Smoking, Drinking, and Sunbathing

She doesn’t look a day over 162!

I can always tell when a woman is a smoker or chronic sunbather. One who smokes and drinks regularly is even easier to spot.

Otherwise beautiful women have leathery skin and fine lines

YIKES!

all over their face. Often voices become raspy. If the skin has a chronic tan, ugh! It is painful.

 

I one time worked with a beautiful woman who was in her early forties. She had huge, wide blue eyes. Beautiful lips, great cheekbones, perfect white teeth lovely hair, but her skin was very tanned and wrinkly. Leathery. It was painful to see this otherwise gorgeous woman ravaged by bad habits. And myths that she believed.

She was convinced that she needed to have a tanned appearance to look good. She also refused to use foundation makeup because it was too cakey and uncomfortable to wear. So she spent hours in tanning beds. Her beautiful face was withering.

I tried to delicately suggest she not use the tanning bed. She insisted she needs the color. Why not make-up, I asked. Too cakey. I can’t wear it. So you are willing to wear leather as skin?!! I was dumbfounded. She just couldn’t accept that there was another way for her to look good.

I am sure she would have looked lovely with un-tanned skin. But she was dead-set on her myth of how she looks good. It worked well throughout her twenties and thirties. It was time to rethink and adjust!!

If I could have taken her home with me, I would have made her use Retin A regularly. And I would KEEP HER OUT OF THE SUN AND TANNING BEDS.

It was just her absolutely untrue believsof that killed her looks. Now for smokers, it is not a belief, but an addiction that continues the damaging behavior.

Don’t even start smoking. Ever. Drinking alcohol daily in large quantities dries skin because it dehydrates our entire bodies. Don’t allow yourself to justify increasing drinking to levels that you KNOW in your heart are unhealthy.

I am aware addictions are not so easy to stop. But by not starting, you have a huge advantage. There are also excellent programs /out there that help addicts recover. To boot, many programs have steps of recovery that help one be happier and a better person. That is always attractive!

Never step foot, (or butt) in a tanning bed. Ever. And, duh, wear sunscreen every day. Period.

 

 

 

 

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Get the Red Out

I use visine, or a similar product every time I want to look extra good. You’re not supposed to use it too often, because we build a tolerance to it, so I am careful about how often I use it.

I use it when I want to look rested and vibrant, which comes to about once every other day. That seems to be adequate to keep my eyes from getting addicted to the stuff.

And it does make a difference in my appearance. My eyes “pop.” The whites of my eyes look whiter and my blue eyes stand out more. If I am having pictures taken, I always drop in come visene.

Just another trick of the beauty trade.

My Special Indulgence: Peppermint Foot Lotion

The soothing and energizing feeling of peppermint lotion on my tired feet after my evening shower of bath, is wonderful. A simple, but luxurious treat.

Besides the delicious aroma, peppermint essential oil is therapeutic. Calming and invigorating simultaneously. Peppermint on feet is especially helpful because it increases blood circulatiaon. It also helps alleviate foot fungus issues, like athlete’s foot that my feet have cronically. Peppermint also reduces pain, making my achy feet more comfortable.

A good hydrating lotion makes my feet feel fresh and dewy – not the hard and caloused things that they feel like by the end of a busy day.

The Body Shop makes a nice peppermint foot lotion. So does Burt’s Bees. I make my own and add lots of peppermint essential oil. Very refreshing.

 

 

Simple, Clean Skin

When the weather gets colder, my skin gets absolutely parched unless I am very careful washing my face. The dry cold disrupts my already fragile moisture barrier and I have to use extremely mild cleansers.

When I need a cosmetic that has qualities I can’t find in a product on the market, I  make it myself.  That is what I did with the cleanser I now use. It is a gentle, nourishing and very simple formula, with avocado oil, vitamin e, and panthenol. I don’t need any other oils or lipids than these in a cleanser. Less is absolutely more when it comes to cleansers.

Of course it has ingredients which clean – but without sudsing and stsripping – the molecules just  bind to grime and are whisked away when I rinse.

Simple science is what I always use in products I make for myslelf.

If you are interested in trying my favorite cleanser, send me an email to   nikkizeoli@gmail.com and I will get you a sample. It is amazing. I bet you’ll think so too.

 

I Start My Day With An Explosion of Healthful Stuff

First you need to know, I started doing this over 15 years ago. Now, “smoothies” are very popular, but I want you all to know, I did it first!! Ok, I was at least among the early ascribers.

Every morning, I throw in a blender, carrot juice, a scoop of vegan protein powder (with stevia as sweetener) and a two huge handfuls of spring mix lettuce, and/or baby spinach, and/or some raw broccoli, and a splash of vanilla almond milk – lightly sweetened with honey, and whirr it up.

Dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli are nutrition super-stars and considered the most nutritious and beneficial foods of all. Not only do they have loads of vitamins and minerals, nutrition professionals are discovering seemingly limitless phytochemicals that carry enormous health benefits. They really are magic. I think most Americans don’t fully grasp the expanse of benefits these vegies bestow on us.

So I drink them every day. By putting them in a blender, NOT A JUICER, I enjoy the full benefits of the whole food.

I am generally not crazy about greens, so, while I do eat salads – usually with tasty dressing – I prefer to drink my nutrition every morning.

This starts my day with a boost of energy, hydrating and supplying nutrients to my skin from the inside, where they work even better, and I don’t feel so guilty on the (many) occasions when I choose to eat not-so-healthy stuff later in the day.

It’s a win-win. Do it.

No Time To Work-Out

 

I have no time to myself. So I have been trying to get as much of a workout in during the day/week that I can. Here’s how I sneak it in. Twice a week at my son’s hour-long boxing class, I weight train pretty intensely (the owner – Rich Dean, in Westport – is kind enough to let me use the weight machines).  I do three sets of each exercise to work a specific body part – working my entire body. I can do this in about twenty minutes if I go continuously. Afterwards, I do a full body stretching.

On top of weight training, I sneak in some cardio. I no longer rely on an hour of slow and steady cardio work (walking, running, elliptical, stairmaster, or climber etc). Instead, I do high intensity interval training. This gives me a better quality workout in less time. I walk/run with my dog for 2.5 miles. I start off walking about a quarter mile, then I run as fast as I can – counting 100 steps. This equals a little over 30 seconds. Then I walk, catch my breath and do it again.  In the course of 2.5 miles I sprint about eight times. That is a damn good workout. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my cardiovascular health and, at my age, that’s important.

When I walk, in general, like in stores, to the pharmacy, into my kids school, I squeeze my butt muscles one side at a time. Doing this consistently is good isometric conditioning. Since I habitually do this, the effects really add up. Also, I squeeze my lower abdominal muscles as often as I can. This works especially well when I am waiting in lines.

All the above, which I do only when I can, but fairly regularly, helps to keep me in good shape. I would like to be in phenominal shape, but right now, that is not a priority. Being healthy and fairly slender (I am ten pounds over my usual weight) is important.

I will have to wait until the kids are much older to have the time to get back in fighting form.