water drop

Water filtration at Home

Humans consist mostly of water. That's why we need to make sure we drink enough water during the day. Do you every think about your water supply? I do!

Tap water

Clean tap water is essential for everyone on the World. Your hygiene depends on it. Unfortunately not many people are so fortunate, but I am happy so many good causes are doing their best to bring healthy and clean drinking water to people in need. One of them is Charity: Water.

RELATED: 7 Water charities you should know

Many places in the World do have tap water at home. The quality differs depending on where you live. Even places where the water is considered safe to drink and to shower with, can still have toxic elements in it.Water is usually clear and certain toxic elements you can not smell, see or taste. So it is smart to filter it, but that also means essential minerals are taken out. It is important you supplement these.

READ MORE: More info on why you need to drink enough water.

Bottled water

You can drink water from bottles, but then you have to worry about BPA (Bisphenol A) a hormone disruptive chemical that is found in different kinds of plastics. Also, you have to worry about the quality of water. While mineral water from bottles have essential minerals, it is also found that many brands have tiny microplastics in the water. Yes, big chance you are drinking tiny amounts of microplastic!

READ MORE: Plastic found in 10 major brands bottled water

READ MORE: What drinking plastic does to your body

Eliminating plastic

Most brands offer their water in plastic bottles as it is easier, and you can throw it away after. But this ads to the enormous plastic soup we have in the World! There are ways to lower your plastic waste:

  • Use reusable bottles and fill them up with water
  • Buy glass water bottles instead of plastic water bottles.
  • Some companies offer them in glas bottles. I feel drinking water from glass bottled water is better, and I have been ordering glass bottles for use at home for years. Even my dog is so spoiled he usually drinks mineral water!

RELATED: Top Model Mallory uses her recyclable bottle with filtration system all the time

home water filtration system

Right now, I am looking into ways to filter tap water at home as well. Not only to use for cooking, but also to add to my shower head so my hair will stay shinier longer (hard water has a lot of minerals like calcium, lime and magnesium can make your hair dull) and to avoid heavy metals and other potential toxic stuff. I will update this article when I found the right filtration system. There are even systems that alter the energy level of the water, or make it alkaline. So much to learn!

Basically, living well to me means every day doing everything in your power to lower your exposure to toxic substances in the air, food and water. Unfortunately it is all around us, but we can flush it out with good quality water!

Love, Lonneke

p.s. Find me on instagram, Twitter or Facebook!


Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

My top 10 charities to give to this year

If you don't know to which charities you should give money, here is my top 10 charities to give to this year. Charities that, some big and some small, give focused help. Therefore you get more "use" out of the money you spend on these charities. While there are many organizations that do good, I have listed charities I have experience with/donated to in the past/or have been to their charity events.  Either I have seen it with my own eyes or I just really trust these organizations, these are my favorite 10 charities of 2013/2014:

My top 10 charities to give to this year

1. Animal Haven

Category dogs and cats in NYC, USA. This is a boutique no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. They don't have a big budget, but seem to really be efficient with their funds, and they help a lot of dogs! Many come from the NYCACC kill shelter, but they also take dogs in need from all over the World. My dog BANE came from Animal Haven and we adopted him from there a few years ago! They took care of him for 10 months before he came into our lives. The dogs are extremely happy and well-behaved who come from this shelter. Volunteers and employees really do everything to make their short-term stay (hopefully) as comfortable as possible. Their new location even has airconditioning in the rooms that are spacious for the dogs and cats! My dog Bane loves to visit them. I think that says a lot if a dog likes to return to a shelter!

Dirk, Lonneke and Bane
Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

 

2. Stichting Dimarte

Category: horses, the Netherlands.

Stichting Dimarte is a dutch charity that gives a home to abused and injured horses. Dimarte, led by Hester and her team, rehabilitate the horses both emotionally and physically. Most horses have so much trauma that they can't be ridden ever again, so they stay there until their last breath. Volunteers help with the daily care. This charity is also doing a lot on the social level, helping young kids and teenager who are having troubles rehabilitate too. There is a lot of emphasis on education of care for horses. I had been looking for a nice place for my 2 horses for years (as many of you know my horses were unfortunately abused by the people I paid to care for them, and I am still in a court case about it after almost 6 years!). I was happy when Dimarte helped me find that place. Regularly I receive pictures and videos of U2 and Cooper having a good time. All the other horses seem to be doing well too. If you want to support this cause too, you can go to their website or Facebook page to get more info on how to donate. I know each Euro or dollar will really do a lot of good here at this small charity! www.stichtingdimarte.nl 

horses U2 and Cooper with Hester

U2 (dark bay color) on the left, and Cooper (chestnut color) on the right, with Hester.

