Combat Acne

natural-skincare-acneThere’s nothing worse than waking up to a huge pimple planted on your face. No matter how hard you try, it feels like everyones eyes are on that “gihugenormantic” red spot on your what-used-to-be-clear face.

Lo and behold, you can put yourself at ease because you’re not the only one and like your parents always told you, it will clear up, sweet cheeks!

First of all, what exactly is acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition which is characterized by pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Although adult onset acne may occur, it generally arises during puberty when the body dramatically increases its production of androgens (male hormones). These specific hormones stimulate the production of keratin (a type of protein) and sebum (an oily skin lubricant). If the sebum is secreted faster than it can move through the pores, a blemish will become present. The excess oil makes the pores sticky, allowing bacteria to become trapped inside the pores.

What are some common causes of acne and how can you get rid of it?

There are many factors which contribute to acne, making it a common concern for a wide range of people. I can assure you that just about every other person I have spoken to in the past couple of months have been either dealing with some form of acne or skin condition. Why is this?

1. Dehydration

Although most would believe the opposite, one of the most common causes of acne is actually dehydration! Being dehydrated can throw your sebaceous glands into overdrive to produce more oil to provide the lubrication needed by your skin and hair follicles. In other words, if you have oily skin, please do not fear! When maintained properly, oily skin is in fact healthy skin.

How to start:  keep your body AND skin hydrated. Aside from drinking plenty of water throughout the day and find a natural daily moisturizer or serum best suited for your skin type.

2. Clogged Pores

A large (very large) majority of commercial skin care adds synthetic material into their products. Although this may initially make your skin feel smooth and silky, the products contain ingredients which will clog your pores. Aside from containing toxic and carcinogenic properties, many products are petroleum based. When a product contains petroleum, the molecules are too large to be fully absorbed in the skin, allowing them to clog the pores. When the pores are clogged, the skin becomes dehydrated as moisture is unable to be absorbed. Remember, when you put something on your skin, it is a direct passage way to the bloodstream which nourishes your vital organs. A great example of this are medicinal patches for uses such as; nicotine addiction, pain medications, hormone therapy, etc.

How to start: If you’re not familiar with every ingredient in your skin care product, try visiting http://www.lovelyskin.com/ (previously skindeep.org) and search the product in their datebase for valuable information. It is important to stay on top of advertising methods and be aware that not all “natural” or “organic” products are not always healthy for your skin. All you need is a large bowl with boiling water and a towel to cover your head and the bowl. Be sure to leave a peak open to breathe and to not scold your face. To optimize your results, following 5 minutes of steaming, use a clay masque to extract an impurities, rinse and moisturize. From experience, this is such a great method!

3. Sluggish Liver

As you know, the liver plays a very important role in the body by detoxifying and filtering toxins in the blood. When the liver is exposed to more toxins than it’s able to filter, the waste will try to take a secondary pathway, your skin. According to a 2008 article on the Jigsaw Health website, liver congestion is the leading cause of acne. Your skin is a direct reflection of what is happening inside of your body.

How to start: If your liver is congested, consult a healthcare provider to discuss a natural and safe way to detoxify the liver properly. In the meantime, try eliminating toxins from your lifestyle which contribute to liver congestion.

4. Hormonal Imbalance

As previously mentioned, it is common for acne to erupt during teenage years due to hormone fluctuations but imbalances are not limited to teeny boppers. Hormone-driven acne can be seem pre menstruation, women suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), getting off oral contraceptives, and excess insulin and cortisol. Hormonal changes may be rebalanced with the help of a natural health practitioner or physician.

How to start: Hormonal changes may be rebalanced with the help of a natural health practitioner or physician.

5. Your diet

Many people have or are discovering that your diet is an underlying cause in every condition and specifically acne. Along with focusing on what you ARE eating, it’s just as important to pay attention to what you may not necessarily be including in your everyday diet. A perfect example of this is including fats in your everyday diet. Your cells are literally made up of fat so the key is to include healthy fats and not bad fats.

