Eating organically can make you look and feel better. GMO’s and pesticides have built themselves quite a home in our food supply, and chronic illnesses have seen an increase in the years since. Going organic allows you make sure what you’re putting in is exactly what nature intended. Not to mention, most people think organic tastes better too.
So which fruits and veggies should you focus on when buying organic? The Environmental Working Group has a guide to the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15” which lists the fruits and vegetables most — and least impacted by chemicals.
For the biggest nutritional impact, cook your organic fruits and veggies less or better yet, eat them raw. The nutritional boost with leave you glowing from the inside out.
Try the two easy summer recipes below that require no cooking to beat the summer heat and get you glowing, organically.
The Dirty Dozen
The Clean 15
Frozen Sweet Peas
Summer Watermelon and Feta Salad with Cucumber and Mint: Serves 2
1/4 watermelon diced into bite-sized chunks
1/2 organic cucumber, diced into bite-sized chunks
2 ounces organic feta, crumbled
1 Tbsp. Organic extra virgin olive oil
4-5 fresh organic mint leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss the watermelon and cucumber together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Whisk olive oil, lime juice and black pepper, drizzle on top. Sprinkle the chopped mint leaves over the salad as a garnish.
Acai Morning Breakfast Bowl:
1 packet of frozen organic acai berry
2 heaping handfuls of organic spinach
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
dash of cinnamon
ice as needed to thicken
Simply add all ingredients into your Vitamix or high-speed blender until thick and creamy. The texture should be very thick, if too thick then add more almond or coconut milk.
If you stick a spoon into the mixture the mixture should be able to be thick enough to stay on the spoon, if not add ice or more frozen bananas. Eat right after making!
“Stop being so sensitive!”
Tips to keep sensitive skin refreshed this summer.
If your skin is angry, thirsty, irritated or just plain sensitive, there are things you can do to help it stay calm and cool this summer.
First, treat the products that go on your skin like food. Look for nourishing, replenishing and soothing ingredients like raw Coconut, Avocado, Banana oil and plant based Almond milk that will feed your skin with naturally restorative ingredients.
Be gentle. Pat don’t rub. Go easy on exfoliation and look for products without harsh chemicals. Gentle exfoliation using natural ingredients can help remove dead skin cells and freshen up your natural glow. Intense treatments containing glycolic or salicylic acids will likely exacerbate dry, flaky skin and cause even more irritation.
Cool or lukewarm water means happier skin. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils, can leave your skin feeling even dryer and may lead to acne flares and skin irritation. No thank you.
Hydrate from the inside out and the outside in. Drink more fluids in the summer months to compensate for the warmer weather and just after a shower or bath, moisturize with naturally rich body butters and lotions. Remember, your skin is the largest organ of your body and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it. What you put on your skin should be as pure as what you put in your mouth.
Lastly, love your skin, no matter how sensitive it is. Its yours. Give it grace, be kind and treat it well. <3
Listen to your gut!
7 ways to improve gut health and boost your immune system.
We’ve all heard the term “listen to your gut.” Well, turns out that’s not just about your intuition. Your gut has a strong connection to your brain and is one of the biggest factors in keeping you healthy.
The term “gut health” refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Maintaining the right balance is vital because they affect everything from your mood to your immune system.
So what can you do to balance your belly and improve your gut health? To start, there are some top line lifestyle changes you can make that with help alter the diversity and the number of microbes in your gut.
- Get more sleep. So you stayed up binge watching Younger til 2am? Not so good for your gut. Getting enough sleep benefits your gut just as much as it does your brain. Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your body will love the consistency.
- Avoid Stress. There it is again. The stress factor. Mental, physical and emotional stress lead to an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Cut stress by creating boundaries, making more time for self care and removing toxic relationships from your life.
- Take a probiotic and eat fermented foods. Probiotic supplements can help balance and increase the diversity of your gut flora and reduce gut inflammation. Do your homework to find out which one is best since all supplements are not created equal.
- Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. Antibiotics kill the bad germs but also kill the good bacteria. Avoid it if you can and try to boost your immune system by eating foods that work for your body.
- Go Veg. A vegetarian diet has been shown to improve gut health due to the high levels of prebiotic fiber it contains.
- Eat less sugar. We all now know sugar is the devil. For real. Eating processed sugar causes an imbalance in your gut and has scientifically been linked to inflammation and diseases from cancer to acne and diabetes.
- Avoid exposure to chemical cleaning products. There is evidence that chemical cleaning products can alter the biome in your gut. Remove toxic cleaning products from your house pronto.
Summer is the happiest time of year. The beach trips, the al fresco dining, the mango!
But all that fun has a price… and it usually falls on your hair. The salt water, chlorine, and rays can get our locks looking particularly frazzled during the sun’s reign – and not to mention the effect heated styling tools can have on your hair.
