Coconut Cashew Honey Energy Bites

Energy bites are one of the easiest to throw together with remaining ingredients you have in your kitchen. All you need is a nut or seed butter of some kind, or a paste (such as from dates), a sweetener, and toppings like more seeds and nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit, etc.

Leftover homemade cashew butter was the reason for creating this simple recipe. Almost all the other ingredients were ones I wanted to finish using as well.

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I love starting with a nut butter base along with either oats or milled flaxseed for some extra fiber. Seeds and nuts are then put in for some healthy fats but mostly for the added crunch factor.

Flavouring often depends on what combinations you’re going for but my go-to’s are generally, cinnamon powder, cacao powder, shredded coconut, matcha powder and espresso powder – a pinch of salt may be needed as well in your recipe. The espresso and matcha powders are your best friends if you’re aiming to give your bites more caffeine. Flavour is also greatly dependent on the sweetener you use. This recipe is one of many where I use Drizzle Honey, a local raw honey company with an amazing collection of Superfood infused honey and a classic collection that tastes true and natural. If you don’t have raw honey lying around or want to use a vegan option, maple syrup, coconut nectar or a date paste are your best bet.

Lastly, you can also add in your favourite adaptogens to the mix. You want to make sure that you aren’t consuming more than what your body needs, or that the adaptogens you use are actually something you need at all. Pay close attention to how your body reacts to different types of adaptogens that you are taking to make sure that they are a right fit for you. If you haven’t already tried any but are looking to add some to your diet, two great starters are maca powder and ashwagandha powder. Collagen is also a great protein to add some health to your bites.

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Total time: 15-30 minutes
Makes 16-20 bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup milled flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until even.
  2. Roll bit-size amounts (about 1.5 tablespoons) into balls.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve immediately, or store in refrigerator up to two weeks.

Note: If the mixture appears dry and does not stick together, add 1 tablespoon of water or 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add more as needed.

 

My Top Picks For Hikes Near YYC

In an effort to share with all of you my favourite hikes near the Calgary area, I split them up by level of difficulty. This was mostly to break some close ties but also to ensure that I was indeed comparing apples to apples. I’ve attempted to describe the trails as accurately as I can, but please note that all of these hikes are favourable in the summer, some are only open during certain times of the year, and your experiences on these hikes might differ (tremendously) from mine.

If you’ve been on any of these, please comment down below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

TOP 3 EASY HIKES

#3 Johnston Canyon

Elevation Gain: 335 m + 115 m elevation loss
Total Distance: 11.8 km
Location: Banff National Park near Castle Junction

Johnston Canyon is a fairly stroller- and dog-friendly trail that is well paved and provides barriers/handrails as the path is situated at the edge of the canyon. Towards the lower falls, the path is met with a short stretch of stairs and you’ll want to take some time to enter the cave and see the falls close up. But the trail doesn’t end here! You can continue to the upper falls viewpoint and keep going up (and down) to the Inkpots which are seven pools of blue-green water in the meadow above Johnston Creek. You’ll find yourself in the midst of other beautiful mountains.

 

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#2 Rawson Lake

Elevation Gain: 305 m
Total Distance: 7.8 km
Location: Kananaskis

The Rawson Lake trail starts at Upper Kananaskis Lake and ends at Rawson Lake which sits within the base of Mount Sarrail. The path is wide and flat most of the way and is in a forested area with sightings of the Sarrail Falls. This hike has a continuation once you reach the trailhead call the Sarrail Ridge which is listed below. The lake is definitely the highlight of this trek but the trek itself is far from boring.

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#1 Grassi Lakes

Elevation Gain: 175 m
Total Distance: 3.2 km
Location: Canmore

Grassi Lakes is my go-to peaceful trek in the fall/winter (closes in November) and in the spring/summer (opens in May) because the views in all four seasons are spectacular. The emerald-like pools of water are the main attraction of this trail as well as the high viewpoint of Canmore. If you’re an avid outdoor rock climber, I’m betting you’ll very much enjoy this spot because of the high mountainous wall by the lakes. Grassi Lakes has two trails: one easy, perfect for families with young ones and older folks, and one more difficult. The trail works in a loop form but I have yet to take the hard way up or down. If you’ve tried it out, let me know what you’ve seen and how much you enjoyed it!

