The Healing Powers of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt lamps are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Not only are they visually pleasing to look at, but they are also known to carry plenty of healing powers and health benefits, ranging from purifying the air to helping boost energy levels. With all of these amazing benefits, it’s crazy to think that all you have to do to experience these wonderful therapeutic powers is to simply plug it in.

By nature salt is hygroscopic, which means the lamps attract water molecules from the air; trapping dirt, pollen, and smoke particles, which are carried in water vapor, thus having a purifying effect on the air around it.

This purifying effect also helps in reducing allergy symptoms that are related to dust and dander, since the cause of the allergy is being eliminated in the air, the symptoms will dramatically subside.

By releasing negatively charged particles into the air the lamps can help to reduce electromagnetic radiation from household electronics, such as computers and cell phones. This means that having a lamp on your desk or near where you use your electronics frequently, is a good idea.

Speaking of electronics, research has shown that the blue light given off by phones and other electronic deceives can mess with our sleep hormones and disrupt our sleeping patterns.  Alternatively, salt lamps give off a warm orange glow similar to that of fire or candlelight, giving our eyes a rest from the harsh glow of our computers and cell phones.

  • ProTip, make sure to utilize the NighShift option on your cell phones, this will automatically switch your phone from blue to orange light, according to the rising and setting sun.

For this reason, Salt lamps are great light sources in the evening to help us relax while trying to fall asleep and can be used as a nightlight without negatively affecting our sleep.

These soothing lamps may also help boost mood and energy levels, the soft orange hues are one of the soothing colors often used for calming and to increase focus.

Using salt lamps for color therapy can help to increase energy levels, and induce a clearer mental state,  not to mention, we could all do with more beauty in our lives and there is no denying the beauty and calming effect that these lamps can have on us.

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Natural Deodorant For the Win

We’ve all had those days when we throw on layer after layer of deodorant without even batting an eye because we are sweating out of our minds. But, have we ever stopped to think what is actually in those magic little sticks? Natural deodorant is starting to gain some hype in the eco-beauty world and for a good reason. We all love smelling fresh, but when it comes to our health, do we really want to risk it?

Sure, the chemical filled, flower garden blooming under our arms smells so much better than going Au Naturel, but it definitely isn’t better for us. We have started to be very careful and particular about the food that we eat and what we put into our bodies. Fortunately, for all involved, we are starting to realize that what we put on our bodies matters as well. These days conventional deodorant is jam-packed with harmful chemicals and additives, such as parabens, which are commonly found in most conventional beauty and skincare products these days, and aluminum, which actually clogs your sweat glands and stops us from sweating. At the same time, it is also being absorbed into our skin. Both of these additives can disrupt our hormone balance and have been linked to the growth and formation of breast cancer cells in the body.

Sniffing It Out: Why We Should Switch To Natural Deodorant

Swapping out our conventional deodorants for a more natural alternative may seem like a daunting task, as it takes us forever to find the perfect smelling deodorant that both masks our “natural” scent and stops us from sweating. Most natural deodorants just stop the odor and not the actual sweat. This may sound a bit disappointing, but the most harmful parts of conventional deodorant are their antiperspirant properties. Our bodies are meant to sweat as we are sweating out toxins that we don’t want in our bodies. When we use deodorant with an antiperspirant, we are blocking those toxins from being released out of our bodies, which is not good for our overall health. Once we start using less conventional deodorant without all the additives and chemicals, it is true we will sweat a lot more at first since we are no longer clogging our sweat glands. But, once our bodies get used to sweating again, it will naturally balance out and will produce a manageable amount of sweat. This process is true when switching over to something healthier in almost all areas of our lives. If we were to take part in a food cleanse, we would also experience a detox period, leaving us feeling a bit groggy because we are flushing all of the toxins and bad stuff out of our bodies. Once they are gone though, we are left feeling better than before. The same is true with deodorant.

Smell Test: The Different Types of Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorant can be a tricky swap at first since there is a grace period, which can be a bit rough. We will definitely experience smelly armpits and more sweat than we are used to when we are first switching over to a more natural brand of deodorant; don’t worry it doesn’t last too long. It also takes a while to find the right formula that works best with our individual body and skin types, but once you have found the right one for you, give it a month or two for your body to adjust and you will be so glad that you did!

There are so many brands out there now that are creating natural deodorants in both cream and solid form, which is great for us because that means there are more options for us to try and hopefully find a brand that we love.

