Tag Archives: health

Springtime Veggies

Spring is in full swing and your trip to the grocery may feel less familiar than it usually does seeing that certain vegetables are either plentiful or non-existent. To ensure you eat the best of the best, we want to remind you which spring veggies should be enjoyed this season and what benefits they reap.

The Radish

Unassuming, this member of the mustard family can be found as red, purple or black. Red-skinned radishes are the most popular (and our favorite), but you can also find daikon radishes, which have a milder flavor than the red-skinned. Just 20 calories, one cup of radishes will do the trick for a light snack and will serve an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also brimming with calcium and potassium.

The Beet

These red gems contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression while also containing trytophan, which creates a sense of well-being, which relaxes the mind–similar to chocolate. In addition, beets serve as a tonic for the liver, which purifies the blood. AND on top of it all, tastes delicious.

The Carrot

A common ingredient with your hummus, carrots will start appearing in early May and is an excellent source of beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain eyesight and protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer). Carrots are also chock-full of potassium, fiber and vitamins K and C. And although you are used to the orange ones, we suggest trying the puple, yellow and white ones to mix it up. Benefits are the same, taste slightly different!

The Spinach 

With so many greens to choose from, we hope you go for the spinach this season. Spring and fall are the peak seasons for this popular leafy green. Just one cup of this magic is twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. It’s also packed with vitamin A and provides plenty of vitamin C, folate and manganese as well.

 

photo cred: Pinterest

 

Break The Habits

A new month, a new beginning to remind yourself, your skin needs protecting, so here are some tips to refresh your mind with as you step into the new Spring Season and how breaking your habits can make all the difference.

 

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Washing too much

If your skin is dry skin, try and lather up less often, since doing so strips away natural oils. A creamy or oil-based cleanser at night (they’re gentler on dry skin) is best to use and be sure to rinse with just water when you wake up. (This way, you’ll retain more of your own moisturizing oils). Side note: removing make up will always be key in keeping your skin in the best condition.

Turn the TV off

Bright screens have the power to suppress melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy and regulates our circadian rhythms. When melatonin levels decrease, your circadian rhythm gets thrown off which make your skin cells work inefficiently, causing more wrinkles and dullness over time. And because sleep is also important when it comes to keeping your skin healthy, try and wind down by reading a book or meditating.

Tell us about your pillow

Speaking of sleep, what kind of pillow do you sleep on? Believe it or not, but our pillows collect oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess night creams so as we toss and turn, all of that is deposited right into our pores. Tip: change your pillowcases at least once a week and also be sure to swap out the regular cotton version for something smoother, like satin, silk, or Egyptian cotton. Rough pillowcases can actually cause wrinkles.

 In moderation, your favorite things: alcohol and sugar

Unfortunately, consuming too much sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol will show on your face.  Take alcohol, a huge dehydrator and inflamer for your skin. This will consequently make your skin dull and blotchy. In addition, try and avoid sugary foods since they break down collagen and elastin in the skin which can and will produce wrinkles.

Last but not least…

This is often overlooked, but be sure to get your moles check each year. If you’re forgetful, schedule it near events you’ll remember, like your anniversary or birthday. No matter how thorough you may be when examining your own skin, mole checks are nonnegotiable. A little effort for a lot of cause.

 

 

Photo for Elle Sweden, by Andreas Ohlund

Latest Obsession: Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are a super food that you should know about! When your cells are nourished, your skin glows. These little black seeds are the highest natural source of omega-3s, a type of fatty acid that benefits your skin by helping to strengthen cell membranes’ barriers that allow water and nutrients in while keeping toxins out.

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To help you get into our current Chia craze, here are two great recipes. One that will benefit your internal health and for consumption, the other, an application recipe to benefit your skin!

Vanilla Chia Pudding, makes one serving. 

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

1 tablespoon honey

Directions

In a small bowl or jar combine the first four ingredients. Give it a good stir and refrigerate for at least one hour. After the first thirty minutes give the mixture a stir, so it doesn’t clump together. Once you’re ready to eat, stir in the honey (add more if you don’t think it’s sweet enough) and top with your favorite fruit or chopped nuts.

Chia seed face scrub

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

Mix the ingredients together before applying to a damp face. Allow the mixture to set for two minutes before using a wet washcloth to remove. Splash cold water on your face when you’ve finished.

Why Workout?

As the New Year is upon us, working out may be on the forefront on most of our minds so we are here to help and make sure you’re working towards your goal with the most efficiency and effectiveness. The trick? Work out in the morning. Here are a few quick facts that may help you skip the snooze.

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  • Easily, the rush of endorphins you feel after a great workout boosts your mood and energy. This will start your day off the right way in both your interactions with friends, co-workers, etc. AND you’ll be less likely to snack on junk food in this healthy state of mind.
  • After long hard day at work, it’s nice to get your exercise done since a glass of wine might seem more appealing than a long, hard run. Plus, when you exercise, your body uses glucose that’s stored in your liver for fuel. The problem with alcohol is that when you drink, the alcohol also gets metabolized in your liver (the same one!), which means that alcohol inhibits your ability to use your glucose stores effectively. The result, you’re not going to get the energy you need, and you simply won’t be as good.
  • Simply put, gyms are usually a bit less crowded super early in the morning. Avoid the mayhem if you can.
  • Because when you start your physical routine early, your metabolism is revved up which means you’re going to burn through the food you eat during the day, rather than when you’re sleeping
  • Lastly, this minimizes the excuses and tasks that will be at hand that will likely distract you from ever getting your push-ups and mile run in! Start your day earlier and feel the value from a full day of productivity.

 

Photo cred: NYtimes

Latest Obsession: Colostrum

I recently spent 2 nights at my family’s house for the holidays. The day before I arrived I found myself getting sick…. cold and sorethroat. My dad, who has become a huge believer in the holistic approach to diet, recommended that I try a colostrum powder he had been taking. All I can say is wow! I was healthy and symptom free in one day!

Colostrum is the “first milk” produced by mammals for their offspring prior to actual milk production. It is loaded with antibodies, immunoglobulins, and other immune-boosting nutrients. It is also known to increase energy levels, protect the intestinal tract, ward off infection, and even reverse aging. (You can also use the powder on your face as a mask)

It is best to take colostrum on an empty stomach with a good amount of water so that it will reach your small intestine without being damaged by saliva and stomach acids. Colostrum is a food more than a supplement, so there are no side effects. Just consume as much as you feel your body needs.

The best way to get colostrum into you is to buy it in powdered or capsule form. Make sure you are buying colostrum from pasture-fed cows that are pesticide and rBST free, and that is processed with very low heat. This is actually one instance where the processed version (although very minimal processing is best) is better for us than the raw version. Raw colostrum needs to be refrigerated and consumed within a reasonably short time. Plus the immune factors of raw colostrum come from just one cow where as processed colostrum comes from a pool of hundreds or thousands of cows and provides a broad spectrum of immune factors. I recommend this one: http://www.surthrival.com/colostrum-kilo.html

 

milk

This recipe is healthy and delicious:

*Best used in a Vitamix or blender

1 cup of almond milk

1 scoop of colostrum powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 large date

 

 

photo cred: motherearthnews.com

Keep Clean: How Bacteria Gets into Your Makeup

Photo: weheartit.com

Makeup bag

Not cleaning your makeup bag even if you clean every product, brush and sponge doesn’t put you in the clear. Your makeup bag needs to be cleaned out (at least once a month!) Either put it in the washing machine with your towels or in the dishwasher (this works really well if the bag is made of canvas) to get any loose, bacteria-laden products out of the bottom of the bag. Organization is key—so is cleanliness.

Tubes > Jars

If you’re using lotion that comes in a jar or tub as opposed to a tube, be sure not to dip in your fingers in it. The same goes for exfoliators, lip balms and anything that comes in a jar. Go for a tube version of your favorite lotion or jar-ridden product (or anything packed in an airless tube like JanLabs) to avoid potential irritants of the skin!

Lipstick Post a Meal

An act that happens daily, it’s important to know, if you immediately reapply your lipstick with any lip product after eating food, you’re pressing left over food particles into your lips, and into the product itself. The bacteria can then live on the surface of lipstick or inside the tube of lip gloss, which will eventually spread onto your lips in the next application. To avoid this, make sure you fully wipe off any food on your lips and if possible, brush your teeth, before reapplying lip color.

Mascara Pumping

Every time you pump mascara to “get more product on the brush,” you’re drying out the mascara, which creates a dry, dark breeding ground for germs. The mascara onto your wand that’s inevitably put into your eye (back and forth again) passes germs from your eye to the tube, where they’ll continue to live. It’s important to make sure you’re only using mascara for no longer than 3 months—and swirl the brush inside instead of pumping it up and down.

Sharing Your Goods

The most sensitive type of make to share is anything eye-related, since they are susceptible to getting bacteria in them. In general, sharing any beauty products with your friends naturally puts any of their germs into your products and vice versa. This may be the hardest to abide by, but in the long wrong, it’s advised not to share your make-up with your bff!

Double-dipping

When applying makeup, it’s best to use specific brushes for specific uses. But often, many of us are guilty of using one brush for multiple products. If you’re likely use one brush to apply powder to your face, then dip it into your blush, you’re transferring any oils from your face into your blush compact, and then redistributing those oils onto your cheeks when you apply blush. Use separate brushes for each product, and remember to clean your brushes about once a week to avoid any bacteria.

 

 

Catching the ZzZz

According to an exclusive Women’s Health survey, nearly 80 percent of women have trouble sleeping at least a few times a month while 23 percent have issues almost every night. What’s worse, per the National Sleep Foundation, half of all women regularly wake up feeling unrefreshed, which can strain the body, exhaust the mind, and increase risks for ailments such as diabetes and depression. So how do we sleep better? We are going to take a look at busting some myths and finding out some truths. f19471e774fc34d438d00af8a2ef2b46

Catching up on sleep: While it’s tempting to sleep in on weekends, keeping a regular sleeping schedule seven days a week will help you fall asleep at night.

Working out at night: Exercising regularly does make it easier to fall asleep but be sure to finish working out at least three hours before bedtime—preferably in the afternoon. Exercise raises your body temperature and it takes about six hours to get back to normal temperature and cooler body makes it easier to fall asleep.

Resting for your brain: Generally we tend to think our minds need rest but it’s primarily our body; our brain still is working while we are asleep.

Alcohol: While drinking alcohol does make you tired and put you to sleep, drinking ultimately disrupts and fragments your night’s sleep, which causes waking up in the middle of the night.

Bedroom: To strengthen the association between bed and sleep, try not to add any activities that say otherwise in your bedroom—like watching TV or working on your computer.

Whether it’s breaking a habit or starting one, hopefully some of these truths can provide a better night’s rest for you. Reap the important health, body and mind benefits good sleep can provide by ensuring your nighttime slumber is up to snuff.

Photo by: Irving Penn, found: lacloserie.tumblr.com

Glorious Greens

When it comes to leafy greens, it’s not a surprise that some offer more nutrients than others. While we may have preferences when it comes to our salads or green smoothies in the morning, it’s important to examine which greens can benefit us the most and perhaps the least.

Kale and chard are loaded top resources for beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair your skin while also renewing it—which may give your skin a youthful glow. Also, the darker the greens, the more fiber and rich in minerals (iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium) and vitamins (K, C, E and some B vitamins), they are. In addition, darker leafy greens are the richest sources of lutein, which has had mounting evidence to decrease risk of wrinkles!

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A specific green that follows closely to such goodness is spinach and it’s brimming benefits of the aforementioned lutein, potassium, fiber and folate. While these things can keep a heart healthy and in good shape, the folate is a notable and vital nutrient for DNA repair, which means, spinach definitely can help keep your skin looking it’s very best.

So when out at the store seeking your fighting greens, make sure to look for the freshest bunch. Pass by any greens with brown spots, yellowing edges or limp-looking leaves and instead, look for crisp, lively greens with vibrant hues of green. It’s also recommended that you only wash them right before preparing or eating them to keep the available nutrients at it’s best.

 

Photo: wholefoodsmarketcooking.com

Royal Goodness

Known as a miraculous super food, royal jelly is buzzworthy in its powerhouse abilities to benefit your skin. Royal jelly is a 100% natural product that is derived from the secretions of male worker bees and is commonly used in a variety of skin care products.

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This substance consists of mostly water, protein and sugars (fructose and glucose) and also includes healthy fats, salts and amino acids–fully packed with antioxidants, minerals and proteins and is a nutrient that is sure to rejuvenate.

Because it’s main qualities protect the skin (especially from damaging effects from ultraviolet radiation from the sun), this nutrient has been a main contender for researchers and skin experts, especially since the amino acids found in the jelly is notably a basic ingredient in collagen (it powerfully maintains the skin’s firmness by supporting the skin’s connective tissue and protects the skin from harmful radiation—from damaging rays). What this means is that this jelly essentially protects us from unwanted discoloration of the skin and inevitable outcomes such as wrinkles, age spots etc.

Additionally, clinical research has found royal jelly to be effective in managing eczema, neurodermatitis and impetigo. Royal jelly benefits goes beyond skincare and into internal health too. Taking royal jelly (as a pill, or eaten as fresh jelly) may also lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL) which ultimately can help prevent aging which domino effects into lowering the risk towards a multitude of other potential health problems, such as heart attack and stroke.

There are many benefits to using royal jelly for the skin—and all skin types, including dry, irritated or sensitive skin, as well as oily and acne-prone skin, can benefit from using royal jelly. This is surely just the beginning as you can tell from a long list of what royal jelly can do for you!

 

 

photo cred: chacha.com

Tea Time

Many of you are coffee drinkers, which I can appreciate but my mornings are usually somewhere in the outdoors, doing anything active followed by an unwinding meets energy-inducing cup of tea. Ever since I could remember, I was a cup of tea over Joe kind of girl and over time I’ve been able to also find and experience the benefits tea itself provides, besides its preferred flavor.

Granted there are a multitude of different kinds of teas, but the kind that may be most beneficial (and favored by yours truly) is green tea. Not only does this tea do a powerful job at relaxing you, it’s also jam-packed with inflammation-fighting antioxidants all the while reducing risk of skin cancer. A trick to ensuring the power of green tea is boosted and even lasts longer is to add a squeeze or three of citrus!

If you happen to be an avid tea drinker (or if you’re not) the tea bags itself can be of use even when it’s done being used for your steaming mug. A way to help reduce puffiness of the eyes is to chill damp tea bags in the fridge and then lay them on for about 10–15 minutes. Green tea contains tannins, which act as an astringent when applied to skin, which helps the eyes.

I’ll be sure to touch on the other pros when it comes to other kinds of teas, but for now this is my schpeel on the green. But if anything, the benefit of having a cup of tea undoubtedly forces us to slow our days down and to take a moment to rest—to just be. In the long run, this above many other things is better for our health, and yes, most likely good for our skin too.