After a long, cold winter many of us need to lose a few pounds to get ready for the fast approaching bikini season. We know that dairy, carbs and sugar make us gain weight. But we need something naughty to look forward to and fantasize on… Personally, I am unable to crack my sweet tooth. I wanted something to replace my winter German Chocolate Cake obsession with that would give me multiple benefits. I finally hit upon it.
If this post seems like an infomercial – it is. I have become wildly obsessed with Astaxanthin – a supplement I had never heard about until I discovered that it is ‘sunblock you can eat.’ As someone who has meticulously dissected all the chemicals in the average sunblock and concluded that the only non-toxic ingredient (zinc) is one that makes me look like a real vampire, I have long worn picture hats and avoided the sun from 12-2. All that has changed now that I have discovered Astaxanthin. I have been taking it for months now and am in the sun a fair bit – but no burning! And my nails have become long and strong – very unusual for me!
The word has been out on bone broth for some time now thanks to countless celebrity endorsements of trendsetters like Gwyneth Paltrow. As an anti-aging expert and weight loss consultant, I can confirm that the magic is true! We always have something to learn from our ancestors and bone broth is no exception.
When we were a younger society living without processed and packaged foods, we had our own farms and livestock. Waste and garbage were virtually non-existent at this time because our forbears thriftily made use of everything. Livestock was food but also, leather, pillow stuffing etc. Today, most people buy parts of animals when they want to eat meat: ribs, breasts, thighs. The whole animal is discarded elsewhere. However, by participating in a faster, ‘easier’ life we are missing out on the secrets hidden within what was handed to us i.e. those mysteries locked within the perfection of nature as untouched by man. The more I learn about them, the more incredulous I am about how they have been overlooked as non-invasive or harmless solutions/cures for health and beauty!
One of the ‘secrets’ is bone broth. It is a confirmed anti-aging asset as it helps plump skin, diminish wrinkles and supports nail and hair health. It is full of all kinds of nutrients which help the gut – the seat of all wellness and digestion.
What are the Nutrients in Bone Broth?
► Collagen – The main nutrient in bone broth for skin, hair and nails is collagen! Bone broth is loaded with collagen, a protein found in the connective tissue, cartilage, bone marrow, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows, goats, sheep and other vertebrates. Collagen is what maintains skin elasticity and firmness as well as promotes smooth and supple skin.
We know that our bodies carry all kinds of good bacteria. One of these is the usually benign yeast Candida Albicans. Candida is a fungus that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion, when in proper levels in the body. Due to a variety of factors, Candida can grow rapidly and overwhelm the lining of the intestinal tract and, at this point, Candida has become VERY unfriendly. The toxic and acidic by-products and waste can then enter the bloodstream to be deposited in tissues throughout the body. This compromises our immunity and even our appearance.
Candida is nearly an epidemic in our society and is responsible for many of the chronic illness categories we see so frequently. Candida symptoms are vast and all encompassing and can even incapacitate the individual.
Most people are unaware that it even exists, because most mainstream doctors are uneducated about its impact on our health. People suffering from this condition often go from doctor to doctor for years and are usually told they are a hypochondriac or that it is stress or a psychiatric problem, before ever discovering the real culprit.
Normally Candida lives in harmony with a variety of other microorganisms and actually performs a important functions. The problem occurs when something upsets the balance of bacteria in the body and this allows the yeast organism to proliferate and take over all the healthy microorganisms.
Candida normally resides in the intestinal tract, mouth, throat and genitals, however it can burrow holes in the intestinal tract, enter the blood stream and then make its way into any organ of the body. To make matters worse it emits over 70 different toxins into the body. Some people may even become allergic to the yeast itself.
Once this hardy organism proliferates in the body, it wrecks havoc in many ways and is the initiator of many common maladies, conditions, syndromes and illnesses.
Ginger is an oft overlooked miracle worker. It is a normal part of the Asian diet but rarely incorporated into the Standard American Diet (SAD!). Not only will ginger boost your immunity, but it is a massive anti-inflammatory. Why is this a plus for anti-aging?
The immune system responds to injury or disease with inflammation. This is a normal, reparative reaction that is necessary for healing. But not all inflammation is good.
“When inflammation persists beyond its intended borders and purpose, however, the immune system mistakenly attacks normal cells, and the process that ordinarily heals becomes destructive. It is now widely accepted that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses, especially those related to aging,” says Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Continue reading
I must apologize for my long absence. In fact, I have been wildly busy launching a skincream line SASKI. I have all of you to thank for inspiring me to make the line. I had so many requests from readers, friends and even former business associates that I finally embraced the challenge!
My line is not your average line because it does not sit on a shelf aging! It is made fresh and on command after an interview with a member of the SASKI team! Our proprietary questionnaire, developed after years of observation and research, is extremely thorough. Nothing is overlooked. Based upon this interview, SASKI’s resident white sorceress (me!) develops a formulation. The next step is to order the ingredients and to mix the magic. Because SASKI takes some time and is made to measure, it is really ‘haute couture for your skin’. SASKI products must be refrigerated to order to maintain maximum efficacy.
SASKI’s focus on non-chemical/synthetic ingredients appeals to a niche customer who is highly educated and willing to wait in order to have a product customized to them.
As a certified nutritionist, I believe that what you put on your skin, your largest organ, is as important as what you eat or drink. Creams are absorbed easily into the skin and, from there; enter the bloodstream to be carried throughout the body. Product ingredients build up over time adding to the onslaught of chemicals we absorb daily from the air, food, water etc. The amalgamation of routine pollutants can lead to: cancer, fertility issues, rapid aging, dull and spotted skin and more. SASKI products empower and protect. Continue reading
I rarely comment on current events here as I want to stay on subject but I want to send out love and prayers to the French tonight. I lived for years in Paris, did my MBA there, carried my child there, I dined, danced, cried, laughed, partied and loved in that great City of Lights. And, it was with great sadness today that I read about this heinous attack on all of our free rights and security. Laughter is a salve for all humans. If we cannot laugh at ourselves, religions, governments then we exist in a state of fear and poverty – forever crippled. Paris, your lights may have been dimmed today but tomorrow they will burn even more brightly. Al Qeada – you are only convincing the world to turn away from your religion in disgust and shun your people. To France and their dead: Chapeau off. Head bowed. Je suis Charlie.
In the quest for the perfect, nourishing skin oil I have come across a lot of options. Avocado, Apricot kernel, Evening Primrose oil etc. Frankly, they are all great and variety is the spice of life for your health and your skin. One oil that came across my radar in Europe that is not so well known in America is Borage Oil.
The more I read about Borage Oil the more I wondered if it was as powerful to consume as to apply topically. And this question led to me to a deeper examination on the limitations and benefits of Omega 6 oils and how what you are eating affects the balance of Omega 6 oil and the very important Omega 3 oils.
The essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from borage and other oils has been shown to be one of the most effective agents for the treatment of skin disorders and for the maintenance of healthy skin. The fatty acid profile of borage is unique in that it contains 20 to 24 percent GLA. Evening primrose oil contains 8 to 10 percent GLA and black currant oil contains 15 to 17 percent.
The popularity of borage oil as an ingredient in topical formulations for the skin is growing rapidly, based on the strong research showing that it is of benefit in the treatment of various skin conditions, including dry skin, eczema, inflammation, wounds, and dermatitis.
Role of GLA in the skin
Healthy skin depends on adequate amounts of lipid, in particular certain polyunsaturated fatty acids called essential fatty acids (EFAs), for moisture, suppleness and smoothness as well as to prevent skin disorders. The most important polyunsaturated fatty acids for maintenance of healthy skin and for the alleviation of skin disorders are the essential fatty acids of the omega-6 family, namely linoleic acid (LA) and GLA. Dietary deficiency of these fatty acids results in a characteristic scaly skin disorder, increased epidermal turnover rate, weak cutaneous capillaries that rupture easily, decreased wound healing and increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) leading to xerosis (dry skin). Dry skin is the most common skin condition and is especially common in the elderly. By the age of 80 years, the epidermis may lose as much as 50% of its thickness, which accelerates water loss. Dry skin also exacerbates many other skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.
The other night, I was at the Bowery Hotel Bar in NYC ordering a pre-dinner dirty martini when I was deliciously startled by the bartender’s demand for ID. Convinced he was joking, I laughed. My joy was met with a stony brow and a thin, piggy-bank slit of a mouth. Said bartender held out his hand expectantly with a bored expression and eyes fixed in the non-specific distance. He was ready to catch naughty teen me and deny me my martini. Galvanized, I fished in my wallet and produced my driver’s license. It was his turn to look startled. Did I really look younger than 21 I wondered? Was it the lighting? The good company I was in? Had my friends paid him? My wellness lifestyle? Or was it my fabulous homemade skin cream that utilizes thousands of years of plant evolution and contains no chemicals?
Before you think this is the beginning of the kind of skin care commercial – let me warn you – it is! The story is true and I am making my own anti-aging line – more information on that coming soon. What propelled me to make this line was a combination of many forces… One was certainly my return to Gotham City which has the power to set a fire of action under the most dimpled and sedentary of bottoms. Another spark to the flame was the sensation I was losing touch with nature (more prevalent in Geneva) and besieged by a commercial onslaught since my return…. Ads for beauty products promising impossible dreams and costing a fortune leap out on every block. Careful examination however, reveals that most contain chemicals, preservatives, toxins, synthetics and some, neurotoxins. All are delightfully packaged and marketed and showcased by barely pubescent models whose perfect skin is rendered fairy-tale cartoonish by further God-strokes of some tech artist.
What is the result of these creams ladies? The chemicals are endocrine and immune system interrupters. You could have long-term weight gain, thyroid and fertility issues, cancer etc. Remember the chemicals are not just in your creams – they are everywhere. But creams are absorbed directly and cleanly into the skin so they are particularly dangerous. I was at Bergdorf Goodman the other day and watched, fascinated, as unbelievably chic women of every age dropped their credit cards on hugely expensive creams in plastic packaging – riddled with chemicals. A good part of anti-aging and health is taking responsibility for self-education.
While living in Geneva, I had ample opportunity to read hundreds – wait – possibly thousands of books. Yes, Geneva is that much of a snooze-fest (at least for a NYer). That moment was a semi-sabbatical – a time for re-educating the mind – if not the soul. I became pre-occupied with plants – their powers and sensitivities… I began reading a few long forgotten French books by doctors who were ardent in their obsession for the powers of essential oils. These powers, if true, promised all kinds of rewards for overall health using millions of years of natural evolution – encased in the pungent lifeblood of these plants. Of course, all oils are not created equal. Synthetics and fragrances are added. Oils are standardized to lower the prices. Not all are organic. Some cancel each other. Some can trigger the wrong effects. But, for the average woman who will buy a pot of cream for $400 that is riddled with fake fragrance and preservatives – do the fakes really matter?
Summer is here and I am back in America! As much as I love the energy and spirit of my country, I worry about the loose regulations around the production and use of chemicals. After ten days in NYC and exposure to non-filtered shower and bath water I could see the toll on my skin – it looked dry and lifeless. But quick re-vitalization is at hand with proper filtration systems and home-made hydrating face masks.
In a day and age where we can buy everything pre-packaged and where we rush from one activity and web page to another, it pays to slow down and consider that everything we need arrives ready to use in its natural unadulterated state. And these gifts of nature can be found in a grocery store and, hopefully, your kitchen.
The following are eight of the easiest and most refreshing facials masks that you can make at home. They will nourish and moisturize tired summer skin. Remember, sun, sunblock, salt water and chlorinated water can take a big toll on skin so be sure to re-ignite it.