Saturday, December 31, 2011

Benefits of Professional Skin Care

Happy New Year, Everyone! Blessings of Health, Happiness, and Prosperity to all this upcoming 2012. May all be well fed and clothed, warm, joyous, and gainfully employed if that be your need!

I thought I'd start this year's list of blogs by discussing the benefits of professional skin care services. In my opinion, regularly scheduled skin treatments (monthly or at least quarterly at the change of the seasons) performed by a licensed holistic esthetician are as important to skin health as regular dental checkups are to healthy teeth and gums and regular chiropractic visits to balanced energy flow and structural comfort.

Want to undo the damage of time, stress, environment, and neglect upon your skin? Don't we all? Then, pay a visit to your local day spa or full-service salon and schedule an appointment with the resident esthetician (skin care specialist). If you have the time, try to book - at the very least - a full deep-pore cleansing facial and back treatment. While the esthetician can't turn back the hands of time, she sure can take the edge off your nerves and rehydrate and deep cleanse your skin, leaving it smoother, tighter, and more supple than when you arrived.

An Esthetician's Touch

Esthetics involves both creativity and psychology - it's not just about beauty and the science behind it, but also about instilling a feeling of well-being, health, and wholeness in the client. An esthetician's responsibilities to her clients include: assessing and meeting their emotional needs to the degree of her ability (even if it's just offering a listening ear); understanding their physical wants and desires relating to skin care; and being able to make the client feel as if he or she is the most attractive and confident person alive. She accomplishes this by promoting clearer, smoother skin, providing a relaxing upper-body, hand, and foot massage, artistically applying feature enhancing or corrective makeup, and giving her clients the pampering they need to feel good about themselves.

Before entrusting your skin to another person's hands, you may want to ask some questions about the esthetician and the salon:
- Does the esthetician have a current license?
- How many years of experience has he or she had since graduating from school? Try to find an esthetician with at least 2 years of hands-on experience.
- Is it possible to schedule an initial face-to-face, brief consultation with the salon owner and esthetician, prior to booking an appointment?
- Is the esthetician clean and well groomed, having short fingernails and hair that is up and out of the way?
- Is the salon neat and tidy? Does it have a professional setting?
- Is the skin care treatment room tranquil and inviting?
- Are the esthetician's tools organized and new or sanitized? Is there a clean headwrap, towel, and robe set aside for each client?

Benefits of Professional Skin Treatments

1. A complete analysis of skin type and treatment recommendations.
2. A thorough, deep skin cleansing.
3. Increased blood circulation to the skin through steam and massage, or hot towel applications.
4. Focus on current skin disorders, with potential minor problems nipped in the bud or future treatments discussed for more serious conditions. Conditions that can be treated by an esthetician include: minor roseacea, dry skin, oily or combination skin, acne, sun damage, hyperpigmentation (brown spots, skin discoloration), wrinkles, slack skin tone, plus more. An esthetician may also refer you to a dermatologist if she spots "suspect" sun damage or an irregularly-shaped mole.
5. Softened and hydrated skin.
6. Deep relaxation.
7. A self-esteem boost - you just plain look and feel better after a facial or body treatment.
8. Nutritional and lifestyle counseling with regard to achieving healthy skin.

Professional Pampering - What Your Skin's Health Yearns For!

Today's full-service salons and spas are a far cry from those of decades past. The better ones can be quite luxurious and plush, offering a complete sensory experience with myriad services including hair styling, coloring, perming, and straightening; manicuring and pedicuring; brow and lash enhancement and tinting; facials; back, foot, and hand treatments; herbal body wraps; the latest aromatherapy and anti-aging treatments; massage; body waxing; reflexology; and makeup application and instruction. More and more salons and spas now offer pre- and postsurgical skin care treatments and corrective makeup instructions.

Don't you owe it to yourself and to the health of your skin to partake of an esthetician's professional skin treatment offerings to boost your self-confidence, rejuvenate your skin, and put your best face forward everyday? I think so! If you can find a good esthetician in your area, value her (or him) like gold, she is your skin's best friend.

NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, and adapted from her book, "Naturally Healthy Skin: Tips and Techniques For A Lifetime of Radiant Skin", Storey Publishing, 1999. The infomation is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Algae, Grasses & Herbs: My Favorite Herbal Supplements

Festive Greetings To All!

'Tis the Season for giving, sharing, and making merry! So, as my gift to you this year, I would like to share the list of my all-time favorite "green" nutritional supplements to restore your flagging energy and rev up your core vitality. Just so you know, I have no commercial ties to the manufacturers or herbalists who make the formulas. These are just my time-tested and trusted, go-to, vegan health supplements that I currently take (or take at various times of the year) to make me feel great - in lieu of synthetic vitamins and heat-treated, denatured minerals, such as those derived from powdered rocks and shells (calcium carbonate from chalk; coral calcium from dead, dried coral; and oyster shell calcium from oyster shells) - which are all very difficult for the body to absorb and assimilate.

I hope you'll give some of them a try. As with any food-derived supplement, consistency of intake is key. Follow directions on the supplement packages. Expect to see health benefits within 2 or 3 months. Here's to making 2012 the "Year of Wellness"! Blessings To All!

My Favorite Algae, Grass, & Herb Supplement Brands

1. Super Food Plus by American Botanical Pharmacy: A vitamin and mineral herbal, nutrient-dense powder concentrate containing algaes, grasses, seaweed, fruits and fruit peels, beet root, spinach, and nutritional yeast. Quite tasty mixed with fresh apple juice or grapefruit juice. For more information call (800) 437-2362 or

2. Sun Chlorella "A" by Sun Chlorella USA Corp.: Pure chlorella algae tablets made with chlorella that has had its cell wall 95% pulverized - so it is easy to absorb. A good source of iron-rich chlorophyll, carotenes, plant-derived omega-3's, and protein. My indoor cats love these little, dark green tablets (in lieu of outdoor grass). For more information call (800) 829-2828 or

3. Pines Barley Grass Powder (& Wheat Grass Powder): Pines has been around for decades. They grow the raw ingredients and manufacture various grass and vegetable powders for nutritional supplementation. Prices are quite reasonable! For more information call (800) MY-PINES or

4. Barley Max by Hallelujah Acres: This "Health Ministry" was started by Reverend George Malkmus back in the 1970's after he healed himself from cancer consuming only raw juices and pure, raw foods. His company produces fabulous barley grass, beet root, and carrot powders as well as publishes books, offers courses on raw food nutrition, and retails other health-related items. The website,, provides an amazing wealth of information on natural living and a raw food diet.

5. Rachael Jean's Ultimate Green Drink by Empowered Herbals: This is one of my absolute favorite green drink powders that I take daily, without fail. It's a wonderful, tasty blend of grasses, algaes, nettles, beet root, apple pectin and fiber, and probiotics. For more information call (360) 301-3130 or

6. NOAH Capsules by Jean's Greens: NOAH stands for Nettle, Oatstraw, Alfalfa, and Horsetail - four herbs that contain a plethora of minerals to promote stronger bones, hair, and nails. I've taken these capsules for years and my fingernails are hard and hair grows in healthy and at a good rate of speed. I assume that my bones are strong and flexible, as well. For more information call (888) 845-8327 or

7. Restorative Herb Powder by Woodland Essence: This is a deeply nourishing, endocrine supportive blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbs to restore balance, internal moisture, and well-being - especially recommended if you are a woman over 40 and feel fried, dried, and exhausted! I make an edible paste of this powder by mixing it with molasses, flax oil, bee pollen and a bit of ghee (clarified butter) and consume 1 or 2 teaspoons daily. The directions are on the jar. It has really helped to balance my mood swings and hormones that seem to be shifting a lot as I near 50. You can get it from Jean's Greens mentioned in #6 above or from Woodland Essence (315) 845-1515 or

8. Restorative Root Powder by Avena Botanicals: This herb powder is very similar to the Restorative Herb Powder mentioned in #7 above. The ingredients are a bit different, but the benefits are basically the same. I use this brand for a while, then switch to the Woodland Essence brand for a few months, then back again. For more information call (207) 594-0694 or If you are ever in mid-coast Maine during the summer, make a point to visit the herb gardens of Avena Botanicals. So beautiful and uplifting. Deb Soule, the owner, teaches amazing herb classes on a variety of subjects, too.

9. "Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body" (Storey Publishing, 2009). This is my latest authored book on how to add enzyme-rich, nutritious, raw snack foods to your diet. Granted it's a book and not a "green" supplement like those listed previously, but it contains 124 raw food recipes on how to make super-healthy foods that will indeed boost your energy and core vitality. This book makes a great gift for any of your "healthful foodie" friends!

NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Energizing Travel-Ready Snack Food

Holiday Greetings To All! Today is December 1st, 2011 . . . and can you believe it . . . we had 10" of snow last week, yet it was 60 degrees yesterday morning and all has melted???? Strange weather this November in Maine, indeed! The entire month has been quite balmy, which is okay with me as I don't look forward to the sub-zero windchills which usually arrive in January. I'm enjoying this unseasonable warmth for as long as Mother Nature continues to extend her gift.

Speaking of the Holidays . . . do you ever notice that when you are in the Holiday shopping mode and traveling about town in your car in search of presents, that you get the munchies? I know I do. And, if I don't have some kind of nutritious, yummy snack food in my vehicle, then I tend to nosh on whatever junk food is convenient . . . be it at a local fast food establishment; grabbing candy and cookie samples at the mall; or downing too many vegan hot chocolates served from a quaint coffee shop. The calories add up with little-to-no nutrient value.

Today, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite portable snack foods that I tuck in my purse, backpack, or carry-on travel bag. When I get hungry and there's no healthful, satisfying meal in site anytime soon, I reach for a handful of this filling mix. It's easy to make, nutrient-rich, all raw, your kids will love it, and it's super tasty. Enjoy!

Mighty Herculean Trail Mix

I can't guarantee you the brute force of a mighty Greek god, but with regular consumption of this blend, I can guarantee you more than enough energy to sail through your busy day. This mix, with its plethora of unrefined, complex carbohydrates and fiber, helps keep your sugar level balanced, thus keeps the urge to binge on junk food at bay. Bonus: A handful eaten daily, followed by a large glass of water, will help relieve chronic constipation. Not a bad benefit from a tasty snack!

- 1/2 cup prunes, pitted
- 1/2 cup dried, pitted cherries, sweetened with apple juice or unsweetened (dried blueberries or apricots can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup jumbo raisins or currants
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, whole or pieces
- dash of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- dash cayenne pepper powder (optional, but does add a bit of "zing & bite")
- pinch of sea salt

1. Cut the prunes and the cherries in half, if large, and remove pits of necessary.
2. Combine the prunes, cherries, raisins, walnuts, spices, and sea salt in a medium bowl and toss well to blend.
3. Store in a tightly sealed ziplock freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 6 months or in a dark, cool cabinet for up to 2 months.

Yield: 8, 1/4 cup servings

A Good Source Of: antioxidants galore, blood-building iron, zinc, copper, potassium, boron, silicon, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, natural sugars, and fiber

NOTE: This article is by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her most recent book, "Raw Energy", Storey Publishing, 2009. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Herbal Power Balls

Greetings to Everyone! Most of my summer garden has now finally been put to bed for the winter. New Oriental lily bulbs have been planted and the vegetable and flower seeds have been ordered for next year, too. I still need to trim the balance of my lavender plants, echinacea, and comfrey, though. Gardening is such a delight, but the garden itself requires considerable maintenance so as not to cultivate a crop of weeds!

I hope all of you are preparing for a relaxing, joyful Holiday season ahead! On that note, today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite raw candies that will boost your energy and stimulate circulation in a most nutritious and delicious way. If you love almonds, honey, and warming, crystallized ginger root, then you'll adore this luscious candy! The little candy balls are quite simple to create and make wonderful "dessert finger foods" to take to a Holiday party. They do contain a wee bit of caffeine from the guarana powder and give a hint of an energy kick from the Siberian and panax ginseng powders. Enjoy!

Yummy Herbal Power Balls

Unlike playing a lottery game such as Power Ball, where your odds of winning millions of dollars are slim to none, eating these Yummy Herbal Power Balls on a consistent basis will make you truly feel like a million bucks! These soft, sticky balls are too gooey to make good portable energy snacks to carry around in your purse or briefcase; they are best eaten straight out of the refrigerator while still firm, chilled, and relatively dry.


- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup crystallized gingerroot pieces
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 tablespoons bee pollen
- 2 tablespoons Siberian ginseng root (eleuther0) powder
- 2 teaspoons panax ginseng root powder
- 2 teaspoons guarana powder
- coconut oil, raw and unrefined
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded


1. Grind the almonds to the consistency of a medium to fine meal in a food processor or nut and seed grinder.

2. Dice the crystallized ginger into 1/4-inch cubes, or smaller.

3. Transfer the almond meal and ginger to a medium-size bowl and add the honey, bee pollen, and herb powders. Use your hands to mash all the ingredients together until a cohesive ball is formed. The dough will be very sticky.

4. Wash and dry your hands after mixing and then oil them well with the coconut oil. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into marble-size balls about 1 1/4-inches in diameter. Set aside on waxed paper.

5. Put the shredded coconut in a shallow bowl and roll each ball to coat.

6. For the best flavor and consistency, allow the balls to set for 24 hours in the fridge before eating. Store in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator and consume within 2 or 3 weeks.

A Good Source Of: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, healthful fats, natural sugars, protein, vitamins B and E, and fiber

Yield: About 22 balls

Note: This article was adapted from the book, "Raw Energy", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2009. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sweet-n-Chewy Calcium-Rich Sesame Candy

Greetings from the Maine Coast . . . Yep, we just experienced our first freak snowstorm of the year this past weekend! Only got 3 inches, but snow before Halloween is an unwelcome sight, especially when the oak trees are still laden with leaves. I think Mother Nature has something interesting and unusual up her sleeve for winter this year . . . and this storm was her "Halloween Trick". C'est la vie . . . at least we didn't get the 25" plus snowfall amounts that Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire received! Too early for that indeed.

Today I'll continue with my "whole foods as supplements" blog series and share with you an ever-so-tasty raw candy recipe that will fill you up, satisfy your sweet craving, and give you a boost of much-needed plant-based calcium. I eat these sweet sesame seed balls quite often and take them to parties as "healthy dessert bites" especially during the Holidays as they look like little snowballs. They're so good for you that you can even toss back a couple as you run out the door in the morning and call them breakfast! Most excellent with a cup of coffee or hot chai tea. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Sesame Seed Honey Balls

Regular consumption of this mildly sweet, guilt-free, raw candy will lend a glow to your hair, skin, and nails, replenish your core energy reserve, or as the Chinese refer to it . . . your chi, and strengthen your bones. If you tend to have painful menstrual cramps, are constipated, or have restless legs, you will definitely benefit from the fiber-rich seeds and bountiful calcium and magnesium contained within these yummy balls. Here's to your health!


- 20 small, dried, black Mission figs
- 1 cup raw sesame seeds, hulled or unhulled
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
- 2 tablespooons raw (cacao) or cocoa powder or raw carob powder (optional), but either adds
a wonderful flavor and added minerals


1. Remove the stems from the figs. Soak the figs for 4 hours in enough purified water to cover by 1 inch. Drain. Chill and reserve the soak water to drink later for a refreshing treat, if you desire.

2. Put the figs, sesame seeds, honey, and salt (and optional cacao or carob powder, if desired) in the food processor and blend for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Replace the lid and blend again until a moist, slightly sticky, granular dough forms, about 10 seconds. Repeat the process if needed.

3. Scrape the dough into a medium bowl. Put the coconut in another medium bowl.

4. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Toss the balls into the coconut to coat.

5. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months The chews are delicious eaten right out of the freezer.

Yield: Approximately 25 to 30 balls

A Good Source Of: vitamins B and E, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, natural sugars, protein, healthful fat, and fiber

NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, "Raw Energy", Storey Publishing, 2009. The information is true and complete to the best of Stephanie's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Boost your Memory & Brain Power Herbal Tincture

Hello Fellow Health Seekers! What a wind and rain storm we had last night . . . blew the vibrant maple leaves right off the trees! What a let down, especially since my parents will be visiting from drought-stricken, brown Texas next week! They surely won't get to see much color. Oh well . . . c'est la vie. The weather has been wild the world over this year - to say the least.

Today I'm going to share with you another herbal tincture formulation - made with raw vinegar this time, instead of vodka. This one will aid in boosting your memory - if taken consistently over time. No matter what your age - who can't use a bit of a boost in the memory department and an enhancement of brain power? All of the herbs and foods used in this recipe are valued for stimulating circulation and blood flow throughout the body, especially to the brain. They are known to increase metabolism, as well - thus are a good energizing and digestive aid. It is a great tincture to use in the winter as the formula tends to warm the body and extremities. I even use it as a sore-throat gargle . . . really helps soothe a scratchy, painful throat!

The taste is spicy, and this may sound odd to some of you, but if you mix a few tablespoons of tincture with some cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil, it makes an excellent salad dressing for a large salad! Why not eat your herbal medicine along with your food? That's the best way to take herbs anyway! I hope you enjoy it . . .

Brain Tonic & Memory Enhancement Herbal Tincture

This herbal formula is very simple to make. All herbs are in dried form unless otherwise noted.


