The Cured by Nature Workshop at Wanderlust LA!

The Cured by Nature Workshop at Wanderlust LA!

This Wednesday, I am leading a Cured by Nature workshop at Wanderlust space in LA. If you haven’t seen this incredible space, now is your chance to check it out!

The Cured by Nature workshop offers up spirit-based principles, meditations, and practical, in-the-moment tools to help you bust through blocks to live with more ease. I’ll break down each technique to transform — starting with my own story plus meditations, assessment questions, and step-by-step guidance to step into your own health, harness the power of nature and reclaim your life!

You can reserve your ticket [here]!

Here’s what some of our amazing attendees said about the last workshop:

“Tara is an author, entrepreneur, blogger and boss babe! I was fortunate enough to attend her last speaking engagement and she is incredible!! Her Cured by Nature workshop is so inspiring and empowering. Tara shares stories of her powerful journey that are captivating and encouraging. If you’re in the LA area, I definitely recommend attending this event and picking up a copy of her book, Cured By Nature!!” -Ashley, Ashleys Organics

“I am so happy I stopped by Tara’s event at Wanderlust Hollywood! [Tara] tapped into parts of my learned beliefs and behaviors that I had never even thought of before. She helped me in finding old patterns I was stuck on and gave me the tools I needed to move through them and into healthier patterns. I apply something I learned here each and every day! I highly recommend this workshop!” -Mary K, Soul of Yoga

“Tara’s story – and the lessons shes learned from her life – are incredible. I laughed… I cried… I walked away transformed.” -Michael, Photographer

I can’t wait to bring this workshop back to Wanderlust!

It’s the last one of the year, so don’t miss out! See you there! xx

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A Gift For You + Weekend Vibes

A Gift For You + Weekend Vibes

TGIF, guys, amirite?

Seriously, this week has both flown by and also been one of the longest weeks of my life!

Hands down!

So much to do, so little summer time left!

My birthday is also in a few weeks, and T’s birthday is just a week after that. SO we’re in Virgo scramble planning mode. Despite some of our last minute planning (just some!), I have some gifts for him that I can’t wait to share with him – or you guys! Stay tuned! 🙂

Speaking of gifts, I have a gift for you guys this weekend too!

A 20% off gift card to our store: just enter code STAYWEIRD at checkout, and enjoy any of our healthy products!

The special ends on Monday, so take advantage this weekend!

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I’ll be spending this weekend working on the finishing touches of my Cured by Nature workshop. If you’re in LA, don’t forget to stop by and join us! You can reserve your ticket [here]! Here’s what some of our amazing attendees said about the last workshop:

“Tara is an author, entrepreneur, blogger and boss babe! I was fortunate enough to attend her last speaking engagement and she is incredible!! Her Cured by Nature workshop is so inspiring and empowering. Tara shares stories of her powerful journey that are captivating and encouraging. If you’re in the LA area, I definitely recommend attending this event and picking up a copy of her book, Cured By Nature!!” -Ashley, Ashleys Organics

“I am so happy I stopped by Tara’s event at Wanderlust Hollywood! [Tara] tapped into parts of my learned beliefs and behaviors that I had never even thought of before. She helped me in finding old patterns I was stuck on and gave me the tools I needed to move through them and into healthier patterns. I apply something I learned here each and every day! I highly recommend this workshop!” -Mary K, Soul of Yoga

“Tara’s story – and the lessons shes learned from her life – are incredible. I laughed… I cried… I walked away transformed.” -Michael, Photographer

I can’t wait to bring this workshop back to Wanderlust!

It’s the last one of the year, so don’t miss out! See you there! xx

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Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands

Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands

When one of my favorite magazines reached out to interview me, I was SO thrilled!! EcoSalon is a one stop knowledge shop for all things eco, organic and healthy. I wanted to share the open minded discussion I got to have with the #1 most read conscious culture site with you today.

Truly, it was so awakening to answer these thoughtful questions about health, wellness, coffee!, skincare, meditation, business and more! Written by the amazing Liz Thompson. Check it out:

Leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding toxins is good for our bodies. No secret there. Did you know it can also improve mental and emotional health issues? Author Tara Mackey shares her journey from prescription drugs to good health in her book, “Cured by Nature”, and you are going to want to get your hands on a copy.

Mental and emotional health issues affect nearly 7% of adults and 3% of children in the U.S., according to Anxiety Disorders Association of America. The main treatment? Prescription medication. While, certainly, some people need prescription drugs to treat their health issues, many are being given antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds to address symptoms without knowing the cause of the imbalance.

Tara Mackey was one of many people suffering from physical, mental, and emotional illnesses from a young age. No surprise, she was prescribed a range of medications to treat the symptoms, while the cause of her maladies was left unchecked.

As an adult, Tara took her health into her own hands and found other, more natural, means to better health. In her book, “Cured by Nature”, Tara spells out in detail how she came to discover toxins were behind her health issues, and the changes she made to get and stay healthy.

Interview with Tara Mackey, Author of “Cured by Nature”

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LT: So many people, especially women, are diagnosed with anxiety and depression these days, and subsequently prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Do you think these conditions can be treated other, more natural, ways?

TM: I believe that regardless of if we’re taking medication, we should be incorporating natural methods of healing into our everyday lives. I took pills for over 11 years, for any illness, pain and various diagnosis – emotional, mental and physical – that you can name. They may have masked the problem, or handed me some chemicals, but never, ever actually helped me on my way to being truly healed. The reason it’s important to have natural methods and tools for healing is because at the end of the day, you can’t rely on a pill. A pill won’t do the work. You need to do the work. You need to be able to rely on yourself, no matter what.

LT: Do you feel we are an overmedicated society?

TM: Without a doubt. Walgreens sold over 900 million – almost a BILLION – prescription drugs on 2015. That’s 3 times more drugs than there are people in this country! And that’s just one pharmacy!! 70% of Americans are on some kind of drug! That makes me a very, very small minority.

Some drugs are needed, of course. Even psychiatric drugs, in severe cases. But Walgreens alone sold enough drugs last year for everyone in this country to be on 3 meds at the same time! There is no DOUBT that we’re overmedicated. These companies have investors, stockholders, lobbyists, and CFO’s to satisfy. Their filled prescription drug numbers WILL go up, year by year. I have no doubt about that, and their books prove it. We need to know what we can do for ourselves to make sure we’re not one of the overmedicated ones.

LT: How does meditation factor into a healthy lifestyle?

TM: Meditation is the simplest form of mind-work. Sitting quietly gives us the time and tools to learn things about ourselves we’d NEVER figure out otherwise. One of the first things I learned in meditation was that my normal breathing was totally panicked. Well, no wonder I had anxiety! I didn’t need medication – I needed to figure out how to breathe!

Most of the things that hold us back from our dreams are learned behaviors that we may not even realize we have! It wasn’t until I started meditating that things really started falling into place for me. I was able to give up a lot of ego gratification, which left room for amazing things like new friendships, amazing opportunities and fearless action. Without mind-work, you won’t be able to find the strength needed to conquer learned helplessness, which becomes totally ingrained in us.

(READ MORE on EcoSalon)

Related Healthy Products:

Cheaper, Easier, Totally Natural Botox?! I’m In!

Cheaper, Easier, Totally Natural Botox?! I’m In!

Botox. It’s all the rage – especially here in Southern California. Kind of considered standard, actually. I recently even overheard girls in HIGH SCHOOL banter back and forth about “who would need it first” (no talk about maybe not needing it at alloh no!) I wondered: why is it considered standard to 15 year olds to head straight for the needle when there are SO many amazing ways to create and maintain a youthful appearance naturally??

Before taking the plunge into Botox – or maybe as a healthier alternative for the future – try these suggestions first!

What IS Botox??

Botox is a neurotoxin. Let me repeat that. It’s a neurotoxin: a POISON that acts on the nervous system. Cosmetically it’s used to remove the appearance of wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles.

Possible short term effects include flu-like symptoms, droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows, crooked smile or drooling, trouble breathing, loss of bladder control, and other super sexy sounding things.

Its long- term effects on the brain, nervous system and muscles are unknown, although we do know that there can be some decreased ability to perform routine facial expressions depending on how and where it is injected.

Also, it’s injected straight into your face.

By the way, it doesn’t last. Nope.

Get over that fear of needles in your face, pray that the injection sight doesn’t scar, hand your hard earned money to a stranger to “fix” something that’s “wrong with you”… and you STILL have to go back 6 months later!! Sometimes even sooner!

Maybe I realllly just don’t care about having wrinkles that much (in fact, I think they’re kinda sexy) but. I’m sorry. Somebody has to say it.

WHAT?!

I mean, really. WHAT?! WHY?! Why are we injecting a neurotoxin into our faces for SHORT TERM cosmetic benefits?!? A few wrinkles here and there? Too long in the sun, maybe?! A few too many cocktails and not enough water?! Guuuuuuyyyssss.

Do it, don’t do it. I don’t judge. Most of my friends have had it done and they know this much: I love them just the same. I’ve even gone with them to appointments. I’ve held their hand. I’ve watched doctors explain how safe it is. I’ve held tiny paper cups of water to their paralyzed lips. I’ve even been offered it FOR FREE.

But for real, I just can’t do it. Not my style. It’s the neurotoxin in the face thing. I can’t get over it. If there’s even a zillionth of a chance that I’ll end up slobbering, crooked eyed and pissing myself, you can count me out any day of the week. I don’t care WHAT it makes me look like.

That’s me, though. Truthfully, I haven’t felt the need to do it because I know that there are super simple things that can be done – not just proactively, but any time I see an unwanted line creeping in – to stop it in it’s tracks.

You can achieve the same results as Botox – naturally.

Without the needle.

And PS: it’s waaaaay cheaper.

These are my go-to’s that really WORK anytime I feel a wrinkle creeping in or notice a line getting deeper – and they’ve been a skin saver 100% of the time! Taken daily, they are seriously effective, natural solutions that will wipe 5 or more years off your appearance!

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Vital Proteins – Marine Collagen

I can’t get enough of this stuff! AMAZING for skin, hair, nails and it’ll give you a totally natural glow. It’s an anti-aging supplement and it’s components have been proven in clinical trials to rejuvenate the skin, minimize fine lines, wrinkles, boost nail health, beauty and strength, restore hair growth, beat fatigue and even fight insomnia! I put it in EVERYTHING – my cawffee, water, smoothies, tea, and cooked meals – even my breakfast granola!

Vital Proteins – Grass Fed Collagen Peptides

Not sold on Collagen yet? In a recent study, women who took just 2.5 g of collagen once a day saw a 20% reduction in wrinkle depth around their eyes… in 8 weeks!! Even more significant, levels of the body’s own procollagen (the precursor to collagen) were significantly elevated, with production up by an impressive 65%!! It seems that the pills in this study could make a woman’s skin behave like a younger version of itself!!

Without collagen your skin loses the elasticity and vibrancy. With it, you can remain young forever!

Calcium Carbonate

I’ve always loved calcium carbonate in tonics + shots, but I recently started taking more of it and also putting it into just about everything I eat and drink. WOW!

I swear since I started taking Calcium every day, my skin has never looked better, wrinkles, scars and discoloration have been fading and my HAIR has grown an inch or more a week (another post on this coming soon!) SO CHEAP and the results are fantastic – I could not be happier!! This super convenient powder form couldn’t be simpler and it’s tasteless! Get this NOW.

Collodial Silver Spray

Colloidial silver is great for cuts, scraps, acne and… wrinkles?! That’s right! I’ve noticed that this spray is AMAZING on deep set wrinkles and dry spots! Topical creams that use silver sulfadiazine increase wound-healing time and it’s worked miracles on my face!

Cellular Recovery Serum

This is truly the perfect combination serum: moisturizing but not greasy. Long lasting. Scent free. Major amounts of age-defying hyaluronic acid (it’s the third ingredient) and melatonin (the fifth). Organic chia seeds brighten. Zinc clears skin. Rose petals soften. Coffee beans lift. Hibiscus acts as a natural Botox. Rosemary and willow bark come to the rescue as antiseptics in case you’re tackling a breakout. Because of ALL of it’s healing, skin loving properties, it’s dubbed the Cellular Recovery Serum! Now that we’ve been around the world together (literally!), I can absolutely say she’s a total lifesaver!

Simply apply a generous to trouble spots. GO. Done. I couldn’t believe it the first time I tried it and it WORKED. It literally looks like you put a 5 years younger costume on your skin! I just LOVE it! Can’t get enough!

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Sun Potion’s Ashitaba

Ashitaba is known as “the longevity vegetable”, and has been one of my all time favorite herbs for aging and fine lines! Legit, you will look younger. Ashitaba keeps degenerative diseases from occurring and has the power to rejuvenate your body’s cell properties. It also has growth hormones booster! Within weeks of drinking ashitaba in your tea or putting some on your food, you will feel a noticeable difference in the glow of your skin straight away. It has the effect of detoxifying and purifying your liver and at the same time whitening your skin complexion as it goes through your bloodstream.

Nordic Naturals Gummy Vitamins

Don’t let these cuties fool you! They have AMAZING anti-aging benefits! While “fat” is typically a four-letter word in the dieting world, Omega-3 is a good fat. Wrinkles begin with lack of hydration, and healthy fats keep the skin lubricated! They also help maintain the integrity of the cell membrane, which keeps toxins out of the skin and may even help protect against sun damage!

So, there you have it! A few easy, natural, simple ways to go needle-free and still look younger and amazing!

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions that have worked for you? Tweet me! Let’s chit chat!

The Best of Green Beauty: Soaps

The Best of Green Beauty: Soaps

A bar of soap changed my life.

No, really.

If you’ve read my book, you know that one single bar of black clay soap convinced me that organic beauty was where it was AT for my skin! In just a week it had helped me in a HUGE way with tackling breakouts, evening my skin tone and minimizing the scars I’d gained from self-treating cystic acne (the biggest NO NO ever!)

When it comes to organic bar soap, the good news is that there are tons of safe options, many of which smell –and feel– delicious. The bad news is that most of these soaps are difficult to find and not sold in grocery stores. One of the most common questions I get asked are the best organic soaps out there, since this is often where people start – as I did – with green beauty. Here are some of the best soaps – and where you can find them conveniently!

Osmia – Oh So Detox Soap is a uniquely speckled black and white dotted beauty, is a luxury, charcoal and clay body soap with no scent. It’s made with extra-virgin organic olive oil, organic shea butter, and cold-pressed, organic avocado oil. Organic, powdered coconut milk is added to give this soap a creamy lather. Activated charcoal binds unwanted toxins, while Austrialian black clay replenishes depleted minerals. It’s incredibly smooth, moisturizing, and nourishing to the skin. A perfect soap for sensitive skin and wonderful for shaving!

Soapwalla – Activated Charcoal and Petiigrain Cleansing Soap is a HUGE personal favorite! Activated bamboo charcoal, petitgrain and tea tree essential oils help draw out skin impurities, absorb excess oil and inhibit bacteria growth. Help control breakouts, while visibly reducing existing blackheads and blemishes with this cleansing bar.  The vegan SLS- and paraben-free bar effectively cleanses without stripping skin or leaving a film, and is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Ideal for blemish-prone and combination skin!

Meow Meow Tweet – Rose Pink Clay Soap French pink clay and crushed rose petals cleanse and detoxify skin with the lightest exfoliation. Delicately scented geranium, palmarosa and lavender essential oils calm and heal skin while toning and clearing the complexion. A moisturizing mixture of organic plant oils, including olive, coconut, shea, sunflower and castor creates a dreamy, creamy lather. Great for any skin type, especially oily and mature!

Kahina Giving Beauty – Lemongrass Nettle Argan Soap  Antioxidant-rich organic argan oil with olive, coconut and shea oils leave skin soft, smooth and moisturized. Lemongrass minimizes pores and works as an anti-bacterial. Antioxidant-rich nettle soothes skin while gently exfoliating.  Can be used to nourish body, face, hair and hands. This soap is ideal for all skin types!

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Pure Province – Lavender Soap Lavender is a sweet, floral scent made from organic essential oils that will relax and calm your soul and spirit. This Ecocert Certified Organic soap is created in the time-honored Provencal tradition. Pure Province makes a long-lasting, triple-milled, pure vegetable soap is enriched with shea butter and palm oil to nourish and moisturize. Skin is left feeling soft, cleansed and silky smooth. Great for all skin types and comes in different scents in case Lavender isn’t your thing!

CeeCee and Bee make some of my absolute favorite soaps – I can barely choose! Probably between the Rose Soap with cocoa butter, Chamomile Soap, Coffee Scrub and their Detox Soap! They’re local here in San Diego and use local, sustainable, organically-grown ingredients in all of their products — each designed and handcrafted with special care by their amazing team!

Atmosphere Soap – Three of a Perfect Pair This combo is pretty unbeatable – especially for the amazing price! A curated musical grouping in soap form. Players include three members of Bar Red: Blue Condition (floral), Midnight Sunrise (spice), and Golden Ratio (sweet earth). My 3 jams right now – they smell delicious and are organic and artisan!

Organic, Soy Candle by Being Carefull’s Careful Candles

Gemstones by Energy Muse

 

What Plants Can Teach Us

What Plants Can Teach Us

Lately I’ve found myself winning personal victory after personal victory. Personal struggles that have plagued me for years and now falling quickly to the wayside, even getting solved completely. It’s been quite an unburdening, and I’ve felt amazing these last few weeks.

And I think plants have had a lot to do with it.

In our backyard, we are surrounded by thick, growing bamboo trees.

I’ve always loved the way that bamboo looks, but it wasn’t until recently that I took much interest in the proverbial meaning of bamboo.

It turns out, surrounding myself with this grounded, strengthening plant may have been a huge key to my recent personal success  in the face of years of struggles. It may have been the inspiration to start building myself and no longer taking shit from anyone.

How?

The bamboo plant takes about 6 years to fully mature and begin to grow.

Once it does, it can grow up to 12 feet in a week!!

Bamboo trees are among the fastest-growing plants in the world.

It does not matter who you are — or where you are — today, you have amazing potential for growth. Even though the bamboo grows quite rapidly, we might not notice its growth from day to day.

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As long as you are making the effort now, everything will  fall into place for you.

Even when we are making progress, it’s difficult to notice our own improvement. How fast or how slow we grow should NOT be our main concern. Only that we’re moving forward. The bamboo grows fastest around the rainy season. You too may have “seasons” where growth accelerates, and other seasons where it’s slower.

But as long as you are putting in effort, you are always growing. Don’t be discouraged by what you perceive as your lack of growth or improvement, and don’t be influenced by other people’s discouragement. I had hundreds of people tell me that there was nothing I could do in certain situations. That I was born a certain way. That I was capable of certain things. That there were was no protection in this world for me. That I should just ignore negativity.

I refused to accept that.

I tapped into deep universal laws. Those that worked in my favor. I went well out of my way to reclaim my personal power and made sure that in doing so, other people would not have to suffer in the future either. Although this has taken a lot of time, personal growth, strength, energy and even money and resources. It’s been completely worth it and an amazing, eye opening journey.

If you have not given up, then you are growing. You just may not see it right now.

I made a list of some of the most common feelings I was having lately. They included: Love. Gratitude. Courage. Strength. Unity. Smushyness (that’s the feeling you get smushing your dog).

The next day, I pulled all the same cards (Love, Gratitude, Courage, Strength).

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This was not a coincidence.

Signs like this and the plants I grow have become some of my favorite teachers. I’ve been learning to listen to my intuition, to trust myself more and I am committed to sharing more of that part of myself with you.

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Ibiza Dress: Synergy Organic Clothing

Use code ORGANICLIFE at checkout to save!

The Organic Wedding

The Organic Wedding

Since announcing that The Organic Wedding was happening, I’ve received roughly 8 zillion questions about the deets of our ceremony, like dates, location, theme, dress. Thought I’d do an update since it’s inspiration to get myself in gear as well as a good time to update you guys on our wedding plans!

Since we are both CEO’s and advocates of natural and organic wellness, we want our wedding to reflect our lifestyles as well as the deepest parts of ourselves. Here’s some of the very beginning plans that we have figured out – so far!

+The Location Location Location

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We’re lucky to live in San Diego, one of the most beautiful places on earth. I mean, seriously. 72 degrees, cloudless and sunny each and every day. Baby blue skies. Pink sunsets. The place where T proposed is beyond breathtaking. It’s hard to want to go anywhere too far for the ceremony, so we’re definitely sticking with San Diego.

I want a super small, simple soiree. Less than 50 people. Intimate destination. Definitely on the beach.

I AM using it as an opportunity to force my friends and family from New York to come somewhere warm with me. You WILL leave with a tan and you DON’T have a choice.

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+The Venue

We’re skipping a traditional venue and renting private property right on the beach. No, seriously.

I’m doing this shit MY way, peeps.

A mansion on the beach with an amazing view and private beach access so that I can go to and fro to the beach, sand and water whenever I want to. I don’t want anyone (like a traditional wedding venue) telling me when and where to stop the party. Thank you. 

I have picked out one thing for the ceremony, which is that Raelie (yep. my dog) will be a part of the ceremony. Another wonderful reason to have a private venue. Dog-friendly status!

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+The Food

As long as everyone else is cool with eating amazing organic food, gluten free beer, organic, sulfite free wine, the food plan should go over well. We’re probably getting a chef since we’ll have a personal kitchen in our space, who will be cooking up dairy free, gluten free, grass fed and organic deliciousness!

+The Date

Wouldn’t you like to know? 😉  Haha… OK, Truthfully, we just haven’t nailed one down yet. Without the pressure of a traditional venue reservation, we haven’t had to! 🙂 As we get closer to the date, I will definitely reveal it.

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+The Dress

I want a mix of bohemian and beautiful, elegant and traditional. I think I found the dress. It’s not this one, but this one DEFINITELY inspired me, and I’ve found the perfect balance between old-school and modern, creative and conventional, which I am having made organically and sustainably.

OK. Maybe that was short but truthfully, that’s about ALL I have figured out so far! Feel free to let me know what your favorite part of your wedding was, what you loved about it, what you wish you’d done differently… Traditional or non-traditional, I would love to hear it!!

(Engagement Photo by Carie Cruz Photography)

 

The Top 5 Reasons You Don’t Exercise – And How To Get Over Them!

The Top 5 Reasons You Don’t Exercise – And How To Get Over Them!

Warning: Reading this article may cause healthy habits that are hard to stop.

I always equate exercise to coffee – once you start, it’s difficult to quit. And once you stop, you REALLY feel it when you decide to start up again.

So, what gets some people up at 6 A.M. while other’s live the mantra “I’ll start tomorrow!”?

Here’s some of the favorite excuses I’ve given myself, plus how I got over them.

clarity1. You Think It’s Hard

First, you don’t exercise because you think it’s hard.

Hmmm.

Well, my dear, it’s sure going to get harder and harder the more you don’t do it, isn’t it?

Start small. I’m talking REALLY small. One exercise a day for 5 minutes a day small. Heck, maybe you’ll even do it for ten minutes the first day. In fact, the second you BEGIN to exercise, you realize that it feels really good – and it’s hard to get people to stop!

Get up in the morning and instead of mindlessly typing in whatever URL comes into your head first, or headed to your crackapp of choice (I see you, snapchat), take a 5-10 minute walk with your loved one or your dog. Seriously. Just try it. Once you conquer the first day, science even says that you’ll want to do more. And you trust science, don’t you?

I’ve designed two fitness plans that are created with 3 things in mind: to be easy, fun and to be able to be executed at home or even on the go. They’re only a $5 investment, too. That’s less than lunch! Much like my plans, there are super affordable deals like this all over the place. You don’t have to get my fitness plans, but look around for one that calls out to you. Some personal favorites besides my own include these DVD’s by Tracy Anderson and daily Kundalini Yoga.

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2. You Don’t Want To “Force Yourself”

Let me tell you a big secret: if you’re waiting until you’re “ready to start” (thin enough, strong enough, good enough) you’ll NEVER start. In fact, you’ll get bigger, weaker and worse as time goes on. So just START. You HAVE to force yourself to start almost anything in the beginning.

Then, over time (sometimes much more quickly than you expected), you’ll find that you feel good when you do it. You’ll start to love it. Or you’ll pick parts of it you love and parts of it you can tweak. I always think of my Dad when I’m exercising – he was at the gym a WEEK after his first brain surgery to remove his cancer. Talk about “forcing yourself”. He LOVED exercise, and it was a huge reason he lived four times longer than doctors initially predicted when he was diagnosed!

Trust me, I used to think, I’m in too much pain to work out. Well, YEAH sister. And you’re going to KEEP being in pain if you don’t start today! Right now!

3. You’re Not Motivated

You might say, But why? This can’t be for me! I’m not good enough/I don’t deserve it/I have no energy.

A huge part of the reason you have no energy is because you’re not exercising. Exercise promotes and creates energy. Motivate yourself with a reward. Create a habit loop, which involves a cue to trigger the behavior (setting out your workout gear), the routine itself (making it to the gym or taking out your fitness plan) and then the reward. Giving yourself a reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile, and a reward increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.

If you do 30 minutes of exercise a day, reward yourself in any way that might motivate you. Maybe you allow yourself 30 mins of TV, a movie you enjoy or some hot fudge on your strawberries tonight. Whatever gets you up and doing it – give yourself that thing at the end! You won’t regret it!

4. You’ve Tried Before – With No Success

A huge part of the reason most people don’t exercise is because they’ve tried exercising before and either stopped getting motivated or felt that it wasn’t giving them their desired results “in time”.

STOP expecting overnight results after years of self-neglect!! My muscles tone VERY easily, but if I stop working out for a month, I am NOT going to get a 6 pack back in a week. I’m just not. The older I get, the more true this has become for me, and I can only assume it’s the same for 99.9% of the population.

I can’t stress this enough: DON’T. GIVE. UP!

Let me say that again. DON’T. GIVE. UP!!

SERIOUSLY! Giving up is the ONLY way you WON’T see any results. You can sit around and complain about your self-fulling prophecy coming true, or you can get off your butt and do some squats. Take a bike ride. Go for a hike. Which one do you think will make you feel better?!

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5. You’re Too Busy

This is the #1 excuse I’ve heard when I was life coaching about healthy habits in general, and it used to be one of the most infuriating to me. Oh, I used to think, So you don’t have the time to take care of yourself, but I do?!

Well, truthfully, yes. I’ve made self-care a HUGE priority, and it’s had an immense pay off. One of the best things I’ve learned is that we ALL have the same amount of time. All of us have the same time as Beyonce, for god’s sake! Do me a favor. Give yourself a challenge and try to learn FIVE MINUTES of a Bey routine. GO ahead. I’ll wait….

…. Oh hello! Yes, it’s the year 5678. Welcome. Your routine is outdated but we applaud your efforts.

Seriously. If Beyonce can do 20 of those routines on tour, I think you can take 15 minutes out of your day for some self love and self care. You DESERVE to feel good!! None of us are too busy for our health. Without our health, nothing else matters.

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The Clean Company That Makes Me Wish I Was A Mom | GIVEAWAY + COUPON CODE

The Clean Company That Makes Me Wish I Was A Mom | GIVEAWAY + COUPON CODE

Kosmatology Founder Janis had a choice: she could continue treating her baby’s eczema with conventional products that never worked, or she could use her Pharmacy background and invent her own products.

As a Compounding Pharmacist, Janis knew that the steroid creams being prescribed for her 3 month old came with harmful side effects. So, she went to work.

Her first concoction is now the renowned Goody-Goody Grapefruit lotion bar. Free of preservatives that can irritate skin, this shea butter/olive oil moisturizer goes right to work soothing and healing delicate cells. I use it on my legs and shoulders during these drier months in California, and not only does it smell amazing – it works incredibly well! Candelilla wax to create a protective barrier and grapefruit peel essential oil to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.

Janis’s daughter has been eczema free for 5 years, and ultimately it inspired Janis to design an entire line of products that are specifically formulated to work naturally.

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The Botanical Bliss lotion bar has become a huge personal favorite – doubling as a lipgloss, hand lotion and even an under eye cream – all in one! It’s easily plyable, so I can scoop some off the top if I don’t want to contaminate the bar. Organic Shea butter, Orgnic Olive Oil, lavender and eucalyptus make this little bar irresistible – plus, it’s convenient for travel!

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From potent and safe-for-the-whole-family bug repellent to body wash, Janis isn’t afraid to design products outside of the box. I look forward to the day I have a few little ones, because brands like Kosmatology are so important for growing kids and families. From foaming hand soap to anti-bacterial wipes, often times what we think could be a harmless conventional product may actually be harming your skin or disrupting your system, causing allergies or irritation.

Kosmatology has created an amazing one-stop-shop for your daily family needs. This brand makes me wish I was a mom – so I could spoil my kids rotten with organic, healthy skincare goodies!

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Mint Your Feet (how cute are these names?!) is a must-have for hard-working SAHMs or working people on the go! It smells just like a candy cane, and this at home spa-treatment is perfect to apply after a hot shower or a much-needed bath. Soothing peppermint and eucalyptus meet a soft, buttery texture that melts into skin and leaves a tingle that provides real pain relief. Think of it as a natural tiger rub! Absolutely love rubbing this lotion at night on my tired feet after a long shoot or hike – perfect if you work in heels, too! Wake up to soft feet and less pain. I am able to do longer workouts and I even use this on sore joints and muscles. Love it!

Finally, I’ve written about the amazing Kosmatology Lemongrass Face Oil quite a bit – it’s become my absolute favorite face oil for tackling and controlling stubborn breakouts and balancing oily skin!  It’s been an amazing aid in my battle against cystic acne! After my shower I apply a few drops to clean hands, rub my hands together and dab them all over my face, then I gently rub the oil into my skin. It smells amazing but not too strong – and also comes in a Rose Geranium scent if you prefer.

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Use code ORGANICLIFE at checkout to save serious $$$ on any of Kosmatology’s products until 7/31!

And head on over to Instagram to be entered and win a Kosmatology bundle!

Good luck, my loves!

Ready, Set, GLOW! Makeup Tutorial

Ready, Set, GLOW! Makeup Tutorial

The elusive summer glow. You want to look somewhere between pleasantly shimmery and bronzed for the season, but you’re not sure where to start. Plus, there’s that dreaded red-nose sunburn thing you’ve got going on. What’s a girl to do?

To get the best skin and glow this summer, you’ll want to go the natural route! I’ve included my Summer Glow glam routine for you today. Enjoy!

First, you’ll have to prep your skin properly. Here are my favorite ways to get a beautiful, smooth base for your makeup totally naturally!

SOFT SKIN | I apply May’s incredible charcoal based Problem Solver face mask and let myself indulge for 10-15 minutes.  Lindstrom’s problem solver does just that, going to work refreshing, clearing skin and setting the stage for a great canvas to work with!

A bit of warm water and a wash cloth later, I then drench my clean, clear skin in Lina Hanson’s Global Face Serum.  I also inhale this from my palms after application for a little aromatherapy.  After Lina’s serum sets, I apply Mun’s brightening serum to my face and décolletage for an extra glow before starting my foundation.  It also helps to set my makeup after it’s applied. Lastly, glide Josh Rosebrook’s Oculus Serum under your eyes to combat any puffiness.

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MOISTURIZE | I begin with applying Waxelene all over my lips to condition and moisturize them. Waxelene is THE alternative to Vaseline if you are searching for a petroleum free option. I mean, who wants to put crude oil on their skin?  Ew.

SCENT & COLOR | I also use Osmia Organics honey myrrh lip repair for a slight honey scent.  It’s perfect for creating a slick, plump, lush look.  To top it off, I apply Nudus Australia’s lipstick in Halo.  This awesome organic formula is totally safe and goes on a very beautiful, light pink.  Can be worn sheer for a natural look or more pigmented for a sexy, demure pout.

Face:

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CONTOUR | I love the above contour map because it works no matter what your skin tone or face structure.  If you have darker skin, you can just go a few shades darker with every color, but the idea of contrast remains the same.  You can use a contour gel like Genfiore’s botanical gel to achieve soft, refreshing skin to begin with.

BRIGHTEN | After the Mun No. 1 Aknari Brightening Serum absorbs, I apply Josh Rosebrook’s nutrient day cream under my eyes and on my nose for some natural zinc brightener.  It works wonders as a skin saver if I am going to be out and about that day.  This formula is my absolute favorite natural SPF cream – it’s slick but not too thick, and has beautiful coverage.  It leaves a sexy shimmer, too!

SHIMMER | Speaking of shimmer, I indulge my face and décolletage in the May Lindstrom’s The Good Stuff to create a hint of color, nourish my skin and add an organic glow from the natural mica.  Using the above contour map for a flawless face, next I apply my base coverage.  I use  all over my face and eyelids, which I apply with clean fingertips.  This is slightly lighter than my skin tone so it gives me a bright base that I can contour over.

CONCEAL | Next I apply INIKA’s concealer around my eyes and under neath my eyelids down to my cheekbones for a deep brightening effect.  I also add a dab to my chin, the bridge of my nose and the middle of my forehead to create depth.  To set this base, I apply INIKA Organic Liquid Foundation to create an even tone and cover any blemishes.  I dab and apply it with a big, round brush to my cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.  I adore this vegan brush set for the job!

FOUNDATION | Just like a sturdy house, a great look needs a great foundation.  Gressa’s foundation is a beautiful, lightweight serum, but the finish creates a magic powder effect.  It gives a gorgeous glow to the skin and is perfect for setting your base makeup as a top coat.  The ingredients are totally pure and help to nourish the skin, so you’re not clogging your pores by using any of these products!  The W3ll People Biobrightening stick is a great way to highlight around the tops of your cheekbones to keep your face light and youthful, so this is my next step.  Right above my cheekbones, I add the Han Skincare blush for a little bit of color.  It can be applied sheer for a touch of demure petal color or built up for a raspberry cheek.

BRONZE | For a bronzed contour, I apply the W3ll People Bio Bronzer rom the side of my lips up my cheekbones, under where I have created the brightening and apple affect to my cheeks.  I also add a streak to both sides of my nose.  I blend all of this in with a beauty blender as well as a blending brush, and dab on a little RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer for a dewey shimmer.

READY, SET GLOW | To set this makeup, I apply Alima Pure’s Olive Matte foundation and add a dab of the Gia Minerals Suvar Shadow to the tops of my cheekbones, under my eyebrows, to my eyelids, chin, the middle of my bottom lip and the bridge of my nose for that final gorgeous glow! Top off lips with a swipe of the Under the Sea lipstick and you’re out the door and glowing!

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Eyes:

LASHES: I start by coating my lashes with a small coat of the W3ll People Mascara to create a base. I apply my Thrive Causemetics Lashes, which I blend in with the Lily Lolo Mascara in Black.

COLOR: I use The Siren Collection palette to build color, starting with Suvar in the corners, followed by Sea, Venice and Neptune. Wing out the darkest part toward your brows.

How To Stop A Panic or Anxiety Attack In It’s Tracks – Every Single Time

How To Stop A Panic or Anxiety Attack In It’s Tracks – Every Single Time

Recently, I felt something that I honestly haven’t felt in many years.

I was at the sink in the bathroom, washing my face. As usual, I was ticking off a to-do list in my mind.

Find your sunglasses. Finish speech. Get back to Joe, Kathy, Cindy, Cynthia, Ariel, Janet, Felicity, Jacob, Kelly, etc. Clean out your inbox. Get toilet paper, paper towels, razors, groceries. Send in your proposal. Pay that bill. Work out at 6. Walk the dog. Mix that song. Keep at your next book. Email that interview. Edit photos for the blog. Produce that video. Call your family. Put the dishes away. Open your mail. Organize your office. Book that appointment. Dog food. Buy that plane ticket. Schedule that phone call. Write that new column. Dust the living room. Make the bed. Charge the car. Oh, and maybe you might want to check in on some friends while you’re at it, T.

Suddenly, without warning, my breath started to become shallow. Thinking it was temporary, I started trying to catch it. When one, two, three breaths wouldn’t come in fully, my eyes got wide. Instead of getting better, my breaths became shorter and shorter. Within seconds, dizziness started. Then, a tingling in my hands. Shivers up my spine. Small beads of perspiration on my forehead. Numbness in my face. I looked up, stared into the mirror and asked myself in alarm, “Am I having a panic attack right now?!”

Most horrifically, in this moment, I was trying to ignore the fact that besides me and the dog, the house was empty. Whatever it was, I was completely alone.

When it didn’t go away after a moment, that threw me into sheer terror. Of course, the terror made it worse. Within a minute I was on my bed, feeling like I got punched in the gut, was having the worst asthma attack of my life and was drowning – all at the same time. At once, a flood of emotions, memories and helpless feelings coursed through me and it took everything in me to not start hysterically crying.

I recognized the symptoms, but it took me a moment to accept anxiety as the culprit. Getting a little anxious is normal – even healthy – now and again. However, my experience with diagnosed panic and anxiety attacks was actually quite frequent until the last few years. But they had been different than this.

Crying used to be the only way I would ever get a panic or anxiety attack. It all started when I was very young, bawling my eyes out and trying to explain things. I would experience hiccups in my breathing. My speech was interrupted because I couldn’t catch my breath and I would stammer and repeat myself. I remember the rage I felt the first time someone laughed at me for doing this, because I couldn’t help it. My face and hands would get numb, just like they were doing now. It had always, always happened when I cried.

So what. the hell. was this?!

This was different.

The anxiety of having a panic attack with seemingly no cause was absolutely terrifying.

I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I ran through other scenarios in my mind, all of which were much scarier than the reality that this was, indeed, a panic attack.

Truly, it was something new. Any one of these symptoms could have sent me off to the pharmacist with a ‘script for xanax or valium, but I’ve been there, done that, and been no better off in the end. In fact, drugs did nothing but make me incredibly, undeniably worse. Some friends suggested that maybe I should try some weed. This friend said I could some at West Coast Cannabis (Click here for more information) to help where prescription medication couldn’t. But I am not sure that is for me.

The thing is, nothing really happens to us without cause. So instead of beating myself up over it, here is how I identified what was going on and was able to successfully stop it right then – and in the future.

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Meditation

Once I started meditating in 2011, anxiety was one of the first and most miraculous afflictions I was almost immediately able to control. Above all others, somehow it has been easiest for me to find a moment, take a breather, and successfully relax. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive, calm perspective this way. In fact, it’s the most simple and effective! So, what had happened here?

Every time you feel anxious, you have to remember to make a conscious effort to relax. Instead of doing that, the unknown had sent me into a panic. The reason you don’t want to panic is because your scary symptoms (shortness of breath, tingling, numbness) all relate back to your heart rate, which you want to be as low as possible to combat anxiety or resist a full blown panic attack. You want to train your body over time to just relax and think about quickly (but calmly) accessing the situation. Are you in any real danger? Is there anything that can really hurt you right now?

Belly breathing, one of the most essential tricks to successfully meditating, is the first step. Once I recognized what was truly going on, I went straight to one of my favorite meditation practices. This simply involves taking a deep breath into your diaphragm, through your nose. Release it through your mouth. Do this until your belly is completely swollen with air and hold it for 4 seconds. Release your breath on the count of 5.

This gives me the time to recognize exactly what’s going on. I was overwhelmed. Period. Regardless of whether or not overwhelm had become my “new normal”, it wasn’t, nor should it ever be. You can have a million things to do without becoming completely overwhelmed. You need to find the space to recognize exactly what’s going on. That’s where meditation comes in! Within a few moments, I realized that I needed to prioritize what needed to be weighing on my heart, and what was truly important. Did I need to do the dishes or call my family first? Well, that one was easy!

I realized I was giving myself one of the most common excuses that we conjure when faced with a meditation practice: I don’t have the time. What hogwash! Without meditation on how to solve your issues, or without taking time to focus on what’s really important, nothing else matters! I need to meditate every day, for at least 5 minutes a day. Period. This is now a non-negotiable for me.

Since then, I also started incorporating more meditation into my day-to-day routine, which has really helped me to access my priorities and focus on my goals without getting overwhelmed. Mindful meditations can be done anywhere, during anything, and they truly help immediately! This usually includes love for my body, it’s healing work, and all the things I’m grateful for. I focus on happy highlights of the day and send prayers and thoughts to my loved ones.

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FLOWER REMEDIES + TINCTURES

You can also experience the benefits of supplements in tincture form, so that you don’t have to take capsules every day. An amazing way to do that is through flower remedies. Just place a few drops under the tongue or add to your water, tea or coffee for instant relief of anxious feelings, sadness or restlessness. Flower remedies and tinctures are an amazing way to channel your calm on a daily basis. Here are some of my favorite flower remedies + tinctures available today:

  • Dr Bach’s Star of Bethlehem for shock, grief or panic.
  • Lotus Wei Inner Peace Elixir is tasty and dissolves high levels of stress & overwhelm. This elixir helps combat feeling a lack of support, anxiety, nervousness, heart palpitations, fear, lack of confidence, and nervousness about public speaking.
  • Dr Bach’s Willow for reoccurring nervous tension.
  • Rescue Remedy these little beads go to work immediately and taste like peppermint. They naturally reduce every day stress and are an easy way to travel with your solution by your side!
  • Lotus Wei Quiet Mind for clarity, focus, relaxed body, quiet mind, sound sleep, ability to take breaks + be more effective. This elixir helps to calm a busy mind, mental chatter, restless sleep, physical tension (especially neck & shoulders), and over-analyzing.
  • Valerian tincture for chronic anxiety. This is nature’s valium!
  • Passionflower for mild or occasional anxiety.
  • Hops for calming nerves (think of it as nature’s beer!) and long-term nervous system support.
  • California Poppy for a natural sedation effect.

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Neglecting a part of my daily supplements routine has lead me straight to this moment, I admitted to myself. I wasn’t kidding! Since incorporating even small amounts of daily herbs back into my routine, I have not suffered any kind of inhibiting anxiety – even during a very exciting (but nerve-wracking!) workshop this week where I spoke and taught in front of an audience (alone, without a script) for almost 2 hours!! Here are the herbs and supplements that brought it home for me, and they are some of my personal favorites. Each one of these supplements can be taken either every day or as needed for restfulness and calm feelings:

Natural Calm + Calcium Carbonate

Natural Calm Magnesium is my jam! I shared this on snapchat the other day (add me @organiclifeblog!) and you guys freaked out!! I’ve never had so many screenshots in my life, and I’m pretty sure I had a nip slip on there one time!! My favorite way to take it is to put a spoonful in my chamomile tea or straight into my lemon water first thing in the morning, stir gently and drink! Miraculous! What a life saver! Psychology Today has dubbed Magnesium “the original chill pill”. It’s basically nature’s xanax and the right solution for you if supplements, tinctures or teas don’t do the job or you have aversions to them!

I add a teaspoon of Calcium Carbonate in with the Natural Calm to support the magnesium and allow it to work at it’s fullest potential. It’s very easy to sneak these into your smoothies, teas or coffee, but they are tasteless! I’ve definitely noticed a significant difference in my moods and even my hair, skin and nails all look better and stronger!

Another way to take magnesium is in your baths! Just add a teaspoon to a hot bath as the water is running. and you are on your way to feeling better naturally! Magnesium plays an important role in biochemical reactions all over your body. It is involved in a lot of cell transport activities, in addition to helping cells make energy. Your bones are a major reservoir for magnesium, and magnesium is the counter-ion for calcium and potassium in muscle cells, including the heart. If your magnesium is too low, you can experience muscle cramps, arrythmias, and even sudden death. Ion regulation is everything with respect to how muscles contract and nerves send signals. In the brain, potassium and sodium balance each other. In the heart, the organs and muscles we want to control for anxiety, magnesium pulls some of the load.

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Write It Out

Writing and journaling is one of the most therapeutic things we can do for ourselves. It helps us to figure out where we are at mentally in the moment, and gives us a perspective to look back on in the future. It’s crazy to read some of my old journals (which I’ve been keeping since the age of 7). I begin to see patterns, recognize things that were happening in my life and can begin to easily honor my feelings right then and there, which are hardly ever the same feelings as they are in the future. Writing my book recently (which is mostly autobiographical) was one of the most therapeutic things I’ve ever done for myself.

I love The Sunrise Manifesto , which is a guided journal that can boost your happiness in just 10 mins! There is also She Believed She Could, So She Did and The Freedom Planner for goals and motivation planning.

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Sunlight

I realized pretty suddenly that I’d forgotten that I have a serious case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and San Diego was deep into the cloudy effects of May Grey/June Gloom (which has been showing up earlier every year). Lack of sunlight couldn’t have thrown me into a fit of anxiety, could it?!

Studies have shown that there is a direct link to the amount of sunlight we receive and our anxiety. More Vitamin D, less anxiety. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency, usually caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight, is thought to play an important part in a person’s mental health, and the lack of it has been linked to depression, car accidents, suicide and sickness. I take this vitamin every day that the clouds sneak in to promote Vitamin D from within.

Final Pro Tip: Lay off the caffeine, sugar and fast food. All of these are linked to depression, anxious feelings and overwhelm.

To find more recommendations for sleep, pain and more, head HERE

How To Use Gemstones + Crystals In Your Skincare

How To Use Gemstones + Crystals In Your Skincare

The aesthetic and energetic power of crystals and minerals have been known and used for thousands of years! Ancient civilizations, like the Egyptians and the Chinese, have used gemstones in skincare since the dawn of recorded history.

Instead of using harmful petrochemical, SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) and paraben based beauty and health care products, why not consider using natural based products like the ancients did? There is some serious science backing this! Known as electro-stimulants, minerals in gemstones function as semi-conductors for your skin! This is essential to increasing cellular productivity, performance, repair and penetration the skin while leveraging the effects of any other ingredients.

Here are a few tips on how to incorporate crystal power in your beauty routine:

Toning

You can infuse filtered water with gemstones, minerals and crystals. The elevated frequency emitted from gemstones and precious minerals helps direct energy to specific areas of need, constantly adapting to your skin under any condition, allowing for maximum performance and benefits.

How To:

  • Add your crystals to filtered water
  • Let the crystals sunbathe or moonbathe for 5-10 mins at a time (so the water doesn’t evaporate)
  • Remove the crystals
  • Transfer the water to a spray bottle
  • Spritz on your skin to heal, replenish and refresh!

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Masking

Use your crystal toning water as the base for your face mask! This infuses your skin with extra mineral healing powers, which goes straight into your bloodstream.How To:

  • Add the crystal water to a bowl
  • Add your favorite powdered mask
  • Mix to a muddy consistency
  • Use a fan brush to gently paint the mask onto your face
  • Wash with filtered water

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Elixirs & Tinctures

You can make healing elixirs with your gemstones! They are a convenient way to use the vibrational energies of the crystals for natural healing, manifestation, and more. In the production of elixirs, water absorbs the crystal’s energy pattern, potentializes it, and stores it. They are easy to make and can be stored for later use.

How To:

  • State your intent for the elixir out loud. Ask the crystals themselves for assistance with making this elixir for the highest good of all concerned
  • Add the crystals to filtered water
  • Allow the crystals to sunbathe or moonbathe for 5-10 mins at a time (so the water doesn’t evaporate)
  • Transfer the water to a bottle
  • Add vodka or another grain or rice alcohol to preserve
  • Add honey for taste
  • Store in fridge
  • Take 5-10 drops under the tongue daily

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Oils & Serums

You can also infuse your serums with the power of gemstones and crystals! To get the best results for gorgeous-looking skin, add these exceptional minerals to your daily routine.

How To:

  • Fill a kitchen bowl with your favorite oil (organic olive oil, jojoba oil or almond oil for any skin tone!)
  • Add your crystals for 3 minutes to infuse
  • Remove crystals and your oil is ready to use!
  • Use liberally on face, hair and body for ultimate, healing hydration!

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Here are some of my favorite gemstones for use in skincare:

Ocean Jasper is the ideal crystal for lifting your spirit. It is aligned with the calming, pleasant energy of the sea. It allows us to find happiness in the present moment and calms the mind, body and spirit, creating a constant state of bliss. Connecting with Ocean Jasper each and every day lifts your spirits, encouraging you to embrace an attitude of happiness, joy and positivity. Connecting with its energy helps you to release any negativity, blocks or self-limiting thoughts to help you reach your full potential.

Tiger’s Eye is a solar stone of courage, strength, will and personal power. Tiger’s Eye stones stimulate the sacral chakra and solar plexus chakra to help you remain grounded and supported during times of stress.

Clear Quartz radiate immense amounts of energy due to their many points, absorbing all the negative energy around them. Program them to hold your thoughts and intentions so that they can constantly put them out into the universe! They have extreme clarity and many hold rainbows within them.

Citrine Point is one of the most powerful tools for manifesting your intentions and wishes. Along with its manifesting power, Citrine also brings light, happiness and positive energy into your space, dissipating any negative energy. These citrine points are completely natural citrine, having extreme clarity and a beautiful pale to golden yellow color.

Labradorite Crystals are perfect for the home, office or sacred space! Labradorite helps to purify your energy and connect you with the energy of light. Having Labradorite in your space creates an energetic shield that protects your aura and strengthens your personal energy supply. It helps you to unfold your true-life purpose and uncover your destiny.

Natural Pyrite Cube carries a very strong energy for attracting wealth and riches, as it holds the energy of gold. The perfect, natural cube structure is a powerful wealth-bringer, so place these in your home, office or business! These perfect cubes of pyrite are AAA grade from Navajún, Spain. They are completely natural and grow like this in the Earth!

Moonstone is believed to be the stone of destiny and it is strongly connected to the energy of moon. It is a very feminine stone that helps to align hormone production, metabolism and reproduction. Moonstone is one of the best crystals for fertility.

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This post in partnership with Energy Muse.

 

My Wellness Journey, The Inspo Behind My Book & Finding My Inner Power  (My Interview With Thoughtfully Magazine)

My Wellness Journey, The Inspo Behind My Book & Finding My Inner Power (My Interview With Thoughtfully Magazine)

(Reshared from Thoughtfully Magazine, written by Brandie Gilliam)

In Thoughtfully Mag Issue 5, our “letting go” issue, author and blogger Tara Mackey shares with us about creating an identity of wellness from her new book Cured by Nature. Here, I sit down with her to take a closer look into how she came to focus on her health and find her inner power.

Thoughtfully: Tell us a little about you and your wellness journey.
Tara Mackey:
To begin, I was born on drugs. I spent my first two weeks on earth in rehab. My mother drank and did hard drugs while she was pregnant with me, and by the time I was six years old I had seen her overdose one too many times. My grandparents ended up getting custody and raising me at the age of seven, which involved going to court and testifying against my mom at the ripe age of six.

By the time I was 13 years old, I was prescribed my first medication: a heavy duty mood stabilizer called lithium. At 16, another diagnosis followed, along with more drugs. By college, I didn’t need any outside escape: My escape was prescription medications, and I didn’t need an excuse to get them, either. I was told I NEEDED these drugs, and they all had my name on them. From pain killers to muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety meds, to anti-depressants, heavy opiates and birth control: you name it, I’ve probably taken it.

By the age of 24, I was on 14 different kinds of prescription drugs, most of which I was instructed by my doctors to take every day. I was a zombie. I could barely concentrate, was always messing up at work, had the most vicious, toxic people in my life and was constantly dealing with the debilitating side effects of the meds. I was always going to the hospital after experiencing strange symptoms like kidney infections, unexplained migraine headaches and sometimes even blackouts (without touching a drop of alcohol.) Life looked like it was going to be an unhealthy, uphill battle.

Just five years ago, my life looked a lot different than it does today. A typical weekday would have found me awake around dawn, scrambling to find clean work clothes and make one of six or seven dozen buses, trains and subways to work at a laboratory. I was popping (prescribed) pills all day, every day and faced with a daunting and depressing New York City lifestyle. I had a corporate and scientific resume – neither of which reflected my dearest dreams or goals. I was barely eating, hardly sleeping and I was desperately addicted to my drugs to solve pain, problems and my personality.

I experienced a series of tragic events, including a physically abusive relationship, the suicide of one of my best friends as well as my own failed suicide attempt. I realized at that point that I didn’t want to die. In fact, for the first time ever, I wanted to truly live.

A few months before my 25th birthday, I came off over a dozen pharmaceutical drugs—cold turkey. I do NOT recommend this to anyone. I suffered incredible withdrawal symptoms equivalent of what I’d seen my mom go through coming off heroin. But within weeks, I started treating myself lovingly, with respect, and living my dearest dreams. I broke up with my abusive boyfriend for good and in fact, I broke up with the idea of accepting ANY kind of toxic relationship into my life. Prescription drugs were possibly my most toxic relationship.

I moved across the country to California and started meditating daily, educating myself on health, eating whole foods, treating myself naturally, composting, taking supplements and herbs, reading empowering books and gardening. Within mere weeks, I was looking at a completely different person and she was living a completely different life.

When I first came cold turkey off my drugs, I was NOT trying to stay off them forever. Just a few short years later, at 29, I am teaching about natural wellness and I love it. I cannot picture a scenario where I’d EVER go back to relying on a pharmaceutical drug for my emotions, focus, pain or anxiety. I’ve learned so much and I feel amazing. I am the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been and my work makes me super excited to get up in the morning. I am living in my dream home in my dream city with my dream job, engaged to my perfect partner, after less than five year of listening to my heart and soul. I’m very passionate about sharing what’s truly possible for others, no matter what they’re going through!

What inspired you to write your new book Cured by Nature?
I’m incredibly lucky to have been found by my publishing company, Skyhorse (formerly Lyons) through my blog, The Organic Life. They reached out to me, asked if I’d be interested in telling my story and gave me a three month (that’s 12 week) deadline for the manuscript of Cured by Nature. If that alone is not a testament to what mind-work can get you, I don’t know what is. I said yes, of course! I’d always dreamed of writing a book!

I had the unprecedented fortune of working on my book WITH my publishing company instead of for them, which was super helpful and unique. My editor was amazingly supportive and encouraging, so I hunkered down and wrote the manuscript in three months time, and then we spent a year editing it. I knew what this could be, if we really did it right.

In Cured by Nature, I’ve presented an incredible resource for people just beginning in their healing journey, as well as a lot of insight for people who are further in. I really did my homework and I was totally honest about my story. There are a lot of never-before-published stats and scientific studies included – ranging from the benefits of natural healing to the alarming rate of pharmaceutical drug use in this country. Combined with my personal journey, I think it’s a true eye opener of what human beings can accomplish with a little hope and determination. I really believe that everyone is truly perfect and can be healed. I think that comes across in my work.

If I can do it, you definitely can. Find out why you’re really here. And if you have a message, don’t die with your story still in you.

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What did you learn about yourself in the process of Cured by Nature?
I learned a lot about honesty and my personal strength. There is a lot of therapy in telling your story. Before I began, only a handful of people in my life knew what I went through as a child or about the time that I was coming off my drugs. Now, strangers come up to me or write to me after reading Cured by Nature and instantly we feel a bond, because they know it all. It’s incredibly liberating to have people love and accept you for who you are and what you’ve been through—both good and bad.

I realized at a certain point that writing the book was becoming an incredible therapy for me, and I just hoped every day during the writing process that it would turn out to be the important resource for other people that it was becoming to me. It truly has done the same for others, which has been the thing I’m most proud of. At this point, we have testimonials from readers that Cured by Nature has saved lives.

It may sound silly, but I always say that I wish I had Cured by Nature during my personal wellness journey. I would have felt way less lost and alone.

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How did you find your own inner power and how do you maintain it?
Mind-strengthening techniques are the basis for the book and truly, for my life. They’ve played a huge hand in my identity, health, personal successes and in opportunities that have come my way. There is an art to manifesting and maintaining your health, improving your body and achieving all of your goals and dreams. I believe it starts with meditation. Give yourself the time to figure out what you really want and why you’re here.

I also think it’s really important to stand guard at the door of your own mind. For instance, notice what you are letting into your thought patterns and why. Notice who you’ve allowed to shape your life. Was it you, or have other people taken control of how you feel and what you believe? Who are you doing thing for?

For years I thought I was completely helpless to my own body, thoughts and emotions. I was—or wasn’t—doing things strictly for other people. I thought another person or a pill was there to solve my problems or carve my path. Truthfully, my problems never got solved and my path never became clear until I took control. No one else is going to do it for you. No one can.

Sometimes it seems easier to give our power away. But in reality, we’re squandering one of the greatest gifts we have: to live as our true selves.

Meditation combined with a daily connection with nature and wellness-centered meals are really, truly what’s done it for me. I pay attention to where my focus goes and what I’m using to fuel my body and my mind. I share many of these techniques in the book.

What have you let go of that has allowed you to bloom?
I’ve completely let go of other peoples’ opinions of me, and I’ve stopped letting them influence my actions. I’ve also stopped defending myself.

I know it may sound hard to do, but I think of it this way: That is not where I want my energy and focus to go. People’s opinions can—and will—change. Trying to fit them or please everyone is just like chasing your own tail. At the end, you’ll be exhausted, confused and no better off.

Once I dropped the idea that I needed anyone else’s opinions to form what I was capable of, this opened up a lot of doors in my life. I have a HUGE imagination, and by cutting out any focus on the negative, I have left myself a lot of time for self- improvement, learning and growth. I can cultivate the places where there is love in my life, instead of trying to weed out the places where there is negativity.

This is where all your important personal shifts and changes happen, so I’m really grateful I learned this pretty early in my journey.

Make sure you surround yourself with people who ask you, “Who are you becoming?” instead of focusing on who you were yesterday or last year. These people will show you—and attract for you—what’s truly meaningful.

Where do you go for your wellness inspiration?
Nature is my go-to! I am lucky enough to live in Southern California now, after 25 years in New York City. I will always love New York, but the expansiveness of California is unmatched. I can go skiing, hiking or to the beach—all in the same day. I absolutely love my little surf town in sunny San Diego, where I often hike Torrey Pines or do a run or meditation session by the ocean. I actually wrote all of Cured by Nature on Swami’s beach by Yogananda’s Self Realization meditation gardens, so I definitely head to the sea to collect and organize my deepest thoughts and feelings.

Just ten minutes of sunshine a day can have a huge impact on your well-being, mood and mental clarity, so I try to get 10 minutes to an hour outside a day at minimum! My favorite activities are hiking with my rescue pup Raelie, riding my bike down the shoreline with my fiancé or doing yoga on the beach.

How do you live thoughtfully?
I live thoughtfully by honoring my message, my thoughts, feeling and connection with nature—in relation to others. I try to stay conscious of the impact I am having on the world, and focus on the constant improvement of my values. Whatever nourishes my soul and helps humanity.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Be Happy. Stay Weird. Live Well! Thank you, Thoughtfully—for all you do!

Thoughtfully Mag Issue 5 - Identity of Wellness

The Best of Green Beauty: Hair Products

The Best of Green Beauty: Hair Products

Most people I know are on a quest for amazing hair, so with newly rising concerns about exactly what’s IN our conventional hair products, I was inspired to share my favorite clean products with you! Want perfect hair without the compromise? Keep your routine simple and light with these award winning, stylist-approved products. They’re guaranteed to give you plenty of style options while maintaining your hair health. I’ve tested and listed the cleanest, best products on the market by hair concern (Volume, Shine, Repair, Protect), so you can start achieving healthy, fabulous hair – today!

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Volume

Balance Shampoo by Josh Rosebrook is crafted to offset excessive oiliness and create volume with aloe vera, gentle natural cleansers and advanced herbal infusions. Rich natural plant oils and herbal actives work in synergy to soften, add shine, treat scalp conditions and stimulate follicle circulation. This increases the flow of nourishment, encouraging strong, continued hair growth and more volume.

Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray by Captain Blankenship is a texturizing and moisturizing hair spray that helps add waves and life to your hair, giving it that just left the beach look and smell. A must have for mermaid hair! Atlantic Sea Salt adds texture and gentle beach waves to hair. Organic Sea Kelp Extract is naturally rich in beneficial minerals and vitamins that nourish both hair and scalp. Organic Essential Oils of Rose Geranium and Palmarosa create a beachy rose scent, and maintain volume while being an easy-to-use styling tool.

Essential Lite Conditioner by Rare El’ements is a wonderful hydrating conditioner that’s perfect for those looking for a nutrient-rich, shine-enhancing conditioner that adds a little more volume to their tresses. Not only does this conditioner restore, re-hydrate and add shine, it also helps shape and form the hair to make blow-drying and styling a lot easier. The all-natural Murumuru butter, Marula African “Miracle oil”, the healing elements of Camelina and the deep nourishment of Baobab are ideal for normal, curly or fine hair. Color safe, no synthetic fragrances, no silicones, no parabens. I love this conditioner!

Lift Spray by Josh Rosebrook is an amazing spray and a daily go-to! I like that the natural oils and minerals give the hair almost a matte look, but it isn’t so heavy that it diminishes natural volume and shine. A herbal synergy of horsetail, lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary and peppermint gently stimulates the follicle and scalp. When the hair follicle is stimulated, the bulb is nourished through increased circulation, creating stronger, thicker hair.

Shine

Argan Oil by Acure Organics is absolutely perfect as either an overnight hair treatment or to promote shine. Just saturate the hair with the oil, wrap it in a towel or shower cap and sleep on it! Another way to use it is for flyways or split ends, as it nourishes hair and promotes shine. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is the ideal product to give hair a natural boost. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy and non-irritating, which makes it a great natural moisturiser.

Omega 9 Hair Mask by Rahua injects roots with life and shine, promoting scalp health and preserving color vibrancy. Unlike other oils that coat hair strands, Ungurahua Oil, rich in Omega-9, consists of tiny molecules that penetrate into the core of each strand to heal and fortify, infusing thirsty hair with moisture.

Marula Cocktail Leave In Hydrating Mist by Rare El’ements is a rare blend of penetrating oils that add a luxurious natural shine to the hair and deep conditioning throughout the day. This lightweight treatment features the most sought after nutrient-rich oils that include the “African Miracle Oil”, Marula and the shine-enhancing moisture-boosting benefits of Baobab Oil.

Enrich Mask by Josh Rosebrook is a hard working hair conditioning mask blending the most exotic, beneficial oils proven for hair revitalization. Enrich works to significantly improve dry and damaged hair texture. Precise amounts of fatty acid-rich plant oils from African Marula, Baobab and Argan, Jojoba, Tahitian Tamanu, Hemp and Coconut with ultra-hydrating aloe vera and potent active herbal infusions create a powerful synergy to dramatically soften, restore shine, elasticity, and manageability. Josh has done it again!

Repair

Ultra Repair Hair Mask by Evolvh is an intensive treatment for hair that has been compromised by color or bleach processing, heat styling, or environmental factors. Highly effective for smoothing coarse, curly or frizz-prone hair. Leaves hair bouncy, shiny and silky no matter its previous condition.

Bohemia Verde Hair Elixir by La Bella Figura is a long-time favorite! a sensually sweet hair elixir designed to enhance shine, enrich dull or dry hair, and smooth frizz with a potent blend or hydrating oils. Perfect for using on the ends of hair to repair and strengthen. Works marvelously as a hair treatment!

Capillary Strengthening Blend by Tammy Fender blends restorative oils to create a formulation that delivers the highest content of essential fatty acids, vital nutrients and bioflavonoids necessary to repair and rejuvenate the skin’s delicate tissue at the deepest level. The healing properties of chamomile, neroli, rose and carrot seed strengthen capillaries, increase circulation and stimulate the regeneration of healthy new skin cells.

Anti-Aging Hair Growth Serum by REVERIE treats your hair and scalp to Cake, a restorative serum that smoothes, soothes, protects and promotes growth. This leave-in treatment is powered by active ingredients such as Apple Stem Cells to delay the aging of hair follicles, and Hydrolyzed Protein from the sweet white lupine plant restructures and regenerates. A blend of essential oils, including Frankincense, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang, complete this intensely hydrating formula.

Protect

Anti-Hair Loss Premium Organic Argan Oil Shampoo by PURA D’OR is the only shampoo in the market that has a natural preservative system derived from 100% plant based extracts. This is combined with premium ingredients that are free of SLS (Sulfates), Parabens or any other harmful chemicals. It has all the advance DHT blockers of our proven formula plus more. All ingredients are clinically proven to help with thinning hair and scalp problems. DHT is a hormone that is responsible for hair loss. Thinning hair is a problem to men as well as women, that’s why prescribed drugs like finasteride are on the market and can be used to fight against hair loss.

Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo by One Love Organics blends a unique blend of highly absorbent Georgia Kaolin Clay, hyularonic acid, and silica rich bamboo extract, Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder softens, strengthens and nourishes hair between shampoos, during travel, or for an anytime pick-me-up. Great as an alternative to taking a million showers!

The Petroleum Jelly Alternative by Waxelene will be the answer to ALL of your beauty needs! Only 4 organic ingredients, this 100% truly raw, all natural formula is really for all your hair, nails, face, body needs – and anything in between. This vaseline alternative is great for treating everything from dandruff to fly aways! A dime size amount if amazing for hair protection or a nightly hair mask to reduce split ends, nourish, and Waxelene does not clog their pores or cause skin irritation, so it’s also great following hair removal treatments. Line your hairline with this if you dye it to protect your scalp and forehead.

Clarifying Conditioner by Acure Organics promotes shiny, soft, healthy, clean hair. Organic argan oil, argan stem cells, pro-vitamin B5 and CoQ10 help support hair keratin and strengthen hair follicles. Absolutely love this formula – and so does my hair! Organic cocoa seed butter and olive fruit oil provides moisture. Hair is softer, smoother and more manageable. Safe for color treated hair!

