The Lip Balm Revolution: Gratitude Never Looked So Good

The Lip Balm Revolution: Gratitude Never Looked So Good

**Side effects may include increased happiness, gratitude, and luscious lips.

If you’re like me, when asked the classic “You’re stranded on a desert island and can only have three items with you” question, you always start with: “well, lip balm, of course!” (Because nothing says survival like a glossy lip.) If this is you, then I invite you to join my Lip Balm Revolution!

The revolution rules are simple: Keep a lip balm in your pocket at all times. Wait, what? You don’t ALWAYS wear pocket-ful attire? What are you, a HEATHEN? Fine. I suppose you can also carry it in your purse/briefcase. (Sidebar: Why is it called a briefcase? Isn’t that rather reductive? Can’t it be a stuffcase? As in: “Hey guys, check out my new stuffcase! The case holding all my stuff!” But I digress.) Okay, so back to the rules. Keep a lip balm on you at all times. In the morning, dedicate said lip balm with something you are grateful for. Then every time you re-apply throughout the day, remind yourself of what you’re grateful for. And that’s it! A simple, effective way to start implementing gratitude into your daily routine. And as we learned from my recent post, practicing gratitude increases happiness, health, and general well-being, and lowers stress, anxiety, and sleep issues.

But what’s that? You want MORE? You want to not only incorporate gratitude, but also try and encourage a more positive mindset? Well aren’t you ambitious! Enter what I have dubbed the “Lip Slip” challenge.

To do the Lip Slip challenge, all you need is one lip product you absolutely ABHORE. Maybe it’s the one that leaves a sticky, waxy cast behind– kind of like you just made out with a crayola crayon. Or the tinted balm with the frosty undertone that makes you look like you just sucked down a box of powdered donuts. Or for you high-achieving competitive types who like to push yourselves, pick a lip stick in a truly atrocious color. (Talk about upping the ante, fellas!) Now keep it with you. And every time you notice that you are complaining without even a hint of a solution for said problem in sight, WAH-WAH! You have committed a Lip Slip. (The lesser known evil of what happened to Janet Jackson at the SuperBowl Halftime show. Hey-o!) Your punishment? To put on your dreaded Lip Slip product. Keep it on until you’ve found a way to turn that negativity on its head. (Upside: Depending on how brave you were with your selection, this may produce so much embarrassment that you will TOTALLY think twice before committing another Lip Slip! Downside: If you’re a husky 6 foot rugby player walking around in a marsala red lip, you may have some ‘splainin’ to do.)

This holiday season, my Lip Balm Revolution choice is: The organic (and vegan) Tinted Cinnamon Lip Balm from Hurraw! (Because who DOESN’T feel like cheering after remembering what they’re grateful for?!) Or my all-time favorite (non-tinted AND super affordable) lip balm: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint. (Find it here on Pharmaca and use their daily coupon code for additional 15-30% off!) And as for my Lip Slip challenge? I’m thinking either old-lady orange or sour-grape purple. <Shudder.> I’m a nude lip gal, so these “fashion forward” shades put the fear of mod in me. (See what I did there?)

Join me in the revolution! If you do, be sure to tag me on Instagram @KaitlynGGuay. Have a Lip Slip? Laugh about it! Snap a pic, tag me, and use #LipSlip.

Hoping this was of (lip) service!

Wax on,

The Foda

Chronic Beauty: 5 Green Beauty Health Hacks

Chronic Beauty: 5 Green Beauty Health Hacks 

Glowing. Youthful. Dewy. Radiant. Healthy.

These buzz words are used to advertise pretty much every beauty product ever. Why? Because these words epitomize health and awesomeness. And don’t lie– even if we already have health, we want more. If we don’t have it (see: illness, chronic) then we definitely subscribe to the whole “fake it ‘til you make it” routine. After all, there’s nothing worse than being sick AND having people constantly tell you how “tired” you look. (Which, let’s face it, is really just a euphemism for: daaammmnnnn girl, you look like hell!) So how can we hack the look of health when our bodies are in a constant war zone, leaving us with sallow skin, puffy eyes, and purplish eye bags so intense it incites neighborhood gossip over why we’re constantly getting punched in the face? Naturally, when you’re already battling for health, the last thing you want is to load more toxic conventional products onto the largest, most porous organ in your body (your skin) especially once you know that it takes under 25 seconds for 60% of said product to enter your bloodstream. (Eek!) So here’s my top 5 tried-and-true all natural/organic green beauty health hacks.