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TOP 3 MODERATE HIKES

#3 Sulphur Mountain

Elevation Gain: 745 m
Total Distance: 10.1 km
Location: Banff

Sulphur Mountain is probably the most iconic mountain in Banff as the ridge allows you to see miles and miles of the Rockies. The mountain’s gondola receives such heavy traffic notably in the summer, and the ridge has an entire station, restaurant and shop(s) constructed for all the tourists. The hike itself does not have tremendous feats with its alpine switchback pathway, but the view is incredibly worth the somewhat boring hike. The first time we hiked, the top of the gondola was under construction; but now that it’s all complete with an entire walkway that extends along the ridge, I would highly recommend hiking up the mountain and taking the gondola down – it’s a $30 fee but free in the winter months after 7 pm!

 

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#2 Barrier Lake Lookout/Prairie View

Elevation Gain: 625 m
Total Distance: 15 km (full loop) or 10.8 km (out & back)
Location:

As one of my favourite hikes of all time, the Barrier Lake lookout features a beautiful, fluorescent lake at the base and a breathtaking view of it at the trailhead. The hike starts off with a wide pathway with little shade (it can get really hot in the dead of summer) and ends with some steep climbing over rocks as you reach the top. It’s a short distance up the trail so those of us with low endurance can actually enjoy it. What I love about the top of the hike is how open it is and the ability to have a lunch without falling off the mountain or freezing your hands off (unlike high peaks and narrow ridges that experience strong winds). The top also has rocky ledges you can sit or stand on to get a better view if you so dare. Once you’re ready to climb back down, you can either double back and head the same way you came from or walk down the longer path through the forested and streamy area which leads to an open meadow and back to the gravel path around the lake. I’d say take the time to walk the long way, it’s well worth it in my opinion.

 

 

#1 Bear’s Hump

Elevation Gain: 240 m
Total Distance: 2.8 km
Location: Waterton

Anyone else love short but strenuous hikes with rewarding views? I do! This one is my top pick for this category because even though you might have to climb hard for 30 minutes, it’s well worth it once you reach the top. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves on this one as the hike is so short you’ll forget all about it when you get to the trailhead. The drive to Waterton from Calgary is amazing as well (or from Waterton back north it’s jaw-droppingly beautiful if you catch the sunset). Just watch out for those little prairie dogs! They like to stand in the middle of the road.

 

TOP 4 DIFFICULT HIKES

#4 Mount Yamnuska/ John Laurie

Elevation Gain: 900 m
Total Distance: 11 km
Location: Canmore in Bow Valley Provincial Park

Mount Yamnuska is hands down the most challenging I’ve ever done and I hope to change that by achieving much more difficult climbs, but in the meantime it holds the record for most difficult. The hike up wasn’t so bad. It was quite tiring but there were many spots to stop and have a lookout as the forested area of the hike does not full cover your view out to the other mountains. Once you reach the rocky area and leave the stable dirt ground after an hour of hiking, careful footwork is necessary (you would need gloves to protect your hands from scrambling through the boulders). There are three challenging phases of this trail: the chimney (which I just briefly described), the chain and the scree. The chimney was a little freaky and I had to make sure I didn’t look back or my irrational fear of falling would get the best of me. The chain, surprisingly, was easy physically and mentally. The chain is bolted into the rock face to help you walk on a narrow ledge about 30 m high from hard ground. So long as you’re not foolishly hanging from the chain, you’ll be fine. After completion of the second challenge, there’s another 300 m before you reach the rocky and windy summit of Mount Yamnuska which has a beautiful view of the mountains around it. And lastly the scree… Once you walk down the ridge and around to the other side of the mountain, you’ll find that the face of the mountain consists of long and steep screes back down to the forested region. It’s hard to spot the scree that you’ll need to run down so an experienced hiker might be best to have tag along. Now this was beyond the worst section for me. The stretch of scree is tremendous and again quick footwork is needed to make it down. I found myself caught in the boulders and tumbling down and every time I’d try to get back on my feet, the momentum would bring me back down and I’d be rolling. Not fun, to say the least. You can seriously injure yourself so know your limits! I should stress this for every hike you go on but this one requires more attention. All in all, a challenging experience I’ll never forget and I hope to soon defeat that scree.