How to start: Include health fats in every single meal during the day. Examples include: healthy oils, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, cold water fish, and leafy greens.6. The health of your gut

According to researchers noted in Gut Pathogens:

“The lines of communication, as mediated by gut microbes, may be direct and indirect — ultimately influencing the degree of acne by a systemic effect on inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid levels, pathogenic bacteria, as well as levels of neuropeptides and mood-regulating neurotransmitters.

It was not the contention of Stokes and Pillsbury, nor is it ours, that acne is a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Yet, there appears to be more than enough supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract itself, are contributing factors in the acne process.”  

Suffering from constipation can also present acne due to the back up of toxins. Again, if the bowel is not ridding the waste, your body will try to release the toxins through your skin. According to Kristen Ma of Pure and Simple, a clear sign of bowel-related acne is an abundance of blackheads on the jaw line and lower cheeks.

How to start: Please do not immediately resort to a conventional or natural laxative to relieve constipation. If you have a sluggish bowel, start off by increasing your daily water and fibre intake as this is generally the cause of constipation. For optimal results, taking a daily human strain microflora probiotic will re-inoculate the “good bacteria” in your gut and assist with daily bowel movements.

It is important to know that acne can get worse before it gets better, this is normal. According to Bellevue Acne Clinic, you may have pimples which are in different phases. For the first month, you may experience previous microscopic pimples which were already present erupt to the surface and result in a “flare-up”.

Nobody should have to “just deal” with the fact that they have acne. There are many natural methods to feed your skin the necessities to be healthy, clear and even glow (no matter how old you are!)

Blog Sign OffChelsea Cybalski, C.N.P
info@verveholistichealth.com
(519) 591.4087

 

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13 for two thousand & thirteen

happy new year 2013For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. TS Elliot

With New Years just around the corner, it’s easy to get excited about diving headfirst into new health regimes and resolutions. These fabulous resolutions generally last until February when you can’t seem to remember why you ever decided to give up Starbucks.

This year doesn’t have to be a challenge. Learn from a girl who had made the same resolutions every year until finally getting it right! Below are some tips Angela Moore (fitness guru) and myself talked about on a Rogers segment last year (yes, that was soooo last year BUT it works!!!).

1.) K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple, Sunshine!

  • Keep your goals simple and realistic.
  • Have an end goal and break that goal into smaller, achievable monthly tasks.

2.) Get Yourself Organized…before-hand 

  • Ditch that lazy work out buddy and replace him/her with someone who shares the same goals and schedule as you and most importantly, someone who will not only push you but support you along the way.
  • Find out what kind of equipment you will need BEFORE starting your new program.
  • Clear your kitchen cupboard or fridge from all the junk and replace it with all the goodness to avoid temptation.
  • Be prepared for cravings or previous bad habits sneaking back up on you.
  • Join a program to help you along the way.

3.)  Hold Yourself Accountable

  • Tell someone about your goals. By doing this, not only are you creating a support for yourself but you are now responsible for your own actions. In a simple term: No Cheating!
  • Join a group of like-minded people …Hellloooo bootcamp!!! (smooth, we know!)
  • Write down your goals and keep the list in a place where you will be constantly reminded.

4.) Check-In Often

  • Refer to this list often to remind yourself of not only your current tasks but also your end goal.

5.) Embrace it!

  • Enjoy what you are doing and have fun with it!
  • “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good…” be proud of your accomplishments and remember that it’s natural to feel like you’re sometimes going backwards rather than forwards.
  • I promise you, we’re not crazy! It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while, so go ahead and have a cookie. Now saying that, we do encourage you to make wise choices as there are sooooo many YUMMY alternatives for treats.

13 for 2012For 2013, I decided to create 13 goals for myself. Here they are…

1. Become an early bird – According to Jodie Padro, from Alive Magazine, reclaiming the sunrise has more benefits than one. Some of these advantages include: spending more time with your family, having better work productivity, more health and happiness (yes there was a study done!), have the opportunity to create daily strategies, being exposed to more light in the winter, having more time to nourish yourself with a healthy breakfast and saving some money by brewing a cup of coffee or tea at home.
2. Cut back on the lattes – This will be my proud moment of realism. Although I understand the many negative impacts my love for green tea lattes have, I am going to set a realistic goal to cut back. When you have or do something you really enjoy, which may not be the very best, it’s not always necessary to completely cut it out. Every once and a while, it’s okay to get that latte or slice of cake you’ve been dying to have. It’s what you do most of the time, not all of the time!
3. Get outdoors – I’m guilty when it comes to getting sufficient sunlight in the winter. I’ll admit it, I’m really not a winter/cold weather kind of gal! This brings me to my next goal….
4. Try a new activity/sport – Trying a new sport has it’s many advantages. Besides meeting new people, trying new things, it’s a great way to get in your daily physical activity without having to tie yourself to the treadmill. Although it would be ideal to head outside, new activities or sports can also be indoors. I think squash and snow shoeing will be my next adventure!
5. Get some Zzzzz’s. – Getting enough sleep is so important for so many reasons. I am currently in a vicious cycle of going to bed really late and waking up.. well a little too late. There are many natural approaches which will set your sleeping patterns to exactly where you want them.
6. Start yoga…again – I love yoga, period. Don’t ask me why I was ever crazy enough to get out of this habit but with the daily stresses that life brings us, this is such a perfect way to unwind. Moksha Waterloo, here I come!!
7. Make homemade bread – My mom used to make homemade bread and it was sooo delicious. There’s nothing like coming home to the warm smell of fresh bread in the oven. Lately, I’ve been looking for a new bread that doesn’t contain everything I want to avoid and it seems to get more and more difficult, especially when I want to switch it up for a change. Well, what a better way than to make your own! Not only can you avoid the crap, but you can add in whatever you want to make it as healthy as you want. Hello fibre!
8. Eat more quinoa – Again, similar to my yoga experience, I used to eat quinoa at least once a day. Why did I stop? Beats me! Quinoa is such a powerful superfood with so many dietary bonuses. If you’re ever in search for a good recipe, please feel free to email me or check here often for upcoming posts.
9. Go on a trip – I’m sure everyone desires a good vacation. If you’re strapped for money this year, remember that “getting away” doesn’t always have to involve a plane ticket to Costa Rica. Plan a day trip with your partner, friend or family to a nearby sanctuary.
10. Pack a lunch – I am notorious for running out the door in the morning without a lunch (makes sense since I’m not the most energized gal in the morning). Packing a lunch the night before, or in the morning if you have the time, not only saves your bank account some digits but it ensures a nutritious lunch and snacks which will last you throughout the day.
11. Do a cleanse – Yes, I know I’m always encouraging others to detox but sometimes I don’t always meet my seasonal cleansing recommendations. I will do a detox every season and I hope you’ll join me!
12. Educate myself and others – I love going to seminars, webinars and everything in between. With the copious amount of information and continuous research being done, it’s important to stay on top of the new findings. In return, I also enjoy writing blogs, holding talks/seminars and having clients in my office asking questions so I can pass on the knowledge to others.
13. Learn a new language – mmk, I know this one’s a biggy! Have you hear heard the quote “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” by Saint Augustine of Hippo? Well, I envy this train of thought! Traveling brings a wealth of knowledge which you can not gain in any other way.  Learning another language allows you to connect with others on a more meaningful level. Studies have also shown that learning a new language challenges your brain and keeps it more active, decreasing your chances of certain diseases in later years.

Well, those are my 13 for two thousand and thirteen. What are yours?

Need a helping hand for 2013? Below is a special I will be offering until January 31st. Please contact me for more information or fill out the form below. Chelsea Cybalski, C.N.P  |  info@verveholistichealth.com  |  (519) 591.4087

 

New Years 2013I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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The Big “B” Word

Let’s face it.. these days food isn’t cheap and that money tree doesn’t seem to be bearing any fruit. It’s time to plan your budget.

budget-groceriesWith constant concerns of paying the mortgage, the stability of your job and all other responsibilities, the health of you and your family always lands at the top of your list of priorities. As we’re all well aware, one of the top factors in good health is what kind of food we decide to eat everyday. Now saying this, with your salary not going up and food prices not going down, spending extra money on organic produce and healthy food choices may not be your highest priority. The question you have to ask yourself, is it really more expensive to eat healthy?

