beautiful sexy skin Archives

Aack! I’m Being Eaten By A Tick?!

Scientists are predicting we'll be inundated with insects this year - oh joy!

I found a tick on me last weekend; can I tell you how much I HATE ticks?! It was not a deer tick, just a brown dog tick, but creepy nonetheless. Another one was on the dog when she came in from outside. She wears a flea and tick collar, but I guess that doesn't prevent those nasty buggers from hitching a free ride to another host...

The thing is, deer ticks, which cause Lyme disease, are not the only things we New Englanders have to worry about anymore. Brown dog ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Rickettsia rickettsia) to dogs, and we used to think not, to humans, but, like many things in nature, that is changing! According to the University of Rhode Island’s Tick Encounter Resource Center, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that a few years ago, in Arizona, the brown dog tick infected people – mostly children, with Rocky Mountain Fever. YIKES! More research is needed, but if that can happen in Arizona, and these little buggers live pretty much everywhere in the US... You get the picture. And don’t forget all the mosquitoes that carry diseases like Zika and West Nile. They are going to be plentiful this year as well.

So, naturally, I researched bug repellent again. Here's what I found:

Consumer Reports 2017 testing results showed that Ben's 30% DEET Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula kept Aedes mosquitoes (Zika virus) as well as Culex mosquitoes (night-time biters that can spread West Nile) and deer ticks (which can carry Lyme and other diseases) away for 7.5 hours. And, if you don’t want to be anywhere near DEET, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, containing 30 percent lemon eucalyptus, stopped them for 7 hours. I’ll take the Repel please.

I looked at our local Wall Mart, Home Depot, etc. and could not find that particular Repel product, so I ordered mine through Amazon, here’s the link: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus. The EWG and the CDC both recommend the same ingredients as those included in the Consumer Report; Deet or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (PMD).

Just remember that if you are putting bug spray on young children, apply it to your own hands first, then rub them on the child. Avoid the child's eyes and mouth. Use repellent sparingly around ears. Do not apply repellent to the child's hands, because children put their hands in their mouths all the time and wipe their eyes as well.

NOTE:  

There are a lot of bug repellents that say they have some form of Eucalyptus. Not all Eucalyptus oils are the same, however. The only one that actually repelled mosquitoes and ticks was the Repel listed above.

Best of Health,

Kathi

To Gluten or Not To Gluten…

Have you thought about going gluten free? Have you wondered what all the buzz is about?

Well, I have just reached my one year anniversary of being gluten free. I originally went gluten free to see if it would help my psoriasis. Sadly, it has not. There have been other benefits that I hadn't counted on, though.

First of all, if you are wondering what the heck gluten is, I’ll tell you. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. It’s the “glue” that makes bread and pasta stick together and hold their shape. If you’ve tried making a sandwich with many of the gluten free breads, you can see exactly what I mean, as your bread crumbles apart instead of surrounding your filling. Pretty messy.

In some people, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that attacks the lining of the small intestine. This means that the body is unable to effectively absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss. This is celiac disease and it’s very serious.

Other people can be gluten intolerant, which is less serious, but not much fun either. Gluten sensitivity can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, "brain fog," and itchy skin rash. The skin rash part was why I originally stopped eating gluten, hoping that mine would get better.

Going gluten free is not as difficult as you might think. There are lots of foods that are naturally gluten-free, for example, fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat, fish and poultry, unprocessed beans, seeds and nuts, and the majority of dairy products. Many grains: buckwheat, corn, flax, quinoa, rice, soy, arrowroot, and millet are gluten free. There are bread and pasta choices that are made with these naturally gluten free grains.

A Mediterranean diet, which many docs believe is the best thing for us includes tons of veggies and fruit, a little bit of meat, poultry or fish (protein), and a bit of grains as well. I love veggies and fruits, as well as quinoa and rice. Ronzoni also makes a gluten free pasta that’s quite good, so I have no trouble staying on this type of diet.

A 2011 study, conducted by Peter Gibson and colleagues from Monash University in Australia, concluded that Gluten Intolerance might be a legitimate disorder, after finding participants that consumed gluten experienced increased bloating and fatigue. But then a small study done in 2013 found just the opposite, so the reality is that more, larger studies need to be done in order for us to know if gluten is a problem for many or not.

What I can tell you is that I have more energy without the gluten. I have two students who went gluten free to rid themselves of skin rashes. Both rashes went away, PLUS, they both feel less fatigued as well.

I will also say that I am not totally without. If I am out somewhere and I want to order a lovely Italian dish with pasta, I order it and enjoy it. I no longer consume gluten on a regular basis, but I don’t deprive myself of something I enjoy, occasionally.

If you want to try it, just to see what you may experience, go ahead. It’s pretty easy and you don’t have to buy special food, unless you want the gluten free bread or pasta. Try it for at least 30 days and see if you feel any different.

So the jury is still out on gluten. Right now, in spite of all the advertising urging you to buy high priced gluten free products, unless you have celiac disease, there is not a lot of evidence that gluten is bad for you. Have you gone gluten free? Are you going to try gluten free? If you did or are, drop me a line and let me know about your experience and I’ll share it with the group.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Do You Trust The FDA?

 

What do you think of when someone mentions the FDA?  Do you believe that they are a watchdog agency that truly looks after our best interests? Or do you, like me, think the FDA has been laying down on the job for the last few decades?

Here's some interesting news that you may have heard this month. The FDA has banned 19 chemicals that they have declared are no more effective than soap and water for cleaning our hands, and may cause hormone damage. Well, it's about time!!!!! Many of us have been warning our customers/clients not to use products with these chemicals for years. NOW even the FDA has admitted the truth...

The way these chemicals cause us hormone trouble is by disrupting our hormone levels. These chemicals look similar to the hormones produced by our bodies, that's why they are called "endocrine disruptors." These endochrine disruptors can prevent the production or inhibit the action of the hormones that are normally made in our bodies (thyroid hormone, insulin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and others). So, when these endocrine disruptors bind to our hormone receptors, they send incorrect signals and we end up either getting double the amount of hormones we need, or far less than what we need. YIKES!

The problem that I have with this FDA ruling is that our good old FDA is giving manufacturers ANOTHER FULL YEAR to change their products. This is not acceptable for me. Many reliable, conscientious manufacturers began replacing these harmful chemicals back in 2013. At that time, the FDA issued a proposed rule because data showed that long-term exposure to the active ingredients triclosan (liquid soaps), triclocarban (bar soaps), and others, could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects. Under the proposed rule, manufacturers were required to provide the agency with additional data on the safety and effectiveness of these ingredients if they wanted to continue selling the antibacterial products containing those ingredients. This included data from clinical studies demonstrating that these products were superior to non-antibacterial washes in preventing human illness or reducing infection. Manufacturers did not provide the necessary data to establish safety and effectiveness for the 19 active ingredients addressed in the final ruling released this month.

ALSO, in response to comments submitted by big manufacturers like Henkel (Dial soaps), the FDA has delayed ruling on three more ingredients used in consumer wash products: benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol (PCMX), to allow for the development and submission of new safety and effectiveness data. Antibacterial washes containing these ingredients can still be marketed during this time while data are being collected. I can tell you that these will not be on my shelf. I'm not waiting another couple of years for the FDA to ban them and then give big manufacturers another year to remove them...

Here is a full list of the banned ingredients - print it out, add the three additional listed above, and then check your soaps and cleaners. Toss out any that have these ingredients and replace them with products that do not have those ingredients.

Some of the companies that have never used, or have already removed these chemicals from their soaps, are:

Desert Essence 

Pure Haven Essentials

Dr. Bronners soaps

Penny Lane Organics

Some of these soaps are available at both Vitacost.com and ThriveMarket.com for less money than other stores. Always a good idea to check out the prices.

I have used Desert Essence soaps myself since researching for my bestselling book "Beautiful Sexy Skin For Women Over 40."

Here's a video I did for the release of that book which tells you some of the ingredients in your facial cleansers and moisturizers that are harmful. You may be surprised at what you are rubbing into your face!

Now I'll be checking my laundry detergent and other cleaning products to make sure that they also do not contain any of the 19 banned chemicals and the three that are under consideration. I'll keep you posted!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Today's post may be considered controversial, but I feel the need to talk about wine. Specifically, all the women who are being lead to believe by the wine industry that they deserve "Mommie's little helper," after a long day taking care of children, home, work, etc.

Every day there are memes that show up on my Facebook feed designed to encourage women to drink alcohol - all of them are shared by women... It's been a very long time since I have liked, laughed at, or shared any of them. Here's why.

So many women that I know bought into the whole idea that a little alcohol is good for your health, or that your mental health needs a glass of wine or two, or a bottle. Most of these women either now participate in AA or are suffering the effects of alcoholism but not seeking help yet. Some of them have battled throat and/or breast cancer. This is sad and unacceptable. To me, it's the exact same thing as when the tobacco industry did not share the information that cigarettes cause cancer, emphysema, and other lung diseases for so many years. Yes, you heard that right, THE SAME THING.

At last some physicians are now speaking out and sharing the information that alcohol CAUSES seven types of cancer.

"Epidemiologic evidence supports a causal association of alcohol consumption and cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast, says Jennie Connor, MB, ChB, MPH, from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, in Dunegin, New Zealand. In short, alcohol causes cancer."

Dr. Connor goes on to say that this is not news. Many cancer treatment/research facilities have long known and listed these as alcohol related cancers. The alcohol industry uses words like related, linked to, risk of, instead of stating the truth, which is that alcohol causes these cancers. According to the research that she studied, greater than 50 grams (1.609 ounces) of alcohol daily raises your risk for mouth, pharynx and esophageal cancer 4-7 times. Less than that for the rest of the above cancers. That amount is a little over a shot of alcohol and according to the National Consumers League, "one 12-oz. beer has as much alcohol as a 1.5-oz. shot of whiskey, or a 5-oz. glass of wine."

Another  report from the American Public Health Association back in 2013 concluded that 3.5% of cancer deaths in the US are caused by alcohol. This report talks about more than two drinks a day.

So, my point here is, not only can you become addicted to alcohol and join the millions of others in AA, you are also taking a risk for developing certain types of cancer. Having witnessed my brother's radiation/chemo treatment for his throat cancer a few years back, and the permanent damage that the followup surgery caused, believe me when I say you don't wish that on your worst enemy. AND, I will add that at that time, the Dana Faber Cancer Center listed alcohol as one of the causes of throat cancer.

You are probably wondering if I drink? Well, as these studies and more information has come out in recent years, I have been reducing the amount of wine I drink. Having been a lightweight in that department who couldn't handle anything stronger than wine all of my life, I now limit myself to drinking a glass of red wine with the special dinners that Ned and I cook together on weekends, or holiday parties. Perhaps some day I will not have any at all, but for now, that feels right for me.

What I ask is that you begin to think about whether you truly want that glass of wine (or other alcoholic beverage) or not. Think about the risk you are taking, think about your family and friends. Simply think before you drink. Then you will discover what feels right for you, and not what the media is pushing. Take care of you!

And if you are wondering about the news stories you have seen touting the benefits of drinking a small amount of alcohol daily, I can find no reliable scientific evidence supporting that. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states "The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol isn't certain, and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks." In short, the few possible benefits do not outweigh the risks.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Does Menopause NEVER End?!

After menopause some symptoms hang on or come back to visit. I’ve recently received some questions about why this happens and what can be done to alleviate these symptoms. Here are some useful practices that can bring balance back to your life.

Extra adipose (fat) tissue can act as an endocrine organ, producing more estrogen in the body, keeping it in circulation even when ovarian production stops at menopause. So, regular exercise and eating mindfully help to reduce that extra fat around your mid section, and then your body is not encouraged to overproduce those hormones. This is especially important for women because studies show that weight gain is a risk factor for breast cancer after menopause. An American Cancer Society study found that women who gained 20–30 pounds after age twenty were 40% more likely to develop breast cancer after menopause than women who gained no more than 5 pounds. Keep that fat away!

Include phytoestrogens in your diet. Phytoestrogens are plant-based and they help balance hormones naturally. These are found in soy foods, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts, and legumes such as garbanzo beans and peas. Now I know the press has been full of controversy about soy products, but as I posted last year, I have not found any scientific studies showing that eating food containing soy is harmful. I believe that a small amount of soy is beneficial. However, I do not recommend soy supplements as there has not been enough research as to the effects of taking these compounds in such high doses. Traditional soy foods such as tofu, edamame, tempeh, and miso are a part of my own diet.  

Eat your broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kohlrabi contain a substance called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is metabolized in the body to produce diindolylmethane (DIM). Both of these substances help to regulate estrogen and, BONUS, they’ve been shown to have some anti-cancer effects, particularly for breast cancer.

The Ayurvedic herb shatavari has been used for centuries to reduce menopausal hot flashes, irritability and mood swings. Part of the asparagus family, the herb can have a cooling effect for those of us who are “too hot” for our own comfort! As with any herb, though, if you have allergies, please go slowly at first to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction.

As little as fifteen minutes of deep breathing twice daily has been shown, in several clinical trials, to decrease hot flashes and night sweats as well as improve your sense of well-being. Additionally, meditation helps decrease stress hormones and allows the body to return to homeostasis as well as calm the mind. As far back as the 1970’s Dr. Richard Benson proved the “relaxation response” reduced hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. My own research has shown that his relaxation response is exactly the Yoga Nidra, or deep relaxation, that is done at the end of most Yoga classes. This guided meditation has been shown through many scientific studies to benefit over-all health and well being in addition to reducing hot flashes.

If you are interested in a fabulous program of menopause symptom relief, personally designed for you, click this link for my coaching program.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Try Peaches For Healthy Summer Grilling!

Nothing beats a 4th of July grill fest! 

Someone always brings a pie or cake decorated as a flag...

BUT, my favorite is grilled peaches. So sweet, juicy and delicious!

Try them and you'll be hooked too!

Grilled Peaches - Yummmmmmm!

Ingredients:

4 ripe peaches, cut in half with the pit removed

2 TBSP Butter

2 tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP coconut sugar

Preparation:

In a small saucepan, heat the butter, sugar and cinnamon until it boils. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Make sure you grill is very hot and oiled, then brush the peach halves with the butter and sugar mixture

And gill for about three minutes on each side. Yummmmmm!

Each serving has approx : 160 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 1g protein, 19g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 17g sugar), 20mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium

If you want to be really decadent at 4th of July or a birthday party - serve the peaches over coconut ice cream  Wow!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Want Younger Looking Skin? Of Course You Do!

It's been a while since I wrote Beautiful Sexy Skin For Women Over 40, and since then I've found another natural product that I really love, which I'd like to share with you today.

A couple of months ago I began to use BADGER Damascus Rose Face Oil, and I fell in LOVE right away, with the smell and the way it made my face feel!  At first, I didn't notice much difference in skin tone though, but I loved how it made me feel. In the last couple of weeks, however, I've been told three times, that I look younger. I started paying attention to my face, and, sure enough, the skin tone is more even, wrinkles are less evident, and there are no dry patches at all!  WOW!  Hard to find a better recommendation than that. Badger is the name of the company and Damascus Rose Face Oil is the name of this fabulous product. I have found it at Vitacost, Thrive Market, and, of course, on the Badger web site.

As we know, what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you. Every BODY is different, but this one is priced right, so give it a try!

If you haven't seen this video on moisturizers, take a look at what you may be putting on your face...

While you are looking at Badger, check out their Bug Balm. That is what I originally purchased from the company, as it smells good, is chemical free, and works!  Best mosquito and other bug repellent I have found. Believe me, Otis has mosquitoes that can pick you up and carry you away! If it works here, it will work anywhere! Let me know how you like it!

Best of Health,

Kathi