Beauty

Cold Showers

showers

Summer is the perfect time to introduce the benefits of cold showers. This may be a daunting or weird idea for you at first but after trying it you may get hooked.

I first read about cold showers, actually it was ice breast-dunking in Persepolis, a graphic novel written by Marjane Satrapi’s childhood growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution. Marjane would marvel at her grandmother’s ability to keep her breasts in a bucket of ice for 20 minutes or so to keep them firm and perky. Obviously, I was sold on the idea, perky boobs, yeees, plus I never shy away from eccentric healthy and beauty experiences. Well, I read this and I believed in it but I never actually tried the ice-boob dunk because I never had enough ice in the freezer.

Intuitively, I understood how cold ice or water would keep skin firm but what I didn’t know was that cold water also has profound benefits for detoxification of the inner organs, immunity, the endocrine system (glandular health) , and the nervous system, in other words, total rejuvenation!

Scientifically, here are the benefits of cold showers:

  1. Get that glow! Let’s be real, we want to feel healthy and amazing, but we also really want to exude that externally. While hot water opens up your pores, the skin wants cold water to close them back up to prevent bacteria, oil, and dirt from entering, thus causing acne. Cold water protects your natural oils from being stripped off the skin, which helps to keep your skin naturally supple. Cold water also tightens your blood vessels, which helps to reduce puffiness and promote tight, firm skin. Cold showers also keep your hair shiny and strong, in fact these showers are the best for those with thinning hair because the coldness increases the follicles grip to the scalp.
  2. Immunity Strengthener: when you’re taking a cold shower your body is trying to seek warmth quickly. By doing so, your metabolism speeds up causing your immune system to activate. Your immune system becomes stronger when your white blood cells (the ones that fight off disease) increase.* You can also alternate between hot and cold showers to release lymphatic blockages, this is especially helpful to those with colds, infections, and joint pain.
  3. Naturally reduces depression: cold showers stimulate norepinephrine, a brain chemical that can ward off depression. How? Cold showers “shock” the body, which sends a lot of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve to the brain, which can offer an anti-depressant effect.
  4. Cold showers wake you up! It’s shocking, it’s cold, you become alert! Your heart rate increases, more oxygen gets pumped throughout your body and brain, and your circulation sends blood to your organs to keep them warm.
  5. Chills you out: cold showers train your nervous system to be more resilient to emotional stress as they help you to adapt to uneasy situations.
  6. Helps shed weight: Cold showers increase the energy used to burn calories that are trying to keep you warm thus helping to burn the fat that builds around the waistline.

Scary at first, right? You can ease into it by starting off with a warm shower, than to lukewarm, and then to cold for a few minutes. This helps your body adapt especially if you do this daily until you just go for it. Awesomely, you save water too.

In Invincible Living, Guru Jagat recommends dry brushing before the shower to begin heating the body and massaging almond or coconut oil over the body to create a “barrier” so that the cold water doesn’t feel too cold.

Try this out by starting at 30 seconds and then increasing to the time you feel most comfortable with. I think it’s sorta fun to challenge what I “can take” so I shoot for a little more each time. I enjoy this practice so much that I actually crave the thrill of it and knowing all the good stuff that is happening internally and externally is phenomenal.

 

 

Note* If you have a weakened immune system, you can also alternate between hot and cold showers to release lymphatic blockages. This is especially helpful to those with frequent colds, infections, and joint pain. You can do this until your immune system has strengthened.

Coffee Scrubbing!

coffee scrub

Earlier this month I shared with you the pros and cons to drinking coffee. And now I’m going to share with you the benefits of using coffee grounds to your skin. It’s a wonderful way for you to be resourceful, save your monies, and beautify your skin naturally.

Coffee contains antioxidants, acids and enzymes that greatly reduce inflammation and wound skin damage creating quick skin regeneration.

Caffeine, the main component of coffee is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals and reverse their damage on the skin that we often see as age spots and wrinkles. Applying coffee grounds to the skin opens the pores and allows for this antioxidant absorption and thereby preventing premature aging.   

Sea salt and coffee grounds are pretty coarse to the skin, which is a good thing because this allows for deep exfoliation. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skins cells, removes surface dirt, and helps to regenerate new skin cells for healthy and glowing skin. It is especially beneficial to exfoliate before shaving and sun bathing as this helps to absorb moisture and helps to even out skin discoloration.

The mix of skin exfoliation and caffeine absorption increases circulation and blood flow in the body. Not only does this move energy and clear toxins from the lymphatic system but it also reduces the appearance of cellulite because it constricts the blood vessels in the skin. This constriction makes the skin tighter and firmer, creating a smoother texture. Scrubbing and massaging the skin at least twice a week helps to remove toxins and fats held in the skin.

You can definitely purchase coffee scrubs but you can also save some monies and make it from your used coffee grounds, sea salt and/or, olive oil, and optional essential oils.

Here’s what to do:

Add coffee grounds, sea salt and/or sugar to a bowl. Add olive oil to the mix. Use a hand blender or whisk to whip the mixture until the sugar or salt has saturated. Spread it over your body in circular motions, starting from the bottom of your body and upwards towards your heart. Rinse with cold water and feel good. 

Note: I don't use measurements for the recipe, I just eyeball it but definitely add more coffee grounds than sea salt. 

Welcoming the new year...

2017

Are you ready for 2017? I sure am. I'm feeling positive, excited and motivated with a tinge of nervousness and concern for the upcoming year. Aren’t we all, though? We sure have endured a lot this year. Between some of our favorite legends passing to some of our close beloveds, the election, and trying to balance work, relationships, and our mental states, it’s been quite a whirlwind. Luckily, the beginning of a new year reminds you to thank what no longer serves you and allows you throw it in the fire.
 
2016 reminded me of how hardships and tragedies create a powerful impact on the soul-level and in the community. They bring people closer together and inspire change. What I want to do and encourage others to starting doing in the New Year is to keep the momentum of inspiring change and taking action to continue. Wouldn’t it be powerful if we supported this idea all the time? Powerful change takes shifts in attitude and behavior, it may come over time but it is possible.
 
Nourishing yourself with radiant thoughts, people, and food will be a key place to begin. Healthy food can heal our bodies and our spirit. Right now is wonderful time to reflect on any creative health changes that are calling for your attention. Do you want to start listening to your gut? What’s the buzz about fermented foods? Is there such a thing as healthy fats? Which vegetables really need to be organic? How do I get long-lasting energy? How can food help my stress levels? Can I use the food for my skin and body? Go on, ask yourself some questions you want answers to.