Beauty and Coconut Oil

Coconuts

I recently read a great article by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition that discussed 9 uses of coconut oil for to help solve your beauty problems.  I love this product so much. It makes cooking so much easier and is also a clever way to solve some typical cold weather issues we have with our skin and hair this time of year. Here is their list of 9 surprising beauty uses for coconut oil:

  1. Sugar Scrub
  2. Night Cream
  3. Body Moisturizer
  4.  Conditioner
  5. Mouthwash
  6. Make-up Remover
  7. Body Butter
  8. Shaving Cream
  9. Secure Fly-aways
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Gluten Intolerance – Are you affected and don’t even know it?

An estimated 15% of the US population is affected by gluten intolerance. 1 of every 133 has celiac disease, a disease with over 300 symptoms. 97% of those effected with celiac don’t even know they are. There are 0 drugs to treat celiac. The only way to treat this disease is to know what exactly you allow in your body.

Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

Coral Boutique: Elegant Coastal Themed Jewelry

Recently one of my best friends started an online business with one of her friends on Etsy – Coral Boutique. They specialize in beautifully hand crafted coastal themed jewelry made in the East coast of Canada – Nova Scotia. Take a look! Prices are reasonable and their work is amazing! I want everything!!

Below is a sneak peek of their jewelry:

On the Waterfront Earrings - Elegant Sterling Silver, Freshwater Pearl and Glass Earrings

On the Waterfront Earrings – Elegant Sterling Silver, Freshwater Pearl and Glass Earrings

Starlight Star Bright Necklace - Long and Delicate Sterling Silver Necklace with Cluster of Clear and Coral Crystal and a Silver Starfish

Starlight Star Bright Necklace – Long and Delicate Sterling Silver Necklace with Cluster of Clear and Coral Crystal and a Silver Starfish

Sea of Dreams Bracelet - Delicate Sterling Silver Bracelet with a Beautiful Turquoise Crystal Link

Sea of Dreams Bracelet – Delicate Sterling Silver Bracelet with a Beautiful Turquoise Crystal Link

Flip Flop Season Necklace -Sterling Silver Chain Necklace with Aqua Crystals and a Fuchsia Jade Briolette

Flip Flop Season Necklace -Sterling Silver Chain Necklace with Aqua Crystals and a Fuchsia Jade Briolette

Music feeds the soul.

Bahamas 2011A long time ago (2001) I went off to University and met a young lady who would quickly become a life long best friend of mine. She is from the Bahamas and has had a profound impact on my life and continues to be a part of my life even though we’re thousands of miles away. Until 2001 the only reggae I had ever heard was Bob Marley, whom I really love! Katie introduced me to the world of soca, dancehall and many other artist with similar style to Bob. Although I couldn’t ever master the soca dancing I had fun trying!

It was as though this music really made a big stamp on my soul. Till this day when I feel stressed out all I have to do is put my headphones on and put some reggae on and I instantly go into relaxation mode. Reggae reminds me of a ton of positive memories such as visiting Katie in the Bahamas, getting engaged in Bahamas, swimming in the warm ocean, and many fun reggae parties throughout University.

The older I get the more I realize how important it is to have those little things that can bring an instant smile to your face and truly make you happy from the inside and out. Today I was listening to Spotify and this new album was released under “what’s new”. It’s been on repeat all day in my house. I wanted to share it because it really is a beautiful riddim and all of the songs are lovely! Music really can affect my mood and feeds the soul. This is what reggae does for me.

Take a deep breath and release your stress.

Before I moved to California I was working in a fast paced industry and city. Life at times was overwhelming with a sense of feeling defeated by the grind. This stress manifested in more places than just my work life. My closest relationships started to fall a part around me. I felt like I was all alone. It wasn’t until a close friend of mine told me she needed to have a ‘break’ from me because I was too negative to be around, that I realized what I was doing to myself and the people around me. It was there and then that I began my journey to self recovery. I was the only one that could get myself out of a self-pity state of mind because I allowed myself to get into this situation in the first place. The first thing I decided to do was to only focus my energy on the people and things in my life that give me a real sense of peace, love and happiness. Anyone that was a negative influence in my life, I distanced myself from immediately. This was the beginning of something more powerful than what I realized at that moment.

