Posts Tagged ‘Beauty’

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What is the Silent, Sneaky Beauty-Killer That Ages Us?

May 10, 2010

Photo courtesy of http://www.ux1.eiu.edu.

Hi Guys,

This post is dedicated to a friend of mine, and was born out of my concern for her, as she flies often.

Low-level radiation is like a killer, because we can’t see it, feel I, hear it, taste it, or smell it. I am not talking about just nuclear weapons, but rather the low levels of exposure we are continuously exposed to on an every day basis.

First off, what is radiation? In the broadest definition, it is the process in which the energy in the form of, for instance, light or heat, is sent out through space. The different types of radiation are classified according to the electromagnetic spectrum by their wavelength and frequency. One end of the spectrum is the “low energy” forms of radiation, which include radio and television waves. These forms have long wavelengths and low frequencies. As we go up the spectrum and the wavelengths become shorter and the frequencies higher, the spectrum expands to include microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultra-violet light, x-rays, and gamma rays. When me move towards this high end of the spectrum, the radiation energies have a special power known as ionization. X-rays and gamma rays, when they pass through a cell, can separate electrons from their atoms and endow these runaway electrons with higher amounts of energy. The result may be tissue damage in many different forms- from cancer to genetic and birth defects.

What are sources of radiation in our lives? Nuclear weapons and nuclear waste is one obvious source. Radon is another. But what I want to really talk about today is everyday, low-level forms of radiation, which emanate from such devices as microwaves, high-voltage power lines, radio transmitters, and cell phones. For years, our society has maintains that exposure to low levels of electromagnetic waves are harmless, but evidence is mounting that all this exposure to low-level radiation is indeed much more harmful that previously thought.

Photo courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk

What is also a major source of radiation exposure? Flying in an airplane. The higher up the plane goes in the atmosphere the more radiation we are exposed to. In a flight from (only!) Los Angeles to San Fancisco there is said to be a tenfold increase in radiation (as  measured by a mini-Geiger counter) that jumps from 12 to 125 radiations per minute when the plan is leveled off at the maximum flight pattern.

What does this really mean? An airplane flying coast to coast will expose the flyer to several hundred milliards (1/1000 of a rad). The average dose for medical X-rays is 300-500 millirads for pelvic X-rays, 100-1000 millirads for a full facial dental X-ray, and 10-500 millirads for chest X-rays. That means that one single flight may expose us to the same or possibly more radiation than a full chest X-ray (!).

This is a big problem because as we know, continual exposure to low-level radiation produces free radicals, a major cause of premature aging and health problems. Free radicals can cause cross-linking among tissue proteins (wrinkles!), inflammation, disrupt and/or deplete the immune system, and can produce mutations. Many researchers in the field of aging agree that free-radical destruction is the basis of aging, or at least always goes along with the aging process.

Dr. Abram Petkau stated (reported from the Radiological Physics Dept. at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) that the free-radical effect from chronic low radiation exposure to be 1,000 times greater than a single large exposure (!). John Gofman, Ph.D., M.D writes in Radiation and Human Health, “Harm in the form of excess human cancer occurs at all doses of ionizing radiation, down to the lowest conceivable dose and dose rate.” Perhaps the most succinct summary is given by Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, who was the director of the Health Physics Division a the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 30 years:

“There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of radiation so low that the risk of malignancy is zero… the genetic risks, and especially those associated with recessive mutations, may be as harmful and debilitating to the human race as the increases of cancer.”

THERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN DO

Okay, sorry for all the doom and gloom! But I say these things as we should at least be aware of radiation exposure.

And I am happy to say that there are things we can do in our diet to help minimize the effect of radiation. How can food help? First off, if we have enough minerals in our system, the cells become saturated with minerals and there may be less opportunity for the radioactive  minerals to be absorbed into our systems. Second, there are certain specific foods which can actively help draw the radioactive materials to them and pull them out of the body (chelation). Thirdly, if we eat foods very high in antioxidant nutrients and enzymes, it will help squash out the free radicals created by radiation exposure.

Anti-Radiation Foods that Fit into Our Above 4 Criteria

–       Swiss chard

–       Turnip greens

–       Watercress

–       Mustard greens

–       Kale

–       Spinach (no surprise here, all greens!)

–       Kelp

–       Dulse

–       Chlorella

–       Nori

–       Beets

–       Bee pollen

–       Garlic

–       Apples

–       Chaparral

–       Siberian ginseng

What else can we do besides loading up on these foods? Don’t smoke! Don’t live near nuclear plants, avoid unnecessary diagnostic X-rays, and use infrared saunas whenever possible. Check out my post on cell phones, and wear that wired (not Bluetooth) headset.

It is critical if you fly often that you eat only the best food while flying on the day. You want to give your body the best to help combat the radiation as much as possible. That IS NOT the time to splurge on the fast food chains found in all airports. Rather, bring healthy snacks and be sure to drink your Green Smoothie before you leave for the airport. For some healthy travel snack ideas, check out my blog called, “Easy Travel Snacks.”

