Dessert for your Face

cherry facial mask

The fruit-growing season in Canada is short, and when summer comes I like to take advantage of what is fresh, available, and at its flavour peak. In late June and July, cherries are in abundance. They are rich red, mahogany even, and the plumpest, sweetest, juiciest fruits around. Cherries are magnificent. While cherries are delicious to eat, they also do wonders when applied topically to our skin. The following is a recipe for a chocolate cherry smoothie/mask, which I like to call “Dessert for Your Face”. You will benefit inside and out from this tasty, in-season natural beauty product. “Dessert for Your Face” 1 cup fresh pitted cherries ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt ¼ cup whole oats ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa…

Wellness

Wellness at Crystal Hills Organics

As a physician, I have come to cherish good health! On a daily basis I have the opportunity to witness health, both good and poor, in its many forms. The human body is an amazing entity with an almost limitless array of states. Anyone who doubts this need only start an internet search on “health”, or more primitively, they can look in my basement at the ridiculous number of medical textbooks and journals I have somehow accumulated over the years. Some factors of the human body and health are obvious. For example, those who exercise regularly have better cardiac reserves, whereas those who lack insulin develop diabetes. Others are more nuanced, such as the impact of topical applications on our metabolic state. Through this blog…

Regaining my Inner Balance

regaining my inner balance

Regaining My Inner Balance Like most busy moms, I am constantly on the go. It takes a lot of work to pack up the kids and all their supplies for the day. However, I consider myself to be lucky as I can usually fit in some kind of “me” time on most days, such as gym time, tennis, lunch or coffee with a friend, or some quick shopping. Since the mornings are so busy, most days I am lucky to get a five-minute shower and quickly put on mascara and lip gloss before heading out the door. A typical day for me means that I can have either good hair, good makeup, or a good outfit: two out of three means I am meeting a…

Lavender

Lavender at Crystal Hills Organics

Lavender is well known as a traditional cottage-garden flowering plant, with its violet buds held high on spikes above the gray-green foliage. This beautiful, fragrant herb has been used since the middle ages for a variety of purposes including culinary, medicinal, and cosmetics. This aromatic herb offers a floral and elegant flavor to baked goods, desserts, salads, soups and a variety of dishes. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as decorations on cookies and cake, or infused into sugar to impart a subtle flavor. In the summertime here in Kelowna, the Okanagan Lavender Farm offers delicious scones, jellies, cookies, and more in their cute café. Medicinally, lavender can help soothe nerves and is known to ease mild depression and possess mood-elevating effects. Additionally,…

Crystal Hills Open House

sugar scrubs and body oil, Crystal Hills Organics

Andrea has been talking about her Crystal Hills products in development for a long time. I knew that I would enjoy using her products, and I knew that they would be nice and feminine and fancy, but I had no idea how marvelous they would actually be. On June 3, 2016, Andrea invited me to a Crystal Hills Open House at her laboratory in Kelowna. First of all, it is not just a laboratory: the facility is perched on an idyllic hillside, overlooking her organic vineyard and herb garden, adjacent to a peaceful pond, tennis courts and a sprawling house and pool that looks more like an oasis than anything else. The interior of the lab also surprised me, with glass jars containing crystals, herbs and other organic…

Chocolate Banana Pops

chocolate banana pops, nut free

Chocolate Banana Pops A healthy treat for kids or adults that incorporates hemp seeds, sunflower butter and bananas . . . dipped in chocolate. Delicious. This simple snack sneaks in protein, essential fatty acids and vitamin E (plus an array of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, etc). Ingredients 2 bananas sliced 1/3 inch thick 1/2 cup sunflower butter such as Organic Sunbutter (or natural peanut butter if you have no allergies to nuts) 1 cup enjoy life chocolate chips 2 tbsp coconut oil hemp seeds (optional) Shiskabob skewers cut in half, or popsicle sticks   Method Slice banana. Place 1 teaspoon of sunflower butter (or peanut butter) and stack a slice of banana on top. Spear the skewer slowly through banana…

Hair Masque for Soft and Silky Tresses

hair masque for soft and silky tresses

From 1998 to 2003, I lived in Montreal. I enjoyed my time studying there, making new friends, and experiencing the glorious language, culture, shopping, food, and nightlife that the city had to offer.  One beauty-related thing that I noticed about Montreal was that the humidity in the air gave my hair the softest, most voluminous and touchable curls that I had ever known, to say nothing of the wonders it did for my skin. It was like waking up with a massive lion’s mane every day, and I loved it. This new humidity and texture gave me the courage to experiment with some honey and butter blonde highlights, something I had never dared to do when I lived in Edmonton.  The weather in Alberta is…

Chocolate banana protein pancakes

chocolate banana protein pancakes

Chocolate banana protein pancakes Start your day out right with a healthy, protein-packed, decadent breakfast. What do you get when you combine cocoa powder, banana, coconut oil and oat flour . . . the most fabulous morning treat. Ingredients ⦁ 1 cup oat flour ⦁ 1/4 cup cocoa powder ⦁ 1 teaspoon baking powder ⦁ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda ⦁ 2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (I used Genuine Health fermented vanilla) ⦁ 1/2 cup banana, mashed ⦁ 1 1/2 cups milk or milk alternative ⦁ 1 tablespoon chia seeds ⦁ 1 tablespoon avocado oil or melted coconut oil Method 1. Combine oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, protein powder together in a medium sized bowl. 2. In another bowl, mash banana and…

History and Use of Sodium Bicarbonate

bath salts

History and Use of Sodium Bicarbonate Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda or sodium hydrogen carbonate, is a crystalline solid. Baking soda is not to be confused with baking powder which is a mixture: baking soda is pure. Most of its use is in a fine powder form. Sodium Bicarbonate is one of the ingredients incorporated into Crystal Dreams Bath Salts. In water, sodium bicarbonate forms a mildly alkaline solution. Benefits of alkaline water include helping the body to cleanse efficiently by detoxifying the skin. The detoxification process leads the body to remove wastes and other toxins, which ultimately has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. History Sodium bicarbonate has a rich history, extending thousands of years into our past. Ancient Egyptians used natural…

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