Tuesday, December 22, 2015

7 Cheap & Natural DIY Gifts You Can Make in Under 20 Minutes

I think you'll love these ideas for thrifty, handmade gifts that you can create with very little skill and time, using materials you probably already have in your home. These make perfect last minute holiday or hostess gifts.

Here are a seven supereasy projects from the blog:

DIY Rosemary Lemon Dishpan Hands (& Body) Scrub
DIY Espresso Mint Cocoa Body Scrub
The Simplest (and Prettiest!) Brown Sugar Scrub
DIY Whipped Body Butter
DIY Upcycled Christmas Tree Potpourri
DIY Easy No-Sew Floral Drawer Sachets

Monday, December 14, 2015

DIY Poop Secret: Natural Toilet Freshener Spray [Sorta Like Poo-Pourri]

Yeah, everybody poops, but if you don't feel like broadcasting your bowel movements to the world (or even those on the other side of the door), try this recipe for DIY Poop Secret.

Poop Secret is a totally natural spray that goes directly into the toilet before you go. It creates a powerful barrier of wonderful smelling essential oils that envelop your poops, and their associated stink, as they land in the toilet water.

Before you go thinking I'm a genius, I didn't invent this spray. It's based on Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray.

Okay guys, here's the recipe. Now you can eat all the collard greens and flax seeds you want. Keep some in your purse and you'll be the best studio apartment guest or tiny office mate ever!

DIY Poop Secret: Natural Toilet Freshener Recipe

You'll need:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DIY Rosemary Lemon Dishpan Hands Remedy

Are your hands rough, dry, and chapped from washing dishes? Mine are! Is the cold, windy weather making things worse? Absolutely! That's why I mixed up this batch of healing rosemary lemon salt scrub. I use it a few times daily to exfoliate, moisturize, and heal my hands naturally. 

Here's the recipe so you can mix up a batch too. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. Keep some near your sink so that you remember to use it.

DIY Rosemary Lemon Dishpan Hands Remedy Recipe

You'll need:

Monday, November 30, 2015

DIY Chocolate Espresso Mint Cookie Sugar Scrub Recipe

Nothing says Happy Holidays like this delicious smelling DIY Chocolate Espresso Mint Cookie Sugar Scrub.

This all natural scrub is a yummy treat for skin damaged by winter weather. Almond oil is moisturizing. Sugar and ground coffee exfoliate dry skin. Chocolate, coffee, and vanilla are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent and repair damaged skin cells. Honey is a humectant, so it actually draws moisture to your skin and keeps it there. Peppermint oil perks up your mood, chasing away the winter blues.

This bath and shower-friendly scrub is also great for use after washing your hands.

DIY Chocolate Espresso Mint Cookie Sugar Scrub Recipe

You'll need:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Very Un-Zen Meditations in the Omega Labyrinth

My husband and I enjoyed two days of R & R at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY last week. The retreat was a great way to take time out to reconnect with myself and reassess how I spend my (mental, emotional, and physical) energy.

We unplugged, ate wholesome food, and made new friends. We did lots of scheduled group activities like JourneyDance, improv, tai chi, yoga and meditation. We connected with nature by sleeping in a tent cabin surrounded by the sounds of nature, relaxing in a hammock while watching colorful leaves fall, canoeing in the lake, and walking in the woods. We even took a workshop to learn how to strategically align our lives with the phases of the moon.

Our last activity was a group meditative walk through a labyrinth. Labyrinth Society defines a labyrinth as "a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation." It's also important to note that, unlike a maze, a labyrinth has one path and no dead ends. You slowly walk the winding path, get to the center, and then follow the path back out. You're encouraged to bring a question you would like answered with you.

