to both give my organs a rest, and offset the effects of the holidays. Naturally, there’s nothing like some beautiful fall smoothies and green juices to do the trick!
So this week, I changed my standing Milk & Eggs order to get the Organic Cleanse Fruit and Veggie Bag, which is loaded with beautiful, seasonal produce perfect for juices and smoothies. In addition to the usual gorgeous greens, berries and beets that I get in my regular farm sampler bag, the Cleanse bag comes with a bunch of apples, lemons, and ginger that are amazing for seasonal cleansing. At just $20, I can’t believe what an awesome value this Cleanse bag is! I easily pay at least twice that at my co-op or health food store for this much organic produce. And the great thing is, since the food is coming directly from local farmers, I can be sure that everything is in season, which makes it so much easier to digest and assimilate!