We’ve been touting all the benefits of coconut oil on The Organic Beauty of late, and we want to share with you all of the amazing benefits of this magical beauty and health ingredient you might already have in your cupboard! If you aren’t using coconut oil in your cooking and beauty regimen yet, you need to be! Check out Go Nuts for Coconut Oil (6 Amazing Benefits and 10 Beauty Tricks), and our Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil infographic to learn why this is your secret to shining, healthy hair, moist, radiant and clear skin, and healthy gut and even a trimmer waist line! You can also read about all the favorite coconut oil beauty tips of various health and beauty experts, including yours truly, over on AllParenting.
We fell in love with the Pure Fiji line of products on our honeymoon (in Fiji!), and absolutely loved the moisturizing natural ingredients and delicious scent. This ultra nourishing shampoo and conditioner feature exotic blends of coconut crème, cold-pressed oil, island drift-nut extracts, and sugar cane derived cleansers, and is fortified with soy and wheat proteins, which helps repair damage and improves resilience – restoring bounce and shine for healthy looking hair. And of course, this line is sulphate-free!
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We are giving away $70 worth of super antioxidant, anti-aging products for face, body, and lips from Yes to Blueberries!
Click here to read my review of the Yes To.. product line, one of our absolute favorite drugstore natural beauty finds.
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AND THE WINNER IS…
Congrats, Jackeline, and thank you to everyone for entering! Our next awesome giveaway will be on two weeks, so stay tuned and stay connected! And we’ll be working on some new posts to address your skincare concerns, so check back with us soon!
Lots of love and beauty!
We’ll be reviewing tons of amazing products this month, with huge giveaways all month long for our amazing readers. Enter to win amazing natural beauty products from Avitalin Skincare, Yes to Blueberries, and Sunny Girl Organics.
Keep checking back all month long for chances to win!
There have been a lot of recent studies claiming that taking vitamins has little to no effect on one’s health, but the fact is that not all vitamins are created equally. Research has shown over and over again that potent, high quality formulations of certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants play a huge role in maintaining optimum health and longevity, disease prevention, and treating various ailments.
That said, it’s important to note that vitamins and supplements are not a miracle, cure-all panacea that allow you to neglect healthy diet and exercise. Supplements are really designed to fill in the gaps left in our diets. The most potent and effective means of delivering nutrients into your system are through whole foods. Very few, if any, supplements will ever offer the same benefits as eating a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruit, and whole grains. But unfortunately, some vitamins are nearly impossible to get enough of, even if you have a super healthy diet. Vitamin D, for example, is a vitamin nearly everyone in the northern parts of the world is deficient in. It is simply impossible to get enough vitamin D3 from sunshine when you live anywhere that has a winter. To derive enough of this vital nutrient from the sun, you would need 15 minutes of direct sunlight (sans sunblock) on large swaths of your skin every single day. Even in warmer climates, that just isn’t possible for a lot of people. Other nutrients aren’t possible to derive from specific diets. Vegetarians do not get sufficient amounts of vitamins B6 and B12, so supplementing with a high quality B Complex is vital. Omega-3′s are another nutrient that are very difficult to safely derive enough of in a standard Western diet, and it’s health benefits are so numerous that supplementation is definitely recommended for many people. There are also many herbs that just aren’t available (or palatable) for consumption as food — therefore taking them in supplement form is the most efficient and convenient means of delivering their amazing and varied benefits to your body.
Are supplements worth the money? It’s safe to say you’re probably wasting your money if you’re using vitamins as your only consistent sources of healthy nutrients while maintaining a sub-par, Standard American Diet. Anyone that tells you that you can keep eating cheeseburgers and ice cream and still be slim and healthy by taking some special amazing supplement is taking you for a ride! But if you’re using supplements to fill in the gaps in a healthy diet, you’re doing your body a huge favor.
