Back To Basics

As I may have mentioned in passing, I am making an honest effort to improve my life on multiple levels. I’m trying to, essentially, get back to basics, be myself and have as little of what I like to call “muck” in my life as possible.

I define “muck” as anything in my life that is not generally beneficial or neutral. It can refer to people, places, products, food, or really anything that can be termed “toxic” to my mental and physical health.

I have already begun to distance myself from people who fit that description. I’ve been trying my hardest (I swear) to eat more fruits, vegetables and natural foods that haven’t been processed, fried or tampered with in any way (so long Rainbow Delights Mac and Cheese Wedges!). I’ve been staying away from mayonnaise, creamy salad dressing, soda, sweetened iced tea and increasing my water in take.

It hasn’t been easy, I assure you, and I still slip up, but for my own benefit and perhaps for your benefit I am going to include a list of all the COOL organic/natural things I’ve found lately that have been helping me work on the physical aspect of my “de-mucking.” Enjoy, and I apologize for my recent obsession with lists.

1. Make-up is terrible for your skin. It is. While I’ve never had a severe acne problem, my face did break-out with one or two zits more often than not. Tea Tree Oil face wash from the Body Shop has completely cleared up my face and kept it moisturized (they also have lotion and body scrub). Also, the only make-up I’ve been using is Body Shop eyeliner and mascara, as well as face powder and eyeshadow from Physicians Formula. Both brands are all-natural and don’t feel sticky or heavy on my face (especially in the summer humidity) and they last a really long time, plus, no zits! If your lips are feeling dry, try Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Superfruit Lip Gloss. It rocks.

2. Carrot sticks and cucumbers. Crunchy and filling these both also help keep you hydrated. Plus, cucumbers are considered “free foods” because they have less than 1 calorie per serving. So eat ‘em up!

3. Hemp. It’s expensive and I would use it all the time if I could afford it, but anything from shampoo, to lotion, to lip balm, to soap keeps your body moisturized and dead-skin-flake-free. Pantene Pro V has a nice natural shampoo that’s a good hemp knock off and the Body Shop has hemp products reasonably priced.

4. WATER. It clears your skin, it helps you eat less, it detoxes your system. Water is glorious.

5. Green Tea. A healthier source of Caffeine than coffee, filled with anti-oxidants that reduce swelling, clears your skin, increases your metabolism and soothes bodily aches and pains.

6. Music. This is going to sound all hippie-dippy and weird (Sorry! Can’t help it! I’m a product of my upbringing) but every night after I’m done showering and reading, I put on music, whatever I’m feeling that day, and I lay down and just…do nothing. I don’t think, I just focus on the rhythm of my breathing like the psychologist at school told me to do with panic attacks. I find I drift off to sleep faster this way.

7. Kashi. I used to make fun of my friend Emily relentlessly for eating Kashi, which I called “bird food,” but it really does taste good (most of it…stay away from some of the more “hearty” looking granola bars and all the frozen meals except the pizza) and it’s excellent for you.

8. Friends. I was so cranky for the first few weeks when I got home because I didn’t DO anything except work. Now I allow myself to make time and go hang out with my friends at least once or twice a week and I’m much happier.

9. Whole grains NOT multi-grains. Whole grains means you’re getting healthy, unprocessed grains. Mutli-grain means your getting multiple kinds of grain that are still processed. No bueno.

10. Inspiration. Find something that will make you want to be a better person and remind yourself of it daily. It doesn’t matter what it is. Mine? I want to look like her (Lady Gaga).

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