Oils that Improve Hair Health

April 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural oils on the market. It works as a heat protectant by sealing the cuticle. It also penetrates the cortex of the hair shaft, moisturizing inner layers of each strand, making hair stronger and more resilient against heat styling.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is widely used in hair products because its chemical makeup is almost identical to the oil human skin produces. It helps develop and stimulate new hair cell growth because it improves scalp capillary circulation which stimulates the follicle.

If applied to an excessively oily scalp, it tricks skin into producing less of its natural oils, also known as sebum which clogs pores. So it balances oils and is non comedogenic, which benefits those with acne caused by excessively oily hair.

Plum oil

Plum oil has recently gained popularity in high end anti-aging cosmetic products for its cell renewal benefits.

This high quality ingredient is ideal for aging hair and skin as it helps rehydrate and renew the scalp’s skin cells, creating a perfect environment for hair growth. Other benefits of plum oil include its very light weight consistency. It’s actually so light that it quickly absorbs into the hair follicle and doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the hair shaft or the scalp.

Argan oil

Benefits of argan oil are vast and it’s used in a multitude of anti-aging cosmetics for its cell regeneration properties. Argan oil benefits skin ailments such as eczema, wrinkles and dry scalp. Its high fatty acid and vitamin E compounds soften hair and improve elasticity. So, it not only prevents breakage and hair loss but also helps hair grow longer.

In addition to reviving hair health, argan oil is a natural heat protectant. It creates a thin film over the hair, shielding it from thermal damage caused by blow drying, flat irons and curling irons.

Avocado oil

Last is avocado oil which has long been used to treat damaged hair because of its high vitamin A, D, E, B6, lecithin and potassium content.

It contains folic acids, beta-carotene and more than 20 percent essential unsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, when it’s applied to damp hair, it creates a thin coat to the follicle, acting as a protective layer against pollution and heat.

Have you used any of these in your hair?

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Carb Alternatives

January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

low carb pizza

Lavash PizzaInstead of using pizza dough, opt for lavash bread. Lavash is Armenian thin bread made with flour water and salt. It crisps nicely in the oven and in its soft form is great for wraps.

Preparation
-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
-Spread tomato sauce over the lavash
-Top with thinly sliced salami or thinly sliced precooked veggies
-Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are crispy

Half a sheet of this pizza averages below 300 calories and is scrumptious. The recipes for lavash pizza are endless, low carb and satisfying. Trader Joe’s sells packs of 12 9×12 inch sheets for about 3 bucks (great deal). The bread is high in protein and contains only .5 grams of fat and comes in whole wheat. It’s a great alternative to regular pizza dough which contains as many as 140 grams of carbohydrates!

Lettuce Wraps

Iceberg lettuce might seem plain and not so fancy, but think outside of the box. Each sheet of the lettuce shell forms a nice little cup, perfect for stuffing with your favorite sandwich fillers.

Preparation
-Gently remove a sheet of Iceberg lettuce
-Chop tomatoes, olives, peppers and hard boiled egg whites
-Mix in drained light tuna
-Spoon into lettuce cup
-Wrap and munch down

A serving of two wrap sandwiches averages under 300 calories (depending on what you fill them with) and they’re a really tasty alternative to sliced bread sandwiches. Jared would be proud! Again, there are so many low fat variations to this style of wrap. Look at this mouth watering Asian lettuce wrap recipe.

 

Low Calorie Holiday Sweets

December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

If you’re like me, the holiday has creeped into your cupboards in the form of chocolates, holiday cookies and Starbucks flavored mochas. Worried that your waist-line might suffer the consequences? Worry no more! Here are a few low calorie holiday sweets that will please your palette.

Don Francisco’s Chocolate Mint Medium Roast Coffee Grounds

I swooped this coffee bag up from the local Pavilions Supermarket in Hollywood yesterday and brewed it this morning. The scent of chocolate mint lingers and it tastes delicious with a splash of Silk’s Light Soy Milk and a pinch of Splenda. All that goodness rounds up to less than 20 calories! It retails for around five bucks at Safeway’s family of supermarkets.

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie

Sounds too good to be true, right? My sister made this low fat pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit. It contains only about 80 calories per slice and tastes exactly like its original sugar packed counterpart, which contains on average a crazy 240 calories per slice. I highly recommend this recipe. You’ll love it.

Orbit’s Maui Melon Mint Gum

Gum??? I know – you might think this treat is measly, but chewing on a stick of gum will suppress your appetite. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need to refrain from grabbing a second or third, or fourth cookie this holiday season. Studies show that chewing gum makes your brain think that it’s actually eating.

Candy Cane

Nothing says Christmas like a candy cane. Did you know that the average size candy cane is only 60 calories? It’s an excellent solution for your sweet tooth and takes some time to eat. Savor it slowly.

Cinnamon Streusel 20 oz. Scented Candle at Target

Maybe you’re not the best baker, but want that holiday baked goods aroma in your home. You have to try this candle. It’s available only at Target stores in a pretty ceramic jar. It retails for about ten bucks and lasts 80 hours. The best part is, it contains ZERO calories.

Happy Holidays!

3 Fruits that Slow the Signs of Aging

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Guava

Guava

Did you know that guavas are a better source of vitamin C than oranges? Guava contains almost 90 mg per fruit, almost three times the amount of an orange. Vitamin C prevents skin from losing moisture and elasticity which causes wrinkles.

The fruit also contains cancer fighting lycopene. Studies show that those who add lycopene to their diet are 45% less likely to develop the disease.

In addition, guava is high in provitamin-A and antioxidants. With almost 9 grams of dietary fiber, guava can also regulate digestion.

Find guava at your local farmers market in the summer time.

Cherries

This small stone fruit is a member of the plum family. It contains high amounts of antioxidants, one of the fruits richest in the nutrient. Plus it’s high in iron and helps alleviate the symptoms of anemia. Low on energy? Eat some cherries. Looking pale and pasty? Eat some cherries. Low blood sugar? Eat cherries.

Adding cherries to your diet not only boosts energy, but the fruit also contains melatonin which prevents the depletion of collagen. The result is fewer wrinkles and prolonged skin elasticity.

Blueberries

Blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants than any other fruit, so it strengthens the immune system and is the most effective at clearing skin impurities. If you want to avoid catching a cold, incorporate blueberries into your diet.

One cup contains 100 calories but they’re packed with a ton of nutrients including fiber and vitamin C. Studies show that blueberries reduce belly fat and lower cholesterol too. Nibble on these berries instead of chips or popcorn.

Diets full of antioxidants can prevent wrinkles, so use your calorie intake to slow the signs of aging.

 

5 Low Calorie Snacks that Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Grapes

1 Cup of Grapes

Grapes aren’t recommended if you’re on a non fat diet. As you know, grapes contain sugar but are far better for you than cookies or cake. 1 cup of seedless grapes contains about 100 calories. If you need a little variation, freeze that cup of grapes in a zip lock bag. Frozen grapes make a great warm day or late afternoon treat. In fact, 1 cup of any fruit is a better alternative. If it sounds boring, throw that cup of fruit into the blender with ice and a little bit of low fat milk to make a smoothie.

1 Cup of Tea

You can optimize your health and quench your sweet tooth. Grab a berry flavored tea next time you’re at the market. Boil a cup of water, throw in a cranberry or tangerine tea bag and add half a packet of Splenda. It’s a sweet treat that will fill you up and add antioxidants to your diet. 1 cup of tea contains only 2 calories, so you can drink to your heart’s content.

1 Cup of Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are sweet. Not only do tomatoes fight cancer, but they’re filling and make for a great alternative to high calorie snacks. Try them to fend off cravings. They contain a high amount of antioxidants and vitamins A and C. 1 cup of tomato grapes contains between 30 – 45 calories.

Sugar Free Jell-O

This is every skinny girl’s secret filler. The first week I moved to Hollywood, as I stood in line at the grocery store I couldn’t help but notice what the chick next to me had in her basket. She had a ton of ready-made sugar free Jell-O cups, Diet Coke and a bottle of vodka. I don’t recommend only eating Jell-O. You’d quickly suffer from malnutrition; however, Jell-O makes a low fat, sugar free gelatin cup and it’s a great replacement for fatty snacks. Each cup contains only 10 calories.

The Scoop on Skinny Cow’s 150 Calorie Ice Cream

Hey, some occasions call for ice cream so opt for a low fat one. I found God’s gift to faux ice cream. Skinny Cow makes a 150 calorie dulce de leche in a double scoop size cup. It tastes of spicy vanilla and caramel and not at all like low fat. Can you believe that it even contains 4 grams of fiber? Mmm, it’s so good. It comes in three other flavors: strawberry cheesecake, chocolate fudge brownie, cookies n cream and caramel cone. Warning: it does contain 22 grams of sugar. But it’s a great alternative to the full on non diet friendly ice cream.

Snack smarter.

Easy and Affordable Solutions for Oily Skin

July 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Do you have oily skin? If you do, summertime usually increases oiliness and skin irritation. Now is a good time to look at your skin care regime and make some changes.

