Mar 022015

how to lose 3 - 5 pounds easy - www.RadianceCentral

How to lose 3 – 5 pounds EASY!

One of the easiest ways to lose 3 – 5 pounds is to eat your last meal of the day as early as possible, but one detail most people overlook which is as important, is also to go to bed early. The two go hand in hand.

Aim to have your last meal of the day no later than 6pm or 7pm (and no snack after), and go to sleep 2 – 3 hours after that last meal. By going to bed early, you eliminate any chance of late night snacking which can interfere with weight loss success, or worse, any chance of having a second dinner!

Many people already know that if they eat dinner early, and not snack after dinner, this is the easiest way to lose weight, but many people’s attempts end in failure because they go to sleep too late, and by the time they go to sleep they’ve already had some sort of snack, or can’t fall asleep because they are too hungry.

This is the easiest way to start losing weight

So if you want to lose weight while you sleep (how cool is that??!!), then eat your dinner early, AND go to sleep early! Try this for a week, you’ll be amazed not only how easy it is to lose weight, but how refreshed and rejuvenated you’ll feel in the morning.

Want to do a Juice Fast? Join the next 10 Day Juice Fasting Program starting Tuesday, March 3, 2015!!! The program includes menu planners to transition on and off the fast, fasting outline, daily videos specifically made to guide you through the fast (20-40 minutes long each) and an online forum to connect with everyone from around the world doing the juice fast with you! Natasha is on the private Juice Fasting Forum daily answering questions and offering additional support! CLICK HERE to sign-up!

Feb 272015

my natural skin care routine -

Last week I did a product review of Living Libations skin care line and I received a few questions and comments regarding my own personal natural skin care routine. Some people were asking if I still use honey to wash my face, if I’m still using fresh aloe vera gel as an overnight mask, and if I’ve now included products in my skin care routine? Great questions! So today, I’ll address these question, plus talk about my current skin care routine, what I’m still doing, what I’ve changed, and what I’ve added in.

Why I went natural with my skin care

For those of you that don’t know my skin history, I use to have bad cystic acne connected to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is what got me into natural health to begin with, I was trying to clear up my skin and reverse the symptoms of PCOS. I had acne starting when I was a teenager, and as I was getting older, my skin was only getting worse. All the conventional mainstream lotions, potions and pills weren’t helping at all. When I was around 30 years old (about 10 years ago), I went to see a dermatologist to see if she could help me with my skin. Instead of prescribing me some pills and potions, she actually recommended I stop putting anything on my skin – no creams, no lotions, no nothing! She told me to just wash my face with a very gentle cleanser, and let my skin breath and have a break from all the products I was using. I was reluctant and fearful to follow her advice, but I was desperate for an acne cure.

How I cleared up my acne

For a few weeks I followed the dermatologist’s recommendation to stop using anything on my skin, and instead of using a store-bought cleanser to wash my face, I used honey instead. To my shock and delight, my skin started clearing-up. It was not only from stopping the use of all products on my face, but also from cleaning up my diet and lifestyle as well — all three combined.

Obviously from such great results, I continued for a few years using nothing on my skin but washing it with honey, and I also used fresh aloe vera gel (directly from the plant), on my face as an overnight mask. The two worked great!

As I was getting older, I started making some changes to my natural skin care routine

In my mid-thirties, after moving overseas to Southeast Asia from Canada, my skin started showing signs of needing a little extra help (a.k.a. ageing!). Coming from cold Montreal, Canada, with super fair skin, and moving to Bali which is close to the equator, hot, dusty and having it’s share of air pollution, my skin was thirsting for a little more added moisture. I was still just using honey to wash my skin, but I stopped using the fresh aloe vera gel at night, and replaced it with using natural oils and serums to give my skin a little extra moisture. I’ve used and experimented with many different oils such as coconut oil, argan oil, rosehip oil and jojoba oil, as well as experimenting with different non-toxic skin care lines that use natural ingredients like Living Libations, Ila, Oskia, and other green beauty product lines. This I found to be a natural progression and a complement to my skin care routine.

One thing I would like to mention that I think anyone that has gone a long period of time not using anything on their skin can possibly relate to – it’s actually really hard to go back to putting things on my skin! Over the years, I’ve really gotten used to always having bare skin that can breath, and when I would try putting anything on my skin, especially if it’s made out of synthetic ingredients, it felt so heavy, plastic, and suffocating. Luckily I have found that natural oils and serums, as well as some non-toxic, all natural moisturizing formulas, to be the exception. I will also say that even though I replaced using fresh aloe vera gel as my overnight mask, to using natural oils and serums, I still had a hard time wearing anything on my skin during the day, and instead I just used oils and serums at night, and during the day I continued wearing nothing on my skin.

