Pumpkin for the Skin

 

I adore pumpkin, talk about a versatile fruit! Not just for carving, there are great health benefits and it’s even beneficial for the skin. Many skin care brands are using pumpkin as an ingredient in exfoliation and masks. Rich in zinc, vitamin C and A, pumpkin can help with cellular turnover in the skin and enzymes help to slough off dead skin cells.

Now that it’s pumpkin season take advantage! I like to bake the small pie pumpkins during this time, puree them and then freeze. There are so many other ways to eat pumpkin other than pie like in soups and breads. I love sprouted pumpkin seeds for the added omegas/protein and eat them everyday.

SO whether you put it on your skin or eat it pumpkin has many great benefits. Enjoy and have a happy Halloween!

Other spooky Post:

Halloween

 

 

Power Smoothie

 

Happy Friday! I want to share a recipe for a “Power Smoothie” I made this morning. I will be going out of town this weekend heading up to northern California for several days. While I know there will be plenty of Super Food heading north on the 5 highway (NOT), I thought I would get one last dose of highly powerful foods (hence the name) to load up on before we leave. I use Parsley which is super high is iron, extra protein, greens and chia seeds for added omegas.

I want to share this because even though it is very green is it also very tasty! If you feel like you could use a dose of goodness try this. If you don’t have all of the ingredients no worries, this is not easy to mess up. Just utilize what is in your fridge and don’t forget to give it to your whole family, this is a huge serving, the blender will be full. If you are not used to the green taste add a banana or sweetener like Stevia. You can store the leftovers in a glass mason jar if you have any at all. Here we go!

Add the following ingredients in your blender in the following order:

3-4 cups of water depending on how thick you like your smoothie (add an avocado for added creaminess)

2-3 Cups of greens (I use a mix of Spinach, Swiss Chard and Kale)

1 Cup Parsley

1 T Gogi Berries, Chia Seeds, Green powder of your choice

1 Scoop of Protein Powder (I use Sunwarrior Vanilla)

1 Cup Frozen Mango

1 Cup  Frozen Pineapple

Blend, drink and feel really good.

 

 

Baking Soda, is there anything it can’t do?

The more I learn about all of the harmful ingredients in our homes the more it makes me want to switch some of that out. One of the last times I cleaned my bathroom I actually felt sick afterward, I knew the powerful cleaning agents were getting to me. The fumes we inhale and that leach onto our skin from strong chemicals and even less obvious personal care products are adding up. I am trying to take a good hard look at these and make better choices. This is where baking soda comes in.

I can’t believe I am just now using baking soda in more ways than the occasional teaspoon here and there in baking. I remember my grandma brushing her teeth with it when I was young but that is pretty much it. For one thing,  this is one the greatest cleaning products I have ever used and the options for it are endless! My son scribbled all over my table and I used baking soda to remove it all. Here are some other ways to use this extremely safe and CHEAP product:

Toothpaste and deodorant

Cleansing agent-so many uses. Couple with Lemon Oil and Vinegar to clean tough jobs

Use it while vacuuming to help with odor

Diaper Rash-Sprinkle in bath water

Cleans your fruits and vegetables

There are many DIY recipes out there but you can just start by playing around with it. I used cornstarch, coconut oil and essential oils to a baking soda base and made my own deodorant. It actually worked! I have to say it feels good to a product like baking soda that actually works and that isn’t toxic. Post a comment if you have any great DIY recipes for Baking Soda you would like to share!

 

 

 

 

Eat your broccoli, wear your broccoli

Many of you who regularly read my blog may wonder why I talk about nutrition and food so much on a skin care site. I am a true believer that what we do for our bodies internally directly impacts the quality of our skin. After all it is the largest organ and usually the first organ to sound off an alarm if there is something wrong. Having a foundation of healthy eating is always a good thing when skin is concerned, although not the only factor. We also need to care for our skin topically and help it look its best.

I have written many times about Sircuit Cosmeceuticals, this product line uses very concentrated pure ingredients that deliver results. It is a line that takes many of the cutting edge ingredients of today with some of the natural extracts and even food based ingredients that we all know taken internally can reap great results for our health.

I love the Clarity Broccoli Sulfur Mask because as a clay based mask it is not drying and even with my bone dry skin I can use it. This is an ideal product for acne prone, oily or congested skin types as it pulls at impurities in the skin and evens out oiliness.  Because of the antibacterial effects it helps prevent the spread of the infection and is also healing to any possible inflammation. And with such amazing ingredients as Tea Tree, Broccoli, Spirulina and Zinc you will feel a difference after each use. Check out Sircuits Website to see a full list of ingredients and more company information.

After masking you can also warm up a big bowl of broccoli for dinner, can’t hurt right?

 

Coconut Obsessed!

Super Hydrating Body Wash

I have to admit I am a little coconut obsessed. I drink coconut water and milk, cook with coconut oil and love coconut desserts. After learning about some of the many benefits it has to offer it makes coconut taste even better! Many people have begun to use Coconut Oil topically for all of the medicinal and healing properties it offers, there are literally hundreds of benefits with this truly amazing oil. Both topically and internally.

So when I saw the Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Body Wash I was gitty to say the least. I have tried and reviewed other products from the Everyday Shea Line which are of excellent quality. The company does not use Parabens, harsh Sulfates, artificial fragrance and never tests on Animals. Alaffia gives back to the community in which they derive their pure ingredients from, making it a company I love to personally support. Check out the link to learn more about this program: Empowerment

The Super Hydrating Body Wash is best for Normal to Drier skin types because of the nourishing properties and feel. The coffee berry extract helps protect the skin with its high antioxidant value and the coconut is rich essential amino acids and minerals. Even if you don’t love the smell of coconut you can use this body wash because there is no fake scents, it is completely natural.

If you want to learn more about Coconut Oil and different cool uses for it, check out Make Coconut Not Fat they are even more obsessed than me.

I gotta run, time to make my Coconut Flour Pizza Crust.

 

 

Avocado-SSF!

Another edition to my Super Skin Food series is Avocado. This super fruit is completely amazing for the skin and the entire body. Rich in Essential Fatty Acids, avocado helps nourish dry skin and vitamins such as E and C rehydrate and soothe.

A few other beneficial reasons to eat Avocado:

  • Helps speed up metabolism because of the GOOD fat (health-promoting monounsaturated fats)
  • Amazing for lowering cholesterol
  • Rich in Potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin B6 among other vitamins
  • Disease prevention

This super food was actually the first food I wanted my son to eat and he loved it. Some of the many ways in which I eat avocado are in a smoothie, blended in a soup or spread on a tortilla with a sprinkle of sea salt. Some people use raw avocado as a facial mask but quite honestly I have never been a fan of goops of food on my face. Maybe that’s just me. I just try and eat at least 1/2 of one every day.

If you are interested in trying avocado topically try an avocado oil at night (can be found at a health food store). It’s a natural way to reap the benefits of this wondrous Super Skin Food!

 

 

Super Skin Food-Bok Choy

 

The next food I am highlighting in my Super Skin Food series is Bok Choy. Every other week I get a box of fruit and vegetables from a local farm and Bok Choy was included in almost every delivery. At first I wasn’t too excited about it because it’s something I don’t normally cook with but after playing around with it in the kitchen it became one of my new favorites. There are great skin benefits as well!

Bok Choy is good for your skin: Vitamin rich-Loaded with A, C and D making it a super skin food. This combination of vitamins help with collagen production, help fight against sun damage and help cellular turnover. It is loaded with calcium and potassium. And for my pregnant friends, it also is a terrific source of folate so eat up!

Classically, Bok Choy is used in many Asian dishes, especially stir fry. It’s delicious that way (google stir fry and Bok Choy and a bunch of great recipes come up). I also love to saute in a pan with some oil and sea salt and serve with almost any main dish for dinner. I also eat it raw in salads. Enjoy!

 

Circulation and the Skin

It was interesting for me to learn that having poor circulation can effect the skin in a negative way. It can trigger puffiness and even acne to appear in the face and body. I used to have poor circulation and some of my side effects included leg cramping and low body temperatures. I am the person walking around the plane a bunch of times during a long flight. (Wish I knew about compression socks when I was flying for business!)

Below I will highlight a few helpful ways to reduce poor circulation so we can keep our skin looking its best.

1. Exercise

Pretty obvious we need to keep the blood flowing and this is a great way to do it. Choose your favorite exercise or try something new to get you excited like taking a new class at the gym. I love to work out at home when I don’t have time to get to the gym or take a long walk- it’s all good.

2. Eat Some Garlic

Diet has been linked to circulation issues. Certain fruits and vegetables have been known to boost blood and improve circulation (like Garlic) while other processed foods have been known to thin the blood. Talk to your doc or see a nutritionist to learn more.

3. Go Natural

Alternative therapies are being utilized more and more to treat this problem. Treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy and reflexology have been reported to help. I’m in!

So I guess eating healthy, exercising and receiving relaxing body therapies are helpful…hmmmm I am noticing a theme here.

 

Flax Seed-Super Skin Food

The second food I will be highlighting in my Super Skin Foods series (Click Oysters to read the first), is Flax Seed. This super food is loaded with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and Lignans. Flax seed has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and even cancer.

In regards to skin health, the benefits include plumper skin due to better hydration, leading to a reduction in fine lines. You can also get the benefits of Omegas in Salmon and walnuts, which is especially beneficial to those of us with dry skin.

Whole flax seeds can be difficult for the body to break down which is why I eat the pre-ground flax seed which you can buy just about everywhere now. My favorite way to eat flax seed is by putting it into my morning Smoothie. It is loaded with tons of antioxidants (protects skin from the sun), Vitamin A (promotes cellular turnover) and of course Flax seed. It’s great for the whole family too.

Super Skin Smoothie:

3-4 servings

Ingredients-

1 cup raw baby Spinach

2 cups water

1 Banana

2 tablespoons of Ground Flax Seed

1/2 Greek yogurt

1 cup Frozen Berries (such as Strawberries, Mangos, Blueberries)

Blend together until smooth. Do not be afraid of the color, it doesn’t always look pretty but it tastes great in my opinion! You can always add honey if it is not sweet enough. If you want to make it creamier you can add 1/2 of an avocado and get even more healthy skin benefits with the essential fatty acids. Enjoy!

 

Le Blanc Spa Resort

I could write a small book of praise regarding my stay at Le Blanc Spa Resort and the total blissful experience my husband and I shared for our honeymoon. However, this is a blog so I will do my best to keep it short although I want to share every last heavenly detail. In the past I have traveled extensively for my jobs with different luxury brands and have experienced many four and five star hotel spas so I was really picky when it came to my personal holiday (this choice took me almost as much time as planning my wedding!).

We chose Le Blanc in Cancun because it is a short (and direct) flight from LA, it is all inclusive, has an amazing spa and they really cater to honeymooners/couples. I had high hopes because I had done my research but was still completely blown away!

If you enjoy going to the spa on your vacation (and who doesn’t?!) you will not be disappointed. We spent quite a bit of time there (that is according to my husband-I could’ve gone every day), each service we experienced was amazing. The staff was highly trained and the facility was spectacular. I loved the water wall, foot massage station and the co-ed relaxation room. The fitness area is state of the art and there is a classroom where you could take yoga, reformer pilates and even personal training sessions (ALL included). We did it all, even a sunset yoga class overlooking the water. At least starting the day in the gym made me feel better about lunch time Bloody Marys and  7 course gourmet dinners paired with wine.

We stayed for 2 weeks and I was STILL sad to leave-it really felt like home. If you are looking for a destination resort for a special occasion please check out Le Blanc Spa Resort. We would have spent quadruple what we spent for the value of our stay. It was truly an experience I will never forget and one I think of often.