Wake Up and Feel Beautiful: Cosmetic Tattooing

Wake Up  Feel BeautifulCosmetic Tattooing.png

Would you like to wake up every morning with your “face on”? What if I told you that, with help, you can have beautiful eyelashes, brows and even a hairline?

Yes, it is possible and cosmetic tattoo artists are “drawing on” permanent eye and hair makeup, using the sure hands of a surgeon with the exquisite eye of an artist. And men, a cosmetic tattoo artist can draw a light hairline providing a more “full” image of hair.

Who is a candidate?

Anyone . . .

·       who lost hair due to chemotherapy, alopecia, aging, or hair insufficiency.

·       Who has chemical or makeup allergies, or skin sensitivities.

·       who has difficulty applying makeup due to vision issues, arthritis, or lack of time.

·       who is physically active, or oily skinned individuals who “shed” makeup quickly.

How does it work?

Permanent makeup is done through a process called micropigmentation, wherein a tattoo pen injects permanent ink into the skin. As long as hygiene standards are adhered to, there is little to no risk. The biggest risk is actually dissatisfaction with the aesthetics. So make sure to communicate EXACTLY what you want with photos, and review the tattoo artist’s portfolio of clients before-and-after pictures to make sure you agree with the expected final result. While it is called “permanent,” it does generally fade in approximately 2-3 years and will need to be touched up.

My secret is out

With super-sensitive skin, I cannot wear most skin care or makeup products -- my face blows up like a balloon. Tattoo makeup has been a life-saver for me. I live an active life that includes surfing, biking, swimming, golfing, and I like to invest a minimum of effort, yet look great. I love being able to wake up, look in the mirror, feel beautiful, and run out the door.

Swimming at Smith Mountain Lake in the Rain -- no make-up can survive this kind of day!

Swimming at Smith Mountain Lake in the Rain -- no make-up can survive this kind of day!

My experience

Inari Salon on K street NW, is my reference and Mai Duong is who I trust, because she approaches my requests with an understanding that integrates what I want with what is possible. I want to look natural, and Mai matches the ink to my natural coloring and uses the faintest line to blend in with my natural lashes. Not a heavy line or contrasting color. I love Mai’s manner, her gentle yet sure hand, and her keen eye for detail. I experienced the discomfort of the procedure and swelling afterwards, but I barely remember now when I look at myself in the mirror and feel so pleased. I have seen many of Mai’s other clients over the years, and although I know they are tattooed like me, they don’t look like it, not AT ALL. In the past seven years, I have had one touch-up.

Less is More

Remember that fads come and go, so the best approach is to mimic the “natural” look and start with less. It is always possible to add more permanent makeup or, for va-voom. add eyeliner pencil for special events and evening wear.

Make sure to keep your skin in great shape using VIRTUE SKINFOOD. Get your VIRTUE kick-off kit today and beautiful skin can be yours.

Reprinted from The Georgetowner, Body & Soul, April 5-18, 2017 edition.

Retinols: Scientifically Proven Antiaging Superstars

Retinols Product Shot

Other antioxidant superstars help prevent damage. But retionols are the only known substance, that can actually undo skin damage.

Acting as a peel and an antioxidant, retinols:

  • fade acne scarring and hyper-pigmentation,
  • erase fine lines and prevent wrinkles,
  • and promote collagen and elastin production.

Does this sound too good to be true? Well it’s not. Retinols are one of the most exciting skin care ingredients, and science proves it.

What is a Retinol?

When retinol and other retinoids come into contact with skin, enzymes in the body convert the retinol into retinoic acid, the active form of vitamin A. And vitamin A helps skin by increasing cell turnover which in turn, stimulates collagen and elastin production, speeds skin repairs and recovery, and helps skin stay hydrated and glowing, thus slowing aging.

Who should use Retinols?

Whether you are a teenager struggling with acne breakouts, in your twenty’s trying to fade acne scars, a thirty or forty something preventing fine lines and wrinkles, or in your seventies seeking to fade age spots . . . retinols are for you.

Synthetic vs. Natural

There are natural and synthetic (or prescription) forms of retinoids. Prescription strength products are more “active” than over the counter (OTC) products. In skin care, too active an ingredient may not be an advantage, per the side effects of dryness, sun sensitivity, peeling and redness. For the natural skin purist, Rosehip seed oil is an excellent source of trans-retinoic acid that avoids the irritation that prescription retinoic acid can cause, yet has all the benefits. Why are the side effects eliminated? The skin does the work in the molecularization of retinoic acid, converting only what it needs and eliminating the risk of overdosing.* 

Experts unanimously recommend retinoids or OTC products with retinol as anti-aging super stars, but check it out for yourself. Since changes happen slowly use OTC retinols for at least three months in the treatment of scars, photo-aging, wrinkles, and age spots, to see an effect. 

*Contributions to Identification and Application of Active Components Contained in Rosa Aff. Rubiginosa prepared by the Faculty of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, University of San Marcos, Lima, Peru & and Dr Horst KehI, from the School of Pharmacology of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, December 1988. The results were after a two-year study that included 180 patients. Additional testing has demonstrated healing on scar tissue even with scars over 20 years old.

Reprinted from The Georgetowner, Body & Soul, March 22nd - April 4, 2017 edition.

Did you know toothpaste DECREASES a child's IQ?

Brush with this NOT this

Most people ingest poison 2X a day, 365 days a year. Surprised?  It happens every time they brush their teeth. 

Fluoride is only one of many toxins to which Americans are routinely exposed in their toothpaste. Toxins can be cumulative and this adds up over time to a total of 38.5 days average Americans spend brushing their teeth over his or her lifetime with a product toxic enough that if your child swallows it you are advised, on the package, to call the poison center.

Dental products are a major source of fluoride exposure, particularly for children. Our bodies are amazing at neutralizing toxins. But at some point the body can become overwhelmed, especially the small, developing systems of our children. And research is demonstrating that this not only impacts health but also decreases a child's IQ. 

This is very easy to address. All we have to do is exchange conventional toothpaste with an FDA Poison Label, for a toothpaste that is 100% edible and safe and still does the job. Here is the reason for making this easy change.

95% of Toothpaste now contains Flouride, and 50+ human studies, based on IQ examinations of over 12,000 children, provide compelling evidence that fluoride exposure during the early years of life can damage a child's developing brain. 

The Lancet, the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin, in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury. The Lancet Neurology, Volume 13, Issue 3, in the March 2014 edition, by authors Dr. Phillippe Grandjean and Philip J. Landrigan, MD. The report can be viewed by clicking here.

A recently-published Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas, in a 32-page report that can be downloaded free of charge from Environmental Health Perspectives. So yes, you have to check your water too!

Sadly few realize how easy it is to swap their tooth products for something healthy AND amazing. See my favorite toothpaste here

Seven Unnecessary & Harmful Ingredients in Conventional Toothpaste:

  1. Sodium Fluoride: A neurotoxin, causes soft tissue damage, Dental Fluorosis, and reduced IQ in children.
  2. Triclosan: An endocrine-disruptor and registered pesticide
  3. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES): Carcinogenic, increases risk of canker sores and if ingested causes nausea and diarrhea.
  4. Propylene Glycol: Component in antifreeze, causes damage to skin and cells.
  5. FD & C Dyes 1 & 2: Known for behavior, learning and health problems--can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatique, lack of concentration, and cancer.
  6. Titanium Dioxide: Possible carcinogen.
  7. Glycerin: Coats teeth and prevents remineralization.

All these ingredients provide a benefit of consistency and preservation of the product. But none are necessary for health.

The poison label is specific, so what is the risk?

FDA toothpaste label

 

  • A single strip of toothpaste covering the length of a child’s brush contains between 0.75 to 1.5 mg of fluoride. This exceeds the amount of fluoride in most prescription fluoride supplements (0.25 to 1.0 mg).
  • Many young children swallow over 50% of the paste added to their brush, particularly if they use candy-flavored varieties and if they are not supervised during brushing to ensure they spit and fully rinse. Research has shown that some children swallow more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended from all sources combined.
  • Although dentists now recommend that children only use “a pea-sized amount” of toothpaste, many children use more than this, particularly when the toothpaste has bubble gum and watermelon flavors.

