Bedtime Beauty Tips for Girls and Guys to Look Great in the Morning

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(Image credit- The Sleeping Beauty Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia http://russianbroadway.com/the-sleeping-beauty)

A great before bed routine I discovered if you want to wake up looking and feeling pretty or handsome:

Floss your teeth (of course) and brush with toothpaste mixed with baking soda. I saw on the Peta site that Arm & Hammer Baking Soda tests on animals, and I use it for many things, so if anybody knows of a baking soda that is cruelty free please let me know. Especially if it’s in Mexico. I have to find an alternative now.

Take a hot shower or bath. Wash your face while in the shower or bath and exfoliate (you can also do this by mixing baking soda in with your facial cleanser or use a separate exfoliating facial cleanser).

After your bath or shower massage some sort of cruelty free oil on your body while still damp and dry off with a thick fluffy towel. Some of my favorite oils are Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Massage Oil for Sleep in Lavender Vanilla or Palmer’s Coconut Body Oil. Baby oil is less expensive but try and find a cruelty free brand.

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Then use a toner on your face, neck, behind the neck, and ears soaked in a cotton pad or disk and then massage pure (make sure it is not artificial) coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond oil into your face, neck, and ears. Jojoba is best for combo or oily skin, and the others are better for dry skin. I like to alternate.

After put some type of heavy duty body butter on hands, feet, lips, around the eyes and onto your eyelashes and eyebrows. Palmers has a great one, Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks, which is very nice because it is very thick and has lavender in it. I also like Bath & Body Too Shea 100% Shea Butter Body Balm. Shea butter is also wonderful.

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Drink two large glasses of coconut water. Coconut water is full of potassium (more than 4 bananas) and electrolytes so it’s super hydrating. Mexico City has such a high altitude that I have been forced to find way of hydrating myself, inside and out.

Go to bed at 11 p.m. and wake up after 9 hours of sleep (if you can’t, adjust to your work schedule) and listen to an hour of relaxation music with subliminal messages for relaxing or sleeping messages while you are doing all of this. You can find these in Spotify or YouTube.

Do a quick 15 or 20 minute Yoga sequence from YouTube for sleeping, right on your bed, and in your pajamas.

Crawl under the covers, preferably with a cat or two (or three, ahaha), and “sweet dreams”.

Having a nighttime routine is very important for peaceful sleep. Each night as you start the same routine the body is being signaled that it is time to go to bed. By the time you are done you should have no problem falling into a nice, restful, and rejuvenating sleep.

You will notice how much better you feel and look in the morning.

None of these things are expensive or difficult, so anybody can do them.

Sweet dreams! XOXO

P.S

If anybody know how to get rid of that blank opening page to my Blog please let me know, it’s driving me crazy. :-/

Soft Yoga (written for a client with a Yoga blog but I can’t find the link)

 

Soft Yoga is a combination of postures or “asanas” that involve simple yet whole body movements, breathing, and relaxation techniques that harmonize your body and mind. For those that may have injuries, health problems, beginners, or are stiff, this is a very soft and mild way to recover or gain physical health. Soft Yoga will calm the mind, increase your flexibility, equilibrium, strength, and improve your ability to concentrate. It also serves for those that may be elderly or out of shape.

I started a Soft Yoga Class about a year and a half ago. My reasons were that although I have exercised in one form or another almost all of my life I had not exercised in over a year due to moving and being lazy about finding a new place or class to exercise with. I was very stiff, tired, and out of shape and I knew it was time to take action. I was also was suffering from neck problems which I will elaborate on later, and had very contracted and painful muscles in my shoulder areas.

One of the more serious problems of being out of shape is that I am naturally very stiff or inflexible. This may be due in part to mild scoliosis or genetics, or both. I find it surprising that although I have exercised most of my life I have never been flexible. I have never even been able to touch my toes. Perhaps I would have to take Yoga daily to be able to do that but unfortunately, time does not allow me to do so but when I do exercise and stretch regularly my flexibility does improve and this greatly effects my sense of well-being.

A Postural Realignment Specialist and Traumatology Specialist informed me that Yoga, swimming, and or Pilates were the only forms of exercise I should think about doing until my neck gets better. My neck had lost its natural curve from using my laptop at the kitchen table for too long, looking down, instead of straight ahead at the monitor. This is why I took the Soft Yoga Class. My neck has since improved and continues to do so due to the Postural Realignment sessions and Soft Yoga Classes. I fell in love with the class and have been doing it ever since. Postural Realignment as well but that is another Blog post! I found the combination both to be very beneficial and enjoyable on various levels.

On a more personal note, I am not one who enjoys going to exercise classes. I used to opt to exercise on my own at the gym, but after participating, I completely changed my mind. The soft hypnotic music, the low lighting, the scent of the lavender oil the instructor puts on all of our foreheads during the end of class meditation, created such a pleasant ambiance and the mental and physical benefits I experienced were spectacular.

I tend to be a very anxious and private person, and these classes helped me to get used to being in a “class” with others, people I do not know, something that has not always been easy for me. It also helped to relax my anxiety due to the physical exertion (but not too exerting that I dread going or push myself too hard), the stretching, and the meditation at the end. Physically, I am more flexible (for me), and my contracted muscles are relaxing. My posture is much better, and I find that my movements in general are more fluid as well as my body being much more toned.

The instructors modify postures for those that find it difficult to execute a certain asana, which makes the classes very personalized. Sometimes they even play instruments at the end, during the meditation part of the class, and always there is beautiful recorded music played throughout the hour. There are blankets provided to cover up with or use as pillows during the end of class meditation as well as lavender scented eye pillows.

I hope you found my Soft Yoga story interesting and informative and I hope that I have helped to motivate any of you who have not tried this sort of Yoga class to seek one out and try it. I have a feeling you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Namaste 🙂

Healthy Diet (written for a client with a Yoga blog but I can’t find the link)

Why a healthy diet?

You are what you eat and that is the truth. What you eat has a direct effect on your physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, as well as your appearance. These are three very good reasons for eating healthy. So many times people consider themselves too busy to cook and opt for fast foods that are full of chemicals, fats, sugars, preservatives, and all sorts of nasty and unhealthy things, many of which cause diseases. Imagine eating a greasy plate of fried food or a nice fresh salad. Now imagine that the food you are ingesting is exactly how you are going to feel and look. Not a pretty sight is it.

Tips on Eating Healthy

Food is energy… food is life! There are many varied forms of eating healthy, for example, many people are going with the raw food movement, which means eating live, uncooked, foods, which are very nutrient rich and full of energy because they are “living.” You might want to consider this is you are low on energy or feeling down.

Juicing is another way of getting pure living nutrients inside your tired body. Mixing various vegetable and fruit juices provide your body with many live and concentrated nutrients and happens to be extremely delicious!

Organic is another thing we must consider because organic food does not contain chemicals. You might also want to consider free range when purchasing things such as eggs and milk because knowing that the animals used to produce the eggs and milk are not factory farmed and are living a free and pleasant life is a nice feeling resulting in a better quality product in addition to guilt free eating.

Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, raw food movement, pescetarian, or you eat red meat and poultry, there are ways of doing each various diet type in a healthy way. The preference is a very personal one that you have to decide for yourself.

Results

Once you decide what is right for you and you put emphasis on a healthy diet be prepared to reap the rewards. Better body, better mood, longer life, better performance in work and sport, better concentration, better skin and hair, so what are you waiting for? I leave you with one of my favorite detox juice recipes, enjoy!

(Photo taken by author)

Beet, Carrot, Apple, & Celery Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 small beet
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 apple
  • Optional- Spirulina

Process

  1. Wash the fruits and veggies with water and a stuff brush
  2. Remove the beet and carrot tops, peel if the skin is tough, if not leave the skin
  3. Slice all to fit into the juicer
  4. Juice and serve

 

 

 

Nutrition and Nerve Health (written for a Chiropractor client)

Nutrition and Nerve Health

You may not think much about your nerve health but healthy nerves are imperative to have a perfectly functioning body and nutrition plays a very important roll in this. Luckily food is delicious and we all love to eat so taking care of your nervous system is much simpler than one would imaging and pleasurable as well. There are many foods, which are rich in nerve supporting nutrients.

