Healing from the Hive

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Honey Love— and a Giveaway

I have a longstanding love affair with honey, and it’s no secret. I’ve come a long way— from the grocery store honey-filled bears of my childhood, to discovering local apiaries that source raw honey from their hives, to treasured jars of healing Manuka honey. I’ve probably slathered as much on my skin as I’ve ingested (raw honey masks were a key discovery during my blemish-filled years and to this day honey remains my #1 favorite skincare ingredient). Beyond honey (the raw variety is my personal fave), I love the nourishing, immune-supporting properties of bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly, which I’ve used for years and relied on for immune support while fighting late stage Lyme disease. There’s so much healing that comes from the hive. Read on for the beauty and health benefits of these bee-born ingredients, as well as an exciting giveaway from one of my favorite bee brands— Beekeeper’s Naturals!

Important note: those allergic to bee venom should proceed with caution. Check with your doctor before using products with bee-related ingredients to prevent allergic reaction.

HONEY: THE HYDRATOR

Suspend your skepticism for a moment and slather on the sticky stuff (be sure it’s raw, unheated honey, which packs the most active enzymes). Wait 20 minutes and rinse away with warm water- your skin will feel softer, tighter and more even. Honey may go on smooth, but it acts as a gentle exfoliant, with mild alpha hydroxy acids that loosen dead skin cells and refine pores for a rejuvenating effect. Combine this with honey’s ability to attract and retain moisture, its naturally-occurring antibacterial hydrogen peroxide and its antioxidant content, and you have a recipe for a natural line-reducer and blemish treatment. While all honey disinfects, the Manuka variety contains a special molecule that is even more potent in its ability to inhibit bacteria growth. It’s an incredible skin healer (with a history of being applied to wounds to speed healing) and potent antibacterial.

ROYAL JELLY: THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

The one lucky larva chosen to become queen bee enjoys lifelong nourishment with royal jelly, a nutritious, milky secretion from the glands of bees. As a result she lives a stunning 40 times longer than worker bees. The queen owes her longevity to the essential nutrients in royal jelly, among them 17 amino acids and a rich store of B complex vitamins and trace minerals. This crème de la crème of the hive is prized as a beauty ingredient for its anti-aging, cell-rejuvenating properties and as a wellness aid for its immune support and energy boost.

PROPOLIS: THE HEALER

Propolis remains the mystery of the hive, a blend of plant resins, wax and essential oils collected by bees to coat the hive as an antiseptic defense against foreign objects. Its role in skincare is similar: to eliminate unwanted bacteria and inflammation, thereby hastening the healing of scars, blemishes, even rashes and eczema. For whole-body health, propolis is prized for its immune-boosting properties and its content of healing flavonoids. It’s as effective as Nystatin against candida yeast, and can kill pathogens without disrupting the good bacteria in your body.

BEESWAX: THE SOFTENER

Beeswax is an emollient wax produced by bees that is rich in fatty acid esters and skin cell-supporting vitamin A. In the beauty world, beeswax is a natural, nontoxic substitute for petroleum jelly and a favored ingredient for lip balm, given the natural moisture barrier it forms on lips. Beeswax protects skin and seals in moisture- leaving you with noticeably softer skin on lips, elbows, cuticles- anywhere you apply.


Ready to try out some of these amazing benefits in and on your body? I’m giving away a set of 4 Beekeeper’s Naturals products that I personally use and love. One (1) lucky winner will receive: Propolis Throat Spray, Kids Propolis Throat Spray, Bee Powered (a mix of honey, bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly), and Raw Honey.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post or on my Instagram giveaway post by 11:59 ET on Wednesday, January 30th. Winner will be announced on January 31st. Contest open to US residents only.

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Detox with Joy McCarthy's Grain-Free Granola

I'm so excited to share a beautiful new book by Canadian holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, and author, Joy McCarthy! I've followed Joy's work for years and always thought that she embodied her name: she seems to radiate health, beauty, and joy. Her delicious recipes use whole food ingredients that support beauty and health, aligning perfectly with Eat Pretty. She's just released her second book, Joyous Detox, with everything you need to know to eat for optimal detoxification, and it's filled with recipes that you'll want to make immediately. Joy was kind enough to share one of those recipes, Grain-Free Nutty Granola, with Beauty Is Wellness readers. It's delicious, and just one of many must-try dishes in this beautiful book. I hope you enjoy meeting Joy, and trying her beauty- and detox-boosting recipe. Do NOT miss this book!

