Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beauty Starts From Within

Reporting live to all S&SR Readers!

For my first report I want to emphasize that a beautiful body starts with what we put IN to our bodies.  So, I want to discuss my "must haves" for a healthy and beautiful inside.

My first attempt at staging the subject of a report.  Sorry you can't read "Flaxseed" on the Flaxseed oil.... 

Whole-Grains:  Here in America (like much of the Western world) we seem to eat primarily processed grains that do not have the nutrients or fiber that come from eating the whole grain.  They are in things such as bread, pasta and chips.  Often derived from wheat and corn, these processed grains are empty of nutrition and often very high in calories.  It is important to try and eat whole grains instead.  One easy way to get whole-grains is cereal in the morning (don't tell me you can't make cereal!)  When picking a whole-grain cereal you want it to have lots of vitamins and fiber, but as little sugar as possible.  As a self-proclaimed foodie, I also need my cereal to taste good.  I have recently been loving "Multi-Grain Cheerios*".

Dark-Leafy Greens:  Simply put, these things are packed with fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants (these prevent aging and bad "free radicals" in your blood.  Good stuff.)  You should eat lots of them. 

Tomatoes (and other Fruits): Fruits in general have lots of necessary nutrients, but tomatoes are a tasty beauty secret.  Tomatoes are great for promoting a shiny and sparkly complexion.  Not only that, but scientists are finding links to consuming tomatoes and fighting cancer! So next time eat that tomato on your salad, or opt for some tomato based pastas or soups instead of the creamy ones!

Lean Protein: Lean proteins such as eggs, tofu, chicken, and fish are great for having healthy muscles, hair, nails, and little growing humans.  One of my favorites is eggs. They are not only healthy but they have great beauty applications such as facial masks and hair conditioners (I hope to do a blog post just about eggs at some point.  Comment below if you are interested!)

Water:  Drink it. If you are 70% water, then it makes sense to look and feel your best you need it.  Debate all you want about filtering, water bottles, etc.  I say--if you are drinking water not sodas and processed juices, A+ for you.

"Blah blah healthy, exercise, I've heard it all before.  Healthy food is booooring!"  I know we have all had these thoughts.  These tips apply if you are a marathon running-baby saving-super model; or someone who is reading this eating your 16th slice of pizza (yeah, you know you just ate two whole pizzas.)

Spices:  Take anything healthy above and add some spices!  They really make the seemingly boring food sparkle (we love things that sparkle!) There are tons of spice blends available at your local market, or you can experiment with your own (or use google...)  Spices can make simple foods into a wide range of flavors from many different cultures.  When choosing your spices, be aware of which have salt and which do not.

Multi-Vitamin**: No supplement can ever take the place of the real thing (you know...that boring healthy food above) but it can help if you can't get around to all the healthy stuff in a day.  I always look for one with a lot of B vitamins, Iron, and Calcium (most do.) I personally love the "GNC- Womens Ultra Mega"* multi-vitamin.  This vitamin is taken twice a day with food.  Along with all your regular vitamins, it has a "beauty blend" of vitamins to promote healthy skin, hair, and nails.  It also has an anitioxidant blend for when you can't get all the necessary fruits and vegetables.

Fiber Powder**:  So if you are not getting all your veggie/fruit nutrients, it's unlikely you are getting all your recommended fiber for the day.  Fiber is important for....cleansing your digestive tract.  I like Benefiber* because it is an easy way to get that 20g of fiber you need a day.  It disappears into water or soft foods easily.  It also is tasteless and non-thickening.  No joke, I put it in a glass of water, stirred, and was left with water.  So weird.

Flax Seed Oil**:  Last but not least, the beauty lover's best friend--Omega3 Fatty Acids.  These are very important for your skin, hair and nails.  It also can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer (score!).  Naturally you can get Omega3's from fish/fish oil, or flax seed.  I prefer flax seed since I eat quite a bit of fish.  Also, there is some concern that fish oil pills can have mercury which is certainly not good.  There are lots of debates about fish vs. flax seed oil.  Susan Sparkles says, either one is better than none.

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

**Before taking any supplement please consult with your doctor, especially if you are taking medications or may/are pregnant.  If you don't, "it said so on the internet" is not a great explanation to St. Peter.

I hope you enjoyed my first blog post!

Shine & Sparkle!

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