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In my mid-twenties, I suffered form adult acne. At a time when most people had already gone through their bout of zit creams and dermatologist appointments, I was just beginning mine.

The major causes of my acne ended up being lactose intolerance, and as I slowly transitioned off of dairy, I saw not only my skin improve, but my digestion, energy and moods.

Food sensitivities and allergies can often be the cause of skin issues from eczema to acne. If you’ve been suffering from recurring skin conditions and haven’t considered the food you’re eating to be a factor, it might be a good time to start doing that. Reducing or eliminating certain trigger foods from your diet could potentially save you tons of money on medications and creams and benefit you physically and emotionally as well.

As I began learning about the harmful chemicals in many beauty and acne treatment products out there, I immediately started to refresh my medicine cabinet with brands that not only good for my skin on the outside, but for my body on the inside. Whatever you put on your skin, doesn’t just hang out there. It gets absorbed into your bloodstream, so it’s important to use non-toxic products where you can.

Yes, many cleaner, non-toxic, natural products might cost you a little more, but there are also products that you probably already own that won’t set you back more than a couple of dollars. And these products have given me as well as many others out there better results than some of the top skincare brands.

The great thing is you’ll find these right in your kitchen…

Coconut oil

In addition to the ton of benefits you can get from including coconut oil in your diet such as improved fat burning potential, more energy, improved heart health and better brain function, it is also one of the best eye makeup removers out there. Simply put a bit on a cotton ball and swipe across eye lids to remove even the most difficult makeup. I like to use it after I wash my face and then simple wipe off any excess oil with a tissue or cloth. Coconut oil is also an amazing leave-in hair conditioning treatment and skin moisturizer. For your hair, simply leave in for 30 minutes and wash out with shampoo. Like any other product, I would definitely test out coconut oil on a small part of your skin before slathering it all over your body incase of any reactions.

BRAND I LOVE: Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Talk about an all around winner. The benefits of raw apple cider vinegar are endless. Including raw ACV in your diet has been proven to ease digestive issues such as heart burn and stomach upset, improve circulation, help detoxify the liver, aid in weight loss, help fight yeast infections, balance blood sugar and more. You can include raw apple cider vinegar in your diet by having a teaspoon in a glass of water before meals or use it in salad dressings in place of other vinegars. The uses for raw ACV don’t stop there though. It’s also an amazing facial toner that helps to fight acne and balance out skins pH. Create a diluted solution of 4-5 parts raw ACV to 1 part filtered water. Wash and dry face. Apply some to a cotton ball and swipe across face right and let air dry. Continue reading


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Stress is the main cause for inflammation in the body and the main reason that many people overeat. This can cause all sorts of serious health problems, including digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, heart disease, hypertension, weakened immune function, suppressed thyroid function and even cancer.

In addition, when you’re constantly stressed out, there is an almost immediate mental disconnect from your body. Because you’re so focused on your external situations, you won’t be able to pay attention to the internal needs and dialogue of your body. You can’t hear it and therefore you can’t take care of it.

Stress is not just something that affects one person though. It can be a very contagious thing. You often reflect the thoughts, behaviors and actions of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Whether that’s family, friends or co-workers, everyone that has a part in your life, has an impact on it. This can be good or bad, so it’s important to surround yourself with people that are positive and lift you up, not habitual Nancy’s that bring you down.

When you’re consistently around stressed out people, there is an abundance of negative energy circulating around you. And just like the Law of Attraction states, like attracts like. Where there is negativity, there will be more negativity. It’s no surprise how much more difficult it can be to be calm and collected if you’re always surrounded by stressful situations.

In order for you to live a truly healthy and happy life, you need to not only practice stress management techniques, but also create space for positive energy and people, and the only way to make room for that is to begin to remove the negative energy that surrounds you and start taking different action.

Here are some ways to break the domino effect of stress:

BE OPEN AND HAVE COMPASSION

If you’re around someone on a regular basis that always has something negative to say, and you feel that it’s getting you down, approach them in a compassionate and calm manner and be honest about how you’re feeling. You never know what might be going on in someone’s life and they may not necessarily know how they’re affecting others. Even if they’re not responsive to your approach, have compassion for them anyways. If you can practice this, you will be far less likely to let negative situations (that are always going to come about) affect you as much, leading to further stressful situations.

 

DECLUTTER Your personal life

People often come into our lives for a specific purpose and time period. Not all of them are meant to stay for the long haul. Even if you’ve been friends with someone since childhood, they can change after time (as we all do) and may not be such a positive influence for you later in life. It’s 100% OK to let people go that are no longer a source of positivity, support and inspiration. Remember, in order to open up space for more positivity, you need to let go of negativity. If you start to declutter your personal life, more amazing people will have room to walk into it. That being said, you don’t have to get get rid of every relationship that is proving to be difficult. Of course, you can first try to work things out with anyone that you’d still like to maintain a connection with. But if things aren’t working out time and time again, it’s probably a good idea to walk away.

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When it comes to fitting in the time to exercise, many people can’t seem to find space in their day to break a sweat. Work, dinners, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments…you name it. It’s no surprise that making daily exercise a priority is so difficult for so many and often gets left on the back burner.

However, there are some easy solutions to this all too common issue that will help you stay on track with your health goals, whether it’s to lose weight, tone up or just maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Start scheduling

Many times we feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day because we’re not using our time efficiently. Start scheduling out your days into a calendar. Write down everything you need to get done for the week and when you will be doing them. You will most likely notice that once you start prioritizing your days, you can find some time to fit in even a 30-minute workout.

 

Less is more

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to achieve your health goals. In fact, studies have shown that quick bursts of exercise for less time is more effective at calorie burning and muscle toning than long moderate exercise sessions. On days that you can’t fit in a long work out, even just 15 minutes of high intensity interval training will benefit you. Think sprint/jogs on the treadmill or jump squats, lunges and burpees.

 

Chew wisely

Ever notice how much hungrier on days that you get in a good sweat session? That’s because you’ve revved up your metabolism and are continuing to burn calories throughout the day. You’re probably also improving your digestion. You’re more likely to eat larger meals on these days. However, on days where you can’t fit in a workout, make sure you don’t stick to the same habit. Eat a bit lighter and choose cleaner, healthier ingredients to still support your health. Continue reading