Beautycounter is getting a lot of exposure in the paleosphere these days. I am not immune to that exposure (despite my attempts to veer away from social media). I really thought it was gimmicky and annoying how often people post about it- if I wanted to try it, it would have to be on my own accord.
I was on the fence. Is Beautycounter really as efficient and effective for our skin while also being safe for our skin? A lot of products out there that advertise as clean or paleo really don’t do anything for underlying conditions, or they just don’t work at all. I was under the impression Beautycounter fell into this realm.
And, I really want you to know, I wouldn’t advertise or affiliate with anything that didn’t work or that I didn’t try personally.
Noelle (thanks babe!) really was the one to encourage me to try their products. She is a consultant as well, but has also been having a lot of luck with the products. As in, the products are ACTUALLY working for her skin.
I am always open to trying something once I can navigate and understand the full range of benefits. Y’all know that I have extremely sensitive acne prone skin, so I tread very lightly when it comes to introducing new products into my regime.
But – Noelle literally dared me to try it. I cannot resist a dare like that especially from my best friend that knows the frustration I have experienced with my skin quality. So, I decided to give it a shot. I was skeptical from the beginning, believe me.
But you guys.
Something happened. It wasn’t miraculous or angelic, but it was progress. I started with a basic moisturizer. I had been spot treating various areas of my face, using a combo moisturizer on my cheeks, chin and forehead and using a normal skin moisturizer on the rest of my face.
With the Beautycounter product I was able to use just one moisturizer across my entire face, producing the same results. Which is unheard of. I have had to buy multiple products for AGES to properly treat each delicate portion of my face. I was pretty impressed.
Some bonuses to this realization:
Bonus Point 1 – I no longer had to invest in multiple moisturizers. The Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer I was using is a little pricey, but it replaced three moisturizers on my shelf. (Hello, one more glorious step towards minimalism!)
Bonus Point 2 – Noelle has been using the moisturizer for a while so i was able to use her as a resource for any questions I had, and she basically showed me how to apply it.
Bonus point 3 – It actually worked. It kept my face dewey and amazing all day. Slightly annoyed, I decided to buy a whole bottle.
I was really skeptical the whole time because again I really don’t want to share something with you that didn’t work. And, everyone is using it, so I know you’re thinking, why would I need another consultant in my life.
Well guess what! With my experience and knowledge regarding skincare, I can provide advice and treatment suggestions based on your skin type. I won’t just tell you to grab a of best selling moisturizer if you have acne-prone skin. I am committed to helping you find the very best solution for you, even if it isn’t Beautycounter.
Reasons Why I Caved:
- I know that the ingredients aren’t crap: It is pretty overwhelming trying to navigate the world of sustainable and paleo skincare. Ingredients are sneakily named to conceal their true toxic identities, and after finding a product that works it is very easy to just stick with that product for life (guilty). Because Beautycounter has such a trusted following and are transparent with their ingredients, I don’t feel like the wool is being pulled over my eyes. Beautycounter has this document called the “Never List” which is exactly like what it sounds. You can check it out, here. They refuse to allow over 1500 ingredients and chemicals that are commonly allowed in other cosmetics, into their products. This includes not allowing the use any of the chemicals found in the European Unions banned list. All of the ingredients pass a strict screening process to ensure the products you are getting are safe and sustainable.
- Because it actually has worked :Noelle hooked me up with a few samples to try before I bit the bullet. Like I said, I was quite skeptical. But it actually worked. Which the stubbornness in me wanted to deny because this is such an overly hyped product, but I couldn’t deny it.
- Beautycounter is a female led company : in today’s climate you can bet I am going out of my way to supporting female led companies. A.
- Refund policy : This stuff isn’t cheap you guys. But it lasts a hell of a lot longer than anything else I had purchased from Sephora or online. I think it is easy to get overwhelmed looking at the initial price, but for lack of sounding like a saleswoman, it truly does last longer. Their full refund policy can be found, here.
- All of my friends are already very knowledgeable on the products: this, combined with my existing skincare knowledge means I can offer support on all ends of the spectrum. Feel free to hit me up if your curious about what might or might not work for your skinny if you’re on the fence about trying it.
- There are no synthetic ingredients: Beautycounter has always refused to use synthetic ingredients as a lot of people tend to react negatively to them, and it can be difficult to determine the true ingredients and chemical composition of them. I am grateful for this because synthetic fragrances are an absolute hard no for my endocrine system.
We discuss inflammatory products we could be consuming on a daily basis in our food, like gluten, dairy and sugar, and we do the research to know the inflammatory reactions these things can cause. I have focused on eliminating these products because they negatively affect my health, and because I have an air of suspicion about why, and how, large corporations are getting away with putting these inflammatory products in not only our foods but also our skin care and even scarier, our medicine.
Beautycounter is just another step towards gaining awareness of what we are putting into our on our bodies, and taking control while being empowered by using products that make us feel better, not sicker.
The transparency is really what got me here, loves. I feel secure in using their products. And they are making strides to make their standards more recognized by our government and regulating bodies. They actively campaign for transparency, so that someday we may have more than one product line to choose from.
Anyways; if you’re interested in checking out these products or learning more, sign up for my email list dedicated to safer skincare, here: https://forms.aweber.com/form/20/10768820.htm
If you are not interested, no worries! I am not going to bombard you with emails trying to sell a product. My only goal is to help increase the availability and reach of Beautycounter so we can have the option to choose safer skincare.
I will be sharing some of the products I loved on my Instagram story, typically on Mondays too. As always, send me an email if you have any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org
All the love !
I don’t have a grill, but believe me – wish I did. I usually make friends with those that have grills so I can partake in summer patio parties with all things summer, grilled pineapple, pool floaties, and all the kabobs.
Kabobs are the best because pretty often they’re paleo and people don’t even know it! And the combination of kabob types is basically endless. Got a few veggies? Toss them in avocado oil, skewer them, and throw those bad boys on the grill. I can guarantee 99% of the time whatever you put on the skewer it will taste good.
People have been getting really creative with their kabob recipes these days too. It reminds me of those ridiculous bloody marys that have cheeseburgers and bricks of cheese as garnishes. People will try ANYTHING.
Which I am definitely not mad about.
Now, I know there may be some grill masters out there that have all the best kabob recipes already. To which I say, can I come over?
Lol KIDDING but not really.
Summer can be sticky and hot and cooking in a small kitchen is the worst. All the sweat rolls down my face and by the time the food is ready I’m so hot I don’t even want to eat it anymore.
In comes grilling. And kabobs. But also! Another fave summer staple I have is tossed veggies in an avocado or olive oil vinaigrette.
Chopping up a few cucumbers and tomatoes and drizzling with avocado oil, salt and pepper and maybe throw some onion in there. And now you have a refreshing cool salad to go with your delicious kabobs.
You can find me at the library, wishing I was on a patio eating kabobs and salads in the sunshine. In the meantime, here’s some of my fave salad and kabob recipes.
My Fave Kabobs:
Although I always feel slightly torn about eating lamb, I am a sucker for this delicious red meat. This recipe also comes with a lemon tahini sauce, so between the lamb and the tahini this kabob makes the list, obviously! ChihYu has some great technical tips regarding the best way to cook these Paleo Kofta Kabobs too. Get the recipe here.
Not everyone loves meat on their kabobs, but I usually have a hard time finding those that don’t like a crispy brussel sprouts. These are easy to make and are a great side to any other grilled deliciousness you may be making. Get the recipe here.
These kabobs are a colorful savory combination of goodness. The pineapple pairs seamlessly with the chipotle and lime to capture what summer tastes like, in kabob form. Get the recipe here.
This is another great veggie option for kabobs, simple yet delicious. And anything served on a skewer is going to have minimal clean-up, and most likely you will be using less plates if you are sticking to kabobs. So not only are they delicious, but you are minimizing your output of waste slightly! Get the recipe here.
So all excessive bloody mary jokes aside, this kabob is #100. If you don’t feel like catching a buzz by including vodka and tomato juice, no fear! You can still have the same savory amazingness that is a bloody mary, but in kabob form. Get the recipe here.
My fave avocado oil to use on these recipes is this avocado oil, or you can use this olive oil. The quality is substantial and the company sources straight out of Mexico for the best product with the least amount of middle men.
They also offer an avocado oil subscription box type deal. So if you are in to not having to buy your avocado oil at the store each month, and would rather get it delivered straight to your door, I definitely recommend checking this out.
Happy summer loves!
For those of you who follow me on social media, or listen to the podcast, you probably know this already… BUT I HAVE SUPER EXCITING NEWS!
Noelle and I have been working intently for years on a book — and it’s coming out this August! On August 7th, to be precise. You can pre-order it on Amazon here! In the meantime, I’ll just tell you briefly what it’s all about. I am just so excited to share with you something I love so much, and a product that I think will be a great tool for women and may even revolutionize the way we do nutrition.
The low down on C&K
Over the course of our time working in the health and nutrition space, Noelle and I both came to realize that there’s something off about the way we do nutrition. And the off-ness we discern isn’t just confined to calorie counters and juice cleanses, but applies to most major health gurus that everyone follows, even the best of the best of the paleosphere.
These gurus have two major problems: 1) they typically apply one-size-fits-all solutions, and 2) they fail to understand the relevance of psychological factors for physiological health and making sustainable improvements.
1) One-size-fits-all solutions are the most popular kind of solution out there. This is because they are simultaneously easy and profitable. They’re easy because the health gurus who extol them get to pick one area of health or slice of literature and know it really well, and they are profitable because one-size-fits-all solutions sell. In these conditions, health gurus win, and many other people lose.
One-size-fits-all solutions are appealing. Consider the ketosis craze. Everyone loves the idea that just this one simple trick will help you lose weight and maybe solve all your other health problems, too. Or think about diet books that promise you eliminating these seven foods will be your path to health, happiness, and freedom. Or books that say paleo will fix you. It is really nice to relax into the simplicity of such ideas. And it is easy to believe the hype–with all the before and after stories–and think that your turn is going to be next. If you do this one surprising thing, and if you do it really well, all your problems will melt away.
The problem is that this just isn’t true. The people who promise you solutions are either A) the ones who have had the greatest success with this particular solution, such as ketosis, or B) have sold out, because their marketing lessons have taught them that magic bullets sell better than careful plans.
Noelle and I are here to call BS. Health isn’t one-size-fits-all. This isn’t true for macronutrients or micronutrients or exercise or sleep or stress. Everything is specific to your own body and your own needs. Of course there are some general guidelines that are probably helpful for the majority of people: reduce stress, sleep more, focus on eating “real” foods (though, I’d argue, even real food can get fuzzy for people dealing with disordered eating and body image issues).
So we’ve written a book and made a plan that helps you figure out what’s right for you. No more shooting in the dark with tips and tricks offered by people who show off their sick packs in their instagram photos. Instead, we show you how to figure out which foods best support your health. We help you decide which macronutrient ratio is best for you. We help you learn which exercises are best for you. And more.
2) So far as psychological health is concerned, Noelle and I both know first-hand that food is complicated. Pretty much all of us have some sort of emotional relationship with it (and that can be a positive one, too; I’m just saying, we all have relationships with food). One of the problems we noticed in the health sphere is that most “diets” are too restrictive. The dieting mentality is all about what you avoid. Avoid carbs or fat. Avoid “toxins.” Avoid grains and dairy. Avoid eating too many calories. Avoid eating snacks. Avoid fruit.
Over the last few years Noelle and I have seen so many people just practically lose it — or at least fall off the wagon — because the elimination diets they are following are too strict. It causes them to become restrictive, obsessive, and eventually develop a negative relationship with food.
We wanted to provide a plan that feels as good for you psychologically as it does physically. To that end, we support you with material that teaches you how to have a healthy mindset and love your body. We have already created an elimination trial diet that maximizes the gains you receive from the elimination while simultaneously maximizing your feelings of happiness and freedom. You can snack. You can eat fruit (as much as you like!). You can eat fat. You can eat as many calories as you feel you need or want. And you can still arrive at the kinds of solutions that health gurus talk about–increased energy, easier weight maintenance, better sleep, radiant skin, reduced symptoms.
So all in all, this is Coconuts and Kettlebells. And we love it and believe in it fiercely. It’s got literally everything you need in it to be healthy and love your food for arguably the rest of your life! There is information on food, tips for how to figure out which macronutrient ratio is best for you, a 28 day elimination phase called the 4×4 (eliminate four food groups for four weeks), two meal plans — one tailored to carb lovers and one tailored to fat lovers, more than 70 recipes most of which have full size photos, and a personalized fitness plan.
See? It’s actually everything.
We can’t wait! It is available for pre-order now. And, you will also receive a kick-ass bonus if you pre-order: a free chapter on all things weight loss (which is not included in the book), bonus exercise material, and a whole slew of wonderful discounts from our partners. We’d also be really grateful if you pre-ordered the book since this will get us one step closer to being bestsellers and therefore able to reach so many more people.
You’re lovely and thank you for being a part of this amazing journey!!!
Here are pre order links:
Barnes & Noble
I am sitting here typing this sitting outside, with an awkward “V” shaped sunburn on my chest, and a splotchy sunburn on one, yes, I repeat, ONE arm.
Unfortunately (read:fortunately) it was beautiful outside this weekend, and the first warm day in a while. I cannot recall the last time my forearms were bare outside, and I was so ready for them to be free in the sunshine.
It was about 70-75 degrees outside, and because it was the first nice day, I had completely forgotten to pack any sunscreen to my Italian friends graduation party. Her olive skin does a fabulous job welcoming the summer sun, and I sat next to her and burned to a little crisp without even realizing it.
Every summer I make the same promise to myself, to be extra cautious with the sun and to always wear a level of sunscreen to protect my fair skin. Y’all know I want to be forever young, and it starts with a good SPF.
Sometimes I’m not the best about being on top of my sun skin care. And there are so many crappy toxic gross sunscreens out there. Luckily, for you, I have been testing a wide variety of brands trying to find the most perfect paleo sunscreen ever, if it is out there.
Check out my fave sunscreens, below.
So if you haven’t heard of Beauty Counter then you may be living under quite a large rock. This company is striving to create skincare that makes our skin better, not worse. Beautycounter is a women owned enterprise too, you know how much we love supporting our female bosses out there. And their sunscreen is legit. The fact that this is a solid slide on stick makes it easy to keep in my purse or backpack without worrying it will leak.
2. Primal Life Organics Sunscreen :
We at PfW have been fans of Primal Life Organics for sometime. The main ingredient in their sunblock is red raspberry seed oil, which naturally has a high SPF content of about 28-30. It also has coconut oil in it which makes the product sun protective humectant. The container is a bit small and the product is a little difficult to apply, but other than that it is a great sun protection option.
This unscented sunscreen is a fave of mine, sourced from a small business owner in New Hampshire. There is only five ingredients, one being zinc oxide. The other ingredients include seabuckthorn, sunflower oil, and Vitamin E oil.
Juice Beauty is a brand I used a lot back in the states. Their ingredients are pretty transparent and the effects they have on my skin is minimal. You can also get it on Amazon Prime which is a mega-bonus.
I really hope you can avoid making the mistake I did, and take preventative measure when protecting that glorious skin of yours. We put a lot of money into the beauty industry; what would happen if we backtracked and invested in our skin from the get-go?
I know a tan can make us feel amazing, but I promise there are some legitimate spray on tan companies out there too….
Happy warm weather!
Have you ever experienced a groggy haze coming out of a long sleep? I used to think that if I went a few days with inadequate sleep that I would easily be able to “catch-up” on sleep the following days after I met whatever deadline I was trying to meet. This cycle of saving my “sleep days” seemed to work well with the need to be consistently producing.
And, it’s a pretty well known fact that students are typically overworked and known for undersleeping.
So, naturally, I adapted to this bizarre sleep schedule..
Take a few days and sleep 5-6 hours, then bounce back and sleep 12 hours. it seems like it should work, right?
Well, it is true that sleeping for a long period of time feels like it may be restorative, but it has been proven this is not the best for our brains or quality of life in our waking state.
While I try not to do this anymore, it still occasionally happens.
I recently have been tracking my sleep quality and REM cycles using my Fitbit. My sleep schedule typically ranges from 5-8 hours and I tend to keep the same circadian rhythm pattern, AKA waking up at the same time and aiming to go to bed at the same time every night.
I am human though, and sometimes this just doesn’t work. Recently I have noticed that if I get more than 8 hours of sleep a night, I end up being pretty groggy the following day. I have ruled out my food intake and physical activity as a contributing source to this grogginess.
