Health, Style

Aisling Organics: A Clean Beauty Movement

Aisling Organics is a cosmetics company that started with the simple mission to create make-up products made from natural ingredients instead of chemicals and toxins. “Aisling” means vision in Irish and it is founder and CEO, Krysta Lewis’ vision that everyone is using the cleanest products possible. After finding out that most major makeup brands rely on chemicals and other harmful toxins to create their product, Lewis was inspired to create a brand that uses natural ingredients.

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On Aisling Organic’s website you can find each product’s ingredients outlined for the potential customer so they know exactly what they will be putting on their body. Instead of harsh chemicals, Aisling Organic products contain ingredients such as aloe, cinnamon and coffee powder. Lewis is a huge advocate of the philosophy of if you wouldn’t put it in your body you shouldn’t put it on your body.The products contain vitamins and minerals that don’t just enhance your face, but also heal. Aisling Organics is striving to be a part of the larger Clean Beauty movement, which encourages consumers to be more aware of what they put on their skin, and to buy products that not only help them look good, but are good for them too.

Lewis was inspired to create a line of organic products after dealing with some stomach issues herself. “I was eating organic foods, but still using makeup and skincare filled with horrible chemicals,” says Lewis. “I was horrified to learn that chemicals are completely legal to us in makeup in the United States, and not regulated by the FDA.” According to Lewis, the FDA is only responsible for regulating food or products that we ingest into our body, but not anything we put on our skin. This is especially problematic because the toxins from products we put on our skin can seep into our pores, and even products specifically designed to be used near places such as mouths and eyes are not held to any national health standards.

In order to eliminate her stomach issues, Lewis immediately changed her makeup routine to only include organic products. For this self-described beauty addict it was particularly hard, as she could not find an organic makeup brand that performs as well as her previous products. Seeing a gap in the marketplace for natural and health conscious beauty products that perform as well the chemically enhanced counter products, the idea for Aisling Organics was formed.

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Even more importantly than the success of the company, founder Krysta Lewis hopes to raise consumer awareness about the ingredients and chemicals we put on our body. Makeup is one of the hidden environmental factors, that increases people’s risk for numerous diseases and disorders, such as breast cancer, infertility and ADHD. She encourages all makeup lovers to be as diligent about what they put on their face, as they would be about the food they eat. A lot of makeup products have hidden toxins and chemicals that are made for your health. Lewis recommends checking out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics online to raise personal awareness on the toxins that could be lurking in your everyday makeup products.

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An alumni of University of Southern New Hampshire, Lewis decided to start Aisling Organics, after graduating two and half years early with a degree in communications. Now she finds herself as the CEO of her own company, where she oversees everything from the social media and marketing to the financial aspects of Aisling Organics. Right now she’s the sole driving force behind her company, but soon she’s hoping to expand the Aisling Organics team to include sales representatives and potentially even interns. Her latest project is creating a PR video featuring herself, and her inspiration to why she started her company, and to raise awareness about clean beauty.

As a young woman and entrepreneur, Lewis has faced challenges, such as the need to be taken seriously by older colleagues and receiving unsolicited advice from third parties. However, she encourages all other young women aspiring to create a business to stand their ground and be aggressive because at the end of the day only you know what is best for your business.

Pouring all her time and resources into creating Aisling Organics, she wants to see it succeed and grow over time. Lewis says, “I want it to be as big as it can be. I want to be in major stores and maybe even have Aisling Organic stores, but most importantly I want to be a company that people can trust to provide only the best and safest products.” The desire to expand has not taken away from Lewis’s strong belief in customer service and she wants customers to be completely satisfied with each purchase. To make each order feel special, Lewis’s hand packages each order with care and style and sends it out with a personal note attached.Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.24.08 AM

Currently Aisling Organics cosmetics line includes liquid foundation, eyeliner, mascara, cheek tint, concealer and lipstick. However, the company has plans to expand into other products and additional shades. In addition to being organic all of the Aisling Organic products are cruelty free, vegan/gluten free and made in the United States. While they come at a higher cost than drugstore makeup brands, these are products you as a consumer can feel good about buying.

Lewis believes people should make it a priority to spend money on makeup that isn’t harmful for one’s body and urges parents who let their teenage daughters use makeup to make sure they are buying products free from toxins even if they come a higher cost. “My biggest mission as CEO and founder is to educate people. I think there aren’t a lot of people seeking organic cosmetics, because they don’t know what the benefit is. But if one person can become a little more educated by my work to what they are putting on their skin, then I feel I’ve made an impact,” says Lewis. Someday Lewis hopes to see drugstore aisles lined with safe and natural cosmetics at every price point. She says, “This is more a movement towards clean beauty that I’m trying to start, not just a business.” But she understands in order for that type of change to take place, consumers need to be aware what is in their makeup and demand that the FDA and the government start regulating it.

Aisling Organics is an expaScreen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.23.27 AMnding company with an important mission to offer women and all makeup users safe cosmetics options. If you are looking to purchase makeup that you can be sure are natural, organic and cruelty free, as well as support female entrepreneurs, Aisling Organics is a company you need to be watching.

Aisling Organics is currently available online or at CM Wellness in Goffstown, NH and the SoWa Open Market in Boston. They are also starting to host makeup parties in the Greater Boston Area. Parties include an informational session, salon makeovers and the opportunity to buy the products. For brand and product updates, you can find Aisling Organics on Facebook and Instagram.

