5 Books That Have Inspired Me

Jim Rohn said it best: “The book you don’t read, won’t help.”

For as long as I can remember, reading has been one of my greatest joys.   I definitely read for pleasure, but the books that I love and treasure the most are the ones that inspire me to expand my thinking and become a better person. I keep my favorites stacked at the edge of my bed, so that I can always go back to them when I am looking for inspiration.

These five books are some of my favorites: filled with insights, observations, true stories, and research on everything from creating better habits to finding meaning and purpose, and becoming healthier and happier.  Each of these books has impacted me so profoundly that it’s my great pleasure to recommend them to you!

1. Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl

A life-changing book for me. During the Holocaust, Frankl spent three years as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. This first part of the book is a memoir.  A retelling of the unthinkable experience of living in the concentrations camps and the power of the human spirit to transcend suffering.  The second part of the book explains Dr. Frankl's philosophy of psychotherapy which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then imagining living that purpose in your mind.

My favorite quote:

"The truth - that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love."

2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

My best friend Anna gave me this book many years ago and it is one that I love to revisit over and over again.  According to author Miguel Ruiz, four agreements in life are fundamental steps on the path to freedom:

My favorite quote:

“Be impeccable with your word.  Don’t take anything personally.  Don’t make assumptions.  Always do your best.”

 

3.  THINK AND GROW RICH, BY NAPOLEAN HILL

One of my favorites to recommend!  Quick Summary: "What the mind can conceive, and believe, it will achieve."  Written 80 years ago after the author spent 20 years researching the accomplishments and common characteristics of the 500 most successful people of his time. The book sets out the 13 key principles for success identified through this research.

My favorite quote:

“There is no substitute for persistence. The person who makes persistence his watch-word, discovers that “Old Man Failure” finally becomes tired, and makes his departure. Failure cannot cope with persistence.”

4.  The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Habit Change is fascinating to me and is central to all of the work that I do with my clients. How do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop shopping addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day while never remembering to stop at the post office after work?   Charles Duhigg answers these questions and more in The Power of Habit, a well-researched book on what motivates us to make the decisions we do in everyday life and in business.

My favorite quote:

“The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building successful companies and achieving success is understanding how habits work.”

5.The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Also given to me by my best friend.....She always knows what I should be reading.  The most important and profound message that I got from this book is that we are NOT our thoughts, we are actually the “observer” who hears the thoughts.

My favorite quote:

"The best way to free yourself from this incessant chatter is to step back and view it objectively," Singer writes. "There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind--you are the one who hears it."

Right now I am reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and I love it! 

Here is the description from good reads:  "Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together."

 

Your turn:  What book has inspired you lately?

My Favorite Skincare Products For Summer

I am sharing my favorite (and safe) skincare products for summer with you today in this video!

If you are like me, your skin could use a little extra love and attention in the summer.  With the exposure to UV rays, air conditioners running on high, swimming pools and outdoor sports, your skin is working overtime.

Our skin is our body’s largest organ. We often forget this fact.  And we don’t realize that almost all of what we apply to our skin gets absorbed directly into our bloodstream.

About a year ago, I was reading a wellness blog by Kris Carr (she is a wellness advocate, writer, cancer survivor)  about the toxic ingredients used in skin care products and the lack of regulation in the beauty industry, and her words really made me think.  Here I am, working so hard to be the healthiest I can be, dedicating so much time and energy to good nutrition and exercise, yet I’m using skincare products that are full of toxic chemicals. And I’m absorbing them right through my skin.

Click on these links to purchase any or all of my summer faves mentioned in this video: 

Sugar Scrub, Sunscreen, Face Oil, Body Butter.

Email me if you would like a safe skincare consultation or click below to shop the entire collection at my online store.

Joyful Joints

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Did you know that 30% of people over the age of 18 in the USA complain of joint pain?  Study

Are you one of them?

