How to Winterize Your Smoothies

Winterize Your Smoothies | The Organic Beauty

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?

5 Ayurvedic secrets to digest better this Thanksgiving

5 Ayurvedic Secrets to Digest Better This Thanksgiving | The Organic Beauty Blog

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!

Try these tips and enjoy this lovely holiday with no side effects:

What’s Your Ayurvedic Type?

Your Ayurvedic type, or dosha, is a super powerful tool to have in your healthy lifestyle arsenal.  It reveals what foods and self-care practices are going to help you feel amazing, slender, energized, and radiant, and which may be causing you to gain weight, feel sick and sluggish, and experience of physical and emotional imbalance.

Take this quiz to find your dosha, and learn a few simple steps you can take to bring your body and mind into balance.


This quiz will take about 5-7 minutes to complete.

Ready to Start?

Physical Profile

Frame:

Physical Profile

Weight:

Physical Profile

Hair color:

Physical Profile

Hair texture:

Physical Profile

Complexion:

Physical Profile

Skin temperature:

Physical Profile

Veins and tendons:

Physical Profile

Joints:

Physical Profile

Eyes:

Physical Profile

Whites of eyes:

Physical Profile

Teeth size:

Physical Profile

Digestion and elimination:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Mental Activity:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Memory:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Concentration:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Thoughts:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Learning ability:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Sleep:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Dreams:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Speech:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Voice:

Behavioral Profile

Eating speed:

Behavioral Profile

Hunger level:

Behavioral Profile

Food and drink preferences:

Behavioral Profile

Weather preference:

Behavioral Profile

Achieving goals:

Behavioral Profile

Works best:

Behavioral Profile

Spending habits:

Behavioral Profile

Giving donations:

Behavioral Profile

Relationships:

Behavioral Profile

Sex drive:

Behavioral Profile

Friendships:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Moods:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Temperament:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Reaction to stress:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Most sensitive to:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

When threatened:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

When feeling hurt:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Relationship with partner:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Express affection:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Confidence level:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Emotional trauma:

Fitness Profile

Tolerance for high-intensity exercise:

Fitness Profile

Speed:

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Endurance:

Fitness Profile

Strength:

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Muscle tone:

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Walking speed:

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Running style:

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Reaction time:

Fitness Profile

Competitiveness:

5 Vata-Balancing Tips for Fall

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

 

Fall-Vata-Balancing-Tips-Organic-Beauty

Ayurveda is the single most complete and comprehensive holistic approach to health and wellness, which allows us to live, eat, and move in harmony with our own unique bodies, the seasons, and our environment.  Though I am not a fan of diets or one-size-fits-all approaches, I have definitely found that Ayurveda gives us some amazing guiding principles for living the healthiest and happiest life possible, while still taking into account the vastly different experiences we have from one body to the next.

If you have not yet found your Ayurvedic type, or dosha, click here to take the assessment. It can change everything for you!

Each season has a characteristic predominant dosha, which means that if you share that dosha, you can experience a destabilizing effect if you’re not taking steps to actively balance your body.  This can cause compromised immunity (leading to colds and flus), feeling scattered or ungrounded, feeling more emotional or stressed, and even experiencing digestive issues, inflammation, breakouts and other skin issues.

Organic Ayurvedic Goodness for Your Skin and Hair

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At The Organic Beauty, we’re obsessed with all things Ayurvedic.  From the keen insights the ancient science gives us into how to eat for our bodies, to the amazingly potent beauty ingredients that fill our favorite products — Ayurveda, sanskrit for life knowledge, is truly where it’s at in natural beauty and radiant health.

So you can imagine how excited we get when we discover a beauty brand that is making amazing use of potent Ayurvedic ingredients and philosophy in creating effective products that are also organic, vegan, handmade, and cruelty-free.  It almost seems too good to be true!  But alas, it is no dream. It’s Ayushi, and we just can’t get enough.

From head-to-toe, Ayushi has you covered, with powerful herbal ingredients infused into natural beauty products you’ll keep coming back to.

Handcrafted Ayurvedic Oils for Natural Beauty

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Organic Beauty Arya Essentials Oils

If you’ve been reading The Organic Beauty for awhile, you know that my number one secret for gorgeous skin and hair is oil.  I use it to wash my face, moisturize my skin, and condition my hair (among many other beauty tricks).  Being a slightly lazy organic beauty, I opt for simplicity — pure jojoba, argan, and coconut oils.  But simple can definitely get a little boring.

Bikini Showdown: Sugaring vs. Wax

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

It may not be getting warm outside yet, but listen ladies, it’s time to get your business in order. When you’re taken care of, you feel prettier and sexier… When you feel sexier, you feel better about yourself… This leads to a happier relationship with your partner and/or yourself! So start shaving those legs, and get in there for some grooming.

I actually often get asked if there is a healthier alternative to waxing, and there is! Behold, a waxing vs. sugaring, a comparison:

Waxing

Ingredients

There are a lot of different waxes out there, with ingredients that include resins and chemical ingredients like dyes, fragrances, and preservatives. Depending on the quality of the wax, there may also be some harmful additives like BHT and parabens, bad guys you definitely don’t want anywhere near your special lady parts.

Method

There are a few different types of wax. Hard wax goes on hot and hardens, it can then be pulled off without the use of cloth strips. The extreme heat and hardness of the wax can be especially painful for sensitive skin. Soft wax also goes on hot, and then is removed with a cotton or muslin cloth. It can be slightly less painful, and is often not quite as scorching hot. There is also soft wax that goes on with a roller, which typically has more harmful ingredients and is less effective. Lastly, there are cold wax strips. They typically come pre-applied and do not need to be heated. They often have more chemical ingredients and are not as effective as hot wax.

Waxing Pros

  • Really effective at removing hair
  • Different types to choose from to suit different kinds of hair (from course to fine)

Waxing Cons

  • Can burn skin
  • Lower quality and chemical ingredients
  • Bacteria can grow in wax and cause infection
  • Can remove a layer of skin, in addition to hair

Sugaring

Ingredients

Sugaring is made from natural ingredients — sugar, lemon juice, and water. Sometimes essential oils or glycerin are added.

Method

Sugaring is performed in the same way as wax. Typically, the sugaring mixture isn’t quite as hot as hot wax, which can be less painful.

Sugaring Pros

  • Natural, skin-healthy ingredients
  • Effective at removing hair
  • Bacteria is not as apt to live in sugaring mixture
  • Less hot, so won’t burn skin
  • Won’t remove skin

Sugaring Cons

  • Often times slightly more expensive

Clearly, sugaring wins out with way more pros than waxing. It is also super easy to do at home! I really like Moom Organic Hair Removal Kit, which is all-natural and works really well. You can also make your own at home!

At-Home Sugaring Recipe

Combine 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 cup fresh lemon juice in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat, mixing regularly. Once it’s hot, remove from heat and let cool slightly before applying. Apply to hair, use muslin waxing cloths to remove.

CAUTION: BEWARE DOUBLE-DIPPING

If you get your sugaring or waxing done at a salon, make sure to go a NO DOUBLE DIPPING salon. Most salons will use the same application stick for a client’s entire waxing session, transferring all kinds of bacteria into the wax or sugar mixture. A salon that doesn’t double dip will use a different applicator stick every time they dip into the mixture, ensuring that no bacteria is transferred from client to client. This is crucial to preventing infection, and even STD’s!

The Last (and Best) Diet You’ll Ever Need

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The traditional Ayurvedic approach to eating emphasizes when you eat as well as what you eat, and it is literally the best and healthiest key to permanent weight loss, lifelong weight management, and optimum health and digestion.  It points to the body’s ideal time for consuming the biggest meal of the day.. and it’s certainly not when most Americans think it is.

Our bodies are designed to consume the majority of the day’s calories before 3pm, when digestion is the strongest.  This means a balanced breakfast that is nourishing and filling enough to get you through to lunch without feeling hungry (and without needing that mid-morning cup of coffee or snack!).  Our bodies function best when lunch is the biggest meal of the day.  Midday is when our digestion and metabolism are the strongest, and our system is in need of nourishment and healthy calories.  So guess what?  That soup or salad just aren’t going to cut it.  Your typical light lunch is what’s responsible for your late afternoon energy crash, your high hunger levels in the evening, and your struggles with weight!  Making your lunch healthy and dinner-sized is the biggest secret for longterm weight loss, and the end to dieting forever.  This big lunch keeps you full and energized throughout the day, and keeps you from overeating in the evening, which is when calories eaten go directly to your problem areas and contribute to weight gain.  Dinner, or better yet “supper” (sharing the root of “supplemental” or “soup-like”), should be the lightest meal of the day.  Soup is the absolute ideal supper, although a salad is also great.

This way of eating certainly has history and culture on it’s side, being the traditional way of eating for many Eastern cultures, and even much of Western Europe, before eating habits and work cultures were Americanized.  But now, there is also cold, hard scientific evidence supporting it!  A new study recently published in the International Journal of Obesity proves once and for all that eating your main meal of the day in the evening contributes to weight gain.  In the study, a group of 420 overweight men and women were evaluated over five months.  During that time, half the group ate their biggest meal of the day before 3pm, while the other half ate it after 3pm.  Both groups had the same amount of exercise, ate the same amount of calories throughout the day, and got the same amount of sleep throughout the study.  Over the course of the 5 month study, the early eating group lost an average of 22 pounds, while the late eating group lost only 17 pounds.

Further supporting this evidence is a study from the University of Alabama last year, showing that eating higher fat meals in the first half of the day, and a lighter low-fat meal in the second half of the day (see The Key to Sustained Weight Loss) support longterm weight loss.  So here’s how to eat:

  • Eat three meals a day, and don’t snack.
  • Make lunch the biggest meal of the day.
  • Make breakfast big enough to get to lunch without feeling hungry.
  • Make dinner light and “supplementary.”

Even if you change nothing else about your diet, just this shift alone will give you some results!  But of course, for this to be the last and best diet you’ll ever need, you’ll want to make some changes to what you’re eating as well.

  • Eat less meat and dairy, and more low-mercury fish and healthy plant-based fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and healthy oils.
  • Eat more vegetables!!!  Better yet, eat mostly vegetables!  They are nature’s perfect foods.
  • Eat less processed grains and flours, and more whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and oats.
  • Eat less sugar.  If you need a little sweetness, get it from fruit and healthy sweeteners like stevia or raw honey, all in moderation.

Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?

Want some healthy meal ideas?  Check out What Do I Eat? Healthy Eating is Easier Than You Think!, and our Healthy Recipes database.

Reference:
Garalualet M. International Journal of Obesity, Jan 2013.
Bray M. International Journal of Obesity, Mar 2010