September 23, 2013

7 Ways to be a Natural Beauty

We don’t need tons of time —or harsh chemicals—to get shiny, healthy hair and smoother skin. Just steal these gentle and natural back-to-basics moves to start looking and feeling your best.

Embolden Your Skin to Greater Heights of Radiance: Slice a few grapes in half and rub the cut sides over clean skin. “The fruit acids are natural exfoliators,” explains Regine Berthelot, head aesthetician at the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza in New York City. We highly recommend you try Yamerra's Natural Facial Serum ($20 : online at

Incredibly nutrient-rich, restorative and energizing; Yamerra's Natural Facial Serum (2oz)

Wake up tired, puffy eyes: With a chilled eye cream (store yours in the fridge). Apply it from the outer corners of your eyes toward your nose. This helps drain excess fluid in the area. We recommend a homemade blend of: 1 ounce Jojoba oil, 5 drops Chamomile essential oil, 5 drops Rose essential oil.
Make your own homeopathic blend at home and store in a cool place. You can store small amount for everyday use in a dropper botttle

Combine essential oils with Jojoba oil and store in a one-ounce glass bottle with a dropper top. To Use: Apply 1 drop of the oil to your finger and gently smooth the oil beneath your eye and onto the area just beneath the brow bone. Do not apply oil directly to your eyelids.

Zap blemishes with two ingredients homeopaths have used for centuries: anti-inflammatory arnica and antibacterial tea tree oil. Find them at any Whole Foods Market. 

Stay protected by applying a moisturizer with premium Shea butter before sunscreen; studies show the ingredient decreases the effect of UV radiation on skin and may help prevent sunburns. We like Yamerra's Home Sweet Home Honey Vanilla Hair and Body Butter, highly recommended for the Fall Season ($12 online:
Soothing, moisturizing and healing: (1$12)
Make a facial mask more effective by applying it right before you get out of a steamy bathroom, where steam from your shower opens pores so ingredients can penetrate. Smooth plain yogurt over your face after your shower, let it sit for about 10 minutes (sit somewhere where it can dry), then rinse your face. 
A plain yogurt mask will do wonders for your skin! So quick, easy and affordable.
Create tousled waves with this trick from stylist John Masters: dissolve 1 tablespoon sea salt in a spray bottle filled with 8 ounces warm spring water, then add 10 drops of organic lavender oil; shake well, then spritz on damp hair and let it air-dry.

Strengthen hair with a mayo mask (its cholesterol plumps the cuticle). Comb 1/2 cup mayo through wet hair, wait 15 minutes, and rinse with cool water.

Hope these tips help you as they have helped me! Love, 

September 13, 2013

Wellness ALERT- Your Brain: On Carbs!

A low carbohydrate recommendation for both brain and total body health is supported by both history and science.  According to neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, eating carbohydrates and sugar over time may do more harm than simply leading you to pack on some extra pounds. In his new book Grain Brain, which hits September 17th, Dr. Perlmutter attributes — with the research to back it up — the consumption of wheat, gluten, and sugar to a slew of negative health effects including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and even Alzheimer’s.

“Historically, humans have never had access to any meaningful dietary carbohydrate; throughout our 2.5 million years on this planet, the foods we consumed were either high fat and protein animal products, providing the most efficient sources of calories, or high fiber, as well as extremely low carbohydrate plants and plant products.” In other words, we were not built to intake a high level of carbohydrates. We were designed to be on low-carb, high-fat intake.

The other question this immediately brings up is one of energy — we need carbs and sugar for fuel, right? In reality, the most efficient brain "super fuel" is fat, allowing far better ATP production with reduced production of damaging free radicals,” he says. Indulging in a wheat-and-sugar-laden diet can cause "dramatic and clearly detrimental changes in the brain,” says Dr. Perlmutter. “Even slight elevations of blood sugar — well below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes — very directly predicts the future risk of developing dementia, as was recently described in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine."

While a lot of us LOVE Carbs (I have a sweet tooth that really has no bounds too), its is important to focus on doing what is good and right for the brain and body. I may never fully cut out sweets from my diet but instead of having it everyday, I definitely opt for twice a month or on very special occasions. Be truly "sweet to yourself", balance and regulate your carbohydrate intake and your body will thank you for it.

~ Maryam