3. ASPCA (USA)

Category: dogs, cats, horses USA - The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have been supporting, donating and going to their charity events for years now. Why? I think the way you treat your animals says a lot about you. In most cases when people find animal abuse, there are other problems in place. Finding animal abuse ism besides helping animals, sometimes also the first step to help the people who own them. I have seen with my own eyes how they take in dogs & cats that are abused, neglected or malnourished, or are on the list to be euthanized in other shelters. They will bring them back to health, and find new forever homes for them. People who can't afford it, can get free veterinary care for their pets. Also, the ASPCA has been doing the same for horses all across the United States. In 1866, this charity was founded by Henry Bergh to primarily help sick, injured or abused horses. in 1902 they were the first to have an ambulance in NYC to take carriage horses of the streets that were injured. (Read more ASPCA history HERE)

lonneke aspcaAttending an ASPCA charity event in NYC, photo by Sonia Moskowitz (?) for ASPCA

3. NYCLASS (USA)

nyclass logoCategory: workhorses NYC - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable And Safe Streets. Although some people think the horse drawn carriages in NYC are so very romantic, the fact is that this is true case of horse abuse. There are many reasons why the 220 carriage horses of NYC should be taken of the streets. First of all: horses don't belong in heavy and loud traffic of one of the busiest metropoles of the World. Horses get into accidents, and every year it seems to be more and more. The horses work too long hours, in extreme cold and extreme heat, 7 days a week. Sometimes doing double shifts if the owner wants to make an extra buck (that's over 16 hour days then) They are never turned out or walked without a carriage so they can just stretch and be a horse. Their living conditions? Appalling. Some horses are stabled even on the second floor of buildings that were obviously not meant to have horses reside there. Ever seen a horse walk up the stairs? Well, some do it every day. Not to mention the small spaces they stay in. Some horses can't even turn around. During Sandy in November 2012, These horses were not allowed to be on the streets. Where were they? Suddenly, after working every day, they stayed INSIDE their stables for the full week! If that is not bad for a horse, I don't know what is! To make a long story short: NYCLASS already has a loving and forever place for each of the 220 NY Carriage horses once the bill is in place to take the horses of the streets of NYC.  There is even a great alternative I wrote about earlier:  the horseless electric carriage. How Smart! These days they focus also on more animal-related issues. Attending a NYCLASS charity event in NYC

4. Pencils of Promise. (USA)

Pencils of Promise logoCategory: children/education/worldwide - Founded by the manager of Justin Bieber, Adam Braun, this charity builds schools worldwide in places where kids otherwise would not go to school. It is that simple. Every penny goes to the schools. They have projects in countries like Laos, Guatamala & Ghana They have a goal of 100 schools by the end of 2012. They already finished about 75 of them. This year I attended the PoP gala where Usher was being honored, and also bid 12000 dollars on a cute labradoodle puppy he called "Poppy". This way more and more is raised for education for kids! So join the movement!

lonneke Pencils of PromiseAttending a Pencils of Promise event in NYC in 2012

5. Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Fund.

Category breast cancer/cancer /research/women's health - A charitable organization originated by Ralph Lauren, which supports breast cancer research and prevention all around the World. You can donate directly, or buy one of their Pink Pony products to show your support and that way donate to this good cause. I also posed for Ralph Lauren Pink Pony once.

Lonneke Pink Pony

6. Washington Square Park Conservancy

Category: parks & recreation

This is my favorite park in NYC, and a favorite of many New Yorkers and tourists alike.  Creative and musical people find this place inspiring. Every day I walk here I feel like I am on vacation. A Mix of all kinds of people are enjoying themselves. My father figure George Vellonakis redesigned the park a few years ago and is now working for the Washington Square Park Conservancy to upkeep the park and it's beautiful plants, trees, history, famous arch and famous fountain. The Conservancy hires many homeless people to do the landscaping of the park. That way they help them get work experience and get them back on their feet.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

7. WSPA International.

Category factory animal welfare/food safety

Helping factory farm animals around the World who are raised for consumption. The WSPA protects and helps all animals around the World where help is needed. They bought agree that animals should not be raised in a factory as this is a situation of prolonged suffering for the animals. The practices used to raise these animals are upsetting and make you not want to eat meat again if you see it. Unfortunately a lot of people are closing their eyes for these practices, and keep buying these products, to which the industry continues to use these practices. As the consumer is King, if they would refuse to buy these animal products, the industry would have to change their practice. it is that simple. So you can help these organizations by buying animal friendly products consciously to show your support. Only consumers can truly change the system by asking for better living quality for the food they eat, and not let a few cents make the decision of what animal products you eat or not. The money you save this way short-term will get back to you in health problems the long way, as these animals are treated with hormones, cruel feeding methods, lots of medication, and are just unhappy. You eat that energy and bad energy is never good for you. Think about helping these organizations and think when you buy your food next time in the grocery store. You are what you eat.

wspa logo

8. The Non-GMO project.

non gmoCategory food safety. While most people are becoming more aware of the reasons to choose and eat organic food, just buying products that say "Organic" on it, is not good enough anymore to assure what you eat is truly as nature intended. Big corporations are making "organic" a business and are trying to sit on the fine lines of what is organic and not. A product can get an "organic" seal even if the product is not 100% organic. You can't be totally sure anymore unless you investigate yourself some more of what you and your family eat. It is important to investigate even further what you eat, on a molecular level. Since a few decades some big corporations have invented "GMO" , and they are selling it and you are buying it. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and means that the food that you consume, is genetically altered. (You should read my article on GMO to understand what it is.) There are many reasons why one should not consume GMO, and this non profit organization is showing you all the facts. But it is a personal choice if you want to know or not. Now the Non-GMO project is labeling food that is without GMO, it has become much easier to know what is in the food products you buy. I appreciate their work so much! Now I know what to buy or not in the store. As food, together with clean water and clean air are the essentials to live, I think this is something that is important for all people. Your support will help them bring more awareness and better food to you. Keep an eye out for this label!

9. Food & Water Watch, Category air/water/food safety

This organization covers many issues we have these days. Issues that come from water pollution to fracking, from factory fish farming to bottled water and many more that affect everyone. this website is a great resource already to get your info on what's going on in the World these days, so you can make the right decisions on what to support when it comes to the knowning what food you eat and protecting the water you drink.

food water watch

10. Justgiving

Category charity website.  And to conclude my 10 favorite charities to give to this year, I added a website to which you can browse yourself to find your preferred charity to give to. You can search on Just Giving for or a charity you like and donate online. Over 10.000 charities, big and small, are waiting for your donation!

just giving logo

I hope these 10 great organizations have helped you to find out whom you are going to support this year!

Other charities that were brought to my attention on Twitter when I asked my followers which charities should add, but did not make my top 10 are: Net4KidsLendahandGive Directly, Reporters without Borders,  Stichting Vluchteling Artsen zonder grenzen; Warchild; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International; Greenpeace; Bits of Freedom; Wikileaks; Tess Unlimited, Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij KNMR,  World Wildlife Fund WWF. Plan Nederland, Terre des HommesStichting Hulphond Nederland, ,Inloophuis de Eik ,De Snoezelbus in Rotterdam ,Even a charity to make cannabis legal named VOC  .Thank you followers for sharing these with us!

Forbes also made a list of the top 50 largest USA charities, which can help you make a decision on what charity to support this year too!

What is your top 10 of favorite charities to give to?

Love, Lonneke

all photos courtesy of myself or the charities mentioned.

(if you are a photographer featured please let me know so I can credit you accordingly :) )


Valentina & her bike

How to get rid of the cellulite NATURALLY

I want to share some tips on How to get rid of the cellulite naturally and How to tone your body for this summer!

This is what I do every day. These tips are very easy because its all-at-home body care. There are many expensive treatments and massages to help minimize the cellulite, but eating a fresh whole food diet, drinking water and exercising will make your body looks amazing all year around!

1.  Pure water with a lemon

Start your day with a big glass of pure water with a freshly squeezed lemon juice. This will help to flush and cleanse your body from the inside. Giving you a fresh start of the day.

READ MORE : Water!

2.   Dry brushing

Before you step into the shower, give your self a good dry-brushing all over your body, concentrating on  your legs, thighs and butt.

You can purchase a natural brush for the body at any health food store.

How to dry-brush:

-      Standing completely naked and dry in your bathroom, start brushing you body using short strikes ALWAYS toward your heart. Start from your feet, then legs, behind the knees, thighs, butt, hands, arms, stomach.

Dry-brushing increases circulation of the skin. It stimulates the lymph canals and helps your body to get rid of the toxins. Dry brushing helps shed dead skin cells, which help improve skin texture and cell renewal.

Organice Your Life choice of brush:
Dry Body Brush - 100% Natural Bristles - Cellulite Treatment, Increase Circulation and Tighten Skin. (Pack of 1)

3.  Cold shower

After you dry brushed your body, jump into the shower, wash you body using natural chemical-free body soap like Dr. Bronner. When you are done, take a quick icy-cold shower. Cold water will tighten your skin, improve circulation and strengthens immunity.

READ MORE: dr. Bronner

4.  Grapefruit Essential oil

Add a few drops of a Grapefruit essential oil into your natural body cream. I love Coconut Oil, so I add essential oil into my coconut oil – the combination makes it especially gorgeous and it smells AMAZING! Concentrating on your legs, tights and butt, moisturize your whole body giving yourself a nice massage. The essential oil of grapefruit is extracted and compressed from its peel and has many beneficial properties as being a disinfectant, stimulant, antiseptic, aperitif, lymphatic and tonic.

Organice Your Life choice of grapefruit oil:
Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil (4 oz), USDA Certified by Mary Tylor Naturals, Therapeutic Grade for Stress Relief, Relaxation, Aromatherapy, Diffuser, Home

5.  Exercise

Pick your favorite exercise and just move your body; walking running, jumping, dancing!

Valentina & her bike

LOVE, VAL

First published by Valentina Zelyaeva on Organice Your Life on April 19th 2012, updated in 2019

Read more by Valentina Zelyaeva


The water BOBBLE!

I haven't been as excited about something I bought in a long time! Here it is, it's called the Water Bobble. A portable bottle, with a filter in it! Do you ever stop to think how many plastic bottles of water you buy when on the go?

Water filtering

I made the step to use Brita filters at home about two years ago but still hadn't found the solution to the few too many plastic bottles I bought when thirsty running around the city doing my daily things . With my new bobble all I need is tap water to fill my bottle with, when you take a sip what comes out is crisp, filtered wonderful water.

READ MORE: Water filtration at home

Good for the environment: Good for your wallet

You aren't only helping the environment by using a bobble: you are also saving a lot of money. A bobble costs about 10 dollars and a new filter costs 7 dollars. You can use one filter for about 300 refills or about 2 months.

The Water bobble is convenient to take on the road

I once took a road trip from Texas to Los Angeles, and I took my new bought Bobble with me, a perfect time to try it out! I was so happy to see how many plastic bottles I didn't buy to rehydrate myself. At any gas station or restaurant I would just go to the bathroom and refill my bobble with tap water.

READ MORE: Why you need to drink enough water

They come in several different colors, there are 13 ounce bottles, 18.5 ounce bottles and 34 ounce bottles.

Go out and buy your own, You are going to love it!!


xoxo Mallory June

First published on December 10th 2012, updated in 2019

 


Organic Marqt

If you are in Amsterdam, go to Marqt, an organic supermarket at Overtoom 21, right in the center of Amsterdam.

Marqt, the concept

The concept seems copied from the famous Wholefoods concept, but Marqt is smaller, cosier and makes you feel like you go back to the old days of going to an indoor market. The food is maybe a bit expensive some say, but it is definitely worth it!

Everything is mostly organic, from local farmers, and they have a lot of recycled or eco friendly products. I love the cheeses, as they have a few vegetarian options! and the bread.... mmmm especially the nut and fruit bread.

Definitely worth going, they have around 20 stores at the moment.

Open every day: www.marqt.com

First published in 2012, updated in 2019


Coconut Water

I love coconut water! I predicted about 10 years ago in NYC that "This drink is going to be big in a few years!" And I was right. Although the USA has already grown accustomed to cooled coconut water drinks for sale close to the cash register at supermarkets , Europeans have recently discovered this amazing drink. Of course those living in South America, Asia and other places where coconuts grow, already know about the amazing properties of coconut water for centuries!

Lonneke Engel drinking fresh coconut water

Recently the public has grown fond of coconut water and many have even begun incorporating it into their daily diet. So I am one of these coconut water connoisseurs myself and personally enjoy drinking it first thing in the morning before I get my day started. Its revitalizing taste and ingredients also come in handy before a run or when I need that extra boost at work. Also, when suffering from hangovers, illnesses or burnouts this drink can give a feeling of well-being.

Contrary to what many believe this flavorsome water does not come from ripened coconuts, and rather, is taken from green, unripe ones. This is because ripened coconuts are higher in saturated fat whereas unripe ones are lower in calories, rich in minerals (including potassium), and low in sodium. These nutritious elements help to give coconut water an edge against competitors. Delicious!

Where to buy coconut water and my favorite coconut water brands of the moment

Because of the recent growth in popularity coconut water can now be found in most grocery and drug stores. Usually sold in cartons the following coconut water brands are just a few of my personal favorites I like to stock up on regularly (of course fresh coconut water in a coconut is the best).

 

My 3 favorites of the moment:

 The many health benefits of coconut water

Not only is coconut water rich in minerals and low in sodium but it is also low in calories. For instance, one serving (one carton) of Vita Coco contains only 60 calories. This makes coconut water great to incorporate in your diet everyday, or when you are on a special diet to get in shape. Another added benefit many rave about is  as mentioned, coconut water seems to help alleviate hangover, as it hydrates and re-energizes those feeling under the weather better than your average sports drink.

A fun fact about coconut water's history

Even though it’s only recently that coconut water has gained popularity with the general public it has been helping people for years. In World War II injecting coconut water directly into soldiers’ veins helped to save the seriously injured. This is because the electrolyte PH balance found in coconut water matches that of human blood. This little fun fact is just yet another reason why you should take a moment out of your busy day to sip on some delicious coconut water!

Love, Lonneke

Coconut water nutrition facts

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 79 kJ (19 kcal)
Carbohydrates 3.71 g
- Sugars 2.61 g
- Dietary fibre 1.1 g
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 0.72 g
Water 94.99 g
Vitamin A equiv. 0 μg (0%)
- beta-carotene 0 μg (0%)
- lutein and zeaxanthin 0 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.03 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.057 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.08 mg (1%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.043 mg (1%)
Vitamin B6 0.032 mg (2%)
Folate (vit. B9) 3 μg (1%)
Vitamin C 2.4 mg (3%)
Vitamin E 0 mg (0%)
Vitamin K 0 μg (0%)
Calcium 24 mg (2%)
Iron 0.29 mg (2%)
Magnesium 25 mg (7%)
Phosphorus 20 mg (3%)
Potassium 250 mg (5%)
Zinc 0.1 mg (1%)

water drop

Water!

The earth consists of 70 % water. Your body weight is between 45% and 75% water: you need it to live. It hydrates cells, lungs, and thins blood. Because of water having this important role in the body, It is important to make sure you do not get dehydrated.

In these times, everybody seems to be always running around, running on coffee. Coffee actually dehydrates your body, just like flying, breathing, sweating and alcohol.

It is important to drink between 4-8 glasses of water a day and also food that consists of a lot of water, like fruits and vegetables. Soda and tea also do not count for water. Water can heal, even the worst hangovers can get better with a few glasses of water, since this replenishes the cells which alcohol has dried out. Keep a bottle of water around you at all times, and drink from it regularly.

I usually start the day with a big glass of (hot) water with some lemon juice. This cleanses the toxins out of your insides and your skin. Skin looks much better when drinking a lot of water. And as another plus, drinking water makes you fill up and prevents overeating. So a lot of good stories about water, something we should care about.

Clean drinking water is our most precious asset! It is more valuable than jewelry, money or other assets. And we should all care about it like it is. That means care for our drinking water supplies, and trying to get as many people to have access to clean drinking water. Because once we lose drinking water to pollution, fracking or other manmade mistakes, there is not a way back. Again: water is essential to life on Earth.

Love, Lonneke


A BEAUTIFUL ALKALINE BODY

Did you know that you can actually make your body more beautiful, simply by becoming more ‘alkaline’? Your body has a delicate pH balancing system in which it works to keep equilibrium & stop your body fluids from becoming more ‘acid’ or if needed, too alkaline. I’m going to focus on the alkalising bit in this article as we very rarely get ‘too alkaline’ in our modern day, fast paced, un-natural lives!

Think of it this way…

ALKALINE = Improved health, extra energy, enhanced beauty, toned & more supple body, glowing skin, sparkling eyes, lustrous hair, high libido, healthy nails, faster wound/injury healing, flexibility, strengthened immunity, feeling of lightness & balance within the body, mood enhancing/positive mind.

ACID = Lethargy, sickness prone, cellulite, bad breath, slow healing, sagging skin, bloodshot eyes, dark circles, falling hair, acne, dandruff, low libido, tight muscles, painful joints, aches/pains, headaches, brittle nails, feeling of heaviness, clumsiness, depression/negative mind.

Without going into extensive scientific details here on pH know (Antoniette HELP! lol)... I'm pretty sure the term 'pH' refers to the alkalinity or acidity of water solutions. Ie: your blood & body fluids, but can refer to the watery + mineral content of anything from soil to water to plants etc. There are wonderful books, charts & informative material on the web you can discover to educate yourself on saliva & urinary pH testing, which can be a highly beneficial monitoring system. This said I usually gauge my 'alkalinity' by the way I feel!

Foods that promote Alkalinity

Raw foods especially vegetables & green foods, spring water, almost all fruits, raw milks & cheeses, cultured foods such as sauerkraut (recipe to come!), kefir, kombucha & others. Lightly cooked vege’s & broths. Freshly pressed fruit & vegetable juices, wheatgrass juice, green drinks & smoothies. Fatty fish. Almonds. Sufficient rest. Yoga. Moderation. Light stress free exercise which is enjoyable. Sunlight, hydrotherapy & fresh country air. The sea. Love, laughter & peace of mind.

Of course, there are more but these are some of the big ones you want to make sure you’re doing or not doing!

Things that contribute to Acidity

Denatured foods such as white sugar, white breads/biscuits/pastries, red meats, soft drinks, smoking, late nights, excessive technology, fluoridated water, overwork, city air, excessiveness, coffee/tea, antibiotics, preservatives/flavourings/colourings, dried fruits, high protein foods (even natural foods, eat moderately), high intensity exercise or labour, lack of sunlight & stress.

alkaline-food-chart

Ways to create an Alkaline body

More ways to create an alkaline body would be to indulge in salt glows (scrub moistened skin all over warm body vigorously with sea salt until pink, rinse, towel dry), dancing in the rain, nature walks by the sea or rainforest, loving the dog/horse/budgie or people in your life, deep breathing, walking barefoot on dewy grass, aromatherapy treatments/massage.

MG_7727

Another thought

Don’t you find it interesting to think that the foods which are most beneficial to our health/vitality & wellbeing are the foods which grow in the most abundance & require little or no preparation to enjoy? I’m meaning fruits & vegetables as opposed to meat (needing much land for grazing & spoils easily), grain/nuts/seeds (more difficult to process than fruits & vegetables) etc. Herbs grow in astonishing abundance & almost without cultivation! Herbs are something which I feel we should be consuming more of daily. Also greens, fruits of all kinds, vegetables, grasses/sprouts, & milky grains (such as fresh corn on the cob)…These foods are readily accessible & perfect alkaline nutrition. Even an avocado is rich in valuable nutrients, good fats & is beautiful in alkalinity. These are foods that promote beauty, health & wellbeing in the way we look, think & feel. They fit into our hands perfectly, our mouths & even look like our body systems, organs & sometimes even diseases (now that’s freaky! natures food designed for humans). There's really so much to discover on this subject of alkalising... The effects upon our bodies is immense so do look into it further if you are passionate about health & especially, healing.

MG_7336

Probably the best thing about alkalising is, YES, we will look more gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. It works, making you more beautiful with every positive choice you make. But to me, what's even better than the other best part about alkalising, is in the way makes me feel. AMAZING, fresh, youthful & buzzing with ideas. Every. Single. Day.

LOVE & CHOCOLATE (PS. I'm very very busy with my book, so if I don't write for a while, extra LOVEEE! XXX) Abigail


Simple Steps to Detoxing

I just want to highlight a few small steps and additions you can make into your life, that are simple, easy, but truly make the world of a difference.

The important thing to remember: Do not get so caught up in eliminating this or that, but focus on adding healthy meals, practices and thoughts into your life! The moment you start adding, your live will abundantly change for the better, and everything else will fall into place. It is all about balance, and treating your body with gentle love and care. Therefore do not stress over the things that you are forgoing, focus on the good, and with time the perfect balance will be found for you and your body

My simple detox steps:

Dry Brushing

Do this before you shower or bath in the morning. It helps drain and stimulate the lymphatic system. It also improves skin texture and appearance (Hello summer and short shorts :) )

Coconut Oil

Use this after your shower/bath or anytime as a moisturizer. Hands down, best moisturizer you will ever use! Val wrote an amazing post on its benefits and uses. All natural, multi-purpose, life-saver.

Sleep

Sometimes this is both over-looked and under-rated, but in my opinion the most important! As if you do everything else, but are getting a few hours sleep a night, everything else will be negated. So as you begin this week, set the intention of catching a few more zzzzzzzz's than normal.

Oil

Lavender, peppermint, ylang-ylang, moroccan rose... any essential oil. Use them to relax, fall asleep, as scents, in the bath.

Water

Drink, drink, drink as much as you can. H2O will naturally detox your body by flushing out all the unnecessary toxins and dead cells. Have a hot cup in the morning with fresh lemon, and carry around a reusable water bottle throughout the day. Heaps of fluids is key, for all of your bodies functions. Dehydration can produce some nasty side affects.

 

Green Juice (or any veggie green)

Try to drink a green juice everyday! Give yourself this challenge. If this is unattainable, then plan to eat as many green vegetables in a day as you can. Try different varieties of kale, lettuce, broccoli, green beans... the choices are endless. Green = the best.

