Foods That Make Your Skin Glow

Bring on the glow! We’re not talking about serums, creams, facials and makeup to give your skin a radiant appearance. Instead, we’re aiming to shine from the inside out. Achieve a lit-from-within glow by choosing the right foods to eat.

 

Your body’s biggest organ is also the biggest gossip. Your skin tells the world what’s going on inside your body – including what you’ve been eating (the good stuff and those guilty pleasures). When you eat nutrient-dense foods your mood is elevated, your immune system is stronger, and your outer appearance improves (whiter eyes, clear skin, strong nails). Conversely, eating too many fried and processed foods and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables can leave your insides feeling sluggish and your skin looking drab. To achieve more radiant skin it’s important to include beautifying foods into your daily diet. Prevention Magazine calls it The Pretty Skin Diet.

 

First, make your plate a rainbow. One of the basics of nutrition is to eat colorful foods. Why? Phytonutrients are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. These phytonutrients include antioxidants that help protect the food – they also help protect YOU. Antioxidants ward off toxins in the air, like pollution, pesticides, and cleaners, and in our bodies, like unhealthy food, while also helping cells rebuild. Key vitamins that act as antioxidants in the body are: beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and E.

You can’t go wrong with eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. However, these top our list of foods that will make your skin glow:

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Leafy Greens

Kale and spinach are power packed with iron and antioxidants. Iron helps blood circulation, which draws color to the skin’s surface offering a naturally blushed color. Romaine lettuce may not be as dark in hue as it’s sister spinach, but just six leaves of romaine lettuce have 100% of your daily value of vitamin A that helps revitalize the skin and aid in cell turnover.

 

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Sweet Potatoes

This beautiful carb is high in beta-carotene and vitamin A to help repair damaged cells caused by excessive UV exposure.

 

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Carrots

Snack on this veggie for a dose of nutrients like vitamins A and C. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce puffiness.

 

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Tomatoes

These juicy fruits have lycopene, which is another powerful antioxidant that helps protect skin. Research has shown that skin with higher levels of lycopene have been found to have fewer fine lines.

 

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Watermelon

This refreshing gourd also beholds lycopene and a ton of water. Snacking on this fruit is hydrating and cell-replenishing.

 

Water

It’s not a food, but it is essential. Don’t forget to drink your H20. Your body needs water for circulation, elimination and good-looking skin. Dry skin is prone to crack and wrinkle so make sure to quench your skin’s thirst.

 

While noshing on pretty skin foods, you might also want to veer away from caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. These acidic elements are dehydrating and inflammatory – two things that counteract your natural glow.

 

The multi-billion dollar beauty industry may thrive on creating products for you to put ON your skin, but now you know the secret to achieving that beautiful glow even without makeup. Eat your fruits and vegetables.

 

 

Feed Your Heart

If you’re on a wellness journey and aiming to be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself, then you’ll want to consider more than calories-in versus calories-out.

To have a truly healthy body — one that will give you more energy on a daily basis and allow you to live comfortably into old age — you have to feed yourself the kind of food that lets your body thrive.

And there are a ton of (delicious!) foods you can eat that’ll help strengthen different parts of your body, but little is more critical to a person’s longevity than her heart.

To take care of your heart and keep it working for you for years to come, feed it with some of these yummy, heart-healthy options.

Fish

Salmon and other fatty fish are the Holy Grail when it comes to heart-health. This is because they contain a bunch of omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to prevent heartbeat irregularities, minimize plaque build-up in the arteries (an excess of plaque is what leads to heart attacks), and decrease triglycerides. If you’re not a big fish-eater, omega-3s are also available in supplement form.

Oatmeal

Soluble fiber can work to lower your cholesterol, and oatmeal is full of it. It essentially functions as a sponge in your digestive tract, soaking up excess cholesterol and eliminating it from the body before it's absorbed in the bloodstream. Other whole grains like bread, pasta and grits work the same way, provided they contain the entire grain (ie: plain white bread won’t cut it).

Berries

Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are more than nature’s candy — they’re like the super heroes of the food pyramid. In fact, according to a recent study, women aged 25-42 who ate more than three servings of berries per week had a 32% lower risk of a heart attack when compared to those who ate fewer.

