Healthy Eating This Holiday Season!

It can be tough for many of us this time of year. It’s usually filled with fattening treats and seasonal delicacies, many of which are not considered “healthy”. It’s often so hard for many of us to “stay on track”. Here are some tips to stay healthy this season.

#1 Plan ahead.

Heading to a holiday party? Eat before you go. Filling up on USDA certified Organic healthy foods before you attend a holiday event will help you avoid temptation due to starvation. If you have influence over the menu, suggest or bring healthier and organic versions of holiday favorites and experiment with organic seasonal ingredients, such as pomegranates and cinnamon. If you choose to drink alcohol, watch your portions – too much can lower your inhibitions, causing you to slip up on your healthy eating plan.

#2 Treat yourself in moderation.

When it comes to living an organic and healthy lifestyle, moderation is everything. If you spend the months leading up to the holidays looking forward to Zondra’s home made peach cobbler, have some! LOL! Keep your portion in check and compensate by passing on other high carbohydrate/high sugar foods, such as a dinner roll. It’s all about balance: pick and choose when to indulge. If you are in an active weight loss program, one approach is to focus on weight maintenance during the holiday season, rather than weight loss. This will allow you to enjoy holiday favorites in moderation without the pressure of trying to lose weight this time of year.

#3 Stay active. 

Maintaining your physical activity level during the holidays will not only help with weight maintenance, but will decrease stress and increase energy during this busy time of year. Don’t have time to hit the gym? Invite friends and family over for a holiday stroll around the neighborhood to admire the lights and holiday decor. Put the “active” in holiday activities – it might just become a favorite holiday tradition!

#4 Manage stress.

The holiday season is recognized for joyous times with friends and family, but it can be quite stressful too. There can be considerable professional pressures in terms of wrapping up the year in addition to holiday shopping and events. Unmanaged stress can lead to a decreased immune system, weight gain and unhealthy eating and drinking. Be sure to take time to unwind and take care of yourself this time of year.

#5 Experience holiday pleasures.

So much of what we do around the holidays includes eating and drinking – but it doesn’t have to! Instead focus spreading holiday cheer by writing holiday cards or listening to music. Enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the holiday season.

5 Ways to tone your thighs!

2019 is coming quick and if you are like me, you want to head into the new year feeling great about your body. So, if you are feeling like you want to make a positive change for your body, follow these steps to get slim and muscular thighs. Even if you are in very good shape it can sometimes be difficult to have a toned body. Thighs are especially difficult because they are such a big muscle and don't often look sleek and toned. However, with some effort and diligence you can have sleek toned thighs – all it takes is a little time.

1.) Do squats.
 Squats are a great way to build lean muscle and tone your inner thighs. Keeping your feet shoulder width apart bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. You can do this up against a wall or not, and keep your shoulder blades and lower back pressed up against the wall. Stay in this position for one minute, take a 30-second break, and repeat. Do about ten reps a day. 

2.) Try squat jumps. Squat down, keeping your back as straight as possible and your eyes straight ahead. Touch the ground with your fingers. The lower you get the better, but don’t let your knees come in front of your feet. Now jump straight up, keeping your core centered beneath you. Do as many as you can, then take a one-minute break, then do three quarters of whatever number you just did. Do exercises like this three or four times a week if you can.

3.) Try the curtsy lunge. Lunges are great for your thighs and target the muscles directly. Step one leg back behind and across your backside, bending the front leg 90 degrees to lower yourself closer to the floor. Keep as much weight as possible on the front leg. Return to an upright position with your feet side by side. Repeat. Do this exercise on both sides.

4.) Do dumbbell lunges. Lunges are a great way to build muscle and burn fat. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, with a 5-10 pound dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one foot and make sure the front thigh is parallel with the ground. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Do about 20 lunges a day. This is an exercise that you can do at home if you have dumbbells available, or try it without dumbbells, which is still a really good body-weight exercise.

  • If lunging with dumbbells is too difficult, try doing them without weights.

5.) Use resistance bands.
 You can use resistance bands to tone your thighs as well. Try using resistance bands to make certain exercises hard, such as by doing leg extensions while sitting in a chair. You can loop the resistance band around the chair legs, and then loop the ends of the bands around your ankles and alternate extending your legs.

  • Try doing squats with a resistance band.

Be sure to follow up your exercise routine with plenty of water and make sure your diet is loaded with USDA certified organic fruits and veggies. You can also use our USDA certified organic skin care products right after you workout.

Wanna Know How To Get A Six-Pack?

Before you tone a six-pack, you’ll need to shed any excess pounds—and that starts in the kitchen. Countless studies have shown that diet, not exercise, is the key to weight loss. It doesn’t hurt to add usda certified organic skin care products to your regime for extra credit. Just remember, whatever you put on your skin seeps into your blood stream. One 2014 analysis of past studies found that exercise didn’t have any effect on the first six months of a weight-loss program, but participants who ate well and worked out lost the most pounds after a year. “Food is everything and exercise is extra credit,” says registered dietitian Ilana Muhlstein, creator of Beachbody’s 2B Mindset program. “You can do 500 crunches a day all you want, but you’ll never see them if you’re carrying extra weight.” To get to a healthy weight, you’ll need to eat fewer calories and replace junk foods with satisfying, nutritious and usda certified organic food choice options.

What is baking soda?

It's 100 percent sodium bicarbonate, which can be used as a leavening agent in baked goods. When mixed with an acid, baking soda reacts, making bubbles and giving off carbon dioxide gas, which causes dough to rise. Anecdotal reports throughout history suggest that many civilizations used forms of baking soda when making bread and other foods that required rising.

In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, has been used since ancient times. And no, you don't need to get aluminum-free baking soda (you are confusing that with baking powder), as baking soda is already aluminum free.…

11 Ways to Use Baking Soda for Your Health

You can purchase a box of baking soda for under $1, making it one of the least expensive home remedies to keep on hand. In addition to using it for minor accidents and injuries, baking soda can become a part of your regular hygiene routine.

1. Natural Deodorant

If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant. You can also simply brush some dry baking soda under your arms.

2. Insect Bites and Poison Ivy

Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy. Baking soda helps to relieve minor skin irritation and itching by neutralizing toxins and irritants on your skin's surface.2

3. Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain

Most over-the-counter antacids contain some form of bicarbonate. Baking soda works by immediately neutralizing stomach acid, helping to relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain. I have personally recommended this to many, including family members, and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is.

Dosing is typically ½ teaspoon fully dissolved in a half a glass of water, taken every two hours (do not take more than seven ½ teaspoons in 24 hours, or three ½ teaspoons if you're over 60).3

This should only be used as an occasional (not chronic) treatment, however, and be careful not to consume excessive amounts, which can cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.4

4. Foot Soak and Exfoliator

Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak. You can scrub your feet with a baking soda paste for additional exfoliation. A paste made from three parts of baking soda combined with one part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body, too. It's natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.

5. Relaxing Soak

Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus!

6. Hand Cleanser

Mix three parts baking soda with one part of water to make a natural hand cleanser that will scrub away dirt and neutralize odors.

7. Splinter removal

Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.

8. Sunburn Remedy

Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.

9. Enhanced Sports Performance

Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as "soda doping" -- or taking baking soda capsules -- before races to enhance performance, a measure that's thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. It's also been shown to improve speed among swimmers.5While I don't suggest you try this at home, it's another example of baking soda benefits. Researchers noted:6

"Essentially, sodium bicarbonate is an alkali substance that increases the pH of the blood. This seems to reduce and offset the acidity produced in the muscles during intense, anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid most quickly, such as fast running or swimming."

10. Tooth and Gum Paste

Baking soda has a mild abrasive action that helps to remove plaque and polish, clean, and deodorize your teeth.7 One review of data from five controlled clinical studies found that toothpaste containing baking soda "enhanced plaque removal effectiveness of tooth brushing to a significantly greater extent" than brushing with a non-baking soda toothpaste.8

Baking soda also has antibacterial activity and has been found to kill Streptococcus mutansbacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay.9 For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt.

Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums.

Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.10

You need to exert some caution in this area though as many believe baking soda can be too abrasive on your enamel, and Dr. Curatola believes that killing the oral microbiome may be highly counterproductive.

11. Teeth whitener

For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.

How to Use Baking Soda as a Natural Cleanser

If you find it hard to believe that something as simple and inexpensive as baking soda could reallyclean your home, consider this: baking soda was used to clean and restore the inner copper walls of the Statute of Liberty during its 1986 restoration. It effectively removed grime without damaging the copper. Be sure to use USDA certified organic products.

Is Flaxseed The New Wonder Food?

Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. That’s quite a tall order for a tiny seed that’s been around for centuries.

USDA Certified Organic Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. Now, thirteen centuries later, some experts say we have preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected.

Flaxseed is found in all kinds of foods from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal. The Flax Council estimates close to 300 new flax-based products were launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2010 alone. Not only has consumer demand for flaxseed grown, agricultural use has also increased. Flaxseed is what's used to feed all those chickens that are laying eggs with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation to three of them:

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

The Health Benefits of Flax

Although Lilian Thompson, PhD, an internationally known flaxseed researcher from the University of Toronto, says she wouldn’t call any of the health benefits of flax "conclusively established," research indicates that flax may reduce risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease.

Stay Hydrated This Summer!

Common Signs of Dehydration:

  • Hungry after eating
  • Dry lips/mouth
  • Bladder pain
  • Anxiety
  • Kidney problems
  • Yellow urine
  • Excessive thirstiness
  • Constipation

These are just some of the most common signs you may not be drinking enough water, and most people don’t realize they need more liquids until they’re way past the point of being dehydrated. So, the best way to stay on top of your hydration needs is to find ways to consume more liquids and water-rich foods throughout the day.

Taking in enough fluids can help lower cortisol in the body, prevent false hunger signals, keep your bladder healthy, ensure your kidneys filter toxins as they should, and your lips should stay moist and supple. You may also notice you have less headaches throughout the day and are more energetic. Your kidneys shouldn’t cause issues for you when you consume enough water, and you may even have a flatter tummy since your body can filter wastes more effectively. Drinking enough water is a great place to start when you want to start hydrating more effectively, but you can also consume more water-rich foods too.

8 ways to increase your water intake throughout the day:

  1. Drink a healthy smoothie using USDA Certified Organic fruit and veggies for breakfast.  Having a smoothie is also a great way to get in some water and fiber from your ingredients. Fiber helps hold water in the body and also uses the water to keep you regular. 
  2. Consume a salad or soup with your lunch. You can turn them into your main meal if you wish, but even if you don’t have a salad or soup as the main star of your meal, at least consume a small side of one of them. Make sure you don’t have a lot of sodium in the soup or in the dressing. Salt depletes the body from water more quickly. Use water rich foods in your salad and soup like squash, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, etc.
  3. Have at least two pieces of fruit per day. Most fruits are 90 percent water and they will help stabilize your electrolytes. They’re also a good source of fiber and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
  4. Avoid take-out and processed meals which are packed with sodium and not much water. They dry out the system and can increase levels of dehydration more quickly (not to mention causing bloating).
  5. Eat less sugar and eat more fiber. Sugar can put excessive strain on the kidneys while fiber slows down blood sugar levels and holds water in the body. This one tip may even help you lose a little weight!
  6. Aim to eat produce with every meal. It’s a natural source of water and an easy way to work some into your day.
  7. Drink herbal tea throughout the day if you get tired of water, or have a few cups after dinner or in place of coffee in the morning.
  8. Use an app on your phone to notify you to drink a glass of water every single hour or every hour and a half. You can use your alerts and there are other special apps catered to drinking more water.

You may be surprised at how much better you feel after you incorporate these ways to stay hydrated besides drinking water.

Oatmeal and Your Health!

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, Americans should consume at least half of their daily grains as whole grains. Many grains qualify as “whole” or unrefined, but one of the most common is oats. An easy way to incorporate more whole grains into your regimen is to start your day with a hearty bowl of USDA Certified Organic oatmeal, which is rich in fiber and protein while low in calories.

Benefits of Whole Grains

Whole grains -- those containing the three original parts of the grain -- are a healthy addition to any diet. Year after year, studies have connected the consumption of whole grains to a variety of health benefits, including weight loss, blood sugar management and diabetes control, arthritis prevention and protection against heart disease. In addition to oats, the category of whole grains includes whole wheat, millet, brown rice, amaranth, barley, bulgur, spelt, quinoa and many other options.

Oatmeal Nutrient Profile

Most oatmeal cooks very quickly and provides you with lasting energy to start your day. That’s because a cup of cooked oatmeal supplies 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber – two nutrients associated with satiety. Feeling full can keep you on track in terms of your weight-loss goals, so you won’t get hungry mid-morning and hurry to the pastry cart at work. Fiber also helps keep your digestive track functioning smoothly. Your cup of oatmeal contains 166 calories before any fruit or sweetener is added.

Skin Benefits

Eating oatmeal may have another, more surprising benefit. A review published in Phytotherapy Research in 2013 found that consuming cereals high in beta-glucans, especially oatmeal, supports skin health. Beta-glucan possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help combat the effects of aging on skin, like wrinkles and dryness. The authors suggested the need for more research to determine the efficacy of including beta-glucans in cosmetic products, too. Remember to use only USDA Certified Organic Skin Care Products.


Lemon Juice and Poison! Is there a connection?

There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are USDA Certified Organic lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because USDA Certified Organic lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. USDA Certified Organic Lemons contain many substances--notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene--that promote immunity and fight infection.

These are well-known health facts about USDA Certified Organic lemons. But there’s so much more to this little yellow fruit. Whether you use them in the form of juice, teas, drinks, dressing, poultices or in the bath, take advantage of lemons’ natural healing power.

Lemon contains citric acid, which can be effective in treating acne which is great for your skin care routine. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits is vital for that healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. In addition to drinking lemon juice with water first thing in the morning, here are some suggestions on how to prepare a homemade acne treatment using lemon in addition to using our USDA Certified Organic Skin Care Products.

