RAW THOUGHTS

Everything you need to know about gratitude journaling

We’ve all heard how grateful thinking can shift our mindset, but keeping a daily gratitude journal has actually been scientifically proven to have huge benefits.  Why is writing a few words of thanks so powerful? In a nutshell, writing in a gratitude journal forces us to pay attention to the good things in life we might otherwise take for granted. In that way, we start to become more attuned to the everyday sources of pleasure around us — and the emotional tone of our life can shift in profound ways.

 

In Ariana Huffington’s book Thrive, she writes that “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.” But that’s not all. Here are some other meaningful ways gratitude journaling has been proven to help. Take a look and get out your pen to start journaling, because this is powerfully good stuff.  

 

    • Lowers Stress Levels 
    • Helps you gain a new perspective of what is important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life.
    • By noting what you are grateful for, you gain clarity on what you want to have more of in your life, and what you can cut from your life. Having that vision is the first step to achieving the reality of it.  
    • Helps you focus on what really matters.
    • It helps you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware.
    • When you make your gratitude journal a safe zone, for your eyes only, you can write anything you feel without judgment. 
    • It Increases Positivity – When you take the time to focus on the good things in your life you naturally become more positive.
    • It improves self-esteem – Keeping a journal is a very personal activity and allows you to be present with your own achievements.
    • It helps you sleep better – Spending just 15 minutes before bed writing down a few grateful sentiments can help you have a much better night’s sleep.
    • Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist has shown that negative thoughts actually change the brain chemistry and structure. Gratitude causes your brqin to release neurotransmitters and neurohormones that will boost mood, focus, clear thinking and activates a flow of quantum energy through the brain and body, enhancing both mental and physical health. 
    • It makes you happier – Showing gratitude means you are acknowledging the goodness in your life and by writing these things down you are able to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, and build stronger relationships.

 

  • On days when you feel blue, read back through your gratitude journal to readjust your attitude and remember that you have great people and things in your life.

 

 

Our Raw Sugar Living Daily Ritual

You only need to do a cursory google search on daily rituals to get some really interesting ways successful people structure their day and stick to a set of rituals — or habits — that ground them and give their day structure. Daily rituals can be anything you do on the regular, from mindset to self care practices. Benjamin Franklin started his day day with the question “What good shall I do this day?”. There are serious dry-brushing devotees, but here at Raw Sugar Living, we have our own little routines that help us face the day feeling beautiful, refreshed and good-to-go.  

 

Generally we like to wake up before the sun so we have a sense of peace and a little extra time to nurture our bodies. And before we hit the shower, have warm water with some lemon or tea and spend 10 minutes deep breathing and or doing gentle stretching to wake up our bodies. 

 

Shower. Here’s where the good stuff comes in.  

—We start the shower with whatever our favorite smelling Body Wash is for that day. We keep a few in the shower so we can match our mood to our scent. The Cold Pressed essential oils and botanicals in our products turn the shower into an aromatherapy and mood lifting experience. Our current go-to is the new White Grapefruit + Rosemary scent for days when we want that spa-like, uplifting and fresh feel. 

— Use a Sugar Scrub to exfoliate. Especially now when skin is dry from winter weather. It gives our skin a smooth, refreshed look and leaves the most velvety veil of moisture on our skin so it has that dewy glow to it.  

— We keep a lip scrub in the shower to exfoliate our lips too.  

— Detox the hair. Our new Scalp Therapy collection helps us remove all the junk thats accumulated on our scalp, like product build-up and pollution residue that hinders the growth of long, strong hair. The activated charcoal and tea tree extracts, lift that out, leaving our hair and scalp super clean and totally revived without stripping it of the essential oils we need for shine and vibrancy.  

— Out of the shower we moisturize. Hydration is a biggie with us. Both internally and externally. Right now with the weather, we’re all about Body Butter to make us feel extra moisturized and protected against the lack of moisture in the air.  

— Hands get a little extra love and attention with our Micro Algae Hand Cream, made with a progressive blend of Algae, Sea Kelp and Ashwaganda Root extracts plus skin plumping hyaluronic acids and nourishing plant peptides for an anti-aging and skin softening boost. 

