Thursday, March 14, 2019

Basic Beauty

My dad used to tell me that, "every circumstance holds good and bad [elements]." But when I was younger and less prone to abstract thinking, I basically thought he was full of sh*t. However, as I age, I've found his words hold sound meaning as any sage advice would with the addition of maturity. Ergo, while I often find my small paycheck and it's limited applications to be frustrating, there's often a silver lining in the end.

While I've come to understand my father's words as I age, I've also become increasingly like him, meaning that I try to save coin and avoid other's company whenever I can. And while I always thought that my father was a little cheap, it's true that we buy a billion things we don't need. There are those stupid circles we put on the back of our phones and then there are more abstract products which make the promise of happiness down the road. 

Both the beauty and pharmaceutical industries are billion dollar ones and, in a sense, they're not too dissimilar. Both employ chemists who whip up what's not there in nature... be it a bright, red lip color or a stable brain chemistry. And yet both offer products that more or less remedy issues which could otherwise (and cheaply) be stemmed by changes in our diet.

Suffice it to say, my medical "difficulties" range from the rather benign (dandruff/ yucky skin) to the rather severe (which we won't talk about). But I've found that, too an extent, food is the first line of defense in the fight against said maladies. Whereas the beauty (and sometimes medical) industries offer a salve to problems which have already begun, it turns out that (at least in the cosmetic sense), most of these artificial products can simply be avoided when we don't eat artificial food. So I set out to research some foods that might aggravate and/or remedy my ailments and then worked to find some recipes to which they might be applied. Enjoy! 

Clear Skin: When I was in high school, I had bad acne and when I was in college, it went away. But a few quick glances at photos made me cringe at the red complexion left over from the heyday of my youth. I tried to correct it with green powders and antibiotics but nothing worked... pretty much my first indication that most commercial products are some bullshit. And when I began to eat an intentionally healthier diet, I noticed my complexion begin to clear... pretty much my first indication that natural remedies work. And so when conducting a search of, "foods to eat for a clearer complexion," a few stood out:

Nuts (Specifically Brazil and Almonds): Throughout my research, nuts came up a bunch as remedies for a cacophony of issues. Indeed, nuts are high in protein... delivering the nutrient without the added load of hormones that can show up on our skin in the form of acne, redness, etc. And for a few recipes regarding the ingredient, I'll direct you to Mylking It for ways to use it well.  

Stuff High in Antioxidants: When bad things do enter our systems, antioxidants are able to catch such free radicals before they're able to wreak havoc on our skin and other organs. As such, fruits and veggies such as (blue)berries, tomatoes and kale are able to catch such culprits in order to have a positive net effect on our bodies. 

Stuff With (Good) Oils: As stated above, nuts come in handy for a variety of maladies. Most of them contain healthy oils as do sardines and avocado. I'm not sure why but I think the Omega-3's in them also serve as antioxidants, thus, we've come full-circle on this topic. 

Dandruff: As stated above, while my acne began to disappear in college, all the oil from my T-zone seemed to "head up" to my scalp where I've dealt with dandruff for awhile. While I mostly assumed the condition was due to my thick hair which wouldn't let a whole lot of shampoo touch my scalp, I quickly realized it was more likely the product of putting stuff in my body I didn't need which was digested and basically excreted out in other ways. Thus, cutting down on sugar and dairy can help manage your skin "up there" while eating foods like which have Omega-3's like the nuts and avocados featured above (along with peanut butter, eggs and olive oil), can help your cranial region look and feel fab-u-lous.

Anxiety: I used to think I had innate anxiety. Now I've realized that I just get stressed about not doing anything with my life. This being said, I do have a bit of genetic nervousness which has likely been passed down the genealogical tree from time immemorial. Yet I have noticed that when I've changed my diet, my anxiety levels have changed with it. As with dandruff, a healthier diet might not cure the condition, however, I've noticed it definitely helps. In this sense, similar to the remedies for most ailments it seems, foods such as eggs (for their zinc), Brazil nuts (for their selenium) and avocados (for their vitamin-B levels) along with asparagus and cashews and oysters all work to lower anxiety levels. 

So when it comes down to it, nuts, avocados and some fruit and eggs (most often the Cadbury mini ones) have made it into my wheelhouse when I'm not stuffing myself with adult beverages. They're relatively inexpensive and have somewhat alleviated the need for expensive face washes, shampoos and other elements which have the capacity to deal with the aftermath of a gross diet. If we need to eat anyways, we'd might as well eat well. 

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