If you know me by now, you know that I love coming up with all kinds of fun food concoctions. And the other day was no exception to the rule.
Before I give you the recipe, I want to talk about some of the benefits of creating a weeknight routine.
Routines help to center, direct, and structure/stabilize/ground us. They also give us predictability for our minds and our bodies. Weeknight routines give us grounding and investment for a good night’s sleep. When we make time and space for the things that we are gifted/good at, and love to do, we are caring for our souls.
This past week, I decided to be even more intentional in adding some things back to my weeknight routine. One of these things is walking. The benefits of walking are endless. The fresh air, automatic feel good hormones that run through your body, the blood flow, lowering of blood pressure, etc. Walking makes me feel good and keeps my mind creative and flowing with ideas. It also helps me with my writing and allows me to really appreciate nature and how great God is.
Other things that I do for my weeknight routine are listening to podcasts/preaching, dancing, reading books, showering, and drinking tea.
As an exercise tonight, think of all the things that you love to do and are gifted at. Circle all the important things that you wouldn’t want to do without. Make these things a part of your weeknight routine and see how much of a difference that they make in your overall well-being.
Here is the French Fry A La Mode for the Family Recipe
1 bag of french fries
4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers
1 container of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
1 bag of cheese
Bake a bag of french fries.
While the fries are baking, fry 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers.
Grab bowls and add a couple of servings of fries into each bowl.
Cut up the veggie burgers and evenly spread them on top of the fries in each bowl.
*******This post contains affiliate links. This means that I will receive a commission for purchases made via the affiliate links provided.
No matter how old we are, it can be difficult getting up in the morning. We can have every intention in the world, but we seem to repeat the same patterns of behavior. When we don’t take charge of our morning routine, it often sets the tone for the rest of the day. This sets up a domino effect. We end up being more anxious, screaming at our kids for small things, and discombobulated for the rest of the day. Here are ten things you can do when you get up 2 1/2 hours earlier in the morning.
1. Reflection Time (25 minutes)
Reflection time is best when we first wake up in the morning. Instead of hopping up and rushing, we allow ourselves time to meditate on God’s goodness. During this time, I praise and thank God for life, health, and strength. This is also the time when God reveals clarity in regards to relationships, parenting, and the trauma that I have suffered during my life. Grieving is also part of my reflection time.
When I don’t allow myself reflection time, my mornings feel stressful and rushed. A few times, I hopped out of bed too quickly and threw my back out. Other times, I rushed out of the house without any time to process the grief that I was feeling when I woke up. The end result of that was dysregulated emotions for the rest of the day. Grief from trauma has to go somewhere.
2. Devotion (20 minutes)
Devotion time is a good time for reading and meditating on God’s word. It is also good when we have a devotional book or online devotional study. This helps us to place our meditation time on a central theme. If we don’t use a book or study, we can always pray for God to lead us to a particular scripture as our focus.
3. Face (5 minutes)
Using five minutes to wash, cleanse, and moisturize our faces in the morning makes a world of difference. I usually feel refreshed and more awake after this process.
4. Water (5 minutes)
Drinking two glasses of water helps to jump start the day. It also helps to replenish the liquids that we lost during sleep. In the spring, summer, and early fall, leaving the house without drinking water on a warm day can lead to dehydration. If it’s sunny outside, then you will feel even worse. Water helps to hydrate the skin and improves the under-eye puffiness. It also improves red blood cell circulation and removes toxins from our skin. Room temperature water is best in order to avoid an upset stomach.
5. Prayers (10 minutes)
When we start our mornings with prayer, it also sets the mood for the day. We get to go before God’s throne of grace. Next, we get to put on our spiritual armor. Then, we get take our thoughts captive as we bask in God’s perfect love that drives out all fear.
6. Gratitude Check (5 minutes)
The gratitude check can be done verbally or on paper. The nice thing about doing a gratitude check is that the list of things that we are grateful for always outweigh our problems. I had a major gratitude check recently. You can check that post out here.
7. Movement (20 minutes)
For the majority of us, when we get to work, we are sitting for the majority of the day. This 20 minutes gets our blood pumping and oxygen flowing before we get to work to sit again. Movement time has a lot of flexibility involved. We can do a combo of things during this time, or focus on one single thing. Here are some ideas: cleaning, dishes, walking the stairs, yoga, dancing, making the bed, Zumba, etc.
8. Breakfast (15 minutes)
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast consists of lean protein, fruit, dairy or dairy substitute and whole grains. Fruit juice is a great substitute for the fruit. Some people need coffee for a boost. I am an orange juice kind of person. It is always good to throw in some healthy fat such as avocado, vegan butter, or olive oil in the mix.
9. Makeup or Shaving (15 minutes)
Having a set time slot for makeup or shaving also reduces anxiety. I don’t use a lot of makeup. However, rushing in this area could lead to makeup getting all over the bathroom sink, and in turn all over your clothes. And of course, quick shaving leads to nicks. The Canvas Women Toiletry Bag pictured below is the Perfect Bag to House Makeup and Shaving Kits. Click here to take a look.
The Retro Vintage Roll Up Cosmetic Bag Pencil Pen Case Bag Pouch is the perfect roll up and go makeup bag. Click here for details.
10. Hair (30 Minutes)
Having enough time for hair and showering is just as important as makeup time. A quick shower takes about ten minutes. This leaves twenty minutes for your hair. For women, twenty minutes could be a blow dry, french braid, or pony tail. For men, twenty minutes might be a shampoo, blow dry, and gel. It’s up to you.
I hope that these tips will encourage us all to start our morning a little bit earlier.
I wouldn’t consider myself a makeup person. I like wearing lipstick, and sometimes I will put on some eye shadow and eyeliner, but that is the extent of it. The one thing that I do love is being able to buy facial and body products. This has been my favorite thing to do ever since my kids were little. Part of “me time” was spent combing the racks at Jewel, Dominick’s, or Walgreens looking for and spelling soap bars and body washes. Even now, whenever I go to farmer’s markets or Whole Foods, my favorite place to stop is the section where they have all the goat’s milk body bars. My daughter introduced me to the Everyone brand about a little over a year ago.
Why Do I Like IT
I like their brand for several reasons:
they contain aloe
essential oils are present
duration of time
they use hyaluronic acid
they have multiple uses
The benefits of Aloe are never-ending. Aloe helps with inflammation of the skin, mosquito bites, skin problems, and burns. My neighbor and I were outside talking, when she decided to cut off some of her Aloe Vera plant some that I could take some home to help with all of the nice, red mosquito bites that were going up and down my leg. I also gave a few pieces to my daughter to help with her eczema. We hated when we ran out.
The Everyone products contain essential oils, which are good for some of everything. People use essential oils to replace candles, and to have a calming, relaxing spa effect. They are also used to help with pain and inflammation. There are others who used essential oils to boost their immune system.
Duration of Time
For two people sharing the 32 oz sizes, the Everyone products can last literally for about two to three months. Believe or not, you don’t need a lot. A small amount goes a long way. The bonus is the fact that they use purified water to make their products, which helps those of us who have sensitive skin. The 32 oz. sizes are $9.99 at most stores, and some months, I have been able to get them for 6.99 to 7.99 at health food/all natural stores. It is best when they are that inexpensive to buy two, if possible.
I was so happy because the Everyone Face for Everyday cleanse was on sale for $5.00 at Whole Foods Market. This was over a month ago, and I have a good 60% of the bottle still left.
The hyaluronic acid from the Everyone products adds to the hyaluronic acid that is already present in the skin, helping to:
lessen lines and wrinkles
benefit collagen levels
help with aging skin process
The last benefit of the Everyone products that I like is that the lotion and wash have multiple uses:
Everyone Wash: shower, bath, and hair shampoo
Everyone Lotion: face, body, hair
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19
Today, I am featuring a guest blog post “Improve Your Health with a Simplified Beauty Routine and Natural Products” from Breanne Connor at Essential Moves to Wellness.
Do you find the idea of a natural beauty routine a little off-putting? Look, I get it. Why would you change out your products that already work?
While your tried-and-true products work great, they are slowly and subtly sabotaging your health.
This post may contain affiliate links. I only promote products I use and love. You can read more about it on my disclaimer page.
A Natural Beauty Routine Defined
What exactly is a natural beauty routine?
It’s a certain lifestyle where all of your beauty products are free from harsh chemicals or ingredients that can cause your body harm.
The thing is, most big-name beauty brands use way too many ingredients, and most of them have been scientifically proven to be harmful. Yet beauty companies continue to use and abuse these ingredients.
Some common harsh chemicals include sulfates, parabens, carcinogens, and “fragrance” (source). They can cause anything ranging from skin irritation to infertility to cancer.
Natural beauty products can be homemade, and some are only one or two ingredients!
Start With the Basics
When starting a natural beauty routine, it’s best to start with the absolute basic products and add only what’s necessary for your skin and hair.
A terribly underrated part of a natural beauty routine is many single-ingredient products are very versatile. Take honey, for example. You can use it as a facial mask, replace your shampoo, the list goes on.
See some more of my single-ingredient beauty product swaps with my free download! Just enter your name and email below.
To help you avoid overwhelm, I’m going to list what I think are the absolute basics for every beauty routine. Give these suggestions a go, and add on anything else as you go through your natural lifestyle journey.
Body and Facial Wash: Norwex Cloths
I’m sure you’re wondering, “What on Earth are Norwex Cloths??”
Norwex is an amazing company that sells microfiber cloths designed to pick up any unwanted microscopic organisms on a surface. Whether it be your body, or kitchen counters!
These cloths are literally the only things that have cleared my body acne, and I haven’t bought body wash in years! The antibacterial power of these cloths are the only thing your face and body need to stay clean.
Toner: Rose Water
I know that toner may seem like an unnecessary product, but it actually is very helpful for keeping an even and youthful skin tone.
Rose water helps balance your skin’s PH, control excess oil, heals scars, and so much more! (source)
You can find rose water at any health food store, or even the vitamin section of your local grocery store. I get rose water in a fine mist bottle specifically meant to be a toner. I just spray it all over my face after washing and let it air dry!
Moisturizer and Hair Oil: Argan Oil
I used Argan oil on face as a moisturizer for years before I decided to make my own! There are so many benefits, including repair to damaged skin, anti-frizz, and quick absorption for perfect moisture! (source)
After every shower or every time I washed my face, I would put a few drops of Argan oil on my fingertips and massage it into my skin. Then I would put a few more drops in my palms and run it through the ends of my hair.
Now I’ll admit that toothpaste is one area that I haven’t found much success in terms of safe ingredients. While there are some perfectly safe products out there, they are not effective for me at all.
There was one brand that I used for months, but my teeth looked like they weren’t brushed at all! I later found out that I was basically brushing my teeth with watered-down clay.
The only brand I recommend is Tom’s of Maine. They have several safe options that scored well on the Think Dirty app, and my teeth are staying clean!
Shampoo and Conditioner: Any Chemical-Free Brand
I’d love to list a Holy Grail brand for hair care here, but there is no one amazing shampoo for everybody. We all have different hair types, so this one will take a little research on your part.
But I’m not going to leave you completely hanging! Some brands that I love and trust are Desert Essence, Shea Moisture, and Calia Natural. All of these brands have amazing ratings on the Think Dirty App.
Also, you don’t need to have an app on your phone to tell what is natural and what’s not. I have a handy post on How to Tell if Your Natural Products are Actually Natural. Just because something says “natural” on it, doesn’t mean it actually is free of harsh chemicals, and this post tells you how to navigate through the confusion.
Razors: Get a Safety Razor
I bet you’re thinking, “What? I even need to change my razor?” The answer is yes, yes you do.
You know that little lubricating strip on your razor? That thing is chock full of unknown stuff that the razor company isn’t even obligated to list. Throw it out now!
I hope that this post sparks your own journey to a natural lifestyle. I’ve never felt better, and I’ve certainly never looked back.
Now I want to challenge you! Take a look at the ingredient list of one or two of your beauty products. Ask yourself if you’re okay with what you’re putting on your hair or skin every day.
If not, I challenge you to try natural products! I’ll be rooting for you along the way!
Would you be up for switching out some of your beauty products? Let me know in the comments below!
About the Author
Breanne is the owner of the blog Essential Moves to Wellness, where she writes about getting the most out of a healthy lifestyle. Her posts range from DIY beauty to ballet to mental health and wellness. When Breanne isn’t writing, she loves to crochet, tutor other writers, and dance ballet. Check out her blog for more on healthy living.