Healthy Snack Ideas: My Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Theme!

The snow melted, the cost of strawberries plummeted and I swapped boots for flats. Spring is almost here! That means it's time for the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

During April I'll update Whole Foods Living each day with delicious, helpful advice. 

My theme for 2014 is healthy snack ideas! Personally, I'm great at whipping up a healthy meal. But when I reach for a snack, I sometimes have to think twice. Is snacking difficult for you too? Be sure to stop by each day in April for some healthy, wholesome ideas. 

If you want an email reminder, simply sign up with your email address on the top, left corner of this page where it says "Get Blog Updates Delivered to Your Email!". 

I hope to see you online in April!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Do you want to learn more about surviving the world of working online with words, please stop by Web Writing Advice during the April challenge!

Enhancing Natural Beauty with Jane Iredale Cosmetics: Magic Hour Collection Makeup Review

I'm not the average cosmetics consumer. If the product promises a bold, vibrant look, I'm usually not interested. I prefer to enhance my features with subtle, defining makeup. Each time I put on eyeliner, lip color or eye shadow, I want to look natural and healthy-- not overdone or flashy.
Photo Credit: jane iredale cosmetics

I was thrilled when jane iredale asked me to test the company's Magic Hour collection, six new beauty products focusing on the eyes, cheeks and lips, in honor of the company's 20th anniversary.

Honestly, when I first looked over the makeup I was intimidated. I've never used gel eyeliner that requires an application brush or a creamy cheek blush. But after experimenting with the collection, I'm in love.

About the Makeup
As a photographer, there's a special time of day we love to go outside and create portraits. It's when the setting sun casts a warm bronze glow over the skin, mutes any blemishes and creates a warm feel to the images. This is called the 'magic hour'. So, it's no surprise when jane iredale decided to release a new collection with this name, it captured the essence of this special quality of light.

The Magic Hour collection consists of six beauty essentials:
  • In Touch Highlighter in the color Comfort
  • Lip Fixation in the colors Craze and Compulsion
  • PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple in the color Golden Girl
  • Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner in the colors Black and Brown
After applying some mineral-based foundation, I decided to create a warm, inviting daytime look with the cosmetics. I dipped into the jar of brown Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner first because I was anxious to experiment with the eye makeup infused with tiny flecks of golden shimmer. While lining my first eye, I noticed the makeup glide on smooth and even. I worked slowly and by the time I got to the second eye, applying this type of eyeliner felt like second nature. The best part? This eyeliner has no odor and lasts forever without smudging. I forgot to remove my makeup that evening, and the eyeliner was in place the next morning. Wow!

Next I experimented with the PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple. I adore the subtle cocoa and golden hues. I layered the medium tone on my eyelid, then used the lighter tone for some highlighting on my brow bone and the darkest tone to accentuate the corner of each eye. The look was a perfect neutral for daily wear.

Then I used the In Touch Highlighter to give a little definition to my cheeks. The rosy-brown shade was subtle yet added a nice healthy glow to my winter-pale skin tone. This makeup has a light fragrance that reminds me of my summer flower garden.

Finally, I finished my look with the Lip Fixation lip tint and gloss combo in the color Compulsion. It seemed to coordinate best with the In Touch Highlighter. First of all, this is the most moisturizing, lightweight lip tint I've ever used. Bonus! Second, the mauve shade gave my look a polished, ready-for-the-day feel without looking overdone.

A few days later, I tried the Lip Fixation in the color Craze--a lighter coral pink--which was perfect for an understated yet flirty evening look. When I applied the accompanying shimmery lip gloss, my smile stood out. The look was feminine but not too bold.

Overall, the Magic Hour collection could easily become a go-to color palette for everyday wear when you want a splash of color that transcends all seasons, leaving you with a polished, healthy look.

Last month I had the chance to catch up with Jane Iredale and learn more about her makeup and the Magic Hour collection. You can read our exclusive interview HERE. And, don't forget to look for the Magic Hour collection online and in stores at the end of March 2014.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The makeup mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from jane iredale for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela

Beauty Talk: Q&A with Jane Iredale, Healthy Cosmetics Guru

Photo by Angela Tague
In addition to healthy food on my plate, I want skin-nourishing beauty products in my makeup bag.

When I learned about jane iredale cosmetics, my search for natural, non-toxic makeup was complete! This year jane iredale will celebrate 20 years in the beauty-turned-skin care industry. I had a chance to catch up with the beauty and brains behind the cosmetics, Jane Iredale herself.

Here's the inside scoop on this makeup company: past, present and future!

Angela: Congratulations on celebrating 20 years in the makeup industry! I understand you started your venture in 1994 with the launch of a mineral makeup called Amazing Base Loose Mineral Foundation. Why is it important to you to work with minerals versus other types of ingredients?

Jane: Mineral powders are pure pigment which is what gives them their excellent coverage, making the skin glow flawlessly. They allow the skin to breathe and function normally, as well as giving broad spectrum sun protection. They contain none of the problem ingredients that cause sensitivities and breakouts.

Not all mineral powders are created equal. Some just use the word mineral as a marketing term and some contain no sunscreen benefits. jane iredale cosmetics were the first to add skin care benefits to makeup, which is why our logo contains the words "The Skin Care Makeup."

When jane iredale was born with the launch of Amazing Base Loose Mineral Foundation in 1994, no one knew what mineral makeup was. We were creating a whole new category of mineral makeup, and it was a challenge to help consumers understand what true mineral makeup really was. And even today, although mineral makeup is more mainstream, it can still be challenging to help people understand the difference between a true mineral makeup and alternatives.