With your finger or a cotton ball, apply fresh lemon juice on acne and leave it overnight. Wash with water the following morning. There may be an uncomfortable sensation of burning at first, but it will soon disappear.

· Mix one part of freshly squeezed lemon juice with an equal part of rose or honey water. Put the mixture on affected areas for at least half an hour. Wash it afterwards with water. This application should be repeated twice daily, ideally in the morning and the evening.

Note: these remedies are safe and natural, but if acne is severe or there are open wounds, consult your doctor first.


What's the culprit behind tooth discoloration!

In today’s appearance and youth-conscious society, the dull, stained effects of tooth discoloration represent a common dental complaint. Beyond the professionally managed teeth whitening, people are using new, everyday products in their ongoing struggle against yellow teeth and other forms of discoloration. From whitening strips and take-home trays to whitening toothpaste and chewing gum, people are going to various lengths to achieve and maintain a white, attractive smile.

Types of Discoloration

Tooth discoloration falls into two main types: extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic discoloration occurs in the outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel; enamel stains can range from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits.
  • Intrinsic discoloration occurs in the inner structure of the tooth, called the dentin, when the dentin darkens or displays a yellow (or gray) tint.

Whereas extrinsic staining can be effectively treated using various whitening techniques, intrinsic staining may be more stubborn, potentially requiring alternative cosmetic treatment such as veneers.

What Causes Discoloration?

In order to effectively manage tooth discoloration, it is important to recognize the causes. These include:

  • Foods/Drinks: Coffee, tea, colas, wines and certain foods (e.g., potatoes, cherries, blueberries) can cause extrinsic tooth stains.
  • Tobacco Use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can result in discolored teeth.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing substances can cause tooth stains.
  • Disease: Diseases affecting enamel and dentin can lead to tooth discoloration. Certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause discoloration in the baby by affecting enamel development.
  • Medications: Antihistamines, antidepressants and high blood pressure drugs can discolor teeth. Maternal use of tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy may result in discoloration of the baby’s tooth enamel. Children who take tetracycline and doxycycline antibiotics during permanent tooth development (before age eight) may experience intrinsic discoloration of the permanent teeth.
  • Dental Work: Procedures requiring certain dental materials, such as silver amalgam restorations, can produce a grayish-black cast to teeth.
  • Ageing: As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth wears away, revealing the dentin’s natural, yellow color. Additionally, over the years your teeth accumulate more stains and tartars, causing them to darken and discolor.
  • Genetics: Some lucky individuals have naturally brighter and/or thicker enamel than others.
  • Environment: Excessive fluoride from environmental sources, such as high fluoride levels in drinking water, or from excessive use of fluoride applications, rinses, toothpastes and oral fluoride supplements, can cause discoloration.
  • Medical Treatments: Certain treatments can adversely affect the color of enamel and dentin layers. For example, chemotherapy, and head and neck radiation are two such treatments.
  • Trauma: A fall or any other injury that damages the nerves or chips/cracks the teeth can lead to discolored teeth in adults and children.


Treatment options for discolored teeth vary depending on the cause. Before a custom treatment plan can be developed to combat discoloration, a comprehensive oral health evaluation must first be performed. Common problems such as tooth decay and gum disease will require treatment before esthetics can be considered.

Treatment options may include the following:

  • Good Hygiene: Practice proper dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, and getting professional teeth cleanings every six months or more frequently, depending on your dentist’s recommendation, to help remove surface stains and bacteria. Use an ultrasonic toothbrush, which more effectively removes stain-causing foods from tooth surfaces.
  • Whitening Procedures: Tooth whitening procedures fall into four categories: In-office Tooth Whitening: Your dentist can easily remove extrinsic and some intrinsic tooth discoloration caused by foods/drinks and other causes by applying a bleaching peroxide gel to the tooth enamel. The process typically takes an hour and costs an average of $650 per visit. People with particularly stubborn staining may need to return for one or more additional whitening sessions, or be advised to continue with an at-home use whitening system provided by their dentist. Dentist-dispensed At-home Bleaching: Many dentists believe that professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits may produce the best results over time. More suitable for extrinsic tooth discoloration, home whitening usually is done with teeth whitening kits, gels or strips. Typically, a custom-fit or standard mouth tray and a whitening gel are used. The gel, which is a lower-concentration peroxide-based formulation of in-office versions, is put into the mouth trays and worn daily for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight) for about two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade. Take-home teeth whitening kits cost on average between $100 and $500. Consumer-purchased/Over-the-counter (OTC) for At-home Use: OTC whitening products offer a convenient and low-cost alternative to bleaching teeth without dentist supervision. Featuring a lower-concentration bleaching agent, OTC products — available in supermarkets, drug stores or through the Internet — include rinses, paint-on liquids, toothpastes, chewing gums, dental floss and whitening strips. Toothpastes, chewing gums and dental floss remove superficial stains. Rinses and paint-on brushes with low levels of hydrogen peroxide have some whitening effect; strips present similar esthetic results. Costs will range between $4 and $100. Other Non-dental Office Options: An emerging tooth whitening trend is the availability of whitening treatments or kits in retail venues such as mall kiosks, salons and spas, and even cruise ships and airports administered by non-dental professionals. Prices can range from around $99 in mall kiosks and airports to around $200 at salons, spas and cruise ships.