After getting pregnant and giving birth, my skin changed, and so did my natural skin care routine once again!

Towards my late 30s, after my daughter Luna Ray was born, my skin went through some more serious changes. I was lucky during my pregnancy to have glowing, clear skin, no break outs, no issues, but as soon as my daughter was born, it felt like my skin aged overnight, not only on my face, but all over my body. It seemed like all the moisture and elasticity got sucked out, especially over the first 6 months after she was born, and as my hormones were balancing out. A few factors that definitely contributed to the change in my skin was not only the post-pregnancy hormone fluctuations, but also breastfeeding, sleepless nights from taking care of a new baby, and we also started sleeping with air-conditioning because Luna Ray was getting terrible heat rash from the tropical weather. All of this sucked the moisture out of my skin, and over the past year and a half I’ve made significant changes to my skin care routine. I should also mention I’m now almost 40, so obviously my age also contributes to these skin challenges as well.

The two major changes I’ve made over the past year and a half since my daughter was born: I no longer wash my face with honey, and instead I used coconut oil to wash my face twice a day. I find this switch has added a lot more moisture and elasticity to my skin. Over the years I’ve experimented with washing my face with oil, but my skin never reacted well to it until recently. In fact, I used to breakout from it, honey was always a better option for me, but now I find cleansing with oils helps to prevent breakouts and irritation, and I now find it to be extremely soothing.

The second change I made to my skin care routine is I’ve added non-toxic moisturizers to my evening routine (one for the face, one for around the eyes). I prefer using everything at night because I find everything absorbs into my skin well while I’m sleeping, and the moisturizers in conjunction with the oil or serum can protect my skin from the drying effects of the air-conditioner.

As for during the day, besides washing my face in the morning with coconut oil, I continue to use nothing on my skin to let it breath. Overall, I find this to be the perfect balance for me – I let my skin breath and be bare during the day (which always feels the best), and at night I have a deep moisturizing routine. I feel like I am enjoying the best of both worlds!

It will be interesting to see how things will change in the next five or ten years, and beyond! Like my diet, my skin care routine is always evolving, I’m open to adjusting things when needed, and I have a lot of fun experimenting and trying new things out. I feel very appreciative of all the innovative natural skin care lines coming out with simple, natural, non-toxic skin care products. Even though I do like to keep things simple, at the same time I do like to support other conscious companies and their endeavours. 

Do you have acne that won’t go away? Click here for Natasha’s Top 10 Secrets To Beautiful Skin— This program will clear your skin forever!

Feb 232015

How I Dealt With Cyberbullying -

Most people know I was bullied online a few years ago when I got off of a raw vegan diet because of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. I received all sorts of malicious comments, threats, and abuse via email, YouTube, my website, and other social media sites. It’s one thing to disagree and voice one’s opinion, but it’s another thing to attack someone online, send them harassing and threatening emails, and post abusive comments to intimidate them. It was definitely a rough time in my life, not only was I dealing with a severe Vitamin B12 deficiency, but I was also transitioning off a plant-based diet I was on most of my life, and I had just moved to Bali with no friends or family here for support. When I was a kid dealing with bullies, I never imagined I would be bullied as an adult. You think people grow out that stuff (or at least hope so).

The internet is full of all sorts of characters, and unfortunately some people can be pretty awful. I’ve met so many intelligent, creative, and talented people that have so much to share, and want to start blogs and websites, but are too scared to because of the cyberbullying they see online. They’re afraid they too might be targeted. It’s a pity that the internet, which is such a creative space full of limitless potential, has such a dark side.

So, how to deal with online bullying or cyberbullying? What did I do when I was bullied?

Get Support

If you are being bullied, it’s really important to get support, have someone to talk to. Never suffer alone. Even if it’s just one person you can talk to, don’t carry that load on your own. When I was being cyberbullied, I reached out to my parents and brother, I let them know what was going on, and kept in close contact. Since I just moved to Bali when this was going on, I didn’t have any friends or family physically here, so I hired a counsellor/coach to talk to. I knew the more I talked about what was going on, the better perspective I had. If I didn’t talk about it, the problem felt enormous and heavy, but when I did talk about it, I was able to see it for what it was, and felt more empowered to tackle it.

