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.