The Holistic Chick Online

Heathy and Holistic Inside and Out…Don't Drink Coffee While Riding an Elliptical.

My Posture Sucks.

Bad posture

Bad posture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a huncher. No matter how much I try to keep my back pressed up against the , back of my chair, I eventually find myself practically laying on my computer keyboard with my nose pressed against my monitor.  Even worse, it’s totally an unconscious thing.  I have no idea I am leaning forward until I stop and completely redirect my mind to what my body is doing.

Earlier today, I was typing a Google search entry and I realized I was nearly laying the upper part of my body on the desk.  Horrified at myself, I straightened up and heard a cracking sound in my neck as I did so.  No pain, but it’s not a sound you want coming from any part of your body.

So, like any savvy blogger, I hit the web to see what I could find on ergonomics and improving my posture, not only for sitting but for standing and walking as well.  From what I can tell so far, I am so out of alignment my knuckles might as well be dragging on the floor.  The amount of information I found was staggering and inconsistent: sit up straight, do NOT sit up straight, walk carrying weights (also known as the Farmers Walk), do not carry anything heavy.  Sit with your feet beneath your hips, pretend there’s a string attached to your head from the ceiling, do a body check every five minutes to see where you are in your posture.  Use wrist rests when typing.  Don’t forget all of the products that you can purchase to help you with your, including someone to massage you if you’re stiff.

First of all, the massage sounds good.  My shoulders bear the weight of all my stress and they are hard as rocks, to the point where I don’t like them being touched, even a simple tap can hurt.  I’ve been massaged before, and it’s not a big thrill for me because I have a difficult time with being touched.  Same reason why I’ve never had a pedicure.  The thought of someone touching my feet frankly freaks me out but that’s a post for another day.

Anyway…I came across a website about sucking in your gut, and how it’s actually beneficial.  It doesn’t solve all problems, but it helps strengthen lower back muscles as well as your core.  The best website I found for information was here.  Yes, it’s a blog about the raw food diet, which is not a turn off for me, I have actually found quite a bit of useful information.

So first things first, I am going to work on strengthening my core.  Then maybe my lower back won’t ache when I walk or sometimes, even stand.  Sadly, I am parked in front of a computer over 40 hours a week at my jobby-job, and I have got to do something before I turn into a mushroom.

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EPIC FAIL: Breakfast

English: american breakfast

Image via Wikipedia

Eating breakfast has never been a popular thing for me.  Yes, I know it’s good for me, I’ve read all of the benefits of eating breakfast and the bad things when you don’t.  Heck, even my Nurse Practitioner tells me I should eat breakfast.  Might as well admit it, every doctor I have had has been trying to get me to eat breakfast.

When I was in my 20’s I worked in demanding jobs and I would either not eat or grab something so I could continue moving.  Back then I could handle it (or so I thought) but then I was told I wasn’t getting enough nutrients and my body was in a constant starvation mode, so whatever I ate my body kept because it never knew when it was getting more fuel again.  Did I learn? No, not yet, not 20 years later.  Now, if I don’t eat I start feeling really ill, but I can still push myself to not eat until the afternoon.

Granted, in real life I work swing shift at my jobby-job, so I don’t start work until 230 in the afternoon three days out of the week.  I am generally out of bed around 10 or so, plenty of time to hop online and whatnot before I have to get ready for work.  Even with a couple of hours at my disposal I still don’t eat.

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Image via Wikipedia

Why?

The thought of anything other than coffee first thing out of bed makes me nauseous.  Sadly, I can consume coffee like no tomorrow, until my stomach starts to complain and I start getting that ill feeling from not eating.  Two weeks ago, I completely overdosed on caffeine, so I started drinking half decaf.  Then a week ago I started off my week telling myself that I would make a real effort to eat breakfast, instead of starving myself until 4 in the afternoon when I took my first break at work and could run to Starbucks for a bagel with cream cheese.

I didn’t go nuts on the breakfast.  I did oatmeal with raisins, which I do love.  I ate it.  I wasn’t thrilled, but I ate it.  I didn’t feel great while I was eating it but it did make a difference as the day went on.  After the first day, I figured I could get used to eating in the mornings.  So I had more oatmeal with raisins the second day.  It was easier getting down than the first day, and I did feel decent as the day went on, again.

Alas, that was it.  I lasted two days.  I didn’t eat breakfast for the rest of the week.  EPIC FAIL.  I will try again Monday.

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Massive Make-Up Kit FAIL

Today I found a huge purple case in the bathroom containing cosmetics from one of the big make-up stores (I am going to assume it belongs to the 15 year old) .  It was pretty awesome:  tons of eyeshadows, lipsticks, glosses, blushers, bronzers, eye pencils and all of the brushes you could want.

Hanging from the handle was the tag, which contained several “pages” of the ingredients of all the products included.  This was no healthy brand of cosmetics, the ingredients were shocking as well as completely toxic.  The first ingredient in all of the eyeshadows and powders was talc, which makes me run away screaming.  Add in the parabens, SLS, acetates, polymers…yeah, just a chemical slew of pretty colors.  That’s not the reason why I am here mentioning this make-up kit, thought.

What shocked me was this warning, listed in bold black letter after the ingredients for the blush and the bronzer:  DO NOT PUT ON LIPS.

Doesn’t say why, it just says it.  So here’s my question:  so if its safe for your face but not on your lips, why put it on your face?

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Owens Acres Holiday Line Up

Laura is way ahead of me, and has sent me an email with her Holiday Line Up.  Her website has been updated (check it out, she’s completely redone the entire layout) with all of the newest goodies.

Now I REALLY want soup.

Here’s the goodies:

New!  Organic Bean Soup Blends
New!  Poet Teas (4 new teas, gifts, and accessories named for famous poets)
New!  Gifts of Tea
New!  Products for Men
New!  Handstamped party favor and gift tags
New!  Travel Products (FAA approved sizes!)
New!  Herbal Teas
New!  Tea Balls with Charms (one of our hottest items paired with our herbal teas!)
New!  Goddess Butters
New!  Shabby Lavender Sachets (these are already flying out the door!)

Always popular as holiday gifts:

  • Lavender sachets, eye pillows, and gifts
  • Herbal Teas
  • Healing Salves
  • Home Spa Products
  • Handcrafted Artisan Soaps (new patterns)
  • Natural Solid & Roll On Perfumes
  • Gifts Under $10 & $20
  • Green Home Products
  • Natural products for pets

Don’t forget, my readers have their own discount code:  HOLISTIC.

Every year I give Owens Acres as gifts to friends and family (who doesn’t love one stop shopping without leaving the house) and get the most amazing compliments when the thank you notes come about.

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Sick? Maybe…

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower 2

Hibiscus Flower

Spent time today with my fellow blogger and friend, naturalbeautyvixen for a lovely several hours of carbs and caffeine.  On my drive home I started feel that ‘great, getting a cold feeling’ and by the time I got home I went straight to bed.

Now, I am drinking strong peppermint and hibiscus tea (thank you, Owens Acres) and dosing myself with Vitamin C capsules (with Rose Hips).  I have a box of Emergen-C Immune Defense Formula, which also contains hibiscus extract, but the stuff tastes absolutely hideous.  If I have to…

There’s no one to blame for this but myself.  Horrible stress, mixed with me not taking care of myself brought me to this place.   I admit, I wasn’t sleeping,  wasn’t eating right, wasn’t taking my vitamins, and now I am totally useless.  Well, that’s being dramatic.  I am not too far gone but I feel I am teetering on the edge.

What’s sad and funny about this situation is that I am not ignorant in how I need to take care of myself.  In theory is one thing, in practice is another.

Yeah.

Being unable to take standard OTC cold remedies (yet I long for the days I was able to swill Nyquil and call it a night) I have alternate ways to deal with a cold.  Tea.  Organic cough and cold salves.  Cough drops.  When it gets real bad, Advil for fever and Benadryl for the runny nose.  Hey, you have to do what you have do.  Sometimes staying home isn’t a luxury. Life does go on.

So, lesson learned.  I need to take care of myself better, lest I find myself in the situation I am in now:  blogging while listening to New Order.  When I started this post I was listening to The Smiths. *blushes*

Time for more tea…

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Real Life Can Get In the Way

Autumn colors in Lappeenranta, Finland

Image via Wikipedia

Whoa, its been a while since I have been here.  Real Life has been kicking lately, with job, family, and everything else that has been thrown my way.  The seasons are changing, kids are back in school, the nights are cooler…you name it.  Its happening.

No matter how peaceful I try to be, there’s always STUFF to contend with.  I find it difficult to relax, no matter how many self help books I read.  Take deep breaths.  Fix your posture.  Eat only certain things.  It gets to the point where we are living an extension of ourselves instead of our true selves, because everyone else has the answers for us.

Sometimes I just need to be.   I have to control what comes  into my body, and I don’t mean just food, I mean news, social media, all that.  I can only take so much electronic onslaught before I lose my mind.  Sure, I can spend time on the computer, but I can control what I see or don’t want to see, for the sake of my sanity.

I hope Fall  slows things down a tad.  I would like to be able to stop and breathe on my own again.

 

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Scents.

Rose Geranium.

Rose Geranium

This post is rather indulgent on my part, since I am going to talk about my favorite and least favorite scents.  I am working on my second cup of coffee this morning, and after staring at the Badger Balm Soap Page on their website, my mind started mulling over the scents I like and dislike.

*slurps coffee*  So lets begin.

Lavender:  Hands down personal favorite.  If a product has Lavender EO, that’s almost an instant sell for me.  That being said, fake lavender scents just offend my nose.  One of the first natural products I ever purchased was a Lavender Lip Balm and I was hooked.  Lavender EO roll ons for stress and headaches is another product that gets me giddy.  My first one was from a company up in Washington State.  I purchased it a couple of years ago and loved it.  After trying to remember who the company was, I remembered:  Island Thyme Botanical Body Care and Artisan Soaps up in Orcas Island, WA.  I was completely and totally hooked with the idea of smearing lavender (and peppermint) all over my face.  From there I found Lil’s Lavender and discovered their awesome smelling lavender lotion.  They also have an amazing Lavender peppermint headache roll on.

I have to laugh at myself, here.  Back in the day I spent hours on-line trying to find local, lavender products.  My how times have changed.  I would still recommend both companies, and that Lil’s Lavender lotion is amazing.

Rose Geranium: for a soap this is my favorite.

Lavender Rose:  Kettle Care has an amazing fragrance oil I purchased several years ago and I still have a bit left.  Its packaged in an amber-colored bottle and still smells amazing.  (Side Note:  Their Joint Ease Lotion with Arnica is the absolute amazing product.  I have arthritis in my neck and this stuff eases the sickening pain I get).

Another side note:  Kettle Care was my first experience with a home based industry and the amazing, healthy products that comes from such an industry.  I have been hooked every since.

Peppermint:  I have a love-hate relationship with Peppermint EO.  I love how much it clears my head from headaches or sinus pressure, how peppermint tea makes my stomach feel better, but other than that, I am not a fan.  Its sad, because I have two huge containers of Heather’s Tummy Care Peppermint Tea for when the IBS starts.  I cannot stand peppermint tea, having drank way too much of it over the course of my life, but it works.  I deal with peppermint because it works.  Owens Acres Headache Balm (thanks, Laura!) is the best for my sinus and regular headaches (feels great on the back of my neck) and I use it all the time but still, peppermint.  *sigh*

That being said, I simply cannot stand lip products with Peppermint OR Vanilla.  OK, so I have a weakness for Owens Acres Peppermint Lip Balm but its super strong, strong enough to clear my nose; but a “flavoring” of Peppermint in a lip stick or a lip gloss usually makes me hit the “back” button on my browser.  I once found an amazing lip color.  I mean, amazing!  I had to have it, the color was the color, if you know what I mean.  I checked out the ingredients, realized it was flavored with a peppermint-vanilla “blend”, and moved on to something else.  Seriously, folks.  Can’t stand it.  I still have dreams of that lipstick color.

One more, and then I will stop.  I have an aversion to body products that smell like baked goods.  Chocolate cake soap?  Sugar Cookie scrub?  I just…no.

So there you have it.  My likes and dislikes.  I realize I am picky and maybe a bit shallow in my choices, but hey.  I’m set in my ways, and I can thank Mom for that.  So tell me, what scents do you like/dislike?

*slurps coffee*

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This is What Happens When I Blog After Work

2010 05 22 - 6724 - Jim Thorpe - Fruit Smoothie

Smoothie!

What makes me healthy isn’t going to necessarily make everyone else healthy. If I have my friends homemade soy fruit smoothie with added protein powder I feel like a million dollars.  It doesn’t mean that works for everyone.  Not everyone drinks soy.  Soy, to me, is an acquired taste, but since I have been drinking soy for as long as I can remember, it doesn’t bother me.  Especially now that I know what milk does to my body.

Its not a good thing. *shudders*

One of my biggest reason for having this blog is to show how we can take charge of our own health, by educating and making aware of what’s out there.  I learn from reading and trying things…no one could have EVER told me a gluten free foundation was going to save my life.  Nor that drinking tea on a regular basis would make me feel better, or that stretching would get my body to loosen up.

I don’t sit here and preach that I know it all.  I don’t.  I also don’t sit here and pretend I am a perfect weight, for I am not.  I just found out how to listen to my own body, my entire body.  Health isn’t just what you put in your body, there’s also you mind, your heart, the entire being.  One thing effects another.

Its a journey, for sure.  So far, I feel better, but that’s not the biggest reward.  The reward comes from educating.  That puts a smile on my face.  I consider myself blessed because there are others out there like me who want to grow old in the most fabulous way.  I don’t want to be a statistic that ends up part of an article on CNN.  How’s that for motivation?

So to my readers:  enjoy and live.  Have a big cup of tea, or a delicious smoothie, or heck, even a cup of coffee.  Wow, that sounds really good right now, even at almost 1 AM.

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Owens Acres Herbal Teas for Travel…and Work?

Owens Acres Headache Travel Tea TinEach day I work I spend 2 hours and 80 miles in my car.  Sometimes, when I get to work my nerves or gone, or almost gone.  Not complaining at all, I chose to live so far away from the city, but still the traffic, other drivers, road conditions, weather, tend to make me less cheery than usual.

I drink Owens Acres tea on a regular basis, going so far as to keep a Zip Loc Baggie of tea with a few of her self fill tea bags in my purse for therapeutic purposes while I am sitting at my desk conversing with humanity.  Now with this absolutely adorable little tins, and teas for specific ailments, no more baggies for me.

Owens Acres Jet Lag Travel Tea

There’s five of these wonderful, caffeine free teas.  Headache Tea, Serenity Tea, Jet Lag, Upset Stomach, Headache, and Sweet Dreams (I wouldn’t recommend Sweet Dreams while at work, seriously you’ll be beneath your desk snoozing) all in round, screw-top 2 ounce tins at $3.95 each.

I get those “work” headaches, you know,”those” headaches.  My usual relief is a quick trip to the local Starbucks for a caffeine infusion (if I have the time, I will ask for a Gold Coast pour-over) but if I find my break is no where in sight I will run into the kitchen for a quick cup of hot water.

Owens Acres Upset Stomach Travel Tea

IfI get stressed out my stomach gets horribly upset, and in that case coffee is the last thing on my mind.  The job I do is stressful as well as relentless at times, and anythianything that works to keep the calm is welcome.  I am thinking the same with travel, after dealing with airports, planes, checking in, hotels, humanity…yeah, sometimes you just need to give yourself a break.  For those of us who don’t travel, we need breaks as well.

All five types of tea are available together for $19 and they will throw in a charmed tea ball, you get to pick the tea ball you would like out of many.

Owens Acres Strawberry Tea Ball Charm

 

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Juni by Xango Gentle Body Bar

Juni by Xango Products

I know I’ve already done a review on the bottled Juni by Xango products, when I did so I had yet to use the Gentle Body Bar.  Due to trying to get out of the house on time yesterday, I used my Juni Bar.

Monday.  That word alone should bring about nods of understanding from my readers.  Trying to get out of the house on time, two hours of sleep the night before, find time to eat, take allergy meds, make a lunch…yeah.  All in the time of an hour!  I had unwrapped my Juni Bar completely a few days ago, just so I could smell it while I worked on my computer.  As I headed to the shower, wondering how on earth I was going to get to the bank and Starbucks before starting my hour commute to work, I grabbed the bar.

Now.  I love bars of soap more than anything, especially natural bars of soap because I can use it all over and for everything, which is very handy when I am showering in a hurry but still need to be clean.  That Juni Bar was AWESOME.  Lathered up quick and rich and I used it to wash my hair, face, my body, shave…one bar of soap did it all.  My hair felt GREAT afterwards, not gummy and not weighed down at all.  The soap did not bother the sensitive skin on my face or anywhere else on my body.

Even better?  It didn’t vanish.  Some handmade soaps, you use it once and the bar is half gone.  I don’t think the imprint is gone yet, this is a sturdy bar of soap!  I will have it for a while for sure, its a good, solid 3 ounces, and I figure as long as I keep it dry between uses I shouldn’t have an issue.

The  ingredients, like the smell, are just yummy.  We have shea butter, orange oil, lavender oil, safflower seed oil, among other things, as well as the mangosteen pericarp.  This soap is not drying or irritating and leaves your skin feeling really good and clean without that sticky, drying feeling I usually end up with after using a standard bar of soap.

You should know that I sweat, and its easy to get funky by the end of my work day, so much so that I need to shower before bed.  I got home from work 12 hours later still feeling pretty good in my skin, and this morning I smell my arm and I can still smell the soap.  Don’t get me wrong, its not perfumy or flowery or heavily scented, there are no scents other than the oils in the soap.

Bottom line?  WINNER.  Its foamy and smells good and cleans and my hair liked it.  I was out of the shower in 10 minutes and I was able to hit the bank, hit the Starbucks drive thru AND make it to work on time.

I smelled good the entire time.  If I was offered a case of this wonderful  product I would take it.  Its multi purpose, gentle yet effective, and healthy.

Oh, and if you unwrap it and leave it on your desk, it makes your work area smell really good. *grins*

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