Category Archives: How-Tos

Test posting #4

This time it’s to test the log-in feature combined. Seems the log-in progress is accessible to the users on user list, but not open for subscribers. Let’s see what info it shows as after I have logged in. Also I uploaded an image; not sure what it does but we’ll see. The editing window doesn’t look bad though.

My Natural Solution for Oily Hair

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

Oily hair? Don’t worry you are not alone!

Since I can remember, I have always had to deal with my fine, oily hair. When my hair was virgin I couldn’t go more than a day without washing it! What a hassle!!

However, when I started to experiment with colouring my hair, slowly going blonder and blonder, I realized that the chemicals dried out my hair and I could get away with going a little longer between washes. On top of that, I discovered what I thought was a miracle at the time….Dry Shampoo. For probably 2-3 years I (stupidly) used this stuff like it was going out of style and told all my friends about it. I was always on the run and wanted my hair to look fresh so it was my go to. What I didn’t take into consideration was the amount of harmful chemicals I was both inhaling and absorbing through my scalp and my fingertips when I was using it so liberally. I knew it smelt strong and I knew it wasn’t exactly good for you but at the time in my life, convenience outweighed the health factor. Oh how times have changed!

Fast forward about 2 years to today. In the last few months I have decided that I have been blonde long enough and I have caused enough damage to my poor hair, body and wallet in the name of beauty. So this January, I took a big step in the right direction and I decided to start growing my natural colour in. Excited and nervous for what was to come, having been some varying shade of blonde for the past 5 years, I was ready for a change.

I knew that letting go of blonde meant that I would have to deal with my ever so oily hair again. Booo! But I also knew that I would be MUCH healthier for it and that took precedence over my looks. I was determined to find a better way around this whole dilemma because washing your hair everyday is also taxing on your hair and your time.

I started thinking about how the blonde colouring would dry the roots out and then I also started thinking about naturally derived products that could recreate the same effect without all the high concentration of chemicals. and then it hit me! I had a bottle of Witch Hazel in my cupboard and I got it out and started reading the label. For those of you who don’t know, Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that can be used as a toner for skin or to clean out cuts and sores. Perhaps, it could tone my roots somewhat to give the same drying effect. I quickly Googled it just to see what other people were saying about it and also to make sure it wasn’t going to make my hair a weird colour or anything and then tried it out. And…..

The results have been incredible!

You can buy a good quality Witch Hazel at the Health Food Store!

Here is how to make your hair last longer between washes:

1- Apply Witch Hazel to the roots with a cotton pad or spray bottle. Be sure to separate your hair into sections and distribute evenly. Let it sit for a 5 mins or so.

2- Wash hair thoroughly and avoid putting conditioner anywhere near the roots. Rinse with cold water at the end of your shower to close the pores!

3-Brush and half blow dry your hair.

4-Then flip your head upside down and finish it off.

5-Flip it back and comb into place.

6- To make it go the extra mile, you can add some arrowroot starch to the underneath layers as needed.

That is my secret! I know everyone’s hair is different but  I hope it helps you 🙂 Try it once and figure out how frequently you should do it. I do it at least once a week and I wash my hair every second day.

Look for a future blog on how to make Big, Sexy Hair Naturally!

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How to Detox Your Bathroom

How to Detox Your Bathroom Emma Rohmann
Emma Rohmann

Emma Rohmann
Green at Home


Emma Rohmann is a mom of 2, environmental engineer, and environmental health expert who helps families create healthier, greener homes simply.

Age: 34

 

Skin Type: Combination

Hair Type: Curly, dry (and red!)

Skin Concerns: None

Values: I prefer locally-made, small-batch products. Reduced packaging is an added bonus.

How to Detox Your Bathroom Emma Rohmann

A couple of weeks ago, I shared 3 steps to help you avoid overwhelm when making green changes in your home. Over the next few blogs, I’ll be diving into more specific strategies for every room in your home, with a focus on reducing toxic chemicals.

Why am I focusing on detoxing your home? Because so much of what we bring into our homes is being shown to affect our health – from hormone issues to asthma and allergies, the science is substantial. This is why I think detoxing a great place for you to start if you’re struggling to figure out where to start on your health and wellness journey!

Last week on the blog, I covered the basics of how chemicals in our homes affect our health. Today, I will show you how you can apply my 3 strategies to overcome overwhelm and detox your bathroom starting today.

Getting Started

Your bathroom is a great place to start with a home detox because it’s relatively easy to stay focused. You’re really looking at one category of products to detox – personal care products. Now, looking back at my 3 steps to overcome overwhelm, step one is to identify what’s important to you. With personal care products, this could be anything from reducing asthma or eczema symptoms to switching to natural products for baby to avoiding hormone disruptors or carcinogens. Put some thought into what’s important to you, because it will make it a lot easier to make a change if it’s something you care about.

Reading Labels

Next, you want to focus on one thing to change that will get you closer to your goal. This could mean looking at what’s in your shower, make-up bag, or baby care products for example. Read the ingredients on products only in the one area you’re focusing on and determine if there are any you want to switch out.

There are some tools you can use to help, like the Dirty Dozen cosmetic ingredients to avoid, or apps like Think Dirty or online databases like EWG’s Skin Deep.

Switching Out

Replacing all your products at once is not only daunting, but just not feasible in many cases. This is why it’s so important to focus on a small category of products first. Once you know which products you want to replace, make a plan to find replacements. Don’t forget the option to not replace something! Take stock of what you actually use and need and decide if there’s something you can just stop using altogether.

When you’re ready to replace, you can take a trip to your local health food store or pop into the Green Product Forum for starters. You can also check out PurPick’s product review site too.

Rinse and Repeat

When you’ve got your first batch of products detoxed, move onto the next category and follow the same process.

This doesn’t have to be time consuming, but it does require some thought and focus. The great news is that once you go through the process once and find products you like, you can just keep buying them – no extra effort required!

It’s Not All Money

This is just one way to start your detox. There are other strategies that don’t cost anything at all but can help you detox your bathroom. And I make sure to share lots of these free tips in my upcoming online program, Your Healthy Home. Not only will I walk you through exactly how to choose which products to focus on, how to read the labels effectively (and simply), what products to replace them with, and where to find them, but I will also share the free and easy strategies you can do right away.

If you’re ready to take your health into your hands, and truly create a healthier home, I would love to help you! Join me for my online program, Your Healthy Home. Join the waitlist to be the first to learn more here.

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Take 5: Dry Brush Daily for Optimal Health

Gillian B Dry Brush

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

Gillian B Dry Brush

We all know an important function of the heart is to pump blood around our body to our various organs, but did you know there is similar but much less well-known system that is just as, if not more important for optimal health?

The body’s lymphatic system!

According to Dr. John Douillard: “The lymph travels with the nerves, arteries and veins and is by itself twice as big as the arterial blood supply system – and maybe twice as important. The lymphatic system removes waste from every cell in your body while regulating the immune system.”

The lymphatic system plays a role in so many of the body’s functions but its rarely discussed in Western medical practices until there is related diagnosis. However, the lymph is the very first system that is addressed in Ayurveda. (1)

Common Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion (1):

  • Sore joints and/or stiffness in the morning
  • Swelling in fingers- rings may become tighter than normal
  • Lethargy
  • Bloating and water retention
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Swollen glands
  • Poor immunity
  • Brain fog
  • Breast swelling or soreness
  • Mild rash or acne
  • Hypersensitivity and heightened reactions to food or environmental triggers
  • Mild headaches
  • Occasional digestive complaints like constipation, diarrhea or mucus in the stool.

Dr. Mercola says: “When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.”

When we begin to understand the importance of proper lymph flow, we may want to know what we can do to decongest and maintain our lymphatic system on a daily basis. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to do this is with dry skin brushing.

In Ayurveda, dry skin brushing is called Garshana. Raw silk gloves are used to exfoliate and stimulate the skin. With vigorous brushing, the silk gloves also create static electricity, which is known to alkalize the blood and help get the lymph flowing. (2)

This technique can be done with a natural dry bristle brush or with the aforementioned traditional raw silk gloves.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Take 5 minutes each day before you shower to dry brush your skin with a natural bristle brush, which can be found online or at local health food stores. My favourite is the Energy Brush from Living Libations because it has some copper bristles in addition the natural fibers. This makes more stimulating for the lymph but also makes the bristles maintain their strength longer over time.

Not only does it improve the appearance of your skin by eliminating dead cells and helping new skin to regenerate, it also stimulates circulation of the lymphatic system, and greatly enhances toxin elimination. (3)

In addition, the massaging effect of the bristles is said to be to be helpful for eliminating cellulite and other imperfections (3) because it is increasing the circulation to that area which carries away toxins stored in the fat cells.

In just 5 minutes a day, your skin will feel invigorated, energized, silky and smooth! Personally, it is something that resisted for a while before getting into a regular habit but over the years, I have come to LOVE dry brushing! My self-care ritual is incomplete without it. I actually miss it when I skip it and my skin doesn’t feel as soft and supple.

In this video, I explain the benefits of dry brushing and how to do it:

Happy Brushing Folks!

Resources:

1) http://lifespa.com/the-miracle-of-lymph/

2) http://lifespa.com/menopause-and-menstrual-cycle-symptoms-it-may-not-be-hormonal/

3) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/24/dry-skin-brushing.aspx

Read the original post here!

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How to Detox Your Cosmetics: Getting Rid of What you Have

How to Detox your Cosmetics Emma Rohmann
Emma Rohmann

Emma Rohmann
Green at Home


Emma Rohmann is a mom of 2, environmental engineer, and environmental health expert who helps families create healthier, greener homes simply.

Age: 34

 

Skin Type: Combination

Hair Type: Curly, dry (and red!)

Skin Concerns: None

Values: I prefer locally-made, small-batch products. Reduced packaging is an added bonus.

How to Detox your Cosmetics Emma Rohmann

So you’re ready to ditch your conventional cosmetics, toiletries and body care products. Maybe you’re sick of the eczema, or allergies, or headaches that many people get from products with synthetic fragrances. Or maybe you want to stop contributing to water pollution. Perhaps you are now aware of the carcinogens and hormone disruptors in every-day products. Whatever your reason, you’ve made the choice to detox your toiletries.

Great, you say. Now what?

I hear lots of people who want to make the switch, but then get stuck on making the first step. Often, it’s because you’ve got a closet and make-up bag full of products that you don’t want to use any more, and throwing them all in the trash just doesn’t sit right with you. Don’t worry, you’ve got options that don’t include landfilling all your unwanted products.

Here’s your guide to ditching your conventional toiletries – just find the description that best matches how you’re feeling and you’re on your way to a healthier body care regime!

How you feel #1:I know the long-term use of these products aren’t good for me, but I’m OK to finish what I already have.”

What you can do #1: Finish using the products you already have. Since concentrations of potentially harmful ingredients in any one product are small, finishing up the products you’ve already bought and started using probably isn’t going to do much harm.

If you want to start reducing your exposure to the ingredients, you can transfer the product amounts to travel-size containers for infrequent use (i.e. when travelling, going to the gym, office drawer, etc.). Your decision to replace the potentially harmful ingredients means that you won’t be exposing yourself (or the water supply) to them over the long term, and that’s something to be proud of.

How you feel #2: “I want to stop using all these products, but I feel bad throwing them away.”

What you can do #2: If you have brand new bottles, consider donating them to a shelter. I know this doesn’t exactly solve the problem of keeping the chemicals out of the water supply, but there are many folks who would greatly appreciate the gift of basic personal hygiene products. You’d be helping them get back on their feet when they need that kind of support the most. You can also try taking them to your next Community Environment Day (if you have them, like we do here in Toronto). Or you can dump the product down the drain or in the garbage, then rinse and recycle the container (if recyclable).

How you feel #3: “I feel duped and want to tell these companies what I think of their crappy ingredients.”

What you can do #3: You can go all activist and mail back the products with a letter to the company explaining why you’re no longer using them. This likely doesn’t avoid sending them to landfill, but it lets the company know what you think of their products.

No matter what your strategy, don’t let disposal paralysis get in the way of making the move to healthier toiletries. If you’re still working on finding some healthy replacements for your conventional toiletries, head on over to my Green Product Forum Facebook Group to crowd-source advice on the best natural products (because nobody wants to waste money on stuff that doesn’t work!).

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Heal Your Emotional Baggage with this Ancient Practice!

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, has been practiced since ancient times. For those not familiar with Ayurveda, it is one of the worlds oldest holistic healing systems that goal is heal disease and imbalance by aligning your body with nature. One of the first practices prescribed is often Abhyanga. Abhyanga is a self-massage done by anointing the body with warm oil. (2)

There are many incredible benefits to this practice of next-level self-care mainly because it is a form of touch therapy. Interestingly enough, sneha is a Sanskrit word which means both oil and love, a knowingness of being cared for, cherished and comforted. The effects of Abhyanga are similar to saturating your entire being to the depth of your core with love. (3)

When practiced consistently it can have a very empowering effect on all levels of your being. While facilitating healing in the emotional body, this powerful practice also increases the flow of prana or qi throughout the body. However, these are just a few of the many amazing benefits of Abhyanga!

