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Tuesday Things

1. I think I’ve finally become a tea convert.

For Lent, I’ve been trying to challenge my morning coffee habit–> making green tea my new best friend. I love the ritual of drinking something warm in the morning, and preparing a pot of Sencha green tea in my Bodum french press has become something I look forward to each morning.

Except on Sundays, when I do still savor a rich, cup of coffee.

(Learning that Sundays don’t count in Lent was some of the best news I’ve ever heard.)

2. I discovered a new-to-me brand of goat’s milk yogurt available at Whole Foods.

This is the first brand I’ve seen in a grocery store that doesn’t have ANY starches or fillers! Most plain yogurts on the market include some sort of starch or filler that act as a thickeners, adding to the overall sugar content.

A good rule of thumb is to only consume dairy with less than 8g of sugar per 8 oz. serving.

(Those 4g of sugar are from naturally occurring lactose.)

Anything higher than 8g of sugar probably means that there’s some sort of sweetener added. I much prefer to add my own sweetener, and lately, just a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon does the trick.

3. Though I didn’t have much luck with my first FitBit, I’m hooked on their new “ultra” model.

If you’re unfamiliar with the FitBit, it’s a tiny tracker that you wear on your waist all day to track your movement–> by steps, distance, calories, and the new model even tracks how many vertical steps you take! (Perfect for monitoring my weekend hikes!) I don’t really care about the calorie-tracking aspect, but I find it useful to know how much I’ve been moving each day… or lack thereof.

With all the extra design jobs I’ve been taking on lately, I’ve had very little time for deliberate exercise. Wearing the FitBit motivates me to at least take a 10-minute break to walk on my treadmill, or jump on my rebounder, every now and then!

4. Olive oil. It’s not just for cooking anymore.

In fact, I don’t recommend cooking with it at all. (Olive oil is damaged by heat– stick to cooking with coconut oil or butter, instead!)

However, thanks to a tip from my sister-in-law, I do recommend using it as a cleanser and/or moisturizer! This stuff is way cheaper than buying those fancy, all-natural moisturizers and cleansers, and seems to be just as effective!

Worried about applying oil to your skin? Here’s a reason not to be:

Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.” [source]

You can find more detailed instructions for the Oil-Cleansing Method here.

5. Between the two of us, Austin and I seem to shed a LOT of hair off our heads.  And it’s starting to slow down our shower drain!

Determined not to use Draino, or a similar toxic cleanser, I decided to pick up a bottle of this HomeSolv natural enzyme drain cleaner. While it smells amazing, it doesn’t seem to be as effective as I was hoping it would be… or maybe I just need to try a couple more rounds.

Any other natural drain-cleaning ideas? My mother has suggested using a mix of baking soda and vinegar, followed by a rinse of boiling water, so I’m giving that a shot next!

Let me know if you have any other useful household tips!

26 comments to Tuesday Things

  • I’ve been cleaning my skin with coconut oil for the past month or so and LOVING it! I was shocked that it didn’t make me break out, it’s been nothing but wonderful.

    • I had been using it as a moisturizer, but never really thought of using it as a cleanser until recently! I can’t believe how effective it is! And using a hot towel, after applying it, makes it almost spa-like. :)

  • Ugh let me know if your drain cleaner works because I shed tons of hair!! These are all awesome Tuesday things.. I didn’t even think to use olive oil as a facial moisturizer! In the past I’ve tried Bio-Oil and still have some but don’t like using it in warmer months because I find it makes me feel too oily. I’d definitely be up for trying olive oil now though! Have a great day Megan!

    • I read somewhere that olive oil has the same pH as our skin, which is why it’s more effective than other oils, and doesn’t leave you with that greasy feeling. Definitely try covering your face with a hot towel after applying it– it leaves you feeling refreshed, and not greasy!

      I tried using Bio-Oil before my wedding, and it left me with the WORST rashes!! Thank goodness I didn’t try it on my face first. Eek!

  • What a fun post..I luv learning little tid bits like this..thanks for sharing!!!

  • laura

    I really use lemon juice, vinegar and water to clean everything. I think you can find a list of ratios for different cleaning projects online. I’m not really an old-fashioned girl, but this seems to work.

    And, I wonder how the FitBit would work with yoga? I’ve always wondered how many “steps” my daily practice accounts for. Not that it matters, but might be a fun experiment. And, the next time my husband drags me up a mountain, it would be interesting to track that too!

    • I’ve been wearing my FitBit to my Bar Method classes, because I figured I’d still get step “credit” for all those plies and squats! But, no. It’s smart, and knows when you’re actually walking, and when you’re not. So, it’s definitely not very effective for tracking those types of activities.

      But, I was so excited to do our mountain hikes when it told me we had just climbed something like 65 floors! The website will give you landmarks to put it into perspective, too, like, “You just climbed the Tower of Pisa.” Really fun! :)

  • AnnaO

    I use sesame oil as all purpose moisturizer. Coconut oil is also great but makes me smell a bit so I´m sticking with sesame.

    Baking soda and hot water is pretty effective so give it a try!

  • sam

    I am using Almond oil from dr alkaitis for make up it is 100% almond oil and works great. If you like green tea try white one it is not as bitter and not as strong as green tea and have more antioxidant too. Also when you can buy raw goat milk or sheep milk you can make yor own yogurt it is super easy and delicious and of course no sugar, actually you can leave it little longer to reduce even lactose sugar.

    • I wish it were easier to buy raw goat or sheep milk over here! I think there’s a source about an hour or so away from me, but it has weird hours that I can’t ever make. For now, I’m sticking to the pasteurized version, and alternate it with my raw homemade almond and coconut yogurts!

      I love almond oil, too. :)

      • Heather

        Megan! they have raw goat milk at the Santa Monica coop! it’s a bit of a trek, but l go out there about once a month when they have their 10% off everything day. I wait to get things like laundry detergent, or coconut oil, etc for the savings. PLUS there prices are so low to begin with! and… on main st in Venice, at Tao Healing Arts you can do an infra red sauna – 10 for $160 – 45 min session and shower after. So I try to combine visits. next I want to add in the SM farmers market on wed which is where all the chefs go…

  • I love my bodum, I use it so much. And I don’t use my oil for moisturizer but I do love coconut oil to cook with, it’s the only oil I’ll use. And I so want one of the fitbit’s they look so cool!

  • Sarah

    I have had that goat yogurt too! It’s good, especially with vanilla and honey!

    For my tuesday thing, I just went to the sun cafe in Studio City and got a cacao superfood shake. It’s one of the best chocolate shakes I’ve ever had! I even had it with a kale/nut/dried fruit salad to get greens and be properly combined thanks to your inspiration ;) Highly recommend!

  • jeanne

    The baking soda is a great idea! My usual hair in the drain method is a crochet hook. It’s very gross, but effective :)

  • I just got the new Nike+ FuelBand which is very similar to the FitBit and it is super motivating. It feels like I am playing a game all day to see how many fuel points I can get! :)

  • Heather

    Megan – I just cleaned my face with olive oil – omg, what a difference. I swear my pores look cleaner! I’ve been using the So of France soap and coc oil as a moisturizer as per NR and wondering if my pores seem more clogged lately. Thank you sooooooo much for this tip! I will go out and get castor oil tomorrow. One of the comments on the link you provided said something about castor oil pulling out the impurities from the pores and after, like, 6 weeks totally cleaning them out. The weird thing is… I just read on another blog today about the no shampoo thing! that would make sense about castor oil as I know Dr. Northrup recommends it as a treatment to use on your belly to pull out impurities if dealing with fibroids.

    • Yes, my sister-in-law has been doing the no shampoo thing, and swears that her hair texture has improved!

      I haven’t tried the Castor oil yet, but it sounds like it’s worth a shot, too! I can’t believe how effective the olive oil is– who’d have thought?!

      Glad it’s working for you! :)

  • Kibby

    I have been using coconut oil to clean my face and remove eye makeup for about 1 month now and can’t believe how nice my skin looks and feels. My eyelashes have gotten thicker and healthier looking. I also use 100% Argan oil on my face after the coconut oil and really work it in. WOW! With eating a clean whole foods based diet and the oil cleaning on face and body – skin has never looked so good. When I first tried the oil on skin, I knew it would break out – I was wrong. It got clearer, spots healed and faded and had a rosy, healthy glow. It is also so much cheaper than a lot of organic, natural products out there. YEA!

  • Oooo girl I give you credit for giving up the cuppa joe in the mornings, but I love it more than anything right now…the smell…the taste, the buzz, its all mine :)

    You are so awesome! I used to love cleansing with EVOO!!!

    xxoo

  • Annie

    Because four people use our single shower, we also had problems with a clogging shower drain. I tried all the vinegar/baking soda and other natural remedies, to no avail. The best thing I did was remove the mechanical stopper and replace it with a simple drain sieve. It’s very inexpensive and does catch all the hair. It can get a bit clogged itself, especially if you use Dr. Bronner’s like we do. I simply take a bit of toilet paper, scoop out all the stuff that used to clog my drain, and flush it away. I haven’t had to use any drain cleaner since. (If you still want to fill your tub, simply use an old-fashioned rubber stopper.)

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