Breathe in, chill out and find time to relax.
Although it can be difficult to find time to unwind and relax the body and mind, we know it’s beneficial for our health and happiness.
We are sharing 7 scientifically proven facts of what actually happens when you do relax.
1. Reduces Muscle Tension and Chronic Pain
When you relax you help relieve muscle tension. It significantly relaxes the muscles and improves blood circulation all over the body. With improved
or increased blood flow, the muscles and brain get more oxygen from the blood because there is no clogging and no competition with other tissues. As a result, muscles can freely move and function.
2. Improving Concentration
Concentration essentials help to promote a calmer state of mind, enhances your focus, and decreases restlessness. The result? You’re better equipped to complete important tasks at your daily job. Now that you’re more relaxed, you’ll actually become more productive! That means more room for success in your life.
3. Improving Your mood
Improving your mood will change the way you view the world and making you see it in a positive light. Even simple walking can immediately improve your mood. Walking has been proven to be an excellent way to improve your mood – or in psychological terms gives a “positive effect”.
4. Boosts your Immune System
The immune system is your body’s natural defense system. It’s an intricate network of cells, tissues, and organs that band together to defend your body against invaders. Those invaders come with the potential to make us sick. Boosting your immune system helps you to become stronger and healthier.
5. Lowering your Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure puts a strain on your heart which increases all kinds of dangerous risks to your health. When you relax, your blood pressure lowers. This reduces risks of heart problems and stroke overall. Other great benefits of having lower blood pressure is that it can improve your vision and boost you kidney health! It’s amazing what happens when your body is relaxed. Remember, every organ is somehow connected!
6. Sleep Better at Night
There is no better feeling than waking up well rested. Adequate sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. When we are relaxed, it’s easier to fall asleep, which will reduce your stress levels further.
7. You Have More Energy
Stress instantly depletes your energy… in a BIG way. Reducing stress and increasing happiness helps us all live healthier, more fulfilled lives. You will find that 15-20 minutes of deep breathing will even help to increase your energy. when energy is increased you can achieve anything!
If you’re yet to discover the joy of bath fizzers, you’re in for a super sweet treat.
Our little sugar cubes of love, as we like to call them at Raw Sugar, are launching in a few days – and we are just BUBBLING with excitement.
Raw Sugar Cube Bath Fizzers in Pineapple + Macqui Berry + Coconut AND our classic combo of Raw Coconut + Mango, are about to hit the streets (and, er, your baths). Each infused with 12 essential oils and extracts for pure skin radiance, our bath fizzers are going to soak your skin in love.
So what exactly IS a bath fizzer, you ask? It’s a little square bomb that fizzes and releases oils, aromas and nutrients when you drop them into your bath.
The beauty of a fizzer lies in the fact that your body gets a wonderful cleanse without the manual scrubbing and slathering that goes on in the shower. But fizzers are also powerful for unwinding the mind and allowing your senses to indulge in a wondrous state of bathtime relaxation and pleasure.
And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. Here are 3 major reasons you need Raw Sugar’s brand new bath bombs in your life… pronto.
1. The chill factor
Picture this: the dim light of a candle, your favorite mellow tunes playing in the background, the intensely beautiful aromas of your bath fizzer, and your tired skin soaking in its detoxifying vitamins and brilliant blend of essential oils. Sounds like heaven right? That’s because it is. Nothing chills you out quite like a warm bath at home – and when you add the goodness of our bath fizzers to the scene, stuff gets pretty delightful pretty quick. Warning: you’ll want one every night. Don’t say we didn’t tell you.
2. They saturate your skin in goodness
Our bath fizzers aren’t like any ordinary bath fizzers. They’re crafted with natural ingredients that worship your skin and treat you like the goddess that, quite frankly, we know you are. With good stuff like Dead Sea Salt and Kaolin Clay working to detoxify your pores, and Lavender and Sea Kelp helping to purify – these little cubes of love are enriched with skin-loving magic, taken straight from mother nature. You’ll feel nourished, rejuvenated and renewed – and doesn’t that sound nice?
3. They’re FUN!
Bath time hasn’t been this playful since the days of rubber duckies and tot-sized sailboats. There’s something to be said about the simple pleasure of the pop, fizz, soak that comes with our little love cubes – and they definitely add a new level of excitement to Sunday nights at home. And that scent? It’s joyful enough to make you want to call your ex and ask him how his mom is doing. But don’t do that. Definitely don’t do that.
Now, what are you waiting for? Your bath is calling.
2017 was a big year.
Big election. Big results. Big protests and big backlash.
But instead of dwelling on the negative, let’s focus on the GOOD things that happened in the year preceding us. The triumphs and the glimpses of hope. The events that inspired us and shaped us. The moments that we’ll remember forever – and that we’ll use as arsenal to enter 2018 brighter, bolder and more uplifted than ever.
Here they are – the little things that happened throughout the year that will make a big positive impact on lives.
1. Strangers uniting to help others during Hurricane Harvey
In the darkest of times, during the devastating hurricane that hit Houston this year, we saw a beautiful display of humanity and comeradie among the people of Texas. Boat owners mobilized to save people in flooded houses, neighbours combined their strength to reach out to people stuck in cars, and an all-round feeling of good grace inspired us all.
2. Raw Sugar donated over 500,000 bars of soap to people in need
Not many people are aware that hygiene is a major world issue. In fact, 32% of people don’t have access to the resources needed to sustain a healthy level of hygiene – which can cause diseases and a myriad of health issues. So, to do our bit, we partnered with Direct Relief in July and handed out over 500,000 fresh bars of soap to people who needed them most. It was part of our Raw Sugar Initiative – something we plan to exercise even further in 2018. Watch this space.
3. Diversity at the Oscars
Are we the only ones who cheered the roof off when a list of well-overdue, well-deserved wins were handed out at the Oscars? We saw a kind of diversity we haven’t seen honored on our screens in a while – and it was beautiful.
4. Malala Yousafzai started college at Oxford
In one of the most inspiring turn-of-events situations to ever have happened, Malala started her studies at Oxford 5 years after being shot in the head by the Taliban for trying to go to school. After all the incredible things Malala has achieved in the past few years, this one might be the most important – as Oxford is the same school Benazir Bhutto attended, who went on to be the first female prime minister of Malala’s native Pakistan.
5. Villagers in India knitted sweaters to protect elephants from the cold
This year, elephants in India started sporting multi-colored sweaters after villagers banded together to hand-knit super-sized woollies for the animals to protect them from the near-freezing temperatures. These formerly-abused animals were living at a nearby conservation centre – and when staff warned that they might be in danger from the cold, women of the village wouldn’t hear of it. They produced warm, colorful garments to see the creatures through the winter – and give them another chance at life.
Are you feeling inspired by the positive events that were in 2017? Let’s all make a pact to be the change we wish to see in the world in 2018… and just watch the magic happen.
So you want to go vegan. You’ve heard about the ethical, environmental and health benefits the vegan lifestyle delivers and you want in. You’ve been planning it all year, but just haven’t quite gotten around to it. You reason that after the holidays and into the new year is the best time to make the transition – when the slate is clean and motivations are high.
But… how do you make the change, and make it successfully? Here are some useful tips and guidelines to ensure your transition to veganism is one that sticks.
Before anything else, make the effort to learn everything there is to know about veganism. This will really help you feel prepared and get you excited to embark on a positive life change. Read all about the benefits of the vegan lifestyle. Learn how to optimally nourish yourself on this diet so you won’t have any deficiencies. Start understanding ingredients lists and which ingredients are off-limits. All the insights will help you ease into a plant-based lifestyle with confidence and ease.
Add before you subtract.
Rather than just going cold turkey and eliminating all meat, dairy and eggs from your diet straight off the bat – start incorporating more vegan-friendly foods before you take anything out. That way, the transition will be smoother and won’t shock your body. Start adding more legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables, non-dairy milk (like almond, rice, or soy) and tofu into your diet. You can also start a collection of delicious vegan recipes you can get excited about making.
Leave the hardest till last.
What’s your favorite food ever? That one you think you’re gonna have a really, really hard time letting go? That one. Maybe it’s a creamy feta cheese, or your Sunday morning eggs on toast. Whatever it is, don’t cut it out straight away. Leave it until last. Phase it out in a slow, controlled manner – this could take weeks or even months. You’ll find that the less you have it, the less you’ll crave it.
Learn all the good substitutes.
Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the good stuff. Did you know that nutritional yeast flakes make a great substitute for parmesan cheese? Or that coconut yogurt tastes just as good (if not better) than dairy yogurt? Experiment with all these substitutes to find which ones you like best. Soon enough, you’ll be creating your own new plant-based versions of traditional favorite recipes.
Don’t lose sight of why.
When the going gets tough, it’s easy to be tempted into giving in. But, when you know exactly why you decided to be vegan and remind yourself of that, you can quickly reign the temptations in. This is why it really helps to know all the benefits of a plant-based diet and the positive effects it has on our health, environment, and humanity.
There’s no getting around it. The holiday season is full of spiced lattés, sticky-date puddings and a never-ending selection of sweet treats. And no matter how much you try to abstain from the decadence, sooner or later – you will give in.
But if, and when, all the butter, sugar and indulgence gets a bit too much – you can still satisfy your sweet tooth (and not ostracize yourself from society) with these super healthy dessert recipes. That’s right, we just used the words HEALTHY and DESSERT in the same sentence – and with good reason, because we scoured the internet and found a whole bunch of guilt-free deliciousness.
Here are out top 7… so eat, enjoy and be merry!
1. Chocolate chip kale cookies
One of our fav gals, Chocolate Covered Katie, has come up with this completely outrageous yet completely delicious chocolate-chip cookie recipe that, quite frankly, is so wrong it’s right. Using spelt flour instead of regular, and packed with leafy greens, these cookies help you get your daily veg intake while tasting like… well, cookies.
Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – we’re officially obsessed.
2. Samoa Bars
Have dietary restrictions? No worries. These scrumptious Samoa Bars by California’s own Bakerita are Gluten Free, Paleo, AND Vegan. You know what else they are? Utterly amazing.
With a caramel coconut filling, they’re so decadent it almost hurts. Oh and guess what, they’re packed with so much good stuff you can even have ‘em for breakfast. YEAH.
3. Strawberry Ice Cream
Making your own ice cream is one of those things that sounds really intimidating but actually isn’t. If you have a food processor, it’s as easy as 10 minutes and 4 ingredients. And with this recipe from Country Living, it’s only 70 calories per serving. Get on it.
4. Raw Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie Bars
Go weak in the knees for cheesecake? Don’t we all *sigh*. Love brownies? Us too. Packed with protein and healthy fats, these raspberry cheesecake brownie bars give you the best of both worlds – minus all the guilt. We’ll have five, please. Like right now.
5. Baked Peaches
Sometimes, the simplest things in life are the sweetest. Literally. These baked peaches taste so exceptional you won’t believe you’re just eating a piece of fruit. Add a spoonful of coconut yogurt to take it up a notch.
6. Pumpkin Pie
Who knew comfort food could be so nutritious? With a buttery, flaky crust and smooth, creamy filling – this is the ultimate crowd-pleasing dessert. A medley of delicious spices means that it fills your home with the most delicious scent while baking. Have yourself a slice… or three. We know we will be.
7. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Another great recipe from our girl at Amy’s Healthy Baking. If you’re a sucker for chewy cookies and cinnamon tastes, you’ll fall head over heels for these oatmeal cookies. They have the most wonderful texture and a beautifully light and warming flavor. Consider us converts.
The weekend presents the perfect opportunity to recharge your creative batteries and refill your well.
While the working week (traditional or not) is necessary to keep us engaged, motivated and stimulated – for many of us, the time between 5pm on Friday and 6am on Monday is where we fit in the things that bring us real pleasure. It’s also a good time to set up weekend rituals that drive us to lead a more purposeful everyday and make the week ahead run more smoothly.
By instilling just a few simple checkpoints into your weekend – you can set up for a more creative, focused, energetic and meaningful five days ahead.
Because a weekend well spent brings a week of content.
Load up on your weekly fruit and veg at the farmers’ market
By stocking up on your weekly groceries early on in the weekend, you’re immediately eliminating one thing you’ll have to think about during the week. And by hitting a fresh farmers market, what could be perceived as an arduous chore becomes an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Meet the makers. Talk to the farmers. Understanding where your food is coming from – and we promise, you’ll feel more inspired to get crafty with your meal plans and culinary creations throughout the week.
Go on an adventure to a new place
Whether your idea of an adventure is embarking on an epic hike up a mountain or taking a relaxed road trip to a secluded beach – exploring new terrain and reconnecting with nature is one of the best ways to reset your mind over the weekend.
Escaping the hustle of the city and tuning in to the sounds of the natural environment bring us back down to earth (pardon the pun), and in turn, makes us feel more balanced, gratified and content.
Make an energizing morning smoothie
Morning smoothies are a great way to feed the body a big dose of its daily vitamins in one quick go. Plus, they’re easy to make and can be prepared in less than 5 minutes. The beauty of inserting the morning smoothie ritual into your Sunday is that it’ll help you feel naturally energized and uplifted, and help ward off those dreaded #Sundayblues feels.
SUNDAY EARLY PM:
Journal your plan for the week
Pencilling in a strategic plan for the week ahead will help you gain traction and be better prepared for the next day. Because, if we’re honest – when that alarm goes off on Monday morning, many of us hit panic mode and scramble to get everything done at the very last minute before heading out the door.
Whether you’re mapping out your days, writing affirmations or creating intentions – taking a little of time to preview, consider and plan for the week will help you feel more structured, relaxed and dare we say it… excited for Monday.
SUNDAY LATE PM:
Draw a bath… and unwind
Bath time is your time to relax and put the hustle on hold. If you’re indeed blessed to live in a home that has a bath, it is a truly serene experience – and the perfect way to finish your weekend on a calm note. With the busyness and bustle of the working week, it can be hard to find the time to draw a bath between Mon-Fri – making Sunday evening your perfect window of opportunity. Plus, it’ll help ease your mind, soothe your soul, and allow you to rejuvenate and recharge in a meaningful way.
Grab a good book (or don’t!), play some chill tunes, sit back and leave the world behind. Monday will thank you for it.
Sounds glamorous, right? Not so much. But it is vital for glowing skin – because good skin health truly does begin in your gut.
Taking care of your gut means you’re getting right to the source. Cutting out the middleman, if you will. It’s efficiency at its very finest. Improving your gut health will help you simplify your skin care routine – and give you countless other health benefits, too. So where’s the skin-gut connection, you wonder?
Here’s a way of looking at it that might be a wee bit easier to digest. Think of your skin like a flower, and your gut like the soil. The soil requires the right nutrients and levels of good bacteria to allow the flower to blossom. So, for your skin to be healthy and radiant, your gut needs to be first.
Here’s a nifty little list of foods that love your guts:
Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and many other naturally fermented foods contain healthy amounts of probiotics. These probiotics give your gut the good bacteria it needs, and organic acids that allow you to maintain a healthy intestinal pH.
Recent studies have shown that almonds are incredible for gut health because they’re a prebiotic. Prebiotic’s are probiotic foods – ones that reach the colon undigested. They promote the growth of good bacteria in your large intestine – plus they’re packed with great dietary fibre!
3. NON-DAIRY YOGURT
Non-dairy yogurt is good for your skin for two reasons. The first is that it’s probiotic-rich, which means it loads your gut with good bacteria that will has a dynamic effect on your digestive system. The second is that it is, of course, free of dairy products – which are known to trigger acne and breakouts. None of that here, folks.
Kombucha is jam-packed with gut-loving nutrients such as amino acids, enzymes and vitamins. It also contains a variety of health promoting acids that include ascetic acid – known for its prowess in killing the bad bacteria that lives in our tummies, and gluconic acid – which assists in inhibiting body infections.
5. ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
In its raw and organic form, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) brims with raw enzymes and good bacteria that help work your digestive juices, help nutrients absorb, and monitor the growth of harmful yeast and bacteria in the belly.
BONUS TIP: you can also use ACV as a toner – simply dilute with two-parts water and voila!
Winter is SO GOOD for your skin… said literally no one ever. From dryness to flakiness and even scaliness – those few bitter and frosty months are no friend to your complexion. First you notice a dry patch on your chin, then your elbows start to get a little rougher, and then – before you know it, the skin on your hands is cracking in a desperate plea for help from this unsettling change in temperature.
But we believe cooler weather should be celebrated, not chastised. Think chunky, cozy sweaters, warm cinnamon and turmeric lattes, and nights in watching old Goldie Hawn movies by the fireplace. Heaven. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of good-to-know tips that’ll allow you to be be properly prepared for the frost and enjoy the best of the cold months flake-free and fabulous. Because, let it be said… winter is coming.
1. Don’t just moisturize… nourish.
Many people don’t know the difference between moisturizing and nourishing. But there is one. A big one. Nourishing means you get nutrients – you’re feeding your skin the good stuff, and your oil levels are being replenished. It’s richer and REALLY beneficial to dry skin.
Moisturizing, on the other hand, means that only your hydration levels are being addressed. So, to kill two birds with one stone and attend to both dry and dehydrated skin, use a nutrient-rich, thick body butter like Raw Sugar’s Raw Coconut + Mango or Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut butters – ColdPressed to lock in a bunch of skin-loving vitamins and minerals. Just what thirsty skin needs.
2. Take it easy in the shower.
When you feel the chill, fight the urge to have a hot ’n’ steamy shower. Hot showers strip your skin of its natural oil barrier, which helps keep the moisture in. To prevent this from happening, keep your shower warm, sure, but not hot. And don’t linger. A quick 5-10 minutes will ensure your skin isn’t being stripped of its natural oils (plus it’s good for the environment!). And try to work in your body butter straight out of the shower when your pores are soft and open.
3. Be gentle with your cleanser.
Cleansers can be harsh. They’re often packed with chemicals and fragrances that dry out your precious complexion. To avoid this, use a gentle and natural skin cleanser that works to hydrate your skin as well as clean it. Raw Sugar’s Reviving Facial Cleanser does the trick – it’s packed with vitamins, fruit extracts and all-round natural goodness.
4. Glove yourself.
Our poor, precious, hardworking hands are one of the first places on our body we notice dry skin. Care for your hands and prevent them from cracking by giving them protection in the form of gloves. Get a nice pair of thick, warm ones to wear outside when it’s cold – and make sure you use rubber gloves when doing the dishes or housework that involves dunking your hands in water. Trust us – your mitts will thank you for it.
5. Sleep with a humidifier.
It’s all well and good to keep your home warm and cozy with heating in the winter, but it means that much of the moisture in the air gets sucked out. And with dry air comes dry skin. Enter the humble humidifier. Humidifiers work wonders in replenishing the moisture of the air indoors and preventing parched skin. Keep one in your bedroom for a more regulated sleeping environment.
6. Shaving matters.
Put your hand up if you stop shaving your legs in winter. Ok, that rules out 90% of you – so the other 10% that keeps their pins silky and smooth even when they’re being hidden away by stockings and leggings, listen up. Shaving can irritate dry skin – and scrape away its natural oils. To care for your skin mid-shave, always use a proper shaving cream, oil or gel – and ensure that you’re shaving in the right direction, which is against the direction of the hair growth, for those wondering. A sharp razor is also essential as blunt ones just cause added irritation to your skin.
7. Be sun smart (even when it’s cold).
The sun is one of the major causes of dry and irritated skin. And make no mistake, just because it’s not sizzling out there doesn’t mean you’re not being hit with UV rays when you’re outdoors. Your body is probably safe with all the layers you’re wearing, but be sure to use an SPF 30 sun cream (year-round, that is) on your face in addition to your makeup and/or moisturizer. And to prevent chapped lips, keep them protected with an SPF 15 lip balm and reapply regularly