Our bodies are amazing. They get us through our everyday lives, and we push them to their limits sometimes. Some of us push our bodies farther than we would care to admit. Depending on the job that we have and the lifestyle we lead, we can put our bodies through a lot. So how do you thank your body? How do you give back to the amazing vessel our souls are given to live this life in.
I do yoga. I try my very hardest to practice a little bit of yoga everyday, but let’s be honest sometimes you need to switch it up. I do however try to make sure that I am getting some exercise every single day. Our bodies work hard for us so we need to work hard for it, to ensure it gets everything it needs to be healthy and strong. This includes our minds, something that many of us forget about. (GUILTY) Yoga is not only fantastic for the strength and flexibility of our bodies, but also our mind. Our mental health is becoming more and more important in todays society, therefor it is crucial that we take time out of our day to say thank you to our bodies, and our minds, for getting us through the day.
Tone it Up
Katrina and Karina from Tone it Up not only have some of the best yoga routines but they are quick and highly effective. They help you strengthen and tone every part of your body, while centring your mind. Here is one of my favourite yoga routines from the Tone it Up ladies!
A lot of the times, I want a more rigorous workout so I lift weights or I do one of the other Tone it Up workouts. Tip: On the Tone it Up website they have a tab called the Daily Workout. Here, they tell exactly what workout to do giving you pictures or videos! Check it out here. Regardless of the workout, I try to do centre myself at the end, doing a small yoga sequence. I thank my body for all it does, and thank the universe for my many blessings.
In the wake of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale I have been thinking long and hard about some of my favourite clothing pieces in my closet. I have come to realize that some of my most worn items, or fav new items, are from reasonably affordable stores. Being a teacher, I strive to collect clothing that is fashion forward, trendy but professional and timeless. These are the pieces I am currently loving for summer moving into fall! All outfit details are linked and listed below and prices are in Canadian dollars. For reference, I am 5’3 and usually am an xs – small in tops and dresses and 2 (26) in denim.
This jumpsuit ($24.50) from a store called Ardene is an absolute staple in my closet right now. It is beyond comfortable and can be paired with almost anything! It is a great transition piece from summer to fall, and I cannot wait to wear this to teach come September. I bought this is an x-small and it is on sale right now BUY 1 GET 1 for 1$ (Whaaaatt.)
In this next outfit, I paired that same jumpsuit with a kimono ($18.50) also from Ardene. This kimono is so soft and light, perfect for summer and warm fall days. it is also BUY 1 GET 1 50% OFF right now!
THIS CARDIGAN THOUGH ($64.95)! It is the softest, most versatile additional clothing item I have recently collected, and comes in three colours. I purchased it from the GAP during a 40% off sale, and it goes so well with everything. It is the perfect item to add to a camisole, or on top of this off the shoulder floral top (next outfit).
This top ($34.40 BUY 1 GET 1 FOR $1), as mentioned in the above outfit, it so adorable. It is from Ardene (a reoccurring theme in this post) and is a really soft. With long bell sleeves, it is perfect for a cool summer night out, or a warm fall day! It is available online in a beautiful blush and orange colour! I paired it with these jeans from Dynamite, which I got on major sale (I love all of their jeans though)
Lace up sweaters are all the rage right now, and the trend is not going to end anytime soon. They can be pretty expensive at some stores, but I found this one at GAP for 40% off. It is a really nice knit sweater but isn’t at all itchy. It is super flattering and will cover your behind if you want to wear it with leggings!
I paired those flattering jeans from Dynamite with this tie-up bell sleeve sweater from the same store. I got this on sale for $8! You cannot beat that! These two items may not be in stores any longer, but check out the sale rack at Dynamite and you will definitely find some gems!
I have a different denim jacket that I love. It is a darker wash and slightly more fitted, but I spotted this one at H&M for $29.95 and knew I had to have it. It is the perfect amount of ‘slouchy’ to work with the over-sized trend!
Here is another jumpsuit that is just too perfect! This one has longer pant legs compared to the first outfit in this post, it is from H&M and it has pockets!
In this post I will be talking about the ways I modified my everyday life to be more natural and less invasive on my body! When I first started on this little endeavour I never realized the amount of products and things on the market that target people just like me. The mid twenties millennial, eco-loving, trend following, hippie. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a hippie, but I am definitely a self declared eco-advocate, open to trying new things if they are better for me and the environment.
I first realized the effects that harsh chemicals could have on our bodies when I was researching liver issues. I came to realize that our bodies rely heavily on our liver because it cleanses toxins from our bodies. This means that anything we put on our skin, in our mouths or bring into contact with our bodies, will eventually find its way to our liver. Its most crucial job is to take toxins out of our bodies (usually from our blood) and release clean blood back into our systems.
You sometimes hear people apologizing to their liver before consuming a large amount of alcohol. It is true, you should be apologizing to the organ that helps our bodies in so many ways! Our liver is where all the alcohol is removed from our blood, before it is ready to be discharged out of our bodies! What I never realized was how many times a day we should be apologizing to our livers, and our many other organs. Here are only a few of the daily occurrences where we are administering toxins into our bodies, and sometimes completely unaware of it (I know I was)
When we consume alcohol
When we take pain medications like ibuprofen
When we forget to wash our produce before we eat it
When we use cleaning products that are filled with harsh chemicals
When we use beauty product containing parabens and other harmful ingredients.
These are only some of the ways we are unknowingly causing our bodies undo harm and stress. These are also however, the five major things I changed/am working on changing to live a more natural life. We have already discussed alcohol so I won’t harp on about that any longer.
Taking pain medications like ibuprofen
I am the first one to admit that I do not like to feel any pain (who does), but I am starting to realize that their are other things I can do to relieve pain and discomfort. When I was slightly younger, I wouldn’t think twice about taking a Tylenol or Advil if I felt a headache coming on. Oh, and don’t even get me started on an upset stomach or nausea, no questions asked, I was taking Gravol or Pepto Bismol. Now I definitely think twice. What I wasn’t realizing is that after ingesting these things, they were going straight to my liver and probably causing damage.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: I am in no way advising that people should not take medication. If you need it, take It. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, absolutely nothing the oral surgeon didn’t prescribe was going to touch the pain I was in. The liver damage I am talking about is from taking small amounts of ibuprofen etc. for long amounts of time. Why not prevent these things from happening. I have found some great alternatives to these pain medications that truly do work, and I am so excited to share them.
These amazing natural oils are all the rage right now. If you haven’t already heard about them and all of their glory I am truly surprised. For the purpose of alleviating pain, I like to use them as topical treatments. Be sure to test a small amount on your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. I recommend mixing it with a ‘carrier oil’ like vegetable oil or coconut oil.
Tea tree oil on acne
Peppermint oil on the temples and back of the neck to alleviate stress and headaches.
Eucalyptus oil on the chest for colds and congestion
Lavender oil on the temples or sprayed(mixed with water) as a pillow mist to help with sleep.
After a couple trips to the health food store, and many discussions with the professionals there, I have found some great and highly effective ways of treating colds, and upset stomach.
Oregano oil with garlic is a great way to battle respiratory viruses and keep the immune system strong during the winter months. (Take in spurts of 1-2 weeks)
Deep immune is an elderberry based oil that works similarly to oregano oil, but works taken over long periods of time, to fortify your immune system. Since I am a teacher, deep immune and oregano oil are both staples in my medicine cabinet for me.
Goldenseal is amazing for stomach issues and stomach viruses. It works to alleviate bloating and other digestion issues, but will also help if you feel like you are coming down with the dreaded winter stomach bug.
Forgetting to wash our produce
The best way to avoid nasty germs left by other people touching your fruit and veggies, is to give it a good scrubbing before you eat it. I am not afraid to use a little bit of soap on them (or vinegar… make sure to rinse thoroughly) to get them nice and clean. We can also remove some of the pesticides used on the produce by cleaning them. This unfortunately doesn’t touch what has reached the interior of the food, but we do what we can without buying organic right?
Using harsh chemicals to clean
Ah… my favourite topic. I am open to any suggestions anyone might have about natural and effective cleaning products, I am always on the hunt. However, I have recently switched from harsh kitchen cleaner to the Method brand, and I’m true fan of the products. I have tried a variety of their cleaners and really like them all.
I also really love to use essential oils in my kitchen to clean and add a nice fragrance. After cleaning my sink I run hot water and add about 5-7 drops of essential oil. By adding it to the steaming water, it fills to the room with a nice smell. When I use peppermint oil, it moves throughout my whole lower level.
When it comes to the kitchen, I am afraid to use anything with too many chemicals. We prepare food and eat there! The bathroom on the other hand, gets the full power of bleach! I have yet to find anything that I feel works as well, but I am open to suggestions.
Using beauty products with parabens and other harmful ingredients.
I get it, not everyone believes that the things in our shampoo, body lotion and contact solution can be harmful to us in the long run. It is everyone’s personal choice, but my motto is “I would rather be safe than sorry!” There are so many different natural product lines out there it is insane! I have recently been enjoying the Abba line of haircare products and love them. Again, I am open to suggestions!
Going natural is a personal choice, and a choice that I believe can be taken in steps over time. Like I’ve mentioned, the repercussions of using non-natural products will take a toll on you, but likely in the far future if used over long periods of time. The same can be said about going natural. We may never see a difference on the inside of our bodies if we go natural early and continue in the future, but isn’t that the point? Prevent now and prosper later.