The other day, an image flashed across my Instagram stories that I immediately screen grabbed.  It featured Kayla Nicole, the fiance of NFL superstar, Travis Kelce.  One thing about this woman is that she has amazing skin.  In most of her stories, she's either sporting no makeup or ultra-natural makeup looks.

Thankfully, I happened to be on Instagram the day that she revealed her number one skin secret.
Instead of displaying her everyday products, she featured her ultimate skin enhancing beverage.  Kayla proclaimed that beet juice is her #1 skin care favorite.  After capturing the image, I began my research.  I needed to know exactly why beet juice was so beneficial to the skin.

The first and most obvious quality about beet juice is its deep reddish-violet color.  We know that fruits and veggies with rich color are loaded with antioxidants.  Beets are no exception.  They contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), carotenoids + flavonoids (both are phytonutrients), and betalains (antioxidants).  The betalains are not only antioxidant-rich, they also have superb anti-inflammatory properties.

Anything anti-inflammatory is amazing for the skin.  Why? Because it helps combat acne flare-ups which are the manifestation of inflammation on the skin's surface. When you research the benefits of beets for the skin, the first thing that pops up is how great it works to combat and prevent acne breakouts.  I found several instances where folks claimed that beet juice helped clear their acne.

I also stumbled on a study that determined that beet juice had greater antioxidant power than other well-known vegetable juices like tomato, carrot, orange or pineapple.  It ranked higher than 22 other fruits/veggies.  The only fruit studied that surpassed beets in their antioxidant power were pomegranates.  Pomegranates are great but can be a bit pricey when they aren't in season.  Good thing beets are fairly affordable and available year round.

Best of all, beets yield a high amount of juice so it's easy to enjoy shots of beet juice at home.  Or I might grab these premade organic beet juices available on Amazon.

By the way, the study I referred to earlier showed that beet juice as an array of beneficial properties beyond that of beautiful skin like heart protection and cognitive (brain function) enhancement, just to name a few. So even if your skin is fine, beet juice can protect our skin cells from free radicals while keeping our bodies younger longer.

 I didn't even touch on the blood flow benefits of drinking beets.  When we talk about anti-aging and promoting a youthful glow, enhanced blood flow HAS to be a part of the conversations.

I'm running out and buying a bunch of organic beets today.  I'm not a huge fan of beets but knowing what I know now, I'll make sure to get them in my diet on a regular basis.   If you decide to start juicing beets, don't throw out the leaves & stems because those are chock full of nutrition as well.

Let's all thank Kayla for reminding us of this amazing, skin enhancing, superfood.





Inflammation
A couple of months ago, I traveled to another state to visit a friend for her birthday.  Before leaving, I was doing pretty well with my eating habits so I set an intention to return home without gaining any extra weight.

At one point a group of us went out for breakfast.  Instead of ordering fresh squeezed orange juice, I requested a cup of hot water and several lemon slices.  This warm lemon tea helped keep me from polishing off the home fries on my plate.  A friend sitting beside me was happy to lend a helping hand and take the rest.

I was proud of my self for choosing warm lemon water in hopes that it would help curb my appetite. But little did I know that this one act could also help prevent junk food related fat gain.
This is according to a study of rats in which researchers were determined to learn if supplementation with vitamin C impacted the effects of poor eating habits. The subjects were divided into 3 groups.

Group 1: Was given their normal diet.
Group 2: Ate a horrible diet consisting of fries, cookies, chips, bacon, chocolate, etc.
Group 3: Ate the horrible diet plus a regimen of vitamin C based on their body weight.

Eight weeks later, the rats were assessed to see if there were any differences.  The results were astounding.  The vitamin C group somehow gained much less body fat than their counterparts who ate the same with no supplementation.  They only gained slightly above control group.  Somehow, vitamin C impeded the growth of fat.

Researchers theorize that antioxidants, like vitamin C, impede the production of certain hormones directly related to obesity.  One such hormone is cortisol.  This is the "stress hormone." When cortisol is released into the bloodstream, blood sugar levels to rise.  Spikes in blood sugar set off a series of reactions that promote fat storage (especially in the abdomen).  Taking your vitamin C can offer some level of protection, especially if your diet isn't up to par.

This study was done on mice but how does it translate in human subjects? In another study, obese individuals were kept on a fat restricted diet for a certain number of weeks. One group added vitamin C to their regimen, the other group took a placebo. Both groups lost weight, thanks to caloric restriction, but the vitamin C group seemed to experience a slightly greater loss of fat. How cool is that?

Keep in mind that vitamin C is highly unstable. Much of it is destroyed when exposed to typical food preparation process.  If you eat a bunch of processed foods, you should consider adding it to your vitamin regimen.  I haven't supplemented with C in a long time but I'm definitely adding this back to the lineup.  Knowing how it combats fat gain is an extra incentive.    It's a great supplement to take with your meals.

Let's not forget to also include foods high in vitamin C in our diets so our body can have access to natural sources of this fat-inhibiting nutrient. Lemons are just the start.  But there are many other fruits & veggies that offer ample amounts of vitamin C such as bell peppers, kale, tomatoes, kiwi, papayas, melons, etc.

Lemon water, although not at the top of the list of vitamin C rich foods, provides that extra benefit of feeling fuller so you can consume fewer calories per meal.  Plus it can help you digest your meal. That's a win-win.
When I first learned of the merits of cryotherapy, I really wanted to try it.  I was in the midst of trying different methods of self-care so cryotherapy fell by the wayside.  Eventually, I stumbled on a fantastic value on Groupon and finally booked a series of sessions.

Unclaimed, those sessions eventually expired.  But, luckily, Groupon still allows some expired coupons to be redeemed so I eventually took the plunge.  After contacting the local the cryotherapy center I was advised to schedule two sessions back to back.
In all honesty, I was apprehensive going into the experience.  There was a reason why I allowed the Groupon to expire.  The thought of leaving my comfy home to enter an ice chamber was unnerving.  I hate cold weather. Even if the session lasted for a few minutes, I was extremely hesitant.

 I mustered up enough courage was partially due to the additional information I learned about cryotherapy benefits.  When I first heard of cold therapy, it was marketed as a pain management option. Athletes seemed like the primary target audience.  But I've since learned the value of cryotherapy goes well beyond addressing pain.  Before I delve into the list benefits, I'd love to share a recap of my first two experiences. 


The session itself lasts only 3 minutes.  The three minutes can feel like an eternity if you don't know what to expect.  The first piece of advice I have for you is to avoid lotioning your skin prior to your appointment.  Any moisture on the skin could actually freeze due to the extremely low temps. 

It gets cold in the chamber. So cold that your skin actually starts to freeze up.  To make time pass more quickly, I slowly spun around as the icy air hit my body.  The closer we got to the 3-minute mark, the harder it became to keep turning.  But, by the time you start to feel the struggle, the session is almost complete.

The moment you step out, your body immediately begins to warm up.  Within minutes, you've already forgotten the discomfort felt only a short time ago.  The very first benefit that I experienced that day was a burst of energy that seemed to appear out of nowhere.  Besides the boost of energy, I also started experiencing deep, restful nights of sleep following the two sessions. 

While in the chamber, I asked the woman at the center why someone who isn't looking for performance/pain management benefits would need to do cryo.  Her response was perfect.  She reminded me that everyone suffers from inflammation as a result natural daily activities.  Inflammation is the foundation of chronic illness.  Cold-stress therapy helps fight inflammation in a major way.  When you experience swelling of a knee or ankle, what's the first thing you do? You ice it!  You've already experienced how well ice can help address inflammation. Imagine using a similar technique to treat the inflammation you can't see.

The most powerful aspect of cryotherapy is how it places your body under a certain level of stress that triggers a response which is highly beneficial to the body.  You see, when you are exposed to very cold temperatures, your body sees it as potentially life-threatening (you can die from hypothermia).  In order to survive this type of stress, it undergoes a series of metabolic processes to ensure your survival in such harsh conditions.  Your body increases the number of red & white blood cells to protect your immune system.  It also releases various hormones that help optimize the function of your cells.  Essentially, the body responds to the cold stress by strengthening itself to better deal with the stress in the future. 

A similar type of process occurs with heat-induced stress (like from a sauna). 

Another reason why I am choosing to continue with cryotherapy, even though I don't enjoy it that much, is because enduring freezing temps for a few minutes is an act of courage.  Years ago, I took cold showers in the dead of winter.  It was brutal.  But I noticed that after taking cold showers,  I experienced a heightened sense of productivity and fearlessness.  I conquered an activity that required a ton of discipline and, afterward, I felt unstoppable. 

Cryotherapy isn't the most relaxing or soothing self-care activity but it comes with real benefits and creates real change in your body at a cellular level.  I recommend it for the healing potential. But, if you're not yet ready to try full body cryo, I suggest that you at least try giving cold showers a try. The entire shower doesn't have to be cold, just part of it.

With regards to external beauty benefits, I think cold showers provide immediate benefits that surpass cryotherapy. That may give you a bit of motivation to keep pushing past the discomfort.



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This year, I've taken a lot of interest in learning about how our body works at a cellular level while discovering ways to increase mental focus and energy.  As a solo entrepreneur, it's absolutely critical that I consistently operate at my best.

When I'm unmotivated, tired or sluggish, I can't produce my best work.  It's imperative to have some tricks up my sleeve that supercharge my health and vitality. Every morning I run through a list of actions that I'd like to complete that day. What I'm realizing is that whether I'm productive has a lot to do with my habits leading up to that day. There are certain hacks I can implement that enhance my productivity. Today, I'll share with you my latest and most exciting discovery.
The backstory of how I came across this gem is worth sharing.  As you may know, I run a Beauty Based Nutriceutical brand focused on promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails.  Last week, my manufacturer sent oven an incorrect shipment. By accident, they included a supplement bottle that belonged to another of their customers.

As a courtesy, they allowed me to keep the bottle as a gift.  At first, I wasn't interested because I had never heard of this supplement before.  Days later, I finally decided to do a simple Google search to decide if this was even worth keeping.

What I discovered both shocked and excited me.  Not only was this herbal supplement beneficial, almost every reviewer expressed that, in their opinion, Rhodiola Rosea was a life changer.  Basically, Rhodiola Rosea is a Siberian plant that grows in remote areas while enduring the harshest conditions. Centuries ago, Vikings consumed it for vitality and eliminating fatigue. It's categorized as an adaptogenic herb meaning they help your body adapt to (internal & external) stress.

But it does more than that.  Rhodiola has a whole slew of potential benefits including:
1. Increased Energy
2. Improve Mood/Antidepressant properties.
3. Improving brain function/focus
4. Lowering cortisol
5. Burning belly fat (it stimulates a hormone that has the ability to breakdown stubborn belly fat)
6. Increases oxygen intake which enhances physical performance

I mean....can this list get any better?

I was a little nervous at first, but after watching countless positive reviews, I decided to take the plunge.  So far, I've only consumed 1 capsule so my experience is very minimal.  All I have to say is that I had one of the most productive days in a while thanks to that single capsule.  One day prior to taking my first capsule, I created a list of items that I wanted done that day.  Most of that list remained incomplete.

But the day I took the capsule, I had enough energy to breeze through my list with ease. I only hope these results are replicated each time I consume it.  This product is considered a mild stimulant so anyone taking it would want to avoid pairing it with other stimulants such as coffee.  As a matter of fact, Rhodiola has been suggested for use to help those who want to wean off caffeine or nicotine.

As with everything, don't take the advice of some random blogger on the internet, do your own research. Changes are that you'll run into the countless studies done on the wonder herb. My intention is to continue to implement the other strategies I've discovered for optimal mental performance like meditation, vitamin shots, healthy eating, etc.  The plan is to pair it with these other activities to create laser-like focus.

Looking forward to stumbling on other little-known secrets that have an amazing effect on my physical and mental performance.




In my spare time, I consume lots of information on the topic of health and wellness.  The more I learn, the more difficult it becomes to ignore.  In order to be better at implementing what I learn, I'm developing a system of what I call, "the daily detox."

The premise is simple.  All I need to do is incorporate some simple steps into my everyday routine that help my body to recover from the multitude of stresses that bombard it on a daily basis.
The inspiration came from what I observed in my own daily activity.

I'm one of those people who make a mess whenever I'm actively doing something.  Part of the blame for this is due to my short attention span.  I pick an item up, do something with it, get distracted, and move on to something else without putting the item away.  As you would imagine, this habit leads to lots of disorder in my environment.

In the past, I would allow many days to pass before truly cleaning up my mess.  By then, cleaning everything up was a nightmare.   I've since ingrained the habit of cleaning at the end of my tasks (or at the end of the day). This helps keeps things organized while preserving my sanity.

Looking back, I realized that I've been treating my internal environment in the same way.  I lived from one day to the next without giving much thought to giving my body the fuel it needs to "clean up" internally.

Our bodies do a decent job of repair and regeneration......but.....we sometimes do a better job of increasing toxicity. We eat the wrong things, are exposed to toxic chemicals and we do an overall lousy job at giving our bodies the help it needs to properly detoxify.   The older I get, the more I realize my body isn't as efficient as it used to be.  The effects of my poor choices are becoming more evident day after day.   But, on the flip side, our bodies are ultra-resourceful and respond well to any positive behaviors. Just a few simple daily detox actions will go a very long way.

#1 Hydration
Let's start at the most basic level.  The most obvious way that our body cleanses itself is from waste elimination.  The easiest way to promote/increase elimination is through adequate water intake.  When you drink more water, you'll use the restroom more. It's as simple as that.  Anytime I slack on my water intake, my body holds onto more waste products then when adequately hydrated. 
I read a book once that talked about how scientists were able to keep heart cells from a chicken alive in a petri dish for over 20 years (chickens normally live 7-8 years).  These cells remained functional because they were placed in a saline solution that contained the right balance of oxygen, water, and minerals.  Each day, the researchers were tasked with removing the waste products created by the cells.  Once they neglected to remove the waste, the cells died.  Here's the thing, when we don't properly eliminate waste, it doesn't just disappear into thin air, it's stewing in our bodies.  You take showers every day, aren't you also interested in cleansing the body from the inside?

#2 Healthy Lymph
Another critical component that we can't neglect is the lymph.  Our body contains more lymph fluid than blood.  This lets you know how important the lymphatic system is to our health.  When we talk about detoxing, the lymphatic system HAS TO BE a part of the conversation.  We rarely think about our lymph but it's a critical component of our health and well-being.  Our white blood (immune) cells live in our lymph fluid.  You wanna know what else is there?  Cellular waste. 

Unlike the respiratory system where the heart pumps automatically, the lymph needs our help.  In order to properly do its job, it requires movement.  When you're sitting all day, our lymphatic system suffers.  Lymphatic stagnation results in acne, puffiness, swollen face/arms/legs, cellulite, under eye bags, constipation, bloating and so much more.  The good news is that we can easily incorporate detox actions to promote a healthy lymph.  These include:

#3 SWEATING
Next on my daily detox is sweating. It's one of the main ways our body eliminates waste (aside from going to the bathroom).   Imma be honest with you.  Sweating on a daily basis is not an easy task for me.  I don't enjoy sweating, especially while working out (I know, that sounds bizarre).  This is why I enjoy sauna's so much.  They do all the work for me which is why I made the investment of acquiring an at-home sauna.  Even though I have a sauna sitting just a few feet from me, I still don't use it daily.  But I'm making an effort to use it at least a few times a week as part of my daily detox.  The list of benefits from using infrared saunas are too long to list.  During that intense sweat, you're not just releasing fluid, your body is also using that opportunity to get rid of toxins and chemicals.  Ideally, I'll work up to using it each day.   If you are one of those people who love working up a sweat at the gym,  then go sweat, and sweat often.  

#4 GUT HEALTH
The other area we need to focus on during the daily detox is the gut.  We have 10X more gut microbiome than any other type of cell in the body.  We can not ignore the health of our gut.  I love unhealthy foods which are horrible for our gut health.  But I've decided to incorporate some strategies to counteract the outcomes of eating processed foods.  The easiest thing for me is to take a probiotic on a daily basis.  It makes such a difference.  

But I need to do more.

The goal is to include other elements that support gut health that goes beyond simply popping a pill.   I want to feed and nourish the good bacteria so they thrive.  This basically means eating more fiber. One thing I've recently was swap out sugary processed snacks for juice or fresh fruit.  I've also made sure to prep salads on the weekends again. At the very least, I can take a swig of apple cider vinegar which is great for the gut.   The goal is to make a deliberate effort to get fiber in each day.  It's all about balance.  By the way, since eating better in an effort to be more mindful of my gut, I easily shed several pounds.  Not bad.

There's so much more I could add to this list, but for now, I'll keep it short.  Stay hydrated, move, sweat, and feed your gut.  Doing these things daily (or as often as possible) will go a long way towards making sure that our bodies remain in great health.