- 2 tablespoons Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) root, cut or chopped
- 2 tablespoons or 1 fat root Asian ginseng, cut into pieces or chopped
- 1/4 cup peppermint leaves
- 1/4 cup sage leaves
- 1/4 cup rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup gotu kola leaves (centella asiatica)
- 1/4 cup ginkgo leaves (ginkgo biloba)
- 1 small-to-medium yellow onion, chopped
- 20 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder or 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes or 1 whole, fresh pepper, minced (a fresh jalepeno pepper can be substituted - seeded & finely chopped)
- 1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger root, chopped or sliced thin
- 1 large bottle of raw vinegar (Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is best)
- 1, 5" x 5" square of plastic film or a plastic sandwich baggie
- 1 sterilized quart canning jar with lid


1. On the evening of a full moon, add all herbs and vegetables to a quart jar. Pour vinegar to within 1 inch of the top.

2. Place plastic wrap or a plastic baggie over the top of the jar and then screw on the metal lid. (The plastic prevents the metal from rusting.) Shake daily and store in the refrigerator. Allow formula to synergize for at least 8 weeks, and up to 4 months for maximum potency and flavor.

3. On the evening prior to the full moon when you plan to "harvest" your tincture, strain mixture through a strainer lined with panty hose or a coffee filter or paper towel (so that all fine particulate matter is caught). Press herbs and vegetables with the back of a large spoon or with your fingers in order to extract all of the precious liquid.

4. Divide the liquid into several dropper-top glass bottles (4-ounce bottles work nicely). Store the bottles in the refrigerator for up to 8 months or so, or a cool, dark, dry cabinet for up to 4 months. Your medicine is now ready to use.

Directions For Use:

To use, take 1-2 droppersful daily directly on the tongue or diluted in a cup of water . . . or, as I mentioned above, mix with a bit of olive oil and use to dress your daily salad. Yummy! You'll know it's working, when all-of-a-sudden, you notice that you don't forget so many things anymore!

Yield: Approximately 3 cups

NOTE: This blog is by Stephanie Tourles, Lic. Esthetician, Herbalist, and author of "How To Feel Fabulous Today", "Organic Body Care Recipes", and "Raw Energy", among other books. The information is true and complete to the best of Stephanie's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Boost Your Immunity - Herbal Immune Berry Tincture

Hello to Everyone & Welcome To The Fall Season! 'Tis my favorite season . . . this colorful, cool, bright, dry time of year. A time when all living things begin to draw inward and fatten up their nutritional stores, gathering their reserves in preparation for winter's long, dark days. This blog will be the beginning of a new series on whole foods and rejuvenative herbal supplements that will boost immunity, increase energy, well-being, and longevity, and restore beauty and suppleness to your skin (face and body), plus add shine and strength to your hair and nails. I guarantee that the food-related & herbal tips and formulas that I share with you will be most tasty and the skin/body/hair/nail care recipes will feel luxurious, nourishing your skin from the outside-in. Let's dive in, indulge our senses, and prepare for a healthy, radiant fall and winter!

Boost Your Immunity

There is much talk today about immune system breakdown and the need to protect the immune system and maintain its strength and function. The term immune means to be protected from something harmful or disagreeable. This system is your first and often best line of defense against the onslaught of "foreign" invaders such as harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, yeasts, germs, environmental chemicals, insect bites, foreign particles (such as splinters, dust, or pollen), or even a simple paper cut.

Your immune system works 24/7, largely unnoticed - that is, until something invades your body or the system fails. If a mosquito bites you, your skin swells, itches, and gets temporarily red. That's your immune system at work attempting to rid your body of the poison. A splinter may cause similar swelling, or even an infection.

When a harmful bacteria or virus enters your system and your immune system attempts to fight it off, a cold or flu may develop. Most harmful invaders are stopped in their tracks before they have a chance to take hold in your body, but if the immune system is weakened, all manner of problems can develop, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, mononucleosis, cancer, lupus, candida albicans, herpes, staphylococcus and streptococcus infections, and arthritis, to name only a few.

With age, unfortunately, comes the increased risk of decreased immunity. Some common problems can include slowed wound healing; autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Graves disease, diabetes mellitus, AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis; increased infection risk; and cancer.

The key to boosting your immune system is simple. Give it whatit needs by feeding it the appropriate fuels: organic, whole foods, immune boosting herbs, purified water, fresh air and sunshine, and exercise. Be sure to balance work with rest, maintain a zest for living, control your stress level, engage in a soul-satisfying spiritual practice, and maintain loving relationships.

The following recipe is for a tasty herbal immunity-boosting tincture that can help enhance your defense system for when its assistance is most needed. I think you'll like the astringent, slightly sweet berry flavor - inspite of the vodka used to extract the medicinal properties from the herbs. It's also wonderful for improving symptoms of constipation, low energy, indigestion, and minor arthritis, and it's extremely high in anti-oxidants.

Herbal Immune Berry Tincture

The recipe is relatively easy to make and the ingredients can be purchased through reputable herbal mail-order suppliers such as Jean's Greens or Mountain Rose Herbs Avena Botanicals, here in Maine, makes and retails pre-made elderberry syrup. Look them up at Jean's Greens also retails a yummy elderberry syrup - try a bottle if you don't want to make your own formula.

1 sterlilzed quart canning jar with lid
1/2 cup dried elderberries
1/2 cup dried schizandra berries
1/2 cup dried, tart cherries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup raw honey
3-4 cups of 80- or 100-proof vodka (an inexpensive brand is fine)
1, 5" x 5" square of plastic wrap or a plastic sandwich baggie

1. On the evening of a full moon, add all ingredients to the quart jar. Pour vodka to within 1 inch of the top.
2. Lay a piece of plastic wrap or plastic baggie over the top of the jar and then screw on the metal lid. (The plastic prevents the metal from rusting when coming in contact with the water-based vodka.) Shake daily and store in a dark, dry, cool place. Allow formula to synergize for at least 8 weeks, and up to 6 months for maximum potency. This is NOT a quick-to-make recipe, so make it in early or late Spring and then it will be ready for use by September - just in time for fall/winter.

3. After at least 8 weeks has past, on the evening prior to another full moon, strain mixture through a strainer lined with pantyhose or a coffee filter or several layers of cheese cloth (so that all fine particulate matter is caught). Press herbs and berries with the back of a large spoon or with your fingers in order to extract all of the liquid. Restrain if necessary.

4. Divide the liquid into several 2- or 4-ounce, dropper-top, dark glass bottles. Store the bottles on a dark, cool, dry shelf until ready to use. Label and date each bottle. Your tincture should last for many years if you don't use it up that year or give it all away as "herbal wellness gifts".

5. To use, take 1 or 2 droppersful daily directly on the tongue or diluted in a glass of water. Can be taken year round, but I generally recommend taking it September through March or April, then making a new batch.

Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 cups of tincture - total depends on how much residual moisture the dry ingredients contain when you make the recipe.

NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, "How To Feel Fabulous Today", Storey Books, 2001. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions & After-Sun Relief - Part 4

Greetings! While the southern states remain hot, if not scorching, we in the northeast are either in the midst of floods or at least more damp than we'd like to be. Lots of mushrooms and mold in the garden, but everything is definitely green! I'll take green and lush anyday over dead, brown, and on fire! My prayers are with all of you (and the wild animals) suffering from drought. May it end soon!

Today will be the last in the "Sun Sense" series as the summer is ending, but at least the recipe I'm going to share with you can be used year-round for other healing purposes. I like to create formulas that can multi-task . . . more bang for your buck that way, too!

Aloe After-Sun Relief Spray

This blend, with hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, soothes and rejuvenates skin damaged by sunburn and windburn. It doubles as an anti-itch, mild antiseptic healing spray for those suffering from all manner of skin irritations such as bug bites, cuts and scrapes, poison plant rashes, generic dermatitis, and dry eczema. Good stuff and gentle enough to use on small children, too!

1 cup aloe vera juice (not gel) - available in better health food stores
40 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary (chemotype verbenon) essential oil

Place all ingredients into a storage container such as a plastic or dark glass spray or spritzer bottle and shake well to blend. Please keep refrigerated and use within 6 months.

Application Tips:
Spray onto skin as often as necessary to soothe environmental damage resulting from sun, wind, or other skin irritations.

Sunburn Relief Suggestions

* Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to cool bath water and soak for 10 to 20 minutes.

* Apply cold aloe vera gel or juice directly to sunburn as often as needed to ease pain and rehydrate damaged tissue.

* Apply cold, strong, regular black pekoe tea directly to sunburn with soaked cotton pads or dark wash cloths (it will stain light fabric). Repeat as needed.

* Spray chilled lavender or chamomile or calendula hydrosol (flower water) directly onto sunburned areas to help relieve inflammation.

Next time, I'm going to begin talking about how to obtain deep-down nourishment for your body and skin. I'll be discussing whole foods plus food-derived and herbal supplements that can revive your energy levels, transform your skin into the beautiful, radient smoothness that it was meant to be, and boost your immune system over time. Stay tuned. May you be well, happy, and whole.

Note: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions & After-Sun Relief - Part 3

Greetings to Everyone! I'm feeling like summer is ending early up here this year in my northern neck of New England. The gardens are not as vibrant anymore - still yielding vegetables and berries - but their leaf colors are beginning to wane and wither. The grasshoppers are singing loudly all day and into the evening, which usually heralds the beginning of fall, and the light is decidedly early fall - not quite as blindingly bright as during the height of summer. This is all okay with me as I don't enjoy the heat. Anything over 75 degrees is too hot for me, but early chill is not so welcome right now either. Hmmmm . . . Mother Nature seems to have something up her sleeve this year to surprise me with . . . not unlike she is acting in the rest of the world which is in major flux during this past decade! There's nothing so constant as change - that's for sure.

Anyway . . . on with today's continuing topic of natural skin care for sun exposed skin. I'm going to share with you a recipe for an oh-so-emollient and wonderfully fragrant body oil that I'm sure you're bound to adore. Enjoy!

Tropical Creamy Body Oil

This oil is designed for the die-hard sun worshipper who tans easily and rarely burns. Its SPF is low but the aromatic pleasure it delivers ranks high. It may make you want to bake in the sun all day - but don't! It's highly emollient and beneficial for any part of the body in need of softening, conditioning, and rejuvenating. I regularly use it as a bath and body oil to fend off dry skin - especially in the winter.

1/2 cup coconut base oil (extra-virgin; unrefined)
1/2 cup jojoba base oil
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
- A few drops of coconut fragrance oil (Optional, but smells divine! Follow manufacturer's directions on the bottle for appropriate amount to add to 1 heaping cup of oil product.)

In a small saucepan over low heat or in a small double boiler, warm the base oils and cocoa butter until the coconut oil and cocoa butter have just melted. Remove from heat and stir the mixture with a spoon or small whisk for 15 seconds to thoroughly blend. Add the fragrance oil (if desired) and stir again.

Pour the blend into a storage container, such as a plastic squeeze bottle, and cap when almost cool. Allow the mixture to thicken for 12 hours before usage. Recipe will yield approximately 1 1/8 cup of body oil.

Note: If the temperature of your storage area is above 76 degrees F, the product will maintain a liquid consistency. If it's below 76 degrees F, it will be much thicker. To soften before use, set container in a shallow pan of hot water for 10 to 20 minutes. Shake bottle vigorously prior to each use.

No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 2 years.

Application Tips:
Apply this oil immediately after a bath or shower to seal in moisture and prevent evaporation before heading into the sun. It is very concentrated; begin with 2 teaspoons and use more if necessary. If your skin is greasy and looks like an oil slick, you've used too much. Make sure to massage it in real well. Allow to sink into skin for 10 minutes before getting dressed. Also remember to reapply it during and after sun exposure to ensure that skin feels velvety soft and nourished.

In my next blog, we'll conclude this series on Sun Sense with a recipe for Aloe After-Sun Relief Spray. Good hydrating skin medicine for all skin types. Until then, be happy, be well, and take care in the sun. Blessings Everyone!

NOTE: Portions of this blog were adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes" by Stephanie Tourles, 2007, Storey Publishing. The information contained within is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions & After-Sun Relief - Part 2

Hello Everyone . . . humid and sticky today. Thank goodness we've had some much needed rain - unlike the mid-section of the country that is just shy of becoming the Sahara. I and my garden count our blessings! I didn't have a very good weekend, health-wise, that is . . . came down with that terrible, rather violent, stomach bug that has been floating around New England as of late. Husband inherited it last night. My prayers are with any of you who "catch" it. It's the worst stomach bug I've ever had - and I've had my fair share throughout my life. My herb friend "iced strong ginger tea" came to the rescue!

Anyway . . . on to today's topic: Part 2 of Tanning Potions and After-Sun Relief. I'm going to share with you one of my favorite recipes for conditioning your skin before, during, and after sun exposure. Hope it is to your liking!

Sunscreen Body Oil - Approximate SPF of 10

The ingredients of this oil combine to form a very hydrating, skin-nourishing blend. It pampers your skin prior to sun exposure and prepares it for environmental assault. Plus, if you find yourself suffering from sunburn; windburn; or an itchy rash from sea, sand, salt, or chlorine; this formula is ultra-soothing and aids in healing all irritations. NOTE: It is not a high SPF blend, so don't think it will substitute for a non-chemical high SPF sunscreen if that is what you need. If you are medium-to-fair skinned, then I recommend that you use this as a pre-and post-sun exposure skin conditioner, not as your primary sunscreen.

1/2 cup jojoba oil
1/4 cup sesame oil, refined or unrefined - not the toasted variety! (note that the unrefined will have the deep aroma of sesame seeds and that scent will dominate the entire formula)
1/4 cup aloe vera juice - not gel (the gel is too lumpy to blend smoothly)
3 teaspoons vitamin E oil

Add all ingredients to a storage container such as an 8-ounce, plastic squeeze bottle. The aloe vera juice is water-based and will separate out (as if you were making an oil and vinegar salad dressing), so the formula must be vigorously shaken each time prior to usage.

No refrigeration is required if the product will be used within 2 weeks. If refrigerated, the oil-blend will keep for 4 to 6 months. The oil portion will thicken or harden when chilled but will liquefy when allowed to warm to room temperature.

Application Tips:
Apply to the entire body immediately before and repeatedly during sun exposure, and after. The base oils won't leave an oily film if massaged in thoroughly (unless too much is applied).

In the next blog, I will share another recipe that can be used to care for your sun-ravaged skin, but I also like to use it during the winter to preserve valuable moisture when my skin tends to get parched from dry, indoor heat. If you like the aroma of fresh coconuts, you're sure to love it! Until then . . . be well, be happy, and live life to the fullest!

NOTE: This blog is by Stephanie Tourles and was adapted from her book, Organic Body Care Recipes, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions and After-Sun Relief - Part 1

Summer Blessings To All! My husband and I accompanied some friends on their motor boat yesterday - out in the Penobscot Bay, near Castine, ME. What a glorious day and the BEST way to escape the heat that has penetrated into our northern parts. Was I slathered in natural sunscreen? You bet! But with all that reflective light bouncing up from the water, I still got pink! Not a good thing. So, all this week, I'll be rejuvenating my skin from the shoulders-down by massaging my body with one of my favorite after-sun treatment oils: sea buckthorn. Derived from the orange-red berries of the sea buckthorn bush. It's prized for use on damaged skin, scar tissue, wrinkles, eczema, burns, etc. It's rich in essential fatty acids, carotenes, tocopherols and phytosterols. My favorite brand to use is: Weleda. Their Sea Buckthorn Body Oil is made from a nice blend of oils and sinks right into the skin.

If you decide to make your own sea buckthorn body oil by blending 20% sea buckthorn with 80% almond or jojoba or organic soybean oil, I'll caution you right now that it can be expensive . . . about $24.00 per 2oz. of pure sea buckthorn, and it is VERY ORANGE and WILL stain your skin, towels and clothing orange, too. If you fall in love with sea buckthorn oil, it will be worth your money to buy the pure oil, but try the Weleda brand first and see what you think.

Today, I'm going to start a new series about natural sun care and share several recipes with you to help condition and preserve the health of your skin that you can make at home. Enjoy!

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions and After-Sun Relief

In the last two blogs, "Give Yourself Some Exposure: A Little Sun Is a Good Thing - Parts 1 & 2", I addressed the health benefits of sun exposure and the importance of appropriate sun protection to prevent potential skin damage, but it's important to reiterate that if you want to preserve the beauty and integrity of your skin for years to come and help prevent skin cancer, do not spend excessive unprotected time in the sun. Practice holistic sun care: Avoid chemical sunscreens, but do find a natural one that works and offers full-spectrum protection; use common sun sense by staying out of the sun during the high-intensive hours between 10 and 2 or wearing appropriate cover-up clothing; and always slather on a good quality, moisturizing lotion or cream, from head to toe to prevent epidermal dehydration.

The natural sun protection recipes that will appear in the next several blogs have a low SPF of 10-15 or less and are formulated to nourish and condition your skin before, during, and after exposure to the sun and associated elements such as heat, drying wind, salt water, and chlorine from pools. I will also toss in a few suggestions for natural remedial action when an unfortunate sunburn does occur . . . such as the sea buckthorn oil tip at the beginning of today's blog. Good advice to remember: As with all things in life, the sun should always be taken in moderation.

Until next time . . . be active, be happy, be healthy, and be thankful for all your blessings!

NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendation are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Give Yourself Some Exposure: A Little Sun Is A Good Thing - Part 2

Summer Blessings To All! I'm finally basking in the warmth of a Maine summer and so is my garden. My lavender crop was absolutely fabulous and fragrant this year! Sure does take a while for the "season of green" to arrive here in the extreme northeast, but that's okay. Better to have a long cool, dampish spring than to literally burn up and scorch like the rest of the country!

Anyway, today I will be discussing Part 2 about sun exposure - the positives and negatives. I do indeed enjoy soaking up the sun's rays and don't like to wear sunscreen (but will wear a chemical-free brand when I have to). I do wear protective clothing when appropriate or at least avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm.

Sun exposure is a subject of much debate, however, and if your health professional or dermatologist has advised that you avoid the sun at all costs due to various health concerns, then your body will require other sources of vitamin D. This essential nutrient can be found in organic egg yolks; minimally- and low-temperature-processed fish liver oil; vitamin D-supplemented organic cow, soy, rice, or almond milk; organic, grass-fed organ meats; wild salmon, sardines, and herring. If you drink cow's milk, try to purchase it raw, if possible. Other plant sources include raw, fresh sunflower seeds and alfalfa grass. Bee pollen is a "superfood" ingredient that you might want to include in your diet as it contains a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes - including vitamin D. I do recommend that you add vitamin D in supplement form if you are vegan and live in the northern half of the United States.

While brief, unprotected sun exposure may be beneficial, when you intend to spend a longer period of time in the sun, it's important to apply a non-chemical sunscreen prior to exposure, wear protective clothing, and use "common sun sense": Don't stay in the sun for hours on end with no protection of any kind or without reapplying your sunscreen regularly, and avoid exposure during the middle of the day, when the sun's rays are at their strongest. These strategies will help prevent premature aging, uneven skin tone and blotching, and exposure that may cause skin cancer.

Though it's important to wear sunscreen, the chemicals in most commercial products can be very irritating to many wearers, especially those who exercise outdoors. Sunscreens can sting if they drip into your eyes or nose and can cause the development of skin rashes when their chemical base mixes with sweat. Natural sunscreens, such as those containing micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, provide a physical, sun-reflective barrier; offer a relatively high SPF; and greatly reduce or eliminate irritation. Natural oil blends containing jojoba or sesame oil are beneficial skin emollients and conditioners that also provide a low to moderate SPF range of 4 to 15. Plain, undiluted, chemical-free, organic jojoba oil has a natural SPF of 15.

Outdoor exercise and sports can be fun, and at times, even exhilarating, but remember: It doesn't have to come at the expense of your skin's health. So if you're an avid outdoorswoman or outdoorsman, keep Mother Nature's sun, heat, salt, drying wind, cold, or arid climate at bay by always drinking plenty of water and wearing your "shield" of moisturizers, natural sunscreens, protective clothing, and sunglasses!

As for tanning, if you must have a deep, golden tan, then try a self-tanning lotion or cream available in drug and department stores. Follow the directions, do a patch test, exfoliate your entire body, and take the time to apply an even layer. The results are quite realistic if the product is applied correctly. Spray tans, available in tanning salons, are wonderful alternatives, as well.

Observing "common sun sense" beginning in your teen years or early twenties can virtually stop the visible aging clock. But, at any age, it's never too late to begin to care for your skin and health in the sun.

My favorite natural sunscreen manufacturers are: MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Aubrey Organics, Lavera, Burt's Bees, and Alba Botanica.

In the next couple of blogs, I'll share with you a few natural before- and after-sun recipes that you can make at home to care for your skin.

NOTE: This blog was adapted from the book, Organic Body Care Recipes, by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Give Yourself Some Exposure: A Little Sun Is A Good Thing - Part 1

Greetings! I've just returned from San Antonio, TX where it was between 104 and 108 degrees everyday! For a Maine girl, that's blazin' hot. The humidity was very low - desert like - and the wind rather strong at times. Like living in a windy oven if you happened to venture outdoors away from the airconditioned haven of your home or office. San Antonio is in the middle of a 1-year drought and everything is brown and crusty - green is a rare color, indeed.

I gained 6 pounds in 5 days while I was there, felt frequently dizzy, slightly nauseated, and severely constipated (sorry, but I'm being upfront here about the conditions). I'm assuming I was very dehydrated and my body was hanging on to everything I ate as well as all of the water I consumed. When I got home, my body normalized. What a hellish place Texas is right now!

Threats of heatstroke made the headlines on the news everyday with recommendations not to venture outdoors if you didn't have to, unless you were fully covered with clothing, sunscreen, and had lots of water with you. I'll tell you one thing . . . everybody needs some sunshine, but
when the weather is "Godforsaken" like it is in TX, a 5-minute daily exposure is probably all you need or should even contemplate getting. Too many health hazards associated with prolonged exposure.

Well . . . enough of my ranting about nasty hot weather. This blog will be Part 1 about the benefits of sun exposure to your overall health - yes, there are benefits, not just negatives.

A Little Sun Exposure Is A Real Good Thing

We've become a sunphobic society. Yet all living things - plants, animals, and people - need at least a little sunshine in order to survive and thrive. Certainly, overexposure to the sun is the single most damaging factor to your skin. It's not just a sunburn but also a suntan (and the associated skin dehydration) that represent damage to your skin, and that damage is cumulative over a lifetime.

Yet sunshine feels good on your skin and helps your body absorb calcium by causing your skin to produce part of the vitamin D complex that strengthens bones. Sun exposure also aids in healing eczema, acne, psoriasis, and poison plant rashes; helps reduce stress and blood pressure; balances hormone levels; and increases the body's production of feel-good serotonin.

Thirty to 45 minutes of daily unprotected exposure to sunlight in the early morning before 8:00 or 9:00 am or very late afternoon, after 4:30 or 5:00 pm, can help preserve your sanity and the health of your bones and skin. If you live in the north, where sunshine is sometimes limited in the winter and temperatures can be quite cold, try to expose your face and hands for at least 15 minutes daily. Many health professionals have observed a rise in the occurrence of osteoporosis, spontaneous fractures of the small bones of the feet, vitamin D deficiencies, skin diseases, mood imbalances, and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) not only in this country, but also globally because our lives are increasingly sedentary and spent indoors, with long car commutes between work and home. Increasing our sun exposure slightly can affect the incidence of these conditions in a most positive way.

In the next few blogs, I'll continue this "sun exposure" series as well as share a few of my sun care/skin care natural formulas with you and list a handful of my favorite chemical-free sunscreen brands for you to try. Until then . . . be well, be happy, and be careful in your daily travels.

NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from one of her many books, "Organic Body Care Recipes", copyright 2007, Storey Publishing. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Natural Cellulite Treatments - Part 5

Greetings Everyone! Summer's almost here in Maine. The garden is finally planted (that is . . . if the crows will stop stealing my winter squash seeds)! I've had to replant the squash rows 3x already! This morning I applied cayenne pepper powder over the soil and installed rows of string tied with shiny yellow flapping ribbons to hopefully scare them away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

With all of my gardening work, I find that I don't need to do my regular "structured exercises" anymore and my "winter flabbiness" is firming up! That's a good thing! Hope all of you are getting in shape, as well. Today, is the last in the "Natural Cellulite Treatment" series (I think), and I will share with you a herbal bath treatment recipe that you can do at home to help tone and tighten water-logged skin tissue - works great on jiggly thighs! Please give it a try.

Herbal Anti-Cellulite Bath Treatment

NOTE: Avoid using this formula is you have kidney problems, are epileptic or pregnant.

The base oil, plus the rosemary and lavender essential oils in this formula pamper and condition your skin, while the juniper, cypress, grapefruit, and atlas cedar essential oils exert a diuretic action, helping to reduce water retention. The salt aids in toxin elimination and muscle relaxation.


2 teaspoons almond, avocado, soybean, jojoba, or sesame oil base oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vodka, gin, or rum (80-proof)
2 drops juniper essential oil
2 drops cypress essential oil
2 drops atlas cedar essential oil
3 drops grapefruit essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops rosemary (chemotype linalol) essential oil (this the the most skin-friendly rosemary)
1/2 cup Epsom salt

To Prepare The Bath: Blend the base oil of choice, honey, and alcohol, and essential oils in a small bowl. Set aside. Start the water running in the tub and add the salt; stir it around until dissolved. When the tub is full, pour in the oily mixture and swish around with your hands to blend.

To Use: Soak for approximately 20 minutes. With your hands, massage the cellulite-afflicted areas while you are soaking to help break down fatty deposits. Then get out and briskly dry your skin using a thickly napped towel. Follow up with an application of body lotion or body oil to which you have added one drop of each of the essential oils in the ingredient list. You may partake of this bath up to 3 time per week.

Yield: 1 treatment

In the next blog, I'll be discussing an important summertime skin care topic relating to sun exposure. Until then . . . be well and enjoy the warm temps!

NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from one of her many books, "Naturally Healthy Skin", Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Natural Cellulite Treatments - Part 4

Greetings Everyone! Hope this spring is finding you in good health and with good energy! I certainly feel top-of-my-game right now. The sunshine is just what I need after a long winter to lift my spirits and deliver a mega dose of skin-starved vitamin D.

My garden is coming along - a little bit at a time. Planted Russian banana fingerlings and Rose Finn fingerling potatoes last week and planted snap peas yesterday. I'll hold off on the rest of the garden until the threat of frost has passed - which is towards the end of May up here in Maine.

Today, as promised, I'm going to provide you with the details on "Dry Brushing" . . . how to do it and what it does for your body and cellulite. I'm sure you'll want to take up the daily dry brushing habit and make it a morning ritual.

Dry Brushing: What It Is, How To Do It, And Its Beautifying Benefits

To eradicate dry skin and cellulite, I recommend that both men and women adopt a simple yet invigorating morning ritual - dry brushing - for epidermal and lymphatic stimulation. Dry brushing revs up the circulation better than your morning cup-o-joe, guaranteed! Perfect for those of you who suffer from fatigue, winter snake skin, and that "orange peel" lumpiness otherwise known as cellulite.

Dry brushing is a must for smooth, sleek, clear skin. Over the course of a day, your skin eliminates more than a pound of waste through thousands of tiny sweat glands. In fact, about one-third of all of the body's impurities are excreted this way. If your pores are clogged by tight-fitting clothes, aluminum-containing antiperspirants, and mineral oil-based moisturizers, there's no way for these toxic by-products to escape. Over time, these wastes build up, causing your skin to look pale, pasty, pimply, and and your thighs and belly to become pock-marked with cellulite. The dead skin cells also build up on the epidermis, resulting in a dry, flaky, lizard-like texture that forms an impenetrable barrier. Ever keep applying moisturizer over and over again to your legs and arms and still have the parched feeling, even though the bottle promises to alleviate even the most severe rough, dry skin? You have to get ride of the dead cell buildup before the moisturizer can do any good! This is where dry brushing lends a helping hand.

Contrary to what you might imagine, you can dry brush over eczema and psoraisis. Granted, you may have to lighten up on your pressure a bit, but the stimulation is superb for those thickened, scaly, rough patches.

Step #1: Dry brushing is performed on dry skin - not oiled, not damp, but dry, before you bathe or shower. Using a natural-fiber brush the size of your palm, preferably one with a handle, brush your entire body, except your face (and breasts, if you're a woman), for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not brush hard. Initially, you will have to start very gently and work your way up to more vigorous brushing, but never scrub until you're red. Begin brushing your hands first, in between the fingers, then the arms, underarms, neck, chest, stomach, sides, buttocks, and back. Then brush each leg, beginning with the feet and work upwards. You will feel wonderfully invigorated when finished, and your skin will glow!

Step #2: Now, pour a tablespoon or so of sesame, almond, olive, apricot kernel, organic soybean, or avocado oil into a small bowl and add a drop or two of geranium, lavender, fir, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, grapefruit, or lemon (all have a skin-tightening effect) essential oil. Massage your entire body, including your face, ears, and scalp - if you're washing your hair that day. Do this for about 5 minutes and allow it to soak into your pores for another 5 or 10 minutes. Next, jump in the shower, bathe as you usually do but don't use soap on your body except for the "private parts", and all of the dead skin you just exfoliated is washed away. There is no reason to use soap because the dry brushing actually cleaned your body without the use of a foaming cleanser. Neat, huh? No soap to dry out your skin either.

Step out of the shower and rub your skin dry. Apply a light moisturizer if you desire. Repeat this ritual daily. It's a good idea to wash your body brush with soap and water every week or so to keep it free of skin debris.

Weleda - the German chemical-free cosmetic company - makes an anticellulite body oil that includes birch extract and other natural essential oils. It's called Brich Cellulite Oil and with daily use, improves skin tone and appearance. I love the natural aroma. Highly recommended! They also make a fabulous Birch body scrub, as well.

I love dry brushing and rarely skip a day. I hope you learn to enjoy it, too. Over time, combined with a good diet and plenty of fluids and daily exercise, your cellulite will disappear or at least be minimized! Until next time . . . be well!

NOTE: This blog was adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Natural Cellulite Treatments - Part 3

Hello Health Seekers! My grass is green; the vividly orange, wild mother fox and her two brownish, young kits are hunting and frolicking daily in the woods next to my house (so cute); and the swamp peepers have united into a nightly, loud chorus. Spring has finally arrived in my neck of the Maine coastal woods! Yahoo!

Have you bought your new summer swimsuit yet? Tried on last year's shorts in front of the mirror? Are you pleased with what you see? Keep eating low-fat whole foods, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, and destressing - you'll love the results. Today, we'll continue with Part 3 of Natural Cellulite Treatments.

Treatments For Cellulite

All professionals who treat cellulite agree upon one thing: Cellulite is a chronic condition that requires continual treatment and maintenance. It is not a condition that you pay attention to one day and not the next. You can't just take an antibiotic and expect it to be cured! Too bad! As soon as you stop preventive or treatment measures, cellulite will begin to build up again. To properly treat this lumpy "orange peel" menace, you must make whatever method you decide upon a part of your regular routine, part of your lifestyle.

The following treatment suggestions consist of diet and exercise programs. They really work for those who are motivated and diligent. I touched on some of them in the last blog, but will expand on them a bit today. You must be consistent in your efforts for smooth, tight, firm skin to prevail. Cellulite will respond positively to your new lifestyle habits, but it may be a long process. Remember, you didn't get into the shape you're currently in overnight - fat, trapped toxins, excess water - aka cellulite - will take just as long to disappear.

Please note, if you are more than moderately overweight and over 40 years of age, I recommend a visit to a holistic-minded physician or health care provider to alert him or her of your intention to begin a new diet and exercise program.

1. Aerobic Weight Lifting - This type of exercise combines the cardiovascular benefits of aerobics with strengthening and muscle-building weights. It makes you really sweat and seems to carve the fat right off my thighs and buttocks almost as fast as a hot knife through butter! When I'm consistent with this type of exercise, I usually see results in as little as 10 days. Unfortunately, few workout CD's offer this type of exercise combination. Call your local gym to see if they offer classes or find a good instructional book to follow. A company called "The Firm" offers unique workout equipment and a fabulous CD series on aerobic weight-lifting. Look up their website,, read about what they have to say on the subject, and try some of their products. If you like to work out at home, you'll love them. They've been around for a long time.

2. Yoga - If you've never taken a yoga-for-strength class or power yoga, you may think that yoga is for people who can't do strenuous exercise. That assumption couldn't be further from the truth! The practice of yoga consists of performing a series of postures or asanas that strengthen and stretch your muscles and joints using your own body weight for resistance. When you hold a pose, you're working your muscles isometrically (without moving). I find that yoga - especially power yoga - tones and elongates my muscles, making for a leaner, more lithe look. Perfect if you are on the shorter side and tend to build bulky muscle - like me! It builds balance, coordination, general and core strength, and is wonderfully destressing as well. After about two months of regular practice, you'll be amazed by the tone you've developed and the improvement of your balance.

3. Dry Brushing - This is a wonderful technique for improving skin tone, energy levels, circulation, and lymph flow, and for shedding dry skin. The procedure takes a bit of explaining - so I'll do an entire blog on it next time - promise. In the meantime, buy yourself a good quality, natural fiber skin brush with a handle that is at least 8" long - so you can reach all your parts - including your back and buttocks.

4. Diet - I know I discussed proper diet last time, but I'll repeat some of it . . . Reduce your consumption of refined and simple carbohydrates, including white flour, sugar, and sugar substitutes (eliminate these toxins, altogether), chips, cake, cookies, crackers, popcorn, and french fries, to name a few. Such starchy, sugary foods offer minimal nutrition, are high on the glycemic index, and if eaten in excess, cause weight gain, water retention, and moodiness. Increase consumption of fiber-rich fruits and veggies (especially raw ones), clean, low-fat vegetable or organic animal-derived proteins, beans, and whole grains. Keep nuts and nut butters to a minimum due to fat content - no more than 2 tbsp. of nut butter or a small handful of raw nuts daily. If you must consume dairy, make sure that it is of organic origin and very low in fat. Raw milk or locally made, low-temperature yogurts are preferred to pasteurized products.

5. Sunlight - Your body must have some sunlight daily - it regulates your hormones, keeps you happy, and supplies vital vitamin D (better than the kind in a capsule). You can't absorb calcium properly without exposure to sunlight - I don't care what you read. Living beings, like plants, need natural sunlight to thrive! After 20 minutes of daily sunlight (sans sunscreen), I apply a natural, chemical-free sunscreen like those made by Lavera, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, or Aubrey Organics.

