Training boot camp outdoors with Fit Factory Fitness in extreme heat all summer, these are my must haves in my gym bag! What's in your gym bag to enhance your workouts? CanPrev Magnesium Bis-Glycinate Drink Mix What I love about this electrolyte drink is the mild lime flavour and sweetened with xylitol compared to other electrolyte drinks HIGH in sugar! Each box contains 30 sachets and comes with a $2 coupon for your next purchase! Dr. Bronner's hand sanitizer (Peppermint) Dr. Bronner's hand sanitizer has been my saving grace since Stage 3 has opened in Toronto. Every time you step into a store you are asked to use hand sanitizer, carrying this little guy in Peppermint which is also an uplifting scent in weird times, my hands are still soft and never covered in sticky goo. EpsomGel for sore muscles post workout THIS! I discovered Epsomgel at a health expo a couple years ago. Made with complete natural ingredients Epsom Salt, Arnica and essential oils I love to put this on sore muscles. I also use it on my neck and lower back when needed after a long day working remotely at home. Epsom salt baths are great to relieve sore muscles but not everyone is akin to taking a bath, this is the next best thing. ThinkSport Facial Sunscreen When it comes to sunscreen, I want something that is environmentally friendly, cruelty free and does not make my skin pale white. Although sunscreen protection trumps vanity, I love the citrus scent and it blends in nicely on my skin tone. I also love how when I'm training outdoors it's not streaking from sweat once I'm done and stays matte! Dr. Mist Deodorant Spray Fragrance Free I stopped using aluminum deodorants a lonnnng time ago. I love Dr. Mist made with minerals and water, there are days where I don't even need to use it, it's that good and fragrance free! Rosewater Facial Mist I use this all year round and beats facial sprays loaded with toxins. Especially for dehydrated dry skin this is the ultimate pick me up! Rosewater is considered an Iranian beauty secret and recommended by Edgar Cayce readings! ⠀⠀
I discovered an all natural hydrating DIY Facial Oil recipe by the ever so lovely Kris Carr best-selling author of Crazy Sexy Juice and wellness activist. You simply need a dark glass bottle with a liquid dropper and ingredients you can use in your kitchen, body care and home as well! I found a glass skull liquid dropper bottle on Etsy (unfortunately the shop has closed) which is now used in my daily skin care routine! The recipe calls for red raspberry oil, borage oil, olive oil, sunflower oil and jojoba oil. I squeeze a borage oil capsule for this recipe. They also provide natural vitamins, minerals and SPF! When creating your own skincare blends, choose the highest-quality natural products and save money by buying in bulk. (Kris Carr) Nearing 37 and constantly mistaken for being in my early 20s, I have learned through trial and error what works for my skin throughout the years. Less chemicals is more ladies! There is no need to spend $300 at Sephora! I have used Proactiv, Body Shop etc. and they always made my skin break the f*ck out into redness, dryness and cystic acne! My skin is better now than it was in my 20s. The rule of thumb is you would not eat your skincare products would you? Strive for clean natural ingredients, read between the lines on products and make your own! That way you know exactly what's going on your skin, your skin and Mother Earth will thank you! :)
The Madame Phoenix is based out of Toronto, Canada. I am obsessed with all of her products from candles to oils! One of my favourite products is the All Natural Lavender Body Dusting Powder. A must have to add to your sleep ritual, you simply dust the powder all over your body after a bath or shower for a restful sleep! There is no excess residue or staining and incredibly soft on the skin. The powder lasts quite a while as well. "Lavender has been used for thousands of years to bring peace and serenity to the mind, body and spirit. Proven to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve headaches and to aid in sleeping restfully, lavender is also very effective spiritually to remove negative energy, cleanse, bless and purify both the self and any space it is used in." (Madame Phoenix) Available on Etsy for $10.91 CAD. Rhodonite skull crystal from a Canadian run family business Inner Circle Jewelry! Support local businesses!
Alissa White-Gluz & Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein announced Vegan Monster Protein priced at $34.99 USD (pre-order) with 5g BCAAs, 25g of plant-based protein; pea protein, brown rice protein, amaranth and quinoa powder flavoured with cocoa powder, spirulina, artichoke powder and xanthan gum. Soy Free & Gluten-Free with no artificial flavours and sweetened with stevia. (Image by Vegan Monster Protein) A portion of the proceeds from each jar go to an animal rescue in need. Pre-order, ships 05/01!
Throughout history, art was created during pandemics - to amuse, to console, and to give voice to those who were previously unheard. (O'Neill, 2020) The great thing about the metal community is it has always brought us together and especially now. When the beloved Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn launched their kickstarter campaign on April 7th, it was compelling to see the metal community come together both locally and internationally to support the venue and metal bar. Get Creative Scott Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut who spent a year on the International Space Station. Sharing tips on how to cope with isolation in The New York Times, Kelly suggests pursuing a hobby and getting creative. "When you are confined in a small space you need an outlet that isn’t work or maintaining your environment. You can also practice an instrument (I just bought a digital guitar trainer online), try a craft, or make some art. Astronauts take time for all of these while in space. (Remember Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s famous cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity?)" (Kelly, 2020) Motley Crue and Judas Priest called on fans to get creative and post covers during quarantine. Metal God Rob Halford posted a message to fans, "Humanity has this great tenacity to pull together, to be strong and to overcome things that come before us." Resilience John Joseph frontman of Cro-Mags JM, Ironman and author of "The PMA Effect: How a Positive Mental Attitude can make you the badass you were born to be" inspires us to turn the impossible into possibilities with resilience, "Right now we are not able to do many of the things we used to enjoy doing; going to the gym or yoga centre, race, swim, tour with your band, go to restaurants, concerts, family outings, movies, whatever the case may be. Without resiliency you’ll become fixated on what you can’t do what you can’t have and will bug-out instead of adapting and saying here’s my new normal this is what I can do. So let me focus on these things and do them to the best of my ability. If you do not come out of this situation with new skill sets, with new goals accomplished… It’s not that you lacked time, you lacked discipline and resiliency. That’s my fucking two cents for what it’s worth." He also proves that eating healthy is inexpensive and irresistibly simple with plant-based recipes on his Instagram page. Meditation David Lynch is one of the most brilliant directors of our time. Lynchian fans are prevalent in the metal community from Audrey Horne to Swallow The Sun. In a recent interview with VICE Canada, Lynch swears by meditation to harness creativity, transcendental meditation (TM) specifically. "If you’re miserable and suffering in isolation, then it won’t be good for creativity. Negativity is the enemy of creativity. If you’re filled with fear and anger and all kinds of negative things, that flow of ideas gets restricted and the tube of happiness just gets squeezed by negativity. If you meditate and transcend every day, the negativity lifts away. Gold comes in and garbage goes out. Negativity, stress, anxieties, tensions, depression, sorrow, hate, need for revenge, bitter selfish anger; it all starts to recede." (Rose, 2020) Laughter It goes without saying laughter relieves tension and is known to improve the immune system, blood pressure and blood flow. If laughter is the best medicine Steel Panther are prescription-strength pharmaceuticals. The Science Behind Music & Your Well-Being Zoomer Magazine published an article earlier this year, "Your Health: The Magic Of Music" where scientists believe there's no question that listening to music can directly benefit your well-being and has shown to lower blood pressure. "Studies show serotonin rises significantly in response to pleasing music, and it's much more than the happy neurochemical that prozac made famous. It's a multitasker that's also involved in learning, memory, sleeping, digestion, even bone health." Like food, sex and recreational drugs, music also primes the brain's reward system to pump out dopamine, the so-called pleasure chemical crucial for cognitive function, working memory, movement and emotional well-being. McGill University reported that listening to music you love will make the brain release even more of it." (Abraham, 2020) Now that's DOPE. Free Music Isolate/Create Project is a free resource providing creatives with digital assets to spark creativity and inspire digital collaboration featuring twenty artists including Deafheaven, Thou and Metz. You can also share your work using #isolatecreate to support the contributing artists via the links in their profiles. In March, Trent & Atticus of Nine Inch Nails announced on their website new music Ghosts V - VI available for download, "Music has always had a way of making us feel a little less alone in the world and hopefully it does for you too. Remember, everyone is in this together and this too shall pass." Metal Yogis Both Nergal of Behemoth and Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth are known to practice yoga. Johan and his wife Maria teach yoga inviting fans and enthusiasts alike to enlist in an online yoga class for $7. Melody Henry owner of Lucky 13 Saloon teaches yoga in Brooklyn. She offers black metal light yoga classes "done in the dark in black light in the back of a bar set to sounds of the likes of Burzum, Blut Aus Nord and WITTR". Melody is providing guided meditation and breathwork on her Instagram page. You can donate to Lucky 13 Saloon to keep their doors open here. Post-Apocalyptic Masks Kim Kylla Dylla aka Vulvatron of Gwar is the mastermind behind Kylla Custom Rock Wear. Her clothing line designs custom stage wear for wrestlers and artists Enslaved, Nita Strauss, Satyricon and many others. She created a video tutorial on a DIY fabric mask for healthcare workers. She is currently designing post-apocalyptic reusable fashion masks to fund free masks for healthcare workers. Right on Kim! Behemoth are including a free mask with each order on their web store. T-Shirts For A Cause Revocation created an exclusive t-shirt where 100% of the profits go towards supplying face masks to health care professionals. Converge x Breather Resist Mash Up Fundraiser Tee limited-edition by Converge. Proceeds from this item will be donated to Artist Relief COVID-19 Fund, a non-profit organization providing grants to Artists and Musicians facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. Bandcamp Bandcamp’s C.E.O., Ethan Diamond, wrote before the campaign. “It may sound simple, but the best way to help artists is with your direct financial support.” (Pemberton, 2020) On March 23rd, the music platform Bandcamp announced that it had sold $4.3 million worth of music and merchandise in a COVID-19 fundraiser for its artists. Reign In Health Bandcamp Playlist References Amanda Hess. "Our Health Is In Danger. Wellness Wants To Fill The Void". The New York Times. April 6 2020 Scott Kelly. "I Spent A Year In Space And I Have Tips On Isolation To Share." The New York Times. March 21 2020 Carolyn Abraham. "Your Health: The Magic Of Music." Zoomer Magazine. February 3 2020 Nathan Taylor Pemberton. "A Moment To Rethink How We Support Music." The New Yorker. April 2 2020 Heather O'Neill. "Art During The Time Of Coronavirus." Maclean's. March 24 2020 Ethan Diamond. "Update On Friday's Campaign To Support Artists During The COVID-19 Pandemic." Bandcamp. March 23 2020 Nick Rose. "David Lynch Wants You To Meditate, Maybe Make A Lamp During Self-Isolation." VICE Canada. April 9 2020
Stick To This: Natural Hand Soap & Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizers
What we do to Mother Earth we do directly to ourselves. - David Suzuki Hand sanitizers have been flying off the shelves and skyrocketed in price due to the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide. DIY hand sanitizer recipes have been popping up all over the web. Rolling Stone published an article, "Don't Panic, You Don't Need Hand Sanitizer To Fight Coronavirus." Purell has created a product called "Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals" made with plant based alcohol, pulled out triclosan due to FDA regulations and claims to be paraben, preservative free and "naturally fragranced." When you read the fine print, an ingredient commonly found in many products is Fragrance [Parfum] which usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals. Some 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances. Manufacturers aren't required to disclose fragrances or other chemicals that are defined as "trade secrets". (Pizzorno 2017, 46) Bottom line, in a time where hand sanitizers are considered a hot commodity, the common consensus is to stick to good old handwashing. When a sink and soap are nowhere in sight, here are few natural brands on the market to consider. Natural Hand Sanitizers On The Market A brand made with lavender essential oil or peppermint oil verified as low risk by the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database and a sustainable choice is Dr. Bronner's. ($4.99 CDN) The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Dr. Bronner’s uses 62% organic fair trade ethyl alcohol derived from sugar cane. While alcohol is antiseptic, lavender is also antiseptic and is used as a respiratory ailment for asthma, coughs, influenza and bronchitis. (Tisserand & Junemann 1994, 56) Dr. Bronner's is allotting a reserve of 2% of all hand sanitizer production to donate to at-risk communities and the organizations that serve them to have access to their hand sanitizers as well. All Clean Natural is a Canadian company that creates products that are non-toxic, plant-based, biodegradable, cruelty-free and fragrance free. The All Clean Natural hand sanitizer is made with 62% isopropyl, purified water, vegetable glycerin, peppermint, spearmint and lemongrass essential oil. ($4.99 CDN) Another popular natural brand currently on backorder due to high demand is EO a family-owned manufacturer based in California. Think Dirty is an app co-created by the Breast Cancer Fund to educate users on potential toxins in your household, personal care and beauty products. DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes While supplies are limited, here are some DIY recipes from leading sources in the wellness community. My Merry Messy Life recommends making your own hand sanitizer with a glass spray bottle as essential oils disintegrate in plastic. Adria Vasil is a Canadian environmentalist, bestselling author and journalist. In her book, "Ecoholic Body", she shares a DIY Hand Sanitizer recipe. (Vasil 2012, 81-82) 2/3 cup (150ml) ethanol alcohol 1/3 cup (75ml) pure aloe vera gel 15 drops of lavender essential oil A DIY anti-viral hand sanitizer recipe featured this month in Vitality Magazine calls for aloe vera gel, glycerin, white vinegar or rubbing alcohol and an essential oils brand called Naka Platinum Antibacterial Thieves Oil. Interestingly, Platinum Antibacterial Thieves Oil uses the exact formula that is reputed to have spared those fortunate few who escaped the Black Plague of the Middle Ages. (Burke, 2020) Another DIY Hand Sanitizer recipe is by renowned nutritionist and founder of Academy of Culinary Nutrition Meghan Telpner. 