I also found by talking about it, I was able to separate myself from the situation, and gain more of an outside perspective, this too helped a lot. I was able to move away from feeling victimized or targeted, and saw that there was no point in taking any of it personally. These people bullying me didn’t even know me (nor did I know them!!!).

Be like water. Never fight fire with fire.

Has someone ever screamed at you, and you reacted by screaming back even louder, only for that person to get even more fired up, and scream even louder back at you?

One thing I have learned over the years is never to fight fire with fire, it only makes a bigger fire. I always ask myself if it’s really worth it to fight back, is it worth my time, my energy, and what will it really do? With my type of character and personality, I’m definitely not into fighting, that’s just not me. I’m always striving to find a middle ground, I don’t need to prove myself, I don’t need to always be right, and I certainly don’t need everyone to agree with me. I’d rather be like water, eventually the other person’s fire will burn out, either on it’s own, or from me no reacting or feeding into it.

It’s their story, not mine.

Ever wonder who that person is who’s bullying you? I do. There were all sorts of people cyberbullying me and in different ways. The ones that were unrelenting, the ones that just wouldn’t go away, and became more and more aggressive and cruel, I always wondered about. It’s clear that people who bully, intimidate, and humiliate others have far deeper issues. It’s really not even about me, and why they’re bullying me, there’s something else going on inside of them, and hopefully one day they’ll be able to sort that out.

Promise yourself you’ll never be like them.

The one thing that I have taken away from being bullied, is I have clear examples as to how I never want to be or behave. If there’s anything I want to take away from that experience is to become a more open, compassionate, and accepting person. I might not agree with everyone, but I certainly don’t want to ever humiliate or belittle another person. There’s certainly other ways and options to live in this world more peacefully and harmoniously without everyone agreeing or having to be the same.

Vote with your click.

There’s an expression, “Vote with your money!” I like to apply that to my internet use, by voting with my computer clicks! After I dealt with all the online bullying, I re-evualated what websites I was visiting, what social media I was spending time on, and what I was reading and exposing myself to. I have to say, I became extremely sensitive to any online bullying, not only what was directed at me, but at other people as well.

Today, I choose to only visit websites and platforms that inspire me, that are creative, that I learn something from, and that fill me with positivity, hope, and inspiration. I believe in supporting those creative people doing wonderful, enlightening, educational, and cool things. That’s really where I want to be spending my time.

Aside from all the negativity, there was a lot of positivity as well.

Looking back at that time, as cruel as some people were, I was quite amazed by the outpouring of support I did receive. This far outweighed the online bullying, and when I focused on the kindness and support I was receiving, it empowered me to continue on my path, and not be swayed or give up.

I have to say I was quite taken by how people took the extra time to email me or leave comments supporting me and what I was doing, even if they didn’t necessarily agree with my decision or do things similarly. Even though there were some people within the raw food community that strongly opposed and voiced their disapproval of my decision to stop being on a raw vegan diet, there were many raw food teachers and leaders whom I looked up to, that reached out to offer me support, many of whom didn’t know me personally, but saw how I was being bullied online.

Living authentically.

From that experience I definitely developed a thicker skin. I have to say I’ve also learned that no one’s opinion of me matters more than my opinion of myself. I’ve learned I can live more, be more, experience more, when I don’t seek the validation and approval from others, but instead honour myself, and live true to myself.

I’ve also learned that there is a delete button on my computer’s keyboard, and it’s there for a reason!!

Want to do a Juice Fast? Join the next 10 Day Juice Fasting Program starting Tuesday, March 3, 2015!!! The program includes menu planners to transition on and off the fast, fasting outline, daily videos specifically made to guide you through the fast (20-40 minutes long each) and an online forum to connect with everyone from around the world doing the juice fast with you! Natasha is on the private Juice Fasting Forum daily answering questions and offering additional support! CLICK HERE to sign-up!

Feb 212015

Soy- Healthy or Unhealthy -

Soy is always a hot topic of debate, especially amongst health enthusiasts, vegans, and vegetarians. Some are for it, others completely against it. It can get quite confusing because there are so many different opinions. Decades ago we were told to eat it regularly for optimal health and disease prevention, and nowadays we’re told to stay away from it! Throughout Asia, soy is part of many traditional diets, and these populations certainly aren’t suffering from the health issues that some claim soy is connected to.

The Soy Debate Simplified

The best way to understand why there is such a divided and opposing opinion about soy, it’s best to first look at the soy foods and products people are eating. In Asia, they eat food made out of whole soy beans, many of these foods are fermented, which makes it easier to digest and releases some of the anti-nutrients. When studies were done on the benefits of soy, the studies were based on whole soy beans. Soy beans are very high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Cultures that eat a lot of soy beans are eating cooked, whole soy beans like edamame, and foods made out soybeans (that could also be fermented) like tempeh, tofu, miso, natto, traditional soy sauce, etc.

Over the last few decades, there have been studies and research revealing the benefits of soy. Those in the West (USA, Canada, etc.) got really excited about the beneficial findings. Soy became regarded as a superfood, especially amongst vegan and vegetarian circles due to the high amount of plant-based protein and nutrients. The problem with soy’s gain of popularity in the West was that soy byproducts were already in people’s diets without people being aware of it. If you go to any grocery store or health food store, and look at the ingredients of most pre-made food items (sauces, dressings, crackers, breads, chips, cookies, ice cream, etc.) they usually have some sort of soy byproduct in it, like soy bean oil, hydrolyzed soy protein, soy lecithin, and other processed soy ingredients. These byproducts are used as thickening agents, fillers, cheap oils, stabilizers, etc., and none of them are healthy. There is a HUGE difference between whole soy beans and isolate soy byproducts. And, if your diet is already full of soy byproducts, you certainly don’t want to be adding even more soy to it, even if it’s considered healthy. As we already know, “having too much of anything, is never really a good thing”.

In addition to all the processed food containing soy byproducts, many people in the West who are eating soy foods, aren’t necessarily eating whole soy bean food items like tempeh, edamame, and natto, but instead are eating processed soy products like tofu hot dogs, soy cheese, soy protein powder, and commercial soy milk. If you look at the ingredients listed on any of these processed food items, I’m sure you won’t even be able to pronounce majority of the ingredients, let alone know what they are, or where they come from. There’s a huge difference between a tofu hot dog and a piece of tempeh!!!

So is soy healthy or not?

Well, I think foods made out of whole soy beans like tempeh, tofu, edamame, natto, miso, etc. are healthy, and fine to eat. One thing consumers should be looking out for is making sure the soy beans and foods made out of soy are Non-GMO, and the label should indicate that. If buying organic soy, the label should indicate both organic and non-GMO, not just organic.

What about the isoflavones / phytoestrogens and goitrogens?

Well, soy is not the only food on the planet that has isoflavones / phytoestrogens, and goitrogens, in fact many vegetables, seeds, and grains have these compounds. Because soy must be cooked or fermented in order for it to be edible (raw soy is toxic), some of the goitrogens, anti-nutrients, and other unhealthy compounds are destroyed during the cooking and/or fermenting process. To protect your health, you do want to be mindful of your portions, cut out all processed food that contains soy byproducts, and have as much overall variety in your diet as possible. I believe having small quantities of tempeh, edamame, tofu, miso, natto, etc.. a few times a month is perfectly acceptable, but I do recommend being mindful of the portions, using these foods more like a condiment rather than as a main meal. If you have pre-existing hormone or thyroid issues, then of course it would be best to avoid soy completely.

Ready to let go of the sugar and processed food once and for all??!!
Join the NEW 7 Day Whole Food Challenge starting Monday, February 23, 2015! For 7 days you’ll be on a 100% healthy, real food diet! This program is an online program, so once you sign up you’ll immediately receive an ebook with over 75 recipes, program guidelines, sample menus, lists of meal ideas, etc..) and once the program begins you’ll have access to a private online forum for support, and daily education & motivational videos to teach you everything you need to know about eating a healthy, whole food diet. Click Here to sign-up now!


Feb 182015

Living Libations Skin Care Review -

Living Libations Skin Care Product Review

I thought I would do something a little different today, a product line review of one of my favourite skin care lines, Living Libations! I’ve been a returning customer of theirs for over 6-7 years (I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used any other product line for that long, which says a lot!)

As everyone knows I am very passionate about natural skin care (in fact I’m actually currently writing my first book on natural skin care, more info on that soon!). I made the switch to using natural skin care products and non-toxic ingredients a little less than 10 years ago after unsuccessfully trying to resolve adult acne with mainstream commercial beauty products (which did nothing for my skin but make it worse). I fell in love with making my own homemade cleansers and moisturizers, and also exploring and experimenting with organic, non-toxic,”green beauty products.” Incorporating both a healthy whole food diet, and using all natural skin care products, together, helped my skin completely clear up.

