healthy tips

Vegan Hair-Care Do's & Don'ts

that-vegan-wife-blog-vegan-hair-care-dos-amp-donts.jpg

Vegan haircare is becoming all the buzz with the latest spike in plant-based interest, especially since the beginning of 2019! I am no stranger to this trend since I’ve been on the search for a perfect vegan hair routine after a few years of pursuing plants.

I have also been under the care of a “hair-apist” since the 7th grade and am no stranger to hair salon’s, stylists, and how to achieve beautiful hair. Traditional Texans are known for their big hair and I quickly allowed it to become my aspiration to achieve bold, beautiful locks.

This is my hair stylist, Lindsay.  via Instagram:   @rebelhairartistry   (she let’s me bring my dog)

This is my hair stylist, Lindsay. via Instagram: @rebelhairartistry (she let’s me bring my dog)

From those early days in the chair, after learning how good hair comes at a price & patience most people wouldn’t have capacity for, I’ve come up with a serious list of “do’s & don’t’s” that any can be successful at.

DON’T be unrealistic

Patience (in hair-care) is a much needed virtue if you’re going to pursue beautiful locks. Get to know your hair. Is it thick? Is if fine? Does it feel brittle? Is your environment affecting it? These are all good questions to start asking when you’re deciding on where to go because you want your stylist to KNOW your hair. Every single time I’ve sat down in a stylist’s hair for the first time, I become my own advocate in letting them know the history of my hair & where I want it to be.

Also, if you’re walking into a salon asking for brown to platinum blonde or fashion color, it’s not going to happen over night! That’s the point. If you want a soft, flowing head of hair, you’ve got to understand that it’s going to take work to get there.

DO ask your stylist about the product’s they’re using

Becoming your biggest hair advocate while sitting in the chair is the best thing you can do for your noggin. Over time, after figuring out what is best for my body, I’ve been able to communicate more clearly what my hair needs to thrive! Sometimes this may not even be what your salon has in stock.

Do their products on hand make your head itch? Does your scalp react once you step foot out of the salon? Then maybe it’s time to check out what your stylist is using in your head.

DON’T settle for less

You’re going to be giving power to someone who has to ability to make or break the status of your hair. With that, find someone you are going to enjoy seeing! Salon time is self-care time, so make sure that you’re sitting in someone’s chair that makes you feel comfortable. Believe me, most salon stylists want to enjoy their clients, so giving yourself that is the best thing you can do for the both of you.

IMG_9794 2.jpg

DO take care of your hair outside salon care

Just because you’re doing salon care doesn’t mean that the work is not over. Going to regular salon visits is only one piece to this holistic hair puzzle. What am I talking about? I’m talking about what you are eating, the environment in which you live, supplements that you may or may not be taking, what sorts of products you are using. All of that stuff adds up into making a difference

Following these 4 simple tips and you are sure to achieve some beautiful progress, eventually. ;)

Luckily I have found an amazing artist right here in Colorado who has helped me accomplish my current #hairgoals: Rebel Hair Artistry at Revolver: A Salon on Steele Street.

How did I find my stylist? After going to several salons in the area & being disappointed with prices & appointment selections, I was recommended to Lindsay, who not only understand’s fashion color, but understands how important it is to me that the products I am using are friendly to animals, my body, & the environment. Check out her work on Instagram & check out the cruelty-free Kevin Murphy products (pictured above) her salon keeps stocked.

Got more vegan hair tips people should know about? Leave a comment below!

An Interview with Leslie Durso | How to Go Vegan in 2019

Instagram:  @lesliedurso

Instagram: @lesliedurso

It’s that time of the year again where people start to make their “New Year’s Resolutions…” and while I could go on a tangent about how you can make the switch to plants any time of the year, or share my favorite recipes, I’ll let the other vegan bloggers do that.

Some of you are choosing to go vegan in 2019 and I applaud you… but can I give some solid advice?

Actually, the following advice comes from a conversation we recently had on the radio show with our friend & vegan chef, Leslie Durso.

I love having Leslie on because she really knows what she’s talking about and she has expertise to back it up. Once simply known as Leslie the lab girl with Bill Nye the science guy, Leslie took her love of education and shifted from science to plant-based food. After establishing herself as a private chef for the NYC and Hollywood elite, Leslie emerged as a public persona, hosting cooking segments on television and online.

