Archive | January 2011

Ingredients of natural body care

I learn that workshop about natural body care are a mine of information, and I am starting to appreciate even more using products with ingredients I can actually pronounce.


I started all this as “my natural 2011 resolution“, and the best part of my journey is learning how Mother Nature gave us everything we need.

From your local market you can select what is going to nourish your body, inside and out. Honey, cucumber, sugar, water and many more natural ingredients can help you to replace all those   products that have chemicals, anima”l blood”, and lots of bad stuff inside their sparkling packaging.

My suggestion is to use, as much as you can, natural ingredients like these describe below. Make your own body care product and save  the environment.

It’s also a great idea for girls night. In fact some recipe need to be made at the moment (it’s not possible to conserve most of them) and it’s better if you have somebody to share them with so that you do not waste anything.

- plain yogurt –> Rich of lactic acid, it helps to dissolve dead skin cells leaving toned and soft skin. It can be used as mask for all kind of skin. Pasteurized yogurt will work just fine, but try to use raw yogurt when possible. Make sure there are not additives or other stabilizers. You can apply one teaspoon of plain yogurt to the face and neck, and leave it on for 25 minute. If the mask starts to become runny, lie down. Rinse even if it’s not completely dry and follow with moisturizer. With time this mask can slightly bleaches and even skin tone.

- strawberry –> Did you know you can use the fruit and the leaves as body care ingredient? Strawberry pulp is really good to whiten teeth and freshen breath. Just smash a ripe medium sized strawberries and brush normally with your toothbrush. Rinse with water. You can do this every day and you will notice the difference. Also, infusion of strawberry leaves makes a very good astringent for oily or normal skin. Apply directly on pimples.

- honey –> It’s the perfect way to soft, moisture and hydrate your skin, increasing circulation and leaving a nice glow. Use raw honey (about 2-3 teaspoons) and apply a thin coat on your face, neck and chest. Leave on for 15 minutes, then pat the skin with our finger. Rinse using a cloth damped with hot water.

- sugar –> I learned about this one day when I got a manicure in a very nice spa. They use sugar as natural exfoliant. Use half teaspoon of sugar in damped hands and massage for a couple of minutes the all surface, finger by finger, and wrists. Rinse with warm water. It’s a great way to remove dead cells leaving soft skin. You can also use sugar for the res to your body when you take a shower, before or together the body wash.

These are only few example.
If you are still not sure if or why you should give up your “regular” body care products, I give you a very good reason. Read my post about Not just a pretty face by Stacy Malkan. It’s a life changing book. I truly believe that if you read this book you just cannot buy again those products.

Trust me, give it a try! At least you will be 1005 aware of what you are doing to yourself and your children.

Let me know!

Of course there is nothing better than nature!

I will be also posting simple body care recipe that I have already tried, and I know you do not want to miss them. They actually work!

“Jersey Shore” in Italy – Enjoy responsibly!

I just read that Jersey Shore season 4 will shoot in Italy this spring, and no, I’m not happy!

 

Jersey Shore (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

Now, please let me say something.
I agree, in TV there is – possibly – much worse.
I agree, everybody is absolutely free to watch and like any TV show.

I actually don’t have anything against Jersey Shore as TV show, but it really bothers me A LOT the fact that they define themselves as Italian. Not only they depicts false image of Italians,  they actually represent a nasty and strongly negative Italian stereotype, and they do it well.

MTV said that the reason why is sending the cast to Italy is obvious: Jersey Shore is nominally about Italian-American culture and you can’t have Italian-American culture without Italy. So it’s sort of like they’re returning to their homeland.
The media also wrote that the cast is headed to the birthplace of the culture they love and live by.
Please! Everybody knows that the only Italian thing they have – and no all of them – is the last name. They don’t even speak Italian, and I wonder if they can point the country on the map.

Please do not believe Italian people are like that. Enjoy the show, the fights, the yelling, but please, do not identify Italian people with them.

And if I’m wrong, I’m asking to you Italian-American people: how many of you feel represented by them?

Well, at least now, those Jersey guys will be actually able to go to Italy – no that I care, but, you know…since they believe they are Italian…
I hope this new season will be able to show that they are not Italian at all, they do not belong there, and I’m pretty sure won’t be easy for them to interact with even the worse Italian tamarri!

Media also reported that the cast reacted very well to the news – yeah! They are going to Italy! Hello?! – but I suspect this has nothing to do with finding their roots. They can probably do their fighting, drinking, yelling and more everywhere, like they showed already.

Will happen something different in Italy?
Let’s see. I just think they need to be careful, calm, not to look for trouble. I know a couple of people who would have something to say about their hair and tan. So won’t be a smart move for them to say they represent the Italian-American people, at least for the 10 millions people who every week watch the show!

Enjoy the show responsibly!

 

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My running playlist – What’s yours?

I feel good. I have lots of reason to be proud of myself, but I forget it all the time, while I am always ready to be harder with myself.

One of the reasons why I should be proud it’s my running. After writing my first post about it, sharing with you my 2011 goal, I really got lots of energy from all your comments.

I am being consistent with my training, not excusing myself for lack of time or bad mood. Sometimes my very very (very) short experience takes me  in the wrong direction, but I’m working on it.

In two and a half months of training I have already learned a lot, not only about running, but about my body and even more important, my mind.

The fact that I used to see as the most negative (me running on the treadmill) it’s actually becoming my strength. In fact I read somewhere that running in the treadmill allows you to do something you cannot do running outside: training your mind.

I soon realized that my lack of confidence wasn’t only caused by the fact that I have never run before, but most of it was coming simply from my head. Training your mind and show it that you can actually do it it’s becoming my most important drive. Almost as important as my playlist.

I can not run without my music. Of course I have my “running “ playlist, and there are few songs that physically help me to run better, especially when my mind and body start to discuss whether or not they should stop.

Here my top ten playlist:

  1. Waka Waka (Time for Africa) – Shakira
  2. Release me – Agnes Carisson
  3. PYT (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson
  4. When love takes over – David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland
  5. Get low – Flo Rida feat. T-Pain
  6. Like a G6 – Far East Movement
  7. One day in your life – Anastacia
  8. L’aiuola – Gianluca Grignani
  9. Raise your glass – Pink
  10. È più forte di me – Ligabue

What’s yours?

Read more posts about running.

The ugly side of the beauty industry

I was going to work, holding the book with gloves while words were flowing fast. I couldn’t stop reading those stories of people getting sick because of chemicals in cosmetics. Then, I stopped and realized I had those all over my face.

My post My natural 2011 resolution – which started my journey into body care without chemicals – got a comment form a reader – Greyt Vegan Life – who suggested a book about this topic:

“Have you read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side Of The Beauty Industry”? It’s a real eye-opener.”

As I wrote replying to the comment, I didn’t know of this book. I Googled it and read a bit about it. It really didn’t  take much for me to understand that it was a book that I needed to own.

I started reading it right away, and I couldn’t stop. The more the stories were terrible, the more I was freaking out, the more I wanted to know more. Cosmetics are scary, but more than that we are, we are scary.

The base concept is really simple: we have in our bodies lots of substance that don’t even exist in nature. We live longer but we are more sick.
Think about it: we all know somebody who has, had or died, for example, of cancer.

It’s true, we are what we eat, what we breath, and yes, what we put on our skin.

On the website Cosmeticsdatabase.com you can check millions of body care products (by brand or type of product), see how dangerous they are, and check every single ingredient to learn about the good and the bad.

I bet you will find yours (all the more common brands are on the database). Be prepared, it’s pretty terrible! Especially if you think that, because of these chemicals, mothers can infect their babies – even through breast milk – and even fathers (actually a pretty high percentage) can be the cause of future babies problems.

That day I came back from work and told my husband “I am throwing everything in the garbage”. He laughed.

I know, maybe I am overreacting.
Fine, I’m going to breath. I’m breathing.

Sorry. I know there are lots of things I can not control, and I know we do not live in a perfect world.  But I can’t really get over the idea that one day my child could pay for my make up choice. That is really too much.

If I have to pay, getting sick, because this is the world we builded, the world we live in, that’s fine. How many bad things are we in without even knowing it? But it’s really hard to know there is the chance that somebody else will pay for you.

Thinking about it, somebody else will pay if I waste water, if I produce pollution, if I buy the wrong clothes (find out more about Water footprint: how the fashion industry and your shopping impact the Planet).

What to do then?

Well, now that I know it’s really difficult to look away and just come back to my life. Now that I know I have the power to make a choice, and I will. At the end of the day reading the tag before buying make up it’s something that I can live with, and is really worth while.

At this point going back is not even an option.

 

I will be posting soon natural body care recipes you can make easily at home. Subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss a post.

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Nothing feels like a book in your hands

Paper vs technology, 1-0. At least for me, because I could never give up on the great feeling to hold a book in my hands.


Think about those winter days, even better, winter weekends. It’s snowing outside and you are getting ready to relax with you favorite cup of tea, the armchair where you could spend days , and yes, your book.

I grow up with books all around me, literally.

My mother used to read all the time, as well as my grandmother, and when they didn’t have anything new to read, they would read an old one, and then another, without stopping. Growing up, I noticed the bookshelves were the first thing I was looking for when I was invited over to a friend, because it was an infallible way to better understand their personalities.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but please, do not touch my books. I know my grandmother probably thought the same about email vs. letters written by hand, and my children and grandchildren  will look at me one day like an old dinosaurs.

It’s ok, call me “old school”, I’ll take it. But I am the one who had hard time buying second-hand books at school, or rent them from the library. Not all of them, but those that I knew I was going to look for in few years, and that I felt closer to me and to who I wanted to become as a person.

Books are personal, and I found myself selfish sometimes, not wanting to borrow those that I really couldn’t live without, because you never know if you are going to see them again!

My family’s love for books taught me also that they are the most precious gifts, but you should ALWAYS write an inscription.

I used to love when my Mum lent me one of the books she used to read in her teens. All of them have the date and inscription from my grandmother, my grandfather, friends or other members of the family.  I knew exactly when she had that book, from who and why. Some were actually my grandmother’s which made them little family’s treasure for me.
Sometimes there were notes on the side of the page, or I could find little pieces of paper and underlined sentences. Some pages were more yellow than others because she was coming back to read them over and over again. If it was a poem book, I could see signs of dried off tears. I knew what she was thinking when she was reading it, and learning about the story and the message from the author I was learning also about my family.

Now, try to do all this with a Kobo eReadr.

Yes, I’m sure there are good reasons to switch to one of those technological gadget, but it’s just not the same. Not for me.

It’s happening for newspaper, pictures, and lots of other things. I know, I’m aware of that and I actually like most of this techno-revolution. But about books… not in my life time, not in my house.

Writing an email it’s not the same as writing a letter by hand, but we do it anyway. So I know eReaders will become our new….. well, it’s fine, but please don’t call them “books”!.

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