Category Archives: Holistic Health

Safe-ing Face: What’s In My Makeup Bag?

I consider myself a makeup minimalist, who is a little obsessed with organization.  I used to maintain two makeup bags: one containing conventional products for my acting and modeling work, and the other containing green beauty products for my “off-duty” use.  This year, Melissa, owner of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, introduced me to some ah-mazing non-toxic product lines.  So, I made it my mission to address all of my makeup needs in one green beauty bag.

Looking to “green” your makeup routine?  What you COULD do is toss out the toxic products, and replace them with safer substitutes.

The variety of green beauty options available now makes it easy to do a swap.

IMG_9660After searching for a travel-sized cosmetic bag to hold my brushes and makeup, I chose the Stephanie Johnson Grace Brush Case in Galapagos Grey. This textured faux reptilian case has 5 slots for makeup brushes on one side, with a protective flap to cover them, and an open compartment for makeup. Love. This. Case.

IMG_9664Face

Cheeks

Eyes

Lips

Tools

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The tools listed above stay in my makeup bag, so that I can grab it and go at anytime.  I also have a set of Ecotools brushes for at-home use.  Unless I need it for work or travel purposes, I apply my makeup at home and leave the majority of it there.  In my purse, I usually carry a smaller pouch with my lip color of the day, lip balm, and blotting papers inside.  I tend to change my lip color the most, depending on the time of day, my outfit, or my mood.

Which green beauty brands and products have you tried?  Which ones are your favorites?

Please comment and share!

XOXO

 

 

Nightly Rituals

I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time relaxing and quieting my mind at night. Ironically, I work hard to ease into a restful state.  In doing so, I’ve noticed that there are certain rituals that I must follow.

Do you have a restless mind, and need to unwind?

What you COULD do is establish nightly rituals that let your body and mind know that it’s time for bed.

Here are 3 things that I do, before I go to sleep:

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1. Treat my feet: I always wash my feet before bedtime. I have a deeply-rooted need to crawl into bed with clean feet. In addition, I moisturize them with organic jojoba oil, then cover them with socks. It never fails to relax and reassure me.

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2. Diffuse essential oils that make “scents”: I select one, or more, essential oils to scent my room at night.  Lavender is my favorite, due to its sleep-promoting properties. However, lately, I’ve been using frankincense for its meditative benefits.  Each of these oils has served as a base for my calming combinations.

3. Cue the music: I play relaxation music in my bedroom, which also helps to create a calming atmosphere.   I’m currently loving the Calm Radio Om, Spa, and Sleep channels.  Their soothing sounds help me to drift-off to dream land.

What are YOUR nightly rituals?

Please comment and share!

XOXO

Wellness Woes: Back-To-School Edition

Sooooo…my children are in a year-round school, and they’re already in their 5th week of classes.

I know, right?!?!

Overall, they’re off to a great start.  Then, the other day, my daughter handed me these…

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*THUD*

Um, yeah…that noise you just heard?  It was me passing out over these two…TWO…Parent Alert Letters about the school cooties du jour.  What can I say?  Mommy is a total germaphobe.  LAWD HELP US ALL!!!

If back-to-school illnesses are threatening your child’s attendance flow, what you COULD do is give ’em a pro-active punch.

Here are 5 things that I’m currently doing to help keep my peeps in their classroom seats:

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1.  Step up their supplements:  In addition to their daily multivitamin, I’m doubling-up their probiotics and vitamin C.  Our naturopath encourages us to do this, especially during flu season.

2.  Let them drink…water:  As challenging as it may be, at times, I encourage my little ones to stay hydrated and flush their systems with H2O.  We’ll often add a twist of lemon, or a few chunks of fruit, to encourage consumption.

3.  Rejuvenate with rest:  I try to wrap things up, and get the kids to bed early.  This way, they are ready to tackle the next day, mentally and physically.

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4.  Find victory in the Vitamix:  Yep, that’s right.  When all-else fails, I know that I can sneak some immune-boosting supplements and *gulp* greens into a fresh juice or smoothie.  More power for my little people!

5.  Help ’em develop healthy habits:  I diligently train my littles to wash their hands frequently, use their hand sanitizer, and refrain from rubbing their eyes and noses to help keep bacteria at bay.  It’s an on-going process, but well worth the effort.

What do YOU do when school illnesses infiltrate your child’s classroom?

Please comment, share, and take care!

XOXO

 

 

My “Surgi-versary”

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

One year after my surgery saga, I’m healthy and feeling incredibly blessed.  At the same time, I’ve felt emotional as I recall where I was this time last year.  I met and worked with some amazing health practitioners and business owners, who helped me through this ordeal.  So, to celebrate my “surgi-versary,” I planned to visit each of my “health heroes” to personally thank them for the specific ways that they contributed to my surgical outcome and overall well-being.  Although I was unable to connect with everyone, today’s results were very encouraging…

IMG_7615My first stop was The Center for True Harmony Wellness & Medicine.  Here, I expressed my heartfelt appreciation to Christine Brass-Jones DO OB/GYN and Dr. Denise Grobe ND.  Dr. Brass-Jones referred me to the right gynecological oncologist to perform my surgery.  She listened carefully to my concerns and persevered with me, as I weighed my options, trusted my gut, and moved forward in this process.  Dr. Grobe gave me some excellent advice on how to prepare my body for surgery and how to manage my recovery in different case scenarios.  In addition, she had the insight to have me take a cancer gene test.  Both of these ladies were caring, supportive, proactive, and informative.  Women empowering other women…YES!!!

IMG_7617Next, I went to Pomegranate Cafe for a friend’s birthday lunch, and to express my gratitude to owner Cassie Tolman.  Before and after my surgery, Cassie and the “Pom” staff were my “anti-inflammatory allies.”  They kept the Abundance Juice flowing, with plenty of lemon, ginger, and turmeric, along with a whole lotta healthy food options.  Their team always serves with smiles and promotes positivity.  LOVE THEM!!!

IMG_7618IMG_7620You didn’t think I’d leave out my lunch, did you?!?  Today, I celebrated with an Abundance Juice (naturally) and Mermaid Salad.  YUM!!!

IMG_7622Finally, I stopped by Desert Sage Herbs to thank Brittney for an herbal consultation that had me armed and ready for my surgical procedure and healing process.  The teas, tonics, and essential oils that she custom-blended for me, along with her compassion and concern, were a tremendous help.  Today, Andrea graciously accepted my sentiments on Brittney’s behalf…and re-filled my french lavender oil.  Mission accomplished!!!

Do you personally, and specifically, thank those who have helped you overcome life challenges?

Encourage others, and be encouraged!

XOXO

Sound Off

During Easter weekend, I developed laryngitis. Sooooo bad for business, in my industry. With commercial auditions, and possible bookings, I had to do something. In a desperate attempt to regain my voice, I chose some natural, over-the-counter, and home remedies (Thank you, Google, and Mr. Whole Body Team Member) that helped me to get back on track within a week…just in time for a commercial shoot.

Here’s what I used:

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1.  Chamomile Tea:  Calming, soothing, and anti-inflammatory, I enjoyed sipping Pukka’s Chamomile/Vanilla/Manuka Honey blend.

2.  Homeopathic Medicine:  I was told that Boiron’s Roxalia Tablets are a customer favorite for hoarseness at my local Whole Foods Market.  So, I gave them a try and got some relief from my symptoms.

3.  Lozenges:  Nature’s Way Sambucus Organic Zinc Lozenges helped to keep my throat moist, and give my immune system a boost.

4.  Water:  When it comes to hydrating and moisturizing from the inside out, it doesn’t get more natural than this.

5.  Humidifier:  I placed several drops of eucalyptus oil in my warm humidifier’s reservoir, and breathed in the vapors overnight.  The anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties of eucalyptus oil definitely helped my cause.

6.  Rest:  Keeping still and being quiet were the hardest “pills” to swallow throughout this ordeal.  Ironically, they were probably the most beneficial.

How do you handle hoarseness, holistically?

Please comment, share, and [as always] take care!

XOXO

 

Let It Go: Highlights from 2014

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

Me in my master bedroom on Mother's Day 2014.

Me in my master bedroom on Mother’s Day 2014.

As this year comes to an end, and I look ahead to 2015, I can’t help but reflect on all that has happened. Although I booked more jobs than ever in 2014, my biggest moment of the year was my cancer scare and the major surgery that followed. My faith and fortitude were tested in ways that I never expected. I am so grateful to God, my family, friends,  colleagues, and health practitioners, who saw me through this scary ordeal. I blogged about my experience here.

At church, last Sunday, my minister preached a sermon titled “Let It Go,” and encouraged us to deal with any unresolved issues from this year. After service, I told him that I planned to contact the first Gynecological Oncologist (GYN-ONC #1) that I consulted with during my health crisis. My intention was to contact his office earlier; but I wasn’t ready to “go there” emotionally. I am happy and relieved to report that I spoke with GYN-ONC #1’s nurse yesterday, then spoke with their Nurse Manager today. I informed them of the outcome of my situation, and the surgical approach that was taken by GYN-ONC #2. In addition, I took the opportunity to point out some of the circumstances around my consultation with them that were off-putting to me, in hopes that they might improve their services. I was humble, vulnerable, yet forthright in delivering my message.  I had great conversations with both nurses, and felt that my feedback was well-received.  I felt so free!

I am so relieved and excited to ring in the new year, having dealt with one of the biggest burdens on my heart from 2014.  Whatever unresolved issues that you may have from this year, I hope and pray that you are able to “Let It Go,” and start fresh in 2015.

I wish you a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Rainbow Grocery

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*singing*

“Sooome-WHEEERE, o-ver at Rainbow, are greaaat fiiinds…”

From herbs to housewares, there is so much to explore.

 

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And so my anti-Black Friday experience began at this AMAZING, worker-owned co-op in San Francisco.  No crazy hours, no camping-out, no crowds, no ridiculous lines, no pushing or trampling , no BOGOs or desperate discounts, and no commercial hype.  Just good people, with positive energy, offering great products, with smiles.  Sign. Me. Up.

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The spices and teas tho’…

I could [literally] stop there; but I didn’t, and I won’t.

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I live here, in the Bath and Body Department.  And THIS, my friends, is where I nearly lost my mind!  It happens every time.

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Despite my desire to [permanently] move in, I had to keep it moving.  So, I made my final selections and checked-out.  I appreciate the sweet employee, who suggested that I include one of their reusable canvas bags in my purchase.  It’s a souvenir that’s guaranteed to make me smile.

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But wait!  There’s MORE!  Did you know that they recently added a cafe???  Oh yes, they did!!!  I concluded my experience with a custom-blended Pumpkin Spice Latte, from their special Holiday Drinks menu.  YAY and YUM!

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Wanna see what I got???  Here’s a look at some of my loot:

Sjaak’s Almond Butter and Peanut Butter Bites

Matcha Green Tea & Spirulina and Coconut Ash & Banana Super Dark Chocolates by Vosges Haut-Chocolat

The Big Yummy Double Chocolate Brownie by Wholesome Chow

Herb Pharm Calendula Oil

Valentina’s Home-Brewed Magickal Mineral Bath Salts (True Love, Sweet Dreams, and Prosperity)

Propolis Extract by Y.S. Eco Bee Farms

100% Pure Virgin Coconut Hand Buttercream

Evan Healy’s Whipped Shea Butter for Lips

*singing*

“If happy, lil’ ole me can find…great stuff at Rainbow…

…GOOO…EX-PLOOORE…THOOOSE…AIIISLES!!!”

Holistically Healthy in the Hospital

Hospital Symbol

As I mentioned before, I am a total germaphobe, who feels incredibly uncomfortable in hospitals.  So, when I had to have surgery, I was forced to get over it for the duration of my procedure and overnight stay.  *Shudders*

Here are 8 things that I did to stay holistically healthy in the hospital:

1.  Probiotics:  I used ReNew Life’s Ultimate Flora Critical Care variety ahead of time to boost my immune system.

2.  Arnica:  Before my surgery date, I took some homeopathic pellets for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

3.  Shoe covers:  You know the disposable ones that are worn in hospitals?  Well, yours truly asked for a pair to use so that my “special socks” wouldn’t touch the hospital floors…Ewww!

4.  Humor:  My situation was no laughing matter; however, I managed to share a few laughs with my team before surgery.  This helped me to stay positive, as I faced some of my greatest fears.

5.  Human touch:  I needed it when I woke up dazed, confused, and panicked about my surgical outcome.  I repeatedly asked my husband to kiss my forehead, and his presence and touch calmed and comforted me.  Before he was brought to my bedside, I tried to ask a nurse to do this; but I couldn’t get the words out…LOL!!!

6.  Aromatherapy:  “Calming” essential oil blend + diffuser + “Nighty Night” spritzer from Desert Sage Herbs = “Best Smelling Room on the Floor,” as voted by my nurses.  *Takes a bow*

7.  Called for clean-up:  I had to call 3 times, to be exact (Why???).  I insisted on having our bathroom cleaned after my roommate’s husband spent the night and used our facilities…multiple times…REALLY?!?!

8.  BYOF:  Despite being pressured to consume the hospital fare, I politely declined and had my husband bring me food and drinks from a local Whole Foods Market.  I requested coconut water; fresh green juice with lemon, ginger, jicama, and turmeric; seaweed snacks; raw kale salad; and vegetable soup.  The nourishment from the coconut water, green juice, and seaweed snacks alone brought my body back to life and set me on a course for early discharge.  Hallelujah!

What would you do to stay holistically healthy in a conventional hospital environment?

Have a happy, safe, and fun holiday weekend!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

Sage Advice

IMG_4330In preparation for my surgery, and to create a healing oasis at home, I went to Desert Sage Herbs.  Brittney Sounart and her mother, Vicki Greener, opened this holistic center in 1999; and have provided me and my family with healing help for the past 9 years.  They offer classes, holistic health services, and a retail shop.  It feels like home, and it smells soooo good inside!

IMG_4266One week prior to my surgery, I scheduled an herbal consultation with Brittney.  During this time, I shared the details of my situation, and told her that I wanted to purchase some products to help me heal quickly and completely after my procedure.  We laughed, cried (Well, I did.), hugged, and re-grouped, as we developed a plan together.  The plan was as follows:  to support healing of my tissues after surgery, while supporting my adrenals and nervous system; liver detoxification; lymphatic and immune system support.  Once our plan was in place, Brittney proceeded to custom-blend all sorts of goodies for me…

IMG_4160Brittney suggested that I take arnica, before and after surgery, for its anti-inflammatory properties.  She also created an herbal “Healing Tea” (nettle leaf, holy basil, linden flower, calendula flower, red raspberry leaf, slippery elm bark, and horsetail) for me.  In addition, she concocted a “Healing Tonic” (gotu kola, milk thistle, milky oats, cleavers, horse chestnut, echinacea root, and ginger root).  And, since I love smoothies, Brittney whipped up a “Smoothie Powder” (ashwagandha root, shatavari root, maca root, and spirulina) too.  YAHTZEE!!!

Brittney Sounart, Clinical Herbalist at Desert Sage Herbs.

Brittney Sounart, Clinical Herbalist at Desert Sage Herbs.

I am all about aromatherapy.  So, Brittney suggested their “Nighty-Night” spritzer for use at home, in the hospital, or on the go.   She also whipped-up a “Calming” essential oil blend of lavender, clary sage, and bergamot.  I place 10-12 drops on the pad of my new aromatherapy diffuser, plug it into an outlet, and the results are “spa-like.”  I love my diffuser so much that when I found out that there was a smaller version for cars, I pounced!  Don’t judge me…

IMG_4166Honestly, I could have gone crazy and done a LOT more damage.  But I decided to be good and to stay focused on what was absolutely necessary to get me through my surgery and healing process.  I believe that the items that I purchased have helped me tremendously.

IMG_4285I am so grateful to Brittney for her caring heart and expertise.  LOVE HER!!!

Desert Sage Herbs is located at 1728 N Alma School Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224.

Pssst…Don’t trip!…They ship!!!  😉

Have a wonderful weekend!

XOXO

 

A Healing Oasis At Home

Me in my master bedroom on Mother’s Day 2014.

During the weeks prior to my surgery, I was in major nesting mode.  Seriously!  You would have thought that I was having another baby!  NOT!!!  Since I knew that my hospital stay would be short-lived, in comparison to my recovery time, I planned to create a “new and improved” environment  where I could rest and recover, while surrounded by friends and family.  Although I added extra errands to my pre-surgery schedule, I was quite pleased with the results.  In fact, I was so excited to get home to my sanctuary, that it motivated me to do whatever was necessary to be discharged from the hospital as soon as possible.  Here are some things that I did to create a healing oasis at home:

1.  Add aromatherapy:  I purchased an aromatherapy diffuser and a “Calming” essential oil blend of lavender, bergamot, and clary sage from Desert Sage Herbs.  I plugged the diffuser into the wall and took my room from blah to spa!  In addition, I treated myself to Cire Trudon candles in the Abd Al-Kader and L’Admirable scents, and placed them in my entry and living areas.  *sigh*

2.  Plant placement:  What better way to liven up a space than with plants?  I visited a local nursery and brought home a Dracaena ‘Janet Craig.’  Low-maintenance, air-purifying, and health-promoting, I am loving it, and I look forward to adding more greenery to my mix.

3.  Bring on the bedding:  Knowing that I would be spending a lot of time in bed, I felt that it was important to make mine as comfortable and inviting as possible.  I managed to keep things budget-friendly by doing a “spruce-up,” as opposed to an “extreme bed makeover.”  I bought this sheet set in Midnight/Ivory during a sale at West Elm.  Yesssss!  Then, I found a Peacock Alley coverlet set at Tuesday Morning.  Score!  Finally, I purchased a duvet set at Home Goods, which had all of the right colors to tie my master bedroom together.  Gotta love it when that happens!

4.  Clear out the clutter:  I believe that clutter to the eye is clutter to the mind.  So, I purged and organized my space before surgery because I knew that I wouldn’t have the energy to do it afterwards.  I’m so glad that I did because I am enjoying my space that much more.  For me, a clutter-free, organized space produces a calming effect.  Ahhh…

5.  Let there be light:  I sleep next to a large window in my bedroom.  Everyday, I open my shutters to let in sunlight and to enjoy my backyard view.  It’s so simple, and it [literally] brightens my day!

6.  Soothing sounds:  I have surround sound speakers in my master bedroom.  So, I asked my family to play smooth jazz, classical, and relaxation music for me to enjoy.  One of my favorite Internet radio stations is Calm Radio Om.  Sooo nice!

How do you create a healing oasis at home?

 

 

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