avoiding toxins during pregnancy

LEARNED & UNCOVERED – THE TRUTH BEHIND “BEAUTY” BIZ MOTIVATES NEW CHOICES

Becoming pregnant shone a whole new light on every choice for Christine…she & I, for very different reasons, have been on a quest for good health (& yes you can have beauty when you choose health darn it!!!) & to uncover the truth behind all those empty promises of cures, “anti-aging,” the next best thing in skin care, & on & on…

Here, Christine shares her story & why she decided to ditch synthetics & toxic food, beauty & healthcare FOR GOOD! xo -Suki

 

The Breathing Trick That Puts You to Sleep in Seconds –

This is from good housekeeping…By Emma Louise Pritchard,
Nothing is worse than lying awake at night, willing your brain to shut down so you can rest. Warm milk, lavender oil, and counting sheep —
we’ve all tried them. But the new solution could be simply learning to breathe.
when i was a kid, i used to lay in the grass looking up at the clouds. Life wasn’t easy, but looking back, it seemed easier than it does today…i can’t remember the
last time i just spent a little time looking up…relaxing…

THE NATURE RX: WINTER WONDERLAND EDITION

there’s nothing like a dose of sunshine, unscreened, unblocked, vitamin D absorbing (yes, morning & / or afternoon sunshine)…so healthy &…so energizing! when I saw this video I wanted to share it…cause it’s also too true, how many chronic diseases (that we’ve given all our new names too – chronic fatique, fibromyalgia too) could be prevented, treated…by some outdoor exercise, relaxation & sun exposure (which will not cause skin cancer or….aging for that matter…in moderation!).

however, I can’t help but notice how warm & green those woods in the video look. right now it’s 27 degrees in Massachusetts & one of the last things I want to do is go outside! however, research continues to show that vitamin d from sun exposure is linked to better mood & health. but my natural inclination is still to hibernate…in Norway they even have a word, “koseling”, for that winter cozying-up with plenty of blankets, tea, maybe a roaring fire.

but too much coziness can lead to less pleasant feelings like laziness, idleness & restlessness, especially after an excess of holiday cheer. if you work in an office all day, then come home in the darkness, it’s easy to become disconnected from the outside world for months at a time, spending only enough time outdoors to take the dog for a quick walk or shovel the driveway—last year, Massachusetts got a whopping 108 inches of snow, so can you blame us?

to cite a more serious scientific review of research on the health benefits of natural environments, exposure to outdoor green spaces is associated with lower levels of stress & anxiety, it helps kids with ADHD focus & even improves symptoms of depression. there are many hypotheses as to why this is, but these researchers suggest it’s partly due to “soft fascination”, or a scene that captures attention while it also soothes—as opposed to the “hard fascination” of urban life…attending to not getting run over by a reckless Uber driver or sending a regrettable email, for example.

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now, there isn’t much green to be had outdoors this time of year, but if you head to a local nature reserve or wildlife sanctuary, there’s a little bit in the form of evergreens peeking through the snow. & more restoring still is the sense of quiet contemplation, the bare, somber trees against the sky, the scurry of wildlife foraging for nuts & berries, the general sense of peace & solitude that’s hard to come by on a slushy winter commute, or staring all day at a computer screen only to emerge into a world that’s already dark at 5 p.m. I take ballroom dance all year & many people swear by hot yoga in the winter, but getting outside offers a kind of restoration that you can’t find in an artificially heated & lighted gym. (of course, enjoying this frozen wonderland is tough on the complexion, so check out my winter skin care tips if you want rosy cheeks rather than winter sandpaper skin!)

so bundle up & get outside! even if your parka won’t allow for much vitamin-d exposure, just the sight of the sun glinting on the snow or the scent of pine needles will refresh your spirits—& if you happen to live somewhere warm where there’s plenty of sun & maybe even water that’s warm enough for swimming…congratulations, I’m officially jealous of your life choices  just kidding…you don’t find views like this in sunny California:

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do you have a favorite way to get in your prescription for nature in the not-so-green months?

xo
—Suki

BADASS WOMEN: CARRIE FISHER

carriefisher2

in her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, the then twenty-five-year old Carrie Fisher was a role model for a whole generation of young girls (yup, till they put her in a bikini! – she protested guys…as many of us knows). in 1977, feminism wasn’t exactly a care for movie directors, all male you think (more on this later? so, any surprise the character of Leia had to swoon & act as if, though the future of the universe was in fact, leaning directly on her shoulders as well as Luke’s (she’s a Jedi too, damnit!) she needed rescuing (cue the “kiss for luck” & being carried via rope on Luke across the inside of the Death Star). &, although she managed to get in a few great shots at Storm Troopers, did you know Fisher (revealing in her memoir Shockaholic,) was cast under the strict condition that she lose 10 pounds – putting her weight at the time an anorexic 95 pounds! this really should embarrass Hollywood…but it won’t.

