How To Transition To A More Natural Lifestyle Across 5 Areas Of Your Life


There’s no doubt that transitioning to a more natural lifestyle is a great idea. From improving and protecting the environment, your health, human and animal rights, and even your wallet - it just makes sense to opt for a more conscious, sustainable way to consume and live. That’s one of my main values and why all of my skincare products contain natural, plant based ingredients! It’s important to me to be your natural alternative to common synthetic, chemical-based, and inhumane products.

If you’re curious about how you can switch to a more natural, conscious lifestyle then this is the blog for you. I cover how to many the switch to more natural options across a number of areas of your life and you’ll see just how easy it can be!

 

KITCHEN

Ban the Plastic Bags
According to the National Geographic publication, 91% of plastic isn’t ever recycled. Plastic bags wreak havoc on the environment, and even paper bags aren’t that much better in their production and disposal if not done thoughtfully. Canvas, reusable bags are all the rage - not to mention more strong and can generally carry more goodies inside. Most supermarkets and stores stock these bags for you to purchase. Keep them in your car, or even rolled up in your bag so you’re never without your own carry bag for purchases.  
 

Tasteful Tupperware 
When it comes to plastic tupperware, this is just as bad as plastic bags. It’s considered that the chemicals in the plastic, especially BPA, can leach into your food over time and be toxic. The alternative? Choose glass household containers. They not only wash better, but also are generally more sanitary and safe for health, as well as for the environment and all those that live off the land. Also, they never really stain – hello lentil spaghetti bolognaise!

There’s also a range of other recycled materials you can use for other packaging, and biodegradable options are great too! Next time you have a picnic or party, either bring your own glass or ceramic containers to bring home and reuse, or bring along some biodegradable plates and utensils.

No-No Napkins
How many paper towels of napkins do you throw out a week? It’s an interesting thought. Whilst paper towel can and should be recycled, they also produce a large amount of waste. Choose washable cloths for home cleaning, and invest in some material napkins that you can wash as well. Use, re-use, and reduce waste.

 

CLEANING

Think About What You’re Buying
Household cleaning products have an array of harmful chemicals that are not only harmful to human health - sensitive to eyes, skin and lungs - but also to the environment. Pouring harmful chemicals down the drain doesn’t ‘get rid of them’, they can eventually make their way into our waterways, becoming toxic to water life and ecosystems. It’s not only when you use or throw away the chemical, but also how it is made also contributes to the effects on the environment, including the packaging. Opt for cleaning products that claim to contain more natural, environmentally friendly ingredients and come in recyclable packaging.

 

Create Your Own!
There are many natural non-toxic cleaning products available on the market, but there are also natural homemade recipes online that can assist you to create your own products with things you have at home already. Here are some go-to home cleaning ideas:

- Baking soda, vinegar and hot water

Your new cleaning concoction, so versatile and easy to make! It unblocks drains, cleans sink stains, deodorizes cleaning rags and cloths, works well to scrub oven trays and pans, and cleans the toilet!

- Use lemon!

Dirty pans, pots and other cookware can also be cleaned by soaking them in lemon, baking soda and hot water. Lemon and salt is also super effective to deep clean wooden cutting boards.

Again, remember here - the throwaway paper towels, and even the plastic based sponges can be replaced with an eco-material cleaning cloth that you can reuse.

 

SKINCARE

This topic is worth a whole article - or 10! But let’s run through the basics here on some natural alternatives for skincare products. Of course we want to have healthy, happy, glowing skin. With the insane amount of products available, it’s hard to sort through which ones don’t include all those nasty extra additions which can contain synthetic ingredients known to lead to health risks such as hormonal imbalances and toxicity.

Read the Labels, Inform Yourself
Just because something says ’natural’ on the label, doesn’t mean that the ingredients are all natural. Companies are very skilled when it comes to developing their labels. A product can essential be called ‘natural essence shampoo’ and not contain any natural ingredients whatsoever. The advice: look at the labels carefully. Develop an understanding of which ingredients are best to avoid in your skincare such as sulphates, parabens, PEGs, EDTA, synthetic fragrances, phenoxyethanol, mineral oils, petrolatum/petroleum jelly, and of course animal by-products.

That’s What I’m Here For…
Of course my products are all cruelty free and vegan friendly, as well as free from potentially harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, parabens and other synthetic nasties.

Here are a few of my favorites:

- Lip Scrubs

Many lip products contain a whole host of animal derived ingredients, including beeswax and lanolin. My lip scrubs contain exfoliating sugar with a balm base which will leave a nourishing layer on your lips. My Matcha-Lime Lip Scrub is a best seller!

- Body Scrubs

Did you know that micro beads in face and body scrubs are extremely harmful to waterways? They contribute to plastic pollution, and due to their smaller size can be ingested by a range of aquatic life. Opt for natural scrubs instead, like my customer favourite Coffee Body Scrub! You’ll get a hit of that delicious exfoliating coffee with a subtle hint of mandarin to nourish and moisturize your skin with no nasty chemicals or micro beads.

- Body Wash

Soaps can not only be harmful to our health with their ingredients, but can actually strip the body of natural oils and leave skin feeling worse off in the long run. My Activated Charcoal and Peppermint Body Wash has none of these harsh detergents or chemicals and contains only natural, gentle cleansers like decyl glucoside and aloe vera. Plus, it smells like fresh peppermint and leaves you feeling awake and cleansed! 

 

DISPOSAL

Creative Composting
Do you have a compost bin yet? They’re great for reducing waste, and give your plants a helping hand to grow without extra fertilizer and treatment. Make your own from recycled materials - there are tons of tutorials online. Alternatively, if you don’t have your own, find a neighbour who does, save a tub of food waste and add to their collection. In this case, sharing trash is appreciated!

Beyond Recycling, to Borrowing!
If you can’t get your hands on a recycled good that you were looking for in shops or charity outlets, why not borrow it from someone you know?

You’ll save so much money in the long run. Borrow an appliance for that rare recipe, share books instead of buying, even clothes, pillows for your guest, power tools and other electronics. Neighbours, friends and family are generally always happy to lend a helping hand. And don’t forget to lend as well! It goes without saying that when you realise you haven’t used something in years - or ever - then it’s time to donate to charity.

Beat the bottled water
If you like purified water, instead of buying disposable bottles of water (which cost you and the environment), get a filter for your tap at home. A reusable water bottle is also vital. It will remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day, and when you choose aluminum or glass bottles you can keep reusing them and reduce more plastic wastage.

 

WORKPLACE

Reduce Food and Package Waste
Bring your own reusable coffee mug to work! Coffee shops generally love this, and it reduces their own costs and waste as well. Same goes for taking your own lunch to work in glass containers, as this will help to reduce food waste, package waste, and unnecessary extra money spent.

Thoughtful Transport
Reduce carbon emissions through choosing alternate methods of getting to and from work. Use public transportation, carpooling, or do one better and swap the machines for bicycling, running or walking to work. If you’re a business owner yourself, consider adding showers at your workplce if you don’t already have some to make it even easier for your workers to be active before work.

Set up a Charity Bin
Ahhh the power of community…having a charity bin there for all staff to add to whenever they want is a way to keep each other accountable for sharing unused and unwanted goods. When someone sees another filling it up, they’ll be more inclined to share to those who need it themselves!

Go Paperless
As much as you can! A great thing about digital technology is that hand written memos are replaced by emails, 100-page paper documents are replaced by a video presentation or slideshow, and most students around the world (who have access) are even using laptops for note taking and learning. These are all good things for our trees. According to the environmental protection agency, every one tonne of paper that is avoided could potentially save 17 trees. So next time you use paper, if you must - be sure to use recycled paper, and/or recycle yourself. Even encourage your workplace to use recycled paper in their printers.

 

Lastly, a great party of living a more natural lifestyle is to also get outside and surround yourself with nature. Studies reveal that natural environments have a remarkable impact on our sense of health. We are eased from anxiety, breathe more deeply, and increase concentration. One easy way to surround yourself with more natural environments is to incorporate more plants in your home and your workplace, during the times you can’t make it outside.

