Next Level, Anti-Aging Faves (2017) “Year In Beauty”

Guys. Hiiiii. It’s been a long, hard recovery from a six year battle with Late Stage Lyme Disease, and it took every ounce of my energy to get here. I’ve so missed you and so missed blogging. However, never once have I let my health issues get in the way of taking care of myself, my body and my skin. Now, more than ever, I’ve upped the ante since I’m almost (gasp) 40. But 40 is the new 30 so here’s to aging better than ever now that we have SO many options in organic, chemical free skin care. And trust me, chemicals are aging. All the Estee Lauder in the world won’t help you. Department store skin care is loaded with chemicals, parabens and ingredients we can’t even begin to pronounce. I’m short on time, so I won’t be “linking to buy” this time around, but that’s what Google is for. I hope you fall in love with these products as much as I have. PS: I only do this once a year because I specifically like to use the products for about a year before I make any final decisions. Women are fickle and if we don’t love a product it gets tossed to the side. (Skin reactions, no noticeable changes, etc.)  If I continually use something for an entire year, it’s a damn miracle. So … with that being said, here are the miracles of 2017. Enjoy xo Fontaine

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Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid (Asterwood Naturals)

Use: Daily under moisturizer, also great for neck and chest or wherever you may have signs of sun damage.

Buy: Amazon

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Andalou Pumpkin Glycolic Face Mask

Use: Weekly (Once or twice a week) Leave on 15-20 mins then rinse.

Buy: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target

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Andalou COQ10 Resveratrol Nightime Moisturizer 

Two huge ingredients for anti-aging. Must have.

Use: Nightly after serum

Buy: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target

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Nonie of Beverly Hills (AHA) Alpha Hydroxy Daytime Moisturizer

Another must have ingredient for anti-aging.

Use: Daily after serum

Buy: Online only (Nonie of Beverly Hills website)

 

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Athara Moroccan Coffee Eye Cream

I don’t mess around with eye cream. Lyme destroyed my eyes due to Liver issues. If there’s no coffee in it, I’m not interested. Nothing else gets rid of dark circles and puffiness faster than caffeine. And this one is loaded with it.

Use: Every AM first thing like my life depended on it

Buy: Athara Website only

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Alba Coffee Body Scrub 

Can you tell I like coffee in my skin care? This one sets me up for my next product, NKD SKN Organic Self Tanner. It looks flawless if you use this exfoliating scrub first. I use exfoliating mits on both hands for a full body, even scrub.

Use: Only when I shower

Buy: Sprouts or Online

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NKD SKN Organic Self Tanner (Gradual Tan)

Hands down, best self tanner with safest ingredients ever for a self tanner. Beautiful caramel color and no smell!

Use: After shower, after body scrub.

Buy: ULTA

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Reviva Labs Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester and DMAE Cream

Look up these ingredients and see why this cream wins the award for anti-aging. Facelift without the surgery. LOVE.

Use: Super strong and stings a bit so I use this one three times a week as a daily moisturizer in place of the AHA after serum. Game Changer.

Buy: Whole Foods or Sprouts

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Schmidt’s Charcoal Magnesium Deodorant 

Charcoal to absorb the odor and the toxins. No Aluminum necessary. Pretty genius stuff. Smells great. So strong you can skip a day.

Buy: Sprouts or Online

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Activated Charcoal, Coconut Oil, Bentonite Clay Toothpaste (My Magic Mud)

Yep. You heard that right. Black as tar and bad ass. Talk about seriously healthy gums and teeth. Gum and mouth health is SO important for overall health, so choose wisely when it comes to cleaning. Also, whitens teeth brilliantly.

Use: Daily

Buy: Sprouts or Online

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Andalou Naturals Biotin Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner

Yes, I blogged this last year and yes, I still love it. Amazing for fast hair growth and shine.

Use: Shower (Obvi)

Buy: Whole Foods or Sprouts

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Zerran Blue Shampoo (For blondes or blonde Balayage)

I loathe brassy blonde. I also loathe the ingredients in most Blue and Purple Shampoos. It took me a long time to find one that actually takes the brass out, leaving a bright white blonde while also managing to be 100% vegan and plant based.

Use: Shower. I use this after the Biotin shampoo and leave it in for about three minutes.

Buy: Beauty Supply stores, Amazon

 

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Lavender Body Cream (Aura Cacia)

I have super dry skin, so on the days I don’t use the self tanner, I use this. Leaves my skin moisturized for daaaaays.

Use: Daily if needed

Buy: Vitacost. In fact, for the best prices on ALL of the previous listed items, use Vitacost. Fast shipping. Free if you spend $49.

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Where Lyme Literate Doctors Get It Wrong

Healing the gut completely is essential for a full recovery from Late Stage or Chronic Lyme Disease, and a little known fact is that 80% of your immune system lies in your gut. Antibiotics ultimately disrupt gut flora and weaken the immune system, making it harder to eradicate the disease completely. Infections are likely to come back later if the immune system is compromised. Where Lyme disease is greatly misunderstood, is that we focus on killing the bacteria itself as opposed to full gut restoration and immune modulation first. If this is done, the body will respond to the “kill” more effectively and with far less damage. In essence, build the body and immune system up first so that it starts to fight the disease itself. Dr. Jernigan notes, as my own doctor did, that it explains why some people are “sick” with Lyme, while others have the presence of Borrelia in their systems with no symptoms at all.

“Even in Lyme disease, the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi and the many associated co-infections will likely be shown in the near future to be more eloquently addressed by using targeted combinations of friendly bacteria, instead of antibiotics to attack and suppress the bad bacteria from ever being able to cause disease. Indeed, a person’s microbiome, in combination with the overall health and healthy lifestyle of the individual, may be the determining factor as to whether someone gets full blown Lyme disease or if they are simply a carrier when bitten by an infected tick, mosquito, or other blood-sucking bugs, not to mention sexual or gestational transmitted Lyme bacteria.” – Dr. David Jernigan

Read Full Articles Here:

Dr. David Jernigan on Chronic Illness and Gut Health

Harvard Studies Antibiotic Disruption to Flora

 

 

 

Lyme Disease and Autoimmune Disorders

Chronic Fatigue, Muscle/Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia… All of these are symptoms of a much bigger issue, most notably, Lyme Disease. I, myself, was in chronic pain from 2011-2016 without a proper diagnosis, until Borrelia and Babesia (a co-infection of Lyme) were eventually discovered with further testing. Lyme is easily missed with standard blood tests, as I was originally tested for the disease back in 2011 when my symptoms first began. That test was negative. The disease spread rapidly and by 2013 and my muscles, nerves, heart and lungs  were badly damaged by the constant autoimmune attack on my body, which also caused debilitating  pain. In 2016 I received treatment at the Infusio Clinic with Dr. Philip Battiade, a brilliant German Homeopathic Doctor. I skipped the antibiotic route entirely and did immune modulation, anti-microbials, vitamin IV’s and finally, an innovative stem cell treatment using fat cells from my abdomen. This is how my health journey began, and why I fight so hard for the health of others and Functional Medicine, which focuses on the root cause of disease, not just temporary relief of symptoms. In the conventional medical world, immunosuppressives and steroids are used to “treat” autoimmune disorders. I find this to be counterintuitive as it puts further stress on the body. Please message me if you have any questions about treating Lyme, immune modulation or autoimmune disease.

