Q: I noticed that you have gorgeous skin! Do you have any secrets to share?
A: Diet and lifestyle play a huge role in having glowing skin, including watching out for toxins in the environment. Check out my commonsense tips and tricks below. My "secrets" include getting in bitters and adequate minerals
1. Water. Water is necessary for proper cellular functioning, as well as to flush out toxins from the body. Since the body is comprised of 80% water, water figures in as a vital element in having glowing skin. Be sure to drink filtered or spring water (tap water is full of toxins that you most certainly want to avoid).
2. High Water/Real Food Diet. Not only do you want to be eating a clean diet with real food (as opposed to junk and processed food), but veggies and fruits are 80-90% water. A clean diet also includes eating organic foods (or growing your own organically), and avoiding toxic foods such as GMOs and hydrogenated/trans fats. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make each meal comprised of about 80% veggies.
3. Exercise. There are various cardio and weight training modalities out there--- the body is designed to move! Movement allows the body to flush out toxins, work the cardiovascular system and provide benefits to the musculo-skeletal system. Find what interests and works for you and just do it :)
4. Work the Lymphatic System. The Lymphatic System is an important yet highly underrated system that plays a vital role in removing cellular waste and toxins from the body. While exercise in general helps to move lymph, rebounding ~or jumping on a trampoline~ has been shown to be a highly effective way that is even touted by astronauts.
2 Herbs that help to flush waste, edema/water retention, toxins and excess weight out of the body are Cleavers (Galium aparine) and Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris). Cleavers is in the same family as coffee and you can juice it, steam it and use it like spinach or make an infusion or tincture with it. Self-heal makes a tasty infusion :) You can find both out in the wild or get seeds and grow them yourself.
5. Bitters. In TCM lingo, herbs that purify the blood are helpful in removing toxins from the body. Most of these herbs have a gentle and tonifying action on the liver and are common weeds that you can find growing in the wild. These include Dandelion root, Burdock root, Chicory root and Red Clover. These can be taken as an infusion (let sit 8 hours) and drunk daily (or 2-3 X a week). Milk Thistle is a good herb that also helps with fat digestion.
While bitter tasting foods are not appreciated in today's Western diet, they play a vital role in removing toxins from the body. Bitter foods include cultivated greens such as kale and chard and wild edible greens such as Dandelion and Plantain leaf.
6. Go High on Minerals. The herbs mentioned in #5 above are high in minerals, which are sorely lacking from most modern day diets. Since soils are depleted or deficient in minerals, growing your own food in mineral-enhanced and enriched soil is a good idea. Other herbs that are high in minerals are Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) and seaweeds. Nettle makes an excellent nourishing infusion that you can drink daily and is high in protein, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. You can find Nettle growing in the wild or grow her yourself. Use 2 cups Nettle for every 4 cups of boiling water. Place in a 1-liter mason jar and let sit 4-8 hours before straining.
Seaweeds are high in minerals and are said to be a yin food in TCM. There are a host of seaweeds that are available, including Wakame, Kelp, Dulse and Nori.
You can also take a mineral supplement such as Concentrace Minerals. To start, use 3-5 drops a day and gradually increase until you get to 10 drops a day. Take in a bit of water before bedtime.
7. Limit Chemicals & Toxins/Use Natural Products. There are many toxins in the water, food, soil, air, etc. While some people have filters to clean their air, chlorine filters on their shower and water filters on their tap, a good rule of thumb is to buy natural products for your home and body. Note that companies, even natural ones, do not have to divulge all the ingredients listed on their products and that the cosmetic industry is highly unregulated. You can check the EWG's website to see how clean the ingredients are in the products you are using.
Being quite the au naturel kinda gal, I like to make my own skin care products. You can check out this simple mud mask recipe HERE and this Rose Hip Face Cream HERE. If you'd prefer to buy your own, you can check out Anne Marie Gianni's skincare line.
is a Health Practitioner with a Background in Chinese Medicine. Get in Some of her Savvy Adivce When She Answers Your Health Question.
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