 

Every little bit counts and hopefully you’ve found some effective ways to make some natural changes in your life.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Include An Oil In Your Skincare Regime

So you think you’ve got a pretty great skincare regime. You cleanse, tone, moisturise daily, and exfoliate every few days. But if you’re not including oil somewhere in there, then you are missing out on one of the biggest secret weapons of skincare. We’ve all been told that oil is bad for our skin because it can create clogged pores, pimples and other breakouts, so it might seem counter intuitive to put it on your face. But there are good oils and bad oils, and by including a good, natural oil in your skincare routine, you’ll definitely start seeing the difference.

If you’re still not convinced, here are the top 5 reasons why you should include a body oil in your skincare (and even your makeup) routines.

 

Oil is the closest thing to the sebum our skin produces naturally

Oil has the amazing ability to match the levels of sebum produced by our skin. Sebum is the oil that is secreted from the sebaceous glands found underneath the skin, and its main purpose is to provide moisture to the skin and protect it from drying out, as well as acting as a barrier to things like bacteria and viruses that threaten to penetrate the skin. It contains a wealth of essential nutrients like vitamin E, triglycerides and healthy fatty acids, and acts as an anti-inflammatory to keep our skin balanced.

Sebum is an incredibly important factor in healthy skin. However, sometimes your body can create too much or too little, and that’s when you can experience things like acne, dryness, flaking and so on. Using an oil is the best way to address these skin concerns. There are many different types of oils to choose from, but one of the best for skincare is often said to be olive oil. This is because it’s plant-based (from the olive tree) and contains a rich amount of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that are just like the ones found in sebum. Applying it to your skin (both face and body) will encourage a healthy response in terms of improved collagen production, increase the flow of oxygen, boost hydration and lessen the appearance of dullness and sagging. My natural Rose & Hibiscus Body Oil contains cold pressed olive oil as well as other plant based oils to nourish your skin.

 

Oil absorbs faster and more effectively than creams and lotions

Oil by nature is thought to be pretty thick and slimy, right? So how could it even come close to being absorbed easier than other moisturisers? When you consider the ingredients of many moisturisers, you will often see a lot of added fillers and emulsifiers in order to make it creamy. These often synthetic ingredients aren’t necessary or even particularly healthy for your skin, and as such they aren’t as readily absorbed as more natural options.

A plant-based oil like jojoba (which is actually pronounced ho-ho-ba) is perfect to use as an everyday moisturiser. It’s an emollient, which means it can soften and soothe the skin, and it’s rich in vitamins A, D and E. It also contains antioxidants that can fight signs of premature aging, repair damaged cells, brighten dull skin, and encourage regeneration. Jojoba oil also balances the production of sebum, so the more you use it, the less likely you’ll have to deal with all those related skin problems. If you’ve been looking for a way to rejuvenate your skin and give yourself a natural glow, jojoba oil is perfect (and it complements every skin type, so it works well for everyone!). You’ll find cold pressed jojoba oil in both of my natural Body Oils.

 

Oil makes a great, inexpensive makeup primer

You may be aware of how important primer is in your makeup routine, but good primer can be pretty pricey. Luckily, oil makes for a great primer that is not only effective, it’s cheap too! Applying oil to your face before makeup application ensures you’ve got an even, hydrated base to work with, and will put a stop to any flakiness or cracking of foundation and concealer as it helps it glide on smoother.

The key is to choose an oil product that contains natural, plant based oils without synthetic preservatives, fragrances or mineral oil. This will ensure that you’re not adding any unnecessary or potentially irritating ingredients to your skin. Rub the oil between your palms to heat it up and make it easier to apply, then massage it into your face. Leave it to soak for a few minutes before blotting it with a tissue, apply your makeup like usual, and enjoy the natural radiance!

