Apr 232015
 

Which Carbs Are Healthy? - www.RadianceCentral.com

Which carbs are healthy?

I was recently asked, “Which carbs are healthy?”

Unfortunately, these days all carbs have a bad rap, even the healthy ones.

In my opinion, I don’t see anything wrong with any whole foods that contains carbohydrates, especially for people who are healthy, who have no health conditions, and no weight issues.

Whole, real foods that contain carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes.

Even foods like bananas, corn, potatoes, and rice which are known to be high glycemic or contain higher amounts of carbohydrates, I don’t see a problem consuming these foods. They are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients. High glycemic processed foods like candy bars, chips or crisps, and donuts, on the other hand have absolutely no nutrition.

There’s a big difference between a candy bar and a banana. And if you are concerned about the carbs in your food, I would focus on eliminating and cutting out the junk food and refined food, rather than worrying about the health foods.

If you have a sugar-related health condition:

If you do have a health condition that is sugar-related, like Diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Syndrome X, insulin resistance, acne, or you are over weight, then yes, you do need to be mindful of the carbohydrates you are eating.

Do this first:

In this situation, I recommend first focusing on eliminating all processed and refined foods (cookies, cakes, candy bars, chips or crisps, fast food, pre-made sauces and dressings, microwave meals, instant soups, pastas and noodles, white bread, sugar, etc.). Eliminate these foods for a while – not just a few days or a few weeks, but for at least a few months!

If that doesn’t work, try this:

If after a few months of completely eliminating all processed and refined foods, you see no difference in your pre-existing health condition or weight, then start cutting down on the portions of the carbohydrates you are consuming from whole foods.

I never recommend cutting out carbohydrates completely, or cutting out whole food groups containing carbohydrates (like cutting out all fruit, or all whole grains). Instead, focus on cutting down the portions. Either cut the portions in half, or instead of having carbohydrates with all you meals, just have a small portion with one or two meals a day instead.

A word of caution

I find when people cut out food groups, or cut out large amounts of macronutrients like carbohydrates or fats from their diet, strong cravings and even binge eating sets in. I can’t tell you how many people who previously never over-ate, or binged, suddenly found themselves in a terrible cycle of bingeing once they went on a super restrictive diet. And this is completely avoidable, as long as you don’t cut foods or food groups out, but instead decrease the portions.


Work with Natasha!!! Natasha offers personalized diet, health, and lifestyle coaching! To get more information, and make an appointment, CLICK HERE!

 

Apr 012015
 

What To Do About Gas & Bloating - www.RadianceCentral.com

What To Do About Gas & Bloating?

Gas and bloating is never any fun, and unfortunately this can be a chronic issue. I would have to say it’s usually something in your diet that’s either causing it or contributing to the problem. It could be that certain foods aren’t being digested properly, or you might have a food allergy or sensitivity, or your digestive system just doesn’t handle certain foods well, or a combination of all these things.

In order to get rid of the gas and bloating, it’s always best to figure out what exactly is causing it. For some people it might just be one thing that’s setting everything off, and for others it can be a combination of things. The good news is you can do some experiments that are relatively easy, and will give you a very clear indication as to what’s working and whats not.

Finding out the cause of the gas and bloating – short-term diet experiments:

Below are a bunch of experiments you can try. Before we get into it, I suggest reading this whole article over and watching the video, then think about all the foods I’ve addressed in the video and article, is there any of these foods that you are eating a lot of? Many times it’s something we eat regularly (even something that is the hardest to give up) that could be causing the most issues and gastric distress.

1- Allergenic Foods & An Elimination Diet

Recently I’ve written a few blog posts about trying an elimination diet if you suspect you have an allergy or sensitivity to common allergenic foods like dairy products, wheat/wheat gluten, soy, eggs, corn, etc. If you have chronic gas and/or bloating, I would suggest you try an elimination diet or even get blood tests done to see if you do in fact have a food allergy or sensitivity to a certain food.

Gas and bloating is one of the top symptoms of food allergies or sensitivities. As I mentioned above, many times it could very well be a food you love and eat regularly that may be causing the most issues. So by reading the list of the common allergenic foods (dairy products, wheat/wheat gluten, eggs, soy, corn, etc.) and you’re thinking “hmm, I eat dairy products for breakfast and lunch everyday, maybe that’s it…” I would suggest starting an elimination diet with that very food you eat the most regularly.

