About the Author:
Alberto Vilioldo, Ph.D., is a Cuban-born psychologist, medical anthropologist and author, writing primarily in the field of neo-shamanism.1 Vilioldo has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. In 1984 he founded the Four Winds Society, which offers extensive education in the philosophy and practice of energy medicine, training students to become modern-day shamans. He also directs the Center for Energy Medicine in Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment.2 Read more about the author on his Biography page.
This book is an interesting mix of general wellness advice and spirituality. Vilioldo presents a lot of information in this book about the connection that physical health has with the emotional and psychic well being of the body. If you’re a medical practitioner this book may blow your mind. If you’re a spiritual person you may find this book as interesting as I did. I never thought of my body the way that Vilioldo describes things. It’s a refreshing way to look at your physical health. The only thing I found frustrating was that Vilioldo would talk about the disadvantages of how life is often lived in the modern world and the ailments that arise from it. But he didn’t provide that many solutions in the book. I would read about all sorts of illness he’s talking about and think okay, that’s good to know. But how do I fix it? He would only provide solutions to some issues but not to the many, many issues he brought up. There is a lot of information that he presents in this book (see Table of Contents above). There are so many topics he touches upon so I’ve chosen just to do an overview in this review. One of the many topics are that everyone should make sure their digestive systems (gut brain) are working properly. He basically says that if your digestive system isn’t working at optimal levels it can seriously impact not only your health but your spiritual journey. It makes sense to me that a pure body helps to contribute to a clear, functioning mind. When our minds are clear then we have a greater chance of making the right decisions for ourselves spiritually and otherwise. Vilioldo characterizes each stage in the spiritual journey with an archetype: the healer, divine feminine, sage, visionary, etc.
I haven’t decided yet how seriously I want to take this book. Certainly, a lot of things he suggests the reader do for a more balanced life seem like common sense to me. For example, his 7 day detox plan sounds interesting. But for some people it would not be affordable to buy the amount of supplements he suggests for the detox. The dosage of the supplements seem high to me, but I suppose one would seek the advice of their doctor before embarking on such a detox. In any case, this book will open your mind to the possibilities of a dialogue between spirit, body and mind. I would suggest readers take this book with a grain of salt. While I think Vilioldo makes a lot of valid points I wouldn’t take his word as gospel, nor would I take any author’s word as gospel. For many people the best thing to do is accept the information that makes sense to you and leave the rest.
My empties are quite late this month. But at long last here they are!
Lily of the Desert, Aloe Vera Juice Inner Fillet – No review
Aloe vera is very soothing for the skin and hair. Some people also like to drink it. I prefer to use it externally. I’m currently using this in a hair rinse and in my leave-in conditioner. This aloe vera has a few additives like citric acid and potassium sorbate which rate as a 2 and 3 on EWG’s Skin Deep.
Well there isn’t much I can say about this item that I haven’t said before. Witch Hazel is a staple in my medicine cabinet for its versatility. I use it as a toner and I also use it to make my own perfume. I’ve already repurchased this!
This has become one of my favourite mists. I love multi-function products. I use this as a toner when my skin needs hydration. I’ve also used it as a perfume and it’s great on my hair too! I only wish this was available in a refill so that I could just keep the one bottle and keep refilling it.
Cost: $15.00 CAD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Silkka Garden Apothecary
Brand Origin: Canada
Phyt’s, Fluide Hydratant (sample) – No review
I received a 3ml sample of this from my acupuncturist JoAnn Alafriz and while I liked the product it seems a bit pricey to me. I also didn’t like that they do not disclose what parfum consists of.
Sudsatorium, Java Conditioner – Review to come
As with all Sudsatorium products I’ve tried so far, I love the smell of this stuff! Java conditioner is a lovely, hydrating conditioner. I honestly can’t decide which conditioner I love from these guys. It helps that this local company is also vegan, fair trade and helps grassroots charities. What’s not to love?
Cost: $6.95 CAD, 60 ml/ 2 oz
Available at: Sudsatorium
Brand Origin: Canada
Sudsatorium, Bosom’s Buddy (aka The Firm) – Review to come
This is a firming lotion which was formerly called The Firm. I know it’s meant to be used for the breasts but I actually used it on my wobbly bits (arms, thighs, belly). I used it for a month and then stopped using it to see if I would feel a difference. The verdict? My skin does feel firmer with this lotion. The only teeny tiny thing I don’t like about this lotion is that the scent is very strong. It does dissipate so that’s good. Despite the strong smell I think I’ll repurchase this because I like the results it gives.
I love shopping local and Flowers to Fragrance is a company I first discovered at the Green Living Show. Lavender is another staple in my medicine cabinet and the quality of this essential oil is great! Will definitely repurchase.
Cost: $15.99 CAD, 10 ml / 0.3 oz
Available at: Flowers to Fragrance
Brand Origin: Canada
Meow Meow Tweet, Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant (sample) – Review to come
This stuff works! And so far it hasn’t given me a rash like the baking soda based natural deodorants have. I finished my sample from Sarah of Natural Code and have already repurchased a full sized jar.
As most of you know, I love shopping local and one of my favourite places to buy my skincare is Pure + Simple. Not only do they have their own lines of amazing skincare (see my reviews on Holistic Vanity and Pure + Simple products) but they also carry cosmetics and other skincare lines. The newly revamped Yorkville spa location has miles of shelf space which allows them to also carry some haircare products which aren’t available at the other locations. The Yorkville location also has a Wellness Centre with services that the other locations don’t have. For example there is naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture, massage therapy and nutrition sessions available at this lovely location on the upper floors.
After my review of the Holistic Vanity Acne Care Line I was offered the chance to visit the Yorkville location and experience one of their new facials. I had the lovely Isabella for my Super Hydrating Facial and I loved every minute of it! Isabella did all of the traditional facial steps. She first removed all of my makeup, then examined my skin and proceeded with the steaming, facial mask, extractions and massages. I also got to have the high frequency treatment and oxygen sprayed on my face to help my skin absorb the products being slathered on my skin. I have to say, Isabella has very talented hands. She was both gentle and firm depending on what my skin needed. We had an interesting chat during my facial. I love talking to estheticians! We traded skincare and makeup tips, tricks and routines. Isabella, I’m trying your eyebrow tips and loving them so far! At the end of my treatment Isabella asked me if I had any questions. I bought some of the items she suggested for my dehydrated skin and I’ve been using them with great results. I’ll be reviewing those products in a future post. I left the spa with a very oily face but totally relaxed and mellow. I will definitely be booking my next facial at the Pure + Simple Yorkville location with Isabella.
At the front of the spa they have their cosmetics section. This is a natural makeup wonderland I’d like to play in the next time I get a chance!
Just to give you an idea of how much shelf space they have, after the cosmetics section are these long rows of shelves to the back of the store. And behind the receiving desk near the waiting area is another set of shelves.
The waiting area on the first floor.
One of the cozy and relaxing treatment rooms.
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, 1 alcohol denat.,1,3 glycerin,1 acacia senegal gum,1 inulin,1 agave americana leaf extract,1 xanthan gum,1 citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil,1 ethyl palmate,1 nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil,1,2 cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil,1,2 rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil,1,2 vitis vinifera (red grape) seed oil,1,2 vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil,1,2 mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil,1 cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara) leaf oil,1 rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil,1 menthol,1 elettaria cardamomum seed oil,1 cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark oil,1 vanilla planifolia fruit (natural flavor),1 rubus idaeus (red raspberry natural flavor type), 1 chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower oil,1 citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil,1 citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, 1 limonene,1,4 linalool,1,4 citric acid, tocopherol (vitamin e) 1 certified organic, 2 antioxidant intellimune® seed oil complex, 3 denatured using certified organic bergamot essential oil 4 naturally occurring component of organic essential oil blend
Ingredients wise, this gel has much of the same ingredients as the curly hair serum below. That’s not too surprising. I do like the certifications this product has: certified organic, leaping bunny, and green e org certified (renewable energy). The gel has a very mild, almost spearmint-like smell to it. The hold is medium to firm. A little bit goes a long way so if you like a light hold, use this sparingly. I did like this gel but it’s a bit pricey so I’m going to keep looking for another styling gel. I wish they had larger sizes of this gel available to make it more affordable. This gel works to tame my frizzy hair as well and I found it easier to control the type of hold I wanted with this product than the curly hair serum. It also doesn’t weigh my hair down nor leave too much product build up over time. I found I had to wash my hair more often with the curly hair serum.
Ingredients: Aqua (water), glycerin,1 galactoarabinan, cetearyl alcohol, alcohol,1 sucrose,2 cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, diheptyl succinate, glyceryl stearat SE, pullulan, xanthan gum, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder,2 nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil,2,3 cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil,2,3 vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil,2,3 vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil,2,3 rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil,2,3 euterpe oleracea (acai) fruit oil,2 aroma,2,4 lecithin,2 cathamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil,2 cetearyl glucoside, sorbitol, trehalose, acaia senegal gum, capryloyl glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer, brassica alcohol, brassicyl isoleucinate esylate, glucanotactone, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, limonene,5 linalool,5 geraniol,5 citronellol,5 citral,5 tocopherol (vitamin e) 1 made using organic ingredients 2 certified organic 3 antioxidant intellimune® super seed oil complex 4 certified organic active aroma/flavor oils citrus noblis (mandarin orange) peel oil, pelargonium graveolens(geranium) flower oil, litsea cubeba (may chang) fruit oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, jasminum officinale (jasmine) oil, vetiveria zizianoides (vetiver) root oil, honey natural flavor type 5 naturally occurring component of essential oil blend
Let’s talk ingredients first. There are some natural emollient (diheptyl succinate), emulsifying (glyceryl sterate SE) and surfactants (xanthan gum) in this serum. Then there are the anti-oxidant ingredients (pumpkin, cranberry and raspberry seed oils) two of these oils are anti-inflammatory as well. Then there are the oils used for scent (mandarin, geranium, may chang, patchouli, bergamot, jasmine and vetiver). I normally don’t like the scent of vetiver but in this styling product the concentration is so small it’s quite hard to detect. Despite all the essential oils used in this product I found that the scent wasn’t overpowering. Once my hair was dry only a faint scent lingered and this dissipates throughout the day. Those with sensitive noses won’t need to be nervous using this product. As for the frizzies, this curly hair serum did work to keep them at bay. But I found the hold too firm for me. I couldn’t get the right amount in my hair. I was either putting too much or too little. So I’ve started adding this to my leave-in to dilute it enough so that my hair doesn’t get frizzy but also isn’t too crunchy. Like their styling gel I find this a bit pricey so I’m unsure if I will repurchase this. I will have to do some more experimentation with this product.
Have you tried any Intelligent Nutrient products?
Note: Logo images are from the Beekeeper’s Naturals website.
This past March I attended the Yoga Conference with a friend and encountered Carly Stein of Beekeeper’s Naturals there. I got to sample the Throat Relief Spray and then purchased one to try. I’m loving it and if you’ve read the review from yesterday you’ll know that I’ve already repurchased three more bottles. Carly and I had a fascinating conversation about yoga, bees and reiki. I asked if Carly if she would allow me to interview her for my blog and she very graciously agreed. Here is the interview below. I hope you enjoy it!
How did you first get involved with bees?
A few years ago, I was studying abroad in Italy and came down with a bout of tonsillitis. I was desperately looking for something to help and was stumbled across an Italian pharmacy, which introduced me to the wonders of propolis. Propolis helped me make a full recovery and avoid surgery. After this experience, I was eager to learn more about this seemingly magical product, which brought me to the door of a local beekeeper. After my first experience with the hives, I was hooked!
Did you ever think you would become a beekeeper?
Honestly, no. I did not know very much about the bees and was misinformed about their role. I saw them more as a nuisance – how wrong I was! Bees are such amazing creatures and play such a crucial role in our everyday lives and spending time with them gives you a much greater appreciation for just how important they are.
What do you think is the most important thing the average person needs to know about bees?
The average person needs to know that bees (through all of their hard pollination work) are responsible for 1/3 of our food supply. In other words, every third bite of food we take is the product of the bees’ hard work. From almonds and apples to avocados and raspberries, many of the foods that we love would not exist (or at the very least be a lot more expensive).
How else can people help the bees? Does planting bee-friendly plants help them?
Planting bee friendly plants is an easy thing that everyone can do in their own backyards (or condo balconies) to help the bees! We encourage people to plant a variety of local native flowers that bloom at various times throughout the year (so the bees always have something to snack on). Bees love bright colours and they will reward you by giving you an amazing garden.
What one product or ingredient would you never ever use and why?
Aspartame. I try to avoid chemicals and artificial ingredients at all costs!
Where do you hope to take Beekeeper’s Naturals in the future?
We hope to be the company that consumers trust for innovative and sustainably sourced bee products to improve their health. As our company grows, our goal is to continue to use our expanded platform and reach to raise awareness about the bees and truly make a difference for our buzzing friends.
My thanks to Carly Stein for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. The Throat Relief Spray is available for purchase on the Beekeeper’s Naturals site and select locations. You can follow Beekeeper’s Naturals on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Ingredients: Bee propolis, non-GMO vegetable glycerin and purified water. Contains No: Dairy, egg, artificial preservatives, colours, artificial sweeteners, yeast, wheat, corn, soya or gluten.
My first time attending the yoga conference happened earlier this year in March. It was kismet for me when I saw the Beekeepers Naturals booth and got talking to co-founder Carly Stein about bees, reiki and natural products. I snapped up a bottle of the throat relief and it’s served me well since then! Anytime I feel a little froggy in my throat I will spray this golden elixir in my throat. It’s worked so well at helping me prevent any full blown sore throats and colds. Not only is bee propolis an antioxidant support, it is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t the only thing I use to prevent colds, but it is definitely a very useful and important part of my healthcare regimen. I’ve already bought three more bottles since I finished the original one I bought in March. One bottles went to my parents, one is kept in our bathroom, and one is kept in our kitchen. I will definitely repurchase more in the future. This would also be a product to give as a gift to those who often get colds!
Cost: $10.00 CAD, 250 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Beekeeper’s Naturals, Ambrosia Natural Foods, Other stockists
Brand Origin: Canada