May 14th, 2011
“As much as 60% of the topical skin-care products that people use now a days are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream,” says Dr. Nancy Lonsdrof, M.D. “They should be consumed with the same prudence that we use to choose our breakfast cereal.” There are many toxic chemicals in cosmetic products that have been clinically proven to cause cancer, tumors, irritation and many different skin disorders.
So there’s our problem….now how do we solve it? *By using skin/hair/body care lines that are free of these chemicals and toxins.
Are those kind of lines out there-do they exist? *Yes!!
Are they affordable? *Yes! Yay!!
Beyond that from a personal experience I can share with you how much my skin improved once I started using these pure skin care lines. It’s obviously not the only contributor to my skin improving as I also changed my diet and many other things that you can read about in my other blog posts and vids BUT this was a huge component of the changes in my skin and hair. One example is that I used to get blackheads on a regular basis and thought it was normal to have them all the time. Now I almost never have them anymore unless I eat like a whole pie of pizza in one night which might or might not have occurred once or twice or ten times or so….but anyway, you get my drift. Another important point: there are many places like whole foods that sell skin care lines, shampoos ect. that claim they are all organic, natural ect. which compared to the below recommended products are not worthy of your beautiful skin or your money. I for one know that I get nothing out of sharing this with you except the shear joy of knowing that you might start using products that are healing for your body, mind and spirit. Espavo!
So where can we buy them?
*Online. Here they are by Order of Personal Preference:
Living Libations If there was a skin care line that people use in heaven…this would be it! Every one of their products that I’ve used so far has been one of pure bliss! They have everything under the sun when it comes to hair, skin & body care including face creams, makeup, shampoos and even dental care! There is also a surprising and delightful poetic description about each product which shows the immense amount of energy and passion that is transmitted into this goodness. Obsessed am I? Totally! I especially love their dental care products, Underarm Charm deodorants, MaidenFern Blushing Balm, Ruby Juice Lover Lips, Everybody Loves the Sunshine sun screen, RoseGlow face creme, Maverick face creme, Seabuckthorn shampoo, Shine On Hair conditioner, and Lavender Essential Oil which I put in my bath, smoothie and raw chocolate treats!
Live-Live is a small store in the east village that carries the latest and purest organic products out there. The owners sell their own amazing natural skin care products. I highly recommend the “Bee Yummy Skin Food” face & body cream and the “Herbal Shampoo” which I also use as a face & body wash.
Pratima Ayurvedic Skincare The ingredients are all natural with Ayurvedic herbs.
Ascended Health Their products are amazing. They also include spiritual blessings from various traditions like kabbalah and native american. I love their dental products and their sufi bliss oil.
Morrocco Method They have great soaps, natural hair dye, natural eye liner ect.
Terressentials Their lines are 100% organic & natural and you can purchase samples of pretty much everything they sell. Their products are relatively affordable and you don’t have to worry about what you’re putting on your skin! I especially love their “Flower Therapy” toner, “Seductive Spice” body oil and “Lovin Lavender” hand soap!
ISUN Skincare What I like about this line is that some of the products contain gemstones.
100 Percent Pure has a great and affordable make up line. I especially love their eyeliners and mascara where they use black tea and other all natural products in their ingredients.
Crema de Cacao Pure & Delicious!
Futurenatural They have a large selection of natural and organic beauty products. I especially love their Alaska Glacial Mud. I remember how special the mud at the glaciers in Alaska was when I put some on my hand.
Bee Georgous Organics So simple and pure-godda love it!
Golden Path Alchemy Holistic herbal skin care with some unique ingredients.
Tata Harper Skin Care Sophisticated, conscious, and 100% natural products.
**If you use natural organic hair & skin care products that you think are worthy to add to this list I would love to hear from you-so shoot me an email!
December 5th, 2010
There are many places where we can choose to buy our clothes now a days but do we ever think about where they came from, what the process of making them is all about, and how they affect our health? Even when we buy “organic” clothes does it mean that they are really all natural or do they just grow the cotton organically and then add the chemicals in afterwards?
The unfortunate truth is that most of the “organic” clothing out there are still full of chemicals that are bad for our health and our earth. Fact is that after the organic cotton is picked it is put through a scouring process where they use some kind of chemical for washing it and then they go ahead and dye the “organic” cotton with a variety of synthetic dyes which are packed with chemicals. The so called “eco-friendly” dyes are made from less harsh chemicals but chemicals nonetheless that our bodies absorb through our pores and lungs. At the end of the day marketing this type of garment as “organic” or “eco-friendly” is a complete hoax geared towards making money.
The only way for a garment to be completely organic, natural and earth friendly is by not putting any chemicals into it and by only using plant based dyes and soaps. Designers have too much freedom with the word “organic” and “eco-friendly” when it comes to marketing their products. As mentioned earlier if the cotton was grown organically no matter how many chemicals have been added to it after it’s picked it can still be marketed as organic! A few “eco” clothing designers and companies have told me that they hesitate to use natural dyes because they are afraid that the colors won’t stay. I can now say first hand that that is not true. I own naturally dyed organic clothing which I washed a few times already and the colors are as vibrant as they were when I first bought them.
Naturally dyed organic clothing introduce a whole new world of what wearing clothes is all about. It’s actually an ancient practice so this “new world” isn’t so new after all. Each herb and plant that is used as a clothing dye has its own healing properties! It’s like killing two birds with one stone or should I say healing two birds with one stone!
Below is a list of clothing designers who leave out all of the harmful chemicals from their fabrics and use all natural dyes instead of synthetic ones.
Naturally Dyed Organic (Chemical-Free) Clothing:
1. The designer from Ado Clothing followed her roots by using fabrics dyed with Ayurvedic Indian herbs. Anjelika shared with me that she used to work for a clothing company where she experienced first hand not only the amount of chemcials they put into the fabrics but the unethical harmful environment that many of the employees had to work in on a daily basis. This encouraged her to go out and start a clothing line that is beneficial and healing to all who are associated with it. After buying some of her clothes I never want to take them off because they feel so nurturing. Her fabrics have a level of silkiness and softness to them that I haven’t experienced before in other cotton fabrics. Another cool fact is that the left over water from the natural dyes is also good for the earth! Plus, all of the roots, plants and herbs that the mill in India uses to dye the fabrics with are wild! Anjelika’s website is: http://adoclothing.com/ and you can also purchase her clothes at: http://www.nimli.com/items_2240.html
2. Go Indigo Jeans sells jeans that are organic, ethical, and naturally dyed using the indigo plant. You can see how they make their jeans in the video below. You can also purchase their jeans at: http://www.goindigojeans.com/
3. Truly Organic Clothing is another fashion company that uses organic cotton fabrics that are naturally dyed using various roots and plants without any use of chemicals. You can check out their website at: http://www.truly-organic-clothing.com/shop/
4. Gaia Conceptions uses organic cotton, hemp and wool fabrics with the the option of using all natural dyes when placing your order. There are MANY styles to choose from and the designer also allows you to customize some of the pieces to your liking. Andrea, the designer, also designs the clothing according to your specific measurements: http://www.etsy.com/shop/gaiaconceptions
5. Conscious Clothing is another great shop on etsy where the designer offers to use natural dyes upon request. She also uses organic cotton and hemp fabrics: http://www.etsy.com/shop/consciousclothing
6. Kelgwo uses local wool that comes in many different natural colors. They also use local roots and plants to dye their wool: http://www.etsy.com/shop/kelgwo
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October 1st, 2010
Raw Coconut Creme Shake Video, an Amazing New Low Glycemic Sweetener & Places that Sell Fresh Pure Raw Organic & Chemical-Free Coconut Water & Meat on the East Coast.
I know it’s been a while since my last entry-lately time has been flying by and I also took some time off for traveling and to study for my LMSW exam. I’ve been meaning to write about my last trip to Miami which is always so much fun whenever I go. I always make sure to visit life food gourmet, an amazingly delish raw food restaurant, where the chef is now replacing agave with a new low glycemic sweetener that I now use in my own kitchen called “coconut nectar” or “palm nectar” which comes from the sap of the coconut tree. It’s pretty much the healthiest sweetener I found so far that is unprocessed and tastes substantial enough for me. If you’re interested in learning more or purchasing the coconut nectar you can go to: www.coconutsecret.com This website also sells other amazing products that I’ve been using on a daily basis-these products satiate me to the point where my body feels more relaxed and less hungry throughout the day. I would highly recommend the coconut nectar, coconut vinegar, and coconut aminos that you can purchase on their website above. I love visiting life food gourmet and interviewing chef John who introduced me to these coconut products and always has the most up to date information about raw food living and healthy eating for health conscious people like me:-) You can watch my latest video with him below where he goes into further detail about these magical coconut products, talks about why he stopped using agave as his main sweetener, and shows you how to make a healthy and delicious coconut creme shake!
I’ve also been doing a good amount of research on finding the purest and healthiest coconut water & meat on the east coast. It’s easy to buy the young thai coconuts in NYC or go to Organic Avenue for ready to drink organic young thai coconut water. The problem with organic young thai coconuts is that in order for them to be shipped from Thailand they are dipped in a fungicide solution (such as formaldehyde or sodium metabisulphate) before exporting. This is to eliminate mold and bacteria during the “6-week” shipping process. According to wikipedia, “exposure to formaldehyde is a significant consideration for human health.”
As a side note relating to this topic…many of us myself included like to blind ourselves from what we are doing or tend to stay in denial for the sake of convenience & in order to keep the ball rolling, to roll with the punches ect. It’s difficult to change our patterns of behavior even when their juxtaposition to our deeper more innate yearnings and aspirations are completely contradictory. Underneath our resistance is fear and there being too much at stake in the face of our societal standards and too much risk in deviating from its norms. Few take the time to ponder its consequences and where it’s gotten us thus far…I guess in this context I am referring more to our health which of course is connected to and a manifestation of our mental, emotional and spiritual states of being hence the body-mind connection that many scientists are supporting now-a-days.
Perhaps taking a giant step “back” from everything we are doing is the prerequisite for that giant leap forward to a future that is more sustainable, nurturing and healing for man kind. That’s why I find healing retreats including spending time in nature so beneficial and transformative-they give me a chance to take a break from what I’ve been consuming my time with and ponder the meaning of my existence and my mission in life. Ok, I know I just got sidetracked a bit but to think that some of the best organic & raw food restaurants out there are still using these chemically dipped and probably also sprayed organic young thai coconuts on a daily basis is scary for me. And since when were the words “organic” & “chemically treated” meant to be used in the same sentence-talk about a contrasting juxtaposition!
Recommended Coconut Water & Meat in NYC:
1. Exotic Superfoods is a small company that delivers organic, chemical free & raw young thai coconut water, meat & more to businesses and residents in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Since I live in NJ I just meet them somewhere in NYC. They deliver both the meat and water separately in plastic bottles and bags. They claim that the plastic is leach free so I guess at this point I have to take that in good faith. The coconut water is a bit too sweet for my taste but it’s all relative. They are able to sell organic young thai coconuts that are free from any chemicals by freezing their water & meat before they ship them to the US from Thailand.
2. I recently heard from googling that Fairway in NYC sells green coconuts which I will have to look into and give an update at a later time. If anyone knows more about this feel free to post below!
Recommended Coconut Water & Meat in FL:
I found two places in Florida that sell local organic green coconut water. The good news is that both places literally cut the green coconut off from the tree and either package them as is or pour them into leach-free plastic bottles and it tastes amazing! The bad news is you have to pay for shipping and the bottled ones have to come frozen and shipping costs are not cheap.
1. Glaser Farms in Miami is known for its famous raw products and organic farmers market which is every Saturday where they have a huge variety of everything fresh and dry that you can think of! They also sell organic green coconut water-they grow their green coconuts on their organic farm in Miami and ship it overnight (if you’re not in the Miami area) in frozen bottles. If you decide to order from them I highly recommend ordering their frozen ice cream. Here is their website if you are interested: http://glaserorganicfarms.com
2. Another place in Miami that sells organic green coconut water is an organic farm that ships the coconuts to you! You can see the actual farm and meet the owner who sells them in the below video or by checking out his website. You can’t get it more fresh than this-the only thing is that because he ships the whole coconut you get less water than with Glaser farm or exotic superfoods but the price is still decent & it would be cool as an occasional treat or if you want to use them for a party! You can also order a green coconut opener which opens it in seconds from his website. Here is the website if you are interested in ordering both the coconuts and the coconut opener: http://www.florida-coconuts.com If you happen to visit or live in Miami you can actually pick them up from the farm and I remember the owner offering to bottle the coconut water for me when I called him up beforehand.
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June 7th, 2010
Recently, I had the privilege of training with raw chef Dan from Quintessence: http://www.raw-q.com in NYC. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I thought I would learn a good number of recipes from one of the top raw food chefs out there and that would be an experience in itself but to my pleasant surprise the training offered a lot more than that…
I first heard about the training from raw chef Dan’s website: http://rawchefdan.com/ and throughout my incredibly schedule packed year of being a therapist intern and a grad student I kept it in the back of my mind. Then one day I went to a raw food event and ran into a friend who told me about the graduation dinners that Dan and his students host at the end of his raw chef certification training. She said she couldn’t believe how amazingly delish all of the dishes that the students prepared were. I took that as a sign and used that as the extra push that I needed to further look into this training program. This was also around the same time that Dan stopped using agave as the main sweetener at Quintessence and decided to use Xylitol instead which I was super excited about!
I decided to do an interview with Dan about his raw chef mastery certification program which you can watch in the video below which is what ended up inspiring me to finally register especially with the early registration discount. I was so impressed with how organized and well thought out Dan’s training program was. On the first day Dan gave me an overview of the digestive system and its relationship to food combinations, unhealthy vs healthy food, and detoxification. Dan prepared his lessons and recipes based on their level of technique and he really encouraged me to do things on my own so I could gain the skills that I needed to be a raw food chef.
I still can’t believe how much we accomplished and how many recipes I learned in just five days! It was definitely a no-nonsense training compared to the other ones that I’ve had. The fun part was that I got to take home most of the leftovers of whatever we were making that day including from the graduation dinner. The highlight of my training experience was the graduation dinner that we had for our guests using all of the skills and techniques that Dan taught me. According to Dan, preparing and organizing this dinner offered me a taste of what it would be like to run a raw food restaurant for a day including planning the menu, buying the ingredients, uncooking it up and interacting with my guests who were all blown away with the dishes.
The coolest part of the training was realizing how simple and easy all of the raw food dishes, even the sophisticated ones, are to make OR maybe chef Dan secretly imbedded the skills and techniques into my DNA code and now it just comes totally naturally to me…maybe that part will remain a mystery…but at least now I know why it’s called the Raw Chef “Mastery“ Program. It makes me feel like I’ve mastered the techniques of raw food uncooking.
At the end of the day it feels like quite an accomplishment…but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:-) Below are pictures of the raw food dishes from the Greek menu that I put together with chef Dan including herb cheese balls with fruits and apricot sauce, a Greek tomato salad, a cheese crepe with caviar, tomato soup with garlic tahini sauce, butternut squash pasta with a side of tzaziki, and last but definitely not least………drumroll…..flan with caramel sauce, a chocolate ball, and lavender/honey/vanilla ice cream-YUM!
My Interview with Raw Chef Dan from Quintessence about his Raw Chef Mastery Certification Program
Pictures of my Raw Food Creations from the Raw Chef Mastery Certification Training
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April 24th, 2010
Dr. Aris Latham is known as the “father of gourmet ethical raw foods cuisine in America” according to the encyclopedia. He owned several raw food restaurants in places like NYC, Washington, and California and was the Master Chef at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has served as an Executive Food Service Consultant to the Island Outpost Strawberry Hill Resort in Irish Town, and catered to the Kingston Hilton Hotel in Jamaica. I partook in Dr. Aris Latham’s Raw Food Certification Training Program in Panama a few weeks ago.
Dr. Aris used to run an eco-resort in Jamaica where he offered retreats and raw food trainings and about a month ago he moved to panama which is where he grew up. Dr. Aris showed me his new eco-organic resort in Panama on a beautiful beach with a coconut farm as well as many other fruit trees-you can see the pictures of it in the video below!
In the videos below Dr. Aris explains how to achieve optimal health on the raw food diet and sheds light on the truths of the raw food industry including not getting caught in some of their marketing schemes. Dr. Aris also teaches you what a typical day would look like on his diet. Overall, Dr. Aris has a different approach than most of the raw foodists that I trained with and learned from-one that is more affordable and more in harmony with nature and the rest of the universe. In the videos below you will also learn about what you can eat and drink to optimize your health, how you can drink alkaline water without having to pay for those expensive machines and/or filtration systems and why colonics are not necessary when you follow his daily regimen. Dr. Aris taught me how to make some delicious and completely guilt free raw food dishes like sprouted aramanth crackers, his famous paradise pie, and coconut cream cheese-YUM!
Throughout the training I also decided to detox on fruit juices and my favorite fruit to juice is called the “rose apple” which can be found in places like Jamaica and Panama. If you can get your hands on this fruit I would highly recommend juicing it because it has this beautiful pink color to it and tastes absolutely refreshing and delicious and it is super healthy for you especially when it comes to your digestive system. The most important thing that I learned from training with Dr. Aris is to drink liquids and eat moisture rich foods throughout the day. This is the key to making sure that your body is continually flushing out your toxins and is full of life flowing energy that will prevent stagnation. Dr. Aris highly encourages you to drink a lot of coconut water which is a natural laxative that has the power to stimulate bowel movement and flush out the toxins from your body among many other health benefits that it offers.
Enjoy the Vids and make sure to post down below if you feel inspired or even if you feel strongly about something. Feel free to also leave a comment on my youtube channel-either way I would love to hear from you! Bye for Now!
Dr. Aris’ Website: http://www.sunfired.com
April 23rd, 2010
My Interview with Ted Danson, Miss Universe & Miss USA at Christie’s Green Auction: “A Bid to Save the Earth” Event in NYC for Earth Day!
Last night I attended Christie’s Green Auction called ‘A Bid to Save the Earth’ in honor of Earth Day in NYC which ended up raising $1,387,000 to benefit four environmental organizations: Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Central Park Conservancy and Conservation International. Celebrities such as Chevy Chase, who hosted the event, Ted Danson, Jim Cramer from ‘Mad Money’, Salma Hayek, and several members from the Rockefeller family were also there. Before the auction took place I spoke with Miss Universe and Miss USA about what inspired them to attend the event. Miss Universe was so graceful and inviting to talk to and Miss USA had an incredible amount of charisma to share about living green. It was such a pleasure to interview both of them-and a lot of fun! Watch the Vids below for their interviews!
Miss Universe has her own personal blog at http://www.missuniverse.com/members/profile/41818 and her youtube video blog at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr3Ljmbfjiw.
Miss USA’s website is: www.missuniverse.com/missusa and her youtube video blog is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go7yMVC1K7U.
We all know Ted Danson from shows like Cheers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bored to Death, and Damages but how many of us know him for the tremendous amount of impact he’s made in helping to save our planet? For many years now Ted has invested a vast amount of energy in helping to preserve our oceans. During the auction at Christie’s I happened to be sitting right behind Ted and his family. I could tell how passionate Ted was about the event and its cause so after the auction I asked him if he would be interested in talking about what inspired him to attend. He generously said yes considering how busy he was and how many people were there to talk to him and take pictures with him.
Ted had a gentle, authentic and funny nature to him which made it that much more enjoyable during the interview. Most importantly Ted’s passion for saving the Earth and especially for protecting our ocean life became quite apparent throughout the course of the event. In my interview with him Ted talks about his organization called “Oceana” which helps protect the world’s oceans. Oceana works to stop ocean pollution, promote responsible fishing, protect marine wildlife, preserve special nature places, and advocates for cleaner energy on the oceans. Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Oceana’s scientists work closely with a team of economists, lawyers and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans.
You can watch Ted’s Video about Oceana at: http://na.oceana.org/en/about-us/what-we-do. Oceana does an incredible amount of work that is so inspiring and really makes a difference for our planet. Thank you Ted for caring so much and doing your part in helping to save our Earth!!
To learn more about Oceana go to www.oceana.org
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April 14th, 2010
This was my second raw food training session with Eric Levinson, a raw food Chef and wellness consultant who is now working on forming a community in Brooklyn that promotes sustainable living. Every time I meet with Eric I am astounded as to how many amazingly delicious raw food recipes he can create that are so easy to make! I first heard about him when he worked as a raw food chef at Sproutcraft cafe, a raw food restaurant that he opened in NYC and I would go almost every week for his delicious dishes that were so addictive it was surprising how healthy they were.
One of my favorite recipes is his raw salsa wrap which turned out so good-I can’t wait to make them again! You can check out the raw salsa wrap video below. There is also the mouth watering coconut meat wrap recipe also in the below video.
Eric focuses on the most sustainable and affordable way to live on the raw food lifestyle which he says can still be very enjoyable and in some ways healthier for you. In the vids below Eric talks about how some raw foods like superfoods and certain nuts can be costly and don’t support a green lifestyle since they have to ship them here from all over the world. Eric also shares how he discovered a way to keep his candida and allergies under control. I am looking forward to continuing to learn and train with Eric in the future and can’t wait to see what new manifestations will sprout into existence from his new endeavors!
To learn more about Eric’s sustainable community go to: www.hivebk.wordpress.com or you can contact him via email at email@example.com
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March 31st, 2010
It’s not common to find a vegan restaurant on the upper west side now a days let alone one that carries raw food dishes! Peace Food Cafe has a soothing atmosphere with a neo-cultural ambiance including people of all ages enjoying the great variety of food being offered. In the picture below I got a raw walnut pate & seasonal julienne vegetables sushi roll, served with a jicama-carrot medley which was flavorful and filling. For dessert I got the raw key lime pie with young coconut meat, avocado, cashews, lime juice & agave in a crust made with brazilian nuts, almonds & dates. They also have great smoothies, juices and salads that you can enjoy! Their staff was pretty accommodating with customizing the dishes according to my dietary needs. I also tried the roasted japanese pumpkin dish which they put on a bed of lettuce for me instead of the sandwich it normally comes in. This dish also comes with vegan goat cheese made from cashews-Yum! One of the most memorable moments for me was seeing that adorable little girl (in the above picture) with her dog waiting for her father outside of the cafe! Overall, I’m happy to know that I have a place to eat when I’m hanging out on the upper west side. Watch my vid below to meet the owner.
You can also check out their menu and read more about them on their website: http://www.peacefoodcafe.com
Meet the Sweet Owner at Peace Food Cafe in NYC
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March 26th, 2010
This is my latest discovery in the raw food world! As soon as I stepped foot into this restaurant which had amazing vibes all I wanted to do was take the next flight to Jamaica maan! The cooler thing about this place is that the day that we happened to be there the owner was raising money for people in Haiti and was taking donations from customers. They also had live music-you can see the guitarist and his eccentric guitar in the above right picture. As soon as my friends and I sat down the owner and his crew made us feel like we were part of the family-maybe because the whole place is run by family members;-) The Carribean style raw food was flavorful and satisfying and the owner trained with one of the top raw foodists in the country-Aris Latham at http://sunfired.com/ whom I will also be training with in Panama next week! Overall the food was delicious and the people were super friendly and warm so I would definitely recommend checking it out. My favorites: almond milk, zuchinni chips, curry plantains & the kale and pear salad. Their website www.rawstarcafe.com is currently under construction but they are located on 687 Washington Avenue between St. Marks and Prospect in Brooklyn, NY and can be reached at 718-975-0304. In the two videos below you will see my friend Rachel’s reaction to eating raw food for the first time and an interview with the owner all at Raw Star cafe! That whole experience was like stepping into a whole new realm of existence without having to travel too far from home! Enjoy the below vids and let me know what you think either by commenting below or on youtube!
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