    Composite Bonding, Crowns and Veneers: For teeth severely discolored by excessive fluoride, root canal treatment, or consumption of tetracycline or other drugs, your dentist may recommend covering the tooth’s outer surface with a color-matched composite bonding material, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns instead of bleaching. Composite resin veneers, which cost about $250 per tooth, are applied directly to your teeth and sculpted in the desired shape and shade. Porcelain veneers, which are thin porcelain shells bonded over the front of your teeth, cost $900 to $2,500 per tooth. Lumineers, an alternative porcelain veneer made from Cerinate porcelain, cost $700 to $1,000 per tooth. Porcelain crowns, also called caps, average $600 to $3,100 per tooth.

Consult with your dentist for the best treatment options for your individual case.

Prevention and Maintenance

Certain lifestyle choices can help prevent tooth discoloration, as well as keep your teeth white after whitening. For example, avoid stain-causing foods and beverages, as well as overexposure to fluoride. If you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, quit or cut back. Rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks/foods that can cause tooth stains. Intrinsic stains caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth may be prevented with root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth, called the pulp, before it decays and darkens. In addition to this, be sure to use USDA Certified Organic Skin Care Products to compliment your beautiful smile.


I'm all up in my feelings today about who I'm suppose to love! So, here we go!

Who Must We Love?

When Jesus affirmed the command to love your neighbor as yourself, he specified that “your neighbor” includes even Samaritans. That may not mean much to us, but according to the Jewish mindset of that day, Samaritans were the lowest of the low.

They were of an ethnicity mixed with the heathen. They followed a different cannon of Scripture. They combined idolatry with the worship of Yahweh. And they were frequently composed of criminals and refugees.

Following Jesus means that we must truly love even the most wicked sinners imaginable.

But what does it really mean to love? There are a lot of wrong ideas out there.

An Emotion?

Love is often portrayed as an emotion. We tend to think of it as a feeling of good will toward other people.


Another common thought is the idea that love means acceptance, tolerance, or avoiding offence.

According to this view, loving everyone means that we just accept them as they are. We dare not bring up any sins in their lives, because that would be unloving. We certainly dare not tell them that they need a savior, because that could offend those who believe otherwise.

Jesus Defines Love

Thankfully, we are not left to guess about what it means to love one another.

Jesus said,  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34 NIV)

Our love is to be modeled after Jesus’ love. We are to love one another in the same way that he loved us.

True Love

True love is the deliberate decision to put the needs of others before your own, and it results in sacrificial action.

If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him? Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. (1 John 3:17–18, HCSB)

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15–16, ESV)

It All Comes Down to This

For almost every action we take, we have a choice. We can walk by the flesh, or we can walk by the Spirit.

If we walk by the flesh, we will act selfishly—seeking our own good.

If we walk by the Spirit, we will act in love—seeking the good of others.

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16, NASB)

Don't forget to check out our amazing line of USDA Certified Organic Skin Care products at


One Month into Those New Year's Resolutions....How's It Going?

We’ve made it through the first month of 2018, and quite possibly by now, many people have already started having trouble keeping their New Year Resolution. Many are also over the idea of “new year, new me,". New Year’s resolutions are certainly good ways to help you identify your goals for the next year as well as things you wish to change about yourself. However, ideas like “new year, new me” are ones that often require a lot of change, sometimes too much. Large, drastic changes are difficult to make and can easily cause you to give up. 

Yet just because you may have set unrealistic goals for yourself or have not been able to keep your realistic goals over the past month does not mean that you cannot reevaluate those resolutions right now. Unexpected situations arise during life. Situations that you cannot plan for on January 1, when you are writing down your New Year’s resolutions. These unexpected occurrences may require you to alter or completely forget about your resolutions. However, this does not mean you have to wait until next year to begin new resolutions or to make changes to your lifestyle. At any point during the year, you can evaluate yourself. You can look at your strengths and weaknesses, your daily and weekly routine, and your good and bad habits. By evaluating these aspects of your life, you can pinpoint things you wish to continue doing and things you wish to start or stop doing. The important thing is to make sure that these are realistic and attainable goals, not unrealistic and lofty goals.

