Monday, October 15, 2012

Natural & Organic Anti-Aging Skin Care Online

If you're going to do it, why not do it right? Anti-Aging is big business, but it is possible to fight those fine lines and wrinkles using healthier products, while supporting companies that do less harm to the environment. Let your consumer dollars promote more than just the giant corporations' advertising budgets! Our options in natural and organic skin care have grown exponentially over the last decade or so.

My favourite online Canadian drugstore features almost 80 products in the category of "Green & Natural" Anti-Aging products alone (further broken down into Organic, Canadian, Vegan and Gluten-Free choices). It contains all the serums, night creams, and cleansers that you would expect - and then some! You'll find the "big names" in natural skincare (including Avalon, Aubrey, Dr. Hauschka) as well as some that are less familiar, including Canadian brands Ayu, Cocoon Apothecary, and worldBELIEVE.

It is vital to remember that the health and beauty products we use have wide-ranging effects, from how they are absorbed into our own bodies, to the way they eventually seep into our environment (the micro and the macro). Then there is the packaging used, the social causes supported (or not), and so on. Our choices as consumers make a bigger difference than we realize in the big picture.

I was reading the other day that Canadians are not embracing the choices available through online shopping - but isn't that a shame? What easier way to make informed decisions than online, where we can read product descriptions, view categories, compare prices, and look at product reviews all in one place? Why not take advantage of the wider selection available and support causes and companies we believe in?

For more on ethical online shopping, alternative health and wellness, and great gift ideas, please visit my website: - and have a great day :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Gluten-free Banana Bread

1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/4 cup organic honey
2 eggs
3 medium bananas

1 cup organic spelt flour
1/2 cup organic brown rice flour
1/2  cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 dash all-natural alcohol-free vanilla flavour (fair trade)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
(don't forget to grease loaf pan)

Combine oil and honey, then add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Add mashed bananas and vanilla flavour.

In second bowl, stir flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to banana mixture stirring just to moisten. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool. Enjoy!

* note: baking powders may contain wheat. If you are allergic to gluten, look for a wheat-free variety, or look up ways to make your own (e.g. using baking soda, tapioca starch and cream of tartar - from the All Natural Allergy Cookbook by Jeanne Marie Martin).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Going Gray...

Should I, or shouldn't I... that is the question... No, I am not referring to the erotic novels currently gaining such popularity (Shades of...); but rather, the age-old question (at least for women of the last several generations): when is it time to give in and embrace my gray(ing) hair?

Let me level with you friends: this December 2012, 1 of 2 things is going to happen: either the world will end, or I will (gasp) turn 40!

Believe me, the irony of the situation is not wasted. I no longer recall at what age I realized this particular reality, but I was probably already dying my hair. I plucked my first few snow-white hairs around age 16 with bemusement; and allowed my prominent streak to grow in while still in my 20's. It was all fun and games until, in my early 30's, I found myself going through a divorce and all the changes that come with it (plus an acceleration in gray hairs) and I suddenly wanted to reclaim some of that youthfulness wasted on my younger self.

Several years later, here we are: the battle with the roots still going strong. Meanwhile, I have developed my website ( and changed my consumer habits to focus on natural, organic products wherever possible. Unfortunately, my hair colour remains the final frontier... while I do use alternative methods of prolonging the time between colouring, my hair grows so quickly that I typically resort to buying whatever hair dye is on sale to get the illusion back on track; to buy me a little more time...

I often wish I'd maintained that "stubborn streak" at least; the first to show up after each dye job, taunting me and reminding of the big b-day on the horizon. What's a girl to do? I have tried to enjoy the journey a bit at least, gradually introducing warmer shades to my typically dark ash brown locks... However, when my most recent root touch-up resulted in a darker shade than I had intended, it led to some interesting discussions at work. Why not go jet-black (it could be intriguing)? Or, as one friend suggested: be even more dramatic and go white! Having fought with these roots for a number of years now, this latter suggestion actually got me thinking, but I didn't know what such a process would even look like. So I did some research! Well, would you believe, going gray is almost considered a trend as of late? From actresses to supermodels; books, blogs and magazine articles - there is plenty of information out there on how to do it (and who else is doing it too)!

Of course, when considering any radical change in hair colour, it is advisable to consult with a professional. However, being an avid do-it-yourselfer, I've "naturally" decided to experiment on my own for a bit, at least to start. How hard can it be to start bleaching out the main gray streak, assess the results, and go from there? The answer to this question: it depends. How tolerant will I be of the different stages required, of the sometimes strange shades that result? And how much hair do I have to "comb over" and cover up these awkward instances? For the time being, I have enough of both (the patience and the hair) to persevere with the experiment. We'll see how it goes!

For more on authentic lifestyle choices, healthier products and unique gift ideas please do visit my website: Or stay tuned here for further updates! :)