My grandma taught me to give to those in my life and to the welfare of others in need whenever possible, because she believes that our lives are truly measured by what we put out and how we affect the people we meet. This venerable aphorism is entrenched in my head since the first memory of sharing birthday cake with friends and family.
It is often said that we are the most fulfilled when we are responsibly proactive. But beyond the duty lies its joy. I have found that giving liberates the soul and any opportunity to give back to our community/planet is a way forward. It offers a greater perspective – one that reminds us of why we’re really here and what matters most. It’s not just about the donation itself but the great love and awareness we bring into it. It’s about something greater than ourselves. Any charitable act is a stepping stone towards change. That donation or shared time is valued more than the grandest intention and benefits everyone. Your small yet mighty impact goes a long way. And if we all devote ourselves to doing these acts of kindness, I promise you, it’s an investment no one will regret.
Today, on #GivingTuesday, please give generously to the following charities I (@goodtobegoodfoundation) support. They need your contribution and thoughtfulness to continue the significant work they’re doing for our girls and the advancement of women around the world. Learn about the different ways these female-first organizations are leading the charge, and find out how you can lend your support by following their missions.
Or find a cause here: GlobalGiving
Hydrating skin courtesy of Pai Skincare. Natural glow courtesy of True Botanicals. Clean make up by The Organic Skin Co.
Skin is always in. If your skin isn’t at its best sometimes – that’s OK too! However, there are basic steps that we can mindfully take that help improve and create healthy achievements.
Our skin, being so complex and industrious, is the largest organ on our body so it’s only fair we take good care of it. After countless experiments and long eye-twitching nights of research, I concluded this: a regimen can be made simple, guileless and efficient.
The key is consistency and daily protection.
Keeping things as ‘natural’ as possible is the catalyst to a nourishing relationship with the physical and the essence of simplicity. Like fruitful soil is to a thriving plant, what we put into/on our bodies count. I advocate reading labels thoroughly and staying away from ingredients that suck (chemicals, synthetics, unpronounceable shit) as our skin is wickedly consuming and holds everything in. The absorption rates on our scalp, underarms and face are 7-10 times higher than a lot of parts. Its extraordinary day to day functions are colossal. Unlike other vital body systems, our skin is exposed to the environment, which includes weird germs, heat and harmful substances yet provides an airtight, watertight and flexible barrier between one another.
Feeding the skin naturally by being mindful of consumption is another way we’re able take control of our habits. It all begins from the inside out so eat all the fresh, leafy greens, my friend! Hydrating is important as well – with lots of water and sorry, alcohol doesn’t do the same thing.
What we put on our skin is a crucial variable too. A guiding principle: Choose safe, sustainable products that contain fewer ingredients. This equals less chance for irritations/reactions, higher potency and a smaller, overall ecological impact. You don’t need to go nuts on trendy, luxury botanicals and ornate fillers. However, when you can, invest in good quality products that help optimize skin. Cause, hey, we’ll be wearing it for the rest of our lives.
Below are my favourite vegan, cruelty-free, natural go-to daily products that do the job like no other.
From the age of 16, film has been a major catalyst in my life for inspiring good health and wellness. I remember watching Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me documentary for the first time and my body going into shock from all of the knowledge I had acquired that evening. It wasn’t often that I came across a thought provoking movie that shifted me to rethink my food habits and question the lifestyle I was accustomed to from childbirth. After that evening, the notion of McDonalds was never going to be the same for me. Consuming meat would not be in the picture either.
From there, I made it a process to actively educate myself more through my love of research, books and of course, documentaries. Even though the wealth of information I was learning along the way practically traumatized me, consciously choosing a vegan lifestyle was the greatest decision I had ever made for myself and my soul. And it all started with simply changing my diet. And then slowly but surely, I began to develop and propagate morals for animal rights, environmental issues and human activism. And my decision to go vegan was not based on just one thing anymore – it grew to a foundation of all connecting principals that seemingly came together.
Over the past few years, the number of food and health documentaries has tremendously blown up. You now have easy access to watching a myriad of topics too – from food politics to nutrition theory shifts to diet stories. These documentaries have an effective medium to cultivate ideologies and bring awareness in a powerful way to society with the compelling magic of storytelling.
It all starts with awareness, right? So whether you’re looking for a little inspiration to clean up your lifestyle or want to discover more about the food industry and its global effects, watching these 8 food documentaries is a great way to start! All from the perspective of wellness/health, the environment and human ethics.