Here's what the labyrinth at Omega looks like:

photo credit

Frustrated would best describe my state of mind while walking to the center of the labyrinth. You might not be able to tell from the photo but it's probably about 4 yards wide in diameter. It's not that big. Still, it took what felt like forever to get to the middle. Also at some point during the walk in, I decided the question I had brought in with me ("What should I do about my coaching practice?") was completely wrong and insignificant. I was also angry and jealous because everyone else seemed to be in such a peaceful and meditative state. Grrr! I alternated between fantasies of leaping into the center and just walking out (because what was the point anyhow?).

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My New Favorite Sustainable Clothing Shop - thredUP Review

thredUP is the largest online consignment shop where you can find like-new women's and kid's apparel (clothing, shoes, and handbags), choosing current styles from over 25,000 brands.

I recently made my first purchase. I spent less than $75 thanks to the discount thredUP offers new shoppers. The purchase included a mix of discount brands (like F21 and Old Navy) and slightly more upscale and unique pieces including a Hive & Honey dress made from recycled paper!

Then a day later I made another one! I spent about $120 but my haul was mostly designer stuff like J Brand jeans, 7 for All Mankind skinny jeans, and vegan Neuaura boots.

I seriously love thredUP online thrift store. Here's why:

It's super easy to find clothes that you love and actually fit.
No more having to dig through endless racks of clothes to find something you like, only to discover it's not your size. Their simple, user-friendly platform makes shopping a breeze! On thredUP you even can create a personal shop that contains your favorite brands, your size, and type of apparel.

Monday, August 31, 2015

7 Things You Need to Start a Health Coaching Business

Here's a list of everything you must have to start working from home as a health coach. I use these essential resources to grow my home-based online business.
  1. Health Coach Certification
  2. Website
  3. Business cards
  4. Online appointment scheduling software
  5. Newsletter
  6. Professional phone number
  7. Online payment system

Keep reading for details about the affordable resources I used to start my health coaching business and continue to use today to operate my practice. I initially invested about $5K to start my business and spend under $30 a month to maintain it.

Health Coach Certification from Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Entering a health coach training program is the first step to starting a health coaching business. I recommend Integrative Nutrition. I'm a graduate!

During the Institute for Integrative Nutrition one year program, you will learn from inspiring leaders in the health and wellness industry as well as experts in business and marketing, connect with an amazing supportive community, and experience a remarkable personal transformation – all through a convenient online platform that makes learning on-the-go possible for anyone.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why I Decided to Enroll in IIN's Health Coach Training Program

In July 2013, I began studying online to become a health coach at Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I decided to enroll at IIN because:
  • I had completed college over 5 years ago and craved to return to structured education, but I did not want to go to graduate school.
  • I was seeking a career that would allow me to help people, grow, and earn as much as I want.
  • I wanted to improve my personal health, especially to end my sugar addiction and to begin to exercise regularly.

I was excited about the possibility of becoming a health coach, but I was also a little scared because:
  • I was afraid I wouldn't be able to afford it.
  • I wasn't the best student in college; it was often hard for me to keep up.
  • I didn't know much about nutrition and was clueless about exercise.

I am so glad I didn't let fear keep me from pursuing my new dream. I called an IIN admission rep and learned:

Monday, August 3, 2015

How to Understand Your Cravings & Stop Them Fast

Last week, I shared a really simple explanation of why sugar is bad for you. I also shared (in my newsletter, which you should totally subscribe to) how to use a food diary to track your sugar consumption. Hope those resources illuminated how much sugar you're eating and how it affects your body.

Of course, there's knowledge of how and why something is bad for you and then there's figuring out what to do about it.

Do you stick to "natural sugars" like evaporated cane juice, honey, or agave? Do you stop eating sugar completely? Is it even possible to really quit sugar without becoming a hermit?

Those are the kinds of decisions I coach my clients through. I love helping a woman slow down the self-judgement train (the one most of us have been riding on since our preteens) enough to bravely jump off, catch her breath, and look at her food and lifestyle choices from the perspective of her heart.

Here are my four go-to questions for deconstructing cravings:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm hosting Diets Don't Work Webinar Today

I hear stories of so many people who have followed diets, lost some weight temporarily (or often lost no weight), but ultimately didn't get the long lasting transformation they expected. The diet industry pisses me off!

