Have you been under the radar lately? Well, I just had the flu; It was tough, but it made me check my diet to make sure that I was eating the right food. I also revisited my cheat sheet on vitamins that support both my health and skin. Vitamins are essential for a great healthy and radiant skin; it all begins with our diet!
So, I wanted to share with you my top 8 vitamins and how to get these vitamins naturally. The two best sources of vitamins are organic vegetables and fruits. These sources of vitamins will also help you with natural skin care as well.
Here are the top 8 vitamins your skin needs to be healthy:
#1 - Vitamin A for Skin Strengthening
Vitamin A has a high content in antioxidant that can be great to treat wrinkles and to soothe skin irritations. It is a very important vitamin for healthy vision, neurological function, and healthy skin. A diet that is high in vitamin A can help slow down aging naturally. This is a great vitamin to have in your diet for natural skin care from inside.
You can find this vitamin in mangoes, spinach, carrots, potatoes, eggs, milk, liver, carrots, yellow or orange vegetables such as squash.
Watch out your vitamin A intake. If you are plan to take Vitamin A supplements, please take lower doses and consult your doctor. High doses of Vitamin A can be toxic; check with your doctor if you plan to take Vitamin A supplements.
#2 – Probiotics for Skin Clearing
We hear a lot about probiotics and their benefits for our guts’ health. Probiotics are bacteria that are in your digestive system and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. Yes, probiotics are essential for your digestive health, but did know that there is a direct link between the health of your GI track and your skin. Inflamed skin can be due to the malfunction of your gut. L. casei is a specific strain of probiotic that has been shown to help reduce antigen-specific skin inflammation.
You can find probiotic in Kefir, sake, kimchi, kombucha, miso, yogurt, Sauerkraut
Don’t have access to these sources of probiotics? My favorite probiotic supplement is the Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics. I also use the Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder for my smoothies.
#3 - Vitamin C To Support Collagen Production
One of the most important benefits of vitamin C is that it helps create collagen organically, which helps you with your skin firmness. In addition, vitamin C also protects your skin from free radical damage since it is a powerful antioxidant.
You can find this vitamin in brussels sprouts, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruit, among others.
#4 - Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) aka Folate for Glowing Skin
Another type of vitamin B, Folic Acid heavily support youthful, glowing, healthy skin because of its high content of antioxidants. Folic Acid is the synthetic form of folate that is usually found in supplement. Folate is the form you find in food sources like fruits and vegetables.
You can find folate in spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, beef liver, brussels sprouts, avocado
#5 - Vitamin E to Protect Your Skin
This is one of the most powerful vitamins you can have. Besides protecting your skin from free radical damage, it is antioxidant, and it's perfect to get rid of acne. In addition, and according to Harvard Health Publications, when you take a lot of vitamin E, it will help store vitamin A at the same time.
You can find this vitamin in vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, among others.
#6: Vitamin D To Fight Infections
Known as the "sunshine vitamin", vitamin D is crucial in fighting infections. So, if you don't leave in an area where you get enough sun, you need to ensure that you look for fortified products.
You can find vitamin D in eggs, fish, mushrooms, breakfast cereals, milk, among others.
#7: Vitamin K to Help with Skin Imperfections
Vitamin K is extremely important since its deficiency can lead to severe health problems. After all, your blood just can't coagulate without this vitamin. When you notice that you are getting some spider veins or dark circles on your skin, this may mean that you have circulatory problems and these may be related to the lack of this vitamin. Vitamin K is extremely powerful reducing scars skin imperfections as well as healing bruises and wounds.
You can find vitamin K in milk, kale, liver, cabbage, among others.
#8 Omega 3 for Hydrating Skin
Omega 3 fatty acids are so important to the skin health; they are essential for a healthy cell membrane. Healthy cell membrane actually directly impacts the ability of the skin to retain water and stay soft and wrinkle-free. Omega 3 Fatty Acids also help fight skin inflammation.
Find omega 3 in Alaskan salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and olive oil
Vitamins are essential for our health and our skin and there are many ways we can use our diet to support a beautiful skin and great health!!
Do you think that eating organic food is too expensive? Many people who are looking to improve diet by eating more organic foods still believe that it will cost them a fortune. However, and fortunately, this is no longer true. The reality is that even if you have a small budget, say $100 to $150 a week, you are still able to eat organic foods. So, how do you manage to do that?