I took advantage of having her on the show to ask her, “HOW people can make the switch to a vegan lifestyle go more smoothly, and how to navigate holiday/public gatherings with people that don’t understand what vegan is.”

  • Listen to the entire LIVE recording of our interview with Leslie here.

For those of you who just here for the advice, here’s a little bit of our conversation…

TVW: For the newbie vegans out there who are just starting out, how do you stick to being vegan? Especially around the holidays? What do you do?

Leslie: "Yeah, the holidays are a tough time because going home, people can be very defensive about their beliefs, especially when it comes to how you eat. I'd say that you have got to be super respectful. Everyone is in a different place in their food journey and everyone deserves to be respected. So, the holidays might not be the best time to make a big scene at the table and tell everyone that 'meat is murder…' You might want to just play it a little bit more low-key.

Usually when you go vegan, things start to happen to you physically. Your skin gets brighter and better, your hair gets shinier, and you'll notice that people will just [naturally] ask you about it.

Let them spark the conversation as opposed to being the one that's preaching to everybody.

As far as what to avoid and how to get through it food-wise. You know, it is tough, especially when you're new and you don't know what's in everything. You might be eating something and your Aunt Betty says, 'Oh yeah that doesn't have any animals in it," except that she forgot that there's actually eggs in it. Don't beat yourself up, do the best that you can. If you can cook for everyone, even better. It's a great way to inspire conversation when someone tastes your delicious appetizer or cookies and says, 'Wow! These are really good," and you can show them that you don't need to put the eggs & dairy in them. It's just as delicious without!

Bring your own food with you so that you're not without when there's appetizers of cheese & crackers and you can't eat anything. Go get your favorite snack and keep a smile on your face!”

Instagram:  @lesliedurso

Instagram: @lesliedurso

TVW: “I know a lot of people that will be trying to go vegan this year in 2019 and a lot of those people are used to having animal products. While some of those things are addicting because of the chemicals found in them, it can be hard to start. Where do you start when you tell people to start [going plant based]? Is it taking dairy out first or should you go all at once? How would you suggest a smooth transition into veganism?

Leslie: "Well it depends on the person and where they're at, but I tell them to immediately to start adding large quantities of produce into their diet, so that you're substituting with really healthy food. I was mentioning that there are a lot of the plant-based cheeses and plant-based meats and those are so fantastic, but if you just sub out meat for those items, you're still not getting the foundation of your diet. The foundation of your diet should always be whole plants. So I encourage people to first do that and then to eliminate things out.

Then I usually ask them to start with dairy because dairy is the thing that people find hardest to cut out. I also believe that it's one of the most unhealthy things, so that it should go first. So, if you can get that out of your diet then everything else seems much easier."

Listen to the LIVE recording by clicking      here     .

Listen to the LIVE recording by clicking here.


So there you have it: solid advice about how to go vegan in 2019. Please take some time to read through more of my beginner’s advice on how to have the best experience of going vegan in 2019 like…


Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 8.55.37 PM.png

5 Healthy Words Advertisers Are Using Against You

Photo by  Bernard Hermant  on  Unsplash   Cover Design by Amy Beth Bolden.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Cover Design by Amy Beth Bolden.

If you’ve read up about me on my website, you’ll know that I have a background in graphic design & advertising. Before moving to Colorado, I made a living designing advertisements for a corporate newspaper, built regional magazines, and even created billboards for museums, banks, and regional events.

It’s true. Check out my old design portfolio on Behance.

This was me in 2015 at the ADDY awards while working in Corporate as a Graphic Designer.

This was me in 2015 at the ADDY awards while working in Corporate as a Graphic Designer.

With this background, I’ve learned enough about the goal of what advertising is used for: making money. Companies are getting smarter about how to advertise certain ideas and labels to us that may or may not be truthful. Most of the time we don’t even notice. Qualifications like, “non-GMO,” “Organic,” and “Natural” have blinded us to the fact that most of what’s behind that cardboard box or plastic wrapping is fake, cheap, & easy.

Those definitely aren’t labels I’d tag as descriptions of my husband, nor the kind of lifestyle I want to lead.

I decided to go undercover to rediscover the meanings on these popular labels slapped on products you see all over US groceries stores so we could understand what to be aware of.


1. Non-GMO

The googled answer for what Non-GMO’s are is, “Non-GMO means non-Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs are novel organisms created in a laboratory using genetic modification/engineering techniques. Scientists and consumer & environmental groups have cited many health and environmental risks with foods containing GMOs.”

Keep in mind, non-GMO is a claim that is loosely regulated… which means it’s not promising, at least according to US Standards. There are currently moves to make this label a requirement on all foods, GMO & Non-GMO alike.

Anything that says it’s non-GMO is also considered organic. Which leads to my next definition.


2. Organic:

When you hear this word, do you think that your food will be automatically healthier, or do you question if it’s even worth the money?

USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.” (usda.gov)

This means that non-gmo seeds were used in soil free of synthetic chemicals and additives. However, this does not mean that organic foods are pesticide free. Organic certified farmers are only allowed to use pesticides up to the government’s organic standards.

Thatveganwife-blog-healthy-word-advertisements-food-2.jpg

3. Natural:

This is a overused word marketers use to depict a “fresh” product. If you ask me, I don’t think there’s anything natural about consuming food that comes in plastic or cardboard packaging. A food that is natural is a food that has undergone a minimum of processing or treatment with preservatives.

However, advertisers pull the rug from underneath you by claiming that parts of their product are natural while including some of those GMO, high calorie ingredients they failed to mention. It’s confusing to call a food natural if it still has high-fructose corn syrup in it, right?


4. Healthy:

If someone tells me those Nature Valley Granola Bars are healthy one more time, I just might hurl. Sorry, General Mills, but 11 grams of added GMO sugar does not qualify for a healthy breakfast, it just creates a sugar rush, crash, & burn. Don’t be fooled, vegan food can be just as unhealthy than most people believe, too.

So, what does healthy actually mean? Healthy Eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.

Where are you going to find those sort of foods with the variety you need? Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. There are many “healthy” options to choose from and make from these whole food sources.


5. No Sugar/Reduced Sugar:

Something that is claimed to be “sugar free” is required by FDA to contain less that 0.5 grams of sugar. However, what has happened is companies who claim their sugar-less eats are often using substitutes instead. I’m talking, sucralose, aspartame, maltodextrin, and even sacharin. Popular items like Pedialyte, Splenda, Yoplait, and even Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn are known to contain these chemically harmful substitutes.

Thatveganwife-blog-healthy-word-advertisements-food-avocados.jpg

I have always believed that ignorance is bliss, but in the line of health: ignorance is ignorance. Maybe you weren’t taught these truths surrounding food and have a lot of learning to do like me, or maybe you enjoy being blind to the fact so your taste buds are satisfied. Either way, the truths still remain that whole foods are best and processed foods are not. You won’t find many of these misconceptions surrounding whether broccoli is healthy for you, I promise.

If you’re like me and need help in learning the How-To’s of switching over towards a greener & more sustainable lifestyle, check out the Realistic Holistic 6 Week Course or schedule a FREE consultation with me.

I’m here to walk you through this.

Are You a Micro-Macro-Manager?

We’ve all been there: standing confused in the grocery store reading ingredient labels on the packaged food we think we need. Protein, fiber, and carbohydrates in grams-per-serving trick us into thinking there’s not enough or too much as we decide, “to buy or not to buy?” That is the real question.

You don’t see me in the grocery store confused if veggies are good for me…

You don’t see me in the grocery store confused if veggies are good for me…

For years, diet-culture has trained us to look at macro-nutrients as the next big thing we should consume (or avoid) in order to host a leaner figure. Advertisers over sell audiences in outrageous proportions and have confused the modern consumer about what is healthy and how much of what we should be eating. When did it become so complicated? Another real question.

[In Usher Voice] These are my confessions of a former “Micro-Macro-Manger:”

Calories. For some, these are numbers to live by, and for others they’re the bane of our existence. While science will forever remain true to “calories-in-calories-out,” the types of calories we actually need to thrive are hardly emphasized.

Since my later college years, it seemed that I was rotating through diets emphasizing different nutrients that were supposedly “good & bad” for me. One day, I’m not allowing myself potatoes and the next week I eating lots of potatoes. One month I’m giving up all sugar, and the next month I’m adding tons of protein. It seems like a 100-yard dash to the next faddy food craze these days, if you ask me.

Even though I’ve gone yo-yo for fad-diets in the past, I’ve learned more about the food I’m consuming and have switched over to a more intuitive & sustainable way of living allowing me to have what I’ve always wanted:
Freedom from Food.

The start of something tasty.

The start of something tasty.

A calorie is not JUST a calorie.

“Calories in, calories out,” they say, but counting a perfect amount of calories doesn’t make that idea a true assessment of healthy gains. Just focusing on the calorie content of foods and disregarding the metabolic effects they have is a highly flawed way of thinking. (HealthLine.com) All calories are not created equal, in fact there are many different factors to health other than your consumption of a certain amount of calories.

No food label, no problem.

You know that one area of the grocery store called the “produce section?” Most of the food you’ll find in that area doesn’t even have a food label. That’s because it doesn’t need one. An apple is simply an apple, but contains all the macro & micro-nutrients in order for the body to process it thoroughly. When eating whole food sources, there’s no need to count exactly what you’re eating because plant synergy works together and your body knows what to do with it.

Bell Peppers are easy whole foods to add to any veggie-heavy dish!

Bell Peppers are easy whole foods to add to any veggie-heavy dish!

Let go of that stressful thinking.

Does counting your food intake give you hives? Are you worried about what your next meal will look like? Is going out to social gatherings something you have to strategically plan for? Then you might be a micro-macro-manager. While there are exceptions to precise eating (i.e. body building), I don’t believe that we were created to count calories and macro-nutrients as a lifestyle. For some people, the simple diligence of counting your intake can encourage eating disorders & obsessive behavior. Been there, done that, and it’s kinda stressful. Your mental health is vital for body changes. Don’t take your intake TOO seriously.

A real life picture of me NOT counting calories or macros.

A real life picture of me NOT counting calories or macros.

So what should you be looking for on packaged food labels? First of all, stick with whole foods as much as possible. If you must get something packaged (like pasta, plant-based milk, and vegan-extras), instead of counting the grams of proteins & carbs, make sure the ingredients are what they say they are, and avoid overly processed ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, MSG, and make sure to buy the non-GMO stuff.

Still deciding if you need to continue Micro-Macro-Managing as a daily practice?

Check out these three questions from FitnessBlender.com:

  • Is it sustainable?

  • Does it make you feel good; energetic and healthy and like your best self?

  • Does it interfere with your quality of life or cause you stress? For instance, during a dinner out with friends, would you find yourself stressing out while eating foods that you haven't had a chance to calculate values for, or don't know the macro breakdown of?

Mindfulness matters.

XO,

Amy Beth

**Professional side note: I know there is a lot to cover on the topic of nutrients and how food affects our bodies. Not only does each food interact with our bodies differently, each of our bodies interacts with food differently. Hormone levels, genetics, and environment play a big factor into how are bodies interact with food. So if you’re at your wits end of “healthy solutions,” please see a super-duper professional who can help you get educated on your own body. Physical awareness is a big step in the right direction.

Schedule a FREE consultation with me if you need a place to start.

How to Be a Pura Vida Vegan

TVW-Blog-Template-costa-rica-pura-vida.jpg

What is Pura Vida? Literal translation means “Pure Life,” but when this is said down in Costa Rica, the phrase usually implies a relaxed attitude & simplicity towards life in that moment.

The car breaks down. Pura Vida.

Can’t find the umbrella. Pura Vida.

Plans are changing... again. Pura Vida.

While those are loose examples of Pura Vida, the concept is simple. Things don’t have to go always as planned and the little things we worry about aren’t worth the stress. However, I want to take it a step further but shedding light on what ‘Pura Vida’ could mean for your health.

Living a simple lifestyle here in the States seems impossible to achieve, and now that I’ve seen different, nothing angers me more than when someone tries to over complicate an individual's health. Health products sold by commercial companies & networking marketers with no reputable research backing up their products, paired with a lack of expertise in the health field, are confusing consumers about “what is healthy.”

I see this all the time. In fact, I was once ‘that person’ selling the idea of “fit” to my friends on Facebook because someone told me it was okay. Been there, done that, got selfies in the t-shirt; but oh how I wish that mistake didn’t take a toll on my body. While I usually live a life of ‘no regrets,’ I do regret my lack of personal research into the things I used & promoted in the past in order to make myself lose weight. My lack of research and full trust in my friends’ opinions caused chaos inside & out. You can read my story from my previous blog post.


So, how do we take control of our health in a way that’s not complicated?

How do we get our Pura Vida back?

IMG_1545 (1).JPG

Start with whole foods.

You cannot get any simpler than something grown out of the ground, washed, cooked, then eaten. We have these things called, “convenience stores” which have stripped away the connection between the consumer and the producer, leaving us disconnected from where our food comes from, and this mindset can be dangerous. Having thousands of options in one store has spoiled our ideas of buying fresh or local. The convenience of being able to “go by the store real quick” doesn’t take much thought. That mindset then translates into the way we eat our convenient food without experiencing gratefulness of the person who picked that produce. I see that this is a problem, and I’m guilty of being a part of this system. It’s easy to pick up the frozen & packaged because all we have to do is open a bag/box/packaging, heat, and eat.

Eating whole foods is not only important to the growers, but it’s vitally important to our health. Tell me the difference between eating a piece of fried chicken and eating a whole orange. Yeah, the chicken probably appeals to your tastes more, but that whole fruit has more nutrients and energy your body knows how to digest than the overly processed piece of chicken will provide for you.

Simply put, our bodies respond better to whole food nutrition more than anything else. Within a whole piece of fruit is the energy and sustainability we need to make healthy jumps forward throughout the day.

IMG_5986 (1).JPG

Start with small habits.

Health does NOT have to be complicated. You do not need supplements, wraps, teas, pink-drinks, and intense workout routines to be healthy. While the convenience with these products is…. Well, convenient… most of these options have proven to an unsustainable long term solution for your well being. It’s crap that these companies are pressuring potential consumers to buy their convenient product without regards to the long-term health of the general public. It’s definitely not right or fair to the people spending their money, and you have a right to know what you’re investing in.

Simply, you can start with whole foods, start with walking 30 minutes 3 times a week, and start with not buying junk food and buying lots of whole food. Start with trying a new plant-based recipes once a week for your family. Then once your foundation is built, add on from there.

Start limiting tech-time & start connecting IRL.

IMG_5852 (1).jpg

This is the hardest one for me. I absolutely love connecting with people online and it is invigorating to respond to someone’s need for my advice… but these social media apps are tricky. They’re just as addicting in the same way as gambling and a whole generation has been trained to live distracted from what’s right in front of them.

Taking intentional breaks for longer periods of time may sound daunting at first, but I promise: it’s worth the time you’ll get back. Being disconnected due to the elements in Costa Rica required me to get back into things that I had been putting off and allowed me to form new habits.

Things I’ve started doing more of since cutting down on screen time:

  • Housework

  • Journaling

  • Talking to friends on the phone/facetime

  • Working on creative content

  • Reading

  • and Exercise

IMG_4206 (1).JPG


Start analyzing your emotional & mental health.

Do you often, “just react” to things and feel out of control about certain tasks or taboo topics? Does your chest get tight when you’re feeling stressed? Does your health suffer because of everything you have going on in your life? Do you feel hopeless about your body’s response to food or lifestyle choices your choosing to hold on to?

Now is the time to look at your mental health. While I’m currently in the middle of a mental health healing journey (which I will share more in the future about), I can say that feeling bad all the time got my attention. If it’s getting your attention, treat yourself well by evaluating your mental health. My friends, if you don’t have this part of health in check first, you probably won’t accomplish the rest. It’s worth the journey.


Start with these mindful practices and I promise you (with help beside you), your choices will start to add up to better health. Please remember, there are many aspects to health and we DON’T have to complicate them.

Need some extra help in making realistic holistic choices? Check out the Realistic Holistic 6 Week Course on ThatVeganWife.com and about Why I Created this Course for you.

Until Next Time--

TVW

Watch the video I created of Highlights from my trip to Costa Rica!

Hey you. It's been a while. Welcome back to my channel. I have loads to catch you up on, but wanted to share some highlights from my latest trip to Costa Rica.