My upcoming webinar is all about why diets don't work. You will leave this 30 minute event understanding:
  • why diets actually cause weight gain
  • why you have cravings
  • why you binge at night
  • what to eat and what to avoid to manifest your hottest body
  • how to stop dieting and start feeling fabulous 

Register for this free webinar. You can share questions and comments with me and other participants during the webinar via a live chat box on the event page. This is my very first webinar. I'm so excited to connect with you in this way!

If you can't attend live, no problem. Register and I'll send you a link to watch the replay.

Already registered? Great! Now, tell your friends.
Click here to tweet about it.

Olivia Lane Lovejoy is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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Monday, July 27, 2015

A Really Simple Explanation of Why Sugar is Bad for You

At Institute for Integrative Nutrition I learned the theory of bio-individuality. The concept of bio-individuality is that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food is another person’s poison.

You are super special and unique. Reaching your ideal weight and enjoying sustained energy demands paying attention to and honoring the needs of your body instead of following a fad diet or random list of rules.

That said, there's one thing that's pretty bad for everybody across the board: sugar. Sorry. I'm sure this isn't a surprise but lemme explain further. It's easier to accept that way.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lentil Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini with Millet Crust Recipe [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

If you belong to a CSA or have a garden, you're probably swimming in summer squash right now. We are. We've grilled it on the BBQ, stuffed it into lasagna, tossed it into tofu scrambles, and made zucchini bread.

I must also shamefully admit I threw a few away. See, I don't actually like zucchini. I liked it 3 weeks ago when it was novel and heralded the start of summer. After force-feeding it to myself twice a day, I could barely stand the sight of it.

I refuse to be punked by a vegetable. Upon receiving five gigantic zucchinis in my weekly CSA share, I determined to find a new way to enjoy them.

I pulled out How It All Vegan, a classic cookbook and one of my favorites even though I'm not vegetarian anymore. I found a recipe for Stuffed Spagetti Squash, adapted it to match what I had on hand, and OMG! This happened ...

Here's how to adapt it exactly as I did. This recipe is vegan (dairy-free, vegetarian) and gluten-free.

Monday, July 20, 2015

4 Things My Painful Periods Taught Me

I hated my period until I turned thirty. Then I really hated my period. I was a few months off The Pill when I discovered what my menstrual cycle was really like. My uterus was a balloon filled with a gallon of hot lava trying to flow out of a pin prick for the first three days of each period. I had various debilitating aches for two weeks out of my three week long cycle. (Yes, just 21 days!) My mood swung wildly throughout the month. The cherry on top of this shiitake sundae was acne.

Fast forward five years and now I love my period. This year I began working with Nicole Weigl, a naturopathic doctor, to heal my hormones with improved nutrition, herbs, and self-care. Within a few months of closely following her recommendations I saw results.

The experience of having wacked out hormones for several years then being healed in months taught me four things that I know can help anyone who is suffering from a chronic health condition.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How I Overcame An Eating Disorder

We probably haven’t met in "real life" yet but ask anyone who has met me and they’ll tell you I’m the girl who’s always smiling and giving out hugs like free kittens. They might also tell you I’m a little silly and playful: I wear puppets for mittens. I dance in the aisles of Whole Foods. I drink coffee while doing roller disco. I play ping pong with strangers.

I'm full of confidence and truly enjoy life, but I didn’t always feel this way. I once struggled with anxiety, depression, insecurity, and low self esteem. I used food to manage these feelings. I’m not sure when it all began but when I was three, my whole world changed.

After a fun family night out, we came home to discover our apartment was destroyed in a fire and we became homeless. My parents separated. My older sister was sent to live with her grandmother. My mom and I lived in a shelter. Though soon we found a new home, the experience left me scarred.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sustain Vegan, Natural, Eco-friendly Lubricant Review + Giveaway

If you're seeking vegan, nontoxic lube to use with your equally vegan eco-friendly and chemical-free vegan condoms look no further than Sustain's new organic lubricant.

