4 Guidelines for Clear Skin

Acne. It is not just a problem for teenagers. Around 20% of women suffer from acne in their 20s and 30s. Men can go through it too. Acne can be caused by stress or hormonal fluctuations or nutritional imbalances in your diet. It can even be caused by your beauty routine or medications. But regardless of the ‘trigger’ the major culprit is inflammation.

Your skin says a lot about what’s going on on the inside. It is the largest organ of the body and it’s purpose is to protect your body from microbes and the elements, to regulate your body temperature and allow the sensations of touch, heat and cold. Your skin is there to protect you. But it is also the first thing people see when they meet you! Whether you are a salesperson, CEO or actor - your skin is part of the impression you make on another human being. Making it even more important to have a healthy, clear complexion - and a healthy, clear complexion comes from a healthy inside.

4 Cardinal Guidelines for Healthy, Clear Skin

  1. A diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, REAL foods

  2. Proper hydration - always drinks ½ your body weight in ounces daily

  3. A way to manage stress - exercise, meditation, music

  4. Proper, quality sleep - a good 7-9 hours every night

The first one isn’t that simple to explain. There are several factors to maintaining a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, that will lead to decreasing inflammation in the body and clearing up your skin. I’m going to start with the foods to avoid (below) and share with you the best foods for clear skin in my next post on Thursday.

4 No-No's for Clear Skin

  1. Reduce/Limit Dairy - cow’s milk and cheeses are very pro-inflammatory, meaning they cause inflammation. They are best avoided but if you must eat a little cheese, choose organic, pasture-raised, hormone-free and antibiotic-free.

  2. No “Diet” or “Sugar-Free” or “Fat Free” or “Zero Calorie” or “Low-Fat” - if it has any of these (or other) “buzz words” it is full of chemicals and should be avoided (like the plague).

  3. Reduce/Limit Sugar - this is crucial to maintaining a healthy body and clear skin. There are added sugars in so many ‘foods’ and drinks because it makes those foods tasty and because sugar is addictive (it acts on your brain in the same way cocaine does). Read your labels carefully to know how much sugar is in your food in order to start making wiser choices and switch from sugary drinks and ‘juices’ to water.

  4. Avoid Processed, Refined Foods - white flour, bread, pasta, margarine, cold cuts, refined oils like canola, corn & vegetable oils, fast foods, white salt are all quasi-foods. They are lacking in nutrients, filled with chemicals, fillers and preservatives and cause unhealthy spikes in your blood sugar. All leading to inflammation.

These 4 Guidelines and 4 No-No's are the starting point to clear skin (and to a healthier you). Following these will reduce the inflammation in your body that can cause acne, clearing up your skin. Even if you don’t suffer from acne, these tips will help protect your skin from the environment and help it age better. I mean who doesn’t want beautiful, lit from within, skin??  

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

 

3 Things You Need from Your Breakfast

Let’s talk breakfast! I know I’ve been guilty of skipping this meal. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done this. It’s easy to skip this meal!! You woke up late. You woke up ‘on time’ but are somehow running late. Getting the kids ready for school. Etc. There are many reasons why one would be tempted (or 'forced') to skip this meal. The thing is that there are many reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day! And there are excellent reasons why you should NOT simply reach for a breakfast bar as you’re on the way out the door!!

3 Things You WANT & NEED

  1. You want to eat your breakfast!

  2. You want it to be healthy and nutritious.

  3. You want the least amount of chemicals and processed foods as part of your breakfast and your meals. (This means each item is to have 5 ingredients or less; a 4th grader should be able to pronounce and know what the ingredients are; and no ingredient should have more than 2 syllables.)

 

The reason you want and need the above?? Because your body has been fasting overnight and now that you are awake, your body has to kickstart everything: your brain, your heart and cardiovascular systems, your digestion etc. The better (in quality and nutrients) your breakfast, the better your body will function.

The benefits?? You’ll have more energy, a clearer and more focused mind and be able to maintain a healthy weight. Remember it is not about calorie counting. Diets in that sense - the calorie counting, the deprivation, the restrictions - don’t work. Learning how to eat and how to feed your body nutrient-rich foods? That works!

Breakfast Ideas

You can go with a couple hard boiled eggs and some fresh fruits and plain Greek yogurt (those 3 things could be your breakfast) or you can try something like these! Remember protein is important and so are whole grain carbs like steel cut oats, quinoa and amaranth. And always remember - if it says ‘whole grain’ on the box, it is NOT a whole grain.

 

Fall Raw Oatmeal with Flaxseeds

1 cup Irish Steel Cut Oats (or Oat Groats)

4 cups purified water (for soaking the oats)

2 cups purified water (or Almond/Coconut milk)

1 organic red apple, chopped

2 medjool dates, soaked (or soaked apricots)

1 tbsp flaxseeds

1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon (add once ready to serve)

½ tsp Nutmeg (add once ready to serve)

=> Step 1 is to soak the Oats in 4 cups of water overnight. In a separate bowl, soak the dates. In the morning drain and rinse the oats & make sure the pits from the dates are removed. You can use the water used to soak the dates as part of the 2 cups you will use to prepare the oatmeal. Place the drained and rinsed oats and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 20-25 seconds - until it reaches the desired consistency. Portion out the blended oats into a bowl and sprinkle with Ceylon Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Enjoy!  

