Be güd to yourself

Natural beauties have long loved Burt’s Bees for their soothing skin and lip products. Now they have new line called güd!  This fun, new collection comes in four delicious garden-inspired scents: Floral Cherrynova, Orange Petalooza, Vanilla Flame and Pearanormal Activity. You can be güd to yourself from head to toe with hair care and body products. There is even a Natural Body Mist. The products smell more exotic than you may imagine with deep base notes grounding the floral and fruity top notes. The prices range from an affordable $6.99 to $11.99 for the Body Butter — and that is a güd thing, too!   
And while you are at it, treat your lips to deliciously-flavored lip balm from Burt’s Bees. Burt’s Bees lip balms smooth, soft, and irresistibly tasty. You can choose from a range of delightful natural flavors and they are 100 percent natural too! So give someone a honey, pomegranate, or mango kiss!

Sweet face

Raw honey is good for the skinA masque is one of my regular beauty pick-me-ups. It has been since I was a beauty-crazed teen. A sweet honey masque in one of my all-time favourites because it works for all skin types and leaves skin soft, dewy, and calm. Honey has antibacterial properties. Because of its ability to kill bacteria, it has been traditionally used to treat wounds and prevent infection. Its antibacterial properties come from propolis and naturally-derived hydrogen peroxide. Propolis is a thick mixture that bees retrieve from trees and flowers. The hydrogen peroxide in honey is released slowly when it is mixed with fluids, including the natural ones on your skin. Scientific studies show that honey reduces inflammation and increases blood flow, too.

Make a fabulous honey masque by mixing two teaspoons of rawhoney with cosmetic clay or ground oatmeal. The clay or oatmeal helps absorb impurities from your skin and keep the honey from running all over your face.  You can grind a small amount of oatmeal in your blender and keep it in a jar. Otherwise, you can use colloidal oatmeal from the drug store or cosmetic clay.
Raw honey is essential. I like Gaia Medicinal Honey. Gaia makes some of my favourite high-quality herbals.
Try this masque. If you love it as much has I do, it will become part of your regular regime. I like to do it a few times a week, as the seasons change.




Score big losing weight!

Keri Glassman MS, RD, CND

"Antioxidant" has become a trendy buzz word, but do you really know what it means? You should, because according to experts eating enough of them can help you lose weight, live longer, think better, and look younger. It’s true. Read our interview with Keri Glassman, the author of The O2 Diet, and find out the latest about the cutting-edge diet that will make you healthy, thin, and beautiful. 

DD: Can you explain what antioxidants are and how they work in our body. Why are they so are important?
KG: In simple terms, antioxidants protect us from damage by free radicals — the "bad guys" in our body that come from UV exposure, environmental pollution, stress, some foods, and simply the process of aging! Free radicals disrupt normal cell functions and have been linked to many health problems, including premature aging (aka wrinkles), heart disease, cancer, poor immune function, and Alzheimer’s.
Antioxidants work in our body in many different ways. They can:  “Quench” the single oxygen molecules by destroying them; Help the homeless oxygen molecules bind with other molecules in a less disruptive manner;Prevent the breakdown of the molecule in the first place, so that the free radical is never created; and encourage the body to crank out more of its own arsenal of antioxidants, such as lipoic acid.
Antioxidants are important! They help your body by: Preventing neuronal degeneration; Protecting you from developing cancer; Helping to prevent heart disease; Slowing the aging process (to make you more beautiful); Improving your overall health: May even increase your life span!
DD:  What is the ORAC scale?
KG: ORAC is a method of measuring a food’s potential to control those "bad guys" – the free radicals! The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale offers a fairly precise measure of the ability to either destroy or neutralize the disease-causing free radicals. The test, which can be done on foods, tissue, or living plasma, takes two measurements into account: one of hydrophilic antioxidants which just means chemicals that bond with water); and one of lipophilic antioxidants, those that bond best with fats) – to come up with a single score. The ORAC scale was developed as a way to determine which foods were richest in antioxidants. Researchers suggest eating at least 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC “points” per day. In essence, ORAC measures a food’s antioxidant power.
DD: Do different antioxidants have different benefits? Can you give us some examples? 
KG: Each antioxidant-rich food provides its own benefits, so don’t just stick to one. In my new book, The 02 Diet, The Cutting-Edge Antioxidant-Based Program that Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful, I suggest a variety of high antioxidant foods that are easy additions to your diet.  All antioxidant foods have more than just one benefit, but some specifically help everything from making your body slimmer, making your skin glow, sustaining an overall healthy body, allowing for a healthier heart, stimulating a focused mind, or a combination of all of these benefits!
Red grapefruit: This is more than a breakfast food – it’s a weight-loss jump-start! Packed with Vitamin C and fiber, this citrus fruit speeds weight loss. One study found that people who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. (Many people in the study lost more than 10 pounds without making any other dietary changes.) While all grapefruit is great, the pink and red varieties contain lycopene and are extra good for your heart. Half a grapefruit has 1,900 ORAC points.
Prunes. Okay, so they’re not pretty. But these wrinkly little fruits are rich in Vitamin K and a top source of the mineral boron. We need both for strong bones. Researchers have found that prunes provide protection against postmenopausal bone loss. One three-prune serving gives you 1,900 ORAC points.
Cherries: University of Michigan researchers have found that anthocyanins in dark cherries, especially the tarter varieties, reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They pack 3,500 ORAC points per serving. Just don’t swallow the pits!
Cinnamon: There’s a reason most of us drool when we walk by a bakery, and cinnamon is a big part of it. Just the smell of this heavenly spice is enough to curb fatigue, ease frustration, and increase alertness. Researchers tested it on stressed-out commuters as they drove! I cook with cinnamon as often as I can. Sometimes, on days when both my kids are screaming, I boil a cinnamon stick in the hopes that those wonderful stress-busting aromas will keep me out of trouble! Besides managing stress, researchers believe cinnamon may inhibit certain types of Alzheimer’s cells. When eaten, one teaspoon adds 7,000 ORAC points to a recipe.
Artichokes: What’s more fun to eat than steamed artichokes? I love them because they’re one of the best calorie bargains going, at 60 calories each. Eat an artichoke as an appetizer and you may end up consuming fewer calories overall at the meal. Artichokes are also super high on the ORAC scale — 7,900 ORAC points — and they contain phytochemicals that may lower cholesterol levels and act as an anti-inflammatory in the skin, making them a beauty food as well.
Pistachios: I have memories of my dad eating the red dyed ones while watching football. For many people, they’re a great dietary tool, since the time it takes to pop the little green guys out of their shells makes you eat them more slowly. In many ways, they are nutritionally like other nuts, especially almonds. But pistachios are also packed with plant sterols, which researchers think lower the risk of heart disease. Eighteen pistachios have 1,000 ORAC points.
DD: What is a high ORAC diet, and what is so good for us?
KG: Researchers have just begun to scratch the surface of antioxidant research. There are now literally hundreds of studies linking antioxidant-rich foods to better health, including everything from reduced heart disease to a decreased likelihood of cancer. And while taking too many antioxidant supplements in pill form may be harmful, there’s absolutely no downside to consuming more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, as long as you control calories of course! Although the current recommendations are that we eat between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC points a day for optimum health, why not get as many points as you want — from food! The O2 Diet is built around consuming 30,000 ORAC points a day.
Think that number sounds crazy? It’s not unrealistic at all. If you eat the high-ORAC fruits, vegetables, and other foods I recommend — all within a range of calories that will allow you to achieve your healthiest weight — it’s not tough to achieve the number.
Don’t forget you still need to eat a balanced diet. Sure, you could get to 30,000 easily on nothing but artichokes, blueberries, and hot cocoa, but that’s not a balanced diet. You’d be cheating yourself out of the wide variety of nutrients out there.
DD: What is your opinion of those juice drinks that claim to equal several servings of fruit and vegetables? Is freshness important if you are concerned with antioxidants?  
KG: Major brands have started to recognize the importance of high antioxidant foods, which is why we’ve been seeing a growing trend in marketing food and cosmetic products as ones that are good sources of antioxidants. Many of these juices are actually great sources of antioxidants. You just need to be careful not to over-consume calories and beverages that have added sugar. Stick to 100 percent juice and use portion control! 
DD:  What is the advantage of The O2 Diet for those who want to lose weight?           
KG: The O2 Diet is all about empowering yourself to put the best foods in your body. When you understand the science behind these powerful foods, you want to put these foods in your body, and you feel empowered doing so! When you eat these nutrient-dense foods you feel better, you look better, you sleep better, you have better energy, and better skin — and a byproduct of all of that is weight loss!  You don’t feel like you are on a diet; you want to continue. Also, the foods in The O2 Diet are satisfying, making it easy to stick to the plan. This diet does much more than provide the basic calories you need to make it until bedtime. It offers more genuine nutrition than you probably have eaten in your entire life. Consuming the O2 Diet’s 30,000 ORAC points each day will help you reach your target weight. But this diet also steers you toward the best foods for addressing your other health concerns. Some foods have been shown to be beneficial in easing the outward signs of aging, for example, while others are proven boosters for the immune system.




Balanced beauty without harmful additives.

 HEIKO Natural skin care with organic ingredientsIf you have been looking for a simple, effective skincare line free of parabens, additives, and perfumes Heiko maybe your dream product.  Heiko means balance in Japanese; it is also the name of a new skincare line developed by Shirley Duplessis, a homeopathic biochemist.  

“It is not easy to find effective natural skincare products that both feel good on the skin and respect the environment,” Duplessis explained talking about her creation. “You will not find any parabens, perfumes, or preservatives in our formulas. Each product is perfectly suited to all skin types and helps to restore skins balance quickly and continuously. Products are enhanced with essential oils making Heiko soothing for both skin and senses.”

Heiko is luxurious to use. I particularly like the HEIKO Exfoliant. It is refreshing and very gentle too. The HEIKO Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 15 contains zinc oxide. This is a bonus, if like me; you sometimes react to chemical sunscreen. It blocks UVA and UVB rays while moisturizing your skin. The essential oils in it make it smell divine. 

The line is simple to use with only a few basic products: HEIKO Cleansing Lotion HEIKO Exfoliant, HEIKO Age Defense Moisturizer and Protect with HEIKO Age Defense SPF 15. The complete line of products is available across
Canada at Pharma Plus, Loblaws and at select health food retailers. Heiko can also be ordered and shipped to Canada and the U.S. from Priced from $35-$45 each.  


Natural beauty

Vapour Color CosmeticsThere is nothing we like better than a good Aretha Franklin song, in this case, “(You make me)Feel like a natural woman”. The tune came to mind when we tried Vapour, a new colour and treatment line by Eric Sakas. He describes Vapour as the fusion between health and beauty.

Vapour Colour Cosmetics has a signature base of light dry plant oils and a blend of anti-inflammatory frankincense, antioxidant Tulsi, lotus flowers and pure mineral pigments. There is a full line of products, many of them unique and perfect for a natural woman.
Status Instant Skin Perfector is a stick of pure magic. It contains frankincense, Tulsi, and lotus flower oil. Used under makeup or alone, it reflects light, diminishes fine lines, and brightens and evens skin tone. I like keeping it in my bag to refresh my skin from the drying effects of air conditioning and heating. A quick swipe over my check bones and around my eyes was the magic I needed to glow in dry artificial air!
The Aura Multi-Use Blush for Lips Cheeks and Eyes has the same fabulous ingredients. The colour is soft and natural. I like to keep this handy in my bag too. The colour is so soft I can wear it all day from AM to PM and look fresh and natural. The bonus: my skin soft and fresh too!
The Trick Stick is a light reflective sheer tint. It looks fabulous swept over cheekbones, eyes, or lips for a hint of sparkle and radiance. The Trick Stick is unique in that it is 100 percent natural and chemical free with 70 percent certified organic ingredients. This is simple way to add instant glamour to your regular makeup for the holidays. 
Vapour is a luxe line of natural products that perform beautifully. There are also a foundation, lipsticks, glosses, and eye shadows They are sheer and weightless on your face. The pure, beneficial ingredients will make you fell good about wearing them –as will the company’s commitment to the environment.

Lotions and potions

I grew up on the quick kitchen fix. We used sugar scrubs, honey facials and egg white face masques. When I was baby beauty addict surreptitiously reading all the super market tabs, there was not a movie star worth her salt who did not have homemade secrets to offer.  

Now it seems that all that has changed. Today’s stars don’t DYI, they have experts to mix the homely remedies. Narine Nikogosian is the skin guru to Jessica Alba, Charlize Theron, and Alfre Woodard among others. Her book, Return to Beauty: Old World Wisdom and Recipes for Great Skin is packed with recipes for cleaners, scrubs and creams to suit all skin types and solve many common problems. Nigosian’s recipes are easy to mix up and don’t call for exotic ingredients. 
It’s interesting to note that Nikogosian trained in nursing with a concentration in dermatology in her native Armenia and Russia before coming to the U.S. I can tell you the women of the former Soviet Union know their stuff when it comes to skin care. I still dream of my weekly facials in Moscow; those ladies worked magic with their healing hands and homemade potions.
Will this book have you tossing out your bathroom cabinet’s contents for homemade goodies? Probably not. And remember don’t put anything on your skin that you are allergic to. That said, Nikogosian’s book is a trove of useful and fun advice that can save you money and improve your skin. This is a fabulous holiday gift for the young beauty addicts in your life.

Naturally Beautiful

 Eden Home is the creation of Alexandra Smith and Rachel Sparwasser. They are two moms building their own niche in the new green economy. They offer many “green-organic life style products. Eden Home Skincare is their exclusive line organic, botanical beauty products. All the elegantly-packaged products are free from irritating parabens, urea, and synthetics.

What we love about Eden Home, and demand from all the organic products that we recommend, is that they are also effective. They have included ingredients that are proven to make skin beautiful: Vitamins E, C, and A, as well as Shea butter, lactic acid, almond oil, among others. The preservatives used are food grade. The products are moderately priced ranging from $25 to $54 USD. As of now they only ship within the U.S., but we hope they start shipping to Canada, too. Please, let them know if this policy frustrates you. We need to encourage all unique purveyors to provide cross-border shipping. DolceDolce and our readers have been influential in the past getting other companies to ship to both countries.