Winter Skin Relief

As winter kicks into high gear, we need to keep our skin from withering under the harsh elements. Those freezing outdoor temperatures and rising indoor thermostats can sap the amount of moisture in the air, and our skin is first to notice. Millions fight a daily battle with irritated, ravaged skin that keeps them from living life to its fullest. In fact, 90% of chronic dry skin sufferers experience a combination of redness, itching, flaking, and scaling before they reach the age of five. Just trying to find relief can be a frustrating experience.

Often we are under the impression that winter skin care is a tedious, time-consuming task.  Some of the Tip that experts suggest are to use a more potent moisturizer or invest in creams that are specially made for the season. Since dry skin is one of the main problems of winter, exfoliation and scrubs must be kept to a minimum.

Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Joshua Zeichner MD, offers some recommendations to help keep skin hydrated through the winter.

When the deep chill of winter sets in, avoid the temptation to take long, hot showers. The water’s heat can strip skin of its natural oils (called ceramides) and cause inflammation—basically, the skin cells swell, and when they dry they become loose like poorly grouted tiles and crack. It’s best to take shorter, lukewarm showers and use gentle cleansers.

As for soaps, soaps with surfactants and claims of pH balance can be harsh on the skin—and don’t scrub! Be tender and let the water and lather do the work. After bathing, pat the skin dry with a soft towel. Rubbing causes more irritation and inflammation. With the door closed to keep the humidity in, and add a moisturizer.

Moisturizing is the key word for anyone who wants to glow all through winter, and it is a wise decision to use a moisturizing lotion or cream regularly. Remember to apply it to the often ignored parts of your body like the sides of your neck. One of the reasons why we emphasize this is because if certain parts of your body are not moisturized enough, then they become extremely dry. Another good idea would be to indulge in an oil massage or use a oil at least once a week to restore the skin’s moisture and to keep it supple.

If you have dry, problem skin, look for a lotion, cream or ointment with petrolatum, glycerin hyaluronic acid and ceramides – the natural fats that make up the grout between the skin cell tiles.

Petrolatum creates a protective barrier across the topmost layer of skin, sealing the moisture and creating an environment where cells can return to a healthy state, while Glycerin penetrates deep into the skin, nourishing and moisturizing multiple layers of cells.

I use a tried and true body wash and moisturizing lotion brand called Renew.  Renew contains Malaysian glycerin which draws in moisture and helps maintain moisture levels, Allantoin with moisturizing properties that help promote and maintain skin health and T36-C5® brand Melaleuca Oil which soothes dry, irritated skin in addition to petrolatum.

At night, I hydrate my skin by adding humidity to the air with a cool mist diffuser with a few essential oils added to it to help provide a more restful sleep. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can use a cool mist humidifier.

I always carry a hydrating hand moisturizer  and lip balm and use them as often as possible even if the weather isn’t too cold. This prevents skin damage which includes skin bleeding and cracking. Avoid hand sanitizers with alcohol as they can rob the skin of moisture and make things worse for you in winter. Use an alcohol-free sanitizer instead, if you can’t wash your hands.

As always when dressing for winter weather, wear layers. It really does keep you warmer and helps with mobility outside. Did you know there is a method to layering designed to protect your skin while keeping you warm? There is. The closest layer should be made of natural fibers. Soft fabrics like flannel and cotton cause little to no irritation compared to synthetic materials. stay warm

To heal the skin from the inside, drink lots of water in winter to keep hydrated. Keeping your skin hydrated and using a good moisturizing lotion increases skin elasticity and prevents premature aging. Drink fruit juices too, since they will nourish the skin and give your body the vitamins and minerals that are needed by the skin.

The weather may be freezing cold, but we can still look good and keep skin damage free with these simple steps. Stay warm! I think I’ll have a hot cup of tea now.

What about Leg Cramping?

Leg cramping is not a pleasant experience. Surprisingly, 60% of all American adults suffer from them. An article from Medical News Today identified some causes and cures, if you, a family member, or a friend suffer from leg cramping.

The good news is that leg cramps in and of themselves are not serious. Many of them occur during the night (nocturnal) and can actually wake you up. The causes of leg cramping are idiopathic, meaning there is no clear cause.

Obviously, vigorous exercise can cause these cramps to occur hours after exercise has been finished. Dehydration is one common factor, so supplementing your workouts with water or a sports drink can help. It’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. It is possible to overdo the electrolytes in these drinks.

This article identifies a plethora of other possible causes, like alcohol abuse, flat feet, kidney failure and vascular disease. Oddly, the position of your feet while you sleep can cause this cramping to occur. Generally speaking, painkillers are too slow acting to help with immediate relief. Hot or cold packs are probably a better alternative.

There is also evidence that a regular vitamin and mineral (especially magnesium) regime can help prevent frequent occurrence. The company with whom I am associated provides a full line of the highest quality supplements and sports drinks that can help you reduce the number of times you will be confronted with these aggravating episodes. So don’t just be active; be PROACTIVE.

Antibiotic Overuse

As soon as we get the sniffles, a sore throat or a drippy nose, the first thing many of us do is reach for an antibiotic. They’re usually readily available in our medicine cabinets. They are available because they are over-prescribed by doctors and emergency rooms everywhere.

47,000,000 prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessarily prescribed. Efforts need to be made to improve the way we take these drugs and the way physicians prescribe them. This should be a national priority.

The article below from the Centers for Disease Control outlines the dangers of overuse of antibiotics. Surprisingly at least 23,000 people a year die from antibiotic misuse.

The article states when antibiotics are needed and should be taken. Additionally, it explains when antibioticsare NOT needed and should not be taken. There are recommended alternatives that can be used (and things to do) to feel better. While antibiotics can be very effective when prescribed and taken properly, they can also cause physical problems like reductions in good bacteria and immunity to the antibiotics themselves.

Of course, the best way to fight disease is to stay healthy in the first place. A good diet, plenty of water and moderate to vigorous exercise are good lifestyle choices that help avoid the onset of disease. A pure and effective vitamin regimen can also be effective. Be sure that you research the supplements you choose and make sure there are studies that support your choice.

It’s National Iced Tea Day!

National Iced Tea Day is  June 10th.

This day is set aside to celebrate one of summer’s favorite drinks. Whether it is sweetened or unsweetened, with or without lemon, it is loved and enjoyed all summer long.

Tea is already the world’s most-consumed beverage, second only to water, and its popularity is on the rise around the world. With gourmet tea leading the way, more and more people are discovering the magic of tea. In the United States, iced tea is popular as an alternative to carbonated soft drinks and makes up about 85% of all tea consumed.

It is believed that iced tea started to appear in the United States in the 1860′s and became widespread in the 1870s where it was offered on hotel menus and on sale at railroad stations. Recipes for iced tea have been found in The Buckeye Cookbook, published in 1876 and Housekeeping in Old Virginia, published in 1877. The popularity of iced tea drink grew rapidly after it was introduced at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

Today, iced tea can be found in many flavors, including: lemon, peach, raspberry, lime, passions fruit, strawberry and cherry.  It is found in restaurants, convenience stores, vending machines, grocery stores and self-serve soda fountains.

Both black and green tea have been recommended for a variety of positive health benefits, such as: reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer. Tea’s antibacterial and antiviral activity helps maintain good oral health and normal blood pressure aand in some cases help;manage weight control.

We like to make our iced tea with Hidden Garden English Breakfast Tea. It’s a full-bodied, invigorating blend of Indian and Ceylon black tea. It makes a delicious tall glass of iced tea and it is our go to summer cooler. What’s yours?.





Beauty Comes from the Inside

Shiny hair, robust nails, and bright skin can be signs of a great beauty regime…the things you do for the outside of your body. But as the article below from “The Healthy Food Guide” explains, your skin, hair, and nails are even more dependent on what’s going on INSIDE your body.

Your diet can be a huge determinant of the appearance of your skin, hair, and nails. The discussion from dietitian, Cindy Williams, speaks to the things that you can do to ensure that you are as beautiful as can be.

Be sure your diet includes plenty of protein (preferably lean) because our skin, hair, and nails are mostly protein. Essential fats are also part of internal health and beauty. Avoid the fats that are part of sugary snacks you may crave. The fats we refer to are essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 which occur in many seafoods. Eating fish, especially oily fish two or three times a week can help.

Foods high in iron not only will help maintain the cosmetic results you are seeking, it will bolster your energy levels, as well. Red meats are the best source of iron. If you avoid meats, you can get iron from legumes and whole grains, remember to assure proper absorption by supplementing with vitamin C.

Whole grains will add vitamin B (the skin vitamin) and the powerful antioxidant, vitamin E, will guard against dry skin. Nuts should also be part of your “beauty diet”. They provide additional essential fats. Nuts also offer a healthy alternative to higher calorie snacks and control your appetite.

Citrus for vitamin C, orange, yellow, red and green vegetables provide beta-carotene and vitamin A. Finally, hydrate with water and black, green and white tea to get the benefits of flavonoids which will help protect your skin from UV damage. 

I’m excited that the company I am associated with keeps its pulse on the consumer trends. They just developed an incredible supplement designed to target skin, hair, and nails. I plan on adding it to my daily supplements. Balance your dietary changes with healthy exercise and supplements that really work!

Heart-Healthy Foods to Prolong Your Life

When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:

  1. Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
  2. Cut down on sodium (salt). Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
  3. Get more fiber. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to add fiber to your diet.

Take this list with you the next time you go food shopping.

Vegetables and Fruits

Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Buy vegetables and fruits that are in season, frozen, or canned.

  • Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli
  • Leafy greens for salads, like spinach and kale
  • Canned vegetables low in sodium (salt)
  • Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces
  • Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
  • Canned fruit in 100% juice, not syrup
  • Frozen or dried fruit (unsweetened)
Dairy Products

Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products. Or choose soymilk with added calcium.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt (choose options with less added sugar)
  • Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
  • Fat-free or low-fat soymilk with calcium
Breads, Cereals, and Grains

For products with more than one ingredient, make sure whole wheat or another whole grain is listed first.

  • 100% whole-wheat bread
  • Whole-grain breakfast cereals like oatmeal
  • Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta
Meat, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Choose lean cuts of meat and other foods with protein.

  • Seafood, including fish and shellfish
  • Chicken and turkey breast without skin
  • Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
  • Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, extra lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
  • Beans, lentils, and peas
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
Fats and Oils

Cut back on saturated fat and look for products with no trans fats.

  • Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
  • Vegetable oil (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings that are oil based instead of creamy
Daily Supplements

For most people, diet and exercise aren’t enough to deliver optimal heart health. That’s why we use proven, natural solutions yo address six controllable factors for optimal heart health.

  • Omega-3s are good fats—polyunsaturated fats—that are derived from fish, nuts, and seeds. Our favorite is Crème Delight®— Peach Mango Tango with 1,080mg of research-proven EPA/DHA essential fatty acids, this supplement provides daily support for eye, heart, and brain health–in a flavor the whole family loves.
  • Mom used to give us cod-liver oil every morning especially in winter to help us avoid flu and keep us healthy. The taste was not a favorite and we weren’t enamored of it. Today we use Vitality Coldwater Omega-3® a pure, concentrated DHA and EPA Omega-3’s for superior cardiovascular and brain health benefits. Two soft gels include the research-recommended dose with no fishy aftertaste.  
  • CardiOmega EPA®with 1,000 mg of EPA plus 100 mg DHA this supplement is designed to support high levels of activity, since we’ve become serious about fitness and getting to a healthy weight, we find this helps promote rapid recovery and reduce activity-induced inflammation all while protecting our heart. 

Take care of your heart, it’s the only one you have!

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Take steps today to lower your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

To help prevent heart disease, you can:

  • Eat healthy.
  • Get active.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol (“koh-LEHS-tuh-rahl”) and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Manage stress.

Everyone is at risk for heart disease. But you are at higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Don’t get enough physical activity
  • Don’t eat a healthy diet

Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:

  • You are a woman over age 55
  • You are a man over age 45
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65

But the good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease. Throughout National Heart month we will be sharing healthy heart tips and stories.


Central Body Fat

Fat, no matter where it is in your body, is not something that any of us desire. We diet. We exercise. It doesn’t seem to go anywhere. There are essentially two types of fat: Subcutaneous fat, the fat that can collect anywhere on the body. It is the “soft”, “pinchable” fat and visceral fat that is hard and usually appears as central body fat (right at the belly-line).

While there are indeed dangers to subcutaneous fat, it does not present the same level or volume of risk that visceral fat does. This article from Dr. Axe’ Food Is Medicine, focuses on the dangers of visceral fat, why it is so risky and the things you can do to get rid of it.

In general, what makes visceral fat so dangerous is that it collects around the organs. Certain types of body fat are really inflammatory diseases of their own. Visceral fat is excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. It is deep fat that is stored deep under the skin, deeper than subcutaneous fat.

As this article clarifies, visceral fat is linked to many diseases, like cancer and coronary disease. It is by itself toxic and provokes the inflammatory pathways. It develops when communication between the brain and other major organs (the brain/body connection) begin to break down at its’ core are your blood sugar levels.

Increased inflammation, higher diabetes risk, difficulty in losing weight in general, higher risks of heart disease and stroke, dementia, depression and mood swings are just some of the consequences of excess visceral fat. The causes are overwhelmingly increased glucose in our bloodstreams. Controlling glucose is, therefore, the key to avoiding those consequences.

I take a supplement each day that controls the spikes in insulin and therefore the glucose that produces these and other problems. My company has developed and manufactures many high quality and affordable products that have helped me make the kind of adjustments in my lifestyle to keep it healthy and high energy.

Let’s Connect..

Barbara Hay
My Website

Do you suffer from dry scalp?

Dry scalp is a great nuisance but it does not have to be dandruff. As the below bulletin describes, there are many causes of dry scalp, they mainly are caused by scalp infections.

There are a plethora of natural remedies for dry scalp. One of the most effective is the addition of tea tree oil to your shampooing regime. Combinations of other essential oils to the tea tree can also add to the effectiveness.

There are other natural ingredients that can be homogenized to be effective treatments as well. You may find most of them obscure, messier and more complicated than the essential oil treatment.

To prevent the occurrence of dry scalp before it happens, there are dietary alternatives that include more leafy green vegetables; fruits, eggs, and whole grains will help bolster the protein in your hair and scalp. Omega-3 is also helpful as are foods that are rich in vitamin A, B, C, zinc, and iron.

Always check the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner to make sure they do not contain sulfates and parabens. Stay hydrated and use a hair dryer as little as possible. Massage your scalp with natural oils a few times a week.

Finally, try using a shampoo that contains tea tree oil and other nutrients that protect your hair and scalp to keep them healthy.


Let’s Connect..

Barbara Hay

Maturing Skin

Usually, around the age of 50, we experience some significant changes in the character of our skin. Bruising occurs, usually on our hands and forearms, but many times on our feet, ankles and our calves. Our face and neck begin to lose volume as well. It is called aging.

There are some things you can do to slow down, arrest and even reverse this process. As the body ages, the ability of the body to produce collagen is reduced. There are some creams and serums that can help, sometimes significantly. The most effective way to reverse collagen loss is, not surprisingly, from within.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 Collagen is found in our skin obviously, but it is also in the make up of our bones muscles, tendons, gut, blood vessels and even our teeth, But for this discussion, as collagen production is reduced, it leaves us with sagging skin, wrinkles, and joint pain.

As the available collagen in our skin is diminished, the skin thins. It tears more easily on the outside, causing wounds and on the inside causing sometimes unexplainable bruising that is ugly and many times enduring. Since collagen is so vital to the many inner-workings of our bodies, why not encourage your body to produce more collagen with some natural collagen boosters.

Your diet is one way. Foods like blueberries, dark leafy greens, garlic, eggs, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and white tea, all stimulate the production of Collagen. In addition, take hydration seriously and drink plenty of water.

Vitamin supplementation with vitamin C and A, as well as B-12 and even amino acids, will aid your body in manufacturing more collagen. The attached bulletin from MEDILINE will tell you more. As you choose your supplementation regime, remember that the quality of your vitamins and other elements like the aminos, does make a difference. I’m associated with a company that has developed and manufactures some of the highest quality products on the market.

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