Images courtesy of Aisling Cosmetics.

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Health

How to Have a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, the holiday season can be uncomfortable in terms of food. You sit around the table with your family as they all stare at your plate trying to figure out what you will eat.

This time around, you can have the opportunity of showing your family and friends how delicious plant-based food can be.

These are some of the plates that I plan on cooking for my Thanksgiving dinner with friends.

Roasted Squash with Red Onion, Oregano and Mint

Tgiving issue: roasted squash, brussel sprout slaw

Easy and so delicious, this warm appetizer will be loved by everyone at the table. It’s as easy as baking the squash and spicing it up. Enjoy.

Recipe can be found here.

Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Quiche

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Delicious and filling. Works well as a side dish or even a main dish. This is the kind of dish where you can choose the vegetables you love the most. In my case, zucchini is the chosen one. I suggest squash, tomato or mushrooms. This is a yummy, easy and quick addition to the table.

Recipe can be found here.

Squash and Celeriac Quinoa Stuffing

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Give your classic Thanksgiving stuffing a twist.

Replace the bread with quinoa, and treat yourself to a healthy stuffing. This is a great vegan approach to the stuffing, where you replace classic ingredients like chicken broth and eggs for butternut squash and celery root. This is healthy, full of protein and the quinoa will give great texture to the dish.

Recipe can be found here.

Whipped Coco Cream Tart with Fresh Berries (Vegan)

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Delight yourself and your guests with this quick, easy tart. The berries are your choosing. This tart will look so gorgeous, you will be surprised!

Recipe can be found here.

Chocolate Pecan Pie (Vegan)

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Some delicious vegan chocolate pie to end the meal. This pie won’t take you longer than half an hour to make, and you will thank yourself you did.

Recipe can be found here.

Additional tips can be found on Food&Wine’s website.

Health, Opinion

Me(at) & You

I grew up as a meat eater. My dad was always very kin on making me a ‘cultured’ eater, on having me try everything and having no fear of food. And, what a wonderful skill he gave me. I tried it all, from lobsters and escargots, to veil and pork. When I turned 19, I became a vegetarian. Now here, I am not going to tell you why you should become a vegetarian and how I’ll hate you if you don’t, I just want to tell you the reason why I chose to become one.

I had been in Spain for the summer, enjoying the pleasure of tapas and jamon serrano, but my body was telling me that something was wrong. I felt heavy and my stomach hurt. Then, I started to realize how much meat I had actually been eating during my time abroad and how much meat in general people eat on a regular basis. I started reading, doing research about the meat industry and the way eating meat can affect the body.

When humans were still in caves, meat was a real luxury. Something that was eaten twice a week if you were lucky. People had to hunt the animals themselves. Nowadays, obtaining food is as easy as going to the supermarket and there is a huge disconnect between people and what they eat. Ask a five-year-old today where food comes from and I am almost positive the answer will be “from the supermarket.” Because having meat on our plates is so easy, you can easily forget (or choose to forget) where it comes from.

When I began to get informed about meat eating, I truly realized the suffering that animals are put through. Farm factories are dark, horrible places where animals don’t live happily ever after. News: the milk you are drinking does not come from a happy cow in a green field. Meat is an industry and meat means money. So, animals are treated just as a means to an end and their suffering is not accounted for. Need I add the amount of antibiotics and hormones put into the animals for them to stay fat.

Food is energy. It is the fuel that moves your body and keeps you alive. Now, if you are eating a burger that came from a cow who had a horrible and stressful death and was filled to the brink with hormones, what type of energy do you think you are putting into your body?

I have always loved animals. I hate to think about the idea of an animal suffering because of me. But, I also know that most animal suffering has developed from the huge disconnect between humanity and nature. Come on, humanity has managed to damage the planet the most out of any animal on it! But still, humans choose to believe we are well above all animals and that animals don’t deserve our respect.

Then, I only became a vegetarian and not a vegan. I still understand how over the years humans have become dependent on animals. I was raised as a meat eater and I am a huge foodie. So, I see it as a process, as micro-revolutions, as small changes in my life that can lead to big changes. First, I stopped eating red meat, then chicken, then fish and soon enough I hope to get to the point where I don’t use any animal products at all. Until then, however, I like to think that my choice to not eat meat everyday has a strong impact on the environment.

If you did not know, the meat industry actually produces 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse emissions. This huge industry is one of the top contributors of climate change, with more than 25% of agricultural land in the globe being used to raise cattle. Can you imagine, how much of that land could feed humans and animals alike, if instead of being used to raise millions of animals and then kill them, it was used to grow grains and plants?

It is simply not sustainable for humans to keep eating meat at the rate it is happening. The meat industry keeps growing, while the environment becomes more damaged. And, I as a consumer, choose to not keep supporting an industry that damages the environment and is also the cause of animal suffering.

It’s been almost three years since I stopped eating meat, and it’s been great. There are vegetarian options almost anywhere you go in the world, and it’s not hard to leave meat when there are so many other wonderful foods that provide just as much protein (avocado, quinoa, soy, kale, almonds, just to name a few.) You just have to get informed and read up a little bit on healthy options to replace the meat on your plate. Every time I eat, and there is no meat on my plate, I have accomplished a micro-revolution that I am so proud of. Yes, people keep eating meat and still animals are killed. But this is why I am telling you why I chose to become a vegetarian and why I am going to tell you that you should think about how you can help the world (and an animal) every day, one bite at a time.