Hopefully you have read part one of “Beauty – Your Appearance and Moving Beyond” and are looking forward to reading the second half. I tried to keep it short, but it wouldn’t have done Maxine justice and there was no need for a part three. So bear with me and enjoy!
Use Non-toxic Body-care Products
In our quest for beauty and the fountain of youth, I’m sure we all have our favorite miracle-in-a-jar that we slather onto our skin ever so religiously each day. Please know that any substance you put onto your skin is directly absorbed into the bloodstream. Take a look at what’s in your lotions and potions. Any products that contain parabens, sodium laurel sulphate, or anything you don’t recognize should be avoided.
Did you know that the term “fragrance” can mean a cocktail of up to 3,000 different ingredients? Most of these toxic substances have not been tested for safety and may trigger allergic reactions (itchy skin, watery eyes, hives), migraines, and asthmatic symptoms. Stick to natural, non-toxic ingredients, for you may be soaking up potential toxins without filtration of any kind. For more information and a list on these harmful ingredients to avoid, you can go to the David Suzuki Foundation by clicking here (the dirty dozen of cosmetic chemicals). You can also click here for a printable wallet-sized list of these chemicals to take with you when shopping for body care products. If you’re interested in the “dirty dozen” of pesticides in food, click here.
Take Care of Your Teeth
I’m sure you’ll agree that a simple smile on your face can make you look more attractive instantaneously, especially if you’re flashing those pearly whites! Unfortunately, most of the teeth whitening products on the market contain toxic ingredients and is not recommended for long-term use. There are many teeth whitening home remedies out there on the internet ranging from strawberry pastes to chewing turmeric root, to brushing your teeth with wood ash (lye).
While some of these remedies may be effective, I can only speak from personal experience when it comes to natural teeth whitening. My teeth are not pearly white but they have come a long way since my tea-drinking coffee-downing days. Even though my parents owned a grocery store where milk, juices and the likes were within arms reach, growing up in my Chinese household, we had only two options – tea or water. And then years later I discovered coffee! I would say it took me a while, well into my adult years as a matter of fact, to realize that my creamy yellows were a direct reflection of my many years of tea and coffee intake.
Once these substances were drastically reduced, I noticed a touch of whiteness to my teeth I never knew existed. I was also practicing daily oil pulling/therapy (swishing of oil in the mouth for cleansing) so that may have helped as this method is also known for gum disease elimination and teeth whitening. I also keep a box of baking soda handy by my sink for whenever I feel the need to slap some onto my toothbrush.
No one wants to have gum disease and loose teeth, yet they are not uncommon and are a result of poor dental hygiene and nutrition. Manage your nutritional intake, floss daily and consult with a holistic dental practitioner.
Helping Your Hair
Using a good quality non-toxic shampoo helps. I like to add about a teaspoon of castor oil to my shampoo when washing my hair – it keeps it soft and moisturized. Another tip for healthy hair is to feed it from the inside. Adding two tablespoon of coconut or omega-3 oil to your daily diet keeps the hair nourished, and your skin will love it too!
As for color, personally, I don’t think I could ever live without hair dyes! My first grey hair appeared after I became a mommy. There are now five kiddies (and no that’s not including the hubby), so I am forever grateful and thankful for having access to so many great selections of natural hair care products! In the next 20 years or so I might consider going au natural on my locks, but for now I’m sticking to color. I use Herbatint. Their dyes contain no ammonia, smell, fragrance, parabens, and alcohol.
When it comes to hair and aging gracefully, it helps to consult with a professional hairstylist that is well versed in what they do. Brownie points if they use natural organic hair products! A great cut and the right color can send your spirits soaring through the roof! The last time I had my hair done I was walking on a cloud for days and could not stop playing with my hair. Surely, that was worth every penny spent!
Recognize Your Natural Sleep Cycle
More often referred to as our biological clock, our body’s “master clock” is known as the circadian rhythm which helps to maintain the body’s perfect equilibrium or balance. It prompts us to wake up and be active during the day and to wind down and recharge at night.
Production of melatonin (our sleep inducing night-time hormone) and serotonin (our happy day-time hormones) levels are regulated by this rhythm. Melatonin levels increase with the darkness of night (providing your eyes are shut) and peaks at around 10 pm. It may even slow the effects of aging, according to an animal study by Spanish scientists associated with the Spanish Aging Research Network (RNIE). Therefore, getting to bed around this time is a great way of enhancing one’s beauty potential! They didn’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!
Deviate from the circadian rhythm and your body may feel “out of sync”. Needless to say, avoiding stress and any stimulating foods/activities (such as caffeine or computer time) before bed will also contribute enormously to your beauty endeavor!
Exercise For a Younger You
Exercise is such a great way to reduce stress. Reduce stress and you reduce premature wrinkling and aging! By sticking to an exercise regime, cells are oxygenated, energy is abundant, appetite is controlled, and an optimistic outlook on life is created – how’s that for motivation!
If you’re not an athlete like me, sticking to more passive workouts like Pilates, yoga, or strength training can be addictive and beneficial. If you tend to fall asleep during these workouts, then I have something for you … it’s a ton of fun and something you might stick to. It’s called a rebounder! Yep, it’s a mini trampoline that can take you back to your inner childhood memories of jumping and bouncing on your parent’s bed!
Unlike jogging on hard surfaces which puts extreme stress on certain joints, such as the ankles and knees, and eventually damaging them, rebounding affects every joint and cell in the body equally, and is possibly the most effective and beneficial exercise you’ll ever need. All you need is about five minutes a few times per day on the rebounder to stimulate detoxification. Walking around the block in your neighborhood is also simple and effective. Fifteen to 30 minutes of walking a day and you increase those happy hormones of yours while getting to meet your lovely neighbors!
Love the Skin You Are In
Beauty comes in all shapes, shades, and sizes. Until we accept and embrace our imperfections and appreciate this miraculous instrument we call our bodies, can we emanate confidence and pride. Accept and love yourself. Stand tall and proud, for you are truly worth it!
Don’t let past issues or resentments in your life keep you from releasing your inner diva. Find the good in life and be appreciative of what you have and of the people around you. My life quote at the moment is “Everything happens for a Reason”. Plus you never know, sometimes when things are falling apart, it may actually be that they are just falling into place! Learning to forgive and to let go of negative emotions not only keeps you sane but keeps the unnecessary lines and wrinkles at bay. I know it’s easier said than done, but what have you got to lose? We are all beautiful beings on this earth. Life is precious and so are you!
Beauty encompasses so much more than what I have touched on so far. Begin with healing and nurturing the body in its totality. Once we accomplish that, we will want to turn to others and to nature, and to the world around us. Our perception of beauty then shifts to a greater consciousness. Only then can we raise our vibrational energy and frequency, allowing our beautiful spirit to shine through.
Be healthy, be beautiful, and be well!
Martine ~ holistic nutritionista