Don't forget to check out our amazing line of USDA Certified Organic Skin Care products at


New Year! New YOU!

The start of a brand new year is a great time to review your daily habits and look for better answers to your old routines. How you take care of yourself is one area to look at, including the way you take care of your skin. If you’ve been stuck in the same skin care rut for a while now, it’s time to update your products and routines to take advantage of new breakthroughs and trends in skin care. Here are some cutting-edge ideas for better skin care in the New Year.


These are not exactly new on the market, but they are becoming more important to younger women. The more that skin accumulates damage, the less able it is to recover its youthful softness and beauty. Younger women are becoming aware that it’s never too soon to start taking care of their skin to enjoy many years of healthy, beautiful skin and complexions. Some products are being marketed as anti-aging products for younger women, but many good-quality basic skin care products will also help young women preserve their healthy glow as they grow older.


The idea of buying organic products is stretching beyond food. Organic and natural skin care products are a growing sector of the skin care market. If it’s good for your body to avoid consuming extra chemicals in the food you eat, it stands to reason it’s also good to avoid putting extra chemicals on your skin—especially when you consider that the skin is the largest organ in the body and easily absorbs elements from the environment. The labeling and certification standards for organic skin care products are lagging behind standards for food products, which makes choosing truly organic products trickier. Some companies are pursuing independent certification of their products as organic, and you can also check labels to avoid products with overly complicated ingredient lists and formulations.


Similar to the recognition that organic skin care products are just as healthy as organic food products, consumers are becoming more aware that what they eat and how they take care of their bodies has a big influence on their skin health. Basically, what’s happening inside a body often affects the outward appearance. Simple changes like wearing sunscreen are great for having healthy skin, and getting regular exercise also helps skin to be clear and healthy. Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and possibly taking multivitamin supplements, are also great choices to have beautiful, healthy skin, as well as a beautiful, healthy body.

Ulmer Dermatology

10 Ways To Take Charge of Your Health!


1. Schedule a Yearly Checkup 

Your heart is in your hands. Each year on your birthday, schedule a checkup to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked, and ask your doctor to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to follow your healthcare professional's recommendations, including taking prescribed medications as directed.

2. Get Physical

Step, march or jog in place for at least 15 minutes a day while watching your favorite TV shows. Increase your activity by five minutes each week until you're getting a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week.

3. Drink More Water

Take a water bottle with you wherever you go. It'll keep you hydrated and the bottle's weight will strengthen your arms.

4. Eat USDA Certified Organic Healthy Foods

Put raw veggies and fruits in front in the refrigerator and healthy snacks in the front of the pantry, so that's what you see first. If you grab healthy foods for a minimum of 21 times, healthy choices will become a habit.

Also, look for the American Heart Association red and white heart-check mark. This easy, reliable grocery shopping tool helps you identify foods that can be part of a sensible eating plan. 

5. Control Cholesterol

Eating foods high in saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol can lead to high blood cholesterol. To help keep your cholesterol levels down, eat foods low in saturated fat and trans fat, such as lean chicken or turkey (roasted or baked, with skin removed), fruits and veggies, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and whole grains.

6. Cut Down on Salt

To help lower high blood pressure, watch your salt intake. It may be disguised in food labels as sodium alginate, sodium sulfite, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or sodium citrate.

7. Quit Smoking

Try this four-step way to kick your habit:

  • On Day 1, cut the number of cigarettes you smoke by half
  • On Day 3, cut the number of cigarettes you smoke in half again
  • And on Day 5, cut your smoking in half again
  • On your Quit Day... quit!


8. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. To achieve steady, painless weight loss, take it easy. Each day, if you eat 200-300 calories less than you would normally consume, and exercise at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week, you'll get closer to your goal and be able to achieve weight loss that's steady and painless.

9. Stay Positive

If you get off your exercise schedule, have a cigarette, or eat a fattening meal, immediately get back on track toward re-establishing a healthy lifestyle.

10. Give Yourself Credit

To maintain momentum with exercising, losing weight, or quitting smoking, keep track of your achievements and reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.

11. Be sure to use USDA Certified Organic Skin Care Products (Bonus)

Organic products are simply better for your skin. It has the same results as when you are eating USDA Certified Organic foods...but for your skin.

Don't forget to check out our amazing line of USDA Certified Organic Skin Care products at

Why I don't like wearing makeup!

I know I know. "Zondra, you don't like wearing makeup?" NO"! LOL!  I knew I needed to share it with you. We’re at a point in time where wearing or not wearing makeup is suddenly controversial. If a woman loves to wear a lot of makeup, there is a group of other women screaming, “You don’t need makeup to be beautiful!” If a woman wears no makeup, there is a group out there saying, “You’re a woman! Put on some makeup! It’s almost like you can’t win. 

I don't particularly like wearing makeup. Not because I don't believe that I look absolutely gorgeous when I wear it. I don't like wearing makeup because of the hassle! It's simply too much work for me. I love having beautiful skin. This is one of the reasons I started Blu Skin Care. USDA Certified Organic products are absolutely the solution to fabulous skin. Not only are they nutritious for your skin, they can help fight the effects of aging. It's a win win situation.

But just because I don't like wearing makeup doesn’t mean I judge the people who do. To me, makeup is a choice. Want to wear it? Great! Don’t want to wear it? Great! Only want to wear a little or wear it sometimes? Okay! Who cares? I think we make way too big of a deal out of it. Do I think it’s sad that some girls only feel good with makeup on? Well....No, not really. Different things make people feel good about themselves, and who says it can’t be makeup?

With that being said, I’m interested in hearing why you choose not to wear makeup, because I’m so used to hearing why they do want to wear it.

Don't forget to check out our amazing line of USDA Certified Organic Skin Care products at

5 Skin Care Tips For For Healthier Looking Skin!

Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.

1. Protect Your Skin From The Sun!

A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.

  • Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
  • Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.

2. Don't smoke

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health.

Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles.

3. Treat your skin gently (Use only USDA Certified Organic Skin Care)

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:

  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.

4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn't clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.

5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.

Mayo Clinic

Which Essential Oils Are The Best For Skin Care?

Essential oils have wonderful benefits for the skin.

The following ten essential oils help remedy a number of skin conditions — from acne to aging, dryness to oiliness. And when combined with the right carrier oils (be sure to see the important essential oil guidelines at the end of the post), you will see absolutely amazing results.

The top 10 essential oils for skincare:


It has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It not only works to help smooth skin, but assists with cell regeneration. For this reason, it can help to fade scars and improve the tone of aging skin. It’s also rich in antioxidants, helping to neutralize inflammation and wrinkles causing free radicals.


This is a fantastic oil for all skin types. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin, making it great for acne-prone skin. It is also a natural toner, decreasing the appearance of pores and evening skin-tone. It encourages new cell growth, helping to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and the appearance of scars. It also helps soothe chapped, dry skin.


This oil helps regulate oil production and reduces acne breakouts. It also helps improve skin elasticity and tighten skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It also promotes blood circulation to the areas where it is applied, helping to heal bruises, broken capillaries, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, ringworm, and other skin conditions. 


This one helps you to relax and your body adapt to stress. It helps regenerate skin cells so it's great for mature skin, sun spots, and scarring. Another great oil for all skin types and needs.


This oil greatly benefits aging skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help improve skin tone, firmness, and skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Myrrh can also help heal sun damage, chapped skin, rashes, and eczema.


This oil is great for oily, sensitive, and mature skin. It helps to smooth fine lines and tone sagging skin. This rejuvenating oil contains a natural chemical called citral, which helps regenerate cells. For this reason, it is said to be very good at preventing and healing stretch marks, as well. Its antiseptic properties also balance oil production and shrink the appearance of pores without drying skin.


This oil is particularly great for aging skin. It promotes new cell growth and smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because it also has antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, it can also benefit skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.


It's especially great for dry or aging skin. Researchers have found that it contains several therapeutic compounds known to promote healing, especially antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds. As a result, rose essential oil helps refine skin texture and tone, and can be helpful with managing skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis. Interestingly, one study even found that just inhaling rose essential oil inhibits water loss in the skin!


It is one of the more well-known essential oils for acne-prone skin. Its antibacterial properties help ward off acne-causing bacteria and assist wound healing. It also helps to regulate oil production, which can decrease the severity and incidence of breakouts.


It  helps to control oil production and minimize breakouts. It also helps regenerate skin cells, smoothing fine lines and improving skin elasticity. Another great essential oil for every skin type.

Don't forget to check out our amazing line of USDA Certified Organic Skin Care products at


Some important essential oil guidelines to remember:

Essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil to a maximum of 5%. Since 1 ml is 20 drops, for every 1 ml of carrier oil, you would add 1 drop of Essential Oil. And since 1 oz is 29 mL, for every 1 oz of carrier oil, you would add no more than 29 drops of essential oils. Opinions on proper dilution ratios vary, and some people believe even a 5% dilution to be too strong. So you may want to add even less, such as 15 drops of essential oils per oz of carrier oil, which would be a 2.5% dillution. This depends on your unique skin and how it responds to the higher dillution rate (such as if you experience any irritation).

Why I prefer Goat's Milk For Organic Skin Care!

You may have noticed an ingredient in some of your skincare products that have them smelling scrumptious? Yes, I'm talking about goat’s milk!

Goat’s milk is rich in essential fatty acids and triglycerides. The essential fatty acids have a unique PH similar to humans, so it is less irritating and more easily absorbed by our skin. These fatty acids and triglycerides are super moisturizing.

Goat’s milk is also loaded with precious skin minerals like selenium that is in turn loaded with vitamins, particularly vitamin A, the most important vitamin for the skin. As with other milks, goat’s milk contains lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It assists in gently sloughing off dead skin cells and helping to hydrate and brighten the skin.

Goat’s milk has unique nourishing properties that make it the perfect ingredient to add to anything which touches your skin, from your shaving cream to your moisturizer. It is both an anti-aging wonder and a lifesaver for dry and sensitive skin. That's why I didn't hesitate to add it to our USDA Certified Organic Oat-Flax Facial Cleanser. It's a win-win for all skin types.


Have you tried USDA Certified Organic Honey as a natural skin care remedy for Vitiligo?

Honey – Natural Home Remedy for Vitiligo

Vitiligo are chalk-white spots, streaks, and patches of skin and hair where normal pigmentation has been lost due to destruction of the melanocytes, or pigment cells. Once the melanocytes are destroyed, no more melanin, or pigment, is made in these areas.

Honey is one of the most accessible, simple and effective home remedies for vitiligo.  Anyone who suffers from this skin condition should make use of this natural home remedy to get healthy and smooth skin. There are 2 methods to use honey as a natural remedy for vitiligo, but experts recommend that you should apply both of them at the same time for the best results. 

The first way is that you should take 1 or more tablespoons of honey every day. You need to remember that you should use organic honey rather than processed honey because it contains a larger amount of minerals and vitamins. The second one is that you can use honey as a topical medication. You can apply honey on the affected parts of your body and leave it on between 30 minutes – 1 hour. Medical experts encourage people to rinse it off of the body only with warm water because if you use soap, it will remove the necessary nutrients from the skin and leave your skin irritated and dry.

Don't forget to check out our amazing line of USDA Certified Organic Skin Care products at

History of Bananas and USDA Certified Organic Skin Care!

Banana History

Bananas are the fruit of Musa acuminata. Acuminata means long-pointed or tapering, not referring to the fruit, but to the flowers giving birth to the fruit.

Antonius Musa was the personal physician to Roman emperor Octavius Augustus, and it was he who was credited for promoting cultivation of the exotic African fruit from 63 to 14 B.C.

Portugese sailors brought bananas to Europe from West Africa in the early fifteenth century.

Its Guinean name banema, which became banana in English, was first found in print in the seventeenth century.

The original banana has been cultivated and used since ancient times, even pre-dating the cultivation of rice. While the banana thrived in Africa, its origins are said to be of East Asia and Oceania.

The banana was carried by sailors to the Canary Islands and the West Indies, finally making it to North America with Spanish missionary Friar Tomas de Berlanga.

Sweet bananas are mutants

These historical bananas were not the sweet yellow banana we know today, but the red and green cooking variety, now usually referred to as plantains to distinguish them from the sweet type.

The yellow sweet banana is a mutant strain of the cooking banana, discovered in 1836 by Jamaican Jean Francois Poujot, who found one of the banana trees on his plantation was bearing yellow fruit rather than green or red.

Upon tasting the new discovery, he found it to be sweet in its raw state, without the need for cooking. He quickly began cultivating this sweet variety.

Soon they were being imported from the Caribbean to New Orleans, Boston, and New York, and were considered such an exotic treat, they were eaten on a plate using a knife and fork.

Sweet bananas were all the rage at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, selling for a hefty ten cents each.

Courtesy of: The Spruce

Is Chia Seed Oil any good for skin care?

I'm hearing nothing but amazing things about Chia Seed Oil. I hear that it smells good as well as plumps and brightens the skin. Yep, it got my attention....real quick!

According to a published reporter quoting Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “Chia seed oil is chock-full of important saturated fatty acids, which are both integral to maintaining healthy skin cell membranes and warding off the harmful effects of free radicals".

Another 2010 study notes that chia seed oil is the richest botanical source of 18:3 n-3 fatty acid currently known. This is great news because Omega-3's have a reputation for being a powerful anti-inflammatory when applied topically.

It’s really hydrating, which makes it an ideal moisturizer. Bottom line? Chia seed oil can as part of your natural or organic skin care regimen. It will help your skin fight irritation, dehydration, and even banish blemishes. You can look for it in skin-care ingredient lists by its Latin name, Salvia Hispanica. Be sure to buy USDA Certified Organic Chia Seed Oil whenever possible.

Cha Cha Cha Chia!!!!!