Category Archives: Healthy Living

Our Favorite Eco Retreats

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Wellness and eco retreats are the vacation spots for those of us looking to be inspired, to stay mentally and psychically fit, or simply to unplug from everyday life. We looked at a few favorite wellness escapes from around the world that are unique and incorporate yoga, spas and all things healing.

Kamalaya Koh Samui – Thailand
A vacation spent at the Kamalaya Koh Samui wellness sanctuary and spa resort on the Koh Samui Island in Thailand means healing and detoxing amongst the lush green forests and baby blue seas. Along with Kamalaya Koh Samui’s wellness, yoga, and recreational facilities, the escape offers a bunch of wellness programs (in areas like healthy lifestyle, detox, stress & burnout), all soothing for the soul.

Xinalani – Mexico
If truly falling off the grid to rejuvenate is your thing, Xinalani is the place to be. This eco-retreat center is only accessible by boat in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Surrounded by the healing elements of the earth, Xinalani provides a safe haven for spiritual growth and the restoration of the mind and body. Find yourself in the midst of a yoga session or swimming alongside dolphins. The activities at Xinalani are endless. 

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Floating Leaf – Bali
Floating Leaf Eco- Luxury Retreat in Bali is a favorite because it not only provides yoga and spa programs but also a chance to see the treasures of Bali and learn Balinese traditions. From surfing to photography to Balinese healing, Floating Leaf nurtures both the healer and traveler within us.

The Coast Ridge Retreat – San Francisco, California
If you love fitness or up for a physical challenge, the Coast Ridge Retreat is your perfect getaway. Located between Mt. Tamalpais and the Pacific Ocean, the program is a 4-day retreat that challenges your approach to life. The retreat aims to reboot yourself physically and mentally: realizing purpose, relearning health, nourishing love, play and fitness.

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Two Bunch Palms – Palm Springs, California 
We love Two Bunch Palms for its naturally healing mineral waters. You will not find any more creative offering of classes, including “Discover your power animal”, “Harmonic vibrations sound bath” and “Vino & Van Gogh” to name a few. Of course you still get a luxury 77 acre resort with delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and full spa offering from Shamanic Healing to Reiki and one of our favorites, Thai massage. 

Esalen Institute – Big Sur, California 
If your idea of a blissful vacation is working on your spiritual self, and naked moonlit Jacuzzis over the cliffs near Big Sur, you will love Esalen. Esalen is a spiritual retreat center with a rich bohemian past that welcomes all those who seek beyond wisdom, a higher conscience, what is beyond society. Esalen provides workshops, hot springs, meditation, and most importantly a community with opened arms. *Esalen reopens July 28th 2017

And don’t forget to pack your cruelty free and nontoxic beauty and skincare from LOVE GOODLY! A few of our favorites include the Pas de Rouge with SPF protection from KINDri, Ocean Travel-Sized Cleanser from OSEA, 100% Pure BB Cream with SPF (Luminous, Aglow, Radiance) and Sun Lip Balm with SPF 15 from Hurraw!

Down to Earth: Natural Ingredients to Nurture the Skin

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Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Along with eating the right healthy foods, natural ingredients can also support the skin’s everyday functions by rejuvenation and nourishment.

SALT

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Sea salt contains an abundance of minerals that our body and skin needs. Sea salt can help keep the balance of minerals in our skin and provide protection.

Other salts such as Epsom and Pink Himalayan salt also contain healing and detoxify qualities. Add salts into your beauty routine with hellomellow’s Relax Pink Himalayan Body Scrub or Mullein & Sparrow’s Mini Rose Bath Salts.

CHARCOAL

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Activated charcoal has powerful absorbing properties. It has been a popular ingredient in a variety of beauty and skin care products. Activated charcoal used in beauty is best known for drawing dirt and skin pollutants from the skin, leaving it glowing. Skin is also known to combat breakouts.

100% vegan Little Barn Apothecary Charcoal + Aloe Face Cleanser contains a combination of activated bamboo charcoal and the benefits of aloe which makes it a great daily facial cleanser or treatment cleanser.

Complete the facial cleanse with:

OILS

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From coconut oil to jojoba oil to argan oil, we are no strangers to beauty oils.They are packed with antioxidants and fatty acids that rejuvenate, hydrate and nourish our skin. Amal’s Moroccan Organic Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world. It is known to help moisturize and contains skin regeneration properties through its richness in Vitamen E and linoleic/okeic acids.

KINDri Organic Beauty Oils contain a variety of ethically sourced oils such as grape seed, sunflower, and sweet almond. Oils can also act as a makeup remover or cleaner like the Mullein & Sparrow Cleansing Oil “featuring the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of black cumin seed.”

ALGAE

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Algae are simple, diverse group of organisms found in aquatic environments. We are quite familiar with algae like seaweed. Some algae used in skin-care products contain soothing properties and antioxidants. Red Algae like in OSEA’s Red Algae Mask may also help with aging. OSEA’s Undaria Algae Oil can be applied to the body, leaving the skin supple.

Why Cruelty Free Beauty Products Matter

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Cruelty free products are manufactured without harming or killing animals, especially skincare or beauty that do not test on animals. The world is slowly turning away from animal-testing, which are often painful and cause the death of millions of animals every year, and towards alternative testing methodsMany countries like India and those in the European Union have banned the sales of cosmetic products that use animal testing or are in the process.

However, many beauty product brands in our local U.S. drugstores and department stores still use animal testing. These tests commonly include rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs inhaling or being exposed to chemicals that cause unnecessary mutilations and suffering. Although The Humane Cosmetics Act was introduced in 2014, there is still no U.S. national law banning animal testing on beauty products. Additionally, China still requires animal testing for cosmetics that are imported into the country. Thus, many large cosmetic brands still use or started using again animal testing in order to continue reaching China’s large market.

Detox your skincare and beauty.Go cruelty free. (1)

Popular brands like Aveeno, Cover Girl, Dove, L’Oréal Paris, M.A.C., Neutrogena and Nivea still use animal testing. Here is a more comprehensive list of popular brands that uses animal testing.

Each and every one of us has the power to voice what we value and support by the purchases we make. Where your dollars go speaks volumes. Let’s choose cruelty-free.

In a nutshell, cruelty-free products are products that are not tested on animals. Instead, companies use other alternative methods such as using artificial skin to assure products are safe for consumers.

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The following 3 cruelty- free labels may be trusted. Products with these labels meet the cruelty-free standards set by each organization. To double check, look for the product’s company name on the organization’s website to verify.

LOVE GOODLY always carries cruelty-free beauty products (brands like LINNÉ Botanicals, Hellomellow, Lippy Girl, and OSEA). LOVE GOODLY also supports the Beagle Freedom Project which helps rescue laboratory animals from testing.

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GO CRUELTY-FREE!

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On-The-Go De-Stress Kit: Natural Stress Relief Techniques

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Stress. It’s good for us. Stress can push us to get things done and focus on what really matters. Overwhelming stress is what we try to avoid. This stress is debilitating and leaves us mentally and psychically drained. We can get stressed anywhere and, as good as it sound, sitting in a bath tub with a glass of wine to reduce stress just isn’t always possible with our modern day schedules. With places to be, responsibilities and obligations, it can be hard to properly reduce stress when you’re out and about.

The On-The-Go De-Stress kit has you covered.

We filled this kit with recommended items and natural stress relief techniques so you can reduce stress anywhere, anytime. When you’re stressing out at your office desk at 3pm, this kit will do the trick!

BUT FIRST THINGS FIRST…

As much as we like to think stress relief techniques can reduce our stress, they can. But only temporarily. You can exercise as much as you’d like but until you solve or come to terms with the roots of your stress, it will come back to you.

To permanently reduce stress, identify the stressor. Ask yourself: What am I stressed about? Once you identify the stressor, find a solution. If you are stressed about a deadline, make plans to start now. If it’s general lifestyle stress, what can you take out or add into your life to reduce  it?

On-the-go De-Stress Kit:

  • Calm Meditation app Many studies have shown that mindful meditation can reduce psychological stress. Calm is an app (available on Android and iOS) that provides guided meditation in categories like breathing to help you slow down the heart rate and blood pressure, kicking in your relaxation mode. You can meditate anywhere; during lunch breaks, while you’re walking or in your car. It only takes 10 minutes!
  • Black Tea According to a study done by University College London, “drinking black tea may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life.” Lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) were detected in those who drank black tea after a stressful event as opposed to those who drank a placebo tea. Bring a couple of organic tea bags with you to brew at work or prepare a bottle of tea before going out.
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  • Office Yoga Yoga is a great stress relief technique. We might not have the time to roll out the mat and spend 30 minutes in practice. Office yoga is the perfect solution to reap the stress alleviating benefits of yoga while on a time crunch. On your next break, try some of these beginning poses.

  • Chewing Gum Chewing gum has been linked to reducing stress as well as increasing productivity. It is an inexpensive stress relief technique. Generic chewing gum contains synthetic ingredients like polyisobutylene (a rubber used to make tire parts). A sustainable alternative is organic Chicza gum.

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  • Take a walk Walking reduces stress and puts our brain in a calmer state. It doesn’t have to be far or long. Don’t check your phone while you’re walking. Put it on Airplane mode and engage with the present moment. 

  • A Healthy Snack In order for our brains to think properly, we need to make sure it has the proper nourishment. A brain that lacks fuel will only heighten stress levels. Pack nutritious and filling snacks like carrot sticks with vegan peanut butter. You can’t go wrong with fruits, veggies and nuts.

  • Turn off the Phone Read this, watch that, answer me! There is no doubt our phones can overwhelm us with information. This doesn’t mean you have to drop off the face of the internet for hours. Some of us rely on our phones for important work. Turning off your phone for half an hour is still effective.

The Ultimate Vegan Brunch Recipes for Mother’s Day

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PINTREST: ERIN HIEMSTRA / APARTMENT 34

A fun, thoughtful way to celebrate our love and appreciation for our mother figures is by making them a vegan Mother’s Day brunch.

We are not talking about different salads, we’re talking about vegan chickpea omelets and creamy vegan shiitake kale pastas!

Appetizers to desserts, hopefully these vegan recipes (with vegan food tips and trivia) will help you create the ultimate vegan Mother’s Day brunch.

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Golden pancakes drizzled in warm, smooth maple syrup… yumm.

Common dairy ingredients can be easily replaced with healthier, vegan ingredients such as almond/soy milk for milk, cornstarch or flaxseeds for eggs, and coconut oil for butter. Most generic white flours are vegan but there are healthier alternatives such as whole wheat flour and oat flour.

RECIPES | average prep + cook time: 15- 30 min

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The peach and tomatoes crostini and granola & pomegranate bowl make a great start to Mother’s Day brunch.

Two-cents on bread: Bread has been getting a bad reputation for its gluten, carbs and supposedly, fat. Truth is, real bread is simply made out of flour, water and salt. It is highly nutritious and low in fat.

Interestingly, sweet potatoes are starting to substitute bread on dishes like pizza.

RECIPES | average prep + cook time: 10 – 30 min

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LOVEANDLEMONS.COM

Sandwiches, pasta, soups and salads are all healthy and filling courses for Mother’s Day brunch. Calling all pasta lovers, try the creamy vegan shiitake kale pasta.

RECIPES | average prep + cook time: 15 min – 2 hr.

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There is always room for dessert! Treat your mom to a homemade almond peach cake or vegan PB&J cups. If time is of the essence, try the vegan peanut butter mug cake. It only takes 3 minutes!

RECIPES | average prep + cook time: 30 min – 2 hr.

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You can’t go wrong with healthy smoothies and juices or a vegan mimosas. Not all champagnes are vegan. Some contain dairy products like egg whites, milk protein and gelatin. Barnivore has a comprehensive list of vegan champagnes.    

RECIPES | average prep + cook time: 10 – 15 min

2017 Mother’s Day: 4 Simple Acts of Appreciation

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Mother’s day is for our many mothers.

To Mother Nature, who provides us with the essence of life, day after day, without expecting anything in return.

She loves us persistently

To our mother figures, who are always there for us with open arms no matter how far away we may stray. Who nurtures us so we may be the best version of ourselves.

She loves us unconditionally

To whomever is your mother or whatever you find a mother in, Mother’s Day is the day to stop for a moment in our busy lives and show our appreciation and love.

Plant something – On Mother’s Day giving back is the best way to show your appreciation for Mother Nature. To help out pollinators such as bees and butterflies, plant fennel, sage, and cardinal flowers. Find more insect friendly plants to plant here.

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Image via Unsplash Neslihan Gunaydini

Find The Gift – It could be a handwritten letter or a beauty box of love. Contribute to their life in a way that is meaningful and special to them. Little acts of love go a long way!

Make a call – A simple phone call to say thank you and happy Mother’s Day can truly mean a lot.

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Image via Unsplash: Pavan Trikutam

Spend time together – Time is valuable and how you chose to use it shows what is important in your life. Go out for a walk, make brunch, or simply sit down and bond. The memories you create together will last a life time.

Glow from Inside Out! Vegan Foods for Beauty + Recipes

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INSTAGRAM @elsas_wholesomelife

“A healthy outside starts from the inside” – Robert Urich

Along with using vegan and organic beauty products to bring out our best selves, we must not forget that beauty starts from within and radiates outwards. The foods we choose to eat everyday lay the foundation to the health of our bodies. Although, the key to beauty from within is by fueling our bodies with a variety of whole foods. We can pick and choose to eat foods that are rich in certain micronutrients that can help the growth, repair and nourishment of our skin, hair and nails. Consider incorporating some of these vegan foods into your everyday diet. With LOVE GOODLY and good food, your beauty will radiate from inside and out!

SKIN

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Instagram @elsas_wholesomelife

SWEET POTATOES + GARLIC
Sweet potatoes contain antioxidants that are vital to protecting the skin from cell damage caused by free radicals. Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene which contributes to a healthy skin tone and skin cell development. They are also high in vitamin C which is needed to heal blemishes and maintain radiant skin. Garlic contains a good amount of zinc which is needed for repairing damaged skin and keeping skin soft. 

Fries can actually be good for you! Here is a vegan oil- free sweet potato fries recipe.

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AVOCADOS + BRAZILIAN NUTS

Don’t shy away from fats! They are essential for beauty. Avocados contain fatty acids which helps the skin stay plump and moisturized. Avocados also contain high amounts of vitamin E. This vitamin plays a role in minimizing cell damage and promoting skin growth. Brazilian Nuts are high in selenium. Selenium, along with vitamin C and E, can prevent age spots, skin cancer and sun damage. Try this vegan Avocado Ranch dressing
to drizzle on top of salads or this vegan guacamole dip.

HAIR

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LEGUMES + LEAFY GREENS
Hair is made out of protein. To keep strong, healthy, shining hair, make sure to include enough protein in your diet. Legumes are one of the highest sources of plant protein. A lack of protein in the diet may cause thinning of the hair, hair loss and dryness.  Dark leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli are also high in protein.

Make a quick and easy vegan lentil soup to get your protein in or a simple green smoothie to-go.

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Instagram @elsas_wholesomelife

DARK CHOCOLATE + FRUIT

Iron is a vital mineral for the hair. A lack of iron in the diet may cause hair loss. Dark chocolate (70-90% Cacao) is a healthy treat high in iron. 

Tip: Consume foods high in vitamin C (such as fruits or try a mykind Organics Vitamin C Spray) with iron because vitamin C helps the body absorb your iron intake.

Create your own vegan dark chocolate treats with this fun and easy recipe.

NAILS

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OATS + B-12
Oats contain an abundance of nutrients such as B-complex vitamins, zinc, and copper. These micronutrients are important for maintaining healthy nails. You can use oats to make these gluten- free banana oat muffins for breakfast.

Vitamin B-12 is also crucial to nail health. A deficiency in B-12 may cause dry and dark nails. There are many ways to get cruelty-free B-12 including the mykind Organics Organic B12  spray.

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Instagram @lonijane

FLAX + SUN FLOWER SEEDS

Flax seeds are high in omega- 3 fatty acids which keep nails strong. Sunflower seeds provide a great source of biotin which reduces splitting of the nails and aids to finger nail thickness.

Here is a vegan pancake recipe using flax seeds.

Sources:

Lewin, J. (n.d.). What to eat for healthy hair. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-healthy-hair

Lewin, J. (n.d.). How to eat for great skin – Digestion. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-eat-great-skin-digestion

Goldschmidt, V. (n.d.). 6 Foods For Amazingly Strong Nails — Are You Eating Them? Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://saveourbones.com/6-foods-for-amazingly-strong-nails-are-you-eating-them/