eat for your skin!

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and certainly one of the most important: it protects your insides from all the evils in the world! The way I view my relationship with my skin is like this: it helps me out all day, every day, so I may as well do what I can to help it out when possible. Skin becomes beautiful and healthy from the inside out, so although washing and moisturizing it certainly does good things for it (as long as you’re using all-natural, mild products – I like Burt’s Bees), it is what you put into your body that has the most profound effect on your skin. I’m not saying I’m perfect and eat for my skin all the time because I love greasy pizza and french fries as much as the next person, contributing to oil buildup in pores and causing sallower looking skin, but I do what I can. Most of the time, I’ll only allow myself one treat meal like that a week, which (hopefully) doesn’t hurt too much. On other days, I’m pretty conscientious of what I put in my body, and am often thinking about what will do good things for my skin. Serendipitously enough, eating for your skin helps you get a variety of other nutrients necessary for the rest of your body, so eating for your skin isn’t only for your skin, but for your overall health! Here are some suggestions of things to eat to try and help you on your way:

1. Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells against free radicals, which are molecules produced naturally in the body from processes such as digestion but are dangerous because they can damage cells and have been linked to heart disease and cancer. The free radicals are looking to take electrons from other molecules, which sets off a chain reaction of stealing electrons, and the original free radical ends up leaving a path of broken and misshapen cells in its path. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, making it unnecessary for them to steal from other molecules, and therefore saving the skin cells that would have potentially been hurt by the free radical.

  • Where can I find them? blueberries, cranberries, peaches, sweet potatoes, artichokes, avocados, cinnamon, garlic, thyme, green tea, black coffee, red wine, dark chocolate

2. Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids: These are essential fatty acids that Americans tend to lack in their diets. They smooth out skin, reduce inflammation, and help erase spots. Added bonus: they also really help along your digestive system!

  • Where can I find them? sardines, salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, fish  oil (Usually, I would recommend trying to get all of your nutrients from your food, but unfortunately essential fatty acids aren’t ver abundant in what we eat. For these, I think it’s quite acceptable to take a supplement, I take flaxseed oil every day!)

3. Vitamin C: This well-known and always talked about vitamin not only helps prevent colds, but stimulates collagen production, which helps smooth out wrinkles and give your skin a full, youthful appearance. Vitamin C also helps catalyze the production of scar tissue, meaning it helps repare your skin when something happens to it. There have also been studies linking Vitamin C to sunburn reduction and reduction of the long-term effects on skin from the sun.  Added bonus: it is an antioxidant! If you’re eating Vitamin C, you’re neutralizing some free radicals!

  • Where can I find it? citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, red and green hot chile peppers, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kiwis, clementines, strawberries

4. Lycopene: Lycopene is a phytochemical, meaning it is found in plant foods. I’m sure you’ve heard about the dangers of UV rays with respect to our skin, but in case you didn’t already know, UV rays create free radicals, which, as you now know if you didn’t already, damage cells. Lycopene helps eliminate these free radicals like antioxidants do, and therefore help protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. It also helps significantly in protecting against sunburn.

  • Where can I find it? the most common way to up your lycopene intake is to increase your tomato consumption, but it can also be found in guavas, watermelon, grapefruit, dried parsley and basil, and chile powder

5. Iron & Folic Acid: Without enough of these substances, your skin has the potential to turn sallow and pasty.

  • Where can I find them? iron: mollusks, red meat, egg yolks, liver, beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, dark leafy greens. folic acid: spinach, collard greens, asparagus, broccoli, papaya, orange, lentils, pinto beans, avocado, brussel sprouts

6. Selenium: This nutrient is important in helping prevent free radicals caused by the damaging UV rays from the sun, as well as preserving elastin, which keeps your skin smooth and tight.

  • Where can I find it? canned tuna, brazil nuts, shellfish, liver, fish, sunflower seeds, bran, bacon, lobster, crab, shrimp

MM Local

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I just got a new job! Officially my first “real world” job, I am now a sales ambassador for MM Local, a company based in Boulder, CO that buys local, organic produce from farmers along the Front Range, cans it with minimal additives, and sells it all year round. Essentially, their mission is to become the leading national brand for authentic local food and inspire other communities to adopt the same values. I’m very excited about this job, as I will be doing demos at places like Whole Foods Market and get to spend days at farmer’s markets when they open back up for the summer!

mm local jars

I’m really excited about this job for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I think one of the most accessible ways to help not only our planet, but ourselves, is localizing food production and consumption. This would significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels at multiple levels, including those of production and transportation of goods. It would also cut the majority of processed foods out of our diets because we would be eating fresh, whole foods rather than packaged foods high in sodium and saturated fats. This is what I hope to teach people in my life, and I want to help our global society move towards sustainability, which starts at the local level. On top of that, I get free samples to eat! I just got jars of pickled beets, curried beets, tomatoes with rosemary, two different types of applesauce, and our mild pepper blend. I’m starting to cook with them and learn which ingredients go well with other things, which is not only fun for me but will help me with my job when I get questions about how to use the ingredients! I’ll keep you guys posted on the recipes I find and come up with. Wish me luck!

“Reality is a s…

“Reality is a social product arising from interaction, and commuinication extends or limits realities.” Stewart et al.

I love words. I study words, I think in words (some people think in colors, shapes, sounds, tones, etc.), and I always work very hard to find the right word. It’s interesting though, because although we humans think we have defined everything within our symbolic set of languages, I often find myself void of the right words. Hence, language limits my realities in countless ways. Some things simply cannot be expressed with words, and in these instances, I hate them. But without them, there would be extremely limited interaction. I would not be able to tell my friends about the sweet things my boyfriend does , I wouldn’t be able to make my friends feel better when they’re “in a pickle,” I would not be able to say out loud when I love someone. So, yes, I love words, but sometimes their limiting power cannot help but be felt, and in such times, my brain feels like it’s going to explode. Please, if you know other good ways of communicating to each other, comment! Communication is the center of human existence, and the more I can learn about it, the better off I’ll be. 🙂

“Human interact…

“Human interaction, then, is at the core of human existence. It gives meaning to the self, symbols and languages, social networks and societies, world views, and social objects.” Stewart et al.

Do you ever feel like you’re doing it all on your own? Or do you ever try and do it all on your own? You shouldn’t. There are millions of other people out there who have already done most of the work for you, ask questions, do research, listen, interact. People depend on one another no matter what they like to think, so don’t try and “go it alone.” There are people out there who can and want to help you, so take a load off.

sorry for my absence…

I know there aren’t too many of you out there who actually pay attention to this, but nonetheless, to those who do, I’m sorry for my hiatus. To tell the truth, the beginning of the year was really overwhelming and I was planning on just taking a short break, until I realized I forgot about it. I’m back, though, and have a lot more to say now! Keep reading, and if you never did, maybe you should start! 😉 

US Food

So, what’s the deal with this: http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/banned-ingredients-still-legal-u-132100120.html? Apparently, this list of eight ingredients have been banned in food production around the world for various reasons, including them being carcinogenic (cancer-causing), increased risk of hypothyroidism, or even nervous system disorders.

fda-chickens-contain-arsenicDo you really want these things in your food? Most of the time, they are kept in the food for vain reasons, such as speeding up the bleaching of flour, making chickens appear pinker (therefore, fresher), or increasing production in order to earn more. Yes, we all know the United States is a capitalistic country with often questionable and/of materialistic motives, but are we really so shallow as to risk the lives of millions of our citizens in order to make a few extra bucks or have our cakes be bright pink? Apparently some people are.

rainbow

Use your agency to act out against this, eat local, don’t buy pre-packaged and processed foods, and try and keep everything going into your mouth natural. Not only will this help your health, but if everyone begins localizing their lives, our Earth environment might even take a turn for the better.

Wonder Classic