Health and beauty

health_beautyIt’s been several months since I’ve written a blog post. Life does have a way of disrupting our plans. In this case, life dealt me a somewhat scary autoimmune diagnosis. It’s taken a little time to come to terms with my new normal, but it has prompted me to share some info I hope will be encouraging and helpful.

When it comes to beauty, we tend to focus on the outward application of potions and creams, powders and glosses, cutting, trimming and plucking, curling and coloring… well, you get the idea. It’s easy to forget that a healthy diet and lifestyle are the foundation of beauty. Conversely, we may also overlook the subtle signs our body uses to convey there’s a problem, writing them off to lack of sleep or aging. If your hair seems thinner and/or finer, if your eyelashes and eyebrows seem suddenly sparser, if your face looks puffy or the color of your skin looks odd, if you have dark circles under your eyes – these are all signs of a problem.

Get regular checkups

If you see any of these warning signs, your first step should be to get a checkup with your general practitioner and have some blood work done. It could be you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency that could be easily remedied. If there’s a more serious issue that needs attention, better to find it early when treatment may be more effective. It’s a good idea to have your hormone levels checked, too, as imbalances there can cause many of those warning signs.

Clean up your diet

Of course, what constitutes a healthy diet is always up for debate, but you know the basics: lean proteins, complex carbs, more fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. Avoid or greatly reduce fried and processed foods, white flour and sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats. Different dietary approaches could take up an entire blog post (or series of posts!), but if you have digestive issues, gluten and dairy are primary offenders and it’s worth a trial elimination to see if they could be an issue for you. If you want to explore this topic further, check my Eating Clean page.

Hydrate

I know, I know. This seems so simple, but is so hard to do consistently. We’re all aware of the importance of drinking enough water for our overall health, but it also helps our skin. If we’re dehydrated this will show on our skin, turning it dry, tight and flaky. The amount of water you should drink in order to have a healthy body and skin is just enough to keep your urine a light straw color. Usually this is about 4-5 glasses per day. If you exercise heavily or work in a hot environment, you may need more like 8-10 glasses per day.

Get your beauty rest

It’s a well-known phrase for a reason. Sleep is like plugging in your phone: your body recharges in preparation for another full day of demands. Getting adequate sleep allows skin cells the time to repair. Consider using an moisturizer or anti-aging product. Part of the reason these overnight treatments work so effectively is because we don’t mess with them while we’re asleep, allowing them to really seep into our skin and work their magic. A full night in bed means better blood flow to your face, adding glow to your complexion and head—supporting healthy hair. Even your sleep position plays a role: sleeping on your back puts less wrinkle-inducing pressure and friction on your face. If puffy under-eye circles are a problem, consider adding another pillow as the extra elevation keeps fluid from building up.

 

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