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

 

10 Beautifying Foods for Radiant Skin

Who doesn’t want beautiful, clear skin?? Your skin is your largest organ and it can say a lot about what is going on within. It protects you from the environment and it is one of the organs through which toxins leave your body. Since all your body systems are interconnected it makes sense that when you eat well your various organs and systems improve.

When it comes to skin issues - eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, rashes, dandruff etc - most of these can be traced to nutritional deficiencies and/or undiagnosed food sensitivities. This means that with some changes and introducing a few key nutrients you can resolve your skin issues. And the side effect?? The rest of your body will improve!! How’s that for a ‘side effect’?! Better than leaky bowels or any of the side effects that you’ll have read to you on a TV commercial for the latest medication. :)

Foods to Eat for Beautiful Skin

  1. Strawberries - organic, of course! (Strawberries are part of the Dirty Dozen) These delicious berries are loaded with vitamin C which is essential for repairing your skin and tissues. They also help flush out impurities and dead skin cells. Aim for 1-2 cups per day.

  2. Walnuts - these nutters have the ability to enhance your skin and hair! They are rich in vitamin E, Omega 3s and protein. They also support the body’s in ridding itself of toxins and help skin retain it’s glowy-ness.

  3. Red peppers - organic! (Any foods you’re eating with the skin should be chemical-free) These guys are rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene protecting your skin from free-radical damage. Eat them raw or cooked.

  4. Greek Yogurt - regular, full fat, plain greek yogurt! (Anything that is 2% or fat-free has been processed, defeating what we’re aiming for.) The lactic acid and natural enzymes in greek yogurt help nourish the skin and your hair and nails! Its enzymes also promote a healthy digestive tract. A healthy gut equals a healthy body! Aim to make plain greek yogurt with some strawberries and blueberries your breakfast staple 4-5 days a week.

  5. Cage-free Pasture-raised Eggs - cage free and pasture raised because you want the eggs to be as nutrient dense as possible! Their high protein and iron content help keep your skin healthy and also helps your hair and nails. Aim for having 2 eggs (yolk and all!), either scrambled or hard boiled, 3 times a week.  

  6. Olive oil - rich in antioxidants and a healthy fat, olive oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, nourishing your skin, hair and nails from within. You can also use it topically. DO NOT use it to cook! Olive oil has a low burn point, becoming rancid and potentially carcinogenic when heated.

  7. Coconut oil - a powerful anti-inflammatory and rich in healthy fats! It helps boost your metabolism and promotes healthy skin, hair and nails! Use this oil to cook! Or in your smoothies! You can even use it as a moisturizer for your skin or a mask for your hair!

  8. Wild Salmon - rich in Omega 3s - a healthy fat - that is essential for healthy, beautiful skin. It is also high in protein! Making it excellent for your hair, skin and nails. The benefits of Omega 3s go beyond your hair, skin and nails - supporting heart health and your brain too! Eat salmon or a cold-water fatty-fish of your choice 3-4 times per week.

  9. Blueberries - have one of the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruits. Always go organic. These little guys are rich in vitamin C, E, A, B complex and minerals like copper, iron, selenium and zinc. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties helping skin remain healthy and youthful. Aim for 1-2 cups per day.  

  10. Oysters - are rich in protein, omega 3s and zinc, which are essential for healthy skin, hair (and eyelash) growth and strong nails. They are also high in vitamin E which protects your skin (and other cells in your body). Eating oysters also benefits your heart and cardiovascular system, boosts your immunity and improve brain function. Eat 3-6 oysters a couple times a week.

There you have it! 10 beautifying foods for your health, your skin and even your hair and nails! You will be amazed how good you will feel and look!!

