AntiAgeing Savantess

Global Wellness, Skin Care and Aesthetics

Posts from the ‘Body’ category

Summer life tough on skin

I won’t ask you to give up summer

With summer going strong, skin rejuvenation seems far off focus. Tans and parties seem to take the front seat. For now, sun damage, discolorations and broken vessels must wait till fall to get attended (for their treatments are too aggressive in times of intense sun exposure). As disappointing as holding off on your favorite beauty solutions may be, we CAN improve skin quality during these happy but skin-taxing months!  Its true sunspots and redness make skin look old but NOTHING is as concerning as when you start to see your skin sag, eyes droop and skin crinkle.

Prevent skin sagging

It’s for this reason why summertime can be an ideal time to work on this loss of skin structure and strengthen the skin from within.  The “non-surgical lift and tuck” requires use of technologies that don’t sensitize melanocytes or cause risky inflammation, even if your agenda may include trips to the beach. It is for this reason that I feel that we should take advantage of the off-laser season and focus on rebuilding what may have been torn down over the years. By working with Radio Frequency or Ultrasound, we can stimulate collagen production,  induce dermal remodeling and improve skin health. If you choose to undergo these procedures you can recreate a more youthful, tightened and lifted version of yourself. Best yet, this is done all without surgery and enhances your skins propensity to age prematurely.

Skin skin in its place...non surgical lift

Below, I list some of my favorite skin tightening treatments. From head to toe, you can smooth out imperfections and contour your skin to a place where you now only imagine it was once!!

Thermal

Thermage is the pioneer is non invasive skin tightening with over a million treatments performed, it is the most trusted device of its kind!

Thermage

The Technology:

 Thermage uses Monopolar Radio Frequency for deep and safe volumetric dermal heating.

Best for:

Thermage Eyes Non surgical lifting

Thermage Jawline results

In my opinion, it has unsurpassed results for facial shaping, jaw defining and eyelid tightening. Thermage is also great for body skin rejuvenation, however is an expensive option.

Benefits:

  • Clinical Research: Like mentioned above, Thermage is the pioneer in non-invasive skin tightening and because of this has more studies backing up it’s science, safety and effectiveness than any other device of its kind.
  • CPT for Comfort: Thermage uses Comfort Pulse Technology which involves strategically coordinated bursts of cooling and vibration to improve comfort and safety . The CPT also allows Thermage to use higher and more effective doses of RF in the deep skin layers.
  • Single Treatment: Most can achieve substantial results after only a SINGLE TREATMENT. While most Radiofrequency treatments require several treatments to achieve similar results, most patients are satisfied after only one treatment of Thermage .  Thermage is famous for its “One Treatment Once a Year” to maintain skin health and firmness.
  • Non-Surgical Blepharoplasty: Only FDA approved treatment for tightening of eyelid.  It’s results are NOT as effective as a surgical blepharoplasty but, for those wild mild to moderate eyelid hooding and refuse to go under the knife, Thermage is a great option.

The Procedure:

Thermage procedure

After assessing where your skin would most benefit from strengthening, tightening and slight lifting, your practitioner will place a treatment guidance grid on those areas of your skin. The grid is used as a map for the doctor to assure delivering the correct dose of Radio Frequency energy to each square centimeter we desire to strengthen and plump. Throughout the treatment, coupling gel is placed on the skin surface to make sure the RF energy is delivered evenly and safely from the hand piece into the skin. The hand piece is moved in a sequential and strategic fashion along each square of the grid while delivering RF in one square, before moving on to the next.  Once the area is sufficiently heated, your practitioner will use the same hand piece to deliver RF to specific sites in order to  achieve a contouring and lifting effect. The treatment can take between 45 min – 90 min, depending on the size of the area to be treated.   Improvements post treatment can be appreciated as early as a day after treatment and can continue to improve up to 6 months after.

Drawbacks:

  • Slight Discomfort: Most pulses of RF are painless but in a few sensitive areas you might feel a sharp deep heating sensation. On a positive note, if you do feel any discomfort, it quickly dissipates as soon as the pulse is over.
  • Costly for Large Areas

The Cost:

Average cost 2000-3500 Euros per treatment.

Where?

Ulthera

Ulthera is an alternative treatment for single session skin tightening and remodeling. Ulthera is indicated  to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin on the brow, neck, and under the chin.

Ulthera

The Technology:

Ulthera uses Ultrasound to tighten skin and muscle by initiating healthy metabolic activity and reparative processes.

Best for:

I like it best for the neck and brow area.

Ulthera Neck

The Benefits:

  • See it than treat it approach”: It’s the only device of its kind that so accurately previews exactly at what depth going to treat in the skin. Using diagnostic US Ulthera can image and project on-screen where the SMAS muscle layer is.  The doctor can then use the data concerning the thickness of your skin and location of this muscle layer (SMAS) to make sure we treat at an adequate depth to tighten both skin and muscle.
  • More Similar to Surgical Lift: As mentioned above, the Ultrasound energy is focused on the SMAS muscle layer. The SMAS is an important target as it will create the tightening of the skin to the muscle and give results more similar to surgical correction of neck and face.
  • Neck and brow area: Again, with Ulthera, there are incredible lifting results seen for the neck and brow area. I prefer Ulthera for the neck area over Thermage (mentioned above) or Elixis Elite. (discussed below).

The Procedure:

ulthera procedure

Once skin is assessed and Ulthera device correctly calibrated for your treatment, another layer of ultrasound gel is placed on the skin. The hand piece is then passed section by section to the area you desire to improve, until the whole treatment zone is treated. Once the entire zone is treated, your Ulthera therapy is complete. The treatment time is usually between 60-90 minutes. The improvement appears gradually over 2-3 months and may take up to 6 months post treatment to appreciate full improvement. The skin will visually appear healthier and you will notice a shifting of the skin to a more youthful position.

Drawbacks:

  • Discomfort: Most patients need to take some sort of oral pain medication. The treatment is quite uncomfortable for many patients.  Additionally, sensitivity may persist days after treatment in some sensitive individuals. For this reason, I feel best for smaller areas of concern.

The Cost:

2000-3000 Euros per treatment

Where?

Elixis Elite

Exilis Elite uses volumetric heating of the deep skin layers to and produce long-term benefits to the skin. The heating stimulates the collagen and helps empty localized fat deposits. The final result is smoother, firmer and defined skin.

Exilis

The technology:

Elixis effectiveness is primarily based on a high frequency Monopolar RadioFrequency energy. Effective doses of RF are possible because of a sophisticated cooling system. This feature allows the doctor to measure and modify temperature and intensity as it aims to treat different areas of the body.

Best For:

Elixis can be performed on both the face and body, but, in my opinion, is best for the décolleté and body areas.  Elixis is very gentle for the thin skin of the décolleté and is much more affordable for those who want an effective treatment for body skin toning. I especially like Elixis for the saggy leg skin as it is a difficult and expensive to treat with other modalities.

exilis results

Exilis Results

The Benefits:

  • NO Pain: The procedure is painless and no medication or anesthesia is ever required. Using an Energy Flow Control System (EFC), Elixis assures homogenous treatment of the entire treatment zone. This avoids energy peaks which could put the patient at risk for over-treatment and side effects in certain areas.
  • Effect on Fat: Additionally Elixis Elite may have some effect on Fat, shrinking the  volume of the treatment zone as well. For this reason, your doctor may insist you do a bit of exercise post treatment to aid in the lymphatic systems removal of fat from your system!
  • Rapid Treatment: Each area can be treated in 15-20 minutes making treatment of several areas in the same session possible.

The Procedure:

Exilis Procedure

During treatment skin temperature is assessed to stay within range of therapeutic but safe heating profiles. The applicator will cool the skin externally while stimulate the deep skin layers from within. During an Exilis treatment, precisely controlled radio frequency energy heats the deep skin layers. This heat causes fat cells to shrink and contracts the skin tissue, stimulating new collagen production in the process. You may feel a deep but tolerable heating sensation during treatment. Patients usually.  start seeing the results after only a month post treatment. Like Thermage and Ulthera, patients may continue to improve months after the last treatment.

Downside:

  • Multiple Treatments: Exilis must be repeated 3-6 times over 2 months to obtain maximum results.

The Cost:

150-250 Euros per treatment. (remember 3-6 treatments most often necessary)

Where?

 

Some Additional Facts

  • All devices are considered “without downtime”: You can continue on with your normal life right after treatment. The only precautions are taken for the first 24 hours where we advise avoiding direct sunlight and intense exercise.
  • You may experience a flash improvement. This occurs immediately after the procedure and is due to either slight swelling or temporary contraction of the collagen fibers! You will love your fresh look post treatment but know that this may go away within a day of your treatment! I often tell patients to take advantage of this and plan a social event that evening!
  • Unlike laser, these treatments are colorblind!! They can be used on all skin types without any risk! In fact, the darker your natural skin type, the more likely you have high fibroblastic activity! This means you produce collagen faster and are more likely to get fantastic outcomes!
  • The degree which you improve from these skin-tightening wonders can vary based on your bodies own genetic potential to heal and regenerate collagen. This is affected by your genetics, diet and lifestyle.
  • You can help enhance your results by eating foods that encourage collagen production. Check out my post here “Eat Yourself Beautiful”.
  • There are also fantastic supplements, which supply primarily amino acid building blocks. Providing the right amino acids assures that our body has the supply it need to construct new collagen we have encouraged with the treatment.  Try Proglyme.
  • Finally, preparing the skin with treatments such as PRP or Fraxel can help initiate the health and circulation of skin prior to your skin tightening treatment.  This prepping process will help assure you get the most of your Skin Tightening procedure.  Since Fraxel is not recommended until after the summer months PRP would be an excellent option. For more on PRP check our my previous post “PRP and the Vampire Facelift
  • Finally for some recommendations on products which help encourage body skin health and tone please check “The Body Project: Skin Essentials”.  Vitamin C is a core ingredient which you should look for when choosing a collagen protective cream.  Those organic creams with natural plant anti-inflammatories can also protect your skin from stress and accelerated degradation of your skins natural collagen.
Thermage, Ulthera, Exilis Non Surgical Lifting

Keep skin naturally fit and tone!!

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Is the Jet-Set Life Aging you? Your Guide on Keeping it Glamorous.

traveling should be chic.... preserve the glamor by incorporating travel tips 

So everyone assumes the life of those who travel the globe to be tré chic. When done well, the average Jet-Setter DOES have the opportunity to regularly enjoy and assimilate cultures, foods, scents, and experience adventure not easily found in the comfort ones city. It is exciting BUT what you don’t take into consideration is the constant movement and lack of consistency can take a toll on health and, most definitely, your appearance. Living out of a suitcase means your whole nurturing environment gets tossed. Your diet, beauty, sleep and exercise routines are sacrificed.  Some, are genetically better equipped to handle such chaos, while most start, to look and feel worn out.

Consistent travel results in a drop in both energy and immunity. Also, our mood, digestion, weight, skin and hair rebel! So how to prevent these not-so-glamorous outcomes?

exhaustion not glamerous

Here are somethings I have learned and adapted into my own travel-heavy life. Frequent flyer or not, I hope you can find some of these helpful when you getting ready for some taxing travel.

PRE-FLIGHT TIPS

boost immunity pre flight

1.    Arm your immune system: Getting sick is quite easy when traveling by air. Not only is your immunity compromised by the stresses of traveling itself, but , the air conditions in flight make you much more susceptible to getting sick.  Cabin air has only about 10-15% humidity. Low humidity means germs can soar from one person to another much easier, without getting trapped in moisture. Additionally, because of the close proximity to your neighbor, bacteria,  viruses and other pathogens don’t have to travel far to infect you.  Dry air also results in a breakdown of  your bodies naturally protective mucous membranes. Your nose cannot as effectively trap and prevent pathogens from entering and, we are therefore, infected more easily to whatever is in the air. Because of this, we need all the help we can get to make sure we are best equipped to fight off whatever airplane bugs may come our way.

  • If your lifestyle is a little choppy…Get yourself hooked on a daily multivitamin.  Any deficiency in vitamin, mineral or antioxidants can mean depressed immunity. If you are too busy to watch your nutrient intake then a multivitamin can help complement an unbalanced diet.
    • How to pick a multivitamin? It’s not easy but according to the reported by CNN Health “Avoid the vitamins singled out by ConsumerLab.com, and stick with mainstream names such as Centrum Silver and One-A-Day Women’s, which were found to be free of impurities and accurately labeled. Also, check vitamin bottles for the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), NSF International (NSF), or ConsumerLab.com (CL) seals. The USP and NSF are nonprofit groups that verify whether companies offer contamination-free products and use good manufacturing practices. Not every brand has the seals — some don’t want to submit to testing–but those that do (Kirkland and Nature Made carry the USP seal, for instance) are reliable.”

      nature made vitamins

  • Take a probiotic. Studies show that probiotic can help improve absorption of nutrients necessary for healthy immune system. Probiotic also can help make sure we have an appropriate line of defense for those pathogens attempting entrance in the gut. Since probiotic help establish a balance of healthy bacteria in the lining of the intestines, the bad bacteria are unable to thrive in this environment.

Probiotic for immunity

  • Have a healthy breakfast and squeeze in a healthy dose of antioxidants and super-foods. These will reinforce your immune system and give you natural energy. Try a spinach and berry almond milk smoothie with a teaspoon of flax seeds. I mean to talk about super-foods in the future but, until then, check out the site SuperFoodsRX.

spinach berry almond smoothie

  • If you are not good at taking a multivitamin or are in too much of a rush to have a healthy breakfast, you need to think of a plan B. Below are some trusted supplements that can support your immune system.
    • Start taking AirBorne a day or two prior to your flight and continue to take it three times a day for 3 days. Airborne has a combination of essential vitamin, minerals and herbs for optimal immune function. I love the new chewable versions as you can take them any time any where with no excuses!Airborne chewable supplements for immunity
    • Put a few drops of Dr Brandt antioxidant water booster in your water bottle.  I do this daily as it assures me that, despite my crazy schedule, I am receiving a balanced supply of antioxidants in my system.  Antioxidants support healthy immune system and healthy skin.

Antioxidant water booster by Dr Brandt

2.      Prep your skin:  We need to boost health, hydration and vitality of skin prior to exposing it to less than ideal air conditions. Both the extreme dryness and the increased exposure to pathogens make airplane air a nightmare for those who want to maintain youthful and flawless skin. A preflight skin ritual can help protect the skin from both dehydration and breakouts. Below, I suggest a few ways you enhance your skins immunity to aggressive travel conditions.,

Oxygen Peel for Preflight DetoxEmerginC Detox Mask

Skin Ceuticals Vit B5

3.    Invest in chic but comfortable travel attire: Chic and Comfy can co-exist! The Europeans do this fantastically! How? Look for loose-fitting styles which can be layered to best adapt to temperature changes.

for chic and healthy airport fashion

Tight clothing can impede normal blood flow and aggravate an already challenged in-flight circulation.  Especially for those of you who fly on a weekly basis, you want to make sure your circulatory and lymphatic system are working optimally and avoid pooling in the lower extremities. This pooling can cause pain, damage vessels and potentially worsen varicose veins. Also, for the ladies, I suggest buying a pair of fold up ballet flats to bring in your purse when your heels get uncomfortable! I love these here by Fab Flipsters Pumps – Fold-Up Travel-Friendly Ballet Flats or check out the variety City Slips.

For Chic Healthy travel try Fab Flipsters

4.     Practice Yoga: Everyone is familiar with the aches and pains of sitting in a cramped airplane seat. Your neck shoulders hips and ankles hurt!! Exercise in general boosts immunity, but yoga, has additional benefits to muscles and joints conditioning. Yoga, therefore, is an ideal way to prepare your body for the conditions of air travel. The mornings of travel, I personally forego my morning jog, for a bit yoga. Even if I have a flight at dawn, I manage to practice a few asanas I know will increase my metabolism and releases shoulder and hip tension.

GREAT PRE FLIGHT EXERCISE

5.      Pack your own food:  Airport food is not only high in unhealthy fat and calories but is pumped with preservatives! I try to avoid eating in airports and airplanes at all costs. If I do eat something it’s when I stumble upon an organic ecologic market or somewhere I feel they consciously have raised their nutritional standards.  Most often, I survive on some healthy food I pre-packed for the trip; raw nuts, a few protein bars, some fruit and maybe a sandwich with organic almond butter. If necessary I compliment my hunger with some go-to airport food such as garden salads, simple pastas or fresh fruit juice.

Keep healthy traveling, snacks for the plane

6.       Avoid Caffeine : Try to avoid at least coffee the day of travel.  Again, the cabin air in flight is very dry, increasing likelihood of dehydration and symptoms of low blood volume (dizziness, nausea, headache).  Caffeine will further dehydrate you and make these symptoms more common. To feel your best, opt for herbal or non-caffeinated Green tea on the morning of your travel. To wake up, a fresh fruit smoothie or orange juice works wonders.

Green Energy Smoothie in place of coffee

Replace your coffee with a green energy smoothie

IN-FLIGHT TIPS

Once in flight, there are a few tips which can help make your trip as comfortable and less physically taxing as possible.

1. Avoid sitting cross-legged: Although there are no studies linking sitting cross-legged with increase incidence of health or aesthetic related risks… most experts agree avoiding it can spare you veins a lot of unnecessary stress. especially in the cases where you must sit for long periods of time, you don’t want to further compromise your circulation. Crossing your legs, while in-flight, makes it easier for blood to pool in your lower extremities, aggravating varicose veins, ankle swelling and putting you at risk for symptoms of low blood pressure.

