For such a short month, February sure did have a lot in store…
In this months “bits of sunshine” I share some great products that have helped to take my health to the next level, a book that has changed the way I approach day to day living, and an awesome superfood that has helped me make some pretty vibrant smoothies.
After searching for years for the perfect soap, I think I finally found it.
Dr. Bronner’s is a family business, making environmentally friendly products that are high quality and certified organic. Over the past 2 months, I have been using the Baby-Mild Liquid Soap, which is fragrance free (making it perfect for sensitive skin), and is loaded with olive oil, coconut oil, and other nourishing ingredients, helping to make the skin soft and vibrant. And, it is totally reasonably priced!
I have been using a small amount of this soap along with a sea sponge, and I have loved the results! Its suds nicely, washes off without leaving any residue, and leaves my skin feeling fresh and smooth.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may of noticed all of the purple smoothies that I have been indulging in this past month. It’s true. Of course, I am still drinking my beloved green smoothies, but ever since I tried frozen acai puree in my vitamix, its been hard to resist.
The acai berry comes from central and south america and is loaded with antioxidants and healing fatty acids – we are talking about a serious superfood here! This small purple berry can help keep our immune system strong and help the body fight off disease while also contributing to the health of our skin, hair and nails! It’s the total package!
1/2 pack frozen acai puree (unsweetened)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup cashew milk
water (if needed to blend)
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!!
This is something that I have heard a lot about over the past few years (and even tried a few times), but over this past month, I finally committing to practicing this ancient Ayurvedic technique every morning – well, most mornings. It’s pretty simple, and very strange feeling. Basically, you take a scoop of coconut oil (or sesame oil) and you swish it around in your mouth for 5-20 minutes right when you wake up, before drinking any liquids.
Why, you may ask? Well, when we sleep our mouth accumulates a lot of bacteria, and when we wake up in the morning, oil pulling helps to remove this bacteria instead of drinking it down with water or letting it hang out in our mouth. The health of our mouth is directly related to the health of our body, and oil pulling has many benefits that contribute to oral health. Oil pulling is used to remove plaque and bacteria, whiten teeth, lessen gum sensitivity, increase the health of gums, and prevent exposure to bacteria that can lead to infection and disease throughout the body. It has also shown to heal more deeply, including helping with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems and more!
Personally, I have noticed that my mouth feels cleaner throughout the day, my teeth feel less sensitive, and I haven’t experienced any eczema outbreaks over the past month (might a combo of my new soap and the oil pulling, but looks like I won’t be changing either)!
How to do it: When I get up in the morning, I put about 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around for 5 minutes while I dry brush my body. Some people like to keep it in their mouth for a longer time to reap more benefits, and this can be done while you shower and get yourself ready for the day. However long you decide to swish, you spit it out in the toilet (not in the sink!) when you are done, rinse your mouth with warm water a few times, and brush your teeth.
Then, enjoy a big glass of water with a freshly cleaned mouth.
This past month, I began an 8-week yoga course which encourages self-relfection, meditation and journaling to help learn more about myself, my practice, and the role that yoga plays in my life. The recommended reading for this course is The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda, and I have spent many days reading through these sutras and learning more about my yoga practice off the mat.
The sutras begin by explaining the need to clear our minds and detach ourselves from thoughts in order to experience peace and bliss. As they continue, they go into detail about how to do this by recognizing our patters and shifting our perspectives.
It would be impossible to try and capture the essence of these pages in a few short paragraphs, but I wanted to share its main ideas because of how it has affected me over this past month. I have begun to recognize patterns that exist within me, ones that hold me back from happiness and prevent me from being fully present. I have witnessed myself act out in ways that are totally conditioned, ways that have probably existed since I was young, and I have realized that I don’t even agree with most of these conditioned thoughts anymore!
Needless to say, it has created some real movement within my mind and body, and being that I am almost through the first “book” (there are 4), I really look forward to all the beauty and knowledge that lies ahead.
Not sure if you have been watching HBO’s True Detective (if not, I suggest getting on that) but this song was played in their preview, and I still can’t get enough of it! It is this perfect balance of gentle and strong, displaying such compassion and anger from Alex Clare. I have been listening to it pretty regularly, and felt that it was definitely a bit of sunshine over this past month.
That sums up what my month has looked like… Have you discovered any new products or foods that helped make your month extra special? I would love to hear about them in the comments below…
Wishing you a mystical, magical March!