Now that I am through those rough times I can look back on them and truly say that I am grateful for those struggles. I learned a lot about myself and the people around me. Today I am a stronger and happier person for those experiences. Real friends and family stuck by me and were open and honest with me. The close friend I mentioned before, that needed a break, gave me something more than she will ever realize that day. It was my ‘ah ha’ moment. For that I will always be grateful. We remain extremely close friends today.

As you read this, perhaps you are starting to relive some tough times you’ve experience in your life and what you did to cope with the stress. Or maybe you are going through something stressful now wondering, how I was able to turn my situation around. It’s a simple concept really….our thoughts manifest our reality. If we focus our energy on negative thoughts that is what our reality becomes. If our thoughts become more positive our reality will shift to be more positive. Our minds can be our most powerful tool or obstacle in life. It’s how we choose to use our mind that will make the difference in our life experiences.
(For more on this topic I suggest you read Deepak Chopra’s book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence as he goes into great detail about how our mind can help us create a more fulfilling life. However there are many other books written on this subject such as The Secret, The Power of Now etc.)

In addition to having a positive attitude I started reading about the physical and mental benefits of meditation and breathing and how to incorporate all 3 for a more balanced life (in additional to exercise and eating clean). Today I am still on a life long journey of self recovery but instead I like to call it self discovery. I have made a goal to learn more about different breathing techniques and to continue meditation this year so that I can enhance clarity in my thoughts, reduce stress and improve my energy. Personally I am not the type of person just to believe something ‘because’. I need proof that there is real benefit – scientifically – before I will invest my time and energy. Below is a short video that demonstrates how breathing can change your life positively both physically and mentally from a more scientific perspective. I’ve also listed some of the resources I’ve used in my readings.

Simple to make and delicious – Shrimp Ceviche

Wow it’s been a long time since my last post! Time flies when you’re having fun and living life.

Over the summer I learned how to make an amazingly tasty and simple shrimp ceviche dish. My brother’s girlfriend came to visit from San Diego and made us this delicious and refreshing dish for pool side eats. I’ve been meaning to share this recipe because it really is so simple and makes for a great snack or when you are entertaining.

Ingredients List

1 (1lb) Bag of Frozen Shrimp (already cooked)
1 Bunch of Cilantro
4 Tomatoes (more if you really like tomatoes)
1- 1 1/2 cucumbers
1 Med Onion (white or yellow, it doesn’t make a difference)
1 bunch of radishes (optional)
Lemons or limes (a bunch, it depends on what sizes they are & either one or both is fine. I used 2 – 3 each. It all depends on how much citrus you like)
Salt
Pepper
Avocado
Tostadas
Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS: Dice all the veggies & shrimp into little pieces, except for the avocado. The smaller the pieces the better. Once everything is diced up finely in the bowl add salt, pepper and squeeze the lemons/limes to taste. I encourage you to taste as you go. You may decide you want more cilantro, citrus or tomato etc. It’s best served chilled so cover and let it marinate in the natural flavours and juices for about 30 minutes to an hour. Once your ready to eat take your tostadas and scoop as much ceviche as you want onto it. Then apply slice avocado and hot sauce. Now you’re ready for a taste explosion! Sometimes I put the avocado on the bottom of the tostadas because it stays on easier.

If you are entertaining it may be easier to use the Tostitos Multigrain Scoops. They are a bit cleaner 😉

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.

My Excursion: Big Sur, Napa, Muir Woods and San Francisco!

I recently had a friend come to visit me which was a great excuse to do some more exploring within my new home. Below are a few shots from our little excursion:

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