Beauty

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Hello everyone! Just been in a very reflective mood lately and felt like I needed to get this down. So here you go, just some personal observations on the concept of beauty.

What is beauty? I think that it’s nearly impossible to define. Everyone seems to have their own view on it. In this day and age, however, the focus seems to be very much on physical beauty, and to be honest, I think this is a real shame and is creating a lot of problems. Soooo many young people, teenage girls in particular (I can relate) feel a sense of not being ‘good enough’, because we are constantly being bombarded with images of the media and society in general like to view as perfection. It’s as though there is a set criteria for beauty- our body has to be a certain shape, our hair has to look a certain way, our faces have to be a certain tone.

With all this pressure and bombardment, it’s hard to deal with the fact that we are not ‘perfect’, and that we have flaws. This in turn creates insecurities that can dampen our confidence and take a lot of the joy out of life.

There are certain facts that we just have to deal with. Maybe our eyes are not as big as we would like, maybe our nose is not the shape we would want it to be, but we can’t exactly change that. It’s who we are. So I think, rather than being worried and insecure about it, we should face it and embrace it. NO-ONE else in this world is the same as you.You are unique. You were created unlike anyone else. Isn’t that just amazing? Besides, those things that we dislike about ourselves could be the very same things that people find attractive in us. Beauty is subjective. What one person finds beautiful, another person may not even think twice about. Moreover when we love someone and get to know them better, the physical starts to become less important as we discover the beauty in their unique style and personality.

Instead of being constantly locked onto appearance, as a society we should shift the focus more onto the non-physical aspects of beauty, which are, in my opinion, far more important. A person’s laugh, their smile, their caring nature and their sense of humour- these are just a few of the things that can make a person beautiful.

Having said that, this doesn’t necessarily mean should just shove our insecurities aside and pretend they don’t exist. While confidence is important, hearing a person share things they are not so confident about in themselves to me is actually really touching. It makes them so relatable, and just really….human. The point I’m trying to get across is that we should acknowledge the things we don’t feel so confident in, but not let them drag us down and affect the way we live our lives.

Society might try to have us believe that there is a particular way we should look to be attractive, and people might drive themselves crazy trying to attain it with dangerous diet habits and plastic surgery. But I think to be healthy is all that you should strive for in terms of physical beauty, because when we are healthy, we are the best version of ourselves that we can be. Rather than the focus being on looking like celebrities and being in a certain weight bracket, health should be the goal. Some people are just naturally more curvy, others more skinny- it’s just the way it is. But if we are healthy, confident, and loving, this will truly shine through and draw people to us. I suppose it is then that makeup becomes an adornment to enhance our natural beauty rather than a way to just cover things we don’t feel good about (even though there are always going to be days when it feel like that, trust me!)

We can always strive to be better people, and in fact we should. But at the same time we should be content and confident being ourselves, because there is beauty in EVERYONE, and that’s a fact. I myself have seen it in people that others have not, and I’m sure that’s the same for a lot of people. So put a great big smile on your dial and face the world with confidence, because there is no reason for you to feel like you shouldn’t! 😀

Have a great day! Sending hugs and kisses!

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Life and diet update

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HELLOOO! If anyone still reads my blog, I’m sorry I have been away for so long. I’ve just been really busy…and lazy…

But I have some spare time so I thought I’d give an update on how things are going in my life right now in terms of health.

In recent weeks I’ve made some big changes. Here’s the story: two weeks to a very important wedding, I didn’t quite fit into my bridesmaid dress (say what?). I was panicking, mum was panicking, the bride was kind of panicking. It was bad. SO the options were- buy a new dress that would cost money and may not arrive in time, have the dress altered which would again cost a tonne of money OR lose a few kilos in the two weeks I had. Eeek. I love food. This was gonna be hard, but it had to be that option. So with iron-like determination I decided to rid my diet of all gluten, dairy and refined sugar. I went to the market and bought a HEAP of awesome fruit and veggies. My ‘treats’ consisted of nuts and a few dates. I also stepped up my exercise efforts with a school physical education training program.

Anyways, to cut a long story short, I had a MEGA clean-out of my diet. Initially it was painful. I had sugar-cravings and I always seemed to feel hungry. And then, only a few days in I began to feel better. I began to look FORWARD to my Amazing Meal breakfast shake every morning (which is absolutely awesome by the way). My skin began to clear up a lot- I didn’t even need to wear much makeup. In two weeks I lost about 4 kilos. AND…I fit into the dress!! YAY! Haha

Now that the wedding is over, I just can’t go back to ‘normal’. Sure, I have the odd naughty piece of cake every now and then, but the majority of my diet is clean. I no longer have dairy which I think has helped clear up my skin. I also no longer have bread, because I really feel that this was the killer when it came to putting on weight. And despite thinking this was going to kill me, it was actually fine- in fact, it allowed me to explore more options when it came to making lunch. I now have salads rather than sandwiches (just a hint: get on chickpeas- they make salads far more interesting). For dinner I legit ENJOY having a big bowl of steamed veggies and Himalayan salt, sometimes with a bit of chicken or beef on the side.

And the other good news about all this? I found out that you can have a day or two ‘off’ and still get back on it without any consequence. It’s great! So if I’m at a friend’s house or eating out I can choose options that may not fit my strict requirements but still enjoy it without guilt, knowing my body can handle it if I get back to my ‘clean’ diet the following day. It’s kind of like the 80/20 principle that Dr. Mercola recommends.

In some ways this has been a mega diet change, but at the same time I don’t feel restricted. I just feel good. It makes me relieved because there are SO many different theories on which diet is best and how you should avoid and not avoid certain foods, but now that I have made changes for myself, I know what is healthy for me personally because my body has let me know. I really do intend to make this a permanent change, so hopefully I can stick at it for the remainder of my life! XD

Wake up!!!

Many mornings I find myself stumbling out of bed, bleary-eyed and willing with all my heart to just hop back into bed and snag an extra hour or so of sleep. I know more than likely there’s a long day ahead of either work or school, so I eventually have to face the music and psych myself up. But how? Well, through personal experience I have discovered a few quick tips to make things a little easier, and I hope you can adopt a few of these practices yourself.

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100% Pure Coffee bean caffeine eye cream

This stuff works. It really refreshes my eyes and makes me look at least a little more awake. Just dab a small amount under the eyes and pat in with finger

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George’s Aloe spray mister

My secret weapon! Spray about 3 times across my face and let it sink in for a while before applying anything else. Seriously refreshing!

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‘It’s Moringa’ vegetarian capsules

Have 3-6 capsules with a glass of water depending on how tired you’re feeling. I can say that for myself, these tablets do a great job of sustaining energy until at least lunch-time. These are available from iHerb.

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Nerada Organics Green Tea & Lemon Myrtle

You can choose any bran of green tea (preferably organic), but I am in LOVE with this particular variety. In fact, I have it pretty much every morning. The small caffeine content found in green tea helps to wake you up, and at the same time it is extremely healthy, being a rich source of antioxidants. Seriously get on this!

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Fresh air

Yep. Good old fresh air. It works wonders. Just spend a minute or so outside, maybe as you are having breakfast. The cool air across your face is very refreshing, and helps remove the cobwebs in that terrible time of the morning.

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Exercise

I must admit I don’t do this very often. Shame on me! But I know that many people swear by a five-minute jog in the morning to prepare them for the day ahead. I guess it helps to kick-start the system and get the blood moving.

So those are my top tips on waking up in the morning, and when I say waking up, I mean waking up properly- not just getting out of bed and going about your routine like a zombie! Please let me know if you try out any of these things and whether or not they worked for you. Also, if you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment. I would be more than happy to hear it. Let’s face it, we’re not all morning people!

My No-Sugar Challenge

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That’s it. I have come to a decision- I’ve had enough of feeling like crap. I admit that after Easter I let my hair down a bit too much. I don’t feel too guilty- after all, it is a festive season. But now I need to knuckle down and get serious. So, I have decided to cut out refined sugars from my diet for an entire month. I have done this before, and I gotta say, it felt really good! In order to give myself motivation I gave my mum a sum of money and told her to safeguard it for the entire month. If I gave in to temptation and ate sweets, she would keep the money- if not, I was able to reclaim it at the end of the month. 

I would love to say that I could, through my own willpower just say- ‘that’s it, no more sweets!’, and actually keep my resolution, but unfortunately, my willpower totally sucks, so I have to resort to more extreme measures…

Now before you go thinking, ‘is this girl crazy?’, let me just reassure you that I’m not eliminating sugar from my diet full stop…that’s kind of impossible. What I am doing, is giving up refined sugar, and substituting this for healthier alternatives like raw honey, fruit, stevia and coconut sugar (but even these I will try to limit, as having double servings of ‘healthier’ desserts is not going to give you abs anytime soon…;-))

In addition to this purging of my diet, I am resolving to keep up my fitness levels. So far, it’s going well, but that could all change as soon as school starts back again 😦

So anyway, I want to know about the health challenges you guys have endeavoured to embark on…Were they successful? Did you feel a sense of achievement after completing them? What factors kept you motivated to fulfill your commitments? 

I’ll let you know how it all goes at the end of the month…wish me luck ’cause I’m gonna be needing it! 😀

 

 

 

The Poor Paw-paw Deception

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To think that all this time I was using Lucas Papaw ointment thinking it was a perfectly natural product that was doing the world of good for my skin. I feel like I’ve been deceived…the shame of it all!!

What you may not know, and what the Lucas Papaw company don’t tell you on their actual product, is that their world famous ointment CONTAINS PETROLEUM JELLY!!! You know what this means for society as a whole?? We’re all going to die!!

Lol jokes, it’s not quite that horrific.

However, petroleum jelly isn’t all that fabulous. If you knew where it came from, you might reconsider using it on your lips. Petroleum jelly (A.K.A petrolatum, baby oil, mineral oil, liquid paraffin) is basically a by-product of the oil industry, coming from crude oil that has been refined and heavily processed. Just because it’s been used for ages, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely safe. Petrolatum creates a physical barrier against the skin, meaning moisture can’t get in and toxins can’t get out! There have also been claims that it may be carcinogenic. While I am not saying that you should avoid this product at all costs, I just want to let you know that there are some alternatives out there that do not contain this questionable ingredient.

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Natural Alternative Organic Paw Paw Ointment- $7.95 for 30g

Ingredients: Castor (Ricinus Communis) Oil, Beeswax, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) Butter, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Honey, Jojoba (Buxus Chinensis) Oil, Vanilla (Vanilla Plantifolia) Oil, Carrot (Daucus Carota Sativa) Oil, Stevia (Rebaudiana  Bertoni) Extract, Tocopherol

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Suvana Paw Paw & Honey organic lip balm- $8.95 for 35g

Ingredients: Castor Oil; Beeswax; Coconut Oil; Cocoa Butter; Papaya Extract; Honey; Jojoba Oil; Vanilla Bean Oil; Candelilla Wax; Carrot Oil; Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni Extract; Tocopherol

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Nude by Nature Papaw Ointment- $5.95 for 30g

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Jojoba Esters, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Parfum (Fragrance)

Note: Fragrance from essential oils

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Nature’s Care Paw Paw Balm- $4.95 for 30g

Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Hydrogenated Castor oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, sorbitan olivate, beeswax, silica, macadamia oil, mango seed butter, rice bran wax, jojoba esters, natural paw paw extract(carica papaya), natural paw paw flavour.

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Brauer Paw Paw Ointment- $5.49 for 25g

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed oil), Carica Papaya (Paw Paw Fermented), Hydrogenerated Castor Oil,  Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Beeswax (Certified Organic), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Honey,  Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Daucus Carota (Carrot Oil), Potassium Sorbate

There are even more out there, but I think this at least leaves you with a few decent alternatives. Some of these paw paw ointments, such as Suvana and Natural Alternative, are available at Health Food stores; others like Nude by Nature and Nature’s Care are easier to find in department stores. Also, if you’re into buying big, Brauer and Nude by Nature carry 75g pot jars of the stuff.

As for me, I’m still not sure which one I’m going choose to replace my Lucas. It’s a close call between Suvana and Nature’s Care- both contain great ingredients and have really pretty packaging (yes, I am shallow; pretty packaging is important to me…)

So yes, the title is probably over-dramatic, but I really wanted to get the message out there! Hopefully you are now at least aware of the potential danger of using petrolatum and know where to look if you’re thinking of replacing your bright red baby. Who knows, you may even end up preferring a natural variety? 😉

Feel absolutely free to leave any comments or questions below.