Even Tom’s of Maine ingredients need to be reviewed. Tom's line of natural toothpaste for children, left out the synthetic sweeteners, neon colors and bubble gum flavors, but many contain the same levels of fluoride as competitors’ toothpastes. Make sure to check the label carefully.

People can have perfect healthy, white, clean, amazing teeth without consuming a fluoride product. As with teeth, no other tissue or cellular process requires fluoride. But teeth do require regular cleanliness and support. Which is why I created VIRTUE SKINFOOD Toothpowder, using 100% edible, food grade, bio-available ingredients, supporting health and dental hygiene. Every ingredient is a nutrient that supports our bodies' health and functioning, with no FDA poison label requirement. Please click here to read the ingredients, benefits and customer reviews

Your mouth will be the freshest and most hygienic. And another benefit, we have found it is great for eliminating/reducing morning breath too! Yes, go ahead and brush your way to great health and teeth. Try the double goodness of our Toothpowder and our Tongue Scraper

So remember this is easy to remedy! Brush daily using a toothpaste without a poison label!

FEEL HAPPY IN YOUR SKIN 7-Day Challenge

This past month I have been focusing on a simple 2-STEP process that is easy, enjoyable, inexpensive, and creates healthy, vibrant skin. Skin that FEELS HAPPY and revitalized. Give yourself a week of treatments and I PROMISE you, (YES, ANYONE can do it even with NO BUDGET), that your skin will be AMAZING. Also, ladies, this has been proven in scientific research to be the ONLY true way to reduce cellulite without surgery. Ideally do this before bed and you will sleep like a baby!

Step 1: Brush Your Skin
Use a boar-bristle brush, and brush your skin in circular patterns. Use a gentle but firm pressure. It should feel really REALLY good. Check out the brush that I prefer, and 'How To" diagram here, but any natural boar bristle brush will work. Rotate in circular patterns towards the heart. 

Step 2: Soak in Epsom Salts
Run a tub of hot water--the hottest you can stand. This helps your body soak in the magnesium from the Epsom Salts. Drop in two cups of Epsom Salts and let dissolve. Sit for as long as you can at least 15 minutes.  I have a hard time with this and usually read the book assigned by my book club.

Do whatever helps you relax. Listen to music, mediate, whatever allows you to sit still. Let your skin absorb the Minerals in the salt. Epsom salt absorbed through he skin also works to relieve muscle tension, pain, and inflammation in joints. 

YES, that is it. Challenge complete!

How to Revitalize Summer Skin

Summer is over. Fall is arriving, and winter will be nipping at our heels. During summer our skin loves being sun-kissed, absorbing vitamin D and developing a nice warm glow. As your glow starts to fade, though, your skin will start to feel dry, dull, and lifeless. How do you prepare your skin for the next transition? 

Hydrate and Nourish Skin from the Inside Out

Drink Up

Of course you know to include plenty of H20 to kept your body well hydrated.  Feel free to squeeze a lemon or lime in your water to help alkalinize and add antioxidants.  And don’t forget tea: chamomile, mint, berries, ginseng, etc. Herbal teas are a good method of detoxifying. Water is key to getting rid of waste and toxins, which are the main cause of dull skin. Always remember that not all beverages are healthy for hydrating your dry skin. Keep away from those drinks, filled with empty calories that cannot provide skin nutrition. 

Foods that Hydrate

 

Vegetables and fruit nourish and hydrate.  Make sure to get as many as possible into your diet. Most of the fruits and vegetables are not only rich source of fluids, but also provide benefits of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Remember this includes: oranges, berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, lettuce, peaches, watermelon, celery, apples, et al, the list is long and varied. The more diversity in diet the more complex and rich in vitamins and nutrients that we absorb. And a healthy skin is a beautiful skin.

Only Oil Can Hydrate

Only oils hydrate and restore natural moisture balance. Did you know body lotions and creams, contain up to 80% water, when your skin actually needs oils to fully restore itself? Most lotions have only a small percentage of real natural oils – the remaining will usually be synthetic preservatives, emulsifiers, fillers, substitutes, and artificial fragrance with zero nourishing value for your skin and actually may be harmful. That’s why they rarely nourish your skin. 

Feed Skin Nutrients:

When choosing a skin care product make sure to read the ingredients. Just like reading ingredients at the grocery store, if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t put it on your skin.

