Did you know that most of us will spend 75% of our lifetime in an upright position? We do lie down to rest and sleep, but majority of the time, our bodies do not get any relief from daily stresses caused by natural gravity. The best way to alleviate the gravitational pull on our body and organs is to use a slant board; a piece of equipment commonly used by many to increase blood flow back to the brain, eliminate fatigue, and even restore the elasticity in our skin.

The moment you lay on the slant board (18 inches off the ground or more) with your feet higher than your head, you will experience the blood rushing into to your face and head. After a few minutes on your back, you will notice a slight movement of your lower abdominal organs gently shifting up towards the diaphragm and flattening. Practicing this angulated supine position, will give the ligaments and connective tissue that hold up the abdominal organs an opportunity to restore back to its more youthful state. Also known as “Inversion therapy”, it will help eliminate common problems below the waist like hemorrhoids and varicose veins in the legs. It is great to use after giving birth, to help guide the uterus and bladder back to its optimal position. A daily regimen of 5 to 10 minute increments on the board is all you will need to increase blood circulation to the brain and over time- tighten up abdominal muscles and eliminate lower belly pooch, drain lymph glands and reduce swelling in the legs, and even reverse sagging and drooping skin of face and body.

Every fitness gym will have a slant board; most of the body builders use it to get their six-pack abdominals. Next time you are there, finish your work out by resting on the slant board or better yet, get one from Amazon and you can use it in comfort of your own home!

References:

http://www.shanti.com.au/equipment/slant_board.htm#Why%20use%20a%20slanting%20board

Dr. Jensen’s Nutrition Handbook: A Daily Regimen for Healthy Living

Research tells us that we the average American consumes half a pound of sugar every single day. We know it can lead to conditions like diabetes and obesity, and sometimes, the latter precedes the former. Unfortunately though, the risk of diabetes and other diseases is not enough to get us to stop. However, did you also know that sugar can affect the collagen and elasticity of your skin?

A complex group of compounds called “Advanced Glycation End Products” better known as AGE’s, are major contributors to the aging process. They are part of a chemical chain reaction that occurs when sugar and proteins bond improperly called “cross-linking”. When a sugar molecule like fructose bonds with a protein and no enzyme is present to control the reaction, AGE’s are formed. This can lead to damaged tissue within the skin and prevent the formation of skin-tightening agents like collagen.

AGE’s come from the foods we eat, especially those cooked without water at high temperatures. Water prevents these sugars and proteins from bonding, which is why it is always best to steam or boil raw vegetables and avoid browned or processed foods. Browning foods increases the level of AGE’s!

As a promising area of research, AGE’s have been associated with the vascular damage of diabetes, as too much sugar in the bloodstream can greatly hasten the reaction between sugars and proteins in the body. AGE’s are also known to be a primary cause of cellular aging, and has been implicated in diseases like Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and end-stage renal disease for its effects on body tissue. Fortunately, a peptide found in animal tissue and powerful antioxidant called carnosine has been known to offset this destructive reaction between sugars and proteins. Carnosine helps prevent cross-linking of collagen in skin. As skin age, cross-links form between adjacent collagen fibers causing the characteristic wrinkling and loss of elasticity. Carnosine is one of my favorite “anti-aging” nutrients; it is available in supplementation and has been used in many topical creams to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

In order to prevent the negative effects of AGE’s from creeping up on you, I suggest keeping the blood sugar low by reducing your sugar intake and eating raw, natural foods. Also, avoid well-done meats at high temperatures, such as grilled or BBQ meats, which have higher levels of AGE’s than do slower, cooked meats. Meat and poultry in soups and stews is a great way to prevent the AGE’s process. Making small changes in your diet every day can go a long way!

References:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/h0lyk91w88lj5j1q/fulltext.pdf

Smiling is the fastest, easiest fix to any bad situation. The very act of upturning your lips can put someone at ease, seal a possible business deal, or get you out of a tight spot. It has been linked to health benefits like endorphin release, stress reduction, and even healthy immune function. For these reasons, it is best to have a smile that outshines all the rest. Yellow or coffee stained teeth, however, can lower confidence and keep many people tight lipped at all costs. You have no doubt seen the commercials—yellow teeth are not the most pleasant sight!

A lot of people are fed up with trying to whiten their teeth because they are not comfortable with trays, treatments, or burning large holes in their wallet. On the whole, teeth whitening techniques have become an expensive and uncomfortable trend that doesn’t seem to be worth all the trouble. I have experienced several different whitening techniques to brighten my smile, and I understand why some people might hold that view. However, I recently tried out a new whitening technique that puts these concerns to rest—the Liquid Smile Pen.

The size and weight of an ordinary pen, the Liquid Smile Pen is the first whitening tool on the market that is sold in dental offices and endorsed by the Federation of California Dentists.  What differentiates the pen from other whiteners is that it uses a much smaller amount of hydrogen peroxide, only enough to whiten the tooth. The gel covers only the visible portion of your teeth (30% of tooth surface), rather than subjecting your whole mouth to chemicals. On top of that, the procedure only takes 15 minutes or less!

The way it works is simple. After your evening brushing and flossing ritual, dry your teeth by gently blotting them with a tissue (I use a blow dryer for a few seconds on the teeth!). Keeping a wide smile, twist the pen to activate the gel onto the brush, and paint a thin layer on the surface of each tooth visible in your smile. Hold the smile for about 30 seconds so the gel can dry, and then you can go right to sleep! It is not necessary to rinse after the 15 minutes have passed, but you can if you feel the need to. Before sleep is the best time for whitening so as not to disrupt the whitening process with wine, coffee, or any other evening beverage.

The Liquid Smile Pen comes at an extremely affordable price. If you ask your dentist about teeth whitening, the procedure can cost upwards of $400, whereas the Smile Pen can be found right here for only $99. Now there’s something to smile about!

Get the Liquid Smile Pen

Cosmetic mineral powders are labeled as “all natural” for their unique granulated formulations. They provide nice, even coverage, do not absorb into the skin as much, and are labeled as synthetic and irritant-free. While it’s always best to choose the best natural make-up solution for your skin, the make-up industry is not regulated closely by the FDA, and make-up selection should always be decided with the utmost caution.

It only takes a trace amount of real mineral ingredients for a powder to be declared “all-natural”. Some foundations and powders on the market can contain binders and unhealthy clay minerals that can cause serious reactions on the skin. The label of a mineral powder may seem “pure” with an “all-natural” sticker, but some have been known to contain toxic metals like nickel, aluminum, and mercury that are not healthy for you.

Mercury especially has been known to cause neurological damage from eyeliners and pencils, even in small quantities, as it is sometimes used as a preservative. Small doses of mercury are unlikely to cause any problems, but toxicologists have claimed that mercury has the tendency to accumulate in the body over time, aggravating health issues later on. There is even a ban on mercury in make-up products in Minnesota, the first state to stamp such a strict standard on their make-up products.

Mineral make-up is often chosen for its organic ingredients and is suggested by dermatologists for people with oily, sensitive, or acne-prone skin. Before buying a mineral make-up, be sure to carefully inspect the ingredients. A true mineral make-up will contain ingredients like mica, zinc oxide, and titanium oxide. Ingredients such as bismuth oxychloride, is an additive to make up and not a natural earth mineral. It is considered a skin irritant and can cause itching, rashes as well as cause acne. Read the ingredient list carefully, and if it contains chemicals that you are not familiar with, I recommend looking elsewhere.

Treat your skin similarly as you would in nourishing your body, the less chemicals and toxins- the better it will function!

References:

http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/mineral-makeup

http://www.uic.edu/com/eye/LearningAboutVision/EyeFacts/Cosmetics.shtml

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/12/14/health/main3618048.shtml?source=RSSattr=Health_3618048

Now that fall is here, Los Angeles has been a bit on the windier side, leaving our skin feeling chapped and dry. Because dry skin is at its worst during the winter season, it’s important to hydrate it when environmental humidity is at its lowest, with a moisturizer that will leave your skin feeling healthy, supple and nourished.

Dry skin is usually caused when there is not enough water in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of our skin. Natural skin oils in this layer can get depleted when harsh weather, cleaning chemicals, or hot soapy water allows the water in our skin to escape. With these protective oils decreased, the top layer of our skin shrinks, creating cracks that can itch and bleed, exposing deeper layers to germs and bacteria.

While it may seem sensible to apply warm water to ease the dry itch, it can actually worsen the irritation because it diminishes the hydrating oils from the skin. The best thing you can do for your skin during this chapped winter season is to apply a natural hydrating cream to the affected areas immediately after your bath or shower when the skin is still slightly damp. My yummy PURGLO Hydrating Body Butter is made with Hawaiian tropical elements and organic ingredients including aloe vera, green tea, sesame and evening primrose oil that are excellent for dry chapped winter skin yet light enough for sunny summer use. Tropically scented, PURGLO Hydrating Body Butter is an incredibly rich, creamy, soothing and ultra hydrating formula that melts luxuriously right into the skin. Your skin will thank you!

Sources:

http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/skinhealth/winterskin.html

http://purglo.com/products/purglo-hydrating-body-butter.html

Kampuku-Beauty-BarThe largest organ in the human body is the skin and it protects our major internal organs from external pollutants, chemicals and more importantly from pathogens such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Bacteriologist Theodor Rosebury estimates that 50 million individual bacteria live on the average square centimeter (5×107/cm2) of human skin, and if the skin flora is out of balance- basically there is an intense war of microbes going on!

To help reduce bacteria, virus and fungi growth on skin, I highly recommend using a probiotic soap without preservatives, fragrances, deodorants, or synthetic ingredients. Oral probiotics supplements aid in the digestion of foods and protects our intestinal environment against harmful microorganisms like yeasts, fungi, and parasites that can cause disease. Probiotic soap works similarly by keeping the balance of the microbes on skin, keeping the bad bugs such as fungi from overgrowth and optimizing the healthy bacteria to grow.

Hands down, the best probiotic soap I have every used is Dr. Iichiroh Ohhira’s Kampuku Beauty Bar, which includes natural plant extracts and herbs that replenish all types of skin. Dr. Ohhira is an award-winning microbiologist who has done extensive research in the field of lactic acid bacteria, along with other beneficial microorganisms. I wholeheartedly recommend using his product in any skin regimen, particularly for fungal infections such as athlete’s feet, jock itch, acne, oily skin, cradle cap, eczema and body odor. BTW- please do not share your soap with your loved ones; we each have our own unique skin flora.

Like many little things in life, the simple act of gently cleansing the skin can decrease mental and emotional stress, leaving you feeling restored, refreshed, and more than anything—clean!

References:
http://www.omx2u.com/ohhira.asp
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-susanne-bennett/a-bath-a-week-for-better-_b_775696.html

As our weather gets colder, and the day gets shorter, the last thing on our mind is to apply sunscreen to protect us from the harmful sun. Most people feel that sunscreen is akin to a summer accessory that simply isn’t necessary during the cloudier months. While it makes sense, this is not true. Ultraviolet rays during the winter will definitely damage skin and cause premature aging.

There are three types of ultraviolet (UV) rays- UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is the strongest of the three and most dangerous. UVC is not one that we need to worry about since this type of radiation is blocked by earth’s atmosphere; it never reaches the surface of our planet. UVB is much stronger than UVA, more damaging to skin causing premature aging and possible cancer. It is most powerful during the summer and especially between the hours of 11 AM to 4 PM. UVB is completely blocked by glass (windows) where as UVA radiation penetrates through glass and windows and will cause most damage to the skin during cloudier days.

Taking care of your skin all year long is essential. Every time we step outside during prime time hours (11 AM to 4 PM), the harmful UV rays can affect any area that is directly exposed to sunshine including our face, hands, arms, and neck, causing premature wrinkles, fine lines, and brown spots.

Luckily, there is a wonderful solution in the form of a topical mineral formula. Zinc oxide sun block works well with the skin because it acts as a barrier, and it literally blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. My second choice of sun block is titanium dioxide. If you are a highly sensitive person, zinc oxide is the least irritating.
My least favorite is the chemical sunscreens that may contain some of the following toxins: oxybenzone, aminio benzoic acid, avobenzone (parsol 1789), diobenzone, menthyl anthranilate, benzophenone, ecamsule, meradimate, octocryline and octisalate. These chemicals are made to penetrate the skin and neutralize either UVA or UVB rays. They have the ability to enter the bloodstream and generate free radicals in the body, causing irritations as well as allergic reactions.

My favorite daily sun block for the face and body is made by Epicuren; Zinc Oxide SPF 20. I find that it is gentle, blends well and will not create any white streaks on my skin. Now if I am outside stand up paddling, snorkeling or snow boarding I won’t go without my PURGLO Element Protection Stick (EPS). It is formulated with zinc oxide, comfrey leaf and jojoba oil- all naturally blended to create a SPF of 27. It is waterproof, windproof, snow proof and also a great sun block! It will not sting or bleed into your eyes and the large stick makes it easy to apply without getting your hands sticky. Perfect for chapped lips and young athletes love it too!

Please Note: During the winter months I do recommend everyone to go outside in the morning (low in radiation intensity) for thirty minutes for some direct sunlight to help with the winter blues and prevent a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (please check out last Monday’s blog on this condition). At the same time you may be producing plenty of Vitamin D, a very important nutrient that is essential to optimal health!

References:

Purglo

Did you know that your body’s largest organ is your skin? Looking young and feeling good are all things that we want and can obtain. In order to achieve this, we need a holistic approach that includes proper rest, eating well, keeping an active lifestyle, thinking positively and looking good! Yes, looking good plays a significant role in your health, emotional, physical and overall well being and it all starts with the skin.

For my first beauty and skincare feature, I would like to introduce you to the PURGLO Skin Care System by PURIGENEX. I created this skin care system as a natural alternative to invasive surgery, injections and harsh chemical applications.

Watch the video below to find out more about this wonderful product line and check out the www.purglo.com website for more info. Here’s looking at you, Kid!

Purigenex Featured on Good Day LA with Jillian Barberie!