 

#3 Ha Ling Peak/ Mount Lawrence Grassi

Elevation Gain: 740 m
Total Distance: 6 km
Location: Canmore in Bow Valley Provincial Park

Ha Ling Peak was my very first strenuous hike and I have to say that the cardio exercise you get on this one is pretty hard to get on another. The majority of the trail is forested with little to no breeze on a hot summer’s day, and the top part consists of scree and the rocky peak. The peak is extremely windy so be prepared to bring a sweater even if it’s hot. I highly recommend wearing pants or bringing a pair to wear once you reach the scree. The peak really is as sharp as they get and you can overlook the other side of the mountain when you sit at the top of the rock. It’s scary and exhilarating to be sitting on the edge of this mountain.

 

#2 Mount Sarrail

Elevation Gain: 625 m
Total Distance: 11.8 km (incl. trail to Rawson Lake)
Location: Kananaskis

The climb on Mount Sarrail begins at Rawson Lake and is incredibly steep and open to hot sun. I would recommend waiting until the summer months as patches of snow and ice are still found on the steep slopes of the trail, and using poles to help get you up the incline. The view on the ridge of Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes and Rawson Lake on the other side are un-beat-a-ble. The frustrating trek up and down was WELL worth it.
Also, watch our for grizzlies as there are reported sightings of the bears and a bear den on this hike.

 

#1 Mount Lady McDonald Teahouse

Elevation Gain: 1010 m (1200 m to true summit)
Total Distance: 9.8 km
Location: Canmore

Mount Lady McDonald is the highest gain I have ever climbed. The large portion of the hike requires stamina but trail is well worn out and free of complications. The top is rocky and scrambling is needed to get through this section. There is an abandoned teahouse and helipad at the false summit of this mountain where most people (including myself) would stop in unfavourable conditions. The strong winds and often icy path to the narrow ridge and true summit might make you turn back at this point as the view from the helipad is well beyond gratifying. But if you are daring enough to conquer the summit and ridge, you are one heck of a hiker.

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Photo credits for the photos of me: Jason Meng Visuals and Esther Choi

Homemade Dark Chocolate

Here’s a simple and easy recipe to make your own vegan/organic chocolate at home, with little-to-no equipment!

My love for chocolate is probably first on my list of things to satisfy on a daily basis (terrible habit, I know). But I thought I’d nourish my cravings in a cheaper and healthier way by using ingredients straight out of my pantry (no extra costs) and by knowing that the ingredients going into the making of this chocolate are pure,  sugar-free and my cocoa essentials are even locally sourced from the Dominican Republic.

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I had no idea that chocolate could be made from simply mixing cocoa butter and cocoa powder. All it takes is to heat up the butter, whisk in the powder, and freeze it to achieve a solid consistency. Now, some recipes I read substitute the cocoa butter with coconut oil which is more affordable and easily found at any grocery store. But I chose to make my chocolate as chocolate-y as possible by jam packing everything cocoa I had. And doing half/half cocoa butter and coconut oil.

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The process took a little longer to evenly whisk the honey and the cocoa powder to ensure that the sweetness level was equal throughout and that the chocolate didn’t have a grainy texture. I would suggest using a sweetener in liquid form to facilitate the mixing process. Perhaps Drizzle Honey will be next on my list to use in my chocolate making?

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You’ll know that your chocolate mix is ready for pouring when it looks like this: not too liquid and not to viscous. Add more powder if it’s too runny or add more oil or sweetener if the mixture is too thick. Then give it a taste to see if it meets your expectations. The worst thing to have happen is to completely finish a batch of goodies and realize that it tastes awful . There’s no rush to pouring the chocolate so take your time and add whatever else you need to make it taste fantastic.

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Total time: 2-3 hours
Makes 20-25 small chocolates

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup honey (can use any sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil over low heat.
  2. Once the oils are fully melted, add the honey and vanilla extract and start whisking.
  3. Slowly add the cocoa powder (two tablespoons at a time) and continue whisking the mixture.
  4. Once all the cocoa powder is in the mix, sprinkle the sea salt and finish stirring.
  5. The consistency should be pourable but not too runny. Grab a small spoon and start pouring the mixture into your preferred molds. (You can find the ones I used on Amazon.)
  6. Place your filled molds in the freezer for at least an hour. You can check the solidity of your chocolates by feel.
  7. Keep them refrigerated so they don’t melt!