Berry-Chia Pudding

1 cup Almond milk, organic (can use Coconut/Flax/Hemp milk)

¼ cup chia seeds

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup organic blueberries

¼ cup organic strawberries, sliced

¼ cup organic almonds, chopped

=>Step 1 is to soak the Chia seeds in the 1 cup of Almond milk overnight - covered and in the refrigerator. You can also soak them for 1 hour, if you are able to do that in the morning. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Feel free to experiment with adding other fruits. Stir well and enjoy!  

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Get Glowing Skin!

There are days when I look at my skin and I can notice every little line and when the unevenness makes me think about what I’ve been up to over the last day or so. I know when I reflect I often realize that I didn’t eat as clean and well as I usually do and/or I didn’t get adequate sleep. So I have to get back on the proverbial horse. It’s not easy to be on top of your eating and sleeping habits but if you stay on it, you’ll have more and more days when you wake and admire the glow and smoothness of your skin. In terms of the foods we eat, not all of them are created equal in their ability to rejuvenate and beautify our skin. I won’t go into my anti-sugar tirade.. suffice to say it causes wrinkles and a host of other chronic illnesses. But I will share with you the foods that increase collagen production, fight off sun damage, reverse dryness and reduce redness/inflammation.

  1. For skin redness/blotchiness, add Flaxseeds, either whole or ground, to your diet. Flax is loaded with Omega-3s, B vitamins, zinc and folic acid. These nutrients are essential for healthy skin.

  2. Suffer from dry skin? Eat wild salmon, mackerel, artic char and herring 3-4 times a week; cold water fish are rich in Omega-3s.

  3. Signs of sun-damage? Add tomatoes, sunflower seeds and almonds to your diet; tomatoes are rich in lycopene which helps you skin resist the effects of the sun’s UV rays and the vitamin E in sunflower seeds and almonds also protect the skin from free radicals caused by UV rays.

  4. For fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin, help your body increase collagen production by eating foods rich in vitamin-C like guavas, yellow and red peppers, broccoli, kiwis, kale, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges.

   Between the nuts and seeds, the cold-water fish and the abundance of organic fruit and veggies there should also be plenty of water! Hydration is essential in order to help our bodies get rid of impurities. You don’t want them to make themselves known ON your skin. At the end of the day, you can spend hundreds of dollars on quality, expensive creams (which I admit I do) but if you don’t nourish your skin with the right foods it will be a huge waste of money. Bottom line?? Invest in yourself!! In your body! You only get ONE!!

A few other tips to take your skin and body to the next level of beauty and health:

  • Eliminate processed foods

  • Cut dairy out of your diet

  • Eliminate wheat/gluten

  • Stop eating sugar

I know these few things are probably the toughest things anyone can do. I’ve done them. I know how hard it is. You will feel so much better once you kick the habit though! Start with baby steps like making half your plate veggies at lunch and dinner. Raw is good. Steamed or Sauteed. Just get your half a plate of veggies in! Then you can move on to reducing your intake of one of the categories listed. Remember that easy does it. Start by noticing how much of it you eat and then start reducing it incrementally. Be patient and stick to it. Treat your body with kindness during the process and you’ll see how your skin glows and is more supple. AND you will lose inches and pounds too! Health & wellbeing will be a part of your day to day too! It’s a win-win, on so many levels…

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends! Write me with any questions or just to let me know how you’re progressing! Or you can schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Say No to Allergies

I’ll admit it, some days it’s harder to write than others. This post was supposed to have been written by yesterday but it is Friday morning and I am just now beginning to write. My allergies have been killing me this past week. I don’t know how it’s been for you this season but allergies can really zap your energy and make your life a pain. I could’ve popped a pill but I took a different route. I decided to listen to my body. It was telling me that I need to slow down. (Just a tad) I am always running around into this thing or into that. Always doing something. So I gave myself the space to heal my body; without medication. I followed a 5 rules, which I will outline for you:

  1. Eliminate all Dairy - dairy products produce excess mucus and can turn a simple case of allergies into a full blown sinus infection. Most people are also highly sensitive to dairy too so it is good to be mindful of how much dairy you’re consuming and how you feel.  

  2. Eat Lots of Greens & other Colorful Veggies - half my plate at lunch and dinner was green and colorful. Greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard and collards help our bodies get rid of unwanted, and unnecessary, ‘things’.

  3. Eliminate all Wheat/Gluten - gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and a few other grains. Wheat/Gluten is a powerful allergen, causing inflammation in our bodies and producing excess mucus, as a result of it being an inflammatory agent.  

  4. Drink plenty of fluids - purified water, Throat Coat tea, Echinacea Plus and Gipsy Cold Care along with my favorite Green Tea. I had these on heavy rotation to hydrate and boost my immune system.

  5. Get plenty of quality sleep - this is crucial, your body needs quality sleep to rejuvenate and heal itself.

This is what I did for the past week and I am pleased to report that aside from some sneezing and a little nasal congestion I managed my allergies. I did not get any infections!! Yay!! I proved to myself, yet again, that if I listen to my body and give it the rest and nourishment it needs, it will have my back! The more you fill your body with the nutrients, the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals it needs to heal itself, the better your body will respond to environmental stressors, like allergens. Our bodies are truly miraculous entities completely capable of healing itself (as it has done for millennia before ‘modern medicine’). I am not saying that there aren’t times when we may need the added help of medication, there are. However, if we eat foods that are rich in nutrition our bodies will be healthier and fitter and better able to rejuvenate and heal itself without unnecessarily medicating ourselves. Health and wellbeing aren’t destinations, they are a journey and as journeys are unique to each of us. Happy Journey!   

Schedule your Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N