Category Archives: Natural Living

9 Great Natural Face Moisturizers

Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients list of your favorite moisturizer and wonder what all those weird words like phenoxyethanol,  polyfluoroalkyl, and acrylates mean? Long story short, most of those ingredients are extremely toxic. Thankfully, there are many natural facial moisturizers on the market today! Check them out below. 

Toxic Beauty Products.

Acure Brightening Day Cream 

Skin type: all skin types, but especially dull skin or skin with acne scars or dark marks 

This vegan, natural moisturizer helps moisturize and protect with a one-two punch that fights dullness and evens out skin tone for skin that’s bright and beautiful. 

Price: $12.82, Amazon 

Review: “As a dark skinned woman with I had really bad acne that would leave dark pigmentation I use a combination of Acure cleanser day and night cream for two months now I have smooth non-existing pigmentations all I can say the difference in my skin is priceless…I use the day and night cream Faithfully and let me tell you my skin is flawless.” Sabrina D., Amazon 

Mad Hippie Face Cream with Anti Wrinkle Peptide Complex 

natural face moisturizer

Skin type: all skin types.

This natural face moisturizer “reduces appearance of wrinkles while moisturizing and smoothing skin. Mad Hippie’s Face Cream is formulated to moisturize & smooth the skin while Mother Nature’s best antioxidants neutralize aging free radicals.”

Cost: $15.19, Amazon 

Top Review: “…I have dry surface skin.. but oil that penetrates through my skin…LADIES if you have combination skin.. AND if your skin is extremely sensitive.. this is it.. I am so so pleased and happy.. and tbh.. SHOCKED that this left no residue..” Amazon customer.

Andalou Naturals Resveratrol Q10 Night Repair Cream 

natural face moisturizer

Skin type: dry skin.

Price: $26.99, Whole Foods.

Andalou Naturals Resveratrol Q10 Night Repair Cream uplifts tone and texture overnight for velvety soft skin with the appearance of fewer fine lines and wrinkles and a rejuvenated complexion. 

Review: “…Now i will say….. this formula is THICK… but used correctly I think your skin would appreciate it…I’ve seen my pores reduced on my nose and the dark circles under my eyes are not a prominent. Some days I even think I can pass without some under eye makeup…” Dcdc, Amazon.


Earth Harbor, Mermaid Milk Moisturizer 

natural face moisturizer

Skin type: dry, dull skin, and blotchy, red skin. 

Price: $22.99, Whole Foods 

This natural face moisturizer is a plant-derived, replenishing moisturizer that hydrates and balances skin without a greasy feeling.

Review: “I LOVE this product so much. I am so impressed by the whole Earth Harbor line. My skin is very sensitive and this product does not irritate it at all. It also has a lovely light and sweet smell.” Jeremy J, Amazon. 

Avalon Organics Gel Cream Moisturizer with Vitamin C 

natural face moisturizer

Skin Type: sensitive skin.  

Price: $29.99, Whole Foods 

This lightweight gel cream is infused with our unique Triple-C Complex, Olive Squalane, Kakau Plum, Turmeric, Licorice Root, and Milk Thistle to give your skin a soft, smooth finish. Powered by Vitamin C, this formula will help rejuvenate your skin and impart a radiant glow. 

Review:  “Noticed how well it was working on my 47 yr old skin, and how my “crows feet” weren’t as noticeable! So, I kept using it, and boy do I love it!”  DAS, Amazon. 

Andalou Naturals Heavenly Night Cream 

natural face moisturizer

Skin type: sensitive, delicate, dry skin. 

The Andalou Naturals Heavenly Night Cream helps hydrate and soothe sensitive, delicate, or irritated skin. Formulated with alpine rose stem cells, pomegranate, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera.  

Price: $24.99 Whole Foods 

Review: “I have dry-ish skin, and this is the best, most lusciously emollient, fresh-feeling, light yet very nourishing, face cream I’ve ever tried. Has a very light scent, feels great on my skin, and effectively seals in my face serum, which I make myself from natural carrier and essential oils.” Shari C, Amazon. 

Africa’s Secret Multi-Use Balm, Unscented  

natural face moisturizer

Skin type: dry skin, eczema and psoriasis.  

100% natural restorative, multi-purpose head-to-toe balm made from a traditional West African recipe handed down from generation-to-generation.

It’s handcrafted with fair trade unrefined shea butter, coconut oil, propolis, African wild honey, royal jelly, beeswax, and baobab, neem and sesame oils. Ideal for dry hands, cracked heels, chapped cheeks, ragged cuticles, bug bites, razor burn and baby’s bum, as well as soothing irritation associated with symptoms for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. 

Price: $14.29, Amazon.

Review: “This product is my holy grail of skincare…I no longer have dry patches or flakes…my leftover acne scars have faded to almost nothing and any new breakouts heal much faster.” Rosie, Amazon. 

Cocokind Mymatcha All-Over Moisture Stick 

Skin type: dry, acne prone skin. 

This multi use stick can be used to hydrate dry lips or anywhere dry and ward off the appearance of dark circles and puffiness with this nourishing, 3-ingredient moisture stick. 

Review: “I’ve been using this Matcha stick for about 6+ months and I can not live without it. I have dark under eye circles and since using this product I’ve seen a lot of improvement. I also use it for chapped lips. It is gentle enough that my boys 4 and 6 years old with sensitive skin can also use it during the winter time for chapped lips.” Olivia Toro, Amazon.

Acure Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer 

Skin Type: oily, combination, acne-prone skin. 

Price: $16.99, Ulta.

ACURE Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer balances and improves the appearance of skin’s texture and tone with the rejuvenating hydration and moisture of lilac extract and chlorella. Reduces acne. 

Review: “I have the worst combination- oily, dry, sensitive, and acne prone skin…I used to have countless whiteheads on my chin and jaw line and a few big red pimples on the cheek. I had a hard time finding a moisturizer that is oil-free so that it does not cause more acne but hydrates my skin well. But, this moisturizer really works on my skin!!!… I already see the difference…” Joo, 


Most of these amazing products can be purchased at Whole Foods, or Amazon! You will notice the difference using natural face moisturizers compared to your typical toxin-laced moisturizers.



8 Daily Vitamins for Women to Take

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We all know there are supplements the body needs to be healthy and balanced-especially us women. Some of these vitamins you can get through daily vitamins, or by eating foods rich in said vitamin (the preferred method). Let’s discuss eight daily vitamins women should be taking.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D is very important for bone strength and the immune system.

10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Many women can be deficient in this daily vitamin especially if you work from home, work inside all day, or if you are black or brown.

So how can you get this daily vitamin? You can get vitamin D from fortified milk and cereal, or simply spend at least 30-45 minutes outside in full sun (longer if you are black or brown). Recommended dose is 600-800 IU per day.


This daily vitamin is involved in many, many processes in the body including the heart, bones, nerves, and muscles.

Great sources of magnesium include

  • Almonds  
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Cashews 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Black beans  
  • Kidney beans 
  • Legumes 
  • Dark leafy greens 

The recommended dietary allowance for women 19-51+ is 300-320 mg. 

Iron: Healthy Blood

This daily vitamin is important for delivering oxygen to the body.

Iron deficiency can be high in women, especially if you drink a lot of tea or coffee. Tea and coffee actually decreases iron uptake in body making you iron deficient.

Iron deficiency can be present in vegans and vegetarians as well, which is why its important to eat foods high in iron.

Adult women 19-50 years should take 18mg per day. Sources include

  • Lean meat  
  • Seafood  
  • Poultry 
  • White Beans 
  • Lentils 
  • Spinach 
  • Kidney Beans 
  • Raisins 

The body absorbs iron better when you consume iron with sources of food high in vitamin C like citrus fruits and berries.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are important in the heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system that creates hormones. Certain Omega-3s called DHA are very high in the eye, brain and sperm cells.

The three main omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 

Women need 1.1g (1000mg) per day.

ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils.

DHA and EPA are found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, eggs, and fortified foods.

Calcium: Strong Bones

This vitamin is important for strong bones, proper heart, muscle and nerve function.

Most Americans are actually calcium deficient. Especially older children, adolescents, and women (including pregnant women), and some older adults.

Great sources of calcium include

  • Fortified Cereals
  • Fortified Dairy Products
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

Dietary Values for Calcium for Women

  • Age14-18:1300mg 
  • Age19-50: 1000mg 
  • Age 51-70: 1200 mg  


This daily vitamin is important for thyroid function (involved in metabolism). Adults should have 150 mcg of iodine per day. Great sources of iodine include

  • Seafood 
  • Kelp 
  • Dulse  
  • Eggs 

Vitamin C

The CDC reports that only1 in 10 American adults get enough fruits and vegetables. Making most Americans deficient in vitamin C that is abundant in fruits and vegetables.

Great sources of vitamin C include

  • Oranges 
  • Kale  
  • Broccoli 
  • Red Bell Peppers 
  • Cantaloupe  
  • Papaya 
  • Berries  
  • Guava 

Recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg per day (120 mg for pregnant or breastfeeding women).

Fiber-Keeps You Regular

This final daily vitamin is good for keeping you regular! But 95% of American adults and kids don’t have enough fiber.

Recommended daily intake of fiber is 25-30g per day from food not supplements. Good sources of fiber include

  • Whole Wheat Pasta  
  • Barley  
  • Berries 
  • Lentils 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Beans 
  • Avocado 
  • Popcorn    


Taking these daily vitamins will help you stay healthy and live a balanced life. You can find most of these vitamins at your local Target or Wal-Mart!



Four Ways to Effectively Grow Your Hair!

photo of woman holding bottle
Photo by Chill Jane on

We all want beautiful, healthy hair. If you’re like me, your healthy hair journey has been a struggle. Two years ago I lost my a section of my hair due to birth control, and have been on a journey to grow it back.  Allow me to help relieve the burden with these four foods to grow your hair! 


Used as a shampoo by women in Victorian England, Rosemary is a wonderful herb to use to grow your hair. Board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine Dr. Jeannette Graf states, Rosemary essential oil can help stimulate healthy, thick hair,” affirms Dr. Graf.

“The oil can speed up the process of cell turnover and growth, which can work as a natural remedy to grow thicker hair. Since it is an anti-inflammatory, it is used for [preventing hair loss], as well as regrowth.”

Add a few drops of rosemary oil to your weekly deep conditioner, or use rosemary water as a rinse. After deep conditioning my hair, I rinse with rosemary and onion water, which I’ll talk more about below.  

Onion Water

I know, onions stink, but this root vegetable will make your hair grow because of one mineral abundant in onions: sulfur.

Keratin is made of sulfur and hair is made of keratin- adding more sulfur will strengthen hair allowing you to retain length. The Black community knows all about Sulfur8, when our mothers and grandmothers would grease our scalps with the product before styling!  Speaking of protein, another protein is important for your hair: collagen.


Your hair is made of collagen, so adding collagen to your regimen will reap many benefits! Bone broth, meat, eggs, seafood, berries and citrus fruits are all high in collagen and vitamin C which aids in collagen formation. 

To reap the benefits of collagen, add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice to your conditioner, or take daily collagen supplements. Taking a daily hair vitamin (I take Nature’s bounty hair, skin, and nail vitamin with collagen) has been a game-changer for me for retaining length. I have a friend who always has long, and thick hair and she attributes this to collagen supplements.   

To maximize hair growth, I use rinses after I deep condition my hair. Check out the rosemary-onion water hair rinse I use below.

Rosemary-Onion Rinse

-¼ cup dried rosemary 

-¼ cup chopped yellow onion 

-Peppermint oil (12-20 drops to get rid of smell) 

-2 cups of water 

-1 cup organic, grass fed beef bone broth, optional 

  1.  Add rosemary and onion into pot 
  2. Add 2 cups of water 
  3. Boil for 10-15 minutes 
  4. Set aside to cool 
  5. Strain rosemary and onion 
  6. Add 12-20 drops of peppermint oil, and 1 cup of bone broth (optional)
  7. Wash and deep condition hair as usual, rinse with cooled rosemary-onion water. 


Unlike the previous points, you can’t find this in your kitchen, but this is a simple trick you can add to your hair regimen!  Increase circulation to your scalp.

Increasing circulation increases hair growth because increased blood circulation delivers more nutrients the hair follicle needs to grow your hair longer. 

To increase scalp circulation, use a scalp massager or your fingers to massage scalp for 5-10 minutes every night. Or place head between legs for 5-10 minutes every night. To add more circulation, massage your scalp with peppermint oil (be sure to use a carrier oil!). 


With anything in life, consistency is key. When utilizing these tips, it’s important to remain consistent. Try these for at least 30 days and decide for yourself if you notice any difference! I have implemented these tips and noticed my hair has been growing, and getting stronger.  

Most folks’ hair only grows ¼ inch to ½ inch per month so patience is also a factor. If you really want to grow strong, healthy hair, it’s important to use the right products. Some hair care products have ingredients that are harmful to your hair-check out my post about that here.  



Food for the Brain- Enhance Focus, Clarity, and Attention

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Struggling with focus and clarity (especially during those long, tedious meetings)? Thankfully, nature already has multiple food for the brain available to help you stay focused. Let’s explore five foods for the brain that will enhance focus, mental clarity, attention, and memory. 


Water is essential to life, and many people are dehydrated and don’t realize it. Research shows dehydration can lead to decrease of attention, and concentration.

Drinking water can improve attention, especially since 80% of your brain is water.  

I’ve often noted that drinking a large glass of water in the morning is a great way to wake me up. You can even spice it up by adding cucumber and lemon to add some extra electrolytes! This is especially important if you drink purified water which is often lacking key electrolytes.  

You do not want to to skip out on adding these essential minerals to your diet. Minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium are ESSENTIAL for keeping you alive and functioning to the best performance.  

Magnesium, for example, is involved in many processes (including ensuring you have optimal energy levels) in the body and can improve cognitive function. 

Be sure you’re drinking the right water-spring water is best. I hate tap water, and usually opt for filtered water (thank you Whole Foods!) with added electrolytes from cucumber or lemon. Or simply add a sprinkle of mineral salt (I.e. Himalayan salt, Icelandic sea salt, Mediterranean sea salt). You can also add some electrolyte packs or drops to your water bottle.

Get Some Omegas

Like water, the next food for the brain isn’t actually a food, but a supplement. Omega fatty acids like DHA are able to increase memory and reaction time a study done in healthy adults found. 

 Great sources of DHA includes grass-fed beef, pastured egg yolks, trout, and salmon. Take 2-3 servings per week or 1-3g (or 1000mg-3,000mg) fish oil per day.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The following food for the brain is extra virgin olive oil. This amazing oil is not just good for your hair, but its also very good for your brain. Extra virgin olive oil cleans up junk in the brain, and aids in learning and memory formation. 

A study found that taking extra virgin olive oil had beneficial effects on learning and memory deficits in mice. Simply drizzle 2-3 tbsp on one of your salad or any other meal every day.


This spice is great for improving learning speed. A study found that cinnamon was able to make poor-learning mice better learners by stimulating the learning areas of their brains. 


This next food for the brain is able to boost memory and concentration speed. This brain-appearing nut is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids (see above) your brain craves.

*Bonus: Lion’s Mane Mushroom*

Who doesn’t like bonuses? Well, this bonus has been found to protect the brain, anti depressive functions, improve cognitive function and even improve anxiety. I enjoy taking lion’s mane in my coffee. Try Laird superfood creamer from whole foods!


If you’re struggling to focus in your day-to-day lives, try incorporating some of these foods to enhance your focus, attention, and learning.



How to use Aloe Vera for Face: Benefits and Recipes! 

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If you’re like me, figuring out how to get clear skin is almost like finding the Fountain of Youth. I’ve gone through multiple skin care regimens to get that clear dewy skin! And I have to say-none of the products I’ve used have gotten my skin as clear (without breaking the bank) as Aloe Vera has. Let’s discover how to use aloe vera for face, along with some benefits and recipes!

Aloe Vera Benefits

Aloe Vera has been used for centuries for its multi-use applications, and is worth its weight in gold. I have been using aloe vera for around a month now and my skin is worlds better! So what are some benefits to using aloe vera? Let’s see.

1. Hydration for skin

Aloe vera hydrates the skin. A study found that using aloe vera extracts on the skin increased water concentration of the outer layer of skin.

2. Skin Healing and Skin Rejuvenation

Aloe vera heals the skin, reducing dark spots and acne scars (yes!). A study found that a protein in aloe vera called Aloesin actually accelerates skin wound healing.

3. Collagen! Collagen!

With Aloe vera being involved in skin healing, it is involved in collagen synthesis great for keeping skin youthful and supple (i.e. save some money on those collagen serums and supplements!).

4. Antibacterial = no more acne

Most acne is caused by bacterial infection in the skin. Further causing inflammation and those big, ugly pus-filled acne bumps. Aloe vera is antibacterial which can reduce acne.

5. No more redness

Aloe vera can reduce inflammation caused by acne. Aloe vera has a cooling reaction on the skin that makes redness disappear. Cucumber is also great at reducing redness and inflammation. Learn more about cucumbers for skin here.


Now that you know why you should use aloe vera for face, let’s discover some easy recipes to use on the skin!

Aloe and Rose water

This combination will pack a punch in your acne woes. Rose water is great at reducing redness, and rejuvenating skin. Here’s an easy recipe you can use.

-1/4 cup of dried rose petals (you can use store-bought roses and dry them outside)

-1/5 cup distilled water

-1/4 cup aloe vera gel

-1/4 cup distilled water

  1. Bring rose petals in 1/5 cup of water to a boil, then simmer 5-10 minutes in a medium sauce-pan.
  2. Allow to cool then add 1/4 cup water
  3. Add 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel

Aloe Vera Toner

This is a cost-effective, natural, and toxin-free facial product that will do wonders for you without breaking the bank! 

-1 large aloe leaf, take all gel out 

-20 drops of frankincense (skin healing and rejuvenation) 

-½ Teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil (mild sunscreen, moisturizer)  

  1. Blend aloe vera gel chunks in a blender until smooth. 
  2. Add 20 drops of frankincense oil 
  3. Add ½ tsp of extra virgin coconut oil 
  4. Place in sealed jar and refrigerate 

After washing my face and spritzing with rose water, I add a dime to quarter sized amount to my face and neck then moisturize with a rose oil serum.


These are cost-effective, natural, and toxin-free facial products that will do wonders for you without breaking the bank! I didn’t notice a difference in my skin until about a month of use. But give aloe vera for face a try-you might never go back to your old skin-care products. For more easy clear skin recipes check out my post here



6 Natural Skincare Products for Acne Found in Your Kitchen!

With drug store skin care brands leaving skin feeling dry, oily, and dull? Perhaps a more simpler method, with simpler products can allow the skin to heal, and restore itself. So let’s first examine how acne occurs in order to understand how the six natural skincare products for acne you can find in your kitchen could work for you!

***I may receive affiliate funding from this post. Buying products from this post could help support my blog. Thank you for your support!***

How Does Acne Occur?

The cause of acne is not fully understood. But there are many believed causes including sugar, caffeine, chocolate, too much oil (sebum) produced by skin, stress, hormonal imbalance, etc.

An article on Dr. explained the causes of acne. They explain that acne is known to primarily result from the blockage and inflammation of pores (also known as hair follicles).

This blockage and inflammation can be caused by keratin plugs, sebum and bacterial overgrowth—and often all three of these are present in a breakout. Now that we know how acne is caused, let’s finally discuss some natural skincare products for acne you can find in your kitchen!


The first of the six natural skincare products for acne is honey. As I spoke of in my post on natural ways to boost your immune system, honey is a very strong antimicrobial. It can prevent acne by killing the bacteria on your skin that can clog your pores.

Good way to reduce acne? Add a tsp of honey to your hands along with your facial cleanser before you wash your face. Or wash your face with honey! Many people have tried this and found success. I used to use honey when I clean my face and it glowed. Adding honey to your skin care routine will leave your skin feeling dewy and soft.

Manuka honey is touted as the best, check out some affordable honey below.

YS Organic Bee Farms Honey $10.49 Amazon.

Manukora MGO 50+ Multifloral Manuka Honey Non-GMO, $14.99 Amazon

Coconut Oil

The next natural skincare products for acne is coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for your skin. It is an amazing moisturizer, anti-inflammatory which is great for reducing redness and acne, anti-fungal, and even acts as a mild sunscreen (SPF 4-5). Coconut oil also acts as a wound-healer which is great for reducing acne scarring.

Nutiva Organic cold-pressed coconut oil, $6.98 Amazon.

Organic coconut oil, cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil, $7.15 Amazon

Castile Soap

The following natural skincare products for acne is castile soap. Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based cleanser. It is antimicrobial, and it tends to be a little harsh. But it gets the job done in cleaning your skin and preventing acne. Dr. Bronner’s has great castile soap.

The unscented baby soap is best for sensitive skin. The lavender, and tea tree soaps are good acne-prone skin. Peppermint scent is good for oily skin. But use with caution and dilute starting out (1 cup water and ½ cup soap, you can add more or less). Check them out below!

Dr. Bronner’s Unscented castile soap $8.99, Amazon

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender oil castile soap $7.99, Amazon

Dr. Bronner’s tea tree castile soap, $8.19 Amazon

Avocado Oil

This next natural skincare products for acne is avocado oil. Avocado oil is a relatively affordable oil great for dry and damaged skin. This oil increases collagen and decreases inflammation which can cause acne and redness.

Chosen Foods 100% Pure Avocado oil, $13.49 Amazon.

La Tourangelle, Avocado oil, All-Natural, $9.98 Amazon.


This next natural skincare products for acne is turmeric. Turmeric has many benefits including skin benefits. This amazing spice regulates sebum production, reduces dark spots on skin, natural exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells.

Aloe Vera

The final natural skincare product for acne is aloe vera. Aloe vera is a miracle plant with many benefits for the skin including some UV protection, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-tumor (preventing skin cancer), moisturizing, anti-aging, antiseptic (anti-acne chemical salicylic acid).

I personally like to extract aloe vera by buying the huge leaves from the grocery store. However, this process is very long and tedious. So, check out some aloe vera products below!

100% Organic Aloe vera, $9.99 Amazon.


In a previous post, I spoke about the many harmful chemicals in our beauty products. It’s important to consider that using more natural products could be better for our skin health and health overall!

But when using any new product, do a skin test by applying a small amount to your chin or hand and observe the reaction. Be patient with any products you use, it may take many weeks before you notice any difference in your skin.



Benefits of Cucumber water: 9 benefits and recipes

Did you know that cucumbers are a superfood? This amazing fruit is packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium. And that’s not all! Cucumber water is an energizing and refreshing drink. Check out the many benefits of cucumber water below!

Benefits of Cucumber Water

1. Packed with Phytonutrients

The first benefit of cucumber water is it is packed with phytonutrients. Cucumbers have many phytonutrients, including cucurbitacin. This phytonutrient can block cancer cell growth. Other phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory and provide antioxidants which are great for overall cell health and prevent cell damage.

2. Antidiabetic properties

This next benefit of cucumber water is it has antidiabetic properties. Research shows that cucumbers have antidiabetic properties by alleviating insulin resistance and lowering blood sugar levels. With many in the US population diabetic, cucumbers could be a great way to manage blood sugar levels.

3. Lowes blood cholesterol

The following benefit of cucumber water is cucumbers lower blood cholesterol. A double-blind study done in 2016 found that daily consumption of cucumber seeds significantly lower bad cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterol levels in patients with high blood cholesterol.

4. Detoxes the Body

The next benefit of cucumber water is it cleanses the body by removing accumulated waste and chemical toxins in the body. With many of us exposed to a load of toxins daily whether from pollution, toxins from furniture or food, and even our beauty care products which I speak extensively about in my blog post here.

5. Great for Sunburns

This next benefit of cucumber water is more about cucumber itself. Cucumbers have a soothing effect on the skin. Not only that, but cucumbers hydrate your skin after sunburn and aid in cell regeneration. So they’re great for skin irritation, sunburns and even acne and acne scarring. Want that dewy, clear skin you see on Instagram? Add cucumbers to your diet and skincare regimen! Get more skincare tips in my post on natural skincare products here.

6. Dehydration

As mentioned above, an important benefit of cucumber water is the many vitamins and minerals it contains. Cucumber water is great for excessive thirst and heatstroke. Often when someone is dehydrated, they not only need water but also electrolytes like magnesium, calcium to maintain fluid balance in the body.

7. Constipation

The final benefit of cucumber water is cucumbers can aid in constipation and bloating. Feeling a little bloated? Check out my recipes for cucumber water below!

Easy Recipes for Cucumber Water

How do you enjoy the amazing benefits of cucumber water listed above? Try one of these recipes!

Cucumber and Peppermint Water

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3-4 slices of organic cucumber
  • 2 slices of organic lemon or 3 raspberries sliced

If you wish to make a pitcher of cucumber water follow the recipe below!

  • 16 cups of water
  • 10 slices of cucumber
  • 8-10 peppermint leaves
  • 12 slices of lemon or 12 raspberries sliced (optional)

1. Add all ingredients into cup or pitcher.

2. Gently pour cup of water over ingredients.

3. Chill in refrigerator or serve.


Cucumber water is an awesome substitute for sugary summer drinks like lemonade or other juices. So sit back and enjoy the refreshing taste of cucumber water without worrying about how much sugar or calories you’ve consumed!



Why Microwaves are Bad for your Health and Great Microwave Alternatives

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Most US households have microwaves in them. From their humble origins in the late 1940s to now, microwaves are a staple household item for their ease of use and convenience. But, did you know microwaves can be pretty harmful? Let’s dive into why microwaves are bad for your health and great microwave alternatives.

Microwaves Can Change Your Food

Several studies demonstrate the effect microwaves have on food. A large review on the effects of microwaves on food found that microwave radiation at 230 W can degrade 40% of the vitamin content after longer treatment.

Researchers Singh and others found that after microwaving vegetables Vitamin C content decreased from an average value of 274.1 mg/100 g to 67.1 mg-130.7 mg/100 g.

Researchers Watanabe et al found that microwaving foods caused a loss of 30-40% of vitamin B-12 loss. 

Microwaving can also effect carbohydrates and therefore its characteristics like calories, gelatinization, and such.  Furthermore, microwaving food can have significant effects on protein degradation and accelerating reaction. 

Leading to the next point on why microwaves are bad for your health and great microwave alternatives; another substance microwaving is known to accelerate is the formation of acrylamides.

Microwaves Can Cause Formation of Acrylamides

The American Cancer Society defines acrylamides as naturally forming chemicals that form from chemical reactions in certain types of starchy foods, after cooking at high temperatures. 

Acrylamides are formed at higher rates when food is heated in the microwave compared to other methods of cooking like broiling or cooking on the stovetop. This is especially true in potato products. 

Many studies concern the formation of large amounts of acrylamide in microwave heated potato products. Microwaving of frozen pre-prepared potato products, such as chips and wedges, led to higher levels of acrylamide in the final cooked product than any other cooking method.

Some authors have suggested that more acrylamide may be formed when microwaving compared to conventional heating methods. 

This may be because microwaves offer fast temperature increase in the foods owing to their capacity to generate heat energy inside the food, without requiring any medium as vehicle for heat transfer. 

Furthermore, many authors reported that with the increase of the microwave heating power, the acrylamide content increases. Microwave radiation, while a quick way to cook your ramen, can also be dangerous to your brain and nervous system. Which leads nicely to my next point on why microwaves are bad for your health and great microwave alternatives.

Microwaves Can Effect Your Brain

Electromagnetic radiation can be absorbed by organisms, and cause many physiological and functional changes. According to researchers, the central nervous system is one of the most sensitive organs that is targeted by microwave radiation. 

This is especially seen in the brain’s learning and memory center, the hippocampus-which is very sensitive to microwave radiation. In a study done in unexposed control rats, hippocampal neurons are aligned in clear, neat rows.

However, in rats treated with long-term exposure to radiation, neurons exhibit edema and are arranged irregularly.

That’s a whole lot of bad news. Now let’s get on to the good news: there are great microwave alternatives.

Microwave Alternatives

Toaster ovens-They work just as well as microwaves without microwave radiation. Good for reheating sandwiches, baked goods, vegetables etc. You can even bake, broil, and toast with these things! Often just as compact or even smaller, than microwaves. Check out the alternatives below!

Black and Decker TO1313SBD Toaster Oven $42.99, Amazon

Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven With Bake Pan $69.19, Amazon

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Dutch Ovens-Another great option for making all kinds of food. This alternative has a variety of uses ranging from making soups, reheating soups, cooking meats, to baking bread! Don’t let its simple appearance fool you; Dutch Ovens are where it’s at! Check out some below.

Puricon 5.5 qt Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Red, $50.99 Amazon

Best Choice Products 6 qt Enameled Heavy Duty Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $59.49 Amazon

Sulives Non-stick Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $59.99 Amazon

Oven and Stovetop-Options we often don’t consider when reheating or making food because we can use the microwave. But you can use the oven and stovetop for many things including reheating food, making teas and soups, even making popcorn! This option can take more time compared to the microwave, but its a safer alternative.


While microwaves offer us convenience by saving time, they also offer some health concerns. Such as degrading and decreasing the amount of quality nutrients found in our food, exposing us to nervous system damaging microwave radiation, and increasing amount of cancer-causing acrylamides in our food. 

With that in mind, using safer alternatives like the ones mentioned above and waiting a few extra minutes to reheat dinner may be worth it. Also, did you know that eating from plastic containers can cause dangerous effects like infertility? Read more about that here.



Red dye 40, and Other Harmful Food Dyes in Food 

Food dyes, although used in small amounts are still toxic to our health. The popular belief is as long as toxins are used in small amounts, you should be okay. But the dose doesn’t make the poison, as I explain in this article on toxins in our every day personal care products.  The FDA has approved of nine food dyes including red dye 40, and all of them are harmful artificial food dyes.

What Makes Artificial Food Dyes So Harmful?

Food dyes are actually made of coal tar (yeah, disgusting) or petroleum. Furthermore, they often can include toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, aniline, hydroxides, and sulfuric acids. Not only that, but impurities like lead, mercury, and arsenic (extremely dangerous).

study done at Southampton University in England found a link between artificial food dyes and hyperactivity in children. In fact, most parents of children with ADHD avoid foods with artificial dyes.

An expansive review of numerous studies on the relationship between artificial food dyes and toxicity found that all nine of the food dyes approved by the FDA have health concerns. So let’s go over these nine dyes shall we?

Red #3

This dye can cause cancer as seen in animal studies.

Red #40

This dye is contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. It’s can also cause hypersensitivity reactions: exaggerated or inappropriate immune responses (i.e. asthma, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes).

Yellow #5

Like red #40, this dye is also known to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, and cause hypersensitivity reactions. Researchers have found a correlation between yellow dye and sleep disturbance.

Yellow #6

This dye can also be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, and cause hypersensitivity reactions. As stated above, there is a correlation between yellow dye and sleep disturbance. But it can also cause genotoxicity. Genotoxicity is when DNA is damaged by a chemical or agent that can cause a change in the altered trait or even malignant cancer.

Blue #1

This dye can also cause hypersensitivity reactions.


Artificial food dyes like red dye 40 are pretty harmful, especially for children. It’s important to consider what foods we’re consuming that have these harmful dyes, and find some safer (and tasty) alternatives.

Although these dyes are in small amounts in our food, they are still harmful to our health. Taking a pinch of rat poisoning is still rat poisoning! The dose does NOT make the poison.



Effective Natural Alternatives to Aspirin!

blue drinking glass with water and white medicine pills
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Many of us experience pain. We usually go for aspirin, acetaminophen, Advil or Tylenol. But did you know many of these NSAIDs have dangerous side effects? Let’s take a look at some effective natural alternatives to pain relievers!

***Note, I am not a medical professional. In this article, I simply share research I found, as well as holistic alternatives to pain killers that may be good to try (after discussion with your doctor). These alternatives are especially good for those with acute problems (i.e. headache, pain from minor, acute injury, arthritis, aches and pains). BUT, be sure to speak to your doctor when considering using natural remedies as they may have dangerous interactions with other medications.***

NSAIDS-Not Always the Best Choice?

NSAIDS, which include Advil, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and Tylenol can effectively reduce your pain, but could also cause multiple effects on the body. Especially with long term use.

Such effects include GI tract problems. In a large study including 8 medical colleges across the country, researchers found that NSAID use was associated with gastric mucosal legions or GI complications; especially for those who had GI complications in the past.

Other possible side effects include kidney problems. Another large study by the FDA found NSAIDs are associated with disruption of kidney blood flow and acute kidney injury in high risk people.

Knowing these side effects, its important to consider them, and do your own research before taking these medicines. And, perhaps if its in your best interest, consider some natural alternatives.

Tiger Balm

This is my favorite pain reliever to use when I have lower back pain and other muscle pain. It contains camphor oil which relieves pain by stimulating circulation which can further reduce pain by causing healing. Tiger balm also includes menthol which reduces pain by its cooling action. This product is cheap, effective, and reminds me of Vaporrub. You can buy it on Amazon for $9.99.

Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw)

Devil’s claw is a South African herb typically used for pain relief, allergies, and fever relief. A large review of research articles examining Devil’s claw for pain relief found the herb to be just as effective at reducing pain. Many studies found that taking this herb for 8-12 weeks can reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Ask your doctor what dose is right for you. Be sure to discuss with your doctor about use because there are possible interactions with medications (i.e. blood thinners, diabetes meds, antacids, etc.).

White Willow Bark

This herb actually contains the active ingredient in aspirin. Many research studies found White willow bark is just as effective at reducing lower back, and musculoskeletal pain as other NSAIDs.

White willow bark is found to have adverse effects including gastrointestinal problems and some allergic reactions. So, its important to talk to your doctor about dosage and possible interactions with medications.

Lavender Essential Oil

This was a shocker for me. Research has found this wonderful-smelling oil is great at reducing headaches/migraines, and other aches and pains. Inhaling this oil is also effective at reducing pain in premature babies!

I definitely recommend buying organic essential oils as they are in my opinion the safest. Check out some options below!


I just want to reiterate that although natural remedies are wonderful (in my opinion sometimes better than medications) they should always be used with caution! You never know how your body will react to an herb, or an essential oil.

But, for those like me who are searching for natural pain relievers for minor aches, and pains, these herbs may be the way to go! Especially, considering the potential side effects of NSAIDs.