Sustainable Travel Tips by Ellen Cotten

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Vacation is a time when we leave all our worries behind, don’t have a care in the world, sit back & relax.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to do all of this on vacation however, one thing we should be conscious of while traveling is respecting the places we go to visit.

Here are my tips to sustainable, conscious travel:

1) BRING REUSABLE GEAR

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Our oceans are littered with trash!
Things like plastic bottles, straws, food wrappers, single use bags and bottle caps.

When traveling you eat out more, consuming lots of single use plastics and waste throughout the duration of your stay.

Think ahead and pack useable gear to take with you to coffee shops and juice bars.

Many local businesses appreciate when you bring in your own cup, jar, bowl, etc and some may even offer a discount for doing so!




WHAT TO PACK:

-Reusable jar/water bottle
-Reusable straws
-Togo container/bento box
-Utensils kit
-Reusable bags

Check out the eco-friendly section in my store for links to some of my favorite useable products!

2) REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN

When visiting any beach it is important to use reef safe sunscreen.

Using non toxic sunscreen protects our reefs, wildlife and our own health!

Most commercial sunscreens have oxybenzone and octinoxate which contribute to coral bleaching.

14,000 tons of sunscreen enter coral reefs a year according to the National Park Service.

Avoiding sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate is a must!

Raw elements is an awesome reef safe, all natural sunscreen company.

I’m also a fan of combing through Etsy for homemade, low ingredient, all natural sunscreens.

3) RESPECT WILDLIFE

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In the age of social media everyone wants a photo of everything.

I know a photo of a sun bathing turtle at the beach will really pop off your Instagram feed, but respecting animals is cooler!

Here on Hawaii the rule is to keep 15ft distance from any wildlife you may encounter.

Even so, when wildlife comes onto the beach you see crowds gathered at 15.5ft all trying to get their best shot and video.

Travel destinations like Hawaii see visitors year round, meaning this happens to these animals on a daily basis.

Choose to respect wildlife over having a cute photo for social media.

It’s just the right thing to do.

 

4) PACK YOUR TRASH

Leave everyplace you visit in a better condition than which you arrived.

It should go without saying that one should pick up any and all trash they have accumulated while at the beach, park, etc.

Sadly, this is not the case and lazy humans leave a trash trail wherever they go.

We should go above and beyond by not only cleaning up our space, but picking up loose trash we may see while out and about.

Trash ends up in our oceans, gets mistaken by animals as food and is disrespectful to others who want to enjoy the space after you.

It’s simple: don’t be trashy!

5) BUY LOCAL

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Buying local supports the community, stimulates local economy and business owners.

Local businesses could be restaurants, gift shops, juice bars or grocery stores.

There are many local products within shops and stores as well.

I love to visit a farmers market wherever I travel.

Food at farmer’s markets travel considerably less miles than food that is imported in, making it the ultimate eco friendly option.

Farmer’s markets are an excellent showcase of local produce, products and handmade items that the community has to offer.



Those are my tips to make your next vacation a little more eco friendly!

Remember, it’s not about perfection.

If we each try to be a little more conscious of our actions, it will make a world of difference collectively!

3 habits for healthy living by Ellen Cotten

Health is about the journey not the destination.
If you are just starting your journey into better health it is important to note that big changes won’t happen overnight. The best way to begin is by adding small healthy habits to your daily routine. Eventually your list of good habits will grow and your bad, unhealthy habits will naturally fall off.
I didn’t become a raw vegan, yogi overnight. It started with a decision to choose things that supported my highest self and from there I began my journey into health.
Here are my top 3 healthy habits that I have incorporated into my daily routine!

MOVE YOUR BODY!

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Physical activity is an important component to health. It helps circulate the blood, move the lymphatic system, releases endorphins, rids anxiety, relieves stress and improves memory.
Find an activity you love and practice 30 minutes a day (or more!)
The key here is to find something you enjoy doing otherwise you are less likely to actually do it.
Your activity could be as simple as walking the neighborhood or dancing around your room!
For me I love yoga and practice everyday. Yoga helps me stretch out my body after a long day of work, focus on breath and release negative energy, thoughts and patterns.