Tea

If ever in doubt, or if you are feeling a bit off, simply sit down with a cup of tea and try to relax and let the days worries melt past you. There a million teas to try so you will never get bored, and with sweeter teas available, they will help curb people who have major sweet tooth's :) My favorites are: Egyptian mint green tea (Gypsy), Kava Stress Relief  (Yogi), Rooibos, peppermint

Quiet time

Pray, meditate, take 10-15 minutes of complete solitude. Sometimes we just need the time to just be. No distractions of any kind. Allow yourself these moments, to be thankful, regain energy, or just to be still.

Get moving

Walk, run, jump, play... just get your body moving and your heart rate up and SWEAT!

I hope this helps a little!

Just remember to be gentle with yourself, listen to your body and know that any and every healthy choice that you make is a big deal. Don't get too caught up with the details, just start adding more of this into your life, and you will notice instant changes.


ALKALISE YOUR BODY BEAUTIFUL

Did you know that you can actually make your body more beautiful, simply by becoming more ‘alkaline’? Your body has a delicate pH balancing system in which it works to keep equilibrium & stop your body fluids from becoming more ‘acid’ or if needed, too alkaline. I’m going to focus on the alkalising bit in this article as we very rarely get ‘too alkaline’ in our modern day, fast paced, un-natural lives!

Think of it this way…

ALKALINE = Improved health, extra energy, enhanced beauty, toned & more supple body, glowing skin, sparkling eyes, lustrous hair, high libido, healthy nails, faster wound/injury healing, flexibility, strengthened immunity, feeling of lightness & balance within the body, mood enhancing/positive mind.

ACID = Lethargy, sickness prone, cellulite, bad breath, slow healing, sagging skin, bloodshot eyes, dark circles, falling hair, acne, dandruff, low libido, tight muscles, painful joints, aches/pains, headaches, brittle nails, feeling of heaviness, clumsiness, depression/negative mind.

Without going into extensive scientific details here on pH know (Antoniette HELP! lol)... I'm pretty sure the term 'pH' refers to the alkalinity or acidity of water solutions. Ie: your blood & body fluids, but can refer to the watery + mineral content of anything from soil to water to plants etc. There are wonderful books, charts & informative material on the web you can discover to educate yourself on saliva & urinary pH testing, which can be a highly beneficial monitoring system. This said I usually gauge my 'alkalinity' by the way I feel!

THINGS WHICH PROMOTE ALKALINITY = Raw foods especially vegetables & green foods, spring water, almost all fruits, raw milks & cheeses, cultured foods such as sauerkraut (recipe to come!), kefir, kombucha & others. Lightly cooked vege’s & broths. Freshly pressed fruit & vegetable juices, wheatgrass juice, green drinks & smoothies. Fatty fish. Almonds. Sufficient rest. Yoga. Moderation. Light stress free exercise which is enjoyable. Sunlight, hydrotherapy & fresh country air. The sea. Love, laughter & peace of mind.

Of course, there are more but these are some of the big ones you want to make sure you’re doing or not doing!

THINGS WITH CONTRIBUTE TO ACIDITY = Denatured foods such as white sugar, white breads/biscuits/pastries, red meats, soft drinks, smoking, late nights, excessive technology, fluoridated water, overwork, city air, excessiveness, coffee/tea, antibiotics, preservatives/flavourings/colourings, dried fruits, high protein foods (even natural foods, eat moderately), high intensity exercise or labour, lack of sunlight & stress.

More ways to create an alkaline body would be to indulge in salt glows (scrub moistened skin all over warm body vigorously with sea salt until pink, rinse, towel dry), dancing in the rain, nature walks by the sea or rainforest, loving the dog/horse/budgie or people in your life, deep breathing, walking barefoot on dewy grass, aromatherapy treatments/massage.

Another thought. Don’t you find it interesting to think that the foods which are most beneficial to our health/vitality & wellbeing are the foods which grow in the most abundance & require little or no preparation to enjoy? I’m meaning fruits & vegetables as opposed to meat (needing much land for grazing & spoils easily), grain/nuts/seeds (more difficult to process than fruits & vegetables) etc. Herbs grow in astonishing abundance & almost without cultivation! Herbs are something which I feel we should be consuming more of daily. Also greens, fruits of all kinds, vegetables, grasses/sprouts, & milky grains (such as fresh corn on the cob)…These foods are readily accessible & perfect alkaline nutrition. Even an avocado is rich in valuable nutrients, good fats & is beautiful in alkalinity. These are foods that promote beauty, health & wellbeing in the way we look, think & feel. They fit into our hands perfectly, our mouths & even look like our body systems, organs & sometimes even diseases (now that’s freaky! natures food designed for humans). There's really so much to discover on this subject of alkalising... The effects upon our bodies is immense so do look into it further if you are passionate about health & especially, healing.

Probably the best thing about alkalising is, YES, we will look more gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. It works, making you more beautiful with every positive choice you make. But to me, what's even better than the other best part about alkalising, is in the way makes me feel. AMAZING, fresh, youthful & buzzing with ideas. Every. Single. Day.

LOVE & CHOCOLATE (PS. I'm very very busy with my book, so if I don't write for a while, extra LOVEEE! XXX) Abigail

 

 


Eating Your Water

With the temperatures heating up in New York City, it is vital to get the right amount of water in daily, as we consist of 60% H20 relative to our weight! So not only should we drink up, but we should also eat up!

I know it can be hard to get the recommended '8 glasses of water a day' for some people, especially if you are out and about, and simply lead an extremely busy lifestyle. I personally try to shoot for a good 10+ glasses, and for most approximately 2 litres a day is minimum! It might seem like a lot, but I do perspire quite a bit in the summer, and I sometimes think I am part camel, as I really do crave water! People laugh at me, but I have to admit it is my favorite beverage :)

But drinking water on its own is not the only source of hydration, as we are surrounded by nutrient dense, and hydrating fruits and vegetables which ultimately contribute to our daily intake of water (not fluids, as you can't count coffee, alcohol or caffeinated tea )

So here is a list of my favorite, water rich foods which you can incorporate into your diet, to contribute to your recommended 8 glasses a day minimum. They are perfect for the summer, and really will leave you nourished, healthy and most importantly hydrated!

- Lettuce (96% water)- all varities. My favorite is crunchy Romaine

-Cucumber (94%)- I have mine in salads, as a snack or I juice it into a green juice! So hydrating.

-Pears- I incorporate them into a juice, or cut them up in my fruit salads

-mushrooms- I can have a mushroom any which way, but prefer them steamed or lightly sauteed

-radishes- perfect in your summer salads, especially delicious with a citrus fruit (grapefruit, arugula, fennel, radish salad)

-watermelon (96%)- Of course:) My ideal summer fruit, and one that I simply cannot get enough of

-pumpkins (93%)- these gorgeous squashes have an extremely high water content, so roast them, make 'pumpkin fries' or simply steam them for a side dish

-broccoli and cauliflower (90%)- My two favorite vegetables. I do have to have them slightly steamed though, but can eat them in the bucket loads.

-spinach (92%)- I blend it into smoothies, juice it, or simply throw it into my salads. The more greens the better!

 

Not only are these foods alive and nutritious, but they taste amazing, consist of antioxidants which contribute to anti-aging, keep you full and contribute to your glow, all the while keeping you hydrating!

Remember to drink and eat your water!

 


Plastic Water

I'm sure that for most of you, it is pretty obvious that in a modern society like ours we can buy bottled water almost everywhere.

On one hand, I'm pretty happy to find access to pure water almost everywhere I happen to be.  On the other hand, 1.5 million tons of plastic waste, made from over 80 percent of plastic bottles we throw away every year makes me think: are there any alternatives to drinking water without it coming in plastic bottles?  It is not only better for the environment, and drinking out of a plastic bottle might not be so healthy either!  Yes, there are great options to cut the plastic habit.

Various companies came up with a pretty simple product that can easily reduce waste made up by from plastic bottles.  Its called a reusable bottle, and again, I'm sure that most of you have a pretty clear idea what I mean, but I added a picture just in case.

I got my first reusable bottle last December while enjoying the evening at the Pura Vida Party, a party organized by Lonneke Engel to support solutions to the many tons of plastic waste created by the Fashion Industry.  A lot of people came and enjoyed the organic drinks and food by Gusto Organics, the music by Maruja Retana, DJ Adi Neumann, and others.

There were 2 great sponsors:  the first was Natura Water, an amazing water filtration system company, mostly known in the restaurant business, but they are coming out with a residential model soon.  The second sponsor was Sigg, maker of durable reusable bottles.  At the end of the night, all the guests happily walked out with a brand new designer reusable bottle.  How cool is that?!  Getting a free gift, that is also giving you the choice to become more eco-friendly!

I fill up and use my Sigg bottle everyday!  So far it has saved me from buying almost 300 plastic bottles since I got it.  Isn't that incredible?  My daily action that results in decreasing the plastic waste makes me feel very proud of myself.  Thankfully I'm not the only one, but one of many.  Everyday I see more and more people carry their personal reusable (SIGG) bottles and save themselves from drinking plastic water.

A positive habit that affects us and our planet.

Try it for yourself!

www.mysigg.com

www.naturawater.com