As I’m getting older (I’m 39), and my skin is exposed to the hot Indonesian sun, pollution, air conditioning, etc. I want to do all I can to preserve the youthfulness of my skin. I would say since my mid-thirties I’ve had to take extra steps in my skin care routine to keep my skin supple and hydrated, and do what I can to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay. I have to say I have very unforgiving skin, if I eat something that doesn’t agree with me, it shows up on my skin in the form of rashes, skin irritation, bumps, itchy patches, and blemishes (lucky me!). So when I first tried Living Libations products many years ago, I fell in love with the product line because not only were they made of all natural ingredients and high quality essential oils, but they also helped to sooth my sensitive skin, and heal any sporadic skin irritations I would have.

To get started on the Living Libations review, I’d like to talk about the skin products I love from their line, what I’ve actually bought over and over again, what I recommend and why, and at the end, talk about my wish list for future purchases!

Serums & Facial Skin Care

To me, the serums are the shining stars in Living Libations product line. The serums are fabulous, and if you were to try anything from Living Libations, I would recommend starting with a serum. I’ve tried quite a few serums from their product line, and the two I love the most is the Chocolate Karat Serum and RoseGlow Serum. What I like about the serums is how soothing they are to my skin, and very moisturizing as well. A little does go a long way, and a small bottle can last over a year! I use the serum only at night, and either on it’s own after washing my face, or with a moisturizer (the moisturizer I recommend would be the RoseGlow Face Crème, and to use it with the RoseGlow Serum, especially if you have mature skin). The RoseGlow products are not included in the photo above because I’ve already used them up, and sadly, only when I return to Canada will I be able to repurchase (and as you can see in the photo above, I’m also running low on all their other products as well!)

Eye Care

Since my twenties I’ve always had crow’s feet/fine lines at the outer edges of my eyes (my mother too developed them at a very young age). Let’s just say I’ve tried a lot of eye creams over the last two decades, both high end and low end, commercial and natural products, and I have to say Living Libations’ Open Sky Eye Serum and All Seeing Eye Crème are amazing! The serum is very light, so there’s no way it can clog the fine pores around the eyes, and I love the choice of essential oils in the eye cream which have a nice cooling effect on the delicate skin around my eyes (perfect to use first thing in the morning, or if you are prone to water-retention or puffiness around the eye area). I actually keep the eye cream in the refridgerator to add an extra cooling effect which counters the hot climate and humidity here in Bali (perfect to do in the summer months if you want a cooling but moisturizing eye cream).

Body Care

I also love the Radiant Love Butter, the scent is to die for! If there was one recommendation or request I would make to Living Libations is to actually make some sort of perfume using the essential oil blend they use for the Radiant Love Butter. I love love love the scent of it!

And lastly, one product I continuously buy from them is the Lymph+Tonic that I use during my daily dry skin brushing routine. I just use one or two drops of the oil on my dry skin brush, and I find it stimulates increased blood circulation, and adds an invigorating lift from the essential oil blend. I have to say just by adding the Lymph+Tonic to my dry skin brushing routine, I’m more consistent with doing it, and enjoy it much more!

My Wish List!

I don’t think I could give a glowing review of Living Libations products without mentioning the products I want to try next, and have on my wish list! If anyone has visited their website, you’ll see they have a very extensive product line, I have to admit over the years I’ve tried quite a few things already, but there’s still more I want to try! I am a huge lover of vanilla (I have their vanilla essential oil which is divine), so I’d like to try their Best Skin Ever – Vanilla. I was also SUPER excited when they came out with Gardenia Essential Oil and Gardenia Perfume. My favourite flower on earth is Gardenia. Absolute favourite! I even have Gardenia growing in my garden, and I recently made my husband plant a second tree!! I just adore it, but I’ve never tried a perfume or gardenia essential oil, so this is definitely first in line on my wish list!! Next time I go to Canada or someone comes to this side of the world and can bring it for me, I will definitely buy it, and do a review!!

Have you tried any of Living Libations’ products, and if so, what’s your favourite?!!!

Also, if you like this review, let me know and I’ll continue doing other reviews (and if you have any requests, please post them as well!)

Ready to let go of the sugar and processed food once and for all??!!
Join the NEW 7 Day Whole Food Challenge starting Monday, February 23, 2015! For 7 days you’ll be on a 100% healthy, real food diet! This program is an online program, so once you sign up you’ll immediately receive an ebook with over 75 recipes, program guidelines, sample menus, lists of meal ideas, etc..) and once the program begins you’ll have access to a private online forum for support, and daily education & motivational videos to teach you everything you need to know about eating a healthy, whole food diet. Click Here to sign-up now!