Our skin absorbs whatever we put on it. Transdermal absorption is used for nicotine patches, hormone creams, etc. This is true with skin care. Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate, and they do. 

That means 20 square feet of transdermal nutrition absorption. Choose a product that maximizes nutrients and vitamins. 

We recommend VIRTUE SKINFOOD Body Butter. Just a dab of this rich cream will hydrate the driest areas of your body. Never use anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.

Protect and Feed Your Body from the Outside In

Feeding your body via your skin, not only will enhance the quality of your skin but your overall health. Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we apply to it. So optimize your largest organ to feed your body vitamins and nutrients. So what do you choose to revitalize and rejuvenate?

A Balanced Acid Mantle

Make sure to clean your skin with gentle nonabrasive soap and cleansers. Look for products that will not disturb your natural acid mantle. If our acid mantle becomes disrupted, our skin can lose its moisture and be prone to infection and damage, and speed up skin aging! Just like natural probiotics protect the natural flora of the gut. Your skin has a natural acid mantle. Using products that strip will leave it vulnerable. Castile soap is one of the most gentle products for your skin. Made of antioxidant rich olive oil, it isn’t an inexpensive product. But it also leaves your acid mantle intact while washing away dirt and toxins. Check out the VIRTUE SKINFOOD Face Bar made with Olive Oil with a touch of Goats Milk. You will be amazed at how great your skin feels afterwards.

This 100% raw body butter is based on highly moisturizing cold-pressed organic shea, mango, cocoa, and illipe butters and virgin organic cold pressed black cumin seed, pomegranate, avocado, rosehip seed, sea buckthorn, hempseed, and eveing primrose oil to hydrate your skin, protect from dryness, regenerate and restore elasticity, reduces inflammation (which is what ages our skin and body), replenish collagen, and repair damaged, delicate, and mature skin, as well as protect skin from damaging environmental elements that surround us everyday. Rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, F, B1, B2, B3, Folic Acid, and much, much more. 

Since only oils hydrate and restore your skin’s natural moisture balance, our body butter contains raw, bioavailable, organic, easily-absorbed, food-grade butters and cold pressed oils. Vitamin E is including as a healing agent, as well as an all-natural preservative that helps extend the shelf life of this food grade product. Contains only cold-pressed, unrefined, raw, organic, natural ingredients as nature intended – pure and effective. Using only organic essential oils – our Body Butter is fragrance, synthetic and chemical preservative free – providing therapeutic healing benefits. 

Use VIRTUE SKINFOOD when you care about what you put IN and what you put ON your body, and help to heal post-summer skin.

Originally posted on the Plastic Surgery Center Blog

Four Top Summer Skin Care Tips

Sun dresses, shorts, swim suits. Summer is about baring skin. So you really want a glowing and smooth complexion. Here are four summer skin-care tips that make getting through this summer with beautiful, ageless skin, easy.

 

1.     Exfoliate:

The best way to exfoliate is to skin brush. It removes dead skin and enhances new cellular regeneration. Softens skin and improves skin tone. Skin is our largest organ and our best way to detox. Look younger by brushing your skin on your face and body. It brings blood to the surface of the skin. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells, helping to feed skin. Skin-brushing, also called dry brushing – is a simple technique that stimulates blood and lymph flow. Find directions here from MindBodyGreen.com.

2.     Hydrate:

Drink plenty of water. Skin care cannot rehydrate skin, it only protects from moisture loss. So make sure to drink plenty of water. We all are unique and our bodies' need for water can vary. A good rule is to take your body weight, divide it in half, and that is the amount of ounces of water you need per day.

3.     Sun Protection:

Remember that your skin absorbs whatever you put on it. That includes the ingredients of the skin care and/or sunscreen product you use. A quick and easy way to choose a sunscreen that is healthy and good to use is the Skin Deep App, by the Environmental Working Group. They rank skin care and cosmetic ingredients and health risk in a huge database. And don’t forget to cover up with a long sleeve cotton shirt or rash-guard while on the beach. And don’t forget a hat.

