Natural Beauty: Why is This Approach to Beauty Worthwhile?
Every day we use lotions, potions, and cosmetics to make us look, smell and feel better, but what if those same products are actually making us feel worse. Pure Natural Diva shares a couple of the reason she is SO passionate about choosing natural & organic personal care products.
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Tell us more about your Natural Beauty concerns, so we can address them in future videos?
The Best Hamburger Recipe = The Healthiest
An American Classic. What summer gathering would be complete without a good burger. We often serve up this recipe for our summer gatherings. Did you know that using all grass fed ground beef – saves about 100 calories per 6 oz burger? No joke, that’s a big difference. Adding diced mixed veggies and a little bit of Flax Meal, not only keeps these burgers moist and juicy, but it also might make this the healthiest & best hamburger recipe you’ve ever had.
Diva’s Best Hamburger Recipe Ingredients
2 lbs of All Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef
1 Tbsp Flax
1 Tbsp of Worchestershire Sauce
1 Cup of Diced Mix Vegetables
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 Cup of Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
Instructions for our Best Hamburger Recipe
Sautee or microwave your diced mixed veggies until they are soft. This is key, they won’t cook fast enough to soften in the burger while it grills.
Dump all the ingredients in a large bowl… I love use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this…. mix until well combined.
Gently form into a ball, about tennis sized, then flatten out. Once you have it flattened, take a second to poke most of your green spots into the beef so they are hidden. Repeat until you have no more meat mixture.
Set aside and grill to your desired “done-ness.” Set on a Whole Wheat Bun and garnish with your favorite fixings.
Makes 8-9 1/4 burger patties.
Tips & Tricks: What is your best hamburger recipe tip?
Almost every week – things arrive on my doorstep. Some are sent via PR and some I order online… not always the greenest way to buy, but it is a tool in this busy mom’s toolbox.I decided to share what comes from PR because they often send great natural eco savvy choices for me to try and when they are good, I want you to know about them.
Sharing things that I order, ties in naturally because another way to for readers & viewers to get insight into how I make the choices for our family.
Be sure to Subscribe to the Pure Natural Diva – PND Living Channel on YouTube – and while you are there add us as a friend too!
Birthday Wish: Healthier Party Food
Just because you’re serving up cake doesn’t mean you can’t treat your guests to healthier choices next time you throw a party. For inspiration – check out this menu from Lil Diva’s recent Water Celebration 6th Birthday Party!
Birthday Wish: Summer Inspired Strawberry Theme
Strawberries are Lil Diva’s favorite fruit. They are also gorgeous and the perfect fruit to feature for the fete. We placed heaping bowls everywhere. They made a stunning edible focal point and the perfect healthy summertime snack option for our guests. We kept the strawberries chilled & fresh all day by placing a cup full of ice in each vase – the glass was then hidden by the berries.
Birthday Wish: Healthier Menu
- Featuring Strawberries… everywhere.
- Watermelon and Grapes.
- Veggie Platter with Baby Carrots, Snap Peas, Mushrooms & Baby Tomatoes
- Whole Grain Pita Chips, Organic Tortilla Chips and Veggies Straws
- Dips; Hummus, Guacamole, and Salsa.
- Hamburgers made with Grass Fed Beef, and micro Diced Veggies on Whole Wheat Buns – Recipe Posting Sept 22, 2011!
- Hot Dogs made with all natural uncured beef hot dogs on Whole Wheat Buns.
- Tossed Salad with Dressing
- Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese & Fresh Strawberry, served with a raspberry vinaigrette.
- Macaroni and Cheese made with 100% whole grain pasta, and real sharp cheddar.
- Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Fries and Sweet Potato Waffle Fries from Alexia Natural Foods.
- Vanilla Cake with Custard Filling and Butter Cream Frosting.
We borrowed 2 – 3 Gallon Drink Dispensers from a neighbor and filled them with:
- Strawberry Lemonade
Birthday Wish: Edible Centerpieces
Because we were raising funds for Charity Water. The California Strawberry Commission sent gorgeous strawberries. They truly inspired the theme and became a gorgeous focal point for the event!
This event was made more successful due to the participation of our brand partners.
- Episencial donated $125, and sent bubble bath for everyone – if you need a super pure baby skincare products be sure to check them out!
- Mabel’s Labels sent the cutest individually named loot bag label packs
- The California Strawberry Commission sent 42 pounds of strawberries
- Alexia Foods sent some sweet potato fries & onion rings
- Rudi’s Bakery sent bread products for the Barbecue!
Green: More than a Color
Green – is a color, but these days for most people it invokes so much. One little 5 letter word, interpreted many ways.
Personally for many years… being green wasn’t positive in my mind , nor was it anything I endeavored to incorporate into my life. It was something that my mom did. If you asked me what I thought the word green meant, I would have said it’s for other people,, but not me. Those people I might have considered activist, treehugger’s – extremist who were convinced the sky is falling because a kernel of corn dropped on their head. I’ve come a long way.
Now, as the editor of a healthy living eco savvy lifestyle website, suffice it to say my perception has changed – just a little.
- a lifestyle
- a movement
- a trend
Does being green make you:
- An Activist
- An Environmentalist
I asked friends, What Does Green Mean to you?
“Making the best choices I can with the knowledge I have while trying to learn more every day.”
“Chemical free, hormone free, as mother nature and God intended it to be.”
“Being as earth friendly as possible – no chemicals, eating healthy foods”
“Green to me means that you make choices that contribute to the well being of the Earth and environment.”
“Leaving the earth a better place than I found it. Cleaning up after myself like my mama taught me.”
“Thinking about the environmental impact of purchases, research, and saving money by keeping it simple (IE less boxed food=less waste/recycling).”
“Green means everything in it’s purest form. Whether that being food, products or a person.”
“Green means caring about your carbon footprint and doing what you can to reduce your negative impact on Earth.”
“To me green is like the old camp saying, “Leave no trace.” I want to leave my little part of the world a little better and a little cleaner than it was when I arrived. Being green is not just about recycling or using less energy, eating organic foods or walking instead of driving. It’s a state of mind.”
“Green means back to basics – back to our roots – feeding and thriving off natural products, natural foods, baking from scratch instead of processed, using nature instead of artificial, cheaper products and harmful toxins.”
On Facebook and Twitter we heard
Money, Lifestyle, Booger (someone’s son had a cold!), conscious, Sustainable, healthy and Safe for our kids.
One Fan went on to say “I think that people used to associate the word “green” with having to sacrifice something they did not want to or be inconvenienced in some way, but slowly I think more people understand that going green is not near as difficult to incorporate in their life as they originally thought.”
Isn’t it fascinating! One word can bring so many meanings.
So…you may be wondering. What does green mean to me? I think it’s all about action. What do we do with the information we take in on a daily basis. Attempting to live in a mindful and conscious manner.
What Green Commitment Can You Make Today?
This is a great presentation by the President of the EWG, Ken Cook.
The risk of Cancer in the United States is higher than any other country in the world. Invest a few minutes to watch this video. For the health and safety of your family – it’s eye opening.
Summer is coming – which sunscreen will you slather on your skin?
Sunscreen is a product that we are encouraged to use to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays while enjoying the outdoors. If you’re a parent, it’s likely you are even more concerned about protecting your children’s sensitive skin and making the safest choice possible.
But what to do we really know about the safety of the products we are choosing – in my research – it seems clear that we don’t know enough.
Note – be prepared when switching to safer sunscreens you are going to move into products that are going to be thicker, whiter and slower to absorb that other sunscreen choices. This is because they rely on a high concentration of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to block the suns rays.
At least 7% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for UVA & UVB protection.
What to Avoid:
Spray and Powder Sunscreen
Sunscreen insect repellent combo – pesticides absorbing into your body
Ingredients; Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3, skin absorption, allergies, hormone problems
Brands; Coppertone, Banana Boat and Most Neutrogena
From the EWG:
No one understands the health implications of our exposures to complex mixtures of industrial compounds and pollutants: remarkably, federal health standards do not require companies to test most products for safety before they are sold, including nearly all chemicals in sunscreen and other personal care products. Little is known about the safety of most industrial chemicals. In the absence of data the federal government approves new chemicals for the market using computer models to predict if they are toxic to humans.
After 30 years of debate,the government has failed to set mandatory sunscreen safety standards. Companies are free to make their own decisions on everything from advertising claims to product quality. FDA now stands in direct violation of a Congressional mandate requiring the agency to finalize sunscreen safety standards by May 2006, flouting not only Congress but also consumers, who are reliant on sunscreen to protect their health.
EWG’s Top Ten List:
California Baby (SPF 30 or Higher)
CVS (with zinc oxide
Jason Natural Cosmetics – Sunbrellas Mineral Based Sunblock
Kiss My Face – Paraben Free series
Neutrogena – Sensative Skin Sunblock
Olay Defense Daily UV Moisturizer with zinc
SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense
Solar Sense Clear Zinc for Face
Walgreens Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose, & Ears
After studying the EWG’s extensive list the following products have an EWG score of 0-3 for toxicity. My selections are for individual products, not the brands in general, as brand scores can vary widely.
Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Mineral Based Physical Sunblock SPF 30+
Kiss My Face Sunscreen Spf#30 + With Oat Protein 100% Paraben Free
Nature’s Gate Organics Be Solective Sunscreen for Face, SPF 30
All California Baby Sunscreens
Dermalogica Super Sensitive Face Block, SPF 30
Mustela Sun Cream for Sensitive Areas, SPF 50
Kiehl’s All-Sport ‘non-Freeze’ Face Protector, SPF 30
DDF Organic Sunblock, SPF 30
CVS Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 45+
Walgreens Sunblock with Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose & Ears, SPF 45+
Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, SPF 30 – Available at my Target
No-Ad Ultra Sunblock Lotion, SPF 60
If you must use a spray – these are your best bets:
Almay Sun Protector for Body Spray, SPF 30
Dermalogica Waterblock Solar Spray, SPF 30
Banana Boat Ultra Mist Kid’s Tear Free Continuous Spray Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30 – Only SPF 30 the SPF 50 is rated 9!
Shopping at Target:
I was recently at target, they had walls of sunscreen. I could only find one of the above products – After an hour of research using my telephone I was able to find 2 sunscreens that were an EWG 3 and the lowest score for a spray was a 5.
Coppertone WaterBabies Pure & Simple – SPF 50 – oil, fragrance & dye free
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion – SPF 60+
Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen – SPF 50
To learn more:
The Quest to Find the Perfect Organic – Isn’t Always A Smooth One
Did you ever taste a cookie you didn’t like? Probably.
What about ice cream, do you enjoy EVERY flavor? Probably Not.
We all have our own unique tastes and preferences. Many Australian children grow up loving Vegemite a dark viscous yeast spread that would make the average American child run screaming from the kitchen. These same Aussie youngsters may find peanut butter peculiar.
It’s all a matter of what you grow up with, what you are accustomed, tastes, and preferences.
I’ve noticed a tendency for people to dismiss a whole entire category of foods & products strictly because the have had a bad experience with one item in the category.
- They will eat one Organic Cookie that isn’t to their taste and swear off ALL Organic Cookies.
- They will try an Organic Moisturizer that causes a breakout and swear off all Organic Moisturizers.
My simplistic definition of Organic is something grown without the use of pesticides.
- Don’t like a particular Organic Cookie? It’s the recipe! It has nothing to do with lack of pesticides on the oatmeal used in the recipe!
- If a moisturizer makes you breakout – it likely wasn’t the right formulation for your skin and had nothing to do with the lack of pesticides used for one of the ingredients.
Once you’ve decided to make the transition to organic and natural products – expect it to take time to find the perfect formulation for your skin, the right recipe for your taste buds. Don’t give up because you don’t connect on your first attempt.
Additionally – when you are trying something new take advantage of retailers with excellent return policies, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Keep the receipt and they are more than happy to take a return on a product that wasn’t right for you. So you can try it and take it back if it doesn’t work out.
Share Your Organic Journey with Us!
Six weeks ago we had a patch of grass next to our pool that we converted to an organic vegetable garden. Click here to read all about my lack of skill in the gardening department and all the help I required to get this project off the ground.
We were a little late getting the plants in the ground… I was worried the heat would prevent them from getting established, but fortunately it’s been a cooler June in LA so most of the plants survived.
Not only did they survive, they thrived. When I took the family to away to the Evolution of Women in Social Media conference in Park City, Utah we were gone for a total of 5 days. We came home and all my itty bitty plants literally exploded! I knew the tomatoes would need staking as soon as we got back from from the trip, but was shocked to come back and find the plants falling over only days later.
Tonight we made our first salad out of lettuce, radishes and basil harvested from the garden. The tomatoes and cucumbers are close behind! I’m also SURE before I know it the butternut squash, zucchini are going to be overrunning my pantry. What will I do with them all!
To give you an idea of how tall the tomatoes have gotten – I staked them on 4′ Bamboo U-Stakes – if you can’t see from the picture I’d say they are easily 2′ tall already. And there are baby heirloom tomatoes sprouting all over the place!
More Photos from my gardening adventures to date:
This little pepper plant has been the same size since the day I planted it! It hasn’t died, but at the same time it refuses to grow.
This pepper is growing on a plant that is almost smaller than it is! How is that possible?
I think it’s almost time to thin the lettuce – not sure what that entails – but I’m sure google will be happy to help guide me through. I also think it’s about time to plant more lettuce seeds… they say to sow every 3 weeks or so for continual harvest.
I’m pretty sure this means I’ll have more cucumbers than I know what to do with very, very soon!
Our first Salad from the garden – Basil, Romaine Lettuce and a few radishes – or pink & whites as I called them in an attempt to get lil diva to like them! No luck BTW.
So far so good, but my gardening adventure has just begun… I’m sure there will be more stories to come! And… if you need any Basil… I have a lot, let me know I’m happy to share!
Planning a getaway for some fun in the sun this winter? You’ll want to protect your winter white skin from the sun with sunscreen, but you’ll also want to be sure the protection doesn’t care it’s own set of concerns.
Kabana Skincare offers a selection of ultra pure sunscreens, baby care products, soap & bodywashes that offer light UV protection for everyday protection, moisturizers, lip balms and sunscreens.
To learn more about the importance of careful sunscreen selections read the Diva Guide to Safer Sunscreen.
Kabana offer’s sunscreen in both Tinted & Untinted. Many of the safer sunscreens contain a high amount of zinc, as does Kabana’s. Many people don’t like the white pastiness you end up with from the zinc. Tinted sunscreen provides a solution to this problem. I’m very fair and the tint disappeared into my skin. Those with darker skin my find the tinting a little pale.
Sunscreen is an important part of a skincare regime. Not only does it prevent skin cancer, but wrinkles too. Let’s face it, most of us are more motivated by vanity then our health. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists – 90% of wrinkles are caused by sun!
What I love about the Kabana line is their streamline approach they take with their products. Their Tinted Sunscreen has 8 ingredients. Eight! They focus on high quality, effective ingredients. I was initially concerned that they didn’t offer a SPF 30. Their founder, Eric Kreider believes that an SPF 20 is all the protection we need and equates to absorbing 95% of UV, while an SPF 45 only gives you 2.8% more protection while exposing our bodies to more chemicals that typically carry a %300 increase in associated health risk along with a higher price tag.
With a Diva Total 13.7 of out of 15 points this product is: Divaliscious!
8 Points Skin Deep Low Hazard Rating ~ 1
2 Points for being Organic – The Tinted Sunscreen comprised of %86 organic ingredients.
1.8 Points for effectiveness Worn at the Beach in Sunny California and on a Palm Springs getaway, my fair skin didn’t get burnt. I did get a bit of extra sun on my nose – I should have reapplied after 2 hours as per the instructions.
.8 Point for Texture This product was very smooth and creamy. For a zinc based sunscreen I found it absorbed in more quickly than other products I’ve tried.
.7 Point for Fragrance The Kabana Sunscreen is unscented and doesn’t contain any fragrance to mask it’s natural scent.
.3 Points for Packaging Appearance The packaging is very sporty in appearance. Royal Blue with Bright Yellow and Green Writing accents.
.1 Points for Packaging SustainabilityThe Sunscreen is not packaged using any additional boxes, but there was no information on their site or the tube.
With a nice texture, effective sun protection and ultra pure ingredient list, this is a great sunscreen option for your entire family. If whiteness from the zinc bothers you, choose the tinted option. Otherwise I didn’t notice a difference between the two offerings.
Note – Don’t forget to shake the tube well prior to application as it separates when it sits.