Dark Chocolate

Yes, that's right. This tasty treat benefits your heart in a very real way. In fact, thanks to flavonoids called polyphenols, eating a little bit of chocolate everyday can support healthy blood pressure and reduce clotting and inflammation. It only works for dark chocolate, though. Other kinds, like milk chocolate, don’t contain those heart-healthy properties.

Nuts

Nuts, from almonds to pistachios to peanuts, have a whole bunch of heart-healthy fiber, as well as vitamin E, which lowers cholesterol. Even better, some, like walnuts, have a lot of the omega-3 fatty acids we talked about being in fish, so they’re a good alternative if you’re not a big meat eater.

Who knew such yumminess could be so good for our hearts? If you have more questions about a heart-healthy diet, come talk to a member of our staff so we can guide you in the right direction. 

 

What Diet Is Best For You

“If you don’t take care of your body where will you live?”

Most women at one time or another have been on a diet. Whether it’s a detox cleanse, part of a training regiment, or for weight loss, we’ve all been down the path of trying to lose unwanted inches or pounds. Diet fads come and go. Just when you think you’re following the right plan, there’s another diet taking its place with a title of healthier, easier, or faster. It can be confusing.

If you’re going to alter your nutritional intake, it’s best you do some homework so you help, not harm, your system. We avoid any diet that leaves us starving. And while the premise of the “earn and burn” game of calorie consumption makes sense, it’s more complex than that. What you put in your body – your diet – accounts for 90% of the optimal health equation. It’d be great if 200 calories from cookies fueled your body the same as 200 calories from broccoli, but that’s not how it works. The kind and quality of the calories you consume really matter.

Your best diet is one that fuels your body with proper foods, and gives you energy and focus to excel both inside and outside the gym. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few diets with a healthy, female-friendly approach.

 

Anti-Inflammation Diet

If you’ve been working out and eating right but not seeing results you may have a food intolerance (which is different from a food allergy). An intolerance to high-inflammatory foods in particular is known to cause weight gain or weight-loss resistance. Additional symptoms of inflammation include exhaustion, moodiness, brain fog and bloating.

JJ Virgin, celebrity nutrition expert and best-selling of author of “The Virgin Diet” says “your fat is not your fault. It’s your body’s way of responding to the foods it can’t handle – foods you may have been eating precisely because you thought they were good for you!”

There are many amazing foods that provide anti-inflammatory support, like acai, kale, blueberries, and turmeric. However, these superfoods can’t do all the work. It’s also important to eliminate inflammatory foods. The major high-inflammatory foods are gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, peanuts, and sugar (and artificial sweeteners). Virgin recommends cutting these out completely for 21 days and then introducing each item back one by one per week to see if you have any negative responses. If that happens, it means your body is telling you that it does not like it nor want it.

 

Clean Eating Diet

“If you don't recognize the ingredient your body won't either.”

In order to make our lives easier, the food industry created “foods” that are convenient, quick to consume and, many times, can live on the shelf for a long time. Think soda, crackers, cookies, muffins, and deli meats. These items are processed foods. Read the label and you probably won’t recognize most of the ingredients.

Our bodies desire food – real food. For this diet, eating whole foods gives your body food it knows how to process effectively and efficiently. It’s called clean eating. A good rule of thumb for this approach is to consume foods that have three or fewer unidentifiable ingredients. Steer clear of anything fried, packaged, or doused in dressing or sauce. The Paleo diet is an example of a clean eating plan but discourages eating grains, dairy and legumes.  Don’t forget how important carbohydrates are for women. Remember to include good carbs in your diet (think sweet potatoes, fruits and whole grains) to help brain function and increase energy.

A quick tip for clean eating is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Here you’ll find your whole foods – meat, fish, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and eggs. Walk down the center aisles and you’ll be tempted by shelves of processed foods in pretty packaging making healthy claims like, “all natural” or “just 100 calories.”

