Helping Women be the most Beautiful, Inside and Out

Posts tagged ‘diet’

Instant Gratification

Ever heard the phrase “Patience is a virtue” ?

 It used to be a common phrase when I was growing up, but is pretty much unheard of today.

Who plants their own fruit or vegetables and waits for the harvest anymore? That’s what grocery stores are for.  Though it is a wise choice to raise your own crops, if you have the land, especially with food prices constantly rising.  Not to mention the taste of your own fresh food is so much better than store bought.

Ever made your own clothes?  It is rather rewarding to choose fabric that you like and a design that is unique to your own tastes, then making it with your own hands.  Does anyone even use sewing machines anymore?  I have one, but rarely use it just for small seam repairs.  Or how about spining fiber into yarn to use for kniting?  Do people still knit or crochet today?  Maybe, but not like in my grandmothers day!

Patience was a way of life. Now we have no idea what that is.

Wonder why?

Our modern society is into instant gratification. We are used to everything being at our fingertips.

Some examples of instant gratification:

Instant tanning (who wants to spend hours in the sun?)

Digital Photos (no waiting to develop film)

Microwavable or fast food (who wants to cook full meals anymore?  who has time?)

Audio Books or Videos (no one likes to read more than a page of text)

Pain pills (to treat symptoms instead of the cause)

Remote controls (can’t even move 5 feet to switch channels anymore)

Plastic Surgery (quick results, but don’t always meet expectations)

Liposuction (quickest way to loose weight)

Winning the lottery or any gambling (the odds are against you!)

The problem with instant gratification is that it can produce longterm disappointment when immediate expectations are not fulfilled.  It tends to make us loose patience, or become unthankful for things that take time to produce.

Delayed gratification has its rewards:

Relaxing with a good novel vs. watching a condensed 2 hours movie version (allows you to use your imagination, and read at your own pace)

Home cooked meals  vs. pre-cooked, ready-made

Healthy prepared food vs. quick junk food

Picking fruit from your own tree vs.  store-bought, under ripe fruit from out-of-state or country

Improving your looks and health through better nutrition and regular exercise

Treating the cause of a health problem and eliminating it naturally and permanently

Full time education to produce a career vs. low paying job due to lack of experience

So many things in life you just can’t shortcut on.  Relationships including marriage and parenting are the most important things in life that require longterm patience, and are the most gratifying.

Life is full of rewards when we take time to enjoy each and every minute.

PMS Relief

Some of the funny definitions for P.M.S. are:

  • Putting up with Men’s Shenanigans (g rated version)
  • Part Monster Syndrome (what I call the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome)
  • Punish Men Severely (payback time for all they’ve done all month)
  • Purchase More Shoes (shopping always makes you feel better, doesn’t it?)
  • Pass my sweatpants (for the bloated feeling)
  • Perpetual Munching Spree (sweet tooth working overtime)

Putting fun aside ladies, we know this time of the month is anything but fun!  Right?

Premenstrual Syndrome can be a very tough time for many.  Even though it is a natural part of the menstrual cycle it can be very painful, either physically or emotionally or both.  Symptoms can vary greatly from woman to woman, and even from month to month.  I can remember having severe back pain and cramping one month, then the next month extreme irritability and little to no physical pain.

Some common physical symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • breat tenderness
  • migrane headaches
  • cramping
  • acne
  • bloating
  • food cravings

Whereas the emotional symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Aniexty
  • Fuzzy headed
  • Mood swings

Without relieve we just make ourselves and those we love most miserable.

So what can we do about it?

Dietary Suggestions:

  • Decrease intake of fatty foods and red meat
  • Increase Calcium in your diet
  • Reduce the use of sugar and salt
  • Eliminate caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness
  • Increase foods that are rich in potassium, like broccoli, fish, and beans
  • Eat smaller portions and more frequently to help stabilize your blood sugar
  • Eat alot more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish
  • Avoid alcohol

These natural remedies are also commonly used to relieve PMS symptoms:

  • St. Johns wort
  • Wild yam
  • Dandelion
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Vitamin E
  • Uva ursi

Last but not least:

Exercise and relaxation are both very important in decreasing the affects of PMS

So eat healthy, get plenty of exercise and relaxation so you can stay away from those seven dwarves of PMS!

Breakout!

We all have bouts of breakouts.

I’m not talking about the urge to break into a song and dance routine in a crowded mall, or breaking into a fit of rage from breaking a fingernail, but of the embarrassing breakouts of acne.

It can happen no matter what your age.  In fact statistics show that more than 50% of adult women and 25% of men have acne breakouts.  So don’t feel alone teenagers!

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what causes acne so that you can see it coming or avoid it altogether?  I know chocolate has gotten a bad rap for years as a major cause but in reality there are other causes worth looking into.

Here are some common causes and cures of acne:

Diet: You probably already know that eating junk food can be a major cause of acne breakouts, but also certain food allergies.   Another cause is sodas and any drinks with caffeine that are detrimental to clear flawless  skin.  Whats the cure?  Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.

Hormones: If you notice acne breakouts more at the time of your menstruation, then your hormones could be the culprit.  I can say I’ve been plagued by this type for many years, until I past menopause.  I’ve heard that regular use of birth control pills helps.

Hair Products: If you use oils and sprays on your hair they can get on your skin and clog your pores, especially around your forehead, and neck.   At night, after washing your face try sleeping with your hair tied up away from your face.

Bedding: When is the last time you washed your pillowcase and sheets?  Your face may be clean but any dirt from your hair or in the air even can build up on your pillow, not to mention bacteria and germs.  Best to wash bedding at least once a week.

Dry skin:  I know this sounds absurd, but if your skin is overly dry it can actually produce more oil to compensate.  All skin need moisture, but to different degrees.  Some moisturizers are rich for extremely dry skin, and some light for more oily skin.  Choose what’s best for your skin type.

STRESS! Stress can cause a multitude of health problems, one being skin conditions such as acne. You may not be able to relieve your stressful day to day situations, but try to take a break away from your routine once in a while. Have a little fun.   It will do wonders for your health.  Regular daily exercise also helps relieve stress, and provides a multitude of health benefits.

Touch: Are you constantly touching your face?  I know I’m guilty of that one!  Hands touch all kinds of nasty stuff throughout the day and can transfer germs and bacteria to your face.

I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but “keep your hands off your face, and wash them regularly”.   Also a big NO-NO is when you have a pimple don’t squeeze it (remember don’t touch!)  Squeezing can make it worse, last longer and cause scarring.

Here is another thing you may not of thought of, something that touches your face more than anything else, your cell phone.   Ever notice how dirty, and greasy your phone gets from your hands?  It’s best to use a “hands free” bluetooth as much as possible.  To clean your phone just wipe it with antibacterial wipes or rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball every few days or at least once a week.  Oh yeah and limit others from using your phone to avoid passing on germs and bacteria.  I know I cringe when I see moms hand their toddlers a cell phone to play with, and they start drooling and sucking on them.  Yikes, Germ City!

Makeup: Did you know that some ingredients in your makeup may actually clog pores can cause breakouts?   Or you could have an allergic reaction to some product, and not even be aware of it.   It’s important to remove makeup and wash your face thoroughly every night with a good facial cleanser, and exfoliate at least once a week to remove dead cells under the skin.  It is also a good practice to clean your facial brushes and sponges  regularly.

Smoking: Smoking not only adversely affects areas like the respiratory and immune system, but also clogs pores which can cause breakouts.

Cures for acne can differ depending on the cause and type of skin you have. If you have  extremely bad acne or reoccurring breakouts it may be necessary to see a dermatologist.

If you have cystic pimples, ones that do not surface, they don’t normally respond to common treatments.  I’ve heard ice helps with the pain.  Unfortunately there is not alot you can do but be patient and let them dissolve on their own.

For mild to moderate acne breakouts look for products that contain Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Hope that some of these causes and cures can help you in your fight to combat acne breakouts and get your skin back to looking healthy and beautiful.

Curb Your Appetite

Want to know a great appetizer, that goes with any meal?  WATER!

I know water doesn’t sound very appetizing, but the multiple benefits greatly out way the tasteless, aroma-less drink.

Water is a precious gift of nature.

Water flushes our bodies of impurities and toxins.

Water clears up our complexion.

Water helps in the digestive process.

And so much more…

The human body is on the average about 60% water.   So water is essential to life.  A person can go days, weeks and even months without food, but cannot go more than a few days without water.  We lose water daily through sweat and urination so it needs to be replaced regularly in order for our organs to continue to work properly.

Concerning diet we are always told to be careful “what” we eat, and that we shouldn’t eat this or that.  Which is important for a healthy lifestyle.  But one thing that I’ve found very interesting is that it is not only “what” you eat, but  “how much” you eat that can be a big problem.