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The Best Organic + Natural Beauty Oils For Every Skin Type:

The Best Organic + Natural Beauty Oils For Every Skin Type:

Applying face oils and serums should be part of your every day skincare routine. There’s a reason these thicker liquids have been used since ancient times from head to toe: these healthy oils infuse your skin with potent botanicals and nourishing ingredients, and they can clear everything from acne to wrinkles to emotional or environmental damage! Even if you already have an oily complexion, you can find the oil you should be using! This collection features all natural and organic skincare brands that can help you on your journey to healthy, clear, beautiful skin:

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5 “Healthy” Brands You Didn’t Know Were Owned by Coca-Cola

5 “Healthy” Brands You Didn’t Know Were Owned by Coca-Cola

Green-washing has turned into an art form. 80% of organic brands are now reportedly owned by mega corporations – and what they’re doing with their money is alarming some health-conscious shoppers. For instance, when you think of The Coca-Cola Company, you probably think of Coca-Cola. But the Company offers many more options—more than 3,600 products globally. Here are a few of the most popular brands around the world you might not have realized are owned by Coke.

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Dasani Water

Dasani Water was launched in 1999 in the USA by Coca-Cola to little grumble. But when Dasani was launched in the UK on February 10, 2004, things went much differently. Prior to the launch, an article in The Grocer trade magazine had mentioned that the source of the Dasani brand water was in fact treated tap water from Sidcup, a suburban development in London.The product launch was named “a disaster”, a “fiasco and a “PR catastrophe”.  For it’s US formula, Dasani uses tap water from local municipal water supplies, filters it using the process of reverse osmosis, and adds trace amounts of minerals (which dehydrate you), including magnesium sulfate (which dehydrates you), potassium chloride and table salt (which dehydrates you.) Pro Tip: “Water”, indeed. PAH! Think twice.  Then, buy this water filter instead. THERE!! You have water! 

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Simply Orange

Bloomberg Business Week recently called Simply Orange ahyper-engineered and dauntingly industrial product.Ummm, is that the description that you want to hear about your orange juice?! Coca-Cola owns Simply Orange, which is made using a process they call Black Book (this is NOT off to a good start…)

Black Book is an algorithm that includes data about consumer preferences and the 600 flavors that make up an orange. Coke matches this data to a profile detailing acidity, sweetness, etc. so that they can blend batches to replicate the same taste and consistency. Black Book also incorporates external factors, such as weather patterns, anticipated crop yields, and cost pressures to allow Coke to plan ahead and ensure they have supplies on hand.

Coca-Cola’s Brazilian partner, Cutrale, processes the oranges, which are grown to Coke specifications. Satellite imaging allows them to order growers to pick their fruit at the best time, as determined by Black Book. The fresh-squeezed juice is stored in Cutrale’s silos and transported via a 1.2 mile underground pipeline to Coke’s packaging plant, where it is flash-pasteurized. It is then piped to storage tanks where it is slowly agitated and covered with a nitrogen gas blanked to keep out oxygen, which has been sucked out of the juice, as it will cause it to spoil.

The batches from different crops and seasons are separated, based on orange type, sweetness, and acidity. Blend technicians follow Black Book instructions, adding natural flavors and fragrances captured during squeezing back into the juice to make up for the flavor lost in processing.

WHAT?!?

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for orange juice, SQUEEZE AN ORANGE!! This stuff is more processed than gasoline!! Get this or this to make it easier for yourself!

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Odwalla

As Coca-Cola was donating millions to defeat proposition 37, the GMO labeling act, it was also spending hundreds of millions acquiring Odwalla. It may not look like it, but Coke owns these “healthy” fruit and veggie smoothies, specifically so they can keep one foot on both ends of the consumer spectrum. Organic it is not! Odwalla was purchased by The Coca-Cola Company in 2001 for $15.25 a share, a deal which totalled $181 million and was unanimously approved by the Odwalla board of directors. Under the terms of the merger, Odwalla’s management stayed on as heads of the company, and it was “folded” into Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid department, aimed at expanding Coca-Cola’s product line to include non-carbonated drinks.

Pro Tip: You can get a blender for $15 and make fresh smoothies each and every morning for just a few pennies per glass!

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Yep – Coke is in on coconut water too. Does it ever end?! Founded in 2004, Zico was one of the three original coconut water brands, along with O.N.E. and Vita Coco. Shortly after PepsiCo, Inc. invested in O.N.E., Atlanta-based Coca-Cola in 2009 joined a group of entrepreneurs, distributors and celebrities in acquiring a 20% minority stake in Zico. In 2012, Coca-Cola bought a majority stake in the brand, and earlier this year began distributing the company’s products along with its signature beverages in the United States and Canada. Coke can’t seem to get away with making a drink without sneaking some more of that salt + some other unnecessary ingredients in there. Pro Tip: I wouldn’t rely on this for re-hydrating.

Fuze Tea

Fuze’s fast growth from 2001-2005 sparked the interest of The Coca-Cola Company, which purchased Fuze Beverage in February 2007 for an estimated $250 million. Some consumers may choose Fuze products over other drinks because they wish to avoid high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which has been tentatively linked to obesity and diabetes; the alternative sweetener used in Fuze is crystalline fructose, which is chemically distinct from HFCS, although it is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize “from a fructose-enriched corn syrup”. Fuze beverages are labelled as Enhanced Real Fruit Beverage(s) and contain a mix of concentrated fruit juices and fruit purees in addition to other ingredients. However, the exact amount of fruit juices per 547 ml bottle is unclear due to the product label, which presents medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients in separate lists; this information is also absent from the Fuze product website. It has been estimated that Fuze beverages contain between 1.0% and 5.0% actual fruit content. Pro Tip: Save yourself a few bucks and buy a fruit if you want some natural sugar, please. Want some tea? Make some of this hot, then freeze it in your freezer for 10 minutes! Voila – You have organic tea for pennies!

Bonus:

Naked Juice

Ok, this isn’t owned by Coke. It’s owned by Pepsi. But it’s noticably absent from the consumer’s knowledge that these two brands are bedfellows. Naked Juice was sued for knowingly using GMOs in its juice, when it advertised as “all natural” and “Non-GMO” and  was found to contain fructooligosaccharides, fibersol-2 and inulin; three synthetic ingredients. The company was also sued for intentionally misleading and deceiving its customers.

Must-Have Supplements To Take Every Day

Must-Have Supplements To Take Every Day

Nothing has truly changed and helped my life like supplements. From moods, to my attention span, to stress and anxiety, to pain and acne – they’ve helped me in combating it all! The question I get asked the most often is what supplements I take every day and which ones I recommend for common ailments like pain, sleep and skin issues.

Here are my current list of favorites! If you want to see more in the future, leave me a suggestion! These have all helped me SO very much, and I hope they all help you, too. Enjoy!

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Must Have Supplements That I Take Every Day:

Supplements for Skin:

  • DIM Plus  for treating acne, skin and hormonal issues.
  • Evening Primrose Oil to regulate your hormone levels and cure your hormonal acne issues.
  • Olive Leaf  for good skin, fighting anemia and getting/maintaining a natural tan.
  • Biotin for strong hair, nails and supple skin.
  • Burdock can help treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Calendula for shiny hair, clear skin and to help skin irritation.
  • Melatonin for anti-aging.

Supplements for treating Pain:

  • Skullcap for chronic pain + pharmaceutical withdrawal.
  • Garlic for pain from inflammation.
  • Devils Claw for headaches, arthritis and back pain.
  • White Willow Bark for post-surgery, general pain and anything you’d take aspirin for.
  • Peppermint for toothaches and joints.
  • Turmeric for arthritis, joint pain and stomach pain/nausea.

For helping with Anxiety:

For aiding in Sleep:

  • Chamomile for a peaceful state of mind.
  • Hops for a natural sedation.
  • Valerian for uninterrupted rest (this is nature’s valium!)
  • Melatonin for circadian balance.

 

Want more suggestions for a healthy life? Find them here!

How to Do a Healthy, At-Home Spa Day for under $15

How to Do a Healthy, At-Home Spa Day for under $15

Having a spa day at home has become one of my non-negotiable rituals. With all the stress of every day life, it’s essential to getting this alone time to pamper ourselves, focus on our beauty and treat ourselves to self-love. Caring for ourselves is so important, and doing it at home cuts costs and allows you to stay relaxed in your own environment.

I like to take a bath to start my spa-day just right. Here’s my weekly ritual:

Fill your tub with water at just the right temperature, whether you like it piping hot or just this side of warm. While the tub is filling, dim the lights and light some candles. You can help yourself relax even further by doing a few of your favorite things. For example,

  • Pour yourself a glass of wine or make a cup of tea to enjoy while you soak. You should also pour yourself plenty of water!
  • Bring a book in there with you to enjoy.
  • Put on your favorite music or meditation track.
  • Light some incense, candles and add some flower petals to the bathwater.
  • Set out a fluffy towel or comfortable bathrobe for after!

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Prep:

  • First, make yourself a cup of tea while the bath is filling up. My newest favorite is Daily Balance loose leaf Wellness Tea, It contains Guayusa and Green Tea which both provide heavy dose of antioxidants and energy, as well as Nettle, Schisandra and Hibiscus to help cleanse, support, and balance the body, skin and mind.
  • I add some salts via Pursoma Minerals De Mer’s Digital Detox Bath before I get in, and allow 10-15 minutes for the elements to absorb into the water. The minerals and salts aids in environmental detoxification and the reduction of muscle tension from stress or a tough workout. Sea salt helps to stimulates circulation and blood flow, relieving stiff joints, muscle cramps and opening the body’s cells to deep cleansing. Even cooler? Through ionic exchange, living clay can help to extract toxins out of the body and aids in cellular revitalization and healing. Prepare for a deep body re-boot!.
  • Throughout my bath I sip on a Kushmi Detox Tea, with green tea and lemongrass. Detox is perfect for enjoying a moment of wellness. The blend of Maté and Green Tea makes it the ideal beverage to enjoy throughout the day, too!

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Begin With:

Your Face:

  • I don’t get in the bath without first applying a face mask and letting it set. My newest, most favorite jam is the MV Organic Skincare Signature Mineral Mask Set, which is great by itself or mixed with some activated charcoal and sea salt for more troubled skin. I LOVE that this comes with it’s own bowl and fan brush, making it super easy to use, clean and re-use. Probably a huge reason it’s climbed to #1 in my heart so fast. 🙂 Rich in Silica, Zinc and Magnesium, this mask is softening, strengthening and gently exfoliating therefore increasing the efficacy of all your other treatment products.
  • To wash off my mask and gently cleanse my face, I always reach for my Pai Camellia and Rose gentle hydrating cleanser. If you’re an OG reader, you know that Pai was one of the first brands I ever switched to – and reviewed on The Organic Life. It’s still one of my very favorite brands and the cleanser is one of my favorite products. Bursting with Omega 3 & Vitamins A, B & E, it replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier, leaving it soft and supple. The exfoliating muslin cloth lifts away dead skin cells to leave a smooth, even complexion. Suitable for all skin types – even sensitive!
  • Speaking of OG products, OLO is one of my very favorites from day 1! I love to use my One Love Organics Cleansing Sponge to distribute the Pai cleanser as well as gently exfoliate my skin. It’s heart shaped (soooo cute!!) and packed with Konjac Plant Fiber, prized for its ability to detoxify pores and smooth skin while buffing away dirt and makeup. Soft – yet exfoliating!

Your Body:

  • I always begin by exfoliating with a body scrub in the tub. I’ve sworn off microbeads, so I’m totally obsessed with the Odacité Invigorating Jasmine Mimosa Body Scrub!! Not only does it get me squeaky clean, it’s completely safe for you, with organic ingredients to boot! Walnut shell powder lifts away dirt and grime, coconut rejuvenates and refreshes. Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Rose Flower oils envelope the senses, as well as deliver powerful healing benefits to the skin. Use on your whole body for a deep clean. Makes a great cellulite fighter!
  • After I exfoliate, I use the Pure Provence Lavender Soap on my whole body to cleanse. This organic, long-lasting, triple-milled, pure vegetable soap is enriched with shea butter and palm oil to nourish and moisturize. After a scrub, skin is left feeling soft, cleansed and silky smooth. No sulfates, nasties or toxins to worry about!

Top Yourself Off:

  • After I get out of the bath and wrap myself in a towel, I moisturize with the Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil. This intoxicating blend of organic Vanilla and Jasmine Extracts combine for a warm scent that lasts all day on your skin. The quiet spice of Coriander, and the lift of Italian Bergamot make this oil anything but plain Vanilla. It is distinctly possible that you will want to lick your arm while wearing this oil – you’ve been warned.
  • I make sure to use a light layer of Waxelene to make sure it sinks in – and stays on! The waterproof barrier is aerated, which means it won’t clog pores.

Save yourself some dough and grab the whole beauty box set! You get approximately 10-15 baths and days out of this set, which brings your perfect at home spa to under $13 per day! Wow – you scored!

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Supplements You Should Be Taking For Your Skin

Supplements You Should Be Taking For Your Skin

I had hard, painful, cystic acne all along my jawline, as well as terrible bouts of psoriasis on my legs and arms during humid months.  As a teenager & young adult, I couldn’t really complain. I’d get a zit here and there, but my skin was never bad.

This was bad.

Once I came off all my medication (including birth control), hormones hit me hard.  I got bad, bad acne around my mouth, chin, cheeks, and areas that are absolutely impossible to hide. ‘Embarrassed’ was not the word. I felt like a different person.

Fed up with having tried absolutely everything, including medication, topical creams, dermatologists, and the like to no avail, I decided I was going to dedicate my entire supplement regime (as well as many mantra-driven meditation practices, as mentioned in depth here) to caring for my skin.

However, it didn’t take too long in my research before I found a few supplements that kicked acne and skin issues to the curb. And years later, I can honestly say (and show!) that these supplements have really, seriously saved my skin!

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DIM Plus

DIM is short for Dimethylglycine, which is an amino acid (the building blocks of proteins.)  It is plant based phytonutrient (plant nutrient), and normally found in small amounts in our bodies, for very small amounts of time.

DIM is mostly found in cruciferous vegetables.  These include cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, and turnip.  These plants have been cultivated for thousands of years and were initially used for their medicinal benefits.  The connection between DIM and hormones like estrogen has to do with similar characteristics between them at the molecular level.  DIM is not an estrogen or a hormone, but like estrogen it shares the common characteristic of being poorly soluble in water.

DIM is used for everything from ADHD to acne, but it’s benefits reach far and wide.  For me, it put me on a consistent monthly cycle, has reduced aging lines, makes my skin glow, stabilized my moods, heavily reduced my breakouts, boosted my immune system, and lowered my blood pressure.  I can only imagine what it does for others!

It took about 8 weeks for me to see my skin clear up fully, but I did have initial, amazing results overnight, including less bumpy skin, less oil and a smoother texture! Because I am both testosterone and estrogen dominant, I take 4 capsules a day of this kind with meals and my other skin supplements, and I still haven’t suffered from any hormonal breakouts.  If I feel one coming on, I will up the dosage and the DIM usually helps my body to take care of it.  This has been an absolute miracle for me, and I cannot go a day without it or I WILL see “under the skin” bumps start to creep back in.

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Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids

If it’s golden in colour, you don’t really have to convince me to put it on my skin or in my body.  Omegas, commonly known as the “good fats”, have recently been credited with increasing heart health as well as helping your skin look healthier. The foods highest in omega’s fatty acids include seafood (especially tuna and salmon) as well as walnuts, canola oil, and flax seed.  Not only do they protect your skin from free radical damage, they act as an anti-oxidant that helps your body process the release of enzyme’s that happen when we are exposed to the sun.  Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, omega’s can also help relieve skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.

Any time my joints hurt, I also pop some of these.  Break one open and add it to dry areas on your face for an extra boost!  I take a supplement that has Omegas 3, 6, and 9 (fish oil, borage, and flax) as well as the Borage pill (mentioned below) itself.

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Borage

Borage seed oil is used for everything from acne, to inflammation, arthritis, and has been used as a natural sedative, lifting the spirits and softening the nervous edge some people experience. Borage works well to ease the depression and mood swings often associated with menopause and menstrual cycles as well and is a nice alternative to traditional prescription medications.

It’s an intense blood purifier, and contains high levels of a fatty acid called GLA, which seems to have  amazing anti-inflammatory effects.  Taking these borage pills internally or applying it directly to my skin has had amazing effects!

Evening Primrose Oil

Speaking of GLA, this little miracle supplement has truly changed the game for me.  It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches, aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity in children, symptoms of menopause, multiple sclerosis, weight control, obesity, PMS and schizophrenia.

Evening Primrose Oil contains a high concentration the fa tty acid GLA.  It is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties of the plant. In fact, Evening Primrose contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all. This makes Evening Primrose an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer.

The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. The hormone balancing effect also contributes to healthy breast tissue.

Fish Collagen

Collagen: It’s the building block for all our body’s major systems and the second most common substance in the body, coming up right behind water, only in terms of volume. Although abundant in our youth, the body’s natural Collagen production typically slows at a rate of 1.5% per year after the age of 25. As this collagen production slows, the collagen fibers in the body become brittle and begin to break down resulting in a weakening of the skin matrix (dermis). The skin matrix is responsible for the structural integrity and resilience of the skin and its natural degradation results in many of the visible signs of aging such as fine lines, loss of elasticity and eventually, deep wrinkles.

Typically derived from salmon and red snapper, fish collagen is up to 1.5 times more absorbent than other collagen’s because of its low molecular weight. Fish collagen is absorbed through the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream and then carried throughout the body, so it is the best source of collagen for your skin.

5 Books That Have Shaped My Life

5 Books That Have Shaped My Life

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Books.  I’m really not sure where – or who – I’d be without them.
I remember devouring books from as young as 3 and 4. Memorizing them. Caring for them like little baby dolls. Realizing, all at once, like a big bang burst of lightning straight to my heart, that people wrote them. People. Ordinary, every day people. Wow. What an great thing to be able to do!

Now, as a bestselling author myself, I have a brand new appreciation for where books have allowed me to get in my life and how they’ve formed me.

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(This is me crying when Cured by Nature came in the mail for the first time!)

Recently I’ve been getting questions about what some of my favorite books are, so I want to share with you 5 books that have truly shaped my life.

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Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

I am not exaggerating when I say that Autobiography of a Yogi is the BEST book I have ever read.

You know that one book that you have copies of just laying around to give to your friends? This is that book for me.

When Autobiography came into my life in 2011, the timing could NOT have been better. I was lost, confused, and about to embark on one of the most arduous, heart breaking, life-affirming, crazy journeys I’d ever been on! Autobiography was handed to me and  it truly, truly changed the course of my life. There is something in here for everyone. My one critique is that the beginning is a bit slow, and I’ve seen people put it down because of that. Don’t! You owe it to yourself to experience the magic in this amazing book.

There is roughly 1 miracle per page, all told from the perspective of Yogananda, who is now regarded as one of the great spiritual figures of our time. Born in northern India, he came to the United States in 1920, where for more than 30 years he taught the ancient science of meditation and the art of balanced spiritual living. Yogananda writes with humility, love and eloquence about his entire life – from his early memories in the womb until his death (one that he predicted to his students.) To paraphrase one of the best reviews on Amazon, in all my reading in spirituality, yoga, and comparative religion, I have discovered no other body of work that so completely embraces the concept that yoga science (the whole science, not just the athletic postures) will offer you ”undreamed-of possibilities” as Yogananda’s autobiography. This book brought it home for me.

A bonus? Any time someone sees that you are reading this book, you’ll make an instant new friend. Today, I live just blocks away from The Self Realization Temple and Self Realization Fellowships, which Yogananda founded. Talk about a life changer!

Screw It – Let’s Do It by Sir Richard Branson

I had the privilege of meeting Richard Branson this year at a Grammy After-Party at the Playboy Mansion (not to bragalicious, but I also met Buzz Aldrin that night and YES – it was the BEST.NIGHT.EVER) and the first thing I said to him was, “Man I LOVE your books!”

I’m not sure he gets that a lot.

Of all the things Richard has done with his life, his concise but action-packed, wisdom filled books are probably not up there with the things people clammer to verbally assault him about. But truthfully, they’re great.

Screw It – Let’s Do It is my favorite so far. It’s the closest to an autobiography I’ve ever read from Branson, with witty, laugh-out-loud parts and a lot of insight to boot. He gives you a look into his start in business and even delves into many hurdles he’s faced (and overcome) as a businessman. Plus – it’s a light read. Finished it in a day.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

I’ve read this book no less than 20 times, and every single time I learn something brand new and amazing about myself.

Written by one of the world’s most highly respected leadership experts, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is the fictional story of Julian Mantle, a successful businessman whose spiritual crisis sent him on an extraordinary odyssey to find his true purpose in life. This book is beyond delightful, beautifully written and completely uplifting. Julian finds himself at the kitchen table of an old business associate, waxing poetic about his spiritual journey, and I truly believe that every single page has some beautiful guidance for anyone who is just beginning or far into their own spiritual path. Written with beautiful anecdotes about what’s truly important at the end of the day.

The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life by Deepak Chopra

I picked this book up the DAY after my Dad passed away, and the first chapter is all about how Deepak dealt with his Dad’s death. I was… astounded. Could not have come into my life at a better time and really, truly set a beautiful stage for my own healing process.

Chopra writes of death, “Imagine yourself into a new form with a new location in space and time.”

This book explains healing on a level only Deepak can: eloquently, scientifically and poetically. You’ll take a personal excursion into healing, life, death and afterlife with scientific facts, studies and personal experiences. This incredible work reveals truths about ourselves, the universe, and this longitudinal mystery that we know as our daily life. Chopra’s book not only lifts the spirit, but opens up doors that many authors won’t even touch. Deepak gives us the tools, insights, and knowledge that can truly change and alter our world if we are open to letting them. If you’re seeking answers, I can guarantee you that you’ll find at least some of them in this book.

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Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball

I am truly a musical theater girl at heart, and this book appealed to the performer in me a lot!

Todd bought this for me awhile ago (he knows I love her!) and it was a beautiful surprise. Lucille writes so candidly and honestly about her life, from working her way up the long showbiz ladder up to running her own Hollywood empire, it’s not surprising she kept her autobiography shelved for decades. She makes you feel like you’re in it with her, which is my favorite part!

On top of that, it’s a must have for any busy business-woman for one reason alone: to bring yourself back to a time where women got the short end of everything, and a 40 year old actress has still somehow successfully made a name for herself. Seriously entertaining, insightful and inspiring.  A wealth of detail and information about her life, the entertainment industry, and how she completely (and almost single-handedly!) revolutionized television and the role women play in it. Written with wisdom in Lucy’s authentic voice, which I just adore.

Stressed and Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Treat Anxiety Au Naturel:

Stressed and Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Treat Anxiety Au Naturel:

This article was originally written for wellandgood.com by Christine Yu and picked up by Teen Vogue and various other platforms. I thought it was important to share this story with you! If you’re stressed or battling anxiety, these resources have helped me tremendously in the last 5 years:

Growing up, Tara Mackey frequently had panic attacks. Anything from a fight with her family or answering a question wrong at school would send her into a spiral. At the age of 16, she was diagnosed with anxiety (one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health) and put on meds.

But her medications made her feel horrible and powerless instead of in control. “I was on a concoction of Valium and Xanax and I literally did not care about anything,” says The Organic Life blogger. “[The medication] never had a good effect on me and it definitely didn’t address my anxiety. It didn’t give me any coping mechanisms.”

At 24, Tara decided to stop her medication cold turkey (which she doesn’t recommend, FYI). In her new book, Cured by Nature, she shares her story and the herbal remedies, breathing exercises, and mind-strengthening techniques that eventually helped her.

She thought that medication was the only way to beat her anxiety but as she looked more into natural products and techniques for anxiety, she realized how many other options there were for her. For example, her friend introduced her to the benefits of marijuana and she now recommends anyone dealing with stress or anxiety look on sites like badassglass.com to help improve their condition. Of course, different methods work for different people so it’s all about finding the right option for you.

“When I came off my meds, my mission wasn’t never to take them again. I thought [the natural remedies] might work a little, but I wasn’t expecting it to work better than the medication,” says Tara. After all, she was a pre-med student and thought she knew everything about science and the body. “But I found that the natural stuff does for you what the prescription drugs promise.”

Today, the 29-year old is happier and healthier than ever. And she continues to manage her anxiety without pills and is looking alternative ways to treat the condition. “I treat it every day, from when I wake up until I go to sleep. Luckily, I found ways to treat it naturally,” says Tara.

Here, Tara shares 5 techniques that give her the most relief when her stress levels start to soar.

1. Start off centered

Whether you wake up ready to crush your goals or you’re still hung over from The Walking Dead finale, you need to set the tone for your day. After Tara wakes up in the morning, she meditates. While she typically does this for an hour, don’t worry: You don’t have to block out a whole 60 minutes to experience the benefits of meditation.

“Time doesn’t matter as much as the energy and effort you put into it,” says Tara. “It can be five minutes to an hour every day.” (And scientific studies have shown that meditation can help to relieve anxiety.)

To get started, Tara suggests the Identification Meditation from her book: Sit up straight in your chair with your feet firmly on the ground. Breathe in and feel the areas in your life where emotional discomfort may be manifesting physically. Acknowledge these areas and imagine them hugged by light. As you breathe, follow these mantras:

Breathe in: I am light. Breathe out: I release all dis-ease.

With each inhale, picture your unease, emotional distress, or physical discomfort bathed in light. With each exhale, release it.

By breaking up the word disease as dis-ease, it’s a way to move the focus away from any particular health ailment. “The intent is to place emphasis on the natural state of ease,” says Tara. Practice this meditation for at least seven breaths. When you are ready, open your eyes and greet your day.

2. Take a dip

Many of the techniques Tara relies on focus on centering the mind. “You can take anything from Valium to Xanax to herbal teas, but if your mind isn’t in the right state, it’s not going to do much,” she says.

While meditation is the cornerstone of her morning routine, there’s another practice that might surprise you: a bath. You may typically indulge in a tub soak to destress after a long day, but Tara reaps those benefits first thing in the morning. “It’s another way for me to wind down, relax, and sort things out for the day,” she says.

3. Boost your smoothie

In addition to centering her mind, Mackey uses herbal tinctures to quiet her anxious mind. “Valerian, passionflower, and skullcap are my current jam,” says Tara. “They all combat anxiety. Anxiety starts with the GABA receptors in your brain.”

GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) is an amino acid that calms the nervous system and works almost like a natural, super-mellow tranquilizer. “Each one of these herbs helps to smoothe out those receptors so the GABA works better.” She adds approximately five drops of a tincture (AKA a concentrated form of the herb) of each to her morning smoothie.

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4. Dose up on vitamin D (and Mother Nature)

The sun on your skin, the wind through your hair, and Instagram-worthy vistas: You can almost feel the pitter-pat of your heart start to slow down when you think of going outside. In fact, studies show that physical activity (like running for example) can help ease the symptoms of anxiety.

That’s why Tara heads outside every day for a walk or hike with her pup. “It gives your mind the tools to deal with things. It gives you a new perspective – physically and mentally,” she says. “Medication doesn’t address what’s triggering the anxiety. That’s why it’s important to get out and find out where all this stress is coming from.”

5. Prepare to face your fears

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, those butterflies in your stomach sometimes can lead to a panic attack. Rather than shrinking away from it, Tara suggests confronting those experiences. “The more times you face it, the less scary it becomes,” she says. Just prepare yourself beforehand.

For example, Tara recently had to make a stressful phone call and wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Before picking up the phone, she took a few minutes for herself: “I took a deep breath, did a one minute meditation, and assured myself that I can handle anything that comes my way.”

 

Cilantro Sangria Slushie + 5 More Herb-Infused Cocktails You Need This Spring

Cilantro Sangria Slushie + 5 More Herb-Infused Cocktails You Need This Spring

With flowers in bloom and longer, sunnier days taking shape, May is a month for new beginnings. It’s also a month for cooling cocktails.

Throwing healing herbs into the mix is a great way to add some health benefits to your springtime spritzer (they offset the alcohol, right?!). Here are six herb-infused cocktails to get you started.

Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy!

Watermelon Mai Tai

Not only does pineapple mint taste amazing, it also boosts your digestion and strengthens your liver.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 3 ounces organic rum
  • 1 can coconut juice
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 8 to 10 pineapple mint leaves

Preparation

1. Chill watermelon in the freezer for 30 minutes.

2. Strip pineapple mint leaves off the sprig.

3. Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

4. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

5. Serve very cold in a chilled glass, and garnish with watermelon or lemon slices.

Basil Spring Cocktail

Basil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and it contains a unique mix of flavonoids that are amazing for skin.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces organic vodka
  • Splash of sparkling water
  • 3 to 5 fresh basil leaves
  • Rhubarb, for garnish

Preparation

1. Chop up a few basil leaves.

2. Add basil leaves and vodka to the bottom of a glass, then muddle with a wooden spoon.

3. Fill the glass with ice and top with sparkling water.

4. Garnish with fresh basil and thin ribbons of rhubarb peel.

Blackberry Herb Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces prosecco (or another sparkling white wine)
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 to 10 blackberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar
  • Flowers, for garnish

1. Line a glass rim with organic sugar.

2. Grind together the blackberries, rosemary, and orange in the bottom of a glass, either using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon.

3. Add prosecco, a splash of water, and some ice cubes, and garnish with flowers.

Pineapple Refresher

Ingredients

  • 3 medium to large basil leaves
  • ¼ lime
  • ¼ cup organic pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces organic gin or vodka
  • 2 ounces club soda

Preparation

1. Grind the basil and lime in the bottom of a glass, either using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon.

2. Add pineapple juice, gin, and ice cubes, and top with club soda.

3. Garnish with a slice of pineapple, lime wedge, or a sprig of basil.

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Sangria Slushie

Studies show that cilantro can act as a heavy metal cleanser, so if you’re looking for a natural detox, look no further.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle sulfite-free white or red wine
  • 1 can coconut water (12 ounces)
  • 2 peaches, blanched, peeled, sliced frozen
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced frozen
  • 2 sprigs of cilantro

Preparation

1. Combine 2 cups of wine, cilantro, coconut water, and peaches in a blender until smooth.

2. Pour mixture into a medium bowl.

3. Add the strawberries and remaining wine to the blender and puree until smooth.

4. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with strawberry slices.

5. If the mixtures are too liquidy, add more ice or place them in the freezer until they’re closer to a slushy consistency.

*Feel free to make these in advance and defrost for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Mint Martini

Regular mint is just as healthy as its cousin, pineapple mint. Mint can also be a powerful acne fighter and wrinkle reducer, and it’s great at cooling your body, making it the perfect herb to enjoy during warmer months.

Ingredients

  • 2 sprigs organic mint leaves
  • 2 ounces organic vodka
  • Crushed ice
  • 4 sprigs mint, for garnish

Preparation

1. Put 6 to 8 mint leaves and crushed ice in the bottom of a tall glass. Crush the leaves to extract their flavor.

2. Add 2 ounces vodka and shake several times.

3. Strain into a chilled martini glasses and garnish with a small mint sprig.

Enjoy my loves! Spring is certainly in the air!
 (This article was originally shared on Mind Body Green.)
The Best of Green Beauty: Face Masks

The Best of Green Beauty: Face Masks

Whether you are tackling dull, dry skin, aging or have an oily, combination complexion, masks can massively help in changing your skin for good! Even normal skin may not have it’s best days after a weekend of partying or a week of neglect (hey, I get it. Stuff comes up.) Masks can do everything from brighten, tighten, and moisturize skin to healing scars and treating acne. To truly revitalize your complexion, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of some of the best, healthiest face masks available today: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Green Beauty Face Masks! To make it even easier, I’ve listed them by skin concern.

Acne-Prone/Oily/Troubled Skin:

The Cacao Anti-Oxidant Mask by Josh Rosebrook

Everything Josh makes is exquisite, high-performance and spa-quality, but this cacao mask is truly a standout. It contains super powerful ingredients like Witch Hazel, Marula oil, Organic Baobab oil and healing flowers & plants such as Organic Rose Petals, Organic Turmeric, Organic Goji Berry, Organic Dandelion. It’s also packed with many of my personal favorite healing herbs like Eyebright, Rosemary Leaf, Ashwagandha, and Sage. It smells and feels like heaven and best of all – it truly does the job on dull, dry, dehydrated, or acne-prone skin. I use it 2 times a week as a refresher and have never been happier with my golden complexion! A great detox and amazing for toning and tightening!

The Detox Exfoliating Mask by Osmia Organics

Definitely one of the most affordable, high-performance masks on the market. Grab this if you’re looking for an overnight acne solution or battling any breakouts.  I absolutely love this formula! Three kinds of purifying clay, nourishing raw Cacao and Manuka Honey, and toxin-removing activated Bamboo Charcoal are the key ingredients in this dual-purpose exfoliating mask.

It can also be used weekly as an exfoliating paste – the finely-ground Walnut Shells and Olive Leaf powders will gently resurface and condition the skin. As a mask, it will also pull impurities from the skin as it dries. The raw Cacao softens the skin, as its natural caffeine tones and lifts, leaving behind smooth, soft, conditioned skin.

The Problem Solver by May Lindstrom

I have extremely sensitive skin. This makes me very, VERY wary about putting anything on my face that I don’t make myself, especially if it has more than a handful of ingredients. Despite this strict rule, The Problem Solver mask has been a favorite of mine for a handful of years now, and I still reach for it every time I am battling a breakout.

Why is it so tried and true for me?

For one, I am never disappointed!

This beautifully formulated correcting mask smells and feels (and goes to work) like magic! You can literally feel it going to work on your skin, drawing out toxins, aiding your face in it’s (sometimes seemingly futile!) battle against the elements. Powerful clays, raw cacao, soil nutrients, salts, and organic warming spices make up this amazing blend. Great for battling blemishes or dull skin.

You can use it as a mask or exfoliator, and it doesn’t get much more luxurious than painting this beauty on your face and letting it go to work.  A lot of products claim to change your skin: I can honestly say that this one actually does!

I noticed a change immediately and the ritual of putting this amazing masque on is almost addicting.  It’s pure Skin Detox: it quickly and effectively fights blemishes, tightens pores, extinguishes inflammation, heals scars, and leaves skin younger, brighter and softer.

The Clearing Mask by Indie Lee

Indie Lee is a magic worker. She’s also a boss babe, a cancer survivor and an extremely thoughtful, passionate skincare formulator. I absolutely adore her acne products, and The Clearing Mask is one of my favorites! This mask works to purify clogged pores and congested skin. This gentle yet effective detoxifying mask has fruit acids, which help eliminate dead skin cells while plant extracts nourish and protect. Perfect for a spot treatment or as a full face mask while battling breakouts. Wake up with clearer, softer skin!

Sensitive Skin:

Brand New Day by One Love Organics 

If you’ve been following this blog since it began (HI! I LOVE YOU!!) you know that Brand New Day was one of the very first products I ever reviewed on The Organic Life. It’s still – 5 years later – one of my tried and true favorites! Great as an exfoliator or as a hydrating mask, Brand New Day combines organic sweet pea flour, pineapple enzymes and mineral rich kaolin clay to remove impurities, clarify, and smooth skin for a luminous, baby-soft complexion. This comes with me on all my travels and is a staple in my daily shower routine!

Signature Mineral Mask by MV Skincare

Rich in Silica, Zinc and Magnesium, this mask is softening, strengthening and gently exfoliating, therefore increasing the efficacy of all your other treatment products. I use this mask at night before bath time for a spot treatment and to maintain a daily glow to my skin. Great for mixing in with other masks as well, it provides a white, clarifying cleanse that I haven’t experienced before!

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Pele Mask by Mahalo

Just activate with a spot of water, and a concentrated, intelligently detoxifying bioactive mask goes to work. It transforms problem, tired skin to unveil glowing, paradise-radiant complexion. This mask is supercharged by “botox-plant” Hibiscus, anti-inflammatory Turmeric, collagen-boosting Vitamin C, anti-aging Neem leaf, oxygenating Cayenne, sebum-balancing Witch Hazel, wrinkle-fading Guava, acne-fighting Holy Basil, toxin-magnet Volcanic Ash Clay and bacteria-absorbing Activated Bamboo Charcoal. Talk about a powerhouse for your skin! I use it during that time of the month to combat any hormonal acne that pops up.

Dull/Dry Skin:

The Honey Berry Enzyme Mask by Laurel Whole Plant Organics

Honey. Berry. Enzyme. Mask. Need I say more? Wow! This baby is truly one of a kind! Affordable and hard working, it gently exfoliates the skin without the need for manual exfoliation and nourishes the skin with 5 rich super foods. Royal Jelly is an amazing superfood for the skin and smells so divine you can eat it (please don’t use that as an excuse to eat it and then blame me! But really… try not to eat it. 😉 )

The Cacao Vanilla Beauty Mask by Vered Organic Botanicals 

Another amazing throwback! Vered was another one of the first brands I ever reviewed on The Organic Life, and her products have only gotten better since then! This incredible mask has been a top pick from day 1 – it’s a decadently rich antioxidant-powered cacao mask will hydrate, gently exfoliate, and increase microcirculation for luminous, soft and glowing skin. A potent blend of antioxidants, cacao and vanilla that will fight free radical damage while providing nutrition to the skin. White kaolin clay gently exfoliates while keeping your skin hydrated. Rosehip oil feeds your skin a boost of vitamin a and essential omega fatty acids, while marshmallow root soothes inflammation to maintain your skin’s tone and healthy glow. Absolutely divine!

Aging Skin:

The Petal Mask by Mahalo

The Mahalo Petal Mask is brand new and is getting all the attention it very-well deserves! I recently grabbed a sample of this at Indie Beauty Expo, and it’s divine! The Petal’s 28 active ingredients nourish your skin with active enzymes and replenishing nutrients. It’s mineral-rich from it’s blend of amazonian white clay, which is known for it’s skin toning and revitalizing abilities. Talk about thoroughly feminine skincare indulgence!

Organic Cellular Repair Mask by Dr. Alkaitis 

A powerhouse for tired or aging skin. Let’s just say… my grandma stole this from me! Straight up stole it! That’s okay though… she loves it, so she can keep it! (Anything to convert the fam to organic skincare, anyway!) She loves it because it’s formulated to repair, regenerate and fortify damaged or mature skin. Made with clays, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries, this anti-aging mask nourishes and restores vitality. Great after a long weekend, too!

The Purifying Manuka Honey Mask by La Bella Figura

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Manuka honey. I’m even a bigger fan with brands who use it make their products affordable. 🙂 Forrmulated with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties this mask draws out toxins and impurities to prevent irritation while also speeding the healing of current skin conditions. Just what aging skin needs: a unique blend of Amazonian White Clay, Rhassoul Clay, White Willow Bark Powder, and activated charcoal. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Gotu Kola Extract and Organic Tumeric that balance and heal the skin. Great for acne prone skin as well!

Want more tips for great skin? Check out our top picks today!

My Hour Long Therapy Session with Sean Croxton

My Hour Long Therapy Session with Sean Croxton

Hope. Self love. Care. Despair. Defeat. Magic. Miracles.

Last week I sat down with Sean Croxton for an episode of The Sessions.

It ran for over an hour! We just couldn’t stop talking about all the incredible twists, turns and transformations life has taken us!

This week, I’m sharing it with you in a big way!

Today you’ll learn:

– The big problem with child psychiatry that got me put on lithium at only 13 years old.

– How to turn your limiting beliefs into empowering ones, and start creating your own reality.

– Easy tips and pharmacy-free remedies for drug withdrawals, pain, nausea, and more.

– The one and only person you can count on right now to take care of your future self.

Sean says, “Code Yellow Alert! A Code Yellow is when I read a book and just about every page is full of yellow highlighter. Cured by Nature is a perfect blend of three of my favorite things: personal development, health, and storytelling. Tara tells a shocking and inspiring story of taking back her health and life by taking control of her mind.”

The video is a visual intro!

With Love,

Tara

Why I Almost Said “No” To Marriage + The Big Thing That Changed My Mind

Why I Almost Said “No” To Marriage + The Big Thing That Changed My Mind

It’s still weird to say that I recently got engaged.

The idea of putting a ring on my finger (especially that finger!) was always a little crazy to me.

I barely wear jewelry unless it’s made by someone I know or has a special meaning behind it, and I wasn’t planning on getting married.

At all.

Never mind any time soon.

Hubby-to-be knew this.

So what made him think that when he got down on one knee and pulled this particular ring out of his pocket, I had to say yes??

What, in fact, made him right about that?

Yes literally just came pouring – with flowers and honey and love and kisses – out of my mouth.

To this man, and this ring, anything other than yes was no option.

This moment and this ring meant more than a proposal.

This ring? It was special.

It’s a gemstone. Naturally.

It’s an ethical, conflict free, fair trade, sapphire (both of our birthstones!)

It’s hand cut into a perfect heart and surrounded by reclaimed diamonds.

There was no mining, displacement, environmental disruption or bloodshed of any kind involved to source it.

The icing on the cake?

It was designed by him.

There is no ring like it – anywhere in the World.

The fact that he designed it is SO incredible to me. The fact that the ring is so thoughtfully sourced really means LOVE to me.

It really encompasses not only our love, but it envelops what’s truly important to the earth.

It’s the essence of who we are as individuals and also who we are as a couple.

It means he gets it.

It means he gets us.

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We care.

We’re both huge conservationists at heart (and in practice!)

T’s been surfing, farming, traveling and helping the World through various business endeavors since high school. His company, Waxelene, is organic, natural, pesticide free, gluten free, fully sustainable, wind powered, solar powered and uses BPA-free plastic and recyclable glass. goop just called them one of The 13 Best (Clean) Do-It-All Beauty Balms!

The last 5 years of my life have been dedicated to wellness, nature, exercise, self love and the health of humanity. This year, The Organic Life has recently been named one of The Healthiest Companies by San Diego Business Journal.

We spend our mornings hiking and our afternoons yelling, “STOP THROWING THOSE ROCKS AT THE CLIFFS!” to kids on the beach (ridiculous, but true.) We spend our nights catching solar eclipses on the shoreline and naming the stars.

It means my future husband gets me.

And I couldn’t say no to that.

In the spirit of this amazing time in my life, I wanted to share some important tips for making sure your soul mate gets you, too.

Read on if you plan on getting married, getting engaged or just plain love picking out some nice jewelry for yourself or a loved one – with no guilt!

Why A Conflict Free, Eco Ring is important to consider:

  • Behind the sparkle, the jewelry industry is plagued by human rights abuses and environmental destruction. Is this what we want to support in the name of fashion or love? Of course not!
  • Buying conflict free means you are sending a message to this industry that abuse to workers, children and the environment is NOT OKAY.
  • Only .01% of the world’s diamonds meet ethical standards for pure sourcing and exceptional quality, making your jewelry not only rare, but something you can be proud to wear.
  • Being responsible in mining (or, in the case of my ring – no mining at all) allows for a conservative approach to your bling.
  • Many companies who source ethical and conflict-free stones donate a percentage of profits to those who have been harmed by the diamond industry. This is a great way to give back!
  • Diamond mining has caused brutal civil wars. Purchasing a conflict-free diamond helps support peace.
  • Girls like me will marry you!
  • “Conflict free” are two great words to begin a lifetime together with, don’t you think? 🙂

So, I very enthusiastically said yes!

But what if the ring wasn’t thoughtful?

What if it wasn’t conflict-free? What if it hadn’t been totally perfectly representative of us?

What if it didn’t encompass us as people?

What if it didn’t mean, ” Hey girl, I totally understand you… let’s do this thang.”?!

What would I have said?!

Luckily, we don’t have to find out…

😉

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With Love,

TaraMackeysignature

PS Although many of you have asked, I have not included specific resources for conflict-free diamonds or jewelry in this article because I believe that everyone should do their own research. What I felt was “right” may not feel “right” for you, and I want you to make your own beautiful, informed choices! I wish you the best of luck on your way!

Teen Vogue Feature: 5 Ways to Naturally Treat Your Anxiety

Teen Vogue Feature: 5 Ways to Naturally Treat Your Anxiety

It’s something my clients and readers ask about all the time: how can we treat our anxiety totally naturally?

Trust me, I feel you.

At 16, I was diagnosed with anxiety (one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health) and put on meds.

But the medications made me feel horrible and powerless instead of in control. I was on a concoction of Valium and Xanax and I literally did not care about anything,

Don’t miss my latest feature at Teen Vogue, explaining why I decided to stop my medication cold turkey and replace them with natural remedies.

You will learn quick and easy herbal remedies, breathing exercises, and mind-strengthening techniques that can help you! A big thank you to Teen Vogue for sharing more natural ways to heal ourselves!

And hi new followers from Teen Vogue! Happy to have you 🙂

Check it out!

With Love,

TaraMackeysignature

Fresh Beauty Juice Recipe

Fresh Beauty Juice Recipe

These last few weeks have been crazy in the best ways! I’ve had of interviews to do, articles to write and events to attend. Nevermind that fact that I’m moving for the second time in SIX MONTHS (what?!) I’m wiped, to say the least, and my beauty routine was totally lacking for a few days. I needed a serious pick-me-up!

I wanted to share a quick DIY beauty juice that’s just perfect for the job – from my kitchen to yours!

Ingredients + Recipe:

? 1 batch of organic carrots
? 1 handful of organic rose petals
? 1 tablespoon of Sun Potion Ashitaba for healthy blood + a sun kissed glow
? 1 tablespoon of Sun Potion Moringa for all the essential amino acids (building blocks of life) needed by the body
? 1 tablespoon of Moon Juice Beauty Dust to increase collagen

Add:

? 1 sprig of mint
? 1 sprig of sage
? 1 organic lemon

? 2 squirts of Sleeping Monk Goddess in Bloom elixir for beauty + rejuvenation

? Add ice + water, blend on high!
? Drink up and enjoy!

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What more does nature have to offer? Check it out!

With Love,

TaraMackeysignature

 

 

 

How To Stop Any Illness In It’s Tracks + Start To Heal

How To Stop Any Illness In It’s Tracks + Start To Heal

In my work, I often get asked one question that, strangely enough, makes me smile. After a speech, a book signing, or a workshop, at least one person will come up to me and admit they’ve been battling a health struggle. Clutching my signed book with hope, they always lean in just a bit and whisper, “I keep asking myself: Why would this happen to me? What is the purpose?”

And I think they’re always slightly surprised.

Because I have the answer.

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Why Do We Get Ill?

Sometimes, illness just happens. Maybe we’re born with it, or worse yet – maybe it creeps up on us later in life. These can range from the seasonal allergy to heartbreaking conditions like lyme disease, muscular dystrophy or mental illness. This isn’t karma, it’s not life telling you something, and it’s not a punishment. Oftentimes shit just goes down like that.

But truly, it’s a gift in disguise.

In fact, illness actually gives us the tools we need to become who we were meant to be. If we let it.

While illness is frustrating, heartbreaking, life changing and incredibly life-affirming (nothing like suddenly not being able to do something to appreciate what you can do!), it also often lends itself to one thing: a defeatist attitude.

Sometimes, we unconsciously use illness as an excuse for not achieving our deeper goals and dreams, or for limiting ourselves. This is called a “secondary benefit” from the illness. In Psychology and Counseling, this is a common subject of discussion. The primary gain is positive motivation (aka relief and sometimes pleasure in not being able to perform a task) and the secondary gain is the excuse (missing work, avoiding family and financial obligations, etc.)

Then, there’s the third gain. This, in my opinion, is the most common.

The third gain is other people’s sympathy. And it’s very real.

So yeah, I’m basically saying we all keep ourselves sick in one way or another. BUT WAIT! DON’T CLICK AWAY!

I know what you’re thinking. It was the same thing I thought when someone told me I had created my own illness.

I lived in NYC at the time, and like any Native New Yorker might, I practically spit in their face.

I was so, SO incredibly insulted. How could you possibly think I created this for myself? I am DYING! I AM BED RIDDEN! I AM SICK EVERY 5 MINUTES! I CANNOT KEEP ANY FOOD DOWN! Why would I do this to myself? You moron! What an idiot! Jesus christ! Created my illness! Yeah FUCKING right! Go back to med school!

But hear me out right now. Because being called out on co-creating my illness was one of the most powerful things that ever happened to me.

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Why Would We Keep Ourselves Sick? 

In some skewed way, we all have created our issues and illnesses in order to keep us safe and secure.  In homeopathy, we call this our “unconscious defense mechanism” and say that the illness serves to “protect” us.

This may sound like I’m calling you out.

I am.

But I am calling myself out too, and all of us who have been chronically ill in some way.

I actually touched on this a little bit in my book when I said, ” I designed my life this way because I was scared – not only of what would happen if I stayed sick, but the longer I was sick, I started to get scared about what I’d have to do with my life when and if I got better.  This was an especially frightening thought, because I knew that the sort of jobs that I had in the past had contributed immensely to my illness.”

We are all human, and all people create these unconscious self-limiting webs in some part of their lives.

It’s not that the illness is in any way our fault.  It’s not.

It’s not that we have conscious control over it.  We don’t.

But sometimes, if we stop and really think about it and are honest with ourselves on a very deep and personal level, we realize that there is a part of us that’s afraid to live without the limitations caused by the illness.

To believe that an illness has just “happened” to you is the truest way to limit yourself from getting better.

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How Can You Help Yourself?

It’s helpful to try to realize that in some larger, spiritual way, we have actually co-created our illnesses and our limitations along with the universe.  In some unconscious way, the illness is what is keeping us stable, even as it’s limits seem to impair our lives.

This deeper realization is the beginning of learning to change and heal. Beginning to realize that we are exactly in the right place right now, and that we don’t really need to change anything about ourselves, is our very first step to becoming Healed.

After this first step and initial realization, we can begin to explore the complex web of events that went into co-creating our illness and our subsequent limitations. Be honest with yourself. Give yourself space and quiet time to undo any limitations you’ve set for yourself.

Once you start to piece together what has mentally, physically and emotionally caused your illness, this web of co-creation can be undone.

In other words, piece-by-piece, we can learn to emotionally, intellectually, and physically remove the threads of the intricately crafted web that has limited our life.

Gangaji said it best when he said, “In meeting yourself, free of all shoulds and musts and wills, for even a moment, you realize that even if nothing gets fixed or done, simple natural fulfillment is already here.”

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Ask Better Questions:

Some people feel limited in their physical bodies, due to an ailment such as migraine headaches, psoriasis, or excruciating back pain (to use examples of crippling things I’ve suffered from chronically in the past).

Other people may feel limited in their ability to create a rewarding work experience or a fulfilling relationship. Still others may feel limited emotionally in their ability to connect with love and vulnerability to others.

You might say, “Why me?”

But a better question to ask is this: “Why am I blessed with the greater awareness that allows me to be consciously involved and evolving in this healing process?” 

Once you can ask this question, you can wholeheartedly and with brand new vigor, grab onto the loose ends of your web, ripping them apart and peeling them back to discover newly accessed freedom, personal power, and balance. Freedom from pain, freedom from patterns that have held you back, and renewed energy to accomplish your goals—these are the promises of the holistic approach to health.

Healing Long Term

This is our Life, and it’s a Grand Scheme.  There is no quick fix to a chronic problem.   Regardless of what a Psychiatrist or MD might tell you, there is no magic pill. Not for anything.

Behavior tweaks and soul searching is 100% necessary for long term wellness. Years of mental and physical build up, of tension, and of unconscious trauma have served to create illness in our bodies.  You won’t get better in a day, and frankly, it wouldn’t be too spiritually or even physically rewarding if you did.  

 You didn’t get ill in a day, even if you got sick in a day.

Finding the silver lining and value in our illness is the key to unlocking our healing process.  It will be an ongoing commitment to work with healthcare professionals and the ones you love to identify the knots in the web of your illness. It’s a rewarding process to see them and to begin to remove them one by one, to free your soul, and thereby free your body of the pain, dysfunction, and pathology that has been created over the years.

Want more tips on how to begin to heal?

Get them here!

With Love,

TaraMackeysignature

Forget the Juice Cleanse + Embrace the Juice Project!

Forget the Juice Cleanse + Embrace the Juice Project!

You may think of many things in your life as a ‘project’. A project to start eating better, to start exercising more often, to start spending more time doing the things you love. What if your project was to make the highest quality food on the planet – and deliver it to people’s doors?

That’s the inspiring story behind Project Juice – a San Francisco based company on a mission. They’ve experienced the undeniable benefits of consuming a mostly plant based diet and incorporating nutrient rich cold pressed juices into your life – and they’re here to share it with you! Project Juice delivers the ultimate wellness experience through retail stores and local delivery in both Northern and Southern California, as well as nationally through overnight delivery.

A few months out of the year (the beginning of winter, spring and summer) I get a ton of requests and questions about juice cleanses. Are they safe? Do they work? How to do them? What’s the best one?

HOW TO DO A JUICE PROJECT:

I tell all my clients, friends and family the same thing: juice cleanses, juice detoxes and juicing are amazing – but you shouldn’t need to give up solid food to enjoy the benefits! The juices extracted from fresh, raw vegetables and fruits are the means by which we can give our bodies the nutrients they need, however, most fruits and vegetables contain little to no protein or fat. Full juice cleanses are for those who need their digestive systems to take a break, such as people who are sick, recovering from sickness or morbidly obese. It’s important to remember that a juice-focused diet does not provide all of the nutrients our bodies need, so if you are going to replace an entire meal with juice, make sure it’s just a snack. Otherwise, enjoy a juice with every meal – just cut down your meal portions! Project Juice has many incredible juices and tonics to choose from – they go with any breakfast, lunch or dinner!

WHY COLD PRESSED?

Cold-pressed juice is made with a hydraulic press that uses thousands of pounds of pressure to extract the maximum amount of liquid from fresh fruits and vegetables. No additional heat or oxygen is used in the process, meaning that no nutrients are lost in the heat of traditional pasteurization. Some also believe that because of minimal heat and air exposure, cold-pressed juices contain more vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

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FAVORITES

I absolutely loved all the juices I was sent from Project Juice, and have it in the calendar to stop by their location in San Diego soon to pick up some more (once my crazy move to our new house is done!) Some of the juices I tried felt more like a meal (such as the Almond and Cashew Mylk’s) and some felt like a refreshing summer beverage (like The Master and Black Magic). They were all delicious and made me feel great! I was super energized, full and my skin thanked me! Here were some of the ones I’d buy again:
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Almond Mylk was delicious! With 4 super simple ingredients, this organic, cold pressed juice served as my breakfast and filled me up in just half a bottle! Yum yum. I’m still craving it… 🙂

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D-Tox is amaaazing! Definitely one of my absolute favorite juices I’ve EVER tried! Delicious organic ingredients that are great for the skin, hair, nails and digestion! Fresh and refreshing.

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Cashew Mylk is totally beautiful! This synergy of raw cashews, raw agave, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg are just delightful! Although I finished it in a day, Cashew Mylk took me 3 separate tries to finish the full bottle! Very filling and yummy!

Want to try this awesome delivery service?  Use code ORGANICLIFE at Project Juice to enjoy some of my favorite organic juices in the world!

With Love,

Tara

The Best of Green Beauty: Highlighter

The Best of Green Beauty: Highlighter

Ohhhh, highlighter. How I love you. Ever since I discovered highlighter, I’ve been obsessed. When highlighter is applied correctly it can brighten up your complexion, play up features you love or can even camouflage less desirable parts of the skin.

Highlighters can help minimize dark circles, decrease the look of wrinkles, and can give a natural, youthful glow. Highlighters are made to emphasize the areas the sun naturally finds your face. It’s usually the last step of my makeup routine!

There are five main areas to apply highlighter:

  • Cheekbones for a youthful dew.
  • Forehead for a sun-kissed look.
  • Underneath the Eye Brow for a glamorous 90’s throwback.
  • Inner Eyes to erase tired eyes, dab a bit of highlighter in the inner corners of your eyes.
  • Cupid’s bow to give your lips a full, pouty appearance.

I’ve compiled an ultimate guide to the healthiest highlighters!

Gia Minerals Suvar [Use code ORGANICLIFE (or BEAUTIFULEARTH until 4/25) for $$ off] My very personal favorite is from my own collection with Gia Minerals! I’m obsessed with Suvar! This versatile compact can be used as a subtle highlighter or a glamorous eyeshadow. It’s a shimmery, pearlescent white color that’s perfect on the cheeks, to highlight lips, across eyelids or in the corner of the eyes. A little goes such a long way – I’ve barely dug into this palette and I’ve had it for quite a few months now! So fun to play with – and I always get compliments on how dewey and finished my makeup looks!

Kjaer Weis created a cream formula to add a summery “just kissed by the sun” finish to every skin tone. This highlighter can be used to enhance and accentuate, with a warm pearl color that lends itself to use as a cream eye shadow, either by itself or on top of a darker eye shadow for a subtle, iridescent finish. (Use code EARTH10 for 10% off)

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W3ll People Bio Brightening Stick is one of my favorite makeup products ever created! This powerful skin brightener has been designed to optically diffuse skin imperfections while capturing light to create a flawless, even glow. It’s the perfect trick for sleepless workaholics to look rested and radiant! The creamy all-natural formula has a satin smooth, weightless finish and uses premium organic botanicals including aloe and grape seed oil to nourish and soothe skin. (Use code EARTH10 for 10% off)

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Alima Pure Highlighter is a great pick-me-up for the cheeks, forehead, eyes and shoulders. Incandescent and brightening, they will perk up your complexion, accentuate the features you love and add an overall youthful, healthy glow.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer is an ultra sheer, glowing, luminizer with a translucent, satin-pearl finish. Lasts all day long. This formula is the ultimate illuminator for highlighting the skin with a sensuous, sheer, luminous glow.

RMS Beauty Eyepolish in Lunar is a pretty perfect champagne pearl shimmer that can double as a highlighter/lipstick for more of a frosted evening look. Apply some to the corner of eyelids for an instant model-down-the-runway effect. Spring looks, here you come!

Vapour Trick Stick Highlighter is amazing for a lit–from–within glow. With a few quick strokes, your skin takes on a lustrous youthful glow that brightens. This stick instantly defines the face.

La Bella Figura Beauty – Brazilian Denise Golden Corrective Highlighter is a personal favorite since I worked on the campaign with them! I’ve loved this highlighter since the founder of the company, Victoria, first opened her in front of me in NOLA before our photoshoot and I saw her sparkle! A warm sun-kissed glow can be yours with this skin loving and nurturing golden highlighter. It also contains Kakadu Plum Extract which is packed with Vitamin-C and is a potent free radical scavenger.

Happy to be able to share my favorite ways to light your face up!

Want more tips on green beauty? Find them here!

With Love,

Tara

Natural Foundation Recipe

Natural Foundation Recipe

Phthlatates?  DBP?  Talc?  Parabens?  Methlyl?  DEHP?  Synthetic fragrance?  Formaldehyde?!

These are just a few of the cancer causing ingredients found in the most brand name makeup, and the more research I do, the more horrified I’ve become!  Unfortunately, the beauty industry is virtually unregulated in the U.S., and many toxic chemicals like phthalates and parabens can be found in the most common of makeup, shampoos, lotions and other personal care products.

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I try to live as clean as I can.  However, I love to play up my features sometimes… although I had to give up conventional makeup years ago to do it! But wouldn’t you know, it’s actually really fun, easy, and completely inexpensive to make your own healthy makeup!  I’m excited to share with you my DIY Natural Mineral Foundation Recipe!

What You’ll Need:

  1. Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch
  2. Raw Cacao Powder (Cocoa Powder works well too)
  3.  Finely ground Cinnamon or Nutmeg

To Make:

  1. Start with the base of Arrowroot or Cornstarch
  2. Slowly add the Cacao & Spices until you get a shade close to your skin tone.
  3. Apply liberally with a natural makeup brush and enjoy!

You can also add Waxelene + a few drops of olive and essential oil to make a liquid foundation for all natural coverage! 

The best part about this is that it’s customizable in color!  Personally, my skin color seems to change daily, depending on how much sun I get, and it allows me to adjust my own color without having to buy new makeup! Voila! Enjoy my loves!

With Love,

Tara

Fresh Spring Look

Fresh Spring Look

After exhausting my Winter makeup, I’m always more than ready for a change. A brighter, bolder, more beautiful and vibrant change was calling my name. It’s the kind of change that only Spring can bring.

When it comes to Spring makeup, it’s all about dewy skin, bright eyes and bold lips. Or, if you’re feeling more demure – soft, pink, glossy lips and doe-like features. While I love the drama Winter makeup brings, I am all for the minimal, less-is-more look that Spring inspires.

If you haven’t found your signature Spring look, I broke down the perfect natural makeup for you – so you’re totally covered this year!

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Skin Prep:

Foundation:

Concealer:

Eyes:

Mascara:

Blush:

Bronzer:

Lips:

Highlighter (used on my cheeks, brow and eyes):

Brows:

The reign of no-makeup makeup is officially over: It’s the season for bright lips, electric eyes and fun fun fun! Don’t compromise your skin or health just to wear makeup! All of these choices are paraben free, non toxic, organic and natural!

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Want more tips on green beauty? Get cured by nature today!

With Love,

Tara

How To Turn Your Mess Into Your Message

How To Turn Your Mess Into Your Message

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This week I sat down with Nicholas Bayerle of the How Bad Do I Want It Podcast to share my story of addiction and hopelessness to now vibrant health and hope. I absolutely loved talking with Nicholas about our journeys to better health and a career of our dreams. Our conversation is truly a testimony of what’s possible!

In this interview you will learn:

  • Why you should have your hour of power everyday and how to do it
  • Ways to monetize your passion organically
  • How to free yourself of addiction and find hope
  • How you can attract opportunities to create your dream life

Take a listen here to find out how to turn your mess into your message!

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Want to learn more ways to turn your mess into your message? Grab my #1 bestselling book today!

Why I’m Happy I Dropped Out Of College

Why I’m Happy I Dropped Out Of College

Five years ago I abandoned my degree (double major in Psychology & Biology) to strike out from NYC and move to California.

Dropping out of college was one of the toughest and weirdest decisions ever because I love learning, had spent a fortune on my education and had no idea what the next few years would hold without a college degree.

I had no idea why, how or where my journey was going to take me. I just knew I had to make it epic.

Soon after I withdrew from classes, I came off all my pharmaceutical medication (which I’d be on for 10+ years), went through horrific withdrawal symptoms and learned how to heal myself totally naturally.

I started practicing meditation and cooking meals at home.

I began to treat myself lovingly and with respect.

I ferociously read more biology, psychology, chemistry and quantum physics books than I had ever read in school.

I started this blog about my journey and wrote my heart out every night.

I moved across the country.

Last month, my first book was published in bookstores everywhere, including some of my favorite retailers ever, like Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indie Bound, Kindle, Amazon and more… by one of my favorite publishers!

And get this: it’s in the Psychology section!

So, how did I get here? How did I drop out and still end up doing exactly what I was going to school to do, which was to publish a psychology book that touches and helps others?

Here are some tips that got me to realize that what I was doing was an option: not a necessity.

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It’s Doesn’t Mean Anything

Abraham Lincoln left school at 12 years old to help his family on the farm.

He quit in 7th grade and later became the President.

Society makes you feel like the Mayor of Losertown if you’re not going to college. Not only is college par for the course in today’s world, it’s icing on the cake if your school has a fancy, recognizable name.

My family was stoked because I fit in that category. I was a bragging right. I was going to Dinner Conversation College. And I was going to graduate cum laude. I was also the first person in my family to go to college. No pressure, though.

Your family wants what’s good for you: not always what’s best for you.

If only I knew that getting into a good school is pretty much the same as graduating from it, as far as people-you’ll-meet-for-the-rest-of-your-life are concerned.

And if only I knew that abandoning the idea that you MUST go to college is really what’s integral to your self worth.

Because those are some of the most freeing thoughts you may ever have. So have them now. Where you go to school or IF you go to school does not determine how smart you are or what you’re capable of. In fact, sometimes it can really hold you back.

Here a (very) short list of other college dropouts you may have heard of:

Oprah, John Lennon, Russell Simmons, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Wolfgang Puck, Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Zuckerberg, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone (Founders of Twitter), Lady GaGa, Brad Pitt, Natasha Bedfield, Matt Mullenweg, Tumblr CEO David Karp, John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods), Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Ted Turner, David Geffen, Coco Chanel and Ralph Lauren.

Some of the greatest companies of this era were founded by dropouts. It’s really not bad company to be in.

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It’s Expensive

From the 1983–1984 enrollment year to the 2013–2014 enrollment year, the inflation-adjusted cost of a four-year education, including tuition, fees, and room and board, increased 125.7 percent for private school and 129.0 percent for public school (according to the College Board). Whaaaaat?!?! I had to read that like, ten times.

Unlike a lot of people who are forced to go to college, I actually LOVED school and enjoyed going. I love learning. But does it need to cost several hundred thousand dollars to learn how to think critically?! Bennington College, where I went for undergrad, currently costs upwards of $60,000. A year.

One look at my credit report and you’ll see I took out not one… not two… but THIRTEEN student loans to pay for 4 years of college. I’m having to rebuild my credit score after this, but thankfully a friend who moved to the US recently and has to rebuild hers is helping me with that. She showed me this guide that has helped her out a bunch so far (you can see more here if you’re interested) and it has given some really good guidance. Which leads onto my next point.

Did I learn a few new things whilst at college? Sure.

Could I have just bought the books and learned it all for free at home? Yes. I totally could have.

And, knowing how self-driven I am, I know I totally would have.

The best way to learn is to live life. The best way to learn how to think critically is to face challenges. To talk to people, explore, hike, swim, travel, read and have real life experiences.

If you’re truly trying to learn, it won’t do you much good to sit in a dorm room with headphones on trying to pretend you can’t hear the person next door having sex. I mean, really.

Check out http://uncollege.org/resources for some amazing, free learning resources right at your fingertips!

There’s also a great, free place called the library that’s probably in your very own town! It has tons of information on every single shelf for almost any subject you’ll want to study.

It’s No Guarantee

Many of my friends who’ve graduated with amazing degrees, masters degrees and even doctorates… don’t have jobs. No, not even entry level jobs. Many of my other friends have jobs, but their work is not even close to being in the field they’ve studied or are passionate about.

Think things are better than the year of the Great Recession (2007/2008)? According to The College Board, for young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 14.9 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).