DOUBLE GIVEAWAY BONUS: you can enter to win a copy of Joy's recipe-packed new book Joyous Detox on my Instagram page by tagging a friend— AND you can enter to win a copy of Eat Pretty Every Day by tagging a friend over at Joy's Instagram page. Contest open this weekend only, so enter fast!


Guest post by Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health:

Granola is a kitchen staple in my home but it can be expensive if you’re buying it every week. The other challenge with store-bought granola is that it’s often full of unnecessary amounts of sugar and sodium. You can easily avoid both of these by making it yourself!

I love making my own because I’m in control of every single ingredient and can decide how sweet to make it. In fact, you don’t even need to add any natural sweeteners because the dried fruit usually makes it sweet enough. The best part about making it is that your kitchen smells like heaven while it’s baking.

When I was developing this recipe, I thought about all the clients I’ve had over the years who have trouble digesting grains because of digestive problems like IBS. This grain-free nutty granola is safe for those on a grain-free diet and it’s also excellent for balancing blood sugar because the nuts provide healthy anti-inflammatory good fats and plant-based protein.

A little goes a long way! This granola is very fulfilling, much more than an oat-based granola. I enjoy it in my Coconut Parfait (you’ll see this on page 110). You’ll also catch me scooping a handful mid-day for a quick power-snack! My 16 month old loves it too, but I grind it up in the food processor more for her because she only has 11 teeth.

Here’s the recipe from Joyous Detox for my Grain-Free Nutty Granola – I hope you enjoy it!

Grain-Free Nutty Granola

Makes about 8 cups (2 L)

Gluten-free — Dairy-free — Refined sugar-free — Grain-free

4 cups (1 L) mixed raw pecans, cashews and walnuts

1 cup (250 mL) raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened, unsulphured shredded coconut

1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries or dried cherries

1 egg white (optional)

2 tbsp (30 mL) water (optional)

3 tbsp (45 mL) coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup (75 mL) real maple syrup

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract or vanilla powder

2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon

½ tsp (2 mL) nutmeg

½ tsp (2 mL) sea salt

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place nuts and pumpkin seeds in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the nuts, but don’t grind them into a fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in coconut and dried cranberries.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white with the water, if using, until bubbly and slightly foamy. (You can skip this step if you prefer an egg-free granola. The egg white helps the granola to clump together, but it’s not crucial.) Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt; whisk together well. Pour liquid mixture into nut mixture. Stir everything well to make sure it is all coated.

Spread granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes, and again at the end. Be careful not to let it burn; it should be golden brown. Let granola cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container, preferably a mason jar.

Joyous Tip

Many people are sensitive to grains such as oats (even if they are certified gluten-free), and it’s very difficult to find a commercial grain-free granola, which is why I created this totally grain-free recipe. This granola can also be beneficial for those with any inflammatory issues such as IBS, who may need to take a break from grains.

Photography: Christopher Bodnar

Joyous Detox Copyright 2016

You're Going to Love the UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge!

File this UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge under: things that are too good to miss!

Starting Monday, January 23rd, and running through Sunday, January 29th, the UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge is an inspiring, health- and beauty-boosting program developed by the lovely natural beauty company UMA, with the goal of getting YOU involved, and helping you get healthy and gorgeous this month.

Participating will get you some incredible rewards, in addition to feeling great after competing each day's healthy habit challenge. Everyone who participates for all 7 days and follows the challenge terms (below) will receive a $100 UMA Detox Bundle, which includes sample sizes of 3 of UMA's amazing masks and 2 gorgeous wellness oils. BUT you have to join the challenge and participate in all 7 days for your prize!

Here's all you need to know to participate and prepare:

To Participate

  1. Sign-up for UMA's email newsletter for challenge updates.
  2. Regram the challenge announcement post and rules on Instagram (Jan. 16) and tag a friend to join you in the challenge so they can win too!
  3. Regram UMA’s daily challenge photo for all 7 days with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge, including the hashtag #UMAallnatural

Super easy, right? And here's how to play along:

Steps to Pure, Natural Lifestyle

  • Day 1 (1/23): Try oil pulling with coconut or sesame oil first thing in the morning to promote oral health rather than using mouthwash packed with cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Day 2 (1/24): Trade your daily cup of coffee for a metabolism-boosting, antioxidant-filled cup of herbal tea. Not only will you get a steadier energy boost, but you’ll be doing your skin a favor with tea’s inherent compounds that are great for skin elasticity and circulation.
  • Day 3 (1/25): Only eat non-processed food all day. Try one of our recipes if you need ideas!
  • Day 4 (1/26): Use only beauty products with ingredients you can pronounce.
  • Day 5 (1/27): Detox your body with warm lemon water in the morning to improve digestion, support liver detoxification, and reduce bloating. Have a spoonful of flaxseed oil before bed to flush out toxins and get a boost of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Day 6 (1/28): Pre-shower, stimulate your lymphatic system and boost circulation with dry brushing. Dedicate 3-5 minutes to massage the body with firm, small strokes in a circular motion towards the heart, starting from the feet and working your way up to the neck and face. At night, give your body a rub down with the oil that best suits your dosha. Discover yours via the link in our bio.
  • Day 7 (1/29): Meditate for 5 minutes with the help of an essential oil. Sandalwood, frankincense, and chamomile are especially soothing. Any of our Wellness Oils will do the trick, especially our grounding Gorgeous for Good blend! Essential oils will help you reach a meditative state and promote focus, clarity, and relaxation. Not quite ready for meditation? Just try switching out your perfume for an essential oil with luscious scent notes to reap the benefits all-day long.Commit to the all-natural life with us! Each day of the challenge, we’re asking you to take an actionable step towards a healthier lifestyle. Let’s hold each other accountable and start treating our bodies better together.

Prize

Everyone that participates in all 7 days of the challenge, following the challenge terms, will receive an UMA Detox Bundle valued at $100.

Challenge Terms

  • Must follow @umaoils on Instagram
  • Must be signed up the UMA email list
  • Must regram contest announcement post and rules (1 week prior) and tag a friend to join
  • Must regram UMA’s daily challenge photo all 7 days with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge
  • Must use the hashtag #UMAallnatural on every photo
  • Followers that participate in all 7 days will receive a Detox Bundle valued at $100
  • One entry per person
  • Open internationally to public accounts only
  • Competition close date: January 29, 2017

Challenge Dates

  • Challenge Announcement: January 16, 2017
  • 7-Day Challenge: January 23-29, 2017
  • Close Date: January 29, 2017
  • Announce Winners: January 30, 2017

Ready to get going? Me too. I cant wait to see you posting and re-gramming your challenge photos starting 1/23! #UMAallnatural

x, Jolene

Meditation for Beauty- and Win My Favorite Meditation App!

People ask me what I still struggle with most when it comes to beauty— is it sugar cravings? missing coffee? finding enough time to cook at home?

Nope, it's none of those things. My struggle is way more complicated than forgoing a brownie or cup of coffee— it's STRESS.

There are plenty of days when I toe the very fine line between balancing it all fabulously and feeling crushed by the weight of overwhelm. My mind switches between my roles as a mother, sister, wife, daughter, coach, author and editor like a flashing strobe light. And guess what? This is something we ALL deal with in one way or another. It's one more of our shared human experiences, and I think one of the best ways to deal is to support and empower each other to develop the tools to push back against stress mode when it hits.

My stress-reducing arsenal includes walking (living in a city, I love that I can fit in walks while running errands; walking instantly lowers stress), mindful breathing, my favorite magnesium drink Natural Calm, stress-busting aromatherapy, power naps (I'll admit, I've taken 10-minute power naps on my office floor when in dire need of a time out), and meditation. This last one is big.

