Archives for August 2015

The BEST Dark Circle Concealer

The Best Dark Circle ConcealerDo you suffer from dark circles under your eyes?

If you do, then you know I don’t use the word ‘suffer’ lightly.

Those of us with dark circles are subject to questions such as, “Are you tired?” “Are you feeling okay?” and “When’s the last time you slept?”

I hate my dark circles.

I don’t even work out in the morning without using concealer to cover my dark circles. That’s how much I hate my dark circles.

I’ve tried many, many brands of concealers and have spent literally hundreds of dollars trying to find a product I like that really works.

Not to mention, I’ve slept with cucumbers under my eyes, tried frozen spoons, and I even tried that weird trick where you use red lipstick to counteract the blue.

So let me save you the trouble.

At 45 years of age, I have FINALLY found a product I love. 

I really want to show you how well I think it works. So I am publishing a picture of myself with zero make-up.

My best girlfriends (with whom I exercise first thing in the morning) have never seen me without concealer.

So here I am:

Dark Circles
What I did was take all the photos in front of my computer using the photobooth application. I’m hoping you can really see the difference, but please keep in mind I am not a professional photographer.

Using Beautycounter Touchup Skin

What I’ve been using is Beautycounter Touchup Skin in Fair.

Prior to this I was using the YSL Touch Eclat. This product is even better than the best selling YSL Touche Eclat and it costs $10 less!

I simply add a few dots under my eyes before blending it in with my fingertip.

Dark Circles concealed with Beautycounter touchup skin

As you can see, I chose a color that is pretty bright. It truly covers and the coverage lasts all day.

After I’ve applied it, I use Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer. It has sunscreen in it, not to mention it blends the concealer.

Let’s be clear here. I am not promising to get rid of your dark circles. I am showing you what I think is the best dark circle concealer.

Touchup Skin was my gateway product into the world of Beautycounter. I love it so much, I’m now using their products exclusively.

Here’s what Beautycounter products I’m using:

There I am on the left with zippo make-up on. Nada. Zilch.

On the right I’ve covered my circles with Beautycounter touchup concealer pen in fair. Then I smoothed on Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer. I’ve also lined my eyes with the Color Outline Eye Pencil, added the Lip Sheer in Currant, and swiped on mascara.

The Best Dark Circle Concealer

It’s undeniable. Makeup can radically transform your appearance – including those awful dark circles!

How to Make Healthy Smoothie Bowls

How to Make Healthy Smoothie Bowls

What is a smoothie bowl? Basically it’s a smoothie that’s thick enough to eat with a spoon. Sprinkle on a few toppings and you’ve got a smoothie you can actually chew!

Serving a smoothie bowl packs a substantial nutritional punch. You’ll get several servings of fruits and vegetables plus healthy fats and fiber.

Take that monday morning!

However, you do need to take a balanced approach. While the toppings are what make it fun and delicious, you can quickly load up your bowl with an excess of calories, so go easy on the high calorie toppings.

How to Make Healthy Smoothie Bowls:

These portions will make one smoothie bowl. Double, triple or quadruple the ingredients depending on the number of smoothie bowls you will need.

To a blender add:

1. 1/2 cup of liquid. Choose from:

  • any kind of milk (almond, hemp, rice, soy, cow’s…)
  • coconut water
  • water
  • juice
  • green tea

2. Add a handful of veggies. Choose from:

  • spinach
  • kale
  • romaine
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • pick a combination

Add Greens to a Healthy Smoothie Bowl

At this point, you will want to run your blender to completely pulverize your veggies.

3. Add at least a cup of frozen fruit. Choose from:

  • pineapple
  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • banana
  • blueberries
  • mango
  • raspberries
  • any combination

4. Add 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt.

OPTIONAL (you can choose several, but I’d only choose one fat source):

  • Add a scoop of protein powder
  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Add a quarter of an avocado
  • Add a tablespoon of nut butter
  • Add a teaspoon of fish oil
  • Add a tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • Add a bit of local honey
  • Add a date or two

Blend all ingredients until thick and creamy and delicious.

**Smoothie not thick enough? Add more frozen fruit or yogurt. Smoothie too thick? Add extra liquid one tablespoon at a time.**

Now pour your healthy smoothie into a bowl and get ready to add your toppings!

Smoothie Bowl Topping Ideas:

  • chia, hemp, flax, and/or sunflower seeds
  • shredded coconut
  • granola
  • sliced or chopped nuts
  • matcha powder
  • maca powder
  • bee pollen
  • fresh berries
  • sliced banana
  • raw oats

I keep all my smoothie toppings in easily accessible jars. Then I let the girls make a design on top. It’s fun to play with your food!

NOW DIG IN!

You’ll get all the goodness of a smoothie with the additional benefit of getting to chew!

Here are some of our favorite healthy smoothie bowl combinations:

Very Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Very Berry Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • handful spinach
  • 1/c cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Top with sliced almonds, chia seeds and granola

Tropical Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • handful spinach and kale
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Top with chia seeds, shredded coconut, granola, and sliced almonds.

Have you replaced your morning bowl of cereal with a smoothie bowl yet?

Breastfeeding Problem: Excess Lipase

Breastfeeding Problem

This article is with thanks to Rebekah of Simply Rebekah. She is sharing her story in hopes of helping breastfeeding moms during World Breastfeeding week. If you are having the breastfeeding problem where your baby refuses to take a bottle, this may be the answer you’ve needed.

I thought my breastfed daughter was picky.

I thought she was stubborn.

I thought I had the wrong type or bottle or nipple. Perhaps we didn’t give her a bottle often enough or early enough.

Again and again my daughter refused to take a bottle while I was gone. I was extremely frustrated. What was I doing wrong??

And then I tasted the breast milk that was in her bottle. I was shocked. Nothing had prepared me for that moment. My breastfeeding class, lactation consultant, mom, and girlfriends had never warned me.

My breast milk tasted bad. No… not just bad. My breast milk tasted horrible.

I was devastated and instantly flooded with questions. Did all of my milk taste this way? Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with my freezer? What if all of my frozen milk taste like this? Oh my word. All that milk in my freezer! Is it all bad???

After hours and hours of research, I diagnosed myself with excess lipase activity. There was nothing wrong with the nutrition of my milk, but an overactive enzyme (lipase) was causing my expressed breast milk to develop a bad taste over time.

I didn’t discover that I had excess lipase activity until my daughter was 5 months old. By that time, I had 575 ounces of breast millk in my freezer and all of it tasted bad. I had spent hours and hours pumping breast milk and my daughter refused to drink it. It was gut wrenching.

My daughter will be turning 6 next month and her little brother is 3 years old. Now that I have years of experience dealing with excess lipase activity, I have a few things that I want every breastfeeding mother to know.

Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad?

5 Things You Should Know About Excess Lipase Activity

1. It can happen to anyone. There hasn’t been any formal research to determine the cause of excess lipase activity. If you are a breastfeeding mother who pumps (even if it is just for the occasional babysitter), you could experience excess lipase activity.

2. Don’t wait. Test your milk right away. When you are ready to start your pumping routine, put a quarter ounce of breast milk in your refrigerator and taste it every couple of hours to see if the taste changes. If a week goes by with no significant changes, then you are in the clear. If you notice an offensive taste change, it is likely you have excess lipase activity.

3. You can still have a healthy breastfeeding relationship with excess lipase activity. You don’t have to stop nursing or pumping. It is possible to build a supply of frozen breast milk even if you have excess lipase activity.

4. You are not alone. I felt extremely isolated when I was searching for answers after I discovered my breast milk tasted bad. None of my friends or family had experienced this. Even my daughter’s doctor wasn’t sure what was going on. I don’t want another mother to feel as desperate for answers and support as I did, which is why I wrote an eBook dedicated to excess lipase activity.

Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad? One Mom's Journey to Overcoming Excess Lipase Activity

In the book Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad? you will find:

  • An explanation of excess lipase activity that you don’t need a medical degree to understand.
  • Answers to 31 frequently asked questions.
  • Detailed instructions on how to test your breast milk for excess lipase activity.
  • Step by step directions on how to stop your milk from developing a bad taste.
  • 8 suggestions on what to do with all of the bad tasting breast milk in your freezer.
  • My personal story and what happened when my second child was born.
  • Valuable information from Dr. Ruth Lawrence, the nation’s leading authority on breastfeeding.
  • Support, encouragement, and the knowledge that you are not alone.

5. Awareness is crucial. Please help spread the word about excess lipase activity. Even if you don’t have this problem, someone in your social circle might benefit from this information.

Every breastfeeding mother who choses to pump should test their milk for excess lipase activity.

Rebekah Hoffer
Rebekah Hoffer blogs at Simply Rebekah where she shares parenting advice from the perspective of a mom who knows she isn’t perfect. She also shares tips on natural living and money saving.