Make Your Visit Special with Machu Picchu Tour

Famous as the empire of hidden treasures, Peru is considered to be one of the most special places that a person can visit in his lifetime. It is also recognized as an UNESCO world heritage historic sanctuary and also as one of the new wonders of the world. This place has every good thing to offer that you can wish for, warm sea, beautiful beaches, natural surroundings, amazing cuisine and accommodation facilities studded with all the modern day amenities. The residences here are not only luxurious but also discreet making it one of the best destinations for a luxury holiday.

Here, you can treat yourself with a totally impressive vacation, Peru yoga retreat, caring people and picturesque surroundings. Here, the professionalism of the travel agencies and providers is astounding and they can shape up a perfect tour for you no matter whether you are on a family holiday, individual holiday or honeymoon. The Peru yoga retreat is something that you should definitely not miss. This is because everything that Peru has got to offer, it brings its personal and very special touch to it. This country gives you the liberty to have an exotic and colorful time for yourself and for whoever is accompanying you.

If your tour is a bit longer, then you should definitely go for a Machu Picchu tour. This place is situated quite deep inside the Peruvian Andes and can be recognized by its misty mountain tops. This place is home to a few ancient cities whose ruins are still there and tourists from all over the world throng this place to admire it. Reaching Machu Picchu is quite difficult but once you are there, it is much better to take a guided Machu Picchu tour rather than hovering around trying to explore with just a guide book. The ruins have so much to tell that they deserve to get words from a well versed and learned tour guide. In a group tour, settle for a group tour which has a size of not more than 12 people so that you can fully enjoy your tour without getting lost in a crowd.

There are a few things you should carry with yourself so that you can enjoy your tour well without any problems. Since the season is mostly a rainy or a dry season so accordingly choose your things. Bring a pair of sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. Also carry water to keep yourself hydrated.

Alkaline Water Bottle: DYLN Inspired Review

Akaline Water on the Go: The DYLN Inspired Water Bottle

DYLN Inspired Water Bottle I got this water bottle from an Indiegogo campaign, and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased. The bottle has a diffuser in the bottom filled with mineral beads, and it’s supposed to create “living water” for better health and hydration. What is “living water,” you ask? Well, the water bottle can:

  • Raise the alkalinity of your water. I tested this myself with PH strips, and it works! Watch the video below to see the test.
  • Micro-clusters your water for better hydration. It creates smaller H20 molecule clusters, to permeate cells and truly hydrate.
  • Reduces oxidation level of water. Oxidation can cause cellular damage, and anti-oxidants lower the oxidation rate and kill free radicals. This is good for the immune system, and decreasing the chance of disease.
  • Far-infrared. I didn’t know much about this, except that I used to go in far-infrared saunas to detoxify. Infrared is apparently a specific wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum, which increases metabolism and body repair.

vitabeads_featureThis all sounds fantastic, but I wanted to test it and see if it worked! So I used PH strips to test the alkalinity of water before and after sitting in the DYLN bottle. And it worked! The PH was raised quite a bit. See the video below for the full test.

Also, the company is launching a clothing line with imbedded beads for infrared capabilities! They’ve done some tests, and the it’s pretty neat to the see the level of decreased inflammation. And, of course, what really caught my eye…is that they look so cute…I really want this jacket. And the tank top. Check out their website for more info: https://www.dylninspired.com/

DYLN Inspired Jacket and Clothing Line

DYLN Inspired Evolve Support Tank

DIY Homemade Deodorant that really works!

I love products with simple, natural ingredients; food without preservatives, lemon juice for facial toner, baking soda for toothpaste…you get the idea. But when it comes to “natural” deodorant (without aluminum or artificial fragrances), I just couldn’t find one that worked. I’ve literally been trying for years.Homemade Natural Deodorant

As I mentioned last month, I have found some great ways to use natural deodorant more effectively. (Exfoliating the armpits, using tea tree oil and lavender, re-freshing half-way through the day with a dry deodorant, etc.) I still utilize those methods, but this homemade deodorant has been the BEST thing I’ve tried so far. There is no need to reapply halfway through the day! Even after a long day and a workout, I’m still stench-free. Victory!  And there’s even more benefits to this DIY deodorant. There’s no chemicals, it’s cheap, easy, and better for the environment. (Wins all around!) Also, I like to get creative in how I package it…it can become a fun activity when you decorate the container, or add extra essential oils to make it smell nice.

There can be some challenges initially. It can dry out your skin a bit, or some ingredients may be a bit harsh for sensitive skin. Luckily, I have found solutions to most of those issues, and I list them below. Please feel free to tell me your own recipe, since we all can benefit from new ideas!

DIY Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Corn Starch or Arrowroot Powder/Tapioca Starch
  • 5 TBSP Coconut Oil*

Optional:

  • 20-30 drops essential oils, like Tea Tree, Lavender, Sweet Orange, or Peppermint
  • 2 TBSP Aloe Vera gel

*You can replace some of the coconut oil with cocoa butter or shea butter.

Directions:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a container or bowl.
  2. Melt the coconut oil until liquid.
  3. Pour the coconut oil over the dry ingredients, and add the essential oils (if using). If using a jar, or container with a lid, just shake the container until the ingredients are mixed. If using a bowl, just whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Transfer the ingredients to a sealable container or empty deodorant stick.
  5. Homemade Natural Deodorant that actually works Common Questions and Issues:

DIY Deodorant that really worksMy armpits are itchy, or there are little red bumps!
Solution: The high PH of baking soda can dry out your skin, or cause irritation. To counteract this, simply spray a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water into your armpits first. Let it dry, then apply the deodorant. This should fix the problem!

My skin is very sensitive. Will this work for me? If your skin is really sensitive, there are several things to do. For one, eliminate the essential oils. You can also use a larger percentage of corn starch/arrowroot flour and less baking soda.

I sweat a lot, and I’m afraid I’ll still stink after a hot yoga class/hard workout. I don’t know if this will be strong enough for me.
Natural deodorant won’t stop sweat, since it’s not an antiperspirant. (Which is a good thing. To plug up a body’s means of detoxification can cause problems in the long-term). Eventually, you may start to sweat less, since you’re allowing your body to detoxify.
Also, you can add extra essential oils and a larger percentage of baking soda. A large part of body odor has to do with what you eat. Try reducing strong herbs like onion and garlic, or find out if you have a food allergy. Clean foods, and foods that work for your body will produce less of a detoxifying effect (i.e. less smell).

Will it stain my clothes? In short…no. Or at least I’ve never had that happen. It’s similar to using coconut oil as lotion, just make sure it’s absorbed.

Homemade Natural Deodorant that really works

Why the “No Poo” Method is Bad for Your Hair

I am all about natural, easy, and cost-effective beauty products. I also love creating my own, as I find it very empowering (and usually a lot cheaper) to be free of the Whole Foods beauty section.

So, when I heard of the “No Poo” method I jumped right on the bandwagon. Supposedly, shampoo strips your hair of natural oils, causing them to over-produce more oil, so that you have to wash your hair every day. The idea of “No Poo” is that you don’t use regular shampoo and conditioner. You use baking soda and water to wash your hair, and apple cider vinegar to condition it. Sounds easy, right?

Well, my hair didn’t take too well at first….it was super greasy, plus the ends were becoming dry and frail. But, on all the websites, it says there’s a “transition period” for your hair. It is supposed to stop over-producing oils, and start to regulate and look cleaner naturally.

I waited…and waited…and waited…it had been about 4 months, and my hair looked terrible. It was so stringy and straw-like, that it looked like dry dread-locks 10 minutes after brushing it. The ends were so damaged that the split end was split, then the split of that was split. It looked terrible, and I had to wear it up all the time. I tried many hair masks; like egg whites, cocoa butter and honey. I started using shampoo and conditioner again, which helped, but it still was not restored to its normal luster.

A friend’s hair stylist heard I was doing this, and told her to tell me “For the love of God, stop! You’re damaging your hair!” So I did some research…and found some great articles that explained why this method is actually terrible for your hair. The pH in baking soda is too high, disrupting the natural pH balance. “Alkaline shampoos strip the hair’s natural oils and disrupt the acid mantle, causing dehydration and leading to porous, fragile hair.” (The DermaDoctor SkinStruction Manual, 2005)

As the article above suggests, I tried some other natural methods. Honey made my hair greasy and did not fix the damaged ends. I tried aloe, which made clumps of my hair come out!!! AHHH!!!!

I’ve been growing my hair out for 2 years now, and I was afraid I had destroyed it forever. I didn’t want to have to chop it all off. Luckily, I found a salon in Brentwood called Byuti that does natural hair masques. (They called them “Byuti Blenders.”) It’s a base of camellia, sesame, and shea butter. Then they add different serums made with botanical extracts and proteins custom for your specific hair.

As my blog shows, I’m all about “do it yourself,” homemade, easy alternatives. But, there comes a point when it’s cheaper and easier to let the professionals handle it. If I were to buy all the ingredients they used by myself, it would not be cheap. Yes, I’d get to use them again, but I would also have to “experiment” a lot to find the right match, which could end up costing me much much more than I need to. Plus, they give your hair a steam to infuse the mixture. (Everyone knows how much a love saunas, so a steam for my hair was awesome!) And the result? Fully restored hair!!!! I couldn’t be happier that I don’t have to shave my head and start over.

Although I may experiment with different natural shampoos, I think I’m just gong to use the most natural shampoos I can find and call it a day. And, I’m going to treat myself to a Byuti hair masque every few months to keep it healthy. (Spending $35-$60 every few months is DEFINITELY worth keeping my hair from falling out, right? Not to mention I get about 10 compliments a day…that never hurts…)

So check out the video below to actually see my hair transformation. Let me know what you think!

Natural Deoderant that Works

I have made a commitment lately…that I will finally find a natural deodorant that works! As a personal trainer and yoga teacher, I’m active every day. I’ve tried natural deodorant before, but it only worked on my relaxation days. But I can’t handle the guilt of using aluminum any more, so I’ve been conducting a self-experiment! Watch the video below to see my findings thus far. I think I may be onto something. I got 2 of the best suggestions so far from my friend Christy, The Blissful Chef, and my friend Ann Taylor of Paleo Yogis.

To summarize:

  1. Exfoliate your armpits!
  2. Rotate your deodorants.
  3. Use tea tree oil.
  4. Use baking soda (or another form of powdered deodorant.)

My next experiment..making my own deodorant! I’ve read that you can make homemade deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda, and tea tree oil. I will update with news of the failure or success.

How to Increase Your Health with Indoor Plants

Study after study has shown that the air inside our homes is frequently more contaminated with pollutants than the air outside — even in large metropolitan areas! Beyond making your home more attractive and welcoming, adding indoor plants to your home can increase your health for numerous reasons!

Just about everyone knows plants produce oxygen, which can help purify the air around you, and has been shown to help those that suffer from frequent headaches, respiratory congestion, help prevent illness, and can even help stimulate a more positive mood. In addition, finding and adding plants to your home that produce oxygen at night can help you sleep better! However, one of the major benefits of adding plants to your home is their ability to remove contaminants and pollutants from the air. Common sources of pollutants can include paint, carpeting, building materials, furniture, clothing, and even tap water (especially where you shower, as hot water will vaporize gases contained in tap water). The newer your home, the more likely it is to have a greater variety and quantity of pollutants in the air, as vapors from various building materials, paints, and carpeting can take years to out-gas the chemicals with which they are produced. The ability of plants to remove such toxins from the air is called phytoremediation, which removes volatile organic compounds, many of which have been linked with such symptoms as asthma, cancer, and neurological and reproductive diseases. Such compounds include carbon monoxide, ammonia, benzene, and formaldehyde.

If you’ve never had indoor plants (our outdoor plants for that matter!), finding the ideal plant is a lot more simple than it may seem at first. The key is finding low maintenance plants that are easy to locate, and also attractive for you home. Visiting your local garden shop and asking for a specific variety of plant you desire is the easiest way to go about obtaining indoor plants. You can also try your hand at growing them yourself! The three following plants are among the easiest indoor plants to care for, and each is easy to locate!

Ferns, such as the Mother Fern (pictured at the beginning of the article) or Boston Fern (pictured to the right), are among the easiest indoor plants to care for. Ferns come in a variety of shapes, from being more delicate to thick in appearance, and require indirect light and low moisture (perfect for those that don’t remember to water them all the time). Ferns are especially beneficial for your home as they have been shown to be one of the top 9 plants for filtering volatile organic compounds. Because ferns need indirect light, they are best placed away from a window where light can filter in — they will not thrive in areas with direct sunlight or lack of sunlight. Ferns enjoy higher humidity, making them a good fit for bathrooms. Consider adding one (or a few) to the bathroom you regularly use for showering.

Bromeliads, the same family of plants that pineapple derive from, are an attractive variety of plant that are easy to take care of, though slightly more so than ferns. One of the primary benefits of choosing bromeliads for your home is that they process oxygen at night, making them an ideal choice to place in your bedroom for sleeping benefits. Bromeliads prefer bright indirect light, and are thus best placed away from a window — they will also not thrive in areas with no light. Bromeliads are slightly more demanding of their surroundings, and are best placed in homes where heating is not used regularly, as they require approximately 60% humidity in the air. Additionally, spraying your bromeliad with water on a frequent basis will prove beneficial to the health of your bromeliad. However, bromeliads need only be watered every 3-4 days and prefer soils that dry quickly.

Lucky Bamboo is among the most interesting and easy to care for indoor plants you can choose, and is becoming readily obtainable. Lucky bamboo complements almost any decor and is an essential part of feng shui design, where it is frequently woven into beautiful patterns. It can be grown in either soil or in complete water, allowing you to get very creative with how to choose to express this plant in your home. Additionally, lucky bamboo can thrive in almost any kind of light and can withstand long periods of being poorly kept, making it the most ideal of all plants for those seeking the ultimate low maintenance house plant. One of the most common ways to grow lucky bamboo is a vase with pebbles, in which only an inch of water is required for the health of the plant. Although you don’t have to change the water until it runs dry, I recommend changing it weekly to prevent stagnation and mold build up in the water. The leaves of lucky bamboo are also slightly toxic, thus the plant is best placed away from areas where pets or children can gain access to it. An interesting note: lucky bamboo is not bamboo at all, but a species of plant known as Dracaena sanderiana.

Getting started adding indoor plants to your home will improve your air quality significantly, thus improving your health in the process. If anything, your home will look better, feel cleaner, and you’ll have a new friend to care for in the process!