Yes! I Conquered a Sunburn Naturally~ And You Can Too!

A random goal of mine this summer was that I did not want to get a tan… or a sunburn for that matter.  I’m extremely fair (aka pale) and just decided that I wanted to embrace my fair-skinned complexion instead of attempting to get that summer-glow (this is what normally happens~I burn, then I tan.)

This goal was halted about a week ago though, when I ended up in the sun during peak sunlight hours, for several hours.  Of course that was one of the only days this summer that I did not wear sunscreen.  Oh well.

This landed me with a sunburn on my chest, shoulders, back, as well as on my nose and forehead.  At first it didn’t seem really bad, especially compared to some sunburns I have had.  However, as it turned into that night, I began to really feel the radiating heat.  I knew I had only a little time to decide what to use before I possibly ended up peeling.

I wasn’t at home, so I had limited options~ try a “normal” sunburn lotion~ full of harmful chemicals as ingredients, or try something that I’ve never tried on my sunburn before~ but that would be a natural, organic way to heal my sunburn.

I picked the latter option:

I tried Argan oil. 

I normally use organic Argan oil as my overall body moisturizer anyway, and I had heard that it could be used to heal sunburns.  So, I was curious to try it.

This stuff works!  I’ve rarely had a sunburn (even minor ones) that did not peel.  Since I used Argan oil on my sunburn though, I did not peel~  Even a little!  And it healed in two days~ unheard of for my fair skin.

What I did was simple:

1) Slightly dampen the skin (where you’re planning to put the Argan oil)

2) Lightly rub about 3-5 drops of Argan oil into the skin

3) Repeat until all sunburned areas are covered

4) Wait about 3-5 minutes for the oil to soak into the skin

5) Repeat Steps 1-4 at least once in the morning and once before going to sleep until sunburn is gone; or, as many times as needed throughout the day

That’s it!  You really don’t need a lot of Argan oil on your skin either, a little bit goes a long way.  You don’t want your skin to be extremely oily~ just feeling moisturized.

The reason why you want your skin to be slightly damp when you apply the Argan oil is because this allows your skin to soak in the oil easier and quicker.  If your skin is dry, then not only will you need to use more oil, but your skin won’t soak it in as much.

I hope your remaining summer days are sunny and sunburn-free!  And if a sunburn sneaks in, use some organic Argan oil to conquer it!

~Kim

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Alternatives to Refined Sugar and Artifical Sweeteners

Hi everyone!

Let’s face it~for most of us, there are just times where we want something sweet and/or sweetened, regardless of whether we’re trying not to eat sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, etc.  So, here are some nice alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners to try!

And remember, that whenever you are trying to switch from one product~ like sugar, splenda, sweet’n’low, etc.,~ that you have been using for months, years, or even decades, to another product, please realize that there will be a transition period.  Just be patient with yourself and your taste buds. 🙂

The Alternatives

Blue Agave~ This is a wonderful liquid sweetener made from agave nectar, from the agave plant.  It tastes very similar to regular sugar (to me it tastes exactly the same, but to my boyfriend it doesn’t completely).

If you need to make sure your blood sugar does not spike, this has a low glycemic index.  So, this will not make your blood sugar spike, which makes this a nice alternative for diabetics.  Blue Agave does have calories (This could be a positive or negative for you).

Before my No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge, I did really like blue agave as a sweetener.  However, I worry that it may make my face break out like regular sugar.  So, I have not tried it since my challenge.

Honey~ This is another natural sweetener.  It naturally has vitamins and minerals in it.  I have not found it to make me break out on my face at all (like I have trouble with when having any regular sugar).  So, this is a nice alternative for anyone with acne-prone skin.

Another awesome thing about honey is that if you buy honey from around your nook of the woods, it helps with allergies you may have trouble with, like pollen allergies.  If you buy honey that says “Product of U.S.A.,” or from somewhere else in the world, that’s fine, you just won’t get the allergy help (U.S.A. is too general to really help with allergies).  To get a really good honey, you want to find one that is pure and raw which will look creamier than “regular” honey.

This is my go-to sweetener now.  However, honestly it did take me a couple of uses to finally like it.  I have actually only started liking honey within the past month (and did not like it for the other 22 years of my life).  Now though, I love it. (Maybe this is partly because of my no processed foods and no sugar challenge that I now like honey?)

Honey does have calories (Could be a positive or negative to you).

*Make sure though that you do not use honey if you are allergic to honey.*

Stevia~ This is another natural sweetener from a plant.  If you normally use more artificial sweeteners, than this is the one that you will probably have a little bit of an easier transition to.

Out of the alternatives above and this one, this is the one that I am not completely convinced on.  I have heard that although this is from a plant, that it can make your body react like it is an artificial sweetener- in the fact that it may make you crave more sweet stuff (sugar may make you crave more sweet things as well, but it is not as bad as artificial sweeteners because sugar has calories.  Since artificial sweeteners do not have calories, the body thinks it has not gotten the food/sugar it thought it was going to receive.  So, it makes you crave more.)

Stevia does not have any calories, so this is why it is questioned whether the body reacts to it in the same way.

Regardless though, I still truly believe that this is such a better choice for one’s health than artificial sweeteners because Stevia is not a chemical. 🙂

And, if all else fails, use Organic Sugar!~ Although organic sugar will almost be the same as regular sugar, it at least is better for your health than normal sugar in this way.  When it is grown~ pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers are not used on it.  There are also no added chemicals to bleach or filter the sugar either.  Just make sure to look for USDA Certified Organic Sugar!

So, here are some of the good alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners!  What do you think?~ Did you find any of these to be useful alternatives, or could you just not stand the taste of one of them?  Comment below and tell us what you tried, and what you normally use as a sweetener (regular sugar, splenda, etc.)  Or, did I completely miss a wonderful alternative?  Comment and let me know! 🙂

I hope one of these alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners made your day a little sweeter!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Day 100 of the No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge

Hi everyone!

Sorry I’ve haven’t written in a while.  The truth is I haven’t been near a computer long enough to write since I last wrote.

I wanted to do a little update though on how my No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge has been going since Day 75.  When I counted what day it was, I found out I had made it to Day 100!

Honestly though, I have not been as strict about eating no processed foods or sugar during these past two weeks that I have been during the rest of the challenge.  Basically since I found out my friend Seth died two weeks ago, that first week I ate tons of chocolate (and I hadn’t really eaten any chocolate before that during my challenge).  Then, this past week it was my birthday and so I indulged in “Birthday Magic” a little bit too much.  (“Birthday Magic” is this idea, in my family, that during your birthday or Christmas, etc. that you can eat things you may not normally feel you can eat, without the bad side effects.  ex. “Those cookies don’t have cholesterol or sodium~ ‘It’s Christmas Magic.’ ” ).  I ate I think two dishes of pasta alfredo at restaurants, and at three of the dinners out I ended up drinking very sugary drinks. My mom also made a Shoofly Cake for my birthday (my mom is an amazing cook, and I love her desserts, which she rarely makes anymore because they aren’t healthy enough for her to be able to eat them eating them more than a couple times a year~ so I couldn’t resist eating two pieces 😉 ).  Now, although I did splurge on these things during these weeks, I still consistently ate my other normal stuff~ whole wheat pasta, brown rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, organic milk, etc.  So, it was moreso in addition to my normal eating, or only replaced one meal a day.  Yet, even at that I could tell a difference in how I felt and in my body.

I could even tell that I was paying for this through my skin.  I ended up getting 5 pimples, all 5 being painful ones that are the kind that are under the skin, within these two weeks.  Compare this to how my face had for a couple of weeks before that had only gotten one new pimple.  I do know though that these pimples are just my body attempting to get rid of all of the toxins, etc. from my body.  Yet, that is a definite sign from my body that it wants me to go back to how I was eating.  And I’m definitely up for it.  I also know that when I am really consistent with eating real foods that my acne does begin to heal itself and I have very few new pimples that form.  It just makes sense to me that food does contribute to my acne, whether I like it or not.

The other thing I think that is partly what I’m having trouble with these past two weeks is that I am not home right now.  So, this is the first time since this challenge that I did not pretty much have a stable eating plan/habit.  It’s different, and so I have to get used to that and find a way to start eating right, again, but now in a little bit different environment.  It’s not necessarily easy, but I have seen the positive benefits of eating completely real foods, and not eating processed foods or sugar, so I’m willing to get back on track. And I know I can do it! 🙂

I hope your day is sunny!

~Kim