What is MSM?
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a type of naturally occurring sulfur found in all living beings. It helps to soften tissues in the body while also building strong connective tissue and helps to repair collagen. According to David Wolfe, a raw and superfood guru, “This is how MSM lives up to its reputation of building collagen and maintaining healthy joints. This is also why MSM increases flexibility (good for yoga), hastens recovery time from sore muscles, and is excellent for recovery from athletic injuries.”
MSM has numerous benefits and is vital for our every day functioning and well-being. It is the 3rd most abundant mineral in the human body, and a deficiency can have serious health benefits. It aids in repairing tissues and wounds, as well as being known for building up keratin and collagen, coining it the “beauty nutrient.”
BENEFITS OF MSM
- Makes hair grow faster, thicker, silkier and more lustrous
- Tightens skin and can reduce wrinkles when applied externally
- Makes nails grow faster and stronger
- Makes your skin glow. MSM aids in collagen in keratin production, making our elastic tissues much tighter and firmer. See ya, wrinkles!
- Relieves pain from arthritis. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or stiff joints, stock up on MSM – you may be deficient
- Reduces inflammation. Dr. Stanley Jacob states that “Sulfur is found in over 150 compounds within the human body and that sulfur components are in every cell, so it is very important.”
- Rejuvenates the liver and helps deliver nutrient rich compounds to the skin
- Allows nutrients to permeate into tissues better
- Has important detoxing properties. Glutathione, an important antioxidant that is produced in our bodies cannot function correctly without sulfur present.
Where to get MSM?
MSM is abundant in leafy greens and meat. It can also be found in capsule form at your nearest health store. You can also empty the capsules into smoothies. Externally, I break open two capsules of MSM into some coconut oil and use it as a face mask. I leave it on for 30 minutes, 3X a week and this has dramatically tightened my skin. I highly recommend you get some MSM into your life!
As we get older its easy and common to become comfortable and content in our daily lives. We have our jobs, our house, car, maybe kids and a spouse, etc. Most people are in a cycle of wake up, work, hang out with the family, watch TV, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s the easy and stable comfort zone that minimizes stress and anxiety.
Yet, comfort zones lead to boredom, mental decay, losing zest for life, aging and frustration. Recent findings show that we only perform maximum performance when in a state of relative anxiety, which is slightly outside the comfort zones. This “optimal anxiety” is the peak point where we learn, challenge ourselves, and prosper.
I have been through this for a few years, and believe me….I have grown very bored to where my life resembles a hamster on a wheel, or better yet – the man in the movie Groundhog’s Day. NOT FUN! This can lead to things like addiction and/or depression, or positive things like new hobbies, or better yet – FINDING YOUR PURPOSE!
Luckily, I have found my life purpose (and still continue to find new ones) a few years ago and am slowly taking the steps to manifest it and escape the hamster wheel. Ya know how I found it? CURIOSITY. Yes, it did kill the cat. But we are not cats; so it is safe to be curious.
Being curious can help you find what it takes to leave your comfort zone and live a more exciting and meaningful life.
After browsing the halls of the library for a book that looked interesting, I stumbled upon a book with an odd title, checked it out and it forever changed my life and I discovered one of my biggest life passions.
While this isnt as easy for just anyone to find their passion, my point is that staying curious in life will keep your brain and mind sharp, carve out new neural pathways, trigger new synapses, which all lead to fireworks in your brain. You will discover things that really excite you and make you want to wake up in the morning, even if you have a day full of dreaded meetings on a topic that makes you want to jump off a cliff.
Awesome ways to stay curious are….
- Keep an open mind to people, situations, ideas, etc.
- Travel to new territories. Leave the country if you can. Leave behind the travel guides and let fate dictate your journey. If time is limited, take a 2 hour road trip and get away for a few days.
- Reminisce on what really sparked you when you were 10 years old and bring back the top 5 things into your life that really lit your fire (this shouldn’t include barbies and toy trucks). 10 is a great age to use because its when your interests were mostly guided by your own intuition, when you are most curious, free, and naive to the objectives of adult life.
- Read books on topics you’d like to learn more about.
- Have a water fight with your friends.
- Exercise, even its 10 minutes a day. Keep the oxygen and blood circulating to keep your mind and body sharp.
- Take a new route to work
- Learn a new language
- Volunteer for a non-profit or organization you admire
- Write everyday. Maybe start a blog on your daily life or on a topic that interests you. You never know where the doors will take you. BELIEVE ME!
- Start a small side business offering a service or product that you are awesome at creating. Do you have a talent, knowledge for, or service people are constantly coming to you for advice for? If so, its time to start a business. In T. Harv Eker’s best selling book, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,” he embraces this concept, as it turned him into a millionaire.
- Join a kickball, running, or bowling team.
- Play more boardgames.
- Try taking yoga classes. These clears out all the “clutter,” and frees your mind to allow creativity to flow through.
- List 10 things you are grateful for immediately after you wake up.
Stay curious. Stay positive. And please don’t settle your whole life in the comfort zone. Baby steps or leaps of faith promote the change everyone needs in their lives to avoid the hamster wheel. DO IT!
Coconuts are absolutely wonderful for pretty much everything in life! They make coconut water, coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut sugar, are edible, and make fabulous bikini tops.The most versatile aspect of coconuts is the oil they produce. Coconut oil is a miracle worker with hundreds of uses from cooking to eye make-up remover. In Asia and the Pacific, they use it for food as well as medicine. Places where citizens consume a lot of coconut oil like Polynesia and Sri Lanka have significantly low rates of heart disease and cancer. Here are 11 fantastic uses for coconut oil:
BODY LOTION This oil makes a wonderful body lotion that nourishes, deeply moisturizes and hydrates your skin like no other. It also gives your skin a nice shine – great for a hitting a night on the town or feeling you’re on the cat walk. Meow! Most lotions are full of toxic chemicals, petroleum-based ingredients, fragrances and dyes that travel through your pores, enter your bloodstream and are free to roam your body. Not cute.
DISEASE It nourishes the heart with good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. Furthermore, “It also lessens heart disease as shown by studies performed on inhabitants of the Pacific Islands where their entire caloric intake included 30% to 60% from fully saturated coconut oil. These people were discovered to be free of cardiovascular disease.” *
ENERGY & WEIGHT LOSS Since it is a medium chain fatty acid, it goes straight to the liver for digestion where it is turned into energy, increasing metabolism and adding mores spring to your step!
COOKING Coconut oil is the only oil that does not turn carcinogenic when cooked at high temperatures. Most oils cooked at high temperatures become unstable as their bonds break apart and become carcinogenic. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is stable and does not break down easily at higher temperatures. Also, it gives your food a very mild nutty flavor.
BAKING Makes a great oil substitute in baking recipes and brings out a really nice flavor. Bruce Fife wrote an excellent book, The Coconut Oil Miracle and talks all about coconut oil and gives some fabulous recipes like this one. Here’s a sneak peak of one of his recipes
HAIR MASK Locks look a little dull, lackluster or dry? Smother coconut oil in your hair and let it sit for at least an hour before rinsing out. Coconut oil locks in a deep moisture and repairs your hair. Even better…sleep with it in your hair and rinse in the AM. (you might want to put a towel on your pillow if you do this)
EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER Nix your OTC makeup removers ASAP! They are full of chemicals that are no bueno for you and actually break down collagen bonds in your skin. Instead, put a little bit of coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently wipe away. This works like a charm!
TURNS BACK THE AGING CLOCK When it comes to aging, its best to proactive about our skin rather than wait for signs to appear. Coconut oil to the rescue! It gives your deep moisture to prevent cracks from happening, promotes collagen production, heals wounds and scars, evens skin tone, helps treat exzema, and much more. I highly recommend applying some before bed and upon rising in the morning. A little bit goes a long way, so use sparingly. While it may be a bit greasy at first, it absorbs quickly into skin.
ANTI-EVERYTHING BAD! Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral. It has been proven to cure all kinds of diseases (in minor cases) and is great at easing flu symptoms, healing infections, killing viruses, parasites and other pathogens. It also helps relieve kidney problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kills candida. Take a teaspoon every morning, or add some to your AM smoothie or coffee to reap these awesome benefits.
RELIEVES DANDRUFF If you’re battling dandruff problems, it may really be a fungal infection. Before showering, massage coconut oil into your scalp and leave on for 30 minutes before washing out. Also, take a teaspoon every morning and fast for 2 hours. Keep doing this until your dandruff disappears.
GUM HEALTH Having dental issues? Nothing coconut oil cant help. Most dental issues are due to infections, and coconut oil is a miracle worker for oral health. It has been proven to kill bacteria, infections, pathogens, gingivitis, relieve pains, and other issues.Make your own toothpaste by mixing equal parts coconut oil with baking soda, and mint or vanilla extract to add some flavor. BONUS: IT NATURALLY WHITENS YOUR TEETH!
Clearly, coconut oil is a miracle. There is not a single part of your body that it is bad for. For awesomely radiant health, consume at least 1 tsp. everyday, as well as lathering up in it. Its $10 for a jar and lasts you FOREVER! Ok, maybe not forever, but my jars last me 4-5 months. I scoop half of it out into a BPA free Tupperware container to keep in my room for external uses, while I keep the other jarred half in my kitchen for cooking. You can find jars of coconut oil in most grocery stores, as well on Amazon. Be sure to get a kind that is organic, cold-pressed, and extra virgin. (less processed and more nutrient dense).
Ahh! That exhilarating feeling when you’re about to board a plane to a new and hopefully anticipated destination. It can be quite exciting for those who love to fly and sit next to random people from random places and hearing their crazy life stories. Seriously, you meet the most interesting people from all over the world just by striking up a small talk convo about their book or where they’re travelling to. Flying in a plane can be rather boring, so make the best of it. If you’re a socialite, you have nothing to lose so try it.
-Meet your next business partner
-Get a potential dream job offer
-Make a new amazing friend
-Meet your soul mate
-Meet a humble celebrity
-Somebody who enlightens you and offers some valuable life advice
On rare occasion you might encounter a Scrooge – if that’s the case then read a book, sleep, listen to music, or daydream.
On a flight to Guatemala a few summers ago, my friend and I sat next to a man who is the manager of the Panamanian Band, Los Rabones. He ended up inviting us to The Pepsi Music Challenge in Guatemala City that his band was playing for that evening. Free entrance, free food and Pepsi (which we health nuts declined) all from asking our plane friend about the book he was holding. It was quite an interesting and unforgettable event. Score!
While sitting in the airport in Ohio for a delayed flight, I struck up a conversation with a man next to me about how annoying delayed flights are. Turns out I was talking to a very famous, former NFL player who was flying home the NFL Hall of Fame event. On another flight (last example- I promise) I saw next to a couple that owns a vineyard in California and said they would take care of me if I ever make it out there. NICE! Talk to strangers. You never know who you will meet!
Got a bun in the oven or hoping to have one soon? If so, congrats in advance!! It is vital to have a healthy terrain for baby to grow in as well as giving him/her vital nutrients, love and – not to get all new age on you – peace. As soon as conception happens, a mother and her baby form a bond and are much interconnected in many ways. Along with eating healthy, additional lifestyles such as juicing, meditation, nature, and moderate exercise like yoga and walking can have tremendous benefits on a mother and her baby. FUN FACT: A mother’s habits when the baby is in the womb sets a blueprint and will affect the baby’s habits throughout life. If you eat junk food while pregnant, your baby will freely eat junk food at their own free will. Eating lots of fruit and veggies on the other hand, will set the babies blueprint and palate to choose healthy eating habits. According to the Environmental Nutrition magazine, “..a high-fat maternal diet can change the offspring’s gene expression and behavior towards a desire for more palatable foods.” – Endocrinology 2010.
Juicing is a wonderful thing you can do for your and your baby’s health. Juicing separates the fiber from the juice of fruits and veggies, making all of those vitamins and minerals readily available to flood through your body and instantly be absorbed. Be sure to use organic produce and wash them thoroughly with veggie wash (vinegar works too!) and a brush to remove any pesticides. Green juices are crazy healthy and will nourish you like no other, followed by other veggie and fruit juices.
While many doctors will recommend taking a prenatal vitamin as your source of nutrients, it’s always better to get your nutrients in the form of food, as many vitamins have toxic fillers and can cause problems in the mother. I am not a doctor; this is just based on a wide array of sources I have read so do what works best for you. Please do your own research on this topic and use your best judgment. If you choose to take a prenatal, juicing is still a very wise choice and has the most potent form of readily available nutrients.
3 IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS BABIES NEED
FOLIC ACID: Folic acid (vitamin B9) is a superhero during pregnancy! It helps develop your baby’s spinal cord, brain, prevents neural tube defects, reduces risks of a cleft lip and/or palate, repairs DNA and allows for rapid cell growth of the placenta, and much more. The recommended dose while pregnant is 400 mcg (micrograms) a day, and 500 mcg while breastfeeding. To up your folic acid intake, juice with kale, romaine lettuce, spinach (has the highest source!), asparagus, broccoli, guava and orange juice. It is BEST to get your folic acid from food! According to Dr. Furman, “Supplemental folic acid has also been linked to prostate cancer3, colorectal cancer4, and overall cancer mortality.7 Because folate is abundant in the nutritarian diet, and synthetic folic acid is so potentially dangerous, folic acid is not included in Dr. Fuhrman’s Gentle Care multivitamin.”
GINGER: Oh, the lovely ginger. Ginger is a wonderful anti-inflammatory that keeps your immune working like superman during pregnancy. A HUGE PERK to juicing with ginger is its anti-nausea/vomiting abilities that many pregnant women suffer from. It relaxes the stomach, aids digestion, prevents acid reflux, and will nix your nausea in no time. Remember when you were sick and your mom gave you ginger ale? Enough said. J Add an inch of ginger root to your juice at least once a day.
PROTEIN: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and proteins are the building blocks of life. Proteins aid in cell function and synthesis, metabolism, growth and development, immune function, repairs and builds DNA and RNA, formation of tissues and organs, and has also created a huge meathead industry. (Just kidding!…a little.) The best way to get all of your amino acids is through a wide range of fruits and veggies such as a blend of pineapple, carrots, spinach, apples, cabbage, celery, beets, and cucumbers. The more vast the range of colors, the better!
When juicing during pregnancy, some DON’TS are…
- Do not juice fast! This can stimulate a detox, and having extra toxins roaming your system is dangerous to baby.
- No substituting meals for juice.
- Go light on cilantro and parsley. These bad boys are POTENT detoxifiers for your liver and kidneys. Normally I would say this is great for you except for the fact that you’ll have extra toxins loosened up in your system which can make their way into the womb.
Listen to your body. If something makes you feel sick or doesn’t feel right, avoid it. Let your intuition guide you.
Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!
Most people today, especially women, spend lots of time and money on products, serums, procedures, books, advice, etc. to achieve eternal youth and beauty. We live in a society where looking and feeling young, beautiful and fit are highly coveted and worshipped. Add on the pressure from the media who are great at adding to this pressure as they symbolize what a healthy beautiful person looks like with models and actresses. Looking like a Kardashian or Victoria Secret model isn’t the most realistic goal and no way to compare oneself to, unless you really want to look like one and are willing to put in the work, money and hours…then Hey! Go for it!
Add in the flood of baby boomers striving to lock in their youth. One of the most coveted beauty ideals is to keep our skin young, tight, clear and beautiful. Its a hot beauty trend that has caused the plastic surgery industry to boom. According to Lifeterminsurance.org, in 2011 the industry totaled over $80 billion. In 2015 it is expected to climb to $115 billion! Clearly, Americans are willing to shell out a lot of money to look younger. Unfortunately, most of the products from stores have been shown to be ineffective, especially given the high prices.
In addition, these products are loaded with toxic chemicals that can break down collagen bonds and disrupt your endocrine system which leads to hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances = bad skin. Procedures on the other hand are proven to be more effective, as proven by the statistics that in 2011 and 2012, Botox sales were $5.3 million, $5.7 million respectively, and is predicted to close at $1.94 billion in 2013! Clearly, America hates wrinkles! No wonder younger generations are afraid to age.
While Botox proves to be temporarily effective, it is expensive (between $300-$500) each time, is toxic, and lasts about 3-4 months which is bad news to those who cannot afford to be a repeat customer. The good news is that Mother Nature creates some fantastic products that when used internally and externally, can reverse aging, smooth out fine lines, and even out skin tone. In a nutshell, healthy youthful skin is all about prevention. Don’t wait for lines or dull skin to happen, be proactive! I would like to add that I have nothing against Botox or those who use it and completely understand why people get use it, this is simply to holistically inform those looking to naturally achieve beautiful skin. In this three part series, I share what you can put ON your skin, do to your skin, and consume to achieve naturally smooth, beautiful skin. Let’s explore….
EXTERNAL BEAUTY: WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR SKIN
Nix those toxic face washes, lotions and toners. They are doing more harm than good!
- IODIZED SEA SALT: This will slough off dead skin, clean pores, remove make-up, and brighten your skin while leaving behind minerals and ions that neutralize free radicals to prevent aging. Rinse your face with warm water and then gently rub 1 teaspoon of sea salt in circular motions on your face for 1 minute, then wash off. Do this every night. Cost: $1
- BENTONITE CLAY MASKS: This mask makes your skin RADIATE! Bentonite clay binds to toxins, oil, etc. in your pores and draws them out. It is powerful at clearing skin, zapping blackheads, evening skin tone and tightening pores, which will lead to a natural glow. In a non-metal bowl, mix one tablespoon of clay with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, mix well and lather all over your face. Leave on for at least 30 minutes and wash off with warm water. Do this 3x a week. Cost: $15
- LEMON JUICE AND APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: These two work as a great astringent that tone your skin, prevent blemishes, and deliver tons of vitamins and minerals. Nourishment prevents wrinkles. The acids neutralize oil and bacteria. Use a swab of either of these and rub onto skin every day before bed. You can use these interchangeably. Cost: 30 cents to $6.
- COCONUT OIL: Coconut oil is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other properties that nourish, soften, tone, and hydrate your skin. Dehydrated skin is a recipe for dry skin which leads to cracks, uneven skin tone and dull color. Hydrated skin is key for gorgeous skin!! HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE! Substitute this for your moisturizer and watch your skin change. Cost: $10
- BAKING SODA: While your face is wet, gently rub baking soda on your skin in circular motions. Baking soda is an excellent exfoliant, makes your skin glow, reduces age spots and wrinkles, and binds to dirt and bacteria to remove it. Your skin will look amazing!! Cost: $1
Incorporate these tricks into your beauty routine in lieu of chemical laden products and your life will change! All of these are under $15 so your skin and bank account will love you!!
Maca, the native root in Peru, has been around for over 3500 years and is becoming more recognized in the Americas for its super potent healing and nutritional properties. It has a slightly nutty flavor, and is in the same cruciferous family with radishes and cauliflower…so technically its a veggie. You can find Maca in powder and capsule form, and can be found at most health food stores and of course, the internet. An easy way to consume it is to toss a scoop in your smoothies and protein shakes after the gym for a nutty, healthy kick. Fun fact: During the Incan Empire, warriors would consume Maca before going to battle to increase strength and energy.
As far as nutrients go, here is why you should choose Maca for health and happiness…..
- It is abundant in B vitamins, especially B-12 (a win for vegetarians)
- It is rich in sulfur, which is great for joint function and cellular health
- Abundant in calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, and much more
- Has 20 amino acids (body builders – add this to your protein shakes!)
- Is rich in antioxidants to help fight cancer and slow down aging
The physical and mental benefits of why you should consume Maca for health and happiness include…
- Balances Endocrine System: Maca is a fantastic remedy for balancing hormones. It has adaptogens which regulate hormones, promoting homeostatic balance. It stimulates your hypothalamus and pituitary gland (aka. our Master Gland) and keeps them nourished and functioning. If your hormones are out whack, you will most likely feel tired, get cold/hot easily, have acne, have brittle hair, feel depressed and moody, poor memory, etc.
- Increases fertility and stamina: Not only did the Incans use it to gain strength during war, they also had to abstain from using it afterwards because their increased stamina was causing them to hit on women too much. Yikes. It has been proven to increase fertility, making your terrain healthier. Fun fact #2: (saying this as modestly as possible) Maca is known as “Natures Viagra.” Hmmm
- It regulates and alleviates symptoms of PMS, menopause, and irregular cycles.
- Nicer skin, hair and nails. Maca is rich in sulfur, which is known to make your skin beautiful while making hair and nails grow faster and stronger.
- Stress and weight management. This superfood nourishes your adrenals, keeping cortisol levels in check. Cortisol is a stress hormone that makes your adrenals release in response to physical, mental, and edible stress. Cortisol preps your body for a stressful situations and causes you to retain fat in preparation of starvation.
- Thyroid support and more weight management. Our thyroids regulate metabolism and act as our body’s thermostat, and when out of balance can wreck havoc on your metabolism. Maca to the rescue!
If you could use an extra boost, I highly recommend Maca for health and happiness.
Unsupported jpeg image (with marker: FFE2). [/home/skylarm/public_html/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/turmeric2.jpg]
Doesn’t this pic make you want to sip a tropical drink on an island? This pic is a delicious drink I had in Bali that was made out of turmeric, ginger, and honey. And it was divine!
Turmeric is a very powerful herb, and its main component, Curcumin, is a very powerful compound that does wonders to your health. Its uses are known and used worldwide, especially in India in Ayurvedic and holistic nutrition. It even dates as far back as 1280 AD! Thankfully, its reign lives on.
Lets explore what Turmeric can do for you, shall we?
-Reduce rates of cancer
-Is 8X more potent than Vitamin E, great for healthy skin and antioxidant use
-Fights free radicals that can damage DNA, cells, and increase tumor growths
-Gives you beautiful skin, hair and nails
-Gives you energy
-Healthy for your joints and bones
-Reverses aging when used consistently (aging, by the way, is a common symptom of too many free radicals in your body)
-Engulfs the hydroxyl radical, a very potent oxidant that ages the body
…And many more!
You can consume turmeric in capsule form, root form or powder form. For powder form, sprinkle in salads, dishes, pizza, sandwiches, whatever you can think of! If you purchase the root, you can slice is finely and add it to hot water and let sit for 10 minutes to make tea. Add some honey and ginger to give it calming herbal taste.
Went to NYC this past weekend and came back feeling more alive than ever! Everything about it…. the crisp fall air, constant movement, seeing every walk of life possible, and plethora of shops, restaurants and coffee shops just instantly makes you feel so alive. While there, we ate at this fabulous restaurant in the Village by Washington Square Park called Quantum Leap with a huge choice of veggie burgers, veg dishes, as well as some fish. I had the “Fire Rock Burger,” and it was incredible. Check out a glimpse of their amazing menu….
The constant movement of people, taxis galore and tall buildings add so much energy…
First time going to Washington Square Park
Authentic Italian Coffee shops offering ALMOND MILK lattes??? Jackpot!
Back Bends in Central Park. Enough said.
Cartwheels keep you young! The trick is growing up without growing old.” – Casey Stengel
Random pictures painted on trees
And of course…some LOVE
Lavender is absolutely wonderful. It smells great, relaxes you, revitalizes you, cleanses you, has many homeopathic external uses, as well as putting you in a blissful trance.
Get your daily dose of lavender through candles, incense, and oils.
You can make hair masks, body lotions and serums, lip gloss, and much more. If you’re a nervous flier, bring some lavender oil on board with and inhale when you’re feeling any anxiety. Works like magic!