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!
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
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?
Dogs with stomach aches often graze on grass. My stomach was a little addled recently and as I browsed Fairways aisles my eyes lit upon Sunja’s spicy cabbage Kimchi. My gut yelled “grab it” and I did. I’ve always been fond of kimchi but it is not a snack food that leaps immediately to mind. However, I noticed that whatever was troubling my stomach disappeared pretty quickly post kimchi. Was kimchi the equivalent of grass for humans? Later that day, I was on a play date in Central Park with an old Korean girlfriend who expounded on the miraculous properties of fermented foods. “Probiotics, probiotics, probiotics,” she yelped. How could I have missed this?
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:
Are you a frequent flier or making a long haul flight for business or pleasure? If you are, know that flying can age you. De-hydration, reduced oxygen, confined space, bad food and over-exposure to too many people and their germs takes its toll on your face and body. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself. Continue reading
Springtime is here! The tulips and cherry blossoms are out in force along with the snails who accompany those regular spring showers… But along with the flowers comes that inevitable itch to rid the house of those winter dust balls hidden behind the couch and the ancient fingerprints that patchwork the windows and light switches.
Ah – the joy of spring cleaning! (Grrr) I spent all of yesterday in my underwear cleaning furiously while blasting Kylie Minogue’s Fever album. Unfortunately, I am more of a seasonal scrubber since I have far too little time to make a day-to-day art of it. But, as I cleaned I had to ask myself, wouldn’t this have been less work if I had been more organized?
The same philosophy applies to the cleaning of one’s body. In an age where we are under many pressures and combining a busy work and home life, it is easy to be careless about our eating habits. Under pressure we may munch on acid forming foods or drinks throughout the day or drink too much coffee or exercise less. These habits create stress on the body’s ability to detoxify itself making it more acidic and inflamed. Poor detoxification can lead to aging, cancer, diabetes, weight gain and even (as epigenetics tell us) worse genes for our future offspring.
However, with a little organization and discipline, your body actually detoxes itself. Yep. As the wonderful Dr. Alejandro Junger says in his book Clean:
“When the digestive tract isn’t constantly needing to work to process food, the body can direct energy towards detox and repair. Making sure your meals are full of fat and protein keeps you from needing to constantly graze and keeps blood sugar levels stable. It also allows the body to go into fat-burning mode more easily, which releases more stubborn toxins stored in fat cells.” Continue reading
This drink is not for the faint of heart so if you are one of those people who aren’t capable of making a big effort for beauty, youth and immunity – stop reading now.
I drink this concoction about 5x a week and yes, I gag a little during the process. My baby always watches me with great fascination while I glug back this nut-spice smoothie. But ladies, I glow, I shine and I exude health and vitality… And I might be able to crank out a baby when I am 60!
You will need a coffee bean grinder – about $20 (worldwide). Below, are the ingredients and their amazing benefits.
Put a spoonful of curcumin/turmeric, nutritional yeast, cinnamon and wheat germ in a large glass. Grind all your seeds (make certain to keep your seeds ‘oil-ripe’ by preserving in the fridge) and put in the glass. Add water and stir vigorously. Stir before every sip as well. Swallow. Because you have ground the seeds they will be more quickly and easily absorbed and digested by the body. Remember, eating solids causes the body to produce stress hormones in order to break down food…
After drinking this drink you will promptly lose your appetite for the entire day. So it is an excellent nutrition-diet (and may have laxative effects on some). Continue reading
I have become a tad obsessed with ginger of late because I have been reading so many Deepak Chopra’s books. His references to Ayurvedic healing brought me to the many benefits of ginger. I add it to cookies, soups, and freshly squeezed juices. Here are six reasons why you should buy some ginger immediately! Continue reading
If you are purchasing a pre-cut watermelon that has already been sliced into halves or quarters, choose the flesh that is deepest in color and lacks any white streaking. If the watermelon is seeded, the seeds should also be deep in color, or white.
When purchasing a whole, uncut watermelon, there are several features to you’ll want to evaluate. The first is its weight. A fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Heaviness in a watermelon is a good thing because the water content of a watermelon will typically increase along with ripening, and a fully ripened watermelon will be over 90% water in terms of weight, and water is one of the heaviest components in any food. Continue reading