Plant Based Nutrition and Skincare With Arbonne

Greetings, Mystic Meows!

I’m always fascinated and intrigued by all of the food related products out there on the market that promote wellness and self care. Let’s be honest… Some of these brands aren’t very tasty, but are really good at convincing us consumers that we “need” their products in our lives and have to incorporate them into our daily routines because they’re better for us and easier to use, or just as good and comparable to what we ingest and put into and on our bodies, and use thought provoking catch phrases and words like “Environmentally Friendly”, “Non GMO”, “Vegan” or the new high key deal maker… “Plant Based”. So I decided to start doing a bit more investigative research on this particular subject since food is how I make my living, and as a chef it’s part of my job to be as educated on the subject as possible, and found some incentive from a former co-worker who started using, selling, and promoting a wellness brand that has been around since the 60’s, long before “Going Green” was even a popular thing to say, do, and live by. Hence my introduction to the brand, Arbonne.

I first met Roslyn Aguiar several years ago while we both worked at a restaurant in Visalia, Ca. She’s such a vivacious woman with a great and bubbly personality, and we got along really well. We’ve kept in touch over the years and follow each other on social media. She first started using Arbonne not long after she got married. She and her husband being in newlywed marital bliss put on what Roslyn refers to as “happy weight” and was seeking a way to get her health and weight back on track.

A friend of hers was the regional Vice President for Arbonne and at first Roslyn thought that the products weren’t for her and honestly felt too good for it. You know… “I don’t need that stuff”. 3 1/2 years later, Roslyn had gained 30 pounds and was seeking a way to start losing weight and becoming healthier, so she decided to take the plunge and try one of their Healthy Living Kits, which is a 30 day supply of various protein powders, shakes, and detox teas to help kick start your body into better overall gut health and improve your metabolism. Roslyn was pleasantly surprised by how much she actually enjoyed the taste of the powders, drinks, and teas, and how after the first couple of weeks, she as well as her family noticed the difference in her overall appearance, and well being, as she was beginning to suffer silently from depression due to her weight gain and food intake, which led her to give Arbonne a try and see if it could help to improve things from the inside out. And for her it really did. It made a marked difference in not just her physical health, but more importantly, her mental health as well. She felt invigorated, her mood was elevated and had more incentive to partake in and enjoy the simple pleasures in every day life. A walk outside, the sunshine, engaging more fully with other people. She had gained her confidence back and she credits Arbonne for helping her get her life back to a better place than she had been living before. It was her personal journey with it and her experience that prompted her to become a consultant for the company, and share her story and belief in Arbonne and their products with as many people as possible.

It’s very easy to take for granted how much the foods we consume and the things we put on our bodies can have profound affects on our state of minds and physical fitness. Our skin is the largest organ we all have and things are very easily absorbed through it. It only takes 26 seconds to be exact. All the preservatives, sugars and other chemicals in the foods we eat truly does have influence over our health. So now more than ever, the better educated we are about what fuels our bodies and keeps our skin hydrated and healthy, the better our quality of life should end up being. Arbonne is trying to set the example and lead the way to an alternative with all natural ingredients that helps to achieve a better state of body and mind by providing products that claim to help us try to become better versions of ourselves by offering a line of wholesome goods that simply promotes the idea of wellness. Thus making us more aware of the natural ingredients and make our own comparisons as consumers. It’s crazy how many chemicals, preservatives, and by-products are in most of the every day items we use and put on our skin! We can achieve similar results without all the fillers and additives and research Arbonne’s range of supplements and skin care that are… Vegan, Plant Based, Non GMO, Not Tested On Animals, and Kosher.

I can say that although I haven’t tried it yet, I have seen how Roslyn’s appearance has changed since she started using Arbonne, and how much happier with herself she seems. Her hair is longer and more luscious than it was before, her skin is glowing, and she just looks better than she ever has! I’m waiting on my 7 day sample pack to arrive in the mail so I can see for myself what these protein powders and energy fizz drinks taste like and if there’s any difference in how I feel. Will I have more energy? Will the shakes be satisfying enough to get me through the day? We shall soon find out, dear reader… I am extremely curious. So I’ll have to update you meows in another follow up blog about my results from living a week on Arbonne. As with anything, everyone has different experiences and results when using any kind of supplement, and what works for you might not work for me and vice versa. I’m not looking for a miracle here, but I am looking for better alternatives to things such as pill vitamins and vitality boosters that I can incorporate into my already existing routine. It’s worth a shot.

If you want to learn more about Arbonne and the products they offer contact Roslyn Aguiar and follow her on Instagram so you can see for yourselves the changes the products have made for her and others. If you contact her via text or DM using the code MEOW619 (not an affiliate link, btw…) she’ll wave the $29.00 sign up fee. So check it out and see what you think! They also have make up, too! I was surprised by how many products they offer, and was also impressed. Perhaps you might find something that speaks to you and compels you to give them a go! Thank you meows for stopping by! And I’ll keep you posted about my results for sure! Until we eat again… Happy Cooking! Hey, it’s my catch phrase… Reading is brain food! πŸ˜›

Cheers, Hugs, and Meows!

xo Nikki βœ¨πŸ’•

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Photos courtesy of renewed.roslyn and Google images

Tumeric!

Hello there, Mystic Meows!

Occasionally I get the opportunity to submit a food related quote or two to a major online publication. I posted about this last year on social media when it was first published and figured I’d write about it here on Mystic Meals, since it’s such a great piece, especially looking back on it now and seeing how on point most of the predictions were.

One of Total Beauty s lifestyle contributors, Courtney Leiva, was working on a piece about 13 Food Trends and asked a series of food experts what they thought those foods would be. I chose Tumeric because I was seeing so many of my friends and colleagues not only cooking with it, but using it for its medicinal properties, inner wellness, and incorporating it into their beauty routines in unique and interesting ways. My part of the write up is the 13th ( my lucky number 😊) See below!

I hope you take a look at the article and see if you can spot some of the mentions from it that are trending now. Most of them are and more than a few of them are sure to make your mouth water to try them for yourself, if you haven’t already. I wonder what food beauty trends we’ll be talking about a year from now? Did someone say CBD in just about everything? So many possibilities! Happy cooking and happy reading!

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Cheers, hugs, & meows!

Xo Nikki Meow πŸ’–βœ¨

Mystic Beauty

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Some of My Favorite Eyeshadow Palettes

Ok… I know this isn’t food related, but over the past few years I’ve really become somewhat hooked on the art of applying makeup. From time to time I’ll be writing about my obsession with beauty and skincare because it’s one of the things I absolutely love, aside from cooking.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my skin was super hyper sensitive to EVERYTHING. I mean, I couldn’t put so much as a lip balm on my lips without breaking out. If I put any makeup on at all, my skin would break out in rashes or acne. I chalked it up to my hormones going haywire cause I was knocked up! πŸ˜›
I was sooooo bummed out that I couldn’t wear makeup for not only the duration of my pregnancy, but for a few months after that as well. Took quite a while for my skin to get back to normal. Then low and behold I found out I was getting a free voxbox from Influenster. It’s a subscription service that sends you survey’s and qualifies you for FREE boxes of products to try out, as long as you agree to write reviews about it on all your social media platforms. But we’ll get into beauty and other subscription boxes down the road. πŸ˜‰
The box I received was a Mary Kay beauty box and this thing was chock full of makeup. Mascara, eyeshadow, lip cream, blush, brushes… Everything I needed to help kickstart my new and improved beauty regime. I think that everyone should make sure that they take time out in their daily life to do something that is what most folks call “me time” or “you time”… Whatever you want to call it, I think you know what I mean. Makeup was my way of making sure that I always did something that made me feel good about ME. When I apply my makeup it’s because I like doing it and it makes me happy.
Since then, I’ve grown quite the collection of makeup and skin care related items. So much so that I have put myself on a “no buy” for makeup because I literally have more makeup than I could realistically use! Unless it’s something unique and I don’t have something similar already in my collection, if I don’t need it, I’m not gonna buy it!
K. Enough rambling. Let’s get to the point already, which is talking about some of my favorite shadow palettes! Now keep in mind that these are just a few of the ones I really enjoy using, and I love all of my makeup, child! Here we go…

The Balm- In The Balm of Your Hand Vol.1

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I think this was sold exclusively at Kohl’s because I haven’t seen this puppy anyplace else. I absolutely enjoy this palette for many reasons. It’s a literal greatest hits from most of their product line. Hot Mama, Instain in Argyle, and Cabana Boy. All 3 are shadow/blushes. 1 Bahama Mama bronzer, 2 Shady Lady shadows in Insane Jane and Mischevious Marissa, 1 Nude’tude shadow in Sexy, 1 Balm Jovi shadow in Lead Zeppelin, 1 Mary Lou-Manizer highlight, How ‘Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Cream in Caramel and The Balm Girls lipstick in Mia Moore.

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I mean this is the perfect all in one pallete! And I love The Balm’s packaging. Rocking that 50’s early 60’s retro vibe. The quality of their products are great with high pigmentation, easy to blend, minimal fallout and long wearing. If you see this one, I highly recommend grabbing one. Also makes a great gift. I think I payed $39.00, which I felt was a great value considering everything you get in the pallete. I reeeeeaaaallly hope they come out with a Vol. 2. I will break my no buy rule if that one hits the market! Umkay… Moving on to…

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 2

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At first glance I wasn’t that impressed with this one. However there was something about it that kept drawing me to it. I’m really glad I purchased it because it’s become one of my go to palettes. It has 6 matte shades, and 4 shimmer/satin shades.

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It’s plummy brown shade range I find to be really versatile and I can create multiple looks from this one palette, which makes it great for travel. It has nice buildable color payoff, minimal fallout, blends out well and I also like the duel ended application tool it comes with. It has a sponge tip on one side and a small synthetic blending brush on the other that works rather nicely. I think at the time I purchased this it was $9.99 although I think the price is slightly higher now. Still, I think it’s worth picking up if you’re looking for another all in one shadow pallete. Minus any lip products and blushes πŸ˜‰
And last but not least…

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

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It seems like everyone and their mother already owns this thing. I know I certainly was late to the party on this baby πŸ˜› But boy howdy do I LOVE this one! Aside from the fact that all of the shadows smell like chocolate, which is awesome and not too overwhelming if you have a thing against scented products, but it’s got so much to offer. It has 16 shadows that go from mattes to shimmers, pinks, plums, browns, and highlight shades.

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It’s a gorgeous palette and the formula is top notch. With colors to compliment any skin tone, if you don’t ever purchase another palette in your life, you will not be disappointed with this one. It’s also the priciest on this list retailing for $49.00, but again, it’s worth it. I’ve had mine for over a year and have yet to hit pan on anything… Yet!

I hope you enjoyed this little foray into some of my personal eyeshadow faves. I’d love to hear about what kinds of shadows that you favor to wear everyday! I’ll be writing more about my beauty collection in the near future. Thanks for hanging with me! Cheers, hugs & meows!

Nikki Meow

Honey, Hunny, Huhhneee!

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Honey, Hunny, Huhneee!

We absolutely LOVE honey in our house. We’re almost never without it in our cupboard and our daughter, Nia asks for it by saying “huhhhhneeee!” πŸ˜‹ Just like my little girl, my own fascination with honey began when I was a child learning how to read. One of my favorite books from my childhood was Winnie the Pooh. I enjoyed looking at the illustrations and got a kick out of some of the shenanigans he would get himself into for his favorite food… “Hunny” πŸ˜‰
I’ve tried all kinds of honey on my culinary travels and some are far better than others. I find myself purchasing organic honey or straight from the beekeeper at my local farmers market. Wildflower, Orange Blossom, Clover, Tupelo… They all have very distinct colors and flavors. It’s kind of difficult to back peddle into buying and consuming anything less than top shelf golden goodness. Organic raw honey just tastes far superior to most of the store brands that I grew up with.
Most brands of honey are mixed and contain corn syrup or other liquid sweeteners and lose a lot of their nutritional value in the heating process of factory bottling. imageΒ Although the price may be a bit higher, I’m willing to dish out the extra bucks for better taste and quality of organic or farmers market honey. Especially since, in my household, we use it for more than just sweetening our oatmeal or tea. Honey has a vast array of uses and has a buttload of health benefits.
The use of honey goes waaaaay back. Like 2,500 years and has been used by so many different cultures for its medicinal qualities as well as it being pretty damn tasty! Here’s a small list of some of it’s various uses and health benefits…

Weight Loss: When honey is consumed with warm water, it helps to digest the fat stored in your body.

Vitamins and Minerals: Honey contains Calcium, Vitamin C, and Iron

Skin Care: There’s a reason that milk and honey are often served together. They both help in maintaining smooth, beautiful skin. Add enough honey to taste in either warm or cold milk. You can also sprinkle a few drops of vanilla extract or even better, half of a fresh vanilla bean for added flavor!

Sleep: Honey helps to trigger melatonin and regulate stress levels in the body, allowing us to just simply relax and achieve REM sleep.

There are like a gazillion other uses and benefits to consuming raw organic honey! It’s crazy how great this stuff is for our bodies and can be substituted for white sugar in almost every recipe. The general rule of thumb for doing this is to reduce the amount in 1/4 cup intervals. So if your recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, you can use 1/2 to 2/3rds cup of honey.
Honey also makes killer sauces and marinades. Try making your own honey mustard sauce, or a salad dressing with your favorite vinegar or fresh lemon juice and oil. Honey is so versatile and it’s culinary uses are up to you!
So the next time you’re out shopping or even better, at a farmers market, check out the honey booth and ask for some samples. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, at least you’ll have had your honey fix for the day. I hope this encourages you to get your honey on with your hunny, and be creative with how you use your huhhhhneeee! Cheers, hugs & meows!
Nikki Meow