Wellness Challenge Week 27: Be Beautiful
It sounds vain, I know, but I’m talking a different kind of beauty. I’m talking taking intentional time out of your day to look and feel your best, and that means so much more than choosing a sexy skirt and shirt combo out of your closet every morning and primping for an extra 15 minutes in the bathroom.
Since becoming a Pangea Organics Independent Beauty Ecologist, I’ve had so much fun learning about natural beauty. But more than just learning, my journey thus far has reminded me that there is more to beauty than meets the eye.
In fact, a lot of natural beauty has to do with what meets the mouth, the gut and the heart instead. Take for instance a study that was conducted in Europe that found chocolate (in it’s purest raw form) could actually act as a sunscreen and protect us from painful sunburns and cancer-causing skin damage. Believe me, I’ll take any excuse to eat more chocolate for health reasons.
**Before I go any further, if this topic is remotely interesting to you, I want to personally invite you to join me for a free webinar tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16) at noon Central time. We’ll dive way deeper into natural beauty and talk more about different things you can do to increase your beauty quotient. Register here, even if you can’t make it. I’ll email all registered participants a link to the recording!**
Okay, back to the blog.
What You Eat Affects How You Look
My boyfriend and I have also been sampling delicious new smoothies from our new Superfood Smoothies book. I’m learning the beauty benefits of superfood ingredients like acai, cacao, camu berries and chia seeds. If ever you needed a prescription to increase your beauty, here it is.
- Acai – high levels of antioxidants promotes defense from free radical formation and aging skin plus includes heart-healthy fats
- Cacao – energizing and mood enhancing without the obligatory sugar crash. Cacao actually increases serotonin production in your brain helping you to feel better after indulging, plus it helps the skin by preventing inflammation.
- Camu berries – hailing from South America, 1 teaspoon of Camu berries contain 1200% of your daily Vitamin C, making them the best boost for immunity. On top of that, these little berries are also anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Basically, if you need anti-anything, have some of these.
- Chia seeds – you know those little tapioca-like balls you find in some Kombucha drinks? Okay, maybe not, but chia seeds are becoming more and more common AND here’s a fun fact I bet you didn’t know. Chia seeds contain 8 times more omega-3s than salmon ounce for ounce, 5 times more calcium than milk, 3 times more iron than spinach and 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Who knew you could pack so much nutrition into a tiny seed?
- Goji berries – these bright red berries support eye health, the immune system, improve memory and act as an anti-carcinogen.
And this is just a sampling of what I’m learning about eating for natural beauty! Basically, if you assemble your food choices like a football team, you want goji berries, camu berries, and acai on defense and chia seeds, cacao and camu berries (they’re so versatile!) on offense.
What You Slather On Affects How You Feel!
Beyond what you can ingest, what you put on your skin is equally important, as our skin acts as a second mouth, absorbing up to 60% of what we place there and transporting it directly to the blood stream. Knowing that, you have the choice to put toxic chemicals on your body everyday (making it imperative that you start eating goji berries to fight the new carcinogenic load you just delivered to your body) OR make healthy, informed choices about your skincare products and use nature’s bounty to help you stay healthy.
First of all, you’ll never find petroleum products, sulfates, detergents, synthetic preservatives, artificial colors, fragrances or GMOs in any Pangea Organics (PO) products and if you don’t use Pangea, then start looking at the ingredients lists on the back of your beauty products and make sure whatever you use doesn’t have these in them either. All of these ingredients are commonly used in the beauty care industry AND have been proven to be toxic and cancer/disease forming or have not been tested for health and safety.
Instead, look for natural botanical ingredients that come from the Earth and, like the superfoods we can eat above, fight the nasties in their own natural way.
- Calendula – soothes irritated skin with high concentrations of flavonoids (the same property found in the chocolate study that aided in UV protection)
- Willowherb – used for centuries by both Native Americans and Japanese women and a key factor in achieving flawless skin, this potent extract prevents wrinkles, restores vitatlity to damaged skin and balances sebum production
- Argan Seed Oil – provides high doses of Vitamin A and E to the skin, aiding in anti-aging and protein rejuvenation to keep skin healthy and firm
- White tea – acts as a natural sunscreen and inhibits the breakdown of collagen to prevent wrinkles and hyperpigmentation
Armed with superfoods and natural botanicals, it’s quite possible to redefine and support natural beauty from the inside out without ever having to spend extra time in the morning primping.
Natural Beauty Makes You Well
So why does beauty have a place in a wellness challenge? Simply stated, feeling beautiful is our natural birthright. It helps us feel more confident, bold and loved. It produces feel-good feelings in and of itself and it changes the way we show up in the world for our friends, family and strangers. Although I can’t say with scientific certainty that this next statement is true, I know for a fact that I’m a nicer person the more beautiful I feel. I smile more, I laugh, and I feel on top of the world.
So go ahead and take some time to feel beautiful this week. Come out of hiding and see how others around you respond. Your body is a vessel, by the way, that deserves nourishment, care and love. Let if be luxurious, healthy and fun and you’ll be well on your way to wellness far beyond what most of us experience on a day-to-day basis.
Please email this article to your best friends and make a game out of who can incorporate the most beauty superfoods into your daily beauty diet. It will be the most natural fun you’ve had in ages!
Image credit: Pangea Organics