Joints are the junction where your bones come together and are connected by cartilage and connective tissues.  Common areas of pain in the joints are the sacrum, spine (low back, mid back and neck), hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrist, fingers, toes and jaw.

Joint pain, whether it stems from an old injury, accident or an inflammatory conditions like arthritis is common, but there is much you can do to avoid living with constant joint pain by focusing on proper exercise, nutrition and hydration. 

Stretching (also yoga) is one of the best exercises that can be healing and beneficial for your joints. It can keep your tissues hydrated, muscles long and lean, and your joints fully moveable.....referred to as full range of motion. When any of your joints gets restricted, through injury, lack of movement, or inflammation, then the whole body can be thrown off balance.

Here is what you can do to keep keep your joints heath and happy no matter what age you are:

  • Keep Moving.  Exercise daily or simply take a walk to stay active.
  • Nourish your body with a whole foods diet.  Include plenty of healthy fats (avocado, olives, olive oil, fish -especially salmon, nuts and seeds)
  • Take a high quality fish oil supplement
  • Stay Hydrated.  Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily.
  • Stretch or Do Yoga

Here is a Stretch Routine that will keep you fit and keep your joints happier all at the same time!

Enjoy!
Lisa C

 

Safer Skincare: 4 Harmful Chemicals To Avoid

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You may already know that beauty products can be a major source of our exposure to unhealthy chemicals. And since the skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs most of what is put on it, we need to make sure all of our beauty products are healthy and non-toxic!

Here is an assignment I give to all of my health coaching clients.  Take the time today to count how many beauty products you are using.  I 'm talking about everything from your makeup bag to your shower.  Now read the labels on those products.  Look them up on the Environmental Working Group ( EWG)  Skin Deep Database to see how they rate for things like hormone disruption and toxicity. 

* The Environmental Working Group or EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database lets you search more than 62,000 products and rates them based on the ingredients listed on the label.  The EWG scores products on a scale of 1-10, with 1-2 being least hazardous. 3-6 being moderate hazard and 7-10 being high hazard.

Did You Know?

  • There are over 80,000 chemicals used in commercially available products. Many do not have any safety data.
  •  Only 10% of of the chemicals found in beauty products have safety data
  • The United States has not passed a federal law regulating what companies can put in personal care products since 1938
  • In the past 20 years the US has banned a mere 13 ingredients found in personal care products–the European union has banned 1,300.
  • Anything that you put on your skin can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Consider that we use birth control patches, nicotine patches, and hormone creams because our skin acts as a conduit  to the rest of our body.
  •  Research has shown there is a connection between toxic chemicals exposure and disease.

Here is a list of a few of  the harmful chemicals that we know to avoid.  If you want to fast forward to see 5 very easy and natural beauty swaps that you can make today, CLICK HERE.

1. Triclosan

Found in: toothpaste, deodorant, antibacterial soap

Triclosan was all the rage as antibacterial products became ubiquitous in the 1990s. Even the FDA agrees that there is no health benefit to humans who use triclosan, and in 2013 ruled that manufacturers using it had to demonstrate that there were no long-term detrimental effects. Triclosan (in liquid products) and triclocarban (in bar soaps) have been linked to hormonal disruptions, bacterial resistance, impaired muscle function, impaired immune function and increased allergies. Instead, use naturally antibacterial and antiseptic agents like tea tree oil.

2. Parabens

Found in: makeup, moisturizer,  shampoo, personal lubricant and spray tan products

The FDA acknowledges several studies linking parabens, which mimic estrogen, to breast cancer, skin cancer and decreased sperm count, but has not ruled that it is harmful. According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, longer chain parabens like propyl and butyl paraben and their branched counterparts, isopropyl and isobutylparabens, may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders. Look for ingredients with the suffix “-paraben” as well—paraben-free products will be labeled as such.

3. “Fragrance”

Found in: moisturizers, deodorant, lotion, face cream, shampoo, conditioner

Federal law doesn’t require companies to list on product labels any of the chemicals in their fragrance mixture. Recent research from Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. Our advice? Buy fragrance-free wherever possible.

4. Oxybenzone

Found in: sunscreen

Oxybenzone is one of the highest-risk chemicals found in sunscreen. It acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women. Studies on cells and laboratory animals indicate that oxybenzone and its metabolites may disrupt the hormone system. Opt for sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium oxide or avobenzene instead.

I know that is a lot of information, but it’s important we all know the facts! Knowledge allows us to make confident, empowered decisions about the products we buy  Plus, it is easy to  avoid or reduce your exposure to these toxins with a few simple swaps to your beauty routine.  Check out my recommendations here:

Natural Beauty Swaps

If you are new to my website....Welcome and thanks for being here!  I specialize in helping women lose weight, balance hormones, and get healthy and fit so that they feel like the most vibrant version of themselves and have the energy to focus on what matters most to them. 

Shoot me an email I'd love to chat about your health and wellness goals.

Yours in health,
Lisa C.

Tips For Healthy, Radiant Skin

You may already know that beauty products can be a major source of our exposure to unhealthy chemicals. And since the skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs most of what is put on it, we need to make sure all of our beauty products are healthy and non-toxic!

The challenge we face today is that healthy products are not the norm. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):

    “The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily. Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers, and they do. Consequently, some common cosmetic ingredients turn up in people’s bodies. Among them: industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene.”

Here is a an assignment I give to all of my health coaching clients.  Take the time today to count how many beauty products you are using. I’m talking about everything from your makeup bag to your shower. Surprised? Now, read the ingredient labels on those products. Look them up at EWG’s Skin Deep database and see how they rate for things like cancer, immunotoxicity and reproductive toxicity. Do those same products make you feel beautiful now?  If not, you are not alone.

You might be feeling like you just don’t want to know. You’ve been using the same moisturizer, cleanser and toner for a decade and they work—end of story. If that is your mentality, I hope you will reconsider.  Two years ago, I was reading a wellness blog by Kris Carr (she is a wellness advocate, writer, cancer survivor)  about the toxic ingredients used in skin care products and the lack of regulation in the beauty industry, and her words really resonated.  Here I am, working so hard to be the healthiest I can be, dedicating so much time and energy to good nutrition and exercise, yet I’m using skincare products that are full of toxic chemicals. And I’m absorbing them right through my skin.

Here are a few simple ways to start cleaning up your beauty routine.

1. Cut down on the number of products you use each day. Sometimes, cutting down on your body burden is as easy as simplifying your beauty routine. Less is more!  These days I have only two products in my skincare routine.  I wash my face with Beautycounter's Cleansing Balm and I use the Hydrating Face Oil as my moisturizer.  That's it! 

2. Start reading labels. EWG has created this handy list of the top ingredients to avoid for women, men and kids. If you have a smart phone, check out these great apps -  EWG’s Skin deep. or Think Dirty

3. Choose a safe sunscreen.  This is one of the easiest healthy changes you can make!  We're all going to be buying sunscreen and enjoy the outdoors this summer.  So why not choose wisely?  I love All Over Sun Protection by Beautycounter.  It is 19% zinc and goes on transluscent.

Of course, it is not just about what you put on your skin. In addition to using safe skincare products, do you know what makes my skin glow?  Taking AMAZING care of myself.....eating nourishing foods, staying hydrated, sweating every day, managing stress and getting plenty of rest.  Having a non-toxic skincare routine is essential, but it is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to looking and feeling your best.

 

 

 

Core Workout - The Gravedigger

One of my favorites!

This is a great exercise for improving core strength, posture, and stabilizing the scapula.

Start in a very strong plank pose with all of the core muscles locked in.  As you pull the elbow up, you are isolating the postural muscles that stabilize the scapula in your upper back.  You are also working on balance, coordination as well as strengthening all of the muscles associated with core strength.