So how do you know you are getting too much sleep?
Are You Sleeping Too Much?
When I hit that annoying snooze button too many times I notice I am tired throughout the day. And I am not alone in experiencing this repercussion. While we think we are prolonging the amount of sleep we can get by hitting snooze, we are actually letting our bodies fall back asleep but not hitting the sought after REM cycle that our brains need to restore for the upcoming day. Think about it like slamming on the brakes every quarter mile and expecting to go as far as if you weren’t hitting the brakes but traveling the same speed.
When we wake up with the following symptoms, we may be getting too much sleep:
-Having stiff joints, or pain in the joints
-Feeling lethargic or fatigued despite getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep
These are just a few of the common side effects of oversleeping. And it is important to note that a small percentage of the population suffers from hypersomnia, which is a need for 10 hours of sleep, at least, a night.
Hypersomnia and Narcolepsy can be ruled out with the assistance of your doctor.
Why Are You Over Sleeping?
There are a lot of environmental and physiological factors that could be contributing to oversleeping. Maybe you are caught in the same student sleeping cycle I was, catching up on sleep every few days. Or, maybe you are sleeping more than 8 hours every single night.
If you are sleeping more than 8 hours a night and you are not having negative side effects, then I commend you! Keep on doing what works best for you.
However, if you fall into the other category, there are a few things we can look at to determine the cause of an overactive sleep schedule
- Depression – This would make our bodies relationship to sleep a secondary condition, and the depression would be the primary condition. Depression works hard to deplete us of our energy and ambition to do anything other than sleeping. This is a serious mental disability that shouldn’t have to be handled alone, so please reach out to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from depression.
- Anemia – The responsibility of iron in the body is to shuttle oxygen around to the cells. If you are low on iron, then the body may not be receiving enough oxygen, prohibiting our bodies ability to function best.
- Thyroid Issues – If you have any underactive thyroid, your body could feel sluggish and tired a lot. check out this extremely helpful and informative book on thyroid health to see if this could be causing you to oversleep.
- Sleep Apnea – This condition literally stops oxygen from making its way to our brain, decreasing the effectiveness of sleeping overall.
- Hypersomnia- This is the condition I referred to earlier. Those with hypersomnia need to get more sleep than the average person to feel alert the following day.
- Alcohol – Sometimes we feel like we sleep like a rock after drinking alcohol, but that is not the case. Alcohol also impairs our bodies ability to get a restful night’s sleep, so if you are looking for true beauty sleep, I would eliminate the night cap.
- Restless Leg Syndrome – This condition could be keeping you up at night, causing you to feel like you need more sleep because a lack of quality sleep. RLS can be caused by side effects from medication, too much caffeine, or anxiety.
Ways to Maintain Balance and Consistency With Your Sleeping Schedule
I recommend eliminating any nightcaps that you may be consuming before bed. Sometimes I will eat a little fat in the form of peanut butter and jelly (no, this isn’t technically paleo but it works for me) because it helps me maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Exercising throughout the day can improve sleep quality as well. I know it seems contradictory, because if you are super tired from not sleeping then the last thing you may want to do is exercise. But this is a tried and true method to increase energy levels.
I will often do 20 squats in the bathroom if I am starting to nod off at the library. It definitely sucks at first but it wakes me up much more than a coffee could. If squats aren’t your thing, you can take a brisk walk to help get your blood flow going.
To start from the source, take a couple smart moves to improve your bedroom environment
- Use white or brown noise
- Make sure your space is as dark as possible, use blackout curtains like these ones, or a sleeping mask
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Put those devices away! Seriously! They have an impact on our sleep quality
I have a pretty extensive blog post on other things you can do to destress and sleep like a pro, here.
We all know how important sleep is to function properly. But sleeping too much really is a thing. If you have eliminated all the conditions that may be causing you to oversleep that I mention in this blog, then I would recommend talking with your doctor to narrow down any other causes.
Cheers to getting your beauty sleep!
It’s no secret that probiotics can have a positive impact on our happiness, health and wellbeing. Leading industry professionals advocate that a balanced gut microbiome can lead to a healthier life overall. And even more recently, balanced gut bacteria has been studied in cases revealing a reduction in insulin resistance, better overall mental health, reducing effects of autoimmune conditions, and even weight loss.