  1. The W3LL PEOPLE Bio-Brightener Stick. This bad boy is AMAZING! It’s by far my number one health hack. I can pop this baby on, and even if I’m practically tottering with fatigue, holding onto my husband’s arm for support, hunched from losing my lunch just an hour before, I always get comments on how great I look. (Note: I don’t get out much due to my illness, so these comments are usually coming from health professionals. So that should say something in and of itself, mmmkay?) This creamy brightener comes in a super easy to apply pancake stick form, and lasts FOREVER. I warm up the product by lightly circling my finger over the top, and then swipe over the inner third of my lid (focusing more product at the inner corner), over the brown bone, cupid’s bow, and lately, I’ve also really been loving tapping just a tiny bit over my cheekbones. (The first time I did this, my mom gasped that I looked like a model. Blush. Mumble thank you. Tell her she’s your mom, so she’s not a reliable critic. Then secretly promise yourself to never. Stop. Using it.) I could rave about this all day, but let’s just say it’s health in a stick. ‘Nough said. I buy mine off Pharmaca, because they’re always having 15-30% off sales, and for the month of December, they’re running a special on W3LL PEOPLE with an additional 15% off the sale price. Score!
  2. Kjaer Weis Cream Blush. I always get complimented when I wear these. They are dewy, highly pigmented so they’ll last forever, beautifully formulated (organic!), and hello? Can we talk about the packaging? That luxe hefty silver refillable compact that makes me want to laugh dismissively and say trite phrases in an upper-crust nasal voice, like, “oh, this old thing?” and “hello daaaaahhhhling!” LOVE. (Plus after the initial purchase, refills are way cheaper.) I find the color “Blossoming” to be the exact color I flush. It’s the perfect snow bunny just-got-back-from-the-slopes look. I also have “Abundance” which has a lovely mauve undertone, and was designed to be a double duty product for cheek color and contouring! I also like to pop this in my crease, where it somehow magically pulls more purple than it does on the cheek. I love this color when I’m doing a cooler toned look to match my favorite silver and turquoise jewelry (yes I plan my makeup and outfits around my jewelry, what do you think I am, a wildebeest?!) Just be sure to apply lightly, lest you get that punched-in-the-face look due to the purple undertone. These two are my favorites but blush is such a personal preference, so I highly recommend scooting over to SpiritBeautyLounge and checking out their sample program: 6 samples for $25. After that, you can find these on Integrity Botanicals for 15% off your purchase if you give your email.
  3. Evan Healy HydroSouls. I love this hack! Not only do I use this facial mist after I cleanse to re-balance and alkalize my skin, but I also use it to set my makeup! Spraying your face with a hydrosoul helps your makeup set, stay longer, and imparts a subtle, dewy finish. (It also stops you from breathing in any microscopic powder particles near your nose and mouth. Umm… Yes, please!) Plus, Evan Healy’s production technique purposely retains the benefits of the essential oils by distilling at a low heat over a long period of time, something many companies gloss over, since it’s faster and cheaper to distill oils with a high heat (which kills off most of the benefits.) I personally use the Lemon Thyme Facial Tonic HydroSoul, because it’s great for my oily/blemish prone skin, but my favorite is and shall always be the Tulsi Holy Basil HydroSoul. I call this my “happy juice.” The aroma is intoxicating, and tulsi basil is a rockstar for lowering stress, combating neurological issues, and regulating hormones.
  4. Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioner. Okay, look. You have to resign yourself to the fact that this shampoo? Doesn’t foam. The foam is GONE, man. Shhh. It’s okay. Let it go. Once you get past this, prepare to line your shower with bubblewrap because you? Are about to swoon. The milky blend of essential oils smells heavenly- spicy with a super-powered sinus-awakening shot of mint. I seriously imagine I’m a fairy traipsing through an enchanted forest every time I use this. It makes my hair shiny, super soft, and somehow manages to straighten out my hair. The Leave-in conditioner is just as luxurious, and smells like spiced cedar. This is no flowery fruity typical lady mix, oh, no sir! (My husband actually stole the travel-sized tube I bought when I first tried this conditioner, and now he uses it exclusively.) Check out the travel sizes of the shampoo here and leave-in conditioner here, or go for the full sizes here and here. I use Pharmaca and wait for a 25-30% off sale to keep the costs down. Note: There’s also a 32 oz. shampoo option that comes with a pump for any of you with a PICC line who need to shower one-handed. Been there, my friends!
  5. W3LL PEOPLE Nudist ColorBalm OR Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner. Nothing says health like a luscious, moisture-rich lip. That said, I’m all about every-day functional beauty, and lipstick? Doesn’t come out of my drawer unless I’m going to a super fancy shindig. That’s why these two formulations are perfect. My daily shade is the W3LL PEOPLE Nudist ColorBalm in #7 (Nude.) It’s the PERFECT nude: a gorgeous neutral pinky-brown that is highly moisturizing and is very buildable. Slick on over a lip balm for a very subtle wash, or do what I do and build up over freshly cleansed lips. I like to finish by buffing a few circles over the pout of my lips, and then let it set for a few minutes. No lie, this technique lasts me until practically dinner time! I also really like #1 (Coral) for a warm rosy, dewy flush, and #3 (Cherry) for an understated holiday red. Now, if you prefer more of a conditioning lipstick to the Nudist lipstick/lip balm hybrid, it’s Ilia Beauty all the way! Long wearing, very comfortable on the lips, and the colors are just beautiful! (And if you apply to clean, dry lips, also extremely pigmented.) My favorites are “Shell Shock” which pulls more of a brighter coral-pink on me, and “Bang Bang” which is described as “red lipstick for people who are afraid of red.” So true. Both of these are sooo lustrous, you’ll find yourself rubbing your lips together constantly! (It’s okay. It makes you look pensive… I hope…)

Well, that’s it, folks! My 5 Green Beauty Health Hacks. I hope you enjoyed my first Chronic Beauty post, and if you did, don’t forget to like and share! If you try any (or all) of these hacks, be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @KaitlynGGuay!

Love and Light,

The Foda

P.S. Have a Green Beauty Health Hack you think I need to know about? Comment down below! I love hearing from you!

In The Mood for Gratitude

In The Mood for Gratitude

I have a confession to make, you guys. I… man, this is hard. Okay. Here goes. I… am not a super hero. (Pause as you gasp.) I know, I know. It was a shock to me, too. But when I got struck down 4 1/2 years ago with a horrific case of neurological Lyme Disease, I really thought that due to my penchant for healthy living and discipline, I’d be bouncing back at such a rate as to alarm and awe my doctors. How did she do it, they’d say in amazement as I came bounding into my follow-up, bright orange sneakers making me look like Barry Allen (The Flash) as I zipped to and fro.

Sidebar: Where exactly is fro? And why do I want to go there?

Anyway, spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. I’ve done everything “right” and I’m still sick. (Insert chorus of knowing voices telling me that bad things happen to good people. Worst. Platitude. Ever.) Needless to say, there was a time when I was NOT, as the title of this piece states, in the mood for gratitude. I was angry. Bitter. Crying on my couch, too exhausted to make so much as a bowl of cereal, remembering my marathon days with a “why-God-why” tempered anger. You can picture it, can’t you? Yeah. T’wasn’t pretty. But I mention it because, hey, I’m human. It was part of my grieving process. And there are still days when I find myself feeling angry and resentful that this happened to me. But then I remember that I’m not a victim. I’m a warrior. And this shiz? Is getting turned around.

You see, I can either bemoan what I don’t have, or work with what I do. And to do that, I have to make an effort to become aware of what exactly I DO have to work with. That, my friends, means gratitude. And here’s how I do it.

I use The Five-Minute Journal. A genius invention. Genius, I say! Simply put, it asks me to write down three things I’m grateful for every morning, followed by three things that would make my day great. It rounds off by asking me to write down my intention for the day. Bing, bang, boom. Fill in the blank. Five minutes or less. (There’s also a reflective section you’re meant to fill in at night, but full disclosure, I often forget to do it. Eep!) I do this before breakfast every morning, and I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my mental/emotional health. By taking the time to recognize what I’m grateful for and what I want to prioritize that day, it eliminates so much negative (and avoidable) stress. That’s the power of setting a daily intention. It gives you focus. A path. A place to direct the warrior spirit inside of you. I’ve NEVER been able to maintain a journaling practice– (so many New Year’s resolutions foiled!)– but this gives me the structure I need. And having a set time every day is essential. Can’t eat breakfast until I do the journal. And guys? I LOVE breakfast.

So why should we start our days with getting in the mood for gratitude? Simple. It quite literally affects your brain, which in turn, affects your entire body. People who practice gratitude have better energy, more determination, and have been shown to have less physical pains than people who don’t. (For a 30-year-old like me who has Lyme-induced rheumatoid arthritis, do you think this last one’s a factor? Um. YEAH.) Oh, and it also lowers anxiety and depression by helping you sleep better. Score!

For all the science– and a witty read– check out this great article: “The Grateful Brain.” Or, you know, take my word for it.

So what are you waiting for? Get in the mood for gratitude! And for all you winners who read to the end of this article? I am grateful for YOU. Welcome to the tribe, my friend!

Here’s to you,

The Foda

** Feeling inspired? You can find The Five-Minute Journal here.

Superfood Pumpkin Muffins- Gluten and Dairy Free, High Protein, Low Glycemic (Featuring Simple Mills)

Superfood Pumpkin Muffins- Gluten and Dairy Free, High Protein, Low Glycemic (Featuring Simple Mills)

Four and a half years ago, I got smacked down with a devastating case of Lyme Disease. In order to cut down all access inflammation in my body, I made the choice to cut gluten, dairy, and sugar out of my life. (Sob!) After the first month of massive hanger issues (hungry + anger) I acclimated, and started to find new meals I really enjoyed. But there’s one time of year my hanger would always return with a vengeance, dressed to kill in shades of crumbly crust beige, creamy cheese taupe, and chocolatey brown. Yup. You guessed it. The holidays.

When you’re what I like to call a Freeling (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free) or plain old digestively challenged, finding food to enjoy during the holiday season can be rough. More often than not, you wind up sitting in front of a loaded buffet table holding back tears of longing as platters of all things fried, buttered, and sugared sit there. Taunting you. Teasing you. Singing in a high voice that oddly reminds you of Miss Piggy: “You know you want me but you just. Can’t. Have. Meeeee!” 

So what’s a Freeling to do?

Cry? Throw things? Make horribly inappropriate jokes about what you’d like to do to that hunk of gouda?

Nope. You fight fire with fire. You find something so good, so delicious, that all other entrees will flee before it, so woefully inadequate will they feel.

This Thanksgiving, when my GI issues had progressed so far that I hadn’t been able to keep down more than broth and bread for 5 months, this recipe- which amazingly enough met my extreme digestive challenges- was my fire. So here it is!

Superfood Pumpkin Muffins featuring Simple Mills 

(Gluten free, dairy free, high protein, low glycemic)

Recipe makes 12 muffins

** We follow a “heaping” philosophy in our household. So when I say 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil, what I really mean is: stick that spoon into the oil and once it looks like a tiny frosted mountain, dump ‘er in! Disclaimer: this means our recipes are never exact. But hey, cooking is supposed to be fun. So just commit and go for it!

** I’ve included links for most products, ‘cause, hey, if you’re a Freeling, your life’s already hard enough, and I want to make it as simple as possible for you. However, you should be able to find most of these items in your local health food store.

Ingredients: 

1 box of Simple Mills Pumpkin Almond Flour Muffin mix

We buy these online here in 3 packs because the price for a single box is quite overinflated online, but they’re available in many natural food stores. They also have a Pumpkin-Chocolate-Banana muffin variety pack. DROOL!

3 eggs

1 cup water

3 heaping TBSP coconut oil 

We rotate brands, but always choose one that is organic and cold-pressed. We use coconut oil to cook pretty much everything, as well as for oil-pulling and as a body oil, so these two-packs are quite handy.

1 heaping tsp pine pollen (We buy ours here from Blue Bird Botanicals)

1 heaping tsp tea pollen (Here from Blue Bird Botanicals)

1 heaping tsp maca root (Available here)

3 heaping TBSP pumpkin seed protein powder (We use this brand)

2 heaping TBSP brown rice protein powder 

We use the NutriBiotic Rice Protein Powder in Plain.

1 heaping tsp ceylon cinnamon

Totally different from cassis cinnamon, which is the type typically found in the Northeast. Yes, it makes a difference. Yes, Ceylon is way better (and way better for you.) Get. You. Some. We bought this one over a year ago, and it’s still going strong.

1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 heaping TBSP chia seed

1 heaping TBSP organic baking cocoa

One of our favorites is by Equal Exchange. It’s organic and fair trade, which is essential when buying cocoa.

1 heaping tsp organic baking powder

Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt 

We rotate brands, but we’re currently using this.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425. (The box says 350, but we always bake our GF/DF goods at a higher temperature.)
  • Blend eggs, water, and coconut oil in a blender. (I’m sure you could also just whisk it really well, but when you have Lyme fatigue, blending is way easier.)
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well. (It will be too thick at this point to blend.)
  • Line muffin pan with unbleached muffin liners. (Be sure to get unbleached. We use these. Not only are they better for you, but they won’t stick. Bleached liners will. ‘Nough said.) Or you can skip the liners and use this sweetheart rose mold muffin tray by Nordic Ware.
  • Spray liners (or inside of mold) with a light coating of pumpkin seed oil, or any cooking spray of your choice. Since it’s hard to find in spray form, we pour pumpkin seed oil into an oil misting container.
  • Fill ‘em up with your delicious pumpkin goodness!
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. It’s usually closer to 20 minutes for us, but since we aren’t precise with our measurements, it varies. Do the toothpick test and see if it comes out clean. Or if you perpetually don’t have toothpicks (me) use a knife. Every time we’ve made these, they are quite moist in the middle (which is what I love) so while you don’t want them to burn, they should look slightly golden on top.
  • Let cool for ten minutes (The least amount of time you could possibly wait without burning your tongue) and enjoy. I personally love to cut them open and add a slab of soy free earth balance butter to the middle. NOMNOMNOM.
  • After they’ve completely cooled, store in the fridge for up to a week. These have no preservatives, so they shouldn’t be left out. (I personally really enjoy them cold. I find these muffins are moist enough to convert to a beautiful texture when cooled.)

So that’s it! I hope you like this recipe, and if you make it, be sure take a picture and tag me on Instagram @KaitlynGGuay

Happy Baking!

The Foda