Fisher’s memoir also reveals that since her role in Star Wars, she continued to struggle with her weight (cue a small eating disorder) & a severe mood disorder that required the last resort measure of electro-convulsive therapy. sure, depression & bipolar disorder have a DNA basis, but I have to wonder if those experiences also contributed…oh wait, I don’t actually have to wonder because it’s so OBVIOUS. it’s an industry that uses people & discards them when they’ve passed their too-brief “prime”…but it’s worse because of the lack of females in charge. I’m thinking of Maggie Gyllenhaal revealing that at age 37, she was considered too “old” to be cast as the love interest of a 55-year-old man.

some fun facts. in 1979, the later Emmy-award winning TV director Victoria Hochberg & five other female directors began collecting data on the numbers of women working in the industry. known as the “Original Six,” they found that of all the assignments in both television & motion pictures, 1/2 of one percent of all those jobs were going to women. they partnered with the DGA & the EEOC to file a gender discrimination lawsuit against the studios…quickly thrown out…things started to look a bit better, in TV anyway, from 1980-1995, where stats for female directors jumped from one-half of one percent to sixteen. but, never happened in movies, & only got up to three point five percent, where they remain this day. &…in studio diversity agreements, ethnic minority men & women of all ethnicities are clumped together in one category, meaning, when studio reps need to hire a minority for diversity’s sake, the job almost always goes to a minority male. the numbers confirm this — men of color make up 18 percent of the population & 17 percent of TV director jobs, while women make up 51 percent of the population, but make up 14 percent of TV director jobs. (me, shaking my head…)

after Twilight, which earned 400 million & was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, people were excited about Divergent as well as The Hunger Games. they show there’s an audience! you see a brave, badass girl out there…lo & behold…people will go see the movie. but, even though a female director directed the first Twilight — none of the other Twilights, or The Hunger Games, or Divergent…all books written by a woman & starring a woman…not one of them was directed by a woman.

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back to Carrie Fisher’s return to the big screen…apparently the cave-dwellers at THE NEW YORK POST (!) or those lurking on her Twitter feed could only focus on the fact that the actress, at 59, was no longer the waif in the infamous bagel buns & bikini, but a distinguished & accomplished author, actress, comedian playing a military general…who by the way, looks awesome! Fischer looked by FAR & ABOVE the least weathered of all (& she went through drug & alcohol addiction & recovery, a childhood with Debbie Reynolds, dating John Belushi & being married to Paul Simon…geesh! need I continue?! 🙂 I mean the woman is a warrior in real life!) &, I mean, if you are going to point out such silly, trivial things like how an actor has aged, where are the Mark Hammil posts? looking like he came off a 3-month bender & years of Krispy Kreme runs while Harrison Ford…watching the man ”run?” can we call it that(?) with jowls wobbling, was it really cute? who cares! good god & come on guys?! the very least you can do is get with the times & play it equal here! I actually liked ALL of them! I cared not at all about their age. I enjoyed seeing them again…but, while MEN criticize, women admire. women seem to have daddy issues & men have insecurities, so (& I’m talking generalities here 🙂 men seemingly see only girls as sexy & girls see dads as sexy. hmmmm. on the topic, while Fischer has to deal with the nonsense of being body/age shamed online, females are now furthering their own cause so well…making the “dad look” popular…what is the “dad look”? a “kinda in shape but not too in shape guy who isn’t super cut, plus we’ve got leading feminist, Mindy Kailing leading thousands, hell maybe millions of mindless women settlers who are furthering their own cause on a personal level by decreeing the 73 year-old actor is, “still mega bangable on all planets.” are you fricking kidding me here!?

well, here for you too, to become nauseated over, are some of the low points of the dialogue:

SurferJoe ‏@surfJoeMalibu  29 Dec 2015

YOU DIDNT AGE WELL AND U SUCKED IN STAR WARS. IT WAS A REST HOME FLICK. WANT MY MONEY BACK  @Variety @carrieffisher #StarWars @badrobot

Tom Roberts ‏@TomRoberts983a  29 Dec 2015

@carrieffisher So you want the money & adulation that comes with being a famous actor but not the criticism. Whoever told you life was fair?

never beaten down, the quick-witted Fisher has been retorting since & here is one:

“Please stop debating about whether OR not [I] aged well. unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My BODY hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us!”

you go woman!

Bette Midler chimed in (& so many others have as well): Brava to Carrie for standing up for the radical notion that women have the right to get older! Youth is temporary, diva is forever!

this is of course a topic close to my heart, & not just because I am a woman, not just because I am a 49-year-old woman, & not just because I am a 49-year-old woman in the skincare industry (a truly insidious industry that often longs to make women feel awful about themselves in an effort to sell products! I mean, have YOU been looking a bit “crepy” lately? a brand new word recently heard in skin “care” ads created by those awesome marketing “geniuses” to make us race out to buy the latest & greatest bullshit product that will NEVER “turn back the clock” – ahhhhhh.

yes, I make skincare products. but, I refuse to use the term “anti-aging”, I refuse to make people feel bad about themselves! it’s about nurturing HEALTHY aging, it’s about working with the underlying causes of skin problems to make us feel & look better of course, the best we can feel & find OUR TRUE SELVES, not change & plasticize & fill & alter who we are, including the smile, stress & life lines we have earned through our experiences & histories…in an effort to become more “youthful.” I wouldn’t, for all the money in the world, wish to return to my twenties, or my thirties, or actually to any age! I love who I am now & in fact, how I look & feel now more than at any time in my past & I SO wish the same for everyone out there!

carriefisher4

we have it so backwards with regards to enjoying life & self. we work so hard for monetary gain & pick ourselves to pieces over the smallest wrinkle & blemish. I do have a mission to help people avoid toxic synthetics & get real results, solving problems that, like my lifelong struggle with whole body eczema (which landed me nicknames & bullying & loss of self-esteem – now THAT is a real goal to help solve I believe), staying off fabulous pills like Accutane which, forgive me but if you tell me you can’t take something if you are even thinking about getting pregnant, I say no thank you! I endeavor to get folks to see for themselves that a properly formulated product, with 21st century science at its core, utilizing 100% pure actives from botanicals, highly-potent yet stabilized & safe, in 100% pure formulations that penetrate the skin will actually stop a toxic cycle of imbalance in the system (the same sort of things we talk about with food & lifestyle nowadays). it’s all about systemic imbalances & treating the whole body, not symptoms. &, it’s NEVER about promising something that is impossible, such as getting rid of wrinkles, an impossibility for ANY product!

know your beauty is my philosophy & it means so many things. the foundation behind suki® skincare, it means accepting ourselves for who we really are, never punishing ourselves for being “less than perfect” or needing to live up to an outside definition of beauty, & acknowledging we must always take & own our power, including the power over our health & well-being.

I applaud Fisher for surviving addiction & depression, for writing about it so well, so comically & in such an inspiring way in one of my favorite books & movies, Postcards from the Edge. I thank her for being an awesome part, in a classic movie I waited in line with my mom to see when I was 12, & kind of saw again at 49! not only that, but for being a fabulously funny character in one of my other faves, When Harry Met Sally!

&, thanks to her & JJ Abrams, for moving Leia beyond the damsel in distress role to offer a strong role model to a new generation of fans.

@ Carrie Fisher: you are what “know your beauty” is all about. looking forward to seeing you as the badass GENERAL Leia Organa Solo again in the next episode of Star Wars!

xo

—Suki

 

ROSE GARDEN IN A CUP: A GUEST REVIEW OF ORGANIC INDIA TULSI SWEET ROSE TEA

guest blog by suki® skincare team member, Whitney R.

I love sipping a hot cup of tea on brisk fall days, but by mid-afternoon I’ve got to switch to something caffeine-free or risk being up all night.

herbal teas (or technically “tisanes” if they don’t come from the buds & leaves of camellia sinensis) are the perfect solution. there’s something almost primal about pouring hot water over dried herbs, flowers & berries, watching the unique color of the infusion swirl into the cup as the flavors concentrate & strengthen. unlike traditional tea, which easily becomes bitter, herbal tisanes improve with a long steeping of 5 to 20 minutes or more.

rose herbal tea

these days, a variety of herbs are proving to have great health benefits (which ancient cultures have known for millennia, just not in the form of double-blind studies!).

Organic India is a company that brings the health-promoting goodness of traditional Indian herbs to the West in the form of herbal supplements & delicious teas. my favorite of these is thtulsi_sweet rosee Tulsi Sweet Rose blend.

 

 

the Tulsi plant has long been revered as a sacred herb in India & is known in the west as Holy Basil. in modern times, this herb is considered an adaptogen, helping your immune system stay balanced & fight stress.

Organic India’s blend combines Tulsi basil with rose petals, lemon myrtle & chamomile flowers, plus a hit of stevia for natural sweetness. more than a universal symbol of love –by any name ;)—the rose is a health superhero packed with vitamin C & other antioxidants.

the taste of Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea is floral but mellow, comforting but a little exotic—perfect to sip during a few minutes of afternoon mindfulness or serve with an Indian-inspired dessert.

Organic India is also a company with heart, working with thousands of family farmers in rural India to promote sustainable, organic agriculture—& that’s the sweetest thing of all.

 

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try it with some gulab jamun… these honey-soaked milk pastry balls are one of my favorite Indian dessert delights.