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Zinc and your skin

17 May

zinc foods“Take some Zinc and Echinacea,” seemed to be my moms standard reply whenever I felt a cold coming on. More often than not, I didn’t listen and then spent several, miserable days trying to recover. Truth is, Zinc is great for you. In addition, it does some amazing things for your skin.

People who have immune disorders or certain types of skin disorders tend to have less zinc in their body. Is this zinc because our body naturally uses it to fight off the infections or because we naturally have less zinc in our bodies which causes the infections in the first place? No one knows, really. But, zinc plays a major role in overall health of the skin.

Zinc works to heal and rejuvenate the skin in addition to reducing harmful free radical formation by protecting the skin when it’s exposed to UV light, pollution and other aging triggers. In healthy skin, we naturally have a cell turnover process of about 21-28 days which is called apoptosis. When we have a zinc deficiency our cells don’t turn over, and instead sit on the surface and stick together. All of this causes a buildup of sebum, bacteria and blocks the pores – which causes irritation and then acne. With a healthy amount of zinc, it can reduce clogged pores in the first place.

So, how much zinc is needed to stop acne? Men are supposed to take about 11 milligrams a day which women only need 8. Some of the best natural sources for zinc include various meats, and seafood’s – such as crab, oysters, lobster, etc. Allergic to seafood and not meat eater? Good news is that you can find zinc in beans, cheese, lentils, yogurt and fortified cereals. But, to increase the absorption – you definitely would want to stick with animal based products. (And grass fed/hormone free if you can!) If you eat a high diet of legumes, nuts, or seeds you increase your Phytate consumption and therefore also reduce your absorption of zinc.

If you are unable to eliminate some of these things from your diet or add them in if you are deficient, you can always take a zinc supplement to level you out. Most of the time, simple health and skin care issues can be improved by just taking a few small steps to better nutrition.

 

 

Meet your meat

12 May

Every once in a while I get a request for a blog post that asks me to showcase a recipe that is great for your skin. This isn’t one of them. However, this post is one I have been wanting to do for a while because this food is not only is it great for your overall health, but your skin, and hair as well.

featureGrass fed beef. Now, I realize there are a lot of plant based readers out there who will not agree with this post, and that’s okay. I’m not suggesting that anyone change their diet completely based on this post, rather I am suggesting that if you are going to eat meat, that you at least make better choices.

So, why is grass fed beef so much better than regular beef? Well, for starters, watch any of the documentaries out there that show how the traditional beef industry works and what the cattle are fed. The industry thrives on feeding beef corn, but so much of todays corn and feed is genetically modified. In addition to GMO’s  traditional beef can be packed full of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones.

There are so many articles, studies, documentaries, etc that make it complicated when it comes to dietary guidelines. Let me just break down the basics here for you and keep it simple:

  • Grass fed beef has 80% less fat than grain fed beef and 30% less cholesterol. Imagine being able to keep the protein intake up, but the fat content down.
  • It has balanced Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega acids aid in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory disease and autoimmune disorders.
  • It is a great source of conjugated linoleic acid. 3 times the amount in traditional beef. What is this? It’s an acid that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, and a number of immune disorders.
  • It is full of beta carotene. This helps with vision, immune disorders, and osteoarthritis.
  • It contains 400% more Vitamins A and E which helps your vision, and stimulates white blood cells.
  • Grass fed beef also creates happier animals, supports sustainable farming practices and local farms.

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Due to the high demand of healthier foods, there has thankfully been a rise in the amount of grass fed beef now carried at local stores. What used to only be available a Farmers markets or local meat shops is now available at chain grocery stores. Sure, the cost of the meat is a little more expensive, but it’s a step toward being healthier. Spending a little more time and money on your health now as a preventative measure sure beats forking over a ton of money for health issues later. Some of those issues can definitely be chalked up to hereditary factors, but with the rise of so many unexplained diseases that aren’t passed down, it may  be better to just help the odds of being healthier, longer by eating as clean as you can.

 

 

You are what you eat

19 Mar

herbs-larger-picTruth be told, everything you put in your body directly affects your appearance. I remember when I was babysitting a long time ago and used the saying “you are what you eat” to a few 6 year olds who wanted to shove their little mouths full of French fries. Imagine their horror when at first they thought they would actually turn into those greasy little delicacies. I had to explain to them the facts of that statement…no you wont actually become a French fry, but all that grease and filler and byproduct goes into your body and directly affects your health and your skin. Huh? Yeah, they all just stared at me with wide, un-blinking eyes and then changed the subject.

No one likes to hear they can’t eat the foods they love. Take my clients with Rosacea. Most of my clients with that particular skin issue will be mortified when I tell them that they shouldn’t eat spicy foods, drink alcohol or be out in the sun a lot or it triggers it. I can almost guarantee that 90% of my clients I tell that to do it anyway. Why? Because their love for their favorite foods and the sun outweighs the pink rash on their cheeks. Plus, isn’t that what good foundation or concealer is for?

Just because these items trigger unhealthiness in the body or concerns with the skin doesn’t mean they have to disappear forever from your diet. It just means that they should only be indulged in small quantities.

To assist in some beneficial snacks for the skin (and to help make up for when you do slip off the healthy wagon) here are some of the best things you should make a habit of eating.

