Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Skin Healthy Lunch & Active agents, the effective skin care - vitamins, oils & more

Super skin food Lunch of Spinach & Cotija Stuffed Sweet Potato My Skin Healthy Superfood Lunch 

Sweet Potatoes with Wilted Spinach, Olive Oil & a little Cotija Cheese. And of course, my favorite spice blend for sweet potatoes, cinnamon, Cayenne & salt. I've started adding turmeric to the blend to get more into my diet.  The Beta Carotene in the sweet potatoes & greens is converted to retinoids in your skin. 

The excerpt below is from a German skin care product manufacturer's website.  At times, the translations are a bit funny, but it seems to be a valuable resource for information on skin function and skin care ingredients.Some of which, you should have in your kitchen to make fresh products with no need for preservatives & emulsifyers that dry skin.

Active agents, the effective skin care - vitamins, oils & more

From A like allantoin to Z like zinc. There is a multitude of active agents on the market either as substances to be used for cosmetics or substances contained in cosmetics. Effects as well as efficacy depend on various factors which will be described in detail in the following article.

Before the active agent can become effective a number of prerequisites have to be met as for instance its concentration in the product should be adequate, its release out of the cream base has to be ensured as well as the transport to its destination to start its activity. All these prerequisites also demand for an appropriate packaging.

Thus, vitamins are most effective if they are not free but encapsulated as esters in liposomes or nanoparticles in order to be released by enzymatic hydrolysis after penetrating into the deeper skin layers. Vitamin C for example can be encapsulated in nanoparticles as a fat-soluble palmitic acid ester and in liposomes as a water-soluble phosphate ester. In both cases, after their hydrolysis there will be only substances released which are also natural components of the skin. Continue

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Grain, Little Sweetener Nut Butter Cookie Recipe

Gluten Free, Low Sweetener Nut Butter Cookie Recipe

I spotted this recipe in the Houston Chronicle. A picture will have to wait until I make them.  And as the instructions call for a food processor and I only have mini one, I haven't gotten around to it yet. 

You've probably heard of bumping up the fiber, protein & other nutrient quality in brownies & cookies by adding mashed beans.  In fact, I've heard you can just add a can of mashed black beans to brownie mix.  But why even include the high glycemic gluten filled empty calorie white flour if it's not needed?

I doubt there's any reason these measurements need to be precise.  In fact, I make so many variations of this with spices, dried fruit, cocoa, etc. Just like I do with the banana cookies. And if that's enough sweetener for the average person, I will cut it by a third to a half.


1/14 cup Cooked Garbonzo Beans (is that how much is in a can?)
2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Nut Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (get a low sugar, dark. Like Ghiradelli Bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350. Pulse the beans in a food processor until well ground. Drain first if using canned. Add remaining ingredients (except choclate if still using processor.) Mix thouroughly. Then stir in chocolate.

The instruction I have call for shaping into 1 1/2 inch balls with wet hands, then placing on the cookie sheet. I don't know why you couldn't just treat them like drop cookies. I wonder how well the balls will spread when the Bake 10 minutes.  The recipe I have states not to over bake.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

French Women Don't Get Facelifts

Mireille Guiliano,  author of "French Women Don't Get Fat" is has published her fourth book titled "French Women Don't Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging With Style & Attitude."

In it, instead of facelifts and high priced moisturizers she recommends you drink lots of water, get the right nutrients, get quality sleep, find a form of exercise that you will enjoy, and laugh.

I would add not to strip away your skin's natural moisturizers with soap or cleansers. Your skin makes most of those moisturizing substances in those expensive creams such as ceramides & lipids. Or it would if you would just stop interfering with it's ability to function.  Oil cleansing is becoming more and more common. Today I saw that drugstore brand Garnier had a cleansing oil.  But it had a ridiculously long list of ingredients for something that should just be a mix of a few oils. I recommend you go to the food section of a quality food store such as Whole Foods & buy a bottle of food grade quality safflower oil. And find a small dark bottle to pour a small amount into while you store the rest in the refrigerator.  To this you can add essential oils


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Benefits of Buckwheat

So, Buckwheat is not actually wheat or even a grain, but a gluten-free seed of a plant related to rhubarb and sorrel.

My breakfast concoction has gradually become mostly buckwheat with a little whole oats just because I like the texture (Untoasted buckwheat is kind of mushy when cooked), and coconut and of course spices (ginger and cinnamon), topped with fruit, sprouted sunflower seeds, flax, etc. I knew that oats were a pretty good protein but there was so little in my concoction I was wondering about the protein content. So I looked it up on nutritiondata.com and it turns out both buckwheat and coconut are even better than oats!

Nutritiondata gives buckwheat an Amino Acid score of 99. The omega 6 EFAs seem to be almost entirely linoleic acid which is a good for we acne prone people.  One cup of buckwheat has a low glycemic load. It is very high in minerals with 1 cup providing 98% of the RDA of magnesium. 20 something % of zinc and selenium.

Coconut also has an amino acid rating of 99, low glycemic load and high in minerals similar to buckwheat (98% magnesium RDA, 20 something percent zinc and such) It's very high in healthy medium chain saturated fat and much of the omega 6 content is linoleic acid. 

All three, like most seeds, are rated as strongly inflamamtory,  so you need to counter that with the anti-inflammatory spices and fruit. I use a lot of cinnamon and ginger. Plus have it with my morning cup of white tea with ginger and lemon. Also, I've always soaked my buckwheat which would reduce antinutrients and perhaps the inflammatory effect. And I have begun sprouting it. Nutrition data doesn't have data on sprouted buckwheat, but sprouting generally reduces protein & antinutrient content while boosting the various antioxidant vitamins veggies tend to have such as C, E, etc. So sprouted buckwheat should be less inflammatory.

Buckwheat is beneficial for we acne prone people, people with diabetes or insulin resistance, and PCOS sufferers.

Benefits of Buckwheat.
-Good protein source.
-The buckwheat prolamine inhibits the oxidation of linoleic acid a major component of sebum that works and is defficient in acne & other problem prone skin.
- Buckwheat contains a glucosiderutin , a phytochemical that strengthens capillary walls
-Buckwheat is high in
d-chiro-inositol (DCI) which is a component of "the secondary messenger pathway for insulinsignal transduction found to be deficient in Type II diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome sufferers." It may also lower testosterone and Blood Pressure as well, likely side effects of improved glucose metabolism. There's a form called Buckwheat Farinetta that is extra high in DCI. Carob is another good source of DCI.

In double-blind studies, women with PCOS who received DCI experienced the following statistically significant benefits when compared with a control group: lowered free and total testosterone, lowered blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity and a corresponding improvement in glucose disposal, and increased frequency of ovulation.[4][5]

-Easy to sprout. 
-The amount of antinutrients is pretty low compared to grains, even the more benign grains. and the antinutrients it contains are pretty harmless. It contains no gluten.

Sprouting Buckwheat

The trick to sprouting buckwheat is to soak the grains briefly. 20 minutes or so. Too long and they won't sprout. Then drain and rinse, let sit at room temp for about a day. Rinse and drain a couple more times because buckwheat is starchy, then put in the fridge when tiny tails are just visible. They don't taste so good when you let the tails get longer. Then you can cook as usual, or leave raw.

A tea is often made from toasted buckwheat groats. I've seen buckwheat leaf tea mentioned as well but have found very little info on that.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Little Ginger Improves 8 Markers of Diabetes Type 2 Including Fasting Glucose, Insulin Sensitivity & Chronic Inflammation

A Little Ginger Improves 8 Markers of Diabetes Type 2 Including Fasting Glucose, Insulin Sensitivity & Chronic Inflammation

And remember, as you read in prior posts, all these things affect your hormones, acne, aging & health in general.  I add the spice to my cooked oats & buckwheat cereal, my 2 ingredient Banana & Oat Cookies and more.  I add sliced or grated fresh ginger to my tea and stir fried cabbage & other brassica veggies that are a big part of my diet.  I put a slice in my green tea each morning then nibble on the slice later.

Read More:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

You Need Your Vitamin K: Dangerous Side Effects of Vitamin K-Blocking Blood Thinners

I'm a volunteer at an organic community farm and an organic food co-op.  I work for food. But I'm always being told by people that they can't eat greens because they are on blood thinners. Greens are a superfood for skin and health. They are chock full of nutrients that affect all kinds of factors that lead to acne such as magnesium, beta carotene & sulfur phytochemicals and sulfur containing amino acids. I hate to see these people avoid healthy food and essential nutrients while taking harmful drugs.  Especially when they take them as a 'preventative.' And especially when these drugs can actually cause the end result they are trying to prevent: Plaque buildup, hardened arteries, coronary heart disease & stroke! Consider carefully whether you need these prevention drugs or if you can manage your health via diet and lifestyle.

Vitamin K Deficiency, Calcium, Hardened Arteries & Stroke

There are many forms of vitamin K.  K1 comes from greens and is responsible primarily for the coagulation of the blood while K2 is responsible for calcium metabolism within the body and cardiovascular health. Deficiency in vitamin k leads to misuse of calcium & thus osteoporosis and calcification of soft tissues such as arteries & pineal gland. Vitamin k along with vitamin D regulates the recycling of old bone tissue into new. A deficiency of vitamin K means too much old tissue is broken down and the calcium is sent into the blood stream where it binds to soft tissue like your arteries and pineal gland which affects your ability to sleep.

Coumadin (warfarin) blocks all forms of vitamin K causing a deficiency. In fact, these drugs are used to induce arterial calcification in lab rats!

Vitamin k2 can undue the calcification of the arteries & other soft tissues. This form is made by E. coli bacteria in our small intestines (so stop killing it) or obtained via the diet, from animal products like full fat dairy, egg yolks, liver, etc

Other ways to Thin Blood

All kinds of plant foods & healthy lifestyle habits help regulate blood coagulation.  Ginger, chamomile tea, omega 3 foods, quercetin (onions, garlic, apples), ginkgo billoba, curcumin (turmeric), cayenne, high salicylic foods (cranberries, prunes), anti-inflammatory diet habits, exercise, nitric oxide which is formed and spread throughout your body whenever you inhale deeply through your nostrils.  And other pharmaceuticals that might have other side effects.

Monitoring Blood Coagulation

The issue is, you can't monitor your blood coagulation yourself as easily as you can your blood pressure or sugar.  Home monitors are available, but expensive at $700 - $1000. You might consider this money well spent as compared to the cost of the drugs and the cost if they cause the heart disease rather than prevent it.  Perhaps all the new drugstore clinics offer this service at an affordable price.  Prothrombin time (PT) and international normalized ratio (INR) tests are used to monitor blood coagulation.

Other preventions:
Manage blood pressure, diabetes, weight, stress. Avoid cigarette smoke. And be active.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K



Dietary Intake of Menaquinone Is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: The Rotterdam Study  Dutch Study: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/11/3100.full describes not only their study on humans & K2 rich diet, but also studies on lab rats on/after warfarin treated with the varying forms of K2 to repair the damage.

http://www.wellsphere.com/heart-health-article/food-sources-of-vitamin-k2/218694 - describes the varying forms of K2 & research.

http://www.stoptheclot.org/medical-messages/article286.htm - Home monitoring

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Over the Counter Topical Niacinimide Products for Acne, Aging Skin

So I've been mixing a niacinamide capsule with aloe vera for years. Niacinamide is Vitamin B3.  It's a cell communicating ingredient that improves skin barrier function in a number of ways including reducing inflammation,  increasing ceramide production,  preventing water loss in skin, and improving skin elasticity. This makes it effective for acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and more. And the best topical for aging, acne prone skin.

Per the Cosmetic Cop Ingredient Dictionary:
Topically applied niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis. It also has a growing reputation for being able to treat an uneven skin tone and to mitigate acne and the red marks it leaves behind (known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It is an excellent ingredient for those struggling with wrinkles and breakouts. Niacinamide is stable in the presence of heat and light.
And in clinical studies:
Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18492135

I will still  mix my own to save money and avoid unnecessary chemicals. (Studies show a 5% solution works.)  Below are some options all with good reviews. Probably because Niacinimide works.  I'd show a picture of my mixture in my pretty vintage cut glass bottle, but I add turmeric and I accidentally added a ton. It's a scary yellow. Termuric is also beneficial for acne or other irritation prone skin, but it can stain. It hasn't stained my skin yet though. And I think a bit of a 'golden glow' would be a good thing on my white skin.