There is no part of your body that does not involve the nervous system and we have three types of nerves:

  1. Autonomic nerves that make the parts of your body that are involuntary or partially involuntary function
  2. Motor nerves which control your movements
  3. Sensory nerves which are in control of all your senses from the skin and muscles allowing you to feel pain, pleasure and other sensations
  4. Nerves that are in charge of all your thoughts, memory and language

We also have two different parts to our nervous systems:

  1. Central nervous system. This system contains the spinal cord and brain
  2. Peripheral nervous system. This system is made up primarily of nerves and these nerves form bundles of axons that connect your central nervous system to all the other parts of your body. Your peripheral nervous system also consists of the autonomic nervous system comprising the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates involuntary functions, motor neurons, mediating voluntary movement and lastly the centric nervous system, which controls the gastrointestinal system.

The nervous system contains nerve cells or neurons that have the ability to send messages very rapidly to other cells. The nervous system also contains other special cells called glias, which provide your body with metabolic and structural support.

One of the causes of nerve disease is nutritional deficiency. Be sure your diet consists of plenty of fresh organic foods that contain vitamin B-6 and B-12 and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. If you have gastric bypass surgery take extra care of what you consume and have it monitored on a regular basis to make sure your body is absorbing the nutrition it needs by your medical professional. Make an effort to prepare healthy meals and if you are a woman consume no more than one drink per day and two for men.

Note- if you have diabetes make sure your blood sugar levels are always regulated.

Vitamin supplements that may help to heal nerve damage are as follows:

  • Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) helps to maintain normal nerve function and helps to coat the nerve cells. If you have a diet high in sugar, fat, alcohol you may be lacking the enzyme that converts GLA.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids not only help nervous system tissue after damage or trauma but they also help your nervous system function well and repair itself. In the case of spinal cord injuries these fatty acids can help protect you from them because it has neuro-protective qualities.
  • Vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 (those that suffer nerve damage from diabetes can particularly be helped by taking vitamin B complexes). Consult your medical professional regarding the dosage of B vitamins as taking more than the daily recommended dosage could actually cause nerve damage.
  • Vitamin E cannot only help to prevent nerve damage but can actually help to heal it. If your body has problems absorbing this vitamin you can actually suffer nerve damage because of this. Vitamin E also aids in slowing nerve damage produced by diabetes, helps the eyes by fighting free radicals that can cause nerve damage in the eyes. It may take months for the benefits to show so be patient and consult with your medical professional on the amount of the supplement to take as too much of vitamin E can have negative side effects.

Foods and or supplements rich in these vitamins are as follows:

  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Beet greens
  • Canola oil
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cooked Tuna, wild salmon, salmon, halibut, swordfish, herring
  • Edamame
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Flax
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fortified soy products
  • Hemp oil
  • Lean cooked beef such as rib, sirloin steak, filet steak and rib eye
  • Lean, cooked, sirloin pork
  • Mustard greens
  • Omega-3 enriched dairy foods
  • Omega-3 enriched eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Plant oils
  • Shellfish
  • Spinach
  • Sun dried fruits such as prunes, apricots and raisons
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sustainable Seafood
  • Swiss Chard
  • Swiss cheese
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Turnip greens
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Rice

When your body is nervous and stressed the central nervous system has a hard time using the nutrients it needs so try and be aware of your stress levels and find healthy ways of keeping them under control.

Other causes of nerve diseases are as follows:

  • Abuse of or withdrawal from prescription and non prescription drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Brain tumor
  • Cancer
  • Compression/trauma (such as injury to the head and spinal cord)
  • Congenital problems
  • Diabetes
  • Electrolyte problems
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Heart failure
  • Infections of the brain or membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord
  • Infectious disease
  • Motor neuron diseases
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Psychosis, depression and anxiety disorders
  • Respiratory failure
  • Toxic substances and drug side effects
  • Vascular disorders

Common Symptoms of Nervous System Disorders are as follows:

  • Confusion or rare changes in behavior
  • Double vision, loss of vision, dimness, or loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Speech problems
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness or the inability to move part of, all of or half of your body
  • Unsteadiness or dizziness, inability to stand or walk

One of the wonderful benefits of keeping your nervous system healthy is you will be less likely to get diabetes. Eating poorly causes problems such as excess fat and glucose, which are symptoms of diabetes. The older you are the more at risk you are at getting diabetes and nerve damage from the diabetes.

How does your medical practitioner check you for nerve damage? Here are some of the following methods:

  • Checking your blood pressure
  • Checking your feet
  • Checking your heart rate
  • Checking your response to changes in temperature
  • Checking your response to vibrations
  • Testing your muscle strength
  • Testing your reflexes

Acupuncture is a natural option to treat the pain and discomfort associated with nerve diseases. That in combination with a diet rich in foods that provide the nerves with the nutritional support they need to function at their optimal level or to help in repairing themselves.

Acupuncture uses needles inserted into your body at certain anatomical points, which have electrical properties that affect neurotransmitters in the body. Being one of the oldest medical practices in the world, acupuncture originated in China more than 2,500 years ago.

Sometimes instead of needles heat (moxabustion), suction, impulses of electromagnetic energy or friction are used. Electroacupuncture where electrodes are placed onto the needles is often used in cases of the types of nerve damage that cause loss of motion, pain and sensation problems because it helps to promote nerve growth. It can also be used in chronic neuropathy, neuralgia, in any peripheral nerve. Moxabustion is helpful in cases of tingling, fatigue or spasms by helping to break the fluid congestion and inflammatory cycles that interfere with nerve activity. Another type of therapy used in acupuncture is a device called the plumb blossom needle. It is a tiny hammer with blunt metal ends that when tapped against the skin promotes sensory nerve regrowth in small areas. This process can also reduce pain from inflammation.

 

Sources:

  1. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/complications_nerves
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervous_system
  3. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/5-foods-high-in-omega-3.htm
  4. http://www.acupuncturewell.com/2013/03/acupuncture-nerve-damage/
  5. http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-vitamin-Bphp
  6. http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-vitamin-B12.php
  7. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/acupuncture_85,P00171/
  8. http://www.livestrong.com/article/263690-vitamins-that-help-repair-nerve-damage/
  9. http://www.livestrong.com/article/490323-foods-high-in-gamma-linolenic-acids/
  10. http://www.livestrong.com/article/508599-nutrition-for-nerve-regeneration/
  11. http://www.webmd.com/brain/nerve-pain-and-nerve-damage-symptoms-and-causes?page=3
  12. http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/nervous-system-problems-topic-overview
  13. http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/nervous-system-problems-topic-overview
  14. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=111

Mint, Lime, and Ginger Splash (non alcoholic cocktail)

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger minced
  • 1/2 cup washed and fresh mint leaves packed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup honey (you can adjust this more or less according to your taste in sweetness)
  • 2 cups boiling spring water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice or lemon or both!
  • 1 1/2 cups sparkling mineral water or soda water
  • ice cubes
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine chopped ginger, mint and honey in medium bowl. 
  2. Add boiling water and let steep for 30 minutes to bring out all the essential oils. 
  3. With a cloth strainer, strain the liquid into a container that will hold 4 cups. While doing this take a spoon and press the ingredients into the strainer to extract all the flavors.
  4. Add fresh lime juice (make sure the limes feel soft and not hard when purchasing them to ensure they are nice and juicy) and enough chilled sparkling water to make 4 cups of liquid in total.
  5. Stir gently, you don’t want to break all the bubbles.
  6. Fill glasses with ice cubes .

Vegetarian al Pastor Style Tacos

Makes two large tacos

Ingredients
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 2 thick slices from a ripe sweet and fresh pineapple, cubed
  • 2 large chunks Oaxaca cheese*
  •  A few swigs of olive oil**
  •  Spicy green chili salsa for topping
  •  A handful of fresh chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. On a hot grill pour a few swigs of olive oil onto the grill until it becomes hot but not smoking.
  2. Add pineapple chunks and grill until they edges start turning golden and darker than the centers.
  3. Add cheese.
  4. Add the cheese to the pineapple until the cheese is melted and a little brown in places, this adds to the flavor.
  5. Place cooked mixture into a bowl and then heat your tortillas on the grill. Put the bowl in a warm place if you can so the mixture does not cool down. If it does you can always place it quickly on the grill after heating up the tortillas before placing the mixture into the warmed tortillas.
  6. Scrape any excess off your grill with a wooden or rubber spatula and then heat up the tortillas, flipping them over when you see a few bubbles and place them together onto a small plate to keep them warm.