Beneficial Stretches

In the modern world where schedules are full, finding time for self-care, specifically physical activity, can be difficult. Getting out of the house for a run or workout class might be out of reach but we have rounded up a few stretches that are the beneficial for the body and can be done anywhere. Here are our favorites stretches to do in a time-crunch:

1. Forward Fold - One of the most basic, yet beneficial stretches is the forward fold. You can perform this stretch sitting or standing. We love this stretch because it’s easy to execute (just bend forward as far as you can while keeping your back straight) and it has a ton of health benefits including: relieving tension in the spine, reducing stress and anxiety, improving digestion, lowering blood pressure, easing symptoms of menopause, asthma, and can even help with sinusitis.

2. Butterfly Stretch - This stretch is done by sitting down with your knees bent, facing outward and your feet together. Grab your feet and try to push your knees down. This stretch is beneficial for stimulating the reproductive and digestive organs. It’s also great for relieving stress and tiredness.  

3. Child’s Pose - The child’s pose is done by sitting on your feet and bending forward. This is a great mid-day pose that will help digest your lunch and calm you down for the rest of the day.  

4. The Seated Forward Bend - To execute this stretch, raise your
arms above your head and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and slowly bend forward at the hips keeping your buttocks and heels connected to the ground as you bend. This stretch encourages relaxation and calms the mood. It’s also very good for digestion and stimulates organs including intestines, kidneys, liver, ovaries and uterus. This is also a great stretch for menstrual discomfort.  

5. Cat-Cow Stretch - For this stretch, you begin on all fours and As you inhale, simultaneously lift your sit bones upward, press your chest forward, and allow your belly to sink towards the floor. Lift your head, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and gaze straight ahead. Then when you exhale, you’ll go into Cat Pose by rounding your spine out, tucking your tailbone and drawing your public bone forward. Release your head to the floor but don’t force your chin to your chest. It’s one of our favorites to do after a long day because it helps with balancing emotions, calming our mood and massaging our organs. This stretch also just feels incredible on the back, hips and abdomen.

If you don't have time to get to the gym, we hope this list inspires you to start stretching. It’s such a beneficial practice offering so many health benefits and you can do it anywhere with very little time.  

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Benefits of Inversion

For most of us, the amount of time we spend with our hearts above our heads is limited, but there are so many benefits associated with inversion, we are turning our health regimens upside-down, literally.

Inversion therapy is a technique that involves being upside down or at an angle, helping relieve back pain. Many people choose to use an inversion table. There are also other devices like the inversion chair or alternate methods that can be used without equipment such as hand/headstands.

Being upside down helps rehydrate disks which prepares the body for better flexibility and realigns the spine. According to teeter.com, when inverted to 60 degrees, the pressure in the spine drops to zero, as shown in the Nachemson medical study, which takes pressure off of the vertebrae; with some gentle stretching, the vertebrae then has the opportunity to move back into alignment.

Additionally, Inversion Therapy is great for the lymphatic system. Roger Jahnke OMD writes about the Lymph system from a holistic perspective in his article The Lymph [5], describing gravity as one method of lymph propulsion:

“Because gravity exerts such a substantial force and because lymph has so far to climb to get to the thoracic duct's entry into the sub-clavian vein, any inversion of the limbs or even the prone body position allows for a free flow of lymph unencumbered by the effects of gravity. Elevation of the lower limbs is often prescribed for health problems characterized by a pooling of interstitial fluids.”

This improvement to the function of the lymphatic system also improves the overall wellbeing of the body by strengthening the immune system.

Inversion Therapy can also help detoxify the body and improve your appearance as well. Putting your feet above your head flushes fresh oxygen to the face, reducing blemishes and gives you a healthy glow. This additional rush of oxygen also helps the brain with concentration and memory. It encourages the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins, which reduces depression.

Finally, Inversions also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces feelings of relaxation and calmness as well, making for a peaceful night’s rest.

Please note that there are risks that can be associated with Inversion. Inversion increases blood pressure, decreases heart rate and puts more pressure on the eyes and ears so you should assess the risks and consult a professional with any questions/concerns. We do advise starting slow with shorter intervals so that you do not pull a muscle.

Inversion is one of the few practices that you can start right now without any additional purchases and a minimal amount of time. We hope this piece inspires you to put your feet up today - everyone can use a little inversion in their lives.

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Summer Smoothie Recipe

Summer's here and we're trying to maintain our summer bodies that we have worked hard to attain. Staying healthy stems from the inside out and one of our favorite yoga mamas Sophie Jaffe from Philosophie has it down.

We are sharing her anti-bloat summer smoothie recipe that combines bloat-fighting ingredients to create a glass of tummy-flattening goodness. Sophie has a line of superfood supplements that she adds to her smoothie recipe to give it an extra boost. Try it out and let us know how you like it!

 

Anti-Bloat Summer Smoothie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend all ingredients and enjoy frothy and cold!


 


Below are some benefits of some of the ingredients used in the smoothie:

  • Papaya: Aids with digestion, weight loss, and inflammation

  • Pineapple: Helps with digestion, inflammation, and boosts immune system

  • Kale: Filled with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory benefits, good for detox

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Father's Day Gift Guide 2017

Since Dads are probably the last people in the family to create a wishlist, buying a gift for Father’s Day can be difficult - but not to worry, we have rounded up some of our favorite gifts for every kind of dad. Our list includes offerings from small businesses, vegan companies, summer items and other dad-approved gifts.  

Here are our favorite gifts this Father's Day season:

1. Abingdom Messenger Bag from JCrew
For the dad-on-the-go, this canvas bag is great for an overnight trip or a day at the office.

2. Mid- Century Bar Cabinet 
Small from West Elm - For the designer dad, this bar by West Elm would be ideal for a small office or any room.

3. Luxe by Mahabis
For the busy dad, this this company makes vegan slippers with detachable soles that can be thrown on for brief outdoor tasks.

4. Aviator II by Randolph
For the classic dad, these USA made sunglasses with timeless design would be a solid gift.

5. Oxford in Dried Olive Stripe by Anton
For the hip father, this shirt is a timeless piece and is ideal for summer.

6. Vacation Trunks by Mollusk Surf Shop
For the beach dad, these are the comfiest and most versatile trunks.  

7. Ayita Beige by Avesu
For the leather-loving vegan dad, Avesu offers beautiful footwear that is made consciously.

8. Organic Single Hammock by Modesto 
This organic hammock is the ideal gift for the father who needs a little relaxation.

9. The Ultimate Tool by Barebones Living 
With its multiple uses, this tool is the best gift for the adventurous father.  

10. Classic Belt by Tanner Goods
If you’re unsure what to get the dad in your life, a good belt is one gift that every man will love and Tanner Goods makes really high-quality items.

Should the amazing father in your life appreciate healthy, organic skin care products try the Breathe Collection with the woodsy aroma of eucalyptus, spruce and cedar. The Lemon + Sage Deodorant is also an ultra effective alternative to conventional deodorant that men love. Have an wonderful, eco-friendly Father's Day! 

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Places to Rejuvenate and Relax in California

We are heading into summer and recommend scheduling some time to rejuvenate and relax. Here are a few places we love in California! Plan a day trip or enjoy a mini scenic vacation weekend at one of these beautiful spots.

Big Sur
Big Sur is a tourist attraction - but for a good reason: it's beautiful there! From the rugged coastline to Monterey pines there are so many things to do/see there. Even driving along Highway 1 through Big Sur would be worth it. There are hikes, beaches, and parks to visit so it's a great place for a day or weekend trip.

If you want to visit one of the State Parks, try Limekiln or Julia Pfeiffer Burns. Go on a hike and explore. If you're into waterfalls, there are many waterfall destination hikes such as Pfeiffer Falls and Limekiln Falls. 

If you want to just relax and sight-see, take a stroll along Pfeiffer Beach or visit the Point Sur lighthouse. You can also stop to admire the historic Bixby Canyone Bridge and go to the Henry Miller Memorial Library. 

When you've built up an appetite, stroll over to a restaurant that offers a scenic view like Nepenthe, which overlooks the amazing coastline.

If you plan on staying overnight, check out Post Ranch Inn, Ventanna Inn and Spa, or Treebones Resort. You can also rent out a cabin. If camping is more your thing, you can definitley rent a spot at one of the campgrounds and make it an adventure.

El Matador State Beach
Have a free day and feel like getting away? El Matador State Beach may be your answer. Located in Malibu, this beach is known for its sea caves and amazing massive rock formations. 

There's a paid small lot that you can park in or you can try to find a spot along the PCH. From the parking lot, there's a steep path that takes you down to the beach. After taking in the beautiful scene, feel free to take out your cameras as it's a photographer's dream destination - it's not uncommon to observe multiple photoshoots going on.

Make sure you visit El Matador during low tide if you want to explore the tide pools. We also recommend wearing water shoes or something more protective than sandals due to the jagged rocks.

Find an isolated area on the beach to sit back and enjoy some privacy and the sunset.

Joshua Tree

Looking for a perfect place to star-gaze? Try Joshua Tree. This desert park will provide a breathtaking view of the stars above at night. Joshua Tree is named after the distinct joshua trees found in the area. It's located in Southern California and it's characterized by its large rocks and desert landscape.

Joshua Tree is also a good place for hiking and for climbing. Hall of Horrors is a popular spot for rock climbers. Remember to take caution when hiking/climbing and stay hydrated.

We have seen and admired all the Superbloom pictures around California this Spring and Joshua Tree is no exception. If you happen to schedule a trip in the Spring, research the best spots to observe this event.

You can reserve a campground at Joshua Tree National Park, stay at a hotel, or rent an Airbnb and enjoy a memorable time with friends/family.

Napa Valley
Head to Napa Valley for a romantic getaway where couples can enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities.

Napa Valley is probably most known for being a wine destination due to its climate and environment that allows for growing wine. And there are definitely many vineyards available to tour. Most of the wineries are family-owned and operated so each place has a story that you can learn. With an abundant amount of winery tours to choose from, it can be hard to choose, but how can you go wrong?! There are some wine and art pairings available also.

If you can't make up your mind, there is a Napa Valley Wine Train that you can take. It's a bit pricey, but it deals with all the planning for you.

Explore the beautiful outdoors in Napa Valley. You can enjoy go on a bike tour or just grab a chair and soak in the view of the picturesque landscape. It's such a leisurely and quiet place that you are able to forget your phone for a while and unwind. There are also hikes around the area and if you're up for it, you can also book a hot air balloon ride and soar over the valley.

With the busy lives that we live, we can forget to take the time to slow down and enjoy the moment. An easy remedy is to travel to a peaceful destination that allows us to take a deep breathe and appreciate our surroundings.
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Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen

Here in sunny California, the sun is usually out and shining. Even on cloudy and cold days, UV rays can penetrate the skin so we should always take precaution and protect ourselves from the harmful rays. Too much sun exposure can cause premature skin aging, sunburn, and even cancer and using sunscreen can help in preventing these effects.

There are two types of sunscreens on the market, mineral and chemical. Mineral or physical sunscreen works by blocking the sun out and deflects, while the chemical counterpart turns the sun into heat and absorbs. Both types will assist in sun-protection but it’s important to read the ingredients to make sure your sunscreen doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.  

Mineral sunscreens use mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. This type of sunscreen is usually healthier for the body and does a better job and keeping the sun out of the skin. One of the biggest issues with mineral sunscreen is that it doesn’t break down as easily as chemical sunscreen and can result in the sunscreen being streaky, but that is the product doing its job. It stays on thicker to offer better protection for you skin. 

Chemical Sunscreens also work to protect against the sun but if they contain oxybenzone, stay away! This chemical is known to be hazardous because of skin penetration, hormone disruption, and allergy problems. Additionally, chemical sunscreens can cause an increase in dark spots on your skin, are also more likely to irritate sensitive skin, and can increase the chance of redness for rosacea-prone skin types.  

There is a huge debate about what sunscreen is better for your body but we think natural is always the choice to make, and organic is even better. If you’re still looking for an organic skin screen for your family, we would love for you to try the sunscreen we make at Erbaviva. It’s a natural and mineral based product that is gentle enough for babies and strong enough for adults.

Remember to apply generously 15 - 30 minutes before going out so that the sunscreen can absorb into your skin. Sunscreen should be stored in a cool, dry place and do not use sunscreen that is expired as it can become unstable and will not offer any sun protection. Sunscreen should also be reapplied if you'll be in the sun for several hours and especially if you are exposed to water.

If you do happen to get sunburned, aloe vera helps to cool and soothe the skin. Another remedy is using essential oils. You can mix essential oils like lavender with water and spritz on the skin or apply with a cloth for skin relief. Using body oil instead of moisturizer also keeps the skin extra moisturized so it can heal more quickly.

You should make it a habit of applying sunscreen daily and not only on a beach or hike day. If you have kids, make sure you get them started early on applying sunscreen as they will benefit from it as they get older.

 

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10 Ways To Go Zero-Waste

Today, most products are created with convenience in mind and we are slowly replacing well-made products that last with single-use plastic.  In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, we have made a list of ways that you can be zero-waste right now! Here are some easy swaps you can implement to make your home more eco-friendly.

1. Ditch paper towels and replace with 100 percent cotton towels

Not only are cotton towels more effective at cleaning, but you will save money in the long-run. Keep a good stack of cotton towels around for cleaning, using as napkins, and whatever else you may need them for.

Make sure to store enough cotton towels; grabbing a cotton cloth has to be as easy and mindless as grabbing a paper towel. You don't want to worry about not having enough. It also has to be just as easy to toss the cotton towel. So have a basket to put the dirty towels in after. If there is no system set, you will probably revert back to using paper towels.

2. Get a reusable water bottle and fill it daily

Instead of buying plastic bottles of water, invest in a reusable bottle. You can also purchase a water filter if needed to refill it at home if you can't use tap water. Reusable bottles can be used at home, the gym, and at work. 

3. Use Wool Dryer balls instead of disposable dryer sheets

What are wool dryer balls? They are literally wool balls that you put in the dryer that separate items from each other in the dryer, letting air circulate more efficiently, therefore helping your laundry dry faster. They also fluff and soften your load while reducing static. Each ball can be used for hundreds of loads, unlike dryer sheets. 

The more balls you have in the dryer, the less time it will take to dry your load. So it's also an energy saver! You can purchase wool dryer balls or you can look up DIY wool dryer balls and make your own from wool yarn.

Another plus of using wool dryer balls is that you won't be exposed to any toxic chemicals that may come from fabric softener and dryer sheets. And if you would like to add a fresh scent to your laundry, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the wool balls.

4. Try using soap nuts for cleansing instead of store-bought detergent

Instead of using detergent from the store, why not try a natural soap that comes from a fruit called a soap nut?! Soap nuts are the dried husks of the soapberry. The shell contains saponin, which is a natural surfactant that does the cleaning.

It is a non-toxic sustainable option to replace anything that you may need detergent or soap for. You can put them in a muslin bag and toss them in the washer with your load or use it to make an all-purpose cleaner for the house. 

It's great for those with sensitive skin and has been used for centuries around the world. Each berry can be used multiple times and because it's a fruit and not a nut, it's safe to use for those with nut allergies.

5. Keep reusable market bags in your car and actually use them

Stores are beginning to stop carrying plastic bags, but we should all try to bring in our own reusable bags to help save trees and pollution that comes from producing paper and plastic bags.

The one big problem about reusable bags is that sometimes we forget to bring them! We would recommend to have enough available and to store the bags in your car. It's easy to forget to grab bags on the way out so if they're already in the car, you won't have to worry about them. Once you unload the groceries, put the bags back in your car. If you prefer to store them in the house, have a spot for the bags so that you can easily remember to grab them and go.

6. Invest in glass left-over containers

It's much safer to store hot food and microwave in glass than plastic because of the toxic chemicals in plastic. It's also more cost effective because plastic containers will absorb food smell and germs and you will end up replacing them. In the end, glass is safer for you and the environment.

7. Purchase cotton bulk-bin bags and buy dried goods in bulk

Buy reusable bulk food bags and buy dried foods like nuts and grains in bulk. Make sure you have an airtight container to store the dried goods in after. You can also purchase reusable produce bags for your fruits and vegetables.

8. Buy toilet paper that is individually wrapped in paper, not plastic

Self-explanatory, choose toilet paper wrapped in paper and not plastic. There is also an option for 100% recycled toilet paper made from recycled paper.

9. Skip using a straw at a restaurant

Another step towards keeping plastic out of landfills is to not use straws at a restaurant. Say no to a straw or don't use it if it's placed on the table. It's one step closer at a more sustainable world.

10. Use cloth handkerchiefs instead of tissue

Keep handkerchiefs around the house to instead of tissues. Use handkerchiefs to wipe off stubborn eye makeup or wipe a nose. You can also carry some handkerchiefs around in case you need them throughout the day. 

If you are sick, it may be better to use recycled tissue and dispose of it, as you don't want to be carrying around an infected hanky.

If you start implementing even one of these tips, it will help reduce the carbon footprint that you leave. We challenge you to make as many of these changes as you can because not only will it save you money but you can feel better knowing that you're helping the environment and can be avoiding toxins that you may be exposing yourself to. Leave us any comments below on your progress or any other tips that you may have to go zero-waste. Happy Earth Week!

 

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Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil is a staple within the wellness community and morning oil pulling has become one of the latest age-old practices to resurface.  Although it’s difficult to introduce a new morning regimen,  after learning about the benefits that oil pulling offers, there was no question it would be the next step on our wellness path.  

What is coconut oil pulling?

The name oil "pulling" can be misleading as the process involves "swishing" coconut oil in your mouth for a period of time. It's basically like using a mouthwash. Oil pulling is one of the best things that you can do to clean teeth and gums and improve oral health. The oil is said to cut through plaque and remove toxins without harming the teeth or gums.

Benefits

It has been shown to cure tooth decay, help with bad breath, whiten teeth naturally, prevent cavities, strengthen your jaw and improve your gums. Good dental hygiene is correlated to good health so oil pulling also offers a wide range of benefits for the rest of your body including helping prevent heart disease, reducing inflammation, boosting your immune system, helping balance hormones, killing candida, balancing blood sugar, burning fat and improving digestion.  

Oil pulling is also great for your appearance and has been shown to reduce cellulite, decrease wrinkles, moisturize skin, and help with acne.  Oil pulling is one of those holistic health tricks that you can’t believe you’ve never tried because it’s such a game changer and is so easy to execute.  

How to oil pull:

  • Oil pull before you drink anything, first thing in the morning.
  • Gently swish 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10-20 minutes.  Try not to swallow.
  • Spit out the oil in the trash (coconut oil solidifies at a certain temperature and may clog pipes) and immediately rinse your mouth out with warm water (use salt water for added antimicrobial properties).
  • Brush you teeth afterward to remove any remaining bacteria.

Want to step up the healing properties of your pulling?

Add some essential oils!

  • For everyday use: add 2 drops of orange, lemon or peppermint with 2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • When battling an infection or sickness: Change it up a bit and mix clove oil or cinnamon oil as a homeopathic remedy.

If you don't want to spend 10 - 20  minutes everyday swishing oil, try doing it every other day. If you have tried coconut oil pulling, feel free to comment below about your experience!

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5 Ways New Parents Can Stay Rested!

Sleep is an essential part of daily life. It affects both your physical and mental health, helping your body and brain function properly. It affects mood, attention span, hormone balance and the immune system.

Saying that new parents can struggle with getting enough sleep is an understatement. Parents have strategized for centuries on how to get restful nights after baby comes home. Of course, there will always be bumps in the road but here are a few tried and tested tips that can help new parents stay rested and ready for each day.

Get on a Schedule

Try to focus on establishing a regular schedule of feeding, playing and sleeping as soon as possible. Even if the schedule is less than precise at first, soon a pattern will arise. This pattern also helps parents identify possible nap times that can align with baby’s newly formed schedule. Don't try to be too productive when baby naps! Consider sleep a priority over some other household chores that can wait until later. 

Enlist Help

Have a partner or friend help with nighttime or pre-nap feedings. As the African proverb says: "It takes a village to raise a child." Taking turns with feedings or rotating nighttime feeding duty gives enough relief to keep parents feeling a bit more refreshed. You are also sharing bonding time with others which is good for baby and the loving people in your life. 

Create a Nighttime Ritual

Develop a routine that can help signal your body and baby's for bed. We have heard some parents follow the three B's to prepare for bed: bath, book and bottle.

Taking a warm bath can help soothe baby, letting him/her know that bed is nearing. Try using bath products with calming scents; you can also add essential oils to the bath. Lavender, chamomile and bergamot are some aromas that are known to help induce sleep. Remember to use essential oils a few drops at a time and dilute with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba before adding to bath. 

Reading a story or talking to baby may help lull baby to sleep and is also beneficial in helping baby to start recognizing words and find comfort in a parent's voice.

Have a bottle ready/get yourself in position for feeding when bedtime nears. You want to be as comfortable as you can when you are nursing, so make use of pillows and comfy ottomans. Using a rocker can help rock baby to sleep and make it easier for you. Have your book, iPad, or other recreational item by your side along with water and snacks! 

Developing a nighttime routine will make baby feel secure and signal him/her to drift off.

Set a Restful Tone

Create a soothing space for you and baby to relax into. Even newborns can pick up on the energy in a room. Dim the lights, warm up the room, turn on a lullaby or use white noise. Again, you can use aromatherapy by putting a diffuser in the room. Make the environment as cozy as possible for a good rest.

Water and Sunshine 

Part of getting on a regular schedule is creating space for self care. Head outside to get some sunshine when baby wakes up in the early morning. After a brisk walk and some stimulation, baby might just be ready for a nap. Also remember to stay hydrated; it's just as important as getting sleep. Drinking fluids help flush toxins out of the body and is vital in keeping the body and internal systems functioning properly. To take care of baby, you have to also take care of self.

It's going to take time getting used to a new schedule and a new baby in the family, but you'll create so many amazing memories, the sleepless nights will soon be forgotten. You can experiment with these and other techniques until you find a routine that works for you and baby. Hopefully then you'll be able to get more shut eye and keep yourself healthy. 

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Spas We Love - G2O Spa + Salon

Lobby

We've partnered with another amazing spa, this one located on the East coast. If you're in Boston, you can unwind at G2O Spa + Salon. It originally opened in 1994 as Giuliano Spa for Beauty & Wellness and has undergone several expansions to bring us what is now Boston’s award-winning day spa resort for men, women and couples.

Completely "Green"

The facility is completely “green,” created and constructed within strict guidelines pertaining to sustainability. There’s a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses no fossil fuel, involves no combustion and therefore eliminates CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Down to the paints, adhesives and glues used in the construction, which were specifically selected for their lack of toxins, to the lights, which were chosen for their low energy consumption, the building was put together with the environment in mind.

Brine Inhalation Room

New Generation of Salon Services and Amenities

In addition to innovative spa services ranging from Brine Inhalation Therapy to the Bali Paradise Experience, G2O encompasses a new generation of salon services and amenities such as state-of-the-art sunless tanning, a penthouse lounge and terrace, a Skylight Hot Tub (pictured above), a full retail shop and more. Salon services include haircuts, highlighting, color technology, hair repair Keratin treatments and bridal styling, as well as manicures, pedicures, and make-up application. This spa has it all!

Treatments

Take a trip to G2O’s exclusive Experience Room that combines herbal infused steam with a refreshing ice fog and tropical shower. Their signature body treatment starts with a self-application of hydrating, fruit extract crème, and an herbal salt exfoliation during a therapeutic steam treatment, great for the mind, body and spirit. You can enjoy this in solitude or with friends (40 min $75/person, $65/person for 2 – 8 people).

Mission

If you want to pamper yourself from head to toe, walk in to G2O where Founder and CEO Joyce Hampers carries out her mission of improving and making a difference in the lives of every guest who walks through the spa’s doors with cutting-edge products and techniques and world-class service in a comfortable, nurturing environment. G2O also encourages and welcomes groups looking for a spa day, including bridal parties and couples spa retreats.

Browse their services at: www.g2ospasalon.com

 

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Eucalyptus: Your Rainy Weather Companion

If you have been following the weather in Los Angeles, you know that we have had an unusually wet winter, creating the need for additional wellness support. With excess rain comes colder weather which may cause some to experience aches, congestion and a decline in motivation. To combat this uptick in water weather, we are turning to one of the most versatile botanicals in our arsenal, our good friend Eucalyptus.

Topical Treatment

Eucalyptus is known to invigorate and stimulate your body and can help reduce respiratory problems. It’s a natural decongestant which is why you’ll find Eucalyptus in most store-bought vapor rub products. Eucalyptus is a staple ingredient in our Breathe Collection and Sniffles Chest Balm.

Eucalyptus is also known to help with pain and inflammation. Do you have any relatives that claim the wet weather causes aches? ​Our Breathe Body Oil might be the answer they are looking for. You can rub it anywhere on the body and it will also leave your body feeling super moisturized.

You can also create your own eucalyptus oil blend by adding a few drops of essential oils to a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated on their own and should be diluted when applied to the skin. A little goes a long way!

Herbal Tea

Eucalyptus is said to be ​antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory, making it a go-to for any health ailment you’ll meet this season and something we have on-hand all year long.

In addition to using eucalyptus in topical treatments, you can use eucalyptus leaves to make tea if you're under the weather or just to reap its benefits.

You can purchase dry organic eucalyptus leaves at the market and steep 1 cup of boiling water with 1/2 teaspoon of dried leaves for 10 minutes. Then just strain and enjoy! If you like your tea sweeter, you can add honey to flavor.

Aromatherapy

Eucalyptus is also a powerhouse when used in aromatherapy and offers motivational mood shifts. When inhaled, its cooling and uplifting aroma helps dispel the things that are weighing us down, and inspires us to forge ahead.

We know when it rains, it can often be easier to stay cuddled in bed than to get up and face the day and eucalyptus can be used to pep us up. In addition to using the essential oil topically, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a warm bath and breathe deeply or add to a diffuser to spruce up the room!

Keep Bugs at Bay 

Lastly, now that we have had all of this rain, we have water puddles that can attract mosquitos! Eucalyptus is one of the most common ingredients in natural bug sprays. We want to keep ourselves and our kiddos healthy and our buzz spray works to fend off these pesky bugs without toxic chemicals that can be damaging to our health. Putting eucalyptus in a diffuser as mentioned above will also help keep bugs at bay!

To make your own pest spray, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to water in a spray bottle, shake well, and spritz away! You can also use it in the garden to keep insects away from your plants. 

The health-benefits of Eucalyptus are well-known and have been especially useful during this wet winter in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a few products with Eucalyptus that will help with healing this season and beyond, we encourage you to browse our site and get familiar with the selection of organic products that we offer.

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Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes | Vegan and Gluten-Free



Love is in the air and if you want to make a treat for your Valentine or friends, try this recipe out. It'll be a surprise when you mention that they're gluten-free and vegan! If you're baking them for a Valentine, it'll be a sweet way to say, I care. 

INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES

  • 1 ¼ cups almond or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegan margarine or shortening
  • ¾ cup organic cane sugar

FROSTING

  • ½ cup vegan margarine or shortening
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar


DIRECTIONS:

CUPCAKES

Preheat over to 350 ° F and line cupcake pan with paper liners.

Whisk together soy or almond milk and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Beat until frothy. Whisk in vanilla and lemon zest.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.

Combine margarine or shortening with sugar and beat on medium-low speed for about a minute. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated, then half of the milk mixture and beat until smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and milk mixture.

Spoon batter into the liners about ¾ full. Bake for 20 – 24 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool on cooling rack before frosting.

FROSTING

Add lemon juice and mix until incorporated. Add confectioners’ sugar a cup at a time and beat on medium speed until frosting is thick and smooth, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Frost the cupcakes!

Servings: 12

 

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