Skin Care

FREE NOVEMBER 2012 GIVEAWAY!

FREE GIVEAWAY…..Just because I feel like it winking

Anyone can enter, no purchase necessary, and it’s quick and easy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This awesome kit of 6 Weleda body oils has NO toxins, all natural ingredients, and smells great!  It includes a terrific cellulite oil and Arnica massage oil for those achy muscles.

weight, Rebecca Lazar - FREE NOVEMBER 2012 GIVEAWAY!Good Luck! and P.S. Much appreciation for SHARING…..it will provide incentive for bigger giveaways in the future! happy

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UNDERSTANDING ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

What are Essential Fatty Acids (or EFA’s as they are commonly known), and why are they so darn essential?

Essential fatty acids play a very important role in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, help reduce and prevent inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, eczema, and psoriasis; they improve the softness and smoothness of your skin and provide many other health benefits.  Essential fatty acids are important components of the outer skin or membrane of every cell. The membrane determines which chemicals and nutrients will be allowed to enter and exit the cell; within the cell membrane essential fatty acids are continually activated and converted into prostaglandin hormones, a process that allows essential fatty acids to supply their disease prevention and anti-aging effects to a wide range of tissues within the body

Anti-aging and disease prevention?  Sounds amazing, right?

Well, if your terrified of eating fat, as many people on diets are, you aren’t getting enough because your body cannot make this stuff.  You NEED to get it through diet and/or supplements.  But hang on a second, before you think “I KNEW those high-fat, carb-free programs are the best!,” because not ALL prostaglandin hormones are good for you.

Some more boring scientific stuff:

There are three main types of prostaglandin hormones (PG): PG-1, PG-2, and PG-3. PG-1 and PG-3 have positive impacts on our health, while PG-2 can lead to highly negative effects. It encourages blood vessels to constrict and blood platelets to clot abnormally,  increasing the chance of heart attack, ischemic stroke, and high blood pressure. It also encourages inflammation, worsening arthritis and other joint, muscle and tendon conditions, including Crohn’s disease and colitis. PG-2 is associated with greater risk of cancer in that it prompts rapid cell division. Finally, it can make the skin dry, rough, and scaly, and aggravate a number of common skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, and possibly roscacea.  surprise YIKES!

Reading that makes you want to stay away from that stuff like the plague…..but unfortunately….you love it too much.  You see, PG-2 is formed from a saturated fat known as arachidonic acid, found in high-fat meats and high-fat dairy products.  Yep, your steaks, burgers, milkshakes, cheese and other yummy foods.  You know what else makes PG-2? The over-consumption of linoleic acid, an unsaturated fat found in your typical grocery store corn oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, and mixed vegetable oils, all of which promote the production of arachidonic acid by the body. Unfortunately, the typical North American diet is a rich source of arachidonic acid and linoleic acid, and most individuals produce too much PG-2.

You can lower your tissue concentrations of arachidoninc acid by choosing chicken, turkey or fish, instead of high-fat meat products, and non-fat or 1 percent milk and yogurt products.  Remove from your diet any cheese that is more than 3 percent milk fat, and use cold-pressed olive oil or organic canola or grapeseed oil in place of other vegetable oils in salad dressings.  These are good sources of monounsaturated fat, which does not participate in the formation of prostaglandin hormones and is known to help reduce cholesterol and contribute to cardiovascular health in other ways.

So now you know how to reduce the formation of PG-2, but what about the good prostaglandin hormones, PG-1 and PG-3, the ones with all those health benefits?

The key building block for PG-1 is an unsaturated fat known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is found in high concentrations in borage oil or evening primrose oil. GLA can also be formed in the body from linoleic acid (the oils we consume too much of), but individuals who suffer diabetes, eczema, or premenstrual syndrome have a defective enzyme that prevents the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA.  Drinking alcohol, eating refined sugars, and hydrogenated fats (margarine, shortening, pastries, chips and other snacks) tends to inhibit this conversion as well, as does the aging process itself.  For all these reasons, virtually everyone has suboptimal cell membrane concentrations of GLA, so it’s a good idea to supplement especially if you have one of the conditions mentioned.

PG-3, on the other hand,  is formed from an omega-3 unsaturated fat called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is found in cold-water marine fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and tuna.  This is the reason that fish oil supplements are so popular, and rightfully so.  The body can also convert the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in flaxseed oil, and chia seeds as well as walnuts, into EPA, increasing the production of PG-3, but as you can see from the chart below, it’s a much quicker process to go directly from fish oil to PG-3. Fish oil, by the way, also contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which enhances immune function and the development and function of the brain, and is essential to good vision.  (This is why a higher DHA to EPA ratio fish oil supplement is often recommended for kids with ADHD).

PG-3 is considered very important for total body wellness, as it reduces risk of heart attacks by dilating blood vessels and discouraging abnormal blood clotting. It slows the rate of cell division and so reduces the risk, especially of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. PG-3 is also known to reduce inflammation, including skin inflammatory responses, a role it shares with PG-1.

If you are looking to build muscle, you’ll like this one:

For exercisers, particular relevance is the anti-oxidant and acute, exercise-related anti-inflammatory nature of EPA and DHA. Since high-intensity exercise and weight training cause increases in inflammation and oxidation, reducing this response may be beneficial in improving exercise recovery. Even more interesting for people looking to build muscle, EPA and DHA supplementation has been suggested to support muscle protein synthesis and limit muscle protein degradation. This can mean less muscle breakdown and more muscle growth.

Why supplement?

