healthy skin

Time to juice! Meet the Maker!

I don’t know about you but after a long winter I really crave green juice. Not just any green juice but a fresh pressed, organic and as green as it gets juice. My body literally calls for it! And this year it has been calling extra loud. I normally wait for my spring juicing until the snow is gone but since this winter has been extra long I’m already juicing:).

Photo by Ellina Rabbit.

Photo by Ellina Rabbit.

 It always amazes me what a green, nutrient packed drink can do not only for my energy levels but also for my mind. Every single time it gives me a noticeable boost  (and way better than coffee ever did), it makes me feel lighter and clearer and it simply feels good. 

Juicing has been with me since I was little and I will never forget the carrot + apple juice that my mom made. I  didn’t really like it at the time but mom was very determined to keep us healthy so she made it and we drank it. Today, I love her for it because let’s be honest pressing your own juice is not much fun and a rather messy affair. It is a commitment!

Since juicing is so amazingly beneficial to our health and we are approaching the optimal time of the year to do a juice cleanse, I want to encourage you to do this for yourself. Do it for your health, do it for that extra glow to your skin and do it to smoothly transition from winter to spring. Fresh veggie juice contains loads of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, chlorophyll (green veggies) and vital water beautifully distilled by nature in the plants. No question, freshly pressed organic juice is health building!

 I know that most will never commit to pressing their own fresh juice, but hey luckily making your own is not your only option. I’d like you to meet Julien THE juice guy.  Julien runs the juicing show for Pure Kitchen Ottawa. Since he is the person with all the juicing knowledge let’s get to it.

Julien with Hydrate - his every morning drink.

Julien with Hydrate - his every morning drink.

Hi Julien, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Julien Boyce, juice production manager at Pure Kitchen Ottawa. I started with the company from day one in February 2015, with the intention of working specifically in the juice department. A typical day includes taking inventory and organizing juice shipments, putting together juice cleanses, blending, mixing, and chopping a ton of fruits and vegetables! I’m fortunate to have the best staff and co-workers that make coming into work fun and exciting. 

How does one become the manager of the juice lab at the hottest vegetarian restaurant in town?

I became the juice lab manager pretty early on after landing the job at PK. Only me and one other person even mentioned in our interviews that we were interested in juicing. I had spent a few years working in kitchens, but I wanted something different. At the time, juicing was something very new to me, and my knowledge came from what I was juicing at home. We were all pretty inexperienced with juicing, however we learned very quickly and found our groove within the first few months. So much has changed since, new machinery, a larger space, and it’s only gotten better with time. 

Are PK juices organic? How freshly are they made?

All of the juices are made with organic produce and sourced locally whenever possible. We press around 1000L of juice per week, so we are constantly pressing every day. It can be difficult to keep up with the demand sometimes! Any juices we make have to be made with juice that is as fresh as possible, that means within 1-2 days of pressing. Some juices, such as lemon, have natural properties that allow it to have much longer shelf life than something like kale.

How do new recipes come about? What inspires you while you create?

I’m lucky to have such a creative team. We are constantly bouncing ideas around for new juices. One of the most challenging aspects of coming up with new recipes is getting the right colour. Sometimes flavours will work well together, but they won’t have an appealing colour. I love finding new products to use with our juices that make them original. 

Rowan (team PK) pouring the Lush

Rowan (team PK) pouring the Lush

Do you offer juice cleanses? Can you tell us a little bit about them? 

We offer a standard juice cleanse of five juices per day and one nut mylk, which amounts to 3L of juice. They can range from a one-day cleanse, up to as many days as you and a trusted health professional can agree upon (we had one woman do 21 days). We can always accommodate specific preferences and allergies with different juices. 

How does a juice cleanse differ from other types of cleanses?

Juice cleanses give your body a chance to recover by reducing the amount of energy it usually uses just digesting food all day. The benefit of a juice cleanse is that you can still ensure your body is getting nutrients and minerals it needs to function at its best. 

Any tips to follow a successful juice cleanse?

Ease into the cleanse and ease out of it. You should taper off how much you’re eating 24 hours before you start the cleanse and ease back into eating regular whole foods 24-48 hours afterwards. That’s for most cleanses from 1-5 days. You don’t want to start binge eating the day you finish your cleanse, that can lead to digestive issues.

I really crave green juices at this time of the year. Any favourite recipes for a great Spring green juice? 

I prefer green juices to be very strong with no sugars to mask the flavour of the greens. My favourite green juice is on our menu, called Lush. It is just kale, cucumber, spirulina, and a splash of lemon.

If you had to drink the same juice everyday what would it be?

I actually do drink the same juice every day! I start every morning with a glass of Hydrate. I get to work early and before I eat or do anything, I make sure I have some Hydrate with extra sea salt. This keeps me hydrated. I think that staying properly hydrated is the key to so many health problems and it’s something people tend to ignore. 

Any plans for writing a juice book?

I personally don’t have any plans to write a juice book. There are so many juice books available already, but I don’t think it’s that complicated of a process to need a book. I would be more interested in writing a book about healthy lifestyles/personal development that would certainly include juices and the role they can play in a healthy lifestyle. 

Squeezing lemons:) This used to be done by hand.

Squeezing lemons:) This used to be done by hand.

If there was something you wanted everyone to know about juicing, what would it be?

One thing about juice I always hear as a warning is that they aren’t good for you because you don’t get any fibre. It is true that most insoluble dietary fibre is removed during the juicing process; however, the soluble fibre is still present. Soluble fibre aids in good bacterial growth in the gut which helps the body in so many different ways!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us Julien!  And thank you for all the great tips and info. I am always grateful to know the people who make my food, grow my food or juice my veggies . Thank you for what you do!

Ok Ottawa, I was really impressed to hear about the 1000L of fresh juice a week being pressed at Pure Kitchen. That’s a lot of juice! We are definitely on the right path. This makes me super happy:)

I am very lucky to have Pure Kitchen right around the corner from Woman Divine Studio. You can often see  me  running down Richmond Road in between my clients to grab a bottle of pure green energy that keeps me going and going. Pure Celery and Lush are my favourite :)

Pure Kitchen Ottawa, is run by the nicest people you can find and they offered us a 1 day juice cleanse as a GIVEAWAY. Head out to  Woman Divine Instagram to find out how to participate . I hope you’ll win. Make sure to take a look at their Juice Cleanse options HERE and start juicing asap. Now is a great time!

Remember what I always say? What you do to your skin you do to the rest of your body and what you do to your body, you do to your skin. Your skin will absolutely love it!

Pure Kitchen has four locations in Ottawa:


340 Elgin Street, Ottawa ON
+1 613 233 7873


357 Richmond Rd, Ottawa ON
+1 613 680 5500


499 Terry Fox Dr #55, Ottawa ON
+1 613 435 8492


345A Preston Street, Ottawa ON
+1 613 422 0115

Pure Kitchen also offers customized cleanses. So if you have special wishes and/or want to organize your cleanse, you can e-mail:

Happy juicing,

Magdalena xo

Bathing and what you need to know about it.

I love bathing! Nothing feels as good as a nice warm bath on a cold winter’s night. If you live in Canada, you know exactly what I mean. Winter gets cold, dark and long and soaking in a tub filled with warm water is a great thing to do at the end of the day.


A cup of Epsom salts, a few drops of your favourite essential oil, maybe a good book in your hand and you can hang out in your tub all night long until your hands and feet start shriveling like prunes. I know,  because I’ve done this many times. It feels amazing to experience this relaxation and stress relief that a  tub full of water provides. And sleep always comes easily after a good soak. But if you are like me and love bathing, there are a few important things to consider before you jump into your tub next time.

Number one is the quality of your water. Why? Because while you are enjoying a lovely warm bath, your body becomes like a sponge and soaks up all the good and the ugly from your water.  And this is when chlorine immediately comes to mind.

The city uses chlorine in our water to prevent disease. Chlorine is a  very effective disinfectant, which kills disease-causing pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans, that commonly grow in water supply reservoirs. At the same time, chlorine is very problematic for our health and it’s a nightmare for our skin. An irritant with carcinogenic properties, chlorine is known to cause anything from skin rashes,  respiratory problems, and cancer. It is terrible for our skin and gut microflora which is essential to our health. It may also be surprising to learn that we absorb more chlorine by soaking in a tub than by drinking chlorinated water. It is actually more problematic to our health to absorb chlorine through the skin because while you bathe, chlorine gets directly into your bloodstream bypassing the initial filtration normally done by the liver when we ingest chlorinated water.

Related Post: Your Shower Is A Major Water Hog, Here’s How To Green Your Bathroom

Hot bath water opens skin pores making it easy for chlorine to be absorbed. Inhaling the steam from hot chlorinated water is also dangerous and may cause many respiratory conditions including asthma.

Number two is water sustainability. We are not the only ones on this planet.  We are so frivolous with our water! But water is sacred and should be treated as such. It takes about twenty to twenty-five gallons of water to take a very modest bath and it will take about the same amount of water to take a longer shower.  If you have a big soaker tub,
now we are talking more like 60 gallons. Hopefully, your showers are quick and you are using an eco shower head to preserve your water consumption. And hopefully, you don’t bathe in 60 gallons of water ever!

This is a very serious issue. Saving water is very important for more sustainable consumption of the planet’s resources. Having access to such basic service as drinking water comes without any effort to us but it is important to remember that 783 million people still do not have such access. So don’t ever use more than you truly need!

So in light of this information, should we give up taking a bath altogether?

The answer is no but we must do it way less and in a more mindful way. Start thinking of your bathing as special ritual, a time to cleanse and rest deeply.  Acknowledge that it is a privilege to have access to clean water.  This will become so much more than a simple soak.

Most of us don’t have a filtration system in our house and we must address the
chlorine situation.

There are easy ways to remove chlorine from our bath water through chemical neutralization.

There are several chemical compounds which can remove chlorine from the water. Sodium acorbate powder (a form of vitamin C) is a good solution since it’s easy to obtain and easy to use. You will need to add 1/4 tsp (or 1000 mg) of Sodium Ascorbate into your bath water about 5 minutes prior to bathing, giving it enough time to neutralize chlorine. Sodium Ascorbate will neutralize chloramine, which is also used to treat water and is even more dangerous than chlorine. A Canadian company Santevia makes bath filters which are made with vitamin C and are very easy to use.

Once your water is clear of chlorine and chloramine you can enhance your bath with additional ingredients for beautifying or medicinal purposes.

Adding Epsom salts will up the relaxation effect of your bath and will help to relieve soreness from your muscles.

I love adding oils to the bath, both lipid oils, and essential oils.

1 Tbsp of almond oil with a few drops of genuine lavender essential oil will leave you with lovely soft skin and ready for a deep restful sleep.

Adding oat flakes to the bath water will soothe irritated skin, any itchy rash, sunburn, dry skin, or eczema.  That’s why we run an oat bath for children suffering from chickenpox.
Place a cup of organic oat flakes in a cheese or cotton cloth and tie it with a string.  Throw it in your tub and run just hot water at first so the oat flakes will soften and make their anti-inflammatory properties available.

You can also make an herbal infusion (it’s like a strong herbal tea) with your favourite herbs and add it to your bath water. I love calendula, chamomile or mint.

Soak it up!

There is another important aspect of bathing. If you bathe mindfully it is no longer only about removing dirt from your skin.  It can be a ritual of removing and cleansing of all which does not belong to you anymore. You can mentally let go of unpleasant experiences from your day and release all that weighs you down. It is a simple yet deeply freeing practice which is greatly supported by the healing aspect of water.

Baths can be taken at night and in the morning. Night baths are usually used for relief of nervous and mental tension. They are a relaxation-inducing practice. These baths should last fifteen to twenty minutes. Morning baths are a tonic or a stimulating practice. They are best taken cooler than your night baths and ten minutes will do.

After a bath when your skin is warm and pores are open, it is a great time to apply skin healing oils. In general almond and jojoba are great choices for most. There are many lovely body oils on the market to choose from.

Finally, I want to give you one more suggestion. On a cold winter’s night when your body is chilled and you feel like you can’t warm up, treat yourself to a warm foot bath.

Neutralize the chlorine first with a tiny bit of Sodium Ascorbate. Throw some salts in and maybe add a few drops of sage or eucalyptus essential oil. Immerse your feet in the water and enjoy. You may find that this is as warming as a big tub full of water.

This is an article which I have written for The Eco Hub. You can find it HERE


Is Bacteria The Next Big Thing In Beauty?

This is a great article by Candice Batista of The Eco Hub . Candice has asked me few questions on the subject when she was writing this piece. Big thank you to Candice for including me! Here it is:

If you follow any good health blogs you’ve probably read about the importance of gut bacteria, sometimes referred to as the microbiome. It’s probably one of the most important things for optimal health. I’ll be talking more about gut health in the coming months.


Now when it comes to skincare, new research is showing that the skin’s very own microbiome is super important to its health as well. Is Bacteria The Next Big Thing In Beauty?

Our microbiome is taking a beating thanks to our obsession with flawless skin and we can’t discount the pressure that social media puts on all of us to try to attain skin that does not need a filter.

If you live in the real world, you know it’s almost impossible to live up that.

We’ve been told for so long that we need to scrub, peel, exfoliate and mask our faces until they burn. But the reality is, it’s doing more harm than good because we are disrupting the skins delicate ecosystem.

Magdalena Tomczak is a Holistic skin + Face therapist at Woman Divine Skincare, she says, “Our body, the skin included, is a dynamic, ever-changing organism which constantly interacts with and is affected by the environment, the food we eat, the emotions we experience. Your skin may look perfectly healthy today and may be irritated tomorrow because of all the complex life dynamics it takes part in all the time. Your skin expressing how you’re doing is a natural and necessary occurrence. It’s an essential aspect of our body’s signaling system. If you learn to pay attention to your skin signals and behaviours in a positive manner it can become your best guide to self-care and skincare. It’s a reflection of your health, both physical and emotional, the expression of your body’s wisdom. Yet, we continuously find new ways to prevent skin from expressing and communicating.  Peels, excessive scrubbing, micro-dermabrasions actually hurt our skin. They mess up our skin’s precious microbiome.”

The takeaway here is that we need to let the healthy bacteria that exists on the skin thrive and with 70 percent of Canadian women reporting sensitive skin, there is no better time to start.

Cultured foods as many of you know have unbelievable benefits for the gut, things like Kefir, yogurt, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi etc. are fabulous.

So when it comes to the skin, is this just a fad?

Science is proving there is truth behind the results.

So how does the microbiome work?

“There are plenty of these invisible guys roaming around. So I’ll say you better keep in good relationship with your microbes. The fact is that you are an ecosystem. This ecosystem is made of trillions of organisms (microbes) and includes bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These microbes live in colonies (communities) inside (eg. Your gut flora or your mouth flora) and on the surface of your body (eg. your skin micro-flora or microbiome).  Your ecosystem is unique, complex and ever-changing just like other ecosystems in nature.

The gist of it is that you absolutely need a healthy ecosystem in order to be healthy. Your skin needs a healthy microbiome to be healthy and to look its best.  When your microbes are ‘happy’ their communities live harmoniously, in balance and life flourishes.

They also do an amazing job at protecting you from invaders from the outside, other organisms which may cause disease and create havoc in your system or in the health of your skin. Peels, micro-dermabrasion, excessive exfoliation as well as antimicrobial soaps, toxic skin and body care products all disturb your precious skin microbiome and are causing a lot of damage to your skin. They also strip the natural oil that our skin produces (sebum). Sebum feeds the beneficial bacteria which live on our skin and produce immune-boosting fatty acids.

Stripped skin is in a vulnerable state. Unwelcomed micro-invaders from the outside can now penetrate. The natural order of microbial colonies previously living in harmony has now turned into ‘Gangs of New York’ and everyone is competing for dominance and skin problems arise.  Sebum also softens, lubricates and prevents the skin from premature aging. Without it, your skin can no longer protect you from the trans-epidermal water loss.  Dryness, dehydration, more lines, and wrinkles are the consequence.  So as you can see, what started as a ‘beauty’ treatment or product, turns out to be very unhealthy, skin damaging and quite frankly doesn’t add to our beauty at all, ” adds Magdalena.

So skincare that contains a good probiotic can be very beneficial to you. Good quality oils can support the microflora living on your skin.

In her new book Beyond Soap (which I am reading now) Dr. Sandy Skotnicki writes that “On its own, the skin is better equipped to fight wrinkles, stave off aging and act as armor that protects the body from infection. Every time we slather, spread, hydrate, or soften the skin, we nudge the skin away from its healthiest natural condition.”

The book is very well-written and looks at how we are damaging the microbiome of our skin by applying hundreds of ingredients by way of lotions and potions and make-up. How we strip off our natural oils only to spend a fortune on trying to replace them. And how we’re giving ourselves dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, and acne by irritating our skin from all these ingredients and also by over-washing.

When we spoke with Magdalena, she echoed this, saying, “Did you know that organic, great quality oils when applied topically, feed and support the microflora living on your skin? Yes, they do! The micro-organisms actually use oil as food and then change it into very beneficial fatty acids. Quality oils infused with organic herbs will nourish the skin and give it radiance. You know how you like that squeaky clean feeling after you wash your face? Well, it’s not good for you. You just disturbed your microbiome and stripped your natural oil barrier. Oil cleansing is so wonderful at removing pollution from our skin and it protects the microbiome. Facial oils and serums infused with herbs are perfect for daily skincare. These are truly great choices to support your skin function. Skin care products are here to do just that, support your skin function. Not to interfere with or suppress the skin function but to gently support it.”

So it seems pretty obvious to me that many modern beauty products are actually harming our skin and the vicious circle of modern skincare in which we believe we need more products to soothe and heal irritated skin, but in actual fact, we prolong the irritation.

There is no such thing as a miracle cream.  Your gut microbiome and skin microbiome are actually in constant communication with each other.

Skotnicki says to choose a gentle pH-balanced cleanser and only use it once a day. She also says that a 10-step regime is not ideal for everyone as layering products can actually lead to more irritation and if you are cleansing then exfoliation you are stripping the skin leading to redness and irritation.

Now we are not saying to never exfoliate again, just make sure to pick products that work with your skin, not against it.

Last year scientists at the University Of California published a report after conducting a study on the skin’s microbiome and came up with an innovative microbial treatment for eczema, a disorder characterized by red, itchy, inflamed skin.

This kind of research is illustrating that scientists are able to identify specific strains of bacteria that are required to balance the skin and help people suffering from extreme skin conditions like eczema.

We know that prebiotics and probiotics are good for us. We also know that you are what you eat, food and stress play a major role in how your skin looks and functions.

The quality of the food matters too.

I love this quote from Magdalena, “Like it or not, there is no magic skincare bullet. We are funny creatures though, always looking for shortcuts. I hope that the use of probiotics in skincare does not become another latest fad that will disappoint those looking for a quick fix.”

I have to agree, clever marketing can lead us away from the true nature of the situation.

Get to know your skin, seek help from a professional and remember less is always more

Read this article on The Eco Hub HERE

Nourished in Nature | a day retreat in the country

Join Magdalena, Susie and Anne for our beautiful Nourished in Nature | a day retreat in the country.

We invite you to an experience in nature, surrounded by native plants, bees, butterflies and the intoxicating scent of Summer.

retreat:image .jpg

This will be a day of reconnecting with our environment, ourselves and the beauty of it all, paying a visit to plants (some are the stars in Woman Divine products and treatments), sharing the purest, the freshest and most delicious meal and playing alchemists as we make skin healing products together. All in the company of beautiful women on the enchanted land of Susie Osler in Lanark County, just outside of Perth, ON. This one is not to be missed! 

A little bit about Susie, her land, art and her offering at the retreat:

For over 15 years, Susie has inhabited a pocket of Lanark County now called Wildwood Farm where she revels daily in the magic and beauty of the world around her. This feeds and inspires her creative life.  She is an artist, gardener, and event organizer who enjoys sharing Wildwood Farm with others with the intention of connecting people, nature and creativity. Susie will guide you on a short 'sensual' tour of her gardens where she will encourage you to open your senses to the space around you.  Bring your eyes, ears, nose and skin with you, as well as a journal and something to write or draw with if you are inclined.

