Upon arrival I was greeted right away at the door by the owner Katie, and my aesthetician who was already waiting for me. But before that I should mention that there wasn’t a scent in the air that was unfriendly. Just the pure smell of essential oils and freshness. This is a true indulgence for me, as I can’t tolerate the toxic fumes that are often wafting the air in most traditional quick spas.
I found my cozy chair for my pedicure, all ready to go with a pillow for my back and a nice warm bath for my feet. A tea menu featuring Steeped and Infused loose teas, was brought to me within seconds along with a warm lavender pad for my neck. I couldn’t believe the exceptional, personalized service and comfort I was being given.
The pedicure was simple, clean and efficient. I got to pick my eco non-toxic paraffin and formaldehyde free polish and then I was off across the way for my mani. All fresh supplies were being used on my hands, and there was no weird pink creams, or bright blue alcohol being used to rub off my polish. I was in bliss
Since my first experience was so positive, I decided to get a gift certificate and bring my hubby along for the next one. He is a guy that is comfortable enough in this environment and boy, did he love his man buff! Plus it was nice to share some down time together in their cozy space. For myself, this time around I wanted to experience a mani without polish, which they cleverly call the “sport manicure”. This is ultimately the perfect solution for my busy and active hands. Polish for me is only for special occasions.
This is definitely a place I am going to frequent, to take care of my nails and also just allow me to unwind even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Beyond their amazing mani’s & pedi’s, I have yet to experience there other services such as waxing, message therapy and reflexology. I know there will always be a cup of tea waiting for me, an Eco-inspired health or lifestyle book or just the comfortable ambiance of a place that exudes cleanliness and overall appeal. Not to mention some really cute posters with quotes hanging on their exposed brick walls.
Of course you are going to pay a little more here for your nails then the average quick spa, but you are saving your health. Also what you are getting in return as far as customer service, you can’t really put a value on that!
Thanks Alma, for being a friendly local spa that I am sure to tell all my friends, family and clients about.
As one of my 11 Kitchen Cupboard Staples, coconut oil has so many different uses around my house. Here are 10 reasons why you should keep it in your kitchen… and your bathroom!
- It can be put into smoothies for awesome energy both pre and post workout. For example, I use it in my delicious chocolate super smoothie
- It can be spread on sprouted toast or used anywhere butter would be used in baking. Put it in a muffin recipe, like this one (perfect timing for these ones!)
- It can be heated at a high temperature for stir frying, baking, broiling.. and it won’t destroy its nutrients. It’s great for making pad thai, or baking yam fries (see recipe below)
- It’s very shelf stable. As long as it’s sealed tight, it will stay in the cupboard or fridge for over a year. Keep in mind if it’s in the fridge, it will be solid and will need about 30 minutes to soften. Don’t worry about this though, it can go from liquid to solid continuously and still won’t go rancid
- It’s great in raw recipes, pies, cakes, and triple-coconut chocolate chip cookie sandwiches
- It can be used as a moisturizer on chapped skin and lips, cracks in feet and hands, elbows, or use post-shaving for some seriously smooth legs!
- Use in your hair and scalp treatments. It’s super nourishing and fantastic for split ends. For more green beauty advice, check out this post
- Great face moisturizer, it prevents wrinkles, and it’s great for acne and eczema
- Use it as an after-sun soother, on burns, dry and dehydrated skin. It has a mild natural SPF, great for day to day use! (It is not a sunscreen, but it does help)
- My new favourite: it’s the best makeup remover ever. It takes everything off in one or two wipes, and nourishes your delicate eye area
These are just the external benefits…to find out more on how coconut oil helps your internally read this!
If you’re new to using coconut oil, try this easy yam fry recipe and let me know what you think! (I promise your fries won’t taste like coconut )
Garlic Oregano Yam Fries
2-4 medium yams or sweet potatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
Sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Cut yams into wedges or chunks. In a bowl, combine the garlic, pumpkin seeds, oregano, coconut oil, basil and sea salt
- Add the yams, stirring with your hands to make sure all of the pieces are covered with the mixture
- Spread the yams on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil. Bake for about 35 minutes, or if you prefer them crispier, leave in oven for an extra 10 minutes
Yams are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates – providing your body with long lasting energy. These delicious “fries” taste amazing on their own or in combination with a salad, veggie burger or quinoa. Remember, don’t peel away the skin if they are organic; the skin is loaded with fiber and other nutrients!
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Cleansing with Superfoods e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
Welcome our Guest Blogger Thierry Godard
The Avocado has long been regarded as an incredible source of health and vitality. Its widespread use in the cuisine of tropical cultures is attributed to essential nutrients that it provides. The avocado has served as a substitute for meats and other high fat content foods throughout history—particularly in regions and cultures where fatty fish and red meat are scarce due to climate, or geography.
Today, the avocado remains a great source of Monounsaturated oleic acid which can help lower your cholesterol and raise levels of High Density Lipoproteins (HDL aka ‘good cholesterol’). The average avocado contains around 9.8 grams of unsaturated fat, approximately 14% of the recommend 67 grams in 2000 calorie diet. The avocado also contains about 28% of your recommended B5 (pantothenic acid) intake, a nutrient necessary to maintain the health of the nervous system and creation of cholesterol. It also has other uses in healing wounds, and fighting acne, which is why avocado is a prevalent ingredient in many beauty and cosmetic products.
As healthy eating has taken root in the form of vegetarian cuisine, many chefs have rediscovered, and recreated the use of the avocado as a healthy alternative to meat and fish. Also popular are drinks and ice creams from South Asia that make use of the avocados great flavor, texture and nutritional properties. Here are a five tasty, simple ways to enjoy the avocado.
What’s not to love? This classic Mexican dish gets its name from its roots in Aztec cuisine. It can be served in a variety of ways but usually as a side to grilled meats, or as a dip. It involves a few simple ingredients; tomatoes garlic, onions, salt and pepper, lemon juice and, of course, avocados. It’s ideal on a really hot summer day, or in the dead of winter when you need a pick me up. Guacamole is the perfect match for an ice cold Negra Modela, or spicy Mexican inspired cuisine.
Though quiche is a classic northern french dish, the Mexican quiche combines old world sophistication and complexity, with the simple and accessible flavors of Latin America. Simply lay the avocados on the bottom of the pie pan, and pour the egg and cheese mix over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes and add a spoonful of chopped scallions, avocado, and tomatoes drizzled with a bit of lime juice on top. If you really want to splurge, add a bit of sour cream on top prior to serving.
Begin with your choice of leafy greens, add tomatoes, sliced red onions, cranberries, walnuts, and slices of avocado. Sparingly add salt, pepper, and the dressing of your choice (olive oil and vinegar is a simple, but flavorful combination.) I personally like to use a time tested blend of Grey Poupon, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a minced garlic clove.
This is the breakfast of champions, and it’s really simple! Saute scallions, mushrooms, chives, and tomatoes. Then add two well-beaten eggs and small chunks of avocado into the pan. Sprinkle your choice of cheese on top (grated Monterey Jack never fails) and enjoy.
Avocado on the side of everything and anything
If you haven’t noticed, I love avocados. They have been a staple in my house ever since I was a kid. As long as there is a ripe avocado to be peeled, it will end up on the side of my plate for lunch or dinner. It pairs well with everything, from chicken, red snapper, to any combination of rice, meat, and beans. I even order my hamburger from my favorite burger joint with an avocado on top. It might be overkill, but it is my way of paying homage to one of the most under-appreciated vegetables out there.
Thierry Godard is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on becoming a phlebotomist for the Guide to Health Education.
How do you enjoy avocados?
What do you eat them with or use them for?
I know you have heard of seaweed, also known as sea vegetables, and I know you have eaten them a number of times (whether you realize it or not) -but before you turn up your face and look the other way, let me tell you how amazing they are and what they can do for your health!
When I refer to sea veggies it is anything that, yes, grows in the sea and this includes nori (what your sushi is wrapped in), wakame (what is in your miso soup), arame (often in your seaweed salad), dulse, kombu, kelp, hijiki and the list goes on. The list even carries over to varieties of seaweeds that are in hidden forms of commercial foods such as ice cream, baked goods, jelly, salad dressings, chocolate milk and toothpaste. This is what I mean when I said you’ve eaten them many times before – and you didn’t even know it.
These little wonders, because they are grown in the deep depths of the sea, carry with them the highest doses of vitamins and minerals. All of which are essential to human health and daily nutritional balance. Sea vegetables are singularly the most nutrient dense food, as they are earth’s first vegetables and the best part is, is that they are delicious! Sea greens are a direct manifestation of their environment and therefore contain and abundance of minerals that is 7-38% of their dry weight. In such small amounts, seaweed contains more vitamins and minerals than any class of food. It supplies all the minerals needed for human health in proportions very similar to those found in human blood. The most significant elements that can be found in sea greens are calcium, iodine, phosphorous, sodium,and iron. Sea veggies are also extremely rich in protein, vitamin A, B, C and E.
The health benefits of sea vegetables is so vast and incredible. They do everything from reducing blood cholesterol, removing metallic and radioactive elements from the body, and prevent goiter. So if you are suffering with a thyroid problem, like so many women these days, then sea veggies are for you! Seaweed also has antibiotic properties, counteracts obesity, strengthens bones, teeth, nerve transmission and digestion. Seaweed is also an incredible beauty aid as they help to maintain glowing healthy skin and contain anti aging properties. To me, this sounds like the perfect food!
So how do you use sea veggies?
The garden of sea veggies is extremely versatile and they can be used in a number of recipes and incorporated into numerous styles of cuisine and compliment or accent many dishes from soups, salads and desserts. To explore this world of sea veggies and roll your own sushi, I encourage you to join me next Thursday October 8th at my Scrumptious Sea Vegetable class!
If you have ever used or tried sea veggies, share your story. Leave a comment and let us all know what you have done with Sea Greens!