Skin Care

Monday, March 31, 2014

   Happy Monday, friends! I hope you're having a wonderful day. If it's anything like mine, you're already on your second bowl cup of coffee.

   Today I thought I would share with you the skin care products that I use.  All growing up I had terrible acne, and it even rolled over into my adult years. I've tried every single thing that you can think of when it comes to acne treatment. I've been on oral medication, topical medication, Proactive, a million different face washes, etc... and nothing ever worked; it seemed like the more products I used, the more acne I would get. It wasn't until I switched to the following skin care routine that my skin really started healing.

Activated Charcoal Soap//  Friends, this stuff is AMAZING. The activated charcoal pulls out all of the toxins in your skin, and it's a miracle worker for acne. I actually have a friend who makes this soap for me, so I don't use this specific one, but this one seems to be pretty popular on etsy, so you should check it out. I would say out of all of the skin care products that I mention here, this is the absolute must have. I don't plan on ever using a different soap again. This stuff works! I promise if you try it, you won't be disappointed.

Bamboo Activated Charcoal Soap - All Natural Soap, Handmade Soap, Unscented Soap, Detox Soap, Vegan Soap by RockyTopSoapShop on Etsy

Witch Hazel & Tea Tree oil toner// I just mix this together myself and store it in a little spray bottle. When I'm done washing my face with the charcoal soap, I just spritz the mixture of this on my face, and then wipe it off with a cotton ball.  Witch Hazel has a lot of disinfectant properties, and is really good at reducing inflammation, so it's really good for acne. It also doesn't irritate your skin, which is really nice, because a lot of acne products tend to dry out your skin. The tea tree oil is fantastic for killing bacteria, so this combination is a total acne-fighting machine! You can buy the witch hazel here and the Tea Tree Oil here.


Vitamin E oil// I'm getting to the age where I need to start really thinking about ways to prevent wrinkles. Vitamin E seemed like the perfect option, because it has amazing anti-aging effects on the skin. This can get pretty greasy, so I just use this around my eyes before I go to bed at night. Buy it here

     That's it! I really think that less is more when it comes to skin care. But with that said, I've compiled a list of bonus tips for you, as well.
1. You are what you eat: I know you all have heard this term before, but it couldn't be more true. What you put in your body will absolutely effect the outside. Stay away from sugar ( soda, candy, etc..). Soda especially has caused me to break out in the past, so cutting that out is a must if you're wanting to clear up your skin. Also, quit all that fried food! The Paleo diet is really, really good for your skin, as well, because your only eatting real, nutrient-dense food.
2. Drink plenty of water: Our skin needs moisture, so drinking water will definitely help that. Drinking water won't "heal" your acne, but it will definitely help in keeping our skin hydrated, which in turn helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Wash your pillow case more often: I'm going to be honest and tell you for the longest time I didn't even think about my pillow case being something that could worsen my breakout's. It totally makes sense, though: the oils, and all the stuff that's on our face when we go to bed at night, ends up on our pillow, and our face is touching that every single day. ew!
4. Rinse off your face after a workout: I must admit that I'm not consistent in doing this, but I do know that it makes a difference. Keeping all that sweat on your face for a long period of time will just clog up your pours--especially if you're wearing makeup while working out.
5. Try the oil cleansing method: My sister does this, and apparently it works wonders. You can read up on it and see if this is something that works for you.
6. Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress: When we're stressed out our body releases a hormone, called Cortisol, and when Cortisol is released, it raises our blood sugar. This can accelerate the effects of wrinkles, dryness and acne.  Relax and sleep! I know this is much easier said than done. I'm pretty good about getting adequate amounts of sleep, but I still don't have 100% control of my stress levels. It's a work in progress :)
7. Cut back on dairy products: I know this isn't going to be a popular suggestion, but reducing your intake of dairy and/or cutting it out completely will remarkably improve your skin. I'm not totally schooled on this topic, but I do know that the sugar in milk can cause your insulin levels to spike, which can effect your hormones. I know several people who have cut out dairy and it totally healed their skin. Give it a shot!
While there are other tips I could give you, I feel the ones mentioned above are the most important.
If you're at all interested, check out the following link to Liz Wolfe's Skintervention guide.
I listen to Liz Wolfe on the Balanced Bites podcast, and I really trust her judgement when it comes to nutrition and skin care. Be careful, though, she might convince you to eat sardines. ( I'm only kind-of kidding).
I hope this helped you in one way or another. I know how frustrating it is to have acne when you're an adult. It's been a problem of mine for what seems like eternity. I still don't have perfect skin, but I know that being consistent not only in washing your face regularly, but also maintaining good nutrition, will heal your body from the inside out!
Do you have any tips for healthy skin? Share them with me!