 

Oil achieves a natural, radiant glow

If you’re heading out for the night or spending a day out with friends or family, adding some oil to your skin before hand is a great way to achieve a natural, sunkissed glow. A natural body oil will help to hydrate and nourish your skin, leaving you with a slight sheen that catches the light and highlights your skin.

You can even add a little highlighter to your skin after applying oil to help it shimmer and shine even more and last longer into the night.

 

Oil is usually all-natural!

You know I’m all about being natural and that natural ingredients are the most beneficial for your skin. So when it comes to choosing oils to use on your skin (whether it’s for your face or body), plant-based oils are definitely the best – especially when compared to many of the moisturisers available. However, this doesn’t mean that all oil is created equally! You should still look into the ingredients of an oil before you start using it as there are a few things to avoid, such as mineral oil.

Mineral oil, also called paraffin oil, liquid petroleum and white oil, used to be hugely popular. But as we’ve learned more about it, it turns out that it’s actually not anywhere near as healthy for us as we once thought. It’s a comedogenic, which means it clogs pores and is more likely to cause pimples and other skin problems, and it also doesn’t contain any nutritional benefits for the skin or even provide hydration. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of oils out there that you can use for your face and body. Some favourites are: argan, almond, sesame, sunflower, neem, rosehip and avocado oil, just to name a few. If you don’t know where to start, my Rose and Hibiscus Body Oil or Jasmine and Chamomile Body Oil is a great place to begin!

 

No matter what your skin problems are, the best products are often not the ones given over the counter or those that contain a wealth of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, but the ones made naturally by our planet. Experiment with an oil in your skincare regime, such as my Body Oils; your face and body will thank you for it!

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Being Vegan Is About More Than Just What You Eat

 

…It’s about how you live.

For many people who have turned vegan, or who are newly transitioning, there’s a lot to consider when you assess the changes that you’ll be making.

It’s much more than just not eating animal products, as many people may still perhaps think. It is a holistic way of living… a lifestyle.

If you define vegans solely by what they put in their mouth - then this only covers one aspect of veganism, and misses the point of the movement. Veganism is much more than just a plant-based diet, as there are many other non-food products, behaviours and processes that also exploit animals. This can be demonstrated by the irony of leather-wearing vegans, who would really be considered to be choosing a plant-based diet rather than a vegan lifestyle.

Most of the time, defining veganism by food consumption can be due to a lack of information or understanding about what it means to be vegan, or because many vegans choose to make the transition into this lifestyle by beginning with their food choices. So here’s an overview of what a #veganlifestyle actually means, and how to bring your actions in line with your principles. Not only does it do a great amount for the environment, the animals and your health – but also that feeling of aligning with what you believe is wonderful!

First, it’s important to be clear that consumption covers more than just food. There is a large emphasis on ‘diets’ in society and the vegan food movement has received a lot of exposure recently. For example, in Australia between 2014 and 2016, the number of vegan food products rose by 92%!

However, your consumption extends beyond food and beverages. Consumption is the driver for social, economic and environmental change. This is one of the biggest reasons why vegans are so passionate about the movement, as they truly believe that the way that society ‘consumes’ will make a huge difference to the functioning and sustainability of the world.

So when people talk about vegan consumption, they need to not only be talking about what they eat and drink; but also what non-food items they purchase, the events they attend and the processes/actions that they support. Consumption can even extend to the energy we consume, the people we spend time with, the thoughts we think, and the mindset we hold. Below I’ll step through some of the ways that vegan consumption is about much more than just food:


Beverages
There are a number of beverages that contain animal by-products. Some are more obvious such as milk or milk drinks, but some are less obvious. Many protein shake powder is made from whey, which is a by-product from cow’s milk. There are many vegan protein powders available now so that you don’t need to skip on your daily shake! Collagen drinks and powders are also rising in popularity, however collagen is also derived from animals and is not considered vegan. It’s also common for wine to be filtered with animal products, such as eggs. This is not well advertised but you will often see on the back of wine bottles whether any animal products have been used during filtration. There are also a number of vegan wines available and can be researched online.

Personal Care Products
Not only do products often contain ingredients that have been tested on animals, but they can also contain animal derived ingredients. Quick tip - here's some commonly used animal derived personal care ingredients to avoid: Cochineal Dye/Carmine, Guanine, Tallow, Lanolin, Squalene, Ambergris, Collagen, Beeswax, Estrogen/Estradiol, and most forms of Retinol. Many of the skincare or cosmetic products that you own may not be vegan and could contain animal derived ingredients as well as irritating synethetic chemicals. Opt for skincare and cosmetics that are advertised as vegan – such as the entire Buddy Scrub range!

 
Clothing + Accessories
This may be an area of the vegan lifestyle that you haven’t considered, and a great example of how veganism extends beyond food consumption. Clothing and accessories that contain leather, fur, feathers, snakeskin or other ‘skins’ from animals are not considered vegan, and animals are often subjected to significant pain and suffering for the use of their skins. You may think that purchasing leather doesn’t contribute to the death of livestock, however farmers sell their cows for their meat as well as their hides so all of these aspects contribute to the animal’s demise. Fashion brands are becoming more conscious of the ethics behind the materials that they use and many are now going ‘fur free’ or ditching animal materials altogether. There are many alternatives to traditional leather, fur and other animal derived fashion, and simply searching online for ‘vegan fashion’ will give you a whole range of results for brands, companies and sites dedicated to offering this.


Home/Lifestyle Products
Similar to above, there are many household products that contain animal derived ingredients. Examples of this include goose or duck ‘down’ pillows and duvets which use the feathers of geese and ducks, wool blankets or slippers made from sheep’s wool, some brands of mattresses, ivory or leather goods, and even products such as glue or candles can contain animal derived ingredients. Many people who change to a vegan lifestyle will find that they have many more products left over which may not suit their new lifestyle. That's ok. What you can do is donate what products you may already have to charity, so that others benefit. You can then replace them with vegan alternatives to support those companies who are supporting the world!

 
Events exploiting animals
Consumption also extends to the activities and behaviours that you take part in. Again, your purchasing power is a driver for change, and avoiding companies, experiences and activities that add to the suffering of animals will keep you aligned in your vegan lifestyle; you'll be one less person taking part in these acts. Some of the events or activities that involve the exploitation or killing of animals includes animal acts in circuses, sea parks, zoos and hunting. There are so many alternative activities that you can get involved in such as going on a hike, having a picnic in the park, lunch dates at plant-based cafe, yoga, dance, beach days...there are endless options that don’t need to involve animals for your entertainment.


Gifts for others 
Being vegan is more than just being mindful of purchases and consumption for yourself, but also for others. Purchasing gifts or products that contain animal products is generally avoided by vegans, even if they are being gifted to someone who isn’t vegan. The reason for this is they ensure that their money is not going towards funding the businesses that are using animals for their products. Examples of products or gifts could include chocolate, wines, clothing and beeswax candles. This notion also extends to products that are used in conjunction with animal products such as BBQ sauces, ice-cream makers, meat accessories and more. There are many vegan friendly gifts that you can give to those you care about – why not get creative. They might even like coconut chocolate more than normal chocolate!

Mindset/Commitment
Going vegan does involve a large mindset shift and a newfound sense of compassion to consider the environment and animals in all that the person does. It can be quite an adjustment and one that may take place over a number of months to ensure that the lifestyle shift is sustainable and enjoyable. Going vegan involves cultivating a mindset that animals have rights to their lives and that society is able to create a more sustainable future without the exploitation of animals.  If you are considering becoming vegan, not everyone will agree with your choice and that’s ok. Building and strengthening your own mindset and commitment to veganism with a strong sense of your ‘why’, will help you to continue with this lifestyle in a sustainable way. The more that you are able to support and educate people to understand the vegan lifestyle, the more likely we are as a society to move towards more sustainable and kind practices.


As you can see, vegan consumption is more than just what someone puts into their mouth, but also regards products, clothing, experiences, purchases, behaviours, thoughts, efforts and action. It does take a large mindset shift and commitment to embrace a vegan lifestyle, however by embracing veganism beyond just a plant based diet is how real change will begin to emerge and we will see the benefits for animals, the environment and our society.




References:

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/common-cosmetic-ingredients-derived-from-animal-products/

https://foodrevolution.org/blog/vegan-statistics-global/

https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/leather.php

https://foodtolive.com/healthy-blog/go-vegan-diet/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28728684

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How To Have A Happy, Healthy Easter

 

Easter is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, celebrations, and chocolate. So. Much. Chocolate. If you tend to eat yourself into an Easter egg-induced food coma each year, here are a few ways you can curb that habit and still have a happy Easter!
 
Begin with breakfast
Easter only comes around once a year, and it can be so tempting to get carried away and start the day with some of the chocolate you’ve been given. But this is the quickest way to feeling sluggish and guilty over the entire weekend. Starting your day with a healthy, filling breakfast like oatmeal, avocado toast, fruit and nuts is perfect for filling you up and giving you plenty of energy for the long holiday weekend.
 
Choose chocolate-covered fruit
Rather than over-indulging in pure chocolate, opt for some chocolate-covered fruit instead. Cut up slices of yummy fruit like apples, bananas, and strawberries, and dip them into some warm, melted chocolate. I recommend dark 70% chocolate which is usually also vegan! This way, you can enjoy the chocolate rush without feeling too guilty afterwards.
 
Swap to dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is well-known for being a much healthier alternative to other styles of chocolate, as above it’s also usually vegan. It’s filled with a range of essential antioxidants that can protect the body against disease-causing free radicals, assist in improving blood sugar levels and blood pressure, boost cognitive function and it tastes great!

Exercise
Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean your exercise routine should be too. Staying active over the long weekend is the best way to maintain motivation and avoid the temptation to sit down and eat up all of the chocolate that you have in your cupboard. As Easter is a great time to see family, get them involved by enjoying a nice, long walk around your neighbourhood, to the park or even taking a drive somewhere more scenic and walking there instead.
 
Control your portions
If you’ve received a large amount of chocolate over Easter, that doesn’t mean you need to eat it all over the Easter weekend. Chocolate lasts in the fridge or cupboard, so aim to portion the amounts that you are eating each day. By eating a small amount and spacing out your portions, you can actually enjoy the taste over time without feeling guilty and full afterwards.
 
Make your own treats
There are plenty of recipes out there for chocolate treats that are healthy, yet sinfully delicious. Making these treats instead  of eating chocolate can ensure you’re staying on the side of good health while still having a happy holiday. Some yummy ideas are: vegan chocolate brownies, cupcakes, carrot cake, dark chocolate dipped popcorn or cacao raw energy balls.
 
Have regular (healthy) snacks
Between all the food that goes around, remember to snack regularly - every 3 to 4 hours. This way, your blood sugar won’t be dipping and diving all over the place, and the steady intake of food will leave you much less liable to going crazy with hunger later on and eating all your Easter chocolate. Some healthy snack options are vegetable sticks with hummus, some cut-up apple with peanut butter on top, a handful of nuts or a nice smoothie with your favourite fruit, greens and coconut water (with a handful of chia seeds tossed in for good measure).

Ask for gifts other than chocolate
Just because it's Easter weekend, doesn't mean you have to have chocolate. Request that your family or friends gift you with alternatives to chocolate; such as a pampering face mask, coffee mug, flowers or anything else that you would like.
 
Stay hydrated
As you run around all weekend attending different family celebrations and Easter egg hunts, it’s important that you stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water has endless benefits, like increasing your energy levels, reducing the risk of mistaking thirst for hunger and preventing headaches, just to name a few.
 
Pamper yourself
And at the end of the holiday, if you still feel like you’ve overindulged and are in need of a little extra TLC, then pamper yourself! There’s no faster way to feeling great then taking some time out to give yourself a facial, do a mani/pedi, have a warm bath, and treat your skin to some added bliss with one of my all-natural, vegan body scrubs - a must-have for an afternoon of relaxation!

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