A little bit about Anne, our lunch and the vibrant food she grows on the Creek'n Tree Farm:

Every dish is created with what’s flourishing and delicious in the fields and forest at the time. We make maple syrup, grow shiitake mushrooms and all kinds of native plants and flowers as well as a wide variety of annual vegetables. All is tended to carefully from the time we tap or plant the seed through to the day of harvest. Lunch will be light, fresh and simple.  Our land is abundant with natural beauty. We work each day in awe, gratitude and respect of it and are happy to share it’s goodness with you so you too can feel nourished by nature.

A little bit about Magdalena and her part in the retreat: 

I have a deep love for plants, healing and beauty. I continuously seek harmony both in my life and in my work. I strive to live consciously and with presence. Woman Divine Skin Care Studio and Botanical Skin Care Products are my expression of heart felt desire to nurture, to serve others and to do so with Nature’s support. I will be sharing with you my knowledge about holistic beauty, skin healing plants and will also guide you in your own experiment of plant based product making. This retreat has been a dream of mine for a long time. I am very grateful to Anne and Susie for agreeing to create this event with me and for sharing their beautiful energy with us. 

Register for Nourished in Nature here:

 Thank you and hope to see you there:)



The right way to cleanse your face with oil

We have recently added the much needed Cleansing Oil and a Cleansing cloth to Woman Divine Skin Care collection. To many women this is a new way of facial cleansing. Woman Divine collaborated with The Eco Hub www.theecohub on the 'Right way to cleanse your face'  article.   And here is all you need to know about oil cleansing: 

Big thank you to the lovely Candice Batista the creator and the brains behind the www.theecohub TheEcoHub is truly an amazing resource for Canadians for all things Eco. At its core this is a website that connects conscious consumers to brands and companies that care about people and the planet. You will find there lots of valuable info to support your eco friendly living. Definite follow:)


Here is a little bit about our new products.

CLEANSING OIL | plant oils + essences | purify and restore


A healthy skin care routine starts with proper cleansing. Our gentle Cleansing Oil will effectively remove pollution and makeup without disturbing or stripping the protective layer of your skin.  This oil is suitable for all skin types. 

Ingredients: *Camellia sinensis (Camellia seed) oil, *Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) oil, *Oenothera biennis (Primrose) oil, *Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) oil, *Olea europaea (Olive) oil, *Ricinus communis (Castor) oil, *Herbal infusion of: *Calendula officinalis (Calendula)flower, *Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile)flower, *Rosa rugosa (Rose)flower, *Arnica montana (Arnica)flower, *Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) root, essential oils: *Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender), *Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree)

*denotes organic or wildcrafted ingredients

purchase here:



This multilayered cotton gauze cloth works very well with our cleansing oil and/ or facial compressing.
Because we really love our cloths which we use in Woman Divine Face Treatments we decided to make exactly the same one for you to take home. Handmade with ❤️

purchase here:


Woman Divine in the news:)

Thank you KATERINA ROWLANDS & S/magazine for including Woman Divine on your list of the 'Must-Visit Natural Beauty Havens Across Canada'. We feel very flattered to be in a company of such amazing Canadian Green Beauty companies. Read the article:

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Water. How much should you drink?

Ok, I wanted to show off my new copper water vessel:) It is really beautiful and handcrafted from pure untreated copper. According to Ayurveda the best way to store your drinking water is in a copper container.


Since WATER is on my mind I wanted to share a few thoughts on the subject.

I think it's really sad that most of us no longer have an inner knowing in regards to how much water our individual body needs on a given day.

Most feel that everyone needs to be drinking so many glasses of water per day. Some even say that you need a specific amount of water per each pound of body weight. This makes as much sense to me as the idea that your ideal weight should be determined according to your height.

Yes, water is essential to us and to our health but we are all different. Drinking water ought to be a need fulfilled on an individual basis. Please, start paying attention to your body's needs. Observe! If you become mindful you will know exactly when your body needs water replenishment. Don't rely on others to measure your thirst. The knowing is within. Please listen! It's your body!

Your body needs clean water. Don't drink straight from the tap. Water is sacred, it holds memory and remembers everything it touches. Violently pumped through plastic pipes... It needs time to unfold itself to its natural state after rushing out of the tap.

Spend some time with your water. We have forgotten what Water is all about. 

Magdalena xo