These studies have been conducted using oral consumption of probiotic supplements or eating probiotic foods. Think kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, unpasteurized milk products and kombucha, or an actual probiotic supplement like this one.
I am no stranger to using probiotics to improve my gut health. I frequently use probiotics to improve my skin health too. I have been using topical probiotics for years as a way to combat my incessant acne.
I know it seems weird to use probiotics topically, but intradermal consumption is one of the fastest and most efficient ways for probiotics to penetrate our skin barriers.
Medical professionals argue that acne is caused by bacteria. If you have ever experimented with an elimination diet or eliminated foods like dairy (or any other inflammatory food) for a period of time and immediately been the victim of a breakout shortly after, you know that facial bacteria may not be the sole cause.
And usually we have a gut feeling about what is causing our acne, at least to a certain extent. If you are still unsure what may be the root cause of your acne, check out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked for additional ways to narrow down the acne causing culprits, like a true detective.
If you already have a clear idea of what may be causing your acne, and you have eliminated the culprit but are still having breakouts, then an imbalance of facial bacteria could be in effect.
And that’s where topical probiotics come in.
Are They Necessary?
If you are consistently struggling with breakouts but have had absolutely no luck in treating them, I really recommend giving topical probiotics a try. We already know about the insanely amazing benefits that probiotics have on our gut, and these benefits occur because a balance is being restored. Which points to an important clue to why we may be having breakouts.
Everyday we are frequently being subjected to toxins and bacteria and a combination of external things that shouldn’t be on our face. This is well known amongst my city dwelling friends who experience pollution particles, often on a much broader scale. All of these foreign particles can cause an imbalance of bacteria on our face.
It’s pretty disgusting to think about so I try not to stress myself out obsessing over it. One thing I changed was correcting my habit of touching my face frequently.
To bring it all in – Topical probiotics allow our skin to continue to cultivate its natural microbiome and remain balanced.
Added Benefits of Topical Probiotics
I know from my own personal testing that probiotics can have a positive impact on my skin. I am able to maintain a healthier glow and a better grasp on keeping my skin acne free almost all of the time. Topical probiotics can have the following additional effects according to one of our favorite, no-nonsense beauty scientists at AnnMarie:
—Naturally calm skin that is reactive to environmental stressors
—Strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier, combating dryness
—Balance skin pH, restoring a healthy complexion
—Improve overall skin hydration, enhancing skin suppleness
—Eliminate harmful impurities that disrupt the skin’s defense mechanisms
—Reduces the appearance of temporary redness and other skin burdens
I recently have been using this probiotic serum from AnnMarie, and it has been stabilizing any acne on my face while also not being harsh on my skin (Y’all know I have very sensitive skin, so this was a great relief knowing that it worked well for me). This particular topical probiotic has only a few ingredients, including Tremella mushrooms. Tremella is known for its medicinal properties, and its use dates back centuries. Read more on everything awesome Tremella Mushrooms can do for us, here.
We recently discussed the properties of adaptogenic herbs including mushrooms. It is enthralling how a fungi has existed for so long and continues to benefit us in so many various, unexpected ways.
A few other bonus ingredients in the Probiotic Serum with Tremella include:
Bio-ferments – Biofermentation means that fermentation occured to increase the stability and nutrient availability. Basically, it is mimicking the fermentation process in nature.
Plankton Extract- this extract has been thought to delay the aging process (Yay!)) Plankton is an excellent moisturizer and humectant to boot.
Natural Herbs – this probiotic contains a medley of herbs to provide a natural scent and powerhouse of nutrients. Ingredients include plantain, dandelion, comfrey and nettle.
I also want to note that AnnMarie advocates that the product is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. I obviously only have the skin I have, so let me know if you try it and have similar or different results. I have tested a few different kinds of topical probiotics and would love to get feedback on the types that are working for different skin types.
How to Use Topical Probiotics
I typically use this serum after I have washed my face and before I apply moisturizer. It carries a scent that I like to think it the AnnMarie signature scent…It is woodsy and almost slightly smoky but in a refreshing, satisfying way.
So, do I have you convinced that topical probiotics could really benefit you? If not, check out this bonus blog post discussing in more depth the reasons why topical probiotics are here to stay.