 

HYDRATE

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We all know staying hydrated is important however I prefer to hydrate mostly through fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and vegetables have a water content of 80-98% water. On top of water these foods contain natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins that replenish and hydrate our bodies.
A study by the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that replenishing with watermelon or cucumbers after working out is two times more effective than rehydrating with water.
Since my diet is mostly fruit and juice based, I am always hydrating my cells and rarely feel dehydrated.
Here are some fruits and veggies high in water:


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FRUIT:

Cucumber: 96%
Blueberries: 95%
Pineapple: 95%
Tomato: 94%
Watermelon: 92%
Grapefruit: 91%
Papaya: 91%
Apples: 84%
Grapes: 81%
Banana: 74%

VEGGIES:

Romaine: 98%
Celery: 95%
Carrots: 87%

 

EARTHING

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Earthing (also known as grounding) is coming into contact with the earth’s surface elections by walking barefoot. We live in an electrically charged world (including ourselves) and when we experience these natural energy transfers it creates powerful healing benefits.
I love to ground myself by walking barefoot on the beach or in a field of grass. You can also lay your full body in the grass or sit by a tree. Gardening is another great way to get in touch with the earth and connect with nature.
When we do these things electrons from the earth move freely through the body, creating healing effects. The body is able to move out of fight or flight mode and our parasympathetic nervous system is supported.
Grounding can help improve sleep and mood, release free radicals, reduce stress, pain and inflammation.

I hope these tips can help you on your journey towards improved health, vitality and wellness!
-Ellen Organic

3 herbs to kill candida + juice recipe by Ellen Cotten

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Candida albicans is a yeast that is apart of the human microbiome. Candida is naturally occurring in the body and a small amount is needed for digestion and nutrient absorption. However, if this yeast gets out of balance it can spread rapidly and cause dis-ease throughout the body.

Some symptoms of a candida overgrowth include fatigue, digestive issues, bloating, rashes, skin and nail infections, vaginal or unitary tract infections, oral thrush, brain fog, anxiety, sinus infections and hormonal imbalance.

Candida is an opportunist organism. Once this balance is thrown off it can be very difficult to get back under control. Some ways candida can become ‘activated’ is by excessive alcohol consumption, antibiotics, medication, chronic stress, grains, sugar and contraceptive pills.

There are many herbs that help kill candida like clove, wormwood, fennel seed and goldenseal root. I have seen great results from taking Herbal Blood by Puradyme which includes these herbs and enzymes to help kill and eliminate candida.

On top of herbal capsules, I have been adding bitter herbs to my juices which have also yielded powerful results! I recommend juicing herbs on top of taking an herbal capsule or tincture to maximize candida die off.
Here are my top 3 herbs to juice to kill candida:

1) DANDELION GREENS

Dandelion greens are a powerful herb that have been used as natural medicine for years. For those suffering from candida, a properly functioning liver is essential. Dandelion greens will kill the candida and support the liver in removing candida die off and other toxic waste that occurs. These greens also act as a mild laxative and aid digestion. Most people with a candida overgrowth have sluggish digestion, so juicing these herbs will help support the digestive system in removing these toxins.

2) ARUGULA

Arugula is another powerful bitter herb that can be used to kill candida. Arugula is high in anti fungal phytonutrients and antioxidants. This is a powerful herb that fights fungus overgrowth in the body like candida.

3) WATERCRESS

Watercress is in the same family as arugula and also holds powerful anti fungal properties. If a candida overgrowth is left unattended it can spread into your blood stream becoming “systemic.” This is very difficult to remove. Luckily watercress acts as a blood purifier in the body. Juicing this herb will help clear the blood stream of harmful bacteria, fungus and toxins.


HERBAL JUICE RECIPE

-Apple
-Cucumber
-Celery
-Dandelion greens
-Arugula
-Watercress
-Lemon
-Ginger

Each of these herbs have a strong, potent taste to them. If you are just beginning your health journey these bitter herbs may be overwhelming to you. If this is the case, just add more apple to sweeten up your juice.
I eyeball my juice recipes and make enough for 32oz a serving. Drink as much as you’d like!
This drink is very healing and detoxifying.

