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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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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Can Hair Dyes Cause Cancer? Some Organic Options

After seeing Amy Adams in American Hustle I knew it was time to go red – again.   I have some natural red in the genes (Grandpa Tom was a true redhead) but the winter really turns up the mousy-brown in my luscious locks.  I brought several bottles of red dye with me to Geneva from NY 3.5 years ago but have no clue what the shelf life is.  I began to wonder – is this stuff cancer causing?  Which led me to the below article from Good Housekeeping and several purchases on the internet.  I am still waiting for them to arrive so I can’t update you on the products yet.  But stay tuned ladies. Continue reading

The Magical Elixir Socrates Drank for Health – Great for Weight Loss, Detox, Alkalizing and Anti-Aging

Naturally, I am not referring to his ingestion of hemlock.  No, this article is about apple cider vinegar or APC forthwith.   APC was one of the cleansing bullets I riddled myself with throughout my hedonistic histoire in order to recover from a particularly late night – usually one of those evenings not interrupted by anything as humdrum as sleep.

The mere act of drinking APC was a penitent gesture.  For me, it was (is) hemlock – minus death.  But don’t let me discourage you before you read the 11 reasons you should drink it! Ironically, APC revitalizes, energizes and has all kinds of wonderful effects on the body. (Although I noted that a few ‘medical’ sites had nothing flattering to say about the humble APC.  They hinted its powers are suspect.)  But who can doubt Socrates?  And, don’t doctors and pharmaceuticals WANT you sick if only to stay in business?

A recent trip to the U.S. brought me once again into contact with American TV commercials (when I realized the mute button on the remote didn’t work).  I was dumbstruck by the sheer, endless number of ads dealing with sickness and medical breakthrough ‘cures’ and solutions.  The laughably lengthy list of possible side-effects follows in a semi-whisper. Continue reading

Sprouting: Lola’s Revelation – 10 Reasons to Sprout

My crunchy vegan friends have been harping for years about sprouting.  Sprouting beans, nuts, seeds – if there was a solid crumb on the floor they’d probably snatch it up and cover it in water.  I had only half an ear cocked until I met Lola.

I met her at an art opening in Paris.  She was your basic nightmare – clear-skinned, gorgeous waist-length chestnut hair, mysterious long hooded green eyes, tapering fingers and lips so naturally plump they actually had that little line of cleavage that looks like a cleft in the chin… I was drawn to her and followed her surreptitiously while mulling my opening gambit and wondering if I had finally become a lesbian. (It would make sense given my recent history – but that will be a book so stay tuned…)

Finally, we both lingered in front of a particularly abstract rendition of black and red chaos.  I ventured a tentative comment coupled with a flirty laugh.  She responded.  But I didn’t want to talk about the art.  I wanted to know about her canvas – her perfect skin.  What were her secrets?  It’s not as if she was 30.  She was older.  I could tell by her walk, her attitude.  This was someone that had lived.  Had I finally met another vampire? Maybe we could go somewhere and share a bite…

Like everyone Lola enjoyed a compliment.  A few more and she was ready to share.  Her secret: sprouted beans.  Lola is a vegetarian and she swore up and down about the MAGICAL results of sprouting.  She sprouts beans, nuts and seeds around the clock.  They are her protein, her vitamins, her enzymes – her glorious skin.

But why? But how?

10 Reasons to Sprout Continue reading

Tap or Bottled Water? Which is Best for Your Health?

Should you drink tap or bottled water? No one REALLY knows and there are many wars on this front. Thousands of chemicals are invented yearly that are outside the archaic water protection acts passed in many countries. Those chemicals can leak into the groundwater from waste sites, agricultural fields, golf courses etc. Once it’s in the groundwater it can flow into the streams that lead into the reservoirs which lead directly to your faucets.

When I lived in NYC, a friend of mine told me that the NY state government was quietly trying to buy up business rights to lands bordering the streams leading into the city’s reservoirs in upstate NY. Why? In order to curtail the number of chemicals in toxins that are on the rise in NYC’s drinking water. I was so scared by this that I immediately put filters on all my taps – including my shower, bath and kitchen sinks. Continue reading

Fight Aging and Cancer with an Alkaline PH – 4 Steps to Getting There

An alkaline diet may lower your risk of exhaustion, premature aging, sickness, allergies, muscle aches, joint pain and osteoporosis. A study published in 1994 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who neutralized their body’s acidic state with an alkalizing agent absorbed calcium and phosphorous better and increased the rate their bodies formed new bone matter. 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

Nutritional Yeast – What is it and Why Does it Prevent Aging?

Nutritional yeast looks like wheat germ and tastes like a nutty, flaky, grated cheddar cheese. It is made from a single celled organism sporting the impressive name: Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed and dried with heat to kill or ‘deactivate’ it.  Because it is inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast.  Don’t confuse it with Brewar’s Yeast as it has nothing in common AND, it will not give you a yeast infection (as many misguided people believe!). Continue reading

Keeping your Intestine Clean Prevents Disease, Aging and Helps with Addictions! Spring Cleaning Calls for a Colonic and a Cleanse…. (Infographic warning!)

In order for your body to take advantage of all the nutrients you ingest, it is important that you keep your insides clean.   Our immune system is largely contained within our bowels.   Good health begins in the gut.

We live in a toxic environment; from pesticides and strange ingredients in our food, to polluted air, harsh chemicals in our cleaning and beauty products, prescription drugs and excessive stress.  Ninety percent of these toxins enter your bloodstream through the intestinal tract. Toxins suppress the natural, self-healing mechanisms in our body. Our poor liver gets overloaded, trying to do its main job of keeping the body clean and functional.  If it can’t keep up, many of the body’s systems begin to malfunction. Continue reading