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In Lifestyle

The Whole Package

KOPU is right up there with my love for planetbox!   Both companies offering safe, sustainable, eco-friendly choices for my whole family.  I love the taste of their sparkling water and so do my kids.  Sometimes I’ll add a splash of organic lemonade – gets them to drink even more and stay hydrated.  You won’t find many kid beverages out there that aren’t “swimming in sugar.”

The best part…these are recyclable, resealable aluminum bottles.  Shoot, you could even use the bottle for hot soup or tea.  You’ll find KOPU at hotels, grocery stores and restaurants in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.  Thanks for sending a positive message for the health of the planet! 

In Beauty

Vanity Planet!

How did I not know about Vanity Planet??  Trust me, this is not your average beauty company.  Here’s what I love…it’s a one-stop shop for the products that actually work, from skincare to hair to wellness.  They’ve done all the grunt work and testing for ya!  Most importantly, Vanity Planet only carries toxic-free products (and you know that’s right up my alley!)

This coffee lover has been wanting to brighten up her smile without the chemical goop from the dentist (been there, done that!)  Now who would have thought BLACK charcoal turns your teeth white?  Amazing!  After just one week I noticed a brighter smile.  Turns out,  activated charcoal (derived from coconuts) can absorb stains to WHITEN your teeth and it also reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Guess we don’t have to give up coffee or red wine? 😉

In Food/ Lifestyle

Optimum Health

Challenge complete!
Just finished my annual 7-day detox at the Optimum Health Institute.  This was my 4th time and I continue to get more out of this program, while diving into a deeper level of health & wholeness. When you let go of toxic buildup in your body and mind, you’ll be amazed what happens.  The happiness & energy you have is at an OPTIMUM level.  You really have to experience it to understand the feeling.

OHI is located in Lemon Grove, San Diego.  They do not advertise, yet they’ve been around for decades.  You will meet amazing people and hear their stories about overcoming disease, depression, anxiety, fatigue, addiction, and so much more.

You will take a lot of educational courses during your time here, in which you learn SOOOO much about the body, mind & spirit.  There are gentle daily exercises & yoga – nothing strenuous considering it is a heavy detox.  3 days in the middle are strictly juice days.  You will drink a lot of wheatgrass (not my fave!) and a fermented quinoa drink called rejuvelac.

There is a spa for massages, reflexology, facials, salt scrubs, you name it.  They also have colonic and chiropractic services.  The atmosphere is peaceful and the people are loving. You will go home renewed, rejuvenated, happy & full of ENERGY!

Invest in this experience at least once.  I promise you won’t regret it!

In Food/ Lifestyle

Fountain of Youth

A great place with a story worth sharing!

I’ve been coming to Fountain of Youth ever since I moved to San Diego.  I usually pop in when I’m feeling sluggish and I know my body is craving nutrition!  Or maybe it’s because I want to give my girls a “healthy” smoothie treat, or maybe I’m just craving their famous tuna and tabbouleh, or maybe I had too much fun the weekend before (hence the tacos & tequila shirt!)

This place is the real deal.  No fancy marketing.  No fancy packaging.  No added agave sugars.  Just HEALTHY organic juice to get the job done.  After learning more about the owner, Abdul (ironically we share the same Birthday!), I wanted you to know his inspiring story.  More below from the Fountain of Youth website.

“It was fate that led us to Fountain of Youth Juice” says Tania and Abdul owners/managers and husband/wife team of Fountain of Youth Juice.

Within two weeks of acquiring Fountain of Youth Juice in July of 2006, Abdul was diagnosed with cancer. This was not included in their hopes and dreams of owning a business. The treatment was to be months of chemotherapy with additional months of radiation.

After recovering from this shock and sadness, Abdul was determined not to give in to this disease. Abdul and Tania both researched and learned the health benefits and anti-oxidant qualities of the fruit and vegetables contained in the drinks of their store. Abdul began a regimen of drinking wheatgrass shots, organic vegetable juices and fruit smoothies from their extensive menu. His doctor noticed a remarkable immunity as he bounced back after each debilitating chemotherapy advising him: “whatever you are doing, keep doing it”. After four months Abdul was cancer free.

In Beauty

A Coffee Lover’s Scrub

You had me at coffee!!

While on yet another trip to Home Goods (new homeowner!) I find this gem as I’m waiting in the checkout line. Coffee + Coconut.  What more could a girl need?  I actually tried this DIY scrub with leftover coffee grounds and coconut oil once. I loved it. Just didn’t feel like making it everyday.

Exfoliating in a natural, organic way is right up my alley.  This will leave your skin both smooth and moisturized. Plus, experts say the caffeine in coffee helps improves circulation, reduce inflammation and bring anti-aging antioxidants to your skin.  I love how it smells and how it feels…but it will take a few extra minutes to rinse out the leftovers in your bath or shower.  So far I’ve located the Harper + Lee scrubs at T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and the Home & Body Co.

Happy exfoliating!

In Food

Banana Taco

My 4-year-old calls it a “banana taco” so we’ll go with that.  This is an easy option for breakfast, snack or dessert.  Just slice the banana, add your favorite butter spread (peanut, sunflower, almond, cashew) and a few chocolate chips and nuts of choice.  Freeze several hours in parchment or wax paper.  Done.

In Food/ Home

Edible “Weed” with Extraordinary Health Benefits

Our friends & family already know my husband is really (really!) into health.  So it’s no surprise we are growing organic fruits & vegetables, including the healthiest EDIBLE weeds. Who knew you could eat these pesky little plants?! After doing some research here’s what I found out…

First of all, it’s called “purslane” and the plant is actually classified as a noxious weed or succulent. According to reports, purslane, a member of the portulacaceae family, was one of Gandhi’s favorite foods and has tremendous health benefits.  Just to name a few….extremely high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, significant amounts of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, B-family vitamins, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, and copper. Several studies indicate it may help to kill cancer cells too. Read more on the health benefits here.

We now have several plants growing in our garden beds.  It’s extremely easy to walk outside and snack on the leaves during the day (my kids do it too!!) Sooooo, next time you see this nutritionally-loaded “superweed” in the yard…make sure you keep it around!! Purslane is also available at several local farmers markets. Enjoy!

In Inspiration/Travel

Desert Getaway

Summer Sizzle!  I just took a weekend trip to Palm Springs during the month of July.  Average high temperatures are over 100° (sometimes closer to 120!), making it the hottest time of year to visit the Coachella Valley.  Also known as the OFF season ☀️ They say you should visit Palm Springs in January when average highs are closer to 70 degrees!!  Nah.  The blazin’ summer season is a secret oasis here…best hotel deals, smallest crowds, more time with the locals, a better TAN!

Here are some of my favorite spots to eat & drink…

Las Casuelas Terraza
*”Terraza” means in Spanish. They offer two different styles of patio: the quiet and romantic Terraza, with a sparkling fountain and colorful flowers and the lively Palapa patio, with an outdoor bar, dance floor (my personal favorite!)
*The original restaurant opened in 1958 so they know their Mexican food!
*COLD tequila drinks, of course!

Pinocchio in the Desert
*Great breakfast spot!
*Bottomless mimosas for just $4.95
*Patio is FUN and the misters will keep you cool while you dine.

Sherman’s Deli & Bakery
*Delicious food with great service
*Recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri
*Great coffee
*Incredible dessert/bakery selection

In Beauty

Non-Toxic Products

I have always wanted to eliminate the “unsafe” products in my home, especially beauty products I am putting on my face every single day.  This shocking statistic forced me to get started… “80% of ingredients in beauty products have NEVER been tested for safety”.   Surprisingly, the beauty and personal care industry is one of the least regulated industries out there.  Luckily, I discovered Beautycounter!  The founder of the company, like many of us, is a wife and mother who simply wants to provide “safer” options.  Beautycounter has banned use of all harmful chemicals in skin care, makeup, bath, body, kid and baby products.

I decided to get started with my foundation first – something I can’t go without due to uneven skin/sun damage.  I have worked with an amazing consultant to test the foundation and purchase the right shade.  Here is the link if anyone is interested in revamping their own beauty regime.  One product at a time.  Every little bit counts!!  Shop HERE.