Selenium – This mineral is vital for a healthy functioning immune system. It works with other vitamins and minerals to prevent free radical damage in the body, and is thought to help prevent cancer as well.
Low selenium levels can contribute to the following: Autoimmune problems like psoriasis and thyroid disorders, mood disorders, progression of viral infections, etc.
Top plant-based foods with selenium: Brazil nuts, Sunflower seeds, Mushrooms, Grains, Onions
My choice? Brazil nuts!
The RDA for selenium for adults 19 and older is 55 micrograms per day. One Brazil nut contains around 95 micrograms. This means that just one brazil nut a day supplies me with well over 100% of my daily selenium needs.
(It’s my favorite tasting supplement, that’s for sure.)
I cannot eat enough of them.
My morning green smoothies are always evolving, so here’s a list of what I’ve been using lately. In the order that I add to the blender.
Engine 2 Unsweetened Almond Milk – Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and Dr. T. Colin Cambell’s research–featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives–is what ultimately moved me to become vegan. Imagine my excitement when I find out that Esselstyn’s son, Rip, has partnered with Whole Foods to bring more healthy, plant-based foods to stores everywhere! If you have a Whole Foods nearby, I encourage you to go check it out. If not, any kind of unsweetened almond or hemp milk is a great substitute.
I’m back from Costa Rica and I’ve already been thinking of ways to incorporate some of the native dishes into my own diet.
Here’s a healthy baked version. Enjoy!
Many people have been asking me what exactly I’m up to in Costa Rica, so I am writing this post to give you all the details.
On April 17th, I left Austin for Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. The Osa Peninsula is teeming with life. In fact, it is home to at least half of all animal species in Costa Rica and is known as one of the most biologically active areas in the world. Wikitravel calls it “a wondrous, magical, and untouched place for nature-lovers and adventurers”. I couldn’t agree more.
After landing in the city of Puerto Jimenez, I was greeted by a friendly driver, who took me to my new home for the summer: Blue Osa. Blue Osa is an eco-resort and spa that hosts yoga retreats. I get to live and eat here in exchange for a few hours of work everyday.
What “work”? My job consists of writing, taking photos and helping with marketing efforts here at Blue Osa. Another project that I’m working on is to rebuild the Corcovado School‘s website and help raise funds to support the children. (I will dedicate an entire post to this initiative because I am very excited about it!)
Aside from being able to live in such a beautiful place, I also get to meet interesting people from all over the world–yoga teachers included. One thing that really pulled me to this opportunity was the ability to experience many different yoga classes and styles. It has been tremendously rewarding and I continue to grow in my own practice.
As I write this, I am constantly clicking ‘refresh’ on my browser to see if the Internet is working yet.
The clicks are getting farther and fewer between, but I still feel a hint of anxiety. I don’t blame myself. Internet outages have always been a weak spot for me and it’s something that I’m still working on. Two-thirds of my life has been spent in close proximity to a computer. I’ve formed friendships and whole identities online. There’s Twitter Shelby, Instagram Shelby, Tumblr Shelby. All different versions of myself, none of which even come close to who I am at my core. (That person has nothing to do with words and pictures.)
People often ask me what deodorant I recommend. Unfortunately, I can’t give you any recommendations.. because I don’t use deodorant! Before you call me crazy, hear me out.
This afternoon I spent some time alone up in the yoga studio.
I put on a slow playlist and carefully warmed up my body, paying attention to every little detail: my breath, the tightness in my right hamstring, the contraction of my abdominal muscles as I pushed into downward dog.
Ahh, DIY success! Couldn’t be more pleased with how this body wash turned out. It smells delightful and doesn’t contain any of the harmful ingredients that you’d find in traditional store-bought body washes.
Homemade Lavender Body Wash
- 1 part Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap
- 1 part Water
- 1-2 Tablespoons Almond Oil
- Optional: Coarse sugar, to make this into an exfoliating scrub
Pour all of the above ingredients into an old empty bottle and shake gently to mix. You could also purchase the Unscented Castile Soap and add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Almond oil is a pleasant-smelling oil, it moisturizes and soothes the skin. Almond oil can also relieve skin irritation, burns, rashes, and itchiness. My mom got me started using almond oil several years ago. You can use it to remove makeup, as a “shaving cream”, moisturizer, and more. I love it!
If you love do-it-yourself beauty, check out my Turmeric Clay Detox Mask for Glowing Skin.