Try This: The Best Natural Deodorant

It’s a smelly game of trial and error, but I’ve done it and I’m finally at peace with my daily pit routine. Why? Because I have found the best all natural deodorant out there. I went thru this a few years ago when I switched to all natural deodorant and I thought I had found the best brand for me…I even did a blog post about it here. It wasn’t until I started working at a job that required me to move around constantly and sweat a little in a fitted t-shirt to realize that my favorite brand of all natural deodorant just wasn’t cutting it anymore. So I started another sweaty, smelly and expensive quest.

I have probably tried almost every brand of all natural deodorant out there, from the cheaper, so-called “all natural” brands to the super expensive $15 a bottle brands to the DIY Etsy brands. I have tried liquidy roll-ons, rub-in creams, gel based sticks and baking soda-free, clay based concoctions. I’m officially over it. I have found my deo-for-life. I have found Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant.

schmidts_lavender sageSchmidt’s is an all natural, cruelty-free and vegan company based out of Portland, Oregon. They have 5 different scents of cream-based, rub-it-in deodorants (including fragrance free) which is great since I get bored easily. I have tried the Lavender Sage and Ylang Ylang Calendula and I love both of them.

The best part about this all natural deodorant is simple: it friggin works…and it works great. A lot of natural deodorants stop working half way thru the day and you need to constantly reapply. Not with Schmidt’s! The only con would be the hassle of rubbing it in but once you get used to it, it really isn’t so bad. AND…2 days ago they announced (via their Instagram account @schmidtsdeo) that they will be revealing some new products. By the looks of it we should be expecting to see their wonderful formulas available in a mess-free, stick style. They also stated that as soon as the line launches, they will provide a discount code so if you’re ready to make the switch and give them a try, go on and follow them. Your pits will thank you, trust me.


The Voices In My Pre-menstrual Head

The landscape in front of me looked like a painting on an infinite canvas that stretched beyond the scope of my vision. Super mario brothers…yeah, like a 2 dimensional scene from a video game. Big, puffy clouds and the brightest blue sky…what a beautiful day.

My attention was quickly diverted to my annoyance with the increase in bugs hovering by my side and dancing in front of my face. It was like they were magnetically attracted to me for some reason. Shit, what the hell was I thinking putting lotion on before my run? Idiot. My routine became like a step, step, swat, step, step, swat, swat. As I glanced down I noticed the extreme cleavage I had…not the cute kind, like the “Jesus Christ, why are they so big? I hate them” kind. Since when did my cleavage line go that far up my friggin chest? Almost instantly I remembered how tender they were and I noticed the pain with every. single. step. I was also reminded of how I tried on my bathing suit earlier and they were spilling out of the sides of my top. That in turn reminded me of how the bottoms fit…

My vision drifted south. Ugh, my thighs. There they are, jiggling like a bowl of frickin tapioca pudding. What HAPPENED to me?  I hate running. Mmmmm I like tapioca pudding, I wonder if I can make a vegan version of that…

Wow, I thought. I wonder if people would think I’m crazy if they knew what I was thinking right now. Am I crazy? I made the effort to put on my running shoes and get outside to exercise, to sweat, to feel good, to be nice to my body, and here I am yelling at it at the same time…that’s not nice. I mean, do I really look that bad? I know the truth is that I don’t. I wonder if every girl experiences some kind of body dysmorphia at some point in their lives. What a horrible thing. I realize that I’m blessed with good health and pretty decent genes from my parents and I should be happy with that. But sometimes (usually once a month, go figure) I get overly consumed with not being good enough or always wanting what I don’t have…drowning in a puddle of self-loathing slime…gross.

It’s goddamn hard being a woman! I have to deal with these whack-job emotions for one week out of every. single. month. I’m not really a big crier either, but PMS-Tiffany? Oh, she cries…she cries at the sight of an elderly couple holding hands, she cries when her younger brother yells at her and she cries when she feels like her boyfriend doesn’t like her anymore. She’s an emotional wreck.

I was at my parents house the other day trying to print out my resume. I hate their printer…I hate their printer with all of my being (strange, because I don’t like the word hate). I was there for a total of 3 minutes before throwing up my hands, yelling something and storming off. My brother asked “Are you PMS-ing or something?”. Um yes, it’s that obvious. My Dad chimed in, “I was thinking the exact same thing”. Bah. Ha.

45 minutes later, as I lay on the couch in a fetal position, my brother got my resume to print out and brought it to me. Thank God for the men in the world who understand how to deal with a pre-menstrual woman. Don’t mess with her, don’t piss her off, hug her, play with her hair and when she can’t figure out how to work the friggin printer? You figure it out.

Ok, enough of that. For all of the women that suffer from this lovely syndrome, here are some natural remedies for PMS and tips for a healthy menstrual cycle:

  • Do yourself a favor and go workout. Exercise relieves PMS symptoms by increasing the amount of blood flow and oxygen to the tissues, as well as reducing anxiety and irritability. If you can’t workout, go for a walk or go to the farmers market and buy some fresh, organic vegetables for dinner…just get OUT of the house. *to improve PMS symptoms, it is important to increase the activity level of your exercise for a week or two before the onset of your period.
  • Realize that sugar is the devil (goddamn it). Cut off your love affair with Mr. Chocolate during this time, he only aggravates your symptoms. Use carob as a chocolate substitute and choose fresh fruit and berries to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Speaking of food, do NOT let yourself get too hungry. A hangry, PMS-ing female? Ohh boy, watch out! Stabilize your blood sugar by eating small, frequent meals during the day including plenty of fresh unprocessed veggies, organic, hormone-free protein sources and other low sugar whole foods.
  • Limit or cut out dairy & red meat, they cause inflammation. Dairy is constipating and also inhibits magnesium absorption (which is shown to significantly improve PMS symptoms). *I noticed an extreme change in my symptoms after going vegan, they essentially disappeared…my breast tenderness was non-existant. I’ve added yogurt and some cheese back into my diet recently and my symptoms are back…just saying.
  • This one may be tough: Limit/avoid alcohol & caffeine. They do nothing but aggravate PMS symptoms and lead to dehydration. *as I write this, I am just finishing up my cup of coffee, looking outside and thinking that after I’m done with this post I am going to have a mimosa and lay out by the pool. #failing
  • Here’s a very important one, HYDRATE. Always, always, always keep a bottle of water near you. (hopefully you’re using a reusable water bottle by now). I find it easier to drink water when it’s infused with fruit, cucumber or herbs. It’s always great to start your day off with lemon water but try adding orange slices, berries or even some mint into your water bottle for some added nutritional benefits and a tastier alternative to staying hydrated. *this is often called detox water btw.
  • Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of proper fats, vitamin D3 and magnesium. High quality, expeller-pressed coconut, flaxseed and olive oil are great at reducing inflammation and balancing hormones while vitamin D and magnesium are shown to reduce PMS symptoms. *try to get your vitamin D from the sun, but if not, choose a high quality supplement and make sure it is vitamin D3, not D2.
  • One of the best things you can do for yourself: Learn how to handle your stress. Stress can be managed in 3 ways. You can seek out the help of a qualified professional for counseling, restructure your environment to make it less stressful, or learn certain relaxation techniques. My favorite? Yoga. I love yoga. Meditation helps a lot of people too. *sometimes when I have an anxiety attack I just close my eyes and breathe in slowly and deeply…like 10 times. Then I open my eyes and almost always feel better.
  • My last tip…smile and laugh. Do you like cute, furry things? Go to a pet store or somewhere that’s sponsoring a pet adoption and get all up in that squishy goodness. That ALWAYS puts me in a good mood (although there’s a chance I’ll end up crying at the overwhelming cuteness). Call someone who makes you happy and can make you laugh and forget about your misery for a while. But the best way to put a smile on your face? Watch those YouTube videos from Jimmy Kimmel – Celebrities read mean tweets #1 – #7. *if that doesn’t make you laugh, please seek medical help.

Reduce Waste & Hydrate In Style

I’m not really sure why it took me so long to get a reusable water bottle. I think it’s because I don’t have a reverse osmosis water filtration system in my home and also because I fell in love with drinking the alkaline water that I would buy at Whole Foods. Purchasing a reusable water bottle would mean that I would have to fill it with shitty Brita filtered water and quite honestly, it just doesn’t taste the same.

I had a moment one day at my parents house where I decided I absolutely needed to stop purchasing plastic water bottles. See my Dad, as great as he is about being healthy and living sustainably, purchases cases of Arrowhead water bottles to drink instead of the filtered water. All around the house are scattered wounded soldiers left behind from visitors or sitting on a side table, unclaimed by its forgetful owner. He proceeds to get frustrated when he finds these half full water bottles and labels it as wasteful…hmmm.