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Raining - 3 Benefits of rainwater by Ellen Cotten

When it starts to rain most people tend to run for cover, shielding their heads from the drops. What if I told you sitting out in the rain can actually be beneficial for your health?

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NEGATIVE IONS = POSITIVE VIBES

Negative ions are odorless, colorless, invisible molecules created and found in nature. Despite the name, negative ions actually create a positive affect when we are exposed to it.

Rainwater contains an abundance of negative ions. When we sit out in the rain these negative ions are absorbed directly into the blood stream, aiding the body in serotonin production.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. Low serotonin levels are often linked to anxiety and depression.

Exposing yourself to rainwater allows the body to produce more serotonin which can boost mood, increase energy and act as a natural antidepressant.

REMOVES FREE-RADICALS

Free radicals are uncharged molecules in the body that cause significant damage to living cells and tissue, also known as oxidative stress.
This is thought to be the cause of age-related changes such as wrinkles and grey hair.
Negative ions from rainwater can help the body combat and remove free-radicals.

BETTER SLEEP

The sound of rain has long been used as a white noise effect to help induce sleep. However, exposing our skin to rain water can help improve sleep as well!
Again, negative ions found in rain help the body increase serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin are associated with insomnia. By boosting our serotonin levels we can see improved, deeper sleep. This also helps with increased energy levels and focus throughout the day.

START RAINING!

Next time it rains, instead of running for cover, embrace it! Let the fresh rain water wash over you and absorb into your blood stream. Experience the calming affects of this natural wonder for yourself!

Cleansing with fruit! Detox 101 by Ellen Cotten

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If you know me, you know I love fruit! Most of my daily intake comes from fruit.
However, I used to not always be this way.

When I was in the throws of a candida overgrowth, I was constantly researching on how to heal my gut. I read so many articles that said to not eat fruit if you are trying to rid candida. Fruit sugars would supposedly feed candida and worsen the condition. That fruit sugar fear mongering got me and I almost never ate the stuff.

Luckily, I later found information that said the exact opposite! That fruit was a powerful detoxifyer and should be the staple of your diet. Fruit isn’t what causes or continues candida but can be used to stop it.

FRUIT SUGAR IS LIFE

What is fruit? Fruit is made up of glucose and fructose both of which are carbon and oxygen. Carbon and oxygen are the vital elements for life itself.

When we eat fruit we come alive because we are eating the exact elements required for life to even exist. The opposite of death (disease) is life (health.)

By eating fruit we creating health and eliminating an environment that is hospitable for disease.

EASY TO DIGEST

Fruits are the easiest macronutrient for the body to digest. This means the body expends less energy to break down, assimilate and eliminate fruits. Higher water content fruits such as watermelon (92% water) only take 20 minutes to fully digest.

The energy our body would typically spend digesting food has now become available for our body to start deep cleaning and repairing our systems.

The amazing thing about the body is that it can self heal. It knows exactly what is and isn’t working. If we gift our bodies with easily digestible, high water content foods such as fruit, we take a load off. Now our bodies can spend the majority of its energy eliminating toxins (candida, parasites, waste) and repairing broken systems (lymph drainage, adrenal strengthening, kidney filtration, etc.)

GO LOW FAT WHILE DETOXING

I’ve found it beneficial to go low fat while you are in the detoxification process.

Fat is the hardest macronutrient for the body to digest. Cashews for example can take 2-6 hours to fully digest. That is a lot, especially when compared to the digestion time of fruit.

Fats are NOT bad for you. Avocados are amazing. However, when you are detoxing, especially if dealing with candida, parasites, or just a toxic body in general, you want to eat what is going to take the least amount of energy. When you are suffering from these imbalances you most likely will have weak adrenals, backed up lymph or a weak pancreas as well. In the body, everything works together. If your body is already having a hard time eliminating toxins, backing it up further with hard to digest fats will only worsen your condition. We want things to be light and easy while we are in the healing process.

CLEAN OUT YOUR PIPES

Fruits have the highest flavonoids and the highest astringents, each great for detoxification.
Melons, berries, grapes and citrus are powerful detoxifiers.

Citrus is great for dissolving mucus build up in the body. Bacteria thrives off of mucus in the gut which can cause a low immune system, viruses, infections, acne, etc. Citrus acts as an astringent in the body and cleans out mucus.

Citrus also dissolves acid build up in the lymph. The lymphatic system runs throughout the entire body and acts like a drain that releases toxins and waste. Would you want your toilet backed up? Of course not, you want your pipes running clean! Same with the lymphatic system, which drains best in an alkaline environment. Although citrus is acidic in nature, it is alkalizing in the body.

Incorporating these detoxifying fruits into your diet will further your detoxification process!

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I experienced a new level of freedom once I began to discover the truth about fruit.
While I am enjoying these magnificent fruits, I am naturally detoxing every minute of every day!
We don’t need to blame nature for our sicknesses but instead use it as a tool to heal us.

I hope this article was helpful to anyone out there struggling with candida or any other health issue. I’m not a doctor, just sharing my experiences and information. :)

Follow me on social media:
Instagram: @ellenorganic
Facebook: Ellen organic
Youtube: @EllenOrganic

Tex Mex Style Vegan Queso! by Ellen Cotten

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Being born and raised in Austin, TX, I cannot live without my Tex Mex!
I’ve recreated the infamous chips & queso vegan style.
This guilt free ‘cheese’ is cruelty free and won’t feed bad bacteria or mucus in your gut like dairy does.

I used ‘Brad’s plant based’ brand chips. These chips are raw vegan and made from dehydrated veggies like beets, sweet potatoes and kale!

I used ‘Brad’s plant based’ brand chips. These chips are raw vegan and made from dehydrated veggies like beets, sweet potatoes and kale!

Ingredients:
2 C. potatoes
1 C. carrots
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
1/4 C. onion
1/2 C. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
2 Hawaiian chili peppers (or 1 diced jalapeño)

Recipe:
Boil your carrots and potatoes until soft
Blend carrots, potatoes and the rest of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy!

Enjoy!

Raw Coconut Nori Wraps by Ellen Cotten

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Ingredients:
Raw nori sheets
Raw vegan coconut wraps
Hummus
Leafy greens of your choice (I used Bok Choy)
Bell pepper
Zucchini
Carrots
Mango
Tomatoes

Recipe:
-Lay 1 nori wrap flat
-Lay 1 coconut wrap on top of nori wrap
-Spread layer of hummus on 1/4 of the wrap
-Now we can start stacking our veggies on top of the hummus
-Place your chopped leafy green of choice on top of hummus
-Followed by thinly sliced bell pepper, carrots and zucchini
-Optional: For added flavor you can add himalayan sea salt and/or hot sauce
-Wrap up, cut in half and enjoy :)

Spicy sauce recipe:
Blend together equal parts tomatoes and mangos.
Add the juice of 1 lime and himalayan sea salt to taste.

Energizing Power Balls by Ellen Cotten

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These energizing power balls are so easy to make, they only take a few ingredients and no baking is required!
They are great for on the go snacks, as an energizing pick me up or a post workout protein treat.

These power balls have maca root powder in them which is a great naturally energy source.
Maca powder is also great for balancing hormones, boosting mood, reducing blood pressure and reducing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

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Ingredients:
1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup coconut flakes
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp nut butter
1tbsp cacao powder*
1tbsp maca powder*
*(I used a ‘Cacao Elixer Superfood Blend’ that had cacao, maca, chaga and other superfoods in it. This is optional but I will show the package I used below.)

Recipe:
-Pulse ingredients together in a food processor
-Mix should end up sticky and easily mold into a ball. If your dates are too dry, this won’t work. You can soak dates in water for a couple hours to soften them up and then reblend.
-Roll mix into individual balls
-Sprinkle with coconut flakes for extra pizzaz!
-Best refrigerated

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