Aloe Vera gel is God’s gift to skin…especially for those of us who get sunburned the moment we step on to the beach! It’s very relieving to apply aloe vera gel onto sunburned skin. But when you buy your gel from the store, there’s no telling what other harsh chemicals might be in that bottle of aloe. There’s no telling what you might be putting on your skin. Here’s a recipe to make your own aloe vera gel at home!
How to Make Aloe Vera Gel
What you will need:
Live Aloe vera leaves
Airtight container (for storage)
Sharp knife (for skinning the leaves)
A clean bowl to put your gel in
Firstly, use your knife to divide up your aloe vera leaves into pieces that are 20cm long. Cut off the serrated edge of the aloe, and then cut your 20cm pieces into long strips.
When the serrated edge is removed, you should be able to see the aloe gel inside. Turn your knife on it’s side, and slide it under the gel to free it from the leaf. You can also cut the strips into small pieces to make it easier to extract the gel if you prefer. You can get a ton of gel out, so make sure you flip each leaf over after you’ve done one side!
The, place your gel into your blender. After all of your gel has been added to your blender, blend it until smooth. The gel will appear frothy, and this is normal. The forth with dissapate after you have stopped blending. Once the froth has gone down, place your gel in a clean, airtight container.
Finally, it should be mentioned that homemade aloe gel doesn’t “keep” as well as the store bought stuff does. Keep it in the refrigerator, and plan to use your aloe gel within a week, or it will go bad. Additionally, if you want to keep the gel on hand for longer periods of time, pour it into ice cube trays and store in the freezer. Pop one out and rub on irritated skin whenever needed! You’ll wonder what you did before you made your own.
Commit yourself to a trash-free, zero waste lifestyle by swapping out everyday items for zero waste products. This is a great way to reduce waste, minimize carbon footprint, and save money too!
Zero Waste Tips
You already know this is a global waste problem. Plastic is cheap, versatile, and valuable resource in many ways. However, it has created a disposable lifestyle. 50% of plastic is just used once and thrown away.
Bottles, straws, coffee cups, beverage containers, plastic bags, cutlery, cotton buds… the list is long and we all know it. This is indeed a major concern. But the good news is that it’s entirely up to us to take the first step: to refuse and adopt a zero waste lifestyle.
Plastic pollution is an unsustainable waste of that resource and it has become an environmental issue. So basically, do you want to continue being part of the problem or are you ready to take a small step to reduce our collective plastic footprint? Here are some small changes you can make to change your lifestyle towards zero waste and help the environment.
Small Changes for a Zero Waste Lifestyle
Buy Your Own Shopping Bag
Reusable bags are easier to use for both loading and unloading groceries, and your purchases are more likely to survive the trip to and from the store. Leaks are less likely to be a problem with reusable bags, and it’s easier to control where reusable bags have been and what germs they may carry. While they cost a little more upfront, there are many benefits of reusable bags, particularly when it comes to easing plastic bag pollution and the effects of plastic on the environment.
Bring Your Own Coffee Cup
When purchasing coffee on the go, bring your reusable coffee cup. It will cost you a bit more upfront but will save waste in the long run. In addition, many coffee shops now give a small discount if you bring your reusable cup.
Use a Reusable Water Bottle
Around 2.5 million water bottles are thrown out every hour making it one of the top ten items collected in beach clean-ups worldwide. In addition, plastic bottles contain harmful chemical compounds including Bisphenol A or BPA which poses a number of health risks including problems with liver and kidney functions. So forget bottled water and just take your reusable water bottle with you!
Use Eco-bags for Fruits and Veggies
Reusable produce bags can have great benefits for both yourself and for the environment. They can cut down on your plastic waste, benefit the health of your home and surrounding ecosystems, keep food fresh, and even save you money. You can make your own net macramé produce bag, for example, it’s a simple and great DIY!
Use Your Own Lunch Box
No time to make a packed lunch? Just pack your lunch box! Some cafés and restaurants accept to serve your food in your own lunch box, helping you to enjoy single-use-plastic free lunches on the go. It’s important to keep connecting conscious consumers with like-minded businesses and do what’s better for our planet!
Use Glass Jars to Store Food
You can save your glass jars and bottles, purchase bulk food, and store it in those jars. You can also take the jars to the bulk stores if you prefer, and weigh them before filling them, but it might be more practical to just take reusable produce bags and put everything in jars when you get home. You can label your jars, to make it easier to identify what’s in them.
Use Reusable Straws
This simple switch could help save the environment. The plastic straw, an item that you probably didn’t think twice about using a few years ago, has become a source of controversy as concern over pollution from single-use plastics has grown. Reusable straws can be made of metal, silicone, bamboo, or glass. They are made from recyclable materials, easy to clean, light, and durable enough to keep in your bag. Thanks to reusable straws, you can still sip on your favorite summer drink while also being environmentally friendly!
Carry Your Own Cutlery
We throw away billions of utensils every year. Like many plastic items, cutlery often finds its way into the environment, where it poses dangers for animals and can take hundreds of years to break down. Cutlery is listed amongst the “most deadly” items to sea turtles, birds, and mammals. A logical solution is simple: to carry your own set of reusable metal cutlery! Carrying cutlery requires a habit change, but it’s really no different than taking a mug, water bottle, a pen, even sunglasses.
Use a Bamboo Toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes are made from non-renewable fossil fuels. They are essentially indestructible, which means that the first toothbrush we had when we were kids is still hanging around in some form, somewhere polluting Mother Earth. Bamboo toothbrushes are an eco-friendly alternative, because bamboo is a natural plant, fully biodegradable, thus a renewable and sustainable resource. Bamboo toothbrushes are also naturally antimicrobial – this attribute ensures that bacterial growth is limited extremely!
Use stainless safety razors
While the initial outlay will be more expensive than you spend on a disposable shaver, where you will save is in the purchase of razor blades and in the environmental impact. This material can be recycled compared with plastic covered replacements for conventional razors that cannot.
Make Your Own Products
A shampoo and conditioning bar can last up to three months depending on how often you need to wash your hair, and you don’t consume any plastic. Regular bottled shampoo and conditioner are not only more expensive, but more wasteful too, creating more plastic packaging isn’t a good thing particularly if there are minimal waste alternatives and let’s not forget the energy that needs to be consumed to recycle the material. You can read my post about Castile Soaps, with homemade recipes for beauty and household products.
Use a Menstrual Cup
One conventional sanitary napkin contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags as well as other chemicals that may irritate the skin. It can take hundreds of years for one of these items to decompose not to mention the waste it contributes to landfills. By opting for reusable cotton pads or a menstrual cup, a woman not only minimizes her waste but saves money in the long run as well, as these last for up to 10 years!
Try Plastic-free Alternatives
Explore plastic-free hair accessories and tools. Nowadays you can buy all types of accessories made from plastic-free, biodegradable materials!
With so much going on in the world with the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy for anxiety to set in while you’re self-quarantining. Remember that it’s good to take time for yourself to give your brain a chance to process emotions and reset. To help you do that, here’s a list of things to do while you’re social distancing!
At-Home Self Care Ideas for Stress Relief
Self-care is not only about the one-off moments that you get to take care of your self, it is more of a daily practice. Not a practice of luxury bubble baths, but rather asking yourself each day, “what do I need right now?” and then following through.
Sometimes, our body is asking us to get moving, to do some yoga or go for a run. Other times, our body is asking for us to slow down and sleep a bit more. Here are some self-care ideas that can help relieve stress while you’re stuck at home.
1. Cook a special or new meal
Cook something you love to eat or try experimenting with a new recipe. Cooking is another form of creativity and it can be very therapeutic and rewarding, especially if you also have people to cook for.
2. Play a video or computer game
With the coronavirus pandemic creating tons of stress for everyone who has a soul, some people have been turning to video games a lot lately. If you’re all frazzled and unable to sit still long enough for a movie or TV show, games require more focus and thus often work better at keeping people chill. You can try to play again computer games from your childhood, like Sims for example!
3. Sing and dance to your favorite songs
Choose your favorite tunes and host an online dance party with your friends—or join one of the many group dances that have popped up. Or if you prefer, do it alone instead, and have fun without no one judging you!
4. Call a loved one or friend
While social distancing is good for our physical health and strained healthcare system, it’s not great for folks who are desperate for their daily dose of social connections, or anyone who is feeling really lonely during the quarantine. Try to do a video chat with a friend while you both meal prep for the week ahead, or organize a remote game night with your family. It’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones!
5. Practice breathwork – Pranayama
Before this pandemic, we were living a sedentary and stressful lifestyle, where most of us live on a shallow and quick breath, using only a fraction of our total lung capacity and living on just enough energy supply for the body to function. This way of breathing limits our vitality and our resistance to diseases, and potentially starves our brain of essential oxygen, creating tiredness, irritability, and disturbed sleep. Take 5 minutes of your day for Pranayama – you can find some breathing techniques here.
6. Do a guided meditation
Meditation is one of the best things you can do right now to relieve stress and improve your wellbeing. If you’re like the rest of us, you sit down, try to “quiet” your mind… and then say “Well, now what?”, read this post about meditation to learn some techniques.
7. Explore who you are
One of the things that help me explore who I am, and what I want to do is read. I’ve been reading a lot of motivational, self-development books during this quarantine, which have been very inspiring! Another thing is to listen to podcasts from coaches or motivational speakers. They will help to overcome this situation and deal with stress.
8. Try a DIY facial or face mask
Give your skin some extra love. As you wash your face, imagine washing all the dirt and negativity away. As you replenish your skin with hydration and vitamins, think of how you’re giving back to yourself, nourishing and loving yourself.
9. Try a new craft
Hobbies and crafts are usually things we push to the bottom of our priority list, but they actually do so much for our happiness! After all this, you might just be able to make time for this hobby in your weekly routine, to make time for something that brings you joy.
10. Create a Pinterest vision board
Setting goals and various to-dos (not just for the new year, but all year round!) is an excellent way to keep yourself focused on the things you want to do and accomplish. Create an album with your buck list items, an album with your dream house, or an album with your favorite motivational quotes. The creative power is unlimited!
11. Order in food and do nothing all evening
Even though you shouldn’t make it a habit, sometimes it is nice to just do nothing and relax right? Order take away food and watch Netflix. There are a lot of movies and documentaries that can actually make you learn something while you ‘do nothing’, so it’s a win-win situation!
12. Try an at-home workout
Since it’s not ideal to go to gyms, find a new exercise routine at home that’s fun to do. You can find workout videos on YouTube, or just follow some of the exercises I mentioned here.
13. Make a fancy drink or cocktail
Whipping up a green juice may be too much work on a normal morning but what is normal anymore? These days it’s more important than ever to support your immune system and your waistline with plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies. Check out some smoothies recipes here. If you prefer a nice hot drink, why don’t you try to prepare Golden Milk? You can find the recipe here.
14. Make a dessert and enjoy it
Make yourself and your quarantine buddies a delicious treat—plus get a feel-good boost from accomplishing something fun. If your cupboards are a little bare, try one of these simple recipes that can be made from ingredients you likely still have at home, like this banana bread.
15. Write down on your gratitude journal or do journaling
Sitting at home binge watching Tiger King on Netflix may not feel like you’re doing much, but you’re actually living through a major historical event that people will learn and talk about for generations after this is all over. Writing a journal will help you not just preserve your memories but will also help you process your feelings about this time that manages to feel simultaneously terrifying and immensely boring. Consider making it a gratitude journal, or start doing journaling, by answering daily deep questions about yourself.
16. Clean out your wardrobe
Start by emptying all the items in your wardrobe. Once you’ve got everything out of the closet, start separating all the items—clothing, lingerie, jewelry, bags, footwear, outerwear and other accessories like belts, hats, etc. While making a pile for all, simultaneously decide what you plan to keep, donate, and discard. I did it twice already and donated the clothes I didn’t want to keep to a Charity Shop next to my place.
17. Re-arrange something in your home decor
When the world outside feels out of control, focus on the things you can control. You can control how your space feels—if your space feels tidy and fresh, your mind will feel calmer as well. Feng shui your home! The energy of your space is really important. Change up the decoration, light up some candles, use your aroma diffuser… those small things make a difference!
19. Draw or color
Channel your feelings by doing something creative. Painting or drawing are great ways to express yourself, learn a new skill, and help you see ordinary things (like everything in your house you’ve been staring at for weeks) in a whole new way.
20. Play with a pet
As you might know, if you read my blog, I’ve recently adopted a cute stray cat and even wrote the whole story here. Whenever I want to take a break, even when I’m working remotely, I play with Pinky for a bit. He makes me feel calm and relaxed!
21. Do a gentle yoga class
Since we are spending so much time sitting at home, we need to stretch! Yoga is perfect for that. You can do it by yourself, just following some asanas or sun salutation poses, like the ones I have prepared here, or you can actually do online classes. I personally like to watch videos on YouTube from this channel: Yoga with Adriene. Her classes range from stress-relieving breathing exercises to popular yoga poses to regular flows—no prior experience (or flexibility!) required. Your body will thank you for doing yoga!
22. Sit in the sun
Many people might not have been getting much sunlight lately as they are shut up inside their homes to avoid the COVID-19 contagion. Moreover, having a window that opens to the outside air is a luxury in many rooming houses in densely populated areas as these rarely provide windows in their rooms to maximize the space to host more people. However, if you do get the chance to sit in the sun, do it. Let’s get some Vitamin D!
There are tons of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap uses that you can use daily from skin care and body wash to laundry and household cleaners. The ideas are endless and you will love that you will save you time and money.
Benefits of Using Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
Dr. Bronner’s is a top-selling soap in the natural marketplace. Only the purest organic & Fair Trade ingredients. No synthetic preservatives, no detergents or foaming agents — none! The oils in these soaps have antibacterial agents. In addition to this, the soap is very gentle to use without drying out your skin or surfaces. Just make sure it is diluted properly before using it.
You if live in Malta like me, you can buy Dr. Bronner’s Castile soaps at Holland and Barrett, either by visiting their physical stores around the island, or by ordering it through their online shop.
Here are some of the Castile soap uses and some nice homemade products you can make with it:
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap Uses
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup Raw Honey
1/2 cup liquid Castile Soap
1 tsp Vitamin E Oil
10-13 Drops of Lavender Essential Oils
Glass Pump Jar
Let’s start this list of Castile soap uses with this homemade body wash, which is so easy to make and leaves your skin really soft and hydrated. Mix all the ingredients together and store it in a glass Pump Jar. It is that easy!
1/2 cup unscented liquid castile soap
1/2 cup purified water
1 tablespoon glycerine
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons olive oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
This homemade clarifying shampoo helps remove build up from water, styling product residue and chlorine. It is all natural and very simple to make. You just have to combine all ingredients together and place into a squeeze bottle. Easy!
Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner
2.5 oz Spray Bottle
This Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner is so simple to make and very budget friendly! Fill the spray bottle 3/4 of the way full with the rubbing alcohol. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Put 2-3 drops of the dish soap or castile soap in the spray bottle. Screw the lid on tightly to the spray bottle. Shake until all the ingredients are combined thoroughly. Spray on your glasses and clean/remove with a microfiber cloth.
1/4 cup castile soap
1/2 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon glycerine
2 tablespoons jojoba oil
20 drops tea tree oil
Combine all ingredients together including cup of water and mix well, and pour into a container. You are going to love this super easy Homemade Dandruff Shampoo. Forget paying way to much for dandruff shampoo at the store when you can make this one at home!
3/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. vitamin E oil
1 Tbsp. nourishing oil such as: sweet almond or jojoba oil
15 drops tea tree essential oil
5-10 drops lavender or peppermint essential oil
This homemade hand soap is such an easy DIY and very moisturizing and smells great! In a mason jar, add the water first (to prevent bubbles) then the liquid castile soap, followed by the essential oils. Top your mason jar with a rust proof soap pump. Shake the ingredients together. Shake the soap dispenser before using, and then squirt a small amount on your hands as needed, rinsing with water.
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2/3 cup unscented castile soap
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup purified water
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
Melt coconut oil and combine all ingredients. Mix well and place into a squeeze bottle. You will love this lavender shampoo and it is so easy to make your own shampoo. The lavender smells amazing and it’s so calming!
