Health Benefits Of Organic Clothing

Women in an organic cotten offit

“Whole Foods” on the catwalk? Could it be that the place we rely on for our healthy lunches could also be major player in the organic  fashion industry?  If you are familiar with organic clothing, perhaps your picturing a few walking hemp sacks in biodegradable shoes or an earth colored muumuu with a straw hat? But would you ever picture a knee length dove grey dress with a sculpted jacket?  Mini and maxi off the shoulder sheath dresses?

In order to cater to a demand for organically made clothing, Whole Foods sponsored a fashion show in the ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, featuring clothes from Maggie’s Organics, Satva and Threads for Thought. Themes ranged from Modern Femme, Street to Studio, Haute Hippie, and Global Chic. It seems that organic clothing is not just for the music festival crowd.

In fact, Jessica Chastain,  “Jane the Virgin’s” Gina Rodriguez, “American Sniper”s” Jake McDorman and “The Office’s”  Steve Carrell all wore organic clothing to the 87th annual Oscar Awards and Emma Watson and will.i.am are just two of the many celebs who have put their names behind sustainable goods.

Consumer Health
We all want the best for our little ones!  Organic cotton is exactly what the doctor ordered for that tender developing baby skin.  How could we not put our little princes and princesses in anything but the softest, most comfy fabric?

Also since organic cotton is not made with chemicals, it causes fewer allergies and reduces respiratory problems in people of all ages.

Environmental Health
Beware!  You may want to throw out your 501s after reading this.  Even though cotton crops are only grown a 3% of the land, it is responsible for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides in the world.  In fact, there is a laundry list of diseases that have plagued cotton crops over the year including anthracnose, southern blight, charcoal rot and tropical cotton rust.  In other words, you may not want this stuff in your clothes.

Cotton is also fourth on the list of most heavily fertilized crops, which is responsible for a lot of environmental pollution.  So, if a greener world is important to you, you might want to invest in some organic cotton.

Farmer’s Health
If the insecticides and pesticides are bad for the environment, just think of what they must be doing to the poor farmers who have to use them!  Poisoning due to toxic chemicals are a leading cause of death for farmers in developing countries.

Like organic foods, organic clothing costs a bit more to manufacture, and, as a result, consumer cost is affected.  But for those of you who have given up on organic clothing as a luxury item, do not fret.  Manufacturers like Basics, Alternative Apparel and Threads for Thought are just some of the companies featuring reasonably priced green duds.  We’re talking $15-50 for  tops and jumpsuits and dresses for under $100, and this stuff is CUTE.  Check it out for yourself and see if you don’t fall in love, oh, and next time you go for a tofu burger, you can pick up a top to eat it in. How’s that for one stop shopping?

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Secrets To Looking Younger Than Your Age

Middle aged women with beautiful skin

Legendary comedienne Lucille Ball once quipped, “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.”  Oh, we do love Lucy, but let’s face it, times have changed.  Nowadays, celebrities wear their age like a badge of honor.  It seems that we are seeing more and more celebrities 40 and above who look as if they have managed to elude the aging process.  How do they do it? While Cindy Crawford swears by the Zone Diet, Halle Barry works out four times a week, Jane Seymour plays golf,  and Meryl Streep does laps in the pool.  Whether it’s a workout routine, a diet regimen or just a love of life,  something is working to keep women over 40 in mini skirts and bikinis.  Let’s investigate the possibilities.

Diet
Fat is not a dirty word.  Yes, some fats are bad, but healthy bodies need essential fatty acids to promote the production of the skin’s natural oil barrier and keep it hydrated and plump.  EFAs can be found in salmon, mackerel, flax, walnuts, poultry and cooking oils.

Exercise
Hope you like cardio.  It looks like the exercise pros are putting more and more emphasis on High Interval Intense Training to beat aging.  That means that you’ll have to go in fighting.  No more slow long jogs; hard and fast is the new name of the game.  Try sprinting for 30 seconds and then jogging for three minutes until you’ve done a total of 30 minutes. This should add ten years to your life.

Skincare
Your skin needs 4 essential nutrients;  retinol, alpha lipoid acid, madecassol and Vitamin C. Retinol prevents wrinkles by peeling off dead and damaged skin to reveal a younger-looking layer underneath.  Alpha Lipoic Acid reduces fine lines, improves skin texture and tightens pores.  Madecassol is an Asian plant that keeps your skin plump and Vitamin C stimulates collagen growth and protects your skin against free radicals.  Look for all of these on the label of your next skincare investment.

Sleep More
When Jane Fonda was asked how she does it on the Late Late Show, she answered, “Well, I sleep A LOT.  What more motivation do your need?  Your skin suffers the most when you lose sleep.  Just look in the mirror.  Sleep deprivation leads to dark circles, eye bags,fine lines and wrinkles. When you slip, hormones begin cell and tissue repair and fresh skin cells replace older skin.  Sleepytime is also the time when collagen production is at its highest. Facial muscles relax, smoothing wrinkles and, by lying down, your skin is spared the negative effects of gravity.

Portion Control
As you age, your metabolic efficiency begins to drop by 5-10%.  The more you eat the more your body has to break down.  Doctor Jeffrey Morrison, a New York physician suggests a diet composed of 1/3 proteins to get the best metabolic performance, and cutting down intake of carbs and sugar. For portion control, try using smaller plates and utensils and separating meals onto small dishes.  Always stop and ask yourself if you are really hungry before eating something.  Your body know when you’re full.

Lie about your age?  Why would you?

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Reversing Wrinkles and Sagging Skin

middle aged women examining her wrinkles in mirror.

Has anyone seen “Snow White and the Huntsman,” or even the trailer? In the movie Charlize Theron plays Ravenna, the Evil Queen,  who learns that her stepdaughter, Snow White, is destined to surpass her stepmom as the “Fairest One of All” and it is little wonder that Ravenna will do everything in her power to prevent this from happening.  Thing is, Ravenna has a lot in her power.  Because of a spell her witch mother cast on her when she was young, Ravanna can drain the youth from the kingdom’s young women that allows her to keep her youth and beauty.

 Now if you have seen the movie, you will know that in some amazing camera work and makeup stunt, the audience gets to witness this process, watching a wizened, old Charlize return to her perfect youth. Although Ravenna is the confirmed “bad guy” or girl, In some way, at that moment the audience roots for her.  The audience wants that spell to work, to believe that aging can be reversed and with some magic elixir, we will all be returned to our youth.  That Charlize will always be beautiful and never succumb to the inevitable affects of aging.

  Of course, we don’t all have access to the youth of all the kingdom’s young women, but perhaps there  are some things that can give us the powers of Queen Ravenna.

We know how saggy skin and wrinkle happens.  This is a good thing, because once we understand the causes of something, we can work toward preventing it.  Saggy skin happens because skin stops producing elastin and collagen which holds your skin up.  Without the connective tissue, skin will loosen and droop. Free radical damage occurs, robbing electrons from healthy cells., resulting in wrinkles, thickening, and discoloration of the skin.

Drink Water
Now this has to be the cheapest, easiest form of a facelift.  Water helps your body get rid of toxins and allows nutrients into your cells making them plump and full. The recommended requirement for daily water intake is 1/2 oz per pound of your body’s weight. (A 130 lb woman should drink 65 oz of water.)

Get your Vitamins and Minerals
How many times do you have to be told?  Antioxidants can actually repair damage from factors like UV exposure, smoking and illness. The best ones for your skin are:

  • Vitamin C  oranges, strawberries, kiwi and brussel sprouts
  • Vitamin E peanuts, pine nuts, olive oil, avocado, broccoli and mangoes
  • Beta Carotene – carrots, sweet potatoes, red and yellow peppers, butternut squash, spinach and kale
  • Selenium – Brazil nuts, turkey, and tuna

Eat Healthy Fats 
Our bodies need omega-3 fatty acids to maintain cell membranes, keeping water and nutrients in and locking toxins out.  They are also anti-inflammatories and protect against sun damage.  Our bodies don’t produce these acids naturally, so where are we supposed to get them? Try 2-3 servings of fish a week and try to get in some flax and chia seeds.

Women stretching for workout

Exercise
Twenty minutes of cardio a day and strength training 2-3 times a week does not seem like too much to ask to reverse wrinkles and sagging skin.  It increases blood flow that carries nutrients to the skin cells and helps create muscle.

Sleep
Snow White never skimped on her beauty sleep.  You know losing sleep can wreak havoc on your skin.  Seven to nine hours per night allows your skin to heal and build collagen, plus no more puffy eyes and dark circles.

Quit Smoking
If not for your lung health, then for your skin. Cigarettes contain damaging free radicals and impairs blood flow to the skin, depriving cells of nutrition.  It also damages elastin and collagen, interfering with skin renewal.

So exercise, eat well, stop smoking and get plenty of sleep and in no time the mirror will tell you that  you are “TheFairest of Them All.”

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Improve Your Vitamin Intake and Your Glow

Women with beautiful glowing skin

If you’re a mom or dad, or maybe you just have a funky taste,  you may know that vitamins can make the water in your bath glow.  You just crush up two vitamins, stir them in warm water and add them to your tub.  Turn the room lights off and the black light on and boom!  Your tub is glowing.  Now, if you have a child, they will be much more eager to get in the water and if you have just taken some strange drugs or too much alcohol you have a place to chill for the next hour or so. The takeaway:  Vitamins make things glow and they can make you glow as well!  Read on!

Vitamin C and E
When it comes to Vitamins that aid in skin care, Vitamins C and E are probably the first to come to mind. Topical Vitamin C ( applied directly to skin) can prevent sun damage that leads to skin cancer and 400 mgs of natural Vitamin E taken per day can reduce photo damage, wrinkles and improve skin texture.

A recent study by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology done in 2005 discovered that those who took vitamins C and E in the long term reduced sunburn from UVB radiation and saw a reduction of factor linked to DNA damage.

 Keep in mind that antioxidants work best together.  The American Academy of Dermatology says that when the two vitamins are combined in a lotion, they provide a high level of defense against sun damage, smoke, and pollution.  But, don’t abandon the sunscreen yet!  Always keep your sunscreen (25 SPF) in close reach.  When it comes to sun protection, there is no such thing as too much.

 If you prefer your Vitamins in your meals, you can find Vitamin C in bell peppers , citrus fruit, broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens. Vitamin E can be found in veggie oil, spinach, olives, seeds and asparagus.  But, it is important to note that it is difficult to get a lot of E from food, so a 400 IU dosage per day is recommended.

Vitamin A
If you already get a lot of Vitamin A from your food, upping your intake probably won’t make a big difference in your skin, so you’ll probably want to go for Topical Vitamin A when it comes to getting that glow.  Vitamin A is necessary for maintenance and repair of skin tissue.  Medical studies show that Vitamin A leads to reduction in lines and wrinkles , acne control and psoriasis relief.  Impressively, research presented at the Annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2003 from France showed applying Retinol plus Vitamin C (combine, combine) demonstrated a “reversal of skin alterations induced by chronologic aging and photoaging,” ( Are you still there or have you run out to pick some up?)

pomegranate

Vitamin B Complex
The most important B Vitamin when it comes to skin is BIOTIN.  If you have never tried this stuff, do!  It is the ultimate beauty vitamin and helps  form skin, nail and hair cells.  Furthermore, without it, you may develop dermatitis or hair loss.

Biotin can be found in bananas, eggs oatmeal, and rice and your body also makes some of its own, so most people get enough with our trying, but a little extra never hurts,  Topical preparation of B vitamins will give skin and almost instant healthy glow while hydrating cells and increasing tone.  Creams with niacin, a specific B vitamin helps skin retain moisture which can make your skin look PLUMPER and YOUNGER in 6 DAYS!( Hope you haven’t run to the pharmacy just yet.  You don’t want to miss that!)

Vitamin K
This, in the topical form, is the go to for reducing circles and bruises under the eyes.  Research published in the Journal Of the American academy of Dermatology found that skin treatments with Vitamin K reduced bruising after laser surgeries and a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that topical application of a gel containing vitamins A, C, K,  and E helped in diminishing under eye circles and decreasing wrinkles.

Oh boy!  What a lot of buying you will have to do at the local pharmacy! But think of how lovely and glowing you will be after applying all this stuff for a few months.  Hey, maybe you can add Vits A,B,C and K to that bathtub!  Remember, use them together for best results and YOU GLOW GIRL!

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Planning A Home Spa Treat

Woman enjoying a bath

Here’s the scenario.  It’s weekend 1 of Coachella.  Your bestie is there and so is your significant other.  Apparently, his friend only had one extra ticket.  The clubs and bars are empty and the thought of watching a movie alone seems kind of sad when you think of all your friends partying and watching Guns and Roses under the stars.  What can you do?

How about a home spa?  Sure, why not?  I mean you deserve some pampering and your boyfriend is not about to do it for you.  You’ve got the time, you just need a few ingredients.

Atmosphere
What does it take to get you in the mood?  A little music?  A glass of bubbly?  A little incense?  Whatever your idea is of a relaxing mood, this is your time to create it.Lower the lights and slip into your robe.

Facial Stem
Heat up a  pot of hot, not boiling water.  It will open your pores and get them ready to receive treatment.  Add some essential oils or fresh herbs, and breathe in deep.  Put a towel over your head to trap the steam and let it work its magic for ten minutes.

Body and Face Scrub
Exfoliate your face and body with your favorite body scrub. You can get creative and make your own with salt, sugar, even coffee grounds. Massage into damp skin to help diminish those pesky blackheads.

Hair Mask
Time to give your hair some love.  It is your crowning glory, after all.   Apply any oil or hair mask that you love and wrap your hair in a towel.  Let soak.

Bath
Fill up the tub and throw in some almond or lavender oil.  Get out those floating candles and find a place to set that drink.  Turn up that music. Maybe some bathtub Karaoke? Belt it out with Adele!  Axl who?  Coachella what?

Quick Rinse
Give your hair and body a quick refreshing rinse.

Facial Mask
What would your spa day be without a proper facial mask?  If you are bold enough and DIY is your thing, fresh mashed strawberries are an option.  The little seeds act as exfoliants and it smells yummy.

Foot Wrap
It has been said that the nicest thing one person can do for another is massage their feet, so why not  be nice to yourself.  Rub your favorite foot cream int your feet and put plastic map around them.  Pop a wet towel into the microwave to warm it up and wrap it around your feet for 10-15 minutes.

Sleep
You are having a dream. Your boyfriend has just returned from Coachella.  You walk in the room.  You’re face is glowing, your hair falls in perfect waves around your milky shoulders.  You smell of fresh strawberries.  Your boyfriend falls to his knees at the sight of your beauty.  You walk past him on your freshly wrapped feet.  You get into a limo where Axl and Slash are waiting with a bottle of champagne.  Let the fun begin.

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Treat Yourself To A Luxury Purchase

Women on a shopping spree

In Milan, Victoria Beckham spent more than 1.5 million dollars on a shopping spree including a Rolex for husband Dave and 5 sofas.  Teresa Giudice spent over 60,000 on home decor.  Brad Pitt treated his daughter to the entire spring/ summer collection at Paris’ Bonpoint Children’s Boutique. Is this the stuff your dreams are made of?   Join the club.  Whether your celebrating a big promotion or just celebrating yourself, you don’t need an excuse to treat yourself to a luxury purchase.  In fact, here are some reasons why you should!

A New Purse
It’s no secret that cheap bags wear out quickly.  The material peels, the closures break, the studs fall off.  You’re better off buying a really well-made handbag that will last years! And think of the signals you’ll send off when you show up to work with that new bag.  People will say, “Wow, she really has her act together!” or, “Wow, what great taste.”  Besides, bags are only getting more expensive.  If you wait, it will only go up in price!

Designer Clothes
You may think you are paying for the name, but expensive clothing is made better!  The cut is better, the construction is better, the look is better.  You can wear designer clothes for years if you protect them correctly. Everyone deserves clothes that flatter them and make them feel great. You also pay for the workmanship.  Designer shoes are often more comfortable and last longer.

Woman buying jewelry

Jewelry
Are you waiting for our significant other to buy you that perfect piece of jewelry?  Well, stop waiting.  Henri Barguirdjian, leader of Graff diamond US operations says,  “We are seeing more and more women achieving careers on their own and they can afford to buy their own jewelry.  I would say about 25% of our customers are women buying fr themselves.  Jewelry is a great investment.Says Jerry Ehrenwald, president of the International Gamological Institute says, “Unlike a dress or car, jewelry doesn’t wear out….After 20 years, a fancy car needs to be replaced, whereas a diamond improves in value.”

Makeup
Performance is what counts when it comes to makeup.  If you want serums that really work (that is those that contain antioxidants and special properties) you need to shell out.  High-end makeup means more unique products, better pigmentation, better fragrance and usually comes with higher quality applicators. No one wants foundation or bronzer that doesn’t coordinate with your skin, and shouldn’t anything you put on your skin be high quality?

Food
So maybe possessions are not your thing. After all, we get used to possessions and once we do, we just look for a better one.  Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University claims that experiences can be more rewarding.  “You can really like your material stuff….but…we are the sum total of out experiences.”  And what can be a better experience than a great meal? Try the Frrozen Haute Chocolate ice cream sundae at Serendipity 3 in New York or the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata at Norma’s with 10 oz of sevruga caviar or Le Burger Extravagant served on a gold dusted roll and held together with a diamond encrusted toothpick. You’ll leave with a full stomach and a story to tell.

So what are you waiting for?  Go out there and spend!  You’ll make yourself happy and contribute to the global economy!

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What Is Self Care

Woman reading a book in a park

You may have noticed that many of your garments come with care instructions.  These are instructions, usually printed on  a tag sewn into  clothes that give you directions to help keep your clothes looking their best. They may include things like “synthetic wash” or “dry flat”  or “do not iron.”

Well, people also come with care instructions.  Although they are not written on our forehead (at least thus far), humans do need special care to keep them looking and feeling their best. When we first pop into the world, our mums and dads take care of us, and for this we are very grateful, but, as we get older, we become less dependent and we need to assume these duties ourselves.  This is referred to as “self care.”

Self care involves any activity which is done voluntarily to help you maintain your emotional, mental or physical health. It can help you feel relaxed and healthy and can also spur you to take on more responsibilities and challenges at work. It essentially puts you at peace with your own being, helps you avoid burnout, allows you to de-stress. Now, since self care needs to be practiced on a regular basis, it may take a little bit of getting used. to. The following tips should help you incorporate self care into your daily life.

Take Care of Your Emotional Hygiene
Anger and depression and stress often cloud good judgment.  Many people try to get past negative feelings by trying to busy themselves with more activity when, in reality, this may be the best time to take a break.  Acknowledge your emotions.  Try writing them down, even keep a journal. It can be cathartic and help you to think more rationally.

Woman exercising in a gym

Eat Well and Exercise
Life runs at a hectic pace, but if you have no control over it, it can lead to additional stress and burnout.  You need to make time for yourself.  Exercise should be part of that time.  Think of it as an escape rather than an extra duty.  Try working out with a buddy or find a gym close to work.  Let the rush hour traffic go by while you work on yourself.

Another effect of a busy life is also the tendency to eat on the run, and processed food is often the most readily available. Bad food may seem unavoidable. If you are looking to make some changes to your diet, take baby steps. Focus on what it is about your diet that you want to change most and start by changing that one thing.  If you want to focus on eliminating carbs, for example, make it a point to avoid bread and pasta. You’ll find that small goals are more achievable.

Don’t Overload Your Schedule
According to a research done by Stanford University, after 50 hours per week, employee productivity plummets. Quantity often replaces quality. So make sure that you try and limit your time at work and always squeeze in some time for yourself.  See a movie, get a massage or a mani pedi, do yoga, or read a book.  Make downtime just as important as work time.  Block it in your calendar if you need to!

Budget Your Time 
Although it may not seem it at the moment, doing nothing can actually be more productive than you think. If work does not lead to an immediate result, chalk it up to a learning experience.  Don’t let it stress you out. You may discover later that inactivity reaps unseen benefits.

So now you have it, your own personal self care instructions.  If we follow them when it comes to our clothes, why not when it comes to ourselves?  Bottom line:  Handle you with care.

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