Cleanse at night

Make sure you’re properly cleansing your skin. Even if you don’t wear makeup, wash your face every night before bed to wash away the sweat and dirt your skin has gathered, so cleanse nightly.

If you don’t wash at night, that dirt and sweat that dries and sits on your skin, absorbs deep into your pores. This clogs pores, making your skin oilier and prone to breakouts.

Use a toner

Next, you might need to use a toner. Choose a Witch Hazel based toner over an alcohol based toner. Alcohol based toners strip all of the oil from your skin, causing your pores to generate more oil.

Witch Hazel is an anti-inflammatory too. In fact, it is used in hemorrhoid cream. This is precisely why hemorrhoid cream is said to take away under eye bags. It can be used for the relief of minor skin irritations such as: insect bites, minor cuts, minor burns and last but not least, skin toning.

I like Witch Hazel astringent by Skin Renewal. It’s 98% natural Witch Hazel and non-toxic. The best part about this non-toxic toner is that it retails for only 4 bucks at Sally’s Beauty Supply.

Soak a cotton ball and apply evenly on face or affected areas.

For a quick remedy to minor burns (e.g. cooking & curling iron burns) soak a cotton ball then place on the burn and wrap with medical tape. I tried this after a minor cooking burn and left the impromptu remedy on the burn for a few hours. When I removed it, my skin was normal and not sensitive to the touch. Viola, the burn was gone.

Use an oil-free moisturizer

Your moisturizer might be making your skin oilier too. Use an oil free moisturizer.

Kieh’s Oil Free Moisturizer is made for oil prone to very oily skin. The formula is light and non comedogenic which means that it will not clog pores. I recently recommended this product to a guy friend of mine and he loves it. His skin is now a lot less shiny.

It comes in two jar sizes, the 2 oz. jar retails for 18 bucks. Try the sample if you can. People with ultra sensitive skin do not take well to this product.

Olay also makes a daily oil free moisturizer called Olay Complete Skin Shield and retails for only 10 bucks at your local drugstore. It’s light and perfect for many skin types. Olay is an award winning brand and makes a line of no-fuss moisturizers.

Use a sponge to apply makeup

If you apply a foundation with your fingertips, consider using a sponge instead. Our fingertips are oily. Avoid touching your skin too. We leave fingerprint stamps of oil on our skin when we touch it. This causes acne, so avoid this – especially after eating.

Avoid greasy and sugary foods

Cut out fatty meats like pepperoni, sausage, and steaks. Next: replace French fries, chips and nuts with salads. Incorporate more veggies into your diet.

Lastly, drink more water. Did you know the amount of sugar in one can of Coke equals 12 sugar cubes? Can you imagine adding 12 sugar cubes to your coffee? That’s gross right? Skip the soda and opt for a tall glass of water.

7 Steps to the Perfect Tan

June 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

It isn’t advisable to tan in the sun, but if you’re going to sunbathe and want the perfect tan–follow these easy steps to get even, long lasting color.

Step one: Start in the shower. Exfoliate evenly. It will prepare your skin for about two weeks of color. The top layers of our skin naturally regenerate every two weeks, so expect your color to last that long if you take care of it.

I recommend a salt or sugar based scrub because their granules are round and will not cut your skin. Some scrubs use jagged shell particles that might cause irritation. Also try loofahs or body puffs, they’re gentle enough to use on a daily basis and get the job done.

Step two: Use a sunscreen lotion as a base moisturizer. If you apply it immediately after getting out of the shower, you will notice that it absorbs quickly. It actually penetrates deep enough that it will last through your first application of sun tan lotion and will slow release the sunscreen through your pores while you sweat.

Step three: To keep your skin moisturized, use tanning oils like Banana Boat instead of tan lotion. Tanning oils are usually made of very few non-toxic and from the earth ingredients.

Step four: Switch sides as soon as your skin feels hot. That is your body telling you that it can’t cool itself down. You might be burning at that point. Switch sides!

Step five: Don’t shower until about two hours after lying out. Cooling your body immediately stops the tanning process.

Step six: Take a warm/cold shower. Then apply moisturizer. I recommend aloe based lotions. Aloe cools the skin and helps heal irritation and burns. Most importantly, it lets your skin breathe.

Aloe gel is also an option, and it’s a multi-purpose product. I like to have this around, just in case it’s needed for sun burn relief.

Step seven: Moisturize twice a day, once immediately after showering and again after your skin has dried. I recommend this because the steam from showers opens your pores – creating the perfect environment for absorption.

It’s the best time to apply moisturizer and sunscreen.

Repeat step seven religiously and your tan will last much longer.

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