 

Cocoa Date Energy Bites

When you have a ton of ingredients that might soon reach their best-before dates, what better way to use them in some energy bites?

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This is one of my favourite recipes that I’ve ever created as all the sweetness comes directly from the dates, and the cocoa powder gives an extraordinary chocolate taste but the bitterness is not overpowering at all. This is also my first batch using my collagen powder from Neocell which is a top-rated collagen brand and that I personally love.

_MG_1569If you don’t know what hydrolyzed collagen is, it is produced from the collagen found in the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals in the meat industry. Collagen in our own bodies is the main structural protein that keeps our skin elastic, our nails and hair from breaking, and our bones, tendons and ligaments strong. Supplemental collagen absorption is said to boost and maintain the health of all of these tissues, especially as we age and our bodies start to decrease the production of collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen also serves as a protein source.

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Total time: 15-30 minutes
Makes 20-25 bites

Ingredients:

  • 23-¾ cup homemade date purée
  • 13 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup milled flaxseed
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2 scoops Neocell Super collagen
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp maca powder

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl with a spoon or fork.
  2. Continue mixing with your hands to ensure consistency is achieved and then start rolling your bite-sized balls!

Notes:

  1. If the consistency is too liquid, add more flaxseed and coconut. If the consistency is too dry, add more almond butter or date purée depending on preference.
  2. Note that collagen isn’t vegan as it is an animal by-product. To maintain a plant-based recipe, forego the collagen.

Butternut Squash Soup

T’is the season for soup!

It’s been a cold start to the year, especially if you live in or near Calgary, where the temperature at the end of December reached past -30°C. So on the days that you feel like cozying up at home and having some hot, homemade soup, here is the #1 recipe that I recommend you try.

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Butternut squash soup is hands down my favourite puréed soup, as it has the perfect combination of sweet and savoury, and the creamy, nutty essence of the fruit itself. Little did I know, my friend Gwen (check out her blog here!) has been making her own recipe for a while now, and I jumped on the first opportunity to have a duo soup making day (i.e. where Gwen cooks and I eat).

 

Unfortunately, butternut squash harvesting days are over this time of year, so we only found one at the grocery store and had to use acorn squash to satisfy our squash quota. We do not recommend using acorn squash unless you are an expert squash peeler. Seriously, those things are hard to cut! (I watched as Gwen struggled.) Regardless, it still tasted AH-MA-ZINGGGG!

 


Total time: 1-1.5 hours
Makes 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 butternut squashes (or 1 butternut, 1 acorn)
  • 2 small russet potatoes
  • 2 celery stocks (including leaves)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1.5 tbsp of butter for flavour (substitute with coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup of pecans: chopped and roasted
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 1 tbsp of parsley flakes (or fresh parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of Mrs. Dash: Extra Spicy
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of saffron (optional)
  • pinch of chili powder
  • pinch of dill
  • about 1L of organic chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • water
  • 1 bouillon cube, no MSG

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • large, deep frying pan with cover
  • small frying pan
  • deep pot with cover
  • hand blender
  • measuring devices (if needed)

Instructions:

  1. Peel and chop the squash, fruit and vegetables into suitable cubes (no more than 1 cubic inch).
  2. Set your stove to medium-high for your large frying pan, add your cooking oil of choice, then place your chopped squash into the pan. After 2 minutes add the potatoes and sliced onion. Stir, add oil as needed, and cover.
  3. Wait about 5 minutes before adding the carrots, followed by another few minutes before adding the apple (if desired) and celery. Stir and cover.
  4. On the side, chop your pecans and roast them on the small frying pan. When they are roasted to preference, add them to the main pan.
  5. Keep stirring the main pan and then add butter or a vegan substitute for flavour.
  6. Add the ginger, nutmeg, Mrs. Dash, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir and cover.
  7. When all appears cooked, transfer the ingredients from the pan to a deep pot and set the stove to medium-low heat.
  8. Add the remaining spices and pour the chicken or vegetable broth into the pot until the solids are fully submerged. Pour more broth as needed, top the pot up with water and add the bouillon cube.
  9. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes in the pot, then check the density of the vegetables to see if they are ready to be blended.
  10. Grab your hand blender and start blending! Remember to keep the blender near the bottom of the pot as to not make a mess and to ensure all is blended to the same consistency.
  11. Add salt, pepper and your favourite spices to taste then blend again for good measure.
  12. Serve with a splash of cream and soy sauce and your best decorative toppings, and voilà!