Be sure to test out each deodorant for several months for your skin to get used to it, and be on the lookout for itchy red bumps or irritation. This can sometimes occur if you are sensitive to baking soda, which is a natural way to help stop sweat.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Meow Meow Tweet is great because it now comes in both solid and cream form so we can choose which option we like best. It also has a baking soda free option, for those of us with sensitive skin, in a grapefruit scent, which is wonderful!

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Primal Pit Paste is a great brand; they have deodorants ranging from cream to stick and multiple scents that are baking soda free, giving those with sensitive skin, a wider selection to choose from.

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Soapwalla is a gentler natural deodorant. I would recommend that you start out with another deodorant first before transitioning to this one if you are concerned of smelling or sweating too much. However, after using for several months, this is a great option.

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Schmidt’s it a great option and really works well. However, there is quite a bit of baking soda in this brand, so if you have sensitive skin I would steer clear of them. If not, this is a great first deodorant to transition to because the high concentrate of baking soda helps to stop sweat naturally. They have recently added a line for sensitive skin, I haven’t tried it yet, but I am very interested in checking it out!

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Lavanila is the most “conventional” of the natural deodorants on this list, but it is a great first buy when you are transitioning over. It has a variety of scents and feels the most like conventional deodorant overall. It also is the most easily accessible, seeing as you can buy it at Sephora and most health and whole food stores.

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Whichever deodorant we end up choosing, remember to give it some time and don’t give up right away, your body will adjust. Once we finally find the perfect natural deodorant for us we will be, fearlessly, raising the roof with fresh smelling, pits of joy!

Reviews.com  has a great, and more extensive, list of natural deodorants that they love, over on their site. If you’re looking for more options, or you just love reading reviews, go on over and check them out.

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Shopping Locally: Invigorating Espresso Scrub

I’ll admit it; I’m a die-hard coffee junkie. The smell, the taste, the color, all the possibilities, I want them all and I want them now. So, it’s only fitting that I would be in love with an espresso scrub. I received this scrub from Terra Luna Beauty, as a gift, quite some time ago, and I have loved it from the moment I saw it, I guess love at first sight is real, who would have thought.

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You’ll be begging for a coffee break with this scrub! The gritty espresso grounds are a great exfoliant and the peppermint oil is a refreshing surprise for your skin. With the harshness of the scrub the peppermint really helps to soothe your skin, along with the shea butter and Aloe Vera. This scrub is loaded with an abundance of hydrating, soothing and repairing ingredients.

  • Green tea
  • Coconut oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Jojoba oil

Just to name a few, there are plenty more where that came from, in the small jar packed to the brim with this amazing scrub. I say small because the jar is only 9oz. However, it has lasted me forever; I have had it for almost a year now and it doesn’t even look like I made a dent. This may be because I only use the scrub on my face once a week. I’m sure if you used it more frequently or as a body scrub, you would run out much faster than me, but I have found that I love using it as a facial scrub and personally, once a week does the trick for me.

Another reason I love this scrub is because it comes from a local and ethical company. Terra Luna Beauty is a Detroit based skincare company. I love supporting my local stores, even if I don’t live there any more I know that my money is going towards a great company and I try to support local brands and companies wherever I am.

Their products are cruelty free and mindful to our bodies and our environment. All of their products are guaranteed to be:

  • Organic 
  • Cruelty-Free(certified by the Leaping Bunny Program)
  • Fair-Trade
  • Handmade
  • Paraben-Free
  • Vegan(All products are 100% plant based)

Terra Luna donates 10% of their profits to independent animal rescue programs. I love companies that give back, because then I feel like I am also helping to support those charities and programs as well by buying from a company that supports them.

This month I challenge you to find at least one locally made product, wherever you may be, that you love. It can be beauty, skincare, or even food! Anything that can help to support our local businesses, and feel free to share them with me too!

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Restaurant Snapshot: Blossom du Jour New York, NY

I happened upon Blossom du Jour, by complete accident one day. I was early meeting a friend for lunch and she wasn’t ready yet, so I decided to walk around the block while I waited. It’s a good thing I did too, because as I looped around the block aimlessly, I stumbled upon this quaint little restaurant.

Blossom du Jour is a small chain of vegan fast food restaurants in New York City. It has a super chill vibe to it and a wide selection of food to choose from, with some great gluten free options as well. It can be hard at times to be gluten free as well as vegan. My choices can be very limited seeing as many vegans can have gluten, and a lot of vegan foods at restaurants do contain gluten, which can be a bummer. Anyway like I was saying, they have quite a few GF options for me to choose from.

I ordered the burrito and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Mind you, I have not had a burrito in a very long time because most places do not have a GF tortilla/wrap large enough for a burrito. So, this burrito may very well have just been good and not as amazing as I thought it was, since I had sort of forgotten what they taste like. Update, they are pretty damn good. Man, I have missed burritos. The burrito had vegan cheese and vegan sour cream, both of which were great and tasted very similar to, and just as good, their dairy counterparts.

I also opted to add avocado, which was really good, but was around two dollars extra. However, I was not aware of this upon ordering. The girl at the counter asked if I would like to add avocado to my burrito and I was all, heck yeah I do without thinking to ask how much it would be. I thought maybe a dollar or so, but boy, was I wrong. While I really liked the addition of the avocado in the burrito, next time I would definitely go without it. It was creamy enough with the cheese and sour cream and didn’t really need the extra creaminess added from the avocado. The rest of the ingredients were pretty standard rice, beans, salsa and corn, all the ingredients you would expect to find in a burrito, but like I said it was good.

I was so impressed by my first visit to Blossom du Jour that I ended up going there for lunch again the next week. This time I ordered the GF beet burger. This burger was served on GF sliced bread, which I thought was a bit weird at first, but the bread was really good. It was dense and flavorful, and I really enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more with a sandwich or as toast, opposed to a burger bun, but I got over it. The burger was a beet patty with vegan horseradish mayo lettuce and tomato. Overall I liked the burger as well, but I am in a desperate search for the best gluten free, vegan burger and sadly this was not it. It was good, but I would have preferred an actual bun and the burger was a bit too mushy for my liking. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way, like I said I’m desperate.

The restaurant also has salads, bowls, burgers, smoothies and shakes. Everything looked and sounded amazing.

I am especially intrigued by the shakes, I can’t tell you the last time I had a milk shake and it sounds really good.

I am really excited that I stumbled upon this place and am looking forward to going back again soon to try out more of the amazing and delicious food they have to offer.

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Coffee Or Tea: The Great Caffeine Debate

I have been trying to drink less coffee as of late, shocker I know, but hear me out. I love coffee, but I don’t need all that caffeine and not to mention the fact that coffee dehydrates you. I am not giving up caffeine, but I am choosing to drink tea with less caffeine than coffee, for the most part. I need all the water and hydrating drinks I can get, especially with this nice weather as it is getting closer to summer. Unfortunately I can tell the different between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and I don’t like the decaf, sorry, but I just don’t. So in lieu of my new life choice, I have been trying to drink more tea, hot, iced, latte and lukewarm, you name it, I’ve tried it.

I do like tea and I always have, but I want to find tea that I love the way I love coffee. I do love a good chai and green tea latte, but those are mostly milk based and I am trying to drink less milk. If I am drinking tea, I would like to reap the full benefits of the tea and not muck it up with milk. I do realize adding milk to tea doesn’t counter act the health benefits of tea, but it does make it a bit less healthy and a bit more fattening than if I just had plain old tea leaves and water.

Keeping that in mind, I bought some tea to drink at home; one because it gave me an excuse to go shopping, even if it was just for tea, and two, because I wanted to try out some more unique blends at home. Unfortunately I don’t live near any tea shops that I can go to on a regular basis to try out new teas. Currently I just have basic coffee shops that have the regular, green, black and herbal tea.

Excuse me for wanting more variety and excitement with my tea choices, the things I find exciting in life, might be a bit strange, but it’s my life and my tea.

So I bought a variety of teas to taste test. I bought all loose leaf tea, mostly because I like the taste of it better. I find it to be fresher and more flavorful than the tea that comes in the bags. Also, as an added bonus, it is waste free since the tea leaves can be composted and you aren’t throwing away the bag and string from your used tea bag that comes with most conventional tea.

Also you get to buy a cute, or not cute, tea infuser. This helps you to brew your tea more easily so you can remove the leaves out of your tea after it is done brewing, mess free.

Anyway I found a few teas that I have been loving, which are:

I have also hunted down a few tea shops that I like to frequent when I am out on the town. I realize that just made me sound like a sixty year old woman, with five cats, but I can assure you I don’t own any cats and I promise I do also frequent the local bars and hot spots. But who doesn’t love a good cup of tea every once and a while, am I right?

David’s Tea and Argo Tea are my two favorite places to go get tea, when I don’t feel like making it at home, or I just feel like going out and buying some tea, dammit, then walking to the nearest park to read a good book and drink my tea.

Ooh that sounds pretty great, excuse me while I go do that.

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