Thursday, August 27, 2009

Everlasting Beauty

This was the title for a health workshop I attended last night presented by Step Up Women's Network and lead by Aimee Raupp, a certified acupuncturist and herbalist who holds a bachelor's of science iin biology and a master's in traditional Oriental medicine. I learned quite a bit and thought it would be a great topic for this post. We were given a lot of information so this will only touch on a few key pieces. Let me know if you're interested in any particular section and I'll expand in another post.

Aimee believes there are three main components to Everlasting Beauty - general good health, mental clarity, and confidence.

General good health - there are three key things that should be included in our diets every day. Antioxidants (nutrients that help combat the oxidative damage to our bodies associated with aging) can be found in foods such as avocado (Vitamin E), blueberries (Vitamin C), Goji berries (Vitamin C), tomotoes (Vitamin C and lycopene), and sweet potatoes (Vitamin A and carotanoids). Omega 3's are also very important and help support healthy skin and nails and act as natural anti-inflamatories. Foods such as walnuts and almonds, olive oil and fatty fish (salmon, herring and sardines are best). Quality supplements such as fish oil and cod liver oil are also great sources (Aimee recommends Nordic Natural and Garden of Life brands). Lastly, detoxifiers are essential. Not detox programs that are pushed through informercials, but natural sources such as green veggies (kale, spinach, etc). Because our busy schedules make it difficult to incorporate green veggies into all of our meals, Aimee suggests supplements such as spirulina. It comes in the form of a tablet or capsule and if you're really adventurous there are powders that can be mixed into smoothies or other beverages. Detoxifiers help keep skin clear, healthy, and beautiful.

In addition to the things we should include in our diet, there are a few things that we should avoid at all costs. Processed foods, added sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup) and soy. You're probably wondering about the last one. I did too. I thought it was good for me. Well, apparently short term studies do show advantages but long term studies show that soy is very damaging to our hormones and our bodies are unable to fully digest it. So, the conclusion is to stay away (even edemame!)

Mental Clarity - I particularly love this one. Aimee wants us all to just calm down! To step back and relax. Stress ages us more than almost anything else as it causes genes to degrade at a faster rate. We need to learn how to manage our stress and take time for ourselves. Two five minute breaks per day with our eyes closed and deep breathing. Check in with yourself or just relax. Turn everything off - blackberries, iPhones, cell phones, tv's, radios. Everything. Just take five minutes and break the stress cycle. She also suggested focusing on gratitude. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, take a few minutes each day to write down a few things that you are grateful or thankful for. Or, find a friend who wants to do this to and send an email to them each day telling them one thing you're thankful for. Turning the TV off 20 minutes before bed will also help you calm down and relax. This and getting 7-8hrs of sleep every night are both key. I unfortunately, hardly ever get 7-8 hrs of sleep during the week. This is one thing I must work on.

Lastly, Confidence - Confidence shows through, but all too often we don't have the self confidence that we should. One way to boost confidence is to start censoring how you talk to yourself. Talk to yourself the same way you would talk to others. Or rather, don't talk to yourself in ways that you wouldn't talk to others. Don't diminish your strengths or focus on the things you don't like about yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and tell yourself that you like yourself. That you love yourself. Sounds cheesy, I know. I haven't tried this yet but it sounds like a good way to focus on inner confidence and being proud of yourself. We have to be confident in ourselves and not rely on others to be.

By focusing on these three pieces it seems we should become closer to having everlasting beauty. It comes from within, not from a bottle of lotion. Don't think that you have to follow this word for word every minute of every day, but it is best to eat and live as healthfully as possible. I'm looking forward to trying some of these tidbits of advice and seeing how it makes me feel. Let me know if you try any of them and what you think.

If you're interested in more information, Aimee wrote a book called Chill Out & Get Healthy. I purchased it last night when 10% went to Step Up and I'm looking forward to digging in!

Have a healthy & happy day!

1 comment:

Christina said...

I'm curious if you made changes based on the talk? You seem to already have good health. Have you been able to increase mental clarity? Confidence? If yes, what did you do?