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May 24, 2017

Why You Should Try Acupuncture

Getting jabbed with needles is generally an experience associated with pain. Not so with acupuncture, whose massive health and well-being benefits outweigh make this a modality worth trying for anything from anxiety to infertility. Acupuncture originated in China over 2500 years ago and is used traditionally to prevent, treat and even diagnose disease. The goal of acupuncture is to restore the balance of energy flow, called qi (pronounced chee), in the body. The philosophy of this time-honored practice is that energy can stagnate in a particular area; the needles stimulate those points on the body and allow healing energy to flow freely again.

But about those needles . . . They are extremely thin—think the width of one single strand of hair—and they don’t penetrate the skin very deeply. Most of the time, I don’t feel the needles at all, just a tiny, momentary prick when they’re inserted. Occasionally, if a particular point is very sensitive (ie stuck or blocked) it might feel like a pinch or a bit of tingling. This sensation lingers, I simply ask my acupuncturist to adjust the needle and try a different spot with similar benefits.

You don’t need a reason to try acupuncture, but these are a few symptoms it can address:

  • Emotional health (Stress, Depression, Negative Thought Patterns, Food Cravings)
  • Digestive health (Constipation, IBS, Bloating)
  • Pain (anywhere!)
  • Chronic disease
  • Neurological symptoms (Vertigo, Tingling, Burning Sensation and Balance)
  • Cancer treatment related symptoms
  • Sleep Disorders

Additional benefits of acupuncture include mindfulness, relaxation and stress management (seriously, it’s better than a massage!), increased energy levels, and even a glowing, firmer skin. Some acupuncturists can artfully give the same effects as botox or a light face lift just from using needles!

Finally, an acupuncture session encourages self-care on a new level. While you lie still for 30-60 minutes and let the needles work their magic, it’s a wonderful time to meditate or simply rest. This forced time of quiet and relaxation is not only naturally stress-relieving (this explains the acupuncture happy hour trend!), but healing in itself.

May 22, 2017

Take Two of These Hangover Pills And Call Me In the Morning

 

Despite my best efforts, I just can’t drink like I used to. I’m not sure if it’s my body that’s changed, or my tolerance for hangovers, but these days if I’m going to imbibe it better be worth it. Even then, more than two drinks—especially if they involve hard alcohol—can give me a raging headache and that awful lethargy the next day. Hydration and a good night’s sleep are key, but I’ll take all the additional help I can get to keep a hangover at bay. I’ve been testing a new natural supplement called Flyby expressly for this purpose and making everyone who’s drinking with me try it, too (you know, party favors). Flyby was created to help your liver break down alcohol-induced toxins that build up when you drink—especially when you have more than one drink an hour. It’s formulated with milk thistle, Vitamin C and a cocktail of other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients that support liver function, replenish nutrients and metabolize toxins like acetaldehyde. Simply take two capsules with water right before you drink, or before you go to bed. Three capsules if you plan on having a really good time. I’ve definitely noticed a difference the next day when I use Flyby—I feel better than expected and recover faster even if I do wakeup a bit sluggish. There definitely isn’t a downside  This weekend was the final test: I asked two of my supplement-savvy friends to try Flyby at a dinner party and both reported back the next morning with a resounding YES, this stuff totally works. You can try Flyby for FREE, serve the individually wrapped packets at your next party, or go all in with the 60-count bottle, which costs the same as a nice bottle of wine. I’ll drink to that!

 

 

 

 

May 17, 2017

10 Simple Steps to A Less Toxic Home

Is your home toxic? Some experts say the average home contains about 62 toxins. Blerg, what? I’ve made great progress in removing toxins from my diet and am obviously selective about my beauty regimen—but my home? That’s somewhere I haven’t completely ventured yet. For this topic I called in an expert. Meet Laura Ehlers from Laura’s Natural Life! Laura is a Holistic Wellness Coach and non-toxic lifestyle enthusiast based in my neighboring state, Wisconsin. I’m excited to have this guru here today to walk us through 10 simple things we could do right now to cultivate a safer living space. Here’s Laura: 

Hey guys! Excited to be here and to give you a simple action plan towards a healthier abode. We are only as healthy as our environments and sadly, our homes can contain toxins that we aren’t even aware of. Possible home toxins include cleaning products, beauty products, electromagnetic waves and home fragrances. Even your home’s building materials might contribute, as varnishes, drywall, flooring and paint can off-gas substances such as formaldehyde and VOC’s for up to a decade.

With all of these sources, it definitely can seem daunting to create a safe living space, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult.  Here are 10 simple ways to help make your home less toxic.