Psychology Today Article on Lyme

Infusio Clinic Germany/Los Angeles

5 Companies to Support Now …

Let’s face it. Health is trending. Juice Cleanses are more popular than ever. People have finally stopped counting calories and started counting ingredients. Amy’s Organic built the first completely organic “fast food” drive through in a small town in Northern California and Food Babe recently convinced Subway to remove the Yoga Mat Chemical from their breads. As happy as I am to see the results of our demanding healthier options in the last five years, there’s also a disturbing trend of corporate companies supported by Monsanto (Dean Foods), jumping on the bandwagon and releasing “healthy” options themselves, without the consumer understanding that the additives are anything but healthy, not to mention, they’re supporting Monsanto without knowing it. Horizon and Silk to be specific. Let’s take Almond Milk for example. Most Almond Milks, including brands at Whole Foods like Blue Diamond, contain less than 2% almonds, and neither are certified organic. Organic is important when it comes to almonds, otherwise you’re ingesting harsh pesticides and an almond that has lost it’s nutrition during the chemical process. Whole Foods has a great Organic Almond Milk option, but then you’re still dealing with the issue of a watered down version which should be made with mostly almonds, not water. So with all of this being said, here are my top five fave brands to support right now.

New Barn Organic Almond Milk

New Barn is the first Almond Milk I’ve found that is not only certified organic, but averages 55 almonds per bottle. Yes, the bottles are small and expensive, but often go on sale monthly for $2 off. You seriously can’t find a thicker, creamier and tastier almond milk than this. I use it for my lattes daily, and compared to all other almond milks, when I use it in my electric frother, it’s the only one that stands the true test of frothing as perfectly, rich and full as cow’s milk. More importantly, the ingredients list is short and sweet. No additives you can’t pronounce and the only Vanilla Almond Milk on the market sweetened with Organic Maple Syrup and real Vanilla Extract. I highly recommend this for iced or hot coffee. If you want to get into a discussion about the amount of water we’re using in California to deal with the increase in almond consumption over cow dairy, the documentary Cowspiracy is a great place to start. The meat and dairy industry is the #1 reason for our water problem, not growing almonds, millet and other grains, which actually ranks 11th in California’s water use. The demand for meat in America is so ridiculously high it’s literally killing us, and our planet. Not to mention, when you buy meat in a conventional grocery store, you’re at risk for contamination from very sick and abused animals. New Barn wins for taste, texture and a near perfect ingredients list. http://www.thenewbarn.com

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Jackson’s Honest Chips

I choose these Purple Heirloom Potato Chips for one huge reason. They’re the only one on the market cooked in Coconut Oil. Need I say more? I steered away from chips years ago when I went through my clean eating shift in 2011, because the majority of them are cooked in Canola Oil/Safflower Oil. Coconut Oil is a super nutrient dense oil that actually has tons of health benefits, all of which you probably know by now. Yes, we health nuts use it for everything, from makeup remover to face serum to oil pulling to baking. In fact, I replace all recipes using butter with coconut oil. Jackson’s also now has GMO free Corn Chips, cooked in Coconut Oil of course. http://www.jacksonshonest.com

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Artizan Organic Coffee Nespresso Pods (BPA Free/Recyclable)

Although I always liked the idea of owning a Nespresso to ditch my $5 a day Urth Cafe (LA) Organic Latte habit, I couldn’t justify the huge waste involved with using toxic plastic pods owned by Nestle filled with a crappy, pesticide ridden coffee. So late last year, in a last ditch effort, I did a quick Google search for “organic coffee pods” to see if anyone had yet decided to invent an organic pod using BPA free plastic and recyclable materials. I almost gave up the search. It was a hit overseas in the UK and Australia, but nothing was coming up for the USA. At the last minute Artizan popped up, and suddenly my $5 a day latte habit became a $.58 cents per pod miracle. I’m also super impressed with their email customer service and comprehensive, easy to navigate subscription option which ships monthly. For true doubles, I use two pods per latte using the single shot setting on my Nespresso machine, then top off with New Barn Vanilla Almond milk, add a little coconut sugar and voila: Cheaper than Starbucks, totally organic and environmentally guilt-free. http://www.artizancoffee.com

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Addictive Wellness Chocolates

I stumbled upon Addictive Wellness Chocolates one day while shopping at Erewhon Market here in Los Angeles. I was immediately intrigued by their “Tranquility” Chocolate, as the caffeine content in some dark chocolate can actually keep me up at night, but night time is my favorite time to nosh on this antioxidant rich superfood. I actually slept better after “Tranquility”. Creating a medicinal chocolate is brilliant in my opinion, because it’s taking my love for herbs and plant based medicine and mixing it with my love for dark chocolate. They’re actually incorporating Taoist and Ayurvedic herbs in to a super nutrient dense dark cacao, and incorporating my favorite adaptogenic herb of all, Ashwagandha. The benefits are endless, but I use Ashwagandha to balance hormones and battle stress. It has a calming effect, but not sedating. The “Energy” is perfect if you’re on the go, with the energy buzz coming from Mesquite. Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Non GMO and Soy Free. http://www.addictivewellness.com

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Raw Coconut Aminos

I use this almost daily to replace vinegars for salad dressing and soy sauce. Raw Coconut Aminos contains over 17 active amino acids and tastes sweet like soy sauce, without the phytoestrogens. Soy is no longer the health food it was once considered. Not because it didn’t start out that way, because it certainly did, but because soy sauce manufacturers utilize a chemical process known as acid hydrolysis that does not incorporate fermentation. Fermentation is super important when it comes to soy. With this process, the harmful effects of the soybean are not inactivated. I’ve brought the controversial topic of soy up in many of my blog posts since 2011 because eliminating soy from my diet completely (along with gluten) was one of the main reasons I was able to heal my thyroid completely without drugs. Functional Medicine doctors go in to detail about why and how this works if you’d like more information, find one in your area. A lot of people are also unaware that soy sauce also contains gluten from wheat. In 1997 GMO soybeans went from 17% of U.S. soybean average to 68% in 2001, to an astounding 94% in 2014. Enough said. I do a very simple dressing using Organic Olive Oil, Coconut Aminos, Himalayan Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper. http://www.coconutsecret.com

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My Daily Rituals: Best of Organic Beauty Guide (2014)

Oh how I’ve missed you all! Making my “Glo Girl” Comeback all about YOU with quick and easy links included, just in time for the holidays!