Real food

Friday, March 28, 2014

     In case you haven't notice, there is a lot of food posts on here. I've become incredibly passionate about food and how it effects our health and well-being. My thoughts on food has changed drastically the past several months, and I feel like I've finally found something that works--it's not a diet, nor is it a quick fix, but it's something that I honestly feel very strongly about.

I'm one of those people who has tried it all--counting calories, being a vegetarian, eating the SAD ( standard American diet), and working out like crazy and seeing absolutely no results. I've also been known to give up, because nothing I was doing was helping me lose weight I needed to and feel good in the process.

For a few years now I have been learning a ton about the Paleo lifestyle. You might hear the word "Paleo" and cringe a little bit, because I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard about it; if it is the first time you've heard about it, I'll assume you live in a cave and have completely isolated yourself from society. ha! But seriously, I'm assuming you've at least heard about it. If you haven't, then I'll give you a little run-down:

Paleo stands for Paleolithic. The Paleolithic era is said to be the stone age (or when "cavemen" existed), and it's based on the idea that our "ancestors" were hunter-gatherers. Basically, they ate what they could hunt and/or gather. Now, as you can probably presume, this is very much an Evolutionary approach. I do not stand by Evolution. I am very much a creationist. With that said, I'm not going to agree with everything that Paleo stands for, as far as the Evolutionary history behind it. I do, however, agree with the approach that it takes to eating real food.

I know we all probably think we know what real food is, but the majority of what we eat OR drink is actually filled with a ton of stuff that isn't real. On several different occasions I've heard it referred to as "edible products"--things that are man-made, and not something that comes directly from the ground or from a creature. That's right, folks--cereal, boxed mac and cheese, frozen pizza's ( as yummy as they are), are not considered real food. Honestly, I can't even believe that companies are even allowed to market certain cereals as healthy, because the majority of them consist mostly of synthetic ingredients ( a bunch of fake junk).

Real food is just that--real food. Food that doesn't come in packages, and doesn't contain a whole bunch of ingredients that we can't pronounce. I can't tell you how many times I thought something was healthy, and then I looked at the ingredients and it contained high-fructose corn syrup, and was partially homogenized ( meaning they add hydrogen to oil to make it more stable or saturated, which in turn makes the product last longer, but causes so much stress to our body, because it has to work so much harder to metabolize).

What do you think people ate during the time when Jesus was on earth? When food wasn't produced in ginormous factories, and didn't contain a whole bunch of fake ingrediants? People made their own food, because they couldn't go down the street to their local McDonalds. And guess what? They were healthier, lived longer, and they probably felt a heck of a lot better than the majority of the world does right now.

We're making our body work harder than it really should when we eat a whole bunch of food that isn't good for us, and in turn, it's making us feel a heck of a lot crappier than we would feel otherwise. The crazy thing about all of this is that we're totally doing it to ourselves. We have so much more control over how our body feels than we might think, which is really encouraging if you ask me.

There's seriously so much I want to say about this topic, but there's no way that I can fit it all in one post. I do want to add that I don't think we should be crazy obsessed with what we're eating, because stress can be just as bad for our health as eating a big juicy burger from McDonalds. I just think we should be mindful of what we put into the body that God gave us. I can whole-heartidly say that I feel a million times better since I've been eating real food. My stomache is flatter, I don't feel bloated and my digestive issue's have cleared up. Since this has helped me feel better in more ways than one, I feel obligated to share it with other people. Plus, I just really like talking about food.



Let's have a cup of coffee and talk

Thursday, March 27, 2014

    My brain is on overload right now, and since my blog is, well, my blog, I'm going to sit here and chat it up with you guys. Okay? Pour a big cup of coffee, because you're in for a deep one, my friends!

