We Say ‘No’ to GMOs

By Megan Vick

Let’s face it: Good or bad, GMOs are sketchy – at best.

 

We don’t know enough about them to make informed decisions on whether or not they are beneficial or harmful. Another reason we say “No” to GMOs is because it’s nearly impossible to tell how they’ve been altered. Frequently, plant genes are spliced with animal genes to give the plant resistance to a certain type of disease, or a certain type of pesticide/herbicide. When this occurs, we, at Shorganics, no longer think the plant is vegan. As weird as that sounds, there are some GMO plants that we would not classify as vegan. This is one of the many reasons why we are uber-careful when it comes to sourcing our ingredients.

 

We also say no to GMOs because they don’t promote genetic diversity within a plant species. Genetic diversity is what gives us wonderful things like different varieties of apples, eggplants, and dozens more fruits and veggies. As a society, we are making the mistake of assuming we know more about preserving a plant species than the plant itself.

 

GMOs are seemingly everywhere, but you try to minimize your interactions with them.  Here’s how can you say “No” to GMOs:

  • Buy local & ask your farmer questions
  • Buy organic
  • Grow your own organic veggies!
  • Stay away from food products with non-organic sugar, cotton, corn (and corn syrup), and soybean (or soybean oil)

 

Namaste.

 

The Single Most Important Thing For Your Skin

Maintain A Good Diet.

Yep, I gave it away in the first line of this post! The secret is out! Do I want to sell you every single one of my products? Yes. Do you need a face scrub, bar soap, face moisturizer, and night cream? Yes. Are any of these some sort of miracle cure for less-than-perfect skin? No.

The single most important thing you can do for your skin is to maintain a good diet.

Here are 4 things you can do to improve your diet (which will work toward improving your skin).

1) Drink TONS of Water

Drink it everyday and space it out throughout the day.

2) Eat Fruits and Veggies

Cut out dairy and eggs – they don’t serve much of a purpose. If you’re a meat eater, eat lean cuts of meat in small quantities and infrequently. Try and source your meats from a local farmer with pasture-raised animals. Or, try to cut out meat completely!

3) Detox Your Body

I don’t recommend doing a detox unless you’ve spoken to your healthcare professional and gotten the “all-clear.” Detoxing needs to be done correctly and directions followed to a “T.” If it is done carefully and properly, you’ll feel refreshed and healthy inside and out.

4) Sleep

Sleep well, sleep often, and sleep consistently. When we rest, our body goes into repair mode and it helps heal the little damage we’ve done to ourselves throughout the day.

Do you have any diet tricks to help with your skin? Share them in the comments! Namaste.

 

By Megan Vick

Vegan Desserts on the OBX

By Megan Vick

I interviewed Sara, vegan, mom, and owner-extraordinaire of Kind Confections, a vegan cupcake business on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. EVERYBODY needs to try her cupcakes because they are all delicious. The Peanut Butter Cupcakes are indescribably yummy.

Vegan Cupcakes - Kind Confections

Would you believe these are 100% vegan! YUM! (Photo courtesy of Kind Confections)

How did Kind Confections begin? 
Kind Confections: KC was born from my desire to help show people there a kinder way to eat. When people think about Vegan, some assume it’s not a very tasty lifestyle. I want to change that stigma. I want to show people Vegan desserts are just as delicious as traditionally made desserts, if not better!

 

Desserts are usually thought of as tasty, but unhealthy. How are you trying to change that?

KC: A dessert is a dessert no matter how you slice it. We like to say if you’re going to treat yourself to a dessert, a vegan dessert is the way to do it! Our vegan desserts still have calories and sugar, but the reason we can say our desserts are more healthy than a traditionally made dessert are because of the ingredients we use. We use many organic, non-GMO, non-hydrogenated, fresh, pure, and natural ingredients. We also never use any animal products, (This makes them cruelty free and cholesterol free!), no artificial colors, or chemical food dyes either. People ask us why we only bake in “mini” sized, we feel like a small cupcake is the perfect size for a treat! (Even if you end up having 2!) It keeps things balanced and in line with healthy portion sizes.

 

What other vegan establishments would you recommend on the Outer Banks?
KC: Of course we highly recommend Zen Pops! They are the most amazing cool treats we’ve eaten, and believe us we’ve tried a LOT! We love Bad Bean for their tofu tacos and we’ve found most restaurants here on the beach will gladly work with you. This is a question we get asked a lot, we are currently in the process of adding a web page to our site with our recommendations. Stay tuned for that!

 

Any other favorite vegan/healthy brands (clothing, personal care, shoes, etc)?
KC: We definitely wouldn’t say this if we didn’t mean it but, we love Shorganics! All of the products are amazing and safe and Vegan! We are HUGE Shorganics lip balm lovers, HUGE.

 

What is the overall philosophy of your business?
KC: As I mentioned above, we just want to break down the misconception that vegan = yucky, weird, not delicious, etc. If we can show you that vegan desserts are delicious perhaps minds will be open to trying other vegan fare. Or even vegetarian, or even just doing a Meatless Monday every week. We know living a vegan lifestyle is not for everybody, but every day we are all faced with choices to make that effect our planet and the beings that live on it. If we can all make a kinder choice here and there it will all add up and really make a big difference!

 

 

Where can we find your delicious treats?
KC: At the Zen Pop shop! You can also scope the Kind Confections website for other locations and you can always order directly from us all year round.

 

Any upcoming plans?
Stay tuned to our website and LIKE our Facebook Page. You can also follow us on Twitter to keep up with all Kind Confection news and upcoming plans!  We also have a Pinterest, we Pin every day!

The 4 Ps – Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Parabens, and Paraffin

By Megan Vick

 

The 4 Ps seem to be ever present in our world. Whether they are in our food, cosmetics, furniture, or clothing, they have become nearly inescapable. Once used with good intentions for the improvement of our society and quality of life, now the 4 Ps evoke fear and people avoid them like the plague.

 

Petrochemicals

These suckers are everywhere. A petrochemical is any product derived from oil (petroleum) or a manufacturing process using petroleum or a byproduct. Some petroleum derived products are plastics – we certainly can’t live without those. Although plastics have made things possible, it’s also increased our ability to be a “disposable society.” Each time we throw away a plastic product, it ends up in a landfill where all of the harmful chemicals are broken down over time and leech out into the soil and ground water. These plastics even include the plastic trash bag you use!

You can also find petrochemicals in the manufacturing process of cosmetics, furniture, automobiles, and food. See? They really are nearly inescapable. Regardless of the ever-present nature of petrochemicals, we’re not here to demonize the industry which created them. We simply believe that they have no place on one’s skin or body. Our products will always be petrochemical free and we go to great lengths to ensure our finished product does not contain any and that our ingredients are not processed using petrochemicals.

 

Phthalates

Phthalates are interesting and have only recently popped up on the radars of customers. Introduced in the 1920s as a plasticizer, phthalates replaced natural plasticizers like Castor oil and Camphor and thus, the PVC industry was born.

Now, phthalates are used as emulsifiers, lubricants, gelling agents, stabilizers, and dispersants. They can be found in everything from eye shadow, hairspray, and perfumes to vinyl upholstery, fishing lures, caulk, and floor tiles. The main problem with phthalates is that they lack the needed bond to adhere to the plastics when mixed together. This causes the phthalates to release easily when the item is heated, or as it breaks down with age. This is why you shouldn’t microwave your plastic storage containers.

As scary as it sounds, phthalates are (thankfully) being phased out of many products due to customer demand. Because phthalates are used to make things more flexible (solids into liquids), we insist on only using phthalate-free ingredients in our creations.

 

Parabens

Parabens are tricky little boogers. Like phthalates, they are also in many everyday products including food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Parabens are estrogen-mimicking and have been found in breast cancer tumors. However, there is no definitive (I use that word lightly) proof that parabens have a causal link to cancers.

There are 5 types of commonly used parabens: methylparaben, ethylparaben, heptylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Methyl and ethyl are the most common in the skin care industries. Several studies have found that if methylparaben is applied to the skin and the skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, it can increase skin aging and DNA damage. Since the scientific data is limited, we’ve chosen to avoid concern and controversy completely by never using parabens in our products.

 

Paraffin

Paraffin is most commonly known as paraffin wax, which is a petrochemical. Paraffin is the byproduct of oil refining and this byproduct has many useful properties in electrical wiring, metal casting, and as an industrial lubricant. Another common use of this wax is for candles and as an additive to chewing gum. Like other byproducts of the petroleum industry, paraffin has many wonderful uses, but we don’t believe it should be melted and diffused into the air. Our candles are made with GMO-free soy wax and we don’t use any paraffin in any personal care products either.

 

At the end of the day, we want to offer the best, purest products for everyone. We work hard to use top quality, organic ingredients in every product so you never have to worry about your personal care routine. There’s a lot of scary stuff in this world, and sadly, most of it can be classified as vegan. Our products are vegan AND made with beautiful, plant-based ingredients. No fillers and no junk.

 

Namaste.

Handcrafted Packaging

By Megan Vick

 

Recently, a lot of our customers have been raising their eyebrows when I tell them our products are handcrafted in small batches in our home. The usual response is, “But they look so professional!”

We’re very proud of what we make and we’ve worked incredibly hard to find packaging solutions to work for you. Usually, cosmetic handcrafters package lip balms in tins and lotions in jars or in bottles with pumps. There is nothing wrong with these containers! Our packaging choices are based purely on our experiences traveling and using many ingredients.

We chose to use cosmetic tubes for our packaging for several reasons.

Shorganics

  1. They’re inexpensive. – Containers can sometimes cost more than the ingredients themselves! We want to create the best product available, but also an affordable lotion to use every day.
  2. They’re recyclable. – Once you’ve finished a tube of lotion or your favorite facial moisturizer, you can easily recycle the container.
  3. They’re sanitary. – Our tubes allow the product to come out, but restrict bacteria and fungus spores from entering. This can happen easily with water-based products in jars or with pump tops.
  4. They can travel. – This is the main reason we chose cosmetic tubes. Sure, tubes can leak or burst like any other container, especially when subjected to air pressure changes when flying or going through mountainous areas, but they are easy to pack. Have you ever wanted to bring your favorite lotion, but decided it was too difficult to put that pump bottle in your luggage? Have you ever had that jar roll around in your suitcase knocking into your clothes, shoes, gifts, and souvenirs? You don’t have to worry about those problems with cosmetic tubes. Now that you’ve discovered your favorite brand (Shorganics, of course), you can take it with you wherever you travel.

We’re honored that you appreciate our professional design and packaging and we guarantee every single one of our products is handcrafted in micro batches in our home. Maybe one day we’ll move into a fancy production facility, but we’ll let you know when that happens. 😉

4 Easy Tips to Have a Great Day

By Megan Vick

 

Mornings have never been my thing. Since I was a wee little one, I would stay up far past my bedtime (often reading with a flashlight under the covers) and sleep well into the late morning or early afternoon. Once I started school and then joined “the real world,” I realized I needed to make some major changes to embrace each morning.

1.) Adjust Your Diet
No, you don’t have to do something crazy, but you should pay attention to what you eat and when you eat it. I’m guilty of late-night eating which often keeps me up longer while my food digests. I’ve also noticed if I eat sweets or salty foods, I am less rested when I wake up the following morning.

Sleepy Cat

 

2.) Embrace the Snooze Button
In order to help me get up every day, I set my alarm for an hour (yes, a full hour), before I actually need to get up and get ready. It’s a weird thing I do to psychologically trick myself. When I sleep an hour past my alarm time, I feel like I’ve gotten an extra hour of sleep without having the crazy “I just overslept” feeling. It might seem silly, but not only has it worked for me, I am actually getting out of bed even earlier now!

 

3.) Do SOMETHING

Whether you stretch, do yoga, go for a run, meditate, vacuum, or drink your coffee while hiding in the closet away from the kids (you know who you are), do something to wake yourself up. I prefer to stretch with sun salutations or some light ballet barre warm-ups because it gets my blood flowing. If you have to go to work and sit for the better part of the day, I especially recommend doing light physical activity in the morning.

 

 

4.) Say Positive Affirmations
Each morning while I shower/brush my teeth/dry my hair, I say something like, “Today is going to be a WONDERFUL day” over and over again. By starting your day with a cheery, positive attitude, you’re internal energy will be happy and project happiness toward others around you. When those around you are happy, you can stay happier all the time. It’s a beautiful cycle of happiness.
Here are some other uplifting affirmations:
– Today is going to be a great day!
– I am going to be productive today!
– I will try something new/exciting/intimidating today!
– I will make myself and others smile today!

Believe me, if I can have positive, productive mornings, so can you! Try implementing these steps one at a time and you’ll notice a significant difference in your day.

Have a Great Day Puppy