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:

cucumbers

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Spring Clean Your Body – Detox Easily by Spacing Mealtimes Out as Long as Possible

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.

Wellness-by-Charriol

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

6 Reasons to Eat Ginger from Anti-Aging and Cancer Prevention to Libido Enhancement

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

A Mouth-Watering Anti-Aging and Anti-Inflammatory Meal You Can Make in 15 Minutes

I found this online and had to make it!  Delicious and your skin will glow like a pregnant woman after you eat it!

Raw Sweet Potato Salad with Curry Almond Sauce is a unique and refreshing salad that is perfect for those hot summer days when you can’t bear to turn on the oven or stove. I was skeptical the first time I tried a raw sweet potato salad, but I was pleasantly surprised. Raw sweet potatoes have a great crunch and fresh flavor that is far from starchy.

Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene which our body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that boosts the immune system, keeps the skin healthy and maintains eye health. Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and lower the potential health risks associated with heavy metals and free radicals as they pass through our digestive tract. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and are great for people with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Continue reading

Cranberries – a Superfood You Never Really Considered

Most women think that cranberries are useful only for helping eradicate or prevent UTI infections.  But the health benefits of cranberries are far more wide-ranging and even a tad surprising.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a small round red colored fruit which is native to America.  It typically grows in bogs.  If you’ve ever been in Nantucket you may have seen its extensive bogs.  Nantucket is home to some of the largest contiguous cranberry bogs in the world where cranberries have been grown since 1857. American cranberry is one of the only three species of fruit native to North America. The other species are blueberry and bilberry.  Cranberry gets its name from “crane-berry” because its stem and flower resemble the head, neck, and beak of a crane.

Cranberries are high in vitamin C and fiber and only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.   They have strong antibacterial effects in the body and eating cranberries prevents viruses and bacteria from attaching itself to the body.  Something else to think about before sleeping with someone you don’t know well! (While women often drink unsweetened cranberry juice to treat an infection, there’s no hard evidence that works.) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions, and other researchers are investigating its potential against cancer, stroke and viral infections.

One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries can top that: Wild varieties have 13,427; cultivated blueberries have 9,019. Continue reading

20 Anti-Aging and Immunity-Boosting Benefits to Drinking Aloe Vera

All of us have heard about the ancient, healing wonders of the soothing aloe vera leaves. Some have used the gel as a moisturizer. But how many of you have tried drinking it?

You can buy the drinkable aloe vera juice or gel in any health or organic store. Because I was passionate hedonist, I was concerned with doing everything possible to counteract the ravages of my wild nights. “The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom,” spouted William Blake. And ladies, part of the wisdom that kept my skin wrinkle-free (no Botox yet!) and elastic after many years of reckless naughtiness is: drinking aloe vera as often as possible. Continue reading