Body wash with Honey
1 cup unscented castile soap
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
This DIY honey body wash is incredibly moisturizing and so simple to make. Combine all ingredients. Pour into a refillable squeeze bottle. Shake well to combine.
Vitamin E oil
Ylang Ylang essential oil
Frankincense essential oil
Lavender essential oil
It’s pretty easy to make this homemade facial cleanser recipe. You just need liquid castile soap, water, essential oils and a carrier oil. Simply shake the ingredients together for a refreshing homemade facial wash.
This face wash doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients, so it’s perfect for all skin types: it won’t dry out or not moisturize. You can easily customize this wash with the following essential oils depending on your skin type: to reduce blemishes use Tea Tree Oil, to fight pimples on oily skin use Lemongrass Essential Oil, to reduce scarring use Frankincense Essential Oil, and for dry skin myrrh, cucumber seed and sandalwood all work well.
Clean Makeup Brushes
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Soap
A clean cup
A dry towel
Clean those brushes with this simple DIY. It is so easy to overlook cleaning your makeup brushes but it is so important. Just get a clean cup or glass and squirt a small amount of Dr. Bronner’s soap into the bottom of it. Get your brush wet using lukewarm water, and be sure to keep the brush pointing downward as to not get the metal part of the handle which contains the glue or the brush handle wet.
½ Cup Oil (olive, grape seed, almond etc.)
¼ Cup Raw Honey
¼ Cup Castile Soap
10 Drops of Essential Oils (Optional)
Castile soap makes a really great shaving cream. This is so good for skin and moisturizing. Just combine ingredients in a bowl and rapidly whisk for several minutes until all of the ingredients have fully emulsified. Transfer to a pump or squeeze bottle.
Organic Cotton Pads
1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon of Castile Soap—I used baby mild
2–4 Drops of Lavender Essential Oils
1/2 Teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
Skip the store bought make up wipes loaded with chemicals and make your own at home with castile soap and coconut oil. It is very simple to make and works great on your skin! Place cotton pads in the glass jar. In a small bowl mix the fractional coconut oil and castile soap together. Pour mixture over cotton pads. Press down on the pads so the soap and coconut oil evenly absorb into them. Pour distilled water over pads, just enough wet the pads. Place the lid on the jar and shake (this helps to evenly distribute the liquid over the pads).
Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
5dropspine or tea tree essential oil
Clean your floor with this multi-surface cleaner that works so well on multiple surfaces. Dirt and grime will be a thing of the past when you use this cleaner! Just add the hot water to a bucket, then the liquid castile soap and essential oil. Gently stir the ingredients together (you don’t want a ton of bubbles).
3/4 cup Castile Soap (use the peppermint, lavender, and citrus varieties)
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Baking Soda
just under 2 gallons water
We’ve come to the last suggestion of this list of Castile soap uses, laundry detergent. Take your two-gallon bucket and pour lukewarm to cold water in the bottom of it, about an inch high of water. Add the dry powders (baking soda, super washing soda). Add more water if necessary to cover the powders then take your hand mixer or immersion blender and blend the powders for a few minutes, or until it is fully blended and there are no clumps. Fill your two-gallon bucket up almost all the way with tap water (the temperature doesn’t matter). Add the castile soap (this helps it not to bubble up), and stir with a long-handled spoon. Using the funnel, pour into your containers. Use 1/3 cup per load for HE washers, or 1/2 cup for non HE washers. Easy! Get rid of the chemicals and make your own laundry detergent with castile soap. It works great and will save money too!
Carrier oils are normally used to dilute essential oils before applying them onto the skin while retaining the therapeutic properties of both. There are different types of carrier oils, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, jojoba oil, etc. Learn more about their properties, benefits, and uses here.
What are Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils, also known as base oils or vegetable oils, are used to dilute essential and absolute oils before being applied to the skin in massage and aromatherapy. They are called ‘carrier oils’ because they carry the essential oil to the skin while retaining the therapeutic properties of both.
Benefits and Uses of Different Carrier Oils
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot oil is good for all skin types. It is very rich and nourishing – particularly in Vitamin A. It has very little scent, and it is absorbed by the skin quickly.
Small amounts of avocado oil are typically added to other carrier oils in order to enrich protein and vitamin content.
Coconut oil is used to create a barrier on the skin. It is also the preferred oil for high-quality cold-process soapers.
Grapeseed oil is the preferred carrier oil for many massage therapists because of its light, satin-like finish. It also has some astringent qualities and it’s good for oily, acne-prone skin.
In actuality, jojoba oil is a liquid wax. It closely resembles the sebum of the skin, and it is rich in Vitamin E, which promotes a glowing complexion.
Rose Hip Seed Oil
Rose Hip Seed Oil is extremely high in essential fatty acids and it is known to help treat dry, irritated, weathered skin. It is also suitable for applying to scars and stretch marks. Not recommended for acne-prone skin.
Safflower Oil is very popular in massage blends, as it is easily absorbed, and can be washed from sheets without heavy staining. Also a popular industry choice for moisturizing cosmetics.
Sesame Oil is rich in Vitamin E and B, and in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is an excellent emollient. When diluted with other carrier oils, it is popular for massage.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond Oil is an excellent emollient and it is known for its ability to soften and re-condition the skin. It is rich in proteins and Vitamin D, and it is considered extremely nourishing. Can stain sheets.
Older research suggests that using a tongue scraper twice daily can improve your sense of taste. Tongue scraping also improves the appearance of your tongue, removes bacteria, reduces bad breath and improves overall health.
What is Tongue Scraping and Why should you start?
First of all, we should all brush our teeth before we eat breakfast – not only after! Otherwise, you will be eating with a foul mouth. You can start with oil pulling, then brush & floss your teeth, and finish with a tongue scraper.
Yes, using a tongue scraper is a good habit to implement in your morning and night routine to scrape your tongue after brushing your teeth. Bacteria don’t only accumulate on your teeth – what about the rest of your oral cavity? Your gums, tongue and throat, for example, all house bacteria. Cleaning the surface of the tongue is an important part of daily oral hygiene.
Gently scraping the tongue from the back to the front five to ten times, first thing in the morning after brushing the teeth can reduce the accumulation of toxic and bacterial substances that can lead to bad breath and disturbed digestion.
This quick and easy ritual can eliminate the white and sometimes yellowish coating found on the tongue, as well as enhance the function of taste buds, which stimulate the oral enzymes (the key sensory organ in digestion). When the brain and mind accurately perceive ‘taste’, only then does your food digest properly. Scraping the tongue stimulates this process, the digestive tract and your digestive fire.
A healthy tongue should be pink in colour and free from any coating. Your tongue is a map of your digestion, and it can really tell you what is going on in your gut. So, next time you wake up and go to brush your teeth, check out your tongue too. Is there stickiness or a coating? If so, then it’s definitely time to add tongue scraping to your morning routine!
Which type of tongue scraper should you buy?
I would recommend using a stainless steel or copper U-shaped scraper. You buy one online from AliExpress for example.
Tongue scrapers are inexpensive and now widely available, but a good-quality copper one will last a lifetime – copper is a non-toxic metal and has healing properties of its own, including healing mouth ulcers.
A neti pot is a container designed to rinse mucus from your nasal cavity. You might use it to treat symptoms of nasal allergies, sinus problems or colds. Perform a nasal cleaning every morning with a neti pot and see the difference!
What is a Neti Pot?
According to recent research, the human nose isn’t just able to smell 10,000 scents but has the ability to differentiate between at least a trillion different scents. There are millions of microglands in your nasal passages that have a direct connection to your nervous system. Living in an urban environment means that we can lose our sensory sharpness. So why would we not nurture and protect our nasal senses?
Nasal cleaning with a neti pot is becoming one of my favorite daily rituals. It really feels good! The traditional yogic practice of nasal irrigation using warm sterile saline water and a neti pot is truly amazing. It looks similar to a teapot, flushes out mucus from your nose. You can buy one at your local pharmacy or online.
