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tips

3 MUST HAVE organic products

You will want to try at least one of them.

1)  Vicks Vaporub

My grandmother just turned 78 few days ago, and guess what? She looks like she’s in her 60s. Her skin, despite the wrinkles expected from her age, looks radiant, smoother than other women that age, and delicate. When asked how she does it, what’s her secret, she only answers: Vicks Vaporub.

It’s a mentholated oil-based cream usually used forcough suppression (decongest your chest) and joint pain. Its components include camphor, eucalyptol, menthol, among others. However, it has been proven to have way more properties. These are some uses that I have personally experienced or directly know of someone that has.

Uses of Vicks Vaporub:

- Stretch marks (Works beautifully. Give it about 2 weeks)

- Acne (Reduces inflammation thanks to the camphor)

- Wrinkles

- Cuts (Its components encourages fast healing, and prevents infection)

- Nail fungus (The camphor acts as an antimicrobial killing the bacteria and preventing infection)

- Insects repellent (Mosquitoes will fly away! The camphor and eucalyptol are toxic for them.)

- Sinus headache (The menthol scent releases pressure off your head – by provoking a cooling sensation - relieving the pain)

- Muscle pain (Increases circulation, reduces inflammation. The menthol and camphor act as a local anesthesia. Warm up after applying!)

 

2) Vitamin E

A while ago, I saw an interview made to beautiful Shakira, where she gave away one of her secret beauty tips. She mentioned how she cuts open a pill of pure vitamin E, and applies it directly to her face. Doing more research about it, I decided to try it out myself. Results? Fantastic!

Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant, that your body doesn’t naturally produce, and repairs skin. As an antioxidant, it neutralizes the molecular that damages collagen, helping with skin dryness and wrinkles. Therefore, prevents early aging of the skin.

Uses of Vitamin E:

- Moisturizer (helps retain natural moisture keeping the skin well-hydrated)

- Younger/Glowing look

- Reduces acne         

- Prevents early aging of skin

- Scars (helps reduce them)

- Wrinkles (helps with existing wrinkles, and prevents new lines from forming)

- Cleansing

- Tones skin (increases firmness and elasticity)

 

How to apply it:

BUY Vitamin E (If you live in the U.S., Walgreens is the place)

CUT it in half (I simply use scissors)

APPLY forming a thin layer (I do it directly with my hands, but you could also use some cotton or hyssops)

SPREAD (It is oily, but not very liquid-ish, so make sure you spread it evenly)

 

3) Coconut oil

Why is all this fuzz about coconut oil going on? Simple. It’s one of the best organic products out there.

I use it in both my skin and my hair. I personally prefer using the virgin coconut oil, but any other refined ones will do the work when used externally.

Coconut oil contains large amounts of saturated fats such as lauric acid. Saturated fats are usually less positive for your organism in comparison to unsaturated fats. HOWEVER, coconut oil is predominantly MCFA (medium-chain fatty acid) rather than LCFA (long-chain fatty acid), which means it doesn’t have a negative effect on cholesterol.  It actually helps increase the metabolism and reduce the risk of heart diseases, to mention only two of its benefits.                                              

Uses of Coconut Oil for Skin:

-       Softs skin

-       Reduces appearance of scars

-       Reduces itchiness

-       Moisturizes (I prefer to use it on my face overnight)

-       Acts as eye-makeup remover

-       Prevents stretch marks

-       Helps reduce appearance of varicose veins

-       Natural chap stick

-       Alleviates allergy symptoms

-       After shave lotion (feels great!)

 

Uses of Coconut Oil for Hair:

-       Increases silkiness

-       Reduces frizz

How to apply it?

To increase silkiness

Pour on bowl and warm up to oil state. Allow it to cool. Then, apply on scalp and hair massaging and tie your hair up. I prefer to do it at nights, and then wash my hair in the morning. It looks great!

To reduce frizz

Simply grab some coconut oil, rub it on your hands, and apply it over your hair.


ALWAYS GIVE PRIORITY TO YOUR WELLNESS


Aristotle strongly believed we should look at the mind (soul) and body as two entities that intertwine and work together, rather than two separate ones. We should do our best to feel beautiful inside, and our bodies will translate those emotions. And just as we attempt to feel at our best inside, we should take great care of our bodies to feel at our best outside as well.


There are so many little changes you can start following that will help you improve your quality of life. Start with the ones that give you visual results and you will come to understand how something so little can make such a huge difference.

Top nutrition tips for dancers

1) SNACKS! (100 or less calories snacks)

Fruits/Vegetables:

- 1 apple

- 1/2 banana (with peanut butter)

- 1/2 cantaloupe

- 1 cup of berries + 2 tablespoons of yogurt with honey

- 1/4 avocado

- 25 grapes

- 1 cup of pineapple

- Sliced tomato with olive oil (I add a bit of black pepper on top)

- 1 cup of carrots (you can add a healthy dressing)  

 

Juices:

- 1 cup orange juice

- 1/2 cup pineapple juice

- 1/2 cup apple juice

 

Cereals/Breads:

- 1 slice of wheat bread + 2 egg whites

- Granola bar (I prefer the ones with almond and peanut butter)

- 1/2 English muffin

 

Other snacks:  

- 1 cheese string + 5 crackers

- Starbucks Tall Skinny Latte

- 12 almonds

- 20 peanuts

- Graham crackers (4 squares)

- 1 1/2 cups of microwave popcorn (no butter added)

- 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt or ice cream

- 5 Hersheys Dark Chocolate kisses

- 20 mini pretzels

- 1 baked potato

When?     Before dancing/rehearsal/working out

Why?       Nutrition status can have a heavy influence on our energy levels. When dancing (or doing any type of workout) for a long of time, our nutrition levels will decrease. We need to make sure we replace any losses in our body. Going too long without eating decreases our metabolism and burns muscle for fuel (you feel weaker and are at greater risk for injury)

Recommendations?        I prefer to try two of these snacks, and get 200 calories from them in my dancing days. When you are burning a lot of energy, starving not only decreases your performance, but has been proven to actually increase body fat %. Your body composition will improve!

 

2) Berry Smoothie

- Handful of strawberries

- Handful of blackberries

- Handful of blueberries

- Handful of raspberries (optional)

- 1/2 water cup

- Mint leaves (optional - I add 1 or 2 leaves)

- Chia seeds/Flax seeds (optional - I add one spoon of each)

Blend them all together and enjoy.

When?     Mornings

Why?       The phytonutrients in berries are full of antioxidants, antiflammatory, anticancer and cleansing properties. They boost your immunity system, improves your digestive tract and they are a great source of energizant. Blackberries alone contain up to 30% of the daily recommended amount of fiber.

Recommendations?    Play a bit with the amount of each berry you include, you may like better the flavor of one over the other. I highly suggest including the chia/flax seeds because you don't even feel them in the smoothie, and they are a GREAT source for fiber and energy. This is by far my favorite smoothie - it fills me up with energy, especially during my dancing days.


3) Bananas

When?   An hour BEFORE working out

Why?     Bananas are not only filled with digestible carbohydrates (considered to be fuel for our bodies), but are also rich in potassium, which helps to maintain and improve our muscle and nerve function.

Recommendations?     I suffered from chronic tendinitis in both my ankles for a long time, and after receiving proper treatment, the hardest part was getting back in track - and eating bananas before any workout (in my case, dancing) helped improve my performance. I highly recommend to at least give it a shot.


4) Greek yogurt (with berries and/or granola)

When?    Within one hour AFTER working out (during this time, your body is at its peak for nutrient absorption).

Why?      Greek yogurt has double the protein than regular yogurt (protein helps build lean muscle).  It is also a great source for carbohydrates (fills you up with energy). Berries have proven to fight muscle soreness (they break down nutrients so they can be delivered to the sore muscles), and granola is rich in fiber and protein (which reloads the muscle with energy).

Recommendations?      The protein/carbohydrate combination is an amazing one. They both work together helping in keeping your energy levels up for longer and preventing you from feeling hungry too quickly (as a team, they slow down the rate at which your blood rises and falls). Staying fit and in shape is not only about cutting down fast foods and toxins, but also learning how to restore energy in your body after a workout. I dance and do other type of fitness activities such as yoga and pilates everyday, and hence, can't afford to mistreat my body by not reloading it with the proper nutrients. Plus, Greek yogurt is the best.