  • Level 1 - Demonstrated with elbow bending
  • Level 2 - Demonstrated with a straight arm

Do 2 sets of 20 repetitions

Filmed by Jillian Livingston  http://www.aspenreallife.com

Reasons I Love Cooking

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"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house......the people who give you their food give you their heart."

- Cesar Chavez

It is true: I love cooking. I am not sure what it is, but when I am in the kitchen, I suddenly feel at home.  So I thought I would spread the love and write a blog post on why I like it – and perhaps it will inspire some of you that find cooking to be a chore.                    

Everything about preparing, cooking and sharing food makes me happy.   Making something with my own hands feels creative and satisfying, and sharing it with others is a joy and a privilege.  The meals I make are one way that I show my love and appreciation for my friends and family.

Reasons I love cooking:

  • It’s a time when I can relax in my kitchen with my favorite music
  • I love filling the house with welcoming smells
  • I love celebrating life with friends at the table, over a delicious meal
  • I enjoy good health and nutrition and knowing that I am serving my family the best
  • I can try new things and be creative, but I equally enjoy serving the family favorites that give us a sense of tradition
  • I love food!

Cooking means something different for everyone — whether it’s for comfort, family, or to entertain and make memories.

Tell me why you cook and share your stories in the comments below!

Sleep Better

We all know that sleep is important.  In fact, in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, getting enough restful sleep is the most important thing we can do for our overall health.  Proper sleep can help fight infection, promote good mood, support your metabolism to help prevent weight gain, as well as jump-start your energy and vitality.  

Getting a great night’s sleep is one of the keys to looking and feeling your best, yet 70% of Americans report being chronically sleep deprived.  If you fall into this demographic of not getting enough restful sleep, it may be time to analyze your bedtime habits.  Here are some thoughts to consider in order to get your bedtime routine on track for your best rest:

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

If you are having trouble sleeping, you want to stay away from caffeine after noon.  And while alcohol may help you relax and fall asleep, it can disrupt the deep REM sleep your body needs to function at it’s highest level.  If you are going to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, try to do it a few hours before you go to bed to ensure a great night's rest.

In the evening, enjoy a hot beverage like chamomile or peppermint tea.  They both have a calming affect on the body.  A good Magnesium supplement promotes muscle relaxation and can promote sleep.  I like CALM Magnesium powder.  Put 1-2 teaspoons in a cup of hot water before bed.

Valerian, passion flower, lemon balm and chamomile work synergistically with key hormones and amino acids to relax the body - so you can get a good night's sleep. Without the side effects of prescription drugs.  Take a look at this great product, containing all of these sleep inducing ingredients: Best Rest Supplement

Find a Relaxing Activity(That Doesn't Involve a Screen):

Bright screens like those  on your TV or computer emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin, the hormone that encourages your body to sleep.  Try instead to read a real paper book or use an e-reader (without the blue screen) like the Kindle.  Turn off your phone, computer and iPad at least one hour before bed for best results.

In addition to the tea, you may want to try the following Nighttime Stretch Routine.  Stretching at night can help relax your muscles and prepare your body for your best sleep.  When performed correctly, stretching at night as part of your wind-down ritual can help you fall asleep faster, and have a more restful slumber.

View PDF complete with instructions and links to video of each step in the routine.

Start a bedtime meditation practice:

This is a great meditation to do before sleep.  The goal of this breathing exercise is to incrementally relax yourself, in steps.

Here is how it works:

  1. Inhale normally and as you exhale, relax your muscles.  With each breath out, visualize your body becoming slightly more relaxed.  The goal is to become more and more relaxed with each exhale than before you began.
  1. Be aware of your tension areas:  
  • Face
  • Jaw
  • Shoulders
  • Hands
  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Abdomen
  1. On your next exhale, relax your face.  Imagine all of the stress and tension leaving that area.  
  1. Alternate targeting the tension areas with each exhale, until your entire body feels relaxed.

