Monday, June 25, 2018

Age with Grace Through the Decades - 40s Edition

Since I am a fitness instructor, personal trainer, and wellness coach, I encounter a variety of people each day. Through my observations and life experiences, I have developed a mantra: Life is a blank canvas, a masterpiece waiting to be made through food, fitness, family, and friends. The more I see, the more I believe that our DNA plays a role in our health, but the environment in which we live and the choices we make play a large role in the aging process.

I believe in aging gracefully. We cannot stop time but we can embrace change and make the most of what we have. We need to focus on positives rather than on negatives. If we stay young at heart, we have a better chance of welcoming each birthday with a smile.

As a woman in her mid 40s, I am looking to make choices that work for me at this stage of my life. Chatting with female friends that are from multiple decades will not only keep you young and teach you a few practical lessons. These same friends might give you beauty advice that works for them, but may not work for you. One thing that we need to remember when sharing advice with friends, our body's needs change over time so we need to customize for where we are today.

Some key advice I took from the article is that:

  • Women in their 40s may experience JOINT PAIN so adding fish oil, tart cherry juice, and nuts (walnuts are great) to their diet could help reduce inflammation and increase bone density. 
  • Women in their 40s need to make sure to get some exercise. The movement lubricates the joints to help with movement and elimination of waste. 
  • Women in their 40s may benefit from acupuncture to reduce pain rather than become dependent on medications for pain reduction. The medication may be necessary in the future, but an alternative is great if possible. 
  • Women in their 40s may benefit from taking supplements like Type 2 collagen to restore mobility to joints, turmeric to detox and cut inflammation, astaxanthin as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and pycnogenol as an antioxidant and collagen protector.
  •  Skin that appears to be less vibrant can be enhanced through a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods, through stress reduction (yoga/fitness), through the use of a daily broad spectrum sunscreen, and through enough sleep.

There is a great article on Delicious Living Magazine about Lifelong Vitality that you may with to read if you want more details about YOUR DECADE. The article lists KEY steps to take through the decades.

Natural Skincare

I am interested in NATURAL SKINCARE and am looking to eliminate chemicals from my beauty routine and my home. I love this infographic from Delicious Living as it helps me make informed choices.

The natural, non-toxic ingredients provide your skin with just what it needs. Customize the natural elements you seek out based upon your skin type or the season if your skin's need change through the year.

I know that I take a daily prebiotic/probiotic and that helps not only my gut but also my skin. Take care of your body both inside and outside!

Look for these ingredients as the main ingredients in products when you need to replenish your supply. Be mindful of the packaging too .... you want to make sure chemicals do not leach from packaging into your product

Life is a blank canvas; a masterpiece waiting to me made through food, fitness, family, and friends. Make healthy choices and encourage others to do so as well.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Make Informed Decisions when Purchasing Beauty Products

Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit". We need to get into a habit of making good decisions about the products we use to care for our bodies. A group of women at the University of Massachusetts Amherst started a program called Protect Our Breasts in an effort to encourage women to steer away from toxin exposure from everyday products and choices. The mission of POB is to reduce rates of breast cancer and other diseases linked to toxin exposure through educating consumers.

We can have a better chance at excellent health if we make informed choices. We are on the right start when we look to purchase Certified Organic skin care products and seek out products that do not include chemical hormone disruptors like tricolsan.

We can also make good choices by being mindful of the packaging out products are in as the packaging can be harmful. Look for products in packaging that does not leach potential carcinogens like BPA. Seek out products in packages that use PET/PETE and HDPE, so-called “good plastics.”

Make healthy choices a routine and encourage others to do so as well. It could save lives!

If you have questions about any body care ingredient, search The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange, a comprehensive, nonprofit site that disseminates scientific evidence about these toxins.

If you wish more, read the full article How to Choose Safer Beauty Products on Delicious Living Magazine.

Summer Skin Safety Sunscreen Selection

Summer is here that means more hours in the sun and more opportunities to apply and reapply sunscreen. If you live in a sunny climate, sunscreen is a regular purchase of yours. If you do not, you more than likely purchase sunscreen for a vacation and/or summer adventures.How do you know what sunscreen to choose to protect your skin, and to protect the environment?

In May of 2018, Hawaii outlawed sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate as scientists have proven they lead to coral bleaching. This ban could go into effect as soon as 2021. (If you are interested in the full article, you can read it here.) When we make decisions about what to use on our body we need to be careful that the products are safe for us, as well as be mindful of how they were sourced. We need to think about our body and the impact we have on the environment. Oxybenzone has not only been found to damage the environment, it has been linked to hormone disruptions in the body. The coral do not need it, nor do humans.

Some dermatologists are suggesting their patients use products containing minerals zinc oxide and titanium oxide rather than chemicals. These minerals provide broad spectrum coverage without the chemical side effects. The marketplace is catching up with the research and many brands are now offering at least one mineral option. Not all minerals sunscreens are as effective as their neighbor on the shelf. The research is still being done and no conclusive evidence is available but, researchers agree that the best thing we can do when we purchase sunscreen is to look or adequate concentrations of the active mineral ingredients: zinc oxide (15%-20%) and titanium dioxide (7.5%).

Sunscreen is important to include in your daily routine. Use a daily facial lotion that has sunscreen to protect your face and neck as you drive to work. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, striking one in five Americans in their lifetime. We need to protect ourselves and advocate that those we love protect themselves.

According to experts, we need to protect against UVA and UVB rays through BROAD SPECTRUM sunscreens.

If you wish more, read the full article How to Choose a Safe Sunscreen from Delicious Living Magazine.

Summer Skin Safety

Our skin is our largest organ and we need to take care of it. When I was young, there was not a strong push to use sunscreen. People would TRY to go in the sun and bake themselves to get a "great tan". People even applied baby oil to their skin to speed up the burn/tan. As I got older people started a trend of understanding that a sunburn was not healthy, so going to a tanning booth for a "baseline tan" to ward off a sunburn was healthy.Today we understand that none of that is good.

I know I have caused damage to my skin because I did not know any better when I was younger and the adults around me did not as well. Today I consult friends who are Dermatologists to make sure I am purchasing the best products to protect my skin.

Today I want you to consider checking yourself for PAST sun damage. We can take steps to prevent any future damage, but we need to remedy what happened before we knew any better. Delicious Living Magazine posted an article, 8 Steps to Self Check for Skin Cancer. I highly suggest you follow at least one step. Last year I went to a Dermatologist for what I thought was a concerning spot on my leg. I left with three skin cancer spots sprayed. What I thought was a big deal was not. What I did not even realize was a concern was skin cancer.

According to the article, the rate of melanoma cases is on the rise. At least 90,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Do not wait for your annual exam to have your doctor scan your body, follow the guidelines of the Skin Cancer Foundation and do a head-to-toe exam of your skin every month. Since this is an important NEW ROUTINE, it might be best to create a schedule and do the test on the same day so you remember. After a few months it will become routine! You’ll want to look for new or changing lesions that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous. The organization says skin cancers are almost curable when found and removed early.

The article points out the following places to scan with a bit more attention:
  1. Face
  2. Scalp
  3. Hands
  4. Upper Arms
  5. Neck, Chest, Torso
  6. Back of the neck and Shoulders
  7. Calves
  8. Parts of the body generally covered with clothes when in the sun
Contact your doctor if you notice anything unusual. Use a good sunscreen to protect your skin from today and each coming day. Cloudy days still provide UV radiation, use a facial lotion that includes sunscreen to protect your face and skin while driving.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Earth Friendly Beauty

I believe in using plant based products to reduce waste and eliminate toxins from my home and body. The plant based products I use, I hope, come from sustainable sources. I do my best to research to make informed decisions. Delicious Living Magazine has a great article that discusses the trend of ORGANIC personal care becoming EARTH FRIENDLY. Take time to look at the article if you wish to read more.

The trend toward clean eating has been going on for quite some time. Clean home and clean beauty is catching up at a rapid pace! The biodynamic certifier Demeter USA lauds companies that invest in doing more for the land and grow ingredients using regenerative practices that support the environment. We need to be aware that companies that list plant based ingredients are using plants that are grown using environmentally sound practices. Formulating with organic or biodynamic ingredients ensures the product is clean and pro-planet. As with organic, biodynamic farming prohibits chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers; it also requires various other seasonal practices that keep the soil healthy and focus on carbon sequestration with the hope of mitigating climate change.

Experts say "consumers should look for companies that engage with farmers directly, or partner with supplier partners who do, to implement best organic and regenerative practices, like cover cropping and using compost to build soil health and organic matter". A Chinese Proverb states, a journey a thousand miles begins with a single step. If each of us take the step to purchase EARTH FRIENDLY BEAUTY, not only will we feel and look good, but we will also help the planet.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Are you attending IDEA WORLD in San Diego this month? If so, I hope to see you there! If not, what topics would you like me to cover while I am there ... and after the event? Please let me know!

Until then, meet me on the mat in  Downward Dog or adho mukha shvanasana in Sanskrit.

Benefits of Downward Facing Dog:
  • Stretches hands, shoulders,  hamstrings, calves, and arches
  • Strengthens arms and legs
  • Lengthens spine to help relieve/prevent osteoporosis
  • Calms brain
  • Relieves stress
  • Energizes body
  • Improves digestion 

If you only have time for one pose, downward facing dog and its variations are a good option!

Variations coming in posts in the next few days!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Yoga's Simple Seated Twist

Parivrtta Sukhasana or simple easy twist stretches your lower extremities: hips, knees, and ankles. The pose has many variations which I will explore with you over the course of this month.

You can use this pose to increases flexibility throughout the spine, shoulders, hips, and chest.

This pose allows you the opportunity to reduce stress and anxiety.

The benefits of abdominal twists are many. Twisting stimulates and tones your abdominal organs so it is beneficial it is done when your stomach is not FULL (hint ... you need room to twist). Be kind to your kidneys and digestive organs and twist! 

Twisting allows your body to detox, boosts your energy, and can improve your health. As Tubby Checker sings, "Come On Everybody ... Lets Twist Again"!

Meet me on the mat to twist!

TIP: Sit with your non-dominate leg (if right handed it is your left leg) in front to begin. Do twist twice ... once with each leg in front. 

TIP: Twist the RIGHT side first (ascending colon) then the left (descending colon) to help with digestion.

TIP: Twist AFTER your food is digested ... perhaps 2 hours after a meal