How To Do An Elimination Diet:

Choose one of the allergenic foods (dairy products, wheat/wheat gluten, soy, corn, eggs, etc.) and take a break from eating that food for 2-4 weeks. If in that 2-4 weeks you notice your symptoms decrease or completely go away, than you’ll know that this is where the problem is coming from. If your symptoms don’t get better after 2-4 weeks, then re-introduce that food back into your diet, and choose another allergenic food to eliminate for another 2-4 weeks. Repeat this process with all the allergenic foods, or until you figure what food is causing the issue.

The most important thing with an elimination diet is not to eliminate all the allergenic foods at once. If you do, you might be needlessly eliminating certain foods from your diet, and you’ll never know what is really causing the issue. I have to say, most people are not allergic or sensitive to all allergenic foods, it’s usually just one or two of these foods that is causing the issues. Also, make sure to do the elimination diet for 2-4 weeks. Many times people don’t give it enough time, they eliminate a certain food for just a few days, and then re-introduce it back into their diet before their body has a chance to respond to the change of diet.

2- Fruit

Fruit is a very fast digesting food, and therefore it can be a big contributor to gas and bloating. Some people can eat all the fruit they want, at any time of day, with any other food, and have absolutely no issues. Others, the moment they combine fruit with other foods, or even eat too much of it, they get bad gas and bloating. The reason why some people have issues with fruit is because of how fast it breaks down and digests, and sometimes because of what else the fruit is eaten with, and also some people are sensitive to the fructose (naturally occurring fruit sugar) in fruit which can also cause digestive issues.

If you suspect your gas and bloating might have something to do with the fruit you’re eating, here’s a few experiments to try:

Experiment with eating fruit on it’s own

For 2 weeks, try eating fruit only in the morning, on an empty stomach, and don’t eat any other type of food with it. Wait at least an hour before eating anything else. Also, don’t eat fruit at any other time of the day, but the morning. If after two weeks you notice big improvements, then you now know the gas and bloating has to do with the fruit – it’s either that eating fruit with other foods doesn’t agree with you, or it could be the type and/or the amount of fruit you are eating. Either continue with just eating fruit on it’s own in the morning, or you can try the next experiment to see if the issue is from fructose sensitivity.

Fructose sensitivity – Experiment with low sugar fruits

Some people have a sensitivity to fructose, and the fruits that can cause the most issues are the sweeter, higher glycemic fruits like tropical fruit (pineapple, mangos, papaya, etc.). If you suspect this could be an issue for you, try only eating low glycemic fruits (berries, apples, pears, grapefruit, etc) for 2 weeks, and see if this helps.

I have to say that this issue might not only have to do with the high sugar content of the fruit, but also eating imported goods that may have been sprayed with preservatives, have mold growing on it, and isn’t fresh. Eating locally, and seasonally, is always best, and for most people their bodies will respond better to fresh food that is grown in their local environment.

One last things I will mention for those that really have a hard time digesting fruit and it seems whatever fruit you eat causes gas and bloating – try dried fruit instead of fresh fruit for a while and see if that helps. Always make sure the fruit is pure and not dried with sulphites (see this article to know the difference). I have coached a few people that did better eating small amounts of dried fruit for a while instead of fresh. Eventually they were able to re-introduce small amounts of fresh fruit back into their diet, but taking the break from the fresh fruit gave their digestive system a well needed rest, and their body responded better to it.

Fiber

Not everyone can digest high amounts of fibre. This doesn’t mean that if you have issues digesting fibre you should eat processed and refined food. What it means instead is being creative with experimenting with different ways of preparing your healthy food to make the fiber easier to break down and digest.

If you recently switched over to a whole food diet, or you’re trying to eat healthier, and have more fresh foods in your diet, but ever since you made the switch you’ve been getting terrible gas and bloating, it could very well be the fiber in the foods you are eating. I have to reassure you that this is quite normal, and expected, and you have to give you body some time to adjust to the high fiber food. I would say with any diet change, you’ve got to give your body a few weeks to adjust to the change of diet and food. There’s no need to rush the transition period. But let’s say after a month, you’re still getting terrible gas and bloating and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, then you need to make some adjusts, and experiment with different ways of preparing your food.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

 

Whole Grains, Beans, Legumes

Most whole grains, beans, and legumes have phytic acid and soaking them in water over night before cooking them can help to remove it and make the beans, legumes and whole grains more easily digestible. This is something you can definitely try!

