Tropical Spa Treatments and Lokahi

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This week I am off to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.  It has been almost a few years since my last visit and I can’t wait!  I love Hawaii and tropical beauty treatments.  The Hawaiian concept of Lokahi which means the closer you are to nature, the closer you are to discovering yourself. Is actually a practice we all can do very simply at home going outside and finding harmony and balance.

Here a few tropical spa treatment inspired by this Hawaiian Islands  that you can DIY at home.  Enjoy and Aloha

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Papaya Body Polish

Papayas are excellent skin softeners because they contain “papain” a natural enzyme.  In fact the greener the papaya the higher the papain content.  I like to use ripe papayas as I can enjoy the fruit for breakfast with a bit of lime and then use the seeds in this skin cleansing exfoliating body treatment.

Ingredients:

1 /4 cup fresh papaya seeds

1 Tablespoon sea salt or raw sugar

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Mix together all ingredients in a blender or food processor until you have a coarse grainy mixture.  Spoon into a clean container.  To use:  Massage all over  your body with a clean loofa sponge or washcloth and rinse well with warm but not too hot water.

Yield: 2 ounces

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Coconut Lemongrass Body Polish

This is a good scrub for sensitive or aging skin as it is mild and hydrating.

ingredients:

1 /4 coarsely grated fresh coconut

2 Tablespoons raw sugar

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

3-4 drops essential oil of lemongrass

Mix together all ingredients and spoon into a clean container.  To use:  In the shower or bath massage into damp skin using a clean loofah or cotton washcloth.  Rinse well with warm water.

Yield: 3 ounces

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Volcanic Pumice Foot Massage

Pumice stones are super cooled bits of lava.  You can use pumice stones to remove dead and rough skin from your feet.  They work best when wet.  Soak your stone for a few minutes in warm, soapy water.  You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the water too.  Rub the stone gently over your skin.  You can also create pumice powder by taking a hammer and smashing your stone.  You can add this powder to your favorite rich cream and massage into your feet.  Pumice stones can be found at most pharmacies.

Aloha and Mahalo — If you have any favorite tropical ingredients or treatments I would love to hear about them!

Janice

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Natural Beauty with Coconuts

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This year I was lucky to visit the island of Kauai where “Tropical Ingredients” are easy to find and use.  One morning, my husband and I went for a walk along the beach and we found a coconut that had just fallen to the ground.  He peeled the outer husk off (which was not easy) and then we drained out the coconut water and cracked the nut open.  There is nothing like a fresh coconut to start your day!  Coconut is one of my favorite beauty ingredients the oil which is made from the nut flesh can be enjoyed head to toe and the coconut water which I love to drink is also a toning tonic for your complexion.

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The nice thing is today you don’t have to travel to Hawaii to enjoy coconuts they can be found in almost all grocery stores and coconut oil has become a cooking oil staple.  Many people use coconut oil today in place of butter in cooking and baking.  When I first started using this exotic oil I used to have to purchase it in asian markets today it is easy to find even Costco stocks huge jars!

Coconut oil is a solid white oil at room temperature than melts easily and is wonderful massaged into your skin after bathing to lock in moisture.  Some women even use coconut oil in their hair as a simple conditioner.  Also many body butters, lip balms and sugar and salt scrubs are coconut oil based.

Here are a few of my favorite coconut inspired recipes for you to try at home:

Coconut Almond Lip Gloss

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon almond oil

1 /2 teaspoon grated beeswax

Mix together the oils and wax and melt gently in the microwave or stove top.  Pour into a clean container and let cool completely.  To use: rub into your lips and enjoy

Yield: 1/2 ounce

Coconut Body Oil 

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

1 /2 Tablespoon grated cocoa butter

2 Tablespoons castor oil

Mix together all ingredients and heat gently to melt, stir well.  Pour into a clean container and let cool completely.  To use: massage a small amount into warm skin after bathing.

Yield: 2 ounces

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Coconut Water Skin Tonic 

1 /4 cup fresh coconut water

2 Tablespoons witch hazel

Mix all coconut water and witch hazel and pour into a clean container.  To use: Apply to your skin using a clean cotton ball.

If you have a favorite way of using coconut, coconut water or coconut oil let me know and I will share!

