Monday, June 30, 2014

Mercury Retrograde

I've been getting a lot of questions about what is going on lately. Why can't we concentrate, why is Facebook not sending our messages and why do our phones keep losing service. WHAT'S HAPPENING!? It's called Mercury Retrograde.

What is Happening:  

The planet of communication is Mercury. Mercury is well on its way through the universe, until June 7th, when it stops dead in it's tracks at 3 degrees of Cancer. The planet then will turn backwards and go back in which the way it came until July 1st when it stops again and returns back on its original path. Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, spending a bit more than three weeks in "reverse" gear each time. The retrograde cycle is due to the fact that we are viewing the planets from a moving platform, the Earth. The planets, in fact, do not actually change direction, but appear to do so from our perspective. This geocentric, or earth-centered, point of view is the basis for astrological measurements. In a sense, what you see is what you get.

What will be Affected:  

Well of course Mercury related endeavors are going to be compromised, such as communication, travel, and attention to detail. Expect to feel more introverted and less social. Probably avoid new projects or signing any contracts during this time. Don't purchase any large items such as cars, houses, anything else. Glitches in technology are expected. (I have had numerous Facebook messages not send, and my cell phone carrier seems to not have service more often that it does have service)

How Long Will This Last:  

The actual Retrograde will last from the time Mercury stops on June 7th to the time it stops again on July 1st. However, there is a 'shadow' period that lasts roughly 2 weeks before and after the retrograde. The 'front end' will begin on May 23rd and ended on the first day of the Retrograde, June 7th. The 'back end' will begin when Mercury stops on July 1st and starts is journey back to 3 degrees of Cancer. It will end once it reaches its destination on July 16th. These 'shadows' will be less intense than the actual Retrograde.

We can use this time to tie up any lose ends that may be floating around. Be more aware of your perspective of life and communication. We will all feel this shift, some more than others. Ride it out and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Going 'No Poo' - Chemical Free Hair

I have recently chosen not to poo. This simply means that I don't use any shampoos or conditioners in my hair. I cannot say that I don't use 'chemicals' because baking soda is technically a chemical. As I've been on my 're-wilding' journey lately, I found that I was spending way too much money on chemically enhanced shampoo products and none of them even satisfied my needs. I tried every shampoo and conditioner that was available! Even the really expensive ones. They would work for a few months then my hair would get used to it and in order to stay with that brand, I would have to wash my hair every day or else I would be stuck with an oily mess! So, like I said, I chose to not poo! Here is what i've done so far. (and I will do updates on this as well)

First, with a lot, lot of research, I found the best method that worked overall for people. Baking soda and Apple cider vinegar. I put my old shampoos in the closet (out of sight out of mind, right?) My very first day of going no poo was in May. I made up a mixture of essential oils for oily hair (because mines oily most of the time) and i 'shampooed' with that. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinsed. Then for a conditioner I made a home made mixture of a conditioner. This consisted of Shea butter & coconut oil. (I will post recipes for these below) Now, the conditioner should only be used like once every 2-3 months because I tell you what, I had people asking me for days why my hair was always wet (aka.greasy). The shea butter stays in your hair for a very long time. It is so hard to get out! BUT, it feels amazing and rejuvenated after it is all out, so it's definitely worth it every couple of months. Plus our hair needs that natural condition ever so often. With the conditioner though, I did NOT put it on my roots, I only put it on the ends and the bulk of my hair. I don't know if that makes a difference, but I can only imagine what an oil mine my head would have been if i put it on my roots! So that is my day 1.

Day 2, I just rinsed my hair with water in the shower. I hid the greasy look with an undo and a headband! Day 3 I took a bath with essential oils in my bath and just soaked my hair in the tub. Didn't use anything on it though. On this day, I could start to see the amazing work of the shea butter and coconut oil. My hair was a little less greasy and very little dandruff and sebum buildup. For those of you that are wondering, sebum buildup is the white stuff that builds on your scalp. If you soak in a tub and scrub your scalp with your fingernails you'll see white stuff under your nails. Your head produces it naturally, it will decrease as you go farther in your 'no poo' re-wilding adventure. Moving on, Days 4, 5, & 6, I just rinsed, alternating with baths and showers when needed.

Once I saw the oil from the conditioner mix was going away I washed my hair with baking soda. Meaning, I poured some BS (baking soda) in my hands and scrubbed my scalp, as well as the bulk of my hair (I have really long hair). I made sure to rinse the BS out really good, then I conditioned with Apple cider Vinegar. (roots and all) When needed I still take a wide tooth wooden comb through my hair when the Apple cider is sitting in my hair. This will get any dead strands out, and yes, they do come out! I alternated this method every other shower. So on the off showers (or baths) I would just rinse my hair. I tried to eliminate the combing to one day a week or less.

So I've been doing this method for about 2 months now. My hair finally is starting to see its true being. I have pretty much weened myself off of the Baking Soda and Apple Cider routine, as my hair doesn't need it anymore. I find that when I do use that method now, my hair is oily and ill have to rinse it for sure the next day. I can go about 3 days without rinsing my hair and it is still maintainable and not greasy looking. I am struggling with ways to do my hair, because I've been keeping it in an undo all summer to hide the greasy transformation. It is really hot though, so I guess summer was a good time to transition. When I do wear my hair down, it is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait until winter to display it!

Please keep in mind, everyone's hair is different. My friend who was doing this transformation with me still uses the essential oil mixture and not the baking soda method. I think she only used the Baking soda method once or twice and it didn't work for her. Also, her hair is really dry and mine is really oily, so the essential oils really help bring oil back to her hair. Try different things, see what works for you. Stick with it and be patient. You hair was not made to be coated with chemical! Let it be free and it will be more amazing than you could ever imagine! Also, I have been cutting my hair more frequently. I cut my hair at home myself so I do this about once every 2 weeks just to get the dead hair off and try to speed up the growth process to get all new fresh wild hair in! Good luck and please comment! I will be posting an addition to this post in a few months when I am farther along in the process.

Oily Hair Essential Oil Recipe: 

  • 4 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 3 drops Lemon Oil
  • 4 drops Lavender Oil
  • 4 drops Patchouli Oil
  • 2 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 4 drops Thyme Oil
  • 0.50 ml of Vitamin E Oil
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
I used a 3 oz bottle and put all ingredients in, then filled it with warm water and give it a good shake. You don't need much, just enough to coat the hair. Fun Fact: The Thyme helps with dandruff and hair loss. (this is why I always add it in)

Dry Hair Essential Oil Recipe: 

  • 4 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 3 drops Basil Oil
  • 4 drops Myrrh Oil
  • 4 drops Thyme Oil
  • 0.50 ml of Vitamin E Oil
  • 1 ml of Jojoba Oil
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
I used a 3 oz bottle and put all ingredients in, then filled it with warm water and give it a good shake. You don't need much, just enough to coat the hair. All of these ingredients are specifically for dry hair! The Basil will help not only with dry, but help stimulate hair growth. The tea tree will also help with dandruff.

Conditioner Recipe: 

  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter
I don't know the amounts that I used, I just know I used too much coconut oil. So maybe use 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts shea butter. I melted this down in a double broiler and stored it in a baby food jar. When I need to use it, I let the sealed container float around in my bath water until its melted enough to lather on hair.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reusable Essential Oil Bottles

What you'll Need: 

  • Empty essential oil bottles
  • Rag or paper towels
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol

First you'll need to take the tops off of the bottles. Get a pot of hot water boiling. Once its steaming hot, with an oven mitt or a towel wrapped around your hand, slightly dip the tip of the bottle in the water. It only takes about 15-30 seconds and then you should be able to remove it from the water and pop the top off with a towel. Save this rubber part though! 

Once the tops are off I let those soak in hot soapy water with the lids the entire time I'm cleaning the bottles. This will help eliminate any old oil sitting in them. I then take the rubbing alcohol in a small container or a bowl and start peeling off the label on the bottle. With the rubbing alcohol, rub off all of the gunk, or sticky stuff left from the label. It takes a couple rounds but eventually it will start shining up like a brand new bottle.  

I then let everything sit out for a few hours to dry, then reassemble and you have brand new glass bottles to re-use! I make my own mixtures and use it for baths and other stuff.  

It's really very simple to do. And who wouldn't want those cute little bottles! They look so awesome! I like to keep a mixture for the bath in one bottle so that when it's bath time I'm not grabbing for 5 different bottles! Or you could even make a perfume and keep the tops off of them.  

My Bath Mixture includes: 6 drops Lavendar, 4 drops Eucalyptus, 5 Drops Grapefruit, 1ml Vitamin E. What is your favorite mixture for the bathtub?  

Please leave comments, let me know what posts you are liking and what you want to see more of! Namaste!  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Lifestyle Change Journey

There has been a ton of conversation around the subject of what I eat and put into my body. Many questions have been asked regarding how I have made such a huge lifestyle change in such a short amount of time. Although, I do not mind answering and participating in dialogue on Facebook and other social networking sites, I figured, with so much discussion, this should be a blog post.

I used to be the person who drank nothing but soda all day long. I would go to the gas station 2 or 3 times a day and get a 32oz caffeinated drink. I lived off of soda and junk food. I have never been overweight, but I have been struggling in the past 2 years with my weight gain. I was heavier than I had ever been and a lot more lethargic more often. I have had no motivation to do anything for the last 2 years.

I tried working out multiple times, but after a few weeks and not much to show for it, I quickly gave that up. Sometime midway through 2013, I found yoga. I had done yoga before, but not like this. I truly got attached very quickly to yoga. I was fascinated with it, and it made me feel better. So I continued on my yoga journey and now I am a certified instructor looking to travel the world and gain more yoga knowledge and one day open my own studio. This is not a fitness post though, so back to the food portion.

A few months ago, my partner and I started looking into what we were eating. We had looked into juicing and different diets. We read a few books on gluten and realized how bad gluten is for you. "Gluten-Free" has quickly become the new 'fad' of dieting. I watched a video on Netflix called 'Hungry For Change' which I do recommend for everyone to watch! I also watched a few clips on youtube of people who were on a gluten free diet, they were asked one simple question, 'What is gluten?', they had no idea. Gluten is a protein composite found in several types of grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Basically gluten is the elasticity that holds breads together. Everybody is sensitive to gluten, just some people don't even know it. Gluten actually inflames the body and even the brain. Gluten is the cause of irritable bowl syndrome and numerous digestive problems. All around, gluten is no bueno. So, that is the first thing we cut out of our diet. No More Gluten!

We then went through our entire kitchen and pitched or gave away everything that was harmful. We started looking at every label in our kitchen. If it had something in it that we didn't know, we looked it up. Surprisingly everything we looked up was some sort of a cancer causer. Out it went! Of course we were out of food, so we had to make a large trip to the grocery store. We stocked up on fresh cut meat, fresh vegetables, fruits & cheese. Of course anything that was packaged, we checked every label to make sure they didn't add anything in. Even the butter, we have to get salted because the unsalted butter has added stuff in it. Why are they adding all these chemicals to our food!? Food isn't food anymore, its chemically altered poisons! I saw blue filled Twinkies in the store the other day and my mouth literally dropped. I can't even imagine putting something like that in my body anymore!

Another important thing we dropped from our diet was any type of cooking oil. No corn oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, none of any kind. Oils are filled with GMO's and artificial chemicals. Want to know more about the negative effect on GMO's look up Monsanto and you will see how terrible they are. Not to mention GMO's are killing our bees. RUDE!

I'm not sure why people pump their bodies full of so called 'food' knowing that it's all made in a plant, then complain they are overweight and have health problems. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me since I have opened my eyes and become aware. People turn to the 'low fat' or 'sugar free' diets and they still are having the same problems. Fat doesn't make you fat, sugar makes you fat! When sugar enters the body, it immediately turns to fat. Wonder why your not losing weight?

I could go on and on about food and GMO's and Monsanto, etc. I suggest if you want to know more and if you have Netflix, watch 'Hungry for Change'. It really explains everything very well. Just be aware of what you are putting into your body. Be more conscious of where your food comes from. Most of all, stay true to yourself.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Yoga?

Too many times in my day to day world do I get asked why I practice yoga or have someone tell me they want to join yoga to get 'fit' or 'healthy' or 'in shape'. While yoga will help with your overall health, it is not something to join on a whim.
Yoga is a practice. It is something that shouldn't be minimized to a 10 week session or just a few classes here and there. Yoga is a time for yourself, to take an hour out of your busy hectic tv infested life, to just focus on your natural beauty, spirit, and inner peace. Of course yoga will tone your muscles and you will get more flexible over time, but that should not be the main reason to practice. Below I will list some health benefits of practicing yoga on a regular basis.  

  • 1. INCREASED ARM STRENGTH. After 16 classes, your arm strength could increase by 12%.
  • 3. INCREASE IN FLEXIBILITY. 8 weeks of practice will give you 35% increase in flexibility.
  • 4. DECREASE OF PAIN. Decreases the amount of Lactic Acid in muscle and Decreased Joint Pain.
  • 5. INCREASES LIBIDO. Enough said.
  • 6. HELPS WITH DIGESTION. Increases metabolism and helps digestion.
  • 8. LESS STRESS. Slower breathing amounts to less stress.
  • 9. OXYGEN TO THE BRAIN. Slower breathing allows more oxygen to get to your brain.

Practicing will also give you peace of mind and make you more grounded and have better focus.
I could go on and on giving you more reasons to practice yoga, but I don't think I need to. When you decide to start, or continue, your practice, make it about YOU and enjoy every minute of it. Namaste!