You’ve heard the phrase “Your eyes are bigger than you stomach”.   Meaning your cravings cause you to eat more than your stomach can handle.  This is especially true when the food “tastes sooooo good!”    Another bad habit is when we eat too fast we don’t realize when we are full, and we end up overeating.

What happens when we overeat all the time is that our stomachs stretch out of proportion.  Like what happens to a balloon when you blow it up, then release the air,  it never shrinks back to its original size.

This is the problem when people get their stomachs stapled.   They have to eat much less or else the stomach will stretch out again.

This is where “water” can help.

Water makes a great appetizer!  When you start to feel hungry, before you open the refrigerator door, try drinking two 8oz. glasses of water FIRST. You will find that water will fill you up so that you will not be tempted to over eat.

Next time you feel like a snack try drinking a glass of water and wait 10 to 15 minutes and see if you still feel like snacking.  Then if you’re still hungry try a light healthy snack of fruit or veggies.  If the water curbed your appetite then you may have just been thirsty and not hungry.

Staying hydrated with water should be a high priority in your over all health plan.

And if you think water is a little too bland for your taste try adding a slice of lemon to give it a little flavor.

Plus lemons help with the digestion and eliminate toxins as well!

Related Articles:

A Healthy Way to Eat

To Reveal or Conceal

If you are like me,  you wake up in the morning, eyes half-open, stumble to the bathroom and go right to the mirror.

Wish I could fix my face with my eyes closed!

My Mission: To improve my appearance before anyone else sees me!  But unfortunately on occasion, my husband is making his way to bed as I’m rising and we met in the hall.  Yikes! He is the last person I want to see me before I put my face on!

One of the biggest things I notice first is the DARK CIRCLES under my eyes!

Or the “Raccoon Effect” as some call it.

There are several different causes of dark circles, here are some of the common ones:

Lack of Sleep – One of the most common reasons of “temporary” dark under eye circles is lack of sleep.   Making sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep regularly is the way to keep dark circles at bay.

Iron Deficiency –Low iron levels can result in lessened blood oxygenating efficiency. One of the areas seen the most of all is under the eyes where vessels tend to clot and pool, thus causing the dark circle eye effect.  Increasing iron intake by adding some of these foods to your diet such as; Eggs, oily fish, red meat, dried fruit such as figs and apricots, beans and nuts which are all rich in iron can help diminish dark circles and other symptoms IF deficiency in iron is the problem.  It is important to  get enough Vitamin C also, as this helps the absorption of  iron by your body.

Hereditary –Do others in your family also have dark under eye circles?  The majority of people who have dark circles under the eyes don’t suffer from any deficiencies or fatigue, it is simply an inherited trait.  This can be the most frustrating because no matter what you do, you always look tired,  even after you’ve had a great night’s sleep.  That’s me!

Dark circles are similar to bruises, they are really oxidizing hemoglobin.

Dark under-eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes.  Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This is normal and the enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color).

But the reason dark under-eye circles are so apparent is that the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest, most delicate skin of your entire body.  And the capillaries are much closer to the surface of the skin there.  Many people’s skin is not only thinner around the eyes, but also more translucent.

The combination of capillaries near the skin’s surface and translucent skin makes this discoloration a lot more apparent.

A few home remedies for dark circles:

Apply slices of cucumber to your eyes.

Cucumbers lighten the skin,  soothe and cool the eyes.  This really helps if you’ve had a late the night before or your eyes are red and tired from allergies.

It’s best to lay down on your back, or else the cucumbers will fall off!  Lay a thin slice of cucumber on each eye, making sure they have contact with the skin under the eyes.  Leave them on for 5 to 10 minutes.  Might want to set an alarm so you don’t fall asleep.  Also be careful not to get the juice from the cucumber in your eyes.

Apply Tea bags to your eyes .

The caffeine in the tea bags acts as a remedy for dark circles by diminishing puffiness. Tea also contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin.

Take 2 used tea bags, can be green, black or white tea that’s been squeezed out.  Make sure you wait till it is cool!  Lie down and leave them over your eyes for about 10 minutes.  You’ll see a noticeable improvement in puffiness and under-eye circles.

Apply a concealer to hide dark under-eye circles

Concealer is the most effective tool for hiding dark under-eye circles.

You’ll want to choose a color that’s a shade lighter than your normal color if your dark circles are blue-black.  Just don’t go too light or you’ll get the reverse “raccoon effect”! Concealers are effective at hiding dark under-eye circles because they’re opaque, meaning they don’t let light through.  When applying concealer never use your index finger as it will apply too much pressure on the sensitive area around your eyes.  You can use a sponge or your ring finger for the best results.  If your dark circles are not terribly noticeable you might be able to get away with just using a foundation instead of a concealer.  If you use both some recommend applying the concealer first then the foundation, but I’ve heard others do the reverse.  Whatever works best for YOU!   It is also a good idea to finish with some translucent power over your face  so your face doesn’t shine!

Products that reduce dark circles

Another solution is to find a product that can actually help to get rid of dark circles completely.   But don’t expect a miracle, nothing works overnight.  There are a lot of products out there to choose from.  Most contain a pigment-lightening.   Warning these products are not cheap!

Personally, I’ve been extremely happy with the results from a product I’m using,  Adrien Arpel’s Eye Perfection crème.  It is a triple action formula, that takes care of puffiness, dark circles and fine line and wrinkles.  Nice thing is it is slightly cooling, and non-greasy.   It also hydrates, revitalizes and smoothes, de-puffs and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Hope these suggestions help to remedy those unwanted “raccoon” eyes.   Hey, you know that smokey eyes are in style now!

Maybe we could start a trend that makes dark eye circles popular!

Know your ABC’s

You started to learn the alphabet approximately the time you learned to walk, but how about the ABC’s of Vitamins?

Granted we all have different genetics that play a factor in our health, but there are basic nutritional needs that all people commonly have.

It is extremely importance to be in-tuned to your body’s specific needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of our bodies and necessary for our growth, vitality, and well-being.

We all know that we need at least the recommended amounts of vitamins from the food we eat, like 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, right?.   But most of us tend to be in a hurry all the time, so we grab a bite wherever and whenever we can.  Unfortunately the majority of convenient foods have little to no nutritional benefits.

Seriously, does anyone faithfully eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day?  I know I can barely squeeze in 2 to 3 decent meals a day.

The other problem we have is that when do cook we tend to over-cook the food to where the vitamins and minerals get lost before we even put the fork to our mouth.

Thus the invention of vitamin supplements! 

Notice they are food “supplements”, not food “replacements”.   I can’t emphasize enough that you should always get vitamins and minerals in the purest form from the food you eat first!   Then IF you may lack anything in your diet you can add supplements.

Specifically for “Beauty” it is important to get your “A, C & E” vitamins daily.

An important thing to know is that vitamins taken internally (from food or supplements) go to the internal organs in need first, and rightly so.  That means if your body doesn’t have enough nutrients for the whole body’s needs then  your skin, hair, and nails will be the ones to suffer most.  So what can you do to get the necessary nutrients to those areas?

Well have you ever noticed that most conditioners for your hair have added vitamins, and botanicals?  That is because your hair can absorb the nutrients it needs from the surface.  It is the same with your skin, that is why it is so important to use vitamin enriched cleansers and moisturizers.  The nutrients applied  to the skin will directly benefit those specific cells that need it.

Vitamin A (retinol, carotene)

Some of the benefits include: aids in proper function of immune system, helps treat ance, wrinkles, helps remove age spots.

Beautywise: This powerful antioxidant is essential for growth and renewal of skin cells.  When applied to the skin it boosts the production of collagen.  Best sources are:  Fish Liver Oil, carrots, eggs, and dairy.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Some of the benefits include: promotes clarity, heals wounds, burns, helps prevent common colds.

Beautywise: This vitamin builds collagen, that makes skin look healthy and youthful.  Best sources:  Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, berries, potatoes, and peppers.

Vitamin A and C together are the most important to keep your skin healthy and subtle.

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

Some of the benefits include: protects lungs from the environment,prevents blood clots, heals burns, and can help lower blood pressure

Beautywise: This antioxidant builds and maintains healthy skin tissue.  Best sources: Wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, soybeans, cereals, and eggs.

Did you know there is a Vitamin F?

It is Fatty Acid!

Yes there is “good fat” that your body needs, it is necessary for supple skin and soft shiny hair, and helps prevent cholestrol deposits in the arteries.

Best sources:  unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils like olive oil and avocados.  Also omega-3 fats found in  seeds (like flax seed) and nuts like peanuts, pecans, walnuts and almonds.  Carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and water are also necessary nutrients for energy, organ function, food utilization and cell growth.

Knowing the ABC’s of health and beauty is as important as it was to learn the alphabet and how to walk!

Related Articles:

A Healthy Way to Eat

Aging Gracefully

Beauty only Skin Deep?

How Sweet It Is!

Got Milk?

