Immunity Boost

by Kelsi in ,


 

Well that didn’t take long. The shift in weather and the start of school brought the first cold of the season to our house. Along with going to bed early and eating well, when I’m trying to keep myself healthy I’m a big believer in immune support. My current staples:

We take this Host Defense Mushroom Comprehensive Immune Support year round. My son takes the liquid version in a bit of juice each morning…

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If you can take a high dose of zinc at the very first sign of a cold, you have a good shot at stopping it in its tracks. If I feel even a tinge of a sore throat coming on, I will take two dropperfulls of this Eidon liquid zinc in a small amount of orange juice at least twice a day until symptoms disappear…

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I’ve mentioned black elderberry before. This is also something we take daily during prime cold/flu season as it is antibacterial and antiviral and it tastes amazing. I love this Gaia Black Elderberry syrup

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Jarrow Colostrum Prime Life is another one…

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I still make my own ginger juice but I love how convenient these Trader Joe’s No Joke Ginger juice shots are. (Sidenote: these are also delicious added to my favorite Bee’s Knees cocktail (decidedly not for immune support)…

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This Health-Ade Kombucha in ginger lemon is wonderfully potent and now available at Trader Joe’s…

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I also double up on my usual Vitamin D dose…

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And I always make sure to take a high quality probiotic. My favorite right now is this one from Visbiome (formerly VSL3)…

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You can also find most of these at Thrive Market, Pharmaca or your local PCC or Whole Foods.

 

July 23

by Kelsi in , , , , , , ,


 

Last week we broke ground on a long-anticipated dream project, the building of our backyard studio, which will be a work/art space for my husband. Our little one car garage was demolished to kick it off…

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While watching the demo I made Pamela Salzman’s grain-free chocolate zucchini cake (which is crazy good by the way). My happy version of multi-tasking…

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Speaking of cake, Simple Cake by Odette Williams is a wonderful book and one I’d highly recommend for your library whether you consider yourself a baker or not…

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I’m really enjoying this turmeric tonic from Further Food. I blend a scoop of it with cold water and a little honey syrup (recipe for honey syrup here) and then drink it over ice with my favorite glass straw

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I’ve had a lot on my plate the last few weeks and my advanced food prep has been lagging. Thankfully I’ve found a go-to protein powder that I love and helps me get by if I have nothing to grab before walking out the door. I mix one scoop of this Amazing Grass Protein Superfood and two scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen with 12oz of orange juice and whip it up in the Vitamix for an easy and satiating breakfast. And on really long teaching days when I don’t have a break between clients I will make a double batch and bring it to the studio in this 32oz insulated Klean Kanteen

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This Tony's Chocolonely Almond Sea Salt bar is my absolute favorite chocolate and I always have a few bars on hand…

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I just bought several sheets of these beautiful Ellsworth Kelly stamps

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My husband and I both carry around this Memento Mori as a daily reminder to be present and focus on what really matters.

“Meditating on your mortality is only depressing if you miss the point. It is in fact a tool to create priority and meaning. It’s a tool that generations have used to create real perspective and urgency. To treat our time as a gift and not waste it on the trivial and vain. Death doesn’t make life pointless but rather purposeful. And fortunately, we don’t have to nearly die to tap into this. A simple reminder can bring us closer to living the life we want.”

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I am a big fan of Stoicism and recommend signing up for The Daily Stoic which is put together by Ryan Holiday (he has a book by the same name). His other books The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy are also worth a read…

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Wendy Whelan’s line to live by is one I live by too…

Energy produces energy.
Photo via    La Ligne

Photo via La Ligne

Lastly, Esther Perel’s On Being conversation is a delight to listen to…

Photo via    On Being

Photo via On Being

One of my favorite parts near the end of the conversation:

When I say, “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives,” it’s because I do think that the bonds and the connections that we forge with others give us a greater sense of meaning and happiness and wellbeing than just about any other thing — when it’s good, because it can be exactly the opposite, huh?

And now it’s like, how much are you investing in your relationships? And I find that, often, people don’t. They talk about “my partner is my best friend,” and they treat them like shit. They talk about “my friend,” and they haven’t seen that person or talked to that person in years. It’s like, no, you can’t just do it like that. You can’t be lazy. You can’t be complacent about this and put all your energies at work and bring the leftovers home — and all of that stuff.

Or I have this question I’ve been playing with lately, and I just asked it in Sydney. I was like, “How many of you go to bed, and the last thing you touch is your phone? OK, stand up. And how many of you, the first thing you stroke in the morning when you wake up is your phone? Please stand up. And how many of you are doing this while there actually is another person lying next to you in bed?” That’s ambiguous loss, by the way. I’m like, seriously? Seriously?

So that’s what I am trying to address at this point; it’s like, interestingly, we don’t look at relational health enough. We don’t connect it to mental health. We don’t connect it to our overall physical health. And we certainly don’t connect it enough to our societal health, if we want to really go bigger. It’s not the freedom that is our problem. It’s not the fact that we have choice, but they have always gone together with responsibility, with accountability.

You can see more of Esther Perel in her TED talk from a few years back and read her book Mating in Captivity.

 

October 21

by Kelsi in , , , , ,


 

Samin Nosrat’s book Salt Fat Acid Heat was one of my most favorite cookbooks last year and I have given it as a gift several times. She is a talented teacher and I loved watching her four-part series on Netflix this weekend. I especially loved the last episode where she prepares a gorgeous roasted vegetable salad at home and hosts friends for dinner. I am so inspired I have revisited her cookbook and am reading it cover to cover…

It was only a matter of time - I caught my first cold of the fall/back-to-school season last week. Time to start taking daily immune support. This one is my favorite

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I also consumed a lot of strong ginger and lemon tea with raw honey. You can make a big batch of ginger juice in the blender, but now that I have a proper ceramic ginger grater it is easier than ever to grate ginger in seconds. I can’t imagine not having this little tool in my kitchen

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Re-inspired by Samin I have spent the bulk of my weekend in the kitchen. Making chicken stock in the Instant Pot, our favorite cookies and a batch of the best granola

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I have also made this caramelized onion and lentil pilaf from Nigella Lawson twice this week. It is so easy, economical and delicious. I would happily eat it for breakfast, maybe with some sautéed spinach…

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While in the kitchen I’ve been listening to a lot of Bach, a perfect companion - particularly if Yo-Yo Ma is involved

Speaking of Yo-Yo, his conversation with Krista is pure joy. What a gift of a human being he is. I also loved this recent conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama and Marilyn Nelson.

These are the kind of things we need for the tired spaces of our world. This is the way we need to move forward in a world that is so interested in being comforted by the damp blanket of bad stories. We need stories of belonging that move us towards each other, not from each other; ways of being human that open up the possibilities of being alive together; ways of navigating our differences that deepen our curiosity, that deepen our friendship, that deepen our capacity to disagree, that deepen the argument of being alive. This is what we need. This is what will save us. This is the work of peace. This is the work of imagination.
— Pádraig Ó Tuama

We spent last weekend in the hills outside Santa Cruz at a family wedding. It was an incredible party and there was an amazing band so we all threw down and danced the night away. I finally got a chance to wear this gorgeous dress from Doen

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And my favorite earrings from Annie Costello Brown. They make any outfit an outfit.

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Simple Pleasures

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

We are enjoying a quiet long weekend at home before getting back into the regular swing of things with school starting this week. Like last year, I am taking the first part of September off to not only help ease us back into school life at home, but to spend two weeks recharging myself and gearing up for the new year ahead. To me September feels more like a time of renewal than January 1st does. 

I have a few house projects on my list, like repainting the hallway,  and lots of purging/organizing endeavors. But I'm also finding time just to think and work on an upcoming creative project that I'm really excited about.

I've finally started an Instagram account for the blog so you can also find me here.

The weather this weekend has been stellar. Comfortably warm but with a bit of a chill in the air that seemed to happen as soon as the calendar flipped to September 1. These are perfect conditions to spend time in the garden.

 

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I harvested the last of my cucumbers and my Row 7 potatoes which were a  huge winner. I'm devoting an entire bed to them next year. I also started moving plants around and cleaning out crops past their due and cutting back the blackberry vines that take over my front slope this time of year. 

I wrote about Floret Farm's book at the end of last summer and followed through and ordered Dahlia tubers from her in the spring. These giants are lighting up the front yard right now...

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I've been making watermelon juice that is even more refreshing than the gazpacho I've been downing the last two days. If you don't have a juicer, simply blend up the watermelon in a blender. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and let it chill until it's good and cold. When you're ready to drink, squeeze half of a lime in your glass and a pinch of salt.

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It is summer in a glass...

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I have loved watching All or Nothing: Manchester City. LOVED. Go watch it.

I also just finished reading Attachments which was recommended by my mother-in-law (Hi Pierr!). It is such a perfect summer read - great dialogue, smart and incredibly funny. I couldn't stop reading and read it all in one go...

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My hair is the longest it's ever been and after a summer of playing in both the surf and sun the ends are bit fried. I love Weleda products and just discovered this rosemary hair oil. I've been putting it on my ends (and even my scalp) before bed and washing it out in my morning shower. It has made a world of difference.

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I've also been using this wonderful salt scalp scrub shampoo (say that three times fast) the last two months. You use it just once a week though I really want to use it daily I look forward to it that much...

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Also in need of a little TLC after the summer heat and constant sunscreen, my skin needs a little decongesting and I super love this new Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial from Biossance...

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I'm looking forward to testing out their new deodorant...

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I bought a few of these air-purifiers recommended by Wirecutter this spring during allergy season and the difference was immediate. After one night, we all woke up with cleared sinuses. Fast forward to last month when Seattle was hit hard from wildfire smoke. We were so grateful to have these in our house. I also bought one for my studio...

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I'm really liking these twin-line flossers. They are also helpful for teaching my six year old how to floss...

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And I have a new pair of favorite jeans. These relaxed boyfriend ones from Everlane remind me of my old 501s from high school. I have the vintage sky blue wash below...

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But I have my eye on the washed black ones as well...

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It's the weekend...

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

Finally, some sunshine is arriving in Seattle which is welcome news for us sun-starved Seattleites. It has been a bit bleak the last few weeks...

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I'm going to celebrate by wearing my new Clare V x TOMS leopard espadrilles (seen below). See the whole collection here...

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I likely won't wear them this week but I took advantage of Loeffler Randall's Friends + Family sale last week and finally pulled the trigger on these silver beauties that I have been eyeing the last six months. They are so soft and even more gorgeous in person...

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I've really been enjoying this adaptogenic take on a thai iced tea. Thrive Market has the best price on Sun Potion products by the way. And if you're not making your own, this Aroy-D coconut milk is my favorite one...

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Every time a DWR catalog arrives I linger on the LOLL lounge chairs. Some day I'd love to have a pair of these on the patio...

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I've been wanting to make these beautiful pancakes from Heidi Swanson and I think tomorrow is the day...

Image from 101 Cookbooks

Image from 101 Cookbooks

Last week I finally watched Franca: Chaos and Creation and loved every minute of it. I might queue it up again this weekend...

Photograph by Francesco Carrozzini via  Departures

Photograph by Francesco Carrozzini via Departures

I also am watching this tonight once the kiddo is in bed...

It is likely that I will be mixing up a margarita to enjoy in the sunshine at some point this weekend, but tonight I am drinking a glass of my favorite "house wine" that I've been buying locally at PCC (I have Olaiya to thank for the recommendation). And since I'm solo for dinner tonight (and my husband hates mushrooms) I'm looking forward to making this pea and mushroom sauté from Pamela Salzman that I will devour in peace.

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How to Break Up With Your Phone

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

I'm not sure where I first saw the image below but it resonated strongly with me. Often when I have a break teaching and walk down to the coffee shop I pass person after person looking down, only to open the door to a room full of people again looking down, and stand in line to order my coffee behind a handful of people each one, again, looking down...

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Our lives are what we pay attention to.

I hope this slim and life-changing book by Catherine Price becomes as ubiquitous as another slim and life-changing book I love. Read more about it here and also here.

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At home we follow a 24 hour "tech sabbath" beginning Friday at 8pm until Saturday at 8pm (which Price mentions) which has been a game changer. I first learned about the idea of a "tech sabbath" from Tiffany Shlain and her converstation with Krista Tippett.

Do yourself (and your kids) a favor and read this book.

 

A WEEK OFF...

by Kelsi in , , ,


 
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My son was off from school last week for Presidents' break. I worked a bit but took some time off to hang out with him and friends and visit our favorite doughnut shop...

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Later in the week I was forced to stay home and rest with yet another cold. What is it with this year?! Sam Sifton's newsletter on Monday was so spot on it made me chuckle...

Good morning. It is Presidents’ Day and, for some of us, that fact comes just in time, after weeks of February grimness, always heading off to work in the dark, heading home in the same, going to the store, cooking and eating and cleaning and walking the dog, then pitchpoling into bed only to explore the house cautiously a few hours later, wondering: Which one of us is sick today?

If you don't already subscribe to Sam's New York Times Cooking newsletter, go do that.

I added Heidi Swanson's Instant Pot Dynamite Cold Tonic to my immune support arsenal. I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a bit more honey to my mug...

Image from    101 Cookbooks

Image from 101 Cookbooks

By the way, Heidi also has a fantastic Instant Pot guide. You'll find her own beautiful recipes like this mushroom stroganoff, and this minestrone (which I made three times in the last two weeks with a few tweaks) but also a compilation of other links, cooking guides and helpful tips.

While I was taking it easy I finally watched Zootopia and enjoyed it SO. VERY. MUCH...

photo from    Rolling Stone

photo from Rolling Stone

I thought Peter Travers summed it up perfectly:

The last thing you’d expect from a new Disney animated marshmallow is balls. But, hot damn, Zootopia comes ready to party hard. This baby has attitude, a potent feminist streak, a tough take on racism, and a  cinema-centric plot that references The Godfather, Chinatown and L.A. Confidential. The kids, paying zero attention to such things, will love it. But the grownups will have even more fun digging in.

But hands down the very best thing I watched this week was this gorgeous pair. They are breathtaking. I've re-watched their free program over and over. Their artistry together is just beyond...

I plan to spend the rest of my Sunday cooking something simple for dinner (most likely reheating leftovers), drinking immune support tea, slathering on a favorite face mask, and enjoying a long shower and scrub down with my favorite new discovery, this Kahina Moroccan Beldi Soap

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It is incredible lathered up using one of those fantastic little rayon mitts from the Korean spa. (If you have never been to the Korean spa for this experience, you can read a little about the mitt and the ritual here.) Scrub it all over for the smoothest and softest skin imaginable. 

 

For the weekend

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

Watch this amazing video of Candide Thovex skiing across the planet on everything but snow...

I loved this interview "You Don't Look 60" with Bobbi Brown on Goop...

photo from Goop

photo from Goop

I relate to her outlook, especially this part about being curious and open-minded and knowing best...

I’m constantly curious—I’m a seeker. I try everything. I tried Bulletproof because it sounded great, but I’d consume 450 calories worth of fat in my coffee and I was still hungry—so that didn’t work (for me). So I went Paleo—that didn’t work, either. I try, and I figure it out. What’s working for me is Intuitive Eating. It doesn’t make me feel bad because I had cottage cheese, or I had really good French bread in the best bakery. It’s my body, my health, and I know best. I’m open, though!

I just got Nadine Levy Redzepi's (wife to Noma chef René) new cookbook Downtime from the library and as you can see below, I've flagged nearly half of it. It is full of lovely, simple and delicious recipes and excellent tips no matter your cooking prowess. René wrote the forward and I loved this passage:

"You may feel it's hard, or even impossible, to cook one meal a day when you have to make a living in the modern world. I see your point (in a way, even I can't do that for my kids!). Yet in this book I see someone who, by creating habits just like people do with exercise, has made the act of cooking effortless and endlessly generative. There is so much you can do if you simply begin to try."

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We love Patagonia at our house. If you have 30 minutes this weekend listen to this conversation between Guy Raz and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard on the How I Built This podcast...

Andrew Holder for NPR

Andrew Holder for NPR

The best wisdom comes at the very end...

I believe in the more you know the less you need.

The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life, because everything pulls you to be more and more complex...Either we’re forced or we decide to go to a more simple life, it’s not gonna be an impoverished life. It’s gonna be really rich.

I am still a die-hard Blue Bottle Coffee fan. I make myself a cup or two of Bella Donovan every morning with their ceramic dripper. I often take a cup with me on my drive to the studio, but in my thermal mug it stays way too hot to sip. So I picked up this beautiful little Keep Cup so I could actually sip my coffee while listening to On Being...which makes contending with Seattle traffic all the more civilized and tolerable...

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It has been pouring here the last week(s), paired with pretty consistent winds. I am loving our Blunt umbrella that not only shields from the rain beautifully but can withstand the wind to boot. We have the classic but they make a smaller metro size too...

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Despite the weather, I picked up these incredibly bright and fun sandals on super sale at Net-a-Porter. They will stay in the box for the next few months but I can wait...

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November 11

by Kelsi in , ,


 

THIS IS FANTASTIC and in my mind, how Thanksgiving should be done. Even if you're not cooking this holiday, click through. It is hypnotic and lovely to watch Melissa and Sam in action. 

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A few other things that caught my eye this week...

Photo from NYT

Photo from NYT

At some point, the priest during the Mass says, ‘Lift up your hearts.’ He does not say, ‘Lift up your cellphones to take pictures.’
— Pope Francis

Applicable not only during Mass but in life. Here.

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It was the perfect crisp, drizzly Saturday to make Judy Rodgers' roasted applesauce. I didn't even bother to peel and core the apples and just ran them through the food mill after roasting which worked beautifully. 

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This liquid zinc has been a lifesaver keeping us healthy over the last few months with the start of school and the change in season. I always have it on hand and take it daily. Elissa Goodman has a really good list of additional immune support here

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Inspired by my five year old's (currently six page) xmas wishlist, pictured above, I am starting to think about holiday gift ideas myself. Those lists are coming soon!

Happy weekend.

 

The Basics - Personal Care Products

by Kelsi in , ,


 

Most of the basic personal care products I love and use everyday are easy to find. Everything below (with the exception of Cocofloss) I find at my favorite local grocery, PCC. You can also find them at Pharmaca, Whole Foods and Thrive Market. All of them are incredibly effective, non-toxic and free of all the chemicals/fillers that are in most mainstream products.

I wash my hands a lot throughout the day especially when I'm at the studio teaching so I also go through a lot of hand cream to keep my skin from drying out. This sea buckthorn hand cream from Weleda is my favorite. It absorbs right away, is deeply moisturizing and never greasy. It's the only one I use...

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Also from Weleda, this sea buckthorn body lotion is fantastic. It rubs in immediately and keeps my skin soft and moisturized all day even in the dry winter months...

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A few years ago, an effective natural deodorant seemed impossible to find. I've long loved this one from Soapwalla. However having to apply it with your fingers isn't for everyone. Enter Schmidt's. It is aluminum and artificial fragrance free and equally important, it really works. There are two formulas, one without baking soda which some people are sensitive to. I've used both and love the tea tree one and the charcoal + magnesium one (which my husband also uses)...

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Weleda's salt toothpaste is incredibly refreshing without any minty aftertaste. Xyliwhite is my other favorite. They also make one for kids that my son loves. All are fluoride free...

 
 
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Cocofloss is really great floss. I prefer mint and we have a subscription that delivers every 4 months...

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I also love this mouthwash my dentist recommended from BR... 

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This Dr. Bronner's shaving gel is a favorite of mine and my husband's. (If you prefer a cream shave, this one from Weleda is great as well, plus it is the perfect travel size.)

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The only downside to the Dr. Bronner's shave gel is it's not really the right container for the thin gel consistency so it leaks and makes a mess. I picked up a squeeze bottle like this one at PCC and decanted it which solves the issue...

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Lastly, I couldn't live without Burt's Bees original lip balm. I carry it with me wherever I go. I buy a four pack from Thrive...

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