 You see... I'm stumped.

 26 is quickly approaching, and I'm having a lot of crazy " oh my gosh what am I doing with my life?" moments. I know this is totally a normal feeling people have as they age, and it seems like every single birthday I end up feeling like this in one way or another--especially the past 2 birthday's.

I have a lot of dreams, passions, desires--call it what you will, but I have a lot of them. Rory and I took a personality test not too long ago, and it cracked me up, because it totally hit the nail on the head with both of us. My test described me as someone whose passionate about a lot of things, and has a tendency to be inconsistant, because they hop from one passion to another. As much as I hate to admit it, that really is true. Do you ever feel that way? I think I get that personality trait from my mother; she was a very passionate person.

You see, there's a lot of disadvantages to being a person with a personality like mine. You can't decide what the heck to do with your life, because you have so many things you would LOVE to do.

I'm incredibly passionate about nutrition. In fact, I have a blog post I've been waiting to publish, talking about real food and what real food actually is, because most people have a really distorted view of what they're eating . I've spent countless hours listening to podcasts, reading books on nutrition, and I've spent a ton of time praying about whether or not I want to seriously persue going to school to be a Holistic Nutritionist. I'm going to be taking a nutrition, food and health class in a couple of weeks,  just to dip my feet into it a little bit more.

It's so much more complicated than that, though. This doesn't just effect me, it effects Rory, too. From the beginning, Rory and I have wanted to get married. There's a real possibility that marriage isn't far away. With that said, I don't know if I a) want to go to school the first couple years of marriage. b) go into more debt just to be able to attend school. And c) will I want to do this after I have kids?

You might think I'm getting ahead of myself, but I feel like these are all things to take into account.

I'll say it again...I'm stumped.

To be perfectly honest, the one desire I've had my entire life is to be a wife and a mom. I would be perfectly happy and content doing just that. I guess we'll see what the Lord has planned for me. It's just really hard to sit around and wait for God to give you the push to go to the right or left--especially when there are so many things to consider. One thing I know is that I can fully trust in the plan that God has for me. His plan is far greater than mine, and that brings me so much comfort.

Have you ever felt like this before? How did you handle it?

Thanks for listening--er, I mean reading.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

   Yes, I've been lacking in the blogging department. I seem to say that all too often. So for the sake of making up all kinds of excuses as to why I've been away again for so long, I'm just going to share a couple things that I've been up to lately.

Wisdom teeth extraction yes. I had all my wisdom teeth pulled, and it wasn't the most pleasant of experiences. I ended up having a dry socket, and my mouth is now stuffed with gauze drenched in some sort of substance ( I think it's some sort of clove oil?). yuck.

Paleo I've been listening to the girls from the Balanced Bites Podcast for about 2 years, and I've been really inspired by their take on food. I decided to give it a shot, and I've never felt better. I never realized how much eating grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods made me feel bloated and uncomfortable. I love that I'm eating real food, and it tastes GOOD. Give it a shot, my friends--you won't regret it. Read this and this

Sister time My sister and I are 10 years apart. She got married when I was 9, so she's been out of the house for quite some time. I'm really close to my sister, and since our mom passed away, we have gotten even closer. I got to spend a Saturday with her, and we had the best time! We don't really ever get to hang out just the two of us, because she has 4 children, and so it's hard. It was nice for her to sneak away for a little bit and have some sister time. Oh, how I love her.

Bangs  I was watching Hart of Dixie the other day ( in love), and I saw one of the girls on there ( I can't remember her's Wades new girlfriend!) and I LOVED her hair, so what did I do? I watched a YouTube video on how to cut bangs, and I did it myself. They're a nice change.

Divergent  I read all the books incredibly fast. Is anyone else going to nerd out and wait in line for the movie? I'm dragging Rory to go see it with me. Crossing my fingers that they don't ruin it. That would be tragic--absolutely tragic.

Downton Abbey If you don't watch this show, you need to. I watched season 4 when I was on my death bed recovery from my surgery.

Colossians Amazing book in the bible. It really speaks on who we are in Christ. I also love Chapter 3 where it talks about putting off our old self, and putting on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.... I'm constantly having to "put off" and "put on". We're so flawed without Christ.




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