I've dabbled in meditation for several years, but didn't fully commit until January 2015, when I set the intention to meditate for 10 minutes a day, every day. I don't know what's harder, sitting in meditation for 10 minutes, or finding 10 minutes to sit and meditate! I've tried all kids of apps to help me stay consistent when I'm traveling, and I finally found one that I love so much, I even use it when I'm at home. It's called OMG. I Can Meditate!, and I am so excited to give away ten 3-month memberships to OMG this week!

To enter to win one of ten 3-month memberships to the OMG. I Can Meditate! app, comment, tweet and/or follow, via the box below, by 6/5/15.

A screengrab from a meditation session in the OMG. I Can Meditate! app.

A screengrab from a meditation session in the OMG. I Can Meditate! app.

The connection between stress and beauty is real. Getting stress under control can be the key to restoring hormone balance, boosting the body's natural detox abilities, improving digestion, and lowering inflammation. Many of my clients struggle with breakouts that are connected to hormones and stress, and we work hard to develop ways to manage stress even as we build a diet that clears skin from the inside out. Stress greatly impacts sleep/wake cycles, weight and adrenal fatigue— all important for our overall beauty and wellbeing.

If there's one thing I would challenge you to do to lower your stress this year (and reap the added benefits of increased mental focus, reduced anxiety, and more radiant skin!), it would be regular meditation. Apps are great ways to start, and I fell in love with OMG. I Can Meditate!, for its beautiful images, relaxing narration voice (of its creator, Lynne Goldberg), and all kinds of cool extras— from bedtime meditations that help you fall asleep to kids meditations and 'missions,' where you choose your ongoing intentions. I'm still discovering all the content.

Enter to win your 3-month membership below— you will LOVE it!


Meet UK Skin Guru Antonia Burrell and Join Our Live Q&A

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If you love safe, effective, science-backed green beauty and you haven't heard of Antonia Burrell Holistic Skincare, it's because, well, her products are seriously hard to come by here in the US. I'll call them exclusive. If you aren't a client of the famed (and chicly-curated) Shen Beauty in Brooklyn, you haven't even seen Antonia Burrell Skincare on shelves in the US. And you're missing out!

With famously flawless faces like that of model Jessica Stam and HRH Princess Tatiana of Greece in her hands, Burrell has a lot at stake. But her clients rave about her famous Natural Face Lift Facial (make a trip to Urban Bliss Spa in Notting Hill to experience it) and product line.

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The First Mass Market Facial Oils: Natural Vs. Conventional...Plus Your Chance to Win One!

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Flipping through a fashion mag last week, I saw an ad for new L'Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, billed as The first facial oil*.

The claim seemed a little outrageous, until my eyes found the asterisk on the facing page that further explained *In the current Mass Market (non-Department Stores).

From there I glanced up to my desk, where I'd just set two samples of Seventh Generation's own new mass market facial oils (available in Walgreens). I thought it would be interesting to compare the two L'Oreal and the Seventh Generation products. I found that Seventh Gen's oils give L'Oreal's new oil a run for its money— in more ways than one.

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Sleep Month Giveaway: The Beauty Benefits of Sleep

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I’m not the only one who has been daydreaming of spring lately. The natural beauties at German skin care brand Amala have been too! To celebrate the arrival of spring AND National Sleep Month, Amala is supplying me with 20 Aroma Apothecary Lavender Essential Oil Concentrate roll-ons to help you catch up on beauty sleep during the month of March. I’ll be giving away 5 of these relaxing roll-ons (valued at $20 each) every Friday in March!

Tell me one beauty benefit you see when you sleep well and you could be one of 5 winners this week!

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Sleep Month Giveaway: Best Bedtime Rituals

amala-lavender-concentrate-giveaway

I’m not the only one who has been daydreaming of spring lately. The natural beauties at German skin care brand Amala have been too! To celebrate the arrival of spring AND National Sleep Month, Amala is supplying me with 20 Aroma Apothecary Lavender Essential Oil Concentrate roll-ons to help you catch up on beauty sleep during the month of March. I’ll be giving away 5 of these relaxing roll-ons (valued at $20 each) every Friday in March!

What’s your favorite bedtime beauty ritual to prepare for good sleep? Comment and you could be one of 5 winners to receive an Amala Beauty lavender essential oil roll-on this week!

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