If you have already tried soaking the grains, beans, legumes, and this doesn’t seem to help, then I would first suggest keeping note as to which ones you know for sure it doesn’t work with. I’ve coached many people who tell me they can’t digest grains, even if they soak them, and then it turns out they’ve only tried to eat one type of grain! Even if one grain doesn’t digest well, doesn’t mean you’ll have a problem with all. And the same goes with beans and legumes.

Also there’s so many different ways to prepare grains, beans, and legumes. For some who have a hard time digesting the fiber, eating the grains or beans that have been processed down in some way can help – for example having pureed beans in a dip, eat a whole grain sprouted bread, etc. You’re still eating the whole food but you’ve processed it down or broken it down before eating it, which will make it much easier to digest.

Also, if you suspect grains, beans, or legumes are causing gas and digestive issues, I recommend reducing the portions or amounts you are consuming. Many times when people just use grains and beans as a condiment instead of as the main meal, it makes a big difference in digesting the food. Examples would be instead of eating a bowl of beans, have a small handful of beans tossed into a salad, or instead of having a lentil soup, have a vegetable soup with a small amount of lentils mixed in. These small details can actually make huge differences.

Vegetables

Out of all vegetables, I find leafy green vegetables to be the easiest to digest. Whether having them raw in a salad, or steamed or sautéed, green leafy vegetables act as a broom in the digestive system without causing gas.

Vegetables to watch out for are cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc., and nightshade vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. These types of vegetables are known to cause gas and bloating for some people. If you eat a lot of these vegetables, take a break for a week or two to see if your digestion improves.

Like the whole grains and beans, I suggest experimenting with different ways of preparing your vegetables. Some people have a much easier time digesting their vegetables if they cook them instead of eating them raw. Others, find it easier to eat them cut up in tiny pieces, whereas others can only have them mashed or puréed. If you are having a hard time digesting vegetables, start with small amounts in your diet, and experiment with different ways of preparing them.

Lastly…

One last thing I want to mention, and that is the importance of water and exercise. This is SUPER important. People move around less and less, and are chronically dehydrated– both of which causes constipation, stagnation, trapped air and gas, and overall ill health.

If you have issues with gas and bloating, you must move around, walk, exercise, stretch, get your heart rate going, sweat a bit. And, you must keep drinking water. Water won’t make you more bloated, in fact it will do the reverse, once you are hydrated again, it will work to keep the bloat down and release water retention and fluid imbalance. Drink water and exercise more!


Want to do a Juice Fast? Join the next 10 Day Juice Fasting Program starting Wednesday, April 1, 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!

 

Mar 302015
 

Dairy Products - Are they healthy? www.RadianceCentral.com

Are Dairy Products Healthy & Do I Eat Them?

Ah dairy products! This is one food group that I find people are either very attached to, or the opposite, they can give it up without much effort at all. Some people love dairy products, others not. I believe this is not only about tastes and preferences, but also where someone grew up, their ancestry and cultural background, and if foods made with dairy were eaten amongst their family and community.

Personally, I always like to approach diet from a place of balance, and take into consideration that not one diet fits all. I don’t believe in cutting out food groups unnecessarily, and this includes dairy products. For some people eating dairy products causes all sorts of havoc and distress in their body, but for others they have no reaction to it at all, and in fact for many vegetarian this is their primary source of vitamin B12, protein, and essential fats. So before deciding whether dairy products are for you or not, let’s talk about who should not be eating dairy products, and why.

Who shouldn’t eat dairy products:

 

1- Dairy Allergy Or Sensitivity

If you have a dairy allergy or sensitivity, you shouldn’t be consuming any dairy products. Symptoms of a dairy allergy are diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, skin rashes, and chronic sinus congestion.

If you think you have a dairy allergy, you can always go to a doctor to have an allergy test, or you can do an elimination diet.

Some people with dairy allergies might also have allergies or sensitives to other animal milk products like goat’s milk. I also find that many with dairy allergy also have a sensitivity to soy milk. So if you have an allergy to dairy, and you switched over to soy milk, and you’re still not feeling great, I would strongly recommend having homemade nut milk instead (almond milk, cashew milk, etc.) or homemade rice milk. I believe homemade nut, seed, or rice milks to be a MUCH BETTER alternative to soy milk.

2- Acne, Breakouts, Cystic Pimples, Psoriasis, Eczema, etc.

If you have acne, chronic breakouts, or cystic pimples, I would strongly suggest you stop eating all dairy products. I would say 80-90% of acne sufferers notice either huge improvements in their skin, or complete clearing up of their skin when they eliminate dairy products, and all milk products from their diet.

Also for those that have eczema, psoriasis, or other skin issues – usually the elimination of dairy products and milk products will decrease or eliminate flare-ups. It’s worth it to take a break from dairy and milk products for a few weeks, maybe a month, and see if this helps improve your skin!

3- Chronic inflammation

If you have chronic inflammation, have aches and pains from arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, etc. — take a break from dairy. For many inflammation sufferers, this can help a lot. Dairy products and milk products are known to contribute to inflammation, and if you want to eliminate one of the causes of your pain or ill health, take a break from dairy and milk products to see if it helps.

4- Chronic sinus infections and mucous build-up

There’s not doubt that dairy products can be very mucous forming for many people. If you suffer from chronic sinus issue or even have a bout of a cold, runny nose, or even a sore throat, avoiding dairy product will help to speed up your recovery.

Does everyone need to stop eating dairy and milk products?

No! If you don’t have any of the health conditions like the ones above, and you’re perfectly healthy, and you enjoy having dairy products in your diet, I don’t see the point in cutting them out. I do recommend eating good quality dairy and milk products – always organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, and from a company that practises ethical treatment of their animals. If you can get it from a small, local farm or company, even a raw product over a pasteurized one, that would be great as well!

I also always recommend full-fat milk products over light or skim milk. It’s more filling, tastier, more satisfying, and has more healthy fats as opposed to more sugars and carbohydrates.

Do I eat dairy products?

I get terrible cystic acne from some dairy products (not from cheese, but from milk and cream). Even at the age of 39 where we’d hope I would have out-grown acne by now, I still have to watch it with milk products (which is a good thing because I have a soft spot for ice cream, but if I eat it, it’s breakout city!!!!).

Lucky for me, living in Indonesia there isn’t a wide selection of dairy products. Majority of fresh milk products are imported, and it can be very expensive (a pint of plain greek yogurt can cost close to $10). Dairy products aren’t used in local cuisine, and therefore my husband isn’t used to eating it. So I don’t cook much with dairy products, but once in a while I will use butter or ghee, and luckily I don’t have adverse reactions to it. I also sometimes like to add fresh mozzarella, bocconcini, or feta cheese to a salad to make it more substantial, and I have no skin reactions to that either.

So in all, because of the breakouts I get from milk and cream, and because I live in a country that dairy products aren’t widely available or used, I don’t eat much of it. When I visit Canada, I do like to have a little local cheese, or if someone is visiting me from Europe, I like them to bring me some cheese from their country, but this is an occasional thing, and not part of my daily diet.

One recommendation I do have!

I just want to end by sharing one recommendation I do have when eating dairy. Besides eating a good quality, organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised milk product, I also recommend eating dairy as a condiment, and not as a meal. I find most people can easily be satisfied if they do add it to their meal, but are mindful with the portions. For example, adding a small amount of cheese to a salad or sprinkling it on steamed vegetables, adding a dollop of yogurt to a bowl of berries, adding a spoonful of dairy kefir to a smoothie, etc., is not only tasty, but also adds more nutrition to a meal, and makes it even more filling. This way you get to enjoy the creamy texture of dairy, without overdoing it, or over eating it!


Want to do a Juice Fast? Join the next 10 Day Juice Fasting Program starting Wednesday, April 1, 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!

 

Mar 262015
 

Can A Cleanse Heal You? - www.RadianceCentral.com

Can A Cleanse Heal You?

I’m asked quite often about cleanses, and if they can heal health conditions, illnesses, and diseases. I think cleanses are great at kick starting a healthy diet and giving someone a good break from foods that are causing inflammation, imbalances, and disease in the body. But I don’t think a short term cleanse will heal anyone unless they make permanent changes to their diet and lifestyle after the cleanse, and figure out what might be contributing to the problem to begin with.

If you have a health condition or illness and are contemplating doing a cleanse (fasting or a dietary cleanse), I have some suggestions to make it a worthwhile experience. Cleanses and fasting are great, but what’s even better is learning from them – learning more about yourself, and what is contributing to your health, and what is standing in your way.

Two types of foods that contribute to most illnesses and health issues:

Allergenic Foods & Inflammatory Foods

The reason why people feel so great on a cleanse and have such wonderful healing results is because of what is eliminated while being on a cleanse. I like to class these eliminated foods into two groups: allergenic foods and inflammatory foods. Many or all of the foods in these two groups are usually eliminated during a cleanse, and this is why people always feel much better while they are fasting or following a restrictive cleanse

1- Allergenic Food

Allergenic foods are foods that some people have an allergy or a sensitivity to. Examples of these foods or ingredients are dairy or milk products, wheat, gluten, soy, corn, shellfish, tree nuts, food additives like MSG, etc. If someone has an unknown sensitivity or allergy to any one of these foods (or a combination of them), eliminating them will automatically make them feel a lot better! Sometimes just a few days without an allergenic food can have a big impact on someone’s health and help them to start clearing up surface issues like digestive distress, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acne, skin rashes, congestion, sinus issues, respiratory infections, aches and pains, etc. Later, as someone continues to go without a food they have an allergy or sensitivity to, deeper imbalances and problems like malnutrition, inflammation, and chronic immune response that could be causing other health conditions, diseases, and illness, can start to balance out, and the body can heal.

2- Inflammatory foods

Sugar, alcohol, processed foods, refined foods, artificial ingredients, food additives, chemicals, preservatives, and even an over-consumption of animal products and meats causes inflammation in the body (and so does stress!). Too much of this stuff makes people ill! Like with allergenic foods, once anyone takes a break from inflammatory foods, they always start feeling a lot better, and there body begins to heal.

What to take away from your cleanse

If you do a cleanse and feel fabulous at the end and notice all sorts of healing and an elimination of health issues you’ve been dealing with for years, it’s most probably because there’s at least one thing in your diet that is causing havoc on your health. If it’s already obvious to you what needs to be eliminated so you can continue to enjoy the results from the cleanse, then do so.

If it’s not so clear what could potentially be causing all your health issues, I suggest after the cleanse is done to do an entire month with as little inflammatory food as possible to see if that is the cause of your issues. If after a month, you don’t feel that much improvement like you did when you were on the cleanse, then I suggest experimenting with an elimination diet.

Elimination Diet

An elimination diet I find is one of the surest ways of figuring out what foods you might be allergic to or have a sensitivity to. The best way to do it is to choose one allergenic food and eliminate it from your diet for 2 weeks. If after two weeks you notice no improvement in your health, than re-introduce it back into your diet and try eliminating another allergenic food for another two weeks. By doing an elimination diet, it’ll be very clear as to what foods are not agreeing with your body, and it ensures you are not eliminating any food group unnecessarily.

This is how you really benefit from a cleanse

One thing I tell participants from my monthly Juice Fasting Program and Raw Food Cleanse, is it’s not so much about the cleanse itself, but what you do after. A cleanse is pretty much useless if you don’t make needed dietary and lifestyle adjustments afterwards. If you do a cleanse and then go back to eating junk, there’s no point in doing the cleanse to begin with, and perhaps it just causes more stress on your body. So before you embark on any cleanse, really be honest with yourself if this is something you want to do. Ask yourself, are you ready? Are you excited about it? Are you willing to put all the effort into improving your diet, health, and lifestyle? If the answers are Yes, Yes, YES – then go with it!! This really can be the beginning of something GREAT!

Want to do a cleanse? Join one of my upcoming online programs:
10 Day Juice Fasting Program starting April 1, 2015
7 Day Raw Food Cleanse starting April 13, 2015
7 Day Whole Food Challenge starting April 20, 2015

Mar 192015
 

Tips for dark circles under eyes - www.RadianceCentral.com

Do you have dark circles under your eyes and it’s not coming from a lack of sleep?!

As a kid I suffered from dark under eye circles, in fact my mother would put me to bed earlier and earlier hoping it would go away! The dark circles had nothing to do with a lack of sleep, or how rested I was. It was only until she took me to a doctor, did we find out I had bad environmental allergies, especially to dust which was causing the problem. Even today, after all these years, I still have to take extra pre-cautions to make sure my home is free of dust, and other airborne allergens.

Based on my own experience and those of others, dark circles under the eyes can be caused by many things from fatigue, allergies, eye strain, dehydration, diet, deficiencies, health conditions, and even one’s facial bone structure.

Here’s a bunch of suggestions I have if you have dark circles under your eyes: 

 

1- Go for a check-up

Always best to check-in with a doctor or naturopath and have them take a look at you, and do the appropriate tests (like blood tests). Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by deficiencies like an iron deficiency (anemia), or it could be a sign that you have a thyroid issue, adrenal issue, etc.

2- Boost your nutrition by eating nutrient dense foods

Eat more vegetables! Not only eating more, but having more variety, plus cooking and preparing your vegetables in different ways will ensure you are getting a good variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some nutrients are better absorbed when the food is cooked, others are more absorbable when the food is raw– so best to have a good combination of both! Personally, I like to  prepare my vegetables in all different ways like having salads, soups, smoothies, freshly pressed green juices, raw veggies and dip, steamed or sautéed vegetables, baked vegetables, etc– this ensures I have a lot of variety, cover my nutritional needs, and I continue to enjoy my healthy food!

Drinking freshly pressed green juice (daily) and/or wheatgrass juice (regularly) will also give you a nutritional boost. Many people have noticed that over time of adding fresh juice to their diets, dark circles and puffiness around the eyes go away. If you don’t have access to fresh juices, you can always try a green powder – personally I will always say that “fresh is best,” but I also know that not everyone has immediate access to fresh juices, so in the time being, you can add a good quality green powder to your diet.

Like freshly pressed green juices, homemade bone broth is also a fantastic addition to your diet, not only for the minerals but to boost your body’s collagen production as well, which is always good for having a more youthful appearance and healthy skin.

3- Avoid eye strain

Don’t be staring into computer screens, tablets, and phones for too long. Make sure to be reading in well lit areas, and most importantly, take breaks! You eyes need rest too!

4- Sleeping in an environment that is clean, dust-free, clutter-free, and even hypo-allergenic

When you sleep at night, make sure there is fresh air and good air circulation. If possible, open a window slightly to get some good, clean air in. If using an air conditioner or central heating, make sure the vents are clean, free of any mold, dirt, or dust.

Make sure your sleeping area is clean, dust-free and doesn’t have too many objects around it that can accumulate dust. Best to clean your bedroom and especially your sleeping area at least once or twice a week, change bed linens and pillow cases regularly, and also flip your mattress and pillows regularly. All these things can make a big difference, not only on your under eye circles, but the quality of your sleep, and overall health as well!

Some people have allergies to feathers (or the dust and microbes that accumulate in feathers). Perhaps replacing your down duvet and pillows with synthetic fiber filled ones can help (I know for myself this has always made a huge difference), or you can even try to sleep without a pillow!

5- Different sleep positions may help

Sometime sleeping with a an extra pillow to prop your head higher can help to prevent water retention or accumulation in the face and under the eyes, which could be contributing to the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Even changing your sleeping position can help too, perhaps if you sleep on your stomach or side, try sleeping on your back and see if that helps.

6- Decreasing salt and sodium in your diet

There are definitely certain foods and condiments loaded with salt or sodium that is anything but beautifying! I know for myself anything with tamari, soy sauce, or miso makes my under eyes ballon! Keep note if some mornings you wake up with serious puffiness, what did you eat the day before that could be causing it?

7- Homemade Eye Masks

Need a quick eye pick-me-up or a temporary solution? Try an eye mask! They do work. It won’t get rid of it permanently, but for a few hours they could make a big difference making your eyes less dark, puffy, and saggy.

Two easy and natural eye masks I like are fresh cucumber slices and used tea bags:

Cucumber Eye Mask:
1- Slice fresh cucumber (2 slices) and place in the fridge or freezer to make sure they are really cold.
2- Place over closed, clean eyes for 15-30 minutes

Tea Bag Eye Mask
1- Place two used tea bags (that contain caffeine like black or green tea bags) in refrigerator or freezer until very cold
2- Place over closed, clean eyes for 15-30 minutes

8- Non-toxic cosmetics and skin care products

You can always use non-toxic eye creams and non-toxic make-up to conceal the dark circles under your eyes. I know for myself, taking care of my baby daughter Luna Ray, I’m definitely very appreciative of non-toxic make-up when we go through sleepless nights!!

Products and cosmetics I recommend:
I love Living Libations’ Open Sky Eye Serum and All Seeing Eye Crème. The All Seeing Eye Crème I store in the refrigerator so it’s nice and cool when I put it under my eyes. The Open Sky Eye Serum I use only at night for extra moisture.

I also really like RMS Beauty “un” cover-up, it’s an extremely light weight, non-toxic concealer which I find great for using under the eye’s because it won’t build up in the creases and fine lines (a.k.a wrinkles) under my eyes like other heavier, cakey make-up does. Because it’s so light it doesn’t clog pores, or dry out the skin either.


Ready to let go of the sugar and processed food once and for all??!!
Join the NEW 7 Day Whole Food Challenge starting Monday, March 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!