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My Favorite Quirky Beauty Tips

Thought I would have fun this week and share some of my favorite and less conventional beauty tips. Love to hear what your favorites are – tell us about them in the “Leave a Comment” box.

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Shaving: I love this one – I have been doing it since college! Use baby oil instead of soap or shaving cream to shave your legs. It creates a barrier and protects your skin from abrasions. There is also a new product by Johnson’s called ‘Baby Oil Gel‘, which works just as well and drips less. One caveat – the tub or shower floor gets a little slick- consider using a shower mat and be careful!

Lashes: Forget regular mascara – I use ‎Blinc™ Mascara. You can find it at Sephora and Amazon. It coats your lashes with smudge resistant little tubes and it stays on incredibly well. Because of the way it is designed, there is no clumping when you apply it and it doesn’t flake off at all during the day.

Brushing Hair: Don’t use a brush on wet hair – it causes breakage. Instead use a wide toothed comb.

Drying Hair: If you have thick or long hair that takes a while to dry and tends to be frizzy or curly, don’t hit the dryer right away. Apply whatever conditioning or moisturizing product you like best and then wrap your hair in a microfiber towel or twist it and clip it up. This gives your hair some time to dry on its own and when you are ready to blow dry it, it will dry more quickly. And less hot drying time is always better for your hair. I often keep my hair in a clip for hours and when I have time, I take it down and blow dry it in half the time and with much less heat damage.

Dry Hands: Wearing gloves to bed works! But, first I apply Arbonne’s Skin Conditioning Oil to my cuticles and knuckles and then I follow with a thick coat of a heavy moisturizer like The Body Shop’s Africa Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter. Avoid using plain old petroleum jelly. Petroleum is an occlusive agent, which provides a physical barrier and protects epidermal water loss – but it doesn’t absorb into the skin well. If your feet are dry, you can do the same treatment for them – apply oil & lotion and wear socks to bed!

Face Mask: Honey is not just for your tea. Honey makes an incredible, effective (yes, also messy) facemask. Honey has antimicrobial properties so it is amazing for acne and unclogging pores and it will leave you skin super soft. No harsh chemicals here, just buy honey from the grocery store. Filtered and organic honey is best – you don’t need anything else. Try using 2 – 3 times a week and see the difference.

Breakout: Visine isn’t just for your eyes. Try soaking a cotton ball with Visine and placing it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Take it out of the freezer and place it on a pimple. It brings down the swelling and gets rid of the red.

Eyelids: We all know about concealing dark circles under our eyes, but what about brightening above the eye? Eyelids can darken with age (at least mine did!) and by adding an eye shadow base, you can brighten your eyes with very little effort. During the day, I wear it instead of eye shadow– it really opens up my eyes. And if I choose to wear eye shadow at night, it acts as a great base to keep my makeup in place. Tip – Pick a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone so eyes look even brighter.

Eyeliner: I love the look of eyeliner along my upper lashes, but always struggle with applying it correctly. Those fine paint-like eyeliners leave little room for error and it often takes me more than one attempt. And, eye pencils never seem to go on smoothly or last long without smudging. My solution – use a powder eye shadow and a wet eyeliner brush (the brush with the angled tip). Gently rub the wet brush into the shadow and then apply to eyelids. It will go on smoothly and once dry, it will stay in place beautifully. Then simply rinse your eyeliner brush off for next time. As an added bonus, your color choices just exploded, as any eye shadow in your drawer will work.

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Best Oils to Cook With and Which to Avoid

Is olive oil or coconut oil better for you? Which oils are safe to cook with and which ones should you avoid? All of the information out there can be confusing. Even though an oil might be deemed healthy, it may not stay healthy when heated.

When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidize or easily turn rancid. When oils undergo oxidation, they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that shouldn’t be consumed. Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are rather resistant to heating, but oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided when cooking.oil_and_pan

Best Oil Choices for Cooking:

Coconut Oil

This is one of the best choices for high heat cooking. It is made up of over 90% saturated fatty acids, making it very resistant to heat. This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and years without going rancid.

Coconut oil has powerful health benefits: It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. Also, the fats in coconut oil can boost metabolism and increase feelings of fullness as compared to other fats.

When buying, look for virgin coconut oil or raw on the label – they offer better flavor and more health benefits. Smoke point is 350°. Refined coconut oil can be used occasionally for recipes, which require heats over 450°, but make sure it isn’t hydrogenated or treated with hexane.

Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Grass-fed ghee is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2. It is also rich in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) — the essential fatty acid found almost exclusively in grass-fed animals, which is now believed to protect against cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes.

Because the milk solids have been removed from ghee, the elements in dairy that many people are sensitive to, have been removed. The removal of the milk solids also allows you to use ghee at a higher temperature -up to 485° F.

Olive Oil

No surprise here, olive oil is a heart-healthy fat that that contains beneficial antioxidants and has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Make sure to choose high quality extra virgin olive oil. It has many more nutrients and antioxidants than the refined oil olives and it tastes much better.

And contrary to many reports, high quality, extra virgin olive oil can be used for high heat cooking as it has a high smoke point (365°- 400°).

Note – there have been many reports lately about unsavory olive oil dealers who have been combining olive oils with cheap vegetable oils. As a result, you might be unknowingly ingesting unhealthy oils. It is very hard to determine if an olive oil is pure. Artisan or locally produced olive oils tend to be your safest bet. Olea olive oils are 100% pure olive oil. They can be found at oleaestates.com.

Avocodo Oil

Avocado is an excellent choice for frying as it has a very high smoke point (475°- 520°). The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in. It can be used for many of the same purposes as olive oil. You can cook with it, or use it cold.

Oils to Avoid When Cooking:

Industrial Seed and Vegetable Oils:

These are highly processed, refined products that are much too rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. The world health organization’s (WHO) recommended ratio for omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is about 4:1. However, the average ratio American’s ingest ranges from 10:1 to 25:1! (Look out for a future blog post on Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s).

Based on this overconsumption of Omega 6’s, it is recommended to avoid the following oils altogether, whether cooking with them or simply using them cold.o-5-NEW-USES-FOR-VEGETABLE-OIL-facebook

  • Soybean Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Safflower Oil

Canola Oil

Canola Oil should be avoided as well due to its harsh processing method. To create canola oil, rape seeds (what canola oil is made from) are heated to high temperature so that the oil can be extracted. This oil is then refined, bleached and deodorized Processing the oil under high heat causes it to go rancid, which is why industrial carcinogenic bleaches and deodorizers like hexane are needed. Additionally, about 87% of canola oil is genetically modified.

Fish Oil and Flaxseed Oil:

These are high in omega-3s, but should not be heated because they are sensitive to oxidation.

Nuts and Peanut Oil:

There are many nut oils available and many have amazing flavors, but due to their high level of polyunsaturated fats, it is recommended to avoid them when cooking.

There is one exception. Macadamia nut oil is mostly monounsaturated (like olive oil) and has great properties and is safe for cooking

Happy cooking 🙂

  • Elizabeth Girouard

    Great article Lisa! Thanks for the useful information.

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Protein – Your Questions Answered

Most of us are aware that protein is an important part of a healthy diet. But understanding what protein is needed for, and determining if you are getting enough, are often the harder questions. We tried to answer many of your questions below, as well as provide you with a list of some of the best sources of protein.

High-Protein-FoodsWhy do you need protein?

Protein is the building block of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. Protein’s main function is to build and repair the body’s tissues, including muscles. However, protein also plays a key role in circulatory health, enzyme and hormone synthesis and the development of a robust immune system.

Since protein is constantly broken down, it is crucial to consume this macronutrient every day, especially after a strenuous workout.

Protein sources can be classified as complete or incomplete. Complete protein sources contain all the nine essential amino acids that your body needs and cannot produce on its own. All animal sources of protein, as well as eggs, dairy, soy and quinoa, are complete proteins. Incomplete proteins are missing one or more of the nine essential amino acids and include beans, rice and nuts. By combining different protein sources, you can ensure that you get all essential amino acids into your diet.

How much do you need?

The Recommended Daily Allowance is 0.83 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the average woman. That translates into about 53 grams of protein for an 140-pound woman. However, if you are more active, even a recreational athlete, than you should consume between 64 to 127 grams of protein daily.

What if you don’t get enough?

When there is a lack of protein, the body will start to use its own muscle for fuel.

Can protein help you lose weight?

Yes, higher protein foods require more work as your body breaks them down for fuel, so you naturally burn more calories to digest them. Additionally, high protein foods help you feel fuller, longer. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher protein intake (30 – 40% of the diet) helps to boost levels of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel satiated) and reduces the levels of the hunger producing hormone, ghrelin.

Can you have too much protein?

Yes. Your body can only absorb about 30 grams of protein (4-5 ounces) at a time. If you take in more than that, and your daily calorie intake is sufficient to meet your energy needs, then it can be stored as fat. There is also some controversy as to whether excess protein over an extended period of time can place a strain on the kidneys.

Where to get your protein?372ec064272dcd9e71fb918360aeee15

  • Lean Grass-fed Beef: 4-5 ounce has 25 grams of protein.
  • Grilled Chicken Breast: 4 ounces has 36 grams of protein.
  • Fish: Most 3 ounce servings contain at least 20 grams of protein.
  • Eggs: One whole egg contains 7 grams of protein.
  • Greek Yogurt: One 8-ounce container has 20 grams of protein.
  • Cottage Cheese: One cup has 28 grams of protein.
  • Chickpeas: ½ cup has 20 grams of protein.
  • Black Beans: ½ cup has 7 grams of protein.
  • Lentils: 1 cup has approximately 18 grams of protein.
  • Edamame: ½ cup has 8 grams of protein.
  • Quinoa: 1 cup has about 8 grams of protein.
  • Walnuts: ½ cup has about 9 grams of protein.
  • Tofu: 3 ounces has almost 8 grams of protein.
  • Peanut Butter: 2 tablespoons has 8 grams of protein
  • Part-skim Mozzarella Cheese: 1 ounce has 7 grams of protein.
  • Broccoli:  1 cup has 6 grams of protein.
  • Protein Powders: When you are in a rush and can’t get what you need from food alone, these powders are an easy way to ensure that you are getting enough protein. Some options include whey, soy, brown rice, pea and casein powders. (Look for a blog post soon to explain these different options.)

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