 

Mindfulness Diet

A woman’s intuition is a real thing. We all have it. Most times we just aren’t paying attention to it. When we tune into the present moment we can really decipher what feels good and what doesn’t – that goes for everything from our diet to relationships. Applying mindfulness to your eating takes practice and can therefore be easy to quit. However, the long-term effect is life changing.

This diet is all about reshaping your relationship with time and food. With all of the distractions in our daily life, it’s easy to devour our meals fast and without thinking. Ever eat an entire bucket of popcorn during a movie and not realize it? Yep, distraction (and boredom) causes you to eat more and past your hunger point. Time to get focused and hone in on your intuition!

Practice these simple tips with every meal for mindful eating:

  • Eat at a table (not a couch or desk)
  • Sit for a minute in front of your plate before you begin eating
  • Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand
  • Chew eat bite 25 times to slow you down
  • Put your fork/spoon down between each bite
  • Only eat when your hunger is a 7 out of 10 to avoid binging
  • Stop eating when your fullness is 7 out of 10 to avoid getting uncomfortably full
  • Turn off the TV and put away your phone while you eat

With practice, you will tune in to what your body needs to thrive. As you become more intuitive with your eating, you might find that your cravings change with the seasons. For example, you might want more soups during the Winter or cold salads in the Summer. Nourish your body according to what your body intuitively desires. With this approach, you eat what feels good while not necessarily avoiding any specific foods. Your mindfulness will naturally influence you to eat less, and you’ll develop a preference for the healthy stuff. Our bodies are very smart, we just need to listen.

 

Above all, respect your body. Each organ has a specific duty to perform (except the appendix, we’re still not sure what his function is) in order to keep you alive. Support your system with a proper diet.

As always, consult your doctor before making any drastic diet changes. Here’s to a diet that gives you a healthy glow and happy soul!

Dr. Nieca Goldberg – The Heroine of Women’s Heart Health

Each month Total Woman Gym + Spa highlights the unique contributions of women in our community. By acknowledging and supporting our collective journeys - in the gym, at home, at work, and beyond – we thrive.

Meet one of New York Magazine's "Best Doctors" – male or female.

A nationally recognized pioneer in women’s heart health, Dr. Nieca Goldberg has received this special recognition, not once, not twice… but 10 times, along with a slew of other prestigious honors for her advocacy for women’s heart health, including Woman's Day magazine’s "Red Dress" award, the Jewish Women International's "Women to Watch" award, and the American Heart Association's "Dr. With Heart" award.

Nieca’s passion for women’s heart health began at a young age when her father developed heart disease – ultimately leading to her decision to pursue a career in cardiology. Her focus on women’s cardiology, however, was sparked during her residency when she heard one of the doctor’s saying, women don’t get heart disease. This is when she realized that women’s hearts were being neglected, and resolved to make a difference.

Dr. Goldberg has since dedicated her career to better understanding, treating, and educating others on coronary and cardiovascular issues in women. Her extensive research has led to numerous medical publications that put a spotlight on cardiovascular disease in women. And as one of the preeminent experts in women’s health and heart disease, she often appears in the media to discuss this silent killer in women.

But despite increases in awareness over the past decade, still only 54% of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer accounting for 1 in every 4 female deaths. And recent research shows that risks for heart disease can begin to appear as early as age nine and that younger women fare worse than their male counterparts.

A proponent of preventative healthcare, Goldberg stresses the importance of diet and exercise, which are proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease. She recommends women exercise at least 30 minutes each day – something as simple as a brisk walk with your dog, a class at your local fitness center, or running around with the kids. She advises a diet rich in whole grains and lean proteins, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and added sugar. Ideally, women should be eating more than four cups of fruits and vegetables daily, three servings of whole grains a day and fish twice a week.

She also encourages women to take their health into their own hands by not only working out and eating right, but by asking more questions of their doctor’s so they can create an open dialogue to address all of their concerns.

With this in mind,  she created the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone –  a single facility devoted to a woman’s overall wellbeing, from heart health to skin care. It’s a world-class facility where women can find experts in cardiology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, rheumatology, gynecology and dermatology – everything a woman could need for their healthcare.

She’s also authored multiple books on the subject of women’s health, including Dr. Nieca Goldberg's Complete Guide to Women's Health and the award- winning and highly acclaimed book Women Are Not Small Men, which was updated and titled The Women's Healthy Heart Program – Lifesaving Strategies for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease.

And just like many modern women, she keeps herself busy juggling several roles: Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, the Co-Medical Director of the 92nd Street Y's Cardiac Rehabilitation Center and national spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red” campaign—an association where she has volunteered for over 15 years and has been a board member.

But with everything she does, her mission remains the same – to raise awareness about women’s heart health.

Go Red and help us spread the word. Please share this post with the women you love, especially those who may be at risk for developing heart disease."  

 

Fitness Apps That Give Back

You know that working out is good for you – but did you know that you working out can be good for others as well?

Today, mobile apps have made it so that you can get a workout and give back at the same time. Whether you run, workout in a group fitness class, or get in shape in the weight room, these apps allow you to achieve your fitness goals while raising money for charity.

So now you can not only feel good from working out, but feel good about it too.

Download one, or all, of these apps today and start raising money for your favorite cause while raising your heartbeat.

stickK

Developed by a team of economists from Yale, stickK makes you put your money where your mouth is. You pick your goal –  whether it’s to work out more, lose weight, eat healthier or anything else you want to achieve – set a time frame, select a charity or cause, and then lay your money on the line (the app takes your credit card information upfront). To keep you honest, you also choose a referee who will keep track of your progress and keep you in check along the way. If you falter or miss your goal – your money goes to charity. However, if you succeed, you keep your cash (of course you could still donate it).

Charity Miles

Make those miles you walk, run, or bike count for more than just calories! This ingenious app tracks your distance and turns it into dollar bills for a charity of your choice (and yes, you can choose a different one each time).  Simply start the app when you head out for a run or ride and begin earning - 10 cents per mile when you bike, or 25 cents per mile when you “hoof it.” Charity Miles supports a variety of charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, Autism Speaks and Wounded Warriors. Best part about this app? It costs you nothing… except your sweat!

Plus 3 Network

Turn your fitness activities into a fundraiser with Plus 3 Network. When you join this interactive network you get a sponsor who will donate money to a charity of your choice – on your behalf – every time you get your sweat on. Whether you take a Zumba class, stretch out in yoga, lift weights or simply take the dog for a walk – just log your time and watch the dollars and cents add up. And with Plus 3 Network miles are even more valuable than time. Runners and cyclists who track miles earn double the points.

Repz for Charity

Repz challenges you to perform different exercises for just 15-30 seconds. You choose a challenge, they show you the exercise, then you record yourself doing it and log the number of repetitions you did. For every challenge you do, they will make a nominal donation to a health-related charity. Start with easier exercises and progress to more difficult ones. As long as you’re moving it counts! . Repz allows you to do as many challenges a day as you would like – the more you move your body the more charities will receive. Plus, you can share your videos on social media for a chance to challenge your own friends and win prizes.

Budge

Dare your friends (or yourself) to different feats of fitness. The Budge app allows you to have fun making healthy wagers with your friends. Who can run the farthest? Who can stick to their diet the longest? Who will work out more each week? You set the stakes and the winnings go to straight to a charity linked to the app. You could say it’s a win-win for everyone. (Currently available for ios operating systems 0nly).

Donate a Photo

Keep accountable of your healthy living goals by taking photos. Most of us already take photos of our meals, our activities, and events. Why not donate that photo for charity? Studies show that people who broadcast their progress and achievements are more apt to stay on track. So take a picture of your nutritious lunch, or a sweaty selfie after a challenging workout, and share it on this app. For each photo you share, Johnson & Johnson will give $1 to the charity of your choice.

Pay to Snooze

Having trouble waking for those early morning workouts? There are a number of apps that give you a little extra incentive to get out of bed and to the gym. Simply download the alarm clock, set it, and get some quality sleep. For every time you hit snooze the next morning, you’ll end up making a small donation to the charity of your choice. Who knew sleeping in could be so selfless. (Pay to Snooze and Charity Alarm available for android devices. Snooze available on ios devices).