Summer is right around the corner and we are going on our health kick again! As many of you know, apple cider vinegar has many detox benefits and Hope Dworaczyk swears by this liquid when she wants to get her body in tip-top shape. The logic is simple. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, probiotics and enzymes. These compounds form a powerful elixir that kills bad bacteria and promotes good bacteria in the body; leading to an optimal digestive system (hence a trimer waist line), stronger immune system, more energy and BETTER SKIN!
WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE IT?
- Add 2 tbs to warm water and honey first thing upon waking and it will relieve bad breath and constipation.
- Take 2 tbs 20 minutes before a meal and it will curb your appetite, aiding in weight loss.
- Take 2 tbs after a meal and it will help with digestion.
- Take 1 tbs throughout the day if you’re tired or have a soar throat, it will boot your energy and any kill bacteria you may have.
TIP: The best apple cider vinegar to buy is by Bragg. It’s been around the longest, is 100% organic, raw and unfiltered. If you can’t find that brand, then it is important to make sure that the apple cider vinegar is raw and unfiltered, containing “the mother”, which is beneficial bacteria that your body needs to work optimally.
Maca is native to the high Andes of Peru and is rich in vitamins B, C and E. This is a SUPER power food that is great to incorporate into your breakfasts because it helps with sexual libido and stamina, energy, mood balance and skin.
Combine the following ingredients in a blender:
- 1 frozen banana (sliced)
- 1/2 cup of Blueberries
- 1-2 frozen Acai Puree Packets
- 1/2 cup of Almond Milk
- 2 tablespoons of Maca
- 1 tea-spoon of Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of Almond Butter
- 1 tablespoon of flax oil
Serve in a bowl with your favorite toppings:
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Coconut flakes
- Cacao Nibs
- Gluten free granola
- Bee Pollen
Acai has been known to be the secret super berry of the Amazon. Here’s why:
- Better sex
- Healthier Heart
- Clears skin
- Helps digestion
- Boots immunity
Acai has been known to increase energy, stamina and blood circulation. You can guess where this is leading, but what a great cocktail for a fun night out.
Good for the heart
As mentioned above, acai berries have been known to stimulate blood circulation, prevent blood clots and relax blood vessels similar to that of red wine. This is because acai is high in anthocyanins which lower cholesterol and contain plant sterols which stimulate the cardiovascular system.
Taken internally, the berries provide the skin with a natural glow, but if applied externally, acai’s antioxidant properties have contributed to healing skin conditions such as acne and discoloration. No wonder why so many skin care products contain acai oil!
Acai has high levels of natural fiber and it relieves both constipation and diarrhea by making bowel movements more regular and adding more bulk to the stool.
Immune Booster and Cancer Preventer
Acai has been known to boost the immune system by protecting the cellular system against the invasion of free radicals. A study also found that acai contains polyphenolic compounds which slow the growth of cancer by 50-80% and stop the process of carcinogenesis on a molecular level.
**Only buy organic acai. The benefits will be greater as it will contain higher levels of antioxidants and fewer chemicals.**
First, lets begin with a little weather and science 101 to understand why our skin gets so dry in the winter! Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, so when it get’s colder in the winter months there is naturally less moisture in the air. This causes our skin to feel dry, but it doesn’t stop there. When we are indoors and turn the heat up in an already-dry-climate, the heat absorbs the remaining moisture in the air and this is when our skin truly starts to dry out. That being said, here is how we keep our skin healthy and hydrated during winter months:
- It’s all about stability. Our skin is capable of doing amazing things and has the ability to adjust to low humidity levels as long as the environments are kept fairly consistent in terms of temperature. Since we know that heat further absorbs humidity in the air, keeping the heater on low prevents your skin from loosing more moisture in the transition from outside to inside temperatures.
- Warm showers. I know it might be tempting to take a steaming hot shower, but it will do more harm than good for your skin. Any heat applied to your skin during the winter months will cause your skin to loose moisture, hence taking a lukewarm to warm shower is ideal.
- Moisturize. Probably thee most important thing you can do for your skin during this time. I prefer to use coconut oil and will occasionally apply vaseline to severely dry areas. Make sure to always moisturize after taking a shower because that is when your skin will be the driest.
One of my secrets to staying healthy during cold season is drinking this special drink that my grandmother used to make. It has prevented me from getting sick anytime the flu or cold was going around and I swear by it. Whenever you feel a cold coming on, immediately create my grandmothers elixir and it will instantly boost your immune system and make you feel better.
- Boil a pot of water.
- Peel and slice 5 inches of ginger and place in the water.
- Peel an entire garlic (you do not need to cut it) and place in the water.
- Add a quarter to a half of lemon.
- Cover and allow to boil for 30 minutes until the ginger opens up. This can take a while but be patient and watch that the water doest begin to overflow.
Tip: Please only use organic ingredients for this. You do not want to consume anything that has been sprayed with chemicals when your immune system is weak.
Although retinoid creams may work to reduce stretch marks, once you have them you can’t get rid of them. You can only prevent new ones from forming. Like most illnesses, when you know the cause you can take preventative measures from getting almost anything. This has been true with STD’s, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, etc. Stretch marks are no different.
STEP 1: Know the cause
Stretch marks do not discriminate! You can get them when you’re young, old, black, white, male, female, gay, or straight. They occur when our body is growing faster than our skin’s ability to expand. It’s the breaking of elastic fibers in our skin that results in stretch marks.
STEP 2: Take action
Strengthen your elastic fibers.
Have you ever considered why there are so many baby oils and lotions out on the market? It’s because infants are in a rapid state of growth in a short amount of time and their skin needs to be well moisturized so it has enough elasticity to be able to expand at the same rate that their body grows. Have you ever seen a baby with stretch marks? No, because mothers are constantly moisturizing their babies skin so that their elastic fibers stay well hydrated and don’t break.
As we get older, we forget that our bodies continue to grow. As a result, we get stretch marks because we aren’t moisturizing enough. Keeping skin well hydrated allows for more give and stretch without trauma to the skin. The same attention a mother places on hydrating her baby’s skin is the same amount of attention we need to place on our own skin no matter what age we are. Hydrating is especially important if we are preparing for a dramatic lifestyle change: body building, loosing weight, getting pregnant, etc. For this, we need to hydrate months in advanced so that our elastic fibers are prepared to expand and contract without breaking or becoming weak.
You might be genetically predisposed to stretch marks, but you can do something about it! Only you can change your body. In this case, all it takes is starting early and moisturizing everyday.
Pure, plain yogurt has been an old remedy for reducing acne, wrinkles and pigmentation. The reasoning behind this is that milk contains lactic acid, an ingredient found in almost every facial product on the market. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates your skin by breaking down the walls of older cells, thus revealing newer, softer and healthier skin underneath.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of yogurt. You can also add either (not both):
- Honey– good for moisturizing and soothing skin.
- Lemon– good for killing bacteria and brightening skin.
- Apply to your face for 2-5 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water and mild soap.
- Repeat once a week.
Warning: Do not leave the mask on for more than 5 minutes or your skin will get dry, itchy and break out.
With a plethora of the most savory and sweetest dishes being made for the holidays, it may be difficult to control food cravings. Read below to find out (1) why we have cravings and (2) how to control them.
Studies on pregnant women have found that the more often women experienced food cravings, the more likely they were to gain weight. This makes sense, right? If a woman has a lot of cravings, she is bound to give into some of them and gain weight. Cravings occur when our hormones are imbalanced so this not only applies to pregnant women, but women who are on their period or under stress. Because stress and menstruation occur for a short period of time, the weight gained isn’t that noticeable. But pregnancy is a different story. When you’re pregnant with nine solid months of fluctuating hormones the weight gain can be dramatic.
No matter if you’re stressed, on your period or pregnant–you have the power to control your food cravings through these 3 steps.
- Take your emotional temperature
- Find healthy replacements
- Ride it out
Take Your Emotional Temperature.
Are you feeling stressed? When we are stressed our body releases a hormone called cortisol which causes us to seek “rewards”, often times in the form of comfort foods such as candy and fast food. But by doing this, we are creating a powerful connection in our minds between feelings and food, leading to more frequent cravings that are impossible to control.
Find Healthy Replacements.
Pay attention to the kinds of foods you’re craving and categorize them by taste: salty, sweet and sour. This will help you to find healthier options that also satisfy your taste buds.
- If you’re craving salty: have a handful of salted almonds, a package of seaweed or a simple salad with olive oil and salt.
- If you’re craving sweet: have a chocolate protein bar or 2 squares of the richest dark chocolate you can find (try to avoid milk chocolate).
- If you’re craving sour: have pickled or fermented foods or some kind of vegetables (soup or salad) with lemon squeezed on top.
- Other cravings include carbs and fats. If you’re craving these: have a sweet potato, quinoa, or brown-rice pasta with a little olive oil.
Ride It Out!
Our taste buds change every 2-3 weeks. If you remember this, you will be able to completely omit certain cravings by abstaining from them for a certain period of time until you no longer crave them. When you begin to crave, realize that it is a wave and it will pass. Many people seem to think the craving builds and explodes but that’s not true. It’s a fleeting moment that needs to be replaced with something else that makes you feel good. Options: exercise, take a bubble bath, listen to music, text that guy you have a crush on, get dressed up and make plans with your girlfriend, etc.