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!
The word has been out on bone broth for some time now thanks to countless celebrity endorsements of trendsetters like Gwyneth Paltrow. As an anti-aging expert and weight loss consultant, I can confirm that the magic is true! We always have something to learn from our ancestors and bone broth is no exception.
When we were a younger society living without processed and packaged foods, we had our own farms and livestock. Waste and garbage were virtually non-existent at this time because our forbears thriftily made use of everything. Livestock was food but also, leather, pillow stuffing etc. Today, most people buy parts of animals when they want to eat meat: ribs, breasts, thighs. The whole animal is discarded elsewhere. However, by participating in a faster, ‘easier’ life we are missing out on the secrets hidden within what was handed to us i.e. those mysteries locked within the perfection of nature as untouched by man. The more I learn about them, the more incredulous I am about how they have been overlooked as non-invasive or harmless solutions/cures for health and beauty!
One of the ‘secrets’ is bone broth. It is a confirmed anti-aging asset as it helps plump skin, diminish wrinkles and supports nail and hair health. It is full of all kinds of nutrients which help the gut – the seat of all wellness and digestion.
What are the Nutrients in Bone Broth?
► Collagen – The main nutrient in bone broth for skin, hair and nails is collagen! Bone broth is loaded with collagen, a protein found in the connective tissue, cartilage, bone marrow, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows, goats, sheep and other vertebrates. Collagen is what maintains skin elasticity and firmness as well as promotes smooth and supple skin.
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.
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?
Summer is here and I am back in America! As much as I love the energy and spirit of my country, I worry about the loose regulations around the production and use of chemicals. After ten days in NYC and exposure to non-filtered shower and bath water I could see the toll on my skin – it looked dry and lifeless. But quick re-vitalization is at hand with proper filtration systems and home-made hydrating face masks.
In a day and age where we can buy everything pre-packaged and where we rush from one activity and web page to another, it pays to slow down and consider that everything we need arrives ready to use in its natural unadulterated state. And these gifts of nature can be found in a grocery store and, hopefully, your kitchen.
The following are eight of the easiest and most refreshing facials masks that you can make at home. They will nourish and moisturize tired summer skin. Remember, sun, sunblock, salt water and chlorinated water can take a big toll on skin so be sure to re-ignite it.
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:
To my loyal readers – apologies for my absence but I am currently trying to engineer a move…
Now, I know I am a little neurotic about water quality. But water is critical to survival and wellness. The more I study what’s in various cities water, the more determined I am to educate everyone about the importance of water filtration. And when I say filtration, I mean filtering every tap in your house – from shower to kitchen to bath. It’s going to take research and time, but once that system is set up you can rest assured you are doing something meaningful for your and your family’s health.
Your skin is your largest organ. When you sit in a hot bath or shower under hot water your pores are wide open because they respond to the heat. During that time, your skin is absorbing the water and every chemical, pharmaceutical and toxin in it. I read recently where London water has a high quantity of both pre-digested cocaine and hormones from the pill. Wonderful. What else is in there?
From an early age, I have acclimatized my daughter to loving cold water. I did this with great calculation as cold water closes pores. Sounds crazy right?
Once you read the below article from Dr. Mercola you will think differently about that hot bath and shower you once took for granted. In an age of increasing over-population – where people are living longer and taking more pharmaceuticals – where furniture is riddled with flame retardants and chemicals that enter the ground water once that furniture is put in a land-fill – the quality of water, our greatest resource, is hugely impacted. Start thinking twice about buying windex or chemical cleaners for your house. Buy vinegar. Re-think how you live every day and ask yourself what you can do to lower the chemical dumping on our planet. If everyone thought like this we could all enjoy hot baths well into the future.
What do I suggest?
- Read the below report
- Order a water report from your city – research those chemicals
- Look on ewg.org or start reviewing whole-home water filtration systems. Mercola sells them but I am still actively comparing them. I found a fascinating site written by an ecologist who makes water filters. He asked me to order my city water report so he can look at it and then he customizes the system. http://www.cleanairpurewater.com/
- Put filter on the pipe going into your house and at every water exit point. Not just your kitchen – get the bath and shower set up as well.
- Take a hot bath in peace.
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
You can spend as much as you like on expensive creams and procedures. However, these foods will re-vitalize your skin from the inside out for a lot less money. No need to buy them all at the same time and remember to eat what you cut into as quickly as possible – before the fruit or vegetable oxidizes… So get the golden glow of a goddess and take this list to the grocery store!