Living Libations sent me the Vanilla Best Skin Ever as a gift earlier this year (to read my full review of it, click here). I’ve been using the Vanilla Best Skin Ever daily, morning and night, as a facial cleanser over the last 5 months and my skin has been responding beautifully to it! I was previously using pure coconut oil as a facial cleanser but it was causing all sorts of adverse skin reactions including a rash covering my entire forehead, and it wasn’t until I started using Living Libations Vanilla Best Skin Ever did my skin completely clear-up and I haven’t had rashes or bumps since!
I fully love this product, and I’m sure you will too!
How you can use Living Libations Vanilla Best Skin Ever
facial cleansing oil
add small amount to your bath to soften your skin
use a very tiny amount on the ends of your hair to treat dry hair or add extra shine
Personally, I’ve had such great results using it as a facial cleanser, I’ve just been using it exclusively on my face. Once in a while I’ll rub a small drop or two on my wrists because it smells so good!
Benefits of Living Libations Vanilla Best Skin Ever
This oil is light, easily absorbable, not at all greasy, and smells divine!!!
I especially recommend using it to wash your face because it’s so gentle, non-comedogenic, thoroughly removes make-up, sunscreen, oil and debris, and leaves your skin smooth and soft. This is a perfect cleanser for anyone who has fine lines and wants to protect their skin from ageing.
Guidelines for the Giveaway:
To enter Living Libations Vanilla Best Skin Ever giveaway, submit your email address below. You have until August 13, 2015 (midnight EST) to enter (and please tell your friends and family to enter too!). On Friday, August 14, 2015, I’ll announce the one lucky winner! The giveaway is open internationally.
To read more about the Vanilla Best Skin Ever, click here to go to Living Libations website.
If you haven’t yet read my reviews of some of my favourite Living Libations products, here’s one review here, and another here.
Watch today’s video for more on the Giveaway and my results using the Vanilla Best Skin Ever!
Want to do a cleanse? The 7 Day Raw Food Challenge is a perfect cleanse to do at this time of year! The program includes an ebook with recipes, guidelines, menu planner, plus 7 in-depth videos walking you through every day of the seven-day program. By the end, you’ll look and feel fabulous! CLICK HERE to start NOW!
I was recently asked how to release negative experiences. We all know how some experiences can take over everything from your thoughts, your emotional health, mental wellbeing, even your physical health. How to let go of bad experiences so they don’t control your life and deplete you?
Two things come to mind when I think about releasing negativity: Balance and Perspective. In fact whenever I’m dealing with a negative experience or situation, just by reminding myself of these two words helps to bring me back to centre and see things for what they are.
We’re always encountering positivity and negativity, and the key is maintaining a balance.
When negativity starts taking over, I see it as a red flag that something is falling off balance. Instead of trying to control the negative, this is the time to re-evaulate the positives in your life. When negativity is overtaking you, I believe it’s because you’ve lost touch with the greatness of your life and you’re unconsciously giving too much power to external situations and negative people.
If negative experiences starts interfering with your daily life, your relationships, your thoughts and decisions, and holds you back from living the life you want to live – this is a big warning sign that something is amiss, something has fallen off balance, and it’s imperative that you get back to yourself, and the value of your life.
The more things you do to boost your confidence and self-esteem, live a life in accordance with your values, cherish and appreciate the beauty and magic of life, and connect yourself with what really matters – this is when you are truly alive, and no negativity can sway, influence, or control you.
Negative experiences live in the past. How I see it, what happened in the past, stays in the past, it’s done and you can’t change it. The only thing you have control over is your present situation and yourself in this moment.
To have perspective is to see the negative experience for what it is, and what it is doing to you. It’s not about trying to change it or fix it, or even trying to understand it; it’s about not letting it rule over you, not letting it continue to disempower you, or adversely affect you. A negative experience is bad enough, but what is even worse is reliving it every day in your thoughts, and giving full control to that experience.
When you live in the present, you take your power back. Whether your conscious of it or not, the moment you are fully interacting in the present moment, you’re automatically freeing yourself from your past, including those past negative experiences. There’s no room for past negativity in the present.
To live in the present moment is all about doing things you love, and immersing yourself in actively living your life. If you feel overwhelmed by a past negative experience, ask yourself how much of yourself is still living out that experience and how much of yourself is fully engaged in the here and now? This will definitely give you perspective!
I’ve given you “Balance & Perspective” as food for thought, but what is most important is living your life to the fullest. Sometimes when we are overcome by negativity we’re thinking too much, and the very thing we need is to be doing is getting out there and doing things!
If you feel overwhelmed by a negative experience, ask yourself:
What are you thinking about most of the day? Are you thinking about the bad experience, perhaps re-telling yourself the story of that experience or are you spending most of your days thinking about things you want to do and planning activities you enjoy?
How often do you do good things for yourself?
What do you do to release stress, and how often?
What social activities do you love doing, and how often do you do them?
When was the last time you laughed and had a good time?
What do you do in your free time?
What is it that you always dreamed of doing but haven’t done yet?
What does it mean to you to be fully alive?
For more on how to release negative experiences, watch todays video below.
Need clarity, direction, and accountability in reaching your goals? I offer personalized coaching (both diet & life coaching). We can work together to get you exactly where you want to be. Click Herefor more details!
Cabbage is one of my favourite leafy vegetables to juice. Not only is it it rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it also yields a lot of juice and is cheap to buy.
Drinking cabbage juice is known to be great for your skin, hair, and nails, as well as a great digestive aid in reducing stomach acid and protecting the lining of the stomach. Like all vegetables, cabbage juice has great anti-inflammatory properties.
Based on my experience of juicing cabbage for many years, I’ve come to notice that different varieties of cabbage taste differently (some stronger than others), and when juicing cabbage it’s always best to keep the juice recipes as simple as possible (the less ingredients the better as to not cause gas or bloating).
Different types of cabbage and how they taste differently
Not all cabbage taste the same, especially when you juice them.
Here I have 3 different examples of cabbage: Curly Cabbage/Chinese Cabbage, White Cabbage, and Purple Cabbage.
Out of the three examples, Chinese Cabbage (curly cabbage) has the lightest, most subtle taste, White Cabbage has medium to strong taste, and Purple Cabbage has the strongest and sometimes even a spicy taste.
Best ways to juice cabbage
If you aren’t used to juicing cabbage, I recommend starting with Chinese Cabbage (curly cabbage) because it doesn’t have a strong in taste like other cabbages. If you were to use White or Purple Cabbage, I would recommend using half the amount of cabbage a juice recipe calls for because the juice from these cabbages can be quite over-powering.
I find it’s always best to make simple juices using cabbage, and out of all fruits and vegetables, cabbage is best juiced with carrots and apples (I’ve included a yummy recipe below).
Juice Recipe: Cabbage – Red Bell Pepper – Carrot
(makes approximately 3 cups / 750mL)
1/2 Chinese Cabbage
2 x-large Carrots
1 Red Bell Pepper (Red Capsicum)
Using a juicer, juice all the ingredients.
* Do taste your juice before cleaning the juicer. If the cabbage juice is too strong, juice an additional red bell pepper or apple, and if the juice is too sweet, juice more cabbage!
For more on juicing cabbage, watch today’s video below!
The next 7 Day Juice Fasting Program starts this Monday, August 3, 2015. This is a brand new program! New eBook, new videos, and lifetime access to the private Juice Fasting Facebook Group. Juice Fasting is so much funner and easier when doing it with a live group, CLICK HERE to join!
Out of all the supplements on the market, the one supplement I’m asked about the most are probiotics.
Common questions I’m asked are:
Should you be taking a probiotic supplement every day?
What’s better, getting probiotics from food or taking a supplement?
Will taking probiotics heal a disease, health condition, or illness?
Should you be more focused on eating a diet rich in prebiotics, rather than probiotics?
Before I get into these questions and my opinion of probiotics and probiotic supplements, I first want to explain what probiotics and prebiotics are, and how they benefit you.
What are probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms (healthy bacteria, friendly yeast/fungi and organisms) that live and grow in and on your body (they’re not only in your digestive system, they’re also found everywhere inside your body, and on the surface of your body as well). The friendly bacteria and microorganisms work to defend and protect your body from invading bad bacteria and harmful organisms, and they can even help with the breakdown and synthesis of various nutrients as well.
There are many species of probiotics, and within each species can be hundreds of different strains. Examples of well known probiotics include Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Acidophilus, etc.
We are born with colonies of friendly bacteria and organisms already in our gut and throughout our body. Since these colonies of friendly bacteria and microorganisms are alive, this means they’re also continually reproducing and dying as well.
It’s not only important to be eating foods that are rich in probiotics to help re-populate these colonies of friendly bacteria, but also be eating certain foods known as prebiotics that feed and nourish the friendly bacteria and microorganisms.
Foods rich in probiotics
The best source of probiotics is fermented foods and beverages. Fermented foods contain live active cultures of friendly bacteria and microorganisms. When consumed, these live cultures will help to populate the colonies of good bacteria living in your body.
Examples of fermented foods rich in probiotics:
Kefir (dairy or water kefir)
Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother)
Alternatively, you can also take a probiotic supplement, and I will talk more about my opinion of probiotic supplements and what I recommend further in this article.
Whether you are consuming fermented foods or a probiotic supplement, it’s important to know that not all probiotics will live in your body long-term, some will only reside in your body temporarily for a few day or a few weeks before dying off or being eliminated, and others will multiply and populate within your body. Knowing this, it’s always important to consume a variety of fermented foods regularly, and if you take a probiotic supplement, make sure it is a full spectrum probiotic supplement (I recommend: Dr. Ohhira Probiotics).
What are prebiotics?
Since the friendly bacteria and microorganisms in your body are alive, you want to take care of them and keep them healthy and fed so they can continue to grow, multiply, and populate within your body. The friendly bacteria and microorganisms that inhabit your intestines are well known to feed on soluble fiber known as prebiotics. Soluble fiber is indigestible fiber found in all plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes.
Examples of prebiotics (soluble fibers):
Examples of some of the foods that are high in prebiotics:
Beans & Legumes
What are Synbiotics?
If you were to group probiotics and prebiotics, it would be a synbiotic. Nowadays some supplement companies are making synbiotics instead of just probiotics, which is considered a more active supplement because you’re not only getting the probiotic, but the food for the probiotic as well.
You can also make your own synbiotic meals by making a dish or food that contains both probiotics and prebiotics, like having yogurt or kefir with sliced bananas, or having a green salad with a salad dressing made with apple cider vinegar, garlic, and onion, or having a vegetable meal that includes some sauerkraut or kimchi on the side.
When do you need probiotics?
Always! Probiotics work to protect your body from being invaded and over taken by harmful organisms and bacteria. As I mentioned earlier, not every single friendly bacteria entering your body is going to live forever or even stay in your body, so it’s important to regularly be consuming fermented foods that will introduce more living probiotics into your body, and also foods containing prebiotics that will feed the friendly bacteria already inside you.
If you choose to take a probiotic supplement, I would say it’s generally safe to be taking them regularly, but I would advice you to do your best at some point to find fermented food(s) you like and can eat regularly so that you aren’t always relying on a pill supplement.
What could be killings the friendly bacteria in your body?
It’s important to note that as much as you are making the effort to add probiotics into your daily diet and routine, you must also beware of certain chemicals, medications, and substances that can be detrimental and adversely affecting the friendly bacteria and microorganisms living in your body.
Antibiotics and antibacterial medications, creams, soaps, and lotions are formulated to kill bacteria. Unfortunately that means they not only kill harmful bacteria, but also friendly beneficial bacteria as well. They don’t know the difference between the two and just wipe out everything, and leave you susceptible to being invaded by other bacterias, microbes, and infections. An example of this is a lot of women who take a series of antibiotics end up coming down with a yeast infection. This is because the friendly bacteria have been wiped out by the antibiotics, and an overgrowth of yeast starts to grow. To prevent this from happening, if there is a time where you do have to take antibiotics or some sort of antibacterial or antimicrobial medications, it’s important to also take probiotics (eat fermented foods or take a supplement, or both) during the time that you are taking the medication and for a few weeks following the round of antibiotics and medications. It’s also important to take these probiotics at different times of day than you would the medication, and I would recommend doubling up your dosage or the amount of fermented food you are eating for at least 2-4 weeks after finishing the medication or antibiotics.
Other things that can interfere or kill off the friendly bacteria in your body is also strong chemical detergents, bleaches, and antibacterial soaps. You are much better off using non-toxic household detergents that works just as well, but aren’t harmful to your body.
If you drink tap water that is chlorinated and/or bathe in this type of chemically treated water, I would recommend getting a water filter to remove the chemicals and chlorine, and/or drink bottled spring water instead. The chlorine in treated tap water isn’t doing you any favours, it too could be killing off the beneficial bacteria in your body and when you are bathing or showing in it, you are inhaling the chlorinated water from the steam and even killing off the beneficial bacteria that is living on your skin.
Since much of the friendly bacteria is living in your digestive system, your digestive health is very important, and therefore it’s crucial that you aren’t consuming anything that is irritating your digestive track or causing chronic lose stool or diarrhea. It’s therefore best to avoid foods that you have a sensitivity to or allergic to, and also avoid alcohol, laxatives, enemas, and colonics. Anything that is flushing out your digestive system is also flushing out the friendly bacteria living in your digestive tract (fiber supplements are fine to take, and in fact the soluble fiber will feed the friendly bacteria, but laxatives, even natural laxatives should all be avoided).
Also, beware of stress! Our minds are connected to our bodies, and for those that are very sensitive, extra worries and anxiety can adversely affect your digestive tract which in turn will adversely affect the healthy gut flora.
Can you use probiotics (fermented foods and/or supplements) therapeutically?
Yes! If you suspect there’s a connection between a health condition you have, and being depleted of good friendly bacteria or gut flora, I recommend increasing the fermented foods in your diet and/or taking a probiotic supplement to see if it can help.
What’s most important is consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements daily, be consistent, and do so for at least a couple of months to see if it improves your health.
The health conditions probiotics can improve are most digestive issues, chronic constipation or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), some symptoms from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and Colitis), food poisoning, malabsorption-related deficiencies, fatigue, skin issues (including rashes and acne), weakened immune system, allergies, etc.
How do you know the probiotics are working?
Certain signs and indications to look out for:
Less bloating and gas
Less irritation and inflammation of the skin
Decrease incidence of illness
Increase of energy
What’s a better source of probiotics – fermented foods or supplements?
I’m always going to say food over supplements. I believe fermented foods to be a much more reliable source of probiotics.
Probiotics are live cultures of friendly bacteria and microorganisms and you are guaranteed they’re alive when eating fermented foods, whereas with supplements you never know how fresh they are, and if they were exposed to destructive elements when transported and stored.
There’s times when taking a probiotic supplement can definitely come in handy and be much easier – for example when travelling, or at times when you want to be consuming a larger dose of probiotics and can’t necessarily get it from food.
For more information on probiotics, watch today’s video below!
Want to do a Juice Fast? Join the next 7 Day Juice Fasting Program starting this Monday, August 3, 2015! This is a brand new program! New eBook, new videos, and lifetime access to the private Juice Fasting Facebook Group! Juice Fasting is much funner and easier when doing it with a live group! CLICK HERE to join!
In yesterday’s video I briefly mentioned that recently we discovered my husband Gede is allergic to eggs. Over the last few months he developed an itchy rash that covered his entire body, and through experimenting with various elimination diets and juice fasting, we’re finally able to pinpoint exactly what was causing the problem.
I thought I’d share with you today what we did to figure out what he was allergic to, in case you suspect you might have a food allergy or food sensitivity.
Gede’s Allergy Symptoms & Rash
Gede developed a rash a few months ago while we were in the peak of the rainy season, which in Bali is the hottest time of the year. At first he thought it was a heat rash. The rash itself made his skin very rough and itchy, but didn’t appear red, nor did he have hives or welts. At first it was just isolated on his upper chest, shoulders, and back.
Within a few weeks, the rash began slowly spreading all over his body (except his face, palms of his hands, and soles of his feet).
Since his rash was spreading everywhere but his face, at first we thought he might be having an allergic reaction to something that is in contact with his skin, like soaps, skin care products, or the laundry detergent used to wash his clothing and bed linens. We experimented with trying a different laundry detergent and body soaps (all of which are made from natural ingredients and fragrance-free). This had no effect on the rash.
Experiment #2 – Juice Fasting
If changing the detergents and soaps had no effect on the rash, we suspected it must be something in his diet. He eats a predominantly asian diet, and therefore no dairy, he barely eats anything with gluten, and rarely eats corn (these foods are all allergenic foods). He does occasionally eat tempeh and tofu (which are made from soy), and he eats eggs daily. Here in Indonesia many foods can be prepared with MSG or ingredients that contain MSG and food additives, which are known allergens. If you’re eating out here, there’s always the possibility that these food additives are added to your food. So there were a few things we were suspecting!
At first we decided to put him on a Juice Fast for a week to see if by eliminating all allergenic food this would help to eliminate the rash and give us an indication that it is a food allergy that’s causing the problem.
Gede did the Juice Fast for a week, but his rash didn’t improve. I have to say I was really surprised, I thought by at least the 5th day, he should show some signs of improvement, but he didn’t!
Experiment #3 – Eliminate the most loved allergenic food
In my line of work, what I see most often with my coaching clients is the one food they love the most and have the most difficult time giving up, is usually the one food that is causing the most issues. Every time a coaching clients comes to me with a health or weight issue and says “What do you think of this food, can I still eat it?” or they say “I know a lot of people say I shouldn’t eat it, but what do you think?” – it’s usually the very food that is standing in their way. Not many people will ask me if they really need to give up celery or broccoli, but many people ask me if they really need to give up bread, cheese, and alcohol.
Even though Gede already did a week on a juice fast and consumed no allergenic food, we decided he needed to continue experimenting with an elimination diet, and eliminate one allergenic food at a time, for a length of time in order to figure out what exactly was causing the problem.
The first food we decided to eliminate was eggs. Gede loves eggs, and he eats them every single day. Gede loves eggs like many people love chocolate, and because of that I knew this was the first food that needed to go (and would most probably be the source of the problem).
It actually took 3 weeks of being on a diet that was 100% egg-free for him to start seeing improvements in his rash and for it to eventually heal completely. That’s 3 weeks, plus a one week juice fast. 4 weeks in total to see improvements! I’m emphasizing how long it took to see improvements because many people suspect they have food allergies or sensitivities but only do an elimination diet for a few days and if they don’t see any improvement, they give up. Sometimes it takes a lot longer than just a few days, and in Gede’s case it took a month to see any change.
After he did a few weeks on the egg-free diet and the rash was clearing up, for some reason Gede went back to eating eggs again (I guess he was in denial that it really could be his beloved favourite food that was causing his problem), and you know what, that rash came back within 3 days. He quickly went back to his egg-free diet and it looks like he’s too scared to eat eggs ever again!
If you suspect you have a food allergy
If you think you have a food allergy or food sensitivity, do an elimination diet, and eliminate one allergenic food at a time for 2-4 weeks.
For Gede, he was much more open and “ready” to doing the elimination diet after doing a Juice Fast for a week, as opposed to just jumping into the elimination diet first. I think the juice fast strengthened his willpower and made him feel really good, that by the end of the fast, he was much more willing and open to make further changes to his diet.
I wouldn’t recommend just doing a juice fast to know for sure if you have food allergies because you need the elimination diet to figure out exactly what you are allergic to. A Juice Fast is great to jump start things and get you used to be on a restrictive diet, but the elimination diet is key in targeting the source of the problem.
Should you get allergy tests?
Yes! Here in Indonesia allergy tests aren’t as readily available as they are in the West, so we did an elimination diet, which is an accurate option (especially if you’re having signs and symptoms of a food allergy). We also consulted with a doctor to look at the rash to verify it is in fact an allergic reaction, and not some other skin issue.
For more on how we figured out Gede is allergic to eggs, watch today’s video below!