Monday, August 17, 2009

Reading Labels

In order to become more conscious of the things I put on my skin (which quickly get absorbed into my bloodstream!) I have started reading labels very carefully.

A general rule of thumb is to find a label with words you recognize and know rather than products listing a lot of mysterious chemicals. But, this is not always so easy to do. I love the guide that Body & Soul provides. Be sure to read the second page which features some great ingredients. Get familiar with the scientific ingredients so that you can recognize the beneficial products without being scared off by their name.

A more comprehensive cheatsheet is provided by Gorgeously Green. This cheatsheet includes all of the "bad stuff" listed on the Body & Soul article. I think the most useful thing to do is print out the cheatsheet and on the same sheet, jot down the good ingredients that Body & Soul lists. Carry this list with you when shopping for beauty products.


Gorgeously Green

This weekend I bought Gorgeously Green and devoured the entire book over the weekend. I frantically underlined and took notes, I researched products online and bought a bunch of stuff. This book is a great read and I highly recommend it!

My absolute favorite section was the chapter on beauty products. Sophie lists products she likes, ingredients to avoid, and things to make at home. This chapter is going to make shopping for eco-friendly beauty products much easier for me. I've been having a tough time researching on my own and this is exactly what I needed.

The other sections in her book, which are all extremely useful include earth-friendly workouts, products for the home, diet, shopping, and lifestyle tips.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Five Tibetan Rites

This week, my yoga instructor had us practice the Five Tibetan Rites as a warm up to our class. I really felt inspired by the movements and my body felt wonderful. I often lack the spiritual aspect of the practice and I was really pleased to find a sequence that I felt inspired by in a way that exceeded my physical practice.

Our instructor explained that this sequence is meant to balance out all of the chakras in our body. This sequence is supposed to greatly impact the endocrine system (hormones and aging) as well as many other physical and spiritual components.

This is a great sequence for beginners because all of the movements (rites) are pretty basic, but they get more challenging to do as you increase the repetitions.

I think this printable guide does a great job explaining The Five Tibetan Rites and illustrating all of the movements as well as alternatives for each rite. I'm sure there are plenty of videos available online for those that would like to see the rites carried out before attempting them.

The first day that our class tried the rites, we were told to begin doing each rite about five times. So we all started with Rite #1 which involves spinning. We spun slowly, five times, although anyone who began feeling dizzy was encouraged to stop earlier. Then we progressed to Rite #2, which we did the same number of times that we did Rite #1 (so it was about 5 times for most of the class). Carry on doing all of the rites, try maintaining the same number of repetitions for each rite. You can gradually increase the number of each repetition (but try to keep it equal for all the rites) as you become more experienced with the movements.

My second experience with the Tibetan Rites was today, in my power yoga class where we did more repetitions. I ended up doing 21 repetitions of each rite. We were encouraged to stop at 21 because anything above that is going into the excess and is no longer a benefit. I felt that 21 was a perfect number. I really felt it throughout my body and as I started to break a sweat, I felt my body ridding of negative energy

To read more about the tibetan rites click here and here.

Image from eHow


Friday, July 24, 2009

Homemade Salad Dressing

Homemade salad dressing is quick and really simple to make. There is absolutely no reason to buy bottled dressing when you can make a variety of fresh dressings in less than a minute!

Search online for vinaigrette recipes or whatever kind of dressings you like (I will post some of my favorites in the future). Or create your own version. Simply use the ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (or lemon juice). Add some flavorings such as herbs, spices, garlic, or dijon mustart to give it more taste. I like to put everything into a mason jar and shake it up before pouring over a fresh salad.

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