You are what you eat, and wear

                                           

Cleanses, juicing, the Paleo diet, super foods, chia seeds, it’s enough to make your head spin. How can anyone keep up with all the ebbs and flows of what is new and healthy? It seems like every week there is a new article or celebrity telling us about a new food we should be eating to stay healthy, or a different way to consume it. But how often do we think of the affects of what we put on our bodies? Just like how the foods we eat can impact how our skin looks, the same goes for what we put on our skin.

Just like with what we eat, it only makes sense to indulge. Trying to give up the foods we love is often a waste of time, because we’ll end up caving eventually. Once in a while, why not have a delicious gin and tonic, or pizza. But when I indulge, I try to do it with ingredients I know come from a good source, local distilled gin from Victoria Spirits, or lovely organic tomatoes in my pizza sauce, and the same applies to how we should treat our skin.

The funny thing about what we use in our soaps, creams and lip balms, is they are used in a lot of food products, and have beneficial qualities for our skin.

At this point everyone has olive oil on their counter top and uses it for everything from sautéing vegetables to salad dressings, and marinades, but it is also a popular ingredient in products like soaps and creams because of it’s moisturizing qualities, and replenishes and protects the skins moisture barrier.

For people with sensitive skin, what is in their soap and creams is important to consider. Like with olive oil, there are other natural products you can find in your kitchen cupboards even plain, old oatmeal. Now I’m not saying to plunge head first into your morning bowl of oatmeal, but products that use it provide a gentle exfoliant, and is a multi-purpose skin care aid to relieve dryness.

Even though we all look for soaps and creams that have positive affects on our skin, we also pick them for their fragrances. But we can pick products that are made with essential oils that give them a great smell, and have benefits.

                                                  

Sweet orange smells down right delicious, but it is also a great addition to bath products because of its acid content which helps gently dissolve grease and dirt build-up. It can also be beneficial for soothing dry irritated skin.

If you’re not into those citrusy smells, there are benefits in other essential oils that have more of a rich, woody, earthy scent, like Sandalwood, and some people think it has some aphrodisiac qualities. Sandalwood has long been used for dry skin irritations, itching and sensitivity.

The unknowns we find on the labels of what’s in our bathroom cabinets has led many people to look for some of the ingredients I’ve mentioned because of their tried and tested benefits, and because many of the ingredients we cook with are good for our skin, there are tons of recipes for face masks, scrubs and even DIY lip balms.

 

If you feel adventurous, try this recipe from Whole Living for DIY Oatmeal-Lavender Face Scrub:

1 cup ground oatmeal

½ cup dry lavender flowers

½ cup powdered milk (either whole or nonfat)

2 tsp cornmeal

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, massage into damp skin, rinse with warm water. (Scrub will keep for six months.)

Taking time

                                 

Sun creeps through the gaps in the curtains and I can feel them dance across my face, and I’m awoken to the exciting thought that it’s another new day. Morning is one of those magical parts of a day. It sets the scene for many of the events and moments that form our day. Excited puppy paws dance across the floor, as Haiku and Lulu know it’s time for them to start their morning too.

As they, and I, breathe the first breaths of morning air, I take it all in. The glowing green leaves as the sun touches them, and the blooms of new flowers waiting to burst. It’s so easy to get carried away in the work and tasks of the day, and to get distracted by the beauty, excitement and opportunities around us. We get caught up in emails, text messages, meetings and phone calls, and forget all the little things that create the magic in our day and keep us close to ourselves.

Weekends have become synonymous with rest, relaxation and renewal. They give us that time to breath deep and take time away from the chaos the week can bring.

As the day pulls me in different ways, I always try to step back and find the joy and happiness around me. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a challenge to fight back against the hamster wheel of life, but it’s the little things that bring me out of the constant movement, like the smiling faces of my dogs.

As the days of the week pass, these are a few of the little things I try to squeeze in to create a little me-time in another busy week:

  • While you’re rushing through the grocery store picking up lunch snacks, dinner ingredients and dog food, pick up those beautiful, bright tulips. Take the time to create that spot in the kitchen or dining room that brings light and makes you smile.
  • The smell of your house can change everything, like the comfort of bread baking, or fresh lavender. Lighting a beautifully scented candle not only creates beautiful soft lighting which helps calm and relax after a long day of meetings, but the smell can transport you away to a beautiful chair on a deck, with a glass of wine in your hand, over looking a lavender field slowly bowing in the wind.

                                                              

  • A day at the spa is on pretty much everyone’s list of ‘best ways to relax,’ but it’s not always easy to fit in to the schedule. But after the sun has set, and a quiet has come over the house, apply spa rules to your house, and close the laptop and turn off the iPhone. While you’re turning off your electronics try lighting some candles and turn off those lights. Find some of your favourite music (I’m a sucker for Motown classics or even some smooth miles Miles Davis,) and run a hot bath. I’ve gotten into the habit of having a few of those special bath products on hand for those relaxation evenings. Having those scents or products make that hour (or two) even more special.

When it comes down to it, just don’t forget you when you’re busy doing things for everything else. All it takes is doing the little things that make you happy, dancing in the kitchen, that special latte in the afternoon, or painting your nails.

And most importantly Monday is almost over, which means tomorrow is a new day full of new adventures.
April 14, 2014 by Tobias Lawrence