I’ve spent the majority of this last year searching and researching every single ingredient in the latest organic beauty products, to find out what truly works and doesn’t for anti-aging and prevention, using only the most natural and organic ingredients possible. This was no easy task. After the first few months, I was finally able to narrow it down to the best of the best. The point of this, was to see what would happen if I used the regimen every single day for one year. And then, of course, blog about it if it, in fact, made a noticeable difference in my skin. (Or I suddenly woke up looking like Tay Swift.)

So how do I know all of this works? A combination of watching my skin age rapidly (at 31) to watching it miraculously “heal” (at 35) and learning as much as I could from the nutritional protocols I’ve been taking for years to restore my health back to optimal, after fighting a three year battle with an autoimmune disorder, chronic inflammation, adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. All of this, without drugs, and using only organic, food based supplements and food as medicine.

Did I trust this process always? NO. Was I willing to try it? YES. Why? Because I didn’t want to be drugged for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to suffer anymore. I tried all medical routes and they failed me. I wanted to prove “the experts” wrong. I’m stubborn. I don’t give up easily. And thank God for that, because this way of life not only didn’t fail me, it changed me.

The point of bringing up my health history for this particular blog, is that, quite simply, “We Are What We Eat.” Part of what makes my skin look better than ever, is my every day diet. Predominately plant based, high in good fats and omega’s and low in sugar, with nothing processed EVER.

So, with that said, if your diet is total crap, this regimen will not work well. If it’s used in combination with a clean diet, then get ready for a straight miracle. For the first time ever, I can say I’m totally in love with the way my skin looks and feels. Considering thirty-six is just around the corner, when we, as women, are supposed to see the biggest decline in the condition of our skin….. I’m stoked to say, I’m not losing this battle, and hopefully changing the way women look at anti-aging and skin care. Botox and Fillers are not the future of anti-aging and they shouldn’t be the norm. Like drugs, they are a quick fix and loaded with toxic chemicals. Plant based beauty solutions have been around much, much longer and European women, being much more open to this way of anti-aging, are proof that it works.

With that said, these products are absolutely, hands down my go-to’s every single day, and I’m so excited to finally share them with you. Happy Holidays Y’all!

Best Moisturizer: Tied between Elska Apotheke Rosehip and Frankincense Ultra Hydrating Cream (made locally here in Los Angeles) https://www.etsy.com/shop/ElskaApotheke and Super Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream by Andalou Organics. http://www.vitacost.com/andalou-naturals-super-goji-peptide-perfecting-cream. Both of these are anti-aging power houses. I switch these up morning and night.

Best Overall Anti-Aging: Reserveage Organics Naturally occurring Collagen with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Supplement. 1 scoop in water daily. http://www.vitacost.com/reserveage-organics-collagen-replenish-with-hyaluronic-acid-vitamin-c-2-75-oz

Best Exfoliator: Acure Organics Seaweed and Chlorella Brightening Facial Scrub. http://www.acureorganics.com/Brightening-Facial-Scrub-p/012.htm

Best CC Cream: Andalou Organics 1000 Roses CC CreamObsessed. I wear this every single day and stopped wearing makeup entirely because of it. Amazing ingredients, including my favorite anti-aging ingredient ever: Roses. Simple as that. PS. If you have oily skin, this CC cream will be waaaaay to moisturizing for you. If you live in a dry climate, like me, and have ultra parched, dry skin, you will fall madly in love. No need to apply anything else. On the run? This is all you need for moisturizer, skin corrector and sheer tint for that “makeup” look. Available in Sheer Nude and Sheer Tan. When people tell me I “GLO” I promise you, this is why. 😉 http://www.vitacost.com/andalou-naturals-1000-roses-cc-color-correct-sensitive-sheer-nude-2-fl-oz-2

Best Oil: Forget Argan Oil. 100% Pure Organic Rosehip Oil is my fave.  Use once or twice a week as a deeply penetrating anti-aging treatment directly after showering when skin is the most dry. http://www.vitacost.com/aura-cacia-deep-rosehip-facial-oil-serum-1-fl-oz

Best Makeup Remover and Serum in One: Hands down, Organic Coconut Oil in a jar!! Dr. Bronners is the best. Removes even the toughest waterproof mascara. Swipe cotton pad over hardened oil. Found, anywhere.

Best Powder Foundation: Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder. I’ve been blogging about this one for years, and it’s still the best. Antioxidant Galore. No Mica. (PS. Right now ALL Mineral Fusion Products are 30% off with free shipping over $60, so stock up on these next few items!) http://mineralfusion.com/index.php/shop/cosmetics/face/pressed-powder-foundation

Best Eye Cream: Kat Rudu Cucumber Cooling Eye Bright Gel. Beverly Hills Beauty Icon famous for her “Jet Set Facial” and responsible for making Kate Beckinsale’s face the most beautiful face over 40 I’ve ever seen. Also, I’m lucky enough to be one of her clients. I adore this woman’s use of organic ingredients.
http://boutique.katrudu.com/product-p/002.htm cucumber cooling eye bright gel

Best Concealer Stick: Josie Maran. Just, yes. http://www.sephora.com/argan-creamy-concealer-crayon-P381727 josie maran concealer stick

Best Lip “Sticks”: Ahhhhhh, I looooooove these. And the Mineral Fusion one is made with coconut oil while offering highly pigmented color. My “go to” day time shade is “Shimmer”. http://mineralfusion.com/index.php/shop/cosmetics/new-sheer-moisture-lip-tints/sheer-moisture-lip-tints Best Red Award goes to Burt’s Bees Crayon in “Napa Vineyard”. Get your Gwen Stefani on. http://www.burtsbees.com/Lip-Crayon/792850028500,default,pd.html

Best Shampoo and Conditioner: For growth and lifeless, fine hair. Andalou Organics Biotin infused S&C is the longest running Shampoo and Conditioner I’ve ever used.
http://www.vitacost.com/andalou-naturals-full-volume-shampoo-lavender-and-biotin-11-5-fl-oz

Best Body Butter: Andalou Organics 1000 Roses Body Butter: Super thick and creamy. Be patient. Takes time to really work in to skin, but SO worth it. Skin retains serious moisture and radiates shine. http://www.vitacost.com/andalou-naturals-1000-roses-body-butter-8-fl-oz

Best Deodorant: I hope, by now, I don’t have to reiterate the importance of using Aluminum Free Deodorant. You’re trapping years worth of toxins that need to come out. Want an all natural deodorant that truly works so you can sweat them out once and for all, while not allowing cancer causing Aluminum to seep in to your breast tissue?! Boom! So good you can skip a day. http://www.trulysnaturaldeodorant.com/ (Store in warm place so that it’s easier to apply).

