Being Your "Best Self" and a Pumpkin Facial

We are so honored and thrilled to have been named Best Self Atlanta Magazine’s “Best Local Food Blog” for 2015. We are very thankful to all of you for your support and readership.
In writing this post, we have talked a lot about what being your “best self” really means. This blog has never been about fitness or dieting, and we have not hung out a shingle claiming to be life coaches. For us, being your best self simply means:
  • Being True To Yourself: Be introspective and don’t let others define you for the sake of acceptance. It is OK is have an opinion that doesn’t jive with your co-workers or friends. Listen to your body, follow your heart and trust your instincts. At the end of the day, you are the one with your head on the pillow trying to sleep at night. 
  • Being True To Your Family And Friends: Accept them as they are, as individuals, unconditionally. Be loyal, kind and forgiving. Share your honest opinions. Be genuinely happy when they receive, or achieve something that you truly desire. And, as important as it is for you to be there for them, sometimes you have to be willing to let them be there for you.
  • Maintaining A Healthy Diet: We are not registered dietians and every recipe on this blog is NOT non-fat, gluten-free, low carb or otherwise alimentative. A healthy diet includes eating a well-balanced variety of nutritive foods. Eat foods that are the best quality that you can afford: fresh, organic, natural, fewer preservatives, less artificial ingredients. Eat foods that are less healthful in moderation. It is OK to splurge and have a slice of coconut cream pie, just don’t eat the whole pie! (Believe us, we KNOW how hard this can be!)
  • Keeping Your Body Strong: Walk. Run. Ride your bike. Don’t stop moving. Research shows that regular exercise extends your life whether you are of normal weight, overweight, or obese. 
  • Learning From Your Mistakes: What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you make a mistake, own it, fix it and grow from it. That is the definition of experience. Make failure your best friend. Let it tell you where you go wrong so you can start-over from a smarter perspective.
  • Trying New Things: Don’t get stuck in a rut. Expand your mind and your palate. Be brave! Learn how to crochet or study a new language. If you always read fiction, try a biography. If you've never tried sushi, give it a go, you might even like it. Do the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle in ink. Play dominoes or learn backgammon. Never stop increasing your knowledge and exposure. 
  • Letting Go Of Anger: This is by far the most difficult task on the list. We all hold grudges over the times we have been betrayed, cheated, hurt or wronged in some way. You can’t know the amount of effort it is taking and stress it is causing in your life until you allow yourself to let it go. Remove the negative from your life. Use that energy to focus on the positive and what you can do today to be happy!
  • Getting Your Rest: This sounds like a no brainer, but sleep is the first thing you sacrifice when you are overworked or overscheduled. Know your limitations. Drinks with friends, dinner with colleagues and going dancing with hubby after a long grueling day might not be the best plan. Don’t be afraid to say, “No” and go home to have some chicken soup, do some laundry, give yourself a facial and catch up on your favorite TV shows.
Just as in cooking, using healthy ingredients in other areas of your life is important too. Using natural ingredients for your skin and hair adds to your overall health. With a little research, you will be shocked at how many DIY all natural (and inexpensive) skin and hair treatments you can make at home. A good example is this super nourishing facial made with a little leftover pumpkin from making that iconic pie. Packed with zinc, antioxidants, and vitamins, pumpkins protect your skin from wrinkles and age spots. An egg adds nourishment and a subtle tightening effect to sagging skin, and a few teaspoons of honey has antibacterial properties that prevents breakouts and seals in moisture.

Pumpkin Face Mask
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 teaspoons honey

Whisk ingredients together until completely combined and smooth. Slather the mixture over your face, and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. You will be surprised at how the mask dries and tightens like a commercial product. Rinse and lightly exfoliate to reveal a brighter, firmer, smoother complexion. This is particularly indulgent after that long overscheduled day!

Thanks again for following along. We genuinely appreciate your readership and hope this inspires you to be your “Best Self”!