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

Health starts in your Gut

There are lots of factors that play a role in losing weight and keeping it off. One of them has to do with the friendly bacteria in your gut! These microscopic guys are essential for proper digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. When we eat highly processed, nutritionally deficient and chemically-laden foods we destroy the environment in our digestive system! And we gain weight, find it hard to lose weight and feel groggy, tired and irritable. A healthy gut also helps keep our skin clear and glow-y. I have seen this time and again with myself and my clients. For myself, when I slack on my daily probiotic regimen I start getting irregular, bloated and my skin starts to look less vibrant. That’s when I know I have to get right back on the proverbial horse! And I do. Health and wellbeing is process and your daily health regimen is what makes it happen.

Some benefits of daily probiotic use:

  • Boosts your immune system (and wards off infections)

  • Improves women’s vaginal health - like the gut bacteria, balance is key to the health of our lady parts.

  • Improves gastrointestinal health - a healthy balance of gut bacteria is essential for the proper breakdown and absorption of the foods we eat. Healthy gut bacteria can also help with IBS, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, etc.

  • Maintains urinary tract health

  • Obesity - yes that too! Preliminary research has shown that probiotics can help obese people maintain weight loss after weight loss surgery and Stanford researchers have found that obese people have different gut bacteria than normal weight people.  

What to look for?? You want high CFUs (Colony Forming Units) because this tells you how rich in probiotics a food actually is, unpasteurized or fermented foods.

Unpasteurized probiotic-rich foods:

  • Kefir

  • Miso

  • Tempeh

  • Blue Algae (can be bought refrigerated and you can add it to your morning smoothies)

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha Tea

  • Sauerkraut - make sure this is raw, organic

  • Pickles - again, raw & organic

  • Plain, unflavored, organic yogurt

  • Fresh, refrigerated probiotic supplements

When buying probiotic food products make sure you read your ingredient labels! Make sure that the sugar and fat content is within reason. 4 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar. Look for it to be organic too! You don’t want your healthy probiotics to be laced with toxins. Kinda defeats the purpose no?? I do my best to take 1 high quality probiotic supplement, drink 1 organic goat milk kefir  and/or 1 raw kombucha tea every day. I notice that when I do at least 2 of these my tummy is happy (and not bloated) and my skin looks great! Every system in your body is interrelated and interconnected so help your body out and nourish it with high quality foods!

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

Power Orange Foods

Did you know that orange foods are loaded with beta-carotene and that it boosts your immune system, aids in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and infections and protects your eyes?? I think it’s fascinating what food does in our bodies! If I can keep my immune system healthy then I can have more energy and enjoy my life even more! And that gets me excited! So let’s talk orange foods! And by orange I do not mean skittles or foods that have been magically colored by the “food” products fairy. I mean real, natural, whole, nutritious fruits and vegetables. I keep going back to this because our society has gotten so far away from eating foods our great-grandparents would recognize as food. As a result we are now a sicklier population than we ever were. Our bodies were not designed to get sick whenever the seasons change. Can you imagine living back when we were hunter-gatherers? How efficient would our species have been if we were so prone to illness? We never would’ve made it this far, evolutionarily, if our bodies were predisposed to illness. But, we can change this trend! We can be healthy and lead vibrant lives. All it takes is being more aware today than we were yesterday.

So let’s get our immune systems going! These are some orange foods to add to your diet:

  • Carrots - I’m sure we all remember Bugs Bunny and his carrots. If Bugs were a human being he’d have great skin as the vitamin A in carrots help slow down the aging process and keep skin clear.

  • Butternut Squash - loaded with fiber and potassium, this vegetable is low in fat and helps build stronger bones.

  • Sweet Potatoes - help with acne due to the anti-inflammatory nature of its vitamin A.

  • Papayas - make sure you buy these organic to avoid any genetic tampering with this fabulous fruit! It promotes a healthy digestive system.

  • Pumpkin - the ubiquitous fall vegetable, it keeps our eyesight sharp (like all orange veggies) and aids in weight loss. Pumpkin seeds can protect your body against heart disease.

  • Orange Tomatoes - these little guys have been shown to contain a form of lycopene that our bodies can absorb more easily. So if you see them, give them a try to protect your body from cancer and heart disease.

