Health

Use Your Lymphatic System to Reduce Cellulite

Female Lymphatic SystemCellulite is a particularly unattractive disorder of the subcutaneous tissue. Typically, it is caused from an excess of toxins stored in the fatty tissue. It presents as a rippling or cottage cheese appearance typically in the thighs and buttocks and can be difficult to get rid of. Women are especially prone to cellulite because we store more fat; it can be seen on even the thinnest of women.

For ladies who seek to improve the appearance of stubborn cellulite, it’s all about harnessing the power of your lymphatic system.

First, good old fashioned cardiovascular activity is a great way to get the lymphatic system moving in order to move those toxins out of your body. Running is an excellent way to accomplish this; it gets your heart rate up high enough to increase circulation, thereby increasing the movement of lymph. Any time you’re raising your heart rate and doing cardio exercises, you are helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Another approach is through massage therapy. Having a Swedish massage helps to drain toxins and move the lymph–which carries fat–out of your system. If you are fortunate enough to receive massage on a regular basis, it can tone muscles as well as remove toxins that are sitting below the skin. Not only is massage relaxing and beneficial to the nervous system and muscular tissue, but it is a healthy way to eliminate waste products in the body. Be sure to drink plenty of water following a massage in order to expedite the removal of wastes.

A third way to improve the appearance of cellulite is via dry brushing. Dry brushing uses a brush or gloves on dry skin in light sweeping motions to help the lymphatic system to do its job. Start on the legs or arms and always brush towards the heart. This practice can be done daily, and is a beneficial practice for anyone looking to detoxify.

Treating Keratosis Pilaris

Arm with Keratosis PilarisEveryone wants smooth, healthy skin. If you’re bothered by pesky little bumps that feel rough to the touch, you’re not alone. Those bumps might be keratosis pilaris — check with your doctor or dermatologist to be sure. While the bumps are harmless and painless, they can be difficult to treat.

This condition is common in children and young adults and can sometimes resolve itself by early adulthood. It is important to have a skin specialist or dermatologist examine your skin to make a concise diagnosis.

If you run your hand along the back of your arm and it has a bumpy or rough texture, you could have keratosis pilaris. The bumps are often in patches and can resemble a “goose-like flesh” or “chicken skin”. They appear white and are somewhat hard to notice from a quick glance. They are most commonly found on the back of your arms, although they can also be found on the cheeks, thighs, and buttocks. They can become red, but are not painful, and are generally not itchy or cause any kind of discomfort.

These bumps can also become inflamed, and can scar if they are picked at or scratched. Keratosis pilaris is caused from the build-up of keratin under the skin’s surface. The keratin develops a scaly plug that blocks the hair follicle at the opening. The result is bumpy skin.

If you have keratosis pilaris, you want to know how to get rid of the problem. While keratosis pilaris is not curable, you can lessen the appearance and signs. It can be challenging to treat, but you can usually reduce the appearance of the bumps and redness over time.

A topical retinoid therapy using Vitamin A can promote cell turnover and keep the follicle from getting plugged. A topical exfoliant or medicated cream containing alpha-hydroxy acids and moisturizers can soften the dried out skin and remove dead skin cells. Green tea also helps reduce the visible redness and bumps associated with irritated dry skin and keratosis pilaris.

Being consistent with your skin care will help keep your keratosis pilaris under control and replenish a smooth skin finish. Before trying medical grade products to treat this skin disorder, I would definitely recommend trying just a simple exfoliating scrub; this alone can do wonders for your skin tone and texture.

When using an exfoliating scrub, apply generously to the affected area and rub in with your hands in an upward motion to slough away dead skins cells more effectively. Do this one to two times weekly and apply a moisturizer after to keep the skin hydrated.

Skin Foods

StrawberriesBeing in the Esthetics program, my focus is on skin care. We spend many hours learning about the skin on different levels. We study skin diseases and disorders. We study the various types of skin based on hydration, or lack thereof. We spend a lot of time learning about ingredients and products to put topically on the skin to address and balance each person’s unique issues.

It’s also very important to treat the skin from the inside out. It’s important for the skin to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. But what are good foods and herbs that can enhance and beautify the skin?

Certain foods have powerhouse ingredients that keeps the skin supple and smooth and help to fight age related damage.

Per serving, strawberries have more anti-aging vitamin C than oranges or grapefruit. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people who eat foods rich in Vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age related dry skin than those who don’t. Vitamin C fights free radicals, which damage cells and breaks down collagen, leading to fine lines. You can also apply a berry mask for smoother, more hydrated skin.

Olive oil is another powerhouse for the skin. It has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. You can use it topically to soften skin and create more radiance. It is also wonderful as a lipgloss or for rough patches of skin that may occur on the elbows or knees.

Another excellent addition to the diet is green tea. It is filled with antioxidants. There are studies that show drinking green tea may reduce your risk of skin cancer. Green tea contains tannins which act as an astringent. When applied to the skin it can reduce puffiness. You can use this feature of green tea on your eyes: chill damp tea bags in the fridge and put on eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stay aware of what we put both in and on your body.

Benefits of Lemon Water

Lemon Splashes in Water on Black

Lemons are with filled with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Because of how hard lemon juice can be on the enamel of your teeth, it’s important to dilute it with water of any temperature (lukewarm is recommended). Drink it first thing in the morning, and wait 15 to 30 minutes to have breakfast. This will help you fully receive the benefits of lemon water, some of which are listed below.

  1. Reduces inflammation

    If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur. It removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

  2. Aids in digestion

    Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating.

  3. Suppresses hunger

    Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.

  4. Cleanses your system

    It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver.

  5. Keeps your skin clean and clear

    The antioxidants in lemon juice help to not only decrease blemishes, but wrinkles too! It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance and, because it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.

  6. Boosts your immune system

    Vitamin C is very important for our immune system and lemon juice is full of it. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed, which is why it is recommended to take extra vitamin C during especially stressful days.

  7. Excellent source of potassium

    Lemons are high in potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.

  8. Freshens your breath

    It helps relieve toothaches and gingivitis. Because the citric acid can erode tooth enamel, don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water. Wait a bit until the citric acid has been diluted from your teeth.

  9. Gives you an energy boost

    Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and it also helps reduce anxiety and depression. Even the scent of lemons has a calming effect on your nervous system.

  10. Helps you cut out caffeine

    Replacing your morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water can do wonders! You will feel refreshed, and no longer have to deal with that afternoon crash. Plus, your nerves will definitely be thankful.

  11. Helps fight viral infections

    Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and the sore throats they cause. Plus, with the lemon juice also boosting your immune system, you’ll also help fight off the infection completely.

Ayurveda Diet

Ayurveda Diet

Ayurveda, which originated in India in ancient times, is a traditional form of healthcare that uses holistic healing practices customized to each person which takes into account the need for nutrition, exercise, hygiene, social interaction, and other lifestyle elements. Ayurvedic theory uses the principal that everything in the universe is interconnected including mind, body, and spirit. And when we are in harmony with our environment, we’re able to keep a peaceful inner equilibrium. Aveda uses Ayurvedic theory to promote good health and keep the body in balance.

Each individual’s mind/body makeup can thrive in a particular environment. But when we are out of harmony with our environment, the body can suffer. As humans, we are constantly affected by everything around us including sights, tastes, smells, and things we hear. All the energy transfers we encounter can wear out the body. Ayurveda tries to prevent illness by using natural forms of medicine derived from plants, minerals, and roots to restore the body’s delicate balance through detoxifying, energizing, or soothing the individual.

Interestingly, there is even an Ayurvedic diet. Everyone has different needs but a basic introduction to an Ayurvedic diet isn’t what you might think—it’s not just beans, vegetables, and grains. It can be applied to any diet.

The saying “you are what you eat” is literally true, especially because what we eat affects our emotions. Our digestion is sensitive and, when we eat things that don’t agree with us, it upsets the stomach leading to an uncomfortable feeling. Bad digestion can be upsetting both physically and psychologically.