Here are some others: (1)

  • Calms and soothes the nervous system,
  • Enhances the ability to remove toxins,
  • Softens and reinforces the skin as well as helps restore color and vibrancy to the body,
  • Helps regulate sleep patterns,
  • Stimulates internal organs as well as increases circulation,
  • reduces the effects of aging,
  • makes hair grow thick, full, strong and luxurious,
  • benefits stiff neck and jaw,
  • enhances vision,
  • Benefits ligaments, veins and tissues,
  • Relieves exhausted feet as well as helps repair and rejuvenate stiff, rough feet.

Abhyanga has become such a huge, important part of my life. I have seen and felt the incredible shifts since practicing consistently. I’m so excited to share with you how to integrate this special ritual into your daily routine, and watch as your relationship with yourself changes as well as your skins appearance, and your overall health.

To get started you will need:

  • a towel that you don’t mind ruining
  • either sesame (better in cold weather) or coconut oil (better in hot weather)
  • a warm, relaxing, comforting space
  • a hot cup of tea or water
  • a small bowl to put the oil in

How to Practice Abhyanga:

Once your oil has been heated, get yourself comfortable seated on your towel. Be sure to create a warm, comforting space where there are no drafts or distractions.

Generally, you start with your scalp and head. As you begin, pour the oil over your scalp and be sure to use not only your fingertips but your whole palm as you massage the oil deep into your scalp.

Start to make your way behind your ears, your ear lobes, and face. As you begin to make your way to your arms and longer limbs be sure to use long, circular motions. In and around the joints apply pressure as you kneed the oil deep into the tissue.

In and around your torso start on your right side going up and around to your left side in circular motions. Move your way down your legs to your feet. Be sure to spend extra time on your feet as they carry you and your weight day to day giving them extra love and attention.

The entire process should take approximately 15-20 minutes, so don’t rush the process! The more love and attention you give to the different parts of your body the better you will feel!

Please see the video below for full instructions:

Healing the Emotional Body with Touch Therapy

Yes, we can heal ourselves! Abhyanga can be incredibly powerful tool especially if you take the time to really nourish and nurture yourself. If you put love and intention into each stroke while practicing you can connect with yourself on a deeper level than you ever have before!

We happen to be living in a very exciting time on the planet. As we continue to grow and evolve, so has science. There is now research showing what is happening on a cellular level, which helps us understand why this ancient practice is so beneficial.

According to Ayurveda toxic emotions or ama are negative or repressed emotions that turn into stored toxins, which get trapped in the cells of our bodies. This helps explain why more often than not we tend to repeat the same unhealthy patterns, and behaviours throughout our lives, despite consciously trying to break out of these habits. (2)

When negative emotions such as anger, grief, jealousy, resentment, sadness, or trauma don’t get expressed they become repressed and stored in the body. Over time this can be very detrimental to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being. This alters the chemicals in our body which can create disease, compromise immune systems, alter mood, decrease energy, and block the flow of energy through our bodies. (2)

How does this happen?

We live in a world where many of us don’t feel safe to express our emotions, particularly the unpleasant ones. We prefer to only show the good ones, and even when we are feeling unhappy or dissatisfied we have a tendency to mask or hide them. Energetically, we stuff them down but we can only do this for so long before they start bubbling to the surface. When they do start coming to the surface it can be quite overwhelming. Imagine a lifetime of unwanted feelings, memories, and events all coming through like a tidal wave all at once?

But what can we do to release the pressure and pain stored inside and heal ourselves?

ABHYANGA!!!

Not only is it incredibly helpful during a time of healing or distress, but it would be wise to practice before you get to the point of overwhelm to help prevent an accumulation of ama.(2)

Abhyanga has been known to be one of the most effective touch therapies to help repair emotional disharmony. It has been proven in many studies that touch, hugging, cuddling, increases oxytocin and aids in healing. What is even more special about Abhyanga is it is a self-massage therapy, therefore, you are giving yourself the love, attention, and comfort that your inner child has been begging you for probably for most of your life. Practicing Abhyanga lets your inner child know that it is okay to feel those unwanted feelings, it is okay to express your emotions. This kind of touch therapy is used to gain access to your emotional issues no matter how unconscious or deeply stored they are. Dr. Pert who studies neuroscience and the relation to your emotions has found that one of the main entry points for repairing emotionally damaged receptors are found in the skin. The skin is, of course, easily accessed through touch. (2)

So there you have it! Not only is Abhyanga an incredibly sensual, relaxing experience that helps you feel and look great, but it helps heal you on all levels, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually!

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Read the original post here!

Resources:

  1. http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/lifestyle/self-oil-massage/
  2. http://lifespa.com/are-your-emotions-making-you-sick/
  3. http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-benefits-of-ayurveda-self-massage-abhyanga