Category Archives: Mind•Body•Soul

The Do’s and Dont’s of DIY Beauty

The natural beauty movement is gaining momentum with more women seeking all-natural ways to look and feel fabulous. A big part of this trend is creating beauty products at home. The benefits are many: products can be completely customized, women know exactly what ingredients are used, and oftentimes, they save themselves money, too.

If you want to join the DIY beauty movement, consider these top do’s and don’ts from the experts at Aura Cacia:

Do develop your own body spray

Not only are perfumes costly, they are filled with chemicals. By using essential oils, you can create natural body spray in minutes. For an amazing DIY Patchouli and Rose Body Spray, simply mix these ingredients in a small spray bottle or atomizer:

4 ounces purified water
19 drops bergamot BF essential oil
19 drops patchouli essential oil
19 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops rose otto or rose absolute essential oil

Don’t forget to use pantry staples

Some of the most commonly used ingredients in DIY beauty recipes can be found right in your kitchen cabinet. Learn more about pantry staples like sea salt, oats, honey, eggs, course sugar and coconut oil, and how your beauty recipes can benefit from them.

Do learn more about essential oils

 

Essential oils are the highly concentrated aromatic essences of plants. They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs. Using essential oils in DIY beauty products is a wonderful option, but they must be treated with safety and respect. Read up on essential oil basics and safety at www.auracacia.com.

Don’t use disposable containers

 

DIY beauty embraces the idea of natural wellness not only for the family, but also for the Earth. Always opt for reusable containers when possible, as they reduce waste and maintain the integrity of homemade products longer. BPA-free plastic containers and glass alternatives are both great options you can use again and again.

familydiybeautyDo make health and beauty essentials for the whole family

DIY health and beauty isn’t just for women, the entire family can benefit from natural products you can make in your own home. From luxurious body soaks for mom and back rub blends for dad, to baby balms and infant message oils, there are many easy-to-follow recipes at www.auracacia.com.  

 

Makeup to Enhance Your Natural Look

Sometimes less is better, especially if you’re aiming for an all-natural look. Makeup can be time consuming and tricky on which colors fit your skin tone but here are a few helpful products and tips to create a new, more fresh look.

First of all when starting your daily look, make sure you’ve completely cleaned your face and with either your fingertips or a makeup sponge apply Benecos natural BB cream evenly on your face. Benecos BB cream is a facial cream and light foundation that has a mix of eight different benefits to your skin.

makeupNext, try applying a small amount of Benecos natural powder blush with one of the wide range of brushes offered by Luxie Lush to the apples of your cheeks to brighten up your face.

Tip: Changing your makeup brushes is a must! If your brush is constantly shedding, has a different odor, has any cracks or if it loses its shape then it is time for a new one.

Last but not least final touch to add, is lip-gloss. Rozgé lip gloss is all natural and made with organic ingredients. Rozgé provides protection to your lips while adding a statement with the 22 different shades offered.

If you’re going out on the town, try their reddish orange tint, Dublin or if you want a more subtle color go with their baby pink, Olso.

Now go show off your new look!

Written by Kristi Hall

 

 

10 Foods Impacting Your Mood

Did you know the food you eat can literally make you feel happy or sad? Nutrition is one of the main components of mental health, so it’s important to stock your plate with good food while cutting some of those less beneficial alternatives.

“Food can definitely alter your mood,” says Dr. Shoshana Bennett.“Sometimes the effect is immediate, other times there’s a delay of an hour or so. Over time, the wrong foods can create a continuous foul mood or negative state of mind. Many people still aren’t making the connection between their emotional well-being and what they ate for dinner – or the last 200 dinners.”

Bennett explains that certain foods can negatively affect the neurotransmitters in our brains; these chemicals control sleep, appetite, mood and more. Bad foods can also cause inflammation, which may lead to other physical and mental disorders. She recommends eating these five types of food to feel happy, healthy and balanced:

1. Complex carbohydrates
Foods like beans, potatoes and whole grains are necessary for staying upbeat, as the complex carbohydrates they contain help the brain make serotonin, a mood-changing chemical. Without enough complex carbohydrates, a person can become angry and depressed.

 2. Cold-water fish
Salmon, mackerel and sardines are high in the omega-3s that help boost mood. Several studies show that a deficit in omega-3 fatty acids is linked to anxiety and depression. Most people in the U.S. don’t eat enough fresh, cold-water fish, so supplements are required.

“It’s important to use omega-3 supplements of pure quality,” says Bennett. “This means knowing where the fish comes from and how the supplements are manufactured.”

3.  Selenium
“Research shows people with low levels of the mineral selenium have poorer moods, including the tendency toward depression,” Bennett says.

Foods rich in selenium include shellfish, tuna, nuts, seeds, fish, pork, chicken and pasta. Bennett cautions that too much of this mineral is not healthy either, and recommends checking with a health care practitioner for guidance before taking selenium as a supplement.

