Aura Cacia Massage Products

January 8, 2009 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Beauty, Dry Skin, Kat Lee, Kitchen Sink

by Kat Lee

PhotobucketAura Cacia makes so many different “flavors”, I’m going to have to focus on just one, or this review would be twenty pages! While picking a favorite is difficult, I have to say that my favorite massage product is the Lavender massage cream.

The scent is sufficiently strong, but not cloying; the cream is thick enough not to run everywhere, but not so thick that it is sticky. In a word: perfect.

It is great for massage, but also perfect for moisturizing your whole body after a shower. Just apply everywhere while your skin is still wet. Lightly pat yourself dry, and your skin will be baby smooth. It’s so gentle that I can use it on my kids as well. My older son has issues with dry, sensitive skin, and generally develops a rash if I try to use any kind of scented product.

When I used the lavender cream, it moisturized his skin very well. Not only did he NOT develop a rash – it has begun helping to eliminate the perpetual “dry-skin” rash he has on his stomach during the winter.

PhotobucketHowever, to those who have a soy allergy, I must post a warning. This product does contain soy in the form of GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) WAX. Dr. Sundene stresses the importance of knowing all of the different names for the item to which you are allergic, and this only underscores that fact.

Luckily, having also used the Lavender Harvest massage oil, I can say that it is a perfectly acceptable substitution. The only real difference that I noticed was that the oil is, of course, a bit runny and more difficult to apply to wiggly children. However, if you’re applying it to yourself or another adult, you should be just fine.

I’ve included ingredient lists below for both products, linking many of the ingredients to their respective pages at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. As you can see, the ingredients all rate very low on the toxicity meter — which is good!

Lavender Massage Cream Ingredients:

VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL, PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) KERNEL OIL, PRUNUS AMYGDALUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) OIL, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) WAX, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (CANDELILLA) WAX, COPERNICIA CERIFERA(CARNAUBA) WAX, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) OIL, LAVANDULA X INTERMEDIA (LAVANDIN) OIL, LAVANDULA LATIFOLIA (SPIKE LAVENDER) OIL.

PhotobucketLavender Harvest Massage Oil Ingredients:

VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL, PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) KERNEL OIL, PRUNUS AMYGDALUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) OIL, LAVANDULA X INTERMEDIA (LAVANDIN) OIL, LAVANDULA LATIFOLIA (SPIKE LAVENDER) OIL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E).

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Truvia – The Sweet Taste of Sugar-Free

PhotobucketI tend to shy away from artificial sweeteners because of the undeniably harmful side-effects they all seem to carry. Even Splenda – touted as “natural” – is nothing more than chlorinated sugar.

I prefer not to ingest chlorine, thank you very much. (And before anyone steps up with the fact that tap water contains chlorine, let me assure you that I’ve taken care of that via my whole house filtration system.)

Chlorine levels commonly found in drinking water have now been linked to certain instances of cancer, which is why I try to avoid drinking it. So I would honestly prefer not to sweeten my food with it.

The only real alternative to artificial sweeteners has been Stevia, which has no side-effects and has been in existence years with no reported problems. My only issue with Stevia is that it tastes “okay”, but not fantastic. So when I heard about a new company, Truvia, who claimed to have produced a more “sugar-like” stevia, I was interested!

PhotobucketThe Truvia company has discovered a way to isolate and extract the best tasting part of the leaf, and turn it into a calorie-free sweetener that is chemical-free. I’ve used it sprinkled over fruit and in my oatmeal and thought it tasted exactly like sugar.

When I tried it in my coffee, it was good, but the aftertaste was almost minty – which was not bad, just odd. (I’ll admit that I put way to much sugar in my coffee – so that may be the issue!)

At any rate, this is the ONLY artificial sweetener that actually tastes like sugar, and isn’t laden with chemicals. That makes it a one of a kind product for those looking for a calorie free way to get their sugar fix.

Here’s a recipe using Truvia courtesy of Truvia.com:

PhotobucketPineapple Orange Banana Frostie

Ingredients

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
½ cup pineapple juice
1 banana
1 cup orange juice
1 cup ice
8 packets Truvia™ natural sweetener

Procedure

Add all ingredients to blender
2. Blend on high until smooth
3. Enjoy

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Alternative to Toxic Anti-Bacterial Products

December 31, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Best, Kat Lee, Kitchen Sink

PhotobucketUsing anti-bacterial products such as hand sanitizers and soaps containing harmful ingredients (like triclosan) has become commonplace in our world today. As a result we’ve seen bacteria become stronger and more resistant to antibiotic treatment.

The founders of the Clean Well company began looking for an all natural way to kill germs, and found that there are several naturally occurring oils that have antimicrobial properties. After much research and development, they were able to patent a substance they call “ingenium”, a formula of natural oils – mainly thymus, or thyme – that has been FDA approved to kill MRSA (staph), E.Coli, and Salmonella.

PhotobucketThey’ve used ingenium to produce both an anti-bacterial soap, as well as an alcohol-free hand sanitizer. Now I don’t have to spray alcohol on my hands during this time of year when they’re so dry already! The hand sanitizer has such a nice citrus scent, and comes in a spray bottle as well as convenient wipes. Their site includes a handy store-finder so you can stock up!

I had pretty much sworn off sanitizers or anti-bacterial anything until I read about Clean Well. They have used the resources existing in nature to battle germs — and won. Visit the Clean Well website to learn about the sustainability of their products – this truly is a “green” company that any environmentally conscious person can stand behind.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

All Natural Deodorant Options

PhotobucketI don’t know about you, but I am extremely picky when it comes to my deodorant. I enjoy smelling nice, and I’m sure everyone around me appreciates it too… When I first became aware of all the hazards associated with traditional deodorant sticks, I was at a loss as to what to do. Now, after trying numerous all natural deodorants – I’ll pass on my experience and (hopefully) save you some time and trouble!

Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Care Deodorant Stick

I have to say that Tom does a great job producing a nice smelling deodorant stick that does not include aluminum or any other objectionable ingredients. Unfortunately, it didn’t last past lunchtime for me. I’ll admit I can be pretty hard on deodorants, and I do know some people who love it.

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Chemical Free
  • Full ingredient disclosure on the website
  • Nice fragrances to choose from

Cons:

  • Decidedly NOT long-lasting, sorry Tom

Crystal Body Deodorant Salt Stick

This is basically a giant piece of salt (odd, I know) that helps eliminate odors. To use, you simply moisten the salt stick, apply like regular deodorant, pat the stick dry and put away. This deodorant kept me daisy fresh all day. Thumbs up!

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • All natural (it’s salt – doesn’t get much more natural than that)
  • Worked extremely well

Cons:

  • You have to moisten the stick with every use
  • You have to dry the stick with every use (sorry, maybe I’m lazy)
  • Eventually, bits of the stick start to flake off and this can create some sharp spots -  not good when we’re applying something to such a sensitive area.

PhotobucketKiss My Face Active Enzyme Deodorant Stick

This product went on very smooth, and was completely fragrance free (which I liked). However, it does come in a few different scents if you want something that smells pretty. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t last as long as I had hoped. It did outperform Tom’s, but didn’t last all day. Again, I do know people who love this stuff, so I’m sure it has something to do with individual body chemistry.

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Includes Kaolin Clay, a potent toxin absorber
  • Very smooth and not “wet”

Cons:

  • The only con is that it didn’t last all day for me
  • Photobucket

Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Deodorant

This one by Kiss My Face was also fragrance free, but comes in a variety of scents. This is essentially the same as the Crystal Stick above, but in a roll on format that contains liquid inside. The plus here is that there is no “wetting” and “drying” involved. It’s just like any other roll-on deodorant. It also performed just as well as the salt stick – lasting all day even in the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had recently.

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Chemical Free
  • Convenient Roll On
  • Lasts All Day

PhotobucketCons:

  • I’ve tried to think of at least one con – but I can’t. There you have it.

Due to the lack of “con’s” – I’m awarding this one with my seal of approval!

-Kat

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Kiss My Face Fragrance Free Lotions

December 31, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Best, Dry Skin, Kat Lee, Kitchen Sink, Olive Oil

by Kat Lee

PhotobucketKiss My Face Olive and Aloe

My hands are not normally very dry, for which I am thankful; but when winter hits, my hands get dry and start to itch. And of course, every year, I scratch them. I know I shouldn’t but I do. Then, when I decide to put on some lotion, what happens? They BURN! Like fire. And brimstone (whatever that is).

I’ve tried unscented lotions before but for some reason, they still burn (and the lotion still smells). My husband already deals with dry skin, so in the winter it’s even worse. He just deals with the fact that most lotions will burn. I said “most”, because I’ve found one lotion that does not.