Sustain, the first sustainable, non-toxic, Fair Trade Certified brand of condoms in the U.S. just launched a line of organic personal lubricant. Sustain’s lubricant consists of a long-lasting, premium, mess-free formula, free of harsh and potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, glycerin, petroleum and propylene glycol.

Sustain water-based lubricant is certified 95% organic and 100% vegan, gluten-free, latex and polyisoprene (i.e., non-latex) compatible, free of silicone and dyes and not tested on animals. Yay!

I was delighted to find a box containing both lavender and unscented Sustain lubricant in my mailbox last week. I was even more delighted to give it a try. :-)

(Keep reading to see what I think of it and to enter my giveaway.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

3 Reasons Why I'm Not Vegetarian Anymore

I'm not vegetarian anymore. After 13 years of being vegetarian, including 8 years of being an outspoken hardcore ethical vegan, I ate meat in March.

What was it like? Since I'd been contemplating breaking veg for over a year, I imagined it would feel like a milestone. Perhaps ominous thunder would roar in the background as a fork piled with meat neared my mouth. Maybe there'd be tears-- of joy, overwhelm, or regret-- from myself or my husband. No such thing. I just enjoyed some delicious free range turkey stewed with lima beans and greens.

Well, actually, I experienced something unexpected: I felt like a character in a video game whose life bar went from 40% to 100% within a few bites. I felt instantly energized and deeply nourished.

The next day my poop smelled horrible. But my skin also started looking really good, glowing even.

I've been eating meat as little as once a month and as much as three times a week in the last four months. It's been rather uneventful since that first omnivorous meal. Aside from not feeling insatiable hunger and fatigue after exercising, I haven't noticed a dramatic improvement or decline in my health as a result.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread with Walnuts Recipe

This is perhaps the best thing I've ever baked. I present to you: Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread with Walnuts.

It is the perfect special treat to make when you have nothing special on hand. For real. I used 2/3 of a bag of blueberries from our winter CSA that were hiding out in my freezer since God-knows-when and a bunch of truly skanky bananas.

This recipe is inspired by, and adapted from, the banana bread recipe in How It All Vegan, my go-to cookbook for making basic dishes that taste outstanding.

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread with Walnuts Recipe

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Celebrating Earth Day with Sustain: Vegan, Non-toxic, Fair Trade Condoms [Review]

Sustain is the first sustainable, non-toxic, Fair Trade certified brand of condoms marketed to women. They're also vegan. Oh, and the company was co-founded by the founder of Seventh Generation and his daughter! 

I'm always excited to share cool new things with you guys so I was psyched when Sustain asked me to review their condoms. It's been a few years since my husband and I have used condoms but Sustain Ultra Thin didn't look or feel any different from the ones I remembered. Aside from not having that weird condom smell (you know what I'm talking about, right?) these are basically the same as every other ultra thin condom I've tried, which isn't bad. 

What I most appreciated about Sustain condoms is they don't have weird toxic chemicals in them. Hooray for getting my swerve on now without having to worry about getting my chemo on later! 

I also love Sustain's hip eco-feminist mission. To celebrate Earth Day, Sustain, has created a photo series and educational infographic illustrating the connection between safe sex, overpopulation and climate change. 

Co-founders Jeffrey Hollender, who revolutionized the eco-friendly household product industry with Seventh Generation, and his daughter Meika Hollender believe that safe sex and climate change go hand in hand, but many women lack access to the tools they need to practice safe sex and plan their families. Sustain created the below infographic to help connect the dots between these two critical issues. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Who Wants Bleach in Her Vajayjay?!

What you put in your hooha is your business. It doesn't have anything to do with the government, the Church, or your parents. It's your prerogative whether you're choosing a lover, birth control, or feminine hygiene products.

Still, some choices available to us modern women confuse me. Case in point: chlorine bleach whitened tampons.

Most tampons are bleached with chlorine. The chlorine breaks down into dioxin, which remains in the bleached product. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

Check out this video to learn more about dioxins and feminine hygiene products.

I love that I can walk into a store and choose between a dozen brands of tampons. However, women have the right to make informed choices. It angers me when corporations that make products for us aren't forthcoming with information about what's in their products, how they're produced, and how this impacts things we care about, like, you know, not getting cancer.

As members of post WWII society, we're all born with hundreds of toxic chemicals swimming around in our bodies but it'd be nice if we could start to have more of a choice in the matter. Hopefully one day we'll live in a world where dioxin and vajayjays never cross paths. Until then we must educate ourselves and seek out alternative products.

One alternative is Maxim Hygiene. They're a Father-Daughter owned and operated company that makes all natural and organic cotton tampons and other cotton personal hygiene products that are produced without chlorine. Yay! (I'm super proud to be a new ambassador for this great company.)

If you wanna support a family company that isn't sneaking chemicals into your cha-cha, look for Maxim tampons in your local health food store or buy them online. Use my coupon code "AF112" to get 10% off your online purchase of any Maxim Hygiene product.

To learn more about other choices you have to keep chemicals out of your body, attend my Spring Detox Workshop at Sustainable NYC on Sunday March 29, 2015 at 3pm.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

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Monday, February 9, 2015

3 Quick Ways to Feel Sexier This Valentine's Day

Feeling sexy on Valentine's Day isn't about lingerie or perfume. Although those things can be part of it, feeling sexy is about radiating the sensuality you naturally possess from the inside out.

Here are three tips to let your inner vixen shine on Valentine's Day. Try one or all!

Have a flirt fest for one!
Look in the mirror and tell yourself out loud how sexy you are. Notice what's beautiful and irresistible about you and verbally salute it. If you can't think of anything, fake it til you make it. Turn a negative belief into a positive one. Personally, I used to feel insecure about my small breasts until I started purposely paying them compliments. "Those are some sassy nipples!" I'd say to myself when I got out the shower. Now, I think my itty bitties are the cat's pajamas!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lose Weight with this Four Letter Word

So many people resolve to lose weight for the new year but by the third week of January they've already accepted that they're actually just going to pack on a few more cuddly layers of poundage for the winter instead. What happened during those three weeks?

A diet happened.

Diets don't work. No one has ever gotten happier or felt better as a result of depriving themselves of food. Also, research shows that diets don't lead to long-term weight loss.

Why? Restrictive eating (dieting) causes stress. Stress causes your body to go into survival mode. Survival mode means your metabolism slows and your body stores more of the food you eat as fat.

The good news is there's an alternative to diets. There's love- the most fabulous four letter word of all time! Love absolutely causes people to be happy, feel better, and reach and maintain their natural weight.

When I reflect on my upcoming 21 Day Souper Awesome Vegan Soup Challenge, a challenge to eat one bowl of homemade vegan soup every day for 21 days, love stands out. It's not just me. When I tell people about the challenge, they usually reply with, "I love soup!"

This soup challenge is an opportunity to love yourself up for 21 days.

Monday, January 12, 2015

21 Day Souper Awesome Vegan Soup Challenge FAQs

A few days ago, I opened registration for my 21 Day Souper Awesome Vegan Soup Challenge. It's a celebration of veggies, creativity, loving yourself from the inside out, and leftovers!

Challenge yourself to enjoy one delicious bowl of homemade vegan soup every day for 21 days. The results of making this simple and nourishing choice will surprise you. You may ...
  • lose weight
  • increase energy
  • reduce cravings
  • save time
  • save money
  • create habits that can result in improved long-term health: reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
  • discover your creativity
  • hear your intuition guiding you
  • experience unbridled joy
I'd love to show you how pleasurable the journey to health and happiness can be!

Sign up for my free 21 Day Vegan Soup Challenge and you'll get ...


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