Remember the old ad “Milk does a Body Good!” ?  Then other sources say that Milk is bad for you. 

Let’s examine the facts so you can decide for yourself.

First of all, what is milk for?   

Milk is a maternal lactating secretion, a short-term nutrient for newborns.  Nothing more, nothing less.
Human breast milk consists of:  90% water, nutrient proteins, non-protein nitrogen compounds, lipids, oligosaccharides, vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes, growth factors and protective agents.

Invariably, the mother of any mammal provides her milk for only a short period of time immediately after birth. When the time comes for ‘weaning’, the young offspring is introduced to the proper food for that species of mammal.  Question is would a human’s milk be good for a baby cow or goat?  

Human milk is for human infants, dogs’ milk is for pups, cows’ milk is for calves, cats’ milk is for kittens, and so on. 

This is the udder truth (sorry couldn’t help myself!), the way nature intends it. 🙂

So why then do we drink milk from a cow and think it is good for us?  Sure we get needed calcium from it.   Plus cow’s milk is fortified with D and B vitamins and water.  But doesn’t “fortified” mean “added” ?

The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, also fish like sardines, herring, salmon and tuna. So do we really need to get it from milk?

The question is: should we really be drinking cows milk?  Is it “good” or “bad” for us?

I used to love milk!  Especially with yummy chocolate chip cookies, or in my morning cereal.  But once I became an adult I found out that milk didn’t love me.  😦  The term for that is Lactose Intolerant.

Did you know that at least half of the adult humans on this earth are lactose intolerant?  Whew, now I don’t feel so alone!  Most of them can’t drink milk because it makes them ill.   

Certain races, namely blacks are up to 90% lactose intolerant as adults. Caucasians are 20 to 40% lactose intolerant. Orientals are midway between the above two groups.  Most American Indians cannot tolerate milk either.  Diarrhea, gas and abdominal cramps are the results of substantial milk intake in such persons.   These differences are due to genetics. If your ancestors were from Northern Europe let’s say, and for centuries drank milk, then you are more likely to be able to drink milk without any problem.  But if your ancestors came from somewhere where there were no cows, your genetics would not be tolerant to milk.  Does that make sense?

How about osteoporosis?  Don’t we need calcium to prevent it?  

Where do we get calcium from?  From the same place that cow get calcium, mainly from leafy vegetables. After all, elephants and rhinos develop their huge bones (after being weaned) by eating green leafy plants, so do horses.  Whereas carnivorous animals do fine without leafy plants.

The key is not to look at calcium, but look at protein. Consider these two contrasting groups of people; Eskimos have an exceptionally high protein intake estimated at 25 percent of total calories. They also have a high calcium intake of  2,500 mg/day. But their percentage of osteoporosis is among the worst in the world.  Another other group are the Bantus of South Africa. They have a 12 percent protein diet, mostly plant protein, and only 200 to 350mg/day of calcium.  But the majority of their women have no osteoporosis despite bearing six or more children and nursing them for prolonged periods.

Here is an alternative for those of you that can’t handle cow’s milk: Goat’s Milk

1) Goat’s milk is less allergic – It does not contain the complex protein that stimulate allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
2) Goat’s milk does not suppress the immune system.
3) Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk (An old statistic showed that goat’s milk will digest in a baby’s stomach in 20 minutes, whereas pasteurized cow’s milk takes eight hours.)
4) Goat’s milk has more buffering capacity than over the counter antacids.
5) Goat’s milk alkalinizes the digestive system. It actually contains an alkaline ash, and it does not produce acid in the intestinal system.
6) Its fat globules are one ninth the size as cow’s milk, making it easier to digest.

What is best for infants and children?  Breast feeding of course is best, as mother’s milk contains a balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for the newborn.  It also contains the perfect mix and amount of vitamins for the baby’s needs, and immunological agents that will help the newborn fight bacteria, viruses and other infections.

Since infants depend so much on milk, they can develop an iron deficiency if they consume cow, goat or soy beverage.   Did you know that between 20%-50% of children with cow milk protein intolerance will also react adversely to soy proteins?  Goat milk is a natural milk that children like and can consume comfortably, even if they are sensitive to cow’s milk and/or soy milk.   For menopausal women, goat milk provides 13% more calcium than cow’s milk and can be consumed comfortably even by those women with milk sensitivity.

The most important thing is to make sure you get enough vitamins, minerals and protein from what you eat and what you drink, to stay udderly 🙂 healthy and beautiful. 
Related Article:
A Healthy Way to Eat
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