The Best Vitamins And Minerals For Skin Health

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Taking care of your skin is important for overall health. After all, your skin is your body’s largest organ. One of the keys to having vibrant skin is getting the right amount of important vitamins and minerals.

However, healthy skin isn’t just about getting vitamins and minerals in your body.

It’s about getting the RIGHT amounts of the right vitamins and minerals in your body.

This is the key to achieving healthy, vibrant skin.

Below, we’ll detail the best vitamins and minerals for healthy skin. We’ll also talk about the best ways to get these needed nutrients, whether through diet or supplementation.

The Best Vitamins For Skin Health

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There are a host of skin-related problems that can be caused by not getting the optimal amounts of vitamins. This can lead to skin problems such as

  • dry, flaky skin

  • wrinkles

  • sensitivity to sunlight

  • roughly textured skin

To combat this, there are three important vitamins that will help to increase your skin health.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin), benefits your dermal health by protecting your skin cells from sun damage (source). This makes Vitamin B3 a great option if you struggle with sunlight sensitivity.

You should aim to get 14-16mg of vitamin B3 per day. However, niacin deficiencies tend to be rare, especially if you eat a balanced diet.

Vitamin B3 can be found in the following foods

  • Mushrooms

  • Brown Rice

  • Peas

  • Green Vegetables

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which simply means that your body stores it in your fat.

Vitamin D is an important nutrient for skin health. In particular, it helps to keep your skin from becoming dry and flaky. In addition to this, research done in 2014 showed that Vitamin D helped to increase overall skin health(source).

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is recommended that you get 600 IU’s of vitamin D per day. This equates to getting about 10 minutes of the sun per day as well as eating a balanced diet.

Vitamin D is prevalent in sources, including:

An important side note is that vitamin D should be taken with vitamin K2 - these two vitamins work in tandem to build out a healthy, strong body. You can learn more here on why you should take vitamin K2.

VITAMIN C

Last, but not least, we have Vitamin C. It is found in high concentrations in both the dermis (inner) and epidermis (outer) layers of your skin. According to the University of Oregon State, vitamin C’s role in collagen synthesis makes it an important molecule for overall skin health.

In fact, vitamin C is often the “secret ingredient” used in anti-aging skincare creams and lotions. And to good effect, because it works to reduce wrinkling, improves dry skin, and helps your body to heal faster from cuts and scrapes.

The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDA) of vitamin C is 90mg per day for men and 80mg per day for women.

Food rich in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus Fruits (such as Oranges, Grapefruits, and Lemons)

  • Leafy Greens (Spinach and Kale)

  • Bell Peppers

  • Cauliflower

 

Best Minerals For Skin Health

While vitamin intake is important for healthy skin, don’t forget about the benefits of minerals! Minerals are known as micronutrients, in that your body only needs a small amount of them. That being said, minerals are needed by your body to function normally.

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Mineral deficiency can lead to the following skin related problems:

  • dark circles under your eyes

  • sun damage

  • dry patches

  • pale coloring of the skin

Minerals play an essential role in normal skin development and function. Though there are many different types of minerals, the two best minerals for skin health are zinc and iron.

Zinc

According to the Journal of Nutrition, 6% of the zinc in your body is found in your skin. A significant amount! Specifically, the majority of zinc is found in the epidermis (the outer layer) of your skin.

Zinc impacts your skin health by protecting it from sun damage. It does this by reflecting and absorbing ultraviolet radiation. This reduces the amount of radiation that penetrates your skin.

You can think of zinc as bouncing negative sunlight particles off your skin and keeping your skin healthy.

The current RDA per day for zinc is 11mg per day for males and 8mg per day for females.

Foods rich in zinc include:

  • Oats

  • Kidney beans

  • Flax Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds

  • Nuts

Iron

Iron is a major mineral that is crucial for the proper functioning of your body. It works in your body in many different ways.

One of the best-known ways that iron benefits your body is by being one of the main building blocks of hemoglobin, a protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout your body. Low iron levels can impair the transfer of oxygen to important tissues and organs within the body

In addition to that, iron deficiency can lead to pale skin and dark circles under your eyes.

It is recommended that females get 18mg of iron per day. For adult males, it is recommended that they get 8mg per day.

The following foods are good sources of iron:

  • Legumes

  • Spinach

  • Lentils

  • Almonds

In Closing

Getting enough vitamins and minerals is crucial for skin health. If you want flawless skin, make sure that you get optimal amounts. While getting needed nutrients through a balanced diet is great, sometimes you need a little extra boost.

Consider taking a high quality daily multi-vitamin.

Multi-vitamins help to guarantee that you are getting enough of the vital minerals and vitamins that your body needs.

If you are looking to go even further in an effort to optimize your skin health, consider getting better sleep. Sleep is crucial for your body, as it is the time when your body is physically restored. Make sure to get optimal sleep.

If you have troubles getting good sleep, consider sleep supplements as a way to help you sleep better.


Daniel Powers, is the co-founder of Utzy Naturals. He is a health fanatic, writer, and entrepreneur. Obsessed with optimizing every aspect of life, he is passionate about teaching others how to live a healthier, happier life.

Posted on May 18, 2018 .

INTERVIEW: Attract the Life You Want with @TJRicks_TSP

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What if I told you that you could get all the things you've ever wanted, achieve all the goals you set and live the life want, the way you want just by changing the way you think? You'd probably call me crazy and go about your day. This notion of manifesting the life you want through sheer will is in fact possible and our latest feature this week, Dr. Tanei Ricks has all the tools you need to get started. If you are ready to make the impossible possible and turn your life on, read below!

Tell us about yourself and little about your background.
My Name is Tanei Ricks, I’m from Augusta, GA, I’m currently an adjunct professor of chemistry, a digital marketing intern, and a fledgling independent copywriter. I have a BS in Chemistry with a Biochemistry focus and a PhD in organic chemistry.

When were you introduced to Science? 
I was introduced to science as a child. I grew an affinity for chemistry in high school because of my teacher Ms. Terry Kennedy. I never struggled in my chemistry classes and I actually enjoyed the work. I watched people struggle so hard and I’m over here like Tee Grizzley, doing it with no effort so that always stuck with me. I knew that for me to be so good at something that everyone else struggle with that I had something special so I stuck with it all throughout my college years.

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In your opinion, how has the intersection of Health & Science affected the people?
I think it’s a double edged sword. I think in some ways it’s allowed us to make great strides in nutrition and understanding our very complex biochemistry. On the other hand, peer review has supplanted common sense. Many of the things that people struggle within the health realm are due to the fact that we ignore our base instincts and what our body is telling us. The body is infinitely wise, and will put itself in the optimal living state when we get out of the way and let it do its thing.

You've recently said that you would have chosen different pursuits than science. What are those pursuits, and why not science?
So I am currently in digital marketing. I chose this because I’ve been able to grow my Twitter following at an insane rate. I would love to be in the lab right now, but the fact of the matter is that I haven’t proven myself via peer reviewed publications so I’m exploring other avenues to bless the world with my gifts. I’m confident that the papers are coming because I did too much work in graduate school that is important. However, for now, it’s not meant to be. So instead of being hard-headed, I’m going with what’s working for me and that is digital marketing. I landed myself a great opportunity at a marketing firm here in Atlanta so I’m very pleased with the unique opportunity that I’ve been able to create for myself. I left my zone of comfort and transcended into my zone of genius and I’m happy with where my career is heading.

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For those who don't know, what are the Laws of Attraction and why are they important?
The Law of Attraction is one of the 12 Universal Laws. It essential means “that which is likened to itself.” This means that things that are of like vibration will come together. Conversely, things that are of different vibration cancel out or cease interaction. This can be summed up as different science terms like “like dissolves like” in chemistry and constructive and destructive interference in physics. You get what you think about, man becomes what he thinks about, so on and so forth.