Wages of young college and high school graduates are performing poorly-and are substantially lower today than in 2000. The real (inflation-adjusted) wages of young high school graduates are 5.5 percent lower today than in 2000, and the wages of young college graduates are 2.5 percent lower.

Women in particular have seen large declines in hourly wages, among both high school and college graduates.

For creative types or those looking to pick up skills that have real, tangible value in the marketplace, look to CreativeLive, which offers free live courses on everything from design to photography. They attract world renowned instructors like Tim Ferriss, Noah Kagan, and Ramit Sethi, and is a much better alternative to that expensive art school you were thinking about.

It’s Supposed to be Fun

At Bennington I took 6 classes per semester and always made it a priority to go out of my comfort zone and travel (aka spend more $$) for Field Work Term. It was supposed to be fun… but it wasn’t. I was stressed out constantly. And I was totally exhausted.

A lot of the bad decisions college students make stem from working their butts off. They work like crazy and then feel like they deserve to party just as hard. I know I did. For many college students this has often lead to countless hangovers, bad sexual decisions, sometimes overdoses and even, in some cases, death.

If you’re struggling through college or feel like you’re just getting through your days, you’re doing something wrong. Consider whether you may be able to apprentice in some way for the career experience you are looking for instead. Apprenticeship or interning can teach you many valuable lessons that we often miss when we’re exhausted and living off coffee, running from class to class.

For those looking for the fastest route to a well paying job that doesn’t require a degree, learn to program. You can do it in three months or teach yourself for free.

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I’ve Learned and Done SO Much More Since I Left

Truthfully, I can tell you that I learned more on my two week roadtrip from New York to California than I learned in my 5 years going to college. I’ve gained more inspiration in traveling than I ever felt in Creative Writing. I’ve learned more from running my own business than I ever learned in Business 101. It was easier to write my #1 bestselling book in the Psychology section than it ever was to write a term paper for Psychology.

Going to class is no longer a guarantee of having an a-ha moment or an elevated life experience.

Is this decision for everyone? Of course not.

Am I really glad I made it? Yes!

I have no qualms with formal education. I appreciate my background. I am grateful for the schools that teach our surgeons how to be surgeons and our lawyers and judges how to defend us. I give many of my mentors and teachers far more credit for shaping me as a person than anything else (other than books).

I gave up on spending a fortune on college, but I still went out of my way to get certificates, awards and recognition in my field. I did apprenticeships and I found ways to figure out if I was doing the right thing: before I wasted a ton of time on it. Instead of continuing in pre-med, for instance, I took my Medical Assistant course and got my clinical cert. In just a few months, I was working alongside doctors. Drawing blood, taking EKG’s, recording vital signs, administering meds, even weighing in on medical recommendations.

I learned in just a matter of hours that I did NOT, in any way, shape or form, want to be a doctor. I belonged in the lab.

People stuff grossed me out. And jeez the pressure!

This may have otherwise taken me 10+ years to figure out!

Once I realized I didn’t want to work one-on-one with people, I got my Environmental Laboratory Technician Certification. Then I got my Environmental Analyst Cert. I took every extra class and got every certification I could think of in the field I still loved. This allowed me to work in the lab and figure out if maybe that was truly what I wanted to be doing (nope.)

I did everything I needed to do in order to figure out what my future might hold. I just didn’t do it the old fashioned way.

And I want to let you know: you don’t have to, either.

??I want to send a loving reminder to anyone who’s frightened about making a big move, a big decision, or about leaving your education or relationship or doing anything because it doesn’t feel right anymore.

If you listen to your gut, the universe works for you. I promise you it does.

Had I stayed in school, I’d still be going. I’d never have had the time to write a book, speak, go on a book tour or actually do what I wanted to do all along: change people’s lives.

Follow your hearts my loves.

I’m telling you, you won’t regret it.

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xoxo,?

Tara

How to Heal from the Inside, Out

How to Heal from the Inside, Out


This week I sat down with Sister Jenna of America Meditating Radio. It feels amazing to join the ranks of Oprah, Indie Arie, Alanis Morisette and Russell Simmons, who’ve all been inspiring guests on the show (and are all some of my personal heroes!)

We got to chat about so much in a thoughtful, empowering 15 minutes, I couldn’t help but share it with you! You can catch the interview here to learn a bit about how to heal from the inside, out! Some topics we went over include:

  • The events that lead up to my wellness journey and what inspired me to take control of my life
  • How I overcame my dependency on prescription drugs
  • How my scientific, personal and spiritual knowledge helped me in battling my personal demons and coming out victorious
  • Why mindfulness and meditation play a huge role in my life
  • A summary of Cured by Nature and what inspired me to write it
  • How this blog came to be and what it means to me now
  • My favorite life quotes and more information about what I’m working on

My big take away was that we all have infinite opportunities to expand and grow (tweet this).

Hope you enjoy it!

With Love,

Tara

Turn Your Dreams into a Career You Love

Turn Your Dreams into a Career You Love

This month I sat down with Kylie Butler of the Inspired Careers Podcast to talk about doing things from the heart. Kylie is a multi-passionate Career & Life Coach who can help you discover your unique talents and get clear on your core values. I had so much fun chatting with Kylie to talk a little bit more about my story, my book, doing things from the heart and how you can turn your dreams into a career you absolutely love!

You can take a listen to the podcast here or catch the transcript of the interview below!

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Kylie

I’m very excited to be introducing today’s guest, Tara Mackey. Tara is CEO of the Organic Life, the number one bestselling author of Cured by Nature and a global motivational speaker. Tara has her own very personal story about how she has come to be the highly passionate and successful entrepreneur she now is. Growing up in New York City, she suffered from a dependency on pharmaceutical medication for various ailments and began her natural wellness journey in order to give her body a break. In 2012, she was actually studying medicine and abandoned her degree in pursuit of her personal wellness journey. Tara went on to completely quit pharmaceuticals and treat her illness naturally. She has now built a passionate digital community through The Organic Life Blog and has recently taken the world by storm with her first book – Cured by Nature. In Cured by Nature, Tara’s book, she teaches us to heal from the inside out, find happiness and discover our true selves. Now this is why I’m so excited to be talking to Tara today, to hear about not only her career journey but also how she found happiness by discovering her true self because ultimately that’s what we are all seeking. I try to assist people to find that happiness through their career, Tara’s vehicle is wellness, we’re all working on the same thing though. And as I teach in my programs, we can’t find a career we love and happiness in any aspect of our life, until we understand who we are and our true selves.

Tara, Can you tell me about your health journey?

Tara

I witnessed my mother overdose on heroin when I was 6 years old.  I was taken to a psychiatrist and started my first medication when I was 13. I was put on Lithium – an adult dosage. By the time I was 16, I was on many different medications. Note that both my parents were addicted to drugs when I was child, even when I was born, so didn’t quite have a normal upbringing.

By the time I was 24, I was on 12 different medications for 14 different things and I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I decided to come off my meds ‘cold turkey’, which is a method I don’t recommend to anybody because like any drugs, you’re going to get withdrawal symptoms. That spurred me to travel and move to California, where I live right now. I changed my entire career.

Before this, I was kind of living the dream but I was not satisfied at all. It was a multi-dimensional journey. Not only did I quit my job but I re-assessed what my life meant. I had to figure out a new life meant for me, which including coming off a lot of drugs.

Kylie

Was there a specific catalyst?

Tara

There were a few which came a couple of weeks later after I came off the drugs. Thinking that taking a pill might solve a problem and realizing that, “No. This isn’t what I want”.

A lot of things led up the shift, like the death of a very good friend, quitting my job and ending a very toxic relationship – those were all catalysts to this big shift in my mentality to where I was not relying on a pill to solve problems.

Kylie

Where did you find that strength? It takes a lot of courage to make those types of fundamental shifts.

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Tara

I was very confused about what my next step was because I never learned any coping mechanisms other than taking a pill. I was told at a very young age that taking a pill would solve all these things, which it never had. It really propelled me to make this change and the thing that helped the most was just realizing that a pill is a lifelong helplessness.

It really just came down to what I was willing to accept and what I wasn’t willing to accept.

It is a method of will power, but that can be gained by mind strengthening techniques such as meditation and mindfulness thought practices.

Kylie

You’ve made a really important point there. It takes a lot of courage to make big decisions like this and there are a lot of reason why it’s really hard, but at the end of the day, you just do it. It takes unquestionable courage to make a fundamental shift in your life but at the end of the day you just have to make that commitment. In terms of mindfulness techniques, when did your learning about meditation and mindfulness come into your journey?

Tara

It all happened together luckily because otherwise it could’ve taken much longer. I have a lot of amazing books that really propelled me along my journey.  One of them was Autobiography Of A Yogi, which has a lot of amazing techniques for a better life. It really did give me a lot of hope that I was doing the right thing because I had these answers inside me all along.

The stigma alone of mental illness makes people sick – it made me sick, especially when I was a child.

Kylie

Talk to me more about tuning into your own intuition.

Tara

It takes a lot of self control. It’s almost like a new sobriety because it’s sobriety from external factors and just letting yourself figure out who you are and what your mind and your future holds for you. For me that comes in the form of daily self care practices. Just taking the time to run in the morning, meditating and when I’m home, I take daily baths just to calm my mind and focus. I think it’s important for people to take at least 5 minutes a day – free writing, getting in touch with themselves and writing down a list of 5 things they absolutely have to do before their time on this earth is up – to remember why you’re here.

Kylie

One take away for our listeners today is – find a space to remember why you’re here, on this planet. It’s about creating that space and focusing on why you are here. I also agree a focus on self-care is so incredibly important.

Tara

I’ve learnt there’s no point without self care, there’s no success without emotional success.

“Different” is one thing you want to feel in the beginning. “Different” than the way it was before. I think that alone is inspiring.

Kylie

The reason people are looking for success is because they’re ultimately looking for happiness and they believe that success will bring them that happiness. External, material things are not going to bring you joy though unless you connect with yourself.

Tara

Definitely! I lost my dad to cancer just over 2 years ago and I always like to say that cancer didn’t really take him, work did and his lifestyle did. And it’s one of those times you realize why you are working, why you’re doing what you do. I realized that if you’re not helping yourself, you’re not helping anybody else.

Kylie

Talk to me more about your book, your business, how you fill your days with so many amazing things?

Tara

My book came out a month and a half ago and we are already a number 1 bestseller. It’s been an amazing and crazy journey. I started to blog such a long time ago, I’m like the grandma of blogging. I’ve been blogging since I was 14.

Kylie

A big take away for anyone listening: 1) find the space to understand why you’re on this planet ; 2) it doesn’t happen overnight.

Tara

Nothing happens overnight. The first quote in my book, chapter 1 says “You won’t be happy with whatever you do unless you’re comfortable in your own conscience, keep your head up, keep your shoulders back, keep your self respect, be nice, be smart and remember there are practically no overnight successes”. So just don’t give up. I think is the big message for me.

Kylie

What were you blogging back then, when your journey was different?

Tara

I was blogging about medicine. When you’re on medication, your life revolves around it. I was blogging about the side effects that were happening to me. I wasn’t focused on myself. I was focused on others constantly. I realized I spent a lot of time writing, but I hadn’t spent a lot of time writing about what I wanted or what I wanted my life to look like or what kind of person I wanted to become tomorrow.

Kylie

That must be fascinating, looking back and having everything documented from such a young age.

Tara

Exactly! In terms of only writing about others though, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

What other people think doesn’t determine who we are. It’s really our perception of what they think that determines who we are because that’s what will affect us.

Kylie

Why do you think you are different from and more successful than your average wellness blogger (not that there is anything average about you)?

Tara

I don’t think I’m different than your average wellness blogger other than I really love this – I’m really passionate about it. So in the sense of being a blogger, I’m a writer at heart so blogging is just a medium with which I share what I’d be writing. It’s interesting to see that when you don’t hold back and you put 110% in every single time, somebody will notice that eventually.

I don’t do anything that doesn’t come from the heart. I don’t do anything I don’t believe in.

And that’s my advice to any blogger that wants to be an author or any entrepreneur or anybody who wants to be successful. People can tell when you are very genuine and putting your heart out there and not doing it for nothing, and they will reward that at some point.

Kylie

A lot of your success would be based on that fact that you have a natural ability and you use your competencies in your space. It’s about using your natural talents and then capitalizing on opportunities on current market.

Sometimes we push too hard, but if we put it out there and use the right action, at the end of the day there’s no compromising on an authentic message and people understand it’s an authentic message.  When something comes from the heart, it also touches anothers heart.

So tell me more about other ways you’re taking your gifts to the world?

Tara

I have The Organic Life, the blog which is also a company. We are also starting a non-profit foundation.

Kylie

If we are not in good health, we can’t help others. Do you have any top tips on herbs or supplements for peak performance in terms of focus and energy?

Tara

I try to do 20 minutes of cardiovascular every single day and a lot of people would think that would make them tired. Truthfully it’s just enough to energize you for the rest of the day. I take a hike in the morning with my dog. In the office, I surround myself with things that energize me like essential oils and energizing candles which really help externally. Get a hold of GABA supplements and vitamin D. Also take ginseng and peppermint essential oils – they work wonders for me.

Kylie

Awesome, I love all those natural remedies. I love to eat well and when I sit down to a big bowl of organic food and a big juice, I also feel the psychological effects hit before physical ones do.

Is there anything you’d like to tell aspiring writers, bloggers, and wellness coaches to help them along their path?

Tara

Don’t give up and do everything from the heart.

The things that get you excited to wake up in the morning – those are the things that you need to be writing about because that’s what’s going to help others.

I think that’s what’s important for authors and entrepreneurs: to recognize what they can share to help others.

Kylie

Anything you’d like to give shout out to other than a link directly to your site?

Tara

If anybody wants to be Cured By Nature you can get it all over the internet – (link – http://www.amazon.com/Cured-Nature-Inside-Happiness-Discover/dp/1634504011?)

Kylie

Thank you, Tara!

Tara

Thanks Kylie! I had fun!

How I Got Rid of My Cystic Acne + Cleaned Up My Skin For GOOD

How I Got Rid of My Cystic Acne + Cleaned Up My Skin For GOOD

This week I shared my 4 green tips on how to treat cystic acne with Essence Magazine! Definitely check it out! I get a lot of comments from men and women alike trying to clean and clear up their skin, so I thought I’d dive into more details here on my own blog.

By the time I took green beauty seriously, I was at my wit’s end with my skin. I faced large, red bumps that were impossible to hide or cover up all over my face. Psoriasis plagued me on my legs and arms. Dry skin stung. Painful cystic acne popped up not just on my face – but all over my body. I was desperate to solve my skin issues, especially for one large reason: I had already tried everything.

I’d tried everything from Minocycline to Accutane, to gels, creams, steroids, birth control, expensive dermatologists, Proactiv, facials – you name it! They had all left me depressed and dismayed. With skin that looked rough, bumpy, dehydrated and was showing early signs of aging and traces of some of the long nights I’d spent in college, a few years ago I walked into my agency in LA and was blatantly told by my agent that I had to clean up my skin – or consider another career.

I was hurting – big time. And about to learn that I was facing more than just troubled skin. I was facing a beauty industry that was built on a few major falsehoods about the proper ways of treating and taking care of ourselves. Just a few days of research and a steel resolve to find out where all the mess I faced was coming from, and my skin and I were forever changed. Today, I wake up to glowing, freckled, dewey, beautiful, clear skin! I could not be happier with my complexion and the confidence I’ve gained with clear skin has allowed me to do things I used to only dream of!

Here is how I got rid of my cystic acne and solved my skin problems for good:

Soft Water

Hard water had done a number on my skin, but it took me months to identify this as one of the main culprits! You’ll know you have hard water in your shower if you experience any of these symptoms after showering: dry skin, itchiness, flakiness, a filminess or dry hair and scalp. Hard water is high in alkaline (pH), and also contains high levels of minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron. This clogs and irritates your skin. The remedy is switching to a water filter for your showerhead. You can grab this one from Culligan for under $30! Soft water helps your body clear toxins, fight infections and oh yeah – it won’t take 10 minutes to wash product out of your hair! Check if you have hard water in your area at: www.theorganiclifeblog.com/hardwater

Tea

Want to know the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug? It’s probably not what you think… It’s caffeine. The beverage most of us rely on every day to wake up – coffee – may be doing a number on our skin! Caffeine (when ingested) can cause disruption to your guts, which is where the start of your clear skin truly begins. Caffeine also messes with your hormones, namely your stress hormone, which is a huge disruption to your oil production. On top of that, it’s a diuretic, adding a super dehydrating affect that I think we can all agree we’d like to skip. But don’t worry – You can literally drink your way to amazing skin! Try replacing coffee with teas specifically designed to help you wean off. Teechino is one. Or just make your own drink at home with some fresh herbs like mint, cacao or lavender flowers and warm milk, cinnamon, honey and turmeric.

Make sure you’re choosing teas that are full of healing herbs like lavender, chamomile, mint, basil or berries. These all contain flavonoids that are incredible for skin health. You truly want your glow to come from the inside – out!

Vitamins

The reason that most conventional treatments for acne and skin issues don’t work is that they fail to treat the real issue: your insides. Steroids, anti-biotics and even heavy duty prescription medications skip over the one thing that truly does need to change and for your new, clear skin to stick: Your body needs to be in balance.

Who knew that the true key to combating my skin issues – especially my cystic acne – for good was getting passed by every time I went to the pharmacy for a new skin Rx? The last thing I was missing was herbs and supplements, which have truly been the big game changer for me. If I take my supplements, I barely have to worry about a small blemish around that time of the month. If I miss my supplements, I DO see the same symptoms that I used to have. Bumps pop up. Pores get clogged. Cysts form. Not pretty.

One of my favorite and most useful herbs for combating my skin issues has been the supplement DIM, which acts as an estrogen regulator. It balances the estrogens in your body, straightening out your hormones and allowing your skin to stop freaking out. Some of my other favorites are vitamin D, vitex, fish oils and evening primrose oil.

Green Beauty Products

Cheap, pharmacy products were all I ever bought before I switched to green beauty. And I’m glad, because the expensive stuff doesn’t work much better – unless it’s made naturally! Conventional skincare is full of toxins and nasties that your skin hates – like harsh SLS, parabens, dyes, parfum and fragrances. If you’ve tried everything but are still seeing skin issues, switch to a brand that only uses organic, natural oils and herbs in their products. If you see anything you can’t pronounce or wouldn’t eat – don’t buy it and don’t put it on your body! Our skin absorbs at least 75% of what we put on it! Also, skip alcohol based toning for a few dabs of apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad in the morning and drink plenty of water throughout the day! You can find my absolute favorite green beauty products here.

For more tips on how to live your healthiest life, check out my book, Cured by Nature, available where books are sold.

5 Creative Ways To Harness The Power Of Healing Herbs

5 Creative Ways To Harness The Power Of Healing Herbs

The healing power of herbs has been documented since the dawn of recorded history, and they can help with everything from whitening teeth to improving moods.

There are many fun, creative ways to spruce up your wellness routine with herbs. Here are some of my favorites:

1. As a beverage garnish

You’ve likely dropped herbal garnishes into your mojitos, so why not extend this technique to other drinks you enjoy, like iced tea or lemonade? Some herbs that can freshen up any drink-even plain water-include rosemary, basil, and lavender. You can also lightly crush these herbs to release their flavors and add them to any drink for a tasty, healthier alternative to sugary beverages. Many people choose to add CBD oil, a herbal extract, to their beverages for a great mood and energy booster. Adding this good vibes cbd to your favourite morning beverage is a great addition to maximise your wellness routine.

Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties and it’s amazing for your skin and digestion. Basil has been shown to fight stress, clear skin, and detoxify the body. Lavender has similar health benefits.

2. As an ice infusion

Have some herbs lying around you’re not sure what to do with? Throw rose petals, mint, sage, or rosemary into your ice try, place it in the freezer, and allow it to freeze. These infused ice cubes will make any drink Pinterest-worthy in mere minutes. They’re also a super easy way to sneak herbs into any picky kid’s diet!

3. In a bath

Taking a hot bath can be one of the healthiest things we do with our day. Throw in some healing herbs and you’re well on your way to combating everything from sore muscles to stress and anxiety right from the tub.

Add herbs like lavender, camomile and dandelion directly into the bathwater to promote healthy, happy skin, or boil these herbs in water first and then add the herbal water into the tub as it fills up. There are also soothing herbal tea bags that are made to soak through bathwater and can help combat everything from headaches to arthritis. Full of calming plants like lavender, camomile, and dandelion, these tea baths are great stress fighters.

4. As a DIY steam

If you’ve ever tried a steam facial at your spa, you know that this kind of self-care can get pricey. So why not save your skin-and some serious coin-by trying out these treatments from home?

To prepare a steam facial in your own kitchen, add some boiled water into a bowl with healing herbs for the skin, such as jasmine flowers, chamomile, peppermint, rosehips, lavender, or bergamot. Wash your face with an organic cleanser (without exfoliating). Drape a towel over your head and hold it over the steaming water for about 10 minutes. Breathe deeply, allowing the heat to relax you and awaken, open, and rejuvenate your pores.

5. As a nightly mask

One of my personal favorite ways to use herbs is in a nightly face mask that you can make at home. Start this ritual by combining a few tablespoons of French green clay, a few tablespoons of Rhassoul clay, and a teaspoon of Himalayan salt. Then add a few drops of your favorite essential oils made from herbs like lemongrass, lavender, cinnamon, or garlic. Add a tablespoon of filtered water and mix until muddy, not runny. Apply as a face mask with your fingers or a fan brush and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water.

Clay works as an aggressive absorbent to soak up all the oil and toxicity that clogs pores and causes breakouts. Combined with herbs, it becomes a skin-cleansing concoction that “zaps” the affected area and achieves naturally clean, clear skin.

For more tips on how to use herbs to live your healthiest life, check out my book, Cured by Nature, available where books are sold.

(Originally shared on Mind Body Green.)

Easy Ways to Naturally Boost Your Mood

Easy Ways to Naturally Boost Your Mood

Feeling sad every now and again is completely normal. Especially during difficult times.

In contrast, nearly 20 million American’s suffer from some form of clinical depression, a serious disorder (like a binge eating disorder) that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels and thinks.

The simplest and most important things that you can do for yourself is to treat yourself naturally and with forgiveness. The stigma of depression, the fear of inadequacy and the lethargy of unhappiness can often get in the way of recovery. Managing symptoms of depression requires a practical, proactive and peaceful approach.

Exercise, rest, nutrition, a supportive group of friends and family, and attitude play a big part in helping you on your journey to better health and happiness!

Luckily, there is a plethora of natural ways to wellness and happiness available immediately to you. Here are some of my favorites…

FOODS

SALMON

A single 200g serving of fresh salmon provides you with your entire daily requirement of omega-3 essential fats. These fats have a powerful role in improving the body’s cells ability to take up essential hormones, including those involved in mood regulation.

WALNUTS

Just 10 walnuts each day helps to optimise cell wall composition and has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels, which will also help to improve blood flow around the body, lowering nerves and anxieties.

RED MEAT

One of the most common causes of fatigue in women aged 24-35 years is low iron. Meat eaters need to consume red meat in small amounts 3-4 times each week to get all the iron they need for optimal energy production.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Who would argue against the belief that chocolate improves mood? ? As dark chocolate is made with a high proportion of cocoa it also contains high amounts of the antioxidant molecules the flavonoids and the phenolic phytochemicals known for their positive health benefits. Make a steamed raw hot chocolate for an extra boost!

SEAWEED

Seaweed is one of the richest sources of iodine, the mineral that is required for optimal thyroid and metabolic function, which are in turn crucial for optimal energy and mood. I am obsessed with these Seaweed Snacks from Trader Joe’s.

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VITAMINS

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Omega-3 fatty acids are used to help depression and other psychological problems. 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams are recommended for mood problems.

B VITAMINS

Vitamin B is essential for cell metabolism and central nervous system maintenance. B vitamins can help stabilize nerve cell membranes.

VITAMIN D

In the largest study on vitamin D and depression ever conducted, researchers examined more than 12,500 patients over 4 years. The findings: The lower the levels of the vitamin in someone’s blood, the greater their chances were of suffering from clinical depression. Vitamin D has been affective in treating seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that occurs during the winter months.

5-HTP:

5-HTP is used for sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and along with prescription drugs to treat seizure disorder and Parkinson’s disease. 5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.

HERBS

VALERIAN

Is your way to better rest and dealing with anxiety! Learn why it’s my favorite in this post from a few weeks ago!

LAVENDER

Aromatherapy, essential oils or taken internally as a tea or seasoning, lavender has the capacity to relax and relieve you from anxiety!

ST. JOHN’S WORT

A well-known mood enhancer, it can be taken as a tea or a tincture and has been proven to relieve sadness and melancholy. St. John’s Wort can help you sleep better too, which dramatically affects mood. St. John’s Wort is not without some side effects, but it’s safe for most people. Taking it with SAMe (see below) can improve effectiveness as it’s a synergistic herb.

ROSE

As they say, stop and smell the roses. The aromatherapeutic qualities of rose oil will enhance your mood and relieve mental fatigue. Plus the aphrodisiac qualities can give you a nice boost, since much of our energy (Chi or Prana) is based in our sexual centers.

SAMe

Short for S-adenosylmethionine, SAMe is not actually an herb, but a naturally occurring molecule in all living things. As a supplement, it’s been well-proven to lift the mood and even create mildly euphoric feelings. It’s also used as a treatment for arthritis. SAMe has no side effects, even at high doses, and has a large clinical body of evidence supporting its use as a depression treatment. It’s actually been used as a “natural Prozac” for decades around the world, but it’s just now catching on in America. (You can boost SAMe naturally, as well, by consuming protein-rich foods. Take care to also get plenty of B vitamins, because without them SAMe can convert to homocysteine, which is toxic and linked to both heart disease and depression.)

Cannabis

Cannabis is actually another herb that can help to improve your mood, as well as helping with symptoms of depression and anxiety amongst others. Different strains have been found to have many mood-enhancing benefits including keeping your head clear, giving a sense of calm and relaxation, contentment, euphoric high, a feeling of well-being and an improved outlook. This has led to a large number of people using cannabis to help deal with low mood, and some people have even started growing their own. Click here if you would like to learn more about growing your own cannabis.

REST

Insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) and hypersomnia have all been linked to depression. In fact, one of the common signs of depression is insomnia or an inability to sleep. However, a lack of sleep may be attributed to other factors like a poor-quality mattress. Visit bestmattress-reviews.org if you wish to learn more about the positive impact a new mattress can have on your life.

Physical or emotional trauma and metabolic or other medical problems can trigger sleep disturbances. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue. With fatigue, you exercise less and that leads to a decline in your fitness level. Eventually, you find yourself in a vicious cycle of inactivity and disturbed sleep, which causes both physical and mood-related symptoms. Getting a good night’s sleep is optimal for perfect brain and mood function. Normal sleep is a restorative state. However, when sleep is disrupted or inadequate, it can lead to increased tension, vigilance, and irritability. It can be hard to know what to do when your sleep is constantly being disrupted by factors that you may not have any control over. It doesn’t have to be like this though as you can now seek help in this area by taking something similar to these cbd provisions, as this type of product has been known to help people who are suffering from the likes of depression and insomnia. This could be something worth trying if you are looking to have an undisturbed night’s sleep. If you find that this doesn’t have the intended impact, it may be time to ask for medical advice from a healthcare professional.

EXERCISE

When you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.

Hiking is my personal drug. It gets me up, out, active, thinking, clear headed and it helps my health on top of all of that! Exercise releases feel good brain chemicals, such as endorphins, SSRI’s, neurotransmitters. It reduces chemicals that can be causing your depression, and increases your body temperature, which has calming affects on the body. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms!

Remember, improving your mood requires more than consuming pills or herbs; you may need to make some general lifestyle changes as well.

Want a consistent guide to living a better, happier life?

Today, you get The Organic Life Monthly Subscription totally free with your purchase of Cured by Nature!

With Love,

Tara

Spring Cleaning, Join the Tribe, Ask Me Anything

Spring Cleaning, Join the Tribe, Ask Me Anything

Hey loves!

Lots of changes around here. And it feels reaaally good!

We’ve simplified the site, and will continue to do so to make things easier for you to find and navigate. Hope you love it!

We’ve also added The Monthly (and Yearly!) Organic Life Subscription service, so you can keep up with the latest and greatest programs we offer while saving yourself some coin! Check it out and find your tribe!

We’ve also given you an Ask Tara section, where you can ask me anything you wish! Keep the vibes good and I’ll be coming back to answer your questions there and in some brand new Youtube videos!

Did you catch my book launch party announcement? I really hope to see you there!

Wishing you a beautiful week filled with lots of love and happiness!

With Love,

Tara

My Natural Breast Augmentation Story (4 Months Later)

My Natural Breast Augmentation Story (4 Months Later)

THE BACKSTORY:

At 24 years old, I legitimately still fit into the first training bra I had ever bought. Asking the sales girls at Victorias Secret if they had any A cups got me some strange glances, and the only place I’ve ever found a sexy bra that gave me any legitimate lift was in Paris, France, where an xs is the new size 5. Little girls, you feel me. Flat girls, holla back.

The thing was, I never really cared. I’m cool with being tiny, and even though my boobies weren’t big, they were nice. Beautiful, even. I embraced them hard.

Finally, last year I wondered… Was it time to think about filling out my boobs?

I didn’t want to go crazy, like some of the girls on tubev.sex, I just wanted a little bounce. I wanted them to look healthy and toned and fuller. But did I have any natural options?

PLASTIC SURGERY

Even if you’ve had (and especially if you’re considering) plastic surgery – this post is for you!

I don’t judge in any way, but personally, surgery scares me. I’ve never even broken a bone, so the idea of getting elective surgery for cosmetic reasons is just not up my alley. Plus, you risk them looking wobbly, uneven, bolted on or not natural. AND you have to get another surgery every ten years to keep up!

Thankfully, there really IS a way to get brand new boobies – surgery free. In fact, I’ve found healthy and AMAZING alternatives to surgery that not only make your boobs larger – they really look (and are!) completely natural!

Do I legitimately feel like I got a natural breast augmentation? YES YES YES and YES!! I am proud of my boobs and happy with my choice!

Will you get awesome rewards in absolutely no time if you do it like you mean it? YES YES YES HALLELUJAH YES!!

Here’s how I got the results I always wanted:

THE DAILY BEAUTY RITUAL:

Honestly, this is my best kept beauty secret and I almost (ALMOST!) didn’t want to share this with you because it’s SO good. But then I figured, that’s what this blog is here for! With Genetix, my goal of achieving a natural breast augmentation, perky side boob and a natural “lift” went from daunting and disappointing to EASY – and fun! This is seriously the easiest and most effective way to boost your cup size. It’s just like a boob job – minus the surgery and expense!

The reviews on Genetix Organic Enhancement Oil are glowing, from women with an A cup saying they woke up to noticeably bigger boobs the first two days, to mom’s using it to help stretch marks after nursing, to transgender men saying they achieved real looking breasts (without surgery!!), there’s a reason why every woman in the World absolutely HAS to try this awesome oil! Personally, it helped me to increase 2 cup sizes in just 90 days! Seriously! (Here are my Before/after photos.) I had never really thought about how “stimulating” my breasts would work, but it turns out this was the key part I had been missing all along!

Here’s the ritual:

  • Pump 1-2 pumps of Genetix oil into your hands
  • Rub your hands together to warm them – this also helps to “activate” the oil
  • Massage each breast for 5-10 minutes in a circular motion towards your heart
  • Do this ritual before bed. Avoid showering directly after you apply the oil. Let it work it’s magic!
  • That’s it! SO simple – and the results are really noticeable!

It totally makes sense. Think of this daily ritual as a workout for your boobies – stimulating cell growth and encouraging fat cell division. I had been ignoring my boobs and crying that they weren’t getting any bigger. WRONG, girlfriend. I needed to show them some TLC – each and every day! Trust me: when you show your body some daily love, kindness and attention, your body will notice! And there’s nothing better than applying enhancement oil directly to the source. I cannot recommend this daily ritual enough!

The best part is you have nothing to lose! The company (which is women-owned) provides a 30 day money back guarantee, so if it doesn’t work for you in a month, just return it for a full refund! Don’t forget to use code “STAYWEIRD” for a huge discount (that covers free shipping!) I also have to mention that there’s worldwide shipping – YAY! Many of you asked so I thought I’d share this! On top of this, the company is awesome and their instagram is super inspiring, adorable and promotes self love.

What I really love is that my breast size has NOT returned to it’s original cup size, despite me forgetting to do my massages sometimes. It’s like the massage + oil combo gives you a ‘base’ fullness and depth to your breasts that LASTS! I owe my physique to this oil + ritual combo!

Trust me – gift yourself this amazing gem! It’s the ONLY option I’ve found that is totally natural and trust me – I’ve really done my research. Every other option contains scary toxins like parabens, SLS or PEGs (which have been linked to cancer), alcohol or fillers (like water or a gel substance). Or all of the above! No thank you! Stick with this affordable, organic option. I just love it – seriously my best kept beauty secret! I’m thrilled with my new physique and will be keeping up this daily regiment of self-care for the rest.of.my.life. This also helps us to keep up with our breast health: something we so often forget to do!

