Natural Deo for your B.O.

As more and more people of the world are becoming conscious of what they are putting into their bodies, so are they becoming aware of what is going on the body. I was recently sent this wonderful article by Review on natural deodorants, and it made me realize how important it is this information get out to the public. We are constantly taking in toxins from out environment, possibly food we eat, the air we breath, and if you aren’t careful and conscious: what you are putting on your body! (Note: I was not paid to do this. It was just brought to my attention and I found it to be vital information that needs to be shared!)

Everyone knows by now that you are what you eat, but what if your skin has the ability to eat too? What you put on your body gets absorbed into the skin and begins circulating in the system (prime example: nicotine patches). It is just as vital to be aware of what is going on as it is what is going in.

I will be sure to cover other areas of the natural product world (shampoos, body washes and lotions, facial care products, etc), but today we are going to focus on one that gets attention on the daily: your armpits.

You may have dipped your pits in the world of natural deodorants already and had mixed results (or no luck at all). I was in the same boat when I started. From Thai crystals that are activated by water to Tom’s deodorant, nothing seemed to work quite the way I needed it to. Some things seemed to work great in the beginning then slowly lost potency over time with extended use. This was very discouraging at the start of my natural body care journey and I quickly switched back to my beloved Secret Deodorant until something good came along.

Why is switching to a natural deodorant so important in the first place?

There are several toxins lurking in your average store-bought deodorant. This includes chemicals such as aluminum, parabens, TEA (not the drink) and DEA, and artificial colors. These compounds are known for acting as estrogen within the body and have carcinogenic properties. For more information see this lovely article.

Now for the good stuff!

A few years past and I began working at a health food store where I had access to many more lovely options. I tried several and still was having tough luck… until!

schmidts-naturals-facebook-opengraph

Photo Cred: schmidtsnatural.com

Schmidt’s Deodorant. By far my FAVORITE deodorant I have ever tried. I own both Rose + Vanilla and Lavender + Sage and found them to be phenomenal. They last for hours, don’t leave clumps, and even act as a perfume if I forget to spray some in the morning. They are free of aluminum, artificial fragrance, and common irritants.

There are still many other options out there besides Schmidt’s that work just as well, or even better! There are 5 more well-tested options highlighted in this article you may feel free to check out and start experimenting with.

Have you tried natural body care products before? What was your experience? Do you have any favorites? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

 

Featured Image Cred: https://www.reviews.com/natural-deodorant/

Self Care 101: Love and Balance Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Hello Sister Goddess!

First I want to say thank you for your interest in learning more about this program, what it has to offer, and how it will help you transform into your absolute best and highest self. This program has been a work in progress for several months now and is created for you!

I know what it is like to feel detached and empty. I use to constantly search for meaning and purpose in external things, whether it be a job, others, material objects, media, you name it. I use to constantly search and never feel full no matter what I did. When I made the decision to be happy two years ago I also made a commitment to discover “who am I?” At the time I didn’t know what that entailed. As I have grown closer to my Self with each passing day, I feel ready to share with you how I have overcome an endless search in the void to find the inner light. The light that is true being and fulfillment.

This may all sound heavy and complicated, but I promise it does not have to be! I am here now to make it very simple for you and support you along this mystical and worthwhile journey.

“Self Care 101: Love and Balance the Mind, Body, and Soul” is a 6-Month program designed awaken the energetic blueprint of your Being. It is a program that will focus on each divine aspect (the mind, body and soul) and teach you how to build a harmonious foundation upon them. Through love and understanding of your own life you will be able to take the tools presented to you and start experimenting to find what resonates with you, so that you too may begin living a life in line with your divine purpose.

“What should I be expecting for this first meeting?” I’m glad you asked.

We will open the meeting with introductions and allow everyone to get to know each other a bit better. I also have a Facebook group for you all to connect before the meeting. I will give an overview of who I am, my intentions for this group, and what the lesson outline looks like. I will leave space for any questions or comments afterwards and then we will all connect more over delicious high-vibrational meals (keep it plant-based!).

There are 5 more sessions planned after the initial meeting around the new moons each month. Each meeting will start at 6 PM and run for an estimated 2 hours.

 

This all sounds amazing, but how do I sign up? Contact me via Facebook or by email (spoonfulofgratitude@gmail.com) and tell me your name, email, phone number, and if you plan on bringing friends or a dish for the potluck.

I do ask a $10 donation which will go towards the curation of coming group sessions.

In summary, I have planned this program for you because I felt a call to action. There is a major shift happening in the world and we need to be ready for it. This group has been designed to bring together like-minded women to release the burdens that have been holding them down and make room for positive growth. You will be surrounded by open hearts, valuable tools to implement desired changes, and the support you need to crush your goals. In this first meeting, we will each have time to share our stories and things we wish to cultivate more of in our lives. We will set goals, hold each other accountable, then check in on and evolve those goals as we grow throughout the program!

Are you ready to grow into your best self? RSVP today and share with your fellow goddesses!

Soul Coaching: What it is & What it can do for you

If you have ever taken a glimpse into the world of health and wellness you would know it is a bit crazy. There are countless theories of what is right to eat and every person has the science to back it up. There are countless supplements and powders that you’re told to take on a daily basis. Everyone is so fit doing calisthenics, zumba, p90x, cycling, barre… what even is this stuff?! Most days it seems hard to even get a walk in aside from the one from the car to work!

You may have even tried some of these things or certain fad diets and detoxes, but just could not get it to stick. You keep ending up right where you started. It’s stressful and tiring. Why can’t I just live how I want without worry?!

Well, you can. There is something that has been missing from your endeavors. Maybe you’ve even figured it out but have had trouble committing to it. That thing is yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of life and other people’s needs, and put yourself on the backburner. “I’ll just do it tomorrow,” “where’s the coffee,” “I already at 5, what’s one more?” and “when’s the last time I had a me day?” all become repetitive phrases in your mind. With a Soul Coach, you would be able to break the cycle of stress and self destructive tendencies, and shift your focus back onto your own needs.

For some people this may seem daunting. You may have the impression that it’s selfish to take care of yourself and put yourself first. I promise you, it’s not. I’m sure you have heard this before: you’re no help to anyone if you can’t first help yourself. If you can learn to love and care for yourself, you will naturally be able to radiate that love and care into your environment and those who surround you.

So what exactly is a Soul Coach? This is someone who helps you reach vibrant health and wellness by connecting you to yourself on a soul level. It is an intuitive guide and empath that can relate to you, understand and accept you, and lead you back to your inner knowing. A Soul Coach is an open heart and mind that you can freely speak with and release all of your fears and worries. Once you uncover all of the dirt, underneath you will find what it is you are truly passionate about and want for yourself.

With a Soul Coach you will learn to pave your own path. We are all in a different place and need different things, despite what all the health articles and dietary theories may say. Once you find what it is you desire, a soul coach can help you craft the goals to get you to where you would like to be.

It’s an accountability partner. Creating the goals is a great first step, but sometimes we need an extra push to keep the train moving. By partnering with a Soul Coach, you will be held accountable to your goals and encouraged to follow them, so that you can turn you life into your dreams.

If you are interested in learning more, you may check out my coaching page, or jump right in and schedule a free Acceptance Session with me. This first session helps you to lay out all it is that has been troubling you and figure out what it may be that you would like to start working towards.

By working with me you will learn valuable self-care techniques, gather skills to release stress, and be able to bring diet and lifestyle into balance simply by focusing on you!

What are you waiting for? Get to loving yourself!

Why to Cleanse

Last week I made a post on how to know when it’s time to cleanse and I talked a little about the cleanse that I am currently on. If you have not read it you can check it out HERE.

Now I will go over some of the things I have learned so far, how this cleanse has made me feel, pros and cons, and share a yummy recipe to satisfy the sweet tooth.
I am on the 6th day of this cleanse, so halfway through. The hardest thing about it is remembering to take the herbal supplements. I will probably have an extra day or two worth of pills to take after my 12 days are up. Another difficulty was adjusting to the foods recommended. My diet before this cleanse was mainly bananas and dates, and both of those are not recommended during the time of cleansing due to their higher sugar content.

Having a limited diet is also a blessing in disguise. It opened a doorway to a whole new abundance of recipes to try out and I have been enjoying experimenting with more vegetables and different foods than I would normally eat.

As for how I have been feeling, to my surprise, I have had a lot more energy. I have moments where I feel a bit more tired or my stomach starts to hurt a bit, but then it is quickly over after I realize I just need to go to the bathroom. This detox has opened my eyes to how connected energy and the gut truly are. If the digestion is sluggish, or there is a buildup from eating foods that are difficult to process, it will decrease energy tremendously. Forty-five to seventy percent of daily energy, on average, is put towards processing food. This percent increases as we eat heavier and more processed foods.

On this cleanse, I have been eating mostly raw, all whole foods; saving the cooked and heavier foods for the end of the day. On the days when I experimented with eating cooked foods for breakfast I found my energy levels started to dwindle much sooner.

Some of the benefits I have experienced on this cleanse thus far include: a LOT less bloating, clearer skin, clearer thinking, connection to the body and its natural signals, better sleep, newfound motivation and passion.

Some of the cons: moments of bloating and brain fog before using the bathroom. … That’s it. I feel better after going to the bathroom every time.

I recommend everyone try out a cleanse at least once. There are so many different kinds of cleanses out there. There are even one-day resets for those of you who feel you do not have the time or feel timid on making the commitment.


Reasons I recommend a cleanse:

  1. It connects you to yourself.
    • A cleanse allows you to tune in to your bodies natural signals.
    • It releases old baggage so you are able to focus on here and now.
  2. It is an act of self love.
    • A cleanse is a commitment to yourself.
    • By turning the focus inward, you are acknowledging that there is work to be done, and by releasing all of the old build up you will be able to start fresh and grow anew!
  3. You will feel so much better!
    • Low energy? Low libido? Yeast problems? Gassy or bloated? Angry for no reason? Cleanse.
    • A cleanse is more than just clearing old waste and toxins from the body. It is clearing all of the negativity that has made its home in your body through time. As we progress through life, we carry old burdens with us. A cleanse can bring those up and release them leaving you feeling much lighter.

If you are thinking of embarking on a cleanse, here are my top tips to make it easy and painless:

  • Stay hydrated. Always keep water on you. If you don’t drink plenty of water, any toxins being kicked up will just sit inside of you leaving you feeling fatigued and sick.
  • Go at your own pace. If you feel you are only capable of a one day cleanse, then start there. We are all in a different place, and some may have a lot more toxicity built up than others. Release what you can handle and do not try to tackle it all at once.
  • Eat plenty of whole foods, low-sugar fruits and vegetables. Keep the heavy foods (starchy, protein-rich, fatty) to a palm sized portion and see how you feel from there. Keep the focus on high-fiber fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
  • Rest. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the noise of daily life, but if you feel you need to take some time to relax and be with yourself, do it. Light some candles, take a bath, read a good book. Whatever it takes to keep you grounded and at peace.
  • Ask for support. Sometimes our biggest downfall during a cleanse can be being around others who are not on one. Make sure the people you surround yourself with know about and respect what you are doing for yourself. That way you feel supported through the process and will feel less tempted to go off-course.
  • Forgive yourself. If you mess up once, do not worry about it. I have already forgotten the pills I was supposed to take at least 3 times, and I ate grapes (a high-sugar fruit, not on my acceptable list) on the first day! That did not stop me from striving forward towards my goal. Never let a bump in the road keep you from yours.

Recipe

Sweet Potato and Millet-meal

Serves: 1

1 Cup cooked Millet
1 Small baked Sweet Potato
Almond Milk, to cover
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
Dash of Vanilla
Generous shakes of Cinnamon

Directions: Stir the millet in a container with the flax, vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, or while the sweet potato cooks. Cook the sweet potato whole in a glass baking dish for an hour at 300 degrees (quicker at higher temperature, but not as good for you.) Right before the potato is done baking, put the millet concoction into a small pan and warm on low. When the sweet potato is done, cut it in half and drizzle almond butter in the center. Plate it up and Serve!


 

Signs You May Need to Cleanse

How do you know when it is time to cleanse?

Here are a few warning signs:

  • Feeling heavy and lethargic
  • Being stuck in cyclic patterns
  • Dropping everything
  • Bump into every object and wall you pass
  • Difficulty thinking or talking clearly
  • Bloated or gassy
  • Stressed constantly, even if there is nothing to be upset about
  • Yeast overgrowth (itchy down under)
  • Lack of motivation or apathetic

 

I could keep going on, but I think you get the idea. It could be time for a cleanse when you have a feeling that something is out of balance.

 

Yesterday’s Full Moon had a theme of Transformation and Healing.

Lately, I have been feeling out of balance. I found this to be the perfect time to embark on a cleanse. On the Full Moon, I decided to dry fast the whole day and decide where to go from there.

During this fast a couple things came up for me:

I have been very hard on myself and need to learn balance between resting and working;

And…

Emotions are meant to be felt, not bottled up or hidden. On that note, they are also not meant to be dwelled on. It is perfectly acceptable to not be super happy and enthusiastic all the time; it’s exhausting. It’s also not ideal to be upset or negative all of the time. What matters is to find a peaceful balance between the two to return to once the positive and negative have been experienced.

 

Today, I have decided to continue my cleanse. I woke up feeling a bit lighter emotionally and spiritually, but physically I could tell there is work to be done as I am still quite heavy. I am no longer fasting, as I do lead an active lifestyle and work full time. I will be using the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox for the next 12 days. I invite you to find a cleanse that works for you and join me in this venture on the road to overcoming obstacles and healing from the inside out. It doesn’t have to be intense or cost a lot of money. It could be as simple as cutting out all processed foods for a week and drinking 2 litres of water a day. We are all in different places. It’s important to acknowledge where you are at now, and what you feel ready for.

The focus on this cleanse will be to drink plenty of water, eating only fresh fruits and vegetables, and to eat foods that are mainly alkaline. I will check in throughout the cleanse with updates and inspiration, so stay tuned and make sure to be following me on this blog or other social media (found at the top and bottom of this page).

If you would like to eat according to the detox I am using, I will include a link to the PDF file of the food list HERE.

 

We are blessed with these bodies to embark on a human experience, filled with the good and bad, always in a state of growing. Throughout a 70 year lifespan, a single person clears at least 25,200 lbs of waste from the body. On top of this, we are constantly storing gunk from a lot of the foods people are not meant to eat and energies from our environment, other people, and our own emotions. It is vital to take care of these vessels and give them the love they deserve for working so hard to keep us going. It is time to check in with ourselves and take notice of what the body, and intuition, is telling us.

What is yours telling you?

A Reflection In Yoga

An Essay Written by Erin McCaffery

I began to practise yoga after a sort of personal awakening, upon realizing how little I maintained my health and the effects of that on my depression. I’ve never been the very active type, but decided if I couldn’t handle a few minutes a day to build my strength by just simply existing in various poses then I was being far too lazy for my own good, which is another demon with which I am well acquainted. I began with youtube tutorial videos and then enrolled in Yoga I Winter 2015 semester as a means of forcing myself to continue with practice.

Alongside the physical changes I’ve been trying to grow within the myself, the past year I have had a shift in mindset. It began with philosophical talks with some well-read friends and an Existentialism class, and with my existing fascination for natural sciences this set me on a path with many Eastern roots. I’ve taken from what I have read, felt, and understood in my experience of the world to believe in the magic of nature and of the mind. Much of Eastern philosophy, Taoism having been my main focus, can be viewed as analogous to evolutionary patterns, the course of nature itself. As an existentialist I understand the importance of Now, the present moment, the only reality having any claim to existing. This is comparable to Awareness and Presence within the body practiced in yoga, which I feel when considering all three at once each only serves to deepen the others. As a scientist I understand the importance of bodily health in relation to mental health, the two are inseparably intertwined and guide the development of each other.

This was all comparably described in Iyengar’s Tree of Yoga. The tree of the self and the description of the roots, trunks, branches, leaves and fruit. The self is a seed that must be cultivated and grown until it is unable to continue, as all plants do. While I do not know if I believe in a God, I do believe that there is far much more to human biology and psychology than we will ever be aware of, and spirituality as a product of that deserves examination.

In Eastern countries yoga is considered to be as spiritual as is it mental physical, opposed to the simple Western goal of exercise. The everydayness of our society dulls us to our inner sensitivities, and this has led us down a slippery slope away from many achievable ideals of existences- we cease to see others as we are, we lose empathy, and we succumb to the darker parts within ourselves by our unawareness of them. And I by no means place the fault on any individual in society, but on society as a whole. Ignorance and pride, considered intellectual defects, desire and aversion, considered emotional defects, and even the fear of death is an instinctual defect.

With the practise of yoga I aim for self study, improvement, and peace. I see my place in society as one anyone may fill, and I am the only ‘anyone’ that I have control over so it has to be me. To live in a society that I support morally I must live as the citizen I see fit to exist. The elements of Ego Death in yoga also interest me,the sublimation of the self with the Universal Spirit is to me a living shift in mindset. There are so many things to celebrate of humanity- the depths of love, the powers of empathy, the beauty of art, the creation of every action one makes. Everything we know is a product of the Universe, and we have become its own introspective eyes. What we see is of our own creation, but credit and property are two of the largest illusions of our time. They blind us to each other, ourselves, and to the future. I practise yoga in order to see.

Follow Your Intuition

Everyday I come to the same conclusion:

Everything I need to know in each moment, I already know. What to do, what to eat, if I should eat, how long to rest…. I already know. All I need to do is listen to my internal voice, tune into it, and allow it to guide me. Let go of fear and live for myself.

Acting outside of this intuitive knowledge only increases the cravings for that which is not good for me. Whether it be certain foods, behaviors or even people; It only leads to suffering.

Listen to yourself. Live for yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself.

No one knows how you feel to the extent that you do.

Thank you,

Allie

Are you postponing yourself?

Tomorrow I’ll be going on a two-day road trip to see nature in all of its colorful glory before the winter season takes full control. As I have been going through my day today I have noticed a series of similar thoughts popping up.

“I want to go for a walk… well, I’ll be walking tomorrow.”

“I want to go in nature for a bit… I’ll see even more of nature tomorrow though.”

“I need to finish packing… there will be time tomorrow morning.”

I kept putting everything on hold. I assumed there would be a better time to do the things I love and to do the things that need to get done. Essentially, I put myself on hold.

Once this came into my realization I took immediate action to change it. I did the things I wanted to do and felt weight lift from my shoulders. I was filled with joy, gratefulness, and relief.

There is no better time than right now. I’m sure you have heard this a thousand times. When you postpone the things you want to do, you are keeping yourself from stepping into self-love. When you postpone what needs to be done, you add unneeded weight and stress onto your mind and body!

There will be times when you can’t get something done right away, it happens. I like to keep a journal with me at all times, or even log into my phone the things I need or want to get done so I can look back to it when time opens up.

Always follow your intuition. Every moment you know what you need to do. Take initiative and start living to your fullest potential. If you don’t, who will?

Thank you,

Allie

EDIT:

Once I wrote this post, I saved it as a draft and forgot to post it. I apologize for the length of time I have been away.

Staying Grounded

Life can get very hectic sometimes. Little things can easily pile up and seem much bigger than they are, hormones become out of balance, and emotions can cloud the ability to think straight. In a world where focus is heavily placed on moving forward, it’s important to take a step back and remember to be here now.

Can you recall a time when you weren’t thinking? You were perfectly at peace with everything and focused on what you were doing in the moment? When we practice grounding, moments like these become less spontaneous and more continuous with day to day life. By allowing ourselves to feel grounded we release stress and anxiety about the future and trust in something much bigger than us. It allows us to accept what can’t be changed and focus energy on what will be of service.

There are many ways you can ground yourself into the present moment, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time out in nature. You may have your own hobbies that make you feel grounded like painting, exercise, cooking, reading, or playing an instrument. Maybe you don’t have an activity that puts you “in the zone,” and it’s time to do a little self-exploration.

Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time to partake in your favorite grounding activities. If you’re in a situation where you need a “quick fix,” try this:

Sit or stand upright with feet hip width apart, firmly placed on the floor. Relax your hands on your thighs or let your arms fall at your sides. With eyes closed, begin taking deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the nose or mouth. Imagine roots growing out from your feet and reaching down into the earth. With each exhale, let all of your negative and stagnant energy flow away with the roots into the earth. As you inhale, imagine a white light coming in from above, filling you with warmth, calm, and energy to continue your day. You could even develop a mantra to say to yourself such as “I am calm,” “I am at peace,” “I am safe,” or anything else that resonates with you in that moment. This exercise can go for as long as you please, from 1 minute to 30 minutes or more. It may feel odd at first, but with some practice it will become second nature to do in times when you need a little boost. You will start feeling benefits quickly, if not immediately.

I hope this article will help you as much as the practice has helped me. What is your favorite way to stay grounded? Please leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,

Danielle