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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the magical vitamins I have been taking for years is magnesium glycinate. My motivation was anti-aging but, the below article by Dr. Mercola will explain why magnesium is important for SO MANY other reasons.
You don’t hear much about magnesium, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral and the health consequences of deficiency are significant. One reason could be because magnesium, like vitamin D, serves so many functions it’s hard to corral.
Few nutrients possess the remarkable and diverse benefits of magnesium. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in cells after calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Magnesium is found in our bones, muscles, blood, and other tissues. It is needed by the body for energy production, fat and protein synthesis, muscle relaxation, nervous system function and calcium metabolism.
According to US Department of Agriculture data, two out of every three Americans don’t meet average daily intake requirements for magnesium, which are 300 milligrams (mg) to 420 mg daily for adults. In addition, many people have a magnesium deficiency due to stress, genetics or a medication, such as a diuretic (usually taken to control blood pressure). As a consequence, these people face an increased risk for health problems. Maintaining adequate levels of magnesium can help reduce muscle cramps, stabilize blood sugar, lower the risk for heart disease, ease migraine headaches, strengthen bones and slow the aging process. Continue reading
Doesn’t it make sense that the foods that maintain and enhance fertility can help regulate your hormones even beyond the fertile years? The diet for conception and pregnant women is the same diet women of ALL ages should be eating. The fertility diet is the regimen which balances the endocrine system. If you want babies but haven’t yet found Mr. Right yet or the time, start making sure your body is in prime condition by taking extra care with your diet.
Beware ladies, this is a long article. I found the information so fascinating and so relevant to anti-aging that I kept adding and adding… Rest assured, taking a moment to read this will benefit you! Continue reading
I am the world’s biggest vitamin junkie – but also – increasingly – the laziest. Sometimes, I get obsessed by a particular vitamin and incorporate it into my daily dozen. But, there is a core group I take daily. Here are 5 of them: Continue reading
In order to slow aging as much as possible it is essential you learn about your body. Knowing how these perfect machines function is the first step to fine tuning your habits in order to maximize potential. We are responsible for how our bodies decay and how fast. In a perfect environment we can dramatically slow the aging process. The body functions well enough until we stop pummeling it with toxins and fake substances (processed food – perfume etc.). The closest I ever got to God was the first time I witnessed a human dissection. Every organ, gland, vein – you name it – has meaning. Seeing the blackened lungs of a smoker up close made me realize how responsible we are for our body’s condition.
Boosting the production of good hormones is critical to the anti-aging process. DHEA is one such hormone.
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is known as the ‘fountain of youth.’ It is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys. Estrogen and then testosterone are both made from this steroid hormone. Someone who lacks essential levels of DHEA really can benefit from taking a supplement and they can be easily found in your local health food store. But before you supplement with DHEA capsules, first check with your health care practitioner to make sure that you are in fact deficient in this hormone. Continue reading
I have been drinking teaspoons of oil before bed for years. Throughout my pregnancy, I kept 6 bottles of oil and a spoon next to my bed. Every night, I religiously took a spoonful of each in order to help the brain development of my baby. It is a common misconception that oil makes us fat. And I cannot tell you how aggravating it is that so many people think in terms of calories and not overall health. We Westerners would do well to adopt a more Eastern approach to our bodies by looking at the whole wellness of the body instead of attacking one area. To deny yourself critical oils because of a diet might make you thinner but your face and skin will likely age more rapidly because (for instance) the integrity of the cell membrane has been compromised. Yes, avocados may be high in calories but you should be exercising and the oil in avocados is one of the best for your body, your immunity, your skin and keeping you young. At 105 pounds while maintaining a diet that includes an avocado a day I can tell you that drinking the right oils will not harm you.
Essential fatty acids are, as they sound, fats that are necessary within the human body. Though you’ve probably often heard the word “fats” and associated it with bad health, there are some essential fatty acids that are necessary for your survival. Without them, you could cause serious damage to different systems within the body. Essential, unoxidized oils speed up fat metabolism. This is a widely misunderstood aspect of human metabolism. Essential oils provide a steady-state source of energy, and prevent sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coasters. Other clinical benefits of essential oils include their value in the prevention and management of the following disorders: Continue reading
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