That’s why, sometimes, a simple shampoo-and-conditioner routine isn’t enough. When your hair is under extra stress, it needs extra love – and that’s where a hair mask comes in.
What exactly is the difference between conditioner and a hair mask, you ask?
A hair mask is simply more intense in its moisturizing prowess. Masks have increased levels of conditioning ingredients in them than regular conditioners, so they’re richer in nutrients and hydration.
And why exactly do you need one?
There are many reasons, but here are the most important ones:
Taking a few extra minutes in the shower with a hair mask will work wonders at moisturizing, nourishing and hydrating your strands. Raw Sugar’s Hair Masques are filled with potent natural oils and super ingredients that feed hair minerals and vitamins it needs to be restored back to hydration. Our Masques deeply penetrate, meaning your hair is healthy from the inside out.
Using a hair mask is a powerful way to restore and strengthen your hair. Aside from sun exposure, if you also color and bleach your locks, it might be in need of a little extra TLC. Raw Sugar’s Healing Power Hair Masque features Banana Oil, which is rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins – all working to help soften the hair and protect its hair natural elasticity, preventing it from breaking.
Ever wondered why, at a certain point, your hair just seems to stop growing? It’s because for most of us, our hair has an end point – and it simply refuses to grow past it. So what happens when we try to force our hair past its breaking point is that it starts to fall out rather than growing – which doesn’t really give us our desired results. However, the more you work at strengthening your strands, the longer your hair will grow before splitting. So if you’re willing your locks to just grow, our Hair Masques will help get you there. They go straight into the roots for a deep, intense conditioning treatment – meaning your hair will gradually get stronger and grow longer.
Smoothes and Shines
Sick of dull-looking strands? A mask is just might have the juice your hair is thirsty for. Unlike just your ordinary conditioner, our Hair Masques work their way deep into the hair cuticle – rather than just working the surface. Their bucket-loads of hair-saving vitamins and nutrients deeply nourish hair – and restore lustre, softness and shine.
So if you want to love your hair back to life, choose between our Healing Power Hair Masque (Avocado + Banana Oil + Coconut Milk + Agave) and All That Shines Hair Masque (Grapefruit + Kale + Lemon + Orange Peel Oil) for a solution that sticks. And remember, use your mask twice a week for best results. Wishing you many good hair days ahead!
It’s sweet, it’s bright, and it’s your favorite summer fruit. You guessed it, we’re talkin’ mangoes.
Not only are they our go-to smoothie ingredient of choice, mangoes are also fabulously nutritious for the skin. A rich source of vitamins and minerals, mangoes play an important part in producing collagen to firm the complexion.
Its pulp, extracts, butter and even skins are so full of natural goodness, they can take your skin from zero to hero real quick. Here’s how:
It can prevent breakouts
Mango is rich in Vitamin A – which has been proven to reduce oil production on the skin. So, if regular acne keeps showing up on your face like an unwelcome visitor, mango can help. Pssst – it’s also great at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, too!
Did you know mango is brightening magic? It works to perk up and brighten your complexion – leaving your skin feeling and looking younger, bouncier and more alive. Since it’s jam-packed with antioxidants, mangoes works to promote collagen production which increases skin elasticity and firmness. Its Vitamin A properties also help with giving your skin a head-turning glow.
It can ease inflammation
If you ever suffer from rosacea or other kinds of inflammatory conditions, mango can help with that. Mangiferin, which is found in mango’s seeds, skin and kernels acts as a potent antioxidant, which calms and soothes inflammation.
It promotes collagen
Because it’s brimming with Vitamins A and C, mangoes produce collagen proteins. Collagen proteins are the connections to amino acids that build the body’s connective tissue, and they help skin look full, youthful and radiant.
It protects against premature aging
Rich in a special property called phytochemicals, mango acts as a barrier from free radicals that have the potential to damage skin cells and bring on premature aging. They’re also moisturizing, so they get an A+ in making skin appear youthful.
It reduces dark spots
Finding it hard to get rid of sunspots, or have hyperpigmentation that just won’t go away? Mango skins hold special extracts that can help to reduce dark spots and even out the skin tone.
It removes dead skin cells
Dead skin cells be gone! Mango has alpha hydroxy acids which are known for their effectiveness in chemical exfoliation, removing dull, dry, flaky skin to reveal the fresh, bright, soft skin that’s underneath.
With all that, it’s safe to say mango is a total superfruit for the skin – which is why at Raw Sugar, we use it in so many of our skin-loving products. Check them out here.
When thinking about lifestyle changes that can benefit your health, most people think physical health – they think exercising more and eating less.
What we often neglect to pay attention to is what we can do for our mental health.
While we’re big believers in the notion that physical and mental wellbeing are intrinsically linked, we also know that people aren’t doing enough to take care of their minds as well as their bodies. In fact, studies have shown that one in four people are affected by any number of mental disorders – yet, almost half of them say that they don’t know what kinds of treatment and prevention exist.
It’s time to broaden the conversation about mental health, and spread the word on what we call all do, every day, for a better state of mind.
With that, we’ve found 10 of the most powerful lifestyle changes you can make for better mental health:
Don’t eat less, eat better
You are what you eat – in both body and mind. Research has found that our diets have a great influence on our mental wellbeing, for better or worse. According to this study, adding more fruits and veggies into your diet will help you feel more optimistic, happy and resilient. Time to hit the farmers market!
Prioritize your sleep
Not getting enough sleep has been linked to inducing the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. No matter how busy you are, make sleep your priority – commit to getting 7-8 hours every night and make your routine consistent throughout the week.
Find Ways to Bust Stress
Stress is a major aggravator of mental health issues, but unfortunately – it’s pretty hard to avoid. When life gets a little crazy, it’s good to have a coping mechanism to turn to that will keep you centered. Adopting a meditation routine can work to reduce stress and improve your mental resilience.
Exercise shouldn’t just be something you do to stay fit – it should also be something you do to stay happy. Physical activity has been labeled a ‘magic drug’ for people dealing with symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the best part is – it can take as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day for you to start reaping the benefits.
We spend so much time staring at our screens, we barely have a moment to look up and see the beauty all around us. When you feel yourself getting a bit too attached to your phone or computer, separate yourself from it and take time to reflect, think and plan for your future. Appreciate the nature, and the people, around you – you’ll feel a hundred times better for it.
Been skipping breaky? You might want to reconsider. Eating a nutritious breakfast that includes protein and healthy fats can have major benefits on your mood. A study has shown that people who eat breakfast in the mornings have fewer depressive symptoms. Avocado and egg on toast, anyone?
One thing many of the healthiest people in the world possess? A strong sense of community. Giving back to your community forces you out of your head and into putting your energy towards something really positive. This can be super effective in reducing stress and enhancing your outlook.
When you start your journey of embarking on these changes, it’s ok to start small – you can always build on these habits later. Good mental health means enjoying what you’re doing, so choose techniques that feel good for you. That way, you’ll be able to make more long-term changes that nurture your mental wellbeing.
Falling behind in your self care? Read on & you will see that the solution is right above you! Literally!
Having a solid self-care routine is crucial in maintaining your wellbeing. Taking time out of your otherwise hectic day to cater to you is not a luxury, it’s a daily necessity.
Here’s the thing…developing a long-term self-care routine doesn’t have to be complicated – it just has to be personal. To create a routine that truly works for you, why not look to the stars? Every sign in the zodiac has different desires, so each one will benefit from different rituals.
And thus, we bring you: the perfect self-care routine for your zodiac sign.
Our Aries sisters are full of energy, have a competitive streak and have trouble staying still. Because they find it hard to relax and slow down, Aries’ perfect self-care activity is going for a run – it’ll help release all that energy and clear that full-to-the-brim mind.
Ah, the stubborn sign. Aside from their world-famous determination, Taureans are a sensual sign – so they truly enjoy a good ol’ pamper sesh. After a long day’s work, they would really benefit from indulging in a long skincare routine – face, body, hair, you name it.
Because of their adventurous and inquisitive nature, Geminis love trying new things. A high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class is perfect because of the variety and fast-pace it offers – not to mention the endorphins it releases!
Cancer is the ultimate homebody. The little pleasures in life are the ones that they love the most, so their perfect form of self-care is cooking a delicious, hearty meal from scratch (oh, and eating it too).
The fire sign, Leo is hardworking, extroverted, and a born leader – and all that can take it out of a Leo. Because of how much energy they give the world every day, their self-care routine can simply revolve around making time for a well-earned short nap.
Virgos love organization over everything else. Because they love gathering their thoughts, Virgos should try to take time to make a list every morning and night – a list of daily goals, feelings, affirmations… and the list goes on.
Librans need balance – it’s part of their core make-up. That’s why yoga is one of the best things they can do for themselves to create equilibrium in their bodies and minds, and to get out of their heads and into their breathing.
This sign is often a little guarded, and can have trouble expressing their emotions. To prevent bottling up, Scorpios should take an hour once or twice a week to talk things out. It could be to a professional, or to a trusted family member or friend.
If there was ever a sign that really wasn’t able to sit still, it’s Sagittarius. These souls are always on the go – seeking thrills and making plans. Because they struggle with looking inward, meditation is the perfect form of self-care for them – because they might just need to be left alone with their own thoughts for once. It’ll be a challenge, so it’s lucky Sags’ love one.
Perhaps the most ambitious sign, Capricorns will stop at nothing to achieve what they set out to do. So sometimes they need some time to step away and regroup. An outdoor hike is the perfect way to ‘get away’ while also feeling like they’ve accomplished something.
The “water bearer” of the star signs, the best way for an Aquarius to relax and restore is with a long bath at the end of the day. Adding some Epsom salts or mineral salts to the equation will take this rejuvenation time to the next level – clearing energy fields and relaxing the entire body.
Different star signs rule different body parts, and Pisces rules the feet – so going for regular pedicures is an indulgence Pisces will love. When an in-salon treatment isn’t an option, this sign can DIY and give themselves (and their tootsies) a foot massage with lovely lotions or butters.
And that’s a wrap. So now, no matter what your sign, you have no excuse to skip the self-care – the stars simply won’t allow it.
Hydrating and moisturizing, they’re two in the same, no?
No. No no no no no. There’s a difference.
We hate to be dramatic, but assuming hydration and moisture are the same thing is a big skincare booboo – albeit a very common one. While both properties are vital in giving skin much-needed nourishment, knowing the difference will help you know which to choose when targeting your skin’s specific needs.
So if the two are, in fact, different – what is the distinction between the moisturizing and hydrating descriptors you see on products while walking down the beauty aisle?
For starters, each serves its own unique purpose for your skin. Hydrators work to alleviate dehydrated skin, while moisturizers help the effects of dry skin. What they both do is make sure the skin is getting all the water it needs to take on dryness and dehydration, premature aging and environmental damage. But the difference is in how they go about the process.
Moisturizers: For skin that needs a little help, moisturizers work to lock in moisture and eliminate dryness. Our skin has a natural lipid barrier which defends it from damage and water loss. If you notice your skin feels dry or flaky, then it might not be producing enough lipid cells on its own. Enter moisturizer.
Hydrators: Hydrators are usually made up of humectants, whose job is to catch moisture that’s in the air and feed it through the layers of your skin. A humectant can attract water from its surroundings through absorption – they take it from the air and absorb it into the skin, promoting hydration. So if skin is dehydrated, it needs hydration. Dry skin of the other hand, needs moisturization.
How to identify which one you need???
This is basically about identifying whether your skin is dehydrated or dry – or both.
Signs of dry skin are easy to spot. It may feel rough, scaly or flaky – and if this is the case, a good pump of moisturizer (on the regular) goes a long way in restoring smoothness and plumpness.
On the other hand, if what you’re dealing with is a generally dull complexion, fine lines, and premature wrinkles – your skin is probably dehydrated. This means its cells are thirsty, so they tend to shrivel up – just like a raisin does in the sun. In this case, a hydrator is key in restoring water levels in the skin.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Sometimes your skin is suffering from both lack of moisture and hydration – in which case, both moisturizers and hydrators can be used together in an effective way.
And remember, no matter what, drinking lots of water is a non-negotiable when it comes to well-hydrated, radiant, glowing skin.
Imagine a world where any goal you had was achievable. Imagine a situation where your wildest dreams could come true. Imagine being able to change your life for the better.
The truth is, you can do it all – you just need to change your mindset.
Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, is behind the ‘growth mindset’ movement. A growth mindset basically means holding the belief that you can grow; that your potential is unknown and will never be something you can foresee.
Essentially, nurturing a growth mindset empowers us to start living the way we want to by eliminating the limitations we put on ourselves.
A fixed mindset, on the other hand, is the belief that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are just givens – that we can’t change them in any way. But a growth mindset is the complete opposite – it loves a challenge and believes anything is possible.
The best part is, instilling a growth mindset isn’t just an exercise for children. You can cultivate a growth mindset at any point in your life. Here are a few simple ways.
- Get to know your imperfections
The only way to overcome your weaknesses is to embrace them.
- Learn to love challenges
If something seems too hard, don’t dismiss it – take it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Experiment with different ways to learn
Everyone learns differently so don’t ever get disheartened – keep trying new techniques.
- See every failure as a learning
Failure is good. When you make a mistake or don’t achieve a goal, know that it’s a lesson learned.
- It’s about the journey
Keep your mind on the learning process, not the finish line.
- Celebrate your growth
Share your progress with others – it’s encouraging and rewarding.
- Reward actions, not traits
Don’t label yourself or anything as ’smart’ or ‘capable’, label actions like this instead.
- Achievement is about hard work
Talent alone won’t get you very far, but hard work will.
- See the positive in criticism
Don’t get defensive if you’re criticised – try to listen and see it as an opportunity to grow.
Take time to reflect on your growth every day.
- Take risks
If you’re too embarrassed to take risks in front of others, you’ll get trapped. Make mistakes openly and gain confidence in risk-taking.
- Own your attitude
Own your growth mindset – acknowledge it, share it, follow it.
- Use the word “yet”
You haven’t done that… yet.
So now, all there’s left to do is grow. Start cultivating your growth mindset and watch your whole perspective start to shift – for the better.