FORKS OVER KNIVES
HUNGRY FOR CHANGE
Organic is something that almost everyone has an opinion on these days.Eating organic isn’t a new trendy movement. In fact, it is a much older concept as your parents and grandparents probably ate more organic food before. And while everyone may not agree with me about the benefits and necessity to choose organic produce whenever possible, I know that sustaining a healthy lifestyle is something that we ALL can agree on! I’m sure if organic food was more affordable to consumers, there wouldn’t be much debate on the topic. Cause let’s face it, with today’s demand in food transparency, nobody wants to ingest pesticides, chemicals and harmful GMOs.
Essentially, nobody wants to eat crap!
Unfortunately, our governing food system makes it challenging for a lot of folks to conserve an entirely organic healthy diet without completely emptying out our wallets. It’s no surprise that organic food comes with a hefty price tag! It definitely all adds up at the end of the day which can be discouraging and off putting especially to someone who’s on a conscious budget. This is when it pays to attend your local markets on the weekends, perhaps subscribe to organic box delivering services like Mama Earth, or even select and budget which particular foods you buy organic to help save some dollars. If you can lower your exposure to pesticides and chemicals, why not?
Here are my suggested top 5 everyday foods that are worth buying organic (and if you can, local!):
If you eat an apple a day, opting for organic apples should be your first swap. Conventional apples has been ranked as the top fruit contaminated with the most pesticides and GMOs at your grocery store. The peel of the apple is 100% covered with herbicides and accumulated pesticides and you definitely don’t want to be eating that!
2) Leafy Greens
Eat your greens! But make sure you have the good kind. Conventional kale, collard greens, lettuce and especially spinach have been heavily sprayed with scary high levels of pesticides. Pesticides that even a little bit ingested can be an interference to your hormones thus can lead to many illnesses in the future. Do you really want to be eating food that contain obscene amount of chemicals which crop workers wear masks to prevent inhaling? Heck no! So if you’re an avid leafy monster like moi, this is #1 on your food list.
Sorry conventional berry lovers. But the berries you’re eating probably contain more than 10 types of those pesky insecticides. Yikes! Also, ever wonder why conventional strawberries at the store are the size of golf balls these days? You can credit GMOs for that. Organic berries are much smaller, juicier and healthier! Your best bet is to buy them local and in season too. Your smoothies will thank you.
Most corn in the world is genetically modified and engineered. Sad but true. Whether you’re skeptical or not about GMOs, there’s really no reason you should be eating crops that potentially have the DNA and genetics of another species. Corn has been tampered in labs for many years in labs and that should be logic enough for us to avoid it. Or just buy locally harvested organic corn products. I won’t make you give up popcorn or corn tacos. 🙂
5) Bell Peppers
Approx 68% of conventional bell peppers sampled and tested came back positive for pesticide contamination. They are considered one of the most pesticide laden vegetables available today. And bell peppers is a staple in a healthy eater’s pantry. They’re packed with vitamins C and A, so choosing organic peppers allows you to reap all of its nutrients without the added toxins.
Choosing organic/local is great for both your personal health and the health of our planet. After all, Mahatma Ghandi said that ultimately our health is wealth!
I’m crazy for kale! Who isn’t these days?
Kale is taking the food world by storm and almost everyone is using this hearty, healthy green in various things like salads, juices, stews and smoothies!
It’s a nutritional powerhouse and beneficial to your health in many, many ways. If vitamins can be packed and labeled, they’d very much look like kale. From a range of vitamins and nutrients such as C, B, A, iron and even protein, the benefits offered by just one cup of this relatively infamous veggie can trump a lot of other foods combined. Anti-inflammatory, packed with anti oxidants, immune building and impressively fiber and iron rich, this fighting disease leaf is a force to be reckoned with.
Kale is one of the best vegetables for your health that you should happily have everyday. But let’s face it, raw kale isn’t as easy to consume directly like spinach. Sometimes known as “crazy lettuce”, this tough leafy green needs to be tamed in order to fully enjoy its deliciousness.
In this delectable salad, the key is to massage your fibrous kale for a few minutes and let it sit marinated in lemon juice. This simple rubdown step can deliciously transform this green from being bitter and strong to becoming silky and smooth. Pair it with a kick butt lemon tahini dressing and you’ll have one heck of a nutritional and healthy dish that’ll have you forgetting about those Caesar salad days.
Massaged kale, raw
Rinsed and soaked organic chickpeas
Diced cucumbers, raw
Diced bell peppers, raw
Chopped broccoli florets
Finely minced red onions
** 1 small pouch of Natera natural hemp seeds
LEMON TAHINI DRESSING:
1 lemon, juiced (about 2-3 tbsp)
5 tbsp of organic tahini (also known as sesame paste)
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 tbsp of organic raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of water (add less or more depending on desired consistency)
Optional: 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Add dressing ingredients in a Magic Bullet or blender and mix thoroughly. Pulse well.
Toss with salad ingredients. Combine well until there is not a naked kale leaf left! Sprinkle hemp seeds/hearts and devour.