Posts tagged ‘Skin Care’

Suddenly Clear Skin: Thank-you Pumpkin Seeds!

Most of the information we hear about skin care involves what we put on our skin, whether it be an exfoliating scrub, soothing facemask, cleanser, lotion, or sunscreen.  The most obvious skin treatment is frequently ignored entirely: what we eat.  Skin becomes truly vibrant from the inside out – otherwise, our skin care regimen becomes reminiscent of continuously bailing water out of a leaky boat without bothering to find and fix the leak.

Many lucky souls find that their skin starts to glow and clear up entirely after adopting a raw food diet.  I was not so fortunate.  My hair and nails definitely got stronger and I am sure in several ways my skin improved as well – but all I could see was the growing acne plaguing my face.  I tried every natural cleanser I could find with no improvement.  I simply could not figure it out: how could I feel so healthy in every way yet still be suffering from consistent acne breakouts?

Just over a month ago I took the first important step toward clearing my skin: I stopped popping any zits for any reason whatsoever.  I must admit I had always been one to manually help pimples along.  It turns out this gross and fascinating habit creates more and more pimples around the one that is popped (ever wonder why pimples come in clusters?).  After a few weeks of being very careful not to pick at my face, things had definitely improved.  The clusters were gone.  However, I still got singular zits rather consistently.

Enter the magical acne-curing food: pumpkin seeds.

After we filmed our “Five Milks in Five Minutes” episode a couple weeks ago, I started craving pumpkin seed milk regularly.  Every day for about a week and a half I have soaked, blended, and strained pumpkin seeds, blended the milk with a couple dates and a pinch of salt, and consumed with gusto.

Suddenly my skin is clear.  Absolutely no new pimples adorn my face.  Also, the redness from pimples past is quickly fading.  This is seriously the most dramatic change my skin has ever seen.  While I obviously can’t promise this will happen to anyone else, it is very clear that the pumpkin seed milk has done wonders for my skin.

Why would this be true?  The answer lies in the zinc.  Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful source of the mineral zinc, which has many positive effects on health and wellbeing – including helping to regulate the hormone levels that can produce acne and to speed up wound healing time.  Sometime soon I will put together a blog that goes into more detail about the numerous wonders of zinc, but for now let me just say how grateful I am to this mineral for healing my skin!  I will also express my gratitude to pumpkin seeds for tasting so very, very yummy.

Lara

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February 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

The Avocado (What Will It Do Next?)

Perhaps because avocados are featured in our most recent video (Sweet Velvet Torte), I felt the desire to begin Vibrant Maine’s bi-weekly blogs with an ode to this creamy fruit.  Firstly, I love avocados.  I put them in almost everything: smoothies; salads; soups; nori rolls; pudding; raw pizza, and who could possibly forget… guacamole!  The taste alone is enough to make me keep coming back, but I also love to know what the foods I ingest are doing to help my body.  To that end I have done some research and put it together for you.  Enjoy!

Good for your heart:

  • Avocados are an extremely good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, specifically oleic acid and linoleic acid, which have been demonstrated to help lower harmful LDL cholesterol and raise healthy HDL cholesterol.

Avocados are a wonderful source of vitamin E, which has several health-promoting qualities, including:

  • As an antioxidant it helps protect cell membranes from damage – and is particularly helpful in protecting the cell membranes of neurons in the brain.
  • It has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and viral infections.
  • It is an important nutrient for healthy, glowing skin – helpful both topically and when ingested.

Another wonderful nutrient avocados have in abundance is potassium:

  • A healthy balance of potassium and sodium in the body is essential for maintaining health.  Too much sodium (salt) and not enough potassium can lead to high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease.
  • As potassium is an electrolyte, it can be lost in large quantities through sweat; so it is important to replenish your body’s supply of potassium after exercise or a hot day.

How to use avocados:

  • Eat them frequently!  They are great in both entrees and desserts.  Also, try this simple trick:

Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit.  With a fork, pierce the avocado several times so that there are little holes evenly spaced throughout.  Squeeze a little lemon on top, sprinkle a little salt, and then grab a spoon and enjoy!  The hard avocado skin functions as a bowl.

  • Put them on your dry skin and hair!  What could be healthier for your absorbent skin than a raw food you would gladly eat?  The vitamin E in avocados makes it a wonderful facemask and hair-soothing tool.  Mash it up and smear it on as is or find some good natural recipes.

Avocado Mask for Dry Skin (David Wolfe, Eating for Beauty):

Puree one ripe avocado with 6-7 drops of a fresh-squeezed orange.  Add one tablespoon of hemp oil.  Massage this mixture into the face and neck.  This mask has excellent effects on any part of the skin.  After application, lie down and relax.  Rinse off with lukewarm water after 20-30 minutes.”

Even squirrels love avocados…!

Lara

February 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment


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