Happy friday, friends! Before we get into the meat of today’s post, I wanted to spend a quick sec revealing my Foodie Penpal from this past month.
If you’re not familiar with FPP, it’s a fun little program set up by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean that’s basically a perfect opportunity to be introduced to new foodie products. After signing up, you get paired with a penpal (blogger or reader) that you get to put together a box of goodies for ($15 limit). And the best part? Someone else is putting together a box of goodies for you too! Not only is it a great way to connect with others, but it’s also a great way to try some new products that you might have not otherwise picked up. Interested in signing up? You can do that here.
This month, I was paired up with a reader named Steph, and holy.wow did she ever spoil me.
Veggie chips, Popchips, flavored coffee, Goldfish crackers, dessert gum, ginger chews, and a spork. I got a serious chuckle out of that last one, but Steph’s reasoning of keeping it in your purse because you never know when you might need a fork/spoon/knife is pretty much genius. I loved everything I tried so far, so thanks so much, Steph!
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So remember how I said I don’t really have a favorite day of the week? I lied. This week it would be Friday. Why? Because yesterday was a day. You know the kind I mean…
A day where I was a walking disaster zone…
A day where stubbing my toe on my chair leg made me feel like I was doing to lose my shi-take mushrooms…
A day where time just dragged and I’d look at the clock expecting to see a good chunk of it had gone by only to realize that it’d only been 5 minutes…
A day where (thanks to a sleepless night) I wanted ALL the
A day that needed to end with a serious pampering session…
You’d think I would have learned by now, but it never really fails to amaze me how big of a difference properly taking care of myself makes on the quality of my day. If I’m overly tired or underfed? I can pretty much throw all hopes of having a decent day out the window.
I feel like we often push ourselves past our limits without even realizing it. We’re constantly being told to do more, be more, achieve more, so we end up putting far too much on our plates and our health suffers as a result. Not having time to prepare healthy meals, not having energy to stay active, not scheduling in enough time to relax – the result is an overtaxed body that slowly begins to break down on us.
Guilty as charged. I honestly try my best to make myself a priority, but sometimes I slack, and lately I’ve been slacking a little more than usual. Not terribly so, but enough to notice a difference in how I feel. One thing in particular that I really want to start doing again is dry brushing…
What is dry brushing?
If you’re not familiar with dry brushing, it’s the process of brushing the skin on your entire body with a rough-bristled brush that’s designed to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. The whole process is done on dry skin with a dry brush, hence the name.
What are the benefits of dry brushing?
When done on a regular basis, dry brushing boasts a number of impressive benefits:
- Increased blood flow to the skin. This stimulates better circulation and helps anyone who suffers from chronically cold hands and feet. The process of releasing toxins through perspiration is also improved.
- Reduction of cellulite. This is actually a process of detoxification. Cellulite is a buildup of toxic material in your body’s fat cells and brushing dry skin helps tighten the epidermis and break up this toxic material, allowing your body to get rid of it more easily.
- Improved lymphatic drainage. Dry brushing speeds up the flow of lymph (which is responsible for cleansing the body of toxic agents) and helps the body get rid of toxins more quickly. This directly contributes to a stronger immune system and healthier body.
- Improved muscle tone. Brushing the skin stimulates the nervous system, and stimulated nerves activate muscle fibers and help improve muscle tone. This results in tighter skin, which is especially beneficial for those who have lost large amounts of weight.
- Improved skin appearance. Dry brushing helps remove dead skin cells which can cause the skin to look dull. It also encourages a faster cell turnover rate, which results in smoother, brighter, and healthier skin that glows.
- Other notable benefits: removes excessive fluid from the body, helps reduce bloat, improves digestion, unclogs pores, and stimulates oil/hormone producing glands.
How to dry brush effectively
- Use a stiff bristled brush, preferably one made from natural materials.
- Do it first thing in the morning or before you shower.
- Always brush towards your heart.
- Begin at the ankles and brush upwards using long smooth strokes. Move up to the lower legs and thighs, focusing on any trouble areas. When you reach your stomach, brush in a counterclockwise direction. Return to brushing towards your heart when you reach your back and arms. Don’t forget your neck, the bottom of your feet, and your palms.
- Always follow up with a moisturizer that nourishes the skin. Coconut oil is perfect for this.
For something that costs next to nothing (my brush cost me $7) and takes almost no time at all (3-5 mins max), regular dry brushing made a huge difference in how I felt. My skin looked great, and I swear I had a lot more energy. But then I fell out of the habit, and now I’m lucky if I remember to do it once a week. Fail. It’s something that I really want to get back into doing though, so I’m making that my goal for the month of July – to dry brush every morning. I’ve already done it today, so we’re off to a good start 😉
I hope you guys have an amazing day and a great start to the weekend. It’s a long one up here in Canada, and I’m seeing some BBQing in my very near future. Can.not.wait [for the corn]. Happy Friday!!
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Have you ever tried dry brushing?
What are some of your essential feel-good healthy habits?
Are you ever guilty of making your health less of a priority?