4.     Sooth, Repair, and Protect:

Look for skin care product that works with skin’s natural healing process. Great skin and ageless beauty are all about getting inflammation down to curb skin damage and calm redness. What we put on the skin is ingested like anything we eat. Skin is porous and absorbs whatever is put on it. Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals pack a punch and address environmental damage and help skin heal and repair. Leverage the amazing capability of your body to slow down the aging process and repair itself by feeding your skin nutritionally.

 

These simple easy tips will help to ensure great skin during the coming summer months.

 

Originally posted on the Plastic Surgery Center Blog

Skin Wellness TRANSITION to SURVIVORSHIP Workshop Resource Sheet

MedStar Website

MedStar Website

Thursday, June 23, 2016, Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center, Betty Lou Ourisman Reception area

Re Event: Transition to Wellness, an informative survivorship workshop, targeted at assisting new survivors to understand and overcome the challenges that may face  them the first year following treatment, will be held on Thursday, June 23 at 6:00pm in the Betty Lou Ourisman Reception area ground floor Lombardi. 

Thank you to Denise O'Neill and the lovely group of women who I enjoyed meeting and sharing how to care for the largest organ in and on your body -- your SKIN. Below are resources shared in the meeting for assisting in the path to wellness.  Thank you for sharing and allowing me to be part of your journey.

Resources Shared:

SKIN IT ABSORBS

http://www.downtoearth.org/health/general-health/your-skin-it-absorbs 

Watchdogs for Skin Care/Cosmetic Safety

EWG’s Skin Deep App http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: http://www.safecosmetics.org

The EU has banned more than 1,300 ingredients, while the U.S. has banned or restricted only 11. The entire list can be found here.

FDA Skin Care Banned Ingredients: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm127406.htm

Europe Banned Ingredients: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/cosing/

Confusing Skin Care Label Terminology

Natural: Can be used for anything and everything, not necessarily "natural."

The USDA has identified for three categories of labeling organic products:

100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients

Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients

Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)

Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.

Permanent Makeup

Tattoo Eyeliner/Eyebrows: Mai at Inari Salon: www.inarisalon.com  

Essential Oils

The soul of the plant. Amazing healing properties.

https://www.amazon.com/Aromatherapy-Bible-Definitive-Guide-Essential/dp/1402730063

For example, Chamomile, the principal constituents: The most important part is azulene, a fatty aromatic substance which is anti-inflammatory and promotes rapid healing of skin problems ...

Winter Skin Care in 6 Steps

Gilfoss, Iceland

We are nearing the end of Winter. If you are like me, you have had enough of cold, snow and dreary days. But what is worse, your 20 square feet of skin is tired of it too. Here are some hints for getting your skin in top shape for summer.

1) Avoid Skincare Ingredients that Dry Your Skin

Our skin has different care issues in Winter than it does in Summer. But the consistent issue in both seasons is hydration. Using a skin care product that has ingredients that dry your skin is the first thing to stop. If a product contains alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or fragrances and preservatives, these can be extremely drying. For best results, replace these products with other non-drying products. Also, some soaps contain ingredients that seem to sap the life out of skin. Virtue Skinfood Face Bar uses Olive Oil and Goats Milk as the two main ingredients. The milk has natural lactic acid that hydrates and exfoliates.

2) Hydrate to Manage Weather Extremes

The only way to hydrate your skin is from the inside out. So make sure to drink water to hydrate. During the summer it is easier to remember to drink fluids because of the heat. But the winter can be even more dehydrating to the body. Indoor heating systems can pull the moisture from the air. Outdoors can be even more drying with ice and snow storms, wind chill, and transitioning from outdoors cold, to indoors warm. If the heating system in your home includes a humidifier, turn it on. Or invest in a good mobile humidifier and place it in the main living areas, especially the bedroom.

3) Protect Skin with Oil-based Products

Choose products that protect skin from hydration loss. Most moisturizers contain up to 80% water. Initially, rubbing a body or hand lotion onto skin can feel great. But it isn’t a long term solution, because the water doesn’t penetrate but evaporates from the skin. Invest in oil-based skin care. The oil creates a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Try Body Butter, Hand Healer & FaceFood to protect skin and provide the vitamins and minerals to put skin in a state of healing. Lucious Lips provides advanced protection for the lips. All products are 100% oil based.

4) Maintain Vitamin D Levels

It is easy to have your vitamin-d levels tested. Contact your doctor, and find out yours. Then consider an oral supplement or using a tanning bed to maintain Vitamin D. UVA/UVB rays are very controversial but the fact is, our bodies need Vitamin D, especially our skin, or we start having serious health and skin issues. Dr. Mercola provides an in-depth science based view on using a tanning bed. Dr Tami also provides detailed suggestions for determining if you are deficient and for using oral vitamin-d. I prefer a combination of both oral Vitamin D AND a low magnetic ballistic tanning bed to keep my Vitamin D levels in range. I place a towel over my face to protect my delicate facial skin, and lay in the bed nude for maximum Vitamin D absorption. Consult your health provider to determine a plan that suits your needs.

5) Take a Break from Hot Water

After feeling chilled from the onslaught of inclement Winter weather, it is easy to hop into a hot shower or bath for a long hot soak, but you aren’t doing your skin any favors. You are better off with warm water and short duration. Hot water breaks down the lipid barrier and causes the skin to lose moisture making the dry skin situation worse. If you need to enjoy a burst of warmth, look into investing in an infrared sauna or visiting one at a spa. The heat penetrates the skin at a deeper level, improving circulation to the skin and helping to remove waste from the body in a more effective way with sweating.

6) Re-Mineralize Your Skin

Getting minerals into the skin provides the most effective healing. The easiest way is to soak your entire body, or alternatively just your feet, in Epsom salts in tepid warm water (not hot as discussed in #5). Using Epsom salt baths is a simple yet advanced detoxification strategy that has remarkable health benefits. The Magnesium in the Epsom Salt plays a critical role in skin, by improving muscle and nerve function, reducing inflammation, improving blood flow or oxygenation throughout the body. Epsom salts replenish the body’s magnesium levels”. Most of us are Magnesium deficient. Here is a “how to” take an Epsom Salt bath.

Reprinted from http://www.theplasticsurgerycenter.com/winter-skin-care-in-6-steps-with-rebekah-kelley-creator-of-virtue-skinfood/ 

The Secret to a Long and Healthy Life

Is Eating Killing You?

What is the secret to a long vibrant life? Everyone is looking for the silver bullet. Is it a rare herb? a special nutrient extracted from the rainforest? Or a scientific breakthrough in a pill form? We keep looking for an answer to this question. We are all like Ponce de Leon looking for the fountain of youth. But what if long life is connected to starvation? When do we have the opportunity to trigger this gene in our food-rich environment? Going without a meal in today’s world is a thing of concern and indicates a lack of self-care, and causes a drop in blood sugar. Right? But what if it’s wrong? What if it actually kills us softly and quietly in the long run?

Researchers have found a family of genes called longevity genes. They have discovered that starvation causes the expression of a gene coding a protein called SIRT, SIRT1, or sirtuin, which brings on longevity and other positive life enhancing effects.

Pretty counter intuitive in our modern world of never being without a “snack” to manage blood sugar balance.  We were taught to  breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper along with other “lessons” on food intake.

I recently read the book Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I enjoyed his discussions and found myself rethinking many concepts that I have previously accepted as fact. I decided to implement a challenge for myself: a fasting day.

Taleb discusses the Mediterranean Diet as an example of long-lived research. It has been studied and noted by multiple leading scientists as one of the world’s healthiest diets. But one thing that Taleb flags is a missing point.  At least I missed it while studying how to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach at the esteemed Columbia University. A pretty BIG something was missed. It isn’t just what is eaten but also what isn’t. Greek Orthodox believers have 200 religious fasting days. So what if “healthy” is what is missing? In this case FOOD. So I decided to up the ante and try it myself. Instead of Meatless Mondays, I decided on “Food-Free Mondays” to check it out.

Being concerned about my work day, my personal life, having enough energy to do what I needed to, and avoiding a healing crisis, I gave myself the goal of no solid food, to allow my digestive system to take a break. I drank a green smoothie at noon and then one again at 5PM, but no sugar (and that means from vegetables and fruit). The smoothie was created only for nutritional value, see the recipe below. I allowed myself plenty of H2O, and herbal tea. Oh, and being a caffeine addict I allowed myself coffee in the morning.

Okay, I won’t lie, it isn’t easy. I found myself going to the refrigerator for food, mainly for comfort. I love the feeling of eating good stuff. But I would stop myself. I kept reminding myself of my own goal–that this was my choice and I LOVE choosing health. I felt pretty good–actually quite focused and clear, and also lighter. As if the energy to digest was placed in the hands of my brain for extra diligence. I did 75 minutes of yoga that morning, but kept my other exercise to a minimum. The next day I woke up with a slight headache. I rarely have headaches and usually if I do it is from dehydration. I drank more water, and realized it was from burning off toxins. I kept the physical activities to walking the next day. I didn’t eat until dinner-time and I will say . . . food has NEVER tasted so good. Who knew? My taste buds where alive and my dinner was a musical symphony to my tongue. I felt really good and I thought I should do this every Monday.

According to Scientific American, Feb 2006, “Researchers have found that a family of genes involved in an organism’s ability to withstand a stressful environment, such as excessive heat or scarcity of food or water, has the power to keep its natural defense and repair activities going strong regardless of age. By optimizing the body’s functioning for survival, these genes maximize the individual’s chances of getting through the crisis. And if they remain activated long enough, they can also dramatically enhance the organism’s health and extend its life span. In essence, they represent the opposite of aging genes–longevity genes.”

Interesting that our bodies evolved over time to use the stressful environment to help us live a long and vibrant life. Who am I to fight Mother Nature? I would rather be her friend and plan to continue my “Food Free Mondays.”

Want to join me?

Green Smoothie
2 cups of distilled or spring water
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1/4 avocado
1/2 banana
1/4 teaspoon of Living Foods Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Ester C Powder
10 raw almonds
20 drops of NuNaturals Clear Stevia ( or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon algae superfood klamath blue green
1 teaspoon Bentonite Clay
1 tablespoon of Whole Organic Flax seeds (ground just before putting into smoothie)
1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds organic

Originally published on www.theyogafairy.net. VIRTUE SKINFOOD is Yoga Fairy approved!

SUPERFOOD ROSEHIP TEA

Go Ahead! Drink Responsibly!

Some days I have moments of brilliance, especially after hanging out with my awesome healthy girlfriends, like the lovely “Yoga Fairy” Sarah. She inspired me to create this amazing, yummy, healthy Super-food Iced Tea. We were talking about what to make for our families that they will love to drink and will build their health. And voila! I was inspired. I can’t wait for another playdate to see what else she inspires.

So go ahead and drink responsibly to your health with Sarah’s Super-food Iced Tea. What makes it so good? Let me explain.

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for our health. And rose hips have 50% more Vitamin C than oranges, without all the sugar. Rose hips also have a high vitamin A content. Vitamin A is commonly referred to as the “skin vitamin”. It helps to regenerate skin cells, healing wounds and scars. It also helps to keep the skin elastic and nourished. This will not only prevent wrinkles, but can actually help to minimize any that have already appeared. Yep, I love Rose hips.

Rose Hip tea was first given to me when I came in out of the desert sun on my first trip to Egypt. Every hotel met me with a frothy glass of chilled rose hip tea. It instantly calmed me, and according to the hotel it has been used for centuries to cool off desert travelers as it helps lower blood pressure. Brilliant!! Why? Amazing anti- inflammitory qualities, and lets face it, as we age it is all about reducing inflammation. The color is such a lovely jewel tone, indicating a variety of antioxidants; carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, leucoanthocyanins and catechins, rose hips are considered to be a good cancer preventative. What’s not to be in love with?

There is a lot of publicity about Chia Seeds. The new must eat super food. Packed full of Protein, Manganese, Potassium, and Phospheros, the ancient Mayans and Aztecs back in the day used these amazing seeds as an energy boost. I put them in my smoothie but was recently inspired and created this awesome concoction. It is soooo easy to make, delicious and super healthy.

So just stop and smell the roses, go ahead drink up! I can’t keep it in the refrigerator. Spouses and kids LOVE it. I promise! Here is how to make it.

Easy Ingredients:

  • Organic Rose Hips
  • Organic Non-GMO Chia Seeds
  • Pure Water
  • Liquid Stevia

Originally published on www.theyogafairy.net. VIRTUE SKINFOOD is Yoga Fairy approved!