Best Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover: There’s nothing worse than the smell of ultra harsh, chemical NPR and absolutely nothing more drying on hands and nails. How the heck does this work so well, smell so good and actually moisturize after removing polish? I have no freaking idea but buy it and you’ll thank me for it. Polish colors also on point. http://mineralfusion.com/index.php/shop/nail-color-and-care/nail-treatments-and-remover/nail-treatments-and-remover

 

 

Nutritious Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes . . .

The struggle is real y’all. I’ve spent a year testing out every fancy GF pancake mix and “from scratch” recipes made up by yours truly, armed with my crazy, geeky knowledge of only the most nutrient dense ingredients. I failed at this so many times and wondered if a fluffy, delicious and nutritious gluten free pancake could exist in our world, without being flat like a crepe or utterly tasteless. So here it is. Pancakes made from…. Garbanzo flour?? Yep. You got it.

Start with this mix: Authentic Foods Gluten Free Pancake Mix http://www.vitacost.com/authentic-foods-gluten-free-pancake-baking-mix-1-25-lbs. Do not confuse this with their gluten free all purpose flour. Ingredients of mix are as follows: Brown Rice flour, Garfava Flour (Garbanzo), Baking Powder, Sea Salt and Vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 organic, pasture raised eggs, (replace eggs with 2 pureed bananas if Vegan), 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil (I melt it quickly in a non-toxic, non-stick pan before starting, then use the remaining oil to cook them in) 2 tablespoons of Raw Coconut Sugar (the only sugar that doesn’t shock the body besides date sugar) and 1 teaspoon of non-alcoholic vanilla extract. All of these things can be found at Whole Foods or at http://www.vitacost.com. Once all of this is mixed together, slowly stir in 1 cup of Pancake Mix. Allow to sit for a few minutes while heating up the skillet, which should have a thin layer of coconut oil.

Pour batter into skillet using med to high heat. I like to make one large pancake at a time, but size of pancakes is up to you. After a minute or so, drop in and scatter a few fresh, organic blueberries on top. Once the pancake starts to bubble, flip and cook until there is no longer batter in the center of pancake. Lower the heat if necessary. Remove and cover with REAL maple syrup.

PS. The batter is deceiving and looks and tastes like garbanzos, so I was completely shocked to discover how amazing they are fresh off the griddle. There you have it folks. Eat Clean. Be Well.

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Harvard Study on the Dangers of Fluoride Finally Hits Mainstream Media (CNN)

Finally, a Harvard Medical doctor speaks out and a study is done proving that Fluoride is a neurotixin! I’ve been blogging about this for years and learned about the connection between my own flouride intake and hypothyroidism, which now affects millions of Americans, primarily women. This is a HUGE step in the right direction, and I am so happy to see that it’s finally going mainstream. I’ve discussed the link between Flouride and Thyroid issues here before, but please know that a huge part of healing my thyroid and autoimmune disorder without drugs was making sure that this supposedly “safe” chemical was nowhere near my body. Fluoride is added to our water supply and can not be removed with a Brita Filter. Use a Reverse Osmosis water filter, which can be ordered online or if buying bottled water, Essentia or Penta, which is RO water in BPA free plastic. Find a bio dentist who does not use Fluoride for cleanings and make sure you buy Fluoride Free toothpaste! (Not Tom’s – he uses other chemicals that I’m not a fan of). Earth Gate and Earth Paste make great ones! These things are all especially important for children, as noted in this article, involving brain function and development.

Please read the full CNN article here.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/14/health/chemicals-children-brains

2014: The Year of Toxic Free Skin Care: No Injections or Fillers Allowed!

Beauty is only skin deep, but let’s face it, at thirty-five, signs of youth start to fade, lines form, spots appear, and at that moment, the mantra fails to keep. Hydration and Diet are key to healthy skin. Number One. No amount of money you spend on products (yes, that includes La Mer and SK II) can save your skin from the damage done by processed food, sugar and fast food. If someone had explained this to me in my twenties, I wouldn’t have felt (and looked) so crappy at thirty. But looking and feeling crappy at thirty is what lead me to feeling so awesome and youthful at thirty-four, so as they say… there’s a reason for everything. Thank you God, for making me learn it the hard way. Nothing brings on change like misery (vanity), illness (thyroid, hormone imbalance), lots of research and a New Year. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m an ingredient nut, so just say NO to Botox, fillers, parabens, Mica, etc. Here’s my daily skincare regimen (for now). 2014 Edition. Happy New Year y’all!

1.) I literally go running for MyChelle’s Magnolia “Fresh Eyes”. Before Iced Green tea, before anything, before uttering a word. Wake up. DePuff. And make sure Caffeine is a key ingredient in any anti-puff eye cream. This one is my fave, with a powerful combo of coffee, green tea and cucumber extract. $35. Also in love with the pricier Lotus Eye Gel by “Fresh”. $48

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2.) 100% Pure Rose Water: This is old school. Anti-Aging “OG”. Spray generously every morning upon waking on clean skin. $10

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3.) Claudalie VinoPerfect Serum: I never understood the whole serum craze, but since I received this as a free sample at Sephora, I’m totally hooked. Dark spots vanished and skin tone completely evened out in less than two weeks. Flawless application of moisturizer is a bonus and skin is noticeably softer. Downside: Expensive. Le Sigh. $75.

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4.) Vitamin E Moisturizer by Derma-E: Incredibly moisturizing, insanely inexpensive and killer on wrinkles. Makes up for the cost of above serum. $12.

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5.) Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – Illuminating (Paraben Free): My Go To since 2008. Flawless Application. No makeup look. $42.

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6.) Mineral Fusion Powder and Concealer: Antioxidant breakthrough. Powerful minerals. Zero Mica. Healthy, glowing finish.  $25.

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So there it is. Don’t forget to load up on Green Juices and lots of water. Essentia or Penta if going bottled. Skincare Supplements are as follows.

Liquid B-12: 5 Drops Per Day

Biotin: 5,000 mg

Standard Process Regeneplex: 3 per day. Read about my favorite supplement here. Only available through Holistic Doctor, Naturopath, Nutritionist or Amazon (if it’s not sold out). http://www.standardprocess.com/Products/Standard-Process/Regeneplex

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10 Beautiful Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years …

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1. Life moves fast. Really fast. One day you’re 23, struggling with who you are and the next, you’re 34, either embracing who you are or freaking out about it. Make the most of it. Laugh more, tweet less, love where you come from, even if it is a trailer park in Georgia. I practically lived at a Wal-Mart Super Center when I was 16 and I ain’t ashamed. Fight the good fight of life by judging less, and practicing random acts of kindness, even if it feels pointless and slightly new agey. And most of all, get after it. Get after life before it gets after you. Your dreams are rad. Promise.

2. Age is just a number… and I finally don’t give a crap about material things. For a former LA girl, not caring about pretty things or age is almost borderline insanity. At the age of 30, I left my swanky Sunset bartending gig and headed east to North Carolina, where I purchased a fancy loft in an uber cool neighborhood and thought I had surely “arrived”. Ohhhhh looky…. I own something. And it’s pretty. And it’s mine. And I’m established and all grown-up. And….. not happy. I left a year and a half later, with nothing in tow. All the retro CB2 furniture and West Elm rugs stayed behind, along with my weird, hybrid southern accent. I now live in a 500 square foot cottage in a small town in Northern California and I don’t have cable. I don’t own it. I have no utility bills. I work in a restaurant with really great people, all of whom are in their early teens to mid-twenties. They remind me of a time in my life that I truly loved, make me laugh on the daily and completely make me forget that I’m a 70’s baby. “Life is better when shared.” – Into the Wild.

3. Fall in love often. I used to think there was this one person for eveyone. That I hadn’t found my person yet. That I would. That it would be this life changing event. And maybe there still is a person. I have known those who found “true” love at 18, those who found it at 34 and those who have never found it. So love everyone you choose to be with deeply. Love them with an open heart. Love them even when you’re scared shitless. Be vulnerable. Be open. Communicate. Fight less. Know your limits. Love yourself first. Keep following your dreams and let them follow theirs. Be supportive. Trust. Have faith. Live your lives independently of one another and come home at the end of the day and talk about it. Or don’t. Sit in silence and revel in the fact that the silence isn’t awkwardness, but love. And if they don’t love you back, or they self sabotage, walk away. Simple as that. Love the next one. Do it fearlessly. And if they walk away from you first, let it go. No matter how painful it might be, no matter how much it hurts…… don’t fight for someone who won’t fight for you. Regret no one. You learned something valuable from the relationship and so did they. Also, Karma is a bitch.

4. You Are What You Eat. Caffeine, sugar, Caffeine, sugar, Caffeine, sugar. Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue. Kale, Quinoa, Coconut, Avocado, Chia, etc. Killer immune system, energy, love, hard body. It’s that simple. Sounds ridiculously simple. Couldn’t be more true. I’ve been addicted to every food vice there is. Changing my diet changed my life. EAT from the earth. EAT clean. Read labels. “Food is Medicine” – Hippocrates

5. Ego Vs. True Self. I know everything. I look down on you. I am adored. I deserve better. I am a victim. I don’t need help. I’m not shut down. I don’t need to change……. I know nothing. I am humbled. I am learning. I am open. I am loved. I love deeply. I feel compassion. I am grateful. I am trying. I AM.

6. Don’t Lie, Don’t Cheat Someone should have told this to my former self, not that I would have listened (Taurus Problems). Would have saved a lot of heartbreak. And yes…. Karma is a bitch. Besides, “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” – Gandhi

7. It’s OK if you didn’t sell that screenplay, get a record deal, or get married. True story. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Nothing happened the way it was supposed to. Nothing. And I’m grateful for it. It’s crazy. It’s awesome. Create the life you want to live. “Life is a journey, not a destination”. The only time is right NOW.

8. Naivety breeds miseducation. I listened to everyone and everything. Every doctor, every lover, every peer, every elder, every boss, every friend, everyone but ME when it came to my body and my health. You are your freaking destiny. Listen to those you respect, but most of all, listen to your gut. When a doctor tells you that the only way to cure strep throat is with an antibiotic, know that a course of spanish black radish will do the same, without harming the rest of your body and your immune system. Say no to the flu shot. Question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Do more research and tell em’ you’re not goin’ down like that. Watch documentaries on Netflix. They’re free. I can recommend at least six, three of which might save your life. Give your body a fighting chance to do what it was born to do.

9. There are two sides of every argument. Vaccinations, Cesareans, GMO’s, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Organic Food Vs. Conventional, Chiropractic Care Vs. Medical Care, Naturopath Vs. Doctor. I’m not telling you to choose a side, I’m asking you to learn everything you can about both sides and make an informed decision. Go back and forth. Study. Research. Research, Research. When you come to a conclusion, help others and teach them what you have learned. Education is a powerful thing. A closed mind is not. Question Authority and forget everything you think you know.

10. God IS Love, NOT Religion. Over 67 million views and still counting….

Game Changer …

Now that Nutiva Organics has graced me with the ultimate health geek gadget, the Vitamix, I’m taking breakfast smoothies to a whole new level. I’ve never won anything in my life, and it arrived on my birthday, so I couldn’t have been more stoked! I used to be an avocado, omelette kinda chick, but eggs weren’t giving me the kind of energy I craved in the morning. Breakfast should be your biggest, most nutritious meal. It boosts your metabolism and helps keep your appetite in check the rest of the day, which is when you should eat smaller meals anyway. The whole idea of a smoothie for breakfast has never been very appealing to me. I believe you should go big or go home. I’m not into LA skinny bitch fad diets. Until I realized just how much nutrition you can get in to one blender. Vitamix to be exact. This thing is worth the $550 price tag. Now that I own one, I can actually say that. So for any of you who may have one, or anything even remotely close, I dare you to make this every day for a week straight. It’s insanely filling and again, loaded with nutrition. Nothing you cook up in the morning can even come close to the amount of protein and good fats in this one smoothie. Total Game Changer.

Soak 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds in blender in 2 cups of Coconut Water to prep (5 to 10 mins to sprout)

Add All Supplements: 1 or 2 teaspoons of Hawaiian Spirulina

When you think of protein, you think eggs or beef or maybe a whey protein shake. None of the above-mentioned sources of protein compare to the protein delivered by Spirulina. Spirulina is 65-71% complete protein compared to beef, which is only 22%, and lentils, which are only 26%. Spirulina is also an excellent source of vital amino acids and minerals easily assimilated by your body. You would only need to consume 2 tablespoons of spirulina as a protein substitute for a meal!

Add 1 teaspoon of L-Glutamine (optional… I do this for muscle strength/muscle fatigue.)

Add 1 tablespoon of Organic Raw Maca powder

Maca is a potent, ancient Peruvian superfood highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. It energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function and balance hormones.

Add all foods next:

1/2 of an organic avocado

Frozen Organic Fruit (Mango or Strawberry) in place of ice so as not to water down smoothie.

2 tbspns of Organic Coconut Manna (more good fats)

1/2 Organic Cucumber

Whole Organic Banana

1/2 Bosc Pear

Freshly Chopped Ginger

Top off entire contents of blender with at least 1 cup full, if not more, of Spinach, Kale or Super Greens. I buy the “Organic Girl” brand in bulk!

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Ultimate Green Smoothie!

Change the course of your day by replacing breakfast with my absolute fave green smoothie! Let me know how you feel after 2 weeks, K?

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1.5 cups of organic frozen mango

1.5 cups of organic baby spinach

1/2 teaspoon fresh, chopped ginger

2 cups of coconut water

1 scoop of Mila Chia Seeds

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 avocado

1/2 teaspoon raw honey

Put Chia Seeds in blender first …. fill coconut water up to the 2 cup line and let chia seeds soak for five to ten minutes. Add spinach, mango, avocado, ginger, sea salt and honey and blend for at least one minute. Voila!

Meet Bonafide Bombshell Maria Brickey!

About a month ago, in the middle of getting a pedi and simultaneously instagramming a shot of my toes, I glance up for a moment and see Maria Brickey. She’s adorable and I can’t take my eyes off of her. Fuchsia Pink hair, boyfriend jeans, flip-flops, strategically placed, artsy tattoos and perfect skin. I’d love to knock off perfect points for the Trenti sized Starbucks cup she’s holding, but I don’t … because it’s filled with water. “She can’t be more than twenty-eight,” I think, but I raise it to thirty when she sits down next to me. Not because she doesn’t look young, but because she’s more woman than girl close-up. I want to say something to her, but I stumble like I’m crushing on Macklemore and ask her what brand her boyfriend jeans are? “American Eagle Outfitters,” she sweetly replies with a smile. And then we don’t shut-up. We literally finish each others sentences. Here’s what I find out about Maria in the next thirty minutes:

She’s actually forty-two, married to her high school sweetheart (who later walks in with full sleeves), and a mother of four, one of whom is eighteen!? When she tells me this I look at her the way I once looked at Gwen Stefani in a swanky LA hotel bathroom. The “Seriously You’re Not Just Perfect Because They Airbrush The Crap Out of You, You Are Actually Perfect” look. I’m fascinated by this real life Gwen Stefani, mainly because she doesn’t have a team of stylists, a personal chef, Tracy Anderson kicking her butt and she’s not a millionaire. She’s a local, Petaluma stay at home mom who shares my weird Essie Nail Polish fetish, Iced Green Tea addiction and Coconut Oil for everything mantra. We almost share a birthday. I’m May 7th, she’s May 8th. Team Taurus yo. We both use the adjective “rad” and “bad ass” even though it’s clearly not the 80’s anymore. We’re both health obsessed and quickly learn that even though we got in to this mess via Vanity, it isn’t about Vanity at all, but about finding “Perfect Health” at any age. We eat clean and, at the moment, we’re both doing some seriously heavy detoxing. I love her because if she said anything less than all of this, I’d have to rethink my entire blog. If Botox and processed foods were her jam, and she looked this damn good, then everything I preach would be for naught.

I love her because she wants everyone around her, including her family, to be healthy too, so she painstakingly makes everything from scratch, even pasta and bread for the kids. It’s all about ingredients, even if you’re not gluten free. I love her because after twenty-five years together, she still thinks her husband is hot as hell and refers to him as her boyfriend on weekends. I love her because this is her latest Facebook message to me:

“Bought organic wheat berries from whole foods, sprouted them, dehydrated them, ground them into whole wheat flour, and made homemade free range chicken egg pasta… hell yeah! I bought some sorghum flour for myself, so no gluten for me, I’ll letcha know if it turns out…. Here’s to bad ass health conscious chicks!!”

For Maria’s baby soft skin (and no, I can’t stop touching her arm when I see her), take Dead Sea Salt baths once every few weeks to sweat out toxins. This consists of hot water and Masada Genuine Sea Salts, and no lotion afterwards, just straight coconut oil on entire body and face.

Maria’s Green Smoothie Recipe:

Blend:
8oz purified water with organic
1 bunch fresh spinach
3-4 stalks of celery
1 pear
1 apple
1 banana
1/2 head of romaine or red leaf lettuce
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Blend on high until smooth.

Maybe Maria is who I would have been, had I done the whole marriage/kids thing at eighteen. I would have done it her way. With love and loyalty to herself and her family, and the smarts to take care of herself and her body enough to look like a bonafide bombshell at forty-two. I mean, her kids must think she’s rad, and her husband must think he’s married to a bad ass …..

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Toxic World … Toxic Girl …

One of the things I love most about my job as a bartender, is meeting and getting to know people outside of my comfort zone. My sweet little life in a bubble is so damn sweet, but often “me centered” and let’s face it, there’s nothing like human connection. You realize how important this is later in life. So, with that being said, two of my bar peeps inspired this weeks blog post.

One, a woman in her early forties, who has kicked Cancers’ ass, not two, but THREE times. She is also on Thyroid medication for life, like thousands of other women who are told that this is their only option. No one actually believes you can reverse Thyroid Disease (or any other disease for that matter) naturally. Except… I did it. I’m proof. It’s in the pudding. Ask me.

The other, a regular of mine, who’s known me long enough to see me at my absolute worst, simply said…. “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep doing it …. You look radiant …. and HAPPY. I don’t know how radiant I actually look, but I can tell you how I feel…  and the “secret” behind it.

We live in a toxic world. Period. If we didn’t, we’d all be running around like Okinawans’, who are living well into their hundreds. I shit you not. Hundreds of them. In perfect health. Watch the documentary “Happy”. But we’re not lucky enough to live in that little corner of the world… famous in Japan for being uber healthy and toxin free. We live in America, where Starbucks and Mc Donalds reign and “health” care and the food industry are basically corruption at it’s finest. (See Monsanto). Most of you don’t know it yet, but you will. There’s a paradigm shift … and it’s happening now. People are finally understanding and grasping the truth behind the food and pharmaceutical industries and disease itself. We have the ability to reverse disease and live healthy, vibrant lives. Our bodies have this awesome ability to fight the good fight if we let it. And yes…. naturally.

All of this takes a hell of a lot of research, and I’ve personally dedicated two years of my life to finding the answers, and a hell of a lot of questions were asked and a healthy amount of skepticism was evident and, yes…. I also had to have faith. A lot of faith. I went from doctor to naturopath to holistic to acupuncturist to herbalist to nutritionist to chiropractor to therapist to neurologist and finally, I looked to myself to get to the bottom of “WHY”? Why we suffer from everything from allergies to autoimmune disorders to autism and why people are healthier in other countries and why vaccines are forced on us but not them and why we insist on genetically engineering our food, while this practice is banned in other countries… and why, why, why? If you don’t ask, you’ll never find the answer. And if you don’t ask for a second opinion, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be lied to. And most likely, you’ll be prescribed a drug with eighteen side effects or given some diagnosis, often the wrong one, and then maybe you’ll need that drug for life, or worse, maybe you’ll need some absolutely unnecessary surgery or procedure for your lower back pain, which could be cured by simply having a few chiropractic adjustments or taking a hot yoga class. Drugs for life wasn’t an option for me. So make it not an option for you and start living the healthiest live you can live. Now.

I’m here to help you do just that. In simple terms. If you have a major disease, email me and I can help you find a good functional medicine doctor who uses NRT in your area, or if you’re simply tired of taking a medication, I can also help you understand why, how and if you can get off of them.

Here is a simple list of things you can do daily to start living a toxic free life. No hair product or TV dinner is worth death. And eventually, when toxins build up in your body, year after year, it leads to disease, and if left untreated…. death. And sure, you could die tomorrow in a car accident, and yes, I hear this all the time from people who don’t want to make these simple changes, but while you’re here on this earth, why not live happily and healthy? Afterall, “Radiance” is a beautiful thing.

1. Reverse Osmosis Water or Spring Water: Water is THE most important thing for your body. Unfortunately our water supply is loaded with chlorine and fluoride, and that’s just the beginning. Fluoridation of our water is a huge controversy right now, and some states are finally banning it as an additive, especially because it’s even more toxic for children and yes, it’s the stuff that’s in your toothpaste, and it actually causes severe thyroid issues after long periods of use. I stopped using Fluoride Toothpaste over two years ago when I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. The absolute best thing you can do is get your water from a local spring using http://www.findaspring.com/. This is untouched water from the earth, exactly as it should be with all the good minerals your body needs and zero chemicals. I know that this can be inconvenient, depending on where you live, so in that case, buy Reverse Osmosis water from Whole Foods, because it’s the only system that removes the chlorine and fluoride completely. Brita doesn’t do shit, so don’t waste your money. Make sure you fill up a BPA free container. For more information on the dangers of Fluoride, visit http://www.fluoridealert.org/.

2. Nonstick Pans and BPA Free Plastic: This one is simple, although may seem tough at first. Nonstick pans are chemically treated and those chemicals are seeping in to your food every single time you cook. Switch to Stainless Steel cookware or an Iron Skillet. Worried about the stick? NEVER cook with olive oil (always use Raw) because Olive Oil cooked at very high temps actually goes rancid and you lose the health benefits completely. DO cook with Coconut Oil, which is extremely good for you, and in fact, the best oil out there, because it’s high in Linoleic Acid and can withstand super high temps. Also, voila…. non stick. Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil should be banned. These two items shouldn’t even be in your kitchen. They are two of the most chemically altered “foods” in the American Diet. Say buh-bye.

3. Beauty Products! I don’t care how attached you think you are to Miss Estee Lauder, you couldn’t possibly be more attached than I was when I started this journey. Give up my products? Hell no. But seriously. Hell YES. Parabens, Phthalates, SLS, Triclosan, Aluminum, Glycols, etc. ALL of these ingredients seep in to your skin and over time cause major damage, like speeding up the aging process, hormone disruption, breast cancer and even dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s. Again, this is because we insist on using these things daily, especially deodorant, which we apply, sometimes to broken skin, every single day for like fifty freaking years. Let it go. Let it all go. I blog about the alternatives. They’re amazing. Make the switch. Use Josie Maran or Mineral Fusion for makeup and for hair, go with Shikai, Andalou Organics or the higher end salon line, Oribe, which is my personal fave. As for deodorant, understand that it takes four to six weeks to sweat out the toxins that have been building up in your body, where aluminum has kept it trapped, so it’s not that the hippie Crystal stuff doesn’t work, it just takes awhile! And trust me…. it’s a good thing getting all that junk out once and for all. I apologize in advance for your stink, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Hands down, the best deodorant is Herban Cowboy for Her. Apply a few times daily until your natural scent is no longer offensive, then once daily is fine. Or make your own using coconut oil, essential oils and baking soda. This one works wonders.

4. Tampons: Without getting too detailed here, why is it considered the norm to put an object inside of your body that can potentially cause something called “Toxic Shock Syndrome”, which if left untreated, can cause death? I’m sorry, come again? It’s a tampon. What a crappy way to die. Buy Chlorine Free tampons and pads. Seventh Generation makes them with no warning message attached.

5. Food: Hate to say it, but if you’re shopping in a conventional grocery store, you’re in trouble… unless you’re shopping the perimeter and buying organic. So give up Ralph’s, Von’s, Safeway, Harris Teeter, etc. Why? Because if it’s in a box and you can’t pronounce the ingredients, your body doesn’t know WTF it is or how to process it. Not only that, all that “food” your eating is loaded with processed sugar, lecithins, chemicals and pesticides. Talk about disrupting the body and causing disease, this is the main culprit. Put down the Oreos and for the sake of the next generation, that Coke, or even worse, that Diet Coke you’re drinking, is literally killing you. High Fructose Corn Syrup and Aspartame are absolutely linked to the obesity and cancer epidemic that continues to rise in this country. The research is done and out there. Coke is feeling the pressure and trying to decide whether or not to use Stevia as their new sweetener. They’re feeling the backlash. They’ve even tried fighting the research and the controversy by putting out their own campaign against it, but it failed. If you do consume animal foods,
switch to grass fed beef, organic, free range eggs, Organic Milk, or even better, Raw Milk and stay the F away from fast food. The CAFO’s where the meat in your Double Double comes from is a breeding ground for E Coli and sick, mistreated animals. Also, these animals are grain and soy fed, and in most cases, loaded with antibiotics.

6. Toxic Relationships: This is a tough one, even for me. I have a long history of repeating this pattern. But I promise you, as my friend Brianna recently said, “A toxic relationship can make you ill and keep you there.” This couldn’t be more true and evident in my own life. If someone in your world, whether they are a friend or lover, doesn’t have the ability to be totally supportive, loving, caring, emotionally available and there for your highest good, please…. Let. Them. Go. At a recent wellness conference in NYC, the speaker asked the audience to tell him what the turning point in their journey to “perfect health” was. Most comments had to do with certain healing modalities or a certain supplement taken or doctor seen, but one woman raised her hand and simply said, “The best thing I ever did for my health was to leave my asshole of a husband.” Everyone laughed, but the speaker spoke intensely about the mind/body connection and how toxic relationships can absolutely lead to physical illness. So say goodbye to Mr. Big and find your Aidan, or better yet, go find yourself and recognize your own self worth first. Yes, I just referenced “Sex and the City” and I’m oddly at peace with it.

Happy Toxic Free Journey!

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Girl Vs. Wild Paleo Pancakes …

Today I am simply sharing a killer recipe for gluten free Paleo Pancakes via my gorgeous girlfriend over at “Girl Vs. Wild”, Bri Kip Lindemulder. I added blueberries to the mix and a little extra coconut sugar. Make these pronto and subscribe to her blog for great recipes!

Disclaimer: Eating these will not give you Bri’s gorgeous hair or perfect smile, but they are super yummy AND healthy! http://girlvsthewild.blogspot.com/

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So I really wanted to keep this recipe a secret…. for selfish reasons, I’ll admit. I swear, these cookies are so damn good (and so damn good for you) I could set up a stand at my local farmer’s market, and eventually, package them, go global, and sell them at Whole Foods nationwide. Okay, so I dreamed a little big on this one, and 2013 is shaping up to be ambitious enough considering all other unfulfilled dreams (ie. Finish new music project “ExLions”, finish writing memoir “Let Love Rule”, get in killer shape via bad 80’s workout videos, blog more, and also, pitch idea to local paper, “The Bohemian” to be a Dear Abby of sorts, for people with questions about health and diet, under the guise of “Health Chick”.) So basically, because of my determination to apparently become Super Woman (and a New York Times Bestselling Author) you luck out and get this insanely delish recipe!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Organic Coconut Flour

3/4 cup Organic Buckwheat Flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

8 tblspn (1 stick) Organic Lightly Salted Butter (preferably from grass fed cows)

1 cup Organic Raw Coconut Sugar

1 Egg (Organic, free range)

1 1/2 teaspoons of Alcohol Free, Organic Vanilla Extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips (higher than 60% cacao)

Eden French Celtic Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together in large stainless steel bowl, butter and coconut sugar until well mixed. Butter should be room temp. Beat in egg and Vanilla.

In separate bowl mix together coconut flour, buckwheat flour and baking soda. Add this to the butter/egg mixture and stir until you have thick but smooth cookie dough. Stir in Chocolate Chips. Voila.. batter.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and scoop out 12 cookies. Add a pinch of sea salt to the top of each cookie and bake for 9 to 11 minutes on center rack. Take out when slightly browned. Enjoy…. guilt free.

Chocolate-Chip-Cookie

Kukui Cocoa Body Butter Latte Anyone?

Considering my addiction to Iced Latte’s is a thing of the past, slathering on Andalou Naturals “Kukui Cocoa Body Butter” is about the closest I get to coffee these days. I ache for the sweet smell of a roast coffee bean every so often, and I swear this stuff smells like the best Caramel Latte EVER.

Organic, Fair Trade and made without GMO’s, gluten, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances, I couldn’t ask for a better body butter, and I’m looooving the fact that it’s made with organic Evening Primrose Oil, Acai Berry, Goji Berry, Kukui, Vitamin C, Capuacu and of course, coffee, to name a few.

Bottom line: Kukui Body Butter is thick, rich and creamy. It takes a little effort to get it all worked in, but it’s so worth it the next day to see and feel your skin…. literally glowing, hydrated and ultra moisturized.

According to Andalou, who are right here in Novato, CA. … Apple + Grape Fruit Stem Cell Cultures advance the longevity of skin stem cells and help protect skin’s DNA against environmental stress and aging factors, and it’s also Verified Gluten-Free, 100% Eco-friendly, Vegetarian & Cruelty-Free!

$12.99 @Whole Foods.

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Tinted Moisturizer: A Girl’s Best Friend

One year ago, on my quest for a healthier, chemical free life, l learned the truth about Parabens and how they effect us, inside and out. I quickly trashed hundreds of dollars worth of products, not feeling a tinge of guilt, until it came to one: “Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer”. It’s like the Holy Grail of makeup, leaving your skin flawless and positively  glowing. I was so peeved about having to let this one go, that I actually sat down and wrote a letter to the company, begging them to keep the same formula while removing any trace of parabens. I was totally shocked when I  received a response from the president the very next day exclaiming excitedly that they were in the process of doing just that, and understood my concern! WOW. Seriously? Major kudos for the response time alone. Unfortunately, it would take months before the newly formulated product hit the market, so in the meantime, I had to search….. and search…. and search for something just as fabulous, and totally natural.

Cut to Holy Grail Senior: “Josie Maran Argan Oil Tinted Moisturizer”. Holy perfect, flawless, even coverage loaded with amazing organic ingredients. Not to mention, “Butter” was a perfect color match for my winter white skin. Downside: There are only four shades, but they are all lovely. In the summertime, I am “Linen”, just a shade darker, giving me a nice summer glow. The Argan Oil alone makes this product super moisturizing, but it’s also thick enough for thorough coverage. Evens out the skin beautifully.

If you don’t live in a dry climate, like Cali…. and you’re in a hot, humid climate, like my home state of South Carolina, this is likely to be a little too moisturizing. If this is the case, and you prefer powder to tinted moisturizer, I highly recommend “Mineral Fusion” powder from Whole Foods. This is the BEST powder makeup I have found to date, and it’s loaded with antioxidants and minerals. Never cakey.

In the meantime, while browsing Nordstrom’s the other day, I headed over to the Laura Mercier counter to find out if they ever did change the formula of my previously fave product. I was beyond thrilled to see the new, Paraben Free version of America’s number one selling tinted moisturizer. I smiled a very big smile. The world is changing, one beauty product at a time. So please, take the time to learn about the toxic ingredients in the products we use daily…..

It can literally save your life.

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lavender seafoam cleanser …

This is a must have cleanser. I was beyond elated to find this in my local Petaluma beauty shop. With simple, skin nourishing ingredients made by 100% Pure. Kelp, Sea Lettuce, Green Tea, French Green Sea Clay, Coconut Oil, Vitamin, Vitamin E, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Rosehip Oil, Extracts of Pomegranate, Grapefruit Seed and Rosemary, Lavender Essential Oil, Extracts of Cinnamon, Thyme, Goldenseal and Oregano. Goes on green and feels über clean. How can you go wrong with ingredients this pure? $18 at your local health food store. Your face will thank you.


organic girly stuff i love.

Neem Toothpaste and Mouthwash – I discovered this at Healthy Home Market in the South End of Charlotte. Actually, a hippie chick named Kiki introduced me to it. I was skeptical, but after many years of dealing with bleeding gums on the upper right side of my mouth… every single time I brushed, I was over it. The start of Gingivitis? According to my dentist in LA, yes. Fluoride is the conventional method for treating Gingivitis, but read about the dangers of Fluoride and why it’s banned in so many countries, and you’ll think twice. We are the only country who currently adds Fluoride to our drinking water. It may be okay to use topically, but it should never be swallowed. And your Brita filter will not remove it. I only discovered the news about Fluoride when I recently realized that I may be suffering from Hypothyroidism, which my mother has. Rapid weight gain and exhaustion are the first signs. Fluoride is actually toxic, and can completely throw your Thyroid off balance. I’ve been using fluoride toothpaste for twenty years, not to mention, all those visits to the dentist and drinking “filtered” tap water? So trying a little Neem couldn’t hurt. After all, I’d spent $1,000 in 2009 for a deep cleaning that was supposed to stop the bleeding and never did. After one week of using this, along with the mouthwash, my gums have completely stopped bleeding for the first time in ten years! So… get off the fluoride and get on the Neem! Also, drink Smart Water, Fiji or Evian, which are all Fluoride free. I highly recommend Himalaya Organique Toothpaste with Neem and Pomegranate. Less than $6 at http://www.vitacost.com or your local Health Food Store.

Studies agree with the anecdotal evidence and thousands of years of traditional use. Neem can…

  • prevent and heal gum disease,
  • prevent cavities,
  • eliminate bacteria that cause cavities and inflammation of the gums,
  • prevent bacteria from adhering to your teeth (reduce plaque),
  • enhance mouth immunity in general,
  • freshen breath.