Be aware, and take care.

Love,

Kimberly

Eat your Anti-Radiation foods!

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The Adjective Healthy Means Beautiful, Not “Big”!

February 18, 2010

The greatest beauty is found in nature, and when we eat in tune with nature we become our most beautiful.

Hi Guys! I hope you are having a fantastic week! I had a very exciting day. I taped some segments for Extra today, including a “LifeChangers” segment with Star Jones. I have to say that I am a huge fan now of hers. She was really open and interested in my nutrition philosophy, especially in the fact that I don’t count calories or promote calorie-counting, but instead encourage making healthy, natural choices. She is a very warm and humble person, and even told me if she could just use me for her nutrition stuff she would! (Yay!) 🙂

Stay tuned, it airs on Extra this weekend!

I also recently got this exact email that was so sweet, and so telling at the same time, I just had to publish it. I got Kyle’s permission first, of course (thanks Kyle!).

Dear Kimberly,

My name is Kyle and I’m 17 years old.  I know this might not be your particular area of expertise, but since you deal with beauty and self-image issues I thought you might have have some good insight on an experience I recently had.  It involved a girl I had just met at a dance.  We talked for a good half hour and seemed to be hitting it off.  She was very pretty, smart and nice.  We even exchanged email addresses.  I was so excited!

Then, things suddenly went downhill.  I commented that she had a “really nice, hourglass figure”. I thought she would take it as a compliment but instead she became deeply offended.  I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but I think I only made things worse when I used the term “healthy”. With a look of complete disgust, WHAP!, she slapped my face and departed.

As I was standing there alone rubbing my cheek, with my friends nearby laughing at me, I was wondering why she was so offended.  She had a classic hourglass figure – very busty, narrow waist, shapely hips/legs. I guess she had interpreted “hourglass” as meaning big/overweight/full figured. Why can’t girls embrace their curves?

Btw, I do have her email address.  Do you think I should her an apology note or should I interpret the slap in the face as another way of saying she does not want to see me again?

–kyle

HERE’S MY REPLY BACK TO HIM:

Hi Kyle!

I usually take up to a few weeks to answer someone back, when I get swamped, but your email was to sweet and sincere to put off!

You are a fantastic writer and you should pursue something that involves writing as you go to college and eventually choose your career. I am impressed. Teenagers can have a very hard time expressing themselves adequately in words. You are lucky because you can do that through your writing, which not everyone can.

For this reason, I would highly recommend emailing her, and explain what you were really trying to communicate. Use the words “beautiful” and “attractive.” I am personally trying to change womens’ interpretations to view the word “healthy” is actually the body adjective we should strive for. Unfortunately, it does get interpreted differently. A girl that is even slightly self-conscious of her body, which is pretty much every teenage girl, and most women in the world (!), will interpret someone saying she is “healthy” as a nice way of saying fat.

Every girl wants to feel beautiful and attractive. So also tell her that you wouldn’t think she would be any more attractive if she was stick-skinny, and the reason you said she was “healthy” was because healthy is synonymous with “beautiful.” I think the world would be a much better place if women knew that guys like you thought that healthy was much more attractive, and if women thought the world “healthy” was a huge compliment. We do not all have to fit into one stereotype. It starts even earlier than 17, but especially at your age, if girls embraced their bodies it would save so much wasted energy and heartache down the road.

Keep in touch, and let me know it goes with your lady!
All my very best, Kimberly


Kyle’s email reminded me of what it was like to be a teenager. We are all confused, in our heads, and deeply self-conscious. Especially us women are already striving to be skinny and perfect, so much so that the word healthy is actually interpreted as meaning big or fat!

We have to realize that when we focus on true health, true beauty will follow. For we can only be truly beautiful when we are truly healthy. I remember living in Australia years ago, having a stressful office job and drinking diet drinks and counting calories (yes it is true, I went through that!!!). When I started learning about nutrition, one of my first teachers helped me realize that yes, it was important that I focus on going to the bathroom every day, and yes, it did matter that I was getting enough nutrients, not just counting calories! That was the turning point. When I focused on being healthy, not skinny, my weight centered and stayed balanced without all the excessive effort. My skin became so much better, and life started to open up. 🙂

A lot of the time, we focus on the wrong thing. We put too much emphasis on one of the beneficial side effects- which is a slim body. That is what happens naturally when we focus on real health, and choosing natural foods over preserved, processed foods. That is what happens when we let go of calorie-counting, and live a life of choosing real, healthy foods which we can eat in abundance and never have to count a single calorie! We only have to worry about restriction and limitation when we are focusing on the wrong foods. Abundant health and beauty are all within our grasp!

The more we as a society embrace this, the better off we will be. And hopefully future generations of girls will not have to go through the heartache of chronic dieting and body image issues that so many of us had to endure.

With love,
Kimberly

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The Beauty of Turmeric and Nutmeric

October 5, 2009

turmeric_powder36046545securedownloadHi guys,

 Hope you had a great weekend! I am actually back in New York now, and was able to relax this weekend!