Benefits of using a Neti Pot
It clears the sinuses and helps clear blockages
It helps to prevent allergic reactions
It relieves cold symptoms (and possibly snoring)
It pulls out toxins from inner mucosa
How to use a Neti Pot
This practice is best done once a day, in the morning, usually after your oral cleansing practices. Using comfortably warm sterile water, mix with 1/4 tsp powdered rock salt in your neti pot. Tilt your head forward and tilt to one side and, using the pot, allow half of the water to trickle in one nostril and out the other. Take a breath and repeat on the other side. Blow your nose to clear the solution, along with the excess mucus.
Neti pot irrigation can be followed up where appropriate by oil cleansing of the nostrils, known as pratimarsha nasya. You can use a medicated oil such as any thailam, but sesame oil or ghee are just as beneficial. To perform nasya at home, you can take a slightly warm liquid ghee, tilt your head backward and administer 1-2 drops in one nostril, while closing the other. Take a deep inhalation, and repeat on the other side. You will feel the oil in your throat, which you can spit out.
Nasya protects the eyes, nose and throat against diseases. It has also been said to prevent premature greying of the hair and hair loss. It can nourish the facial skin and strengthen the voice, so it is a great practice for vocalists and public speakers.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action helps drawing out toxins in your body, to improve your oral and overall health.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
There are some daily health rituals that you can follow on a day-to-day basis for the benefit of the self-development of both the mind and the body. Oil pulling is one of those simple little things that can help you to bring balance to your life.
Once you get Oil Pulling into your routine, you’ll wonder how you ever started the day without doing it. In the morning, most of the people usually only brush their teeth after they have breakfast, before leaving for work. The problem is that you are eating with a foul mouth, and it just doesn’t feel right! You should take care of your oral hygiene before food, right after you wake up.
Traditionally, in the ancient days, teeth were cleaned with the fingers or with a twig, using herbal powders and oil. I’m not suggesting you go back to chewing sticks, but there are a few subtle adjustments that can still help you improve your oral health. Not only for removing bad smells but to prevent diseases of teeth, mouth, ears, eyes, digestive and respiratory systems, and in some cases even of the heart.
Brushing in the morning before food prevents metabolic toxins accumulated overnight in the mouth from being reingested by your system, which cannot be further broken down by the liver.
Do you find yourself alone in the gym without knowing what to do? Here’s a list of some of my favorite workout exercises for women!
I used to be very sedentary. I pretty much always had a car during my adult years and started being really lazy because of it. However, since I started dating Alejandro a couple of years ago, he made me change.
He is super fit and into exercising and eating healthy. He goes to the gym like 4-5 times/ week and he plays football as well. I remember that he pushed me into signing up to the gym back in Jan 2018. I’ve been going non-stop ever since. Some weeks more, some weeks less, but I learned to integrate that into my weekly routine and I feel much better now.
In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing, but Alejandro helped me and taught me to do things right and improve my posture. Pinterest was also one of my great allies. If you just joined a gym and you feel lost surrounded by fit people who seem to know exactly what they are doing, don’t worry! Soon you can be one of those people as well.
Below are lists of simple exercises you can do if you’re just starting out.
It is very important that you always start by doing some stretching exercises. These exercises reduce muscle tension and increase your range of motion. Stretching is very important to avoid pain and muscle strains, as you prepare your body for the exercises that come next.
Legs & Butt Exercises
These are the exercises I do more often. If you’re a girl, it is normal that you focus your attention on your lower body: legs and butt.
Upper Body Exercises
Even though I do leg exercises most of the time, sometimes I need to change it up a bit and I work on my upper body: arms, chest, back. Since I don’t do it often, I don’t have a lot of strength in my arms, so I use light weights: 3-4 kgs usually.
Usually, I finish up my exercise routine with 7-10 min of cardio (treadmill, bike or step). However, at least once a week I try to finish my exercise with some abs instead of cardio.
I used to hate doing abs because your tummy will hurt for a couple of days if you don’t do it often. But with time I saw the importance of doing it, as I was usually doing just leg exercises and felt that even though my legs were getting toned, my belly was still flaccid. My goal is for every area to be balanced.
So these are the exercises I do when I go to the gym. If you don’t do any type of exercise, remember: exercising makes you happier, relaxes you, gets you in shape and gives you more energy! Do something today 🙂