The Much Ignored Power of Plant Evolution and Vitality for Health and Skin

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?

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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.

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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?

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Onions Work Wonders for Skin, Hair, Health and Fertility

Now I realize an article about onions is not terribly Christmassy or even sexy. However, throughout the holiday season, we all want to look our best and stay as healthy as possible and, despite their pungent aroma, the humble onion must not be overlooked. Actually, the onion, in my opinion, is less humble than a true member of the vegetable royalty.

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I was drawn to write this article after a conversation with a Jordanian lady in Central Park. Our children were playing together and we were discussing the huge number of vaccinations the U.S. insists that children get – up from just a few in our childhood. We were both frothing at the mouth about the flu vaccination and its implications for destroying the immune system of our youth as well as our right to choose what our children’s bodies are pumped with.   She told me that when she grew up in Jordan, when children got the flu, their parents and grandparents would slice onions and put them in the feet of socks and draw the socks on the children for the night. Apparently, it is a magical solution for fever and flu. Intrigued, I was drawn to explore further and found a list of the below benefits.

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(Regarding the flu shot, if you don’t want your child to get it – just find a doctor on the same page and have them tick off the form without actually injecting your child. Stories about deaths and paralysis of children from this year’s flu shot are more and more in the news.)

If you are worried about onion breath: take a shot of vodka or hydrogen peroxide (spit out the h.p.) – both kill bacteria in the mouth, brush your teeth and tongue with baking soda and floss, rinse with water, and chew parsley or mint leaves!

Note the amazingly decadent recipe at the end of this article… Continue reading

Homemade Face Masks that Will Make Your Skin Glow Like a Goddess!

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.

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Cucumbers – A Fat Magical Wand – Wave It Inside and Out for Health and Beauty

As the summer heat wilts your skin, your smile, and your appetite, focus on cool fruit and vegetable snacks.  My favorite summer skin refresher is the cucumber.   The more I learn about cucumbers there more astounded I am by all of its magical properties. Who knew?!

Cucumbers, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, belong to the same botanical family as melons (including watermelon and cantaloupe) and squashes (including summer squash, winter squash, zucchini and pumpkin).  I became addicted to them thanks to the innovative cooking of the Serbian grandmother of my child.  At every meal grandma serves a cucumber salad. Sometimes the cucumbers are chopped and mixed with plain yogurt, dill, lemon juice and olive oil and sometimes with mint and feta.

Cucumbers are an excellent palate cleanser and refresh the mouth and breath.  (They are also a fantastic flirtation-starter for those of you who like to send a suggestive message to the opposite sex in the vegetable aisle of the store… Though some men may wilt when faced with the more intimidating specimens of Cucumis sativus, a little fondling of the impressive cucumber may rev your engines…And who knows what could happen then?)

But why are they so magical?? Here are 30 reasons:

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Prevent Aging and Sickness! Detox Your Body of Heavy Metals and Other Impurities Easily

Do you love sushi? Do you eat fish regularly? Do you live in a city? Do you spend time near smokers? Do you eat out at restaurants?   Do you buy food that is not organic? Do you use regular deodorants and non-organic beauty care products? Do you use chemical cleaning products? Do you drink tap water? Do you bathe or shower in non-filtered water?

If your answer to any of the above questions is yes – you are at risk for some level of heavy metal or other free radical or polluting contamination. Once your body is ‘infected’ by these pollutants – whether they be mercury, aluminum, lead, fertilizers, carbon monoxide, cadmium, parabens, ammonia (etc.) – they build up. And then? They start interrupting all your systems – hormonal, metabolic, cellular, digestive, immune you name it.   This spells: aging, sickness and weight gain.

So besides being as vigilant as possible – what else can you do? If you are not taking any serious medications (ask your doctor if you are) – invest in Zeolite. I take a huge spoonful of Zeolite in a glass of water every ten days.   Because it is highly absorbent, I do not take vitamins that day.  I have read testimonials by people who take it more often but I believe the body works well on its own if supported by a healthy lifestyle.  You know your risk factors and habits better than I.

But what is Zeolite?                    

 

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Get Addicted to Needles and Roll Your Way to Firmer Skin (knees and face especially!)

I awaken the S&M in me every Tuesday night.   Unfortunately, I play both Master and Servant and the act usually takes place while I am fully clothed.  My instrument of torture?  The micro-needle roller (the generic hence, cheaper, version of the famed dermaroller).

Many of my girlfriends hesitate to buy one for themselves and insist on allowing only their facialist to apply it in a session.  The reason?  The facialist earnestly warns them that only a professional should roll as you may risk injury.  This is utter nonsense!  No one knows you better than you eh?  Personally, I know my pain threshold is high and so I push my micro-needle roller deep into my skin with rhythmic thrusts and strokes (that’s right ladies, you must GET INTO it for results)… Continue reading

Ghee vs. Butter

For years, my yogi friends have been talking about the magic of ghee.  Frankly, I was only ever half listening to the conversation – until recently when I became obsessed with buckwheat pancakes.  That obsession could take up another article but suffice it to say that for the past 4 weeks I have been having a pancake a day – and it’s now one of the main reasons I get out of bed.  I could not resist having butter with my pancake but every day as I slathered it on  I began to wonder – is this healthy? Are my thighs exploding?  My pants have been feeling a little tight lately…

During a weekend prowl of the most expensive grocery store in Geneva – Globus – I came across a jar of ghee.  It cost $20 and yes – I bought it.  After spreading it on my pancake this morning, I can report: I am hooked.  (Although for $20 I think I can make it myself…) A little research brought me to this fascinating article by Delia Quigley:

The Health Benefits of Ghee Continue reading

Egg Masks Fight Sagging Skin and Tighten Pores

Loyal readers may recall my article on how eating eggs is important to fighting loose skin (Eggs Can Prevent Your Skin from Sagging).  Eggs are rich in iron and biotin, which help keep your skin and hair healthy and full.  But the miracles eggs can foment does not end with eating them.  Miracles continue if you apply them to your face on a regular basis as a mask.  They will tighten skin and close pores to create a smooth surface.

I often have to restrain myself from bringing up the powers of the egg mask at cocktail parties where I find myself staring into the deep cavernous pores of committed smokers or sun worshipers. If you’re going to bring destruction to your skin at least try to rectify matters by wacking some eggs whites on your face! Continue reading

Say Pooh-Pooh to Expensive Serums: Make Your Own Potent Potion to Fight Aging

Fed up with paying a fortune for serums? Worried about the shelf life of the product you bought – while, at the same time, admiring its exquisite packaging and fragrance? Ladies, don your chef hat because you’re going to cook up a powerful potion to fight ze wrinkles!

It’s really very simple. Go to your health food store (or online or pharmacies in Europe) and buy L Ascorbic Acid – which is another term for vitamin C. Now, this is not the vitamin C that has been packaged as a vitamin for ingestion and it can be quite acid on your skin. So don’t get ambitious and dump a load into a bottle or make little lines for a vitamin snort. Continue reading

Bathing in Epsom Salts – A Sumptuous Indulgence that is also (strangely) Anti-Aging

Did you ever imagine that taking a bath could actually slow the aging process? Nor did I until a girlfriend introduced me to the wonders of Epsom Salts.

If you are anything like me, you’ve heard about Epsom Salts throughout your life but never really registered what the Hell they’re all about. They also seem to have cobwebby links to grandparents and other oldies. But in fact, Epsom Salts are back in the news as more and more film starlets and climbers admit to a soak before a strut down the red tongue of fame. Continue reading