Almonds- Not only do they have a ton of vitamin E in them, and monounsaturated fat but they are really great at keeping the skin hydrated and supple. I absolutely love almond oil directly on the skin as well. Almond milk is also a great source of nutrition for the body, and skin. Plus, it eliminates all the harmful side effects of dairy (that’s a whole other topic)

Blueberries – Full of antioxidants which fight off free radicals caused by pollution, pesticides, UV radiation and some foods. These free radicals not only cause DNA damage and skin cells which promote premature aging.

Spinach – Remember what happened when Popeye ate his spinach? Well, you might not gain some huge biceps, but your skin will look great! Skin is the largest organ of the body so its super sensitive to oxidation. Spinach combats that by containing folate which can actually reduce the skin cancer causing cells and repair DNA.

Tomatoes- Lycopene is what makes tomatoes all cheeky red, and no coincidence it also can protect you from skin cancer. What?! Yes, it can protect your skin from within and numerous studies have proven that people who eat tomatoes at least twice daily would have less sunburns and skin induced aging. Ketchup doesn’t count.

Walnuts – A huge source of omega 3 fatty acids which improves elasticity and redness. (Oh rosacea sufferers….)

This is just a short list of all of the amazing foods you can eat for your skin and health, and the beauty of it is that this list wont break the bank either. Try to always go organic, with less pesticides and processed ingredients when you can. And most importantly, even with all of this – make sure to drink PLENTY of water daily.

Stay tuned for my next post on the five WORST foods for your skin and health.

 

 

Review of Youniques 3D Fiber Lash Mascara !

6 Oct

I am super picky about mascara. I naturally have long(er) eyelashes, and have tried virtually every type of mascara out there. Most that create thickness and length are super heavy and horrible to wear on a regular basis.
My latest find is the 3D Fiber lash mascara by Unique which we recently brought into the spa. I bought my own tube of it and decided to give it a try.

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I must say I was very impressed!

In just two steps, well, actually three my lashes went from barely noticeable to almost up to my eyebrows. Everyone all day kept commenting on them and asking if they were real. They felt light, didn’t irritate my eyes and looked amazing. I never had to touch them up.

The instructions are easy: Put a light coat of your regular mascara on and let it dry. Add one coat of the Younique Transplanting gel on, then use the natural fibers. Reapply transplanting gel and voila you are done! Unless of course, you want to make them even longer then keep going with the same routine, just not another coat of your mascara.

The best part about this is they wash off with just soap and water. No glue ripping out your natural lashes, no expensive touch-ups with extensions, just a fun and great look for daily use that’s safe, and non-toxic.

Even better is the price tag which rings in at $35 plus tax.

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Spice it up with Cucumber, mint and jalapeño infused water!

15 May

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Hot weather always makes me think about margaritas, and sitting on a beach somewhere melting my troubles away. But, let’s face it. Most of us don’t have the extra time or money to travel every time the temperatures rise. Thankfully, I live in San Diego so I can retreat to the water when I’m not working. I wanted to create an infused water that gave me that tropical, exotic retreat feel without even having to leave my work.

Mint is always a great herb to give a different flavor to your water. Paired with cucumber, you can’t go wrong. But what could make it a bit more interesting? Jalapeño. Yep, you heard it right. This exotic mix is reminiscent of a mojito I had in Hawaii last night. It’s got just a little kick to it without really even tasting the pepper.

For the recipe:

1 gallon water
1/2 of a jalapeño (de-seeded, and completely cleaned out)
1 whole cucumber (or a little less if you want more of a spicy taste to it)
2-3 springs of mint

The flavor on this one kicks up quickly so you could safely make it in the morning to drink all day.
Hope you love it!!

Homemade dry shampoo

15 May

Do you ever feel like you have those days where you don’t want to wash your hair, but you have a little too much oil at the scalp? Or maybe, you have really fine hair and just need a little more volume?

Enter dry shampoo.

A dry shampoo is typically a powder, or sometimes a spray, that will basically absorb some of the oil and act like a temporary “shampoo” for your hair. The problem is that some leaves residue in your hair, all of them have chemicals, and for a good one they aren’t exactly cheap.

Enter your kitchen products.

By using just one, or maybe two products you probably have in your kitchen, you can make your very own dry shampoo that’s healthy, works, smells great and is a fraction of the cost.

Cornstarch (not cornmeal) can be used on lighter hair colors by placing a small amount in your palm and applying into the roots. I used to have an issue with cornstarch because I have dark hair, and then I would be able to see it. Image

If you have dark hair, use an equal combination of cornstarch and cocoa powder. The cocoa powder makes it smell amazing, and the white, ashy look of the cornstarch is not visible at all.

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Try it out, please let me know your thoughts!

 

 

More infused water flavors!!

3 May

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Rosemary and Pear water

Just when I was getting ready to branch into the more exotic pairings, I ventured back into the rosemary chapter. I absolutely loved the watermelon and rosemary combo and decided to make it a bit more refreshing and add pear. The flavor was good, and quite surprising.

Here’s what you need for this:

2 ripe pears
3 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 gallon of water

Another fun flavor – Apple Cucumber

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I know, this combination at first didn’t really sound great, but it was very refreshing. I used gala apples, but your own choice of organic apple will work.

2 gala apples (or organic of your choice)
1 whole cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1 gallon of water

Just like with the other recipes, make the night prior for optimal flavor and keep for only 24 hours.

Hope you enjoy these!!