Ayurveda recognizes six tastes and it’s important to have all six of these tastes in your diet every day to contribute to feeling satisfied at the end of your meal. The six tastes are:

  1. sweet (sugar, honey, rice, pasta)
  2. sour (lemons, hard cheese, plain yogurt)
  3. salty (salt, cured meats, anything salty)
  4. pungent (chili peppers, ginger, hot spices)
  5. bitter (leafy greens, turmeric)
  6. astringent (pomegranate, green apples, cauliflower)

These are listed in the order they are digested by your body. Sweet gets digested first. So it’s a bad idea to have dessert at the end of the meal. It’s better to put it at the beginning. Salad, on the other hand, is good near the end of the meal.

The Ayurveda diet uses a holistic approach to caring for your digestion. You can learn how and what to use in order to apply Ayurvedic remedies into a balanced lifestyle by taking a Dosha Quiz. Good luck on your journey to balanced health!

The Skinny on Water

Exotic Waters in FlasksThese days, there seems to be a lot of mindfulness around the water we drink. When shopping at your local market, there are endless options for an individual to choose from. For our hydration, there are bottles labeled spring water, sparkling water, alkaline water, even black water is available. With the endless options at our fingertips, how do we chose something as simple as drinking water, and what is the difference between these choices?

If you have never stopped to consider what distilled water will do for your body versus what mineral or alkaline water will do, this blog post may answer some questions for you. For most people, the words “distilled water” are synonymous with purity and cleanliness. However, distilled water may not be the best choice to hydrate and quench your thirst. Distilled water has undergone a process of distillation, in which you take hard water, or water full of different minerals (good and bad), and turn it into soft water by means of vaporization and condensation. This new water is pH neutral and contains no traces of minerals. Because our bodies need minerals such as calcium and magnesium in order to hydrate and maintain the health of our cells, you can see why distilled water is not the optimum choice for providing the body with nutrients. Furthermore, distilled water has the ability to attract minerals to it. This means it can collect the bodys minerals as well as toxins and flush the system clean. This water may be great for a temporary cleanse, but living on distilled water can be quite harmful.

On the flip side, there is “mineral water”. Most of the time, these are carbonated water, with a varying degree of mineral content. This water is normally bottled at the source and contains minerals that our cells need for optimum hydration. Our muscles, cells, bones, and tissues need these minerals in order to maintain health, so choosing a mineral water labeled high mineral content is a great choice when seeking hydration.

Another choice, and by far the best choice of drinking water, is water that is labeled “Alkaline Water.” Alkaline water has a higher, stabilized pH normally of about 8-9. This alkaline pH means that this water contains many electrolytes, the key to our body’s hydration. Our body needs these chemicals in order to transmit electrical messages. When at all possible, this is the water that will give the body the most nutrients, and provide the cells with much needed energy. In addition the alkaline pH will help to provide balance from so many acidic foods that we eat and drink, such as coffee, chocolate, meat, and dairy items. An individual with chronic dehydration (often seen through fine lines on the face) should strive to drink water that is alkaline to balance and hydrate.

Lastly, if tap water is the only option, using a filter can help to rid the water of heavy metals that can be harmful to the body. In addition, a slice of lemon can alkalize your water, and provide your body with a healthy jumpstart each morning.

Psoriasis and High Frequency Electrotherapy

High Frequency Electrotherapy MachinePsoriasis is a very common chronic skin disorder. It causes skin cells to reproduce too quickly resulting in thick, dry, scaly patches that can be red, white, or almost silver in color. These patches are itchy and can be painful, but most of all, they can be embarrassing for the person affected.

I have suffered with psoriasis on my scalp and neck for a few years now, and I’ve tried many different treatments including creams and ointments both over the counter and prescribed by physicians. The results have always been the same. They help for a while and then, in a few weeks, the symptoms and my embarrassment return.

Recently, I’ve started a new treatment. It is called High Frequency Electrotherapy which uses an electric current to stimulate the surface of the scalp and local blood circulation, improve the process of nourishment, stimulate local glandular activity, and supply heat to sooth the nervous system of the scalp. These benefits all help decrease the irritation and symptoms of psoriasis.

I’ve personally been doing a high frequency treatment for 10 minutes three days a week for the past three weeks. I’ve seen a significant reduction in my symptoms—enough that I’m finally comfortable wearing my hair in a ponytail which I have not done in years! I highly recommend high frequency treatments for anyone with psoriasis. It’s been a life changer for me.

Aloe Vera — a Powerhouse for the Skin

Aloe VeraEveryone is probably very familiar with Aloe Vera as a treatment for burns. However, Aloe Vera has a host of other skin and body healing properties. The Ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.”

There are many studies that back up the effectiveness of Aloe Vera in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and scalp problems.

Aloe treats sunburns through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It helps the skin to heal quickly.

Aloe acts as a moisturizer without giving it a greasy feel, so it is perfect for anyone with oily skin. Aloe is also great for treating acne. The gel contains two hormones Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones contain wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema.

Aloe Vera is also widely used in anti-aging products. Aloe leaves many antioxidants including beta carotene, and vitamins C and E, that help improve the skin’s natural firmness and helps keep the skin hydrated. Aloe also lessons the visibility of stretch marks.

Besides being an effective skin treatment, Aloe is nutrient rich for good health. The solid material contains over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, antraquinones, or phoenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids, and salicylate acid. It also helps to aid in digestion when taken internally.

Aloe Vera is one amazing, medicinal plant that anyone who cares about health and skin wellness should know about.

Facial Yoga

Face Yoga ExercisesYoga is a practice that is full of spiritual and physical techniques to connect the mind, body, and soul as one. Expected outcomes of yoga include ease of understanding, total relaxation, and even enlightenment. Full of both physical and psychological benefits, it is no surprise that yoga is done around the world; from serious, traditional classes in the heart of India, to the body-toning hot yoga class down the street.

While there are many different kinds, a form of yoga that has not gained much attention is a frontal muscle workout that goes by the name of “face yoga.” Face yoga refers to the exercising of the muscles in the face, and can be done to tighten, tone, and combat signs of aging.

How does it work? Well, the muscles’ movement increases blood circulation in the face, allowing more oxygen to pass through and replenish cells in the area. The techniques can also aid in the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in supple and smooth skin.

Some of the facial moves look odd as they include widening the eyes and sticking out your tongue. However the exercises are performed, here is a video that includes some methods you can try out.

Practicing face yoga for only five minutes everyday can bring great results in reducing signs of aging. Results can be noticed in as little as two weeks and, over time, the look of visible wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin can be reversed.

Lemon Water and Vitamin C

Glasses with Lemon Water

Drinking a certain volume of water daily, depending on your weight, can do wonders for your body and skin. Some of you add a lemon to your water when you’re out at a restaurant, but do you know the benefits of drinking lemon water?

When you add lemon to your water it adds vitamin C, which has numerous health benefits. Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. A single lemon contains around 30-40 mg. of vitamin C in comparison to an orange which contains around 80-90 mg.

Vitamin C has been studied extensively and shown to have a myriad of health benefits, protecting against: prenatal problems, cardiovascular disease, eye diseases, skin wrinkles, and immune system deficiencies.

Putting lemon in your water brings your water, eventually, to an alkaline state. Water, for the most part, has a neutral PH of about 7.0, which means it is neither basic (alkaline) nor acidic. Anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its ability to neutralize acids. A fresh lemon added to your drinking water will also make your purified drinking water more alkaline. Though it seems counter-intuitive to think that adding an acidic lemon to your purified drinking water could ultimately produce an alkaline result, it’s important to remember that fresh lemons are also anionic. Once you drink the acidic lemon water, it will become alkaline as your body reacts with the lemons’ anions during the digestive process. Use fresh lemons that haven’t been exposed to air for more than 30 minutes; do not use lemon juice that you can buy in a container from the store.

Vitamin C keeps you healthy and fit in five important ways:

  1. Helps treat common cold symptoms. Although there is no proof vitamin C can prevent cold, studies do show that vitamin C can reduce the severity of cold symptoms and the duration of the cold. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine; it reduces the levels of histamine.
  2. Can be a natural cure for skin problems. Vitamin C is used to treat a lot of skin related problems. It is now used in moisturizers and masks for a natural glow to the skin.
  3. Regulates sugar levels in diabetics. Diabetics can definitely benefit from foods containing vitamin C. It helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  4. Improves asthma symptoms. Vitamin C, being an antioxidant and antihistamine, improves the function of the lungs and airways.
  5. Helps reduce arthritis symptoms. Arthritis is caused by the collapse of cellular process the help in the production maintenance and repair of cartilaginous tissues. Since Vitamin C is required for collagen production, it helps to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling of joints in people with arthritis.

Smoking and Skin

Please, No SmokingSmoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Some of these harmful effects are immediate.

Did you know second-hand smoke is even more dangerous than the smoke you inhale when smoking? second-hand smoke doesn’t go through the filter at the end of the cigarette, it just goes directly into your lungs. The levels of nicotine, tar, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide are at least twice as high in second-hand smoke.

If you smoke, or if you breathe in second-hand smoke, you’re getting a lot of skin damage. The collagen destroying enzymes (MMPs) ramp us when exposed to tobacco smoke, causing increased wrinkling and visible aging of the skin. Aging of the skin means that it droops, develops wrinkles and lines, and can become dry and coarse with uneven skin coloring and broken blood vessels (telangiectasia). Smokers often appear gaunt and develop an orange or gray complexion.

Women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant and, if they conceive, can harm the health of their baby. Smoking can also lead to early menopause, which increases your risk of developing certain diseases like heart disease.

Smoking delays wound healing, including skin injuries and surgical wounds. It increases the risk of wound infection, graft or flap failure, death of tissue, and the formation of blood clots.

Smokers have bigger bellies and less muscle than non-smokers. They are more likely to develop type two diabetes, even if they don’t smoke every day. Smoking also makes it harder to control diabetes once you already have it. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputations.

As if lung cancer wasn’t enough, you need to know that smoking causes much more than just lung cancer.

Commercial Deodorants Have Chemicals

Homemade Deodorant

How is your Deodorant working for you? Do you use a commercial deodorant product advertised on television?

How would you feel if I told you that most of those deodorants contain cancer-causing ingredients? Well, it’s true, they do. Many contain preservatives called parabens that cause hormone disruption—specifically, they mimic estrogen—and can cause DNA damage that could lead to breast cancer. You can recognize parabens in the ingredient list: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.

And do you think it’s good for your armpits not to sweat? No it’s not good. If you’re using an antiperspirant, it blocks your sebaceous glands from producing the sweat that should to help cool the body. You may think you will sweat more if you don’t use an antiperspirant; at first you will, but once your body becomes regulated and back to its natural state, you will not sweat as much and the odor will reduce.

When you decide to do the switch, you will notice changes. Aluminum is the main antiperspirant ingredient in almost all deodorants. Aluminum-based compounds are used to plug up sweat glands. Aluminum may be harmful when placed on to the skin or the breast; it also mimics estrogen-like cells that cause a hormonal effect which may contribute to breast cancer.

Now, remember, what you eat comes out through your pores. So even if you’re using a natural deodorant, if you eat greasy fast food, you’ll most likely still have an odor. Your body cleanses by expelling the toxins through your pores as well as your digestive tract. So eat healthier and you won’t have as much odor. A natural deodorant can mask the occasional scent.

Chlorophyll is also a natural plant-derived ingredient. Chlorophyll can be found in plants and gives them their green color, and it may help protect the body from cancer from the inside out. When ingested, it helps oxygenate the blood and cancer cells don’t thrive in oxygen. So eating a lot of leafy greens will help and act as an internal deodorant.

So which natural deodorant should you use? That all depends upon you. What scents do you like? Are you sensitive to certain oils or plants? If you’re still not sure, make a list of your likes of herbs and oils that help as a natural deodorant. You can even make your own; it’s very simple and cheap and you can have a lot left to make more in the future.

Here is a simple recipe that I use:

  • 1 cup coconut oil (antibacterial)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 10 drops tea tree oil

Just put it all in a cup and mix it all together and you will have a natural, healthy, safe, deodorant!

You can put it in a jar and use a scoop to get it out and rub onto your under arms.

Remember that it will take about 12 days to acclimate your body to the use of natural deodorant. So, be patient, and know that you will be reducing your risk of breast cancer by switching over to natural deodorant.

The Impact of Getting Less Sleep

Sleeping Woman with Alarm ClockWhen you are older, you don’t need to have as much sleep as you did when you’re younger. However, there are many studies that prove we need at least eight hours of sleep every night. Getting eight hours of sleep can not only make you feel much better throughout the day, but can also help make you look better, too.

New research from the Sleep School in London and Benson Beds shows that if you miss two hours of sleep—only get six hours a night—for five days, it can have a big impact on your face. The study consisted of 30 woman who took photos of their faces after eight hours of sleep and then came back after five days of only six hours of sleep. Fine lines were increased by 45% where spots increased by 13%. There was 16% more bacteria found on the skin and redness went up 8% as well.

So go to bed early! Wash off your makeup, cleanse your face, put moisturizer on, and use those eight hours of sleep for your face to replenish itself. You will look more alive in the morning and your skin will glow. Compare that to less sleep with bags under your eyes and and redness. Whenever you’re able, hit that snooze button more often!

Surviving Beauty School Beautifully

Road Signs of Life

School can be an incredibly grueling time where you can’t find much time for yourself. All of us who have gone through the beauty school process understand how you feel! Balancing school, work, and a social life can be almost intimidating. There are a few sweet little things you can do to rest your mind and your body and keep yourself balanced.

  1. After a long day at school, go home and take a bath with a bath bomb. Not only will this relax your muscles but it will help you unwind so you can sleep better.
  2. Use tea bag compresses to keep the area under your eyes from looking tired. I like to take two green tea bags and make a cup of tea. Take out the tea bags, squeeze out the excess water, and put them in the fridge for ten minutes, and enjoy your tea while you wait. Once they’ve cooled down, apply them to your under eye area for 10 to 15 minutes. Your under eyes will seriously thank you.
  3. In your spare time, clean your room and make your bed. Keeping things clean and organized helps everything else feel less hectic.
  4. Get manicures whenever you can.
  5. Make water with cucumber, lemon, and oranges. Not only will your skin love it, but you’ll feel so much more energized.
  6. Find 30 minutes to do yoga or meditation. Take time to reflect on all the good that is going on in your life and be proud of yourself for all you’ve done so far.
  7. Even if you don’t have much time for socialising right now, take time to check in with your friends and family. They’ll be your biggest supporters and will always be there to cheer you on.

Golden Milk

Turmeric - Curcuma longa Roots

Turmeric is a spice that has been used in India for a long time. It is what gives curry and mustard their yellow color. Not only is it used for food, but also as a medicinal herb. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which is an antioxidant. Curcumin has anti inflammatory effects and fights free radicals in the body. It also increases the antioxidants in the body. Curcumin is more easily absorbed into the body with the aid of piperine in black pepper. There have been studies showing that turmeric can prevent or delay arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

There are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet—of course, the easiest way is to sprinkle some on your food. My favorite way to take turmeric is by making Golden Milk. It is a drink made with any warm milk that you like, turmeric paste, black pepper, and an oil of your choosing. This is a great drink to have before bed due to its relaxing and immune boosting properties.

Turmeric Paste

  • ½ cup turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook turmeric powder and water together over low heat, constantly stirring until a thick paste has formed. More water may be needed. Add black pepper, stir to incorporate. Allow to cool, then store in a glass jar.

Remember that turmeric stains, so avoid plastic containers.

Paste is best for 2-3 weeks.

Golden Milk

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric paste
  • 1 cup almond milk, soy, coconut, or hemp milk, or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon Udo’s or coconut oil
  • Honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup

Cook all the ingredients, except the honey or syrup, together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the ingredients are mixed well, do not boil. Add honey or syrup to taste and enjoy!

Benefits of Green Leafy Veggies

Vegetables in the Supermarket

Just from the title alone, some of you may be thinking, “Yuck!” But I’m here to tell you the benefits of what these delicious green plants called vegetables can do for you and your body.

Dark green leafy vegetables are not only delicious but, calorie for calorie, they are the most concentrated source of nutrition found in any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins (including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins). These veggies also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Pretty cool right?!

Some types of dark green leafy vegetables are: arugula, spinach, leaf lettuce, kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, chicory, and swiss chard. You can do so many different things with these amazing veggies to incorporate them into your diet. I prefer to buy these types of vegetables at Farmers’ markets because I feel they are fresher and less expensive. Plus, at those markets you always come across some other great food choices and other really cool things. It is a great experience, and everyone is super friendly.

My favorite way to consume these dark green leafy vegetables is in a smoothie. I have a NutriBullet at home, and I mix these veggies with some fruit and a banana which fades out the taste of the vegetable so it tastes just like a fruit smoothie.

Love your Body

Since we were little girls, we have been bombarded with images of women with small waists, big boobs, curvy hips, long legs, perfect skin, and the overall “perfect body”. We grow up with insecurities from these images thinking that is the way we are supposed to be and, if we are anything else, we are ugly. Of course, all of this is due to TV, movies, magazines, and advertisements placing pressure on women to be this unrealistic image of “perfect”. What really is perfect? I believe there is no such thing. How can one body image be the ultimate ideal for every person on this planet? The answer is there isn’t one. Everyone has their own image of beauty in their head.

I find beauty in everything. Our unique qualities—not mass populated images—make us beautiful. One of my personal favorite celebrities is the female artist P!nk. She is not the typical beauty that you see in Hollywood. She has a muscular physique and a more boyish figure, with small breasts and small hips. But she exudes confidence and love for herself and her body regardless of the Hollywood image of beauty. Yet we still have women like Kim Kardashian splashed across all of social media, magazines, and TV. She has had plastic surgery to alter her appearance and to maintain the Hollywood image. Don’t get me wrong, she has a very curvy figure and that has changed the ideal image from anorexic thin to voluptuous but, she is still shown as having absolutely no imperfections thanks to her plastic surgery.

As women, we need to learn to be happy with our bodies. Do daily affirmations and rituals to show love to ourselves. On my bathroom mirror, I have a card on which is typed “You’re Beautiful”. It reminds me that regardless of how I see my bodies imperfections, I should love myself. Even if you are overweight hating yourself won’t help. Learning to love yourself will give you the mental strength to push yourself to a healthier lifestyle. Think about it, if you really think everyday “OMG, I hate being this fat, I am so nasty” it will cause you to be depressed and depression brings on fatigue, anxiety, bad eating habits, and this whole cycle continues. Positive thinking helps bring results. it makes you push forward for a better and happier life.

Of course, eating healthy and exercising helps increase our confidence and makes us feel beautiful. I know that when I am exercising on a regular basis, I feel clear-headed and amazing. I see myself as strong and making good healthy progress in my life.

Another issue we have with body image is body-shaming. Social media is the most popular place to post pictures of people doing embarrassing things and they may not even know they are being photographed or filmed. The other day, I saw a video on Instagram of a bigger woman riding a bike at a good rate, working hard, and clearly trying to get some exercise. And all the video said was, “This woman is so big, you can barely see the bike. Elephants should stay at the zoo.” Why would we say this about this woman who is clearly trying to improve herself and become healthy? We should be encouraging this woman, not shaming her.

So ladies, let’s stop body shaming ourselves and others and start encouraging positive body image. Let’s face it, ladies, there is no real “perfect” in this world. We are all unique and we should embrace it and love who we are as women.

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

It’s almost spring and summer will be right around the corner. The one thing we always hear during the spring and summer months is “Wear Sunscreen!” Ok, we know the the risks of not wearing sunscreen but do we know the risks of wearing it? Everyone thinks that sunscreen is all upside with no downsides. Unfortunately, sunscreen comes with many risks.

Most store-bought sunscreens contain harsh cancer-causing chemicals that cause aging and damage to your skin. For instance some of the most well-known and widely-used sunscreen in the U.S. have some chemical ingredients that may be extremely harmful and could cause serious problems. What are the ingredients that may be harmful? There are many, but here is a list of the ingredients that I try to avoid:

  • Oxybenzone: This is a chemical penetration enhancer that provokes a reaction when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. When absorbed into the skin, it can provoke an eczema-like reaction that sometimes spreads beyond the exposed area and can stay on your skin well beyond your time in the sun.

  • Octinoxate: One of the most common ingredients in sunscreen, it helps other chemicals to absorb into the skin. It can disrupt hormone balance when mixed with water—perhaps by jumping into a pool while wearing sunscreen. It can also produce free radicals which can damage your skin and cell tissues.

  • Retinyl Palmitate: A derivative of vitamin A, Retinyl Palmitate is supposed to improve the sunscreens performance against UV damage but actually, when exposed to the sun, it can break down and create free radicals that damage cells and DNA, and possibly cause cancer.

  • Paraben Preservatives: Parabens are in many products and could be very harmful. They can cause allergic reactions, hormone disruption, and are suspected to be a major factor in breast cancer.

Now that you know that there are risks, please make sure to look at the ingredients to make sure the product is safe for you and your loved ones. The Environmental Working Group does an annual study of sunscreens and they provide a list of healthy sunscreens and brands that you can research yourself. They also provide a breakdown of the ingredients of the various products and why they are safe for you.

Get out there and enjoy these glorious seasons, but use a safe and effective sunscreen so you can fully enjoy the sun without hurting yourself or your skin.

Acne is a Map to Your Body’s Systems

No one likes to break out. There are many different reasons why we breakout and what can be causing it. People can breakout in the adolescent years or as an adult and if you are really unlucky you might breakout in both.

Some causes of Acne are:

  1. Hormone Changes
  2. High Stress Levels
  3. Diet
  4. Products and Cosmetics
  5. Medications
  6. Environmental Factors
  7. Not Having Proper Cleansing Habits

If you want to know why you are breaking out, simply start by taking a look in the mirror. Where our acne presents itself can say a lot about its root cause. After doing some research, here are some locations of breakouts and what they can mean.

  • Forehead: Digestive System and Bladder

    In order to improve acne in this area, you may need to consider a diet change or an increase in your intake of water. Consider cutting back on processed foods-that can really help clear up this area.

  • In Between the Eyebrows: Liver

    An allergy often manifests itself as acne in between the eyebrows. Consider a detox of sorts. Cut down on your alcohol consumption, eat lighter foods, and consider any foods to which you may have developed an allergy (such as dairy).

  • Temples and Ears: Kidneys

    This is a quick fix: cut down on coffee, soda, and other sugary beverages, and drink pure water instead. Hydrate your body and you should see a significant decrease in acne around your eyes.

  • Nose: Heart

    Acne on your nose could mean high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Try cutting back on red meat and increase your intake of foods with Omega 3’s like avocado and fish. Additionally, because your nose is so porous, make sure that your makeup isn’t expired or try a different kind if you don’t see better results.

  • Cheeks: Respiratory System

    Acne in this area usually also points to allergies. If allergies aren’t the culprit, consider keeping your body at a neutral temperature rather than allowing it to overheat. Avoid spicy foods and add more green veggies to your diet.

  • Outside or Corners of the Mouth: Hormones

    This zone is difficult to eradicate because hormones can be hard to control. However, getting enough ZZZ’s at night, keeping skin clean and moisturized, and a balanced diet can help. Sometimes birth control can be the cause as well.

  • Chin: Stomach

    Because this area is associated with the stomach, increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, drinking more water, and generally detoxing your body may help clear up this area.

In truth, you’re fighting your acne from the inside out! If your issue is truly internal, no amount of creams and cleansers will clear up your face anyway. The right skin care routine does make a big difference, but it won’t be a quick fix. Clearing up adult acne will take time, dedication, and lifestyle changes.

6 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Your Hair

December 16, 2015
By

Rd4VivTlZ4b554IM9qy-h4KHaf2ioVoRJqKHrNAkHdoI’m sure you have heard that coconut oil is very beneficial and does amazing things to your hair, but have you ever wondered how or why?

Coconut oil is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals which are good for the human body. The components in the oil keep your hair strong, nourished and protected from the effects of premature aging, like baldness and excessive hair loss.

Some of the main benefits of coconut oil are:

1) It stimulates hair growth by getting deep into the hair follicles.

2) It promotes the scalp health by fighting against problems like insect bites, lice and dandruff

3) It helps moisturize dry hair

4) It adds luster, shine, and softness to the hair

5) It helps prevent hair breakage and split end

6) It helps slow down hair loss

Coconut oil is also very easy to use in the hair. You start by melting the oil in your hands until it becomes a liquid. Massage oil into your scalp, and down the hair until it is fully saturated. Leave in for as long as you desire. Leaving it in for 20 minutes is enough for a healthy and shiny look and feel. However, some people prefer to leave it in overnight with a hair cap for a intense deep treatment.