  1. Cleaning Products. Many cleaning products contain phthalates, triclosan, ammonia, chlorine and even formaldehyde. Good news is that this is one of the easiest swaps to make as there are a number of readily available non-toxic brands (we like Seventh Generation and Method Home) and DIY cleaners like vinegar and water.
  1. Laundry Detergent. I know it’s easy to associate the smell of laundry detergent with the scent of cleanliness. It’s time to break this association! Laundry products (detergents, fabric softener and dryer sheets) are made up of carcinogens in the form of synthetic fragrances, optical brighteners and harsh cleansers. Swap your dryer sheets for wool dryer balls, ditch the fabric softener and try a non-toxic, unscented detergent. If you miss that fresh scent in your laundry, add a few drops of essential oils to your dryer balls.
  1. Candles and air fresheners. Often these contain synthetic fragrance, a carcinogenic that also can disrupt the endocrine system. Fragrance can be highly allergenic, too! Try using an essential oil diffuser with pure essential oils to scent your home instead.
  1.  Paint. It’s not only toxic just when it wet, but dry too! When it comes time to redecorate, opt for a No-VOC paint option. Paint can off gas VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds, aka scary toxins) into your home’s air for many years.
  1. House Plants. House plants are not only beautiful and an easy way to bring life to a room, but they can actually clean the air! Not a green thumb? Try Aloe Vera or a Snake Plant; they’re virtually impossible to kill.
  1. Open the Windows. There is nothing better for your indoor home environment than fresh air. Open your windows often to get an influx of fresh air into your home to dilute any toxic air that has accumulated.
  1. Turn Off Wifi At Night. Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are getting a lot of heat these days with more people realizing that they are interfering with our health. They can prevent you from getting good sleep as well as prevent healing. The simplest way to mitigate EMFs is by turning your Wifi off for the night before you go to bed.
  1. Skip the “Antibacterial”. Products that boast antibacterial qualities often containt triclosan which has been shown in studies to disrupt the thyroid. It has also been linked to liver toxicity. Opt for products with naturally antibacterial ingredients, like herb-based essential oils, or use plain soap and water.
  1. Buy the Floor Model. When it’s time to replace your couch, ask to purchase the floor model. The foam and flame retardants used in new furniture are shockingly toxic and often smell strongly of formaldehyde. By purchasing the floor model, you’re ensuring that a good chunk of the off gassing has already happened before you bring your new couch into your home.
  1. Invest in an Air Purifier. An air purifier might be a big investment, but it is one that you won’t regret. There are so many choices on the market, but consider one that meets your needs. If you live in new construction, you might want one that has a large carbon filter to remove VOC’s. Trusted brands of air purifiers include Austin, Foust, I.Q. Air and AirPura.

Any one of these steps can be taken towards a healthier, safer home environment. The effort will be well worth it!

May 15, 2017

Love.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for nearly two months. Two months since WE GOT ENGAGED! I’ve written some up-close and personal posts over the years but how could I possibly encapsulate the best thing that’s ever happened to me in a blog post?

I really couldn’t. And to be honest, I didn’t really want to at first. I wanted to stay completely present and bask in this most magical, beautiful time. Life doesn’t happen on a screen and I didn’t want to miss a thing. But once Ty and I had told our families and friends, picked a date and started wedding planning (which we are having way too much fun doing), I STILL didn’t write this post. Why?

Because a part of me has always felt just the teensiest bit guilty about the good things that come my way. Like I don’t deserve them—even though I do. We all do.

Welcome to my inability to receive. It’s the part of me that gets giddy as a schoolgirl and grateful to the point of tears whenever something good happens . . . until I start wondering if the Universe has made a mistake and the other shoe is inevitably about to drop. Brene Brown calls this foreboding joy. “Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience,” Brown says. “And if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy.”

I’ve been doing this my entire life. Protecting myself from future scenarios. Mentally preparing myself for the moment when the bottom falls out. When something good happens, part of me won’t allow myself to truly feel it because then I risk the pain of losing it.

Only this time, I know in my heart that the Universe didn’t make a mistake. I found the love of my life and I can’t lose him because love doesn’t work that way. Love is a choice. You build it and nurture it. Ty and I fell in love like they do in rom-coms, on a blind date set up by mutual friends. Everything changed that night, including us. We’ve been learning about ourselves and each other ever since, with all of the messiness and wonder of a relationship that is worth working for. In him, I found a true partner, one who challenges, supports and holds space for me no matter how neurotic I get. He’s my best friend and my spirit animal. I may have won the lottery, but it’s love—not luck—that we are celebrating.

Now, who’s ready for wedding Pinterest boards?!

XOXO
Elizabeth

 

 

May 11, 2017

5 Healthy Ways to Make Your Salad Less Boring

I love a good salad, but we’ve all had some boring ones, especially when trying to keep it healthy—not piled high with fried chicken or tucked into a taco shell. No, I’m talking about real salads, the kind that I have a hard time getting excited for. But once you’ve mastered a well-constructed salad it can be so satisfying (and filling)! The key is the toppings, of course. Here are five healthy-ish salad additions to elevate your pile of greens:

  1. Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in minerals like magnesium and zinc. They are also a great source of omegas 3’s and of protein. Since they’re seeds, they also are safe to bring into nut free facilities.
  2. Flax Seeds. Flax seeds are one of the best sources of omega 3’s and the best source of lignans. Lignans are high in antioxidants, help to eliminate toxins and support the growth of probiotics in the gut. Flax seeds are also a great source of fiber.
  3. Olives. Olives add a fun, salty twist on a classic salad. They’re high in antioxidants, and boost glutathione, which supports the body as it detoxifies. They are a great source of healthy fats and can reduce inflammation.
  4. Beets. Beets don’t have a strong taste, if that worries you. They also bring a fun pop of color to a salad. In addition, they can help to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, are high in Vitamin C and have phytonutrients than can help fight cancer.
  5. Goat Cheese. Goat Cheese is the fanciest of cheeses on a salad. It has fewer calories than cow cheese, is high in protein and is easier to digest than traditional dairy.  
5 Healthy Wasy to Improve Your Salad: try topping with beets, pumpkin seeds, flax, olives or goat cheese for extra flavor and health benefits! | Beauty Bets
  • Elizabeth Dehn
    ABOUT ELIZABETH
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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