2 parts (or 1/2 cup) isopropyl alcohol 1 part (or 1/4 cup) witch hazel, aloe vera gel or glycerine (or water if you can't find the others) 30-40 drops of essential oil(s) of choice (lavender, sage, tea tree, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemon etc. or whatever you have) Aloe vera gel and/or vegetable glycerine are added to combat the drying effects of alcohol on your skin. Communities are coming together to help those in need. In Portland, a distillery made their own hand sanitizer with 80% alcohol solution, xanthan gum and water to distribute for free. Toxins In Your "Antibacterial" Hand Soap Many antibacterial soaps contain triclosan and triclocarbon, two ingredients recently exposed by the U.S. FDA as being neither safe or effective infection preventers. (Rona, 2020) What's the deal with triclosan? Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor which means it wreaks havoc on your hormones. Toxins in general interfere with your hormones, cause imbalances and affect your organs where they are unable to detoxify effectively from constant overload. Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxicity of Everyday Life Affects Our Health written by two of Canada's leading environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie further investigates the use of chemicals in our everyday products and the impacts it has on our health. "Triclosan is taxing the environment - both the human environment and the environment at large". (Smith & Lourie, 2019) Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is another ingredient commonly added to make products bubble and foam. SLS is known to be irritating to the skin and can strip the natural oils which cause dry skin and reactions such as eczema. SLS is also a respiratory tract irritant. (David Suzuki Foundation, 2020) All-Natural Hand Soap Recipe Homemade All-Natural Foaming Hand Soap is a simple recipe by My Merry Messy Life with castile soap, essential oils, vitamin E oil or aloe vera gel. Castile soap can be used as a body soap, shampoo and surface cleaner. Natural Soaps An inexpensive alternative is pure vegetable glycerine soap that costs under $2 CDN at your local health food store. The Soap Works is a family-owned natural soap company in Toronto, Canada and use only natural ingredients free of parabens, SLS, phosphates, bisphenols or microbeads. Dr. Zoltan P. Rona suggests, "It's best to use natural soaps, tea tree oil cleansers, or those containing neem, aloe or oregano oil." (Rona, 2020) *** As Holistic Nutritionists, we strive to empower and educate people on the importance of using products with natural ingredients and whole foods. More than ever we need to return to the fundamentals of optimum nutrition regardless of cold/flu season or a viral pandemic to strengthen our immunity. Linus Pauling was to chemistry what Einstein was to physics and has been voted the second most important scientist of the twentieth century. He is the only man to have won two unshared Nobel prizes and he also had forty-eight PhDs. (Holford 2004, 3) Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow. - Linus Pauling References Patrick Holford. The Optimum Nutrition Bible, Great Britain: Piatkus Books, 2004, Pg. 3 Maggie Tisserand and Monika Junemann. The Magic and Power of Lavender. Wilmot: Lotus Lights Publications, 1994, Pg. 56 Jack Gilbert, Ph.D. and Robert Knight, Ph.D. Dirt Is Good: The Advantages Of Germs For Your Child's Developing Immune System. New York: St Martin's Press, 2019 Pg. 160-165 Adria Vasil. Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide To Living Healthy And Looking Good. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2012 Pg. 81-82 Rick Smith & Bruce Lourie. Slow Death By Rubber Duck: How The Toxicity Of Everyday Life Affects Our Health, Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada 2019 Pg. 159, 161-168, 267 Eric Zielinski, D.C. The Healing Power Of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity and Feel Great In Every Way, 2018 Pg. 144-145 Joseph Pizzorno, ND. The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons In The Air, Water, Food And Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health - And What We Can Do To Fix It New York: HarperOne, 2017 Pg. 6, 18-19, 24-25, 47 Jennifer Ackerman. Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life Of Your Common Cold. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2010. Pg. 148-149, 151-152 EJ Dickson. "Don't Panic: You Don't Need Hand Sanitizer To Fight Coronavirus". Rolling Stone, 5 March 2020, Adria Vasil. "Sticky Situation: The Hand Sanitizer Guide". NOW Magazine, 3 February 2016, Ferris Jabr. "Why Soap Works". The New York Times, March 13 2020, Environmental Working Group. "Hand Sanitizer." EWG's Skin Deep database. Centers For Disease And Control Prevention (CDC), "Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings", 3 March 2020 under Amanda Burke, CNP, BA. "DIY Anti-Viral Hand Sanitizer: Blends Aloe Gel With Thieves Essential Oils", Vitality Magazine March 10 2020 My Merry Messy Life, "Homemade All-Natural Foaming Hand Soap Recipe" under