Sometimes Mother Nature’s Beautiful Creations Need to be Shared…

Cenote Palomitas - one of Mother Nature's beautiful creations.

Cenote Palomitas – one of Mother Nature’s beautiful creations.

Canada’s national “Organic Week” is right around the corner (September 19th-27th this year). During this week especially, I take the time to appreciate everything Mother Nature offers us naturally and organically. Today, I stumbled across these recent pictures of one of Mother Nature’s beautiful creations, Cenote Palomitas, and thought I just had to share them to kickoff Organic Week.

"Cenote Palomitas - crystal waters turquoise color, depth 45 metres, 50 meters diameter, 25 degrees Celsius, access: stone steps." It looked sketchy in the middle of nowhere, so I was nervous to enter!

Cenote Palomitas – crystal waters turquoise color, depth 45 metres, 50 meters diameter, 25 degrees Celsius, access: stone steps.” It looked sketchy in the middle of nowhere, so I was definitely nervous to enter.

Cenotes are natural sinkholes created by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock. The beautifully clear turquoise waters are the result of the natural filtration that fresh water undergoes as it flows through the porous limestone.

The steps leading down to this cenote were steep!

The steps leading down to this cenote were steep!

This cenote called Cenote Palomitas is located in Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico. It is 45 metres deep and 50 metres in diameter with a comfortable temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. Raj swam in it and loved every minute of it. The view was magical. We highly recommend visiting a cenote at least once in your life! Mother Nature is a beautiful thing.

XOXO,

Addy

P.S. – Raj and I are kicking off our Organic Week with CHFA East this weekend. To those attending too, hope to see you there! Look out for some new posts these upcoming weeks! 🙂

The view was magical.

The view was magical.

Quick Tip Thursday: Long, Luscious Hair with Argan Oil!

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Argan oil, which is extracted from the kernels of argan fruit trees, is high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. I use this nutrient-rich oil as a hair treatment at least once every month to help grow and maintain long, luscious, healthy hair! I love the New Roots Herbal Argan Oil, because it is pure, organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, hand-sourced from Morocco, and very affordable (usually around $16 CAD for a 50-ml glass bottle). Here is how I use it as a hair treatment at least once every month for long, healthy hair:

Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once each month!

Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once every month!

  1. Pick a day when your hair does not need to look great (i.e. an uneventful day-off or a work day with no important meetings).
  2. In the morning, apply a generous amount of argan oil all over your hair. (For my hair length, I use about 5 full droppers.)
  3. Massage the argan oil well into your hair and then, tie your hair up in a bun.
  4. Let the argan oil sit in your hair for the entire day (at least 8 hours).
  5. Shampoo your hair once or twice (no need to condition it afterwards) and let it air-dry.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 at least once every month and enjoy your beautiful hair!
Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.

Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.

If you complement this at-least-monthly hair treatment with minimal to no use of hair-styling products and heat, a healthy diet, and minimal stress, get ready to watch your hair grow in length and volume!

XOXO,

Addy

I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!

I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!

Best & Easiest Natural Homemade Blush + Lip Gloss!

The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!

The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!

In my and Raj’s lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” tomorrow night at The Big Carrot, I will be briefly touching on how the toxins that we absorb from the environment and synthetic products are just as important to consider in cancer prevention/fighting as the toxins and nutrients that we consume. Our skin is our largest organ. What we put on our skin matters and we should always try to keep our body-care and cosmetic products as natural as possible. I will admit that I struggle with trying to use more natural cosmetics, especially when natural cosmetics tend to be less readily available, less pigmented, less lasting, and/or less diverse in colours. I am taking baby steps though with the more foolproof natural cosmetic products like blushes and lip glosses (I will explore the more daunting natural cosmetics like eyeliners and mascaras another time).

Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!

Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!

Although there are numerous natural cosmetic companies out there making wonderful blushes and lip glosses, I wanted to make my own two-in-one (blush + lip gloss) from scratch. Unlike all the more natural blushes and lip glosses I have seen on the market, I wanted mine to be completely free of preservatives, made with minimal ingredients, and good enough to eat! I finally came up with a super easy recipe that requires only three (edible) ingredients and that makes an absolutely gorgeous blush and lip gloss!

Ingredients:

It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!

It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!

Steps:

  1. In a very small bowl (i.e. dipping sauce bowl), add the red beetroot powder and then stir in the hot filtered water a few drops at a time until the red beetroot powder/crystals have dissolved and the mixture has a syrup-like consistency.
  2. Find a small glass jar, in which you would like to store this two-in-one blush + lip gloss product. Pour the liquid raw organic virgin coconut oil and the water-dissolved red beetroot powder/crystals into this small glass jar. Close the lid tightly and then shake the jar well to mix everything together. The coconut oil should turn deep red in colour (it will apply pink on the skin though).
  3. Place the jar in the freezer for about a hour to let the contents solidify and then keep it stored in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator anytime you want to apply a gorgeous berry pink colour on your cheeks and/or lips. Enjoy!
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Who knew beets and coconut oil could be so pretty on the skin?

 

I just love using this as a blush! The gorgeous berry pink colour stays on my cheeks all day (i.e. from early in the morning to when I come home from work, which is over eight hours). Not only does this easy-to-make product give a beautiful and lasting colour on my skin, but it also nourishes and moisturizes my skin. I really hope all my beauty-product junkies out there give this recipe a try, especially those who are also trying to go the more natural route. Your skin will thank you. 🙂

XOXO,

Addy

My First Time Applying Natural (NOT Black) Henna!

Drawing Henna

Growing up in a predominantly South Asian community, I would see a lot of my female friends with henna (also known as mehndi) designs on their hand(s) every now and then for festive occasions like weddings or just for fun. In elementary school, I remember admiring this cosmetic art so much that I attempted to recreate the designs on my left hand (since I am right-handed) with brown, washable Crayola marker several times. I was terribly unsuccessful every single time (in case you were wondering). As a grown woman now with better fine motor skills, I finally felt ready to upgrade from brown Crayola markers to real henna, especially since I will be attending an Indian wedding for my first time with Raj in about a month. How hard could it be?

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Raj and I went to his local Indian grocery store where I was asked if I wanted brown or black henna. I had no idea there were two different colours! I just wanted the reddish brown henna that I remember seeing on the hands of my childhood girlfriends, so I opted for the brown one. It was lucky I chose the brown henna, because I found out later that black henna is synthetic and may contain skin irritants and toxins such as p-Phenylenediamine (PPD).

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Natural, pure henna paste for skin art is prepared by mixing henna leaf powder with a liquid such as water or lemon juice. The paste can then be applied in intricate patterns all over the hands. After about 20 minutes, the paste will dry out on your skin and begin to crack a little. At this point, you can gently re-moisten the henna design on your skin with lemon juice and let it re-dry out again for a more intense colour afterwards (I did not do this). You can also wrap your hand(s) in a plastic bag after the henna design has completely dried to allow your natural body heat to develop the colour even further (I did not do this either).

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Raj’s mom suggested I wrap my left hand in a plastic bag and go to sleep with it on to let the colour intensify overnight. However, patience is not one of my strengths. After two hours, I could not wait any longer and had to wash it off. Raj’s mom and I were shocked at how intense the staining was after only two hours sans lemon juice and sans plastic bag! That initial colour intensified even more via oxidation during the first few hours after washing off the henna!

Before After

The colour remained bold and vibrant on my hand for about three days before starting to fade. The timing was perfect, because after the third day, I was getting bored of that design and wanted it to fade away. I should also point out that henna leaves a faint, natural, herbal, grassy smell that lingers on your skin for the first few days. Some people hate the smell, but I happen to like it. Hopefully, you do not mind the smell or the long waiting-for-the-colour-to-develop time, because henna art is beautiful, natural, and fun! Although my first time applying henna was fun, it was harder than I thought! I think I will leave it to a professional for the Indian wedding next month. 😛

XOXO,

Addy

P.S. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? This is why it is so important to be conscious of what you are putting on your skin and to avoid potential carcinogens like the PPD in black henna. For more tips on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition”, register and attend our FREE lecture at the Big Carrot on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm. 🙂