6. Sleep - No, you cannot forego sleep and makeup for loss of it on the weekends. The loss is accumulative and it will show in your low energy level and lack luster skin tone. Trust me on this one. Sleeping Beauty wasn't called this for naught . . . sound sleep = beauty! When you're sleeping, you are rebuilding, rejuvenating, and refreshing your cellular structures. Eight hours nightly allows for complete revitalization. Avoid stimulating foods and drinks and too much exercise within 5 hours of bedtime - though some people like a destressing power walk or run a couple of hours before bedtime. Do what works for you. Try some herbal "sleep balms", "sleep pillows", or valerian tincture if you have trouble sleeping. They're non-addictive. Keep the bedroom dark and very quiet . . . no bright clock lights or street lights beaming into your room.

Until next blog . . . I bid you spring blessings of health and happiness!

NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from one of her many authored books, "Naturally Healthy Skin", Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Natural Cellulite Treatments - Part 2

Welcome Everyone! Spring is finally "springing to life" up here in Maine. Last night I heard the first "peepers" peeping from the boggy area at the lower end of my back yard - a sure sign that warm weather is one the way! I planted 2 dwarf "Honeycrisp" apple trees and 2 semi-dwarf plum trees in my garden over the weekend. They are supposed to give me fruit within 2 years . . . cross your fingers! Today I will discuss Part 2 in the "Anticelllulite Series". I hope you are re-vamping your diet, exercising more, and drinking lots of water these days - in order to feel better and firm up for summer! Preventing Cellulite Development If you're one of the few people who isn't afflicted with cellulite, you're either very young or very fortunate. Even female athletes who work out more than 2 hours a day can still have a minor amount of cellulite on their thighs and buttocks. Here's an eye-opener: Many years ago, I knew of two women who cross-trained (yoga, running, walking, weight-lifting, and Pilates) for more than 10 hours per week, but still had very flabby, big, cellulite-ridden legs - inspite of all that exercise and lots of water consumption . . . but . . . and this is the BIG BUT . . . they drank more than their fair share of alcohol every week - party girls! I'd say they consumed at least several "hard drinks" and many, many big glasses of wine. All that alcohol (and sugar) causes the body to retain water . . . read "bloating". Keep that in mind ladies . . . wine may be good for you, but there are other ways to increase your antioxidant intake instead of drinking! Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, raisins, cherries, and prunes come to mind. Back to my train of thought . . . However, there are several lifestyle "adjustments" you can make - if they're not already a part of your routine - that will not only keep you healthier in general but will also help prevent the formation of, or further development of, cellulite. 1. Get up, move, and sweat. Daily, vigorous aerobic exercise is paramount, so fight your sedentary tendencies. Try jogging, walking, dancing, bicycling, "hot" yoga or "power" yoga, Pilates, or gardening to stimulate circulation throughout your body, especially from the waist down (the area most commonly affected by cellulite). Sweating is key . . . as toxins leave your body via your sweat glands. 2. Begin a regular weight-lifting routine to keep your underlying muscles toned and tight. 3. Drink, drink, drink - water and decaffeinated and unsweetened herb, green, and black tea, that is. An ample intake of liquids will keep toxins flowing right out of your body instead of lodged in your cells. 4. Eat a proper, balanced, whole food, unrefined diet with minimal fat. Keep preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings to an absolute minimum. They "don't do a body good". 5. Avoid salty foods like the plague! Salt (just like alcohol) causes your body to retain water, which can exacerbate the appearance of cellulite. 6. Stop smoking. I can't believe that anyone would still smoke these days! What a nasty, harmful habit to you and everyone around you. Smoking impairs circulation and adds poisonous toxins to your bloodstream - that lodge in your fat cells. 7. Keep alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum - as I said before. They contribute more toxins for your poor liver to deal with, and they sap your body of valuable nutrients essential for skin health. 8. Stay within your normal, healthy weight range. Cellulite is more pronounced if you are overweight. 9. Eat a low-to-moderate carbohydrate diet. This is my belief . . . carbs, especially those on the medium-to-high end of the glycemic index (look up "Glycemic Index"online for more information) tend to ask your body to retain more fluid than if your diet consisted of more protein - especially clean, trim protein. Read a few of Tosca Reno's books on "Eating Clean". She's a 50+ body builder, mother, author, and avid exerciser and looks fabulous. I mean fabulous! Good inspiration! Next blog, I'll continue with Part 3 - "Treatments For Cellulite". Until then, eat right, exercise daily, drink your daily quota of water & tea, breathe deeply, and enjoy spring! All the best. NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from one of her many books, "Naturally Healthy Skin", copyright 1999, Storey Publishing. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Natural Cellulite Treatments - Part 1

Howdy All . . . As promised in the last blog, I will begin a new series discussing natural ways to rid the body of cellulite. Despite it being a bone-numbing 25 degrees here at home in coastal Maine today - colder when you add in the terrible windchill - it is time for me, and for the rest of you in warmer climates, to address that lumpy, bumpy, unsightly cellulite that has developed over the winter on your thighs, and other areas - before it becomes swimsuit and shorts season - and you get caught, exposed and jiggly, as if you've smeared marmalade on your parts!! No one wants to see that! What exactly is cellulite? Cellulite is the dimpled, lumpy skin that most often appears on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and stomach. Reminds some of an orange-peel or cottage cheese appearance. Enticing, eh? Cellulite is not a type of fat, but rather a result of the relationship between skin and the fat layer beneath it. It affects women more than men because women tend to have more subcutaneous fat and slightly thinner skin . . . isn't that sad? Life's never fair, is it? Anyway . . . Causes: If you were to ask 10 different skin care and body care experts, ranging from dermatologists to estheticians to massage therapists, to state the causes of cellulite, you'd get 10 differenet answers. Here are some of the answers I received upon interview: 1. There's no such thing as cellulite. It's just plain old fat. The cause is simply a lack of exercise and overeating. 2. It's a result of stagnant circulation in various areas between the torso and the knees. 3. Cellullite is a type of fat that traps extra water beneath the skin's surface, causing a puckered appearance. 4. Cellulite is caused by toxins in the diet, such as artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and aditives, which the body stores in fat cells - as it doesn't recognize these ingredients as real food. It doesn't know what to do with them nor how to process them. 5. The appearance of cellulite is more apparent when the underlying muscle is untoned and flabby. In an athletic body, the visible dimpling of the fat layer, if evident at all, is minimal. 6. Cellulite is one of the side-effects of a constipated colon and insufficient water intake, resulting in an overaccumulation of toxins. When toxins are not being released through the proper channels - the skin, kidneys, liver, and colon - they are stored in the fat tissue, isolated from the body and out of harm's way. 7. Cellulite is a combination of fat, water, and wastes trapped beneath the skin in pockets within the connnective fiber bands that hold the skin in place. As the amount of these materials increases, the pockets bulge, causing the familiar cottage-cheese effect. All of these "causes" of cellulite ring true to a certain degree. Cellulite does consist of fatty tissue, water, and toxins, and the degree to which it affects you depends on the types of food you consume as well as the amount and type of exercise you get - and genetics - sorry to say. Although it can be difficult to eradicate completely, there are ways to at least minimize its appearance. In the next blog, I discuss natural ways to help prevent cellulite's development and aid in the elimination of this unsightly problem, if you've got it already. Stay tuned! Also, if you have any tips that have been successful for you, then by all means, send them to me and I'll post them in a future blog!! Be well . . . NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. esthetician. The content was adapted from material in one of her many books, "Naturally Healthy Skin", Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Comfort Food Done Raw

Hello Readers . . . I hope your day is going better than mine. Let me explain . . . Today, I was going to start a new 2-3 part blog on the topic of "cellulite" and how to get rid of that pesky "orange peel" appearance . . . you know . . . before we all have to bare our legs and bellies and don bikinis and shorts. But . . . I changed my mind. I'll get to that topic in a few weeks. Why, you ask? Well, we still have 3' of snow on the ground here in northern, coastal Maine and, as luck would have it, we received 2" of rain between last night and this morning - resulting in rapid snow melt - which flooded the street and drainage ditch in front of my house. I live on a slight slope. All of that water and accumulated gravel, bits of asphalt, sand, and frozen ice chunks had nowhere to go except down my sloping street, following the edge of the high frozen snow bank along the road. So, as soon as the torrent of water found the path of least resistance - that being my previously shoveled walkway to the mail box and my gravel driveway - in it all came - right into my front yard and driveway - carving little canyons and bringing with it tons of blackish debris. Yuck - what a mess! So . . . now I have a lot of spring yard clean-up to do! Needless to say, my previous good morning mood went right into the proverbial toilet . . . or right down my driveway along with all the mud and debris.

I decided, right then and there, that I deserved a depression-lifter - comfort food if you will - and what better way to improve my mood that to make some raw fudge? Chocolate does wonders to raise the spirits! At least this decadent, rich raw fudge is totally fabulous - both nutrition and taste-wise. I'll share the recipe with you. Enjoy and think warm, sunny, springtime thoughts! Be careful not to eat the whole pan . . . it's that good!

Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate-Blueberry Divine Fudge

Experience raw candy decadence at its finest! If you're familiar with the taste of Mexican chocolate, then you know it can have a pungent bite. This unique fudge has plenty of tongue-tantalizing flavors and textures: Bitter and sweet, hot and rich, smooth and chewy, melt-in-your mouth gooey! With regular consumption - and YES - you actually can eat this on a regular basis because it is SO good for you - you'll see an increase in outer glow and feel a surge of inner vitality from this luscious, nutrient-packed confection. P.S. I've been known to have a piece or 2 or 3 along with a glass of raw almond milk, and call it breakfast! YUM!

- 1/2 cup raw, unrefined coconut oil
- 1 cup dried blueberies, sweetened with apple juice, or unsweetened
- 1 cup raw cocoa (caca0) powder
- 1/2 cup raw almond butter
- 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. If the coconut oil is solid, set the jar in a pan of very hot water or in a warm, sunny window to liquefy.
2. Put the coconut oil, blueberries, cocoa, almond butter, agave, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir to blend until a stiff ball forms; there will be small lumps of blueberries.
3. Coat the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with a bit of coconut oil or line with waxed paper. Spread the fudge mixture into the pan to an approximate depth of 1 inch. Cover and freeze for 1 hour, until very firm.
4. Remove from the freezer and allow the mixture to soften slightly for about 20 minutes. Cut the fudge into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months. Do not allow the fudge to sit at room temperature for too long or it will melt.

Yield: About 24 pieces

A Good Source Of: anti-oxidants, vitamins B and E, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, natural sugars, healthful fat, protein, and fiber

NOTE: This article is by Stephanie Tourles, Lic. Holistic Esthetician, Herbalist, and raw food enthusiast. It is adapted from her book, "Raw Energy", Storey Publishing, copyright 2009. The information in this article is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winter Skin: Lizard Skin? - Part 2

Salutations and Warm Wishes to All! The temperatures dropped into the deep freeze again over the weekend! When will it end? The local red fox must be quite hungry as I spotted him eating a pile of sunflower seeds that I'd left in the yard for the wild turkeys. Poor guy! My big backyard garden is calling to me for some attention, but, alas, it is still under 2.5' of snow. I'm yearning to dig in the soft earth and smell fresh, young green plants. Perhaps I have signs of cabin fever . . . our late Maine spring is still just a glimmer in my eye, sad to say. Hope springs eternal . . . warmth will return!

Yes, winter still has a grip on the northern half of the country and many are still suffering from "lizard skin" - winter's dry hold on your otherwise soft, comfortable skin. Today, as promised, I'll share my recipe for a most wonderful skin-conditioning body oil that will make your skin feel like silk. I hope you find it to your benefit!

Nourishing Oil***

This is a nourishing blend that's high in essential fatty acids. The sesame, avocado, and olive oils are "heavy" oils and impart a velvety texture to the skin that I love, especially in mid-to-late winter when my skin is driest. This formula doubles as a healing oil to massage into cuticles on a nightly basis, especially if the cuticles are dry and ragged. It helps promote nail growth and adds a natural sheen to the nail surface. Important note: The aroma is rather distinctive, so add your choice of beneficial essential oil to help mask it if you wish. I prefer it plain and simple, though.

- 4 tbsp. unrefined, sesame seed oil (not the toasted kind)
- 4 tbsp. unrefined, avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large vitamin E oil capsules, pierced or 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil
- 15 drops lavender, Roman chamomile, frankincense, rosemary, grapefruit, or geranium
essential oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a glass or plastic storage bottle. Tightly cap the bottle, label, and shake the mixture vigorously. No refrigeration is required if product is to be used within 6 months. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Yield: 1/2 cup

Application Tips: For bath oil, add 2 teaspoons to running water. For application as a body oil, following a shower, or for massage, use as needed. I recommend using at least 1x per day as a body oil.

*** Recipe adapted from "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, published by Storey Publishing, LLC, December 2007.

NOTE: This blog is by Stephanie Tourles and the content adapted from her recent article, "Make Your Own Skin Oil", that appeared in the Ellsworth American newspaper "Health Quarterly" on Feb. 3, 2011. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter Skin: Lizard Skin? - Part 1

Greetings My Fellow Health Seekers! It's nearly mid-February and Old Man Winter sure has a strong grip on things up here in Maine. Doesn't seem to want to loosen it-even a tad! What happened to the "January Thaw" that we've all come to love and expect? I don't buy into this global warming business. The weird weather we're all experiencing throughout the U.S. this winter is just Mother Nature doing her cyclical thing that she's been doing for eons. At least that's my opinion. Anyway . . . today I will begin a 2-part blog on how to prevent what I call "Lizard Skin" - winter skin itch, flakiness, and associated misery, as well as give you tips on how to treat it if you already have it. In Part 2, I'll share a "Nourishing Oil" recipe to help restore, soothe, soften, and protect your largest body organ . . . your skin.

When the outdoor temperatures are frigid and indoor heating robs the air of all humidity, the skin is the first to suffer.

Dry skin occurs because of water loss from your skin, not oil. Healthy skin, with its natural lipid or oil content, normally serves as a protective barrier to the external world. But, this vital function can become disturbed when the skin is hypersensitive or very dry, often resulting in a condition called atopic dermatitis - simply defined as irritated skin accompanied by tightness, itching, flaking, and redness.

Sound all too familiar? To prevent these conditions due to dry winter indoor and outdoor air, supporting and fortifying the skin with a pure, natural, unrefined nourishing body oil is especially important during the long cold season. Daily application will seal in moisture, strengthen the skin's own powers of resistance and improve its natural barrier function.

Additionally, proper hydration has many benefits, including the health, beauty and comfort of your skin, so drink plenty of water and herb tea. Since caffeine acts as a diuretic, which further "drains" the skin of moisture, avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible.

Bathing also hydrates your skin, but harsh soaps, soothing hot soaks and showers strip away the essential oils that protect your skin. So, limit your bathing time and use of hot water - sorry, but I had to say it. Use a mild, cream-based soap or soapless cleanser and pat skin dry, don't rub.

Moisturize immediately within minutes of toweling using my Nourishing Oil recipe (which I will give you next time in Part 2), or with your own favorite moisturizer or body oil. Remoisturize throughout the day as often as necessary - especially before bedtime.

Dry skin or "winter itch" or "Lizard Skin" doesn't have to make your life miserable. With consistent care, you can feel comfortable in your own skin again.

NOTE: Portions of this article were adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007 and also from her Ellsworth American newspaper "Health Quarterly" article that appeared on February 3, 2011 entitled "Make Your Own Skin Oil". The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Power of Fresh, Raw Fruit & Vegetable Juice - Part 11

Brrrrrr! That's all I can say about the temps up here in my area of coastal Maine. As I write, it is 15 degrees outside - with no windchill - plus we just got 14" of fresh powder yesterday! My arms are sore from shoveling so much lately! Excellent upper body workout I must admit! We're certainly in the midst of an old-fashioned Maine winter. Anyway . . . at least my office faces southwest and the sun is beaming through my 70+ year old windows - reflecting the light off the snow, illuminating and warming up my creative space. My house is 211 years old, folks, and has its share of "charm", especially in winter, e.g. drafty windows and drafty stacked granite block basement - complete with a few chipmunks and mice. Quaint, isn't it?

This week I'll share the last in the series of fresh juice recipes from my "Raw Energy" book. Hope you've enjoyed the raw and energizing juice journey along with me. I'm sure there are many of you who made the annual New Year's resolution to get fit and workout more, right? Or, perhaps you renewed your resolve to get in better shape and take care of your health. Well, if you did either of these, then the juice blend recipe that follows will be the perfect raw and healthy choice to refresh and replenish your thirsty cells following your workout. If you are new to juicing, this recipe is probably one of the first easy-to-make blends that you drank. Simple and oh-so-nutritious. Enjoy.

Post-Workout Replenisher

As you exercise and work up a healthy sweat, your body begins to deplete its stores of sodium, potassium, water, and glycogen (sugar), among other nutrients, and needs refueling when you've finished. Unlike sugary "energy drinks", this simple juice blend replenishes your body's spent vitality without being too sweet.


- 3 medium apples, including cores
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 stalks celery


1. Juice the apples, carrots, and celery, together.
2. Stir before serving. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings

NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her latest book, Raw Energy, Storey Publishing, 2009. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.