But our commitment to using the best possible ingredients is unwavering. It's something we celebrate as we'll reflect on the past 20 years, and will maintain through the next 20 years and beyond. It will always be our mission to provide personal, natural beauty to improve the health and lives of women.

Angela: My readers love to live healthy, wholesome lifestyles. Can you explain how jane iredale is allergen-friendly and a great option for people looking for natural beauty products?

Jane: Our products blur the line between skin care and makeup with ingredients and delivery systems that benefit the skin in a number of ways. We never stint on the quality of our ingredients or on our testing. We conduct tests that are not required of cosmetics in general. For example, we test for comedogenicity, sensitivity, heavy metals and photo-toxicity. Of course, we're always current with our colors, and we have makeup artists at New York Fashion Week each season.

But more than anything else, I believe that what differentiates us is our point of view. We believe that makeup should be integrated into the overall health of the body, not purely a fashion statement. Also, we've spent the past 20 years being as transparent with consumers as it's possible to be. We list all of our ingredients for every product on our website, and we have clear information for those who embrace vegan and gluten-free lifestyles. We've always done this. We want people to know what is in our products because it's important to me and I know it's important to them.

Angela: I'm excited to try the jane iredale Magic Hour Collection, which launches in March 2014 and is just one of the many collections and products being released during this 20th anniversary year. The dusty rose and bronze tones look fabulous for everyday wear. Which product in this collection are you most excited for women to try?

Jane: This year, spring and summer beauty is all about glowing, healthy skin (again), and the Magic Hour collection delivers that look of warm light and shimmering color. The entire collection is inspired by our Moonglow Quad Bronzer, which gives a golden glow to any part of the body.

It's hard to choose just one favorite from the collection. The smoky eye never goes off-trend, but this season, it's being done with more color than the usual grey and brown. I recommend using the PurePressed Eye Shadow Trio in Golden Girl to replace your standard smokey eye look with golden lids that are equally sultry and romantic. The new Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliners finish the look.

Strong lips are very current as well, and as you can imagine, my favorite approach to this trend is to complement clear, healthy-looking skin with a pop of color on the cheeks that tones with the lips. The InTouch Highlighter in Comfort and Lip Fixation in Craze pair beautifully for this look. I love the Lip Fixation's stain and gloss duo because its color lasts all day and lips look hydrated and luscious.

Angela: I'm a firm believer that makeup can enhance a woman's natural beauty. On a daily basis you work to create healthy, innovative products to make ladies look their best. In one sentence, what does being beautiful mean to you?

Jane: In a nutshell, I would say that true beauty lifts your spirits, whether you find it in a person, in nature or in buildings and objects. There's a natural, easy quality to it. If it looks as if you're trying too hard at beauty, it never works.

Thank you, Jane, for your wonderful insight and letting my readers know about the magic behind your company's products. Here's to the next 20 years of healthy beauty products!

Have you tried jane iredale cosmetics? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Next week I'll feature a review of the Magic Hour Collection! Sign up for an email reminder on the top, left corner of this page so you don't miss it!

Going Paleo? Diet Tips and Paleo Effect Cookbook Review

Today you're in for a treat. Recently a copy of The Paleo Effect by Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres crossed my countertop and I've been giving it a good read and test run.

Yes, I read cookbooks front to back.

First of all, what is paleo, or a paleo diet (actually it's a lifestyle!) and how does it fit into a whole foods living frame of mind?

All About Paleo
In a nutshell a paleo, or paleolithic, diet focuses on natural, unprocessed foods. A paleo diet is naturally gluten free. Paleo diet followers don't eat dairy, grains, legumes, beans, processed sugars or processed fats.

Why? The health benefits are too good to dismiss. The authors of the book, Meghan and Angel, claim that within a month of going paleo they slimmed down, said goodbye to migraines, no longer experience insomnia and got rid of annoying joint pain. Sounds pretty good doesn't it?

So, what do paleo people eat?
  • unprocessed meats and fish 
  • fresh fruits and vegetables 
  • herbs and seasonings 
  • nuts, roots, oils
  • animal products including eggs and honey
I know you're wondering about dessert. Yes, this cookbook also tempts your sweet tooth with recipes for everything from chocolate chip cookies and banana bread, to apple pie and maple-glazed pear cheesecake.

Is Paleo Food Any Good?
So, how does this style of cooking/eating/living taste? Pretty darn good! Here's a recap of a few of the recipes I've tried. (Note that since I'm a vegetarian, I didn't venture into any of the meaty offerings. But I will let bacon lovers out there know that yes, bacon is included in a paleo lifestyle!)

Lemon Garlic Asparagus (pg. 115): As a kid I never liked asparagus. As an adult, I'm trying to enjoy it more. So, when I saw a new simple recipe to "spice" up this green veggie, I was ready to try it. The combination of baking asparagus in olive oil with garlic, cayenne and lemon juice is simply perfect.

Blackened Salmon (pg. 161): The hubby made this recipe all by himself to try salmon for the first time. He did swap out a few of the suggested seasonings to fit his palette, but the cooking instructions worked perfectly for his first-time fish cooking experience. He loved it and has asked for salmon to frequent the grocery shopping list!

You can find out more about following a paleo diet on Megan and Angel's website, Paleo Effect. Or, pick up the book The Paleo Effect and study the first 12 pages of the book which guide you through the dos and don't of going paleo. Then dive into the recipes!

So, have you tried the paleo lifestyle? What do you think? Tell me in the comments below or give me a shout on Facebook!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Paleo Effect by Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela