Category Archives: Health

Food for Thought: Four Things You Should be Eating for Gorgeous Skin!

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As women, we are often taught to fear food; it will make us fat, it will break us out, etc. but what if you could enjoy food and reap some major beauty benefits as well? If you’re starving for some good menu items as well as an amazing glow, stock up on these four items ASAP!

Pepper Me Please
Whether you prefer red, green, or yellow, bell peppers are a wonder food! They are jam packed with vitamin C and contain antioxidants that can actually increase collagen production, decreasing lines and wrinkles and increasing skin’s firmness. You can sneak your bell peppers in as snacks throughout the day, or stuff with some brown rice, chicken and low fat cheese, bake, and enjoy them as a meal.

Berry Nice!
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries aren’t just a great option for a sweet treat; they are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help to slow the aging process. Add them to smoothies for breakfast, to a salad for lunch or dinner, or freeze and enjoy as a low cal dessert. Either way, both your face and your taste buds will thank you!

Enjoy Your Seafood
Oily seafood like salmon, lobster, and mackerel are high in both zinc and essential fatty acids. Combined, these main dishes not only reduce wrinkles, they also work as an anti-inflammatory to ease puffiness and redness in the skin. Add in some greens and a hint of olive oil, and you’ve got yourself one beautiful meal.

Go Nuts for Almonds!
Rich in flavonoids, these tasty nuts not only build a healthier heart, they also contain vitamin E and antioxidants for the skin. Eating almonds regularly not only leads to softer more supple skin; it can also fight off damaging free radicals caused by pollution and even smoking. Grab a handful as a snack or add a few to your salad for extra flavor and beauty points.

So grab your fork and get to it ladies! With foods that dish out these kinds of beauty results, you may find yourself wanting a second helping.

by Sian Bitner Kearny

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Gluten Free Cosmetics

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With one in every 133 people living with Celiac Disease, this is a wonderful resource to help survive and thrive gluten free. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Cosmetics – Five Ingredients You Never Saw Coming

By: Erika Krull

You walk away from the cosmetic counter with swagger.  You’ve snagged a fabulous lipstick, “firming” moisturizer, and life-saving eye cream all in one trip.  Still smiling from your cosmetic coup, you take a glance at the ingredient list of one of your new products and noticed some really funny looking words. 

 Tocopherol, triticum vulgare, and hydrolyzed malt extract.  What the heck are those?  Snapping back to reality, you remember that gluten can be found all over the place in personal care and cosmetic products.  Did you just contaminate your makeup bag?

Unfortunately, you just did.  Three different times, in fact.  Your doctor told you to watch for gluten, you know, by watching for wheat, barley, rye, and oats (because of cross contamination).  That’s right, except for one sneaky little problem.  Gluten doesn’t always come with a “Hello, My Name Is…” badge. 

Nope, in fact it often gets the drop on you by staying hidden and keeping you confused.  Until you figure out what you’re looking for, you’ll stay a step behind and feel the sucker punch when gluten slips in.

Don’t worry, getting on the good side of your cosmetics isn’t as hard as it seems.  You just need to know how to spot gluten when it’s using an assumed name.  Take a look at the lineup.

  •  Vitamin E/Tocopherol – This is used as a skin conditioner with anti-aging and moisturizing properties.  It’s often found in lipstick, powder cosmetics, skin care products, soaps, hair products, and lotions. 

Before you start visualizing Vitamin E as a complete villain, it’s important to understand the catch to this ingredient.  It can be made from gluten free sources, but this is not always labeled clearly.  It’s so important to ask because this is an easy ingredient to overlook. 

If a company either can’t guarantee its source or can’t even tell you where it comes from, then consider those products unsafe.  Gluten free sources of Vitamin E aren’t completely uncommon, so you should be able to find comparable products without the risk.  Companies that are known to be friendly to gluten-free customers are also more likely to use gluten free Vitamin E sources.  They know this detail matters to many of their customers.

  • Hordeum Vulgare – This is derived from barley and may also be labeled as hordeum vulgare extract, hordeum sativum, barley extract, or flour.  It would be great if this was always labeled something straightforward with the word “barley” in it, but that would just be too easy, right?

This ingredient is used for its skin protecting properties.  You might find this in sun care lotions, specialized skin serums, or other anti-aging products (including lips). 

  • Triticum Vulgare – This ingredient is derived from wheat germ and may occasionally go by the far more helpful and obvious name of “wheat germ oil”.  Because of its high Vitamin E content, triticum vulgare is used in products that moisturize and condition the skin. 

Because we humans don’t love having dry skin, this stuff is in a lot of products (especially those for extra dry or aging skin).  You’ll typically find this in lipstick, hair conditioner, hand and body lotion, eye creams, various anti-aging products, and more.

  • Hydrolyzed Malt Extract- Because this is malt, it is yet another ingredient derived from barley.  While this ingredient name contains fairly normal looking words, the word “malt” may or may not trigger your memory until you spend more time looking for it. 
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Paula’s Choice Skincare

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I don’t know why, but as I have gotten older my skin has gone from somewhat dry to alligator dry! It is often tight, itchy and dull.  Not pretty at all.  I have become stuck in a skincare rut, with some products doing ok and others just not working at all. 

So, when I got the chance to try out a new skincare set for dry skin, I said “why not!”. I was glad I did.  I have been hearing about Paula’s Choice skincare for some time, but never made the jump to try it out.  For me, the best thing about these products was the simplicity.  It never irritated my skin, or clogged my pores.  I liked them so much that I even took these with me on my honeymoon! If that is not trusting your skincare, than I don’t know what is. 

Paula’s Choice provides you with access to a skincare expert who can go through your concerns with you and recommend products that would be best suited to your needs.  After having a consultation, I was referred to the Skin Recovery line for dry skin with the addition of the Resist Moisture Renewal Oil.  Now, I will admit that some of the products didn’t blow my mind (I have never been a toner gal), but I ADORED the concentrate serum, gel exfoliant, replenishing moisturizer and the oil. LOVE LOVE LOVE mixing the oil with my replenishing moisturizer.  It is an amazing combo that never left me feeling greasy or lacking in moisture. 

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Here are the details:

Products in the Skin Recovery Advanced Kit Include:

  • Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser:
  • Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner:
  • Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant:
    • This lightweight gel increases skin cell turnover rate, revealing a smooth, firm and radiant appearance.
  • Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum:
    • a gentle alternative to retinol
  • Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30:
  • Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer:
  • Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask:

Active Ingredients: 

  • borage seed oil
  • Aloe barbadensis
  • ceramide NS, and vitamin E
  • Chamomilla recutita flower extract,
  • coenzyme Q10, and licorice extract
  • macadamia nut oil, and grape seed extract
  • soy oil, vitamin C, beta-glucan, olive oil/olive fruit oil
  • cucumber extract, apricot kernel oil

Now you can try out these sets for yourself (and don’t forget my personal favorite, Resist Moisture Renewal Oil)

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The Science Behind Mineral Salt Deodorants

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The Science Behind Mineral Salt Deodorants

Perhaps you’ve got doubts about so-called liquid ‘crystal’ deodorants. But these mineral-based deodorants are anything but farfetched. The effectiveness of their ingredients is rooted in hard science, and these all-natural deodorants provide long-lasting protection against odor.

“Sweat is not inherently funky.  Sweaty armpits smell awful because of odor-producing bacteria that live on your skin,” explains Kristien Boyle, a nationally-certified acupuncturist and herbalist.

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The Good Body by Eve Ensler

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ThegoodbodyNow that I am in my thirties, I have tried to adopt a healthier relationship with my body, and appreciate the curves that I have developed.  I have also come to terms with the fact that maintaining my shape is a daily task, and loving my shape is a lifelong battle.  This is all so much easier said than done. Why is it so easy to see the beauty in others, and neglect to see the radiance staring back at us in the mirror?  Some days I am my own worst enemy, and no amount of makeup can make me feel better when my jeans are tight. Since I often write in my blog about the importance of inner beauty, I decided to try and practice what I preach.

On the days when I want to burn every pair of jeans I own, and forever hide in my sweatpants, I turn to one of my favorite books.  I have counted on The Good Body  to get me through these moments (and the countless other muffin top catastrophes).  I have re-read this book several times, and even keep it near my desk for instants when I need the boost of affirmation.  Eve Ensler created this book of monologues to demystify the way women of all cultures and backgrounds are compelled to nip, tuck, tighten, and lop off parts of their bodies in order to fit in.  She is brutally honest, funny, and heartbreakingly real in her quest to understand the source of women’s obsession with obtaining physical perfection. The book is based on Ensler’s own struggles with her belly, but it’s also a script that includes years of research and a series of intimate conversations with women from over the world.  Every time I read this book I feel less inclined to grab at my wobbly bits in disgust.  I read this book, look at my body and am thankful that it is strong.   

“This play is an expression of my hope, my desire, that we will all refuse to be Barbie, that we will say no to the loss of the particular, whether it be to a voluptuous woman in a silk sari, or a woman with defining lines of character in her face, or a distinguishing nose, or olive toned skin, or wild curly hair. I am stepping off the capitalist treadmill. I am going to take a deep breath and find a way to survive not being flat or perfect. I am inviting you to join me, to stop trying to be anything, anyone other than who you are. I was moved by women in Africa, who lived close to the earth and didn’t understand what it meant to not love their body. I was lifted by older women in India, who celebrated their roundness. I was inspired by Marion Woodman, a great Jungian analyst, who gave me confidence to trust what I know. She has said that “instead of transcending ourselves, we must move into ourselves.”Tell the image makers and magazine sellers and the plastic surgeons that you are not afraid. That what you fear the most is the death of imagination and originality and metaphor and passion. Then be bold and LOVE YOUR BODY. STOP FIXING IT. It was never broken.”  

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Take A Leap On Mother’s Day!

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The picture you see of a crazy woman leaping off a very tiny pole… that’s me. Yep, that is me flying through the air after taking a very scary jump off a very TALL pole. A pole that I had to climb. A pole that I was told represented what I wanted to overcome in my life. And I climbed that pole as I was shaking and scared and wondering how in the world I was going to hoist myself up onto the tiny round platform. It represented me pulling myself up, standing tall on shaky ground and taking a chance to leap forward toward what I want I life. All leaps in life are scary, but this was one of the most emotionally and physically terrifying things I have ever done. It was my “Leap of Faith” and to say that it changed me is an understatement.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Because I am not someone who normally leaps off poles, or jumps off ziplines. That was me when I was in my 20’s….now, not so much. Life and fear has gotten the best of me in the past few years. To be honest, life has taken a big chunk out of me, and I wanted to reclaim some of my old fearlessness, passion and chutzpah. So I went away to camp. You heard that right! I went away for a weekend retreat for women at Campowerment. It was the best decision I have made in a very long time (except for saying a big fat YES to marrying Mike. That is the world’s best decision……but I digress).

Founder Tammi Leader Fuller pursued her passion for providing a space for women to get back a little “me time”. A place where girlfriends, mothers and daughters, or single ladies looking for some space could go and find a way to recharge, refresh, and find their strength again. Because let’s face it, we are all drained. We are all being pulled into thousand different directions. We are all too damn tired. All. The. Time.

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The camp experience brings together experts from all over the industry teaching you how to find some peace in your daily life, whether it be with yoga classes, business strategies, wellness seminars or creative activities. I spent four days reigniting my soul. I made vision boards, I took journaling classes, a class on organization (who doesn’t need that help!) and I listened to some of the most powerful female coaches who moved me to get my act in gear. And yes, I ended the weekend by facing my fears and taking a very giant leap of faith.

This time at camp is something tremendous and necessary for every woman I know. This is something to share with your mother, your best friend, your sister, or simply go by yourself. I went alone and walked away with some amazing new friends. Yes, I was nervous and afraid…but isn’t that the point? To move forward toward something that is unknown because you need to be woken up! You need to be able to feel reignited. You need to let go and allow yourself to breathe again.

Mike has said I came home a new woman, and although I am not sure if that is true, I can say with all my heart that I found that 20 year old girl inside me and got some of my fearlessness back. I found my spunk and my spark again.

So, this mothers day I would like for you to give YOURSELF a gift.  Give yourself the gift of reconnecting with yourself again.  You are worth it. 

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Have Celebrity Confidence

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Find Your Inner Celebrity Confidence:

I constantly come across women and men that are never satisfied with how they look. From weight to the shape of their face, they always feel bad about how they look. I try to remind them that everyone’s different and even those celebrities they admire aren’t perfect. The truth is, we all deal with our own body confidence issues. I have a few tricks I’ve picked up from celebrities to help me feel confident even when I might not feel like I look my best.

Dress For You

I don’t have to wear the latest trends if they don’t work for my body. Dress for your body type and you’ll feel far more confident. Be comfortable in your own skin and your beauty will shine through. Demi Lovato isn’t ashamed of her curves. Embrace what makes you unique, don’t hide it.

Be Grateful

Victoria Justice may seem perfect, but she isn’t always happy with her body. Instead of obsessing, she takes a step back and thinks about what is right. She’s grateful to be healthy and lets the body issues drift away.

Alter Ego

Okay, so it may sound silly, but embrace your alter ego. Pretend you’re someone else when you’re not feeling confident with your looks. Even Beyonce embraces her alter ego Sasha when she doesn’t feel super confident on stage.

Basically, forget your imperfections and just love yourself. Confidence is sexy!

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