With the holidays just around the corner, pocketing some extra cash here and there doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. The good news is, your dietary goals and daily health regime doesn’t have to suffer! Who ever said being frugal wasn’t in?

Buy local and organic produce. Not only is this a great way to sustain local agriculture, by joining CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you’re able to get produce cheaper at a convenient pick-up location. To order online or for more information, please visit Grand River Organics.

Eat seasonal produce. Choosing to eat seasonally is not only beneficial to your health but it’s also good for the wallet. Another reason to join a local CSA! Below is a list provided by Grand River Organics of local seasonal produce:

Late Autumn Harvests | Acorn Squash, Apple, Arugula, Butternut Squash, Carrot, Celeriac, Daikon Radish, Green Cabbage, Kale, Mushroom, Orange Buttercup Squash, Parsley, Potato, Pie Pumpkin, Popcorn, Red Beet, Rutabaga, Salsify, Shallot, Spaghetti Squash, Sweet Dumpling Squash, Yellow Onion

Grow it yourself. With hectic schedules, I’m sure the majority of you are getting a good chuckle out of this one. Just so we’re clear, I’m not suggesting that everyone should turn their flower bed into a flourishing garden with fruits and vegetables. To begin, try growing a choice of one herb, vegetable or fruit each season which you frequently consume.

Comparison shop. Before making a big purchase, most people will shop around to find the best price. According to statistics Canada, households in Ontario spend on average $7,284 per year on groceries. That’s over $600 per month! Sounds like a hefty monthly purchase for an average household! Although you may have to split your grocery shopping into a couple different stores, it’s worth the savings!

Avoid convenience foods. Yes, those easy-to-make or on-the-go meals and snacks seem great, right? While this sounds like another life problem solved, unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Not only will you experience a slight sticker shock when you break down the prices of these foods but they only seem to last for less than a week in your cupboard.

Be prepared. Plan your weekly meals ahead of time, make a grocery list, and stick to it! When making your list, do a quick household inventory check to make sure you’re not buying any doubles. Been there, done that..”honey, we’re having broccoli every night this week!”.

Go solo and nourished. It’s best to grocery shop alone (little hands reach out for extras and in my case, the mister enjoys a variety of extra goodies!) and most importantly, not when you’re hungry. A hungry shopper generally has difficulty sticking to exactly what’s on the list.

Before you go spending a fortune on your weekly groceries, be frugal and put the extra coin towards something worth while! 

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Urban Goddess Event Recap and Tips!

Over 120 urban goddess women + delicious food and drink + great music + 6 inspiring health-guru speakers = a formula for one hell of a night! 🙂

A big and warm thank you to all the beautiful women who came out last night to the first Urban Goddess event held at Moksha Yoga Studio in Waterloo. What an amazing group of people!

For those of you who don’t know much about Urban Goddess, it’s a concept which came about earlier this year. I’ve been fortunate enough to be apart of a networking group involving 5 other strong, inspiring and like-minded women. After meeting monthly to discuss a variety of topics, we decided we wanted to plan an evening where we could bring other strong women in the community together and share our knowledge with them. I look forward to teaming up with these amazing ladies again and I hope those of you who weren’t able to make it out this time can join us at future events.

Here’s a little recap of the evening…

We had a total of 24 ah-mazing prizes which we gave away following each talk. After the speakers were finished, the women were able to mingle, ask questions and enjoy some fresh juice from Thrive Juice Bar, vegan cupcakes also from Thrive, raw trail mix made by Sasha of Blyssfull Health and an assortment of veggies and dip. We also had fabulous music performed by Jay (www.jmusic.ca). It was a room full of such positive energy!

Who said what…

Ashley Keefe – Owner of Moksha Yoga Studio
http://www.mokshayogawaterloo.com
Ashley started off by bringing the audience to a calm, comfortable and relaxing place. Next, she talked about yoga and how the benefits stretch beyond physical health. Yoga has the ability to teach you how to react in stressful situations, whether you’re late for work and sitting in traffic, your kids are screaming or you’ve lost a loved one. Yoga truly is a well-rounded form of exercise for the mind, body and soul!

Carla Beharry – Homeopathic Doctor
http://www.carlabeharryhomeopathy.com
Carla gave everyone a better understanding of what Homeopathy really is and the importance of finding balance in your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. She then spoke about the importance of essential oils to enhance emotional well-being and the great effect it has on your serotonin levels.

Jennifer Freitas – Owner of Olivier Waterloo
http://www.oliviersoapswaterloo.com
Jennifer gave some great information on different toxins found in beauty products and the negative effects they have on our bodies. She spoke about what types of products you should avoid, why you should avoid them and what you should trust. She then had some wonderful natural and clean products that she brought from Olivier for people to be introduced to and purchase if they wanted to.

Sasha Campbell – Raw Food Coach
http://www.blyssfullhealth.com
Sasha intrigued the crowd by talking about raw food energy and the great benefits of super foods. She provided some useful tips on how to incorporate super foods in your diet and some suggestions of ways you can make your own (such as  fermented foods!). If this sparks an interest, Sasha runs raw food cooking classes! Check her website for more details.

Sheena Bounsanga – Children’s Meditation Facilitator
http://www.blue-bamboo.ca
As everyone was becoming anxious nearing the end of the talks (yes, prizes were next), Sheena managed to bring everyone back to a peaceful mind with the tap of the gong (who knew it would work on children AND adults!!). Sheena spoke of the importance of living in the presence and how to be a mindful individual. Although she mainly works with children, parents and teachers, she sure brought relaxation to every woman in the room with a mediation session while Jay played the bongo drum. What an experience!

Chelsea Cybalski – Holistic Nutritionist
http://www.verveholistichealth.com
I had the opportunity to talk about how to get back to the basics with your diet and how live cell analysis can be used as a tool to help cater a lifestyle to your specific needs. I provided 10 simple nutritional guidelines that are important for every individual to follow and why. Here are the 10 tips…

  1. Upon waking, drink a full glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon. During cooler weather, try hot water with lemon. If this is too bitter, add 1/2 tsp. of raw honey. Ensure a minimum of 8 glasses of water daily.
  2. Eat 2-4 servings of fresh fruit and a minimum of 5 servings of vegetables, preferably local and organic, in salads, soups, raw or lightly steamed.
  3. Ensure sufficient protein at each meal throughout the day. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, eggs and/or vegetarian sources. Daily protein intake is based on weight. To calculate your intake per meal (3 times/day), use this formula: (your weight divided by 2.2) divided by 3.
  4. Minimize or avoid conventional dairy intake whenever possible. Ideally, choose alternative products such as rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, etc. When buying dairy products, choose naturally-produced from pasture-fed cows.
  5. Use only traditional fats and oils including organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, expeller pressed sesame and flax oil, and tropical oils – coconut being the best option.
  6. Include essential fatty acids (EFA’s) in your every day diet. These are found in oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel), raw nuts and seeds (especially flaxseeds), avocado, etc.
  7. Ensure a minimum of 25-30 grams of fibre per day. Fibre comes from many sources aside from just bread! High sources include cooked legumes, dried fruit, sesame and sunflower seeds, raw nuts, berries, etc.
  8. Avoid very high glycemic foods when possible (90+), the lower the better. Low glycemic index = <55, moderate = 56-69, high = 70-89
  9. Avoid processed sugar and use natural sweeteners in moderation. Good choices include raw honey, real maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice, fresh or dry fruit, coconut nectar, stevia powder or liquid, etc.
  10. Practice proper food combining and meal time techniques. See below for the food combining chart. Please click the image to enlarge and zoom.
    a. Chew slowly
    b. don’t eat “on-the-go”. Take the time to sit down and
    enjoy your meal.
    c. Don’t drink beverages during your meal. Drink water
    before and after you are done.
    d. Don’t eat while stressed!