diy-toothpaste

DIY: 4 Ingredient Natural Toothpaste

Before any travel, it’s necessary to go through everything I own and make sure I love it enough to bring it with me in my 65L backpack.  With this thinking comes creativity. I need to carefully consider everything I can leave behind, and in turn, my “needs” have become strong “wants”. My once full make-up bag(s) and products began to dwindle, and I’ve also started thinking more about what I really need, and what is good for me mentally, physically and in terms of my overall health. Quality over quantity, everyone.

 

After doing my research, I found that, as we all likely know, the products stocking our shelves contain a lot of **** I would rather not have on or in my body. This is where toothpaste comes in. I just kept buying these massive plastic tubes of chemical, not really knowing what it contained but knowing it was the norm. Once I heard about the benefits of oil pulling and the possibility to make your own toothpaste, I had to try. So, a friend and I got together, pooled our ingredients and it turned out well! It can take some getting used to, but I got accustomed to it rather quickly. Now if only I could find a bamboo toothbrush in Chile somewhere (any leads?).

 

Here is how to make your own DIY toothpaste and say goodbye to unwanted, unnecessary chemicals in your daily routine.

 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 tablespoon on baking soda

3-5 drops of mint essential oil – to preference

3-5 drops of stevia – if tastes to bitter, to preference

 

Directions:

  1. Pick your vessel. I chose a glass jar with a lid to seal.
  2. Spoon coconut oil into the jar. If the oil is fully solid, pop it it over a flame or in the microwave for a couple of seconds to soften. 
  3. Spoon the baking soda into the jar and mix well, this should be very evenly distributed.
  4. Add Mint essential oil (edible) and Stevia drops to your liking. After trying the mixture without stevia, I added a few drops which really helps the toothpaste taste more like the product you’re used to.
  5. Scoop out a small amount using a spoon – avoid using your toothbrush directly in the mixture – and brush away as usual!

 

 

Have you tried making your own DIY toothpaste or other DIY products? How did it go? 

 

 

x – Jenn, The Redhead Abroad

My Spotify Playlist: Yoga Groovin’

 

I have a long background of dance and love to incorporate that into my yoga practice, flowing and connecting poses together, some hip sways here and there. This is the music I dance/yoga/boogie to whenever I need to relax, release, or just get my groove on for a few minutes. What are you favourite yoga, meditation or workout tracks? Here is my ultimate spotify playlist for getting your yoga groove on.

Namaste.

Click here & Happy Groovin’ !

yoga asana in melbourne australia
Stretching it out in my tiny Melbourne studio flat.

 

Setlist:

  1.  Daughter – Youth
  2.  Chet Faker – No Diggity
  3.  Flume & Chet Faker – Drop the Game
  4.  Matt Corby – Oh Oh Oh
  5.  Coldplay – Magic
  6.  Doe Paoro – Wind
  7.  Snatam Kaur – Ong Namo

 

-x Jenn, The Redhead Abroad

Coconut Oil: My Budget Travel Secret

Coconut oil is a natural, budget travel lifesaver. Cheap, natural, and multi purpose. When I’m travelling, it’s important to maximise luggage space, and ladies, we all know how our personal products can take up all the space, and empty out our wallet after a trip to Sephora. It’s my solution for natural, sensitive skin approved, cheap (!) product with multiple uses. Here’s why I can’t travel without coconut oil.

coconut oil

Makeup Remover

If you’re spending anything over a couple of dollars on makeup remover (I’m looking at you, Lancome), that’s unnatural, and likely irritates or dries out your skin and eyes, here’s your answer. I always use coconut oil every night to take off my mascara, and it works like a charm- even for the waterproof brands – without irritating my eyes. Simply put some coconut oil in your palm, rub your hands together to melt or apply directly to the eyelid and gently rub around your eyes. In seconds, the makeup’s gone! Swipe with a damp washcloth and you’re fresh faced. Easy.

ocean bali

 

Bright Whites

Ever heard of oil-pulling? I was confused at first. I mean, how could OIL make my teeth and mouth healthier? But once I started, I began to notice a difference in the way my mouth feels, another level of clean and healthy, and I also began to feel more energized. Just take a spoonful of coconut oil (you can mix in peppermint oil to get that minty taste if you like), and swish for 5, building up to 20 minutes. After doing some reading on ayurveda, I became interested in how many toxins tend to build in our mouths overnight (morning breath – yuck!), and by tongue-scraping and oil pulling, we can get all those toxins out of our bodies effectively & easily.

 

Leave-in-conditioner

I’m currently living in South America, and the weather is the exact opposite of my home in Canada. Dry, no humidity, and always hot! My hair isn’t too happy. Once a week, before bed I massage a big dollop of coconut oil into my hair, focusing on the ends, and wrap it up in a bun on the top of my head. When I awake, I unravel my hair and shampoo and condition as normal, and my hair is back to it’s shiny, bouncy self. Sometimes I like to mix in a couple drops of essential oils into the coconut oil before massaging, such as frankincense for added benefits or even just grapefruit oil so my hair also smells delicious.

Goodbye Sunburn 

I’m a redhead (the blog name says it all), which means I’ve also inherited very sensitive skin – especially to the sun. Although I put all my effort into applying SPF 50 and more constantly, sometimes the sun is too much for me, and I end up with a nasty sunburn. My secret (I’ve had lots of practice to perfect this), is to rub apple cider vinegar on my sunburn (feels amazing), rinse it off with cold water on a wash cloth, and apply coconut oil generously. It sounds strange, I may smell a bit funky, but when I wake up the next day, my skin feels moisturised and looks way better than it did the day before.

 

Pedicure Au-Natural

I’m one of those girls who has a pedicure as a treat maybe once a year (every 6 months when I’m feeling extra fancy), which means my feet need some at home TLC. Coconut oil is so light but moisturising that I sometimes massage my feet with oil in the morning and it keeps my feet moisturised during the day. Sometimes, in dire situations, I’ll lather on some and put cotton socks over my moisturised feet for a lazy morning or overnight, and the next day they’re ready for the beach.

 

These are just a few reasons why I can’t travel without coconut oil. What are yours?

 

x Jenn, The Redhead Abroad

Travel Yoga: How to Strengthen your Practice Abroad

Exercising abroad is a difficult task. Your routine is bound to change from your schedule at home in all ways, and especially with exercise! Through travel we tend to replace gym memberships with more outdoor activities like hiking mountains or strolling through the city streets, sometimes it’s nice to still keep a small routine exercise to keep us feeling our best, mentally and physically, while abroad. This is how I have continued my practice abroad, and at sometimes re-ignited my practice when I’ve fallen out of routine, through these travel yoga secrets.

 

I had a difficult time at first trying to keep up with my practice. Going from a membership to a studio close to my house and taking a class before work almost every morning, I knew my practice would change once I was abroad. Little did I know just how much it would change. After incorporating each of these tips I have below, my practice became much more steady, and all of the wonderful benefits I had experienced at home came rushing back – from a strong mind to even stronger legs. Here’s what you can do to continue exercising while abroad, because we all know we aren’t just here for the savasana.

 

travel yoga in melbourne outside

 

Remember your Mat

Bring your mat with you! I use “The Mat 5mm” by lululemon which provides the perfect amount of comfort and support for my practice, and “The Reversible Mat 3mm” for travel is a great lightweight option as well for travellers always on the go. I always hop on the plane with my carry on crossbody bag of essentials (see what’s in it here!) and my travel yoga mat bag slung over my shoulder destined for the overhead bin. In any exercise, especially yoga, it is crucial to practice on a good quality mat to avoid injury and enhance your practice. I’ve tried multiple yoga mats and this is the one, guys. I can do a sweaty one hour hot yoga practice and don’t even need a towel with this mat. Absolute Essential.

travel yoga mat
Photo copyright: lululemon athletica. The Mat 5mm.

 

Roll out of bed & into your practice

Even better, leave your mat rolled out beside your bed waiting for you. I love rolling out of bed and before I can think of anything else, I’m on my mat, stretching and breathing out all of my kinks.That way, you have no excuse that you’re tired or have no time. Set your alarm even a few minutes earlier than your usual wake up call, and get your body moving! Even 5 minutes of just sitting and breathing alone is a total game changer for my entire day. Plus, add in a little yoga workout and stretch and you’re done your workout before you even have breakfast. Total travel yoga win.

