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My MM: Kate’s Meatless Monday Menu

Name: Kate

Hometown: Calgary, AB, Canada

My dietary leanings: As plant-based as possible, with sustainable meat or fish thrown in once a week. I have a weakness for pasta dishes, so we eat more quinoa/rice pasta than we should! Also: gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and as immune-boosting as possible (I work with kids). I’ve got an issue with inflammation in my body, so I try to avoid inflammatory triggers, like nightshade vegetables. Obviously not today…

My favourite vegetable: Brussels sprouts! Green beans! ASPARAGUS! Broccoli? Anything green…

This morning I ate…

Frog Friendly Wild Coffee (the BEST). It was followed by a shake with one frozen banana, a tablespoon of homemade peanut butter, a scoop of SunWarrior Natural Warrior Blend, milled golden flax seeds, flax oil, coconut oil, homemade almond milk, ice cubes, cinnamon, and vanilla. I snacked on an apple with almond butter a few hours later. In the summer, I LIVE on green smoothies, but produce gets more and more expensive this time of year, so I opt for something a bit less heavy on the kale. Sigh!

For lunch it was…

Leftover green soup (amAZing!). In a very large pot, saute one onion, three small leeks, and a clove of garlic in EVOO until soft, and stir in a 1″ piece of ginger. Add a whole head of chopped cauliflower and chopped broccoli stems (reserving the florets). Saute until soft. Cover with vegetable broth (ours is homemade), and add a chopped-up Granny Smith apple, chopped kale, the broccoli florets, and EITHER: green curry powder, fresh mint, or fresh cilantro. Simmer until everything is soft. Remove ginger and blend! Put back on the heat and thicken with some coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs. Beautiful!

Afternoon snack…

Popcorn! Every few weeks I’ll cook up a big batch of popcorn (organic, non-GMO, local). I pop it in coconut oil and salt it lightly when it’s done. This will last my partner and I a few days…. or will last me an entire month, if honey is away for work. He loves his popcorn!

And finally, dinner…

Green beans, asparagus, and brussels sprouts, charred in a cast-iron pan and tossed in harissa sauce. The sauce is easy: blend together two roasted red or green peppers, two roasted serrano peppers, a clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon cumin and coriander, and lots of fresh cilantro or parsley. I use this sauce on EVERYTHING… it’s basically like magic. Super great as a salad dressing, too — just add more oil!

Dessert!

Usually a square of dark chocolate and a glass of organic Cabernet Sauvignon…

50

Product Reviews: Studio 78 Paris Makeup

Here’s a happy winter surprise: a new clean makeup line we’re seriously crushing on!

We were introduced to the line by our friends at NuboNau, which has an exclusive on the line for now in the United States. We fell for the packaging first. So chic! So retro! And most is made of cardboard, which is nice. With one sweep of concealer, though, and one finger-smear of blush, it was love.

I’ve tried three products so far—the undereye concealer (the lighter one), the blush (shade 2), and the black mascara—and I like them in that order. The concealer is a stand-out. It’s in a small pot with a flip lid that has a tiny mirror on it, which is genius. It’s a powdery matte cream, which RMS fans might find alarming at first. It’s a whole different look, but bear in mind it’s not meant to be used in the same way, either. Formulated to correct blueish undereye circles, it’s a boon if you, like me, haven’t been sleeping the best lately. I also love the blush. It reminds me a little of my old Nars favorite (“Orgasm,” naturally) but it’s a little quieter. I’d say it lasts a good half workday, easy.

Now, the million dollar question: How is the mascara?

Two-part answer: The brush and formula look and feel great. They create a sort of thick, inky, slightly-clumpy-in-a-good-way lash.* Unfortunately, though, it smeared on my face within a few hours. I tried it again with a coat of waterproof Dior on top to “seal” it, and it worked. But since I don’t want to wear Dior every day, I doubt I’ll be wearing the mascara all that much. Which is too bad! But I’d love to hear if you guys have other experiences.

Any new makeup lines  you’re loving? Have you tried this one?

Concealer ingredients: Squalane, olive oil decyl esters, silica, copernicia cerifera cera, triticum vulgare germ oil, butyrospermum parkii butter, cera alba, squalene, sesamum indicum oil unsaponifiables, citrus grandis peel oil, limonene, linalool.

