walking on sunshine

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Have you noticed that you feel happier walking in the sun? Natural light helps to regulate energy balance and trigger the release of stimulating feel-good chemicals in our brain. Just 20 minutes outside can boost radiance and help you feel more positive. Now, isn’t that beautiful?


The Beauty Mineral That Helps to Ward Off Wrinkles and Acne

Yep, Sulfur is pretty amazing. The third most abundant mineral in your body, Sulphur is present in every cell, with its greatest concentration in hair, skin and nails. It helps your body function optimally, playing an important role in your body’s electron transport system, proper vitamin conversion, detoxification, joint health and proper insulin function. It also helps promote circulation and decrease inflammation. Not to mention, sulfur must be present for the body to produce collagen, which keeps skin soft and supple. You can see why it is often referred to as the “healing mineral” or the “beauty mineral!” We like to call it the “miracle worker.”

For maximum health benefits, it is best to obtain sulfur through your diet. The primary dietary sources of sulfur are fish, grass-fed beef and free-range poultry. (We can’t wait to try this grilled flatiron steak recipe from Farm Shop’s Jeff Cerciello over on Bon Appétit!) It’s also available in lesser amounts in eggs, legumes and certain vegetables like broccoli, garlic, kale, onions, asparagus and brussel sprouts.

Fun Fact: Scientific research has shown that the finer an onion is cut, the more health-promoting sulfur compounds they contain. The stronger the smell and the more they affect your eyes, the healthier the onion is for you. So the next time you are chopping onions, remember to dice finely. Those tears are helping to keep you healthy and ward off wrinkles!

Topical use of sulfur has great benefits too. Skin and hair issues (like psoriasis, eczema, acne and dandruff) have been treated with sulfur containing compounds and waters for centuries. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used sulphur preparations to treat skin conditions. And the ancient Romans soaked themselves in sulfuric waters to treat skin problems, relieve pain and to prevent aging.

Sulphur is a keratolytic agent, which means that it helps to shed dead skin cells. Dead skin cells are responsible for blocking pores and creating the conditions necessary for acne causing bacteria to multiply, eczema and psoriasis. Sulfur also helps to clarify the skin, banish excess oil, minimize pores, and help prevent and heal blemishes. It is an excellent solution for breakouts on the chest, back, and face which can sometimes pop up as the weather turns warmer.

Like we said. Sulfur is pretty amazing! This is just one of the reasons why we included cold-pressed apple seed oil, a natural, rich, whole food source of sulfur, in Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser.

Word to the wise: As always, read your labels carefully. Look for a whole food source of sulfur in your skin care. Often listed as USP Sulfur, synthetic sulfur is recovered during gas manufacturing as molten sulfur. It is then cooled on a stainless steel belt and ground into a powder in a mill. Hmm, no thanks! As with food, find the good stuff for your skin in whole food based skin care ingredients. Your skin will wisely distinguish between natural actives and synthetics.

Summer Grilling with Grass-fed Beef

We are all about good food… where good taste meets good for you. And believe it or not, there is nothing better than grilled, grass-fed hamburgers for good summer eatin’. We know what you’re thinking. Yum! But healthy? You bet. The key is “grass-fed.”

Vintage Advertising image via Kitchen Kitsch: Vintage Food Graphics

Not only does grass-fed beef taste unbelievably delicious, it is also loaded with the good stuff that makes you healthy and pretty. Grass-fed beef is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat found in salmon, in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a proven cancer fighter, as well as vitamins A and E, branch-chain amino acids, digestive enzymes and essential nutrients that are known for their antioxidant properties.

Why is grass-fed beef so healthy? What is the difference between grass-fed beef and regular beef? It turns out that it is all about the cow’s pH levels. Forage-grazing animals, with a natural diet of high-protein, low-starch lush forages, have a healthy, highly-functioning balanced pH of 7, which allows for an abundance of the essential fermentation bacteria that create high levels of CLA, omega-3s, branch-chain amino acids, vitamins and digestive enzymes. But when an animal lives on a heavy-starch grain diet, that healthy pH 7 suddenly plummets to a highly acidic pH 4. With this increase in acidity comes a different kind of fermentation bacteria: one that impedes the production of healthy fats like omega-3s and CLA and increases the level of omega-6s. Animals also require daily doses of low-level, feed-grade antibiotics to allow their livers to cope with abnormal acidity. With less exercise than their pasture-raised, forage-fed counterparts, grain-fed animals develop the heavier, marbled muscle mass that is the hallmark of a high-carbohydrate, low-fiber diet. Sad but true, most beef isn’t good for you: the ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 approach 20 to 1, CLA and vitamin levels are minimal, and it’s full of antibiotics and hormones. Not good at all. And that’s not even taking into account the heavy environmental impact of grain fed beef. (Huge petroleum inputs. GMO corn for feed. Heavy use of antibiotics. Waste lagoons… you get the idea.)

Photos by The Palmer

Luckily there are some farms that are raising sustainable, healthy and incredibly delicious grass-fed beef. Niman Ranch is a wonderful one in California. If you live an area where good grass-fed beef is hard to find, you can order from them too. Or try U.S. Wellness Meats. Now go get your grill on!

And for the perfect accompaniment to a grilled burger…

Avocado and Corn Salad
Makes about 4 cups.

3 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2 avocados – peeled, pitted, and cubed
1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
½ red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
salt and black pepper to taste

Grill corn until kernels are tender but crisp. Cool corn in cold water. Use a knife to scrape kernels from the cobs. Combine all the other ingredients except the avocado with the corn in a large bowl & toss to mix them all up. Add the avocado just before serving. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Happy Grilling! And have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Top 3 Reasons to Love Beauty Oils


the manifesto

  • We embrace the simplicity and the knowledge that you can achieve more with less.
  • We believe in the power of the beauty ritual to renew, relax, and transform.
  • We trust in the healing power of plants.
  • We are advocates for earth's most gentle members: children and the families who care for them.
  • We declare that love is the greatest, most powerful force on earth.