Meet Crina, from across the pond! She’s got a simple and (mostly) clean routine, a super clean diet, and some lovely tips. (Also, Diane Keaton, be cooler in this pic. Impossible!)

Name: Crina

Age: 27 (minus a couple of months, yikes!)

Current weather: Was quite summery up to around 23-25°C these past couple of weeks but currently going down a notch and a bit rainy. My skin spends a lot of time in Germany and England, and therefore on planes and trains.

Hair: Quite wavy-curly, naturally chestnutty, bit on the drier side, boob length and very much loved!

Skin: I love my skin. It earned me my family nickname of peachy (everyone in my family likes to repeatedly touch and stroke my face when they see me to make sure it’s still as soft and thus deserving of the name). I tan a lovely golden colour in the summer; may only suffer from dryness depending on the local water, but no breakouts to speak of unless I eat rubbish and/or get super stressed out, then go through intense health nut phases which will then provoke the odd cleansing symptom.

Favorite star or icon from the past: Oh, I do love Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. They seem to have that graceful aging thing figured out rather well. (I so hope I’m not getting the wrong impression here, I mean who knows what they really have going on in their private lives beauty-army wise …)

In the shower…

Simple, really: I do shower nearly every day for several reasons: yoga, I work with animals (nearing the end of vet school), running, big city living. I don’t bother buying any shower gel (though I may use the occasional clean gift or sample),  instead I just use the excess foam from whatever I put on my hair for shaving and cleaning. If I don’t shave or wash my hair I’ll only use water followed by a vigorous rub with my towel. Voilà.

Brands I currently use: Anything Neal’s Yard Remedies will make me happy, also the Avalon Organics Ylang Ylang is nice.

Outside the shower…

Face: Thanks to the book I have become a total oil convert!! Neal’s Yard Remedies facial oils in the morning, either Rose or Orange Flower. Neal’s Yard Jasmine cream during the day (if needed), and their night creams at, well, night. May I add I never wash my face with anything but water unless I’ve used make-up. I’m an evening showerer, so the way my make-up comes off is usually by way of shampoo and conditioner migrating from scalp to face, or the occasional Neal’s Yard facial polish.

Body: Daily body brushing followed by oils. Again, anything Neal’s Yard Remedies or John Masters is fantastic, though I am currently head over heels with the mama mio omega oil – it’s fabulously jojoba-almond-y. For deodorant I use a sort of wannabe clean L’Occitane one as well as a travel sized Salt of the Earth crystal deodorant. I use both at the same time when I go on dates, actually … which is paranoia more than anything else, I’d say.

Finishing touches…

I do really like Korres perfumes, but so far haven’t found any superb yet truly clean perfumes here in Europe. As far as make-up goes I will quite happily use anything Whole Foods-y. I like the Dr Hauschka concealer, I’ll use some black mascara (again often one by Hauschka), sparkly brown eyeliner, a pink and subtly glittery L’Occitane blush, perhaps some of the Dr Hauschka eye shadow in a golden or peachy hue. Guilty pleasure: Butter London nail polish. I love yummy mummy, jaffa, and pink ribbon.

Also, I always make sure to use a good hand cream (again, either Neal’s Yard Remedies or John Masters) or coconut oil throughout the day and especially before bed, since my job is pretty rough, requiring a lot of washing and the use of harsh antibacterials. And what about nutrition? Surely an important point worth mentioning as well? I do feel it’s as much part of my beauty regimen as the actual products I use. Long story short: I’m a high raw vegan loving her greens, healthy fats and plant proteins. Works excellently for me. :)

Sounds great! Has anyone else used Neal’s Yard Remedies? We’ve never heard of it—perhaps it’s strictly Euro—but interest is now piqued.

As we plan to sit around the dinner table this week with friends, family, and lots of food, I thought it was time to address this tricky topic.

A while back one of the lovely NMDL readers suggested I do a post on the social aspects of eating when one eats in a manner not typical.  For me, some of this revolves around dealing with other people and their issues, and some of it is pure logistics!

Since I eat in a way that is quite different from most people, I am often reminded of just how worked up people can get about how other people choose to eat.

Please note, I am not addressing eating disorders here, but rather adults making decisions about how to eat.  I’ve had many experiences where people have judged me about the way I eat.  When I was a much larger person, others would shoot me nasty looks as I ordered a dessert.  Since I’ve been a healthy weight for my frame, people still criticize how I eat.  Often, it seems as though others think my personal choices are a negative judgment of their choices, though they are not.  These are a few concepts I use in my life to help me deal with the complications of eating differently from most people around me.

Don’t let other people try to shame or bully you into eating a certain way. You are the only one who knows what it’s like to live in your body.  We should be able to make our own decisions about our own bodies.  This covers a lot of things, including food.  I hope everyone makes healthy and informed choices, and listens to their body.  Sometimes another person will have a genuine concern about your health.  If it is someone who cares about you, listen to the concern, and address it respectfully (if you need help, take the opportunity to receive it).  Eating disorders are real, but not all atypical ways of eating are disordered.  Make an honest, informed, responsible assessment of how you choose to eat, and do your best to make it work.

Be willing to be somewhat flexible. While I prefer to eat raw, as long as the options are vegan and gluten free (my essentials for health), I can manage in a social situation.  Figure out where you are willing to be flexible and be prepared for this when you eat with others.

Come up with a dish or two that most other people love, regardless of their dietary specifics. I struggle with this, as I don’t think I’ve ever been comfortable preparing food for others.  Some people are great cooks, but it’s not my gift.  Every once in while though, I have a hit.  People love my slaw, so when I’m invited to someone’s home I bring it.  That also guarantees there will be at least one thing there I can eat.

Be ready to discuss/answer questions about how you eat, in a way that doesn’t provoke an argument (unless you want to have the argument).  Why aren’t you eating, or why did you bring your own food?  I have a lot of food sensitivities.  Why don’t you eat meat/dairy?  I feel healthier when I don’t.  Why do you think you have a problem with gluten?  Diarrhea.  Okay, that last one is usually my last resort when someone is clearly judging me and seems to think I’m an idiot incapable of making my own choices.  Generally my response is more polite.

When eating out, know what’s available in your area, and plan ahead. Use a smartphone app or the internet to locate restaurants that will accommodate your needs (this is great if you go out of town, too).  Others often think I can just go to any restaurant and order a salad, but food I can get at most places is just not as nutritious as what I make at home.  Plus I have to ask so many questions to be sure of staying gluten free, etc, it’s a pain.  If you can find a place that meets the needs of everyone in your group, that would be ideal.  There really aren’t many places around me that are agreeable to most people I would eat out with, so sometimes I have to sneak in some of my own food.  Sometimes I make sure to eat something that covers my needs before going out, so I can just order whatever is available without feeling like I don’t have enough.

But what about eating at home when no one else eats like you do? I really have no completely satisfactory solution here.  I’m in a situation where no one in my house has the same schedule or eats the same food.  It can be a hassle, but I’m committed to eating in a way that I enjoy and that makes me feel good.  I try to have my family prepare our food together, and share what we can.  That way it’s not completely on me to make all the different meals, and we still have some family time.  Now that my son is old enough to use the stove, this is somewhat easier.

Are you dealing with these issues too?  How?


My MM: Kerry’s Meatless Monday Menu

Happy holiday week, everyone! We don’t know about you, but ours forecasts to be short but intense. Anyone attempting a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal, or just one with lots of yummy veggie sides? We’re looking for ideas, so please share your recipes in the comments!

Also, where the vegetarians at?? We haven’t been getting as many MMs in our inbox these past few weeks. Step it up! Now onto Kerry, queen of the green smoothie…

Name:  Kerry

Hometown:  Denver

My Dietary Leanings:  Vegan with occasional forays into milk chocolate and toffee territory.

My favorite vegetable: Onions

This morning I….

Drank a fresh green juice I made at home (1 head romaine lettuce, 5 kale leaves, 1 green apple, 1 lemon, 1″ piece of ginger mixed with a tablespoon of chia seeds) and had a handful of English walnuts about an hour later.

Then for lunch I...

Drank a green smoothie (3 cups spinach, 1/2 apple, 1/2 pear, 1/2 banana, 1 cup water, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and one scoop of Vega berry protein powder) and ate some garlic hummus on 1/2 of a whole wheat pita and a handful of baby carrots.

Finally for dinner...

I made buckwheat noodles, tossed with a small amount of sesame oil and soy sauce, and topped with stir fried red bell pepper, green onion, garlic, and cashews.  This is my “go to” lazy dinner because it takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and I can vary the stirfry part based on whatever vegetables need eating.  If my husband or kids are craving meat, I serve them some shrimp or chicken breast on the side.

Last but not least, dessert...

Was half of a Hershey’s symphony bar (both vices in one day!).  I also had a Barbara’s multigrain cereal bar in cherry, topped with about a teaspoon of almond butter after my workout.

Hey now, a girl’s gotta have some vices! We need to know, though: Do all of those green drinks get your skin glowing?

Holy moly, you guys. Has NuboNau ever done one of these?? Today, in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and in celebration of their Instyle Magazine “Best of the Web” Award (much deserved, congrats!), these guys are offering a deep discount across their entire site. As you probably know, NuboNau carries just about all of our favorite luxe clean beauty brands. They also have stunning packaging, in case you want to get a head start here on your gift buying—or is that just a normal start? The important things to know…

This deal is only running until Monday, so no dilly-dallying. NuboNau is offering 20% off their entire site, when you use the promo code NMDL20. Orders over $95 also get free shipping.

Now let’s talk shop, what will you buy?

We’ve got our eye on that Ilia mascara, has anyone tried it? Also some new lip colors—oh, and Alexandra needs new Intelligent Nutrients products like the desert needs the rain at this point. She’s been filling her spray bottle with water to pretend she still has some!

As always, you will earn loyalty points with purchase and get pretty little samples to test out when you buy. Enjoy this special deal, and have a wonderful weekend!


Do You Turn The Other Cheek?

The other day something happened that, in the past, would have made me really upset. Mad, sad, resentful, annoyed, something. But for some reason, I didn’t really react, and not because I was trying to be stoic. The normal vein pulsing, stomach-dropping feelings just didn’t present themselves. I’m kind of waiting to see if the other shoe drops, wondering if this sense of equanimity towards the matter could really last. And do I even want it to?

There are different schools of thought on this.

You can practice ahimsa and compassion—see the other person’s suffering, avoid hurting them more at all costs (even if they’ve done you wrong), and all that lofty good stuff. The other? Express your feelings. Don’t bury things. Be hurt, angry, sad, because not only are you entitled to feel a way about stuff, but not expressing it can be damaging to your sense of self, and even to your health.

Typical Pisces that I am, I totally see both sides of this coin! I’ve spent a lot of my life not recognizing how I truly feel, and boy did that behavior bite be in the tush. I definitely believe that owning your feelings, and expressing them somehow to the person who provoked them, can be a healthy thing.

But since I’ve started meditating more of late, I am noticing that I don’t sweat the small stuff as much. I work with an excitable young group, and often feel like the old lady who tells everyone to try to get along. As for this other thing, I just hope that I’m not being self-deceptive, as I once was—but we’re never the best judges of ourselves, now are we?

What’s your take on this? Do you try to be zen in the face of conflicts, or does a healthy dose of expressed anger/sadness/annoyance remind you that your human—and help you move on? The floor is yours, friends.