What supplements should I be taking? Everybody has different supplementation needs, depending on gender, age, health concerns and goals. That said, there are definitely a few supplements that everyone can benefit from. See my Basic Supplement Guide for a list of universally recommended supplements for optimum health. For more specific recommendations, always consult a holistic healthcare practitioner. There are specific combinations of supplements that can help with everything from painful or irregular periods, weight loss and headaches or pain, to cancer prevention, all kinds of gastrointestinal issues like constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, heart health, cholesterol, and thyroid imbalance. Pretty much any health concern can be addressed and improved with the proper supplementation, in addition to… you guessed it!… healthy diet and exercise.
Are all vitamins safe? It is absolutely vital to ensure that the vitamins you are taking are high quality and in the right dosages for your body. Certain supplements, taken in improper dosage, have actually found to be detrimental to health and have been linked to higher risk of mortality and disease. Always research your vitamin brands to make sure they are using pure formulations derived from healthy sources. Brands I trust are NOW, Rainbow Light, Biotics, New Chapter, Vitanica, and Solgar. Check out the Organic Beauty Store for some fabulous supplements used by myself and my clients.
Supplements really do work, and, in combination with the correct diet and exercise for your body, can mean a stronger, more youthful, and healthier you!
Natasha Uspensky, CHHC, AADP
There is a whole lot of information out there about health, beauty, and food, some of it a little more contradictory that we would like. Some advocate local over organic produce, some the other way around; some say there is no way to be healthy and keep meat in your diet, others say the only an omnivore can be truly healthy; some push a hard line DIY lifestyle as the only way to keep your body and home safe and toxin free, others say everything in moderation. So how do we figure out which advice to follow?
My philosophy has always been to soak up as much knowledge as possible, and use common sense and a knowledge of one’s self and one’s own habits to figure out what works best. There is no universal cure-all or answer that will work for everyone. That said, there have definitely been some books that have been instrumental in my figuring out where to be strict and where to let things slide, as well as helping to create a general knowledge base that informs my decisions of what to put in, on, and around my body. Check out a few of these titles, or go the distance and read ’em all to make yourself a fabulously educated Organic Beauty!
Food and Farming:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver provides a really interesting look into a family’s decision to try to live as total locavores, growing much of their food on their own fledgling farm and purchasing the rest from nearby farmers. Now, I’m not one to glorify the Green Acres life — farm living is not the life for me — but this book provided a really insightful look into a whole slew of topics, ranging from locavorism to environmentalism, vegetarianism to the benefit of the small family farm. It is a super well written narrative that will forever change how you view your local Greenmarket.
In his followup to the vital read, The Omnivores Dilemma, Michael Pollan came out with two more absolutely essential books, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, and its companion text Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. Together, these books really outline what we should and should not be eating, and more importantly, WHY. Pollan goes a step further than The Omnivores Dilemma by taking us out of the realm of industrial agriculture, and into the grocery store, an area which is much more familiar. Here, he debunks quick food fixes that are being touted as easy alternatives to the preparation of more time consuming whole foods, and really gets to the bottom of what it means to eat healthy. While In Defense of Food can get really technical, and goes into a lot of detail about what we should and should not be eating, Food Rules offers a simple pocket guide that, in my opinion, should be a veritable bible for grocery shopping Americans. The book advocates a mostly plant-based, whole foods diet, and is full of quippy little mantras (“the whiter the bread, the quicker you’ll be dead”) that really healthy eating a no-brainer. Truly, these are both must-reads.
Diet and Health:
The Life Force Diet, by Michelle Schoffro Cook, completely changed my life when it came to dieting and health. After many years of struggling with stomach problems, food sensitivities, and other health problems, this book really shed light on how I was shooting myself in the foot with what I was eating and set me on an amazing path to total wellness. Cook does everything from explaining how and why certain foods make us feel the way we do, to completely outlining a new way to think about food. This is less of a diet and more of a total overhaul of how you eat that will last you for the rest of your life. By eating the enzyme-rich foods she outlines, and taking the right supplements, I starting looking and feeling the best I ever have in my life! The foods she advocates bring on mental clarity, radiant beauty, energy, and a forever slim physique. The ULTIMATE guide to being an Organic Beauty!