Here are 5 tips and tricks that will help you with the process:
Tip #2: Buy your Organic Meat or Fish Separately and Only on Sales and in Bulk
Meat and fish can quickly become one of the most expensive items on your shopping list. To save, buy meat or fish on sale and create your meal plan around the type of meat or fish you already have. There is always some type of organic meats and/or fish on sale at Whole Foods. Buy that type of meats or fish in bulk and store it in the freezer until you need to cook it. You can prepackage the it for each meal before freezing it. For instance, in my family, we buy organic chicken in bulk and put 6 pieces of chicken in a storage container for each meal. Shopping that way saves us a lot of money! Also, not eating meat every day has been great for us. We notice that we feel better overall. You could skip meat for few dinners. Of course, if you are vegan, you already saving a lot.
Tip #3: Make Your Meals Simple:
When you are just starting eating organic foods, you may have the tendency to use specialty or an excess of ingredients. However, the truth is that most of these ingredients can be easily replaced by more common ones that you usually have at home. I mean buying specialty ingredients once a month won’t break the bank. Ingredients that are commonly found are just less expensive.
Here are few recipes you might want to try. If you are vegan, here are few plant-based easy recipes . If you eat meat, there are several easy organic healthy recipes. With our busy lifestyles, making simple meals is essential if we want to eat an healthy diet. Why? We are busy and don’t have time to cook these complicated recipes, so it becomes so easy to eat junk food if there is nothing already cooked. Make it simple and stay healthy!
Tip #4: Manage your grocery bill at Specialty Stores or Non-Specialty Stores
One of the reasons why so many people still believe it is not possible to eat organic with a low budget is because they only know specialty stores. However, and as we already mentioned, this is no longer the case. Many big stores, including Costco and Sam’s Club, now have a wide selection of organic foods. In addition, you should also check local grocery stores near you that sell organic foods. Make sure that you take note of the prices and then choose the more affordable options. However, if you like shopping at Whole Foods, it is possible to eat on a budget too. Check this article “How 4 People Would Spend $30 a Week at Whole Foods” from Bon Appetit. I also recommend Trader Joes; I love this store because they have a large selection product. I found that the produce at Trader Joe’s can be cheaper than other places. You might find the article from Self very interesting – “My $40 Trader Joe's Shopping List for a Week of Healthy Meals”
Tip #5: Snacks - Make Your Own Snacks or Buy them on deals
If you take a closer look at your grocery store bill, you will notice that you tend to pay a lot of money just for snacks. And when you are turning to organic foods and you have a limited budget, it is far wiser to save this amount and use it on organic foods instead. So, it's time to start making your snacks at home.
Country Living has these amazing homemade healthy snack recipes that you can do over the weekend and eat them during the week. This can be a fun to do with the little ones as well. One of the things you can do to save time is to double or triple the recipe of what you're doing and just freeze the rest.
Here are my tips for shopping on eating organic on a budget!!
Women have so much up their sleeves that self-care tends to drop to the bottom of their to-do list. Not taking adequate care of yourself can deteriorate the quality of your life. You feel stressed all the time and this can create burnout or depression.
Do you remember times when you were looking at your to-do list and you became so overwhelmed and stressed out? Your energy level was so low that you thought you couldn't do it! You got your 4th cup of coffee and forced yourself into doing the 10th task on your list; the results turned out not so great and you felt terrible about yourself and so inadequate. Well, we all felt that way at some point, but there is a another way to do this!
We have compiled a list of 10 self-care practices that would be useful. You could try to incorporate one or several of these practices in your daily lives; they will help make your busy days and weeks less stressful and easier to handle.
1. Energize your Body
Performing routine office task with diligence and managing your house can consume all of your energy; It is essential to find the time in your busy schedule to energize your body. Energizing your body will help you crush your to-do lists so much faster.
Here are a few ways you could energize your body:
2. Mini Meditations
Mini-meditations are very useful and can be done in less than two minutes; they help us hit the pause button and reset. Doing mini-meditations can quickly become an healthy habit that can be make any crazy busy lifestlye stress-free. You could practice mini-meditations at your desk or at home. They help get rid of all the stress that our body has accumulated throughout the day. There are several meditation apps out there and my favorite one is Headspace. Click here to see this 2-minute mini-meditation from Headspace.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water will not only help you feel better, it will also bring a glow to your skin and strengthen your immune system. Drinking water is as essential as breathing; it helps get rid of toxins that accumulate in our body. If you experience headaches throughout the day, try drinking some water; you might be dehydrated. Drinking two full glasses of water as soon as you wake up can help you with your daily water intake.
4. Read One of your Favorite Book
Take 5 minutes or more to read one of your favorite book or a magazine you enjoy.
It will help refresh your mind. We are all going digital but there is something to say about flipping the page of our favorite books or magazines. It engages all our senses and forces us to fully present in the moment to do something we really enjoy. If we make reading a daily habit, we will be less stressed and happier overall.
5. Write, Write, Write in Your Journal
All you need is a simple notebook. You can find one at your local drugstore or Amazon. Writing in your journal is essential; there are so many mental benefits of journaling. Writing the strong emotions we experienced throughout the day or the week helps us in two ways: It helps us release the tensions that strong emotions can create in us and it helps us remember the great moments we experienced.
If you are worried that someone might find out what you wrote, still write it down and throw it away to just release your emotions; it can be so relaxing for our mind. Try the happiness planners if you are looking for more elaborate and sophisticated journals. They are designed to help you remember to smell the roses every day and are so inspirational.
New Year’s resolutions are always so tempting. I remember spending years and years trying to lose weight, eat healthier food, and found myself so discouraged when I didn’t succeed.
I think that New Year’s resolutions are a way to set ourselves up for failure. How many times did you or someone you know vow to exercise more, eat healthier food, learn a new language, lose weight on New Year’s Eve? How many times did you keep up with these resolutions?
Year after year, my resolution was to eat healthier food and lose weight. I gained weight and I wasn’t eating healthier food. I was so frustrated with myself because I couldn’t understand why I wasn't doing what I knew was right for myself.
If this sounds familiar, don’t feel bad. Research has shown that less than 10% keep up with their New Year’s resolution for more than a few months.
So, what is happening? Wouldn’t it be great to wake up one morning and decide to be the new person? That’s what new resolutions actually are. The concept of new resolutions assumes that we can change our habits from one day to the other.
But, changing habits is not as easy.
With new resolutions, we think about what we want to change without defining the new behavior; we go for general behavior instead of specific small actions we need to take to reach our goals. Sometimes, we are not even committed to our new resolutions because they are based other people’s expectations. To be successful, new resolutions require new behaviors and new behaviors are tied to our small daily habits.
So what to do?
I call it this my F.C.B.T.D.R System.
Focus on changing small habits instead of focusing on new resolutions: here, you will focus on changing your lifestyle.
Choose only one habit to change at a time. It is essential here to choose to change the habit that has the most impact. Then, be patient with yourself. Recent studies showed that it takes 60 days to create a new habit. For me, I noticed that, even though I wanted to lose weight and eat healthier food, my most important habit to have was to sleep at least seven hours per night. I wanted to change so many things, but I was too tired to even overwrite my default mode. I needed to sleep more and be well rested, so I could say no to one more cookie. I noticed that focusing on the new good habit instead of the old habit I wanted to change also worked great.
Beware of Your Nature. If there is something that absolutely helps you achieve your goals, take it into consideration. What does this mean? Let's say you want to exercise regularly, you know you need to find time to go to the gym. If you're not a morning person, you shouldn't plan on waking up earlier. You know you won't be able to do it regularly. So, make sure that you plan to go later in the day.
Keeping a journal is essential here: it helps so much to learn about ourselves. Write down your successes or failures, and, once a week, review it to find out your patterns. What works for you and what doesn’t. Then, refine your plan as you go. There is no right or wrong here; this is the space to find out and define what works for you.
Take small steps: Simply start with small victories. Choose some small new actions that are easy to do for at least one week. Why? This would help you to create more momentum and not be discouraged. Psychology today says “…Because you are trying to establish a conditioned response, you need to practice the new habit from the existing stimulus from 3 to 7 times before it will "stick" on its own. To help you through this 3 to 7 times phase make it as EASY as possible.” Once you have small victories, the big ones will follow. One book that helped me is Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results from Stephen Guise. It describes how taking the first step is one of the most important thing to do if one wants to change habits.
Discipline is a Must: To create a new habit, we must repeat our new behavior regularly. We have to set ourselves to be disciplined by having reminders to help us stay on track. Self-talk helps a lot here! Constantly reminding ourselves that we can do what we want to do. In book The Self-Discipline in 10 days: How To Go From Thinking to Doing, Theodore Bryant explains the five stages of discipline.