 

Find your crew

Wherever you are in the world, try to find a group of like-minded or like-exercising people in your local area. Free park yoga is exploding everywhere and it’s amazing! Check local facebook groups, your hostel or hotel, and ask at community centres to find free or by-donation activities. Plus, a group of fellow travelling yogis will help you to stay on track if you make set times and days to practice together.

Beautiful sculpture artwork near Penang, Malaysia.

 

Do yoga with me (THE BOMB) . com  ( doyogawithme.com )

Best yogs website ever – in my opinion. Sign up for free to access multiple classes right from your device. Choose your level and style of class from kundalini to pre-natal yoga, and get practicing. I recommend this class (intermediate level- choose what’s appropriate for you), which I’ve been following to help re-ignite my practice and I promise your muscles will feel this one! I used to take classes with Fiji in Victoria, Canada and learned so much. So imagine how happy I am to be able to continue her classes when I’m all the way over in Chile!

 

Grab those Studio Intro Deals

And if where you are does have a yoga presence- Get those intro deals girl! During my entire time living in Australia (1.5 years), I think I paid in full for a drop in class maybe once. Many studios have intro passes for your first week or two if you’ve never visited the studio before. As yoga is such a trend these days, yoga classes in Melbourne were averaging $25 or more for a one hour class, whereas by hopping between studios in Melbourne city and surrounding suburbs, I would purchase a two-week unlimited pass, taking up to 10 classes in that time, for $19 in some places. Other studios even had a FREE pass for your first week, no obligations following. In addition, keep your eye out for special events like studio openings, studio anniversaries and International Yoga Day – free classes are everywhere just waiting for you – and for cheap. Travel yoga just got way easier. No excuses there!

travel yoga asana in melbourne australia
Stretching it out in my tiny Melbourne studio flat.

 

There are all my travel yoga secrets! So many options to be able to get moving no matter what excuse is holding me back. Of course finding other ways to keep moving such as hiking, exploring a new city or town, or going for a bike ride are also great ways to see the country you’re in and stay active while doing so! I hope these inspire you to roll out your mat or attend that yoga class in a foreign language, and let me know how it goes!

 

How do you get moving when you’re abroad? Have you noticed a change in your fitness routine when you’re travelling vs at home? Let me know below!

-x Jenn, The Redhead Abroad

Stay Grounded while Abroad: 3 Simple & Fast Tips

For all my fellow travellers who have at some point felt disconnected with themselves and their values while travelling or living abroad. It has happened to me, and may have/will happen to you! But no fret. Here are three of my best tips (Fast and Free!) to stay grounded and connect back to ourselves during our crazy adventures.
My first long, solo trip abroad snowballed into a one and a half year working holiday in Australia.  I was in a new country (and continent!), trying to find a job, couchsurfing, making new friends, and caught up in a tornado of new experiences. It felt amazing, liberating, and exciting. But after a couple of months, I realised amongst the amazing new chaos, I lost for a moment a bit of who I really was. I needed something that was easy, quick, and effective, to help me touch back down to home base while continuing with the adventures!

 

Here are 3 super easy practices I do in a couple of minutes, whenever I feel scatter-brained, to check back in with myself while abroad. The best part- you can practice these anywhere! My favourite times are when I’m riding the train home, walking along a long busy road to a destination, or whenever I have a spare moment (literally just a moment!) all to myself. They are short, effective and obviously free!

 

   

 

1. Focus on your breath. 

 

I know, I know. So simple! But trust me, this is what works best for me. Wherever I am, even just for a minute, I start to focus on and count my breaths, and try to get to 10 without losing count. Sound easy? Try it!

 

This is such a simple way to check in with yourself, how you’re feeling, and to calm down. The goal is not to think about nothing, it’s to simply acknowledge a thought and then let it float away, continuing to return to your breath counts. Even after only a minute of counting my breaths, my breath is deeper, slower, and I seem to complete things and speak with more calm and purpose.  With continual practice, you’ll be able to focus in a much shorter time and stay grounded while travelling.

