5 Easy Ways to Eat Mindfully at Home

Health conscious gastronomes know the struggle of dodging daily temptations that sidetrack dietary goals. Listened to NPR this morning and gleaned some healthy habits from Cornell University’s Bryan Wansink, pioneer of behavioral nutrition. His research shows how consumers can shed pounds by being aware of “how much, where and why we are eating.”

Here some of his tips for mindful eating at home:

  1. Put your toaster away – households that keep the toasters on the counter are reported to have more cases of overweight members than households who store them out of site.
  2. Plate your food – serve pastas and breads on a plate and put them on your place setting rather than keeping them in serving dishes can help.
  3. Have single servings of prepared protein on hand – having proteins ready to eat decreases chances of overeating and carb binging.
  4. Keep your fruit front and center – keep fruits and prepared veggies at eye level in your fridge, rather than in the crisper. This increases your chances of making it your first choice.
  5. Unplug and have a seat – one of the biggest predictors of a family’s BMI is whether they eat at a table and if the TV is on when they eat. Making a plate and sitting at a table keeps you mindful about your portions and keeps you intentional.
  6. Eat a full plate – but decrease the size. If you eat on a standard sized plated, your  are more likely to overeat. Use a 9 – 10 inch plate and fill it up and you are less likely to overeat.

10 Simple Ways to Clear Acne

I’ve had people come up to me with looks of pity in the past to offer me advice on how to settle my pizza face skin. To be honest, I tried a few of them regardless of how ridiculous they sounded (I’ll write about my grape-only diet some other time.) The solutions for me came from research, actually following my doctor’s orders and a bit of trial and error.

1. Change your pillow cases
Pillow cases house dirt, oil and bacteria at a level you probably don’t want to think about. Though not everyone’s acne is triggered by this, those who are acne prone can benefit from changing out your pillow cases at least once a week.

2. Use benzoyl peroxide
Salicylic acid only did but so much for my skin, but introducing benzoyl peroxide into my evening regimen made a world of difference. It is the #1 acne bacteria fighter on the market right now. Dan Kern, founder of Acne.org lists the ingredient as a key component of his acne clearing system. Go for a 2.5% gel to begin, and once you are used to it increase to 5%.

3. Drink more water
Our bodies are 70 percent water and our skin is our largest elimination organ. Dehydration challenges your skins ability to remove toxins. Barring any medical conditions, your pee should be light yellow – drink up! I like to keep water in clear site throughout the day as a reminder to keep sipping.

4. Check your make up and product ingredient labels
Poor clogging and irritating ingredients can make or break a products ability to wreak havoc on acne-prone skin. Don’t buy the marketing hype that a “natural”, “herbal” or “mineral” product will make you glow, refer to my pore clogging ingredient article for a list of ingredients to look out for. 

5. Cleanse with oils
Though it seems counter-intuitive, cleansing your skin with oils can keep oil clogged pores clear. I won’t claim to understand the science behind it all, but I can say that since I replaced my evening Cerave wash with Bobbi Brown’s oil cleanser, my skin’s texture and frequency of breakouts has improved drastically. I was impresses with this video about oil cleansing

6. Use chemical peels
Peels can treat a myriad skin conditions. Check with your dermatologist for a peel that will work for your skin.

7. Discover any food allergies
Food sensitivities can be a stealthy cause of irritations. As your doctor if a food elimination diet could work for you. In addition to learning what can be breaking you out, you may also find out which kinds of foods make your system preforms best.

8. Keep you hair away from your face
This one is pretty straight forward. Hair products were not designed for skincare and often contain noncomedogenic ingredients. if you are wearing your hair down often, or if you have bangs, you might notice pimples around the perimeter of your face. Also, wearing hair near your face entices you to touch it, and transfer bacteria and product from your hands to your skin.

9. Do no-makeup days / weeks
As tempting as it is to cover blemishes with concealers and foundations when you go out, let your skin breath and unclog when you can for brighter skin in the future.

10. Wash your face every night + exfoliate once a week
Make this a routine, don’t be lazy.

Do you have any staples you would add to this list?

Natural DIY Teeth Whitening

charcaol bottle

Last week, my dentist complimented me on the whiteness of my teeth! This time last year, the same guy, wanted to sell me whitening treatments, and I didn’t blame him because I drink tons of tea and red wine.

I took to the internets and found a homemade charcoal remedy that seems keep my teeth bright.

This method is good for people who are sensitive to bleaching, whitestrips or prefer using natural products. You’ll find variations on how to use charcoal to whiten your teeth, but mine is really simple and does the trick for me.

Step One: break open a capsule of activated charcoal into your palm or on a napkin

charcoal pill

Step Two: wet your toothbrush or apply a small amount of toothpaste

Step Three: dip your brush into the charcoal to coat your brush

Step Four: Brush your teeth as normal (I redip a couple of times to use up all of the charcoal powder)

charcoal teeth

Lastly: Rinse until all charcoal residue is gone.



Note: Charcoal is messy, make sure you clear your sink and wear something you don’t mind splattering.







no fear

Fear – “rises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis.” – Wiki

One of my biggest fears in life is sharing what’s on my mind – as if somehow other people know what they are doing in life and they have the power of exposing me as a fraud.

Sounds silly as I write it out!

My ‘goto’ response: instead of asking for what I want and speaking my mind, I ask questions to put the ball back in other people’s court, or I avoid doing things that I don’t know how to do, or am afraid to do (paralysis.) The impact on me is that I don’t get to express myself and impact people.

10 things I have learned about fear:

  1. You are incredible and limitless
  2. Look to people who have had success in something you are scared to do. Study their habits and how they think.
  3. The number one regret of people on their deathbed is: ” I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  4. Your actions despite your fear, inspire others to be fearless!
  5. Nobody expects you to have all of the answers, be inspired to ask for partners in getting to your goals
  6. Do the things that you want to do, but are scared to do before you worry yourself out of doing it
  7. Faith conquers fear
  8. Taking action in the face of your fears makes you feel like a superhero – true story.
  9. When you listen to your gut and take action on those things that you know is your purpose, you become free of the things that make your life becomes more congruent
  10. Considering the bigger vision helps to push through your immediate fears

So here I am, despite my fear sharing myself with you guys, hoping my words were helpful.

Now tell me, what are you afraid of and what are you committed to doing about it?

Spice of Life Homemade Sugar Scrub


Dear January,
I love your beautiful snowy days and cozy sleepy weekends, but what you do to my skin is disrespectful. 
Today I took advantage of being snowed in and made this yummy sugar scrub.

– 4 inches of shredded ginger
– 1/2 cup avacado oil
– 1 cup grapeseed oil
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1 1/2 cup raw cane sugar (or white   granulated sugar
– 2 tbs pumpkin pie spice seasoning
– zest of 1 lemon

Heat the oils with the ginger to incorporate fragrance and let cool. In a separate bowl, mix brown and white sugar. Add oil, and remaining ingredients. Transfer mixure to an airtight container.
* shelf life one month.

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

In the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by the time they’re 10 years old. In this honest, raw talk, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, as she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn’t work, but is likely to do more harm than good. She suggests ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life, intuitively.