Like most Americans, my devotion to health and wellbeing has been hot and cold. (I’ll be honest — for roughly 90% of the time, that relationship has been pretty frigid.)
Every so often, a new diet book will come out, and I’ll go crazy, buying organic groceries for one week before slowly slipping back into Seamless’ arms. But something tells me that this year is the turning point: Something is starting to change.
First, I quit smoking. A near-crazy devotion to ClassPass has followed. Slowly, other things have started shifting — most recently, in my beauty routine. Historically, this is an area where I have invested a lot of money frivolously. I’m currently on a beauty diet and cutting out the experimental products (no more designer metallic mascaras that get used once for Halloween and then thrown away).
Happily, I’ve discovered that a few well-placed investments from the health food store are paying off big dividends. Here are some of the things I’ve been trying:
Baidyanath Triphala Juice: The father-in-law turned me onto this miraculous tonic, which boosts regularity. (Being regular is beautiful — I’ll preach it.) The juice is a blend of three fruits and tastes pretty bitter. I mix one part water to two parts juice and add a couple drops of stevia to make it more palatable. If you use this stuff regularly, it will eliminate bloating and keep your digestive system ticking. Cheaper than a cleanse, too. (Bonus: the whites of your eyes will sparkle after sipping this stuff.)
Home Health Almond Glow Unscented Lotion: I was always a fan of those “firming” lotions that promised to eliminate cellulite — until I realized that I was smearing amounts of aluminum into my skin. (Scientists are still split on whether aluminum in cosmetics can be linked to cancer, but it’s not a risk I’m excited to take.) So I’ve switched over to this light moisturizer, which is a blend of four oils. It dries quickly, doesn’t smell synthetic, is non-greasy and will not cause breakouts.
Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant: I’m extremely conscious of BO, and until recently I’ve sworn by the pseudo-pharmaceutical grade deodorant, which is loaded with an insane amount of chemicals (including the aforementioned hormone-twitching aluminum) and leaves unsightly yellow marks in white clothes. I was skeptical that natural deodorant would be effective — I tried Tom’s in college, and it turned me into a rancid mess. But this brand’s delightful deodorants smell fantastic (I also like the Sage variety) and WORK all summer long. Make the switch. You won’t regret it. (And it’s one less thing for a hypochondriac like me to worry about.)
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar: I go through bottles of this stuff. Not only is this vinegar a staple for clean diets, it also tastes delicious. I mix a few tablespoons into a mug of hot water straight from the kettle. (I also add a few drops of stevia to cut the sharpness.) The lip-puckering beverage makes me feel like a million dollars after a sip or two.
Alba Botantical Hawaiian Facial Scrub: By far, this is the best scrub I’ve tried in years. Not only are the exfoliating granules extremely gentle, my sun-spotted skin looked brightened instantly. The biggest MUST on the list.
Vitamin Code Raw Kombucha: These nutritional supplements may be the biggest question mark in this list. Kombucha is a fermented kind of tea-like beverage, and proponents say a few sips help the immune system. I love the stuff, but because it is fermented, it can imitate the effects of booze. (Do. Not. Want.) So I’m sticking to the supplements to skip the side-effects. Does this stuff work? Jury is still out.
Honest Company Shampoo + Body Wash: Another miracle product. (This is second only to the deodorant.) This shampoo is gentle enough to use as a body wash, and it lathers well enough to use as a shaving cream. (Unlike regular shaving creams, which make me break out, this keeps my skin calm when it’s under the razor.)
Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater: Another impulse purchase that I am still evaluating. After reading how harmful some of the make-up setting sprays could be (many are filled with alcohol which causes something called “cell death“). For now, I’m switching to this to set my make-up and provide a little pick-me-up. (PS: My make-up is staying put, but that may also be because my cosmetics tend to be longer-wear formulas.)
John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo: I’d heard great things about this organic haircare brand, but first things first. This stuff is expensive, around $20 for shampoo. (The same amount could probably buy you a propane tank filled with Pantene.) But if you only use it once a week, as I do, it’s a great addition to a haircare rotation. (I use it as a clarifying shampoo every Sunday to clean out the products I’ve used during the last week. It gets rid of the gunk without the dreaded “squeaky clean” feeling, which basically means you’ve stripped the hair follicle of its protective layers.
Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any favorites from the health food store? I’d love to hear about them!