Your skin is your biggest critic. It lets you know when you've been hitting the booze too hard, when you haven't been removing your makeup, when you've been eating too many processed foods and have had too many late nights. But did you know it can also be an indicator of problems going on internally?
Inflammation, leaky gut, IBS, gluten intolerance, allergies, stress, adrenal fatigue, candida overgrowth, and autoimmune diseases are just a few examples of problems that can manifest themselves internally, causing break-outs, acne, cysts, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis flare-ups, rashes, premature aging and many other complications on your beautiful skin. So what to do when your skin is anything but perfect?
Assessing your diet, potential allergies, inflammation and stress levels is a great start in determining what could be causing your unwanted skin problems. Improving your diet to include large amounts of antioxidants and bioflavanoids, limited sugar and dairy and eliminating gluten may be a good start. An elimination diet and allergy test may also help point you in the right direction of what your body might be reacting to.
Adrenal fatigue and stress is another contributing factor of imperfect skin. Assessing your stress levels and supporting your adrenals is so important in ensuring optimal health and longevity, with stress being the leading cause of age-related disease including dementia and Alzheimer's. Not to mention the toll it takes on your skin when your immune system is down and inflammation is high, allowing free-radicals to destroy collagen causing fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
Exercise is always an important aspect of any detoxification and anti-aging program. Sweating allows toxins to be released from the body through the skin as well as releasing endorphins so you look and feel great! YogaFit is fabulous for its' toning, strengthening and meditative components, and cardio and resistance training assist in weight loss and disease prevention.
There is also an abundance of herbs, vitamins and minerals that can assist you in your journey of obtaining beautiful skin, including Vitamins A, C and E, zinc, prebiotics, probiotics and antifungals as well as liver cleansing herbs and anti-inflammatory supplements.
Benefits: taking a holistic approach to improving your health has so many benefits other than just beautiful skin and anti-aging. You'll notice an increase in energy, better mood, decreased stress and increased ability to deal with stress, as well as weight loss.
If you're looking for beautiful skin or any nutritional advice, make an appointment to see Pip and Melanie at the Double Bay Clinic or call 02 9363 3663 and we'll create a bespoke program for your needs.
Just in time for summer. Excellent.
The other night while I was cooking dinner I received an FB message from a GF, finally admitting defeat on her stomach flab and wanting some tips on how to get rid of it. Quickly. So considering worldwide studies suggesting that excess belly fat is linked to early death I thought I’d share my tips with everyone. Because who doesn’t want to live a long healthy life with flat abs!?
What to eat:
Increase your fiber and water intake. That’s right, we want to beat the bloat and get some action in your back section, if you catch my drift. Add some flaxseeds, psyllium husks and high fiber fruit to your breaky like prunes, berries, apricots or banana. Increasing your water to at least 3 liters a day will not only hydrate you but will flush out toxins and help ‘move things along’. Increase your veggies too as they are predominantly made of water.
Decrease your sugar intake. Don’t add any sugars to your tea, coffee etc, avoid fruit juice and soft drinks and anything with added and hidden sugars, including sauces, yoghurts, mueslis and condiments. Limit your fruit to just 2 serves a day.
If you think you might have a gluten intolerance, reduce if not eliminate pasta, bread etc and swap these foods for mung bean pasta, buckwheat soba noodles, brown rice and quinoa. If you don’t have an intolerance, try to reduce these foods anyway and increase your veggie, lean protein and wholegrain intake.
Exercises you can do:
3 – 4 times a week I want you doing this set of core movements:
30 seconds stomach crunches – make sure you pull your stomach to your spine, take it slowly, raise your head off the ground. If you sit up all the way to your knees, great. Otherwise just lift to where your bra strap sits.
30 seconds V-ups – lying flat on the ground, legs straight and arms above your head bring both your hands and legs together in a V shape, then lower back to the ground. Repeat.
30 seconds cycles – opposite elbow to opposite knee. Get a good twist and take it slowly so you feel the burn in your obliques. Yes you will burn!
Repeat 4 times more times, non-stop!
Don’t forget you can never spot weight reduce, so incorporate these movements with a minimum 30 mins of cardio a day to get the best results. In 2 – 3 weeks you should be looking trimmer, more toned and bikini ready!
Grab the tub of ice-cream or the bottle of wine? Perhaps you’ve never weighed up the implications of each option because when you’re stressed out you’re probably not really giving much thought about the nutritional value of your favourite block of chocolate vs a vodka martini. Well, at least not until it’s too late and you’ve scoffed both. Hello, guilt.
So if you had to choose just one, what is the best option? Let’s weigh up the pro’s and cons:
DOWNING STRESS WITH BOOZE
- Alcohol is a proven relaxant and stress reducer, and one glass of wine, champagne or vodka and soda (note I’m saying ‘or’ not ‘and’!) wont ruin your healthy eating intentions.
- Moderate consumption (ie a glass a day) of red wine is being proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and heart disease by up to 40%. That’s one to two glasses though people, not a whole
bottle. Which leads me to a con:
- Your willpower declines with alcohol, meaning one glass could lead to two, which could lead to a bottle. Drowning your sorrows is definitely no way to solve stress, especially as a hangover makes everything worse. If that’s not bad enough consider this…
- Not only does your willpower for more alcohol decrease when you drink, but your willpower for bad food diminishes. Next thing you know you’re drunk, munching happily away on a kebab, followed by a full day of hangover eating. Two wrongs clearly don’t make a right!
- If you start to rely on alcohol to unwind, it may signal deeper problems, in which case it’s definitely time to save the alcohol for celebrations and abstain in times of stress. And seek professional help if things are really going downhill.
DOWNING STRESS WITH LOLLIES
When you’re stressed out that first sensation of sweet food is pretty bloody awesome. The sugar is converted to insulin quickly, so your blood sugar levels spike, giving you a high and fast energy boost. And if you’re like me (a jaw-clencher in my sleep) then the chewing action is really satisfying. If only it were easy to stop at one mouthful…
- Alcohol is alcohol, however sweet snacks don’t always have to be naughty options. If you’re after something that feels naughty, opt for dark chocolate over milk, or choose a friand over a muffin for portion control. Swap your ice-cream for frozen yoghurt or gelato, or even better, get a Yonanas - I guarantee you'll never look back.
Who eats one M&M and says, “oh no, I’m full. Thanks anyway”? Yes, when we’re stressed we eat mindlessly often until we feel sick, leaving us more stressed as blood sugar levels drop and the guilt of what you’ve eaten has kicked in. If it’s too late and moderation is no longer applicable, don’t beat yourself up; just go for a walk and increase your exercise the following day and make sure you eat healthily to compensate.
- If binge eating (or drinking) really is becoming an issue, please make sure you speak to your health practitioner and look into healthy ways to deal with your stress, including exercise and meditation.
If you can stop at one glass of wine or one vodka and soda, then alcohol is definitely my preference in reducing stress. But if you know binging is going to be an issue, then I say avoid the hangover and grab a Ben & Jerry’s mini tub.