What are the 12 Universal Laws?
The 12 universal laws are laws that govern all of the life in this realm. They are as follows:

  • Divine Oneness
  • Vibration
  • Action
  • Correspondence
  • Cause and Effect
  • Compensation
  • Attraction
  • Perpetual Transmutation of Energy
  • Relativity
  • Polarity
  • Rhythm
  • Gender

If you can master the principles associated with each one of these laws, it's very likely that you will have a great journey in this physical body.

What does it mean to "Live deliberately"?
Living deliberately means living with a plan. Living with a purpose. Living like your life means something. I find that when I plan my days, they go much smoother and according to plan. I’m such a busy person that its easy for me to miss taking inventory on the things that I do on a daily basis and it’s easy for me to look up and feel like I’ve done nothing. When I actually cross my actions off, I feel a much greater sense of accomplishment, and thus my mood is enhanced. Living deliberately is about taking full accountability and responsibility for your days to craft the life that you want.

You teach that Social Media is a powerful tool for Manifesting the life you want. What are some examples of this?
Social media takes the guesswork out of visualizing things. Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to a lesser degree give you the ability to really see people doing the dope things that you want to do. You only need to see someone else do something to know that it is possible. This is the story of Roger Bannister. Everyone said a 4 minute mile isn’t possible. He did it, and now its been done a bunch of times. This is the same thing with your manifestations. Visualization is the key to manifestation. Sometimes it can be difficult for us to visualize the things that we want. Watching others doing it on social media and feeling good about it puts us in a mind frame where we can do these things ourselves.

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What motivated you to begin this journey of teaching?
It’s my soul purpose. I’ve known for a long time that I was supposed to be a teacher. I just struggled with how I wanted to do it. I don’t like academia and the way it’s set up currently. These colleges teach people how to be debt slaves, not financially and intelligently free people. I don’t want to be a part of that. I found a way to do things on my own terms and still teach and it feels great to have made my own lane. I can confidently say that no one is doing what I’m doing at this time in the digital space.

What has been the response to your teachings, and how does it feel?
The response has been incredible. I’ve had people buy my courses, email me shoutouts, dm questions for life advice, the whole 9. People really look up to me and it feels pretty amazing. It’s also pretty humbling too to know that people trust me with their lives. That’s something that I don’t take lightly. Even though I’ve never and probably will never meet some of these people in real life, they are my digital family and I’m forever appreciative to have the opportunity to interact with them and share my wisdom.

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Tell us about the Tanei the Science Guy brand and what is its mission?
The mission of my website is to get people more competent in science (specifically biology and chemistry), Law of Attraction principles, and good health and nutrition. I’m currently working to reach my ideal body weight and it’s been a good experience. I just want to bring people along for the ride with me and provide inspiration in real time along the way. It’s been great and I will continue doing it as long as it serves a purpose to someone.  

I currently have 1 Course on mastering Law of Attraction, a recently released webinar on synthetic estrogen contamination in the environment, ebooks about juice fasting, Law of attraction using music and much more.

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What is the ultimate goal for your career and works?  
Ultimate goal for myself is to build a life that I don’t have to escape from. I’m currently doing a ton of affiliate marketing to help companies get known via my twitter page and blog, I’m learning digital marketing and SEO so that I can get into the digital marketplace with a couple of stores, and I’m still working on getting my research from grad school published. I have steep financial goals for myself that will be met within the next 2 years continuing at this trajectory. At the end of all of this, I’m confident that I will produce something truly unique that will make the world a better place and enhance my life beyond my wildest dreams. I want to be remembered as someone who gave courageously to the world and had fun doing it always, in all ways.


We want to thank Tanei for allowing us this life changing experience! If you want to learn more about the Law of Attraction, living healthier, and manifesting the life you truly want, subscribe to Tanei The Science Guy Newsletter. Be sure to get your own copies of all his digital content, some featured below!

Posted on May 8, 2018 .

5 Common Toxins Found in Your Everyday Products

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It is a harsh reality to grasp, but some of the world’s favorite brands use toxic, life threatening chemicals that somehow have been approved for general consumption. As conscious consumers, it is your right to know what these chemicals are and where to look for them. Written below are 5 common toxins found in your everyday products. 

#5. Phthalates

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Phthalates are plasticizers that allow for plastic products to be more flexible and durable. When your skin comes in constant contact with these plastics the phthalates begin to absorb into your pores. Hair & Body brands use phthalates to make fragrances last longer and for your skin to absorb substances quicker. When you use products that contain phthalates you open yourself to potential health complications. 

The animal studies suggest there is a potential for the phthalates to impact birth outcomes, including gestational age and birthweight, fertility (lower sperm production), and anatomical abnormalities related to the male genitalia.
— DR. MAIDA GALVEZ, PEDIATRICIAN. 

Phthalates are commonly found in the following:

  • Soaps
  • Lotions
  • Deodorant
  • Detergents
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Toys
  • Electronics
  • Food Packaging
  • Baby Food
  • Vinyl Wood Flooring
  • Nail Polish
  • Hair Sprays
The most widely used phthalates are di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diisodecyl phthalate, and diisononyl phthalate.
— SafeCosmetics.Org

#4. Parabens

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Parabens are preservatives that are used in products that contain water, to prevent bacteria and mold growth. Parabens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that affect the hormonal systems of all organisms that come in contact with it because it has the ability to mimic estrogen.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
— National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Parabens are commonly found in the following:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Soaps
  • Facial Cleansers & Scrubs
  • Lotions
  • Foods & Beverages
  • Cosmetics

The most commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben, according to the FDA.

#3. BPA

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BPA or Bisphenol A is a pretty well know chemical that is used in the packaging of hundreds of everyday plastic and canned products, from lotion bottles to meat & produce. What people may not know is that BPA is a synthetic estrogen that is also an endocrine-disrupting and have the same health implications as Paraben & Phthalate consumption like infertility, low sperm count, and early puberty. BPA has also been linked to asthma, obesity, and breast cancer. More companies are becoming aware

If you use plastic dinnerware and reheat food in it, you are definitely poisoning yourself. The microwaves heat your food up, which heats the plastic up and makes it degrade. When it degrades, additives like BPA leach into your food.
— Dr. Tanei Ricks, PhD Organic Chemistry

BPA is commonly found in the following:

  • Canned Foods
  • Plastic Dinnerware & Utensils
  • CD's & DVD's
  • Electronics
  • Receipt Paper
  • Soda Cans

#2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS is a very common chemical used in skin and body care products, mainly to create foam when lathered. SLS is similar to Phthalates in where it is used to penetrate the skin quicker which can serve to be a major issue when coupled with other toxic chemicals that are in the product. While there has been debates about the safety of SLS and ALS (Ammonium Laurel Sulfate), we encourage our readers to still be aware of the potential dangers that come with consuming these chemicals.

According to Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews Sodium Lauryl Sulfate consumption has been linked to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes. Possible mutations and cancer.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is commonly found in the following:

  • Shampoos
  • Toothpastes
  • Mouthwashes
  •  Body Wash
  • Soaps
  • Detergents

 

#1. Formaldehyde

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Formaldehyde is another commonly know preserving chemical mainly for their use in embalming the bodies of the deceased so they can be viewed at funerals. What many people may not know is that Formaldehyde was considered a Cancer causing agent by the National Cancer Institute. An even lesser known fact that not only is Formaldehyde used in products like Shampoos, Lotions, and Deodorant, it is also used in the construction of many homes in the forms of Glue, Plywood, and Insulation. Consumption of Formaldehyde can result in low testosterone, impotency, irritation, and even death.

Formaldehyde is commonly found in the following:

  • Soap Bars
  • Lotions
  • Hair & Nail Products
  • Toothpaste
  • Cosmetics
  • Shampoos
  • Tobacco
Formaldehyde is an irritant compound, which can elicit adverse respiratory responses in children and adults. After acute inhalation, irritation of eyes, nose and throat are observed in different patients. Exposure to high concentration (>120 mg mm-3) of FA vapour caused hypersalivation, acute dyspnea, vomiting, vascular spasm, convulsion and finally death.
— National Institutes of Health

The most commonly used forms Formaldehyde in everyday products are

  • Formalin
  • Methanal
  • Oxymethyline
  • Urea
  • 1,3-Dioxetane
  • Quaternium 15
  • Methylaldehyde
  • Methylene Oxide
  • Formic Aldehyde
  • Oxomethane Formalin
  • Phenol Formaldehyde

It is extremely important to do your part in avoiding these toxins and the products that contain them. The first course of action should be to eliminate as many of these products from your home as soon as possible. Follow up by being a more conscious consumer when you peruse your local markets. Always read the ingredients before purchasing your goods to make sure they are safe to consume.

Start replacing your everyday products with brands that pride themselves on offering goods that are healthy for you. Lola & Doe is doing their part in being a company you can trust to provide nothing but the very best Organic & All Natural ingredients that nurture and heal the skin. 

To learn more about Organic & All Natural alternatives, check out our Organic Network  

Posted on April 28, 2018 .

5 Reasons You Should Own Lola & Doe

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Greetings & Welcome!

More than likely you were casually scrolling your Twitter or Instagram feed and saw someone you follow absolutely RAVE about our Goods and how YOU should own some of your own as well. You're interested, but still aren't completely sold as to why you should grab some soaps or a scrub. No worries! We understand the perils of trying out a new company and what can go wrong, so we created a simple 5 reasons why you should have our Goods in your home! 

5: Our Goods are Handmade

 All of our products are crafted by hand. We believe in the quality of hand crafted goods, as this allows us to be able to have a tighter grasp on the standards of everything we produce. While we appreciate the use of efficient machinery, we make sure that we still maintain a literal "Hands-On" approach to all of our Goods.  There is no substitute for soaps made by hand. When you're washing and scrubbing with Lola & Doe, you can rest assured that you're using the very best of the best in natural products on your skin and body.

4: We are a Family Business

We deeply value the concept of  Family & Business, and the relationship between the two. Lola & Doe was created by a Husband & Wife to counteract all the toxic chemicals that are abundant in Generic Brand soap companies that harm babies, and providing a viable solution to families across the nation. We believe more families should start businesses and work daily to be an example of the success that can come from the endeavor. When you shop with Lola & Doe, you are shopping with a family who understands the critical importance of Organic & Holistic Hygiene.

3: We Share the Wealth

Here at Lola & Doe, we believe in Group Economics and reciprocating value to all those who patronage and participate our company. Whether it be monthly sales & giveaways, In-Store Credit, extra goodies in your orders, or our Affiliate Marketing Program, we do our best to make sure we continuously give back to our Patrons. Customer Appreciation is extremely important to us as a company and we provide these services to allow everyone to prosper when they decide to shop with us. We encourage everyone to take advantage of all these opportunities and experience a high quality business relationship.     

2: Our Monthly Subscription Boxes

 We understand that our Patrons are busy and may not have the time to worry about if they replenished their Lola & Doe supply. Coupled with missing Goods after they've sold out, we decided to provide a time and money saving solution for everyone. We created our Monthly Subscription Boxes to facilitate a worry free experience with Lola & Doe. Our Monthly Subscribers get 4 to 6 of our All Natural & Organic Soaps, Scrubs, Oils, and other Goods delivered to their doorstep EVERY month, Our Subscription Boxes are tailor made for Women, Men, and Babies, with FREE SHIPPING! Only $34.95/Month. Sign up today! 

1: Your Life Depends On It

 Here’s the truth: Your skin is your largest organ, made up of TRILLIONS of pores that are built to absorb everything that it comes in contact with. In fact, the products that you lather, rub, and scrub into your skin have the same or even greater health implications than the foods you consume.

A very popular brand associated with the health of babies specifically, was found guilty of their powder causing CANCER for one of their patrons. This lawsuit created a ripple effect of past customers filing as well. THIS IS NOT A DRILL! The products that you use on your skin can and will make you ill if you do not make the necessary changes in your Bathroom Routines.

Here at Lola & Doe we ONLY use Organic, All Natural, NON GMO, Paraben & Phthalate FREE, Vegan Goods that only help and not harm. When you shop with Lola & Doe you don’t EVER have to worry about our goods harming you or your family. We have reviews of dozens of people that sing our praises!  Let Lola & Doe change your life! Shop with us today!! 

 

 

Posted on April 23, 2018 .

Interview: Get Mad & Get Better with @ProjectRook

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DOE

There comes a time in all our lives where we as adults must take full and complete responsibility for the behaviors we exhibit on a daily basis. The lifestyles and habits we create dictate the quality of life we are going to have. Unfortunately, too many people are living severely unhealthy lives and we have the staggering statistics to prove it. Behaviors such as overeating, lack of exercise, negative thinking, negative relationships, stress, etc. are major factors as to why so many people suffer from hundreds of illnesses daily, physical and mental.

In this day and age where leading a potentially fatal life is increasingly easy, people like Dee Rook are extremely important to the world. Dee Rook is a Holistic Health Specialist who takes a No Nonsense approach to the world of Health & Wellness. She tells it like it is and does not waste her time worrying if you liked the message. When you've been doing things objectively incorrectly for so long, the correction will not always be a sweet pill to swallow. However, when one takes heed to the fruit of the lesson, the results are life-changing. Literally.

If you're looking for that kick in the butt to start your journey of Health & Wellness and breaking misconceptions of health in general, read below. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Rook is just a country girl born and raised in a small town in North Carolina. Life got real for me when I left my hometown and ventured off to college. There I studied and eventually taught information and computer technology. Years and tens of thousands of dollars *eye roll* later, life had a funny way of introducing me to the health world. It was during my attempts to de aal with a sickness, that I discovered my power and ability to heal myself. Through much self-study, self-experience and divine wisdom, I realized the School of Hard Knocks was preparing me for the opportunity to represent an alternative perspective of Health & Wellness. I am, however, aware that for many of us that may translate to bullsh*t, so I’m currently playing along in the matrix and I’m working to complete two health certifications: Certified Detox Specialist and Certified Natural Health Professional.

 

How have traditions and cultural customs in America affected the health of the population?
Like it or not, we gotta give it up to the biggest pimp in the world, America. American culture reeks of all things quick and easy, quantity over quality, and the bigger the better. Everything opposite of nature. Our habits are ingrained and honestly, our greatest tradition is passing down recycled thinking and doing. No questions asked. While we take great satisfaction in touting ourselves as the holy grail of the world, the reality is exactly what we see in society. A population sick in mind and body - overweight, depressed, and marshmallow soft. Sadly this is exactly what we’ve all played a role in manifesting so can we really be mad about it?

 

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What are some common misconceptions people have about health?
Unfortunately, most people who think they’re healthy, are not. I have overweight family members who, despite popping pills every day, truly believe they’re healthy because the doctor said their “numbers” are fine. Nothing in their mind says, "hmm, maybe my organs drowning in excess fat isn’t a good thing" or, "Hmm, if my body was truly healthy I wouldn’t need to take pills every day. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the fitness nuts who are obsessively ingesting an insane amount of animal protein, protein shakes, and trash supplements every day to achieve what appears to be healthy. I know because I was one of these people, well up until my body started to fall apart. I think the most common misconception is that what mainstream medicine and doctors tell us is the absolute truth. No, milk doesn’t help you grow strong bones, hell, if it did why do we see populations that drink the most milk have higher rates of osteoporosis? The same goes for protein. If "the more protein, the better" is the answer shouldn’t we see groups who follow this motto have better health than those who follow a vegan or plant-based lifestyle? The fact is we don’t.

 

Why did you start Project Rook and what is its aim?
Project – a carefully planned piece of work designed to achieve a particular goal.

Rook. – yours truly.

Project Rook is really a byproduct of my own self-work. I’d be lying if I said this was always my goal or passion because it wasn’t. I was just an ignorant fool walking around being a victim and waiting on Jesus to deliver me when I decided to yield to the whispers that said, “Yes there is more to life and yes you can access it BUT only if and when you’re ready to die for it”. Die of self that is. And that’s when my pursuit of better began. Essentially this all started as a way to hold myself accountable to the life I said I desired. From there it’s kind of blossomed into a platform to share what I’ve learned about the real trinity - mind, body, and spirit - that should be at the core of any discussion about health and wellness.

To be clear, Project Rook’s aim is to disrupt. To offend. To shake our bullsh*t at its root. If you’re just looking to eat more salads and take cute pictures of you doing yoga poses, this isn’t for you. We’ve played “let’s pretend we’re well” for far too long. My assignment is specifically for those looking to be reminded that they are gods, creators of their reality, and true magicians that have the power to change their lives. You can eat well, think well, and BE well this lifetime. The precursor to that, however, is to be challenged, to step outside of what’s familiar, and to go deep into the places mentally and spiritually that we avoid. Translation, I’m going to piss you off with the truth until you realize that I never had the power to do so until you gave it to me. Then, you'll boss up, take back your power, and begin to translate that mindset into every other aspect of your life. Mission accomplished.

 

How important is it for people to end toxic unhealthy relationships while pursuing good health?
I believe humans underestimate the toll that stress takes on the body. It literally affects every system in your body especially your endocrine and nervous system, which regulate and control body functions. Every time you think health, you need to think - mind, body, and spirit. Neglect any one of these elements and you’ve broken the chain of true health.  We have to be honest and admit that most of the unhealthy relationships that we find ourselves in are due to our own choosing. Whether a lover or family (especially family) or friends, you have a say in who you decide to stay connected to. Important questions to ask yourself are, what do your daily interactions with these people look like, what do your conversations entail, what do your outings consist of? Are you connected to those who speak life, health, healing, happiness, peace, boldness, success, and wealth OR those who are angry, fearful, complainers, excuse makers, sick, and broke?

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On the flip side, we also have to accept the fact that we play a role in our encounters, which means we are in toxic relationships because we are toxic. Should you end toxic relationships? Yes, as you’re navigating your journey you should seek to create an environment full of people and things that feed you and not add low vibrational energies in your space, however, the contrast in life begets expansion. So the real self-work required is to explore why you're attracted to such toxicity. What lessons are you failing to learn that keep you from changing and attracting what it is you say you want. If you're pursuing good health, why are you around everything opposite of that? Often times solitude is something we should gift ourselves, at least until you can reset and get to know who you are again.


As a No Nonsense Healer, is there any validity to some of the commonly used excuses for bad health? (i.e. “it runs in my family”)
The “it runs in my family” line has to be one of the top statements that grind my gears. The statement itself is problematic because we’ve basically made it a crutch to sit on our ass and relinquish any responsibility for our actions. You know what “runs” in my family right now? Obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes but guess what else does? Stress, trash diets, and lack of exercise. Yet these are God people, you know the same people who will preach scripture to you such as, life and death is in the power of the tongue or as a man thinketh so is he, yet will boldly take claim to illness based solely on what they’ve been told by another human, i.e. a doctor.

Words have power and we don’t realize we’re casting spells on ourselves by saying such nonsense. When you tell yourself for years that something runs in your family, you create an underlying fear that cues your subconscious to manifest just that in the physical. For the record, yes there is some validity to the fact that toxic parents breed toxic children so you can, in fact, be born with genetic weaknesses. Meaning, if you were born with a weaker kidney or liver you may have an increased likelihood of dealing with issues pertaining to weaknesses in these organs. HOWEVER, you can override that by healing yourself and assisting your body in regenerating these same organs. This is where the part of knowing and believing in your own power comes in. Even scientists who don’t subscribe to the spiritual component to healing have proven that you can reprogram your DNA through not only your diet and lifestyle but through your words!

 

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There has been an increase of Holistic doctors being killed or “mysteriously dying”. Coupled with the misinformation being spread online, what is your response to this? Do you feel like Holistic Health is being targeted?
It is interesting, to say the least. While there is a fine line between facts and emotional spin, I know too much and have studied the ways of this country and the government enough to know that alternative medicine and holistic doctors have always posed a threat and been targeted by the establishment who have and will terminate folks, if deemed necessary. This is fact, not opinion. There is a lot of suspicion behind these deaths and some seem to have more compelling evidence than others but if I’m honest, I stopped following the stories a while back because I have to be sure I operate from a place of power and not fear. In my quest to share information, I don’t want to feed the fire of hopelessness and defeat.

There’s a slippery slope that the health-conscious among us are going down where every day is becoming another opportunity to remind people that no matter what you do, the big bad system is going to win. They’ll kill you if you speak the truth, they’re poisoning our food, our water, and our minds, etc But you have to be careful of what you’re programming yourself to believe. Yes, you want to live in truth and yes, you desire to become knowledgeable and aware of the physical and hip to the games that are being played in the Matrix but the ultimate goal is to operate from a place of wisdom, using your magic (mind) to rise above it all.

 

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Are you optimistic about the future landscape of health in America? If no, why not?Collectively? No. Americans are asleep at the wheel and to supposedly be the “greatest”, the numbers say otherwise. Just look around. We are getting fatter, weaker and older at a progressively alarming rate. Our babies, as the offspring of toxic parents, are coming into the world already dealing with illness and health conditions. We are seeing middle and high school children dealing with conditions we use to associate with old age. Collectively we’re weak in mind and body, and as a result, we are chronic pill poppers, who need other people to tell us how to eat, live, love and wipe our ass. People joke about a zombie apocalypse not realizing we’re already living it.

 

What are some harsh truths people will have to reckon with to become healthier?
Your health is your responsibility. Plain and simple. We can sit around and talk about all of the unethical, immoral and evil actions of the government, and trust me I do, but after that, the question is, now what? We have to stop walking around talking about we’re a child of God and the chosen people while we remain sick and broken in mind and body. Either you got the juice or you don’t. Either you’re going to give a damn about how you treat your body or you’re not. Either you love yourself enough to sacrifice what you must in order to become healthier or you don’t. The harsh truth is you’re going to have to get off your ass and learn. The harsh truth is that your prayers are not going to help you get healthier, because if they were they would have already. The harsh truth is faith without works is dead. The harsh truth is your God and/or your ancestors ain’t worth a damn if they can’t help you live this life well. Tell ‘em Rook said so.

 

What does the future of Project Rook look like?
We’re breaking curses and taking names. Project Rook will continue to focus on those who will and those who can. The ultimate goal being to build a community hub that helps others help themselves. We're eating well, thinking well, and living well. We're creating and leaving a new legacy of ballers - mental ballers, physical ballers and spiritual ballers. I am putting together several resources I believe will challenge people to take control of their life and health by simply getting back to their divine self. Everyone connected to Project Rook will know that you don’t need a degree to understand how to take care of yourself and your family. We're getting healthy and well, for real this time.

 

What does it truly take for someone to act on becoming healthy?
Simply start with one thing, today. Not tomorrow, not the first of next month or the first of the year. Today. Mind over matter. Make a decision that you’re going to dedicate your life to yourself, and that you mean enough to you to commit to one thing a day that will move you closer to improving your health. Whether that’s drinking water throughout the day, having a smoothie for breakfast, meditating first thing in the morning or working out for 10 minutes a day. Whatever you choose, bus-a-move, today!

We want to thank Dee for being apart of our Interview Series! It was an honor to have her on the platform to share these truths with us. If you want more of Project Rook, subscribe to her Newsletter & Podcast. Follow her on Twitter

How did you like the interview? Let us know in the comments below!

 
 

Posted on April 11, 2018 .

Interview: Eat Well & Be Well with @JazmineJanay

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DOE

  The power of Social Media has given us the ability to connect with millions of people worldwide. Throughout our respective journey's we cross paths with people who vibrate on a similar frequency and are able to learn from them. Jazmine Shaw, a Holistic Health Coach out of Colorado is one of those people. I had the privilege of finding Jazmine on Twitter and immediately after following her, I found myself learning about the health benefits of different fruits & vegetables daily.

Did you know: Radishes are good for detoxing the kidneys and blood, decreasing inflammation, and is packed with Vitamin C? I didn't until Jazmine told me.

This is just one small example of the information she's provided to the public and why we at Lola & Doe believe the world needed to know more about Ms. Shaw. I got a chance to interview her and get a deeper understanding of her story and how she was able to lose 100lbs in one year and even cure herself of a Chronic Illness. If you want to learn more, read below.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My name is Jazmine. I am a 24-year-old Colorado native passionate about health and educating others on holistic ways of healing. I am currently enrolled in school to become a certified health coach as well as an entrepreneur starting my own health coaching business.

How did you get started on your journey?
My health journey began in 2015 when I decided to become a vegetarian to lose weight. At this time in my life, I was about 237 lbs which was my heaviest weight. Once I began the new diet change I was down 50 lbs in 5 months. After 6 months of still eating cheese here and there, I decided to become a vegan. In a year I was able to lose 100lbs and reach my goal weight. About six months later I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. This is a chronic disease that affects millions of men and women with no found cure. By employing holistic healing methods as well as being aware of the mind-body connection I was able to heal myself in 12 months.

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What methods did you employ to start healing yourself?
After three months of being bedridden, following my doctor's orders of drinking Gatorade for electrolytes and eating pretzels for sodium, I decided to take my health into my own hands. From that point on I began eating a lot more raw foods,  journaling to self-reflect, and I also started healing past traumas in therapy that I felt was keeping me sick.

Do you believe a Raw Vegan diet is the best method for healing and recovery?
I believe that a raw diet can be very beneficial but it should not be pushed as the only way to heal. There is something called Bio-individuality which basically means we are all different and one man's food can be another man's poison. Eating raw foods is extremely detoxing and can cause what's called a healing crisis. A healing crisis is a variety of symptoms that can affect a person in multiple ways. An example that I personally experienced was a sore throat for months at a time. Some people aren’t ready for that kind of detoxing and have to take it slower than others which is completely fine.

We just learned that you lost 100lbs in just one year, that's incredible! How did you do it?
I was able to lose 100lbs in a year by changing my diet and my mindset. I went from eating fast food almost every day to cooking at home and removing meat from my diet. I didn’t exercise but something I did do was visualize the results I wanted. The mind is a powerful tool and once you learn to use it for what you want, amazing things happen. Every night I would listen to a hypnosis app that allowed me to visualize myself coming down a set of stairs to meet the new me with the body that I want. By listening to this daily, I was able to keep my goals at the forefront of my mind and resist temptation.

What does your Morning Routine consist of?
My morning routine is waking up and thinking of one thing I’m grateful for, it can be as big as being grateful for my family or as small as birds chirping outside of my window. Once I’m out of bed I'll do light stretching to get the blood flowing and then I exercise for at least 10 minutes. If it’s a weekday I will log on to my school website and listen to about 2-3 hours of lectures and after that, I work on my business.

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How do you come up with your recipes?
I come up with recipes by playing with different ingredients in the kitchen. Sometimes they come out great and other times I have to toss what I’ve created.

Can you speak on the importance of Food Combinations?
I was introduced to food combining when I was looking for ways to cure my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). After learning about it and trying it out for myself I was able to cure IBS in three months. If you’re not sure what food combining is, it’s being aware of the foods you eat during the same meal to ensure optimal digestion. Different foods digest at different speeds and depending on what you’re eating it can affect your gut health. When eating fruits it’s best to have mono meals. Mono meals are when you eat one specific fruit for a meal vs mixing two or three. If you do decide to mix your fruits I have an awesome guide to help in my ebook Reclaim Your Health.

In what ways can a Holistic lifestyle help heal people's Mental Health?
Holistic healing is treating the “whole” person and taking into consideration the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual state that they are in. With traditional medicine, their focus is on addressing which symptoms you have and handing you a prescription to manage them. When it comes to mental illness just like many others I believe it is caused by imbalances in the body. These imbalances can be caused by the foods we eat, heavy metals in our blood, self-destructive beliefs, lack of support, and even a lack of spirituality. By addressing each individuals needs with holistic methods such as acupuncture, reiki, weekly massages, nutritional changes, and emotionally focused therapy I believe that the depression and anxiety rates would drop significantly.

Tell us about your business and what you currently provide
Through my Youtube channel Jazmine Janay I help people understand the importance of healing our bodies through holistic diet and lifestyle changes so that they are able to have full control of their health and happiness. I also have two ebooks available. Eat Well, Be Well contains vegan smoothies, juices, and raw meal recipes that aided me in curing a chronic disease as well as losing 100lbs. In Reclaim Your Health I thoroughly discuss stress management, food combining, the Crowding Out method for weight loss and many more holistic approaches you can take to improve your life.

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What are your ultimate goals for your career as a Holistic Healer?
My ultimate goal is to help and support as many people as I can in this lifetime. I want everyone I encounter to know their power and realize they control their destiny, no one else.

We want to thank Jazmine again for sharing her story with us. Be sure to purchase your own copy of her books (below). If you’re interested in learning more about Jazmine and her journey, be sure to follow her on her socials (below). 

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FOLLOW JAZMINE ON:
Twitter 
Instagram
YouTube

Posted on April 2, 2018 .

Why I Chose To Wake Up

What's going on, Good People? 

 

I hope this blog entry finds you all in good health. Today I wanted to share with you why I chose to wake up from being lulled to sleep by what we're going to call "The Powers that be" or "The System". 

Now, since I was a younger I always found it interesting to seek the truth when I felt it was being kept from me. It all started with the phrase that even the Rightest of people have heard, "Jet fuel doesn't melt steel beams". I was about 12 or 13 years old at the time, a year or 2 after 9/11 and I remember people saying that it was an inside job. At first I didn't care to believe it, but after countless amounts of evidence I couldn't deny it any longer. So I would say since then I never really believed what I was told on the news. I'll admit, I didn't believe I had any power at that age to do anything about it so it was just whatever and I continued my life as usual for the next 10 years, ranting here and there about the things I saw.

Even knowing who Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Oscar Grant were I didn't pay attention to the police brutality against innocent (black) people a lot. It was already common knowledge in the community that the police are the enemy so whatever they did to us was just another reason to never put trust in them. Then Trayvon was killed...

Like many others, I was extremely upset, confused, and pissed off to see George Zimmerman be found Not Guilty for killing Trayvon Martin in cold blood. Maybe it was because Trayvon was 17 and he resonated with me because I can think of countless times I went to the store for snacks in my hoodie and it could have very well been me being stalked and killed. I took to Twitter and expressed my outrage like everybody else. Then the senseless murder of Michael Brown put the icing on the cake and I began to change the way I looked at this country and the way the judicial system catered to law enforcement. I went back and did my research on revolutionary groups like the Black Panther Party for Self Defense which then brought me to a state of unity and pride. The rat hole got much deeper from there. I began learning about the lifestyles and achievements of the generations before me and what they did to get to where they were even with the lack of opportunities they were given. These things coupled with new peers I met changed my views on the world around me. I was lied to. We were lied to. 

As more and more attention was being put on the racial tension via the Police Department in this country I began seeing the masses having their emotions used against them. News Outlets saw their ratings rise with each story and kept pushing the button over and over again: "Black Man/woman shot and killed by Police Officer(s)". It was article after article, video after video of police abusing black people. I couldn't believe what I was seeing on my timeline and it really made me question the integrity of the news. It's a known fact that these TV channels are owned by only 6 corporations.

 No 6 companies should have all that power. 

No 6 companies should have all that power. 

For a second, ask yourself why. Why would news outlets just start reporting on something so heavily that literally has been going on for decades? Some say with the invention of Smartphones with cameras that it shed light on the abuse citizens face by the police in a candid way, especially with the way we found out how Mike Brown was killed via a neighbor's Twitter account live tweeting about the altercation. I would agree to a degree. It's not like people haven't had front row seats to police brutality before. Black people especially know that police abuse their power on the community, this isn't new news to us. Don't get me wrong, I just admitted that I didn't care enough about it in the past and that Trayvon's murder opened my eyes and heart to it and I believe that it did the same for a lot of people so I'm not against the issues being brought up. My problem is how the media, who don't care about the victims, the police or even giving accurate information use these stories to cash in on black outrage. They're using us for our energy and money and it's clear what their agenda is because Police Brutality hasn't been on the news in weeks and I'm 100% sure police brutality is still going on as I type this. As much as people do not want or care to believe this, TV is a tool used to control the minds of the masses. Television tells you what to eat, what to wear, how to live and what to think among lots of other things. I can attest to this because there would be certain times in my life where I would handle a situation based off of a program that I saw growing up or even recently. To dive in a little deeper, Hitler and the Nazi Party would brainwash the German population with Television. Showing people Jewish propaganda footage over time allowed them to be less remorseful for the horrid things they did to the Jewish population, because it has been made a fact that Jews are a burden to the earth and the less of them the better.

The same applies today with Arabs or Muslims being depicted as violent extremists, Hispanics mainly Mexicans being depicted as "Illegals" and Blacks being depicted as "Ghetto" criminals. Hell, even Rednecks get a bad wrap. We can pretend like we don't have one, some or all of these prejudices, but that won't stop it from being the truth and a large part of that came from Television. 

The truth is that there is a lot of opportunity to be taken advantage of when the people are ignorant to important things that affect them. The things we eat are extremely critical in 2015 and beyond. I personally started my transition over to a Non GMO plant-based diet late last year and even with my slip-ups (because they can and will happen when transitioning, don't beat yourself up about it it'll only make it worse.) I've noticed a tremendous difference in my quality of life and it makes me very happy. Our favorite brands that we loved growing up are poisoning us to be totally blunt about it. They use 1000's of toxic chemicals in their food to make it last longer and to gain more profit. The United States is one of the fattest and sickest countries in the world and the food we eat plays an integral role in that fact. I'm not going to horrify you with a bunch of pictures of diseased abused farm animals to get you to stop eating meat (even though that IS a very serious problem we have with factory commercial farms), but I will say this. The meat that you're eating is more than likely the worst meat product you could ever have. The meat you get out of large chain stores like Wal-Mart and ShopRite have been sitting in freezers for months before it hits your kitchen. They're pumped with water, Nitrites and Nitrates and other chemicals to keep that reddish pink coloring to give off the appearance that it's "fresh". It doesn't take a genius to figure that animal flesh can't be good for you weeks after its death and when mixed with chemicals that makes for an even deadlier combination. These manufacturers even GLUE random parts of animals together and call it "Sirloin" or "Prime Cut"

I mean, c'mon! What the hell is this? Why would anyone want to eat chicken blood and scrap meat? This is more than likely in your freezer right now and it can be the root cause of your demise. Processed foods like Pop Tarts, cereals, frozen dinners, fruit drinks and sodas, candies, etc are all just as dangerous and you should definitely make it a habit to read the ingredients of the foods you're eating. I don't mean to sound so dramatic, but this stuff is serious business. All you have is your health at the end of the day and I truly believe that we all want to be healthy. I believe the powers that be programmed us into thinking ingesting these bad things were good for us and we fell for it. This is the same country that had Doctors and Dentists promoting smoking cigarettes on TV in the 50's and 60's  so understand what we're dealing with here. Don't play into these people's hands and shop consciously. Eat NON GMO foods at all times, drink a gallon of pure water a day and do your best to abstain from meat, dairy and soy. You can check out FinesseHaven.Com (and HealThySelf360.Com for all natural and organic herbal Detoxes. I've done it and it was amazing!)  as well as other sites you can get from a simple Google search to get great Vegetarian and Vegan recipes. Just try it and see if it makes a difference.

I was going to save this for a different blog post entirely, but I figure I'll add it here based off the things I touched in the beginning of this post. To all of my generation, understand that fighting against racists or racism is a waste of your energy. I know I just lost a lot of people reading this, but hear me out. White supremacy only exist if there's Black inferiority. Aside from the fact that blacks are not inferior to white people in any way, as slaves they were forced to play that role whether they wanted to or not. The shackles are off and we have the power to never have to deal with those problems ever again. We have centuries of data on this and even with the way the population has been brainwashed I still believe we have the wherewithal to completely change our situation. We can learn from our ancestors achievements and mistakes and make even better decisions from here on out. I know it gives you small sense of satisfaction to "drag" a racist or eloquently detail what racism is, but at this point it's all conjecture and rhetoric. I personally believe a big reason we care so much about racism is because its influence put us in such a bad state; mentally and physically, and to fight against the machine that created that despair is a victory. That's absolutely correct, but the methods we are using to fight it are only scratching the surface and not getting to the heart of the problem which is: Lack of Resources and Power. If we really want to dismantle racism we should stop funding the oppressors. Shop small and local businesses and encouraging your fellow (wo)man and supporting them. As the saying goes "Money talks, b***s**t walks" and that's true. If we take our money out of the companies that support private jails, slave and child labor, toxic chemicals, dirty politics, etc and put it into ethical small companies that will help the people and push the community forward we could come up in an amazing way. Once we have solidified our worth and wealth a racist's comments won't hold weight. At this point the black population relies heavily on their oppressor so anytime we have room to complain, we will, but if we didn't rely on them we could and would react much differently. There's too much light being shown on the problems and not enough on the solutions, so that's where I come in. Understand that I don't hate any group of people because that's not how I'm built. I'm not going to condemn one person for the whole and I judge according to the behavior of that person regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, you name it. I lead in love and respect that's literally why I'm writing this, to help. We need way more unity and love and it's time now to spread it as much as possible. I love you all and if nobody has told you, you are a gem and you bring value to the earth. I believe in you and your capabilities and wish you nothing but the most success in life because you deserve it.

I spread love because I truly want everyone to succeed. Another reason is I love perpetuating good energy and good vibes. Lola and I practice different forms of meditation and it has definitely made a great change in our lives. At night we sleep to Wealth Affirmations on YouTube that repeat things like "I am wealthy and affluent" "I attract prosperity and I'm thankful" so it can creep its way into our subconscious. We meditate to binaural beats to raise our vibrations and frequencies which directly affects the way we live our lives. I definitely encourage you guys to try it out. Take 15-30 minutes out your day everyday and affirm your wealth and prosperity. I recently spoke with my brother Ryan and he told me how much he's seen my life change when I started applying more positive thinking into my life and it's true. My life has gotten better and better ever since I started changing the way I looked at the world. I've been releasing more productivity and good energy into the Universe and it has repaid me with the same things, you get what you give. People often call this optimism or wishful thinking and that to think EVERYONE doing this would somehow change the world is nonsense and unrealistic. When that happens it usually comes from a person who needs positive affirmations more than anyone because of whatever turmoil is going on within them. To reject a notion such as this, regardless (or even especially) of  the garbage that goes on in the world shows why we need it. If more and more people practiced this the world WOULD be a better place to live in. I understand that our upbringing plays a major role in the way we live our lives and that there are certain ideologies that have been cemented in our minds, but if you know that the behavior is detrimental to your life in any way you would want to try an alternative to cancel it out. Don't be afraid to change, it's good for you. Don't let society dictate what is good and bad for you and strengthen your discernment. Don't let other people's fears stifle you from being the best possible person you can be. There's nothing in your way to prosper and when you start thinking on a higher vibration those thoughts will materialize into tangible things. Believe in yourself and never stop changing. I guarantee that it will happen for you because I'm living proof. Without sounding too bragadocious, I have seen the most money I've seen in life since I started this. I've met more and more like-minded people and have made some great connections that can last a lifetime. I'm in love with an amazing woman and our business is breaking personal  records every month. Even with my bad days I have nothing to complain about and I'm eternally grateful to be in this position. 

Trust me, I know it feels weird in the beginning, but it works! Before I go I want to let you all know that I appreciate ALL of the support you all have been pouring into our lives. From promoting the business or shopping with us we can't thank you enough for the love. We pride ourselves on providing high quality goods and the reviews we've gotten attests to that. Thank you for taking the time and reading my thoughts and I really hope it has helped in some way. Until next time, my people. Peace.

-DOE.

 

 

 

Posted on August 3, 2015 .

A Community that Grows Together

We meet again, Good People!

 

For about a month now I have really taken an interest in Community Gardens and how it affects the environment its grown in. A few weeks ago I attended a presentation on solar energy at a local bookstore in my neighborhood. It was great! I learned the difference between using solar energy as opposed to using the conventional standards of domestic electricity. I learned how much money I could ultimately save, I even learned how to start in the house I'm in right now. Throughout the entire presentation attendants could ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of what was being said and towards the end of the presentation we began to build on nutrition and diet in the communities in Philadelphia as well as communities all around this country. There was a woman there who just so happened to run community gardens around the city and she started giving me advice on how to start one in my area. Now, prior to this meeting of minds I had a desire to want to upgrade my community. I saw the boarded up homes, the abandoned buildings and the pollution, but underneath it all I saw what it could and will ultimately be. On my daily walks with Lola we pass these open lots with nothing in them but grass. After a year and a half of me seeing these lots I decided it would be a good idea to turn them into community gardens. It is a fact that the things you eat determine much more than just your status of "hungry" or "full". Your mood, your way of thinking, your physical abilities and your overall disposition towards the life you live are indicative of the things you eat. Needless to say I was extra excited about the idea of community gardens and of course once I got home I began to do my digging, pun slightly intended. 

Here are some stats and facts that I found to be very interesting: 

According to the National Gardening Association

  • 42 million households are growing their own food in their home and/or via  community gardens.
  • There has been a 29% increase in food gardening in urban areas since 2008 at 9 million households and counting.
  • 11 million households with incomes of less than $35,000 are participating in food gardening and that number continues to grow.
 When you're beautiful and delicious at the same time.

When you're beautiful and delicious at the same time.

It is clear that the importance and action of gardening is increasing and rightfully so. It is no secret that major corporations across the globe that produce so-called "foods" have sacrificed health and nutrition for profit gains. Instead of cooks and bakers working hard to provide a quality product that is good for your well being these companies are using scientists to create chemical compounds that will simulate the taste of chocolate or strawberries. I encourage everyone to go to their favorite conventional food product, turn it over and read the Nutritional Facts on the back. Even though they are certain ingredients these brands don't have to disclose on the package, there is enough evidence to show you that you do not need to be eating it. I also understand how incredibly easy it is for you to consume these products. They're insanely affordable, they come in large quantities, they stimulate all the senses just right and we're always ready for more.  

Our society has become very comfortable with the consuming a brand because of the narrative it uses to sell their products. If a happy family is on TV sitting at the dinner table eating Tyson's Chicken Strips, we're comfortable with buying the chicken (despite all of the harmful antibiotics and chemicals they use) because it portrays something that you can relate to and/or aspire to be. This is not to say that this method of advertising is totally bad, just to understand that there are companies who use these tactics to get you to consume their foods even though it's not necessarily true. Television advertisements puts these images into minds to make you think you need to buy their products in order to be happy. The prepared food industry spends a little over a billion dollars ($1,000,683,255.30) a year on TV advertisements alone and if they're spending that much that should let you know how profitable it is to gain your interests through this media.

One of the biggest objections that I hear when I have conversations with people is "I know that these foods aren't good for me, but eating healthy is just too expensive. I can't afford to go natural and organic."  I completely understand where they are coming from and I just try my best to educate them because if we're being honest, that sentiment isn't as true as people believe. It is easy to be discouraged when you're in the grocery store and see that Organic cereal brands are a couple dollars more than the conventional brand or when you see that Kraft Mac & Cheese has a 5/$5.00 sale and the Organic pasta is $6.50 a pack. Consider this though. Is the foods you're eating today worth your health tomorrow? Is the money you saved today in the store aisles worth you spending on healthcare expenses in the future? Truth be told, the foods that we regularly eat are causing cancer and other health complications and if we don't stop now it will surely grow worse. This is why community gardens are at the highest they've been in the last 10 years. Here's exactly why you should get involved with or start a community garden:

Foods in the United States travel an average of 1300 miles from farm to plate, leaving it open to all types of contaminating agents such as the fuel fumes the modes of transportation used to get there. Locally produced fruits and vegetables greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well as asthma rates, stress and other preventable health problems. Community gardens have shown to increase the property value in the area it's in. They look beautiful and make your neighborhood come alive with an array of vibrant colors not to mention the lovely scents! Community gardens also provide education programs on how to grow your own foods, diet and nutrition and how to function as a community to encourage participation from everyone. They even can provide jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the local residents. Community gardens affect the crime rates in some ways as well. The more community gardens, the higher the need for residents to get involved. The more residents that get involved, the more people become closer as neighbors. The closer we get as neighbors, the less likely it is for people to want to commit crimes against each other while simultaneously increasing the chances of us helping one another. Community gardens are able to yield several TONS of fresh organic produce for the community that wouldn't cost nearly as much as your major department stores and you will be able to know where your food comes from. There really isn't a downside to Community Gardens especially for the people who participate in their growth.

The Millennial generation (ages 18-34) is definitely aware of how crappy the foods that are readily available to the masses in the store are and it shows with the spike of community food gardening across the country. In 2013 the number of millennial gardeners grew 63% at 13 million from the 8 million that was reported in 2008. Our generation has also spent $1.2 billion on food gardening in 2013 which I can only assume has grown in the last year and a half. I think this spike of gardening is due to our generation using the internet to find out the truth about these food brands. We are waking up to the fact that these companies are not here to keep us healthy, but to keep us dependent on their products, and we're doing what's necessary to eat right. I am confident that community gardens and community gardening will make a huge impact in the health of our generation and generations to come. People, especially young people must know that simply changing the things you eat can add days to your life each meal. The foods we eat are extremely important and now more than ever we have to start taking our eating habits seriously, it could very well save your life. 

Your body isn't made of inorganic materials so it isn't logically advised for the body to consume things that are inorganic. A lot of the ailments that physically hold us back like muscle cramps, spasms, sore limbs and back pain can be fixed by properly using fresh produce, herbs and spices. It's highly encouraged to get to the point where taking over the counter and prescription drugs that have harmful side effects aren't even a thought because we know how to mix organic ingredients to soothe our aches and pains. I'm not saying that modern medicine hasn't made major headway in curing people's problems, I'm simply saying that before there is a need to visit the hospital in reaction to a problem, let's make sure it doesn't happen in the first place. Living from the Earth is essential to a long healthy life and we want as many people possible to enjoy what life has to offer them and what they can offer life. Think about this blog the next time you're in the store shopping for the food you eat. I hope I've helped in some way, thank you for reading!

 This isn't a fantasy. This could be your neighborhood.

This isn't a fantasy. This could be your neighborhood.

PS: If you want to get involved or start your own garden here are some helpful resources!

Find a local community garden in your area here: Find A Garden!
Find out how to start a Community Garden here: Garden STARTUP!
Find out how to start your own home food garden here: Home Food Gardening


-DOE




Why Using Organic & Natural Products are Essential!

Salutations, good people!

DOE here. One day while Lola and I were in the kitchen while she was mixing ingredients I thought to myself: "Is all this really necessary? I mean, it's great to have high quality products, but it's just lotion." so I decided to do some digging. Firstly, the skin is the largest organ that the human body has. There is about three trillion pores in the human skin (depending on height and weight) and all of them are used to absorb any and everything that comes in contact with it. When we apply conventional skin and body care products to our skin we become susceptible to all of the affects that come along with using them. Part of the reason why using organic and natural products is important is because of the dangerous and ultimately fatal toxins that are carried via the lotions, soaps, shampoos and other body care products that come out of your neighborhood Wal-Mart or Target. I know what you're thinking "C'mon, DOE. Is my Jergens lotion THAT bad? Is my Johnson & Johnson products REALLY causing me harm? " I've done the research and I'm here to tell you YES! The human skin and scalp absorbs substances up to ten times faster than eating it, when applied. There are 1,000's of harmful chemicals in your favorite body care products and before I get into the great things nature can provide, I'll show you some of those popular toxins you unfortunately probably put on today.

THE EVILS

  • PARABENS - Parabens are a common preservative that cosmetic and body care companies use to prevent certain bacteria from forming, but studies have shown that they actually cause a lot more damage than they promise to prevent.
  • SULFATES - About 90% of the commonly used conventional soaps, shampoos, body washes and even some cosmetic products use Sulfates. Sulfates are used to accentuate and amplify the lather and foam when used in soaps. You know that undeniable burning feeling that happens when your soap gets in your eyes? Well that horrible feeling is made even worse with sulfates. Not only are sulfates irritants to the eyes, they actually affect the skin and lungs. 
  •  DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA (Triethanolamine) - These three chemicals are found in a lot of the conventional and popular lotions, body washes, shampoos, shaving creams and much more. They have been found to be hormone disrupting chemicals that can lead to problems like infertility and sterilization. Europe has actually banned the use of these chemicals because of its carcinogenic affects on people and it has also been shown that the risk is significantly higher in children.
  • TRICLOSAN - Triclosan is often used in antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizer and other cleansers. The EPA registered Triclosan as a Pesticide, meaning that it can have adverse affects on the people that used it as well as the environment it was used in.
  •  ALCOHOL (ISOPROPYL) - Now I KNOW I may have some of you looking at the screen with a screw face. I too used rubbing alcohol for pretty much anything I wanted to kill immediately ranging from small cuts to acne and even razor bumps. I have been using alcohol for years, but here is the truth: Rubbing alcohol dries your skin which we often make synonymous with "clean". Rubbing alcohol actually strips the skin of its natural barriers so it makes it easier for us to become vulnerable to disease.  
  • FORMALDEHYDE - Formaldehyde is another irritant that is commonly used in today's popular body care products to try to fight bacterial growth. Personally, just hearing the name Formaldehyde resonates as "poison" with me and the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens has named it as a carcinogenic chemical. 

Those are just 6 of the 1,000's of harmful chemicals that not only live in your body and skin care products, but your foods as well. Another problem that we encounter is the fact that some of these chemicals aren't obligated to be put on the labels. It is extremely important for people to become more conscious when they are in the store aisles because their health is being put in the balance.

Now let's move on to the benefits of what nature has to offer. Understand that when dealing with nature; it is built to coincide with the natural process of human growth. Their properties compliment instead of compromise the human body and promotes a healthier lifestyle. I can say from first hand experience that transitioning from conventional products to organic has most definitely shown to be beneficial to me and my life. My skin has cleared up, my body feels better than it ever has allowing me to lose weight and live  healthier. My thinking which affects my behavior has been overall positive and that has made it easier for me to deal with negativity. It has done nothing but help.

THE GOODS

  • COCONUT OIL - Coconut Oil is used as a very effective moisturizer that helps clean away dirt and bacteria in the skin all while leaving it feeling silky smooth. Coconut Oil is like a one-stop-shop when it comes to skin care. It protects your skin from infection, allows your skin to heal faster, slows down the aging process (via shrinking wrinkles), among other benefits. Coconut Oil is great and should be a staple in the household.
  • SHEA & COCOA BUTTER - Shea Butter, deriving from the seeds of the Karite tree, is enriched in Vitamins A, E & F (among other vitamins and minerals). Its benefits include skin rejuvenation, revitalizes hair and skin, and protects your skin from the sun in some cases. Cocoa Butter has some of the same skin empowering properties helping it to soothe, moisturize, balance and allows the body to feel and smell great.
  • CHAMOMILE - Healing Chamomile Flowers. A centuries-old favorite among herbs, Chamomile is wonderfully soothing to sensitive skin. Chamomile also has been found to be a preventative remedy for headaches, nervous tensions and even nightmares. 
  • MARSHMALLOW ROOT - Okay, I'll come clean. When I initially read "Marshmallow Root" on the package's label my first instinct was to desire to eat it, ha!  Upon further research I learned that in ancient times Marshmallow Root WAS indeed eaten to aid in famine. Marshmallow Root helps in alleviating the inflammation of the Gastric Mucosa (Inner layer of the stomach) and the Pharyngeal Mucosa. Marshmallow Root is not too known, but it has been helping people on earth since Ancient Greek.
  • ALOE VERA - Aloe Vera is a cactus plant that comes from the Liliaceae family. Aloe secretes a clear gel that has properties that can heal wounds and soothes skin. I remember being a child and mom using Aloe Vera on my mosquito bites, scratches and scrapes. Aloe Vera is also said to be used to treat burns, minor skin infections, diabetes, cysts and has even been found to help with more persistent conditions like Eczema.
  • TEA TREE OIL - Tea Tree Oil is a versatile essential oil that was new to me. When I looked it up I found out that it has antibiotic properties that help fight against skin infections, rashes, burns, itchiness, acne and much more. 

Those 7 along with countless other natural and organic materials are what we need to REALLY start living the right way! When you stop using harmful products in your home you start to see positive physical and mental changes in your life. I don't even think that it's hard to believe in today's world that our favorite brands are full of horrible things that can do damage to our bodies. Buzzwords like "GMOs", "Pesticides" or "Artificial" paint images of unhealthy lifestyles in our minds, but to most those terms (and others like it) still don't resonate as they should. Overall I am glad to see people waking up to the fact that imperative choices must be made when being a consumer. We must start taking responsibility for the things we allow on and in our bodies and be mindful of the risks involved as well as the benefits involved with living a natural and organic life.

I appreciate you all for taking the time out to read our blog. We are going to be dropping these blogs frequently to keep the conversation open to our followers and patrons. We encourage dialogue so please feel free to SUBSCRIBE and COMMENT and stay in the loop with us! I hope this blog was of some help to you guys! Y'all be cool.

-DOE.