  • Cantaloupe - full of vitamin A and C, both powerful antioxidants, and they are sweet! Just be careful with these if you are allergic to mold.

  • Apricots - these little fruits are packed with iron, fiber and potassium. I love adding these to my Chicken Tagine. Be careful with them in dried form! The added sugar will cancel out the health benefits.

  • Golden Beets - like their red cousins, these are low in calories but full of fiber and potassium. They help with the elimination of toxins.

  • Guava - this tropical fruits is packed with lycopene, which for dudes, helps protect against prostate cancer. It also has 60% more potassium than a banana.

Make sure you add a little bit of a healthy fat when eating these foods! Vitamin A/Beta-Carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin. A little coconut oil, some extra virgin olive oil (if you’re eating it raw), a nut butter like almond butter, an avocado or some nuts and seeds will help your body absorb it. Who knew that the nutrients that make vegetables and fruits orange had powerful effects on your body?!

Power Orange Smoothie

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2-3 cups purified water (or ½ organic nut milk & ½ purified water)

1 cup organic mangoes, frozen

1 cup organic papaya, fresh or frozen

½ cup organic apricots

2 tbsp organic coconut oil

2 tbsp chia seeds

Add the purified water (or liquids of your choice) and ingredients in blender. Blend and serve.

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

Go ahead! Get your Beauty Sleep!

I know we hear this all the time. Some of us, since we were kids. Get your beauty rest! Make sure you sleep well! But how many of us really know how important it is for us to get plenty of good, quality sleep?? How many of us know what happens to our bodies when we don’t?? Some of us may have even deluded ourselves into thinking that we only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I know I used to think this was ok. The fact of the matter is, it isn’t. No matter how much we may think we are perfectly functional and only need 5 hours of sleep, our bodies tell a different story.

Reasons to get Adequate Sleep??

  1. Hormonal imbalances, caused by sleep deprivation, can affect our appetites and how we digest foods causing one to gain weight!!

  2. Poor sleeping patterns affect how our brain processes new information and commits them to memory.

  3. Get sick easily?? Lack of sleep lowers the immune system!

  4. Inadequate sleep affects our mood, making it harder (or impossible) to concentrate, making us impatient and irritable. It might be good for your family, friends and loved ones for that extra hour or two of sleep huh??

  5. Chronic lack of sleep can also increase your stress levels and lead to cardiovascular issues.

But what can we do about this?? There are times when I am trying to get to sleep but failing, miserably!! My mind is going a mile a minute. Thinking of what I didn’t accomplish that day and what I have to handle tomorrow. It’s not easy. It really isn’t easy to get good, sufficient sleep. There are too many responsibilities, pulling one in too many directions. But you can do something about it!! There is hope!

Here are some things I have found to work for myself and my clients.

  • Aim to get in bed by 10-10:30PM - this allows your adrenals to replenish themselves

  • Get off social media, iPads, iPhones, computers, laptops 1 hour to 2 hours before bedtime - the glow from these electronics have been shown to interfere with our bodies’ circadian rhythm (No bueno...)

  • Start a Bedtime Ritual of your own - dim the lights, start tuning out the electronics, drink some chamomile, valerian or passion flower tea, and focus on the good things that happened that day

  • Eat 2-3 hours before your bedtime - this gives your body time to digest properly, making it easier to keep the weight off your waistline

  • Lavender Essential Oil - is amazing!! It has a calming effect on the body, which can promote a restful sleep

I find that I sleep better when I give myself the opportunity to tune out of the social media/electronic buzz that is now part of our society. There is a time and opportunity for everything, even if it may not seem that way sometimes. I encourage you to put yourself, your health and well-being (and sanity) first. If you think about it, who else is gonna take care of your family and loved ones if you’re not rested and healthy? Make yourself your No. 1 priority! It will do wonders for so many aspects of your life. It has for mine!   

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