Sunday, July 27, 2014

Experimenting Update: Chocolate Fun!

Decided today I would pamper myself with a chocolate facial, scrub and hair mask. mmm... chocolately goodness.

Chocolate Facial - tightens and cleanses pores (and smells so good!)

Milk (2 to 4 Tbsp)
Raw Cacao Powder (2 to 4 Tbsp)

Mix the milk into the cacao powder until it forms a paste.  I used 4 Tbsp of each.  Brush onto your clean, dry skin.  Relax for 15 minutes or until mostly dry.  Rinse with warm water, pat dry face and apply moisturizer.  Your skin will feel tighter and your pores will be completely cleaned!

Chocolate Scrub - exfoliates and tightens

Raw Sugar (I used coconut sugar)
Raw Cacao Powder
Honey or Oil

Mix all ingredients together. Smooth over skin in circular motions.  Rinse with warm water.  Pat dry and apply lotion.

Chocolate Hair Mask - This is for dark hair only!  It will darken you're hair a teensy bit.

Raw Cacao Powder - 4-6 Tbsp
Natural, Sugar Free Vanilla Yogurt - 4-6 Tbsp
Honey - 1-2 Tbsp

Mix all ingredients together.  Section hair into four sections (six if you have thick hair).  Smooth into hair from root to tip as evenly as possible.  I used a wide tooth comb for help.  Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.  The longer you let it sit, the darker your hair will be.  

My hair is just at my collar bones, so I used 4 Tbsp of cacao and yogurt plus 1 Tbsp honey.  You may need to make more for longer hair.  I let mine sit for 20 minutes.  I have medium brown hair with a blonde tone (not dyed).  It darkened it slightly, but wasn't very noticeable.  I love how it made my hair feel and smell though!

Happy Chocolate Day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Experimenting Update: Chia Seeds

So I've been trying to incorporate the chia seeds every day (sometimes twice a day) into my diet.  My fav way of using them so far is in my water at work.  I work in retail, talk to people ALL day so I drink a ton of water.  I've been adding about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of seeds to 16 oz of water.  The seeds soak up the water super fast, and get bloaty like tapioca pearls.  If you use too many (which I've totally done...) then it's a tad weird to drink... all gooey and gelatinous... blech!

Anywayysss... I really like these!  They make me feel full-er without eating so I can go longer between meals if needed (do not recommend, but helpful if you're mega busy).  They help my stomach feel better if it's a little off that day AND add extra fiber to my diet...which is always good.

Try them! :)

I have added them to food too - salad, pizza, cheese and egg sandwich, ice cream... - barely even noticed they were there because they are SO tiny!  Happy Chia Day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Experiment: Homemade Hot Chocolate!

Another experiment! muahahahahahahahaha!

Grab your fav mug... lets make some super yummy homemade hot chocolate.  Sure to melt away every ounce of stress, sad faces or unhappiness.

What you'll need:
2 Tbsp. Viva Labs Raw Cacao Powder
1-2 Tbsp. Viva Labs Raw Coconut Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Cup or 1 mug full of milk
Small sauce pan
  1. Measure out the milk using your fav mug.  I like giant cups of hot cocoa, so I opted for a HUGE mug.
  2. Pour the milk into the sauce pan, add the sugar and vanilla.
  3. Turn on the burner to a medium heat, let the milk heat until frothy.
  4. Whisk in cocoa powder.  Let remain on heat for another 2 minutes.
  5. Pout into mug and drink!
Please note: I used the ingredients I had at my house to make this.  If you do not have raw sugar or raw cacao powder, you can sub in unsweetened cocoa powder and regular white sugar.  Viva Labs did not ask me to write about this, I chose to.  I was sent the products for review consideration, however I am going to state my honest opinion.

Sit back, relax, enjoy!! Happy Experimenting!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Experiment Day 2 - Cacao Powder and Coconut Sugar

I had the few ingredients hanging around to make a chocolate facial mask and chocolate sugar scrub, so I decided to relax and enjoy the chocolate!

Choco-Banana Facial
  • 1 tsp. Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 Organic Banana
  • 2 drops almond oil or extract
Mash up the banana until smooth (I used a fork). Add the cacao powder and almond, mix until smooth.  Some chunks will remain from banana.  Smooth onto face and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes.  Relax!  Enjoy the chocolaty goodness... mmm...  This mask will make your face feel soft and relaxed while leaving a pleasant scent. ahhh... I love it!

Chocolate and Coconut Sugar Scrub
  • 1 tsp. raw cacao powder
  • 2 - 3 tsp. raw coconut sugar (the more sugar you use, the more course the mixture will be)
  • 1 Tbsp honey or oil (I used olive oil)
Mix all ingredients together.  In small circles, put the scrub on your skin and continue to rub for 15-20 seconds.  Rinse with warm water then add lotion.

I really loved the sugar scrub!  My skin felt amazing - tight, soft and glowy AND smelled ah-ma-zing!  The sugar smells just like brown sugar (caramel-y) and the chocolate just enhanced the scent.  The scrub should be stored in an air-tight container to keep it fresh.

So far the experiments are going really well.  Still debating on how to use the maca powder.  I tried a teensy bit for flavor and ICK! It is definitely an acquired taste.  That will have to be masked.  By lots of fruit...

This is so much fun!! Happy Experimenting!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Viva Labs New Organic Products!

I was recently contacted by Viva Labs - a company that sells organic, healthy food items on Amazon.  A while back I worked with them testing out their extra-virigin organic coconut oil (and LOVED it).  They asked if I was up for helping again, and of course I said yes!

They sent me five different products to test:
Maca Powder (this isn't available for purchase yet)

Over the next month, I'll be testing out all five of these products for both myself, my dog and in my beauty routine.  I'm really intrigued to see what happens!

Out of all the products on the list, cacao powder (coco powder) is probably the most well known.  It is the raw form of coco beans, but powdered.  It is bitter, but super chocolately.  This is the key ingredient in my all-time fav sauce for Spanish/Mexican cuisine.. mole!!  Now that I have some, I'm totally going to make my own mole. woo!

I've decided to test out the chia seeds first.  Read more about them here.

Day 1 was successful.  I added 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to a cup of cold tap water (mainly just to see what happened).  The seeds soaked up the water and gradually sank down into the water.  They don't have much of a taste at all, just like tapioca pearls but WAY smaller.  I actually enjoyed drinking my water with the seeds.  I did keep a spoon handy to stir the water though.  Thinking a waterbottle next time so I can shake it up.

Hmm.. what to do next? Any suggestions?

If you've tried these products, let me know you're favorite way to use them!  Happy Testing!