Photobucket Kiss My Face makes a fragrance-free lotion called Olive and Aloe that I have found works fabulously. Featured in Elle Magazine in May 2008, the main ingredients are… (drumroll please)… olive oil and aloe vera. I’ll bet you wouldn’t have guess that, eh? All kidding aside, olive oil and aloe vera are two very soothing emollients that make this lotion an absolute dream for wintertime. The lotion also contains lavender and chamomile, both known for calming the skin. And while it does contain these oils, you cannot smell them at all; it is very literally “fragrance free”.

Ingredients:
Photobucket

  • Aqua, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Palmitate, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Borate, Aloe Barbadensis (Leaf Juice), Olea Europaea (Olive Fruit Oil), Avena Sativa (Oat Protein), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed Oil), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria Flower Extract), Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Extract), Sambucus Nigra (Elder Flower Extract), Calendula Officinalis (Flower Extract), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Flower Extract), Salvia Officinalis (Sage Leaf Extract), Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil), Xanthan Gum, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Allantoin, Lecithin, Cetyl Esters, Polysorbate 80, Squalane*, Titanium Dioxide, Trisodium EDTA, 1,2 Hexanediol (and) Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Peel Oil), Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange Peel Oil), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Peel Oil), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit Peel Oil), Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss Extract), Viola Odorata (Flower Extract)
    *Olive derived
Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Aura Cacia’s Lavender Harvest, Mommy’s Secret Weapon

PhotobucketBy Kat Lee

I have friends whose children drop off to sleep peacefully, alone, and fast; and I must confess that I secretly hate them. Okay, hate is not really the right word, but I seriously envy them.

My children require ninja mommy skills when bedtime arrives. If your children are like this, then you totally know what I mean by that.

You carefully arrange everything: mood, lighting, temperature. Then, you must sit nearby (or completely underneath and entangled between) your children until they become unconscious.

Now comes the tricky part – extricating yourself from this situation so that you can watch Heroes. You slowly twist and pull and wrangle yourself free from the children, then quietly tiptoe out of the room like a midnight assassin.

Sound familiar? If so, then I have just discovered a secret weapon that you may be interested in: Aura Cacia’s Lavender Harvest essential oil. The other night I placed one of their neat pocket diffusers (full of lavender) into the kids’ bedroom a bit before bedtime.

They lay down, as usual, and I sat nearby (not even an arm around them!) to see what would happen. They chatted a bit, then quieted down… then they fell asleep. I tiptoed out of the room in utter amazement. Who knew something as simple as lavender could be so effective?

I can assure you that this ninja mommy will never be caught without a supply of lavender oil again. That and Benadryl (just kidding).

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Terra Tints by Alba Botanica: Product Review

November 5, 2008 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Beauty, Kat Lee, Kitchen Sink, Lifestyle Tips

By Kat Lee

There’s nothing that makes me feel prettier than wearing lipstick.

I’m not sure why… it must just be a girl thing. At any rate, I’ve known for quite some time that the ingredients used in lipstick were less than stellar.

However, it was when it was discovered that several mainstream companies had lead in their lipstick products that I decided enough was enough. Then I began my search for quality lipstick that I wouldn’t have to take out a second mortgage to purchase!

It wasn’t easy; let me tell you. First I went to some trendy, all natural shops – and found nothing that cost less than the pair of shoes I was wearing. After that, I asked around and was told that any organic lipstick would cost at least one pair of shoes. In one last desperate attempt, I went to my local farmer’s market, Sprouts (my usual go-to for all natural products) and found several tubes of organic lipstick for almost $20 per tube. To be honest, I didn’t want to shell out that much dough for something that I wasn’t sure I would even like.

Then I saw Terra Tints for only $3.50 per tube. Granted, it’s actually tinted lip balm, not “real” lipstick, but for that price, I was willing to chance it. I picked “Blaze” because it sounded nice and bright, and I was just in that kind of mood that day. When I put it on, it was pretty, red and very lipstick-like. But even better than that, it was menthol tingly. When I put it on my lips, it’s like I’m giving them a hot rock massage, and who doesn’t want that on a dry winter day?

I know, I know, you’re wondering if they’re paying me for this… and the answer is no (although I wouldn’t be opposed). I just really like this product because it meets all my requirements. It’s organic, all natural, pretty, stays on, and doesn’t dry out my lips. I have to say that I’m hooked!

For more of Kat’s fun and fabulous natural beauty reviews stop by http://katzhealthyliving.blogspot.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™