Thursday, April 24, 2014

Try this; 11 steps to a spring detox.

My friend and I were talking today about detox.  While she has been detoxing for 45 days, I find that is not for me.  I like a detox for a week to 2 weeks and then I like to go to my normal eating patterns.  My diet is fairly healthy but a few things could be improved.  Enjoy these 11 steps to a detox method that I found.  It is said that a full body detox should be done with each season.  Enjoy!
1.  Cut back or eliminate meat and dairy products at least for a while to give your body a break. Meat is highly acid-forming in your body, can be a strain on the kidneys and intestines (low water, no fiber and requiring plenty of energy to digest) and dairy is mucus-forming and many people lack sufficient enzymes to properly digest it.
2.  Don’t eat it if you can’t read it. Read labels on the healthy food selections you choose.  Most of the harmful preservatives, synthetic flavors, and other artificial ingredients have long, complex names.  If you find ingredients that you can’t read or pronounce don’t buy it and definitely don’t eat it.  Choose fresh foods that come in Nature’s packaging:  fruit and veggies.
3.  Take out the trash…from your diet, that is. I probably don’t have to tell you what constitutes “trash:” fried and sugary foods, and the 3 Ps: processed, prepared and packaged food since they tend to be full of trans fats, sugar and food additives.
4.  Veg it up. Make at least 70% of every meal vegetables. That’s easier to do than you think: enjoy a fresh vegetable juice, a large green salad or a plate of steamed, roasted or stir-fried veggies.
5.  Simplify your meals.  Smaller, simpler meals eaten more frequently throughout the day not only help ease the burden on your digestive system, they also balance blood sugar levels.  Unstable blood sugar levels are linked to weight gain and mood and energy fluctuations.
6.  Use herbs to give your body a boost. Milk thistle is a proven liver-regenerator and detoxifier, dandelion and uva ursi are well-established kidney-restoring herbs, sea buckthorn extract powder helps heal the lungs and flaxseeds help eliminate toxic material from the intestines.  Follow package instructions for the herbs you choose.
7.  Enjoy a hot bath. On its own it is relaxing but to boost the cleansing effects, just add a cup of Epsom salts or baking soda.  Both alkalize the water to help neutralize acidic toxins.  Epsom salts help your body to absorb magnesium–a mineral some experts estimate is deficient in 80 percent of people.  Magnesium neutralizes acidic toxins, relaxes muscles and is required by hundreds of functions. Relax for 20 minutes or more.
8.  Drink plenty of pure water daily to flush out toxins. For a really great detoxifying drink, add the fresh juice of one lemon to a large glass of water first thing in the morning and drink it either warm or room temperature. Lemons help alkalize your body chemistry, contain more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and help cleanse your liver, kidneys and colon.
9.  Add 1/2 cup of cooked legumes (beans) to your diet daily to boost your fiber and nutrient intake and balance your blood sugar levels-one of the keys to balanced energy and weight.
10.  Have a snack attack.  Snacking throughout the day helps with weight loss, energy and balancing moods.  Just make healthy choices.  Here are some quick and simple ideas: a handful of raw, unsalted almonds, almond butter on celery sticks, nori rolls with avocado (vegetarian sushi), a veggie and sprout wrap, a berry smoothie with rice or almond milk.
11.  Get your blood pumping. Exercise improves circulation, which brings fresh, oxygenated blood to your organs and tissues, thereby revitalizing them…and you.
Simple daily changes to your diet and lifestyle can add up to major health improvements, more energy, balanced moods, and an overall feeling of wellbeing.

Brightening Beer Facial

1 egg white
1/2 cup of beer
2 t fresh lime juice

Combine all of the ingredients and slather on the face.  Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Beer is a soothing cleanser and increases the skins luminosity.  The beer and egg white create a filmy mask that hydrates and improves the elasticity of the skin.  Lime is a source of vitamin C and helps to clear pores and fade brown spots.

Hint:  Use your favorite beer and drink the remaining beer while the mask sits on your skin.  Yummm...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Acai Berry Pore Tightening Facial

Acai Berry Pore Tightening Facial

2/3 cup sugar
2 t acai powder or 1/4 acai slush
10 fresh whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mix)
1T olive oil

With a potato masher, mash the sugar and acai powder or slush with the berries, then slowly add the olive oil;  combine coarsely with a whisk.  Massage into the face.  Leave on for about 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Berries are an antioxidant, wrinkle fighters, and a string astringent, so they tighten the skin and reduce pore size.  Acai berries have high doses of fatty acids and combat hyperpigmentation.  The sugar and oil for a gentle scrub which removes debris trapped in pores.

Warning:  Dogs and cats like to lick food off of your face.  Please remove them from your presence while performing this procedure or you won't have the mask on your face for more than a minute....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wine facial for wrinkle-smoothing

1/4 cup of wine
1/4 cup kaolin clay
2 T grapeseed oil
1 T organic oat flour

Combine all the ingredients.  Apply to the face, neck, and d├ęcolletage.  Rinse with warm water after 10 minutes.

What works:  Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found primarily in red wine may help to repair the damage caused by sun exposure that can lead to wrinkles and sagging.  Kaolin clay draws out impurities and the grapeseed oil moisturizes and hydrates.  The oat flour gently exfoliates.

Warning:  Dogs and cats like to lick the food off of your face because it smells delicious.  Put the animal in the garage while you do this facial.  Ha ha!  I couldn't keep them off of me ;o)  Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Green Beans with lemon Vinaigrette

I made this for Easter and it makes the green beans light and wonderful.  Tastes like Spring!
Green Beans with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper

Steam Green Beans over boiling water so they are bright green but not soft.  Should be crunchy when eating them.
In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.  If it is needed, season with more salt and pepper.
Toss the green beans with the dressing and serve.

At Christmastime I trade the green beans for Asparagus.  Then wrap the asparagus in strings of lemon.  Both recipes are wonderful.  Enjoy!

New Year Quote for 2014

Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Lemon Poppy Dessert

I just made this recipe for Easter and it is light and delicious.  A perfect compliment to a full stomach!
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (or the whites from 7-8 eggs), at room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • A dash of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12-ounce jar lemon curd
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish  
  • Lemon slices, for garnish 
  • Raspberries, for garnish 
    Preheat oven to 250°F. 

    Make the meringue layers: Put egg whites and vinegar into the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip egg whites until they begin to form stiff peaks (about 6-8 minutes). Once the egg whites are stiff, add the salt and gradually add the sugar until all the sugar is added and the whites are stiff and shiny. Put the meringue into a piping bag. 

    Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Measure the bottom of your trifle dash so you know how large to make your meringue layers. With a pencil, trace three of the appropriate size disks onto the parchment paper. Pipe the meringue into the disks, about 1 inch thick, being very careful not to pipe outside the lines. If you have leftover meringue, pipe a few dollops for decoration. 

    Bake the meringues in the oven for 2 hours or until the meringues are dry on top. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven until completely cool. You can also leave them in overnight to ensure dryness. 

    Make the lemon poppy cream: In a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and salt, and whip a little more just to incorporate. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream using a large rubber spatula. Add the poppy seeds. 

    In large trifle dish or glass bowl, build the trifle: (Tip: to make the layering easier, place the lemon curd into piping bags.) Place one of the meringue layers into the bottom of the dish and pipe the lemon cream on top. Repeat twice, ending with lemon cream on top.   

    Place the trifle in fridge for a few hours or overnight. 

    Just before serving, sprinkle with a little more poppy seeds and decorate with a few slices of lemon. 
    I also topped it with mixed berries like Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries.