Sunday, 13 July 2014

natural cold sore remedies

I get cold sores. About once a year. Ever since I was really little. *cries*. And I just got over one so I thought this would be the perfect topic to discuss.

As much as I wish I didn't get them, and feel like my life is over the moment I know I'm getting one (seriously), there is simply nothing I can do about the fact that the virus will forever lie dormant in my system. However, I have a few tricks up my sleeve on how to prevent them from coming, or to at the very least, reduce their severity and get rid of them faster, which is always the first thing that comes to mind.

Also known as fever blisters, these common, small little annoying and unsightly outbreaks on the lip area are probably one of the worst things one should have to deal with, in my humble opinion. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) that lies inactive in nerve cells until one of many triggers cause it to become active again (HSV-1 is not to be confused with HSV-2, which is sexually transmitted). Triggers include:

  • stress, anxiety
  • compromised immune system
  • general illness (cold, flu, etc.)
  • fatigue
  • excessive sun exposure
  • trauma to affected area
  • menstruation
I know for myself, if I'm really emotionally stressed or if my anxiety is particularly heightened, I tend to be more prone to getting one. Not fun. It's important to remember that a weakened immune system plays a huge role, too. Supporting these things are truly of primary importance. 

Some things to consider for prevention include the herbs ashwagandha or rhodiola for some nourishing, adaptogenic, anti-stress support. Magnesium is my favourite mineral and is very calming and anti-stress. Meditation and yoga are always good, too. Support your immune system with things like vitamin C, zinc, and avoiding dairy and sugar.

Stages of a Cold Sore:

The stages of a cold sore suck. They just suck. The first stage involves the infamous tingle followed by redness and the inevitable fate. The second stage involves the dreaded blister, and for me personally, an insanely swollen lip. This stage is particularly uncomfortable, itchy, sometimes painful, embarrassing, and just overall bad and sucks a lot. It lasts about 1-2 days. The third and final stage is the friendly ol' scab at which point it becomes very tolerable and free of swelling. For me this begins on the third day and lasts for about 4-5 days, with the total duration of about a week or so.

My Absolute Essentials for Warding off Cold Sores:

Lysine: I cannot stress enough the importance of taking the amino acid Lysine internally. I take it as a supplement, at least 3,000mg per day. Sometimes I'll pop a few more. Lysine definitely makes a huge difference in the duration and severity of the cold sores I experience.

Lysine works by essentially blocking arginine. HSV requires arginine to replicate and arginine itself is suggested to stimulate replication of the virus. In this way it's vital to avoid foods high in arginine (chocolate, peanuts, almonds and other nuts and seeds) and eat loads of foods high in lysine (vegetables, legumes, fish, turkey, chicken).

Ointment: Topically I love to use a lysine cream called Super Lysine+. It's a blend of zinc oxide, lysine, echinacea, propolis, goldenseal and a few other ingredients that I find really aid healing and reducing duration.

Supplemental lysine and the lysine cream are pretty much the top two items I find are most important, but additionally I like to use a few other soothing creams to aid healing and cellular repair:

Aloe blend: This time around I used a skin gel called Nature's Aid, which is a blend of aloe vera, tea tree oil, witch hazel, rosemary and vitamin e. It is so soothing and has literally dozens of uses for the skin. It's antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory.

Oil of Oregano: This is one of those things that everyone should have on hand, for a whole variety of first aid uses. It's extremely antibacterial, antiviral, and actually a natural antibiotic. You can apply a drop or two directly onto the area.

Vitamin E oil: I use vitamin e oil to remove makeup and to moisturize my eye area lightly, but I find it's also nice to use around the cold sore area just to add a bit of moisture as it can get a bit uncomfortable, usually from drying the crap out of it. I take a cotton swab and dab it on where needed.

Arnica Montana: I thought I'd throw this one in for good measure. If you dig homeopathics, then I highly suggest the use of arnica. Arnica is used for injuries, inflammation, bruising, pain, and is a great way to ease pain that may be present. A few pellets taken internally throughout the day will suffice.

That's it for what I wanted to share today, I do hope this helps!


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

june favourites | health, food & fashion

On my youtube channel the other day I shared my favourites from the month of June, and I thought I would share them on here as well!

1. Floral skirt - Forever 21
2. Hat - H&M
3. M necklace - Suzy Shier
4. Pearl earrings - my mum (I've wanted a pair of pearl earrings for ages but I'm not able to wear many earrings as they make my ears itchy. My mom had a pair of gold pearl earrings from years ago that she no longer wants and they don't irritate me at all! I was so happy!)
5. Cucumber & Calendula soap - The Soap Works (from the health food store). I am loving the scent of cucumber these days, and I'm currently on the lookout for some extract!
6. Nut milk bag - came with my Vitamix!
7. Limes - I have been loving limes lately; in my water, and last night squeezed into my stir fry!

For the full list of the health and style items I loved throughout June, you can check out the video here.

With love,

Monday, 23 June 2014

Recipe: Fruit-Infused Detox Water

Hello everyone out there,

It has been little while since I last made a post, so I thought I would share with you three fruit infused "detox water" recipes that I shared on my youtube channel recently. These are so easy to make. I hope  you give them a try, or they simply inspire you to experiment with your favourite herbs and fruits. All of these are super hydrating, refreshing, and gently cleansing.

These measurements are for a 1L sized mason jar. (I love mason jars, I use them for most everything!)

1) Lemon, Cucumber & Mint
  • 1/4 cucumber sliced
  • 1/2 lemon sliced
  • 5-10 fresh mint leaves
  • Add ingredients to container, and fill to the top with water!
Lemon alkalizes the body, and stimulates digestion and liver function.

2) Raspberry, Lime & Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 lime sliced
  • small handful cilantro sprigs
  • Add ingredients to container, and fill to the top with water!
Lime, like lemon, alkalizes the body, stimulates digestion, and supplies us with many beneficial minerals. Cilantro helps to pull heavy metals out of our body, such as mercury.

3) Strawberry, Grapefruit & Rosemary
  • 2-4 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 grapefruit, sliced
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary
  • Add ingredients to container, and fill to the top with water!
Grapefruit is another great refreshing, alkalizing and mineral-rich citrus. Rosemary is known to enhance memory, and helps to support our livers ability to detoxify!

I hope you enjoy these simple detox water recipes! If you've ever made them before, let me know in the comments what some of your favourite combinations are!

With love,

Thursday, 5 June 2014

May Favourites

Happy June! I have been wanting to share some of my favourite things from the month of May.

1. Sandals - Old Navy: I already have a pair of these sandals, and I love them so much. They are so comfortable and go with almost everything I wear. I wear them all the time. I got them last year and found them in season again this year and couldn't not get them so that I have another pair once the ones I have wear out!

2. L'Oreal nail polish in Mint #152: For the first time in my life, except maybe once years ago, I bought myself nail polish. The only time I use nail polish is on my toes, rarely ever on my finger nails, and I just never really ever bought myself one as growing up I'd always use what my mom had. But, I decided recently that I want to wear a colour that I like. And I've been loving pastel colours, so I opted for a mint. It is such fun to wear.

3. Sante Coverstick Concealer in No. 1: When it comes to makeup, I like things very simple and fresh. I haven't owned a concealer in a long time and I already have a foundation by the company Sante that I also use lightly, but I picked this one up from the health food store and I'm really liking it to just balance out my skin tone in specific areas. And of course, I like that it is natural-based.

4. Friggin Lip Balm in Vanilla: I am totally obsessed with lip balm, and I will admit that. I love it, and any time I discover a new natural kind I have to have it. I always have lip balm everywhere I go. My newest discovery is by Friggin, and the ingredients are super simple, consisting of a few things like coconut oil and Vitamin E. Vanilla is one of my favourite lip balm flavours.

5. Mason Jars: These are the greatest things to have on hand! I have been loving mason jars these days. They are perfect for smoothies, green juices, tea, storing homemade almond milk, and anything on-the-go. They're also versatile and fun for decor or storage. I have 1L mason jars that I like for juices and storing almond milk, and I recently bought a bunch of 500ml jars for smoothies. I also like using them for drinking tea, and was on the lookout for one with a handle.

6. Oceans Pure Sea Kelp: I love this supplement. I take it for a boost of additional minerals. Kelp is rich in iodine (for a happy thyroid) and trace minerals. It's a very easy liquid supplement to take - it has a light, watery taste.

7. Peasant dress - Target: I love pretty, flowy, floral dresses. This particular floor-length dress is great because it isn't too long on me. At 5'2" it's nice to wear clothes that don't drag on the ground!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

woman refined

Spring is such an inspiring, promising season. So much to look forward to as the days brighten and bloom. There is flourish all around. It has been so nice to see some blossoms, albeit a few weeks late this year, but there are blossoms nonetheless. And there is warm wind, and no need for a jacket, and this my friends, has been nice.

The other day I took a trip to my local bookstore for one of my favourite bi-annual outings: a new journal. I go through one journal about every 6 months, and I simply love choosing a new one. When I finish a journal this means I am on to a new chapter, and it always feels that way when my hands brush over new, blank pages, and my pen meets the paper.

The timing of needing a new journal truly fell at a time where I really do feel I am entering a new chapter. I think I have been entering this new chapter for many moons now, but only recently have I felt more solidity in the changes in my life. I always like to choose the look and feel of a journal based on what represents myself at that time, and the journal I gravitated towards feels simple, contemporary, refined.

Refined has been a major word for me this month. As I have felt myself shifting I have felt a refining within myself. And quite literally, as the definition says, removing impurities and unwanted elements.

That is precisely what I have found myself doing. Removing unwanted elements from my life: opinions, beliefs, obsessions, things, that no longer resonate with me. There has been an unleashing, a letting go, a letting in.

2014 has been the first year where I have actually felt more mature. More responsible. More independent. I've always been an independent person, but for the longest time I always felt like I was still in some sort of teenager stage. As I creep closer to 24 and as I find myself in a space of very invigorating and life-changing scenarios, I realize I am no longer a little girl, and I realize I am indeed a woman.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

How To: Basic Homemade Almond Milk

This morning I made a fresh batch of homemade almond milk, a very simple recipe that I'd like to share today. For the longest time I would use store-bought almond milk until I made it for the first time and realized how incredible easy and quick it is. It also tastes so much better; I find store-bought almond milk has a stronger flavour, whereas homemade almond milk has a much lighter, neutral, real taste.

Almond milk is a great alternative to regular cow's milk. It's easy to digest, and rich in magnesium.

Basic Almond Milk
  • 1 cup soaked almonds (that's about 3/4 cup dried almonds, as they expand once soaked)
  • 4 cups water
Those are the only ingredients you will need! Simple as can be.


Soak almonds in a bowl for about 12 hours, or overnight. (Soaking nuts releases what are known as "enzyme inhibitors", and allows for optimal digestion). Strain water. Add soaked almonds and water to blender and blend on high speed for 20 seconds.

Wrap a nut milk bag, cheese cloth or kitchen towel over medium sized bowl and pour mixture through. Tighten bag and squeeze, and that's it! This recipe fills one 1L mason jar. Store for up to one week. You can use the leftover almond pulp in any of your favourite smoothies or baking recipes.

This recipe can easily be made into a sweet vanilla or chocolate almond milk.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Happy May 1st

I am so happy it is now the first of May. April was treacherous, only because I was too busy, and stressed, and stretched to the limit. But mostly life has been great and wild. May is full of more time to myself and space to focus on things that I love. Something has exploded inside of me, and I'm feeling like a lot is changing and simplifying in my life. It always does this time of year where a part of me begins to bloom and revel in fresh starts and new beginnings; where after the winter ceases, the dullness that I became falls away and my eyes and my heart are wide open.

I've just wanted to start fresh. But in the best of ways. As though there is a shedding of old parts of me, and there is a glow underneath that is shining through. I am wholeheartedly excited. I even removed my nose piercing, which was somewhat of a big deal but represented some pretty significant changes in my life. Cleansing. Simplifying. Starting anew.

The turn of the new month is always a great time to reflect. Despite how busy I was in April, it truly was a month for newness as I somehow managed to manifest three of my most desired possessions. Years I have been dreaming of these very things.

In early April I got myself a Vitamix, but my two newest loves are a a Macbook Pro and a Canon Rebel EOS T3i.

I have been in heaven with these and the ability to really truly pour my love for art into what I photograph, film, edit, create.

I am so looking forward to the month of May, and having this weekend off to take some photos in the woods.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

recipe: iced raspberry leaf tea!

These days I've been really drawn to herbs a lot more than I ever used to, especially herbal teas. I've just felt the need to really explore the many healing properties that they contain and one that I have been really loving is raspberry leaf.

Those who know me, know that I am incredibly passionate about pregnancy, {natural} childbirth, and anything related to the reproductive realm of women's health. I love the reproductive system! It's just so amazing. In the future I will share a lot more on this topic as becoming a doula is a huge goal of mine (and having children).

Anywho, I have been drinking this wonderful herb because it is a uterine tonic and although is traditionally used during pregnancy to strengthen and prepare the uterus and pelvic muscles for childbirth, it is also a wonderful herb to take at any stage of our life to nourish our reproductive system (which is essentially what I drink it for, as I'm not pregnant!) It is helpful for cramps (something I have always dealt with) and other premenstrual related complaints. Also, it is rich in different vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and magnesium, which is my very favourite mineral.

There is something about drinking herbal teas that just feel so good in our bodies, especially when our intention with a chosen herb is to heal or simply nourish a certain part of our body. Raspberry leaf tea has a very delicate taste similar to regular tea (but is caffeine free) and can of course be simply taken as tea, or this lovely iced tea I created that I wanted to share!

Herbal teas are great for hydration as well, so long as they are caffeine free!

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 teabags (if you like stronger tea, add another teabag)
  • 1 tbsp raw, unpasteurized honey (if you like it sweeter, add more)
  • squeeze of half a lemon
  • ice

Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and steep teabags for 15 mins. Add honey. Pour into container of choice (I store mine in a 1L mason jar). Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with ice.

Iced tea is so refreshing and is perfect for spring and summer. Simply double this recipe if you'd like to have a larger batch to store in a juice jug.

~ Meghan

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

recipe: banana berry mash with goat yogurt

I love simplicity when it comes to the food I eat. There is something about minimal, wholesome ingredients that feel so good in our bodies, that feel so good for our digestion. I wanted to share one of my most favourite breakfasts that I threw together a couple years ago and has remained my easy breakfast go-to ever since. I love this recipe with plain yogurt and just the fresh fruit to sweeten it.

  • 1 ripe banana
  • small handful raspberries, or your favourite berry (I often use frozen)
  • a few generous dollops of plain organic goat yogurt
Mash banana and berries, and add yogurt on top. You can also play around with a spoonful of hemp seeds or other nutty toppings for added crunch and heartiness.

Over the past few days I have been absolutely craving yogurt (Greek yogurt to be exact). I don't generally eat dairy, or recommend it overall, as it is generally more acidifying and allergenic but I find it interesting and important when my body has such unique cravings, so I like to give way to them (unless of course it is something a little more excessive, like this delicious gluten-free, entirely sugar-laden brownie I ate yesterday...) When I do eat dairy I like goat milk products. Goat milk is more compatible with the human digestive system and so is tolerated much better by a lot of people, even those who are sensitive to cow milk. Another nice option is kefir, a fermented milk product that is rich in probiotics - good bacteria. Kefir is nice with fruit like this breakfast, too.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014


I am feeling so inspired these days, and I think it's due to me finally beginning to find balance in my busy schedule and the weather finally warming up after a very long, exhausting winter. April has graciously gifted us with rain, sunny afternoons and melted snow.

I'm finding it hard to focus on anything other than the creative goals and dreams that I have, and wanting to water them, and grow them, and harvest them. Even pertaining to my blog and wanting to just share authentically has got me very excited these days. The word grace has been dancing around my mind very much lately and I am thinking of incorporating it into a new name for this blog.

The photo above is from yesterday evening. Beyond the fence the sun was setting and it left a muted, fiery glow against the trees. It has been simple things such as this lately that have left me feeling whole, connected, good. It feels good to feel good. Especially when the grey, unending winter robs you of such simple pleasures. Like blooms, and dew.

Tonight my love told me that he loves who I am. And that he wouldn't want me to be any other way. These words were just what I needed to hear, and I hold them close.