4. Folic acid
A diet too low in folic acids can deplete serotonin. Research suggests that depression can be relieved by taking folate supplements or eating more food containing folate, such as spinach, lentils, garbanzo and other beans, romaine lettuce and broccoli.

“Folate is water-soluble, so your body does not store it,” says Bennett. “You need to eat foods regularly that contain it.”

5.  Vitamin D
Vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, milk, cheese and fatty fish (like tuna) help to activate serotonin. Furthermore, research shows a strong connection between low levels of vitamin D and symptoms of depression.

Knowing what foods to skip is just as important as knowing which foods to eat, so Bennett recommends cutting down on these “bad-mood foods”:

1. Sugar
Eating sugar provides a rush of energy, but soon afterward, blood glucose levels drop and lead to low mood and short-temperedness.

2. Sweeteners
Aspartame and other sweeteners can cause depression and insomnia since they block the production of serotonin. If you want a sweetener but are trying to avoid sugar, use stevia or xylitol instead.

3.  Processed carbs
Snack foods, white bread, most cereals and pasta contain processed carbs that negatively affect blood sugar levels the same way as sugar.

4. Hydrogenated oils
Trans fats are physically and mentally dangerous because they can contribute to depression and other illnesses.

5. Sodium
High sodium can negatively affect the neurological system and contribute to depression and fatigue.

“You don’t have to make major changes all at once,” says Bennett. “It’s often more beneficial if one small, realistic alteration is made at a time. Once you experience the payoff – not just read or hear about them – then it becomes fun!”

The Risks We Take

I’ve always admired risk takers. You know, thrill seekers in helmets jumping off bridges or flying through the air with GoPro cameras strapped to their heads. I envy their rosy cheeks and deep smiles and brightly colored outfits.

Everything about them screams “I’m alive!” while everything in me just screams at the thought of zip lining across a 400 foot mountain gorge.  My lack of risk taking has long been a dark spot on my soul. I even have a difficult time hitting on a guy in a bar.

Until I realized risks don’t always mean jumping off a cliff.

I have a good friend, named Kurt. I adore him. And as it happens, he adores me. One night over dinner he asked if I would join him in completing his global To-Do list. As soon as the question left his mouth, my brain became a vortex of possible complications… what about my dog? My apartment? My parents need me and there’s all those planes disappearing in that pesky ocean.

My late thirty-something self couldn’t do it. My girlfriends thought I was insane. Who would turn down a proposition like that?

Me. I would. The girl who doesn’t take risks. I wasn’t saying no to traveling all over the world, I was saying no settling for someone I adored instead of loved. Even if that person did come with two plane tickets to Bali.  I believed something bigger was waiting for me.

Not long after Kurt, I decided to do something really stupid: become an artist. Just me and my craft facing the world and my checking account! I would pursue my artistic dreams. When I told friends, they were in awe. I could see the gleam of envy in their eyes. Or maybe it was shock at my lack of desire to work in an office for the rest of my life with health insurance and a regular paycheck.

heatherAfter I downed a bottle of my favorite wine, I convinced myself I was indeed doing the right thing. But this kind of risk is terrifying. Everything in my life is a variable upon things I can’t control… like the weather or if my dog decides he wants to pee on my running shoes.

However, I’m breathless when I look back on my decisions. The risk taker would understand. The thrill seeker jumping off the side of a mountain to fly around like a bat on a summers’ day would get it. I’m one of them now.

 

Written by Heather A. Haines

I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss

Starting from a relatively young age, many girls are discouraged from seeking leadership positions because of some learned fear of power. Whether we can pinpoint the origin of that fear down to one specific moment or not, the truth is in the statistics; women simply don’t aim for coveted leadership positions as often as men do.

In 2012, a study done by the U.S. Labor force determined that 51% of working Americans were women, but females held only 18% of all Corporate Officer positions. In 2011, the Washington Post reported that only one third of the top 50 colleges in the country had female student body presidents. Those numbers drop dramatically in high schools and middle schools. Growing up, I remember being discouraged from running for class president because everybody knew a girl would never win. But where does this fear come from?

Many women actually feel that being the head of large groups like student government, or even a corporation is ultimately less effective than putting their energy into a smaller venture that impacts more people. However, as a gender, we are missing out on opportunities to create tangible change by letting the boys have all the glory. Following the success of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, which provides encouragement, advice, and strategy to women in the workplace and other leadership positions, many famous women have stepped up and spoken out about their thoughts on female leaders.

Beyoncé and Jennifer Garner have led one of the most popular campaigns, explaining that many women and girls are simply afraid of being called bossy or bitchy. After decades of having our place in the world defined by the space not otherwise occupied by men, women who come near to crossing that invisible line are often called out for being out of their place. Women who are assertive are often called bossy and overbearing, while men with the same disposition are praised for their work ethic and passion.

So how do we combat this double standard? Dianne Von Furstenberg suggests we “just ban the word bossy!” Garner says being labeled matters, and encourages other women to think twice before calling other women names. Just because we don’t agree with a particular leadership style, doesn’t mean that woman is a bitch—she is working just as hard as you are to level the very uneven playfield. Ultimately, Beyoncé’s advice is as golden as her long locks; “Be brave, be you. I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.”

 

Written by Eleanor Haeg

Love and Trust Yourself

Being recently divorced, it’s a struggle to write an article for the wedding issue. I feel like I don’t know much about the topic of marriage, but I do know a lot about being in an unhealthy and toxic relationship. It is dangerous, and breaks you down to the worst version of yourself.

My problem started with the engagement. I said “yes” because I didn’t know how to say no. I knew in my gut I wasn’t ready for marriage. I also knew my now-ex-husband was not the right person for me. Something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, I chalked it up to nervous jitters and said “ok” to everything everyone else wanted and expected.  I thought I could make it work, and if not, there’s always a way to undo it.

I also never even wanted a wedding ceremony. I knew it would stress me out and cost more than I could afford. I did not want to deal with the stress of my own divorced parent’s issues on the day of the wedding, but I agreed to a ceremony because my fiancé and my mother both thought I should have one. I didn’t trust my own gut and I didn’t do what I wanted. I was stressed out, spent more money than I had, and wasn’t happy about any of it.

Because I didn’t listen to my own truth, my own gut, I was resentful. I lost myself and felt trapped, alone and scared. When there are lies upon lies, there cannot be trust. And without trust, there cannot be love.

sad_bride_729-420x0

The life lesson in all of it is, “TRUST YOUR GUT.” Learn to really love yourself BY yourself.

The idea of a lover, a companion, a partner for life is wonderful.  However, forcing something you know isn’t right can not work – and it’s not worth it. I overlooked red flags. I believed the lies because I wanted it to be right.  I accommodated beyond my comfort level. I was afraid to take a stand on what was unacceptable.

I wish I had the guts and sense of self-worth to do what I knew in my heart was right for me years ago.

The wedding itself can be a fun celebration, but none of it is worth it if you don’t know, love and honor yourself first.  When you do, you don’t accept unacceptable treatment. And you know the cause of unacceptable treatment isn’t YOU – it’s them.

The flowers, the dress, the rings, the decorations, the band or DJ will all work to create the fantasy of “happily ever after.” But if you are not happy and do not truly love yourself now (without depending on validation from someone else) you won’t be happy “ever after” either.

by Heather Quintana, Certified Health Coach

Extraordinary Women

We all know at least one extraordinary woman who deserves recognition. We are currently working on something BIG to help you recognize the women in our area who are making a difference in the lives of others. Please send your nomination, their photo and 100 words describing them to bella@beckmediagroup.com. Include your name and phone number in the email so we can reach you with questions. They could be included in an upcoming issue of Bella Magazine!

 

Melanoma Awareness Month

One in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime. Think of 50 people you know. Now, ask yourself if those 50 people wear sunscreen every time they go out in the sun. We are all human, and it is easy to forget sometimes. Buying additional bottles of suncreen for your car and workplace can help you get into the routine– but first you need to know why that routine is important.
Life is about time. Everyone wants just a little more. However, we are often rushing to get to the next enjoyable moment, and sometimes we forget to prepare for preventable catastrophe. According to the American Cancer Society, one person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes. It takes about five minutes to apply sunscreen on yourself and one very active child. In those five minutes, you could be adding years to your life.
woman-putting-sunscreen-on-child-300x199It is almost bikini season, and that means millions of people are flocking to tanning salons. A startling number of those individuals are teenagers. Do not let your insecurities be your death sentence. Before you get back in the tanning bed this year, consider this: people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for skin cancer by 75 percent. Take it from someone who is pale, with a history of cancer in her family. Those who love you would rather see your pale skin than visit you in the hospital because you wanted a tan for the summer.
My father has battled potentially cancerous moles for years. Up until recently, he often “forgot” to wear sunscreen, despite numerous warnings from his doctor. One such incident resulted in a sunburn on his legs that sent him to the emergency room. Last summer, I asked my 8-year-old sister to remind him to use sunscreen when he went outside. I even went so far as to say, “If daddy doesn’t wear sunscreen he could end up very sick and back in the hospital.”
A few weeks passed, and one day I received a phone call from my dad. He said, with a little sarcasm, “I just wanted to thank you for what you said to your sister. She will not let me leave the house without sunscreen now.”
It doesn’t matter how annoyed you feel by those five minutes you spend putting on sunscreen. What matters is that someone cares enough about you to remind you to do it. So, do us a favor. Grab a piece of paper and write, “sunscreen” on it. Tape it next to your door, and place the bottle of sunscreen somewhere nearby. We care about you, and we hope you will do your best to protect yourself from harmful UV rays this summer.

P.S. You can add additional protection with clothing that carries a UPF rating of 50+. We love products from UV Skinz, and this month they are offering a free baby sunshirt with every order! You should also check out the gorgeous scarves and gloves from Bloxsun for fashionable accessories that offer amazing coverage and protection.