Tag Archives: taking care of ourselves

Beauty and our Beast

beastWe are our own worst critics. We notice every little line on our face, every pound we gain or lose, remember every time we said something stupid, or didn’t say anything when we should have, worry about what the neighbors will think, who will see the house if it’s a mess… when it comes to judging ourselves, we have ice in our veins. And why? Fear’s ugly face comes to mind.

When we peel back the layers we will usually find the underlying motivator beneath our nasty critiques is that we are afraid we are not enough. That in some way we won’t measure up to expectations swirling around “out there”, or, heaven forbid, we are too over-the-top to fit in. There’s this bizarre notion that we’ve fallen for hook, line, and sinker, that we must conform in order to be worth anything. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for taking care of ourselves, feeling great, doing what we love. But that’s just it: it’s the why behind it all that matters. Do we live our lives fearful that someone might discover who we really are and all our hard work to get somewhere and mean something is gone down the drain? What makes who we really are so bad anyway?

Everybody is trying to make their mark on this world. Everybody has a purpose. And everybody has choices. We can choose to embrace who we are and our God-given purpose, and flourish despite our many mistakes, our upbringing, our social or economic status, our scars and our sins, or we can live a farce. Pretending to be someone we’re not in order to please God-knows-who. It’s definitely not Him, and it’s definitely not ourselves.

Life is short. We all know that. And there truly is joy to be found in amongst the pain, sadness, hardships, and other junk we get bombarded with. One of the ways we find that joy is by dropping the facade, and firing the imposter, the beast. Be true to you. Be happy, healthy, and beautiful while operating in who you were created to be. In doing that you will discover how much you truly are worth.

Oodles.

Written with love,

Sheavaun

Why the Desperate, Frustration-Driven Approach to Clear Skin Does Not Work

angryFighting with problem skin is a frustrating thing, especially as an adult. There’s a misconception that acne or breakout skin is only a problem for the adolescent going through puberty, when most of us know that that is not at all the case. It’s maddening, it’s embarrassing if we’re willing to be honest, and it’s often not getting any better.

I know many people who feel like they’ve tried everything out there for their skin. Been to dermatologists, ordered online, tried over the counter stuff… and still frustrated with no lasting results. Desperate for a cure, there is usually no in-depth contemplation about what all the quick-fixes are doing to their skin, they just want it to clear up. Here’s the thing: did you know that the skin is our body’s largest organ? It absorbs what is put onto it into our bloodstream, and whatever we used can be traced to our vital organs in under a minute. So, my point is if it is that sensitive in this regard, what else don’t we realize? Our body is a complex, wonderfully woven masterpiece that works together in ways we possibly had no idea of.

Most of the products that are available in the marketplace are full of harsh chemicals that wreak havoc on our system, and leave behind traces of itself. So when trying something new that claims to be pure, safe, and/or beneficial for their skin, they are horrified when their skin breaks out anew, and immediately ditch it. The problem with this approach is that our bodies don’t respond in a microwave fashion like everything else we’ve become so used to in our society. We’ve got to understand that all the years of toxic, harsh chemicals have left their calling card, and must be dealt with and removed. So it will take a week or two for that initial flare-up to settle down. Then there will also be the deeply-stuffed impurities within our pores that must be drawn out and banished as well. It can take time. Which is why you need to be assured that what you are using is truly a good choice: pure, safe, as well as beneficial.

The other thing most people ignore is diet. For some reason, a large portion of doctors and even dermatologists out there don’t think what we eat has any bearing on how our skin behaves. I would like to call that out.  Virtually everyone in my life has complained about how their skin responded after a chocolate-eating frenzy, or pizza indulgence. My nineteen-year old daughter has figured out all on her own that her skin despises processed foods, so she does her best to stay away from them. Eating plenty of leafy greens, beneficial oils, practicing oil pulling, and keeping our insides as healthy as possible is the goal. Our largest organ responds directly to what we take in our mouths just as much as what we put onto it.

So be aware of what you eat, and what you put on. Your body loves to be pampered with healthy, whole ingredients both in your food, as well as your products. Take care of it, and it will reward you.

Do You Have to Be Young To Be Beautiful?

beauty2There’s a bombardment from, well, everywhere, of anti-aging do’s & don’t & must-haves and I for one have been guilty of falling into the trap they inevitably pound us into: that our youth is the most important and the most beautiful stage of our lives, so we’d better do what we can to either keep up the facade that we still have it, or try to get it back. Not only is that an immense amount of pressure, but it can be expensive! We see actresses that we’ve watched over the years hit some magic number where they decide it’s time to mess with nature and have a ‘procedure’. And we can tell!

We ooohh and aaahh at babies and toddlers, exclaiming at how adorable they are, knowing full well they will grow into another stage of cuteness, and another after that. We don’t put a stop sign on children’s aging, so why do we put one on ourselves as adults? There is beauty in every stage of life. Just as the nurture and care of children changes as they grow, so must our nurture and care for ourselves continue to grow, and yes, continue to be embraced.

63 modelBeauty is far more than just a set of numbers, like the size of our jeans, how many miles we can run, or our age. It goes beyond the surface like our skin or the color of our hair, or the absence of cottage cheese on our thighs. It is seen in the quality of our smile, the wisdom in our choices, the care we take of what we’ve been blessed with. Beauty is mysterious, it quickens our senses, it captivates us. It is deep and abiding, and it is a gift.

So, rather than focusing on desperately trying to hold onto a stage that is ready to move on, let’s celebrate the stage we are in now. Let’s appreciate and nurture our bodies and our souls as they are, treating them to health and life, wholesome food and products , proud of how far we’ve come, and confident that we are becoming all we are meant to be.

Be happy. Be healthy. Be beautiful. Be you. Absolutely.

Written with love,

Sheavaun

Be-You-tiful Skin

skincarepicWe All Want Beautiful Skin,

            No Matter What Our Age.

“Ok,” you say, “so how do I know what to use?” Good question. The fact is we need to be just as careful in what we put onto our skin as we do what we put into our mouths. We know that the skin is a very active organ that responds to many different factors, including harmful ingredients.

The key is to look at the ingredients list on your beauty products just like you do your food. Be aware that what you’re putting on your skin can affect your health as well as your looks. Using beneficial oils like unrefined extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil with shea butter are good natural choices for moisturizing, though I’m not a huge fan of how ‘slippery’ I feel when using them.

If you haven’t been looking at the ingredients list on your beauty products as keenly as you do your cereal boxes, I strongly encourage you to do so. Taking care of our skin is just as important as taking care of what we put into our bodies.

Pure_web arbonne logo

Finding a company that prides itself on not using harmful ingredients or testing on animals is important. Arbonne skin care products fit into this category because they are:

  • Botanically based
  • Vegan certified
  • Never tested on animals
  • Formulated without animal products or animal by-products
  • Formulated without mineral oil
  • Formulated without dyes
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Allergy tested
  • Clinically tested
  • pH correct
  • USFDA compliant
  • Health Canada compliant
  • European Parliament and Council Regulation compliant
  • Australia NICNAS and TGA compliant

To learn more about Arbonne and their absolutely sumptuous products, just click here.

I’d love to talk with you, so please fill out the contact form below so I can get back to you right away. And don’t forget to hop over to my Facebook  page and leave me a message there too if you’d like. Can’t wait!

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Be happy, be healthy, be beautiful, be you. Absolutely.

Sheavaun

 

 

 

Motor Oil in My Toothpaste?

Pure_web arbonne logoMost of us are fairly conscious of what kind of food we eat, and are aware of how certain kinds affect us beyond just weight gain. Yet how much thought do we put into what goes on our largest organ: our skin?

Did you know that most cosmetics, shampoo, body lotion, laundry detergents & softeners, furniture polish, pesticides, toothpaste, fertilizers, city water, plastic containers and even some foods contain deadly ingredients? Think I’m a nut-job trying to stir the pot? According to a Cancer Prevention Coalition Press Release on June 17, 2002: Cancer and health risk experts just concluded reviews that indicate mainstream cosmetics and personal hygiene products pose the highest cancer risk exposures to the general public, higher than smoking.” Say what? In a 1989 government hearing, a House sub-committee called for the analysis of nearly 3,000 chemicals used in cosmetics after cosmetologists complained of headaches, loss of balance, memory loss, asthma, nervous system damage and respiratory damage. What’d they find? (Ugh!) After the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) studied 2,983 ingredients, they found 884 to be toxic. Of the 884:

  •  314 could cause biological mutation
  •  218 could cause reproductive problems
  •  778 could cause acute toxicity
  •  cancer tumors by 146
  •  skin & eye irritation by 376 (Debra Lynn Dadd, Home Safe Home, p 167-168)

So what’s the problem? Most products are made from petrochemical derivatives of nonrenewable crude oil, and it’s what these petrochemicals do to the nervous system and hormones that is the problem.

“Neurotoxins are so called because they are toxic to your nervous system. The core of your nervous system is your brain, which not only affects thinking and feeling but regulates every system in your body. When your nervous system is damaged, your entire body can be affected,” said Debra Lynn Dadd an internationally-recognized consumer advocate specializing in identifying products that are safe and environmentally responsible.

Feel older than you are? Are you experiencing any of these side-effects? — fatigue, skin irritation, personality changes, vision damage, destruction of the immune system, memory loss, headaches, sexual dysfunction, hormone problems, sleep disturbances, disease, nausea, vomiting, muscle dysfunction, aches and pains.

Here’s the thing: some of the toxins derived from petrochemicals can act as mutagens when found in sufficient amounts, meaning they can change the genetic coding in cells. Other ingredients may not be harmful all by themselves, but when combined with other ingredients we take in, they can be dangerous. Many come of these neurotoxins come from the same petrochemicals that cause cancer. Sound like I’m just trying to scare you?

Well, we know that many medications are applied to the skin to ensure they get working quickly, rather than just being injected. It takes approximately 26 seconds after exposure to chemicals for them to be found in every organ of the body. Too bad that we haven’t been given the heads-up about the stuff we slather on every single day… Many lotions and cosmetics have a mineral-oil base, which, of course, is a petrochemical. Mineral oil molecules are too large to penetrate the water after a spill in the ocean so they stay on the surface, creating a barrier. Same thing on human skin. Mineral oil blocks all nutrients that might be in a product, and offers no nutritional value in return. Actually, it draws nutrients away. There is no such thing as a good mineral oil, either. The human body simply does not know what to do with it.

Here’s another disgusting tidbit for you: dead animals that need to be disposed of are sent to a rendering plant. Bones, blood, hoofs, horns, heads, intestines are all dumped into huge grinders, mixed together and steam-cooked. Mmmmm… Then the fatty substance that floats to the top is scraped off and used to make lipstick and other cosmetics, lubricants, waxes and soaps.

So why is this stuff available for public consumption? Because the FDA isn’t required to test cosmetics for safety before being sold. They can only remove a product form the market after they’ve had enough complaints and then evidence to warrant it’s removal. Many cosmetics have drug-like effects, yet go unregulated and untested. Until the day the FDA moves fast enough to protect us from these neurotoxins, we as the consumer must fend for ourselves. Get educated! Know what the harmful ingredients are, and look for them on ingredient labels. More importantly, find a company you can trust who only uses safe ingredients. A reliable company can save you hours of checking and even studying, because you can buy from it without worrying about what it uses in it’s products.

You want a company that chooses to go beyond FDA regulations. Choose a company with a philosophy of health, based on all-natural, botanical principles. That won’t use mineral oils, petroleum-derived products, paraffin wax, soluble alcohol, lanolin, phthalates, collagen and elastin of high-molecular weight or animal products.

I personally use and recommend Arbonne products. If you would like to learn more bout this company who has been around for over 30 years, and whose motto has been “pure, safe, and beneficial” for all that time, then stay tuned as I continue to share about it’s products with you.

Feel free to check out my Arbonne website: www.awonderfulyou.myarbonne.com and let me know if I can help you make some decisions.

With love,

Sheavaun

 

 

 

The Need For Speed, Or Something Like It

coffeeThe alarm goes off, but we turn over after hitting snooze for the 4th time. Eventually, not exactly hitting the ground running, we smell the coffee and blindly navigate our way to the kitchen to hopefully get a semblance of energy into our systems. We have a need for speed, or something like it… Scarfing something that resembles food from a box, or grabbing a bagel or muffin on the way to work, we break for lunch (maybe), then around 2 or 3 find our butts dragging so low that we need to find something quick or we’ll never make it til the end of the day. By suppertime we indulge in a meal that makes up for the day we just had, and if we’re lucky we’ll score a glass of wine to help ourselves relax before bed.

Sound familiar? We’re tired, so we look for a quick fix in an energy drink, caffeine, or ‘food’ to help us go just a bit longer til we can flop into bed and start all over again tomorrow. Well… what if we began to satisfy more than just the immediate cravings for energy? What if we began to treat our bodies like the incredible, complex and wonderful machines they are, and give them what they need rather than what we think we want?

images-1We are made of the stuff we eat and absorb. Common sense and scientific research both lead us to the conclusion that if we want healthy bodies, we must put in the right raw materials: real, whole, local, fresh, unadulterated, unprocessed, chemical-free, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free food.

Our food supply lacks the vitamins and minerals we need for optimal health due to poor farming practices that leach the soil of nutrients and involve using toxic chemicals as pesticides, and storage practices that lessen the nutrient value of our foods.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman , author of Give Yourself a Biologic Tune-Up, that’s why 92 percent of Americans are deficient in one or more essential vitamins and minerals. That doesn’t mean that they are below where they need to be for optimal function; that means that they are below the minimum necessary to prevent deficiency diseases like scurvy and rickets!

Most people don’t understand the role of vitamins. They run every part of your biochemistry. They are the raw ingredients that make your body function. Without them, we get sick, — and most of us aren’t getting enough! We are made of the stuff we eat. Thousands of people have been tested for nutrient deficiencies and most are deficient in many vitamins and minerals. By correcting these deficiencies, people feel better, their symptoms improve, and many even make dramatic recoveries almost overnight.

To acquire the vitamins and minerals you need, you usually have to take the following every day:

  • Multivitamin with minerals
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Probiotics
  • Omega-3 fats
  • Vitamin B complex

By eating real foods and taking your daily supplements, you will provide your body with the raw ingredients it needs to function at it’s best.

Be your best,

Sheavaun

The Art of Being Healthy

images-3Did you groan when you read the title, or was that just me? If I’m to be completely honest, the concept of living healthy can seem overwhelming when working full-time, raising kids, balancing and juggling all the details of life.. the drive-thru is so much easier on crazy days, and that work-out doesn’t always get done like I planned. Maybe I’m the only one out there that struggles with it. Maybe not, either. The problem is that a large number of us don’t take responsibility for our physical well-being until we are presented with a problem, which is unfortunate.

Let me ask you something:

  • Do you know how you feel?
  • Do you know your body, and how it reacts to certain foods or your environment?
  • Do you follow what the latest trend or guru has put in front of you and hope for the best? Or do you just eat and do whatever you feel like and roll with the punches, whatever they may be?

Here’s why I think those are valid questions: I have noticed that there are pockets of people who have completely taken over the welfare of their bodies due to an illness or disease (including obesity), typically resulting in a complete overhaul and subsequent change in outcome. ie: they get better.

The quirky thing to me is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution that they’ve embraced. For example, one may have gone completely vegan, and another paleo, yet they are each thriving. My little brain wants to find the common denominator and lay it down so I can have the ultimate in answers and never have to wonder again. My guess is it may not be quite so hard-and-fast as I’d like, though. What it appears to comes down to is that they discovered what works for them as an individual and ran with it. They learned to listen to their bodies and made the necessary adjustments to serve it well. Maybe it was food allergies they dealt with, or an emotional attachment to unhealthy foods,  maybe a thyroid issue, maybe cancer, maybe MS… but it was something personal. And they took ownership of it.

A recent analysis of weight loss research by The New England Journal of Medicine, entitled Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity had some very interesting things to say regarding our excuses for not setting high goals and making drastic changes. Hmmm…

We are all very unique, complex individuals and I have no business saying that we all should adhere to a particular regime or plan when it comes to getting and remaining healthy. That said, there are some fairly basic rules-of-thumb regarding healthy-living , and I think we should call them out:

  1. Get as close to the original real-deal stuff as possible. Meaning organic, home-grown, grass-fed, let it out of the freakin’ cage kind of thing. The less toxic, the more natural, the better you will feel and perform. It’s the way you were created to thrive.
  2. Take a closer look at grains and how you respond to them. (Going gluten-free won’t necessarily solve a gut problem, so nix it all together for a bit and then slowly add it back in and see how you feel.) Make sure they are complex/whole grains. Not white flour products like store-bought pasta and muffins…
  3. My vegan friends will tell you to do the same with meat. The issue in both of these instances is inflammation. Personally I can’t do white flour or other simple starches or I swell up. Nice, eh? People with arthritis, or gut issues have gone one way or the other and noticed significant results after a few months. Interesting.
  4. Scrap the sugar! And aspartame. Try Stevia, or agave nectar. They won’t spike your insulin the same, and don’t have the same poisonous effects on your system.
  5. Omega 3’s. You need ’em, but probably don’t get enough of them. Essential for a healthy heart, brain, and immune system. Fish-derived omega-3’s are not your only option either. Flax seed is a good source, as well as algae oil (which, interestingly enough, is the primary source of omega-3’s for coldwater fish).
  6. Eat your breakfast. In the vast weight registry of people who lost more than 70 lbs and kept it off, the common denominators were simply eating breakfast and exercise.
  7. More fruits and veggies. The more of these you eat, the less junk you’ll be apt to take in, while helping create health by providing your body with tools it needs. By the way, this is the only thing that all nutrition experts will agree on. We need to eat more fruit and vegetables for our health!
  8. Move that bod! Get your tush off the couch, and do something. Go for a 30 min walk, take your kids to the park and play with them this time, or maybe actually take the dog for a walk instead of just letting it off the leash to run around on it’s own. You were designed to move. You don’t have to sign up for the marathon next week. Just move! Everyday.

Being healthy is a state of mind just as much as a state of being. Yesterday I touched on contentment, and if you haven’t dealt with some core issues first, your body will respond in kind. You are a complex being.

How you think affects how you feel.

How you feel can affect how you think, so be careful.

Take stock of why and what you eat, and how much.

Take care of yourself. I believe you can!

 Let me know what your biggest successes and failures are regarding taking control of your health. 

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