Jojoba oil

Before I decided to focus on my music and Vocal Psychology to help people find their inner voice, I worked as a psychologist and gave trainings on the subject of personal effectivity. I would give people advice on how to reach their goals better, and 2 terms I used a lot were 'efficiency' (how you reach a goal) and 'effectivity' (IF you reach a goal). If there's one thing I'm very fond of, it's efficiency... I like it when things make sense, I like it when you can use something for multiple reasons, I love it when I have found the shortest route to what I want. And obviously I want my methods to work as well....

My discovery of Jojoba Oil

What's with the lecture, you might ask? To illustrate why I almost cried a little bit when I read an article from one of my favorite bloggers, Gala Darling. She wrote about how jojoba oil was 'the elixir of the gods', describing how it is really good (effectivity) for your hair AND skin (efficiency).

Needless to say, I was fascinated by this information... I ordered a bottle from an online shop and tried it out for the past 2 weeks. I used 2 drops of it every night after cleansing but before moisturizing my skin, and 3 drops after I washed my hair. Conclusion: I AM STUNNED! It really works miracles!

What did Jojoba oil do for my skin and hair

My skin is usually of the notorious combination type, where my T-zone is oily and the rest dry. The jojoba oil really evens it out, which is great for so many reasons: obviously it just looks better and healthier, I don't have to touch up my make up during the day, my hair stays cleaner etc.

My hair is curly and thick, and it gets dry very easily. The jojoba oil makes it look very shiny and healthy and my curls really come alive! Also, it seems like I don't have to wash it as often (which could also be the result of my better skin).

Other ways you can use it

  • Lip balm
  • Eye make up remover (that doesn't irritate your eyes)
  • Shave prep
  • Massage oil
  • For a higher IQ (ok, that might not be true)

I swear I am not a spokesperson for this product (yet). But I could be, I am psyched to have found this! Try it out at home, it's very cheap, you don't need much of it for any purpose (another efficiency factor) and it's effective... And I didn't even mention the fact that your bathroom will look so organized, after you've thrown away your moisturizer, lip balm, make up remover and hair products!

Read more about Jojoba Oil

XOXO Maruja 

Follow my work for Vocal Psychology, where I will teach you to sing your heart out!

Picture: Maruja Retana for her single Right Through Me.

First published in 2013. Updated in 2019


Beautify with essential oils

Today I'm going to discuss just a little of the amazing benefits of essential oils, particularly for your skin, and how I make the most of them in my beauty regime.

essentialoils2

 

An essential oil for every ailment

It's no secret that aromatherapy is a buzz-word for the health conscious. There's practically an 'oil' to help every and any ailment from the common cold to tummy upsets and everything in between. In the beauty aspect - everything from thinning hair to skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne to more beautiful nails can be improved by the use of specific essential oils.

My 20+ essential oils

Pictured are just a few of my 20+ essential oils which I've been collecting for some time now. I just love them! I use the oils after almost every shower or in my baths to uplift, re-energise or calm depending on what I need at the time. I also use them to ward of sickness or headaches for myself or my family. Popping them directly on the feet is amazing! Your feet will absorb the oils and transport them quickly into the bloodstream. I personally can recommend Young Living as my favourite. I've tried many brands over the years and have found these the best for both potency and purity. I also love their blends suited to so many of my varied needs. Of course there are many other lovely oils available from various companies. Only check that they are therapeutic grade before purchase.

Essential oils for your face

Just now though I want to zone in on what I do for my skin - the skin on my face that is! As many of you will know who've read any of my previous posts, I believe in beauty from the inside-out in every respect. What you eat really is what you'll become on the outside and what you think will also determine much of what is expressed in your person. There are few beauty 'products' as such that I would recommend one actually put on their skin. Essential oils are something I can certainly vouch for as enhancing my complexion, increasing tone, and evenness in skin tone.

Essential oils against acne and ageing

Frankincense is the king of oils for my face. I am totally in awe of it's effectiveness to lessen if not completely fade pigmentation. This is what I use it for most! If you want to remove age spots or scarring naturally, look to frankincense essential oil to do the job. This essential oil has been revered since ancient times as a healing agent for various conditions, and has been used on the skin for countless treatments. It has several different healing properties, including being a cicatrisant, which means it is capable of promoting wound healing and fading scars on the skin. I've never experienced acne or breakouts personally, but frankincense would be perfect for you if this is a condition you have suffered from and have scarred skin as a result. As well as frankincense I also enjoy pure essential oil of Sandalwood as an extra preventative measure against ageing. It's wonderful for wrinkles!

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 10.36.07 AM

my daily regimen with essential oils

I shower and exfoliate my skin to cleanse and remove dead skin cells leaving it silky smooth and absorbent. Then, using my fingertips, I simply smooth over 5 - 10 drops of the Young Living essential oil of Sacred Frankincense - usually I do this in the evening. I may also then pop a couple of drops of Sandalwood oil to any lines on my face, followed by some pure organic, cold pressed Jojoba oil. I love using my DIY face mist as well, often in the mornings, which includes frankincense essential oil as well with rosewater as a toner and freshener for my skin.

Any other questions on my choice of essential oils, or to experience Young Living essential oils for yourself, feel free to ask me via my personal YL page  here.

You can read more beauty tips I live by a recent interview for the well known Australian website Beauticate, here.

Love, light and everlasting beauty to you all

xxx Abigail


Mind Over Body: The Cortisol Effect

"THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS" 

If your mental well-being is not incentive enough to practice this motto, some science may convince you that it's at least worth an attempt for your physical appearance.  How you think may affect how you look. A positive outlook can help your body evade over-secreting stress hormones like cortisol which can take a toll on your figure.

POWER OF MIND OVER BODY?

When you stress, your mind alerts your body to react as if it is being threatened. Starting at the site of the hypothalamus in your brain, a cascade of metabolic events is triggered.  The anterior pituitary gland releases ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) which causes the adrenal cortex to produce higher than normal quantities of the "stress" hormone cortisol.

Chemical Structure of Cortisol

WHY IS CORTISOL REFERRED TO AS A "STRESS" HORMONE? 

During physical or psychological stress, your muscles thirst energy and cortisol helps to deliver it in the form of glucose to the overtaxed tissues. Cortisol mobilizes non-carbohydrate reserves of protein and fat by increasing the rate of gluconeogenesis which converts amino acids and triglycerides (building blocks of protein and fat) into usable energy.

WHY IS TOO MUCH CORTISOL BAD ?

Chronic high levels of cortisol can lead to:

1. Weight Gain

When the adrenal glands chronically secrete more of the hormone than needed, adipocyte growth is over-stimulated, leading to enlarged fat cells.

2. Belly Fat

Body fat is categorized as visceral or subcutaneous. Subcutaneous describes fat beneath the skin surface and visceral refers to deep abdominal adipose tissue. Since there are more visceral cortisol receptors, when cortisol mobilizes triyglyerdes from fat reserves it deposits it more readily in the belly. Thus, added stress is often correlated to added pounds in tummy.

3. Acne

Although cortisol has anti-inflammatory properties, when secreted in high levels over an extended period, it can have the adverse effect. The immune system becomes suppressed and inflammation exacerbates. Oil glands are over-stimulated which can result in clogged pores and breakouts.

TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE STRESS & MAINTAIN LOW CORTISOL LEVELS:

1. Retrain your brain

Practice positive thinking. When you catch yourself fixating on situations that you can't control or negative thoughts- actively steer your mind in a constructive direction.

2. Take a break

If you reach a plateau in work productivity and can't concentrate anymore, instead of getting all frustrated-simply take a break. Go for a walk or switch tasks and return to it later. This is a healthy practice for your mind and will increase your efficiency.

3. Live in the present moment

Don't dwell on the past or think too far into the future. This can flip your mind into a state of panic. Enjoy the present moment and don't try to solve all your problems in one day.

4. Exercise & Switch it up

Working out is a great stress reliever and should be fun. Try to workout on a regular basis and switch up your routine so that it is something you look forward to and not a laborious task. Maybe try alternating between gym, outdoors and group classes to maintain variety. Incorporate mind & body approaches to fitness like yoga or pilates.

5. Healthy diet

6. Minimize caffeine intake

7. Get sleep

8. Not all on you

If you are overwhelmed- don't bottle it up. It is cathartic to have a support system. Whether you seek solace in talking to a friend, family member, in religious faith or seeking professional help- do whatever best suits you.

 


A BEAUTIFUL ALKALINE BODY

Did you know that you can actually make your body more beautiful, simply by becoming more ‘alkaline’? Your body has a delicate pH balancing system in which it works to keep equilibrium & stop your body fluids from becoming more ‘acid’ or if needed, too alkaline. I’m going to focus on the alkalising bit in this article as we very rarely get ‘too alkaline’ in our modern day, fast paced, un-natural lives!

Think of it this way…

ALKALINE = Improved health, extra energy, enhanced beauty, toned & more supple body, glowing skin, sparkling eyes, lustrous hair, high libido, healthy nails, faster wound/injury healing, flexibility, strengthened immunity, feeling of lightness & balance within the body, mood enhancing/positive mind.

ACID = Lethargy, sickness prone, cellulite, bad breath, slow healing, sagging skin, bloodshot eyes, dark circles, falling hair, acne, dandruff, low libido, tight muscles, painful joints, aches/pains, headaches, brittle nails, feeling of heaviness, clumsiness, depression/negative mind.

Without going into extensive scientific details here on pH know (Antoniette HELP! lol)... I'm pretty sure the term 'pH' refers to the alkalinity or acidity of water solutions. Ie: your blood & body fluids, but can refer to the watery + mineral content of anything from soil to water to plants etc. There are wonderful books, charts & informative material on the web you can discover to educate yourself on saliva & urinary pH testing, which can be a highly beneficial monitoring system. This said I usually gauge my 'alkalinity' by the way I feel!

Foods that promote Alkalinity

Raw foods especially vegetables & green foods, spring water, almost all fruits, raw milks & cheeses, cultured foods such as sauerkraut (recipe to come!), kefir, kombucha & others. Lightly cooked vege’s & broths. Freshly pressed fruit & vegetable juices, wheatgrass juice, green drinks & smoothies. Fatty fish. Almonds. Sufficient rest. Yoga. Moderation. Light stress free exercise which is enjoyable. Sunlight, hydrotherapy & fresh country air. The sea. Love, laughter & peace of mind.

Of course, there are more but these are some of the big ones you want to make sure you’re doing or not doing!

Things that contribute to Acidity

Denatured foods such as white sugar, white breads/biscuits/pastries, red meats, soft drinks, smoking, late nights, excessive technology, fluoridated water, overwork, city air, excessiveness, coffee/tea, antibiotics, preservatives/flavourings/colourings, dried fruits, high protein foods (even natural foods, eat moderately), high intensity exercise or labour, lack of sunlight & stress.

alkaline-food-chart

Ways to create an Alkaline body

More ways to create an alkaline body would be to indulge in salt glows (scrub moistened skin all over warm body vigorously with sea salt until pink, rinse, towel dry), dancing in the rain, nature walks by the sea or rainforest, loving the dog/horse/budgie or people in your life, deep breathing, walking barefoot on dewy grass, aromatherapy treatments/massage.

MG_7727

Another thought

Don’t you find it interesting to think that the foods which are most beneficial to our health/vitality & wellbeing are the foods which grow in the most abundance & require little or no preparation to enjoy? I’m meaning fruits & vegetables as opposed to meat (needing much land for grazing & spoils easily), grain/nuts/seeds (more difficult to process than fruits & vegetables) etc. Herbs grow in astonishing abundance & almost without cultivation! Herbs are something which I feel we should be consuming more of daily. Also greens, fruits of all kinds, vegetables, grasses/sprouts, & milky grains (such as fresh corn on the cob)…These foods are readily accessible & perfect alkaline nutrition. Even an avocado is rich in valuable nutrients, good fats & is beautiful in alkalinity. These are foods that promote beauty, health & wellbeing in the way we look, think & feel. They fit into our hands perfectly, our mouths & even look like our body systems, organs & sometimes even diseases (now that’s freaky! natures food designed for humans). There's really so much to discover on this subject of alkalising... The effects upon our bodies is immense so do look into it further if you are passionate about health & especially, healing.

MG_7336

Probably the best thing about alkalising is, YES, we will look more gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. It works, making you more beautiful with every positive choice you make. But to me, what's even better than the other best part about alkalising, is in the way makes me feel. AMAZING, fresh, youthful & buzzing with ideas. Every. Single. Day.

LOVE & CHOCOLATE (PS. I'm very very busy with my book, so if I don't write for a while, extra LOVEEE! XXX) Abigail


Four Foods for Fantastic Skin!

"Four foods for Fantastic Skin!"

Because naturally glowing skin really does start from the inside out, here are a few fresh, whole food ideas that will really make your skin glow! Here are my 4 favorite foods for skin that will make it fantastic:

  1. Healthy Fats, such as Avocado, Raw Nuts and Coconut Oil will plump up your skin and reduce winkles.
  2. Vitamin A, necessary for healthy skin can be found in Carrots and Sweet Potatoes.
  3. Vitamin C, always amazing for you, are in Berries, Mangos and Cantaloupes.
  4. And lastly, Hydration! The most important for nice skin, I try for Green Tea and lots of water!

And now here are some foods that should be avoided!

  1. Alcohol – it’s terribly dehydrating!
  2. Refined sugar – wreaks havoc on your hormones that could cause breakouts.
  3. Dairy – is difficult to digest for most, and could also lead to breakouts :(
  4. Processed food – Just try no to eat anything that comes from a box! ;)

Julie!


For the Love of Food, Fashion and OYL

I love good food!! It is my no 1 passion.

I also love learning about the human body, health/healing and wellness is a lifelong fascination of mine...and if you haven't guessed it - I love FASHION. I love this industry with all the gorgeous artistic minded people who come together to create absolute genius. I love models! Models are beautiful people yes, but they are also very intelligent and at times vulnerable, real people with real hearts which can be broken! I love life. I love making life a celebration daily. Don't you? Isn't it a wonderful thing that you and I have the power to choose health today? To choose delicious, vibrant, life giving foods? 

One of my favourite quotes in my new book MODEL CHOCOLATE is:

"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress." 'Letters to Emily' Charles Pierre Monselet French journalist and author. (1825-1888) 

I can't wait to share with you how easy it is to make your own delicious life giving foods which in turn give you more energy, while making you feel more inclined smile and be beautiful on the outside! When you take care of your body from the inside, even when it comes to treating yourself with lavish desserts, you feel so wonderful that it shows. Good luck!

Love and chocolate xxx Abigail

MODEL CHOCOLATE  is a superfood chocolate book jam packed with over 70 sugar free, dairy free, gluten free recipes for every occasion to be made in minutes. No artificial sweeteners or processed foods, just lots of real cacao love! Eco fashions, models, and art makes this revolutionary cookbook unique, cutting edge and visually inspiring and uplifting. The book is also available for instantaneous download here.

Image above of Abigail from the book MODEL CHOCOLATE. Photographer - Damien Nikora, stylist - Tamzen Holland Chalmers, make up - Ashlea Penfold, creative director Sarah Chambers.


I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin

SKIN CARE FOR MEN

As the days are getting colder (well, here in the Netherlands) I have to be extra careful with my skin. Not every man likes to put some effort in his "beauty" skin care for men regime (most men only wash their faces with water and that's it), but I'm a fanatic skin care user for many years now. I don't mind getting older (I'm 33 right now), but with my healthy lifestyle and the help of some natural products I can reduce the process a little bit.

As you know I don't drink any alcohol for almost a year anymore (read: Choose Your Juice), and I can see the effect on my skin! It looks healthier than ever before!

Every morning I use some natural face products for men. Here are the steps in pictures:

Step 1:

Picture 1: my morning face, Picture 2: Intensive cleaning with scrub gel
Picture 1: my morning face, Picture 2: Intensive cleaning with scrub gel

You can scrub your face a few times a week. Always apply it on a moisty face (and neck). Wash it away with lots of hot water.

Step 2:

Gentle facial cleanser by Rituals
Gentle facial cleanser by Rituals

Luxury Face Treat by Rituals

 

I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin
I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin

 

You can make funny faces while waiting (10 - 15 minutes)
You can make funny faces while waiting (10 - 15 minutes)

Wash it away with lots of hot water. You can use a mask one or two times a week.

Step 4:

FACE nr 3: Ultra moistering face lotion by Rituals
FACE nr 3: Ultra moistering face lotion by Rituals
Finishing touch! I use this ultra moisturising face lotion every day!
Finishing touch! I use this ultra moisturising face lotion every day!

After this skin care you are awake and ready to start your day!

Ready to go with my fresh and healthy skin!
Ready to go with my fresh and healthy skin!

I also protect my hands with this lovely lotion:

Hand cream by FACE STOCKHOLM
Hand cream by FACE STOCKHOLM

This rich, concentrated hand cream leaves hands delicately scented, while locking in the moisture that is vital for the maintenance of healthy, hydrated hands. And it smells sooo good!

I hope all the men are inspired to take care of their skin! And if you have other tips: SHARE!

Ps: VALENTINA also shared her beauty skin secrets (for women and men) a few months ago! You can read it HERE!

Good luck!
Good luck!

 


My Skin Care Routine

After writing a post about “5 steps to a beautiful skin” , someone asked me what products I use. So this is the continuation to my previous post.

As you can see on the picture (above) that I took of my bathroom shelve, those are 8 key products that I use in my skin regime.

(In no particular order, but as showing on the picture)

1. “AMORE PACIFIC” treatment enzyme peel. I use it as a scrub daily, after washing my face with a cleanser.  It is so gentle and doesn’t irritate my face. It comes as a powder, which activates by adding  water (I use Evian pure water). Helps to get rid of toxins and dead skin cells. It is plant-based product, made without chemicals and other nasty ingredients.

2. “REN”  detox clay mask. I love this clay mask! I use it after a shower, while my pores are still “open”. This mask contains kaolin clay and spirulina. Helps to remove excess sebum and reduce pore size. I apply it all over my face for 15 min. It dries out while pulling excess oil and dirt out of the pores. Again, this mask is  free of synthetic chemicals.

3. “M.D. Forte” soap-free hydrating cleanser. I use it every day before a bedtime. Its like a soap, but doesn’t actually contains a soap. I love it, because it doesn’t make my skin dry and “tight” .  My dermatologist gave it to me, and I can’t imaging using anything else.

  1. “Jurlique” Lavender Hydrating Mist. It’s my toner. I love the smell of lavender! I use it after the “M.D. Forte” and before the moisturizer. It contains only few ingredients and the main ingredient is lavender oil.

4. “EMINENCE” Rosehip Whip Moisturizer. My facialists recommended it to me, and I love it! Its all-natural, organic skin care line from Europe. I really like the texture and it smells like a rose.

5. “Eminence” Couperose-C Serum . It’s a pure Vitamin complex. Contains Q10, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and E. I use it by mixing a few drops with my moisturizer, or on a clean face before a bedtime, along itself. It  is a powerful antioxidant treatment, that helps to fight wrinkles.

6. “SKIN CEUTICALS” Phloretin CF.  Its a night treatment, I use it on a clean face, applying few drops. It prevents and corrects sun-spots, heals the scars, calms the redness, fights free-radicals, get rid of the pimples,.. You name it! It’s the miracle product haha! I totally love it!

7. “CLARINS” UV Plus SPF 40. My sun protection. I like it because it’s a high number, also it doesn’t make my skin white like other products, plus it doesn’t  break out my skin.

 

Well, I hope you find this helpful. Maybe you will discover a natural product that works, please share with me!

LOVE, VAL


5 steps to a beautiful skin

I’m not going to talk about any products in this post, but I will tell you about 5 simple steps that I do and that will help you to achieve a beautiful skin. Sure, clean healthy whole food diet is one of the most important part of having a beautiful skin. I will talk more about it in the next post.

Here are the 5 steps:

1. Cleanse - use mild soap cleanser to wash your face daily.

2 Exfoliate – use gentle scrub to remove dead skin from your face.

3. Tone – this is very important step. Use alcohol free toner before you apply the moisturizer. This will help to soften and prepare your skin for a deeper moisturizing.

4. Moisturize – find a hydrating cream that works best for your skin type.

5. Protect – apply SPF daily! Try to find a chemical-free organic skin care brand that will not clog your pores.

Practice these steps daily, starting today!

Good luck and embrace your beautiful self!

LOVE, VAL


ALKALISE YOUR BODY BEAUTIFUL

Did you know that you can actually make your body more beautiful, simply by becoming more ‘alkaline’? Your body has a delicate pH balancing system in which it works to keep equilibrium & stop your body fluids from becoming more ‘acid’ or if needed, too alkaline. I’m going to focus on the alkalising bit in this article as we very rarely get ‘too alkaline’ in our modern day, fast paced, un-natural lives!

Think of it this way…

ALKALINE = Improved health, extra energy, enhanced beauty, toned & more supple body, glowing skin, sparkling eyes, lustrous hair, high libido, healthy nails, faster wound/injury healing, flexibility, strengthened immunity, feeling of lightness & balance within the body, mood enhancing/positive mind.

ACID = Lethargy, sickness prone, cellulite, bad breath, slow healing, sagging skin, bloodshot eyes, dark circles, falling hair, acne, dandruff, low libido, tight muscles, painful joints, aches/pains, headaches, brittle nails, feeling of heaviness, clumsiness, depression/negative mind.

Without going into extensive scientific details here on pH know (Antoniette HELP! lol)... I'm pretty sure the term 'pH' refers to the alkalinity or acidity of water solutions. Ie: your blood & body fluids, but can refer to the watery + mineral content of anything from soil to water to plants etc. There are wonderful books, charts & informative material on the web you can discover to educate yourself on saliva & urinary pH testing, which can be a highly beneficial monitoring system. This said I usually gauge my 'alkalinity' by the way I feel!

THINGS WHICH PROMOTE ALKALINITY = Raw foods especially vegetables & green foods, spring water, almost all fruits, raw milks & cheeses, cultured foods such as sauerkraut (recipe to come!), kefir, kombucha & others. Lightly cooked vege’s & broths. Freshly pressed fruit & vegetable juices, wheatgrass juice, green drinks & smoothies. Fatty fish. Almonds. Sufficient rest. Yoga. Moderation. Light stress free exercise which is enjoyable. Sunlight, hydrotherapy & fresh country air. The sea. Love, laughter & peace of mind.

Of course, there are more but these are some of the big ones you want to make sure you’re doing or not doing!

THINGS WITH CONTRIBUTE TO ACIDITY = Denatured foods such as white sugar, white breads/biscuits/pastries, red meats, soft drinks, smoking, late nights, excessive technology, fluoridated water, overwork, city air, excessiveness, coffee/tea, antibiotics, preservatives/flavourings/colourings, dried fruits, high protein foods (even natural foods, eat moderately), high intensity exercise or labour, lack of sunlight & stress.

More ways to create an alkaline body would be to indulge in salt glows (scrub moistened skin all over warm body vigorously with sea salt until pink, rinse, towel dry), dancing in the rain, nature walks by the sea or rainforest, loving the dog/horse/budgie or people in your life, deep breathing, walking barefoot on dewy grass, aromatherapy treatments/massage.

Another thought. Don’t you find it interesting to think that the foods which are most beneficial to our health/vitality & wellbeing are the foods which grow in the most abundance & require little or no preparation to enjoy? I’m meaning fruits & vegetables as opposed to meat (needing much land for grazing & spoils easily), grain/nuts/seeds (more difficult to process than fruits & vegetables) etc. Herbs grow in astonishing abundance & almost without cultivation! Herbs are something which I feel we should be consuming more of daily. Also greens, fruits of all kinds, vegetables, grasses/sprouts, & milky grains (such as fresh corn on the cob)…These foods are readily accessible & perfect alkaline nutrition. Even an avocado is rich in valuable nutrients, good fats & is beautiful in alkalinity. These are foods that promote beauty, health & wellbeing in the way we look, think & feel. They fit into our hands perfectly, our mouths & even look like our body systems, organs & sometimes even diseases (now that’s freaky! natures food designed for humans). There's really so much to discover on this subject of alkalising... The effects upon our bodies is immense so do look into it further if you are passionate about health & especially, healing.

Probably the best thing about alkalising is, YES, we will look more gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. It works, making you more beautiful with every positive choice you make. But to me, what's even better than the other best part about alkalising, is in the way makes me feel. AMAZING, fresh, youthful & buzzing with ideas. Every. Single. Day.

LOVE & CHOCOLATE (PS. I'm very very busy with my book, so if I don't write for a while, extra LOVEEE! XXX) Abigail

 

 


Eating Your Water

With the temperatures heating up in New York City, it is vital to get the right amount of water in daily, as we consist of 60% H20 relative to our weight! So not only should we drink up, but we should also eat up!

I know it can be hard to get the recommended '8 glasses of water a day' for some people, especially if you are out and about, and simply lead an extremely busy lifestyle. I personally try to shoot for a good 10+ glasses, and for most approximately 2 litres a day is minimum! It might seem like a lot, but I do perspire quite a bit in the summer, and I sometimes think I am part camel, as I really do crave water! People laugh at me, but I have to admit it is my favorite beverage :)

But drinking water on its own is not the only source of hydration, as we are surrounded by nutrient dense, and hydrating fruits and vegetables which ultimately contribute to our daily intake of water (not fluids, as you can't count coffee, alcohol or caffeinated tea )

So here is a list of my favorite, water rich foods which you can incorporate into your diet, to contribute to your recommended 8 glasses a day minimum. They are perfect for the summer, and really will leave you nourished, healthy and most importantly hydrated!