 So I wanted to talk to you guys about the amazing properties of Turmeric today. Many of you have been using turmeric as it is an integral part of the Detox Smoothie. I first learned about turmeric (which looks almost exactly like ginger, but orange) while I was traveling in India, which has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years.

 Ingesting turmeric helps make the skin glowing and beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

I also wanted to introduce you to a friend of mine, Dr. Raja Krishnaswami, a brilliant scientist how has been focusing on the potency of turmeric! He also lives in New York, and we have had some interesting conversations. His great insight is below in an interview I had with him, along with explaining a tasty product he made: Nutmeric. It combines almond butter with turmeric, along with various spices. Yum! I finished my first bottle of it within a few days!

 Raja has his  Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore, India), following which he was a post doctoral fellow in Chemical Biology at the Scripps Research Institute La Jolla.  He worked as a Principal Scientist at Dynavax Technologies in Berkeley, CA (making a new  curative vaccine for Hepatitis B). He is currently a faculty member at the City University of New York and is the President of Spread Health Foods, Inc.

raja pics jpg 

Kimberly:  As a scientist, what do you think of the potency of treating the body and preventing illness with nutrition versus drugs and medication?

Dr. Krishnaswami: Prevention is better than cure. Disease preventive foods that incorporate natural products  such as Turmeric and its primary active ingredient Curcumin with scientifically proven properties is the way to go. The western medical system has looked at only less than five percent of higher plants for medicines. Over fifty percent of all pharmaceutical drugs are either natural products or have been inspired by natural molecules. The Ancient medical systems such as Ayurveda use a much larger palette of herbs to heal. Many vaccines work, many pharmaceutical drugs can be effective in curing diseases to an extent, but most pharmaceutical drugs are synthesized from petroleum by-products which are growing scarce. The healing foods, drugs and cosmetics of the new age will have to come from renewable resources such as plants.  I have written an article on this recently Raja, K.S. et al “ The Concept of a Green Drug, Curcumin and it’s derivatives as a model system. Mini Reviews in Organic Chemistry, (2009) Volume 6, No.2.  152-158.” 

Kimberly: What led you to studying and focusing on turmeric? Do you have a background in working with turmeric?

 Dr. Krishnaswami: I have been interested in the medicinal properties of Turmeric for over twelve years. I have published several papers on the Curcumin, the primary active ingredient in Turmeric.

Kimberly:   Can you explain how turmeric is used in India?

Dr. Krishnaswami: Turmeric is used as one of the spices in several Indian curries. Practically all these recipes have  “hot spices”,  which can irritate the Western palate, which is used to and prefers much milder flavors.

 Kimberly: I know it is also used topically by women and ingested as a beauty aid!

 flyer jpg

Kimberly:  What are the benefits of turmeric?

Dr. Krishnaswami: The health benefits of Turmeric along with layman abstracts of recent research papers are available at our website www.spreadhealthfoods.com, click on our spread health hearts.

 Turmeric is the dried powdered rhizome of Curcuma longa a plant in the ginger family. Recent reports from leading laboratories worldwide strongly support the health-promoting and disease preventing properties of turmeric and its primary active ingredient curcumin. Curcumin is being evaluated in clinical trials for treating cancer (University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center), and researchers at the University of California Los Angeles are investigating whether the spice may have benefits for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The anti-cancer potential of curcumin is also being investigated intensively at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Turmeric is also a potent antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.

 The medicinal properties of turmeric have been recognized for millennia in the traditional Indian and Chinese medical systems. Statistical studies suggest that populations that consume approximately 500 mg of turmeric daily have reduced incidences of colon cancer (Molecular Nutrition & Food Research  2008, Volume 52, issue 9).“It is evident from these facts that making turmeric an integral part of the daily American diet will have a tremendous positive impact on the health of our citizens.

 Turmeric and Curcumin have anti-aging and detoxifying properties. The role of Turmeric in preserving youthfulness and beauty has been a part of the Indian culture for thousands of years. Curcumin and other components in Turmeric arrest cellular aging by capturing free radicals that cause DNA damage. Turmeric works on numerous biochemical pathways that beneficial to maintaining youthfulness, Curcumin chelates (binds) toxic metal ions; it is also a powerful ant-inflammatory agent.

Kimberly: It is not easy for the average American to get turmeric into the diet. Explain your product, Nutmeric.

 Dr. Krishnaswami: NUTMERIC is a taste and biovailability perfected spread and dip that combines the best of the east and the west : Indian Turmeric with Californian Almonds. It provides 700mg of turmeric per serving. The almond medium, along with the black pepper ingredient, significantly enhances the bioavailability of turmeric. Bioperine in black pepper has been shown in a study of humans to increase the blood concentration of curumin by nearly 2000 percent.

Incorporation of turmeric into the American diet poses challenges. Americans equate the mild-flavored turmeric with spicy Indian food. Most recipes incorporating turmeric, such as curries, are too spicy for many Americans because they contain hot spices such as cayenne pepper. While curcumin and turmeric extract is available in tablet form, this is poorly absorbed in the body because they are hydrophobic (don’t dissolve in water), this prevents the tablets from dissolving easily. 

An ideal turmeric-based food item for the West must appeal to the American palate, be familiar to Americans, provide a significant amount of turmeric per serving ( 300-700 mg per serving), and have improved bioabsorption.. 

No such food item existed before the development of patent pending NUTMERIC. Yellow mustard contains a small amount of turmeric, approximately 17 mg per serving, but does not include black pepper, which boosts the bioavailability of turmeric. One serving of NUTMERIC has 42 times more turmeric than a serving of yellow mustard.

NUTMERIC is the result of more than a year of home-based formulation research. When 4-year-old Matthew Bernstein of Boulder, CO., ate half a jar at one go we decided to establish Spread Health Foods, Inc and market the product.

A health food can have a widespread positive impact on human health only if it is exceptionally tasty. “Otherwise, “only a small fraction of humanity would eat it – and then not on a consistent basis.”

Apart from its health benefits, NUTMERIC tastes great. You can visit our website www.spreadhealthfoods.com where we have NUTMERIC based recepies posted.

 Kimberly:  Wow, great! I’ve tried the Nutmeric, and I loved how it tasted. Where can we get Nutmeric, and where is it sold?

 Dr. Krishnaswami: NUTMERIC is available for online at our website www.spreadhealthfoods.com.Several stores such as Fairway Markets ( Manhattan, NJ), Integral Yoga Health Foods (Manhattan), Bikram Yoga College of India ( Encinitas, CA) and Ludgate Farms, Ithaca carry NUTMERIC. For a more detailed list please visit our website.

 Great!! Thank you so much Dr. Krishnaswami!

 Also, check out the recipe for the Detox Smoothie HERE if you haven’t already! It is another great way to get turmeric into your diet.

Also, while I always usually stress organic, and mostly raw, there is room for high quality, highly beneficial cooked food.Here is what Dr. Krishnaswami says, “The almonds are slightly heated to ensure that they are pathogen free. This is an FDA requirement, we have an FDA approved process for manufacture this ensures that the consumer gets a product that is safe and bioavialability perfected. We have also measured the ORAC oxygen radical absorbance capacity of NUTMERIC ( ORAC, antioxidant capacity) it is three times more than regular Almond butter.”

 

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Have a great start to your week!!!! 🙂 Happy October!! Be sure to take care of yourself, get plenty of rest, and eat your greens and drink your Green Smoothies. During the  change of seasons it can be easy to get sick. I even got a little cough this past week (very rare!), from all the traveling back and forth to LA and running myself down, but by getting back to my normal eating routine and resting more, I was able to wipe it out pretty quickly. 🙂

Talk soon!

xx Kimberly 

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Detoxing through our Organic Produce Choices

June 7, 2009
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Here I am chilling in my backyard with a nice big salad. Yes, I am one of the lucky few to have a private backyard in the West Village! Ah, so relaxing... Shall we imagine we are having this conversation lounging here outside? 🙂

Never doubt for a minute that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

Hello there!
How was your weekend? I hope your weather was as nice as it was here in New York. It was so sunny and amazing out!P1011446

P1011436On Saturday we took a big trip to the farmer’s market in Union Square to get some greens (we get produce there about 3 times a week) and stock up on more plants and flowers! Do you have access to a farmer’s market? I know that hundreds of communities do now, which is such a great thing.

Over this weekend in particular, I began to think about the importance of organic farming again. I am so grateful for organic farmers- they provide an amazing service to humanity by providing the highest quality produce that protects our soil and our nourishes our planet. Organic produce has around 88% more nutrition than commercially-grown produce, including the beauty minerals (zinc, selenium, iron, etc.) that we rely on to have beautiful skin and luscious hair. Organic farming practices are grown in harmony with the earth, so that the soil can remain living with beneficial bacteria in an ecosystem that rotates crops and does not deplete the minerals from the soil.

Just like I say with skincare, it is just as important what is NOT in our produce and food as what it is comprised of. If we are not eating organic produce, guess what??? We are continually exposed to pesticides. The scary truth about these pesticides, is that a congressional report in the 80’s estimated that 85% of registered pesticides had not been adequately tested for their ability to cause cancer, 70% for their ability to cause birth defects, and 93% for their possibility to cause genetic mutations. These toxins are harming our biological makeup and polluting our blood and therefore our skin, and can therefore contribute to accelerating the aging process. Everyone wants to talk about detoxing these days, which is great! Since we’re starting to realize that toxins make us fatter and look older, to put it bluntly. But again, if we don’t look at the root cause of the problem and keep going on constantly piling up toxin levels in our bodies, what good is it to detox just once in a while?! A major source of pulling the plug on constantly bringing toxins into our body is to choose organic produce.

