Taking Care of Your Skin: GOOD AND BAD HABITS


               
We all have weird habits that can make or break our skin.  What are yours?
THE BAD HABITS TO BREAK
Popping pimples.
Popping pimples is absolutely gross.  I used to go crazy over a pimple.  I had one regular resident pimple between my brows.  It just kept growing back – at the same place- and it gets bigger every time I try to pop it.  I had to finally ask my dermatologist to do something drastic (but she did pop it for me too previously), like inject some potent med in it to prevent it from claiming that piece of skin between my brows as its home.
Popping a pimple is absolutely bad news - to both you and the pimple.  Once you pop it, you stress out the follicles and spread the bacteria deeper into the skin layers.  This would result to swelling, infection and an even larger zit (which happened to me).  The best thing to do is to leave it alone. I actually use these products to sort of heal it:
Cetaphil

Cetaphil Philippines
Cetaphil is my favorite cleanser.  I have really sensitive skin and this one is hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic.  You can trust it on the most sensitive skin! 
 PanOxyl
I rarely use this acne med, but when I do, it absolutely delivers!

Obagi Nu-Derm
I have the most sensitive skin and I have inherited my mom's freckles.  I never had loads of pimples (only occasional ones), but I had dark spots (and loads of them, too, I swear, I could draw something by just connecting the spots together!).  Obagi cleared my spots and made my skin stronger.  I used to get rashes (I was sensitive), a lot, but ever since Obagi, I rarely get them anymore.  I don't use Obagi Nuderm anymore since it is really pricey (around P20,000.00 for a set), but I still follow Dr. Obagi's views, like using moisturizer can actually ruin your skin!  (I will write about this in a future post)

Not getting your Zzzzs.
I am so guilty of this.  I am a night person and I would average five to six hours of sleep a night! Apparently, I am not giving my body – and my skin - its needed rest.  When you sleep, your body repairs cells damaged during the day giving you fresh and health skin.
Mixing products.
Absolutely be loyal to only one beauty brand if it works for you. Experimenting with different beauty products may ruin your skin and give allergic reactions.  And remember, what works for another may not work for you!
THE GOOD HABITS TO KEEP
Hydrate.
Drinking lots of water hydrates your body from within and provides natural moisture for your skin.  Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.  Soda does not count, ok?
Work out and Eat healthy.

Exercise makes your skin glow.  Load up on veggies and fruits loaded with antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and E which restore sun-damaged skin and fight skin cancer.  Eat your proteins as well and avoid foods high in sugar, fat, oil and carbohydrates.


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Health and My Favorite Spices



Add more spice to your food. You may doing your body a BIG favor.  Cook with:

GINGER

Ginger can quell nausea.  Studies show that this spice can also reduce inflammation that is associated with muscle pain and arthritis.

ALLSPICE

I have always thought that allspice is a blend of different spices.  It is apparently not.  Allspice is a berry with hints of pepper and cloves.  It has been an age-old relief for digestion, toothaches and muscle pain (and can work wonders for your chicken and pot roast too!)

CINNAMON

Cinnamon enhances the natural sweetness of food.  You can cut back on sugar with cinnamon.  And cinnamon can help control blood sugar levels!  Sprinkle over baked apples and peaches.  I personally want a pinch of it on my early-morning coffee.

NUTMEG

I have nutmeg in my spice cabinet, but I was clueless on its use until I found out it boosts mood.  (I may need loads of this because I am having trouble getting myself out of the funk lately).  It tastes like cinnamon with a touch of nuttiness.  I found out it can go naturally with both sweet and salty dishes.  I sprinkle it over sauteed spinach.  Hmm, more of this and I will be on my way to my new me!



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Musical Talent


Everyone has his own, special, God-given talent.  I have a childhood friend who was into musical instruments I have never even heard of like nose flutes and bassoon reeds.  I was so clueless all I know was the piano (which I never really mastered because piano teachers in our school were nuns who were so strict and had this wooden ruler to force you to play the right notes!) and the guitar.    My friend still plays beautiful music and is now into indigenous, Cordilleran music.  When she plays using the kalaleng (nose flute), I am mesmerized… It is like I am transported back in time…


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Chia: Fuel For Mind and Body?



Older friends of mine are making a great deal out of chia seeds.

Oops, and yeah, there are younger ones as well.

"Ate, maganda siya.  It can help you be payat." (It isgood.  It can help you become thin.)

Oh, ok.  Now that she has mentioned the weight loss thing...

Ancient Aztec and Mayan warriors consumed chia seeds just before getting into combat because the seeds make them strong. I don't know how the seeds are related to their extinction (and how the seeds didn't help them), but many people are claiming that this "super seed" might be the Mayan's enduring legacy (because boy, the 12.12.12 thing did fail epically!)

The Aztecs considered chia seeds "more valuable than gold."  They used the seeds as medicine, offer them to gods during those religious rituals, and conquered tribes have to give them to the Aztecs as an annual tribute.

Plucked from obscurity and inspired by the vitality of lost civilizations, chia seeds have become the new buzz word, with some claiming the seeds as "Nature's rocket fuel for the mind and body."

They claim that chia seeds have:

Eight times more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon.

Chia is the richest plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential to cardiovascular, mental, eye and bone health.  Omega 3 is an abundant source of energy and is also known to help in weight loss.

Six Times more protein than kidney beans.

Chia is the richest plant source of dietary protein, providing all the 9 essential amino acids in proper proportion including other non-essentials.  Protein helps build and repair body tissues, elevates metabolism, lowers cholesterol, fights cancer, and helps in the production of enzymes, hormones, cartilage, skin, blood, hair and nails.

Six times more calcium than milk.

Chia is a very good source of calcium which is essential in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.  It ensures a healthy alkaline level, controls blood clotting, protects the heart, helps in weight loss and prevents high blood pressure.

Three times more antioxidants than blueberries.

Chia is rich in antioxidants that are known for its anti-aging properties.  These fight cancer cells, boost immune system, alleviate diabetes symptoms, restore damage tissues, promote better sleep and remove toxins.

Fifteen times for magnesium than broccoli.

Chia is very rich in magnesium that is vital in maintaining a healthy heart.  It aids in the recovery from a heart attack or stroke, helps maintain proper muscle function, aids in the absorption of calcium and is known for its anti-stress properties.

Two times more potassium than banana.

Chia is a good source of potassium that maintains a regular heartbeat, helps carry oxygen to the brain, prevents kidney stone, and lowers blood pressure.

Nine times more phosphorous than whole milk.

Chia is an excellent source of phosphorous that helps filter out waste in the kidneys, maintains and repairs tissues and cells, and maintains healthy nerve function.

Three times more iron than spinach.

Chia is a good source of iron that helps in hemoglobin formation, enhances muscle and brain functions, regulates body temperature, strengthens immune system and promotes better sleep.

Four times more selenium than flax seed.

Chia is a good source of selenium that helps reduce the risk of cancer and cataracts, and maintains healthy thyroid function.

Rich in dietary fiber.

Chia is also an excellent source of dietary fiber that is best known for its ability to prevent and relieve constipation.  It aids in weight loss, lowers the risk of diabetes and heart attack, helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose level, and reduces inflammation.

Chia also contains omega 6 fatty acids, carbohydrates, boron, Vitamin A, thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), copper, zinc, and manganese.

With all the good stuff that chia seeds believers are saying, it really sounds like a super food.  I have been eating chia stuff for one month (usually mixed with my morning coffee) and I have proven one thing.  It sure is rich in dietary fiber.  It makes you go to the bathroom regularly, people.  I don't know, but it sure is a good thing to go there regularly, especially if you can't make a commitment to eat vegetables the whole time.

As for the other benefits, I will be finding out in the next months.  I am gunning for the weight loss benefit :)


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How To Use Chia Seeds



One of the easiest and most effective way to prepare chia seeds is to turn it into a gel by simply adding it to water or any preferred beverage, such as a juice or sports drink.  Chia seeds are hydrophilic, or water absorbing.  This allows it to absorb up to ten times their own weight in water.  All you need is 2 cups of water and 1/3 cup of chia seeds.  Add the seeds to the water and wait 15 minutes for the gel to form.  The complex fiber structure of the seeds will absorb a lot of water, turning it into a gel. You won't need to use too many seeds.  Once cup of chia seeds can absorb 6 cups ofwater, though more or less can be used depending on your preference.  This gel can be made in large quantities, since it is easy to store and can last for up to two weeks when refrigerated and kept in a sealed container.  This gel can be consumed on its own, or used as an additional ingredient in protein shakes, smoothies and any other blended drinks.  This gel can also be used to bulk up the nutritional value of many dishes.  It can be used as a thickener for sauces, dips, and salad dressings, can serve as a substitute binding ingredient for eggs in baked foods.  It can be mixed in equal parts with jams, jellies, and other fruit preserves.  The resulting mixture can be used to make a tasty snack packed with massive amounts of nutrition with no loss of any flavor.  The mild tasting gel will have very little impact on any dish's flavor, making it an ideal extender.  The gel can be made in batches and then stored in plastic containers and refrigerated for up to two weeks. 

Another way of preparing chia seeds is to grind it into a fine, powdery flour.  This makes it easier to mix into many other dishes, and has the effect of releasing the chia seed's essential oils, which is mainly made up of omega-3 essential fatty acids.  All you need to do is place about half a cup of seeds into a coffee grinder and repeat as needed.  Alternatively, an old fashioned mortar and pestle can be used for those who prefer to do it manually.  Chia flour can be used just like any regular flour, be it making pancakes or baking cookies or muffins.  For those who are too busy to make any elaborate recipes, chia seeds can also be served without any preparation at all.  They can simply be sprinkled directly onto any meal.  The seeds are tiny enough to escape notice and don't affect taste at all. Alternatively, the seeds can also be eaten directly in their raw, dry form making them the ultimate convenient health food.  The flexibility and convenience that chia seeds allow in food preparation and consumption is even more reason to consider them one of the few true superfoods.
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{Tween Guide To Life} How To Make A Good Impression


A photo by Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos

GET AN "A" FOR ATTITUDE

Everybody loves someone who gives out a positive vibe.  Whenever you meet someone new, act like you are meeting a friend that has been away for a long time.  Show that you are happy to meet them and they will feel happy to meet you.  In the same way, if you look and feel uncomfortable, people around you will feel that way too and that is a sure way to give them the wrong impression.

LET YOUR BODY DO THE TALKING

Your body language can speak so much louder than words.  Standing tall, smiling sincerely and making eye  contact all say that you are an open, friendly, easy going person, while crossing your arms, or avoiding someone else's eyes or tensing up your body tell others to back off.

BE INTERESTING AND INTERESTED

Say goodbye to awkward silences and hello to non-stop gab fests!  Television, music, sports, magazines, movies-anything and everything under the sun can be used as an opening line to start making small talk.  Remember that the more you know, the more things you will have to talk about-and the more people you can talk to.  Just remember not to do all the talking or talk only about yourself-that will only make people remember you for the wrong reasons!
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