• body-brushing bliss

    July 8, 2009

    One of my favorite rituals is dry body brushing, done before every shower unless I’m in a mad dash.  Body brushing helps the skin remove toxins, slough off dead cells and stimulate the production of natural moisturizing oils while making you feel invigorated top to toe.  Or, rather, I should say toe to top. Here’s how to work it:

    1. You know that long-handled wooden brush in your bathroom that you never use?  Give it a good rinse under hot water and let it dry. Otherwise, head to your drug store or The Body Shop – they’re fairly inexpensive.

    2. When you’ve stripped off for your shower, remove the brush from the handle and get ready to brush.

    3. Start at the soles of the feet, brushing in circular motions.  Continue brushing all the way up and around the legs.  Make sure you get your butt in on the action!

    4. Next, turn your attention to your torso.  This is the only area you want to brush in long, vertical strokes away from the heart.

    5. Brush gently around the breast.  And hey, if you have a partner this a nice time to ask for a helping hand.

    6. Now keep the circular moves going from your hands up to your forearms and continue up to the shoulders.  Don’t forget the armpits.

    7. Finally, pop the brush back on its handle and give your back some well-deserved attention.

    That’s it! The warm months are a great time to start this.  During the winter when I want to jump straight into the hot water I’ll switch to a hemp towel and do the same procedure but wet.  The whole process should take no more that 3-4 minutes.  If you have someone in there with you that’s another story…

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  • diet and anti-social behavior

    July 6, 2009

    I’m a big fan of BBC Radio 4.  To me, it’s the audio equivalent of the Discovery Channel.

    This morning, Radio 4 featured a very interesting half hour called The Criminal Mind.  I had read about how hyperactive children who were transitioned to a healthy diet showed marked improvement in concentration.  This program looked into similar experiments with prison inmates whereby those adopting a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids committed 26% fewer offences than those inmates on placebo tablets.

    So why isn’t nutrition given the place it deserves?  To quote one researcher, “It is difficult to persuade people that something as simple as diet can have such a major effect.”

    You can listen to the program in full for the next seven days.

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  • will the real super food please stand up?

    July 4, 2009

    In my recent video tour of my kitchen, I mentioned that whole, fresh fruit and greens are the true super foods; and that I was taking a closer look at the maca, lucuma and cacao lurking in my fridge.

    There’s no money in fruit and veggies.  You can’t brand them like you can processed goods.  That’s why there’s no advertising, no spiel.  The closest I can think of are the vegetable box schemes or CSAs that have become so popular.  But here again, no one can stake claim to produce as proprietary.

    Yet producers are aware of the public’s desire for natural, plant-based nutrition; and someone was bound to cash in on it.

    Enter “super foods”.  At £20 (around $36) for a pack of lucuma – a dried Peruvian fruit boasting high levels of beta carotene in its WHOLE form – the only super thing we can be sure about is the price.

    I can’t say I agree with everything in the latest issue of the Glycemic Index newsletter (I can think of better after-sports options than pasteurized chocolate cow’s milk, for example), but Nicole Senior’s assessment of the super food craze is right on,  She also makes a very good point about the environmental impact involved in the production and distribution of so-called super foods.

    I use lucuma in my Dulce de Leche recipe, but to do so with the belief that it alone will super-charge my health is ridiculous.  In short, the Earth gives us a wealth of vitamins and minerals distributed amongst an incredibly varied plant kingdom for a reason; and each is packaged with pure water for a purpose.  To think that a single food – let alone a dehydrated supplement – can nourish us is completely contrary to our nature.  T. Colin Campbell calls it “scientific reductionism”; Dr. Douglas Graham refers to it as the “fragmented approach.”  To be healthy, we gotta be whole.

    It’s also important to remember that plants produce toxins in order to ward off predators, yet another reason to rotate the produce we eat and keep concentrated foods to a minimum.  As I was telling a client yesterday who works in finance: it’s smart to shop for food as if you were investing in a portfolio; spread your investments in order to minimize risk and maximize reward.

    Have a super 4th of July!

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  • my kitchen, unplugged: fridge door & freezer

    July 1, 2009

    Welcome back for part three of my kitchen tour where you’ll get to see what’s chilling out in my fridge door and doing time in the freezer.

    I realized as I was watching this that it may appear as an ad for Ziploc.  As I’ve mentioned before, my mom sends me about a box of these a year since the quality of bags in the UK isn’t great.  These are sturdy enough to wash and use again and again.

    I thoroughly enjoy giving a kitchen a good detox and did another one today for a new client.  With a 15-month old and a Spanish husband who adores his country’s traditional cuisine, she needed family-friendly solutions that are both healthy and practical.  I showed her how to evaluate what she already had, explained the best way to store certain items in order to preserve their nutrient content, and gave her shopping ideas to support her well-being goals.  Want to learn how to make your kitchen work harder for you?  Let me know!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx9eMF3A4vA

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