Dont cross your legs on planes

Doing many things wrong here but on the bright side definitely NOT crossing legs! Bravo!

2. Choose an aisle seat: Not only does sitting in the aisle allow you to get up and stretch your legs more often, but it also can help protect you from additional UV exposure.  To-date airplanes are not mandated to use UV protective glass for their windows. Some newer airplanes DO carry such glass, but , it’s not easy to find out exactly which carry this feature.  At certain altitudes UV exposure can be magnified and, with regular exposure, more dangerous to both your skin and eyes. For this reason, it is my opinion to be better safe than sorry and sacrifice your bird’s eye view for the practical assurance of an aisle seat.

choosing the right seat is important to your health

3. Coat your lips: The precious eye and lip areas most often fall victim to the dry air as they are exposed to harsh in-flight atmosphere. The lips especially get effected because of the frequent contact to liquids followed by the dry air (this assuming you are all drinking LOTs of water).  Because of this, most passengers leave the airplane with pale, dry and cracked lips. How can we protect them?

protect your lips

protect your lips…they are worth it!

4.      Avoid Alcohol and Salt: Sorry wine and salted nut fans….this is a detrimental combo for those wishing to arrive to your destination feeling clear-headed and fresh.  Alcohol consumption will dehydrate you and the salt will just enhance this effect and furthermore contribute to edema, or swelling, of the hands and feet. Additionally, the US Department of Transportation cautions that travelers who consume these dehydrating beverages that they may be at increase their risk of contracting a respiratory infection. Again, these components will leave you feeling disoriented, weak, puffy and with and increase possibility of getting sick!

avoid feeling unhealthy while traveling

Feeling terrible on your trip! Next time avoid the salt and alcohol!

5.   Embrace your hand sanitizer. This is an extremely valuable tool as it can prevent  you from getting infected by any germs you may find laying around arm rests and seats. As I mentioned above, germs travel faster and further in dry cabin air. Also you are within a short radius of at least 6 potentially sick passengers. I know they can be quite drying to the skin but it might be workth giving it a go ATLEAST prior to your meals!  I love Soap and Glory’s Hand Sanitizer, simply for its’ smell and convenient size!

soap and glory hand sanitizer

POST-FLIGHT TIPS

1. Avoid Jet Lag: Adapt most efficiently to your time zone. Follow the Schedule of your current time zone. Don’t stress about the sleep you lost. The faster you embrace your surroundings, live in the present and accept your new bedtime, the faster you recover and the more rest you will acquire overall.  Remember to eat accordingly and use melatonin for sleep adjustment when back in your home town. For tips on how to cultivate the most refreshing sleep, check out my previous post on “Beauty Sleep, Your Inner Symphony and a Better World”

beat jet lag

2.   Start Post-Travel Skin Recovery: Vitalize and Refresh Jet-Stressed skin.

Now that you have arrived to your destination make sure you read into your skins’ needs. If you feel its very “dirty”, repeat the pre-flight detox regimen, if too dry, continue with the pre-flight hydrating products OR if just kind-of “off” or needs a SOS overhaul, try one of the following products : SKII Treatment Masks, Kiehls midnight recovery complex or LAB Age Rescue Face Lotion for Men.

SKII Treatment mask

love these… rescue a shady complexion in a flash!

It’s not easy but with some stricat habits and a bit of priming and prepping… you can comfortably continue this hectic yet rewarding lifestyle without it costing your health, sanity and youthful qualities!

glamorous travel

Cheers to those frequent flyer miles, seeing the world and keeping it Glamorous!

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EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL: DETOX, TONE and PUMP

Now that we know what nutrients can help us protect, plump and burn us beautiful, we can continue to enhance our aesthetics by incorporating foods aimed at detoxing, toning and supporting healthy vessels. Below, I list some of the key nutrients and foods key in our mission to cultivate natural beauty through health.

detpx for beauty

DETOX NUTRIENTS
Why is detoxing or “gut purification” important? By incorporating detox foods we can purge the body of harmful substances which cause less than optimal function and appearance of the body.  These foods can mean better absorption of nutrients, more energy, a sharper mind and of course more beautiful hair, skin and overall physique. For more on some benefits, see my previous post where I talk about benefits of such practices ¨Pre Hoilday Detox¨

detox for healthy digestion

To appropriately support our bodies attempt to eliminate what is harmful and function well, we need to optimize liver, kidneys and gut function. To do this, we must both clean and stimulate these organs.  The foods listed below can help us do just this.

Chlorophyll: Assists in  the digestion and the elimination of toxic metals, herbicides, chemicals, metals and pesticides. Chlorophyll, also, helps promote flow of cleansing bile and enzymes which aid in digestion and liver function.

Best Sources: Blue green algae, wheatgrass, spirulina, spinach, chard, and arugula.

Chlorophyll for Detoxification

Vitamin C: As you may have noticed in my past posts, this super vitamin is essential to many bodily functions. It´s role in detoxification stems from it´s ability to transform toxins into digestible materials which can then be easily eliminated out of the body. Vitamin C also aids digestion, stimulating digestive enzymatic processes, and promotes faster metabolism of nutrients.

Best Sources: Lemons and Grapefruits are best for detoxification. Drinking water with these fruits can help support the detox function.

 lemons and grapefruit for detox

Catechins: A plant antioxidant known to increase liver function and prevent fat accumulation in liver. A fatty liver is consistent with damage and disease, so it´s prevention is valuable in maintaining liver health.

Best Source: Yes Again…..Green Tea. Green Tea is also light diuretic and vasodilator, assuring higher rate of filtration of lymphatic and circulatory fluids.

green tea smoothie detox

Turmeric:  This pungent Indian Spice has a protective function for the liver and the ability to regenerate damaged liver cells.  Tumeric like, chlorophyll can boost bile production and positively affect gallbladder function.

Best Ways to incorporate Tumeric into your life: Check out this website here from MindBodyGreen.

turmeric for detox

Variety of Raw or Juiced vegetables. The combination of these vegetable stimulate various enzymatic processes and help cleanse and purge the body of toxins accumulated.

Some Must-Add Varieties: Almost all fruits and veggies add value to digestive health but some have a bit more weight.

raw food detox

  • Avocados, Kale and Brussel sprouts:   These contain a rich source of Glutathione, a compound with strong detoxifying power, which helps breakdown carcinogens and fight free radicals. These foods actively promote liver health by protecting it against toxic overload, and boosting its cleansing power
  • Walnuts: Contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, also help detoxify the liver of disease-causing ammonia.
  • Watercress: Has the ability to improve elimination of carcinogens in urine, increase antioxidant levels and reduce the cancer related DNA damage.  Studies have shown watercress to be very helpful in smokers, helping excrete higher amounts of the dangerous carcinogens in the urine.
  • Artichokes: Contain cynarine which Increase bile production and improve digestion.
  • Cranberries: With natural antibacterial, antioxidant (hippuric acid), antiviral and  probiotic benefits, the cranberry has potent power for restoring digestive and urinary health. Organic juices are usually the best source.
  • Pears, Apples, Guava, Raisins : These fruits supply us with an important fiber known as Pectin. Pectin facilitates the elimination of harmful substances through the digestive tract. Pectin also promotes cellular turnover in the colon and helps prevent colon cancer.

Probiotics:  By supplying bacteria to the intestines we can aid in optimal digestion and detoxification processes.

Best Source: Organic Kefir

organic lactose free kefir

Note: Remember the best detox foods are organic varieties. Organic food is grown with the careful exemption of  harmful or unnecessary substances that may be linked to health hazards.

MUSCLE TONING NUTRIENTS

Tone muscles mean a faster metabolism, a better figure and less apparent cellulite.  These nutrients will help your body get the fuel it needs to build long, lean and healthy muscle.

eat for tone muscles

Omega 3 fatty acids: Once again this super nutrient commands recognition. Not only is it a super anti-ageing food, but, it supports muscle health and tone. Omega 3s increase blood flow to the muscles, keeping them well nourished while, at the same time, protecting them from breakdown.  Omega 3s also, with their anti-inflammatory properties, cut down on muscular recovery time after strenuous physical activities.

Best sources: Cold water fatty fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts or algae. Supplements are also an option. For more on best Omega 3 benefits check out my post here on ¨10 AntiAging Things you can do everyday.”

omega 3 sources

B Vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin), each essential for protein metabolism, energy production and nerve health. All of these processes are vital for muscle function and preservation.

Best Sources: Whole grains, eggs, lean meats, legumes, nuts, leafy greens, and fortified cereals. Fellow vegetarians beware!! If you are not eating eggs, you might need to take a vitamin B12 supplement as its only found in animal products! Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve health and muscle contraction!

B vitamin sources

High Protein Foods: Our body needs protein sources to create muscle.

Best Sources: Egg whites, whey protein, white fish, chicken breasts, lean beef, tofu, or beans and lentils. Nutritionists recommend  2 servings of high-quality, lean protein a day, (each serving about a cup), to maintain muscular tone and health.

protein for muscle

Low or Non Fat Dairy: These dairy choices provide a type of protein called casein which because digested slower, supplies the body with energy and nutrition over a long time. Also the calcium content in dairy has great benefits to muscle. Calcium is essential for muscle contraction and growth. Also, helps prevent muscle cramping during workouts. This said, lean dairy is great muscle-building food pre and post-workout for those who want to maintain long lean physiques!

Best Sources: Try organic low-fat cottage cheese and non-lactose fat-free milk. For those who don’t consume dairy, the fortified dairy-free products, can also be a great source of calcium and lean protein.

low fat cottage cheese great protein source

Note: Of course, to build and maintain muscle, there are other choices your nutritionist may recommend. The above choices, are just some nutrients I have found most consistent and helpful in my own journey to keep fit and tone!

VASCULAR FITNESS FOODS

Studies have consistently proven that what we eat can help improve our circulatory health. By normalizing intravenous pressure and reinforcing the vascular structure, the right nutrients can make vessels more resistant to the induced stress and damage. The aesthetic result is a decreased tendency to form unsightly varicose and spider veins.  The following nutrients will provide you with the support your veins need to assure best circulatory health and flawless legs. For more on maintaining healthy leg circulation and preventing vascular lesions check out my previous post on here. For some insight on how to treat varicose and spider veins, check out another post I wrote on the subject here.

leg diet

Polyphenols:  A group of flavonoids, known for their ability to protect the vascular system by preventing oxidative stress. They do this by preventing the aggregation (clumping and sticking) of low-density lipoproteins (LDL aka bad cholesterol). They also act to improve overall circulation by stimulating the  vessels to vasodilate.

Best Sources: Pomegranates and Rosemary.

 pomegranates for vascular health

Quercetin-3-rutinoside or Rutin: An essential flavonoid with ability to improve venous circulation by decreasing capillary permeability and strengthening the walls of veins. Rutin is flavonoid, or plant pigment with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vaso-protective properties. Rutin works together with Vitamin C to strengthens the walls of you veins, leaving them healthier, more tone and with the ability to withstand higher pressures and stress.

Best Sources: Buckwheat, berries, citrus fruits, and green tea.

 

Buckwheat and berries for vein health 

Betacyanin: A plant pigment and potent antioxidant. Betacyanin is  especially helpful in protecting the vessels walls from being damaged by oxidative stress. In addition to reducing LDL cholesterol, it reduces levels of homocystein in the blood. Homocystein is an amino acid known to be quite harmful to blood vessel walls. For this reason keeping homocystein levels low with betacyanin sources, is considered protective for the vessels.

Best Source: Beets

Beets for vein health

Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins: These plant sourced pigments help support the structural integrity of the vessels and improve overall venous circulation. These are especially valued because of their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities.  Additionally, they assist in healthy behavior of platelets, and repairing damaged vessels.

Best Source: Berries

 

berries for vascular health 

Bromelain and Other Fibrinolytic Compounds:These increase the fibrinolytic activity and therefore prevent fibrin deposits within the vessel walls. Fibrin deposits cause vessels to harden, increasing intravascular pressure and damage.

Best Sources: Cayenne pepper, Ginger and Pineapple.

Pineapple and cayenne pepper for vascular health

Asparagine: An amino acid that serves as a natural diuretic, helping remove fluid and preventing edema. Since edema can cause increased pressure on the venous circulation, preventing it means less stress on your valves and vessel walls. Less stress means less damage on the veins and decreased incidence of spider and varicose veins.

Best Source: Asparagus

Asparagus for vein health

So now that you have all the knowledge you need to Eat Yourself Beautiful, I encourage you not to wait! Make all your meals about nurturing your body to function optimally and reflect the ravishing nutrition you so carefully chose for it!

Cheers to delicious food and getting a bit closer to what nature intended us to portray…. our most raw form of beauty!

natural beauty

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EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL:   Protect, Plump and Burn

eat yourself Beautiful

I believe core health stems from how we nourish it. Every meal can make a difference in your mood, immunity and overall well-being. I have discussed how what you eat can affect your mood in a previous post. Today, I how to encourage you to eat well for sake of your physical well-being. It does help that these same nutrients also highlight our aesthetic virtues! So, arm your image naturally and incorporate these key beauty foods daily!

I have broken up these beauty foods into two posts. This first post I will address the key Sun Protecting, Collagen Promoting and Fat Burning nutrients and their food sources.

In the next post, I will address the nutrients which best Detoxify, Promote Muscle and Vascular Health.

All the foods discussed will help balance, restore and vitalize the body. With these foods, we can function optimally and reveal our most beautiful selves!

Sun Protecting Nutrients

With summer imminent, we need all the help we can get to increase our defenses from harmful UV radiation.

  •  Lycopene: A carotenoid that serves to protect the skin from the long-term effects of radiation. Carotenoids are critical to the photosynthetic process and protect a plant or organism from damage by light and oxygen.

sun protecting watermelon

Best Sources: Cooked tomatoes (offer higher lycopene concentrations than raw option) and Watermelon. Studies show that cooking in olive oil greatly increases absorption and therefore benefits of carotenoids like lycopene (Asia Pacific J Clin Nurt 2005, Journal of British Dermatology).

  • Astaxanthin: Another super-carotenoid that attributes to the coloring of many marine and aquatic animals. Works as a internal sunscreen, protecting the skin from UV damage with added anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown 4-6 weeks of supplementation can help reverse signs of UV aging such as wrinkles and sun spots. (Experimental Derm 2009).

protect yourself from sundamage with salmon

Best Sources: Wild Salmon best, trout, shrimp and lobster also good sources.

  • Beta Carotene: Helps repair skin damaged from sun exposure.

carrots and sweet potatoes for skin health

Best Sources: You need about 30 mg daily, equivalent to 6 carrots or a sweet potato. Other sources include kale, spinach, mangos and apricots.

  • Antioxidants: Protect and reverse free radical damage caused by sun exposure. For some ideas on how topical antioxidants can help further protect the skin from sun effects, please refer to my previous ¨Skin Youth and Antioxidants” post here.

pomagranate and blueberries protect skin

Best Sources: Dark color fruits and veggies. Pomegranate and blueberries have especially high levels of antioxidants and reduce ability of UVB induced cancer cell formation.

  • Triterpenoids: 2007 study at Cornell University found this group of important chemical compounds which act as natural anti-inflammatory agent and prevent formation of skin cancer cells.

apple peels for skin health

Best Sources: Organic Red Apple, grape tomato and olive skins.

  • EGCG: A natural phytochemical that fights free radicals and decreased sun induced inflammation. An ideal anti-aging agent.

organic green tea protects skin

Best Sources: Green Tea.  A 2011 report in Journal of nutrition saw improvements in elasticity roughness, scaling and moisture content in those who consumed green tea regularly over 12 weeks. Other studies have shown that green tea can also help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by limiting blood supply to abnormally behaving cells.

  • Quercetin– Another helpful chemical which helps protect skin form oxidizing sun effects.

black tea for skin health

Best Source: Black Tea

  • Selenium: Essential mineral which acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and is needed for skin repair. Selenuim is needed to make a potent antioxidant glutathione peroxidase which fights development of cancer and skin aging. Also helps decrease incidence of sunburn and promote even skin tone.

crimini mushrooms for skin health

Best Source: Crimini Mushrooms and Fish (especially Red Snapper).

  • Omega 3: A 2013 study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that regular supplementation of omega 3s, protected skin from UV induced immunosuppression. This ability is what assures skin maintains its defenses to cancer and illness. For more on Omega 3s see my post “10 anti-aging things you can do every day”.

fish and flaxseed for sun protection

Best Source: Cold water fish, flax seed and walnuts.

  • Melatonin:  Melatonin acts as an antioxidant in the skin and protects DNA from UV induced damage. Melatnonin is best know for its ability to regulate the sleep cycle. For more information on this check out my post on “Beauty Sleep” here.

melatonin from cherries good for sleep and skin health

Best Source: Montmorency Cherries. These tart cherries have surprisingly high levels of melatonin, making them an ideal for both pre bed-time snack and a part of your summertime skin diet.

Collagen Promoting Nutrients

Collagen, elastin and soft keratin attribute to the connective tissue base of skin. This base provides strength and structure to our skin. As normal aging occurs collagen production and restructuring processes slow down. Because of this, our skin becomes increasingly thin, less elastic and weaker. The result is increased incidence of wrinkles, sagging and greater propensity to accumulate broken blood vessels and sun spots. There are treatments to help awaken sleepy skin, but, without appropriate and adequate nutrition, collagen cannot be made! Protecting skin from sun-damage will also help slow collagen degeneration so incorporating sun-protecting habits will assure strong, healthy and plump skin.

  • Turmeric: This anti-aging nutrient serves as a potent antioxidant which resists collagen degradation by producing protective hyaluronic acid.

kidney beans increase hyaluronic acid in skin

Best Source: Red Kidney Beans. Two tablespoons of beans a day help maintain healthy hyaluronic acid levels!

  • White tea: A study published in 2009 reports that White tea, above all others, has the most protective properties on collagen and elastin. (Journal BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Its extremely high concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants should be enough to convince you to make White Tea your go-to collagen preserving beauty drink!!

collagen stimulating organic white tea

  • Sulfur, Taurine and Lipoid acid “Collagen Trio”: Supports healthy production and repair of collagen.

Garlic and collagen production

Source of Collagen Trio: Garlic!!

  • Vitamin C– This Vitamin is critical for the skins defense against free radicals and is necessary collagen production and repair! Many current studies are reiniterating the importance of this basic vitamin in the prevention of premature skin aging and in healthy restoration of damaged skin.  For information on topical products incorporating Vitamin C for skin protection, see my previous post here.

lychees help encourage collagen production

Best Sources: Hot peppers, guavas, sweet peppers, black currants, lychees and rose hip plant.

  • Genistein: An element essential in promoting collagen production while also protecting existing collagen by inhibiting certain enzymes responsible for its degredation.

organic soy products for collagen

Best Sources: Organic Soy Products.

  • Manuka Honey: A honey variety from new Zealand, promoting cellular renewal, anti-inflammatory effects and formation of stronger, more resistant collagen.

Manuka honey for collagen

  • Plant Steroids: Encourages collagen production.

avocado oil for collagen

Best Source: Avocado oil.

Fat Busting Nutrients

Who doesn’t need a little boost in fat metabolism? Keep these foods readily available, especially during pool time festivities!

  • Capaicin: Boost fat metabolism by increasing the body’s internal temperature and caloric needs. Studies show consistent appetite suppression and weight loss with regular consumption!

spices for metabolism

Best Sources: Cayenne and jalapeño peppers.

  • Sulfur and B complex Vitamin rich foods: Support function of metabolism stimulating adrenal gland.

Sulfur and B vitamin foods for weight loss

Best Sources: Garlic, apples strawberries blueberries and lemons.

  • Thermogengic foods– These foods require more calories during digestion than they provide when consumed.

Thermogenic food for fat metabolism

Best Sources: Broccoli, spinach and tomatoes.

  • Leptin reducing foods: Studies done in mice and other animals show that lower leptin levels are associated with faster metabolisms and more efficiently burn fat. (University of Wisconsin) We believe that leptin has similar effect in humans.

sashimi

Best Sources: Fish

  • High Fiber Fruits: Help your body burn fat by helping mobilize contents through the digestive tract faster. This favors the absorption of vital nutrients essential for optimal metabolism and fat oxidation! For more on the benefits of a high fiber diet check out my post on ¨10 Anti-Aging Things You Can Do Every Day¨

strawberries and blueberries for fat metabolism

Best Sources: Strawberries, blueberries

  • Citrus Foods:  The chemical properties of these fruits help decrease insulin levels and promote faster metabolism and weight loss.

kiwi and grapefruit fat burn

Best Sources: Lemons, kiwis and grapefruit.

  • High Protein, Calcium Products: Organic sources usually supply high quality amino acids and proteins which help suppress appetite. Rich supplies of calcium assure healthy blood levels and avoid triggered release of calcitrol. Keeping calcitrol low is smart since it encourages storage of fat. Calcitrol also lowers production of the stress related hormone cortisol. Cortisol encourages accumulation of dangerous visceral fat. For more on dangers of cortisol and visceral fat see my previous post “ Your Waistline and Health”.

tofu and arugula fat burning foods

Best Sources: Fat free organic dairy, Tofu, Leafy Greens and Legumes.

Fat metabolism super nutrients? Although I´m not prepared to talk about these supplements in this post, there is some interesting evidence supporting their fat metabolizing abilities!   Goji Berries, African Mango and Green Coffee Bean extract are gaining tremendous momentum in the weight loss and fat burning arena.  I may decide to revisit in future post but until then, feel free to investigate on your on your own and inquire at your nutritionists office about their potential benefits. 

So, I hope from this post you have learned what foods encourage you natural beauty by:

  • Improving your skins ability to protect and repair itself from sun,
  • Preserving youthful skin structure and collagen production and …
  • Revving-up your fat metabolism!

Check back next week for my next post where you I fill you in on the key beauty nutrients responsible for helping our body detoxify, promoting lean muscle and improving circulatory health! 

Cheers to promoting beauty with food and a colorful, spicy and refreshing summer diet!

2 Comments

For those near their ideal weight , lumps and bumps could be frustrating ..especially after months of commitment to the gym and a healthy diet. Now with top notch technology you can get the results, you thought just wasn’t in your DNA. Below I give you the skinny on these body shaping wonder devices!  Say goodbye to love handles, pudgy bellies and saddlebags safely ,with the help of your trusted doctor!

Body Shaping Solutions

The below technologies are non-invasive (no needles, knives or probes used), effective and most importantly, when in experienced hands, safe!

The first 2 options are one time wonders, although can be repeated for further benefits. The last 2 are treatments which are a bit more affordable per session, but need to be repeated to get the appreciated results.

What’s HOT?       Liposonix by Solta Medical

Liposonix

The Technology:   High frequency Focused UltraSound energy is used to thermally induce fat cell destruction at a fixed depth within the fat.  This highly focused way to using the potent energy ultrasound (U/S) assures a controlled and selective way to  destroy the fats cells permanently. That said, Liposonix offers consistent results and allows the doctor the ability to shape and contour with high efficiency and ease.

how liposonix works

The Promise:    Thanks to its thermal effects, targets fat with the additional benefit of collagen stimulation and skin firming. Each treatment  is about an 1 hour long and yields a drop in 1 dress/pant size.  “The Custom Contouring™ capabilities of the Liposonix® System is deemed elite in that it allows fat elimination and contouring in ONE SINGLE SESSION. 

FDA:    Approved for non-invasive waist circumference reduction (i.e abdomen and flanks). In Europe have approval to additionally treat thigh circumference, hips, “saddle bags” and for buttock contouring (think tight round and smooth Buttock!).

The Procedure:   Doctor will mark the desired areas for contouring then target treatment by placing transducers over marked areas.  You will feel heat as the energy created by the US works to destroy fat cells.  Bruising and swelling are usually evident by the next day and may take a few weeks to resolve. Patients also say the treated area can be sensitive, “like recovering from intense workout”. Results become apparent after about 2 months with maximal improvement at 12 weeks. Additional treatments can be decided on for further contouring and fat loss. No additional life style modifications are needed to get a successful result…just don’t gain weight!!

The Price:  1500-3000 Euros

The Savants:  Try Clinica Diego de Leon in Madrid, Dr. Proebstle in Germany, Dr. Alexandrides in London, Dr. Chapas in New York or Dr Baumann in Miami. For a doctor near you check out physician locator on the website.

Whats Cool?     CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

Cool Sculpting

The Technology:    Cryolipolysis is procedure that uses a targeted cooling process to decrease temperature of the fat cells to the point they are no longer viable. This process destroys fat cells so the body can then use its natural healing processes to eliminate them.

The Promise:   Targets fat cells without effecting healthy skin cells. Studied and proven to be completely safe to all surrounding tissues, making it a gentle and organic approach to target fat.

cool sculpting before and after

FDA:   Cleared for the treatment of fat in the area of the flanks (love handles) and abdomen.

The Procedure:   After evaluating the area to be treated, your doctor will strategically place a gel pad and then the device panel on the marked skin. Each area  takes about 60 minutes to treat. Treatment time varies from 1-3 hours (depending on the amount of areas you need treated). Patients described the experience as an intense pulling of the skin accompanied by and intense cold feeling which they eventually grow accustomed to.  Post treatment, patients may complain of mild numbness, itching or stinging. Results can be seen after 2 months but may improve up to 6 months after treatment.

The Price: Depends on size of area to be treated but averages $1000 per area.

The Savants:  Try Dr Ribe in Barcelona,  Dr Mayoral in Miami, Dr Narurkar in San Francisco or Dr Braithwaite in Chicago. For more doctors in your area visit the Cool Sculpting Doctor finder.

What’s painless?        I-Lipo by Chromogenex

I Lipo

The Technology:    Uses low-level laser beams (650nm) to facilitate the release of a fat blasting enzyme called lipase. This enzyme works break down and release fat from cells so that it could be metabolized by the body and burned as energy. This procedure DOES NOT destroy the fat cells, but instead empties them so to shrink them in size.

The Promise:   Using a safe, painless procedure you can now shrink areas of concern in a way you would with diet and exercise but in targeted nature and with immediate results seen after a short treatment session. I Lipo maximizes workouts effectiveness by accelerating fat burning and sculpts your body in ways not possible without professional intervention.

I lipo before and after

FDA: Approved for waist circumference reduction.

The procedure: 8 treatments needed (2 treatments/week) Need to exercise 35-40 minutes post treatment to get results.

The price: Averages about 300 Euros/ $250 per treatment.

The Savants: Dr Leonard Grossman MD from New York, Jon Perlman in Beverly Hills or in London try London Harley Street Hethe Boutique Clinic. Check him out here Talking with Dr.Oz. For other doctors in your area check out the website here.

What’s got potential?      UltrashapeV3 by Syneron/Candela

UltraShape V3

The Technology:    Uses the acoustic properties of Ultrasonic energy to mechanically break down a specific volume of fat at a specific depth. The difference with this device, and others using ultrasound, is that the ultrasound energy is pulsed into the fat layer in a way which prevents it from causing any temperature increase (thermal effect). Its premise being that pulsed US without thermal effects is a more gentle and safer treatment. The new Ultrashape V3  uses a synergy of its pulsed focused ultrasound and a vacuum-assisted radio-frequency to causes immediate destruction to the fat cells by strictly mechanical means; preventing collateral damage to other tissues and side effects.

The Promise:    Helps selectively and permanently rid your body of localized fat deposits in multiple body locations. The treatment promises safe, and effective fat removal, with little- to -no discomfort.  The added radio-frequency allows additional skin tightening to treated area.

FDA:  UltraShape V3  approval is pending in the US and it is therefore NOT distributed in the USA.  You can seek treatment in Europe, Canada, Asia or Australia.

The Procedure:  Once your areas of concern are marked the device calibrated to your specific concerns, treatment head is positioned to deliver the first round of radio-frequency. This warms the skin slightly for some rejuvenating benefits and makes the fat more susceptible to the effects of the ultrasound portion of the treatment.  Ultrasound energy is then delivered according to device monitor to assure even and thorough treatment of the targeted fat. Unlike most localized fat treatments, UltraShape V3 is commonly described as quite painless procedure. The protocol usually consists of 3 treatment sessions spaced one month apart.  Each treatment lasts about 30 minutes and results are most often seen within a few weeks.  It  is common to lose 2cm of circumferential fat loss with each treatment. Check this video for more information on how UltraShapes works.

ultrashape V3 before and after

The Price:    Each session costs an average of $700 per treatment.

The Savants: Try Dr. Tufet in Barcelona, Dr. Khanna in Montreal or Dr Gary Cussel in Sydney.  For more doctors in your area contact Syneron or Candela.

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What’s right for you?

Whether you’re battling the bulge or just pressed for time and want to look perfect for an event… one of these devices might be right for you!  Remember, these work best when you are at, or close to, your ideal weight and furthermore won’t work if have an unhealthy lifestyle!   I truly believe these devices can offer supreme solutions for the appropriate and healthy patient! So if you have worked hard to get yourself healthy and fit, but, feel you deserve that extra little push to get that body you always dreamed of….Go for it!

Cheers going the extra mile to look and feel your best!! Take care, stay healthy and see your doctor for extra support!!

Get into your jeans!

Feels great to finally get into those jeans!

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