Bhringraj oil can be used for treating various hair and skin problems
2. Fenugreek or
methi dana is one treasure spice that may not have originated in India, but has grown to be an essential part of our culinary fare and culture, as if it always belonged to us. It is no wonder then that Ayurveda recognized its potential thousand years back and continues to make most of its health and
Fenugreek seeds are rich in folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C
3. Amla There is a reason why our mothers and grandmothers swear by for all their skin and beauty needs.
Amla or Indian gooseberry has been an essential part of hair care rituals in India since time immemorial. Massaging the scalp with
amla oil helps boost
blood circulation. This supplies enough nourishment to your follicles, which then increases hair growth. It also looks after the overall scalp health by removing dandruff and dissolving grease and dirt from follicles. It helps restore optimum pH levels of the scalp that boosts essential oil production. One of the biggest reasons behind
Amla is packed with Vitamin C. The potent antioxidant help keeps the free-radical activity at bay, which can also severely impact the health of hair. You can prepare some
amla oil at home too. Heat some coconut oil in a pan and add two teaspoons of
amla powder. Heat the oil until it turns brown. After 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat and set the oil aside to cool. Collect the oil in a bowl. Apply it on your hair, while it is still slightly warm and massage well. (Also Read:
Triphala powder has been known to reduce dandruff too. You can either apply
Triphala powder mixed with
coconut oil on your hair, or make it a part of your diet. Your diet plays a huge role in the health of your hair. One of the reasons why your hair volume is not up to the mark could be your liver condition and
Liquid diets promise weight loss, detoxing and cleansing. From protein shakes to cold-pressed juices, they claim to have a solution—albeit an expensive one—to your health worries and woes. Should you try a liquid diet? It depends on your goals and how you go about it.
A liquid diet consists only of liquids instead of solid food. This includes homemade or store-bought juices and smoothies, homemade protein shakes, premade protein shakes and store-bought liquid meal replacements. You can replace all meals and snacks with liquids or do a partial liquid diet, eating some solid foods as well.
Some companies have specific "juice cleanses" with different phases you can buy. Others offer a variety of liquid meal replacements to choose from based on your goals. These, however, can be expensive and usually must be purchased and mailed to you.
Some people go on a short-term liquid diet for medical reasons, such as difficulty swallowing or an intestinal issue.
"It's difficult to make the case for a liquid diet in most cases," says Ayla Withee, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N., C.L.T., an integrative and functional dietitian in Boston. "However, the one exception would be when treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is an increasingly common condition given widespread use of PPIs [proton-pump inhibitor medications for heartburn], chronic stress, antibiotic use and more."
Not everyone with SIBO needs to follow a liquid diet, she notes, but if it is recommended, it should be done with the supervision of a health care professional such as a physician or dietitian.
The more popular reasons for a liquid diet are weight loss and "detoxes." Liquid meal replacements provide a convenience factor—grab your shake and go. Plus, calories and portion size are controlled, so it is easier to stay within calorie goals if you're trying to lose weight.
Juice cleanses and detoxes have seen a surge in popularity in recent years but remain controversial in the nutrition world. Juices pressed from fruits and vegetables deliver a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but their claims to detox the body are not backed by science.
Liquid diets have pros and cons, regardless of your reason for doing them.
Liquid diets can help you lose weight—at least in the short term.
"Sometimes people can lose a few pounds," says Isabel Smith, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., dietitian nutritionist and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. But, "they can also gain them back quickly, too," she says.
One study found that obese patients who replaced two meals a day with diet shakes lost more weight over a four-year maintenance period than those who ate calorie-controlled meals. This may have been due to the lack of variety in their diets. The greater the variety of food that is present, the more people tend to eat.
Liquid meal replacements also provide structure. Following a structured meal plan might lead to greater weight loss than a standard nutrition program.
The benefits of a juice cleanse are increased vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake because of the amount of fruits and vegetables it takes to extract the juice.
"There are certainly studies that show benefits of juice on antioxidant concentration and anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the human body," says Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons College, "but it's generally in the presence of a healthy diet (or other solid foods). The biggest problem is that people think they are 'detoxing' their organs, which just isn't how your liver, or kidneys, or any other organ works."
"There are very few rewards of going on a liquid diet," Pojednic says. "You may lose a little weight in the short term due to water loss, and perhaps a couple of pounds in the longer term due to a massive calorie deficit. But achieving these results is not typical because the diet is so challenging and makes you feel pretty terrible."
Most people can't last more than a few days before giving in to everything they were restricting, which just leads to overeating, guilt and gaining back the weight you lost.
In addition to feeling hangry, you might be missing important nutrients, too. Juices have vitamins and minerals, but they don't have fiber, fat or protein. Drinking juice alone can lead to "debilitating headaches, overwhelming hunger and diarrhea," Pojednic says. "Despite the hype that you feel this way because your body is 'detoxing,' these symptoms are actually because your calorie intake is so low, your blood sugar in between 'meals' is tanking, your body is responding to never feeling satiated, and there's nothing in your gut to bulk up your stool."
Rest assured that your body takes care of the cleansing for you.
"Your body operates on very tightly regulated signaling mechanisms to keep you upright, functioning and clearing out molecules that it doesn't need," Pojednic says. This is why you don't overdose on aspirin. "Your liver has very specific enzymes to 'detoxify' your body. Some foods can influence these enzymes, but flooding your body with liquid isn't going to dramatically change those mechanisms or 'flush out your system,'" she says.
One final downside? Cost. Subsisting on liquids alone gets expensive.
There is a difference in how your body absorbs liquids and solids. Solids come with an extra step in the digestion process—chewing. Chewing your food increases your fullness factor. Fiber also slows down digestion, helping you stay full longer, but juices lack this key ingredient.
"The sugars (glucose and fructose) in the juice will cross the intestinal wall much more quickly without the soluble fiber present in whole fruit, because that fiber barrier will be missing," Pojednic says. And while you are getting a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals (and sugar) from juice, you might not absorb them all. Vitamins A, D, E and K require fat for absorption.
Can You Do a Liquid Diet Yourself?
You can follow a liquid diet on your own, but check with your doctor or dietitian before doing it. You want to ensure you are getting proper nutrients.
Liquid diets could also be dangerous if you are pregnant, on certain medications, have had a recent procedure, or have intestinal or digestive issues.
Not sure if a liquid diet is right for you? Talk to a dietitian, who can guide you through the pros and cons based on your goals. If you choose to go for it, choose beverages that have protein, carbohydrates and fat to help you stay full. Swapping juices for smoothies can help. Consider having one liquid meal per day instead of all three. And don't stay on the liquid diet for long.
"You probably won't do much damage if you keep it to less than three to seven days," Pojednic says. "In the meantime, though, prepare to feel like crap."
Watch: How to Juice: 2 Recipes With and Without a Juicer
Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has a key function
HDL or High density lipoproteins are classified as good cholesterol
High cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis or narrowing of arteries
Greasy fries, tall burgers, yummy cookies have become an inevitable part of urban living. No matter how you try to steer clear of them, they somehow manage to get the better of you. Let us tell you a secret. It is okay to let loose at times, indulge and enjoy. It is only when these temptations start going out of control that problems arise. One of the most common conditions faced by people of this generation is that of their high 'cholesterol' levels. So much so, that many people view cholesterol as an entity, that is sitting in your system to take your heart-health for a ride. That is not true. Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has important natural functions in stimulating various activities in the body that include digesting foods, producing hormones and others.
There are two types of cholesterol:
1. HDL or Good Cholesterol: HDL or High density lipoproteins are classified as good cholesterol and are very essential for smooth functioning of the body. High-density lipoproteins are one of the five major groups of lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are a class complex particles composed of multiple proteins. HDL Cholesterol transports all the wastes and toxins backs to the liver.
2. LDL or Bad Cholesterol: LDL or Low-density lipoprotein are one of the five major groups of lipoproteins which transport all fat molecules throughout your body. It is the excess of this class of cholesterol that may cause a host of health disorders particularly that of heart. Bad cholesterol forms a layer of plaque on the walls of arteries, which makes it difficult for the blood to flow in its natural pace, which further contributes to high blood pressure and in worse cases, even a stroke .
Bad cholesterol forms a layer of plaque on the walls of arteries which increases cholesterol levels
Causes And Effects Of High Cholesterol
According to various studies, high cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, which is a condition where the arteries harden due to a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls. These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause clots or rupture, in which case it can also lead to a stroke.
1. Poor diet: One of the primary reasons of high cholesterol is a poor diet. Eating saturated fats, found in animal products, and trans fats can raise LDL cholesterol levels. A High cholesterol diet is most likely to have all of these.
2. Obesity: Obesity could also trigger a spike in bad cholesterol levels. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
Obesity could also trigger a spike in bad cholesterol levels
3. Lack of exercise: Lack of physical activity and a sedentry lifestyle can also contribute to high cholesterol levels.
4. Smoking: If you have high cholesterol and are an occasional smoker, here's a reason to drop the butt now. Cigarette smoking damage the blood vessels, making them accumulate fatty deposits which can result in a spike.
Cigarette smoking damage the blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits
5. Diabetes: High blood sugar can damage the lining of your arteries which can give way for the LDL cholesterol to make their fatty deposits.
High Cholesterol Diet: What Must A Person Suffering From High Cholesterol Ensure?
A person with high levels of cholesterol has to ensure and control a lot of factors, from their diet to a healthy body weight. Eating a low-salt diet is a must. Switching from the saturated fats found in animal products to the good fats has also proven beneficial for those dealing with high cholesterol. According to consultant nutritionist Dr. Rupali, "People with cholesterol should try to maintain their body weight and should have a healthy mix of fats and fibers ( both soluble and insoluble). They must include foods such as nuts, almonds, walnuts meat and meat products as these foods help control the cholesterol"
Swap bad fats with good fats for increasing good cholesterol
Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood talks about ensuring a balance in the diet, "There are 3 main macronutrients on which our body thrives: Carbohydrates, fats and proteins. There are two types of carbohydrates i.e simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. A person with cholesterol should try to bring down the simple carbohydrates and should increase the amount of complex carbohydrates. They should definitely avoid foods rich in trans fats."
It is very essential to differentiate between good carbs and bad to ensure healthy cholesterol
According to Nutritionist and Wellness Expert Sonia Narang, "It is important to look after your diet and eat healthy. Avoid saturated fats like oil, ghee and hard margarine. Avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils as they go through a lot of processing. You will find these fats in cookies, chips and other packaged snacks. Try to have less fatty meat and meat products like sausages and bacon." You should also avoid too much alcohol as it raises your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
In addition to diet, one also has to ensure that he or she leads an active lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyle is linked with a variety of health problems like obesity and diabetes. Daily exercise is one of the best and natural ways to boost your HDL and lower your bad cholesterol.
Moderation and balance are key to not just healthy cholesterol but healthy life in general. Eating nutrient dense and balanced food that fights inflammation is just one of them. Here are some good and bad cholesterol foods that you must include/rule out from your diet wisely.
Good Cholesterol Foods:
1. Beans and Pulses Beans, lentils and various other kinds of pulses can significantly bring down the bad cholesterol levels. According to an old study, eating one serving a day of pulses, people can lower LDL ('bad') cholesterol by five percent. The low glycemic index of the pulses help keep the LDL cholesterol levels in check. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose. Carbohydrates with a GI higher than 70 cause marked fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. You can have them in sprouts, soups, stews or curries but make sure they are part of your daily intake. (Also Read: 6 Benefits of Sprouting and the Right Way to Do it)
Beans, lentils and various other kinds of pulses can significantly bring down the cholesterol levels
2. Nuts The chunky goodness of nuts like walnuts, almond and pistachios have long been associated with bringing down bad cholesterol. These nuts have a low glycemic index, are naturally cholesterol free, and are source of protein, fiber and antioxidants, which makes them the best bet for good heart health too.
These nuts have a low glycemic index, are naturally cholesterol free
The omega-3 fatty acids present in these fatty fish can help keep cholesterol levels
6. High-Fiber Fruits
High-Fiber fruits like dates, prunes, apples and pears can boost your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. Mostly, all the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables have low glycemic index too.
Mostly, all the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables have low glycemic index
Avocados can do wonders for your lipid profiling and keeping your cholesterol levels in control. A source of good fat, avocado can easily be swapped for all your fat-laden foods.
A source of good fat, avocado can easily be swapped for all your fat-laden foods.
High Cholesterol Foods To Avoid:
1. Packaged Chips, Burgers and Other Transfats: High in salt and cooked in refined oil, these trans-fat foods can wreak havoc on your lipid profile. These fats get accumulated and clog your arteries, which restricts the blood flow.
High in salt and cooked in refined oil, these trans-fat foods can wreak havoc on your lipid profile
2. Sugary cookies and goods: If salt is bad, then too much sugar does no good either. These cookies, crackers are packed with refined carbohydrates. These sugary foods cause immediate spike in blood levels and upset the blood sugar levels too.
3. Alcohol: Moderate drinking is okay, but according to various studies, excessive drinking can raise both cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Which is why people with high blood pressure should be extra weary of the number of glasses and pints of alcohol they take.
excessive drinking can raise both cholesterol and triglyceride levels
4. Red meat and bacon: Animal meat like mutton, lamb and pork is loaded with saturated fats which may up your cholesterol levels. Even if you are cooking the meat, make sure they are cooked in vegetable oil or are baked.
5. Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbs are the main culprit behind a host of problems such as obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. White breads, pasta, tortillas, and bagels are the most popular sources of refined carbohydrates which have been taking a toll on the overall cholesterol levels of millions across the world. Refined carbohydrates are said to have high glycemic index which significantly raises the LDL Cholesterol while having no impact on the good cholesterol
5 Healthy Recipes For People With High Cholesterol
Packed with the goodness of kidney beans, cottage cheese and julienned vegetables, this healthy and delightful salad tossed together with olive oil is the perfect way to beat cholesterol, blood pressure and those extra pounds!
2. Salmon Fillet With Vegetables Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, abundant source of protein, potassium and selenium- Salmon is one healthy superfood that should be a must-have in your diet. This light and lovely recipe made with tender fish fillets teamed with goodness of herbs makes for a filling dinner option.
Moong dal chila could prove to be one of the healthiest start to you day. Easy-to-prepare and made with the goodness of heart-friendly moong dal, this Indian pancake dish is one satiating dish you would never get enough of.
The nutrient-dense smoothie made with weight-loss friendly and heart-healthy apples and chia seeds is a health freak's dream come true. You can have it for breakfast. The lush smoothie can also serve as an ideal evening snack.
The eclectic Mexican dip is so easy-to-make and double up as a deliciously healthy treat too! The pungent delight made of fresh avocados, tomatoes, green chillies, onions and lime is a treat to for the soul.
There is a lot you can do on an individual level and ensure your cholesterol levels are in check. These simple ways could get you started on a way to healthier life.
In the Everyday Roots Book I begin the chapter on weight loss by stating that I believe there are only two ways to truly manage weight, through exercising and eating healthy. There simply is no magic shortcut, and while this may seem obvious to some people it is overlooked far, far, too often. Now you’re probably wondering, if diet and exercise are the only ways to lose weight, why did you write this list? Because there are still natural remedies and recipes that will help you reach your ultimate goal. If you use these in addition to eating better and getting some exercise, they can speed up the process. There are many different contributing factors to losing/gaining weight, so the below remedies cover a wide range.
Before you go on you should have a simple understanding of the process your body goes through when dropping the pounds. Fat (along with protein and carbohydrates) is stored energy, plain and simple. Calories are the unit that is used to measure the potential energy in said fats, carbs, and proteins. Your body will convert fat to usable energy through a series of chemical processes, and any excess energy (calories) that you don’t need will be stored away. To lose weight, you must expend more energy (or calories) than you take in. When you are using more than you taking in, your body draws on stored fat to convert it to energy, which makes the fat cells shrink. It doesn’t disappear; it simply changes form, like water to steam. While this is the basic process, you also have to take into account genetic and environmental factors. How well the above process takes place does vary from person to person.
1. Cinnamon Tea
Blood sugar has a direct impact on your weight as it affects how hungry and how energetic you are (if you have energy you’re much more likely to exercise!)
If your blood sugar is balanced you are less likely to have a disproportionally large appetite, and your body will be more apt to use fat (energy) rather than storing it.
While debate about its effectiveness drags on, more and more preliminary studies are coming out showing that cinnamon can help manage blood sugar levels, so why not whip up a spicy cinnamon tea?
You will need… -1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon -1 cinnamon stick -8 ounces of fresh water
Directions Place the cinnamon in a mug and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes before straining. Drinking 1-2 times a day.
2. Green Tea & Ginger
Green tea has long been debated as a weight loss aid, and more research is needed to confirm or deny how well it works. While some studies have turned up nothing, others have identified three main components in green tea that could help manage weight-caffeine, catechins, and theanine. Caffeine is just an overall boost to your system, and speeds up a number of bodily processes, including metabolism related to weight (technically speaking, metabolism refers to any and all biological processes in a living organism needed to sustain life.)
Catechins are considered anti-oxidant flavonoids, and are superior in green tea rather than black tea due to a difference in processing (black tea is fermented.) While the mechanism is yet to be determined, in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that catechins can help lower the absorption of lipids (fats) via the intestinal track. Theanine is an amino acid in green tea that can encourage the release of dopamine, the chemical that makes you “happy” and relaxed. If you tend to eat due to stress, this may be useful. It also counters the caffeine so you don’t get all jittery. The ginger added to green tea will help improve digestion and add a little flavor-no sugar or milk in this tea!
You will need… -1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped OR ½ teaspoon ground ginger -1 teaspoon of green tea -8 ounces of fresh water -Raw, organic honey (optional)
Directions Place green tea and ginger in a strainer or sieve and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water. Steeping green tea for too long can leave it with a bitter taste, so don’t exceed 3-4 minutes. You can stir in a little raw honey if you really need to sweeten it, but avoid milk or sugar at all costs. Drink 1-2 cups daily on an empty stomach.
3. Rose Petal Water
The benefits of rose petal water are backed more by anecdotal evidence than anything, but that’s no reason to shrug off this mild yet refreshing drink. Rose petals act as a very gentle diuretic. Diuretics encourage your kidneys to put more sodium (salt) into your urine. This excess salt in turn draws water from your blood, decreasing the amount of water in your circulatory system. This is not “permanent” weight loss-just water weight-but the action encourages you to drink more and keep your system flushed clean and hydrated. Staying hydrated, believe it or not, can be hugely beneficial to losing weight.
You will need… -Handful of fresh or dried rose petals -Distilled water (roughly 1-2 cups) -A pot with a tightly fitting lid Note: Be sure, especially if using fresh rose petals, that they have not been treated with any sort of chemical (insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc.)
Directions Place the pot on the stove, put in the rose petals, and add just enough distilled water to completely cover them. If some float to the top it’s not a big deal. Cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid and simmer until the petals lose most of their color, about 15-20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a glass jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Drink about ½-1 cup every morning on an empty stomach.
Ginseng is any one of 11 perennial plants with fleshy roots belonging to the genus Panax. While there are different kinds of ginseng, the two that you should use –also the ones that have had the most controlled double-blind studies done on them-are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng.) While widely known as a stimulant to speed up a sluggish metabolism, that description doesn’t do it justice. Ginseng’s greatest quality is that it can help fight fatigue and boost energy as well as mental alertness (in a randomized double-blind study in 2010 290 cancer patients at the Mayo Clinic were given ginseng daily and it was found to fight even the crippling fatigue caused by chemotherapy.) This is huge when it comes to weight loss-without energy, it’s hard to exercise. Without exercise, it’s near impossible to lose weight-at least in a healthy way. In addition to boosting energy, there is tentative evidence that it can help manage blood sugar, which also affects energy levels as well as appetite.
You will need… -1 teaspoon of chopped American or Korean ginseng -8 ounces of fresh water -raw honey/lemon to taste (optional)
Directions Roughly chop the root and measure out 1 teaspoon per cup of water. Bring water to a boil and then pour over the ginseng, allowing it to steep for 5-9 minutes. Strain, add honey or lemon if you like, and drink 1-2 times daily.
5. Dandelion and Peppermint
Dandelion and peppermint tea is a fabulous drink that will help keep your liver healthy. The liver is an incredible organ. Not only is it the only way to truly detoxify your body, it is also plays a central role in many metabolic processes-a lot of which affect weight. In terms of fat metabolism, the liver is full of cells that break down fats and turn them into usable energy. These cells are also responsible for the flow of bile, which helps breakdown and absorb fats. In the metabolism of carbohydrates, the liver helps keep your blood sugar steady, therefore keeping energy levels up and regulating appetite. The list goes on, but the point is helping your liver helps your weight, as it plays a crucial role in managing fats and their absorption. Dandelion and peppermint both help your liver. Dandelion has hepatoprotection constituents, with hepatoprotection meaning an ability to prevent damage to the liver. Peppermint and dandelion both automatically stimulate the production of bile in the liver, helping with digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Mix these two together, and you have a powerful liver protecting tea!
You will need… -1 teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves -1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves -8 ounces of boiling water -Lemon to taste (optional)
Directions Pour a cup of boiling water over the dandelion and peppermint and steep, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Strain, add lemon to taste if you like, and drink a cup twice daily. You can also make this with fresh dandelion leaves/roots and fresh peppermint, just use a rough handful of the fresh leaves for the amount. If you do use fresh, be absolutely certain that there have been no chemicals applied to them- this is especially important for dandelion. If you use dandelion on a regular basis, I suggest growing your own.
6. Sip on Sage
We live in a hectic world, and most of us are stressed about one thing or another on a daily basis. The thing is, our bodies weren’t made to handle constant stress, and it can have damaging effects on a wide variety of functions-including weight gain/loss. When under stress, the body releases cortisol, a steroid hormone that is part of the fight-or-flight response. Cortisol can effect blood sugar level (therefore appetite), and cause energy to be stored more readily as fat. Neuropeptide Y is a neurochemical that is also related to stress. When released, it causes growth of fat tissue (energy is stored easily as fat around the abdomen) as well as an increase in appetite. One way to fight this underlying stress can be to ingest more sage, which has calming effects on both the body and mind. Making a calming sage tea, or even just adding it in dishes you cook, is one way to help combat your stress levels.
You will need… -A handful of fresh sage OR 2 teaspoons of dried sage -8 ounces of boiling water -Lemon to taste (optional)
Directions Pour boiling water over sage and steep for 4-5 minutes. Strain, add lemon to taste if you like, and drink 1-2 times daily.
7. Chew Gum
Chewing gum is a great way to trick your brain (and your stomach) into thinking it’s getting more than it is. The flavor of the gum reduces appetite and curbs the urge to snack on something unhealthy, and also stimulates the flow of saliva, whose enzymes help break down starches and fats.
You will need… -1 piece of natural sugar free gum
Directions When you feel the need to start munching, pop in a piece of gum instead.
8. Have a Routine (and stick to it)
Having a routine is, in my opinion, in the top three most important things you can do to lose weight, right up there with exercise and diet. If you don’t stick to a routine, you won’t see results, and you’ll be discouraged. Several years ago I saw a personal trainer and, after paying a decent sum of money, I figured out that it was the routine of going to see her made the biggest difference. It’s probably the single hardest thing you’ll do when you try to lose weight, but once those habits become hardwired into your brain, things will only get easier.
9. Just Add Water
Staying hydrated is an important aspect of weight loss that people often brush off-you don’t want to gain water weight and feel bloated right? Either that or you hear that you should drink ice cold water to burn more calories. Not exactly. The idea that ice cold water burns more calories because your body tries to “warm it up” first may technically be true, but the effect is miniscule (like 8 calories miniscule.) Rather, you need to be hydrated for your body to run smoothly, and that includes burning fat. It flushes bad stuff through your system, and also helps curb appetite. And don’t fret about water weight-if you are staying hydrated, your body is less likely to retain water since it simply doesn’t have the need to-similar to how eating more can make weight loss easier, within reason. I should also say-DO NOT BUY INTO SPECIALTY WATERS! Get your vitamins through your diet or supplements. Those waters are not better for you-in fact some are so loaded with flavoring and what not they rival soda.
You will need… -8 ounces of fresh water
Directions Drink at least 8 cups of fresh water every day.
10. Coconut Oil (as a replacement fat)
In the 1970’s and ‘80’s, saturated fats got shoved into the spotlight as the main cause for obesity. Coconut oil, being a saturated fat, was tossed along with the rest of them. The healthier alternative that we created? Trans-fat. One could say that backfired a wee bit eh? Coconut oil isn’t just any old saturated fat though; it contains unique fats called medium chain triglycerides that help you use energy (aka calories) more efficiently. MCT’s are indeed a saturated fat, but they are not the same as many of the other saturated fats we hear about-those fats are long chain triglycerides. Why does the length matter? Its chemical makeup is what determines how our body processes it and breaks it down. MCT’s are not broken down in the intestines, and therefore do not get stored away immediately as fat. Instead, they absorbed intact and sent right to the liver, where they are used as energy. Now sitting around eating coconut oil isn’t going to make you lose weight, but using it as a replacement fat can be a good choice. In addition to that, just plain coconut oil is an incredible appetite suppressant (it’s almost scary, actually.) Tack on that it can raise energy levels and you are more likely to get out, move around, and exercise.
As far as studies on it go, here are some that I mentioned in The Everyday Roots Book. In 2002 the Journal of Nutrition concluded that it can aid weight loss when used in place of long chain triglycerides. It was also shown to strongly curb appetite and it appeared to increase the burning of calories. In 2003 Obesity Research found that it may help burn calories, probably due to the fact that it boosted energy. In 2010 the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition also found that it could help boost metabolism and reduce appetite.
You will need… -2 tablespoons of good virgin cold-pressed coconut oil
Directions Twice a day, take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. You can take it before, during, or after a meal. If you tend to struggle with proportions, I suggest taking it before you eat, or if dessert is your demon, take it right after dinner. In terms of substitution I’ve used it in place of olive oil and love it.
11. Plain Yogurt and Honey
This is an awesome breakfast/snack. It’s one of those “I wouldn’t guess this is good for me!” type foods. The probiotics in yogurt do wonders for the digestive track and maintains a healthy balance of gut flora that optimizes digestion and the breakdown of certain substances (like fat.) When you digestive track is running smoothly, your body is processing things better and it’s not as likely to pack on the pounds. The honey is just a little added (healthy) sweetness to satisfy any cravings you might have. The beautiful thing here is that you really don’t feel like you’re getting shorted any flavor or fullness when you eat it. For optimum weight-loss awesomeness, try low fat yogurt.
Note: There was once a time when certain large companies began to add so much sugar to their yogurt the amounts surpassed those found in sugary breakfast cereal, like Lucky Charms. People were gobbling it up and wondering how it could be so tasty and good for you, when really the image and wholesomeness of yogurt was simply being abused. Read the nutrition label first.
You will need… -1/2-1 cup of plain (not vanilla) yogurt -1 tablespoon of organic raw honey, or to taste
Directions Eat this for a snack or breakfast, adding on the honey for flavor. Feel free to try adding fresh fruit or even oats for a little variety.
12. Get Enough Sleep
Our body is a cohesive unit, a complex system, not just individual parts. Everything has to be working harmoniously for things to be balanced and correct-like your weight. Studies have shown that even just a little bit of sleep deprivation over the short time frame of 4 nights results in increased insulin resistance, and essentially ages the metabolism 10-20 years in that time frame. The fat cells sensitivity to insulin dropped by 30% to levels usually seen in people who were obese or diabetic. By getting the right amount of sleep, you’re doing more than just resting your body-you’re ensuring that all systems are go, and that you have the best chance possible to succeed at losing weight.
13. Black Pepper and Lemon Juice
This spicy little concoction contains black pepper and lemon juice to create a drink that can help you keep ahead on your weight loss battle. Black pepper contains a naturally occurring chemical compound called piperine, which is responsible for giving it its pungent flavor. Several new studies have shown that piperine can interfere with the genes that control the generation of fat cells, as well as reducing fat levels in the blood stream and enhancing the absorption of nutrients from our foods. Lemon juice can help aid in digestion and give your G.I. track a helping hand when it comes to breaking down foods.
You will need… -Several sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper -Juice of half a lemon -Fresh water
Directions Mix lemon juice with water and sprinkle in black pepper (about 3-4 turns of the pepper grinder.) Drink once daily after a meal.
14. Bottle Gourd Juice
Bottle gourds are old-world hard-shelled fruits that anecdotal evidence suggests can help you lose weight. People who swear by it find that, due to its high fiber content, it creates a sensation of fullness and curbs appetite. It also has high water content (always a good thing) and has a number of great nutrients. If you do decide to drink bottle gourd juice, do not do so in such a way that you use it to “starve” yourself (see below.) Your body needs all the (good) food and nutrients it needs to maintain a balanced diet, however, it’s a great way to help resist cravings and potential snacking sprees!
You will need… -1 cup of bottle gourd juice, chilled -A little lime juice
Directions When you feel the urge to snack, drink a glass of cold bottle gourd juice with a dash of lime juice added.
15. Eat More (and figure out why you’re eating in the first place)
Deprivation never works. It is a painful struggle that will almost always result in failure. Instead of starving your body of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, eat “more” good stuff. Break your meals down to 5 or 6 small ones a day to reduce snacking (which is when a good chunk of weight gain takes place for a lot of people) and to prevent your body from storing more fat-which is does when it feels “starved.” Also ask yourself why you’re eating in the first place-we so often eat out of boredom or nerves or stress. Wait until you feel a rumble and let your stomach tell you when it needs to eat.
16. Apple Snacks
An apple a day keeps the weight at bay! While not overflowing with nutrients like other fruits or vegetables, apples still have a number of benefits that can contribute to weight loss. First, they are packed with fiber, which helps curb appetite, so eat one when you feel the urge to snack on some less-desirable foods. Second, they can help regulate blood sugar levels, and therefore help regulate your appetite and energy levels. Third, the pectin in apples can lower cholesterol, and serve as another way to help regulate blood sugar, by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates. Finally, apples are a naturally low-sodium food, which can help prevent excess water retention and water weight.
You will need… -1-2 fresh apples
Directions Rinse and slice an apple, and eat one to two daily. Leave the skin on, as that contains a good amount of fiber.
17. Add in More Asparagus
Pay attention to seasonal fruits and vegetables, and pounce on the asparagus when it comes along. Asparagus is nutrient dense and, like apples, contains a lot of fiber to help curb appetite. It also contains a host of vitamins that work together to metabolize blood glucose, therefore regulate blood sugar. If you find yourself feeling puffy or bloated, asparagus is a mild diuretic that can help reduce bloating and leave you feeling your best. Try eating asparagus steamed on the side of your favorite dishes-this vegetable doesn’t need much to make it taste good
You will need… -1 bunch of asparagus -some water
Directions Wash the asparagus and lightly peel the stems if they are thick. Place in a pan with ½-1 inch of water, and cover with a tightly fitting lid. Turn the heat to medium high and steam for 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.
18. Put Your Fork or Spoon Down Between Bites
Your brain lags behind your stomach by roughly 20 minutes, which ,means that it isn’t the best thing to rely on when it comes to letting your know when you’re full. To avoid over-eating, and thus consuming extra un-needed calories, slow down your eating by putting your fork or spoon down between bites. You might feel a little silly at first, but it can really help when it comes to managing your weight.
19. Snack on Flax
Flax seed has been known to help with digestive ailments for centuries, and this goes hand in hand with weight loss. Flax seeds are high in fiber, as well as mucilage, which helps lower cholesterol. It has also been proven to lower blood sugar levels. With such a high amount of fiber, flax seeds also act as a natural gentle way to regulate bowel movements and help promote healthy gut bacteria, both which work well to help you manage weight. It is important to eat flaxseed ground, as it tends to pass through the digestive track undigested if eaten whole, thus depriving you of its nutritional benefits.
You will need… -1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
Directions Once a day eat a tablespoon of ground flaxseed-sprinkling it over cereal or oatmeal if my personal preference.
20. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle contains active flavonoid compounds collectively known as simirilyn. Simalrilyn helps to protect the liver which is a vital organ when it comes to managing weight and encouraging weight loss. When your liver is bogged down and sluggish, weight loss can be slowed by up to 30%*. The simarilyn in milk thistle can help reverse this. There are several ways to take milk thistle, however I recommend a capsule form (make sure the source is reliable) or as a tincture, since milk thistle does not impart its benefits when steeped in water (such as when made into a tea.)
You will need… -Milk thistle capsules or tincture
Directions Follow Directions on the packaging for dosage.
21. Go Ahead, Eat That Chocolate
Remember deprivation hardly works? When you get the urge for a sweet treat, turn to dark chocolate. It will help curb your craving thanks to its insulin-resistance lowering flavonoids. The healthy fats in dark chocolate can also slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, preventing “insulin spikes.” Studies have shown that eating some can help put a stop to cravings for sugar, salt, and fat. However, the chocolate must be 70% cocoa, otherwise it has too much milk or sugar added to be beneficial.
You will need… -70% dark chocolate
Directions Directly after a meal, eat a piece of dark chocolate roughly the size of your thumb to glean its benefits.
22. Join the Navy… Beans
Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you…lose weight? Apparently, since the protein in navy beans can take a while to digest, therefore reducing appetite and aiding in weight loss management. The fiber in navy beans can also help lower cholesterol.
You will need… -1 cup of dried navy beans -3 cups of water
Directions Prepare the navy beans by adding 3 cups of fresh water to a pot for each cup of dried beans, so that the liquid level is about 1-2 inches about the beans. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot. Skim off any foam that develops, and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours until tender. Add to a salad or enjoy as a dish on its own.
When you’re trying to figure out how to lose weight, know that there really is no magic thing that works for everyone. Yes, diet and exercise are vital, but people are different, bodies are different, and you have to take into account things such as genetics, health conditions, gender, and age. You might be glaring at your co-worker chowing down on donuts at the office while you pick at a salad and wonder how they manage to stay so fit when they eat whatever they want-but don’t let this drag you down. The journey is different for everyone, but there is always a way to complete it. And when in doubt, simplify the situation-eat good food, get proper exercise. We’ve turned eating and weight loss into a science that delves into such minuscule things we feel like we aren’t capable of eating right or losing weight without professional help. Assuming you have no outstanding condition that complicates the situation, you can reach your goals on your own! It may be difficult, but hey, that’s where things like these remedies can lend a helping hand.
Weight Loss Tips
-Weight isn’t everything. Muscle does weigh more than fat, and being fit and healthy is more important than being incredibly “thin.” Healthy looks good on you, and don’t forget it!
-Never underestimate stress as a cause of weight gain. The body cannot perform any function, including burning fat for energy, optimally when under stress.
-There are no super-foods. Don’t rely on one thing to help you lose weight-always maintain a balanced diet.
-Don’t eat before bed. Your metabolism slams on the brakes when you go to sleep, so eating at night makes weight gain tough to avoid.
-Get a buddy to make goals that the two of you strive towards. When you lose willpower or motivation, a friend can be all that stands between success and setback.
-Read a book called Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us In by New York Times investigative reporter Michael Moss. Just do it. It will give you something new and tangible to hold onto when you are trying to avoid junk food. At the risk of sounding corny, it actually changed my life.
-Along the lines of the first tip-manage your weight to be healthy, and ultimately, happy. Ignore images of perfect figures. Forget about the silly things society bombards you with, telling you what you should look like. To say that’s easier said than done is the understatement of the century, but do try to keep it in mind. When you are healthy, and happy, you truly glow from the inside out.
Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire
We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:
In this glorious land that we call home, spring — while an integral part of Indian customs — doesn’t technically have bonafide status as a separate season. Spring is more of a suggestion than an actual season in this country with its own varying dynamic that quite literally blows hot and blows cold. It is, therefore, safe to say that the end of winter essentially heralds the beginning of summer.
Summer marks the beginning of longer days, hot sun, more UV damage, and therefore more skin damage. Oxidative stress — in other words, the process of oxidation (a chemical reaction with oxygen) inside your body — is also something that needs to be continually monitored no matter which season you’re in. Quite simply, healing through the plate — and not just the pill — is a scientifically proven, hard-to-argue-with process that will protect you no matter what. During this winter-to-summer transition, get these foods to boost your immunity, health and well-being:
Bursting with antioxidants, mango is a healthy addition to your daily diet. Demolish the myth that mango derails a person’s effort to get slimmer or feel better. The king of fruits has been linked with cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, clearing up skin, digestive health, boosting immunity and even bettering your sex drive.
This magnificently versatile fruit can be present in salads, low-fat desserts or even eaten as nature intended: by itself. However, owing to its high Glycemic Index, do have no more than 100 grams (about a medium sized fruit) at a time for non-diabetics and about 50 grams for diabetics. And yes, diabetics can have mango.
Brimming with Lycopene, tomato is considered beneficial for the health of your skin and is also associated with cancer prevention as well as heart health. Cooked or raw, this ridiculously abundant and refreshing food is the base of many Indian and international dishes. Tomatoes are also a great source of many vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, potassium and Vitamin K.
There’s a lot that is sweet about this potato. In that it is an underrated health food that is a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, copper, potassium, as well as vitamins B1 and B2. And phosphorus. What all this means is that it’s a veritable bouquet that heals your body and allows it to deal with the onset of this season. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
Trust your gut to trust this gut food. Loaded with healthy bacteria like probiotics, yogurt can be eaten anywhere anytime, and is a cooling, refreshing, nourishing food.
A fantastic source of potassium, cucumber is also a very hydrating fruit that helps make the transition into summer far more tolerable. In addition to this, you can’t get healthier and more antioxidant-friendly than with a tall glass of nourishing and refreshing vegetable juice. And it’s so super easy to make. Have a great summer ahead!
Sweet Potato is a veritable bouquet that heals your body and allows it to deal with the onset of summer. A gift that keeps on giving
by Pooja Makhija Consulting Nutritionist & Clinical Dietician
The next time you sit down to eat, take a good long look at your plate before you dig in . The food you're eating and the way you prepared it might be totally healthy, but there could be another, almost invisible factor causing you to eat more than you originally intended to. And if you're interested in losing or maintaining your weight, letting this little mistake slip under the radar could be getting in the way of your goals.
Your portion sizes might be too big, and they way you plate your food could be the reason why. Your healthy-eating game plan seems airtight: You diligently set your brown rice down, top it with a lean protein like chicken , and finish things off with veggies. But here’s the rub: Arranging your food in this format may cause you to accidentally pack on too much of some foods and too little of others. According to Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., owner of The Wellness Whisk , when you plate your carbohydrate and protein first, "by the time you get to the veggies, there's little room left on the plate." In a well-rounded meal, she says, veggies should be the main focus . So you don’t want to plop them on the plate like an afterthought.
"Changing the way you view your meal to make the vegetable section your primary focus is so important because they contain all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water your body needs," Yeung explains. So what's the best way to plate your food? Veggies first, then protein, then grains—if it sounds upside down, that's because it is. This method, developed by Yeung, is called plating backwards , and it's an extremely simple solution to the common too-big-portion problem.
Making it a mealtime habit is easy. When you plate, Yeung says you'll want to aim for your portions to be 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent carbohydrates. If you plate the classic way (carbs, protein, vegetables) you're more likely to end up with 50 percent carbs and 25 percent vegetables. To strike the right balance, she says, "Start by filling about half your plate with vegetables, then add protein and carbohydrates in about equal portions." And if you're still unsure about your portion sizes, she suggests using MyPlate's visuals as a guideline.
While Yeung primarily likes to use this method at home, she says you can also apply it to mealtime at buffet-style situations, and even while choosing an item from a restaurant menu. Using this trick forces you to look at your meal in a different way. So when you're flipping through dinner options, whether it be on Seamless or at your favorite Mexican spot, you'll be more inclined to spot the dishes with larger vegetable portions.
If you're determined to figure out how to meal prep , you're in luck. Nothing feels more adult than actually preparing your meals in advance. When your fridge is stocked with ready to eat grains, vegetables, and proteins, you can throw together a satisfying meal in a matter of minutes—bing, bang, boom…breakfast, lunch, dinner. You're eating well, saving time, and living your best life.
Now if only meal prep were actually easy to do. Making enough food for a week's worth of meals is time consuming, and if you've never done it before, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind before you get started. For one, you'll need to carve out at least a couple hours a week to do it, because no matter how hard you try, one hour just isn't going to cut it. You'll also want to invest in the right cooking equipment and food storage units, and stock your freezer, fridge, and pantry with healthy ingredients that are built to last.
Once you've done all this, you're still probably going to encounter the occasional meal prep bump in the road, because there are a handful of common mistakes that can trip up even the most expert meal-prepper. Of course, prepping healthy meals isn't always about weight. There are plenty of good reasons to plan and make ahead, like saving time after work, saving money, and controlling what you're eating by making it yourself. But if you are trying to lose weight, it's important to note that what works for some doesn't always work for others. And it’s incredibly important to think about why you actually want to lose weight—and whether doing so is a healthy decision that will make your life better. For example, if you have a history of disordered eating , you should talk to your doctor before starting a new eating plan. Even if you don't have that history, setting healthy, realistic goals and expectations is key. Really, weight loss is about a lot more than what you make when you meal prep. Consider your stress levels and sleep quality, plus factors outside of your control, like health conditions and hormones. Above all, be kind to yourself!
With that said, whether your goal is weight-loss or healthy eating, these four mistakes could get in the way. Read 'em, learn 'em, and ditch 'em.
1. You're prepping too much food.
When it comes to meal prep, better safe than sorry isn't always the best attitude to have. Over-prepping can often leave you with more food than you actually need. And if you don't recognize that you've gone overboard, then you're likely to divvy it all up into Tupperwares and consume excess calories while patting yourself on the back for your hard work. It just takes a little measuring and math: If you only eat a half cup of brown rice at a time, and you're trying to prep enough for five different meals, 2 1/2 cups should hold you over. Anymore than than and you'll end up eating more rice than you meant to.
If you're playing it too safe with your portions, you may find you didn't actually make enough. This is annoying because you're either going to run out of food by Wednesday, or you're going to be stuck eating insanely small meal portions all week long. Too small meals won't keep you satisfied, which may lead you to overcompensate with extra snacks, or by making your next meal too big. (Or both.)
Unfortunately, there's no perfect solution to avoid under-prepping, at least not while you're just starting to get into a routine. When you first begin meal prepping, you're not going to know exactly how much food you'll always need. So, for the first couple of weeks, take note of how you feel after each meal. If you find that you're still hungry, you may want to up the portions. And if you find that you're too full, do just the opposite.
3. You use store-bought sauces and dressings.
Store-bought salad dressings are often full of extra calories, added sugars, and more sodium than those that are homemade. It's an easy way to take a meal down a couple notches on the health-o-meter without even realizing it . Luckily, there are lots of ways to add flavor without dousing your good intentions in compromising condiments. Try flavoring your food with a few sprinkles of your favorite spices (turmeric , anyone?). Even just a light drizzle of olive oil or spritz of lemon juice can do wonders to a meal. If you feel like making your own dressing, a simple vinaigrette is one option that you can throw together in a jiff. Start with three-parts oil to one-part vinegar, season it with salt and pepper, and (if you like to turn up) a splash of lemon juice, then mix it all up, drizzle, and go.
4. You don't actually like the food you cooked.
This happens to me all the time. I make a bunch of food because I know it's good for me, and I convince myself that I'm going to eat it, and I'm going to like it. But then the time comes to dig in and I remember that, no, I don't like fennel, or I am not into this plain chicken breast, so I just end up buying something else to eat instead.
This is both a waste of money and time, and the food I usually end up eating isn't all that healthy . If this is a problem you're all too familiar with, the solution is simple: Don't try to force yourself to eat something just because it's "healthy." Prep foods you know you like or that sound legitimately delicious. Because when recipes like these high-protein pastas exist, there's no reason healthy eating should be a drag.
Have you ever wondered, “what is a hair mask and do I need a hair mask?” First, let’s be clear that it isn’t something you wear on your head. But it is something you put on your hair, and it can help you have the locks you’ve longed for. A hair mask is an easy and simple way to improve shine and manageability while providing nourishment to the cuticle, and it can be done right at home.
But who needs a hair mask? Well, it’s great for just about anyone, but can definitely offer hair health benefits for anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun, pool or adds color or other chemical products to their hair. While my DIY hair dye is the way to go, realistically, we know that most head straight to the salon for a change in color — but those chemicals truly damage the hair over time, especially if not used properly.
Whether you color your hair at the salon or at home, giving your hair and scalp a good mask treatment on a regular basis can help take care of those unruly strands. (Just like certain vitamins boost hair health.)
You may be thinking that your daily conditioner can do just as well, but because the conditioner just sits on the surface of the hair briefly, it can’t get to the cuticle, which is where the benefits occur. And if you are concerned about existing split ends, a hair mask treatment can make a difference. A haircut is part of the solution, but regular treatment can help those split ends retain moisture and be less noticeable. (1)
Background of Your Hair
To better understand, let’s learn a little bit about hair. Hair is a structured network consisting of the cuticle, cortex and medulla. The medulla is usually found in coarser hair like grey hair, thick hair and beard hair, and may have a lot to do with split ends.
The cuticle contains overlapping scales known as keratinocytes. Some people have thicker layers of cuticles, whereas others have thinner layers. Those with thinner layers are more prone to breakage.
You have probably heard about hair having protein. It is true. Beneath the membranes of the cuticle cells are three layers that contain proteins, some of which are responsible for the absorption of water and the hair’s ability to repair damage formed by such chemicals as hair color products. (2) The cortex contains the mass of the human hair and is comprised of protein and melanin as well as a matrix of fibrous structures called macrofibrils. When hair goes through different processes from cosmetic dyes, to perms and even hair straightening, it affects the strength of the hair and its ability to stay healthy. These products and processes can cause major damage such as split ends or cracks to the cuticle. And keep in mind that most shampoos out there contain a ton of chemicals too. It’s clear that excessive and repeated chemical treatments, poor grooming habits such as using shampoos and conditioners with chemical-laden ingredients, environmental exposure, and even poor management of hair ties and brushing techniques can produce changes in hair texture that cause that frustrating hair breakage, tangling and frizzing. (3)
Regardless of where you are in your battle to have luxuriously, shiny thick hair, preventing cuticle damage by using this DIY hair mask may be able to save you plenty of heartache.
How to Make a DIY Hair Mask for Dry or Curly Hair
To make this DIY hair mask, it is easiest if you use a blender, though you can use a bowl and whisk. Let’s start by placing the hair-benefitting coconut oil and avocado in the blender. For curly hair, you may want to try the olive oil per the ingredients list above.
If you are using the whisk method, you will need to soften the coconut oil first by slightly heating it. Coconut oil has long claimed reign as the king of oils for just about everything from whitening your teeth to zapping those zits, but it’s also the perfect ingredient for a hair mask. Coconut oil works because it’s high in fatty acids, which provide much needed nourishment and moisturizing for the scalp and hair. Studies have shown that coconut oil reduces hair breakage, possibly because it penetrates the hair follicle.
For the curly headed, olive oil is an emollient that can penetrate the hair. Olive oil is great for curly hair because it is naturally lightweight, allowing it to provide moisturizing without weighing down curls.
Avocado has long been used for improving the condition of the hair by moisturizing. The avocado is known as one of the most nutrition-packed foods on the planet, and it may prevent your hair from falling out while promoting hair growth! Being deficient in some vitamins can greatly affect the health of your hair from how shiny it is to to how thick it is. Avocados contain a fair amount of vitamins B and E, which can help protect and strengthen hair deep down to the cellular level. (4)
Now that you have blended the oils and avocado, add the eggs and honey for the DIY hair mask. Eggs are probably no surprise since they have been used to promote healthy hair since the 1940s, but what makes them so great? Eggs are jam-packed with lecithin and protein, two attributes that can help strengthen and moisturize your hair. And because egg yolks are great at binding all of the ingredients, it helps provide an evenly applied mask. (5)
A bonus is the sulfur they contain, which may help reduce dandruff. And, of course, honey can add to the emulsifying feature that the eggs provide, but it goes well beyond that. Raw honey is a humectant attracting moisture from the air. It’s antibacterial, containing lots of antioxidants, which leads to healthy scalp and hair all while sealing moisture and adding shine. (6) (7)
Now that you have blended all ingredients, let’s add the last ingredients for your DIY hair mask: rosemary and lavender essential oils. Rosemary oil has phenomenal properties, making it a great addition to this DIY hair mask. It has been reported that some experience an increase in new and rapid hair growth after using rosemary essential oil on a regular basis. In fact, people that live in the Mediterranean area have been using rosemary for hair care of hundreds of years. It works because it promotes cell division while dilating blood vessels. This action stimulates hair follicles that encourage new hair growth. Additionally, studies have shown an increase in healing of the scalp due to microcirculation. (8)
Lavender essential oil is great for hair, and like rosemary, can even help with hair growth. A study by a group of dermatologists showed that “44 percent of alopecia patients who were tested experienced new hair growth when they massaged their scalp daily with lavender and other essential oils for seven months.” (9)
Once you have combined all ingredients into your blender, blend again making sure they are well combined. To apply, dampen your hair, then apply the mask evenly throughout, making sure to cover all of the hair, especially the ends. Once you have applied it, cover the hair with a shower cap or towels so that you do not get it on your clothes. If you have long hair, tie it up first, then cover it. Allow the mask sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Wash out the mask with a natural shampoo and conditioner. For best results, try applying this mask once a week.
Most have no problem using any of these ingredients; however, if you notice any irritation, stop using immediately. One or more ingredients could cause an allergic reaction. Also, be careful avoid getting the mixture in your eyes. Make sure your essential oils are 100 percent certified organic for best results.
DIY Hair Mask with Lavender and Rosemary Oil for Healthy, Beautiful Hair
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 application (double the recipe if you have very long hair)
You probably know that those bouffant hairstyles in the 60s, believed to have risen during the mid-to-late 18th century in western Europe, required a full can of hairspray! In fact, that hairstyle may have been created for Marie Antoinette due to her thin hair and her desire to thicken the hair.
Even though the bouffant, made popular by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy a few decades ago, has faded, the use of hairspray still exisst to help set the hair and prevent fly away hair. Though some improvements have been made, in particular, going from aerosol cans to pump bottles in most cases, the toxins are still there in most store-bought versions.
But with this homemade hair spray recipe, you can eliminate those toxins and have beautiful and healthy hair. It’s not only easy and fast to make, but also very cost-effective and may help prevent hair loss! Try it today.
Let’s start by boiling the water. Once it comes to a boil, dissolve the sugar by adding it to the water and stirring. The more sugar you use, the stiffer the hold; however, if you use too much, you may find a sticky residue, so start with smaller amounts and adjust as needed.
Now, add the vodka to the pan. If you prefer, you can make this recipe without alcohol; however, the alcohol acts as a preservative.
Allow the mixture to cool, then add the essential oils. You can choose your favorite scents, but I love using lavender and rosemary essential oils. Both help with hair loss, so it makes sense that these ingredients would be perfect for your homemade hairspray.
Furthermore, lavender can give you a sense of relaxation, while rosemary is known as one of the best oils for enhancing hair growth, as well as thickening the hair. Rosemary oil is also believed to increase cellular metabolism that stimulates hair growth. Another benefit is that it can provide an increase in microcirculation of the scalp, which promotes healing.
Once cool, place the mixture in a spray bottle and store in a cool place. Shake before each use.
Like any product, make sure to avoid spraying in the eyes or the mouth.
Lavender & Rosemary Homemade Hair Spray
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 cup filtered or purified water
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 tablespoon vodka
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
Glass spray bottle or BPA free plastic dispenser bottles
Boil the water.
Dissolve the sugar in the boiled water. Stir.
Add the vodka. Blend again.
Allow mixture to cool, then add the essential oils.
Place mixture in a spray bottle and store in a cool place. Shake before each use.
Other than the common sunburn treatment and the original medicine purpose, here are a few other things I found to be true that you can use Aloe Vera:
1. Massages : If you mix two tbsp. of Aloe Vera Gel, 1 tsp.organic lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar you have made yourself a homemade massage lotion!
2. Protection against scarringand stretch marks : With regard to rougher patches, you can mix 2 cups of sea salt, 1 cup of organic coconut oil, 1 cup of aloe and 2 tbsp. of organic honey. If you rub this on scarring or stretch marks, it turns out it works just a good, if not better, than a pricey jar at your local store to help reduce the showing of marks.
3. Asthma : If you boil hot water and add the Aloe leaves, and inhale, it becomes a soothing vapor.
4. Acne : For anyone having any kind of pimple problem, you can apply pure gel on your pores and skin after washing your face or taking a shower. It will reduce the showing and eventually disappear.
5. Makeup Remover : As most of those removers you buy are harsh for your skins with chemicals, you can substitute it with Aloe Vera. Squeeze just a dollop of pure aloe gel onto a cotton ball and wipe away your makeup!
6. Shaving Cream : This was something new to me and I had to try it! Not only can you use Aloe with other ingredients to make it a DIY, but because it's an antibacterial and a good moisturizer, you can use it on its on in place of expensive shaving cream!
7. Eyebrows : As a lot of girls clearly judge other girls based on their eyebrows, a good trick is using Aloe. Dip a clean mascara wand ( you can get these individually at your local Sally's Supply) in some Aloe Vera gel, and sweep over stray brows. It's almost like hair spray but for your eye brows, except they don't get hard and sticky!
8. Feet : Lets be real girls, and guys, we all have that cracked feet/heel problem! I have tried tons of things on Pinterest for this and nothing seems to work. However, I did start using Johnsons Baby Lotion on my feet before bed and they felt softer and less cracked in the morning. Make sure you put it on again in the morning though! For another way, using Aloe Vera is a good alternative! Mix 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 4 tbsp aloe vera gel, and 1/2 cup unscented body lotion ( I use Aveeno) and rub all over your feet until well exfoliated. Sit for 10 mins then rinse with warm water!
9. Hair : Not only can Aloe help your hair grow, but it can also help with other issues as well. It relieves scalp itching, scalp redness and inflammation, adds strength to your hair, anti-fungal properties while alleviating dandruff and helps your hair retain water and moisture. Just like using it as shaving cream, you can take Aloe and rub it into your hair, and massaging it into your scalp, let it sit and then rinse! I usually let it sit for the same time it would take to shave my legs and then I would rinse.
Most aloe topical products at your local stores contain less than 1% – 10% aloe vera in creams, lotions, and other body products. Studies have shown that a minimum of 30% concentration of aloe is necessary to receive the benefits of aloe.