Most individuals suffer unknowingly from an essential fatty acid deficiency or imbalance, thanks to modern agricultural and food processing methods and the typical North American diet.  To ensure optimal essential fatty acid nutritional status, it is highly recommended to take a quality EFA supplement, preferably in the form of professional-quality fish oil.  This simple practice can result in significant benefits for your health, your appearance, the rate at which your body will age, and your risk of future illness.

The bottom line?

Taking fish oil daily may seem disgusting, but high quality brands like those found in our Online Dispensary make great-tasting fish oils, free from mercury and other impurities.  I also highly recommend Organic Atlantic Salmon Oil from Vital Choice.  Give either of those a try, you’ll be glad you did! On a personal note, I used to have high cholesterol as a teenager (if you’re thinking that’s insane, you’d be right!) and even after changing my dietary habits it still stayed on the border.  Taking a fish oil supplement daily has helped bring the levels down to normal, with no other meds required.

 A handy chart, which may or may not clarify things:  tongue

weight, Rebecca Lazar - UNDERSTANDING ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

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HOW TO TREAT A SUNBURN

weight, Rebecca Lazar - HOW TO TREAT A SUNBURNThe good looking but totally sun-fried legs pictured here was taken a day after my husband went sailing and didn’t bother using the sunscreen that I gave him.  His legs probably looked even worse but he suffered and did nothing for 24 hours until deciding to casually ask me “hey, is this normal”?  raised eyebrows

I’m not one of those people who believe you should slather on chemical sunscreen every time you walk out of the house.  You need Vitamin D and the best way to get it, is of course from the most natural source – the sun.  That being said, if you are going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes or it’s a particularly hot day with a high UV index, sunscreen in definitely required.  I recommend and use the Badger brand, which you can find at most health food stores.  It’s natural, comes in an unscented or lightly scented formula, is water resistant and non-irritating to skin, including the face, even on my youngest children.

Unfortunately, sunscreen doesn’t work if you don’t use it, as you can see. tongue  So what’s the best way to treat a sunburn if you do get one?

Since a sunburn should be treated as any burn would,the first step would be to immerse the burnt part of your body in cold water or a cold bath for 10-15 minutes.  (For a soothing effect, you can add colloidal oatmeal, such as Aveeno).  After that, one solution is aloe, which is terrific for a sunburn.  The problem is, the best way – really the only way, in my opinion – to use aloe is directly from the plant, since the aloe gels and lotions you find at the drugstore usually contain too many chemicals and unnecessary ingredients. 

Another fantastic remedy is 100% pure aromatherapy lavender oil.  Use one or 2 drops every 6 hours, undiluted, over the burnt skin. (2 drops covers a large area).  Why lavender?  As the story goes,one day in the 1920’s, a French cosmetic chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefossewas making fragrances in his lab.  He burned his arm very badly and thrust it into the nearest cold liquid – which happened to be a tub of lavender oil.  He was surprised to find that the pain lessened considerably and that his wound healed very quickly and left no scar.  He was so fascinated by this that he spent the rest of his life researching the healing properties of essential oils and actually was the one to coin the term “aromatherapy.” Cool, huh.  I thought so.

In addition to cold water, aloe and/or lavender, take an anti-oxidant formula to help speed healing, and of course, stay out of the sun for a few days!

In case your were wondering,  with this regimen it only took 3 days for that sunburn to heal.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and have (safe) fun in the sun! happy

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EIZEH YOFI

I’m generally not a huge fan of the whole spa facial or body treatment experience. Maybe it’s because I was a man in my past life (now before you start thinking I’m wacko, I’m just sharing the oh-so-hilarious conclusion some freinds of mine have come to over the years due to certain aspects of my personality….) Or maybe it’s because I don’t have the patience to sit and listen to zen/instrumental/trance or some other awful “relaxing” music, while a stranger is trying to talk to me and scrub my face or body at the same time.  And don’t even get me started on the bad-smelling, chemical-laden products most spas use! The few that claim to be using all-natural products usually aren’t, and the ones that actually are (Aveda, anyone?) use products that smell nauseating. 

But every gal needs a facial once in a while, a manicure for a night out, and of course, a massage for those tired muscles after working out. That’s why I’m writing this – to tell you about a cozy, totally at ease, brand new place called Eizeh Yofi, located in Thornhill, Ontario, owned by my good freind – and the only person allowed to know the exact number of pimples that show up on my face once a month – Rina D.  Now, I’m not just promoting her because she’s my freind, let me assure you that I don’t promote anything I don’t beleive in, which you would already know if you are reading this, being one of the 10 devout followers of my blog! winking

At Eizeh Yofi (that’s “How beautiful” in Hebrew, by the way),  Rina does a terrific job with all her esthetics and makeup artist services, but what I’m most excited about is that she uses organic gourmet Yum skincare products, which smell so good you literally want to eat it off your face. Don’t do that though…..at least not while Rina is looking. tongue  The products are chemical free and have all natural, but not harsh or irritating ingredients, which is so important to a Holistic Nutritionist like myself, but should be important to all of you as well. The toxins you put on your bodies through skin care, are just as important as what goes in your bodies with a healthy diet and the right supplements.  So not only are you toxin-free, but you walk out of there with glowing, healthy skin and feeling totally rejuvanated.  As for irritating music? No problem here, thank-you-very-much.  If you like that zen-stuff, by all means enjoy.  Otherwise, feel free to bring your own mp3 player and Rina will pop it in her speakers for you. 

Next up for me? Another facial of course, followed by a mani, a pedi and maybe even a body treatment.  Hmmm, I may just like all that girly stuff after all…….

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