I hope these tips help you achieve better deeper more relaxing sleep.

Sweet dreams!

The Practice of Gratitude

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” —Brother David Steindl-Rast

It is possible that the simplest and most effective habit for living a happier life is to take a few minutes every day to focus on what we can be grateful for. 

Behavioral and psychological research has shown that surprising life improvements can stem from the practice of gratitude. Being grateful can help to:

  • Lift your mood, make you happier
  • Improve resilience
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Improve health
  • Reduce stress
  • Find joy, even during tough times.

Here are three practices you can try to cultivate the powerful habit of gratitude:

1. Make it a part of your morning routine.  Before checking emails or text messages, make yourself a cup of coffee, find a cozy spot to sit, and take 1 minute to name 10 things (small or significant) that you are grateful for in your life. I practice this every morning by simply counting on my fingers! Another wonderful way to start the day is a morning  Meditation On Gratitude.

2.  Keep a a gratitude journal.  Take a few minutes every evening to write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. These thoughts can be about your day, yourself or your life. Keep your gratitude journal by your nightstand so you will see it and remember to jot down what you are thankful for before going to sleep. Your gratitude journal doesn't necessarily have to be deep or elaborately written. The things you are thankful for can be as simple as "family" or "my home" or "lunch with a friend", for instance.

4.  Express your gratitude in person.  Tell someone you appreciate them tonight. Send a card or an email to someone who lives far away from you. You may even send a quick text to someone right now; "I am grateful for you." Expressing your gratitude no matter how simple, can have a big impact on someone’s day, or even life!

Try one of these simple exercises every day for a week to see how it impacts your life!

Love Your Life!

My work is about teaching others how to create a healthy life that they love. Treating yourself in a loving way is a big part of that philosophy because it promotes health and happiness, and gives you the energy to focus on what is most important to you.

There are 3 key elements to my "Love Your Life" philosophy. 

Eat Well - You can transform your life and feel amazing energy by putting the most nutrient rich food in your body every day.   Don't focus on the things that you can't have -  “I can't eat sugar."  Instead, focus on all of the wonderful foods that you CAN have - “I can enjoy this piece of dark chocolate.”   When you shift your focus to how GREAT it feels to eat the best foods, you will start to feel more motivated to eat well.

Move Often —  Some people have a negative association with the word "exercise".   If that is true for you, try thinking of it as movement, not exercise. What if you simply aim to move your body every day, and that movement can take whatever form you like?Your daily movement can be a long walk to the farmer’s market, or a hike with the dogs. Your daily movement can be going to your favorite yoga class, shoveling snow, or playing tag with your kids. You get the point; Just make it your goal to “move my body every day.”

Nurture Yourself —  Treating yourself to something special can be beneficial emotionally and physically.  If you're not in the habit of nurturing yourself, you may find it difficult to get started, and you might even feel guilty for doing loving things for yourself. However, the more self nurturing you do, the easier it gets. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

  • Treat yourself to a massage, manicure or pedicure
  • Buy fresh flowers for your home
  • Meditate for 5 minutes
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Take a hot bath
  • Listen to music that you love
  • Meet a friend for a cup of tea at a nice cafe
  • Sit in the warm sunshine with a good book

Want to get healthy, and have more energy?

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Morning Meditation

meditate Self-care practices like meditation, or just taking time to check in with yourself, go hand in hand with healthy living.  How we connect with ourselves has a direct effect on our mood, stress level and overall feeling of happiness and contentment

The more we balance the negative thoughts and unhealthy habits that don’t serve us, the easier it is to create a healthy life.  If the word "meditation" is not for you, just call it breathing practice. And remember, it’s called a practice for a reason: It is not intended to be perfect!
Try this simple breathing practice to start your day:

 

Find a comfortable sitting position, keeping your spine tall and supported.  Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and breathe deeply into your belly.  Feel your belly rise and fall with each breath.

Draw the mind to the breath as you take a big inhale, filling the belly, the ribs, and the chest. Pause at the top of the inhale and count to three.

Exhale slowly, imagining the breath leaving first from the chest, then the ribs, and the belly. Pause at the bottom of the exhale and count to three.

Repeat this 3 part deep breathing for fifteen breaths.

I like to finish my morning meditation by counting 10 things that I am grateful for each day.  (I just count on my fingers!)  Gratitude is the best attitude adjustment!

 

Real Life Resolutions

Start on January 1 I am often talking to my clients about fitness and healthy living as they relate to “REAL LIFE”

Real Life does not exist in a bubble where everything is peaceful, calm, and totally in our control at all times. In the real world our lives can be quite messy and unpredictable.

Real life looks more like this………..

  • The kids are sick, and you’re getting no sleep…
  • A friend is going through cancer treatment and you visit daily…
  • It’s Christmas/Thanksgiving/Passover or the long weekend…
  • You’ve got a tight deadline at work…
  • Your lower back is acting up…..

So here is the important question to ask this year as you make your resolutions.......

What does a renewed commitment to health and fitness look like for YOU — in the context of your unique and busy life?

  1. How could you make things “a little bit better” this year? Remember, it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress.  Don’t get frustrated if you eat an unhealthy meal, or miss a workout. Remember the great work you have done and commit to doing better tomorrow.
  2. What challenges do you anticipate might interfere with the progress you want to make?  Identify your “crucial moments”.  These are the moments when a specific temptation or situation distracts you from your goal. Consider how you can change your behavior in these moments in advance.
  3. What is one little thing you could do today to meet your goals?  Start small. Maybe it’s researching a healthy meal delivery service, downloading a relaxing meditation, or booking a babysitter one evening a week.

Need some help?  I am offering 50% off my Breakthrough Consultations in January!

Clean Up Your Beauty Routine

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Here are 5 very easy natural beauty swaps that you can make today. 

I consider these to be the most important swaps to start with because of the surface area that these products cover on the body and the frequency of use!

1.  Body Wash: Commercial body wash often contain parabens and fragrances that are known allergens and endocrine disruptors.

  • I LOVE Dr. Bronner’s all-purpose pure castile soap.

2.  Body Lotion: Watch out for parabens, fragrances, dyes  in the ingredients.

3.  Deodorant:  Contain aluminum, triclosan and other harmful ingredients.I finally found 2 natural deodorants that work for me.

  • PiperWai
  • Schmidt’s

4.  Toothpaste:  Make sure your toothpaste does not contain Triclosan.  I also choose to go with a fluoride free toothpaste.  All of these products can be purchased at Amazon. 

  • Redmond Earthpaste
  • Jason’s
  • Tom’s Toothpaste

5  Sunscreen:  Watch out for the ingredient oxybenzone.

 

Here are my Beautycounter skincare recommendations by skin type

I have been a Beautycounter consultant for some time now and it is a brand that I love and trust. I really appreciate the fact that the company not only offers safe and high performing products, but is also working hard to educate consumers and pass legislature that will better regulate the beauty industry.

So how do you know which of these safer, highly effective products are right for you?   Here are my recommendations, including my own skincare routine:

Dry Skin

I live in a VERY dry climate so this is my personal skincare regimen.

Acne-Prone/Oily

Oily skin is often a symptom of chronically dry skin. As mom to a teenager,  I can attest to this winning combo:

Mature Skin

The Countertime Rejuvenating line is best for mature skin, actively working to reduce dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. I particularly enjoy the Rejuvenating Night Cream, Eye Cream and Cleansing Balm.  I would also recommend the Plumping Face Oil # 2 with Jasmine for mature skin

Sensitive Skin

The Nourishing Face Collection is best for those with sensitive skin. The Nourishing Day Cream, Night Cream and Eye Cream are all formulated without any fragrance and the Cream Cleanser is particularly gentle. For sensitive skin, I would also recommend the Brightening Face OIl # 1

Face Oils to use for your skin type

Use A face oil morning and night as you moisturizer, or add a few drops to your cream moisturizer.

 

You can check the safety of the products that you use on a daily basis on the Environmental Working Group ( EWG)  Skin Deep Database to see how they rate for things like hormone disruption and toxicity.  (low numbers are best)

Workout Video - Grave Digger

One of my favorites! [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/98156389[/vimeo]

This is a great exercise for improving core strength, posture, and stabilizing the scapula.

Start in a very strong plank pose with all of the core muscles locked in.  As you pull the elbow up, you are isolating the postural muscles that stabilize the scapula in your upper back.  You are also working on balance, coordination as well as strengthening all of the muscles associated with core strength.

  • Level 1 - Demonstrated with elbow bending
  • Level 2- Demonstrated with a straight arm

Do 2 sets of 20 repetitions

Filmed by Jillian Livingston  http://www.aspenreallife.com

 

Lunch with the bija life teen retreat

krisiHere are all the delicious recipes from our Modern Teen Retreat!

Lunch was served by our Rock-Star Executive Chef, Krisi Mace!

Mango Lassi served fresh berries.

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To make Lassi: 1 fresh or frozen mango, 1 cup Greek yogurt, juice of lime 1tbsp Local Honey

Place all in blender till smooth, do not over blend,

Place Lassi in a beautiful glass, add berries,another layer of Lassi, then more berries. Top layer Lassi, grated dark chocolate and a spring of fresh mint.

To make it even more refreshing freeze Lassi, it will be like frozen yogurt!! Change fruit to your favorite's

 

Asian Chicken Salad over Avocados

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4 chicken breasts, ( with or without skin) 2 celery stack 2 scallions or finely diced chives 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds 1/4 cup tamari.( or soy sauce) 1 stem grated fresh ginger 1 can water chestnuts ( can eliminate if not wanting to use canned goods) I fresh mandarin orange 2 limes. 1 tbsp sweet Sriracha sauce. ( Asian sweet chili sauce)

Sear chicken breast in coconut or olive oil. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth. Roast in 400degree oven for 20 minutes till meat is cooked to 160 degrees.

Make dressing ,scallions, Tamari,ginger ,lime juice, Siracha, and a tbsp of olive oil. When chicken is done, let it cool, shred in small pieces. Place chicken in bowl, add water chestnuts and. Oranges,. Toss mixture with dressing. Slice avocado in half ( you can keep in in skin or just scoop it out.) On a plate of your choice julienne some kale , spinach or spring lettuces, Place on plate,avocado in middle, and put lovely chicken salad on top. Enjoy.

SWEET POTATO FRIES

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Turn oven to 425 degrees

4 sweet potatoes, wash and peel skins.  Cut into desired slices, ( like french fries) place in a bowl sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt. Toss well. Place on a cookie sheet, ( I like using parchment paper) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. All ovens are a bit different. Check if you want more crisp do it for 5 more minutes. When finished sprinkle with grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes. YUM

KRISI COOKIES

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Adapted from The Healthy Kitchen

1/4 cup coconut oil ( can use butter or any other substitute of choice) 1 egg I mashed banana 1/2 cup maple syrup, honey, agave, (sweetener of choice) I cup of Pamela's bake mix 1 cup old -fashioned oatmeal 1/4 cup shredded coconut 1/2 cup chopped almonds 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries. 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Preheat oven to 350  degrees. Cream tho coconut oil and egg together, till smooth,add banana, vanilla, sweetener, and orange zest. Mix well, till blended. Add oatmeal, bake mix, coconut shred, walnuts etc, blend slowly till all blended. I usually use my Kitchen Aid for this. Once again, use parchment paper on baking sheet. Put 1tbsp of dough separate 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on rack.