Butternut squash soup à la Gwen is served!

Photos were taken by none other than Miss Gwen Roebuck.

Maca-Coco Chia Energy Bites

It doesn’t get easier than this: a snack that packs in all things healthy and delicious, and that literally takes 20 minutes to make. No baking needed! All you need is the right set of ingredients perfect for you. But if you don’t know where to start, here’s a recipe that combines all my favourite pantry goods and that will not disappoint your fellow taste testers!

Although I’ve made my own twist to this recipe, the original recipe belongs to Reclaiming Yesterday’s blog which I stumbled upon when looking for ways to properly portion the ingredients I had on hand. If you would like to see the original recipe, please click here! Alyson – author of Reclaiming Yesterday – also sweetly describes the benefits of maca powder, a core ingredient to these little bites, which include increasing energy, and improving hormone balance and overall good health. The rest of the added ingredients are mostly healthy fats rich in antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium.

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These are the ultimate alternative to your daily unhealthy snacks, if you have terrible snacking habits like I do. Especially during this time of the year when the chocolate goodies and gingerbread cookies make their way into your kitchen.

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Total time: 15-30 minutes
Makes 15-20 bites

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ cup dried coconut
  • ¼ cup (organic) almond butter
  • ¼ cup (organic) peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup, molasses or agave nectar for the vegan friends!)
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • splash of salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl with a spoon or fork.
  2. Continue mixing with your hands to ensure consistency is achieved and then start forming your bite-sized balls!

Notes:

  1. If you want to add a bit of a caffeine kick, roll your bites in some espresso powder, or green tea matcha powder if that’s your jam.
  2. Any ingredients can be added if you don’t have the ones I used in your kitchen, or if you just don’t like them (if it’s the latter, we can’t be friends). But try to aim for one part nut butter and liquid ingredients, two parts solid ingredients. This will guarantee that they stick well together and not crumble.

Bon appétit!

Shave, Sugar, Wax

I highly doubt that self-done hair removal qualifies as anybody’s top pastime, unless you’re one of those weirdos who finds solace in digging at the odd ingrown hairs (Uh what?! I don’t do that…). But if you’ve reached a point where you’re looking for alternatives to your shaving or waxing rituals, then you’ve come to the right place. Here I’ll be diving into my experiences with shaving, waxing, and sugaring and providing you with my own hair removal routine, which you can either try or tweak to your liking.

Disclaimer: Please understand that my experiences are my own and might not be the same for you. I am in no way an expert in sugaring or waxing but have done my research to have made an informed decision on which hair removal method is better suited for me. Take the time to read the resources that are out there if you are debating what’s best for you!

What Is Sugaring?

Sugaring or sugar waxing is a form of epilation (i.e. hair removal by the roots) that was discovered to be used nearly 4,000 years ago. It might seem like a new craze if you haven’t heard about it, but it’s really an ancient technique.

What Makes It Different From Waxing?

From what I’ve seen, sugar and wax are quite similar in texture and how they’re applied. (I have only ever used hard wax and Veet Easy-to-Use wax strips; the latter is one I highly recommend NOT using – they practically make waxing 10 times more painful and 10 times less effective.) In my experience, both sugaring and hard wax are fairly equal in effectiveness as it mostly depends on the product you use and the skills of your wax/sugar technician. And in terms of pain, well no matter what, when you pull hundreds of hairs at the root out of your skin, it’s going to be painful. So let me explain why I chose sugar over wax.

The Wax Experience

When I finally got tired of razor bumps and wax strips, I made my way to an affordable and reputable wax salon: Frilly Lilly. I loved it there and my first professional underarm and Brazilian experiences were as positive as they can get. A great feature that Frilly Lilly has is that they use different types of wax for different hair thicknesses – they will typically use three waxes: one to get the coarser hairs, another to get the thinner hairs, and a third “cleanup” wax to get the stubborn little hairs. Another bonus at Frilly Lilly is you get 15% off with a CJSW Friends Card (students get this for free!). But after going back to school – and working practically zero hours – I stopped going in an effort to save money.

_MG_1084.jpgFor a couple of months I tried hard wax on myself with the Gigi Brazilian wax kit. Although not the fault of the product, this was the worst Brazilian hair removal experience of my life and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Seriously ladies (and guys), if you’re thinking of performing at-home waxing on yourself, please familiarize yourself with the heat needed, application technique, and time to wait before pulling off the wax. If you’re not an expert in hard wax usage, DON’T PUT IT ON YOUR NETHER REGION! Get acquainted with it by using it on much less sensitive areas, read instructions, and watch the DIY videos provided to you.

I was able to continue waxing my underarms with my Gigi kit but I halted the Brazilian routine completely and went back to shaving (and sometimes bikini waxing). But I couldn’t hold out for long. It just wasn’t the same anymore! So I decided to seek out a professional again.

My friend Cindy introduced me to the concept of sugaring and after watching some not-so-PG how-to videos and reading up on the pro’s and con’s, I found that it was a supposed less painful alternative to wax that was both less traumatizing to your skin and more preventative of ingrown hairs. With this knowledge, I looked into finding the best sugaring salon for me.

The Sugar Experience

_MG_1091.jpgMy BFF Gwen and I decided to have our first professional sugaring experience together. After some profound searching, I found the perfect spot: GimmeSomeSugar on Elbow and Southland Drive! The salon has incredible customer service, fairly affordable price points, and awesome technicians. The first sugaring session was pretty painful, not going to lie. But see, when you revert back to shaving, you allow your hairs to strengthen and thicken their roots; so when you finally pull the little guys out again, the effect it has on your skin and nerves is much more traumatizing than if you were to periodically remove them according to your hair growth cycle. But I kept going and the benefits of sugar vs. wax were undeniable:

  • There is no heat applied to your skin, unlike wax which requires to be heated and can be borderline painful for those with sensitive skin.
  • Sugar wax is pulled in the direction of hair growth, making it potentially less painful than wax which pulls in the opposite direction.
  • Sugar wax is completely natural and can be made from three simple ingredients: sugar, water, and lemon juice.
  • Sugar wax is water soluble and can be easily wiped away, whereas wax can leave residue on your skin and would need to be pulled off somehow even if you chicken out last minute.

Although I’ve had only positive experiences with both sugar and hard wax at professional salons, I made an active decision to continue with sugaring because of its natural character and the lack of potential dangers that come with this technique. If you’ve had different experiences or have chosen differently, I’d love to hear from you!

The Routine

So I go to GimmeSomeSugar for my monthly Brazilians, but I continue my underarm waxing at home with the Gigi hard wax, which I’ve gotten much better at using since my Brazilian fiascos. The reasons why I still use it are because a) it’s really convenient and quick to perform at home whenever I have the time; b) it’s still a great kit with the pre-epilation oil and post-wax cooling gel; and c) I don’t like to waste. Once I’m done with the wax, I’m moving to sugaring which I’ll either get my amazing sugar technician to do for me, or I’ll try my hand in another DIY!

What About Legs?

Ah yes, my legs. Unlike my bikini area and underarms, my legs have very thin hair and I don’t consider them to be a priority for waxing or sugaring. So I invest a minimal amount in razors and shave them on a weekly basis. It’s just less costly to do it this way. BUT while we’re on the topic of shaving, I don’t use shaving cream. In fact, a couple years back, Gwen introduced me to the idea of using olive oil instead! Yes, straight up olive oil. It’s the best thing to scrape off those dead skin cells, it creates a longer lasting shave, and it leaves your skin smoother than a baby’s bottom. The only downside to this alternative is the potential need to clean your razor, which you can do by using an old toothbrush.

I Don’t Care About Hair Removal

Shaving, sugaring, waxing, or even laser hair removal (which I have never yet tried) aren’t for everyone, and hair removal is quite definitely a beauty standard formed by society. Some of you might not consider it to be a priority and/or very much enjoy the sight and feeling of your own body hair. You should be 100% confident with that and shouldn’t feel inclined to change it just because society says so! I, however, find that my smooth, hairless skin amplifies my own sense of beauty and confidence, which is why I make it part of my lifestyle. All in all, choose what best fits you and your own standard for beauty!

Disclaimer: This post is not at all sponsored.