10 Tips to Reduce Your Blood Pressure Naturally (and Regain Your Youthful Glow)

If you’ve ever wondered if healthy skin and a healthy body are related, wonder no more. According to a recent study, women who have younger looking faces have lower blood pressure and could live longer than those who don’t.


A recent study found that women who looked younger typically had lower blood pressure.

What the Study Discovered

Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, as well as industry scientists from the company Unilever, observed over 250 women, with an average age of 63 years. They then split the participants into two groups based on whether they had a high or low risk of heart disease. They also assessed the youthfulness of the participants by analyzing facial appearance and evaluating the wrinkles on their inner arms.

Results showed:

  • Women placed in the lowest heart disease risk group looked two years younger than those in the other group, based on photos of their faces.
  • Researchers identified blood pressure as the driving link between cardiovascular risk and perceived age.
  • The feature in the face that blood pressure was linked to was not wrinkles, but what we call “sagging” or “bagging” of the skin.
  • This is the first time that we have found a correlation between low blood pressure and youthful good looks.
  • Researchers also found that participants with an extended life expectancy looked younger with less skin wrinkling compare to another group with the same age. They concluded that life expectancy could be predicted just by observing the aging process of the skin.

How High Blood Pressure May Affect Skin

How might blood pressure change your appearance? What we think of as “blood pressure” is a measurement that shows the force of the blood flow against the walls of the blood vessels each time the heart beats. If this pressure gets high and stays high over time, it creates the following injuries:

  • Over stretches the blood vessels, making them more prone to rupture, which can lead to strokes
  • Causes tiny tears that leave scar tissue; this tissue can then catch debris like cholesterol, leading to plaque buildup and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke

These damaging effects can impair blood flow to the skin, which can cause your body to age faster.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is also associated with sleep deficiency, stress, high triglyceride levels and increased blood sugar levels—all of which can lead to skin damage and hyperpigmentation.

What to Do to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

The main takeaway from this study is that making healthy lifestyle chenages may not only make you feel better, but look better, too. We’ve long suspected this to be true, but it’s exciting to have a scientific study confirm it.

“It is hoped the results of the study will encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to regular monitor important health parameters such as blood pressure as the study shows that these factors not only impact health, but can also affect physical appearance,” said Dr. Diana Van-Heemst from Leiden University Medical Center.

If you’re concerned about blood pressure and want to keep it low for your health and your youthful appearance, consider these tips:

  1. Test: Get your blood pressure tested at least once a year. Normal is 120/80 or less.
  2. Eat healthy: That means more fruits and vegetables and less fatty, sugary foods. Watch your sodium intake, as well.
  3. Exercise: Regular exercise helps lower high blood pressure. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is important in managing blood pressure.
  4. Lower stress: Yoga, tai chi, meditation, daily walks, journaling, and music therapy can help you manage stress. Learning to relax helps keep your blood pressure in the normal range.
  5. Limit alcohol: Drinking too much can raise blood pressure levels.
  6. Quit smoking: Tobacco is linked with raising blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
  7. Cut back on caffeine: Drinking caffeinated beverages can cause a spike in your blood pressure. So far, scientists aren’t sure if it’s only temporary or lasting. You can test yourself about 30 minutes after drinking a cup of coffee. If your blood pressure increases by 5-10 points, you may need to cut back on caffeine.
  8. CoQ10: Some studies have indicated that CoQ10 supplements may help reduce high blood pressure. Try about 100 mg per day.
  9. Try herbs & spices: Hawthorn has been found in some studies to help reduce blood pressure, as has cinnamon and garlic. Your holistic practitioner will be able to check out your tests and give you just the right formula.
  10. Try vitamins: Calcium, potassium, and magnesium are important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. All have been found to help reduce high blood pressure but if you’re supplementing, make sure that you’re doing it under the guidance of a qualified physician.
What do you think of this study? Please share your thoughts.

References:

The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 68, Issue 2, 1 February 2013, Pages 145–152, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/gls154

“Women who have younger looking faces have lower blood pressure and could live longer,” Mail Online, November 6, 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2489636/Women-younger-looking-faces-lower-blood-pressure-live-longer.html?ico=health%5Eheadlines.

The following post 10 Tips to Reduce Your Blood Pressure Naturally (and Regain Your Youthful Glow) was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

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3 Ancient Health Practices that Make Your Beauty Shine

Thomas Kelley Image

Imagine you’re sitting comfortably in the forest, tending the fire outside your home, listening to the night sounds around you. You smell fresh air, smoke, maybe the after-leavings of a fresh-caught dinner that you spent the day gathering, and you’re surrounded by the laughter of your entire tribe.

What are you feeling? Calm? Do you feel connected to your environment and grateful for the treats from our planet? Good. That’s how our ancestors lived their lives, and that’s what we want to talk about today.

They hunted and gathered, built their shelters, tended their fires, and supported each other. While beauty wasn’t their top priority, staying health was and we know now that beauty and attraction are largely interconnected with our health.

It makes sense, right? Our ancestors had to further our species, and the best way to do that is to carry on the strongest, healthiest genes. This type of natural selection is two-fold in our species. On the one hand, the strongest humans survived challenges like temperature, weather, famine, disease, and long periods of travel over unknown terrain. On the other hand, we’re inclined to find the healthiest humans the most attractive.

We have keen senses of smell that help us to find a mate and to tell if that match is ill (think about it, you can smell a sickness) and our eyes are trained to find beauty in symmetry. In our evolving eye, a symmetrical person is without obvious deformity, likely has healthy genes and is more likely to survive the hardships of living. In ancient times, your beauty was pragmatic, and that made it essential.

While this isn’t of immediate concern in our current climate of existence (apocalypse pending), it certainly mattered very much just a few hundred years ago—and real evolution takes time.

So how did our ancestors stay at the tip-top of health and keep their beauty up? Here’s a few ways that the ancients took care of their bodies and consequently, let their inner beauty shine.

Massage

This is the first true form of healing. Because the ancestors were an active bunch, they had sore muscles. How natural is it to rub your calves after a long day hiking? Or create a sensual experience with a partner through mutual massage?

That’s because it’s in your genes.

Massage is a wonderful tool to help keep your body calm, it relaxes your muscles and lets you release tension so that you can keep on that workout or move without pain. It also has the ability to move and release stuck energies in the body, both physically and emotionally. It can release toxins that our bodies have been storing and allow us to stimulate and remove things we don’t need.

When our muscles are tense, or we’re feeling stuck emotionally, we can be holding ourselves back from owning our radiant beauty. Our ancestors were much more in tune with the energies of their entire tribe than we tend to be today, and they knew that a body under duress doesn’t work at its full potential, and can’t reach its optimal beauty.

Regular Massage At Home

The most common thing I hear when I suggest regular massage to my clients is that it’s too expensive. And yes, the cost can be a huge barrier for a lot of people to get into a regular massage therapy practice, but this is actually really easy to supplement at home.

You can trade with a friend or partner. This is really fun because it’s a learning experience for both of you. Everyone has a different massage style and different needs. You can ask where they’re sore and practice pushing different ways and at different levels of pressure. Just make sure you’re openly communicating about the massage and the healing so you both get what you need.

No partner? No problem. Rolling out kinks on a foam roller can really do the trick, or there are all sorts of easy at-home massage devices at your local sports store (somehow I always end up in that section). An even less expensive tip?

Get a couple of tennis balls and put them in an old sock. I (shamelessly) stole a couple of tennis balls from my dog’s stash and put them into a sock that lost its mate. Oh man, can I tell you how good that feels between my shoulder blades after an upper body workout? Or how about those abductor muscles of the leg after a bike ride—I lay right on my make-shift massager and work out those kinks. Seriously, try it.

Steam

Fire is the most important thing to a tribe—it could literally mean life or death for everyone. Since the earliest humans were nomads, many ancient gatherings would have a specific fire-bearer (and often times a back up) to make sure to get their flame from one home to the next, never letting the flame die out.

They also had great respect for our planet and understood the destruction that a run-away fire could cause. So when a tribe moved on, they put out the flames, many times with its most effective rival, water. You see where I’m going with this right? Putting out a fire with water makes steam.

That steam heals and our ancestors knew it right away. Even now there are whole schools of healing dedicated to the healing powers of steam bathing but back then they were just feeling it opening their lungs, burrowing into their skin, and helping them sweat out toxins.

They felt it so strongly that they created whole ceremonies to smoke and steam. They built shelters with a center hole, created a fire in the center and let it burn to coals, then they slowly poured water over the coals to create steam. They added herbs to the coals that filled the air with good-smelling healing powers.

Steam bath at home

Luckily, you don’t have to work so hard to build a shelter to hold your steam. (Though if you wanted to do that, could you send an invite?) This is a really simple health and beauty ritual that will keep your skin lively and beautiful by opening your pores and letting you fully release the toxins in your skin along with breathing steam deeply into the lungs, which can help clean out those deep pockets where today’s air pollution and environmental stressors can get stuck.

What you need:

  • A pot of boiling/simmering water
  • A towel
  • Herbs or essential oils of your choice

Directions:
Put the water on to boil.
If you’re using dry herbs for your steam, you can place these into your pot but if you’re using essential oils, you’ll want to wait until your water is steaming because the heat will burn off the oils pretty quickly.
When your water is simmering or boiling (depending on the amount of steam you like) put the towel over your head and over the pot—just be careful not to burn your face or catch the towel on fire.
Breathe in and out steadily, slowly, and fully for a few minutes—I like to try for two minutes, then five minutes, then ten (I never make it to ten, but it feels great to try). Remember that this is a way to relax so if you’re struggling or uncomfortable, try backing away or turning the temperature down.

After your steam, be gentle with your skin, your pores are open and your skin will be sensitive. Usually a nice cold rinse is all you’ll need.

A few awesome herbs or essential oils to add to your steam:

Mint. It smells so good and helps take the steam deep into your lungs to help break up stuck gunk. Mint has cleansing properties that can sink deeply into pores and help clarify skin.
Eucalyptus. This is an ultimate steam herb. Eucalyptus is super cleansing and it has a scent that stimulates and invigorates everything it touches. This is especially lovely if you have a chest cold.
Lavender. Cleansing and calming, lavender is the plant ally with the most to offer in a steam that’s opening your pores. It’s a true aromatherapeutic experience that leaves you relaxed and comfortable after a long day.

Mud

Those of you that love the outdoors already know this, but the nomadic lifestyle can get a little muddy. By the end of a day hike in the wet season, there’s a good chance you’re covered in the stuff so imagine that you’re living outside—being covered in Earth was part of our ancestor’s lifestyle.

They purposefully used mud to protect from the sun and as a salve for wounds but there was an additional benefit of the mud that they might not have realized—it kept their skin shining, toxin free, and beautiful.

Using mud in skin care helps to pull toxins from the skin and soak up extra natural oils. Natural muds and clays are also exfoliating and add much needed minerals to the skin, offering a flawless finish and extra protection from the environment.

Mud Masks

I’m not telling you to go outside and roll in the mud or to cover yourself in clay for your sun protection on a hike (unless you’re into that kind of thing) but I am telling you to exfoliate and use a mud mask pretty regularly, especially if you have oily skin.

If you have oily skin, you want to exfoliate every couple of days with a product like the Kaolin Micro Exfoliant to help polish and give you a soft feel to your face. Follow it with a timeless product like the Purifying Mud Mask and you can feel like you’re one with your ancestors.

What’s your favorite ancient beauty secret? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post 3 Ancient Health Practices that Make Your Beauty Shine was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

6 DIY Beauty Recipes for Your Face, Hair, and Body

Inexpensive beauty recipes

What is beauty? Science tells us that beauty is a function of our ancient instincts giving us some insight about the health of a person and whether they would be a good genetic match for our own genes to further our species. National Geographic tells us, “studies suggest attractive people make more money, get called on more often in class, receive lighter court sentences, and are perceived as friendlier.” That’s right. We’re a bunch of cover-judgers. We just can’t help it.

With or without the science, “beauty” is a booming industry. It doesn’t come cheap and it’s easy to get swept up in the “buy more to be more” mentality. As you organic beauties know, most of the products out there have chemicals in them and even though those chemicals might help maintain the phenotype of beauty, they certainly don’t help keep your body healthy and strong.

Because we think that beauty is a side-effect of eating well, taking care of our bodies, and taking care of our skin, I’d like to share some inexpensive ways to feel healthy and beautiful.

For Your Face

Herbal Face Steams

Let’s start with the easiest beauty trick out there—and my favorite. Herbal steams are such a good way for your body to receive herbal love. They help hydrate your skin and release impurities.

Just put a few drops of essential oil or a couple of tablespoons of your herbs into a pot of water and let it simmer on the stove. Get a big towel and drape it over your head and the pot of water so that the towel traps the steam from the pot. Take deep breaths of the steam. That’s it! Easy, right? And, because your skin is hydrated and your pores are open, your skin will readily accept your skin care routine. So following up with a hydrating serum or moisturizing oil is a good idea.

There are lots of different herbs you can use in your steam. For an easy, all purpose steam that feels good and smells amazing, herbs like rose, lavender, and rosemary are perfect.

Facial Masks

We have talked about face masks before, but I’ll give you another recipe that’s a cheap and easy way to keep your face beautiful.

Facial Mask for Normal or Dry Skin:

  • ¼ an avocado
  • 1 spoonful of plain greek yogurt or kefir

Mix it up and slather it on. Leave it for 15 minutes. Wipe or rinse it off and continue with your routine.

Facial Mask for Oily Skin:

  • Juice from ¼ a lemon
  • 1 spoonful of raw honey, softened

Mix it together and spread it evenly on your face. Leave for about 15-20 minutes and make sure to wipe or rinse it all off when you’re finished.

For your Hair

The best piece of advice I can give you to growing luscious locks is to make sure that your body gets the vitamin A and the protein that it needs (there’s that health piece). Your hair, skin and nails are made of keratin, which is a tough form of protein made in your body. What you ingest has a huge impact on your production of keratin.

Hair Rinses

An apple cider vinegar rinse once a week after shampoo and conditioning is great for balancing the acid mantle of the scalp and removing any leftover soap that may be trapped there.

For one rinse:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Just pour the mixture over your whole head, massage it into your scalp and let it dry.

I like to add herbal teas that help with the color, for a mixture that’s half apple cider vinegar and half tea. I’m fair-haired so I like adding chamomile tea to the rinse. For dark hair, adding a decoction of walnut husk to to the ACV will keep it shiny and nice. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate after your hair dries.

Note for you darker-haired honeys: use a dark colored towel because the walnut may stain a lighter color towel.

For herbal hair rinse ideas, see this blog post.

The Best Love is Free Love

The best thing that I have found for the hair is free! Give yourself a scalp massage and finger-comb your hair!

I like to stand outside with my head upside down (it’s a little silly looking but it feels awesome) and run clean fingers through my hair. Your hands are a lot different than a hairbrush because they are porous and thus they are the best at stimulating and distributing your hair’s natural oils.

Plus. the extra oils and hairs can easily be removed from your hands, so you don’t have to worry about the build up on the brush. This is really helpful for split ends, dandruff and for keeping your hair healthy and growing long.

For your Body

Baths

I hope you have a bathtub because they can be SO healing for the skin and they’re not all that expensive. You’ll want to have a tub strainer because you don’t want all these herbs going down your drain. It’s not important to measure this out perfectly, but it is important to have fun with it! Here’s my favorite herbal bath, you don’t need all of these herbs or salts, any mixture of herbal love is great:

Herbal Bath Recipe

  • A cup or two of oatmeal – organic rolled oats are wonderful!
  • 2+ cups of good salt – I use Dead Sea salt and Himalayan pink salt but epsom salt or any good salt you have works great
  • A couple tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Herbs like rose, lavender, kava, skullcap, yarrow and rue are great to add to the bath. The best way to add them is to put them into a little teabag or a sack, but I like to add handfuls of herbs straight to my water and then strain it out when I’m finished.

Foot Soaks

We have nerve endings in our feet that relate to different parts of our whole body, it’s important to take good care of our hooves so that we can feel great and be beautiful.

It’s like a small scale bath recipe that you can make on your stove and enjoy anywhere in your house – I love to do a foot soak while I’m doing dishes! Just keep your feet in it for at least a half hour (I like it better for an hour):

Herbal Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of good salt
  • A couple teaspoons of baking soda
  • A heaping teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Herbs like rose, lavender, kava, skullcap, yarrow, and tea tree are great!

Pro tip: Do a face steam with your pot of water while you’re making your foot soak. Add in a mask while you’re sitting with your feet in a soak and turn it into a special night. 🙂

What’s your favorite inexpensive beauty trick?

Sources:

Mars, B. (2006). Beauty by nature. Summertown, Tenn.: Healthy Living Publications.

National Geographic: The Enigma of Beauty

Life Cell Skin Fans: Vitamins and Foods that Increase Keratin Production

The following post 6 DIY Beauty Recipes for Your Face, Hair, and Body was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

The 4 Crucial Ingredients for a Salad that Satisfies

If you’re getting bored with your salads then you’ll love these 4 easy salad tips from our friend Danette May

Dan Gold

How many times have you pledged to have a salad every day? And how many times have you given up midweek? Was it because you were just too hungry and your salads didn’t hold you?

A salad a day is a great weight loss tool but if it doesn’t have the power to fill you up, it can work against you.

Getting hungry between lunch and snack time (yes, I eat 5 to 6 times a day and so should you!) makes it more likely that you’ll eat the wrong things—high-fat processed foods, salty snacks, and sweet treats are that much more tempting.

The goal is to make sure you stay full until snack time and don’t indulge.

To do that you need to mix plenty of protein, fiber, carbs and healthy fats in with your greens.

This combo is the key to a salad that satisfies.

4 Things to Add to Every Salad You Ever Make Again

Protein

Protein takes more energy for your body to digest, and that helps to keep you feeling full longer.

It also helps build and repair your cells, helping keep your muscles and skin strong and healthy. When you eat protein, your body makes a hormone called leptin that helps your brain know that you’re full.

Some of the healthiest protein choices for a salad include wild caught salmon, grass fed chicken, hard-boiled eggs or beans. You can also throw in some nuts or a dressing made from Greek yogurt.

Fiber

Fiber helps your digestive tract moving, but you have to eat the right kind – your salad greens are not enough.

Soluble fiber soaks up liquid in your intestines, and this makes you feel full for hours.

Great add-ons for your salad include slices of apple, raspberries, beans, or artichoke hearts.

Complex Carbs

Complex carbs are loaded with minerals and amino acids which are great for your health.

They also take a long time to digest. That means they release their energy over hours, keeping you feeling full.

They’re also easy to add to salads. If you make a batch of quinoa or brown rice at the beginning of the week, you can mix it into your salad to give it staying power.

Fat

Fat always seems like it’s the wrong thing for a salad, but when you add just a bit it will send your brain a message that you’re full.

Great choices include nuts, seeds and oils, or treat yourself to a few delicious slices of avocado.

In a nutshell, the fiber helps to make you feel full right away while the protein keeps you feeling full longer. The carbs give you extra energy and the fat sends your body a message to stop eating. If you stop thinking of salads as nothing but lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers and start adding in these important elements, you’ll find yourself enjoying them much more, and even looking forward to them.

For an added flavor, slice up some fresh herbs like dill or basil, or mix in some chopped jalapeno to give your salad a dose of heat!

If you want some healthy recipes that aren’t all salads all the time, you’ll love all the quick and easy, super delicious recipes in my Bikini Body Recipes cookbook!

What do you add to your salad to make it ultra satisfying? Let us know in the comments below.

The following post The 4 Crucial Ingredients for a Salad that Satisfies was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Love Your Face More by Learning the 4 Types of Skin

This article is shared from our friends over at Live Your Truth

Gerrit Klein Roses

Picture yourself in front of the mirror.

You lean in close, and you look at it again: a flaw in your skin that you just don’t love. Maybe you zero in on those lines by your eyes. Or blotchy cheeks. Or a pesky blemish.

I’m here to tell you that your skin is more beautiful than you give it credit for!

There are lots of reasons you judge your skin too harshly, but here’s the big one…

The beauty industry shows you only one kind of skin as the standard of beauty for everyone. Tiny pores. Even skin tone. Porcelain features. Those features are just not reality for most women.

And when we don’t measure up, we tend to blame ourselves.

The truth is, there are 4 Types of beauty—and 4 Types of skin

Your Type of skin has unique qualities and tendencies.

Many skin care products try to eliminate those tendencies but when you work with your type of skin, rather than against it, you have healthier, happier skin.

Annmarie Gianni and I hosted a video broadcast to share skin care tips for all 4 Types. Watch the recording here Or keep reading for quick takeaways:

Type 1: Clear, Youthful Skin

Type 1 skin has a random, animated quality to it. That means things are moving! This Type of skin tends to have a combination of oily and dry spots that don’t always stay in the same place. Your pores are medium to large in size and you find that your skin care routine focuses on purifying.

Tendencies to manage

Red, blotchy skin tone and persistent, light blemishes. (For tips and examples of Type 1 skin, watch here at 17:15)

Tendencies to embrace

Your skin has a brightness and a freshness about it. You’ll always tend to look youthful, no matter how old you are.

Type 2: Soft, Relaxed Skin

Type 2 skin has a softened quality of complexion. Your features naturally move downward, so you may notice more hooded eyelids and skin that seems to drape over the bone. Your pores are medium to medium-small in size and you find that your skin care routine is best when it’s consistent and geared toward sensitive skin.

Tendencies to manage

Sensitive skin and under-eye darkness or puffiness. (For tips and examples of Type 2 skin, watch here at 27:23).

Tendencies to embrace

Everything is softened, even your wrinkles. As long as you care for its sensitivities, Type 2 skin will tend to age with a natural elegance.

Type 3: Active, Textured Skin

Type 3 skin has more texture. You’ll notice more deeper facial lines and creases in this skin, no matter your age. Your skin expresses more movement. Your pores are medium to medium-large and your best skin care friends are hydrating products.

Tendencies to manage

Hyper-pigmentation, cystic acne, deeper lines that can become exaggerated. (For tips and examples of Type 3 skin, watch here at 33:35).

Tendencies to embrace

Your facial lines! They’re not wrinkles. Type 3 women of all ages tend to have deeper and even multiple smile lines that give them a dynamic look. I have Type 3 skin, and I love it as an expression of the woman I am.

Type 4: Porcelain, Still Skin

Type 4 skin tone tends to be even in its coloring and complexion. Your pores are small, barely visible and your favorite skin care routines will have be focused on a great moisturizer. (When looking at arms’ length. Don’t be deceived by Photoshopped images that show non-existent pores. Every person’s skin has pores if you zoom in close.)

Tendencies to manage

Dry skin. Any imbalance tends to show up in all-or-nothing extremes. (For tips and examples of Type 4 skin, watch here at 45:45).

Tendencies to embrace

The even, porcelain quality of your skin. Without fail, the women who appear in skin care advertising have balanced Type 4 skin.

Your Type of Beauty is More Than Skin-Deep

Your skin is just one part of your true beauty.