- Lettuce (96% water)- all varities. My favorite is crunchy Romaine

-Cucumber (94%)- I have mine in salads, as a snack or I juice it into a green juice! So hydrating.

-Pears- I incorporate them into a juice, or cut them up in my fruit salads

-mushrooms- I can have a mushroom any which way, but prefer them steamed or lightly sauteed

-radishes- perfect in your summer salads, especially delicious with a citrus fruit (grapefruit, arugula, fennel, radish salad)

-watermelon (96%)- Of course:) My ideal summer fruit, and one that I simply cannot get enough of

-pumpkins (93%)- these gorgeous squashes have an extremely high water content, so roast them, make 'pumpkin fries' or simply steam them for a side dish

-broccoli and cauliflower (90%)- My two favorite vegetables. I do have to have them slightly steamed though, but can eat them in the bucket loads.

-spinach (92%)- I blend it into smoothies, juice it, or simply throw it into my salads. The more greens the better!

 

Not only are these foods alive and nutritious, but they taste amazing, consist of antioxidants which contribute to anti-aging, keep you full and contribute to your glow, all the while keeping you hydrating!

Remember to drink and eat your water!

 


Beauty Bites ~ Stuff I Do

Hi everyone! Let's talk about BEAUTY. Just quickly! Beauty bites!? ;) OYL is a great place to find lots & lots of 'beauty bites' by beautiful people! But as Miranda Kerr said in her book 'Treasure Yourself' - 'Don't compare yourself with others' she says...'a rose is beautiful, but so is a sunflower.' So as you read here I hope you keep true to YOU. Are you ready to start your very own beauty revival, & be the most beautiful person you can be? Starting from the inside, & allowing that beauty to shine without! You may enjoy my post ~ Cultivating Confidence. ..because just as important as what you put into your body, is how you feel, & what you think every day.

Most of what I do personally as a beauty regime comes down to the famous quote. 'WE ARE WHAT WE EAT'. Believe it!!! Say it until you cringe at the thought of processed, sugary, unnatural, dead foods. This is your foundation for life. Life to your bloodstream means beauty all over.
I believe in raw foodssuperfoods & lots & lots of good fats! I believe in chocolate. I believe in green drinks, I believe in GREENS (period). I believe herbs grow prolifically for a reason, I believe in thinking outside the square. I believe in climbing trees & I believe in smiling!

Ok. What else can I say in a nutshell? What you put in & what you feel is so very important, but there's a whole lifestyle package that will contribute to radiance like no other.  My top 8 beauty rules would be: Water (inside + out), Sunlight (daily), Exercise (vital to how you feel & look!), Nutrition (fill your body with lifegiving raw & unprocessed foods), Air (breath deeply, avoid toxic air), Rest (8 hrs sleep minimum, 3 of them before midnight best), Temperance (no to toxic substances; yes in moderation, to all that is good!), Trust (peace inside = anti-wrinkles). These points may seem to you too simple to prove effective. The image below from a recent shoot, is of me over 35 (SHHH DON'T TELL ANYONE!). I won't say exactly how far gone I am just yet...but suffice it to say, this simple stuff really works. Natural living is your most powerful tool against the signs of aging. The odd detox doesn't hurt either. For gorgeous glowing skin, do all you can to live closely to nature, you'll be amazed at the results! PROMISE.

Something else I love to do is use all sorts of natural things on my skin. By this I don't mean things that come in packages, generally, although I do have a few nice products which I use occasionally. I love skin foods (talking direct application now) like coconut oil, aloe vera, manuka honey, olive oil, cacao, avocado, strawberries, spirulina, clays etc. Be an 'unconventional beauty'. I love to make up my own masks, treatments etc (see one here) & simple effective face mist (here).


A nice book for people beginning natural beauty treatments at home is this one by Carla Oates, Feeding Your Skin.

It's funny I've been writing so much about beauty lately, & with all the things I'm learning & sharing, I truly feel that beauty is a human need. To behold beauty, to feel beautiful, & to express beauty is vital to life. Looking forward to sharing more on this subject soon!

Love & chocolate xxx Abigail