 

2. Write down absolutely everything you can think of that you’re grateful for.

 

I practice this when I have a bit more time and space such as when I’m on the train or at home.
This I love to do when I’ve lost sight of what I really love and what supports me. It’s a wonderful reminder that you have everything you need at any moment, and it also helps you to think about what you hold dear to you as a reminder. By the end of this list I am literally writing things like “Slippers”  and “water fountains” and “smiles”. It helps you to see everything more humbly instead of always searching for the next cool thing to do. Try doing this for the country you’re in as well or where you’re travelling! I promise you’ll slow down and see everything more vividly.

 

3. Remain close to those who you respect and you share similar values with.

 

Whenever I feel a bit out of it or needing a literal anchor to bring me back to myself, I always reach out to my friends at home. Those who have known me the longest, have supported me through my travels abroad and whom I still consider dear friends even after all of this time living abroad. I have found that my closest friends are those who I can forget to speak to for months at a time, and all of sudden I call them on skype and we can talk as if no time has passed. These are also people with whom we share similar values and experiences, and they automatically ground me while travelling.

 

In addition, there are so many opportunities to connect with new friends while abroad who share similar interests and are likely experiencing similar situations as you! For example, I miss having regular yoga classes with my friends back home, so here in Chile I went out of my comfort zone and tried a spanish speaking yoga class (I am just learning spanish), and have made a couple of friends just by going a couple of times- plus, we are getting to know each other in the language I’m learning! A great mix of making new friends with similar ideals and enriching my experience abroad.

 

What’s your secret way to stay grounded while abroad? Share in the comments below or send me a message! If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the right & I’ll send you a note when my next post is up. x

 

Happy travels & stay grounded!

 

– Jenn, The Redhead Abroad

DIY: Natural, Spa-worthy Facial Oil for Travelling Babes

If you’re anything like me, the more I travel and discover new ( to me ) beautiful environments, the more I realise how much we need to take care of these special places and our world as a whole for the future. A big part of our impact on Earth (especially as women!) is what’s in our cosmetics.

If you have experienced long flights for hours at a time, multiple time zones and random seasons – or constantly chase summertime around the globe- you know that if we aren’t careful, our bodies can get VERY out of whack! All of this travelling is great for our minds, our memories, and our cameras, but not so gentle on the largest organ of our body – our skin.

Last year, I tossed out my chemical-ridden face lotion and made the switch to using naturally derived oils that moisturise my sensitive face without clogging my pores. I use this as both a morning moisturiser after cleansing and as a nightly face oil. It’s even a miracle-worker as an under-eye oil, not to mention it smells amazing and calming (it’s on my face as I type this!). Here’s my secret recipe just for you:

Ingredients:

110mL or similar bottle of Sweet Almond oil (I use this)

  • Sweet Almond Oil is an all around moisturizing machine and wrinkle zapper. Quick absorbing and containing vitamin E, it has all the moisture you need without interfering with your perfect pore-less complexion (We’re almost there – right, ladies?!)

10 drops of 100% pure lavender essential oil ( I use this )

  • Lavender Oil is a powerhouse of calming properties, anti-redness (I’m definitely subject to this), and anti-inflammation. Hello, skin heaven!

10 drops of 100% pure frankincense essential oil ( I use this )

  • Frankincense Oil is a miracle worker for any inflamed areas or difficult skin areas- it can even help heal minor wounds! Not to mention it’s great for calming mild anxiety and stress just through the smell.

* for the essential oils, try asking a friend for a few drops of theirs before purchasing. These oils have a long shelf life, but it’s much cheaper to ask a friend and offer a couple of dollars!

Directions:

So simple! Grab your bottle of sweet almond oil, open, and add 10 drops of each frankincense and lavender oil. Shake gently, and you’re done!

You may add a bit more of each oil as you desire. Keep in mind that lavender and frankincense are pure essential oils, and you should not put these directly on your skin without mixing with a carrier oil (sweet almond oil in this case!)

And voila! Cheap and so effective. Enjoy!

– x Jenn, The Redhead Abroad

Arrive Revived: Start your vacation before you arrive

Your bags are packed, you’ve got you’re itinerary, and it’s finally setting in- you’re going travelling! But.. you also realise you have a long flight – or multiple flights and layovers ahead of you – to get there. What do you bring and do to arrive refreshed? Here are some tips from a Canadian girl who is currently obsessed with the southern hemisphere (double digit hour flights!), to help you minimise stress and maximise relaxation and ease before your holiday officially begins!
— Disclaimer: Below you will find a few products as suggestions, that were purchased by me, and I am in no way connected to these brands. —
Step 1. Bring a well organised carry-on bag.
This is essential. What you bring on your carry-on determines how smooth (or stressful!) your airport and flight experience will be. Here is what I bring in my bag without fail:
  • Inflatable neck pillow: My number one necessity. There’s nothing worse than a super sore neck after a plane ride!
  • Noise-cancelling headphones: Many major airlines now have mini screens with movies, tv episodes, music and more free of charge. I always remember to pack my own headphones that are noise cancelling, as they can double as ear plugs if needed and provide a much better experience than those packaged airplane ones.
  • Entertainment: A book, ereader, music player, something easy to pop out and relax with during waits or layovers.
  • Ear plugs: Essential. You never know if you may be sitting next to babies or chatty fellow passengers on a long haul flight!
  • Sleep mask: Perfect to set the environment for a nap. I use this mask from Saje Canada which is SO afforable, filled with lavender AND doesn’t mess up your makeup (if you’re wearing any). Win!
  • Large scarf / shawl: My saviour. A large scarf will keep you cozy during layovers, and on flights it doubles as a blanket. I also drape this partly over my head to be extra cozy and feel warmer when that airplane dry air gets to be too much. In my opinion, these are worth the small splurge.
  • Facial mist (DIY or purchased): The air on airplanes, mixed with our forgetfulness of time in the air and staying hydrated, means dry skin! I usually bring a combination of rose water and my favourite essential oils (less than 100mL of course)! Or a favourite, naturally-derived spritz poured into a travel size bottle for quick rehydration. This also works wonders to perk up your skin after a long haul flight instead of relying on pore-clogging makeup.
  • Essential oils: I love to use essential oils to help me sleep, feel energized or get rid of a pesky headache after a long journey.  When I was back in Canada recently, I stocked up on Saje Natural Wellness oils. Their prices are reasonable, products are quality and long lasting! My go to are their “Rolling Farmacy” oil blend convenience kits, which usually include their most known-for blend Peppermint Halo (instant headache blaster for me), and immunity (a dream to use in closed environments such as airplanes). You can find these Saje products here .
  • Samples: of face cleanser, moisturizer, toothbrush and toothpaste. A part of arriving revived is to literally be refreshed.
  • Thick, cozy socks: Flights can get cold. Grab a pair with cozy wool woven in, slip off your shoes and treat your feet!
Step 2: Wear comfortable, functional clothing.
In general, going through security lines, sometimes being stuck in long lines in stuffy places, and trying to get comfortable on a plane – require functional, layered and well though-out outfits!
What I wear:
  • Slip on shoes: ankle boots, loosely tied converse, comfortable flats- easy to slip on and off and get you through security quickly and with ease.
  • Flowy pants or yoga leggings: The more comfortable the better. Yoga leggings with a slight compression factor also help to combat circulation issues during long flights.
  • Tank top/ T-shirt with comfortable sweater or tunic: layered for the perfect comfortable look and feel.
  • Large Scarf: Game changer. See above step!

Step 3. Move around!

Flights are long, seats are tiny (well, if you’re riding economy like myself!), and there’s little room for stretch- which is very important! One of the main activities I need to practice on long flights, boats, roadtrips, or whatever transportation, moving often is necessary to keep muscles limber and everything in working order.

My favourites are simple and avoid chubby toes at the beach on arrival! long forward folds, holding high lunges or even just wiggling it out while in line for the washroom. Do whatever gets things flowing!

Are you preparing for an upcoming trip or regularly travel? Do you have any tips or suggestions to add? Comment below or send me a message! x – Jenn