We need to relax and try our best every day to reach our goal. For me, it was important also to learn that it was okay to fail. It’s not about being perfect every day, but about being better at what we do over a long period of time.
Rewards are important: We need to reinforce our good behavior. Rewards are one of the best ways to stay motivated and continue on our journey toward our goals. Theodore Bryant suggests that we create a guilt-free reward list. The rewards can be as simple as getting a cup of tea, going to a movie, or going to feed the ducks. We need something to look forward to when we decide to be disciplined.
Focus on the right behavior, start with your most impactful habit, and learn about yourself and how your own behavior can help the process.
Start small with easy actions, be disciplined, and reward yourself for every good behavior.
Give this a try, I hope it works as well as for you as it worked.
Write to me and let me know how it’s going. We can all effectively change; we just need to do it in a way that works us!!
Happy Belated New Year,
Looking for an event where you can reconnect with yourself? Are you in the DMV area? The Live Sacred DC event is the new self-care and wellness event in the DMV area. I went to this self-care and wellness event last month and I am sharing it all with you here.
It has been a month since I went to this event; I wanted to wait and see if I still applied the teachings I learned at the event. I believe that successful wellness events give you wellness practices that you can incorporate in your daily life.
The event took place at Take Care in DC; The intimate group of 13 beautiful women was perfect to share our experiences and learn practical ways to include self-care in our daily lives.
Joanne and Chelsea are the founders of the Live Sacred DC event. Chelsea Williams is the founder of ThatsChelsea.com, an “all things wellness” blog that teaches women how to live a more mindful lifestyle through a plant-based diet and non-toxic cosmetics. Joanna Andrae is a modern healer, meditation teacher and the founder of Wandering Wellness
The Take Care shop in DC was a perfect spot for this event. The overall concept of the shop feels so peaceful when you enter the shop. The white clean design and clear wood display is so relaxing.
Take Care is is an all-natural skincare and lifestyle shop where you can find plant-based and independent-label brands. They have the latest green cosmetics and natural/organic skin care and home products .
I really love the shop overall and they have several wellness and natural beauty events throughout the year. Click here to read about the upcoming events.
"What did we do at the event?
This was a great event!
I am still using the self-care practices I learned during the event; Overall, I loved, loved the Live Sacred DC event! I had such a great experience. The guided meditation and self-reflection session provided me with great practical self-care ideas. The goodies were great too; form the happiness journal with lovely, inspiring quotes, notebooks for self-reflection, to beautiful flowers, fresh pressed juice, and on… This was amazing experience for me because, in this world where we are rushing to complete the tasks on our to-do list, taking the time to listen to our inner voice is essential. This Live Sacred DC event just does that!! It gave me the space to push the pause button, look at my beautiful self, and acknowledge how sacred I am. Wow, I can’t believe I just said the words my beautiful and sacred self. I guess I remembered Chelsea telling us “Taking care of ourselves is taking care of the sacred life that was given to us."
If you are in the DC area, you must experience this wellness event! It will give you the space to reconnect with your true self and help you develop practical self-care practices that will make your life happier.
Some of the pictures were taken by Will Power Photo
Where can you have a great organic facial spa treatment in the DC area?
Try Azure Dream Day Spa in Arlington, VA. I had such a great experience at the spa.
Leila, the owner, is such a nice person; she is very kind and explains everything she will do during the treatment and even gives you tips on how to take care of your skin. She opened the Azure Dream Day Spa four years ago. She does not compromise on the quality of products she uses for her clients.
While some spas offer just few facial options with organic products, Leila only uses organic products for her customers; She has been using Eminence Organic Skin Care products for more than a 10 years for her own skin and will only give the best to her clients. All her facial treatments are done with Eminence Organic Skin Care products 💚
First impression: Very Peaceful!
The space is peaceful and relaxing as soon as you enter. Fresh flowers from Leila's garden and relaxing music and candles welcome you as you enter into the spa. There are candles along the way to the spa treatment rooms.
How did the facial go?
My skin is so much better; my skin was dull, irritated, and tired. This facial brightened my skin complexion. My skin looks nourished and soft. The extraction did not leave my skin all red. My pores are less congested and the facial soothed my skin.
Leila used three main Eminence products for the facial: