Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bad Foods vs. Good Foods: Find the Balance

Below you will find some good reasons to cut back on empty foods, along with some alternative options that are healthy and packed with nutrients. Remember that foods are endless, so if one replacement doesn't suit you, don't get discouraged. Once you make one good choice about your diet, you'll make another, and another, and another. It's that easy!

Bad Carbohydrates: carbohydrates that are bad are comprised of refined, simple sugars. These include wheat products, anything with sugar, and processed flours. Examples of bad carbohydrates include pastries, cookies, sweets, and some cereals (such as cornflakes or rice crispies). Because most of these flours and sugars are refined, they are stripped of most nutrients. As a result, food manufacturers incorporate supplemental vitamins and minerals that are not readily absorbed as naturally occurring nutrients are in the body.

Good Carbohydrates: carbohydrates are present almost everywhere. Fortunately, with the enormous variety of carbohydrates that exist, we can still make healthy choices while satisfying our cravings. To curb your carbohydrate cravings, go for fruits and vegetables, whole wheat or grain breads, and cereals and brown rice.

Bad Vegetables: veggies are not only delicious; they are easy on the digestive system and packed with tissue enhancing nutrients. Nevertheless, many people forget that in the process of cooking our vegetables, vitamins and minerals and weakened. If vegetables are boiled for a long period of time, all nutrients can be lost in the boiling liquid, making vegetables just as empty as fast foods.

Good Vegetables: To make the most of your vegetable intake, try to consume as many veggies as possible in their raw state. Instead of making white grain pasta with broccoli, try a cold pasta salad with whole-wheat noodles, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, and quinoa for a fully balanced meal. Dress with a natural, pure oil such as olive oil and incorporate some acid (lemon, lime juice, or vinegar) to ease digestion and supply vitamin C.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Natural Cures for Acne

Baking Soda
What it Does: baking soda is found in any supermarket and most drugstores. It is a powerful cleaner, antiseptic, and also - amazingly - used for baking cakes, muffins, and other goodies. When used on the skin, baking soda acts not only as a bacterial-inhibitor, but as an exfoliant. It gently sloughs away dead skin cells, which accumulate within and around follicles that later cause a plug.

Application: to apply baking soda as an exfoliant, mix about a tablespoon with a small amount of water to make a spreadable paste. Apply to your face gently, without pressing, in circular
motion. Baking soda is composed of millions of granules - the ones responsible for the scrubbing effects of its use.

Because of this, make sure to very gently massage the paste onto your skin for just 10-20 seconds to avoid ruptures and extreme dehydration. Rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry.

Tea Tree Oil
What it Does: tea tree oil is yet another one of nature's powerful antiseptics. It kills acne-causing bacteria and inhibits their propagation. Tea tree oil can be hard to find in some places, so if you're having trouble, try a health food store or smaller scale pharmacies. They are sure to carry it.

Application: tea tree oil can be used both as a spot treatment and an all-face application. For spot treatments, the oil is to be applied undiluted on the affected area using a q-tip. For whole face use, dilute the oil with another beneficial oil such as jojoba oil. The mixed solution in this case ought to be mainly jojoba oil, as tea tree oil is not only extremely powerful, its smell is strong and pungent like that of eucalyptus.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Controlling Dry Skin

Dry skin is a prominent aspect of acne and acne treatments. Whether you are breaking out because of your skin being dry or you are flaking in response to a treatment, controlling the moisture in your skin should be a priority.

Dry skin is characterized by having discolorations and uneven tone. Fine lines are accentuated and wrinkles become more visible when the skin lacks moisture. With dry skin, the elasticity of the skin is restricted and increases our proneness to follicle ruptures and lesions.

In response to a dry skin type, some people break out as their oil glands attempt to compensate by secreting higher quantities of sebum.

Acne treatments work by inhibiting oil glands in the skin and controlling the amount of sebum that is secreted into the follicle. Because of this, and especially during the first stages of a treatment where we are first responding to the medications applied, dry skin can be a major hit to how we perceive the treatment's effectiveness.

But fear not. Even though dry skin is unavoidable when treating acne, it generally subsides after the first month or two of treatment, when retained dead skin cells have been shed.

In the meantime, you can minimize dryness and soothe your skin in several ways:

(a) Drink plenty of water:
Like exercise, drinking enough water is essential to having a healthy lifestyle. Also, when suffering from acne, drinking water becomes particularly important. Drink at least two liters of water per day to flush away toxins, ease nutrient transport/absorption, and moisturize your skin. Since water is a transporting medium, drinking enough water will also accelerate tissue healing and body resilience.

(b) Use light-bodied but powerful moisturizers:
If you are using a lightweight face moisturizer, you can try switching to "all day moisture" humectants or to light, non-comedogenic face creams for dry skin. As an alternative, you can add a few drops of jojoba oil into your face lotion to reinforce its moisturizing power.

(c) Don't over wash your skin:
Over washing will lead to dry skin no matter what. Gently wash your face a maximum of two times a day for 10-20 seconds. Use a non-soap, non-comedogenic gentle foaming wash to prevent irritability and pore plugs.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Natural Cures for Acne Relief

Natural cures for acne guide.

Yogurt (makeup remover), a mixture of yogurt and honey can both cleanse and moisturize the skin.

A combination of one cup of yogurt to two and a half tablespoons of honey can be used to remove makeup. Just put a small amount of the mixture on a cotton ball and smooth it over your skin until all cosmetics have been cleaned off. Rinse off and pat skin dry.

What it Does: niacin is a part of the B vitamin family, and has only recently been linked as an acne combatant. Niacin works in the body by neutralizing free radicals and detoxifying cellular tissues. In addition, it is a powerful cellular regenerator and enhances cell metabolism. Application: niacin is taken as an oral supplement. Take two times the directed amount for 1-2 months for best results.

What it Does: avocado is known to contain omega-3 fatty acids, a powerful moisturizer. If you're suffering from dry skin and flaking due to a rigorous acne treatment or regimen, using an avocado mask can restore your skin with much needed humectation.

Application: mash up a half avocado and smooth over skin. Allow to act for 20 minutes or until dry. Rinse off and pat skin dry. You feel your skin tightened, elastic and radiant.

Egg Whites
What it Does: egg whites contain high levels of protein, which makes them suitable to be used as a mask for the purpose of skin regeneration. The whites also absorb impurities and excess oil secreted by the skin, regularizing its oiliness and reducing breakouts.

Separate the yolk from the white - one egg will do. Whisk the white briskly and apply it to your face using your fingertips or a cotton pad. Allow the mask to dry for about 15 minutes. Gently rinse the egg off with warm water and pat skin dry.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yoga's Cognitive and Psychological Effects

The pros of Yoga in terms of acne relief are especially marked in the intense relaxation response that this exercise triggers. Since acne is exacerbated by even the most minimal amount of stress, an exercise that can relax you while toning your muscles is the perfect alternative for an acne-prone individual.

This relaxation response has wonderful effects on the body, as it allows it to slow down and focus within its function. In addition, this provides a break for the mind, allowing it to unwind and experience the pleasant feeling of muscles and internal functions relaxing into their habitual positions.

Acne has the marked effect of causing emotional pain in many of its sufferers. It can lower self-esteem and cause social withdrawal that only worsens stress levels and the acne itself.

Because of this, yoga's relaxation effects on the mind, as well as the improvement that it reflects on our bodies helps increase self-acceptance and reduce mood swings, while lowering incidences of anxiety, depression, anti-social behavior and hostility.

Yoga also improves brain functions and cognition, easing movement and flexibility, awakening reflexes, and reducing our reaction time. Since yoga is a strong cognition enhancer, it is used as an anti-aging exercise to slow down the effects of aging and maintain efficient cognitive functions and motor skills.

Memory has shown to be improved with regular yoga exercise, as learning has been proved to be facilitated with its practice.

Even though it can be hard to believe that such a simple workout that anyone can do could have such amazing effects, don't be skeptical. It's true. Jump on and try some yoga today - there is nothing better to treat the whole body.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are You Doing These Things To Stay Clear?

Go Natural: Avoid processed foods at all costs. Canned, packaged, dried, frozen…all these foods have been cooked for hours to maximize flavors at the lowest possible cost. That means that they are packed with empty calories, little nutrients, and zero enzymes to metabolize, absorb, and assimilate any vitamins or minerals they could contain. Processed foods are also packed with preservatives, dyes, sodium, and flavor enhancers.

All these foreign substances put extra strain on your body, providing it with no nourishment and taking away from its healing time and energy. If you must select processed foods, select those that have short lists of ingredients and are labeled as "all natural." These are the least likely to cause damage to your body.

Avoid Inflammatory Foods: There are certain foods that will only worsen your acne and overall health. Drinks like coffee or anything containing caffeine, alcohol, cream, milk, eggs, and other dairy products are strenuous on the body and require extra effort to metabolize. Fried foods, spicy foods, animal fats, hydrogenated oils, wheat, and soft drinks are also best to stay away from.

Maintain a Consistent Skin Care Regimen: We've all gone through the nightmare of searching for the right product for our skin type. But in the hype of discovering the miracle cream, we forget to give our skin time to adjust to the effects of the new product. By all means, try everything you must before settling for a skin care regimen. Just allow the testing to be done over an extended period of time to truly evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.

Your skin is very sensitive, especially if you are suffering from acne. Remember to be consistent with your routine, and as gentle as you can on your skin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Recap of What We've Learned

Eat Healthy: select easy to digest foods that are high in nutrients. Stick to natural choices like fruits and vegetables, grains, and whole cereals.

Drink Plenty of Water: water not only keeps your skin elastic and glowing, it is a means of transport for nutrients to be absorbed and assimilated into the body. Drink at least two liters of water per day.

Maintain a consistent skin care regimen: once you find a regimen that is good for your skin, stick to it and observe its effects. Make sure to keep a routine so that maintaining consistency is not an issue.

Try one treatment at a time: acne can be troubling and frustrating when we can't seem to get rid of it with anything. But sometimes, we are too impatient to wait for results. Remember that acne mainly occurs due to a prolonged unhealthy lifestyle, so allow a good amount of time for those effects to be undone. Give treatments time to work before switching up, and don't get discouraged about peeling- it is a temporary, and clear sign that the medication is working.

Exercise: whether you do yoga or play racquetball, maintaining an active lifestyle and working out your body helps in tissue repair and resiliency. It is also a powerful therapy to clear the mind of daily troubles and stressors, and improves sleep, mood, and stamina.

Find Balance: don't let your acne get you down. Finding time to unwind and hang out with friends is essential to our well-being and overall health. Withdrawing yourself at home can seem like a
more simple, less stressful choice. But take into account that behaviors turn into habits, and over time habits become hard to break.