ALOHA

Janice

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Upcycle your Citrus Peels

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Whenever I use an orange or lemon in the kitchen I never discard the peel – I save it to use in my favorite DIY Beauty recipes.  Citrus peels make highly effective facial and body scrubs.  All of the essential oils are contained in the peel.  Dried peels can also be purchased in the spice section of your grocery store but it is so much easier (and more cost effective) to just make your own!

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Here is how easy it is:

Remove the colored part of the peel; this can be done with a zester or sharp paring knife.  Dry the peels thoroughly; this can be done four different ways:

  1.  Lay the peels on a rack to air dry near a sunny window.
  2. Place the peels in a microwave safe ceramic bowl and microwave on low until dry (about 5 to 6 minutes) allow to cool completely.
  3. Arrange the peels on a cookie sheet and place in a low temperature oven (150 degree) for several hours or overnight (remember to turn the oven off when you are sleeping).
  4. Use an electric food dehydrator and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying citrus peels.

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Once dry you can coarsely grind in a food processor or clean coffee grinder until they’re the consistency of coffee bounds or fine cornmeal.  Place the group peels in a clean bowl.  Leave out to air-dry further if they are not completely dry after grinding.

Use the ground peels mixed in equal amounts with water, plain yogurt or your favorite cleansing product.  Other cleansing grains such as oatmeal and cornmeal can also be added to the orange peel for extra cleansing power.

You can also add the dried peels to sugar and salt scrubs and bath mixtures.  Here is a simple DIY recipe for Citrus Honey Bath Salts:

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Enjoy!

Janice

Heal, Balance, Restore – So Hum Meditation

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Om Shanti Shanti Shanti — Shanti means peace and that is how I feel right now after learning more about the power of Meditation.

Meditation is a state of “restful awareness”  through meditation we create our own reality and calm both our bodies and our minds.  A regular practice of prayer or meditation will improve your health.  By reducing stress you can improve your circulation, digestion, mood and improve your physical health.

I just took a short class at The Chopra Center at Lacosta in California and this is what I learned:

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So Hum Meditation

  • Sit comfortably where you will mot be disturbed, and close your eyes.
  • Take a slow deep breath through your nose while thinking the word, “So”
  • Exhaled slowly through your nose while thinking the, “Hum”
  • Continue breathing easily, silently repeating “So …. Hum” with each inflow and outflow of your breath.
  • Whenever your attention drifts to thoughts in your mind, sounds in your environment or sensations in your body, gently return to your breath, silently repeating, “So…Hum.”
  • Continue this process for twenty minutes with an attitude of effortlessness and simplicity.
  • When the time is up, sit with your eyes closed for a couple of minutes before resuming your daily activity.

I learned it takes a bit of practice and I actually think it is easier to do on your own than in a group environment.   I think for most of us quieting our minds and is hard but with practice and time you will find yourself letting go of thoughts and stress and finding peace.

Here are a few benefits that were listed in my class:

  •  Lowered blood pressure and hypertension
  • relief from stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Reduced production of “stress hormones” including cortisol and andrenaline
  • Increased gray matter in the hippocampus, a brain area important for memory and learning.
  • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
  • Improved immune function
  • More restful sleep

I would take any one of these benefits!

Namaste

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xoxo Janice

Pumpkin Body Mask

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This has always been the time of year for fresh pumpkins and pumpkin products but it seems like we have all gone even more pumpkin crazy lately — pumpkin is not only for pies and jack-o-laterns anymore — Pumpkin is the new black !

I appreciate pumpkin as a beneficial beauty ingredient.  Pumpkin contains fruit acid enzymes that work like alpha hydroxy acid.  The real plus is that these enzymes remove dead skin cells with less irritation than commercial products.  The lovely orange pulp also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it naturally soothing.  this treatment is well suited for all skin types, especially sensitive one.

Fresh Pumpkin Body Mask 

Ingredients: 

3-4 cups fresh pumpkin flesh with seeds

In a food processor, process the  pumpkin flesh for 1-2 minutes until you have a smooth, grainy puree.  To use: Standing in the tub or on an old bath towel, massage the pumpkin mixture into your skin starting at your feet and working your way up.  this mask is mild enough to be used on your face.  Let the mask rest on your skin for 5 minutes.  Then rinse your skin in a warm bath or shower and pat dry.  You may keep any leftover mask in the refrigerator or frozen for future use.

Yield: 16 ounces

Happy October and I will share a few more of my favorite “pumpkin” DIY beauty recipes this month.  I would also love to hear any recipes that you use, leave me a comment and I will share.

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Happy Day,

Janice