HOW THE RITUAL WORKS:

It’s traditionally called a Chi Massage, and if you do it with an organic oil specifically designed to enhance your figure, you cannot go wrong! I just add this massage to my nightly beauty routine and voila – let the oil go to work overnight in an old t-shirt, braless! It’s miraculous! Also, many of the herbs in the oil I use protect against breast cancer and don’t increase estrogen levels in your body, which is a concern with other formulas. I like to do my massage after the shower and before bed. It’s relaxing to do and it’s very exciting to wake up to real results in the morning!

The organic formula is infused with many natural herbs that contain the highest phyto-estrogenic activity, increasing estrogen levels naturally – not synthetically. It works because these potent herbs go straight to the breasts and it isn’t blocked by any fillers like creams or gels are.

This daily beauty ritual is for:

  • Women who want larger, natural looking breasts
  • If you want curvier breasts + side boob
  • If you want to diminish stretch marks
  • If you’re considering plastic surgery but don’t have the $$
  • You’re considering surgery but don’t like the risks
  • You’re need a lift + tone
  • You’re a mom who needs a lift + firm
  • You’re breastfeeding and want to prevent stretch marks + sagging
  • You just had surgery and want natural support to keep them full
  • You’ve always had a small chest and want a natural way to make them fuller

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Update: 2/2017 – still going strong! You can even see that my old bras now leave marks on my skin because they are so tight!! (click to enlarge)

(More photos at the end of this post!)

INCORPORATING NATURE:

I’m an omega fanatic and I’ve eaten some kind of vitamin rich seed every day for years. I was already taking a lot of the herbs and eating a lot of the foods that I needed to increase my breast size, so I was a little discouraged to see them as the most popular ones listed. But here’s what happened!

First, keep in mind if you have smaller boobies and taking these herbs has not worked for you, you may need to just take a larger amount! I doubled and sometimes even tripled my normal dosage of some of these herbs to AMAZING overnight results!

I also spread them out throughout the day. Instead of being enticed by those “bigger boob” one-size-fits-all vitamins, I spread out my breast health herbs throughout the day and I even take some of the herbs I need in tea form right before bed, so that they can work throughout the night.

What I’m saying is… DON’T give up if you see something on this list you’ve tried before! I was pleasantly surprised to find that I already had many of these guys in my cabinet and just adding a tablespoon or so to my juices or smoothies in the morning made all the difference.

Also, if you already have big boobs- congrats! But you’re probably looking to tone them or help stretch marks, obstacles that come with time that many of my more well endowed friends are constantly battling. If that’s your case, or you are pregnant or nursing, you’re gonna wanna read this too. These vitamins are so helpful for women everywhere!

(Many people don’t feel they can take multiple herbs every day. If this method is not for you, then stick with the enhancement oil mentioned above, which contains many of the herbs listed below in it’s formula.)

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THE HERBAL GUIDE FOR BREAST HEALTH:

PHYTO-ESTROGENS:

Phyto-estrogens mimic our body’s own estrogen, but they are produced by plants. That’s why your diet and the foods you eat and the herbs you take play a big role in natural breast enlargement: because your body doesn’t product these phyto-estrogens naturally. You MUST consume them from an outside source to get them in your diet! The most powerful phytoestrogens are isoflavones and lignans. Phyto-estrogens will help increase your breast size by stimulating the estrogens naturally produced by your body, helping the milk ducts get bigger, which will lead to a bigger breast size.

FENUGREEK:

Fenugreek is definitely one of the more popular herbs on this list. It contains a high amount of phytoestrogens including diosgenin, tigogenin, gitogenin, and yamogenin. These plant estrogens will mimic your own estrogen and help your breasts grow in size and fullness. Fenugreek is also known to increase prolactin and progesterone levels. In fact, some newly mothers use fenugreek to increase their milk flow while they breastfeed.

DONG QUAI:

I take these capsules twice a day. This natural herb has been useful in regulating the production of estrogen and can play a very useful role in breast enlargement. The roots and extracts of this herb are responsible for this desirable effect. Breast tissue health is also improved by consuming these herbal products.

SAW PALMETTO:

The reason why adding saw palmetto to your herbal routine is a good idea is because it’s an anti-androgen. Since saw palmetto is an anti-androgen it will reduce the amount DHT is in your body and you want your DHT levels to be considerably lower than your other hormones like estrogen and progesterone, because DHT is a male hormone that can slow down or prevent breast growth. I take these Saw Palmetto capsules once a day.

FENNEL:

Fennel contains a high level of phytoprogestins that helps stimulate your body’s own progesterone. Fennel also helps the body produce more prolactin, which stimulates milk production and breast tissue growth. I make a cup of Fennel Tea from raw seeds, honey and ginger for just this purpose.

WILD YAM:

Reviews on Wild Yam are glowing everywhere you go. You can find Wild Yam in vitamin form or often available as a massage cream at your local Whole Foods. This herb helps the body produce more prolactin and progesterone, and it’s also considered an anti-androgen. The phyto-estrogen in wild yam to pay attention to is diosgenin, which will help improve estrogenic activity in your body.

DANDELION ROOT:

Dandelion root is useful in increasing the production of breast cells and improving the overall health of breast tissues. This product is very popular for this purpose, since it generates no harmful side effects in the woman’s body and can exhibit sound results in a relatively short time period.

PM (pueraria mirifica):

You can either get harvested pueraria mirifica or you can get it wild. Wild pueraria mirifica is normally higher in phytoestrogens than the cultivated version. It’s the herb with the most phytoestrogenic activity. Been a life saver for my boob health, and allowed me to really start seeing results in just a week’s time! I take 2 capsules once a day.

EXERCISES FOR BIGGER BOOBS:

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There are 4 exercises that I do every day in The 14 Day Fitness Plan. They are: The Core Kisser, The Fit-All-Over, The Arm Toner & The Rock It. They truly assist in achieving a toned physique, but will also give you the boobies of your dreams! I’ve added some of my favorites in The Total Transformation fitness plan too!

Exercises that are designed to help plump and shape your chest are essential to getting – and maintaining – a desirable shape throughout your life. Regardless of what route you’ve taken for your curves, you’re gonna wanna move. Stimulate yourself with dance, feel sexy, get in the flow of self love. This will transfer into a better mentality about your body and put your mind in the direction of the shape you desire. Some of these exercises you can do for a better body are so simple, you’re going to ask yourself why you didn’t start doing them sooner!

(You can literally drink your way to bigger boobs! =D )

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EXERCISES FOR PLUMPER BOOBS:

Exercises that are designed to help plump and shape your chest are essential to getting – and maintaining – a desirable shape throughout your life. Regardless of what route you’ve taken for your curves, you’re gonna wanna move. Stimulate yourself with dance, feel sexy, get in the flow of self love. This will transfer into a better mentality about your body and put your mind in the direction of the shape you desire. Some of these exercises you can do for a better body are so simple, you’re going to ask yourself why you didn’t start doing them sooner!

There are 4 exercises that I do every day in The 14 Day Fitness Plan. They are: The Core Kisser, The Fit-All-Over, The Arm Toner & The Rock It. They truly assist in achieving a toned physique, but will also give you the boobies of your dreams!

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THE BIG BONUS:

Doing these exercises daily has helped my back SO much as well! Almost every chest strengthening exercise is a back toning one too, and my back pain has been practically gone since I got on this super simple, super effective regiment!

Just for you, here is a bonus exercise that has been extremely helpful and can even be done in public (with relatively no stares!) I do this every night and any time I find myself with “extra time” on my hands, like if I am waiting for a cab or early to a meeting.

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Clasp your hands together in front of you like you are praying.

Keep your elbows out to the sides as far as you can.

Squeeze your hands together as hard as you can go, concentrating on the muscles behind your breasts to use the force.

Rest for 5 seconds.

Repeat.

It’s so simple I almost FELL OVER when I learned it! And I saw the immediate effects it had on my body! It’s been incredible for firmness, roundness and “depth”. My chest also looks way better in photos and more natural on my tiny frame in person.

These were the results after just ONE WEEK, which I increased half a cup size. They were more toned, healthy, larger, perky and the first week’s results have so far been the most obvious and shocking to me, but they have gotten better and better over time! Also their new “base” weight/shape is now rounder and more plump, even if I miss my exercises for a day or two! It’s amazing that this can be done in just 7 days and kept up with an herbal regiment! I will also do an updated post on this at the 6th month mark, which I am super excited about!

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More BEFORE/AFTERS:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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As always, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any questions about my breast health journey? We’d love to hear them:

Your Email (required)

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Your Message

With Love,

Tara

My Book Launch Party – Come Celebrate With Me!

My Book Launch Party – Come Celebrate With Me!

The launch of your first book is a big, beautiful thing. It feels incredible. It feels like at last all that hard work and stress that went into writing your manuscript and query letter and then all that uncertainty during the subsequent consideration period was finally worth it. This particular book of mine has already hit the #1 bestller’s list, which is another daily pinch me moment.

The only reason I remotely got through my entire childhood was by quietly sitting at my desk with a pen and paper, writing stories. I woke up late in the middle of my sleepovers to convince my girl friends that we needed to write a short story about the crickets. I poured over my words and edited my own creative papers hundreds of times before turning them in. So having an actual book in bookstores is totally unbelievable! Crazy!

Celebrations are in order for this one! And man, we’re sure having them!

Mark your Calendar! I’d love to invite you to join me in California, right by the beach where I wrote my book, for my first book launch party/signing at the historic Barnes and Noble!

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My book launch party is at Barnes and Noble Encinitas on Saturday, April 2nd!

CLICK FOR DETAILS!

Best part? It’s totally free, and the first 10 attendees get a free signed copy of Cured by Nature, a Waxelene lip balm and a big hug from me!

Come party with me!

I’ll be announcing more dates and cities really soon!

Don’t worry, east coast, down south and around the World. I’m coming for ya!

With Love,

Tara

 

The Best of Green Beauty: Mascara

The Best of Green Beauty: Mascara

Mascara was one of the first products I “gave up” when switching over to green beauty. Why? Well, cause it goes ON YOUR EYES. And once I realized what I had been putting on (MY EYES!) for years, I was determined to do better for myself, even if that meant having naked lashes for awhile.

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Luckily, organic beauty has come a long way since then. The days of wishing and praying for beauty products that are natural AND work are almost over. We’ve made leaps and bounds in the last few years, and mascara is no exception.

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Here are my current favorite natural mascaras:

RMS Beauty: I pretty much require big, bold lashes if I’m going to bother putting on mascara at all, so I love this formula a bit more than I love the brush it comes with. I’ve tried the formula with thicker brushes and I love the effect. However, for the kind of girl who just needs a little touch up every now and again, this formula from RMS Beauty is perfect. Works great and doesn’t have a running problem like a lot of natural brands.

W3ll People: perfect for both tightening, shaping and building lashes, the high tech brush design precisely separates the thinnest, shortest, hard-to-reach lashes by expertly scooping up and lengthening each one. While it takes a few coats to get it on perfectly, each stroke delivers just the right amount of product.

Ilia: I love this formula for long, doe-like lashes. Ilia’s mascara is a bit watery but if you can be patient and let it dry for a minute after you apply it, you’ll walk away super satisfied. Reminds me a bit of the old mascara’s a used to love. Clump-free!

Antonym Cosmetics: are for both a daytime look or a nice night out. It lengthens, volumizes and separates lashes perfectly. You can go crazy for a bold effect or keep it cute and natural during the day.

Alima Pure: was the first natural mascara I switched to, and it’s still a cult favorite of mine (and my purse, beauty cabinet and random clutches where I always keep an extra!) It’s just the right amount of consistency for beautiful, natural looking lashes on the daily. Date night – here I come! Apply over any pair of fake lashes for the perfect blending effect. Are you Scarlet O’Hara or just happy to see me?

Lily Lolo: is my absolute favorite for long, luxe lashes! This formula/brush combo is impeccable. I barely wear any false lashes since this can get my lashes to look borderline faux! I have no idea what I would do without my Lily Lolo mascara! My only teeny tiny complaint is that by the end of the night, it does tend to get some clumps inside your eyeball if you apply it with a heavy hand. For beautiful lashes, that’s a mild annoyance for me, and one that I used to get with conventional mascara all.the.time. At least with this, you don’t have to worry about those clumps being toxic! This is my go-to mascara if I ever have an event, interview or live show! You just can’t beat it!

For more recommendations on my favorite beauty products, grab a copy of Cured by Nature!

With Love,

Tara

How to Treat ADHD Naturally

How to Treat ADHD Naturally

This week on the super inspirational Green Is The New Black podcast, I share my story of being loaded with medication at an early age for health issues like ADHD and anxiety! I’ll walk you through how I got off the pharmaceutical wagon and what I recommend for adults looking for natural treatments for ADHD. #GITNB is the place to get quick easy tips, hear from brilliant experts and learn about the best products on the market.

Take a listen here!

With Love,

Tara

Can you REALLY be cured by nature?

Can you REALLY be cured by nature?

I sat down to chat the popular Soulfeed podcast to show you how you can use nature to take back control of your life. SoulFeed is an iTunes rated ‘Top Podcast’ designed for you transform, take charge, and master your career, relationships, and life. When you need inspiration, a spiritual workout, or a shift in perspective, they’re there for you.

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“From nearly two dozen pills every morning to quitting cold turkey, to now inspiring the world with her new book, Tara is living proof that anything is possible.”

Awwwwww. Shucks, guys.

In this podcast we explore why modern medical professionals will tell you to take medication, how to stop labeling yourself, how to heal from the inside out, and what natural secrets nature holds to help you heal.

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You can catch the full interview on iTunes or Soundcloud!

I had a lot of fun talking about my favorite subject – and I hope you enjoy our open discussion!

With love,

Tara

Want more tips for living a better life? Grab my book today!

Why Natural Remedies Work Better

Why Natural Remedies Work Better

Eric Cassell, a professor of physiology at Cornell (where I used to work), astutely pointed out that when a doctor asks her patient questions, she is not trying to find out what is wrong with him. She is trying to find out what symptoms he might be having to match classified, known diseases.

I believe that this is a very important distinction.

Just five years ago, I was on dozens of different kinds of pills, prescribed by my doctors, every day: from the age of 13 until I was 24 years old.

That’s over a decade of treating everything I was feeling, experiencing and thinking with a drug.

And then somehow convincing myself – and being convinced by doctors, my family and my friends – that I wasn’t a drug addict.

A doctor cannot possibly ask enough questions to find out exactly what makes her patient (you) sick.  You and I go through so many stresses, thoughts, functions and memories within a day that it would be impossible to find out what triggers our anxieties, health, fears or our cancers by someone else completely, even if they were to monitor us 24/7.  Furthermore, a lot of doctors would like to dismiss the notion that your mind and your body are connected inextricably in any way.

Without even thinking about it, we rely very heavily on the fact that our thoughts will trigger the correct chemicals in our bodies: the mind and it’s messenger molecules are automatically and always perfectly matched.  For example, one of the most ambiguous drugs – and one that I was on for a long time – Valium, belongs to a class of chemicals called benzodiazepines, which are used as both tranquilizers and sleeping pills.  Valium’s predecessors had many drawbacks: they were highly addictive, blocked REM sleep, and could prove fatal.  Valium, marketed as a “wonder drug”, seemingly produced better sleep with less hangover, was extremely hard to overdose on and – at first – seemed non addictive.

We now know that Valium  is entirely addictive, that it produces sleep irregularities (interfering with the third and fourth stages of deep sleep) and that serious withdrawals occur after prolonged use.  If you look at the level of receptors of the cell wall of people taking Valium, none of this is surprising, because Valium acts by outcompeting the body’s own neuro-chemicals and taking over their receptor sites.

Every drug used to treat depression, moods and anxiety works this way.

This kind of interference would perhaps be advantageous if the Valium was only working with the neurons responsible for causing anxiety.  

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But the calming effect of a drug does not come stag.  Valium – and other drugs – affect not just your neuro-peptides. They confuse the nervous system as a whole. Monocytes of the immune system are attracted to Valium, lowering your immunity to fight and fend off other diseases, germs and cancers that could truly be affecting you.

In all likelihood, your body naturally provides itself with an exact internal analogue to Valium. I know this because I have come off of that drug and dozens of others, and found cures within myself and in nature for the problems that I treated with drugs like Valium, like Lamictal, like Fentanyl and Celebrex and Zoloft from the year I became a teenager… all the way into my adult life.

Right now, there is no “Cure” in pill form for depression, mental illness or schizophrenia.  

If you “cure” a schizophrenic – that is, strip that person of all of their hallucinations – you will find a shell of a person. A changed human being. A possibly twitchy person who, while they may not have hallucinations, also may not be able to drive or function in society.

Altering your chemical levels of dopamine & seratonin, or uninhibiting your receptors so that drugs like Valium, Xanax, Adderall, Thorazine (used to treat schizophrenia) or a mood stabilizer can “work” does not cure you of sadness, does not change your way of thinking and certainly doesn’t alter destructive thinking patterns.

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When I studied Biology, I was entirely fascinated with Genetics. Genetics gave me insights into my cells and cell structure that I have brought with me when finding alternative, drug-less approaches to my own wellness.  Here is the realization that got me off of Pharmaceuticals for good:

No drug actually pairs up with a thought.

This is apparent to most people logically, but it’s biologically apparent when looking at the receptor cells between strands of our good friend DNA. DNA deals with many, many different kinds of messages and it does so infinitely- for as long as we’re alive. It makes new receptors that float to the walls of your DNA constantly.

There is no fixed number of receptors, no fixed arrangement on the cell wall, and no limit to what they are tuned into or can become. In fact, the ONLY thing consistent with a DNA receptor is that it’s totally unpredictable.

When looking for distribution in the imipramine receptors (the source for major depressiona), scientists find that the receptors are not just on the brain cells, but on the skin cells as well.  Does this mean that when you have major depression, your skin cells are also “Depressed”?

Yes.

Scientifically, it does.

What you do, what you think and what you express are all entirely important to your overall health and well-being.

Your thoughts affect you. They affect your skin, your hair, your nails, your aging process, your ability to ward off disease and it affects the people around you. The process of accumulation – of thoughts, of feelings, of processing our World – is endless and impossible to see or stop.  I may sit in traffic and think “Well, nothing is happening to me”, but in fact I am taking in, digesting, learning, and processing everything around me: with all of it’s different energies.

I don’t know about you, but I never really had the alleviated experience promised to me in a pill.

Maybe I would care less, or fall asleep and not have to deal, but when I came to or woke up, my problem still stared me in the face.  Once I recognized this, it was easy to get off of the drugs mentally, but physically I struggled for over 3 years from withdrawal symptoms.

Having used nature as medicine for 5 years, I can unequivocally say that nature has worked better than drugs every time.

Some techniques that I used to combat illness I’ve recently written about in my book: I eat a whole, organic diet, I take time for self love, I exercise, I connect, I meditate.

I have been meditating for almost five years now, and in that time people have commented to me that I look younger, that I sound different, that I give off a different energy, that I somehow seem to be able to “do it all.” All of these things are  true and they are a huge result of meditation and a huge result of changing my diet and taking herbs and vitamins to treat my illness.

Cells carry memories around with them that hang heavy in biological ritual, and it’s your duty to truly rid yourself of these cells and replace them with new, positive, happier cells through thoughts, diet and mind exercise.

I had a friend e-mail me recently.  She’s been struggling with immense pain that makes it hard even for her to open a jar, which puts considerable stress on her mind.  We’ve been going back and forth for months about how she can help herself and control her own wellness, and she finally sent me an e-mail a few days ago telling me that a combination of acupuncture, diet change, and coming off of pharmaceuticals had worked!  She has even had pain that has been plaguing her since childhood completely disappear!

It wasn’t until she believed and made a huge commitment to a life change that she truly saw and felt a difference.

I am not saying that there is no scientific or biological use for medications.  Of course I treat myself the best way that I know how with drugs when I truly need to!

Recently, I had my 2 wisdom teeth removed which I knew was going to require medication.

The first tooth I did without any drugs.

The second I did with intravenous drugs during surgery.

The difference? The side that suffered no memorable trauma during surgery has healed better, faster and had no numbness.

The side I got done with no drugs?! Took considerably longer to heal, had some numbness and was more painful overall.

Does this mean drugs are the answer?

No.

Well, yes.

In some cases, like surgery, severe cases of mental illness, excruciating pain, infection or a virus that needs to be treated, of course drugs are necessary.

Other than that

I truly think we have the power to heal ourselves.

Karl Lashley, an American neurophysiologist and psychologist, taught rats to run a maze.  He then systematically removed a small amount of cerebral tissue, little by little, until he took out most of the brain matter.

The rats, curiously, still remembered how to run a maze with more than 90 percent of their entire cerebral cortex gone.  This revolutionized the idea that every cell in the brain AND the body absorb the information happening around you, and that these cellular memories live on long after we are consciously acting.

Use your own mind power, will power and brain power, and you can change your life!

You can find more natural healing techniques (& proof on why natural healing works) in my book, Cured by Nature.

With Love,

Tara

How to Make Your Own Coconut Oil

How to Make Your Own Coconut Oil

The benefits of Coconut Oil are immense.  It’s great for cooking, for lotion, for toothpaste, for stretch marks, for eczema, scars, is great for deep conditioning your hair, wonderful for your health as a supplement, is antibacterial, is great for dry skin and soothes nausea.

In fact, there are  101 uses for coconut oil here.

Every bit of the coconut is used. Coconuts are called the “Tree of Life” and can produce drink, fiber, food, fuel, utensils, musical instruments, and much more.  This magical fruit/nut/seed oil has a high price on the grocery shelves!  I love food and I love DIY crafts, so I figured I’d make some myself!  It was terribly successful, really fun, and super easy!

What You’ll Need:

1 Coconut

1 Fork

1 Knife

Coffee Filters

1 or 2 Jars

The first step, of course, is open your coconut (I use a hatchet) and:

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Step 2: Heat your coconut meat slightly over low heat in order to make cutting easier.

Step 3: Cut your coconut meat into small pieces:

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Step 4: Throw it in a food processor or blender.  Blend on high.

Step 5: Put a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a wide-mouth jar.  

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Step 6: Pour or spoon a small amount of the coconut mixture onto the cloth.

Step 7: Squeeze the milk into the jar.

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Step 9: Refridgerate & leave it unattended for at least 24 hours.  The curd and the oil will separate.  If you wish to discard the curd, wait 48 hours and scoop it out.  However, it is just as wonderful and useful as the oil, which is on the bottom!

I am so, so very proud of my first batch, and got two jars out of one coconut!  Beats spending $6 for a jar at the store, since my coconut cost me something like $1.25! 🙂

Enjoy!

With love,

Tara

Herbal Remedies To Curb Pain and Promote Relaxation (That You Already Have In Your Kitchen!)

Herbal Remedies To Curb Pain and Promote Relaxation (That You Already Have In Your Kitchen!)

It was the middle of winter, and the excruciating pain in my muscles and spine were shooting up into my neck. It hurt so much I was screaming into my pillow. I could not stop crying.

I begged my boyfriend, “Cut my back out.”

He looked at me like I was crazy.

“Cut it out,” I said. “I’m over this.”

I was in the middle of a flare up of my rheumatoid arthritis — a disorder for which I’d been on a prescription cocktail of fentanyl patches, Flexeril, and Celebrex for the last 12 years.

The moment that cutting out my own back seemed like the only way to get to the root of my pain, I knew something really had to change. The pain, exhaustion, daily blackouts, excruciating aches, and emotional toil needed to stop.

I was done masking the pain. I wanted to cure it — naturally, intuitively, and straight at the source.

I knew that a whole medicine cabinet full of ancient herbs, tonics, rituals, and secrets existed in nature thousands of years before modern medicine came along. I also knew that while my thoughts had a huge hand in my depression, pain, and anxiety, so did what I was putting in my body.

I decided to come off my 12-a-day dosage of prescription medication cold turkey (not a method I’d ever recommend to anyone). I replaced it with a more natural approach to healing, one that used food not just as a fuel but as a powerful medicine.

I thought that if I could tap into the healing properties of food and use them to propel my health, everything would shift.

My research was simple, but it changed my life.

Here are four healing herbal remedies that I’ve found can curb pain and promote relaxation. Bonus: most of them are probably already in your kitchen.

I was done masking the pain. I wanted to cure it.

1. Chamomile

Chamomile has been globally promoted as a relaxation herb for thousands of years. It has anxiolytic properties, meaning that it naturally inhibits anxiety. Chamomile extract is also a powerful pain reliever that can soothe aches at the source by lubricating joints and inhibiting bone loss. It’s also been shown to help ease menstrual cramps.

Plus, you can find chamomile practically everywhere. Speaking as someone who’s sensitive to caffeine, I can attest that it’s the most common caffeine-free tea available today!

2. Ginger

Ginger was one of the first herbs I discovered in my healing journey, and luckily I already loved it! Ginger has quite the history of pain relief. It has been commonly used since the dawn of Ayurvedic history and was described as “the beverage of the holiest spirits” by the Ancient Koreans. Today, medical journals have found that a few tablespoons of ginger a day helps ease muscle pain caused by exercise.

Ginger works on a cellular level because it contains anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and antioxidant agents as well as analgesic (inflammation-fighting) properties. Ginger has been shown to reduce cytokines — inflammation-causing substances that are often linked to pain — by breaking down existing inflammation in the joints (naturally)!

I used ginger for the excruciating daily pain of my arthritis and scoliosis. I started by buying raw ginger and putting pieces into a tea catcher, boiling hot water, and drinking it as a tea. You can also buy premade ginger tea or supplemental ginger vitamins.

3. Turmeric

Used for more than 4,000 years, turmeric boosts more than just your circulation. A member of the ginger family, it’s an effective anti-inflammatory that can help with joint problems and arthritis. It’s been used to treat rheumatoid and osteoarthritis pain straight at the source.

It’s also one of the easiest herbs to incorporate into your daily routine. My joints felt more fluid after just a week of incorporating turmeric into my diet, and it’s now replaced many of the drugs I took for pain and inflammation.

4. Garlic

Egyptians worshipped it. Entire literary genres have been written about it. It was even used as currency in previous centuries! While these may not be your very first thoughts about garlic, this powerful plant contains naturally occurring antioxidants that are amazing for fighting discomfort, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. It’s great for healthy joints and pain management. Simply toss a few cloves of garlic into your tea catcher, boil water, and drink with some honey. You can also put garlic cloves in your bath as aromatherapy.

Listening to My 70 Year Old Self…

Listening to My 70 Year Old Self…

This last week has been one of the most surreal of my life.

On Monday I attended an after-party for the 58th Grammy Awards that also served as a cool fundraiser thrown by City Gala at The Playboy Mansion. It was hosted by P. Diddy with guest speakers Richard Branson and Buzz Aldrin (two of my personal heroes), who I ended up meeting and speaking to. So I’ve pretty much been to the moon, you guys.

Just a day later, I woke up to very exciting news: my book had hit #1 Bestseller on Amazon! I jumped around my house and cried and held it close to my heart before sharing it with my nearest and dearest. I kept the news close to me for a few blissful, beautiful hours before sharing it publicly. Still totally, totally surreal!

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Thursday, I went on San Diego Living on The CW to talk about my book, Cured by Nature. As the host introduced me as “ an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and bestselling author of Cured by Nature, Tara Mackey…” it finally hit me. I.am.really.doing this.

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(watch the full video here)

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my Dad’s passing.
The timeline of my life since I watched him take his last breath has been nothing short of miraculous.

Within 6 months I had my book deal in my hands, was cast in my first major music video (with many more featuring the likes of Selena Gomez and Snoop Dogg to follow) and was soon figuring out how I was going to balance a major film role with writing my book.

As I reflected on all of this – how much I’ve accomplished in just the last 2 years alone – a bittersweet feeling came over me.

Gosh, I wish Dad were here to see this.

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It was followed very quickly by another feeling. A feeling I’ve become quite familiar with since I started my whole journey and even as I put the last flower on my Dad’s casket 2 years ago.

I felt nothing but complete, utter and total gratitude.

I felt nothing but absolute certainty that my entire life has unfolded exactly the way it should. From the crazy shit I dealt with as a child, to my biological parents drug addictions, to my adoptive parents, to my own addictions and brushes with death, every class I sat it, every fight I’ve had, every lonely late night or beautiful, cheery morning. It all had an amazing, incredible, powerful purpose.

And it has brought me right here.

As painful as it was to watch Dad fight and suffer for 2 and a half years before cancer ultimately won the battle, it would have been even more painful if I had tried to run, cover up or fight my feelings, instead of throwing myself into my health, my art, my creative work and ultimately, into facing my fears.

To deal, I created a healthy mission that’s only grown, expanded and filled my heart over time.

I felt him and I felt myself growing. I saw myself at 40 and 60 and 70. I allowed myself to be proud of how I’ve handled things, from the perspective of my future self. I talk to 70 year old me all the time.

And she talks to me, too.

She’s always saying stuff like, “Gosh we took really good care of our skin in our 20’s, didn’t we Tara?”
and, “It was really sad we lost our Dad so young, but MAN did we make up for it!”

I know Dad is still here.
There have been many signs that Dad has held my hand the entire time, even after his physical body was gone.

I was filled with immense gratitude for each and every one of you.

Every one of who you tells me what these emails mean to you, that my journey or my book or my blog or my message or a speech I did has somehow touched and encouraged you. Thank you.

To anyone who’s bought, read my book and especially to those who’ve shared it, thank you. When my publishing company told me that we pre-sold more books than people I have legitimately ever met or could possibly know (or maybe ever will!) I think I felt the most gratitude that I have ever felt.

To people who sent me daily emails from around the world – from countries my book is not sold in – telling me how this message has touched them. Thank you.

That’s when I stepped back and realized we’re only two and a half weeks into this thing, and you’re nurturing it all the way.

Because I may have put in the work, but you, my loves, are making this happen.

So, thank you. Thank you for caring about yourself, thank you for listening to yourself and thank you, most of all, for being you.

It’s you who’s proven to me that we’re capable of anything we put our minds to.
It’s you who’s encouraged me.
It’s you who bring dreams to life.
I owe it all to you.

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend.
Thank you for being on this journey with me.
70 year old me says thank you, too.

With Love,
Tara

Zoe Organics The Intimate Collection Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Zoe Organics The Intimate Collection Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Zoe Organics has quickly risen to be one of my favorite companies in the green beauty world. Not only have they been one of the first clean and safe cosmetics companies to bust through the doors of Target (along with our good friends at SW Basics of Brooklyn and, most recently, Waxelene!), but each and every product I’ve tried from Zoe Organics is pure heaven. Their commitment to well-rounded, full-family health is what every company strives for, but Zoe Organics executes it’s mission perfectly.

I was thrilled when founder Heather asked me if I’d like to try the brand new Intimate Collection before it launched. I was happy to, since one big topic in health has not been discussed as often it should be on this blog: sex.

Safe sex is important in more ways than just birth control. What you use to be intimate with your partner can have consequences you wouldn’t think of – like irritation, redness or even uncomfortable female problems like UTI’s or yeast infections, caused by nasty chemicals used as preservatives. Everything from conventional lubrication (think KY Jelly) to condoms (think Trojan) have some of these gross chemicals, and our goal should be to avoid these kinds of choices and protect our sexual health as much as possible without freaking ourselves out.

Remember: we’re not just about romantic love in this tribe.

We’re about self-love.

Zoe Organics is one of the first green, baby-safe skincare companies to present us with a brand new, totally organic, healthy way to enjoy ourselves or our partners sexually. And you can win the entire collection today! Just hop on over to our instagram page, follow us and Zoe Organics and tag someone you love!

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What’s included?

Intimate Collection: Body Oil, No. 1

This Body Oil is so luxurious, you – like me- may decide to use it every day as a pampering moisturizer after  your bath or shower! I absolutely love the scent and am obsessed with using it after my baths. The aroma of sweet citrus, spicy clove, decadent rose, ylang ylang and woodsy vetiver envelops the senses. Let it carry you throughout the day or into the night because it’s so sexy without being a heavy oil!

Use as a massage oil with your partner and see where it takes you. Or add a few drops to a bath to create a luxurious and special evening. The possibilities are endless.

Not latex compatible.

Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil* olea europeaea (olive) oil*, a proprietary blend of organic essential oils.*

*certified organic ingredient

Intimate Collection: Aroma Oil, No. 1

The Aroma Oil might be my personal favorite part of this collection. I absolutely love rubbing this on my pulse points either to set the mood for romance or somethings just to unwind after a long day. It is a concentrated blend of luxurious organic essential oils: the sweetness of citrus, warm spice of clove, and decadence of rose and ylang ylang. An amazing way to indulge in romance!

Roll oil behind ears, or on neck, wrists or other pulse points (or any other kissable body parts). Breathe deeply, and let the moment take you.

Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, a proprietary blend of organic essential oils.*

*certified organic ingredient

Intimate Collection: Aroma Candle, No. 1

If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy just picking up and sniffing this candle as much as you enjoy lighting it to set the mood. Ages ago I used to have a sexy aromatherapy body oil. I was totally obsessed with the scent and carried it with me everywhere – even on trips! When I found out that it contained some questionable ingredients, I donated it, and had yet to find something that smells similar. Until now! This candle smells just like it! I was thrilled to find something with the same scent that is safe for me.

The Intimate Collection Aroma Candle is the perfect way to set the mood for an intimate evening. Designed with a lead-free cotton wick and organic beeswax to ensure a long, clean burn life, this candle will help create the perfect atmosphere – for a slow, romantic evening with your partner, or for a peaceful evening at home with a book (no judgements here)!

It has a burn time of approximately 40 hours.

To WIN this full collection, hop on over to our instagram and follow the instructions!

Use code GROWNUPTIME for 20% off the collection today!

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have a safe, sexy one!

 

xoxo,

Tara

The Herbs I Use To Manage Insomnia & Anxiety (After 12 Years On A Prescription Cocktail)

The Herbs I Use To Manage Insomnia & Anxiety (After 12 Years On A Prescription Cocktail)

Nearly 7 in 10 (70 percent) of Americans are on some kind of prescription drug, and many are on two or more. This is the highest number in pharmaceutical history. Most of the drugs prescribed are for depression, pain, or anxiety.

The statistics on addiction, overdose and suicide rates linked to pharmaceutical drugs are eye-opening. But this is my story.

My grandparents took custody of me when I was 7 years old, and I was sent to talk therapy. By the age of 13, I was used to it. I’d been going for half my life. Even so, I didn’t recognize that something was different the summer before high school started when I went to see a new doctor. I later learned this person was a child psychiatrist.

I sat across from my new doctor for five minutes, answering five or ten questions.

Did I see or hear things that weren’t there? No.

Was I often troubled or worried? Yes.

Did I experience mood swings? Sometimes.

Did I purposely avoid situations or activities in which I might experience a panicked feeling? Um… yeah? Who wants a panicked feeling?

Did I have trouble sleeping? Oh, yes. Forever. Since I can remember, actually.

Did I distrust other people, including my peers? Um, most of the time. Yes. Didn’t I mention that I had practically raised myself?

The doctor told me, sternly, that I was bipolar.

I was shocked. My grandparents, who knew the psychiatrist was evaluating me for some potential diagnosis, were just as stunned.

I mean, sure, at 13 I was pretty hormonal. I definitely had mood swings. I had been through some traumatic family situations. I was definitely boy (and girl) crazy, a little precocious and pretty broody. I had my goth and punk phases.

But I wasn’t a bad kid. And in my opinion, I wasn’t exhibiting any true bipolar behavior. I didn’t drink or do drugs. I never had a suicidal or harmful thought. I wasn’t rebelling.

My doctor told me that, luckily, he had a remedy for my condition. It was called Lithium, and I’d have to take it for the rest of my life.

He sent me home with an adult dosage.

By my 18th birthday, I was on three more drugs. At 21, I was on six. By the time I was 24, I was on a dozen medications (sometimes more) for everything from ADD to fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, pain, arthritis, and even traumatic life events. Fear required drugs. Work required drugs. The school required drugs. Relationships required drugs.

I was convinced that this would be my entire life.

This isn’t just my story. This is the story of millions of children, young adults, and grown men and women across this country who are diagnosed and overprescribed drugs for mental, physical, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual ailments.

Sadly, I was never offered alternative treatments by my doctor. I wasn’t given any other suggestions at all. When the pills didn’t work, I received different pills. No one ever asked me about my diet, fitness, friendships, support system, or physical therapy. This went on for years and years.

No one suggested any of the treatments that I now use to naturally cure everything from moodiness to low energy to insomnia. Maybe if I had known about grade aaaa weed strains earlier on or CBD oil, maybe I would have been able to manage the symptoms of insomnia a lot earlier on. Not only insomnia but other feelings too. It’s a shame because truthfully, I have been medication-free for almost five years and have never ever been happier.

So what brought me here?

Like a lot of people who are overprescribed, eventually I got really sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was having daily blackouts and floating through various states of depression and exhaustion. Meanwhile, the pills I took were only treating the symptoms (not the causes), and I was living a life that seemed okay on the outside but was very messy, tumultuous, and disappointing for me.

Something had to change.

Almost five years ago, I came off my meds cold turkey (not a method I recommend). I got every form of withdrawal symptom you could name: nausea, aches, pains, sweats, and vomiting – just to paint a pretty picture. And although I had a fridge full of intuitive nausea cures, unfortunately I didn’t start researching or incorporating food or herbs into my daily healing routine until a few weeks after my detox began. I gave myself a list of excuses. I couldn’t justify purchasing them. I had never done this before. It wasn’t recommended to me. I didn’t know where to start.

After recovering from detox, I delved into my own healing journey and developed an amazing set of remedies that I can use to heal any ailment I could name. Any or all of these herbs can be taken as needed.

Now herbs are my solution instead of prescriptions. They work wonderfully, naturally, organically, and intuitively – and the herbs are almost entirely side-effect free. I’ve managed to cut down on the amount I take too, as most herbs can tackle a number of different issues, for example, weed can help with insomnia, joint pain, and even appetite loss. Click here to access some if you’ve never tried it, it comes highly recommended from me!

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D was the herb that started it all for me, and it’s still my go-to. Vitamin D is sunshine in a bottle. It will naturally boost your mood, fight diabetes, and combat muscle and bone pain. It has scientifically been proven to lower blood pressure as well as fight against depression.

2. Passionflower

Passionflower is one of my favorite herbs for depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Passionflower has been shown to work as well as some benzodiazepine medications that are usually prescribed to patients for anxiety. Daytime drowsiness was less prevalent in patients who used passionflower over benzos (like Valium or Xanax). I take it as a tincture in my tea.

3. Lavender

Lavender is one of my favorite anti-anxiety warriors. Not only do I grow lavender plants for medicinal use in my tea, bath, and skin care, but I also use lavender oil for aromatherapy. Put 2 to 10 drops on your pillow at night for a restful sleep. Boil a pot of water, add organic lavender essential oil, and inhale deeply for an amazing relaxing at-home spa ritual.

4. Ashwagandha

Stressed? Anxious? Sluggish? Ashwagandha naturally lowers the stress hormone cortisol, providing anti-anxiety relief similar to that of lorazepam. It’s lovely in a tincture or tea form daily, and an added benefit is that ashwagandha is a proven cancer fighter!

5. Rhodiola

Rhodiola is great for increasing energy, relieving stress, and enhancing memory. Rhodiola seems to enhance the transportation of important serotonin precursors (like 5-HTP) in the brain. It’s a potent adaptogen, meaning that it normalizes the functions of your body, like those that deal with stress, illness, and fear. It also increases anti-tumor activity by increasing your body’s resistance to toxins, making it a powerful cancer fighter.

6. Melatonin

Melatonin is most potent in our bodies when we are around 3 months old, and it steadily decreases as we age, so every single day it becomes more and more important to incorporate melatonin into your life. Not only does it help with anti-aging, melatonin regulates your circadian rhythms, naturally promoting restful sleep.

7. Chamomile

Want to soothe aches and pains right at the source? Chamomile is amazing for sleep patterns, immunity, and menstrual cramp relief – but my favorite use is for arthritis and osteoporosis. Chamomile goes straight to the bones, stimulating osteo-based cells, lubricating joints, and reducing inflammation from the inside out.

My only regret with herbs today is that I didn’t start taking them sooner.

You can find some of my other favorite herbs, mindful practices and healing techniques in my book, Cured by Nature.

This post was originally published by Mind Body Green.

5 Tips to Stay Motivated to Workout

5 Tips to Stay Motivated to Workout

It’s February.

The month where you get to sit back and ask yourself honestly, “Am I still kickin’ that resolution’s butt, or what?”

Maybe some of you have fallen off the wagon. You’re not alone.

I cut my workout routine in half the last few weeks due to my busy schedule and man, do I have to work double time now! Totally paying for it. I realized that I needed the one thing that helps me get over anything: motivation. So I thought I’d share the things that kept me motivated the last week, in hopes that they can help you through your workout slump too!

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(Check out this week’s video for my favorite fitness routines!)

Find a routine

I know a lot of people who aspire to be fit, but they don’t know where to start! This is what inspired me to create my fitness plans, which are beginning level to moderate level exercises that are specifically designed to be done at home and by anyone, regardless of fitness level.

But I get it: that’s not for everyone. It might not be for you.

Maybe you WANT to go to the gym every day. Or you need a partner in crime every day. Or a trainer. Or you prefer to use heavy equipment.

Whatever gets you to do it, find a routine! Then stick to this routine – every single day. Even on hard days. Even on days where you wanna give up or are in pain. Even if you can’t imagine that it could possibly be working – do it. It’s your routine, and it’s there to work for you.

Invest

Speaking of the gym, a trainer, or finding a routine, investing in your fitness will definitely help you in feeling like you have a big reason to get up in the morning and do the work: you paid for it. Whether it’s purchasing some Jillian Michaels DVDs or finding a good yoga routine on youtube, investing even just your time into learning strategies for your fitness is a great motivator!

Take Time For Yourself

Feeling better is about you – and only you. Take time to access what your real fitness goals are. Write them down. Are you really trying to lose 10 lbs, or do you have a larger goal, like running a marathon? This time taken to access not only where you’re at, but where you’re going, is like having your best friend there rooting for you. Your best friend is just you this time 🙂

Imagine

If you’re bored with the same old routine, start to use your imagination. Check out active.com for sporty events near you, and imagine yourself finishing them! How good will that shower or warm bath feel after you’ve worked your butt off? Pretty dang good, I’d say! Imagine your new body, your new goals, your new life with the fitness level of your dreams! Some of the best motivation, I think.

Incentivize

Way #2 to use your imagination in this way is to incentivize yourself to finish. I always look forward to a warm bath or shower after my morning routine, or perhaps I allow myself a big ol’ dairy free ice cream cone as a reward. I constantly think about these things when working out gets hard or boring. If you follow me on snapchat (@organiclifeblog hi friend!) you’re able to peep how bored I get sometimes during at-home yoga workouts. I had to fast forward through half of mine the other day! Haha. How’s that for shavasana?

Only you know what will push you to complete your goals. Reward yourself after with something you love for a job well done!

Want more tips to stay motivated?

Get Cured by Nature or The 14 Day Fitness Plan today!

 With Love,

Tara

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Oh, hey Winter. You’re here. Missed you, girl.

(Not really.)

This is my fifth Winter in California, and it’s extremely mild compared to the ones I’ve spent in New York, Boston, Vermont and abroad.

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Admittedly, Winter is my absolutely least favorite season: it takes my tiny frame hours to warm up, the grey skies make me miserable, I feel house bound in the cold, I don’t think I’ve ever successfully dug my car out of a pile of snow by myself, my shoots always get cancelled, I can’t exercise… I could go on and on.

Here are the 5 very best ways to beat the winter, as told from my 25 years experience as an East Coaster…

Find a Project

Remember that dress you’ve been meaning to sew?  Or better yet – that novel you’ve been working on? That wall in the office needs a fresh coat, and damn, haven’t you been trying to fit some Yoga into your schedule?   I find that winter is the best time to sit down and make a list of projects I’ve been just putting off, and taking a day, or two, to either get them done with some loved ones, or make them yours!   I find that sectioning my projects off into weeks of the month really helps!  That way, you have 7 whole days to get it done, and you can begin to look forward to doing the next thing!  There’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment, and you get to spend time in one place without feeling like you are forced to be there.plent

 Create a Garden

Mother Nature never takes a day off, so why should you?  I find that Winter planting is SO rewarding: planting seeds is rewarding because they will begin to bloom most likely right as your days are getting longer!  And hardy winter plants are doing more than just surviving when the winter comes: they are thriving! Having a garden during the winter creates inspiration, adds texture and a touch of the unexpected in the landscape when our springtime favorites are taking a long winter’s nap.

 Read a Big Book

Now, I don’t mean a looooong book: I mean a BIG book!  A book with BIG, Life changing ideas!  There are a TON of inspirational book communities on the interwebz, but if you need a tipping point, Goodreads is a GREAT start!  However, tons of your favorite TV hosts, book clubs, and gurus have guests on, & book recommendations that can help you stay current, informed, and inspired about Life and possibilities! I even just wrote and published one myself. 🙂

Learn Something New

The sense of accomplishment in learning some new is unprecedented.  I think this is a great way of saying: Improve Something.  Change your diet, learn Chinese, learn how your cell phone works, take your old computer apart. As a musician, I take my Winter to learn a new instrument.  People often gain weight in the winter from indulging in junk foods, alcohol and cigarettes in order to “kill time”.  The idea that you can be consistently practicing or learning something different not only provides a great distraction from that extra trip to the fridge – you get to share it with others as well!

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Chase the Day

When the days get darker earlier, I get up earlier.  Adjust your schedule so that you fit a daily walk in during the BRIGHTEST parts of the day!  People who live within 30 degrees of the equator seldom suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), thanks to long hours of daylight and bright sunshine. Head further north or south, however, and symptoms become more prevalent.  My road trip from the East to the West coast last year literally felt like I was escaping Fall!  Booking a holiday now even for January or February will give you something to look forward to, but in the meantime: work with what you have!  It’s been entirely proven that the amount of sun you get directly affects your mood, so when the sun peeks through, take a lunch by the window or take a walk around the block!

Want more tips to get through a tough time?

Grab a copy of my book today!

 

My Book Unveiled: Cured by Nature

My Book Unveiled: Cured by Nature

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As I first sat down to write my book, a few thoughts were inescapable. How, exactly, did I end up here?

6 months after my Dad passed, with a brand spanking new book deal, the challenge to write openly and honestly about my journey and a 3 month deadline to hand in my first draft, I felt a little overwhelmed. To say the least.

Where to start?

A voice spoke up.

Start at the beginning…

That voice whispered at first. I tinkered around a bit. I asked myself again. And again. And again.

Same answer every time.

The voice spoke so loudly I couldn’t ignore it. I ended up debating it for awhile, but when I finally sat down to write…

I did start at the beginning. As far back as I could remember, and then some.

The voice continued.

It continued to direct me and to guide me.

It allowed me to let it all out when I needed to.

It reassured me sometimes that it was okay to cry.

Other times, it bluntly told me to suck it up for a minute so we could get these important things on paper.

The voice got me up early when I had written late into the night, and it dragged my butt outside to write on grey, rainy mornings. It allowed me to write while working a handful of jobs, being on set for a major motion picture, and handling a lot of emotional stuff. It told me to shut out the drama and encouraged the peace.  It assured me that I was doing the right thing, and that my words had a purpose in someone’s life. Many, many peoples lives. And it encouraged me.

It encouraged me to break my heart open.

It encouraged me to use this experience as therapy.

It encouraged me to be honest and authentic.

It encouraged me to buy fingerless gloves so that I could seamlessly write no matter what the weather, because I was determined to write my book on the beach. That beach. The beach that plays such an important role in the book.

That voice directed me, protected me and seamlessly affected everything. It guided every word.

Was the voice me?

My intuition? My spirit animal? My psyche? God? A unicorn?

Who knows?

All I know is it woke me up with bolts of inspiration on countless nights. It was the force that picked up the pen and scribbled ideas on my hand. That opened up my phone and frantically hit the record button before I lost the thought. It was the voice that told me I could when all the odds said I couldn’t.

It helped me believe that dreams do come true. That sharing truth is healing. That being open is rewarding. And that someone, someday, was going to be really glad that I did this. Because they’d believe all that truth too. And it would change them like it had changed me.

I know it helped me, steered me and sailed me peacefully along, as I constantly tried not to ask myself, “What the heck am I doing again?”

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It’s been a dream of mine to write a book since before I can remember. Ever since I realized that books were written by other people (probably around 4 years old), I’ve wanted to write one.

In fact, I wrote a pretty long 100something page “short story” in sixth grade. It was inspired by 2 poems we read by Shel Silverstein (still one of my favorite authors!) in class. It wasn’t for a project. It wasn’t for an assignment. It wasn’t for anyone but me. I still remember – word for word – how it started. I proof read it so many times.

When I was finished with it, I handed it to my literature teacher and hoped for the best.

She was blown away.

Completely astounded that her 11 year old student had been working on a book. For no reason!

She loved it.

Every time I saw her after that – for years – she asked me if I was still writing.

I think about her a lot these days.

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Cured by Nature has been #1 New Release in it’s category on Amazon. It will be available at all of your local bookstores including Barnes and Noble (another dream of mine!) today. It has nothing but honest, wonderful 5 star reviews written by every kind soul who’s taken the time to say their piece on the book. On multiple platforms. We’ve shipped out thousands to you. I’ve received countless messages from men and women in their offices, boss babes on the train, yogis in their studios, beauts getting their manis done, momma and daddies at home with their kids and people just like you, me and maybe even weirder. 🙂

Cured by Nature has affected you, protected you, connected you….  Already! And hopefully, this little book and I have helped guide you a little better on your journey.

And we launch today!


For years I let depression, anxiety and medication run the show. I honestly thought I was powerless over my life. No matter who you are or where you come from, we’ve all felt a little powerless over our emotions, illnesses or circumstances.

It has been a dream of mine to overcome my illnesses and share my story with the world in order to make it easier for someone else.

It feels incredible to be standing on the edge of that.

I am so excited to finally share this with you (my beautiful tribe) today. Please pinch me! It’s so surreal when you have been working on something for years and you finally get to reveal it to the World. Being a Virgo and sometimes-type A personality, it’s hard not to want things to always be perfect.

Today, they are.

Today I am going to take a few moments to be still and to acknowledge myself.

This is a massive goal I’ve always, always wanted to achieve.

My mission is to inspire and support. Bring happiness and intention. Love and triumph. That was my utmost intention I had when writing my book. My wish is for all people to realize how truly divine, beautiful and really magnificent they naturally are. Cured by Nature will help you do exactly that.

Make no mistake: it’s healing to be vulnerable. It’s satisfying to cleanse. It’s totally amazing to face yourself and truly figure out the inner workings of your life. It’s exciting to have a chance to begin again.

I am so proud to finally be able to bring you a sneak peek into my story today and share Cured by Nature with the world! I can’t thank you enough for being on this incredible journey with me.

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With Love,

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8 Easy Ways To Energize Naturally

8 Easy Ways To Energize Naturally

Many people treat their body’s a lot like they do their car: they don’t bother to understand the inner working, don’t fill the tank, don’t change the oil, drive it into the ground, take it to the mechanic and say, “Fix it.”  Hardly a way to treat the vessel of your soul. Everything from daily medication to fix our problem or help our pain, to hard water to lethargy to junk food gets put into our body’s until we are sick, tired, fatigued or mentally/physically exhausted.

Your body and mind are meant to be a whole. To ensure that they are, your whole existence is based on feedback loops. Body listens to mind; mind listens to body. Awareness is the key: every cell in your body knows when you are unhappy, anxious or stressed. A cell’s awareness is expressed in chemical reactions instead of words, but the message comes through loud and clear.

It’s not always easy to be open about what’s happening health wise, or to explore your own wellness journey. But don’t you want to be your own medication?  Don’t you want to be able to STOP that panic attack, or gain immense self control before you lash out, or look in the mirror and absolutely LOVE your body?  Don’t you want to stop relying on pills and doctor’s that only treat symptoms and avoid the causes?  Don’t you want to LIVE instead of TALK about living?  Or worse yet – complain about living?

I have a few tips for being caught in depression, lethargy or sickness that will help to Energize your Life!

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Exercise

This seems counter intuitive to people who tell me that they can’t move, can’t walk right now or can’t go on.  How can I possibly get up and go for a walk when my entire problem is that I cannot get up? you wonder.

I’m regularly amazed at the difference between what I think I can do, and what I can actually do. And every time I do something that I thought I could not, and pushed my mental and physical boundaries, I’ve created NEW cells in my brain. Long term exercise can boost brainpower, as does anything that affects physical health in a positive way. Recent research, though, shows that cognitive function is improved immediately after just ten minutes of aerobic exercise. If you need a brain recharge, you might want to walk up and down the stairs a few times.  Also, basic Yoga exercises can be done from right IN your bed – Yoga was invented specifically for everyone, including the bedridden! The stretching, slow controlled movements, and focus on breathing reduces tension (and stress). The benefits include better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and being mentally sharper.  I love to take Raelie out on long walks, I do my Total Transformation fitness plan every day, I ride my bike, take 1-3 hikes a day and I take short runs at night for stamina!

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Meditate

The deep breathing you do during meditation means more oxygen in the blood and therefore in the brain. Breath through your nose and you’ll notice that you use your diaphragm more, drawing air deeper into your lungs. Several deep breaths can also help to relax you, which is conducive to clearer thinking. A simple meditation you can do right now is just closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath. Tensing up your muscles and then relaxing them to start may help. When your mind wanders, just bring your attention back to your breath. Five or ten minutes of this will usually relax you, clear your mind, and leave you more ready for any mental task. I always find that it helps when I lose focus to concentrate on my breathing and inner thoughts again! Don’t let life wrap you up: wrap yourself around life! 

Get Less Sleep

I know this seems counter intuitive, but when I start to wake up later than I intend, the first thing that I do is go to bed earlier that night and set my alarm earlier for the next morning.  It immediately re-energizes my entire life to wake up with the sun instead of a few hours after.  It’s widely reported that we get too much sleep (8 hours) and that between 5 – 6.9 will suffice.  Sleeping more than 8 hours a night has been linked with depression and lethargy.  Not only that, almost all of the most successful and financially gainful people only function – fully energized – on around 5 hours of sleep a night.  Something to consider!

Avoid Caffeine & Energy Drinks

Want to know the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug? It’s probably not what you think…

It’s caffeine.

Energy drinks are like energy credit cards — you’re spending future energy to get short-term energy. The resulting energy deficit gets worse until you hit energy bankruptcy.  Luckily for me, I’ve been allergic to caffeine since before I can remember.  But in that time, I’ve seen it literally destroy people’s hard life work: negatively affect their moods and anxiety level, block their paths to wellness, destroy their bowel movements and intestinal tract, and make them pretty much all around irritable people with a slight addiction.  Listen: no matter how much we all love it, Caffeine is a drug.  It is the high without the happiness, and it gives us a crash that most people agree is not worth it.  Skip the Starbucks for some lavender tea or a home made smoothie – packed with essentials that you’ll need throughout the day that will get you energized naturally.  An afternoon snack of yogurt, berries, and nuts will provide the boost of energy to carry you through the day.  Especially berries that are blue, red, or purple. The color comes from anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, that boosts energy. Any kind of berry will contain tons!

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Eat Well 

& drink plenty of water!  Dehydration is a menacing cause of fatigue and it creeps up on you slowly. If you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all the time. Get a 32 oz (1 quart, 4 cups) water bottle. Your goal is to polish off 2 of those a day. Try it for a week and see if your general energy level increases.  As far as food, an optimal diet is key, and we’ve heard it a hundred times, but what does it really mean?  While it’s been widely debated, a mostly vegetarian diet is optimal if you can do it correctly.  Honestly, how much nutrition are we getting from cooked, dead flesh? Debatable. But some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

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Read Often

I read at least a half an hour every single day (often I spend entire mornings or afternoons reading), and it has changed my life!  I mean really reading – not reading an article online or picking up a magazine.  Books – but substantial books: fiction, non fiction, spiritual, autobiographical, business, life advice, adventures, poetry… you name it, I’ve read it. It’s important for me to read really substantial, life changing information daily. Reading is my drug: it forces your mind to shift gears, it improves your analytical thinking, helps your memory, increases your vocabulary, and I feel relaxed after my read.  It impassions and energizes me!  I am also a huge fan of writing, and reading is the perfect inspiration for everything in my life: my music, especially!  I find it absolutely fascinating that almost every problem I’ve ever had has already been solved by someone else in the pages of some book – I just need to find the book and read and understand the pages!

Have Fun

I have a lot of fun with my life, and I keep only people around me who like to have fun!  Laughter is great medicine for exhaustion and an important part of stress management. Make sure you laugh regularly to keep your mood up.  Great monks laugh to themselves all day long for no reason!  This may seem crazy, but I don’t think it’s any crazier than laying around depressed all day long!  Have FUN with all of your passions, with your school work and with your co-workers!  Poke some fun at your loved ones today and buy a silly hat!  It really does help long term to boost your emotional well being!

Listen to Your Body

There is a natural ebb and flow of energy.  Once you understand this natural rhythm of energy throughout the day, you can work on the important tasks during your peak hours and avoid naps and things that steal your day!  So feel what you feel, and accept itOpen yourself up to listening to others, trust what your body is telling you.  I don’t like to say that I am happy that negative things have to happen sometimes to learn, but I certainly am grateful to have gone through them and used them wisely in the future. Value your spirit and your emotional changes.  Enjoy every moment.  Be active.  Get creative!  Enjoy yourself.  Once your GOOD thoughts become your GOOD actions that become your GOOD habits you will feel (and I guarantee you LOOK) much better!

Final thoughts…

Not only am I telling you that eating well, thinking positively and reading a lot can cure you of depression and chronic disease, I believe firmly that it’s the only way to true happiness.  Divine blessing, bliss and ecstasy don’t belong in the souls of saints alone.  They course through the bodies of each of us, bringing a sense of light, alertness, energy and excitement. Your cells feel all these things and want you to feel them too. How? By learning, day by day, to pay more attention to what your body is saying.

Want more tips for a better life?
Grab my book today!

With Love,

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The Best of Green Beauty: Foundation

The Best of Green Beauty: Foundation

Green beauty has come a long way since I first started researching, e-mailing and googling my way to safer, better beauty products in 2012. Less than a handful of years later and we have some of the most effective and amazing beauty products there are to use! Just ask Vogue, Marie Claire, or Cosmopolitan, who’ve all recently written about some of the products recommended below.

A few years ago, I NEVER let foundation touch my face. When I modeled and didn’t really have a choice, I would always break out if a makeup artist used even a light to medium (nevermind heavy!) foundation on me. So if you have any kind of aversion to foundation, I feel you.

I think the most common beauty question I get asked is “Is there such a thing as getting natural, lasting coverage with natural makeup?” Oh, girl. Yes, yes there is!

Here are some of my absolute favorite foundations! Try ORGANICLIFE at checkout for a discount on some of these badass brands.

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Vapour Beauty Soft Focus Foundation is one foundation I’m not sure how I ever lived without! The fact that it’s organic is just icing on the cake! Full, flawless coverage. Easily blended. Beautiful finish. Perfect for all skin types, especially combination or oily.

Alima Pure powder foundation provides some of the best coverage I’ve ever used! Just a few dabs with my brush when I am done with my liquid foundation and I’m good to go! They have so many different beautiful shades to choose from too.

Kjaer Weis honestly had me a bit skeptical at first, and dried my skin out when I initially used it. But then I realized what it’s truly for – using over your liquid foundation to cover up blemishes! And it works SO well! You can always add a drop of jojoba oil or Waxelene if it’s too dry for your skin type.

Gressa Skin is no secret in the green beauty community, and it’s no surprise why! Gressa’s foundation is AMAZING – a gorgeous liquid serum that goes on like silk, with a natural powder finish. Gressa’s powerful serum base also helps skin heal as you go, so if you’re battling any breakouts or acne, this is going to become your best friend!

Hynt Beauty is a newcomer to my beauty cabinet, but it won’t be going anywhere any time soon! This powder foundation is absolutely divine, with rejuvenating ingredients like Patchoulli oil and bergamont, which heal the skin. The fairy godmother of my face – great for bringing the whole look together.

Want more green beauty recommendations? Check out my favorites in Cured by Nature!

With Love,

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The Best Bay Tacos Recipe

The Best Bay Tacos Recipe

I cook a lot.  Just about everything that goes into my tummy has some element taken from my garden or has been formed in some way with my own hands.  And while perhaps 3/4ths of my diet is raw (including eggs), I have approached life with a semi-flexitarian nutrition plan because a few months ago my hemoglobin levels were at an all-time low. Anemia is actually pretty common in people with scoliosis, but I saw my doctor about it immediately. She suggested something in addition to iron supplements and lots of spinach that I hadn’t yet thought of.

Meat!

The average American, she told me, eats 4 hamburgers a week!

I was eating about 4 hamburgers a year…

Oops.

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One of the things I really like to tackle is my Best Bay Tacos Recipe: mostly because it’s been a huge hit with everyone who’s tried it (and who doesn’t like to be complimented on their cooking? 🙂 )

They’re protein-rich, super filling and actually really good for you!   To help out my hemoglobin, I make these maybe once a week, and I’m more than happy to share my Best Bay Tacos Recipe with you! You can substitute with any meat or vegan meat alternative you wish.

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What You’ll Need:

Necessities: Taco Shells

Veggies: Organic or Homegrown Tomato, Organic Onion, Organic Avocado, Organic or Homegrown Lettuce, Organic Garlic, Organic Lemon

Dairy: 4 Cheese Blend or Mexican Cheese or Soy Cheese, Sour Cream

Meat: Organic Tilapia (or fish of your choice) & 1 lb small Organic Shrimp, peeled and deveined

Oil: Coconut Oil, Olive or Flaxseed Oil

Herbs: Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Thyme, Rosemary

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1.  I like to dice up my veggies first.  There have been many ways discussed on how to properly dissect an avocado, but a ripe avocado should easily come out on it’s own after being sliced in the middle.  🙂

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2. Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees.  Season Fish with Coconut Oil and leave in for 30 ins.

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3. Combine Olive Oil, Thyme, Rosemary, Shrimp in Saucepan.  Season with Fresh Lemon until blackened.

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4. Remove Cooked Fish from oven, top with Flaxseed oil ( I prefer this way because adding the Flaxseed before runs you the risk of losing the Flaxseed nutrients during the cooking process) Allow to cool. Dice fish.

5. Place into Taco Shells in the following order: Organic Fish, Onions, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Shrimp, then Avocado

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6. Top with Sour Cream and Soy Cheese.  Enjoy delightfully! 🙂

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with love,

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10 Ways to Have a Better Morning

10 Ways to Have a Better Morning

I used to wake up panicked every morning. This went on so long I could not remember what life felt like without that feeling creeping in the second I opened my eyes. It wasn’t that I was dreading school, work, or my day (this happened on weekends, birthdays, christmas – you name it!) It’s was just that I automatically felt really bad when I woke up. I felt like I was being constantly bombarded with terrible news, negative friends and a listless job, so it’s no wonder every morning looked like doom and gloom.

Now a days, most of my mornings deeply reflect my personal version of perfect. And I truly believe that doing things for myself right at the beginning of the day has had a huge impact on my mood, my health and my overall sense of well being. It’s improved my life, put me back on track and allowed me to accomplish huge tasks (like writing my book) in a really short period of time.

You can truly make your day better no matter what situation you have in life. So, in order to overcome that awful sinking feeling to make your day a rich, bright and beautiful one, apply a few or more of the following tips throughout the day.

10. Meditate

I know, I know. If I write one more thing about how important meditation is for you, you’re gonna strangle me. But but BUT… it IS.

Done earnestly, even 15 minutes of quiet meditation a day has been linked to lowered blood pressure, better stress management, kinder personality, and improved work performance. Among having the immense capability to decrease your anxiety, or give you life-changing revelations about life, meditations benefits cover helping arthritis, improved grades, and it literally protects your brain. Ever wondered why mindfulness meditation can make you feel more focused and zen? It’s because it helps the brain to have better control over processing pain and emotions, specifically through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Mindful meditation improves our focus on music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the Journal: Psychology of Music.

9. Eat Something New

Switching up your breakfast in the morning is so important for health and wellness. Your mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. Some days I’ll have a smoothie, some days some meat, cheese, and a croissant. Some days it’s turkey bacon and potatoes. I listen to my body instead of being generic about my breakfast, and it’s been amazing! However, it’s important to note that in a study from the Journal of American College of Nutrition, “… when people eat eggs at breakfast, they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day, compared to those who ate a primarily carbohydrate meal like a bagel.” Aim for variety, with plentiful vegetables, some fruit and lean sources of protein.

8. Leave Your Phone In Another Room (Preferably Off)

Forget TV, iPhones, iPads, radio and newspaper for a moment, and spend a few quiet moments when you wake up collecting your thoughts. Nobody is going to email you about a true emergency (a death in the family, etc.), so leave your email alone for the first few hours of each day. Use the morning to do what’s important rather than responding to what is “urgent.” If I have a day where my schedule is flexible, instead of being interrupted by other peoples thoughts, feelings, emotions and problems, I leave my phone charging (in a different room from my bedroom) until I’ve read for at least an hour after waking up. If I absolutely MUST write down an idea or get to working on some music, I will do so in a notebook and transfer it to my computer later on if I have to. Taking control of the thoughts that set the tone for my day has been amazing.

7. Play Music

Whether it’s sounds to heal you, quiet meditation music, or Van Halen, the right playlist may help you over the morning hump. I especially like to play relaxing music while I shower or take a bath. Ahhhh!

6. Wake With The Sun

It seemed all the adults I grew up with as a child were always awake before the sun was out. My Mom would have breakfast ready and laundry done by 6:30 every morning, so I always associated waking up early with “being an adult”.

Now, I’ll admit: I love sleep. Specifically, I love cuddling in bed for long hours with my warm, people-size dog. But I know I’ve already wasted a lot of hours of my life I can’t get back because I pushed the snooze button for hours, or took (prescribed) sleeping pills or pain killers that just stole hours of my life by knocking me out.

But, let me tell you: the World is a much quieter, easier to handle place at 5 or even 6 in the morning.

Stimulating yourself with light biochemically can reduce your cravings for caffeine in the morning, and even reduce your cravings for alcohol at night. Sunlight is ideal, but turn on the all the lamps (full spectrum bulbs are best) if you’re up before the sun. Unlike caffeine, there’s no impending energy crash waiting for you in a couple hours.

If you can, use natural light to wake yourself with open curtains (unless outside artificial light will disturb your sleep at night) or a progressive light “alarm.”

5. Drink Plenty of Water

Did you know that drinking water in the morning immediately upon waking up can have amazing therapeutic effects for a multitude of health conditions-ranging from pain to asthma to cancer? This is achieved through the production of new blood, or haematopaises. This fresh blood has an immense restorative effect in the body and can even cure existing ailments. Drinking a gallon jug or four 8 ounce glasses of water in the morning has also been linked to decreasing nausea (from which I suffer chronically ), and improves the symptoms of arthritis, anemia, migraines, headaches, constipation, obesity, asthma, diabetes, amongst other things. Yes. Water.

4. Spend Time Outdoors

Timmy sits focused on his computer screen. Kara’s watching her favorite television program. And Kathy is enthusiastically playing video games. What do these three scenarios have in common? They’re all taking place indoors – a situation becoming more and more typical in the lives of American children and teenagers. These habits can creep into our adulthood, and before you know it, it doesn’t even occur to us to “play” outside or focus on the importance of spending time outside with our friends and loved ones. My favorite morning activity is sitting on the porch in the sun reading. Not only does this normally get someone else to join me 😉 it gets me up and on my first walk or hike of the day much faster, it gets me in the sunlight doing something that I could easily do inside but not get the added benefits of Vitamin C, D, and A (and freckles!)

3. Drink Tea

The Health Benefits of Coffee vs Tea are in this handy graph from Visual.ly

I adore tea for everything from waking me up to curing my cough! It’s great to start a day with a warm cup of delicious herbal brew, which you can tailor to your own health needs at whim! I’ll always be a tea fan. Not too much has helped my health journey in the same way tea has. I can’t say enough about how amazing it is!

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2. Stretch

My dog does it, big cats do it, dinosaurs did it. No, not that. Jeez! … We’ll get to that later. 😉

According to NBC News, there are a number of benefits associated with stretching, such as improvements in posture. Many people, especially those who sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time, develop poor posture as a result of overstretched back muscles and tight chest muscles. Of course, there are orthopedic office chairs that you can purchase from this office furniture online store and other furniture stores that can help, and quite a few people I know that work in offices have noticed a difference by switching out their office chair. However, stretching is still crucial. While these aches and pains can develop at any time throughout the day, they often occur in the morning — after the body has been at rest for a long period. According to Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, morning stiffness and pain often occur because there is an increase of fluid in the joints and spinal discs overnight while the body lies horizontally. For best results, use gentle stretching to warm up the body and alleviate joint discomfort. Stretching in the morning helps support your energy throughout the entire day by preventing lethargy and feelings of tiredness.

1. Sex

Most people I know feel like they barely see their partners and families in the morning. It’s rushed, stressful, even agitated time. Don’t take the day – or them – for granted by accepting this as an inevitable consequence of Life.

I said it. Having sex in the morning is probably the best way to switch up and dull, boring, listless or even a daunting routine. It leaves you feeling loved, energetic, helps you face problems throughout your day and gives you that killer glow! The Queen’s University of Belfast in a research discovered that morning sex decreased the risk of heart attack or stroke by half and improved blood circulation, thus reducing blood pressure.

Just remember to brush before, if you can! 😉

Want more tips to living a more fulfilling life?

Check out my health journey here!

With Love,

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My Book Deal Story + The Cured by Nature Teaser

My Book Deal Story + The Cured by Nature Teaser

Wow, you guys. Just, wow.

I am blown away by all the love that Cured by Nature has gotten lately!

We are 2 weeks (exactly!!!!) away from book launch, and yesterday, I had to do a double take.

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Yesterday, Cured by Nature was #1 in Hot New Releases in it’s category!!!  Also, another amazing accomplishment for our book: the Kindle version (which just came out last week) was in the Top 15 books in it’s category as well!  This is updated hourly and based on sales, and it was extremely remarkable to me, considering we are still 2 weeks from book launch! WHAT?!?!? Go book, go!

It felt really, really amazing to see that #1 spot, and we’re trying hard to keep it there. Please buy a copy to snuggle up with, get one as a gift for a loved one who needs it and share alike! Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion, Kindle, Indie Bound, Powell’s Books, Booktopia, Nook and more stores have been wonderful enough to put Cured by Nature on their shelves and support the self-love, natural movement whole-heartedly.

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As I bathe in the last 2 weeks before my book officially hits shelves, I’ve been rewinding this whole journey.

As you’ll come to read in my book, like most things that happened in my life… my story isn’t typical.

First of all, I had no intention of writing a book. At least not yet.

My publishing company came to me.

It was August, 2014. Exactly 6 months after my Dad died I had decided to take a trip back to my hometown in NYC.

During my first trip back home, I woke up in my hotel room, opened my inbox and read… then astonished, I re-read… a new email.

It said, “Dear Tara,

(short introduction from Skyhorse Publishing)

Have you ever thought about writing a book?”

As an avid reader and book nerd who was raised on Oprah’s talk show, I’ve always found a lot of comfort in other people’s inspirational, overcoming-every-odd stories like my own.  Uplifting stories have literally gotten me through my entire life. They’ve always been my favorite genre. As someone who first read Awaken the Giant Within when I was 7, it has been my dream forever to be an author. But not just any author. The kind of author who changed people’s lives.

So of course I said, Yes! Yes! I’d love to write a book!! … Are you for real, though?

They were for real.

The other atypical part of the story?

They asked, Could you write the book in 3 months?

3 months.

SURE! I said, Oh yeah! I can totally write a book about my entire life and health journey in 3 months!! That’s… 13 weeks, right?

And then I gulped. Hard.

Had anyone ever written a non-fiction book in 3 months?

I didn’t dare google it.

I had never written a book before. I had a movie (Ted 2) lined up to work on, and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to be writing about or how long it would take me. I had absolutely no idea if I could really do it.

But I had to try.

I journeyed to the beach every single morning with my laptop, notebook and 3-4 books for inspiration, and I wrote. Every.single.day.

Keep in mind, my Dad had JUST died. I had seen it.

I was still grieving.

I was still going through detox.

I was still going through life.

I wrote through tears.

I wrote through big smiles. I wrote in front of grumpy mom’s and happy strangers.

I wrote on the very beach that had inspired me to move to California to begin with.

I wrote on nice days, hard days, grey days, beautiful days, and every day in between.

I sent countless phone calls to voice mail, declined dozens of social adventures and changed my bedtime based on my inspiration tank. Daily.

I wrote with all my heart, all my soul, and every inch of my being. Sunset to sundown. Late into the night. In the middle of the night when I’d wake up with a brain swimming with inspiration. I wrote on set for Ted 2 and I wrote at dinner. I audio-recorded on my phone when I was grocery shopping. I was constantly e-mailing myself, texting myself and leaving myself little notes. I read (and re-read) all the books I could get my hands on. All the books that had inspired my journey.

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It didn’t really occur to me until after I finished and turned in Cured by Nature (exactly 3 months after I signed my contract – January 1, 2015) that it was not only possible that I was writing my first book at 27 years old: something else was happening.

As my editor read it, I realized based on her feedback about the herbs she was taking, the mindful practices she was doing and the beauty products she was switching to that already…

this book was changing someone’s life.

I finally met up with that amazing and adorable editor in NYC just a few months ago, when I went back home to meet with some major magazines about Cured by Nature.

It was the first time I had been back to New York since getting that fateful e-mail and as I unpacked in the same hotel (practically the same room) as where I had gotten the e-mail about writing my book, I constantly pinched myself about why, exactly, I was there.

This time last year, Cured by Nature was just an idea. A title we threw around. After I told my editors a bit about my backstory, they encouraged me to incorporate my own journey into all the knowledge I had gained along the way. Now, most people who read the book come back to me asking about just that – the stories about my life that are shared within it. It’s amazing how far the original idea has come and what an amazing reality it’s turned into.

A year ago, Cured by Nature was a 380something page manuscript that I handed into my publishing company (who took the biggest chance on me – someone who has never been published before) and crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t come back with a bunch of disheartening notes that said, “Girl, you did what now?!”

Instead, my editor and I e-mailed every single day. She openly told me she laughed, cried and felt completely inspired reading my book. She treated me like her own personal project, even with tons of other books to work on. She started changing her beauty habits, starting incorporating herbs and meditation into her life, and our author-editor relationship started to turn into something really special. I could see, hear and feel how this book was changing not just her life – but I could also feel that it had the capacity to change the life of everyone who read it!

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I started to get really excited. Not just about having written a book.

I got excited about how that book was already affecting other people’s lives.

It has changed many lives already. As the reviews rolled in, I constantly was left in awe at the super nice, really astonishing things people had to say about how my words had affected them. As I shared some advanced copies, I began to get emails, texts, social media shout outs, DM’s and even many public posts lately about how much this book, this journey and this message has meant to you.

It’s brought me to tears.

It’s brought the light into my life in a way I never, ever thought was possible.

It’s made me feel more inspired to bring a healthy message. Made me more inspired to be self loving, more inspired to be compassionate and teach than ever before.

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Now I know this doesn’t just happen. I know that there’s practically no such thing as luck. You either work hard, you hustle or you’ll always be a little bit behind. I get that.

But it does seem like luck. Which, for the history of my life, is crazy.

And this remarkable journey I’ve shared with you today is just the beginning.

I’m thrilled to finally share the Cured by Nature teaser with you!

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STAY TUNED:

We’ll soon be launching a full trailer + an awesome video series to show you how to heal from the inside, out and live a better, happier life!

Don’t forget to grab your pre-order. It’s on sale during this time probably for the last time EVER, and it comes with awesome free gifts, like the first chapter!!

That’s right – pre-order and start reading today!

With love,

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4 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life

4 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life

For a long time, I truly underestimated the importance of life-affirming, self loving habits.  Since the realization of their importance, they are the very building blocks I’ve used to build my dream life and get to a place I’m very happy with.  

Some were relatively simple – like figuring out where to live (“where I would vacation!“) – and some things were harder – like Letting Go.  Here are 4 Self Love Habits that helped me change everything and put me on a path to wellness, recovery and renewed self-esteem!

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4. Long, Hot Baths

Taking a long, hot, luxurious bath every day and treating myself to some meditation and alone time has been key in developing and consistently keeping deep rooted self loving habits. A hot bath is one of life’s most simple pleasures, and with winter weather afoot it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself!  Throw in some jojoba oil, epsom salt, rose petals, lavender or some body oil and you’ve got an at-home spa day!

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3. Being Happy With My Body

Hey, I may not have Kardashian Kurves (does anyone, actually?), but I don’t think I’ve wasted a single second of my life hating my body, and I’m really proud of that.  I learned pretty early on in high school (and after crying about it only a handful of times) that I was way more comfortable fitting into little boy’s t-shirts than I was comfortable with watching myself try to impress other people.  I knew I had other things going for me than what I looked like (which really wasn’t much at the time). I knew if I could build on these things – my talents, singing, writing, reading, humor, and personality – that other good things would come, and that the people who stuck around would be the ones who were meant to be there.

I think this is probably one of the most important things that you can remember, and one of the things I will do my very best to instill in my daughter because even as Grown Women, we so often forget.

Does this mean I’ve never tried to impress anyone?  Uh, are you kidding?  I was still 15 once…

But it did instill an uncompromising standard in me about what exactly I was willing to compromise and under what circumstances. (I’ll put up with shit from my family, for instance, that I would never deal with from anyone else).  But self-hate has always been out of the question.

If you’re unhappy with your body, you might not want to look at it. You might obsessively under-eat, and then binge eat, and then feel worse about yourself. You might avoid exercise because you don’t want to even think about the problem. You might eat junk food to comfort your bad feelings, and then make the health problems worse. This can affect school, your job, your relationships, your family life.  I’ve seen girls torture themselves for years about something as simple and stupid as a stretch mark or some cellulite, which happen naturally.  I’ve seen girls torture ME because they’re unhappy with themselves.  What a waste of time!

That kind of anxiety is poisonous to carry around with you!  Letting go and being happy with exactly who you are is so important to finding the life you want.  Sure – I could probably use 10 squats or so more in my day, even when I’m already doing 50-100 reps as per my plan. But who couldn’t?

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(maybe her. ^ she may not need any more squats.)

Striving for improvement is a wonderful goal – but comparison, jealousy or harping on comments from others isn’t helping to motivate you!  Not giving a crap if other people are happy with my body has left me so much time to work on other super important things and gotten me way closer to my goals than wasting even a moment otherwise!


At least once a day tell yourself you’re beautiful in the mirror.  Even if it seems and feels silly.  Say it until you mean it! (Tweet this.)


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2. Being Honest 

It is impossible to achieve what you truly want if you are denying or deceiving yourself.  It took this realization for me to truly change my habits.  The minute you feel the relief of honesty with yourself, your life truly changes.  This was the first time I really felt that I had “found the feeling” of Oneness with myself.   For some people this never pops up as a problem, but many of us tell ourselves lies when we’re unhappy in our lives in order to make things easier to swallow.  We do it to stay in relationships, or get out of them.  To stay in a job, to stay home, or move out, or feel good about ourselves.

Whatever the case is, honesty is vital to making effective changes and identifying who you really are and what you really want. When you lie about who you are or what you really believe, you reinforce the idea that you need to pretend to be someone else or that you are not fundamentally “good enough”. Worse than that, you undermine virtually every other key principle for self improvement, because they are based on the premise that you have identified as your authentic self and your goals.  Without the truth of who you are and what you really want, you cannot have clarity in life and you cannot achieve your dreams because you have no true direction.

You need to practice honesty at every level of your life, not just with yourself. When you are dishonest, you are effectively saying that you are not worthy enough, that you do not deserve good things and that the only way to get things is to lie or cheat. This appears in the form of lying, cheating, boasting, stealing, exaggeration… at the most fundamental level these things are not honest and are a negative affirmation to the self.

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1. Forgiving Myself

The funny thing is, I know I have completely forgiven myself for things that a lot of other people have NOT forgiven me for.  This sucks. For them.

Once I experienced complete compassion for myself, it was easy to let go of what I had done in the past and use it for exactly what it was: a formidable life lesson for the future.

Once we experience compassion for ourselves, self forgiveness is the next step.  When we look deeply enough inside we see that keepings ourselves “unforgiven” is actually motivated by love. We hold ourselves as unforgivable in hopes that we never do that thing again because we don’t want to hurt anyone else or ourselves. This is usually unconscious, and it’s extremely self destructive if not worked through.

I invite you to look back on any experience in your past where you are carrying guilt or shame. Look at what your true intention was when you did what you did. You may have had a limited awareness of options and perhaps made choices that brought yourself and others undesirable results, but you did the best you could at the time. You need to see the truth of this for yourself – that all of your actions came from a basic human survival instinct, which in essence is loving yourself.


 

If you look deep enough you will discover that your truest intention was to take care of yourself in the best way you knew at the time. (tweet this.)


 

If you use this as the Life Lesson that all of our past is meant to be, you can use it as a source for good and loving behavior in the future.

ImageWant to find new self loving habits and read my whole self-love journey?

Pick up Cured by Nature today!

With Love,

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The Best Herbs for Getting Good Skin

The Best Herbs for Getting Good Skin

A few months ago, after my wisdom tooth surgery, my skin started freaking out. My simple oral procedure had turned into an extra nasal surgery, and during recovery I had to stop my normal herbal regiment because it was hard for me to swallow and keep down any more solid things than I had to. What followed was devastating news for my face.

I soon had hard, painful, cystic acne all along my jawline, as well as terrible bouts of psoriasis on my legs and arms. Ughhhh! screamed my ego, I thought we were over this.

I’m super familiar with troubled skin. I talked about it extensively in my book. As a teenager & young adult, the most I could really complain about was random acne popping up on my body. Nothing major. But once I came off all my medication (including birth control), hormones hit me hard.  I got bad, bad acne around my mouth, chin, cheeks, and areas that are impossible to hide. I got it all over my body. Dryness, too. My skin was itchy and oily and messy. I mean, dear baby Jesus – give me some teenage acne any day of the week over lumps on my face and my legs that bleed, itch and are painful.  I had been solving it with herbs, a really good diet, a good outlook, an active body, a ton of skin meditation and a positive mentality for years.

So my post-op face was not only disappointing, but straight up embarrassing for me.  Why aren’t all these good habits, I thought, reflected in my skin?

I knew that falling off the herbal bandwagon was to blame. In fact, it was the only thing I could blame. I kept up all my hikes, yoga and fitness plan, I had ramped up my meditations, had been eating a lot of organic veggies and red meat (at my doctor’s suggestion), was at a super healthy weight, had dove head first into my research… The ONLY change I had made in my lifestyle was putting the brakes on my herbs for a few days.  So, fed up with my face, I decided I was going to dedicate my entire supplement regime (as well as many mantra-driven meditation practices, as mentioned in depth here) to caring for my skin.

 The first supplement that I picked up again was:

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DIM

DIM is short for Dimethylglycine, which is an amino acid (the building blocks of proteins.)  It is plant based phytonutrient (plant nutrient), and normally found in small amounts in our bodies, for very small amounts of time.

DIM is mostly found in cruciferous vegetables.  These include cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, and turnip.  These plants have been cultivated for thousands of years and were initially used for their medicinal benefits.  The connection between DIM and hormones like estrogen has to do with similar characteristics between them at the molecular level.  DIM is not an estrogen or a hormone, but like estrogen it shares the common characteristic of being poorly soluble in water.

Dimethylglycine (DIM ) is used for everything from ADHD to acne, but it’s benefits reach far and wide.  For me, it put me on a monthly cycle that I would literally bet my life savings on, has reduced aging lines, makes my skin glow, stabilized my moods, heavily reduced my breakouts, boosted my immune system, and lowered my blood pressure.  I can only imagine what it does for others!

Since I started taking DIM regularly again, I haven’t suffered from any hormonal breakouts.  If I feel one coming on, I will up the dosage and the DIM usually helps my body to take care of it.  This has been an absolute miracle for me, and I cannot go a day without it or I WILL see “under the skin” bumps start to creep back in.  Luckily, it sells for only about $16.

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Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids

If it’s golden in colour, you don’t really have to convince me to put it on my skin or in my body.  Omegas, commonly known as the “good fats”, have recently been credited with increasing heart health as well as helping your skin look healthier. The foods highest in omega’s fatty acids include seafood (especially tuna and salmon) as well as walnuts, canola oil, and flax seed.  Not only do they protect your skin from free radical damage, they act as an anti-oxidant that helps your body process the release of enzyme’s that happen when we are exposed to the sun.  Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, omega’s can also help relieve skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.  Any time my joints hurt, I also pop some of these.  Break one open and add it to dry areas on your face for an extra boost!  I take a supplement that has Omegas 3, 6, and 9 (fish oil, borage, and flax) as well as the Borage pill (mentioned below) itself.

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Borage

Borage seed oil is used for everything from acne, to inflammation, arthritis, and has been used as a natural sedative, lifting the spirits and softening the nervous edge some people experience. Borage works well to ease the depression and mood swings often associated with menopause and menstrual cycles as well and is a nice alternative to traditional prescription medications.

It’s an intense blood purifier, and contains high levels of a fatty acid called GLA, which seems to have anti-inflammatory effects.  Taking borage internally or applying it directly to my skin has had amazing effects!

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Evening Primrose Oil

Speaking of GLA, this little miracle supplement has truly changed the game for me.  It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches, aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity in children, symptoms of menopause, multiple sclerosis, weight control, obesity, PMS and schizophrenia.

Evening Primrose Oil contains a high concentration the fatty acid GLA.  It is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties of the plant. In fact, Evening Primrose contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all. This makes Evening Primrose an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer. The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. The hormone balancing effect also contributes to healthy breast tissue.

Fish Collagen

Collagen: It’s the building block for all our body’s major systems and the second most common substance in the body, coming up right behind water, only in terms of volume. I take TruMarine Collagen with my smoothie every morning. It’s tasteless and helps like nothing else! Although abundant in our youth, the body’s natural Collagen production typically slows at a rate of 1.5% per year after the age of 25. As this collagen production slows, the collagen fibers in the body become brittle and begin to break down resulting in a weakening of the skin matrix (dermis). The skin matrix is responsible for the structural integrity and resilience of the skin and its natural degradation results in many of the visible signs of aging such as fine lines, loss of elasticity and eventually, deep wrinkles.

Typically derived from salmon and red snapper, fish collagen is up to 1.5 times more absorbent than other collagen’s because of its low molecular weight. Fish collagen is absorbed through the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream and then carried throughout the body, so it is the best source of collagen for your skin.

Want more natural, herbal cures for your health?

Pick up Cured by Nature today for my full list of go-to herbs for your health!

With Love,

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Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet!

Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet!

It’s that time of year again. Everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions, most of which we know will not last even until February. This year, start the year off right and make some goals that you can actually keep. Come up with some lifestyle changes that will motivate and inspire you. I have come up with a list of a few items that can help you on your path to self-improvement. After all, that is what the new year is all about. Out with the old, and in with the new.

1. Fitbit Flex in Teal $99.95
The Fitbit Flex is a great tool to help get your fitness goals started in the new year. It wirelessly tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, sleep patterns and active minutes. It is also pretty stylish! Buy one in your favorite color, or a neutral one to go with any outfit.

2. Circo™ Gold Piggy Mini Coin Bank $7.99
Did the holidays hit you hard in the wallet this year? If you are low on cash (or are bad at saving money) put a little amount in a cute piggy bank each week. Eventually, it will fill up and then you can deposit it into the bank. It’s a great alternative to having all of your money on you or on a debit card, which is easily spent. This Circo Gold Piggy Bank is perfect for men and women of all ages.

3. Sugar Paper Planner 2016 Weekly/Monthly 6×9 $12.99
The number on thing that I recommend to people who want to get their life more organized is to GET A PLANNER!! No matter the size or style, having a daily planner is a lifesaver. Although, it does help if you pick one out that you think is really cute. If you’re like me and love to use lists, get a highlighter in your favorite color and use it to cross off the things that you have accomplished that day. I promise you, this thing works wonders.

4. Jewel Timer Water Bottle $20
Did you know that you are supposed to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day?! I usually drink two or three glasses a day. How are we supposed to make ourselves drink more water, even if we aren’t thirsty? Well, folks, I have found a solution to this problem and it’s called the Jewel Timer Water Bottle. This water bottle has times written on the side, which tells you how much water you should drink by a certain time. Brilliant! Not to mention, they are pretty cute too.

5. La Vie Boheme White Mandala Yoga Mat $74.95
I think one of the biggest new year’s resolutions people make is to try and be less stressed all the time. For all you Yogi’s out there, you know how stress-relieving yoga can be. For those of you who have never set foot on a yoga mat, you should totally try it. Get yourself a cute yoga mat (and maybe a matching outfit) and get your butt to the next yoga class at your local gym.

6. LaBosh Coffee Body Scrub $24.00
It’s in winter. It’s cold, dry and our skin surely shows it. It’s important to occasionally exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells and dryness. LaBosh’s Coffee Body Scrub not only exfoliates, but it also moisturizes. Perfect for dry winter skin! As if it couldn’t get any better, this scrub is all-natural, vegan and paraben-free. Refresh your skin with this amazing body scrub.

7. Fit Tea 14 Day Tea Detox $25
We’ve all heard about detoxing and how it can help to clean out all the bad things in your body, and can even help you lose weight. FitTea is the latest and greatest detox tool on the market. It has been advertised by celebs like Kylie Jenner, Amber Rose and Ashley Benson. It supposedly is pretty tasty, too! You may not be able to get followers on instagram as high as these influencers do but you can certainly feel like them.


Say goodbye to 2015 and hello to an all new and improved YOU!

By Teagan Montgomery, Fashion and Beauty Journalist

 

How to “Be Your Own Personal Trainer” on CW San Diego!

How to “Be Your Own Personal Trainer” on CW San Diego!

I hope you’re all having an incredible new year so far!

I’m thrilled to say that mine’s been amazing (although totally crazy! Mercury IS in retrograde again!) I’m happy to announce that today the Total Transformation Fitness Plan is officially available!

Which is great, because on Monday I got to talk to the awesome hosts Renee and Laura on CW San Diego News about how to Be Your Own Personal Trainer in 2016 with my Total Transformation and 14 Day fitness plans!

I had such a fun time discussing healthy living, how to get the best abs, the sexiest butt, and even about my book, Cured by Nature!

Check it out! Click the photo for the full video:

TM San Diego Living 1-6-16

xoxo,

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Wanna dupe for your MAC lipsticks? Win $100 giftcard to Red Apple Lipsticks! Girl, we got you!

Wanna dupe for your MAC lipsticks? Win $100 giftcard to Red Apple Lipsticks! Girl, we got you!

The colors, Duke! The coloorrrsss!
Who remembers that trippy late 90’s commercial? (You just clicked on the actor who was in the commercial’s youtube! You’re welcome!) Anyway, I can’t help but think of it every time I try a Red Apple Lipstick.

Probably the most common question I get asked from girls switching over from conventional makeup to green makeup is that they are terrified of leaving their highly pigmented, long lasting colors behind – specifically, their MAC lipsticks.

 What brand should you turn to to replace the many highly saturated, gorgeous shades found in MAC + it’s sister’s? Find out + enter for your chance to win $100 store credit!

colorsduke

ATERHOURS kissyfit MABEL

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Lip liner colors!

seconddate SOPINKINCUTE starlette

MAC uses concerning ingredients, especially for something you’re going to put on your lips every day. They are one of the brands that tested positive for lead levels, included with well-respected national brands such as L’Oreal, Revlon, Dior, Avon, and Cover Girl. (Five of the ten most contaminated lipsticks were manufactured by L’Oreal USA, fyi.)

However, I didn’t want to give up my lipstick when I switched to green beauty. I just adore lipstick. It can be all you need if you do it right – and safely! Just a dab of lipstick in the morning and you don’t even need mascara or any other makeup. It’s such a quick, beautiful way to feel elegant and dress up your face!

So if you’re looking to duplicate them out – and dupe your friends, girlfriend, boyfriend and family while you’re at it – you’re a Red Apple Girl!

My love for Red Apple Lipstick is no secret, but I was surprised at how long it’s been since I last blogged about them (it was actually – looking back – just a few days before my Dad passed away, so upon further inspection I am proud of myself for blogging at all! I digress…) These gorgeous lipsticks from their Holiday Collection are a great place to start.  They’re not drying at all and have gorgeus pigmentation! Each one compliments my face in an entirely different way and looks stunning, as well as lasts all day long! I always get compliments when I wear them out.

My personal favorites are dark, deep After Hours (a 100% match to MAC’s Boyfriend Stealer), So Pinkin’ Cute and Second Date. I cannot get over how beautiful the colors are! I always take a second to really stop, look and appreciate all the hard work that goes into making something this gorgeous with totally clean ingredients, lots of love and tons of attention. Red Apple Lipstick has the best customer service of any company in this space that you will ever experience – trust me! They’re highly dedicated team is always there to answer any questions and treat everyone like family!

They’re always striving to make women feel beautiful. With gluten free, natural, paraben free choices like this, why would you ever go back to… what was it again? Oh right. Lead.

For me, I always tend towards a super matte or sparkly pink or a bold red.  I got lot of love on After Hours on instagram the other day. Why thank you! Makes me feel sexay, too!

We know there’s different strokes for different folks (or… different shades for different… spades? Maids? I’ll come back to that one 😉 )

That’s why today, we’re giving you the chance to win $100 in Red Apple Lipstick store credit!

asticks

Click here to enter! That’s it – super simple!

Stay well and stay beautiful, loves!

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Exciting News + The Full Scoop on Cured by Nature

Exciting News + The Full Scoop on Cured by Nature

Sooo much exciting stuff has gone down this month already, and we’re barely done with week one of the year!  Since announcing that Cured by Nature is available for pre-order, I have heard from so many of you who have not only purchased the book (YAY!), but written to my email and said the nicest, most heartfelt & touching things about my story, my transition and my blog in general.

Those of you who preordered Cured by Nature have been receiving the advanced chapter of the book and beginning to read it (ahhh!), and it’s been so touching to hear all of your feedback.

I’ve also been working on some beautiful deep relaxation and meditation tracks as well as some of my personal singer/songwriter music (all of which is also yours when you pre-order!) The Total Transformation fitness plan has come out for pre-order in partnership with Fitbit, Waxelene, Virago Fitness + I Am Vibes, which has really ramped up my personal fitness as well as gotten some of my besties – and you awesome people – on the Total Transformation tip! You also get this fitness plan free when you pre-order Cured by Nature!

The book is now available internationally (yaaaay!!!!) – at over a dozen different bookstores and retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Indie Bound, Nook, Indigo and more! So you can bring yours home no matter where on this beautiful earth you reside! My greatest wish this year is that this book gets into the hands of everyone who needs it!

Pre-Order Now for an advanced sneak peek of Chapter 1!

Releasing February 2, 2016

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indiebound-logoamazon-logobam-logopowells-logonook-logo

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • My life story combined with scientific, personal and spiritual knowledge to help you in battling your personal demons and coming out victorious
  • Why you want to be happy, but aren’t (and how to start)
  • Original stories, recipes and meditations – never before seen on the blog
  • How and why I quit my prescription medication cold turkey to search for true happiness
  • How I overcame grief, addiction and family trauma
  • My decision to move from NYC to California and details about my road trip
  • Daily meditations that you can do every day to transform your life
  • Nutrition information for everyone
  • Why and how I repaired my relationships, friendships and broken family dynamic
  • Green beauty resources, tips + DIY methods
  • Easily applicable tips to transform and revolutionize your life
  • Why you want to meditate, but don’t (and how to start)
  • & More!

Details:

Pre-order is now available, meaning today’s purchase will guarantee a book shipped to your doorstep the day it’s available: February 2, 2016!

Not only do you get all these gifts for just $16, the book is cheaper in this preorder period!!!  Since there is only a little under a month left until the book is officially released, it’s more important than ever now to pre-order!

For more pictures of what to expect, you can find all the sneak peeks I shared on Instagram under #curedbynature.

I would not be here – at ALL – without you. If you didn’t read my blog, support my story, value the messages of health, wellness, nutrition, authenticity, taking care of ourselves and finding HAPPINESS in our bodies and lives, then there is no way in the World I would have had the opportunity to get a publishing deal and write this book. Literally, without you this would not have happened. Big, beautiful, massive thanks to those of you who have been along for the ride with me from day 1, and to those of you who are just finding this blog now, to ALL of you who made your way to this little corner of the web: THANK YOU.

Thanks for helping make my dreams come true– and I will keep on making it my mission to bring you awesome content that you love and answer as many questions, as well as get to as many topics as I can for this blog for FREE (duh) so that when you do support me by buying my book, it’s an investment with tons of free content on top of it!

With the book cover & pre-sales finally out there into the world, I feel like I can really get to what I am MOST passionate about: sharing this story with all of you, in hopes that it helps you find truth, healing and happiness in your own life. Whether that be balance through quitting a job you don’t like in order to follow your heart and live fully, finding your own calm to stop being so anxious in a certain area of your life or just healing in general – everyone can benefit from this book in some way.  But don’t just take my word for it…

ADVANCED PRAISE FOR CURED BY NATURE:


Nicolle-Mackinnon-900x778“A unique combination of scientific facts and personal anecdotes… Tara challenges readers to change their lives with simple daily thought patterns and practices that result in a more vibrant, happy life. With her easy to use tools and mindful practices, holistic health is accessible and attainable!”

-Nicolle Mackinnon, writer and editor at No More Dirty Looks


41Asg0Ppc7L._UX250_“This is a must read for anyone concerned with gaining optimal health. Reading Cured By Nature is like sitting down with your best friend to chat about personal growth in all areas of life.”

-Cindy Bokma, Founder of Hello Dollface


 

kIiG1rHL“Compelling and action inspiring – people at every age can experience the deep knowledge and wisdom her rich story effortlessly delivers on her powerful, holistic journey to radiant health and happiness. Tara is one of this generation’s great Wellness leaders!”

-Josh Rosebrook, Founder of Josh Rosebrook Skin & Haircare

 


adina-grigore-selfmade

 

 

“Tara has quite l