 

—Before we head out the door, and all throughout the day, we swipe on our current favorite flavor of Natural Lip Balm, like the yummy Raw Coconut + Mango to soften, soothe and protect our lips with their 95% organic formula.  

 

Our daily ritual gives us the confidence of a totally clean body, a beautifully fresh smell and feel and revived spirit to take on our day.  

Ingredient Spotlight: Cucumber

We love them in our water and our sushi rolls, but cucumbers are so much more than a refreshing bite. They have so many beauty benefits, i.e, the standard cool cucumbers placed over our eyes as a post-late night remedy for puffy eyes. They have the ability to de-puff, cool, soothe and nourish our skin… but there’s more! Cucumber extract contains enzymes, vitamins and minerals essential for strong cell growth and repair. They can help revitalize skin. Here are just a few more benefits of cucumber as an ingredient in your favorite self-care products.

Cucumbers have a high water content and are a natural moisturizer.

They soothe skin. The cooling effect soothes dry, inflamed and even sunburned skin.

Cucumber extracts reduce inflammation and help protect skin from oxidative stress.

The peel contains natural silica that helps firm sagging skin.

Cucumbers contain phytochemicals that help in the production of collagen, so it helps boost skin elasticity and youthfulness.

The Benefits of Maqui Berry

If you have zero idea what a Maqui Berry is, you are not alone. Maqui Berries are the newest discovery in the superfood family. They are indigenous bright purple, wild berries of Chile, mainly harvested by native Indians and used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes.  But the discovery of Maqui berries to the world at large is a newer phenomenon and the impact is huge.   

 

Consider this.  Acai berries contain ten times more antioxidant vitamins than grapes, and twice as many as blueberries. The Maqui berry is reported to have an antioxidant level 4 to 30 times higher than the average Acai berry, basically making it the most superior of all the superfoods.  

 

Maqui Berries have amazing healthy and nutritional benefits, but they’re also a super food for your skin.  For starters, the high levels of potent antioxidants have a profound effect on skin in their ability to help fight free radicals that cause premature aging. Free radicals can cause DNA damage and lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Not only does the Maqui Berry help prevent that, but nourishes skin, providing a more radiant and youthful complexion. It also helps repair damaged proteins to protect and promote skin elasticity.  

All this makes you understand why our Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut line has become a fan favorite and we just introduced the new Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut Body Wash. The benefits are big and the scent is amazing. Try it here.

Affordable Self-Care

Spa days, massages, facial treatments and expensive, trending beauty products are all part of magical self care rituals, but self care doesn’t have to be a splurge to have meaning and be effective. In fact, the best kind of self care are often the consistent things we can do from home, any day of the week and where cost isn’t a factor.

We’ve curated a list of some of the best low cost or no-cost self care ideas. Plan something just for you, every day and the benefits of loving and caring for yourself will keep growing. You deserve this.

•Meditation or breathing exercises for 10 minutes after waking. This will help center you, set your intentions and set the tone for your entire day. Even better if you think of 3 things you’re grateful for while you’re at it.

•Take a bath. Baths are so restorative both physically and mentally. Add some of our incredibly affordable Bath Fizzes, Foaming Bath or detoxifying Unfiltered Salt Soak for a special treat. The plant-derived ingredients nourish your skin while the scents uplift your spirits and refresh your soul.

•Deep condition your hair. How often do you use a masque on your hair? Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes before you shower and use a face mask along with a hair masque to deep condition and restore your hair’s life and shine. Good hair days are pure confidence.

•Unplug. Turning off the phone for a period of time every day will quickly become addictive. At first, you may have a minor freak out, but when you see the world does not end when you unplug, you’ll come to relish the time unattached to responding and reacting.
•Eat intentionally. Is the food you put in your mouth caring for your body or is it a craving? Choose to cook yourself a warm, delicious meal instead of reaching for the craving that may or may not be an emotional reaction. Your eating will become more and more conscious every time you thoughtfully choose what to put in your body. Weekly meal prepping is also a great way to show yourself some serious love.
•Stargaze. Wrap yourself up in a blanket or jacket and go out at night and watch the stars. Dream. Imagine. Wonder. Just be.

•Be in nature. Go for a walk, sit in the grass and look at flowers growing. Hug a tree, even. Nature is the soul’s most inspiring friend.

•Wash with an uplifting scent. All our products are formulated to fill your senses with touch, texture and scent. An uplifting scent that fills your shower and makes you take a deep breath of something beautiful is such a boost to your day. Smelling good and facing the world clean is the ultimate self-care and confidence boost.

•Buy yourself flowers or pick them wild. Don’t wait for someone else to bring them. Be your own secret admirer.

 

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Guide to Plant Based Diets

 

You’ve heard the Vegan buzz.  There are plant based “burgers” in your supermarket meat aisle and major fast food chains are beefing up their veg options.  So if you’re thinking about a plant based diet, here’s just a glimpse into what that means and why you may want to try it.  

 

There are a lot of reasons to go plant based.  Overall better health and energy, avoiding chronic illness, helping the environment and maintaining a healthy weight are all by-products of following a whole food plant based diet.  GREAT reasons to give it a try. But make sure you follow a WHOLE FOOD plant based diet and don’t get into the trap of thinking French Fries, vegan donuts and pastas (both plant based) are going to give you better health.  

  

When you focus on whole foods that means basing your diet on natural foods that aren’t heavily processed.  Plant based means foods that come from plants, and don’t include animal ingredients such as meat, milk and dairy products in general.   

 

Here’s a quick rundown on the basic types of foods you can eat on a whole food, plant based diet: 

 

Vegetables: Every kind of vegetable is encouraged with the exception of white potatoes as the mainstay of your diet.  Let’s be real. If we thought we could get by on mashed potatoes or fries, we’d all do it.  

 

Fruits:  Every type of fruit is allowed.  

 

Tubers: Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, etc.  All good! 

 

Whole grains: grains, quinoa, brown rice, millet, whole wheat, whole oats, barley, buckwheat, etc. are part of a plant based diet but in conjunction with other whole foods like vegetables and legumes or you’ll find yourself in an unbalanced,  major carb-overload situation. 

 

Legumes:  Beans of any kind, plus lentils are a great source of protein.  

 

Other Misc:  Tempeh, Tofu, seeds and nuts are all allowed.  Keep in mind, nuts are really high in calories, so keep nuts, nut based milks and butters as a snack or addition to meals instead of a mainstay if you have weight issues.  

 

Another good idea, and something practiced by vegan athletes, is to supplement with a good quality protein supplement once a day, especially if you want to build muscle.  

If you’re ready to look into plant based further, some great resources can be found online at ForksOverKnives.com , health.harvard.edu  and NerdFitness.com

Solo Date Night Ideas.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha 

 

The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. So if you find yourself single this Valentine’s Day, embrace it and use the opportunity to connect with yourself on a totally new level. Focus on the positive aspects of flying solo. Find the beauty in solitude. Be brave. Treat yourself. Be completely selfish and enjoy the gift of having time just for you.  

 

Here are some great ways to show yourself some love on a date night for one.  

 

  • Have a self-care day. Walk in nature. Take a bath. Meditate. Cook for yourself. Take one full day to just care for you with special products that make you smell good and feel good, music that lights your soul and food that nourishes you. 

 

  • Take a new exercise class. Sign up for yoga, dance, pilates or a new cycling class. Try something different and embrace the challenge of moving in new ways.   

 

  • Find a fun workshop, special event or take a cooking class. Trying new things and meeting new people may light a spark that lasts much longer than a day.   

 

  • Get inspired. See art. Go to the theater. See a movie. Art inspires creative thinking and reminds you that we live in a big, beautiful world.  

 

  • Movie Marathon: Snuggle up. Make popcorn, pick a couple of the Oscar contenders and watch the ones you missed.  

 

  • Book a spa day. Getting a massage or a facial will do wonders for your soul. Hang out. Steam. Order a glass of champagne. You deserve it.  

 

  • Do something kind for someone else. Plan to do something special for a neighbor or co-worker. Bake something sweet for friends.  Just showing some love to others is honoring your best self.  

 

  • Sight see in your own town. Make a day of seeing all the sights in your own town you never get a chance to see. Book a table at the hottest restaurant. Take your camera with you for the full tourist vibes.  