The same qualities that show up in your skin also show up in your other features and tendencies—both inside and out.

I want to help you understand yourself and feel confident about how you look. I want to help you bring out your unique beauty and look better than you ever have. I’m excited to show you how.

Click here to discover your type for free

Do you already know your type? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Love Your Face More by Learning the 4 Types of Skin was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Our Cup of Tea; Healthy Lunch Edition

Our Cup of Tea is Annmarie Skin Care’s monthly series featuring the team members’ favorite things! From recipes to workouts to nights on the town, we’ll share the things we love with you. You’ll get to know our team a little better and who knows, you might just find a new favorite thing.

Brooke-Lark-Lunch

Our focus on sharing health with our community also transcends into our lives. Among other things, this means that our office kitchen is a high-traffic zone. With 15 people in the office, there always seems to be at least one person in the kitchen whipping up something delicious—and you can always tell when it’s lunchtime because the scent of the collective yum wafts throughout the whole work space.

That smell is what inspired this month’s Cup of Tea article. We shared our favorite go-to lunches that help keep us healthy and in full work-mode throughout the day. Check it out!

Jasmine

I’ve been on a salad craze for lunch lately. Here’s my usual:
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1 chopped tomato
1 chopped persian cucumber
1/2 cup chopped arugula
1/4 cup chopped cabbage
1 small sliced avocado
1 sliced hard boiled egg
Top with 3/4 cup black beans

Toss with 1.5 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices look good (usually garlic powder and cayenne).
If I’m feeling naughty, I’ll crumble some tortilla chips—Yummm!

Nat

My absolute go-to is:
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 chopped sweet potato
1 chopped zucchini

Coat with coconut oil and bake at 400 for 20 minutes
Top with avocado, Tapatio and coconut aminos. YES PLEASE.
If I’m feeling bananas I will throw some spinach and apple cider vinegar in there.

Abby

If I’m feeling light, I drink 20 oz. of bone broth from Osso Bone Broth (The Revive the Gut pouch is the best!)

Otherwise I make a salad with greens, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, chickpeas, hardboiled egg, avocado, chicken and some type of nut or seed.
I always top it with nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, coconut aminos and olive oil with lemon juice or vinegar for dressing.

Gwen

My new favorite bowl to throw together for lunch consists of:
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 sliced cucumber
½ half an avocado
A couple of tablespoons of sauerkraut
1 cup of roasted broccoli smothered in coconut aminos!

Such a delicious mix of veggies and the aminos give it a sweet twist. This recipe also fits the bill if you’re gluten free, vegan, and/or paleo 🙂

Aubrey

My favorite quick lunch is a chia smoothie.

In the morning time I take a few tablespoons of chia seeds along with some herbs—usually marshmallow root, cinnamon, licorice root powder, and wheatgrass powder but if you have a protein powder you like, that’s great too—and put it in a cup mason jar.

I add water or almond milk and shake it up. By the time lunch rolls around, it’s ready to go! If you use more chia it’s more of a pudding, less chia and it’s a shake!

Chandra

Spinach, kale, chard, banana, pineapple, mango, strawberry, basil, chia seeds, flax seeds, non-dairy milk smoothie. Blend and top with coconut flakes, granola or buckwheat groats, and orange slices.

Leah

One of my favorite lunches is this carrot soup with za’atar hazelnuts from Snacking in the Kitchen.

It is easy to make and satisfying!

I also love the classic “clean out the fridge salad.” My most recent concoction consisted of greens, curried cauliflower, potatoes, and peas topped with some chopped roast turkey.

Lauryn

Collard Wraps have been my go-to quick meal lately.

I just grab one from the crisper and spread on some mendo mustard or hummus as a base, pulled chicken or chopped up Dr Praegers veggie patty, sauerkraut, cherry tomatoes, feta, onion, cilantro and avocado – the possibilities are endless.

Throw on some salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and coco aminos, then wrap up and you have a nutritious and delicious on-the-go meal!

What’s your go-to quick lunch? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Our Cup of Tea; Healthy Lunch Edition was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Introducing the Newest Natural & Organic Skin Care Product: Antioxidant Lip Balm

As one of the most requested beauty products by our customers over the years, it’s honestly about time we launched an organic lip balm. Not only is it a less complex product to make in comparison to the rest of our facial formulas, but it’s absolutely an essential part of the complete Annmarie beauty routine. Lips need love, too!

We admit we’ve been a little biased with what parts of our skin need the most attention. While formulating potent, anti-aging skin care products has been our focus over the years, our lips (if not taken care of) can show premature signs of aging as well. This truth can no longer be neglected, so our simple, yet effective natural lip balm creation has finally emerged! And what a beautiful compliment it is to Annmarie Skin Care.

What we love about lip balm and the application of it, is that it literally takes no longer than three seconds to put on. A complete facial routine however, takes time, time that we are already spending to maintain a healthy complexion. So, since the the lips are such an easy thing to care for, why not adopt this as a daily ritual? Oh, how they will thank you…

Why Lip Balm is Essential

Similar to the skin around the eyes, the lips have much thinner and more sensitive skin than anywhere else on the face. Lips have no oil glands, so they really need that extra moisture and protection throughout the day. Otherwise, you risk your lips getting dry, chapped and even the occasional peeling—and it isn’t until our lips experience these discomforts that we put much thought into the importance of keeping them moisturized all of the time.

While some of us live in seasonal or even extreme weather conditions, which are the biggest culprits of dry lips, there are also other factors that lead to lip sensitivities. A lack of hydration in the body, underlying health issues, licking your lips too much or simply choosing the wrong type of chapstick—you know, one with synthetic ingredients that don’t moisturize properly—are all potential causes of parched lips.

Regardless of the cause, a couple of applications throughout the day can really keep your overall lip health in check!

Pro tips:

  • Always keep a natural lip balm in your bag or pocket wherever you go. Keeping one stored in the bathroom, in your car and one next to your bed will help you be consistent with your applications.
  • Apply the moment your lips feel dry. Continue to apply throughout the day until lips feel smooth and soft.
  • Drink a lot of water! Your lips will feel full and plump when you are internally hydrated.
  • Exfoliate your lips. Exfoliating the lips with an ultra-gentle exfoliant (ie: brown sugar) will help to remove any dead skin and will increase the absorption of our Antioxidant Lip Balm, keeping your lips super moisturized for longer.
  • Apply balm before tint. If you apply lip tint or lipstick, moisturizing your lips prior to lip color application will allow for smooth, even coverage. Sometimes bright lipsticks can settle into cracks in the lips and make them look more pronounced. (The last thing we want to do is bring attention to dry, scaly lips!)

Benefits Of Our Antioxidant Lip Balm

Though lip balms are designed to moisturize the lips and keep them soft and nourished, not all of them are created with that in mind. Conventional lip balms often contain petrolatum, synthetic waxes, alumina, parabens, hydrogenated oils and artificial fragrances and colors.

In our opinion, these aren’t really ingredients we want to be licking off of our lips (and then swallowing) throughout the day. Nor do we want to be using ingredients that exacerbate dryness and serve almost no nutritional purpose for keeping your lips healthy.

For a skin care product that is intended to be applied several times a day on your mouth, the entry to your body, it should be made up entirely of pure and edible ingredients.

We adore our Antioxidant Lip Balm which is comprised of lip-loving olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, sea buckthorn fruit oil, buriti fruit oil, cacao extract, rosehip fruit oil and rosemary extract.

Not only is our lip balm made up of proven natural moisturizing oils, but it also contains protective and breathable barriers for the lips. In addition to the balm’s base, we add in antioxidant-rich fruit oils that deliver intense nutrition to keep the skin on and around the lips full, lush and restored.

Another perk? It tastes like chocolate!

Are you excited about your new Antioxidant Lip Balm? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Introducing the Newest Natural & Organic Skin Care Product: Antioxidant Lip Balm was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.