5 Skin and Body Care Recipes You Can Do Yourself!

5 Skin and Body Care Recipes You Can Do Yourself!

As this year comes to a close, let’s take some steps towards owning a little more responsibility for what we put in – and ON – our body! We’ve got some extremely easy recipes to replace products many of us pay big bucks for, and even better – they all contain purely natural, safe ingredients!

*Important Note: nearly all these recipes call for you to heat ingredients in a double boiler as opposed to over direct heat in order to avoid burning them!*

Body Butter

Shea butter comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea tree and is rich in vitamins A, E, and F. Shea butter has been used in Africa and other countries for years to improve skin and hair, AND it provides a mild SPF of about 6! Give your skin nutrients for collagen production to keep it soft, strong and healthy.

• Melt 1 C shea butter and ½ C coconut oil in a double boiler.
• Cool for ~ 30 minutes.
• Stir in ½ C olive oil or sweet almond oil

(play around with adding your favorite essential oils! For a fluffier effect, blend/whip with a hand mixer.)

Nurturing Lip Scrub

• Mix/Mash 2T sugar, 1 t coconut oil, 1/2 t sweet almond oil or coconut oil
• 1 t vanilla extract, and 1/4 t raw honey.
• Store in a small glass container.
• To use, gently rub on lips and rinse off with a warm washcloth.

Many of our recipes include coconut oil because it works so well, and is solid at room temperature. If you don’t have any coconut oil olive oil can be used in its place but it is not as well researched for being an effective skin moisturizer, and it is a little thinner so you may need to scale back the amount. Also note: if you don’t have any sweet almond oil you can replace with coconut oil and add a dash of almond extract.

Beeswax Hand Lotion

Beeswax is used in lotions and lip balms to create a barrier to hold moisture in the skin and helps thicken the mixtures. It has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that also protects from environmental toxins and irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe.

• Melt ¼ C coconut oil, ½ C shea butter, and 2 TBSP. beeswax in a double boiler.
• Optional – Add 30+ drops of your favorite essential oils.
• Pour into container to cool/harden.

Imitation "Burt's Bees" Lip Balm

• Melt 2T Shea Butter, 2 T Beeswax, 2 T coconut oil in a double boiler.
• Add around 30 drops of peppermint.
• Use a dropper to fill lip balm containers or add to a small container and apply with your finger.

As stated above, beeswax contains vitamin A which is thought to help soften and hydrate the skin! The Mayo Clinic even recommends using lip balms with beeswax during the cold winter months to avoid cracking, etc.

See more here!

Miracle Salve

Beeswax has been shown to have antibacterial properties which help fight/treat bacterial skin infections like diaper rash for instance. Learn how to make your own salve with beeswax, olive oil, and coconut oil! As you get comfortable making salves, try experimenting with infusing herb bundles to make salves for bug bites, burns, and more!

Here’s a great guide to help you get started!

• Melt 2 Oz Beeswax, 1/2 C coconut oil and 1 C olive oil in a double boiler
• Add 1 TBSP of Vitamin E oil (preserves shelf life as well as adds scar reduction properties!)
• 25 Drops of essential oil such as lavender, frankincense, tea tree, etc
• Pour into containers, will harden as it cools

Christmas Workout

As we wrap up another year, we could not ask for a better group of people to call our Ellipse family/community.

Although Ellipse Fitness isn’t open today, that doesn’t mean you can not get a great workout in today (if you want!).

Below is our gift to you. A Christmas workout!

So, grab your mom, dad, sister, uncle, cousin, significant other, niece, nephew, and do this holiday workout together or stash it for a snowy day!

70 Speed Skaters

60 Jacks

50 Speed Squats

40 Pogo Jumps (think fast jump rope feet)

30 Lower Body Mountain Climbers

20 Pushups

10 Burpees

1 Turkish Getup

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Holidays!

Set Yourself Up For Holiday Success!

Here at Ellipse Fitness Training Center we wish you and your families a very happy holiday! As this season comes to a close we have a few last minute tips, tricks and reminders to help you stay on track with your goals!

Maintain a regular schedule – Try to not to veer off your normal sleep, eat, and workout schedule during the busy holidays! Illness is opportunistic with large jumps in nutrition, sleep, and/or workout routines, so remain consistent to lessen your likelihood of getting sick. If you know you will be feasting at dinner, have a lighter balanced lunch like a salad with grilled chicken.
During busy times, try to schedule your days out ahead of time to maximize your time and keep those important appointments with yourself too!

Give to others – The holidays can be, for some, a stressful time. One thing that can put the holidays back in perspective is gratitude and giving to others. Let’s all find a way to help others this holiday season! There’s still time to ring bells for the Salvation Army, help out at a soup kitchen, cook a meal for a shut-in neighbor, shovel someone’s driveway after a snowstorm, and rekindle that feeling of doing something good. Remember all the blessings that are bestowed on our own lives.

Eat your meat (protein) – Our friends over at Examine.com concluded a recent analysis with this sentiment: “Since you’re going to splurge on food, focus your overeating on protein-rich foods. Not only does this have the greatest likelihood of minimizing fat gain during the overeating itself, but protein’s well-known satiating properties might help reduce overeating to begin with. As a bonus, if you are looking to manage blood sugar levels, eating protein before starchy carbohydrates has been shown to reduce post-meal blood glucose and insulin responses.“
Check out the full article here: https://examine.com/nutrition/meta-minimizing-fat-gain/

Seek out the better alternatives – Instead of the spinach and artichoke dip, think guacamole and salsa with vegetable crudites (remember? Bite size cut up veggies!). Instead of the pigs in a blanket, seek out the shrimp cocktail or meat kebabs. Bring your own healthier dessert! Here’s a super simple one:
Baked Apples
Core 2 honeycrisp apples and fill with stuffing (Mix 1 T walnuts, 1 T raisins, 1 T dried cranberries, ½ t cinnamon, ¼ t nutmeg).
Place apples in a loaf pan w/ ¼ c water on bottom and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until apples are tender!

Bring a dish to pass – Plan ahead! Ask if you can bring a dish to your next outing. Bring something that you know you can eat that is still a healthy option. Try some of these appetizers from previous blog posts:

Spinach dip made with cottage cheese and greek yogurt

Fresh Fruit dip made with applesauce and yogurt

Ellipse Classic cottage cheese ranch dip

Relax and recharge – As the hustle and bustle picks up in these last days before Christmas, give yourself permission to relax. Sit back with your kids, significant other, pets – whomever – and watch a movie, play a board game, or simply enjoy each other’s company. Give yourself permission to do something non-productive for a while to re-center and recharge. When you are feeling at your best you are at your best for those around you too. Thank you for taking time for yourself and recharging with Ellipse Fitness! Happy Holidays!

It’s Celebration Season!

‘Tis the season for celebrations! We have several to highlight today, some well-known, some obscure, but learn some fun facts as well as good tips to store in your back pocket for later!

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, began this week and lasts for 8 days. Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah or not, check out these healthy Hanukkah recipes! Our personal favorite is “Winter Squash and Chicken Tzimmes” (pronounce sim-is) combines butternut squash, chicken thighs, and oranges. Yum!

Healthy Hanukkah Recipes!

Ready to get weird with it?? This week we celebrated several lesser-known holidays as well!

National Lager Day

Have you cooked with beer? Did you know when you cook with beer it loses some of it’s alcohol content? The long it’s cooked, the less content it has. Stir it in an Irish Coffee and you lose 15% of the content. Make a beef stew where it is simmered or baked for 2.5 hours you lose 95% of the alcohol. Get creative with your cooking to keep it exciting!

Check out this fairly simple recipe for Beer Can Chicken!

Gingerbread House Day

An Armenian monk first brought gingerbread to Europe around 992 AD and it was often used to mold into images of the saints! It wasn’t until the story of Hansel and Gretel that the idea of gingerbread houses became more commonplace. Although not built into a house, we’ve got a great recipe to share for a Festive Gingerbread loaf.

You can replace ¼ tsp of ground ginger with FRESH ginger in recipes. Remember you can FREEZE whole ginger root too! Need some grated? Just pull out of the freezer and it’s super easy to grate. Toss back in the freezer when you’re done.

National Cocoa Day

Cocoa is harvested twice a year, as cocoa beans, then fermented and dried. The beans are then roasted and hulled to create cocoa nibs which can further be ground into cocoa liquor and then separated into cocoa butter and cocoa cake. Cocoa cake is the end product we see as baking cocoa or in other dry mixes. Know where your food comes from!

Metabolic Effect suggests to feel satiated and reduce cravings try adding 1-2 heaping TB raw organic cocoa powder to 8-12 oz of freshly boiled water, stir and enjoy! Add variety with a dash of cinnamon or cayenne pepper!

National Cupcake Day

Cupcakes don’t have to be disastrous! Choose to enjoy a cupcake at that party with no regrets, and plan for it with other balanced days in your week or look for a recipe with healthier alternatives. Here’s one that is sweetened with dates, banana, and the juice of an orange!

Did you know you can cook down dates with water to make a sugar alternative? Make a double batch of these moist, pudding like cupcakes, for a full cupcake pan of 12.

and our personal favorite…

National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day!

Although not fully chocolate covered, try this frozen yogurt bark!! This recipe is very forgiving. Try varying ratios to make smaller batches. The test recipe was 3 cups of plain greek yogurt (go for some kind of fat content for creaminess), ¼ c honey or syrup, and 1-2 tsp vanilla extract mixed. Spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet and top with 1.5 c sliced/chopped berries and ¼ cup chocolate chips! Freeze for 2-3 hours and then break into pieces. Get creative with shredded coconut, nuts, and more for variety

Let’s Talk Turkey! (Recipes Inside!)

Ground turkey is a very popular lean protein option that is super easy to prep and cook, so this week we are going over all sorts of ways you can use this ingredient to help craft healthy meals that are *most importantly* SIMPLE!


Did you know you can cook up ground turkey (or ground beef, etc) ahead of time, drain, and freeze? When you need ground meat for tacos, chili, pasta type dishes, etc you can pull out your frozen ground meat and toss into your meal to speed up that mid-week dinner. If you know a dish you regularly make, it can even be cooked up with seasonings and/or onion before freezing. Make sure to label and date it to stay organized. Be realistic: cooking fresh meals every day? Aint nobody got time for that…

One-Pot or Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

In a large saucepan, cook
• 1 lb turkey
• 1 C. chopped onions
• 1 C. chopped green peppers
• 2 tsp minced garlic.
(This mixture could be pre-cooked and frozen for quicker chili next time!)

Stir in the following, bring to a boil and simmer before serving:
• 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
• 1 can kidney beans rinsed/drained
• 1-12 oz can of V-8 or tomato juice
• 6oz can tomato paste
• 4 oz can green chiles
• Seasonings: 1 tbsp. dried parsley, 1 tbsp. ground cumin, 3 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp dried oregano, and pepper to taste
(Make this recipe even quicker by measuring and combining your seasonings ahead of time!)

Turkey and Eggplant Pasta

Have you tried a chickpea or lentil pasta yet? They have become regulars on store shelves, and they’re a great alternative to traditional pasta because they have around 25g of protein and 13-16g of fiber per serving! A couple popular brands are Banza and Tolerant.

• 4 1/2 cups cubed peeled eggplant (about 1 pound)
• 1 pound Italian Turkey (or Chicken) Sausage
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 6 cups CHICKPEA or LENTIL penne pasta (about 10 ounces uncooked)
• 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook eggplant, sausage, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until sausage is browned and eggplant is tender. Add tomato paste, oregano and tomatoes; cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place cooked pasta in a large bowl. Serve over 1 serving of pasta, top with cheese, and parsley; toss well.

Turkey Taco Salad

Many pre-packaged taco seasonings contain unnecessary ingredients like added sugars, starch, or worse! Fortunately, it’s super easy to make your own. Check out this previous blog post for a homemade “packet” replacement and full recipe for Taco Salad. Make a large batch of seasoning to store in a container and grab a scoop the next time!

Turkey Breakfast Wrap

Use some of your leftover ground turkey taco meat for breakfast the next day! Scramble eggs with green peppers, tomatoes and/or salsa, and ¼-1/2 cup of leftover taco meat. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and eat, or take on the go by wrapping in a sprouted grain wrap!

BRRR! Winter has arrived! Warm up with
Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

In a large mixing bowl combine:

• 1.5 lb ground turkey
• 1 chopped onion
• 4 egg whites
• 1 C salsa
• ¾ C rolled oats
• 1 pkg veg soup mix
• ¼ tsp black pepper

Press into a 9” X 5” bread pan. Spread ¼ C ketchup on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
Serves: 6