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Right when I got home from the farmer's market on Saturday I unpacked then eagerly made this salad out of all the stuff I just bought!! I just couldn't wait! Arugula, sunflower sprouts, cilantro, radishes- yum! So fresh and amazing with a light lemon/olive oil/cumin dressing. 🙂

Pesticides are neurotoxins, which are designed to specifically attack the brain and the rest of the nervous system in biological, living beings. WE are biological, living beings! So though our nervous systems are more complex than insects and it may take longer for us to be poisoned, it still happens. Besides the fact that these toxins could initiate cancer, other subtle effects on the brain and nervous system include reduced mental functioning, poor concentration, decreased mental clarity, and hyperactivity. Children, whose brain and nervous systems are still developing, are particularly susceptible to these neurotoxins. Is it a wonder that over 10 million children in the US today are diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Ritalin? Childhood cancer and many other diseases have skyrocketed in the last few decades. People are getting sicker, our ecosystems and the earth is suffering, all because a few people in the chemical business can materially profit. And by the way, errrrr…. it’s not even actually working! There are at least 500 new strains of insects which have mutated to be unaffected by the pesticides. So they keep trying to spray more and more toxic chemicals into the soil and crops, which of course go into the food supply, and the little buggers are just too smart for them. So sad isn’t it??

We really have to vote with our food choices. If we keep choosing more and more organic food, then it will become cheaper. And we should be pressuring with our demands, for places like Costco to carry more organic produce. I know it is a tough economy right now, but for our health, we should choose to purchase as much organic produce as we can afford. Perhaps if we shift our perspective a little to think about how much healthier, more mineralizing and beautifying it is for our planet to consume organic food, we could make some different choices. For instance, I love picking out my food directly and talking to the farmers at the farmer’s market who are growing my food. It is pretty inexpensive there… I can get a huge bag of cilantro for $1.50 and a bag of spinach for  $3.00. It makes me so eager to go home and make a delicious, enormous salad, that I have no desire whatsoever to eat at a restaurant. I SO much more prefer my food. Then if I want to do something social and see friends (which is a big reason for eating out I know), then we can meet up to grab a takeout tea and sit in the park. So I don’t spend money on eating at restaurants…and so even though I’m buying organic, if we make intelligent choices as to our sourcing of food and how we spend our money on other activities we do NOT have to be way out of pocket.

As we give ourselves better food, the practice organic farming grows, which is so much more beneficial for the planet! Isn’t it amazing that when we truly take care of ourselves, we naturally live a “green” lifestyle in many ways.
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So I hope you will try to get yourself more organic, local greens. Give yourself the very best! And when you are picking out your own produce from these beautiful markets, you will be so inspired by your food that you will not want as much crappy junk food snacks either, and that is beautiful too!

I’m leaving for LA on Tuesday so I’ll write to you from there. Have an inspiring start to the week!
All my love,
Kimberly

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Getting More Sleep Naturally…For Beauty and Weight-Loss

June 4, 2009

200140664-001This Blog is dedicated to Chantal.

Hi Guys,

So as a little reminder, the low-down on sleep is that getting a consistent amount of good sleep makes you LOOK good, FEEL good, and keeps you SLIMMER and your ideal weight. Yay sleep!! 🙂

Our bodies are governed by a biological clock, and we rely on it for the regualation of our metabolic processes, such as our hormone levels, blood sugar levels, body temperatures, metabolism, immunity, etc. Faulty sleep patterns could impede surges of growth hormone, that promotes lean muscle tissue and the burning of body fat. Inadequate sleep also forces cortisol levels to rise, which can quicken fat storage, especially around the belly area! So not getting enough rest, unfortunately, can definitely make you fat and look more FLABBY. Eeeek. (Now THERE IS some motivation to cut back on your late night web surfing hmmmmmm??????).

Everything suffers if we don’t get adequate sleep! You’ll feel crabby and sloth-like during the day, and won’t have as much energy to achieve your goals. To help combat the energy slumps you will also be more apt to reach for snacks and more food— even though it is more sleep that you need, NOT more food!

3-Toed Sloth!

3-Toed Sloth!Can you relate- just wanting to chill out when you're tired?

How much sleep do we really need? Well I’m sure you’ve always heard that scientists insist that we need 8 hours of sleep a night. I think that it is more individual than that, depending on our lifestyle and diet. If you are eating mostly raw food you should require less sleep, since you have so much more energy freed up from the processes of digestion. I need about 6 hours of sleep a night to feel amazing and fully energized! Be intuitive with your own sleep patterns and understand your own body to know how much sleep your really need. Then be responsible for your health and get to bed at the time you need to get those necessary beauty sleep hours!

All of us have trouble falling asleep sometimes- or for some of us it is a chronic problem. We live in such a fast-paced world, with so many sensory elements pulling us this way and that, it is no wonder that it difficult for us to shut everything off at the end of the day and immediately pass out! So we must be conscious of the root causes of our sleep problems and work to correct them- rather than put a bandaid (and an unnatural and liver-harming one at that!) on the issue and resort immediately to the multiple varieties of sleep pills available to us today!!! Sleeping pills should be a very last resort.

Smiling Sloth hanging from a tree

So you ever feel like you are just "hanging on" to get through the day, because you didn't sleep well??

Here are some easy, natural sleep tips:

–    Eat dinner 2-4 hours before bedtime. Do your best, and eat as early as is feasible for you. Be sure your dinners are of the best food combining possible (more on that later). As a general rule, avoiding eating complex starches with heavy proteins. We want our digestion to be as easy as possible and not impede our sleep or rest at all!

–    Avoid drinking any caffeine (a stimulant)- even green tea- in the evenings. Remember raw cacao has some caffeine, so if you are having your raw cacao truffles or raw vegan hot chocolate for desert, just be sensible in limiting the amounts and again, have dinner as early as possible.

–    Avoid eating “Rajastic” (stimulating activity) foods at dinner. This would include excessive spicy chilies, lots of garlic and onion, and a large amount of animal flesh foods.

–    A cup of warm almond milk (see Megan’s Almond Milk recipe to make it truly raw or buy the unsweetened kind at the store) before bedtime is very soothing and contains magnesium and calcium, which can be helpful for falling asleep.

–    Try to avoid taking naps after 4:00 PM.

–    Take a hot shower before bed. There is a signal to your body that it is bedtime, created by the rise in body temperature followed by the decline in the core temperature. I take one every night! And I find it immensely helpful. I like to imagine the stream of water also as white light flushing away the stress and other peoples’ energy from the day, off my body and down the drain. It soothes my muscles, which are always sore from yoga 🙂 and makes me feel fresh and restored.

–    Try to get to establish a (somewhat) consistent pattern of going to bed and waking up around the same time. I know, I know, the weekends are when things go a bit awry in this area, and you deserve to kick back and hang out with your friends or stay up late watching  movies etc on your weekends (!) but like I said, just do your best!

–    Make sure your bedroom is cool- a warmer temperature creates a harder sleep environment. I sleep with my air filter on “turbo mode” which makes a pleasant white sound and produces cool air!

–    Make sure you don’t have any electrical appliances plugged in in in your bedroom. That includes plugged-in alarm clocks, etc. These appliances have subtle radiation currents which can interfere with our body’s natural sleep clocks and REM sleep!  So buy a $10 battery-operated alarm clock instead! 🙂

–    Drink a cup of Kava Tea, which is a tea derived from a root from the South Pacific, and has been shown to reduce anxiety. When I was in Fiji, at night and whenever I met some locals, they would always invite me to a cup of Kava. They would put the root in a cloth and use their hands to rub the essence into a bucket of water for over 10 mins., then ladle it out into cups. Of course I tried not to focus on the level of everyone’s hand cleanliness 🙂 , but it sure did make me feel relaxed! You can get Kava Tea at the health food store with several popular brands.

–    Don’t watch TV in your bedroom or right before you fall asleep. The TV is a lightbox of sounds and images meant to stimulate your senses. How can we be expected to instantly rest peacefully when we have just watched the imagery of all the drama shows they have one, or even worse…the nightly NEWS??? Which is often about doom and gloom and fear-based things and not really peaceful sleep material we want on our mind as we are drifting off!

–    Lastly and most importantly: Be sure to arrange your schedule for a nightly meditation practice. Even more importantly in our busy, busy lives, we need a barrier between the craziness of our days and our sojourn into peaceful sleep. We need some time to reconnect back. Allow yourself at least a few minutes (1/2 hour would be blissful!) to go into meditation. It will make all the difference! If you have no definite technique, do some deep yogic breathing techniques and focus on being still. It will really help you calm down. There are some breathing techniques in my blog, “A Little Discussed Weight Loss Tip.

Happy rest dear ones. ☺
xx Kimberly

Look at this beautiful bird and its reflection!!

Look at this beautiful bird and its reflection! Just another amazing facet of nature.

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Alkalinity and Beauty

August 1, 2008

The pH of our bodies can have a major effect on our vitality, health and beauty. Ideally, the pH of our body tissue should average around 7.0 (our ideal blood pH range is 7.35-7.4, while our muscles are more acidic, around 6.8). Most people that have eaten the Standard American Diet (SAD) become unbalanced and acidic, with a pH around 6.2 or lower.

An alkaline body leads fat to dissolve, greatly promoting weight loss. In contrast, an acid body leads to inflammation, puffiness and contraction of the tissues. An acidic body makes it hard to lose weight, as the systems of the body cannot function at optimal efficiency. Worse, diseases thrive in an acidic environment.

Some signs that your body is acidic are feeling sluggish and rundown, a lack of energy, a coffee habit, the desire to smoke cigarettes or marijuana, alcohol abuse and/or the desire for other stronger legal or illegal drugs to make you feel “high” for a while.

What we need is a balance between acidity and alkalinity. Generally, most people are too acid from eating a primarily acid-forming diet their whole life. It is important to balance the body’s pH by bringing a much higher percentage of alkaline foods into the diet.

Alkaline Foods: Green-leafy vegetables are the best source of alkaline minerals and are probably the most important group of foods. They also contain fiber and chlorophyll- a blood builder and one of nature’s greatest healers. Try to make a huge salad, with sprouts and raw vegetables, the main course of at least one meal a day. Fruits such as lemon, lime, olives, figs, papaya, pineapple, cherries, apples, raspberries, blackberries and kiwi are also helpful.

*Oddly, a typical characteristic of some alkaline fruits is that they contain a strong acidic compound, such as citric acid, that must be neutralized in order to extract and utilize the alkaline minerals.

Acidic Foods: Meat (the muscle of an animal) including fish, pork, steak, chicken, beef, hamburger, duck, lamb, rabbit, etc. Meat is built up of phosphoric compounds and is the most acidic (and toxic) food of all. Eggs are also acid-forming, as are pasteurized dairy products because they lack the enzymes necessary to digest them.

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Attention Summer Travelers

June 25, 2008

Ah, summertime! What a great time of the year to get out of the city, go to the beach, or fly somewhere to chill out (though probably not Europe right now with this dreadful exchange rate!).

As we jet set to our fun summer vacations, it is important that we realize that we can suffer not only stress and fatigue from air travel itself, but also free radical damage via high levels of radiation found in airplanes. Planes fly very close to the ionosphere, causing atmospheric radiation to constantly bombard flyers. Unfortunately, the aluminum body of a plane offers us no protection.

This problem has been known for decades – it was first discovered in the 1960s when the air crews assigned to the first long-distance, high-altitude flights experienced unusually high fatigue. To try and keep it simple, a flight from New York to Los Angeles is the equivalent of one chest X-ray. The number of chest X-ray exposures a person is allowed to have over any given time is usually limited and measured in three year increments. These usually number in the range of three chest X-rays per year. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration permits aircrew exposures of 1000 times the dosage that a restricted citizen is allowed, although they are usually restricted to 80 hours on duty each month. Studies of these crews have shown that they suffer from changes in blood values and sensitive bodily tissue, e.g., gonads and eyes. Unfortunately there is no one keeping track of frequent traveling citizens who seem to live on planes, especially those who often fly internationally.

In its simplest form, the free radical damage caused by air travel shows itself in the form of oxidative stress in the body and the simplest way to deal with it is the introduction of antioxidants via fruits, vegetables and berries on a daily basis. Oxidation occurs when an oxygen molecule within a cell loses one of its two electrons, becomes unstable and randomly hits everything in its path in an attempt to restore its stability and it will steal an electron from anywhere. If it hits another oxygen molecule, it will steal the first electron it comes to. If it hits fat or protein structures, then oxidative damage will occur. If fat, toxic lipid peroxide (rancid fat) occurs. If protein, then changes in the structure often occurs, joints get arthritis, muscle gets weakened and DNA gets altered while its Genes are bent by this interaction. Bent Genes often result in a cancer and if the body is able, it will clean up the mess before it gets bad. Unfortunately the body is overwhelmed easily; the traveler is subjected to sleep depravation and highly processed and unhelpful foods becoming more susceptible when the consistency of the attack plays against a weakened immune system.

Fortunately, a good outcome is possible. The antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables and berries are able to donate electrons to these free radicals without themselves suffering instability. Fruit, Vegetables, Grapes and Berries are miraculous in their ability to calm the oxidation process. However, it is necessary to renew this cascade on a daily basis. In other words, when whatever supply is ingested runs out, it must be replaced with a new supply of antioxidants.

If the average person (who isn’t flying) requires 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily (Recommendations of the US Dept. of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) then one who is further compromised as is a diabetic, cancer survivor, extreme athlete or frequent long distance flyer will certainly require more. Just how much more is anyone’s guess.

When you fly, especially the day of your trip, try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Make it as simple as possible, so that your body’s energy can be used in fighting free radical damage rather than digesting something heavy. Also, you might try taking a whole food (not the store!)- vegetable, fruit, and berry supplement, which will serves as major fortification of antioxidants during strenuous travel. It of course can also be used when you feel that you are not eating well or have been lacking greens or fruit in the diet.

A whole food supplement has been derived from whole fruits and vegetables, whereas typical synthetic supplements use extracts constructed in a lab (which your body only absorbs a percentage of). I like the brand Juice Plus+, a convenient and highly researched supplement. They have separate vegetable, fruit, and berry capsules that literally pack pounds of fruits, and veggies.

Travel safely, stay energized and healthy, and keep your cells beautiful on the inside and out!

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Some Not So Tasty Facts About Meat

June 16, 2008

Many of us grew up eating poultry and red meat. All of us are the targets of lobbying efforts by these industries telling us that we need more protein in our diets, and that meat is the best source. But overwhelming evidence today – from the rise of colon cancer to heart disease – suggests that we have a major, major problem with our diet.

Most of us here in the U.S. are fortunate enough to have a vast amount of food choices at our fingertips, including many diverse plant proteins, which are more easily assimilated by the body, not acidic and toxic, and yes- much more beautifying!

Remember: the more clean and pure your food is, the cleaner your blood is. The cleaner your blood is, the more beautiful the skin and body will be.

Here are some reasons why I don’t eat meat:

  1. 2700 Unlisted Drugs and Hormones

“Animals (raised for meat production) are kept alive and fattened by the continuous administration of tranquilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and 2700 other drugs. The process starts even before birth and continues long after death. Although these drugs will still be present in the meat when you eat it, the law does not require that they be listed on the package.”

Poisons in Your Body, Gary and Steven Null

The animals are fed food to make them fat. And when you eat meat you are eating what the animals have eaten. Is it a wonder so many people are struggling with their weight nowadays?

1. Antibiotic- Resistant Microorganisms

Each year, 15 million pounds of antibiotics (half the total U.S. production) are fed to farm animals. Over time, this drug overkill allows disease-causing micro-organisms to develop immunities to antibiotics, posing a threat to people who later consume the meat. A prominent example: Time magazine presented startling evidence that government health offices “traced a serious outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness that was caused by antiobiotic-resistant germs.” The source of the bacteria, say the investigators, was hamburger from cattle that had been fed the antibiotic chlortetracycline.

Drugs, hormones and antibiotics also clog our livers and blood- which can lead to weight gain and drab skin. Not beautiful!!

2. Pain Toxins

The trauma of being slaughtered – moral reasons and Ahimsa (nonviolent yoga principles) aside – causes the animals to secrete powerful hormones and toxins into their blood and, consequently, their meat. These join with un-eliminated wastes in the animal’s blood such as urea and uric acid, to further contaminate the flesh that consumers eat. This is one of the main reasons that the meat that humans consume is so toxic and acidic.

3. Diseases

Animals raised for slaughter are subject to dozens of diseases that can be passed on to humans. Government meat inspectors condemn only the diseased part of an animal, allowing the rest of the carcass to go to market. The government also permits the sale of chickens with airsacculitis, a pneumonia-like disease in which chest cavities are cleaned out with air-suction guns, which burst the air sacs, allowing the pus to seep into the meat.

4. Straight-up Filth

Newsweek magazine reported the following about conditions in Colorado’s Cattle King Packing Co., a major supplier of beef to school lunch programs, the Defense Department, and the Wendy’s fast food chain: “Government inspectors described the rats, roaches, and paint chips that littered the plant, while workers told of people urinating in the slaughter area and repacking spoiled meat returned by dissatisfied customers.”

Responding to the sanitation defects at the Cattle King Plant, attorney Robert McAllister admitted, “Yes, those things did happen, like they do in every other packing plant in the U.S.

Need I say more? Do yourself, your skin, your planet, your fellow beings on earth a huge favor: stop supporting the meat industry. You will be more beautiful on the outside, and you will be surprised at how much calmer and lighter you feel inside!

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Megan’s Almond/Brazil Nut Milk

June 6, 2008

Unsweetened almond milk can be found at Trader Joe’s or your local health store. But there is nothing quite as delicious as freshly made, completely raw, and preservative-free nut milk made in your own blender. If you have the time its surprisingly easy to make.

  • 1 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight) OR 1 cup raw Brazil nuts (soaked 15 minutes)
  • 3-6 cups of filtered water (depending on how thick you like your milk)
  • 1/4 cup raw pitted dates
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. lecithin granules
  • 2 Tbs. coconut butter
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Place the soaked nuts and the water in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Taking a cheese cloth or bag (you can get them pretty inexpensively online or at a cooking store), pour the mixture through the cloth into a separate container. Make sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the cloth with your hands, so you get all the milk out. Note: For a finer milk, use 2 cloths or bags layered on top of each other.

Rinse out the blender, and put the strained ‘milk’ back in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, and blend on high until smooth

Fresh nut milk keeps well in the fridge for about a week. Use in place of dairy milk for all purposes. Yum!

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Lay Off The Sunscreen

May 7, 2008

Everyone knows that too much sun, just like too much food, is harmful to the skin and body. For whatever reason, people are still baking themselves in the sun, putting skin cancers and photoaging on the rise.

But let’s back up a minute. The sun has gotten a really bad rap these last few years. Sunshine still remains an essential component of beauty and health. Sensible sun exposure every day (under 30 min., depending on the fairness of the skin) has plenty of benefits:

  • Vitamin D is formed when the skin is exposed to sunshine, and helps to mineralize the bones
  • Increasing the amount of iron in the blood, creating a more “magnetic” look
  • Possibly reducing breast cancer up to 30-40%, and ovarian cancer by 80% (according to some studies)
  • Normalizing hormone levels in both men and women
  • Combating depression

Believe it or not, sunshine-associated cancers (non-melanoma) increase MOST where sunscreens are most heavily promoted.

Applying antioxidants on your face isn’t enough, though. They should be a part of your diet, too, so eat your fruits and vegetables!

Of course, nobody wants to avoid sun exposure all the time. When the situation calls for a sunscreen I really like J/A/S/O/N’s, since it is natural and paraben and PABA-free.