Archives for posts with tag: beauty

I started puttering around with DIY beauty one winter a few years ago when my dry skin had me burning through tubes of Eucerin cream every few weeks. It was getting pricey and I was becoming more conscious of what I put into (and on to) my body. Economics and curiosity combined to encourage me to explore alternatives.

My initial experiments yielded heavy, gritty, funky-smelling “body butters”. I have since played with a variety of ingredients. My favorite and most successful combination is a Shea butter/coconut oil/jojoba oil blend. I use 1:1 Shea and coconut oil, and a healthy squeeze or two of jojoba oil. Since natural Shea butter has an earthy, nutty smell that I’m not too keen about, I add 10 – 20 drops of my favorite essential oils.

The trick, for me, has been whipping the butter blend with a handheld mixer. After blending it on medium speed for a few minutes, the mixture starts to take on a light, fluffy consistency. As long as it’s stored somewhere cool, the fluffiness lasts and lasts!

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It also depends on the quality of ingredients. Right now I’m using Mountain Rose Herbs, and I’m pretty happy with the products.
I found a recipe for DIY deodorant not too long ago! I may give that a whirl one of these days soon.

With the holidays fast approaching, I’m doing what I can to eat as “clean” as humanly possible.  See, I realize the caloric onslaught will be unavoidable (technically, I could avoid it, but that’s not any fun), so I’m doing what I can to minimize the damage.  One of my stop-gap measures has been having a green smoothie for breakfast.  It’s cheap, it’s pretty quick, and by God it feels healthy going down.

I normally prepare my smoothie shortly before I leave for work, after my boyfriend has already left.  Last week though, I had to be in early so I was in the kitchen blending away when my boyfriend was leaving.  He peered at the blender, a look of unmasked disgust across his face.  I was happily shoving another handful of spinach into the frothy green concoction.

“You know,” he remarked, “this process usually takes place inside the body.  It’s called mastication and digestion.”

“You know,” I calmly replied, “this process (gesturing to my blender) usually takes place when you’re already at work, so I don’t have to hear commentary from the peanut gallery.”

Zing! Hee-hee!

There are a million different green smoothie recipes out there. Mine is the down and dirty, cheap as sh!t version.  I can’t always afford to buy organic produce, so I’ve pared this down to ingredients I can reliably find for a reasonable price.

Handful or two of spinach

If you have it, maybe a little kale although romaine is a little more palatable

Two apples, cored and chopped.

One banana, cut into pieces.

Extras: juice of half a lemon, a stalk of celery, a pear if I feel fancy.

I chuck these into my blender a bit at a time with a good amount of water, and blend the crap out of them until it’s like a green milkshake.

Then I drink it.  Allllll of it.  It tastes pretty good, in spite of my boyfriend’s snarky comments (he won’t even try it, so what does he know!). The trick is to really blend it well.  If you have a Vitamixer: USE IT, fancy-pants!

Let’s raise a glass of green goodness to our health, happiness, and ability to zip our jeansgreen without pliers and prayer come January!

Xoxo,

SY

I’m a new vegetarian, for the most part. In the past, I’ve gone back and forth and even experimented with going vegan. This time, I’m sticking to it. And to my surprise (and horror), it’s caused a bit of a problem.

When I first got back from India, my life almost instantly turned upside down. I went through a depressing breakup, and decided to take the opportunity to move back to Kentucky (a move I had been contemplating for a while). Needless to say, I was under a great deal of stress. So when I noticed my hair dropping at a higher-than-normal rate, I initially attributed it to stress and shrugged it off.

After I moved though, and got settled in, and my hair was STILL falling out at what was now an alarming rate, I did what any normal person would do: I freaked out. Majorly freaked out.

When I finally worked up the nerve to consult the Oracle of Google, I made a discovery that would make a seasoned vegetarian shake their head:  I hadn’t been taking any supplements, ergo hadn’t been getting enough nutrients! D’oh! 

I hastened to the nearest health food store and stocked up on supplements. I now take a B-Complex (for the B-12 I miss by not eating meat), a mineral (for the zinc and iron), a Biotin (supposed to be good for hair and nails!), and a Neem (this is an ayruvedic supplement that’s good for the skin) tablet every day. It will probably take a couple of weeks for all of it to kick in, but the important thing, psychologically anyway, is feeling like I’m taking control.

Laugh away, seasoned vegetarians! Also, if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment!

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Say hello to my little friends!

Inspirational image! Imagine a gong or some chanting or something to go with it!

The word “yogi”, that is. By no means am I actually a yogi. I can imagine my Indian teachers shaking their heads at the silly American throwing that word around willy-nilly. What I actually mean is closer to “The Skeptical Sadhak”, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Even “sadhak”, or spiritual seeker, would be a bit of a stretch. To trot out an old cliche, I think the best place to start is in the beginning:

I just spent two months in India studying yoga. I fulfilled a 15 year old dream of getting my 200 hour yoga teacher training certificate and am now ready to unleash myself upon the unsupecting denizens of the NYC yoga scene (if there is, in fact, a yoga “scene” – although, in NYC there are “scenes” for everyone from drag queens to young Republicans, so it’s a safe bet). I’m not really much of a “scene” kind of person, so this will be a bit of an adventure for me.

The purpose of this blog is to have a forum to explore the things that interest me, and share my findings with other people. In India, I learned a lot about holistic living that intrigued me. I also learned a lot about chakras, which I’m not convinced actually exist. I learned about ayuruvedic medicine, which fed into my slight obsession with natural beauty products. I also learned about yogis who can (allegedly!!) make their hearts stop through meditation.

I walked away from India with more questions than answers, and it’s my hope to get to the bottom of some of these, and to share what I learn on this site. I’m eager to get back to Brooklyn and get started! As my interests are quite broad (anything in the “natural health and fitness” category), and my appetite for new experiences never seems to be satisfied, this should be quite an interesting ride.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be joining my friend’s hoola hooping club (it’s for adults and I’m 99% sure there’s nothing pervy about it), looking for yoga teaching jobs, and conducting some mad scientist beauty experiments from my Brooklyn laboratory (read: home). And I’ll be posting about everything, so check back from time to time!

For now, namaste, y’all! I’m headed home!

-SY

12.7.12 Helsinki, Finland