Month: March 2019

  • Favorites this week

    This is my collection of interesting things that I read, watched, ate, smelled, tried during the week, and that I think they are so good I have to share them with you. If you have your favorites leave a comment and share them.

    Read

    The Sinus Cure
    This is the newest version of an interesting old book. For allergy suffers, or people who suffer nasal congestion, the book offers interesting tips. The author is a MD who worked mostly as a functional doctor. I do not share all the opinions with the author, but I think it has some good advice when it comes to nutrients to treat sinus infections. I want to clear my sinus and there are no effective medical treatments, so I am hopping I can find something natural. This book was a first step in that direction.

    weekly favorites

    Watch

    La Tribu
    If you want to have a good laugh, this is a great choice. I am into comedy and laughs lately, it was one of my New Year resolutions. This Spaniard comedy, La Tribu, is super funny. I am new to standup comedy and I am also loving some old stand up comics such as: Trevor Noah and Ali Wong.

    Smell

    I am loving Tory Burch Bel Azur. It is a very refreshing, but sophisticated fragrance. Maybe it is more summer than spring, but still wonderful for this time.

    weekly favorites

    Make-up

    Viceart mini palette eye shadows. Viceart has an amazing quality. The fall out is minimal, they blend beautifully, and the colors are highly pigmented. Their prices are very high and this small eight color palette sold in Sephora offers a lot of value. It is a very warm palette with four matte colors and four shiny ones. I took it with me to Europe because of its size and versatility and it delivered.

    Skin care

    I tried a new sunblock, Anthelios 60 by La Roche-Posay. It is a favorite of many magazine editors and I understand the reason. It spreads easily, it does not leave a residue, tackiness or color on the skin. It did not cause me any irritation and it held well under the foundation. If you do not have problems with a chemical sun block this is a good product. I prefer a physical sunscreen and for that reason I will not continue using it. I wish I could find the same quality in a physical sunblock. However a few reviewers are saying that with heat it turns yellow on the skin, it did not happen to me, but the weather is pretty cold here.

    making bread

    Eating

    My husband and I are into the Great British Baking Show and it was one of my goals to start baking bread this year. Oh well, he started to bake ahead of me and we have been eating a lot of awesome homemade bread. I got two books from the library and we have been trying a lot of recipes including pop-overs, I used to love them in the Neiman Marcus’ café and now I can make them at home.

    Life

    Days are getting longer and it is time to spring-clean. I am getting ready to celebrate this wonderful season and Easter. I have a list of activities I want to do and cool new things to try. Did you read my 20 ideas for health and beauty in spring?

    How was your week?

    Photos by Nadya Spetnitskaya Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

  • Protecting your microbiome for women over 50

    Imagine something in your body that can help you maintain your healthy weight, make you happier and keep you healthier. That is the role of the microbiome or good bacteria in our bodies. It is found all over the body, but especially in the digestive system (gut bacteria) and the mouth. During perimenopause and menopause the bacteria can suffer changes and it may have an effect in weight gain, depression, lack of sleep, hot flashes and other symptoms.

    Importance of good bacteria o microbiome during menopause and perimenopause

    As you know we are full of bacteria, we have more bacteria than cells, about 10 times more.

    That bacteria is critical for our wellbeing. Our microbiome, microbiota, or just bacteria, has a direct effect on our health, both physical and emotional. For this reason the microbiome is important for everyone, and at the time of menopause or perimenopause a healthy microbiome can help us have and easier transition. A non healthy microbiome can make us sick.

    The microbiome can have an effect on the development of diabetes, obesity, depression and other illnesses common during midlife. It is very important to keep our bacteria happy.
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    Microbiome and hormones during menopause and perimenopause

    It can get very complicated when talking about endocrinology, in other words hormones, but we will keep it simple. The good bacteria in our bodies contribute to the composition of our blood which influences hormone levels. This has a direct effect on our immune system.

    The microbiome influences the hormones, and the hormonal levels also influence the microbiome, it is a give and take relationship. During menopause and perimenopause the lowers levels of estrogens change the bacterial composition in the body, and this affects other hormones.

    Many scientists suspect that this has a direct effect on belly fat accumulation.

    The microbiome becomes one more very important aspect in bringing balance to our body. When talking about bacteria, we are talking of a new medical frontier. There is still much to be discovered and proven. But it has become accepted that it has a role to play in many of the menopause and perimenopause symptoms.
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    Keeping the microbiome healthy after 40

    Some practical tips to keep the microbiome healthy during post menopause and perimenopause.
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    Old fashion

    Our bacteria is very old fashioned. It does not like anything modern, including any foods that are not found in nature. Preservatives, artificial colors or flavors and processed foods alter the microbiome, destroying the good guys and helping the bad ones.

    Our bacteria is very old fashioned. It does not like anything modern, including any foods that are not found in nature. Preservatives, artificial colors or flavors and processed foods alter the microbiome, destroying the good guys and helping the bad ones.

    The good bacteria does not react well to animals raised with antibiotics and hormones and with vegetables full of pesticides. Organic produce and ethically raised animals are better.


    From food

    The bacteria also prefers nutrients from foods instead of vitamin pills and this could be a reason why many vitamins are not absorbed well by our bodies.
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    Loves plants

    Our bacteria is very health conscious. It loves plants. It prefers non soluble fiber. Some of its favorite foods are onions, garlic, asparagus, leeks and similar foods. These foods have non digestible fibers. The fibers reach the big intestine and there the bacteria interacts with them and as a byproduct creates some important nutrients and it reproduces keeping the colony healthy.

    The good bacteria’s favorite nutrient seems to be glutamine. This is an amino acid found in meats such as poultry, beef, and fish. It is also found in vegetables like the ones mentioned above.

    Our bacteria loves vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. These are the prebiotics, in other words the food for the micro-biotics. Some foods like onion and garlic and some spices also help to kill bad bacteria, helping the good one.

    good bacteria o microbiome and hormone connection


    Loves a healthy lifestyle

    The good bacteria thrives with nutrient-rich foods, low stress levels, regular exercise and sleep. In return the good bacteria help us sleep better, lowers inflammation, and regulates our stress levels.
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    Likes good fats

    Omega 3’s are also important for the microbiome. These fats help us keep the intestinal lining healthy and this avoids the overgrowth of bad bacteria.
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    It doesn’t do drugs

    The microbiota does not like medicines, especially if they alter the balance of acidity-alkalinity in the body. Most medicines are not microbiome friendly but some are more damaging than others such as anti-acids, and the worst are the antibiotics.

    Antibiotics kill all bacteria, bad and good. Even natural antibiotic substances can have a very negative impact.


    Fermented foods

    We can include foods that naturally contain good bacteria such as lacto-fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, miso and kombucha to add more friendly bacteria to out gut.

    We are all different and for that reason some of us benefit more with some types of foods containing bacteria. You can rotate between yogurt, sauerkraut and other foods to see which help you improve your digestion and bowel elimination. For me that food is sauerkraut, for you it maybe a type of yogurt.

    Kefir is one the richest sources of bacteria, but try to have the non-sugar version.


    What to do if you suspect your bacteria is under attack

    We are constantly eliminating bacteria so we need to keep feeding the one we have. If you incorporate some of the advice above, especially when it comes to food, your microbiome will be healthier.

    In normal circumstances there is no need to take probiotic pills. The bacteria depends on our health and for that reason we need to improve our lifestyle in general. Follow some the advice above and you should see some improvement. You may try a macrobiotic supplement, but usually they only work if you make lifestyle changes.

    In extreme cases a few doctors are recommending fecal transplants in order to improve menopause symptoms, but this is rare.
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    Keep it real, peaceful and easy

    Many people recommend radical healthy diets for menopausal women, I do not. There are a few reasons for this, stress is bad, and a new diet will create stress and bad hormones. We first need to love ourselves so we can listen to our intuition because we have too many choices. How do you find the real diet? Who are you going to believe?

    There are a lot of diets out there, most of them by people with little science background. Some of those people become fervent preachers promoting their diet to a level of extreme fanaticism. This scares away a lot of people. For those reasons I recommend to go slow and steady.

    What I told you in this article is scientifically accepted by almost all the scientific community. It includes things that are easy to incorporate in our lives and most of them are pleasant.

    Our bacteria wants the best for us, by doing the best for our bacteria we are also affecting in a positive way our hormones and with that our energy levels, sleep, capacity to concentrate and mood. It is a win-win situation.


    In conclusion

    Our microbiome plays a crucial role in our health and it is affected by the hormonal changes that occurred during menopause and perimenopause. During this time we have to be more consistent in helping our bacteria so we can be healthier and even happier. Just a few changes can have enormous benefits.

    Read: perimenopause and menopause without bad symptoms

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    Photos by Gabrielle Henderson and Mel Elías on Unsplash

  • 20 spring time rituals for health and beauty for mature woman

    Spring is the season of awakening. It provides us with the opportunity of a new beginning, to renew our inner forces and strengthen our bodies. During this fabulous time in our lives we can create a spring routine based on Ayurveda and European natural traditions to help our bodies to more easily adapt to the season of growth.

    Spring routine for women over 50

    Spring is a season of transition when nature wakes up to life, from cold to warm, from seclusion to life outdoors. Our bodies have to adapt to the changes and this time potentially with less estrogens due to perimenopause or menopause. Our bodies are trying to balance the new energy, they are looking for harmony. The natural medicine traditions offer solutions to help us have more energy, sleep better, feel happier, sexier, and be more productive.

    According to Ayurveda, winter is dominated by the energy of kapha. This energy is heavy and it creates mucus and heaviness in our bodies. The cold weather and dry heat in our homes dries out the skin and makes us a little lethargic. Spring is the time to clean the body of the heaviness of kapha, renew our mind and bring “new” and growth into our lives, new energy, new ideas, new foods, new colors, new activities, new habits, and new flavors.

    20 ideas for a new spring routine after 40

    For the body

    1. Breathe, take deep breaths through the day, especially outdoors. Breathing cleanses our body.
    2. Try one nostril breathing. Gently cover the right nostril and breathe deeply with the left nostril, imagine how the air goes all the way to the tummy, hold for a few seconds and slowly release. Repeat with the other nostril and try to do 3 times. This helps to balance our body, releases stress and helps us to sleep better.
    3. Try to do some stretching exercises. It does not need to be complicated, just extend your arms, up, front, down and sides a few times a day and try to stretch your legs and feet.
    4. Morning exercise is always great. Try to sweat (real sweat) at least once a week. Try a new type of exercise.
    5. If possible try to walk in nature for a few minutes. If you can try to walk under the trees. Nature walking helps us absorb negative ions. In other words, it helps us eliminate radiation toxins. Our homes are full of radiation from all the electrical devices and Wi-Fi, these are positive ions. Touch the soil and hug the trees if you can.

    Food

    1. Lighten up. Invite spring vegetables and fruits into your diet.
    2. Try new recipes.
    3. Continue to use warming spices and herbs such as pepper, ginger, cayenne, cardamom, cloves etc. As the weather warms up we can start to use “colder” herbs and spices.
    4. Drink warm water with lemon through the day to aid digestion.
    5. Avoid fried foods. They are too warm for the season.
    6. As the weather warms up include more salads and smoothies.

    Mind renewal

    1. Listen to a few songs from your high school years. This tricks the mind into feeling younger and it tells your body that it is younger.
    2. In your essential oil burner or diffuser, you can use a 50% mix of lemongrass and geranium to bring happiness to your environment. You may also try lavender to cleanse.
    3. Try affirmations and visualizations. Every time a negative thought comes to you mind, have a positive affirmation ready. For example: If the thought is “I am fat,” change it to “I am in harmony”, “I love my body”.
    4. Watch comedy, read funny stuff, and try to laugh every day.
    spring care for women menopause and perimenopause

    Pampering/healing ideas

    1. Add some nice herbal tea to your routine. One of my favorites for the season is lemon and ginger.
    2. Give yourself a daily massage for a week. For only 2 to 5 minutes. Just put some oil on your hands and lovingly massage your body with long strokes in direction to your heart. Start from your feet and keep going up until you reach your head. You will feel great.
    3. If you have sinus issues, try a saline solution bottle to rinse your sinuses.
    4. You can also do a sinus steam with lavender essential oil. This can be done with a face steamer or put water to boil over the stove and bring your face close so you can breathe the steam.
    5. Bring a new plant to your desk to clean the air

    One more
    Try dry brushing. During winter we accumulate toxins and dead cells; dry brushing helps eliminate both of them.

    Photo by Sharon McCutcheon, Uby Yanes on Unsplash