 

  • Give your bedroom a refresh. Why not spend a day making your room a prettier place to be? Buy some new bedding or pillows for the bed. An update in an instant uplift.  

 

  • Table for one. Be brave. Eating alone can often feel awkward, but if you really embrace it, make an event out of it and savor it, it can be an incredibly powerful experience.  

 

  • Buy yourself flowers. Your favorites. Bunches of them. You know what you like.  

 

  • Give yourself a mini-makeover. Buy a new dress, go to the makeup counter for new spring colors and then go out for a cocktail at the swankiest bar in town.  

 

Whatever you do, remember, time alone can be empowering in your quest for the ultimate love affair — the one you have with yourself. Enjoy it.  

 

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Valentines Day Gift Guide

 Give some Sugar. Give some Love. 

 

Raw Sugar is a gift of love. To your partner, your Galentines and to yourself.  Here are some of our best gift ideas no matter who you’re sweet on. 

 

Man Love: Raw Men Body Washes and Bar Soaps come in the most amazing scents.  Pick your favorite and let him know how sexy he is when he smells good! Bonus, try a His/Hers Gift Exchange and let him pick out a new body wash for you too.  

 

Pure Romance: Create the ultimate romantic bath basket with a Sugar Scrub, Body Butter and Foaming Bath. Then light some candles, grab some champagne and enjoy a foaming bath for you — or for two.  

 

Keep Things Fresh: Give our brand new White Grapefruit + Rosemary scent in Body Wash and Hand Wash. It’s brand new and will keep the love and vibes alive.  

 

Fizzy Love: Our Bath Fizzers make bath time fun, fresh and relaxing. The bright colors and scents are mind boosters and body refreshers.  

 

Gift of Time: Put a bow on our brand new dry shampoos and you’re giving a free pass for days of great hair with no washing.  

 

Hair Detox: Create a beautiful gift box full of our new Scalp Restore collection. It’s a detox for a healthy scalp and full bodied beauty.  

 

Remember, whenever you buy any product, Raw Sugar donates a bar of soap to a family in need. Let’s spread the love. 

Raw Sugar, Recycled and Repurposed

Tips on reusing your Raw Sugar packaging. 

 

Using eco-friendly packaging is key to helping the environment but if you want to take your love for Mother Nature one step further, why not think about recycling and repurposing your Raw Sugar packaging?  It’s a great way to eliminate waste, cut down on plastic purchases and keep your home tidy and organized while you’re at it. 

 

Here are some room by room ideas on how you can put your used Raw Sugar Body Butter and Sugar Scrub containers to use. 

 

Kitchen:  

Use them to plant and grow small herbs for cooking.

Wrap them in burlap, tie a ribbon around it and plant succulents 

Keep loose pens and pencils contained. 

Wash containers and use for holding nuts, dried fruits or candy for the kids. 

Bathroom: 

Contain hair bands 

Toothbrushes and toothpaste holder 

Make up brush holder 

 

Office/Kids room: 

Pen and pencil holder

Paper clip holder 

Kids crayons or other art supplies such as paint brushes or pens and pencils 

 

 

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SPF is your BFF

It’s time to make SPF your new BFF. If you’re not wearing sunscreen with some amount of SPF every day, you need to bring it in and make it a part of your high vibe tribe now.  SPF is like a bodyguard for your face. Just a bit every morning before you go out will help protect you from all the harm lurking in pollutants, the sun and prevent premature aging.   

 

With the depletion of the ozone layer, our risk of sun damage from harmful UV rays has increased exponentially. Research shows the daily use of an SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%, and lower your melanoma risk by 50%.   

 

On top of skin’s actual health, using an SPF will help keep it looking healthy too. Daily use can prevent premature aging caused by the sun, including wrinkles, sagging and age spots all making you look older and less vibrant. Make sure you use it even when the sun’s not out, the UVB rays are still present even in cold, windy, overcast weather.   

 

So who’s your friend now? SPF. Do not leave home without it.

 

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A little Raw Sugar Love

Crafted and produced in sunny SoCal, Raw Sugar Living is a natural lifestyle brand on a mission to promote clean and healthy living through products that are good for the body and nourish the soul.

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