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.

 

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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.

Honey Bees Help Keep Our Skin Gorgeous

Raw honey has been a favorite ingredient of mine for years. There is a great reason for this. It has an abundance of beauty benefits (as well as health benefits when eaten, in moderation).

First, it is an excellent natural cleanser. It cleans skin as well or better than many store-bought cleansers – without detergents or sulfates! Deteregents and sulfates are not just a no-no for your hair, they are brutal on your skin as well –  breaking down your natural moistsure-barrier. It has natural antibacterial and antifungal to clean and disinfect skin as well, again, without the harsh effects of disinfectants like alcohol, chlorine or detergents.

Raw honey is also an excellent humectant – drawing moisture to your skin to keep it well-hydrated, so skin stays moist after cleansing.  Raw honey is packed with antioxidents, phytonutrients, polyphenols ( a superfamily of naturally-occurring phytochemicals) which assist in the repair of skin damage, as well as prevention, protection from more skin damage.

The natural enzymes in raw honey help to keep your pores clean – so helps avoid break-outs and enlarged pores.

The stuff really is amazing for your skin (and hair, and overall health). Raw Honey is really packed with magical nutrients – above and beyond the ones we have identified as healthful. This is not a fad I am promoting here. It is a fact for healthy, beautiful and blemish-free skin, there really is no match, in nature, or made in the laboratory.

But be careful, only natural raw, unprocessed, unheated honey has these special properties.  On top of it all, it tastes fantastic and is a far superior alternative to table sugar.