Loving Lately - 31.07.16

Loving Lately - 31.07.16

Hey there #wholesometribe! I hope you all had a healthy & active weekend?

I thought I would mix things up a bit around here and start a new blog series called Loving Lately - WSS's Fave New Discoveries. Ever since moving to Australia, I've had SO MUCH fun discovering all the amazing healthy brands that this country has to offer, it's like I'm a toddler in a candy shop. One of my fave weekend activities includes perusing through the aisles of the many health food stores around my area, no joke. As I'm sort of obsessed with learning about the latest and greatest food/fitness/well-being products and I'm being sent some pretty cool stuff these days, I thought it’d be fun to start sharing my favorite discoveries on the blog. Just FYI, some of the products I'll be showing you are gifted from companies, but a) they only make it onto this post if I truly like them and b) I will always share my honest opinion about them.

So, here's what I'm loving lately.

#selfcarewith Vaniday

I think that no amount of makeup, botox or spray tan will disguise an unhappy soul. I believe that women are the most beautiful when they truly own who they are and let their true authentic self shine through. That being said, taking care of your appearance is also important because it's a direct reflection of your inner state and wether you feel like you deserve to be beautiful and pampered. And we all deserve a little pampering! Personally, I'm a total sucker for massages and blow dry's, they just make me feel like a million bucks. So I was super excited when Vaniday reached out to me to try their app to book into a beauty treatment of my choice. Essentially, Vaniday is an online destination to find and book beauty and wellness experiences online. You can find anything from massages, hair dressers, nail salons and more in your area and check the availability of dates and times for whenever suits you best.

So I was super excited when Vaniday reached out to me to try their app to book into a beauty treatment of my choice. Essentially, Vaniday is an online destination to find and book beauty and wellness experiences online. You can find anything from massages, hair dressers, nail salons and more in your area and check the availability of dates and times for whenever suits you best.

I opted for a blow dry at the eco-friendly Sustainable Salon in Surry Hills, which has created a beautiful environment with products and decor chosen to minimise exposure to harmful chemicals. The mirrors are made from old door frames, they use eco shower heads for their wash basins and of course all products are natural.  I'm actually allergic to hair color and always get an allergic reaction whenever I get my highlights done, so I'll definitely be back soon to see how my skin reacts to more natural hair color. Fingers crossed!

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Healthy subscription boxes

Forget the milkman. Now there’s another way to get surprises delivered to the doorstep: subscription sampler boxes. It's old news, you say? Well, not for me. In Switzerland this new and fun way of discovering health food products is pretty much unheard of, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally got to try some of them in Sydney. It's like buying a gift for yourself, to be delivered to your doorstep once a month (or quarterly), and you have no clue what it is going to be. That in a nut shell is what a subscription box is and I absolutely love it.

While the subscription box market is forever getting bigger and there are heaps of options on the market these days, I sampled two boxes so far, The Sugarfree Box and The Retreat Yourself Box.

The Sugarfree Box

What's the deal: This box is full of products to get you started on a sugar-free lifestyle and to inspire you to cook with sugar alternatives and superfoods.

What's inside: All products, from baking mixes and breakfast toppers packed with nutrition to mouthwatering seasonings and herbal teas, have no added sugar and have less than 5g of total sugar per 100g. Not only are they free of obvious sugars, they are also free of hidden sugars and gross artificial sweeteners.

# of items: You can choose between the Mini Box or Jumbo Box, ranging between 5-10 sample and full sized products

The Retreat Yourself Box

What's the deal: The Retreat Yourself Box is a seasonal health and wellness subscription box with health and wellness products specifically tailored to the time of the year. Where this box sets itself apart from other health subscription boxes is that it comes with a comprehensive Retreat Yourself Wellness guide, helping to create a wellness lifestyle through healthy recipes, yoga stretches and lifestyle articles.

What's inside: Edible health foods and supplements, bath and body products and beauty products, with a focus on natural and organic Australian brands.

# of items: 10 - 15 samples and full sized health and wellness products

In both cases,  I loved that many of the items and brands were new to me because that is what I enjoy most about subscription boxes – uncovering new products and testing new brands.

Loving Lately - 31.07.16 Retreat Yourself Box
Loving Lately - 31.07.16 Sugarfree Box

Certified organic self-tanner | 

I'm not going to lie, I'm a major sucker for self tanners. Who doesn't love a healthy glow? But until recently, I used regular self tanner without even thinking about the nasty chemicals I was putting all over my body. That was until I started reading up on them and learnt that DHA, which is the ingredient in self tanners which causes the darkening effect of the skin, has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage. So I gave up on my favorite tanning lotion (St Tropez, anyone?) and started looking for gentler alternatives. I've tried Eco Tan in the past which definitely does the trick, but then Uni Organics sent me their Self Tanning Cream and Gradual Tanning Moisturizer to try out, and I think I'm hooked.The natural fragrance is  just so crisp and fresh compared to what I've tried in the past and the lotion is easy to apply, light, streak-free and dry’s in seconds. Plus, it ACTUALLY works! Who would have thought that active tanning ingredients sourced from sugar beets and mixed with grapeseed extract would work so well?

Loving Lately - 31.07.16 Uni Organics Self Tanner

Activated, sprouted and fermented bread

You guys may know that I've eliminated most gluten out of my diet and only eat the occasional sourdough or whole wheat pasta. I also don't really go for the  packaged glutenfree alternatives (gluten free cookies, gluten free bread etc.) in stores because, often times, they are as bad if not worse for your health. Why? Because gluten-free products ditch the wheat, rye and barley and typically replace it with starches like cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch and potato flour. These four ingredients have an incredibly high glycemic index  (an index of how high blood sugar rises over the 90 minutes after consumption), and hence are anything but healthy alternatives. On top of it, these gluten-free products often taste very bland, so companies enhance the flavor and texture by adding more sugar and fat.

Long story short, gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean better for your health. If you want to do GF the right way, I recommend opting for bread like the ones from Spring Wholefoods. Every single loaf is handcrafted over four days of soaking, sprouting, culturing and slow baking to create the most nutrient dense way to consume grains. Because of this, and the fact that they are being cultured with coconut kefir, they are great for people with any digestive issues. I'm sold!

P.S.: They also make bliss balls, and their organic chocolate bliss balls are hands down one of the best bliss balls I have ever tasted. I passed them along to friends and co-workers and they all agreed!

Loving Lately - 31.07.16 Spring Wholefoods

AlphaH Skin Products

 I was first introduced to Alpha H during my facial with Ange from Three Graces Health & Beauty. I came in that day pretty frustrated about my skin, as I felt/feel like I've been doing everything 'right' and yet my skin is still horrible at times. Without going too much into detail now (I know I've promised you guys a blog post about my skin for a while now, sorry), I just wanted to share this brand with you, because ever since that facial and using these products, my skin has been pretty damn good.

Alpha H is a cosmeceutical brand, meaning they use a concentrated and balanced combination of potent cosmeceutical and natural ingredients. What happened with going all natural, vegan and organic, you ask? Well, I had a really long talk with Ange about my past problems with acne and she basically told me that, at this point, an all natural approach might not work for my skin. So for the time being, my skin is doing pretty well with these products. I'm currently using their Micro Cleanse Super Scrub, Balancing and Pore Refining Mask, Essential Hydration Cream, SPF 50+ Sunscreen and Absoluté Eye Complex.

Loving Lately - 31.07.16 Alpha H Skincare

Fresh flowers delivered straight to your doorstep

Nothing brightens your day like a gorgeous delivery of blooms...And I have to say, I am totally mesmerized by the Aussie flower style. There's so many cool, native, tropical looking flowers that I've never seen before, you guys are so spoilt for choice here!

That's where DAILY Blooms comes into the picture. DAILY Blooms is an online floristry market that started in Melbourne two years ago and has just recently launched in Sydney as well. Growing up on a farm in the Bellarine Peninsula, founder Courtney Ray grew up surrounded by freshly cut blooms from around the farm. So when she moved into the city, she missed having all of those flowers around her. She then decided to resign from her investor relations analyst job and took a leap of faith into the world of flowers. 

Each arrangement is made up of locally grown, largely organic and Australian native flowers and foliage and selected each morning, straight from the farmer to the consumer. I love that the bouquets never look perfect and pristine, but rather wild and grungy! And given that many flowers you see in supermarkets and even florists these days have been imported from overseas, your not only going to be able to enjoy your blooms for longer, but are also reducing your carbon footprint by supporting locally-grown produce. They offer one bouquet style per day at $35, and when the flowers run out that’s it for the day.

Loving Lately - 31.07.16 Daily Blooms Sydney Launch

I hope you guys liked this new type of post, any feedback is appreciated! Speak soon, xx

What are YOU loving lately?!