Blush ingredients: Mica, zea mays starch, squalane, zinc stearate, sodium riboflavin phosphate, cocos nucifera oil, helianthus annuus seed oil, alumina, prunus armeniaca kernel oil, persea gratissima oil, chamomilla recutita flower extract, parfum, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, limonene, linalool.

* A and I love clumpy lashes!

According to our Google analytics, the majority of our readers live in America. But there’s a pretty meaningful number of you in other English-speaking countries too, like Canada, the UK, Australia, and India. And from there, well, apparently there are pockets of clean girls all over the world! From Poland to Kuwait to Sweden to China and Qatar. I just looked at this now, by the way—we’re not in the habit of checking these stats and congratulating ourselves or anything. But there’s a reason!

We often get emails from people who live in other countries, asking us to recommend local brands and/or verify that certain products are clean. And, oof, this can be challenging…

Here’s why: 1) We’re sometimes slow on email (if you’ve gotten lost in the fray, we’re sorry!)—an occupational hazard of having too many inboxes. 2) Often we haven’t heard of the product. 3) If you’ve included a link to the product, we usually take a gander at the ingredients—and when they’re listed in full, it’s easy. But other times they are not (never a good sign).

So, given that this is ever-more a community about shared information—and not  just about what me or Siobhan or Rebecca have to say—I thought it would be so cool to hear from you. Americans are very much invited to participate, but I’m also hoping that some of our other readers will pipe in with their recommendations to help out their fellow countryfolk. Canadians and Australians, don’t get shy on us now! We probably hear most often from you.

Here’s what we want to see in the comments: 1. Where are you from? 2. What are your favorite clean brands (local or otherwise)? 3. Where do you buy them?

I’ll go first! 1.I’m from Montreal, but I live in Los Angeles. 2. I mean, there are many and I’ve shared most through this site (some exciting new reviews are in the works though). 3. I’m lucky, because a lot of brands send me products to try but when I do buy them they are usually online most often from Nubonau, sometimes from Spirit Beauty, or in person from Evolue. I wish I could say I went directly to the brands more often, because I know that’s best for them. But the convenience of multi-brand retailers is hard to beat (and they too are, in fact, small businesses). When I’m in New York I usually got to ABC Home as well.

Ok, you’re up.

Meet Eleanor the esthetician. After struggling with her skin for years she came to learn that some of the most effective brands were natural. She now puts Kahina to good use, along with other favorites like Dr Alkaitis, Dr Hauschka, Arcona and more. She’s also seriously piqued our interest in In Fiore (we’ve heard their scents are beautiful too)—who here has tried it?

Name: Eleanor

Hometown: Oakland CA

Age: 25

Profession: Esthetician (at International Orange)

Weather: cold but sunny

Hair: long thick and wavy

Skin: I have battled with skin issues through out my life. Acne being the main domain of my problems—but as we know that causes many more issues like pigment, blotches, uneven texture and scarring. In tying to find the balance I experimented with many products and treatments. I never went as far as accutane but paid visits to the dermatologist and used products with benzoyl peroxide and went on antibiotics. Sorely disappointed I saw an Esthetician who helped get a proper routine and acne facials to help correct my skin. This intrigued me into the skin care world. I am a working Esthetician now and have finally found things that have worked for my skin. Pleasantly surprised I found most if these products I’ve used over the past 10 years have been natural/organic options.

Favorite star: Kate Moss

In the shower…

I flip flop between showering in the morning or evening. Most mornings I climb in the shower half awake, trying not to be indulgent as I have limited time before work or before my boyfriend kicks me out. I usually brush my teeth in the shower with my favorite hard-to-find toothpaste from France called Botot. It’s a fennel-flavored toothpaste. I like this because it’s different than your average toothpaste and makes brushing your teeth feel special. In the mornings I won’t wash my hair everyday I just rinse my wavy tresses and use a good amount of Kahina argan oil throughout my hair to seal and calm the frizz. When I do wash and condition I mix in up between Rare Elements (very natural) and Davines love line (not so natural) these keep my long hair in line. I always leave in my conditioner while shaving or washing my body and then comb through with a wide-tooth comb. This really ensures that the product reaches every strand and conditions deeply. While my conditioner is setting in I usually suds up with a sea sponge and body wash from Everyday Shea that has coconut oil and ahea butters as well coffee extracts for a little stimulation to hopefully prevent any unwanted dimpling down the line. If I shave I use pure coconut oil or Aveno shave cream. I know it’s not the best for you but I have very sensitive legs and this one creates a nice barrier. Always unscented! In the mornings I don’t like to use a harsh face wash. If my skin’s OK and I’ve cleansed your face at night already I don’t like to use anything too striping for day. I use In Fiores Treate cleanser that has pure Aloe Vera and Bulgarian rose waters. Smells divine! If I’m showering at night I like to throw in the works with a full dry brushing session and my favorite body scrub by Suki and even a nighttime facial mask. I like Kahina’s antioxidant mask because it’s purifying but also doubles over as a exfoliator with its micro silica particles. After that I use a gel face wash like Dr Alkaitis purifying cleanser to take off the day.

Outside the shower…

I usually finish off with an all over body balm like In Fiores Dayala filled with the aroma of jasmine and lemongrass. For the face it’s an application of Kahina’s argan oil mixed with their brightening serum. I also use a cooling depuffing eye gel from arcona that has anti-aging ingredients. In the mornings I am religious about using in Fiores vitale toner. Its not just a toner it’s really more like a serum that delivers nutrients and water to the skin. I always also always use a sunscreen mixed with Dr Hauschkas translucent bronze concentrate to blend my own tinted sunscreen. I have three different lip balms I cannot live without… Fresh lip care stick in honey, rms lip balm in vanilla and the Dr Hauschka lip care stick and a new favorite is the In Fiore velouté that comes in a beautiful brass compact with a mirror—you can’t go wrong!

Finishing touches…

I actually don’t wear makeup often. After battling with acne for so many years I pretty much wrote it off. I believe in a great pair of earrings, well groomed eyebrows, and I cannot live without an eye lash tint! If I have somewhere to go I usually give in to a little lip to cheek by rms because its so simple and fast and a little water to canvas highlighter by Vincent longo and my fresh lip balm with the tint honey. I also love Arcona’s mineral brushes for a quick all over fix. I regularly take vitamin c, probiotics and a herbal immune supplement to keep me healthy and happy. :)

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Great Advice From Dr. Christiane Northrup

Last week Siobhan shared an article from Prevention with our dear friend Anna and me. It was written by Dr Christiane Northrup, a woman who has been a teacher to all three of us at different times in our lives, and for different reasons. If you have yet to read Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, you’re in for an eye-opening treat. This woman gets women.

And while it’s not exactly news, it always bears repeating: Real beauty is the hard-won result of self-love and self-care. Sure, it’s clean products, lots of veggies, yoga and piloxing (still my fave!)… But how many of us truly take care of ourselves in a deeper, holistic (and consistent) way? Yeah.

“Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that consistent, thoughtful self-care is the single most important aspect of our health, period, ” says Northrup in the piece. Below are highlights from her recommended ways to care for yourself. How many of them do you practice?

1. Express your needs.

So many people I know, myself included, have a really hard time asking for help and support. I don’t think this is exclusive to women, but we certainly live with the perception that we should be able to handle everything and execute without a glitch. According to Northrup: “Unmet needs create stress, and stress produces toxic hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, that cause inflammation and suppress our immune systems. So it’s vital to learn to ask for what we need.”

2. Listen to your body

When you’re hungry do you eat? When you’re tired do you rest? Do you do things because they feel good or because you think that you should? Here Northrup tells a great personal story about growing up in a family of athletes: “They were fabulous role models for physical health, but that go-go-go approach was not my style. It wiped me out and drained my energy. I felt guilty about that for years, until I discovered activities that work for my body. I fell in love with Pilates, a stretching-and-strengthening program that has made me stronger, thinner, and even taller. That kind of exercise fuels rather than drains me.”

3. Face uncomfortable feelings

This one’s a toughie, but a goodie because we believe in these parts that unexpressed feelings have a way of  staying in the body and wreaking havoc. Northrup agrees: “Facing your emotions helps you process them and get rid of them. Ignoring them, on the other hand, keeps you stuck emotionally and can contribute to physical problems, from fatigue to migraines. So pummel a pillow, cry, shout, throw things. Movement, tears, and making sounds are all nature’s way of moving your emotions up and out of the body.”

She also advises to see age simply as a number, and to live life by your values. You can read the entire wonderful article here. Does her advice ring true for you?