Radiating From The Inside Out: Part II

Heather Pierce is a speaker, blogger, and holistic health coach who motivates and teaches driven entrepreneurs and professionals to eat for maximum energy and mental focus without deprivation.  She also teaches seasonal cooking classes and will be hosting food and yoga retreats later this year.  Learn more at www.heatherpierceinc.com.

Natural Beauty:  Two Steps to Radiating from the Inside-Out, Part II

Step Two:  Put the Good Stuff In

In Part I we talked about cleaning out your inner body of water so that you’re free of harmful toxins and stress.  Now it’s time to add in the nourishing, beauty-promoting foods that give you naturally clear, vibrant, and supple skin.

Basically, you want to eat plenty of alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, mineral-rich, fiber-rich, and anti-inflammatory whole foods.  Mkay?

Alkaline-forming foods to keep your body pH in it’s ideal state:  slightly alkaline.  Crappy, processed foods and stress cause your blood pH to shift to an acidic state.  Acidity leads to mineral deficiencies and inflammation.  Your body can’t properly detoxify in an acidic environment.

For vibrant health and beauty we want more alkaline-forming foods like leafy greens, vegetables, sour fruits like lemons and limes, beans like lentils and pinto beans, some gluten-free grains like quinoa, and most nuts and seeds.

Antioxidant-rich foods prevent free-radical damage which leads to the formation of wrinkles, causes scars to linger and heal improperly, and makes your skin stiff and inflexible.  High sources of antioxidants include all berries, beans, walnuts, pecans, kale and other dark, leafy greens, and basically any fruits and vegetables that have deep, rich colors.

Anti-inflammatory foods like essential fatty acids help reduce or prevent puffiness in the skin.
They are abundant in wild-caught fish, olive oil, flax seeds and oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.

The beauty of your skin, hair, and nails also depends on how mineralized you are.  Beauty “superfoods” have a high concentration of minerals, especially:

  • Sulfur to cleanse tissues, give a radiant complexion, and help rebuild collagen and keratin to make skin supple and hair and nails strong and shiny.
  • Silicon to help improve the condition and thickness of hair and nails.
  • Zinc for proper function of enzymes, especially those that help the body maintain it’s collagen supply.  Zinc also helps prevent wrinkles and stretch marks.
  • Iron to support and oxygenate the blood.  According to David Wolfe in “Eating for Beauty”, “iron-rich blood produces a soft glowing tint of beauty visible just underneath the skin”.  Nice.

The best strategy for consuming these beautifying foods is to eat more whole, local, and organic foods — especially produce — and avoid foods that come in packages.  Luckily, it’s summer time so you can avoid packages altogether by doing the majority of your shopping at the farmer’s market.

Here are some top natural beauty “superfoods”, most of which you should see available at the farmer’s markets this summer:

  • Arugula and Watercress: highly alkaline, high in sulfur which makes them excellent internal skin cleansers and liver purifiers, increases circulation which helps bring color and luster to skin, lips, and eyes.
  • Cucumbers: highly alkaline, a mild diuretic that helps prevent bloating and puffiness.  The skin of cucumbers is high in silicon.
  • Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds: high in anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids and fiber.
  • Olives and Olive Oil:  alkaline fats, super high in vitamin E which has been known to reduce fine lines on the face and repair connective tissue.  Also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and a substance called squalene which helps keep the skin smooth.  When purchasing oils, make sure you get cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Onions: rich source of sulfuric oils that have antiseptic qualities.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: great source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, and zinc.
  • Sea vegetables: one of the most abundant sources of minerals, which are essential for hair and nail growth and healthy skin.  Try snacking on veggies wrapped in nori or a seaweed salad made of arame, hijiki, or wakame.
  • Strawberries and Blueberries:  super high in antioxidants and fiber.

Remember to be patient:  cleansing your body and adding in more minerals takes time.  By consistently adding in more organic whole foods and reducing processed junk, you body will be able to assimilate more and more of these minerals.  You will begin to notice that your skin and eyes appear brighter, your hair becomes thicker and shinier (your hairdresser will even comment), and your nails will be stronger.  Totally worth the wait.

To your health and inner radiance!

 

4 Exercise Benefits For Your Body’s Largest Organ

Liz DiAlto is a NYC-based personal trainer and health coach.  She motivates really busy people to make health and fitness a priority by teaching efficient and effective methods for long term results. You can find her online at lizdialto.com, or in person at willspace in NYC.

4 Benefits of Exercise for Your Body’s Largest Organ

First of all, it’s your skin-that’s your body’s largest organ.  A LOT of people don’t know this-but my guess is you probably did as a Goddess Huntress fan.  We all know exercise is good for our overall health, helps us stay fit, and boosts our energy.  Just in case you needed more incentive to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping, here are four reasons your skin will love you for it, too:

1.    It’s all about hormones, baby.  Ever break out when you’re stressed? Exercise helps control stress and all the hormones involved.

2.    Strength training in particular is key for keeping skin taut when time would rather drag it down.  Lean muscle is toned and holds a better shape as opposed to fat, which is soft, puffy and prone to dimples and sagging.

The next two are compliments of Audrey Kunin, MD, a Kansas City, Mo., dermatologist and author of The DERMAdoctor Skinstruction Manual.

3.    Exercise increases circulation* and delivery of nutrients to skin cells, whooshing away potentially damaging toxins.   And you know how the Goddess Huntress community feels about toxins…get ‘em outta here!

4.    Optimum conditions for making collagen*, the support fibers that help keep wrinkles and lines at bay is also a bi-product of exercise.  So more exercise = fewer wrinkles.  Need I say more?

Feeling extra motivated to get your workout on? Head over to lizdialto.com for efficient and effective workout ideas, tips and videos (especially if you’re the busy type who has trouble fitting it in!).

*for more on this here’s a full article at WebMD with a little extra science for those of you who love the nitty-gritty.

Radiating From The Inside Out: Part 1

 

Heather Pierce is a speaker, blogger, and holistic health coach who motivates and teaches driven entrepreneurs and professionals to eat for maximum energy and mental focus without deprivation.  She also teaches seasonal cooking classes and will be hosting food and yoga retreats later this year.  Learn more at www.heatherpierceinc.com.
Natural Beauty:  Two Steps to Radiating from the Inside-Out

Part I
Picture this:  a body of clean water, a lake perhaps.  What does it look like?  Clear, glistening, and a vibrant, breath-taking shade of blue or green.  Right?

Now, picture a polluted body of water, like something Cosmo Kramer would go swimming in.  Is it clear, bright, and glistening?  Absolutely not.  It’s dirty, stinky, and turbid.

Well, your body is literally a body of water too:  you’re made up of about 70% water.  So a stagnant, polluted, backed-up system will make your cells and your skin look like the East River:  murky, dull, and lifeless.  Really lifeless.

Natural beauty starts from the inside. Just like a beautiful lake, to maintain a healthy glow, you need to get rid of the junk!  When your internal body of water is free of impurities and well-nourished, you will radiate from the inside-out — no highlighting cream necessary!

Here are the steps you need to take to tap into your natural beauty and have a superhuman glow:

Step One:  Take out the trash with…

Water, water, water. If you eat food with, use products with, and inhale harmful chemicals and environmental pollutants, your internal system is going to get backed up.  We need to help clear them out if your skin is going to stand a chance.  One of the best ways to do that is to drink lots of purified water.

It hydrates our cells so they are plump and juicy, giving you soft, supple skin.  Dry skin, especially dry lips is a good indicator of dehydration (and constipation).  So if you’ve been religiously re-applying your lip balm, you need more water.

Water also helps escort out the toxins that are polluting and backing up your precious system.

You’re probably thinking “Ok, I know that I’m supposed to drink water, but I just forget”.  Here’s how I make sure I sip all the live long day:  keep a nice pitcher on your desk (perhaps with lemon slices, cucumber slices, or fresh berries for added aesthetic and taste) and keep a BPA-free bottle in your bag so you’re never without!

Up your fiber intake.
To further avoid traffic jams in your digestive system, make sure you eat plenty of fiber-rich foods.  These are whole-grains like oatmeal and brown rice, beans, seeds like flax or chia, fresh vegetables and fruit.

The insoluble fiber (like the peel of an apple) create bulk and soluble fiber (like the flesh of an apple) helps soften your #2’s so you can move waste out of your body in a smooth and timely fashion.

What’s a “timely fashion”?  You should be going at least 1x/day.  If not, your system may be backed up with waste, toxins, and putrefying food that can get re-absorbed into your bloodstream and add to your toxic load.

How much do you need?  Start by shootingfor at least 50% of your plate to be comprised of vegetables.  Then shoot for another 20-25% of whole grains, fruit, or legumes like chickpeas or lentils.

If you’re having extra trouble moving (i.e. your not going at least 1x/day) try sprinkling ground flax seeds or a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds (yes, they are used for Chia Pets too) on your oatmeal or in your smoothie for extra oomph.

Avoid fake, processed, chemicalized foods.
To lower your toxic load and the amount of work your system needs to do in order to keep things clean, keep the junk you put in your mouth to a minimum.  Buy local and organic produce to avoid foods treated with pesticides and herbicides.  If you eat animal products, make sure they are naturally raised:  organic, free range, grass fed and fish that is wild-caught.

Also avoid fake, processed foods like artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc.  The best rule of thumb is to avoid anything that comes in a package.  Now that it’s summer, it’s easier to follow that rule by getting the majority of your food at the farmer’s market.

Say goodbye to stress by taking a breather.
Nothing takes a toll on your appearance (and immune and digestive systems) more than stress.  Studies have shown a direct link to stress and premature aging.

While quitting your day job and whisking yourself away to a desert island may not be the most practical move at the moment, there is a simple way to instantly relax and de-stress:  breathe.  By taking deep nasal breaths, you activate the calming receptors in the lower lobes of your lungs that tell your body to chill out.  Also, the more you breathe, the more oxygen you bring into your cells – giving yourself an energizing boost.

Try this simple exercise that you can do anywhere, even at your desk or at business lunch.  Nobody will even notice what you’re up to:

Body Scan
1.  Sit up straight in your chair so have a nice natural curve in your spine.
2.  Let out all of the air, then take a big deep breath in through your nose, letting your lower belly fill up first, then your mid-chest, then your upper-chest so your collar bone lifts slightly.
3.  Hold your breath for a few seconds, then take a slow and steady breath out, completely emptying out all the air.
4.  Repeat this for about 10 breaths while mentally scanning your body from head to toe, noticing what parts of your body need to relax.  When you find a spot that is particularly tense, send the breath to that spot to allow it to expand then relax.

When you are done you should feel calmer, more fluid, and more energized.

Now that we’ve worked on getting rid of the bad stuff (toxins, waste, chemicals, and stress), it’s time to add in the good stuff.  Stay tuned for Part II…

Photo via Christa Meola