I’ve been requested to give my two cents about beauty from the inside, and what we can do to make our skin(as well as the rest of our body) look and feel great naturally. These are only my opinions; they are based on my own experience experimenting with a bunch of different products.
On top of the supplements I am going to talk about, I also exercise on a regular basis (cardio 4-5 times a week, and weights usually 2-3 times a week), and eat a primarily vegetarian diet, with the occasional seafood product (I’m a Newfoundlander, can ya blame me!?). I also, for the most part, avoid fast food, and when I do indulge it is usually either Subway (they have a veggie patty! — yeah I know, super thrilling), Thai Express (their stir fried veggies with tofu and steamed rice is delicious), or if I’m feeling more “junky”, I’ll hit up Harvey’s and have a veggie burger and fries. Healthy eating has always been a part of my life, so I find it pretty easy to stay on that path.
What you won’t here from me: that certain foods are completely off limits (I love a good poutine with mushroom gravy, or a vegetarian pizza), nor will you hear me mention calories, or weights. I don’t count calories, and haven’t for years, because portion control is much more important. Moderation is key, especially when consuming simple carbohydrates, or greasy fast food. If we completely deny ourselves these foods, the majority of us will eventually find ourselves digging into a lot more food than we had initially planned. So please, enjoy that milkshake, or that burger. Just don’t eat ten of them!
I approach beauty from a very holistic perspective. What I put into my body will not only affect how I feel, but it will also affect my body’s physical appearance. In order to maintain healthy skin, I feel it is important to cultivate a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
I take a multivitamin everyday, as well as an omega-3 fatty acid supplement(mine is a combination of anchovy, sardine, and salmon oils); on top of this I also take a vitamin c plus vitamin d at night. The brand I buy is Sisu, which can be picked up at your local health food store. I avoid vitamins and supplements that are sold at drug stores, for the most part. Yes, they are cheaper, but they also contain more fillers and have a lower absorbency rate than higher quality vitamins and supplements. I have used Sisu products for years, and if I go a few days without taking them, I definitely notice a difference.
I take these vitamin supplements because even though I eat as balanced a diet as possible, and I try to eat all of my daily requirements; it is these vitamin supplements that ensure I do reach my daily requirement.
I tend to stock up on vitamins when they go on sale, but you can also purchase quality vitamins and supplements at Vitacost, a site I have mentioned and have reviewed in prior blog posts. If you are on a budget (and who isn’t), I’d recommend checking these guys out. About 2 months ago my local health food store had a sale on Sisu multivitamins, so I decided to take advantage of that.
As for omega-3 fatty acids, this product is known to help the growth of healthy hair, nails and skin, and on top of that provide your body with essential healthy fat that has been shown to promote a healthy weight and appetite. For more information on Omega-3 supplements and what kind of fish/source of omega-3 that is best to consume, check out Dr Mercola’s article here, and here. If you have dry skin, especially in the winter, I cannot stress enough the benefits of taking an omega-3 supplement. It saves me a lot of money on expensive products, and when apply coconut oils and other oils doesn’t do the trick, omega-3 supplements usually do.
While it is one thing to eat well, and be active regularly, it is another thing to actually feel good about your body, and embrace your body at any size. Without accepting our bodies, we will never truly be happy or acknowledge our hard work.
For many of those who know me, you know I have been in recovery from an eating disorder since my earlier 20s. Years of therapy, re-learning how to eat with the help of a dietician, and the embracing of my female body is what has gotten me to where I am today. My path is by no means perfect, but today I can say I will never go back to such a self-destructive lifestyle.
For those interested, there are several books that have helped me in my journey, but three of them stick out as particularly helpful. First, is Clarissa Pinkola-Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves, and also Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. Another, book, which is more specific to eating disorders and disordered eating, is called Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita A. Johnson.
The Beauty Myth targets the cosmetic and beauty industries, and suggests they are patriarchy’s last ditch attempt at controlling women and pitting them against one another. While I believe that beauty, makeup, and skin care can be tons of fun, it can easily get out of hand if we are constantly focusing on external remedies for our internal torments. This book encourages women to question the status quo, and shows the historical damage that we have seen as a result of this myth of the ideal woman.
Women Who Run with the Wolves was my first book given to me by my therapist when I had first entered recovery. This book focuses more on the revival of the female archetype, and the strength that is found in all that is feminine. The author uses folk tales from different cultures to show the once revered female spirit, and how women can bring this movement back. It is not about patriarchy or matriarchy, it is about loving ourselves for who we are.
Eating in the Light of the Moon also uses folk tales to explain how our perception of the feminine has changed for the worse over time. She wants women to re-discover our femininity and the value inherent within it. With chapters about intuition, addiction, sexuality, and nourishment, she is successfully able to revive one’s spirit and lead us onto the path of recovery.
These books have influenced me very much, and I have started reading them again recently. Beauty first comes from loving ourselves from within, and this then translates into external beauty. Makeup is just a fun way to better bring out our natural beauty, and express how great we feel inside!
So, it appears as though I have written a lot more than planned. I still have more to write; I will be focusing on the spiritual aspects of beauty in my next entry in this series. Stay tuned, lovelies!