Watermelon and post-workout muscle soreness

Watermelon Juice

Watermelon juice © Adina Chiriliuc

In Medscape October 22, 2013 news, according to Gayle Nicholas Scott, Clinical Pharmacist at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, watermelon juice (in theory) may enhance exercise by assisting the body to detox and improve muscle recovery.  Watermelon contains citrulline, an antioxidant and pre-cursor to arginine, an amino acid involved in cellular respiration.  She states that citrulline was shown to reduce exercise-induced acidosis and research in animals suggests that it may reduce muscle fatigue.  Although she suggests that more research is needed on human subjects, she does recommend consuming watermelon after activity to promote wellness.  Anyone who has had watermelon on a hot day can’t deny its complete refreshment.  Conveniently, Juiceland, down by the trail, makes an awesome watermelon agua fresca.

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Eyebrows: A love/hate relationship

Eyebrow pencil tutorial

© Yuri Arcurs

Aging causes changes in our facial features that can be distressing for some older women to the point where they may give up on applying makeup all together.  The goal is to define the good features and keep it simple.  As we age, our eyebrows thin and in some cases there may be no hair growth on the entire brow or sometimes from the mid-arch outward.  The eyebrow is important because it provides the frame for the eyes, “the windows to your soul”.

Step 1:  Find the right shade of eyebrow pencil without going too dark, hold a credit card or brow pencil along the nose and where the brow would naturally begin above the nostril and tear duct and place a dot there. Accommodate for flared or skinny nostrils so that the brow doesn’t start too far or too close.  To make close set eyes appear farther apart, make  sure the dot isn’t past the tear duct.

Step 2:  Then place a dot where the arch would be above the outer edge of the iris (the colored part of your  eye), use the card or pencil to align the edge of your nose with the outer edge of your iris, use your brow bone as a guide.   Finish by holding the credit card at the edge of your nose and the outside corner of your eye, place a dot where the brow should end 1/4 – 1/2 inch past the outer eye.  Stand back and make sure you have 3 dots as a reference point

Step 3:  Create your eyebrow using the dots as a guide, working the pencil outward with short feathering strokes.

Step 4:  If you have eyebrow hair to blend, use a clean mascara wand to soften the pencil lines.  Follow this with some eyebrow powder, using a small angled brush, and set with an eyebrow wax to hold and give some sheen to the eyebrows.

Step 5:  Apply a luminzer to the arch to give an extra lift.

EyebrowShaping

Natural tip for lash and brow wellness

Topical use of castor oil for lash and eyebrow wellness from thebeautydepartment.com

If you are in the market for lash extensions, skip this post – using oil on extensions is not advised.  If you are recovering from effects of chemo, this may be for you.  I was skeptical about using castor oil on lashes and brows until I read some reviews of users on the Makeup Alley website.  I did some research and found it’s a pretty remarkable substance.  Castor oil is a unique glyceride in that the fatty acid portion is 87-90% ricinoleic acid, which enables the oil’s solubility in alcohol.  It’s actually a seed, not a bean, that can be cold-pressed to release the oil.  The seed casing may sound familiar if you’ve watched Breaking Bad.  But don’t worry, the toxic protein ricin found in the casing is non-transferable to the oil.

Samantha Mill praises its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.  She also notes it won’t congest pores or trigger reactive sensitive skin types.  In addition to the non-comedogenic properties, it’s also a humectant, attracting H2O from the environment and trapping it next to the skin.  She states it effectively pulls dirt from the epidermis and is a great addition to cleansers.  I like the idea of using it as a eye makeup remover.  Additionally, sufferer’s of psoriasis may find comfort in its analgesic properties, the support  in removing flaking skin, and the protection of new skin according to the Natural Skin Revival website.

I’m not crazy for the clumpy mascara look, but I like this video because it’s anecdotal, informative, and love the accent!  I also like how she uses a clean wand each time:

Acupuncture works as well as counseling for depression

acupuncture_treatment

Academy of Oriental Medicine Austin

In the Plos Medical Journal, University of York researchers led by Hugh MacPherson, published results from a randomized controlled trial of non-drug interventions for 755 clinically depressed patients.  Their results suggest that acupuncture and talk therapy given in weekly sessions, were proven to be equally significant in treating depression over a 12 month period with a noticeable benefit occurring at 3 months and 6 months.  This is awesome news for people who don’t like to talk!  I laugh, but it’s true… Ok, talking is a good thing, I like talking, and am a big proponent of talking, but I know some people who just aren’t talkers.  My dad told my mom, pre-divorce, “You can’t make me talk” – he was an introvert, an athlete, somewhat of a health-nut, and a goofball.  Sometimes when life gets hard, you don’t want to focus on the negative by talking about it.  If laying on a table, falling asleep with acupuncture needles can work just as well, then why not?

The Academy of Oriental Medicine (AOMA) is an amazing resource for acupuncture in Austin.  I’ve had success for allergy treatments with them and have heard great results from clients who I’ve referred to AOMA for treating anxiety and depression.

Everything is energy, but who do you pray to?

I found this video of this instructor, who runs a “naked yoga” studio in NYC – which I will translate as, downward dangling dog (sorry).  Yoga is a school of Hindu philosophy defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a “spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.”  In “the highest form of which is raja yoga and the ultimate aim of which is spiritual purification and self-understanding leading to samadhi or union with the divine”.

Awesome!  I’m guessing that samadhi isn’t the goal of most yoga enthusiasts, especially the naked kind.  But if samadhi is the goal, shouldn’t we come to know the characteristics of the Divine, with whom we are to merge with?  That task would be a lot easier if the “Divine” was not some abstract concept called “the Universe”.  How the universe even exists is through sheer mystery.  Science theorizes about it, but even the best science has yet to produce a unified theory or explain the universe’s origins.  Learning more about the Creator’s (let’s call him God) characteristics means to align our cause with the Creator’s will in order to go beyond our naked self to the “ultimate aim”.  I love how Joschi describes the party going on in every cell, and we can choose to be a part of it.  I know that party is awesome!

What I notice about yoga, is that people who get really into the practice of it as a physical exercise and find this “spiritual purification and self-understanding” through their bodies, when they attempt to seek outside the physical realm, they hit a wall and go ask the yoga teacher.  To really go outside of one’s self (and body) and seek divinity, is a humbling realization that divinity exists, independently, outside of one’s self.  Self doesn’t like surrendering to a sovereign entity, especially if there’s no physical evidence of it.  Faith is personal, anecdotal, and something that is produced by trusting in what is seen and unseen.

When the ego is laid down at the feet of God, faith produces this “union” we seek. Knowing you are in great need of God’s help, that your are “poor in spirit”, is a step toward spiritual growth.  Whether or not we are seeking this “union with the divine” or if we just want to “join the party” of the universe and “feel good”, learning more about who God is, is as simple as believing that God is who He says He is.

More greens please

Juiceland

Juiceland

Aging is not a graceful process.  Freckles that were once cute now look like ugly splotches and skin that was once plump and fresh is crepey and thinning out.  The good news is that nature provides the nutrients to age luminously, preventing and repairing damage through antioxidants found in foods.  In the June 2013 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Richard Roberts, reports on the positive impact of ingesting carotenoids to promote healthy skin.  Living in Texas means getting a lot of sun exposure – even just going from house to the car gives me freckles even though I’m slathered in clear zinc!  He states that the highest levels of the dietary carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in green leafy vegetables and have been clinically proven to protect the skin against photoaging and premature skin aging by diminishing epidermal inflammation and sunburn cell formation. Maybe that’s why all I want in the summer is salads and green smoothies!