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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Look Younger in 2 Days with this Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Fix

The other day I had lunch with an older friend of mine.  She is mid-fifties – vivacious and animated – but I’ll be damned if she didn’t suddenly look much younger to me.  I’d never seen her looking that good.  A life-time of sun, cigarettes and cocktails had taken their toll.  I mused it must be her energy and lithe, athletic figure which made her seem so – effervescent.  But she had always been slim and vivacious.  Then, it struck me.  It was her teeth!  They were a sparkling white.  Cautiously, I inquired.  Readily, she confirmed my suspicions.  But what really surprised me was how she’d polished ‘em up.  She claimed it cost her only 5 CHF ($5.59).

Getting your teeth whitened in NYC is expensive.  Even if you had the customized tooth tray made by your dentist (like me) the whitener is pricey.  And tooth whitening boutiques are usually around $500 a pop.  Now, put yourself in Geneva, Switzerland and multiply any service you get in NYC by three and you have the Swiss price – I’m not kidding. Continue reading

The Divine Benefits of Coconut Oil, Be a Goddess – Eat Coconut Oil

Are you one of those people who hasn’t bought a jar of coconut oil yet?  Are you stuck on the idea that coconut oil is a saturated fat?  If the answers to these questions are yes, then you have failed to do your research!

Coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products,” says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.

This makes sense considering citizens of nations that consume prodigious amounts of coconut products, such as Sri Lanka, have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that breakdown fats. Continue reading

Shilajit – Mineral-Dense Himalayan Mud – for Those Who Dare

This article is dedicated to the truly vain, the experimental, the Lara Crofts, the Indiana Joneses, the trail breakers, the mad scientists, the mountain-climbers, the women who wear 5 inch heels and mix their own creams and those who believe there is some magic in nature’s untouched state…  If you are conventional and believe in the FDA – stop reading now.

Now, I know I am a sucker for anything that sounds like a magical potion for anti-aging.  I know myself.  My heart beats a little faster when I read about Ormus Minerals (perfect foods like avocados, almonds, apricot seed kernels etc. – see the link at the end of this article to get some goose bumps for yourself…).  So when I overheard a yogi friend talking about his new Shilajit-fix my ears grew bigger.  The below information is from a site that sells Shilajit (http://shilajitsupertonic.info/) but I buy mine from Upaya Naturals.  I have been taking it for about a month now with no side effects and my skin looks wonderful but – I DO write an anti-aging blog so it is hard to tell if the Shilajit is making a significant impact or if my skin and health is a result of all my efforts.  (With all that I’m doing I better look 40 at 65 dammit!)

I am entranced by the idea of Shilajit because our soil is so depleted of minerals and nutrients.  Taking vitamins/nutraceuticals is an option (that I embrace) but the idea of drinking mineral and nutrient rich soil that was plucked from rock crevices far from mankind has a utopian tinge of romance sprinkled with a little Kipling no? Oh Lama where art thou? Continue reading

Oregano – A Miracle Herb for Anti-Aging and Better Immunity

Sure we all see those little green flakes in our tomato sauce and think – OK the chef didn’t forget to shake some oregano in there. But sadly, the average person does not give too much attention to this small but powerful herb. Europe made the same mistake with Napoleon many years ago…

Oregano is known as “delight of the mountains” in Greek and is renowned for its medicinal and nutritional properties. But besides wanting to swallow some ‘mountain delight’, why is oregano important for anti-aging and immunity? Continue reading

Curcumin – A Miracle Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer Spice

Throughout my research on anti-aging, I discovered the unusual (and rather underused) power of herbs and spices.  The average person simply reaches for salt, pepper and tobasco sauce at the table – and indeed these condiments are the few on offer at restaurants or in people’s homes.  Imagine a restaurant that brought you an array of diversified compatible condiments for each dish?

This rainbow of offerings should be on hand at home where you can take a little pride in shocking your dinner guests and family by adding new flavors on a regular basis.  Shake up the spices in your habitual routine by incorporating curcumin.  It’s earthy, warm taste is usually used to enhance curries but I add it to everything – because I know all of its miraculous benefits!

And even before I was a ‘happy homemaker’ I was taking curcumin to counter the effects of my wild hedonism.  It worked! The vampire lives on as Botox free as ever… Continue reading

Anti-Aging Spice: Cinnamon – a Youth Stimulator

Cinnamon can make you younger and healthier! Cinnamon is emerging as the darling of the spice world thanks to its immune-boosting protection and anti-aging benefits.  Eating cinnamon regularly will certainly awaken the fountain of youth within.  And who knew that it is also a natural appetite suppressant? Continue reading