Anyways, I did my research and found the Klean Kanteen water bottle to be my safe & healthy alternative to plastic. Their bottles are responsibly made from food grade, toxin-free materials and handcrafted to last a lifetime. I found their newest model, the Klean Kanteen Reflect, to be exactly what I wanted. Unlike the other models, it is made with just 3 materials; sustainably harvested bamboo, food-grade silicone and stainless steel. The logo is laser etched so there is no paint and no plastic. The mirrored finish adds a chic-ness to it that had me sold. If I had any complaints about this water bottle it would be that it can be a little noisy when opening and closing it since its metal clashing against metal. The only time it made me feel awkward was in my quiet yoga class when it was the only sound in the room. Other than that, bravo!

Disposable bottled water consumption creates up to 1.5 million tons of waste per year. If you haven’t purchased a high quality, reusable water bottle already, maybe now is the time to do so!

Casual Chiccutoffs & a t-shirt, chucks, silver accessoriescutoffs & a t-shirt, chucks, silver accessories, Klean Kanteen Reflectcutoffs & a t-shirt, chucks, silver accessories, Klean Kanteen Reflect

Purchase the Klean Kanteen Reflect

*Photos taken at the Artichoke Reservoir in Newburyport, MA

Roadtrip Part 1: From L.A. to Santa Fe

I’ve been back in MA since mid December and I am just now posting about my roadtrip! My plan was to start taking classes in Holistic Nutrition starting in the new year so I have been consumed with researching schools and reviewing curriculums. There are SO many options and I wanted to make sure that I was making the right decision. I’ll post more on that later.

So I left Los Angeles on December 2nd and headed to Scottsdale, AZ for my first stop. I’ve been to Arizona a bunch of times so I only spent one night there at a friends house and took off the next morning. We did go out that night to a chill mexican spot called Loco Patron where I may or may not have gotten slightly loco. I actually really like Scottsdale and the city has been developing over the years adding new restaurants, nightclubs and shopping areas making it a more desirable place to live.

In the morning I stopped at the local Sprouts Market to get some snacks for my drive to Santa Fe, NM. My plan was to make this roadtrip as healthy as possible so that I felt good and had energy to make it through the long drives. The trip from Scottsdale to Santa Fe was the most gorgeous ride of my whole journey. The winding roads through terracotta mountains, the bright, vivid colors of the sky slowly turning pale and muted with the aging day and the beautiful sunset that I witnessed through my rearview mirror…just stunning.
healthy snackslandscape1landscape2landscape3landscape 4sunsetFor my first night in Santa Fe, I stayed at a little hotel called Santa Fe Sage Inn that I booked through an app called Hotel Tonight. If you are a frequent traveller or even if you travel once a year, this app is really great. Basically, at 9am they post all of the hotel deals for that day only. The hotels give them their unsold rooms to post at a discounted price and then you can book them easily and securely through your smartphone. I booked it right before I left Scottsdale…it literally took me 2 minutes, so easy.

For dinner I went to an amazing vegan/vegetarian place called Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Cafe which focuses on serving Ayurvedic “healing cuisine”. I sat down and was blessed by the company of the chef, Prakash. He guided me through the menu and educated me on the Ayurvedic way of cooking.

What is Ayurveda?
– Ayurveda is the Science of Life – a 5,000 year old system of healing and well-being from India. “Ayur” means Life and “Veda” means Knowledge.
– Ayurveda is the knowledge of longevity, which offers healing, rejuvenation and self realization through balanced foods, herbs, yoga, massage, aroma and meditation.
– Ayurveda teaches us to pay attention to how and what we eat and to take responsibility for our own health.
– Ayurveda recommends Sattvic (pure) food for healing and maintaining good health. Sattvic food incorporates the six tastes in every meal: Sweet, Bitter, Sour, Astringent, Salty, Pungent.
– Ayurvedic food principles also include the seasons; the nine planets; the daily temperatures and using fresh organic produce.

I enjoyed the vibe, environment and food so much that I returned the next day for lunch.

thaali plateDalIn the morning I visited a local fitness studio called Studio J Fitness and took a Barre class. It was pretty challenging and it felt good to move my body after the long drive. I showered up, checked out and headed to a place called Body of Santa Fe for a quick breakfast before hitting up the local shops. I need to mention how obsessed I was with Body…I wanted to live there. It’s a boutique, yoga studio, spa and vegan/vegetarian cafe all in one cute little spot. After breakfast I headed to a few boutiques: Cupcake Clothing was one of my favorite shops that had such stylish clothing, accessories, jewelry and body products. The staff was super friendly too…I could have spent thousands of dollars there! The majority of my time was spent at Double Take a huge retail space offering consignment, vintage and contemporary clothing, accessories, gifts and home products.

In the afternoon I went to go check into my little casita. For my second night, I booked my stay through Airbnb, a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. I stayed with a wonderful host in her guest house. It felt great to be in a home with a full kitchen, living room and washer/dryer. I also liked the fact that I had someone to talk to about recommendations and places of interest in the city.

That night I went to dinner at a place called La Boca. Great staff and delicious food. A few notable mentions are the grilled artichokes, the chocolate pot de creme and the wine/sherry list. I sat at the bar and ended up meeting a wonderful friend who took me out to a local bar and filled me in on life in Santa Fe. She was kind enough to let me stay with her and her insanely cute puppy the following night. I feel truly blessed to have met such a quality person who I know I will remain friends with.

The following day it was 18 degrees and snowing, but that didn’t stop me from roaming around the Plaza. I layered up and slid down the road to check out all the great boutiques. After shopping I went back to Body for lunch and then ended up at a skin care and organic herb shop called Milagro Herbs. I spent an hour in the shop talking to the girl that worked there. I told her all about my journey and asked her about hers; where she went to school and how she ended up in Santa Fe. She gave me a lot of valuable information and schooled me on the healing power of Flower Essences. I left feeling inspired…and with a small bag of new products. My skin had been acting up, most likely from the stress of moving, so I bought a Clear Skin Cream, a Hydrating Tonic to heal my skin from the inside and a bottle of a flower essence blend called “Sweet New Beginnings” to bring clarity and ease when starting new things.
winter styleIMG_4428IMG_4561That night I met up with my new friend and we had a casual dinner at The Shed before calling it a night. In the morning, I got coffee at a  bookstore called Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse. I ended up buying a book about self-healing with Reiki which I have yet to start reading but will eventually. My last spot to hit up was the La Montanita Co-op for some more snacks before heading out to Texas.

There’s a reason why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. Although I wasn’t able to explore any of the other cities (like Albuquerque or Taos), I absolutely loved Santa Fe and I’m excited to visit again…maybe this time in the warmer months!

If you have any great New Mexico stories, please share!



The Bikram Yoga Challenge

Previously, I had never been the type of person who was excited about taking yoga. I preferred heart-pumping workouts that gave me that crazy adrenaline rush, like Tabata or kickboxing. Any time I would try to take yoga my mind would start to drift and I would start thinking about all of the things I needed to do after class. I would literally watch the clock praying that time would go faster so I could be done with it already. I also never felt that I got a good workout and therefore, it was a waste of my time.

Back in October, one of my lovely friends had started to take up yoga at a great studio in Beverly Hills called Hot 8 Yoga and wanted to take me with her as a birthday gift. I was actually really excited to try it out. Over the past few years I’ve changed in the way that I view life and the way that my mind thinks, so I felt like I was in the right place to be able to appreciate what yoga had to offer.

It was my first time ever taking a hot yoga class. My friend advised me to make sure that I stayed hydrated throughout the day…thank god she did or I absolutely would have passed out. The class we took was called Hot 8 Yoga Barre. The class is a fusion of ballet, yoga, body sculpting and cardio practiced in a room heated from 90-95 degrees. It incorporates ballet moves using the barre to challenge your balance and flexibility and then using the mat for yoga postures that will stretch you out and make you feel great. It is a great class for toning your butt, abs, thighs and arms.

Although is wasn’t a traditional yoga class, I was hooked. The atmosphere was amazing, the teacher was great and I literally sweat buckets! I was able to really be in touch with my body and what it was capable of. I left feeling like I had released toxins from my body and that felt great!

Well, fast forward to now. After my 2 week trek across the country I arrived in Massachusetts feeling tired and out of shape. I was only able to fit in a couple workouts while I was on the road so now I feel soft and pudgy. I decided to check out some of the local yoga studios and I also got a 2 week pass to a bigger gym in the area that has everything. I also checked out a Bikram yoga studio in Salisbury that was offering your first week for just $10. After my week was over I found myself craving more. Honestly, its way too expensive in my opinion and I wasn’t even sure if doing Bikram yoga alone would get me back into the shape I was in before. The logical thing would be to get a membership at the local gym since they have a variety of classes including yoga as well as a lot of other great ammenities. I thought about it for a while and decided I wanted a challenge…a 3 month Bikram yoga challenge. I am really curious to see the benefits of Bikram yoga after doing it for 3 months straight. According to Bikram Choudhury, founder of the Bikram style of yoga, you should do Bikram yoga once or twice a day every day for at least 100 days to see improvement. For me, it will be once a day for 3 months.

So, will yoga be enough to get me back into shape? We’ll see! In the meantime, here is a really great article that helped me come to this decision: